Office 365 Distilled EP 36: Cortana on the islands of Cuba and Orkney

Steve and Marijn are still worlds apart, so will not be enjoying a whisky together.. But that doesn’t keep them from talking about some geographical arbitrages for Bookings in Cuba and Orkney!

After a Chuck Berry intro by Steve, we start talking governance needs after Teams is rolled out and how we can use Microsoft Bookings to help us do some scenarios.

How is it that in this lockdown, there is a lack of businesses looking for Office 365 consultants ?

While the stock market is getting back to normal, the big ask is over. Lots of companies didn’t really want to implement “new” Teams or other apps, and then Corona hit the work floor. Priorities changed and suddenly Teams became a high priority.

Organisations were rolling it out rapidly and with big success: people picked it up  fairly easy, without big user adoption projects to align and communicate everything.

Now that everyone is running Teams for their meetings and chats, you would think that the next step is to implement some decent governance around it. These projects however are not happening. Templates, best practices, good training material and so on is not a high priority anymore. Maybe the budgets are gone, or companies don’t really want to spend the dough to “fix” something that is working already.

With people going to keep working from home much more then normal, a need for proper guidelines will be there in the future.

Who knows what the new normal will be? In the old days, when you would work from home it would be to really focus on work. Now, while mandatory, we have more meetings then ever.

Governance today is no longer a question of turning things off, but to see how you can help people do their work.

Microsoft Bookings: Turning it off or live with it?

It depends. Because it always does.
Bookings is awesome for smaller companies, various business scenarios are possible. I even listed a few here.

For bigger organisations, like banks, Bookings could work if you have specific scenario’s where you need to make appointments. These could be client meetings, meeting rooms, island desks, …

It is turned on by default, so you might want to turn it off if you are not going to use it. You might have some other options available as well.

Message Center announcement: Cortana will bring you a daily briefing in your inbox

This will also be on by default. There is a powershell script to turn it off though.
It is a very cool thing: every morning you will get an email, just like the my analytics email, showing you your meetings, tasks to follow up on and so on.

If only we could get it from the actual Halo Cortana voice

Whisky: 15 year old Orkney Island

Our second bottle from our Deer, bear and moose selection is an Orkney island. A 15 year old, from an undisclosed distillery. Bottled in 2017. This one is 58.5 % alcohol… cask strength. Heavy stuff!

This one blows your brains.. It is a harsh whisky that kills all the germs in your mouth with the high alcohol percentage. After a smell with lots smoke, sherry and lemons, the taste is so much better with rich spices (like a chilly), reminding us of an Amrut.

Adding some water provides more depth. There is a long and enduring finish, which is not subtle at all. Great points for the Orkney!

Bottom line: we wouldn’t buy a bottle..(we would rather save for the 20 year Tobermory from last episode).

We have come up with a new strategy: we will keep the last halve inch of every bottle, and we will have a special “Finishing” podcast where we close up all the bottles. We might invite some friends at the end of the year to celebrate it all!

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.