Category Archives: OnePlaceMail
SPC is THE largest SharePoint Conference on earth, nowhere else will you find so many subject matter experts and people willing to talk SharePoint.
I encourage you to be brave and speak to the myriad of Exhibitors and Microsoft people at conference. The Exhibition Hall is a lot quieter outside of the peak lunch/break periods so if you’re in a session that’s not delivering what you hoped, head out and get an expert to yourself.
Why talk to me?
There’s only so many conversations you can squeeze in, my areas of interest include:
- Overcoming user adoption issues with SharePoint deployments
- Techniques for making SharePoint quicker and easier to work with from your desktop
- Extending solutions you build on SharePoint to make them accessible from existing desktop applications without writing code!
- Anything SharePoint and Mail related
- SharePoint Site Mailboxes
Where to find me?
I’ll be presenting OnePlaceMail alongside 2 new products (OnePlaceEnterprise and OnePlaceLive) being launched at the conference. I’ll be spending most of the conference at the OnePlaceMail booth #2131 so please come up and say ‘Hi’.
Have a great conference and I hope to see you there.
OnePlaceMail 6.5 went into public release last week and represents the biggest user experience overhaul we have ever done to the product. This is no light statement, given that OnePlaceMail is already known in the market for it’s seamless, intuitive, and slick user interface.
We heard your pains in deploying SharePoint in your organization; Getting users to save content from their desktops into SharePoint and work on files in SharePoint was the main reason SharePoint deployments were failing or not succeeding as well as hoped.
Our major goal for the release was to drive better user adoption of SharePoint by delivering SharePoint content into Outlook in such a tightly integrated way that users could work with SharePoint content as quickly and easily as they could within their inbox or any other Outlook folder. We also wanted SharePoint content to just “feel” like Outlook content so that user’s stopped thinking about SharePoint as a system that was “out there in the browser” and rather think of it just as content that is “here and available on my desktop”.
So how have we delivered on such an ambitious goal?
Outlook Style View of SharePoint Locations
When a SharePoint location (Library, List, Folder, Document Set or Site) is selected on the left navigation of Outlook, the SharePoint content is presented in an ‘Outlook Style Interface’. This provides for a familiar Outlook experience for the end user when interacting with SharePoint.
This interface provides access to both SharePoint public and private views for the selected location. This includes all SharePoint view capabilities such as:
- Columns – including Managed Metadata, Enterprise keywords, External Data columns, Lookup Columns and all the standard column types
Find SharePoint Content Quickly – Filtering, Sorting, Searching
When viewing SharePoint content you can instantly filter (per character filtering as you type), advanced filtering operations, instant sort on columns.
Searching SharePoint content quick and easy, search within a library or across whole site collections directly within Outlook with hit highlighting and embedded preview.
Preview of SharePoint Content Embedded within Outlook
Providing SharePoint content in an “Outlook Style” that allows user to locate content quickly is awesome, but how do I know I’ve found the right file? PREVIEW. Yes, it’s worth shouting about.OnePlaceMail delivers Email and Document Previews within the ‘Outlook Style Interface’. Where available, OnePlaceMail utilises the Office Web Application Server preview capabilities provided by SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 environments to deliver highly efficient previews. Where Office Web Apps are not available OnePlaceMail will perform local preview of files.
SharePoint Content Ribbon Actions
Access to the selected document Items Properties is available using the ‘View Properties’ action on the ribbon or by performing a ‘right-click’ on an item. The View Item Properties page allows you to further edit the item and initiate workflows.
The ‘Email as Link’ provides the ability to insert links direct to the document(s) or to the Item Properties. If the ‘Document ID’ feature has been enabled on SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013, the links will be generated using the Document ID. This will minimise broken links in the event of a SharePoint restructure or items being moved as part of a records management solution.
There are circumstances where sending content from SharePoint as an attachment is required. OnePlaceMail allows you to use the ‘Email as Attachment’ for one or more selected items.
What about SharePoint/Outlook 2010 and 2007?
