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Office 365 Groups vs Azure AD Security Groups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


March 2017 Office 365 Updates

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Kirk Liemohn is a Principal Software Engineer at ThreeWill. He has over 20 years of software development experience with most of that time spent in software consulting.
Danny:Welcome to this Jive to SharePoint/Office 365 webinar. I appreciate you taking your time out of your busy day to come join us and talk about this subject. What we wanted to talk about today was sort of ten things that folks should know about migrating from Jive to SharePoint Online. In general, I’ll just say SharePoint Online meaning a part of Office 365. I have two of my experts. I’ll call you guys experts, is that okay?

 

Kirk:You can call Chris an expert.

 

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

 

Kirk:That’s right.

 

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

 

Kirk:Bring it on, bring it on.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kirk:Yes.

 

Danny:Yeah?

 

Kirk:Yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kirk:Right.

 

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

 

Kirk:Yep.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Danny:Okay.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Danny:Okay.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kirk:Yeah, it can take days.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chris:Transformers, no.

 

Danny:Sorry, go ahead. Number four.

 

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

 

Danny:Brilliant.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chris:Clean all that up.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Danny:Those are migrated?

 

Kirk:Yeah, yes.

 

Chris:Yep.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Danny:No, no, no, go ahead.

 

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

 

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

 

Kirk:Some of them are, yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chris:Of that list.

 

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

 

Chris:But we are capturing.

 

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

 

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

 

Kirk:Status updates are the same way.

 

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

 

Kirk:Shared links.

 

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

 

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

 

Chris:Yep.

 

Danny:Basically we do.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Danny:Yeah you done pay for it, cool.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chris:The actual Jive database?

 

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

 

Chris:No.

 

Danny:We haven’t had to do that?

 

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

 

Danny:Just to have it around?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Danny:Oh really? Interesting.

 

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

 

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

 

Chris:You definitely have to have

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Danny:We don’t like “like for like.”

 

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

 

Danny:Other takeaways you guys have?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kirk:So you want to start early.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Chris:Thanks.

 

Kirk:Thanks.

 

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

 

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


February 2017 Office 365 Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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empty.authorFebruary 2017 Office 365 Updates
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FAQ: What is Office 365?


What is Office 365?

Good morning, and welcome everyone to today’s webinar for the BC public sector. My name is Adrianna Pieraccini. I am a productivity solutions specialist with Microsoft and am based in beautiful British Columbia. In today’s session, I aim to provide you with an understanding of exactly what Office 365 is. The good news is if you’re already an Office user then virtually nothing changes. Only your user experience is enhanced.

What we will cover off, we will leave you with an understanding of what Office 365 is, the services and apps included with it, and we will review some of the benefits that you will experience and gain. The agenda is structured to start with how Microsoft Office has evolved from where it was 10 years ago to where it is today. We’ll cover off Office in the cloud to provide you with an understanding of what that means exactly and then move on to some user scenarios, leaving you with an idea of how it benefits you.

As I go through the content, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to type them into the Q&A box. However, I will be addressing questions at the end of the webinar. Let’s get started.

The evolution of Office. To simplify for an understanding we will cover off the basics of how Microsoft Office has evolved over the last 10 years. The nice thing you’ll notice is that the apps that you’re familiar with are the same ones that you have been using, only they’ve grown up, one might say, a little more mature with some awesome intuitive functionality, enabling not only businesses but users for more efficiencies.

You can see from the right of the slide how functionality is much more inclusive with each other to provide the solutions that are actually mobile solutions, anytime access on any device and highly secure. Many of us know Office as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook email, software that runs on a PC, comes out of the box, and the only way to update it is to upgrade it by buying new software out of a box.

The question one might ask themselves is, “Why can I not have access to the current version of the app at any time on any device?” This is really where the world has moved to and being able to provide the most current version of an app on any device at any time, which is exactly what Office 365 offers a user. This is the great news, so what’s included with Office 365 are all the familiar apps you have come to use and love over the years, so what really changes here isn’t much. You still have access to your familiar apps. You just access them in a more dynamic way to help you communicate and collaborate, get more done easily and faster.

In order to really experience this Microsoft has added some additions to the suite to enable users to do this. The additions to the family are listed here. Although OneNote is not necessarily new, I did want to touch on this great app. OneDrive for business is where we’re going to start. It’s where you store your business documents to save, view, edit, share, even co-author, create content, co-create content with colleagues. Skype for Business enables instant messaging, video and voice calling, also indicates your presence, like whether or not you’re at your desk, whether you’re available, if you’re in a call or if you’re in a meeting, if you’re away from your desk.

Yammer is social for the enterprise. You can follow groups, teams, comment, share ideas, provide feedback. You can even store content. OneNote is new within the last 10 years. If you haven’t experienced it yet, it is a place for note taking. It’s one of my favorite tools. I use it every single day. In OneNote, you can paste images, links, lots of different kinds of content directly into it. I would say think of this as your digital notebook instead of your old paper notebook.

Office 365 delivered services are what Microsoft delivers to organizations to enable the use of the technologies that we just reviewed. The four core services included cover Office for your core app use for Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, OneNote, Skype for communications, SharePoint for document storing, which OneDrive falls under, and Exchange, which provides email functionality.

What the delivered services offers is Office on any device, so this is the cool part. You can access all of your applications across any computer platform, whether it’s an Apple device, being a Mac computer, or an iOS mobile device, a Google Android device, and of course all Windows devices.

The proliferation of devices today has really changed the way that organizations provide software to their end users because even if I took a poll right now many of you would likely have at least up to three devices. What the cloud has enabled Microsoft to do is provide a user with a user based license which essentially follows you everywhere on all of your devices, so a user now has the ability to have Office 365 to download Office on up to 15 devices, so five mobile phones, five tablet style devices, and five PCs or Macs.

Now we’ll take a look at Office in the cloud. In this section, we’re going to help give you an understanding of what the cloud means for Office and yourself. I’m going to start with the basics to help you get a high level understanding of the difference between traditional computer environments and cloud. Typically organizations run all of their apps in a central data center owned and managed by that organization. This would be considered traditional. Cloud is where someone like Microsoft can provide computer power storage like a hard drive to other organizations so that they don’t have to worry about managing it themselves.

A good example to hopefully help you understand both traditional versus cloud is let’s say you’re a photographer. After taking photos you will want to download them to your home personal computer. This would be the traditional way to use an app and store the data. Maybe after you’ve edited those photos on your home computer you want to share them with your friends and family, so you decide to use a website online to do this, which enables you to access them also from a different computer. This would be using the cloud to help you do this.

Hybrid is simply a combination of using both traditional and cloud together, like Office on your device or Office Online. There are some benefits of cloud versus traditional, and what it really means for an end user. It means you can work in a flexible manner that really works for you. You can access your apps and content virtually any time. It’s manageable because it is current, always up to date. There’s no need for an upgrade because you’re simply updating. It’s reliable 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, hence Office 365, and most importantly it’s very secure.

When you’re using a computer that doesn’t have the full desktop version of Office installed, Office Online is your Office in the cloud. View your documents, even PDFs, in your browser, or make quick changes in the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. When Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents are stored in OneDrive for business or other Office 365 libraries, you can work on them using Office Online, which opens the documents in a web browser.

What we are achieving with Office Online is a modern Office experience. You can use a multitude of devices, devices that you prefer, devices that you’re comfortable with. We provide Office Online or you can access it as an install on your device. You can have the full suite of Office products that enable you to get your job done better and faster and efficiently and the way that you feel comfortable working.

This slide represents the pace of innovation and the pace of change. Everyone expects to have the most up-to-date, current version of an app that they’re using. That is exactly what Office 365 is offering. There is no more upgrades, like I mentioned. Instead, there is now updates which are much more easy and quick to install. You can continue working in your apps and on your systems at all times.

Now we’ll run through some of the scenarios to help paint a picture of how Office 365 can enable you for work. We’re going to cover off get it done from anywhere, store, sync, and share your files, make meetings matter, email and calendar on the go, and work like a network.

Whether it’s a PC, a Mac, a tablet, or a phone, getting it done from anywhere means how Office 365 gives you access to everything that you need to get the job done from anywhere, on almost any device. You can work across a variety of devices from different locations and have a consistent, clean, and fast experience.

Office 365 gives you access to everything you need to get the job done from anywhere, because you can work on your device or you can work online. The picture to the right shows what it looks like when you log into your account from online. All your online apps are shown to the right. Then, when clicked, they open up in a browser. Files and settings are synced from one device to the next, giving you freedom and reliability. You can create, save, edit, and share documents easily, access documents on a mobile device, and take notes on OneNote at any time.

Productivity is how Microsoft categorizes the Office suite of products, because that is exactly the intent, making a user productive. With how Office is now delivered on your device or online, you get the latest tools for productivity and collaboration delivered fast with smooth upgrades. Included, you have a user based model for multiple device downloads on phones, tablets, PCs, or Macs. Settings are synchronized across devices. You have automated updates, no more upgrades, mobile and cross-platform additions, meaning it is compatible on whatever device or operating system you are using.

Store, sync, and share your files with OneDrive for Business in SharePoint. OneDrive for Business in SharePoint enable you to store your documents, share your documents, and co-create and co-author documents with your colleagues.  OneDrive for Business lets your team collaborate on documents, share reports with partners, and connect with customers, colleagues, and partners from virtually any device.

Instead of multiple versions on thumb drives and in email communications, you could enable everyone to work on the same file simultaneously and keep track of everyone’s changes in real time. It’s actually incredibly cool to experience this happening because you can literally see all of your colleagues collaborating in the same document. You don’t even need to be at your desk to get the work done together. You can keep reviewing and refining all your files online and offline.

If you’re saving your work files, save them to OneDrive and they’ll follow you everywhere. There are many functions you can take advantage of, like easily saving files to OneDrive. This is one of the best functions of OneDrive in the browser. You can drag files from your computer directly into your OneDrive browser for saving. You can see your files from other devices after you upload files to OneDrive. You can see them from other devices by just signing into your Office 365 site in your browser and then clicking OneDrive.

Save and open your files. You can work with your files you store in OneDrive right from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office desktop apps. There’s no need to go to your Office 365 site in a browser. You can sync your files with your computer, sync OneDrive for Business to your computer, and then get your files in File Explorer instead of your web browser. All your changes sync to OneDrive whenever you’re online and connected to the Internet.

Manage your files in OneDrive. After you sync your OneDrive files with your computer, you can manage your files like other files on your computer. You can move, rename, and delete your files the same way you’re used to, except the changes you make to OneDrive files sync to all your other devices, so if you delete a file it’s deleted everywhere. If you modify a file and you open and you modify it on one device and you open it up on another device, you’re going to see that modification already have taken place.

You can share files with others. When you store your files in OneDrive, you can share with others from any device by going to your Office 365 site, or you can share right from Office without even going to Office 365 in a separate window. Whichever way you share Office files, you can work with others at the same time they work and see changes people make. You can work together at the same time.

When you store and share your files in OneDrive, you can work with others at the same time and avoid reconciling multiple versions of the file. I think we’ve probably all actually been there. Working together from either the online or desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote are accessible.

SharePoint is used by organizations to create websites. You can use SharePoint as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information on almost any device. All you need is a web browser. SharePoint provides you with the functionality of content management, enterprise search capabilities across an organization, collaboration with colleagues, social for the enterprise. You can use it as an application platform, company intranet or extranet to communicate with partners, their retention policies for compliance, and for those project lovers out there, Project Online integrates with it as well.

You need to get the right people working together to get the work done, which is not always simple in today’s business world. Skype for Business makes it easy for people to meet and connect online from wherever they are on multiple devices. You can join or start a meeting with just one click, whether across the hall or across the country. HD video is available. Screen sharing and real-time note taking help make meetings matter, producing actionable results and decisions for you and the team that you work with.

Skype has really changed the way that I work. This is one of my favorite tools in the kit, and you might feel the same after you start using it as well. The features in Skype enable you to check presence and send an instant message, which is less formal than email and faster than a phone call. What’s great though is you have the ability to actually take that instant message and easily turn it into a phone and/or video call.

You have the ability to do desktop sharing where you can even whiteboard and draw with the individuals that are on your Skype bridge, and you can all collaborate together, share ideas, share content in real time. If you’re a presenter, you can show your entire desktop or just selected programs to everyone in the meetings. You can upload and share a PowerPoint presentation. During a meeting you can open your presentation on your computer and share your screen, but if you upload your presentation into Skype you can annotate slides, see the presenter notes, switch presenters, let others view the slides privately, or have someone else take over as a presenter to help you during the meeting.

You can even make the slides available for downloading to all attendees so they can review them after the meeting. Skype for Business recording captures audio, video, instant messaging, application sharing, PowerPoint, and whiteboard activities. Another great feature of Skype is actually letting your audience see you. If you’re on the go, use the Skype for Business app to join a meeting from your phone or tablet, whether that’s an Android phone or an Apple iPad.

Email and calendar on the go. With Office 365, you have easy access to your email and calendar wherever you are. To view your email or calendar on your computer, you can use your Outlook or Outlook web app. To view email or calendar on a phone or tablet, you can use Outlook web app or a compatible app that’s on your device such as an email and calendar app. Outlook is an application that you install on your computer. Outlook web app is the browser-based version of Outlook that you can access over the Internet through Office Online.

Outlook with Office 365 really is a one destination for email, calendars, files, contacts, and tasks. A good example is during your morning train commute, you can coordinate meetings on the go, access synchronized contacts, check your task list, and use intelligent tools to manage your inbox so you can quickly deal with what matters the most. Your work is now connected and accessible.

You can view your email on your computer, tablet, or phone. On your computer you use Outlook. On your phone or tablet you can use an app, and just about any device you can access your email in a browser window using Outlook web app. Outlook provides a calendar so that you can use this to schedule your meetings and appointments. Your calendar will remain consistent and up-to-date across all of your devices when you’re using Office 365.

One thing that I personally take advantage of is personalizing the theme within Outlook to a color and look that I prefer. This is something that you will have the capability to do as well. You can set up an automatic signature for your email. You can set up automatic replies when you’re unavailable, find and easily save a contact through the address book, schedule a meeting through the calendar and see everyone else’s availability, but for those team members that you work really closely with, you have the ability to share your calendar with them as well so that you all have ability to know what time works best for everyone. The search functionality in Outlook is now quite powerful as well, so when you’re looking for that old email, typing anything into the search quickly helps you find it. Assigning and tracking tasks is also an easy way to stay on top of things.

Change is the new constant, and it can be hard to keep up. What if you were connected to everything that’s important that’s work related? Say you’re working on a project. You’d be plugged into every document, person, and activity that was taking place within a particular project. How beneficial would that be? With Yammer, you and the team can exchange ideas, get the latest information, and spot opportunities to adapt quickly and make change happen.

Yammer helps the organization listen, adapt, and grow in new ways by working like a network. More than a content repository, it’s a place where teams can discuss various aspects of a project. You can share ideas, give feedback, take notes together, review the same documents, and more. Yammer makes connecting a distributed workforce easy as well. It helps employees get answers to questions faster and in an open community feed style. Most importantly, it inspires unity and innovation by allowing people to learn, share, and be heard and engaged.

