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From the category archives: Customer and Employee Engagement Blog

Blog entries related to Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 solutions such as Power BI, Microsoft Flow, Power Apps and Microsoft Teams

Measuring Enterprise Social Collaboration

The days of the production-line worker, the inbox/outbox process and any other repetitive task for humans to perform – are vanishing quickly. With automation, apps and robotics replacing humans at an unprecedented rate, our ability to collaborate to innovate, inspire, inform and to discover new insights might be one of the last ways to differentiate human labor from an automated workforce. But there is a problem. Most organizations have only a vague notion of how they are doing with social collaboration – let alone a vision and measurable goals for how they will make improvements.

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4 Reasons Why You Should Use Excel to Create a Survey

SNAGHTML13b5de3Maybe you didn’t even know, but if you are using Office 365 or OneDrive, you can use Excel to create a survey, share it with others, and easily get the results.  This blog details why you should use Excel to create a survey.  Using Excel won’t be for everyone depending on your requirements, but it does serve a purpose in the landscape of survey tools. Find out what you didn't know before! 

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Collaboration at Microsoft Convergence

A lot of exciting information is being shared this year at Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta, GA.  This post summarizes the highlights of day 1, with a focus on the sessions that discussed working together better inside and outside of the organization - customer and employee engagement.  We will pay particular attention to the discussions around collaboration in this post.

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How to Selectively Sync Folders to OneDrive for Business

OneDrive selective folder syncWhile recently working with some users who are migrating to OneDrive for Business for SharePoint 2013, I was in a discussion about how to use the OneDrive for Business client.  After walking through the capabilities and how to use the sync client, the question was asked about how to selectively sync only certain folders from OneDrive for Business and not the entire library.  Users started uploading a lot of documents, and didn’t want to sync ALL of the files in their OneDrive for Business library.  They only wanted to sync some of the folders offline.  This is possible right?  Okay I must admit I misled you a little bit by the title.  You can’t use the OneDrive for Business sync client and only choose certain folders.  It will only sync the entire library or nothing.  But fear not, the point of this blog is to offer a few viable solutions as stop gaps until Microsoft adds this functionality. 

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Why Collaboration?

Why Collaboration is Changing the Business World 

There is a lot of discussion about collaboration in the workplace, but little explanation as to why it is becoming increasingly important.  This infographic explains the four primary business-drivers behind the movement towards collaboration between employees, customers and suppliers.  

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Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 3–Working With Views

It’s been awhile but I am back to continue on my SharePoint Basics series for SharePoint.  Let’s see where we are:

Back in Part 2, I touched on SharePoint Views briefly in the context of creating content.  In today’s post I want to go a lot deeper with views and show you how to work with them while will help any SharePoint user work more effectively and efficiently.

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Microsoft Can Do Cool!

Mobile SurfaceLove them or hate em, like them or not, it can’t be ignored that Microsoft has been making some big splashes lately. We've started to reflect on how the software giant has been putting out some pretty cool stuff that truly improves someone’s daily life or job. Let us share some Microsoft tech that impresses us.  Read this blog to get the list.

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Making Your Visio Drawing More Valuable with Live Data and Data Graphics

imageWhen it comes to Visio's high quality, yet static content, can we make that flat data more interactive and fresh?  Sure, with Data Graphics!  Some people refer to drawings like this as having data-behind.  You might have seen the Supply Chain example from Microsoft in a number of demos, and think that it must be some overly complicated configuration.  It’s not!

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How to Add the ID Column to SharePoint Email Alerts

imageGenerally the out of the box provided ID column is used as the “Issue ID” since it auto-increments by default.  Invariably, users need to be notified whenever issues are created or updated, so they subscribe to alerts on the list.  When they get their notification email, they notice that the Issue ID is missing, so they aren’t sure exactly which issue got updated. 

We can fix this by adding the ID field to the email alert file.  Let's take a look how.

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What Am I Missing from SharePoint 2013?

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The purpose of this article is to try and compile a list of features removed or discounted features, not list all of the changes or improvements in SharePoint 2013.  This list will vary somewhat depending if we’re talking SharePoint on-premise or SharePoint online, but I’ll try to call out the differences where applicable. 

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Export and Synchronize Contacts from Outlook to SharePoint


Export Outlook Contacts to SharePointLet's say you’re a member of a sales team and you need the ability for your sales peers and managers on your team to be able to see your contacts. Did you know you can use SharePoint to store and share Outlook contacts?  This blog will show you just how easy this is to do!

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Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? The SharePoint Edition!

Are you a newbie when it comes to SharePoint? Are you lost in the lingo, or trying to make heads or tails of how to incorporate the tool into your day-to-day operations? If so, this blog is for you!

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Let Your SharePoint Users Be Heard With the C5 Insight Feedback Solution!

