Blogroll: Microsoft Office

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 22 posts from the blog 'Microsoft Office.'

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Updated: 5 min 50 sec ago

Entrepreneur helps clients transform with Office

Mon, 26/06/2017 - 17:00

Mellicia Marx, entrepreneur and operator of Poplin Style Direction, poses in front of a boutique.

Mellicia Marx is in the business of transformation. She runs Poplin Style Direction, a personal styling business that ensures a client’s look is on point. She’s helped new mothers revive their wardrobes, and other clients dress for new office environments confidently. “I love watching people transform,” she says.

Mellicia helps people understand which garments best complement their shape, personality and lifestyle. She teaches them how to shop, what to wear and how to wear it. Mellicia finds the secret style sauce that elevates each client.

Polishing a business’s image

Mellicia also knows that the success of her business depends on styling, too. The look and feel of her business and good communication with clients are key to growth. Through her website, she introduces clients to the styling process and options, and provides a private client access area where she shares personalized advice with each client. The website also includes her blog, the “voice” of her business, where she offers styling advice that has proven to be a powerful tool for attracting clients.

Mellicia finds Microsoft Word to be invaluable to maintaining her online presence because it makes it easy to share information with her web designer for needed updates. “Word is user-friendly,” she says. “You can figure out everything you need to do in five minutes or less.” She also spends a lot of time traveling between clients, and Microsoft Office mobile apps help her keep business moving when she’s not at her desk. “I have Office on my iPad Mini, so I can view and make edits to a document and respond to my designer or other contractors quickly.”

Structuring work-life balance

While rewarding in its freedom and creativity, being an entrepreneur can also make it more challenging to find work-life balance. Mellicia’s business is built on relationships, and nurturing them takes time. Efficiency in her personal life is crucial. “Word helps me organize our home life,” she explains. For example, she uses Word tables to organize her son’s activities, and to coordinate with the families of his friends who do the same activities or camps. “It keeps us all on the same page.”

Weaving retailer data with client needs

The amount of data involved in styling can be overwhelming. “I share a giant, complex spreadsheet with a contract stylist. We use it to track brands, online retailers and boutiques,” Mellicia says. “My Microsoft Excel sheet is a vital resource.”

The spreadsheet contains information Mellicia can use for clients, and in her blog and social media posts. It includes trend, sizing and style data categorized by brand and retailer. “Excel lets us easily sort this information depending on the task at hand,” she says. For example, she uses the split planes feature of Excel to focus on a single client and see which retailers may carry a needed item. She also easily searches the data to find a specific size or trend item. “It would be impossible for me to track this information without Excel.”

Mellicia and the contract stylist share the spreadsheet online, so the information can be updated easily by either of them. “It’s exciting to open up the spreadsheet and rediscover retailers or brands I may have forgotten about,” she explains. “More resources for me means more resources for clients—and all in all, it lets me do my job better.”

Mellicia’s also considered some of the newer features in Excel, like Maps. “This could become useful for our marketing,” she says. With Excel Power Maps, I could plot client locations and use this information to create Facebook ads targeted to those areas or host an event where a concentration of clients is located.”

Giving back with panache

Despite her busy schedule, Mellicia finds time to give back as an entrepreneur. She volunteers with YouthCare, a nonprofit that provides services, education and training to homeless youth. Mellicia hosts styling sessions for youths, ages 16–24. “I help them translate the authenticity of their personal style to clothes that are appropriate for job interviews and work,” she explains.

Mellicia uses Microsoft PowerPoint to give presentations at YouthCare. “It’s great for these kids to be exposed to business tools like PowerPoint,” she says. “Also, my whole team of volunteers uses it—so if I can’t make it to a presentation, any one of them can take over and run the show.”

Just as a bold wardrobe is built on basics, Mellicia relies on Office as a foundation for her business. Whether it’s communicating with colleagues; organizing, sorting and analyzing retailer data; or presenting fashion concepts in her volunteer work, Office is her go-to technology. “I can’t control what software my contractors or clients use, or their level of comfort with different technologies—so it’s especially important I use tools that are easy for anyone,” she says. “Office offers that and more. It lets me spend my time on work that matters—providing great style options for my clients.”

The post Entrepreneur helps clients transform with Office appeared first on Office Blogs.

Categories: Technology

New to Office 365 in June—classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams and more

Fri, 23/06/2017 - 17:00

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

At the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference next week, Microsoft will showcase the latest ways we’re empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. This month’s Office 365 updates are another step on this journey, with the broad availability of new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams, security enhancements and more. Read on for the details.

The new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams are now broadly available

We’re excited to announce that the new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams are now rolling out to Office 365 for Education customers. For students, Teams helps create safe and engaging classroom environments with rich conversations including text, video and voice, as well as custom class themes, stickers and emojis. Educators can save time with student class rosters automatically populated from the school’s information system. They can also move effortlessly between planning lessons, creating content and providing feedback with the help of integrated OneNote Class Notebooks, Assignments and Office apps. Lastly, Teams provides a hub for educators and staff to connect with each other outside the classroom (for example, in professional learning communities), all from a single experience within Office 365 for Education.

The classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams are being shown on a Windows desktop and iPhone. Specifically, the same World History project-based group conversations around an embedded Word document and Planner plan are being shown on both devices, in context with the rest of the class resources and student-led discussion.

With classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams, everything students need is right at their fingertips with OneNote Class Notebook, Assignments and Office apps built into every class.

Availability: The classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams are now rolling out to Office 365 for Education customers in 181 markets and 25 languages on Windows desktops, Macs, Windows Mobile, iOS and Android, as well as the web. Office 365 security, protection and compliance updates

Several Office 365 updates this month help enterprise subscribers better protect sensitive information, manage risk and stay ahead of threats within their organization.

  • Windows Information Protection expands to Office on Windows desktops—Windows Information Protection (WIP) support is expanding beyond Office mobile apps to Office on Windows desktops. WIP helps prevent accidental data leaks while letting your employees maintain control over their personal data. They can simply designate content created in these apps as “work” or “personal,” so your IT department can protect or remove only business data. Learn more about Windows Information Protection.

Availability: Windows Information Protection support in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook on Windows desktops is now available for Office 365 commercial customers with Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5. It was already supported in Office mobile apps for Windows tablets and phones.
  • Additional Office 365 security and compliance updates—This month we also announced additional updates to help you manage threats and protect sensitive information. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) now offers enhanced reporting on malicious emails detected and blocked in your organization. New ATP Safe Links policy configurations let you block specific URLs, customize policies for specific people and more. Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery now provides a more streamlined user interface for managing the entire case lifecycle. It also now extracts text from images using optical character recognition and helps you supervise employee communications to comply with internal policies and regulatory bodies. Lastly, a new security information and event management (SIEM) connector for Office 365 Advanced Security Management (ASM) enables your organization to centralize the monitoring of ASM alerts with your existing SIEM software.

