Microsoft Teams: 7 Elements for Successful Strategy and Planning Infographic and Recordings

Microsoft Teams is Hot!  We had a fantastic turnout of over 630 registered and 312 who joined me online.  I’m sure even more will benefit from the deck and recording so I’m posting it here.  I’m also going to include some of the Q&A including some of the questions that I may have missed.

Online Recording “Microsoft Teams: 7 Critical Elements for Successful Strategy and Planning” (requires first name, last name and email to the sponsor)

Slides/PDF of “Microsoft Teams: 7 Critical Elements for Successful Strategy and Planning” (slideshare view online or login to download the PDF)

Download the Essential Teams Planning Infographic (right click and save as)

Elements of Successful Teams


Q&A From the Webinar:

Q. Please define RACI and DLP –

A. RACI – Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed often used in a sentence like RACI charts.  Used with determining roles and responsibilities.  DLP – Data Loss Prevention – Features in Office 365 that can be leveraged to report, warn, or block content that matches patterns.  Microsoft has over 50 templates out of the box that can be used to identify credit cards, or ID cards and so on.

Q. I thought MS was sunsetting SharePoint. Is Teams taking its place?  No No A. No!  Microsoft is NOT sunsetting SharePoint by any means.  Teams is the new hotness, and it integrates very well with SharePoint as a new interface and even potentially a front end to SharePoint.  SharePoint is still a major investment both on premise and in the cloud and continues to grow in Office 365 as a pillar of the platform.

Q. Just out of curiosity, why is not Team Live Meeting used for this session, instead of GoToWebinar?

A. We use Teams for our User Groups meetings broadcasting.  You could do anonymous Teams webinars, but it is not currently setup to support self service registration, and is still missing a lot of key features to make it a viable webinar platform.   That would be cool and I would welcome it!

Q. Teams or Yammer for executive communication within a company?  A. Both.  Depends on the size of the company and of the type of broadcast or Q&A you’re looking to do.  I do suggest looking at both.

Q. When will Teams officially support meetings and calling in a VDI environment?

A. Here’s the latest on VDI and Teams

Q. When will Teams be able to open multiple Windows?

A. With over 10,000 votes the product team is working on it.  Keep voting up the best features.

multi window chat.PNG

Q. Tips on avoiding Team sprawl (can’t set membership to channels as projects)? One headache, can’t schedule meeting to channel w/out notifying all.

A. Working on it.  Coming soon. Private channels will let you change membership on channels.


Q. When can we delete conversations?

A. Only 92 votes as of now.  You’re going to have to vote for it.


Q. Could Teams be an effective task management solution?

A. For consolidation absolutely, look at the rich integration with Trello, Planner, To Do, Jira and Outlook.  I think so!


Q. Do you think there is still a need for a corporate intranet when Teams is so robust and can connect to so many other apps?

A. I think this could be the evolution of the Intranet in the long term.  In the short term, the intranet should be integrated.  Love to explore this with you.


Q. What’s your recommendation for Yammer given how collaborative and conversational Teams is? Is it best used for enterprise-wide conversations?

A. Yes and No.  Yammer does enterprise wide outer loop really well and captures knowledge very well.  Teams scales to 5000 users, is great for quick conversations and threads, but has some challenges with stickyness.  If you come back from being gone for a week it’s difficult to see the most popular conversations in teams, but

Q. Wow ! Team Papers !! Can you please send a link where i can read more ? That was incredible but too fast for us 🙂


Q. Can you chat out the link for the infographic?


Microsoft Teams Doorway to the Microsoft Modern Workplace Infographic

Q. Where do I find out where the SharePoint Saturdays are? The one I found in Baltimore was for 2018.



Q. We’re moving to the MS PBX solution. Looks like we need to stay with S4B for a while. Any thoughts and insides on the roadmap of teams and PBX?

A. Cloud PBX is going country by country.  You could pilot and slowly rollout Teams for collaboration and use Teams where the countries are supported.  I wouldn’t let the PBX or Voice portion alone keep us from adoption Teams for the powerful chat, desktop sharing, and collaboration.


