M365 Community Conference: The Intranet of Tomorrow – Beautiful, Flexible, and AI-ready

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Community Hub.

Session: The intranet of tomorrow: beautiful, flexible, and AI-ready
Speakers: Denise Trabona, Dave Cohen


The 2024 edition of the Microsoft 365 Community Conference had so many great sessions delivering insights and innovations, particularly this session on the intranet of tomorrow.


Denise Trabona and Dave Cohen led an interesting session detailing the future of the SharePoint-based intranet. They detailed how the intranet needs to be engaging, flexible, AI-ready and aligned with the web standards and the organization's brand identity. The emphasis is on a user-centric design that ensures ease of navigation, personalized content delivery, and a cohesive experience across all devices.


Compelling content features

Denise showed new capabilities for engaging typography, color, hero web part, section backgrounds, image shapes, animation, video, and motion that will make the intranet content more visually appealing and memorable.

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The new capabilities with images and video are impressive and will truly bring pages to life. Anyone can be a creator on the intranet – it’s not required to have extensive design training to create wonderful content.


Soon organizations will have the ability to bring custom font families into SharePoint Online using the new Brand Center. Page creators will be able to preview how the fonts look on the page and adjust as needed before applying to the site. Design ideas functionality, like in Microsoft PowerPoint, is coming to SharePoint as well. This will give options to authors to help inspire great looking pages using the content you have in a section, without any extensive design knowledge needed.


Another notable feature coming is flexible layouts. This feature will allow even more choices than the standard ones we have now, and smart ‘magnetic’ anchors will help align content. Dragging the section vertical size and the content within it was a big hit when shown as well! The other crowd pleaser was when coauthoring SharePoint pages was shown. The ability to work on a page at the same time as another author is amazing and will help content teams get the content finished more quickly.


SharePoint Start

SharePoint Start is the place to create new SharePoint pages but without the need for a site to host the page. The pages are technically stored in the user’s OneDrive but will be inaccessible to the user via the files viewer. The pages will be shown on SharePoint Start and will be sharable. The pages can be copied to a SharePoint site if needed afterwards, with the move function also coming.


This feature is designed to reduce barriers – creation of a site – to create content pages. The pages will have full capabilities just like you have when creating on a site.


The era of AI

The conference had a heavy emphasis on Copilot in Microsoft 365, which is understandable. This session was no different, due mostly to the fact that a substantial part of the grounding of Copilot is in SharePoint content. Combining the power of Microsoft’s Large Language Model and your content’s information, Copilot will use SharePoint’s content to power the knowledge in your organization. Using Copilot Studio, it is easy to create solutions that will use specific SharePoint sites for grounding for answers, acronyms, and more. Coming soon, we will also have more Copilot functionality joined with SharePoint, saving users time when creating and managing content.

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Collaboration is the heartbeat of any organization, and the intranet of tomorrow is designed to enhance this. With advanced features that facilitate real-time collaboration and communication, teams can work together more effectively, regardless of their physical location!

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