SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Look to the Sharepoint Ecosystem for Help Getting the most from Office 365

 by Harry Brelsford, CEO, SMB Nation

We’ve been talking a lot on O365 Nation about the financial and management benefits of moving to Office 365. Simply removing the internal infrastructure costs for Exchange can be a compelling reason for a business of any size to consider Office 365. That said, Office 365 is a service from Microsoft that offers so much more than a way to simplify the management of Exchange.help

Are you getting the full advantage?

One area that is currently underutilized by many Office 365 subscribers is the included SharePoint Online license. For example, a recent Radicati Group survey found that only 23% of respondents are using SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Online represents a transformational opportunity for many of today’s business and you should be taking a careful look at all the opportunities. Maybe you don’t have an intranet today or all your internal files are in a file share. Your current Office 365 license allows you to change all this.

So why aren’t more people using SharePoint Online?

Radicati states that the “hesitant majority of enterprises that aren't willing to move to [SharePoint Online is] because of user issues, existing architecture and data security.”

(Source for above: http://searchcontentmanagement.techtarget.com/news/4500245119/Migrating-to-SharePoint-Online-is-a-tale-of-two-realities )

In some areas these objections are tried and true challenges with SharePoint on-premises for which there is a well-established ecosystem of vendors focused. For example, AvePoint, Cryptzone, and Metalogix are just a few of the vendors focused on data migration, architecture and security problems.

So what about user issues? This is a newer area of focus for the Microsoft ecosystem, but promises to help overcome one of the last real stumbling blocks to better adoption of Office 365 across the enterprise.

Depending on your SharePoint Online needs, there is help for the user experience issues. For example, Beezy offers tools to enhance the collaboration user experience on Microsoft’s cloud stack. ShareGate is a vendor with roots in the data and site migration space that is differentiating itself on the SharePoint administrative experience across Office 365. Thirdly, there is Akumina, who is bringing their founders knowledge of the site management and content authoring experience and applying it to a new turn-key Office 365 intranet site that they say you’ll be able to use and manage without being a SharePoint expert.

So don’t hold back on getting the most out of your Office 365 investment. Just as with SharePoint on-premises, there are several ways you can address some of the most common gaps in what Microsoft delivers out of the box.

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Microsoft announces first look, features for SharePoint

Sharing is caring, right? After all, we’ve welcomed many business solutions in the past few years allowing us to collaborate with colleagues, clients and customers through services like Microsoft SharePoint.

Microsoft announced yesterday availability of SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview and a new cloud hybrid search preview for SharePoint Server 2013 and 2016.sharepoint

“One of the more difficult challenges, beyond deploying software, is managing the IT infrastructure to support it,” wrote Bill Baer, SharePoint senior technical product manager. “In many cases, IT investments directly impact the bottom line. SharePoint Server 2016 has been designed to reduce the emphasis on IT and streamline administrative tasks, so IT professionals can concentrate on core competencies and mitigate costs. Tasks that may have taken hours to complete in the past have become simple and efficient processes that allow IT to focus less on day-to-day management and more on innovation.”

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in the Microsoft announcement is a cloud hybrid search preview, which will allow Office 365 and SharePoint users to retrieve information from on-premises and O365 content with a combined search index in Office 365.

The full announcement and links to download the cloud hybrid search and SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview are available here.

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Kaseya Releases Version 7.0, Adds Support for SharePoint

Kaseya logoToday, Kaseya announced the release of Version 7.0, which offers enhancements to the company’s cloud, mobility management and core IT solutions. In particular, the 365 Command, Virtual System Administrator, Traverse, and Enterprise Mobility Management solutions were enhanced in today’s release. I was able to speak with Tom Hayes, Kaseya’s VP of Product Marketing, late last week, and he ran me through some of Version 7.0’s features.

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Datto Integrates Kroll Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange Server, SharePoint Recovery Support

Datto logoDatto said earlier this week that it is now offering Kroll Ontrack PowerControls 7.0 through Datto’s integrated software. According to Datto, this new implementation makes Datto the only BDR solution provider to offer granular recovery support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 in addition to having new functionality for preserving and exporting Exchange/SharePoint source and metadata.

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