SUGUK Yammer Deep Dive presentation

On Thursday April 30th SUGUK held a London session where I presented a session on Yammer deep dive.


Yammer deep dive

Many organisations are considering leveraging Yammer as their Enterprise Social Network (ESN). Office 365 has already taken some steps to integrate the Yammer capabilities by replacing the SharePoint newsfeed and introducing the document conversations. The reality is that these integrations are only the tip of the iceberg with regards the integrations you can achieve with Yammer.
This demo centric session covers in detail the integration options and the steps that a developer or architect can take to bring Yammer into use for a scenario.
We’ll walkthrough:

  • Learn how the Yammer Embed can bring conversations into SharePoint article pages.
  • How to post information into your Yammer network from other systems using OpenGraph.
  • Learn how to use the REST API to discover groups, messages, topics, users and perform advanced searches against the network.
  • Take a look at the cutting edge Azure Logic App and Yammer connector


SUGUK 1st March 2012


So last night saw the return of the London SUGUK.

Matt Taylor has stepped down as co-coordinator for London and I want to thank Matt for all his efforts and establishing such a great user group.

So Steve Smith started proceedings with some ITPro and End User snippets. Starting with a small 3 slide long PowerPoint he dived straight into some demos.

The demos began with some SMTP love, must admit most of this talk of AD etc went a little over my head so frantic note taking was the order of the day. There were some neat tips about delegating administration via a customised MMC console and how to get around some production system challenges regarding SharePoint self-managing AD stuff.

Next demo came down to SQL Server databases and the fact that SP doesn’t always do the best defaults. I learnt some nice things about pre-creating a SQL database then using Central Admin to ensure that defaults were better suited to a production scale. Also the points about database growth were very interesting and I could see how these could be quickly leveraged to improve performance.

Finally was a quick run through of some Office functionality connecting search into the Office application and how to configure ‘save as’ links from the MySite UPA.

Then a short break in proceedings gave me just enough time to connect up my laptop and hope it played nice with the projector…. something about this W520 hates projectors….

Breathing a sigh of relief I launched into a Dev centric topic of Extending the Activity Feed within SP2010. The demo source code can be downloaded from code download and the slides can be seen below.

Thanks again for Steve for inviting me to present as it’s always a pleasure dusting off Visual Studio and sharing something cool with the SUGUK. Open-mouthed smile

Speaking at the London SharePoint User Group


The London SharePoint user group kicks off 2012 with Steve Smith and I presenting.

Session 1


SharePoint Administration – I always wondered what that was for.

By Steve Smith – Combined Knowledge

In this session Steve is going to help everyone understand some of the quirks and options that we see in SharePoint and what they do/break and how we then go about building the Infrastructure for it. An ideal session for SharePoint Admins and Developers alike. Plus he will throw in some Power user stuff to give everyone something to take away.

Session 2


Extending the SharePoint 2010 activity system

By Wes Hackett – Content and Code

Amongst the most anticipated new features of SharePoint 2010 were the social activity feed features which bring colleague activity as a feed to an individual. Natively the activity feed displays user profile changes, tagging and notes activity. Microsoft provides an API to extend the activity feed system with your own content. With this extensibility API it is possible to extend this to include custom activities. In this session we’ll explore the native system and the elements needed to extend it.

When and where?

March 1st

Start Time: 6PM
Finish: 9PM

After the event in a local watering hole.

Unfortunately there may not be food or beverage available for the meeting so please bring any drinks with you just in case.

