Todd Klindt from Rackspace Hosting
Todd is a SharePoint consultant. @toddklindt
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?I’m an on-prem guy, so I think the hybrid options in Office 365 will have the biggest impact on me in 2015. It will allow me to start bridging the gap between on-prem and online.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?The patching cadence causes a lot of people grief. I wish there was a better way for users to test the changes before they came out.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365Hybrid, hybrid, hybrid.
Marc D Anderson from Sympraxis Consulting
Marc is a Management and Technology Consultant. @sympmarc
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?The Office Graph seems like the most important thing that is going on right now. While many organizations don’t and won’t care what it is or how it works, it will definitely be changing what capabilities Microsoft is able to provide.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?The fast and furious pace of change on Office365 is frustrating for my clients. As soon as they get their heads around something, it changes. The “on when deployed” mindset from Microsoft is a huge part of this problem, e.g., tenants that get Delve have it turned on by default. Spiffy new functionality is only good if people actually want it. Many organizations want SharePoint on Office365 to just be SharePoint or Exchange and not much more. There needs to be fine-grained control for new features and functionality so that people can:
- Choose whether to turn something new on
- Plan and train for changes
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?Make it easy to use for end users, with developers only required in unusual circumstances. It’s simply too hard for most organizations to work with, just as SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync on premises have been in the past. The cloud should be an ideal opportunity for “continuous improvement”, not just continuous new features. Every interface in Office365 should be under rolling review to improve usability and the user experience.
John P. White from UnlimitedViz Inc
John is Chief Technical Officer. @diverdown1964
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?As the capacity limit of OneDrive move from finite to infinite, along with promised improvements to synchronization, I think that it will cause a fundamental rethinking of the way that we store data. In addition, the architectural improvements to Power BI means that we can start doing meaningful, enterprise grade analyses in the cloud.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?Honestly, my pet peeve is the Lync communication protocols. Skype just works so much better for audio/video streaming, particularly in low bandwidth. If we could take Skype’s streaming and place it under Lync’s management, I’d be very happy.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?I don’t think I could improve much on Satya’s vision. With the fundamental technical architecture nailed down, the focus needs to be on usability. Office 365 accessibility for the IOT is where we’re headed. Why not have my home thermostat pump data directly into a Power BI model? I can slice and dice at will in real time that way. The tech allows it – let’s drive the partnership to make it all real.
Liam Cleary from Protiviti
Liam is an Associate Director. @helloitsliam
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Being a security guy, I would say the Compliance features, such as Encryption, Auditing and Mobile Device Management, especially with OneDrive for Business. Also “real” hybrid story coming with vNext (well hoping for).
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?The login process. It would be great to just create whatever mechanism I wanted, and use that, versus having to be tied into the core sign on mechanism provided.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?Enable more external endpoints from Office 365 so consuming of cloud data to other applications is easier. Fix the “true” Hybrid story, make it almost seamless to move content between cloud and on-premises. An example would be being able to create an on-premises or cloud library, still rendering in the UI as if they exist there. Also allowing that to be changed via a Ribbon option would be very cool.
Fabian Williams from Planet Technologies
Fabian is a SharePoint Architect. @fabianwilliams
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?I think Delve and the Office Graph will pack the biggest punch. I believe that Machine Learning and predictive analytics will empower search and take it to places where it is more responsive and helpful to the end user.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?Better fidelity with Azure, currently the authentication is dodgy and doesn’t offer full fidelity with other parts of items sitting on top of Azure. Take for instance Azure Mobile Service, that is different in terms of Auth than Office 365 API, the story needs to be the same or come very close.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?This will really hit the #MobileFirstCloudFirst mantra into reality.
