Tag Archives: SharePoint

Microsoft acquires Mover.io to ease OneDrive migrations

Microsoft plans to add cloud migration tools to aid SharePoint on-premises migrations to the OneDrive cloud with its Monday acquisition of Mover.io, an eight-year-old Canadian startup specializing in the self-service mass migration of enterprise files.

Mover.io, acquired for an undisclosed sum, also provides cross-cloud migrations from a dozen OneDrive file-sharing cloud competitors, including Box, Dropbox, Egnyte and Google Drive. Microsoft continues to support SharePoint on-premises, but the company has not said how long it will continue to do so, leaving room for speculation among users and experts.

Mover.io, acquired a month after Microsoft bought data-migration vendor Movere, will join several file-migration tools and services already on the Microsoft cloud platform, including FastTrack and the SharePoint Migration Tool. Users also have a choice of several other third-party tools to do the job, including ShareGate and Metalogix, which support file migrations to OneDrive.

Microsoft could, theoretically, poach customers from competing cloud file-management systems such as Box with the Mover.io migration tools. But the real OneDrive migration target customer for the Mover.io tools is Microsoft’s SharePoint on-premises base, said Deep Analysis founder Alan Pelz-Sharpe.

Enterprise-scale file migrations from on-premises servers to the cloud pose challenges of maintaining file directory structure as well as access and security policies, Pelz-Sharpe said. SharePoint enterprise migrations in particular can be even thornier because it was designed for front-line office workers to set up ad-hoc file-sharing sites with little IT assistance.

The fact that SharePoint’s been around for nearly two decades, pre-dating widespread cloud adoption, compounds the issue. Pelz-Sharpe described one of his clients, a utility company, whose SharePoint on-premises footprint has grown over the years to 12,000 SharePoint sites.

“They have no idea what is in them, and no idea what to do with them,” Pelz-Sharpe said. “These things can be complex. It’s a recognized problem, so the more experience, skills and tools Microsoft can bring to help, the better.”

Specifics about Mover.io features integrating with the Microsoft 365 platform will come next month, said Jeff Teper, Microsoft corporate VP for Office, SharePoint and OneDrive, in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

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Tricks to create Office 365 Groups from distribution groups

When an organization moves from an on-premises platform, such as Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business, to…


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Office 365, it’s important to analyze existing distribution groups to determine how to migrate to the cloud.

Office 365 Groups is a collaborative service that takes the place of traditional distributions groups. However, administrators must understand how the services differ and use caution when they create Office 365 Groups from the existing distribution groups.

Here are five points an organization should review as it considers what’s involved to convert distribution groups into Office 365 Groups.

Study up on Office 365 Groups

When admins create Office 365 Groups, they install a collaboration service that extends across Office 365 services. In addition to email collaboration, Office 365 Groups provides access to shared resources, such as a mailbox, calendar, document library, team site and planner. Office 365 Groups also forms the foundation for other Office 365 services, such as Microsoft Teams.

When new members join Office 365 Groups, they immediately gain access to the conversation history in a dedicated shared mailbox. In a traditional distribution group, new members cannot access previous conversations and only receive messages from the time they join the group.

Analyze groups and determine migration options

An organization with an existing distribution group structure can convert them to Office 365 Groups and maintain some — or all — of that arrangement. Admins can extend the functionality further with the additional Office 365 Groups features. Evaluate existing distribution groups to determine if they are in use; this is a good time to eliminate any unwanted or unused groups.

Admins can convert a single distribution group when they create Office 365 Groups with a single click in the Office 365 Exchange Administration Center. Microsoft provides conversion scripts to convert multiple distribution groups to Office 365 Groups. Administrators should evaluate the scripts in a nonproduction environment before they create Office 365 Groups.

Understand the migration eligibility status

Microsoft conversion scripts will not work in all instances. Administrators cannot convert distribution groups to Office 365 Groups if any of the following factors exist:

  • They are mastered on premises, such as when synchronized from an on-premises Exchange environment into Office 365 via the Azure Active Directory Connect tool.
  • They have Send on Behalf Of permissions set.
  • They are configured as a moderated group.
  • The distribution group is hidden from the address list.
  • They have nested groups or are nested within other groups.

Microsoft’s conversion scripts include the Get-DlEligibilityList.ps1 script, which determines a group’s migration eligibility status. The script checks all distribution groups in an Office 365 tenant and outputs the eligibility results into a file. The output file will indicate if a distribution group cannot be converted if, for example, it is a closed group. The output file will provide some conversion assistance and show when the administrator can convert a distribution group to an Office 365 Group with an override switch in the conversion script.

