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Posts Tagged ‘Office 365’

SharePoint Online – Document Sharing Made Even Better

One of the compelling SharePoint Online features has been external and internal sharing. This feature provided a way to share a particular document or folder while respecting the security of the document. Whether its the anonymous access via guest links or it’s view access to your team members, this is a key component to “A Day in the life” of the end-user.

Sharing 2

Imagine this becoming even more interesting! Microsoft just introduced a subtle yet important update to this feature – now giving you the option to provide “Edit” access to the document while sharing.

Sharing 1

 

Here is what Microsoft had to say in one of my Office 365 tenants:

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We updated an existing feature to enhance your Office 365 experience. The default permissions on the Shared with Everyone folder, in OneDrive for Business, has been updated to grant View + Edit permission to everyone in your company, instead of just View permission. This change aligns the behavior of placing a file in this folder with the behavior of using the sharing dialog to share a file with everyone, using the default sharing settings.

This change will not affect OneDrive for Business libraries that were provisioned before this change. It only affects new OneDrive for Business libraries going forward. Users who want to revert to the old behavior can change the sharing settings for the folder.

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Office 365 – You’ve Migrated to Exchange Online, So Now What?

Congratulations! You’ve just wrapped up what may be your last email migration project by migrating from your legacy on-premises email platform to Exchange Online. So now what?

Office 365 - You've Migrated to Exchange Online, So Now What?Skeptics might think that as an Exchange administrator, if there is no on-premises Exchange, you just migrated yourself out of a job; the reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The role of an Exchange administrator is still very much necessary, it’s just a different set of responsibilities and tasks.

While the mundane tasks of applying service packs and monitoring disk space have mostly vanished into the clouds, there’s a whole new set of responsibilities and technologies to focus on.
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Yammer Governance: Working Like a (Safer) Network – Webinar Recap

Each and every time my colleague, Rich Wood, speaks on a webinar or presents at an event, I know it’s going to be good. Whether his audience is more business or technically oriented, or a healthy mix, he has a knack for presenting content in an engaging manner and a way that’s easy to digest (even for this marketer). And just as expected, during last week’s webinar, “Planning for Governance in Yammer While Working Like a Network,” Rich did not disappoint.

Enterprise social networks are, by default, a more informal, natural means of communication and collaboration, whether it be with internal employees, customers and/or partners. Many companies with an enterprise social network in place are benefiting from improved knowledge transfer, empowering employees and breaking down organizational barriers. But, because of concerns around privacy and governance, the majority of companies have yet to take advantage of an ESN such as Yammer.

During the session, Rich, who heads up our Modern Applications practice at Perficient, began with a discussion around the philosophy behind Yammer. He emphasized that Yammer is not SharePoint. We are all so used to thinking of “governance” in a SharePoint context, it can be difficult to wrap your mind around how to govern a Yammer network properly and encourage user engagement. While SharePoint focuses on document collaboration, with Yammer, it’s all about social collaboration. With that different purpose comes a different philosophy.  In SharePoint, the greater user population has the least rights in common areas, and with Yammer, it’s the reverse. Those same users have the most rights in common areas. Read the rest of this post »

Pros and Cons of Cross Site Publishing

Confused when to use cross site publishing? When does it bring you the most value? Or how does it fit in your content strategy and information architecture?sharepoint-logo

Cross site publishing has been around since the launch of SharePoint 2013. I’ve seen various implementations and variations of it over the years but never surprised when I see the reasons behind those implementations. Many a times it’s the coolness factor of utilizing this framework. I have had the honors (ha) of being an early adopter of this framework and during last few years have been exposed with the nuts and bolts of this feature. In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on why and when to use or not use cross site publishing with real world scenarios. Before we being let’s see what cross site publishing really is and how it works. According to TechNet, It lets you create and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections, and publish this content across one or more publishing site collections, by using Search Web Parts. Cross-site publishing (XSP) lets you store and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections, and display this content in one or more publishing site collections

Do you know what your problem is?

Understand your content authors and understand the process which brings the most value to your corporate publishing. This and the next two sections will help you decide if XSP is for you.

What scenarios does it fit?XSP

  • It makes a great candidate when you have articles which are tagged and categorized with topics. It allows you to separate content authoring from the display templates and page layouts used in the article presentation. So instead of ending up with hundreds of exponentially growing  unique pages in a Pages library, the publishing site will contain only two dynamic pages: the CatalogCategory page and the CatalogItem page.
  • If you are in a situation where your content authors need an environment to get a head start while you develop and construct the publishing portal, then XSP is a great candidate for you.

What scenarios are NOT a good fit?

This is where it gets interesting.

