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December 2017 Office 365 Updates


December 2017 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

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

The Office 365 Guy

Source:  TechNet: The Office 365 Guy

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

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

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

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

PowerPoint Morph

Source:  Microsoft Support: Use the Morph Transition in PowerPoint

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

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

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

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

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

Resume Builder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office Tutorials

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

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

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

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

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

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

Co-Authoring

Source:  Microsoft Support: Document collaboration and co-authoring

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forecasting in Excel

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

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

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

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

Power BI

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

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

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

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

Close

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

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

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empty.authorDecember 2017 Office 365 Updates
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November 2017 Office 365 Updates


November 2017 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for November 2017.

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

Ignite

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

Microsoft Ignite On-Demand Sessions

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

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

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

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

Intelligent Communications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Integration

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

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

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

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

Outlook for Mobile

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

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

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

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

Files on Demand

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

Tech Community: OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise

Microsoft.com: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now available

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

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

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

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

Planner

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft/Adobe Partnership

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

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

Podcast Availability

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

Close

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

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

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empty.authorNovember 2017 Office 365 Updates
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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
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Microsoft Ignite 2017 – 5 Key Takeaways from a SharePoint Consultant

Bo is a Principal Consultant for ThreeWill. He has 18 years of full lifecycle software development experience.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Microsoft Ignite and I’m still processing much of what I heard and learned.  While that churn is still going on I thought I would try to share a few key highlights of things that excited me most about the Microsoft Office 365 stack.  I have another list focused around Azure but I’ll save that for another day.  Before I dive into the topics I do have to say that the energy at Ignite was amazing.  There is really nothing like almost thirty thousand people all in the same venue focused on sharing and soaking up as much information as possible.  It reminded me of college but where everyone is playing for keeps and not in theory.

1. Microsoft Teams is not just an app, it’s an app platform

We here at ThreeWill have really embraced teams as part of our daily workflow.  We are involved in lots of projects both large and small, we have many internal areas of focus and initiatives.  Every one of these “things” may involve different groups of users, different documents, and processes and can require data and interactions with other systems as part of it.  This is where Microsoft Teams shines.  If you’ve used teams at all you’ll know that it supports contextual conversations around documents and is underpinned by other technologies like O365 Groups and SharePoint Team Sites.  That’s because teams are just a platform for mixing together the tools, apps, and interactions YOUR team needs to get things done.  Context Switching can be a killer for productivity so you can build integrations in teams using one of many extensibility points including:

  • Tabs to surface rich content in a highly visible place for a team. This can include everything from external content to the Modern Pages being constantly improved in SharePoint Online
  • Compose Extensions and Actionable Messaging to allow your conversations to have richly formatted cards that users can even interact with to enable automated workflow
  • Microsoft Graph (more on this later) for building connections to data across all services for the most intelligent end-user experiences
  • Bots will allow you to have conversations and get tasks done through a powerful question and response type flow
  • Activity Feed to engage users through notifications

2. Modern Pages are ready for prime time

I’ll be honest, I’m an early adopter of most things technologies that Microsoft releases.  However, when the new Modern Pages experience came out I took it for a spin and then put it back on the shelf.  This year at Ignite I think I have been convinced that there will be enough meat there now to support what our customers are looking for.  There are finally enough web parts in the toolbox that a bigger toolbox was needed.  Now Apps show in the toolbox as well so as app developers add them there is support for adding the web parts to the page.  Here are some of my key thoughts from a few different sessions involving Modern Pages:

  • Web parts that matter for collaboration and not just news. As I mentioned there are a lot more web parts available that make using modern pages on a typical team site more palatable.  Formerly it felt like these pages were only good for Communication Sites.
  • Pages are smarter. Speaking of Communication Sites, the News feature which is both a web part and underlying pages can create a cohesive experience including creating and editing news which can also be commented on and tagged.  More importantly (and smarter) this can be combined with a Hub Site (more on this later) and news can be aggregated from many different sites that fall within the Hub.
  • Pages are more flexible. Modern pages have already been mobile responsive and I think some of this may not be new news but it finally dawned on me that Microsoft has made Modern pages be both flexible yet mobile responsive by a pretty neat technique.  Pages have sections and sections can use any combination of 1 to 3 columns.  Each section can then respond to the device width independently stacking horizontally or vertically as needed.  It gives the page designer an awesome amount of control on how things are ordered on a desktop or mobile device
  • Pages are faster. Anyone who has used web part pages knows that a page with 3 web parts will probably load faster than one with 30.  Microsoft knows that sometimes 30 web parts on a page is a valid thing.  To address this there is a page fetching model that will return you a page blazingly fast and then pre-fetch sections and web parts/content as you scroll down a page.  Seeing large images dynamically pop in as you scroll is both cool and a reminder that we should all be good bandwidth stewards.  Why load content on a page that a user may never see, right?

3. Hub Sites will be an Information Architects new best friend

I’ve done a lot of site structures over the years with SharePoint, gone way too far with managed paths and felt the pains of a company reorganizing and wanting to make their portal match a new hierarchy.  With O365, the good news is that we are locked into only teams and sites for our managed paths.  That tends to create a flat site collection structure or sometimes force people into trying to build out a hierarchy into a single site collection.  This is where Hub Sites have me extremely excited.

  • With a hub site you can now push down a navigation and brand to all the sites that are part of that hub to create a consistent experience for that hub.
  • Content such as news rolls up from the team site into the hub so that is can be accessed from a centralized place.
  • You can easily have a team site leave one hub and join another as your organization changes or grows.
  • Administrators have controls so they can prescribe which hubs are available to which users and teams to join so that joining a hub isn’t just a willy-nilly thing anyone does.

4. Microsoft Graph wants to be your one-stop shop

This API has been around for a while and it is constantly being added to.  It finally dawned on me at Ignite (sometimes I must be hit over the head with a frying pan) that Microsoft wants us, developers, to go to that API for everything across all their services.  Whether you are working on an app for teams, with lists and libraries in SharePoint, with User Profile/Azure AD information, O365 Groups or something else the goal is that you start with the Graph.  Obviously, all the endpoints aren’t there yet but they’re coming and there are both version 1 and beta options available.  The cool thing that even when there are gaps in the API, Graph will make it easy for you to get the appropriate authorization tokens for the current user to switch and call the native APIs on another service like some that may still only be available in SharePoint.  For me the message is clear, start focusing on using the Graph API in O365 as much as possible.

5. Power Users finally will have tools that can displace InfoPath and SharePoint Designer

PowerApps and Flow are not new at Ignite but they’ve finally been around long enough to get enhancements based on user feedback and for people to begin getting creative.  With all the actions and integration available in Flow I’m beginning to feel like I may not need to open SharePoint Designer anymore for those quick and dirty workflows that inevitably crop up.  The even better thing is that Flow isn’t siloed to just being a SharePoint only tool so automation isn’t limited to just your list, library and site activity.  More exciting that Flow for me though was the final confirmation that PowerApps is the way that we will be able to customize SharePoint list forms.  While no one said it is a replacement for InfoPath, it does appear that it has the best chance of filling that void we’ve been waiting to fill for so long.

Hopefully, you are as excited for what’s coming from Microsoft as I am.  In the interest of full disclosure, some of the stuff above is release already, some are coming soon in the October time frame and then some will not get to all of us until early 2018.

Did you attend this year’s Ignite?  What were your takeaways?  Leave a comment below.

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Bo GeorgeMicrosoft Ignite 2017 – 5 Key Takeaways from a SharePoint Consultant
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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
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Why Move the Content from Jive into Office 365?

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

I had this question come up in a recent email…the response went so long that I thought that I should share it in a blog post…

Here’s my .02 on making this decision:

I’ll make the assumption that you’ve decided to move to Office 365.

Why move the content from Jive into Office 365?

  1. The documents, discussions and other corporate IP within your Jive environment would be lost (think of the tens of thousands of hours that went into creating much of that content).
  2. This will impact the adoption of Office 365 because why would they recreate content in Office 365 if there is the risk of it going away again?  End users would probably return back to email as the primary way to collaborate.

Maybe the idea is to start with a clean slate in Office 365.  Actually, cleaning up content before or while we move it is done on every project that we do.  Our tool shows you details about the amount of content along with when it was last accessed so you can decide whether to move the content or not.  You do want to take this opportunity to clean things up – but starting your employees over with blank sites would be disheartening.

Let’s say you just tell people to move over content from Jive to Office 365 on their own.  This could be because it’s difficult to say who should pay for the content migration.  You probably know this, but getting content out of Jive and into Office 365 is not an easy task (especially for business oriented folks).

If the budget is the issue, we could give you a cost model for migrating different departments (say a certain cost for moving over Marketing – they could decide whether it’s worth the cost or not).