It takes time to upgrade to the latest and greatest so not only have we managed to deliver this awesome integration in Outlook 2013, but it is also available to Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007. We’ve also made it compatible with Office 365, SharePoint 2013, 2010, and 2007 (hosted, on-premise, or hybrid)
My experience of using it over the last few weeks
The impact this release has on SharePoint usability is simply massive. At this start of this release, and even a long way into the development cycle, I was looking at each of the individual features in relative isolation. I underestimated the impact that the combination of all the features would bring to the user once they were delivered in a single package.
I now find it just as easy (and sometimes easier and faster) to work with files in SharePoint than I do with files on my local drive – seriously. I’m finding it’s faster to click through a few files and have Office Web Apps provide the preview embedded in Outlook than it is to fire up Word on my desktop.
Finding content in SharePoint is now simple and fast, I just start the search from the most specific container I think the file might be in (e.g. a site, sub site or library) enter a few keywords and I get hit highlighted results back immediately from the SharePoint search index. I can then do client side type ahead search within the search results as well as sorting and filtering on file type and size. With live preview happening on search results finding content is easy.
During a manual testing session I was trying out opening content from SharePoint (e.g. email messages) and continuing working on them (forwarding, replying etc). I’d run through about 20 minutes of test script when I realized I was in a folder under my inbox and not a OnePlaceMail SharePoint folder. To me, this was a moment of clarity, we had gone a long way to achieving our goal. For the user experience to be so integrated and seamless that you forget whether you are working with content in SharePoint or content in your local mail folders is a fantastic result. As a user I’m not overly fussed about where the content is stored (that’s an IT/Governance decision), as long as it’s easy and intuitive to get to and work with, the back-end storage is somewhat irrelevant.
Release 6.5 is available to download immediately from the OnePlaceMail website.
The theme of IGF2013 in Melbourne Australia was “Addressing the cost, compliance and complexity of big data”.
The main news out of HP Autonomy was unveiling their new electronic document and records management solution HP Records Manager 8.0. This represents the merge of HP TRIM, Autonomy Records Manager and Meridio Records Manager into a single product.
OnePlaceMail has had a long relationship as a companion product for those using the HP Trim for SharePoint module. OnePlaceMail effectively adds drag/drop capture of email and attachments and also provides access to electronic document and records directly from Outlook and other Office desktop applications.
My favourite tweet during the conference came from @goodgord
@goodgord: OnePlaceMail seems to provide the integration between SharePoint and Outlook that Microsoft probably should have built. #hpigf
Here are some photos from James Fox presenting “Microsoft Outlook integration with SharePoint and HP TRIM – encourage end user adoption”.
It’s always exciting to read reviews about your own product and hear feedback from users. So today I sat down with my morning coffee to read through Joel Oleson’s analysis and review of OnePlaceMail Release 6.4. I have to admit I was a little bit nervous having someone as well known to the SharePoint community as Joel Oleson analysing OnePlaceMail and publishing his thoughts and comments to the world. Would he like it? Would he get the business messages behind what OnePlaceMail is trying to achieve? My fears were soon quashed as I could see Joel had picked up on our vision of bringing SharePoint to the user in the applications they work with every day, making SharePoint feel like it is part of these applications and not some extra “system” that they have to go to a browser to access. Here’s some extracts from the review that brought a smile to my face:
OnePlaceMail team has focused on getting real ROI out of SharePoint by focusing on adoption challenges, compliance, and records management capabilities right where the users "live."
The real focus of OnePlaceMail 6.4 is to deliver broader adoption of solutions on the SharePoint platform. SharePoint is deployed in over 88% of Fortune 500 companies according to recent AIIM research, and unfortunately, broader adoption beyond basic file sharing and collaboration hold it back.
It can definitely be considered part of any adoption strategy to help those business users who are looking for a step that brings SharePoint to a familiar tool like Outlook, Office and File Explorer. Want users to save their content into SharePoint? Need to encourage better classification of content? Want to provide fast access to SharePoint content from Outlook? Now there’s a tool that makes it that much easier.
OnePlaceMail lives up to its name of trying to unite collaboration. It brings the richness of document management into Outlook and helps encourage users to do the right thing.
