Clutter Folder

I enabled the Clutter function in Outlook and OWA about a month ago. It uses artificial intelligence to puts mass emails and emails that you don’t usually open into a new Outlook email folder called Clutter. It works well. It’s been better than most Junk mail filters at deciding what to remove from my Inbox. I had thought, “I do want all my mass emails that I receive” and I still do, but having them in a different folder works.

The best part is, it puts everything which I wouldn’t want to be notified of in my Clutter folder. So, now I can set my phone to chime when personal emails come in, because my Inbox now only registers a new email when I get a personal email (since the mass emails now go into the Clutter folder).  I have an Inbox, a Clutter folder, and a Junk folder to check, but that’s working out better than having just an Inbox and Junk.

Recent MS Study

This past month I’ve studied 3 days at Ignite DC downtown, 2 days partner training at the Microsoft offices, and 30 hours at Mack Sigman’s SharePoint Boot Camp. If I can fit in my schedule, I’ll do Mack’s SharePoint Admin course in Dec or Jan. These all involved prep and follow-up study.

These studies are all in Microsoft technologies of Office 365. The Project/Program/Portfolio Management methodologies have been of a particular interest. Why spend so much time studying Microsoft Office 365? Two reasons: we’ve been concentrating our practice on Office 365 because it’s now free for all 501(c)3 non-profits and because Google Apps is not even free for small organizations anymore.

Many thanks to Mack Sigman and other FEDSPUG/WSPDC volunteers Bisi Adebesinx and Nikkia Carter for their many hours of community-building work and teaching.

Personal Systems Admin

I did some sys admin work, last night: transferred the recovery partition on my HP Envy X2 to a USB drive, deleted that partition, and used the Windows Store web installer to install Windows 8.1 Preview. Belarc Advisor gave me my Windows Key. When 8.1 RTMs, I’ll probably have to re-install 8.0 from that USB to get the final 8.1.

I’m hoping the version of SkyDrive that comes with 8.1 will allow me to sync a micro SD. I may have to make some symbolic links to fool the OS into thinking that additional space is on this 64GB hard drive.

I’ll probably change my Office 365 subscription from P1 to Small Business Premium. I’ll, then, be renting Office from MS. Next year, I might rent Windows (with Intune) too.

Switched To Office 365

I finally switched my own site, email, and intranet to Office 365. The Exchange is a little better than my previous version. For instance, it has full task syncing. The integration into my Windows Phone is a little better. Email flagging on the phone is nice.  When my domain approaches its expiration date, I may transfer it to a different registrar and move my site to WordPress.

Deeper Into the MS Cloud

Since writing a piece on my interest in Microsoft’s new cloud offerings, I’ve been spending lots of down-time learning Office 365 (SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync) and MS Dynamics CRM. I’m fine with open source and Salesforce projects, but they don’t motivate me to stay up late investigating something like an integration scenario as Dynamics has been. I’m really into it – exploring how non-profits, professional services, events management, real estate management, plumbing company, and call centers Dynamics solutions work. MS plans to add Intune and CRM to the Office 365 plans in the next 6 months.

Infrastructure Planning – Simplify, Automate, and then Integrate

In March I wrote up: Quick Set Up of Fledgling Biz IT which described the quick brochure-ware site I put up with/for a client. That client and I have been meeting since then to work out his business plan and strategy. Yesterday, I presented a back office infrastructure plan which included everything from who he will use to buy domains, to his webcasting method, to how his accounting will connect to his Customer Relations Management system. Most of the services are cloud-based and billed monthly. Continue reading “Infrastructure Planning – Simplify, Automate, and then Integrate”

Using HubSpot and Office 365

I’m finally signing up a customer/partner with my brother’s (now huge) company HubSpot.com and with Microsoft’s Office 365. We’re going to be linking up MS Dynamics CRM and integrating quite a few services into this new site. You’d think that customer would be run by younger folks but no; this is a company run by a guy around 60 who sees the social media marketing light. I’ve always been a fan of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing program but have never implemented it until now.

Also, MS Office 365 is launching tomorrow. I’ve been studying and testing this service for months and hope it takes off. It’s essentially all the technology  infrastructure a company needs – offered as a cloud service with a monthly fee per-user payment model. (If you bring on temporary summer or holiday employees, you can pay for a $2 to $24 subscription to onboard each employee for only a month or two.)  I love adding arrows to my quiver.

Started Testing Office 365, Small Business Server….

I admit it; I’m a Microsoft Office Live Small Business fan. It’s like a Version 1 or V1.5 product, BPOS is like Version 2, and Office 365 is like V3. People often say that you should expect Microsoft to have a product down by V3. Office 365 has similar functionality to Office Live Small Business in the Office 365 Small Business edition but with a different interface. Yes, Office Live Small Business has SharePoint Online and Exchange Online functionality – even if no one used it. Continue reading “Started Testing Office 365, Small Business Server….”