Microsoft Ignite Conference: Day 3 Round-Up

I’ll kick off Day 3’s post with another imprint of pure experience. Scale- On-premise, Cloud, Global, Local. The rush/distraction/tunnel vision of being one of 23,000+ people moving through the Microsoft Ignite conference, contrasted with simple but essential logistics like bio-breaks and food, are a big parallel for me to the distinct juncture we are at in technology:  empower everyone at a mass scale, but make sure the human details are taken care of, and that everyone has a voice.

The entrance hall may resemble a slightly above average shopping mall scene for most, but in context, on the ground, it was more like the entrance to a spaceship waiting to take off:
Entrance

Existential experiences aside, I waited a full 5 minutes for cell phone guy to abandon his hostile takeover of Microsoft (pleading eye contact included), and finally realized that was 5 minutes I would never get back, so I snapped my obligatory “largest Expo Hall ever” pic:
Microsoft
Really, words don’t help much with describing the scale of this event. 23,000 of the world’s finest Microsoft-oriented IT professionals in not one, but two Conference centers daisy-chained together. Being from Canada, the SCALE of business in America is always impressive-  this time it was the hammer of Thor (axe of Abe Lincoln?). There were numerous, well-attended core educational/interactive groups with all the best of the Microsoft team providing direct interaction with attendees. These were no tradeshow stunt doubles, but really the actual program leads and people who make things move at Microsoft. Super high quality interactions all over the floor.

Office 365

TechNet is my bible, which would make Joanne & KC here (Senior Content Writers for Microsoft), pretty high up in the toga-wearing department:
TechNet Rocks

Aside from the separate, colossal pool of core Microsoft and Partner & Vendor talent present in the Expo Hall, here’s the top sessions from day 3, on the SharePoint/Office 365 tip (with some guest appearances from OneNote & Visio, as I love both):

Whats New for IT Professionals in SharePoint Server 2016
What's New for IT Professionals in SharePoint Server 2016

“Engineering paths directly influenced by SP Uservoice” See: https://sharepoint.uservoice.com/forums/282887-customer-feedback-for-sharepoint-server
“Durable Links- permalinks based on resource ID. Move Docs freely, URL stays the same”
“No downtime CU patching”
“OneDrive integration big priority for Engineering team”

 

This article describes initial investments made in installation and deployment of SharePoint Server 2016: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2015/05/12/what-s-new-in-sharepoint-server-2016-installation-and-deployment.aspx

MinRole for the win!!
image10_00727E0C

Embrace the BYOD Revolution: Effectively Manage a Multi-Device, Multi-Generational Workforce


A major business transformation is brewing in the enterprise today. Mobile technologies, business velocity, geographically dispersed and multi-generational workforce are converging to deliver the promise of responsive organizations. Organizations that miss this paradigm shift will face dire consequences. How can you effectively manage this shift, ensure that it will be sustainable and reap the benefits of being a responsive organization? In this session, learn how to apply practical steps and effective techniques to manage your multi-device and multi-generational workforce.

MVP Panel: Sample Apps and Intelligent Solutions Showcasing Office Graph and Delve Extensibility

Preparing for a meeting, but not sure what documents are relevant? Writing a proposal and looking for similar documents to help you out? Interested in what your colleagues are working on to stay updated? With the new Office Graph, answers to those questions are within your reach. In this demo-packed session, we show you how the Office Graph works and how it can be used when building custom apps and enriching existing solutions and portals. All scenarios are backed up by real-life solutions that you could use in your organization.

Microsoft Ignite Conference: Day 2 Round-Up

Day 2 started off with a walk to the shuttle bus under the looming John Hancock building. Infrastructure into the Cloud, this pic worked out well as a deep ol’ metaphor 🙂 :
John Hancock

Here’s some of the most awesome SharePoint/Office 365 sessions from Day 2:

There are over 150 Day 2 sessions available for immediate viewing.

Source: Microsoft Ignite Day 2 Sessions On-Demand

Here’s my takeaways from the sessions I had scheduled:

Microsoft Office 365 Groups Overview and Roadmap

“It’s not an email, it’s a conversation.”
Dynamics CRM and Group’s integration.

