Introducing Guest Access for Office 365 Groups

Sometimes you need to work closely with customers, partners, suppliers or consultants outside of your organization, and you need collaboration tools to make this possible. Today, we are pleased to announce the new guest access feature for Office 365 Groups—the group membership service that provides a single identity for teams in Office 365. The new guest access feature gives you the ability to include people outside of your company in an Office 365 group.

We are rolling out guest access functionality in phases. Starting today, group owners can add guests to a group in Outlook on the web. Once added, guests receive a welcome email, are granted access to group files in SharePoint Online, begin receiving email messages and calendar invites sent to the group, and can access the group in Office on the web and the Outlook Groups mobile application. They also have automatic access to cloud-based file attachments. Guests have the option to leave the group at any time and visual indicators remind all members of guest participation in the group across all Outlook experiences.

Office Groups GIF

Guest access works for any email accounts including corporate and consumer domains (such as Outlook.com or Gmail.com). If the guest email identity is associated with a Microsoft account (such as Office 365 or Outlook.com accounts, for instance), the user is directed to a sign-in page to identify themselves. If the guest doesn’t have a Microsoft account, they will be directed to a sign-up page to create an account.

Trying to invite someone from outside your Outlook network to collaborate? Atidan can help! Email office365@atidan.com for more information.

Reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/08/introducing-guest-access-for-office-365-groups/

4 Must-Haves in Setting Up a Business Email Like an IT Pro

Email haters, beware! A recent survey has proven that email is the top tool used for communication at work and will increase in importance during the next five years. The survey also showed that employees spend 3.2 hours each day checking work-related emails. A separate study by The Radicati Group declared that an average of 122 business emails were sent and received per user per day last year.

What does all this data mean? It’s a good reminder that email is, and will continue to be, a mission-critical application for any business—whether small or large. When setting up a business email solution, there are many factors to consider, especially if yours is a small or midsized company targeted to grow in the next few years.

Setting up a business email like an IT pro

To find the best email service for your business, only consider those that meet the following must-have criteria:

  1. Hosted email solution—There are two main options for business email setup: in-house and hosted email. For many businesses, the total cost of ownership related to in-house email does not make good financial sense. It might mean imposed storage limits, which are inconvenient to your employees, and it translates into your company being responsible for upgrades and backups.
    However, when you use a hosted email solution, email hosting services take the burden of operation from your IT team’s shoulders. Hosted email service for business users also can provide dynamic storage options and scale to meet your company where it is in its growth cycle.
  2. Adequate server space—Depending on how large your company is and how much email storage it needs, you will need to choose between shared and dedicated hosting. Many small companies start with shared hosting—which means your physical server is used by multiple tenants—because it is extremely affordable and still provides all the benefits of email hosting services, including security, reliability and privacy. When that shared server space is no longer enough, companies can scale up to dedicated email servers for business. There is often more customization available with a dedicated solution too.
  3. Mobile access—In today’s fast-paced business world, compatibility between your email solution and your workers’ mobile devices is crucial. Not only is it necessary for your employees to be able to access their business emails when away from their desks, it’s also important that you consider an email solution with mobile calendar and document sharing capabilities. In addition, make a selection that is consistently upgraded for mobile technology and allows for syncing with other devices.
  4. A solid provider—When selecting an email service for business purposes, the “who” is just as important as the “what.” Choose a company you can trust, with years of proven experience providing superb email hosting services. Specifically, look for a provider with a strong uptime guarantee, high reliability and fantastic security. The provider’s email solution should make your employees’ jobs easier, including features such as integration between the calendar, contacts and files; a shared calendar feature; and 24/7 support from experts.

It’s fairly evident that email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Organizations should take great care when setting up a business email solution in order to increase efficiency and have a positive effect on the bottom line.

Let Atidan help your business flourish in the email world. For more information, contact us at office365@atidan.com.

Reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/08/4-must-haves-in-setting-up-a-business-email-like-an-it-pro/

New Capabilities in SharePoint Online Team Sites Including Integration With Office 365 Groups

shutterstock_138357953

Microsoft has announced the rollout of several new enhancements to SharePoint Online team sites in Office 365, including deeper integration with Office 365 Groups. These enhancements will begin rolling out to Office 365 First Release customers starting next week.

