Sunday, December 30, 2012

The reason why?



One of the great things about being a kid is that you get to constantly ask Why? even when you know the answer. Why is it so? But why? Why? etc as any parent will attest. The adult version of this is being a philosopher but still being able to ask the same question, Why? So if you’ll indulge my philosophical tendencies, I want to ask you why?

At this festive time of the year many people attend functions with people they have never met. Sooner or later the conversation turns to ‘So what do you do?’. To which we all provide the standard ‘resume’ answer. Like a good philosopher I like to ask why? rather than what?

So here’s my question. Why do you do what you do? Why do you work? Why do you get up in the morning?

Try this experiment yourself. Ask people why they do what they do. I’ll bet you get one of three answers in the following percentages.

70% of respondents will simply say ‘I don’t know’. Amazing eh? They are doing something everyday (like working) but they can’t tell you why they are doing it. This is kind of like using a map without knowing the destination isn’t it? It kinda makes the map useless doesn’t it?

20% of respondents will say they want a ‘better’ this or ‘more’ of that, etc. This is certainly a more focused answer but notice how words like ‘better’ and ‘more’ are very vague. ‘Better’ than what? How much ‘more’? They are vague because people are afraid to set definitive goals because if they do they run the risk of failure. It is much easier to be vague because if you fail you can cover it up by saying ‘well we did more’ or ‘we actually did better’ even if that is not the case.

The last 10% of respondents will tell you with great details why they do what they do. For example, they may say they are saving to buy a purple Bell Jet Ranger helicopter so they can learn how to fly and use it every weekend. You see the difference? A very definitive goal.

There are some major benefits of setting very specific goals as well. The first is measurement. If you say you want ‘more’ money how do you measure that? Is that $1 more or $1,000 more? However, if you say you want $1 million more then you can measure exactly how close you are to reaching your goal. I also believe that having a very specific goal can provide you with that extra little incentive when things are tough and not looking so bright. Chances are if you have set yourself goals like ‘more’ you’ll quit or accept far less than what you really want to achieve. However, if you have a very specific goal it provides focus and generally provides a greater drive to achieve simply because it is far more real. That little extra push through the tough time is generally what separates those who succeed and those who don’t. It is such a tiny thing but it makes such a world of difference.

You can have as many goals as you want but my advice is to make them as specific as you can. Sure, you may not achieve them but I think you’ll be surprised how many you do actually achieve if you make them specific. Have the confidence to go after what you really want and don’t be afraid to be specific. People who do achieve normally have very, very specific goals and don’t forget to constantly measure and adjust as you go along. It is only the unfounded fear of failure that is holding you back.

Of course don’t forget to act like a child, a-hem, I mean philosopher at the next social function you attend and ask why? rather than what? Listen to the responds you get to see whether my thumbnail demographics are correct. Getting specific is a small and subtle change but, in my experience, it separates those who do from those who want.

Friday, December 28, 2012

74-324 Administering Office 365 for SMB Review

I’ve just completed the 74-324 Administering Office 365 for Small Business and I’d thought I’d let people know what it is like.

 

Firstly, I believe it is a much better exam for SMB Resellers to attempt before doing the full 70-321 Deploying Office 365 or 70-323 Administering Office 365. Unlike the 70-321 and 70-323 the exam is much more ‘SMB’ focused. This means that it doesn’t deal as much with the high end enterprise features and combinations of Office 365 environment, especially where it comes to full blown complex hybrid scenarios. SMB Resellers who have worked with Office 365 should be far more comfortable with the questions on offer.

 

That however does not mean the 74-324 exam is easy. Much like SBS exams, to pass you are going to need to know ALL the Office 365 components. You simply can’t skate by just knowing Exchange. The biggest challenge I see for most resellers is going to be SharePoint. The SharePoint questions I found to focus more on the core features of SharePoint rather than some of the high end enterprise features but you will still need to know SharePoint well.

 

I did find it important that you have a good knowledge of the rights and roles in Office 365. Especially, what each role bestowed on the holder. This can become some what complex when you mix Office 365 Administration, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online rights together. My advice is that you need to spend the time mapping all these out and understanding exactly what power each has.

