Microsoft’s eDiscovery Platform SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities 2015 Presentation


Presenting at SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities about Microsoft’s eDiscovery platform found on-premise as well within Office 365. This year I have worked with several clients around both areas and found there are some sticking points that organizations need to be aware of ahead of time before implementing. You can check out the presentation here. Hope you get some good information from there. If you have any questions please post a comment!

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Office 365 – Are You Distracted by Shiny Things!


Team CollaborationWithin the last six to eight months, Microsoft has made a tremendous push by adding more features to Office 365. As I am talking with my clients about these features, I am always asked “So now what are we going to do?” or “That new feature is really cool!”. Most organizations will look at these new features and say “We are going to restrict the use until we have time to figure out what this can do”!. They do not want to have the “Shiny Thing” issue that can happen when new features are implemented. Additionally, they never really get to it because IT is distracted by many other internal activities.

So what are some of the features we are talking about? They include:

  • Office 365 Groups
  • Delve
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Sway
  • Yammer
  • Video Portal
  • SharePoint Online (not new but still being improved upon all of the time)

Additionally Microsoft has promised more things will be added in the future such as Infopedia and Office Planner.

With that said, it is important to not be caught up in the “Shiny Thing” frenzy that sometimes happens within organizations. So what does an organization do? Really, nothing different than what you are currently doing. Make sure you are continually answer the following questions:

  • What type of content do we currently have?
  • How do we communicate and collaborate internally and externally of our company?
  • Where does our content live and how do we want it available?
  • What type of business processes are users interacting with daily, weekly, or monthly?

When you look at the “Day in the Life” of a user within a department, you will be able to answer these questions and then determine the eventual solution. I have found that not talking about the technology and focusing on what users are doing helps to create an safe meeting that participants give us useful information.

After the information has been gathered, then you need to look at all of the functionality that is available not only within the SharePoint online area but anything that Office 365 has available. This will mean diving in and understand what Office 365 features can do. As you determine the best solution for your business units, it is important to document the best practices to ensure end users know what is the overall solution for this type of business requirement.

Here are some examples of business requirements and possible solutions that involve Office 365. I purposely made these examples similar in nature so show how business requirements may change the end delivery.

Example 1

Business requirement: The sales department primarily collaborates using emails which typically contain document attachments of content they are working on. Additionally the email conversations can become very lengthy and rarely include everyone that needs to have a say. Additionally the sales manager would like to move this information out of Outlook and centralize document sharing because IT has a mailbox quota in place.

Possible solution: Combination of SharePoint Online team sites for centralized document collaboration, embedding Yammer group feed into the team site and using the Post to Yammer feature already integrated into the platform. Additionally, the organization should implement Identity Management components to enable seamless single-sign on between applications.

Example 2

Business requirement: The sales department primarily collaborates using emails which typically contain document attachments of content they are working on. Additionally the email conversations can become very lengthy and rarely include everyone that needs to have a say. Because they are Sales, they live and breathe through their Outlook client. Their focus is centralizing their content around the conversations they are having within Outlook.

Possible solution: It is highly recommended the Sales team uses Office 365 Groups and Outlook 2016. Office groups allow the department members to still utilize Outlook 2016 to connect with the group. The Office Group also has a OneDrive for Business area to allow the group to collaborate on content.

Example 3

Business requirement: Currently the Marketing department is utilizing DropBox to send files to external consultants. The Marketing director has had a hard time when someone leaves the company and they need to retain an of those files that were used in DropBox. The marketing director also wants to leverage Microsoft products because of their integration.

Possible solution: Implement OneDrive for Business (ODFB) for the Marketing group. This solution allows for files up to 10 GB to be added into their person ODFB, they are allowed to share externally to other users and information is retained using Active Directory security. Additionally Information Rights Management can be implemented to ensure that intellectual property is retained.If someone leaves, all files can be made available to the Marketing manager. Additionally, with ODFB desktop sync, it allows for files to be made available locally.

Example 4

Business requirement: Currently the Marketing department is utilizing DropBox to send files to external consultants. The Marketing director has had a hard time when someone leaves the company and they need to retain an of those files that were used in DropBox. The marketing director also wants to continue to leverage DropBox because of some of features.

Possible solution: Implement Azure AD Premium which allows the organization to have single sign-on functionality with DropBox. Once established, DropBox is integrated into Outlook Online as well as iPad/iPhone apps. This also allows IT and Marketing director the ability to have access to the content if someone leaves the company since it is controlled by Azure and the companies Active Directory.

When it comes down to it, business requirements will still need to be met no matter how “Shiny” the features are. If they do not provide a solution to an existing problem then hold off on implementing. Good luck and remember not to be distracted by the “Shiny Thing”!

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SharePoint Online Feature Set


Many times as I am working with a client I find it important to understand which version of SharePoint they purchased and what features are available. That way I can build out the environment with these features in mind. With all the recent changes to the SharePoint Online environment, it can be very difficult to keep up with these changes.

