Your World Of O365 [08.06.15]

Wait, What was that ? Last 7 days in quick review:

On May 28, 2015 Microsoft announced that it’s looking for additional participants for the Office 2016 Windows Desktop preview, with new builds available. I installed it on my Windows 10 Preview….i know i’m so rad right 😉  To say they work well together is an understatement (more of these later). Office 2016 has some excellent features and Office365 Groups are a big part of it. Add to this the new attachment methodology coming with it and the product is pretty tight in my view.

So what happened this week ? beside’s Ireland admitting we took a €5M bribe from Fifa.

Microsoft doing something Wunderful:

Well…the big one was Microsoft bought Wunderlist and to say i was happy would be like saying my wife get’s a emotional watching Grey’s Anatomy. Yes… would indeed be a real understatement ! Well to be exact MS bough Wunderkinder6 which make Wunderlist but i only care about the Wunderlist bit as i use it religiously for all my To-Do’s , be it work or home. I am even using it now to tick off topics i seen during the week for this blog. All i have to say is good man Microsoft. More on the acquisition and the product below. Wunderful.

Wunderlist  & News on Acquisition

Some major new changes coming this year:

Also there was a video released this week from Office Mechanics (Jeremy Chapman is joined by Julia White). If your in the office 365 sphere then it will get you pumped a little as the next 365 days of innovation look damn good. MS are clearly looking to make the USER very very keen to have the MS cloud stack in their lives…and if the user actually “wants” the change then you are already winning in my view. Bring it on Microsoft…Bring it on.

What’s that coming over the hill ? Yes, it’s a monster.

Following on from the excellent news about MS buying Wunderlist, it’s only fair to start looking to what’s next on the acquisition list. So as all good bosses do, Keith sends me through a link on Friday about this exact topic, and low and behold two of the biggest applications around right now are on that list. Well you would hope so…but the fact there is real discussion around the possibility means this may happen (someday). If it did then take a bow Microsoft…you played well.

Chat soon !


Your World Of O365 [02.06.15]

So it’s a Bank Holiday Monday. But i live in Ireland. Therefore it’s Raining. It’s on days like this you get to understand the Irish state of mind. We are used to good things coming packaged like a Muller Fruit Corner. With the good comes the not so good. Enough of those kinda clouds….let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the other sort….Here’s the week in review.

Big News in Tech: besides… Joanne and Dave from accounts 😉

What was already an open secret has now been confirmed. Microsoft will launch Windows 10 on July 29. (Previously, Microsoft had only committed to “this summer” as a launch date.) That date begins a one-year window during which free upgrades will be available to anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

The first phase of the long, slow rollout begins today, with the appearance of a small icon in the taskbar on eligible systems. Here’s what it looks like on a PC running Windows 8.1:


Clicking that link opens a six-screen advertisement, with a prominent “Reserve your free upgrade now” button. Clicking that button configures your PC to download and install the upgrade bits and adds the current device to the queue for Windows 10.

But what will actually happen when July 29 rolls around? That poses some interesting logistical questions for Microsoft.

The Get Windows 10 program is going to be one of the largest software delivery projects in history. Microsoft is offering full, free upgrades for every PC currently running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1 (excluding those running Enterprise editions, which don’t qualify for the free upgrade).

News from Yammer : (Office365 Groups – the devil or the future ?)

The Banter with the lads:

As the debate runs on about the function of Groups and whether they are good or bad for your organization, another thread kicked off this week about the limitations and functions of Office365 Groups. Good read as there are fair arguments for both sides of the fence – Check it out here

News from Office365:  (most of this was robbed from MS….it’s still true though)

Sway has started rolling out to Office 365!
On May 21, 2015 Microsoft announced that Sway is rolling out to Office 365 business and education customers. Additionally, Sway is adding support for more languages, as well as expanding the types of content you can add and the ways in which you can visualize multimedia. Add your voice to the discussion in the Sway  group or read more in the original blog post here .

