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


Tommy:I’m doing well, sir.


Danny:Welcome back. Welcome back from Florida.




Danny:Last week, you were at Ignite.


Tommy:I was. I sure was.


Danny:Was it a successful week?


Tommy:It was. It was a jammed packed week. A lot of things happened that week. You get to meet up with folks that you haven’t seen in a while. You meet up with folks that are right down the street, too. And I get to see what technologies are out there, what are people’s kind of vision for the next year in the Microsoft ecosystem. And it’s good to get you re-energized with what’s coming out, and just seeing all the investments that Microsoft’s making into Office 365 is just amazing. We talk about the fire hose of the things that come out on an ongoing basis with Office 365, and that will continue. There’s a lot coming.


Danny:Mm-hmm (affirmative). And from the week, both you and Bo, you went down there with Bo George.


Tommy:That’s right.


Danny:And I think you guys both did a top 10 takeaways from the week. Is that right?


Tommy:I believe so, yeah. Bo did a blog post.




Tommy:I put something out in our technology channel in Teams, and maybe we can share that this morning.


Danny:That’s great, yeah. Let’s talk about it. So you had a top 10 takeaways from Ignite, and what was your first one?


Tommy:Well, these are not in any particular order. It was basically just a brain dump, trying to remember the things that I wanted to take away. On Sunday, I just started putting out a bulleted list of things that I thought were interesting to share with the team, and the first one just popped up as Skype for business is going to Teams, and so that was interesting. I didn’t, quote expect that. You see a lot of overlap in the ecosystem where you see Yammer in Teams, and Teams has a number of things in it that overlap with different areas like SharePoint and Skype and calendaring and a number of things. They are essentially taking what is Skype for business in the Cloud, and all those work streams are gonna to be serviced by Teams as Teams bridges the gap in the capabilities to Skype.


I believe that Skype for business will stay around, but more for on-prem customers that want to deploy Skype in their organizations. But the things that you would normally do like schedule online appointment within Outlook, where it provisions out for you an online meeting, that will go from being a Skype online meeting to a Teams online meeting, which is good. I’m excited to see that. That’ll be nice.


Danny:And I think we were heading in this direction when we sort of started really focusing in on Teams earlier this year.




Danny:And I know from us, it’s … with collaboration, if you’ve got too many tools, that overwhelming … the too many choices, it ends up impeding you. And I know from my experience with collaborating with others, I was pretty much just exclusively using Teams. And every once in a while, I’d open Skype for business just to see … I think it was more for if I was …




Danny:If I needed to chat with someone from Microsoft or just for a very specific purpose. But for the most part, I think we’ve switched over to using Teams for chat-based things.


Tommy:We have, and yeah. The only thing I go into it for is for Federation, to talk to folks across tenants, and don’t know where that is going to go, if that’s going to be a part of Teams or not. But for now, that’s the only reason I’ll spin it up.


Danny:Great. So Flow, tell me about Flow.


Tommy:Well, Flow … that is, I think, the answer to what you did in the past with SharePoint Designer workflows, and I don’t think it’s totally bridged the gap. But Flow is definitely taking a broader view of what is workflow for Microsoft and trying to provide that cross-platform, and within the platform Office 365 and across different technologies and third parties. So Sales Force, Entrillio and Docu san and all these things that “how you get work done.” And if you want to tie those together and orchestrate that with the work flow …


You really couldn’t do that with SharePoint designer, but Flow is doing a great job at providing that wizzy wig, drag-and-drop attribute-based programming where you can set up your Flow and pass context and information from technology to technology. Good to see that. It’s one of those things that I think it still needs some maturity, but it’s coming close to where we’re–I think we’ll start seeing it on our projects. Right now we’re just helping customers understand what it’s about, but it’s getting to a point where there’s a level of maturity that’s starting to show.




Tommy:Excited about that.


Danny:Awesome, so it sounds like Flow is sort of today’s version of what we used to do with SharePoint designer work flows, and then …




Danny:For InfoPath–it was plus the more, and then InfoPath forms now, looking at Power Apps as possibly a replacement for those.


Tommy:Yeah, I think that’s probably the closest thing that you’ll see as an InfoPath forms replacement. They haven’t been very vocal to say InfoPath gets replaced with Power Apps. I think there’s a number of technologies out there that they’re trying to see where they end up landing and having the best fit. But I think Power Apps now is starting to be a little bit more vocal around where a replacement for InfoPath forms. You hear that in the language and the conversation. What I saw is some kind of concrete evidence that Power Apps are becoming that replacement for InfoPath forms is when you go to edit a list in SharePoint before you …


Today, you have the ability to use a SharePoint out of the box, list editing experience, or you can use an InfoPath form as an overlay to that list, and that’s kinda built in to the configuration of the list. Now, you’re gonna see three options: InfoPath, Power Apps, and just a standard SharePoint list. I would imagine overtime you’re going to see InfoPath go away and Power Apps will be that option to create a higher fidelity SharePoint list update capability. I think it’s something that, again, it’s a similar theme to Flow that these technologies are not SharePoint specific, although they’re compatible with SharePoint.


