Live Show: Business Productivity Reinvented


Title: Productivity Reinvented

Session Abstract: Edge is joined by Ryan Darby to discuss how Office 365 is Microsoft's fastest-growing commercial product ever and is now the number one deployed application in the enterprise. It is the company's most profitable business and productivity product. but how does this translates into productivity for business users and project delivery.​​

Suitable For :    Business Analyst, Consultant, IT Architect, IT Pro, Sales
Track :    Collab365 Live Show
Live Video :
Live Show – Business Productivity Reinvented


Live Show: Office 365 User Adoption


Title: Office 365 User Adoption

Session Abstract: In this session Edge is joined by Sonia Cuff MVP and Paul Woods.

End-users often see technology from a very personal point of view. While IT is likely focused with the mechanics and logistics, your clients, the users are scratching their heads thinking "what's the real benefit here?". Cue for the adoption strategy. With Office 365 becoming so pervasive in our business, adoption is now a key consideration in any rollout. Let's discuss the challenges, the goals and risks of this fascinating topic.​​

Suitable For : Administrator, CIO, COO, CFO, CMO, CTO, End User, Power User

Track : Collab365 Live Show

Live Video: Live Show – Office 365 User Adoption


Collab 365 Conference: 10 Myths About Moving Your Project Management to the Cloud


Title: 10 Myths About Moving Your Project Management to the Cloud

Session Abstract: Most companies that go to the cloud do so because they need business agility and cost savings. But how can you know if you're getting all the benefits? Or worse, what are you missing? Let's separate fact from fiction and bust these 10 myths about moving your projects to the cloud.​

You Will Learn : 

  • How to make your projects more agile and effective
  • How to increase savings on your projects
  • Cloud security
  • Protecting your business against hackers in the cloud

Suitable For :    Business Analyst

Download Slides: Collab 365 – Edge Pereira - 10 Myths About Moving Your Project Management to the Cloud


Collab365 Conference: How the Jedi Use Project Online to Manage Projects


Title: How the Jedi Use Project Online to Manage Projects

Session Abstract: A city-planet, Coruscant is the vibrant heart and capital of the galaxy, home of the Jedi. Let's have a look how they use Project Online to manage government projects. From citizen's ideas list to final infrastructure delivery.​

You Will Learn :

  1. What is and how can you use Project Online
  2. How to manage projects using Project Online
  3. How Project Online integrates with other systems
  4. The project manager track from newbie to expert

Suitable For :   Administrator, End User, Power User

Download Slides: Collab 365 Conference – Edge Pereira - How the Jedi Use Project Online to Manage Projects ?


Are You Ready? Guest Access in Microsoft Teams is Coming !!

Microsoft Teams is fantastic! It is the ultimate collaboration tool for your business without all the heavyweight of SharePoint.

If your team have Office 365 and use Skype for Business you will love Microsoft Teams! I love Teams, my team love Teams, my customers love Teams…there is only a problem: my customers and my team cannot use Teams in the same project. Sad face! Sad smile 

Microsoft actually promised this when they launched Teams…you know… that you could invite external folks to your conversation. That promise never eventuated…Until now. Happy Face! Smile 


Guest Access for Microsoft Teams

In June 2017, a few lucky folks started to use guest access in Teams, but then somehow Microsoft went silent on it. Maybe they are doing a closed POC, I thought. So I asked around and actually that’s the case, they have a group of people testing this feature.


If only I had this for my projects I would be a happy chap ….

Microsoft Teams, please I want to be loved!!

Public Access, Anytime, Anywhere, Everywhere, for All Your Team Mates!!

And the best part I noticed: This test is not only internal. The people testing guest access are actual Office 365 people in the wild! It means, yeah you too can soon give it a try.

Anyone keen to invite me to pilot-test it this feature Smile

Why Guest Access Matters?

This is an massive step forward for Teams as many people often work with 3rd parties. I lost count of how many times I went to my customers and thought about it: “oh man, if only I could bring you guys to our common Teams umbrella…oh well, we’ll have to use Groups with External Access”

Guest access matters because without it Teams is a cut-down version of Slack…and we want Teams to be ABOVE Slack…To make it AWESOME!!


