Wednesday, 18 November 2015

MS Ignite - Office 365: The Next Wave of Innovation (PRD211)

Link to Session: https://msftignite.com.au/sessions/session-details/1833/office-365-the-next-wave-of-innovation-prd211

About The Session:  Exactly what the session description detailed.  Briefly touched on most of the Office 365 / Office 2016 products and what's new.  Here's some dot points if your interested in downloading this session.
  • Delve:  Now has ability to extend it's reach beyond Office 365 products
  • Delve Analytics: Can provide individual users with graphs showing thier time usage, who they connect with most at work as well as who they have fallen out of touch with.  
  • Office 2016: Added search features inside word/excel to find & use features that you can't remember where to find.  Potential to save many calls to service desk and time googling for where to find feature.
  • Excel: Ability to auto-forecast profits & loss based on previous years data inside excel.  Has also been loaded with additional ways to visualize and represent data. (read: more fancy graphs!)
  • PowerPoint: New feature called Morph Transitions.  It utilises existing objects in your slide deck and automatically animates the transition from one slide to another for you.  Helps choose matching colors/fonts/backgrounds to save you the hassle.
  • Outlook: Ability to attach recent files which saves you having to find where the file sits on the filesystem.  Emails auto supply permissions when staff  email/share files.
  • Office365 Groups: Is basically a container of conversations, notes, calendars, files and tasks.  Can be created by all staff removing wait time for IT to action.
  • Threat analytics can now monitor all devices.
Excels Forecasting feature

Follow up session with Marissa is on Thursday @ 9.45am on user-adoption of all these new fancy things.  You can also visit http://Fasttrack.Microsoft.com for more guidance on user-adoption.

My Musings: Although they have released a HEAP of new features, Microsoft seem to be putting a lot of effort into improving existing features that people use all the time, rather than just constantly bringing out new things that don't get used.

First concern is, who cleans up all this content (groups, conversations, files, permissions, etc) when its no longer needed?  At the moment there is nothing built to help with this, however I have visited another session where they advised they the ability to set expiry dates on inactive groups.  This feature is on the 6-12 month roadmap.

Last concern is around individual permissions at the document level.  When this is done in SharePoint frequently it can cause loading time of pages & documents to crawl to a halt.  This is due to the permissions table in the database becoming very large & constantly locking for long periods of time while it works out if a user has access or not.  Will this be an issue in O365?  time will tell.

Funny things to mention:  I could see the potential for the delve analytics to be misused by the wrong people.  For example a team leader who wants to micromanage their team and ask questions about how they have spent their time.  Or a HR incident where maybe someone complained that you don't treat them properly and the analytics shows that indeed you take 7 days longer to reply to that person compared with everyone else.  I'm sure this is overreacting, but I'm also sure it will happen somewhere.

Rating:  5/5

Reasoning:  Great run through all the new features.  Strong push for explaining user-adoption is more important than just having the features!  Well spoken speakers.

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