Intranet for Office 365 – finally!!!

inWorks LLC has partnered with Blue Meteorite, a Gold Microsoft partner from Finland, to deliver outstanding Intranet solutions for Office 365 SharePoint Online.
inWorks LLC is the first Blue Meteorite partner to offer this Intranet-in-a-box product in the United States, and I am looking forward to getting the word out there about this affordable, easy to deploy, flexible, modern – and good looking – Intranet product for Office 365 SharePoint Online.
Building an effective Intranet may require a lot of investment from financial, time, and people perspectives – all of which contribute to the Intranet project languishing on the back-burner.
To solve this problem for our clients, we went in search of a product that not only would help take better advantage of Office 365 SharePoint Online, but do so in a manner that satisfies our fairly stringent criteria for Intranet competence.
We needed to find something that would be:
  • Fast to set up
  • Easy to configure
  • Simple to brand
  • Built using solid architectural principles
  • Developed using best practices and Microsoft’s latest guidelines
  • Robust and handle Office 365 SharePoint Online changes gracefully
  • Affordable
  • Supported by a world-class team

…and we found it. The Valo Intranet product from Blue Meteorite fits all those criteria, and I’m simply thrilled to be able to offer it as part of our services portfolio.

SharePoint Online has been a great collaboration tool for managing documents, but without appropriate Information Architecture it can be confusing to implement and navigate. Furthermore, without a structure in place it’s easy to configure it in a way that precludes the best use of its features.
Proper configuration, branding, deployment, etc of SharePoint Online as an efficient Intranet is possible to accomplish through the use of highly skilled consultants and developers – we know this process intimately.
With inWorks LLC, Valo Intranet helps you get more out of your Office 365 SharePoint Online infrastructure!
Check out the Intranets page on our site, and get in touch!

People+ Pro Update

PeoplePlus_128x128People+ Pro received a few updates today. The main update is that now the Notes field is supported when saving attached contacts from received messages. This functionality is only available to People+ Pro licenses.

Keep in mind that some software may allow rich text in the Notes field – even though the standard contact definition only supports plain text. This means that if there’s any formatting, images, etc. that were somehow added to the contact Notes through well-meaning contact management extensions, that formatting won’t be preserved when the contact is imported into your mailbox.

A couple of minor bugs were also fixed as part of this update.

People+ Pro Update

PeoplePlus_128x128In the original release from a few days ago, the Import Attachments button showed up even if non-contact attachments were present in the email. That didn’t make much sense if the attachments weren’t contacts!

The new release somewhat fixed that issue and will only show the button if:

  1. One of the attachments is a file with a VCF extension
  2. One of the attachment is an Outlook item (could be a contact, or could be some other type of Outlook item)

It’s not a 100% solution – since I’m note pre-interrogating the type of Outlook item it could be, the button will show up even of a non-contact item is attached.

People+ goes Pro!

Several updates are being released in September.

First, I’m introducing two additional versions of People+: People+ Pro, and People+ Free.

People+ Pro will contain more enterprise-grade features, including custom branding for site licenses, ability to import contacts from VCF attachments, better integration with contacts for sending email. The ability to import contacts from VCF attachments is coming first, with others being introduced over the following weeks. P+P will be priced at a point commensurate with its advanced functionality.

People+ Free will be, um, free, and will include ads to support the program. P+F will have the same functionality as People+.

I’m also updating all styling in the app to use Microsoft’s newly released Office UI Fabric framework, designed to bring consistency to Office Add-ins and match the user interface to work better with Office 365.

While the exact timing of these releases isn’t, well, exact, they’re coming soon – and in the meantime, go get the People+ version currently out there!

OneDrive for Business, disk space, and the sync process

Check out MSOnlineHelpdesk.com for a quick note on how OneDrive for Business manages your local computer disk space when synchronizing with cloud storage:

How does OneDrive for Business synchronize files with your local PC?

