It’s been 9 months since my last blog post. My work and personal life have kept me very busy! At work, I’m leading Office 365 tech product mgmt which includes 3 teams: Office 365 Suite, service experience & developer. I picked up developer experience end of last year and we have built a great team including folks like Chris Johnson, who leads the team, David Pae, Jeremy Thake, Jim Epes and Sonya Koptyev. They are super connected to the community and engineering team, and super passionate about delivering exciting developer scenarios to Office 365.
Given it’s been 9 months, I thought I’d share what’s top of mind for me and mention recent a handful of Office 365 updates:
1. Continuous innovation and change management. One of the value propositions of the cloud is continuous innovation – that customers and partners get updates faster than they would with traditional on-premises software. And while that’s absolutely the case with Office 365, we are committed to helping organizations manage this continuous change through visibility into our roadmap. Just a few weeks ago, we publicly published our Office 365 update roadmap @ http://www.office.com/roadmap. This lists some of the updates we’re releasing over the next few months. While this is not comprehensive, it does give you a good sense of what you can expect coming to your service. We also launched the First Release program, that gives you an opportunity to experience some of the new features “First” — as the name suggests. There’s much more detailed information @ http://blogs.office.com/2014/06/19/improving-visibility-to-service-updates/.
2. Comparing Office 365 service options. A frequent question I get is, what service has what feature? And while we’ve had detailed service descriptions published on TechNet for some time, a nice gem is this spreadsheet view that lets you view features based on different pivots. Check it out @ http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/office365/fp123607
3. Storage has gone up. We upped OneDrive for Business storage to 1TB! As a person who is an active user of OneDrive for Business and the consumer OneDrive service, I’m personally excited about this move. The SharePoint/OneDrive team is investing a lot in this space — not just upping the number, but by making improvements based on feedback and thinking about new scenarios. From a new scenario perspective, you’ll notice that Office 365 Video is on the roadmap.
4. Message Center and the Service Health Dashboard. This is part of the blog post I referenced in point #1, but it’s worth a separate mention. While Message Center has been in the service for several months, we’ve been making improvements with things like categorization and in-product alerts. Our vision is to make sure all relevant information to admins is available in the Message Center. Another investment we made to improve visibility is launching the Office 365 Admin app across all major smartphone platforms including iOS, WP and Android. Right now, the admin app is limited to a view of the Service Health Dashboard (SHD). You can expect this to include more information over time. Here’s a blog post that has more information @ http://blogs.office.com/2013/12/12/office-365-admin-app-is-now-on-android-and-ios/. Speaking of SHD, we’re going to make SHD information available through an API — you should see more information on this in the roadmap – so stay tuned for that!
5. Developer, developer, developer. We have a great prod mgmt and engineering team that is doing some really great things in a very open way – for example, we just open sourced the Open XML SDK @ http://blogs.office.com/2014/06/25/open-xml-sdk-goes-open-source/. We’re also working with the community on many different projects – check them out @ https://github.com/search?q=office+365&ref=cmdform. If you missed SPC in March, this is a good blog post that highlights some of the recent investments @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/officeapps/archive/2014/03/03/overview-of-sharepoint-conference-2014-and-new-content-for-developers.aspx.
6. Trust and security are very important. Trust and security may not be a sexy topic for everyone, but it’s a very important topic that we invest in heavily across the board. This is a not just a feature area for us, it’s a fundamental design principle. We recently updated our Trust Center @ http://trust.office365.com with new content (check out the security whitepaper) and videos.
7. Join the community! We launched a new, open Yammer community for Office 365 techies. More information @ http://community.office365.com/en-us/b/office_365_community_blog/archive/2014/04/17/introducing-the-office-365-it-pro-network.aspx. This is not just for IT professionals — even though that’s what it says on the blog – it’s for developers and tech enthusiasts as well. Speaking of community, I will be at WPC presenting a session on the Office 365 partner investments we’re making. We’ll be sharing new experiences beyond what we shipped a few months ago @ http://blogs.office.com/2014/01/28/introducing-the-new-office-365-partner-admin-center/
While life and work are both moving at cloud speed, I’m making a personal commitment to myself to blog more often! The good news is that my team has been doing an excellent job posting feature updates @ http://blogs.office.com over the last 12+ months, so we haven’t missed a beat on sharing what’s new with Office 365.
Hope to see some of you at WPC!