Awarded MVP – 10 Years #mvpbuzz

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It’s the normal blog post for the 1st July, but this year, what makes it extra special is that it is the 10th award I have recieved.  Thanks to everyone who supports me in giving to the community and I hope we can work together to achieve more in the next 12 months.

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Collection of all Microsoft User Voices

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#UPDATED 8th June 2017

Microsoft have been using User Voice to gage your input and development ideas for their products over the last few years but there are lot of them out there than you realise *trust me there are a lot more than I had realised and I’m sure I’ve missed a lot too.

Having heard and spoken to different product teams they sit down as a team every week or other week and look at the new requests, the votes and comments added and decide if it is something that should be added or prioritied for the product.  Not all product teams do the same but I hope this list helps for you to add the right feedback you want for the developments you want in Microsoft services.  If you know of any that I missed please tweet me and I will update the list.

Office

Windows and Management

Azure

Education

Visual Studio and Development

Others

Consumer

 

Presentation: Why you still need Azure AD even if you are Google

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It was a delight to be able to represent both BFC Networks and Pugh Computers at the recent Cynhadledd Technegol ColegauCymru Annual Technical Conference (Welsh Colleges Annual Technical Conference).

It is the only time during the year I get to speak solely to a college audience and with the conference in the valleys of Wales but it also gives me the opporunity to enjoy the drive through the beaultiful Welsh Valleys.

This year the theme was based on Security with GDPR being a hot topic so having given a few ideas of different sessions it was decided to talk more about the importance of Azure AD whether you are Office 365, Google or neither.  As other organisations move to the cloud, you need to be secure and know how your users are using your domain name to access content from other Office 365 enviornments

Ensure your Office 365 Data Moves to the UK

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In recent years we have seen Microsoft announce data centres across the world and more importantly for my point of view a set of them in the UK.  Azure services can now be purchased to house your services in the UK with new Office 365 tenants being created in the these new data centres.

Did you know you have to opt in to get your current Office 365 tenants moved to the UK?  Did you know you have only until the 15 September 2017 to complete your request?

Well hopefully you do now.  If you navigate to the Admin Centre in Office 365, Settings and then Organisation you will see while navigate down the page it talks about where your data is located.  Below that is the notification around moving you data.

Ensure you understand what the move process is and how it effects your organisation and chat with Microsoft or visit the Trust centre if you have more questions.

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Microsoft Education Online Event 2nd May #MicrosoftEdu

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In a month of announcements and events including Microsoft Build and The SharePoint Summit we have another event for those interested in the education space.

Looking at different reports there are guesses around announcements such as Windows Cloud, new Surface devices however I’m hoping for the announcement and general release of Microsoft Classroom, Intune for Education and a focus on Microsoft School Data Sync and how third parties can integrate with the SDS and Microsoft Classroom.

Hope to see you there. http://event.microsoft.com/MayEvent

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Slide Deck – SUGUK B’ham 11/5/16

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It was a great pleasure to present at the SharePoint User Group and pass on my findings regarding the #FutureOfSharePoint.  A few points that aren’t on the slide deck.

It was great to see Microsoft themselves supporting the community and we get a message from Jeff Teper wishing us all the best for the event.

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It is always good to see people tweeting and on Facebook while you are speaking and thanks to those did.

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Speaking at SUGUK Birmingham – 11th May

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I enjoy travelling to different SharePoint User Groups in the UK and hope to one day to achieve the next thing and speak at a community event aboard but there is nothing like home!

Wednesday 11th May will see the SharePoint User Group UK host an event in Birmingham just a few miles away from where I live.

The evening session will see Penny Coventry speak about “What’s New for End Users in SharePoint 2016” but before that I will be talking about and getting your thoughts on what Microsoft unveil at their “The Future of SharePoint” event on the 4th May (May the 4th be with you).

The session will most likely not be demos but I’ll share what was talked about during the events presentations and I’ll give as much information as I can about it.  I also like to use my sessions to get your feedback so we’ll ask for your opinion during this and gage each other’s thoughts.

Get signed up and look forward to seeing you there

http://www.suguk.org/Event.aspx?id=22116293429

02-05-2016 20-51-08

 

 

First Look at Microsoft Classroom

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As Microsoft increase their competition against Google and release more features for Office 365 Education, we get to see another new feature that is currently in preview for US based customers.  Along with Office Forms, we now get Microsoft Classroom, a great example of how Software Integrator can build on top of the Office 365 platform but mainly Office 365 Groups.

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Microsoft Classroom integrated communication and collaboration through Office 365 Group but also their ever growing in popularity OneNote Class Notebook into a single web application available at http://classroom.microsoft.com.

With Google pushing hard with Google Classroom, the ability to assign work, communicate and collaborate for Microsoft customers as part of the free offering has become an increasing demand but of course, Microsoft have a great platform that offers so much more.

With OneNote, OneDrive, Office Online, Exchange, Office 365 Groups, the desktop and mobile apps available for the platform, educators are going to get a great experience that fits everyone in the classroom.  Bringing all of these in will allow teachers to select what they want to do with their class but with its integration with Microsoft School Data Sync (ability to have all your classes created for you as part of your MIS timetable) it is also easy for teacher to just get going with their class.

Whether it is file assignment and scoring, communication through email/Exchange or working collaboratively in OneNote Class Notebook a teacher can get straight into or even create their own classroom for extracurricular clubs, sports teams and other classes not on timetable.

The landing page of Microsoft Classroom looks a bit bare when you first log in but don’t worry, once you are assigning work, you’ll see everything on this page.

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As you create your classes you will see them down the left hand side in the Assignments navigation panel.  This will load a few different things onto your page and loos very similar to the design of Office 365 Groups.

