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eric kraus

teamwork

Book: Works Well With Others


Works Well with Others: Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You

This was another used book store find…

A quick read, packed with tidbits on work politics, getting ahead and staying out of trouble. The book wasn’t based around a single “thing” you have to do to be successful. I think this added to my interest in the book (and wore out my highlighter). Expect a collection of thought-provoking perspectives through the journey/experiences of the author’s career change. Humor, honesty and simple concepts make it a quick and easy read.

Summary: this is another “definitely” on the recommendation list.  A fun book with straight-to-the-point tips for anyone changing careers or expanding their network within the same company.

Here is some of my favorite tips/advice from the book with my own additional take-aways…

 

Appearing/Being Successful

If you don’t screw up when you start, you are over-qualified. If you don’t learn from those mistakes, you are under-qualified.

Be aware of the Imposter Phenomenon: you aren’t as successful as you make others think you are. Everyone is an imposter to some degree. Everyone is weird and nervous too; some are just better at hiding it.

Discretion is a major discipline in an imposter strategy. Talking more will not earn someone’s worth.

Doing work too fast is a bad idea, but doing work too slowly is a terrible idea. Find the balance between preparation/due diligence and delivering on-time. Some times you need to slow down to speed up.  Other times you need to go faster and take risks.

Never ask for credit.  If you want full credit in a business role, find a different career.

 

Presentations

People that are more knowledgeable on subjects make more eye contact. Either learn more about the content or forcefully make more eye contact (ideally the former).

Be genuinely interested in what you are talking about… always.  You can’t fake interest or passion (see point above).

A story must always match an audience’s interest – not your own. Even if the content is yours, match the story to your audience.

Everyone in an audience starts out a presentation wanting to be inspired. They want you to succeed. Don’t take this as pressure, take it as comfort.

Nobody misses what was never there. Don’t over plan speeches, etc. Audiences don’t know your script. Know your topics, and talk naturally about them. When you try to memorize a script, you risk missing a part and throwing yourself off.

Passion is great, but too much passion is unprofessional. You sometimes benefit from undercutting (self-deprecating) your passion with reality. You don’t have to insult others or self-deprecate to build rapport – this is a sign of insecurity. Just stick with respectful reality.

 

Living with Time

Time itself can’t be managed. It can only be acknowledge or ignored. Time operates on it’s own. You live within it.

NEVER explain why you are late. People that make excuses do it because of habit. Don’t allow yourself to build a habit. Apologize (sincerely) and move on.

If you WANT to be on-time, you WILL be on-time. If it’s a must thing, nothing could be an excuse.  Late to your wedding?  Late to claim your lottery winnings?  An excuse acknowledges the level of importance you give…that’s why never explain why you are late.

 

Collaboration and Communication

A collaboration consists of two or more people better off together.

Every good collaboration starts with an admittance of strength(s) and weakness(es).

You want to work with someone smart, but not knowing the SAME things as you. You want some good tension.

Find someone not afraid to step on toes, but an excellent communicator. Communication is the key to getting to good work sooner.

Emails should be aggressive and clear. Concise without ambiguity.  Emails should not be a dumping ground for “diarrhea of the mind”.  State points and questions clearly and easy to read/understand.

Every time you write an email, think “How would Robert DeNiro write it?”

Never start a sentence with “Well…”   Never end with “thoughts”?

 

Politics and Conflict

If you’re struggling with a co-worker, find out, first, if they are purposefully out to get you. Maybe they don’t know? If they don’t know, be honest with simple facts on the issue.

Taking the high road is too safe, taking the low road is a sh*t show. Take the reality road: “this is how it is” road can be magical.

NEVER kill with kindness – it’s passive aggressive. Never fight. A battle can only happen when someone gets to win.  Even if you never get an answer, you will have demonstrated, “I see it” and that should earn you respect.

Always keep score in meetings.  Know who is talking, who takes notes, who interrupts, who never speaks, etc. Constantly ask yourself why for each of those roles.  Always question observations from hidden politics.

 

Book: Subtle Art of Not Giving


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F_ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

I’ll admit it, the title of this book and the assumption that a lot of cursing would be involved drew me to make the purchase. I didn’t expect the content to be revolutionary, but a different spin on the same old advice. No offense intended…because this is how most self-help books work. It was also the first book I listened to on Audible and for that part alone, it was not a disappointment.

