May 25 2017 06:49 AM
May 25 2017 06:49 AM
Microsoft is very keen that Office 365 tenants should move away from email distribution groups to embrace the world of Office 365 Groups. There is lots to like about Groups, but I have some doubts about the way Microsoft is cajoling people to move. What do you think?
May 25 2017 07:36 AM
I think the whole way the Microsoft crams new features (Groups, Clutter, Focussed Inbox, Teams, etc.) down our throats is really out of line for a service that we pay for. If they want to do that inhouse at Microsoft, more power to them, but in my tenant our IT group is in charge and determines what our users need for solving their business processes. Afterall we know our users, not Microsoft.
Microsoft should be more soft handed. They should say "here's this great feature, here's how to turn it on." The new feature should sell itself on it's own merrits, not by being forced upon the tenants.
Ultimately what ends up happening is I have to go around and find out how to turn off every new feature that is forced upon our tenant. Why should I have to waste my time doing that?
May 25 2017 09:56 AM
I can certainly understand where you are coming from but I am not sure I agree. Office 365 is designed to iterate rapidly, while you may not have asked for those new features, they have been mostly well received. Teams got a fantastic response, though finding where to best use these new features does take some work. Sometimes that does mean disabling them for a while, while they can be reviewed selectively.
Pushing to expunge Distribution Groups in favour of O365 Groups I agree might be a step too far if it's been done awkwardly. I think Microsoft's bind is if they introduce new features disabled by default, the uptake suffers and some customers will never get around to enabling them. I know that might seem like a hassle at times but I think trying to micromanage Office 365 is a bit of lost cause.
All of that's not to say I don't think Microsoft can't do even better, I'd like to see more predictability and improved tools for admins, so they can be more comfortable with managing change. I was intrigued with First Release Actionable Preview Period, while it hasn't materialised something along those lines I think would help a lot.
May 25 2017 10:02 AM
I am all for fast iteration, but my problem is that there seems to be too much "one size fits all" thinking going on around the DL vs. Groups question at the moment. DLs have their place and should be allowed to serve their function. Groups are much better in many circumstances, but not all. When Groups can completely replace everything DLs can do - without needing an E5 license - then let's all have a big campaign to eradicate DLs.
May 25 2017 10:11 AM
I agree Cary. Change management in our organization requires planning, preparation and training.
The "instant on" way new features are released in Office 365 makes this a challenge for admins.
Case in point:
Right now we are awaiting the arrival of the new Microsoft Stream icon in the app launcher so we know we can go in and disable it across all users in our tenant. When we are ready for the change from Office 365 Video then we can roll it out.
I'd much prefer to me notified as an admin that its now available with details of how to enable it for all users across the tenant.
May 25 2017 10:17 AM
Agreed, Distribution groups have a place and Microsoft shouldn't go over the top in making everyone use Groups instead. That EAC switcheroo I might not have even noticed if you hadn't pointed it out!
May 25 2017 10:37 AM
I know it was only an example but are there "Microsoft Stream for O365" licences showing up in your tenant yet? These could then be removed in advance, so the icon won't appear for everyone, allowing only select users to try Steam when activated?
I agree change management isn't to be underestimated and it does have it's difficulties, it one of the reasons that motivated me to put this list together.
May 25 2017 10:57 AM
May 25 2017 12:17 PM
I think Microsoft's bind is if they introduce new features disabled by default, the uptake suffers and some customers will never get around to enabling them. I know that might seem like a hassle at times but I think trying to micromanage Office 365 is a bit of lost cause.
I think that is the crux of the issue (my bolding of your words). Who's uptake is more important? Is it the uptake on "metrics" inside Microsoft to show success? Or is it the uptake for my organization?
I have this impression the forcing of the apps upon the tenants has more to do with metrics inside Microsoft and not what's best for my tenant. Afterall, if we as a customer choose to use the feature or not should be up to us. Ultimately it's our money, and if we don't use this feature or that feature that's our internal issue and Microsoft shouldn't have any say in the matter.
I'm not disputing that this is the cloud and new features come all the time and most of them appear great, I'm just asking that as an organization we are allowed to determine which we use or don't use, not the latest new feature group at Microsoft.