MSW’s move to SharePoint will enhance personalisation

by | Feb 20, 2020

Personalisation and customisation are two words that are often associated with Microsoft’s updates, as the company constantly looks for new ways to enhance the user experience.

Recently, Microsoft’s internal news and information portal, Microsoft Web (MSW), was moved to the latest version of SharePoint in Microsoft 365, allowing businesses to access information that is relevant to them.

Described as an ‘out-of-the-box SharePoint home site that is suitable for the entire organisation’, the content displayed will now be tailored for employees based on where they work and who they work with.

Users can now access the popular home site remotely, supporting the growing trend of employees working from a mobile device or tablet while on the move.

This move is seen as a significant milestone in the company’s bigger journey to migrate nearly 400,000 sites and portals to the web-based collaborative platform.

Strategic timing

While Microsoft has already moved 86 percent of its SharePoint team sites and 76 percent of its SharePoint publishing portals, the decision to migrate its larger-scale internal portals like MSW has been on hold in recent months.

This strategic delay now means that the MSW home page can take advantage of search improvements, audience selectivity and recently added SharePoint home site capabilities.

Clearing the path for other major portals to follow, this move will allow the company to improve the end-to-end experience for its users by making MSW accessible and mobile responsive.

The new site, which is used by 200,000 Microsoft employees, vendors and partners, offers a more personalised experience, allowing organisations to communicate effectively and receive updates that are relevant.

Targeted content

Previously, MSW tended to publish content directly from the company headquarters, creating a feeling of disconnect between the employee and the company information they were digesting.

To overcome this, regional offices would often create their own smaller portals to share local news, but with the updated MSW, users across different regions can now access localised content that matters to them.

Removing limited audience customisation means that information can now be delivered based on the user’s activities, taking information from the sites that are regularly visited, and displaying it in their SharePoint feed.

Important announcement or company meetings can be programmed as required reading, while bus timetables or menus for local restaurants and cafes will be region specific, helping users find the information they need.

New and improved…

Not only will this new update allow employees to target specific content, but the new and improved system is much more efficient, meaning less time and budget is spent on design elements, mobile responsiveness and accessibility.

The previous version of MSW had 13 custom elements built and managed by an internal development team, which required them to build individual parts for various sections of the site.

Now, the new version has been built almost entirely with out-of-the-box functionality, requiring only three high-quality customisations to achieve a far more user-friendly experience.

Again, this update is yet another example of how Microsoft prioritises the user experience, looking for new ways to improve and develop the service to achieve better results.

There has never been a better time to start your company’s digital transformation. If you’d like to take advantage of the latest features in SharePoint and Microsoft 365 to reimagine your Intranet, take a look at our Intranet JumpStart engagement. To learn more view the JumpStart your Intranet webinar or contact our in-house team for more information.