Monthly Archives: June 2011

SharePoint ShopTalk – SharePoint Online (Office 365)

At last week’s SharePoint ShopTalk, the organizer asked me to do a quick overview of SharePoint Online and Office 365 – nothing too formal, just enough to start the conversation.  So, I jotted down some notes, which I threw in to PowerPoint for my own purposes… which evolved into uploading them to the ShopTalk Live Meeting and was then asked to make them available – so I dropped them on SlideShare. 

Now, a few days later they’ve had over 350 views.  I even got a note from Slideshare on Friday that it was ‘trending’ on LinkedIn, so they put a link on the SlideShare homepage.  Neat. 

Kind of cool, though not as crazy as Spence’s Pod Show that had over 500 viewings in the first HOUR.

The recording of the ShopTalk session is now available HERE.  Keep in mind, this isn’t something we did a lot of preparation for, so I’m kind of rambling.  Hopefully someone might find it useful.  Smile 

If you’re interested in SharePoint Online and Office 365, check back as I should have a case study for small business posted soon. 

Enjoy the launch tomorrow! 

Random Links – 6/22

And another set of interesting links to check out…

First, the latest and greatest from Microsoft on SharePoint:

Why are Small Businesses Choosing Office 365 Over Google Apps?

Remember Microsoft Tag?  Maybe?  Maybe Not?  It came out years ago, but seems to be making a surge.  I’ve even seen them on plants at Home Depot…

I particularly enjoyed this quote:  “If you are implementing a SharePoint initiative with the idea that you will begin with customization, your org will never realize the full benefits of SharePoint”

Have you visited the SharePoint Pod Show?

Love this example of Crawl, Walk, Run solutions for BI.  I’d put this in the ‘walk’ category.

Some getting started with Office 365 references:

Very cool wire-framing tool.  There’s also an iPad app that will export to Balsamiq format (From @ruveng)

Microsoft calls them “Information Workers”.  Interesting article from 1.5 yrs ago…

Application Template from MS for Absence Requests and Vacation Schedules:

Nice overview of Office 365

July 6th Webinar coming up… Using SharePoint 2010to create a highly developed Learning Gateway for education:

List comparisions: Lists, Excel, InfoPath and Access

Hanging a Shingle: TrecStone…

A month ago (May 2011), I started a new venture called ‘TrecStone’ -  under which I’ll be doing consulting work, potentially adding other folks to the team down the road.  As you may imagine, I’ll be spending a lot of time in the Microsoft SharePoint space.  More specifically, I’ll be assisting organizations with their SharePoint platform strategy and utilization of out-of-the-box capabilities. 

The short story is that many organizations start their SharePoint implementation with a specific project or goal in mind. Once that solution is in place however, efforts to expand use of the platform tend to fade.  With much of the cost of SharePoint being up-front in hardware, software, training and customizations, it should be a priority for the business to make the most out of the platform they’ve already invested in. Yet, many times the enormous potential of the SharePoint platform remains unfulfilled.  My passion is to help organizations better understand their business needs and how SharePoint’s out-of-the-box capabilities can be aligned with those needs. 

I’m particularly excited about Office 365 entering the marketplace, as it will introduce new users and new use-cases while at the same time removing significant efforts to get started and manage server environments. 

Check back to see how things evolve as we get ramped up:

Please let me know how I can help you or your organization!

Office 365 – Be Version Aware

Background:  One of the challenges we face when talking about SharePoint – any version – is that there are not only several versions, but several products with SharePoint in the name.  It’s not often we confuse SharePoint Workspace or SharePoint Designer for something in Foundation or Server.  However when someone brings up ‘SharePoint’ it is often unclear if they are referring to SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server – Standard or Enterprise versions.  It may seem like a simple issue, but when someone is talking about SharePoint features or solutions that are part of Enterprise, it’s important to make the distinction so that Foundation users don’t think they can do something they don’t have access to.  The MNSPUG crowd has gotten pretty good at calling this out during presentations, and we are all glad for the distinction. 

Now to the point of this post:  A similar confusion seems to be brewing in the Office 365 space.  There are several versions of Office 365 that have similar, but different feature and capability offerings – with SharePoint Online as well as Exchange Online.  I haven’t seen any differences in Lync Online yet, but I haven’t used it as much as the other two yet.  During the Beta, we’ve been exposed to the Small Business and Enterprise plans, with an Education offering also apparently on the way.  Users need to be aware that when someone is referring to ‘Office 365’ that there can be significant differences between versions. 

Most often when I hear people talking about ‘Office 365’ they are referring to the Enterprise version.  While the Small Business version is certainly capable and appropriate for the target audience, it is definitely different from what is offered in the Enterprise edition. 

One blog site has compiled a list of the feature differences between SharePoint Online in the Small Business Plan vs. the Enterprise Plan.  There are also significant differences in the Exchange management as well, like when setting up forwarding, etc. More information will undoubtedly come out as the platform reaches public status. 

More details on version capabilities and differences will come out.  Just something to keep in mind for the time being. 

SharePoint Saturday Chicago – SharePoint 101

Saturday June 11th was the suburban edition of SharePoint Saturday Chicago.  Raymond (@iwkid), Phil (@pjirsa) and I made the trip with a handful of others from Minnesota.

The organizers did a wonderful job and the weather turned out great as well.  Lots of great sessions and speakers.  They also tried some new things, which was cool.  We had a 101 track and a deep dive room in addition to some of the more traditional IT Pro and Developer tracks.  Also in the mix, and well timed – was an Office 365 track.

I was lucky enough to kick off the 101 track.  We started the day aimed at folks who don’t know much, if anything, about SharePoint.  Hopefully this was useful and enough information to get folks started for the rest of the day.  The track was as follows:

Before getting started, my session was also dubbed “the SharePoint session you should send your mom to…”  and someone did.  Smile

The track seemed to go over well.  We had 20-30 people in each session throughout the day.  The intro topic is a little tough for SharePoint Saturday’s because generally the only people that know about SPS events are those that are already in tune with the SharePoint community.  I think there is a LOT more potential for this track/area, but it might require different or additional marketing to get the audience that it’s really targeted at.  Hopefully we can repeat and expand on the 101 track in other events as well.

My slides are available on Slideshare HERE.

SharePoint MVP Chat – Wednesday June 22, 11am CDT

In case you don’t already have it on your schedule, the next MVP chat will be next week.  These are helpful and crazy events where folks pepper the MVP panel with questions for an hour with MVPs responding as quickly as they can.  Having seen both sides of the event, it’s crazy, impressive and helpful.  So, if you haven’t participated, give it a shot.  Transcripts are also made available after the event so you can take a breath and go back to see what you may have missed in the dialogue. 

Wednesday June 22nd at 9am PDT / 11am CDT. Visit the MSDN event page:

Twitter: #spmvpchat

Facebook event: