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SharePoint 2013 Analysis & Reviews

Microsoft Pushes Yammer Deeper Into Enterprises

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer deeper into the enterprise with the addition of Yammer to the Office 365 K1 plan. It’s a small step forward, but gives users who don’t have desks access to it where they didn’t have access before.

Microsoft doesn’t say whether it has changed its mind and decided to offer Yammer to users who previously lacked access, except to say that it wants to give it to workers that have no fixed abode.

4 Ways SharePoint Navigation Breaks Usability Best Practices

2014-10-December-Broken.jpgThere's been a lot of interest lately from business users and SharePoint site owners in SharePoint's usability (or lack thereof), but the issue doesn't seem to receive as much attention as other topics. When experts talk about SharePoint, they focus on migration, administration, governance, development, cloud, and mobile. Any mentions of usability take a backseat and are only brought up by usability enthusiasts. It's time to bring this subject to the forefront.

Stop Pulling Teeth: A Better Way to Classify Documents

2014-08-December-Dentist.jpgThere are really only two ways to get your content classified: You require manual tagging by setting fields as required, or you use automation and stop fighting your users.

People hate to upload a document only to find that there's a half dozen fields to fill in before they can finish the upload process. This approach may seem easy, but often times it creates a love/hate relationship with SharePoint -- users see it as a limitation of SharePoint and will turn to a file share or Dropbox instead.

Alternately, they take the easy way out and fill the fields with the first entry in the drop-down, resulting in metadata that is populated, but wrong. Required manual tagging becomes yet another thing users have to do to get their work done.

The SharePoint Landscape from 30,000 Feet

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If SharePoint were a character in a movie, it would be Rocky Balboa, or maybe Mark Twain (“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”). With the end of the year around the corner, it's a good time to take a 30,000-foot view of the lay of the SharePoint land and see what's in store for 2015. While SharePoint may not be perfect, the technology is something many enterprises count on. We've seen great growth and energy in SharePoint over the past year and there are some events and developments that will be driving the technology next year.

Microsoft Wants to De-Clutter Your Inbox

An empty email inbox is apparently a new status symbol in the IT industry — and vendors are lining up to provide products designed to help you manage your mail.

Google has already introduced its Inbox, and now Microsoft is bringing Graph to inboxes to make them smarter.

While the concept of intelligent inboxes is a bit of a contradiction – think of all the trash they attract – Microsoft Graph promises to change that. It will teach inboxes what you want, what you don’t want and dump the rest in a hole called Clutter.

SharePoint Migration? Metalogix Knows Who to Call

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Fresh off the excitement of its acquisition by Permira Funds, Metalogix is back to what it always did best — data migration and migration tools.

This time it comes in the shape of a new Cloud Acceleration Partner Program which Steve Marsh, director of product marketing at Metalogix, claims will provide anything any enterprise needs for cloud or hybrid migrations.

For those working around SharePoint Online or Office 365, the names of the six initial partners will be familiar: BrightStarr, Cardinal Solutions, En Pointe, Neudesic, Slalom Consulting and Statera.

Microsoft Delve is Nice, But are Other Options Better?

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Microsoft has finally announced the release of Delve, a project that had been hidden under the code name Oslo and about which little was known.

When it was unveiled at the SharePoint conference earlier this year, then later as part of Office 365, Microsoft described it as a new way of getting working done. With it, Microsoft said, workers could find any content they needed, anywhere

Exciting as the announcement was — at least for Microsoft users — it doesn’t really extend beyond the Microsoft environment. Yes, it can find a needle in the massive haystack of your enterprise content ... as long as that content is in Microsoft applications. 

Badgeville Offers New SharePoint Gamification

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SharePoint's not pretty. Adoption, therefore, can be slow.

Officials at gamification provider Badgeville believe they can change this by making SharePoint fun. And they're doing so with a new release of their gamification integration specifically for SharePoint.

Badgeville for SharePoint is the Redwood City, Calif., provider's next generation solution to add game, reputation and social mechanics to SharePoint community and collaboration environments. 

"SharePoint has a reputation of being a bit ugly," said Laura Lilyquist, vice president of marketing at Badgeville. "Companies are making transitions to SharePoint 2013 and are wanting to ensure that the migration is going to be worth it, that users are going to adopt it and be happy with SharePoint. So we're adding a gamification layer as part of this migration."

SharePoint Shakeup: Private Investor Acquires Metalogix

Metalogix spent the latter half of 2013 buying out some SharePoint technology to boost its content infrastructure software suite.

Permira Funds is spending time a year later buying Metalogix.

The Menlo Park, Calif. international private equity firm announced today it acquired Metalogix, known for its suite of Microsoft management platforms that include SharePoint, Exchange and Office 365. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Securing Social Business in Office 365

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Microsoft continues to weave the web around Office 365 tighter and tighter.

Over the past few months it has added more and more functionality to Office 365 and expanded its reach across and even beyond the enterprise. It is now adding additional security to keep enterprise data safe.

Microsoft introduced new compliance features last week. This week it is extending Data Loss Prevention functionality across the entire Office 365 product.

Security Today: Dynamic Access, Permissions, Encryption

2014-22-October-Security.jpgContent security is top of mind these days. Every week brings news of yet another data breach, with companies large and small making the news for all the wrong reasons.

Many of these breaches occurred because of a failure to maintain base level security or enterprise data. Although structured databases are a treasure trove of sensitive information, most database systems offer many layers of protection with the advantage that the database itself remains, usually on IT-managed infrastructure.

Security controls are potentially more critical for unstructured content -- because file-based information is insanely portable and moveable with modern devices and always-on connections. It’s important to consider content security in light of the more recent history of enterprise security. For a long time, security has been defined by borders and boxes.

Is Your Information Architecture Ready for SharePoint 2013?

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SharePoint Administrators will naturally focus on the infrastructure side of a migration to SharePoint 2013, but migration is also the perfect time to reevaluate your information architecture (IA) and prepare it for this new and improved version of SharePoint.

Personalizing Your Office 365 Content with Graph and Delve

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Last month, Microsoft introduced Delve, built on top of Microsoft Graph. Graph joined people across the enterprise in a single, unified… well graph. But Delve offered those connected users a way to find each other.

There is a lot of reason to be excited about it, especially for those who have been following the Microsoft One strategy.

That strategy was further clarified by CEO Satya Nadella’s Mobile First, Cloud First mantra. But it wasn’t entirely clear for those outside the loop what Delve is and where it came from.

To clarify this we asked Cem Aykan, senior product manager for Office Graph and Delve.

Microsoft Sweetens Office 365 Collaboration Options

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Think collaboration and you think Google. Maybe. Or Box or Dropbox. You don’t think Office 365 really, even though its enterprise collaboration abilities have greatly improved in the past two years. However, that could change. Microsoft has just made it a lot easier to collaborate using Outlook Web App (OWA).

It is doing that by making it easier to share files using OneDrive for Business. Specifically, it is targeting email attachments and email threads that can lead to all kinds of unpleasant problems around versioning.

Social Will Not Succeed Without Business Process Integration

2014-01-October-Integration.jpgIt's been said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.”

We see this theory in action every day within most corporate environments as businesses try to apply the latest technology without understanding how to integrate it into their daily business processes. Information Technology and business groups make this same mistake repeatedly with the same result -- lack of adoption and usage across the enterprise resulting in a failed implementation. Users don’t hold onto legacy technology because they fear change: they crave change! But in order to be effective, the technology has to be woven into the user’s daily business processes.

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