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Mark Pottier

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    10 comments  ·  Microsoft 365 Groups  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Mark Pottier commented  · 

    We made a material global investment in the Office 365 platform. The user experience contention and Inconsistency when it comes to saving and opening files stored in 365 Team Sites and the root tenant SharePoint site continues to destroy the value prop for our user base. For decades’ Office users around the world have interacted with company file shares using ‘Open, Save and Save as’. The contention seen with these feature when saving to SharePoint online needs to be addressed quickly. System integrators and partners then need to be educated on how to create success for their customers. The following issues can kill your investment and reputation.

    The introduction of ‘groups’ and ‘OneDrice Sync’ is a great step forward but comes with some serious flaws for SME / Enterprise customers.

    • The save to 'Groups' feature is only available in OutLook, same function is missing from other applications in the Office suite.

    • The OutLook ‘Save to Groups’ feature only lets you save a file to the root of the ‘Group’. There is no navigation option to sub-folders for the end users. This is an unacceptable user experience.
    • There is no way for a user to save data to SharePoint team sites using the ‘Save’ functions in Office. The only option is to purchase a 3rd party plug-in product from OneSouceSolutions or Its a painful bridging solution and requires you to incur additional unplanned investment to solve foundation capability gaps.

    • The OneDrive for Business SharePoint Sync feature is very promising. Its provide a hook (window) into your tenant Team Sites, once you have visited the site using a browser and clicked 'Sync', however points to consider.

    o Users will Sync their entire department and Project SharePoint sites down to their laptop. This is the only way for them to access the entire contents of a site from Office applications. This enables them to ‘Save/Open’ documents using the ‘This PC’ option, which takes them into the OneDrive client embedded in Windows Explorer.

    o We’ve been telling staff for 20 years they must not store files on the C drive. With OneDrive Sync they now download the entire department shared drive and project sites to their laptops in a matter of minutes. The Exec have the broadest access to company data, as a result they sync the largest volumes of data. This immediately raises security concerns for them, regardless of IT explaining all the compensation Microsoft ATP/Win10 controls you’ve implemented to mitigate their concerns.

    o OneDrive for Business Sync capability needs to have a ‘passive mode’ where it will cache the entire directory structure (metadata) from a site library to the local OneDrive client but not download (sync) the entire data set to the laptop.

    o Retaining the option to Sync selected content locally for off-line use should remain, however after a set time period OneDrive should purge the content from the local client.

    o When uploading content using the OneDrive Sync it should remove the original content from the OneDrive client and replace it with the file/folder metadata of the stored content, or purge the content from the OneDrive client similar to the above bullet.

    • The option to ‘Add a Place –> Add SharePoint Site’ in Office defaults to the tenant root SharePoint site. Your first action as Admin/CIO/CTO must be to ensure you understand this behaviour and get your data access controls in check. The power within MyAnalytics will quickly expose data (crown jewels) that your Exec user base thought to be private. A big issue for HR, M&A, Corporate Strategy departments. It feels like there is contention/overlap between OneDrive Sync and ‘Add a Place –> Add SharePoint Site, where the latter defaults to the root SharePoint site’

    As someone stated below getting the above User Experience correct is the golden key to a productive, safe and effective customer.

    I may have no option other than to revert to a traditional file store or alternate cloud storage solution until the contention us addressed. This would be hugely disappointing and undermine our investment in an otherwise remarkable E5 capability. It will also put at risk a global digital mobile workplace strategy.

    I’m a huge supporter of the Office 365 platform but we really need to get this end-user experience front and centre with the various product towers..

    Mark Pottier supported this idea  · 

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