June 2018 Office 365 Updates

June 2018 Office 365 Updates



Each installment of the series is published on YouTube to the Office 365 Update Series Playlist (https://aka.ms/o365update-youtube) which is part of the Office Videos Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/officevideos).


The companion blog at http://aka.ms/o365update-blog hosts this document and articles related to this video series.


Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for June 2018.

In the next few minutes I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates, with goal of helping you get the most out of the service.

Training Services

Source:       The SharePoint Community Blog: Introducing Microsoft Training Services

Newsflash! New capabilities in any product or service do nobody any good unless people actually use them. For Office 365, one challenge to using new capabilities is knowing they exist and what value they provide. That’s the focus of in this video. Another hurdle, and one I frequently hear from listeners, is training users on how to use Office 365 capabilities, both new and existing, to get work done. While I’ve touched on some great training already available in past videos, and provided links to training resources in the companion blog, there is also news on that front.

On May 21st, Microsoft announced Microsoft Training Services, a digital, customized learning service for Office 365 and Windows 10. The training is designed to help customers leverage learning to transform their organizations without investing heavily in training and change management resources.

To date, 25 organizations have participated in the pre-pilot phase, helping to develop and test the service, which includes:

  • Customizable, always up-to-date content,
  • Experiences right-sized to an organization’s needs, and
  • Metrics on training materials users consume and the types of custom playlists they create and share.

Microsoft Training Services will be available as a pilot in late July 2018. To be added to the pilot waitlist or to learn more, register at https://aka.ms/mtspilot.


Source:       Microsoft 365 Blog: New Calendar, Mail, and mobile Outlook features help you get things done

New Outlook features across Windows, Mac, web, and mobile, help you manage your time and keep what matters most front and center.

Adding a new meeting or a location for an event just got easier and faster in Outlook for iOS. Even before you start typing, Outlook offers suggestions for your meeting location, including recently used conference rooms and other common locations such as “my office.” Once you start to type in the location field, Outlook suggests options, powered by Bing, and then autocompletes your meeting location with the necessary information, including the full address for public locations.

In iOS, Outlook will use your current location, your destination address, and traffic updates to send you a notification to let you know when it is time to leave for your next meeting. Note that this feature will be coming soon to Outlook for Windows.

Let’s face it. Some meetings are more important than others. Don’t tell my boss, but one criterion I sometimes use to determine if I’m going to attend a meeting is who else is going to be there. Up until recently, determining who would be attending a meeting could be challenging because meeting invitation responses were only visible to the meeting organizer.

Now, Outlook allows you to see the tracked responses and RSVPs for the meetings you’re invited to, even when you’re not the organizer. This insight enables you to better manage your time and decide if you should attend based on the plans of others. For example, if I’m invited to two meetings that overlap, and I can see that one of my colleagues is attending one of the meetings, I could elect to attend the other meeting and then sync with my colleague afterwards.

If you are planning a meeting that requires tight control of the attendee list, Outlook now gives you the option to allow or prevent the forwarding of your calendar invitation.

Do you collaborate with people in different time zones? I do, every day. That’s why I was thrilled when the Outlook team added more time zone functionality to Outlook. This has become indispensable when I’m planning meetings and looking for “time zone friendly” meeting times.

In Windows, you can now display up to three time zones in your calendar grid. Just click on File, then Options, then on the Calendar section. Under Time Zones,  you can add whichever Time Zones you would like to see.

In Outlook for Mac, you can add one additional Time Zone under Outlook Preferences.

Now, at a glance, you can understand what’s happening and when around the globe with Outlook.

The April 30th Office Blog post has additional details on all these features, as well as a preview of new features coming soon to Outlook on iOS and Android, including:

  • The ability to sync your drafts folder from your desktop to your mobile device,
  • Office Lens functionality for adding captured whiteboards, documents, and photos directly to new Outlook messages, and
  • the ability to tag your favorite people to keep your key contacts front and center in your mobile search experience, and more.

I’ll keep you posted on when these new features become available in future videos.

OneDrive and SharePoint

Source:       OneDrive Blog: New Capabilities for OneDrive Announced Today at SharePoint Conference North America

Microsoft 365 Blog: SharePoint innovations transform content collaboration with mixed reality and AI

At the May SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, several exciting features were announced for both SharePoint and OneDrive. Here are some of the highlights.

First, improvements in the built-in scan feature in the OneDrive mobile app for both iOS and Android. It’s now accessed from the dedicated icon in the tab bar making it easy to add images, multiple page files, and annotations right to your OneDrive.

There’s also improved upload support in OneDrive for Business with automatic uploads for photos and videos captured to your phone’s camera roll.

Another new feature is the ability to set and require a password when you share a file or folder with other people. This prevents others from accessing your files if your intended recipient accidentally forwards or shares the link. Note that this feature is independent from the secure external sharing controls managed by IT administrators.

In addition, you now have the ability to prevent users from downloading files shared via view-only links. This enables you to share Office documents in the cloud while preventing people from downloading and keeping offline copies.

There are several feature enhancements specific to Office 365 Administrators, including the ability to automatically connect and synchronize SharePoint team sites as part of a OneDrive deployment or upgrade process. For all the details and additional news, read the OneDrive blog post I link to in the transcript and resources document.

One news item that generated a lot of buzz at the SharePoint Conference was Microsoft’s unveiling SharePoint Spaces. Leveraging Microsoft’s investment in artificial intelligence and mixed reality, SharePoint Spaces are immersive, mixed reality experiences that enables users to view and interact with content from every angle. They can also visualize and manipulate data and product models in real-time.

With this innovation, SharePoint will become the first unified content collaboration and services solution to span files, websites, and soon, mixed reality spaces. Customers and partners can apply to be part of an early, limited preview of SharePoint spaces by clicking on the link in the May 21st Microsoft Blog post.

Windows Title Bar

The Title Bar has been a fixture in the Windows interface since the first version released to manufacturing 32 years ago. I’m happy to report title bar functionality in Office 365 has taken a huge leap forward in the name of productivity improvement.

Click on the title bar and a new drop-down enables you to take several actions, including:

  • quickly re-name the current document,
  • open the document’s location,
  • share the document via an invitation or a link, and
  • quickly access the document’s version history.

Truth be told, I sort of stumbled across this hidden gem in the Windows version of Office recently myself. But since doing so, I’ve particularly found the ability to open the document’s location to be a big productivity booster. Give it a try and I’m sure you’ll find how much it can speed up your work.


Source:       Trust Center: How our products help with GDPR compliance

Trust Center: Preparing for a new era in privacy regulation

Trust Center: Office 365 helps enable data privacy for GDPR compliance

On May 25th of this year, enforcement began on a European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, better known as GDPR.

This law imposes new rules on companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations that offer goods and services to people in the European Union, or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents, regardless of where the organization is physically located.

GDPR is obviously a huge topic that we cannot adequately address in the time we have together, but we can at least get you started.

One essential step to meeting the GDPR obligations is discovering and controlling what personal data the organization holds and where it resides. Many Office 365 solutions can help you identify and manage access to personal data, including:

  • Data Loss Prevention,
  • Advanced Data Governance,
  • Office 365 eDiscovery, and
  • Customer Lockbox.

A second core requirement of the GDPR is protecting personal data against security threats. Current Office 365 features that safeguard data and identify when a data breach occurs include:

  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Advanced Security Management, and
  • Office 365 Audit logs.

I’ve provided links in the transcript and resources guide to pages in the Microsoft Trust Center that address GDPR and what Microsoft is doing to safeguard individual privacy with the Microsoft Cloud.


That’s all we have time for. Remember to send your feedback or success stories to [email protected]

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

read more
empty.authorJune 2018 Office 365 Updates

May 2018 Office 365 Updates

May 2018 Office 365 Updates



Each installment of the series is published on YouTube to the Office 365 Update Series Playlist (https://aka.ms/o365update-youtube) which is part of the Office Videos Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/officevideos).


The companion blog at http://aka.ms/o365update-blog hosts this document and articles related to this video series.


Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for May of 2018. In the next few minutes I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates, with the goal of helping you get the most out of the service.


Source: Office Blog: New in March—rich data types, intelligent search, and expanded datacenters

Excel Blog: Preview of Stocks and Geography, New Data Types in Excel

Excel Blog: Experience the newest set of features and fast performance in Excel for Mac Version 16

Insights in Excel

Every day, millions of Office 365 subscribers rely on Excel to perform complex analysis for their organizations’ data. For many, however, extracting key insights from a new data set can be time consuming and even a little intimidating.

Microsoft recently announced the preview of Insights in Excel, a new service that automatically highlights patterns in your data. When you have any cell highlighted in an Excel data table, simply click the Insights button from the Insert ribbon. Powered by machine learning, Insights quickly identify trends, outliers, and other useful visualizations, providing new perspectives on data.

In this example, insights delivered over 30 suggested results that you can quickly scroll through.

When you find insights you like, just drop them into your workbook with one click. A new tab is created with PivotChart controls that enable you to further modify the chart if you need to.

New Data Types

Another new Excel feature, currently available only to Office Insiders, is support for new data types. These new data types are fundamentally different than the traditional cell contents which hold values, formulas, and text labels. The first two, new data types in preview are Stocks and Geography.

Say you have a list of countries, you can convert it to the new Geography data type by clicking on the command in the Data ribbon. Now the cell isn’t holding just the name of each country. It now contains a rich set of additional information behind the scenes. Clicking on the icon next to each item shows a data card displaying all the extra information in that cell.

Better yet, if you have the data in an Excel table, you can see a widget that lets you pull the additional data into a column of its own. In this case, I’ll add the population for each country.

Note that Excel didn’t just copy that data out of the cell. It actually created a formula for you. All the data available in this new data type is calculation enabled. This means that you can write your own formulas referencing any of the fields available in the new data type’s cell.

It’s not just States or Countries either. The new data types support things like postal codes, cities, as well as stocks, index funds, and other financial data. The Excel team plans to add more data types over time, including the ability to extend this capability to data unique to your organization. I’ll keep you posted in future updates. For now, I encourage you to read the March 29th Excel blog post I link to in the transcript and resources document available in the Office 365 Guy Blog. And remember, it’s only available to Office Insiders right now.

Excel for Mac

I know we have some passionate, and vocal, Excel for Mac enthusiasts in the audience. While Excel for Mac 2016 version 16.9.0 has been live since January, there have been several feature updates since then. An April 10th Excel Blog post covers eight Excel for Mac feature improvements, including the addition of more functions and charts; collaborative editing, more robust support for PivotTable Charts, and more. Be sure to check the blog post and continue to make your voice heard via the Excel virtual suggestion box at excel.uservoice.com.


Source: HowTo Outlook: Outlook 2016 Update for May 2018

Office Support: Listen to your email messages

Prompt Before “Reply All”

Say you need to send an important or sensitive email to a colleague and you want to keep your manager informed. But for whatever reason, you don’t want the mail recipient to know you’re also sending it to your manager.

Enter the email bcc feature, which stands for blind carbon copy, a term actually borrowed from when we wrote business correspondence on typewriters, or heaven-forbid, by hand, using a copy medium called carbon paper.

Only the person that was “blind carbon copied” on the memo then, and the email now would know they received it.

“Replying All” to an email you are bcc’d on it usually defeats the purpose of the reason for the bcc in the first place. Outlook’s new “Prompt before replying all” feature was designed to help ensure discretion when replying to emails when you’re a bcc recipient. If you’re on the bcc line and you click Reply All, Outlook will alert you with the message, “Your address was hidden when this message was sent. If you Reply All, everyone will know you received it.”

This helps ensure you don’t accidentally reveal that you received the original message unbeknownst to the other recipients, and perhaps more importantly, saves the sender from a potentially awkward conversation with the other recipients.

I’ve added a link to learn more about this new feature in the resource guide. And for the more inquisitive millennials in the audience who want to learn a little bit more about the fascinating history of carbon paper and all its uses, consider doing a search using your preferred web browser.

Read Emails Aloud

As voice-enabled virtual assistants like Cortana take on more-and-more tasks, the ability listen to my emails rather than read them is a natural progression. Another new Outlook feature being rolling out to Office Insiders enables you to listen to your emails.

If you’re an Office Insider, you can enable this feature by clicking on File, then Options, then click on the Ease of Access section. Add a check to Show Read Aloud, and the option will appear on the Home ribbon.


Source: Planner Blog: View Planner tasks on your Outlook calendar

Office Support: View your tasks on a calendar

In the March update, I covered several Planner enhancements, including new Group and Filter options. I also mentioned that, coming soon, a new iCalendar format feed would enable you to quickly publish Planner tasks to your Outlook calendar.

I’m happy to announce that on April 11th, the Planner team released that feature and it couldn’t be simpler to set up. In Planner, go to My Tasks, click on the ellipses and then on “Add ‘My Tasks’ to Outlook calendar,” then click on the Add to Outlook link. Your Planner tasks will be visible on your Outlook calendar and you can easily toggle their visibility on and off.

This integration will ensure that you don’t miss any task deadlines. For additional details, read the Planner blog post I link to in the transcript and resources guide.

SharePoint Search

Source: Office Blog: New in March—rich data types, intelligent search, and expanded datacenters

Office Support: What’s new in search in SharePoint Online

Last September at Microsoft Ignite, we announced new search capabilities in SharePoint Online that enable the discovery of people, information, and expertise from across your organization. This personalized experience is now rolling out to all Office 365 subscribers.

Now, wherever you start your search in SharePoint or Office.com, you’ll see consistent, personalized results powered by the Microsoft Graph. The search results are arranged into sections: Sites, Files, People, and News.

You can expand the search results to see more information before opening the item, and you have the choice of opening the item or going to the location where the file is stored. That’s huge!

When you exit a search results page, you return to the page where you started your search. Try this new search capability today and I think you’ll find, as I did, how powerful and flexible it is.

Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center

Source: Office Blog: Security, Privacy and Compliance Blog: Introducing the Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Center

Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. The new Microsoft 365 Admin Center, which I covered last month, is a single place for admins to get started with Microsoft 365 and discover the breadth of management capabilities and experiences available.

In early April, Microsoft rolled out the first of two key components I mentioned last month: the Security & Compliance Center. It maintains the centralized experience, intelligence, and customization that Office 365 security and compliance center offers today. It gives data administrators, compliance officers, and security administrators robust security and compliance controls across Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows, all in a single place.

Over the coming months, Microsoft will continue to add new capabilities to help admins deploy and manage security and compliance solutions, helping organizations optimize their resources.

For Microsoft 365 customers, the new admin experience will be available automatically, once rolled out to your tenant.

Microsoft Score

Source: Security, Privacy and Compliance Blog: Office 365 Secure Score is now Microsoft Secure Score

Secure Score analyzes your Office 365 organization’s security based on your regular activities and security settings, and then assigns a score. Many people think of it as a credit score but for organizational security, only you can’t use Secure Score to get a loan.

Back in the February update video, I made this promise:

Coming soon, Microsoft will be introducing an industry average score in Secure Score. This will show how your score compares to other organizations that have designated the same industry.