Cavendish Conference Centre
22 Duchess Mews
London W1G 9DT

Sign up…

See you there….Open-mouthed smile

Office 365 User Group–26th September 2011

The launch event for the UK Office 365 user group. Hosted down at Microsoft’s Victoria offices the first event saw a collection of MS staff, Partners and a small number of Office365 customers arrive to kick of this new community.
You can follow the user group on Twitter on the #o365uguk or #o365ukug hash tag. I’m sure one was the proposed tag but both sprang to life.
Arno Nel (MVP) is the group coordinator

Session One

Session one kicked of with Steve Green from Microsoft introducing the user group. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Steve with one of my enterprise clients discussing SharePoint 2010 cloud offerings so I was looking forward to his presentation.
Steve’s session covered the transition from BPOS-S and Office365. We learnt that about 55,000 seats globally are on BPOS-S and Microsoft plan to migrate these to Office365 by September 2012. One interesting nugget was that Microsoft will only discuss Office365 dedicated usage at around 30,000 seat level.
The customer is notified 14 days prior to their tenant being migrated and have the option of a postponement of up to 30 days. Once notified the tenant is then in a situation where parts are being replicated and migration syncing is in progress, effectively the point of no return.
Although widely publicised it was mentioned that Office 2003 and IE6 are not supported or the OCS client connecting to the Lync servers. To be fair no-one in the front end teams will miss IE6 Winking smile.
During the transition Microsoft are responsible for the following:
  • Informing the customer, although there are some challenges with the email communications here where unattended mailboxes this may go missing. MS are in the process of resolving this problem.
  • Scheduling the transitions.
  • Providing information and guidance.
  • Providing an uninterrupted mail service, this is something that may prompt for close and reopen the mail client but the actual mails will be uninterrupted.
  • Actually migrating all the data, this is a big plus as it doesn’t require engaging an external provider to move from BPOS to Office365.
During the transition the customer is responsible for the following:
  • Providing the end user training and communications. An important point to note is that all the data that the organisation wants migrated should be already in SharePoint. This is again the responsibility of the customer.
  • Updates required on the client hardware or software.
  • Configuration of domain DNS settings for Outlook and Lync.
  • Optional – Deploying ADFS role, Exchange Server 2010 CAS Role
Steve’s advice was to run the pre-deployment readiness tool Smile
One other nugget of information I found useful that following a transition all the sites would be running in v3 UI mode. This means the UI is in 2007 mode and there are opportunities here for v4 implementations to bring in the latest UI features.

Session Two

Session two was presented by Andy Hutchins from Avanade.
And covered a collection of things to consider before you start:
  • The business case is not always obvious.
    • Sometimes IT is not the organisations core business.
    • They don’t always have a corporate roadmap which is aligned with cloud strategies.
    • It can be hard to put a value on quantifiable benefits.
  • Not everybody loves the cloud
    • IT are normally the buyers and they can have special views about cloud implementations. Worrying about internal skills, considerations about job security.
    • Lawyers will assess the service agreement with a fine tooth comb.
  • Building the coalition
    • Get the IT group on board.
    • Get Information Security involved.
    • Get the Internal Communications team involved so they can help the launch.
  • Are the organisations service partners ready?
    • Can all the existing service providers work in this new world?
Once you have approval for an Office 365 implementation what to consider next?
  • Identity, Identity, Identity.
  • Find the right robust champion inside the organisation.
  • Remember all the things that normally happen on a project.
  • So what is different?
    • The tools used.
    • Customer responsibilities.

Session Three

Session three was presented by Any Clay of 21Apps fame. Ant’s slides are below but here are some of the key points:
  • What is a Hybrid Organisation
    • A collection of Microsoft Research from 2010.
    • About the people, technology and workplace environment.
  • Why is it relevant?
    • Work is still based on a factory model mentality.
    • Knowledge work doesn’t follow any really well defined global process.
    • Economic pressures.
    • Cultural shifts and how the company gets business.
    • Physical constraints.
    • Innovations like establishing the best teams and attracting the best people.
  • Where does Office 365 fit in?
    • The cloud when it went offline had no-one fighting fires internally, therefore a cost saving internally.
    • Focus on your business not your servers, network infrastructure.
    • No-one really cares about the tin….. well outside the Server guys…
    • Reducing training needs and costs.
    • Don’t forget about outside the head office.
    • Allows different companies to locate in the same physical location without the complexity of hardware.
    • Can be stood up and functioning very quickly.


I got a lot out of the sessions. It’s great to see such investment in Office 365 and helping partners, ISV’s get information about the offerings and how to leverage them.