3 Hidden Costs of Going to the Cloud

It seems like everyone one is going to the Cloud these days.  It makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons:

  • Shifts the costs of running your own data center and having to maintain hardware
  • More secure – best of the best are running and monitoring
  • Scalability – Use only the power you need when you need it
  • Automatically upgraded systems pushed out by the Cloud Providers
  • More features and options than you can do yourself

Those are just some of the reasons to go to the Cloud, but if your not careful going to the Cloud can be more expensive than you think for numerous reasons.  Here are 3 reasons that a lot companies don’t think about:

  1. Migration Costs – Getting to the Cloud costs time and money.  The planning process itself can take month to years depending on what you are trying to move.  If you are using the Cloud for app development, it is easier than if you are moving file shares or Collaboration environments like SharePoint to Office 365.  From planning comes running the migration jobs, monitoring, and remediation.  All take time and money.
  2. Mismanagement of Resources – Everything in the Cloud costs money: storage, processing power, data streaming, using services, etc.  In efficient code or leaving test environments running when not in use are slow drains on your system that quickly add up to big money.  Also failing to manage users who leave your organization is just trowing money away to user based subscriptions models like Salesforce or Office 365.
  3. Change Management – Businesses under estimate the cost of re-educating and re-training users on the new system.  It costs time and money to create training materials, train users, and get them up to speed quickly.  Loss of productivity can be experienced during the transition and should be planned for.

These are just a few of the way reasons companies don’t see as much ROI on their Cloud investments as they would like.  The good news is with proper planning, budgeting, and monitoring, these drains on ROI can be minimized and companies can make the most of transitioning to the Cloud

Move Feature in SharePoint, Office 365, and OneDrive for Business

A new ‘Move’ feature will allow users to freely move content anywhere in Office 365, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. To end users, this will offer greater freedom than the previously released ‘copy’ feature.

With Move, documents and other files can move with full fidelity across the platform while maintaining version history and metadata.

The everyday SharePoint and Office 365 user can benefit from this new feature in a few ways.

For me, I like to first spin up a rough draft for a project in OneDrive.  With the Move feature, I can then move it to a Teams site when I’m ready to share it with my team. Then, if we decide we want to publish the document, we might move it to a SharePoint site so that is accessible to the whole company.   The whole time the document keeps its metadata and version history intact!

Move feature in SharePoint. Office 365 and OneDrive for Business

A New Feature for the New World of Collaboration

Prior to the Move feature, I would have to rely on Copy – or even copy and paste – to move document. This may serve your needs, but the move feature offers a richer move. It brings over version history and some metadata that copying does not.

This new feature can save teams a lot of time when it comes to everyday documents – editing, approving, etc. It’s probably not the best route when it comes to moving sensitive documents. If your environment has record retention policies in place for documents, for example, it makes a copy rather than just moving the document. The original document doesn’t leave the records center, but moves a copy.

With this new feature, however, there are some things to consider regarding governance. Currently, users would not receive a report saying that employee ‘X’ moved a document to from library ‘Y’ to library ‘Z.’

If employee ‘X’ leaves the organization, others on the team are not aware that the item has moved. These items may not be where the rest of the team expects it to be when they go looking for them.

What the Move feature means for the Everyday User

For me, as a strategic advisor, the ability to move items and see their histories is very helpful. I do a lot of statements of work and proposals for clients. Those change over time as we go back and forth.

I usually start those out in OneDrive for Business because I need to have a rough draft and I don’t want extra clutter. Once I get it to a point where I’m relatively pleased with it, I’ll move it to our pursuit document library in our operations site. Now, I can see what changes have been made and I can make new changes accordingly.

The real benefits of this feature come when managing documents that frequently change over time and may need to be moved. It can also be a big help when it comes to company reorgs. Here at AvePoint, we recently reorganized our HR department. Our HR department changed to our People department. We could now use this feature to move over some prudent documents while leaving others behind.

I wouldn’t call this feature a gamechanger, but it’s undoubtedly a helpful tool. It helps eliminate clutter, enhances transparency and works towards making your SharePoint as agile and efficient as it can be. Less copies of documents means redundancies and helps establish a single source of truth.

Accessing SharePoint Online List Settings

I hadn’t had to do a lot of SharePoint Online things for a few month, but I needed to create a list and I wanted to add a Site Column  to it.  With the new List feature in SPO, I couldn’t find the List Settings.  There used to have a Ribbon across the top of the page to access everything, but it has been removed.  I know this was news a few weeks ago or months, but I wasn’t really paying attention.

I tried clicking the + and the More… link in the list column header…


But that just took me to the Create Column page.  That would only allow me to create a column, not use a Site Column.   😦



It took me longer than I should admit, but I finally found it.  The List settings link was moved to the Cog in the upper right hand corner…



From there I was in familiar territory and could add my site column. 🙂


I hope this helps!


Intro to Office 365 Security & Compliance

Last Saturday, June 17, 2017, I presented an Intro to Office 365 Security & Compliance center at SharePoint Saturday Atlanta.  Which by the way was a really great event with a number of great speakers, MVPs, sponsors and attendees!  I am thankful that they picked me to present and that I got a chance to experience the event and meet a bunch of really nice people!

Here is the deck I presented:

It is really an overview of the Security & Compliance center with a bunch of live demos I did to show each section and a little bit about how they worked.  The demos are not included, but I am currently recording them and will post them shortly in a series of posts on Security & Compliance.

Hope you enjoy the slides!


Stopping Mass Downloads in Office 365

Recently Microsoft has been focusing a lot of effort on security and compliance when it comes to information management.  In an effort to make a one-stop portal, they have create the Security & Compliance portal for Office 365.


It can be accessed multiple ways.  It can be accessed through the icon from the Waffle menu in the upper left hand corner as pictured above.  It can all so be accessed through the Admin Center:


Or you can go straight to the URL: https://protection.office.com/ 

From there you can take care of your security needs such as: set alerts, manage permissions, set you data loss prevention policies and many other things.  You can visit https://support.office.com for complete details and I will be following up with for posts and detailing more of its features.  The focus of this post is focusing on one particularly new feature I discovered that is now available, the ability to alert when someone is doing mass downloads and suspend the user.

While a lot of governance and compliance focuses on securing information and limiting access to data, a major problem is when seemingly good or trusted people turn into bad actors and download things that the company wouldn’t want them too, think Snowden and Wikileaks.

To enact this feature, you have to have an Office 365 E5 license because it is an Advanced Security Management feature.  If you have this license, then you can go to the Security & Compliance Center –> Manage advanced alerts and click on the Go to Advanced Security Management button:


This will take you to the Policies screen:

Policies.pngClick on Create Policy –> Active policy:

CreatePolicyFrom the Policy template choose Mass download by a single user and fill out the form.  An example is if the person downloads 30 items in 5 minutes:

PolicyTemplate_top.pngYou can have the Policy send an alert email to you administrator and Suspend  user until the admin has time to evaluate the situation and decide if the user has a legitimate business reason for downloading so many files.


After you hit create, you will see you Policy appear on the Policies screen:


This is a great new feature to help stop the loss of data from you organization and just one of many useful security options that Microsoft has released.  It should be exciting to see future features and enhancements in the area of Security & Compliance.