 

In some ways this exam is more difficult than SBS exams because with SBS the best answer is normally to use a wizard. This is not the case with Office 365, so it is kind of like SBS without the wizards. You’ll need to know how to create users and assign them rights for all the services. However, if you work with the product that shouldn’t be too tough.

 

Importantly, you are going to need to know some basic Powershell commands. You won’t need to know the breadth or depth you would for the other exams but you will need to know then. Again, if you have been working intelligently with Office 365 you should be very familiar and comfortable with Powershell but make sure you do some review before you attempt the exam.

 

So, all in all I think this is a fair exam to test Office 365 knowledge for SMB administrators. To pass you are going to need to know each product in some depth, you are going to understand assigning rights, Powershell and some elements of co-existence and hybrid set ups. However, you will not need to focus on the advanced features of Office 365 as you did with the other exams.

 

Most importantly, the exam will challenge most SMB resellers so don’t take it lightly. Ensure you work your way through the Jumpstart for Office 365 SMB videos and then do some practice questions. Like all Microsoft exams, when you are actually taking the test, read ALL of question TWICE and eliminate the options that don’t make sense first. Simply have general knowledge that is convey by the Jumpstart for Office 365 SMB videos is NOT enough to pass this exam. You REALLY need to do a range of typical questions to give a feel for what is likely to be asked during the exam.

 

If you have worked with Office 365 for about 6 months, watch the Jumpstart videos, do 8-10 hours study and then some preparation questions I’d be very confident that you’d pass. However, as I said this exam is tougher than any SBS exam you may have done so don’t approach it lightly if you want to pass!

 

Here’s a list of training resources that may help:

 

Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses Exam (74-324) - http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=74-324

 

Office 365 for SMB Jump Start - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/video/office-365-for-smb-jump-start-01-office-365-overview-and-infrastructure.aspx

 

Office 365 Jump Start for IT Pros - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/video/office-365-jump-start-01-microsoft-office-365-overview-for-it-pros

 

Microsoft Virtual Academy - http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/Home.aspx

 

Office 365 Virtual labs - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/hh699847.aspx

 

Microsoft e-learning - http://learning.microsoft.com/Manager/BrowseResults.aspx?qry=Office+365&nav=trainingtype%3aE-Learning&btn=1

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 43


In this episode I speak with Kerio APAC Sales Director Abi Vickram about the Kerio Workspace product and how it can be a great option for businesses that are not yet ready for SharePoint but need basic collaboration. You’ll find the episode here:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/2012/12/18/episode-43-abi-vickram/
 
Workspace is a really simple to setup and use product that can provide real productivity benefits and even better provides resellers with an opportunity to introduce client to the productivity benefits of ‘sharing’ information rather than locking it away in emails.
 
Don't forget all the other podcasts at http://ciaops.podbean.com and appreciate a like over at http://www.facebook.com/n2kpodcast.
 
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me directly (director@ciaops.com).







Sharegate is great!

Last year, when I attended the SharePoint Conference I came across the Sharegate product. It is basically a tool that allows you to move SharePoint data. I purchased a license shortly after that but I have also been provided a license as an Office 365 MVP (full disclosure).

 

Hopefully you know that you can drag and drop files into SharePoint using Windows Explorer. That works fine if you don’t want to copy any history, versions or meta data, which increasingly people do want.

 

File data is however, only a small part of information saved in SharePoint these days. Most sites have significant amounts of lists. So how can you copy or migrate these? The best way was to export to a desktop application like Excel or Access, there was always the option to save the list as a template and then copy it across and import it into the new location. In short, all very messy.

 

The problem has been, especially in the SMB space, has been the lack of a single tool to handle all this sort of migration and do so at a reasonable price. That was until Sharegate came along. Since I first started using the product it has added a variety of features, now including the ability to content from one site to another. Best of all the product is compatible with all current versions of SharePoint including SharePoint Online with Office 365.

 

image

 

You can see from the above diagram that the application is well laid out and easy to use. I like the fact that it remembers your sites and many of your actions so you don’t have to go through the whole configuration process over and over. I like how it also allows you to determine what level of interaction and notification you desire. Great for set and forget migrations.