If you’d like more information on the content we reviewed today, I would suggest by starting at the top link there, Office Help and Training. It’s got a lot of great content right on those websites. The Work Wonders Portal is also a fantastic place to start, with lots of Office 365 specific content. This does conclude today’s webinar. Thank you very much for attending. I hope you got value out of today’s session, and we really look forward to seeing you for the next topic. Now we will move on to Q&A, so if you have not already submitted your question, please do so now.

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empty.authorFAQ: What is Office 365?
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January 2017 Office 365 Updates


January 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for January of 2017. Before we get started with the news I wanted to remind you that your feedback on this series is important to both myself and to the production team. We announced a pilot in October with the sole purpose of gathering input on how we could serve you better. While we received some suggestions we’d like to hear from more of you. Please visit the URL listed on the screen and share your thoughts. You can either post your own idea or vote on or comment on the ideas of other. Of course you can always contact me directly at the email listed on the screen. I’ll make every effort to respond.

 

Now, onto the updates. I introduce you to QuickStarter in Microsoft Sway in the November update. It’s an intelligent service that lets you go from a blank canvas to a compelling working Sway outline in seconds. I’m please to announce that QuickStarter has been extended to PowerPoint. Simply click on the QuickStarter option in the New PowerPoint screen, enter your topic, and QuickStarter shows you a menu of potential slide templates. Select the slide templates you want in your presentation, choose the graphic theme from the array of options presented, and then click create.

 

QuickStarter builds a deck for you that includes key facts, related topics, and a table of contents, and a set of slides on the topic and design you chose. You’ll still need to provide the details but QuickStarter automatically and intelligently creates a starter PowerPoint presentation for you to work from. It lets you focus on the presentation content, handling the outline and design choices automatically.

 

If you’d like to see QuickStarter in action and learn more about the intelligence behind it, watch the Microsoft Mechanics episode embedded in the November, 29th blog post.

 

While some old timers, like yours truly, might finally remember when Visacalc and, later, Lotus 123 were kings of the spreadsheet world. Excel has been the preeminent spreadsheet for the better part of 30 years. It’s been a cornerstone of Microsoft Office and an indispensable tool for crunching numbers and displaying that information visually.

 

Over the last few years Excel has released a powerful set of capabilities based on the power query technology which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities. These tools are accessed through the “get and transform” section on the data ribbon. On December, 1st the Excel team announced 10 new data transformation and connectivity features our customers have been asking for.

 

If you’re not familiar with Excels getting and transform features a great place to start is on the office support site. I’ve included a link in the additional resources for this course. If you’re already a get and transform power user be sure to check out the December, 1st office blog post for the latest improvements.

 

Editor in Word 2016 is a new writing assistant that helps you create better documents by providing enhanced proofing and editing services. Leveraging machine learning and natural language processing editor provides context on why certain words or phrases in your documents might not be the best choice, hopefully improving your writing skills.

 

For example, editor detects writing that may be wordy or includes redundancies and suggests more concise language. It also enhances spellcheck by showing the definitions of the possible correct words by ensuring you’re choosing the right now. Especially when the words sound the same. I think my high school teacher called these homonyms? Or was is homographs or homophones? I can’t remember. If you’re a little unsure about how the word should sounds, you can choose “read aloud” from the shortcut menu to hear the proper pronunciation.

 

Editor uses visual queues to distinguish between different types of suggested edits. Misspelled words are underlined with red squiggles, just like they always have been. Grammar queues are highlighted with a blue, double underline and the new writing style and word usage suggestions are flagged with a gold dotted line. That gold color choice must mean those suggestions are really valuable.

 

Anyway, these new enhancements to word help you improve your writing and ensure that your message comes across as intended. For additional information watch the Microsoft Mechanics episode embedded in the November, 29th blog post. You can also find additional information on support.office.com.

 

One piece of feedback I get consistently is that you watch these videos and then look for the features I mentioned in your own copy of office. Some of you don’t see the feature and write back asking where it is. All the way at the bottom of Kirk Koenigbauer’s November, 29th office blog post is paragraph of resources that I hope will remove some of the mystery.

 

Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal customers will want to join the Office Insiders program to be the first to see the features I cover. The answer is a little longer for commercial customers, but is explained in the link provided in that paragraph I mentioned. Please be sure to give it a read.

 

Office on Windows desktops has long supported the opening and editing of documents residing on a wide variety of third party cloud storage providers. This is a result of our cloud storage partner program, or CSPP, it ensures customers can get work done in Microsoft Office wherever their documents are stored.

 

Great news for our Android users, on December, 1st the office team announced that the CSPP is now available for the Office apps on Android devices. It’s easy to add a cloud storage provider from the “add a place” menu in the latest versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Android. Then, you can edit and share your documents stored with that provider as easily as you can do with those stored on Microsoft’s One Driver or One Drive for business. You can also launch Word, Excel, or PowerPoint directly from a cloud storage providers app to edit your files with changes automatically saved back to the cloud.

 

The list of available cloud storage options in Office for Android includes Dropbox, Box, Egnyte, and [inaudible 00:06:25]. The office team is working on adding Citric Share File, Edmoto, and Learnium as well. The list of options will continue to expand over time and I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on new developments.

 

Microsoft’s Visio, not to be confused with the Visio brand best known for it’s televisions … there’s one of those pesky homophone things again, has been a trusted tool in diagramming for more than a decade. Visio has helped thousands of organizations blue print the business processes that drive the digital transformation.

 

On December, 8th Microsoft announced two exciting updates: Visio Viewer for iPad and the Visio online preview. These two enhancements will enable users to access Visio diagrams, stored on one drive for business, or share point from nearly anywhere. Visio Online Preview amplifies the power of visual communication with helping teams gleam real time information from diagrams with just a browser. Turning data link diagrams into an operational dashboard that more employees can access.

 

Visio Viewer for iOS brings high fidelity viewing of real world processes and plans to iPad and iPhone users. It includes a new exploration experience which allows users to zoom in to specific areas of a Visio diagram for a more detailed view. You can download the Visio Viewer for iPad today from proucts.office.com or from the iTunes store. I’ve included links to these resources in the transcript to this course. To learn more about these strategic enhancements to Visio, check out the blog post which includes some compelling news cases.

 

If you’re new to Visio I encourage you to visit the Visio products support page in the link I’ve provided, for a complete feature overview and a link to download Visio and take it for a test drive.

 

Back in May of 2016 Microsoft released the Office Online Server which enables organizations still running on premises servers to provide their users with browser based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote from their on data centers. On November, 18th the Office team announced the release of several significant updates to Office Online server. Including performance improvements to co-authoring in Word, as well as improved picture resizing within Word Online documents, improvements when working with tables in both Word Online and PowerPoint Online, support for showing spelling errors inline in the PowerPoint editor, as well as improvements to the copy and paste functions within PowerPoint Online, and support for embedded Power View sheets in Excel Online.

 

Admins for organizations using Microsoft’s Office Online server should visit the volume licensing service center to download the software. Moving forward, Microsoft will be releasing updates about every four months to continually deliver new value to Office Online server customers.

 

Just a quick note that Microsoft announced that it has completed the acquisition of LinkedIn, the worlds largest professional network. While some integration between Office 365 and LinkedIn’s offerings already exist, there’s more to come. Be the one of the first to hear about these new capabilities by watching future updates.

 

I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.

 

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empty.authorJanuary 2017 Office 365 Updates
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How to Assign ThreeWill as Your Office 365 Partner of Record

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.

