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The SharpCloud Blog


Simplifying complex business decisions

Enhance your Business Processes with SharpCloud Annotations

Andy BlogI could clearly see the opportunity for SharpCloud to appeal to broader enterprise user communities via focused use-case and product integrations. SharpCloud is different! It compliments line of business BI tools and its ability to provide powerful visualisation combined with relationships, makes it unique in identifying new insights for strategic decision making. In this third blog of the series, I’ll be exploring how our Annotations capability is providing a greater user-experience for your leadership team and other stakeholders.

Annotations Capture

Designed to provide insight over existing business management solutions, SharpCloud is brilliant at bringing together data and resources from the line of business tools you currently use, to support the range of methodologies to run and deliver your IT Portfolio.

Annotations has grown beyond what it was originally designed for, it’s bringing SharpCloud and other business systems together, providing a window into other systems data and giving you a comprehensive, interactive and dynamic view across your strategic business portfolio.


Annotations is an umbrella term for a range of capabilities that collectively allow you to improve the impact and user experience for anyone who interacts with your stories. Using annotations, you can create a unique navigation around your story through click events. You can also embed multiple SharpCloud views into a single view, or embed external content such as word documents, charts, tables and views from other web-based business systems, allowing you to quickly and easily create compelling portals, dashboards and data-driven presentations that provide a greater user-experience for your leadership team and other stakeholders.

You can create 4 main types of objects and position them on any view:

  • Text objects – format and position text objects to provide instructions, explanations and other contextual help.
  • Images objects – position images such as brand logos, impactful iconography and large background canvases on any view.
  • Navigation objects – by adding click-events to your text or image objects, you can create a whole new way of navigating both within your current story, across other stories and to external URL locations.
  • Embedded web documents – annotation objects can be used to embed SharpCloud views from other stories, O365 Excel Tables and charts, PPT or Word documents, or charts, tables and views from other web-based business systems, such as Tableau, Qlik and MS project.

We are extremely excited at how this capability can benefit your organisation, as customers are already telling us it is ‘game changing’.

“With the annotations feature, I have been able to greatly enhance what we provide to our user community by creating customisable dashboards which generate bespoke reporting and add yet another level to SharpCloud.”

David Shipp, Enterprise Risk, Network Rail

Network Rail recently won another award using SharpCloud for Enterprise Risk Visualisation; the ALARM Risk Award for Best Use of Technology in Risk Management, and are currently using SharpCloud as a common platform to store and visualise all their strategic risk information

David goes on to say, “We swim in a sea of information daily and the key here is navigating through all the noise and distraction to what matters the most. SharpCloud’s simplicity, versatility and integration with our current processes has made it easy to implement as an ‘add-on’. The ability to simplify complex messages and understand where complexity exists is enabling a holistic approach to risk management. It helps us break the silo mentality and is customisable to different levels in the organisation where appropriate.”

Annotations enable you to present your portfolio, strategy and roadmaps through a simple interactive portal which can be built into any existing SharpCloud story. Your portal can pull together views from any of your SharpCloud stories, including those from your Enterprise solution, as well as data, collateral and views from any other web-based system. You can embed live versions of your Excel online tables, PowerPoint decks and views from BI project planning and risk systems, giving you a comprehensive, interactive and dynamic view across your strategic business portfolio and valuable new insights.

In the next blog, I’ll be discussing how the SharpCloud API provides a mechanism for other IT systems to communicate directly with the SharpCloud database and workflow tools such as SSIS, Informatica and Microsoft Flow, allowing you to communicate, interact, and collaborate across multiple apps, documents and data in context.

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