 

I think that if you are regularly moving SharePoint information whether within sites or with migrations when Sharegate is an indispensible tool.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Only with SharePoint 2013 sites

image

 

As the above image shows, SharePoint Designer 2013 only works with SharePoint 2013 sites much like SharePoint Designer 2010 before it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Search Service INOP in SharePoint 2013 Foundation

Now that I have SharePoint Foundation 2013 installed a member server I thought that I start looking at how well search works and in anything needs to be done to index third party documents like PDFs. What I found so far hasn’t been good news I am afraid to report.

 

Let me set the scene. I installed SharePoint Foundation 2013 on a member server and used the Complete installation method with the data residing on SQL Server 2012 Express. I used the SharePoint Configuration Wizard to set up the site using the defaults.

 

With SharePoint Foundation 2012 it turns out that search is now more like the old Search Server Express 2010. Thus, think of SharePoint Foundation 2013 as SharePoint Foundation merged with Search Server Express. You would think that is good wouldn’t you?

 

The first thing I found was that even using the SharePoint Configuration Wizard to set up farm indexing wasn’t enabled. When you go into the Search Application administration you see the following:

 

image

 

Local SharePoint Servers are a content source but there is no crawl enabled on these sites by default. Easy enough to enable some crawl rules. However, with that done I found that the indexing commences but remain stuck in the Starting state as shown.

 

image

 

And here it stayed no matter what I tried or how long I waited. When I attempt to do a search I get this every time.

 

image

 

My expectation is that out of the box, using a default installation that search would be enabled and would operate. I certainly not found that to be the case in my experience.

 

As I said, I have tried reinstalling and reconfiguring in a number of different ways and have still had no luck. I’m continuing to try and get to the bottom of why search on Foundation 2010 does seem to work. More updates soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Search Service on Foundation 2013

Following on from my previous blog post about the missing ability to add the Search Service to SharePoint Foundation 2013 from the Central Administration GUI after selecting a manual configuration method, it seems that the ONLY way you can add the Search Service to SharePoint Foundation 2013 is by using the SharePoint Configuration Wizard like so (you can’t even do it with PowerShell):

 

image

 

Visit the SharePoint Central administration site and select Configuration Wizards from the Quick Launch Menu on the left hand side.

 

image

 

Press the Start the Wizard button.

 

image

 

Select the account you wish to use for this service. It is always better to have one already created than try and create a new one on the fly here.

 

Scroll down for more options.

 

image

 

If you want just the Search Service Application then uncheck everything else and press the Next button.

 

image

 

SharePoint will bring out the traffic cones briefly while the service is configured.

 

image

 

You’ll then be asked to create a Site Collection, but since one has normally be created previously during the manual creation of SharePoint Foundation 2013, press the Skip button.

 

image

 

You should now see in the summary page that a Search Service Application has been configured. Interestingly, you’ll note that the following additional service have also been configured (even though they were unselected!):

 

- Usage and Health Data Collection Service Application

 

If you press the Finish button and have then have a look at the Service Applications you should see:

 

image

 

Then if you have a look at Services on Server you’ll see:

 

image

 

Where you should now see that the SharePoint Server Search (at the bottom of the screen shot above) is now Started!

 

Phew, that is a lot of work if you want to configure SharePoint Foundation 2013 manually! What it tells me is that you are actually better off, if doing a Complete installation, using the SharePoint Configuration Wizard to install and configure all the Services for SharePoint Foundation 2013 (which has always sort of been against best practice).

 

The next question is how does Search work and what needs to be done to get PDF indexing working? Once I work all this out I’ll post it up here.

Adding Search Service to Foundation 2013

The recommended method of installing SharePoint is not to use the SharePoint Configuration Wizards but to do everything manually. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be that easy any more. Here’s an example I have come across.

 

So, you have installed SharePoint Foundation 2013 using the Complete option during installation. You have elected to cancel the SharePoint Configuration Wizard and do everything manually. You have successfully created a Web Application and a Site Collection inside that application. You can see the SharePoint Foundation web site but when you look at Service Applications in SharePoint Central Administration you only see:

 

image

 

If you then look at Manage Services on this Server you see that the SharePoint Server Search is Stopped.

 

image

 

Logically, you press the Start hyperlink to be greeted by the following message.