Over the last 15 years we’ve been fortunate to help hundreds of customers.  If you’re a customer of ThreeWill and you want to do us a huge favor, please assign us as your Partner of Record.  This enables us to keep our Gold Certification and to serve you better because we have more resources from Microsoft to help you on projects.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Add ThreeWill as Your Partner of Record

  1. Go to the Office Customer Portal at https://portal.office.com/adminportal/home#/homepage.
  2. Log into your account using your user name and password.
  3. In the left navigation pane, select Billing, then Subscriptions (screenshot).
  4. Select your subscription and click on More actions in the bottom right corner under the price per user/month.
  5. In the More actions drop down menu, click on Add Partner of Record. This is where you will attach their Partner of Record (screenshot)
  6. Enter 566560 for the Microsoft Partner ID.
  7. Click Check ID to verify ThreeWill and Click Add this partner to all of your subscriptions without an associated partner.
  8. Click Submit to complete assigning their Partner of Record (screenshot).
  9. After you customer assign us as your Partner of Record, we will receive an email notification that lets us know that we have been assigned as the Partner of Record.

To Change or Remove Your Partner of Record

  1. Follow steps 1 to 5 outlined above.
  2. In the More actions drop down menu, click on Edit Partner of Record.
  3. On the Partner information local pane, the Partner of Record ID assigned to the subscription will be shown. Click the “X” inside of the field to remove it.
  4. Click Submit. The Partner of Record has now been removed for this account and the subscription no longer has a Partner of Record.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a Partner of Record?

The Partner of Record for an Office 365, CRM Online, or Azure subscription is the partner who is helping the customer design, build, deploy or manage a solution that they’ve built on the service. It is not the partner who sold the subscription.

What are the benefits of specifying a Partner of Record?

Customers benefit because it provides the partner access to usage and consumption data, so they can provide better service and help customers optimize their usage for their desired business outcomes.

Who can attach a Digital Partner of Record?

The administrator role, also known as the owner, is the only role within the customer’s tenant or account that can attach a Digital Partner of Record. Service admins, co-admins, and partners designated as delegated admins do not have the ability to change the Partner of Record.

When should a Partner of Record be added to a for Office 365, CRM Online, or Azure subscription?

Microsoft recommends a Partner of Record be assigned to subscriptions right away. Partners of Record can also be assigned for Azure subscriptions in the admin portal for that service.

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Danny RyanHow to Assign ThreeWill as Your Office 365 Partner of Record
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December 2016 Office 365 Updates


December 2016 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for December of 2016. As you can see from the table of content I have a lot of news to cover this month, so let’s dive right in.

 

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella introduced the world to Microsoft Teams on November 2nd. It’s a new chat based workspace in Office 365 that brings together people, conversations and content so teams can easily collaborate to achieve more. One thing I love about Teams now available in preview is the tight integration with Office 365. Files are stored in SharePoint, meeting notes go into OneNote, insights are provided by Power BI, I think you get the idea.

 

Microsoft Teams takes these already useful tools, presents them in a new way and builds capabilities around them that makes them even more valuable together. Sadly the time we have together doesn’t allow for a complete product tour so I highly encourage you to check out the Office blog links provided in the additional resources. A November 4th blog post contains the Microsoft Teams announcements and two November 2nd posts provide more detail. The first includes a Microsoft Teams overview and has a great Q&A section. The second is an in-depth tour of Microsoft Teams by Dan Stevenson, who demonstrates how to get started from user experiences for chat and collaboration to what Office 365 administrators need to do to enable and manage Microsoft Teams.

 

Have you ever inserted what you thought was the perfect graphic into an Office document only to find out it looked blocky or jagged when you try to resize it? Now you can insert and edit Scalable Vector Graphics and images in your Office documents. We’ve even added a built-in library of professional high quality icons to get you started. Since these graphics are vector based they look great at any size without becoming to use a scientific term pixelated. Once added you can apply styles, change the line color, change the fill color and add other effects.

 

The Office team is continuing to expand the types of modern content you can add and edit in your Office documents. One upcoming enhancement I’m looking forward to is the support for three dimensional objects. For a sneak preview of this feature and to learn more about Scalable Vector Graphics, read the October 26th blog post which also includes demonstrations of enhancements to digital ink and a whole bunch more.

 

Microsoft Access is a great database management solution because it makes collecting and storing data accessible on the desktop and doesn’t require support from an IT administrator. It enables users to develop business applications, collect and analyse data from multiple sources and track just about anything.

 

On November 4th Microsoft announced that Access will now be included in the Office 365 business and business premium plans. The Office team is introducing additional data sources that can be integrated with Access for Office 365 ProPlus, E3 and E5 subscribers. A set of new enterprise data connectors will roll out to Microsoft Access in early 2017. They include connectivity to OData, Dynamics CRM, Salesforce and Amazon Redshift, with more on the way. This will enable customers to integrate and extend access into other line of business solutions and databases. Those interested will want to read the blog article to get a better idea as to when they’ll be receiving the update and learn more about what’s coming.

 

Microsoft is always looking for ways to take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware innovations. One example is how the Office team is making the most of the new Touch Bar, a virtual keyboard that replaces the F1 through F12 keys on the MacBook Pro. It moves common commands down to the keyboard and is context sensitive enabling more of the screen to be dedicated to content.

 

For example in Microsoft Word the Touch Bar enables you to work in word focus mode, a brand new experience that hides all the on-screen ribbons and commands so you can focus on your document. One tap on the Touch Bar and you can quickly apply a new style to a heading or paragraph. Touch Bar commands in PowerPoint allow you to easily manipulate both text and graphic elements right from your keyboard. In Excel typing and equal sign into a cell immediately pulls up the most recently used functions in the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar in Skype for Business allows you to add video, mute your microphone or share your desktop right from the keyboard. With this innovation the Office team has demonstrated once again their dedication to improving productivity across all platforms and devices, not just those from Microsoft.

 

On October 27th Microsoft announced that Skype for Business for Mac was available to download. The Mac client offers edge to edge video and full immersive content sharing and viewing. The new meeting experience for the Mac will include several features Windows users are already familiar with, including meeting actions which enable you to easily mute, add participants, instant message your colleagues and share your desktop. Presence indicators to let people know that you’re currently busy or available and also see the same information about those you work with.

 

Full screen, high definition video for a better meeting experience. Group video calling with up to four meeting participants in the meeting window at the same time, with better video quality, smart transitions from presenters and participants and the ability to share content. The Skype team also announced new capabilities in Skype for Business apps for iOS and Android, including the ability to present, not just view, PowerPoint files in a meeting, along with a faster more reliable content sharing approach.

 

Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow on October 31st. Both services are now available to users around the world. PowerApps and Flow join Microsoft Power BI to create what Microsoft refers to as the Power Trio. Collectively they enable non-developers to accomplish on their own what would have in the past required programming skills, with each tool playing a specific role.

 

Microsoft PowerApps enables you to rapidly build web and mobile business applications without coding. Microsoft Flow automates business processes through simple configurations. Power BI enables you to quickly analyse and visualize the data that drives your business. To learn more check out the official Microsoft blog post for a detail overview of PowerApps and Flow. I also encourage you to check out an additional Office blog post with a preview of plans to integrate these services with SharePoint. You’ll find links to everything in the additional resources.

 

Like any tool Office 365 doesn’t do any good if it just sits in the metaphorical toolbox. Its value is realized only when it is actually used. Microsoft recently announced the addition of four new usage reports to the admin center that provide insights about how users in your organization are using and adopting Office 365. The active users report shows you which of your users are actively using the various Office 365 services. The Skype for Business clients used report shows which devices employees are using to access Skype for Business and whether they are using those apps for instant messaging or meetings. A similar report, the email clients used report, provides information about which apps are used to connect to Exchange and includes information on which Outlook client is being used.