Another option is just to move over certain types of content.  For example, just move over binary files.  This would reduce the budget and yet still retain some of the corporate IP.  Our tool actually doesn’t migrate all content types – list is here – https://threewill.com/services/jive-to-sharepoint-migrations/#faq – so we actually have taken this approach with clients.

What’s your take on this?  Leave a comment below…

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Danny RyanWhy Move the Content from Jive into Office 365?
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Planning and Building The Hub, a Modern Digital Workspace, on SharePoint and Office 365

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

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
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Office 365 Groups vs Azure AD Security Groups

Caroline Sosebee is a Software Engineer at ThreeWill. She comes to us with 20+ years of software development experience and a broad scope of general IT support skills.

We recently had a client who was ready to streamline the security of their SharePoint Online site and change it from ‘Everyone’ access to groups of people with more specific access. Our recommendation to them was to use Azure AD groups so that the groups would be global and could be both centrally managed and used across site collections.

As we moved ahead with it, they had the groups added with the appropriate members. We then granted SharePoint permissions to the new AD groups by adding them into the appropriate SharePoint groups and removing the reference to ‘Everyone but external users’.

At first all seemed to work ok but as the week progressed, random problems started cropping up that we couldn’t explain, the biggest one revolving around search results. One of their users (and others, we later found out), who had full read access to the root site and all subsites, would only get back results from his OneDrive library and from the separate training documents site (which is open to Everyone). Yet he could easily navigate to and access all the document libraries in all the sites.

Thus began my long search on all sorts of things SharePoint search related, trying to figure out what was going on. For some reason, I finally decided to go look at the AD groups themselves with the thought that since roles are assigned to users, maybe the same thing might need to be done for groups. This was a bust of course, but being fairly new to administrating SharePoint Online, I was game for checking all sorts of things I didn’t know about.

Luckily this random check ultimately ended up pointing me to the real problem. It turns out these two new groups were setup as Office 365 Groups instead of security groups. At the time, I didn’t know anything about Office 365 Groups but didn’t really think this could be the problem. I decided to do a little research anyway into what that meant. One of the definitions I found was:

Office 365 Groups is a service that enables teams to come together and get work done by establishing a single team identity (managed in Azure Active Directory) and a single set of permissions across Office 365 apps including Outlook, SharePoint, OneNote, Skype for Business, Planner, Power BI, and Dynamics CRM.

So SharePoint was mentioned in that list of Office 365 apps, right? How could the group type be the problem then? We needed access to SharePoint and it says it does that. What it doesn’t tell you is that it’s mostly referring to access to the team site that is created, specifically for that group, when the group is first created. It does not mean that it will be very usable by other sites.

After more searching and finding very little, I decided it was time to do some of my own testing. First I had a test user added to the Office 365 Group currently in use. After giving the cloud some time to process this change, I signed in and ran a search or two. What I got back was very similar to the user mentioned above. I got little or no results back, even though I had access to everything in the site.

I then created a new Azure AD Security group, added the same test user to it and then granted it the same permissions in the SharePoint site as the Office 365 Group had. After waiting a decent time so I was sure the security change was processed by search, I signed back in and found that the behavior was now entirely different. With the test user as a member of my new security group, I got back tons of results, just as expected. To further verify, I then removed the user from my test security group, waited a bit, ran a search and found I was back to square one. This was pretty solid evidence that the Office 365 Group was the culprit.

Our end solution was to create new Azure AD Security groups, add the correct members, grant them the same access as had been granted to the Office 365 Groups and then remove the Office 365 Groups. This seems to have corrected all the problems the users were experiencing.

I still don’t know a lot about Office 365 Groups and haven’t had time to research much further, but I do like the below snippet (found here) that very succinctly describes each group and what it does.

I’m sure that Office 365 Groups have a place in the Microsoft world, but it is definitely not as a replacement to AD security groups.

As a quick recap, here are the areas that were impacted (at least on this particular site) by using an Office 365 Group instead of a security group:

  • Search – would not return results from the site
  • Starting a workflow – if a user in an O365 group kicked off a workflow, the workflow got hung up with an ‘Access Denied’ error before it ever got far enough along to send out custom errors.
  • Site access – Various users had problems accessing the site, even though they were in the correct group. Was a very random thing as it worked for some and for others, it didn’t.

I hope this helps save someone some time in the future!

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Caroline SosebeeOffice 365 Groups vs Azure AD Security Groups
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March 2017 Office 365 Updates


March 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for March of 2017. First an announcement, that we’re streamlining our communications channels to make it easier for you to let us know what you’re thinking. Send your feedback or success stories to [email protected], and I or someone from my team will be happy to respond. Now onto the updates.

 

Some people like to try the latest diet trend. Call me crazy, but I like to try the latest workplace productivity improvement fad. Let’s just say that ever since I got my first paper based time planner, making the best use of my time has been an aspirational goal. Whatever tool, framework, or methodology I tried, required me to change in a way that I just couldn’t work into my normal routine. After awhile, I just revert back to my old ways. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. What I like about MyAnalytics, is that it works for me in the background. I set some goals for how much time I want to spend in activities like meetings, or email, and MyAnalytics tells me how I’m doing.

 

Among other things, it can advise me if I’m working after hours too much, and multitasking during meetings. I first mentioned MyAnalytics back in May 2016 when it was called, “Delve Analytics.” Which isn’t to be confused with Delve. Delve helps you discover information that’s likely to be most interesting to you right now, and it is included in pretty much every Office 365 plan, where as MyAnalytics requires the Office 365 E5 plan. To add to what some might see as a bit of confusion around naming, MyAnalytics, at least right now, is actually accessed via Delve. A great place to learn more is to watch the Microsoft Mechanics episode embedded in the Office blog post we link to in the additional resources.

 

We publish this update series internally for our Microsoft employees, and to YouTube to reach Microsoft customers and partners. The additional resources are posted internally, and also publicly on Docs.com. Plus, posting the video on Microsoft’s Channel 9 gives us the podcast functionality we added in January. That’s a lot of different places, producing a lot of different metrics. Power BI helps me gather the data from these disparate sources and create a powerful story about the value of the program in a visual way, that my leadership can understand.

 

The thing about Power BI, is if you blink, you’ll miss a slew of great new features constantly being introduced. It sometimes seems like one month new features on my wishlist, and then the next month it’s delivered to my desktop. As examples, the Power BI team recently removed the 100 row limit for tables in the Power BI mobile app. They added a slew of new formatting features to charts and tables in the February release of the Power BI desktop. And a new admin role was created for those tasks with administering Power BI for the organization, giving them control over tenant wide use of Power BI features. It’s free to get started with Power BI, and the Office 365 E5 plan unlocks it’s full potential. Be sure to check the links provided, and subscribe to the Power BI blog post so you don’t miss a beat.

 

On February second, the Office team announced it was bringing new add-ins to Outlook on IOS, and soon to Outlook on Android. Add-ins can help you get more done on the go, and save you valuable time spent switching between apps. The add-ins now available in Outlook on IOS include Nimble, a social CRM application that provides business intelligence about your email contacts, and their organizations. Trello, a collaboration tool that enables you to organize and prioritize your projects. SmartSheet, a collaboration solution to help you manage and automate work. And to add a little fun, Giphy, the worlds largest Gif search engine.

 

Not to be outdone, Microsoft also created add-ins for solutions including a Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook that delivers real time insights about your business contacts, and their organization. And Microsoft Translator, which enables you to quickly and easily translate and read messages in your chosen language. Here’s a scenario where some of these new add-ins might come into play. Imagine you’re at the airport and receive an email from a new customer contact from Italy. You can translate the email from Italian to your preferred language, unless Italian is your preferred language. Review, and update the customers CRM history, and update your notes or project board. All without leaving Outlook. For additional details and instructions on how to install and use these add-ins, checkout the Office blog.

 

I don’t have time to give you all the details in the January 31st recap for Office 365 Admins, but here’s a quick summary. First, setup settings for admins have been consolidated into three pages. A products page that allows admins to quickly understand how many licenses are available, and which software products are included in each of their subscriptions. A domains page that lets admins quickly update or modify their domain settings, and access domain related tasks. And a data migration page that provides admins with automation tools, and step by step guidance to help migrate data from on premises, or other Cloud services to Office 365.

 

Second is a report update showing a breakdown of Yammer usage that delivers insights into the device types commonly used by people in the organization. Third, a new one drive for business admin center allows IT admins to better manage, sync, and sharing capabilities. Finally, the Office team has added a new filter to the active users page, so admins can easily view and manage guest users.

 

Microsoft built Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, or ATP to provide world class email security with minimal impact on productivity. Two new capabilities are URL detonation, and dynamic delivery. URL detonation now generally available, helps prevent users from being compromised by files linked to malicious URL’s. This new capability is in addition to the URL reputation checks that advanced threat protection already does. With URL detonation, when a user receives an email, advanced threat protection scans any included URL’s for malicious behavior. If the user clicks a possibly malicious URL during the scan, a message is displayed informing the user a scan is underway. A user clicking on a malicious URL after the scan is complete receives a message informing them of the situation.

