The SharePoint app model and the health of the SharePoint partner community

As Microsoft has attempted to hasten the rate at which its enterprise customers for SharePoint server, on-premises, adopt its flavorful Office 365 cloud, SaaS offer, members of its partner community have vocalized concerns. One prominent component of this adoption campaign, in particular, has come to serve (in my opinion) as a barometer built to measure the health of the partner community. The component is the SharePoint 2013 App Model and the notion of “SharePoint customizations”. I recently wrote several posts to this blog on topics related to the App Model. There is a lot of recently published technical content on…
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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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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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Congratulations, your company decides to implement cloud, but how do you begin to support the Office 365 service?

The day personnel within a larger organization receive management approval to leverage cloud, SaaS offers (including Microsoft’s Office 365) may be a cause for celebration. But if your team is responsible for support, planning for the Office 365 service to be up and running 7×24 can be a headache. So it makes sense to use the same occasion to kick off a support plan for Office 365. Microsoft offers a two part video tutorial on planning how to troubleshoot Office 365 via Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) and Channel 9. The first of the webcasts is titled Office 365 Troubleshooting: (01)…
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What are the mandatory requirements organizations must meet to support hybrid computing scenarios built with SharePoint 2013, on-premises, and Office 365?

So what are the mission-critical components of an acceptable foundation for a hybrid scenario for SharePoint 2013 on-premises computing, and Office 365? Paolo Pialorsi presents 6 of these in a webcast recorded at Microsoft’s TechEd Europe 2014 event, which was held in October, 2014 (the title of Pialorsi’s presentation is Overview of Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 Hybrid Scenarios): “Directory Federation via ADFS and Azure AD Sync “Internet routable AD domains” “SSL certificates and secured communication channels” “Good bandwidth and Internet connectivity” “Office 365 Enterprise Subscriptions” “SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise on-premises The fifth and sixth components are obvious. The…
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Comments on the Microsoft Roadmap for Enterprise Social Webcast from TechEd Europe 2014

This writer attended SharePoint Conference 2014, including the Keynote presentation where Jared Spataro, General Manager of Enterprise Social at Microsoft first presented the “Work Like a Network” theme. Some 7 months later, in late October, 2014, in a presentation titled The Microsoft Roadmap for Enterprise Social, Christophe Fiessinger, Group Product Marketing Manager for Enterprise Social at Microsoft picked up on the theme. This time the marketing communications content amounted to a 2 minute advertisement depicting the theme in a video presentation targeted to a business audience, along with Fiessinger’s monologue about how the theme has played out in his own…
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Be sure to include winning executive sponsorship as a core plank of your Office 365 adoption plan

Often stakeholders counting on a successful roll out of a new computing platform (like Office 365) for enterprise computing put together adoption strategies to hasten user adoption. But a core component of success, and, therefore, any adoption plan intended to support this goal, must be winning executive sponsorship. Microsoft offers a voluminous set of information on all topics relevant to Office 365. This reader identified an hour long webcast likely to provoke some positive thinking on this topic titled Rethinking the Business Benefits of the Cloud. The webcast is led by Joe Weinman, author of “Cloudonomics”. Readers should note the…
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According to Microsoft’s new Office 365 Customer Success Center, communities are all about Yammer

In this, the final post on our current topic, Microsoft’s new Office 365 Customer Success Center on the web, the writer spends sometime discussing the “Communities” section of the site. The previous three posts provided readers with: an introduction to the Center and a look at the Scenarios section a deeper dive into the “Resources” and training aides supporting the Scenarios section and a description of the “Adoption” section Yammer Yammer, and the personnel representing it, play a very big role throughout the Center. Many of these people staffed the Office 365 Summit in New York City, which the writer…
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As with many other valuable assets, the real benefit from Microsoft’s new Office 365 Customer Success Center can be found below the surface

This is a second post on topics germaine to a new web site launched by Microsoft in early October, 2014, the Office 365 Customer Success Center. This post describes the “Get related resources” and “Learn how it works” tabs included with each of the 5 “Scenarios” presented on the site. The first post on this topic is titled Microsoft Debuts a Success Site for Office 365. The old adage “be sure to look below the surface (no pun intended)” applies to the Office 365 Customer Success Center web site. Readers with a high level of interest in any one of…
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