 

The Office 365 groups activity report helps you understand how groups facilitate collaboration across your organization by servicing information about which groups are active, how many members and guests they have, and how they’re being used. These new reports provide insights about how users in your organization are using and adopting Office 365 and help ensure you’re getting the most out of the service. You can read additional details about these reports in the October 31st Office blog post which also contains a section on how to combine the intelligence of the usage reports with the interactive reporting capabilities of Microsoft Power BI.

 

eDiscovery enables organizations to quickly find, analyse and review relevant information related to investigations, legal matters and regulatory requests. Microsoft released two new features for Office 365 advanced eDiscovery, express analysis and export with analytics. Express Analysis enables you to run advance eDiscovery and export the results with a click of a button. It accelerates the analytics workflow allowing you to quickly minimize and organize your data set and then export it to the desired location. No additional configuration or steps are required. The new export with analytics feature in advance eDiscovery allows you to view your analysed results in Excel. The exported file includes all the metadata associated with the document such as sender, recipient and date. It also includes all the advanced eDiscovery analytics data, including email threading, their duplicate and the key themes in the document.

 

Having all this analytics information conveniently packaged in a file that can be opened in Excel is a great solution for smaller investigations and legal matters as you can quickly review and tag the analysed data without having to use more advanced tools. For additional details along with a preview of the eDiscovery features plan for the future read the October 27th blog post. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next year.

 

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empty.authorDecember 2016 Office 365 Updates
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November 2016 Office 365 Updates


November 2016 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for November of 2016. In the next 10 minutes or so, I’ll be giving you a quick recap of the most recent Office 365 updates and news. Just a reminder before we start. We’ve created a new way for you to let us know how we can serve you better with these update videos. Simply visit the URL listed on the screen and post your ideas or comment on the ideas others have posted.

 

Now, onto the update. I’ve been looking forward to the day when I could easily export my Power BI reports to power point. I’m happy to say that day has almost arrived. Now, you can export your entire Power BI report to a power point presentation. What I love about this feature is this isn’t just a simple image export. You’ll get each report page as a separate slide. Each visual in the report is a high-resolution image to resize as you wish, report text boxes imported as editable text boxes and not just images and links back to the live report in Power BI.

 

I mentioned earlier that the day has almost arrived because this feature is in preview and still being worked on. Details on where to ask questions, make requests, provide feedback, learn more, and download the preview are provided in the October 17th article in the Power BI blog. Office 365 maximizes your ability to collaborate and leverage content that has already been created. If you’d like to find and reuse existing content in a document, use the “Tap” feature in Word 2016. Tap allows you to leverage and repurpose existing content quickly in just a few clicks without leaving Word. It cuts down on searching time by surfacing yours and your coworkers most relevant and frequently used files.

 

After locating a file, you can pull content from it into your Word document as a content block. Simply select any result in the tap pane and choose the plus symbol to insert and reuse the content in your working Word document. If you did not find what you’re looking for, tap allows you to search for what you need within the tap pane. Note that the new tap feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription and is currently only offered to customers who are on the Office 365 Business Premium, Enterprise E3 or Enterprise E5 plans.

 

The Office 365 app launcher has always provided a simple, consistent experience to surface applications. Now we’re taking this one step further in helping bring the apps you use most font and center. The new tab layout allows you to pin and organize tiles in a home section to provide fast familiar access to your favorite apps from your Office 365 subscription, the office store, Azure apps, SharePoint apps, line of business apps, and even custom tiles added by your administrators. Your organization’s recently added apps also get their own new section with badge notifications to let you know when a new app is available.

 

We’ve also brought the all apps page directly into the app onto experience to give you quick access to the entire catalog of applications and search from anywhere within Office 365. In addition, the office team has expanded the core functionality of the app launcher to allow you to resize and organize tiles. These features mirror the familiar looking feel of the Windows 10 startup and you to make switching between applications easier. The redesigned app launcher also now supports Office 365 themes including your company’s own custom theme. Simply select an Office 365 theme from the settings menu and see the color scheme reflected throughout the new experience.

 

On October 7th, Microsoft announced the launch of QuickStarter and Sway, a new intelligent service that lets you go from a blank canvass to a compelling working outline in seconds. Simply click on the start from a topic in the middle of the screen and start typing. QuickStarter automatically pulls in recommended sections, relevant content, and suggested images into a new Sway. All images suggested by QuickStarter are tagged with a creative commons license, which means they’re free to use under most circumstances.

 

Once QuickStarter has created the outline, you can add additional sections, remove items, and rearrange the content in any way you like. QuickStarter is a great new time saving feature in Sway and the office team is working on adding it to power point. I’ll be sure to point this out in any future update as more information becomes available. Also in the October 7th office blog post, the Sway team answered the request of many users, and probably some of you to add audio clips to their Sway presentations. Now, it’s easy for you to insert audio into your Sways so the audience can have an even richer multimedia experience. Simply go to the cards pane and select the “new audio” option.

 

Having visibility and control over your company’s data within Microsoft Cloud services is a critical part of IT compliance and security. On October 13th, Microsoft announced it was rolling out new auditing and reporting capabilities for Yammer. They provide a new level of visibility for IT and leverage Microsoft inclusion of Yammer in the Office 365 trust center. As a result, Yammer complies with many international and regional standards including HIPAA, ISO 27001 and 27018, Section 508 for web accessibility, and SOC 2 to name just a few.

 

Also on October 13th, Microsoft announced plans to include Yammer user and admin transactions in both the Office 365 management activity API and the Office 365 security and compliance center. With these actions, more than 25 different Yammer operations like user additions or suspensions, data exports, and data retention policy changes will be made available for auditing purposes. These updates ensure the organization and get the most out of Yammer while keeping your company’s data safe and secure.

 

Office 365 continues to provide unmatched security intelligence to help customers protect, detect, and respond to threats. Evidences provided in the new security and compliance capabilities coming to Office 365, including improvements to Office 365 advanced threat protection and advanced security management, and the announcement of two new capabilities arriving in the first quarter of 2017, “Threat intelligence and advanced data governance.”

 

Advanced threat protection improvements will include new reports and lower latency for delivery of e-mails with attachments. We’ll also see protection extend beyond e-mail to SharePoint online, Word, Excel, Power Point, and OneDrive for business. Advanced security management now includes a new feature called, “Productivity app discovery,” which helps admins determine the extent to which shadow IT is operating within their organization. The apps permissions feature helps admins monitor applications connecting to Office 365.

 

Threat intelligence will help turn threat management from a reactive to a proactive activity by analyzing billions of data signals across office consumer and commercial services. For example, if analytics show that cyber attacks are underway in the financial services industry, the service will alert customers in finance and related areas to the trend. Threat intelligence will also dynamically create and suggest additional security policies to help protect you before the attackers get to your network. Advanced data governance is designed to help you manage the exploding amount and increasing complexity of corporate data. In layman’s terms, it will help you decide what data you need to keep to achieve organizational compliance and automate the process of doing so.

 

These security and compliance features will eventually find their way into the Office 365 enterprise, E5 and secure productive enterprise E5 plans but not everything is there quite yet. Review the September 26 blog post to get more details and understand the release timeline. Microsoft Ignite are premier conference for IT professionals, was held in Atlanta, Georgia here in the USA in late September. We’ve made available over 700 on demand sessions. Many of which focus on Office 365 related topics. You can access all the content at ignite.microsoft.com and also signup to receive information on next year’s conference, which is to be held in beautiful Orlando, Florida. That’s it for now. I’m Jim Naroski. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.