 

OneNote Class Notebook Creator app is amazing

If you’re in education or training sector, you should take a moment and review the OneNote Class Notebook Creator app – I just spent the few minutes checking it out and it looks like it offers a great set of features. Here’s the link to the article:

Here’s a summary of what the app allows you to do:

  • Create classes and set up notebook templates
  • Add students to the class and automatically create OneNote sections for their homework, assignments, etc.
  • Create shared content & collaboration libraries
  • Add other teachers / staff to the class notebooks
  • Secure students’ notebooks so only they have access
  • Manage students, teachers, content centrally
  • Notify students by email of notebook creation

 

I can easily see this being used in schools and in organizations that provide training with a (more-or-less) formal training curriculum. There are a couple of things missing from the app – such as being able to grade student assignments in a structured, reportable way; hopefully that’s something that can be added later – if there’s demand for it.

If you are an accredited educational institution, you can get everything you need to implement this for free, and businesses can get a free trial of Office 365 to check it out.

Get in touch if you’re interested in trying this out!

Non-profit organizations get Office 365 for free!

If your company is a non-profit, you have the opportunity to get Office 365 for free – and get even more features (like desktop versions of Office 2013) at a discount.

http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/office365-for-nonprofits/

 

There are several plans to choose from – we can help you pick the right one and guide you through the trial or implementation. Here’s how to get started:

Sign up for a trial

This is the standard E3 Office 365 trial. Once your eligibility is confirmed by Microsoft, we will switch you over to one (or a mix) of the available Office 365 nonprofit plans.

Verify your eligibility

Take a look at Microsoft’s eligibility guidelines to see if you’re eligible – we can also help you with that step.

RE: Meet “Clutter” – the new Outlook mail clean-up assistant

It’s been just over a weeks since I turned on Clutter in Office 365, and I got to say – it’s awesome. My Clutter folder has successfully separated the chaff from the wheat, leaving my Inbox strictly for important stuff, while keeping things that are not-quite-junk safely within reach and still outside of my peripheral vision. Did I mention that it’s awesome?

If you don’t have the Clutter folder in your Outlook / Outlook Web App (Office 365 is required), go ahead and turn it on! Read how in this MSOnlineHelpdesk.com article.

Meet “Clutter” – the new Outlook mail clean-up assistant

Yesterday Microsoft rolled out a new feature to Office 365 business subscribers – a tool to help separate the wheat from the chaff in your inbox. The tool is called ‘Clutter’, and you can enable it under Options in Outlook Web App (if your organization hasn’t enabled First Release option for your Office 365 subscription, Clutter will become available later this month):

When you do, it’ll create a new folder called (unsurprisingly) Clutter, and send you a welcome message:

According to Microsoft, Clutter learns from your behavior – whether you use desktop Outlook, OWA, or Outlook on a mobile device – so it may take a bit of time for it to make a significant difference in your inbox. I’ve just enabled mine, and I will post an update about its effectiveness in about a week.

I’m also curious how mail will now be classified as ‘Clutter’ vs. ‘Junk’ – and only time will tell. I do get a fair amount of barely relevant email – stuff that I’m mildly interested in but that’s not at the top of my priority list. If Clutter can successfully filter it, it’ll definitely be a useful tool!

To learn more about Clutter, read the announcement post on the Office Blogs.

What do you think about it? Are you going to use it? Let me know!

Microsoft SharePoint Online ups its storage max per site collection

This is a pretty big deal for SharePoint Online. Up until recently you could only have (for Enterprise plans) site collections up to 100GB in size. 100GB isn’t anything to sneeze at, but there are cases – quite a lot of them, actually – where storage accumulated over the last, say 10 years, exceeded that quite a lot. There are also folks who use SharePoint Online for storing lots of high-res imagery, and in any scaled operation, 100GB limit starts to become restrictive.

Good solution architecture and planning can overcome such constraints, of course. In many cases it is preferable to segment a solution across site collections – regardless of storage limits. There are scenarios, however (long term archiving), for example, where it may be preferable to let storage grow (and grow).

Microsoft announced (almost a month ago, actually) that SharePoint Online now supports site collections up to 1TB in size. In addition, you can grow your tenant almost without limits – creating as many of those 1TB site collections as your budget and business will allow (up to 10,000, which is the current limit).

Here’s the original blog post explaining the details: http://blogs.office.com/2014/03/14/sharepoint-online-announces-1tb-site-collections-and-unlimited-tenant-storage-scale/

 

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