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Author: Kevin McDonnell

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A Modern Workplace Podcast covering all things Microsoft 365 with Kevin McDonnell (the grey), Al Eardley (the Hat) and Garry Trinder (the beard) chatting every two weeks about the latest Microsoft 365 news and then picking a topic each week with guests joining us at times as well. If you would like to appear on the show, please drop us a line using the form at We’d love to hear from everyone, especially if you’re not an MVP and would like to be heard more in the community.Check out our YouTube channel to view the shows as well as our biggest conference sessions and some Bitesize guides as well -
91 Episodes
This week we cover the often missed functionality of Azure DevOps to help you manage work better. Whether it's product management or running a migration, you can use DevOps boards to track your waterfall, scrum and even wagile projects! Garry, Al and Kevin talk through the different things to consider and why it is worth finding out more.Intro of DevOps Dojo - Azure DevOps Blog ( tutorial | Microsoft AzureThe Phoenix Project - Book ( Unicorn Project | by Gene Kim (author of The Phoenix Project) (
Al, Garry and Kevin catch up on some of the topics they didn't cover before on Ignite around Lists and Security & Compliance, then also look into what the Surface Laptop SE is.Introducing Microsoft Defender for Cloud AppsMicrosoft Reimagine - Imagining a new era of education | Microsoft EDUMicrosoft introduces Windows 11 SE, new $250 Surface Laptop SE for education market | ZDNetMicrosoft to add new education-focused M365 A1 per-device subscription plan | ZDNetSupport all learners with the new Microsoft 365 A1 for devices license | Microsoft EDUMicrosoft Lists announcements - Ignite 2021 November 2-4, 2021Microsoft Viva – The Teams Queen BlogThe Great Reshuffle and how Microsoft Viva is helping reimagine the employee experience - Microsoft 365 BlogThe ‘great resignation’ is a trend that began before the pandemic – and bosses need to get used to it ( Feedback for Microsoft 365 - Microsoft Tech CommunityNew Pomodoro app in Windows 11 Clock Tech Calendar 2021 
The Ignite summary continues (check out Part 1 for the start) as Kevin, Al and Garry cover their thoughts on Ignite 2021 (Autumn Edition) and pick the news that caught their attention most including Power Apps licensing (good news for a change), Viva licensing (more good news!), Container Apps and a few returning surprises (possibly less good news).Book of News - per use licensing - Microsoft Viva is now generally available to help transform your hybrid work experience - Microsoft 365 BlogViva roadmaps from Susan Hanley - Container Apps AI Service SP workflows to power autoMate - thanks Resa  Dorraini ! worst news
Kevin, Al and Garry cover their thoughts on Ignite 2021 (Autumn Edition) and pick the news that caught their attention most including Loop, Context IQ, Mesh for Teams, Connected Spaces for Dynamics 365 and more. We continue to the chat in part 2. Book of News - of the links below are repeated but they are duplicated for anyone who wants to click into a specific subject.Microsoft Loop - IQ Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces - Gain a new perspective with Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces - Microsoft Dynamics 365 BlogMesh for Microsoft Teams for Microsoft Teams aims to make collaboration in the ‘metaverse’ personal and fun | Innovation Stories Microsoft Teams Connect 
A slightly different show today as Al and Kevin came live from above the South Coast Summit expo floor to record with a few guests. The sound isn't the greatest this time but the content is fantastic as we had Alison Mulligan, Luke Evans, Zoe Wilson and Mark Christie sharing with us what their dream conference would be. Find out who wants Satya Nadella speaking, who likes to get hands on with hardware and who would love it to be a giant festival.Big thanks to our guests and give them a follow on Twitter or LinkedIn:Alison MulliganLuke EvansZoe WilsonMark ChristieFinally a huge huge huge thank you to the conference organisers Aaron Rendell and Nathan Sweeney - no-one would have believed it was the first big event they had put on. So impressive and they've both earned a well deserved rest.
