March 2017 Office 365 Updates

March 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for March of 2017. First an announcement, that we’re streamlining our communications channels to make it easier for you to let us know what you’re thinking. Send your feedback or success stories to [email protected], and I or someone from my team will be happy to respond. Now onto the updates.


Some people like to try the latest diet trend. Call me crazy, but I like to try the latest workplace productivity improvement fad. Let’s just say that ever since I got my first paper based time planner, making the best use of my time has been an aspirational goal. Whatever tool, framework, or methodology I tried, required me to change in a way that I just couldn’t work into my normal routine. After awhile, I just revert back to my old ways. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. What I like about MyAnalytics, is that it works for me in the background. I set some goals for how much time I want to spend in activities like meetings, or email, and MyAnalytics tells me how I’m doing.


Among other things, it can advise me if I’m working after hours too much, and multitasking during meetings. I first mentioned MyAnalytics back in May 2016 when it was called, “Delve Analytics.” Which isn’t to be confused with Delve. Delve helps you discover information that’s likely to be most interesting to you right now, and it is included in pretty much every Office 365 plan, where as MyAnalytics requires the Office 365 E5 plan. To add to what some might see as a bit of confusion around naming, MyAnalytics, at least right now, is actually accessed via Delve. A great place to learn more is to watch the Microsoft Mechanics episode embedded in the Office blog post we link to in the additional resources.


We publish this update series internally for our Microsoft employees, and to YouTube to reach Microsoft customers and partners. The additional resources are posted internally, and also publicly on Plus, posting the video on Microsoft’s Channel 9 gives us the podcast functionality we added in January. That’s a lot of different places, producing a lot of different metrics. Power BI helps me gather the data from these disparate sources and create a powerful story about the value of the program in a visual way, that my leadership can understand.


The thing about Power BI, is if you blink, you’ll miss a slew of great new features constantly being introduced. It sometimes seems like one month new features on my wishlist, and then the next month it’s delivered to my desktop. As examples, the Power BI team recently removed the 100 row limit for tables in the Power BI mobile app. They added a slew of new formatting features to charts and tables in the February release of the Power BI desktop. And a new admin role was created for those tasks with administering Power BI for the organization, giving them control over tenant wide use of Power BI features. It’s free to get started with Power BI, and the Office 365 E5 plan unlocks it’s full potential. Be sure to check the links provided, and subscribe to the Power BI blog post so you don’t miss a beat.


On February second, the Office team announced it was bringing new add-ins to Outlook on IOS, and soon to Outlook on Android. Add-ins can help you get more done on the go, and save you valuable time spent switching between apps. The add-ins now available in Outlook on IOS include Nimble, a social CRM application that provides business intelligence about your email contacts, and their organizations. Trello, a collaboration tool that enables you to organize and prioritize your projects. SmartSheet, a collaboration solution to help you manage and automate work. And to add a little fun, Giphy, the worlds largest Gif search engine.


Not to be outdone, Microsoft also created add-ins for solutions including a Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook that delivers real time insights about your business contacts, and their organization. And Microsoft Translator, which enables you to quickly and easily translate and read messages in your chosen language. Here’s a scenario where some of these new add-ins might come into play. Imagine you’re at the airport and receive an email from a new customer contact from Italy. You can translate the email from Italian to your preferred language, unless Italian is your preferred language. Review, and update the customers CRM history, and update your notes or project board. All without leaving Outlook. For additional details and instructions on how to install and use these add-ins, checkout the Office blog.


I don’t have time to give you all the details in the January 31st recap for Office 365 Admins, but here’s a quick summary. First, setup settings for admins have been consolidated into three pages. A products page that allows admins to quickly understand how many licenses are available, and which software products are included in each of their subscriptions. A domains page that lets admins quickly update or modify their domain settings, and access domain related tasks. And a data migration page that provides admins with automation tools, and step by step guidance to help migrate data from on premises, or other Cloud services to Office 365.


Second is a report update showing a breakdown of Yammer usage that delivers insights into the device types commonly used by people in the organization. Third, a new one drive for business admin center allows IT admins to better manage, sync, and sharing capabilities. Finally, the Office team has added a new filter to the active users page, so admins can easily view and manage guest users.


Microsoft built Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, or ATP to provide world class email security with minimal impact on productivity. Two new capabilities are URL detonation, and dynamic delivery. URL detonation now generally available, helps prevent users from being compromised by files linked to malicious URL’s. This new capability is in addition to the URL reputation checks that advanced threat protection already does. With URL detonation, when a user receives an email, advanced threat protection scans any included URL’s for malicious behavior. If the user clicks a possibly malicious URL during the scan, a message is displayed informing the user a scan is underway. A user clicking on a malicious URL after the scan is complete receives a message informing them of the situation.


With dynamic delivery now in preview, recipients can read and respond to the email while attachments within the email are scanned. If a user clicks on the placeholder attachment in the email, they’ll see a message showing the progress of the scan. If the attachment is harmless, it seamlessly reattaches to the email so the user can access it. If it is malicious, Office 365 advanced threat protection will filter out the attachment to help keep your organization safe and secure. Additional details and instructions on how to enable both URL detonation, and dynamic delivery in Office 365 advanced threat protection are in the January 25th Office blog post.


Back in September I discussed a new service, and preview at the time called, “Secure score.” It’s a security analytics tool that applies a score to Office 365 customers, current Office 365 security configuration, and provides suggestions on actions you can take to improve your security position. On February 10th Microsoft announced additional new capabilities in Office 365 that help you manage risk, and stay ahead of threats. The first currently in private preview is Office 365 Threat Intelligence. It uses the Microsoft Intelligence Security Graph to analyze billions of data points from global data centers, office clients, email, user authentications, and other incidents that impact the Office 365 ecosystem, as well as signals from our Windows and Azure ecosystems to provide actionable insights to global attack trends.


Office 365 threat intelligence also provides information about malware families inside and outside your organization. It integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security features like Exchange Online Protection, and Advanced Threat Protection, so you’ll be able to see analysis, including the top targeted users, Malware frequency and security recommendations, related to your business.


The second new capability currently in preview is Office 365 Advanced Data Governance. It applies machine learning to help your organization identify and retain high value data, while eliminating redundant, obsolete, and trivial data that could cause a risk if compromised. The machine learning in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance classifies data based on factors such as type of data, it’s age, and the users who have interacted with it.


Before signing off, in addition to being publicly available on YouTube and in the iTunes podcast library, based on your feedback we’re now on the Overcast and Pocket Cast apps. We’re still working on Stitcher, and Google Play Music, and I’m hoping they’re working by the time this videos airs. If you’re using a different podcast player, please let me know at [email protected], and we’ll work to get that setup if there’s enough demand. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again next month.


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empty.authorMarch 2017 Office 365 Updates

February 2017 Office 365 Updates

February 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:           Welcome to the Office 365 update for February of 2017. As we started working on this update video, we paused to take a look back at our humble origins. This series started three years ago, back when I still thought it was style and to wear a pink shirt. Come to think of it, I might be overdue for a wardrobe refresh now. I’m going to have to noodle on that one a bit more.

The original update series was available only to Microsoft internal employees. At their request, we began publishing the Office 365 update series on YouTube in October of 2015 to make that content available to our customers and partners. The response has been phenomenal. According to the Power BI dashboard I whipped up, the Office 365 update series now has over 300,000 views on YouTube.

I’m pleased that we’ve also been able to fulfill another user requests. We added an RSS feed so you can subscribe to this video via your favorite podcast player or RSS reader. We’re already in the iTunes Podcast Library and, of course, there’s the Windows Phone podcast player but please let me know what podcast player you use and we’ll work to set that up if there’s enough demand. As always, everything you need to subscribe to the podcast or get more detail on anything we address in this video is in the additional resources.

Microsoft is always making improvements to Office 365 and the goal of these videos is to demonstrate how you can leverage those improvements to help you or your organization do more. The best part of my job is hearing how this series is positively impacting your life, like this email I recently received from the IT manager of a popular restaurant chain here in the US. In this age of digital transformation, Microsoft’s goal is to make life a bit easier, not only for IT managers like Sean but for all Office users.

Microsoft OneDrive sync technology allows you to work with shared files with your team in Office 365 or SharePoint as easy as files stored on your computer, simplifying collaboration even if you’re offline. Many of you like me have been using two OneDrive sync clients. The first, sometimes called the Next Generation Sync Client, sync files stored in OneDrive for business and one drive personal. A second sync client kept SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premises files in sync.

In January 24th, we announced that the day has finally arrived with the Next Generation Sync Client also works with SharePoint Online. This makes things easier for admins and brings more flexibility and performance to end-users. Please note that those of you running SharePoint On-Premises will still need to use that second sync client I spoke of. The same article where this news was posted contains information and lengths on this and related OneDrive development, so be sure to check it out.

Good news. On January 12, Microsoft announced it was adding over 60 new Linkedin learning courses to Microsoft’s Office Training Center. The LinkedIn learning videos can be found alongside the hundreds of courses already there. These videos help you quickly get up to speed on Office, whether you need to learn about tracking changes in Word or designing PowerPoint presentations. You can easily find training based on a specific Office solution or general topic, such as how to become more productive with Office 365.

While my goal with these update videos is to keep you informed on what’s new, the Office Training Center will provide step-by-step instructions on how to get the most out of each Office solution. If you’re not using this training already, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

Microsoft recently announced the worldwide launch of Microsoft StaffHub. It’s designed to help deskless workers manage their workday with schedule management, information sharing, and the ability to connect to other work-related apps and resources. StaffHub makes it easy for managers to create update and manage shift schedules for their team, streamlining what has traditionally been a very labor-intensive process. Employees simply view their upcoming schedules on their mobile device. The StaffHub app home screen provides a summary of upcoming shifts as well as any important notes. When schedule conflicts inevitably come up, StaffHub makes it easy to either swap a shift or offer the shift to somebody else.

Requests are always routed to the manager for approval and updates and notifications are automatically sent to the team. StaffHub also enables managers to quickly distribute information to their team such as policy documents, news bulletins, or training videos. It’s also easy for managers to send quick messages to their team members. Employees can also send messages directly with each other or to the entire work group.

Microsoft StaffHub also supports the ability for admins to define custom links for workers to view in the mobile app. These links can point to important resources or sites such as HR systems for reporting time off or to custom applications built with tools such as Microsoft power apps. Microsoft StaffHub is available on the web and there are apps for iOS and Android. For all the details and to see a preview of Microsoft StaffHub in action, read the January 12th Office blog post.

Research has proven that people learn and retain information that is presented to them visually, so I’m always looking for ways to add images and graphics to the content I create. Last September, I told you about picket presentation images and Office add-in that lets you download unlimited royalty-free photos and icons from Pickit’s curated collections.

There’s another stock photo app I like called Pexels that expands your stock photo options. Simply install the Pexels app and you can browse through standard definition images from Pexels’ vast free library. Photos available through Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. This means the pictures are completely free for personal and commercial use, and attribution is not required. You can even modify the photos to suit your needs without breaking any rules.

This is a good time to remind you that PowerPoint has a robust set of tools that enable you to modify and adjust images. One of my favorite is the Remove Background feature. For example, if you drop in a photo from Pexels and the background in the photo doesn’t quite go with your slide design, you can easily remove it. Simply double-click on the photo to bring up the picture tools. Click on Remove Background. Make a few minor adjustments and you’re all set. Pexels is a great add-in for people working in PowerPoint and Word. Be sure to check out the Office store for other useful apps that work seamlessly with Office to enhance your productivity.

Back in April 2016, Microsoft started rolling out a new Office 365 homepage experience that provided a redesigned environment for users to collaborate and work across any device. To ring in the New Year, the Office team began rolling out changes that make it even easier to navigate apps and find the documents you’ve worked on most recently. They started rolling out in late December and will continue through early 2017. When you access your Office 365 homepage, you’ll see additional controls within the recent documents list then enable you to filter by document type across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

If you have documents that you go back to frequently, you can pin them to the list and they’re always just a click away. The homepage also has a new calendar section so you can see upcoming events at a glance. There’s also an in-depth view of the day’s meetings and you can join Skype for Business calls with just one click. Again, these changes started rolling out in late December and will continue through early 2017. Keep your eye out for them on

Data loss prevention is an important capability that ensures that the organization sensitive data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. The Office team has announced the new unified management experience for data loss prevention, policy creation, and reporting that spans Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. Up to now, IT admins have managed data loss prevention for Exchange Online via the Exchange Admin Center while managing SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business data loss prevention from the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center.

With the new unified approach, admins can create a single data loss prevention policy in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center that covers all three, reducing the time and effort required to set up and maintain security and compliance. Along with unified policy creation, we also now provide a single location to view reports for your data loss prevention policies across Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. This makes it easier to understand the business impact of your data loss prevention policies and uncover actions that violate policies across multiple workloads.

There are additional details in the January 9th Office blog post along with additional information on data loss prevention events in the activity management API. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.


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empty.authorFebruary 2017 Office 365 Updates

FAQ: What is Office 365?

What is Office 365?

Good morning, and welcome everyone to today’s webinar for the BC public sector. My name is Adrianna Pieraccini. I am a productivity solutions specialist with Microsoft and am based in beautiful British Columbia. In today’s session, I aim to provide you with an understanding of exactly what Office 365 is. The good news is if you’re already an Office user then virtually nothing changes. Only your user experience is enhanced.

What we will cover off, we will leave you with an understanding of what Office 365 is, the services and apps included with it, and we will review some of the benefits that you will experience and gain. The agenda is structured to start with how Microsoft Office has evolved from where it was 10 years ago to where it is today. We’ll cover off Office in the cloud to provide you with an understanding of what that means exactly and then move on to some user scenarios, leaving you with an idea of how it benefits you.

As I go through the content, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to type them into the Q&A box. However, I will be addressing questions at the end of the webinar. Let’s get started.

The evolution of Office. To simplify for an understanding we will cover off the basics of how Microsoft Office has evolved over the last 10 years. The nice thing you’ll notice is that the apps that you’re familiar with are the same ones that you have been using, only they’ve grown up, one might say, a little more mature with some awesome intuitive functionality, enabling not only businesses but users for more efficiencies.

You can see from the right of the slide how functionality is much more inclusive with each other to provide the solutions that are actually mobile solutions, anytime access on any device and highly secure. Many of us know Office as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook email, software that runs on a PC, comes out of the box, and the only way to update it is to upgrade it by buying new software out of a box.

The question one might ask themselves is, “Why can I not have access to the current version of the app at any time on any device?” This is really where the world has moved to and being able to provide the most current version of an app on any device at any time, which is exactly what Office 365 offers a user. This is the great news, so what’s included with Office 365 are all the familiar apps you have come to use and love over the years, so what really changes here isn’t much. You still have access to your familiar apps. You just access them in a more dynamic way to help you communicate and collaborate, get more done easily and faster.

In order to really experience this Microsoft has added some additions to the suite to enable users to do this. The additions to the family are listed here. Although OneNote is not necessarily new, I did want to touch on this great app. OneDrive for business is where we’re going to start. It’s where you store your business documents to save, view, edit, share, even co-author, create content, co-create content with colleagues. Skype for Business enables instant messaging, video and voice calling, also indicates your presence, like whether or not you’re at your desk, whether you’re available, if you’re in a call or if you’re in a meeting, if you’re away from your desk.

Yammer is social for the enterprise. You can follow groups, teams, comment, share ideas, provide feedback. You can even store content. OneNote is new within the last 10 years. If you haven’t experienced it yet, it is a place for note taking. It’s one of my favorite tools. I use it every single day. In OneNote, you can paste images, links, lots of different kinds of content directly into it. I would say think of this as your digital notebook instead of your old paper notebook.

Office 365 delivered services are what Microsoft delivers to organizations to enable the use of the technologies that we just reviewed. The four core services included cover Office for your core app use for Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, OneNote, Skype for communications, SharePoint for document storing, which OneDrive falls under, and Exchange, which provides email functionality.

What the delivered services offers is Office on any device, so this is the cool part. You can access all of your applications across any computer platform, whether it’s an Apple device, being a Mac computer, or an iOS mobile device, a Google Android device, and of course all Windows devices.

The proliferation of devices today has really changed the way that organizations provide software to their end users because even if I took a poll right now many of you would likely have at least up to three devices. What the cloud has enabled Microsoft to do is provide a user with a user based license which essentially follows you everywhere on all of your devices, so a user now has the ability to have Office 365 to download Office on up to 15 devices, so five mobile phones, five tablet style devices, and five PCs or Macs.

Now we’ll take a look at Office in the cloud. In this section, we’re going to help give you an understanding of what the cloud means for Office and yourself. I’m going to start with the basics to help you get a high level understanding of the difference between traditional computer environments and cloud. Typically organizations run all of their apps in a central data center owned and managed by that organization. This would be considered traditional. Cloud is where someone like Microsoft can provide computer power storage like a hard drive to other organizations so that they don’t have to worry about managing it themselves.

A good example to hopefully help you understand both traditional versus cloud is let’s say you’re a photographer. After taking photos you will want to download them to your home personal computer. This would be the traditional way to use an app and store the data. Maybe after you’ve edited those photos on your home computer you want to share them with your friends and family, so you decide to use a website online to do this, which enables you to access them also from a different computer. This would be using the cloud to help you do this.

Hybrid is simply a combination of using both traditional and cloud together, like Office on your device or Office Online. There are some benefits of cloud versus traditional, and what it really means for an end user. It means you can work in a flexible manner that really works for you. You can access your apps and content virtually any time. It’s manageable because it is current, always up to date. There’s no need for an upgrade because you’re simply updating. It’s reliable 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, hence Office 365, and most importantly it’s very secure.

When you’re using a computer that doesn’t have the full desktop version of Office installed, Office Online is your Office in the cloud. View your documents, even PDFs, in your browser, or make quick changes in the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. When Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents are stored in OneDrive for business or other Office 365 libraries, you can work on them using Office Online, which opens the documents in a web browser.

What we are achieving with Office Online is a modern Office experience. You can use a multitude of devices, devices that you prefer, devices that you’re comfortable with. We provide Office Online or you can access it as an install on your device. You can have the full suite of Office products that enable you to get your job done better and faster and efficiently and the way that you feel comfortable working.

This slide represents the pace of innovation and the pace of change. Everyone expects to have the most up-to-date, current version of an app that they’re using. That is exactly what Office 365 is offering. There is no more upgrades, like I mentioned. Instead, there is now updates which are much more easy and quick to install. You can continue working in your apps and on your systems at all times.

Now we’ll run through some of the scenarios to help paint a picture of how Office 365 can enable you for work. We’re going to cover off get it done from anywhere, store, sync, and share your files, make meetings matter, email and calendar on the go, and work like a network.

Whether it’s a PC, a Mac, a tablet, or a phone, getting it done from anywhere means how Office 365 gives you access to everything that you need to get the job done from anywhere, on almost any device. You can work across a variety of devices from different locations and have a consistent, clean, and fast experience.

Office 365 gives you access to everything you need to get the job done from anywhere, because you can work on your device or you can work online. The picture to the right shows what it looks like when you log into your account from online. All your online apps are shown to the right. Then, when clicked, they open up in a browser. Files and settings are synced from one device to the next, giving you freedom and reliability. You can create, save, edit, and share documents easily, access documents on a mobile device, and take notes on OneNote at any time.

Productivity is how Microsoft categorizes the Office suite of products, because that is exactly the intent, making a user productive. With how Office is now delivered on your device or online, you get the latest tools for productivity and collaboration delivered fast with smooth upgrades. Included, you have a user based model for multiple device downloads on phones, tablets, PCs, or Macs. Settings are synchronized across devices. You have automated updates, no more upgrades, mobile and cross-platform additions, meaning it is compatible on whatever device or operating system you are using.

Store, sync, and share your files with OneDrive for Business in SharePoint. OneDrive for Business in SharePoint enable you to store your documents, share your documents, and co-create and co-author documents with your colleagues.  OneDrive for Business lets your team collaborate on documents, share reports with partners, and connect with customers, colleagues, and partners from virtually any device.

Instead of multiple versions on thumb drives and in email communications, you could enable everyone to work on the same file simultaneously and keep track of everyone’s changes in real time. It’s actually incredibly cool to experience this happening because you can literally see all of your colleagues collaborating in the same document. You don’t even need to be at your desk to get the work done together. You can keep reviewing and refining all your files online and offline.

If you’re saving your work files, save them to OneDrive and they’ll follow you everywhere. There are many functions you can take advantage of, like easily saving files to OneDrive. This is one of the best functions of OneDrive in the browser. You can drag files from your computer directly into your OneDrive browser for saving. You can see your files from other devices after you upload files to OneDrive. You can see them from other devices by just signing into your Office 365 site in your browser and then clicking OneDrive.

Save and open your files. You can work with your files you store in OneDrive right from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office desktop apps. There’s no need to go to your Office 365 site in a browser. You can sync your files with your computer, sync OneDrive for Business to your computer, and then get your files in File Explorer instead of your web browser. All your changes sync to OneDrive whenever you’re online and connected to the Internet.

Manage your files in OneDrive. After you sync your OneDrive files with your computer, you can manage your files like other files on your computer. You can move, rename, and delete your files the same way you’re used to, except the changes you make to OneDrive files sync to all your other devices, so if you delete a file it’s deleted everywhere. If you modify a file and you open and you modify it on one device and you open it up on another device, you’re going to see that modification already have taken place.

You can share files with others. When you store your files in OneDrive, you can share with others from any device by going to your Office 365 site, or you can share right from Office without even going to Office 365 in a separate window. Whichever way you share Office files, you can work with others at the same time they work and see changes people make. You can work together at the same time.

When you store and share your files in OneDrive, you can work with others at the same time and avoid reconciling multiple versions of the file. I think we’ve probably all actually been there. Working together from either the online or desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote are accessible.

SharePoint is used by organizations to create websites. You can use SharePoint as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information on almost any device. All you need is a web browser. SharePoint provides you with the functionality of content management, enterprise search capabilities across an organization, collaboration with colleagues, social for the enterprise. You can use it as an application platform, company intranet or extranet to communicate with partners, their retention policies for compliance, and for those project lovers out there, Project Online integrates with it as well.

You need to get the right people working together to get the work done, which is not always simple in today’s business world. Skype for Business makes it easy for people to meet and connect online from wherever they are on multiple devices. You can join or start a meeting with just one click, whether across the hall or across the country. HD video is available. Screen sharing and real-time note taking help make meetings matter, producing actionable results and decisions for you and the team that you work with.

Skype has really changed the way that I work. This is one of my favorite tools in the kit, and you might feel the same after you start using it as well. The features in Skype enable you to check presence and send an instant message, which is less formal than email and faster than a phone call. What’s great though is you have the ability to actually take that instant message and easily turn it into a phone and/or video call.

You have the ability to do desktop sharing where you can even whiteboard and draw with the individuals that are on your Skype bridge, and you can all collaborate together, share ideas, share content in real time. If you’re a presenter, you can show your entire desktop or just selected programs to everyone in the meetings. You can upload and share a PowerPoint presentation. During a meeting you can open your presentation on your computer and share your screen, but if you upload your presentation into Skype you can annotate slides, see the presenter notes, switch presenters, let others view the slides privately, or have someone else take over as a presenter to help you during the meeting.

You can even make the slides available for downloading to all attendees so they can review them after the meeting. Skype for Business recording captures audio, video, instant messaging, application sharing, PowerPoint, and whiteboard activities. Another great feature of Skype is actually letting your audience see you. If you’re on the go, use the Skype for Business app to join a meeting from your phone or tablet, whether that’s an Android phone or an Apple iPad.

