June 2018 Office 365 Updates

June 2018 Office 365 Updates



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


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


Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for June 2018.

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

Training Services

Source:       The SharePoint Community Blog: Introducing Microsoft Training Services

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OneDrive and SharePoint

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Windows Title Bar

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

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

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

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


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

Trust Center: Preparing for a new era in privacy regulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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empty.authorJune 2018 Office 365 Updates

ThreeWill’s Modern Digital Workplace with Pete Skelly

Danny Ryan

Host – Danny Ryan


Sam Marshall

Guest – Pete Skelly


Danny:Hello and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and A Microphone podcast. This is one of the Bald Brothers, Danny, and I am here with Pete. You’re also bald, right? Last time I checked, you’re bald, right?




Pete:Yes, you are. All right. You’re a tall bald brother too. You’ve got some height on us as well.


Danny:Mm-hmm (affirmative), yep.


Pete:Uh-huh (affirmative). You sure do. Today I wanted to get together with you and talk about something that we are doing internally at ThreeWill with regards to digital workplaces and some of the things where I always joke around and say the cobblers children have no shoes, but I also want to make sure that we are able to utilize the technologies that are in front of us and apply some of the things that we do with our clients to us and try to take the situations where … We’re a specific type of organization and Office 365 has these things to offer and sort of cater it to what we should be doing as an organization. You and I have been working on that, which has been fun.




Pete:Go ahead.


Danny:… Just I think internally we’re having a lot of customers ask for these things. We’ve worked with customers on kind of modernizing things and so it’s a pretty revealing exercise to go through that internally, given that we’ve done very similar things to customers. We migrated from 2007 to 2010 on prem and then 2010 to 2013, 2013 to the cloud. We’ve got the same baggage that everybody else has. It’s kind of a good way to go through a learning exercise and put ourselves in the customer shoes.


Pete:Yeah. And for us we’ve even done things where we’ve migrated off of different platforms. At one point we were using Atlassian’s Confluence and then at one point we were using Jive’s softwares product and moved off of that. There’s been some history around all of this stuff as well. I think for us it’s been looking at what Microsoft offerings are out there and what … We sat down and sort of talked through what some of the goals were of doing this and I think one of the key things that came out of that was there’s certain technologies that we want people to be able to play around with, but don’t do that on our main tenant. Let’s keep gov environments off of this.


Danny:I know we all wanna kick the tires, I think is typically what the site that we create that we just go in and mess around with, but I think one of the things that we’re recognizing as well is that we need to control this. That comes into the governance piece of this as well where we wanna control … This is an important asset inside of our organization. I think you and I are recognizing that we need to put some additional controls around this.




Pete:I think that’s another good thing that’s coming out of this as well. Let’s talk some of the nuts and bolts of things that we’re looking at doing. I know one of the things you did an inventory of all the site collections that were out there and then you and I created a spreadsheet where we’re going through and sort of doing this filtering of what are the ones that we can go ahead and clean up and get rid of? Then some of the ones that maybe I think we made this move from before, there was like portals and then there was sites and now we’re using teams pretty extensively. We need to go through and make sure we’ve moved everything forward and that we’re not leaving anything behind and also that there’s not two places for the marketing department or there’s two places for different things. I know we’re sort of evaluating what we have internally and making sure that we’re consolidating things and putting things in the right place. That spreadsheet was very helpful.


Danny:Yeah. That spreadsheet really came from the P and P tools GitHub repo. One of the tools that the P and P project and SharePoint P and P team really has … I don’t think they’ve done a great job of marketing, to be honest, but this is relatively new. There’s even a UI scanner and coming soon some transformation capabilities as well. They’ve got a lot of YouTube videos, so the community calls have gone through some of these things. Yeah, the SharePoint modernization scanner is what I ran. That very recently, as of June 1st, got an update to actually provide some Excel outputs for group connection readiness. So kind of groupifying sites and then page transformation readiness.


Pete:One of the things that is gonna change very soon is you used to not be able to groupify an old team site, site collection. That’s actually changing, so one of the things you and I are working on after the inventory, which really tells you an incredible amount of information. Things like what can and can’t be modernized, a bunch of output files as far as web scans and site scans. It tells you really if a site’s gonna be ready for groupify, whether or not you can actually do that, what blockers you might have. Does a site already have a 365 group? Is publishing enabled? Or whatever the case may be. Other warnings, permission warnings.


So one of the big things with modernization and being able to use Office 365 groups and take advantage of teams and planner and stream and all of those things is having a group, an Office 365 group back that particular feature. If you already have a group, that’s not a stopper but it’s okay. I’ve already got the group, who do I wire up those other features? Or can I even associate this with a group because I have really deep nested sub-webs and I have broken permission inheritance all over the place? It tells you a whole lot of information, just at the top level, and then you can dive into some of the additional files for web-scans and tell do I have custom master pages? Do I have alternate CSS? Some other things that might trip you up trying to modernize your site.


When you’re saying modernize, is that … I’m looking at that like we’re using the new modern pages that are responsive, that look good in a mobile device and has, I guess, a new set of web parts that you can use and it’s just a much cleaner interface as well?


Danny:Yeah. So modernization, modernizing … I’m trying to think of what their exact terminology is, but it’s modern sites. So modern Office 365 group connected site, whether that’s a team site or a communication site. All the functionality you get with mobile first, being able to see those pages and have them function in the SharePoint mobile app, being able to take advantage of the new SharePoint framework solutions and the new modern web parts. All of those types of things that in an old team site … For example, with the new hub sites, team sites that are based on the old team sites without a modern landing page, you won’t see the hub site navigation. So you can actually join the hub, but you lose some of the functionality of the hub unless that site’s modernized.


Pete:Then, so I know as part of this overall thing as well you’re talking about hub sites was … I think we identified a couple of key use cases. For us, we talked about accounts, where we’re gonna have a hub site for accounts and that broaches all the way through marketing sales to delivery so that we’re all on the same page. We identified certain types of sites that we know we wanna have and where they would roll up underneath a hub site. I thought that was … I think we maybe had like five or six different types of sites that we knew we wanted to be a part of this.


Danny:Yeah, and I think that speaks to a larger discussion that a lot of our customers are trying to grapple with as well. It forces you to think governance again, that word nobody likes. If you’re gonna choose to modernize and make changes to support modernization, you wanna do things like flatten your site collection hierarchy. If you’re in Office 365 and you’ve got deep sub-webs and you’ve got a hierarchy of sub-webs, you wanna rethink how are you doing that? Why are you doing that? You’re not gonna be able to take advantage of certain things, but that conversation should … it begs the question of what are my key use cases? So it goes back to what … a governance discussion. What business value am I trying to get out of this?


Pete:For us, you and I had the discussion about, well we’ve got some internal things with private groups or teams that are private and then that flows nicely into that corporate intranet mentality. There’s a departments use case for us. Obviously as a consulting company, we have sales, so there’s that sales use case. Collaboration over sales documents and collateral, et cetera, and then projects. We have our internal practices of improvement over time for those particular practices. We kind of, you and I, just to kind of be very explicit to folks listening, we discussed what are our key use cases and that cobbler shoes argument. We gotta go back to square one just like we do with our customers and say, “Where do we start from a value perspective?” And sort of build up from there. It means you gotta do the work, then you gotta clean up things that are old and you don’t need around, especially with GDPR. Should we keep data around? Does that data have anything in there we shouldn’t be storing, et cetera. It’s just a good practice to take a step back and clean up over time.


I know you’d love to talk about GDPR right now, right?


Danny:No, I don’t. This week has been horrible. So for those that have not dealt with it, May 25th was GDPR’s effective date, so now every … I’m sure everyone got all the privacy updates and agreements and email bombarded with those. Please read my privacy statement, but that means signing deals with clients and terms of how to deal with data that we deal with when we do migrations, for example. It’s been very fun this week.


Pete:So out of this I know we’ve been coming up with a list, and I’ve actually tomorrow in the company meeting I’ll run through sort of what the high level tasks are for this that we went through earlier this week. It sounds like our implementation of this is doing some of the clean up and it’s running some … I guess we’re gonna be modernizing some of the sites and moving some of the content around to the appropriate place. Then, I think the end goal of this is there is … I joke around with Tommy and I said, “I feel like we’ve got 10 different home pages. I don’t know which home page is the home page.” But just more of, we have one place that people go that’s a hub for the departments but then you can branch down into seeing all the accounts and seeing the hub for the accounts. Just a lot, I guess a cleaner environment and something that hopefully will make more sense to folks as well.


Danny:Yeah, and I think it goes back to we’re doing the digital workplace workshops with customers now, and I think it goes back to what’s the definition of that dig workplace, right? If its intention is to be that … and I’m doing air quotes on the radio. If it’s mean to be that virtual equivalent to a physical workplace, in our workplace as I mentioned we sat down and sort of mapped out what are the physical or the conceptual. What’s our conceptual workplace? And we had those key use places. You kind of have to take a step back and do that and then what are we trying to accomplish? Well, if we’re trying to lay that structure out and make it easy for people to get work done, that means finding information has to be easy. Engaging with that information, collaboration with other folks. We’re trying to find a way.


Pete:We’re all in on teams at ThreeWill, so I live in teams pretty much all day but I still have email with customers, I still have content that sits in SharePoint and those types of things. So how do we make it so I can use the SharePoint mobile app or the teams mobile app and make really good sense of how we’re organizing this stuff no matter where I am, no matter what tool I’m using?


I think it’s interesting as well that we’re applying these technologies and looking at the size of an organization and how we like to collaborate. About a year ago we decided we were gonna go all in on teams. It was about a year ago. It was a little more than a year ago. Right away we took a liking to it and there was instantly this overlap of what could go on in teams and what could go on on Yammer and we made a decision, “Hey guys, for internal use let’s just stick to teams.” I still use Yammer every once in a while for some external collaboration, but I think it’s just been good for us to take a look at who we are as an organization. And I also put this in the goals for our project, which was we’re not building out our clients type of intranet for ThreeWill because we don’t have that money. We don’t have the time. That’s not what we’re trying to do here. What we’re trying to do is leverage what Microsoft has and apply it to a small organization like ThreeWill.