The threat protection status report is being shown in the Office 365 security and compliance center, including reporting on malicious emails detected and blocked in your organization.

Enhanced threat protection reporting provides better visibility into malicious emails.

Availability: Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, Advanced Data Governance, Advanced eDiscovery and Advanced Security Management updates are available and included in Office 365 E5 and Secure Productive Enterprise E5 customers. Additional updates for Office 365 commercial customers

This month, we have additional updates for our commercial customers, providing your employees with new ways to collect feedback in surveys, as well as manage and share videos internally.

  • Microsoft Forms is available for commercial public previewPreviously available for education customers, Microsoft Forms is rolling out for commercial customers, providing a lightweight web tool for creating surveys, quizzes and polls. It helps anybody in your organization easily collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction, organize team events and more.

A customer satisfaction survey is being shown being created and shared with Microsoft Forms. First, questions are added with response options. Then a theme is chosen before she Share pane is selected, showing all the options for sharing the survey.

Microsoft Forms is a lightweight web tool for creating surveys, quizzes and polls.

Availability: Microsoft Forms is rolling out in public preview for Office 365 commercial customers in First Release.
  • Microsoft Stream is generally availableMicrosoft Stream is an intelligent video service for commercial customers to easily and securely upload, share, manage and view videos in a single experience. Speech-to-text transcription, face detection, intelligent search and more make video consumption more efficient. IT can also tailor Microsoft Stream to fit their organization’s needs with management and security capabilities. Get started with Microsoft Stream.

Intelligence features in Microsoft Stream are being shown. A video is shown playing, and the faces detected in the video are shown below the video. Text is showing alongside the video representing what is being said on the video.

Microsoft Stream leverages face detection, speech-to-text and more to enhance productivity.

Availability: Microsoft Stream is generally available for Office 365 commercial customers with Enterprise and Education plans in 181 markets and 44 languages. Improvements to intelligent services in Office 365

This month’s updates to cloud-powered intelligent services in Office 365 apps and services help save you time, produce better results and share insights on your work habits with your coworkers.

  • Find credible sources and content from within more apps—We’re extending Researcher beyond Word on Windows desktops to Word on Macs, as well as to OneNote for Windows 10. Researcher helps you find and incorporate reliable sources and content for your outline notes or papers in fewer steps. Powered by the Bing Knowledge Graph, Researcher helps you explore material related to your topic and add it in one click, without leaving the app. Learn more about Researcher.

Researcher is being shown in OneNote for Windows 10 alongside an outline being crafted on economic trade theory. The Researcher pane is opened, the term “global economy” is typed into the search box, and results for related material are sifted through. A specific article is selected, a piece of text is highlighted and copied with a single click into the OneNote outline.

Researcher helps you find and incorporate reliable sources and content without leaving the app.

Availability: Researcher is now available in OneNote for Windows 10, for all Office 365 subscribers. Researcher is now available in Word on Macs for Office Insider Fast. Researcher was already available in Word on Windows desktops.
  • Share your work habits with MyAnalytics—Now you can share MyAnalytics insights about your personal working style with others. This can help spur conversations around productivity habits among the people you work with, driving new norms around meetings, emails and after-hours work. MyAnalytics insights are private by default until you share them. Learn more in this MyAnalytics blog.

Sharing in MyAnalytics is being shown. The desired statistics are being selected, and then a recipient is chosen for sharing and a message is written to go along with the insights sent.

Now you can share MyAnalytics insights about your personal working style with others.

Availability: Sharing in MyAnalytics is now available for all Office 365 commercial customers with MyAnalytics.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Current Channel and Deferred Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through First Release. This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

The post New to Office 365 in June—classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams
and more
appeared first on Office Blogs.

Categories: Technology

Microsoft Forms Public Preview for Office 365 commercial customers

Fri, 23/06/2017 - 17:00

Following the launch of Microsoft Forms in Education last summer, we heard from businesses that they need an easy-to-use tool for creating surveys, quizzes and polls. Today, we’re rolling out the public preview of Microsoft Forms to our Office 365 commercial subscribers, so you can collect information from customers, employees and partners. The preview is currently rolling out to tenants whose entire organizations are signed up for First Release, and will gradually be available to other tenants in a few months.

A customer satisfaction survey is being shown being created and shared with Microsoft Forms. First, questions are added with response options. Then a theme is chosen before she Share pane is selected, showing all the options for sharing the survey.

Collect information with surveys, quizzes and polls

Microsoft Forms is a simple, lightweight tool that lets you collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction and organize team events. You can create a survey in minutes with no training needed, and respondents can fill it out on any browser without having to install a separate app.

Microsoft Forms comes with question branching, so surveys flow the way you want them to. You can also add themes or your company logo, so they look great without a lot of work. Just send out a link and your survey dynamically adapts to every screen, so it’s easy for respondents to fill it out on the go.

Simple, powerful analysis and Microsoft Excel integration

Survey, quiz and poll results are all available in real-time—just navigate to the Responses tab, where you’ll also find auto-generated charts that help you visualize response data in an instant. You can also open all results in Microsoft Excel with one click if you need to conduct more custom, in-depth analysis.

Image displays a Microsoft Forms Responses tab showing responses for a company's annual retreat.

Microsoft Forms Responses tab.

Management and compliance via Office 365

Microsoft Forms is part of the Office 365 suite and adheres to the compliance, security and privacy levels you’ve come to expect from the Office 365 apps. Companies can collect information without users having to go to non-secure solutions, or IT needing to build and maintain custom surveying tools. IT admins can also manage user licenses and enable or disable co-authoring of Microsoft Forms outside their organization.

Microsoft Forms, PowerApps and SharePoint lists

Microsoft Forms offers an easy solution for basic data collection via surveys, quizzes and polls. For more heavy-duty needs, we have announced new tools to create custom forms with PowerApps and SharePoint lists. PowerApps lets you connect to your existing cloud services and data sources to quickly build custom apps that your organization can view, edit and share. When you use it to build an app from a SharePoint list, you can create custom forms ranging from contact lists and travel approvals to purchase requests and customer service tickets. We now have your forms needs covered from basic data collection to custom apps for your organization.

We are excited about rolling out the public preview of Microsoft Forms and have already received a lot of valuable feedback from Office 365 IT admins. Please visit the Microsoft Forms Support page to learn more, and the Microsoft Forms UserVoice page to leave us your questions, comments and recommendations.

—The Microsoft Forms team

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Categories: Technology

New in Office 365 security and compliance—June update

Thu, 22/06/2017 - 17:00

Recent updates for security and compliance include enhancements to Advanced Threat Protection, eDiscovery, Advanced Data Governance, Advanced Security Management and expanded support for Windows Information Protection. Read on to learn more about these updates.

