Getting Started With AI In Office 365

As personal computing continues to draw on previous technical enhancements, we are now beginning to see those previous enhancements come together to amalgamate and work together in the early stages of meaningful AI.  AI for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym is short for Artificial intelligence, meaning that computer-related systems are capable of performing tasks that usually require human thought intervention to complete various tasks.  You can be forgiven for not being overly excited by this statement as the term Artificial Intelligence has been well overused in a range of less than exciting areas.

That said, Microsoft is now working on the front foot and putting real advantages using AI into their systems to make tasks much more intuitive to our needs while reducing our need to assist in the completion of these tasks.

One Simple Example Of Microsofts Usability In Microsoft Office 365

If you use the Microsoft suite of applications you would be familiar with Cortana, Outlook Calendar, Google Maps and Google Location.  The AI platform is now integrating these applications so that they can communicate and share information with each other to be able to base decisions of its combined system knowledge and communicate its final decision making to you.

Using the above applications is Microsoft’s Time To Go which is still under development and being refined.  Consider for a moment that you are a sales executive charged with visiting clients at preset appointments.  The way that Time To Go is being developed would allow the below scenario.

The AI app would scan your Outlook calendar to see what appointments were upcoming.  Once it recognizes an appointment it would get the date, time and address of the appointment.  The system would then check to see where your current location is and will begin to scan the possible transport routes and public transport options available to it.  It will look at the best route to have you arrive at the first transport stop in time to catch the bus or train to be in time for the meeting,  From there it will backtrack to determine the best time for you to leave to make the appointment on time.

MS maps have the ability to search the travel plans laid to see if there were any roadworks, accidents other any other holdups in maps that would impede your arriving on time.  This information is then delivered back to Cortana who will advise you when it is time to leave for your appointment, the transport routes that you will be taking, any delays to be expected and your arrival time at your destination.  If you prefer to take your own vehicle it will perform the same tasks, however, with the flexibility of driving the system would reroute you past any slow traffic areas and will alter your route to again allow you to arrive in time.  It can also print or message you with the directions.

The above is just one example of applications such as Cortana using the data that is now readily available to it to take actions, make decisions and deliver all of this to you.  While you may not be overly excited by this because let us face it we have been used to getting to destinations on our own for a long time.  The breakthrough is that if it can perform this simple function (and trust me, in a year or millions, will be relying on this technology to plan their days and travel plans) we have to consider what other applications will be able to communicate with each other to reduce or preferably remove us from requiring any input in the decision making.

Cortana is already in use as one of Microsoft‘s AI applications with the ability to take your spoken commands and act upon them.  With this next level of understanding and due to the growth of integration between each of Micro Softs applications only creativity is slowing the ongoing development of the continued growth the use of AI in our everyday work lives.

So, what information is available to Cortana as it reviews our daily activities and the manner and depth in which we use the MS range of products?

How will it be able to interpret that lasted Excel dashboard results, can it begin to send out low-level inquiries to staff with anomalies found in performance areas from sales reports?  Can it document ongoing performance issues that it finds with individuals, alert them by email and update their HR records all without your needing to be involved except receiving a report on Cortana’s actions?

Companies are still really on the starting edge of what life will look like once they begin to create more sophisticated interactions?

AI is now becoming an everyday reality and I for one am ready to embrace it as it grows and becomes our new reality.

 

 

Office 365 Migrations 101

Office 365 Migrations

Part of Office 365 is Exchange Online which provides a cloud-based messaging solution. This article will discuss some of the important factors that you need to know so that you can plan a migration strategy for your client. There are many ways to migrate data from Office 365 Exchange Online to on-premises email organizations. One of the questions that many people have when planning any type of Office 365 Migrations to Exchange Online is how to optimize migration velocity and improve the data migration’s performance.

There will be many factors that will come into play when determining a migration path and how to highlight the important feature of upfront planning. To do this you will need to evaluate and analyze the following paragraphs. You will need this so that you can put together a deployment plan and migration strategy.

SIZE

The first deciding factor will be the size. You will want to know the size of the mailboxes and the number of mailboxes as well. You are able to migrate using a PST type of import/export, but this would probably not be logical for anything besides a few mailboxes. The size will definitely impact migration timetables and this, in turn, will impact coexistence requirements.

COEXISTENCE

You need to determine during the migration process what level of coexistence you require. For example, if your entire migration will take place on the weekend then the deciding factor should be quite simple. However, there are times that during the migration you will have a specific amount of time where you need to coexist. The customer’s expectations and desires for whatever coexistence period will definitely impact the strategy.