  • If you can’t double or even triple your upfront design, architecture, and setup time in your build phase, then it is not for you.
  • If you don’t love managed navigation and term sets, this is not for you. It adds extra complexity to your design by not allowing you to have one term for multiple categories. You will need to define a new term for each new product/article category.
  • If you have multiple content authors in multiple geographical locations and no time for training, this approach is not for you.  The tendency to look for content in libraries is hard to overcome. Also, when managed navigation is in play, vanity URLs can make it difficult to track down source content.
  • Moving from DEV to TEST to PROD is extra effort. You’ll need to recreate all your catalogs or create a PowerShell script to do that.
  • If you use a analytics product and wish to track unique visitors, and track page visits, it can get tricky and the product may not support this architecture. Check with your analytics vendor before implementing cross site publishing or possibly do a proof of concept.

The CIO’s Guide to Understanding Microsoft Cloud Services

Over the last few years, the software market has changed shape. According to Joanne Correia, research vice president at Gartner, the cloud is the main driver behind that change.

Given this, over the same time period, azureit makes sense to see Microsoft moving its core business functions to the cloud (and the other major software vendors doing the same). While this is hardly a revelation, if you haven’t yet taken a hard look at the cloud, and what it has to offer your business – now is probably a good time.

Perficient recently published a new white paper, “The CIO’s Guide to Understanding Microsoft Cloud Services,” for executives who are examining Microsoft’s cloud service offerings (Azure, Office 365, Project Online, TFS Online, Dynamics CRM Online) as a way to contain and scale back exploding IT costs and become more nimble.

The guide begins by reviewing some common terms and concepts before diving into deeper cloud-related concepts. It goes on to discuss the changing datacenter and then evaluates both Azure and Office 365, in terms of capabilities as well as security, privacy and compliance. Finally, the guide includes steps to get you started with Microsoft cloud services.

To learn more about Microsoft’s cloud-based services, and see how your organization can benefit from Azure and Office 365, download the new guide from our Microsoft cloud experts.

Office 365 – How to Stay Informed of Changes

As a consultant in our Office 365 practice, part of my role includes keeping up with the constant changes and features being added to the service by Microsoft.

When I worked with on-premises versions of Exchange and Lync, it was fairly easy to keep on top of things. You knew when changes came as they arrived in the form of an update that you or your client had to install. Office 365 - How to Stay Informed of  ChangesOutside of major service packs, you generally just had bug fixes with the occasional minor feature added in between. While the update release cadence has increased in recent years, each version of Exchange still receives only a couple of major service packs before the next version is released.

Office 365 is often referred to as “evergreen” meaning that it’s always the latest and greatest; it feels at times that there are changes occurring weekly. Trying to consume all the information about changes across the various workloads can be like drinking from a fire hose and you can quickly start to feel overwhelmed. Below are some sources that I use to stay aware of these changes and methods I use to sort through the information.
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Office 365 – Understanding Archiving in Lync Online

Understanding the archiving feature in Lync Online can be a bit confusing. Unlike an on-premises installation of Lync Server 2013, there is no option for storing archived data in SQL and thus the only option is integration with Microsoft Exchange.

Office 365 - Understanding Archiving in Lync OnlineWhile having only one option might sound like this should be easier to understand, a Lync Online user’s mailbox can fall into a number of categories depending on whether the mailbox is located on-premises or in Exchange Online. If the mailbox is located in the cloud, the mailbox licensing and archiving settings become relevant to its ability to retain Lync Online archive data.

Complicating the situation is that several articles and even Lync Online policies refer to “Conversation History” as “Archiving” when in fact they are completely separate concepts. With this article, I hope to clear up some of this confusion. Read the rest of this post »

Office 365 – Dynamic Distribution Groups in Exchange Hybrid

When running in an Exchange Hybrid configuration, DirSync/AADSync takes care of maintaining a consistent Global Address List (GAL) for both on-premises and cloud users. The one exception is with regards to Dynamic Distribution Groups; these objects need special care to ensure that the recipient filters produce the desired results and for the objects to show up in the cloud GAL.
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Office 365 – Mailbox Fails to Convert During Migration

When migrating a mailbox to Exchange Online via a remote move request, you’ll occasionally encounter an issue where the mailbox has moved successfully but the on-premises mailbox object has not changed to a remote mailbox. If you’re using migration batches, you’ll see a status of “Completed with Errors” for the batch and “Completed with Warning” for the mailbox.
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Meet Yammer, Your Answer to Project Collaboration!

Yammer has a full range of features to help you communicate openly and expedite decision making, open new collaboration channels and breakdown email silos. Let’s start looking at our current ways of communicating with our team. A typical project is slated to begin and end with a vision and goal. In order to achieve these, it’s essential to have transparent and effective communication. Throughout the project lifecycle, we engage in numerous communication channels whether they are phone calls, emails, video calls, messenger chats etc. We are so engaged in making the project a success that we end up overseeing the numerous hours spent communicating with internal team or external customers. This is where Yammer steps in. The idea is not to replace each and every channel but to reduce the time spent and make it more effective so you can reach maximum throughput.

Three main reasons why would you consider using Yammer for internal and external collaboration are ease of use, mobile app, and collaborating with external users. Yammer can move your team beyond the hierarchical and glacial-paced decision making that can hobble a project’s progress. You can set up a private Yammer group where your team can conduct online conversations around important project elements; this allows each team member to be part of the decision-making process. To keep things in perspective, I will share a use case from one of my recent customer engagements. Delivery success is measured by how well the deliverables and activities match the agreed upon vision and goal objectives. One of the first sessions in these engagements is the project kick off. This meeting involves all the stakeholders of the project and establishes a sense of common goals and allows us to start understanding each individual. This is where all communication channels are discussed and confirmed and ultimately where Yammer can be introduced.

Today, I’ll share my firsthand experience of using Yammer as a project collaboration platform and showcase its value with a real world use case.

One of the biggest frustrations I face at the start of every project is the ton of emails exchanged, many times with attachments and their different versions end up choking my inbox. This is where Yammer comes to rescue. Follow these three basic steps and you will never go back to traditional ways of project management.

  1. Create an Internal Yammer Group
  2. Create an External Network
  3. Invite Members and Start Sharing

 

1. Your Internal GroupInternalGroup1

This will enable daily communication within our team. Drafts of documents, questions, clarification everything can be posted in the internal group.

  • Tagging People – Helps notify the right individuals and keep the noise from others inbox. All our posts were targeted to the group and at least one team member. This generates a notification for the tagged individual.
  • Tagging Content – Helps to find information when needed most. You’ve got to love the subscription model, and this is where it is most powerful. Subscribe to any topic and you are then fed all conversations around that topic on your home screen.
  • Ask a Question – Every project has issues and gaps and Yammer is your best bet to get those straightened out quickly. We made sure any question that involved more than two individuals is posted in the internal group. You will be amazed at how quick and effective this approach can be.
  • Upload Deliverables for Review – I have yet to meet someone who enjoys receiving multiple versions of documents (and sometimes huge slide decks) in their inbox followed by performing a clean-up activity. We used Yammer to share all project related documents which helped us unclog our inbox and tag the content with topics and people for appropriate notification.

Now, when you are ready with your deliverables, move them over to the external group for sharing. This keeps separation between internal team and customer communications.

2. Create an External NetworkExternalNetwork1

Creating an external network will allow you to have an dedicated collaboration space with the customer.

  • Allows Yammer groups to collaborate on individual project and social needs.
  • Advantage of transparency and a quick communication channel.

 

 

 

ExternalGroup2

When you have an external network setup, go ahead and create a project group. This will enable you to focus all project related conversations inside a group. Add all team members to this group and mark it as “Public” or “Private” based on your needs.

 

3. Don’t forget to add team members and post your first message

Remember there might be few folks on your team who are not familiar or not comfortable with the concept of using Yammer for this purpose. Sharing documents, deliverables and posting questions will all act as an ice breaker. Start with some water cooler talk if nothing else (keep it relevant to your team or project though). Upload files directly to Yammer for sharing across the group. You can upload new versions of documents and let Yammer maintain control over previous versions.

Suggestions:

  • Mark your uploaded content as “official and read only” if you are working on projects in which documents are changed often. The “official and read only” designation is also an effective way to get team members past sticking to their own versions of project documents.
  • Equip your team members with one of Yammer’s mobile apps and they will have always-on channel to team discussions and files. Social collaboration does take a little extra convincing and showcasing but once you get people on board it’s a breeze. Reducing those chunky emails, not having to clear your inbox every now and then, quick response, level of engagement, and ability to search topics and documents makes it a sure shot winner.
  • Use groups to receive feedback and approval on project deliverables by including your stakeholders/sponsors in the “cc” while sharing the posts.

* If you are concerned about compliance and security when uploading documents, no need to worry, you can still use Yammer effectively. In circumstances like those, utilize SharePoint as the document repository and Yammer as the front end for all communications, post links to SharePoint document libraries and start a conversation. Even better, if you are on Office 365, all the group conversations are now integrated with the documents and sites.

Here at Perficient we have utilized Yammer in various scenarios.  Along with our certified customer success managers and admins, we continue to help our customers adopt and roll out  successful social networks. Please add your feedback and share your experience here if you have used this approach.