The Post Ignite Feature Blast

A Couple Weeks after Ignite
It’s been about two weeks since Microsoft Ignite.  I wanted to circle back with you to share the feedback we received from the conference attendees and announce some of the features we’ve released to Office365Mon.

Ignite Feedback
I had the opportunity to deliver a session on Hybrid Cloud adoption at a pre-conference event.  It gave me a chance to introduce Office365Mon and hear some good feedback on the product from attendees.  Thanks to all who signed up and introduced the product with their customers.  One main theme of the feedback was more coverage for the Act On Behalf Of scenarios, so I’ll talk a bit more about that later.  I hear a lot of common asks on reporting though so I’ll tackle that first.

More Features to Stay in the Know
The most common feedback about reporting is that it’s great – but you want more of it.  That fit right in with our own plans as well so I’m happy to announce that we’ve invested a lot of resources into and have really just exploded the reporting features.  We’ve gone from two Basic reports and two Advanced reports to a full blown reports gallery – five Basic reports and six Advanced reports.  There are many data analytic scenarios that you can now get to very quickly with our reports.

In addition to that, people want to customize the data that’s shown in the reports.  All of our graphical reports use an engine that actually supports great customization of the data displayed in the graph.  With a few clicks of the mouse you can quickly discard the data that isn’t relevant to what the analytics you want to drill into, and then with another couple of clicks you can add it back in.  It’s really a very flexible and fluid way to slice and dice the data based on your scenario.

Finally, we also had requests from folks that wanted to share the reporting information with other people in their organization.  Well, you can now export any report to a PDF so you can shoot it off in email, post it to a SharePoint site, or do whatever you want with it. To help you process all of this in more detail, I made a short video that briefly explains all of the reports in the report gallery now, shows you how to manipulate the data that is displayed in the charts, and how to export to a PDF.  You can find the video on our YouTube channel here:

Check them out at www.Office365Mon.com and please share your feedback!  Also, we are hard at work on another feature that will allow you to do even MORE customization of reports, and we hope to announce that relatively soon.

We also added some usability improvements to make the service more like you want it and easier to use.  First and foremost we had pretty regular feedback that you wanted to monitor any site collection in your SharePoint Online tenant that you want, and not just the root site collection.  Well, your wish is our command!  You can now pick any site collection for us to monitor; for many customers they wanted this so that they could create a site collection just for monitoring, that doesn’t contain any actual company data.  This gives you even greater control to lock down the security of the monitoring process, and security is always a top priority for us.  One of the other things that we do now that you can plug in the Url for any site collection is we do a quick automatic validation of the Url to ensure that you have entered a valid site and we can connect to it.  This capability was probably our most requested feature enhancement so we’re happy to roll it out for you to use.

There are a number of smaller enhancements we made that are worth noting too:

  1. We upgraded our backend infrastructure again.  With this update, we can now probe your Office 365 resources every minute – twice as often as we did in the past.
  2. Across the product, we added some minor improvements (tool tips on the configuration page, notifications when resource configuration is expired etc.).   The notifications we send are important to understand for another reason – when we are unable to connect to a resource we send you a notification to all of the notification address (email and text messages) that you configured.  After 7 days if you haven’t updated the configuration and we still can’t monitor a resource, we automatically remove that resource from your subscription and we’ll no longer try to monitor it.  If you want to start monitoring it again you just need to go into Configure your subscription and add in the resource (SharePoint Online Url or Exchange Online mailbox address) again. 

What’s Coming
An increasing number of our customers are Partners, Resellers, and Cloud Solution Providers who work with multiple customers.  It’s becoming clear that they need a set of APIs to access Office365Mon and extensions to the already released Act on Behalf Of features.  That’s our focus for now.  What’s interesting is that we expect that there are scenarios where you will want to use these APIs both if you are a reseller, but also even if you are managing a single cloud subscription.  If you have specific asks or features that you would like to see in Office365Mon, please let us know.  Meanwhile, we’ll share more details as soon as it’s released to let you know how you can take advantage of it.

On behalf of your Office365Mon crew in sunny Phoenix, AZ,
-Steve

mail: speschka@office365mon.com
follow us on twitter @office365mon
regular updates on our blog

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