The power of SharePoint lists: 5 reasons why they are better than spreadsheets

A SharePoint list is one of the most powerful and flexible features of SharePoint, but its potential is often overlooked. One of the reasons for this is that lists are often regarded as a feature that only IT professionals or those with sufficient technical knowledge are able to exploit, but actually, SharePoint lists are not that difficult for power users and citizen developers to utilise.

Another potential reason that lists get side-lined is because they have been around for so long and are not really the focus of attention. SharePoint lists are far from being shiny and new, but used in the right way, they can deliver great value and play a key role in business apps and solutions. Read more about SharePoint lists and the key benefits and features, in our article: SharePoint lists: The Beginner’s Guide.

SharePoint lists vs Excel sheets

A SharePoint list is simply a collection of data that has some kind of structure to it: it is essentially like a table, a spreadsheet or a simple database. It can include many different types of information including numbers, text and even images.

Within organisations, information that is regularly updated by a number of people and also acts as a wider reference point is often managed on an Excel spreadsheet. Typically, this might be a list of suppliers, a list of employees who are qualified to give first aid or a list of business publications that an organisation subscribes too. Excel is a great solution that we all rely on, but there are times when a SharePoint list provides far more value for storing, managing and visualising information.

Lets explore five reasons why SharePoint lists can work better than Excel spreadsheets.

1 Ensuring there is one source of truth

When a team or a number of different users enter data into a spreadsheet, there can often be issues with version control. Even when Excel online is being used, users are still liable to save local versions onto their own drives. Sometimes, to avoid these issues, one person ends up being responsible for entering data into the spreadsheet, with different people emailing that person with updated information. This long-winded process is inefficient and prone to errors.

A SharePoint list avoids many of these issues; it is online so there is only ever one version and therefore one source of truth. Multiple users can update information as required without the danger of creating multiple copies.

2 Maintaining control over certain areas

Excel spreadsheets can get complex, for example with formulae in particular cells, or with various different formatting. People also want to sort data and potentially manipulate it within the spreadsheet. With multiple users involved, it can be easy for an individual to inadvertently delete a cell or make unwanted changes, maybe even ruining the spreadsheet or altering information that might not be noticed before problems arise down the line.

Part of the problem is that it is impossible to assign permissions to different parts of a spreadsheet – people can either access everything or nothing. With a SharePoint list, you can designate permissions for each item in the list and protect any formulae or controlled lists, helping to ensure you do not lose valuable information or compromise the lists integrity.

3 Guiding users to enter the right data

With a SharePoint list, you can also nudge and guide users to provide the information you need by creating a form as a more user-friendly interface for data entry. Instead of adding information directly into cells on a spreadsheet, users can be presented with explanatory text, help options, drop down lists, validation criteria, custom error messages and so on.

While some of these features are available on a spreadsheet, there is no comparison when it comes to easily creating a form to help users and ensure you can control the data that is entered into the SharePoint list.  Here, values in drop down lists and validation criteria can be targeted to different AD groups and even reference other SharePoint lists, allowing you to manage sophisticated data collection processes online with a level of control that is largely lost when you use a spreadsheet.

4 Better data integrity

The combination of permissions, forms, targeting, and data validation which can be applied to different parts of a SharePoint list, along with the ability to collate one source of truth, means that, overall, you can manage data integrity better via a SharePoint list than an Excel spreadsheet. This is also supported by audit trails for each item in the list with an edit history for every single item in it, as well as related version history.

5 Integration with Microsoft 365

A SharePoint list also has the ability to easily integrate with the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite in ways that can deliver more value than Excel. For example, it is very easy to integrate a SharePoint list with Power BI to feed custom reporting, as well as trigger workflows defined within Power Automate based on values that are entered into the SharePoint list. It is also straightforward to present the data in visually appealing ways in your SharePoint intranet.

When you start to combine these elements, a SharePoint list can be at the centre of a business app or solution, where it provides an easy place to maintain dynamic information that in turns powers a data visualisation layer with Power BI, and a data processing layer with Power Automate. Find out more about integrating SharePoint lists with other components within the Microsoft 365 suite in our article: Should I synchronise SharePoint lists with SQL server database?


Use cases

There are numerous use cases for SharePoint lists, often involving the intranet. For example, a  SharePoint list is perfect for keeping an often-changing list of suppliers up to date, with different functions adding information, and the results available for everybody to view on the corporate intranet. Another key use case might be maintaining a central catalogue of apps used throughout the enterprise.

A potential more sophisticated use case that could be powered by a SharePoint list relates to managing the reopening of offices during the pandemic. Here, employers will need to keep a record of everybody who attends an office in person for the purposes of any track and trace processes in case anyone tests positive for coronavirus. In this circumstance, a SharePoint list can potentially provide:

  • A place to manage a dynamic set of data with numerous people regularly adding information
  • The potential to provide multiple views of the data – by location, division etc.
  • The ability to provide overall reporting of working patterns through a Power BI dashboard
  • The ability to have a check-in form with approval workflow so that employees require approval of plans to visit the office, providing a simple structure through which to manage strict limits on numbers
  • The potential to extend this form to a PowerApp available on a mobile device
  • Having one source of truth for all this critical information with audit trails etc.

Here, a fully working business solution is seen with a SharePoint list right at its  centre.

We love SharePoint lists!

OK, we know it sounds a bit geeky, but here at Content Formula, we really do love SharePoint lists, and you should too. They are simple to use and provide an excellent way to keep control over and present dynamic collections of information that are frequently updated by a wide group of people. They can also power various Microsoft 365-based apps and solutions. If you’d like to discuss how you can use SharePoint lists in your organisation, then get in touch!

Find out more about using SharePoint lists for your organisation...

Request a call back with one of our SharePoint experts, for a free consultation about your business.

Get in touch to discuss your project

What is Power Apps and how can I use it?

Please note: for the most up-to-date information about Power Apps and its latest features and functionality, please see: Micrcosoft Power Apps

Power Apps is yet another offering from Microsoft associated with the Office 365 suite of tools that delivers exciting opportunities to build custom apps, drive process automation and create efficiencies for businesses of all sizes.  We often find ourselves in conversations with clients and organisations either curious about Power Apps or with business issues where Power Apps could make a real difference.

To give clients an overview of Power Apps and its possibilities, we’ve written this article to explain what Power Apps is and how you can use it in your business. This is part of our occasional blog series on the fundamentals of the individual parts of the Office 365 universe. You may also be interested in our posts on Microsoft TeamsMicrosoft Graph, and Flow.