Announcing a new way to create connectors in Office 365
On May 22, 2015 Microsoft announced an overhaul of the connector experience in Office 365 to provide you with better guidance, a simplified user interface and an easier way to check that everything works as expected. Ready the blog post here  and join the discussion here .

Starting June 26 Yammer will preview your Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDFs using Office Online!
Starting June 26, 2015 Yammer will preview your Word, PowerPoint, Excel files and PDFs using Office Online. Office Online in Yammer means faster load times, a cleaner UI and the familiarity of using your favorite Office products on the web. Join the discussion happening in the Yammer Bugs   group for more information.

Handy Resources: (unless your building a house, then this is useless)
Rollup + Context on NextGen Portals in Office 365
This is your one-stop shop for resources and context on NextGen Portals in Office 365. Senior Product Manager Mark Kashman put together this informative Sway, covering topics such as: Overall strategy, Office 365 video, Delve “People Experiences,” Codename “InfoPedia,” custom portals, how you can try NextGen Portals today in Office 365, plus feedback & request links. Check out more in the NextGen Portals   group or check out the Sway here .

Catch up on Surface from Ignite with Surface Deployment Lab Manuals Available!
For those who weren’t able to attend Ignite 2015 or for those who didn’t have the chance to check out the Surface deployment labs onsite, you can still study up or perform your own test runs with the lab manuals found in the Microsoft Surface group. Additionally, be sure to catch these top sessions on Channel 9: Scratching the Surface: Lessons From Support, Building Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Design Matters for Microsoft Surface,Deploying Microsoft Surface Pro 3 In The Enterprise, Why Microsoft Surface IS Your Next Company Device .

Small Businesses and O365 Working Together: Set Up and Best Practices Webinar
This Webinar geared towards small business best practices for Office 365 will occur on Thursday June 11, 2015 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PDT. It will include two presentations by the Office 365 content team as well as time for questions and feedback. If you are interested in attending, please email and learn more here.

Some Awesome Links (i appreciated everything is awesome.)

That’s a wrap for week 2 of my blog posts about office365. I had a long weekend, so this wasn’t as snappy or as self produced as i would like, but hey, it’s here and it’s relevant to if you work in the MS cloud sphere.

Be good.


Your World Of O365

So it’s Monday, which means its Yammer review time, where we take a chance to look back to what was new and useful from Yammer Last Week. These posts are short,like Michael D. Higgins but intended to be as complex as Kim Kardashian 😉 so take her handy.

To anyone who has not yet seen or heard of Yammer Yet, it’s essentially Facebook for IT. Yammer works alongside the Office365 Portal and to me is the lynchpin between all the technologies i currently work in. Yammer keeps me informed the way i want to be informed in a world gone information mad.

First up (the light stuff)

EMS released a video about the value of AD Premium. It’s Good and Simple.

This was posted by Marcus Ritt, who also had recently published information on a virtual academy session on RMS. (Rights Management Services) . I missed the session unfortunately, so I am eagerly anticipating the recording to be published. The thread last suggested it would be available within the coming days. Here is where you’ll find it once its posted.

What’s recently become possible? (besides the whole irish referendum thing)

Message Limit raised

Currently Exchange Online users maximum message size is hard coded to 35MB Send, 36MB Receive (with 25MB shown as published default).  This feature will allow a tenant administrator to allow customized maximum message size settings between 1mb and 150mb for a single mailbox, multiple mailboxes, and the default for new mailboxes.

Set Passwords to not expire (via GUI)

Some customers have the need to set their users’ password expiration policy to never expire. Previously, admins had to resort to PowerShell to accomplish this. With the release of this feature, admins can now simply check the checkbox and their users’ passwords will never expire.

Rolling out as we speak (mind your back)

Red Alert Auto-posting

Customer feedback around timeliness of communications at the onset of a service incident led to increased adoption of monitoring automation for SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. Based on automated detection of a potential issue, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online services can automatically post an alert directly to affected customers’ Service Health Dashboard (SHD)

SharePoint Online storage usage model

Administrators can now more easily manage SharePoint Online team sites’ storage quota based on real usage, and are no longer required to set fixed storage allotments per site collection. If an admin opts-in to the storage usage model, by selecting “Auto” within the SharePoint Online Admin Center, every site collection will utilize storage from the broad tenant pooled storage and will continue to ‘auto’-grow up to a maximum of 1TB per site collection. If an admin chooses not to opt-in, and to manage storage “manually” per individually per site collection, they will now set usage caps instead of allocating fixed amounts. Whether you select “Auto” or to “Manual,” SharePoint Online site collection quota management becomes simpler by removing management overhead and/or ‘loss of storage’ that has been allocated but not used.

Some Awesome Links (i appreciated everything is awesome.)

That’s a wrap for week 1 of my blog posts about office365. Knowing me, this may only last 1 whole week, but hey…maybe we’ll look back when we’re older and i’ll be still doing this. That’s a big maybe.

Be good.


‘I just wrote this, and this is crazy, but tune in next week, i might post…. maybe’

How to uninstall Windows Intune properly ?

There are a few methods to correctly install and uninstall Intune. Today i wanted to talk about how to uninstall a corrupted version of Intune.

The reason i need to do this is that a virus has attacked the machine in question and the AV element of Intune no longer works, plus it’s not pulling updates down, so in essence, it’s kinda useless to me right now…

When i see this issue i simply Clean the machine in Safe Mode and then uninstall and re-install Intune. The re-install is the easy bit, here’s the solution to correctly uninstall the agent.


Browse to and run through wizard, choosing to uninstall Windows Intune from the list. Once done restart machine and reinstall Intune, give it 30 mins and you should be back in action.

Powershell Tips – How to save time connecting to Office 365 ?

Powershell Profiles Make Life Easier !

The five commands that connect you into the cloud are indeed a big block of text.

Import-Module MSOnline
$O365Cred = Get-Credential
$O365Session = New-PSSession –ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $O365Cred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $O365Session
Connect-MsolService –Credential $O365Cred

There purpose is broken down as follows…

1. Import your newly installed Online Services module

2. Enter Office 365 credentials

3. Create a remote session

4. Import that session’s commands into your local Windows PowerShell session

5. Connect to Office 365 services

Retyping that text block every time you log in can make working with Windows PowerShell seems like more effort than it’s worth, Right ? Well here’s something useful….

Every time a Windows PowerShell session begins, it will run whatever commands it finds in a special file referenced by the variable $profile. You can view where that file exists by running dir $profile in the shell.

The $profile command brings you to a file similar to Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1  You can edit this document in your favourite text editor to add to the five connection commands. Now every time you launch Windows PowerShell, you need only enter username and password to be automatically connected into Office 365, as well as everything else on your network.

Sync everything you have Online into one place….

A couple of weeks ago i discovered an app that does something i always wanted to do – Link all apps that host my online files.

Every photo myself and Triona take on our phones are backed up to a single dropbox, but i also have a dropbox for work and for personal stuff like music. Add to that my Google Drive and my OneDrive and all of a sudden, all that free online storage becomes dispersed. Now add all those Facebook , Twitter and Instagram photos i have and you have about 10 locations for all my stuff online.

Then i find odrive….and shit just got sorted !!!


Link all your Apps

To add an app to odrive, double-click the app folder and login. This gives odrive permission to connect directly to your account, so you can sync your files to your desktop.

You can use odrive with Dropbox, Facebook, Google Drive, Gmail, Instagram, Microsoft OneDrive, Salesforce, and Oxygen Cloud, with many more integrations in the works.

Access multiple accounts from the same app

odrive makes it easy to access multiple accounts from one place. There is no need to login and out of your accounts to switch between them. Add as many accounts as you need.

Progressive Sync for only what you want

odrive’s lightweight Progressive Sync technology syncs files and folders as you browse into them. This way you aren’t forced to sync tons of files you don’t need.

