A Modern Intranet and the Sorcerer’s Conflict

A Modern Intranet and the Sorcerers Conflict

Welcome to a new series on my blog about how to build a modern intranet. This is a five-parted series and will help you to use the services Microsoft has to offer for a great experience at your daily work. We are all looking for that modern workplace, right? Some articles will contain a video version which is published on my YouTube channel at the same time as these articles. The second article called: A Modern Intranet and the Chamber of Teamwork is already available, so go check that out.

You associate the title with Harry Potter and Hogwarts, right? 🙂 Well, this series will show you how Hogwarts could have used these services. It will also build kind of a story throughout this series so you get a better idea of “real-world” use-cases rather than just explaining how the services are working. I have almost for every service at least one article, so check out my dedicated series page to learn more about SharePoint, Microsoft Forms, Stream, Teams and more.

As this is a new way of creating content for me (article & video), I really appreciate any feedback on this. Please let me know in the comments of the article, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or directly via mail. I am creating this for us, the community and I need to your feedback to make things even better.

How to start?

“Alohomora”  or “unlock the door” ‍to your modern intranet with Office 365. This heavily depends on the plan of Office 365 you’re using. To keep it as short as possible, there is Office 365 for home, business, education and enterprise. You can click on the links to learn more about it, but in short: Each subscription has a different set of services. You can choose how much you want to spend and which services you want to use. Plus, you have to think about how many users you have for actual usage. There are also government and non-profit plans if you are working in such a field.

If you now unlocked your door to your Office 365 services, one of the most important parts is the licences and services for your users. If you check the variety of e.g. the Office 365 Business Premium license, than you know, you have to start with less services. Even for “IT-people” it is overwhelming.

Office 365 Business Premium - All services
Office 365 Business Premium – All services

Office 365 Business Premium is a “small” license if we’re talking Microsoft 365. Check out the services available in Microsoft 365 Business:

Microsoft 365 Business - All services
Microsoft 365 Business – All services

As we are just starting off with the modern intranet, I recommend using only the essential services for your vision towards the modern intranet / modern workplace.

Which services first?

This is most likely your conflict! Which services are the best to start with? As we are taking “Intranet” the most suitable service is still SharePoint. At least for the start. With this license also comes OneDrive, which is the place for your personal files and almost every IT user has used a service like this before. From iCloud, Box, Google Drive or Dropbox, they are all pretty easy and OneDrive is no different. You can check my dedicated article on OneDrive as well. Then there is Office. Well, I think that’s obvious why, right? Every single person on earth working with tech has heard of it and most likely used it, but then there is Microsoft Forms and Microsoft Stream. Why that? From my perspective, Microsoft Forms is such a great tool for new users to participate on the way to the modern intranet and they probably can’t even tell that they are using it. Stream can help you promote services and you can offer video guidelines for service usage. You will see 🙂

Build your platform 9 3/4

Even for the “greatest” wizard of all time, it is almost impossible to figure out which services are the best to start with. Check out the video below.

So let’s chance the service-set for your users. Of course you decide which services are the best for your vision. My recommendation above is my personal view about this.

SharePoint and Microsoft Forms

To access your platform 9 3/4 to the magical world you need to decide your services of choice. I think that SharePoint can help here as you can easily modify the things you don’t want to show in the beginning and you can integrate e.g. Microsoft Forms or Microsoft Stream to create a seamless experience. If you created your page, almost everyone can have an easy start with your modern intranet. Even Ron 🙂

To me, SharePoint, Microsoft Forms and Microsoft Stream are such a great starting point for your journey. Especially Microsoft Forms is so easy to use and people don’t even realize that they are using something different. You kind of let them use more services, without even letting them know. That’s the experience you want to build! Check out my article about it. You can get an easy overview of your Microsoft Forms responses as well, out of the box. Also since October 2nd, anyone with a Microsoft Account can experience the Microsoft Forms Public Preview.

Note: Microsoft Forms Public Preview is rolling to all consumer SKU users, which includes those with Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal. Soon, Forms will also be available to anyone with a personal Microsoft account (e.g., Hotmail, Live, and Outlook users).