Email and calendar on the go. With Office 365, you have easy access to your email and calendar wherever you are. To view your email or calendar on your computer, you can use your Outlook or Outlook web app. To view email or calendar on a phone or tablet, you can use Outlook web app or a compatible app that’s on your device such as an email and calendar app. Outlook is an application that you install on your computer. Outlook web app is the browser-based version of Outlook that you can access over the Internet through Office Online.

Outlook with Office 365 really is a one destination for email, calendars, files, contacts, and tasks. A good example is during your morning train commute, you can coordinate meetings on the go, access synchronized contacts, check your task list, and use intelligent tools to manage your inbox so you can quickly deal with what matters the most. Your work is now connected and accessible.

You can view your email on your computer, tablet, or phone. On your computer you use Outlook. On your phone or tablet you can use an app, and just about any device you can access your email in a browser window using Outlook web app. Outlook provides a calendar so that you can use this to schedule your meetings and appointments. Your calendar will remain consistent and up-to-date across all of your devices when you’re using Office 365.

One thing that I personally take advantage of is personalizing the theme within Outlook to a color and look that I prefer. This is something that you will have the capability to do as well. You can set up an automatic signature for your email. You can set up automatic replies when you’re unavailable, find and easily save a contact through the address book, schedule a meeting through the calendar and see everyone else’s availability, but for those team members that you work really closely with, you have the ability to share your calendar with them as well so that you all have ability to know what time works best for everyone. The search functionality in Outlook is now quite powerful as well, so when you’re looking for that old email, typing anything into the search quickly helps you find it. Assigning and tracking tasks is also an easy way to stay on top of things.

Change is the new constant, and it can be hard to keep up. What if you were connected to everything that’s important that’s work related? Say you’re working on a project. You’d be plugged into every document, person, and activity that was taking place within a particular project. How beneficial would that be? With Yammer, you and the team can exchange ideas, get the latest information, and spot opportunities to adapt quickly and make change happen.

Yammer helps the organization listen, adapt, and grow in new ways by working like a network. More than a content repository, it’s a place where teams can discuss various aspects of a project. You can share ideas, give feedback, take notes together, review the same documents, and more. Yammer makes connecting a distributed workforce easy as well. It helps employees get answers to questions faster and in an open community feed style. Most importantly, it inspires unity and innovation by allowing people to learn, share, and be heard and engaged.

If you’d like more information on the content we reviewed today, I would suggest by starting at the top link there, Office Help and Training. It’s got a lot of great content right on those websites. The Work Wonders Portal is also a fantastic place to start, with lots of Office 365 specific content. This does conclude today’s webinar. Thank you very much for attending. I hope you got value out of today’s session, and we really look forward to seeing you for the next topic. Now we will move on to Q&A, so if you have not already submitted your question, please do so now.

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empty.authorFAQ: What is Office 365?

January 2017 Office 365 Updates

January 2017 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for January of 2017. Before we get started with the news I wanted to remind you that your feedback on this series is important to both myself and to the production team. We announced a pilot in October with the sole purpose of gathering input on how we could serve you better. While we received some suggestions we’d like to hear from more of you. Please visit the URL listed on the screen and share your thoughts. You can either post your own idea or vote on or comment on the ideas of other. Of course you can always contact me directly at the email listed on the screen. I’ll make every effort to respond.


Now, onto the updates. I introduce you to QuickStarter in Microsoft Sway in the November update. It’s an intelligent service that lets you go from a blank canvas to a compelling working Sway outline in seconds. I’m please to announce that QuickStarter has been extended to PowerPoint. Simply click on the QuickStarter option in the New PowerPoint screen, enter your topic, and QuickStarter shows you a menu of potential slide templates. Select the slide templates you want in your presentation, choose the graphic theme from the array of options presented, and then click create.


QuickStarter builds a deck for you that includes key facts, related topics, and a table of contents, and a set of slides on the topic and design you chose. You’ll still need to provide the details but QuickStarter automatically and intelligently creates a starter PowerPoint presentation for you to work from. It lets you focus on the presentation content, handling the outline and design choices automatically.


If you’d like to see QuickStarter in action and learn more about the intelligence behind it, watch the Microsoft Mechanics episode embedded in the November, 29th blog post.


While some old timers, like yours truly, might finally remember when Visacalc and, later, Lotus 123 were kings of the spreadsheet world. Excel has been the preeminent spreadsheet for the better part of 30 years. It’s been a cornerstone of Microsoft Office and an indispensable tool for crunching numbers and displaying that information visually.


Over the last few years Excel has released a powerful set of capabilities based on the power query technology which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities. These tools are accessed through the “get and transform” section on the data ribbon. On December, 1st the Excel team announced 10 new data transformation and connectivity features our customers have been asking for.


If you’re not familiar with Excels getting and transform features a great place to start is on the office support site. I’ve included a link in the additional resources for this course. If you’re already a get and transform power user be sure to check out the December, 1st office blog post for the latest improvements.


Editor in Word 2016 is a new writing assistant that helps you create better documents by providing enhanced proofing and editing services. Leveraging machine learning and natural language processing editor provides context on why certain words or phrases in your documents might not be the best choice, hopefully improving your writing skills.


For example, editor detects writing that may be wordy or includes redundancies and suggests more concise language. It also enhances spellcheck by showing the definitions of the possible correct words by ensuring you’re choosing the right now. Especially when the words sound the same. I think my high school teacher called these homonyms? Or was is homographs or homophones? I can’t remember. If you’re a little unsure about how the word should sounds, you can choose “read aloud” from the shortcut menu to hear the proper pronunciation.


Editor uses visual queues to distinguish between different types of suggested edits. Misspelled words are underlined with red squiggles, just like they always have been. Grammar queues are highlighted with a blue, double underline and the new writing style and word usage suggestions are flagged with a gold dotted line. That gold color choice must mean those suggestions are really valuable.


Anyway, these new enhancements to word help you improve your writing and ensure that your message comes across as intended. For additional information watch the Microsoft Mechanics episode embedded in the November, 29th blog post. You can also find additional information on


One piece of feedback I get consistently is that you watch these videos and then look for the features I mentioned in your own copy of office. Some of you don’t see the feature and write back asking where it is. All the way at the bottom of Kirk Koenigbauer’s November, 29th office blog post is paragraph of resources that I hope will remove some of the mystery.


Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal customers will want to join the Office Insiders program to be the first to see the features I cover. The answer is a little longer for commercial customers, but is explained in the link provided in that paragraph I mentioned. Please be sure to give it a read.


Office on Windows desktops has long supported the opening and editing of documents residing on a wide variety of third party cloud storage providers. This is a result of our cloud storage partner program, or CSPP, it ensures customers can get work done in Microsoft Office wherever their documents are stored.


Great news for our Android users, on December, 1st the office team announced that the CSPP is now available for the Office apps on Android devices. It’s easy to add a cloud storage provider from the “add a place” menu in the latest versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Android. Then, you can edit and share your documents stored with that provider as easily as you can do with those stored on Microsoft’s One Driver or One Drive for business. You can also launch Word, Excel, or PowerPoint directly from a cloud storage providers app to edit your files with changes automatically saved back to the cloud.


The list of available cloud storage options in Office for Android includes Dropbox, Box, Egnyte, and [inaudible 00:06:25]. The office team is working on adding Citric Share File, Edmoto, and Learnium as well. The list of options will continue to expand over time and I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on new developments.


Microsoft’s Visio, not to be confused with the Visio brand best known for it’s televisions … there’s one of those pesky homophone things again, has been a trusted tool in diagramming for more than a decade. Visio has helped thousands of organizations blue print the business processes that drive the digital transformation.


On December, 8th Microsoft announced two exciting updates: Visio Viewer for iPad and the Visio online preview. These two enhancements will enable users to access Visio diagrams, stored on one drive for business, or share point from nearly anywhere. Visio Online Preview amplifies the power of visual communication with helping teams gleam real time information from diagrams with just a browser. Turning data link diagrams into an operational dashboard that more employees can access.


Visio Viewer for iOS brings high fidelity viewing of real world processes and plans to iPad and iPhone users. It includes a new exploration experience which allows users to zoom in to specific areas of a Visio diagram for a more detailed view. You can download the Visio Viewer for iPad today from or from the iTunes store. I’ve included links to these resources in the transcript to this course. To learn more about these strategic enhancements to Visio, check out the blog post which includes some compelling news cases.


If you’re new to Visio I encourage you to visit the Visio products support page in the link I’ve provided, for a complete feature overview and a link to download Visio and take it for a test drive.


Back in May of 2016 Microsoft released the Office Online Server which enables organizations still running on premises servers to provide their users with browser based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote from their on data centers. On November, 18th the Office team announced the release of several significant updates to Office Online server. Including performance improvements to co-authoring in Word, as well as improved picture resizing within Word Online documents, improvements when working with tables in both Word Online and PowerPoint Online, support for showing spelling errors inline in the PowerPoint editor, as well as improvements to the copy and paste functions within PowerPoint Online, and support for embedded Power View sheets in Excel Online.


Admins for organizations using Microsoft’s Office Online server should visit the volume licensing service center to download the software. Moving forward, Microsoft will be releasing updates about every four months to continually deliver new value to Office Online server customers.


Just a quick note that Microsoft announced that it has completed the acquisition of LinkedIn, the worlds largest professional network. While some integration between Office 365 and LinkedIn’s offerings already exist, there’s more to come. Be the one of the first to hear about these new capabilities by watching future updates.


I’m Jim Naroski, thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.


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empty.authorJanuary 2017 Office 365 Updates

December 2016 Office 365 Updates

December 2016 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for December of 2016. As you can see from the table of content I have a lot of news to cover this month, so let’s dive right in.


Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella introduced the world to Microsoft Teams on November 2nd. It’s a new chat based workspace in Office 365 that brings together people, conversations and content so teams can easily collaborate to achieve more. One thing I love about Teams now available in preview is the tight integration with Office 365. Files are stored in SharePoint, meeting notes go into OneNote, insights are provided by Power BI, I think you get the idea.


Microsoft Teams takes these already useful tools, presents them in a new way and builds capabilities around them that makes them even more valuable together. Sadly the time we have together doesn’t allow for a complete product tour so I highly encourage you to check out the Office blog links provided in the additional resources. A November 4th blog post contains the Microsoft Teams announcements and two November 2nd posts provide more detail. The first includes a Microsoft Teams overview and has a great Q&A section. The second is an in-depth tour of Microsoft Teams by Dan Stevenson, who demonstrates how to get started from user experiences for chat and collaboration to what Office 365 administrators need to do to enable and manage Microsoft Teams.


Have you ever inserted what you thought was the perfect graphic into an Office document only to find out it looked blocky or jagged when you try to resize it? Now you can insert and edit Scalable Vector Graphics and images in your Office documents. We’ve even added a built-in library of professional high quality icons to get you started. Since these graphics are vector based they look great at any size without becoming to use a scientific term pixelated. Once added you can apply styles, change the line color, change the fill color and add other effects.


The Office team is continuing to expand the types of modern content you can add and edit in your Office documents. One upcoming enhancement I’m looking forward to is the support for three dimensional objects. For a sneak preview of this feature and to learn more about Scalable Vector Graphics, read the October 26th blog post which also includes demonstrations of enhancements to digital ink and a whole bunch more.


Microsoft Access is a great database management solution because it makes collecting and storing data accessible on the desktop and doesn’t require support from an IT administrator. It enables users to develop business applications, collect and analyse data from multiple sources and track just about anything.


On November 4th Microsoft announced that Access will now be included in the Office 365 business and business premium plans. The Office team is introducing additional data sources that can be integrated with Access for Office 365 ProPlus, E3 and E5 subscribers. A set of new enterprise data connectors will roll out to Microsoft Access in early 2017. They include connectivity to OData, Dynamics CRM, Salesforce and Amazon Redshift, with more on the way. This will enable customers to integrate and extend access into other line of business solutions and databases. Those interested will want to read the blog article to get a better idea as to when they’ll be receiving the update and learn more about what’s coming.