 

With dynamic delivery now in preview, recipients can read and respond to the email while attachments within the email are scanned. If a user clicks on the placeholder attachment in the email, they’ll see a message showing the progress of the scan. If the attachment is harmless, it seamlessly reattaches to the email so the user can access it. If it is malicious, Office 365 advanced threat protection will filter out the attachment to help keep your organization safe and secure. Additional details and instructions on how to enable both URL detonation, and dynamic delivery in Office 365 advanced threat protection are in the January 25th Office blog post.

 

Back in September I discussed a new service, and preview at the time called, “Secure score.” It’s a security analytics tool that applies a score to Office 365 customers, current Office 365 security configuration, and provides suggestions on actions you can take to improve your security position. On February 10th Microsoft announced additional new capabilities in Office 365 that help you manage risk, and stay ahead of threats. The first currently in private preview is Office 365 Threat Intelligence. It uses the Microsoft Intelligence Security Graph to analyze billions of data points from global data centers, office clients, email, user authentications, and other incidents that impact the Office 365 ecosystem, as well as signals from our Windows and Azure ecosystems to provide actionable insights to global attack trends.

 

Office 365 threat intelligence also provides information about malware families inside and outside your organization. It integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security features like Exchange Online Protection, and Advanced Threat Protection, so you’ll be able to see analysis, including the top targeted users, Malware frequency and security recommendations, related to your business.

 

The second new capability currently in preview is Office 365 Advanced Data Governance. It applies machine learning to help your organization identify and retain high value data, while eliminating redundant, obsolete, and trivial data that could cause a risk if compromised. The machine learning in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance classifies data based on factors such as type of data, it’s age, and the users who have interacted with it.

 

Before signing off, in addition to being publicly available on YouTube and in the iTunes podcast library, based on your feedback we’re now on the Overcast and Pocket Cast apps. We’re still working on Stitcher, and Google Play Music, and I’m hoping they’re working by the time this videos airs. If you’re using a different podcast player, please let me know at [email protected]com, and we’ll work to get that setup if there’s enough demand. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again next month.

 

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empty.authorMarch 2017 Office 365 Updates
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Migrating from Jive to Office 365 Webinar

Kirk Liemohn is a Principal Software Engineer at ThreeWill. He has over 20 years of software development experience with most of that time spent in software consulting.

Danny:Welcome to this Jive to SharePoint/Office 365 webinar. I appreciate you taking your time out of your busy day to come join us and talk about this subject. What we wanted to talk about today was sort of ten things that folks should know about migrating from Jive to SharePoint Online. In general, I’ll just say SharePoint Online meaning a part of Office 365. I have two of my experts. I’ll call you guys experts, is that okay?

 

Kirk:You can call Chris an expert.

 

Danny:Oh, I have one expert here. I have Chris Edwards, who is a Senior Software Engineer for ThreeWill, and he is the chief architect of the initial version of the tool, and sort of was the grandfather of the migration tool and has helped it grow through the years. We also have Kirk Liemohn here with us. Kirk is a Principal Software Engineer. Kirk is the practice lead for our migration practice. Kirk has been very involved in various types of migrations, and more recently has been doing some job migrations himself, right?

 

Kirk:That’s right.

 

Danny:Awesome. I felt like getting us kicked off with, and maybe let me do a couple of logistical things before we do this. If you’ve got any questions, you can ask some questions in the go-to-webinar interface and I’ll look over there and check for them every once in awhile. If we’ve got some time in the end, which we probably will. I’m assuming this won’t go for the full hour. I’ll check those questions and ask you guys on the fly. I’ll make sure they’re not too tough questions. You guys were both looking at me like, “You didn’t pay me enough to do that.”

 

Kirk:Bring it on, bring it on.

 

Danny:We’ll see. If you have any questions, ask them. We’d love to have some interaction with you guys as you’re watching the webinar. So first off, I thought the, there’s a book that’s called “Begin With Why.” Why don’t I start with the why question. Why are companies doing this? Why are they moving from Jive to Office 365/SharePoint Online? Kirk?

 

Kirk:Sure, I’ll start, if Chris wants to add stuff he can. I think the main one is to save on costs. So, Jive is not cheap, not that SharePoint Online is super cheap, but Jive is not cheap. It has a recurring cost every year, and a lot of times companies want to go to SharePoint, they might already have SharePoint in house, or they might already have SharePoint Online. Of course, SharePoint Online, a lot of people think is relatively cheap. So I think when you look at that cost standpoint, you see, “Oh, well can we do a lot of what Jive does in SharePoint?” You can do quite a bit of it. So they think, “Well maybe we should save on costs by having everything in SharePoint. And another aspect of that is if they’re going to SharePoint Online, they see a lot of what it has to offer. There’s kind of new features coming out over time with teams and Delve, and just different types of things that are coming out, groups, those things. So they want to take advantage of that. They think, “Well, if we just start having that as kind of our main place to collaborate and not have a separate Jive environment, then we can hopefully take advantage of more of those features that are out there at SharePoint Online.”

 

Danny:And there’s even, I mean there’s a lot of redundant features with Yammer too, with people seeing what Jive does with the whole activity feed. I think probably a lot of people are saying, “Well do we want to use Yammers with our way of interacting with each other socially?”

 

Kirk:Yes.

 

Danny:Yeah?

 

Kirk:Yeah.

 

Danny:It’s probably they’re, they also see a lot of, it seems like a lot of the features that are coming down the pipe from Office 365 seems to be getting faster, not slower. I know for us it’s one of those things, and this, initially, when you were looking at Jive versus SharePoint, it was, Jive was coming up with quarterly updates, so they were pushing software out quicker, and SharePoint had the three-year cycles. And it was like you’d wait every three years to get your new set of features, but I think in a lot of ways it’s reversed a little bit. You’re getting pushed out more features from SharePoint. So you’re not having to wait the three years. You’re constantly getting updates, so as far as innovation goes, there’s a lot of things that Microsoft is really pushing with regards to SharePoint Online. Yammer seems to be pretty-

 

Chris:Nah, Yammer is not changing that much I don’t think.

 

Danny:Yeah, it’s pretty stable. Tommy and I talked about that a lot. We think the Yammer team probably had more to do with changing how they deliver software than the actual Yammer software itself.

 

Kirk:Right.

 

Danny:You’re really seeing a lot of people saying, “Well, I want to take advantage of the latest software, or whatever the latest software trends are,” I turned into Elmer Fudd there. The latest trends are in software, and we’re seeing a lot of those come from Office 365.

 

Kirk:Yep.

 

Danny:There’s also, folks, if you search on our site, or Google business case Jive three wheel, you’ll see a blog post that I put out which was sort of the business case behind why I see people doing this. That gets updated all the time, as far as what the story is around that. Numero two, let’s go with, with these projects, we like starting things with a workshop. Describe to me what goes on during one of these workshops.

 

Kirk:Yeah, and Chris, if you want to chime in, feel free, but I’ll start out, this is Kirk so. The first thing I think we want to do is understand what the vision of the client is, what do they want to get out of this, why they want to move, what is it they want to move. And then, after you kind of understand that overall vision, then you want to dig in deeper, so you understand their current environment. What do they have currently in Jive, what version of Jive are they using? Is it the one that’s up in the cloud? There’s hosted versions of Jive, there’s on-prem versions of Jive. And ideally, before we even do the workshop, and this has happened many times, there’s sometimes it doesn’t happen before the workshop, we can do an inventory of what they have in Jive before the workshop.

 

That’s the ideal scenario. And if we do that, we can review what we know about their inventory. Our inventory will give them counts of different types of contents, counts of places, and we can kind of slice and dice that different ways, and that’s very, very useful. So if we see, for example, they’re heavy users of Jive collaborative documents, then we can kind of tailor the migration, or at least tailor our discussion in the workshop on here’s what happens with a Jive collaborative document when you migrate. We want to understand what customizations they have. Do they use heavy branding in Jive? Is that what they kind of want in SharePoint? Do they use Jive plug-ins, or widgets, or tiles? Those are important points to discover. And with all this stuff, you need to understand user identities and how that’s going to transfer from Jive to SharePoint. Typically, you have the same email address as your log-in. If you’re going to SharePoint Online especially you’ll use an email address, but Jive can or doesn’t have to. And so you want to understand if that’s going to match and how that’s going to work.