So Power Apps is something you can create totally independent of a SharePoint list. You can use the common data service, which is kind of like table-storage that allows you to relate information and create things like mini-to-mini relationships that you can’t do in SharePoint, and you can create an application and store that data up in Azure. And so, you can take users where maybe it initiates at this level, and then it can grow and mature beyond that, and maybe the data storage over time goes somewhere else. Maybe outside of Microsoft. Maybe some of that data gets pushed into another platform. So, great to see that. That kind of starts in a Cloud-friendly device-friendly way where you can get to Power Apps from a mobile app, and you’re not just tied to the Microsoft ecosystem.


Danny:Cool, cool. SharePoint hub sites. Number four. Tell me about those. This is something new, right?


Tommy:Yeah, it is, and probably one of my favorite things that I saw at the conference. I’ve mentioned to the team as we do our morning brew each week, talking about technology and where a collaboration is going from Microsoft. Delve is one of those things that not a lot of times you go to Delve in a daily work flow. This is the way I get things done; I go to Delve, and Delve helps surface what I need to work on. I find Delve is more of “what are the new UI approaches to consume data from the graph and present that in a way that is different than what we’re used to today, and we get exposure to new concepts in Delve.” And then, they start surfacing in different areas across the platform, like some of the Delve things have surfaced in One Drive and how you can view your documents and interact with the activity of documents.


So, Delve is getting surfaced into hub sites in the way they aggregate content across a group of sites. Let me step back and kind of explain why I think they have this hub site concept. Sites today that you’re creating, we’re creating more and more of these Office 365 groups that maybe are consumed just as Office 365 groups, or we end up consuming them through Yammer and Teams. And when we create these Office 365 groups, they’re to their own site collection. They’re at the top level, and every time you create another one, you’re creating another one at the top level.


So you have a flat structure where you have a whole bunch of groups, but some of those groups aren’t common. They have some common threads between them, like, for us, it’s out projects. The project work that we do, we create a project site every time we spin up a new project. Or if we have a new account that we’re working with in the sales side of things; that becomes a new account team. Well, now we’ve got hub sites that will allow us to be members of a hub with like-sites, so we can have a project hub; we can have an account hub, and then you can go to that one place to explore with the common theme. So I wanna go see, “well, what’s the activity with projects going on?” I don’t want to go to every project site and peek at the news. I can go to the hub site and see the news across all those projects.


It goes beyond that aggregation of content. It also gives you the ability to have standard navigation that shows up across all the member sites, and that navigation goes three levels deep. So some of the things that you kind of do in a landing page for a portal, you’ve got that capability within the hub sites. And then, also, they create a boundary for search, so you can have search results that are scoped just to those member sites. That way you’re not searching across the entire tenant or just a single site; you can go somewhere in-between those two ranges. You can go and look at the hub and search for content within the hub.


And then, the last main feature–and there’s probably more, but this one’s, I think, worth noting–is the ability to theme and brand member sites in the same way. So you can go and create a member site and use its own branding or theme-ing, or you can, say, apply the theme that’s the standard theme for the hub. And that’s a great way to get some compliancy to a brand and make sure things are not branded differently and not looking uniform when you want them to look uniform. Good stuff with hub sites.


Danny:Yeah, that’s great. Again, I think this goes along with the overall maturity and continuing–Microsoft continuing to build on what they have right now with using SharePoint as your intranet and the things that a lot of people are looking for. Along those lines, the SharePoint framework. It sounds like that’s gaining some maturity as well. That’s your next one.


Tommy:It is, yeah, and that’s a good theme to kind of apply to what I saw with Ignite, is it really was bringing maturity in the Cloud as it relates to collaboration. The things that we’ve done in the past with on-prem environments, we’re starting to see it’s getting real with, “what are the capabilities for Office 365?” We’ve been migrating a ton of folks up to Office 365, but they’ve been using it more of a commodity service versus really thinking about, “how can I make a collaborative solution?”


So, the SharePoint framework is starting to bridge that gap of, okay, the things we could do, let’s say, with a farm-based solution. We’re starting to see that surface and become available in the SharePoint framework. Also, in kind of the same theme of this, I think P&P is such a great asset to the SharePoint development or SharePoint solution ecosystem. They’re providing not just sample code for folks to go take and say, “oh, this is how you do it, but it’s not really enterprise-grade.”


They’re creating very good starting points in Open Source to allow us to take it as is, not as sample code that we have to rewrite something from scratch, but something that is a starting framework for us. So, it’s great to see what the P&P is doing and what’s surfacing in the SharePoint framework. Hopefully, you have some time with Bo to dig into that deeper because this is … if this was ten years ago, I might’ve been able to absorb a little bit more [crosstalk 00:14:37] of what the SharePoint framework’s about, but I’m sure Bo can dive deeper. Yeah, a few other things that I think about.