The first third of the book reminded me of a stand up comic’s routine. I couldn’t stop laughing. I was listening to it while driving and it made three hours pass by in a second. The dry, sarcastic vulgar delivery was perfect for the “get over it” subject matter. The first part didn’t venture into solving problems, just calling out all the ridiculous things we care too much about.

If the book would have ended after the first few chapters, I would have been happy. However, my 100 Book goal required me to read [listen] to the end, so I stuck it out. In short, the middle of the book had some valuable content, some of it noted below. The last third of the book was quite repetitive.

Below are the main topics I took away from the book. Again, nothing earth shattering here, but the entertainment value was the worth the price alone.

-work towards something greater in your life. a greater purpose gives you the focus to care about the things that matter and not give a f*ck about the things that don’t
-adopt a sort of Grit (another book I read and enjoyed thoroughly) mentality. essentially, obsess about the things that do matter and accomplish them at all costs
-allow yourself a limited number of f*cks — use them wisely
-what f*cks you do give are what you care about the most (take note of these things)
-you have to spend some f*cks — otherwise you aren’t passionate about anything and will be seen as entitled
-you control your emotions — no one can make you anything (you allow emotions to happen)
-don’t let your emotions dictate your actions
-in the end, remember what 3yr olds and dogs have in common…
they both sh*t on your floor and you don’t give a f*ck (because you love them)

Despite the lackluster ending, I have recommended this book to several people. Almost all of which, have listened to it and summarized it the same as above.

Book: Principles


 

No doubt, Principles by Ray Dalio will have been one of my favorite read books of 2018 (and lifetime). It is long, but well worth the time investment it.

Time is like a river that carries us forward into encounters with reality that requires us to make decisions. We can’t stop our movement down this river and we can’t avoid these encounters, we can only approach them in the best possible way
-Ray Dalio

The book is really three different parts (or separate books) bound together:
Part 1 is Ray’s personal story of his journey in creating Bridgewater Associates, an extremely success investment management firm that is responsible for over $160B in funds.
Part 2 is Life Principles, and is the meat of the reason you might buy the book. It’s organized as a list of Ray’s personal principles that he chooses to live his life by. Not just a list, it contains a wonderful thought-breakdown of how he came up with them, why they are important and how he approaches each one.
Part 3 is Work Principles, basically an application of his life principles, applied to work. There is less behind-the-scenes in this section of the book and more straight to the point.

How to Read it

Ray’s advice in the beginning of the book is sound. Don’t treat it as him being humble, he has actually bound three different books together in one, and doesn’t want you to waste your time. Here’s my own flavor of his advice:

  • if you don’t really care for his personal story, skip it. No one’s feelings will be hurt. As I’m not running my own business or in the investment business, there was not a lot of value I drew from this section (relative to the reason I bought the book) other than just fulfilling pure curiosity. Think of it like a brief memoir that helps you understand how principles came about
  • Life Principles is like a normal book…read it start/finish…this part has content that applies to everyone.
  • use the third part of the book, Work Principles, as a reference manual…don’t necessarily read it start/finish unless you just want to. Look back at it when you encounter situations at work and need suggestions for how to approach difficult encounters.

In order to fulfill my “read it” criteria for my 100 books goal, I ignored the advice above. No regrets, but I wanted to share the above because he was honest about his advice and others may not have the same goals as me. 

General Impression

For the most part, the rest of this summary/review focuses on the second section of the book: Life Principles. I could write pages and pages (I did in my journal) on the advice Ray leaves you with. In fact, I even started my own Life Principles project to begin documenting my own.

As mentioned above, this section is outlined very well but also goes deep into explaining why the principles are important in many aspects of life. It’s easy to read, immediately applicable and I found myself highlight entire paragraphs and pages and ultimately had a stop altogether – it was all good.

Like with many authors I’ve found in the business or self-help section, parts of their messaging can often get repetitive. That part is somewhat inevitable in Life Principles, where the principles all support one another and are intertwined. You might think that is what contributes to the size of this book; however, you would be wrong. It it packed with MANY (new) ideas – not just the same old tips repurposed in a new book.