Unsync your folders to save space

odrive allows you to remove files or entire folders from your computer by unsyncing them. Your files stay safely stored in your app’s storage and can be easily accessed again anytime.

Unlink your app from odrive

No longer using Dropbox? You can easily unlink any app folder from your odrive. You’ll have the option to keep the files on your computer or discard them if you no longer need them.

Communicate your data securely

Files in transit are always securely encrypted.

Your odrive folder connects and authenticates directly against the third party app of your choice (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.) This means we never see your passwords and we do not store or copy any of your files.


Want to find out all the things Google knows about you?


1. Find out how Google sees you
Google attempts to create a basic profile of you, your age, gender, interests. They use this data to serve you relevant ads. You can review how Google sees you here:

2. Find out your location history
If you use Android, your mobile device may be sending your location as well as velocity data to Google. You can see your entire location history and export it here:

3. Find out your entire Google Search history
Google saves every single search you have ever done. On top of that, they record every Google ad you have clicked on. This log is available to you here:

4. Find out every device that has accessed your Google account
If you worry that someone else might be using your account, you can find a list of all devices that have accessed your Google account, their IP address and approximate location here:

5. Find out all the apps and extensions that are accessing your Google data
This is a list of all the apps that have any type of access to your data. You can see the exact type of permissions granted to the app and revoke access to your data here:

6. Export all of your data out of Google
Google let’s you export all your data: bookmarks, emails, contacts, drive files, profile info, your youtube videos, photos and more here:

SharePoint Information Architecture

Information architecture is a key element of your governance strategy. Governance is a huge topic for SharePoint, everyone talks about it, everyone has their own ideas on how to implement and manage a SharePoint governance strategy and the associated IA, and you know what? It’s all really good advice. But there’s just so much of it out there, how do you get focused and started?
There are a number of elements that make up your SharePoint IA, including:

* Sites and Site Collection Structures
* Content Modeling and Content Type Definitions
* Metadata Schemas and Taxonomy Management
* Search Integration
* Managed Administration

You say, that’s great. I get it, but now what? Where do I start? There are five critical steps that you need to do/ask yourself and your organization to get you on the right track.

Step 1: Understand where you are coming from

A clean slate is great place to start, But it’s typically unrealistic. Maybe you are a new company and have the opportunity to plan your information architecture from scratch. Or maybe you have a pretty well defined IA with your current system, it’s just lacking some functionality that SharePoint can provide, so you’ve decided it’s time to move on. You are probably one of the lucky few.

Others come from a range of crazy fileshares, desktop folders, outdated intranets and multiple business apps. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack, unless you are the knowledge worker who has been with the company for many years and have developed your own little system of playing “where’s Waldo?”

For many, SharePoint 2007 was implemented in their organization in an ad hoc, sometimes grassroots manner. Which means that no one had central management of the platform. Divisions/departments and often groups within those divisions/departments were going along doing their own thing, building SharePoint sites, defining their own metadata, assigning their own permissions. Multiple copies of documents scattered across folders and sites, search severely lacking, but oddly enough, many people happy in their little worlds, because they could do what they wanted, and they could usually do it quickly.

What’s the point here? Know what you have now. Have it well documented and have a clear understanding of how the users of that current system(s) feel about it. Don’t assume everyone wants a change, regardless of how good it would be for the organization overall. If you don’t really understand where you are coming from, you won’t be able to properly figure out how to get where you need to be.

Step 2: Know what players need to be involved

Is it obvious to you who should be involved in defining your new SharePoint information architecture?