Enhancements to threat protection visibility and controls

Office 365 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) were designed to keep your organization protected against cyber-attacks while supporting end-user productivity. The Office 365 team continues to enhance both EOP and ATP by offering deeper insights and more flexible controls. This month, we are introducing the following new capabilities:

Threat Protection status report—New reporting for ATP and EOP that adds visibility into malicious emails detected and blocked for your organization. This supplements the recently introduced reports in the Security & Compliance Center for ATP Safe Attachments.

The Projection status report is displayed in the Security & Compliance Center and is showing information associated with ATP safe attachments, Anti-malware engine, ATP safe links and ZAP.

Threat Protection status report.

Enhanced quarantine capabilities—Now all emails classified as malware from both EOP and ATP are quarantined. This builds upon the existing quarantine experience by allowing administrators to review and delete emails from quarantine.

New ATP Safe Links Policy features—Four new features build upon the Safe Link policies.

  • Per-tenant block list—Provides the administrator the ability to block specific URLs.
  • Email wildcarding for domains and handles—Enables you to save time by writing partial domain/handle names.
  • Split Safe Links policies—Allows Safe Links policies to be customized for specific user lists in the organization, including groups, individuals and divisions.
  • Expanded character limit for URLs—Enables blocking/allowing URLs with longer character lengths.

Window displaying how to enter a URL so that it is blocked across Office 365.

Safe Links Block URL list.

Additional details on these new features can be found in the Microsoft Tech Community, as well as on the EOP and ATP product pages. EOP is offered across our enterprise E1, E3 and E5 suites. ATP is offered as both a standalone SKU or as part of E5.

New features streamline your compliance process using Office 365

Businesses around the world must be able to keep and protect important information and quickly find what’s relevant to continue to meet legal, business and regulatory compliance requirements. At Microsoft, we know how demanding and complex compliance can be and have recently released several new eDiscovery and Data Governance features in Office 365 to support your compliance needs. These features include:

Optical character recognition in Advanced eDiscovery—Extracts text from image files or objects within the files, significantly reducing the amount of manual remediation work required to analyze image files.

Rights management (RMS) decryption in Office 365 eDiscovery—Automatically decrypts RMS-encrypted email messages at export time when you choose the MSG Export option.

Unified case management—Provides a consistent user interface spanning the eDiscovery capabilities in Office 365, from core to advanced, which helps to reduce potential human errors by streamlining eDiscovery case definition and eliminating several steps in the process.

Image that displays two windows illustrating how the unified case management works in Advanced eDiscovery.

Unified case management in Advanced eDiscovery.

Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the new eDiscovery features. Unified case management and RMS decryption are included with Office 365 E3. Optical character recognition is included with Advanced eDiscovery in E5.

Announcing general availability of Supervision capabilities in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance

Many organizations have the need to perform supervision of employee communications. This need stems from internal security and compliance guidelines, or from regulatory bodies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In both cases, failure to have a demonstrable supervision process in place could potentially expose organizations to liability or severe penalties.

To address this need, we’ve released the new Supervision feature in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance. Supervision covers not only email communications, but also third-party communications streams, such as Facebook, Twitter, Bloomberg and many more. Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the general availability of Supervision.

Image shows the Security and Compliance window, with Identify the content to be reviewed feature selected with the conditions to review added.

Supervision policies in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance.

Supervision is part of Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which is available as part of Office 365 E5 or the Office 365 Advanced Compliance SKU.

Windows Information Protection now supports Office desktop applications

In August, we announced our support of Windows Information Protection (WIP) for Office mobile apps on Windows tablets and phones, to help prevent accidental business data leaks while letting users maintain control over their personal data by designating content as “work” or “personal.” We’re pleased to announce we have expanded support for WIP to include the Office 365 ProPlus desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Skype for Business. This will help provide more comprehensive protection of your business data on Windows 10 devices. To read more about WIP, check out our Microsoft Tech Community blog.

SIEM connector—now available for Office 365 Advanced Security Management

A year ago, we announced a way for you to get greater visibility and control over Office 365 with Advanced Security Management (ASM). Since then, we have added new features to help you better determine shadow IT activity. We also enhanced control over third-party apps connected to Office 365. After these updates, we started hearing that some of you were looking for a way to export alerts to other systems that are integrated into your existing workflows. Today, we are releasing a solution that supports centralized monitoring of ASM alerts with your security information and event management (SIEM) software. Integrating with an SIEM allows you to better protect Office 365 while maintaining your organization’s security workflow, automate your security procedures and correlate between your cloud-based and on-premises events.

There is no additional cost for an SIEM connector for ASM; you just need to have Office 365 E5 or the ASM add-on. To learn how to setup the ASM SIEM connector, please read “SIEM integration with Office 365 Advanced Security Management.”

Image displaying the first Configure SIEM agent configuration window with the Alerts enabled.

Configuration screen for ASM SIEM agent.

Join the Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community

These new features help broaden and enhance the scope of security and compliance capabilities within Office 365. Join our Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community to further evolve your organization’s security and compliance with these services and learn and contribute to security, privacy and compliance best practices. The Tech Community is a great resource to communicate and learn from your peers—as well as offer your insights on the growing importance of security, privacy and compliance.

—Office 365 team

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Categories: Technology

Building global relationships with Office 365

Thu, 22/06/2017 - 17:00

Image features two women in sunglasses, in front of a mural, holding a sign reading "I want to Voyaj."

Travel is the great connector. Visiting different countries gives us a broader perspective on the world and the people in it. Yasmine El Baggari, founder of Voyaj, wanted to take travel one step further.

Instead of staying in hotels or renting flats, Yasmine believes that matching travelers with hosts in their own homes can create powerful human connections and result in a more peaceful world.

Voyaj users create a profile video to describe their interests and what they offer, and post it to the site. Voyaj then finds the right combination of visitor and host and sets up a homestay for the traveler in the host’s home. From there, a deeper cultural understanding takes root. “It’s about building relationships and a sense of belonging for people—wherever they want to go in the world,” Yasmine says.

Inspiration for a global startup

The idea for Voyaj evolved from Yasmine’s experience as a teenager and a serendipitous Skype call with an uncle who’d moved from Morocco to San Francisco. “I’d never left Morocco,” she recalls. “I spoke to my uncle on Skype and he inspired me to explore the United States and the world.” Eventually, Yasmine toured 48 states, staying in 150 homes and meeting fascinating and enriching people regularly.

“When you’re sitting at a dinner table, you’re better able to build authentic connections and open your mind and your heart,” Yasmine says. That experience changed her life. “It made me a more open-minded person, and I want to bring that feeling to the world, through Voyaj.”