For this show, we decided to heavily borrow from Office365Distilled's show about Commsverse and share the sessions that we are excited to watch at the South Coast Summit. Al and Kevin picked a few of the talks that caught our interest or that we know how amazing the people can be.Check out the sessions list on the South Coast Summit website.Burnout Begone as a Service - Dona Sarkar (13:00) - Accessibility and inclusion trackHello from the other side - how makers and developers make a FusionDev team - Yannick Reekmans and Luise Freese (11:00) - Power Platform track) Approaches to Managing Insider Risk in a work from anywhere world - Graham Hosking and Dan Cousineau (11:30) - Security and compliance trackFeed on knowledge harvested with Viva Topics (even if you are a minnow) - Sara Fennah and Kevin McDonnell (14:00) - Collaboration TrackPlanning a career in Power Platform - Alison Mulligan (14:30) - Power Platform trackWorking with Templates in Microsoft 365 - Chirag Patel (14:30) - Collaboration trackModern Work Management in Office 365 - what is the right tool for you and your organisation? - Sam Graber (14:30) - Collaboration trackAI Builder in Action! - Marco Rocca (16:00) - Data and AI trackHow I found luck - Keith Whatling (17:00) - Where Keith is going, he don't need no track
Al and Kevin cover the latest news including a chat about the new Surface devices, some SharePoint updates, Viva Learning GA date and the amazing fact that Skype isn't dead yet.Sign up for newsletter now available at WorklabMicrosoft’s fall Surface event: the 7 biggest announcements - The VergeMicrosoft Whiteboard receives Surface Slim Pen 2 support, new features, and a UI overhaul | Windows CentralSharePoint Roadmap Pitstop September 2021 ( Viva Learning preview moving to general availability - M365 Admin ( Microsoft says Skype is "here to stay" with this major feature update | ZDNetWhere is Microsoft Teams data stored? A comprehensive breakdown | Onna Technologies, Inc. - JDSupra Microsoft to add new education-focused M365 A1 per-device subscription plan | ZDNet CommunityProvisionGenie/ProvisionGenie: ProvisionGenie 🧞 is an open-source project by Luise Freese & Carmen Ysewijn.  Hacktoberfest 2021 ( South Coast Summit – A Microsoft Cloud Technology Conference
Does Employee Experience matter? Yes and we are joined by Karoliina Kettukari of Meltlake to help explain to you why, how employees can make the most of Microsoft Viva to help their experience and what organisations should consider when it comes to adoption and change in the world of employee experience, especially for frontline workers.As we often do, we would highly recommend checking out the Microsoft Worklab site for more on the subject.
Garry and Kevin sat down to run through the latest news as Viva Connections Public Preview went out, more attempts to explain Yammer and Teams and the excitement of collaborating on flows in Power Automate lands. All while Kevin tried not to burst with the excitement of meeting real people at Commsverse.Viva Connections Public Preview - Microsoft Tech Community73%: The Hybrid Work ParadoxThe effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers | Nature Human BehaviourNew collaborative app from ServiceNow brings employee experiences into the flow of work in Microsoft Teams Bringing large groups and communities together in Teams - Microsoft Tech CommunityAnnouncing Public Preview of Power Apps respecting Conditional Access on individual apps Power Fx Formula Columns in Dataverse (for Teams)Announcing co-presence in Power Automate | Power Automate Blog ( Apps, Accessibility, and WCAG - Hart of the MidlandsSharePoint: Hub to hub site associationSharePoint Navigation Switcher Microsoft acquires Clipchamp to empower creatorsOffice LTSC is now generally availableHome computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81 | Clive Sinclair | The GuardianHalt and Catch Fire - What Does It Take To Build Community? – buckleyPLANETSouth Coast Summit – A Microsoft Cloud Technology ConferenceEuropean Collaboration Summit - Home ( Summit will be hybrid
This week, we decided to just have a chat about what was making us think at the moment and what we thought would be coming up over the next six months.Al caught us by surprise by talking about sustainability and opened our eyes to things that we can do in the digital space.Garry is getting deeper and deeper into the world of Dev Ops, not just the tools but the processes as well.Kevin keeps up his excitement about all things Employee Experience with Microsoft Viva and also looks forward to seeing what people can innovate with after the slight lulls during the pandemic.Listen to the show and then let us know what you think on Twitter or on the Microsoft Cloud Hub Discord Server.
Kevin, Al and Garry are back together for the first time in a while and so we tried to find the finest news around to share with you. Unfortunately, Kevin does decide to show his muppets off.Github codespacesGithub.devAbout billing for Codespaces - GitHub DocsDaily briefing and MyAnalytics branding updates to reflect Microsoft Viva - Microsoft Tech Community Together Mode: on TeamsTeams updates - What’s New in Microsoft Teams | August 2021 - Microsoft Tech CommunityMicrosoft hires former Uber exec to lead a new consumer apps effort - The VergeCosmos hacked ChaosDB: How we hacked thousands of Azure customers’ databases | Wiz Blogkevmcdonk/S4MSC-Twitter: Sample for creating Microsoft Search custom indexes from Twitter data ( New Discord community for Microsoft Cloud related chat - (sorry, we forgot to mention this one!)CommsverseSouth Coast SummitScottish Summit
With the first big Microsoft related conference in the UK scheduled for September, we invited two of the Commsverse organisers to chat to use about what you can expect from Commsverse and also how Teams Devices can improve the ways that you can use Teams. Mark talked about all the different things that will be at the event itself (that you can join in person or virtually) and Randy shared loads of info on how Teams Devices can help, from better headsets all the way through to a full meeting room with sound bars, ceiling microphones and even a mahogany table.Register for Commsverse now or find out more details on their website.
We are joined by Mark Vale and Randy Chapman, co-organisers of the Commsverse conference all about Microsoft Teams, as we discuss the latest news including automated recording of Teams, holographic meetings and why Kevin wants to look you in the eyes.Rest in peace Abel Wang- Please do donate on Abel's behalf to Girls Who Code or buy a t-shirt in his memory to go to the same charityWhat is new in teams - July 2021Teams hits 250 million Mimesys’ holographic meetings Kevin’s new center cam  - Chris Herd's thread on hybrid workingWorkspace collaboration optimiserHow to run a maturity model workshop CommunityPaul Bullock’s PnPun samplesScottish summit call for volunteers Events Commsverse - https://online.commsverse.comSouth Coast Summit -
What are your big habits, good or bad? Do you switch off effectively at the end of each day? Do you make time to do the work you need to do? In Show 39, Kevin, Al and Garry discuss the ways that Microsoft Viva can help you to build up habits, practices and rituals and we also cover what is meant by those three things too!What are habits, practices and rituals?What routines does Viva help you build?What routines does Viva help your organisation build? Useful linksDifference between rituals and ceremoniesRoutines: The Unexpected Power of Habits, Practices, and Rituals | Jan Stanley | TEDxBeloitA ceremony is a group thing, a ritual is an individual thingAlan Eardley  - Why Microsoft To Do is good for your mental healthPhoto by Corey Agopian on Unsplash
Microsoft Inspire was last week so we cover the latest news including our wish coming true for Dynamics in Teams and a new version of SharePoint.Microsoft Inspire 2021 Book of News From collaborative apps in Microsoft Teams to Windows 365—here’s what’s new in Microsoft 365 at InspireEnrich your employee experience with new Viva partner integrationsIntroducing a new era of hybrid personal computing: the Windows 365 Cloud PCWindows 365 vs. Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) – Comparing Two DaaS Products - Nerdio ( A new day for SharePoint Server - SharePoint Server Subscription Edition preview ( of Productivity with Microsoft Teams Case Study | AccentureAnnouncing General Availability of Safe Links for Microsoft TeamsWebView2 and Electron | Electron Blog ( ComplianceMicrosoft acquires CloudKnox Security to offer unified privileged access and cloud entitlement management - The Official Microsoft BlogEnsure compliance using separation of duties checks in access requests - Microsoft Tech CommunityErica Toelle – Microsoft is planning to offer more built-in, ready-use out-of-box classifiers in our compliance solutions. You can use these machine-learning trainable classifiers to automatically detect, classify, retain/delete, and manage content, even if you do not know where the content is located in Microsoft 365. - vs. SpaceBeyond the Binary: Solving the Hybrid Work Paradox ( Samples for Microsoft Search ( 28th July 2021 | M365 S&C UGSouth Coast Summit Call for Speakers closes on 31st July - South Coast Summit – A Microsoft Cloud Technology Conference28 Aug - India Cloud Security Summit
