Ring in the New Year with a Few Less Reasons to Avoid SharePoint


Ring in the New Year with a Few Less Reasons to Avoid SharePoint

SharePoint’s latest release, SharePoint 2013, just got more attractive. It is chock full of new functionality with a simplified user experience. This new version is more than just cosmetic enhancements, but an entire face lift.

SharePoint’s relevance in the legal industry is gaining momentum as search offers richer results, faster performance and more intuitive navigation, so much, SharePoint search is now a serious contender among enterprise search solutions. Robust intranet and extranet capabilities have also piqued the interest of many legal IT professionals, providing the opportunity for extensive branding with basic skills such as HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. And, at the core of where SharePoint excels, collaboration, that just got easier, too. Let’s explore this new functionality a little deeper:


Analytics, now a part of SharePoint search, provide much more meaningful results as historical search behaviors and patterns now influence future search results, specific to that user.

FAST Enterprise Search has been seamlessly integrated with SharePoint 2013 at no additional cost to the end user. This integration offers much deeper search results and provides search capabilities to a wide variety of sources, such as: websites, file shares, Exchange folders, Lotus Notes, etc.

The user experience has been greatly improved with the addition of hover panels and interactive search refiners.  Hover panels allow the user to preview a document prior to opening to increase productivity and save valuable time. Interactive search refiners provide the ability to hone in on a specific document by author, document format and time period, etc.


One neat feature of SharePoint 2013 is the ability to share a document with a click of a button. Whether you want to share a document, site or asset, the option to “Share” is easily visible and prominent on each page, only requiring the recipient’s email address. Collaborating with internal and external partners has only gotten easier.


Intranet and extranet sites can be fully customized without feeling the financial drain that you may be used to with previous releases. Endless apps (formally web parts) can be added to create a unique company experience, such as: calendars, news feeds, announcements and communities.


Workflows have been upgraded in the way both developers and end users can create and visualize them. With Workflow Manager, work flows are based around ASPX pages, rather than InfoPath forms. Some new functionality includes: Copy and Paste, Looping and Stages.

You can learn more about these new features and also understand if upgrading to SharePoint 2013 is right for your law firm in the December issue of Peer to Peer. In my article, What’s New? Is it For You? I address both the reasons to upgrade and the reasons not to upgrade.

For years, SharePoint has earned its role of being the “necessary evil” in many law firms. Its poor search functionality and cumbersome navigation has not won many fans using and pursuing new legal technology…until now. SharePoint 2013 gives legal professionals something to be happy without having to jump through hoops. It’s taken some time, but if you are looking to legal IT to help increase collaboration and productivity, SharePoint may just be a “necessary” in your law firm after all.


 Like this post? You can learn more about SharePoint search here, as well.


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