This week I am at #ESPC19

This week I am in a chilly Prague at #ESPC19. This is one of the biggest Microsoft user group events in Europe and is definately a favourite of mine.

It is the first big event post Ignite and is a great oportunity to catch up with all the news and progress since then.

As usual my focus is all about the social business side and collaboration so its all about Teams and Yammer for me and I will be heading to a few sessions on those topics.

Of course BCC have a great Teams Management Tool – so if Teams is your thing, or you are struggling to manage the sprawl of Teams let us know.

These events are always great fun and very social and tonight is Party night – Prague is a beautiful city, with good beer, great food and the architecture is amazing so I am really looking forward to seeing some sights whilst here too.



The year of Yammer

As I am working a lot with Microsoft 365 lately and I am a social animal I was very interested in what is going on with Yammer – 2020 is #YearOfYammer  and rightly so.
Microsoft have given Yammer the love it needs and it will now integrate with the rest of the O365 stack of products and work hand in hand with Teams and Sharepoint just as it should.

The new Yammer is slick looking, well integrated and fills the parts for social collaboration that Teams can’t quite reach- which is exactly what it should be for.
Here is a quick overview video:
Here is a summary on what is new:
  • A new, personalized discovery feed powered by AI
  • Customize the All Company feed to bring your organization’s unique branding and culture into the default Yammer community.
  • Renaming Yammer groups to communities and adding many new improvements and experiences.
  • Adding a cover photo to communities
  • Expanding the use of announcements so you can have the same reach with polls, questions, or praise
  • Improvements for gifs, videos, link previews, and file attachments to make sharing beautiful content simple
  • Community managers (admins) can now pin a conversation to the top of the feed
  • Community managers will have the ability to close conversations. Use this to share messages as read-only etc.
  • New event discovery page to each community so members can stay informed about what’s happening
  • Schedule and produce a Live Event in Yammer using webcams and desktop and file sharing
  • Totally rebuilt the mobile apps to bring modern responsiveness and readability to both iOS and Android.
  • The new Yammer App in Teams can be pinned directly into the Teams navigation rail for quick access. It’s Yammer. Just in Teams.
  • Participate in Yammer conversations without leaving your Outlook inbox.
  • Bringing new Yammer to the conversations web part for SharePoint – including file attachments, rich text, and question and answer to help you capture knowledge and mark best answers.
  • Enhanced Security and Compliance
  • eDiscovery in Yammer to rollout in December 2019
  • Native Mode, Admins can confidently manage Yammer policy through Azure Active Directory and the Microsoft 365 Admin Center without entering Yammer to manage things like group membership, group privacy, or data classification
There are a couple of good blogs about what is coming :
Full announcement from Ignite
The new Yammer is due to roll out to all customers in the first half of 2020. A private preview will be available in early 2020 which I have signed up for of course as I like to be in the know about these things.
I spent a lot of time talking to the product managers and developers and I am really excited about what the new Yammer will offer – can’t wait to start using it.


European Collaboration Summit was a blast

The European Collaboration Summit was last week in Germany. I am still fairly new to the world of Microsoft Conferences and user groups / community events, but the collabsummit was fantastic.

Will about 2,000 attendees it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest community run events in the world. Jam packed with lots of sessions about all types of collaboration there was too much to chose from.

I presented on Wednesday 29th May. The session “How to automate life cycle management of Teams and ensure compliance and security”, covered some of the challenges organizations face with managing teams – from creation and security, through to Teams lifecycle management and how BCC can help with our new Teams Management module for AdminTool.

My first time presenting at a Microsoft Event and the audience were great – so thank you 🙂 Yet again Olaf pushed me slightly out of my comfort zone as he is a big believer in my ability – which I am very greatful.


The sense of community at the collabsummit was amazing .. this conference has been running for about 10  years and the community is family to a lot of the attendees – which I can relate to after being in the IBM space with the community.

The thing I have learned most is that

  • The adoption problems are the same not matter what the technology you use
  • Collaboration is all about the people – still all about the people and has always been about the people
  • Teams is the way forward for Microsoft as far as real time collaboration goes
  • The Microsoft community guys are fantastic

I am very much looking forward to seeing some of my new family at Microsoft Ignite in Novemeber and the ECSP Conference in December.

Next step is to get an MVP .. that is high on my priority this year 🙂



May will be a busy month

I have been a bit quiet of late .. I have been a little busy – working hard at BCC, spending time with the family and the horses and booking my place at the Magic Run Weekend at Disneyland Paris (more about that in a later post) but May will be a busy month ..
I will be at the awesome Engage with co-speaker (and my boss 🙂 ) Olaf Boerner. We have a great session for you on Making Domino and Office 365 your Dream Team ..

Engage is a fantastic event .. free to attend and has some of the best speakers from the ICS bubble, it is well worth the trip.

Just after Engage there is the European Collaboration Summit in Germany. One of the largest user run conferences in Europe for Microsoft.  Again I will be speaking (at my first Microsoft conference) on Microsoft Teams: How to automate life cycle management of Teams and ensure compliance and security. I am really looking foward to it

So hope to see you at one or both of these events 🙂