Danny:So, the next part, talking about things that we’ve worked with in the past. Sounds like web parts are coming along. They’re starting to build … continued to add more web parts, and then along the same lines–it’s funny when I see modern verus classic view. I think of sales force and their classic view versus lightning. It sounds like there’s sorta similar things within the two platforms, but it sounds like they’re building on more and more maturity and can toggle back and forth between the two. So that’s coming along as well.


Tommy:It is, and I think the classic view was that starting point that really tried to bridge the gap of “we’re going from an on-prem, very highly functional environment to a Cloud environment,” and when they did that they tried to pull in as much as they could as a starting point. As they, I think, absorbed what are … more modern–and modern’s a tough term to use because what is modern? Modern today; is that still modern tomorrow? But I think they’re trying to distinguish between, okay, we tried to map this over to something that looks really similar to what you’re used to seeing in SharePoint on your on-prem environments, and we’re providing that to you in the Cloud.


And then, they provided this new experience that they are kind of slowly pulling you along into that experience where modern pages start showing up, and they look nice. They’re pages that you’re more accustomed to see and branded sites that are out and are the general internet, you know, the day to day consumer experience where you have infinite scroll; you have a simpler layout with better balance of white space. Those modern pages, although they looked very nice when they came out, they were very limited in what they could do in the web parts that you could have and the layouts you could have.


They’re aggressively addressing those gaps to a point where I think most of our customers, we’re going to encourage them to just go full in with the modern experience and not tie themself to some of the classic view capabilities. Although, we have some customers that, you know, they have manage metadata and some of that. They’re bridging the gap, but it’s gonna take a little bit of a mind shift of, “okay, this is a new way to do it.” And now, there’s a ton of new web parts that are available to us that we feel like we’re not hamstrung when we want to create a solution with the modern pages.


Danny:Cool. So, it’s SharePoint lists. The performance of those–that’s maturing as well, huh?


Tommy:It is, and I think … The way I absorb this information is I saw the presentations and how they talked to this. I think at the end of the day, these SharePoint lists had the same architecture; they were just trying to provide support to tune those lists to be usable for more items when you go beyond the 5,000 item threshold where things start getting throttled. They have what they call “predictive indexes,” and those are things that we’ve done in the past to say, “okay, what columns do you want to sort by and group by, and let’s go ahead and create indexes for those so you can go beyond the 5,000 item list limit.” So now, they’re saying, “okay, we’re going to look at the user behavior with the list and how you sort and group it, and we’re gonna create those indexes for you.”


So, that allows the non-developers who are–you don’t have to be a developer to set the index, but just the everyday user that doesn’t think about what an index is and when I need to have an index that it creates it for you automatically. I don’t know what the limit was before, but they basically said that we can do millions of items, and our current “limit” that they’re quoting is 30 million items in a list. Those lists–those are just such a great starting point for a lot of solutions that are out there. They’re not the hammer that you want to use for every solution, but it’s great to see that they’re still making investments to make lists more and more scalable.


Danny:Cool, cool. Next one: Azure’s the gateway drug, huh?


Tommy:Yeah, I did say gateway drug, and I edited this, but you said gateway drug, not me. I still left gateway. I think …


Danny:I say the things you think sometimes, Tommy. I’m sorry.


Tommy:So, yeah, the Azure stack. I think one of the challenges we have today is there are certain organizations that it just is gonna take a while to get used to going to the Cloud. There’s plenty of great stories out there, there’s plenty of reasons to go to the Cloud, and a lot of the blockers or objections to go to the Cloud are going away, but there’s still that mental gap of people just not feeling comfortable just yet. But they get frustrated.


They go to these conferences and see all these neat, kinda new tools, and they can’t use them, and it frustrates them, so I think Azure stack is a great way to say, “okay, we’re doing some awesome things with Azure. We’re gonna make that available to you in the Azure stack, and that way you can start building things that work in Azure. And then, when you’re ready to go to the Cloud, you don’t have to make a huge investment to re-architect things; you’ve already re-architected it for the Cloud.” Kinda similar to what SharePoint is doing.


SharePoint has got a server side you can install in your own environment, but you use the same development techniques. They’re pushing you to more of the Java Script-based frameworks to do that development, and you don’t do it different in the Cloud than you do on-prem. And so, I think this is just more for the pure backend and set of services outside of SharePoint. Azure stack is available for those companies, so I’m excited to see opportunities where we can help people with the Azure stack. Our DNA is helping creating custom solutions, and Azure is definitely a part of that.


Danny:So, that’s something you install on-prem, then? The azure stack?


Tommy:Yeah, your own private Cloud or on-prem.


Danny:Okay, cool. SharePoint migration–


Tommy:Tool or a toy?


Danny:Tool or a toy?


Tommy:I don’t know.


Danny:What is it?


Tommy:They announced that, you know, I wonder is this the same tool they use with FastTrack? Is it maybe a tool from another vendor? Because the FastTrack, they’ll tell you it’s a Metlogix tool, and Metlogix created that, but maybe they’ve got a deal with Sharegate and they’ve got a simpler version of Sharegate that’s out there, or who knows? Maybe it was built in-house. I kinda doubt that, but … That was announced with us being involved with FastTrack and bridging the gap of what it takes to do things in the real world versus some of these tools that are a starting point to help you.


It’d be good to understand what those gaps are so we can educate our customers and know when they can use that as their tool, because we love it when they get stuff for free. Working with FastTrack, they get a lot of the migration services for free, and we can help them do that in an enterprise-scale way with things like communication plans and just bridging the gap of all these tools. They’re never gonna do everything you need it to do for a migration.


There’s not a single tool out there that will do that for you. Just the nature of the beast, the technology moves too quickly, too many things are changing, and you need technically savvy people to kind of understand that and guide you down the right path. I think it’s a positive thing, it’s just more fodder out there for folks to say Microsoft is behind me and try to make it easier for me to migrate. Good to see that.


Danny:Awesome, last one: Interloop versus Outerloop. We’re not talking about something Elon Musk related either.


Tommy:No, no, we’re not talking about 285 or … so, yeah. The Interloop/Outerloop. I put this out there ’cause I think there’s a lot of struggle with Microsoft in particular where Microsoft will try to reinvent itself and kind of leaves some of the same technology there, and there’s overlap, and there’s technologies that are mainstream and they’re making the investment, and there’s still overlap. Let’s say Yammer and Teams. Well, you see, Yammer and Teams have a lot of common capability, and so it becomes a story of, well, which one do I use when? There’s all this balance of I think you have to limit your tools. You have to find what is that subset ’cause you really don’t need to use all of them. But then, when you decide on what is that subset of tools, there will be overlap, and then you have to make some decisions of when do I use what tool? What’s most appropriate?


I went to one talk from Susan Hanley, and she did a great job of coming up with some analogies of how do you think about collaboration and when you use what tool. There was a slide that she showed that was a standard Microsoft slide that you saw in a lot of the presentations that would involve Teams or SharePoint or Yammer, and they have a concept of a interloop and a Outerloop. Kind of the key thing that I took away from that is this interloop is your small, close-knit teams that you know everybody by their first name, you see them on a day-to-day basis, and you’re just getting work done together. You want a highly collaborative, very high fidelity experience where you can collaborate and get your work done.


And then, there’s this outerloop of trying to connect people that have common interests or skill that makes sense that you need to be aware of and you want to tap into, and you don’t see these people from a day-to-day basis. In that outerloop, you’re trying to create communities of practice, you’re trying to basically have domains of knowledge that cross different parts of your organization. And so, they basically say outerloop, that’s Yammer; interloop, that’s teams. For us, we’re a small organization, so everybody knows who is who within the organization, so we don’t have that need for that outerloop communication. Our outerloop might be things out on the web, like Stack Overflow, where we’re having collaboration but it’s across organizations; it’s not within a small team. So I think that helped further clarify and justify, okay, why do we need both Yammer and Teams? Well, I kinda get it, and in our case I think we’re gonna still–with just teams that we don’t need Yammer at this point.


Danny:Cool, this was great, Tommy. Thank you for taking the time to put these down on paper and share this with everybody. It sounds like it was a great week.


Tommy:It was, it was. Yup, good stuff. We’re ready to rock and roll.


Danny:Awesome, awesome, awesome. Thank you everybody for listening, and have a wonderful day.






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: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

Planning and Building The Hub, a Modern Digital Workspace, on SharePoint and Office 365

Shire, a recognized leader in rare diseases, has a passion to improve the quality of life of their patients. A core component of their business strategy is to plan for rapid growth, both organically and through acquisition. They just completed their largest acquisition to-date, quadrupling the size of their global workforce.

During this expansion, change management was significant to keep everyone informed and engaged. With Office 365 and SharePoint, Shire could:

  • Build & host their digital workspace with a strong rigor on content governance
  • Secure the content being produced
  • Ensure that content is curated in a consistent, compelling way, that’s also easy to find

Join our panel discussion with leaders from Shire and our SharePoint MVPs as they share their requirements and best practices to plan, build and use a functional, beautiful, engaging digital workspace, The Hub, that helps inform and engage everyone throughout the company.

They will highlight the use of innovations including SharePoint communication sites, the SharePoint Framework (SPFx), multi-column page support, new web parts and page capabilities – all used to create rich and compelling sites that meet and pass business and technical requirements.

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Danny RyanPlanning and Building The Hub, a Modern Digital Workspace, on SharePoint and Office 365

Summary of Day 3 of #MSInspire 2017

  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

  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

Summary of Day 1 of #MSInspire 2017

  1. Next year’s conference will be at Las Vegas – https://twitter.com/maryjofoley/status/884394386330718208. Loved bringing the family to this year’s conference – may just be my wife to next year’s conference because Vegas is not so family friendly.
  2. Office 365 + Windows + Enterprise Mobility and Security = Microsoft 365 – https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/10/15946450/microsoft-365-office-windows-ignite-launch We moved from SharePoint to Office 365 and now I’ll have to add a Microsoft 365 tag to our blog.
  3. Love that Ron Huddleston is the new Channel Chief – he’s the person behind the AppExchange – we’ve created apps for both the AppExchange and the Office Store and trust me when I say that he can make a huge impact.
  4. Out with PAM, in with Channel Manager.
  5. Great to see integration with LinkedIn happening – attended a couple of sessions and this will give Salesforce a run for their money…
  6. Four Solution Areas – Modern Workplace, Business Applications, Applications and Infrastructure, and Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  7. 4.5 Trillion Dollar Opportunity – favorite meme – https://twitter.com/meetdux/status/884406836287479809
  8. Mobile First, Cloud First now Intelligent Cloud, Intelligent Edge – https://twitter.com/Microsoft/status/884404594943590400
  9. Loved seeing women leading the demos – https://twitter.com/mrstotten/status/884419820233666560
  10. Feedback from the day – waited over an hour to get into Verizon Center (they weren’t letting people in until 9 am for some reason) – will be showing up early tomorrow to avoid the lines.

verizon center waiting

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Danny RyanSummary of Day 1 of #MSInspire 2017

Microsoft Inspire 2017

Connect with Microsoft employees, industry experts and partners as we host Microsoft Inspire, formerly known as the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. It’s the great event our partners know and love, with a brand new name. Join us in Washington, D.C. to build connections, increase engagement with Microsoft, and transform your business with innovative sessions and experiences.

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Danny RyanMicrosoft Inspire 2017

MacBook Air vs Surface Book – One Person’s Perspective

Danny:Hello. It’s June 23, 2017, and this is your host Danny Ryan, and I have Tommy Ryan here with me. Hey Tommy.


Tommy:Hey Danny.


Danny:I know we’re getting together next week, to talk through more about the podcast. I just had something, a topic that I wanted to talk to you today about, and rather than have to write a blog post on it, I said, “Hey, why don’t you just pull into the office, and we’ll talk about it here, and record it, and do it that way.”


Tommy:That’s a common theme around here. No one likes to write. They just want to talk.


Danny:Nobody likes to write. They just talk, talk, talk. So, what the theme is, as you know, here’s the back story on it, which is many years ago, switched over from Windows to a Mac. And I’ve probably have been through three Macs, I would guess, through the years. And that probably puts me back close to seven, to eight, to maybe even nine years ago, where I made the switch over. Have always had a Windows machine around somewhere, for our meetings with Microsoft, or just one as a backup.


Tommy:Now you need a Mac to go to a Microsoft meeting.


Danny:Yes. So, I wanted to talk to you, just sort of in general, about what I went through. Because I think now you’re looking at whether to, what’s next for you, and looking at the iPad Pro.


Tommy:Yeah. Could be a variety of things. Yep.


Danny:Looking at that. So I guess, what are your options that you’re looking at right now?


Tommy:I would say, iPad Pro, another MacBook, or a Surface Book.




Tommy:That’s probably the three kinda top choices.


Danny:And the MacBook would be a, is it Air or is it a regular MacBook.


Tommy:It wouldn’t be the Air. They’re kind of phasing out the Airs with the standard MacBook.




Tommy:So they’ve got kind of their lighter version.




Tommy:Is MacBook, and they’ve got MacBook Pro. MacBook Pros, they haven’t done anything that exciting there. They’ve upgraded some of the processors on it. And then the MacBook is more of a, do I want something even lighter, and it doesn’t need to have that much processing power. And then the iPad Pro is to say, can I use the latest OS, OS 11.




Tommy:For the multitasking, and something different. I think part of it is doing something different. You get bored of being in front of a laptop. And, with that being 10, 12 hours of my day, I’m really to switch it up.


Danny:Well, for me, I guess the sort of backstory for me is that, a long time ago, probably when we first started the company out, I used to have … I don’t remember. Do you remember that compact tablet that I had, which was basically a, it’s something I could write on.




Danny:It was something. It had a real crappy keyboard, but it was something that I used a long time ago. So, I like the whole concept of having a single device that I can write on, and work with. And so, I’ve always wanted to have something like that. Now, the Mac Books that I’ve had, the last one was an Air. Obviously, there’s no touch support for it.




Danny:And that was something that was like, am I going to use it, or am I going to be worried about touching the screen, or just sort of had my general doubts about whether that would be right for me or not, and I think … What ended up happening, I guess, I was sort of looking at, what is it. And I do this, I sort of try to minimize the number of apps that I’m using.




Danny:Just sort of to simplify my life, because I feel like with Office 365, there’s a new app each week.




Danny:And I think this often comes up, which is the issue of contact switching, where, as you’re moving from one thing to the next thing, and just sort of losing as you’re making moves to different. And over time, I was just sort of looking at, well, what am I using? No surprise. I’m using Outlook.




Danny:Pretty often, for email and a lot of my calendaring, and for contacts, and using OneNote typically. We used to be avid Evernote users, and I’ve sort of made the switch over to using OneNote.


Tommy:Before that, we were big OneNote users.


Danny:We were. Geesh.


Tommy:You got to change it up. You got to switch it up.