That day has arrived, but first I have some important news regarding the service overall. A common piece of feedback Microsoft heard was that is great for Office 365, but what about other Microsoft solutions? To address that feedback, on April 17th Microsoft announced that Office 365 Secure Score is now Microsoft Secure Score. Microsoft Secure Score builds on top of what was in Office 365 Secure Score and adds even more.

One new feature you will notice as soon as you log in is the new Microsoft score which is made up of your Office 365 Secure Score and your Windows Secure Score. The Windows score come from Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, or ATP, which provides information about the status of your antivirus, operating system security updates, firewall status, and other controls. To get the details of your Windows score, you can click on the “Windows Defender Security Center” link below your Windows score to go directly to the dashboard in Windows Defender ATP.

Beyond adding Windows to Secure Score, Microsoft Secure Score now supports Intune. This surfaces though the existing mobile device management controls.

Lastly, you’ll be able to compare your Secure Score against the scores of organizations in the same industry based on what industry you designate in the Service Assurance section of the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center.

To try out Microsoft Secure Score now you can go to securescore.microsoft.com and log in with your administrative credentials, or click on the Secure Score widget on the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center home page.


That’s all we have time for. Remember, send your feedback or success stories to [email protected].

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

read more
empty.authorMay 2018 Office 365 Updates

April 2018 Office 365 Updates

April 2018 Office 365 Updates



Each installment of the series is published on YouTube to the Office 365 Update Series Playlist (https://aka.ms/o365update-youtube) which is part of the Office Videos Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/officevideos).


The companion blog at http://aka.ms/o365update-blog hosts this document and articles related to this video series.



Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for April 2018.

In the next few minutes I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates, with goal of helping you get the most out of the service.

Microsoft Teams

Source:   Microsoft Teams Blog: Collaborate securely with anyone in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace in Office 365 that brings together people, conversations, content, and apps that enable teams to collaborate more effectively. Sometimes, those team members you want to collaborate with are outside the organization. That’s why Microsoft recently added the ability to add anyone as a guest in Microsoft Teams.

I know some of the Teams power users watching this might be thinking, “I’ve been able to add guests for a while now.” That’s true, but up until now, guests had to have an Azure Active Directory account. That’s no longer the case. Now anyone with a business or consumer email account, such as Outlook.com, Gmail, iCloud, and others can participate in Microsoft Teams as a guest, with access to team chats, meetings, and files. In addition, all guests are covered by the same compliance and auditing protection as the rest of Office 365.

To add a guest to a team, select Add Members in the menu next to the team name. Then add the guest’s email address. The invitee will receive a welcome email message with information about the team and what to expect now that they’re a member. Note that guests still need to have a Microsoft account associated with their email to participate. If the guest doesn’t yet have a Microsoft Account associated with their email address, they will be directed to create one for free.

Teams that include guests will be identified with text and icons throughout the Teams user interface to give all team members a clear indication that there are guests in that team.

For additional details, including a video on how to enable guest access in Microsoft Teams, follow the link I provide in the transcript and resources document posted on the Office 365 Guy Blog.

SharePoint Hub Sites

Source:   SharePoint Community Blog: Organize your intranet with SharePoint hub sites

Here at Microsoft, we have, shall we say, an abundance of SharePoint sites, and I suspect, and hope, your organization does as well. Our corporate Intranet runs on SharePoint, and we have team sites, departmental sites, document libraries, project management sites, and of course, the newest addition, communication sites, which I covered in last August’s update video.

If you’ve ever wished for an easy way to organize your SharePoint sites in an intuitive, logical way, I’ve got good news. In mid-March, Microsoft began rolling out hub sites to Targeted Release customers in Office 365.

SharePoint hub sites enable you to bring together associated sites into a single hub. The hub enhances discovery and user engagement, while creating a consistent look and feel to your project, department, or region.

For example, an HR SharePoint hub site can link and aggregate content from SharePoint sites dedicated to new hires, employee benefits, and recognition. A regional SharePoint hub can contain content from local team sites, communication sites, and project sites.

Bringing associated sites into a single hub has several benefits, including:

  • Scoped search, which enables you to focus on finding content that resides within the hub’s associated sites;
  • Content rollup, so you can read news and announcement across related sites in one spot; and
  • Easier cross-site navigation, which allows you to quickly get to related sites from the hub rather than going to each one individually.

Hub sites improve governance, giving admins a growth framework to maintain relationships between sites over time. And when managing change within the business, it’s easy to move a SharePoint site from one hub to another.

To learn more about this great new capability, read the SharePoint Community blog post I link to in the transcript and resources document. Remember, hub sites are rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365, so I’ll keep you posted when it’s becomes generally available.

Power BI

Source:  Power BI Blog: Announcing Persistent Filters in the Power BI Service

Power BI Blog: Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

I covered Power BI slicers last month. This month, I have two new Power BI features to highlight, custom tool tips and persistent filters. Custom tool tips, currently in preview, lets you design a custom report page to be used as a tooltip for other visuals, enabling you to communicate more information on a single report. The March 7th Power BI blog post includes step-by-step instructions and a video walk-through on how to enable it since it is still in preview.

The second new feature I’m excited to share is one that many Power BI users have been asking for: persistent filters. Starting in mid-March, all Power BI reports will now automatically retain the filters, slicers, and other data view changes that you make. You no longer need to spend your time re-applying filters and slicers each time you return to a Power BI report. With persistent filters, you can pick up where you left off last time and quickly get to the insights that matter most.

With this update, you’ll notice a new button on the top bar that says, “Reset to default”. When you first open a report, this will be greyed out. It essentially means that you are viewing the author’s published view of the report and have not made any changes.  As soon as you interact with the report by applying a filter or slicer, the button will light up and the reset icon turns yellow, enabling you to quickly revert to the published view.

Here’s a list of data view changes in reports that currently persist:

  • Filters
  • Slicers
  • Sort order
  • Drill location

Note that custom visuals are not yet supported, but the Power BI team is working hard to get the most popular custom visuals compatible with persistent filters.

Microsoft 365 Admin Center

Source:  Office 365 Blog: Introducing the Microsoft 365 Admin Center

Last July, at Microsoft’s Inspire event in Washington DC, we unveiled Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.  Microsoft 365 delivers a complete, intelligent, and secure solution for the modern workplace, and unifies management across users, devices, apps, and services.

On March 2nd, Microsoft unveiled a new admin experience for Microsoft 365 enterprise customers: the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, a single place for admins to get started with Microsoft 365 and discover the breadth of management capabilities and experiences available.

The new Microsoft 365 Admin Center includes two key components which will be rolling out soon:

  • A Security & Compliance Center, dedicated to providing security and compliance specialists with integrated management capabilities across Office 365, Windows, and Enterprise Mobility and Security.
  • Microsoft 365 Device Management, which is dedicated to providing integrated device management capabilities across Intune, Office, and Windows.

The Security and Compliance Center will be available shortly, with Device Management to follow, soon thereafter.

Over the coming months we will continue investing in more integrated, streamlined administration experiences across Microsoft 365 to help organizations become more productive and secure while optimizing their IT resources. We will also continue to improve the admin’s user experience, so they complete their tasks faster and easier, and get more accomplished.

For Microsoft 365 customers, the new admin experience will be availability automatically, once this is rolled out to your tenant.


Many of you have asked if there is a way to be notified when a new edition of the Office 365 update is published. While YouTube does let you configure channel update notifications, the Update Series is a playlist, and I haven’t discovered how to configure per-playlist notifications in YouTube. This situation gave me a good excuse to see if Microsoft Flow could help.

I’m already subscribed to the Office 365 Channel, signed into YouTube, and all setup with Microsoft Flow. My goal is to create a Flow to email me when a new Office 365 update is posted.

I access Flow from the app launcher. While there are more than 200 services you can connect to and a bunch of templates already available, we’ll create our own Flow from scratch.

To do that, I’ll click on My Flows.

Then I’ll select Create a flow from blank.

I’ll give the Flow a name.

I’ll type in YouTube in the search box, then select the trigger, When a new video is uploaded by a channel.

I’ll pick the Microsoft Office 365 channel from the dropdown list, then click New step.

I’ll add a condition, select Video list after clicking Add dynamic content, then contains, then enter Office 365 update.

Then in the Yes section, click add action,

Then select send an email from the dropdown list

Specify the To, Subject, and Body Info and click save flow.

Going forward, I’ll receive an update every time a new Office 365 Update is posted. Give it a try yourself if you’re interested and consult the transcript and resources doc to learn more.


That’s all we have time for. Remember, send your feedback or success stories to [email protected].

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

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empty.authorApril 2018 Office 365 Updates

March 2018 Office 365 Updates

March 2018 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for March of 2018.

In the next few minutes I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates, with the goal of helping you get the most out of the service.


Source:  Yammer Blog: Now available: Move conversations in Yammer!

Yammer Blog: Now available: Seen counts in Yammer!

Yammer helps organizations drive open conversations. It enables you to collaborate, share updates, and crowdsource answers from your coworkers around the globe.

I sometimes come across situations where one Yammer group can expand to involve more people and topics than originally planned. For example, a conversation that started between product marketers may branch out into topics related to product support. Another example is when someone posts a question in one group, but the question could be better addressed by experts in another community. I’ve experienced that second situation quite a bit, myself.

To address these scenarios, the Yammer team recently added a feature that lets you move conversations between groups in Yammer. Here’s how it works:

First, identify the post you want to move, then click on the ellipses at the top of the first message in the thread. You’ll see a Move Conversation option. Click on that, then select destination group to move the conversation to. You can add a note for context, letting everyone know why the conversation is being moved to the new group. Then simply click the Move button and the conversation will be moved to the new group.

I’ve found this feature to be very handy in the communities I manage here and Microsoft, and if you’re a regular Yammer user, I’m sure you will too.

Ever wonder if anyone is actually looking at your Yammer posts? Then you’ll love the new seen counts feature. This new capability helps me better understand the impact my posts are having, for better or for worse, by displaying the number of people who have seen the message. Note that, at the time of this recording, seen counts is currently visible only to the original creator of the post. However, the Yammer developers are experimenting with letting you see the counts for any conversation that you have access to, so these new seen counts may be visible more broadly in Yammer by the time you watch this video.

Microsoft Teams

Source:  Office Blog: New ways to use apps and get more done in Microsoft Teams

While Yammer facilitates broad communication with people in your organization across workgroups, Microsoft Teams can be more suitable for collaboration within a specific team or workgroup.

New features in Microsoft Teams make it an even more powerful hub for teamwork by enabling you to use apps in new ways, including the ability to command apps and take quick actions from the command box. You can now also include specific content from an app in a conversation.

Up until now, you had to add screenshots and hyperlinks to your posts in Microsoft Teams. Now you can bring rich information from apps into a chat or channel message with a simple click. For example, you can search for a specific task in Trello, a work item in Wrike, or a weather forecast, and include an interactive card with that information right into your message.

The new personal apps space in Microsoft Teams makes it easy for you to access the apps you care about and see all the items that you have been assigned to across apps. You can view tasks in Planner, issues in Jira Cloud, or requests in Bitbucket Cloud, all right within Teams. You can also easily see items you have recently accessed, such as OneNote notebooks or videos from Microsoft Stream.

Search is one key way people navigate in Teams to get to the information they’re looking for, and now it’s even better. Slash commands are now integrated with search so you both search and take quick actions right from the same command box at the top of the screen.

For example, you can use a slash command to set your status to “away,” or call a coworker. To get started with slash commands, just type a slash in the command box to see the list of commands currently available.

These updates to Microsoft Teams mark the biggest release of new functionality since Teams launched last March. You can read all the details in the January 29th Microsoft Teams blog that I link to in the transcript and resources document.

OneDrive File Restore

Source:  OneDrive Blog: Announcing New OneDrive for Business feature: Files Restore

Keeping your files safe and secure is Microsoft’s top priority. Office 365 administrators are empowered to safeguard their organization’s data using capabilities such as Data Loss Prevention, eDiscovery, service level encryption, and data retention controls with consistent management across Office 365.

Even with this level of sophistication, files could still be compromised due to accidental end-user deletion, file corruption, or malware infection. Until now the recovery process from such an event could take time and potentially result in data loss.

I’m excited to share the news that the OneDrive team recently announced a new feature called Files Restore for all OneDrive for Business customers.

Files Restore is a complete self-service recovery solution that allows administrators and end users to restore files from any point in time during the last 30 days. Now both users and administrators can rewind changes, using activity data to select the exact moment to revert to.

Files Restore for OneDrive for Business can save time and stress when file loss occurs, putting end users and administrators in control. This capability started rolling out to all OneDrive for Business users in late January and should be available by the time you watch this video. For step-by-step instructions on how to use this new feature, consult the January 22nd OneDrive blog post we link to in the transcript and resources guide.

OneDrive on iOS

Source:  OneDrive Blog: New features make Office and OneDrive the best place to work on iPad and iPhone

In our continued effort to bring the best in class experiences on all devices, Microsoft recently released new functionality in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive on iOS that will make iPad and iPhone users more productive.

Now, using real-time co-authoring, you and your colleagues can contribute to, and edit, documents simultaneously in the iOS apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You can see who else is working with you in a document, see where they’re working, and view changes automatically within seconds.

This means that co-authoring is available to you in Office Online, the latest versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on both PC and Mac, and now on iOS.

One of the most common and powerful tasks when creating content is pulling in text, photos, graphs, and other objects from different sources. Now you can pull in content with ease on your iPad with drag and drop support in Office and OneDrive.

In addition, Microsoft recently announced native support for the Files app in iOS 11. integration with the Files app allows you to access, upload, edit, and save your content to OneDrive or SharePoint from apps that support Files app integration. You can also tag and favorite your OneDrive and SharePoint files from within the Files app for seamless integration.

Power BI

Source:  Power BI Blog: Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Microsoft Docs: Slicers in Power BI service (Tutorial)

The February Power BI blog announced several new features, including many new capabilities requested by Power BI users. They include the ability to multi-select data points across multiple charts and, a feature I’m going to use immediately, the ability to sync slicer values across multiple pages of your report.

In Power BI a slicer narrows the portion of the dataset shown in the other visualizations on the page. Up until now, Power BI slicers only applied to a single page, but with this update, you can sync slicer values across multiple pages of your report.

The Power BI Team has added a new “Sync slicers” pane that enables you to select slicers to stay in sync across multiple pages. You can reach the new Sync slicers pane from the View tab. Once you’ve opened the pane, select a slicer to see the options. You can quickly make the slicer apply to every page by clicking the ‘Add to all’ link.

You’ll find additional details on this and other features, including some great videos, in the February 5th Power BI blog.


Source:  Blog: Conquer time with new features in Microsoft Planner

In last November’s Office 365 update, I covered Planner’s new Schedule view. The schedule view also supports drag-and-drop, enabling you to not only quickly add tasks but to move the start and due dates right on the calendar.

The February 5th Office Blog post announced several Planner enhancements, including new Group and Filter options that give you deeper insights into your tasks to help you meet key deadlines. For example, you can filter your tasks by due date to better understand approaching deadlines.

