My Year-end Ponderings

joannes-year-end-ponderingsIt’s December 31st. Not only the last day of the year but also my birthday. There’s something about this marked day that makes me reflect on the past year, the hits and misses, the “what might have beens” and also think about the new year, the clean slate, the possibilities and the potential opportunities that lay waiting for me to grab hold of.

I want to keep this post short and sweet so I’ll list 2 significant things I’ve accomplished in 2016 and 2 goals I have for 2017 (as they relate to my professional life).  If I write them down then I’m committed to actually doing them…right? 🙂 Continue reading “My Year-end Ponderings”


Intelligence-driven Content in O365


What is intelligence-driven content? If you use O365, whether you realize it or not you are likely already benefiting from it in your day-to-day work. Intelligence-driven content differs from traditional content in delivering a more personalized and relevant experience to you by leveraging the Office Graph and machine learning techniques. As you work in O365 signals are detected throughout your interactions (files you’ve worked on, sites you’ve visited, emails you’ve received, conversations you’ve had, meetings you’ve attended, etc.). This data is stored in the Office Graph and sophisticated machine learning is applied to it to surface content to you in “intelligent” ways across O365 services. It’s a relatively untapped goldmine of business value just waiting to be discovered.

I’ll list some of the places you’ll find intelligence-driven content across O365 today and discuss why this technique cannot be used to replace all types of search and content delivery in a section titled ‘My thoughts’ at the end of this post.

Continue reading “Intelligence-driven Content in O365”

My Surface Pro 3 feels new again!

This blog is a departure from my usual content but I’m so happy with this upgrade I wanted to share.


I bought my Surface Pro 3 back in January 2015. Two years… in the technology world that’s considered middle-aged possibly starting to enter its mid-life crisis phase. 🙂

But here’s the thing…I still really like it. It’s my daily driver at home – I primarily use it for surfing, blogging, building/recording presentations and a plethora of Office work running my own business. It’s what I take with me on road trips: vacations, conferences and speaking engagements. I love the flexibility it gives me since it’s lightweight, portable, yet powerful enough to handle anything I need to throw at it with no issue.

Overall, it’s been a solid device for me these past 2 years and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to anyone.

The one thing I’d change about it if I could?  The keyboard. Continue reading “My Surface Pro 3 feels new again!”

O365 Policy Options for Information Governance

protecting-assets-in-office-365-6I’m currently working with organizations starting to roll out O365 Groups. While they all want to reap the benefits of collaboration in this digital workplace, organizations can’t compromise the security, compliance and protection of corporate assets while doing it. As O365 adoption specialists I believe the value-add we can bring to an organization is to help them make sense of the options available and provide guidance on which compliance features to enable at the right time in order to provide the protection they need.

With that in mind, I set out to document the options available for preservation, retention and destruction of information assets in O365 as of December 2016. I also want to identify which ones will currently work with O365 Groups and which ones are on the Roadmap. The options available span both the Security and Compliance Center and SharePoint directly. Continue reading “O365 Policy Options for Information Governance”

O365 Information Management Disrupted

information-architecture-disrupted-2When talking to customers, I often lean on my trusty diagram below to demonstrate the different structure and governance requirements for Information Architecture (IA) and Information Management (IM) in a typical SharePoint corporate environment.


My trusty IA/IM SharePoint diagram

My general guideline has always been everything above the pink line is where you want to incorporate more IA, structure and governance. IA below the pink line for Project Sites/Workspaces, Team and Community Sites (sections 3 and 4) is a judgement call dependent on the specific requirements of the content being placed there. For example, if you need to enable retention policies, customize search, document templates or workflows you will want to have at least some basic IA configured. I still believe these guidelines are sound.

Although Personal Sites (section 5) may have some Information Management (IM) configured (For example, a Deletion Policy to delete content not modified in the past 3 years), it will usually not have any IA structure. This is your personal OneDrive for Business where you put content you’re working on alone. This should not be where you collaborate with others in your organization nor where you require more rigor around specific content types, workflows, etc. If that is required, you should move into sections 3 or 4.

While building out a new presentation titled “Information Management in a Collaboration world”, I started thinking about my diagram and where the new collaboration services rolling out in O365 would fall within it. More importantly, would they affect the guidance I usually give on IA/IM?

Short answer… yes. Continue reading “O365 Information Management Disrupted”

What makes a great O365 Adoption Productivity Champion?

what-makes-a-great-o365-adoption-productivity-championThey go by different names… productivity champion, productivity ninja, super user, evangelist. Whatever catchy title an organization chooses to label the role, the function is the same and is vital for ensuring successful adoption of O365.

NOTE: for the remainder of this post I will refer to the role as ‘productivity champion’.

In order to realize the business value an organization has tied to the implementation of O365, the product needs to be adopted. The ultimate goal of adoption within an organization is O365 services are effectively baked into day-to-day collaboration scenarios. Although the IT functional role within an organization will always be required in helping O365 adoption thru technical setup, various forms of training, and support, they cannot successfully champion the product alone. Ideally this adoption will be grown organically across an organization and an effective way of doing that is through productivity champions within their teams.

I believe anyone can be trained to learn the technical end-user skills of O365 so in my mind the differentiating characteristics of a truly effective productivity champion are the intangible skills. What are they? Continue reading “What makes a great O365 Adoption Productivity Champion?”

10 ways to move a SharePoint document


Blog post: 3 minute read
Date last verified: April 2017

Document management is an integral part of SharePoint. An important activity to understand about managing a document is how to move it if the need arises. For example, a document may start in a person’s OneDrive for Business but eventually may need to move to an organizational Team Site or a document living in a Team Site may need to move to a Document Centre to be made available to a wider audience. You may also have the need to move a document to a different library or folder within the same site.

Like most things in SharePoint there are several ways to get the job done. I’ve come up with 10 of them – the option you choose usually depends on several factors:

  • how many documents are you moving?
  • do you want the process to be “self-serve” from an end-user perspective?
  • are you moving content comprised of content types with metadata?
  • do you need to retain the original created/modified metadata? (I.e. the created, created by, modified, modified by columns)
  • do you want to retain version history?

I’ll identify the techniques I’m aware of to move documents and some of the pros/cons of each.

Continue reading “10 ways to move a SharePoint document”