Danny:Yeah. I think that’s really important for any organization that starts to look at well how do I … I look at it in the last six or eight months we’ve done a lot of migrations. We’ve had huge success with migrating some really large customers from on prem to Office 365. We’re starting to see that watershed moment of I’m int the cloud, now what? So now people have to figure out, “Well, how do I modernize? What am I not taking advantage of? How do I get teams?” The kind of marketing behind some of these things is finally catching up with customers where they’re ina position to take advantage of them and in our situation, like you said, we kind of do have that cobbler shoes issue all the time, but how can we get to really use the tools the way we wanna work?


Pete:For our customers, it’s answering the same question. It’s not gonna be the same for everybody. That governance question is not a one size fits all question. The answer to it definitely is not one size fits all. For us, provisioning things is pretty much a one time activity, except for projects. Our project processes are automated, but pretty much everything else isn’t. Well, in a large organization, that’s not gonna work. You get somebody with … We just migrated someone to 365 that had more than 5000 site collections. Well, that’s not gonna work. They provision probably 20 a day and they’re also de-provisioning or archiving roughly the equivalent over time. They’ve gotta look at their situation and say, “How do I take advantage of these modern capabilities, but how do I also make sure that I’m managing that environment well in the same vein? How do I get rid of things at the same time? Or how do I archive?” Or whatever the case may be.


Well, this has been fun working with you on this. I’m looking forward to maybe we’ll do a wrap up when we get to a good version one of moving everything over and modernizing it. Maybe do a follow up for next quarter of what we actually did. That’d be fun to do.


Danny:I think step one is some healthy deletions that folks are already aware are coming. The 20 … what did I say? The 29th of June? So there’s about 50 or 60 site collections that are just gonna disappear on the 29th of June. I think it was a Friday, so that’s step one. Step two will be how do we start modernizing some of these things. That’ll be interesting, see how can we convert those pages? The existing pages. And there’s some good guidance out there from Microsoft at this point as well.


Pete:Very nice. Well thanks for taking the time to do this Pete, and it’s been great working with you. It’s sort of like the business person who I have no idea how to go implement this stuff, but you just make it happen magically. All you need is a couple power shell scripts, right?


Danny:Yeah. That’s it. That’s the [inaudible 00:18:24].


Pete:Thanks everybody for listening and have a wonderful day. Take care, bye-bye.





Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

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empty.authorThreeWill’s Modern Digital Workplace with Pete Skelly

Estimating Jive Migrations to Office 365 with Bruce Harple

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Bruce Harple

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan, and I am here today with Bruce Harple, at least virtually here with Bruce Harple over Microsoft Teams. How’s it going, Bruce?


Bruce:Good, Danny, good. Glad to be here.


Danny:Excellent. You’re going to talk about a subject that we hit quite often around here. It’s like, “Danny, why do you have to come up with an estimate?” [I say 00:00:26], “People ask me right away. ‘What’s the estimate? How much is it going to cost us to move off of Jive and onto Microsoft?'” I appreciate you taking some time today. I know this has been something we’ve been discussing for years since we’ve been doing a lot of these migrations, but just look forward to talking to you about this. Thank you for taking the time to do this, Bruce.




Danny:Let’s get this started. I know from talking with customers, customers that are on Jive right now, one of the things that often happens is they just haven’t really thought through, they have no idea what the budget should be. When you don’t know what the budget should be, you start off with maybe zero or something along those lines. It just seems like a lot of people just underestimate the overall effort involved with these migrations.


Bruce:Yeah, they definitely do. Again, you’re kind of migrating from one collaborative platform, Jive, to a totally different collaboration platform, Microsoft 365. I don’t know, I think some customers probably take maybe their [SharePoint 00:01:36] Migration experience and maybe they use that to budget for a Jive migration. As you know, it’s totally different. In SharePoint, you’re moving kind of light content, the containers in SharePoint [inaudible 00:01:51] for example. They are going to be the same types of containers if I’m going from, let’s say SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016. Even if I go from 2013 to the cloud, to Office 365, the overall containers are exactly the same but as we know, if you’re moving across totally different [disparate 00:02:12] platforms, it’s a lot different. I think sometimes they might be using their SharePoint Migration experience to do their budgets. I would say, Danny, customers’ budgets that they set before talking to us to get maybe better educated on the complexities of migrations, I would say we’re seeing that these budgets are a third to half of what they need to be to get that migration completed.


There’s a pretty big differential in our customers’ expectations of what it takes for these migrations compared to the reality of what it is going to take to not only move the content, which that’s a big piece of it that we focus on, but as you know and as we’ve experienced with customers, the whole user experience is totally different moving from Jive to SharePoint Online or Office 365. It’s a completely different experience. I think the customers, if they haven’t looked closely at that, they aren’t going to understand there’s a significant investment in just the overall kind of change management planning and communication plan development that is needed for these migrations. It’s a pretty dramatic change for the end-user community to be able to [inaudible 00:03:40].


Danny:Yeah. I think you’re exactly right with regards to people are used to doing upgrades of existing products, but then along the lines with this, if we’re migrating binary content or we’re migrating content, that’s one thing. In this, we’re migrating complex data types, which might or might not have an appropriate place to go to inside of Office 365.


Bruce:Yep, exactly. There’s probably in Jive 30 to 40 different data or content types. You’ve got to decide where does that content live in Office 365. In many cases, there’s multiple destinations where that content could go in Office 365, and you really got to know and understand. In the Jive world, what are those users of that content, what’s the usage scenario on how they’re kind of collaborating around that content because that could drive where we place that content in Office 365. I think that’s the other thing, the other kind of challenge. Jive, like a lot of collaborative platforms, there’s not a lot of governance in place, which in collaborative platforms in many ways, that’s good because you’re kind of letting the culture of the company define how they’re going to collaborate with one another and what that looks like. In many of these tools today, you can define different types of containers within Jive and different types of containers in Office 365 that you can use for collaboration.


All these containers behave differently and act differently, and have other content types attached to the that supports [a real 00:05:42] experience, but I think because of that kind of lack of governance in those current Jive environments, I think a lot of customers don’t really know at a detailed level all the different kind of usage scenarios that are out there and how people are really using Jive to collaborate. They certainly, in most cases, don’t have a handle on how much content’s there. That’s, as you can imagine in a migration, understanding A, the usage scenarios; how are people using this platform? B, how much content is there and needs to be moved? Those are pretty critical components of trying to figure out how big something is.


Danny:Yeah. I’ve been working with the team about our sizing tool that we have and getting that out there to folks. Is that a part of our process with trying to come up with an estimate?


Bruce:That’s right, yeah. One of the things I was going to talk about is how do you begin to mitigate some of the unknowns, and that is certainly one. Danny, I think that the Jive Size Utility, that’s a free download on the website, correct?


Danny:Yeah. All they have to do is make a small donation to me, and then they get it for free. Yes, it’s absolutely free. All I require is an email address so I know at least who’s downloading it and can send out the updated versions of it.


Bruce:Certainly as you look to how does a customer get better educated around their Jive environment that helps them better plan and estimate, the effort is by running that Size Utility. That does give us counts of all the different types of content. Danny, you’ve seen it. Typically, we’re looking at hundreds of thousands of pieces of content in most of these Jive instances. A lot of these Jive instances, Jive is a platform that a lot of companies are really taking seriously and it’s becoming a key part of their enterprise collaboration strategy, and there’s a lot of content there. [You can imagine 00:08:06] moving…


Danny:So Bruce, what are some of the other things that are out there that lead to the complexity of these projects? What are we running into?


Bruce:Some of the things just technically getting down to a level of detail with these migrations. If you think about Jive being this large collaborative environment with a lot of different containers, with a lot of different collaborative content, some embedded in HTML, some contained in binary files. If you think about that environment, there is all kinds of linkages, [URL 00:08:49] linkages between all those pieces of content. Guess what? All those URLs are Jive URLs. Now we’ve taken all that content and now it’s in Office 365, and it could be an Office 365 team site. It could be in an Office 365 group. It could be in a blog site. It could be in a communications site. Now that content that used to be in Jive all connected; attachments, everything connected through URLs, now it’s in a whole different set of containers with different URLs. Guess what? We have to transform all those URLs. All that linkage between all those places in Jive, we’ve got to maintain all that linkage between all those sites and other containers in Office 365 plus all the supporting content that now might be document libraries or folders, or other pages within Office 365.


We get to transform, as part of that migration, all those URLs. We kind of call that our “referential integrity,” [crosstalk 00:10:00]. The technical effort there is big, but also as a customer you’ve got to invest the time to do that detailed mapping. You got to say, “This group in Jive that has this URL is now this team site over in Office 365 that’s got this URL.” We’ve got to have the URL of every single piece of content that’s going to move into Office 365 because we’ve got to map all that, and customers have to help us with that. That’s a critical piece of upfront planning.


Danny:With the content, it might be not everybody moves over all the content either. It might be in a different location. I know there’s things that you have to deal with with regards to how we’re linking up the content together, and that’s one thing we need to think about. The other thing that often comes up is some of these links are to people who might’ve left the organization, and some of this information about who updated what could be to someone left the company. I think through the years, we’ve hit into a lot of the edge cases that people might think about, “How are we going to handle this?”


Bruce:Absolutely. If you think about the whole process, if you think about the traditional [inaudible 00:11:38] SharePoint Migration from let’s say 2013 to 2016, you might just do a content database backup and restore, and boom, everything’s there. Here, because we’re moving from containers in Jive to different containers in Office 365, we have this process; we have to get all the content from Jive, then we have to transform all that content. Depending on where you content to live in Office 365, we’ve got to transform it into the right format so that now we can call the SharePoint API the Office 365 API and upload that content into Office 365. Again, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of pieces of content. One of the other challenges is as you’re pulling all that content from Jive and pushing it into Office 365, we often get throttled. You get two cloud environments, and they will throttle you. That’s just again, there’s time that it takes to move all this content. Even though a lot of it is automated, it takes time to push that much content through network pipes. It’s [physics 00:12:57]; it’s not anything other than that.


Danny:Yeah, yeah. I think a lot more things you’re thinking about that go beyond the, “Oh, I’m just upgrading.” I think one of the things I’ve wanted to point this out where everybody’s saying, “Hey, move to my cloud” is, what’s the portability of your content? How easy is it for you to take your content and move it from one place to another? This problem, it’s not like it’s going to get any easier as people move their content up into the cloud. Long-term, I think people are used to, “When things are [On-Prim 00:13:45], I can get access to the database” and stuff like that. Really thinking through, if I wanted to make a change from one platform to another, it seems like there’s whole thing with cloud lock-in that’s out there as well. We’re seeing it right now with some of our customers wanting to move off of Jive and realizing it’s not a simple task at hand, and it might take months to do it. They just didn’t think about it.


Bruce:Another area, as you were talking I was thinking through this, Danny, where I think customers tend to underestimate the effort, if you think about moving from SharePoint On-Prim to SharePoint On-Prim, or even SharePoint On-Prim to Office 365, if you look at validating that migration, it’s pretty easy. Your containers are the same, the names of the containers are the same for a user. End-user, let’s say a site owner, a place owner, to validate, “Hey, that content’s successfully moved. It’s easy, it’s quick. I can look at it. I know my site, I know my content. I can look at it in Office 365 and go, ‘Yeah, you got everything. It’s all there. Check, I’m done.'” Think about a Jive user that is used to operating in, instead of a Jive group, it’s got its own user experience. Content is organized a certain way. Now, you’re asking them to go in Office 365. That content might be in an Office 365 group. Other content might be in document libraries or folders underneath that group. That’s a whole new experience for them. That’s not a 15-minute exercise for that [end-user 00:15:32] to give you the OK that, “Yes, you got all my content. I see it all, I can find it all. Check. You’re good to go.”


The whole quality assurance parts of these migrations, the inspection and the validation, it’s a lot of manual effort and it’s a different environment. It’s a different world for the end-users. At some point, you’re going to rely on them to do some of that validation for you to make sure you’ve got it all.


Danny:Not to make your head explode, but the other equation that’s coming into a lot of these migrations are if they are going with a SharePoint internet-in-a-box, and how does that impact migration itself? I know we’re working with a lot of the different players that are out there with regards to this and we’re agnostic as far as where they go to. There’s been some ones that we’re used to working with and have built some relationships with, but I think that’s one of the factors as well when you’re looking at a high-level estimate for these things. It’s not the same cost to move whether you’re going to Office 365 itself or you’re also including one of the SharePoint internet-in-a-boxes as well.


Bruce:Yeah, absolutely. That should be a key piece of the migration that a customer should look at. Typically in Jive, it’s a very rich user experience. Typically out of the box, Office 365 is not as rich, and that’s changing as we know with modern sites, modern pages. It’s beginning to get to a rich user experience, but certainly as you said, Danny, many of our customers have turned to an internet-in-a-box product to provide that wrapper around Office 365 to kind of better present that content to the end-users, and make it so that it’s not so different maybe than their experience in Jive. That’s a big piece of it. I think customers, again, with migration they think, “Okay, it’s just about moving content,” but hey, it’s more than that. It’s moving content, but what’s the user experience going to be and how do I need to prepare my user community for this new user experience?


Danny:Let’s talk through some of the things that our customers can do to mitigate some of these costs. We typically will say, “Okay, let’s take this opportunity to maybe do a little bit of cleaning house with content.” Some of what we do is a little organizing and maybe going through and taking this whole opportunity to get rid of things that don’t need to move forward. That’s one thing, is probably the amount of content. What are some of the other things that are out there that help cost-wise for us as people are looking at doing these migrations?


Bruce:I think the other thing is, is really to be prepared and know up front that you’re going to really need to develop a good, solid change-management plan, as well as a communication plan. I think to start thinking about, again, it kind of goes back to understanding your current state Jive environment. How are your Jive users? What are those key usage scenarios? How are they using Jive today? Really begin to understand that because that’s going to help us map what user experience is best going to fit and what are the best content stores as we prepare to move into Office 365. Really investing the time to understand that the key in critical usage scenarios that you want to kind of bring forward into Office 365, I think, is a key piece of that. I think the other thing, we talked about running the Sizing Utility. I think, Danny as you know, once we get the output of that utility, we can provide an initial ROM estimation for that migration so people can begin to set expectations inside the organization on what it’s going to take for this, for these migrations.


Then you know, Danny, the key thing that we really push customers to do is to go ahead and schedule the Jive Migration Planning workshop and/or the Digital Workplace workshop. The Jive Migration Planning workshop really focused more on the content migration and getting down to the detail. We talked about the 30 to 40 different types of content in Jive and mapping that to where it’s going to live now in Office 365. It’s really getting down to that level of detail and doing all that mapping, and looking at how we can reduce scope. What are some of the criteria that we could put in place to start to exclude content? Maybe there’s content that we pull from Jive that stays archived and doesn’t get pushed into Office 365. As you know, the Digital Workplace workshop is really more focused on the user experience, and what are the things that we can do to make sure we effectively support those key usage scenarios that are key in Jive? How do we replicate those usage scenarios and that user experience in Office 365?


We talk about the three C’s in the digital workshop. It’s the communication, collaboration, and coordination. How do you want to implement that in Office 365? We’ve had great success, as you know, with the workshop. These workshops as much educating our customers on complexity somewhat, but also on the decisions that they’ve got to make and really try to help them make those decisions based on our experience, based on what we’ve seen other customers do, based on best practices that we’ve seen, and leveraging Office 365 as your new collaboration platform.


Danny:Awesome, awesome. This has been great. We’re past 20 minutes, so this is where I start losing people to…


Bruce:No, I think we got the main points across, Danny.


Danny:Yeah. When I post this up, I’ll have a link to the workshop for people to go take a look at that in more detail, and then also a link if they want to download the Sizing Tool. I’ll put that up onto the blog post as well. Bruce, I know this is a very difficult subject. It’s one where, I think, through the years maturing on, but it’s a big problem and big problems require big minds and big problem-solvers. You guys have been doing an awesome job on these projects, so I appreciate all the hard work that you do.


Bruce:Absolutely, man. Enjoy it very much.


Danny:Okay, thanks Bruce. Have a great day. Thank you everyone for listening. Bye-bye.


Bruce:Take care.


Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

read more
empty.authorEstimating Jive Migrations to Office 365 with Bruce Harple

Not Another Inbox – Dealing with the Proliferation of Inboxes in Office 365

Danny Ryan

Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Co-Host – Tommy Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny Ryan:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan. I’m here with Tommy Ryan. Hey, Tommy Ryan.


Tommy Ryan:Well, I’m back, baby!


Danny Ryan:What’s going on? You’ve been a little busy lately, haven’t you?


Tommy Ryan:I have. I have. That’s a good thing. Yes.


Danny Ryan:Yeah. Yes. Yes. Very busy. You sent me your what I did yesterday and what I’m doing today lists yesterday and it made me get on the floor and cuddle into like a fetal position and go like, “Oh”. Lot of stuff going on …


Tommy Ryan:Yeah. There is.


Danny Ryan:It’s good stuff. A lot of what? Jive migrations going on?


Tommy Ryan:Migrations, in general. SharePoint to Office 365 and Jive migrations.


Danny Ryan:Nice. Nice.


Tommy Ryan:Very hot, very hot.


Danny Ryan:Great stuff. So I wanted to get together. Number one, it’s been a while since we sat down and did this, so just to spend some time talking about something that is near and dear to our hearts.  And today I’ve been thinking about … I’ve wanted to discuss this with you for a while, which is I always wanted to do a blog post called “Not Another Inbox.”


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:And it has to do more with how do you manage all of the things going on inside of Office 365? And this may be for more of a like a personal productivity standpoint. And let me give a little bit of background and then let’s just sort of talk about it, you know, brainstorm a little while, and see if we can come to any conclusions about what’s worked for you, what hasn’t worked. Maybe some challenges that exist right now with managing the over-abundance of information.  And so, let me see if I can set this up for us. One is, is we’ve, for so many years, we’ve been used to using our Outlook Inbox as sort of our way of information coming in and handling that information and using that as a tool for us, for managing what’s coming in to us. So then through the years, there’s been things that have come out that add another inbox to what we’re doing.


So, for example, you have Yammer and Yammer has an inbox. And then you have, you know, more recently the Teams and it’s not really an inbox, it’s usually people @ mentioning you, which is the same effect as having an inbox. It’s one of those things where you need to pay attention to something and to handle that something as well. And then there’s other things like, I noticed with Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, there’s another inbox that’s in there. And so, you’ve got incoming things coming from that and then there are other things that are out there as well. We’re not using things like Slack right now, but that’s another place where you could have incoming messages.


You’ve got your whole Skype, where you could have people trying to get to you that way, through Skype or through Teams Chat and how do you handle … I mean, what do you do … I mean there’s a lot of ways that people now, it’s just moved from “Okay, before I could handle things through my Outlook Inbox, I could prioritize them, I could set up followups to them and now it just seems like there’s several different ways that you can get incoming requests from people and how are people … how do you deal with this?


Tommy Ryan:Yeah. I think that it is a challenge. It is yet another place to divert your attention and it’s nice to have simplicity. But also I think there’s … a wise person said a long time ago when we were working with folks at Jive, one of the persons that they hired as kind of a consultant to come in and think about … [crosstalk 00:03:51]


Danny Ryan:You’re not talking about me? Okay.


Tommy Ryan:No. No.


Danny Ryan:Okay. You’re talking about somebody else. I thought you were going to say something about that. I … don’t know.


Tommy Ryan:… is content is not king, context is king and I think one of the things that we’re seeing evolve around inboxes and around how to interact with people is to give context to that. And you know, what’s worse than an email that has no subject line? You know, it comes in and you’ve got to read, you know, the body of it to kind of tease out what’s in there, trying to understand is it important to me, do I need to pay attention to it? You end up getting cc’d on a lot of things and even on the “to,” if someone just replies to “all.”


And so, it’s great that we have an inbox and there’s mechanisms to control followup around that, but what I find to be more valuable as we see these other inboxes, is the context it provides. So, I am enjoying having interactions in Teams where there’s a conversation thread around a document, and that when that conversation needs my attention, it shows up as activity for me to go look at. But, if I’m not involved with that, but I’m curious about it, I can go peek into that and see that conversation thread, even though I’m not directly being pulled in to it. And I can’t do that with email. I can’t peek into other people’s inboxes to see conversations that might be beneficial to me to get context around information content. And so I think that’s very powerful, although it does create the challenge of yet another inbox and what Microsoft and other folks do is they realize that your final inbox is your email.


Jive tried to kill email. I remember [days back 00:06:02] said, you know, “Long gone are the days of email with this new social-business collaboration kind of platform,” and it didn’t kill it because I think the inbox is that final destination of the notification that, “Hey, there’s something there you need to pay attention to,” and Teams does a great job of, “Okay, it’s been an hour since this is @ mentioned you, let me send you a reminder in your inbox,” and if I want to have, “a centralized task management of did I look at something,” I can use that inbox as that cue to say I’m going to flag that so I don’t forget to go check on that. At the end of the day, you’ve got the read and unread within Teams, but it’s not as sophisticated as an Outlook inbox.


