January 2018 Office 365 Updates

January 2018 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for January 2018.

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Suggestion Box

Source: Microsoft TechNet: The Office 365 Guy Blog

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

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


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

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

read more
empty.authorJanuary 2018 Office 365 Updates

Real World Jive to Office 365 Migrations with Eric Bowden

Danny Ryan

Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Eric Bowden

Bio – LinkedIn

Danny:Hello and welcome to The Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This your host, Danny Ryan. I’m here with someone who has plenty of hair on his head and is not my bald brother. It is Eric Bowden. How are you doing, Mr. Principal Consultant? Is that what your role is nowadays?


Eric:Yes, but-


Danny:But …


Eric:… for the record, you can call me whatever you like. I’m here to help.


Danny:I can, huh?


Eric:Yeah, yeah.


Danny:Do you have a nickname? Did we come up with a nickname for you?


Eric:Mr. Wolf.


Danny:Mr. Wolf?


Eric:I have a few. Winston Wolf is probably my favorite, which is-


Danny:Who gave you that one?


Eric:That’s from Pete.




Eric:Yeah, Pete gave me that. It’s from a scene in Pulp Fiction, which …


Danny:I have to look that one up. It doesn’t pop off in the top of my head.


Eric:Yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. It has some choice language in it so you’ll have to-


Danny:I’m sure it does.


Eric:… you’ll have to adapt to that language-


Danny:It’s Pulp Fiction, and some exploding heads and things like that, too, yeah.


Eric:That’s right, that’s right.


Danny:It is Pulp Fiction.


Eric:Language I usually don’t use.




Eric:Winston Wolf, he’s a problem solver and …


Danny:Is he the clean up guy?


Eric:He’s the clean up guy, yes.


Danny:Got you. I know. I know exactly. Yeah, so you’re the clean up guy.


Eric:I’m the clean up guy, that’s right. That’s right.


Danny:You clean up the guts on the floor?


Eric:I like to get it done, yeah. The other is Sherlock.


Danny:Sherlock. That’s a good one.


Eric:For, yeah, being able to solve problems.


Danny:Have you watched the new Sherlock at all?


Eric:I don’t know if I’ve watched the very newest. I watched one that came out a couple years ago. Fantastic. I love him …


Danny:This is the one I think like the BBC or something that put out recently.


Eric:No, I haven’t seen that.


Danny:It’s great. I’ll send you the link. All right, we’re supposed to be here talking about something.


Eric:That’s right.


Danny:We’re talking about a big migration … We’re not going to mention the client, but a very big migration project for a company, not here in the United States, over in the UK. That’s probably bringing some interesting dynamics to this whole thing.


Eric:That’s right.


Danny:This was a pretty good sized migration. I have to say from my standpoint since I was the first person to interact with them, they’ve been a pleasure to work with. I think when we were scoping this out and going through all of the [machinations 00:02:14] of trying to figure out whether we could help them out or not and all sorts of things like that, they were just good folks to work with. This is you said your fourth at migrations?


Eric:That’s right. I think this is my fourth Jive to SharePoint migration.


Danny:This isn’t even what you’re supposed to be doing on a day-to-day basis. You’re being sucked into these migrations.


Eric:That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, this is my side job.




Eric:But it is a great project. As you said, this is my fourth one and I think it’s pretty much the best ever. We’re firing on all cylinders. We’ve been doing this for what, a couple of years now.




Eric:Have quite a few under our belt and you can just really see how the process, and the team, and everyone is just really … We’ve just got it down.


Danny:Tell me, who’s on the team with you?


Eric:We’ve got Bob and Kirk I think launched it with the customer. As you know, we go through these requirements gathering, engagements where we’ll meet with the customer, and understand what the environment is, and where do they want to go, and really help them understand and eliminate what are the possibilities based on prior engagements. That was Bob and Kirk working through that process-


Danny:They did the workshop and all that heavy lifting upfront.


Eric:That’s right, that’s right. Yeah, the workshop. We have the workshop component of it. I think another aspect, which it’s been a while since I’ve been on a Jive to SharePoint Migration project myself, and one aspect that has merged that I’m seeing on this one, which I think is a really good development, is the solution architect role. I think a lot of our Jive to SharePoint migration projects, they will be more or less standard where there’s not a lot of customization, there’s not a lot of design. This one has a significant amount of customization and design.


Danny:Is this making improvements to our suite of utilities that we might have?


Eric:Right. I think it’s really probably two-fold. I think there are improvements to our utilities, which that’s a part of what Kirk has done as the solution architect, design out what are those updates to utilities, but a lot of it are really design decisions, and where are you going to put this content from Jive into SharePoint, and what are the decisions that you need to make along the way. I think it’s really part of it is bits and bytes and part of it is really just guiding those decisions.


Danny:Are you guys doing anything with teams, or communication sites, or with Yammer, or some of the other stuff that I know has come up before with a lot of customers?


Eric:Yeah, yeah, we are. Of course, we’re heavy users of … To be sure I understand the question, we are using teams to collaborate.


Danny:No. I’m saying are you moving any of the content into teams yet?


Eric:I see. I see. I see. No.




Eric:Nothing is going to teams. We are using … The majority of the content is going into SharePoint sites and then, there is another product involved called Wizdom that is … I don’t have much depth in that myself, but I understand it is an add-on to SharePoint and we’re also migrating content from Jive into Wizdom.


Danny:This is one of those intranet-in-a-box products that’s built on top of SharePoint Online or integrated with SharePoint Online?


Eric:Yes and yes.


Danny:Yes. Yes and yes.


Eric:Yes and yes, as far as I know. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of depth in it, but my take so far from looking at it is it looks like it’s an enhancement to SharePoint Online-


Danny:I’m going to start asking you some technical questions about Wizdom. Is it a mode access to work with it?


Eric:Yeah. Yes, absolutely.


Danny:I’m sorry. What else has been so awesome about this project? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me.


Eric:A lot of awesomeness. Yeah, I just can’t emphasize enough I think how I can see how we’ve been repeating these types of engagements so that I can see the team members are improving and as I already said, the evolving roles. Next component of it is that because of all these enhancements to our suite of utilities, so we have an [app dev 00:06:50] project going. We have a month or so in that area of app dev for enhancing the projects.


Danny:Are we adding more content types that we’re moving or what is the app dev around?


Eric:The app dev is around the custom manner in which they want this content moved from Jive into SharePoint. They want metadata brought over-


Danny:What is this? Like likes, and comments, and tags?


Eric:Tags and categories are some examples.


Danny:Boom. Boom.


Eric:They want content not to be pulled over as an HTML. They want it to be pulled over as a PDF and content descriptions, which are in Jive, those are stored in an HTML field so we’re not losing any of that content from Jive. They have a custom manner in which they want to attachments. What else? Of course, there’s the Wizdom aspect of it, but we have … All of this sort of becomes an app dev project. Of course, that is a real sweet spot for us and we wrap Scrum around that. We’re using an offshore team. We have two developers joining the team-




Eric:… from our offshore location and-




Eric:Yes, India representing and they are doing a fantastic job. There are a couple of real neat benefits with the India guys. For one is that they’re focused full time. Unlike sometimes on the ThreeWill team, we may be working on multiple aspects of the project, maybe even multiple projects.


Danny:You won’t may be. You are … You’re typically on multiple projects, right?


Eric:Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes, yes.


Danny:I’m sorry.


Eric:Yeah, that was my marketing by the way.


Danny:You were being nice. You’re being nice. I’m on 16 projects right now. I’m sorry. Go ahead.


Eric:Yes, yeah. Anyway, the guys, the offshore team have been doing a fantastic job, really starting to show leadership on the project. They are relatively new to the Jive to SharePoint migrations, but they are picking up speed fast.


Danny:That’s great.


Eric:Next is Lisa, our QA engineer. Lisa has many, many miles now on Jive to SharePoint migrations.


Danny:I get a sense things are going to spice up a little bit on the project.


