Contents tagged with Exchange Online
SharePoint Team Sites are dead, there you have it! The era when SharePoint Team Sites was the king of SharePoint and web based collaboration are over. SharePoint Team Sites are dead, I said it again. Ok, you might think this is a link bait, a scam or something else - it's not. This is how I foresee the future of online collaboration in SharePoint Online/Office 365.
Team Sites are based on a decade old construct in SharePoint. They allow a great flexibility and extensibility for the end users, but…
…it requires a lot of training
…it drives a lot of support
…it drives a lot of consultancy hours (yes, I am/was one of those)
…historically upgrades are extremely expensive
…[fill in your own here]
…do the end-users really need that much power?
So, what's a better option then? I'd say Office 365 Groups! Office 365 Groups has a lot of the features that we lack in Team Sites and it offers the simplicity that end-users requires from Team Sites in 95% (just made that figure up, but you get the point) of the cases.
Office 365 Groups combines the best of the Office 365 services in one single place, and Office 365 Groups have done something the SharePoint team haven't ever achieved doing with Team Sites - integrate with the Outlook client. Office 365 Groups is a mash-up of:
- An Exchange Online Inbox - that is you can send e-mail to the group. This is a killer feature in online collaboration. Yes, SharePoint 2013 had the Team Site Mailbox but we all know that feature didn't scale and to be frankly it sucked.
- A SharePoint Online Document Library - all we need to share documents, what better tool for that than a SharePoint document library. Offline sync, version history, web-based editing with Office Online, sharing, recycle bin etc etc. Using SharePoint for what SharePoint originally was designed for…
- An Exchange Online Calendar - a real calendar (compared to the one in SharePoint)
- A OneNote Online Notebook - OneNote, nuff said
- Conversations - yea, conversations and discussions and likes and what not (not based on Yammer, thank you very much).
As you can see Office 365 Groups uses the best tools available in the Office 365 service for a specific purpose. It all integrates and works extremely well in the web based user interface and you can offline sync the documents and work with it in the Outlook 2016 client.
Office 365 Groups also aligns very well with the NextGen Portals, Microsofts attempt to build killer solutions in Office 365. One of those NextGen Portals are Delve which helps you discover new and relevant information. Shortly Delve will start to recommend Office 365 Groups for you (announced at Ignite 2015) and Office 365 and the Office Graph will also be extended with really interesting collaboration analytics between groups (another awesome Ignite demo). We also will see a Office 365 Groups App for mobile devices (see public roadmap), Office 365 Groups will be integrated to CRM Online and more…
The extensibility story for Office 365 Groups has just started. Unfortunately we are not allowed to modify content types and such in the document library (see wish list below). But Office 365 Groups has made it into the new Microsoft Graph/Unified Office 365 APIs and Azure AD Apps.
For management of Office 365 Groups the story did not start well last fall, but we're continuously seeing new improvements. Such as the new naming policies for groups etc. I like it!
Yes, there are exceptions and some rough edges here and there (see my wish list below) - but overall this is something your organization should adapt as soon as possible. It will take you one step closer the digital (modern) workplace and into the future of online collaboration!
Office 365 Groups wish list
Here are a couple of things that I think should be top priority for the product team. If and when these "issues" are solved I think we have a pretty robust and future-proof solution.
- Supported management of the Document Library, so that you can for instance modify/add the content type and/or templates. We really need this for enterprise content management.
- Some extensibility hooks for customizations
- Better management of the Groups e-mail address
- A task list
- Integration with Azure AD Dynamic groups
- Notifications/events when groups are created or group creation approval
- Better discoverability, a better "Groups Portal"
- An Everyone group - so that we get an All company feed and once and for all can shut Yammer down
Some small but interesting additions on the roadmap today.
New stuff on the roadmap
- Yammer support for Android Wear devices: (Directly to Launched) Yammer on your wrist! Ok, where's the Microsoft Band app?
- Enhanced NDRs: (In Development) Microsoft will now help you understand the cause and reason of NDRs in a much easier way.
- ExpressRoute for Office 365: (In Development) You want your own redundant fat pipe to the Office 365 Data Centers - then this is your feature. Will be launched this fall.
It’s not easy to keep up on what is happening in the Office and Office 365 world. Everything is changing so fast. Fortunate for us Microsoft and the Office product group has created the Office Roadmap site (http://office.com/roadmap) with all (almost at least) the details on what is in development and rolling out etc. It became quite famous the other week when the new forms solution went from In Development to Cancelled.
Unfortunately it is quite hard to stay up to date on what’s changing in the Roadmap, and until Microsoft provides us with better details with regards to this, I thought that I could help out. Actually a while back I built a PowerShell script that automatically notifies me of any changes to the Roadmap – and why keep that a secret?
I’ll try to blog the changes as soon as I discover them, and I’ll add my personal thought on the change…
(Sorry, about the wrong date at the first edition of this post...)
These are the changes as of today and I divide them into a couple of sections
New stuff on the roadmap
- AzureAD sync for Yammer: (In Development) We’re getting there
- Clutter for your inbox on by default: (In Development) I don’t generally like stuff turned on by default, but this might be an exception
- Office 365 ProPlus user activation management: (In Development) looking forward to this!
- OneNote Staff Notebook for Education: (Launched) Brand new addition to the roadmap
- Quarantine Message Body Preview: (In Development)
- Exchange Transport Rule: Recipient Notification Action: From In Development
- Improved Yammer thread visuals with Card View for iOS/Android: From In Development
- OneDrive for Business Sync for Mac: Wonder if we’ll see the OD4B app on the fancy watch?
- Outlook Web App options update:
- PIN lock and other updates for Outlook for iOS & Android: directly to launched
- Quarantine Bulk Release: Another direct to launch feature
- RMS support for document libraries: From In Development, awesome stuff!
- Touch Design Enhancements for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business
Features now rolling out
- Compliance Center for Office 365: Went from In development to rolling out
- DLP in Office 365 to protect Externally classified content: Now rolling out
- eDiscovery Center Scale Increase: Went directly from In development to Launched
- Partner Admin Center New Customer List Filters: From In development.
- Partner admin mobile app: From In Development
- Workload-specific admin roles: From In Development. This is the best news this time! Finally!
- Yammer groups prioritization: From In Development
- SharePoint Online storage usage model: Moved from Rolling Out to In Development?
Moved off the list, into the previously released bucket
- Enhanced Bulk Mail Protection for Exchange Online Protection
- Group Search in Yammer
- Groups in Office 365 for Outlook Web App and OneDrive for Business
- New wave of Yammer web and mobile language localization updates
- Office 365 IRS 1075 Compliance Support
- Office 365 Message Encryption- Apps for iOS and Android
- Office 365 services hosted from Microsoft Japan datacenters
- Office 365 sign-in for Yammer
- OneDrive for Business for Office 365 ProPlus subscription plans