Sunday, February 26, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 142

I take a break for a week and let Marc have the steering wheel. He's got a great guest for you, Microsoft MVP and renown author Orin Thomas as well all the news on Azure. I'll be back next episode to catch everyone up on everything Office 365 so stay tuned.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-142-orin-thomas/

or on Soundcloud here:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@orinthomas

@marckean

@directorcia

Orin Thomas Home

Marc's Azure news

This episode is brought to you by:

 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Announcing the free CIAOPS Cloud lecture series

lecture-series

I am please to announce that I have created a new free lecture series at the CIAOPS Academy which you can find here:

Cloud Lecture Series

This is a free series of short topics that I have recorded at my face to face events. Topics include both business and technology and are mainly aimed at an IT Professionals audience. There is information in there to help you grow your cloud business as well as understand technologies like Office 365.

I’ll continue to add to this series over time as I do more events so enrol for free and ensure you check back regularly for the latest content.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Learning Online Advertising–Part 3

This is a follow on from the two previous parts, which you can read here:

http://blog.ciaops.com/2017/01/learning-online-advertisingpart-1.html

http://blog.ciaops.com/2017/02/learning-online-advertisingpart-2.html

After modifying the copy of the destination site:

Getting Started with SharePoint Online

My next thought was to take price out of the equation. Thus, I decided to increase the price of the course to $69 but then provide an immediate discount to the original price $49. The idea here was if people saw an immediate discount they would be more likely to purchase. In theory anyway.

The other thing that I did was also offer two lessons as a free preview so people could get a better idea of what the course is all about. The theory here was that if people received a free sample they would be more likely to purchase. Again, in theory.

With these two changes in place I re-initiated the Facebook ads. However, there was still something bugging me about the numbers in the back of my mind.

As previously mentioned, I had always thought that with 2,000+ clicks or so that there should have statistically been at least one conversion. Why hadn’t there even been one via dumb luck?

clip_image001

I then started digging into the reporting and discovered the reason! When I segmented the report by country I found the above results.

As you can see, the majority of clicks came from locations that probably don’t have English as their first language and probably don’t have a lot of disposable cash to spend on my courses!

D’Oh. I got seduced by Facebook numbers. When I initiated the ad I though “sure, I want to target this at the whole world. The more the better right?’'. WRONG. I should have started out targeting the ad at the locations I saw as my target market, i.e. Australia, U.S., U.K., etc. Rookie mistake.

However, this also raises another interesting learning in all my research on Facebook ads. Not one, ‘so-called’ expert had every said that I should start with a small target market and grow from there. No one pointed that having lots of click doesn’t mean these clicks come from where you desire. My faith in ‘so called’ experts’ in this area therefore still remains very low.

clip_image001[7]

I then adjusted the audience for the ads to the above.

clip_image001[9]

You can see above the new results. Most of the clicks now came from the desired locations, however I still got clicks from places like Nepal?? How did that happen?? I didn’t specify that as a location. Hmmmm…

Of course now that the ads are targeted at more desirable markets the cost per click increases. That I understand.

Unfortunately, even after these changes I still didn’t generate any revenue! However, it did teach me two big lessons.

1. Start with the smallest targeted audience possible and scale from there. If you go too broad, your investment will be consumed by lots of clicks from locations that are really not your target market.

In my case I started off with the audience being the world, rather the smaller audience of Australia, N.Z., U.S. etc

2. I have also come to conclusion that Facebook ads are more about ‘drive by interest’. By this I mean you are advertising to people who have indicated an interest in a topic (say SharePoint) rather than someone with a particular need that you get from Google because people are typing in what what they are searching for.

This, I think, makes advertising to a Facebook audience much harder. Why? Because people are probably likely to click and have a look at your content but that is simply out of interest rather than a specific need. That means you need to have a really compelling message and process for conversion. Tough.

Contrast that to people who type a particular search into Google using something like “Good SharePoint Online Training”. Such people have a real and immediate need. They are already well down the path to purchasing something to solve their need. This is a fundamental difference between Facebook and Google Ads (again, something that no one seems to highlight in any of the literature that I read).

Ok, so after spend a couple of hundred dollars on Facebook advertising, it is time to re-group and have a think about all this. I’m kinda thinking that online advertising is probably not the best vehicle for driving business to my online courses. However, I’m thinking that I might take what I have learnt and try and grow my email list.

Driving people to my email list will have less friction than my online courses for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is free and secondly it is something that people with a general interest (but no burning issues) should find appealing.