 

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empty.authorNovember 2016 Office 365 Updates
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October 2016 Office 365 Updates


October 2016 Office 365 Updates

Welcome to the Office 365 update for October 2016. I’m Jim Naroski from Microsoft. In the next 10 minutes I’ll recap some of the most recent Office 365 updates and news. In May of 2016 Microsoft unveiled a new vision fr the future of SharePoint, and more recently announced the roll out of several new enhancements to SharePoint Online team sites in Office 365, including deeper integration with Office 365 groups. When you create a group, Office 365 automatically gives the group a shared mailbox, calendar, OneNote Notebook, a planner for task management, and now a full powered SharePoint team site. The roll out started in early September, and once complete all newly created groups get a SharePoint team site by default.

Microsoft also redesigned the team site homepage to focus on the most relevant content, while maintaining easy navigation to the teams lists, libraries, pages, and apps. The homepage also provides quick access to the groups Outlook conversations, and when you click on the name of a team site, you’ll see the group card with navigation links to more of the groups calendar, files, and more. As more and more teams embrace the breath of SharePoint online capabilities, especially Office365 video integration, content storage requirements are growing. To address this Microsoft will increase the SharePoint online site collection storage limit in the coming weeks from 1 terabyte, all the way up to 25 terabytes. Additional details and links are in the August 31 office blog post, including a brief section on how to get started using SharePoint online team sites in Office 365.

At the September Microsoft Ignite Conference, Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP of office marketing announced some exciting new features coming to Office 365. These Cloud powered intelligent services in the apps and services expand the growing intelligence capabilities within Office 365. TapInWord enables surfacing and incorporating of relevant files without leaving the app. QuickStarter produces a PowerPoint outline in just a few clicks, and MyAnalytics provides time and network insights to help executives, manages, and workers better focus their time where it matters. These features help our users work smarter, and produce better results.

Microsoft released several enhancements to Outlook on the web to make it easier to get context and recent information on the people you’re corresponding with. The first thing you’ll notice is that you can quickly get contextual information on the people in your organization sending you emails by hovering your mouse over their name. A contact card appears, allowing you to quickly email, instant message, call, or create a calendar appointment. In addition, you’ll also see the person’s job title, who they report to, as well as recent email. This makes it easy to quickly place a person in context, both within your organization, and within your interactions. Need more information before applying? Simply click on their name and a contact page slides into view. You’ll see more information on where the individual fits within the organization, as well as your recent email exchanges, files you’ve shared, and calendar events you’ve both been a part of. This enables you to get rich contextual information without leaving your inbox.

Want this same information on someone you work with, but don’t have one of their emails handy? Simply click on people in the app launcher. The Outlook team has revamped context by adding a new featured people section that contains smart lists. Smart lists allow you to view people by the way you interact with them in Outlook. Such as an email, or shared meetings. The lists are dynamic, which means the people in your list change as your interactions evolve over time. Click on their name and the contact pane slides into view. There are lots of additional details in the August 30 blog post, be sure to check it out.

On September 13 the Outlook team announced enhancements to the Outlook calendar app on iOS and Android that helps you make the most of your day, and ensure you’re in the right place at the right time. When creating an appointment just start typing a location and outlook will provide intuitive suggestions powered by Bing. Once you’ve added the location, Outlook will include a map with your event details, which you can open in your favorite maps app. The date and time pickers have also been updated, the new design provides a simpler more intuitive way to choose the date and time when creating a meeting. Matching how Outlook works on the web or desktop. In addition, recurring meetings can now be edited from your iOS or Android device.

Here’s a great new feature I found on the Microsoft support site. If you’d like to make your PowerPoint presentations more flexible and dynamic, try using Zoom for PowerPoint. Creating a Zoom in PowerPoint enables you to easily jump to and from specific slides and sections within your overall presentation. You can use the Zoom to go from 1 place in your presentation, to another in any order you’d like. You can get creative, skip ahead, or revisit parts of your slideshow without interrupting the flow of your presentation. What I like about Zoom is it allows me to drill into specific slides in any order I like, while still staying oriented on the big picture. To learn how to add different types of zooms to your PowerPoint presentations, go to support.office.com, and click on PowerPoint.

I recently received an email from a loyal viewer who wrote, “I’m a heavy user of Microsoft Access. Would you please include more Access updates in your videos?” Microsoft Access has been embraced by millions since it was first released in 1992. Office customers around the globe use Access based solutions to support mission critical business procesees across all types and sizes of organizations. In fact my team uses an Access database to catalog all the blog entries we’ve reviewed while creating this update series. While Access doesn’t have frequent updates, 2 recent developments are worth noting. 1 of the things that makes Access so powerful is it’s flexibility working seamlessly with data, no matter where it resides, or what format it’s in. That brings us to the first enhancement detailed in the September 7 office blog post. Microsoft is re-introducing dBASE file support to Access for Office 365 customers.

For complex Access applications that include links to many different data sources, it can be very helpful to have a concise list of all the data sources connected to your database. With Access 2016, simply open the linked table manager dialogue box, select the link data sources you want to list, and then click export to Excel. It’s that simple. If you haven’t yet tapped into the power of Microsoft Access, check out the get started section for Access at support.office.com.

Microsoft understands that you need to work closely with customers, partners, suppliers, or consultants outside your organization. That’s why on September 8 we announced a new guest access feature that gives you the ability to include people outside your company in an Office 365 group. Like all Office 365 feature enhancements, guest access functionality in Office 365 groups is being rolled out in phases. Once enabled on your tenant, group owners can add guests to a group on Outlook on the web. Once added, guests receive a welcome email, are granted access to the group files and SharePoint Online, begin receiving email messages and calendar invites sent to the group, and can access the group in Office on the web, and in the Outlook groups mobile application. They also have automatic access to Cloud based file attachments. Guests have the option to leave the group at any time and visual indicators remind all members of guest participation in the group across all Outlook experiences. Learn more about adding and administering guests in Office 365 groups, follow the link in the September 8 blog post.

If you’re an Office 365 admin, be sure to review the August recap on the office blog. It covered several enhancements designed to make your job easier. Including a new office setup wizard that makes it easy for you to configure all aspects of the service, and to get your users up and running quickly in 3 steps. Full support integration that points you to the available help and support options. Setup progress banners that make it easy for you to identify missing steps, and instructions to complete them. A new domains card on the homepage that gives you quick access to frequent domain tasks, such as adding a domain, deleting a domain, or checking the health of your domain directly from your dashboard. Product setup guides that provide you with detailed step by step guidance, and help you get your organization up and running with the main Office 365 services, including Skype for business, as your active directory, and SharePoint. There are additional enhancements in the August 31 office blog post, be sure to check it out.

My goal with this video series is to provide you with the latest information about Office 365. Many of you have provided much appreciated suggestions on how it could be improved, or topics that you’d like to hear more about. With that in mind we’ve created a new way for you to give feedback via UserVoice. To get your creative juices flowing, we seeded it with a few posts. Please visit the site and respond to our ideas, post ones of your own, or respond to those that others have posted. Of course if you have general feedback you can always email me at the address on the screen. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again next month.

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empty.authorOctober 2016 Office 365 Updates
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September 2016 Office 365 Updates


September 2016 Office 365 Updates

Welcome to the Office 365 update for September of 2016. During the next ten minutes or so, I’ll cover the latest updates and news you need to know to get the most out of the service. The list you’re probably tracking in Excel today will be more easily organized, maintained and shared in a Sharepoint list. Sharepoint lists have been an integral part of the product since it’s introduction way back in 2001. They continued to be very popular with over ten million custom lists all ready in use across Office 365, and hundreds of millions more in Sharepoint on Premises.

Heck, I’ve probably been responsible for a few hundred or so myself over the years. To keep pace with the evolving requirements of our customers, a new, more modern look to Sharepoint online lists, along with one-click integration of power apps and Microsoft Flow began rolling out to Office 365 first release customers in August of 2016. The first thing the Sharepoint faithful will notice is a new interface which is easy to use on any device.

