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Matt Scherocman

What New Features Are Coming to Microsoft Office 365? A Roadmap

To say that Office 365 is ever evolving and changing is an understatement! How does one keep up with all the changes? What’s new, what is being rolled out in the coming weeks, and what is in future development? Because Office 365 is such a dynamic tool set, it’s constantly being updated with improvements and new tools and services, i.e. Office 365 Video or enhancements to the mobile version of Office or the really cool new Delve search tool.These are just a few examples of the changes that Office 365 has undergone in just the past few months!

Matt Scherocman

How can Office 365 Video help your business?

By using videos to make content more memorable and engaging. Video can grab and hold viewers’ attention as no other medium can.

Recently, Microsoft rolled out Microsoft® Office 365 Video, its new intranet website video portal. Based on SharePoint™ Online in Office 365, it’s a streaming video service designed for your intranet. Think of it as an internal YouTube channel for your company. Click here for a quick overview video

One Service, Three Ways to Improve Business Processes

The Office 365 Video service offers secure, reliable support for cooperative work you engage in every day.

  • Communications.  Using videos for inter-group status reports, announcements and events gives you a chance to create compelling content, which viewers are more likely to remember and act on.
  • Collaboration.  The service uses a newsfeed model and standard social media capabilities (join a group, follow, like, etc.) to encourage users to engage in conversations.
  • Training.  It’s easy to use the Office 365 Video platform for in-house training. For example, use your smartphone to create video presentations, product demonstrations or speeches. Then, use the Office 365 Video service to deliver them throughout your organization.

Office 365 Video delivers powerful, flexible services based on new and established technology.

office video image

Breakthrough Technology Enables Powerful Video Tools

Use the Office 365 Video service toupload, navigate, post and share videos with less time, effort and IT expertise than ever before.

  • Smooth streaming.Powered by Microsoft Azure® Media Services, Office 365 Video automatically optimizes video playback for any device it’s viewed on.
  • Easy to use.To upload a video, just drag and drop video files into the online user interface or upload them from their mobile device. Then, type a title and description.
  • Thoroughly mobile. Within the Office 365 Video service, you can view, navigate and share videos on any device. And, the service secures and automatically resizes the video stream to whichever device you use.
  • Find and share information Find videos with standard enterprise search. A dedicated search engine shows only video results.

Discover how the Office 365 Video service can accelerate your everyday tasks and business processes. Office 365 Video is available through most Microsoft EA Plans. Learn more.  

Microsoft EA Renewal
Matt Scherocman

Is Disaster Recovery important when using the cloud? Yes!

Disaster Recovery or DR for short, is a hot topic for many companies and with the spate of hacks and natural disasters and incredible storms, i.e. the snowstorm that hit Buffalo, NY just a few weeks ago, has many companies revisiting their disaster recovery solutions. Today’s blog will talk about DR for your applications running in
Azure.

 

Just because you are storing your app in the cloud doesn’t mean you don’t need a DR strategy, should something like mentioned above happen; are you fully prepared for a temporary or even large scale failure? Before you answer that question, let me ask you another question. Does your company rehearse these failures? Has your company determined what applications, should they go down, what your tolerance level is for that app(s)? Some things to consider when creating your cloud DR plan:

  1. Test your recovery of databases to ensure you have the correct process in place
  2. High Availability
  3. Availability
  4. Scalability
  5. Fault Tolerance

Azure DR

DR is a key component to every company’s long-term success. Taking a short-sighted approach to a DR strategy isn’t sound business. As more and more companies put more and more business critical applications in the cloud, the attention paid to DR needs to be evaluated with each application that goes into the cloud, the impact its failure can have on a company and the impact it can have as it is recovered.

In addition to dealing with unexpected disasters, rolling back failed changes and handling data corruption issues are key considerations that sometimes get forgotten when deploying to cloud platforms with greater than 99.99% uptime. 

Microsoft Azure services have a number of ways that you can meet this challenge.  For more detailed information on how to setup your Azure DR strategy for your applications running in Azure you can check out a white paper here.

Microsoft EA Renewal
Matt Scherocman

What's REALLY in Office Mobile Apps?

Office Mobile is one of the most downloaded mobile apps of all time.   Today we are going to take a look at what features are standard with the mobile App and what features require a bit more. First let's see what you get with the initial download from your respective app-stores:

Office Mobile

Here's what you get with the basic app download:

  • Email
    • Full version on iOS
    • Light version for Android, BlackBerry and Nokia Symbian OS phones
    • Remote wipe for all devices / GAL Search
  • Word, Excel and Power Point
    • Versions for iOS and Android
    • No client for Blackberry or Symbian
  • Lync
    • Versions for iOS, Android, and Symbian
    • Instant messaging / GAL Search / Join a Meeting
    • No client for Blackberry
  • OneNote
    • Versions for iOS and Android
    • No client for Blackberry or Symbian

 For a more comprehensive list of the features by device type please see the link here

Here's where it gets a little more complicated for you iPhone and iPad users. To unlock the premium features listed below, a qualifying subscription to Office 365 is required.

Premium Features:

  • Word
    • Insert/Edit WordArt
    • Add/Modify chart elements
    • Insert section breaks
    • Enable columns in page layout
    • Customize headers and footers for different pages
    • Change page orientation
    • Track and review changes
    • Add custom colors to shapes
    • Add shadows and reflection styles to pictures
    • Highlight table cells with custom color shading
  • Excel
    • Customize PivotTable styles and layouts
    • Add custom colors to shapes
    • Insert/Edit WordArt
    • Add shadows and reflection styles
    • Add/Modify chart elements
  • Power Point
    • Check speaker notes while you present with Presenter View
    • Add custom colors to shapes
    • Insert/Edit WordArt
    • Add shadows and reflection styles to pictures
    • Add/Modify chart elements
    • Highlight table cells with custom color shading

For a more detailed list of the premium features that requires a qualifying subscription to Office 365 plan, please see the link here

Microsoft EA Renewal
Matt Scherocman

Developing Enterprise Applications with Azure

Application development is a key component for many company’s long-term and   short-term strategies. One of the biggest questions is, what platform do I develop on? Another is will that platform limit my salability and reachability to my customers? Microsoft’s Azure platform supports any operating system, language, tool and framework; from Windows to Linux, SQL Server to Oracle, C# to Java. Not only that, but also, iOS, Android, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python and Ruby.

MS Azure app dev

Finding tools and development platforms for which to develop on and in Azure is no small list as you can see.  Why is that? Because developing is at the heart of what many companies are doing today to separate themselves from their competition. Apps on iOS, Android, tablets, mobile friendly web pages and then making them all sites that can be revenue producing too! From here companies can now market to their customers in real time about the things they are interested in. Today’s customer has become accustomed to being “in touch” all the time and they want apps that can help them stay in touch, how they want and when they want. 80% of all apps downloaded are used only once and then deleted. Creating apps that are “sticky” is the goal of many companies today. Let’s talk and see how Windows Azure can help your company create the next killer app in the market place!

For more information about Microsoft Azure check out the link here.

Microsoft EA Renewal

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All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.

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