Q. Can I use Teams to asynchronously submit document(s) for review (and the reviewers may pass that on serial to more than one person) culminating in a response to the initiator?

A. Yes, with an Approval Flow.

Q. A problem we experienced with SharePoint (cloud) is Microsoft revisions/improvements broke prior working implemented sites. We had constant maintenance overhead just keeping existing stuff working as Microsoft evolved SharePoint. Is that getting better across these tools?

A. Yes, if you focus on using Teams as the interface, it’s an Azure substrate and leverages Exchange and SharePoint Online for storage of messages, files, wikis, history, voicemails and lists.  The special sauce is connectors, tabs, and bots… this keeps it fairly easy to migrate, backup, and so on as the data is in files and the focus is on the interface as it is simply an abstraction from the data.


Microsoft Teams: 7 Key Concepts for Strategy and Planning for Success

Microsoft Teams: The 7 Key Concepts for Strategy & Planning for Success

Tuesday, October 8th at 11 AM Eastern
Register Here


Started using teams and wondering how to get your executive sponsor on board? Looking to define a vision for the future of Microsoft Teams in your organization.

Maybe you’re a team leader and looking for ways to leverage the platform for engagement or realizing the vision of Modern Teamwork.

In this session, you will get a powerful collection of best practices for using and extending the Microsoft Teams platform to help your teams succeed in today’s workplace.

7 Key Concepts for Strategy and Planning for Success

  1. Clear Vision
  2. Executive Leadership Sponsorship and Engagement
  3. Governance Plan: Managed provisioning & Lifecycle offboarding, Security & Compliance DLP
  4. Communication Plan: Departmental engagement
  5. Success Critieria & Metrics Regular reporting / Department Gamification
  6. Train the Trainer & Champion program
  7. Adoption Change Management Program

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This webinar is sponsored by Pervasent.  


They provide a solution for Microsoft Teams called Team Papers lets you quickly assemble agendas and documents in Microsoft Teams and deliver them to an amazingly intuitive app on team members’ laptops and mobile devices. Participants are better prepared and meetings more effective..

Skype for Business Online is Retiring. Get Ready Five Considerations for Microsoft Teams!

Next year I’ll be raising a glass for Skype for Biz… July 31, 2021. Good ol’ SFBO is retiring!  We should plan some kind of online retirement party, maybe we should get an online DJ,  What do you think?  In fact, in my view we should have a huge global retirement party for Skype for Business Online!  It’s been a short, but fulfilling career, but he’s moving over for the new Hotness.  Microsoft Teams!

Before we start partying and say long live Teams, good riddance the old has been Skype for Biz Online.  I think there are a few considerations that are really important.

Here are 5 things that all companies must consider as part of their migration or Adoption and Change Management of Teams. 

(Expect to hear a lot more about ACM – Adoption Change Management in the coming years)

  1. Are we ensuring that users have and have access to the proper Training and Education for a successful deployment/migration?
  2. Do we have the proper hardware and device infrastructure in our conference rooms, soft phones, and to support a good user experience?
  3. Have we properly communicated and listened to our users for departmental solution integration needs in this Teams deployment?
  4. Are we doing a proper job of deploying in an Agile approach to Teams to ensure that we are lighting up the Digital Workplace with integration into legacy and building apps with modern SharePoint, OneDrive and all the critical line of business systems to ensure the dream of a single Hub can be realized over time?
  5. Are we thinking about the convergence of collaboration and communication with the new vision of Digital Workplace?

Can You Keep A Secret? Bloggers, Podcasters, and Vloggers Wanted for Secret Office 365 Community Initiative

If you know me, you know I like to have fun adventures, and work with the community on events and community events and stunts.

I’m working on something for Ignite with some online efforts before hand.  Even if you’re aren’t going to be attending, I can still use your help.  Those who participate will share in the traffic during the reveal.

Please fill out the form below to request to be included as a volunteer.  I do promise it will be fun and entertaining… Like I said, there is no commitment required.  I’m really hoping to have a few volunteers who want to have some fun on a community driven initiative.

>>Register for Project Elephant

Does InfoPath Still Have You Paralyzed and Holding Your Breath?

There are Six Key InfoPath challenges that people are still holding their breath to find solutions.  They have been paralyzed in their migrations, in the upgrades, and in strategies to make progress in business applications, workflows, and processes.  I hope this Infographic and Webinar help you to understand the Microsoft roadmap.


These Infopath challenges continue to paralyze people in their efforts to modernize and move forward in their efforts to optimize business processes.  In this session we’ll analyze each of the challenges and provide guidance and workarounds as well as review solutions to the product gaps.  We’ll help you better understand the direction of the Power Platform and gaps.  PowerApps is a fantastic product, but it unfortunately does not provide feature parity which has resulted in many not knowing how to proceed.  We’ll analyze those gaps as well as look a the PowerApps Roadmap.  What are you waiting for?  Stop holding your breath and let’s get you unblocked!

Here is a sampling of what you’ll get in the webinar.  There is information that has been provided around addressing these challenges and there are ways to progress.

We’ll go into depth in each of these areas:

– Print-ready forms

– Rich XML files

– Complex HTML and JavaScript forms

– Anonymous external user access

– Simple client form editing tool

– Offline client filler


Print-ready forms

There are a couple of attempts to address this:  This request has over 1000 votes.

You can see this is complicated.  I’ll be digging into this in the webinar, but here’s the response from Microsoft on their roadmap plans.  Note this is a comment on an answer, but is written in a pretty authoritative way.  I recommend you read this at the original source if this is something you’re looking for.  Emphasis added by me.

“Report generation capabilities – This request is document-style reports with visualizations that provide additional control, like which tables expand horizontally and vertically to display all their data and continue from page to page as needed.  Think of this as generating fixed-layout documents optimized for printing and archiving, such as PDF and Word files. Currently there are existing methods of doing this today on the platform. People creating canvas apps with SQL leverage SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).  People using CDS are leveraging the CDS reporting capabilities available to them (backed by SSRS). 

PowerBI Paginated Reports are now generally available for use as well. Long term, the strategy here for PowerApps is to become more integrated with PowerBI to allow a common report generation story for the platform. At the PowerApps Vision and Roadmap session at the Microsoft Business Application Summit when this question was asked, the answer is that we want to avoid having both PowerBI Reporting Services AND a hypothetical “PowerApps Reporting Services”.  We don’t currently have a further timeline to share, but our teams continue to work together on this integration.”

Printing direct to a printer – This is something that users will still have to configure for themselves utilizing existing device and browser capabilities and defaults.”

The source for this information and to read more about it here.


Rich XML files

Currently XML file format is not supported in PowerApps.  Here’s a list of the available data source/Connectors that currently could work with PowerApps:

A Microsoft Vendor (v-micsh-msft) commented in the forums that one could use Flow.  “A possible workaround that could get the XML data is through Microsoft Flow, then convert the XML into other data source, or send it back to PowerApps directly through Microsoft Flow”

Parse XML using Microsoft Flow

Saving Entries into an XML Library

Another strategy could be to export the data into PDF or Excel.

“Export to PDF from a canvas app – Today, users are leveraging Flow with the Word connector to create word documents to become PDFs, and another strategy is writing HTML to use with Flow to create a document using OneDrive, or other connectors with convert to PDF capabilities. These options are available today but require some knowledge of HTML and some effort to accomplish. The plan is to provide a simple way to export the contents of a printable screen to a PDF from a canvas app, primarily focusing on the export form scenario. This allows users who use all different data sources to create PDFs using skills they know. However, this solution is not intended to be the answer for really long table heavy documents, banded or cross tab reports​, as well as a few other advanced scenarios. These features can be found in the Report generation solutions provided in Number 1. Now, the work on this particular item has already started, and we have been working on the infrastructure to enable this capability. This is a complex problem, with a lot of different requirements and this is expected to be delivered in 2020.