Finding focus with OneNote and organizing ideas with PowerPoint

Startups require focus and strict organization. Whatever funding is available can’t be wasted on inefficiency or unclear direction. For clarity, Yasmine often meditates briefly before starting a new task or giving a presentation. “You have to be aligned with your mission,” she says. “I take this time to remind myself of why I’m doing what I’m doing, and stay focused on the goal.”

Microsoft OneNote and PowerPoint help Yasmine find focus and stay on track. “I use OneNote to plan my ideal day,” she explains. Using the To-Do Tag feature, she creates task lists that can be checked off as they’re completed. Items tagged as a to-do can be found through a search, making it easy to return to important items. “I make sure I’ve checked everything off my list before I go to bed.”

Yasmine frequently pitches Voyaj concepts to potential investors, partners and team members. She uses PowerPoint to create presentations about Voyaj and explain the direction the company’s heading.

PowerPoint features like charts, graphs and embedded video help Yasmine tell the story of Voyaj “in a simple but effective way,” she says. Using the commenting feature, Yasmine and her team members can share their thoughts as they refine each draft for presentation—no matter where each is located.

Coming full circle with Skype collaboration

Yasmine lives in San Francisco now, where she works closely with a team of eight people. “We’re building an empathy algorithm that matches people based on their common values and experiences,” she says.

But the rest of her team—and partners and investors—are widespread. Yasmine’s come a long way from her childhood in Morocco and her first overseas exposure through a Skype call with her San Francisco–based uncle. And Skype has re-entered her life, again making the world a smaller place. “We span five different time zones. Skype helps us come together, communicate, share ideas and open endless possibilities and opportunities for Voyaj,” Yasmine says. “I believe that hospitality can bring the world together. And Office helps me build strong relationships, so we can make this vision a reality.”

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Categories: Technology

Gallup fosters employee engagement with Secure Productive Enterprise E5

Thu, 22/06/2017 - 16:00

Today’s post was written by Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft.

Profile picture of Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft.

Image shows the Gallup logo.

Gallup has been synonymous with public opinion polling since the 1930s. Today it’s also considered a global leader in advanced analytics, providing advice to organizations and individuals to help solve challenging problems. When Gallup pioneered the employee engagement movement, it introduced innovative tools for measuring how workplaces inspire the people in them. So, when it came to its own employees, it’s gratifying to see how Gallup trusts Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise E5 to help create the kind of workplace that attracts and retains top talent, and ultimately inspires them to innovate.

Melissa Moreno, executive director of Infrastructure and Cyber Security, recently explained her organization’s plans for boosting mobility and security with Microsoft Cloud productivity services:

“Our associates are very achievement oriented. When we ask them how we are doing with our workplace tools, they tell us that mobility, ease of use and security are most important to them. The Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise E5 solution will allow our associates to work anywhere while protecting the data that our clients entrust to us, and that’s really the perfect balance. It will also allow us to modernize our workplace apps to conform with our employees’ expectations and provide the most cost-effective way to get us there.”

The Secure Productive Enterprise is one more example of our ongoing efforts to make it easier for customers to move to the Microsoft Cloud. It delivers the “New Culture of Work,” providing the latest and most advanced innovations in enterprise security, IT enablement, collaboration and business analytics, delivered through leading-edge cloud services. It is the most trusted, secure and productive way to work that brings together Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10 Enterprise.

By choosing the Microsoft Cloud, Gallup once again reaffirms its expertise in promoting organizational excellence. I’m looking forward to seeing how Gallup associates engage with the new services to work productively in highly secure mobile environments.

—Ron Markezich

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Categories: Technology

Office 365 helps Society Nine empower the fight within every woman

Wed, 21/06/2017 - 17:00

Lynn Le founded Society Nine to provide women with combat sports gear made specifically for them. But she was ultimately driven by a goal much greater than that—to empower the fight within every woman. Communicating that message in a way that inspired everyone from potential investors to curious customers, to her own staff, was one of the biggest challenges Le faced as the company’s visionary—and one that Office 365 continues to help her overcome today.

Lynn Le, Society Nine founder, uses a boxing bag while wearing her combat sports gear.

Using PowerPoint to help build a community

Whether it was creating pitch decks for investors, designing new product lines or building her “Brand Ambassador Bible,” Le credits the visual nature of PowerPoint for helping her articulate her message clearly. “There’s a story behind everything we do, including our boxing gloves, and PowerPoint helps us tell those stories,” says Le.

Society Nine employee builds a PowerPoint deck for a presentation.

With ambassadors from around the world representing Society Nine in their local communities and gyms, it’s important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to communicating the brand message to consumers. Le defines the Brand Ambassador Bible, created in PowerPoint, as “a true guide and home base that’s visually driven. It’s the story of what this community is all about that they can always come back to be reminded of what they are a part of.”

Crafting a compelling pitch deck

Le relied heavily on PowerPoint to get the company off the ground in the early days, using it to create compelling pitch decks for potential investors. While your whole PowerPoint presentation needs to be polished and impactful, the three most important slides in your deck, according to Le, are:

  • The team—Who will be executing the vision of the company and taking it to market?
  • The market opportunity—How is the market evolving and how are you positioned in that market?
  • The ask—What are you asking for and what will you do with the investment?

Three women sit on a bench in a gym. The middle wears a red cape that reads "The Brave One."

These are the key questions investors ask when deciding whether to invest in a company or not. And Society Nine clearly had all the right answers. In just a few short years, Society Nine has grown into a successful company with loyal, passionate customers around the world. But Le isn’t done yet. She says, “Society Nine is going to grow over the next year by expanding our product line and Brand Ambassador program, so that women everywhere, no matter where they’re located, can feel supported in our community. I know we will have succeeded when Society Nine is linked to a time where women finally started using the word “fight” comfortably outside of sport and competition.” Office 365 will be there to support them every step, kick and punch along the way.

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Categories: Technology

Mobile provider Three calls on Office 365 to support workplace digital transformation

Wed, 21/06/2017 - 17:00

Today’s Microsoft Office 365 post was written by Jon Kandiah, chief information officer for Three.

Profile picture of Jon Kandiah, chief information officer for mobile provider Three.

Three is one of the United Kingdom’s fastest-growing networks, covering more than 97 percent of the population. We were the first network to introduce unlimited data and offer 4G at no extra cost. But to continue delivering a high-quality, reliable mobile experience to our customers while innovating across our services, we needed to make significant changes to our business, including rebuilding our entire IT infrastructure. We kicked off a digital transformation in our workplace by choosing Microsoft Office 365.