New due date notifications via email summarize tasks due in the coming week, helping you stay on top of your approaching deliverables.

And, coming soon, a new iCalendar format feed that enables you to finally publish Planner tasks to your Outlook calendar. I’m really looking forward to that.

Haven’t used Planner yet? You can get started easily by visiting tasks.office.com.


That’s all we have time for. Remember, you can download the transcript and resources document from the Office 365 Guy blog at aka.ms/o365update-blog. I love reading your comments so post them on the blog or send them to [email protected]

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

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empty.authorMarch 2018 Office 365 Updates

February 2018 Office 365 Updates

February 2018 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for February 2018.

In the next few minutes I’ll give you a quick rundown of the latest updates to the service, with goal of helping you get the most out of your investment. We cover things rather quickly, so please refer to the Office 365 Guy Blog where we post the transcript and resources guide.

3D Animations

Source: Office Support: What’s new in Office 365: Get moving with 3D models

Last October, I covered the growing support for 3D models in PowerPoint. In that segment, I showed you how 3D graphics become even more dynamic when combined with PowerPoint’s Morph transition. Simply duplicate your slide, reposition your 3D model, select the Morph transition, and PowerPoint creates a smooth, cinematic transition between slides.

Good news: 3D support in PowerPoint just got even better. Office 365 subscribers can now add animation effects to 3D objects on a single slide. Now, there are animation effects specific to 3D images. Simply click on your 3D model, and an Animation Ribbon displays the options. There are also effective options specific to each 3D animation. Once applied, they can be managed and sequenced in the Animation Pane just like traditional PowerPoint animations.

Vector Graphics

Source: Office Support: What’s new in Office 365: Convert SVG icons into shapes

Back in December 2016, I covered scalable vector graphics:

Now you can insert and edit scalable vector graphics and images in your Office documents. We’ve even added a built-in library of professional, high-quality icons to get you started. Since these graphics are vector-based, they look great at any size without becoming, to use a scientific term, pixelated. Once added, you can apply styles, change the line color, change the fill color, and add other effects.

Vector graphics became even more flexible in mid-January. Now, after adding a graphic, Office 365 subscribers will see a new “Convert to Shape” option in the Graphics Tools Format Ribbon. This enables you to transform SVG pictures and icons into Office shapes so you can change individual elements within the graphic, like their color, size, and texture.

Remember, vector graphics aren’t limited to PowerPoint. You can also use them in Word, Excel, and Outlook emails. For more information, go to the What’s new in Office 365 page on the Office Support site I link to in the transcript.

Outlook Cheat Sheets

Source: Blog: TechCommunity: Outlook Cheat Sheet PDFs available to download in 37 languages

Introduced at Microsoft’s Ignite event in Orlando last September, the Outlook Cheat Sheets, available in PDF format, have been a big hit. They show you how to quickly accomplish useful tasks in Outlook Mail and Calendar across platforms. There are specific Cheat Sheets for Outlook on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Outlook on the Web.

In addition, the Microsoft Office International team has translated these Cheat Sheets into 36 languages.

If you want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of Outlook on the devices you use, download the Outlook Cheat Sheet of your choice from Support.Office.com.

Outlook on Mac

Source: TechCommunity: Insider Slow: Outlook for Mac now supports creating tables

Feature parity across Office for Windows and Office for Mac benefits everyone, but it isn’t always a reality for various reasons.

One feature on the Mac that recently caught up with its Windows counterpart is support for tables in Outlook for Mac. Now, everything that you can do with tables in the Mac version of Microsoft Word, you can now do in Outlook on Mac.

Simply insert a table in a new email, and you’ll see two new tabs in the compose window ribbon: Table Design and Layout. Commands in these two tabs will allow you to tailor the table just the way you want to.

Outlook on Mac – UX/UI Improvements

Source: TechCommunity: Insider Slow: Insider Slow: Several UI/UX improvements in Outlook for Mac!

In addition to tables, there are a few small updates to the user interface of Outlook on Mac, that I’ve been enjoying. In the past, you could only resize the text of an email in the Reading Pane. But with this update, you can set the default text size universally. Simply go to Outlook, Preferences, and Fonts. You now have a slider to change the text display size.

In addition, Outlook on Mac now supports swiping gestures on your trackpad to triage your In Box. A two-finger swipe to the right or the left when the mouse is over an email in the item list, will give you the option to either delete the message or archive it.

If you’re a Mac enthusiast or a user like me who works on both platforms, I’m sure you will welcome these improvements.


Source: TechCommunicty: Create and use custom SharePoint site designs in Office 365

On January 10th, the SharePoint team announced the ability to create and use custom SharePoint site designs. These custom design sites serve as templates for other sites in the organization.

This enhancement enables IT and content managers to create and deploy ‘modern’ SharePoint sites in a repeatable way that is compliant with your organizations guidelines and preferences, and supports your organization’s brand.

You can create a tenant-wide gallery of SharePoint site designs. Each new site can be assigned the right set of themes and designs by the right people. You can also assign who can pick and use specific designs when they’re ready to create a new site.

I provide a link to additional details in the Office 365 Guy blog. Note that this feature is currently rolling out to Targeted Release Office 365 customers. I’ll let you know when this SharePoint enhancement rolls out to all customers in a future video. What’s Targeted Release you ask? I put a link on the blog with more info.

SharePoint – New Editing Capabilities

Source: TechCommunity: SharePoint pages and image editing updates in Office 365

There are additional enhancements to SharePoint editing capabilities available Targeted Release Office 365 customers. If you’re not a Targeted Release participant, consider this a sneak preview and rest assured these features will be released to the full production environment soon.

These new SharePoint editing enhancements include the ability create a new page starting with an existing one. When you click on New, you’ll have the option to either create a blank page or start with a copy of the page you’re currently on. This will save you time and energy recreating elements that you’ve already designed.

One of the most requested SharePoint features is being fulfilled with support for rich text editing. When you add a Text web part, the embedded rich text editor gives you greater control for how your text appears. You can adjust the size, bold, underline and spacing.

In addition, you can easily add an image to a SharePoint page or news article, and when you do, you can further edit it by cropping or zooming to customize it for your layout. You can also pull in online, royalty-free images, powered by Bing, that are tagged with the Creative Common license.

There are additional details in the SharePoint blog. And again, I’ll keep you posted on when these enhancements are available beyond Targeted Release Office 365 customers.

PowerApps custom visual for Power BI

Source: PowerApps Blog: Announcing availability of PowerApps custom visual for Power BI (preview)

Power BI empowers everyone to get deep insights from their data and make better business decisions, while PowerApps enables everyone to build and use business apps which connect to your data. Doesn’t it sound like these two solutions should play well together? Well, good news: they do!

I am happy to announce the availability of the PowerApps Custom Visual for Power BI (now in preview) which enables you to use these two products even better—together.

After adding the PowerApps custom visual to PowerBI, you’ll be able to pass context aware data to your PowerApps application. The app will update in real time as you make changes to your PowerBI report.

This integration enables users to derive business insights and take actions right within their Power BI reports and dashboards. No need to switch tabs to open the separate apps, or copy and paste data from one window to another.

For the details and to participate in this preview, follow the link I provide in the transcript.

Secure Score

Source: TechCommunity: Updates to Office 365 Secure Score

Microsoft has received a lot of feedback from our customers on how to make Secure Score better. Many Office 365 Admins requested the ability of comparing their score against the average score of all Office 365 tenants. However, is it really fair to compare the score of an organization that has 70 seats against an organization that has 70,000 seats?

The Secure Score team came up with a solution. They grouped tenants into seven tiers based on the number of Office 365 active seats. Now, your organization’s Secure Score will be compared to an average seat size score, helping to ensure that the comparison between the scores is relevant.

Coming soon, Microsoft will be introducing an industry average score in Secure Score. This will show how your score compares to other organizations that have designated the same industry. Stay tuned for details. I’ll provide an update on this enhancement to Secure Score as soon as it’s released.

Security & Compliance

Source: TechCommunity: New in Office 365 security & compliance – January update

TechCommunity: Compliance Manager Preview is now available

Compliance requirements can be complex to interpret, difficult to track, and labor-intensive to implement. And with new regulations and changes coming constantly, keeping up can be difficult and expensive.

Microsoft’s Compliance Manager, now available in public preview, enables you to manager your compliance from one place. It enables you to perform a risk assessment of your organization’s compliance with regulations and standards, such as GDPR, ISO 27001 and ISO 27018.

Compliance Manager helps connect data protection solutions with the regulatory requirements that matter to you, as well as enabling you to evaluate Microsoft’s cloud services (such as Office 365) with detailed audit information. To simplify your compliance workflow, Compliance Manager also enables you to assign, track, record compliance-related activities, and produce detailed reports that can help you be more prepared for audit activities.

For all the details, read the Security and Compliance blog post I link to in the transcript, which contains a video demo showcasing the Compliance Manager’s new capabilities.


Source: Microsoft Support: Protect your Windows devices against Spectre and Meltdown

Before signing off, I want to give you a quick update on two current security threats that you’ve probably been hearing about in the news: Meltdown and Spectre. They are a newly discovered class of vulnerabilities based on a common chip architecture that, when originally designed, was created to speed up computers.

Microsoft is well aware of these threats and has released several updates to help mitigate these vulnerabilities. We strongly encourage the installation of these updates to all computing devices from phones and tablets to on-premises datacenter servers. Rest assured, Microsoft has also deployed updates to secure our cloud services, including Office 365. Check out the information in the transcript and resource guide to learn more.


That’s it for the February update. Remember to send your feedback or success stories to [email protected].

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

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empty.authorFebruary 2018 Office 365 Updates

January 2018 Office 365 Updates

January 2018 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for January 2018.

In the next 10 minutes I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates, with the goal of helping you get the most out of your investment.


Source: Office Blog: Microsoft Whiteboard Preview—the freeform canvas for creative collaboration

On December 5th, Microsoft began rolling out the Whiteboard Preview app, a freeform digital canvas where people, ideas, and content can come together for creative collaboration. This new tool is built for anyone who engages in creative, freeform thinking. It’s designed for teams that ideate, iterate, and work together both in-person and remotely.

The whiteboard’s limitless surface ensures that imagination has the room to grow and provides space for everyone’s ideas. You can collaborate with teammates, whether they’re across the hall or in a different part of the world. You can see where everyone is on the board and the updates they’re making, whether they’re adding images, putting up sticky notes, or creating diagrams.

Microsoft Whiteboard employs intelligent ink that recognizes your freeform drawings, turning them into standard shapes, so it’s easy to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts. And unlike traditional whiteboards, the app automatically saves your boards, so you can pick up where you left off or share links to your boards, so others can build on top of your work. No need to take photos of your canvas or email photos to others when you need to get them up to speed.

The Whiteboard app is available today from the Office Store. Give it a try and see how easy it is to collaborate in this creative, new way.


Source: Microsoft Office Support: Turn your presentation into a video

Have you ever had a great PowerPoint presentation that you’ve wanted to share with a customer as a video so it plays automatically rather than having them open it up in PowerPoint? Or perhaps your customer is on an older version of PowerPoint that may not display all your slides as you intended.

It’s quite easy to share a high-fidelity version of your PowerPoint presentation as a video, and while PowerPoint has had the ability to export to High Definition video for a while, the Office Team recently added the ability to export to 4K Ultra-High definition, so your presentation will look fantastic on any monitor, no matter what the size.

Remember, you can record and time voice narration and add laser pointer movements in your video. Slide animations and transitions translate perfectly and if your presentation contains an embedded video, that video will play correctly within the finished MP4.

If you’d like additional details and tips on turning your PowerPoint presentations into videos, read the support article I link to in the transcript.


Source: Sway Blog: Time for a change—meet the new Sway.com

In the December update, I announced we were moving the transcripts that accompany these videos to the new Office 365 Guy Blog on TechNet. One of the options we considered before making that decision was to use Sway. For the time being, we decided to go with a blog rather than a Sway because it gives us more of an opportunity for dialog with you, our viewers.

Sway is Microsoft’s digital storytelling app, designed for creating beautiful, professional presentations that you can release easily on the Web. Did you know that Sway has an extremely handy import function? If you have content in Word or PowerPoint, you can import into a new Sway with just a few clicks. When we imported a transcript from a previous video during our tests, the results were very clean and the hyperlinks were still intact.

While we were experimenting with Sway, the Office Team implemented a refresh of the user interface. To make it easier to create and preview your Sway content, there are two new tabs called Storyline and Design. With Storyline, you can structure your Sway and create content with Cards and insert media, just like you always have. Clicking on Design lets you preview, make light edits, and use Styles to change the look and feel of your Sway. As you can see, all the same tools and features are there, they’ve just moved to the right side of the screen.

We keep discovering new uses for Sway. Give it a try at Sway.com and I think you will too.


Source: Yammer Blog: Measure and grow engagement with group insights in Yammer

I host a Microsoft internal Yammer group on this series. So I was surprised, and pleased, to see the Yammer team has recently released new reporting that empowers community managers like me to understand the activity happening in their Yammer groups.

Up until now, Yammer usage metrics have been available in the Office 365 admin center, which is something our IT organization hasn’t felt it appropriate to grant me access to. Now, insights for public groups can be accessed by anyone in your network by navigating to the View Group Insights link under Group Actions from the group’s news feed. Note that Insights for private groups are restricted to only members in that group.

Group Insights provides an overview of activity for the last 7 days, 28 days, and 12 months. It shows you:

How many members and non-members are active in the group,

The number of people who have posted messages, read messages, or liked messages, and

Trends of whether activity has been going up or down over time.

These insights enable you to track your engagement with content from campaigns or initiatives hosted in Yammer. It clearly identifies spikes in activity over the course of the year, month, or week so that you can report back to leaders and optimize efforts.

For additional details, read the article and the FAQ on the Yammer Blog.


Source: OneDrive Blog: Introducing a new secure external sharing experience

Microsoft recently introduced a new, secure, external file sharing experience. While I love the convenience of being able to share files stored on OneDrive or SharePoint with people inside my organization, I usually want a bit more security when sharing those file with people I collaborate with outside my organization.

Now, when sending secure links to outside recipients, they’re sent an email message with a time-limited, single-use verification code when they open the link. By entering the verification code, the user proves ownership of the email account to which the secure link was sent.

For added security, IT administrators can specify how often external recipients must get a new code and re-verify their email address. This ensures ongoing protection for all files and folders shared with external recipients.


Source: Office Blog: New in November—save time, stay secure, and do more

As organizations embrace digital transformation, it has never been more important for IT to ensure that employee and customer data is protected and handled appropriately.

Microsoft eDiscovery is a powerful tool that helps organizations analyze data across Office 365 to identify information that they have stored about a person or topic. Recent enhancements to Advanced eDiscovery enables Office 365 E5 subscribers to use a new content import capability to upload and analyze documents from outside Office 365. This extends the benefits of Advanced eDiscovery beyond Office 365, providing organizations with a single way to discover and manage compliance-related content across the organization.