Microsoft Forms responses out of the box
Microsoft Forms responses out of the box

You can use SharePoint in many different ways to provide your information. The out of the box experience has improved tremendously since Microsoft introduced communication sites and the modern experience. At the recent Microsoft Ignite conference we got a glimpse into SharePoint’s future and it will become even better.

Microsoft Ignite Announcements

With the latest announcements at the Microsoft Ignite conference we see that there is a great new feature coming. Mega Menus! It will increase the value of your hub site navigation. If you want to learn more about hub sites you can check my English or German article on that. The new mega menu options allows for multiple levels of hierarchy at once – no fly-outs needed. This will enable us to better organize and showcase the content and sites associated under that particular hub site. It is expected to see that in Q1 2019.

SharePoint mega menu
SharePoint mega menu

We also saw how we can design our landing pages in the future. Quite stunning!

New SharePoint landing pages
New SharePoint landing pages

There are many things in SharePoint coming soon. To check out more, visit the blog article or go check out what Microsoft announced and watch the session with Jeff Teper. Microsoft Forms receives a bunch of cool new things too, like the design intelligence, Forms Ideas to pull out patterns and trends in your response data to create visualized charts and graphs of that summary information and my favorite branding enhancements. Check out the Microsoft Forms Ignite news! Worth it!

Microsoft Forms Ignite Announcements
Microsoft Forms Ignite Announcements
OneDrive and Office Online

When talking about easy access into the modern workplace or modern intranet, we have to use OneDrive and Office Online. Office is probably the most common service in Office 365, just because almost everybody has used it before. Office Online is just the icing on the cake. Mhhhmmm, cake…

Mhmmmmm, cake
Yummy, cake 🙂

Sorry, uuhhm. 🙂 Yes, OneDrive… OneDrive is also a great and an easy service. As mentioned earlier, almost everybody has used such a service. Dropbox, Google Drive etc. You still can check my article on OneDrive, if you like. 😉

With SharePoint you are covering those services as well. You can sync your documents directly from SharePoint to your device and you can start editing a document directly from there as well. Check out Ron and see how he is going to explore OneDrive and Office Online.

As shown in the video, I take it serious and go the extra mile 🙂 If you don’t want to spend those 2.5 minutes, think twice. If you like what you saw, let me know on Twitter or in the comments below and let me know your favorite rule 😉

OneDrive on Mac

Some of you might have heard about OneDrive Files On-Demand, right? But did you know that this is now working on Mac as well? Check it out!

OneDrive Files On-Demand on Mac
OneDrive Files On-Demand on Mac

If you have Mac OS Mojave, you have the same experience as on Windows. Check out the article from Microsoft and start syncing your files. Or, you don’t, because now, you don’t need to 🙂

Mac OS Mojave - OneDrive Files On Demand
Mac OS Mojave – OneDrive Files On Demand

Did you notice the dark-mode? You can find more on OneDrive at the official Microsoft article about it. If you are not sold with the dark mode, there are now also Microsoft devices in a matte black finish. Just saying 🙂


SharePoint, OneDrive, Microsoft Forms, Microsoft Stream and Office Online are from my perspective great services to start with. As shown above you get a tailored experience if you think about how and what you want to provide your users in the first place.

I hope you liked the first part of my new series. Hope you stay magical and hope to see you in my next part: A Modern Intranet and the Chamber of Teamwork – covering Microsoft Teams and how to integrate the hub of teamwork in your modern intranet.

Coming soon - A Modern Intranet and the Chamber of Teamwork
Coming soon – A Modern Intranet and the Chamber of Teamwork

Get to know Harry, Hermione, Neville, Draco and find out if Tom Riddle get’s access to the Hogwarts-Team!

Next article - A Modern Intranet and the Chamber of Teamwork
Next article – A Modern Intranet and the Chamber of Teamwork

Please check out the video versions as well and let me know what you think about it. This is still an experiment including a video version to the articles and I am creating this for us, the community. Therefore I really appreciate your feedback. Not matter if it’s good or bad. I try to integrate it as best as I can.

Until the next one, don’t be afraIT

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