Forrester names Microsoft as a Leader in Agile Business Intelligence

This month, Microsoft was acknowledged as a Leader in the Forrester Wave: Agile Business Intelligence Platforms.

“Microsoft received high client feedback scores for its agile, business user self-service and advanced data visualization functionality. Clients also gave Microsoft BI a high score for its product vision”.

Microsoft is delivering on our vision of bringing business intelligence to a billion users by making data accessible through the tools that people use every day. With the accessibility of Excel and the recent release of Power BI for Office 365, we aim to lower the barrier of entry for users and reduce the complexity of deploying business intelligence solutions for IT

You can download the full Forrester report and get more information on this announcement reading Eron Kelly, General Manager/Microsoft, Data Platform Group’s blog post.

Microsoft Project and SharePoint conference May 4-8, 2015

Its official – Microsoft will host another exciting conference in 2015. This time the Project conference will be joined by “SharePoint”, “Lync” and “Exchange”. All in all a great chance to get the best insights across some of the most important technologies behind the latest Microsoft PPM offerings.

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Why go?

•Clearer visibility into Microsoft’s future technology vision and roadmap
•Unparalleled access to Microsoft senior leaders and the developers who write the code – many of whom will present and engage with you and answer your questions
•A broader range of learning opportunities across all of Microsoft’s technologies, including actionable best practices from industry experts
•Deep community interaction with the top technology professionals and industry peers in structured and informal settings
•Epic after-hour festivities for you to unwind and turn up the fun!

If you attended the SharePoint Conference, Exchange Conference, Lync Conference or Project Conference, this is the conference for you. And, if you’re interested in or already using Office 365, this is the conference for you.

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Office 365 business roadmap

Today a new public page has been released by Microsoft for all Office 365 subscribers to get more insight into what is coming soon.

The Office 365 for business roadmap lists updates that are currently planned for applicable subscribers. Updates are at various stages from being in development to rolling-out to customers to being generally available for applicable customers world-wide. Expand an update to learn more about it and click the learn more link to read more details. Learn more about Office 365 for business service updates here.

 

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APP Review: Sensei Bulk Update

If you are working in a PMO, you know the feeling of preparing the monthly or quarterly portfolio report for those important business stakeholders. Quite often you will find that some data is missing, or specific projects have been tagged wrongly. In these situations, what you need is the ability to quickly make those important changes across multiple projects of interest. The “Sensei Bulk Update” allows for exactly this kind of efficient approach, in a user friendly interface. In terms of time saved, and the general design and experience, I would rate it 5 stars out of 5 possible.

Here is just one example of how the process could be when using the Sensei Bulk Edit application.

1. Choose the projects that need to be modified

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2. Select which fields you want to make changes to

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3. Change data to the correct or missing values

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4. Pulish the changes

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This now changes all the data across the projects in one take. Compared to altering data on a per-project approach this would potentialy save you hours of PMO administrative work every time you are preparing for the portfolio reporting.

The App is available from the SharePoint app-store: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/store/sensei-bulk-updatetm-WA104182270.aspx

 

 

What is OData?

If you are new to Microsoft Project Online or Project Server 2013 you might be in need of a basic understanding of what OData actually stands for.

This 2 min. video made available by http://www.odata.org explains what the power of OData is all about and why this is truly an open “standard” for you business to work with valuable datasets.

Project Server 2013 SP1 released (again)

A few weeks ago SP1 was released for Project Server (and SharePoint etc). Unfortunately it was quickly removed again for reasons I am not aware of. The great news is that SP1 is now out again including a Cumulative Update package (April 2014).

In order to get answers to your deployment please read the great blog entry by Brian Smith (Microsoft): http://blogs.technet.com/b/projectsupport/archive/2014/04/24/project-server-2013-service-pack-1-and-april-2014-cumulative-update-all-you-need-to-know.aspx

Here you can find the notes and actual files ready for download:

KB 2880551 – SharePoint Foundation 2013 SP1

KB 2880552 – SharePoint Server 2013 SP1

KB 2880553 – Project Server 2013 SP1

KB 2880554 – SharePoint Server Language Pack

KB 2880555 – SharePoint Foundation Language Pack

KB 2880558 – Office Web Apps Server 2013 SP1

Download links for updated SP1:

SharePoint Foundation 2013 Service Pack 1

SharePoint Foundation 2013 Language Pack Service Pack 1

SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1

SharePoint Server 2013 Language Pack Service Pack 1

Project Server 2013 Service Pack 1

Office Web Apps Server 2013 Service Pack 1

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Background refresh your Project Online reports

Are you using Excel Services to render your Project Online (OData) reports for the end-users? If yes, I guess you would like to have all those reports being refreshed automatically without disturbing anyone.

Here is one simple solution – use Power BI for Office 365. This will not only allow for auto-refresh but also enable the new “Q&A” feature and other cool functionalities.

As an example I have created a quick tutorial showing the path from your OData report to auto-refresh enabled. Please notice that this requires a minimum purchase of one Power BI license for Office 365. For more Power BI information go to: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/powerbi/

1. Navigate to the Site Contents area of your PWA home page

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2. If you have the license to Power BI you should now see the app available

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3. From the Power BI homepage create a folder and/or upload a new file (report)

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4. You should now see the report in the Power BI folder and hopefully also a beautiful screendump from the worksheet (which would be the sheet you last saw before saving and exiting Excel)

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5. Click on the “…” and go to “Schedule Data Refresh”

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6. Et voila! You can now turn on “Refresh Schedule” and set up a daily or weekly timer job. If using multiple data connections you can even control which ones should be impacted.

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7. Also included in the refresh job is a “history” area where previous refresh jobs can be found and monitored

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App review: SOLVIN Project Wheel

In the App store for Project Online and Project Server 2013, a lot of useful solutions are already available for easy deployment. Many of them are free, and absolutely worth deploying, as they can help improve usability and system administration. Every month new Apps are added to the store, and as a service to my blog followers I will blog about those I find most interesting.

My first review is of a simple yet very useful App, which I am sure will make every manager/PMO lead smile. The App is called “Project Wheel” and is made by the company German PPM partner SOLVIN.

What it does is simply to load all available projects and place them in wheel, by which you can filter/group by year and total planned work .  By clicking in the middle zones, the wheel automatically filters to the corresponding projects. It´s worth noticing that the actual filtering is very impressive due to smooth graphical animations, that every manager would simply love watching. Finally, by clicking on the projects found, one can navigate directly to the Project Detail Pages for more information.

The app is free and very simple to use and deploy.

App demonstration video:

The app can easily be found in the store by searching for Project Wheel:

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Project Server 2013 SP1 is out now!

Straight to the point… Project Server 2013 Service Pack 1 is now available for download.

Get it here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42011

New “Timephased Data” app released today

Today, Projectum (www.projectum.dk) released their second app for Project Online/ Server 2013. This new app allows you to work with timephased data from a PDP “Project Detail Page”. It is fully customizable and free to install in your PWA. It can be used for many different things such as cost, benefit and other forecasts.

The free app can be found in the Sharepoint Store, and will soon be followed by a professional app that allows for specific data/ totals to be send back to the Project Custom Fields of your choice.

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