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Microsoft

My name is Mark Kashman, Senior Product Marketing Manager (PMM) on the SharePoint Team - working on cloudy things for our customers from our data centers (i.e. SharePoint Online & Delve). It's a fun, busy job Robot Happy that spans interactions with customers, partners, my engineering colleagues and the Microsoft sales field. The last few weeks brought variety across internal and external events, blog posts and announcements, sprinkled with prep of things to come and the routine churn and burn of the daily staple work items. Busy. Fun. Indeed. And I wanted to share a few choses à faire across the last three weeks, highlighting scenarios to better understand the Office 365 portfolio and to give insight to some of those lingering "when to use what" questions. AKA, here is what I've used - sprinkled with a clarity or two of why. Smiley Happy

 

A few weeks ago, Microsoft wrapped up a large, biannual internal event called TechReady (TR) - this one was TR23. 1/2 our technical field (across sales and services) was airlifted into Seattle to learn of all new, coming tech and address the open questions and concerns they hear from their customers and partners. And I work with people from the SharePoint, OneDrive and Delve teams to coordinate on ~ 15 presentations and chalk talks covering the landscape of our tech and scenarios; about five of us supporting 20 or so people, each of whom deliver a PowerPoint presentation (deck), messaging talk track and associated set of demos. We start with the basics: title, abstract, level, and key objectives - submitted to a centrally-managed, event-wide Excel spreadsheet. And in the weeks leading up to TR23, and during, we collaborated using a lot of our tech to support prep and delivery:

  • SharePoint & OneDrive for Business for deck preparation and review, and ultimately for archival across the company. We all could work early on at our own pace, and then easily share more broadly. Some started from within their OneDrive for Business, some from within a team site document library. In this scenario, from my pov, it was easier to use a team site to involve more people without permissions management constraints - much of the team was already working in the team site, and we could email links to additional people for additional review and contribution - without blockers of access request which equates to time loss/delays. And then after each session is delivered, all final decks are placed in a unique SharePoint site collection our IT teams uses to archive all, managed by the broader event team and made available within 2-3 days after delivery alongside the on-demand AV recordings of the sessions.
  • Email and calendar to share ideas, meet to run kickoff meetings and dry runs, plus to ensure shared calendar invites went out to all with final room/date/time info as we spread out and tackled the busy TR23 week at the Washington State Convention Center (WSTCC).

From a second event perspective, we now turn focus and energy on Ignite 2016 - where as a team we will drive ~ 55 sessions, have a few kiosks in the Office booth within the Expo Hall, and take part in the value of community and evening events - including the traditional SharePint - three cheers for SharePint :). In prep for Ignite, I've been working with my peers and our speakers to finalize titles and abstracts, lock in speakers (internal and external), and begin to set up various workback schedules and reviews so Ignite ignites with pizzazz, no fizzle. Here's a quick hit of the how and what for Ignite:

  • My teammate set up an Office 365 Group for all of us to use "Ignite 2016 SharePoint" - with now 65 members all up from across the company. We all have access to shared files, a team calendar, team notebook, etc.. and it's been priceless for me for all of our documents to go here (draft presentations, logistical layouts), and an important contact list was created within the groups team site to help us all track who arrives when, what hotel we are staying at, cell numbers, etc. I added a folder for the group and uploaded all the historical planning docs from Ignite 2015 to help accelerate some things, and avoid some pitfalls we hit and learned from last time Robot wink.
  • The team site came with the group has a nice new, modern home page (coming soon) - used to highlight main content, and I really get the most value out of seeing all the site activity flow to the home page - giving me consistent insight into what's happening around me, and a few times has triggered me to contact a speaker who I can see has put something into the site - which tells me they are ready for a first review; not always easy to know if you've ever managed content for an event :-). Also, one of my peers put the PowerPoint template into the groups' team site so we could all start our first draft inline from the document library with the right template and in the right place. Yay for content types!
  • Next week, I'll build out a new page on the site to convey some timely info with the right documents and photos inline to help all booth duty personnel know where to go, focus areas to demo, and eventually have the full scheduled of who supports what and when throughout the week in Atlanta.