Eric:It’s always spiced up. It’s kicked up a notch with Lisa on the project-


Danny:More lattes, more.


Eric:That’s right, that’s right. Yeah, the first project I was on with Lisa, a Jive to SharePoint project, she said, “Is this your first one?” “Yes.” “Fasten your seatbelt.” Not only is Lisa an awesome engineer and tester, but she’s really … I’m just repeating this thing. We’ve been through these for a number of years now and getting better and better and better. The quality and the speed and the agility is just continuing to increase.


Right now, we’re in the app dev phase and Bob is serving as our ThreeWill side project manager, by the way, doing an amazing job of … There are a lot of conversations. There’s a lot of threads. This is going a lot of different directions and Bob is really keeping all that organized, keeping all of that on track, including having creative  as a project plan for this and that is after this app dev phase, which is where we are now, then we’re going to move into our pilot phase.


Danny:Yeah. I had this visualization of Bob with a cowboy hat and a lasso going around where all these things are coming at him and he’s wrangling with them and getting them going in the right place at the right time.


Eric:That’s fairly accurate. That’s fairly accurate. Yeah.


Danny:It’s not that far off?


Eric:That’s not that far off.


Danny:It’s an appropriate metaphor?


Eric:That’s an appropriate metaphor. Yeah, Bobby can change-


Danny:Oh, we’re calling him Bobby now.


Eric:He can change … Did I do that?


Danny:You called him Bobby. I love it.


Eric:Little Bobby.


Danny:Hey, Bobby. He’s on the project.


Eric:Well, actually-


Danny:Just let Bobby do it. He’ll do anything.


Eric:No. Lately, some have been referring to him as Mr. Bob.


Danny:Mr. Bob.


Eric:Mr. Bob.


Danny:Now that’s formal.


Eric:I kind of like that.


Danny:Mr. Bob.


Eric:Mr. Bob. Maybe kind of like the butler or the-


Danny:If I think Mr. Bob, I’m imagining him walking into the office and then changing his shoes and then putting a cardigan on and …


Eric:Okay, all right, all right. Like the Mr. Rogers.




Eric:This is what you’re going for.


Danny:Yes, that’s what I’m going for.


Eric:I got it. I used to watch Mr. Rogers.


Danny:Yes, too. And talking to trains and imaginary people and that sort of thing.


Eric:This is true. He probably does that when he’s about to the tipping point.


Danny:Eric, I promise I haven’t had a lot of NyQuil today, I promise. I haven’t had too much NyQuil, but … Cool. What else? What else has been fun about this project?


Eric:What else has been fun? That has been a lot for one thing. It’s really just the organization and the volume of it all. Of course, working with the overseas folks, working with our customers who are in different time zones, different locations has been interesting and great.


Danny:You said you’re using teams. Is the client using teams as well?


Eric:Yes, yeah-


Danny:Boom. That is good. That’s something new. I haven’t heard that on other projects.


Eric:Yeah, they invited us to their teams, their team’s team.


Danny:Then you have an ID that is …




Danny:You joined with an ID that they created?


Eric:Yeah. They created a log-in for me. I haven’t taken the time to figure out exactly how this happens, but a log-in just appeared in teams.




Eric:Within my team’s client, I click a button and it tells me my different environments that I could connect to and I click the one for the customer and there I am.




Eric:Yeah. It’s nice. It’s been a very nice way to, yeah, to communicate with them, to share files with them.


Danny:That’s going to be fun when we do this with the typical client out there.




Danny:And all of our projects have this.




Danny:Actually pull them into their … ‘Cause we created the client extranets, but it’s tough to get people to log in to those, I know. Good stuff. What else? Anything else? It sounds like you see the benefit in doing repeat. That’s the only way you can become the best in the world at some things.


Eric:That’s right.


Danny:If you do the same thing over and over and over and you get better each time.


Eric:That’s right. You’ve heard, I’m not sure where it came from, plan, practice, execute.


Danny:Plan, practice, execute.