Michelle Caldwell from Avanade
Michelle is Director – Collaboration. @shellecaldwell
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Boards for Office Delve will be a game changer on how users curate content related to a specific topic. This feature is similar to a “Pinterest” for the enterprise. Clutter for your inbox is the best kind of gift the cloud could give a busy professional. A feature that learns over time based on behavior what emails are lowest priority and puts them in a “resting” place for later and gets the “clutter” out of my inbox makes me smile. This lets you focus on the messages most important to you. I think this is something to give a big bear hug to the product team for. Workload specific admin roles are definitely a welcomed upcoming addition to 0365 administration landscape. This will more closely align to how many customers want to manage and control their workloads in 0365.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?If I could change anything, I would have to say it would be a more seamless user experience for Hybrid scenarios specifically focused around collaboration and search workloads.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?A seamless experience where products and form factor matter less – I honestly don’t really care what product is helping me get my work done, I just want it to be easy to use and meet my need/scenario. I would look to integrate Halolense into the overall 0365 experience.
Martina Grom from atwork
Martina is head of consulting and project development. @magrom
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Office 365 has so many features, that’s really hard to decide. Let’s name some of them which I think are important:
- Office Graph and Delve: this will change the way we work – today we live in a world with tons of information and its hard to keep up. The Office Graph will allow us that relevant information will find us.
- The second one to name is Clutter: Clutter will help us to keep our Inbox filled with relevant information.
- One of the most important things are all things coming around Azure active directory: modern groups is one example – and all the security, multi-factor things another. AAD helps us integrate applications, define security around our Office 365 and so much more.
- And I am really excited about the new portals and things that will come around Enterprise social and collaboration. Also Skype for Business will be a big improvement.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?I really hope we will have Skype for Business in the future as a PBX replacement and can use it to make phone calls.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?Office 365 and Windows 10 will help us so that the tools themselves are in the background – because it does not matter anymore. We are the important factor – not the technology behind that. Office 365 will help us improve our work.
Jasper Oosterveld from Sparked
Jasper is a Cloud Consultant. @jasoosterveld
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Office 365 Groups. It’s going to change the way we are used to work together in teams or projects. The unification of collaboration services such as Exchange and SharePoint provides teams and projects with an easy user interface to work on assignments or projects. Hopefully more features will be added, with a focus on project and task management this year, to turn Office 365 Groups into one of the top Office 365 services in the suite. Or should I say, Experiences.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?I would like to see an overview of the launch times of the multiple SharePoint Online timer jobs for example for Search. This would make everyone’s lives a lot easier and make the platform more manageable.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?I would provide businesses with more insight in the changes that impact their Office 365 tenant. This is the key to keep the trust of businesses in the service and lock down a successful feature of the most powerful Cloud platform in the world.
Darrell Webster from ShareThePoint.com
Darrell is a Trainer. @darrellcwebster
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?One feature that we all take for granted, will again deliver a big impact in 2015. The feature itself won’t change significantly, but is itself the delivery mechanism for the impact. Office Pro Plus will bring us Office Professional 2016, I believe, by the end of 2015. The good old Click-to-Run Office 365 feature will keep doing what it has been doing all year. The impact will be in what Office 2016 brings to our desktops and devices. Why will Office 2016 be so impactful? The Office 365 services are being positioned to help us consume them easier. Experience portals such as Delve and Office Video, while in early stages will be refined and added to. One of my favorites, Office 365 Groups, makes it very easy for people to use the best-of-breed collaboration features of Exchange and SharePoint. It is a huge benefit, being able to self-provision an Office 365 Group and get a place for sharing files, conversations, important dates and organize your group. I believe we’ll see more abilities added to Groups, though at the moment, the best experience for using them is in your browser. I think Office 2016 will step into the gap and make it easier for people to use Office 365 Groups. The trend I see continuing in Office 365 is “Easier to provision, easier to manage, easier to use”, not just for each traditional services like Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, but combining them in features like Groups.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?Continuing with my interest in Office 365 Groups, I’d like to see the Files site of Groups open up to using the apps we know and love from SharePoint. Currently, Groups-Files gets a document library. I want to see “Site Contents” and “Add an app” for Office 365 Groups. Being able to add other lists and libraries would be a big advantage, even if they were a select few. Allow Admins to publish custom apps to Groups… Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t that sound like a Team Site? Yes, that’s what I’m hoping for, that Groups gains more of the Team Site functionality. But in Groups, adding and using apps will need to be simplified.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?I want to see the trend continue, “Easier to provision, easier to manage, easier to use”. Office 365 has a huge feature set made possible by the mature platforms of Exchange, SharePoint and Lync (Skype for Business). I want to see more easy ways to use the features across those platforms. More “Experience Portals” where end-users can provision the tools they need to work with others and work productively together. Alongside these portals, provide IT Admins with more visibility and control of the portals and features.