On "Freedom Day" in the UK (yes, we are using quotes and yes we're not convinced either), we decided to look back and do a retrospective on the modern workplace in the pandemic. There were no post-it notes involved and thankfully no-one has been assigned a load of tasks to do next but we did talk about:- What went well- What went badly- What should we do more of- What should we do less ofBelow is a list of what we covered but give the show a listen to see what we really thought.What went wellWork life balanceTravelNew ways proved to workNew ways were found as wellMoving to the cloud - resilienceResilience of TeamsMetrics from employee experienceDisability - choiceWhat went badlyLearning from peopleAppalling powerpoint - next slide pleaseCommunication - too many different ways of doing things - Zoom, Teams, WebexWater cooler chat and meetingsImpacts to innovation and creativityAbility to switch offMore time working and not commutingBack to back meetingsWhat should we do more ofObjective driven rather than time drivenData and being data drivenAsync commsHave a natter What should we do less ofLess meetings without agendasLess just saying helloBeing in one placeBeing rigidBig changes - smaller and incremental change insteadPhoto by Fran on Unsplash
Show 38 and the three of us cover the big news from the last couple of weeks, starting with highlighting the campaign to become allies for women and stop the ridiculous messaging on social media before returning to regular fare with Team high fidelity and latest Viva updates.Toxic male behaviour - we can and must do better | Mcd79 blog⚡️ Salma (@whitep4nth3r) / TwitterMicrosoft Teams high fidelity audio “Music Mode” for Music and Pro Microphones – Tom TalksMicrosoft Teams: Get ready for clearer sound on your meetings thanks to this audio upgrade | ZDNetSalesforce brings sales and service data into Microsoft Teams to support a hybrid workforce - Microsoft Tech CommunityMicrosoft Viva Topics Product Updates - June 2021 - Microsoft Tech CommunityMicrosoft 365 Roadmap | Microsoft 365How employers can prepare for the ‘great resignation’ ( Apps pricing and licensing updates ( Copilot · Your AI pair programmerNew mystery AWS product 'Infinidash' goes viral — despite being entirely fictional • The RegisterAccessibility and SharePoint - welcome to the Immersive Reader ( Security & Compliance UG - 28 July 2021 | Meetup28 Aug - India Cloud Security Summit Commsverse - Coast Summit -
This week we are joined by Luise Freese who shares with us the joy of community and how you can get involved by reading and even possibly writing content for the PnP Community Blog.Read the blogRequest access to write a blogMessage Luise on Twitter or LinkedIn for any queries on what to writePhoto by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash
This week we are joined by the M365 Princess, independent Microsoft consultant, queen of stickers and open sourceress - Luise Freese! We talk about the latest news including our thoughts on Windows 11 and the associated Teams updates, get impressed by Vesku Nopanen rocking the HoloLens2 and discuss why printers are bad.Windows 11Summary - Upgrade to the New Windows 11 OS | Microsoft and Microsoft: Windows 11 is a better fit than Windows 10 for this hybrid world | ZDNetUI Changes - Here are the UI changes Microsoft showed off in Windows 11 - The VergeTPM issues - and Why Windows 11 is forcing everyone to use TPM chips - The VergeNo IE!!! Windows 11 is deleting Internet Explorer - The VergeTeams enhancements - for multiple accounts!!!!Vesa Nopnanen using Teams with HoloLens Microsoft HoloLens 2 – experiencing the future today – Vesa Nopanen – My Teams & Microsoft 365 Day ( newsGithub Project Planning GitHub Issues · Project planning for developersConnected account tooltip for PnP PowerShell Connected Account tooltip in PowerShell | PnP SamplesViva and SearchViva Connections dev model being open in SPFX v1.13 Viva Topics auto highlighted in SharePoint today developer preview of the Microsoft Federated Search Platform - Microsoft Tech Community Security and complianceWhat’s New in Information Protection? - Microsoft Tech CommunityGA: Mandatory LabellingPP: Co-authoring and autosave for protected documentsGA: Dynamic marking Ministry of Defence 'sorry' after secret papers left at bus stop - BBC NewsGA: Track and RevokeEventsKevin on MVPBuzz with Christian Buckley  - #MVPbuzzChat with Kevin McDonnell – buckleyPLANETM365 Security & Compliance User Group – Wed 30 JuneJune 2021 | Meetup
A few weeks ago, friend of the show (and co-host of the amazing Office 365 Distilled podcast) Marijn Somers asked about whether you could remove a connection to a tenant when your account had been deactivated. This kicked off an idea for the show to talk about how we manage access to multiple tenants and how you can make life easier for yourself.We cover:- Cleaning up accounts you no longer have access to- Using Edge/Chrome profiles- Using a password manager- Multiple Teams instances- Things to think about and reasons to work multi-tenantUseful links:Managing access to other organisations – Thoughts of an IT Professional ( by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash
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