Microsoft has been heavily campaigning since July, when they launched the Microsoft Office 2013 Preview for Client and Server operating systems. Many people have been wondering whether they should upgrade to SharePoint 2013 sooner, rather than later.  Many business users and owners aren’t aware that Office 2010 will be upgradable to the latest version of SharePoint 2013. Plenty of people are still using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, yet the support window is coming to an end.

In order to succeed with a technology upgrade, proof of return on investment must be found from a productivity perspective. IT provides a more productive business environment, but one of the biggest risks of any technology roll out involves the training and adoption of a new version.

With Microsoft SharePoint 2013, you can develop your business collaboration solutions fast and effectively with the rich set of tools, libraries, classes, and controls that are available.

The following are the top ten reasons why you should upgrade to Microsoft SharePoint 2013:

1.    Sharing.

SharePoint 2013 introduces a new concept of “Share” that takes the effort out of security management for business users. Sharing a site is easy in the new version of SharePoint. On every page of the site there’s a “Share” button in the top right corner. Click on this, type in the names of people you want to share with, and hit enter!

While SharePoint still uses powerful concepts like permission levels, groups, and inheritance to provide this feature, you don’t have to understand those complex concepts anymore. You can easily accomplish everyday tasks like sharing a site.

2.    Document Management.

Previously, uploading documents in SharePoint has meant a lot of unnecessary clicking, as well as a slow and unstable experience. To get documents into SharePoint 2010 quickly, users have to use SharePoint Workspace, which is unpredictable and has document library scalability limitations.

In SharePoint 2013, SkyDrive Pro is a new feature that can take your content offline and replace SharePoint Workspace. Simply click the sync button and you can take your documents offline. This is similar to the “drop-box” experience that’s being widely adopted for its ease of use in businesses.

3.     Social.

Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social networking websites, and with the release of SharePoint 2013, some of the user experiences have been introduced. In SharePoint 2010, users weren’t encouraged to adopt social networking and invest time in social tagging. With SharePoint 2013, users can use the “@” symbol to search for people to reference in social activity updates.

The new communities also have badges to further collaboration, and you’re able to follow people, documents, sites, and tags.

4.     User Interface.

Overall, the user interface is much cleaner, with the default gradients of 2012 being replaced by flat colors and blocks. The icons used have also been flattened to a Metro style, and there are no more embossed/3D icons from the days of XP.

There’s even been a change of the default font, which has improved the user experience as well. The use of Segoe UI (a clean and light font) has allowed the user to feel more comfortable, and therefore more productive.

5.     Search.

SharePoint 2013 Search enables users to discover important information quickly, with fast document previews in the web browser, and much better search refiners on the left-hand side. In this release, every search box in every team site will offer full access to enterprise-wide search, people search, and other specialized search experiences.

Users can access the desired scope from the drop-down list inside the search box. SharePoint 2013 allows users to have the power of enterprise-level search experiences.

6.     Managed Metadata.

Managed Metadata can be used to build taxonomies and tag strategies that meet specific, detailed business needs. In SharePoint 2013, the basic managed metadata API (application program interface) set has been enhanced to provide more capabilities and support for a variety of scenarios.

In SharePoint 2013, users have the ability to follow terms from a social perspective, or have properties associated with terms that have been introduced to navigate by term sets.

7.     Business Intelligence.

In SharePoint 2013, business intelligence has continually evolved with improvements across the board in Excel Services, Excel Client, PerformancePoint services and Visio services. Thanks to the in-memory capabilities of Excel Client, business users are able to pull data from various sources and build fantastic sheets within minutes.

8.     Site Policies.

Also available in SharePoint 2010 via the Central Admin user interface, is the site policies feature that allows you to send email notifications to business users when their sites aren’t accessed for a set period of time.

In the new version, the site policies now trigger workflows that can be built and configured to handle inactive sites. Furthermore, a site policy may define the life cycle of a site, and specify when the site will be closed and when it will be deleted.

9.     Web Content Management.

The web content management improvements in SharePoint 2013 simplify how users can design publishing sites, and enhance the authoring and publishing processes within an organization. With improvements in the process of embedding video directly into pages, shorter URLs, and better multi-lingual and multi-device support, Intranets and Extranets will be more efficient.

10.  Apps and the Marketplace.

The new app model allows for much more flexibility and personalization, and the marketplace is expected to grow substantially in order to benefit users. SharePoint 2013 has been redesigned to allow independent third-party developers provide apps that extend the functionality of SharePoint.

Have questions about Microsoft SharePoint?  Contact us.  We are your trusted Microsoft Partner and we can help you make sure you have the right IT solutions in place to support your SharePoint deployments.

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