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Are SharePoint Spaces Worth the Business Effort?

Are SharePoint Spaces Worth the Business Effort?

Are SharePoint Spaces Worth the Business Effort?
Posted by TEAM ASCEND on 1/5/21 3:59 PM

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 Microsoft released new functionality for SharePoint Online to create pages, coined as SharePoint Spaces, with web parts that can display content and images in “3D” or “Virtual Reality (VR)” format. This sounds exciting, but is it practical for non-technical "Power Users" to invest time in learning how to create and display content using this method?

Let's delve deeper into SharePoint Spaces and evaluate their viability for businesses. 


Source: Microsoft


What are SharePoint Spaces?

SharePoint Spaces are essentially a new type of 'modern experience' site page. It allows you to display content in web parts that support three-dimensional appearing formats. You can design 3D environments where users can interact with content, information, and visualizations in a dynamic, virtual space. The Spaces feature can be used to create interactive product tours, onboarding experiences, learning modules, and more.

For instance, a company could use SharePoint Spaces to create a virtual orientation for new employees, complete with a tour of the office, introductions to key personnel, and interactive learning modules.

SharePoint Spaces supports 3D images, 360-degree videos, and 2D content such as text, images, and office documents. Interactive web parts, like a 3D object carousel or a 360-degree video player, are included to build these immersive experiences.

Microsoft recommends using Communication sites as the location for SharePoint Spaces. 


Setting Up SharePoint Spaces

Getting the basic components in place is straightforward: 

  1. Create a Communications Site. 
  2. Enable the Spaces feature from the Site Settings/Site Features page.


  3. From the HOME page, click the 'New' dropdown, and select the 'Space' option.


  4. Choose a Structure and give the page a name. 


  5. Click the 'Create' button. 


Your new page is created. The basic controls to edit the page and add properties are like those in a “regular” modern page. We won’t bore you with specific steps since Microsoft provides plenty of documentation on this feature.


But Here's the Catch...

When you go to modify the Image on your Space, you'll find that you have to use the available default options or point to a “Custom 360 file”. This could be a virtual tour or multiple angle shots combined into a single file (Microsoft provides info on some of the basics), but it means that as a Power User or Content Editor in a business, you'll have to either have someone make these files or learn how to create these file types.




And Another Catch…

If the image file limitation wasn't a sizable enough hurdle, the addition of web parts to the Space presents similar issues. Most of the web parts require very 3D-specific content, necessitating a considerable amount of knowledge/expertise to create. While Microsoft's instructions for implementing this specialized content are relatively easy to follow, the preparation can be quite a learning curve.




The Verdict: Is it worth the effort?

From a business use standpoint, does SharePoint Spaces add value?

We think it might be if: 

  • You need to present 3D images and videos in order to run your business
  • You have scenarios where you want to draw the interest of your users to a business event, situation, or news
  • You have access to meaningful 3D content or can create 3D content in a cost-effective manner

But we're not sure it’s worth learning Spaces if: 

  • It’s just a cool feature you want to show off
  • You can’t generate 3D content without a lot of extra work
  • 3D content doesn’t add value to your business processes and decisions
Do you still have questions? Check out more of our IT Tips, or let us know by reaching out to talk to an expert. We are here to help!


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Posted in Microsoft