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As you may know, SharePoint is a collaboration platform focusing on establishing intranets for organizations. It is available in 2 offerings: Cloud and On-Premise. SharePoint Online comes with Office 365. SharePoint offers powerful features like Employee Directory, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Wiki Pages, Document and List Management Capabilities.

Well, that’s not all! You also get a load of engaging features like smart search, user friendly navigation which helps the employees to explore the company intranet portal effectively.

Looking at the past, Microsoft SharePoint was a neglected platform for a long time and vendors were losing customers as they had no idea about the solution’s capabilities.

It’s 2017 and with the current updates and enhancements, SharePoint has emerged as the greatest platforms for Enterprise Content Management. Check out the facts:

  1. SharePoint emerges as the Leader in The Forrester Wave Report – Enterprise Content Management – Business Content Services.
  2. SharePoint Community – Over 10,000 active members with up-to-date SharePoint news and add-on features.
  3. is one of the promising websites that showcases SharePoint Site’s UX designs and portal features. What more can you expect from this SharePoint Directory?
  4. Increase in Turnkey Intranet Portals – As of today, there are over 32 Intranet Portal Solutions available. Today, companies are investing in third-party solutions (Like Dock Intranet Portal) which sits on top of Office 365 or SharePoint Server offering a perfect Company Intranet Portal.

Do you need to manage and organize Collaboration Platforms?

Yes, you have to! With SharePoint, it is easier for creating team spaces where a non-techie person can set it up and build areas for users to collaborate. Employees need to be empowered with their collaboration portals. These elements help in building a complete employee network to boost productivity and communication.

Why organizations fail to implement a perfect intranet? There’s no point of having loads of intranet sites with hidden content.

How to overcome this?

  1. Developing rules when creating new spaces. Encourage your team to use existing space whenever required instead of making a fresh one
  2. Formulate a plan to integrate important content into the Company Intranet Information Architecture.
  3. Indexing all your team’s content properly.
  4. Leveraging eDiscovery Feature in SharePoint.

Why do you need a Custom SharePoint Implementation?

We have been working with several clients for the past 15 years and their feedback on Intranet Portals are:

  1. 70% of the customers focus on functionalities rather than look and feel.
  2. 30% of the customers believe in having own branding on their portals and don’t want to look like SharePoint.

Spending lot of time and efforts for branding is not going to help your organization achieve their goals. You hire a consultant/developer and work on it, you end up losing lot of money and at the end of the day, you regret for the decision taken. Your Project timeline gets delayed and by the time you get it up and running, your team would have already made up their mind of not using it anymore!

This is where Ready-to-Go Intranet’s play an important role. It has got all the ingredients which most industries would require (For e.g. Departmental Portals, PTO Request, Expense Reports, Discussion Boards, Employee Directory, Alerts, Events, Image Sliders and so on).

Our experience shows:

  1. Users below 5000 never asked for heavy customization for their Intranet requirements.
  2. Industries such as Aviation, Retail and Media Agencies require lot of custom workflows to smoothen their daily tasks.

Next, I will be discussing more about the SharePoint Design, Customized Looks and Development.

Lot of SharePoint UI Designers are out in the Market

Hiring lots of SharePoint Developers/Admins is not going to help you manage SharePoint for your organization. You need someone with creative skills – A UI Designer to be precise. For a SharePoint good looking UI, UI Designers with SharePoint skills is going to be an added advantage for your organization. Let them come up with fresh graphical concepts and later, that could be your major requirement, right?

Lot of time required for Custom Portals

Lots of our prospects and customers speak about having customized SharePoint Intranet Portal for their business with their own branding. Most of the comments are like this – “Our Intranet Portal shouldn’t look like SharePoint”. Why so? What’s wrong with SharePoint? Especially with the 2016 SharePoint upgrade, SharePoint content management has gone to a great extend along with UI enhancements. We at Dock 365 Inc. have a dedicated team of UI designers with an average of 4 years of experience to cater our business needs. If you are looking for UI designers without SharePoint expertise, refrain yourself from signing up with them as your project timeline will get delayed for a longer period.

4 Key Elements – Plan, Design, Research and Develop

What’s the success factors for organizations implementing a Microsoft SharePoint Intranet Portal? It’s all about a perfect plan -> design -> research and development process that you need to follow wisely. There are various design strategies you can follow by following the developer’s recommended practices. Check out our strategy:

  1. Promoting your Intranet Portal within your Organization.
  2. Providing support and training facilities to boost your employees’ productivity.
  3. Considering your organization’s long term goals and how effectively an Intranet Portal can better perform the workforce and how it can transform into functional needs.
  4. How efficiently can you migrate your existing content to the latest Intranet Portal? You need to formulate a strategy for sure!
  5. Considering the company-change management policies before working on Intranet Initiative.
  6. SharePoint content management and SharePoint Governance.
  7. Intranet Navigation and Information Architecture planning – To better index files/documents and making it easier for access.
  8. To impress your Employees with the Intranet Portal UI design – making it easier for them to reach their desired files and workflows.

How to win the Best SharePoint Intranet UI?

Our SharePoint experts make use of SharePoint’s existing features to the maximum. We compile all these exciting features under one roof i.e. Dock Intranet Portal. There are various providers of Intranet Portals across the world. If you are confused on choosing the right partner, Collab 365 Directory is the right place for you to research on different products

(P.S. We are one of the active partners at Collab365 Directory)

So, what are the most important elements required to build a perfect UI for your SharePoint? Check them out:

  1. Content Rotator (Image Rotator) that is filled with Company Announcements, News, Alerts along with great images
  2. Company Branding which should be visually appealing (of course yes!)
  3. Easy Navigation – Your users shouldn’t complain of getting lost. 2-3 clicks and they should be there at their desired lists/libraries or sites.
  4. Availability of core features within the Landing/Home Page.
  5. A Perfectly designed User Guide linked within the Landing/Home Page.
  6. Color combinations used in the Intranet Portal design.
  7. Highlighting important tasks and search functionalities to help the employees use them effectively.

Who says SharePoint Is Turnkey?

SharePoint is just a platform developed by Microsoft. Simply subscribing to these services is not all! It’s just a hollow machine where you need to add features to get started. With dedicated and trusted SharePoint Experts like us, you will be able to attain the best SharePoint Intranet Portal for your business. That’s our promise!

So, if anyone asks if SharePoint is a Turnkey? You know what to answer right?

There are success stories and downfalls for SharePoint Implementations. It’s nothing to do with luck or other factors but depends on how strong your SharePoint resources are. SharePoint alone is not going to solve all your problems (It is not a plug-and-play solution). Realizing that will solve your first issue.

What you need to follow to ensure the success of your SharePoint Intranet Portal project?

  1. Understand that SharePoint is just a platform and installing that alone doesn’t solve your problems/requirements.
  2. Don’t be overconfident with your SharePoint Plans. Be wise.
  3. Research from SharePoint authenticated sources only (For e.g. blogs.mic wo’t lose lot of time, budget and of course quality!

It’s your call: Ready-to-Go Intranet Portal or Custom SharePoint Development (Don’t worry we have got both!

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What’s your Favorite Feature in SharePoint 2016?

We have been seeing lot of developments on SharePoint platform and many of the users are finding it great for their work today. We had a great month with lot of companies placing orders for Dock Intranet Portal and one reason behind this success is of course, the SharePoint Intranet Platform!


For people who haven’t gone with SharePoint 2016 or planning to upgrade, check out some of the favorite features we have heard from our customers:

1.Latest Team Site & Office 365 Groups Interface

Microsoft has been investing heavily on Office 365 Groups lately along with the integration with SharePoint Team Sites. What is the difference between Office 365 Groups and Team Sites? Confused? Don’t worry and there is no need for comparison as O365 Groups is just a membership management of users into the Active Directory Groups — which means it syncs with your existing SharePoint, Exchange, Teams and Planner for provisioning it for the group you need to create.

2. Microsoft Teams

If you have watched our video on Microsoft Teams, we have created 3 teams namely, Dock Intranet Ninjas, Global Infonet Champs and AD Team. We use Microsoft Dynamics 365 for tracking our Sales Contacts and Companies, Google Analytics and Power BI for Analytics, SharePoint (of course, that’s our sustenance) and MailChimp for Email Marketing.

If you come across the Team Hub, you have the provision to access Files right from the SharePoint Libraries and your own OneDrive Folders. There is no switching back to different windows to share content. Everything is available in one single window!