 

image

 

So you press the OK button and end up back at:

 

image

 

Then what you’d previously do is create a new Search Application using the New button in the top left, but selecting that now only reveals:

 

image

 

So how the hell do you add the Search Application???

 

I reckon you may only now be able to do it via PowerShell. I’ll do some digging and report back, however it once again highlights to me how more difficult SharePoint on premise is with 2013.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New CIAOPS Publication page

image

 

I have setup a new page on the main CIAOPS web site that contains all the most popular CIAOPS publications. You can now purchase them all directly from this page. You can find the publications page at:

 

http://www.ciaops.com/publications/

 

Going forward with this new e-commerce system it will allow me to sell a greater range of products and extend the CIAOPS Affiliate program to cover all of these items. The items will still be available via the original sites because they provide distribution via Amazon, iBook, Nook, etc which this new system doesn’t facilitate.

 

Hopefully, it means more choice and a better experience for those looking to get hold of my publications. If you do you the new system I’d appreciate your feedback (good or bad) as I am always looking to improve things for customers.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

SharePoint Client Side book released

I am happy to announce the release of my latest publication “SharePoint Client Side”.

 

cover-3d-sm

 

It is available in:

 

Adobe PDF - http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-crane/sharepoint-client-side/ebook/product-20548580.html

 

ePub - http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-crane/sharepoint-client-side/ebook/product-20554957.html

 

Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AIBIPZS

 

The book is focused in detailing how the following desktop applications interface and interact with SharePoint 2010:

 

- Windows Explorer

- Word

- Excel

- PowerPoint

- Outlook

- InfoPath

- Access

- Project

- Visio

- SharePoint Workspace

- SharePoint Designer

 

Many people fail to realise the real power of SharePoint is revealed when you start interfacing it to application like those above. This book will show you how that can be done and how you can get more out of SharePoint with applications your probably already have.

 

You can find a list of all the CIAOPS publications (free and paid) at http://www.ciaops.com/downloads.

 

Stay tuned for more releases soon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CIAOPS Affiliate program–SharePoint bootcamp



A while back I announced the CIAOPS Affiliate program. Making it easy for people to recommend and on sell CIAOPS products is still something that I am working hard on implementing. I am currently evaluating a number of options for my SharePoint and Office 365 Guide, however for the time being to receive an 8% commission (or 16% if you are already a Guide subscriber) you simply need to let me know who you have referred (director@ciaops.com). As soon as the sale is complete I’ll send you the commission.

One of the other products that the CIAOPS Affiliate program is available for is CIAOPS bootcamps. With a SharePoint Online Bootcamp running on the 21st of February 2013 an affiliate setup is now available. All you need to do is visit:

http://www.eventbrite.com.au/affiliate-register?eid=4818264559&affid=23551322

and sign up. For every successful referral you make you’ll receive 8% of the ticket price (around $20). If you are an existing SharePoint and Office 365 Guide subscriber please contact me (director@ciaops.com) and I’ll send you the link for the subscriber referral program where you can earn up to 16% ($40) per successful referral.

Make sure you keep an eye on the CIAOPS Affiliate page for more programs as they become available.

Why passwords matter

Here is a great example from a buddy of mine (Ben from DigitIT) about why passwords are important.
 
As his blog post details he was called in when a client found their machines displaying a message asking for money to unencrypt their files. They had been infected with Ransomware. Why? Very poor passwords as the blog post notes.

End results? A complete reinstall and restore of the server from a known good point in time. After that how much do you figure using strong password is worth?

I always recommend something like Lastpass to auto generate and remember complex passwords. If you haven’t used Lastpass then you SHOULD!

Facebook security video

Here’s a great video from Kaspersky that covers how to enable the security features of Facebook.

 

Securing Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlzXtX4BpGk

 

Highly recommend you implement all these features and when you are done forward the video on to others who may not be as security conscious to ensure they are also protected.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Need to Know Podcasts–Reflection

The CIAOPS Need to Know podcasts started back on August 25th, 2010 with Susan Bradley. There are now 42 completed episodes available for download and streaming covering a variety of technology and business topics.

