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New Office 365 features, do you use them?


Office 365 comes with many new features all the time, it is a challenge to keep up with the new features added constantly. Even I as an experienced consultant with experience of Office 365 all since it was named BPOS have a hard time to keep up with all the additions. In this post will I make you interrested in some of the new features you can make use of in order to try to avoid being tied to your email inbox.

The mostly discussed feature are Delve and Office 365 Groups, Delve is probably the most discussed by users and Groups by ICT-consultants working with SharePoint. The companies who don´t use Office 365 and have their IT infrastructure on-prem are missing out on these features as they are all based on the cloud delivery. The upcoming version of SharePoint 2016 may give some of these users a chance to make usse of some of them. The predictions and discusssion of hybrid cloud is picking up at a very fast pace, I will get back to that later this yeaar in future posts.

Delve is making use of the great feature of search in SharePoint and is even more developed to work with more features in Office 365 than just SharePoint. Delve is best used when you need to keep up with what your colleagues or for managers what your staff are working with in Office 365. As Delve also collects info from the users profile the amount of information is limited to what the users have added to their profile. This is easily handled by training of end users not only when they start to use SharePoint but even when the new features come out and definiotely as the users get more experienced. No one can learn all of Office 365 in one training, and as the sservice is constantly updated the users will get lost if theey are not updated regurlarly.

Office 365 Groups is a service that many SharePoint consultants believe will be used more in the future than refular Team sites, I am willing to agree but that would have to be in the future. As i have seen that future is coming fast so you better get used to what Groups is in Office 365. The groups consist of a file storage, calendar, a OneNote book a conversation and a mailbox. It is integrated in the new Outlook 2016 so it is easily integrated in your daily work. The feature are still lacking some administrative features that are being handle by Microsoft, in the begininng there were no trash bin for deleted files and deleted groups could not be recovered. There were no naming restrictions and all groups were being displayed even if the were private, so if HR created a group called ”Layoffs 2016” every user at the company would now it existed. These limitations have during the last 6 months been handled by Microsoft.
The groups of Office 365 chould definitely be used for all users who have the license to use Office 365 more than just Exchange instead of old Exchange Distribution Groups. And now with the changed service limitation of Office 365 announced last week that the storage is increased for SharePoint from 10 GB+half a GB per user to 1 TB+ half a GB/user you can fill up SharePoint even more and don´t have to rely on the next service i am writing about.

OneDrive is being used more and more, unfortunately are many still using it as a replecment for the old home fileshae drive from the old file servers. This is not the recommended way of using the feature, it creates many issues that are causing the users frustration and the IT staff a eadache. I know that many of my colleagues in the business(I don´t see them as competitors unless they are dissing cloud services) are assisting users to sync all data from OneDrive for business. This is not recommended as the users usually don´t have space on there laptops, what if they are using smart phones? andthe sync client has been causing errors and alot of work. The issue can be more severe as the ransomware may cause users of Office 365 to get cryptolocked files in their OneDrive for business. My message is clear, don´t sync unless you have to. Start creating more libraries in your OneDrve for business as it is based on SharePoint start to make use of it.
Use OneDrive for business for storing personal work-related files, the private files should be stored in the consyumer version of OneDrive.

Yammer is causing concern of how to use it, I can fully understand that many of the users and even consultants feel troubled how to make use of Yammer. I know that some users who take it up with the BDMs and C-level executives are stopped as they hear ”We don´t use social media internally!”. I know it is like a social media and it looks as such, however it can be as fully internal as a regular Intranet. Use Yammer to start discussions and find someone who knows the answer on an issue you have, someone knows someone who knows.

Skype for business is improved as well with firstly the Skype Meeting Broadcast so you can livestream meetings and be more envirnment fiendly by cutting down on travels and saving time. Skupe is also getting dial-in conerencing and in the future for more eusers than US companies even the possibility to call from the Skype client. The features are being added by the new license E5 that consists of more that is not related to communication but more to security and analysis.
Skype is best used to avoid emailing like it is a game of tennis. With the presence being tied to Office client and especially Outlook you can avoid sending emails by using Skypoe for business to start a cchat that leads to a conversation and a presentation. It is even possible to have trainings using Skype, I have started to use Skype regurlarly on a Vocational Training for Cloud Advisors. The last session we had we even had a coffe break over Skype and it worked auite well, I know that the partner organisation IAMCP in Sweden are planning a after-work session using Skype for business at the official day working from home in Sweden.

This post is about how to avoid using Outlook that much so you feel the inbox is controlling you and not the other way around, it is also so that you can be using SharePoint more so you don´t say ”Bloody SharePoint”.

In future posts am ging to introduce some of the security features aof Office 365 that will be needed to use to comply with the new privacy laws in EU with the new GPDR, start using the security features such as compliance, litigation hold and others now if you don´t use them. In future post are you going to be informed with the challenges I will speak about during the next months of security challenges wit Internet of Things (IoT). I will be one of the speakers at Cloud Security Alliance Nordic Cloud Summit in Oslo.