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Microsoft News & Analysis

Link Information Architecture to Productivity

2015-18-February-To-Do-List.jpgDuring his keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference last July in Washington DC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke at length about the company's messaging evolution from "devices and services" to a "platforms and productivity" theme. For many on the IT side of the house, productivity has long been a part of KPIs and metrics, in many different forms. Productivity's ultimate goal is to help businesses move faster, become more effective and be more accurate.

Microsoft Sends Productivity to the Stratosphere via Cloud Integrations

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If Steve Jobs were still alive, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella would give him a kiss. Ok, maybe that’s going too far, but a hug or a warm handshake certainly isn’t. After all, that’s what Nadella offered Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff.

Today Microsoft announced that Office for iPad and iPhone — which have seen more than 80 million downloads to date — is also available for third-party storage providers via an open API. “We want Office to be the preferred way to work with documents no matter where they’re stored,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

Or as Damon Tompkins, corporate vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Microsoft partner Metavis recently explained in a blog post, Microsoft "plans to be the go-to for all you do, in other words, it wants to be your gateway to the cloud.”

SharePoint in the Sky: Takeaways from #SPTechCon, Austin

2015-17-Feb-Mcnulty-Image1.jpgWith apologies to Norman Greenbaum, greetings from sunny Austin! This year, the SPTechCon conference came for the first time to the Lone Star State. It was a great place to soak up the latest on SharePoint, as well as some sun. (Full disclosure: I live in Boston, where annual snowfall already totals over 100 inches.)

SPTechCon was billed as “SharePoint at the Crossroads” -- but from the presentations and keynotes, “SharePoint in the Sky” seems more appropriate. Microsoft and Amazon focused almost exclusively on the cloud in the keynotes, and interest in learning about cloud optimization seemed greater than ever before.

AvePoint Update Looks Ahead to SharePoint 2016 Release

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Some Service Packs have long and useful futures. Some just crawl away under the IT bed and expire.

AvePoint’s new DocAve 6 Service Pack (SP) 5 falls into the former category. Given the fact that it provides an enterprise-class infrastructure management platform for SharePoint 2016, it seems assured of a long life.

Though how it will work with SharePoint 2016 is not completely clear given the holes in what we know about this pending product, John Peluso,  vice president of Product Management at AvePoint, told us there is enough information to know that DocAve 6 Service Pack  5 can manage hybrid deployments for the new SharePoint platform, too.

Microsoft Ups Its Productivity Play With New Calendaring App

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It may seem like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is talking big sky when he makes bold statements, claiming his company will “reinvent productivity for a new generation,” a generation whose professional and personal lives are spent primarily in mobile apps and in the Cloud.

But if you look at what he’s been able to accomplish since last summer, it’s kind of daunting. Now you can not only access Office and many of its individual components via almost any mobile device, but your experiences with Microsoft’s apps are also on par with the best of what can be found in the App Store or on Google Play.

And if there’s a place where the Redmond, Wash. tech giant falls short, it doesn’t stay that way for very long. Not on Nadella’s watch.

Cryptzone Company Promises to Secure Office 365 Data #SPTechCon

Although Microsoft has been building up Office 365 at a furious rate, the development of its security features haven't kept pace. Enter the Sheriff — or at least Cryptzone’s version of it.

HiSoftware, a Cryptzone company, now offers Security Sheriff for Office 365, which extends the features and functions of its on-premises solution for inspecting, classifying, securing and auditing content to Office 365.

Austin's 1st #SPTechCon Meets in the Less Weird Part of Town

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Austin’s famous for a number of things: breakfast tacos, live music, a thriving startup and tech community and the number of places one can go with virtually no clothing and not get arrested.

But the city’s first SharePoint Tech Conference took place in the other part of Austin, in the northwest suburbs, close to Microsoft and Dell’s corporate headquarters and number of upscale retail chains.

Excuse Me SharePoint: A Crossroads or an On-Ramp? #SPTechCon

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It may be time for SharePoint to pick a new analogy. After all, how long do you stay “at the crossroads?” And isn’t it true that, at crossroads, you pick one direction and forgo the other?

I don’t think there’s a hybrid solution to a crossroads. And what SharePoint is doing looks more like an on-ramp to a cloud-based superhighway than crossroads.

But at the 2015 SharePoint Tech Con in Austin, Texas yesterday, the keynote panel was packed with IT professionals talking about SharePoint at the crossroads, as they’ve been doing for a few years now, ever since Microsoft started ooching the platform toward the cloud.

How Did Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Do in Year 1?

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Happy Anniversary Satya Nadella.

You became the CEO of Microsoft this time last year, and what a year it has been.

The house that Gates built (and Ballmer almost wrecked) has gone from being perceived as “old and tired” to being called “cool." And that’s largely because you haven’t taken your customers for granted and have understood that every day and in every way you must earn their trust and love.

After all, if Microsoft fails to delight, there’s an app or web service that can replace it. You understand this in a way that your predecessor, Steve Ballmer, did not.

For that, we commend you.

Looking for Microsoft Universal Apps for Windows 10?

Only two weeks after it announced they were on the way, Microsoft has released the preview version of Universal Office apps for Windows 10. This first batch includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

These apps are available for free download for PCs, tablets and phones that are running Windows 10 Technical Preview, and will be followed in the coming weeks by the other Office apps.

Yammer Polishes iOS, Expands to Android Wearables

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When Microsoft said earlier in the week that Yammer wasn’t merely the social layer for SharePoint, it meant it. Last night, it unveiled a new round of upgrades for Yammer that will make it more mobile and embedded across the wider Microsoft portfolio.

Unlike the apps for Office, which were released for iOS and Android months apart, the Yammer upgrades for iOS and Android have landed at the same time.

4 Directions For SharePoint and Office 365 in 2015

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It’s going to be a big year for SharePoint, but details about what to expect are fuzzy.

Microsoft has promised a new on-premise version will be released later this year. However, it has been less forthcoming about SharePoint Online in Office 365.

Microsoft upgrades Office 365 on a regular basis and has given some indication as to where it would like to go with SharePoint Online. But a lot of questions remained unanswered.

What Data Crunchers Say About the Super Bowl

The big game is on Sunday and we know who’s going to win. OK, no we don’t, but Microsoft’s Cortana thinks she does and she has a pretty good track record. If you remember, she called every single elimination match of last year’s World Cup, including the final, correctly. That’s right, she was 15/15.

But before we let Cortana spoil the fun for you data junkies out there, Dash Davidson, Tableau’s Sports Data Analyst, has shared some interactive viz’s with us which you can use to impress everyone and/or make your own predictions. They’re preloaded with data from Pro-Football-Reference.

Microsoft Gives Apple Users OneDrive For Business Access

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Last year, Microsoft promised OneDrive for Business for Mac would be ready by the end of the year. It wasn't. However this week Microsoft finally released the first public preview.

The comes only two weeks after Microsoft announced that it was pulling the OneDrive consumer storage service and the OneDrive for Business storage together so that users will be able to sync shared folders across the entire system or selectively chose files to sync, just like products like Dropbox.

Google, VMware Partner for Hybrid Cloud Computing

Google announced today that it has inked a new partnership deal with VMware that should give its public cloud services a considerable boost in the enterprise.

According to a statement issued by the two companies, VMware is making four Google cloud services available to enterprise customers through its vCloud Air hybrid cloud. The services include Big Query analytics, Google Cloud Storage, as well as Google Datastore and DNS services.

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