Mikael Svenson from Puzzlepart
Mikael is a Principal Consultant. @mikaelsvenson
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Office 365 Apps via Azure AD: makes it easier to install any kind of app… that be from the app store or any third party selling it any way they want. I also expect new services to be launched around groups and intranet like portals which I think will make it easier for companies to get up and running with collaborative intranet portals. To me, Office 365 is starting to steam roll like Azure with new services being rolled out quite frequently. Then it’s up to the customer to use what they find most beneficial. Of course, more services might cloud ones mind, but that’s where consultants come in as advisors 🙂
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?I want a more personalized start page, with some news, my latest documents, some Delve hits, last unread e-mails and upcoming tasks. Something which tells me what I should focus on today.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?Office 365 would be a service train for business users like Azure is for techies. Mix and match, pick and choose, and you quickly have excellent tools for most workloads. Which means I hope O365 will continue to deliver excellent services, but at the same time deliver good API’s for others to tap into to evolve the platform even further. So perhaps release API’s more quickly, while delivering sample working Apps on those API’s – like Delve and Video.
Cathy Dew from Planet Technologies
Cathy is a Consultant. @catpaint1
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Office Graph API – because it will give developers the ability to fine tune content displays. Share – because it will definitely enable Content Owners and Users to manage their content permissions
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?I would change the methods for how to brand/customize the look of Office 365. Also, I would change the speed/control of how new features are launched. The current quick pace makes it difficult to keep end users trained on the features in an Enterprise environment.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?I hope to continue to innovate for new ways to collaborate in the cloud while at the same time finding a good balance for enterprise customers to use Office 365.
Naomi Moneypenny from Synxi
Naomi is Chief Technology Officer. @nmoneypenny
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Specifically in 2015 and specifically from a feature perspective:
- Simplified SSO between Yammer and Office 365 (finally!). This is the groundwork for so much to come. Simplifying where people login and seeing the suite nav makes a huge difference.
- The App Launcher on the Suite Nav – Perhaps you never realized you had access to OneNote or OneDrive For Business. The app launcher shows all the tools you have available but might never have tried. Life is too short not to experiment.
- OfficeGraph. It’s THE feature of 2015. Powering search and discovery experiences that will change how you find content across all your apps.
- O365 Video – This is a pretty incredible feature or perhaps I should say experience. It’s your organization’s YouTube but with bells and whistles you expect for an enterprise app. Very cool.
- Document Conversations – I love this. The flyout panel for Yammer you see on documents in SharePoint Online, OneDrive For Business, Videos and more. Keep the conversation with the content.
- OfficeMix – Superpowers for PowerPoint. Need I say more? Use it, love it.
- Office 365 available on Android. Not only iOS, but Android. View and edit on any device, any platform – Yes!
- PowerBI – Build dashboards in a user friendly service online pulling in data from almost anywhere, in addition to power tools for Excel
- Matter Center – Because if you can change the lawyers in your organization to using cloud services, you can do anything 🙂 But seriously, it’s a great example of how to build a solution for a specific role and way of working.
- eDiscovery & IRM – There’s been a ton of improvements in this area already, and acquisitions too for O365. It might not be sexy, but there are very powerful options here that will only get stronger during the year.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?
- I’d let end users see items in a Message Center that affect their services e.g. is Yammer changing the UX or is SharePoint having an issue, is Clutter rolling out? It’s hard to keep people up to date with what they are seeing, more self service would be appreciated.
- My current bugaboo is that when simplified SSO rolled out for Yammer, community managers lost the ability to show a masthead for their home networks. Instead, they are supposed to change the suite nav. This is impractical as a) you need to be an O365 admin b) users can choose their own theme c)15kb limit on the banner image
- More love for OneNote – I feel that people don’t know how powerful OneNote is! From Office Lens to digital ink, it’s an incredible app
- And finally I’d make the Sway team go faster in the nicest possible way 🙂 Fantastic new authoring experience for consumers and business users
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?If I was Satya Nadella:
- Build one universal authoring/creating experience available on any device. No more separate Word/PowerPoint etc, just content creation a la OneNote.
- Have ‘stories’ of intelligent content that can display in different ways on different devices – all pictures, all words etc.
- Get the XBox team to talk to the UX design folks at O365 to re-imagine the experience.
- Break down the artificial divides & limits in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business.
- More marketing dollars on explaining all the things that Office 365 includes, business folks don’t realize it’s more than the desktop Office apps.
- Listen to as many customers as possible. Listen even harder to employees.
- Understand your customer has changed. IT is an influencer but not your biggest customer anymore.
- Remember that more features don’t always make a winning product, (perceived) easy of use does.
Christian Buckley from GTconsult
Christian is a Managing Director. @buckleyplanet
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?I am very bullish on the new Groups functionality, because it more closely aligns with the way that people collaborate across workloads, such as email and document collaboration. Instead of going to a destination (another app, a different URL) to be social, your conversation and connections run across these workloads. The solution today is not perfect, and there still needs to be some user training, but its a huge step in the right direction, and a leading indicator to where Office 365 is going as a platform.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?I don’t know that I would change anything in particular, but in some ways I’d like to see things move more quickly — especially in the refinement of the Delve and other search features. I see where they’re going, but they’re just not useful to me just yet. I need to be able to connect more sources, many of them offline, and have a federated content experience. I also want to extend the actions I can take with my pins and boards. I can see the potential there.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?If I had his job, I’d put more resources into what I stated above – to move things forward more quickly, enabling partners to extend the Office 365 reach by connecting to more data sources. I would clarify the extensibility story, and spend more time thinking about the partner story, because most of them feel pretty left out and unsure how to extend what they’ve been able to do with on-prem into the cloud. Microsoft is focused on building stronger out-of-the-box capabilities through NextGen Portals and experiences that reach across workloads, which is all great. I envision an even more streamlined experience when moving between the cloud and on-prem assets, with rich features that can be easily exposed or hidden depending on the organization’s goals. There is a lot of anticipation around the hybrid story, and I sure hope it’s a strong story, because that is going to be key in moving people away from their on-prem assets and into Microsoft’s cloud. I would focus more strongly around the hybrid messaging, and – even though many on the product team hate to hear many in the community say this – the fact that staying with your on-prem environment is ok. The cloud may be the future, but I would strengthen the messaging around the idea that there are parallel tracks, and if what you have deployed on-prem is working, you do not need to change. If I wore Satya’s hat, I would also drive the team to figure out how to close the branding gap, allowing customers and partners to create fully customized branding schemes, as needed, to personalize their solutions.
Jennifer Mason from Rackspace Hosting
Jennifer is a Consultant. @jennifermason
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?I think that 2015 is going to be the year of “experiences”. I can’t wait to see what experiences come after Delve, Groups and Video Portals.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?I wish that there was more integration between tools so that it would be easier for users to know when to use what tool. An example where this could help is Groups.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?I would keep moving to a mobile first world across all platforms and devices. I would listen to customers and innovate quickly to meet their needs and demands.
Edin Kapic from Spenta Consulting
Edin is a Consultant, Team Leader, and Speaker. @ekapic
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?New portals feature and Delve.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?Navigation.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?Achieve a solid mix of constant innovation and reliable features.
Matthias Einig from Rencore
Matthias is CEO and Speaker. @mattein
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?People NextGen Portal, because it is a basic functionality every company wants and where SP and O365 so far only delivered a bad solution. If MS pulls off a great experience and findability of users and user generated content, then this will drive the user adoption big time. The simple things often make the most impact in my opinion.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?Yammer as an enterprise social network might be a good idea and as an early user since long before it was acquired by Microsoft, I can see the benefit of it for organizations. But so far, it does not deliver yet the kind of usability and integration (both on-prem and in Office365) that I would expect for it to be adopted in a useful way. It still feels more like like a 3rd party add-on and I would very much like to see that story unfold and become a seamless integration into the Microsoft Office 365 ecosystem.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?That more complex customizations can be done in a better, maintainable way with central functionalities to manage the application lifecycle.
Asif Rehmani from VisualSP
Asif is CEO. @asifrehmani
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?The video portal has the ‘potential’ to have a big impact. It’s all going to depend on adoption of it in the market and the how Microsoft is able to nudge more organizations to start using it effectively.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?A clear notification of what’s upcoming before it just shows up and the ability to turn it off as needed.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?Office 365 needs to be positioned properly in the market. It’s not an all encompassing solution for all types of needs. Small and mid size businesses: Consider Office 365 first for your collaboration needs, then if that doesn’t cut it, go on-prem for your Exchange, SharePoint, Office etc. needs. Large businesses: If you already have a highly customized SharePoint environment, know that you are going to remain there for a while and that’s perfectly ok. Consider offloading some services to the private cloud or Office 365 to be more cost effective and competitive in your industry.
Benjamin Niaulin from Sharegate
Benjamin is a SharePoint Geek. @bniaulin
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?I could write a blog post, in fact I think I may have a few times, to list what I believe may impact us in Office 365. The Video Portal definitely has the power to bring many to this cloud platform if it’s done right. Remember that not everyone will go all in to Office 365 and we don’t expect you to, things like the Video Portal can be that first foot in the door. In fact, I’ll probably go ahead an say “Next-Gen Portals” will be, in my opinion, what will make the difference. Easy to use and consume technology instead of spending months building it out. Of course, this also means our audience won’t just be IT anymore and that’s fine.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?The User Experience! I love the concept and the vision promised with Office 365 Experience, I truly do. But when I use it, little things will bug me and I believe these can often be the difference in a successful product and failed adoption. Clicking and seeing a page load, disappear and another page load or finding myself in a new tab because I opened my Group Calendar are a few things that are coming to mind. With what’s coming to market these days, Office 365 does not have the luxury to sit back on its Microsoft name and say “they will come”. But that’s a great opportunity for innovation and so far, I am happy to see these changes appear.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?Though very happy with what’s shaping up to be, I’d try to invest more on the simple things like training or marketing. I am not saying to put the logo on a sports car, but rather in helping people understand what they have. I talk to people migrating to it through our product and I also am lucky to discuss it with many while traveling to different conferences and it’s clear that it has not yet fully been understood. Then again, maybe what’s required is time.
Tony Redmond from Redmond & Associates
Tony is an Exchange MVP. @12knocksinna
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Any company that wants to move workload to the cloud needs to be convinced that this is a good deal on both the technical and business fronts. I don’t like to focus on an individual feature because they won’t move the needle in terms of strategic decisions. What I see in Office 365 is a gradual improvement in cross-product integration. SharePoint is better integrated with Exchange in the cloud in a way that it simply impossible for most on-premises IT departments to accomplish. That integration makes technology come alive and it’s that aspect which convinces technologists that the cloud is viable and provides the platform for better business solutions.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?Improve administration. It’s a cluttered mess at times with too many different interfaces interacting with different features in different ways. Powerful in the hands of the knowledgeable, terrifying for the novice.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?As an ex-CTO, I’ve come to learn that few great things are built on hopes and dreams. Inspiration and perspiration will make Office 365 improve.
Steve Goodman from Ciber UK
Steve is a Senior Consultant. @stevegoodman
Which feature(s) of Office 365 you think will have the biggest impact in 2015? And why?Modern Authentication for Office. Customers have been crying out for real MFA and SSO for Outlook and this provides it.
If you could change something in Office 365, what would it be?Hybrid delegate and shared mailbox would simplify many moves to Office 365.
If you had Satya Nadella’s job, what would you do with Office 365?We’ve for configuration, more customization please.
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