3. New Interface and UI

The best part of SharePoint is its visual appearance. We all know that Microsoft SharePoint has always been known for its document management capability and list-based. If you see the latest SharePoint version, SharePoint 2016, the User Interface has come out with clear headings and images. Something like OneDrive, you will be able to drag/drop documents into various folders, organize the file structures within your screen!

4. The Hybrid Capability!

As per our experience, 90 percent of the financial institutions will move to hybrid-based solutions by end of 2017. Reason? We are live with our smartphones and how about having all your work-related features with a click of a button? In this era, companies are looking forward to leveraging cloud environments. Features like Hybrid Search and other workflows are easily available within SharePoint 2016. What more can you ask for?

5. You will love Mobility!

Before I write about this, please download the mobile app ASAP. SharePoint is available in your hands, anytime and anywhere! With this new feature that came last year (June 21, 2016), Microsoft has assured seamless and responsive mobile app and its user experience is immense!

6. OneDrive for Business — For your Business!

If you come across the document libraries in SharePoint 2016, it has followed very much like OneDrive which makes it easier for new users too to start working. With the integration capabilities, there is a great boost for OneDrive so users will be able to collaborate, create and edit documents for their SharePoint Sites. Once the final document is ready, it can be transferred between Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. Check out our Video on “How to use Microsoft Flow to Integrate with your SharePoint?”. This is a great feature for Hybrid SharePoint environments. Especially for the below scenario.

Let’s say your Sales Rep is on-the-go after meeting his client. He picks up the budgetary quote from the on-prem SharePoint 2016 Interface and works on the cloud and directly shares from the folder to the client. How easier can this be, isn’t it? Also, co-authoring the document with your colleagues saves lot of time and keeps your team in the same page!

7. Office Graph

Office Graph helps in serving content and activity which is relevant to the end-user. Even Delve (which you can access by navigating through the left top most icon in your Office 365 Page) offers seamless user experience where it allows you to see your colleague’s files which they were working on. Hover on the contact cards to experience this when you are in O365 Environment.

Also, another recommended practice is to push on-premise data into Delve through SharePoint search. Let Office Graph show the information to the users. That’s it! You just made your content discover-able for your users irrespective if its on-prem or cloud based.

The Future: Content Targeting

This is very essential for organizations that are spread across the country. We have couple of clients who work at different locations. You don’t want them to see content which is irrelevant right? This is where Content Targeting comes into picture. Your users will see content based on characteristics like Job Role, Department, Location, Skills etc.

A great way to get rid of lot of emails, isn’t it? In terms of communications perspective, this is a great move.

If you want to learn more about SharePoint, visit our Dock Video Channel., Technology

Employee Resources Portal – Empower your Team and see them Grow!

Hello Everyone! Today, we will be discussing about Employee Resource Portal and how it can nurture your team.

Earlier, the employees were forced to approach their HR Personnel for every request, concern or query. If the team size is larger, imagine the amount of patience the HR Team goes through when assisting the employees? With Employee Resources Portal powered by SharePoint Online, you can request for leaves, submit travel requests, expense reports easily without anybody’s support anytime and anywhere! This way, the HR Personnel can focus on their pressing matters rather than reaching every single employee’s queries.


A Screenshot of Dock Intranet Portal – Employee Resources

What are the core features you get in Employee Resources?

  1. Employee Personal Profile
  2. My Benefits Information
  3. My Payroll and Compensations
  4. My Absence and Time Management
  5. Training Resources
  6. Policies and Procedures
  7. Employee Directory
  8. Expense Reports
  9. Time Off Requests
  10. Travel Requests and much more!
  1. Employee Personal Profile

Employees have the provision to add their personal profile here. Powered by Microsoft Delve, you get to see all the information like job title, employee photo, phone number, email address, location etc.

  1. My Benefits Information

Employees will be able to look into their Health Plan Summary, New Hire Eligibility, Dependents Coverage and Life Event Changes. No more hassles with the HR Department!

  1. My Payroll and Compensations

Get your Payroll details within minutes instead of days! Employees have access to Employee Pay Stub, W-4 Form, Direct Deposit Authorization and Compensation History details.

  1. My Absence and Time Management

The pain area of most of the HR Team is Time Management and Leave Management. Streamlining this gives a great opportunity for solving various concerns in one step! No more hassles involved in employee follow ups and leave management – eventually saves time and cost!