PROVISIONING

You need to ask yourself how you plan to provision all of your user accounts. Are you planning to provision with an import or by leveraging a synchronization tool? Is your organization small enough so that you can manually plan and create additional new accounts? These are a few very important questions that you need to determine about provisioning.

MIGRATION SOURCE

One thing that can have a big impact on your Office 365 Migrations plan is what you are migrating from. Is the source IMAP, Exchange, or another email solution? Will you need to migrate calendar contacts and information? It is well-known that a migration source can greatly impact the ease or the difficulty of how these items can be migrated.

IDENTITY MANAGEMENT

It is important to determine your approach to identity management. Will it be a single sign-on type of requirement? Will the identities connect to an on-premise identity source or will they exist in a cloud? Once you have gathered all of the above decision factors then your next step will be to come up with a migration strategy. You want to utilize these decision factors so that you can determine which method is best suited for all of your customers.

Utilizing the Office 365 Migrations deployment will allow you to migrate user mailbox content from a source email type system to Office 365. Cutover Migration is when you do all of this at one time. Using a Cutover migration is recommended when you use a current on-premise exchange organization such as Exchange Server 2016, Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. It is also something that you would use when there are fewer than 2000 mailboxes.

CONSIDERATIONS

It requires careful planning to set up an email cutover migration. Before you start, there are a few things that you should consider:
– You will be able to move all of your email organizations to Office 365 within a few days. You then will be able to manage all of the user accounts in Office 365.
– You can migrate a maximum of 2000 mailboxes to Office 365 when you use a cutover Exchange Migration. However, it should be noted that the recommendation is to only migrate 150 mailboxes at a time.
– The primary domain name that will be used for the on-premise Exchange organization needs to be verified as a domain that is owned by your Office 365 organization.
– Once the migration is finished, every on-premise Exchange mailbox user will now be a new user in Office 365.

After your Office 365 organizations and on-premises are set up for the cutover migration, it is important to know that your users could be impacted by host set-up tasks. You need to make certain that all desktop computers are set-up for Office 365 and that they are updated. This will allow a user to utilize local user credentials so that they can sign-in to Office 365 from a desktop application.

A user who has permission for application installs can set-up updates on their own desktop. On the other hand, an update can always be installed for any user by the administrator. Once the updates are completed a user will be able to send emails from Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, or Outlook 2013. There may be a potential delay in some of the email routing until the MX record is changed.

CUTOVER MIGRATION

At this point in the article, you may be wondering how exactly cutover migration works. The following 9 points will explain this unique process:

  1. An administrator will communicate any upcoming changes to the users and will verify domain ownership with a domain registrar.
  2. An administrator will prepare the servers for cutover migration.
  3. An administrator will create a migration endpoint which is a matter of connecting Office 365 to an on-premise email system.
  4. An administrator will migrate the mailboxes and afterward verify the migration.
  5. An administrator will provide Office 365 licenses to all of the users.
  6. An administrator will configure the domain so that routing email can be sent directly to Office 365.
  7. An administrator will confirm that the routing has changed. He will then delete the cutover migration patch.
  8. An administrator will complete all post-migration tasks in Office 365.
  9. An administrator will send a welcome letter to all of the users and let them know how they can sign-in to their new mailboxes

SharePoint Design Tips

A SharePoint team site is something that effectively makes it easy to do everything from share ideas, synchronize content, and work in a much more collaborative way with all of the team members in your organization. Because of this, it can be a very powerful addition to your business and it can really help churn out better output via a team. Below, we will be going over some key SharePoint design tips that you will want to implement in order to get the most out of it.

Top SharePoint Design Tips:

1. Structure your SharePoint Design Optimally

One of the most important things involved with your SharePoint site is its design. When you are first drafting out your site and it’s content, you will want to consider everything from how you are going to structure each level of the site and more. You want your site to have a clear hierarchy in order to effectively find and access information easier and faster.

2. Optimize Your Site’s Navigation.

You will want to be sure to focus on optimizing your site’s navigation as well as possible. You can do everything from removing and/or editing the links in the top navigation bar in order to effectively customize how the site allows users to navigate. Having optimal navigation can really alter the efficiency of your site. You want all of the users of the site to know and understand where everything is to reduce redundancy and inefficiency.

