Friday, October 20, 2017

BOOM–the world changed

Today is the day that I received a software update that I believe is going to result in a significant shift in the IT market. That update is the Windows 10 Falls Creators update.

The one single feature that I believe is a complete world changer is OneDrive Files on Demand. This basically allows you to easily selectively sync files from both OneDrive for Business and SharePoint to your desktop.

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There already plenty of technical information out there when it comes to OneDrive Files on Demand including:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Learn-about-OneDrive-Files-On-Demand-0e6860d3-d9f3-4971-b321-7092438fb38e

What I want to talk about here is the business side of this update.

One of the most common processes of moving  to the cloud for many business is to shift their data to the cloud BUT then they want everyone to sync everything back down on premises to every machine. Pure and utter madness in my eyes but simply what people want to do for some reason.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with SELECTIVE sync (i.e. thinking before syncing) but I am TOTALLY against bulk syncing (the lazy option). Bulk syncing, in my experience, causes endless issues and challenges no matter what syncing technology is implemented.

OneDrive Files on Demand is going to allow the end user to maintain the way they work but the technology will now be smart enough to only bring down what is needed, when it is needed. This means you’ll be able to see all your files in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint but you’ll only have the ones you need synced to your local machine as you need them.

This approach I believe has really leapfrogged the OneDrive sync technology to the front of the pack. It is a demonstration of the commitment Microsoft is making in this technology and its appreciation of the importance to the market.

The real game changer here is for the future. Microsoft isn’t going to stop here. It is going to continue to iterate and improve the technology. It is going to provide alternatives like Azure File Sync, which I have written about previously, for use where OneDrive sync may not make sense.

The new OneDrive File on Demand, I believe, will be a tipping point for the way people work with Office 365. It is going to a pretty much seamless change for the user but the functionality and security improvements are huge. Look all the additional new features like bulk roll back, geo location of data, etc. The broader you look, the better it gets with Office 365 now.

If you have shied away from using the OneDrive sync technology because of past issues, I would suggest now is the time to start looking seriously at OneDrive Files on Demand. Of course it won’t be retrofitted to Windows 7 or 8 but it will come to the latest Mac machines.I believe this one feature alone is the reason you SHOULD upgrade to the Windows 10 Fall Creators update (there are many other compelling reason as well, of course).

Having less technology providers and exploiting all the benefits from a reduced set of vendors makes good business sense. Products from the same supplier integrate better together and the Microsoft solution gives you superior management and compliance. It isn’t about who has the best product in isolation. It is who has the best ecosystem in my books. Office 365 and Azure continue to improve daily. They add more and more features that people. They respond to requests from the market thanks to Uservoice.

We’ve waited a long time to say with confidence that OneDrive is the best. That day has finally arrived for me. OneDrive Files on Demand is a market game changer in my books and something I suggest is adopted as soon as possible. You won’t be sorry.