Another script, named Convert-DistributionGroupToUnifiedGroup.ps1, uses the output file to perform the conversion.

Hybrid migration obstacles

Microsoft conversion scripts have limits; they cannot convert distribution groups that are mastered on premises in a hybrid configuration to Office 365 Groups.

An organization with an existing distribution group structure can convert them to Office 365 Groups and maintain some — or all — of that arrangement.

Microsoft developed a distribution list migration script, named Hummingbird, to help in this scenario. Hummingbird backs up the on-premises distribution group’s configuration and creates a new Office 365 Group from membership details in the original distribution group.

However, because the original distribution group syncs with Office 365, the tool must avoid duplicate configuration settings, such as email addresses. Consequently, some of the new Office 365 Group’s configuration settings will differ from the original distribution group. Administrators must perform other changes — remove the original distribution list and update the Office 365 Group to use the original email address — manually.

While administrators can build their own scripts to tackle this issue, they should test in a nonproduction environment to ensure success.

Assess governance and user self-service

As part of a move to Office 365, organizations must have a clear process to create Office 365 Groups. By default, users can also create Office 365 Groups through different clients or applications, such as Outlook, Outlook on the Web, SharePoint team sites and Planner. Admins can restrict this through a mixture of Outlook Web Access mailbox policies and Azure Active Directory configuration settings. Carefully evaluate whether to control group creation or deploy a user self-service model.

Admins can configure Office 365 Groups for a consistent naming standard. This is important, particularly in hybrid scenarios where groups created in Office 365 are written back to the on-premises environment. Review the naming policies for current distribution groups and new Office 365 Groups accordingly.

Next Steps

Evaluate Office 365 external access limitations

Use ADFS policies to control access to Office 365

Benefits of a hybrid setup with Office 365

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Celebrating women around the globe, the power of data and March Madness excitement — Weekend Reading: March 11 edition

Inspiring young women to invent great things, bringing data insights to transform businesses and a look at one developer’s focus on accessibility are just a few of the highlights from this week’s news around Microsoft.

On Monday, Microsoft celebrated International Women’s Day through its #MakeWhatsNext campaign aimed at showing young women they can be among the next generation of inventors. The company announced a new program to help female inventors file for U.S. patents; it also offers free resources for girls to learn to code and meet female role models at DigiGirlz events around the world.

The Microsoft Facebook Channel marked International Women’s Day by honoring women inventors of the past and supporting female innovators, ground-breakers and game-changers yet to come.

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CEO Satya Nadella, other top leaders and Microsoft customers shared how data insights are driving business transformation at Thursday’s Data Driven event in New York. Customers who have had the chance to preview SQL Server 2016 are already benefiting from new innovations such as built-in analytics and unique hybrid capabilities — and SQL Server’s real-time in-memory processing capabilities are leading the industry.

Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Data Group, shared more about what SQL Server 2016 can do. “Microsoft is delivering on a vision that no other company can match across data, intelligence and cloud,” he wrote on the Official Microsoft Blog.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, announced plans earlier in the week to extend SQL Server to run on Linux.

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If you’re one of the many people for whom March means one thing — the excitement of college basketball — then there’s a great new app for you. NCAA March Madness Live is now available on Windows 10.

The all-new universal Windows app, which has all the action of the 67 tournament games, is part of Microsoft’s broader partnership with the NCAA to bring the action of March Madness to people running Windows on any device. Get it to keep on top of all the rivalries, upsets and buzzer-beaters, as well as scores, schedules and more.

WP March Madness image

The Microsoft JobsBlog featured the work of Chris Schlechty, a developer who is helping modernize SharePoint and is his team’s “accessibility driver” for engineering — which means he’s the expert his colleagues turn to for guidance on how to design features that work well for people with various disabilities.

Schlechty, who has muscular dystrophy and uses an onscreen keyboard and other assistive technology, thinks it’s “fascinating and wonderful” that technology can empower people of all abilities to accomplish what they want to do — and that he’s able to help advance something so important as part of his job.

Schelchty image

A while back, the Office team in India discovered something that many small business owners and individuals needed and went to work creating just that: A suite of free, mobile-only Android apps that can help them better manage their businesses and their lives.

Months of research revealed the need for apps for people who rely solely on their phones. “Thinking mobile-only is new ground for a company of our size,” said Arun Rajappa, group product manager.

The apps — Sprightly, Connections and Kaizala — are being released through the Microsoft Garage.