Eric:I think so. I think that’s a football thing or a football coach or somebody, but this is the practice aspect of it. Let’s repeat it and honing that skill and get really good at it. We encounter new things, every migration project I’ve been on, we encounter new things, but I think that with this one, we’re just faster. We’re just more agile, more creative. We get a lot done largely because of the fact that we’ve just rolled over so many of these. Oh, by the way, in the midst of this, which this is a very highly active project, both Kirk and Bob are very important and key contributors, they went and did another Jive to SharePoint migration project.


Danny:I know I’m a jerk. That’s me. That’s me, yes.


Eric:From looking at Bob and Kirk, you could kind of tell just a little bit from looking at them that they had diverted to another significant effort, but for the most part, they’re beasts. They just come back. They’re like nothing happened so it’s good stuff.


Danny:Yeah. I know how tough it is to be on multiple projects and I think we try to minimize it, but it’s just it’s the nature of the beast, but …


Eric:It is, it is, yeah. I didn’t mean that as a bad thing necessarily. More just saying that I don’t think that if we hadn’t had such repetition on this kind of project, I really don’t think that they would’ve been able to-


Danny:Yeah, they could’ve done that.


Eric:… detour that efficiently and then, come right back to this project so-


Danny:Awesome. Keep up the good work. Maybe we can get together next quarter and talk about … You probably will still be on the project or when are things …


Eric:Not sure, not sure.


Danny:Depends on if it’s the mid quarter or-


Eric:It depends on the quarter, yeah. I think there’s … Not really sure. Don’t know. We’ll have to-


Danny:Thank you.


Eric:You bet.


Danny:I can sense your excitement about this project and that means a lot to … I’m excited when anybody’s passionate about something and so, good work with this. Keep it up and looks like we’re going to have a couple more of these next year. It sounds like each one of them has its own unique difficulties with it so that’ll keep us on our toes and thanks for all your hard work, Eric, and …


Eric:You bet, you bet. Yeah, thanks for having me on to talk about it.


Danny:Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you everybody for listening. This might be our last podcast for the year. I know it’s going to be tough to get through a couple weeks without hearing from us, but you guys can make it through. You can survive, but yeah, this might be the last one for 2017, depends on if I need a couple more posts to make my goals or not. I might have a podcast episode where it’s just me talking with a big bottle of NyQuil in front of me. All right, that’s it. Enough wasting time. Get back to work, Eric.




Danny:Get back to work. Come on, buddy.




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


Additional Credits

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

read more
empty.authorReal World Jive to Office 365 Migrations with Eric Bowden

December 2017 Office 365 Updates

December 2017 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

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

The Office 365 Guy

Source:  TechNet: The Office 365 Guy

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

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

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

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

PowerPoint Morph

Source:  Microsoft Support: Use the Morph Transition in PowerPoint

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

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

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

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

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

Resume Builder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office Tutorials

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

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

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

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

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

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


Source:  Microsoft Support: Document collaboration and co-authoring

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forecasting in Excel

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

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

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

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

Power BI

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

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

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

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


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

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

read more
empty.authorDecember 2017 Office 365 Updates

November 2017 Office 365 Updates

November 2017 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for November 2017.

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


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

Microsoft Ignite On-Demand Sessions

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

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

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

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

Intelligent Communications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Integration

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

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

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

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

Outlook for Mobile

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

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

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

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

Files on Demand

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

Tech Community: OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise

Microsoft.com: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now available

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft/Adobe Partnership

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

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

Podcast Availability

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


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

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

read more
empty.authorNovember 2017 Office 365 Updates

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.


read more
empty.authorOctober 2017 Office 365 Updates

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.

read more
Bo GeorgeMicrosoft Ignite 2017 – 5 Key Takeaways from a SharePoint Consultant

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.


read more
empty.authorAugust 2017 Office 365 Updates

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 to 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.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having to recreate content and adoption of Office 365 will be impacted.

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 – the 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…

read more
Danny RyanWhy Move the Content from Jive into Office 365?

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.

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

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!

read more
Caroline SosebeeOffice 365 Groups vs Azure AD Security Groups

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], 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.


read more
empty.authorMarch 2017 Office 365 Updates