Lets you track information and events that interest you.
If you have an Office 365 for Small Business or Professionals plan then unfortunately you don’t have access to this, however customers with Office 365 for Enterprise definitely do.
My Site presents you with a newsfeed of what your colleagues are up to (within SharePoint Online – not like Facebook) as well as changes to content that you have tagged in various locations in SharePoint Online.
You might be thinking – I don’t need this as I already have Facebook/LinkedIn and know my colleagues well. That might be true, but the Profile section lets you share information so it shows up in SharePoint Online searches.
Let’s say you’re working on a document about a company called Fabrikam. The first step is to see what information or documents are already stored within your SharePoint site about Fabrikam. An unexpected search result might reveal that one of your colleagues in a different department actually worked there.
Straight away you’ve established a direct connection to some information through your colleague that wasn’t previously available. But wait – did you also know they spoke Russian? That might come in handy when working on your international supply agreement with Fabrikam’s office in Moscow.
Apart from the social profile element of My Site, what else can it do for me?
People usually store temporary files (eg. work in progress documents) in their My Documents folder or on their desktop.
My Site comes with 500MB of personal storage space – a better solution as you can access this content from anywhere because it’s in the cloud. Instead of using third-party services such as Dropbox, which recently made headlines for its poor security, you can store your working documents in your My Site and then move them to the appropriate SharePoint location when completed.
You can also share files and documents stored within your My Site with other people in your organisation.
If you want to work on files but don’t have access to your computer and Microsoft Word, you can use Office 365’s online equivalent, Office Web Apps, to open the file and carry out minor edits.
Although My Site files are stored in the Office 365 cloud you can still use them offline with SharePoint Workspace. This function, which is part of the latest version of Microsoft Office (Professional Plus 2010), synchronises content from the Office 365 cloud to your local machine.
Both of the above can also work on an iOS or Android device (eg. phone or tablet) through the browser or using third-party apps.
If you’re using Office 365 on an enterprise licence already but haven’t looked at My Site, just browse to https://<yourcompanyname>-my.sharepoint.com and take a look.
Loryan Strant is a Microsoft Office 365 MVP (Most Valuable Professional). Follow him on Twitter @TheCloudMouth.