Managing end-user education in a cloud-first world

One of the biggest advantages of cloud services is the pace at which new features are delivered and adopted. Microsoft has readily embraced the rapid release cycles made possible by their robust cloud infrastructure, releasing new and updated features for SharePoint Online and other Office 365 services on a monthly (and sometimes weekly) basis. While having immediate access to the latest and greatest functionality is a definite improvement over the old three- to five-year upgrade cycles for on-premises software, it creates some significant challenges for corporate training departments.

Topics: SharePoint, cloud

Microsoft details its own move to the cloud

Many organizations using SharePoint today face the issue of running some or all of their data in the cloud. Microsoft’s story, of course, is how to adopt a hybrid approach: Certain non-sensitive data or workflows can run in the cloud while maintaining “the crown jewels” in on-premises servers.

Topics: cloud

SharePoint 2016 has its head in the clouds

With the release of a preview of SharePoint 2016 Monday, Microsoft has revealed the server that will act as a bridge to the cloud. The preview (some called it a pre-preview) focuses primarily on IT administration and enables cloud services to be integrated with the back end.

Topics: SPTechCon, cloud, SharePoint 2016, Delve

Combine Office 365 components to make it work for you

Office 365 brings a continually increasing toolset of productivity tools that, although they are supposed to work together, often have to be combined using unique strategies to truly make Office 365 shine within an organization. For Office 365 to be a success, Office 365 must be a productivity tool that can be used to add value to existing business requirements and processes while ideally not changing the way end users work. Some disruption is inevitable, but realistically an organization can only change so much with any given tool. With so many possibilities and limited time, I find it helps to investigate how Microsoft utilizes Office 365 internally to see what I can glean.

Topics: Office 365, cloud, NextGen Portals, Matter Center

SharePoint 2016: The best of both worlds

When Office 365 really came into its own in about 2013, the message from Microsoft was “To the Cloud!” Later, they eased back to “Hybrid!” With SharePoint 2016, the messaging has become a heck of a lot more flexible. With 2016, you can have your cake, and probably eat it too.

Topics: cloud, SharePoint 2016

Microsoft’s bringing the cloud to you

Microsoft would like every organization to move to the cloud. But realizing that many are not yet ready to move, the company has decided to bring the cloud to you.

Topics: cloud, Microsoft Ignite

What would you move to the cloud in a hybrid scenario?

Microsoft continues to push Office 365 as its solution for team collaboration, and hybrid seems to be gaining traction as something folks can live with. They can move some lightweight tasks such as communication and their outward-facing websites to the cloud, while still maintaining control over more sensitive documents and data.

Topics: Hybrid, cloud

Microsoft debuts new cloud partner program and Office iOS integrations

Microsoft has announced a new Cloud Storage Partner Program, along with new integrations allowing third-party cloud storage providers to natively integrate into the “Locations” picker in iOS Office apps on iPhone and iPad.

According to an Office blog post, third-party storage integrations for Android and Windows 10 universal apps are on the way. The integration also allows cloud providers to integrate Office Online into their individual applications as part of the new Cloud Storage Partner Program. The program, of which Box, Citrix and Salesforce are already a part, will enable users to open, view and edit documents in the browser using any of the given third-party Web applications.

Topics: cloud

Office 365’s tipping points

In his book “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,” Malcolm Gladwell defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” We are always approaching tipping points or looking at them in the rear-view mirror with technology. The art of it is to see the tipping points coming before everyone else and react mindfully so that your organization can succeed.

Five years ago, if I had told you that many enterprise-class organizations would move their e-mail into the thing we now call “the cloud,” what would your reaction have been? I know for a fact that it would have been something between laughing openly and telling me that it would never happen for a long list of reasons, possibly including data sovereignty, intellectual capital protection, organizational culture, etc. I know this would have been the case because I had a lot of conversations with my clients and others back then that went that way.

Topics: Office 365, cloud

SharePoint Users Stick with Older Versions, Eye Hybrid Cloud

When we caught up in Boston a year ago with SharePoint Technology Conference Chair David Rubinstein, SharePoint 2013, Office 365 capabilities and mobile were all the rage.  

Topics: cloud