The home page of a SharePoint Online modern team site gives you immediate visibility into site activity and important documents, with quick access to Office 365 Groups, its members and associated Office 365 apps.

Team site publishing pages and new web parts

Modern team site pages are fast, easy to author and support rich multimedia content. And pages look great on any device, in a browser or from within the SharePoint app. Using pages is a great way to communicate and share your ideas—such as status and trip reports, how-to write-ups, know-before-you-go guides and frequently asked questions.

Team site publishing pages are easily created in your browser when you click New within a SharePoint Online team site.

SharePoint pages are built with web parts, which you can customize according to your needs. You can add documents, videos, images, site activities, Yammer feeds and more. Just click the + sign and pick a web part from the toolbox to add content to your page. The new “highlighted content” web part lets you set criteria so that specific content will automatically and dynamically populate in that area of the page. And using the SharePoint Framework, developers can build custom web parts that will show up right in the toolbox.

New capabilities in SharePoint Online team sites including integration with Office 365 Groups 3

The toolbox allows you to add web parts to your SharePoint page.

To get started using SharePoint Online team sites in Office 365 follow these easy steps:

How to get started

  1. From the upper-right of any team site home page, click the gear icon to open the Settings menu and then clickAdd a page. Alternatively, on the modern team site home page, click New and then click Page. The new page appears.
  2. Click Name your page and then type a title for the page.
  3. Click the + sign to add content using the toolbox. Your work is saved automatically.
  4. Click Save and close when you are finished.
  5. To edit a saved page, click Edit.
  6. After the page looks perfect, click Publish.

To share the page via email, just click Share at the top of the page.

Learn more how to add a page to a site.

Office 365 Groups + team sites integration

When you create a group, Office 365 gives the group a shared inbox, calendar, OneNote notebook, a Planner for task management—and now, a full-powered SharePoint team site. Each group gets a modern home page—with the ability to create additional pages—document libraries, lists and business apps.

The integration of groups and SharePoint team sites means that any time a new team site is created, a new group membership will be created as well. You can easily see the members of the site, if the site is listed as public or private within your organization and how it has been classified. In addition, all existing Office 365 groups will be updated with their own team site. And once the rollout is complete for your tenant, all newly created groups will get a team site by default.

We’re also rolling out a number of new capabilities that members of the group will have access to within the team site.

Let’s dive in to the details of what’s new.

Home page—We redesigned the team site home page to focus on the team’s most relevant content, while maintaining easy navigation to the team’s lists, libraries, pages, subsites and apps. The home page also provides quick access to the group’s Outlook conversations. And when you click on the name of the team site (“Loyalty Program” in the below screenshot), you will see the group card with navigation links to more of the group’s calendar, files and more.

New capabilities in SharePoint Online team sites including integration with Office 365 Groups 4

The new SharePoint Online team site home page for an Office 365 group showcases important content and site activity.

Quick links—Make it easy for your team to find what matters. Simply click Add, choose the file or insert the URL—now the content appears at the top of the home page. Content within Quick links can be files, pages and apps from inside your team site or from anywhere on the web.

Activity—Stay in the know with visibility into what is happening, and who’s doing what, throughout your team site. The Activity section surfaces recent actions on files, lists, pages and more.

The Office 365 Groups team site includes all of the updates we made to SharePoint in recent months including:

Modern lists and support for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps—Collaborate on structured data, connect with other data sources, automate business processes and create mobile business applications based on SharePoint lists.

Modern document libraries—Create, co-author, share and organize files, and access those files across devices with a rich, browser-based experience, or with the SharePoint and OneDrive apps. Note: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow will both soon come to the modern document library experience.

Updated Site Contents page—Create, manage and evaluate the reach and impact of content in your team site.

Learn more about modern team sites and Office 365 Groups for users and admins.