Danny Ryan:It’s almost like I’d want to be able to flag some of … like, I want to … some of them I read it and then I have something I need to do with it. So, how do I … I don’t want to not …


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, so that’s almost where in my inbox, I’ll flag it and I’ll say “unflag it for followup tomorrow or for next week or whatever.” One of my frustrations right now with Teams is I’ve got an inbox and I don’t have a way of saying “Okay, I’ve read this. I need to do something with this” and I can’t get it out … one of the fundamentals of task management is to have one place to go with all your tasks. It seems like you’re jumping from one thing over to another and you’re not able to, unless I manually go create a new task to deal with that thing that’s … [crosstalk 00:07:41]


Danny Ryan:Yeah, you love that maybe to-do could solve that problem.


Tommy Ryan:I’m gonna punch you in the face.


Danny Ryan:I would love it if I could share to-do with my wife at home.


Tommy Ryan:I think what you end up resorting to is something like to do [inaudible 00:08:00] or a Wunderlist or something that you hate it, you have to type it in, so if it’s really that important, you’re going to have to put it in a to-do that is your central to-do.


Danny Ryan:Yup.


Tommy Ryan:And another technique I’ve used is, things in Teams, it’s nice that if you go look at it and you didn’t “click on it” through the activity inbox there, if I’ve looked at it, it’s going to mark it as read over in the inbox and if I see something and I know I want to come back to it and I don’t want to create a task, I just right mouse click and mark as unread.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, mark as unread.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, and that way it’s still out there. No one likes that bold unread inbox. It drives you crazy not to have the inbox read. At least me, I think that’s common for a lot of people that, some people have that zero inbox where they don’t want anything in the inbox, and I’m long past that. For me it’s nothing unread.


Danny Ryan:I’m a zero unread type. So, if it’s been read, then it’s been processed. I’ve switched over to that for years and it’s just … that works for me.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, I do that too, and I use the flag for “you’ve got to this” within the next day or two or we’re going to miss the opportunity.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, and I agree, that seems to be the way of handling … what I like is you want to have whatever you’re using for task management to set priorities so that you’re focusing in on the right things. So the quadrant two things, in quadrant one and quadrant two, but it seems like the other inboxes, like you’re either using it, if it’s been processed, it’s been read. And, if it’s taken care of and you don’t need to address it, then it’s in a read status.


And I’m also talking right now as well, like LinkedIn. If your LinkedIn inbox that’s out there and if I don’t need to do anything else with it, it’s just been marked as read and I typically don’t do anything more with it. If I need to do something more with it, then I keep it as read and then maybe if it … probably you can handle it like the getting things done is, if I can do it in two minutes, do it in two minutes and take care of it. Or if it needs to be longer, then I need to mark it as an actual to-do item that follows into the priority of everything else that’s on my plate.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah.


Danny Ryan:And maybe that’s sort of the key point of yeah, the additional inboxes that are out there, you just work with them on a read and unread basis and then if it’s something that would require more time, then it needs to go into however you centrally manage your tasks.


Tommy Ryan:Right. Yup, yup, and that’s the way I do it, too. And another thing that I did … I’m looking at your whiteboard … is the things that are quadrant two. Really, really key, kind of that annual goal that you’re trying to chip away at over the course of the year and not lose sight of, I’m putting some of those things on my whiteboard, too.  And in the role of helping clients make those arrangements for us to do work with them, aka sales, I’ve got a matrix of some of those key ones that are out there that I feel like I’ve got to stay on top of that and if I leave it in the normal kind of arrangement of Outlook and Teams and files on my desktop, that I’m going to lose track of something. And if I have it on the whiteboard, it’s something that I peek up at, you know maybe once, twice, three times a day that, “Oh, that’s what I want as my next step there, or that’s where that’s sitting.” So mentally, I’m staying on top of the big rocks.


Danny Ryan:How, with regards to … do you check like … do you have your Outlook running all day long? Is it always there and always running?


Tommy Ryan:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Danny Ryan:So it is?


Tommy Ryan:Yes.


Danny Ryan:And then your … same thing with Teams? It’s always up and always running?


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:Do you ever feel like you get to the end of the day and you feel like you’ve checked your email … you know, you’ve followed up with things and then maybe you’ve gotten … I have some days where I feel like I’ve followed up and I’ve done good at, you know, I had requests come through, but not sure if I’m really effectively using my day. Like, I’m wondering if I should have my email on for certain periods of the day and then have periods … oh, it’s almost like, yesterday I was trying the Pomodoro type of thing where I say I’ve got 30 min- I need deep work and if context is key, staying on one thing, like I’ve got a research subject and I want to focus in on this for the period of time, I find like, if I’ve got my email and it pops up and I see something interrupting me to go after it, it’s so tempting to jump off to it, to switch on that, and where I could never get into deep work, where I can just always be working on whatever that last email is, or whatever has jumped up for that day, but I don’t have the time to go after something where I’m thinking about, you know, putting some thought into something and not having the time to really do what people are calling deep work.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, and for me it’s putting on the headphones so that’s a signal to people around me, because I’m in a room with other people and it’s also seeing a space in your calendar. And then, when I go into that deep work, I get pulled into what I’m doing and I don’t … even though I might even have email TOAST popping up, I’m not being really distracted by that because I am diving deep into something that I want to get to a certain point with it. I also use, and it’s VIP within my iPhone, that I can set certain people that are people I need to respond to quicker than normal and that I know that I’m rarely going to get an email from that person, and I want to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of the hundred emails that come in. [crosstalk 00:14:55]


Danny Ryan:I have a feeling I’m not in this VIP list.


Tommy Ryan:It’s people that maybe email me, you know, three or four times a year and so I have some of those that I really want to catch and be very responsive to.


Danny Ryan:Uh huh.


Tommy Ryan:So, that’s just another technique that I use, because sometimes I can lose email, that it shows up and you’re clicking through and you forget to go back and mark it as unread, and that VIP to me, it pulls it to the top out of the, kind of the mess of a bunch of email.


Danny Ryan:Well this was good. This was helpful to me, so it’s hopefully helpful to the listener. Next time I want to talk a little about the state of … this is near and dear … the state of task management inside of Office 365, and I can talk about how I’m trying to use Planner and what things I’ve been trying recently, and just trying to get … how do I manage this? And it might be for more of a personal productivity, but I’m also trying to figure out … one of the big things around here is make and keep commitments, and so like how is that we can do this with each other?


And right now I can send you an email and say I want you to … how do we have some place where we’re able to make and keep commitments and so right now I’m experimenting with what we have which is, and I asked this question last week to Mike [Gannonetti 00:16:36] and asked him about what’s the state of task management and he’s basically, when you’re working within groups, it’s Planner, so that’s fine. Tell me what … that is what it looks like it is and he had his normal response about what to do and his frustration, I’m sure, with it as well. He’s just using it personally, but like how do we do this within a group, and how do we … but there’s a part of it as well where I feel like I’m assigning a to-do to you, and how is it that we can work together and make commitments together? And what does that look like on Office 365? And people have that.


And if that isn’t there, and if it’s you and I have been using to-do list and shared lists and stuff like that, what is it that people … it just seems like core to any business, is how do we as a team … how do we make and keep commitments together where there’s a place that you can go to and I’m relying on you for this, and you’re relying on me for this, and making those commitments. So if maybe next time we get together, if we want to talk about that?


Tommy Ryan:Sure, yeah.


Danny Ryan:Awesome.


Tommy Ryan:There’s more than tools. I think there’s some “process sure elements” to that, that could help.


Danny Ryan:Absolutely.  And I think today what was interesting is part of this is the process has to be light … it has to make sense and light-weight and something that’s repeatable because humans if left to their own devices, they go to very simple ways of interacting so that process has to be something that definitely works and has positive feedback cycles. But yeah, let’s get together next time and talk about that. This was interesting. This was helpful for me today, so I appreciate that.


Tommy Ryan:Cool, yeah. It was good conversation.


Danny Ryan:So, I appreciate the time to sit down and talk about the “Not Another Inbox.”


So the conclusion from this is really that everybody has their own, and it should be one central place where they’re managing tasks, so that they can set priority on them and really, you know, be able to make sure that they’re spending their time well. But with the additional inboxes, the additional ways that your information is coming in, it sounds like you and I use the read vs unread as far as whether it’s been processed and then based on that, you might use the two-minute getting things done rule, where if I can get it done in two minutes, take care of it then. If I can’t, then mark it as unread and either throw it in as a to-do into whatever you’re using for task management, or just leave it unread so that you can come back to it.


Tommy Ryan:Yep.


Danny Ryan:Cool, great. Thanks everybody for listening. Thanks for doing this Tommy.


Sure, sure thing.


Tommy Ryan:Have a great day!  Bye-bye.


Danny Ryan:Bye.


Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

read more
empty.authorNot Another Inbox – Dealing with the Proliferation of Inboxes in Office 365

May 2018 Office 365 Updates

May 2018 Office 365 Updates



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


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


Introductory Comments

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


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

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

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

Insights in Excel

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

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

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

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

New Data Types

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

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

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

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

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

Excel for Mac

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


Source: HowTo Outlook: Outlook 2016 Update for May 2018

Office Support: Listen to your email messages

Prompt Before “Reply All”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Emails Aloud

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

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


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

Office Support: View your tasks on a calendar

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

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

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

SharePoint Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft Score

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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empty.authorMay 2018 Office 365 Updates

April 2018 Office 365 Updates

April 2018 Office 365 Updates



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


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



Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for April 2018.

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

Microsoft Teams

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

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

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

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

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

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

SharePoint Hub Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Power BI

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

Power BI Blog: Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

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

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

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

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

  • Filters
  • Slicers
  • Sort order
  • Drill location

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

Microsoft 365 Admin Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

To do that, I’ll click on My Flows.

Then I’ll select Create a flow from blank.

I’ll give the Flow a name.

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

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

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

Then in the Yes section, click add action,

Then select send an email from the dropdown list

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

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


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

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

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empty.authorApril 2018 Office 365 Updates

Office 365 Periodic Table with Bruce Harple

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Bruce Harple

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:Hello and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan, one of the bald brothers, and I am here with … You’ve got plenty of hair Bruce, so I can’t call you a bald brother. I’ll call you a brother.


