Categories
Cloud

Whoa… Office 2016 is coming…

So just when you got used to Office 2013, boom, Office 2016 is hitting the streets as of 22 September 2015. This was announced yonder on the Microsoft Office blog – pretty darn cool.

https://blogs.office.com/2015/09/10/admins-get-ready-for-office-2016-rollout-begins-september-22/

Be sure to check out the Microsoft Cloud Roadshow taking place in November…

https://microsoftcloudroadshow.com/cities

Categories
Community

SPS DC Chevy Chase – Summer 2015

So for the past few years, myself and a few friends have been running the SharePoint Saturday Events DC events. As a part of these events we strive to improve upon each event to try to cater to the needs of the community and to help provide a setting for folks to come to an event and learn more about SharePoint and associated technologies like Office 365 and Azure.

In as much, we’ve got a quick survey for this year’s Summer event available here:

http://www.instant.ly/s/wa6Qh

If you’re attending the event, please feel free to fill it out so that we can help to ensure that we plan rooms properly and to give presenters some information ahead of time so that they can shape their presentations to the needs of you the audience.

Categories
Azure Cloud Office 365

Supported Video Codes for Office 365

Office 365 recently launched their Video Portal that leverages the power of Azure Media Services as documented on the Office Blogs entry by Mark Kashman on the entry titled Introducing Office 365 Video. It’s definitely a step up compared to using something like the Digital Asset Management library that debuted in SharePoint Server on-premises many years ago.

So as you begin your movement to utilizing the Video Portal, hopefully you don’t hit any snags…

Wait, what do you mean SWF isn’t supported?

If you’ve been building videos for Adobe Flash player using SWF format or FLV, then you’re probably going to have to take a few minutes and breath. The easiest thing to do is go and download a copy of Handbrake for your Windows or Mac computing device and begin the conversion to MP4. Handbrake is available here – http://www.handbrake.fr

What are the supported file types for use on the Video Portal?

It’s actually a bit more flexible than you probably think – it’s more than just WMA and WMV file types. It would seem that Microsoft’s Office 365 group went at length to make it meet the most widely used formats…

These include:

Office 365 Video supports the following video codes:

  • H.264 (Baseline, Main, and High Profiles)
  • MPEG-1 (Including MPEG-PS)
  • MPEG-2 (Simple and Main Profile)
  • MPEG-4 v2 (Simple Visual Profile and Advanced Simple Profile)
  • VC-1 (Simple, Main, and Advanced Profiles)
  • Windows Media Video (Simple, Main, and High Profiles)
  • DV (DVC, DVHD, DVSD, DVSL)
  • Grass Valley HQ/HQX

The full list of video and audio types is available for viewing here – Video formats that work in Office 365 Video

What’s this thing you refer to called Media Services?

It’s the cloud. drops the mic and walks away

If you’re curious to learn more about Azure Media Services, there’s more information available here on the Azure Media Services page on the Azure marketing documentation portal. Mind you that Azure Media Services is highly scalable and has been used for events like the Olympics to provide for streaming media needs.

So what are your first thoughts on the Office 365 Video Portal? How are you using it in your organization today?

Categories
Office 365

Office 365 Service Descriptions

TL; dr – http://www.office365sd.com

2014-10-18_14-21-22

One of the most common questions that I hear on a regular basis is, “How do I decide which Office 365 plan should I get? Just the small or mid-size business or do I need the E plan?”

Up until recently, if you were an organization that was running Active Directory on-premises and you were hoping to use the same password or federate your identity, I would have told you that you needed at least the Mid-Size business plan or one of the E plans. However, Microsoft has changed things up and more or less all of their business plans (not the consumer plans) now support the use of Azure Active Directory integration.

But wait, you’re still scratching your head asking the question, “But which plan do I need?” Without reading through the marketing information on the office.com site, I’d recommend you hop on over to the Service Descriptions to determine what really meets your needs and requirements.

“But Dan, that’s a lot of work…” True, you can go with the information that’s presented just at office.com and get up and running now and change things down the road plan wise… or you can go over to the Service Descriptions and figure out what you really need.

“But Dan, I don’t have time to hunt and peck for URLs…” Sure you do… no wait, you don’t. So head on over to http://www.office365sd.com.

Remember that the Service Descriptions are updated regularly so you probably want to bookmark that handy URL that Microsoft put out there for you to find the resource more quickly.

Categories
Certification

Azure and Office 365 Certification Opportunities

For those of you that are looking to get certified on cloud based products in the Microsoft stack – well there’s a great opportunity for you to get certified – for free.

Microsoft Learning is giving away 10k vouchers for individuals to attempt to gain an MCTS between now and the end of the year for the newly released cloud certifications for Azure and MCSA for Office 365.


Update 3 – And Microsoft is out of certification vouchers. For those of you that were able to attain one – good luck in your studies!

Update 2 – MS Learning tweeted me to let me know that they still have exam vouchers, seems that the initial message was incorrect. Get’em while they’re hot!

Update – They’re fresh out of exam vouchers – they went pretty quickly it would seem, good luck to those of you that were able to snag one!!!

If you’re looking for studying materials – I’d recommend checking out the learning objectives for each of the exams, available on their exam pages listed here:

Azure Certifications:
Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions – 70-532 – https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-532.aspx
Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions – 70-533 – https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-533.aspx

Office 365 Certifications
Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements – 70-346 – https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-346.aspx
Enabling Office 365 Services – 70-347 – https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-347.aspx

If you pass both Office 365 certifications, you’ll gain your Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) for Office 365 which can be counted toward the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) SharePoint 2013.

For more information about getting a free voucher though, check out the Microsoft Learning blog here:

http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/btl/b/weblog/archive/2014/10/16/get-certified-on-microsoft-azure-or-office-365-with-free-exams.aspx