Wednesday, 28 May 2014

I could do with some help moving to Office 365?

Office 365 is one of Microsoft’s fastest growing products; Reliable, secure, easy to manage and available on all devices is just some of the marketing collateral that sits around this great cloud product. It does have its issues though… One thing I hear day to day as I speak with customers of all sizes is the complexity of moving from A to B (A being your current environment – B being Office 365).

The internet is filled with some useful and some very un-useful documents and blogs around how best to move to Office 365 and what you should bear in mind. This post should provide you with some key tips around the deployment and some resources I’ve used when deploying and supporting some customers of mine.
Moving the data –
The hard part, right? Moving the gigabytes and gigabytes of data you have is never going to be simple but there are some solutions.
-          Migration tools
o   SkyKick https://www.skykick.com/ : Automatic migration tool available to partners only so get in touch with a Microsoft partner: http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en- GB/companies/search?q=office%20365&fcrc=GBR

o   Migration Wiz https://www.migrationwiz.com/ : connect this tool with your environment and watch the data move across (costly but effective).

o   Office 365 Migration tool http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh852447.aspx : A tool that can do the job, but that’s about it.
After the data is moved the rest is easy, well that’s what Microsoft say. A useful article I used when deploying was the trustee TechNet articles (wrote by the engineers that built the product – who better, right?) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh852429.aspx

I’m extremely intrigued to hear how people are getting on with the migration, share your story and thoughts below.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Will the Surface Pro 3 really be the tablet that will replace your laptop?

Most of you tech hungry readers will have seen Microsoft's latest announcement around the all new Surface Pro 3, god it does look good - but the question I pose is 'Will it actually be able to replace our trustee laptops?'

With a 12” display, Surface Pro 3 has the power of a laptop in a lightweight, versatile form. Let's dig deeper into those specs...

Screen Size: 12"
Resolution: 2160 x 1440
Dimensions: 11.5” x 7.93” x 0.3”
Battery Life: Up to 9 hours of web browsing4
Processor: 4th generation Intel® Core i3, i5 or i7

With the Kickstand, optional Type Cover, and multiple ports (including full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, and microSD card reader), Surface Pro 3 delivers the power, portability, and productivity you need according to Microsoft.

The integrated Kickstand now features multiple positions so you can work comfortably whether you’re on the plane, at your desk, or in front of the television - very handy for those business travellers amongst us.

Surface Pro 3 gives you the complete laptop experience with the power to run all the Windows software you need, including the full Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe® Creative Cloud®, and iTunes - What more could you want or desire?

So if you have a spare $799.00 would you get one? Would you trade in your laptop for this slick new technology?

I'll be getting my hands of one of these beauties next month and can't wait to report back with my experiences. I'd love to know your thoughts?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Microsoft to accelerate its share of smartphones by acquiring Nokia


The completion of the Nokia deal was agreed and completed on April 25th 2014 by Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella for a whopping $US7.2 Billion. Nokia’s phone and tablet business will run as a division in Microsoft called the Devices Group. Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO, heads up the division as its executive vice president.

With the deal closed, Microsoft acquires Nokia’s smartphone and mobile phone businesses, its design team, most of its manufacturing and assembly facilities and operations, and sales and marketing support. But what will this mean for Microsoft? 

Microsoft is continuing day by day to grow and achieve their goal of becoming a Devices and Services company. The acquisition of Nokia will strengthen this even more, recent demoes at BUILD and other reports leaking already about a new line of Nokia Lumias arriving this summer can only mean it’s a matter of time before the Tech Giant that is Microsoft Corporation chips away at the all-important shares that Apple and Android currently own.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Office 365 ProPlus Plan is getting some new Management features


Microsoft made an announcement on Wednesday which revealed Office 365 ProPlus services will be receiving some new and improved features. Microsoft indicated that the click-to-run update process for Office 365 ProPlus plan will become a lot faster and quicker to install. Microsoft also has announced some management improvements for IT pros, according to an announcement by Microsoft's Jeremy Chapman and Curtis Sawin.
One feature that was left out of the latest update to Office 365 was allowing users to exclude apps from the Office 365 ProPlus click-to-run update process. Apps such as InfoPath or Access aren’t used by every user – so why install them? Well with this update users will be able to ‘de-select’ installing the apps they don’t need.
Another big announcement which will make a lot of IT pros happy is the “shared computer activation” coming in “the second half of 2014” – this will allow companies to start using Office 365 ProPlus in their shared environments (RDS – Remote Desktop Server). A great touch by Microsoft, but should this already be a feature?
Microsoft are still showing the way with Office 365 and other cloud technologies that are blowing competitor products out of the water – let’s just hope they keep these improvements up.

Office, now on iPad


It’s been a long wait, but most consumers will be happy with Microsoft’s latest announcement in 2014 by taking Office on to Apple’s iPad. Microsoft’s 2014 mobile first, cloud first approach has been highly accepted by businesses and consumers across the globe and this adds to the positive feedback since Satya Nadella has joined the giant that is, Microsoft Corporation.
Creating an Excel Spreadsheet on your tablet, authoring a Word document in a browser or entertaining people with your latest presentation has just got easier for the millions of you that have been indulged in your iPads since the beginning of the tablet hype.
The app has now been released for a reported six weeks and has been downloaded about 27 million times, Microsoft’s Julia White told the crowd during Monday’s keynote at TechEd customer conference in Houston.
Office for iPad is a free app but only for those people who have paid subscriptions to Microsoft’s cloud version of Office, Office 365. In April, Microsoft reported it had 4.4 million paid users of the personal version of Office 365 – meaning most downloads are coming from business users with corporate Office 365 accounts.
So, is this good news or bad news for Microsoft? It means its cash cow business, Office, remains a massive hit with its business users, but the businesses and consumers are still buying iPads instead of Windows tablets – Microsoft must have a plan?
Follow @CharlieJGilbert on twitter for more news.