Microsoft Office 365

Thinking with SAMR – SharePoint News Changes

During the keynote from the SharePoint Conference 2018 in Las Vegas yesterday, Microsoft made several announcements of new goodness coming to SharePoint. One of those is the ability to create and publish organisational news, rather than just team news:

Deem specific sites as “organizational news sources” – as news rolls up to people across their SharePoint home in Office 365, or via the news tab in their SharePoint mobile [app], the news that comes from “organizational news source” sites will get special visual treatment bubbling up to the top of one’s view.

I said we could apply the SAMR model beyond educational technology. Let’s try this quickly with the announcement above from the SharePoint Conference:

– Substitution – this would look like a simple replacement of one form of distributing organisational news with another form but without any functional improvement, such as from email (a widely followed current practice) to online publishing (in SharePoint, as per the announcement). The new out-of-the-box page approval workflow probably sits here too, as it just replaces what happened previously with a new way that fits the change for news.

– Augmentation – something has to be added to the mix that wasn’t previously possible with the earlier form. Audience targeting based on metadata classifiers was also announced yesterday, and the use of this for organisational news would push the new feature up a level. Comments that have shared visibility, likes and sharing options that feed into the Microsoft Graph could be another example at this level.

What about modification and redefinition though? I’m not saying that Microsoft announced the capabilities that follow; I have tried to imagine what it could do with organisational news in order to transform the process (that is, do something at the modification or redefinition levels).

How about:

– There’s a lot of usually hidden chatter that goes on inside an organisation about current happenings, and whether these are good or bad for the organisation and its employees. It is hidden because it happens in non-public places, like email, instant messaging, and more. Based on real-time sentiment analysis of this hidden chatter – with suitable data protection to ensure only anonymised data is used – prompt the writers of organisational news with topics and specifics to write about … right here and now.

– Automatically generate an organisational news item to address any misconceptions that the sentiment analysis has identified. Do this without involving internal communications staff directly at all, but of course these would have to be based on authoritative news predicates.

What else could be a modification or redefinition, to use Ruben’s levels, in thinking about organisational news in SharePoint?