In April Microsoft released several new updates designed to help companies of all sizes accelerate the digital transformation within their organization.
Outlook Customer Manager
Microsoft’s Customer manager lets you track and grow your customer relationships without leaving outlook. Since the first release Microsoft have been taking feedback from users to be able to improve the product. New capabilities include easier management of customers and upcoming deals due to automatic reminders, suggested company information from Bing and integration with Microsoft Flow. It is now possible to use Outlook Customer Manager on the go in Outlook for iOS and Outlook on the web.
Microsoft To-Do transforms the way you manage your tasks
Microsoft To-Do preview was released mid-April. To-Do is an intelligent task management app that helps you stay organized and prioritize the most important to-dos with the help of intelligent suggestions. It syncs with Outlook Tasks so you’re able to stay on top of all your to-dos in a single view across devices.
Designer is now available in PowerPoint on iPad
Designer in PowerPoint helps you create professional designed slides and is now available on the go with the new release for iPad. It’s providing design recommendations making it easier for you to create great slides.
More Office apps support Office 365 Groups
It is easier to access shared team material and work together with Microsoft’s extended support for Office 365 Groups to more Office apps.
- Groups in Word, Excel and PowerPoint – Save documents in frequently used groups, without leaving the app you’re working in.
- Groups in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android – Read and respond to group conversations, view group list, add group events in calendar and more on all platforms.
Skype for Windows 10 is generally available
Skype for Windows 10 is ready for everyday use with the Windows 10 creators Update. Skype for Windows 10 includes exclusive features such as mini view, SMS relay for Windows Phone and Skype translator for calls to mobile phones and landlines. Use skype with keyboard shortcuts, conversation search and more.
Office 365 security and compliance updates
In Early April Microsoft announced several security and compliance updates. To help enterprise subscribers to better protect, detect and respond to threats within their organization. Among other things Office 365 Threat Intelligence (now generally available) leverages the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph to help you stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. To prevent users from clicking malicious links Microsoft have now made Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Safe Links available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. New reports are included to help you understand your organization’s health. Read more about the security and compliance updates here.
Other Office 365 updates in April
The mentioned above is only a few of all the updates Microsoft have released in April. To read their full report of updates and original blogpost click here
Sales managers know all too well how challenging it can be to be on the road – keeping up with the latest versions of documents, presentations and media kits as well as staying on top of calendars, schedules, meetings while also staying in touch with all prospects, customers and your own team.
Jenn Schaal, sales manager for an international trade association shares her best time saving tips with us. Read full blogpost from Microsoft here
On April 18th Microsoft made the announcement that they have rolled out Groups to Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android. With Group conversations now available for you on all your platforms you can:
- View your group list.
- Read and reply to group conversations.
- Add group events to your personal calendar.
- View group details within the group card (Outlook for iOS and Android only)
Groups have proven useful to Microsofts customers. More than 10 million people rely on Groups in Outlook every month to work together and get things done. Groups offers huge improvements over traditional distribution lists with shared space for group conversation. In addition to bringing Groups to more Outlook apps, Microsoft has also released several new features.
- Set up guest access for people outside your organization.
- Easier way to invite multiple people to join a group.
- Group owners can multi-delete conversations.
- Group members with permission can send emails as the group / send on behalf of the group.
These are some of the improvements Microsoft have made in Groups for Outlook based on feedback from users. Microsoft want their users to keep sending feedback via their users voice site. Next up on their list of improvements are:
- Add appointment to group calendar without sending invite to everyone in group.
- Add mail contacts as guests to a group
Read full blog post from Microsoft here
In Febuary Fortune released their annual list ”Worlds most Admired Companies”. The list has been published by Fortune since 1997, and is composed based on a survey made with 3.800 excecutives, analysts, directors and experts. This year Microsoft entered the top 10 overall with a ranking of number 9 – jumping up 8 places from position 17 last year. In their specific industry, Computer Software, Microsoft ranks nr 1 – displacing Adobe who held that spot last year.
Overall top spot is held by Apple followed by Amazon and Starbucks ranking 2 and 3. Google conglomorate Alphabet is ranked no 6.
At the Ignite Conference in Atlanta, in september 2016, Microsoft announced several new Skype for Business innovations. Innovations that empower IT professionals to deliver modern communications to their end users and enhance the Office 365 collaboration experience across devices.
The best user experience for workplace communication
Microsoft have been working to create improvements on the experience of communicating with others across devices. In October they released the new Skype for Business for Mac. The new client provides high definition audio and video alongside with features lite one-click join for meetings, edge-to-edge video and desktop sharing to make full use of a screen. Enhancements to the skype for business experience on iPhone was also rolled out and the outcome is Skype for Business calls now works just like a cellular call on your iPhone. In addition to accepting a call via the locked screen you can also put Skype for Business calls on hold to take a cellular phone call. The result is first class Skype for Business experience to Mac and iOS users.
Skype Meeting Broadcast in Office 365 will have new services in form of transcription and translation soon. The new features will provide live closed-captioning for presentations spoken in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and German. Viewers can sellect their preffered language for captions.
The next generation of Skype Room Systems and Polycom
Transform your meeting rooms and make any space a Skype meeting place. Skype Room Systems bring the Skype for Business meeting experience with rich HD, audio and video to every meeting room. With the new generation your team can work like you’re all in one place. It is quick and easy to joing meetings, make phone calls and instantly share content in room and remotely, all from an elegant touch screen console device. Polycom will have their MSR series ready for shipment early in the first quarter of 2017.
Polycom RealConnect for Office 365 is the answer for the user who wants to keep their exsisting teleconference investments from Cisco and others. It enables non-native video teleconferencing (VCT) systems to join a Skype for Business meeting and non-Skype for Business endpoint devices can leverage Skype for Business meetings all in a seamless experience.
