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Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Office Online Sees Increased Accessibility

Although Office Online was designed with accessibility in mind, upgrades are always needed for continuous improvement. These started with Office Online utilizing WAI-ARIA(Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications), which is a new accessibility standard for blind or low vision web users. Of course, this was just the start. More recently, users are finding all kinds of new tools and features that increase their ability to use Office Online products despite their need for assistance. Microsoft has made a conscious effort to make their products more user-friendly for people with disabilities.  Enhancements are focused on giving everyone a level playing field to maximize the use of Office products and software.

Microsoft Narrator

Stephanie Donahue

Office 365 E1 vs E3 - The SharePoint Online Discussion

Sharepoint Online

So many versions of SharePoint!  If you have seen the licensing chart lately, it’s starting to become a game of Where’s Waldo when it comes to figuring out what features are available in which version of SharePoint.  Are you On-Premises?  Online?  K1, E1, E3, E4?  Bingo anyone?!  The most common question when reviewing Office 365 licensing is whether or not to make the jump from E1 to E3.  But with all 300 of the features detailed in a complicated spreadsheet, how can you make sense of all the noise?  How do you know what your organization needs?  

SharePoint Online (SPO) Licensing Basics for O365 Enterprise Plans

Microsoft labels its Office 365 Enterprise level licensing as E1, E3, and E4.  The different levels designate the Office, Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint features that are available to your organization; where E1 is more basic and E4 is fully featured.  For many companies, the decision between E1, E3 and E4 comes easy based on needs around Exchange and Lync.  However, with growing flexibility around assigning licenses that can be ”mixed and matched” to individuals within an organization, there has been additional conversations popping up about who needs what.

In SharePoint terms, E3 and E4 are pretty much the same.  This leaves us to describe the differences between E1 and E3. For those already familiar with SharePoint, the differences can be summed up by comparing E1 to SharePoint Standard and E3 to SharePoint Enterprise on-premises.  However, while one could say the comparisons are similar, the functionality for SharePoint on-premises is not identical to SharePoint Online and so you cannot make the assumption that all functionality can be matched one for one.

When it comes it understanding why you would need to upgrade from E1 to E3, it’s easiest to look at the key features.  

Matt Scherocman

OneDrive for Business Now Available on Mac and iOS Devices

OneDrive for Business is an Outlook email storage application that is utilized by many Office 365 clients. While the application has been available to Mac users, the ability to sync files and take them offline was limited until now. With the new OneDrive for Business sync client, users can now access their files across all devices by downloading the iOS application and the Mac Sync Client from Microsoft Download Center.

OneDrive for Business iOS

Accessibility is Key

Users have been able to utilize Android and Windows apps to sync their OneDrive files since late 2014, but the iOS application took a little longer to develop. In late January 2015, Microsoft finally released the OneDrive app, giving iPhone users the same accessibility. The application features new capabilities for viewing, managing, and sharing photos as well as the option to connect multiple OneDrive accounts. Previous versions separated the business and personal use files but the new OneDrive for Business allows users to access all files through the same app interface.

Business users can access all saved files and shared files, as well as the most recently viewed files. Additionally, there is a recovery option for files that were accidentally sent to the Recycle Bin. The new OneDrive features an upload option as well as “search” and “share” features making it easy to interact with business and personal files on the go. With this application comes enterprise-grade security with compliance and control by Office 365.

Matt Scherocman

Office 365: What’s New in 2015

Like any good product or service, Microsoft is constantly updating and adding features to the Office 365 suite, giving business users plenty of new tools and resources. So far in 2015, Microsoft has expanded Office 365 to new platforms; iOS and Android, added new features; Office 365 Video and Delve, plus updates, as well as developed new apps and updates for all mobile devices. The goal is increased accessibility and mobility, so every business can benefit from the integrated solutions and adaptable tools and platforms.

Whats New in 2015

New features focus on portability and convenience

Microsoft is combining the business demand of a solid, feature-rich platform in Office 365 along with consumer and business trends like the growing need for connectivity and mobility in daily operations. You’ll see this in Enterprise with:

  • OneDrive for business now available on Mac and iOS platforms
  • Outlook attachments can be saved to OneDrive
  • OneNote for iOS/iPhone updates and improvements
  • Office Online Narrator and other accessibility enhancements
  • Sway for iPhone availability and feature updates
  • Enhanced conferencing with RoundTable
  • Enhanced email protection with DKIM and DMARC in Office 365
Matt Scherocman

What is Skype for Business?

What is Skype for Business?

In the 4th Quarter of 2014, Microsoft announced plans to rename its business communication tool Lync to Skype for Business. Lync is a tool that Microsoft has invested in for the past decade, offering a single application that combines all of the communication tools for business. It became a core part of the Office enterprise. When the latest version of Lync is released in 2015, it will be named Skype for Business and include a new server release, client interface, and updates for the UC service in Office 365.

Skype for Business

Essentially, customers will enjoy new tools and features like:

  • Access to any Skype user on any device
  • Skype’s familiar functionality icons
  • Skype’s call monitor feature so active calls stay visible when using other applications
  • Lync’s content sharing, IM, and telephony
  • Improved access and interface functionality
  • Ease of use taken from consumer Skype versions
  • Security and scalability for every business user

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