7 New Features in the Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Upgrade

Expert SharePoint consultants help you determine if upgrading your organization's collaboration software is worth the investment

A person can drown in technology upgrades and enhancements these days.

If you need an example, just take a look at Apple. The iPhone was first released in 2007, yet it's already on its seventh generation. Rumors about another upgrade in 2014 started swirling around the Web barely weeks after the newest models (5C and 5S) hit the shelves.

However, when it comes to the business sector, there is more at stake in deciding whether or not to upgrade than when someone is considering if they should buy the newest iPhone. Investing in software can be costly, and wise business managers and IT directors learn how to recognize when an upgrade is worthwhile, and when their company can do without the latest bells and whistles.

With Microsoft's newest edition of SharePoint, many business managers are trying to make the smartest decision for their company by asking questions like: How is SharePoint 2013 different from earlier editions? What are the new features and enhancements of SharePoint 2013? Is upgrading my SharePoint server worth it?

And while only you can answer the last question by weighing out the needs of your business against what the SharePoint 2013 upgrade offers, we can certainly help you find answers to the first two.

Listed below are 7 key differences between Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and earlier editions:

#1: More Mobile-Friendly Services

The BYOD (bring your own device) craze is sweeping the corporate world, and while this trend is not necessarily a bad thing for business (corporate technology costs go down when you don't have to purchase devices for employee who bring their own), it does pose new security and formatting challenges.

The SharePoint 2013 upgrade allows the user to pick between three different mobile browsing options—the HTML-5 contemporary view, the full screen UI view, and the classic view—for optimized mobile viewing. Also, unlike earlier versions, the 2013 upgrade gives administrators the freedom to customize device-specific designs rather than a pre-set mode.

#2: Apps Upon Apps

In response to our growing fascination with apps, Microsoft has improved SharePoint's cloud app model by supporting major tools and languages—JavaScript, HTML, .NET, and others. Through the new upgrade, developers can also create and publish their own apps onto the public app store or to an internal store for employees only.

#3: Boosting Collaboration and the Social Network

With Microsoft's newest purchase of Yammer—a leading enterprise social networking site for more than 200,000 companies worldwide—it's clear that the tech giant has taken an interest in the “social workplace,” and that's exactly what the newest SharePoint upgrade hopes to accomplish.

New social features include a newsfeed of an organization's activities, the introduction of Community Sites, and a host of other changes aimed at improving employee sharing and collaboration.

#4: Improved Searching

Companies lose valuable time and money on a daily basis due to users not being able to find the files or documents they need. SharePoint 2013 seeks to reduce resource waste by giving developers and admins more control over search performance through customization.

To further help businesses manage their search system, admins can find advice on how to develop a successful search experience for users from Microsoft and IA's blog.

#5: Tools to Wow Your Legal Department

The upgrade includes a new eDiscovery Center , which allows data to be shared and put on hold for legal review when litigation occurs. Discovery is the process in which two parties involved in litigation collect and share evidence for legal review. This new feature is a valuable asset for any corporate legal department.

#6: A Publishing Platform for Collaboration

A strength of SharePoint has always been its Web content management (WCM) tools, and with the new upgrade Microsoft continues to build on this feature. Users can now take advantage of new authoring and publishing options, such as cross-site publishing for the management of multiple sites and additional branding features.

#7: New Cloud Controls for Admins

Finally, for businesses and other organizations that use SharePoint through Microsoft Office 365, a new set of management features are available for administrators. These new capabilities allow admins to create an internal corporate app store, optimize search settings, manage user access, control multiple sites, and more. The full list of new admin controls is listed on the Microsoft blog.

Making the Upgrade

As you can see, Microsoft's SharePoint 2013 edition makes collaboration as simple as ever, and responds to the BYOD and app trend with an array of mobile-friendly features. And through an assortment of upgrade tools, our consultants at Innovative Architects make upgrading your SharePoint server as smooth and seamless as ever.

So if you determine that the upgrades and new features of the latest Microsoft collaboration software are worth the investment, or you want to learn more about how upgrading your SharePoint server can profit your business specifically, visit our SharePoint blog or contact us today.