News

Power BI – Cloud Business Intelligence Tool

Interactive Data Visualization

In this Information Age, more data is being generated than ever. Analytics can’t seem to keep up with the inflow. Excel and Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) have long dominated both spectrum of Microsoft business intelligence stack. Power BI is a newer suite of cloud-based business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights.

Power BI Cloud or Desktop?

Power BI is a web-based tool that allows creation and sharing of data visualizations, right on Office 365. For basic functionality, Power BI editor is perfect. Power BI Desktop, however, runs on your computer and is best for all but the most basic scenarios.

 

 

Power BI is capable of using data from many different sources, including OneDrive, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and even public web pages with data tables. This opens up the many opportunities, as data does live everywhere nowadays.

 

ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)

An integral of data analytics is data cleansing. Garbage in, garbage out! Power BI has a built-in query editor and allow easily perform ETL on the copy of source data, which leaves the sources data intact. Cleansed data, improved intelligence!

 

Data Visualizations

Once you loaded you data sources, creating visualizations becomes extremely simple. Power BI supports a variety of visualizations, such as line graphs, pie charts, and even maps. Simply drag the visualization you want into the report page, then drag the data you have into the visualization. Power BI automatically creates and formats the visualizations for you.

 

Dashboard

How easy is it to show off your work? Simply publish your reports to the cloud. Power BI cloud service synchronizes data at regular intervals. Data stays fresh!.From the cloud, you can place your visualizations into dashboards. You can also shared reports as “packages”.

 

 

No matter where data lives, Power BI is able to pull it together and help you better understand it and make informed decisions.

Resources

Microsoft Planner: New Project Management Tool in Office 365

Redmond’s Answer to Trello?

You must have heard of Trello, the popular card-based project management software. Atlassian just snatched Trello up for $425 million few days ago! What is the buzz behind these task management tools?

For years, Microsoft Project has been the de-facto way to manage group projects of all sizes, although the product itself was not necessarily loved. More lightweight tools, such as to-do or task lists tried filling the void but most fell short.

Visualize Project Management

Trello brusted into the scene using a visual approach, based on Kanban boards, which played well within scrum methodologies. The agility and integration opportunities won over startups virtually overnight. Gradually, larger enterprises started adopting it as well.

Office 365 Integration

Thus Microsoft Planner was born out of Redmond! As part of Office 365, it offers tight integration with Office 365 Groups, OneDrive, OneNote, and Exchange Online.

To get started with Microsoft Planner, create a Plan. Plans are tightly integrated with Office 365 groups. Creating a Plan creates an Office 365 Group, and creating an Office 365 Group creates a Plan for that Group.

One Task = One Card

Within a Plan, you can add Cards for each of your team’s tasks. Cards can contain checklists to keep track of each segment of a task, documents from your team’s OneDrive, as well as comments from your team members about the task. This allows your team to keep all resources related to the task in one convenient location. Assigning a task to a team member can be easily done by clicking on the Add Assignment button and select your team member.

Categorize Tasks with Buckets

As you add more and more Cards, you can organize the Cards by Buckets, so that you can easily find tasks based on subject. You can keep track of the progress of the tasks by Cards by using Buckets. Each Bucket is a category you create, and you can simply drag and drop Cards into Buckets so that you can easily find tasks based on subject. You can also keep track of the progress of the tasks by going to the Charts view of the Plan, where you can find charts showing you how many tasks are completed, in progress, or are overdue.

With the help of Microsoft Planner, organizing tasks for a team becomes hassle-free!

Resources

Kattelo Sharing 7 Field Lessons Learned From Office 365 & SharePoint

Kattelo Sharing Office 365 and SharePoint Lessons Learned

On August 27th, 2015, Kenneth Lo, Founder of Kattelo Consulting, will present Seven Field Lessons Learned From SharePoint Migrations and Upgrade at East Bay SharePoint Users Group (EBSPUG).

Whatever business and technical scenarios you have at hands, you will have a series of decisions to make, especially with ever-growing volume of data and diversity of data. Kenneth will share his extensive field experience, both as a project manager and a practitioner, with the attendees on how to prepare and execute SharePoint migration and upgrade projects, while maintaining sanity.


With the popularity of Microsoft Office 365 and upcoming release of SharePoint 2016, organization of all sizes are faced with the decisions to upgrade, migrate and/or integrate their SharePoint and other content management and knowledge management investments. Are you ready for these imminent changes?

We at Kattelo Consulting have many more tips on how to migrate and optimize SharePoint. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Ciao!

SharePoint TechCon San Francisco 2014

SPTechCon – San Francisco Asian Food Edition 2014

SPTechCon San Francisco is finally here! Considering we SharePoint folks enjoy technologies as much as food and wine, we have complied a quick list of our staff’s favorite Asian restaurants that are within relative easy access to the SPTechCon venue, Hilton Union Square. San Francisco is famed for its depth and breadth of excellent restaurants; this list merely represents a small fraction of the vast options in the City.

Chinese:

  • R & G Lounge: Michelin-Rated. Dungeness Crabs. R & G Special Beef. Free 2-hour garage parking nearby.
  • Z & Y Restaurant: Authentic mouth-watering Spicy Szechuan gourmet. Explosive Chicken. Kung Pao Chicken.
  • Bund Shanghai Restaurant: Best Shanghai Dumplings in the City.

Korean:

Japanese:

  • DojimaAnn: Near conference. Inexpensive. Udon. Donburi.
  • Katana-Ya: Near conference. Excellent Ramen Soup Noodle. Longer wait.
  • Okina Sushi: Tucked away. Run by a lifetime sushi artist. Freshest of ingredients.

Thai:

  • Lers Ros Thai: Authentic Thai gourmet. Grilled BBQ Pork and Chicken.
  • Bangkok Noodles: Near conference. Quick bites. All noodle dishes. Cash only.
  • Grand Pu Bah: Steps from Zynga and Adobe HQs. Experience the startup scene in SOMA (South of Market Street) and modern Thai cuisine. Awesome bar.

Vegetarian/Vegan

Vietnamese:

  • Turtle Tower: Chicken Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). Best in the city.
  • PPQ Dungeness Island: Hike over here and order two dishes: Dungeness Crabs and Garlic Noodle.

Many of these restaurants are popular among the locals as well. Plan ahead and be ready to wait for 30+ minutes during rush hours. Minimize your wait by reserving on OpenTable: San Francisco Restaurants if at all possible. See you all well-fed and well-rested at SPTechCon San Francisco!

SharePoint Conference 2014 Vegas

Photo Short Story – SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas

SharePoint Conference 2014 (#SPC14) successfully wrapped up last week! Kenneth Lo,  Kattelo’s CEO, hopped on a flight from the San Francisco HQ to spend 36 hours in Las Vegas.

Special thanks to the Fpweb.net for inviting Kattelo, alongside with Tony Smith from Datalan, to share partnership experiences with the luncheon attendees at Don’t Gamble with Partnerships: Team up with Fpweb.net. As always, the Fpweb puts on another world-class event with an awesome door prize, $1,000 poker chips!

As of this writing, Kenneth still claimed to be suffering sporadic memory lapses from the trip. Luckily, he did manage to snap a number of photos that our legal team deemed appropriate for publishing. Please enjoy this brief photo journey. (If the slideshow is not displayed, please access the gallery directly.)

SharePoint Street Smart: Kattelo’s Favorite SharePoint Mobile Apps – Part 1

Traditionally, the majority of SharePoint users interact with the SharePoint sites through web browsers. However, we are increasingly performing more of our work away from our desks using smart phones and tablets.

While SharePoint offers a built-in mobile view, which is essentially a lightweight HTML site, users can positively benefit from a more enhanced experience with native mobile apps. In this article, let’s review a number of Kattelo’s favorite apps that makes accessing SharePoint systems a breeze.

Formotus Forms Central enables users to fill out electronic forms. Using Microsoft InfoPath and custom form controls (e.g. GPS, signature, and camera), businesses can rapidly develop and deploy form-based mobile applications.

Not having to learn a new programming language or database backend will save you many hours! You can submit the form data to Office 365, SharePoint, ODBC databases, or even email. More importantly, the capability to fill out forms while offline is especially helpful in worksites where connectivity is limited, such as secured facilities and rural areas.

Formotus Mobile Application and Cloud Architecture

Infragistics SharePlus acts as the mobile front-end of  your SharePoint (on-premise or Office 365) systems. This app allows you to perform the actions most commonly done with SharePoint: read, organize, and edit list data extremely easily, with zero programming and deployment! The various filtering and sorting features let users access SharePoint content with minimal navigation. The enterprise version adds the ability to brand the user experience and customize the advanced search features.

infragistics SharePlus Enterprise

Nintex Forms is a web-based software for designing form-based mobile apps. This is a versatile tool that allows designers to design device-specific forms and store the data in either SharePoint or Nintex Live. For those who are using Nintex Workflow, the integration between the two products are seamless. This makes the Nintex’s infamous “lazy approval” as mobile as ever!

Nintex Forms and Nintex Live Mobile Form Designer

Stay tuned for our Part 2 and 3 of this series. You can also view the slide deck on SlideShare. Don’t hesitate to ping us if you have further questions. We’d love to chat with you more about SharePoint Mobility!

Recap of Kattelo Speaking at San Francisco SharePoint Users Group September Meeting

During the September session of San Francisco SharePoint Users Group (SFSPUG) , Kenneth Lo, CEO of Kattelo, had the utmost honor to present Mission Possible — Keeping SharePoint Systems Humming Along from Soup to Nuts at Microsoft San Francisco.

The process of migrating content from another content management system to SharePoint (or an older version of SharePoint) could be complex due to the large volume and diversity of data. Kenneth shared his extensive field experience with the attendees on how to deploy and maintain large-scale SharePoint implementations in tip-top shape.

On Infrastructure: With the popularity of Microsoft Office 365, organization of all sizes have started embracing hybrid cloud architecture (e.g. using SharePoint Online for extranet and on-premise SharePoint for intranet). This deployment strategy provides optimal flexibility and scalability but also drastically affects the deployment, migration, support, and governance strategies.

On Migration: Kenneth shared one of his large-scale SharePoint migration war stories. Initially, the project team had decided to perform the 2-TB migration with database attach and PowerShell. When confronted with the project plan for the first time, Kenneth (who holds a PMP and Scrum Master certifications) immediately suggested Metalogix Content Matrix instead. Reportedly, he had lost “too much youth” migrating content without the proper tools in his previous lives!

On Performance: One of the common complaints of SharePoint is its performance. Seven times out of ten, the lack of performance is caused by under-powered hardware architecture (especially database servers). Since all SharePoint data is stored in Microsoft SQL Server, file access goes through a process called data serialization. Organizations requiring file storage that is either massive or high-performance should consider Remote Blog Services (RBS). Kenneth shared his experience on RBS using Metalogix StoragePoint.

On Disaster Recovery: Last but not least, as SharePoint gains prominence as the system of records in the enterprise, the topics of  fault tolerance  and high-availability are dear to the hearts of CTOs and CIOs alike. In addition to the built-in ability to cluster and database mirroring, Metalogix Replicator is a viable strategy to replicate SharePoint content instantaneously and globally.

Please check out the slide deck below.

We at Kattelo Consulting have many more tips on how to migrate and optimize SharePoint. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to Contact Us. Ciao!

 

Recap of Kattelo CEO Kenneth Lo Speaking At NAAAP International Convention 2013

Kenneth Lo, CEO of Kattelo Consulting, had the great honor and privilege presenting Launching a New Venture — Sun Tzu Style during the 2013 National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) International Convention in Toronto.

The convention was an excellent opportunity for Asian and Asian American professionals from all over the world to rub elbows and exchange ideas on how to enrich our community. As a passionate serial entrepreneur, Kenneth shared his experience in this conference, so that others may benefit from his hard-earned lessons while launching their own ventures.

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is a classic textbook on warfare strategies. However, it  can readily be applied to other competitive endeavors, such as the world of business. Kenneth distilled Sun Tzu’s strategies into several concepts such as understanding competitions and preparing infrastructure. He then explained how the finer details on financing and marketing and provided best practices for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The conference was a great success! Once again, the Kattelo team would like to thank the NAAAP conference teams, NAAAP Toronto, and all the sponsors as well as volunteers for putting together such an excellent event. Last but not least, NAAAP San Francisco allowed Kenneth to represent our home chapter thousands of miles away!

In case you missed Kenneth’s speaking session, please check out the slideshow below.

 

Kattelo SharePoint August Office Hours Announced

We are here for you!

Microsoft’s new Office 365 package is a (some may consider a drastic) departure from its current software offerings, giving many traditional Office users a vast array of new options. That is why we are here to help you with our SharePoint Office Hours to answer all your burning SharePoint questions!

Our August SharePoint Office Hours will be held online at Kattelo.com’s live chat on August 20th, 2013 from 3 PM to 4 PM. You may tweet us your questions to @Kattelo and with the hashtag #SPOfficeHrs. If you find Twitter’s character limit too restrictive, you can always message us through the online chat box at the lower right hand corner of Kattelo.com.

In this upcoming SharePoint Office Hours, Kattelo’s CEO, Kenneth Lo and our team of SharePoint and Office 365 experts, will answer your questions on how Office 365 works and how it differs from hosted SharePoint 2013. Do you have questions on the following topics?

  • New Office 365 packages and how they best suit your company
  • Office 365 upgrade cycle preparation and potential post-upgrade issues
  • Major differences between SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013
  • Major differences between Office 365 and SharePoint 2013 on-premise

Save the date and we’ll see you (virtually!) on August 20th. Other topics will be covered in the subsequent Office Hours.

Hermes Kelly Handbag

SharePoint Retention Policies

SharePoint Document and Retention Policies

Kattelo completed another successful session of SharePoint Office Hours, with quite a bang and after-hour humor. Once again, the Kattelo team was able to come out and help many SharePoint users during our July SharePoint Office Hours. We hope that you were able to join us and take away some SharePoint knowledge from the discussion with us.

SharePoint Records Center

One of the topics discussed was the concept of retention. As users add more and more documents to SharePoint, the document libraries become larger and harder to organize and to search. To prevent a document library black hole, the site administrator may want to create a separate Records Center subsite that will serve as an archive for unused and older documents.

The retention policy can be set at the content type level by

  1. Site Settings > Site Content Types
  2. Information Management Policy Settings > Retention

In that location there are settings to add stages of retention that automatically happen after a certain time. This way, documents of a particular type can automatically be declared a record after a set period of time, and then sent off to the Records Center subsite to be stored there. You can even set settings to automatically delete documents after a set period, saving you time