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Office 365 News & Analysis

Endangered Species: The Corporate Intranet

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The very idea that we’re still doing old-fashioned, browser-based, news-publishing intranets in the mobile era is downright antiquated. They’re no different than rotary-dial phones. And they’re going the same direction as your old olive-drab rotary phone did -- and as a result of the same technologies.

The question facing intranets should be how internal collaboration and communication tools are going to evolve in the world of social, cloud and mobile -- and whether there’s any place left for the traditional intranet down the line. We shouldn’t be asking if enterprise social will replace the intranet, but rather how long the whole idea of a browser-based intranet portal really has left in the face of mobile apps and form factors (of which social is only one example).

You may not like the message. You may care a great deal for your intranet. You may be tied to it for professional, emotional or financial reasons. You may not see how your company could live without it. And I get it. Believe it or not, I envision, plan and build intranets in my day job. I’m close to this patient. But I know where it’s going.

Will Office 365 Destroy Consulting?

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If you had asked me back in 2010 if my banking or insurance clients would ever move their content to the cloud, I would have laughed. But over the past couple of years these same organizations have shifted their perspective. The idea of hosting email in Exchange online and providing users with an option of Office 365 capabilities (OneDrive, SharePoint, etc) intrigues many. 

Which raises the question: How will the shift towards SaaS technology impact modern consultancies like System Integrators (SI) and Managed Services Providers (MSP)?

You Called? Lync Is Out, Skype for Business Is In #Conv15

The Skype communications platform officially became part of Microsoft Office today At the Convergence conference in Atlanta, the company announced the end of the Lync era with the launch of the Skype for Business technical preview.

It is indeed Skype.

With this new edition, the directory scheme is effectively flattened, making traditional Skype users available on calls placed through the Skype for Business client — formerly the Lync client.

The traditional Skype calling system, which uses P2P protocol over the Internet and the SILK codec for call clarity, is now bolted onto the Business edition as well.

But with a few other feature exceptions, the client remains quite similar.

From Build It and Go, to Ready to Go with SharePoint

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For many years, businesses viewed SharePoint as a framework on which to build solutions. The combination of flexibility and editing tools provided allowed them to design customized solutions which met business requirements.   

But technology is changing. And so is how we use and want to consume it. We hunger for solutions that can be quickly acquired and implemented, not ones that require building out complex and robust solutions.  The world around us is changing fast and it's exciting to see how productivity tools are beginning to encompass almost every area of our lives.

Microsoft Reveals Office 2016 for the Enterprise #Conv15

Microsoft has finally put Office 2016 IT Pro and Developer into technical preview.

To be clear about this, this is not the first time glimpse of Office 2016. It was in private preview, so we knew quite a bit about it already.

But now we have the definitive word. At the Convergence conference in Atlanta today, Microsoft gave a clear outline of where it stands with Office 2016 and where it wants to go with it.

Office Delve Wants You to Work Like a Network #Conv15

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Office Delve can surface data in email and social feeds.

Julia White, general manager for the Office 365 team, made the announcement at Microsoft's Convergence 2015 in Atlanta today.

During the next two months, Delve will be made available to all users on Office 365 business plans, she explained.

Microsoft's New BI Tool Plays Nice, Even With 3rd Party Vendors

If you haven’t at least experimented with Microsoft’s business intelligence visualization tool Power BI yet, now there are no excuses left.

Microsoft made many announcements during its Convergence conference in Atlanta this morning. They included news that the preview of Power BI is now being released worldwide to 140 markets.

Meeting Marvel Do Raises $2M, Integrates with Office 365

Meeting productivity platform Do has wowed its particular corner of the market with two announcements. One, it has raised $2 million in seed funding. Two, it's integrating with Microsoft Office 365.

It is, in short, a heady day for a company not quite a year old but with excellent tech pedigree.

Do launched in July 2014 with backing from SherpaVentures, SherpaFoundry and Salesforce and headed by Jason Shah, previously a product manager at Yammer.

Its target was the $37 billion worth of knowledge worker productivity lost to bad meetings every year, a target it attacked with a novel mix of tools for users to take meeting notes, share files, assign tasks, and send out meeting summaries.

To date its approach has clearly resonated: more than 5,000 companies are using the platform, including employees from Costco, Domino's, the United States government.

Hey Mac Users: Want a Peek at Office 2016 for Mac?

Five years after Microsoft unveiled Office for Mac, it's released a look at its successor.

The preview of the new Office 2016 for Mac includes updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. The full release is scheduled for the second half of 2015.

Building Customer Communities with Yammer

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The last few years we've seen customer service evolve as social business continues its advance into mainstream business.

Online customer communities have changed the days of a customer calling a 1-800 number to get help or fumbling through a website searching for documentation. Online customer communities connect customers to a rich support community where your employees, technical specialists and customers collaborate to get help, solve issues and answer questions about the products and services you provide.

This approach transforms the way companies interact with and maintain customer relationships, and builds deeper connections.

Getting Started with Office 365: User and Service Configuration

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A colleague who works in email migration compares the Office 365 migration process to the Book of Genesis, although he breaks the journey down into four days instead of seven: 

  • Day 1: Plan, Plan, Plan
  • Day 2: User Creation and Configuration
  • Day 3: Email Configuration and Migration
  • Day 4: Configuration and Migration of other Services including SharePoint, OneDrive, Lync, Yammer

Microsoft Boasts: 'Code Once and Send to Any Device' #MWC15

Microsoft has opened the box on its Windows 10 universal app platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain — and developers are expected to like what they see.

Kevin Gallo, director of Windows Developer Platform at Microsoft, said the platform advances Microsoft's development goals. It lets developers to code once and send that code to any Windows device, from a mobile phone or tablet to an Xbox console.

All of these Windows devices will now access a single Store for app acquisition, app distribution and updating.

Microsoft Will Offer a Peek at SharePoint 2016 at Ignite

Microsoft said today that it plans to give customers a glimpse of SharePoint Server 2016 at its mega-conference in Chicago in May. The news confirms what Bill Baer, senior product manager for SharePoint, told Todd Klindt, a SharePoint Consultant at Rackspace Hosting, last month.

Although Microsoft said it will demo the latest version of SharePoint at Ignite, it still hasn't revealed when the product will be ready for release.

Microsoft Leaks Offer a Glimpse of SharePoint 2016

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Microsoft has started leaking news about SharePoint 2016 — and they suggest the company plans to showcase an early edition at Ignite, its upcoming all-in-one conference for everyone from senior decision makers, IT pros and "big thinkers" and to enterprise developers and architects. 

In a just released podcast, Bill Baer, senior product manager for SharePoint, said the company will offer a look at the latest version of SharePoint at the conference, which will be held in Chicago from May 4 through 8.

Amazon Muscles Deeper into the Enterprise Space

Amazon Web Services has introduced several upgrades aimed at moving it deeper into the enterprise space.

Its identity and access management (IAM) upgrades, for instance, make it easier for enterprise users and, specifically, systems administrators, to manage and change identities and security settings.

Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, explained In a blog post that the upgrade enhances longstanding IAM features, which until now been associated with single users and the identities they governed.

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