Everything You Need to Know About Office 365 - July 2018
The pace of change is intense for sure. Hopefully, this article helps you keep up. You will also notice a theme; you need to learn new stuff. I am fired up after a week at the Business Applications Summit and I hope you are too. Also, keep in mind that while we used to think of all of this as a strictly IT world that the end users just lived in that story is flipping real fast. PowerApps and company are flipping the narrative on its head with innovation coming from non-technical people. I challenge you to be an enabler of those people and not a blocker. Let’s do this thing!
The Business Application Summit was Awesome
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
Seriously, if you are into Office 365 that means you already have licenses for PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow so why aren’t you using them every day? I had the honor to speak at the conference and hang out with 3,800 of my closest friends. It was amazing. Very much had the same feel as SharePoint did back in 2007. Lots of excited people knowing they are about to witness explosive growth. SharePoint changed a lot of people’s lives (some even for the better), and these new tools are going to do the same.
<soapbox> As a matter of fact, that has been an interesting theme in this space. I would say over half the conference was not IT people. It was accountants, salespeople, dispatchers, and even a security guard. That is right, my friend Samit worked in physical security at Heathrow airport before he found PowerApps. He watched a bunch of YouTube videos, rolled up his sleeves, and wrote an app that changed how they interacted with passengers. A dozen apps later he was at Microsoft Inspire on stage with Satya telling his story. He almost tears up when he talks about how much life has changed. </soapbox> Don’t miss your chance to change your stars.
Final thing, you can go watch the keynote here. I hope to see you there next year.
Teams gets a free version
Man, for a guy who talks about how he needs to use Teams more I sure write about it a lot. This month Microsoft announced another major attack on Slack with the announcement that there is now a small business version of Teams available for free. This version supports up to 300 users that are both internal and external to your org. Very cool. I also continue to notice the Teams momentum as it tries to take away SharePoint’s role at the center of the ecosystem. Shall be an interesting transition. After you get on the PowerApps and company express, this should be your next stop.
Microsoft Flow comes to Excel
Flow has some cool new announcements from Stephen in this post. According to my Flow experts and me the coolest announcement here was the ability to add a Flow button in Microsoft Excel. This is like mind blown for me. Why? Think about how much of the business world is ran by Excel. Worse yet think about what giant hoops people go through to get data in and out on a daily basis. Now imagine there was a tool you could add custom workflows to get rid of all of the repetitive tasks. Sound awesome? To you probably not, but to some accountant or finance person in your company, this will be mind-blowing. Go learn about the feature then make a simple demo to show off to them. Instant hero status. You can thank the Flow team and me later. This is super cool.
Add Pictures of your guests in Office 365
A nice nugget to close with. If you have a lot of guests in your tenant, or more importantly a few VIP guests a photo is a nice touch. In this article, Tony walks you through how to get photos in your tenant for these guests and some of the other properties you can set for them via Azure AD. Not a magic pill by any means and a bit of work but if you have customers or partners where making them feel a little special wouldn’t hurt this is a great way to go about it.