What is Power Apps?

Power Apps is a tool that allows you to create custom apps, leveraging many of the features of the Office 365 and Microsoft platform. Apps can be accessed via mobile devices or via the browser.

What sets Power Apps apart from other offerings is that while it can be used by developers, it can also be used by non-technical employees  such as business analysts. This means that it is quite possible for a Power Apps power user to create a custom app. Just like its Microsoft cousin Flow, Power Apps is successfully bringing the power of process automation to a non-technical audience.

Having said that, realistically users will need to have some technical understanding, training and appreciation of the tools and data they are working with. There’s a long way to go before everyone is creating their own apps and realistically you may need to bring in developers to work on more complex functionality.

Microsoft defines Power Apps as a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment apps for your business needs.  While you can add integrations with other applications, a key strength is its ability to build apps based on Office 365 and also Microsoft Dynamics 365. If you have a particular process that uses different parts of  the Microsoft universe, for example SharePoint Online, Excel and Dynamics 365, then an app based on Power Apps has the potential to bring them all together for your users in one handy, convenient experience.

The beauty of building your own app is that you can also make sure it is completely wrapped around your organisations unique user needs and the way your employees work.


Similar to Flow and other Office 365 automation tools, Power Apps comes with features and tools to help create apps that don’t require any coding. These include:

  • a library of sample apps that you can work from as a starting point and then customise
  • a library of over 200 connectors to integrate data and systems including those across the Office 365 universe
  • an easy drag and drop interface for the creation of apps
  • close integration with other Office 365 and Dynamics tools
  • good support structures, including an active Power Apps community.

Canvas and model-driven apps

There are two ways to develop Power Apps via the canvas approach or the model-driven approach.  The canvas approach is a bit like working from a blank canvas where you connect data sources, add workflows and create interfaces for your app using the drag and drop interface, potentially relying on the library of standard connectors.

Leveraging the connected world of Office 365 allows you to even create canvas apps within other tools such as SharePoint as the starting point.  Using the canvas approach also gives you complete control over an app you’re creating from scratch.

More recently, the model-driven approach for creating apps  has been introduced. Originally a feature of Microsoft Dynamics, this approach leverages Microsoft’s Common Data Service which already has information on the various forms, data structures and business rules you have already defined, and then allows you to start building your app on top of this. In this way the structure and data lead the creation of the app, a very useful approach when you are relying on potentially complex underlying data for your app, for example stored in Microsoft Dynamics.

How can my organisation use Power Apps?

Power Apps can be used for multiple processes involving workflow, automation, data visualisation and reporting, collaboration and more. It could involve teams, field workers, your management team and even your customers. Use cases can range from the relatively simple to the highly complex. You can both be improving the basics or also be highly innovative. Power Apps can be experienced as a mobile app, a website or even within an Office 365 tool like Microsoft Teams.

For inspiration, our popular article on different ways to automate business processes includes a number of ideas that can be achieved with Power Apps, including:

  • Enabling field workers to enter data when out in the field, for example logging repairs needed or the results of site inspections
  • A Know your Client app used for due diligence on new clients, covering various criteria and interrogating various databases
  • Building model standard documents such as contracts using automation based on different criteria and metadata
  • Building a customised 360 appraisal system with input from a variety of users, workflow and handy reporting
  • A system for IT departments to track assets such as hardware, mobile devices and software licenses
  • A variety of marketing automation tools to follow up with clients based on their interactions and responses.

New powerful capabilities

Like most of the tools and services within Office 365 Microsoft continue to invest in Power Apps, and the latest announcements for near future capabilities are particularly exciting.

An AI Builder capability allows Power Apps to tap into Microsoft’s AI  and machine learning frameworks and develop smarter, more advanced apps.  For example, Microsoft cite the ability for AI to analyse and categorise your customer feedback responses and then take particular actions, helping to bring marketing automation to the next level. They also quote a real example of how Power Apps injected with AI is helping workers in a manufacturing and distribution unit identify and track product items just by taking a photo. Additionally, there are opportunities to integrate blockchain (via Azure Blockchain Services) to develop even more specialist apps.

Microsoft has also announced Power Apps Portals, the ability to create websites aimed at external employees, in the same way as Power Apps. This feels significant to us, connecting customer actions on a website directly to internal and back-end processes, marketing automation and more. For example. if you set up a customer feedback portal using Power Apps Portals, you could create some pretty intriguing and powerful workflows and actions.

Should you leverage the power of Power Apps?

You should definitely leverage the power of Power Apps. We love working with Power Apps and our clients tell us they love the results. Were confident that you’ll love Power Apps too, creating compelling apps that will help simplify ways of working, drive customer service and more, potentially becoming more sophisticated as you expand capabilities with AI and website integrations later down the line.

If you’d like to discuss with us how you can use Power Apps to help your business then get in touch!


What intranet design works best for you?

Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas for intranet designs and some of the factors to consider when designing your homepage. What one works best for you? If you’d like to talk to us about intranet homepages and intranet design, then why not get in touch?

Find out more about our Power Apps services for your organisation...

Request a call back with one of our Power Apps experts, for a free consultation about your business.

Get in touch to discuss your project

Related articles...

3 ways to deliver low code SharePoint intranet development

Low code development can be a great approach to deliver capabilities on a SharePoint intranet, helping to rapidly create a feature-rich environment at relatively low cost. When resources for your SharePoint intranet are tight or you are under pressure to deliver with ambitious deadlines, low code development can help overcome some of these challenges. In this post, we’re going to explore three of the main ways to deliver low code intranet development on your SharePoint intranet.

What is low code development?

Low code and no code solutions are platforms which empower IT developers and non-IT professionals alike to rapidly build apps, dashboards and sites that previously would have required a more traditional software approach. Using a combination of out-of-the-box templates and connectors, as well as intuitive authoring interfaces, these solutions enable development with minimal or no code needing to be written.

Note that there is a distinction between low code and no code in that the latter is designed for use by non-IT professionals, but in reality, this distinction can be a little fuzzy. For example, IT professionals might use a no code solution as part of their development. From here, we are going to refer to low code development to describe no code solutions too.

The attraction of low code solutions is compelling for both IT functions and business teams. By employing a decentralised, citizen-development approach to app design, they allow for the creation of more business-specific apps than would normally be possible with the constraints of current IT resources, and facilitate more rapid development at lower cost. All in all, low code development can play a part in digital transformation, and in enabling automation at scale throughout enterprises.