Microsoft is always looking for ways to take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware innovations. One example is how the Office team is making the most of the new Touch Bar, a virtual keyboard that replaces the F1 through F12 keys on the MacBook Pro. It moves common commands down to the keyboard and is context sensitive enabling more of the screen to be dedicated to content.


For example in Microsoft Word the Touch Bar enables you to work in word focus mode, a brand new experience that hides all the on-screen ribbons and commands so you can focus on your document. One tap on the Touch Bar and you can quickly apply a new style to a heading or paragraph. Touch Bar commands in PowerPoint allow you to easily manipulate both text and graphic elements right from your keyboard. In Excel typing and equal sign into a cell immediately pulls up the most recently used functions in the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar in Skype for Business allows you to add video, mute your microphone or share your desktop right from the keyboard. With this innovation the Office team has demonstrated once again their dedication to improving productivity across all platforms and devices, not just those from Microsoft.


On October 27th Microsoft announced that Skype for Business for Mac was available to download. The Mac client offers edge to edge video and full immersive content sharing and viewing. The new meeting experience for the Mac will include several features Windows users are already familiar with, including meeting actions which enable you to easily mute, add participants, instant message your colleagues and share your desktop. Presence indicators to let people know that you’re currently busy or available and also see the same information about those you work with.


Full screen, high definition video for a better meeting experience. Group video calling with up to four meeting participants in the meeting window at the same time, with better video quality, smart transitions from presenters and participants and the ability to share content. The Skype team also announced new capabilities in Skype for Business apps for iOS and Android, including the ability to present, not just view, PowerPoint files in a meeting, along with a faster more reliable content sharing approach.


Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow on October 31st. Both services are now available to users around the world. PowerApps and Flow join Microsoft Power BI to create what Microsoft refers to as the Power Trio. Collectively they enable non-developers to accomplish on their own what would have in the past required programming skills, with each tool playing a specific role.


Microsoft PowerApps enables you to rapidly build web and mobile business applications without coding. Microsoft Flow automates business processes through simple configurations. Power BI enables you to quickly analyse and visualize the data that drives your business. To learn more check out the official Microsoft blog post for a detail overview of PowerApps and Flow. I also encourage you to check out an additional Office blog post with a preview of plans to integrate these services with SharePoint. You’ll find links to everything in the additional resources.


Like any tool Office 365 doesn’t do any good if it just sits in the metaphorical toolbox. Its value is realized only when it is actually used. Microsoft recently announced the addition of four new usage reports to the admin center that provide insights about how users in your organization are using and adopting Office 365. The active users report shows you which of your users are actively using the various Office 365 services. The Skype for Business clients used report shows which devices employees are using to access Skype for Business and whether they are using those apps for instant messaging or meetings. A similar report, the email clients used report, provides information about which apps are used to connect to Exchange and includes information on which Outlook client is being used.


The Office 365 groups activity report helps you understand how groups facilitate collaboration across your organization by servicing information about which groups are active, how many members and guests they have, and how they’re being used. These new reports provide insights about how users in your organization are using and adopting Office 365 and help ensure you’re getting the most out of the service. You can read additional details about these reports in the October 31st Office blog post which also contains a section on how to combine the intelligence of the usage reports with the interactive reporting capabilities of Microsoft Power BI.


eDiscovery enables organizations to quickly find, analyse and review relevant information related to investigations, legal matters and regulatory requests. Microsoft released two new features for Office 365 advanced eDiscovery, express analysis and export with analytics. Express Analysis enables you to run advance eDiscovery and export the results with a click of a button. It accelerates the analytics workflow allowing you to quickly minimize and organize your data set and then export it to the desired location. No additional configuration or steps are required. The new export with analytics feature in advance eDiscovery allows you to view your analysed results in Excel. The exported file includes all the metadata associated with the document such as sender, recipient and date. It also includes all the advanced eDiscovery analytics data, including email threading, their duplicate and the key themes in the document.


Having all this analytics information conveniently packaged in a file that can be opened in Excel is a great solution for smaller investigations and legal matters as you can quickly review and tag the analysed data without having to use more advanced tools. For additional details along with a preview of the eDiscovery features plan for the future read the October 27th blog post. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next year.


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empty.authorDecember 2016 Office 365 Updates

November 2016 Office 365 Updates

November 2016 Office 365 Updates

Jim Naroski:Welcome to the Office 365 update for November of 2016. In the next 10 minutes or so, I’ll be giving you a quick recap of the most recent Office 365 updates and news. Just a reminder before we start. We’ve created a new way for you to let us know how we can serve you better with these update videos. Simply visit the URL listed on the screen and post your ideas or comment on the ideas others have posted.


Now, onto the update. I’ve been looking forward to the day when I could easily export my Power BI reports to power point. I’m happy to say that day has almost arrived. Now, you can export your entire Power BI report to a power point presentation. What I love about this feature is this isn’t just a simple image export. You’ll get each report page as a separate slide. Each visual in the report is a high-resolution image to resize as you wish, report text boxes imported as editable text boxes and not just images and links back to the live report in Power BI.


I mentioned earlier that the day has almost arrived because this feature is in preview and still being worked on. Details on where to ask questions, make requests, provide feedback, learn more, and download the preview are provided in the October 17th article in the Power BI blog. Office 365 maximizes your ability to collaborate and leverage content that has already been created. If you’d like to find and reuse existing content in a document, use the “Tap” feature in Word 2016. Tap allows you to leverage and repurpose existing content quickly in just a few clicks without leaving Word. It cuts down on searching time by surfacing yours and your coworkers most relevant and frequently used files.


After locating a file, you can pull content from it into your Word document as a content block. Simply select any result in the tap pane and choose the plus symbol to insert and reuse the content in your working Word document. If you did not find what you’re looking for, tap allows you to search for what you need within the tap pane. Note that the new tap feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription and is currently only offered to customers who are on the Office 365 Business Premium, Enterprise E3 or Enterprise E5 plans.


The Office 365 app launcher has always provided a simple, consistent experience to surface applications. Now we’re taking this one step further in helping bring the apps you use most font and center. The new tab layout allows you to pin and organize tiles in a home section to provide fast familiar access to your favorite apps from your Office 365 subscription, the office store, Azure apps, SharePoint apps, line of business apps, and even custom tiles added by your administrators. Your organization’s recently added apps also get their own new section with badge notifications to let you know when a new app is available.


We’ve also brought the all apps page directly into the app onto experience to give you quick access to the entire catalog of applications and search from anywhere within Office 365. In addition, the office team has expanded the core functionality of the app launcher to allow you to resize and organize tiles. These features mirror the familiar looking feel of the Windows 10 startup and you to make switching between applications easier. The redesigned app launcher also now supports Office 365 themes including your company’s own custom theme. Simply select an Office 365 theme from the settings menu and see the color scheme reflected throughout the new experience.


On October 7th, Microsoft announced the launch of QuickStarter and Sway, a new intelligent service that lets you go from a blank canvass to a compelling working outline in seconds. Simply click on the start from a topic in the middle of the screen and start typing. QuickStarter automatically pulls in recommended sections, relevant content, and suggested images into a new Sway. All images suggested by QuickStarter are tagged with a creative commons license, which means they’re free to use under most circumstances.


Once QuickStarter has created the outline, you can add additional sections, remove items, and rearrange the content in any way you like. QuickStarter is a great new time saving feature in Sway and the office team is working on adding it to power point. I’ll be sure to point this out in any future update as more information becomes available. Also in the October 7th office blog post, the Sway team answered the request of many users, and probably some of you to add audio clips to their Sway presentations. Now, it’s easy for you to insert audio into your Sways so the audience can have an even richer multimedia experience. Simply go to the cards pane and select the “new audio” option.


Having visibility and control over your company’s data within Microsoft Cloud services is a critical part of IT compliance and security. On October 13th, Microsoft announced it was rolling out new auditing and reporting capabilities for Yammer. They provide a new level of visibility for IT and leverage Microsoft inclusion of Yammer in the Office 365 trust center. As a result, Yammer complies with many international and regional standards including HIPAA, ISO 27001 and 27018, Section 508 for web accessibility, and SOC 2 to name just a few.


Also on October 13th, Microsoft announced plans to include Yammer user and admin transactions in both the Office 365 management activity API and the Office 365 security and compliance center. With these actions, more than 25 different Yammer operations like user additions or suspensions, data exports, and data retention policy changes will be made available for auditing purposes. These updates ensure the organization and get the most out of Yammer while keeping your company’s data safe and secure.


Office 365 continues to provide unmatched security intelligence to help customers protect, detect, and respond to threats. Evidences provided in the new security and compliance capabilities coming to Office 365, including improvements to Office 365 advanced threat protection and advanced security management, and the announcement of two new capabilities arriving in the first quarter of 2017, “Threat intelligence and advanced data governance.”


Advanced threat protection improvements will include new reports and lower latency for delivery of e-mails with attachments. We’ll also see protection extend beyond e-mail to SharePoint online, Word, Excel, Power Point, and OneDrive for business. Advanced security management now includes a new feature called, “Productivity app discovery,” which helps admins determine the extent to which shadow IT is operating within their organization. The apps permissions feature helps admins monitor applications connecting to Office 365.


Threat intelligence will help turn threat management from a reactive to a proactive activity by analyzing billions of data signals across office consumer and commercial services. For example, if analytics show that cyber attacks are underway in the financial services industry, the service will alert customers in finance and related areas to the trend. Threat intelligence will also dynamically create and suggest additional security policies to help protect you before the attackers get to your network. Advanced data governance is designed to help you manage the exploding amount and increasing complexity of corporate data. In layman’s terms, it will help you decide what data you need to keep to achieve organizational compliance and automate the process of doing so.


These security and compliance features will eventually find their way into the Office 365 enterprise, E5 and secure productive enterprise E5 plans but not everything is there quite yet. Review the September 26 blog post to get more details and understand the release timeline. Microsoft Ignite are premier conference for IT professionals, was held in Atlanta, Georgia here in the USA in late September. We’ve made available over 700 on demand sessions. Many of which focus on Office 365 related topics. You can access all the content at and also signup to receive information on next year’s conference, which is to be held in beautiful Orlando, Florida. That’s it for now. I’m Jim Naroski. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.


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empty.authorNovember 2016 Office 365 Updates

October 2016 Office 365 Updates

October 2016 Office 365 Updates

Welcome to the Office 365 update for October 2016. I’m Jim Naroski from Microsoft. In the next 10 minutes I’ll recap some of the most recent Office 365 updates and news. In May of 2016 Microsoft unveiled a new vision fr the future of SharePoint, and more recently announced the roll out of several new enhancements to SharePoint Online team sites in Office 365, including deeper integration with Office 365 groups. When you create a group, Office 365 automatically gives the group a shared mailbox, calendar, OneNote Notebook, a planner for task management, and now a full powered SharePoint team site. The roll out started in early September, and once complete all newly created groups get a SharePoint team site by default.

Microsoft also redesigned the team site homepage to focus on the most relevant content, while maintaining easy navigation to the teams lists, libraries, pages, and apps. The homepage also provides quick access to the groups Outlook conversations, and when you click on the name of a team site, you’ll see the group card with navigation links to more of the groups calendar, files, and more. As more and more teams embrace the breath of SharePoint online capabilities, especially Office365 video integration, content storage requirements are growing. To address this Microsoft will increase the SharePoint online site collection storage limit in the coming weeks from 1 terabyte, all the way up to 25 terabytes. Additional details and links are in the August 31 office blog post, including a brief section on how to get started using SharePoint online team sites in Office 365.

At the September Microsoft Ignite Conference, Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP of office marketing announced some exciting new features coming to Office 365. These Cloud powered intelligent services in the apps and services expand the growing intelligence capabilities within Office 365. TapInWord enables surfacing and incorporating of relevant files without leaving the app. QuickStarter produces a PowerPoint outline in just a few clicks, and MyAnalytics provides time and network insights to help executives, manages, and workers better focus their time where it matters. These features help our users work smarter, and produce better results.