There is a great website on MS TechNet that lists all of the different features associated to the versions of Office 365 that are available. Just like anything else on TechNet it maybe difficult to wade through the masses of information that is available. Recently I have been playing with the Excel 2013 add-in called Power Query (Download Add-In Here) and the ability to scrape information from a website (See this Office Support page for Importing data from web page). One of the nice things about Power Query is that I can go in and refresh the information in the spreadsheet (depending if webpage has not physically changed) it should update the information. The following is the results of playing around with this Excel 2013 Power Query feature. Hope you are able to use this information.

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Accessing SharePoint Online Content Through QR Codes


Recently Microsoft made an update to SharePoint to help with allowing mobile to quickly access documents from SharePoint online. They added the ability to access a QR Code that will take you directly to the select document.

You can access the QR Code by going into the Open Menu (ellipsis) associated to a document within the SharePoint online environment. Within the menu you will now see a Mobile icon that will allow you to access the QR Code.

 

QR Code

Once this has been selected you will receive the QR Code link to the document. This information can then be embedded and distributed as needed.

QR Code 2

If you have not heard, Microsoft is leading with making changes to the SharePoint online environment before releasing them to on-premise. So it will be interesting if this is one of those features that will eventually be released.

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SharePoint Conference 2012 – Keynote


We just finished up with the Keynote Address for the opening of SharePoint Conference 2012. This keynote focused SharePoint 2013 innovations, the Yammer acquisition and integration, as well as changes within the Development model around the SharePoint App model found in SharePoint 2013 and updated Office365. Here are some of the tidbits I picked up.

General Information

  • Microsoft is going towards a model where cloud updates are moving from every 3 years to every 90 days

SharePoint SkyDrive Pro

  • Connection to your personal documents
  • Capability to have a local cached copy of these documents through Sync
  • Windows 8 application will connect to SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro
    • SharePoint Online (Office365 updated version coming)

  • My Tasks aggregates Tasks across all Site Collections within the SharePoint environment
  • Tasks can be aggregated from Exchange 2013 (Office365 and on-premises)

Yammer

  • 61% of organizations are doing social networking of one thing or another
  • Yammer is moving towards more integration with Office products
  • Currently Yammer developed Open Graph – development platform to integrate across multiple products
  • Connects to information within SkyDrive Pro from SharePoint
  • Co-Authoring will work across multiple platforms: Yammer, SharePoint, SkyDrive Pro
  • Yammer will be coming out with a Windows 8 applications
  • Version include standalone, Office 365 it is free for E1 – E4 pricing models, Enterprise or Paid offering will be greatly reduced

SharePoint 2013 – Search

  • Personal re-find links show previous search queries that were completed before
  • Visual refiners are included out of the box
  • Hover panel will display the document with specific commands and features associated to the content
  • Indexing will go through a PowerPoint slide deck and pull back slide headers and display them as links within hover panel

SharePoint 2013 – Publishing

  • Can use any design tool to create SharePoint MasterPages, for example Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Using Design Manager to import those files into SharePoint 2013
  • SharePoint 2013 has capability to generate code Snippets for SharePoint controls that can be added into the pages

SharePoint 2013 – eDiscovery

  • This works across multiple Microsoft products including SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013, Lync 2013 and file shares
  • Capable of exporting the eDiscovery information into industry standard

SharePoint 2013 – Upgrade

  • Capability of upgrading per Site Collection by the Site Collection Administrator
  • Theoretically can run SharePoint 2010 code because of Site Collection Upgrade
  • Health Check can be run from Site Collection prior to upgrade to see what breaks – found in Site Collection settings at top level site
    More to come.

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TechFuse Recap–Office 365


I recently talked at Benchmark Learning’s TechFuse conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This is always a great event to see many different IT people and business people from other industries I not typically get to engage with. Whenever I speak at events within Minnesota and the surrounding areas on how new SharePoint is to the vast majority of people and companies out there and how much they really need something like SharePoint.

Office 365

So my first presentation was entitled “What Does Office 365 Mean to Your Organization?”. This was on day one of TechFuse and labeled as the “Cloud” portion of the conference. It was very interesting to me to see how many people were attending the session and did not really know what Cloud was. Luckily I had a couple of attendees who were already using some of Microsoft’s cloud or had an iPad and was using iCloud.

Some of the more interesting points of my presentation was some of the basic facts about having Microsoft host some of your services through Office 365. For example, Microsoft will guarantee 99.9% uptime which equates to 45 minutes a month of downtime. Also Forrester had a survey down for Microsoft in 2011 that claimed an ROI of 321% for midsize organizations.

Whenever I talk about the Cloud and Office 365 inevitably the question comes around to how secure is the information in the cloud. Personally I believe it is very secure, in fact most of the time more secure than what you can provide. This usually startles some people, but I continue stating that companies like Microsoft does not have just 1 person working on security for their products. They will have many people working on security and improvements to the system. What’s not to like about that?

When it comes down to it choosing something like Office 365 comes to organizations goals and if the products will do what is needed. Anytime we are talking about the cloud we need to discuss features. More specifically we use the term “Parity” when comparing to their on premises brethren. Currently Exchange is the most mature with almost equality parity with its on premises version. Lync is getting there especially when you also purchase a PBX to use with the product. SharePoint Online is the one product that still has a lot of growth and the one reason why small and medium organizations will more than likely not migrate. Especially if they want to take advantage of some of the advanced business intelligence features.

Stay tuned for follow up on my other TechFuse seminar “SharePoint Business Applications at your Fingertips” when I go into SharePoint No-Code Application building principals and how to start from the ground up.

Here is my deck from SlideShare.

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Office 365 SharePoint Online Feature List


Office 365 beta has been out since April and I have been tooling around both versions that are currently out. The beta program features on the small business side the P1 version and to showcase the Enterprise version E3. There are a lot of differences between the different packages that will be available. However in this post I wanted to focus on SharePoint Online for Office 365. The following tables show the major differences as far as functionality within the SharePoint environment.

Word of warning! These features may change between Beta and release of Office 365. It has been rumored that features like the BCS, which is not available in SharePoint Online will eventually be added.

Site Collection Features

P1

E3

Content Type Hub Syndication

X

Site collection Help

X

X

Disposition Approval Workflow

X

Document ID Service

X

Document Sets

X

External user invitations

X

X

In Place Records Management

X

Library and Folder Based Retention

X

Managed Metadata Term Store

X

Office Web Apps

X

X

Open documents in Client Applications by Default

X

X

Publishing Approval Workflow

X

Reporting

X

Search Server Web Parts

X

X

SharePoint 2007 Workflows

X

SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection Features

X

SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure

X

SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection Features

X

Three-state Workflow

X

X

Workflows

X

BCS

X

Site Templates

P1

E3

Assets Web Database

X

X

Basic Meeting Workspace

X

X

Basic Search Center

X

X

Blank Meeting Workspace

X

X

Blank Site

X

X

Blog

X

X

Charitable Contributions Web

X

X

Contacts Web Database

X

X

Decision meeting workspace

X

X

Document Center

X

Document Workspace

X

X

Enterprise Search Center

X

Express Team Site

X

X

FAST Search Center

X

Group Work Site

X

X

Issues Web Database

X

X

Multipage meeting workspace

X

X

Personalization Site

X

X

Projects Web Database

X

X

Social meeting workspace

X

X

Team Site

X

X

Visio Process Repository

X

X

List/Library Templates

P1

E3

Announcements

X

X

Asset Library

X

Calendar

X

X

Contacts

X

X

Custom List

X

X

Custom List in Datasheet View

X

X

Data Connection Library

X

Discussion Board

X

X

Document Library

X

X

External List

X

X

Form Library

X

X

Import Spreadsheet

X

X

Issue Tracking

X

X

Links

X

X

Page

X

X

Picture Library

X

X

Project Tasks

X

X

Report Library

X

Slide Library

X

Status List

X

Survey

X

X

Tasks

X

X

Web Part Page

X

X

Wiki Page Library

X

X

Category

Web Parts

P1

E3

Business Data Business Data Access

X

Business Data Connectivity Filter

X

Business Data Item

X

Business Data Item Builder

X

Business Data Item

X

Business Data Related List

X

Chart Web Part

X

Excel Web Access

X

Indicator Details

X

Status List

X

Visio Web Access

X

Content Rollup Categories

X

Content Query

X

Relevant Documents

X

X

RSS Viewer

X

Site Aggregator

X

Sites in Category

X

WSRP Viewer

X

XML Viewer

X

X

Filters Choice Filter

X

Current User Filter

X

Date Filter

X

Filter Actions

X

Page Field Filter

X

Query String (URL) Filter

X

SharePoint List Filter

X

SQL Server Analysis Services Filter

X

Text Filter

X

Forms HTML Form Web Part

X

X

InfoPath Form Web Part

X

List and Libraries LVWP

X

X

Media and Content Content Editor

X

X

Image Viewer

X

X

Page Viewer

X

X

Picture Library Slideshow Web part

X

X

Silverlight Web Part

X

X

Outlook Web App My Calendar

X

My Contacts

X

My Inbox

X

My Mail Folder

X

My Tasks

X

Search Advanced Search Box

X

Dual Chinese Search

X

Federated Results

X

People Refinement Panel

X

People Search Box

X

People Search Core Results

X

Refinement Panel

X

Related Queries

X

Search Action Links

X

Search Best Bets

X

Search Box

X

Search Core Results

X

Search Paging

X

Search Statistics

X

Search Summary

X

Search Visual Best Bet

X

Top Federated Results

X

Social Collaboration Contact Details

X

Note Board

X

Organization Browser

X

Site Users

X

X

Tag Cloud

X

User Tasks

X

X

**Content query web part available in E3 if Publishing Features have been enabled.
1/20/2012
Update – As of the end of 2011 Microsoft updated Office 365 – SharePoint to include the Business Connectivity Service (BCS). This currently only works with SQL databases that are within your companies network and on premise.