Long-distance teamwork is key to sharing information and ideas across our distributed organization. We have offices in Maidenhead, Glasgow, and Reading, along with 324 retail stores and offshore offices in New Zealand. To keep up with the swift pace of innovation and stay ahead of competitors, we needed to better connect our employees and adopt an agile methodology. To do this, we introduced Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace in Office 365, and the concept of circles—groups of five to nine people working in virtual teams across the company. Each circle uses Microsoft Teams as a hub for virtual teamwork. Today, employees across all our locations work together more efficiently using Microsoft Teams in conjunction with Microsoft Planner. We use Microsoft Teams to make our teams more productive, and we use Planner to streamline each circle’s projects.

By bridging geographies and departments, each customizable workspace in Microsoft Teams acts as a foundation for a more agile organization. Microsoft Teams works across devices, including mobile phones, so all employees can participate in conversations anytime, anywhere. We started by creating circles within our People Team—which includes employees from our human resources, property and facilities departments—and assigning quarterly outcomes to each circle. These circles collaborate to improve organizational agility, and the glue that keeps them all working together productively is Microsoft Teams.

Our use of Microsoft Teams has also accelerated the adoption of Office 365 services across the organization. Microsoft SharePoint Online team sites, OneNote notebooks and Power BI dashboards are built into each Microsoft Teams workspace, so people intuitively use them. It’s a totally different approach to rolling out technology—what used to be an IT-driven exercise is now happening more organically, and we are seeing the dividends in improved productivity.

With the introduction of Office 365, we also eliminated the need for third-party products in our organization. We had people using Slack, Trello and Google Hangouts, but we can now offer a suite of interoperable productivity tools that make it easier to get work done—Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Planner and Skype for Business Online—all within the context of Office 365 and our more agile workplace. We trust the advanced security capabilities built into Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Active Directory, so I am comfortable knowing that our company data is more secure.

Three has an ambitious, transformational plan to deliver what our customers need. With empowered, agile and connected employees, we are well on our way to achieving our goal.

—Jon Kadiah

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Categories: Technology

Microsoft Stream now available worldwide—new intelligent features take enterprise video to new heights

Tue, 20/06/2017 - 15:55

Today’s post was written by Seth Patton, general manager of Office 365 Product Marketing.

Video has become an increasingly important medium in both the consumer and business realms. In the workplace, video is a key way to share information, educate and train employees, drive engagement and build culture.

Last year, we released a preview of Microsoft Stream, the intelligent enterprise video service that makes it easy for people inside any organization to securely upload, share, manage and view videos. Today, we’re excited to announce that Microsoft Stream is now generally available as a standalone service and is rolling out to Office 365 Enterprise customers in 181 markets and 44 languages. We’re also announcing new intelligent features that take productivity and user engagement to new heights.

A single destination for video—unlimited personalized experiences

Microsoft Stream is a single destination for video management, with built-in intelligence, deep integration across Office 365 and the IT management and security capabilities that businesses of all sizes require. It gives individuals a destination to contribute, search and discover all their company videos. It is also now the cross-suite video service for Office 365 in the enterprise, making it seamless for people to share videos inside Office 365 applications like SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and Yammer. Microsoft Stream is also integrated with Office 365 Groups, which means every group has a designated channel—making it even easier to manage content across teams.

Here’s a look at how intelligence is infused throughout the Microsoft Stream experience:

  • Speech-to-text transcribed audio—Transcribed audio becomes searchable text. Simply type in descriptive keywords to jump to any point in a video they are spoken.
  • Face detection—With face detection, viewers can see where each person in the video is shown throughout the video. A clickable timeline indicates every place they appear.
  • Linked timecodes—Timecodes are displayed within the comments section and are linked to the text transcripts or table of contents, so you can jump to a specific point in the video.

A laptop displays Microsoft Stream and its newest features.

Connected and secure video—anywhere, anytime

Microsoft Stream utilizes built-in, industry leading encryption and authenticated access for video to ensure our customers are sharing content only with the intended audiences. Intuitive security features that utilize existing organizational identity through Azure Active Directory and Office 365 Groups make security management simple. Additionally, administrators can add custom guidelines or require employees to optionally accept terms before they can begin to upload videos. Videos provide a seamless and secure viewing experience across devices and screens and work wherever you are—at home or in the office. Microsoft Stream videos are also more accessible, with features like closed captioning, screen readers, keyboard navigation and high contrast.

Modern video service reimagined

Microsoft Stream builds on the learnings from Office 365 Video to bring intelligence and deeper integration into Office 365 and beyond. To learn more about the Office 365 Video transition to Microsoft Stream, visit our website.

Start using Microsoft Stream today

If you are a current Office 365 customer, you can find Microsoft Stream in the Office app launcher or visit the Microsoft Stream website to sign in. If you don’t have Office 365, try a Microsoft Stream standalone plan or start your free trial right away.

To learn more about Microsoft Stream, join our Ask Us Anything session on the Microsoft Tech Community, June 29, 2017 at 9 a.m. PDT.

—Seth Patton

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Categories: Technology

What’s hiding in your data

Fri, 16/06/2017 - 17:00

Organizations create, connect and monitor data from growing numbers of sources. From website analytics to accounting and operations systems, and countless other examples, the systems and platforms used to run businesses generate vast amounts of data. They need a way to analyze what they have in order to discover the insights hidden in the raw information. A 2014 IDC study found that companies that maximize the use of their information will capture US $1.6 trillion more in value from their data and analytics investments over the next four years than companies that don’t tap into business intelligence (BI).

Just a few years ago, accessing this information would have likely been the responsibility of specialists who create and manipulate models or prepare reports. But the recent advent of self-service business intelligence tools has created new possibilities for intuitive data exploration and analysis in real-time.

Here are four ways BI can help your organization make smarter decisions:

  1. Plan for the future—Identify trends as they are happening to optimize strategies for long-term business success.
  2. Monitor production—Connect to systems that monitor power usage and building activity to help plan for efficiency.
  3. Track expenses—Get a single pane view to identify outliers and anomalies.
  4. Store performance—Manage inventory reports with live metrics so you have the full story.

Your current data landscape might seem difficult to navigate, especially when trying to decide whether it’s a good time to expand your enterprise. Fortunately, Power BI can help you visualize your data to reveal what’s been hiding in plain sight, so you can move forward with confidence.

Download the new infographic: Growth: Powered by Business Intelligence to discover more about how Power BI can help you expand.

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Categories: Technology

Allergan embraces growth pharma model, accelerates business with the Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise

Thu, 15/06/2017 - 17:00

Today’s post was written by Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft.

Profile picture of Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft.

Logo for Allergan, a "Growth Pharma" leader.