 

So you also want to understand their current state in SharePoint. Are they going to a Greenfield SharePoint? Are they going to SharePoint on-prem, Online? What version of SharePoint? Do they have a lot of site collections already? How do they do search in SharePoint, if they use it already? And of course, user identity is there as well. I’m going to continue talking, I’ve got more things to talk about. In this workshop, you want to show them a demo, at least screenshots of what the tool can do. So we’ve got a set of tools we’ll talk about, I’m sure, and these, we want to show them what, start setting expectations early of what the tool can and can not do. And what are the supported types of contents from Jive that we can migrate, and what are the types that aren’t supported, and does that meet their needs? And finally, with the workshop, we want to come out of that, getting a good understanding of scope. What is it they want to migrate. They aren’t going to have all the answers right away. What is it they want to migrate, what types of content they want to migrate, how quickly they want to migrate, and do they have anything that they want migrated that our utility doesn’t cover, or certain aspects of it that it doesn’t cover. So that will help us come up with a timeline and budget for the whole project.

 

Danny:Nice. That’s usually, I know one of the first things I ask folks to fill out, if possible, is a pre-migration form that’s up on our website, and one of the things that drives along these projects is the timeline, because typically you have a hard-date that’s out there that you’re trying to get people migrated over by for that date. And we like to be eight to ten months out before that date, but more realistically, you guys have seen, it’s been, you know, we’ve got a date set three to four, or even sometimes less than that. And so you’re almost trying to decide, you know, really trying to deal with, normally our projects aren’t this way, but you have a hard, basically you have to do something by a certain date. You have to make sure that key things are done by that certain date, and that probably modifies a little bit as far as how we go after these projects.

 

But just interesting to see that that’s typically for us, the timeline is driving a lot of this. Now, from our workshops that we’ve done with the Jive stuff, have you noticed any, have people been using a lot of plug-ins? I know way back when, we created an app for Jive. It was like a SharePoint list app for Jive. Are people, you know, do they have a lot of customizations and are they wanting to move those customizations over, or is it pretty much we just want the core content and that’s all we’re interested in moving?

 

Chris:From what we’ve seen, there’s been very little customizations of Jive that we’ve had to be concerned about.

 

Danny:Okay.

 

Chris:For the most part it’s the pure content, the documents, the discussions, the heavy content that people don’t want to lose. That’s really what we’re trying to retain in SharePoint.

 

Kirk:But I’ll add that our, what I’m working on now, they care about these homepages and these overview pages, and tiles, and widgets that Jive has that can be on these pages, and these are very custom things. So that’s significant customizations to be concerned with.

 

Chris:We’ve thought about some of that stuff and how we deal with it. Every customer is going to look at that a little bit differently.

 

Danny:One of the things I don’t see, you probably also talk about, I know with some the migrations, we’re not only just moving them over to SharePoint, but we’re also, they’re using something like BrightStarr’s Unily, or some other sort of UI that’s on top of SharePoint as well. It’s probably, you’re starting to set some of those expectations as well during the workshop.

 

Kirk:Yeah, that’s a very good point. We need to understand if there’s other parties involved that you care about, some of the third-party missions, Unily. Do you care about Yammer? Do you have a different media server or something for your videos? We’ve definitely seen that more than once. So those are things that do need to come up during the workshop so we understand what the real requirements are.

 

Danny:So we come out of that with a scope, timeline, budget, decision to be made about going after this project, and then the phases are sort of the workshop, and then we have a pilot phase, and then a production phase, and then a sustainment type of phase that we go into. Good stuff. Next question about our own utility. I was calling it a tool earlier. I can’t call it a product, because it’s not a product. Tell me about this utility that we use for migrating customers.

 

Chris:Actually, we’ve got a set of utilities that we like to use. The first one I think is actually available for download on the website, the migrator utility. That’s kind of the initial one we like to get folks, essentially in the Windows-based utility, someone can put in their Jive URL, put in their username and password, and essentially hit the run button, and it goes off, and it basically uses the same public rest-API that Jive puts out there that our other utilities use. Then it gives us a sense, is there any issues with running commands, running the API with your username. Is there any issues with running that? We find issues quickly. But it also gives us a list, an account of how many places, how many we basically, how many repositories or places that a particular customer has in their Jive. So it gives us an overall size. What are the counts of different types of groups and spaces, and projects, blogs, those are the main containers or places, if you will, in Jive.

 

Danny:That’s the trial version of Migrator, which is downloadable off of our website, correct?

 

Chris:Correct. That’s kind of the initial utility most folks will see, just to kind of get that initial sizing. The main utility that we have is JtoSP, for Jive to SharePoint. It’s a console-based utility, it’s originally written to keep things simple, very console-based. Doesn’t need a UI, because it’s designed to focus in on purely getting content out of Jive and getting content into SharePoint. What it actually does, quite a bit of the work of our process. One of the things it does, I mentioned the public API from Jive. It does leverage Jive’s rest-based API, so I use the public API, which is important. One of the first things we go after, and we kind of mentioned the workshop earlier, one of the key things it goes after is it produces an inventory of detail from Jive. Things like a list of all the people that are in Jive, all the places, again, places are the groups, spaces, projects, blogs. Then, within the places, it actually does what’s called a shallow pull of content for those places.

 

And I’ll leave the term shallow, deep, I’ll kind of explain that here in just a minute. The whole idea is that we want to be able to get that content in a form that can be presented in the workshop or presented to the customer, and actually really detail out when content was last touched per place, how much content is really out there, really kind of helps us understand how to plan for the migration itself. Shallow is basically saying, “I want to go after the content.” By shallow means it just pulls, at the API level, it just basically pulls some of the basic information about the places. It doesn’t go down deep and do multiple calls. It doesn’t like, if you’ve got a person, it may find that person, but it may not find what roles that person is a part of. It doesn’t make the extra calls to do that. It’s designed to do a quick hit against Jive to find that information so we can do

 

Danny:And the output of this is an Excel spreadsheet for the shallow?

 

Chris:Yeah, so that’s part of it. The primary output is it builds our database.

 

Danny:Okay.

 

Chris:One of the things we do, you kind of mentioned earlier about this whole timeline aspect. A lot of customers come to us during the last minute trying to migrate off of Jive, right? What we try to do is we pull this content, this inventory content into the Jive, into a SQL server database, and into the file system. And we do that so that we can quickly get the content out of Jive. Let’s say someone is being turned off in the next week of Jive. We can get that content in our database in the file system, and then we’ve got what we need to do the migration.

 

Danny:And that’s doing a deep or shallow?

 

Chris:Well that’s more of the deep side, but the shallow pull is going to get that inventory piece. The deep pull that you’re talking about, that’s when we go after and get all visible binaries. That’s where we get all the sub-calls. Like, as I mentioned earlier, we go get a person, we get their roles, we get all the different aspects of it. But I mentioned this, because more from an architectural perspective is that we are able to use this utility to go after, produce this database, produce the file system. We can go after that stuff first, get everything off of Jive, and if for some reason they’re shut off in the next day or two, we’ve done everything we need to do for the migration. It kind of ties into, oh someone’s, they need to get this done quickly, we have the ability to do it.

 

Danny:So a pull usually takes a couple of hours, a day?

 

Chris:It really depends on how many places. It can take days.

 

Kirk:Yeah, it can take days.

 

Chris:It can take days depending on how many places we’re talking about and how much content we’re talking about. But we’ve got ways of kind of going after that. The utility does try to do things in parallel, does try to do things as efficiently as possible to pull that information off of Jive. So that’s one aspect of what the utility does, this JtoSP utility. Another aspect is what it is also designed to do is it’ll, it’ll take that inventory, let’s assume the customer has gone through and done what’s called a mapping exercise. You mentioned the spreadsheet earlier. We do produce a spreadsheet for that inventory that kind of says, “Here’s all the stuff, all the places that are out there. Here the customer needs to see this inventory.” The customer typically goes to and says, “I want these particular places, and I want them to be mapped to this place in SharePoint.” There’s an exercise we work on with the customer on to do that, so that mapping exercise. Then, the utility takes that mapping and says, “Okay, I need to validate, do these SharePoint sites, these target SharePoint sites we’re going to push content to, do they exist?” The utility verifies that where we are intending to push content, does the site exist, and do I need to push permissions or adjust permissions on these sites, it can do all that work.

 

And then, two other main pieces of activity that this thing does. We do what’s called a transform phase. So we take the content, as it was pulled from Jive, and we do what’s called a transform. What that basically means is saying it’s preparing the content to be pushed to the SharePoint. So you may find in this content, you’ll find a lot of links to, from Jive content to other Jive content, or links to Jive profile information. Things that reference Jive in general, we take and convert that to SharePoint versions, or SharePoint speak. A Jive person profile URL may go to now to a Yammer profile, or it may go to a specific SharePoint URL that we care about to represent that person, as well as all of the documentation and all of the links get converted into something that SharePoint understands.

 

Danny:Nice. I love how each time you said transform; you were doing it like a robot.

 

Chris:Yeah, you like that you can’t see the phone, but I’m moving. I’m moving as I’m talking here.

 

Danny:You can’t see it but, we were doing a bit of transforming with his hands in the air.

 

Chris:Transformers, no.

 

Danny:Sorry, go ahead. Number four.