Microsoft 365 is an excellent platform for low code development, and many of the tools within the 365 suite are designed to be used via a low code approach. An intranet, with its enterprise reach and array of different features and content covering multiple uses, is also a good candidate for low code development. Carrying out low code development for an intranet based on SharePoint or SharePoint Online has real value.

You can carry this out in three main ways:

  1. Using modern SharePoint or SharePoint Online out of the box
  2. Leveraging the Power Platform
  3. Formatting SharePoint lists.

Let’s explore each of these areas in more detail.

1 Using modern SharePoint or SharePoint Online out of the box

SharePoint Online and modern SharePoint straight out of the box is revolutionising the intranet world by providing a viable platform on which to build an enterprise intranet, either straight out of the box or in conjunction with an in-a-box product like LiveTiles. Both approaches allow you to use low code development, leveraging the native features of SharePoint.

Using a communication site, it is very easy to add and rearrange different web parts to a site or individual page simply by selecting the web part of choice, and using drag and drop. These web parts cover both SharePoint features like document libraries, lists, news, calendars, images and content spotlights, and elements from other 365 tools such as Yammer feeds. The range of easy formatting and configuration options for each individual web part allows for huge flexibility. Organisations can also deploy their own custom web parts.

The ability to add and configure so many web parts with ease means central intranet teams, IT functions and decentralised intranet site owners can create and configure sophisticated SharePoint intranet sites and pages at speed, covering the vast majority of information needs without deploying any code.

2 Leveraging the Power Platform

The low code heart of Microsoft 365 is the Power Platform, a suite of four apps that support a low code and even citizen developer approach through libraries of connectors, an intuitive authoring canvas and the ability to reuse what has previously been created. Because of the seamless integration between different tools within the 365 suite, each of the four apps provide opportunities for low code development with a SharePoint intranet:


PowerApps allows you to create specific apps that can be available as mobile apps, or be integrated into your intranet, such as an employee onboarding app to display tasks for new hires that could be embedded into the new hires section of your intranet.

Power BI

Power BI enables powerful data visualisations, dashboards and reports that can integrate with your intranet to dynamically present organisational data, such as sales figures or health and safety reporting, and can also be used to manage and present intranet and engagement metrics.

Power Automate

Power Automate provides the ability to create automation and workflows between multiple systems that can power many capabilities across your intranet, including the ability to trigger any necessary workflows from forms that employees submit via the intranet, or present automatically updated information within pages, perhaps from another system.

Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents chatbots can be launched to integrate into the fabric of your SharePoint intranet, providing information to employees or delivering simple transactions.

3 Formatting SharePoint lists

Here at Content Formula, we’re long-term fans of SharePoint lists. Lists are one of the most powerful and flexible features of SharePoint, and are an excellent vehicle for storing and maintaining structured information that you might want to publish somewhere on your intranet, such as a directory of offices, an inventory of equipment or a list of relevant first aiders across each office.

Up to now, SharePoint lists have been quite basic in their look and feel, resembling online spreadsheets. But in the past few months, Microsoft have opened up options to format SharePoint lists, introducing attractive views for information presentation. Perhaps most excitingly, there is a growing library of pre-formatted SharePoint lists, some of which are offered out-of-the-box in SharePoint and include an asset tracker, an issue tracker and a travel request log.

Elsewhere, there is a substantial collection of list formats created by the developer community, which are available in GitHub with JSON code ready to copy and deploy. These cover use cases from budget trackers to London Underground train timetables, and are free and ready to use. Formats can also be tweaked right down to the column level to make any required changes.

We think list formats present an exciting and currently under-utilised opportunity for low code SharePoint intranet development. You can deploy these formats easily and quickly within SharePoint pages, saving hours of coding and creating a range of attractive and compelling information resources. When some of these lists are combined with flows from Power Automate, they are akin to intranet apps.

By creating and saving these list formats, you can start to create an organisation-specific marketplace of attractive, custom formatted list templates that your intranet publishing community can deploy directly onto pages. Alternatively, they might be saved as web parts and then deployed to different sites.

Go low code!

Low code intranet development is possible with SharePoint, with a variety of different options. It can help reduce costs, dramatically reduce the time to market and increase the business value of your intranet. It also engages owners of different parts of your intranet who can configure their sites to better serve user needs.

If you’d like to discuss low code intranet development, then get in touch!

SharePoint – out of the box and customisation

Deciding whether to opt for an out-of-the-box or customised intranet is still a difficult decision with a few things to consider.

There are three main options:

1 Out of the box by this we mean using SharePoint and Microsoft 365 as it comes without modification or third party features

2 Customisation through a third party add in or set of services (like LiveTiles)“ which you typically pay a monthly licence fee for (sometimes called intranet in a box)

3 Bespoke customisation extra features built specifically to your particular requirements

In a previous webinar we compared the differences between intranet in a box and bespoke customisation. But, what about option one staying entirely out-of-the-box and only configuring what Microsoft gives you?

This used to be a very limited option, particularly for online flavours of SharePoint provided by Office 365 and, later, Microsoft 365. Because of the basic feature set, it tended to be an option only for smaller companies or those on a very tight budget.

However, Microsoft has continued to build on its intranet capabilities in SharePoint and Microsoft 365 and now, in 2021, it’s a more compelling option. New features and configuration options make it possible to deliver a best practice intranet at low cost – that’s why we offer an Accelerate package for companies who want to take this route.

What can you achieve now with out-of-the-box SharePoint?

  • Cascading (roll-up, roll-down news content) using Hubs and Communication sites
  • Mega menu style navigation
  • Global navigation across multiple sites
  • Upcoming events feeds
  • Improved presentation options (thanks to new display template options for lists)
  • Better integration with other Microsoft 365 apps like Yammer and Stream including better webparts

What is out-of-the-box SharePoint still not good at?

  • Targeting of content is still very basic
  • Branding and user experience customisation options are limited
  • The news experience is not very sophisticated and larger companies will struggle with it
  • Templating, provisioning and governance of intranet components like workspaces and hubs

It’s also worth remembering that you don’t have to choose from only option 1, 2 or 3 above. You can have a mixture of options. For example, you could choose to go mostly with an out-of-the-box approach, but with one or two minor custom elements e.g. an improved news feed experience or an enhanced policy library.

As part of our digital workplace discovery process, we help many organisations to decide which route is the best for them the one that will help them meet their business objectives, but efficiently from a cost perspective. As a digital workplace consultancy we help organisations deliver all three of the options, so we are neutral in terms of deciding which route you should take.