Danny:We just got to switch it up. That’s the deal. But, so using OneNote. And I like … So, they definitely with the Mac, have really brought a lot of the Office apps. They’re not on par, but sort of up to a level that is really kind of nice. I mean, they’re constantly making updates.




Danny:But I was looking at sort of my behavior, as far as, what are the key apps that I have running all the time, and for me, it was Outlook, OneNote. I also was using, I use Wonderlist quite a bit for my task management, sort of what is it. That’s the next thing that I’m going after.




Danny:Managing my tasks, and my shared tasks, those types of things. And then obviously Chrome, for sort of everything else, was what I was looking at. And there is a lot of … One of the things I was looking at is the integration between Outlook and OneNote is much better. Like, if you have a meeting with somebody, you can easily create meeting notes.


Tommy:Right. Right.


Danny:So that sort of thing. The experience between the two is much better on Windows, than it is on a Mac. And in general, just sort of, I’m a power user of Outlook, so a lot of the add ins, and stuff like that, I sort of found that I was wanting to use more of the Windows version of Outlook, versus the Mac. And so or many years, I think, it was never that I went away from Windows, it was, usually, I was using it with parallels. And every once in a while, just like you, I would try using the Windows version of Outlook on my Mac, and like that. But then it was a little bit of a janky experience, with having two operating systems. It just finally got to the point where I was like, okay, what is my work machine going to be. And then, I think, so I was going to go back to a Dell was originally, I think, when we were talking a while back, was like, Okay, everybody here uses a Dell. And then, looking at what Microsoft had done, with the different products that they were putting out. I think, for me, I ended up getting a Surface Book. And this was probably a month or so ago, maybe. So I’ve had some time with it. And my reasoning for it was I wanted to try the whole … Typically, before, I carried around a iPad, along with my MacBook Air, and wanted to see if I could have just one experience with one device, and see how that would work out for me. I liked all the overall. So let me just sort of, brother to brother, share with you what my experience has been, moving over, and stopping, and not using the Mac primarily. One of the biggest things I net. One is I love the getting back to the Outlook, and OneNote, and that who experience has been great. Productivity wise, it’s been wonderful. The whole File Explorer, and actually connecting up the OneDrive thing, which I’m sure is already coming to, or at the Mac as well.


Tommy:Yeah. You can, like I’m connected to the sales account folder.




Tommy:The contract folder, so that’s nice.


Danny:So that experience was wonderful, just being able to download all of our marketing files.




Danny:And really organize things, because I try to carve off some time during the week, just grooming all the stuff there that accumulates through the years. It’s amazing how much stuff is out there. And try to organize all that stuff. So the experience is really nice, with the File Explorer view.


The big thing that I miss, I think, making the move over, is iMessage.




Danny:And what I ended up doing, okay, I can use Skype for some things, but there’s not like a clear, like what Apple does with the whole, I get a text message on my laptop, along with my phone. There’s not … I think Microsoft was attempting to do it with their messaging app, but it never got there. So what I ended up doing was I got a Verizon app, because I use Verizon for my mobile phone. And there’s an app, and it’s janky. I mean, it’s not there.


Tommy:I would imagine.


Danny:It’s janky. It’s just not … Whoever created it, God bless them. They just, the user experience is not … You know, I won’t get all of my messages, and I’m just sort of not really … I can’t rely on it, like I could with iMessages.




Danny:That was the biggest thing. I mean, overall, my Chrome is just Chrome. And it’s still-




Danny:It’s still a great experience with using Chrome, so that’s not really a big change for me. I like, so the move over, my overall experience with the Surface Book has been, battery life is just fine. You can take the top off of it, and that battery life is really short. But you can take it off, and they call it a clipboard, basically, and you can take it to a meeting, an hour meeting, but probably not much more than that. And then you come back, and put it back on, and it start to … The battery is primarily inside the base of the keyboard.




Danny:I like that you can switch it over. You can flip it around, where you have it more standing up like a tent, like a tent move with that, which is nice. I have the pen. There’s some neat things with. So I’ve sort of, when I’m using it, I find that I’m using my finger more than … I mean, I’ve got a mouse.




Danny:But over time, I’m starting to use more of my finger, for pointing at things with it. This is, the pen is nice. It’s a, I’m not using it like a … I haven’t been doing OneNote notes like a clipboard. Maybe I’ll start to do that. Right now I haven’t sort of switched over. I’m still doing a lot of keyboard based stuff. This is, it’s kinda neat, because the top, you click on it, and have it do different things, based upon what you want that to do.




Danny:So like, if I want to take a quick … I can launch out OneNote. I can use it as an eraser, so I can write something and erase with it. And it ends up going, it fits off to the side like that.




Danny:And I haven’t lost it yet. I will lose it, but I haven’t lost it yet, and that seems to work out real well. As you see, basically the bottom of what I’m using right now, is pretty common, which is Chrome, Outlook, Wonderlist. I’ve got OneNote pulled up. Teams is usually up and running as well. And then the two Skype programs that are there. And I still use the, I’ve got my standbys, that as making the move over. My Password Manager, is one password. And what I’ve found is, a lot of the Mac, primarily Mac programs that have on Windows, they’re starting to really build on the Windows side of things as well.