WR Garage image

More app news brings plenty of entertainment for your weekend. For starters, “edjing” may come in handy if you’re hosting a party or otherwise want to look like a music pro. The updated DJ tool gives you controls for pitch, FX, EQ and sync, and the app has been redesigned to bring other key controls together for easier use.

If you’re looking for fun games, “King of Thieves” has introduced a new character, a unique gem and more in an update to help you dodge traps and steal gold from other players. The castle-conquering “Royal Revolt 2” game also has some cool new updates, and “Fire: Ungh’s Questputs your puzzle-solving skills to the test to help a Neanderthal named Ungh navigate all sorts of wild adventures.

Take a virtual trip to Las Vegas with “Slotomania,” which packs more than 100 themed casino slot machines into one app, or test your tapping skills in “Pop the Lock.”

For “Hunger Games” fans, now’s your chance to own the epic finale, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2,” before it’s even out on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s available with bonus content, or you can pick up the entire series, in the Windows Store.

WR Hunger Games

And that wraps up this week’s news around Microsoft. Check back each Friday for the latest edition of Weekend Reading.

Posted by Tracy Ith
Microsoft News Center Staff

How rising star Vidya Srinivasan launched her career at Microsoft

In 2010, Vidya Srinivasan canceled Christmas. A computer science graduate student at North Carolina State University by way of Chennai, India, she had scored an unexpected internship interview with Microsoft in Seattle.

“I canceled my vacation,” she said. “I reached out to all the Microsoft connections I could possibly find. I spent my Christmas with books, because I really wanted to nail that interview.”

And she did. Three years into her career in tech, Vidya is now a program manager for OneDrive-SharePoint, still on the same team she interned with in 2011.

Vidya, who could outtalk a roomful of teenage girls on Red Bull, is petite and bubbly. She is also the type of person who works insanely hard for extreme goals, and doesn’t necessarily see rescheduling the occasional holiday as a sacrifice. Originally from Hyderabad, India — Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s hometown — Vidya is an only child born to banker parents who raised her to be highly independent. By age 3, she was training to be a classical singer, a career path she kept open in case computer science didn’t work out. Throughout college, Vidya performed on four Indian television shows, appearing alongside some of the country’s musical superstars. Last year, when her Microsoft Hackathon team, Ability Eye Gaze, appeared to be reaching the finals, she realized her planned trip to Alaska might interfere with presenting the project to Nadella if they won. So she canceled the trip. (And good thing, because they won.)

That’s not to say she’s never had a crisis of confidence. As a new arrival to NCSU, she almost turned around and went home. “I called my mom, and I’m like, ‘Mom, I think I’ve made a mistake,’” she said. Her fellow graduate students had several years of work experience, had already met with professors, and knew what they wanted to achieve with their degrees.

“They were asking, ‘Do you know this, do you know that?’” she recalled. “I said, ‘No.’ ‘Do you have experience?’ ‘No. I graduated three months ago.’ People said, ‘If you don’t have these skills, you’ll never get a job.’” The cultural shift scared her, too. “When I was an undergraduate, the coursework is prescribed. In grad school, you design your own destiny.”

By the time the first career fair came around in October, Vidya knew she needed to land an internship to get ahead. “I couldn’t sleep the night before,” she said.

Read the full story.

Smash tests, fire suits and indoor tornados: How UL’s controlled mayhem makes the world safer

The Muppets have Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and UL has John Drengenberg.

“Never put foil in a microwave,” Drengenberg said as he picked up a large, crumpled section of tinfoil and placed it in a white microwave. He set the timer for five minutes and hit start, triggering an impressive light show and sci-fi sound effects that made my fillings tingle. Still, my inner eighth grader leaned forward, wide-eyed.

Looking up from the lightning storm, Drengenberg saw my expression and chuckled. “Hey, don’t do as we do, do as we say.”

UL's John Drengenberg leans into a high-speed fan capable of simulating tornado-grade winds.

UL’s John Drengenberg leans into a high-speed fan capable of simulating tornado-grade winds.

At UL, it’s not just gleeful, don’t-try-this-at-home mayhem for the sake of curiosity or killer dinner party stories. It’s serious science, testing and inspecting and auditing and certifying and validating to help ensure that the things humans use every day are safe. UL places its mark on 22 billion products, systems and materials each year; the average American home has at least 125 objects with the UL mark, from drywall to fire extinguishers and lamps to mattresses.