  1. Training Resources

There is no way that you will miss out any training sessions in your organization! Keep track of upcoming training programs with Dock’s Training Portal! We have setup New Hire Orientation and All Employees Training Guide features enabling users to watch and download training resources effectively!

  1. Policies and Procedures

Now this is more of a knowledge base management system which helps employees to learn about the policies and procedures within their organization. Avoiding statutory compliances is not a good idea. When you have Dock Intranet Portal that is user-friendly and hassle-free –Especially when it’s hassle-free – there is nothing to worry about!

  1. Employee Directory

Employees will be able to find their team members/all employee details within their organization. Powered by Microsoft Delve, you get to see all the information like job title, employee photo, phone number, email address, location etc. You also get to understand the Organization Chart and Department specific flow.

  1. Expense Reports

Tired of printing your Expense Reports and submitting it to your HR Team? Go paperless with the Expense Reports feature where your employees can accurately send Expense Reports that complies approval limits, business rules and company policies. This improves the quality and eliminates extra work – which helps to boost productivity.

  1. Time Off Requests

No more leave requests in hard papers! Just submit the web-form with your leave request and that’s it! Your HR gets notified on your leave request. The HR Personnel reviews it and may approve or disapprove your leave request. These workflows happen in minutes – eventually saving time!

  1. Travel Requests

Your Sales Reps might be busy travelling to customers for Sales Closures and probably, the HR gets the information during the weekends. You can’t blame the Sales Reps as they don’t have time to fill up forms, meeting the HR to get approvals. This way, lot of miscommunication occurs and leads to lot of confusions. With Dock’s Travel Request feature, the employee can submit the form within a minute which goes directly to the HR Team. The workflow can be customized based on your requirement. Once submitted, the HR Team can act on your travel requests easily.

Lots of features, right? We are working on the integration possibilities with ADP HRMS for enhancing our HR Module features.

Also, watch some of our videos: –

  1. Employee Onboarding Feature – HR Portal
  2. Working on Expense Reports, Travel Request and PTO Request, Technology

How to improve SharePoint Document Search Capability?


After the release of Microsoft SharePoint 2016, we have been seeing drastic changes to the cloud offers being more cost effective and strong. The most important feature is the search feature in SharePoint. Clubbed with the eDiscovery feature, SharePoint search works perfectly for an organization – more like an internal google search feature!

How can you improve the SharePoint Document Search Capability? Checkout the below tips that can help your team look for information more efficiently:

  • Verifying Titles which creating new docs from existing docs – You got to be careful when reusing documents. Always check the document properties and ensure that the Title matches with your document content.
  • Tagging Documents with Metadata – Encourage your colleagues to use tags for their documents. This helps your organization to find information easily using these attributes.
  • Security – Ensure your content is secured – With the upgrade to Office 365 from your previous SharePoint versions, your files are likely to get exposed in the search feature (Especially in Delve). Make sure that you have defined necessary permissions to the folders/library where your confidential files are saved. Use the library settings that can be seen the advanced settings – which helps you hide the folders from search results.
  • Adding “Common Value Default” settings to set your default metadata automatically – Ideally use the column value defaults which can be set at the folder level so when you add files to the library, it automatically grabs the metadata feature. However, when you move the files from one library to another, these default values won’t get reflected to the latest document. These values are set only if the attribute is blank.
  • Using Document ID – Document IDs are unique tags that are assigned to files when they are created on the site collection.
  • Enhancing site navigation and search center – Work on pre-built search queries. This is very powerful but bit daunting for most of the regular users.
  • Use Search Synonyms – Define search synonyms that is pertaining to your business.
  • Enhancing OOB navigation –You shouldn’t be spending time clicking through each sub sites and libraries to look for content. Best Choice? Explore and expand the out-of-the-box navigation.

What are the search experiences your users require?

  • Having search verticals helps you to slender search results to the required set of content. For example, you have a Training Portal in your Intranet Site. Ideally, you need to show only videos. So, create a search vertical in the Search Center in SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server.
  • eDiscovery feature – Electronic discovery, or eDiscovery, is the process of identifying and delivering electronic information that can be used as evidence.
  • Cross-site publishing – Cross-Site Publishing is a simple publishing is a feature driven method which allows you to create and maintain content in one or several authoring site collections and publish these contents in one or more publishing site collections by using the content Search Web Parts. Please note that cross-site publishing feature is not available for SharePoint hybrid search.