3 Reasons Your Slide Library Needs a PowerPoint Add-In

Your Slide Library Needs a PowerPoint add-in

Slide libraries establish a central location for storing, accessing, and sharing PowerPoint slides. Slide libraries enable employees with appropriate access rights to effectively compose a variety of presentations including marketing and sales collateral.

While Microsoft discontinued support for slide libraries with SharePoint 2016, third-party partner solutions, like TeamSlide, replace and significantly augment SharePoint’s lost ability to manage slide libraries.

Rather than accessing content through a web browser, TeamSlide relies on a PowerPoint add-in or plug-in for seamless access to the slide library from within PowerPoint. Here are 3 reasons to access slide library solutions through an add-in:

1. Increase productivity

Web interfaces, including SharePoint’s portal, are not intuitive and finding slides and presentations is a cumbersome process. If users are unable to find content quickly, they resort to duplicating existing work or using old slides.

A slide library add-in allows users to find slides from within PowerPoint and without switching context (no Alt-Tab necessary). As such, they are able to easily search, evaluate, and insert slides from the library. This streamlined process helps maximize the value of the firm’s PowerPoint content and drives user productivity.

2. Improve presentation quality

Because they are embedded in PowerPoint, add-ins enable new features (that are otherwise not possible) which improve presentation quality.

For example, you update slides in the library directly from within PowerPoint (rather than uploading it again through a browser). The add-in also notifies users when they have an out-of-date slide that might have been updated by a colleague. Marketing no longer has to worry that sales might be using old or stale slides.

3. Drive adoption

Instead of introducing a tool, an add-in or plug-in extends PowerPoint’s native capabilities. Because the features are provided within the familiar PowerPoint interface, the learning curve is drastically reduced.

As such, team members will be able to start using the slide library immediately and without extensive training.


Where are the PowerPoint files that drive your slide library?

Many sales and marketing organizations are often willing to transfer their PowerPoint files, their source content, to a proprietary slide library or management platform. While this approach has advantages, there are significant drawbacks, too. Another option is to automatically sync content from a third-party content management system (CMS), like SharePoint or Box, into the slide management solution.

In this article we compare the differences between the two approaches:

Connecting to a CMS

How it works

In addition to examining file content, the slide library also pulls in all related metadata.

Rather than uploading content directly, the slide library solution replicates content from a CMS like SharePoint. While your PowerPoint slides are copied, this is a seamless and automatic process. The library connects with the CMS on a defined scheduled, evaluating new, deleted, and updated presentations. It then crawls through each affected presentation to determine new, updated, or deleted slides.

Benefits

  1. Your content remains in its original position and for, enabling your team to maintain their current workflows from a single source of truth
  2. External tools (e.g. CRM) can still leverage the files (a slide library solution likely won’t connect with as many external systems as a CMS)
  3. You can leverage all your existing metadata rather than duplicate it in another solution

Drawbacks

  1. The slide library won’t directly write to the CMS. Most library solutions focus on pulling content from a CMS and not pushing; instead the library will sync with the CMS to capture updates
  2. Connecting to a CMS may require permission from your IT organization
  3. Adding new metadata on slide-level is difficult/tedious

When to connect to a CMS

If you have a large repository (1000+ slides), don’t want to change your workflows or have other tools that leverage the content, connecting to a CMS is likely the best path forward.

If you’ve lost your SharePoint slide library, a solution like TeamSlide can quickly connect to SharePoint and replace the lost functionality.

Uploading directly to a slide library

How it works

Select the PowerPoint presentations/slides and launch the slide library’s batch upload process. During the process, you can also add metadata.

Benefits

  1. A simple process that eliminates any IT approvals required to connect to a CMS
  2. Directly pull and update slide with the slide library’s native features
  3. Easily add new metadata on slide level

Drawbacks

  1. May require a change in your current workflow; external tools likely can’t access the slides
  2. File/content management features native to the slide library are typically not as powerful as a CMS

When to upload directly to a slide library

If you are building a small repository (<1000 slides), uploading directly to a slide library is likely the best path.

At TeamSlide, our batch upload feature enables customers to drag and drop to quickly build a library with hundreds of slides. Whether you are creating a new library or cleaning up an existing one, contact us and we’d be happy to share best practices.