With 22 acquisitions in the past five years, it’s easy to see how Allergan is a leading exponent of the new “Growth Pharma” business model. Expanding its diversified portfolio of branded and generic pharmaceuticals by acquiring companies like Botox and Zeltiq Aesthetics, Allergan is pursuing a rigorous growth strategy, rather than investing heavily in R&D. This approach, known in the industry as “open science,” sees the company enriching its intellectual property by acquiring new talent, promising new products and partnering closely with many external stakeholders. It requires an agile, IT-enabled workplace to pull off the rapid employee onboarding and a rich culture of teamwork and creativity to make this strategy work. At the same time, it’s critically important for Allergan to ensure the security of its IP and to remain compliant in this highly regulated industry. So, it’s great news that Allergan chose the Secure Productive Enterprise solution to enable this disruptive way of doing business in the pharmaceutical industry.

Here’s what CIO Sean Lennon has to say about the organization’s decision to facilitate a new culture of work at Allergan that securely enables teamwork and creativity for all workers with the help of the Secure Productive Enterprise solution:

“As Allergan continues to build its global portfolio of products and services, it’s our role in IT to enable the company’s scalability. That’s why we chose the Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise, because it allows me to deliver a secure technology experience that drives creativity, collaboration and teamwork for the business. So, while employees are working more collaboratively and are empowered to innovate with immediate access to all the tools they need—Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10 Enterprise—I’m also saving money by consolidating our IT landscape and reducing the burden of on-premises maintenance. It’s always a challenge to maintain a lean IT organization and provide the best tools for enabling the business to achieve its goals, but we’ve achieved the right balance with Microsoft.”

Allergan is making great strides using the Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise as an effective way to consolidate its position at the forefront of business innovation in the pharma industry.

—Ron Markezich

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Categories: Technology

The rise of the IT leader

Wed, 14/06/2017 - 17:00

Today’s IT leaders are true agents of change. Beyond just responding to business requests, they are helping steer progressive organizations in bold new directions.

The new infographic, The rise of the IT leader, offers five insights that are transforming IT leadership:

  1. IT can shape business strategy.
  2. There’s an urgent need for real-time insight.
  3. Mobility keeps driving innovation.
  4. Success depends on closer collaboration.
  5. IT is the catalyst for change.

Download the new infographic: The rise of the IT leader to learn how you can become an IT leader.

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Categories: Technology

Office 365—the perfect solution for Imperfect Produce’s evolving needs

Tue, 13/06/2017 - 17:00

Over six billion pounds of produce go to waste each year, largely because grocers reject perfectly good fruits and veggies due to small cosmetic flaws. That’s why Ben Simon, Ron Clark and Ben Chesler created Imperfect Produce—a subscription-based service that delivers those “wonky-looking” goods straight to customers’ doorsteps. As Imperfect expands into multiple cities, recruiting more and more people to support their cause, Office 365 supports their growth.

Imperfect Produce brochure surrounded with fruits and vegetables.

As deliveries increase, Office 365 delivers

“We’re a mission-driven startup, so we need tools that can keep up with our fast growth and ambitious goals. With Office, we don’t have to expend unnecessary energy dealing with logistics and administrative tasks, so we can really spend our time on the bigger picture. Having such a comprehensive suite of programs is a huge asset to our organizational arsenal,” says CEO Ben Simon.

Excel is all-encompassing

There are a lot of moving parts in a constantly growing startup like Imperfect, and Microsoft Excel is essential for simplifying and organizing their internal processes. Not only has it become their go-to warehouse management system, but it’s also a key player in their sales efforts. “Our marketing department would probably grind to a halt without Excel. It makes the complicated intuitive and elegant,” Simon explains.

Imperfect leans heavily on the program’s sophistication for everything from analyzing their customer base and reviewing sales reports to forecasting growth and exploring potential new markets. Simon continues, “The wide range of analytic functions that Excel enables is mind-blowing, and a huge asset to any company like ours.”

The Excel features Imperfect finds indispensable are data filters and pivot tables. These tools help make analytics both actionable and versatile, while giving their team the ability to sort through customers, delivery routes, regions and more, in the most efficient way possible. They can view their customer base on a very granular level; if they want to communicate only with Bay Area customers who order organic produce boxes, Excel helps them find that targeted audience in a matter of seconds.

All finances for the small business are also managed through Excel, along with weekly and monthly sales reports. “It is the tool to use for that. It’s really, really helpful. Having accurate and actionable spreadsheets is at the heart of our marketing, supply and operations teams’ success,” says Simon.

PowerPoint presents a fun perspective

When sharing information between individuals and teams, Imperfect always turns to Microsoft PowerPoint. Simon explains how the org chart feature is particularly valuable: “It has been really useful for us. We’re a fast-growing startup, so being able to create and share org charts on the fly has been really helpful in planning for future growth—making sure we’ve got the right type of team for the challenges ahead.”

Imperfect Produce’s CEO sitting at a desk working on a Surface device.

Imperfect employees also enjoy incorporating funny pictures, gifs and pop culture references in their presentations whenever possible. Simon adds, “We like them to be as fun as they are informative, and PowerPoint really lets us do that at a high level.”

Focus on what matters

Imperfect Produce continues moving forward, but never lets their mission out of sight. The bigger they get, the smaller the food waste problem will become. They’ve recently added dry goods such as coffee and pasta to their subscription boxes—just one example of how they’re constantly evolving.

Simon summarizes, “Office 365 streamlines our planning, communications and analysis, so we can focus on what really matters: finding new ways to prevent even more fruits and vegetables from going to waste.”

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Categories: Technology

Collaboration hacks from real-life teams

Mon, 12/06/2017 - 17:00

It’s 9 a.m. on a Monday morning. John is in a cab in New York, stuck in traffic. Tim is at his desk in the Los Angeles office. Angela is working from home in the Midwest plains. In the next two hours, these three subject matter experts must build a sales presentation and deliver it to the London office.

Will they pull it off?

What would be a nightmare scenario for some teams is a welcomed opportunity within companies determined to modernize the way people work together to accomplish everyday business tasks.

Download the new eBook, “Collaboration hacks from real-life teams, to learn how companies have reinvented their workplace culture to compete in an information-intensive, interconnected world, where innovation happens in real-time, around the clock and across time zones and geographies.

In this eBook, you’ll discover:

  • The four traits of companies that have “hacked” workplace culture to empower employees with flexible, fluid ways to bring products and ideas to life faster.
  • How a recruiting company is gaining an upper hand in the competitive talent staffing market by using instant messaging and real-time, cross-geo collaboration to find and place talent across the globe.
  • How a multinational brand leader established a culture of collaboration across its 47,000-employee workforce, helping to eliminate redundancy and accelerate decisions.
  • How an insurance company empowered its global, mobile workforce with the ability to work together seamlessly, with consistent productivity and collaboration experiences across devices.

Download the “Collaboration hacks from real-life teams” eBook today and find out how you can transform your workplace culture to align with the ways employees want to work together.

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Categories: Technology

3 ways to outsmart shadow IT

Wed, 07/06/2017 - 17:00

Another day at the office. A busy marketing manager downloads a new app for team collaboration. Business plans are uploaded, marketing materials are shared. The team starts to communicate regularly about confidential business topics.