Like One Password just did a release, and it was like, it’s full. It’s everything that I would get on the Mac. It feel like that way.




Danny:Maybe there’s some missing pieces. But the same thing for me was text expander. For the longest time, text expander was just on the Mac.




Danny:And then they released a Windows client.




Danny:And then that Windows client is just as … I don’t know if it’s just as good, but it’s coming. It seems like they’re investing in it.




Danny:It’s something that they’re doing. So, from my experience, making the move over, that was … I have what I need with a password manager. I have, for my blowing up my short codes are there so that’s been nice. And what I ended up doing was, you’ll get a kick out of this, was I, every once in a while, I want to use iMessage, so I ended up getting Go To My PC, and I have my Mac up and running at home, so that if I need to send an iMessage, I just crank that up, send an iMessage, and Okay. That’s my way of dealing with the fact that I don’t have iMessage anymore.


Tommy:Right. Right.


Danny:Is I just remote into my old one. And especially if I’m sending a bunch of texts, I really like being able to do that. So, my last one over there is, it’ll Go To PC, and I’ll just connect and send, work with that. Or there’s also some of the apps that I have on my Mac, I don’t have here. And they’re such … Dropbox, and OneDrive are so, sort of like, your hard drive is anywhere and everywhere. I can work on the Mac if I want to. I can go in full screen, and just sort of switch back over. It’s sort of like what I did with parallels, is every once in a while, I wanted to switch over to the Windows applications, and work from there.


So there is more, you know, the move, the overall experience has been really good, with making the move. So the real question is, am I going to get my next machine right now. What would I get if I had to do it again today, and I’m pretty happy with this.




Danny:I am overall. I had an issue with Microsoft where, to get the warranty, I needed to go to the store, and they messed up. They messed that up, but I’m working with somebody online to get it fixed. They gave me the wrong type of warranty, and so they’re having to fix that. And so I’m working with somebody to get that. That wasn’t the best experience. It seems like they’re working that out.


It’s interesting, by going through this, I’m thinking about my next set of things, because I’ve got my iPhone’s coming up for renewal, and I’m half thinking of doing the Google Pixel, as my next device. Sort of tying a little bit of everything. Because I’ve gone all Apple for so long. And it goes in waves. I might come back and do all Apple again in the future, and say, “Forget all that. I just want to have everything work together like this.” But I also, it’s been kind of interesting, being able to sort of be heterogeneous, and have different. There’s benefits of each of the different platforms, and sort of what you’re using with each of the different platforms.


I did get a dock at home, that connects up two monitors. So what basically the dock is set to work with two monitors, and I just drop this into it, and it connects both monitors up, which is nice. It’s a real, it’s a great setup. And ended up, you can see right now I’m connected where it’s just got this bigger, this guy. This is a proprietary thing for Microsoft, but I just connect that up at home, and it’s all set.


Tommy:Is that power and-


Danny:Power and.


Tommy:And monitor.


Danny:And monitor.




Danny:I’m going to do a little neat thing with the … Hang on. With the power supply they actually have a little USB. They did some pretty cool stuff. So this is the power supply, and you actually have a thing for my iPhone, so I plug in my-




Danny:So there’s a nice little USB port that’s hanging off of that as well. So that’s … I’m trying to think of, any questions that you have? Sort of, what would be your, as you look at a Microsoft book. Maybe since I’ve been focusing on that’s what I made the move to. What’s your overarching concern about moving to that?


Tommy:Well, when I look at it, it’s funny. I used to like to tinker quite a bit.




Tommy:And get into the guts of things, and configure things. And as time has passed, I feel like I don’t have the time to do that anymore.




Tommy:And so my trump card for things, is simplicity.




Tommy:And actually, trying to challenge myself to have less things open, and try to kind of hone in, and just stay focused at one thing at a time, versus too much multitasking. I tend to get sloppy and go too many things at one time. And so, what could be a drawback, but I can see an advantage in going down the iPad path, is it’s a very simple multitasking environment. And also, the features of the applications, having less to tinker with.




Tommy:And only have kind of key features. And you know, that’s something that I think has made me more productive, without having to go search for things, but just use a few things very well, and stay focused on that.




Tommy:Versus, I used to look up everything you could do, with a pivot chart, and really try to hone in a lot of fancy formatting, and things like that. So that’s what’s attracting me in that direction of can I go even more simplistic. Because if you look at, what I’ve done over time is, I haven’t used parallels in probably two years.




Tommy:And so I broken that dependency. Just because the things I do, I don’t need it. The only thing that’s been a drawback for me is probably Skype. That’s been my biggest challenge, is some organizations, the way their Skype is configured, when they invite you to a meeting, it’s trying to redirect to link 2010, and then it never logs in appropriately. And I have ways of working around it, but I never seem to get a really clean connection. So that’s a thing that I know I could get rid of if I go back to a Windows machine.


The Outlook, and OneNote, taking notes, that’s intriguing to me, but I think, for me, is trying to stay focused, and try not to have too much multitasking to go around.


