Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tools for the Cloud: OneNote, Delve, Skype and Sway

One thing that makes me a bit frustrated is people using Office 365 to only deploy Office to use Exchange Online and Office Pro Plus.

While certainly getting ride of your Exchange server online and up to 15 versions of Office for your users on different devices is a massive ROI, but the Cloud is a lot more than just reduced cost in old IT services, it opens up new IT possibility.

And to embrace this there are 5 tools in Office 365, and my opinion on if they are of value or not.

  1. OneNote Notebooks are an obvious new web application, essentially they are simple concept, a electronic notebook that you can post any time of information, that you can link to meetings, you can share and link from many devices.   OneNote is Microsoft tool in this and it is so much more than just a new kind of Word. Think of it as Word 2.0. You can not only take notes but you can also share notes. If you do a Skype for business you can share a page from OneNote among the members and OneNote will even tell you who participated in the meeting. OneNote will like with Outlook so email invites and notifications with a OneNote page will update automatically.
  2. Delve Finally a real collaboration tool with real benefits. See the public slides and documents most shared and viewed by your close co-workers Delve is the ultimate collaboration system. It comes with Office 365 and lets you 'work like a network'.  If you are using your Office 365 tenant as a primary source of data storage Delve can vastly improve how well informed workers are about what is going on.
  3. Skype for Business. Skype for Business is an amazing tool, the problem is that its hard not to feel like it is a spy tool.  Workers are being watched by it constantly, if you print something out and review it for a half hour without touching your computer it goes grey.  What I see is that when people use Skype for Business, or any presence tool really, they start filling their calendars up with exaggerated to bull-shit meetings and other things to keep their Skype for Business looking busy.  I have learned to ignore the red and just phone people, most likely they are just calendar concealing what they are really doing.  To be valuable Skype needs to tell people if it is a good time to call or not, but being the worst ever spy tool is not a way of doing this.  This single one feature, if not re-assigned to give users more privacy, could doom the entire workload.  That is sad because having a seamless flow from VOIP, to conferences, to email to IM is amazing. 
  4. Sway, I have to be honest I don't get it. We need another PowerPoint tool? 
  5. PowerBI, its just a trimmed down version of Excel held in to the limits of HTML5.  I think you are better off learning PivotTables.