How to Create Office 365 Demos with Microsoft

    For those of you that haven't had a chance to see, Microsoft has remade their Office Demos site. It is very slick and, I believe, empowers the user to interact with demo environments smoothly and efficiently. The goal of this blog is to help walk you through the steps needed to create your very own Microsoft Demo Environment. Ready?

    In order to begin the process of setting up a Demo Environment, you need to navigate to the Microsoft Demos Sites, located at https://demos.microsoft.com. Once you get there, this is what you'll see:

    There are two options on this page to sign in with, one is with your Microsoft Partner Login, and the other is with your Microsoft User Login. I attempted to login with my Microsoft User Login and had a few issues. If you go this route, you may need to contact Microsoft about logging in - as I was unsuccessful in doing so. I did, however, successfully login with my Microsoft Partner Account, so going forward I performed all steps using the Microsoft Partner Login.

    Once you log in, you will be taken to your home screen. On the home screen, you will see a few widgets that allow you to interact with each of your demos. We will dive into some of these and discuss how you can use them for your demo purposes.

    The first thing you will want to do is create a tenant. Tenant creation can be done by clicking on the Tenants Tab on the left hand navigation bar.

    On the new screen, you should see 6 empty slots, with a plus sign in each of the slots. These will represent each of your demo Tenants. You are limited to a total of 6 active Tenants at a time. It also states that they will remain active until their expiration date. In fact, there is no option to delete these manually, so if you need to wipe one and create a new one, you either have to use another slot, or wait until one of the six that you currently have expire.

    So let's create a Tenant. Go ahead and click the Create button on your first Tenant slot.

    A new screen will come up with the option to select a Tenant type. Currently there is only Quick Tenant, but I imagine they are working on other types to add in the future. Click on
    Quick Tenant.

    A new pop up will appear with the ability to select your Quick Tenant Type. There are three choices:

    1. Standard O365 - This is a standard (nothing special added) Office 365 environment with the ability to use Enterprise Mobile and Project Online add-ons.
    2. Productivity Solution - This includes Dynamics CRM and Power BI.
    3. Industry - This will have content within the Office 365 tenant specific to some of the demos they have in place. These are the following types of industry specific environments you can select:
      • Consumer Goods
      • Financial Services
      • Higher Education
      • Manufacturing & Resources
      • Media & Cable
      • My Human Resources
      • Retail
      • K-12 Education

    *If you select an industry specific Tenant, be sure to keep that in mind when selecting the Demos at a later time.*

    Go ahead and select one of the 3 options above. Once you do, a popup will ask you if you want to add on Enterprise Mobility Suite, be sure to check the box if you want that included. Click next, and then finally click Finish.

    It will take a few moments for the Tenant to spin up, but once it is finished, you will now see a Tenant filling in one of your slots. For this walkthrough, I created a Retail Specific Demo. Below is what I was given:

    Take note of a few things:

    1. Domain - The domain was created by Microsoft, which means you don't get the ability to name your domain anymore.
    2. Content Pack - It also displays the type of Tenant you selected. For me, I selected Retail.
    3. Demo Used - This is currently set to none. This will change once you select a demo to use within the environment.

    Now that we have setup our Tenant, we need to select a Demo to use within the Tenant. On your left navigation bar, select Demos. You will be brought to a screen that looks something like this:

    Select Create a New Demo at the top of the screen. When you do this, you will see that the next screen has some demos to select, but they are greyed out. This is because you will need to fill out the first two sections, Name Your Demo and Select a Tenant. Fill out a name for your demo. It can be anything you like, just be sure to name it something practical J. Next, select your Tenant from the drop down menu. There should only be one in there from earlier. Once you do that, you will notice that the demos are now selectable.

    It will only display 6 demos right off the bat, but there are several of them on. In order to see them all, you need to click on load more, and this can take some time as it only adds another 6 at a time.

    Once you see a demo you would like to add, click the add box within the demo's properties box. It is important to note, you can select multiple demos, unless they have an asterisk (*) next to them. If they have an asterisk, you can only select one. Once you have selected all the demos you would like, scroll to the top and click create demo!

    Your Demos page will now look something like this:

    You will notice that there are Word documents that you can open. These Word documents will provide you the instructions to walk through each of the Microsoft Demos within your Tenant. Once you are done with this demo, you can delete it and add a new demo to your Tenant. You can do this an unlimited amount of times (that I have seen at this point) within the Tenant's lifespan.

    If there are any issues that you experience with your demos or Tenant, you can select the Support tab and place a ticket with the Microsoft Demos Team.

    I hope this guide helps you to create your own Microsoft Demo Environment. I would encourage you to take some time to walk-through the demos before presenting the content/demo to others. While the Tenants have been laid out well and have a large amount of content, it is good to make sure that the Demo Scripts are accurate and walk-through everything you would be looking for.

    Thanks for stopping by. Go forth and conquer!


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