Next month sees our partner EasyShare launch Aeon, the next generation release of EasyShare. The power of EasyShare’s customisable SharePoint templates is that they deliver the key intranet features most organisations need, with a great branded user experience.
Ahead of the upcoming launch, our very own Sasha de Speville interviews EasyShare Product Manager Marika Ludmann and asks what the latest version of EasyShare brings to the party…
So, Marika, sounding like something out of Star Trek, what on earth is EasyShare Aeon and when is it out?
Aeon is the next generation EasyShare product. It’s got all the customisable EasyShare web parts and templates as in the past but the new bit is that you can plug any version of SharePoint since 2013 into the back end and have the same front end design and functionality. Aeon is truly hybrid – you can run 2013, 2016 or SharePoint online all delivered through the same front end Aeon templates.
Sounds exciting … what does that mean for the user?
Well – it means a seamless experience for the user no matter what is going on at the back end or behind the scenes.
Let’s take an example. If you’re on SharePoint 2013 on-premises, you might want to start to move the organisation OneDrive but keep more sensitive data in SharePoint on your own servers. With SharePoint out of the box there’s the option to redirect the OneDrive.
Then think about hybrid search, again out of the box functionality for SharePoint 2013, where a user can search on-premises but get online world results as well and vice versa.
EasyShare Aeon’s seamless experience gives you best practice from SharePoint Online but you can have it without having to upgrade your SharePoint 2013 installation. In other words EasyShare Aeon allows you to make SharePoint 2013 parts of your intranet look and behave like SharePoint Online.
So it’s the same user experience, whatever version of SharePoint is running?
Exactly. We’ve coined the term “true hybrid”. For the end user, it looks like the same intranet whether they’re in a SharePoint 2016, 2013, or Online section of the intranet. Your users will see the same things throughout your entire intranet creating much less confusion because it’s much easier to use.
It sounds pretty flexible…
Flexibility is one of the key benefits, but that’s not all. Cost savings, easer migration to the cloud, faster deployment, the list goes on.
As a CIO, you might want to move non-critical parts of the business into the cloud and this allows you to that without having to compromise the security of sensitive data. You might have Marketing on online, for example using the intranet for assets, data that takes up a lot of storage space and that you don’t want the server costs for, while continuing to host finance internally so that you know the data is secure.
The other benefit of a hybrid intranet is that the organisation can reduce in-house infrastructure by moving some data to Office 365, eliminating the storage limitations and costs associated with on-premises intranets by taking advantage of the unlimited OneDrive for business offering.
If you use Google or Azure Usage Analytics you’ll identify other savings too. For example, identifying the least-used team sites and moving them onto the cloud to save on storage costs. Alternatively, you might have customers at a site globally that doesn’t have a Microsoft Azure data centre nearby, which doesn’t make for a great Office 365 experience. A local server will give those users a better experience.
In both of these cases, Aeon allows you to deploy the same interface so that from you can apply best practice across your whole intranet with a consistent experience for the users.
So Aeon really does deliver a consistent user experience across an entire workforce?
Yes. And out of the box. That’s the point of having customisable templates. EasyShare was designed following a user-centred design process. It’s been user tested extensively, both through formal processes and through the feedback we’ve received from over fifty clients.
It was designed to be able to be rolled out and customised really quickly, allowing the client to spend the time on planning, migration, communication and getting people to engage and use it. Aeon takes the next step – it means you can do all that without even having to worry about making decisions about what version of SharePoint you should be on.
Very interesting. Now, Graeme Norton usually let’s his guests plug their movie. You’re not a movie star – but you’re famous to us…so, plug Aeon…
Well, in developing it we thought about what clients need. Why would I buy it?
Apart from completely removing the issues of data security because it allows you to mix and match secure SharePoint deployments at your discretion and being able to deliver the best of both cloud and On Prem without having to do a single bit of front end development?
For one it’s powered by client side code. You technical people will know that means less server-side processing, client side caching to increase efficiency, content delivery networks for global delivery. Everybody else… that means it’s much faster, not just on desktop but also in remote locations and crucially on mobile, and of course it’s fully responsive.
EasyShare is 100% extensible. We don’t block other SharePoint tools or facilities from running, so internal developers can extend it, or you can plug in almost anything you’d need. Out of the box, EasyShare has over 50 web parts that you don’t get out of the box on SharePoint alone but that you’d expect in an intranet, and 6 site templates.
It’s intranet best practice in a box.
OK Marika, Thanks for your time. Now, can you give us a reading recommendation?
Erm…The City & The City by China Miéville. It’s won awards so I’m not alone on this one.
EasyShare Aeon launches in April. If you’re looking at your intranet or just want some advice then give us a ring or click here to get in touch.