Alexander Vanwynsberghe

"There is nothing impossible to him who will try"

What employers need to know about ‘Generation Y’

In what way is Generation Y different from other generations? And what are their todays’ and future workspace expectations? The Nexus of Forces”, where SocialMobileCloud and Big data are converging, is happening today. For the first time in modern history, four generations of workers are working side by side. These four generations have different expectations in terms of culture, work ethics, mindset and workplace expectations.

At the InspireX 2014 event, I’ll talk about the social (r)evolution in the workplace, sparked and introduced by millennials also known as Generation Y. What do they expect from their workplace? What do they expect from their employers?

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Integrate your Yammer feed into SharePoint Online

In this post, I will show you how easy it is to integrate your yammer feed into a SharePoint Online site. I’ll be making use of the “Yammer Web Part for SharePoint Online”. Note that this does not cover the way SharePoint and Yammer integrate when you’re using an on-prem installation with the “full blown” web parts like described here. Those web parts are only available for SharePoint 2007 and 2010. In fact, I’m still figuring out what the integration options will be for SharePoint online (and Office 365).

First of all, you need to download the web part from the Yammer site. Select “Yammer for SharePoint Online 1.0.x

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Now we can upload this solution to your SharePoint Online instance. Browse to the URL of your site collection, like http://instance.sharepoint.com/sites/contoso. Click ‘Settings – Site Settings’. In the ‘Web Designer Galleries’, select ‘Solutions’.

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You can now upload your solution. Select the button “Upload Solution

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Browse to the web part you have just downloaded. After a successful upload, don’t forget to “Activate” the solution.

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The next step is to integrate this web part on a page you want your feed to be visible. Just browse to a page and edit it. On the place you want, click “Add Web Part”. Select “Yammer” in the categories section. There you have the web part. Just click on “Add”.

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The only thing you have to do now is configuring the web part. Click on the wrench in the top right corner and authorize with Yammer. Note: be sure that the page is still checked-out to you. Otherwise, you will get a nice “Oeps” error from SharePoint.

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Now you can select the feed you want to show. This can either be the “My Feed”, “Company Feed”, “Group Feed”, “User Feed” or a “Topics Feed”. Select the feed you want, and there it is, your feed.

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So it’s not a big deal to get your feed on SharePoint Online. But to be honest, I do not see any value of it. SharePoint Online (2013) itself already has some awesome social features. I’m really looking forward to some more in-depth integration of Yammer and SharePoint Online like the integration with SkyDrive Pro and Office Web Apps.

That’s it for today!

Get your populated Office 365 demo environment

Did you know that, as a Microsoft Partner, you can get a free demonstration environment and some guide materials for the new Office and Office 2013 without requiring a full installation locally? Well, I didn’t until James Akrigg (@jakrigg) posted the following tweet:

tweet

Curious as I am, I wanted my own demo environment. As I have a partner login associated with my Live ID, I decided to give it a go. Point your browser to https://www.microsoftofficedemos.com/ and click on the ‘Microsoft Partner’ link. You have to provide your credentials to continue. Once you’re successfully logged in, you will see some information about this offer, but the most import things are:

  • Subscription includes an Office 365 Enterprise SKU trial tenant (note: this tenant is subject to trial restrictions, including a 30-day expiration)
  • Subscription includes an Office Enterprise Hero Demo guide which provides talking script and clicking guidelines

That’s great, let’s create one. Click on the “Create Demo” link on top of the page. You will now see the options of the demo environment like the type of Office 365 Tenant, the demo content and the demo language. As for now, it looks like you cannot change the options. I guess that there will be some more options available in the future.

02Click on “Create Your Demo”. You can now enter a tenant name and type the correct robot number.

03Once you click on “Create My Account”, you will see the provision status of your tenant. Something like:

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That’s all you have to do. If you read the questions from the FAQ section, you will see that the process will take 8 to 36 hours, depending on service availability. You will receive a completion email when the content provisioning process has been completed. You can easily check the status of your tenant by entering your tenant name in the ‘Domain’ box. (Or use the link in the email did receive after you registered your demo instance.

Having a demo environment is one thing, showing the new goodies are another thing. That’s where the demo guides and documents come in. You can find an impressive list of guidance documents by clicking on the “Resources” link on top of the page.

Small note: You can login using the following two credentials: KatieJ@tenant.onmicrosoft.com and RobinC@tenant.onmicrosoft.com

Thanks to the Office team for making this available!

Word 2013 as blog post editor

Writing a blog post can be quite time consuming. Especially the ‘formatting’ part of a blog post. When I started blogging here, I was a strong believer of the online editor from WordPress. Just because it’s so easy to use. But there are other possibilities like using Word 2013.

Word can easily connect to your WordPress (or some other provider like Blogger, SharePoint blog…) engine and will provide you everything you need to format your blog post. To start, just open Word 2013 and select the ‘Blog Post’ template. There you will have the option to register/create an account. In my case, I selected WordPress as provider (even though it’s self hosted!)

Next step is to enter the URL to your blog engine added with xmlrpc.php (which is the endpoint that Word will use to publish your blog post). You also need to provide your username and password (the one you use to login to wp-admin). On that screen, you can also change some ‘Picture Options’. In my case, I used the built-in WordPress Picture Provider.

In fact, that’s all you have to do, you can start typing, adding images, play with your formatting. When you’re ready, click on the ‘Publish’ button on the top left side of the ‘Blog Post Ribbon’. You can also ‘Publish as draft’ to be sure that your post is already saved on WordPress. Using the ‘Open Existing’ button, you will see a list of your existing posts like:

To end this post, I will give you some of my personal pros and contras about using Word 2013 as Blog Post Editor. Good luck if you will try it yourself.

Pro:

  • Saved as .docx file into my SkyDrive
  • Easy image formatting
  • Spell checker from Word is amazing (as non-native English speaker) comparing to the in-browser experience

Contra:

  • No “Align full” formatting possible
  • Code formatting = no-go
  • Post needs some modifications after publishing (tags, SEO related things…)
  • No auto-draft save