Suggestion Box

Source: Microsoft TechNet: The Office 365 Guy Blog

As much as I wish it were true, not every Microsoft product planner and developer follows the comments section of my YouTube video series. That means they are most likely not seeing the many great feature requests and product feedback you, the viewers, are posting there.

What they do monitor, however, are the numerous virtual suggestions boxes for Office-related products and services. The best way to make voice heard and your vote count is to visit one of them and provide your feedback while there. I could not find an official list, so I’ve compiled a rather lengthy unofficial list of these resources. You can find it at the same place I make the transcript available. That’s the Office 365 guy blog at http://aka.ms/o365update-blog.


That’s all we have time for. Remember to send your feedback or success stories to [email protected].

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

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empty.authorJanuary 2018 Office 365 Updates

December 2017 Office 365 Updates

December 2017 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the December 2017 edition of the Office 365 update, where we take about 10 minutes each month to cover some of the latest updates and news on Microsoft’s solutions for the modern workplace.

The Office 365 Guy

Source:  TechNet: The Office 365 Guy

Frequent viewers know that we had been using Docs.com to host our companion transcript and resources document, but sadly that service is being retired in mid-December. Grandma Naroski always taught me, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, and that’s what we’ve tried to do in this situation.

Our new solution is even better than what we had before, at least we think so. It’s The Office 365 Guy blog on Microsoft TechNet, available at aka.ms/o365update-blog. We’ll now be posting each month’s transcript, which includes links to resources on everything I cover, to the blog as soon as it’s ready.

One added advantage of this new strategy is I can also blog on topics that address questions I receive on things I cover that month, or on more general questions, such as, “When will I receive the client feature you just covered?”

Please visit the blog and subscribe to the RSS feed to stay up-to-date. And, of course, please let us know how we can make it more valuable for you, because we’re just getting started.

PowerPoint Morph

Source:  Microsoft Support: Use the Morph Transition in PowerPoint

One of the most frequent questions people ask about this video series is, “How do you create the graphics in your videos?” Many of you may be surprised to learn that my production designer does most of graphics work in PowerPoint. For example, that’s where the table of contents that transitions with each segment is created.

One feature we’ve been using extensively in the last few videos is PowerPoint Morph. In the October video, I briefly showed how you could combine Morph with 3D graphics to create smooth, cinematic transitions in PowerPoint. Did you also know that Morph has special capabilities when it comes to text?

When you select the Morph transition, there’s a drop-down on the right to select text-specific Morph effects. These options enable you to move and transition words on your slide to emphasize your message. These Morph transitions can include changes in text alignment, size, and even text color.

Morph can also rearrange individual characters on your slide to create a dramatic transition. This option is especially helpful in defining Three Letter Acronyms, commonly referred to as TLAs, ensuring that you are understood by everyone in your audience.

Everything you just saw was done in PowerPoint Morph. I encourage you to try these text transitions for yourself, and I’d love it if you emailed me the results, so I can see how you are using this great PowerPoint feature in new and creative ways.

Resume Builder

Source:  Office Blog: Bringing AI to job seekers with Resume Assistant in Word, powered by LinkedIn

Office Videos: Resume Assistant brings the power of LinkedIn to Word to help you craft your resume

Microsoft Mechanics: Step-by-step demo of LinkedIn Word Resume Assistant, plus new LinkedIn integration in Office 365

Office Insiders: Write your best resume yet in Word with help from LinkedIn

While the need to create a resume is not quite as certain as death and taxes, most of us will engage in this sometimes arduous activity at various points in our lives.

Leveraging the power of LinkedIn Resume Assistant provides intelligent tools to help job seekers improve their resumes, right from within Word.

  • It lets you learn from others by showing how top people in a field of expertise you select represent their work experience.
  • It also helps you identify the most important skills for the type of job you’re seeking so you can add them to your resume and increase your discoverability.
  • You can also customize your resume based on real job postings by viewing relevant job listings from LinkedIn’s 11 million open positions, enabling you to customize your resume to appeal to recruiters.

Resume Assistant in Microsoft Word began rolling out in early November to Office 365 subscribers that are enrolled in the Office Insiders program on Windows Desktop. If you want to become an Office Insider, just click the link at the bottom of the November 8th Office Blog post.

In case you are wondering, I already reached out the Office team to understand how this work might apply to CVs, which can be more frequently used in place of resumes in some countries outside the US. If I receive any publicly available information back, I’ll be sure to post it in The Office 365 Guy blog.

One last note: after you’ve updated your resume, be sure to check out careers.microsoft.com as we are always looking for top-notch professionals to join our team.

LinkedIn Learning

Source:  Microsoft Mechanics: Step-by-step demo of LinkedIn Word Resume Assistant, plus new LinkedIn integration in Office 365

Think for a moment about the approach you took the last time you wanted to learn about a new product feature or capability. Odds are, a YouTube search was a part of that workflow. YouTube is great, but it can be an embarrassment of riches at times with all the content to choose from. For example, a YouTube search on PowerPoint Designer yields over 1,300 items, with the first in my list having been posted two years ago. The result is that in many cases you spend a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff to find what you’re looking for.

The Office Team is trying to help by to introducing curated, video-based training integrated right into the software, including in-depth content from LinkedIn Learning.

For example, if you’re in PowerPoint and want to learn about how to create a professional-looking title slide, just type “Designer” in the Tell Me bar and then watch the video on how to use PowerPoint Designer. No more sifting through thousands of videos to find what you need.

Want to insert a PivotTable in Excel, and you’re not quite sure how to do it, just type in “PivotTable” in the Tell Me bar at the top of the window, then click on Help. In addition to the rich content available to read, you can now access and watch LinkedIn Learning videos. You can follow along with instructions in the video without ever having to leave Excel.

I hope you’ll agree that this integration makes it easier than ever to master complex tasks and learn new skills throughout Office 365.

Office Tutorials

Source:  Office Videos: Excel Tips and Tricks – Episode 4 – Excel Table Talk

Whenever I go to a new city, I like to take one of those walking tours. They’re a great way to get the lay of the land and learn more about the place you are visiting in a short amount of time.

Microsoft has applied the concept to Office 365 and developed a continually improving set of product tours that help users get started. These hidden gems are often overlooked, but they’re a great way to review the latest and greatest feature enhancements to Office 365 applications on Windows and MacOS.

For example, the current tour in PowerPoint on Windows offers tips for simplifying the way you work on slides by leveraging PowerPoint Designer, Morph, and Smart Lookup.

In Word, the tour not only showcases some of its greatest features, but it’s interactive, so you can try out each skill without ever leaving the tour.

And in Excel for Windows desktops, not only is there a tour that covers all of Excel’s basic features, but there’s a new, separate, interactive tutorial on how to create a pivot table, which you can probably guess is one of my favorite Excel features.


Source:  Microsoft Support: Document collaboration and co-authoring

In the August update video, I covered co-authoring in Excel:

With Excel co-authoring, you’ll find it’s easy to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, and you view their changes automatically in seconds.

Of course, co-authoring is not just available in Excel. It’s also available in PowerPoint and Microsoft Word, and I want to share with you the positive impact it’s had on how we create these monthly videos.

Before co-authoring, my production team and I would independently work on sections of the transcript and email them back and forth for review. Keeping track of versions was a constant challenge.

Now, we keep one copy of the transcript on our SharePoint site, and work on the document simultaneously. When any one of us updates a section, the others see it in seconds. We no longer rely on email to send versions back and forth because we all are working on a single transcript that we all can access at the same time.

Try co-authoring for yourself with people you collaborate with, and I’m sure you’ll be pleased by how it streamlines your workflow.

Forecasting in Excel

Source:  Office Support: Create a forecast in Excel 2016 for Windows

Have you ever wished that you could predict the future? While Excel may not be able to foresee the future with 100% accuracy, it does have a very useful forecast function. While not exactly new, I wanted to highlight this Excel feature since it has the potential to help you make better decisions, faster.

For example, suppose I wanted to see what the population here in Redmond, Washington is likely to be 20 years from now. First, I found hhistorical data on Redmond’s population from 1990 to now. I simply highlight the data, click Forecast Sheet on the Data ribbon, and tell Excel how far out I want the forecast to extend. Excel does the rest. It creates a new worksheet containing both a table of the historical and predicted values, and a chart that shows these values graphically.

A forecast can help you predict things like future sales, inventory requirements, or consumer trends. If you deal with data like this, you’ll definitely want to give forecasting in Excel a try.

Power BI

Source:  Power BI Blog: Power BI Desktop November Feature Summary

Excel power users and Microsoft Access enthusiasts both know how conditional formatting can enhance reporting, highlighting important data that meets criteria that you define.

In early November, the Power BI team released major enhancements to conditional formatting in Power BI reports, featuring rule-based conditional formatting to color the background or the font color of a column. This enables you to apply conditional formats to Power BI reports in ways that parallel Microsoft Access and Excel.

There’s a great step-by-step guide in the November 7th Power BI blog post, and it is accompanied by a video demonstrating each step. If you’re a Power BI enthusiast, I encourage you to subscribe to the Microsoft Power BI channel on YouTube.


That’s all we have time for. As always, send your feedback, success stories, or cool PowerPoint Morph transitions to [email protected].

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

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empty.authorDecember 2017 Office 365 Updates

November 2017 Office 365 Updates

November 2017 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for November 2017.

In the next ten minutes or so, I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest changes and enhancements to Office 365. My goal is to keep you informed, so you can get the most out of your investment in the service.


Sources: Official Microsoft Blog: Reality meets imagination at Microsoft Ignite

Microsoft Ignite On-Demand Sessions

In late September, Microsoft welcomed over 25,000 attendees to its annual IT-focused event, Microsoft Ignite, in beautiful Orlando, Florida, which also happens to be the home of Walt Disney World.

In his keynote presentation, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella outlined three themes guiding Microsoft’s mobile first, cloud first vision: Empowering employees and fostering a new, modern culture of work; modernizing business processes with cloud and artificial intelligence (better known as AI); and advancing the enterprise cloud

Don’t worry if you didn’t make it to Orlando or spent too much of your time there visiting Mickey Mouse and his friends. 852 of the Ignite sessions were recorded and are now available for viewing, free of charge. Just go to the URL listed on the screen and use the filters on the upper-left to pinpoint what interests you.

Registration for Ignite 2018 is already open. Maybe I’ll run into you in Orlando next September.

Intelligent Communications

Sources:   Office Blog: A new vision for intelligent communications in Office 365

Microsoft Teams Blog: Roadmap for Skype for Business capabilities coming to Microsoft Teams now available

One of the most exciting announcements to come out of Microsoft Ignite was the new vision for intelligent communications.

As the cornerstone for intelligent communications, we will be bringing comprehensive calling and meetings capabilities into Microsoft Teams, and Teams will evolve to become the primary client for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing the Skype for Business client over time.

Users will realize benefits of this consolidation before, during, and after meetings.

  • Before meetings, Microsoft Teams will surface relevant documents and rich information about the participants to help you prepare.
  • During the meeting, the conversation can be captured, transcribed, and time-coded, with closed captioning and voice recognition for attributing remarks to specific individuals.
  • After the meeting, the cloud recording and transcript can be automatically added to the relevant channel, so conversations, documents, notes, and action items can be reviewed, indexed, and searched by the entire team.

These changes are part of Microsoft’s roadmap for intelligent communications, but many enhancements have already been introduced. Over the past six months, Microsoft Teams has added features like guest access, Outlook calendar integration, and meetings on mobile.

In the coming months, we will begin adding calling features in Teams, including inbound and outbound calls to PSTN telephone numbers, hold, call transfer, and voicemail.

We are also introducing new enhancements to Teams meetings, including audio conferencing (available in preview today)—enabling participants to join a Teams meeting by dialing a telephone number—and interoperability between Teams and Skype for Business, including universal presence, and messaging and calling interoperability.


Source: Office Blog: New Office 365 app launcher and Office.com help you be more productive on the web

Today, in the modern workplace the Web is often an integral part of business workflow. Microsoft’s re-designed Office.com offers unparalleled productivity tools to enable you to get your work done fast and effectively.

Once signed in, apps are front and center in the streamlined workspace. To view all the apps in your Office 365 organization’s subscription, simply click the Explore link which takes you to a new gallery which includes detailed descriptions of the app along with links to learn more.

The Recent Documents section displays all online documents across storage locations, relieving you of the burden of remembering which SharePoint site or OneDrive folder you saved the document in. This section now includes an Activity column, so you can quickly see which of your shared documents have been edited, and by whom.

The Places section shows recently used OneDrive folders and SharePoint sites that you’ve been to frequently or are currently following.

My colleague, Katie Kivett, posted a great walkthrough of the new Office.com, You can access Katie’s video in the September 22nd Office Blog post.

LinkedIn Integration

Source:  Microsoft News Center: Microsoft helps customers digitally transform their businesses with cloud, AI and mixed reality — while also advancing the next frontier of computing

LinkedIn in Microsoft profile cards now provide the ability to see information from LinkedIn profiles in Microsoft apps and services. This new experience, rolling out to first release customers in Outlook Web Access, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business, enhances the way you collaborate and build relationships. It provides insights about the people you’re working with, inside and outside your organization, right from within Office 365.

For example, in the People app, when you hover your mouse over a person’s name, you’ll see a new LinkedIn Find Profile link. This link is also accessible on the person’s contact card. You can see summary information directly on the contact card, or view the person’s complete profile on the LinkedIn site.

This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the people you work with both inside and outside your organization. I encourage you to give it a try.

Outlook for Mobile

Source:  Office Blog: Outlook for iOS and Android is adding your most requested calendar features

In late September of this year, Barbara, the executive assistant in my department, expressed frustration at her inability to manage the calendars for which she has delegate access, from her iPhone. I delivered some exciting news to her recently based on the information in the October 9th Office Blog post.

For those of you who manage someone else’s calendar at work, like Barbara (who manages many different calendars), you’re now be able to manage your delegates, accept a delegation request, and fully view and edit the delegated calendar, all from within Outlook on iOS or Android. Barbara was quite happy, indeed.

There are additional details in the blog post, including a preview of a few more features coming soon which Android aficionados are sure to love.

Files on Demand

Sources: One Drive Blog: OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise

Tech Community: OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise

Microsoft.com: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now available

Back in June of this year, I covered OneDrive Files On-Demand:

When available on Windows 10, it will allow you to see and access all your files, not just those synced to your PC. The un-synced files will appear alongside the synced files, right there in in File Explorer.

Files On-Demand leverages the Windows 10 Fall Creators update to simplify the user experience with cloud storage and sync, bringing the power of the cloud into Windows File Explorer. When you save your files in OneDrive, now you can access them just like any other file on your PC without filling up your disk space. You can easily tell which files are available online only or offline. Online-only files download on-demand with a double-click, and you can make them online only again to free up space. Or you can select files to always be available offline.

Keep in mind that OneDrive Files On-Demand is part of the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s update. I provided some information in the transcript on how to get it, but commercial user’s will be subject to their organization’s operating system update policies.