New site collection limit

As more and more teams embrace the breadth of capabilities offered in SharePoint Online across team sites, Office 365 Video and portal sites, their content storage requirements are growing. To address this, we will increase the SharePoint Online site collection storage limit in the coming weeks from 1 TB to 25 TB. This increased limit will be immediately reflected in the official SharePoint Online boundaries and limits article. Note: this is an increase to the capacity potential of individual site collections.

Manageability and extensibility

Managing modern team sites aligns to a great degree with Office 365 Groups administration by following usage guidelines, naming conventions and classification. There are some site administration tasks that team sites rely on that are controlled within the SharePoint Online admin center—like storage quota or the ability to adhere to a custom site provisioning experience if desired.

And when you want to customize the home page, we are committed to enabling page configuration (choosing web parts, adding text) and extensibility (writing custom code) in our modern experiences going forward—inclusive of continuity for customers taking advantage of extensibility in classic experiences for the foreseeable future. We plan to add support for customizing the home page using modern development techniques. Existing customized home pages will remain in classic mode.

For more information please contact Atidan at office365@atidan.com.

Reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/08/31/new-capabilities-in-sharepoint-online-team-sites-including-integration-with-office-365-groups/

 

Help with Office 365 advanced security capabilities and EMS integration at Ignite 2016

Help with Office 365 advanced security capabilities 1

Do you have Office 365 E5 and/or Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite and need help to fully implement your plans? Are you going to Ignite 2016? Nominate your organization for a customer solution session!

The Office 365 content team—together with subject-matter experts—is hosting individual customer solution sessions at Ignite in Atlanta, September 26-30. These sessions are designed to help IT teams plan and implement advanced capabilities with Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite.

Each session is 60 minutes. If you are selected, you will meet with one or more product experts (Microsoft product team members, consultants or MVPs) and one or more Office 365 content team members to discuss your goals, get advice on current challenges and envision how to enhance your solution using Office 365 and EMS.

This year, we’re offering sessions in two main focus areas: enterprise security and mobility.

Enterprise security

Do you plan to implement or are you currently blocked in implementing any of the following Office 365 E5 security features?

  • Advanced eDiscovery
  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Advanced Security Management

Tell us about your organization and what kind of help you would like to receive during a solution session with the product team.

Enterprise mobility

Are you using or do you plan to use EMS together with Office 365 to secure data, devices and accounts? Do you need help? Tell us about your organization and what kind of help you would like to receive during a solution session with the product team.

To be eligible to participate, your organization must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered to attend Ignite 2016 (this event is sold out).
  • Be licensed for the capabilities.
  • Plan to implement these capabilities or are blocked in implementing your full plan.

To nominate your company or organization for a design session, send an email to o365solutionsessions@microsoft.comby September 7, 2016, and include the following information:

  • Name of your company or organization.
  • Contact information (name and title or role in your organization).
  • The focus area(s) you are interested in and any specific questions you have.
  • Brief description of your solution goals and the challenges you’d like to discuss in the session.

All information shared with the product experts and Office 365 content team—either in email or during a solution session—will be kept confidential.

Due to a limited number of available sessions for each focus area, not every customer will be accepted. We will review nominations and select those that best fit the focus area, and that look like they will lead to a meaningful discussion for both the organization and Microsoft.

If you are selected, a member of the Office 365 content team will contact you with the day and time of your session by September 16, 2016.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

For more information please contact Atidan at office365@atidan.com.

Reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/08/25/help-with-office-365-advanced-security-capabilities-and-ems-integration-at-ignite-2016/

Stay connected wherever work takes you

shutterstock_162162986

If you ever travel for business or work remotely, like 23 percent of U.S. employees do, you rely on communication tools to stay in touch with your partners and clients whether you’re inside or outside the office. You need the most up-to-date technology to ensure your work isn’t limited by location or circumstance, but what should you look for in your communication tools?