* The business users/information workers who use the current system(s) and will use the new SharePoint implementation. These are your advocates (including your devil’s advocates). If you don’t have some naysayers on your team, you’re missing the opportunity to convert a potentially large group of unhappy users — these people can become your strongest advocates.
* Compliance / record managerswho know the rules and regulations that your content must adhere to.
* Your current information architect, assuming you have one. Maybe this person hasn’t managed a central IA yet, but it’s likely they have been involved in one or more projects that involved knowing what content is out there, how the business works and what the business objectives are.
* Your SharePoint 2010 Information Architect. You are going to need someone on your team that understands how SharePoint 2010 works. This is the platform you have chosen to work with, that means you need someone who knows how your information can be best implemented within it. You can define your IA without considering how SharePoint works, but we wouldn’t want to be the IT team trying to implement it.

Those are the key roles, there are others, including other members of IT and business leaders. The key is that you need to find all the right players that will help bring everything out into the open, get it all laid out on the table and help define the best approach to move forward.

Step 3: Understand how content flows across the organization

As we indicated earlier, in many situations content is created and managed at the department level, and sometimes lower. But that doesn’t mean that something developed within one department isn’t useful to another. It’s quite the opposite actually (“We solve problems by bringing the right people to them at the right time. …The idea that a team is not defined by a specific organizational structure is finally so accepted a truth that it hardly stands mentioning now. We know that differing perspectives, give and take, mutual analysis and common understanding leads to better, faster learning — which means better, faster outcomes.”

Today’s successful organizations are not tied down by a top down hierarchy, each department living in its own little world. Instead we are seeing many more cross functional teams and the need to share information across the organization.
So what does that mean for you? Understand how content is used across the organization — who owns what, who should have access to it, who can change it. SharePoint 2010 is vastly different from its predecessor in how you can manage content types and metadata. It has also improved how you can organize your information across sites and collections (and even SharePoint farms) and still make it available to all the right people regardless of where they are in the organization.

Step 4: Your Plan to get started

So now you know what you have, who should be involved and how your content is shared across the organization. What’s next? Think about the best way to proceed.
If you are small organization, going into full strategy, design and implementation is probably a good choice. If you are starting from a clean slate, same thing. Get your IA implemented and up and running, so you can move on to the maintenance aspects.

But, if it’s a mess you are coming from, and/or your organization is large and complex, going into a full implementation and migration is a scary prospect, one that even your toughest business executive would likely shudder at doing. In this situation, consider piloting your new information architecture. Get your practices in place and then incrementally move people over. Note that we aren’t saying migrate by department necessarily, because if you have a number of those cross-functional groups we just talked about, then you are defeating the purpose of a well-defined IA.

Be prepared to adjust both your IA and your practices as you test them out. Having the right tools to help make changes quickly will be important at this stage.

Step 5: Plan for change

A new SharePoint 2010 implementation is not going to happen overnight. You have to build awareness of what you are attempting to do and show the importance of this new information architecture (a pilot is a great way to this). People are also going to have to be trained — out of the old ways and into the new ones.
All the while this is happening, the business continues on. It won’t stand still while you define and implement your new IA and migrate to SharePoint 2010. Which means you need a plan to deal with the changes that will arise. A plan that will continue to evolve as your implementation matures.
Benefits of a Proper Information Architecture
We said that the three key tasks that need to be completed when you define an information architecture were to understand:

1. the Business/Context
2. the Content
3. the Users

This is why the five steps discussed above are so important to do before you even sit down and start wrapping your head around SharePoint sites/collections, content types/metadata, permissions, etc…
Doing these five steps will:

* Ensure you provide central access to your information
* Reduce the duplicate content in your organization and ensure there is “one version of the truth”
* Allow you to develop content standards that support cross-organizational sharing.
* Foster an environment of sharing and collaboration.

Final Thoughts
Often the hardest part of defining a SharePoint information architecture is really understanding what you have now and how to change that. That understanding is a mix of knowing what and where the information is, along with who needs access to it, but also understanding the everyday knowledge worker who is using that information and will be using your new environment. Making management happy should be a by-product of making your key workforce more efficient and productive. A well-defined SharePoint Information Architecture will get you on your way.

By Steven Pogrebivsky, CEO at Metavis Technologies