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Office 365 News & Analysis

The Future of SharePoint and the Social Pivot

SharePoint and the Social PivotEveryone wants to understand the future roadmap of SharePoint. There is no shortage of content and discussion around Microsoft’s every move in the content management and collaboration space, with both angst and praise expressed about each individual feature and announcement. As with the idiom "not see the forest for the trees," focus too much on the short term features and you may lose sight of the broader SharePoint platform strategy.

Google Drive Offers Add-Ons, Cash to Microsoft Office Users

add-ons.jpgOne hit apparently deserves another. Just a few weeks after Microsoft Office dealt another blow in the ongoing slugfest with Google Drive, the Internet giant is fighting back.

In the past three days, Google has made two announcements that are creating new disruptions.  One of them — a new Office 365 to Google Apps referral program — seems specifically designed to annoy Microsoft,  while the  other, the release of third-party add-ons to Google Apps, adds additional functionality.

The Future of Office and Features to Use Today

During the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas the big emphasis was on -- to no one's surprise -- Office 365 rather than on-premises versions of SharePoint. While it was great to see the new features Microsoft unveiled, the conference also gave us time to look at existing features that you may or may not be aware of. Let's take a look.

SharePoint in the Cloud: You Have Options

When it comes to hosting SharePoint on premises or moving it into the cloud, there is never one right answer. Companies need to understand every hosting option available to them and find the one that best fits their available resources and technical needs. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the available platforms and who might benefit most from each.

Does Dropbox for Business Have a Secret Weapon?

Dropbox for Business launched in the middle of last year, rebranding its "Teams" product to appeal more to the larger enterprise customers. Since then uptake has been steady, with Dropbox claiming 4 million business users worldwide. But in an increasingly crowded marketplace how does Dropbox stand out?

End-to-End E-Discovery in Office and Office 365 #SPC14

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.

Document Mgt Roll-up: Mostly SharePoint #SPC14

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.

Deep Dive Into Oslo and Office Graph #SPC14

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.

Socializing SharePoint #SPC14

Socializing SharePoint #SPC14"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.

Want to Move SharePoint Data to Office 365? Find a Vendor #SPC14

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.

SharePoint Conference Keynote: Releases and Roadmap #SPC14

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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.

Office Online Sends Google Another Punch

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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.

What You Should Know About DocuSign's Integration with Office365

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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.

Microsoft Loves Yammer: Boosts Integration with Office 365 for Education

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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.

Microsoft Tries to Relieve Security Fears with Office 365 Makeover

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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.

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