Office 365 Groups helps you collaborate by easily bringing together your colleagues and the applications you need to get work done. Office 365 Groups leverages a standard definition for team membership and permissions across Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and later Skype for Business, Yammer and the rest of Office 365, managed through Microsoft Azure Active Directory. This session provides an overview of Office 365 Groups, demonstrates its capabilities today, and provides a roadmap for future investments.

Designing and Applying Information Architecture for Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365

Provide Clear Guidance
Make it Easy
Keep it Simple, Stupid
Define > Design > Implement > Govern

This session demonstrates a proven process for defining, designing, implementing, and governing your information architecture (IA). IA is more than just columns and metadata. Learn how the different components available in SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 can be leveraged to their fullest potential and your users’ ultimate benefit to content organization and discovery.

Managing Change in an Office 365 Rapid Release World

Selective First Release! Roll out first release changes to selected users only. ’nuff said.

Before moving to Microsoft Office 365, your team planned each and every change or update before your users saw anything new or different. Now in a services-first world, changes are introduced at a rapid pace, sometimes before you or your help desk may be prepared. Office 365 provides communications to help you manage change, stay informed, and inform your users. Learn how to best use the Office 365 Message Center, Roadmap.office.com, and Success.office.com to get ahead of updates and help your business take advantage of the latest and greatest Office 365 has to offer.

Microsoft Office 365 Groups Deep Dive
Office 365 Groups helps you collaborate by easily bringing together your colleagues and the applications you need to get work done. Office 365 Groups leverages a standard definition for team membership and permissions across Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and later Skype for Business, Yammer, and the rest of Office 365, managed through Microsoft Azure Active Directory. This session follows the introduction session “Microsoft Office 365 Groups Overview and Roadmap,” and covers the following topics: architecture, administration, security and compliance, and extensibility.

All in all a great day- I was also lucky enough to be able to work at the Microsoft MVP Booth (in the “Microsoft on Microsoft” section of the Expo Hall). Very rewarding to answer questions about the MVP program and connect with people from around the world.

MS MVP Booth

MVPS

Yammer session recordings & slides from Microsoft Ignite 2015

Courtesy of Office 365 Product Manager (and awesome dude) Christophe Fiessenger:

Please find below a list of all Yammer sessions recordings and slides that were delivered at Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago. For all other sessions recordings and slides please check out the Ignite session catalog.

A BIG THANK YOU to all speakers that delivered the Yammer love!

The rise of dynamic teams – BRK1106 – Bryan Goode, Alan Lepofsky
Yammer Roadmap – BRK2103 – Juliet Wei, Gadi Ben Zvi
Yammer Enterprise Administration – BRK3111 – Martina Grom, Sameer Sitaram
Yammer Identity and User Management – BRK3132 – Martina Grom, Sameer Sitaram
Yammer of Team Collaboration – BRK2190 – Lindsay Matthews, Jay Sethna
Yammer IT Mythbusters – BRK2201 – Naomi Moneypenny, Chad Slipka
The Social Journey: The Customers’ Perspective – BRK2101 – Andrea Berry, Greg Nemeth, Mary Lou Theobald, Michael Wetzel, Steve Somers
Designing for innovation at Yammer – BRK2199 – Gadi Ben Zvi, Jay Laney
The Social Intranet: Integrate Yammer into Your Microsoft SharePoint Experience – BRK3201 – Eric Overfield, Naomi Moneypenny
How to Decide When to Use SharePoint and Yammer and Office 365 Groups and Outlook and Skype – BRK2102 – Kanwal Khipple, Richard Harbridge
Gain Organizational Insights with Yammer Data Mining and Analytics – BRK2119 – Steve Nguyen, Tammy Young Heck
Enterprise Social, from “Ooh, Shiny” to Business Success – BRK1103 – Melanie Hohertz
Yammer Mining: Dig in and “Listen” to What Your Big *Social* Data Is Saying – BRK4127 – Richard diZerega
Become a Yammer Power User: From Zero to Hero in 75 minutes – BRK2171 – Dawn Gartin, John Pan
Developing with Yammer: Extensibility and API Overview – BRK4109 – Gregory Love, Ryan Braastad, Christina Fan
The Microsoft Enterprise Social Journey: How We Did It – BRK2187 – Chris Slemp
Become a Productivity Ninja: Enter the Productivity Dojo – BRK2105 – Angus Florance, Steve Somers, Steve Nguyen