Export to Excel– We don’t currently have any plans to support this as a further capability. PowerBI Paginated Reports have this as a capability. In canvas apps, you can connect and write to excel today through a connector to write to the templates needed.”

More details here:

Complex HTML and Javascript Forms

PowerApps up to now have been only been able to create customization with Canvas Apps and limitation enforced by the PowerApps Studio and the modern UI.  The in beta PowerApps Portals may bring some further options, but is still based on the modern UI schemes and extensibility is changing slowly over time.

The PowerApps and SharePoint teams have worked together to create a customization story for you to use with SharePoint. If you’re like most InfoPath developers, you learned InfoPath to interact with SharePoint. SharePoint is great, but the default forms are a bit pedestrian and don’t allow for customization or business logic without InfoPath. Well, that was the old way.

With PowerApps you can now customize your list forms as native functionality. And when you do so, you get the full power of PowerApps.

Don’t build one super app
There’s a new way to design PowerApps.  Design itself needs to be approached differently.  With PowerApps, you can call one app from another. So, instead of the mass InfoPath form, you can build a group of apps that call each other, and even pass data across, making development simpler.

SharePoint Forms Integration in PowerApps Canvas Apps

The UI for creating new apps by template is really quite interesting.  They now have canvas or templates to help you get started.

powerapps create app

Use the canvas app to build out a custom look and feel

Anonymous & External User Access

Power Apps only supports users in the same organization in fact licenses must be assigned.

  • You can share apps with users in your organization but not users in another tenant.

external users not allowed

PowerApps has some updated licensing and this story will be updated.  I don’t plan to dig into it here, but there’s more to understand here and currently no plans include partners, customers.

Here’s a forum discussion on requests for external users of PowerApps with a number of upset customers asking for more.

NOTE: With over 1500 votes since a request back in 2016, this is now something that the product team has acknowledged they are addressing.  Share Apps to External Users of PowerApps – Has Started

As of 7/30/2019 Microsoft has acknowledged they are working on sharing outside the domain B2B or B2C. 

Simple client form editing tool

It’s been getting better with each release for the PowerApps Studio for Web.  Those who may have been used to using the InfoPath a client for filling out forms will be disappointed.  It’s browser or mobile app.  The desktop client is deprecated.  It’s a think different type of scenario.  It’s important to see Microsoft’s vision for this web based integrated client. This is a power user scenario.  Good news is there are a lot of videos and the community has been growing for those sharing knowledge.

“Going forward, we’ll be deprecating the authoring capabilities of the PowerApps for Windows.[…] The current studio authoring experience in the desktop app will be deprecated June 1st 2018.”

Here’s the response to a user asking about ability to use PowerApps studio for filling out forms.

“If you want to edit your PowerApps app within PowerApps Studio for Windows (Desktop), I afraid that there is no way to achieve your needs in PowerApps currently.”

Offline client filler

Infopath had a client to allow you to have a rich offline experience.  PowerApps is slowly adding some Offline capabilities, but not like you might have wanted.

Features planned: You’ll be able to fill out some forms in Dynamics 365 mobile app.  Offline capabilities for apps on the Dynamics 365 mobile app.  When building solutions for CDS there are options.  Implementing Offline capabilities into your PowerApps apps.

Please join us on the Webinar where we’ll walk through these and more!  Bring your questions…

Best Practices for Overcoming the Issues Paralyzing Your Migration from InfoPath

Presenters: Joel Oleson, MVP & RD and Scott Restivo, CEO, Crow Canyon
August 27, 2:00PM-3:00 PM EDT 11:00AM-12:00PM PDT

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Join Microsoft MVP Joel Oleson and Scott Restivo CEO from Crow Canyon Software as they present and analyze these challenges, provide guidance and workarounds, and review solutions to migration from InfoPath. They’ll help you better understand the direction of Microsoft’s Power Platform, including its strengths and its gaps. One big gap is that PowerApps, despite its many good points, does not provide feature parity with InfoPath. This has left many people unsure how to proceed. They’ll look at these gaps and suggest solutions. What are you waiting for? Stop holding your breath and let’s get your InfoPath migration going!

>>Register Now