Source:  Microsoft Mechanics: A guided tour of Microsoft Planner and recent updates

Since its introduction in September 2015, Planner has become a big hit with teams who want to keep their projects organized. Planner helps teams organize their work visually, and recent enhancements make it even more useful.

One of the most requested features was the ability to view plans in a calendar view. The new Schedule view lets you view plan tasks on a monthly, weekly, or daily calendar. This new view supports drag-and-drop, enabling you to not only quickly add tasks but to move the start and due dates right on the calendar.

If you’re an IT Pro using Microsoft Flow, you can quickly create a flow to create Planner tasks from important Office 365 emails. And, as I covered in the July Update video, the Microsoft Planner mobile app for iPhone and Android keeps you up to date with all your plans while you’re on the go.

Haven’t used Planner yet? You can get started easily by visiting tasks.office.com.

Microsoft/Adobe Partnership

Source:   Microsoft New: Adobe and Microsoft expand strategic partnership to drive e-signatures and collaboration among teams in the cloud

Microsoft alone cannot meet every single customer’s requirements and relies on and values its vibrant partner community to fill the gaps. The recently announced Adobe/Microsoft partnership is but one example of this in action. The fruits of a recent agreement between us includes Integration of Office 365 into Adobe Sign and Microsoft Teams into the Adobe Creative Cloud We don’t have time for the details, but you can find a link to more information in the transcript.

Podcast Availability

Before signing off, just a quick reminder that, in addition to YouTube, we’re also available on many popular podcasting apps, including iTunes, PocketCasts, DoggCatcher, and BeyondPod. If you don’t find us on your favorite podcasting app, be sure to let us know.


Send your podcasting app request, general feedback, and—my favorite—your success stories to [email protected].

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon!

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empty.authorNovember 2017 Office 365 Updates

Ten Takeaways from Microsoft Ignite 2017

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Tommy Ryan

Co-Host – Tommy Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:This is episode 139 of the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast where we talk about the people, process, and technology to work together better inside of enterprises. This episode was recorded on October 19th, 2017. In this episode, Tommy and I talk about Microsoft Ignite conference and the 10 takeaways from that conference. The highlights include a discussion about the future of Skype for Business, seeing maturity and flow in Power Apps, a new SharePoint site called SharePoint Hubs, taking baby steps to the cloud with the Azure Stack.


Audio:Help me, help you.


Danny:A new free SharePoint migration tool from Microsoft. We wrap up the discussion about how the inner and outer loops try to make sense about the abundance of collaboration tools in Office 365. Enjoy this episode and thank you for listening.


Hello and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan. I am here with Tommy Ryan. How are you doing Tommy Ryan?


Tommy:I’m doing well, Danny.


Danny:Excellent, excellent.


Tommy:I’m checking out your hair and you’re going past that bald to the ring stage.


Danny:I put it on the razor on the little half, I guess you clip on the little half thing and I’m doing up at the top of the head. It’s just …


Tommy:Yeah, I feel like doing that days. You get tired of shaving every morning.


Danny:Every single, yeah, yeah, it gets old after a while but I still am shaving here. I’m shaving on my face. I’m sorry, and people can’t see what I’m pointing to, but I’m shaving my face. I’m doing the opposite of you, you’re letting it grow with the beard and then shaving the head.


Tommy:That’s right.


Danny:Nice, nice. I have asked you for a redo.


Tommy:A redo.


Danny:A redo.


Tommy:This is not the Mickey Mouse episode?


Danny:No, this is not the Mickey Mouse episode. Yeah, that was funny when dad mentioned it. It was like, “I know.” I listened to it and it was tough to listen to, so let’s do a redo.




Danny:I just wanted to cover you, and Bo George recently went to the Microsoft Ignite conference. You did a lovely internal blog post, I’ll call it that, of the top 10 takeaways from Microsoft Ignite. Let’s get this kicked off. First off, you have something about Skype for Business is going to Teams. What’s that all about?


Tommy:Well, it’s interesting how audio and IM has evolved over the years. Skype is one of those things that we’ve tried over and over again to use externally, but we use it internally for IM. We’ve recently moved to Teams to be all in to use it for collaboration in Teams and IM. In the conference, they announced that the Skype for Business in the cloud is transitioning to Teams, as Teams becomes mature enough to displace the features that are in Skype.


I don’t think Skype is going away, but I think for Office 365 customers that are doing cloud-based collaboration, their IM and web sharing, screen sharing sessions will be using Teams in the future. When you look in Outlook, you can schedule an online meeting. That’s gonna turn into online Teams meeting versus an online Skype meeting.


Danny:Interesting. I guess for me, and we started going in this direction a little bit but was, I guess, for Skype for Business as far as audio, so if we’re setting up our typical internal meeting, we’re going to use Teams to set that up.


Tommy:Right. I’ve started doing that and it’s got some nice features. You’re able to schedule that meeting within the Teams interface. Eventually, you’ll be able to schedule that through the Outlook interface to be a Teams meeting, but that shows up in the conversation stream. I saw on the conference, they have the ability to play back that, so the playback audio/video for that Teams meeting is available later on for folks that couldn’t make the meeting.


Danny:I guess you have screen-sharing in that meeting as well.


Tommy:You have screen sharing and multiple screens that you can …


Danny:You get multiple screens?


Tommy:I got mine set-up to have two external screens and I can pick from one of the three screens to share from as I’m on a Teams meeting.


Danny:Is there just one … I’m sorry I’m getting ahead …


Tommy:You’ll like this one.


Danny:I’m just asking for myself. Can you hand over control to someone else? Or it’s whoever initiated it? Is there a way to make somebody else the presenter?


Tommy:I think so. I have to try that out next time, because I think I’ve done that in the past. I haven’t done it recently, but I’m trying to visually picture how that would work, but not sure. To be determined, maybe we can …


Danny:We’ll figure that out maybe in.


Tommy:… mention that on the next time.


Danny:Yeah, sorry. I’ll stop going off in and ad hoc direction.


Tommy:You finally found something I didn’t know about Teams. Go on, next one.


Danny:Here Tommy, let’s get in a fight, it’s awesome. That’s what people want to see. The Flow, tell me what’s going on with Flow.


Tommy:I think one of the things that people have been anxious about is what’s up with SharePoint Designer and what goes on with that. Also, what’s up with Info Path. With Flow, it is the next generation of what you do with SharePoint Designer workflows. Things that you typically would lead with to say, “Oh, you want to do workflow, let’s see what we can do with the workflow that’s in SharePoint Designer.” You’re going to be heading to Flow.


The nice thing about that is Flow is a broader solution. It’s not just SharePoint for workflow. It’s really everything within the Office 365 suite and in the cloud eco-system. If you wanted to have a Flow or workflow to span between Salesforce and SharePoint, and Twitter, you could do that. As you look at how does work get done and I task-switch from Salesforce to SharePoint, to my online presence. There might be some common things that I do that I want to enforce through a structured workflow and you can do that with Flow.


It’s getting better and better. I always go in there and you always try to do something and you can just quite get there. They’re giving some extensibility there, but for the average user, you got to spend some time. You got to kick the tires for a while and I have myself, personally, probably right now, four Flows that are useful Flows that do things that I would have to do manually.


Danny:This not just for internal workflows, it’s also for external systems, working with external services, some SAS services?




Danny:Then also, this sounds a little bit, or it smells a little bit like Zapier, or IF This Then That.


Tommy:It is and they draw analogies to that in some of the presentations.


Danny:Very cool. It looks like they’re adding on like Adobe Sign. I know we use that and maybe


Tommy:DocuSign was there for the longest time and recently they’ve assigned on Adobe Sign.


Danny:Cool. PowerApps.


Tommy:Yeah. Like I was saying before, InfoPath and SharePoint Designer, some of those legacy systems that people think, “When am I going to have an alternative to what I’m doing today with InfoPath Forms?” PowerApps, I think a lot of people were suspecting that was the next generation for InfoPath Forms. Again, PowerApps is broader than what InfoPath does. In some cases, you’re going to see InfoPath has capabilities that PowerApps doesn’t. As that matures, the goal I see for Microsoft is to displace InfoPath with PowerApps.


One of the things that you’ll start noticing in the Office 365 tenant, you’ll see that when you go to customize a list and you want to have a custom display, a custom form for data entry, you have InfoPath as an option today. InfoPath or SharePoint. Now you’re going to see in the future, InfoPath, PowerApps or SharePoint as your user interface into lists and libraries.






Danny:SharePoint hub sites. This is a new type of site for SharePoint?


Tommy:I’m very excited about hub sites. I think hub sites start making things come together as it relates to SharePoint. Because when you look at SharePoint, you’ve got team sites and communication sites. It’s a very flat structure. There’s no relationship between site to site when I have a team site and I have a communication site.


Now hub sites is the way to aggregate those team and communication sites into common threads. Maybe you have projects within your organization you can have a hub site that can be that organizing point that everything rolls up like your news across all those sites can roll up into the hub site. The hub site can be a way to set up your search scope. When you’re searching for things, you don’t have to search the entire tenant or just a site. You can search everything that’s in the membership of those hub sites.


Also branding is another thing that’s a part of this to enforce say, a common branding across multiple sites. You can use hub sites to apply standardized branding and push that down to the member sites.


Danny:Like with us internally where we’re managing a bunch of account team sites.




Danny:It seems like what’s happened, there used to be the old SharePoint team sites which is for small teams for collaborating. It was a SharePoint type of site. Now that’s morphed over to Microsoft Teams and that’s a team site and that’s what you’re referring to here right?


Tommy:Yeah. When I say a team site, it is the choice that you have when you go say, create a new site collection. Creating that team site, you also can make this an Office 365 group. Then as an Office 365 group, you can consume that within Teams. You can have this team site without using Teams, but Teams is a way to really give you, I think, richer functionality. The whole conversation being tied with content. You don’t see that within SharePoint but you can get that within the Teams experience. Which I think is a big deal. It’s made a big difference for us.


Danny:There’ll be a hub site like for our example where we’re looking at accounts. There will be an accounts hub site where you would go there to see what’s going on across all the different accounts?


Tommy:That’s right.




Tommy:Yeah. That’s.


Danny:When you give me a little smirk when sometimes when I’m right.


Tommy:Yeah, I get a little


Danny:… thumbs up, that works too. All right. SharePoint Framework, that keeps coming back. There’s a framework for SharePoint?


Tommy:Yes, I think for our organization, we’re so passionate about creating custom experiences that go above and beyond what you get out of the box. We embrace, for sure, what’s out of the box, but know that there’s always that 20% more that you want to accomplish. In the cloud it’s been a rough ride for the development community or developer community in creating those solutions. We’ve had just a variety of, in a sense, failed approaches for what that framework will be. I


It looks like the SharePoint Framework is becoming that framework. There’s a lot of momentum behind it. Also, I think the whole open source and PNP community that’s being created is embracing that and there’s some synergy between PNP and SharePoint Framework that makes it feel like, “Yeah, this one’s going to stick.” We’re excited about that and hoping to have more opportunities with customers to help them extend SharePoint in the cloud with the SharePoint Framework.


Danny:I like the way you started that out. You said custom SharePoint experiences. That’s kind of cool and way of looking at it. Something where your people are taking what SharePoint is and making it a custom experience. I like that. You may start seeing that.


Tommy:Okay, all right.


Danny:All right, who is ThreeWill? ThreeWill builds custom SharePoint experiences.


Tommy:It’s all about the experience.


Danny:It is. It very much is. Modern pages and web parts. What’s going on with those?


Tommy:I think we’ve been in this limbo area of, “Should I use the classic page or use the modern page?” Of course there’s some nice UI elements to modern pages. What’s been lacking is the number of web parts that are supported and rewritten for that modern experience. That is something that it was evident in the conference that most people are going to now lead with modern pages versus having to make a decision of, “Is this going to be classic or modern?”


There’s also support to keep that classic going. There’s just so much out there that people built that depend on certain elements of the classic view that might not ever be in the modern view. You have to think about what’s that new paradigm of how to apply that. Modern pages are starting to have things like metadata support that you didn’t have in classic. We’re starting to see areas that we can move our clients to the modern experience.


Danny:That’s nice.




Danny:I guess with this modern is also, it’s for more of like mobile views and more modern …


Tommy:Yeah, you got that mobile-responsive capability that’s built in. It’s just a cleaner look. More modern-looking UI.


Danny:More broader.


Tommy:I think a lot of people joke about modern. What’s modern today versus what’s modern tomorrow? What do we call this five years from now? If we have a better experience, it goes from modern to classical or, I don’t know.


Danny:Who knows. SharePoint less. Performance is getting souped up on these guys.


Tommy:Yeah. There’s always that worry of, “I can’t have more than five thousand items in my list.” Most people that understand SharePoint know, you can go beyond those five thousand items in a list. It’s just some of the things that happen that impact you and the user experience when you’re trying to bring back data in list that have more than five thousand items. What the SharePoint team has done is they’ve looked at ways of proactively or reactively making the experience better when you go beyond five thousand items.


They have this concept called Predictive Indexes. They look at how you sort things and say, “Oh, you want to sort on this. Let’s create an index on that, so that way you can bring back items in the view if it’s beyond five thousand items.” What I heard and is 30 million items are the limit. I don’t know if that’s a true physical limit or just a practical limit. At the end of the day, some of these list performance tweaks, they do automatically really don’t support you up into the millions. You’re going to have to do some manual tweaking and tuning to make lists that are more than a million items work well.


Danny:Yeah, we’ve seen this before right? We’ve been brought onto projects just for the purpose of dealing with something where people have more items than should into it and how do you archive items and things like that, and handling those sorts of things.


Tommy:Yeah. A lot of times building solutions you look at approaches to say, “How can we keep the data to a minimum to avoid some of these issues?”


Danny:What’s the Azure Stack?


Tommy:I don’t know.


Danny:What is the Azure Stack?


Tommy:I thought you were going to actually cover that when we talked about this bullet item Azure Stack.


Danny:Let me see. From last time, I could just read to you. The Azure Stack is a gateway to the cloud.


Tommy:Well, yeah. The reason that I put it’s the gateway to the cloud is …


Danny:It’s the gateway to it. Right.


Tommy:… what they’re doing, it’s a step in the direction of being able to go to Azure and still feel like you have it within your control. They’re giving you Azure capabilities where you can deploy into your own infrastructure. Having your own Azure environment and those Azure services that make development and management of solutions a lot nicer than just working with IIS to create a website.


That is something available for folks that say, “I don’t want to go to the cloud just yet, but I want to build my solutions in a way that if I want to move to the cloud, I can easily push it without having to re-architect it. I can architect it for Azure and deploy it in my own private Azure environment.”


Danny:Very nice. Good way to get started for people who might not, or …


Tommy:That know they’re going to go to the cloud. [crosstalk 00:19:13] They’re restricted or it’s just a mental perception of, “I still want to stay within my own private cloud.”


Danny:What’s the SharePoint migration tool that they were talking about at the conference?


Tommy:The question we have is, is it a tool or a toy?


Danny:Is it a tool or a toy?