3. Consider Mobile.

Another important thing to do while you are focusing on the overall design is considered mobile device usage. You want to really look for mobile-friendly design layouts to achieve better responsiveness and mobile friendliness which can help your users navigate with their mobile devices better and more effectively. This is one of the main benefits of a SharePoint site. Your entire team will be able to access the site from anywhere and any device they want to. That means that your team members will be able to view the site on the different devices that they choose to use which can really help boost the level of productivity and efficiency throughout your organization because you are making it easier to communicate. Thus, you need to optimize your site to be friendly across all mobile devices regardless of screen size. In order to do this, you should have your menu/navigation bar be well optimized for mobile device usage as well as having your site utilize device channels which will automatically help style your content to be optimized to fit for various sized devices.

4. Consider Images.

When you are looking to design your site, you should place an emphasis and a focus on the images that you are implementing into your site. Images are much better at communicating things than simple text because a majority of people are visual learners and a simple picture can dictate something that would require a significant amount of text to do the same with. Thus, you want to look to include certain images on your homepage which can not only provide a good lock to your site, but it can even help to boost user engagement and on-page times.

5. Include Tips.

Another important thing that you should focus on doing is including a small tip section which your team members will be able to use in order to effectively figure out how to best navigate and use the site itself. You will be able to include tips such as how to use the site, how to keep everything properly organized, and even telling them where everything is going to be placed on the site in the future. This will help everyone get familiar with the site as quickly and easily as possible.

6. Be Willing To Change.

With your site, you might notice that certain things aren’t working as well as they could be. You should be willing to be flexible and change your site on an as-needed basis. You will want to put in place some sort of feedback system which will allow you to get feedback from your actual team members and users. This alone will allow you to effectively make the changes that need to be made and optimize your site to improve its function.

Overall, there are plenty of benefits that a SharePoint site can offer your entire organization. By implementing SharePoint design into your organization, you can boost everything from engagement to communication and collaboration.

4 Top Reasons Why You Need To Get SharePoint Consulting Services

Individual Coaching

Are you interested to know why it is necessary that you get the services of Microsoft SharePoint Consulting? If you have answered yes to the question, then you must read the list given below so that you will be convinced by the top reasons it shows.

Here is the list of the top reasons which will convince you why you have to get the services of Microsoft SharePoint Consulting.

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Is Time – Consuming

These days, most people do not have time to spare because each of them has things that they are busy with such as jobs, studies, activities, business, and so on. Therefore, if you are one of them who cannot take all things in his hands like dealing with Microsoft SharePoint, it is advisable that you should get consulting services regarding this matter. As you know, Microsoft SharePoint is time-consuming, you have to put most of your time and attention since it is a complicated thing. It is composed of many parts which include applications, pages, sites, navigation, security, options for document management, and many more. With the services of Microsoft SharePoint Consulting, they will be the one who will deal with these things. Therefore, you can have more time to focus and do the things that you need to do first. Also, you can avoid yourself from the stress that it will bring to you.

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Is Complicated

As what said earlier, Microsoft SharePoint is a complicated thing so, not all people have the capabilities to deal with it which is the main reason why you have to get the services of Microsoft SharePoint Consulting. These services are very necessary for the people who have no knowledge or not very familiar with Microsoft SharePoint. It is simply because they know how to handle and manage this complicated thing. Furthermore, they have a lot of understanding about it so, you can conclude that they are the people who are well – versed when it comes to this matter. With this, you do not have to make an effort to learn and understand all the things about Microsoft SharePoint since that there are now people who are experts on it.

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Is Evolving

Like most things, Microsoft SharePoint does not stay the way it is when it was first created. It changes and evolves continuously with different things such as latest applications, new options for customization, and modern web parts as the years passed. Furthermore, Microsoft SharePoint is subjected to revisions every after three years. These changes, revisions, and evolutions happen because of the tight competition in the industry. Not everyone is capable of keeping up with all of these changes, revisions, and evolutions happening to Microsoft SharePoint. Therefore, you should get the services of Microsoft SharePoint Consulting since that they can tackle these things.

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Is Distinct

Lastly, you cannot compare Microsoft SharePoint to the other network drive platforms such as Box since that it is completely different from them. It is true as Microsoft SharePoint is not as simple and basic as these other platforms. It is created differently and has a complex system so not all people can deal with it easily. With this, you will need someone who knows Microsoft SharePoint very well like the people who offer services of Microsoft SharePoint Consulting.

In conclusion, you now have the idea of the top reasons that will convince you why you have to get the services of Microsoft SharePoint Consulting. But, if you are still hesitating, you can ask the opinions of the other people.