 

Chris:Yeah and so the last main thing that the utility does, and I know this is a lot of information, the last main thing is it can take in this prepared content, and it actually will push it to SharePoint. And so it actually, that’s when the actual content makes it’s way. A couple other variations on this. We are able to do what’s called deltas. So let’s say we push this content to SharePoint, and folks are still using the same place for their content in Jive. We may want to stage this up in SharePoint. We can do what’s called a ‘true up’ or a delta, which basically says, “Okay, right before we’re ready to switch it over to using SharePoint, give me whatever deltas and whatever changes have taken place in Jive, let’s get them into SharePoint. So we can kind of hit it multiple times to make sure it’s in sync, and then someone can turn off Jive.

 

Danny:Brilliant.

 

Chris:So that’s there. And there’s a few other miscellaneous actions that probably more detailed than anyone really cares about in this particular call. Some other utilities that we do, we have a couple, actually three PowerShell utilities that we use. One is called New Sights, and it’s really helper PowerShell that kind of helps customers basically provision their SharePoint site collections, things that we’re going to be targeting for the deployment from Jive to SharePoint. Folks don’t necessarily have to use this. It’s just something we provide, and we provide scripts that basically provision those site collections. And then, we’ve got another set of utilities that kind of work hand-in-hand. One is called Validate Hyperlink. It’s also a PowerShell. And Replace Hyperlinks.

 

So, Validate Hyperlinks, what it does is it goes after, after we’ve migrated, post-migration, pushed up to SharePoint, we run this Validate Hyperlink to say, “Okay, all of the links that are present in the content, we look at all the images, all the links, do all they jive? Do they all work?” term in there. Do they all work and do they not rely on Jive anymore? Do they work without Jive in the mix? If they don’t, we find the report for those that are failing, and we use the Replace Hyperlinks utility to make fixes. That’s kind of our remediation efforts. That’s our main remediation, and then we go through, there’s another set of processes, more processes and queries that we use to validate counts and make sure that things that were in Jive are now in SharePoint. We make sure that the counts match and things match up properly. That’s the gist of it.

 

Kirk:Just to mention there that, a huge thing that this tool does is dealing with links that you have inside of Jive. So if you’re writing a Jive collaborative document, it’s very, very normal for people to create a link in there that points to some other Jive content that’s not that, that’s you know, it can be pointing to another Jive collaborative document, or a Jive blog post, or something. And something within Jive, the moment it does that, our utility, that’s part of the transformation process Chris was talking about, it transforms those URLs to be the URL that’s going to be or already is in SharePoint. It can be inside of a totally separate Jive place, going to a different SharePoint site collection or site. But that’s what these links are all, they’re all fixed for.

 

Chris:Clean all that up.

 

Danny:Impressive. Well done. I know this has grown through the years. It’s sort of the tool, you know, starting off, it started a long time ago, and it’s sort of growing, but it’s amazing how far along it’s gotten. So good work there. So for you, Kirk, what type of contents, we’ve been talking a little around this, but what are the types of contents that we migrate?

 

Kirk:Yeah well, first off, Chris has already alluded to the different types of places in Jive. There’s spaces, groups, projects, and blogs. There’s some differences with those and how they work, but inside of those, you can have what we call content, or sort of first-level content. The big ones are collaborative documents, which are kind of like a Wiki page in SharePoint if you aren’t familiar with Jive. There are binary files, which are just files like word documents or PDFs or Excel files. There’s also videos and photos, and then there is discussions, so it can be similar to like a Yammer discussion, or a SharePoint discussion, list discussion, those types of things, that’s in Jive, and then, blog posts. And we migrate all of those.

 

So those are the big content types. And there’re some other minor content types that we currently don’t, but those are the big ones that people use a lot. And we do migrate those, and then, within each of those you can have comments or messages. For whatever reason Jive basically says if you’re commenting on a discussion it’s called a message. But you’ve got comments on these blogs or collaborative documents, or what have you, and we migrate those. You might have attachments or embedded images on them. We will migrate, if we’re migrating a whole Jive group, we’ll migrate the members of that group, and put people into basically different SharePoint groups for that SharePoint site. I just talked about links, so we migrate those links that way to Jive content so they’re now transformed to the new SharePoint links. And then, things like timestamps, items, and the created-by, modified-by, those types of things.

 

Danny:Those are migrated?

 

Kirk:Yeah, yes.

 

Chris:Yep.

 

Kirk:So when you’re looking at SharePoint, and you see the blog post was created by so-and-so at such-and-such time, that’s going to be when it was created in Jive. And you know there’s cases where the user may not map over for whatever reason, maybe it’s a user that’s now left the company, they’re no longer an active directory, so there’s some weird scenarios like that you have to get around, but for the 99.9% of them, things are going to migrate over with the user and the timestamp. And then we will archive some things that we don’t migrate as well, an example of that is Jive has the concept of categories and tags. We archive that, so we have that information, currently we don’t migrate it.

 

Danny:Okay, let me do the last little part. The part that we don’t migrate, I’m going to do this like a lawyer speak at the end. This is the very last part of the commercial right now. Won’t migrate-

 

Kirk:We’ll both say it. Many times, our customers don’t care about these things, and these are usually not used a whole lot. An example, one of these items, I think, is a poll, sorry, I’ll let you say it.

 

Danny:No, no, no, go ahead.

 

Kirk:[crosstalk] like polls, the last inventory I was on, I think in their whole Jive, I could be saying this wrong, but I think they had two polls. You know, they didn’t have many of them, but polls might be the wrong one, but they had a very small number of one of them.

 

Danny:Are they stored in the SQL server database, or are any of these things available for later on? If they need to go.

 

Kirk:Some of them are, yeah.

 

Danny:If someone said, “We had a poll, what did we ask in that poll?” Or yeah, those sorts of things? So some of them are.

 

Chris:Why don’t you rattle off the list?

 

Danny:Sure, okay, here we go. We’re going to see how fast I can do this. Ready, on your mark, get set. Polls, tasks, calendars, status updates, private messages, shared links, bookmarks, announcements, streams, overview pages, home pages, tile switches, category stacks, properties, personal documents, space, members, security. Ding!

 

Chris:Of that list.

 

Danny:We’ll migrate any of these for the right price.

 

Chris:But we are capturing.

 

Danny:If somebody needs to migrate this, we need to add it to the tool, then we can add it to the tool. It’s just a lot of these, the value of doing the migration hasn’t been worth the cost, right? That’s typically what we’re talking through.

 

Chris:Well, it comes down to, and I think we’re probably going to talk about this in more detail later is that SharePoint and Jive are not the same animal. Right? These things don’t really mean as much, or don’t mean actually anything in SharePoint, right? And a lot of them are, like for the case of a poll, that’s very time-sensitive, you know, a lot of times these things are done, they’re done. They’re completed, they’re done.

 

Kirk:Status updates are the same way.

 

Chris:Status updates we actually do capture in the database. We do capture tasks in the database and the categories we capture in the database.

 

Kirk:Shared links.

 

Chris:Yeah, yeah. Shared links as well. Those we actually archive, if you will, or capture them. We just don’t have any mechanism at this point to play them forward in SharePoint, because they really don’t translate into SharePoint. There are ways of representing them there, but nothing has been compelling enough to our customers to say, “Yeah, I want to go ahead and do that.”

 

Danny:It looks like we’ve branched over into question number five, which is, “Do we create an archive?”

 

Chris:Yep.

 

Danny:Basically we do.

 

Chris:We do. That’s kind of what I alluded to earlier is, the way the utility, the way the whole architecture has been designed is that the archive is kind of banked in. So when we pull content out of Jive, when we do that deep pull of content, we can essentially do that for all places. And essentially, what that does is it puts it into a SQL server database, and for all the binary files, things like images, word documents like Kirk said earlier, Excel files, PDFs, that sort of thing, they’re stored in the file system in a very structured way. The database actually has pointers to those files. Typically what we do is we put all that together, we ensure that the customer has enough space to be able to retain all thos information, and that we can potentially walk through it with the customer, so they can understand how the database is organized, what the schema is of the database, how do we actually find these collaborative documents, or these discussions, or individual images. If someone wanted to know how to go after that. Maybe they didn’t migrate something to SharePoint, but they’ll want to actually look at some content that was pulled out of Jive at a later date. How do they go about doing that? So we sit down with a customer and show them actually how to access the database and be able to find that content in the database and their files.

 

Danny:So we sell them the database at the end of the project, right?

 

Chris:We just hand it over? What is wrong with us.

 

Kirk:It’s already there. It’s already done paid for.

 

Danny:Yeah you done pay for it, cool.

 

Chris:So that’s how that’s done. Again, we try to get the content. We want to be able to do stuff with it and be able to migrate it, but at the same time, why not use that same phase to archive it, so same process.

 

Danny:Question six, good, we’re half, we’re 30 minutes in. We may use up the full hour. Nice, okay, that’s fine. But this one I was sort of queuing it up a little bit earlier, which is the different phases of the project. I mentioned, workshop, which we covered in some detail, and then the pilot, and then the production, and then sustainment. Tell me more about these.