 

image

 

As you can see from the graphic above the number of downloads has grown from less than 50 per month to a peak of almost 3,000! I can only say that I never expected in my wildest dreams that I’d ever reach those sort of heights.

 

I take the opportunity here and now to thank every single person who has listened to even one episode of the CIAOPS Need to Know Podcast. I hope that you have received benefit for the time that you have invested I hope that you’ll keep listening going forward. Remember, if you want to hear about a certain topic or from a specific person please let me know (director@ciaops.com) and I’ll do my best to have a show on that topic.

 

I also take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been a guest and come on to share their thoughts and experiences with the listeners. The above numbers demonstrate how interested people are in the topics that have been covered.

 

I look forward to continuing the podcasts into 2013 and beyond. I am ALWAYS looking for people to come on as guests and share their information. So, if you are at all interested please get in contact with me (director@ciaops.com). All the shows are pre-recorded at a time that suits you and done via Skype. It is simply about having a chat that hopefully other can benefit from. If you feel so inclined I’d be really interested in hearing from you (director@ciaops.com).

 

Again, thanks to all who have made the CIAOPS Need to Know Podcasts a success and stay tuned for more episodes.

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 42



In this episode I speak with SBS MVP Philip Elder about the opportunities around an on premise IT business focused on the SMB market. We discuss the challenges now faced in this market and what the secrets to success will be in the future.
 
http://ciaops.podbean.com/2012/12/04/episode-42-philip-elder/
 
Don't forget all the other podcasts at http://ciaops.podbean.com and appreciate a like over
athttp://www.facebook.com/n2kpodcast.
 
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me (director@ciaops.com)







Thursday, November 29, 2012

Office 365 Recipient limits raised



One objection I hear regularly from business who are using their emails incorrectly is that Exchange Online ONLY allows email to 1,500 recipients a day. Many use that as an excuse for staying on premise because they want to bulk email from their own inbox.

Firstly, Microsoft has just raised that limit to 10,000 recipients a day from 1,500.

http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/dd630704.aspx#RecipientLimits

Secondly, you really shouldn’t be using your normal email accounts for bulk email. A much better bet is something like Mailchimp, but if you must (and some MUST) then ensure you follow the guidance provided by Microsoft when it comes to bulk emails and you’ll never reach those limits!

http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/ff381292.aspx#bulkemailstrategies

Podcast with Karl Palachuk

I’ve just completed a short podcast with a good buddy of mine and a leader in the SMB community space in the US, Karl Palachuk around Office 365 and the opportunities for resellers in the Cloud space. You’ll find it here:

 

http://www.smbcommunitypodcast.com/2012/11/robert-crane-office-365-sharepoint-in-the-cloud-is-a-great-combo/

 

so you can download and listen to it at your leisure.

 

In the podcast I also speak my SharePoint and Office 365 Guide and Karl is making a special offer of $50 off the price of the Guide until December 25 (what a great geek Christmas gift eh?).

 

Remember if you have any feedback on the episode or have any questions you’d like to ask feel free to email me directly (director@ciaops.com).

 

I thank Karl for the opportunity as well as everyone who takes the time to listen.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Less site options in Foundation 2013

Been poking around SharePoint Foundation 2013 and noticed the following reduction in site template options.

 

Here’s the site template options when you go to create a new sub site:

 

Collaboration tab

 

SharePoint 2010 Foundation

 

image

 

SharePoint 2013 Foundation

 

image

 

i.e. the following templates are no longer available:

 

- blank site

- document workspace

- group work site

 

There is no longer a meeting tab as there is in SharePoint 2010

 

image

 

There is now an Enterprise tab that contains:

 

image

 

So the following site templates are no longer available by default in SharePoint 2013 Foundation:

 

- Blank site

- Document Workspace

- Group Work Site

- Basic Meeting Workspace

- Blank Meeting Workspace

- Decision Meeting Workspace

- Social Meeting Workspace

- Multipage Meeting Workspace

 

The following have been added:

 

- Basic Search Center

 

The reason? My guess is that most people never used the site templates that have been removed and the thinking is that if people want to get them then they will probably be available via the new Office Marketplace that is part of SharePoint 2013.

 

However, the more I look at Foundation 2013 the more I am convinced that it is far more basic that Foundation 2010 was. Maybe the addition of the Office Marketplace in the 2013 products is where additions to the product will appear? I’ll be interested to see whether they do.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SharePoint Foundation 2013 setups

The previous blog post I did on setting up SharePoint Foundation 2013 I will admit to cheating a little. There is did the installation completely on a single windows 2012 Server that I had converted to a Domain Controller (DC).

 

Now, technically that isn’t supported, so here are some other ways you can attempt to install it.

 

If you simply try and install it on a stand alone server that is not part of a domain you’ll see

 

image

 

If you select stand alone and follow it through you’ll end up with the following error during the configuration wizard:

 

image

 

which is the same sort of error I received when testing the beta.

 

If you instead try and do a complete install you end up at:

 

image

 

So as:

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2764086/en-us

 

notes, SharePoint 2013 is NOT supported unless it is on a domain connected server, only then will you see:

 

image

 

and the ultimate end results you are after

 

image

 

When you use the GUI installation method.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New CIAOPS SharePoint book–preorder offer

I am just about set to publish my latest SharePoint title -

 

SharePoint Client Side

 

This book covers all of the desktop applications that can be interfaced to SharePoint 2010. It shows you how to use common Office applications like Word, Excel, OneNote and Outlook with SharePoint Document Libraries and lists. It shows you how Office Web Apps functions as well as more advanced applications such as Access, Visio and SharePoint Workspace. It also provides a brief introduction to the power of applications like InfoPath and SharePoint Designer.

 

In essences it demonstrates that the real power of SharePoint is how it can be integrated with the applications user every day. If you want to get more out of SharePoint than what you are getting now then this book will show you how by providing extensive information and tutorials on how to use, Windows Explorer, Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, SharePoint Workspace, Project, Visio, InfoPath and SharePoint Designer with SharePoint 2010.

 

If you use SharePoint you need this book to give you the complete picture of what is possible with SharePoint on the desktop.

 

I expect to have the book ‘e-published’ by this time next week and until then I am going to make the following pre-release offer:

 

- 50% discount off the price of the finished product (i.e. $4.38 vs $ 8.76 RRP)

- all 3 ‘e-versions’ of the finished work (ePUB, Kindle and PDF)

 

Conditions

 

- full payment of $4.38 receive prior to the ‘publishing’ of the final product most likely next week.

 

To take advantage of the offer please contact me (director@ciaops.com) to arrange payment.

 

If you are already a CIAOPS SharePoint and Office 365 Guide subscriber you’ll receive a copy of the title once it becomes available as part of your subscription.

 

Do wait to too long to take advantage of this offer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SharePoint Online backups - when?

What many Office 365 users don’t seem to appreciate is that Microsoft backups up their data. Not only their emails but also their SharePoint data. This is all part of the service.

 

Now, equally valid questions are how often do they do that and for how long is a backup retained? The answer to these questions can be found in the service descriptions for each service:

 

Enterprise plans - http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=13602

 

In there (under SharePoint Online Service Description, P18) you’ll find:

 

Data Backup

 

Data protection services are provided to prevent the loss of SharePoint Online data. Backups are performed every 12 hours and retained for 14 days.

 

It is always good to have multiple backups of any data source in multiple location but part of the Office 365 DOES including automatic backups of that data residing there.

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 41


Join me in this episode as I speak with Microsoft OneNote MVP Ben Schorr about a product we both love - OneNote. Ben explains how OneNote works and how it can help just about any business manage information overload.
 
http://ciaops.podbean.com/2012/11/20/episode-41-ben-schorr/
 
Don't forget all the other podcasts at http://ciaops.podbean.com and appreciate a like over at http://www.facebook.com/n2kpodcast.
 
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me (director@ciaops.com)








Monday, November 19, 2012

Windows 8, end of an era?

Now let me ask you, what do consumers want when it comes to technology? I’d suggest that they want new gadgets (devices) and apps. I would also suggest to you that most apps are simply the front end onto larger online “services”. So, I would contend that consumers want devices and services.

 

I’ll bet that if I now ask you what Microsoft does you won’t know. Impossible I hear you say. They do software is your reply. Are you sure? Really sure? If you visit the Microsoft homepage and have a look at what the name of the tab says I think you’ll be surprised.

