Second article from a series on [ #Office365 #SharePoint ] The new landscape:
The evolutions depicted in the first article of this series [ #Office365 #SharePoint ] The new landscape! are great and open new perspectives for Office 365 in the near future but they are also creating new challenges to customers and consultants helping them to achieve more with the service. So here are some topics and questions most customers I meet every day have already in mind and ask right now or will encounter in the near future. As far as I am concerned, I will bring them to MS Ignite and will try to get some answers!
1. Embracing all Office 365
It’s obvious now that Office 365 is a HUGE and with no doubt one of the biggest, largest, most complete SaaS (Software as a Service) available at great scale today. I will detail in a following post of this series how we can simply present the whole set of tools we now have in Office 365. This is a fundamental part of adoption around the service. If you can’t even explain simply what is the service and its extension, it is hard to go further.
Where are we with these products? How do Microsoft position them alone and one versus the others? When and with which features set will they reach Office 365? With which level of integration?
I propose in the following post of this series a small contribution to better position all the tools.
2. Embracing service evolutions
Even for a specialized consultant it’s becoming harder and harder to follow all news, announcement and just test any new features and tools, so for a “normal” customer, it’s almost impossible to catch up every news and enhancements. Office 365 blog is doing a very good job centralizing all the news. But it’s news not really precise, complete, technical information.
Office 365 roadmap was a good step forward but we need now a more precise mechanism to query a given tenant and to know if such feature is available or not (and eventually why it’s not there: deactivated, unavailable for this plan, …). It should also include a changelog too in order not to be constantly checking it to know when new things arrive… Items should be categorized by the great functions we find in Office 365: Mail, OneDrive, Delve, Office Online, and so on. Export capabilities should also be there: Excel export, PDF export, RSS feed could be great.
At MS Ignite there will be for sure a lot of vision and roadmap sessions, I have already selected a few of them:
- Learn how SharePoint is reinventing content collaboration: vision and roadmap updates by Jeff Teper and Seth Patton
- Discover what’s new and what’s coming for Office Delve by Mark Kashman and Cem Aykan
- Connect your company with Yammer – a vision and roadmap update by Juliet Wei
- Review the Office developer platform roadmap
- Explore OneDrive for Business key features and roadmap by Omar Shahine and Reuben Krippner
- Discover Office 365 Groups – overview, what’s new and roadmap by Amit Gupta and Christophe Fiessinger
- Discover what’s new and what’s coming to the SharePoint Mobile and Intelligent Intranet by Mark Kashman and Adam Harmetz
But a a ton of simultaneous sessions… Choices will be hard…
For the end-users, Office 365 is like Janus, the two-faced Roman god of gates: at first it presents a familiar environment with very common tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint or even Outlook and SharePoint but on the other side people are usually very impressed by the number of tools available (for example when looking for in the waffle). So adoption remain a primary goal and challenge for any organization deploying Office 365.
Any new tips, best practices, methodology in this area is of major importance for good deployments
Among the 44 MSIgnite sessions on this topic I have particularly noticed:
For administrators and business owners, it’s of major importance to be able to drive the tools provided to end-users, and to configure how they can be used eventually. Microsoft recognize that and set “Governance” as one of the three pillars of Office 365 with Goups and Graph. For example, the recently added new capabilities allowing to better control who can create an Office 365 groups in the organization. For details on this specific topic, you may have a look at this page: Manage Office 365 Group creation
Among the 10 MSIgnite sessions on this topic I have chosen the following ones:
Take control of your data with intelligent data governance in Office 365 as seen by Microsoft
5. Security and Compliance
They will for sure remain on top of customers preoccupations.
Among the big 116 Microsoft Ignite sessions on Security, the following sessions can be especially enlightning:
- Secure Office 365 like a cybersecurity pro—assessing risk and implementing controls by Michael Miller
- Dig into Advanced Security Management in Office 365 by Anthony Smith
- Learn about Office 365 encryption and BYOK
- Learn about Office 365 Secure Score: actionable security analytics by Brandon Koeller, PM Microsoft
Last but not least to come back to much more prosaic topic, connection to the service (or all the apps on mobiles) can still be improved… For example, it’s not unusual to see such connection list which is properly scary for an end-user:
Can we expect such “problems” to be solved eventually?
So this session can be very focused on that: