Category Archives: SharePoint

Platinum Sponsors of the Office 365 Saturday San Diego 2020

The Compass365 division of General Networks is this year’s Platinum sponsor of the newly rebranded Office 365 Saturday in San Diego.  This event will take place at the Microsoft offices in La Jolla.  Formerly known as SharePoint Saturday, this exciting event is happening on January 25, 2020Office 365 Saturday is a free event for the SharePoint and Office 365 community and offers attendees learning, sharing and networking opportunities. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! 

Microsoft collaboration experts from around the country will be in attendance to share their expertise through sessions that focus on Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Azure, and other products in the Microsoft technology stack, including Power Apps and Flow. 

At the event, Qais Gharib, Sr. Solutions Architect and leader of the Compass365 Business Applications team will be presenting a demo of a commonly requested feature not natively supported in Office 365: A solution that leverages SharePoint lists and the Office 365 Power Platform to Print to PDF.  Come and learn more about this solution and other SharePoint and Office 365 tips, tricks and best practices from the experts!  

Please stop by the Compass365 table to meet our team and to learn more about our SharePoint/O365 services including: 

  • Modern intranets with SharePoint 
  • Upgrade and migration services 
  • Business solutions with Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI and Nintex  
  • Office 365/Teams collaboration, integrations and customizations 
  • Akumina Digital Workplace implementations 

Office 365 Saturday is a free event, but make sure to register online HERE 

 Join us in January for Office 365 Saturday!

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Platinum Sponsors of the SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles 2019

General Networks is the Platinum sponsor of this year’s SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles happening on September 28, 2019. SharePoint Saturday is a free event for the SharePoint and Office 365 community and offers attendees learning and networking opportunities. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

SharePoint experts from around the country will be in attendance to share their expertise through sessions that focus on Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Azure, and other products in the Microsoft technology stack, including PowerApps and Flow.

At the event, General Networks’ Biz Apps Solutions Manager, Qais Gharib, will be doing a presentation on a solution that enables you to print list data to a PDF from a PowerApp form. Come and meet him, along with a few other General Networks’ team members.

General Networks will have a sponsorship table at the event. Please stop by to learn more about our SharePoint/O365 service offerings including intranet deployments, platform migrations and upgrades, and forms/workflow solutions.

SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles is a free event, but be sure to register online

We look forward to seeing you in September!

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Microsoft Announces Skype for Business End of Life

Below is the official announcement that Skype for Business will be “retired” in July of 2021.  The newer and more feature rich Teams is replacing Skype for Business.  Skype (the free consumer app) will not be affected by this announcement.

At General Networks we have migrated ourselves and many customers to Teams and the transition is pretty straight forward.  Because Teams is a different interface to the same (mostly) features, some user training is required.  We have conducted many user training sessions for our clients and the Skype features take just a few minutes to go over.  Most of the training ends up focusing on the new features of Teams.

So what’s still missing from Teams that Skype for Business has?

1)     Skype has support for multiple windows and Teams operates in a single window.  There are workarounds but sometimes multiple windows are really what’s needed.
2)     Skype for Business can message with the consumer Skype.  Teams can not yet.

There are other minor things (mostly in the administration of Teams) but those are convenience issues not functional issues.  Microsoft says they are working on solving both the the above issues.  Teams, having so many features, has more “bugs” then the older Skype for Business.  We will update this blog with more information as it becomes available.

 

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​Inspiration for your Modern SharePoint Intranet – The SharePoint Look Book Delivers!

 

As a Microsoft Gold Partner and implementer of SharePoint intranets, we routinely encounter organizations struggling to visualize a great intranet experience in SharePoint.  Many are used to older versions of SharePoint and are turned off by the thought of the bland, text-heavy sites of the past.  Others are altogether new to SharePoint Online through Office 365 and have never had a centralized site for communicating and interacting with their staff.  Where to start? 

As employee engagement becomes a top priority and remote workers are becoming the norm, most leaders recognize the need to provide an intranet site – a place where employees can get the tools and resources they need, stay informed on company news, access a company directory and in general, feel connected to the whole.  SharePoint is a natural for intranets and offers a wide variety of templates to get you started  intranet home pages,  Modern Communication sites, Team sites, Hub sites and more – but how do you deliver something that is both useful and visually stunning?  Something that represents your brand.  How can you see well-designed intranets when these sites are proprietary and generally not publicly available?   

Enter the SharePoint Look Book! 

 

If you are familiar with a “lookbook” in the fashion industry, you know that a lookbook is a collection of creative photographs designed to show off a brand’s style and inspire customers to imagine how they might assemble the various pieces of the collection to create a unique look that fits their vision.  With the SharePoint Look Book, Microsoft does the same for customers seeking to explore what and how they can deliver to their users, based on their unique scenarios and uses cases.  Seeking to inform and engage your staff?  You’ll find examples in the Look Book, complete with page layouts for Modern Communication sites.  Collaboration is your goal?  Check out the Team site examples for working with groups inside and outside of your organization, including details on which webparts were used to create the site. 

Check out the SharePoint Look Book Here 

 

At General Networks, an important component of our intranet deployment approach is to work with your stakeholders to understand your goals for the site and your vision for the user experience.  We provide guidance on what components you’ll need, best practices for utilizing them, and how to take full advantage of what SharePoint offers outofthebox – keeping your costs in check.  We consult on how to build a solid information architecture and framework that is easily maintained and extensible as your usage of the site expands  With the SharePoint Look Book handy, your team can quickly get up to speed on the various template options, page layouts, features they may not have known were available and most importantly, get inspired with beautiful designs in Modern SharePoint sites! The Look Book helps you help your staff better understand what the organization is seeking to achieve, fostering more input, excitement and engagement on the project, which ultimately leads to a well-defined design.  We’ll then take your unique vision and create mockups, wireframes and prototypes for your review and discussion.  Once we have the design locked down, we develop the site, work with your users to test the functionality and provide Quick Guides for both administrators and users of the site to add and maintain content. 

 

Are you inspired?  Ready to give your employees the tools they need to be efficient, connected and inspired?  Contact Cathy Ashbaughcashbaugh@gennet.com to discuss how we can help you bring your vision to life!   

 

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General Networks Named a Top Business Services Company by Clutch for 2019!

General Networks is proud to announce that we have been named as one of the top providers of business services in the world by Clutch! We are also excited to say that we have been doing well in a few of Clutch’s more competitive categories, their rankings of the best Microsoft Office 365 consultants, Microsoft SharePoint consultants, and OpenText ECM consultants.

We deliver technology consulting services for customers who need to manage and process critical business content. We bring together business strategy, specialized application expertise, and creative and technology professionals to solve business problems. We help our clients create effective solutions for automating any document intensive business process, from simple electronic libraries to complex document assembly and workflow. Our depth of experience reduces the time and risk of implementing IT solutions.

Clutch takes its reviews seriously, conducting phone interviews with a company’s past clients and getting honest feedback on the quality of their work. These reviews can all be found on our Clutch reviews page, but we wanted to include some of the nice things our clients have said about us here.

“I appreciate their ability to summarize information and suggest actionable solutions.” – IT Director, Research Center

“They are very professional, knowledgeable, and friendly and easy to work with. We’re very happy that we found them.” – Administrator, CF Kent

“General Networks’ responsiveness and accessibility sets them apart; we’ve had a harder time getting prompt support from other providers.” – Vice President, Real Estate Firm

We were also ranked as one of the best ECM consultants by Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest. We were featured for an email migration we performed for a large scale research group in California.

We are honored to receive this recognition. We do everything we can to help our clients succeed, and knowing that they appreciate our work so much is incredible. We will continue to improve and innovate, always keeping our clients ahead of the curve.

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On-Demand Webinar | Migrate to Office 365 or Upgrade to SharePoint 2019?

If you are currently running SharePoint 2010, 2013 or 2016 in your organization, you know you’ll need to plan your move forward.  

But to what version?  Continue with the on-premise route and upgrade to SharePoint Server 2019? Move to the cloud with SharePoint Online in Office 365?

As with any major decision, the answer is “it depends.” Some organizations have adopted a cloud-first strategy and will naturally focus on migrating to Office 365, looking forward to enjoying the latest features and accepting that some rework of their customized SharePoint solutions will be necessary. Others may have a corporate directive to retain highly sensitive or compliance-related content on-premise, making the decision to upgrade to SharePoint Server 2019 easy.  For most organizations running an older version of SharePoint the decision is more nuanced and requires analysis of the risks, rewards, and costs to make the final decision. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the pros and cons of SharePoint 2019 and Office 365, watch this on-demand webinar.

In the webinar, Joel Oleson, MVP reviews why your organization should:

  • Upgrade to SharePoint 2019
  • Migrate to Office 365 SharePoint Online
  • Consider Hybrid SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint Online

Ingrid Camill, our SharePoint Practice Manager, also provides insight on what to expect in the migration or upgrade process.

If you are an IT or business leader considering a SharePoint migration and want to begin to envision which path is best, this is one webinar you will want to watch!

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SPEAKERS

Joel Oleson
Joel Oleson
Microsoft MVP & Regional Director

ingrid camill
Ingrid Camill
SharePoint Practice Manager

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What’s New in SharePoint Communication Sites

What’s New in SharePoint Communication Sites – Branding, Layouts and Customizations

This past January, SharePoint Saturday-San Diego attendees were treated to a number of informative and inspiring presentations  and the exchange ideas with colleagues and Microsoft MVP’s.  Leading experts in the SharePoint Community were in attendance from Southern CA and throughout the US. With temperatures in the 70’s on a bright sunny Southern CA winter day, it was likely a treat for the folks that visited from the Midwest and East Coast as well!
Continue reading…

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Platinum Sponsors of the SharePoint Saturday San Diego 2019

General Networks is officially the Platinum sponsor of the SharePoint Saturday San Diego event happening on January 19th 2019. The event is expected to be one of the largest SharePoint Saturdays of the year with guest speakers flying in from all over the world to share their expertise in the SharePoint and Office 365 space.

Of those speakers, our very own Director of Professional Services, Owen Runnals, will be presenting what’s new in SharePoint Communications Sites including branding, layouts and customizations. He’ll be showing off some features that will have just been deployed to SharePoint Online in December. This is Owen’s second year speaking at this event.

You’ll have an opportunity to meet Owen and some of our SharePoint experts at our booth throughout the day where you can find out more about how General Networks SharePoint services can help you overcome your SharePoint challenges.

SharePoint Saturday San Diego is a free event, but be sure to register online

We look forward to seeing you in January!

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Planning for Your SharePoint Server 2019 Upgrade

SharePoint Server 2019 will be generally available later this month (October 2018)

Unlike the 2016 release, SharePoint Server 2019 is bringing a wide variety of new features to the on-premise platform. Many of these features have been rolled out to SharePoint Online customers over the last two years, so they are well tested and mature.

What’s New in SharePoint Server 2019:

  • Modernized, responsive user experience for web page, list and library content
  • Modern intranet portals via the Communication Sites template
  • Support for OneDrive.exe – the next generation sync client
  • Support for larger files, longer URLs and reduced character restrictions in folder and file names

Continue reading…

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Microsoft Ignite 2018 Recap – Teams, Communication Sites, PowerApps and Flow

Looking for a Microsoft Ignite 2018 recap?

At the end of September, I once again attended Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. If you’re not familiar with Ignite, it’s a week-long conference focused on Microsoft’s enterprise products – Windows, Azure, Exchange, SQL, Office, SharePoint, Office 365, and the Microsoft cloud.  As a long-time Office 365 and SharePoint systems integrator, I was especially interested in learning where Microsoft is taking SharePoint Communication Sites, Teams, and PowerApps and Flow in Office 365 and in understanding the roadmap for SharePoint Server 2019 (more to come on that in my next post). The Microsoft product teams did a great job providing insight into current and future capabilities of these Office 365 products – here are the highlights I brought back to our sales and implementation teams. Continue reading…

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