Moving to SharePoint Online

Are you creating a new hub with a number of associated sites, for example for a department or college? Or are you creating a new site that may or may be associated with an existing hub, for example for a research project within a department or an admin team in a college?

Planning a new hub with a network of sites

Before moving to SharePoint Online, we strongly recommend that you design a strategy for how your new SharePoint Online network will be structured. We suggest you consider the following steps before you move to SharePoint Online:

  1. Review your current site collection - try to avoid taking everything from your SharePoint on-premise site collection over to SharePoint Online. There’s advice on using the 6S method for cleaning up existing sites from the Focus team
  2. Decide on your SharePoint Online network structure - remember that, in SharePoint Online, "flat is best", so avoid creating a hierarchy of sites. You might want to create a network diagram a bit like this:
    generic hub network diagram for SharePoint Online

    A diagram of generic hub network for SharePoint Online

  1. Decide on your strategy and the combination you want of hubs and sites
  2. Decide which type of sites you want - there are two site types available in SharePoint Online:
    1. team sites, which are best for collaborating on documents
    2. communication sites, which are best for intranets and when you want to broadcast messages to your users

Take a look at this Quick Reference Guide about Developing a strategy for moving to SharePoint Online.

Each department, college or part of the Unviersity that wants to have presence in SharePoint Online needs to go through an onboarding process before any sites or hubs can be created.

Planning a new site

  1. Review your each current site (if you have one) - try to avoid taking everything from your SharePoint on-premise site over to SharePoint Online. There’s advice on using the 6S method for cleaning up existing sites from the Focus team
  2. Consider if Microsoft Teams would be a better place for this content than SharePoint Online - both are used for collaboration and they are both products within Nexus365
    • Teams comes with additional collaboration features such as chat and virtual meetings and is ideal for working documents
    • SharePoint Online should be a repository for sharing final versions of documents
  3. Decide which type of site you want - there are two site types available in SharePoint Online:
    • team sites, which are best for collaborating on documents
    • communication sites, which are best for intranets and other sites where you want to broadcast messages with your users
  4. Discuss with your Site Network Administrator (SNA) (or current Site Collection Administrator (SCA), if you have not yet moved any sites to SharePoint Online) how your new site will fit into the existing network for your part area of the University
    If you don't know who your current SCA is for SharePoint on-premise, they should be listed in this Site Listing.
  5. Delete or archive your old SharePoint on-premise site, if appropriate
    Take a look at this Quick Reference Guide to Decommissioning old SharePoint sites.

Site Provisioning

What is site provisioning?

Site provisioning is the process by which new sites in SharePoint Online are created.

Once your department, college or equivalent part of the University has completed the onboarding process you will be able to request hubs and sites via the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system. No provisioning of sites can be done before your unit has been through the onboarding process.

If you are unsure if your unit is already on SharePoint Online, you can check this list of Site Network Administrators [coming soon], which only includes those who have completed the onboarding process. If your unit is not on this list, then your unit has not yet got a presence on SharePoint Online and you won’t be able to create new sites. We suggest you contact your local IT support to find out what your unit’s plans are for onboarding with SharePoint Online. You might also want to consider using Teams as an alternative to SharePoint Online.

Who should do site provisioning?

Anyone who will own a SharePoint Online site, including SNAs.

What is the process for site provisioning?

  1. The Site Owner consults with their SNA to provide details on:
  2. The Site Owner, or SNA on behalf of Site owner, submits the request through the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system online
  3. The SNA (or the Business Owner, if there is no SNA) approves the request via an automated email
  4. The Nexus team receive the request from OSM and auto-generate a new site using the details provided
  5. The Site Owner receives a new site notification from the Nexus team
  6. The SNA links the new site to a Hub, if appropriate