Enterprises that are having adoption issues and trying to address compliance and records management issues will find that SharePoint drag-and-drop does lose out on a lot of the metadata that enterprise content management strategies will be attempting to enforce. OnePlaceMail provides an interface that will capture this content as it comes in from various places including file shares, network drives, office applications, and from email. With SkyDrive Pro and the SharePoint Site Mailbox many will look again at moving public folders and file shares into SharePoint, and OnePlaceMail can be part of that enterprise strategy to eliminate the inefficient sources for document storage.
I was very impressed with the OnePlaceMail Express Edition and everything it includes for FREE. What a great way to encourage business folks to try it out for themselves to see if it lives up to its name!
Read the full review at SharePoint Joel’s SharePoint Land website
Thanks for the kind words Joel and for highlighting the business value and proposition that OnePlaceMail provides for those organisations having already deployed or looking to deploy SharePoint.
OnePlaceMail 6.4 – Future-proofing, Site Mailboxes (world first), faster SharePoint access, client side view rendering and all the other goodies
Release 6.4 of OnePlaceMail is now publically available for download (both Enterprise Edition and the free Express Edition). I’m very happy to have this release now available to everyone as a lot of effort and changes led by customer feedback has gone into this release. It also represents a longer than normal release cycle for the OnePlaceMail product with almost 6 months going into this release.
This release has already been warmly accepted and rather than me filling you in on what’s new, here’s some of the news stories already out there:
Official OnePlaceMail 6.4 Release Article
OnePlaceMail R6.4 sees a significant focus placed on the speed of access to content stored within SharePoint from desktop applications. The existing Insert from SharePoint, Open from SharePoint and Save to SharePoint windows have seen significant enhancements with support for SharePoint views and column rendering.
Release 6.4 is the first in the world to provided full support for both extending and co-existing with SharePoint 2013 Site Mailboxes. Therefore, allowing you to future-proof solutions you build today.
Many other fantastic enhancements for the capture, classification and access to SharePoint content from desktop applications have also been delivered with a smaller memory footprint and greater overall performance.
Wall Street Journal
IT departments worldwide still grapple with SharePoint user adoption and question how best to achieve true collaboration and content management. In particular, one of the biggest sticking points seems to be email, which is still a primary business communication tool and one which people use to share, store and search for documents. Microsoft recently attempted to address this challenge with the addition of Site Mailboxes but it falls short. But OnePlaceMail 6.4 dually enhances SharePoint 2013′s best attributes and fills the gaps.
Image and Data Manager (IDM)
Scinaptic Communications promises speedier access to content from desktop applications with the latest update to OnePlaceMail, the company’s solution for improving connections between SharePoint and Outlook, Microsoft Office and Windows Explorer.
To support this in Release 6.4, OnePlaceMail’s existing “Insert from SharePoint”, “Open from SharePoint” and “Save to SharePoint” windows have been enhanced with support for SharePoint Views and Column rendering.
Release 6.4 also adds some significant enhancements to the “Insert from SharePoint” Window that multiply the range of ways that content can be viewed and accessed.
OnePlaceMail Helps SharePoint Remove Limitations
As useful a tool as e-mail is, it still has its limits. There are just some things that simply aren’t programmed into it, so there’s nothing that can be done, right? Well, Scinaptic Communications has improved its OnePlaceMail product, helping users bring Microsoft SharePoint to their email and Office environments.
This is a nice step up from the current capabilities of Outlook, Office, and Explorer, helping better link them together and remove many of their limitations. Those who constantly find themselves having to use all of the above will greatly benefit from OnePlaceMail 6.4. This will also help improve adoption of all of them, for those who use one will now be able to benefit further from the others. It’s a situation that should go well for all involved, from the IT Department and on.
OnePlaceMail 6.4 is the first and only product worldwide that both complements and extends the new SharePoint 2013 Site Mailboxes functionality to overcome critical limitations, such as the inability to capture email attributes when saving emails or their attachments; minimal Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) integration; inability to tag content with custom metadata; and no intuitive File Explorer integration.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to see how OnePlaceMail has been making SharePoint users grin from ear-to-ear then I have great news. In addition to the awesome resources available on the OnePlaceMail website, the OnePlaceMail Team are now running free webinars to help you get the most out of your investment in SharePoint and most importantly get your users on side by making SharePoint a joy to use from the desktop.
