Microsoft is continuously releasing new digital products to inspire collaboration and productivity in the workplace. One such product is Microsoft Loop, a new way to think, plan, and create together. Now in public preview, the Loop app helps you organize everything you need for your project in a single workspace and uses underlying storage and collaboration technology from SharePoint.
Microsoft Loop and SharePoint can work together for modern co-creation, but let’s dive into what exactly Microsoft Loop is and how it can be used to elevate your digital workplace, as well as why a SharePoint intranet is still essential even with the introduction of Microsoft Loop.
What is Microsoft Loop?
Microsoft Loop is designed to bring your teams and ideas together in one place to improve co-creation. Loop allows you to stay in sync without switching apps and work together wherever you want, whenever you want. With Loop, you can use page templates, intelligent suggestions, and a quick insert menu to kick off projects with ease and make the creation process even more efficient. You can also choose to get select notifications about projects that require your attention the most, and in the future you will even be able to use Copilot in Loop to provide AI-powered contextual suggestions that transform the way you ideate, create, and collaborate.
In a fast-paced and dynamic environment, tools that can adapt to our ever-changing needs are essential, and Loop was created with the purpose of bringing together teams, content, and tasks across tools and devices.
The Elements of Microsoft Loop
Microsoft Loop enables teams to think, plan, and create together by combining a powerful and flexible canvas with portable elements that move freely and stay in sync across applications. Microsoft Loop focuses on three key elements – components, pages, and workspaces – let’s discuss what they are.
Components in Microsoft Loop are an evolution of Fluid components that let you collaborate and get your work done in chats, emails, meetings, documents, or Loop pages. Components stay in sync no matter how many different places they get added to, meaning you and your team always have up-to-date information.
Loop components can be simple, such as a list, table, note, or task, or more complex, such as a sales opportunity from Microsoft Dynamics 365. Some newer components that are being introduced include a voting table to help finalize decisions and a status tracker to track progress across all aspects of a project. Third-party developers are also able to build Loop components with minimal investments.
Loop pages are flexible canvases where components can be organized and pulled into other useful elements like files, links, or data to help drive collaboration. Pages can be heavily customized so you can start small and continue to grow them as the size of your ideas and projects grows.
Your team can comment, react, and collaborate in real-time on Loop pages and the pages can grow with your projects as you progress farther along.
Workspaces allow you and your team members to visualize what the most important aspects of your project are. In workspaces, you can group different things from your project together, and team members can easily see what everybody else is working on.
In addition to this, workspaces allow you to react to others’ ideas and track progress towards shared goals. Having a dedicated workspace that brings all aspects of the project together makes it easy for you to work from anywhere at any time from different applications, synchronously or asynchronously.
With Microsoft Loop, you can keep your team connected and on track to improve productivity across your organization and drive efficiency.
How Microsoft Loop Works with SharePoint
While Microsoft Loop is marketed as a distinct platform, SharePoint provides the underlying storage and collaboration technology needed for the platform, making it essential to be familiar with SharePoint and its capabilities.
Enabling Loop to build and innovate on the SharePoint platform required work in 4 key areas:
- Tree structured storage
SharePoint moved from a traditional file stream architecture to tree-structured storage, with the new architecture enabling faster innovation and powerful collaboration capabilities that support the underlying technology for Microsoft Loop.
- Performance optimizations
Core performance improvements needed to be made to SharePoint to support the speed and scale of the new Loop experience, which is setting a new bar in editing and real-time collaboration for users.
- Personal and work
Work needed to be done inside SharePoint to enable Loop to support both personal and organizational accounts and authentication models, giving customers unified experiences with faster speed with the enhanced SharePoint stack.
- Security and compliance
Since Loop is built on the core SharePoint platform, it has inherited all of SharePoint’s industry-leading work on compliance and security so customers can trust that sharing, permissions, and authorization follow the same best practices as SharePoint.
Is a SharePoint Intranet Still Needed?
Even though Microsoft Loop is another collaboration platform, its core focus is on bringing together teams across different applications while SharePoint mainly focuses on serving as a content repository to empower teamwork. Microsoft Loop can be used as a quicker and easier way to collaborate on projects with other users in real-time, but SharePoint can serve as a single source of truth across the entire organization for news, announcements, and content storage.
As we discussed above, Microsoft Loop is built on SharePoint, which ties everything together, which is why it is still important to invest in your SharePoint environment and intranet, and use Microsoft Loop as a supplemental tool for collaboration. There is a reason why SharePoint is one of the most popular enterprise applications used by organizations today!
Work with Klarinet to Enhance Your Digital Workplace
Microsoft is constantly coming up with new applications and updates to existing applications designed to enhance the digital workplace and it can be challenging to determine what works best for your organization.
Luckily, at Klarinet Solutions, we know the Microsoft ecosystem inside and out, and can craft a solution tailored to your organization’s specific needs to help you boost productivity, employee satisfaction, and growth. Get in touch with us today to discuss if and how you can utilize Microsoft Loop on the SharePoint platform to elevate your business.