Get SharePoint Online

Before you can use SharePoint Online (SPO), you must nominate at least one Business Owner (BO) and one SharePoint Network Administrator (SNA) to oversee the use of SharePoint Online in your unit, college or department. Further details regarding these roles are provided on our Roles in SharePoint Online help page.

We recommend developing a unit-wide strategy for your use of SPO, keeping in mind that the site architecture model is a flat structure with no subsites or site hierarchies.

Once you are ready, site requests are submitted for approval by your SNA through the Oxford Self-Service Portal (see site provisioning). 

Units can request Hub Sites to link together SPO sites with common access or purposes, though these are not essential.

The following CoSY training modules are also recommended: 

The SharePoint Online service level description (SLD)

Please familiarise yourself with the SharePoint Online SLD to check what the service offers and the scope of support available from IT Services.

The SLD is updated when new features or significant changes are are implemented for the service.

Help and advice

  • SharePoint help pages are available on the IT Services website.
  • The SharePoint Online Home Page provides support information and advice, with a dedicated Help and Support section that is regularly updated with information, help pages and links to Microsoft resources when features of SharePoint Online are added or change in any way.
  • The Nexus User Group (NUG) has several Teams channels discussing SharePoint Online and related services. The SharePoint Online channel is for discussions relating to the service, the Q & A channel is for generic questions covering the whole of Nexus365, and the Power Automate channel is for those introducing automation into their sites. 
  • Microsoft provide the Microsoft Learn site, but note that some features may not be available in our service.  Check the support pages above regarding the availability of features in SharePoint Online.

Expand All

Onboarding is the process by which a department, college of other equivalent part of the University first sets up their presence in SharePoint Online.

Each unit must to go through onboarding before creating new sites, this will prevent the creation of new standalone sites which could lead to issues with compliance and accountability.

Each unit will only onboard once, but this must be completed before anyone in your unit can create new SharePoint Online sites.

Who should do onboarding?

This should be carried out by whoever will be your Site Network Administrator (SNA) or Business Owner.

What is the process of onboarding?

  1. Please fill in a form, which will ask you for:
    • The name of your unit, as per the University organisation structure
    • The email address for at least one Business Owner
    • The email address for at least one Site Network Administrator (SNA)
    • Please enter these as email addresses not names, as email addresses are unique
  2. Once submitted, your request will be reviewed by the Nexus team
  3. If approved, you will receive an automated email telling you that your unit has successfully been onboarded to SharePoint Online


Any future sites you would like should be requested through the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system (see site provisioning).

The onboarding and site provisioning processes are both based around the University organisation structure, which is the only organisational structure we can refer to for the University. The Nexus team cannot change this. If you cannot find your unit in the list, please contact the Nexus team directly.

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

No provisioning of sites can be done before your unit has been through the onboarding process.

Once your department, college or equivalent part of the University has completed the onboarding process, you will be able to request hubs and sites through the Oxford Service Manager (OSM) system. 

If your unit is not on the list of units who have completed the onboarding process then it does not yet have a presence on SharePoint Online and you cannot create new sites. We suggest you contact your local IT support team to find out your unit’s plans 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 IT self service (search 'SharePoint')
  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

Get support

If you cannot find the solution you need here then we have other ways to get IT support

Get IT support