My favorite concepts

To avoid this being an insanely long post, I will share some of my favorite takeaways in bullet form without any reflection (they are good enough on their own).

  • people will better admire your work if you can prevent them from becoming threatened or jealous
  • obsess with finding right, not being right
  • most people call something “bad” only because it is bad for them
  • don’t be embarrassed by your problems; be embarrassed by not working to solve them
  • don’t be afraid to fire yourself if you are not the right fit; lead yourself first, before you can lead others – Einstein was a genius, but would you want him on your basketball team?
  • humility is probably the most important skill
  • you can’t learn what you already know
  • be clear about whether you are arguing or seeking more information to understand better
  • before you make a statement ask yourself if you know everything there is to know to make a statement, if not – phrase it in a question
  • it is never harmful to hear an opposing viewpoint; it doesn’t threaten you to learn more
  • people often make decisions first and cherry-pick data to support their decision
  • focus, focus, focus on doing the must-do things very well (and first)

Again, this list is probably just 5% of what I noted and took away from just part two of the book. And I have already referred back to Work Principles once or twice in working with my teams through some difficult projects. Can’t say enough: highly recommend this one.

Life Principles

Inspired by two of my favorite books: Principles by Ray Dalio and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson, I am documenting my own Life Principles and Virtues. This will be a constant work in progress, but am sharing them [before perfect] as a public commitment and reminder to myself.

 

1. Never do harm to other people whether intentionally or indirectly (e.g. speaking of them negatively behind their back)

 

2. Remember that it is naive to think all that someone believes in is right and all that someone rejects is therefore wrong (this applies to self and others)

 

3. Judge others by what they do well. Judge yourself by your faults. 

 

4. Measure yourself by what you do, not by what you think or plan.

 

5. Always strive to find the right answer. Never take pride in being right.

 

6. Remember that the majority of statements are opinions. Be clear when sharing opinion vs. fact

 

7. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Surround yourself with people you admire, respect and can learn from. Avoid those that are negative or hurtful to self/others.

100 Books in 2018

I have set a rather ambitious goal for the remainder of 2018…  Better late then never, right? For 2018, I am embarking on a journey of learning as much as I can. I am encouraged by a friend who is doing a similar challenge… So, I have set a goal to read 100 books in 2018.

A few people have already asked for my list, recommendations, thoughts and reviews.  I put together this page, a collection of the books I’ve read, and for a select few, a link to my review.  You can also check out my GoodReads profile here.

If you have any suggestions I should add to my list, please share! Hope you enjoy.

 

1 A Beginner’s Guide to Day Trading Online
2 The Ultimate Day Trader: How to Achieve Consistent Day Trading Profits in Stocks, Forex, and Commodities
3 High probability trading : take the steps to become a successful trader
4 Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
5 The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
6 Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life
7 Grit
8 The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales
9 Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
10 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F_ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life Review
11 The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
12 Principles: Life and Work Life Principles
13 Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
14 Zoom (Picture Puffin Books)
15 PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives
16 When to Rob a Bank: …And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants
17 QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life
18 Introducing Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide
19 Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
20 The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel
21 The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life
22 Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism
23 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
24 Works Well with Others: Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You Review
25 The Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill of Rights & All Amendments, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation,
26 Game Theory at Work: How to Use Game Theory to Outthink and Outmaneuver Your Competition
27 Me Talk Pretty One Day
28 What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
29 Theory of Moves
30 Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
31 Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
32 Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
33 Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life
34 Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
35 The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition
36 Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
37 Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity
38 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
39 1776
40 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
41 Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
42 John Adams
43 Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon, 1963-1972
44 Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
45 Moneyball
46 Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them
47 Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
48 Revolution!: The Brick Chronicle of the American Revolution and the Inspiring Fight for Liberty and Equality that Shook the World
49 Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Cash Games
multitasking

The Truth About Multi-tasking

The question has been asked many times before…

“Is it possible for people to multi-task?”

Productivity experts generally agree, humans just aren’t made for multi-tasking. Yet many people claim they are great at it. We even see job descriptions with qualifications like: “seeking someone that can prioritize and multi-task effectively.”

In order to have an opinion on the matter, it’s important we first understand the definition of the word.  The term “multi-tasking” comes from modern computer lingo describing technology that processors have gained so that multiple tasks can be completed (seemingly) “at the same time”.