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From here I can get quick links to a few different areas including the Groups Calendar, Conversations, Class Notebook and Files.  When I arrive onto a class landing page, I can see the Assignments set with details around those and give announcements for the class.

When I go to manage the class I can change the class name, give it a course number, start and end date and set a colour, logo (the chess piece) and top banner.

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Creating a new assignment is easy with the ability to assign this work to multiple classes at the same time.  I can set a title, end date, description before adding an attachment should I wish.

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You can pull in several types of attachments including links to a page within OneNote Class Notebook, upload a new file, select one from OneDrive and also any files stored in the Office 365 Group.  We also have a built in search engine (I’m assuming Bing) to link to those results for either a website or video (video sources including YouTube).

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When selecting Calendar, Conversations, Files it will open a new window to the Office 365 Group while Class Notebook will give you a link to the Notebook.

The version I have available is very different to the video below – take a look at the video and you’ll see some extra features and branding which will help take it to the next level.

Responses in Office Forms

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Yesterday I posted about my first experience of Office Forms and attached a form at the bottom for users to play with to answer my questions.  The form had three questions which were three different types of question types available which include Choice (used multiple choice), Text and Rating and I wanted to share the results so you could see what it looked like.  I spent the day watch the numbers grow and it also changes as more answers came through.  So thank you to the 32 who responded even though many of you may know nothing about the English Premier League and Aston Villa.

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The first question was multiple choice but I also left in an option for you to fill in your own.  People filled in the normal 4 answers but there were 5 other options added.  These 5 were added but not available to others to see.

The results first started as a pie chart but once we had 6 different types of answers it moved to being the bar chart.

Next to each question you can see a two way arrow in the top right.  When selecting this you get a table of answers.  Of course lots of these are anonymous but if the user is logged in, you can see who said this from their Azure AD display name.

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The second question was free text but did not have a requirement around it (where you needed to answer the question).  From the 21 people who did answer, on the home page (the first image of this post) you can see the last 3 responses but again when selecting the arrows you can see all answers.

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The final question was a rating (and thanks to those who rated Aston Villas season as a 2.68 our of 5 as I feel it was a lot worse than that).  By selecting the arrows you can see each users response.

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I mentioned yesterday that you could download a Excel spreadsheet of all the answers.  I still wish there was an option which asked if you would like to send it to your OneDrive for Business but just being able to get it in Excel is great.

In here we can see each of the users responses, time and who they were (with their User Principal Name as well as their Display Name).  The spreadsheet is already formatted with a table and easy to navigate.  The multiple choice question has each of their answers in the single cell while the others have their answers as well.

The spreadsheet is a lot better to see who answered what across the form.  When selecting the arrows in the browser you can’t easily navigate to see what the user gave across all their answer so this spreadsheet does help with that.  Just to take this data and add it to PowerBI now.

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First look at Office Forms for Office 365

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It caught me by surprise when Microsoft announced Office Forms in Office 365 Education as Microsoft have announced that only Education customers would get access to a preview.  With InfoPath forms now in extended support and no new solution from Microsoft, something like Office Forms was hoped to take your company forms to the next level.

Microsoft announced Office Forms would come to Office 365 Education customers first, so I jumped onto the my education test tenant and requested access.  Heard nothing back but found the URL from a recent blog post and decide to take a look and there we go, we have Office Forms.

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So there a few things to note from my first experience with this preview and these are mainly around the Forms you can build.

I’ve logged in with my organisation ID and the solution has its only app launcher style (not the Office 365 one).  At any time if I click on the Office logo/Forms in the top left, it takes me back to the landing page at the top.  Selecting the top three dots in the top right gives me chance to give Feedback, get help, navigate to my Office 365 Account Profile and sign out.

It’s very much has a bit of a Sway look and feel to the site with the rectangle box for each Form.

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When selecting New it very quickly takes you to a new form which I see this mainly as just a quizzing tool.  So for all you budding InfoPath specialist or SharePoint people expecting this to be the replacement, it not (well at least not at the moment).  It’s not asked me to create anything in SharePoint, asked for a relation with a Office 365 Group nor have I found anything that has changed in my Office 365 tenant so I believe this is a stand alone product.

Creating a Quiz

Having selected a new form, I can then start to create my quiz.  I can easily give it a name and a subtitle and then start to add my quiz questions.

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We have three types of questions we can ask which include Choice, Text and Rating.

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Choice really is what we expect with an easily to fill out question and options feature.  By default we have 2 answer options but can easily add more as well as an Other option allowing the user filling out the quiz to give their own answer.

We can also set allow multiple answers and set whether this question has to be answered (Answer Required).  We also have the ability to add a subtitle to the question should we want to give more context.

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A Text question allows you add a question and for the user to have free text for either a short or long length answer.

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With the Ratings question you can ask the user to give something either out of 5 or 10.  They can select their answer either as a number or a star.

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Sharing my Quiz

Once we have finished our quiz we don’t need to worry about saving as it has done this throughout the use of the webapp.  At the top, we can now Preview and Share the form.  We can preview it for both a computer view (your current view) or by selecting Mobile, see what it would look like in this state.

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You can share it as a URL, sending an email, it will provide you with a QR Tag or get a set of embed code.  You can also state at this point if users have to log in access the question and if they are allowed to answer the whole quiz multiple times.

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At the bottom of that fly out, you will see ‘More share settings’.  There are some great features here allowing you to apply a deadline and also for questions to be shuffled when loading allowing you to use this as a great classroom quiz.

Responses

The Responses tab gives you a great visual look at how people have answered with graphs, responses and the average score in a rating.

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There is also a Open in Excel which will download the quiz to your PC – I’m hoping this will be replaced with a Save to OneDrive option soon.

What to see my quiz, take a look at the bottom.