Tommy:They announced this, I think, they’re, at the end of the day, trying to reduce friction for people getting to the cloud. They have the SharePoint FastTrack Program. Which we helped some of our customers consume that service, that free service from Microsoft to get. We have one customer that when they go to deploy, or move data from their on-prem to the cloud and they have these migration waves and there’s some remediation step, they have between 70 and 100 engineers or people off-shore that are hitting their site and working on remediations so they can get that done within a week.


It’s a lot of horsepower with the program, but the challenge you have is, it has limitations of what will be covered and what won’t be covered. You have to look at, “Okay, they’re not going to bring over a large list. Someone like ThreeWill can help make sure that that process is done along with FastTrack.” A end user doesn’t get a half-baked site. They get the full site with all of the list data if they have a large list.


This migration tool, I think it’s probably something that’s a subset. Something that they use and they’re saying, “Okay, we’ll give you a copy of that.” If you want to do it yourself, you’re not going to get the remediation. You’re not going to get the communication. You’ll get the tool and it will have less capability than some of the commercial tools is my assumption that they’re not going to give you a copy of the full-blown Metalogix Content Matrix or Sharegate, or AvePoint. They’re going to give you something that is a subset of that. For folks that might be very small organizations that can’t afford to pay the migration cost.


Danny:That remediation team that you were talking about earlier, is that Microsoft or is that the client?


Tommy:That’s Microsoft.


Danny:Their FastTrack team has a bunch of people …


Tommy:They have free engineering.


Danny:That’s nice.


Tommy:Yeah. Or free testers and remediators, yeah. It’s like all this Microsoft, it’s 80% and then the last 20% is typically … We’re softening the edge for that FastTrack program, we’re helping people consume that in a very streamline way.


Danny:Inner loop versus outer loop? Are we talking about something with Elon Musk here? Or are we talking about loops?


Tommy:No, I wish, but no. This was a slide that I saw that, I think, for the longest time we have been confused with, “What’s Yammer? When do you use Yammer? When do you use Teams? When do you …” Just different ways of collaboration across your organization. There was a slide that showed that …


Danny:Teams is updating right now. That’s where it went. Sorry.


Tommy:That’s fine. This outer loop, let’s start with the inner loop. The inner loop is that team that you’re working with day-in, day-out. You know these folks. You’re getting work done together. It’s highly collaborative. Then the outer loop is, you’re working, you’re trying to find skillset across your organization. You’ve got a problem and you’re saying, “There’s someone else that has probably run across this problem, but I don’t know them, but they’re probably in my organization.”


They might use something like Yammer as a way to announce a challenge that they have. Or to share something that they’ve learned that maybe other people would benefit from that are not in their immediate inner loop. That, to me, helped make sense of why would you have Yammer and Teams? It seems to be a lot of overlap between those two. To me, now I think, if I was an organization that I wanted to have that bulletin board of corporate knowledge and do that in an ad hoc way that people can go out there and share, Yammer is a great way to do that.


We’re using Teams for that. We’ve created our own public team within the organization that everybody that works at ThreeWill can get access to. That’s where or have some of those outer-loop type conversations. I think logistically, Yammer provides a lighter-weight way to approach that.


Danny:I still, my outer loop would be, I’m a member of the Office 365 community that has a Yammer community for that. I’m in that every once in a while, so I still have Yammer, but I’m just not using it for internal purposes since we’re under a hundred people. I would imagine there’s a certain threshold where above that amount, you don’t know everyone within the organization, and probably might be the point at which you start looking at something like Yammer.




Danny:Cool. Anything else? I see you’ve got some other notes here. I can add that to the blog post and …


Tommy:Sure, yeah. Things come in threes here.


Danny:Yeah, absolutely.


Tommy:There’s our three references that are things that rose to the surface to me. I took it from the approach of an end user or a power user. What do you want to get from the conference? Then if you look at Bo’s blog post, he went down more the consultant developer track. If you’re listening to this and you want to say, “Well, where’s the meat of all the developer stuff? You hadn’t talked that much about the SharePoint Framework.”


Danny:This is meaty though. It’s interesting to me. I only have Visual Studio [crosstalk 00:25:28].


Tommy:That’s right, yes. Yes. That’s a litmus test and …


Danny:I know. I know. I know. I’ll also, for the inner versus outer loop, I’ll take that graphic that you shared as well.


Tommy:Good. Yeah, yeah.


Danny:I don’t know.


Tommy:Yeah, I have that …


Danny:I think that’s the featured image for this. Thank you for doing this once again.


Tommy:Sure. Yeah, hopefully it’s better the second time maybe.


Danny:Hopefully it’s not, I don’t know. Hopefully it’s not one of those we have to do it in threes and I screw up some of.


Tommy:Let’s not do that.


Danny:Let’s not do that okay. Well, thank you so much for doing this Tom.




Danny:Thank you everyone for listening. Have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye-bye.




Additional Credits

Podcast Producer – Oliver Penegar
Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

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empty.authorTen Takeaways from Microsoft Ignite 2017

October 2017 Office 365 Updates

October 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the office update for October of 2017. In the next 10 minutes or so, I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates. My goal is to keep you informed so you can get the most out of Office 365. Have you ever delivered a PowerPoint presentation to an audience that spoke a different language than you? Presentation Translator lets you add subtitles to a PowerPoint in real time. If you speak one of the 10 supported speech languages, you can show subtitles in that language or one of the 60 plus supported text translation languages.


In the case where someone in the audience understands, for example, French, while another is most comfortable with Mandarin, your audience can follow along with subtitles on their own device in the language of their choice. If you want to translate your slides into the preferred language of your audience, that’s a snap, too. Simply click the Translate Slide button from the slideshow ribbon, choose the language, and Presentation Translator does the rest.


Presentation Translator is one of the many solutions developed as part of the Microsoft Garage, a worldwide community of innovative Microsoft employees who explore new technologies and design cutting edge solutions to help you achieve more. You can download the add-in at the URL listed on the screen. While there, be sure to check out the other exciting projects my fellow Microsoft employees are working on.


Back in the December 2016 update video, I made this prophetic statement. “One upcoming enhancement I’m looking forward to is the support for three dimensional objects.” That day has finally arrived, and it’s even better than I expected. You can insert 3D objects in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint the same way you add traditional graphics, via a button on the insert ribbon. Add your own 3D files or access files in Microsoft’s free online service, Remix 3D, which contains models contributed by people from all over the world.


Once it’s inserted into Office, you can use the controls to manipulate the image. Use the 3D control to rotate or tilt your model in any direction, and drag the image handles in or out to make your image larger or smaller. 3D graphics become even more dynamic when combined with PowerPoint’s morph transition. Simply duplicate your slide, reposition the 3D model, and PowerPoint creates a smooth cinematic transition between the slides. To learn more about the ins and outs of using 3D graphics, check out the tutorial on the Office support site.


Do you ever experience challenges getting your children … I mean, your audience to look up from their smartphones during your PowerPoint presentations? Would you like to make your presentations more interactive and find out whether your audience is grasping your messages? Well, the Live Survey add-in for PowerPoint may be just the solution for you.


Live Survey enables you to create surveys in just a few clicks. Simply type your question, enter your response options. Then, choose the chart style for the results. Live Survey generates a QR code to collect the votes from your audience via their smartphones and displays the results in real time directly on your slide. Participants can only vote once, but they can change their response if they’ve made a mistake.


Live Survey is a great way to keep your audience engaged and collect valuable feedback, and if you’re using your PowerPoint as part of a training exercise, it can be used to assess whether the audience is learning the content. It’s available as a free PowerPoint add-in from the Office store and Microsoft App Source. While there, be sure to check out the other useful add-ins that enhance and extend Office 365.


In addition to crunching numbers, Excel 2016’s Get and Transform functions offer fast, easy data-gathering and shaping capabilities. If you’ve been staying up to date on the Office blog, I’m sure you’ve noticed that enhancements to Get and Transform are released continually. Have you ever had a list you wanted to split into two columns, such as separating first and last names? Recent enhancements to the Split Column command makes this task a snap. Choose the delimiter, the split options, and whether to split into rows or columns, and Excel does the rest.


Another handy new feature is the ability to add columns by example. Let’s say I have a list showing when each state here in the US was granted statehood. If I want a column that just has the year, omitting the month and day, I simply click on Column by Example, provide the value in the first row, and Excel does the rest. There are six more updates in the blog post we link to in the resources. Excel 2010 or Excel 2013 users can also take advantage of these updates by downloading the latest Power Query for Excel add in.


In the August update video, I covered responsive visualizations in Power BI, which makes Power BI reports more accessible on mobile devices. The Power BI time is taking the mobile experience one step further with the introduction of filters for reports on iOS. With report filters, you can quickly remove everything except the data you want to focus on.


Even better, filters on phone reports require no extra work. If a filter is defined on the original report, it automatically works on phone reports. To view the filter pane, tap the new filter icon in the report action menu for page and report level filters, or open a visual in focus mode and tap the new filter icon for visualization level filtering.


All filter types and functionality available in the Power BI service and Power BI desktop are also available as phone reports. You can easily use the new touch optimize filter experience to filter your report based on your selections. When you filter a phone report, you’ll see an indication that a filter is active. Filters will first be available on phone reports for iOS. If you have an iPhone, I encourage you to create your own phone report and try them out.


Earlier this year, Microsoft launched add-ins for Outlook on iOS, enabling access to your favorite apps right in Outlook, so you can get more done on the go. We are now rolling out add-ins to Outlook on Android customers with outlook.com and Office 365 commercial email accounts. This launch will bring some of the most loved Outlook add ins from iOS to Android, including Evernote, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Translator, Nimble, Smartsheet, and Trello.


Microsoft is also launching several new add ins for Outlook, including Wrike, an online project management solution for teams that keeps you on top of work projects by enabling you to quickly capture your team’s communications in one place. MeisterTask, a task manager that adapts to your team’s workflow by allowing you to quickly save emails as tasks in your project board without needing to copy, paste, or re-enter the content into another app. And my kids’ favorite, Gfycat, a solution for finding and inserting gifs or gifs, whichever pronunciation you prefer, to make your emails more engaging, expressive, and fun. These add ins, along with the others covered in the September 8th Office blog post, bring your favorite apps right into Outlook on Android, so you can accomplish more faster.


Since its general availability six months ago, over 100 thousand organizations have discovered how teamwork comes to life in Microsoft Teams. In early September, the Office team announced that Microsoft Teams is getting even better with the rollout of guest access to all Office 365 commercial and education customers. Now, Office 365 users can add people from outside their company to a team, so guests can participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents, and more.


Guest access has been one of the top requested features for teams, and we’ve been working hard to get it right. Microsoft designed guest access in Teams around three core principles, teamwork, security and compliance, and IT manageability. For more information on how to enable guest access in Teams, read the help and support article accessible from the link in the Office blog post. Then, sign into Teams and give guest access a try.


Yammer empowers people across the organization to have a voice, recognizing that different people express themselves in different ways. Gifs are a proven way to easily and visually express a thought, in fact, Microsoft recently conducted user testing, which demonstrated that gifs encouraged more people to start new Yammer conversations and reply to existing messages.


The Yammer team has now fully rolled out the ability for anyone to search, pick, and insert gifs directly into their messages, enhancing Yammer as an open space accessible for everyone in the organization to easily connect. Microsoft recognizes that not all gifs in the consumer space may be suitable for the work environment, so we’ve taken the conservative approach in applying a G rating filter to the gif selector. Simply click on the gif option in any Yammer message, and you can quickly search for the perfect animated image to express your thoughts and feelings.


That’s all we have time for. Remember to send your success stories or feedback to [email protected] I’m Jim Naroski. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again soon.


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empty.authorOctober 2017 Office 365 Updates

August 2017 Office 365 Updates

August 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim:Welcome to the Office 365 Update for August of 2017. In the next 10 minutes, I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates. My goal is to keep you up to date, so you can get the most out of Office 365.


I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who’s tried to open up an Excel spreadsheet, only to find that it is locked for editing by somebody else. You know the routine. You can as to be notified when the person is done editing or save the file under a different filename.


Starting with Excel Version 1707 for Excel on Windows Desktop, you can coauthor with others and no longer worry about getting locked out of a shared file that’s stored in SharePoint online, OneDrive, or OneDrive for Business. With Excel coauthoring, you’ll find it’s easy to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, and you can view their changes automatically in seconds.


Excel Version 1707 is the release currently available to Office Insiders on the consumer side and Office 365 commercial customers configured for current channel first release. Incidentally, coauthoring is already available in Excel Online, Excel on Android, Windows Mobile, and IOS for Office Insiders, and we’re working on coauthoring an Excel for Mac.


Ever heard the maxim, “Save early, save often”? For Office users, that saying might be one for the history books. PowerPoint, Word, and Excel for Windows users on Version 1707, the current Office Insider slow release, may notice an AutoSave option in the upper left-hand corner or their application. AutoSave saves your changes to the cloud as you are working. If others are working on the same file, they’ll see your changes almost instantaneously.


I’ve had this feature enabled on my Office client for a while, and it certainly takes some getting used to. This new capability is different than the auto-recover option in previous Office versions, so be sure to check out the link I provide in the transcript to learn more.


While version history on OneDrive Personal for Office documents has been around for some time, Version History on OneDrive for all other file types has been one of the most requested features on the OneDrive User Voice site. The OneDrive team fulfilled this request. Version History is now compatible with all file types, so you no longer need to worry about your PDFs, CAD files, or even your own photos and videos getting accidentally edited.


OneDrive will keep an older version of your files for 30 days. Using the Version History is easy. Just navigate to OneDrive, right-click on the file you want to restore, and select Version History. The Version History window shows the date of the previous revision, who it was modified by, and the file size. From there, click on the ellipses to open or restore the previous version.


Expanded Version History support has started rolling out and will be available to everyone this summer. If you have additional ideas for improving OneDrive, the development team is listening. Submit your ideas at OneDrive.uservoice.com.


On July 12, the Outlook team announced exciting new changes to Outlook on IOS and Android. It still has the familiar look and feel, but with a redesigned conversation experience, the ability to quickly switch between accounts, and browse folders. The redesigned conversation experience makes it easy to stay on top of discussions whether you’re talking to friends and family, classmates, colleagues, or with groups that you’re a part of.


Outlook now shows more of your conversation at once and provides clear separation between individual messages making it simpler to catch up on your conversations. You can now quickly reply to everyone by simply tapping the Quick Reply box. Outlook works with all your accounts from Office 365 to Outlook.com and even Gmail. The account and folder menu has been redesigned to give you quick access to all of your accounts as well as key folders such as inbox, drafts, and groups.


New intelligent search capabilities powered by Microsoft Graph are coming soon. There’s a sneak preview of what’s ahead in the July 12th Office blog post.


On July 10, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility and Security, delivering a complete, intelligent, and secure solution to empower employees. Microsoft 365 Enterprise is designed for larger organizations and integrates Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility and Security to empower employees to be creative and work together securely. It is offered in two plans. Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5. Many of you knew these plans by their former name, Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and Secure Productive Enterprise E5.