Some are vaguely aware of what it means when a beard trimmer or printer is adorned with a little circle containing the letters “UL.” Others have no idea there’s a company out there with the sole purpose of making the world safer.

Bob Jamieson in UL's “rain room,” where waterproof products are tested.

Bob Jamieson in UL’s “rain room,” where waterproof products are tested.

“Whether people realize it or not, the UL mark is everywhere. It’s around you at home, on your commute, at work, at the gym, even at your campsite in the middle of nowhere,” said Bob Jamieson, information security director for UL. “For 120 years, the UL mark has adorned everyday items, large and small. The mark indicates one very important thing: The product has been rigorously tested and certified for safety.”

Read the full story.


Microsoft’s ads continue to inspire long after big game – Weekend Reading: February 6th Edition

Welcome back to another edition of Weekend Reading, with stories about empowering ads that debuted during Sunday’s big game, a very cool update to Microsoft Research’s Image Composite Editor and how cloud computing is being used to accelerate research that could lead to breakthroughs in treating cancer and other diseases.

Football’s biggest game of the year is famous for its commercials, and this year a pair from Microsoft stood out. As a stalwart Seattle fan, it’ll be hard for me to watch the highlight reels from Sunday’s big game for a long time, but two 60-second ads from Microsoft are worth seeing over and over again. One is focused on Estella Pyfrom, 78, who cashed out her savings, bought a bus, outfitted it with computers and began bringing technology to kids in underserved communities. The other is on Braylon O’Neill, 6, who was born without tibia or fibula bones in his legs. Today, thanks to help from his prosthetics, O’Neill loves to run and play tee-ball. Both ads, as well as extended versions of the stories they tell, are available online.

The updated Image Composite Editor turns ordinary photos into panoramas. Microsoft Research released a set of new features Thursday for the photo tool Image Composite Editor (ICE) to make it even easier to turn ordinary photos into seamless, ultra-wide-angle masterpieces. Released in 2008 and downloaded by thousands of photographers, ICE is the foundation for such experiences as the aerial and Streetside imagery in Bing Maps. It was also part of the Gigapixel ArtZoom experiment, which produced stunning 360-degree views of Seattle’s cityscape. ICE’s new features include Automatic Image Completion, which can help if you end up with a hole in your panorama. The feature uses pattern-recognition technology to fill it in. You can also stitch video frames for a stroboscopic-motion panorama.

We traveled to Virginia Tech to see how cloud computing is being used to speed up research for cancer and other diseases. Wu Feng, a highly recognized professor in computer science and electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech, envisions a not-so-far-off future in which a secure cloud contains your genetic profile. That information could, in turn, lead to an early diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening disease – such as cancer – and an individually tailored life-saving treatment.

Skype Social Good Ambassador Tyson Mayr traded in his day job to help people around the world.

Skype Social Good Ambassador Tyson Mayr traded in his day job to help people around the world.

Skype showed the wide swath of its reach, from philanthropic causes to cinematic portraits and a chance to win a 4K TV. Tyson Mayr left his job to help people around the world, including bringing clean water to orphanages in Uganda. He uses Skype to connect people from all corners of the globe, from school kids to philanthropists. His story appeared in Skype’s Big Blog, with a campaign to do even more social good through Skype. The video-chat platform is offering Skype Credit to people who want to make a difference and the chance to win $5,000 for charity. Recently, Skype Ambassadors musician Frank Bell and foodie Tom Le Mesurier met the Skype Social Good challenge head on by hosting a Skype-enabled dinner party and silent auction in New York City. In the final episode of “Following Heart,” artist Leslie Watts uses Skype to capture her subjects’ faces in 3D. Now, for a chance to win a Samsung 4K Ultra HD Smart TV – which lets you have a Skype on TV group video call with up to two other participants – share a photo on Twitter or Instagram showing how your living room expresses your personality.

Bing Predicts those most likely to take home a Grammy.

Bing Predicts those most likely to take home a Grammy.

If you’re looking forward to the Grammys this Sunday, Bing can give you an edge if you’re doing an awards pool. It has predictions on winners; an interactive guide to nominees, songs and albums; and a fun, karaoke-style feature of videos and lyrics.

Office Delve, a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365, as well as provide predictive search capabilities, will be part of SharePoint’s evolution.

Office Delve, a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365, as well as provide predictive search capabilities, will be part of SharePoint’s evolution.

