SharePoint home sites: a landing for your organization on the intelligent intranet

Visionaries driving digital transformation and creating the modern workplace know the intelligent intranet is the heart of a digital workplace.  The intelligent intranet delivers experiences that provide shared content and solutions for collaboration, drives employee engagement and communications, and harnesses collective knowledge by connecting people and content.

Today at the SharePoint Conference, we announced SharePoint home sites, the latest innovation for the intelligent intranet, powered by Microsoft 365.

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SharePoint home sites are the landing sites for your organization that bring together news, events, content, conversations and video to deliver an engaging experience that reflects your voice, your priorities, and your brand.  Home sites are built on top of familiar communication sites.

 

Novartis is a leading global healthcare company committed to reimagining medicine. As part of its focused data and digital transformation, Novartis will launch a new global corporate intranet for its 100,000+ employees. The solution, built with Microsoft certified partner Wizdom, intends to use SharePoint Online and will embrace all relevant functions of Office 365 to fuel its digital ambitions. Novartis is excited to explore the new Home site capabilities, especially the improvements to search, cross-site navigation, organizational news and the mobile front page.” – Philip Martucci, Director Content & Channels, Novartis

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Home sites are natively responsive, so you can rest assured that every page will be beautiful, fast, and accessible on any device.  Coming later this year, a dedicated home button will allow one touch access to your home site in the SharePoint mobile app.  You can also configure your company logo in the Office 365 navbar to link to your home site. Doing this means your home site will always be one click away in any of the Microsoft 365 web applications.

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News can come from many different sites in your organization but often you want to have an "official" or "authoritative" site for organization news. Home sites allow you to balance organization news, which is distinguished with a visual cue, with personalized, relevant content that can be targeted to employees.

Engaging experiences are key to the intelligent intranet and home sites allow you easily embed conversations, video, and content from Microsoft 365 and more so you can connect with the information and activities that matter to you, across all your devices.

Integrated search, powered by artificial intelligence, allows deeply personalized insights to be surfaced to make employees more productive and take advantage of the collective knowledge from your organization both inside and outside of Microsoft 365.

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Robust menu options, such as the recently released megamenu, allow you to create a visually engaging navigation experience that can show multiple levels at the same time.  This enables you to better organize and showcase the related content and sites from across your organization.

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Building a great looking home sites shouldn’t have to take months.  With the new organization design for communication sites, you have a great starter to get you going fast.  New page options, like a vertical column, and ever-increasing list of out of the box web parts provide additional design options to meet your needs with less development time.

Once you have built your communication site how you like it, as the admin you can make it a home site with a simple PowerShell command.  That PowerShell command will automate all the essential configurations for you:

  • The site is configured as an official organizational news site.

  • Search scope is set to tenant wide for the home site.

  • Enables one click access from the SharePoint mobile app.

  • Automatically connected to the SharePoint start page.

The SharePoint start page is connected to your home site with the My SharePoint link, and carries your home site branding to allow your employees to transition seamlessly between their “we space” and their “me space” with the “My SharePoint” link.  Having personalized and relevant content is key to the success of the home site and we are making it easy by providing several out-of-box user personalized webparts and the integrated experience with SharePoint start page.

  SharePoint home sites empowers you to create beautiful, fast, natively mobile, digital experiences for organizations, divisions or functions with just a few clicks.  To see these technologies in action, watch the SharePoint Conference 2019 keynote, and check out the other posts today to the SharePoint community blog.  We are excited to see what you will create.

Leanna Bryant