Microsoft released several enhancements to Outlook on the web to make it easier to get context and recent information on the people you’re corresponding with. The first thing you’ll notice is that you can quickly get contextual information on the people in your organization sending you emails by hovering your mouse over their name. A contact card appears, allowing you to quickly email, instant message, call, or create a calendar appointment. In addition, you’ll also see the person’s job title, who they report to, as well as recent email. This makes it easy to quickly place a person in context, both within your organization, and within your interactions. Need more information before applying? Simply click on their name and a contact page slides into view. You’ll see more information on where the individual fits within the organization, as well as your recent email exchanges, files you’ve shared, and calendar events you’ve both been a part of. This enables you to get rich contextual information without leaving your inbox.

Want this same information on someone you work with, but don’t have one of their emails handy? Simply click on people in the app launcher. The Outlook team has revamped context by adding a new featured people section that contains smart lists. Smart lists allow you to view people by the way you interact with them in Outlook. Such as an email, or shared meetings. The lists are dynamic, which means the people in your list change as your interactions evolve over time. Click on their name and the contact pane slides into view. There are lots of additional details in the August 30 blog post, be sure to check it out.

On September 13 the Outlook team announced enhancements to the Outlook calendar app on iOS and Android that helps you make the most of your day, and ensure you’re in the right place at the right time. When creating an appointment just start typing a location and outlook will provide intuitive suggestions powered by Bing. Once you’ve added the location, Outlook will include a map with your event details, which you can open in your favorite maps app. The date and time pickers have also been updated, the new design provides a simpler more intuitive way to choose the date and time when creating a meeting. Matching how Outlook works on the web or desktop. In addition, recurring meetings can now be edited from your iOS or Android device.

Here’s a great new feature I found on the Microsoft support site. If you’d like to make your PowerPoint presentations more flexible and dynamic, try using Zoom for PowerPoint. Creating a Zoom in PowerPoint enables you to easily jump to and from specific slides and sections within your overall presentation. You can use the Zoom to go from 1 place in your presentation, to another in any order you’d like. You can get creative, skip ahead, or revisit parts of your slideshow without interrupting the flow of your presentation. What I like about Zoom is it allows me to drill into specific slides in any order I like, while still staying oriented on the big picture. To learn how to add different types of zooms to your PowerPoint presentations, go to, and click on PowerPoint.

I recently received an email from a loyal viewer who wrote, “I’m a heavy user of Microsoft Access. Would you please include more Access updates in your videos?” Microsoft Access has been embraced by millions since it was first released in 1992. Office customers around the globe use Access based solutions to support mission critical business procesees across all types and sizes of organizations. In fact my team uses an Access database to catalog all the blog entries we’ve reviewed while creating this update series. While Access doesn’t have frequent updates, 2 recent developments are worth noting. 1 of the things that makes Access so powerful is it’s flexibility working seamlessly with data, no matter where it resides, or what format it’s in. That brings us to the first enhancement detailed in the September 7 office blog post. Microsoft is re-introducing dBASE file support to Access for Office 365 customers.

For complex Access applications that include links to many different data sources, it can be very helpful to have a concise list of all the data sources connected to your database. With Access 2016, simply open the linked table manager dialogue box, select the link data sources you want to list, and then click export to Excel. It’s that simple. If you haven’t yet tapped into the power of Microsoft Access, check out the get started section for Access at

Microsoft understands that you need to work closely with customers, partners, suppliers, or consultants outside your organization. That’s why on September 8 we announced a new guest access feature that gives you the ability to include people outside your company in an Office 365 group. Like all Office 365 feature enhancements, guest access functionality in Office 365 groups is being rolled out in phases. Once enabled on your tenant, group owners can add guests to a group on Outlook on the web. Once added, guests receive a welcome email, are granted access to the group files and SharePoint Online, begin receiving email messages and calendar invites sent to the group, and can access the group in Office on the web, and in the Outlook groups mobile application. They also have automatic access to Cloud based file attachments. Guests have the option to leave the group at any time and visual indicators remind all members of guest participation in the group across all Outlook experiences. Learn more about adding and administering guests in Office 365 groups, follow the link in the September 8 blog post.

If you’re an Office 365 admin, be sure to review the August recap on the office blog. It covered several enhancements designed to make your job easier. Including a new office setup wizard that makes it easy for you to configure all aspects of the service, and to get your users up and running quickly in 3 steps. Full support integration that points you to the available help and support options. Setup progress banners that make it easy for you to identify missing steps, and instructions to complete them. A new domains card on the homepage that gives you quick access to frequent domain tasks, such as adding a domain, deleting a domain, or checking the health of your domain directly from your dashboard. Product setup guides that provide you with detailed step by step guidance, and help you get your organization up and running with the main Office 365 services, including Skype for business, as your active directory, and SharePoint. There are additional enhancements in the August 31 office blog post, be sure to check it out.

My goal with this video series is to provide you with the latest information about Office 365. Many of you have provided much appreciated suggestions on how it could be improved, or topics that you’d like to hear more about. With that in mind we’ve created a new way for you to give feedback via UserVoice. To get your creative juices flowing, we seeded it with a few posts. Please visit the site and respond to our ideas, post ones of your own, or respond to those that others have posted. Of course if you have general feedback you can always email me at the address on the screen. That’s it for now. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you again next month.

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empty.authorOctober 2016 Office 365 Updates

September 2016 Office 365 Updates

September 2016 Office 365 Updates

Welcome to the Office 365 update for September of 2016. During the next ten minutes or so, I’ll cover the latest updates and news you need to know to get the most out of the service. The list you’re probably tracking in Excel today will be more easily organized, maintained and shared in a Sharepoint list. Sharepoint lists have been an integral part of the product since it’s introduction way back in 2001. They continued to be very popular with over ten million custom lists all ready in use across Office 365, and hundreds of millions more in Sharepoint on Premises.

Heck, I’ve probably been responsible for a few hundred or so myself over the years. To keep pace with the evolving requirements of our customers, a new, more modern look to Sharepoint online lists, along with one-click integration of power apps and Microsoft Flow began rolling out to Office 365 first release customers in August of 2016. The first thing the Sharepoint faithful will notice is a new interface which is easy to use on any device.

The developer types out there call this, “Responsive Web Design.” With modern Sharepoint lists, you can improve ease of use by empowering users to add columns to lists and sort, filter and group data in place, without having to export the data. Improve productivity by bulk editing list items with Quick Edit, and automate simple business process use with versions approvals and alerts.

Not only that, but you can enrich static information with rich data types, including people, images and manage data tags. Almost all Sharepoint classic lists will automatically inherit the new modern Sharepoint list interface. Users can choose to revert to the classic experience at any time. Administrators can configure classic experience as default at the list site, site collection or tenant level.

Modern lists become even more powerful with Microsoft Flow and Power apps because so many customers regularly exchange data between Sharepoint lists and other systems to support business processes. Flow facilitates this integration by automating work flow and data exchange between Sharepoint and a variety of Microsoft and third party services like Twitter, Sales Force and MailChimp.

With Power apps you can connect, create and share business apps on any device in minutes and build efficient mobile forms and apps directly from a Sharepoint list without needing to write a single line of code. For all the details, read the July 25th Office blog post. To learn more about Power apps and Flow integration, watch the video embedded at the bottom.

Microsoft announced in late July it was expanding the availability of two new features to tree out your e-mails, Focused Inbox and At Mentions. If your inbox looks anything like mine, you’re faced with more and more e-mails all pieing for your attention. It’s more critical than ever to cut through the noise and focus on what matters most.

Outlook’s new focused inbox helps you concentrate on your most urgent messages, like e-mails from your boss. It separates your inbox into two tabs, Focused and Other. E-mails deemed a priority are shown in the “Focused” tab, while the rest remain easily accessible, but out of the way in the “Other” tab.

I know some of you are probably saying, “Jim, this sounds a lot like the Clutter feature you talked about several months back.” Well, you’re kind of right. Focused inbox is a refinement and a improvement on clutter. The most important distinction is that Clutter worked by moving lower priority e-mails to a separate folder, while Focused inbox allows you to find all your high and low priority e-mails on separate tabs in your inbox without having to click on a different folder.

Also note that as Focused inbox rolls out, Outlook will stop moving messages into the Clutter folder. Focused inbox has already been released on Outlook for IOS and Android and is being used daily by tens of millions of users. Soon it will be coming to all versions or Outlook. If you’ve ever sent an e-mail with different actions for different users, then you’ll like the second new feature, At Mentions. Simply type the app symbol, followed by the person’s name you want to draw attention to in the e-mail body. That person’s name is highlighted in the message in blue making your request a little harder to miss.

In addition, if the person isn’t on the “To” or CC line already, they’ll be automatically added. For additional details and to see the roll out plans for these new Outlook features, read the July 25th blog post. Yammer, our private enterprise social network for organizations continues to deliver new capabilities for both users and admins. Entering a separate ID and password isn’t necessary with this social network. Just open Yammer from the Office 365 app launcher, and you’re signed in.

Once signed in, loyal Yammer users should notice enhancements that help streamline the collaboration processes like showing only the most recent updates and update count front and center, and the unread messages counter decreases as you scroll through the conversations. Once you finish reading, Yammer prompts you to move on to the next group. Files uploaded to the Yammer group will open inline in Office Online, so you can review, edit and comment on documents easily and in the context of your conversation.

With the Follow feature and Version History, knowing who has changed the document and when is tracked automatically. Over the next few months we’ll see tighter Yammer integration into One Drive for business, Office 365 groups and Skype for business. All of which will make it even easier to get more work done in partnership with others. Admins should rest assured that Yammer, unlike some other enterprises social networks alternatives out there, meets the same robust security and compliance standards as the rest of Office 365.

We’ve also added much more granular control of Yammer usage all the way down to the user level. Provided some insightful usage reports, and made it much easier to migrate and merge Yammer networks. The July 25th blog post includes a link to an Office m mechanics video where Angus Florence demos any of these new features and more. In last month’s video, I covered the recently released Starbucks add-in for Outlook that makes it easy for you to schedule a meeting with your colleagues at your favorite Starbucks.

That add-in, along with hundreds of others, that enhance the Office experience can be found out Another add-in I found useful is Pickit Presentation Images. Sadly, Office Clip Art was discontinued in 2014, but Pickit fills the void quite nicely. Office users can leverage the Picket add-in to download unlimited, royalty-free photos and icons from Picket’s curated collections all within your favorite Office application. Simply install the app, and you can browse and insert standard definition images from Picket’s vast library for free.

Be sure to check out the Office store for other award winning apps that will enhance your productivity. Microsoft believes that customers should always be aware of how Office 365 first lets you control access to your data. Second, helps you comply with various regulatory standards, and third, safeguards the confidentiality, integrity, availability and reliability of your data at all times. The Office 365 service assurance dashboard was designed to deliver the information relevant for you to perform a risk assessment on Office 365 services on demand.

The dashboard is a new component of Office 365 security and compliance center which provides you 24/7 access to details on how Office 365 implements security, privacy and compliance controls, third-party independent audit reports including Sox, High Trust, ASO 27,0001 and more, and information of now you can leverage Office 365 security controls and configuration to protect your data.

While there are many detailed insights provided through the service assurance tool, initial customer feedback indicates that audited controls are particularly helpful. The audited control feature in service assurance helps you understand how Office 365 protects your data by detailing test status, control implementation details, tests dates and how the Office 365 internal controls map to standard controls and more.

The Office 365 service assurance dashboard is available to all Office 365 tenants as well to perspective customers with Office 365 E3 and E5 trials. More information is available by following the link in the August 8th blog post to the detailed guide on the Microsoft security and compliance center site. Service assurance provides great resources to help you preform a risk assessment, but wouldn’t it be great if Office 365 could perform the risk assessment for you? That’s where a new service, now in preview, and called the “Office 365 Secure Score,” comes into the picture.

Secure Score is security analytics tool that will help you understand your risk profile and suggest actions to reduce it. A great way to think of Secure Score is it’s a credit score but for Office 365 security. The announcements and additional information on Secure Score is not in the Office blog. Rather it is in the “Securing Office 365” blog on TechNet. As always, a link is provided in the additional resources in the transcript. Of course, Office 365 global tenant admins can check the preview out for themselves by visiting

That’s it for this month. I love reading your feedback, so keep it coming. Feel free to contact me directly via the e-mail listed on the screen. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.

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empty.authorSeptember 2016 Office 365 Updates

Envisioning Session at the Atlanta Microsoft Technology Center

Tommy serves as the President at ThreeWill. In this role, he works with his leadership team to hire the best people, find the right business opportunities, and ensure that ThreeWill delivers for our clients on projects.
Danny Ryan:Hello and welcome to the ThreeWill podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan and I’m here with my co-host Tommy. How are you doing?


Tommy Ryan:I’m doing well, Danny.


Danny Ryan:Great. It’s a Friday.


Tommy Ryan:It is a Friday. It’s becoming a pattern.


Danny Ryan:This is.


Tommy Ryan:We used to do these on Thursdays. Now it’s Fridays.


Danny Ryan:It’s fine. Hey. That’s not a problem at all. Yesterday you were at the MTC, otherwise known as the Microsoft Technology Center in Alpharetta, Georgia.


Tommy Ryan:Yes. Yeah, it was a good experience.


Danny Ryan:Yeah.


Tommy Ryan:It’s been a while and I’m kind of excited to do it again soon.


Danny Ryan:Nice, nice, nice. Let’s just talk about that. What was the overall, what was the purpose of doing this in the first place.


Tommy Ryan:Well, we were working with a customer that we implemented SharePoint for them back in 2008. They’re still on SharePoint 2007 today. We help them get their site structure in place, think about what are the right kind of divisions of knowledge and and who can lead that knowledge and get some extra network for them.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:Worked until 2009 and they hired a SharePoint engineer and we help that SharePoint engineer get on their feet and be successful within the organization. Over time it was an investment in the platform and they’ve recognized that and they’re back into reinvesting in the platform. So much has changed since the time they got into SharePoint and started trying to grapple with the value of how that applies to their organization and it’s been stale so that time frame from 2007 to what SharePoint is today and Office 365, it’s changed quite a bit. There’s a lot to absorb a lot to learn and we thought this would be a good first step in the journey together to talk about the art of the possible and what makes sense from an adoption and roadmap strategy for them with SharePoint.


Danny Ryan:This is what, it’s called an envisioning session? Or what is it.. does it have some sort of general name to it as far as what you did yesterday.


Tommy Ryan:You know we use their envisioning center as a part of this engagement and I’ve heard them called architectural design sessions.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:It’s really a visit to the MTC and this is kind of the first interaction that you can have.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:With the folks there and then from there you can take different paths and you do things like proof of concepts, using the labs there.


Danny Ryan:Nice.


Tommy Ryan:Work with different people of expertise. We had kind of the general show of what is Office 365 and productivity and then we also, at the end of the day, dug deeper into Windows 10 and mobility, because this organization deploys mobile devices to some of the largest airlines and significantly large companies.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:In the US and over the world. They wanted to get a sense of what is the strategy for packaging and deploying to new devices to essentially get those prepared to go to the field.


Danny Ryan:So they have a script that they somewhat want to go through as far as a high level and then you can start to dive into some deeper details in certain areas then, it sounds like.


Tommy Ryan:Right. The agenda for the day was introductions, who are the players that are here for the conversation and then they gave us kind of an overview of the platform, priming us. Actually before that they went through: what are the challenges? why are you here? how can we help? We had a session before and we had a prep session before that day.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:That was to revisit that with a larger audience, everyone that was there from Stratix to chime in of what their expectations were, what their challenges were that we could address on that day. After getting that bass line we went into the envisioning center and inside that envisioning center we went through the experience of someone using the platform from personal use all the way through collaboration and using the different channels of communication with an Office 365 like Skype, Office 365 groups and Yammer and the whole gamut.


Danny Ryan:And Hololens.


Tommy Ryan:Well. They didn’t. We actually asked about that because they took us for a little tour around the center. There were Surface Hubs and they want to have a Hololens and they’ve asked for one so they’re hoping to get one soon.


Danny Ryan:Nice. That’ll be interesting to see that. You were mentioning, as far as who is it from the client that comes. Is it a group of five people, ten people. How is it decided who comes from the client.


Tommy Ryan:It’s people that are going to have a voice and how are they going to accomplish getting the most out of the platform.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:It was very heavy IT centric. You know, the CTO of the organization or the CIO of the organisation was there along with the director of IT person and the actual lines of business within the organization that are running more technical type operations and even a network administrator.


We had a variety of people really in the IT organization but this is a very IT centric type of service they provide so they are customer-facing, people that are making sure that they’re using the right technology to solve the problems they have with their customers.


Danny Ryan:We were talking about, as we were preparing for this podcast, you’d mentioned what I call. What I call. In Boxborough where having multiple inboxes or multiple ways of people contacting you. Were there a lot of different… Was that conversation had yesterday or just all of the different ways that, “Okay now I’ve got ten different ways of contacting a colleague and I spend my morning trying to figure out how to.” Was that addressed for what happened?


Tommy Ryan:I don’t think that was addressed head-on but the nature of this group was a little bit a reservation around all these different communication channels. They’re coming from a world of really email and SharePoint and Sharepoint that today, is not used very well.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:It’s really just email and then they’re introducing Skype and there was a comment in the group of someone getting spammed internally from Skype, that is as soon as Skype is turned on, that became more of a distraction than a benefit for them in getting things accomplished. That’s probably one of the things that was going through their head the most is one, how do I secure content well. That’s a typical IT type of thought process of, how far do I take it, am I protected against malicious activity or accidental activity. Like sending something out in an email to a customer when you think you’re sending it internally so if you have confidential information, maybe a policy that would prompt you to say, “Are you sure you want to do this, because this is confidential information, do you want to send it externally.


The whole absorbing everything that was there from Yammer to Office 365 Groups to Skype to OneDrive to SharePoint to Exchange. All those, and Delve. They even exposed Delve to them. Those were things that you just feel like, “Well, gosh, I’m just an email today. DO I really need to participate in these other work streams, these other channels of communication.” I don’t think there was an answer there but one of the things that is kind of common is that one place that you can thread it through is email.


Danny Ryan:Yeah.


Tommy Ryan:When you’re looking at Yammer, when you’re looking at Office 365 Groups, those things you can tune it a little bit to determine how much you want to be pulled in to all the activity that’s happening within your organization.


For example, Yammer, maybe you don’t want to stay in touch with what’s in Yammer but if someone wants to pull you in they can @ mention you and you get an email. For Office 365 Groups you can be a member of that group and decide not to subscribe to the updates.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:Depending on how important these channels of communication are to you, you tuned in appropriately. That takes work. There’s a fine balance of how you might configure it to be out of the box for the typical user. It defaults to something that fits the culture of the organization, and that was a theme from the CIO of, we need to look at what is our culture and how do we want the platform to support that culture.


Danny Ryan:Neat. That’s good that he’s thinking about it that way.


Tommy Ryan:Oh, yeah.


Danny Ryan:That’s really great to hear. What else. Were there any other themes that sort of came up that sort of stood out from yesterday.


Tommy Ryan:What I.. was not surprised, but it was interesting to see the emphasis on Office 365 Groups.


Danny Ryan:Oh, okay.


Tommy Ryan:We’re really grappling with that internally. For example, we have a sales site inside of SharePoint where it’s got a document library and it has that sales content. It’s that one place you can go to go get that sales content.


You might not want to make that public to everyone in the organization, so it gets tricky in terms of how do I be collaborative around that content and also keep it secure. We’ve been kicking the tires with Office 365 Groups and with Office 365 Groups, it’s a more collaborative experience, you can kind of set who are the people that are a part of this pursuit. We’ve talked about after that pursuit is done then you can move that content into it’s record repository. It’s that one place to go, but that takes a little bit of automation. We’ve decided to keep it simple and just work with the sales site.


We are continuing to find what are those areas that Groups apply, because it seems like, when you look at the road map, there’s just a ton of updates to Office 365 Groups. You have to say Microsoft really believes that this is going to be big for us. I’d look at it as kind of the equivalency to social groups in Jive. We’ve got that experience of Jive where you had sites and you had groups. Sites had that hierarchy and groups was flat. Groups really were self organizing places that you could go to create and collaborate. This world, I think, Microsoft is jumping on this bandwagon of kind of user driver social content generation, where we don’t want to have to go through IT to go set that up and that makes IT nervous because where’s the structure.


At the end of the day, this environment at this customer, they had control and they put control over this environment and it didn’t flourish. How can you allow for environments to be empowered to collaborate. I think Groups is trying to strike that chord.


There’s a lot coming together with it, it’s every part of the platforms coming together when it comes to Office 365 Groups. You’ve got the email component with conversations, you’ve got a calendar that’s tied to that group. You have a OneNote that’s tied to that group. You have, really, a SharePoint site that is exposed as almost like a OneDrive repository for files. You’ve got Planner, and Yammer is coming soon. That should be anytime we should start seeing Yammer.


Danny Ryan:So there’s Yammer integration with Groups as well.


Tommy Ryan:Right, right. You almost see every facet of Office 365 comes together with a group, and so what I see it as is a way to take a group of people and provisioning everything that has to do with the platform concentrated around this community.


It you need to do something with Notes it’s exposed to you in a simplistic way. If you need to store some files, it’s exposed to you, not as a full blown SharePoint site, but it looks just like a OneDrive site.


Danny Ryan:It reminds me of a security context.


Tommy Ryan:It is a security context. It’s working in security context. Kind of the other side of that spectrum that, yeah, there’s a lot of great things with that, now it becomes a lot of extra containers that are flat and have no structure to them. They’re flat.


How do I go back and look at sales content for a particular customer. I would like to go to the sales library, go down into the customer and then go into the project.


Danny Ryan:Yeah.


Tommy Ryan:And find that content. Now I’d have to go look for it in a flat list of groups.


With anything there’s pros and cons and you have to see how does that play into your organization, in the culture of your organization and how you get work done and how you can discover content over time. Is it more important to have it highly collaborative. Is it more important to have it highly structured. Sometimes those things conflict with each other.


Danny Ryan:Awesome. This is something it sounds like we do with some of our existing clients and something that if they need to take a look at what’s out there, you set this up and it’s a day long? Or how..


Tommy Ryan:It was a day long exercise.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:We work with the Microsoft account manager.


Danny Ryan:Is their account manager there with you during the day.


Tommy Ryan:Ideally they’re there with you, but the size of this account they have the group of partner account managers that are in, I think, North Dakota or somewhere out there in the Midwest.


Danny Ryan:Okay.


Tommy Ryan:That they had to participate over the phone. They want to partner there, they want the account manager there and then the customer.


Danny Ryan:Awesome. If folks are looking for this, this is something it sounds like it’s a good experience for them. If they want to reach out to us to have us participate in it. I imagine we’re just sort of sharing some of the things that we’re seeing in general with our clients and adding in, probably. Chiming in every once in a while.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, we do that. I looked at this as a way to say, this is a great service for customers of Microsoft. Let’s go in and get immersed in that. It plants a lot of seeds and then let’s step back and say, “Okay, what do we want to take forward from that. What’s resonating and what do we think is the most important things to do this next year.”


Danny Ryan:We were talking before about creating Roadmaps.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:This sounds like something that’s probably not a bad thing to do for the Roadmap.


Tommy Ryan:It’s feeding into the Roadmap. It’s definitely, we talked about Roadmap and you said before, we get into the nitty gritty of that. Let’s hear the story from Microsoft.


Danny Ryan:Good. I want to start promoting our twitter handles. Your twitter handle is @tommyryan?


Tommy Ryan:@tommyryan, yes.


Danny Ryan:See, you got it early on. I’m @dannyfryan. The F for Francis.


Tommy Ryan:That’s right.


Danny Ryan:If folks are interesting in things that Tommy is up to, please follow him on Twitter @tommyryan.


Tommy Ryan:That’s right. It’s all together, no hyphen, no dash, no period, @tommyryan.


Danny Ryan:Excellent. You’re tweeting every once in a while, right? Or you’re retweeting my stuff every once in a while.


Tommy Ryan:Yes.


Danny Ryan:Thank you.


Tommy Ryan:I go into cycles but I would say within a month I’ll be tweeting a couple times and sometimes within a week I’ll be tweeting ten or fifteen times.


Danny Ryan:Excellent. Excellent. Well thank you for taking the time to share what happened yesterday. I appreciate you spending this extra time with the client, it’s nice.


Tommy Ryan:Sure.


Danny Ryan:Very good. Thank you everybody for taking the time to listen and please drop by if you’re interested in doing one of these envisioning sessions at your local, well, local. It’s your Alpharetta MTC. I don’t know if we’re going to be going to any other cities to do this. If you’re in the Atlanta or Alpharetta area and are interested in doing this just drop by our site and hit us on the contact us page and we’d love to talk about heading out there with you.


Thank you so much for taking the time to listen, thanks again Tommy.


Tommy Ryan:You’re welcome, Danny. Thank you.


Danny Ryan:Have a wonderful day. Bye bye.


Tommy Ryan:Bye bye.


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Tommy RyanEnvisioning Session at the Atlanta Microsoft Technology Center

August 2016 Office 365 Updates

August 2016 Office 365 Updates

Hi. I’m Jim Naroski from Microsoft. In this Office 365 update for August of 2016, I’ll be giving you a quick rundown of the latest Office 365 updates from various Microsoft sources. I have a lot to cover this month, so let’s dive right in.

In our mobile first, cloud first world, more and more workers are conducting meetings remotely rather than in their office conference room. One challenge to meeting remotely is that we can sometimes lose the personal connection which is so important in building great business relationships. Outlook now makes it easier for you to meet face to face by enabling you to meet your business partners and customers at your favorite Starbucks location with just a few clicks in Outlook. Simply add the app, create appointment on your Outlook calendar, then click the “meet at Starbucks” command from the ribbon. You search for a Starbucks that’s convenient, and with a single click, you add that location to your meeting request. Want to download the app? Simply click the “Better with Office” link in the June 15 Office blog post. Oh, and for your future reference, my favorite Starbucks drink is a double tall non-fat latte.

In case you missed the news, Facebook is migrating their 13,000 employees from their on-premises solution to the Microsoft Cloud and Office 365. Why would Facebook, the world’s most successful social media platform, move to Office 365? In a July 12 blog post, Facebook’s Chief Information Officer Tim Campos explains that the two main factors in their decision were first, Microsoft’s focus on mobile productivity, and second, the emphasis Microsoft places on delivering robust, state of the art cloud security. Once implemented, Facebook’s employees will experience productivity uncompromised by their choice of platform or device, all protected by security in Office 365.

Over the last three years, the Office 365 Network has become a vibrant online community, with IT pros, technical experts, product enthusiasts, and Office 365 customers all coming together to share best practices. As more organizations like Facebook embrace the cloud and move to Office 365, we want to make the wealth of valuable information in the Office 365 Network available to everyone. The Office 365 Network has until now been hosted on Yammer, which requires registration and sign in to participate. In an effort to make the community content accessible to all, the new Office 365 Network will be hosted on an un-authenticated platform, meaning community posts will appear in internet search results and visitors don’t have to sign in to view content.

The current Office 365 Network will permanently redirect to the new community starting September 1 of 2016. Participate in the new Office 365 Network by visiting, or by clicking on the link in the July 15 blog post.

Did you read the good news? On July 5, Microsoft announced Skype Meetings, a free online meetings tool that provides small businesses with high definition audio and video conferencing. Skype meetings are fast and easy to set up, and with a personalized URL, participants simply click a link to join the meeting. During the meeting, participants can share instant messages, their screen, or a PowerPoint presentation, and use the built-in whiteboard to make online meetings engaging and productive. Right now, Skype Meetings sign up is limited to anyone in the US with a business e-mail address, and whose organization doesn’t already have Office 365. You can learn about how this free offer compares with Skype for Business, how to sign up, and watch a product overview by checking out the blog post.

As malware attacks become more sophisticated, your e-mail needs additional cutting edge security. If attacked, you run the risk of lost intellectual property, productivity, business reputation, time, and of course, money. In fact, the average total organizational cost of a data breach in the us is $6.5 million. Fortunately, Microsoft Office 365’s Exchange Online cloud hosted e-mail for business fortifies your IT defenses with a variety of tools including robust anti-virus protection, automatic patching, and spam filtering. Additional security tools ensure your e-mails remain safe and secure. As attacks become more sophisticated, advanced security, privacy, encryption, and anti-virus technologies from Office 365 are your best defense. To learn more about the protection that Office 365 and Exchange Online can offer your business, check out the June 23 blog post.

While more people are getting work done and collaborating with others via their mobile devices, organizations are finding it even harder to secure their sensitive data. To help organizations empower their employees to work anywhere at any time while also protecting their content, Microsoft has extended the Office 365 data loss prevention policy tips to OneDrive mobile apps for Android, iOS, and universal Windows.

What are policy tips? They’re contextual, user facing notifications that educate people when they’re about to send, share, or work with sensitive data such as credit card, passport, or drivers license numbers. These policy tips help educate users while still allowing them to get their job done. They also help them stay compliant with all existing data protection policies put in place by their organization. Policy tips work hand in hand with data loss prevention, which scans documents stored in OneDrive for Business for sensitive information as defined by the company policies configured in Office 365. As users work with documents in the OneDrive mobile app, they will see a policy tip for documents that contain sensitive information. Depending on the policies and user action, the tips may provide information about what triggered a policy violation, or options to override and submit a false positive report if access to the content is blocked. To experience this new capability for yourself, download the latest OneDrive mobile app for your device. Links are provided in the July 14 Office blog post.

On June 21, Microsoft announced the new SharePoint mobile app for iOS. Now it’s even easier to stay connected to important content, sites, portals, and people from across your internet while on the go. With the SharePoint iOS app, you can carry your internet in your pocket or in your purse. The sites tab displays a list of the sites you visit frequently, and sites you’re following. Click on a site to see recent activity, recent files, and the site’s assets. The links tab takes you to sites and portals programmed for everyone in your company to see. They are curated by your SharePoint admin from the SharePoint home in Office 365. The People tab gives you visibility into what the people you work with are working on, or you can find and browse colleagues in your network. Just tap on an individual to see their contact card and discover what they’re working on, and who they’re working with, based on intelligence powered by Office 365. Check out the great Microsoft Mechanics video embedded in the June 21 blog post where Andy Hohn from SharePoint Engineering gives an in-depth look at the SharePoint mobile app.

Many viewers write to me asking for new features in Office 365, some of which I really like. If you have an idea for something new that would help you or others, the UserVoice program is a great place to make yourself heard. While the UserVoice is available at, you can also access product specific suggestion boxes via the happy face in the top right hand corner of your Office desktop application. Just click the face, and select “I have a suggestion.”

That’s it for this month. As always, I love reading your feedback on these update videos, so please keep it coming. Contact me directly via the e-mail listed on the screen. Thanks again for watching, and I’ll see you again soon.

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empty.authorAugust 2016 Office 365 Updates

How to Keep up with Changes in Office 365

Tommy serves as the President at ThreeWill. In this role, he works with his leadership team to hire the best people, find the right business opportunities, and ensure that ThreeWill delivers for our clients on projects.
Danny Ryan:Hello and welcome to the ThreeWill podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan. I have Tommy here with me today. Hey Tommy.


Tommy Ryan:Hey Danny, good morning.


Danny Ryan:Tommy Ryan, that is. He also shares the same last name as me.


Tommy Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:Yes, we are brothers. We’re co-hosts of the ThreeWill podcast. This week, I wanted to pick up on something that we do internally. Last week, we were talking about the acquisition of Yammer and how that was more about probably how Microsoft delivers software than it is about the product itself. I know for us, we were seeing a lot of changes coming from Office 365.


We had to figure out some way of staying on top of those changes internally because our customers look to us for us to be on the bleeding edge, the cutting edge. One of the things that you did was you set up what we call the Morning Brew. The Morning Brew is done on Tuesday mornings. Can you just maybe just give me an overview of why you started this, what you were trying to do when you started this?


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, we look at ourselves as a learning organization. As we were seeing SharePoint come into the fold of a broader set of applications in the Office 365 suite, we saw that there was a lot of learning to do. A lot of the projects were on the current technology SharePoint on-premise. We wanted to be prepared for Office 365 and get a sense of what’s there, why it’s there.


It really was for ourselves internally, for our own collaboration and then for our customers so we could basically, give them a sense of what SharePoint is in the context of Office 365 and how that works well as a combined suite of applications.


Danny Ryan:Is it you pick a topic a week or you come up with a couple of tips or it’s just an open format for how you do this?


Tommy Ryan:It’s pretty open. I open it up to anyone in the company that wants to share something. Sometimes, the topics will include some development topics for people that are trying to build, say, against the Office graph and raising awareness of what’s out there and what are people doing? Really, it’s that time to sync at least once a week where we raise our head up and talk about what’s out there as a group.


A lot of times I’ll end up doing the talking. I just want to make sure that we don’t stay buried in the present moment of what we’re doing today and keep our eye out on the future so we can help customers know when it’s the right time to move to the cloud and what they get when they move to the cloud.


Danny Ryan:We’ve talked before about the Office roadmap. Is that a place where you’ll go to check and see what’s coming out?


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, I use that as a feeder. If I don’t have any topics that I want to share, I’ll go out to the Office 365 roadmap and look at what’s been released or updated in the last sixty days. They have filtering on that. You can go look at certain topics to see where is the time being spent on the platform and where’s the most activity? It gives you a sense of what’s coming down the pipe because you can see things that are in development before it actually gets released.


There is a lot more visibility into the roadmap today than what we saw, say, five years ago, with Microsoft server products. They’re highly visible in terms of what’s coming into the pipe, what’s being delivered, what’s in a quote early release for certain tenants to be able to take advantage of and then what’s planned to be released to the entire public.


Danny Ryan:Part of this philosophy for us is to stay ahead of the curve is we’re on it’s like the fast ring equivalent for Office 365. Is that?


Tommy Ryan:It’s first release.


Danny Ryan:First release.


Tommy Ryan:There’s a standard release and a first release. For you tenant in Office 365, you can opt for that. It’s an administration setting. That way, you see things that they’ve been tested, but it hasn’t got to a wider audience. You can kick the tires. Things that go to first release might not make it to standard release based on the usage of it and what people think about it. A lot of those things that come out in first release really make it out to standard release. It’s just a first step with people that are more tolerant to things changing in their environment. As a consulting company, we like to see the changes as soon as they’re available.


Danny Ryan:This is on Tuesday morning. How long is the Morning Brew last?


Tommy Ryan:It’s fifteen minutes. We try to make it digestible for people where they feel like they have time to do it. It seems like something like fifteen minutes is something you can squeeze into your day. We do it at 8:45 in the morning. It gives people a chance to come together and share information about what they’re seeing. A lot of it ends up being tips and tricks, too, of did you realize you got this ability? You can configure this, this way and increases our productivity.


It’s little tidbits we can share with our customers, too, that might not be quote development efforts, but more of did you realize you had this for free? We want to make sure we continue to raise that awareness of what customers get for free. That way, they have a good starting point for solutions versus starting with a blank slate.


