By nature, we know that in general changes are hard to deal with
Greek Philosopher Heraclitus was famous for his insistence on ever-present change in the universe, as stated in the famous saying, "No man ever steps in the same river twice"
Bornc. 535 BCE Ephesus
Diedc. 475 BCE (aged around 60)
We can see Office 365 as a river continuously flowing and with continuous changes being released to users
Also the organizations change: it is required to integrate more data and more services, train more people, etc.
Both sides, the organization and the river (Office 365) are changing
Change in Office 365 means a transition from traditional change management in an on-premises software world to a faster pace of change
In a traditional OnPremises scenario:
Every 2 years, organizations upgrade client and server
Some organizations can decided to skip a release, so changes are even more difficult to manage
Evergreen service approach:
In the Office 365 scenario we are talking about the Evergreen transitioning approach: continuously adding small features…continuous update cadence. It’s a continuous iteration
Almost everyweek we are seeing new things in Office 365
For a Global Scale:
Thousands of servers
Not dedicated operations team anymore…every developer making a change is part of Operations
Automations that work at a global scale in all the datacenters
Each Developer in Office 365 is part of the Operations Strategy
How does Microsoft deploy changes globally?
Changes are done at the datacenter level as soon as they can (they are not done at the tenant level):
It is not posible to use a traditional change management approach
Changes are monitoring by means of a set of deployment signals: performance, telemetry, etc.
Changes are done as fast as possible
Overview of the change management process:
Continuous motion…all these things are happening simultaneously.
Improve the process itself.
It seems we have a big management process…but it’s not
There are policies in regards of how to communicate these changes
The process is the same for each service
Indeed the process is the same for every single change happening behind the scenes
This is the way how Office 365 is able to scale the change process
Announce changes in Office 365
First Release: Receive some of the significant updates before general release.
Admin App 2.0: Manage services from the mobile
How many of you have enabled first release in your tenant?
New items added to the Roadmap on a per week basis
Some of the mayor features released through FR
FR is a way to provide good feedback to the Product Teams
More visibility: there are still changes that are not in the roadmap
Not all the changes happening in Office 365 are in the roadmap, the process is still not perfect
Feedback received by Microsoft in regards to First Release: As a company, I´m interested in receiving updates early for some people, like IT staff and help desk, but later for the rest of the organization.
Based on that feedback, Microsoft introduced at Ignite conference the new “Select people” option to First Release.
With this newly added option, you can select a set of users to participate in First Release. These users will receive updates before the rest of your organization, giving you time to prepare for changes.
First Release originally offered a selection of feature experiences for customers wanting early access to Office 365 updates.
Microsoft started with new experiences, including Office Delve, Office 365 Video, Office 365 Groups and the app launcher.
While having faster access to these new capabilities has been beneficial, customers have asked us to roll out more changes through First Release.
Starting with Exchange Online, Microsoft is delivering more changes to First Release customers before going to the rest of Office 365 customers. This means IT departments, partners and developers can be sure that they’re using the latest release of Exchange Online within Office 365.
Based on customer’s feedback, Microsoft will expand First Release to include more Office 365 services in the future.
Type of changes being run in FR
Service Updates to FR:
More changes going to FR as requested by customers
Goal is rollout features as fast as possible
Office 365 Experiences: new ways to work with Office 365 services
These are the rings of validations happening before releasing to the general public a new feature
RING 4: Worldwide Ring
Feedback on the feedback tool is got on a weekly basis by the Office 365 team
Office 365 Roadmap improvements:
Microsoft recently added search, mobile optimizations, individual feature links and social sharing options.
Here you can see an overview of how service change communications work depending on the nature of the change: planned vs. unplanned
A year ago, Microsoft updated the Office 365 Message Center to help you better stay informed and manage change in a services world.
While most updates do not require any admin action to keep your service functioning normally, if there is a change that requires your attention, Microsoft will notify you at least 30 days in advance through a notification to your Message Center.