Now the challenge is that the current sign up page for list isn’t really optimised for ‘appealing’ conversion. Thus, I’ll probably need to put together something more sophisticated if I want to convert people. Maybe I don’t. I’ll have to see now won’t I?

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 141

Marc is back from Microsoft Ignite Australia with a load of information and experiences from one of the biggest Microsoft events of the year. He shares his thoughts and feedback on the experiences, the sessions, presenting as well as the social side. He also has some interesting statics to share about the conference so stay tuned. We'll also cover off the latest Office 365 and Azure news to get us back on track with our regular updates. Also don't forget to let us know what you think about the new and improved intro. Marc's done a great job so don;t hesitate to give him a shout out and let him know. He always likes to hear from listeners.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-141-ignite-roundup/

or on Soundcloud here:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@marckean

@directorcia

@n2kpodcast

Need to Know on Facebook

Marc's Azure news

New Office 365 Roadmap

SharePoint and OneDrive for Business enhanced copying abilities

Improved searching via Delve

This episode is brought to you by:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Define your profit

This is part ten of my presentation “Making money from the cloud”. You can find the full slides at:

https://doc.co/LyrxvF/qcihGm

and the previous parts are at:

We live in exponential times

Consider the following

Major Trends

Macro Trends

Software will eat the world

The phone is the desktop

Build a tailored service

Focus on adding value

The middle age spread

image

After taking the time to define a framework for our business let’s now examine each tier in detail.

We should always start with the top, and probably the most important tier, profit. I always like to ask people who run their own technology business why they do what they do. Surely, there is an easier way to make buck that selling technology?

The general responses I get back from this seemly innocuous question fall into three major categories:

1. I have no idea. This is where 75% of the respondents fall. They really can’t elucidate clearly any good reason why they get up every morning and do the same thing over and over, even if they hate it. They really can’t see any life beyond their business and typically their business is so ingrained in their personality that it is almost impossible to separate the two.

2. I want more. Here you find 20% of the remaining population. They say they want ‘more money’, ‘more time’, ‘more freedom’, etc. Yeah, great, I respond, but can you define for me what ‘more’ actually is? Is it $1 more or $1 million dollars more in profit? The failure here is to set specific goals. This allows people to ‘fool’ themselves into accomplishment by justifying results like $1 extra in profit as ‘more’.

3. I know exactly what I want. Here lies the final 5% who I would suggest are the most profitable and successful. Why? Because they know exactly what they want FROM their business. They want to take their family on a round the world tour for 12 months in 3 years, they want a pink Lamborghini, etc. The two major differences here are firstly, their goals are specific and measurable. Secondly, their goals are OUTSIDE their business. In short, they understand that their business is simply a vehicle to allow them achieve the goals. In short, in provides them freedom of choice.

Another fun question I ask technology business owners is how much money do you actually want to make? Few can put an actual dollar figure on what they want. You get a lot of general, fuzzy answers but few are specific down to the last cent. Why? Because again if you are fuzzy about the whole ‘what do you want’ then you lower the risk of failure. That’s honestly being slack now isn’t it? There is no shame in failure, it is a great learning exercise but people are very adverse to admitting failure, thus fuzzy goals.

By setting very specific goals you can create metrics that allow you to better understand how you are tracking to your goals. Having fuzzy goals means you have no concrete idea of what target you are shooting for. Thus, you have little idea what adjustments you need to make to achieve these. Again, an easy cop out using ill defined goals.

Another thing that I find many technology businesses ignorant of is, what is their end game? By this I mean what are their plans for the end of their involvement with their business? Are they going to close it down? Sell out? etc? What’s the plan? One of the most memorable presentations I ever attended after I refocused my business a number of years ago, was all about how you need to run your business like you are going to sell it at all times. Doing that gives you the flexibility to firstly take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. Secondly, it gives you the security of knowing that if something untoward eventuates (say an illness, relationship breakdown, etc.) you are in a position to dispose of the business if needed.

Just because you are running your business like you are going to sell it doesn’t mean you HAVE to sell it at any point. It simply provides you the freedom to be in control of when and why you sell, rather than it being forced upon you.

Another key oversight I witness with many technology businesses owners is they don’t diversify their income streams. They put all their eggs in the managed services basket and start to really struggle when the market no longer favours that (as we are seeing today). The more diversified streams you have the less risk you have. That is a time honoured rule of investment that you should also follow in a business.

So what other income streams are open to a technology business? Thanks to the Internet, plenty. Selling something (products, services, etc) directly via a web site is an option for many. Developing knowledge products like eBooks and courses is another. Getting into consulting or face to face training is potentially another. Going into another market or business has never been easier. The list goes on and on. There is also so much education and support for creating new income streams in your business that there is no excuse. The only impediment is the willingness to do some hard work and invest some resources.