Microsoft 365 Business is designed for smaller companies. It’s designed to empower your team, safeguard your business, and simplify IT management with a single solution. It includes three tailored business apps that are designed to help small business owners. More on that in a moment. Microsoft 365 Business should be available for public preview by the time you’re watching this video. For all the details on Microsoft 365, follow the links in the July 10th Office blog post or visit the URL listed on the screen.


The new business apps that will be included in Microsoft 365 Business are rolling out now in preview to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. They are: Microsoft Connections, which enables you to create and track great-looking email marketing campaigns; Microsoft Listings, which makes it easy to publish and manage your business listings on Facebook, Google, Bing, and Yelp; and Microsoft Invoicing, which helps you create professional-looking estimates and invoices to ensure you get paid quickly.


The new Office 365 Business Center brings Microsoft Connections, Listings, and Invoicing together in a central location, so you have easy access to your business apps and data. It features a unified dashboard where you can view key metrics from all the business apps including total outstanding invoices, the impressions across Facebook, Google, Bing, and Yelp, and the number of new subscribers in sent campaigns. Be sure to check out the great FAQ section in the July 10th Office blog post for additional details.


During the SharePoint Virtual Summit in May, Microsoft unveiled new SharePoint Communication sites. Beautiful, dynamic sites that let you reach a broad internal audience, and that look great no matter how you access them, via your favorite browser on a PC or a Mac, on in the SharePoint mobile app.


On June 27, the SharePoint team announced that the new communication sites are rolling out to Office 365 first release customers and will be followed by a full worldwide rollout to all Office 365 customers in the coming months. SharePoint Communications sites are perfect for internal cross-company campaigns, reports and status updates, product launches, events, and more. You can embed documents and video and dynamically pull in real-time data from across Office 365 including documents from SharePoint, Power BI reports, Microsoft stream videos and Yammer discussions.


There’s a link in the June 27th blog post to step-by-step instructions and an in-depth video tutorial. Remember, it’s currently available to Office 365 first-release customers, but it will be rolling out worldwide very soon.


Microsoft Workplace Analytics is now generally available as an add-on to any Office 365 Enterprise plan. It’s a powerful new organizational analytics solution that taps into Office 365 email and calendar metadata to shine a light on how the organization collaborates and spends time. Customers own their Office 365 data and decide how to imply insights generated by Workplace Analytics to solve their business challenges.


Microsoft has enabled Workplace Analytics with built-in privacy and compliance capabilities. It only leverages metadata that is aggregated and de-identified, which means people’s identities are not connected to the data.


Microsoft knows that every organization has unique business questions, which is why Workplace Analytics includes the ability to create custom queries. Data analysts can choose from a unique set of collaboration metrics to explore activities and trends within the business, including time spent in email, time in meetings, after-hours time, and network size. There are case studies in the July 5th Office blog post demonstrating how Workplace Analytics has been used to increase sales, maximize manager effectiveness, and even reduce travel time to meetings.


I love having access to my Power BI dashboards and reports wherever I am but especially on the go via my mobile device. However, making those graphs and charts look great, whatever the screen size, can be a challenge. That’s where responsive visualizations come in. With this capability, as a visualization changes its size, Power BI prioritizes the data view.


For example, removing padding and making legend tweaks, so it remains informative even as it gets smaller. You really see the magic of responsive visualizations when creating phone reports and mobile dashboards. When a visualization is responsive, you can use it full-size in a report for web and desktop views and small size for phone reports on mobile dashboards, with the same stunning visual experience on both devices. Be sure to check out the July 5th Power BI blog post to learn more.


That’s all we have time for. Remember to send your feedback or success stories to [email protected] I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again next month.


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empty.authorAugust 2017 Office 365 Updates

ThreeWill’s Summary of #MSInspire 2017

Danny serves as Vice President of Marketing at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

Danny:Awesome. Welcome to the Two Bald Brothers And A Microphone.


Tommy:Two Bald Brothers And A Microphone.


Danny:It is … let’s see, it is July 20th. Man, this summer’s going by quickly.




Danny:Yes, it’s amazing. Today we’re going to be talking about the conference that I went to last week, and I’m not going to say ignite , I’m going to say inspire, the Inspire Conference AKA WPC, which was the Worldwide Partner Conference. I went out there … usually, in the past, both of us would go out there, so I missed you, Tom.


Tommy:Well the question is, were you inspired when you left?


Danny:I was inspired. It was a great week. A lot of stuff going on at Microsoft. It’s keeping everybody on their toes and Microsoft, lots of changes coming in place. As part of the week, I tried to do a write-up at the end of the day, so I was just going to walk through my notes here with you and feel free to jump in if you have any questions.


We’re going to start doing some interviews with some outside folks, but I just thought since I went to the conference last week and just to cover with you sort of what were some of the takeaways that I had from the week.




Danny:From the first day, the summary of the first day, one is is that next year … I guess if we go next year, it’s in our favorite place to go to, Las Vegas.


Tommy:Oh, yeah. Everything’s good it’s just slipping on those cards of women, on the sidewalks.


Danny:Yeah. I’m not going to be taking my family out there, but I think they’re wanting to do this because this week, I think Microsoft ready was in Las Vegas, so I think they’re doing it back to back with that conference. Having the partner conference and then their internal conference the week afterward. Microsoft folks will have two weeks in Vegas.


The big thing from the first day was the announcement, and this is sort of a bundling-type of announcement, which was Office 365 plus Windows plus enterprise mobility and security, they’re now calling this Microsoft 365. I just noted that there might need to be a new tag that we have up on our blog, which refers to that.


Tommy:It’s also still staying as Office 365, that doesn’t go away, right?


Danny:You got it, you got it. This is a bundling thing. I think making it … everybody sort of saw this coming, it’s just another way of the 101 ways of packaging Microsoft products and this is just a new way of doing that, so I think the products themselves are pretty much staying the same. It’s just a bundling move.


The other thing, which surprised me … I don’t know whether I just wasn’t paying attention to the news or what it was, but Ron Huddleston, I don’t think we worked with him when we were doing stuff with Salesforce, but he was the person behind the AppExchange, and with our history where we’ve created AppExchange apps, and worked with Salesforce to build a connector, it was good to see him. He’s in charge of what they call their one commercial partner program. Bundling that … or bumbling that one. He’s their Channel Chief, he’s responsible for that. He went through some of the changes with that, sort of set out with the PAM, in with the channel manager. They went through some of what this is going to look like. They’re really trying to … instead of working against what the partners are doing, trying to work more with the partners. It was good to see that focus. It would be great, just my overall experience with working with the AppExchange has been great. To see some of that come over to Microsoft’s stores would be wonderful. I don’t think he’s going to be in charge of those stores, but he did some good stuff over at Salesforce.


I did start seeing … I went to a couple sessions with the LinkedIn, taking a look at what was happening there. You’re starting to see some of the work that they’re doing integrating LinkedIn to Microsoft products. I think just this week they announced there’s a Windows 10 app for LinkedIn and there was a lot of discussions about starting to integrated LinkedIn with Dynamics. It was good to see what they’re doing there and I think they’re trying to use this as a means of competing with Salesforce. It’s interesting to see how that’s going to come along.


This was emphasized time and time again, which is their four solutions areas, which is modern workplace, yay, that’s very much in line with what we’re focusing in on, business applications, applications and infrastructure, and data and AI. That is their overall message of the four main solution areas that Microsoft focuses in on. Again, I think we’re … wonderful to hear that they’re focusing in on that.


Then I love this, there was a 4.5 trillion dollar opportunity. I love things like this. My favorite meme from that was this one. Dux had put this out. You heard it, 4.5 trillion dollars. I got a kick out of that. Then of course, somebody comes up and says for every one dollar we make, you make seven dollars, or something along like that.


Tommy:Sure, right.


Danny:All the partners salivate and move on to the next thing. Mobile first, cloud first, didn’t really hear that very much at this conference.




Danny:It’s now Intelligent Cloud. Intelligent Edge. If you see the overall messaging, as far as how that’s changing, what the updated messaging is for that. Here’s sort of a graphic of how they’re showing that. Multi-device, multi-sense, artificial intelligence … so it’s sort of how this is changing for them.


I think with everybody was sort of how can it be mobile first and cloud first at the same time? Something’s got to be second. Now let’s move to this.




Danny:It was cool seeing women leading up the demos, which was very nice. I think everybody that day, there were all women leading up the demos, which was a very cool thing to see. Feedback from the day … oh, man it was hot outside. I took a picture here of everybody waiting outside. I don’t know what had happened that morning, but for like an hour up to … it just didn’t seem like they were letting people into the Verizon Center and it was … it got hot really quick, as it gets hot in D.C.


So that’s the update from the first day. Then if we take a look at what happened on the second day … sorry, I always get caching issues with my computer here. Summary of day two. I took a quick snapshot of here, digital transformation … I think what they’re trying to get to, more of, is moving on, because you heard digital transformation over and over and over again. You’re trying to get … basically define what does that mean? Empower employees, optimize operations, transform products, and engage customers. This was a screenshot that I took from Chris Capossela session that he did. It was really neat because he sort of said, “Well what does this mean to our marketing department at Microsoft?” He went through real cases of what does this mean to us and how did this change what we’re doing inside of Microsoft, what’s the transformation that we’re seeing inside of Microsoft. Because he can say each one of these can apply to each department. It can apply to finance, it can apply to customer service. So it’s sort of translating this over to that specific department.


It was really good. You and I like to … we understand there has to be a high level message, but then how do you translate that down to your individual department and initiatives inside of that department. Wish I had a dollar each time this was covered today, four pillars of digital transformation, this came pretty clear: engaging customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products. Then I sort of was thinking … this was one of those things where I wish you were around, because afterwards I want to think out loud with it. It was part of the reasoning I wanted to take notes on this, was so you and I could have this conversation, which is how does this fit into how we categorize solutions? If you look at our website, how does this fit into the different solutions like improved bottom line, drive efficiency, satisfy end users to manage risk. Looking at these, sort of like … how do these different things map into this?


We can take the approach of, we sort of want to … We want to align with Microsoft, so we want to look at what they’re going out to market with and be in line with that, but we also want to have our unique take on this as well. It’s just trying to look and see well maybe for using the language as somebody who’s going and getting the message from Microsoft, we want them to … for it to be consistent what they’re hearing from us as well. Along with the consistency, they want a unique perspective as well.


You and I have talked about this, which is industry focus and Microsoft is wanting to … they’re taking a look at all the different industries that are out there. They are reorganizing underneath these industries, which is financial services, manufacturing, retail, education, health, and government. Everyone in Microsoft is organizing to these verticals. Was interesting, again, sort of my take on this was … We have a success portion of the site where we look at the different industries that we’ve helped out. Our list is more expansive than Microsoft’s, which tells me maybe I’m going after too broad of a list, but I think it’s interesting that they’re only … and this is probably a part of the strategy, is let’s go after the big industry and recognizing that internally we are not going to be about to go after and build expertise in every industry out there, so what are the ones we want to focus on first?


Tommy:Yeah, I think for us, we look at sure point as a platform and we see that from a horizontal perspective it solves problems in these different industries and not necessarily having an industry practice that we have depth of knowledge of everything that has to deal with, say, financial services, insurance. We don’t hire insurance agents and financial service consultants. We’re helping people realize the platform against problems and the spaces, and so if you look at this from an industry perspective, it’s more of trying to understand well, how do my problems map to the platform? That’s our approach, for better or for worse, we’re trying to speak to the people that we can serve. At the end of the day, we’re not coming to them with a final solution for their space, but a lot of people need to have a knowledge base across these different industries and what does that look like in the high tech, in ISV, versus financial services and insurance?




Tommy:I love the case studies that we have that kind of put skin on that, versus it being kind of a generic marketing term.


Danny:Yep, absolutely. Went and had a conversation today … Microsoft had a bunch of booths set up for their partners and one of them was for the go to market campaigns. He had me fill out … go through this survey of what things you’re doing from a marketing standpoint and I was able to check off all of them. By the end of it, he was like, “Well, you just need to hire more people in your marketing department,” and I was like, “Oh that’s nice, thanks.” Thanks so much. We are trying to leverage as much as we can out of Microsoft and really try to see where … making sure we’re trying to do the right things from a marketing standpoint. It was good to meet up with him and to hear that some of … It was interesting, because some of the stuff that come out that morning as far as go to market things, they’re not up to date on their own site with. There’ll be the campaigns that they’ll be coming out with in the near future.


FastTrack booth. I wanted to go drop by there and give them the recent project work that we’ve done with FastTrack. It was very much in line with what they were saying is using FastTrack is a part of a migration to utilize their resources. As part of it, you own the client relationship and fill in where it needs to get filled in. The guy was interested to hear, I think, I shared more than he shared with me, but that was good to hear that they were not trying to compete with us, they’re just trying to augment our services.


Was a great presentation. There was a partner about co-selling with Microsoft, it was very honest and forthright conversation. Points from her were understand the account team motivations and fears. She brought up an interesting thing where she was like in a large account, she brought Microsoft in and where it helped her was she sold a departmental solution and Microsoft was able to take that departmental solution and to sell it to other departments. So basically saying you’ve built up … We’ve seen this in some large accounts where you build out a calendaring solution or a knowledge-based solution. One department uses it and sort of taking it to other departments. She said Microsoft was very helpful once they understood what type of solution that we created, or that they had created that they could replicate it across different departments. Just made the points of asking for account lists and target only a handful of companies, so don’t try to go after every company that they’re targeting, just look for a couple of wins.


Favorite session of the day was the Chris Capossela. Gave practical examples of using the four pillars of digital transformation. He pointed out, which was interesting, was this Microsoft Education site and he said this was a big move for him, which is the branding is now moving for them behind just Microsoft. I was sort of thinking of that and the way that we brand ThreeWill and you can see what it is now, is it’s Microsoft Education. He said this was a big change for them to move over to this and focusing in on empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. More focused in on the idea of solutions for education and less of technology for technology sake.


I think we’ll start to see … it was interesting to see this as well, so they have a broken out by role type, so school leaders, educators, students. We’re trying to do a bit of that when you go up to success and trying to spell out for your role, sort of what case studies make sense for your role.


Metalogix party was the second night. The first night I went to a Nintex party, second was Metalogix. They had branded maracas, which was fun. It was good to see the team from Metalogix. Everybody was there. Their headquarters is in D.C., so pretty much everybody from the headquarters was there.


Here’s some links that I had run into of resources from Microsoft. Lines were better but I think that’s because fewer people were there and then got some great socks.




Danny:For you and your-


Tommy:I got them on today.


Danny:I would kick my foot up in here. I’ve got them on too. I can’t get it up high enough. I’ve got mine on today. You’ve got yours on. Can you do it? I think I pulled something. Okay, there you go. Then someone else has some too, right Oliver? You didn’t wear … Oliver didn’t wear them today. He was not going to come in today because he didn’t have any socks.


Oliver:I did wear them yesterday


Danny:And you did wear them yesterday.




Danny:You put them on yesterday?


