Integrating Adobe with Office 365

Adobe and Microsoft announced several new integrations between their respective services last month, bringing PDF services into the online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, PDF preview capabilities to SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, and the ability to combine files directly in the browser.

More fully, you get the ability to:

– Open and view PDFs online with Adobe’s high-quality web-based PDF previewer.
– Create password protected Adobe PDFs that preserve fonts, formatting, and layouts.
– Manipulate existing PDF documents by deleting, reordering, or rotating pages in a PDF.
– Combine multiple Microsoft files and PDFs into a single PDF that you can use for archiving or distribution.
– Convert PDFs into editable Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or RTF files from your mobile device or online while preserving fonts, formatting, and layouts.

The integration has to be enabled by an Office 365 administrator, and you’ll need a subscription to Adobe Document Cloud in addition to the Office 365 one.

The Organisation in the Digital Age – 2016 Edition Now Open for Participation

In mid-March 2012 after Congres Intranet in Utrecht, a number of the international speakers went out for dinner. Jane McConnell was there, and during dinner, I advised her that it was time to give up writing her annual report. “You’ve done it long enough,” I argued, and “in comparison to the value of other possible endeavours for you, you should stop. It’s time to move on.”

I’m glad she didn’t listen to me.

Jane’s annual report on how organisations are embracing, adapting to, and transforming in light of new digital opportunities is a key research publication every year. I quote from it in presentations. I have people recommend it to me.

The data for the report comes from participating organisations around the world. Jane has recently opened participation for the 2016 report … details from Jane are below.

2016 Survey Open
Jane McConnell has opened the 10th annual survey: The Organization in the Digital Age. The planned closing date is June 15th. The survey is in two parts this year: The Core part (59 questions), streamlined from previous years, takes approximately 30 minutes. The optional Extended part (37 questions) is for organizations that want to do a deeper dive into digital transformation. All participants receive a copy of the final report The Organization in the Digital Age 2016 (Core or Extended), as well as the Scorecard for their organization, which is optional and free.

Customized Snapshot Report
Jane is offering a new free service this year—A Customized Snapshot Report. You involve 6 or more people from your organization who complete the survey (maximum 20) and Jane provides a 3-page summary of the consolidated results. Depending on who you involve, you can get a snapshot from different viewpoints: functions, business lines, countries, etc. If you decide to do this, you should contact Jane directly and request a customized link for your organization.

Sponsorship Opportunities for Research Supporters
Vendors, digital agencies, technology and service providers, event companies or other companies and people can participate as a Research Supporter through a sponsorship package with benefits described here. This brings visibility in the report, and a chance to communicate their messages to a high-potential audience.

Useful Links
Customized Snapshot Report
Sponsorship program
Overall view of the 2016 survey
Topics covered in 2016, plus a download link to the Quick Reference Guide 2016 Survey
Participants over past 3 years
Sign-up page
Frequently-asked questions

Rethinking File Access

Where do your documents live?

The answer used to be “on this computer” or “on the network file share” and sometimes “on this flash drive.” The widespread availability of cloud services that offer massive storage capacity combined with the diminishing size of local hard drives due to the high adoption of tablets and extremely lightweight computers means that those lines are not so clear now. One challenge that goes with this is knowing what you have access to on the device you are using; one approach is to do a side-by-side comparison of a local drive and a non-local drive to identify differences, much like you’d see in an FTP client. Another approach is to show everything in whatever view or listing you are looking at, and use some visual differentiator to show local versus non-local files, much like what iTunes displays for local music and that which you haven’t downloaded to the current device.

Microsoft took the second approach with the consumer OneDrive client in Windows 8.1, but subsequently removed it due to a number of technical challenges and disgruntled reactions from some users. If you want to see a passionate debate on this topic, just mention “placeholders” and “OneDrive” in the same sentence; you’ll get passionate advocacy from some, and passionate hatred of the idea from others. Apparently, Microsoft is going to try again in a near-term update to Windows.

Anyway, Dropbox is trying in the even nearer term, with an announcement two days ago of Project Infinite:

With Project Infinite, we’re addressing a major issue our users have asked us to solve. The amount of information being created and shared has exploded, but most people still work on devices with limited storage capacity. While teams can store terabyte upon terabyte in the cloud, most individuals’ laptops can only store a small fraction of that. Getting secure access to all the team’s data usually means jumping over to a web browser, a clunky user experience at best.

Project Infinite will enable users to seamlessly and securely access all their Dropbox files from the desktop, regardless of how much space they have available on their hard drives. Everything in the company’s Dropbox that you’re given access to, whether it’s stored locally or in the cloud, will show up in Dropbox on your desktop. If it’s synced locally, you’ll see the familiar green checkmark, while everything else will have a new cloud icon.

Placeholders – check. Windows – check. Mac – check. Generally available – not yet.

I don’t know if it’s the “definitively correct” approach to showing local files and cloud files, but (a) it’s better than not knowing what else is there, and (b) we do need to do something different. Let the experimentation continue …

28L Reopens

Congratulations to SFO for getting runway 28L re-opened so quickly after the crash last week.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) re-opened 28L to full operation at 5:05pm on Friday, July 12th; within a week of the Airport’s only fatal commercial air crash. Southwest Airlines was the first to land on the re-opened runway. More than 100 Airport staff started working around the clock immediately after the NTSB released the runway Wednesday night and the airfield on Thursday. The goal was to ensure the runway was safe and operational as quickly as possible. Airlines can resume their normal schedules immediately.

Press release: SFO News

Troubles at Virgin America

Interesting dynamics at play with Virgin America – which is failing to perform in the North American market:

Reporting in August, the Chronicle noted that, despite all its rewards and glowing reviews, since 2007, Virgin America has posted a net loss of $671 million and an operating loss of $447 million. More recently, Bloomberg News reported that after large net losses in the second quarter of 2012, the airline would be cutting back flights and asking employees to take voluntary work leave in early 2013.

“I’m surprised it has survived this long, given the huge losses accumulated to date,” Scott Hamilton, managing director of aviation-consulting firm Leeham Co., told Skift Travel IQ. “I don’t really see a place in the market for Virgin America.”

Because Virgin America is young, it doesn’t have a large a network of routes, which is essential to attracting business travelers. And because Virgin America offers a premium product (leather seats, power outlets, fleetwide wi-fi, live TV), its flights often aren’t as cheap as those of competitors like Southwest and Alaska Airlines — and low price is overwhelmingly important to leisure travelers. Speaking of competitors, they have regularly jumped into markets where Virgin America is operating, making it difficult if not impossible for Virgin America to be profitable.

Mostly, Virgin America seems to have misread what travelers wanted most, and what they were willing to pay for. “They had an assumption that consumers would choose product quality over price and convenience, and network carriers responded with force,” Hunter Keay, an analyst at Wolfe Trahan & Co., explained to Bloomberg.

Standing in sharp contrast to Virgin America’s struggles is the rise of Spirit Airlines. Along with its fellow fee-crazed cohort across the pond, Ryanair, Spirit has been an airline that travelers love to hate for years. And yet, despite the common complaints about Spirit (customers have to pay even for water and could get hit with $100 fees for carry-on bags), the airline is likely the most profitable of any in the U.S.

So who is to blame if an airline that’s comfortable and treats passengers well fails, while a carrier that annoys and nickel-and-dimes customers at every turn is a runaway success? We all are.

Read more: Virgin America: Why an Airline That Travelers Love is Failing

Next Week – London, Sweden, and Belgium

I leave for Europe on Friday night, and have a busy week lined up for October 1-5. Here’s where I’ll be.

Monday – in London, delivering the User Adoption Strategies public workshop, in association with Collaboration Matters. We’ve got a great group of delegates coming for the day. There are still a few places left if you want to attend / participate. Register

Tuesday – in London, with research interviews in various places. I still have a few openings in the morning if you are available. Please contact me for details.

Wednesday – in London, at the Interactions 2012 conference. At 3.40pm I’ll be presenting a session on The Dangers of Pushing Collaboration Too Far. See the conference web site for more details.

Thursday – in Malmo, at the Stratiteq Social Collaboration Day. I’ll be talking about effective collaboration, with a focus on the roadmap to success, governance, engagement, and user adoption. See the Stratiteq web site for more details.

Friday – in Brussels, at a government ICT conference. I’ll be presenting on using collaboration to enhance organizational efficiency.

Saturday – back to London by train, then plane to Auckland (via Hong Kong) that night.

It’s going to be a great – albeit busy – week. I’m looking forward to it.

October 2 in London – Research Interviews on Making Collaboration Work

On Tuesday October 2 I will be in London conducting interviews aligned with my ongoing research into strategies for making collaboration work.

If you are doing interesting work around collaboration culture, governing collaboration, or adoption strategies for collaboration, I’d love to speak with you. If you are doing these within the context of Microsoft SharePoint or IBM Connections, I’d be particularly keen to speak with you.

Research interviews will last up to one hour. I will come to your place of work, or another mutually agreeable location (like a great coffee shop). Our discussions will be under a non-disclosure agreement. If I want to include something I learn in an upcoming research project, I will make contact to request the appropriate sign-offs.

If you are interested in participating in a research interview on making collaboration work, please contact Michael directly.


Three Weeks Until London – Two Days Available for Workshops or Consulting

I’ll be in London in three weeks, and have two days available for workshops or consulting – that’s Tuesday October 2 and Wednesday October 3. I advise end-user organizations on making collaboration work, with a focus on culture, governance, and adoption.

In terms of workshops, if your organisation is looking for practical advice on how to get beyond a technology-led focus, see the Collaboration Roadmap Workshop. There’s a book that goes with the workshop, too.

Or if you have a new platform/product in place today and are not getting the adoption you want, see the User Adoption Strategies Workshop. There’s a book that goes with that too.

Both workshops are very practical … and you’ll leave with practical steps you can implement “tomorrow.”

Please contact Michael ASAP for more information.