The Verge recently published an article about a video leak of Microsoft’s new ‘Spaces’ project, which is designed help you organize your O365 emails, meetings, and docs into project spaces. This follows the trend we see in general, which is that people are moving away from centralization of both Content and Collaboration.
Rather than monolithic intranet projects which are top-down content production, we see distributed teams and micro sites that hang off of a central content hub, all orchestrated with search and workflow.
We see with communication, far less top-down one-way communication and much more Peer-to-peer conversation, even from management to ground floor employees
Further, the move from email (broadcast only communication, where sorting of ‘streams’ is the recipient’s responsibility) to Teams, where content is pre-sorted by the sender (in that a sender has to think “this message belongs to X team in Y channel).
Whereas the first two are breaking the traditional “box” of the “intranet” and the “inbox”, they both can result in a kind of content sprawl. As I move from one “inbox” to dozens (potentially even more) of special-purpose “channels,” how do I know where I should read? How do I find related ideas if they are not in the same Channel? Imagine that streams of content could be “intelligently” comingled – joining back together related bits of content into… a Space.
Spaces also gives us a peak into breaking the “box” of the “Document” as mentioned in the article, something Microsoft has been exploring for decades (how can be put a graph into a powerpoint slide without having to launch excel?) Embedding is the current solution, which dates back to the early 90s (“OLE” = Object Linking & Embedding technology) Spaces is a natural successor to this, powered by AI and web-based (vs. document-based) content.
I actually have been talking on these points lately to MANY customers/prospects. Nobody is really building these huge 500K+ intranets anymore. They are building lots of fit-for-purpose team sites with the money going to workflow (PowerAutomate, Forms, PowerApps on top of Lists), content/metadata design, etc.