Office 365 Groups Sessions & Slides from Chicago MS Ignite Conference

From the Groups main man, Christophe Fiessenger:

Following //Build/ and Ignite 2015, please find below a list of all Office 365 Groups sessions recordings and slides, as well as key Groups resources. A big THANK YOU to all presenters that have delivered these! Note we will have a YamJam next week on May 21st to answer Groups related questions.

Session – Code – Speaker(s)

Key resources

Blogs

Microsoft Ignite Conference: Day 1 One Round-Up

Microsoft’s Ignite was a huge event- 23,000+ attendees -and a lot of news came out of it on day one. I’ll share with you here my take on the big items of the day, flavoured through my lens of SharePoint/Office 365.

Since there was so much going on, i’m going to break it out into day-by-day posts- easier to digest and gives me time to collect my thoughts after being hit on the head with a Chicago-sized Microsoft frying pan. 🙂

The core concepts: Microsoft is taking a mobile-first, cloud-first approach with three top priorities: to usher in an era of more personal computing, to reshape work and productivity with enhanced products and processes, and to build trust in a reliable, extensible cloud service offering.

Let’s get started. First, check out the official Microsoft news homepage for the event at http://news.microsoft.com/ignite2015/

Here’s a selection of  some of the hot sessions now available from Day 1:

Also available in the on-demand recordings is the Monday morning keynote, which was delivered effectively by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and the evening keynote hosted by Harry Shum titled The Next Era of Computing: Seeing the Future Before It Happens.

spark the future
First, a little recap on the sheer scale of the event. 23,000 of some of the world’s best IT Professionals in one spot, yet the Borg-scale capacity of the McCormick + Lakeside Conference Centers seemed hardly enough:
stack overflow

The keynote began on the upswing, with a DJ pumping out music to many, many IT peeps who are perhaps used to a little more mellow entrance in Monday Morning: 🙂

A pretty unexpected kick off to the keynote: The rapper/Artist know as Common takes the stage and delivers some inspiring words:
common

Soon thereafter, the big boss Mr. Satya Nadella took the stage.

Satya Nadella

1

Announcements:

Office 2016 Public Preview
Skype for Business broadcasting
Office Delve Org Analytics
Office-Delve-organizational-analytics-screenshot
SQL Server 2016 on-premise Azure (if you want the deep-dive version, check here: http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2015/05/reading-the-sql-server-2016-data-sheet/)
Windows users can try Office 2016 and its new desktop co-editing feature
Microsoft launches Operations Management Suite to deal with infrastructure across clouds

Quotes:
“Move IT from delivering services in our org, to delivering transformation and innovation.”
“Mobile first, cloud first – but it’s not about the mobility of a single device. It’s about the mobility of the experience. It’s about the cloud back end, and adding intelligence to your experiences.”
“MobileFirst is not about a device, it’s about sharing computing across all the experiences in our life.”

“Social collaboration and co-creation are at the core of what we do.”
“There are going to be more devices than people on the planet.”

“Exchange, Skype for Business and OneDrive span both your personal and work life”
“The next version of SQL Server is considered a breakthrough.”
“It is important to us to build trust into the core of the operating system…that’s not a bolt-on, you have to build that in.”

There was a brief unscripted comedy moment when Mr. Nadella was describing a scenario where Delphi software would allow one to know exactly when their partner was coming home:
Delphi

Joe Belifiore

– Joe says about 5-8% of users use Alt-Tab to switch between apps. Adding multiple desktop support. Hold down control/Windows/right-arrow and switch between desktops, or left-arrow to go back. Dragging an app from one desktop to another got the first spontaneous audience applause.
– Demos Cortana, and Cortana driving PowerBI
– Demos Continuum, a new way of changing the Windows user interface to change between tablet mode and laptop mode depending on how you hold the device
– Demos Windows Hello, a new facial recognition authentication mechanism that works through the webcam. Takes a cloth off a webcam, and it unlocks his laptop in a matter of seconds without the user doing anything.