Are you part of this Microsoft Teams Guest Access trial? Let me know! I want to have a chat with you!!


The Case for Privileged Access Control

Another day, another big data leak. Do you have a minute? Let's talk a bit about basic security and how even the “big guys” can have it wrong.

Since you're a young IT professional you hear the mantra that login credentials (username, password etc) should never be shared nor written in plain-text (Hello, TickeTek!!). So, why do we keep seeing these things in workplaces? Passwords for network shared on stick notes, handwritten in walls, displayed in big monitors for the sake of convenience…



The answer is: Unfortunately, this is quite a common practice and worst coming from bad decision making.

The Weakness Stand

According to a report from Centrify: State of Corporate Perimeter about 50% of the USA and 1/3 of UK leaders believe it is easy for someone with old passwords to login into company systems.

Even considering that most of the companies have an off-boarding process for contractors, it can take up to a week to completely sanitize access rights and passwords to all the sensitive data once handled by those individuals. One week is enough time for anyone with ill intentions to go back and hack into systems. And that isn't a rare incident.


Privileged Accounts: Free as in Free Beer

It gets worse. The report revealed that privileged accounts for systems, and network devices are being shared without any policies to protect them. 40% of U.K. IT leaders working for big companies (over 500 employees) said more than 10% of their staff have privileged access to data in some form.

This number jumps to 50% for small and mid-sized companies (less than 500 employees). Too many people with too much, unnecessary, power in their hands. We are talking about confidential and highly sensitive information kind of access. Rightly so, 62% of U.S. IT leaders believe their companies have too many privileged users. Look at this: Security Auditors guess Australian government database passwords on first attempt! That’s shocking!


Cultural Differences?

Now one thing to consider. This report was done with 200 companies in the USA and 200 in the UK. One might think that a more liberal economy would pose a bigger risk to IT security systems. Truth is, it does not. The overall pattern is consistent across all groups in both countries. For example, around 50% percent of all companies involved in the study confirmed that their companies had a data breach. And the bad guys are there for the taking like sharks.

A Backup Always Work, The Restore Is What Fails

Almost all companies have some sort of identity keys in place but nearly half of them have monitoring, auditing or privileged identity management in place. Quite surprising, 1/3 of these companies don't have trained employees to respond to a data breach or how the accounts are used. They are simply given to folks and trusted they will do good with them. No wonder so many breaches happens.

The Disaster is a Decision

Often times we hear that a disaster is a series of small events that lead to a big event. It is very surprising that experienced senior managers and leaders on this day and age are still following bad decision making frameworks, yet admitting they do need to do a better job with their data. The quote "When a data leak happens, it is probably your fault" is becoming more alive than ever.


How To: SQL to Calculate Average of non-Zeroes from a List of Values

I don’t do much coding these days but here’s one I’ve done recently and thought about keeping it for future reference Smile

For a list of values, how to calculate the average only using the ones which are non-zeros?

CREATE FUNCTION dbo.fn_AverageNonZeroes 
(@para int, @parb int, @parc int, @pard int, @pare int)
    DECLARE @average DECIMAL(4,2)


    SET @a=CONVERT(DECIMAL(4,2),@para)
    SET @b=CONVERT(DECIMAL(4,2),@parb)
    SET @c=CONVERT(DECIMAL(4,2),@parc)
    SET @d=CONVERT(DECIMAL(4,2),@pard)
    SET @e=CONVERT(DECIMAL(4,2),@pare)

    IF @a>0 OR @b>0 or @c>0 or @d>0 or @e>0
     SELECT @average=(@a + @b + @c +@d + @e)
             CASE WHEN @a=0 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END +
             CASE WHEN @b=0 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END +
             CASE WHEN @c=0 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END +
             CASE WHEN @d=0 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END +
             CASE WHEN @e=0 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END
         SELECT @average=0.0
     RETURN @average


I am Speaking at the Collab365 2016 Event

Once again I got confirmed as a speaker for the Collab365 Conference. This is one of the coolest conferences around from the people organizing it to the folks participating online. A single session can easily reach thousands of people, so you can imagine my excitement. And as a plus, it is always great being at Microsoft HQ in Redmond. Also a good time to reconnect with folks from the Office 365 team in their offices. (*cough*also visit the Microsoft store*cough*)

400x133_speakerbadge_summit.jpg (400×133)

My session is as usual around Office 365 Compliance and Data Protection and it is called: "Office 365 eDiscovery: DLP for your Business and Your Data".

Join the Collab365 Summit and watch the sessions, there is an incredible amount of brilliant minds and souls behind this event, doing this for the community at large.

Where Can You Get More Information and Watch the Sessions?

Go to . You can also follow the twitter @Colla365 and the hashtag #Collab365

Also, who doesn’t love an opportunity to visit Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond Smile




Microsoft vs Apple vs Facebook vs Google vs Amazon (in 2017)

Here some interesting stats collated by Visual Capitalist. I thought of creating this post just so I can reference it later. In short:

  • Microsoft is the leader in portfolio diversification.
  • Apple and Alphabet have a good portfolio but little diversity.
  • Amazon has good market cap and some diversity.
  • Facebook is a one-trick pony Smile











Source: companies annual reports, May/2017 – visualisation by


My Project Online Administrator is Locked! How to Fix?

Today I've got a call from a very worried customer: "Help, our Project Online Administrator got locked out! What do we do???"


First, let's bring calm into the conversation. You know people will live after that. If your Project Administrator got locked don't panic, the site collection administrator automatically has administrative privileges. So to fix it quickly, ask the tenant or SharePoint online admin to fix this for you and assign you or someone as site collection admin and then you can go and fix the Project Admin. Done!

Now let’s talk about the B-side.

First, How Did you Get Into this Situation?


I know, soul searching is not easy. If you know what caused the issue, great otherwise you should start asking questions. That's a very important first step to understand what happened. Generally think about the last steps performed in the site. Look for things like:

  • Any changes happened to the Administrators in Project Server or in the Administrators from Active Directory
  • Any synchronization happened to the AD group in the Resource Center. Maybe this happened and your Admin became inactive.
  • Any bulk password changes happened in your organization
  • Any user migration recently happened in your organization

You know, things like this to give you a sense of what caused the issue.

So well done! You fixed the problem and you understood what happened.


Let's Learn from this Event…

Let's lay the basics out here. Your company's Office 365 tenant have:

  • A global administrator,
  • A SharePoint administrator,
  • A site collection administrator,
  • A Project Online administrator.

Experience tells us that 90% of the time, there is someone which is incorporate ALL of these roles. Pick the person that is the Global Administrator and let's have a chat with this person and find out if anything special has been done to the Project Administration role. If this is the person that helped you reverting the situation as we talked before, even better. Discuss the situation with him/her. Share with him what  you think caused the lock.

What About Licencing?

Often times Active Directory changes alone can fix lockout situations, in these cases a site collection admin does not require a dedicated Project Online license. The challenge here is sometimes to fix the issue, the person needs to log into Project Online and in this circumstance the site collection administrator needs a Project Online license. It’s possible that he or she already has one.

I Don't Have Licences Left. What Do I Do?

You can temporarily remove licences from an user and assign to other for this. The licences are not named licences, so that's a perfectly legal manoeuvre. Better yet, remove the license assigned to the locked out user since he/she is not able to use it anyway while you fix this.


Free Stock Photos Woman in IT, #STEM

Do you love to support the efforts to attract more women to #STEM ? Do you support a more diverse workplace, outside of your typical blue eyed, white man, in glasses and fancy suits?

Do yourself a favour and start using this great catalogue of stock photos representing women in technology, from diverse backgrounds and biotypes. I know some of these photos are full of Microsoft logos but a lot of them aren’t, so go ahead they are royalty FREE by WOCinTechChat! Bring new life to your presentations, support a more diverse culture in technology Smile

For the full album of free stock photos of women in IT, STEM click here…







Managing Thousands of Projects in Project Online

If you work with Microsoft Project Online you know how great this product is at streamlining project, resource and portfolio management activities. All this is for a single purpose, to allow you to deliver better projects, on time, on budget.

And now a few changes were released this month. Let have a look at 2 very special ones that I would like you to know:

Create and Manage Up to 30,000 Projects

Traditionally, Project Online  allowed for up 5,000 projects. Starting April/2017 this limit will have a significant jump. 6x to be more precise. Now project managers will be able to create and manage up to 30,000 projects in the cloud using Project Online. What was already a fantastic number, now has just increased to great lengths.

Why This is Good?

It offers a better scale, 30,000 projects allows for a much bigger room to move and improve and at the same time offer more flexibility to get more things done.


Pick and Choose the Site URL for your Project Site Configuration

Another great improvement on the way things are done in Project Online is on how information is organized in SharePoint sites. Now project managers can create more project sites and every project now can have a 1-1 relationship with their project site.

Why This is Good?

Again, traditionally this number was limited to 2,000. Often times more sites were needed but this limit was reached, then what people used to do was to split your landscape into several PWA sites, which then extended to another batch of 2,000 sites but the trade-off was that it impacted in the team productivity with a fragmented environment.

…One More Great News Before You Go…

In addition to these great improvements, there is one more fantastic improvement done in Project Online this month: Now users can set the destination URL of the project sites in the Enterprise Project Type template. This not only helps with the meta-hierarchical structure of the organization but also streamlines the process of project creation allocating sites based on similarities and functional equivalences.

How It Works?

For example, if you company has a site collection dedicated to a specific department and all sites are located on it (Sales, Marketing, IT etc), let’s call it for demonstration purposes, now you can configure your all your departmental projects EPT to provision sites directly into this site collection


You do this by going into each EPT, then in the Project Site section, select Allow users to choose:



What if You Can’t See these Things in Your Environment…

This is a Question that many times people ask me when they see these cool announcements and all the new features and yet they don’t seem to get them. Don’t worry, that’s the nature of Office 365 Releases. Releases are done by zones and via multiple channels. Very often these changes are done slowly and according to geographic zones, so if you don’t see them yet, don’t worry. They are coming!


The Test of the Machine


The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test.
If the machine produces tranquillity it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.​​​
One day, the machine will break and you will be in charge of fixing it.
- "Is it hard?" people will ask you
- "Not if you have the right attitudes!! " You will say. "Its having the right attitudes that's hard.”​​​


The Importance of Continuous Development and Training



‘’Sensei is the Japanese word generally associated with 'teacher'. In the Samurai culture, a sensei aim to be a samurai, and through continuous improvement a samurai is always a Sensei. Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the greatest Samurai in history was not only an expert swordsmen but also a Zen practitioner. He believed that through Zen a state of no-mindedness was reached. Once in combat, he believed, an empty mind is free and has no need for doubt, fear, calculation. The actions are done automatically by the technique and pure focus. Keep that intro in mind, we will come back to it in a minute.

Looking at the project challenges as battles, it is important to have an empty mind in the Zen sense. We should let our pure focus and technique (developed and filtered by successful project experiences) should drive the outcomes.

Thus the importance of constant training, to sharpen the PMO skillset for battle, so then when we’re in the midst of a challenging project task we let all thinking go and let the purity of action to take over and move forward. A focused mind is the formidable tool against scope creep.

Now, back to the intro, Tokugawa Ieyasu practiced cutting bamboos hundreds of times a day, every day, to demonstrate to us, modern day warriors, that not only we are learning everyday but also that it requires a life-time of dedicated practice to achieve great swordsmanship. Become the Samurai warrior in your project you too as well.

What do you think? How has continuous training (of the lack of) shaped your professional role?


Why Cloud Projects Fail?

Businesses are moving to the cloud faster than ever with the premise that, in the cloud, project challenges can be tackled faster and efficiently. Yet, new research reports staggering cloud project failure rates. In this session we will discuss the 6 not-so-obvious reasons cloud projects fail and fool proof strategies to make sure project managers are prepared for them.

Thank you everyone who took the time to join the webinar and discuss this very interesting topic. Fee free to reach out to continue the conversation!

Presentation slides can be downloaded here: The 6-not-so-obvious Reasons Why Cloud Projects Fail