Community Feedback on the Office 365 Experiences

Looking back at the Microsoft community in 2014, one of the defining moments in my mind was the push toward Office 365 – and the inevitable push back from the enterprise, where customizations and solutions that cannot yet live in the cloud abound. Will 2015 become the year of hybrid? Possibly. I’m looking forward to Ignite in May to see how Microsoft’s messaging and the “big reveal” of SharePoint Server 2016 will impact many of my customer plans.

CollabTalk Mar 2015But one thing that is beginning to have impact is the language around the many out-of-the-box capabilities being developed for Office 365. When talking about a set of features, such as email, or document management, we often refer to them as “workloads.” But what do you call it when these new features span workloads? Welcome to the new world of “experiences.” To be honest, my first impression was that it was a bit too new age, but its grown on me – and I think the description fits what Microsoft is trying to accomplish. Instead of focusing on a single task or feature, they’re thinking about the common problems we have in our work activities and developing end-to-end productivity experiences to solve them.

In this month’s #CollabTalk tweetjam, which takes place on Friday, March 20th at 9am PST, we’re going to share some honest dialog about the state of these Office 365 experiences. If you’ve never participated in one of these tweetjams, they can be a lot of fun, and extremely informative. Within each hour-long session using the Twitter UI of your choice (, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twubs, whatever) we will go through a series of questions over the course of the hour, each answer including the #CollabTalk hashtag. You’ll hear from MVPs, experts, and most likely some Microsoft product team folks, too.

Here are the questions which I will ask during the session:

  • What are your thoughts on the Office 365 messaging around “experiences”?
  • What do you think about the OneDrive for Business experience?
  • What do you think about the NextGen Video Portal experience?
  • What do you think about the Office 365 Search and Delve experience?
  • What do you think about the Office 365 Groups experience?
  • What do you think about the Office 365 Social experience?
  • What 3 things should Microsoft focus on to expand or improve the Office 365 experiences?

The questions are meant to be somewhat broad, allowing participants to add depth to the conversation. We want different viewpoints, so whether or not you’re on the panel – please join the discussion.

Our panel this month includes:

  • Jeff Fried (@jefffried), cto and vp of engineering at BA Insight
  • Bjoern Rapp (@bjoern_rapp), SharePoint MVP and senior advisor at Steria 
  • Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), consultant at Sympraxis Consulting
  • Naomi Moneypenny (@nmoneypenny), Office365 MVP and cto at ManyWorlds
  • Scot Hillier (@scothillier), SharePoint MVP and independent consultant 
  • Eric Lytle (@sharepointmastr), SharePoint MCM and cto at BrightStarr 
  • Fernando Melo (@frmelo21), SharePoint architect and evangelist at Helios Cooperative
  • Jeff Willinger (@jwillie), director of collaboration and social business at Rightpoint 
  • Gokan Ozcifci (@gokanozcifci), SharePoint MVP and IT infrastructure consultant at Neoxy
  • Brett Hill (@bretthill), Office365 MVP (one of the very first!) and manager of technical marketing at Riverbed Technology
  • Robert Toro (@SharePointToro), SharePoint practice director at Slalom 
  • Hans Brender (@hansbrender), SharePoint MVP and solution architect at BitTitan
  • Sandra Mahan (@smahan14), SharePoint team lead at Cambia Health Solutions
  • Virgil Carroll (@vcmonkey), head monkey at High Monkey
  • Sebastien Levert (@sebastienlevert), Office365 MVP and specialist in Azure, SharePoint, and O365 at Pollen
  • Kanwal Khipple (@kkhipple), Office 365 MVP and founder of 2toLead 
  • Jeffrey Schwartz (@JeffreySchwartz), editor at 1105 Media, including Redmond and Redmond Channel 
  • Sean McNeill (@S_McNeill), Office365 MVP and senior account executive at SkyKick 
  • Erica Toelle (@EricaToelle), business architect at Buildingi
  • Michelle Caldwell (@shellecaldwell), SharePoint MVP and director of collaboration at Avanade
  • Fabian Williams (@fabianwilliams), SharePoint MVP and senior consultant at Planet Technologies 
  • Joel Oleson (@joeloleson), director of enterprise search strategy at BA Insight
  • and your host, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), Office365 MVP and Managing Director, Americas for GTconsult

I’m looking forward to your feedback and participation. As always, I’ll share the results in a summary post over on ITUnity.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Servers and Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and CMO of, a blockchain-based video technology company.