.. at this point I had to move on to the rest of the Conference –

The Evolution of SharePoint

– OneDrive integration improvements are a big priority for the SP team
– Experiences, Extensibility & Management are the core principles
– On track in development efforts for delivering SharePoint Server 2016 next year
– Cloud-inspired features eventually will make their way back into the server product. Functionality that doesn’t make it into the server will be offered as Office 365 services that can be leveraged by premises-based systems
– Microsoft is continuing to focus on SharePoint’s Files, Content Management, Sites and Portals components going forward. It plans to make it easier to use hybrid architectures (SharePoint Server plus Office 365 services) and make it easier for organizations to perform migrations when they are ready, according to Seth Patton, global senior director for SharePoint and OneDrive product marketing
– A new About Me next-generation portal coming to SharePoint Server 2016. It uses Microsoft’s Delve content discovery tool, based on Office Graph enterprise search technology, to surface content and organizational information. Microsoft is also planning to ship an upgrade to SharePoint Server 2013 that will enable the Delve portal for those organizations that can’t wait for the release of SharePoint Server 2016.

Information Management with Office 365 in Mind

The Next Era of Computing: Seeing the Future Before It Happens

All in all, a heavy duty day full of news, connections and learnings. Day two recap coming tomorrow, subscribe to my blog to stay looped in!

Update IP address lists by May 16 to avoid service interruption to Yammer

Here’s a pretty important message from your friendly neighbourhood Office 365 Message Center which could require some IT Pro action in your organization/Clients tenancies:

On May 16, you may encounter issues if you haven’t updated IP address list filtering for Yammer.

If your organization restricts computers on your network from connecting to the Internet, we have a list of the URLs you should include in your outbound allow list to ensure your computers can successfully use Office 365. URL allow lists are the recommended approach due to the modern web architecture of Office 365. For guidance on how to best implement URL or IP allow lists, please work with the manufacturer of the hardware or software you use to protect your internet connection.

The full updated URLs and IP ranges are detailed here:
https://support.office.com/en-ca/article/Office-365-URLs-and-IP-address-ranges-8548a211-3fe7-47cb-abb1-355ea5aa88a2?ui=en-US&rs=en-CA&ad=CA

Lync is Now Skype for Business

Microsoft Lync is now Skype for Business. The latest addition to the Microsoft Office 365 family, Skype for Business connects people everywhere to do more together.

What you need to know:

  1. There will still be two distinct products: Skype for Business and Skype for Consumers.
  2. Skype for Business does not “replace” Lync; rather the next release of the on-premises version of Microsoft Lync Server and the Microsoft Lync Client will be renamed to “Skype for Business”.
  3. The Lync product stays the same under the covers – all the components, technology, infrastructure, and associated capabilities stay as Lync – just the name changes.
  4. Microsoft will continue to make Skype for Business and Skype for Consumers interoperate (i.e. communicate) with each other – ultimately aiming for a seamless experience whether you are at work or at home. Today instant messaging, audio, and video are supported.
  5. Skype for Business (aka Lync :-) ) will have the ability to use the Skype Directory directly from the next release of the Lync Client!  This will make it much easier to add Skype contacts and communicate with them.
  6. The new Skype for Business client will visually look more like the existing Skype client (e.g. theme, icons and workflow) but with all the capabilities of the current Lync client.
  7. Upgrading to the next version of Lync Server (aka Skype for Business) will require no new hardware from a Lync Server 2013 requirements standpoint.

    Meetings, messaging, and more.
    This is a great time to take a look at what Skype for Business offers.

    Skype for Business is ideal for scheduling and running online meetings. Attendees can join from their computers, tablets, or phones. You can use video to connect and get on the same page or quickly trade IMs with your project team. Skype for Business makes communication easy and makes you more productive.

Not sure how to best use it? Have a look at this video for some ideas.