 

Kirk:Sure. First off, before the workshop, we like to do an inventory, as I mentioned. That, sometimes there could be issues getting connectivity to work, and stuff like that. So that can take two to three days sometimes. If there’s no connectivity issues, it can be a day, basically, it’s not as bad, but many times, there’s connectivity issues. And that’s just because of the security and how things are set up for some of our clients, but it just depends. And then, the workshop itself is two to three days. We want to sit down with you and discuss what this is going to be. It’s a lot of, like I’ve seen three, four hour sessions as one way of doing it.

 

Chris:Not two full days. Not two to three full days.

 

Kirk:No, they aren’t full days, right yeah. And it helps us, as we learn something from the first day, maybe we can show you different parts of a demo or something the next day. Then, after that workshop, that’s when we’re going to kind of come up with our scope and budget, hopefully. And one of those things that may be part of that and may be in scope is maybe updates to our tool. So that takes time, right? And what those updates are totally depends. You rattle off that long list of items that are not supported right now, and you get the big ones that we think people really care about, and those other ones, maybe they’ve got an idea of where they want that to go.

 

And We could talk about what that would mean. So then, after that, or at some point, it could be before or after those tool updates. If there’s significant updates, we’ll want to actually do more than one PoC, but at some point we need to do a proof of concept. And that may take a week or two. That’s going to verify, access, complete access to Jive and SharePoint. We’re basically going to be running sample migration of several places from Jive to SharePoint, and we’re going to basically, end to end, we’re going to see what happens.

 

And then, some people will get to see that from the client. They’ll want to take a look at that PoC and what the output is. But after that is a pilot, and that’s where you really get the business users and get them to, get their input. That’s usually a couple of weeks to do a pilot. That pilot may have iterations within itself, right? So a pilot, you might do one, you really want customer’s eyeballs on that. You want to make sure that people are seeing what they expect to see. Do they agree with it. Is there any issues, is any content missing. Really make sure there’s nothing that’s going to surprise the end-users of this particular. And if there is, and a lot of times there’s stuff that we have to tweak or adjust, we typically do another iteration of a pilot to make sure things are corrected just so they’re happy. It’s all part of the process.

 

Yep and then finally is production. Now, if there are a lot of tool updates and there can be like multiple pilots and multiple PoCs. You can be certain that we’ve seen that, but in production that’s where you kind of want to be full on moving stuff from Jive to SharePoint. But you know, if you’re going to SharePoint Online, SharePoint Online can throttle you if you’re going too fast, so. And Jive’s going to have some limitations on how quickly you can hold their content as well so Chris talked before about a shallow pull. We also, when we do a deep pull right when we’re about to go to move a Jive place from Jive to SharePoint. So that’s when we pull from Jive further, if we don’t pull everything way before hand. If you want like the latest update to Jive when you’re moving someone over, you’d do that last minute. And that time totally depends, you know. I think of, one way of measuring is say 300 to 500 places, Jive places, per week, but we’ve seen, I know we’ve seen one place that took, I would say it was three days. That’s just to move one place. Now you can do stuff in parallel, but that was a huge place. It depends. when we get inventory we’ll have a better idea of what’s possible.

 

Chris:And I guess the key thing here too is that it comes down to that timing, right. You want to have enough time to be able to move this stuff, you know, from our transform database and then into SharePoint. Sometimes it takes a while because of the throttling, because of other things that can affect your performance. The nice thing though is that we’ve got the time, we move this stuff into SharePoint. We let folks tweak the tires a little bit. We can do that delta process with that true up process to kind of bring over the changes, so that allows that kind of like, “Let’s get everything up to speed. Let’s get everything in place.” And maybe the weekend before you’re converting over, you do your true up process and flip switch. There’s ways to do it now.

 

Danny:I know, sorry this is a bit sideways, but I know some of the customers, they get it sort of as the wrapping up, using Jive to get a back up of their Jive database and have we ever looked at, have we ever had to use that sort of as the thing that we’re pointing to to migrate data at all?

 

Chris:The actual Jive database?

 

Danny:Yes, the actual Jive database so pointing that the, that database as opposed to a rest API.

 

Chris:No.

 

Danny:We haven’t had to do that?

 

Chris:No, that’s more of a, you know, we typically recommend that other guys still ask Jive for that back up just to have that.

 

Danny:Just to have it around?

 

Chris:Something extra. Yep, just to have it. Cause that allows them to spin Jive back up, right? If they ever, for some reason needed to. It’s more of that extra guard. But, no, we’ve never had to.

 

Danny:I just wonder if that ever is going to be the situation for us with in depth occurring to us. Who knows? We haven’t had to exercise it quite yet.

 

Chris:Well so, this is from an experience perspective we originally, this set utilities was usually written for us to do our own Three Will migration.

 

Danny:It’s where all good things come. You scratch your own back.

 

Chris:Right, so when we were first doing this we had the . We did miss some stuff, right? We didn’t catch everything so I had to go into the Jive database back up and learn how to do that.

 

Danny:Oh really? Interesting.

 

Chris:So I’ve got some experience doing that, but we’ve tried to, we’ve worked hard to not have to do that. I’ll tell you that much.

 

Kirk:And if Jive Cloud you’re not going to have access, direct access to that database, so.

 

Chris:You definitely have to have

 

Danny:Yeah you would have to have them create the archive.

 

Kirk:I don’t know what that process it, but they’ll do it for you.

 

Chris:If possible, but we try hard to make sure that that’s not necessary.

 

Kirk:But one thing we do do, is we have to had projects before, and I know Chris has done this directly, is we come back to a client and they say, “You know what, we want these other 500 places to be migrated now, I know you didn’t migrate them before, but you archived them, so you can migrate them, yeah, right?” And then we say, “Yes we can.” Cause as long as you got our database, the database migration tool uses, then we can migrate to SharePoint later as long as we did archive that content.

 

Danny:Nice, that’s great to know. It’s good to know you don’t lose it, that it’s still available for you. So I get the easy one, of course I give the easiest question to myself, right, which is how much does it cost to do these migrations. Simple answer, we do the workshop is a fixed price, right now it’s $7500, subject to change, I’m going to have my own lawyer speak to that, it might go up, especially if we’re getting large backlogs of these workshops then we may end up increasing that price. The typical migration, since we’re doing a bunch of these, the average size of these, is the cost for the pilot and the production phases is around $150,000, so what that tells me is that typically we’re working with mid to large size Jive implementations. For the smaller implementations I usually will coach them through or talk them through doing some manual migrations or, “Do you really need this.” Or we’ve been somewhat staying away from them and looking at only some of the larger clients who need to do these migrations.

 

So if you ask me right away, which a lot of people do, they ask me, “Can you give me a quote for doing this number of sites.” If we don’t have the time to do the workshop first, which the workshop gives us an updated estimate, I’ll just tell them, “Use 150K as the number.” Given the limit to the amount of time, and especially we end up, that’s around 1000 places when we’re working with that. If it’s more I’ll end up jacking that number up, but at a high level that’s what I want people just to have sort of an overall sense of what the budget is, and if that’s too high of a budget and doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s probably cause you have a smaller implementation of Jive and I completely understand, but I think we’re more focused around large implementations, right. So done with that one. What are some of the, and if you need to create a business case for this, or talk through why people have done this and some of the benefits, or want to talk to a customer about the benefits of doing this, we have all of those things so feel free to reach out to me through the contact us page, we can hook you up with the right people.

 

What are some of the biggest takeaways from these type of migrations? And I guess this is open to the two of you guys, from doing these for now years, what have you seen as, are some big take aways?

 

Chris:So I mean I would say one of the big things is just to understand that Jive, I mean I’ve said this already before on this call, Jive and SharePoint are just not the same. They are different animals, they have a lot of the same elements to them. It is a, SharePoint offers a great opportunity to consolidate a lot of this Jive content, but they’re definitely not the same. So you have to make sure you plan for, understand your content types very well so that you know kind of where the stuff is going to go. And that comes down to, I know we’re going to talk a little bit more about this, but it comes down to just time. Give yourself time to understand this stuff. I can keep going, Kirk, unless you want to-

 

Kirk:Well along those lines, you just need examples. Jive has something called streams, SharePoint doesn’t have really that concept per say. Jive has shared content where you can share stuff from one place to another but it only exists in one place but it’s just available from two places. SharePoint doesn’t really have that, I mean they have links but ideas, missed ideas on the dot cover list that think some cool ideas. SharePoint-

 

Chris:And you usually don’t see that, you just pretty often end up seeing that really affecting.

 

Kirk:So they’re not, like for like is a term I heard a lot and I don’t like it. They are not like for like.

 

Danny:We don’t like “like for like.”

 

Kirk:Yeah, it is apples and oranges. There’s some stuff that makes a lot of sense to move over and there’s some stuff that just doesn’t work well, you’re trying to force it in when you want to put it in SharePoint. And if it’s something that’s very important for you, then you got to really think hard about, “Well does this even make sense for us to move to SharePoint.” Or, “What are we going to do with this content we need, we can’t do this with SharePoint.” Segway to.. So you really have to think hard about those things if they’re important to you. So I mean we can talk about-[crosstalk].

 

Danny:Other takeaways you guys have?

 

Chris:I mean we’ve got one here, but there’s another, there’s opportunity to let us clean up the content too. When you’re moving from a system that’s been around for a while, there’s going to be some content to.. a lot. And there’s things that may make sense to bring together from multiple places, multiple spaces in Jive into one location in SharePoint, it’s basically a consolidation exercise. So this is an opportunity to be able to do some of that, not that you have to, but it is an opportunity for us to take advantage of if you indeed want to do that.

 

Kirk:Yeah and finally when you do these migrations you’ve got to make sure you’re communicating with, not only IT, but the users and I mentioned this before on SharePoint-SharePoint migrations, just you want to get your stakeholders involved. Everyone needs to be notified as to what’s going on here. And we’ll say it several times, communication is key. I mean you’re moving people’s around, so people don’t tend to like it when you move their stuff and so you want to make sure they, everyone’s on the same page, everyone knows what’s going on and we have ways just kind of helping with that as well. So some of the stuff we can kind of share in the workshop and also in the actual migration, how do you actually, when do you communicate with folks, how often do you do so, we have techniques that help with that.

 

Danny:I think that’s good that you mention that, I mean one of our brand promises is around control which is we want the client to feel like they’re in control of what’s going on. I think a lot of this types of things are important cause it feels, it does feel like you’re moving somebody’s, you’re moving the place where they collaborate from one place to another and it can, we can do these projects technically correct, but if we don’t get the communication piece down and also along with that communication, the expectation management from folks, then it can definitely fail. You can do a perfect technical implementation but then it fails if you don’t get the communication and expectation management right. Yeah if they expect to see what, “Here’s what it looks like in Jive, I expect it to look exactly the same in SharePoint.” That’s the wrong expectation.

 

I know we’ve also, along those lines, we to address that issue, have done stuff where we’re working with the Unily’s of the world or other products to make it a little bit more Jive like and also done, I know some of the clients had us do some branding or some things to make it feel a little bit less jarring as you make the move. So I think if that’s something that’s important to you, that’s something we would talk about as well, is if this expectation of moving from this to this doesn’t work, what are the things that we can do to make it work for you guys.

 

All righty, number nine, getting there. What advice would you give someone who was looking at this, this is probably similar to insights, but what advice would you give to someone who’s doing this? Besides, “Don’t do this alone.”

 

Kirk:One you kind of already mentioned, is starting early and make sure that we have time to make this happen for you. If we are rushed too much, then we’re going to have to start cutting corners. “Oh, maybe we won’t move over this type of content.” Or, “These places that haven’t been touched in the last year, we won’t move those because you’re giving us a month to do things.”

 

Danny:If you come to us a month ahead, it’s like my kids say, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”

 

Kirk:So you want to start early.

 

Chris:And we mentioned the communication portion, it goes back to that again, we’re going to keep reiterating the same thing. I have another thought related to this one, but I lost it so I’ll let you pick it up.

 

Kirk:That’s fine, yeah I mean we’ve gone over communication. I mean the other one that we’ve already talked about several times is a proof of concept and a pilot, these are key pieces of our process and we can’t cut those. And they’re going to happen whether you say they need to happen or not, because we’ve got to basically prove that we can communicate in your environment and pull stuff from Jive and push into SharePoint. And then we got to actually do a site or two that we get some feedback from before we start the full on migration. So that’s got to happen, and we need to plan for it, we need to make sure you’re aware of that part of the overall timeline.

 

Chris:Yep, and then a couple of other things. So understand the content types. So you really need to understand what Jive content types are out there. What are people really using them for. What are they using, what are they using them for, understand what your actual user base is doing in Jive, right? So that really kind of in the work shop we try to find out, “Okay do we need to have the customers, do we need to make customizations to SharePoint and or the migration utilities to be able to handle those .. or those very specific use cases.” I think customizations to the tool, I mean realistically someone can go and build, cause we use the public Jive REST API, someone could go build something that’s very, something similar to this. But I mean there’s quite a bit to understand and it’s very easy if you’re not careful to make mistakes, based on how they structure their things back out of Jive and you’ll, you can build it yourself I guess is what I’m saying, but you’ll run into some in that process.

 

Danny:I already have two examples of where someone once tried to build out the tool themselves and they failed. So it’s not, I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can be done.

 

Chris:Oh yeah, it’s a public API, so yeah.

 

Danny:But there’s been years we’ve been doing things with Jive, for now over five, six, I don’t know how many years, we probably been longer than that. Probably seven years where we’ve been exercising stuff with first building the connector and just sort of working with it through the years that there’s a lot of built in knowledge that has gone into it as well.

 

Chris:I mean it’s kind of giving us just a little plug for why would you choose us to do this, I mean we’ve done it. We’ve pulled, we’ve migrated quite a few customers now and we’ve got some experience and the code has been poked at quite a bit.

 

Danny:And I didn’t go through this earlier with the cost, is that we end up packaging in the cost of the tool into our services and so when you’re engaging us, you’re engaging us, what I want to say is for a solution, which is to migrate you from Jive to SharePoint Online and we end up, the pricing for all of this, we’re not a product company, we are working with a product company right now to see about transitioning what we have as a tool over to them, so it could be bought more like it’s a tool, but we’re in the middle of doing that right now. As it stands right now, you’re engaging us, our expertise, our tools that we have, and hiring us to do this migration and the pricing is based off of what our services cost is.

 

Last one, we’re 10 minutes left, we have one question left. Well done guys. You’re working on a, and I also saw a question, which I’ll have a question for you as well, which is great, wonderful to see that. If anybody else has questions, please go ahead and ask them through the go-to-webinar interface. You’re working on a white paper, I’m plugging your work, white paper here, plugging it. You’re working on a white paper back complex migrations, how do these types of project, the Jive migrations, influence what you’re writing in the white paper?

 

Kirk:So the white paper is focusing on SharePoint to SharePoint migration, but there’s plenty of similarities between when you go SharePoint to SharePoint and when you go from Jive to SharePoint. And they’re usually the big idea or process type of thing, so your overall process has to, you want to start with a workshop, cause we want to understand what you’re all about, what you need, where you are today and we want you to understand what we can do for you and what some of the caveats are and maybe what things we can’t do for you.

 

And you know I’ve talked about PoC and pilot several times already over the last hour, that’s true in both cases, and it’s extremely important and we talk about those and all of this in the white paper. And just we might word things differently in terms of our process when we’re doing SharePoint to SharePoint we tend to use terms like assess, plan, verify, and execute. But those transition over to the same stuff we’re doing here. And as Chris has said several times, the need to communicate is top on the list and that’s true in the white paper as well. That’s pretty much it.

 

Danny:So guys, couple of questions for you, and the first is, “Do you guys have an intranet in a box, that’s atop SharePoint Online that we can map and migrate our selective Jive content into.” Great question and up to this point the answer is no to that, we don’t have something where we’ve built something on top, basically an intranet in a box on top of SharePoint, the reason being there’s probably four, five, maybe six different options that are out there that we’d love to talk you through as far as what’s available out there on the market place for this sort of intranet on top of SharePoint. We’ve mentioned one that we’ve been working with on a couple of projects, which is BrightStar’s Unily. There’s also other intranet in a box products that we’ve been talking to those companies as well. So rather than having something that competes with those, we’ll work with whichever one you want to select and so we will go through the whole process, as part of the workshop we’ll talk through the process of, “How do we migrate that content.” Maybe not just into SharePoint but also into some other data stores, so some other places that you want to have the content go into.

 

So, great question, one of those things that we’ll be, we will work with another third party to, if you want to build out, use one of the intranet in a box products, then we’ll sort of work with you to select the right one if you want some help with that, or just point you to the ones, and I’ll actually follow up with an e-mail on what some of those options are. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post on what’s on there, I know there’s a CMS Wire paper that’s out there as well that has sort of the different options. Great question and good, the answer is you don’t have to use what we, if we did create something, you don’t have to use what we created. We will do some, after we’re done with the project, we can do some customization, we’re all about that so if you want to make some changes to the way that SharePoint works, we can do, I know some good people who can do that for you.

 

Great question Scott thanks for asking that and I’ll also follow up with you on an e-mail with that. Another question from Tom, “What are the biggest user issues from moving from Jive to SharePoint, for example, training, management, use.”