At the same time, the head of legal has an important document to review at home. She considers downloading it to a thumb drive but decides, instead, to send it to her personal email to read later that night.

These scenarios are familiar—and frightening—to anyone in corporate IT. With 80 percent of employees using non-approved SaaS apps, shadow IT has officially stepped out of the shadows and into the workplace.

File sharing and collaboration tools

The most frequently requested cloud services are file sharing and collaboration. When IT can’t provide easy, mobile solutions, business users turn to unauthorized apps, some of which put corporate information at risk. A recent study showed that of the 1,000+ cloud services used by enterprise employees, 44 are considered high risk to the business.*

Give business users what they want

There’s no reason to stay in the dark about shadow IT. This is the perfect opportunity to partner with the business to give them exactly what they want with a solution that’s secure, scalable and enterprise-ready. File sharing and collaboration tools in Office 365 are easy to use and provide mobile productivity for all business users.

Don’t wait to get ahead of shadow IT. Download this new infographic: 3 ways to outsmart shadow IT and learn how IT can help the business before business users help themselves.

*Cloud Security Alliance, Cisco and Frost & Sullivan

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Categories: Technology

Finding a solution to pet anxiety with the help of Office 365

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:00

More than 32 million dogs in the U.S. suffer from anxiety, including Charger, ZenCrate co-founder Jon Azevedo’s dog. Initially hoping to create something that would help Charger, Azevedo and co-founder Chris Lightcap developed a product that could help millions of dogs. Office 365 played an important role in scaling their business as it grew.

ZenCrate co-founder, Jon Azevedo, with his dog Charger pausing to look at the scenery.

From pet project to production product

On a road trip during a typical Florida storm, Azevedo noticed that Charger was calm in the back seat of his car, and wanted to mimic that environment in a crate for home. “My focus in the beginning of this was Charger,” said Azevedo. “A year later, after a local veterinarian educated me on how large of a problem anxiety in animals is, I decided to focus on a product for other pet owners.”

Office 365 keeps ZenCrate current, connected and successful

Once Azevedo and Lightcap became aware of a bigger need, they began putting more focus on product development for consumers, and Office 365 became essential to ZenCrate’s growth. Knowing that the Office tools they use every day are always up to date allowed them to focus on the many moving parts associated with driving a product launch. “It allows us to grow as Office 365 grows,” Azevedo says.

And whether it’s creating a marketing presentation in PowerPoint, tracking tasks in OneNote, filling out purchase orders in Word or communicating between two offices and external vendors using Outlook, Office 365 helps them communicate both inside and outside the office.

Excel has made a huge impact on their ability to adapt and evolve. Being able to easily access expenses and track inventory allows Azevedo and Lightcap to make decisions based on information to meet increasing customer demand. Excel’s flexibility means they can leverage it in a variety of different ways. “We use Excel every day to track our income statements, accounts receivable and accounts payable,” says Lightcap. They also use Excel to manage production efficiencies, cutting production costs to create a product for customers at the lowest price possible. “Creating an efficient manufacturing process greatly impacts our ability to be successful,” says Lightcap.

Utilizing collaboration features through the cloud in the future

As ZenCrate scales up to fulfill customer orders, Azevedo and Lightcap are looking to the Microsoft Cloud to keep them connected. Lightcap says, “We have two separate offices and multiple team members working on the same project. Co-authoring will allow all team members to have up-to-date files, so they can make real-time changes to documents.”

It’s only been two years since Azevedo created the first ZenCrate prototype, so having tools that can keep pace with their rapid progress has been crucial to their growth. As the ZenCrates are unleashed into the world, Office 365—not unlike man’s best friend—will continue to be a dedicated, reliable companion.

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Categories: Technology

“The Expert’s View—The future decoded” on Modern Workplace

Fri, 02/06/2017 - 18:00

Sometimes on news programs or webcasts, the best nuggets of information come after the director yells, “Cut!” With Modern Workplace, we kept the cameras rolling as our host, Alex Bradley, had candid conversations with experts in some of the most important topics facing organizations today, including:

  • Innovation.
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Security and data privacy.

In the latest Modern Workplace episode, “The Expert’s View: The future decoded,” you’ll see outtakes from our interviews with top experts over the past year. Bradley says, “Innovating, disrupting and consistently reinventing yourself can prove difficult.” But these clips offer insight and advice that will help you overcome obstacles and prepare your organization for the future.

Register to watch the Modern Workplace episode to learn more.

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Categories: Technology

Announcing general availability of the Office 365 Centralized Deployment service

Wed, 31/05/2017 - 17:00

Office add-ins help Office users to personalize their work experience and streamline data access. Late last year, we announced the Centralized Deployment service in preview, which allows administrators to deploy Office web add-ins. Today, we are excited to announce general availability of Centralized Deployment.

From the Office 365 admin center or by using PowerShell scripts, administrators can deploy Office web add-ins to individual users, groups or an organization with ease, using Centralized Deployment. Users can simply open Office applications—such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint on Windows, Mac or Office Online—to see the add-ins installed on their ribbon. This allows organizations—large and small—to easily extend Office with high-value services across all platforms.

Image shows the Office 365 admin center displaying a list of add-ins that can be deployed using Centralized Deployment.

Add-ins built internally for use within an organization, as well as add-ins from the Office Store or Microsoft AppSource, can be deployed using Centralized Deployment to tenants worldwide.

“With Office 365 Centralized Deployment, we could deploy Qorus easily to our global user base, and the process is transparent to users. When they open Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, they find the add-in already installed.”
—Eric Jacobs, Genetec

Get started with Centralized Deployment


Frequently asked questions:

Q. How do you target add-in user assignments with Centralized Deployment?

A. Centralized Deployment supports users in top-level groups, Office 365 Groups, distribution lists and security groups that are top-level groups supported by Azure Active Directory.

Q. How do I know if my organization is set up for Centralized Deployment?

A. Centralized Deployment requires a recent version of Microsoft Office and OAuth enabled version of Exchange. IT admins can run a quick test to ensure compatibility and determine if their organization has the correct configuration prior to getting started. Learn more about configuration requirements and try the compatibility add-in.

Q. What languages and worldwide Office data centers are supported?

A. Today, we have worldwide support for Centralized Deployment for all supported Office languages. We also support the Microsoft Office sovereign datacenters for Germany, with support for Chinese sovereign deployment coming later in the year.

Q. What type of deployment telemetry is available?

A. Telemetry will be available shortly for IT admins to see data about deployments and usage in reports in the Office 365 admin center, and for developers to see their add-in deployments in the Office ISV Seller Dashboard, their developer portal.