 

Sequential Tasking

With the invention of the first computers, work primarily executed in discrete tasks. Each task needed to wait for the previous to complete before the processor could load the next to execute.

A visit to the motor vehicle office will be a crushing reminder of this. You wait patiently until your number is called. When it’s your turn, your request, regardless of how complex it is, gets the undivided attention of your agent. After you license is renewed, you are on your way, and the next number is called. This way processing is designed to be fair, effective and minimize human error.

 

Multi-Tasking

With the evolution of modern computing, we don’t have the same limitations as we do in the “human world”. Modern processors offer more scale and efficiency than people, with almost zero error too.

However, the term “multi-tasking” is somewhat of a misnomer to us humans. Computer processors don’t actually execute tasks “at the same time”. Rather, tasks are still executed individually, but the processor allows a task to efficiently “interrupt” an existing task that is waiting for something else to happen. During this waiting period, the second task is able to borrow the processor’s time and execute. When the original task is ready to resume again, it must wait for any current tasks to complete. It will then borrow time back and complete itself.

To the end user, all of this task “switching” is done so quickly, it appears as if it’s all at the same time. The truth is, processors are just extremely efficient at switching between these computer tasks.

Here’s a modern example: you walk into a coffee shop and order a cup of coffee. The barista is working on another drink order, but while the beans are grinding, he makes your drink and you’re on your way. He then finishes the first drink and everyone is happy. One could argue this talented barista made two drinks at the same time; however, we know semantically this isn’t really the case.

 

So when it comes to  human multi-tasking, the question still stands: “Is it possible for us to multi-task?”  The answer, yes definitely, it just depends on the types of tasks we are switching between.

 

It’s All About The Switching

Processors are designed to be extremely efficient at switching quickly between tasks. They are so efficient…the experience to the end user appears like things are happening at the same time, but we know now, that’s not technically the case.

The coffee shop example is a great one for comparison. For a barista, switching between two or more similar, routine tasks is totally feasible. Another example is making dinner. Cooking 3 or 4 things at the “same time” requires a skill in switching between doing dozens of individual things, one after another (rather than all at the same time). The tolerance for little bits of error is acceptable as well.

As professionals, we are typically engaged in more complex tasks that require focus and deeper, analytical thinking. This analytical thinking requires a longer “ramp up” time and therefore does not lend itself well to this “fast switching”. Our jobs also generally have less acceptance for errors and therefore require extra attention to detail.  There is good research that shows the more complex a task is, the more that switching between them will cause a loss in productivity.

So, while we have been led to believe that multi-tasking is a desirable skill in the professional world, the resulting loss in productivity leads many to abandon this strategy as a means to “get more done”.

 

A Case for More Time just… Thinking

Before we get down on ourselves for being terrible multi-taskers…we need to recognize what our true strength is. Our brains were simply not designed for switching; they were designed for deep, analytical and creative thinking. This is our sweet spot. These days, we don’t spend nearly enough time dedicated to using this super-power.

Over the years, we’ve created a culture of instant gratification…one that rewards quick responses, often valuing immediacy over completeness or creativity. This go-go mentality is causing people to fall short of of our human potential to develop new ideas. We go from meeting to meeting in which we are interrupted dozens of times with text/instant messages, email alerts and more. At the end of the day, what have we accomplished? Is our badge of honor one of simply ‘being busy’.

I’m making a case that we need to build a new culture. One centered around the values teamwork and creativity. One that rewards better results, not just faster answers. We need to set aside time in our day dedicated to thinking and creativity. Some would argue, “getting actual work done”.  This is what differentiates us from computers and will continue to evolve us, solve world problems and create a future rich for generations to follow.

top 10

Microsoft Awesome Updates – 2018Q1

Our team is pulling together what we believe are the top “Awesome” updates for each quarter. Hoping this is something I can share on a quarterly/regular basis for individuals and organizations wanted to stay up to date on changes. It’s an added filter of what we need our customers to see and what we see our customers already most interested in.

Administrators, please continue to monitor the Message Center for official updates.

