I’m speaking at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Florida

I’m very honoured to be chosen by Microsoft to speak at the Ignite conference in September on a couple of topics around Office 365:

Groups and Teams: Friend or Foe?

“Both Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams present a fundamental shift in how people come together and collaborate. While some elements have been available in other ways, these two tools introduce new complexities to organizations and users around governance and security, information management, communications, and change management. This session shows what Office 365 features rely on Groups, covering how they do and don’t work together. We also cover Teams and where it sits with Yammer, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and others. Learn best practices from real-world customer examples of how to utilize both Groups and Teams from the perspective of IT, the business, change management, and users.”

Workplace etiquette with Office 365

“Did you know that Office 365 can help make you a better communicator, as well as a worse one? Join Loryan Strant and Darrell Webster in this session and learn how to use Office 365 technologies to improve communications and collaboration for yourself and those around you. We show you some quick tips and tricks, as well as etiquette to ensure that you and your users find the technology to be beneficial – not a hindrance.

We all know people who do things to annoy us in the workplace, and with Office 365 some simple etiquette tips will help drive adoption of the platform, improve communications, and overall, improve the relationships of users.”

This session directly builds on my Office 365 Good Etiquette Guide and will involve Darrell and myself showing our acting chops by taking attendees through the damage done by bad etiquette and how easily things can be improved.

Across the conference I’ll also be doing some live streams for RE: Office 365 also with Darrell and others.

I’m very much looking forward to connecting with people from all over the world at Ignite, as well as my fellow MVPs and Microsoft friends. There will be some amazing content available by both Microsoft and the MVP community – so if you’re not able to attend in person I highly recommend downloading the videos and slides when they’re made available after the conference.

Turn any room into a conference room – part 3

In my previous two posts I shared the hardware that I use for audio as well as what I use for video. So what’s left?

Letting other people see your screen, or work together on a whiteboard.

Sure you can run a long HDMI cable but it makes it a bit messy and dangerous. Devices like the Surface Pro 3 have Miracast built into them (aka WiDi) which allows you to connect your device to an external screen. At the Paradyne office we use a Netgear Push2TV device which works fairly well. This supports up to 1080p and is very easy to set up and get going, and retails for around $67 RRP.

What this allows you to do is also use your tablet and corresponding screen as a portable whiteboard. Instead of having a whiteboard and markers – simply use the Surface Pro 3 and the supplied stylus (or equivalent tablet device). Sure it’s not Surface Hub, but it’s a lot cheaper!

I use this setup on video calls using Skype for Business where we share the whiteboard in the meeting, instead of having an expensive digital device or having to point the camera at it.

Combined with the audio & video hardware devices I wrote about previously – for very little money you’ve now turned virtually any room into a conference room.


(NOTE: I am aware that Microsoft has a Wireless Display Adapter however it wasn’t available when I first wanted to use Miracast with my Surface Pro 3 so I haven’t had the opportunity to test it and am still happy with the Netgear Push2TV.)