Watch: Skype for Business

Some Technical Resources:

TechNet Documentation: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398616.aspx
Skype for Business Protocol Workloads Poster: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46448
Skype for Business change management and adoption: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Skype-for-Business-change-management-and-adoption-d8d85da6-52e7-4819-8451-45c103fb5ccb?omkt=en-us&ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US
Skype for Business Client awareness and readiness resources: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46369
Skype for Business FAQs: https://products.office.com/en-US/skype-for-business/faqs
Skype for Business Solutions Catalog: http://partnersolutions.skypeforbusiness.com/solutionscatalog

Some key opinions from around the blogosphere:
http://blog.insidelync.com/2015/03/the-skype-for-business-clientwhat-you-need-to-know/

A CIO’s insights on Microsoft’s new “Lync” version called “Skype for Business”


http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/04/16/4-reasons-skype-for-business-will-be-good-for-micr.aspx

 

 

Skype for Business sessions now included in Office 365 Summits

On November 11th, we announced our plans to rename Lync to Skype for Business, which will include shipping new client, server and service in Office 365 during the first half of 2015.  At that time, we shared how Skype for Business will take advantage of the strengths of both Skype and Lync to make communications better for organizations—large and small.  Today, we are thrilled to announce the availability of Skype for Business technical training, created to help our partners and IT pros get ready for the upcoming product release.

Starting January 19th through the end of March, the Office 365 Summit events will include instructor-led trainings on Skype for Business to help your company quickly take advantage of the upcoming opportunity.

Sessions include Skype for Business technical tracks for IT pros, developers and users including:

Skype for Business Summit 2

Register today for in person training at an Office 365 Summit.

Worldwide Office 365 Summit event dates and locations

We have five upcoming opportunities for you to participate in an Office 365 Summit in either Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Amsterdam or Sydney.

Skype for Business Summit 1a

Can’t attend in person? Learn online.

Beginning in February, we’ll make the Office 365 Summit content available on the Office 365 Summit Readiness tab for those unable to attend in person and we’ll start a series of live webcasts that provide deeper, topic by topic, training on Skype for Business.  You can view the current session list and register at this link.

Join us!

In addition to registering for an Office 365 Summit and the upcoming webcasts, please join the Office 365 Community Network on Yammer.

We’re incredibly excited as we approach the Skype for Business release and look forward to your participation.  Please join us in person or online to take advantage of the opportunities to learn more, give us feedback and get ready for Skype for Business.

I hope to see you next week in Mexico City!

—Sami Abou Saab, product manager for Skype for Business.

Enabling Yammer Access from Office 365 App Launcher

From the  Microsoft Enterprise Social Service Updates group on Yammer :

We’ve always held the view that Yammer is the future of team collaboration in Office 365, and to that end we’ve been hard at work to make it easier than ever to get started with Yammer from Office 365. Over the past months, we’ve made it possible for users to use their Office 365 credentials to sign in to Yammer, manage access to Yammer via Azure Active Directory, and — for organizations that choose Yammer as their default social experience in SharePoint Online — access Yammer from the Office 365 navigation bar.

Today we are simplifying the process to enable Yammer access from Office 365. As of April 19, 2015, the Yammer tile will show up in the Office 365 app launcher when your organization activates Yammer Enterprise. This is similar to how the Sites tile shows up in the app launcher for users with access to SharePoint.

Read on to find out if your organization needs to take additional steps in advance of this change:

  • If your organization has already activated Yammer Enterprise through the Office 365 admin portal as described here, there is no action required. Soon eligible users who are licensed for Yammer will start seeing the Yammer tile in their Office 365 app launcher.
  • If your organization selected Yammer as the default social experience through the SharePoint Online admin portal, the Yammer tile already shows up in the Office 365 app launcher for eligible users. However, your Office 365 admin will need to take the additional step of activating Yammer Enterprise through the Office 365 admin portal if they have not already done so. Without this additional step, the Yammer tile will no longer appear in the Office 365 app launcher for eligible users. Please see these step by step instructions to activate Yammer Enterprise through the Office 365 admin portal.

To understand more about the SharePoint social collaboration settings, click here.

  • If your organization wants Yammer as the Enterprise social collaboration experience, activate Yammer Enterprise through the Office 365 admin portal as described here.

Today’s update is an improvement on the existing process, aligned with our goal to make Yammer on by default for all eligible Office 365 customers in the future.