Innovate or Die

Choosing the Best Training Videos for Office 365

There are multiple training options when it comes to delivering education to your user community for new communication and collaboration technologies such as Office 365.  But which is the best model for today’s workforce? Classroom Training? Computer Based Training with preset Curriculum? E-Learning Paths with Validation Tests?

From consulting with different enterprise organizations around North America, I’ve found that “Just-in-Time-Learning” (JITL™) is the most effective model these days. If you haven’t heard of JITL yet, then this blog will interest you. It provides a discussion on the use of “Just-in-Time-Learning” videos to help organizations truly drive education, knowledge and user adoption for Office 365.  JITL addresses the training needs of the modern technology-focused workplace and the stringent, on-demand information requirements of a rising millennial workforce. Convenience, accessibility, relevance, efficiency, and engagement: JITL embodies the hallmarks of a productive learning experience.

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Improving Technology Adoption & ROI through Online Training

“Technology Adoption” can be a scary phrase to an IT professional. You can roll out some fabulous new application that totally simplifies a complex business process, get every bit of the configuration correct, transition all the legacy data – and if the users don’t understand how to use it, well… you can consider it a failure, since won’t be adopted.

The migration to a platform as immense as Office 365, for example, which includes as many as 14 different applications that replace just about anything used on-premises, can be daunting for users. Corporate IT organizations usually roll out different workloads in phases, which helps, but there are certain cloud complexities for even the most widely-known applications. Take Microsoft Word Online vs the desktop version, for instance. These two applications don’t completely align. Add on top of that all the new applications in Office 365 that users aren’t even remotely familiar with, and you’ll find most users are simply going to shy away from new functionality and continue using inefficient methods to share information and accomplish tasks.

In the end, technology adoption is about two things:

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Microsoft Whiteboard: Where people, content and ideas come together

I discovered MS Whiteboard a couple months ago and immediately fell in love. It is a very simple tool, but it is powerful, useful, and growing. Let’s dig into what Whiteboard is and why it’s so amazing!

Microsoft Whiteboard is exactly what the name states. It is a digital whiteboard the includes the tools you wish you had when standing in front of the analog whiteboard in a conference room and adds the ability to share the whiteboard with other people in your meeting to allow immediate, simultaneous collaboration.

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The Importance of Citizen Developers in Content Services

When we think about a “Developer” we imagine that Brainiac typing away thousands of lines of codes to create an application that performs a number of actions. The term developer also has a geeky, nerdy connotation to it. Combine these two statements and a lot of end-users don’t really identify themselves with a developer.

However, when we think about business processes and their implementation or automation, who actually has the business knowledge of what an application, workflow, automation, etc. should do? Correct, it is the end-user or the business process owner. They know exactly how many steps there are in the process, they know what each step does, how it needs to handle end-user interaction, which systems to talk to, etc. What they don’t know is how to write code, create database schemas – all the things developers know.

This means that when an application or workflow needs to be created, there is a significant amount of time and effort spent to translate what it is in the head of the end-user or business process to the developer, who then needs to translate that story into code. Not only will this take a lot of time, there is a serious risk that interpretations or mistakes in the translation are made which will cause the application not to perform as requested and changes will be necessary.

What if we could take away the middle man?

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6 Tips to Improve Cloud Storage Adoption

The way we organize files is intensely personal. Folders have given us a way to group files in almost countless ways. Folders are familiar. Their boundaries are easy to understand. Permissions applied to the folder and anything in the folder inherits those permissions. Sub-folders are easy to create. Folders are simple to copy or move. Someone new to computing can easily learn file management because of this containerized concept. It translates to real-world experience with containers we use every day to store and organize objects.

The trouble with moving to cloud-based storage is that each platform has its own spin on how they think file storage should operate. Their folders may use the same features, such as supporting sub-folders or permissions. But there are differences between the platforms, sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle…

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Extend eDiscovery beyond its content boundaries

When it comes to regulations and compliance, organizations are super careful and rightfully so. Being out of compliance and in violation of a regulation can be career-ending, or worse even organization-ending. There is simply too much on the line for reckless content management.

The result of this careful behavior is that within these highly-regulated organizations, options for employee collaboration have become quite limited. Organizations in these situations tend to maintain tight control over what happens to their content, so they can know with certainty whether they are in compliance at any given time.  Many organizations deploy some sort of governance tool to ensure compliance, often either built within their ECM platform or using a dedicated, third-party tool for it.

However, both scenarios have their drawbacks. Governance functionality baked into an ECM platform generally only impacts content that is stored within that platform, and the third-party tool will only regulate content from sources that can support it. No matter your choice, your options are limited and limiting.

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Why Should We Sync?

When I Hear Sync

Throughout the many years I have been in IT, when I hear the word “Sync” my mind immediately goes to SQL Clustering/Availability Groups based on my background, current job and weekly client discussions – day-to-day practices involving sync. I then immediately jump to the ability to sync local content to the cloud, so we can access it from any device, anywhere.

Sync Reality

Recently the buzz around sync has been heightened; what better time to get the facts and see how it can impact current and future projects? Given all the buzz, I’ve realized that my previous “immediate thoughts” on the word Sync have changed – Now when I hear about Sync, I jump to a question: “Why would I use a synchronization platform over a typical migration lift and shift migration platform? What benefits does it have, if any?” Let’s think about if for a minute!

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Navigating friction between GDrive and OneDrive

Google makes some great software… GDrive is a very capable and robust platform for storing user content.

Microsoft makes some great software… OneDrive is a very capable and robust platform for storing user content.

And yet, they are not the same.

Anyone looking to consume both sets of APIs and use them to transfer content between those two platforms can be in for a rough ride. The journey unfortunately goes down some rugged paths that resemble rubble fields more than a navigable roadway; think Michigan’s road quality after a spring thaw and you’re almost there.

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