When it comes to money in a business, it is always about generating profit, not revenues. Profit is revenue MINUS expenses! If it costs you more than you bring in then that ain’t profit, that is going backwards. Don’t also overlook the fact that expenses could be the time time you invest in your business. If you think you are generating good revenues but spending almost every waking hour in your business constantly, that isn’t profit either. That typically happens when you have no definable goals outside your business as mentioned previously.

Every time you spend something in your business that is an expense. Immediately, you should be asking yourself, how is this expense going to generate my business more money? That is how am I going to recover the cost of this expense plus some extra (i.e. profit). Simply throwing money away in a business without thought, because you can, is folly and arrogance that will one day come back and bite you in the backside.

Profit therefore should be the MAJOR focus of your business. Profit is the mechanism that allows your business to fund your external goals. Thus, you should be looking to maximise this at every turn. The problem is that most technology businesses, as the framework has shown, has actually become the smallest piece of the pie overcome by inefficiencies and lack of focus. Most see it as the end result of everything else in a business rather than defining it up front and making everything accommodate and focus on that goal. The good news is that you can fix upside down priority. You can once again make profit the largest piece of the pie.

Stay tuned for how.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February Webinar Resources

Our February webinar event is all done. You can see the slides either above or download them directly from here:

February 2017 Need to Know Webinar

If you are not a CIAOPS patron you want to view or download a full copy of the video from the session you can do so here:

http://www.ciaopsacademy.com/p/february-2017-need-to-know-webinar/

you can also now get access to all webinars via:

http://ciaops-academy.teachable.com/courses/need-to-know-webinars

for a nominal fee.

Thanks to everyone who attended and I hope to see you again next month when the focus session will be on Microsoft Teams.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 140

We wrap up our final Microsoft Ignite Australia speaker focus with Stephane Budo whom we are talking to about his upcoming sessions including:

A deep dive into Storage Spaces

Join MVP Stephane Budo in this session to learn everything about Storage Spaces Direct, from what it is, its requirements and how to implement it, to testing its performance and tips and tricks. Using a lot of demos, we will look under the covers of the next evolution of Microsoft's Software Defined Storage.

and

Protecting enterprise workloads with Cloud-First Bcakup solutions

Join Aruna Somendra from Microsoft and Stephane Budo, MVP in this technical and demo packed session to learn how Azure Backup - a Cloud-First SaaS service delivers hybrid backup as a service without the need to deploy or manage any infrastructure in the cloud for protecting and managing your workloads (SQL, Exchange, SharePoint) whether they are running in Azure or on premises. Understand how Azure backup went the extra step to protect backups in the cloud using multi-factor auth for destructive operations to guard against the emerging threats of ransomware. Find out more about how hybrid backup optimizes storage consumption and extends support to VMWare environments. Discover how you can easily build a bullet proof backup and restore strategy and become the legend that saves the day when a critical restore is required!

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud 

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-140-stephane-budo/

or on Soundcloud here:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@stephanebudo

@marckean

@directorcia

This episode brought to you by:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 139

You can't stop the presses so we're back with a heap of Azure and Office 365 news. We round up all the Microsoft cloud happenings and then jump into our super special guest, Christophe Fiessinger, Office 365 program manager from Microsoft to talk all about his presentation at Microsoft Ignite Australia:

Get the Latest on Office 365 Groups - Overview, What's New and Roadmap

You’re invited to discover Microsoft Office 365 Groups. It’s the key component of our group collaboration solution, enabling you to move from task to task with cross application group membership (managed in Azure AD). Office 365 apps that are leveraging groups include Outlook, SharePoint, Yammer, OneNote, Skype for Business, Planner, Power BI, and Dynamics CRM. We’ll unlock the following topics: overview & demonstration, administration, and product roadmap.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-139-christophe-fiessinger/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@cfiessinger

@marckean

@directorcia

Azure news from Marc

New Groups integration abilities

Team Flows

Power BI Reports in SharePoint

Azure backup, instant file recovery

Azure CAT

This podcast is brought to you by:

 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 138

We once again dive straight into our focus on Microsoft Ignite Australia speakers. This time it's with Hamish Watson Operations Manager from Jade Software in Christchurch New Zealand. His topic is:

​Making DevOps work in the wild..

​You may have heard about DevOps and wondered whether it is just another buzzword and/or what it can do for you and your organization. In this session I will demystify the concepts of DevOps and more importantly show it in action in a real life application deployment pipeline. By using a realistic live demonstration and great technologies such as the Azure platform, Team Foundation Server, SSDT and docker on Windows Server 2016 I will show how DevOps can help you automate deploys reliably and repeatedly to your production applications. You will be able to take what you learned in this session and implement it successfully in your organization.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-138-hamish-watson/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@thehybriddba

@marckean

@directorcia

hamish.watson8@icloud.com

https://hybriddbablog.com

https://nz.linkedin.com/in/hamishwatson8

This podcast is brought to you by:

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 137

Another special Microsoft Ignite Australia 2017 podcast focused on the presenters. This time we are talking with Michael Friedrick about his upcoming sessions:

Jenkins and Azure

See why Jenkins is a great pipeline tool and how you can use it increase the quality and speed of you deployments to Azure. Experience demos on multi-branch pipeline deployment from GitHub to Azure using Jenkins, and see how it integrates with tooling like Microsoft Teams for notifications.

and

Node.js + Azure App Service = :)

Explore how open and flexible the Azure App Service is and how easy it is to get going with Node. In a series of demos, you’ll see how automated deployments using Github, custom deployments showing the ability to add additional tasks using Grunt/Gulp and other automated tools, and look at multi branch deployment using a custom CI/CD pipeline. We will also explore Azure Functions, Azure App Service on Linux and deploying Node to Azure using Open tooling such as VS Code.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-137-michael-friedrich/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@fredderf204

@marckean

@directorcia

https://jenkins.io/

DevOps fundamentals video

Micheal's Blog

 

February 2017 Microsoft Cloud Updates

 

Thanks to the good folk at Ingram Micro Cloud Australia, I’ve uploaded my part of a recent webinar they hosted.

My presentation was around providing information around some of the most recent and relevant updates to both the Office 365 and Azure platforms.

It was great to be given the opportunity to do a session like this because I have been toying with doing something similar so I thought I’d produce something and see what people think?

I’ve used a couple of new techniques and technologies during the process so I’m keen to hear what people think about:

- the content

- the format

- the look and feel

Finally, I’d also like to know whether you’d like to see me continue to do these style of video updates around Azure and Office 365 once a month?

Here are the slides from the presentation as well:

 

Love to hear from you directly via email (director@ciaops.com), Twitter (@directorcia) or whatever.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A quick overview of adoption

 

Here is a video with some of my high level thoughts around how important adoption is when it comes to technology, especially Office 365.

The video will give you an overview of the user demographics as well as the important audiences to target. You’ll also see what motivates each audience so you can start crafting policies to appeal to those users specifically.

Having this knowledge is crucial if you want to ensure new technologies are adopted throughout the organisation. There is a lot more to this but hopefully this video will get you thinking and moving in the right direction when it comes to adoption.

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 136

Our focus on Microsoft Ignite Australia speakers continues. In this episode we interview Dux Raymond Si who is the CTO of Avepoint but also a Microsoft MVP and Regional Director. Dux has three great sessions at Ignite that are:

Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups, SharePoint, Yammer…What Should I Use, and When?

For today's fast-paced, mobile-driven, and globally dispersed workplace, Microsoft offers tons of great ways to effectively communicate and collaborate. But which tools are right for your organisation? Solutions like Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups, Yammer, Skype for Business, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow all offer something unique to your business. In this interactive session, you will gain practical guidance on finding the right tools to facilitate efficient communications and collaboration both inside and outside the walls of your organisation. We’ll also explain how to drive adoption and keep your chosen solution under control. Get ready to walk away with the ability to chart a productive and pragmatic collaboration approach that delivers immediate and lasting value to your modern workplace.

and

How to Accelerate Office 365 Success: Develop Your Information Governance Strategy in 4 Steps

So you’ve made the decision to move to Office 365 – now how do you ensure your critical business information is secure in the cloud? In this interactive session, you will learn how to reduce risk and ensure your users do the right thing by employing industry best practices for information governance, risk, and compliance. We’ll also explain how recent enhancements from Microsoft – including Office 365 Security & Compliance Center and Azure Information Protection – as well as other related technologies can help. This session will empower you to implement proven tactics to ensure your Microsoft Cloud investment meets business needs while protecting your most sensitive data.

and finally,

3 Steps to Innovate and #HackTheStatusQuo

Innovation comes from those who hack – those who refuse to accept the way things are and pursue changes based on an idea, hunch, or instinct. Innovation doesn’t come from those who adapt themselves to fit the status quo. Believe it or not, but your organisation’s success now depends on how well you hack. You are the source of innovation and hold the keys to unlock the possibilities cloud, Internet of Things, machine learning, virtual reality, and augmented reality can create by fully understanding how to harness these technologies. Join Dux and learn his three steps to start you on your hacking journey. Learn how he helped a non-profit organisation do more good through hacking. Don’t miss what will be one of the most upbeat and stimulating sessions at Ignite Australia.

If there is ever a reason to attend Ignite then these sessions are it!

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-138-dux-raymond-si/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@avepoint_inc

@meetdux

@marckean

@directorcia

Microsoft Ignite Australia: Innovation Track - with Dux Raymond Si

AvePoint Ignite 2017 Activities

AvePoint Office 365 Groups Playbook

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 135

More interviews with speakers at the upcoming Microoft Ignite Australia. This time we feature Gino Barletta and speak about his two sessions:

What you need to know about Windows Server 2016 Security

Windows Server 2016 introduces more security features than any previously released Microsoft server operating system. Making your organization more secure is one of the big benefits of Windows Server. In this demo heavy session you’ll learn about new features included Credential Guard, Device Guard, Privileged Access Management (Just in Time Administration), Just Enough Administration, DNS policies, Guarded Fabrics, Shielded VMs as well as the security benefits of Nano Server, Windows Server and Hyper-V Containers. You’ll also learn how you can integrate Advanced Threat Analytics into your on-premises Windows Server deployment.

and

Azure Financial Management, Reporting and Subscription Hygiene through Power BI

This session, helps you understand your current Azure subscription, resources, billing and spend. Controlling spend through analytics and leveraging Microsoft Power BI to visually see your spend / consumption via powerful GUI dashboards.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-135-gino-barletta/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show. Resources

@ginobarletta

@marckean

@directorcia

gino.barletta@andeim.com.au

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 134

We have skipped our usual news and cloud updates to roll out our remaining episodes before Microsoft Ignite Australia. In this episode however we take a bit of a detour and speak to Microsoft Community Manager - Lana Montgomery about the Microsoft MVP program. What it is? How do you become an MVP? What is required? What are the benefits? Are all questions we cover in this episode.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-134-lana-montgomery/

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@lana_montgomery

@marckean

@directorcia

Microsoft MVP award

Microsoft Channel 9

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Stop making your users feel stupid!

A common complaint I hear from IT Professionals today is that technology is moving too fast and they can’t keep up. Yup, agreed. However, did you ever take a step back and think about what it’s like for your users? The people who actually need to use this stuff to actually get their jobs done? People who only want to use technology as a tool, not something to ‘play’ with?

I see so many instances of IT Professionals bearing the brunt of end user frustrations when it comes to migration to Office 365. You wanna know why that is most of the time? Simple. Almost zero effort and resources have been invested in end user adoption. IT Professionals focus on what they know and love, the technical back end and system bits, and then leave users to fend for themselves when it comes to actually using the technology. “They’ll work it out” is the catch cry of the IT Professional who thinks their job is done just getting the technology running.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, the back end technical stuff is important but just as important is user adoption and the most important aspect of this is first impressions. If an end user has a bad first impression with a technology a the outset (i.e. they don’t know what it is for or how to use it) then their chances of adopting it are minimal. So what techniques do YOU have in place to ensure this doesn’t happen if you are an IT professional?

This means that a much great focus needs to be placed on the end user’s journey with the technology. From start to finish. How are they going to use it? How can they use it to help them get their work done? How can working with the technology be made easier? What resources do they need to help them understand and adopt the technology? IT Professionals simply can’t install the software then leave an user to adopt it. Without assistance and guidance they never will. To think otherwise is delusional. To do so is irresponsible and unprofessional to say the least.

You need to create a broad supportive environment to help all sorts of people learn any new technology. Different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. This means having different resources and programs for your users. From videos, to case studies (hello Teams Site portal). From tutorials to question and answer sessions (hello Skype for Business lunch and learns). You need to make it easy for users to get over that initial hurdle when it comes to adoption.

Nobody wants to feel stupid and few people really have the discipline or motivation to ‘nut’ out something technically for themselves. Fewer still have a good appreciation of how something can help them do their job better. They just want to do their job. Period. They don’t want to ‘play’ with technology. People learn best from the experiences of others and that is why shared experience and feedback are so important to the adoption process (hello Yammer or Teams!).

The amount of times I walk into a business that has Office 365 but has no idea about anything other than email is amazing! Most have no concept of basic productivity enhancements in Office 365 that provide ‘quick wins’ like OneDrive for Business, OneNote, Skype for Business and so on. Too many IT Professionals want to inflict the hardest adoption hurdles on end users out of the gate. Why? Take the low hanging fruit first. Drive adoption with quick and easy wins. As I have said many, many times here, just dumping file server data into a single document library in SharePoint is a recipe for disaster. Why? Too much change too quickly for most users. In such cases, zero consideration was given to the end users use of SharePoint. They were simply thrown to the lions and expected to ‘learn’ for themselves. That process is only going to instil frustration and resistance as well as overt hostility. In short, it just makes everything worse. So why do it?

Technology is a massive enabler in business today, but it is also a massive distraction. The technology is the same, the difference between success and failure is how that technology is used. Usage is dictated by adoption and adoption is something that doesn’t appear magically. Adoption is the end result of a process, not random circumstance. Adoption is a focus, not a result!

Successful IT resellers are focused on ensuring the success of the end user’s journey. They treat adoption and enablement with equal importance to technical deployment. They provide the resources to help their end users embrace the technology and becomes fans of it. That’s the key way to measure the successful adoption of technology inside a business. Do people simply use it or do they love it? If you ever find users who don’t love, yes I said love, the technology they are working with, then that is a sign of a failed adoption process. Such failures are the sole responsibility of the IT professionals who rolled it out, not the end users.

Take heed, IT Professionals. In a world where anyone can buy and sell cloud services like Office 365, the key differentiation point is how you go about helping your users move from mere adoption to adoration of the technology. If you view technology as mere technical problems to solve you are failing your customer and you are not doing your job. Your job is to help those with less knowledge and experience understand how the tools you are providing help them do a better job, and how it improves the way they work.

Anyone can sell technology today, but in my experience very few can actually successfully implement it. Why? Because they fail to appreciate that success is judged in the eye of end user not those who roll it out. Adoption is key to success today, so pay attention to it because without it you’ll NEVER succeed!

Learning online advertising–Part 2

This is a follow on from the part one, which you can read here:

http://blog.ciaops.com/2017/01/learning-online-advertisingpart-1.html

Before investing another $100 in Facebook advertising I went away and “improved’ the destination site which is here:

Getting Started with SharePoint Online

I added a promo video and did some work on the text while focusing on answering the need of those who had clicked on the ad to come to this destination. I focused the text on being more “colloquial” and less clinical, more friendly and less technical. I also changed the secondary title to:

If you need to learn SharePoint and OneDrive for Business but don’t know where to start, this is the solution

i.e. need, problem, solution

The reasoning for all this was that the ads were generating clicks but theses were not converting. Thus, the destination was not compelling enough. Thus, make the destination more compelling should result is some conversion right?

clip_image001

Wrong! As you can see from the above results, after 7 days I received basically the same amount of clicks and reach (so that part is consistent) but after about 2,200 clicks now in total I’m still striking out. Here’s the complete results so far since day 1:

image

Ok, so what to try next?

I’m thinking that I will now take cost of the course out of the equation. What I’ll do is throw open the doors to the first two lessons for free. That should at least allow me to see whether people are interested in the content. I’ll be able to tell that by the time they spend on the site.

image

At the moment they are only spending about 30 seconds as you can see above. If this average increases I’ll get an indication that the content is appropriate, if it doesn’t then I might need to rethink what the course contains.

I’ll also change the price of the course to $69 but give a 40%+ immediate discount back to original price of $39. Thus, instead of:

image

people who click will see:

image

Where did I get the 40% discount figure? I had a look at a few other sites that are offering the same sort of ploy on their courses and the average discount was about 40%. So let’s see if an immediate discount incentivises purchases.

Let’s now see what happens after I make these changes and we throw another $100 of credits at Facebook ads.

So if you are keeping score, it’s $200 Facebook, $0 me and I’ about to throw another $100 at this.

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 133

A quick news day and then we jump in to interview Greg Low on his upcoming Microsoft Ignite Australia event.

Why your Next Application Should use Azure SQL DB as a Datastore

Developers who are creating new applications need a reliable and capable datastore. Azure SQL DB is an awesome platform for creating new applications on. Come and find out why.

and

What's new in SQL Server 2016 for Developers

SQL Server 2016 introduced significant enhancements for database development. In this session Greg will describe the features that are of interest to developers.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud 

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-133-greg-low/

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@greglow

@marckean

@directorcia

Power BI and Azure Analysis services

Outlook mobile turns 2

New Azure market place

SQL Down Under

Greg Low

Monday, February 6, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 132

Jeff Alexander from Microsoft joins Marc and I after our usual cloud updates to talk about his two sessions at the upcoming Microsoft Ignite Australia conference. These are:

Get ahead of Cyber attacks with Enterprise Mobility + Security

We are in the middle of as mobility and cloud transition which has made employee interactions with other users, devices, apps and data more and more complex. This has created blind spots for IT. At the same time attack vectors continue to get more sophisticated. Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security takes a holistic approach that is identity driven with a collection of innovative technologies to address these sophisticated challenges in the new attack landscape. In this session we will show you how our technologies help to protect at the "front door", protect your data from user mistakes and detect attacks before they cause damage.

and

Discover & Control SaaS Application Usage with Microsoft Cloud App Security

In this increasingly cloud and mobile world, users are using more and more SaaS applications to remain productive at work. This has created a gap for IT in not having visibility and control over the use of these 3rd party applications. In this session we will cover how Microsoft Cloud App Security can give IT departments visibility and control of these applications while empowering their users to remain productive. We will cover an overview of what Cloud App Security is, the architecture, deployment recommendations and common blockers.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-132-jeff-alexander/ 

or on Soundcloud here:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@jeff36

@marckean

@directorcia

About Jeff Alexander

New SharePoint management shell

New Azure B2B options

Recent Office 365 updates

4K monitors and Surface PC's

Microsoft Identity management

Friday, February 3, 2017

Getting Started With SharePoint Online course

Getting Started With SharePoint Online course

If you are struggling to put the pieces together when it comes to SharePoint and OneDrive for Business then I have created this course especially for you. Hi, I'm Robert, a technology trainer and SharePoint veteran who is also a Microsoft MVP that has been helping people for years when it comes to understanding and working better with SharePoint.

I understand that SharePoint seems really daunting and you're not sure where to begin. Well, I've made that easy for you with my course. The lessons here take a complex topic like SharePoint and break them down into small pieces. They focus on a single topic that takes only a few minutes to complete and include a video tutorial showing you exactly what to do as well as providing you downloadable notes you can keep and review at anytime. There are also links to additional information if you want to extend your knowledge further.

My aim is to make you as productive as quickly as possible with SharePoint and that's why the first lessons show you how to get your documents into SharePoint Online. From there you learn how to use common tools like calendars, tasks lists, and more. I'll then show you how to recover deleted information as well as use the powerful built-in search functionality that comes with SharePoint Online to find anything! There are over twenty lessons you can work through at your own pace. You are free to return at any point to review all the content at your leisure. You are also free to jump to any lesson that takes your fancy, allowing you to learn at your own pace and in your own way.

The course contains over three hours of video tutorials, 200+ pages of documentation and 30 additional web locations to extend your knowledge. I'm confident that by the end of the course you'll be using SharePoint like a pro. I've worked really hard in creating this course to pass on my knowledge and experience of SharePoint to people like you who need it to do their job. People like you who need to learn SharePoint but don't know where to start. This course has been built for you and the many others who struggle coming to grips with SharePoint. Read their testimonials below to see how this course has helped them.

Testimonials

"Great introduction to the vast array of capabilities offered by SharePoint via Office 365. Really demystified SharePoint for me in a very easy to follow and practical manner. Thanks heaps Rob!" - Darren Chapman (Pivotal Data Solutions).

"Robert, you've done a great job of providing bites size chunks of relevant information to get me on the road to using SharePoint" - Nathan Oldfield (Cybercomp)

"As a user with no/very limited SharePoint experience, I found this course extremely helpful. As course notes have been included it makes referring back to something very easy. I would recommend this course" - Ursula Kriel (Multotec)

"The material is easy to understand and follows a logical sequence that makes learning fun! I would recommend these courses to anyone and they should come out with a better understanding in using all of the tools available to the share point user. Thanks for such a well designed course!" - Charles Perry

"The best training I have been to in recent memory - very practical, customer-focused exercises and loads of great information and resources." - Tristram Morgan (365 Architects)

"Robert Crane from CIAOPS has created an incredible resource for anyone wanting to get into Sharepoint for Office 365. They are well presented and laid out for users on any level from beginner to advanced. If you follow through the steps and examples you are guaranteed to learn something new even if you think you know it all. Roberts learning academy online should be a go to place for anyone who wants to get serious about their IT." - Craig Young (Greendata Pty Ltd)

Upcoming events

I’ll shortly be once again out and about doing presentations on Azure and Office 365 for Ingram Micro. This time we’re going to places that we haven’t been before. I look forward to meeting a sea of new faces at these upcoming events. Here are the details of the upcoming roadshow:

Join us for our Cloud Elevate Bootcamp with Robert Crane, Microsoft MVP for a full day of learning around Office 365 and Azure. You'll come away with not only technical answers but business solutions you can implement and sell to customers.

We have divided the day into two major sessions to maximise your learning:

Why Office 365 and Azure?
This session will take a technical deep dive into both Office 365 and Azure. You'll learn about the services that constitute both products, you'll learn how they are licenses and deployed as well as how to migrate from existing on premises environments include Small Business Server (SBS).

The session will be interactive with whiteboard tutorials and answers to your specific questions. By the end of this session you'll have a much greater understanding about what Office 365 and Azure are and how they can be implemented within businesses.

How to sell Office 365 and Azure?
Azure and Office 365 represent a seismic shift in the way that IT providers need to think about delivering services to customers, but where do you start? This session will give you the knowledge and the tools that will allow you to take advantage of the opportunities that both Office 365 and Azure provide.

This session again is designed to be interactive with lots of practical business examples, whiteboard discussions and examination of real world SMB scenarios.

No matter what stage of your cloud journey you are current at, as an IT professional you'll get value from attending both of these sessions.

You'll get the chance to hear the latest product news, have your specific questions answered and learn about the opportunities that are now available to you in the Microsoft Cloud.

A day not to be missed.


Dates and locations

Melbourne - 22nd February
9:00am to 5:00pm
Registration starts 8:30am
All Seasons Bendigo
171-183 McIvor Road
Bendigo VIC 3550

Adelaide - 28th February
9:00am to 5:00pm
Registration starts 8:30am
Mercure Adelaide
125 North Terrace,
Adelaide SA 5000

Sydney - 2nd March

9:00am to 5:00pm
Registration starts 8:30am
Novotel Homebush
Olympic Blvd & Herb Elliott Ave
Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

Gold Coast - 7th March
9:00am to 5:00pm
Registration starts 8:30am
Novotel Surfers Paradise
3105 Surfers Paradise Blvd
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Hobart - 9th March
9:00am to 5:00pm
Registration starts 8:30am
Grand Chancellor Hotel
1 Davey Street
Hobart TAS 7000

Register here

I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 131

Some news and opinions to start the show from Marc and I. We discuss some of the new learning offerings from Microsoft and why they are so important for IT Professionals to use to upskill the knowledge. We then dive into another discussion with a Microsoft Ignite Australia presenter, Elaine van Bergen whose topics are:

How to build a modern portal with Office 365 and on premises data

See how you can build a modern portal on Azure PaaS by leveraging the API’s and out of the box elements available from Office 365. We’ll showcase a modern portal on Office 365 including use of the Graph API, Office 365 Groups, OneDrive and the Video Portal all combined into a compelling and responsive design with full level of control over customisation. Also we’ll discuss options for utilising the SharePoint framework for smaller customisations and how elements of the solution can be integrated with on-premises data via Azure Hybrid Connections.

Deploying and governing Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups is one of the best ways to get wide adoption and usage of Office 365. It's a fundamental building block of many of the newer features of Office 365 including Planner. Explore how to get Office 365 Groups deployed and setup and how to do this with the most common Hybrid setups of Exchange. In addition, we will also go through the various governance and control options to help keep groups well controlled in a large organisation. Finally, we will briefly cover the API’s that can be used to pull Office 365 Groups into custom solutions.

Don't forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-131-elaine-van-bergen/

or on Soundcloud here:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@laneyvb

@marckean

@directorcia

Azure news from Marc

Microsoft teams gains steam

Flow updates

Why developers (And IT pros) need Azure skills

Microsoft OpenEdX

CIAOPS Need to know Webinar–February 2017

Our next webinar of 2017 is now ready for registrations. As always, the event is free to attend and provides you with the latest news around Office 365 and the Microsoft Cloud as well as deep dive into a particular topic. This month we are going to have a close look at the relationship between Office 365 and Azure to give you a better idea of how the products work together and how you can take advantage of both in your business.

You can register now at:

February Webinar Registration

The details are:

CIAOPS Need to Know Webinar – February 2017
Thursday 16th of February 2017
11am – 12am Sydney Time

All sessions are recorded and posted to the CIAOPS Academy.

There of course will also be open Q and A so make sure you bring your questions for me and I’ll do my best to answer them.

The CIAOPS Need to Know Webinars are free to attend but if you want to receive the recording of the session you need to sign up as a CIAOPS patron (for only USD$10 per month) which you can do here:

https://www.patreon.com/ciaops

or purchase them individually at:

http://www.ciaopsacademy.com/

Also feel free at any stage to email me directly via director@ciaops.com with your webinar topic suggestions.

I’d also appreciate you sharing information about this webinar with anyone you feel may benefit from the session.