SharePoint Site Feedback How do users communicate their SharePoint frustrations, feedback, and questions?  If the answer is “they send an email” or “they open a helpdesk ticket” then this is for you!  We have created a solution for SharePoint 2010 on-premise and SharePoint 2013 on-premise and Office 365 that provides a powerful yet simple mechanism for users to provide feedback.  Best of all, it's free!

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Steps to Resolve the SharePoint Error “Sandboxed code execution request failed” When Configuring CRM Integration

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After getting a client's SharePoint available on the public interweb and thus available to CRM, we installed and activated the list component. But when we went to an Opportunity or other entity that was configured for document management, it would throw an error...

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Building A SharePoint Leadership Team


I know what you’re thinking: we already have a project team, do we really need another formal team?  After all, that only means more meetings, tasks, documents to write and manage, decisions to make, consensus to get, etc.  My answer is a resounding yes, you most certainly need this team.  But here’s the truth –  while extremely important to the success of the project, this doesn’t have a to be a huge undertaking. This blog entry details 3 practical steps for you to begin building a SharePoint Leadership Team today.

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Use PowerShell to Enable Versions in All Document Libraries in All Subsites

powershell_iconIn this post with PowerShell, I wanted to show you how you can write a script that will enable versions but starting from a subsite instead of the entire site collection. 

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Create a Simple Time-Based Email Reminder for SharePoint Calendar Events

imageSee if this sounds familiar:
Someone asks you “Can I get an email reminder for these events on the team calendar?”.  You think well, we can set alerts, so you go look into the alert settings, so you go look into the alert settings, and quickly realize that alerts don’t work like that.  The alert mechanism in SharePoint will send the alert subscriber an email based on an action happening on the item (it is being created, edited, etc).  We need the trigger to be based on a date.  So what to do? 

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How to Easily Lower Opacity In Visio Shapes

imageAs a SharePoint solution architect, when I’m not creating site columns and configuring SharePoint server databases, I'm meeting and talking to clients about their business requirements for collaboration technology like SharePoint.  On a project basis like assessing a clients desire to upgrade their SharePoint environment, this involves documenting a SharePoint environment or a lot of times just business processes.  There are many tools available for these types of drawings, and one I typically use for drawing SharePoint farms and topologies is Visio. 

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Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 2–Creating Content

Welcome back to to my series on the basics of SharePoint.  If you've already read the first post, we covered what SharePoint is. Now we're ready to dive into how to create content in SharePoint.  (Notice I said create content, not any form of structure.)  We have to crawl before we can walk, right?  Then we can move on for the super users on how to create structure, the things that hold the content. 

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Plot SharePoint 2013 List Items on a Map – Automatically GeoCode Addresses with PowerShell

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SharePoint 2013 comes with new features for plotting SharePoint list items on a Bing map. However, it isn’t completely intuitive how to accomplish this, and once you figure it out, it is still a lot of work. This post will look at using PowerShell to quickly geocode a full list of SharePoint list items with address data.

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Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 1–What is SharePoint?

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To start with and ensure we’re all talking the same thing, we need to level the foundation.  It’s easy to assume otherwise, but I continually find people at any given company across a variety of industries who don’t even know what SharePoint is.  They have heard the term perhaps, but don’t know what it is, much all it can do (beyond the dumping ground for your documents).  So let’s get started with Part 1.

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A Better Approach – Understanding the 40/20/40 Principle

When we stepped back and looked at our current projects and proposals going out, we began to see that we were often being brought-in as a 2nd or 3rd vendor, to assist with a 2nd or 3rd implementation, or to help a project “get back on track” after it was underway. The reality is that 59% of all new projects for C5 Insight are rescue projects, or what we now call “CPR” projects. So, where do we go from here and how do we fix it?

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How to Make SharePoint List Form Fields Read Only Without InfoPath

I was working with a client recently in a simplified signup site.  In effect what was needed was to make the fields read only based on the role of the user.  Follow me as I walk you through the steps using only SharePoint Designer, no code or InfoPath required!

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Branding the SharePoint 2013 Global Navigation – Structural

 

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A few months ago I posted on How to Brand the SharePoint 2013 Global Navigation if you were using the Managed Metadata service to render your navigation using a term set.  The menu code renders differently if you use structural versus managed navigation.  This post is going to look at how to leverage the same base CSS code but modify it to work on the structural navigation.

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Account for SharePoint 2013’s Minimal Download Strategy with your Custom JavaScript


SharePoint 2013 introduced a new feature to aid in page load times called the Minimal Download Strategy. This only downloads JavaScript files when they are necessary. This sounds good until you try to load your custom JavaScript files that rely on standard hooks that SharePoint provides with it’s JavaScript files. The end result of all of this is that your code doesn’t execute. This post will provide you with JavaScript that will load your custom JavaScript whether this feature is turned on or not.

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Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.