Office 365 News & Analysis
| Friday Mar 7, 2014
Microsoft’s messaging on e-discovery hasn't changed much since it first launched the service two years ago, but some recent notable changes give it a better position for luring in new customers. If you've never seen the e-discovery platform on the Microsoft stack, start with my first article on the topic as a primer -- it provides the necessary background for understanding what's happened in the last two years. During a session at SharePoint Conference 2014, Quentin Christensen, program manager at Microsoft, provided details on the overall e-discovery story in Office and Office 365.
| Thursday Mar 6, 2014
You can argue it if you want, but this week was all about SharePoint -- and little about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX. In fact, as one of our editors pointed out, there’s more SharePoint than you could shake a stick at — largely as a result of the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.
In no particular order, here are some of the items that either slipped under the radar or which caught our attention. There is also some mention of Microsoft Convergence Dynamics.
| Tuesday Mar 4, 2014
If you've followed the chatter coming out of the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, you've probably heard of Microsoft's new framework, Office Graph and Project Oslo, a new search-driven app built on Office Graph. In a standing room only ballroom, Cem Aykan, senior product manager, Enterprise Search at Microsoft and Ashok Kuppusamy, group program manager, Microsoft, dove deeper into these two topics and showed us how Microsoft is pushing the envelope for more modern user experiences across the SharePoint and Office families.
| Tuesday Mar 4, 2014
"Work like a Network." Spend enough time at SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas and you're bound to run into this message. It’s central to the short-term improvements that answer questions about Yammer and SharePoint, and even more central to new investments that Microsoft calls Inline Social, Groups and Office Graph.
Since Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012, it has marched forward with the message of “Yammer First.” The company has encouraged businesses to lead with Yammer whenever possible and promised new integrations that will transform the ways users work together.
In two keynotes at the SharePoint Conference yesterday, Microsoft revealed some of the new ways it is integrating Yammer into existing Microsoft tools. Here are our takeaways.
| Tuesday Mar 4, 2014
As Microsoft unraveled its long-tangled plans to integrate Office365 and SharePoint this week, one big question remains: How will legacy data move from existing on premises files into the cloud?
Data migration vendors once feared the folks in Redmond would develop an in-house solution. But now it appears Microsoft will encourage its customers to choose a third-party vendor -- and the vendors are poised to reap the harvest.
At this week's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft executives spent almost the entire first day singing the praises of the marriage of Office365 and SharePoint. Soon, you'll be able to add maps in Outlook messages, collaborate on files in Yammer groups and switch seamlessly between Office apps, finding the documents you want in a flash on any computer where you sign into your Microsoft account. As Jared Spataro, general manager for Microsoft's Office division, noted, Office365 has grown into a $1.5 billion business for the software giant, and its growth is accelerating with this announcement.
| Monday Mar 3, 2014
There's anticipation about the keynote at every SharePoint Conference. Will there be news related to releases? Will there be a change in direction in how things are done today? The expectation for today’s keynote was no different. There was the usual questions about what would be covered, but I wish I had a $1 for every time I heard “What does Bill Clinton have to do with SharePoint?”
Clinton started the keynote with a message focused on the impact and transformational possibilities of technology, including how it is expanding the voices of people worldwide.
Jared Spataro, general manager of product marketing for Microsoft Office, followed Clinton. He focused on the vision and goals shaping the future of Microsoft.
| Thursday Feb 20, 2014
Microsoft Office has just dealt another blow in the ingoing slugfest with Google Drive. But it's far from a killer punch.
In a post on the Office blog , Office Online product marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre outlined a number of changes to Office Web Apps, including a name change and the addition of some new features.
| Tuesday Feb 18, 2014
DocuSign is bringing its electronic signature apps to Office 365. While it’s not a game-changer for Microsoft given Office 365’s traction in the enterprise, it will likely create heightened interest among businesses that might normally have an aversion to cloud computing.
Most business deals that are done through the cloud also need to be signed off with an e-signature cloud application like DocuSign or Adobe’s EchoSign app for Reader — a fact often overlooked.
| Thursday Feb 13, 2014
If Microsoft’s strategy for Yammer and its integration into the wider portfolio got off to a shaky start after the acquisition in 2012, it now appears rock solid. Over the past few months, the company has announced tight integration with a number of apps, with special Yammer love for Office 365.
This week, Microsoft officials noted that Yammer Enterprise will ship with all Office 365 Education plans for no additional cost, as of April 1. Currently, education customers can use free Yammer Basic.
| Wednesday Feb 12, 2014
Microsoft appears to be getting jumpy about the security of Office 365 and Yammer. That is not to say that there have been any recent events to make users nervous.
It’s just that over the past two days, Microsoft has announced the introduction of multi-factor authentication for Office 365, including security enhancements for those using Yammer in SharePoint.
| Tuesday Feb 11, 2014
Despite the best efforts of social networking vendors to convince us to the contrary, email is alive and kicking in the enterprise. In fact, research from Dell shows 81 percent of enterprise workers consider it their most important collaboration tool.
The problem is it is not evolving.
| Monday Feb 10, 2014
Or at least that’s the goal. And if anyone has a chance to achieve it in the near term, it’s Quentin Clark, the corporate Vice President of the company’s Data Platform Group, and his team.
Today the Redmond, Wash.-based company will announce the general availability of Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) service that gives everyday workers new way to work with data (big, fast and small) in the tools that they already know, namely, Excel and Office 365.
In other words, starting today, everyone can be a data analyst.
| Friday Feb 7, 2014
This week there have been a number of interesting stories in the document management space, not least of which is the fact that the British government appears to be reconsidering its contracts with Microsoft. Meanwhile, Huddle has announced an integration with Office, while Box and KnowledgeTree have struck up a new partnership.
| Monday Jan 27, 2014
Ahead of today's Apple earnings announcement — whatever the sales for last year's models — all the gossip is about company's "plans" for larger iPhone and iPad devices, as its enterprise and worker battle with Android and Windows Phones heats up. Are competitors poised to take a bite from Apple?
Or will Apple's expected larger-screens satisfy an insatiable mobile marker — and even help improve productivity? What more can Apple do to drive its presence in the enterprise as Intel's Android Device Protection Technology drive starts up, with CIOs becoming increasingly concerned about mobile security? And, with Microsoft's wide-ranging enterprise play, can the revamping of iWorks help it become an enterprise winner?
| Friday Jan 24, 2014
Along with Windows XP, life support is running out for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. If your business is still running this 11-year-old mail, contact and calendar server, prepare to face a black hole when it comes to future problems.
With many businesses already using one of the server's three future generations — and with alternatives like Zimbra, Novell GroupWise and others — what will laggards pick when they finally move on? Cloud-based office solutions are just one appealing option.