Microsoft Debuts a Success Site for Office 365

With little public fanfare, Microsoft quietly launched a new web site for Office 365 in early October, 2014. This website is titled Office 365 Customer Success Center. The site includes lots of content most Office 365 stakeholders will likely end up consuming. The positive tone implicit to the title is fitting, especially given Microsoft’s objectives for the site. The site exists to serve as a resource for Office 365 stakeholders and their partners as they work to drive user adoption of the unique features of the Office 365 suite of computing tools. This writer attended Microsoft’s Office 365 Summit in…
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Another couple of points for organizations to consider when they consider migrating to SharePoint Online, Office 365

As Vlad Catrinescu, a Microsoft MVP and widely acknowledged SharePoint subject matter expert recently pointed out in a post to his Absolute SharePoint blog, Microsoft will soon remove two features from SharePoint Online, Office 365. Organizations contemplating an implementation of this cloud SaaS should familiarize themselves with the features before reaching a conclusion on this question. The title of Catrinescu’s post is Microsoft killing some features in Office 365 SharePoint Online. The features Catrinescu identifies are (and the following is a direct quote from Catrinescu’s blog post) The “Tasks” link in your MySite The “Sync to Outlook” Button SharePoint Tags…
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Lots of interest in OneDrive for Business at Office 365 Summit, New York

At the Office 365 Summit in New York City, a lot of the discussion in the Adoption track focused on learning more about OneDrive for Business. Cynthia Wade, the leader of the track spent a lot of time fielding topics on OneDrive for Business. From the level of interest her audience exhibited in the topic, OneDrive for Business likely represents the primary basis for user interaction with Office 365 for most larger organizations in the fall of 2014. The reliability of any estimate of how users are actually consuming Microsoft’s Office cloud, SaaS offer was reinforced by a set of…
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For organizations with many users on OneDrive for Business, drafting a list of policies and approved procedures makes sense

OneDrive for Business has, at its core, the structure of a document library for SharePoint Online. But several unique features have been added to this cloud, SaaS. So organizations with many OneDrive for Business users will benefit from a formal set of policies and procedures. The most prominent of the additional features of OneDrive for Business is its increased storage capacity. Each OneDrive for Business tenant can store up to 1TB in the system. But this much storage can prove to be a support headache if not managed properly. Since versioning is not turned on, by default, unless users are…
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Working with OneDrive for Business is More Productive when SharePoint Online Users have Realistic Expectations

Microsoft has expanded user accessibility to Office Online to include not only smart phones and tablets powered by Microsoft operating systems, but also iOS and Android devices. Nevertheless, Office Online performance is not uniform across all of these devices. So SharePoint Online stakeholders, administrators and power users should set reasonable expectations for end users, to ensure adoption does not suffer as the result of deploying OneDrive for Business and Office Online apps. This writer recently tested performance of Excel Online on: a PC running Windows 7, Professional with 8 GBs of RAM a PC running Windows 8.1, Professional with 12…
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An Overview of Secure User Authentication for Office 365

On September 1, 2014, a successful hack of a celebrity’s iCloud account was heavily publicized. In the aftermath of this type of event, it is normal for consumers of similar services from other ISVs, most prominently, Office 365 from Microsoft, to look for assurance from their IT department of the comparative security of their online computing policies and procedures. Fortunately, a white paper is directly available from Microsoft which speaks to these concerns. This white paper was published in May, 2014, and is titled Security in Office 365. For readers who have not had an opportunity to review this white…
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Microsoft Joins in the Effort to Hasten User Adoption of Office 365

Microsoft recently announced its decision to directly participate in the process by which larger organizations, and their partners, in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors implement Office 365. This participation includes direct management of Office 365 on boarding for organizations purchasing at least 150 related SKUs. Of particular interest to this writer is some information included in a web page, titled Office 365 Adoption Offer. Per the terms of this offer, Microsoft will reimburse organizations qualifying to participate in the program a set dollar amount, per seat, towards the costs incurred by the organization to contract with either Microsoft Consulting…
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Comments on Office 365 Network Architecture for Sites and OneDrive for Business

Over recent posts to this blog, this writer has explored OneDrive for Business as a uniquely featured SharePoint Online document library. An effort has also been made to report on some of the special features of this component of Office 365 and some methods of automating some tasks, associated with OneDrive for Business, likely to be repetitive for users. It may be helpful to our readers to take a post, or two, to discuss how this special library is positioned within Office 365 network architecture. The rationale is simple: an effort was made to build a very simple workflow to…
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More on Quick Steps for OneDrive for Business, Office 365

An entry to the help section of Microsoft’s Office web site titled “Automate common or repetitive tasks with Quick Steps” presents this new feature of OneDrive for Business, as originally introduced with Outlook 2010. As the article makes clear, Quick Steps were intended to reduce the repetitive nature of performing tasks, for users, with automation very similar to workflows. But what is very different between the two versions is the lack “packaged” repetitive actions in the OneDrive for Business version of this feature. As this writer wrote in an earlier post to this blog, Quick Steps for OneDrive for Business…
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Microsoft Announces Matter Center for Office 365 and for SharePoint 2013 On Premises

On August 18, 2014, Microsoft announced the availability of Matter Center for Office 365. Together with improvements in eDiscovery, which were implemented earlier this year, this new addition may contribute to the attractiveness of Office 365 for law firms. According to the promotional content on the web page introducing this feature, Matter Center works with OneDrive for Business. Matter items “are automatically saved with the right metadata, permissions, and version control.” The sharing features of OneDrive for Business are available for Matter Center, thereby delivering on the promise of a better platform for attorneys to collaborate on cases. Unlike some…
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