Danny Ryan:Some folks go. We have an open office. Some folks come and come into the open office to see this. Then there’s, I guess, for remote folks, they’re watching this online and calling in online to listen in.


Tommy Ryan:Then Tim sits at his desk and calls in online, yes.


Danny Ryan:Yes, he likes sitting at his desk. There it goes again. Tim comes up in a podcast, surprise, surprise. Anything else? I guess this is … Why wouldn’t maybe one of our clients do this? It seems like it’s a good way for them. I know a lot of them have these sort of like user groups and monthly get-togethers to talk about whether it’s SharePoint or Office 365, but this seems like this, anybody can benefit from doing this.


Tommy Ryan:I think it serves a couple purposes. One is just awareness. Another aspect is learning, too. You’re really evangelizing the platform. I think you don’t get use of a platform unless you constantly remind people what’s there. Sometimes, they have to see it three and four times. I’ll repeat certain topics that I think are important enough to show again because either not everybody was there or it’s just something that we forget about because we haven’t seen it.


I bring up Dell quite a few times because it’s one of those hidden gems that I think people are not consciously just going out to Dell to look at it. What I’ve noticed over time is they’re taking Dell and they’re starting to surface it in areas like OneDrive where it starts recommending things for you versus I have to physically know where it’s at and navigate down to where it’s located.


Dell is trying to take your interactions, your connections with people, and content and trying to basically, use machine learning to figure out, out of all the content in your organization, which pieces of content you might be interested in.


Danny Ryan:I think another important thing to note for this is this isn’t something that external folks are listening in on. It makes it a little bit more of a safe environment for people to ask questions. I think that’s an important aspect of this as well.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah and it gives people a chance to present, too. That’s always a good thing to be able to articulate your thoughts to a group of people and do that in a safe environment. That way, it’s easier when you go into a more public setting to share information.


Danny Ryan:Any other tips that you might have on maybe an organization trying to get a Morning Brew like session set up internally in their organization?


Tommy Ryan:I think it’s just get a regular frequency. Make it a very short duration. Try to get as much participation as you can. Make it easy. Don’t come up with a very polished presentation every time. Make it ad hoc and make it feel like it’s someone is just watching over your shoulder as you show them something versus you creating a Power Point deck for a fifteen-minute meeting.


I think you just want to reduce the friction for people to share. You need to do it, I think, on a regular frequency like a week to continue to keep that awareness and keep people thinking about and getting better use out of the platform.


Danny Ryan:This is different than we also do the Bruce’s or we’ll grill out and have the showcase where you’re spending, I guess, spending more time on delving into the code. There is a distinguishing factor between, hey, somebody might want to take thirty minutes to go through a specific solution we’ve created. There is a different forum for that sort of thing.


Tommy Ryan:Right, we have the product showcase to take project-based work and showcase what we’ve done for other clients, things that we typically can’t show publicly that we want to raise the awareness internally. If someone is building something similar they know so-and-so actually built that already. I know who to talk to. It’s a training thing, too. We try to expose people to newer technologies. Maybe they don’t have time or they’re not on a project that’s getting them involved with new technologies that at least they get to see it in the product showcase.


Then we have another form of learning, while we’re on this topic, is we call lunch and learn. Most organizations do that. We do it based on new topics that come up that people are just going to have a hard time figuring out themselves. We try to have someone dig into it deep, and then share and do an hour session. It could be as detailed as that or it could be as lightweight as let’s just take an hour and replay a video from Microsoft on a certain topic that’s a development topic.


Danny Ryan:I like how you’re leading up the Morning Brew sessions for making sure you’ve got a good cadence with them, staying on top of what’s coming out. Bruce is making sure that a lot of the projects that we’re delivering, that there is awareness inside the organization as far as what we’ve done for other clients.


Then Pete’s, just every once in a while, doing these lunch and learns on important topics that he thinks our consultants and developers need to know as far as things that are coming out that they need to be aware of. I think that’s an important aspect of this as well is you need to have different formats of sharing. That’s important aspect of this as well.


Tommy Ryan:I agree. I agree.


Danny Ryan:Anything else to wrap us up, Tom?


Tommy Ryan:That is it.


Danny Ryan:All right, all right, I appreciate you taking the time to do this.


Tommy Ryan:Sure, thank you, Danny.


Danny Ryan:Thank you everybody for listening. If you’ve got, definitely leave a comment if you’re got some pointers on how do you stay on top of Office 365, SharePoint. Just interested to learn more about maybe what you’re doing within your organization to continue to learn and continue to share and continue to stay on top of things because my goodness stuff is coming out at a rapid pace. It really is important for you to take the time to back away and learn. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen today. Thanks Tommy.


Tommy Ryan:Thank you, Danny.


Danny Ryan:You bet you. Drop by and have a wonderful day. Thank you, everybody, bye, bye.


Tommy Ryan:Bye, bye.


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Tommy RyanHow to Keep up with Changes in Office 365

July 2016 Office 365 Updates

July 2016 Office 365 Updates

The pace of change in today’s organizations is faster than ever before, and Office 365 is constantly evolving to meet the needs of a workforce that demands the best tools to improve both their efficiency and their effectiveness. I’m Jim Naroski from Microsoft. In this update, I’ll give you an overview of the latest changes to Office 365 and tell you where you can learn more.


I’ve received a few emails from users saying they were totally up-to-date on their Office 365 client but were still not seeing some of the new client features I covered in prior videos, like the Morph and Designer functionality in PowerPoint. Please keep in mind Office 365 client features might roll out at different times based on the Office 365 plan you are on. Office 365 Business, Office 365 Education, and Office 365 Enterprise E5 are some of the different plans available. Also keep in mind that we rolled out an Office 365 client update policy in September of 2015 that is now defined using the terms Current Channel, Deferred Channel, and First Release.


Why am I telling you this? I’m pleased to announce that the June Office 365 client update is now available for those that are on the Deferred Channel update cadence. Many new features will now be available to those users, including the PowerPoint features I mentioned earlier. Read the June 15th blog post where you’ll find a link to an article listing of all the feature updates, bug fixes, and security updates available in the Deferred Channel June update.


Last August, we released Outlook for Apple Watch, and frequent viewers know I use my Microsoft Band to stay up-to-date. Now Android users can join the fun too with the June 3rd announcement of an Outlook watch face for Android Wear. Here are the updates. Now, with a glance at your Android Wear device, you can quickly see an overview of your day’s schedule along with key details on where you need to be next.


Details of your next event are front and center, showing you how much time is left until your next meeting and where you have to be. You can also see information on how many new emails you have received since you last looked at your phone. Colors on the outer part of the dial match those you’ve added to the Outlook calendar on your Android phone. To see details on your upcoming meetings, simply tap and swipe. In those rare instances when you don’t have any events on your calendar in the next 12 hours, Outlook will show you who has recently sent you mail. For the more fashion conscious among us, you can personalize your watch face background and accent color to fit your style.


In addition to keeping you up to speed on what’s next, Outlook lets you interact with notifications and take action right from your wrist. You can take these same actions on email that are available in Outlook for Android, including archive, schedule, flag, and delete. If the email includes an event invitation, you’ll also have the ability to RSVP in a snap. If you need to reply, Outlook provides a preset list of responses and supports voice dictation. No need to even take your phone out of your pocket.


I’ll confess that I only became convinced of the value of having email and calendar info available on my wrist when I experienced it for myself using the Microsoft Band. Now it’s become an indispensable productivity tool. Try it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.


This video is brought to you through the efforts of a small, dedicated group of people. Sure, the work of the team must be coordinated, but using Microsoft’s traditional Project and Portfolio Management solutions to manage the team’s activities would probably be overkill. That’s where Microsoft Planner comes in. The addition of Planner to the Office 365 lineup introduces a new and improved way for businesses, schools, and organizations to structure teamwork easily and get more done.


On June 6th, Microsoft announced that Planner would begin rolling out to all eligible Office 365 customers worldwide. All users with eligible subscription plans will automatically see the Planner tile in the Office 365 app launcher when it is available to them. No specific action by Office 365 admins is needed.


The heart of Planner is the hub, a color-coded representation for all your favorite plans. Yellow for tasks not yet started. Red for late tasks. Blue for in progress. Green for completed. With a single click you can launch the board view for any of the plans, which displays all of the team’s work organized by buckets of tasks. You can think of the buckets as an aggregation of related tasks. Assigning people to tasks is as simple as dragging and dropping.


Planner also lets you store task related documents and have conversations with team members right from within the Planner interface. The charts view in Planner gives you an immediate up-to-date view on everyone’s progress. If you notice that someone is falling behind on key tasks, they can be quickly and easily re-assigned to balance the load and keep the team on track.


Planner sends email notifications when new tasks are assigned and works across devices and platforms, so collaboration can happen when the team is on the go. Read the June 6th blog post and watch the video you find there to learn more. Or better yet, start using Planner to better organize your team’s work.


Microsoft recently announced the ability for co-editors to chat with one another directly within a OneDrive document when working in Office Online. A May 25th blog post announced this capability was being extended to our Office 365 Business and Education customers for documents stored in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. Built on the same technology as Skype for Business, the new chat feature is available in all the Office Online applications: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. When you share a document from OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online with your co-workers, they can view, make edits, and even co-author with you in real-time. When multiple people are in a document at the same time, their names appear in the list of co-editors at the top right of the browser window. Next to the list of co-editors, you’ll see a blue chat button.


Some of you out there may be asking, “Why would I chat instead of adding a document comment?” Great question. Use the new chat feature when you want to communicate with others immediately, for example, to ask a quick question. Chat history is not saved when you close the document. In contrast, use document comments when you want to attach a comment to a specific selection within the document, such as when you need to ask if a word or phrase should be changed. Comments are saved with the document and can be replied to, marked as done, or deleted. The new chat feature lets you collaborate with your co-workers in a new, more immediate way. You can read all the details in the May 25th blog post.


I’m pleased to announce that some of the advanced security management capabilities I discussed in the April update are now available as part of the Office 365 Enterprise E5 Plan. 2 components of advanced security management are now available. They are anomaly detection and activity detection. Anomaly detection policies alert admins to potential breaches of the network by scanning user activities and evaluating the risk against over 70 different indicators, including sign-in failures, administrator activity, and inactive accounts. A simple example of an anomaly might be if a user logs into Office 365 from New York City and then 5 minutes later connects from somewhere else they couldn’t possibly be, like Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Activity policies, the second component of Advanced Security Management available now lets admins track specific activities. You can start with Microsoft’s out-of-the-box templates and customize them, or create them from scratch. An example of an activity policy would be one that detects a user downloading a large amount of data. In both cases, once the conditions of the policy are triggered, a wide array of actions can be taken, including notifying an admin or suspending a user’s account.


This is just the start of what Advanced Security Management for Office 365 will offer. Astrid McClean delivers a great demo in the Microsoft Mechanics video embedded in the June 1st blog post and talks more about what’s planned for the future.


Good news for Office 365 admins. On June 14th, Microsoft announced a design update for the Office 365 admin app that makes it easier and more efficient for you to manage the service on mobile devices. Over the last 12 months, we’ve added almost 40 feature updates to the app, including push notifications, mobile device management, and partner integration. With this latest release, we are introducing feature grouping to enable admins to find what they need faster. Similar features, such as quick actions on the user card, are now categorized and displayed together. In addition, new quick links on the dashboard give you direct access to the settings that you use on a regular basis, such as users, groups, and billing.


The update also makes it easier for you to identify areas that need your attention. Information that is important to you and that you might want to take action on, such as blocked users, is now highlighted in the app. The new version of the Office 365 admin app should be available on Android, iOS, and Windows phones by the time you watch this video. Read all the details and download the app by clicking on the link in the June 14th blog post.


That’s it for now. I love reading your feedback so please keep it coming. Feel free to contact me directly via the email listed on the screen. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again next month.


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empty.authorJuly 2016 Office 365 Updates