 

Awesome Updates for 2018 Q1

Productivity

Cloud Voice Deployment Practical Guidance – Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork and communications in Office 365, now provides Audio Conferencing and Phone System with Calling Plans capabilities to meet additional business requirements by extending the Teams meeting and calling experience to include external parties connected via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

Teamwork across Devices Update -bringing great new value to Office 365 subscribers, with updates that enhance how teams work together and unlock new ways to create and manage content across devices.

Microsoft Teams Update – January Updates – Microsoft continues to add new capabilities on a regular basis to make Microsoft Teams an even more powerful hub for teamwork. Here’s a summary of the main updates that we introduced in December and January.

Gartner Report on Microsoft Teams and Intelligent Communications -Gartner recently published a report analyzing the impact of the decision to make Teams the hub for teamwork and makes recommendations for decision makers when mapping their requirements.

Microsoft Whiteboard Preview – Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is built for anyone who engages in creative, freeform thinking before getting to their final output. It’s designed for teams that need to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, and across multiple devices.

Print from Azure AD Joined Devices – Now people in your organization can use Azure AD-joined devices to discover on-premise printers, and can print from work or from home or from anywhere else they can connect to the internet.

Microsoft Teams App Studio Preview – Microsoft Teams App Studio (Preview) makes it easy to start creating or integrating your own service, whether you develop custom apps for your enterprise or SaaS applications for teams around the world.

Shared Office Codebase -With the newest version of Office for Mac, version 16.9.0, Microsoft has extended capabilities like real-time co-authoring and AutoSave to Apple users; in fact, this release marks the first time in 20 years that Office shares the same codebase across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android for core functionalities.

 

 

Security (Identity / Information Protection / Threat Protection)

Schooling A Sea of Phish – the team of engineers developing Office 365 ATP invested much of their time focusing on maintaining a malware catch rate >99.9% effectiveness, reducing file detonation times to < 60 seconds, and launching a bevy of features to enhance the control and capabilities for security admins… and the result of their efforts led to Office ATP achieving all three of those goals.

Enhancements to Productivity App Discovery in Office 365 Cloud App Security – gives you the ability to understand what cloud services are being used in your organization that have similar functionality to Office 365. Today we are excited to announce enhancements to this feature based on feedback to help you do a more thorough investigation of the discovered apps.

Microsoft Cloud App Security 3rd Party Integrations -While customers all over the world use Office 365 DLP to protect their sensitive data in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, we also recognize that many customers have already invested in multiple DLP solutions across their environment and want to extend this investment to protect their cloud applications.

Azure AD Conditional Access “What If” Tool -The What If tool helps you understand the impact of the policies on a user sign-in, under conditions you specify. Rather than waiting to hear from your user about what happened, you can simply use the What If tool.

 

Governance / Compliance

Azure AD Expiration Policy for Office 365 Groups – Office 365 groups expiration policies allow administrators to set an expiration timeframe for any Office 365 group. Once that timeframe is set, owners of these groups get notification emails reminding them to renew these groups if they still need them. Groups not renewed will automatically be deleted.

 

 

Support / Lifecycle Updates

Changes to Office and Windows Servicing – two years before the end of extended support for Windows 7 and Office 2010 (January and October 2020, respectively) – Microsoft is announcing servicing extensions for Windows 10, changes to the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements, and new details on the next perpetual release of Office and Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release of Windows.

 

 

2018 Goals

One of the best ways to accomplish your goals is to hold yourself publicly accountable. For some, it’s as simple as telling people about what you’re trying to achieve.  For others, it’s about building engagement on the journey.

I’m hoping this inspires others to do the same (be public with your goals) as well as encourage feedback on my own journey.

[updated]

 

100 Books in 2018

I’m starting this goal late (February). Rather than figure out how I’ll measure this against the year, I’m just… starting. The goal is to read 100 books in 2018 and I’ll be keeping track of them here.  You’ll notice a general theme to my books, but I’m really open. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

 

 

  

New Productivity Strategy: Reflection

This post is a follow up to the New Productivity Strategy post I wrote on October 31. I wanted to give this new strategy a go for a month and see if it had any impact on getting more “work” done.