Q. Can IT admins and users turn off add-ins?

A. IT admins may turn on or off the add-ins they deploy for all users from the Office 365 admin center. Soon, we will support the ability for users turn off add-ins that are deployed to them, so they are no longer shown on the Office applications ribbon.

Q. How do I deploy Outlook add-ins?

A. Centralized Deployment currently supports Word, Excel and PowerPoint add-ins on Windows, Mac or Office Online. Today, you can deploy Outlook add-ins from the Exchange management pages. This experience will merge with Centralized Deployment shortly.

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Categories: Technology

Immersive Reader comes to Outlook on the web and the OneNote for Windows 10 app, and expands its global reach

Wed, 31/05/2017 - 17:00

In February, we announced the availability of the Microsoft Learning Tools Immersive Reader on Word Online and OneNote Online. As a result of customer demand, we are pleased to announce that Immersive Reader is now available for, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app. Immersive Reader includes a view that utilizes techniques proven to help people read more effectively, such as:

  • Read Aloud—Reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining the reader’s focus and attention.
  • Spacing—Optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users with visual crowding issues.
  • Syllables—Shows the breaks between syllables to enhance word recognition and decoding.
  • Parts of Speech—Supports writing instruction and grammar comprehension by identifying verbs, nouns and adjectives.

In addition to the Immersive Reader rollout across new apps and platforms, we are also adding new language and geographic availability for the Read Aloud, Syllables and Parts of Speech features. This expanded language support—coming to Word Online, OneNote Online, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app—will allow more customers across the world to experience the benefits of both the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader. For the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in, we are launching Japanese dictation, plus bug fixes and other small improvements. See all of the details at the Learning Tools language support page.

And finally, we are excited to announce the availability of Try it out—an updated and enhanced capability on the recently redesigned Microsoft Learning Tools landing page. Try it out allows anyone to quickly and easily try out the Immersive Reader, without needing an Office 365 ID or a Microsoft account. We hope these announcements enable more people to read in a way that works best for them, and we look forward to hearing impactful stories from more of you, such as this story about empowering students to read in a new way.

Immersive Reader brings increased accessibility to Outlook on the web

In talking with customers, a common request we heard was to bring the same Immersive Reader capabilities of Word Online and OneNote Online to those accessing Outlook via the web. Starting today, the Immersive Reader will begin rolling out to and Outlook on the web worldwide.

There are several ways to launch the Immersive Reader in Outlook on the web or

  • On any received message, select the Reply all drop-down and then select Show in immersive reader.
  • Right-click any message and select Show in immersive reader.
  • From the main message view, click the and select Show in immersive reader.

The new Immersive Reader for Outlook on the web and will be available in many languages and countries. Visit the Learning Tools language support page to learn more.

Immersive Reader comes to the OneNote Windows 10 app

Since the release of Learning Tools for OneNote Desktop, many customers have asked for these same capabilities in our OneNote Windows 10 app. With the June OneNote Windows 10 app update, the Immersive Reader will be available to all customers via the View menu and will be pre-installed.

In the OneNote for Windows 10 app, a red square highlights the Immersive Reader button located under the View menu.

The new Immersive Reader in OneNote Windows 10 will be available in many languages and countries. Visit the Learning Tools language support page to learn more.

Expanding the global reach of the Immersive Reader

Since the Immersive Reader rolled out to Word Online and OneNote Online in February, customers all over the world asked us to expand these capabilities to more languages. Today, we are pleased to announce that Read Aloud is now available in 14 new languages and geographies, including:

  • Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
  • Czech
  • English (Ireland)
  • French (Switzerland)
  • German (Austria)
  • German (Switzerland)
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Thai

In addition, the Syllables feature is being added to four languages: Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian and Slovak.

Finally, the Parts of Speech feature for German, Italian and Dutch will be enabled for Word Online, OneNote Online and Outlook on the web in the next few weeks. Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Brazilian Portuguese languages will be available later this summer.

Visit the Learning Tools language support page to see the current list of languages for the Immersive Reader.

Try it out—the updated and enhanced landing page for Learning Tools

With the recent interest and popularity of the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader, we wanted to allow anyone to quickly try out the functionality through any web browser and experience all its benefits and features. We recently updated our Learning Tools landing page with the Try it out function that immediately launches the Immersive Reader. You can also put your own custom text in and try it out. The new Try it out feature supports 39 languages, so people from around the world can immediately experience the Immersive Reader.

Image shows "Try it out" button displayed on the Learning Tools landing page. Image is linked to the Learning Tools landing page.

Japanese dictation language added to the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in

Support for Japanese dictation on OneNote Desktop has been added, in addition to bug fixes and stability improvements to the add-in. You can grab the latest version (v1.3) of the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in on the Microsoft Learning Tools page.

In the OneNote Desktop, the Japanese dictation option is selected under the Dictate menu.

You can download the Learning Tools at Send any feedback to or reach out on Twitter: @OneNoteEDU.

—The OneNote team

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Categories: Technology

Announcing the Microsoft Planner mobile app for iPhone and Android

Wed, 31/05/2017 - 17:00

We are pleased to announce that the new Microsoft Planner mobile app is now available for iPhone and Android phones. Starting today, current Planner users can use this companion app to view and update their plans on the go, addressing feedback we’ve heard since the launch of the Planner web app. For people who are new to Planner, you can first get started by visiting Once you’ve created your plans in the web app, you can view and update those plans in the mobile experience.

Planner is available to customers with Office 365 Enterprise E1–E5, Business Essentials, Business Premium and Education subscription plans. Current Planner users can download the app for Android and iOS.

Side-by-side images of the Planner mobile app on the iPhone (left) and Android (right).

In the coming months, we plan to add push notifications, the ability to create new plans from the mobile app and integration with Intune.

For other feature requests, please visit our UserVoice page and submit your idea. And as always, visit the TechCommunity page to communicate with other Microsoft Planner users and the product team.

To get the Microsoft Planner mobile app, leave a suggestion or ask for help, follow these links:


Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Planner?

A. Planner provides a simple, visual way to organize teamwork. The Planner mobile app enables your team to organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on and get updates on progress.

Q. How can I access Planner?

A. If you’re new to Planner, you can access the web app via to start and build your plans. Existing users can access Planner through both the web and mobile experiences. If you don’t have an eligible license of Office 365, please visit our product page to learn more about which subscriptions include Planner. If you have an eligible license and would like to learn more about Planner, please visit our support page.

Q. Which features are coming next?

A. Updates including push notifications, the ability to create a plan and Intune integration are coming soon, and we look forward to hearing your feedback about how we can improve the Microsoft Planner mobile experience.

Q. Where can I learn more about the functionality of the Planner mobile app?

A. Please visit iPhone support and Android support to learn more about features and functionality of the mobile app.

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Categories: Technology


Additional Terms