Bruce:For now. For now.


Danny:You’re a brother of mine, how about that? I’m here with Bruce. We’re doing this remotely via Microsoft Teams, which is a new thing for me. Always try new things, right? Always be up for new things. Today we are going to talk about a subject that I think is near and dear to a lot of folks, and specific about Office 365. Get us started Bruce. What do you want to chat about today?


Bruce:Yeah, so, what I want to talk about is there’s this great platform out there right, called Office 365. That many, many, many enterprises are moving to. The value proposition is just so great. It really is a sound, and very large … We kind of call it a collaboration, communication, and coordination platform. There’s kind of a good news, and bad news story to Office 365, right? The good news is there are 29 different products within this platform for you to leverage for collaboration, communication, and coordination. The bad news is there are 29 different products. You know, for collaboration, communication, and coordination, right? It’s this phenomenal platform, but it’s almost too much.


In fact, there’s a SharePoint kind of blogger, by the name of Matt Wade, who has put together this thing, he calls it the “Periodic Table of Office 365” and Danny, I know you can kind of add that link to the podcast.


Danny:Absolutely. I’ll put this up on the blog. Absolutely.


Bruce:Yeah, but it’s a great representation. I mean, it’s a play on the periodic table, but it just goes to show you how much functionality there is out there with Office 365. And the challenge for IT organizations is, I can’t just turn these 29 separate, disparate functions loose on my enterprise because they’ll be overwhelmed, right?




Bruce:And they really won’t know. I mean… So a great example for communication do I use Outlook for communication? Do I use Teams? Do I use Yammer? Do I use Skype for Business? Do I use my Newsfeeds? What do I use and when do I use Outlook versus Teams, versus Yammer, versus Skype for Business. It can create a lot of churn in organizations. It can create a lot of confusion if you don’t have a vision, a plan a strategy for communication on this platform.


Then I think something that then if you’d take it a step further you’ve got these 29 separate functions, products, and Office 365. What a lot of organizations want is they want that unified, single, cohesive kind of homepage for their organization.


So if I’m going to collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with my teams I want to have one landing page, one homepage I can go to right? And from there … From that one page, I can do what I need to do if I have a project team I’m working with I can go and figure out how do I get to my team.


If I’m involved in sales and there are pursuit teams how do I work with those teams? Or if I’m trying to consume company announcements I want it all to come into one place. Kind of out of the box when you turn on all these capabilities in Office 365 you don’t get that single unified landing page for an enterprise. You gotta kind of create that. And you gotta kind of lay that on top of Office 365.


The challenge for companies is how do I consume all of this amazing functionality but consume it in an effective way? How do I wrap a cohesive user experience around that so people can consume it in a fast efficient organized way?


I think that’s the challenge right and kind of what I wanted to talk about related to that challenge. So how do I go after that challenge? How do I help my user communities out there consume all these amazing capabilities out there? Not just 365, and do it in a structured way and do it in a way that maybe I roll out capabilities incrementally. I don’t just turn everything on and overwhelm people. I do it in an organized way and I really addressed the needs for collaboration, the needs for communication and the needs for coordination.


Danny:I just got out of a meeting where we discussed something similar to this which was, if you have like six or seven- I was joking around with Jeff Meyer about this- But if you have so many different ways to share information and it’s so complicated as far as when, where do I share? It ends up stifling collaboration. I think you have to take the steps to simplify. You have to. I know we’ve done some stuff internally at Three Will where we’re using Teams and we’ve turned off things like Yammer and we’re trying to simplify the whole experience. You have to do that because you can’t just throw a bunch of products at your end-users and so go for it.


Bruce:Yeah you know Dan we’re big believers at ThreeWill in taking something that is very, very big, and Office 365 is big. I mean that’s the good news it does a lot. We’re big believes in taking something big and breaking it down into smaller consumable pieces. Don’t try to kind of- What’s the expression “eat the whole elephant at one time” right.




Bruce:You gotta kind of break it down and just consume it in smaller increments you know that your organization can consume and be successful with.




Bruce:So what I was going to do was just kind of outline- how does someone like ThreeWill- How do we come in and help customers consume this platform? How do we, instead of consuming it in one gigantic bite how do we break it up and go after this in an incremental way?


So what I wanted to do was walk through the steps that we would go through with customers to help them understand the platform. Understand how to consume it effectively for their organization.


Danny:That’s great yeah, because I think it is- Like most things like this it’s a maturity thing and you gotta do this in phases and how do you go from where you are today to where you need to be as an organization? So awesome.


Bruce:Yeah and we really look at this just like in everything that we do, we feel like we’re a solutions-oriented company. What we’re doing is trying to help customers build and implement collaboration, communication and coordination solutions. That’s what we are.


The steps that we would walk a customer through as it relates to Office 365 are the same steps we would use back when it was just SharePoint or we would use if we were going to look at leveraging for a more custom solution maybe.


I was going to just kind of walk through to the steps Danny and the podcast, this one, and we can always, in later podcasts, drill into more detail.


Danny:Sure. Absolutely that sounds great.


Bruce:As it makes sense.


Step one is taking the time to understand your current state. So what are you doing today?  And by the way, it might be you go after this focusing just on collaboration or just on communications or just on coordination, you know how do we work together? You don’t have to bite all three of those pillars of Office 365. You can go after it one at a time.


But understanding your current state it’s trying to understand who your users are, your groups are, their usage today of whatever they’re using today to do their jobs. You’re looking at policies, governance, security. But looking at where are we successful and also where are the challenges and impediments and where are the opportunities for us to further help our organization work more efficiently, more effectively.


Really just kind of understanding where you are today.  Like I said, I think understanding successes, pains, challenges, impediments and opportunities is a key part of that. Because that’s going to feed into where your future state is going to be. So that’s kind of step one.


Step two is looking at your core use cases. Your core usage scenarios. This is looking at, again within the pillars of collaboration, communications, and coordination. What are the critical usage requirement within one of those? This is where we look at content management. Enterprise integration and collaboration. Portals, workflow, business intelligent search. All those kind of functional usages of a platform like Office 365 that you want to leverage. But really understanding, again, what are those core use cases? What is most important to the organization?


That’s step two and then step three is taking that current state analysis, taking those use cases, those usage scenarios and then designing that future state. So taking- and that’s where in that future state you’re saying, here’s this phenomenal platform called Office 365 with these 29 different functional components right. What of those components am I gonna use and how am I gonna use them within those pillars of communication, collaboration, and coordination?


This is where you’re looking at your overall information architecture. How you’re going to information management. How are people going to discover information content? How are we going to share content? How are we going to collaborate as teams? Either at a corporate level. At a project level. At an apartment level. At an individual level. What’s that future state look like? It’s designing that future state.


And then step four is developing the road map. Chances are you’re not going to be able to get to that future state all at once because it’s just going to be too much for the organization to consume. Too much to implement and roll out. Again, back to my point about breaking things up into smaller incremental chunks and back to kind of- You know Danny we’re an agile scrum company and we believe in that inspect and adapt and you do things incrementally right.




Bruce:You know the roadmap is really how do I get from where I am today to my future state and how do I get there incrementally?


So what does phase one look like? What does phase two look like? And what’s the reasoning behind that? So why does that roadmap look the way it does? Which should be driven back by those core use cases and core requirements. The challenges ,the impediments, the opportunities. It really should be driven by mapping all that into your future state.


The last step, and an incredibly important one especially in Office 365 is defining your governance, model, and plan. Because in this environment, in this platform you do what to govern it because you want to govern the growth of the platform. You want to govern the usage of the platform so that everything fits into that future state design that you’ve put in place. Governance is a key piece of that.


So those are the five steps that we would walk a customer through and help to get to the point where they’d have that roadmap. They’d have that future state, and they’d know how to get from where they are today to how they can effectively consume this phenomenal platform.




And is that some- Is that typically- Is that done over a couple of days, a week or what does that typically look like?


Bruce:What we do- I mean so the starting point for anybody would be, we have what we call a “collaboration workshop,” and we structure the workshop. It can be anywhere from one day to three days. Again we spend some time up front trying to understand an organizations vision for collaboration, communication, and coordination and just try to structure that workshop to what a customer is trying to accomplish.


But the purpose of that workshop is to spend a little big of time on the current state. Spend some time talking about the future state. And walking through some of those capabilities in Office 365. Getting to the point where coming out of that workshop, what we have is a communication, collaboration and coordination assessment with associated recommendations.


You’ll have a high-level future state design. Your Office 365 communication, collaboration and coordination roadmap, you know we kind of have a product [inaudible 00:14:33] estimation for implementing that initial phase of the road map. So the workshop is designed to be something where we can narrow in on exactly what part of collaboration, communication and coordination you want to focus on and let’s get to where we come out of that work shop with an initial view of your future and how to get there.


Danny:That’s great. As you mentioned earlier maybe we just in upcoming podcast break these out a little bit more and go into a little bit more depth. That’d be awesome to do.


Bruce:Yeah we could even pool our [inaudible 00:15:19] our collaboration practice lead, and maybe we do some joint podcast and drill into more of the details.


Danny:I like it. I like it, that sounds like we got a topic for the next one.


Well, I appreciate you walking us through this. I know you do have a lot of options with Office 365. I know you guys have been doing these types of workshops for quite a while starting with doing some of the SharePoint deployment planning services years ago and were update. We’ve got a lot of different things that we need to cover to come up with an effective strategy and plan around what people are moving to with an Office 365 and I appreciate the time and energy that you and Bo and others are putting behind this. This is great stuff.


Bruce:Yeah absolutely, we’ve got a lot of passion around this. We enjoy engaging in these conversations with customers for sure.


Danny:Yeah and when we look at the practices with migrations leading to collaboration and then sustainment I know the heart of what we do is around collaboration, and so I appreciate us having some good, especially workshops. Some way of us getting together with clients and furthering the conversation beyond just sales and just really getting into the heart of the matter with things. That’s great.




Danny:Awesome. Thanks for doing this Bruce and thank you, everybody, for listening and I’ll put the- at the bottom of this blog post as well I’ll put up more information on the collaboration workshop and how to learn more about what’s covered during that workshop and next steps from there.


Thanks, everybody for listening and have a wonderful day. Take care.


Bruce:Take care buddy.




Additional Credits

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

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empty.authorOffice 365 Periodic Table with Bruce Harple

Office 365 Profile Picture Migration

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.

Four years ago, I was wrestling with profile pictures in Office 365. In a post, I discussed how the profile image can surface in many applications in Office 365 and that it can be inconsistent between those applications.

Unfortunately, after four years there are still inconsistencies and issues. Nowadays I’m doing a lot of migrations, many of which are from Jive to SharePoint. We can migrate Jive profile pictures to Office 365, but the process is far from perfect. Here’s the strategy we take:

  1. Download the profile pictures from Jive. Our migration utilities take care of this for us.
  2. Run the Set-UserPhoto PowerShell cmdlet for each user.
  3. Wait 72 hours.
  4. Run custom code that uploads the profile image to a special “User Photos” library.
  5. Wait another 72 hours (just in case). UPDATE: Test results using a clean browser (clear the cache)

Let’s dive into the details…


Step #2 is a simple PowerShell script:

Write-Host "Enter SharePoint migration account credentials"
$creds = Get-Credential

# Note: the connection URI is different for Exchange Online vs. Exchange on-prem
# Exchange Online: https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid
# Exchange On-prem: https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/
$session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid -Credential $creds -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $session

Set-UserPhoto "<user-id1>" -PictureData ([System.IO.File]::ReadAllBytes("<path-to-image1>")) -Confirm:$false
Set-UserPhoto "<user-id2>" -PictureData ([System.IO.File]::ReadAllBytes("<path-to-image2>")) -Confirm:$false
Set-UserPhoto "<user-id3>" -PictureData ([System.IO.File]::ReadAllBytes("<path-to-image3>")) -Confirm:$false

Of course, those last three lines are really thousands of lines that we generate. This by itself is fine except that this must be run by an Exchange Administrator. Since we cannot be given Exchange admin rights, we must hand off a package including the script and pictures for an Exchange Administrator to execute.

The Set-UserPhoto cmdlet reliably updates the profile image in Exchange which includes Delve, the People app, profile pictures shown in the Outlook app, and likely other areas such as Skype for Business.

If that was all we had to do, this would be easy. However, many times Set-UserPhoto does not update the profile image as seen in SharePoint from a people search, a people picker field configured to show the image, or any custom web part that shows a profile image.

Uploads to User Photos Library

Waiting 72 hours after Set-UserPhoto seems to help for some accounts. It is the documented rate at which the profile pictures are synchronized from Exchange Online to SharePoint Online. So maybe we can just be patient and stop at step #3! I wish…

I have observed in multiple tenants that some profile pictures just don’t make it over to SharePoint Online. I can see that they don’t work by waiting 72 hours and then going to SharePoint search (e.g., https://<tenant>.sharepoint.com/search) and entering the username or email, then clicking on People to get people results.

I can also create a custom list of people picker fields configured to show a 36×36 or 48×48 profile image.

I haven’t figured out why Set-UserPhoto works for some accounts and not others, but since I know the profile pictures are supposed to get synchronized to the User Photos library in the My Site Host site collection, I have decided to upload profile pictures directly to that library. The library has a Profile Pictures folder (assuming the My Site Host locale is English) where the pictures belong. The URL looks like: https://<tenant>-my.sharepoint.com/User%20Photos/Profile%20Pictures and this article describes the filename format and that you have 3 different sized pictures for each profile picture.  UPDATE: Another good resource is demystifying User Profile picture sync in #Office365.

Manually (or programmatically) uploading profile pictures here helped fix most of those that were not properly migrated by Set-UserPhoto. Unfortunately, it was “most” but not all. It seems that patience may once again be required before all of them finally work. I haven’t seen this documented and it isn’t clear if this a 72-hour window or what. If I ever figure out a pattern here, I’ll update this post or mention it in the comments.  UPDATE: What I have found is that testing these requires using a “clean” browser.  Make sure you use one with its cache cleared (Guest/InPrivate/Private/Incognito).  These updates should be available immediately.  In my case, I tested 14 accounts ranging from 10-30 minutes of when I made these updates.

Profile Picture Aspect Ratio

Office 365 wants a square aspect ratio for profile pictures and in many cases, this is shown as a circle. If you give it a rectangular image, Set-UserPhoto will crop the image to make square. However, if you upload the image into the User Photos library it will not be cropped and instead will be squeezed (or squished, if you prefer). Therefore, if some of your profile pictures are not square, you’ll want to crop them if you are uploading to the User Photos library.


Good luck on your journey of migrating profile pictures to Office 365. A little divine intervention might help! If this post helped or you have any feedback, please leave a comment!

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Kirk LiemohnOffice 365 Profile Picture Migration

March 2018 Office 365 Updates

March 2018 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for March of 2018.

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


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

Yammer Blog: Now available: Seen counts in Yammer!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft Teams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OneDrive File Restore

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

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

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

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

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

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

OneDrive on iOS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Power BI

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

Microsoft Docs: Slicers in Power BI service (Tutorial)

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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empty.authorMarch 2018 Office 365 Updates

Catching Up with Owen Allen from Akumina

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Jeff Meyer

Guest – Owen Allen

LinkedIn – Twitter

Tommy Ryan

Co-Host – Tommy Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:Hello and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and Microphone podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan. I’m here with my co-host Tommy Ryan. How are you doing, Mr. Bald Brother?


Tommy:I’m doing well. It’s a good day. Speaking with Owen. Going to be fun.


Danny:It is. Yes, catching up with our good buddy Owen. Owen Allen, how are you doing?


Owen:I’m doing great. Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you guys. I don’t get enough bald brother time these days.


Danny:We like catching up every once in a while. It seems like it’s been a while, though. Let’s start with the back story. Where did we first meet each other? Is this when you were in the SharePoint product team? Is that where this whole thing started?


Owen:Boy, it would’ve been maybe 2009 or twenty ten.


Tommy:It was the night training, I believe, for early adopters. You were down in Atlanta.


Owen:Oh, the training in Atlanta? Yeah, that could have been it.




Owen:Yeah, definitely. The early, oh wow, what was the name of that, it was some sort of an early Ninja training that we did for developers.


Tommy:I want to say that they called it Ignite.


Danny:Did they call it Ignite back then?


Tommy:It was before they got accomplished.


Owen:It might have been an Ignite program, definitely. That was a good training tour and then after 2010 launched, we did a bunch of Azure training and I came back to you guys when I was with Pingar and you guys developed a good portion, if not the majority, of the Pingar SharePoint application as we interfaced that entity extraction artificial intelligence tech into SharePoint.




Danny:Nice. That was us. Was that Tommy or me? I forget which one of us did that.


Tommy:We didn’t do that.


Owen:I think it was a late night coding session and both of you guys were just bald brothering it away. It was amazing.


Danny:And we worked on the white paper too. The ISV white paper.


Owen:Oh, that’s right. That’s right.


Danny:I know you’re trying to forget that, but we did do that together.


Owen:That was a good white paper. We should refresh that for SharePoint 2010.


Danny:We should. I wonder what that…I love the, in the back of it, where you had sort of like the landscape of all the different vendors that were out there.


Owen:Remember that ISV map? That ISV map based on–


Danny:Yes. How could I forget, Owen? How could I forget? I thought it was really helpful.


Owen:It was at the time and, you know what, I think that it’s actually a cycle that we’ve reached now where SharePoint 2010 was a very solid platform for ISVs to build on. I think only in the past six months have we finally reached a platform with SharePoint Online that is solid enough for ISVs to take a real big bet on.


I’m really looking forward to the May SharePoint conference where we will hear the road map for the next year because I think that we’re going to see some great incremental improvements but I think that SharePoint Online is a very solid platform. ISVs can take large bets on it.


I just joined an ISV again, January 1st, I joined Akumina and part of the rationale was that, hey, you know what, it’s ready now. Now is another cycle just like 2010 where we’re going to see some incredible innovation coming from ISV partners. The SI, the system integrators, are going to add their imagination and their wisdom to these ISV solutions and, I think, over the next two years, we’re going to see some really good stuff coming on top of SharePoint Online, even better than we’ve seen so far.


Danny:That’s great. It’d be interesting to take a look at that and see if it’s the same players who are going to come out because you did, it was both vertical and horizontal solutions, right? I want to say. I haven’t looked at it in a while but I wanna say it was both.


Owen:Yeah, it was. We had a couple of pillars based on the type of technology and then a couple of pillars based on the industries. I actually tried to see if it made sense to reimagine that a couple of years ago and, the number of partners has ballooned so much, there’s no way you’d fit it on a slide. It would have to just be…You know that old gray bar paper or green bar paper from the mainframe printouts? It would have to be reams of that stuff, there’s so many partners out these days. It’s crazy.


Danny:One of the things that, in a recent podcast with Sam Marshall, your good buddy Sam, from the UK.


Owen:Good old Sam.


Danny:We had a conversation about, and one of the things that people are often coming to us about, is build versus buy for their intranet or digital workplace or whatever you want to call it, on SharePoint Online. I wanted just to talk with you about that. Get your thoughts on that, especially with what Akumina does. Just want to have a conversation about that. First off, there seems to be, I guess Akumina differentiates itself from just sort of like a layer on top of SharePoint. Just tell me more about the product and sort of like the philosophy behind the product.


Owen:Well, thanks. That’s a great opportunity to tell you about Akumina. Akumina is a scalable intranet platform on top of Office 365 and I use the word scalable because you have to scale it in a couple of different ways. Technologically, you can scale it because we do a magic thing with the SharePoint web parts where we can host that functionality in our Azure service and then we can scale the distribution of what we call widgets across many, many different SharePoint sites. When you have to update functionality, you don’t have to update every SharePoint page, you can update it in one place and it scales across the enterprise.


The other place where you have to have scalability is you have to be able to cross between an IT solution and an HR or corp comms, a people solution. You have to be able to scale at how are you messaging and how are people going to interface with this. People need to be able to choose their own experiences and we need to be able to scale in all of these third-party applications that the company is using from other parts of their organization such as finance applications or ERP applications or time management or learning management systems. We have to scale to bring these kinds of things in.


I think the workplace, this digital workplace, that needs to be provided to employees uses Office 365 as the base but it really needs to have a larger umbrella on top that’s bringing this in and Akumina is doing a good job with its customers of bringing that in. We provide the product and we have wonderful system integrator partners that help make that a tremendous experience, building on top of our scalable portal interface.


Danny:This is something that, I would say, in between the build versus buy. This is more of something where you’re able to put something together so you’re not building on top of Office 365 directly. You’re working with your product to put together the building blocks for the final solution.


Owen:That’s correct. I think you’re right. It probably is a little bit in between a build versus buy. We don’t necessarily replace the Office 365 pieces. You’re buying additional capabilities on top of Office 365.


Danny:Gotcha. Gotcha. Sounds like you work closely with SIs to go and develop more like line of business applications or how does that work?


Owen:That’s a great question. We actually have what we call workspaces, which is a configurable business object, configurable envelope, that can work in any industry. We have customers using it in the finance industry and in the architecture industry and in the commercial real estate industry and all of these people, they can build an industry solution based on this building block. So you use Akumina and you buy this workspace, which lets you manage all of these entities, and then the system integrators can help the customer target that into their industry. It’s kind of like buying the framework for an industry solution.


Tommy:Nice. Nice.


Danny:Any questions, Tommy, as we go along here? I’m going to pull you in.


Tommy:Yeah, within that, are there specific web parts that are included or what are the components that go into that package?


Owen:Inside of the workspace element?




Owen:So when you define a workspace, you define, for example, we have a customer that would have two types of workspaces: one, a commercial loan, and one, a residential loan. When you define a new loan application comes in, let’s say for a commercial loan, a new workspace is created, and what you’ve done is you’ve defined what is created in that time. It might bring in a feed about the latest interest rates. It might bring in a feed where you type the loan application, the person’s history or their history with your company or history about the product that they’re asking for the loan on, etcetera. It brings a defined set of data feeds and dashboards so that the loan adjuster can have all the work that they need to do there in front of them.


Tommy:Okay, so it’s like provisioning out of site based on some key data elements that define what need to come into that site.


Owen:That’s right. A site that has different states, different milestones, different metadata, different people assigned to it…It also includes a monitoring system and a reporting system that lets you track and filter across all of the define workspaces.




Danny:Does Akumina, does it run on Azure? How is it set up?


Owen:That’s a great question. The logic behind these pages are in Azure but the pages themselves are all SharePoint pages. Whether it’s a classic page or whether it’s a modern page, both types of pages you can use to build out the Akumina solution. But there’s an Azure-based logic element, we call the application manager, that runs inside of Azure and that can run inside the customer’s Azure or inside of an Azure that we host to make it simpler for the customer.


Danny:My understanding from previous conversations with you is the data that you guys are accessing are stored in SharePoint lists and document libraries. There’s no other data store out there that you’re working with?


Owen:That’s right. While some of the widget and application logic is in the application manager, all of the data is in document libraries and lists so your other applications then act on that data or populate that data work fine. Then you open up a workspace in Akumina and it’s working on the same data. I will say that the modern site pages are really turning out to be a pleasure for us to work with. We have a web part that goes right on the modern site page that lets you choose any of our widgets and put them on the modern site pages so you can take the widgets that you’ve built anywhere and stick them on the modern site pages so you can have the Akumina scalability regardless of what type of sites that you’re building.


Danny:Awesome. Saw that you guys won, and we mentioned Sam earlier, you’ve won an award for multinational corporations, which is cool. You must be working with multinational corporations then. Yes?


Owen:You know, we do. We have a multilingual capability set up both for the content and for the menus and navigation, etcetera, and for the static side of the sites, etcetera, as well as the content management side. We have multilingual throughout and we have quite a few customers that are in Europe and Southeast Asia that are using this. Whether or not they’re using multiple regions in Office 365, they may not be, they may still need to have multilingual requirements for their site, or multinational requirements for their sites. It can be independent of whether of not they’re leveraging the Multi-Geos in Office 365 or not. Some of them are. Some of them aren’t.


Danny:And one of the things out of the report was that more and more product companies are working with larger organizations so people on the tens to hundreds of thousands of people using these products, which is great from our perspective, great to see, because the reason why we build collaborative solutions is because we want lots of people to use them as a greater impact so it’s good to see that it’s not just addressing the SMB space.


Owen:Right. In fact, I think that there’s a little bit of a spectrum between the smallest companies or the smallest sites inside of a company, you know, might be looking to buy just add-ons or looking to buy just web parts or looking to buy skins all the way up to, hey, I’d like a portal that skins my SharePoint site. You might get more and more complex and there might be seven, or eight, or nine different layers of complexity up here. We certainly do target the medium to large company. We think that there’s a…While a small company can use us, and we have some small companies that use us because they have some complex content requirements and some complex scenarios for delivering their portal. But the biggest value-add for this type of technology for scalable portals is where you do have a larger number of employees.


Danny:How does workflow fit into all this? Are you utilizing what Microsoft uses? How does that fit into Akumina?


Owen:We’re big fans of workflow. We think workflow makes a big difference but we do not supply a workflow engine so whether using Nintex or K2 or Datapolis or Microsoft Flow, or if you’re building your own state management engine, you can interface to the SharePoint underpinnings, document libraries and lists, in any standard way.


Danny:Awesome. How does mobile fit into all of this? Do you have a separate mobile app or how does that work?


Owen:All of the pages that we build, whether it’s a classic site page or modern site page, are responsive. We actually try and make sure that we’re configuring the portal site, the portal experience, to work on a mobile device. That being said, there are times when you want some of the native capabilities of the mobile device. For those cases, we do provide the ability to build a native iOS or Android application. That then gives you interfaces with notifications or interfaces with other capabilities of the device, like data collection and capabilities of the device, that you might want to integrate into your app. So you have your choice there. Generally, until they need the capabilities of the device, they just use the website in its mobile form because it’s designed to be responsive for different sizes.


Danny:I know you’re working with a lot of customers and seeing what they’re doing to focus in on what’s being called the digital workplace. Anything that you’ve seen from customers that you thought was really cool or a trend that you’re seeing or anything with regards to what’s going on out there that maybe you didn’t think of but you saw customers doing that was pretty neat?


Owen:That’s a great question and I’m really glad you asked that because there’s been two ways that my mind has been expanded in the short time that I’ve been with Akumina. Before I was with Akumina, I did  teams a couple of different places and I helped companies implement technologies and helped them build strategies around that. But now, with Akumina, when I’m talking to customers about the digital workplace, there’s two primary areas.


One of them is that, traditionally, we’ve always been focused on corporate applications and corporate usage. There’s probably somewhat of an argument to say, hey, some of that corporate is going to be the branded cultural piece, the intranet portal that Akumina can provide on top of 365 and then other pieces of that corporate piece would be out of the box SharePoint, out of the box Office 365 components. But then, when you expand beyond the corporate employees, and you say, “Who are my field employees?” and “Who are my workers at my plants?” and, “Who are my workers across the company?” Now, all of the sudden, you have a higher importance on how do I communicate the culture to these people and how do I make it so, they don’t know how to use Office 365, they know how to…We need them to do their work. We need to make that experience as easy, and as straightforward, and as discoverable and as easy for them to learn as possible. That takes a more branded experience and a more cultural aware experience that fits with their company so that importance has raised in my mind in the short time I’ve been here.


The other one is that, if I’m only building a people solution, or if I’m only building an IT solution, those are great, but they’re not helping the most of the employees until I combine them. Until I get my IT leadership and my HR leadership in the same room, and we’re talking about what’s the real purpose and how do we meet that purpose with IT. I think that that is a conversation that is going to continue to grow throughout this year and the years to come about how do we make our organizations work together with common goals and no longer do we have an IT goal to enable and an HR goal to enable but we’re putting them together to enable the whole company.


Danny:Awesome. One last question. I know you were recently at a conference in Branson. How did that go? Anything you took away from that?


Owen:Oh, it was great.


Danny:Tell me more about that.


Owen:Well, I’ll tell you, it was the North American Collaboration Summit, and it was hosted by one of these Microsoft MVPs named Mark Rackley. Mark is one of the most passionate and down to earth and just solid people inside of the SharePoint and Office 365 community. I saw him again this week at the MVP summit here in Redmond and he had his personality effused throughout the event. Wherever you were in the event, you knew that it had the Rackley seal of approval on it, if you will. He curated the list of speakers that was there. We were blessed enough to be able to give a session and he curated the list of sponsors and then watched over the event. He focused on activities for the events with the community so that the attendees got to know each other as well.




Owen:I guess I see that as a precursor to this May SharePoint conference because it gives me confidence and hope that–


Additional Credits

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

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empty.authorCatching Up with Owen Allen from Akumina

Scaling Up for Upcoming Jive to Office 365 Migrations

Danny Ryan

Co-Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Chris Edwards

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Danny:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers on a Microphone podcast. This is one of the Bald Brothers. This is my second podcast for the day. Now that Tommy’s out, I’m catching up on all my podcasts. Tommy’s taking some time off, well needed time off. You look like you could use some time off too, right?


Chris:I could definitely use some time off.


Danny:When’s your next vacation coming up? Anytime soon?


Chris:Actually, probably in about a month or so.


Danny:Okay, good. I am talking here with, if you’re wondering who that is, that’s Chris Edwards, the famous Chris Edwards. How you doing, Chris Edwards?


Chris:I’m doing pretty good. Definitely ready for that vacation. I think I’m not too far from that Bald Brother myself.


Danny:You’re working on it up there.


Chris:I’m working on it, yeah.


Danny:Excellent. It can be Three Bald Brothers on a Microphone.


Chris:Yeah, Laurie …


Danny:Although, we’re not brothers, but hey. We’re kind of brothers.


Chris:We’ve been working together for a long time so it’s all good.


Danny:Hey, you can stop holding my hand now. That’s kind of weird.




Danny:So, I wanted just to catch up with you. Yeah, it’s wonderful that you’re busy. Busy is good. That keeps us out of trouble and it’s wonderful to have lots of opportunities to go learn new things, help people out. You’ve been primarily doing Jive migrations recently?


Chris:Yeah. That seems to be my world. It’s been my world for a little while now and continues to be, so it’s a hot item and it’s actually kind of fun. You know, there’s a lot of challenges that go with it but a lot of fun things and it’s nice to see, you know, we can really help a customer solve their problems and make them happy and get a really successful migration.


Danny:Yeah, so you’ve been doing this now for a couple of year … you’re probably the, the first line of code was written by you for this.


Chris:It was.


Danny:A skunk-works project like most things.


Chris:Yeah, I mean, we … you know, the original impetus for this particular thing was we had our own Jive migrations to do and wrote the code to do that and it just kind of organically grew from there. So, kind of cool.


Danny:Yep. Nice and, nowadays we’re getting into the whole idea of creating factories, I don’t know what that, I know what a factory is but I guess just trying to scale up what we’re doing, as well.