Out-of-the-box SharePoint doesn’t work for everyone and there are often good reasons not to embrace it, but for some companies it’s a good choice and we see more and more organisations having success with the core Microsoft tools. A key thing, as ever, it to ensure that you have help from a partner who lives and breathes intranets and digital workplace. That way, whichever route you take, you will get the most value out of the tools available.

Get in touch

MS Build 2021: What’s new with Microsoft 365, SharePoint, Teams and Search

Today Microsoft have announced a whole raft of upcoming changes to digital workplaces across the globe. Enhancements to profiles, Teams & meetings, Search and Graph were among the top topics on display. Here is a roundup of what we are most interested in coming out of Microsoft Build 2021:

Enrich profiles with information from Workday, SAP and other Microsoft Graph connectors

thumbnail image 1 of blog post titled Profile enrichment with Microsoft Graph connectors

Long overdue are updates to profiles in the Microsoft eco-system – today Microsoft have announced a way for organisations to enrich profile cards by directly showing information from HRMS systems like Workday, SAP SuccessFactors and more using Microsoft Graph connectors.
Whilst there are a few limitations, this looks like it will deliver a much needed boost to profiles in M365.

Messaging extensions in Outlook

A feature that has become invaluable in some scenarios in Microsoft Teams will be rolled out later this year in the form of Outlook messaging extensions. These extensions allow users to create rich media cards in messages to display powerful contextual information and actions from 3rd party systems.

Visual showing example of a message extension being used in Outlook on web.

Commercialise your Microsoft Teams apps

Also on the Microsoft roadmap is a feature that will allow partner organisations to start shipping products through Teams with all licensing handled through an integrated checkout process.

Users will be able to purchase subscriptions of partner apps directly from the Teams Store and the Teams Admin Center (via invoice billing or credit card)—making it even simpler for users to acquire and adopt apps while providing partners more monetization opportunities for your solutions.

Together mode in Teams meetings

Coming this summer, Together mode extensibility lets you create and share your own custom scenes for Teams meetings. This provides an easy design experience, within the Developer Portal for Teams, so developers can craft custom scenes to make meetings more engaging and personalised for your organization. Heres a custom scene built by the Microsoft team that you can try out today!

Visual showing a custom Together Mode scene being created.

A dedicated Org Explorer app that will allow employees to visualise and contextualise their organisation

In every digital workplace requirements document is a requirement for org charts. Until recently there hasn’t been great user experiences or functionality in org charts on M365. Microsoft are hoping to change this with what they are coining as an app that “enables users to contextualize, visualize, and explore people and teams around them from within Microsoft 365 apps and services”.


7 steps for planning an Azure migration

Migrating to the cloud is a strategic investment. Most organisations that are building a digital workplace based on the cloud choose to go with an Azure-based migration, and with good reason. In our view, Azure is the best-in-class cloud option due to its flexibility, scalability and capabilities such as reporting and integrations; it delivers a wide range of benefits from cost reduction, to business continuity, to supporting your digital workplace strategy. It is also the obvious choice for anyone focused on the Microsoft stack.

If you are going ahead with an Azure cloud migration, you need to adequately plan for it, both surrounding the details of the migration itself and the longer-term impact and ongoing management. Note that these are not just technical considerations but also business ones; moving to the cloud is as much about business transformation as it is about technology change.

In this article, were going to cover seven of the key areas you need to think about from a business and future management perspective when you are planning your Azure cloud migration.

1 Work out your scope and strategy

The starting point for any Azure migration must be to properly define your scope and strategy. This needs to focus as much on the business benefits as it does on the technical ones, meaning it requires discussions beyond the IT function or digital workplace team.

When speaking to other key business stakeholders and support functions about the transition, it is good to try and reach alignment and consensus. Not only should your cloud migration strategy and scope align with your overall company strategy, but it should take into account the different needs, plans and roadmaps of key stakeholders. Here, the different priorities and technical plans of other teams can impact the prioritisation of the steps in your migration, its timing and even some of the detail.

A strategy and scoping exercise working with other stakeholders can help to identify areas of value, potential challenges you may face and dependencies to factor in. It can also help you build up the relationships that will help further down the line with the actual implementation.

2 Audit your data and apps

Your strategy and scope might define the higher-level roadmap, but you will need to carry out an audit of the data you already hold and the various apps that are in use to define the detail around your Azure migration. Companies that have built up acquisitions and mergers often have huge collections of legacy data and content that might need to be migrated, and it is not unusual to discover collections that IT functions were previously unaware of while auditing. Youll also want to map the applications in use to decide what to bring over; this process has value regardless because it may help identify opportunities to simplify your application landscape.

An audit of your data and any related applications is not just about having a list of what is out there: its also important to identify a clear owner for each item (not always as straightforward as it might seem), as well as any issues – for example, around security and compliance or dependencies – which might impact if and how content is migrated.

3 Define your security and compliance needs

Its essential to involve the right people in your Azure migration planning – early conversations with your Information Security team and your Legal, Compliance & Regulatory team are strongly advised.

From a stakeholder management perspective, you may need to allay any fears they have, but they will also help identify any risks and advise on how they can be mitigated. For example, if you work in a regulated industry, there may be some data that must remain on-premises for compliance reasons.

Similarly, the territory of where data resides can be important. Here, Microsoft has country-specific data residency options – another strength of Azure. You may also need to identify replication policies between on-premises and cloud, a process which aids in adequately supporting your business continuity needs.

4 Ensure you have the right skills in place

Azure cloud migrations can be complex, and its important to ensure you have the right skills and experience in place for them to go smoothly. Ideally, you want to have someone on the migration team who has worked on an Azure migration before and can spread knowledge to the rest of the team; of course, there are options to bring in external expertise to fill any gaps here. As with most Microsoft offerings, there are a number of additional self-service resources that are available to help you plan your Azure migration.

5 Consider the change management effort

Migrating to the cloud is a business change which can significantly impact employees, particularly if they are moving to using Microsoft 365 for the first time. There can also be concerns from staff about security and risk. Always consider the change management aspects of your migration in terms of securing buy-in, supporting new ways of working, handling any disruption caused by the implementation and implementing any necessary communications in response to negative perceptions about Azure.

6 Commit to managing Azure

Although not always acknowledged, Azure does require some commitment to manage it, and you should always factor this into your resourcing plan for after the migration. Firstly, without active management, you will not necessarily be able to take advantage of all the analytics, services and integrations that Azure delivers and which can kickstart transformation for your business.

Secondly, its worth remembering that Azure is still a relatively new platform. Microsoft continues to invest in Azure to make it better and better which is highly positive, but it does mean that features within the system may be upgraded or even removed, and this may require action from time to time. For example, if you are working with Azure integrations, these may need to be upgraded.

As with any cloud service, managing these changes is unavoidable. Overall, going in with an active commitment to and mindset for managing Azure is the best approach.

7 Define the future roadmap too

Youll already know that you need to meticulously plan for the actual implementation, particularly in order to avoid any interruption of service. It can be good to draw up a detailed roadmap covering the specific steps to be taken after the launch too, in order to ensure you keep up the momentum, follow through with benefits, consider any ongoing change management needs and support a programme of continuous improvement.

Migrating to Azure

Migrating to Azure has enormous value, but you need to view it as both a technical and business change. If youd like to discuss your Azure migration strategy, then get in touch!

10 benefits of an Azure cloud migration

Many organisations and IT functions have chosen to migrate to the cloud, forming a backbone of IT strategy, business continuity, digital workplace and even digital transformation plans. There are myriad reasons to move over to the cloud, including reduced costs, increased flexibility, ease of management and the sheer power it can give even small organisations to produce game-changing solutions and exceptional digital workplaces.

Although there are different providers to consider when planning out a cloud migration, many organisations choose an Azure-based migration. For many of the customers we work with here at Content Formula, going down the Azure migration route is a no-brainer.

In this article, were going to explore ten key benefits of an Azure migration. Some of these relate to the general advantages of moving to the cloud, but most are specific to why we believe Azure is the best option for almost every organisation.

1 Azure is best-in-class

Make no mistake, Azure is a best-in-class option for cloud migrations. Microsoft has invested heavily in ensuring that Azure is leading-edge  relating to both Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), providing excellent scalability, performance, controls and services for global enterprises and small companies alike. IT functions also have confidence and certainty that they are investing in a platform that will continue to be industry-leading.

2 Its a Microsoft platform

Whilst Microsoft as an organisation can provoke strong reactions in people, its undeniable that the company has played a major role in supporting the evolution of the cloud and the digital workplace. Many organisations and IT functions are attracted to Azure because it is a Microsoft platform and aligns with technology roadmaps and digital workplaces strategies that are already based on the Microsoft stack.

Microsoft also drives confidence among IT professionals who are already comfortable working with Microsoft technologies but also want to get solid experience of working with Azure; working on an Azure migration is transferable experience that supports career progression.

3 Business continuity

Business continuity has always been a key reason for migrating to the cloud. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has proved just how critical this is, ensuring that businesses were able to implement remote working at scale and speed through access to the right tools and cloud-based files. Of course, business continuity also covers elements such as extreme weather events, ransomware attacks and issues with on-premises installations. Here, Azure migrations have proved to be a successful pillar of thousands of business continuity strategies.

4 Digital workplace and digital employee experience strategy

Having a successful digital workplace and accompanying digital employee experience strategy is now a given for most organisations. Here, Microsoft 365 and Azure are at the centre of most organisations digital workplace strategies, providing world-class opportunities for communication, collaboration and digital transformation. As a key enabler of a successful Microsoft-driven digital workplace and digital employee experience strategy and roadmap, Azure migration is an option which opens up multiple possibilities to develop a digital workplace.

Theres also a future-proofing element here, as you can be confident that Microsoft will continue to improve and extend the power of Azure to meet future digital workplace needs.

5 Scalability

The scalability of Azure is an obvious area of strength. Both a small organisation with fewer than 50 people and a global mega-corporation with a six or even seven-figure workforce can scale-up and scale-down very quickly with the Azure platform.  This scalability also ensures IT teams can plan and tightly control their migration with confidence.

Scalability is important. As the pandemic has shown, the world is highly unpredictable, and Azure can more than meet unexpected requirements as well as deal with more planned business restructures.  Azure also has robust autoscaling capabilities that reflect daily changes in use which can occur, particularly in global organisations.

6 Costs

Costs are going to be a major driver for any cloud migration. With an Azure migration, there is the potential to massively reduce infrastructure costs for larger enterprises. At the same time, smaller enterprises get access to a platform and its related services, analytics and more at a fraction of the cost that would have previously been possible.

7 Security and compliance

Microsoft has invested heavily in security and compliance features to ensure that organisational data on Azure has robust, enterprise-grade security in place and that most of the complex compliance, legal and regulatory needs of global organisations can be met. This is reflected in everything from increasing flexibility in the territories in which data is technically stored, to good administration controls for Azure Active Directory (AAD), to tools to help you find personally identifiable information (PII) for GDPR-related compliance.  There are also some industry-specific solutions, such as those relating to government institutions. Choosing Azure as your migration platform will give you access to the best security available as well as a strong ability to meet compliance needs.

8 Analytics

Another benefit from Azure is that it comes with some strong analytical and reporting features that can help with  delivering insights, but also in monitoring the platform.  For example, there are dashboards which can reveal insights from big data, give recommendations relating to security and also  help with the general management of the platform. As hybrid patterns of work continue with increased use of the digital workplace, we think Azure-driven data insights will continue to grow in importance.

9 Services

Azure comes with some advanced services and frameworks that organisations can tap into to deliver a variety of digital workplace capabilities, including AI-driven solutions. These continue to grow in sophistication and include translation services, cognitive services with natural language understanding, big data processing and even facial recognition. Developers and increasingly low-code or no-code solutions can easily make instant API calls to these services to deliver sophisticated apps.

10 Integrations

The creation of apps is also supported by a library of out-of-the-box integrations in Azure. These cover both widely-used Microsoft tools and popular non-Microsoft applications like ServiceNow. To take full advantage of these integrations, developers can use Azure Logic Apps to build sophisticated workflows that work at scale and lightning speed, and again deliver strong digital workplace solutions. The library connectors also enable rapid development, shaving development time where in the past integrations were much harder and took longer to develop.

The power of Azure

Cloud migration is definitely the direction of travel for most organisations and IT functions. Azure cloud migration is, in our opinion, the best choice due to a wide variety of benefits. If youd like to discuss migrating to Azure, then get in touch!

9 SharePoint integrations that deliver business value

For anyone using SharePoint as the base technology for their intranet or digital workplace, integrating different tools, applications and platforms into SharePoint is a must. Integrations can bring value to your SharePoint sites or intranet in various ways, including by:

  • Helping employees to get tasks done, including completing simple transactions without even having to visit some of the applications in question
  • Making it easier for employees to reach core applications across the enterprise, with SharePoint acting as the point of entry to different tools and applications
  • Helping employees find important information that might be hidden, lost or siloed within different applications, including when not all staff have licenses
  • Supporting process improvement and workflow that involves more than one application, driving efficiency and productivity gains
  • Supporting adoption and use of individual tools.

Integrations have moved from difficult to doable

Over the past year, we have seen more and more customers come to us with questions and requests relating to SharePoint integrations. This is partly because many digital workplace teams are realising the value of integrations as a key part of digital employee experience, particularly with the increase in remote and hybrid working due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, its also because integrating applications within SharePoint is now easier, faster and cheaper, thanks to:

  • The effortless integrations between Microsoft 365 tools that already take place, often with SharePoint or Microsoft Teams as the centre of the digital workplace experience
  • Microsofts support for an extensive library of connectors out-of-the-box for popular enterprise applications such as Salesforce and ServiceNow
  • Better APIs and support for Single Sign-On via AAD as a prerequisite across different products
  • Some integrations now being achievable through configuration rather than customisation, supported by Microsoft.

This has effectively flipped the notion of SharePoint integrations from being  an expensive process prone to errors in which highly specialised developers have to do all the heavy lifting, to one in which highly effective integrations are now a core objective of good SharePoint implementation. While it is still important to involve experienced people for an enterprise-wide integration, views have shifted from SharePoint integrations being complicated and difficult, to being far more accessible.

Nine popular SharePoint integrations

There are a number of common integrations with SharePoint that deliver value for both employees and organisations. Here are nine key ones to consider.

1 Microsoft Teams

The explosion into heavy usage of Microsoft Teams across many enterprises in recent months continues to be quite remarkable. In terms of SharePoint and Teams integration, as both applications are core pillars of Microsoft 365, the two are already integrated in some respects a Team will have a SharePoint library, for example.

In terms of a SharePoint intranet or communication or hub site, a very useful Teams integration to consider is to provide a central directory of Teams spaces which users can browse through, find spaces of value and then apply to join them, using workflow to notify the administrator of  particular Teams. This also brings visibility to Teams spaces and supports governance in areas such as  reducing duplication of sites.

Another valuable SharePoint integration is providing a personalised list of Teams which an individual person is a member of with links to each space; this is very effective for those users who are not in Teams everyday and dont have the application open by default, so might not be able to find the link to the space they need immediately.

2 Yammer

Yammer is perhaps the most extensive integration with SharePoint to date, providing activity feeds and powering conversations within SharePoint sites and intranets. With Yammer being the key tool to drive social collaboration, professional communities and enterprise-wide conversations, the benefits of Yammer integration with SharePoint to bring content, discussions and collaboration together are pretty clear.

Typical SharePoint integrations involving Yammer include:

  • Using Yammer as the commenting engine for news and updates
  • Giving users oversight on Yammer discussions through an embedded feed on a SharePoint intranet homepage
  • Inviting discussions on broader topics where content and conversations provide important context for each other
  • Creating support pages for services or applications where an embedded Yammer community allows users to direct questions to specialists.

3 Dynamics and Salesforce: CRM and marketing platforms

Salesforce and Dynamics tend to be the core Customer Relationship Management platforms used by organisations to both store customer data and drive sales and marketing processes. This information is not only critical for sales and marketing staff, but is also likely to be used by any customer-facing staff; therefore, integration with a wider SharePoint environment such as an intranet can be extremely useful. Although Dynamics may be more closely integrated because it is a Microsoft product, Salesforce integrations with SharePoint are increasingly common.

The kind of SharePoint integrations that make sense can be:

  • Allowing all users to search for customer data or sales collateral within the core intranet or enterprise search
  • Providing one source of truth for any information that relies on showing customer data, for example, generating a list of clients available on the intranet that might link to other project data
  • Providing updates that alert staff, such as new opportunities that are logged on Salesforce or Dynamics and need to be reviewed for conflicts of interest
  • Triggering workflows that might involve SharePoint and Salesforce, for example, automatically creating a SharePoint page for information about a client or project, or creating a form on SharePoint that updates information on Salesforce.

4 Workday, SAP and Oracle: HR and ERP systems

A staple integration on SharePoint sites and intranets is that of HR and ERP systems that drive employee self-service, easing the pressure on busy HR teams, and saving time for employees and their managers. SharePoint is often the most convenient platform for employees to carry out simple transactions and view data in a way that means they dont have to visit the core system in question; it can also provide a better user interface. Here, synchronisation between HR data on a system like Workday or SAP and Active Directory is important to underpin these integrations.

Typical integrations with HR and ERP systems such as Workday, SAP and Oracle (as well as other HR-related technology solutions) include the ability for employees and managers to:

  • View and book annual leave
  • Approve annual leave
  • View a payslip
  • Update core HR and personal information
  • View and amend benefits information
  • Carry out performance review related tasks.

5 ServiceNow, Jira or Zendesk: IT and HR support

Just as HR system integrations with SharePoint relieve pressure on busy HR professionals by supporting employee self-service, SharePoint integrations with ticketing and support platforms like ServiceNow, Jira and Zendesk also aid helpdesk teams in IT and HR through self-serve approaches. Here, an integration with ServiceNow or Zendesk can drive access to content and allow users to carry out tasks through:

  • Viewing FAQs and Knowledge Base data to answer queries
  • Logging support tickets, saving time for both employee and support teams with pre-populated information on forms or guiding users to give the right information
  • Allowing users to track progress on support tickets without having to contact the helpdesk.

6 Condeco and other meeting room booking systems

Another core integration with a SharePoint environment that delivers value is with meeting room booking systems such as Condeco; these can also provide wider desk-booking systems. Here, a SharePoint integration can allow users to view and book a meeting room or desk through a central SharePoint site or intranet; we see this becoming more important in the new era of hybrid working that is likely to develop in the aftermath of the pandemic.

7 PowerApps and the Power Platform

The Microsoft 365 Power Platform (PowerApps, Power Automate, Power BI, Virtual Power Agents) is already driving the creation of powerful business apps, workflows and data visualisations that help to improve a range of different business processes. Integrations between SharePoint and Power Platform tools can be hugely valuable and are used frequently, either to power some of the content and data behind the process through a SharePoint list, or to provide a user interface for accessing or submitting information.

If you are creating a Power App, embedding it into SharePoint is often the best way to create a desktop view or interface for the app, helping to drive adoption and use. If you are using Power BI, embedding reporting into SharePoint can also open it up for everybody, for example, in surfacing important sales data or enterprise KPIs in real time on an intranet homepage.

8 Bots

Chatbots and conversational user interfaces are increasingly common across the digital workplace landscape, helping users to find information and complete tasks. Bots are often  accessed through Microsoft Teams, but it also make sense for them to be accessed within SharePoint as users are often logged on there to find information and complete tasks. Any team deploying a chatbot should consider a SharePoint integration.

9 LMSs and Learning Platforms

An area where we are seeing significant levels of interest is SharePoint integrations with Learning Platforms or Learning Management Systems. This brings learning into the heart of the digital workplace by:

  • Providing more visibility of courses and course material
  • Allowing users to carry out mandatory training and keep track of what needs to be completed
  • Allowing users and managers to view their training records
  • Supporting employee onboarding processes involving training.

For example, we are seeing a lot of interest in LMS365, which can be seamlessly integrated with SharePoint straight out-of-the-box.

We love SharePoint integrations!

Here at Content Formula, we love SharePoint integrations because we know the value they bring to our clients. If youd like to discuss your integration strategy, what to integrate into your SharePoint intranet or have any general questions, then get in touch!

What is the Microsoft Power Platform and how do I get started?

We often get asked what particular Microsoft 365 tools are and what they do. We try and cover the common answers through articles here on the Content Formula blog.  This time its the turn of the Microsoft Power Platform – one of the most exciting parts of the Microsoft 365 suite. Note that on the blog we have already covered some of the other individual tools, such as Power Virtual Agents.

What is the Microsoft Power Platform?

The Microsoft Power Platform is a suite of four integrated productivity tools that can be used to build what Microsoft describes as an end to end business solutions. It consists of:

  • Power BI – mainly used to create data visualisations, dashboards and reports
  • Power Apps – used to build a range of custom business apps
  • Power Automate – an automation and workflow tool that can be used to create, automate and streamline complex processes
  • Power Virtual Agents – a tool and canvas to create powerful chatbots that leverage different Microsoft / Azure frameworks.

Although these tools are separate and can be purchased individually, they work most powerfully together, and are often available for purchase as the entire Power Platform, such as with some Microsoft 365 licenses. More value is generated when the tools are combined, for example, with Power Automate driving the workflow used in a mobile app built on Power Apps. As Microsoft put it, the Microsoft Power Platform is more than the sum of its parts.

What does each element of the Microsoft Power Platform do?

Lets explore the four core tools that comprise the Microsoft Power Platform.


Power BI

Power BI is a business analytics and data visualisation solution that offers the opportunity to create custom dashboards and dynamic views of business data from multiple sources, not only from the Microsoft 365 universe, but also from non-Microsoft solutions.

Power BI dashboards can easily be shared throughout businesses, and efficiently embedded into SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and other apps.  It is an excellent application to visualise data and analytics at scale in order to drive reveal insights that kickstart better decision-making, track success and monitor information in real-time. Dashboards can be personalised, meaning they can also help to drive reporting processes across different divisions and teams, and for multiple use cases.

Libraries of popular visual elements and data connectors also open up Power BI to more users, helping to drive a culture of transparency and data-driven decision-making.

You can find out more details in our previous article on Power BI and how to use it.


Power Apps

Power Apps allows businesses to build powerful and sophisticated custom apps that are suited to their specific needs. Microsoft defines it as a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment for app creation.

The apps you can create can:

  • Be browser- or mobile-based, or both
  • Incorporate forms, workflow and automation
  • Share data across different Microsoft applications
  • Leverage libraries of connectors to involve non-Microsoft tools.

Power Apps can be used by developers, but also by non-IT professionals, opening up app creation to a much wider population; although, for more sophisticated app creation, technical expertise will need to be involved.  The app design canvas with drag-and-drop capabilities is one of the ways in which Power Apps is effectively democratising app creation.

Again, you can find out more detail in our article on Power Apps, including common use cases.


Power Automate

Power Automate, previously branded as Flow, is the workflow engine that powers automation across different applications; it if often combined with other elements of the Power Platform, like carrying out the core workflow of a Power App.

Power Automates intuitive interfaces allow power users to define multi-step workflows across different applications (Microsoft and non-Microsoft) that are triggered by an array of events. When you start to combine different workflows dependent on different outcomes, you can deliver automation that makes a real difference to users and eliminates inefficiencies.

What makes Power Automate so powerful is its  flexibility that allows for both enterprise-scale automation and modest smaller scale workflows used by individual teams.

You can find more about Power Automate in our previous article on this blog.


Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents is the new kid on the block in the Power Platform: it allows teams to create chatbots that can be displayed in Microsoft Teams, on a SharePoint intranet, in individual Power Apps and potentially across other areas of your digital workplace.

These chatbots can trigger Power Automate workflows to enable automation with a bot interface, for example, based on the responses from employees.

The no code elements of Power Virtual Agents are particularly well-designed, with an excellent authoring canvas and the ability to drive easy integrations, including the possibility to hand off to live chat if such a facility is available in your organisation.

Power Virtual Agents is also extremely flexible, thus supports the constant improvement of bot responses and adding of choices which is often the best way to drive adoption and value, using analytics to fuel such improvement.

We recently published a post about Power Virtual Agents, where you can find out more.


Rise of the citizen developer

One consistent theme across all four core capabilities within the Power Platform is the low code / no code approach which effectively opens up potential use of each tool to non-IT professionals.

This is driven through a combination of:

  • Intuitive and well-designed interfaces and canvases
  • Libraries of pre-existing and popular elements
  • Libraries of data connectors
  • The underlying Microsoft Dataverse framework which allows data to be easily managed and shared consistently across different applications
  • The tight integration between each Power Platform tool and the Microsoft stack in general.

All this means super users within particular teams such as Finance, Marketing or individual lines of business can create their own dashboards, apps and automations that are suited to their own business needs, with little or even no IT involvement.

Although all these tools are designed with no code in mind, Microsoft has also ensured that they can be used by software developers to create highly sophisticated and complex solutions. Here at Content Formula, we are constantly leveraging the Power Platform in the vast majority of our projects.

Opening up the full power of Microsoft 365 to an army of citizen developers is a very exciting stage in the evolution of the digital workplace, and takes digital transformation to the next level. It starts to extend the fuller power of Microsoft 365 to support functions and business lines, driving process improvement and automation at scale, and also drives a culture of using the digital workplace to improve productivity and stimulate innovation.