To catch you up, my new framework looked something like this:

  1. My 50+ item task list will get prioritized to my “must do” top 5
  2. Those 5 items are my “only do” list for the moment
  3. New emails fall on the “never do” list, so I won’t check email until my “must do” items are done
  4. After done, I’ll check email, triage and re-prioritize the task list
  5. Take a break
  6. Repeat

Rather than simply “focus” on the things to do, I was getting sucked in to a daily routine of just following up on interruptions: email, instant message, etc. So many in fact, I could go days without getting any of my actual tasks done.

This new approach is reinforcing a few valuable lessons in prioritization:

  • We can only prioritize a few things at the same time…and really only really work on ONE thing at a time. Proper goal setting for the day is critical.
  • It’s important to specifically call out things that are consistently distractions – email and IM are #1 for me. Email is actually de-prioritized on my list and I no longer log into IM tool.
  • Some things you just can’t put on the Never Do List. While I can’t remove email completely, I can designate specific times to do it…and do it fast. Internal email doesn’t warrant the same scrutiny as something written to a client. Most of the time quantity is better than quality.
  • Delegation is important, but it has overhead on the follow through. If you are consistently delegating a task, it might be valuable to remove yourself from the middle. 
  • I’ve played with the Pomodoro Technique over the years, but it has recently come in very handy to carve out time for forced breaks OR time to catch up on email.
  • This approach takes a discipline in saying “no”. Historically, that’s been a weakness of mine. 

The biggest challenge in all of this is the feeling of dropping other tasks, letting others down or not appearing as useful as others. However, the bigger let down would be not completing the few things one must get done.

As far as the workload, I am absolutely making significant progress. As expected, it’s a bit disruptive to others that are used to the quick turn around on “interruptions”.  Setting proper expectations with them has been helpful. The bigger lesson in all of this is being aware of the need for change and continually experimenting/growing to meet  the need.

 

Microsoft Awesome Updates – 2017Q4

Our team is pulling together what we believe are the top “Awesome” updates for each quarter. Hoping this is something I can share on a quarterly/regular basis for individuals and organizations wanted to stay up to date on changes. It’s an added filter of what we need our customers to see and what we see our customers already most interested in.  These posts will serve as a summary “notification”, while I keep the Modern Workplace Must Read page always current. 

 

Awesome Updates for 2017 Q4

Workplace Analytics – powerful new organizational analytics solution that harvests signals from Office 365 to help organizations better understand how they collaborate and spend time.

Intelligent Communications Strategy – bringing comprehensive calling and meetings capabilities into Microsoft Teams (read: Skype for Business and Teams are merging)…along with data and insights from the Microsoft Graph, and a strong roadmap of innovation to empower teams to achieve more.

Power BI Premium – new offering that brings dedicated capacity and read access for everyone in the org, without having to buy a license for ever user

On-Prem Data Classification / Protection – Azure Information Protection has the ability to encrypt content in Office 365, but what about content in fileshares and SharePoint Server on-prem. AIP Scanner can automatically crawl and inventory these documents giving you more information about the content you have before you move it online.

OneDrive Files On-Demand – as people create and collaborate more, they shouldn’t have to worry about if there is enough storage to synchronize all of their files. With Files On-Demand, you can access all your files in the cloud without having to download them. All your files—even online files—can be seen in File Explorer and work just like every other file on your device.

Connect Existing SharePoint Online Sites to Office 365 Groups / Microsoft Teams – if the title isn’t self-explanatory, you will now have the ability to connect existing SharePoint Online sites to Office 365 Groups. Sites will retain their existing URL, but will gain the ability to participate in conversations and Group navigation

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Safe Links for iOS & Android – organizations leveraging Office 365 ATP have the ability to now protect mobile users with click-time protection against phishing attacks.

Usage Reporting Overhaul – including Microsoft Teams – lots of updates to the usage reporting area of Office 365 and also the inclusion of Microsoft Teams. Also a peek at what’s coming. Usage Score?! Say what?!

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update – Windows 10 gets its own top 10 list with the release of the Fall Creators Update. The update includes an uplift on Windows Defender capabilities, AutoPilot for easier workstation provisioning and loads of other security and user productivity updates.

No Non-Sense Guide to Microsoft Approach to GDPR – how do you make sense of the regulation and the portfolio of tools in Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility & Security suites.  Here’s a great basic 101 primer.

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