 

image

 

It says Devices and Services, right there on the homepage.

 

Would it be fair to say that Microsoft is now aiming itself squarely at the consumer who wants devices and services rather than software? I would think so and nothing confirms that to me more than Windows 8.

 

I would also contend that Windows 8 signifies something else significant. It signifies the end of the IT Professional age. Look at the landscape today, most major providers (Apple, Google via Android and now Microsoft) are all providing a very similar technology platform. Sure there are some minor differences but basically it is all about devices and services. They are beginning to look the same both in their hardware and software. Doesn’t this indicate the final phase in the consumerization of technology? Doesn’t this mean there is less room for the traditional IT Professional?

 

Technology has become mainstream. Just about everyone has a smart phone, most are replacing their PC with tablets. Don’t believe me? This article spells out the Dell suffered a 47% drop in profit and pointedly:

 

Revenue from PCs, which still account for about half of Dell's sales, declined 19% from a year ago to $6.6 billion. The biggest drop was in sales to consumers, which fell 23% to $2.5 billion.

 

PCs are in the thick of an industry-wide decline as customers increasingly turn to tablets or smartphones. In the third quarter, world-wide shipments of PCs plunged more than 8% from a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. Dell's shipments fell 14% in the quarter, IDC said.

 

Many bemoan the loss of the Start button in Windows 8 but I reckon many, many more will welcome the new ‘touch friendly’ interface with open arms. Like it or not it is simply the way the world is going and that world is being driven by the consumer who simply sees technology as part of the landscape. For example, consumers don’t care whether they are running ice cream sandwich or jellybean on their Android phone, they just want to access the services they want on the device of their choice. Simple. They want nice icons they can tap with their fingers.

 

The IT Professional age was characterized by a knowledge few who understood how to twist the knobs to make technology work. That need is becoming no more. Most people can work it out for themselves or can find it using a search engine. To me Windows 8 is recognition from the final big player in the market that the world has changed, technology is a utility and they now need to focus on a different audience. All that means that traditional SMB IT Professional ‘PC generalist’ is fast becoming an extinct species.

SharePoint 2013 Foundation now available

SharePoint 2013 Foundation 2013 RTM is now available for download. You can do so from:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35488

 

Here’s a walk through of the installation process

 

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Launch the downloaded file and it will expand files

 

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Next the splash screen will be displayed. Select Install software prerequisites.

 

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Click Next.

 

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Accept the terms of the License Agreement and press Next.

 

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The server will be configured, additional roles will be added.

 

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The first phase will complete and you will need to reboot.

 

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After you reboot and log back into the system the process will continue.

 

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Pre-requisite programs will be downloaded and installed.

 

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The next phase will complete and you will need to reboot again.

 

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After you reboot and login you will see the summary screen (above) detailing that everything is complete.

 

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Run the downloaded file again and this time select Install SharePoint Foundation.

 

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The process will commence.

 

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Accept the terms of the agreements and press Continue.

 

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Specify a location for search index files. Best bet is not to install these on a boot partition. Press Install Now when complete.

 

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The SharePoint binaries will now be installed.

 

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Leave the box checked to run the Products Configuration Wizard. Press Close to continue.

 

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Press Next to continue.

 

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Note, the process will start and stop IIS which may affect other users. Select Yes to continue.

 

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Select the option to Create a new server farm and press Next to continue.

 

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Enter the database details and login. Press Next to continue.

 

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Enter the farm passphrase (and don’t forget it!). Press Next to continue.

 

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Press Next to continue.

 

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Verify the details and press Next proceed.

 

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The wizard will now go through its 10 step configuration phase.

 

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When successfully complete you’ll see a summary page. Press Finish to complete.

 

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Select whether you wish to participate in the Customer Experience Program.

 

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Normally you don’t want to run the wizard here but for the sake of this walk through we will.

 

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Enter a service account and press Next.

 

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Enter the details for the site collection.

 

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Process is complete, press Finish.

 

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Interesting, Central Administration has a few more options.

 

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Open a new browser window and enter the URL of the site and in a few moments you should see SharePoint 2010 Foundation up and running.