SharePoint Online goes live today

SharePoint Online will be made available to everyone across the University from 30 November 2020. This means that departments, colleges and other parts of the University can begin setting up their presence on SharePoint Online. Once this is done, Site Owners can start requesting new sites.

Ten reasons to use SharePoint Online

Sign saying 'time for change' by alexas fotos from pexels

SharePoint Online uses Microsoft’s 'modern experience' and offers many improvements over the current SharePoint on-premise:

  1. It’s mobile friendly
  2. It’s user-friendly and has a clean, modern look
  3. It’s much better for collaboration and co-authoring documents
  4. You can search for documents across all your SharePoint Online sites
  5. It’s more straightforward to share content securely with people external to the University
  6. It has a simpler, flatter structure that replaces the current hierarchical site collections
  7. It’s much simpler to move content around within sites
  8. You have much more storage, up to 1TB, rather than 25-100Gb for each site collection
  9. It integrates well with other Microsoft tools such as Power Automate (formerly Flow)
  10. Permissions are much easier to handle

Moving to SharePoint Online

SharePoint on-premise will not be switched off until April 2023, however, we strongly encourage you to move your content to SharePoint Online well before this deadline. During 2021 there will be additional resource in the Nexus team to provide advice about moving to SharePoint Online.

The content of SharePoint on-premise sites cannot be automatically moved over to SharePoint Online. Setting up new SharePoint Online sites and moving content over will be the responsibility of Site Owners and administrators.

Roles in SharePoint Online

There will be two top-level roles in SharePoint Online:

  1. Screenshot from the Oxford SharePoint Online demonstration site - illustration only

    Business Owner – a non-technical, senior manager who is accountable for the content in SharePoint Online for their part of the University, and responsible for appointing an SNA

  2. Site Network Administrator (SNA) – a technical role that replaces the Site Collection Administrator (SCA) in SharePoint on-premise, who will manage and provide support for SharePoint Online in their part of the University

Setting up a presence in SharePoint Online

Departments, colleges and other parts of the University first need to go through an onboarding process with the Nexus team, for which you will need to provide the name of your unit and the name of your Business Owner and at least one Site Network Administrator (SNA).

Getting ready for SharePoint Online

Once your unit has onboarded, you can request new SharePoint Online sites, but first please consider the following:

  1. Review your current SharePoint on-premise site, if you have one, and determine what content needs to be moved and what can be deleted or archived, given retention and GDPR considerations
  2. Consider whether Microsoft Teams or OneDrive might be more suitable for some site content
  3. Contact your new SharePoint Online SNA before requesting a site to discuss how your site will fit into your unit’s new network

Committee template solution

The Committee template solution, that allows committees to administer their activities using calendars and document libraries, is the only bespoke development being produced for SharePoint Online and will be available from December 2020.

Guidance, training and online briefings for SharePoint Online

We have produced elearning packages on CoSy for SNAs, Site Owners and Site Members, Quick Reference Guides, and guidance to ensure your site is accessible to people with disabilities.

As Oxford University’s SharePoint Online sites will be provided “out-of-the-box”, with very little customisation, Microsoft’s support website, and other external help websites, provide accurate sources of additional advice.

We are running online roadshows in November and December, which you are welcome to attend - please email the project team for an invitation.

Business Owner and Senior Manager roadshows:

  • 3pm, 2 December
  • 11am, 14 December

Site Collection Administrator (SCA) and Site Network Administrator (SNA) roadshows:

  • 10am, 30 November
  • 2pm, 15 December
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Further information

For more information about the SharePoint Online Project, please visit the project website and the frequently asked questions (FAQs).

If you have any questions, or if you would like an invitation to a roadshow, please email the SharePoint Online Project team: