In a recent blog article by über SharePoint MVP Dan Holmes, Dan discusses a very common issue that directly affects SharePoint usability and end-user adoption: the issue of SharePoint navigation across several site collections. This issue becomes even more complex when you need to access different sites that might be hosted both on-premise and in the cloud, and might require different credentials. As Dan discussed, navigating to these sites quickly and easily using the “out of the box” web browser functionality of SharePoint can be problematic for end-users, but fortunately, we have a great solution.
Colligo’s client solutions for email and document management in SharePoint were custom-made to address the manageability and usability issue of SharePoint navigation head-on. Each of Colligo’s interfaces provides an extremely easy way for a user to navigate to a particular SharePoint site, regardless of whether that site is located on-premise, in the cloud or a hybrid environment.
With our Outlook interfaces (both the Colligo Contributor Add-In for Outlook and our Colligo Email Manager product), folders from different SharePoint sites are integrated right inside the Outlook Folder tree, providing very simple and intuitive access to the site. When a user is connected to the network, simply clicking on one of the connected SharePoint folders in the folder tree, brings up a browser view of that SharePoint site (or document library) right inside of Outlook. With the caching feature of the Contributor Add-In, even if a user isn’t connected to the site, they still can view and access the cached version of the document library inside Outlook.
With the Window Explorer interface provided by our Colligo Contributor File Manager product, SharePoint sites are easily accessible via the Navigation Pane inside Windows Explorer itself. Selecting a SharePoint site that is connected in Windows Explorer enables users to access all the advanced SharePoint features such as metadata, content types, and document templates, while adding and editing files using familiar desktop operations inside Windows Explorer. Again, Colligo simplifies site navigation but this time, inside of Windows Explorer.
(A brief aside: have you ever tried to move or copy an entire SharePoint document library from one SharePoint site to another? A nightmare, right? Wrong! Colligo File Manager solves this problem too by enabling users to simply copy an entire document library from one site to another, along with all the accompanying metadata.)
Our standalone application for accessing SharePoint offline, the popular Colligo Contributor Client, again provides a really easy way for users to navigate SharePoint sites, regardless of their location. This time, access to different SharePoint sites is via a pull down menu in the Contributor Client, making navigation fast, simple and pain-free for the user.
If you want to really make it easy for users to navigate to different SharePoint sites, why not push those sites out to them directly so that they show up automatically in the interface of their choosing?
Imagine a user launching their Outlook one morning and automatically seeing all the SharePoint sites and folders they need to access showing up in their Outlook folder tree. A pipe dream, right? Wrong again! With our new Colligo Administrator product, SharePoint sites and even specific document libraries can be automatically pushed out to users and fine- tuned to meet their particular needs. And it doesn’t take the IT department to do this, non-technical staff, such as records managers and other business data owners, can easily deploy and manage Colligo software from within a SharePoint interface.
Yes, SharePoint navigation can be difficult, but fortunately Colligo is here to help. Making SharePoint easier to use is our mantra, and making it easier drives end-user adoption and engagement. Simple if you think about it.