Julia White, general manager for the Office Product Management team, revealed the path of SharePoint’s evolution in the cloud with Office 365. SharePoint began as a content collaboration solution focused on team sites, but has changed into much more, she writes. Among the changes coming: Adding Office Delve, which goes beyond traditional enterprise search; offering new “ready-to-go” portals that previously would take customers weeks, maybe months, to build; and using Office 365 to expand the concept of team sites.

Apps and games that caught our eye this week included one that captures your creativity to personalize your phone screens, tried and true favorites getting a new spin with Windows 10 and a new batch of sales. With #TileArt, the App of the Week, you can pin favorite images to Windows Phone screens and share them. If you’ve got a PC, laptop or tablet running the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you can now try out these Office for Windows apps: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Also, an Office Lens update gives Windows Phone users the option of converting images to PDFs and save to OneDrive. Finally, the latest Red Stripe Deals are now in, as well as Cody’s App Academy, the Indie Game Spotlight, “The Tribez” and “Zynga Poker League Season 5.”

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Trek Bicycle Corporation Breaking from the Pack with Power BI

Trek Bicycle Corporation is no stranger to the power of technology. As a global company leading the charge in building the best bikes in the world, they’ve consistently leveraged Cloud computing and the full range of Microsoft solutions, including Office 365, Microsoft Azure, SharePoint, Yammer and Dynamics CRM Online, to hone in on the intricacies of their business and solidify growth year after year. When Trek had the opportunity to add Power BI to their toolbox, it was a no-brainer. The first stop: Trek’s Helpdesk, the hub of where employees go to or call to resolve their technology needs.

“What we had before just didn’t work. Our former reporting tool was too confusing and didn’t operate the way we needed it to, so no one used it,” said David Peterson, Enterprise Collaboration Manager at Trek. “Microsoft Power BI has completely changed that – it has given us better insight than we’ve ever had before. We absolutely love it.”

David uses a Microsoft Power BI workbook daily as a way to efficiently manage and track Helpdesk activity and customer service requests, including how many customer “tickets” – customer requests – are open and for how long. The new dashboard feature offers personalized charts and graphs to highlight the data he wants to see, and he can accurately track his team’s time and identify opportunities for change. Before Power BI, he had no way of truly seeing or discerning this information.

“A few months ago, we realized we had an overabundance of tickets from our HR department for the same type of request, which initially had to go through our team,” David explained. “Once we could see how much time was really being spent on this one issue that didn’t require a multi-person process, it was easy to make a change. We trained several people on their team and went from 12-15 hours per month spent on this to zero.”

In addition to these efficiency gains, Power BI has also helped Trek in making guests to their headquarters feel at home.  Power BI gave David insight into the number of requests for Trek guests to have WIFI access; he recently learned the Helpdesk was managing up to 35 requests each week, totaling about four hours per month for a common request that doesn’t require tech support.  David and his team are currently working to add an option for visitors to gain WIFI access via check-in on the Surface Pro 3 stationed in the front lobby.

“It’s a simple request and on a small scale, not a huge deal,” David said. “But day after day, they were really adding up. We didn’t see this until we started tracking everything in Microsoft Power BI.”

With cross-company adoption growing and a demonstrated ROI, Trek is planning to fully integrate Microsoft Power BI and will soon be able to pull customer data directly from Dynamics CRM Online, providing even deeper insight and seamless coordination between systems.

“Insights from Microsoft Power BI have been a game changer for us,” David said. “It has enabled us to be more productive, as well as  better allocate our time and resources –  and when combined with the rest of the Microsoft solutions, its helping Trek break out further from the pack.”


To connect more than 20,000 employees worldwide, Carlsberg Group chose Office 365

Since JC Jacobsen founded the Carlsberg brewery more than 160 years ago to serve the Danish market, it’s grown tremendously – especially within the past 14 years – and with Microsoft’s help, the company manages their operations around the world from a central base. The Carlsberg Group introduced a vision for business it calls “GloCal,” which aims for global efficiency while staying true to its local roots. The company chose Microsoft Office 365 to implement a complete productivity and collaboration solution that its more than 20,000 employees can use to connect with each other and streamline its global supply chain.

Employees use Microsoft Exchange Online for email and calendaring; Microsoft Lync Online to connect via Web conferencing and instant messaging; virtual teams are collaborating on projects using Microsoft SharePoint Online; and employees are adopting the Yammer Enterprise social networking platform for messaging and collaboration.

The company has expanded from a local production base of just six markets in 2000 to become the fourth largest brewer of beer in the world with a roster of 500 different brands.

For more information about the Carlsberg Group, GloCal and Office 365, check out this press release.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff