Microsoft continues its effort to hasten market adoption of Office 365 with more training courses

Microsoft has invested deeply in user training as a method of driving marketplace adoption of its Office 365 computing platform. The last component pushed into prominence as something enterprise consumers should learn to use is Skype for Business, which was formerly known as Lync. Just yesterday, January 14, 2015, in a post to the Office Blog titled Skype for Business sessions now included in Office 365 Summits, the Lync Team informed us about the availability of multi level training for this Office 365 component. Training tracks on Skype for Business will be offered to all three of the training tracks…
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Microsoft recommends branding SharePoint Online, Office 365 with themes, alternate CSS and other CSOM methods rather than creating custom master pages

In a video tutorial available to the public on MSDN’s Channel 9, Microsoft presents an argument for branding SharePoint Online, Office 365 sites with themes and other CSOM methods. The title of this video tutorial is Transform SharePoint Customizations to SharePoint App Model: (02) Controlling Branding in SharePoint Using App Model. The tutorial is included in the Microsoft Virtual Academy Jump Start collection and is led by Steve Walker and Vesa Juvonen, who are both Senior Program Managers with Microsoft. One recommendation is repeated over and over again throughout this tutorial, which comprises about one hour of video: don’t create…
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Microsoft changes how Office 365 business users access OneDrive

Apparently Microsoft has changed how Office 365 business users access OneDrive. We maintain an Enterprise E3 plan Office 365 account. I noticed recently the link for OneDrive had been removed from our SharePoint Online user interface (UI). Not only had the link been removed from the Global Navigation set of links on our site, but three new sets of links had been added to our site template, on a horizontal bar located above the global navigation links: Sites Office 365 and a grid-like symbol (or checkerboard), with neither a title, nor a mouse-hover description It appears this new section of…
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Microsoft announces the end of the SharePoint Online Public Websites feature of Office 365

On December 22, 2014, a number of online commentators on Microsoft’s Office 365 product published content about Microsoft’s announced decision to remove the Public Websites feature of SharePoint Online. Readers interested in learning more about this announcement are encouraged to read a post to Microsoft’s Support blog, titled Information about upcoming changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website. The decision to remove this feature appears to be entirely consistent, to this writer, when it is considered along with Microsoft’s highly publicized decision, back in October, 2012, to remove Design View (a WYSIWYG editor) from SharePoint Designer 2013. Back then, the…
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Metadata tagging contributes to an optimized search service for SharePoint Online, but may not be appropriate for every organization

Adding metadata to specific artifacts stored in SharePoint Online, as Jamie McAllister points out in a video tutorial on managing documents and lists in SharePoint Online, contributes to an optimized search experience for users. The title of this video tutorial is Manage SharePoint Online Documents and Lists. The artifacts are documents, which are stored in document libraries in SharePoint Online, Office 365. McAllister and his colleague, Rob Latino, spend a few moments on the difficulties end users often experience adding metadata. For many the task is tedious. So McAllister admonishes his audience to proceed carefully. But for organizations with a…
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Catching a glimpse of how structured and unstructured data are managed, together, in SharePoint Online document libraries

This post is another in a set of posts arising from my review of a video tutorial on SharePoint Online Documents and Lists. This tutorial is published on the Microsoft Virtual Academy web site. The tutorial can be viewed by the public at no charge. I’ve included a link to the video tutorial in the post, below. “McAllister” refers to Mr. Jamie McAllister, who leads the tutorial. The architecture of a document library in SharePoint Online (or, for SharePoint on-premises) calls for each document to be depicted by a dedicated row (McAllister claims SharePoint Online lists are neither spreadsheets, nor…
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Comments on a video tutorial on managing SharePoint Online Documents and Lists, published by Microsoft Virtual Academy

Jamie McAllister, a solutions architect for a logistics company based in Geneva, Switzerland leads a one hour video webcast of a training course on Managing SharePoint Online Documents and Lists. This webcast is available for public viewing, at no charge, on Microsoft’s Microsoft Virtual Academy learning portal. The intended audience is SharePoint Online end users and site owners. McAllister begins the training session with an explanation of why anyone would care about the topic. The most important reason why SharePoint Online end users and site owners should care about how to manage documents and lists in SharePoint Online is to…
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Use System Center and Office 365 APIs to build an Admin app for Office 365

Curtis Sawin demonstrates how to use the Service Communications Office 365 API, which was recently released (Sawin notes the release date as summer, 2014). This demonstration is included in a video tutorial from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA), which is titled Office 365 Troubleshooting: (01) Troubleshooting the Office 365 Service. The video is available for public viewing on MSDN Channel 9. Sawin explains this API can be used in lieu of Operations Center to scrape service health data from Office 365 and “take any action you want” from it. Sawin’s present an example of how the API has been implemented in…
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Using apps on mobile devices to access the Office 365 admin center

Microsoft has provided apps for mobile devices (iOS, Android and Windows flavors are all available), which Office 365 administrators can use to access the Office 365 admin center. A video tutorial available from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA), over MSDN’s Channel 9, includes a demonstration of how the app can be used to check the health of Office 365 services from a smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1 and on an iOS iPad tablet. This a third post with comments on this video tutorial, which is titled Office 365 Troubleshooting: (01) Troubleshooting the Office 365 Service. We tested app performance on an…
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The Office 365 admin center provides tenants with a verbose log of activity

The Office 365 admin center also provides access to historical data about service health. The demonstration depicts the method of accessing these reports as simply a matter of clicking back to a prior screen. But I could only access the same reports for our Office 365 E3 tenant by returning to the home page for the admin center, and, subsequently, clicking on “Service Health” in the Quick Launch, and then “Service Health”, once again, in the drop down list served to me by the portal. The reports served went back 5 calendar days, in a horizontal depiction, like a spreadsheet….
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