New Community Sites in SharePoint 2013

Just like all global companies, Axceler uses many pieces of software to communicate and collaborate. SharePoint, SkyDrive, Twitter, Yammer, Jira, Zendesk, Chatter, etc. are used daily. With so many choices, it’s easy to decide on the wrong platform for a project. Last week, a client asked me how Axceler submits new feature ideas to the product team.  The client is also a product company and wasn’t sure which platform would be best. Spoiler alert: we chose SharePoint because of the new community site template in 2013.

Our client wanted to encourage all departments to submit ideas to make their products better. But there was never any incentive to submit new feature ideas, nor was there an easy and clean way for the entire company to view and respond to them. Making the feature requests visible to the entire company was a key requirement. SharePoint’s discussion boards, blog, and wiki capability were just not able to centralize all of the conversations the way our client wanted, and did not support their recently articulated gamification strategies with which they hoped to improve employee engagement on their portal. There were no built in ways to track who submitted the most ideas, which ones were useful, and what were the most popular. They really wanted something similar to stackoverflow.com so that that the best comments would automatically move to the top. No platform they owned provided an easy way to build this type of forum — until they looked at SharePoint 2013 community sites.

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