The next webinar is scheduled for Wed 5 June (4-5pm EDT) and topics covered include:
- Bringing SharePoint to the desktop
- Seamless capture of content
- Streamline content classification
- SharePoint 2013 Site Mailboxes
Don’t miss out, register now for the free webinar.
For those struggling with user adoption of SharePoint, this is what happy users look like…
Thanks to everyone who came and visited us at the OnePlaceMail booth. It’s great to hear from our existing customers and how our recent updates have been making your lives easier! A big thank you to all those brave people that came and introduced themselves, I hope we were able to answer your questions and ensure you left the conference with some valuable knowledge and a pathway forward.
As OnePlaceMail 6.4 Preview hits the streets I wanted to speak about why we believe 6.4 is such a pivotal release. Last year in the lead up to the release of Exchange 2013, Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 we immersed ourselves in the new technologies and the features, functions, and integration points that they brought to the table. We didn’t just want to deliver a OnePlaceMail release that worked the way it always had and ignored the architectural changes that had been made in the 2013 Microsoft stack. So we invested the time, we put down the tools, and really took a step back to look at the new options; How could this benefit the way people are working today and tomorrow? What new business cases could be solved? How could this technology be best applied to solve the issues we are currently solving with OnePlaceMail today? This really forced us to re-evaluate the position that OnePlaceMail has under the new technologies (Outlook 2013, SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013).
One of the most interesting new features of Outlook 2013/SharePoint 2013 was the concept of SharePoint Site Mailboxes. Microsoft has taken a great step forward (finally) with Site Mailboxes in an attempt to address the integration problem that has always existed between Outlook and SharePoint. Please see this blog post for more details on SharePoint 2013 Site Mailboxes.
After spending quite a bit of time with SharePoint Site Mailboxes we found they satisfied some use cases really well, and others not so well. While Site Mailboxes provided some great out-of-the-box benefits, there were always going to be some limitations as well. If you want to find out more about the benefits and limitations I suggest taking a look at the free whitepaper we published SharePoint 2013 Site Mailboxes – Overcome the limitations.
It came to decision time, and we had a couple of options:
· Option 1 – We could continue enhancing OnePlaceMail as an industry leading product directly integrating Outlook and SharePoint without any dependency on the new Site Mailbox framework. This broadly equated to ignoring Site Mailboxes due to their limitations and positioning OnePlaceMail as an alternate (competitive) solution – you would either use Site Mailboxes or you would use OnePlaceMail
· Option 2 – We could re-architect OnePlaceMail to use Site Mailboxes as a framework and build enhanced functionality on top to overcome the limitations
We concluded that there would be use cases where Site Mailboxes were the logical solution, and other use cases where Site Mailboxes would not work at all, so rather than committing to option 1 or option 2 we decided we needed to do both! We wanted to provide enterprises with a solution that would be consistent and work for them across all their business cases, both those using Site Mailboxes and those that don’t.
This strategic decision gave us focus for the OnePlaceMail 6.4 Preview release. We wanted to deliver the robust enterprise class OnePlaceMail with all its bells and whistles that you know and love, and if you happen to be using Site Mailboxes (now or in future) then we will ‘light up’ a whole set of Site Mailbox specific features and enhancements designed to overcome the limitations that exist with Site Mailboxes out of the box. Even more than that, we also wanted to deliver a seamless and consistent user experience, to the user it shouldn’t matter if they are dragging and dropping an email (or attachment) to a Site Mailbox or another SharePoint location via OnePlaceMail. The decision where and when to use Site Mailboxes will often be an architectural decision, but to the end user (through the Outlook interface) they really just want to capture, classify and access information in SharePoint and don’t care too much whether that is done via an enhanced Site Mailbox framework or OnePlaceMail without Site Mailboxes – we needed to deliver a user interface where both scenarios used the same metaphors, same workflow, same behaviors so that the user intuitively knows how to use it without need for training.
The results of all the hard work are ready for you now. The OnePlaceMail 6.4 Preview release is a free download which we made publically available last week.
There is also a series of short videos showing the new OnePlaceMail Site Mailbox features in action, so if you want to quickly check out what it looks like I’d suggest taking 5 minutes to go through these.