Aug 14

Why Do You Need SharePoint

A really quick video about Jennifer, a CIO of a large organization now using SharePoint. This is my 10th video using VideoScribe. It’s a great application and service for anyone that loves creating storyboard type videos (like me). Enjoy!

Aug 14

Records Retention in Office 365

Once you create your organizational policy and governance plan its time to create a retention policy in Office 365. This video will walk you through the process of setting up a policy and attaching it to sub-site. Enjoy!

Aug 14

Records Management in Office 365

Are you running Office 365/SharePoint 2013′s records management features? I hope so. One of my favorite features is content organizer. Watch my video on setting up records management in Office 365. Enjoy!

Jul 14

How to create a document library in Office 365

A simple How-To video on creating a document library in Office 365. Enjoy!

Jul 14

How to delete a stuck content type in SharePoint 2013

It happens all the time. You have a content type in SharePoint you no longer use and you would like to delete it, but SharePoint gives you the message “The content type is in use”. No problem this video will help you solve the problem in 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Jul 14

How to create a document library in SharePoint 2013

Lots of changes in SharePoint 2013 vs SharePoint 2010 and 2007. In this video I talk about creating a simple document library using SharePoint 2013. Enjoy!

Jul 14

How to create a document library in SharePoint 2010

Office 365 and SharePoint 2013 is what everyone is talking about, but what organizations are still using is SharePoint 2010. Here is a short tutorial on creating a document library in SharePoint 2010. Enjoy!

Jul 14

Check In/Out, Versioning and Content Approval with Office 365

Small Office 365 tutorial on check in/out, versioning and content approval.

Aug 13

Another Reason Why Bullets Points are Important

While doing my news rounds this morning my Windows 8 Metro trending news dashboard informed me that Chris Brown, whom I know little about except he gets into trouble a lot, hit and run a 123 year old man. My first reaction was “that’s just terrible”. After closer inspection I noticed there were two stores “Chris Brown hit and run case has been dismissed” and “123-Year Old Man in Bolivia is ‘The Oldest Person in the World’!”. Software developers assume the user will understand there is two separate stories, but we live in a world where no one reads the whole story and comprehend details, we scan our information and take it is fact. When developing applications it is still the software developers responsibility to ensure the content within the application reads like a well polished book including basic things like bullet points to separate stories.


Aug 13

10 Reasons Why Your Non-Profit Should Use Office 365

1. Low Cost

I’ll say it: SharePoint is expensive even for for-profit companies. Traditionally, On-Premise SharePoint can cost a business over US$500k a year to maintain; this cost encompasses the required staff, third party tools, and licenses. On-Premise SharePoint and Office 365 have different pricing models. Licensing for the former is based on how many SharePoint servers are turned on and how many users are using SharePoint. Office 365 pricing is based on how many users are set up with Office 365.

2. In the Cloud

This feature may be one of the best in the list. As the application is in the cloud, users do not have to maintain servers and costly equipment to keep SharePoint operating. Microsoft offers the same health reports as On-Premise SharePoint, and you can receive notifications of outages and service status.


Figure 1 – Office 365 Dashboard


3. Integration with Existing Systems and Legacy Applications

Most non-profit firms use a mixture of Open Source and licensed applications spread across many departments. Office 365 allows you to take ad hoc PHP applications and Access databases and then integrate them directly into Office 365 either by using Azure or by direct importing with applications such as Access. If you have Lotus, GroupWise, or Google e-mail, you can use third party tools, such as Quest’s Migration Suite for SharePoint, to make the migration easy.

4. Ease of Development

Normally, developing custom applications entails months of paying for costly developers and waiting for an application to be released. With Office 365, non-profit organizations can develop applications in JavaScript, HTML 5.0, PowerShell, C#, Node.js, and even PHP. Office 365 allows applications to be built directly in the cloud, thereby eliminating the need for expensive tools and developer environments. A simple application can be developed by power users in weeks instead of months.


Figure 2 – Develop applications within the browser


5. Works Directly with Microsoft Office and Exchange

If your non-profit has an existing On-Premise Exchange environment, Office 365 can be used as hybrid solution (joint connection with On-Premise). You may also move your Exchange mailboxes directly to Office 365 and manage your users within the cloud. The same attributes are available in the cloud as On-Premise. Office 365 also offers built-in compliance and retention policies to assist with audits and e-discovery.


6. Small Learning Curve

As Microsoft is handling most of the administration tasks, your I.T. department does not have to worry about the heavy lifting of taking care of servers. If your users have used SharePoint before, then every aspect of the system would feel the same as that from previous editions to these users. Document Libraries and Lists are called applications in Office 365. When you create a new document library, you can select “Add an app” from the upper right ribbon.


Figure 3- Change in names of Libraries and Lists


7. Training is Available Everywhere

From Microsoft’s online training to YouTube, training is available to get your non-profit company started using Office 365. However, online training should only be used as a tool, not the primary training. I highly recommend you hire a training company to conduct at least one in person for your organization. The best way is to break the training down by department, and then have the trainer create a training curriculum based on interviews and feedback from each department.

8. 508 Accessibility Ready

Accessibility is always important when considering systems, and is even more important when your non-profit group’s mission statement is to help those with disabilities. Office 365 is 508 out of the box, and Microsoft continues to improve its 508 standards. Please visit Microsoft’s Section 508 VPATs site for detailed information on 508 standards on all of its products.


9. Includes a public site

One of the great features of Office 365 is its function for creating a public site directly. Normally, when you hear “web site included,” you think of a cheap-looking site. This is not the case with Office 365. You can use the templates included or develop your site from scratch using your own web development editor and SharePoint Designer. You can also create an extranet for Board Members or Vendors to access without worrying about forward proxies or complex authentication setups.

Figure 4- One public site is included with Office 365 subscription

Figure 4- One public site is included with Office 365 subscription

Figure 5- Make your site public with one click

Figure 5- Make your site public with one click


10. Backup and Secure

Office 365 includes enterprise strength features that make its use safe and secure. The same you expect from a Fortune 500 company. Microsoft has monitors and safeguards for all Office 365 farm solutions to scan for potential hacker attacks, such as denial of service. Microsoft also scans documents and e-mails for viruses and then provides audit and reporting when one is found. Microsoft’s data centers are certified in ISO 27001 and boasts of an EU Safe Harbor seal. Office 365 allows you to integrate securely your existing Active Directory to allow Single Sign On and Active Directory Federated Services.

When you shouldn’t use Office 365

  • I have mentioned all the great points to Office 365, but this platform is not suitable for all organizations. If your organization has built complex applications on top of SharePoint, moving those applications to Office 365 can be a difficult task.
  • If you have complex security around your SharePoint farm, such as RSA, or complex claims-based authentication, then you should consider implementing a hybrid approach (on-premise SharePoint and Office 365)