A New Look for a New Year and New Posts

HappyNewYearIf you’ve ever read this Blog you probably noticed that its been very inactive for the last year or so.  So I’ve decided with the new year to rededicate myself to putting some posts out here.  I decided if I was going to do that I was also going to freshen things up with a new look.  In addition to freshening things up and changing the colors there are also some other new enhancements.  The new theme I now using supports “responsive design”.  Here’s how the site looks on my Windows 8.1 phone:

DontPapanic Blog Screenshot

Its much easier to read then it used to be with my previous theme. So if you like reading Blogs on your mobile device, like a tablet or a phone, you’ll find that the layout of the site now adapts to the lower screen real estate available on those devices.

But in addition to a new look I also want to start writing posts with meaningful information and workarounds. I’ll be starting that off in the next week with a series that examines the concept of “External Sharing” in Office 365.  I’ve done a couple talks on the subject recently and some of the attendees commented that they hadn’t seen some of the details I presented anywhere else.  I promised I would write a post or two on the subject, so I’ll start sharing those with you soon.  Hope you have a Happy New Year and I hope you like the new look of the site.

 

Speaking at the Columbus Buckeye SPUG

BuckeyeSPUG_TranspI will be speaking at the Columbus Buckeye SharePoint Users Group on Thursday, January 16th. The meeting will start at 5:30pm. My topic will be "Share, Follow, and Sync: How SharePoint 2013 uses Personal MySites for Social functionality”. Here’s a brief description of the talk:

Prior to SharePoint 2013 many organizations built a MySite Host but never implemented personal MySite storage. This was a very viable strategy in 2010. But with the introduction of the Social features in SharePoint 2013 things have changed. In this talk we’ll review all the new "Social" features in SharePoint 2013 that depend on personal MySites. We’ll also look at how to control and manage personal MySites in your organization and discuss how future integration with Yammer may change this requirement. 

Next Buckeye SPUG Meeting: Jan 16th – 5:30 pm @ the Microsoft Polaris Office

Agenda

5:30pm – 6:00pm –> Food Sponsor’s Presentation

6:00pm – 6:30pm –> Community Time

6:30pm – 7:30pm –> My Talk

7:30pm +           —> SharePint @ The Pub

SharePoint MVPs Volunteer for Typhoon Relief

MVP

A few days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines one of my fellow MVPs, Dux Raymond (@meetdux), suggested that we should all band together and do something to support the relief effort.  His idea was that we would all volunteer an hour or two of phone consulting time for anyone who would contribute to a charity for the relief of the victims of Typhoon Haihayn.  I’m happy to report that almost 50 MVPs, including me, have volunteered to contribute to the effort.  If you would be interested in some consulting time with an MVP check out Dux’s blog where the list of MVPs who are contributing to the effort is being kept up to date.  YOu can find it here:

http://meetdux.com/2013/11/12/operation-sharelove-help-typhoon-haiyan-victims-sharepoint-experts-will-help-you-rescueph/

 

Unfortunately, my contribution to the effort has already been snapped up by a contributor.  But there are lots of other knowledgeable MVPs waiting to help you (and the people of the Philippines) out.

MCM, MCSM, and MCA Programs Cancelled

tombstone-rip

Less than two months after Microsoft announced a major change to the Microsoft Certified Masters (MCSM formerly known as MCM) program they’ve dropped another bombshell on the community. At the end of June Microsoft abruptly announced that they were removing all the pre-requisites from taking the MCSM Knowledge Exams and Qualification Lab to make the certification available to more people.  Last night at about 1:00 AM Eastern Time they sent out an email to all currently certified MCMs, MCSMs, and MCAs to give them the bad news that as of October 1, 2013 (Yes, that’s only 30 days from now) all the MCSM and MCA certification exams and training will be retired and the certification will no longer be offered.  Here’s the beginning of the email:

We are contacting you to let you know we are making a change to the Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, and Microsoft Certified Architect certifications. As technology changes so do Microsoft certifications and as such, we are continuing to evolve the Microsoft certification program. Microsoft will no longer offer Masters and Architect level training rotations and will be retiring the Masters level certification exams as of October 1, 2013.

Words cannot express how deeply disappointed I am by this news.  The MCSM community has helped me several times in the last few months alone to find the answers to SharePoint problems that I’ve experienced in the projects I work on.  And I hope that I’ve helped some of my other MCMs with their problems.  After the news earlier this summer I was trying to decide whether recertifying my MCSM: SharePoint certification was worth it or not.  I had just about made up my mind that it was and had started talking to my management about getting the time to go back to training (one of the best parts of the program) to complete my recertification before time was up next June.  I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore.  Crying face

SkyDrive Pro Storage Increased to 25GB

sharepoint-2013-logo_sm

Microsoft announced today on the Office 365 technology Blog that they are increasing the default storage available in each user’s SkyDrive Pro to 25GB from the current 7GB.  They’ve also added an option allowing increase to 50GB or 100GBs of storage on a user by user basis.  The optional additional storage will come out of your regular tenant storage allocation.  Tenants can buy additional storage if needed at a cost of $.20 USD/GB/Month.  Microsoft is also adding a new view to SkyDrive Pro that will display links to all the documents that have been shared with you personally, no matter whose SkyDrive Pro they are stored on.  So you get more room for storing and sharing your own documents and easier access to all the documents that others have shared with you.  That’s what I call a Win/Win.

You can read the whole announcement here:

http://blogs.office.com/b/office365tech/archive/2013/08/27/skydrive-pro-increases-storage-and-ease-of-sharing.aspx