I've been working on my next SharePoint blog post for blogs.office.com. I'm nearing the final mile and have benefitted from both OneDrive for Business (ODB) and SharePoint. I chose to start this one pretty early as it's complex with a moving parts and pieces - so I started my early outline and screenshot gathering draft within my OneDrive for Business. From here I shared it with just a few peers so they could add their snippets of text and images, and to give early guidance on flow per the topic. Once we progress, I then moved the file from my ODB to a pre-submissions folder on the managed team site owned by the Office Blog team. This triggered awareness, sending a notification to the editorial team. This is also where I opened it up to the broader teams in marketing and engineering, to review/add/comment, and as I iterated the draft, I kept everyone informed via simple email updates - always linking to the same document (cloud attachments) so we always were working on the same document. And in this final mile, I've now moved into the next step of the blog team's workflow, which mainly triggers a notificiation to the editorial team for a grammar check and the PR team for their market/message perspective. Their process is clean, managed and easy to follow as a content author - knowing everyone who needs to and wants to weigh in can, with hopefully the least amount of surprises when the post goes live and into the world. Robot Very Happy

 

Lastly, I've gotten to play with some of the new, not-yet-released, tech and wanted to share a few scenarios and tasks that are becoming a part of how I regularly now get work done:

  • SharePoint mobile app on Android: I'm an Android user these days, and the SharePoint mobile app for Android team let me hop on the early alpha build train - and things are looking good. I use it often to see the activity of the Ignite 2016 SharePoint team site - to see what draft presentations are being worked on and reviewing ones I'll support using PowerPoint mobile. And several times, I've used the SharePoint app to find & send final content posted from TR23, look up peer profiles to contact them and see who they report to, performed a search to find a Minecraft team site to send that team a fun idea I had for them Man Happy.
  • SharePoint Online Team Sites + Office 365 Groups: I've been playing with these a lot as we get ready to bring them to market. The integration work is seamless, and the value they bring by having Office 365 Groups be the membership that binds the access and experience across the team's Office 365 apps - really nice. And the new, modern home page coming to team site within Office 365 Groups is compelling to help highlight the main planning doc we all reference for Ignite 2016. 
  • OneDrive for Business 'Discover' tab: I thought Delve would be the only play I would as a user discover content. But having this in context within OneDrive has been useful; and on my Android device. Discovery of content from within OneDrive focuses on file discovery; where Delve helps discover files, videos, sites and more - this refined view of files when my work in OneDrive revolves around files keeps me focused - and has led a few times to my review of someone else's work that resides outside my own OneDrive for Business storage/folders, but closely related per the value of teh Graph showing me a relevant file based on who I'm working with and what I'm working on. In this case, I discovered a new collaboration strategy document a skip-level peer was working on that gave me a great lead in to my topic of discussion at TR23. Saved me some time and kept me on message with broader topics and other sessions that ran through that week.
  • Office 365 Profiles: I turned a number of time to review someone's profile as a prep to a meeting. I'm working more these days with the Microsoft Stream team as we converge it with Office 365 Video, and some of the new people in these cross-group meetings were new to me - so I went from the meeting invite into a pre-brief mode seeing who they were based on who they work for, who they work with, and a few times clicking on work they are working on that was visible to me per their permissions; great pre-read to some specs and things they are thinking about to really up-level what Microsoft will offer as video streaming services to both Office and non-Office customers. I felt more informed walking into the meeting, and i was able to do a lot of people-based research straight from each meeting attendee's profile page. Some nice work across teams to make this scenario easier, in-context and in-app.

Cheers, and thanks for your eyeballs. If you have any questions or comments on the above, please don't hesitate to ask below. I'm here for clarity and openness. We've a lot to share and show at Ignite 2016, with a primary focus to share news, train on how to use and benefit -- with a huge goal not to confuse, but to delight and continue our ear on feedback, to refine and refine and refine - to make you as productive as you can be.

 

Above is a glimpse at my productivity over the last few weeks, what's yours?

 

See you at Ignite,

Mark (@mkashman)