 

Kirk:Well people are used to using Jive in a certain way when they’re using Jive, and then SharePoint you don’t use things the same way. It’s just a different look, and so yeah there’s definitely some user training aspect to this where you want users to understand how to use SharePoint, what their stuff is going to look like once it’s in SharePoint, I would think that’s a big deal. From an IT perspective, totally different way of managing the product too. SharePoint’s got a lot more to think about.

 

Chris:I mean it’s also an opportunity to unite with your users and get in front of them and say, “Okay we’re switching to something, we’re moving your, but we’re switching into something that’s really powerful that’s going to give you a lot of capability.” Most users find SharePoint pretty easy to pick up and use, you don’t have an issue with that. But it gives you an opportunity to actually schedule some time with your users and get in front of them and say, “This is where the stuff is going to, this is how you actually take advantage of this now.” There may be things you couldn’t even do before but you can do now.

 

Danny:And this may go along well with communication, which is as your rolling this out, for years we’ve written about SharePoint best practices, sort of how do you do this the right way and what we see in different organizations. And it really is a competency thing, which is, you want to grow the competency of the organization as far as how it manages the information inside the organization. And if you’re using SharePoint as a platform to do that, there is, there’re training aspects of it. There’s just, what ends up happening in a lot of these larger communities is you have power users that end up showing up, you have different people who are really take initiative in building out their own solutions on SharePoint and you just have to nurture and cultivate those people and really grow it into something that everybody is using.

 

And so we have probably 10’s of blog posts that are out there as far as training types of things that you can do for building applications, and Microsoft has lots of materials on that as well, but you’re moving somebody to a new platform which is a very powerful platform, but with that it requires training and building up an internal competency around it.

 

I appreciate, looks like that’s the last question, I appreciate everybody taking the time to do this. I will, I’ve been recording this, I’ll send out the recording of this to everyone so that you have it. And it’ll be up on our website as well so that you can share with others who might not have been able to attend this. Chris, Kirk, you guys, phenomenal job, well done. I look forward to doing more of these with you guys. I think it’s giving people a choice, they don’t have to feel like they’re locked in and that they have a choice that if they want to keep what is important corporate IP, that knowledge that we have within our organization, that they can take it with them. That’s a really empowering type of thing, so I appreciate what you guys are doing.

 

Chris:Thanks.

 

Kirk:Thanks.

 

Danny:Thank you everybody for listening, feel free, you can always reach out to me if you go to the contact us page on our website. That comes to me and I’ll get back to you really soon and if there are any other questions or anything else, feel free to reach out to me. And I appreciate you taking the time to do this and have a wonderful day, thank you so much, bye bye.

 

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Kirk LiemohnMigrating from Jive to Office 365 Webinar
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February 2017 Office 365 Updates


February 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:           Welcome to the Office 365 update for February of 2017. As we started working on this update video, we paused to take a look back at our humble origins. This series started three years ago, back when I still thought it was style and to wear a pink shirt. Come to think of it, I might be overdue for a wardrobe refresh now. I’m going to have to noodle on that one a bit more.

The original update series was available only to Microsoft internal employees. At their request, we began publishing the Office 365 update series on YouTube in October of 2015 to make that content available to our customers and partners. The response has been phenomenal. According to the Power BI dashboard I whipped up, the Office 365 update series now has over 300,000 views on YouTube.

I’m pleased that we’ve also been able to fulfill another user requests. We added an RSS feed so you can subscribe to this video via your favorite podcast player or RSS reader. We’re already in the iTunes Podcast Library and, of course, there’s the Windows Phone podcast player but please let me know what podcast player you use and we’ll work to set that up if there’s enough demand. As always, everything you need to subscribe to the podcast or get more detail on anything we address in this video is in the additional resources.

Microsoft is always making improvements to Office 365 and the goal of these videos is to demonstrate how you can leverage those improvements to help you or your organization do more. The best part of my job is hearing how this series is positively impacting your life, like this email I recently received from the IT manager of a popular restaurant chain here in the US. In this age of digital transformation, Microsoft’s goal is to make life a bit easier, not only for IT managers like Sean but for all Office users.

Microsoft OneDrive sync technology allows you to work with shared files with your team in Office 365 or SharePoint as easy as files stored on your computer, simplifying collaboration even if you’re offline. Many of you like me have been using two OneDrive sync clients. The first, sometimes called the Next Generation Sync Client, sync files stored in OneDrive for business and one drive personal. A second sync client kept SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premises files in sync.

In January 24th, we announced that the day has finally arrived with the Next Generation Sync Client also works with SharePoint Online. This makes things easier for admins and brings more flexibility and performance to end-users. Please note that those of you running SharePoint On-Premises will still need to use that second sync client I spoke of. The same article where this news was posted contains information and lengths on this and related OneDrive development, so be sure to check it out.

Good news. On January 12, Microsoft announced it was adding over 60 new Linkedin learning courses to Microsoft’s Office Training Center. The LinkedIn learning videos can be found alongside the hundreds of courses already there. These videos help you quickly get up to speed on Office, whether you need to learn about tracking changes in Word or designing PowerPoint presentations. You can easily find training based on a specific Office solution or general topic, such as how to become more productive with Office 365.

While my goal with these update videos is to keep you informed on what’s new, the Office Training Center will provide step-by-step instructions on how to get the most out of each Office solution. If you’re not using this training already, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

Microsoft recently announced the worldwide launch of Microsoft StaffHub. It’s designed to help deskless workers manage their workday with schedule management, information sharing, and the ability to connect to other work-related apps and resources. StaffHub makes it easy for managers to create update and manage shift schedules for their team, streamlining what has traditionally been a very labor-intensive process. Employees simply view their upcoming schedules on their mobile device. The StaffHub app home screen provides a summary of upcoming shifts as well as any important notes. When schedule conflicts inevitably come up, StaffHub makes it easy to either swap a shift or offer the shift to somebody else.

Requests are always routed to the manager for approval and updates and notifications are automatically sent to the team. StaffHub also enables managers to quickly distribute information to their team such as policy documents, news bulletins, or training videos. It’s also easy for managers to send quick messages to their team members. Employees can also send messages directly with each other or to the entire work group.

Microsoft StaffHub also supports the ability for admins to define custom links for workers to view in the mobile app. These links can point to important resources or sites such as HR systems for reporting time off or to custom applications built with tools such as Microsoft power apps. Microsoft StaffHub is available on the web and there are apps for iOS and Android. For all the details and to see a preview of Microsoft StaffHub in action, read the January 12th Office blog post.

Research has proven that people learn and retain information that is presented to them visually, so I’m always looking for ways to add images and graphics to the content I create. Last September, I told you about picket presentation images and Office add-in that lets you download unlimited royalty-free photos and icons from Pickit’s curated collections.

There’s another stock photo app I like called Pexels that expands your stock photo options. Simply install the Pexels app and you can browse through standard definition images from Pexels’ vast free library. Photos available through Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. This means the pictures are completely free for personal and commercial use, and attribution is not required. You can even modify the photos to suit your needs without breaking any rules.

This is a good time to remind you that PowerPoint has a robust set of tools that enable you to modify and adjust images. One of my favorite is the Remove Background feature. For example, if you drop in a photo from Pexels and the background in the photo doesn’t quite go with your slide design, you can easily remove it. Simply double-click on the photo to bring up the picture tools. Click on Remove Background. Make a few minor adjustments and you’re all set. Pexels is a great add-in for people working in PowerPoint and Word. Be sure to check out the Office store for other useful apps that work seamlessly with Office to enhance your productivity.

Back in April 2016, Microsoft started rolling out a new Office 365 homepage experience that provided a redesigned environment for users to collaborate and work across any device. To ring in the New Year, the Office team began rolling out changes that make it even easier to navigate apps and find the documents you’ve worked on most recently. They started rolling out in late December and will continue through early 2017. When you access your Office 365 homepage, you’ll see additional controls within the recent documents list then enable you to filter by document type across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

If you have documents that you go back to frequently, you can pin them to the list and they’re always just a click away. The Office.com homepage also has a new calendar section so you can see upcoming events at a glance. There’s also an in-depth view of the day’s meetings and you can join Skype for Business calls with just one click. Again, these changes started rolling out in late December and will continue through early 2017. Keep your eye out for them on Office.com.

Data loss prevention is an important capability that ensures that the organization sensitive data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. The Office team has announced the new unified management experience for data loss prevention, policy creation, and reporting that spans Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. Up to now, IT admins have managed data loss prevention for Exchange Online via the Exchange Admin Center while managing SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business data loss prevention from the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center.

With the new unified approach, admins can create a single data loss prevention policy in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center that covers all three, reducing the time and effort required to set up and maintain security and compliance. Along with unified policy creation, we also now provide a single location to view reports for your data loss prevention policies across Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. This makes it easier to understand the business impact of your data loss prevention policies and uncover actions that violate policies across multiple workloads.

There are additional details in the January 9th Office blog post along with additional information on data loss prevention events in the activity management API. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.

 

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empty.authorFebruary 2017 Office 365 Updates