The other thing that concerns me with the, say the iPad, is the keyboard, and having a more robust keyboard, which I could do a Bluetooth keyboard as a workaround for that. Because I think the Surface Book looks like it has a more substantial keyboard, because it’s on that laptop chassis, versus being in a cover that you would put on the iPad.


Danny:I definitely use it primarily in laptop mode. Yeah. And what’s interesting is, as I go through with setting it up, is a lot of these applications have like a … Like let’s take Outlook. Outlook has Outlook 2016. And then you have a mail app, that’s sort of like a scaled back version of Outlook.


Tommy:Right. Right.


Danny:And same thing with OneNote. OneNote has OneNote 2016, and then it has a OneNote app. And for a while I was going like, I almost, I like the OneNote app, because it was cleaner, just for simplicity’s sake.


Tommy:Right. Right. Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Danny:But then there’s some things I use from OneNote 2016 that I like as well, so it’s like this conundrum. Which one do I use for it.




Danny:But what I end up, what I’ve found is that there are some things that I do use every once in a while, and there’s … It’s that enough to justify maybe some of this overhead that we have. Yeah. I think for right now, it seems to work out. And a lot of the apps, you have like a Windows store version of the app, or you have the full fledge download the MSI or EXE off the website versions of things.


So you can sort of say, do I want to have that full version? Some of them, like GoToMeeting, the Windows client is much further along than the Mac client is, so you have more options for what you do with it.


Tommy:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Danny:Yeah. It’s interesting, because I think we’re both trying to go in the same direction of having fewer, like how do I stay focused? Fewer apps I’m dealing with. Just the thrashing between different things that you’re trying to get done. It’s sort of like the browser catches everything. The browser catches most everything, and then there’s a couple of key apps that you need to have going.


Tommy:Yeah. Even the Outlook, I’ve spent a lot of time using Outlook through the browser.




Tommy:And there’s some things I like about it better than the full fledge desktop app.


Danny:So you’re not going Chromebook like Dad?


Tommy:No. That’s probably the last direction I would go, is a Chromebook. Not that I wouldn’t have a Chromebook, but it just doesn’t intrigue me.


Danny:Yeah. Shout out to Frank.




Danny:If you want to talk about doing a podcast Dad, we’ll have to have you on to talk about your Chromebook experiences. Well, Clark Howard recommended it, so Dad will do it.


Tommy:That’s right. That’s right.


Danny:But, anything else? Any other questions that you might have?


Tommy:No. I mean, knowing about the life of the detachable pad, that’s something to keep in mind. That’s a short lived if you want to be in tablet mode more often, then that could be a challenge.


Danny:And I really see that as if I need to run off to a meeting, I just grab, it, run off, and then go into clipboard mode.


Tommy:Right. Right.


Danny:Yeah. It’s overall, the … Windows 10 has been pretty solid.


Tommy:Yeah. It’s a good operating system.


Danny:It’s been good. And I haven’t run into any real jinky problems that I remember having to deal with. I haven’t gone and needed to edit the registry, or anything crazy like that, recently. So that’s good.


All these things from your past, you’re like, whoa, what did I do to do that?


Tommy:Yeah. You know, part of me says I just like doing different things, so part of the attraction is it’s a new frontier.


Danny:Part of the reason why we started this business.


Tommy:That’s right. I don’t like following the status quo all the time.


Danny:Yeah. It’s funny how we’re getting to the point where we’re talking about, oh that … We’re trying something different, so we’re trying a Microsoft PC. But, yeah. It’s interesting how things come around.


Tommy:Well, thanks for sharing. I appreciate it.


Danny:Absolutely. Hopefully some folks who are looking at this as well, hopefully there were a couple of pointers that you got out of that. Definitely leave a comment. I’m sure people who they’re staunch Apple fans, and staunch Microsoft fans. I think for us, Tommy and I are a bit of a whatever works for us fans. And for a while there, I was pretty much solidly Apple, and now I’m trying, branching out in some new things.


If you do the iPad Pro, I’d be interested.


Tommy:Yeah. We could do something.


Danny:I’d definitely want to talk with you about, sort of what it, what was your experience.


Tommy:Yeah. I’m intrigued to see … There’s a part of me that like simplicity and a challenge at the same time. So, the whole iPad.


Danny:You are a sick, sick man. You’re …


Tommy:I want to continue to learn, but learn ways to make life simpler.




Tommy:And ways to cut back and stay focused on things.


Danny:Yep. All right. Well cool. Thank you for taking the time to do this, and thanks everybody for listening, and have a wonderful day.


Tommy:Thank you. Bye.




Danny and Tommy Ryan
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Microsoft Build 2017

Software continues to transform the world in remarkable ways and developers are at the center of it. At Microsoft Build 2017, join Microsoft in downtown Seattle to learn about latest new technologies and exciting plans on the horizon.

As always, Build is filled with strong technical sessions as well as opportunities to meet and learn from others in the industry. The schedule is filled with solid content and some fun surprises along the way.

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Danny RyanMicrosoft Build 2017