Global availability and capability
Microsoft continues to make their services available globally and reveals their latest geographic expansion of PSTN conferencing. Countries like Australia, Russia, Quatar and many more were added to the list of countries who can purchase audio conferencing as part of Office 365 and host meetings. Using local numbers people from 90 countries and 400 cities across the globe can join these meetings. Office 365 admin portal toll or toll-free numbers can now easily be aquired. Since October previews of PSTN Calling in France and Spain is available. PSTN calling plans are already generally available in the United States, United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.
Office 365 administrators can decide where they want to provision theis users for meetings. Skype for business will support regionally hosted meetings by the end of the year and multinational organizations can be provisioned in the datacenter region nearest to their physical location – reducing latency, delivering high quality media and keeping the data in the same region.
New dynamic and unique conference ID’s will be standard for all Skype for Business online meetings, this to enhance security and smoother transitions between back to back meetings. If a meeting organizer’s meeting is running long that meeting will no longer be interrupted by guests from the next scheduled meeting.
Skype for Business Cloud PBX is already available worldwide. Office 365 customers can use Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition to connect Microsofts Cloud PBX with existing telephony environments using the telco carrier of own choice.
Previews are released of Organizational Auto Attendant for call treatment and Call Queues for queueing and routing of inbound calls. Configured by the admin in Office 365 console or through Windows Power Shell these powerful features lets customers migrate entire offices to Cloud PBX for voice easily and quickly.
Move your communications to Skype for Business Online today
Microsoft is commited to continually improve their services using the hyper-scale, intelligent and trusted Microsoft Cloud. They power over 1 billion meetings per year, more than any other provider. Customers all around the world rely on Microsoft for their communications. Take the opportunity to take advantage of Microsofts services in Office 365 to improve teamwork, consolidate suppliers and cut costs. Try Skype for business in your organisation using the free 30-day Office 365 E5 trial and see how it can help your team achieve more together.
This is a summary of a blog post on Microsoft Office blog, originally posted on September 26, 2016 written by Gurdeep Singh Pall (Coorporate vice President for the Skype Team) For full article click here.
Microsoft recently announced some changes and upcoming changes in their cloud version of Skype for Business in Office 365. The product offered in the cloud is becoming more and more on par with the on-premises version.
PSTN Conferencing is now available for purchase in 32 countries around the world. This is a service hosted by Microsoft, and should not be misstaken as the same service previously offered through third parties. This service is available in the E5 plan, or as a seperate addon to other plans.
PSTN Calling goes into a public preview in the UK. We are very glad to see this service reaching Europe, and more countries will follow, stay tuned.
The Skype Meeting experience gets enhanced. During 2016, Microsoft will launch what they call “Project Rigel”. This is a project to extend the meeting experience and make it easier to work and collaborate in Skype Meetings. Polycom, Microsofts #1 hardware partner in this space, has already released the Realpresence Trio. A smart meeting hub, perfectly fit for Skype for Business. They will also during 2016 release two groundbreaking features/products.
- The Realpresence Group Series will get an updated firmware with two new features, first it will allow registration directly against Skype for Business Online in Office 365. Second, it will get a new user interface, that look and feels more like Skype for Business. It is very similar to what you see in a Skype for Business Room System.
- Polycom will provide a Cloud Video Interoperability service, hosted in the Microsoft cloud, which will enable a wide range of existing VTCs, including Cisco and Polycom systems, to connect to Skype for Business meetings in Office 365 and will include audio, video and content interoperability
We are really looking forward to these new features during 2016!
Source and more info: https://blogs.office.com/2016/03/09/expanding-the-reach-of-skype-for-business-meetings-and-voice-services-in-office-365/
Today Microsoft announced that they are expanding the preview of Skype for Business in Office 365 to provide support for additional countries, as well as adding several new features.
- PSTN conferencing preview available in 14 more countries! U.S. already available. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom starting this month, with Finland, Norway and South Africa coming in November
- Cloud PBX preview available worldwide!
- Number portability and voicemail in the U.S.
And, features soon to come…
- IP Phones with Cloud PBX
- Call Quality Dashboard
For more information, please contact Precede Consulting and to sign up for the preview, visit http://www.skypepreview.com
Exchange Server 2013 CU10 is now available for download.
Just as previous CU versions, this version can be used to perform a new installation of Exchange Server and you don’t have to install CU1, CU2… before you install this one.
CU10 doesn’t include any new Schema updates but depending on your current Exchange version you may need to do a Schema update anyway.
The Build of this version is: 15.00.1130.007
Besides all issues this CU update resolves, it is particular interesting.
This version will be the minimum version of Exchange Server 2013 you need to co-exist with Exchange Server 2016.
So, in order to be ready for Exchange Server 2016, this CU update need to be installed.
More info and download link can be found at: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3078678
In the beginning of September Microsoft released its long-awaited 3:rd version of the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW), now called Microsoft Office 365 Hybrid Configuration Wizard.
This version will make it much easier to set up and maintain an Exchange Hybrid.
Here is a list of some of the improvements:
- Easier to read and understand error codes
- Easier access to the HCW log files
- Links in the wizard to open either local or online PowerShell, with already cached credentials
- Help with getting sure all certificates are in place and installed on all necessary servers
- More robust way to check and find Autodiscover settings
One of the most important change is that this version of HCW is a standalone application that can be downloaded and installed from MS and you can be sure to get your hands on the latest version every time. This means that HCW is no longer part of the on-premises version of Exchange Server or Cumulative Update.
You need to be running Exchange Server 2013 CU8 or above to use the new wizard.