Were still early on in the rise of the citizen developer, with inspiring examples of imaginative practice emerging, but we expect this will start to rapidly increase over the next year / eighteen months. Despite the promise of less IT involvement, realistically, you still need IT developers to create more sophisticated apps, and IT functions will wish to establish some governance and probably a review process that reduces risks and ensures super users are using the tools in the optimum way.

How to get started with the Power Platform

The Microsoft Power Platform and its constituent tools can bring value to any organisation in multiple ways, regardless of size and sector. The Power Platform can drive digital transformation by:

  • Creating business solutions specific to different parts of your organisation
  • Creating custom apps that can be used both by a specialist team or the entire workforce
  • Creating rapid solutions and apps to meet urgent business needs
  • Driving automation, process improvement and digitisation at scale
  • Creating dashboards and data visualisations to transform decision-making and reporting
  • Driving a culture of innovation and improvement through citizen developers.

If youre not using Microsoft Power Platform, its worth getting started by:

  1. Considering what you want to achieve in terms of digital transformation and digital workplace maturity, and how the Power Platform may help
  2. Working out the specific use cases for the Power Platform; these might be business problems that need solving, opportunities for process improvement, or areas where teams want to innovate and experiment
  3. Starting conversations – if youre a business stakeholder, speak to your IT function or the Microsoft 365 team, or vice versa
  4. Starting a pilot or working on an obvious use case – develop either a pilot or a straight-forward use case that will demonstrate the value of the Power Platform
  5. Speaking to people in the know; find Power Platform experts or practitioners across your peer network or get external help weve had conversations with multiple customers who have been at an early step in their Power Platform journey to assist them along the way.

Want more information? Get in touch!

The Microsoft Power Platform is a potentially transformative set of tools that is genuinely exciting. If youre on the Microsoft 365 path and youre not leveraging the Power Platform, then you should be.

If youd like to discuss the potential of the Power Platform, how to get started or a specific project, then get in touch!

5 tips for migrating from Lotus Notes to SharePoint

Digital workplace teams and IT functions tend to remember Lotus Notes with mixed feelings as an extremely flexible and powerful platform that provided solutions that drive real value, but also one that was sometimes eminently frustrating and difficult to work with.  Many early intranets and custom collaboration environments from the late nineties onwards were built on Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino; many of these environments were then later migrated to SharePoint during the 2010s, particularly as more organisations signed enterprise agreements with Microsoft that included SharePoint.

Although some assume that Lotus Notes is no longer supported and available, it is actually still a going concern. Although IBM largely retired the Lotus brand name in 2013, the platform has continued and was sold to HCL Technologies in 2019. Today, Notes and Domino are now known as HCL Notes and HCL Domino respectively.

Migration projects involving Notes are not as common as they used to be, but we still get clients that are looking to migrate to SharePoint or SharePoint Online. They are often active users of the tools or have legacy Notes databases – there are some ancient custom environments still in use today. This is partly a testament to the durability of Lotus Notes, but also a reflection of the general complexity of most digital workplace landscapes that can  include a number of legacy systems, particularly in companies that are built up through acquisition.

We recently covered five tips for migrating Jive to SharePoint Online; now lets look at five tips for migrating Notes.

1 Run an audit of what you have

Any migration project will involve a data and content audit; you need to know whats out there before you can plan your migration. The audit is particularly important for Notes migrations because they often involve old legacy systems and databases; digital workplace teams, IT functions and business owners may not actually know what is out there. For example, a company may have acquired company after company and steadily inherited a collection of data and content along the way with little idea of what it actually contains. Carrying out a robust and thorough data and content audit is necessary before you can plan and budget your migration project.


Get in touch to discuss your project


2 Identify the owners

The content and data audit also needs to identify business owners for the content to make business decisions on migration in order to be responsible for it going forward in the new Microsoft 365 world. Identifying the right business owners can be more challenging and time-consuming than it seems, not only due to potential complications with older legacy Notes content, but because some busy teams may be reluctant to take on ownership of a new content collection that requires time and effort to sort through.

Clear and engaged content ownership is at the heart of good intranet and digital workplace governance, so you want to make sure this is covered on your new platform by identifying any content owners before migration takes place.

3 Map content types and features to Microsoft 365

An important part of planning a migration is carrying out a mapping exercise that covers what your old Notes content will look like in the new environment. Like a Jive migration to SharePoint, a Notes migration to Microsoft 365 may not map perfectly in terms of content templates and capabilities. However, Microsoft 365 and SharePoint are highly flexible tools, and sometimes perfect is not necessarily the best approach – business value needs to be the overriding factor. For example, you may only need to migrate 80% of your existing features because there are actually better options available in Microsoft 365.

The mapping exercise might involve defining the content templates that will need to feature in SharePoint, but again, eventual business value rather than like-for-like migration should be the guide to your actions.

4 Keep an eye on permissions, data governance and compliance

For any data or content migration, two thorny issues which often arise are permissions and data governance. You dont want to migrate content that might be sensitive and need to have the right permissions; with legacy data and content in Notes databases, permissions may not necessarily be up-to-date and will need extensive attention. Do you have the right permissions on the content that you are migrating?

When carrying out a SharePoint migration of Notes content that was effectively lost or hidden, you can expose content that is suddenly available in SharePoint search. If this content hasnt been reviewed, you may unwittingly open up access to sensitive content.

Its worth ensuring you meet data governance and compliance requirements for example, there may be a legal requirement to keep content and data available for a certain number of years. When there are old Notes database inherited from an acquisition, your instinct may be to delete or archive that content rather than migrate it over; however, make sure your decisions reference your compliance, regulatory and legal commitments.

5 Decide the best migration path on a case by case basis

Most data and content migrations require a hybrid approach to migration using both automated and manual approaches. When possible, automation can add real value, but thats not true for every content collection or database. For example, where content needs to be rewritten or reformatted and there is a potential for large amount of content to be deleted, a manual approach may have more business value because it forces through a more robust review process involving business owners. Similarly, if an automated migration will need extensive manual checking of content, it may not be worth the effort.

Overall, it is best to decide the preferable migration path on a case-by-case basis for each pot or collection of content. This is particularly true for Notes migrations; each migration approach will depend on how neatly the content and features map to the Microsoft 365 content, technical considerations, the business value of the content, the level of the review that needs to take place and the migration tools open to the project team.


Get in touch to discuss your project


Planning your Notes to SharePoint migration

Lotus Notes and Domino migrations to SharePoint and Microsoft 365 need some planning and thought. If youd like to discuss your migration project and methodology, then get in touch!

We use cookies to give you the best experience on our site. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find more about the cookies, please see our Cookie notice.

You can also read our privacy policy.