Oliver:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Danny:Okay, cool. We’ve all … we’ve got matching socks here. We’ve got Windows socks.


Let me plug back in. Okay, there we go.


Third day. Number three.


Tommy:This was a three day event?


Danny:Yep, and the final day was just … Thursday was a regional … just regional updates. It was a half a day regional thing.


Tommy:Yeah, I remember that.


Danny:This was a partner opportunities in the connected workplace, so there was sort of … this is one of the presentations that I attended. Some of the things that they felt like were opportunity-wise … Buzz word of the day, single pane of … sometimes you pick up on something that people keep saying and you’re like okay, if I hear this one more time … Of course I had to say … by the way, you’re reading this blog post on a single pane of glass, because I’m a smarty. Yes, it’s expected, vision keynote. They ended up shutting down the whole top section because there weren’t enough people there.


Keynote was covered by Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer. It was a strong emphasis on the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, which takes effect in May 2018. He covered just some blog post and resources on that, just saying how that’s going to impact the partner ecosystem.


Then there was Gavriella Schuster covered more changes to the partner program. It was a honest … shared some stories about why they changed it, some back stories on that. Really focused in on recognizing that they need … inside of Microsoft, need someone who’s in what I would classify as like a connector type of role. Someone who’s listening to all of the different things that partners are doing and looking inside of Microsoft and making the right connections up. There’s certain people who are great at doing that. I think they’ve recognized that that is a role that they need to have.


Then there was a discussion with Ian Bremmer about the current status of world politics, which I’m just tired of hearing … about politics. Of course I joke around, I would love to have … I needed somebody that morning, like you’ve got everybody coming in on the third day and we’re going to talk politics. But I was hoping somebody like Tony Robbins or somebody would get us up out of our seat and just getting us jump around, pop … pumped up was what I was looking for. It was fine. I think it was just a conversation. It was interesting to see this with a world group around talking politics. I’m sure it led to some interesting conversations afterward, but nothing I wanted to talk about.


We went over to the BindTuning booth. IT was good. Saw them, it was good to meet up with a couple of their engineer folks. Talked to Microsoft rep about the p-seller program we’ve looked into this a long time ago. I’m not sure if it’s going to be an investment of our time that we want to go into.


Mike Genetti had a couple of good presentations that I went to. One was this mix, which was a recording application that snaps into PowerPoint and another snip for office … for osis. It’s a nice little screen capture thing that I’ve already started using that I really like.


Then Skype meeting broadcasts, which I still need to investigate a little bit closer. I was actually going to see if we could use that for this, but was getting some errors so I just … you know me, I’ve got about this much leeway … tolerance for an … I need something. It’s still … it’s interesting to look at. It’s available to all Office 365 tenants.




Danny:Yeah, take a peek at that. I set up a test meeting this morning. This is for more of the larger broadcast types of things.


Tommy:Yeah, GoToMeeting has been kind of problematic for me.


Danny:Has it?


Tommy:The past couple months. I’m interested in potentially going to Skype or JoinMe to … further simply our tool set.


Danny:Yep. I think it’s one of those things. What’s key is some of these products are enterprise grade and so it takes a little bit more setup to get them ready.




Danny:Just the size that we are as a company, sometimes we just need a turnkey thing, which is why we do things like GoToMeeting or Dropbox or whatever.


Attended a session on the partnership with Adobe. This was one … I don’t know if you’ve known Microsoft Strategy with Dynamics has been … to say that sort of their marketing cloud version of what Salesforce has is to work with Adobe. They have an integration. They’re starting to integrate LinkedIn more with Dynamics. I’m just keeping an eye on this. I’m sort of interested to see how this progresses. I had some conversations with some of the Adobe folks about there is no … this is for enterprise customers, so it’s not … this is not like something we would use. Just wanted to keep my eye on this since we got some expertise in Salesforce and what not.


Then I went to-


Tommy:Yeah, it’s interesting with Dynamics, it just seems like they’re not getting over the hump there. We’re not in that space so we’re probably not getting a good pulse of it, but you would think by now they would’ve been further entrenched into the …


Danny:Yeah, I don’t know. We’re not … we don’t deal with customers, talk to customers day to day about Dynamics like we do with Office 365, so I don’t know what to say.




Danny:With us, it’s … I think because we’re not experts in Dynamics, we don’t … heaven forbid I say this, we’re not using it internally. It’s one of those I just want to keep an eye on it and see how the things progress along. We’re busy enough with what we profess to be experts in that I know you can say, “Danny, just stop it. Just let it go. We’re busy enough.”


Great session from Dan Holme on SharePoint and what’s coming. Communication sites. It is available on our tenant, so I’ve already … the marketing site is now.


Tommy:Communication site.


Danny:Using new web parts, like the news web part. Difference between Yammer and Teams. He was pointing this out because I have a feeling everybody’s going through the same thing that we’re going through, which is what … you’ve thrown all these things against the wall and not sure which ones you’re expecting us to use for what situation. Of course, when you hear presentation, it’s like oh … people use what they need to use for their particular … that serves their particular purposes. It’s tough because I think there is a lot of just … people not sure what to use.


Let me just go through sort of what his message was, which is Yammer has crossed company discussions for large groups, is basically what he’s pointing out, based on interest topic and Teams are for … well, teams, smaller groups. I think for us, probably the reason why I have problems internally, is we’re a smaller company, so it’s like do you really need to have Yammer outside of Teams, is an interest topic group. We’re doing cross-department collaboration. We’re not that big. I think for larger organizations, that’s … it sort of goes across departments, it goes across … it’s more by, as he says, interest or topic, but for us, I don’t know how much more value we’re going to get. I think for us we’re making the decision internally that let’s cut down on the number of different ways we’re collaborating and if we can do it all on Teams, let’s do it all on Teams.


Tommy:Yeah, and we ended up creating the one team having different channels for those interest topics that go across the company, and then the rest of the Teams are kind of the smaller purpose bill team getting work done. On Teams.


Danny:I think I asked you about the status update and I was just thinking of … my thought was, just to explain further, was Yammer, you just put a status update, this is what I’m working on. I was just thinking in Teams, I guess I was trying to translate that over to, if we’re not using Yammer, where would I do this inside of Teams? Not really knowing like do I put this up in our café? It just seemed like that wouldn’t be appropriate thing for me to do. I could update my Skype status and put what I’m working on there, but I don’t think anybody sees that.


Tommy:Well I guess what’s the purpose of creating that status update?


Danny:What you’re up … for somebody who wants to know what you’re up to. Sort of a general Danny’s working on this or it’s sort of one of those … it’s a … what’s the word that I’m looking for? It’s just sort of … when you know what-


Tommy:Thinking out loud?


Danny:Thinking out loud and just sometimes people will like … I saw real quickly that Danny’s working on this, I’ve been thinking about that as well. How do you find out about those things if you’re not sharing it through some way. The serendipity of sharing what you’re working on.


Tommy:Yeah, and I look at it as, okay, what am I working on and what domain does that apply to? And finding the right channel to share information. You run across something that this is kind of cool, let me share it with the team or put it in the technology channel. Maybe there’s something that I want to share that’s kind of on the lighter side, so we’ve got a lighter side channel.


I mean, there could be a “what am I doing” channel. Maybe that would serve a purpose. Maybe there’s something that comes out of that. Of course, you don’t necessarily want to share “this is what I’m having for breakfast” type post.


Danny:No, that’s not … it’s more of what are you working on, basically.


Tommy:Yeah, yeah. I think if it’s a technology or marketing or whatever that domain is, you put it in that Team. I think we have quite a few teams to be landing spots for those types of ideas.


Danny:Yep, so if I’m working on something marketing then just to post something up as a discussion in the marketing group. That makes sense to me. Yeah, that makes sense.


Tommy:To be technical, it’s a conversation in a channel, so … yeah. It’s so interesting how many ways you can communicate. Blows your mind.


Danny:He confirmed that there was one team per company client. I think we came to that same conclusion, he just … I overheard him mentioning that. It sounded like that came up quite a bit, where people were saying-


Tommy:One team per what? I’m sorry.


Danny:Per client. Like per customer.


Tommy:Okay, for external teams?


Danny:For external … yeah, for external teams, or … actually, I don’t even know if it was external teams.




Danny:It might’ve been sales, internal discussions, but he just said … he mentioned that, so I just took note to that because I think we were trying to figure out is it team per … we went through a couple of iterations of what we were thinking, how do we want to set this up, is it a channel, is it a team, or how do we want to do this?




Danny:Confirmed that they’re building many of the features that companies want in a modern internet, it just … takes some time. This puts SharePoint in a box products on a foot race to outpace Microsoft. I’m just thinking, probably one of them wants to be bought by Microsoft, I assume. I think that’s really interesting, because there are a lot of options that are out there, especially from service-based companies trying to come up with a product. I was talking to somebody this morning about this and they’re like … communication sites came out and some of these things like the news web part, which is a new thing, and there’s now overlap between that and what a lot of SharePoint in a box products are doing.


Now they’ve got to re-architect their stuff and it’s like … I don’t want to be in a foot race with the SharePoint team. Especially it’s a product that is constantly going to … iterating and coming out quicker, quicker. It’s interesting to see that. In fact, I’m going to, for next week I’m going to have Sam Marshall, assuming everything lines up okay. He was one of the guys from Clearbox who did that SharePoint in a box report. Because I want to talk to … I just want to dig into this a little bit further with him to see what he’s seeing and sort of seeing what … I think next week he’s doing some webinar on communication sites, so I want to just check in with him to see what’s going on.


Further integration with Flow, so you have the workflow piece of this that’s coming along, slowly but surely, and then building apps, PowerApps. Again, things for us that great to see them coming down the pipe. I think stuff that our customers going to be asking for and it’s just a matter of when do we start using these, when does it get to the point where it’s something feasible for us to be doing on projects? Much smarter people are working on this than me.


Tommy:Yes. Yeah, making sure it’s not the next input bath for our customers too.


Danny:That’s true. That’s true.


Tommy:Seeing if it has the right longevity and extensibility.


Danny:Yep. I have gone really long on this, but you’re up to date.




Danny:You are now officially up to date.


Tommy:Thanks, Danny.


Danny:Absolutely and we’ll get together next week and we’ll do this with a … hopefully having a third person on here as well. Thanks for taking the time to do this.


Tommy:Yeah, looking forward to that.


Danny:Thanks for letting me go out to the Partner Conference, that was fun.


Tommy:Sure, absolutely.


Danny:Thank you to everybody for listening, have a great day. Bye-bye.




Additional Credits

Podcast Producer – Oliver Penegar
Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

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Danny RyanThreeWill’s Summary of #MSInspire 2017

Summary of Day 3 of #MSInspire 2017

Danny serves as Vice President of Marketing at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

  1. Today’s buzzword of the day (I should have done this for Day 1/2 as well) – Single Pane of Glass.  I think I heard it five times today.  BTW, you’re reading this blog post on a single pane of glass.   😆
  2. Yes, as suspected, the attendance at the Vision Keynote was down.  They closed off many sections of the Verizon Center.
  3. Keynote was covered by Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Counsel.   Strong emphasis on  European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will take effect May 2018 and “will significantly raise the bar for data privacy protection.”  More info – blog post and partner resources.
  4. Gavriella Schuster, CVP, Worldwide Channels and Programs, covered changes to the partner program – focus will be on growing partners for one role and role a for a person acting more as a “connector.”
  5. Discussion with Ian Bremmer about the current state of the world politics.  I’m a bit tired of politics so I would have preferred someone more inspirational (core message was basically that US is no longer leading the free world).  The conference is called Inspire – maybe next year they can book someone like Tony Robbins to get us all pumped up.
  6. Enjoyed meeting some folks from a partner from Portugal called BindTuning – UX for Office 365 that will definitely be a part of upcoming projects.
  7. Talked with Microsoft rep for the p-seller program – with all the talk about how the partner model is changing it sounds like things are status quo so not sure if it’s worth the investment of time.  Time will tell.
  8. I had two awesome sessions from Mike Gannotti – he had some killer takeaways (sorry, first two are for Windows only – a benefit of moving from Mac to a PC):
  9. Attended a session on the partnership with Adobe (integration with Dynamics and LinkedIn).  It’s a solution for larger companies (for now).  Keeping my eye on this since some companies have asked us about migrations from Salesforce to Dynamics.
  10. Great session from Dan Holme on SharePoint and what’s coming – can’t wait to use Communication Sites (still not available on our tenant) and new web parts (like the news web part).  Discussed difference between Yammer and Teams.  Yammer is a cross-company discussions (large groups) based on interest/topic and Teams are for, well, teams (smaller groups).  He confirmed the model is one Team per company/client that you work with (we came to the same conclusion).  Confirmed that they are building in many of the features that companies want in a modern Intranet – it just may take some time.  This puts “SharePoint in a Box” products in a foot-race to outpace Microsoft (maybe one of them will be bought by Microsoft – just guessing).  Talk of further integration with workflow (Flow) and building apps (PowerApps).
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Danny RyanSummary of Day 3 of #MSInspire 2017

Summary of Day 2 of #MSInspire 2017

Danny serves as Vice President of Marketing at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

  1. Wish I had a dollar for each time this was covered today – four pillars of digital transformation that empower organizations to re-envision their business: engage customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products.  Thinking about how this fits into how we categorize solutions (improve bottom line, drive efficiency, satisfy end users, and manage risks).
  2. The final mile in solutions – Industry focus.  Microsoft focusing on these industries: Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Education, Health and Government.  Everyone in Microsoft organized into these verticals.  We actually cover more industries (from our menu, select SUCCESS -> FOR YOUR INDUSTRY lists them all).  Should we narrow ours down?  Just to Microsoft’s list to help us focus and partner better?
  3. Had a conversation with the leader of Go To Market Campaigns – they are going to need to catch up to this messaging and focus with the microsoft.com site.
  4. At FastTrack booth – we are on the same page with messaging (using FastTrack as a part of a migration, but we need to own the outcome relationship with the client).
  5. Attended a really great presentation by another partner about co-marketing/selling with Microsoft.  Key points – understand account team motivations and fears, bringing Microsoft into a large account helped them sell a solution for one department to other departments, ask for Account List and target only a handful of companies.
  6. Favorite session of the day was one that was scheduled last minute about transforming marketing by Chris Capossela (CMO of Microsoft).  Practical examples of how their marketing department is using the four pillars of digital transformation.  Was great to get the explanation behind the move to brand everything to Microsoft – example – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education  First time I saw this ad – so well done and just as good/better than Apple – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzMLA8YIgG0
  7. Fun times at night at the Metalogix party – any party with branded maracas is a party for me!  Great seeing the team from Metalogix…
  8. Lots of links to resources:
  9. Lines into Verizon Center were so much better today.  Crowd not as big (lots of folks sleeping in?).  My guess is this trend will continue tomorrow.
  10. Got some great socks for Tommy and me from FastTrack booth…I’m sure we’ll showcase this in the podcast.

Microsoft Socks

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Danny RyanSummary of Day 2 of #MSInspire 2017