Here’s our list of five non-negotiable features:

  1. You’re easy to get ahold of—Want to make it easier for people to connect with you no matter where you are? Use your email signature to let others contact you directly, be it cellphone, a remote office number or an online number. With Office 365, you can make your Outlook signature phone number link directly to your Skype for Business address. Your information will be linked automatically, so others can instantly communicate with you in real-time. Read this TechNet article to find out how to create a TEL:// or SIP:// link in your signature.
  2. Take calls from the device that is easiest for you—While constantly on the go, collaboration isn’t limited to your office. You may need to start a call or presentation in your office before transferring to your cellphone to wrap it up on the road. Skype for Business allows you to do so without disrupting your workflow. If you’re on a call or presenting from your computer but have to leave the office, Skype for Business enables you to seamlessly transition your conversation across devices. You can either change the device connected to the PC or transfer to mobile.
  3. Run presentations and share your applications with ease—Running a meeting with remote participants can be tricky, especially when you’re giving a presentation. You shouldn’t have to compromise a quality voice connection for a simple screen share—nor should you feel the need to run a meeting across multiple platforms. Skype for Business makes the process as simple as possible by letting you share PowerPoint slide shows directly in a meeting. No need to worry about sharing files and emailing links, you can just focus on your presentation.
  4. Record meetings—Not sure about some of those key points that were mentioned during your call? Or was a colleague or partner not present? Multimedia recording features should always be included with business-class communication tools. With Office and Skype for Business, you can record and replay presentations and video, so any of those details that might have been missed are always a click away.
  5. Communicate with those outside your organization—It’s unlikely everyone you talk to outside your company will use the same communication tools as you, so it’s important to look for a tool that offers ease of use for guests. Fortunately, connecting with non-Skype for Business users is not a problem. Accessing the conference or meeting as a guest is simple, and the security and robust features the host relies on remain standard.

Several barriers to communication and collaboration can arise when you’re working outside the office. Fortunately, Skype for Business can help. It’s more than just a video chat option; it has the features to keep you connected and make work as accessible as possible.

Try out these tips with your Skype for Business account and read up on additional features in our free eBook.

 

For more information please contact Atidan at office365@atidan.com.

Reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/08/01/stay-connected-wherever-work-takes-you/

How to Save Time, Save Money and Eliminate Manual Processes

shutterstock_106222619

There’s still time to save time.

Sign up for the Nintex Forms and Mobile Webinar: save time, money and eliminate manual processes.

Your people are going places, why not give them the tools it takes to be productive on the go?

Join us for a 30-minute webinar, Thursday, September 8th, at 2pm EST.You’ll learn how to bring forms and mobile together in your Nintex Workflow platform, and that will:

Give your team access to content from everywhere.

Make it easier for your employees to collaborate.

Keep your people productive when they’re not behind their desks.

Make your workflow mobile. Make forms easier to manage. Make the most of your Nintex platform.

To register, please go to the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-save-time-save-money-and-eliminate-manual-processes-tickets-27077284888

 

For more information, please contact: elizabeth.lebeaux@atidan.com

The BrightWork New Release- It’s Here!

This week, BrightWork announced the new release of their project and portfolio management solution for SharePoint. This new release delivers several capabilities to make project and portfolio management easier for their customers, headlined by the new task scheduling feature that allows users to apply simple schedules to a tasks list in SharePoint.  Additional highlights include a more attractive presentation of data through live dashboards and enhanced scorecards, as well as an easier project site creation process.

Task Scheduling

Many of our customers have asked for the ability to create simple schedules in their BrightWork site. Now you can easily plan work in the tasks list, like setting durations, adding start dates, and identifying predecessors. This allows you to calculate a simple schedule right in your BrightWork site.

task-scheduling-in-sharepoint

Live Dashboards

Another area we have focused on for this release is better presentation of data, making it easier to use, visualize and interpret. The new live dashboards on the homepage of your project site is a very easy way to display metrics on your dashboards to show key metrics and increase visibility to your team.

live-dashboards

Enhanced Scorecards

We’ve also taken our scorecards and charts to the next level in terms of look, feel and control for you. Now visual reports look fresh and display the information in the way you want, informing better and quicker decisions.

enhanced-scorecards

Easier Project Site Creation

Finally, we’ve made it way easier to create new project sites. We’ve given you more control, so now you’ll be able to add, hide or expose fields as you wish, ensuring that all the right information is captured in the project site when it is created.

easier-project-site-creation-process

 

For more information please contact Atidan at office365@atidan.com