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Entries for February 2012

by Brett

Microsoft has blogged about SharePoint Online updates that are being updated. Users worldwide have received notifications about updates coming that would cause sites to be breifly into read only mode, but there was no word about what exactly was being added that made these actions necessary.

Here's the list from  http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blog/Pages/BlogPost.aspx?pID=1004

  • SharePoint Online was initially scoped to scale to customers with fewer than 20,000 Active Directory entries (specifically user objects). This service update allows customers with up to 500,000 user objects to provision SharePoint Online
  • Enterprise customers can now restore full site collections, in addition to sites, documents, lists, and list items.

Note: read between the lines here: This is classic Microspeak. They are pointing out, by omission, that the P1 plan will not have this feature.

  • external users can now use their business email address to authenticate when invited into an Office 365 customer's site collection

Note: The email address must be associated with a Live ID. However, it does not have to be hotmail or live account. This is a very nice update

  • PDF files will now open directly into Adobe Reader without requiring that it be downloaded first. The PDF remains connected and stored in your SharePoint Online document library as you view and edit the file. You can even check it out like other Office documents.

Once again, Microsoft shows they are moving to add value to the services and close feature gaps. There are more updates to come!

Soultion Alignment and Tecnical Briefing Decks Released to Partners

by Brett

When Microsoft works with a large company, they go through a structured engagement. The engagement model and the materials they use are not generally available outside of Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft released two key parts of this process, the Solution Alignment Workshop and the Technical Briefing. The release is limited to Office 365 Partners.

The Technical Briefing occurs very early in the engagment. This is not a deep dive, but rather, is intended to identify issues that could be problems if they surfaced later. 

There are 8 Technical Briefing decks that cover
1. Agenda
2. Cloud Principles (one of the most important decks, actually)
3. Identity and Dirsynch
4. Exchange Online
5. Lync Online
6. SharePoint Online
7. Office Professional Plus
8. Deployment and Closing

Later in the process, another workshop is presented called the Solution Alignment Workshop (SAW). This two day workshop uses a single 109 slide deck and is a more detailed presentation intended to identify and perhaps resolve specific issues related to Office 365 for the company. Are all the SMTP gateways identified? Is the customer clear on security policy? Do they know that DAV is unavailable? Are they OK that Outlook Web App cannot be customized?

These decks, used extensively by Microsoft, have not been available outside of Microsoft until very recently.  Partners that sell Office 365 can now download the decks at Quickstartonlineservices.com.

The decks include some detailed "maps" about the onboarding process for larger companies, complete presentations on Office 365 security, and many other useful details. Partners will want to scrub some of the details to present your own services as more face forward than Microsoft's, but IMO, these are very important resources that all partners should at reference and potentially use. At the very least, it's a great education about the services.
 

https://www.quickstartonlineservices.com/Partners/LibraryDocuments/O365%20Technical%20Briefings%20and%20Solution%20Alignment%20Workshop.zip

Brett Hill

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