Migrating To Office 365 — Plugins, Add-ins, & Macros Compatibility

There's no denying it: If you are a Microsoft shop, it is very likely that your organization is going to migrate to Office 365 sooner rather than later. The SaaS version of the Office Suite has so much more to offer than the on-premise version, i.e., newer features, enhanced security, stability fixes, etc.

Whether your enterprise is updating because your on-premise version (Office 2010) goes end-of-life next year in October, or you want to take advantage of features that your version (Office 2016 & 2019) doesn't have, you can run into roadblocks that will bring your migration to a halt.

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Technical Requirements Before Implementing Access Capture For App Packaging & Testing Automation

One of the biggest concerns enterprise IT teams voice when they see Access Capture, our application packaging and testing automation solution, in action for the first time is the amount of work that needs to be done as a prerequisite.

In reality, however, Access Capture supports multiple deployment possibilities and can utilize most, if not all, of your existing infrastructure. In this article, I want to walk you through the technical prerequisites from an infrastructure point of view. I will tackle application readiness and management prerequisites in another article.

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Oracle Now Charges For Java SE Usage & Oracle Java Development Tools Support

For most developers, Java is somewhat the definition of Open Source. Although the story of Java licensing is a long and complicated one, Oracle has certainly now written a new chapter as it will now start charging all non-personal users for the usage and support of its Java SE platform. While Oracle had announced this move a few months back, there has been some updates since.

Starting on April 16th, 2019, Oracle's website informed all non-personal users and developers: "The new Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE is substantially different from prior Oracle Java licenses. The new license permits certain uses, such as personal use and development use, at no cost -- but other uses authorized under prior Oracle Java licenses may no longer be available. Please review the terms carefully before downloading and using this product."

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5 Reasons Why Service Integrators Should Embrace IT Automation, Rather Than Fear It

A few years ago before Access IT Automation was founded, I had a very insightful conversation with a Head of Client Services of one of the big service integrators in my role as the CEO of Access, our IT Managed Service Provider.

This conversation stuck with me all these years because it addressed an all-too common pain point all SIs are struggling with: having "warm bums on seats" isn't a scalable business model to keep pace with the ever-accelerating velocity of IT transformation!

On the contrary, Service Integrators find themselves stuck in a situation where customers are demanding innovation to drive real IT transformation, and simply hiring more people won't cut it.

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Microsoft Desktop App Assure: Impact On Your Enterprise Application Packaging Strategy

If you purchased 150 or more seats of eligible Microsoft 365 services, such as Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, or Microsoft 365 Business, you have access to a special Microsoft service called FastTrack. As part of this free service, FastTrack specialists (Microsoft employees, Microsoft-approved vendors, and Microsoft-approved partners) will assist you with free advisory and remediation guidance.

Regarding Windows 10 adoption, Microsoft offers a FastTrack service called Desktop App Assure that is specifically designed to help you with app compatibility issues to drive your Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus adoption, deployment and updates. We have recently talked to some enterprise customers who were confused by what the service actually is and how this will impact their application packaging and testing strategy for Windows-as-a-Service and Office 365 ProPlus. 

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Forget App Compatibility — It's Application Suitability You Should Worry About

Do you remember when Microsoft promised that application compatibility wasn't an afterthought in the development of Windows XP as it was with its predecessor? Or when Microsoft's number one ship criteria was that "applications will just work" even though, on average, more than one out of five (21%) applications weren't compatible? Do you recall when moving to Windows 7 meant going from a 32 bit to 64 bit operating system?

Yes, those were the times when you had to worry about application compatibility big time! That (and the possible business disruption that ensued) was the number one concern when it came to migrating to the next Windows. 

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What Microsoft's FSLogix Acquisition Means For You

On November 19th, 2018, Microsoft announced its acquisition of Atlanta, Georgia-based FSLogix for an undisclosed sum to extend the company's virtualization capabilities and provide an even better virtualized Windows and Office experience delivered on Microsoft Azure — a mission that the start-up shared since its inception in 2012. 

While it isn't clear yet how the FSLogix team members or products exactly will be merged into the software giant's organization, the start-up's CEO Randy Cook said in his statement that "FSLogix will soon integrate with Microsoft and join the strength of its enterprise productivity solutions and global reach."

(Randy, my congratulations — what an achievement! FSLogix will be an amazing addition to Microsoft.)

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MSIX Ready For Adoption? Not Yet!

You might have noticed a lot of vendors in the application packaging space shouting from the rooftops that they are supporting MSIX, Microsoft's new packaging format. Anyone who can run an automated PowerShell command to create and convert an app could technically claim MSIX support.

However, it is easy to get carried away with the impression that MSIX is actually READY for adoption. This is a big misconception as we are at least 18 months away from that point! While it is important to start testing and playing around with the new packaging standard, it is far more important to worry about how you will manage until it reaches maturity and how to set yourself up for success once it happens.

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Your Modern Application Testing Strategy: Big Bang vs. Parallel vs. Prioritized

What drives you crazy at work? Is it your co-worker having every single call on speakerphone and later accusing you of eavesdropping? Cutting her fingernails during a conference call? Eating a smelly tuna sandwich at his desk — every single day without a fail?

But if you are an o perational  packaging manager your pet peeve might be people that don't take application testing seriously enough and later complain if there is a problem. If you are nodding your head, I feel your pain — please read on and share your thoughts and experiences with me.  

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5 Things To Consider Before Diving Head-First Into Application Virtualization

According to a new SpiceWorks State of IT - Trends, Budgets, and Purchase Drivers study, the biggest driver for enterprises to embrace virtualization and cloud computing is to (1) reduce the support burden on IT staff (33%) — followed closely by (2) increase their flexibility and scalability, (3) enhance disaster recovery capabilities, (4) provide their users with access to data anywhere, and (5) reduce capital expenditure. Of course, these reasons aren't going to be much of a surprise to anyone — after all, they are the major benefits of virtualization and cloud computing!

As with any major IT Transformation initiative, application virtualization has to be approached carefully and strategically. So, before diving straight into the deep waters, it pays to do some much-needed due-diligence to avoid some costly and hard-to-fix mistakes later on. 

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