Chris:Yeah, so I mean, I’ve been involved pretty much in every Jive migration. Kind of heavily involved, in every one we’ve done. And I try to get it to the point now where we could hand off to a team. They completely do a Jive migration from soup to nuts, really without any of my interaction. But obviously I would definitely like to be involved.


Danny:You’re not planning on getting hit by a bus, right?


Chris:No, not good. Not planning on, never that plan, so.


Danny:This just turned into a therapy session. Are you okay? Do you want- Do you want to- Do you need to-


Chris:I need to lay down. Yeah. You don’t have a couch in here. Put the microphone above me and there you go, it would be okay.


Danny:How do you really feel? It’s alright. Go ahead. I digress, go ahead.


Chris:Yeah, so yeah, so really just trying to get it to the point where we can hand off to a core group and let them facilitate these migrations and allow us to focus in on even improving the user experience, improving the really, what we’re actually, when we migrate to the SharePoint platform, or the Microsoft platform, or whatever platform we’re targeting, I’d like to be able to focus in on more things like improving the user experience and making it even a better experience than Jive.


So, being able to focus on that and then turning it loose at factory to let other folks just go ahead and try to do the migrations. That’s kind of the new objective.


Danny:So, have … I know there’s been some projects where we’ve worked some more on some of the utilities. Are we adding just more content types that we’re migrating, or more destinations as far as where the content’s going, or what?


Chris:I’d say, more content types are always a nice thing. We always try to do that, but really just kind of improving how the existing content types, how we’re doing it and how they actually go over in the target platform.




Chris:Not really looking at too many different target platforms at the moment. I mean … there are some teams, maybe one, in consideration.




Chris:So, but still part of the Microsoft world, kind of right now.


Danny:Gotcha. Gotcha. I think one of the things coming off of the discussion this morning with is looking at, what are the products that are out there, and I think everybody here is … I get this question, which I rare- typically refer off to Sam about, which is people moving from Jive and over into Office 365. Is there a product or set of products that they really should take a look at? And I think we’re … You can talk with me about that. I’m not going to say it on this podcast because that would be giving too much away, but that’s a common question that comes up for us, and I think that it’s interesting, where there are so many different products that are out there, and seeing what people are moving to, and it also sounds like we’re getting some experience with not just moving some of the content to Office 365, but then there’s some other products that have their own stuff that are out there too, so …


Chris:Yeah, we’ve had some pretty good experience working with some other customers and then, kind of spreading across the platform a little bit, so some have been Office 365, some of it, other CMS type platforms, where it actually kind of bridges the gap between the two. We’ve done some work with some third parties to kind of make that happen, so I mean, that’s the nice thing. We’ve kept the architecture of this simple so we can make that happen very easily.


Danny:That’s nice. Nice.


Chris:Gonna continue down that pathway I think.


Danny:Good, good. What … tell me what, anything else going on right now as far as are there, I know there’s a side project that we have sort of going on with making some, having some improvements being done, creating some demo environments and things like that?


Chris:Yeah, so one of the things we’re trying to improve our sizing and estimation capabilities, so we want to be able to very simply hand off a utility to a customer. Have them run it with minimal input, minimal kind of dependencies, and let them come back with some good detail that tells us, okay, how big is your Jive incidence? How many places? How much content do you have? Really, kind of do some upfront work. You know, if we ever enter into a workshop it helps us kind of gauge how big, and how to best kind of table that workshop for the customer.




Chris:I mean, that’s the whole thing. That’s one of the things we want to do is make these workshops as solid as possible when we go in. You know, the more information and relevance we have going in, the better. That’s with the size of utilities. Getting boosted, boosted up on.


Another thing is we’re looking … we have another thing called the J2SP or Jive SharePoint Runner, and what that allows us to do is that all these configurations, that you can imagine, every migration’s different and that basically involves lots of switches and dials and things, combinations of things that could or could not be done, so we’re trying to put that in a way that can be used as runner utility that’s going to kind of collaborate and kind of make that much more concise. Less error prone, I should say, to make migrations very predictable, yet still not lose any of the configuration options.


We want to maintain … if the customer wants to do something very custom, we still have the ability to do that. We document it. We capture it. We don’t have to think about it anymore. Whereas, right now, it’s a lot of, you know, we got to pay attention to a lot of that stuff, a lot of this documenting and run books, things like that.


Danny:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Chris:So I’m trying to get better about managing that information.


Danny:What else are you excited about right now?


Chris:Just really, I want to see the volume of these things increase and to see us being able to say, oh I’ll bring it, yeah, Is that what you’re telling me, huh? I want you to bring it. Let’s bring it. Let’s do it, so. Really want it. That’s the whole thing is like, we know how to do it and we’ve been very successful at doing these migrations. We know how to do them, and I think we’ve proven that. But now we want to do, more than once.


Danny:You have no idea.


Chris:Yeah, let’s do it.


Danny:Well, I know you need to run off somewhere and I appreciate you taking the time to do this …




Danny:… and catching up, and thank you for all the hard work you’re putting in. I hope … I’m glad to hear you’ve got something a month or so off, and enjoy your time off for that, and there’ll be plenty of work here when you get back.


Chris:Oh yeah.


Danny:But just enjoy it. It’s important to, just to stay balanced with things and just appreciate all your hard work that you’re putting toward this, and it’s fun to see something sort of, give it some watering and seeing it grow into something different, and new, and keeping it challenging.


I think there’s lots of good challenges that are coming along with this, and then, well, this will grow into something different maybe. We try some other migration, trying to get some other platform into Office 365. That’s … I’m thinking about that. That’s my job, to figure out what’s coming after this, and there I, why, I’ve got more ideas than I have time. But don’t we all?


Chris:But they’re fun.


Danny:Yeah. So, I appreciate all your hard work that you’re putting in.


Chris:Thank you.


Danny:And thanks. Keep it up, and you brace yourself.


Chris:Here we go. Here we go.


Danny:Yeah, see, I interact with [Bruce 00:08:38], and Bruce has already told me to slow down, so …




Danny:… he’s the throttler, so, but I’ll keep it coming, I’ll say, “Chris said. I was talking to Chris on the podcast.”


Chris:Yeah, he said go for it, yeah, so yeah.


Danny:Well, thank you all. Thank you for all this listening into this little conversation that we’re having here, and I appreciate the chance to catch up with you, Chris, and keep up the good work.




Danny:Thanks everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye-bye.




Additional Credits

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

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empty.authorScaling Up for Upcoming Jive to Office 365 Migrations

February 2018 Office 365 Updates

February 2018 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for February 2018.

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

3D Animations

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

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

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

Vector Graphics

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

Back in December 2016, I covered scalable vector graphics:

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

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

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

Outlook Cheat Sheets

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

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

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

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

Outlook on Mac

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

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

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

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

Outlook on Mac – UX/UI Improvements

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

SharePoint – New Editing Capabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

PowerApps custom visual for Power BI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secure Score

Source: TechCommunity: Updates to Office 365 Secure Score

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

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

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

Security & Compliance

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

TechCommunity: Compliance Manager Preview is now available

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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empty.authorFebruary 2018 Office 365 Updates

January 2018 Office 365 Updates

January 2018 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

Welcome to the Office 365 update for January 2018.

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Suggestion Box

Source: Microsoft TechNet: The Office 365 Guy Blog

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

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


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

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

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empty.authorJanuary 2018 Office 365 Updates

Real World Jive to Office 365 Migrations with Eric Bowden

Danny Ryan

Host – Danny Ryan

Bio – LinkedIn – Twitter

Sam Marshall

Guest – Eric Bowden

Bio – LinkedIn

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


Eric:Yes, but-


Danny:But …


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


Danny:I can, huh?


Eric:Yeah, yeah.


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


Eric:Mr. Wolf.


Danny:Mr. Wolf?


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


Danny:Who gave you that one?


Eric:That’s from Pete.




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


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


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


Danny:I’m sure it does.


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


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


Eric:That’s right, that’s right.


Danny:It is Pulp Fiction.


Eric:Language I usually don’t use.




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


Danny:Is he the clean up guy?


Eric:He’s the clean up guy, yes.


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


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


Danny:You clean up the guts on the floor?


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


Danny:Sherlock. That’s a good one.


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


Danny:Have you watched the new Sherlock at all?


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


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


Eric:No, I haven’t seen that.


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


Eric:That’s right.


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


Eric:That’s right.


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


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


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


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




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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


Eric:Yes and yes.


Danny:Yes. Yes and yes.


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


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


Eric:Yeah. Yes, absolutely.


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


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


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


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


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


Eric:Tags and categories are some examples.


Danny:Boom. Boom.


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




Eric:… from our offshore location and-




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


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


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


Danny:I’m sorry.


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


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


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


Danny:That’s great.


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


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


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


Danny:More lattes, more.


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


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


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


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


Danny:It’s not that far off?


Eric:That’s not that far off.


Danny:It’s an appropriate metaphor?


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


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


Eric:He can change … Did I do that?


Danny:You called him Bobby. I love it.


Eric:Little Bobby.


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


Eric:Well, actually-


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


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


Danny:Mr. Bob.


Eric:Mr. Bob.


Danny:Now that’s formal.


Eric:I kind of like that.


Danny:Mr. Bob.


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


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


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




Eric:This is what you’re going for.


Danny:Yes, that’s what I’m going for.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Eric:Yes, yeah-


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


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


Danny:Then you have an ID that is …




Danny:You joined with an ID that they created?


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




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




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


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




Danny:And all of our projects have this.




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


Eric:That’s right.


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


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


Danny:Plan, practice, execute.


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


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


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


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


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


Danny:Yeah, they could’ve done that.


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


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


Eric:Not sure, not sure.


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


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


Danny:Thank you.


Eric:You bet.


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


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


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




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




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


Additional Credits

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

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

December 2017 Office 365 Updates

December 2017 Office 365 Updates

Introductory Comments

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

The Office 365 Guy

Source:  TechNet: The Office 365 Guy

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

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

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

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

PowerPoint Morph

Source:  Microsoft Support: Use the Morph Transition in PowerPoint

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

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

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

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

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

Resume Builder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LinkedIn Learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office Tutorials

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

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

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

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

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

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


Source:  Microsoft Support: Document collaboration and co-authoring

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forecasting in Excel

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

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

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

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

Power BI

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

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

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

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


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

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

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empty.authorDecember 2017 Office 365 Updates