The developer types out there call this, “Responsive Web Design.” With modern Sharepoint lists, you can improve ease of use by empowering users to add columns to lists and sort, filter and group data in place, without having to export the data. Improve productivity by bulk editing list items with Quick Edit, and automate simple business process use with versions approvals and alerts.

Not only that, but you can enrich static information with rich data types, including people, images and manage data tags. Almost all Sharepoint classic lists will automatically inherit the new modern Sharepoint list interface. Users can choose to revert to the classic experience at any time. Administrators can configure classic experience as default at the list site, site collection or tenant level.

Modern lists become even more powerful with Microsoft Flow and Power apps because so many customers regularly exchange data between Sharepoint lists and other systems to support business processes. Flow facilitates this integration by automating work flow and data exchange between Sharepoint and a variety of Microsoft and third party services like Twitter, Sales Force and MailChimp.

With Power apps you can connect, create and share business apps on any device in minutes and build efficient mobile forms and apps directly from a Sharepoint list without needing to write a single line of code. For all the details, read the July 25th Office blog post. To learn more about Power apps and Flow integration, watch the video embedded at the bottom.

Microsoft announced in late July it was expanding the availability of two new features to tree out your e-mails, Focused Inbox and At Mentions. If your inbox looks anything like mine, you’re faced with more and more e-mails all pieing for your attention. It’s more critical than ever to cut through the noise and focus on what matters most.

Outlook’s new focused inbox helps you concentrate on your most urgent messages, like e-mails from your boss. It separates your inbox into two tabs, Focused and Other. E-mails deemed a priority are shown in the “Focused” tab, while the rest remain easily accessible, but out of the way in the “Other” tab.

I know some of you are probably saying, “Jim, this sounds a lot like the Clutter feature you talked about several months back.” Well, you’re kind of right. Focused inbox is a refinement and a improvement on clutter. The most important distinction is that Clutter worked by moving lower priority e-mails to a separate folder, while Focused inbox allows you to find all your high and low priority e-mails on separate tabs in your inbox without having to click on a different folder.

Also note that as Focused inbox rolls out, Outlook will stop moving messages into the Clutter folder. Focused inbox has already been released on Outlook for IOS and Android and is being used daily by tens of millions of users. Soon it will be coming to all versions or Outlook. If you’ve ever sent an e-mail with different actions for different users, then you’ll like the second new feature, At Mentions. Simply type the app symbol, followed by the person’s name you want to draw attention to in the e-mail body. That person’s name is highlighted in the message in blue making your request a little harder to miss.

In addition, if the person isn’t on the “To” or CC line already, they’ll be automatically added. For additional details and to see the roll out plans for these new Outlook features, read the July 25th blog post. Yammer, our private enterprise social network for organizations continues to deliver new capabilities for both users and admins. Entering a separate ID and password isn’t necessary with this social network. Just open Yammer from the Office 365 app launcher, and you’re signed in.

Once signed in, loyal Yammer users should notice enhancements that help streamline the collaboration processes like showing only the most recent updates and update count front and center, and the unread messages counter decreases as you scroll through the conversations. Once you finish reading, Yammer prompts you to move on to the next group. Files uploaded to the Yammer group will open inline in Office Online, so you can review, edit and comment on documents easily and in the context of your conversation.

With the Follow feature and Version History, knowing who has changed the document and when is tracked automatically. Over the next few months we’ll see tighter Yammer integration into One Drive for business, Office 365 groups and Skype for business. All of which will make it even easier to get more work done in partnership with others. Admins should rest assured that Yammer, unlike some other enterprises social networks alternatives out there, meets the same robust security and compliance standards as the rest of Office 365.

We’ve also added much more granular control of Yammer usage all the way down to the user level. Provided some insightful usage reports, and made it much easier to migrate and merge Yammer networks. The July 25th blog post includes a link to an Office m mechanics video where Angus Florence demos any of these new features and more. In last month’s video, I covered the recently released Starbucks add-in for Outlook that makes it easy for you to schedule a meeting with your colleagues at your favorite Starbucks.

That add-in, along with hundreds of others, that enhance the Office experience can be found out store.office.com. Another add-in I found useful is Pickit Presentation Images. Sadly, Office Clip Art was discontinued in 2014, but Pickit fills the void quite nicely. Office users can leverage the Picket add-in to download unlimited, royalty-free photos and icons from Picket’s curated collections all within your favorite Office application. Simply install the app, and you can browse and insert standard definition images from Picket’s vast library for free.

Be sure to check out the Office store for other award winning apps that will enhance your productivity. Microsoft believes that customers should always be aware of how Office 365 first lets you control access to your data. Second, helps you comply with various regulatory standards, and third, safeguards the confidentiality, integrity, availability and reliability of your data at all times. The Office 365 service assurance dashboard was designed to deliver the information relevant for you to perform a risk assessment on Office 365 services on demand.

The dashboard is a new component of Office 365 security and compliance center which provides you 24/7 access to details on how Office 365 implements security, privacy and compliance controls, third-party independent audit reports including Sox, High Trust, ASO 27,0001 and more, and information of now you can leverage Office 365 security controls and configuration to protect your data.

While there are many detailed insights provided through the service assurance tool, initial customer feedback indicates that audited controls are particularly helpful. The audited control feature in service assurance helps you understand how Office 365 protects your data by detailing test status, control implementation details, tests dates and how the Office 365 internal controls map to standard controls and more.

The Office 365 service assurance dashboard is available to all Office 365 tenants as well to perspective customers with Office 365 E3 and E5 trials. More information is available by following the link in the August 8th blog post to the detailed guide on the Microsoft security and compliance center site. Service assurance provides great resources to help you preform a risk assessment, but wouldn’t it be great if Office 365 could perform the risk assessment for you? That’s where a new service, now in preview, and called the “Office 365 Secure Score,” comes into the picture.

Secure Score is security analytics tool that will help you understand your risk profile and suggest actions to reduce it. A great way to think of Secure Score is it’s a credit score but for Office 365 security. The announcements and additional information on Secure Score is not in the Office blog. Rather it is in the “Securing Office 365” blog on TechNet. As always, a link is provided in the additional resources in the transcript. Of course, Office 365 global tenant admins can check the preview out for themselves by visiting https://securestore.office.com.

That’s it for this month. I love reading your feedback, so keep it coming. Feel free to contact me directly via the e-mail listed on the screen. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.

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empty.authorSeptember 2016 Office 365 Updates
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Prepare to Migrate from Jive to SharePoint with this New Tool

Chris is a Senior Software Engineer at ThreeWill. His area of focus is consulting in the development of Microsoft .NET and SharePoint technologies. His primary role has been development lead in recent projects. Project roles have ranged from Development/Technical Lead to Development Resource.
Danny Ryan:Hello, this is Danny Ryan and welcome to the ThreeWill Podcast. Today, I have Chris Edwards here with me. Hey, Chris. How’s it going?

 

Chris Edwards:Hey, doing great.

 

Danny Ryan:Good, looking forward to getting an update from you. You’ve been busy, my man.

 

Chris Edwards:I always try to stay busy all the time. Try to.

 

Danny Ryan:Keeps you out of trouble.

 

Chris Edwards:Yeah, hope so.

 

Danny Ryan:Hope so. How are the puppies?

 

Chris Edwards:They are all adopted except for one. We’ve decided to adopt one.

 

Danny Ryan:To keep one, very nice.

 

Chris Edwards:There was struggle is trying to get a name. Figured it out when we finally got one.

 

Danny Ryan:What’s the name of the-

 

Chris Edwards:Sheldon.

 

Danny Ryan:Sheldon, sounds kind of formally dressed or something. Let’s get to it. I wanted to get an update on … I know you’ve created a trial version of the Migrator Tool.

