Inspiration

Our team has been an Office 365 / SharePoint consulting service for the last four years. We began to notice that small and medium-sized businesses were continually asking us for the same features: an Intranet platform that is simple to manage, able to quickly create content, and easy to use by people of all skill sets. Considering the short adoption rates of platforms such as SharePoint, we decided to provide a different experience that helps SMBs better adopt O365 and leverage all of its feature.

What It Does

UPTEAMIST allows teams to quickly create and share announcements, pages, links, documents, and events. Additionally, users can manage permissions and tags so that content is always readily available to those who need it. The UPTEAMIST platform integrates directly with Office 365 so that team members can use their enterprise email addresses to access the system and start sharing instantly.

How We Built It

UPTEAMIST is built on Azure and integrates with Microsoft Graph API, SharePoint REST API, and StripeJS. A Node.js application manages the subscription platform, while the user-facing portal is built on .NET with AngularJS. We have been working on the project since March 2017.

Challenges We Encountered

As UPTEAMIST integrates directly with SharePoint, most of the challenges emerged as we worked with the SharePoint REST API. For example, in the case of a document upload, UPTEAMIST needs to contend with not only its own built-in permission system, but also SharePoint's permission system. To effectively handle this, we needed to ensure that the permissions set on UPTEAMIST were mirrored in SharePoint.

We had many internal discussions concerned with how to best simplify the interface and the actions provided to end users. If we made it too simple, the platform might not have enough features to make the service useful. If we made it too complicated, we figured we might as well just continue recommending SharePoint. With the issue of balance in mind, the design team went to work - and continues to adjust and update - to ensure that we are providing the right amount and type of features to our users.

Accomplishments

Overall, we are very proud of the work our team has done to get the platform up and running. The connection to Azure AD is working great, as is the connection to Stripe to manage subscriptions and payments. As of this application's date of submission, already two dozen alpha users are on the platform and providing us with insightful feedback.

What We Learned

As an agency that provides consulting services, we had to re-learn processes and procedures from the product development perspective. Although the design, development, and quality control methods were roughly the same, much more thought needed to be dedicated towards marketing, customer feedback, and support. We want to ensure that our product answers a community need, and that new feature requests are realized and implemented quickly. Our goal is to improve the tool so that it perfectly fits the needs of modern, small to medium-sized organizations.

What's Next for UPTEAMIST

For the remainder of 2017, our plan is to continue to work with our alpha - and eventually beta - users to refine our product features. Our product road map for 2018 is arranged into quarters. In the first quarter, we want to move UPTEAMIST out of beta and into V1. The second quarter will be dictated by the feedback we receive from our initial users, and it will include the implementation / integration of Project Online and Dynamics CRM Online. The third quarter will include rolling-out an iOS / Android application developed using Xamarin. In the fourth quarter, we plan to work with the Cognitive Services API to integrate speech recognition so that users can interact directly with the Intranet via voice command.

A quick introduction

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EL4uo8tZ6LU

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Updates

posted an update

As we release version 2.2 to the devpost, we actually are planning the 3.1 release Feb 5th. The new release will have the following additional features:

  • Ability to mention people (@someone...)
  • Ability to overlay Exchange calendars
  • Ability to connect to multiple document libraries

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