 

Chris Edwards:Right.

 

Danny Ryan:I just wanted to get an overview of what that is and just catch up on things. I know you’ve been working on a video as well of what Migrator does and demo for me and just catching up with you as far as what things you’ve been up to lately.

 

Chris Edwards:Migrator, it is … Basically it’s a initial visual interface that allows someone to just download it. They want to see how large their Jive environment is. We typically work in terms of number of places. When I say number of places, in Jive there are different kinds of places. There’s the concept of the space, concept of a group, concept of a blog and a concept of a project. We just call all those places just to have a generic name term for it.

 

Danny Ryan:Okay.

 

Chris Edwards:One of the first things we do in a migration is we do an inventory check. We basically pool all of the different number of places and then a basic hit on the content. To have that initial conversation is hard to know how the day of a customer is. The Migrator utility in its current state doesn’t actually migrate content. It’s not what its intention is at the moment. We’ll talk about that in a minute.

 

Danny Ryan:The trial version of it, it just goes out and does these counts for you and just get-

 

Chris Edwards:Yes.

 

Danny Ryan:Okay.

 

Chris Edwards:It’s designed to be the super simple. All its trying to do is gather your Jive Instance URL, basically what you use to get the Jive. A user name and password that … In this case, the user name should have the access to all the different places that we need to find. Typically, it didn’t have to have right access-

 

Danny Ryan:Just real access.

 

Chris Edwards:Just real access that needs to be able to use the API behind the scenes and actually get hold of the places themselves. Then what it does, it goes off and does, this is magic behind the scenes, it pools all the details and just report a summary. It just allows that conversation to be very clear in terms of when we are looking for the number of places looking for a size of what you guys … What a particular Jive particularly has. We have a clear talking point and clear denominator to work off of.

 

Danny Ryan:Partially it’s kind of funny because when we’re talking about doing pricing based off of places …So many times I say species not places. I’m saying the right word places. I had some folks who prospects who were saying, “Okay, that’s great. How do I find out what that is?” I would be like, “Ah.” There’s not a real place you can go to. I’m assuming in the Jive admin where you can go see or just show you the same information, correct?

 

Chris Edwards:There’s not a clear way of saying, “Okay Jive, how many places are there and what does that break down? I’ve not been able to find a clear indicator of that. That’s what the simple utilities in its current state is designed to do.

 

Danny Ryan:There’s also a very real. This is almost like what you often do with projects for flashing one through the pipes which is seeing if somebody can test it against their Jive or whatever they happen to be running Jive-wise. This is just hitting drive, it’s not hitting SharePoint or doing anything with regards to Office 365 or SharePoint.

 

Chris Edwards:Yes, that’s actually a great point. It’s only hitting your Jive Instance, so it is not … Before there’s backend information. It’s not recording information other than what’s in the log file, it’s log goes to the really application apps. In the video I pointed that out because I know what that is.

 

Danny Ryan:You’re storing the credentials anywhere-?

 

Chris Edwards:We’re not storing the credentials anywhere. The intention was to not do any of that. It’s really just an exercise to get the number of places to have that conversation.

 

Danny Ryan:Where does this go? I know one of the things I’d love to have is just 2, because a lot of people ask, “Can you just migrate one place for me?” I know maybe eventually if there’s some arm twisting going on and you have enough time we may be able to get to that or maybe not. Who know? We may need to work into it.

 

Chris Edwards:I’d love to look into it.

 

Danny Ryan:I know that’s something we want to do. There’s also maybe getting a little bit more information about sizes of things or what are the things are on the backlog right now or things that you want to add to the trial version?

 

Chris Edwards:The trial version, the next major … The logical thing to do would be to go a little deeper in terms of the contents. One of the things we do is … Part of the inventory process is we capture the number of places but we also do an initial high level pool of content that actually pool the binaries, not do the full mass of pool but the high level details of what’s in the content that allows us to get the number of content per place.

 

The beautiful thing about that is to do that in a simple way, adapt to the utility then we can actually start talking about how do we group all places in such a way that we’re able to batch them up. We can do them in a very consistent way. If we wanted to migrate 100 or 200 or maybe 1,000 at a time, that 1,000 we identify is similar to the next 1,000 and not guessing in terms of how long something is going to take. We get more predictable with how long an actual migration is going to take. The next phase would be more predictable, has a more predictability to the output and how long things will take to do.

 

Danny Ryan:Very nice.

 

Chris Edwards:It just helps us plan and it adds to the overall process of how migrations are done. That information will be super useful to have.

 

Danny Ryan:It’s a nice, I appreciate you creating a little video and I’ll put a link to the video in the notes in this podcast, but just walking through what the typical drive migration looks like and what the tool does. I know it’s a command line tool so its doing what it’s doing and it’s writing to a log file and you … I really appreciate you going through what the whole process is. That just makes it more real to me and for folks who want to see what does it look like to do an actual migration.

 

Chris Edwards:We’re trying to keep things simple. We’re trying to go after stuff that truly makes sense. We want to help people be successful in their migrations. We don’t want to overdo it or over-engineer it. At least we’re very specific about where we’re going after, ask the right questions and make sure we’re able to things correctly. Also estimate things correctly so we don’t over blow the budget or anything like that.

 

That’s the only designed to be … Someone to go from end to end, be predictable about it and be successful the whole process. Also, keeping the tool simple, allows us the customer is done very easily. Someone, “Oh, I don’t like the that works.” I said, “Wait.” The whole migration process, I want to change something about it. I’m going to make it very easy for us to adapt to that.

 

Danny Ryan:Very nice.

 

Chris Edwards:That’s the plan. That’s your idea.

 

Danny Ryan:You are in a middle of migration right now, right?

 

Chris Edwards:Yeah.

 

Danny Ryan:How is that going?

 

Chris Edwards:Going pretty well. Looking forward to getting this one under the belt as well, but it’s good it’s a pretty big one.

 

Danny Ryan:Big like certain amount of content or big like number of spaces or number of places?

 

Chris Edwards:Number of places.

 

Danny Ryan:How? Do you mind me asking?

 

Chris Edwards:We’re actually migrating 2500 but then archiving over 10,000 so it’s a fairly large effort.

 

Danny Ryan:Very nice. Well done.

 

Chris Edwards:Yeah.

 

Danny Ryan:Well done. That’s it for now. I appreciate these little updates and continue your hard work. There’s lots of people who are contacting us about migrated from Jive to SharePoint and Office 365 and it’s amazing what you guys have built over the last couple of years. It’s not just the tool, it’s also the whole process and the far that you guys have put behind this that I appreciate.

 

Chris Edwards:We’re also looking at improving how we can really leverage the SharePoint. The SharePoint functionality in what it does. I’m really trying to change the way we think about … This is not your bunch of wikis. Let’s just not migrating Jive content, let’s make this content come alive in SharePoint and really take advantage of that. We’re looking into that as well.

 

Danny Ryan:I think we’ve recently seen some of the new you. All I changed is the SharePoint and some of them smell a little Jive like. They’re trying to go a little bit more down that pass. Hopefully we’re getting more towards they’re moving a one to one and the experience is similar to … In SharePoint to what you have in Jive. It’s because there some transition and there’s some change right now and hopefully we’ll see Office 365 continue to improve the whole UX experience and then getting the content and hopefully everybody will be happier With that improved experience.

 

Chris Edwards:Absolutely. Looking forward to seeing that continue to improve.

 

Danny Ryan:Thank you for taking the time to do this, Chris.

 

Chris Edwards:All right, thanks.

 

Danny Ryan:Thank you everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye bye.

 

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Chris EdwardsPrepare to Migrate from Jive to SharePoint with this New Tool