Introducing Microsoft Teams—the Chat-Based Workspace in Office 365

Microsoft just announced Microsoft Teams—the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Office 365 global, secure cloud. Starting today, Microsoft Teams is available in preview in 181 countries and in 18 languages to commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans, with general availability expected in the first quarter of 2017.

At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to the mission of helping people and organizations achieve more—and reinventing productivity for the cloud and mobile world is core to our ambition. We built Microsoft Teams because we see both tremendous opportunity and tremendous change in how people and teams get work done. Teams are now more agile and organizational structures more flat to keep communications and information flowing. With Microsoft Teams, we aspire to create a more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible—across the team—so everyone can stay in the know.

Microsoft Teams delivers on four core promises to create a digital workspace for high performing teams.

Chat for today’s teams

First and foremost, Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversation experience for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams supports not only persistent but also threaded chats to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations are, by default, visible to the entire team, but there is of course the ability for private discussions. Skype is deeply integrated, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences. And everyone can add personality to their digital workspace with emojis, stickers, GIFs and custom memes to make it their own.

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A hub for teamwork

Second, Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365 to provide a true hub for teamwork. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are all built into Microsoft Teams so people have all the information and tools they need at their fingertips. Backed by the Microsoft Graph, intelligent services are surfaced throughout the workspace to help with information relevancy, discovery and sharing. Microsoft Teams is also built on Office 365 Groups—our cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another, preserve their sense of context and share with others.

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Customizable for each team

Third, since all teams are unique, we’ve invested deeply in ways for people to customize their workspace, with rich extensibility and open APIs available at general availability. For example, Tabs provides quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. Microsoft Teams also shares the same Connector model as Exchange, providing notifications and updates from third-party services like Twitter or GitHub. Further, we are including full support for the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into your team environment.

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Today, we are also announcing the Microsoft Teams Developer Preview program, allowing developers to extend Microsoft Teams. We will have integrations with over 150 partners at general availability—including our early partners Zendesk, Asana, Hootsuite and Intercom. This is the first step in providing the customization users want and the tools and support our developer community will need to integrate with Microsoft Teams.

Security teams trust

Finally, Microsoft Teams provides the advanced security and compliance capabilities that our Office 365 customers expect. Data is encrypted in transit and at rest. Like all our commercial services, we have a transparent operational model with no standing access to customer data. Microsoft Teams will support key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more. And, as customers would expect, Microsoft Teams is served out of our hyper-scale global network of data centers, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 service.

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Microsoft Teams joins the Office 365 universal toolkit

Microsoft Teams joins the broadest and deepest portfolio of collaboration applications and services to help solve the diverse needs of people and organizations globally. As we’ve learned from our 85 million active monthly users, all groups have a diverse set of needs when it comes to working together. Office 365 is designed for the unique workstyle of every group and includes purpose-built applications, all deeply integrated together.

  • Exchange is the undisputed leader in corporate email and according to Gartner has “80 percent share of companies using cloud email with revenue above $10 billion.”
  • SharePoint provides intranets and content management solutions to more than 200,000 organizations and 190 million people.
  • Yammer is the social network for work, enabling cross-company discussions for 85 percent of the Fortune 500.
  • Skype for Business provides real-time voice, video and conferencing and hosts more than 100 million meetings a month.
  • Office 365 Groups is our cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another.

Contact the Atidan team at office365@atidan.com for additional information, free trial of Office 365 and special deployment offers!

 

Blog credit: https://blogs.office.com/2016/11/02/introducing-microsoft-teams-the-chat-based-workspace-in-office-365/

Finally – Skype for Business for Mac Plus Enhanced Mobile Application Sharing

Skype for Business Mac is now publicly available for download. The Mac client offers edge-to-edge video and full immersive content sharing and viewing. The result is a great first class experience for Mac users.

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Enhancements to Skype for Business mobile apps on Android and iOS

New capabilities in Skype for Business apps for iOS and Android are now available —including the ability to present PowerPoint files in a meeting and a faster, more reliable content sharing approach.

skype-for-business-announces-new-mac-client-and-new-mobile-sharing-experiences-2Present in a meeting from your mobile app—Now you can present content right from Android or iOS device. No more emailing files and links back and forth when you present from your phone or tablet. Now, sharing a PowerPoint deck in a meeting is as easy as selecting the file from your favorite cloud drive and presenting right from your phone. On Android, you can also share a file stored on the device itself. With swipe gestures, you can easily transition between different slides. Once shared, the PowerPoint file also becomes available in the meeting’s content bin for other participants to download or present.

Video-based Screen Sharing for mobile devices—Microsoft is also enhancing the content viewing experience with Skype for Business on mobile devices by using Video-based Screen Sharing (VbSS) for content viewing on iOS and Android apps. The initial setup is much faster, the experience more reliable, while also consuming network bandwidth efficiently. It provides a seamless viewing experience, especially if you are sharing animated content such as CAD models. Learn more about VbSS and how it can enhance your meeting experience.

If you haven’t yet checked the Skype for Business mobile apps for Android and iOS, visit Skype for Business Apps & Downloads so you can download the apps and experience meetings on-the-go today!

For additional information about Skype and Microsoft Office 365 please contact us at office365@atidan.com

 

Article credit: https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/27/skype-for-business-announces-new-mac-client-and-new-mobile-sharing-experiences/

 

Enriching the Mobile and Intelligent SharePoint Intranet with Team News, Apps for Mobile and more

The intranet is the publishing center of all things happening throughout your company. It is where people keep up with news and discover what’s happening around them at work. It’s time, now, to further empower employees—more precisely, give them a way to broadcast their work.

Today at Ignite, Microsoft is pleased to announce the newest waves of innovations to your mobile and intelligent intranet, powered by SharePoint, including:

  • Team news for SharePoint Online modern team sites (announced today).
  • SharePoint mobile apps for Android and Windows 10 Mobile (in preview today).
  • News roll-up tab within the SharePoint mobile app for iOS (announced today).
  • Create a modern team site and an associated Office 365 group from the SharePoint home (announced today).
  • New people experiences within SharePoint Online team sites, document libraries and lists, and OneDrive for Business (rolling out now).

Below is a summary—along with links to additional resources—of these innovations.

Keep the team informed and up-to-date with team news

Team news is how you keep up with and broadcast key events and accomplishments with other members of the team and extended stakeholders. You can use team news for things like trip reports, best practices, project updates, highlights of new documents and content, welcoming a new team member, sharing team goals and celebrating milestones.

To add a news item, from within the News web part on the team site home page, click + Add to create a news article. Next, add content to the news post using the toolbox—a gallery of web parts—to add text, video, documents, quick links and more. When you’re finished, click Publish and the news article will be featured prominently on the team site home page within the News web part. And when you click See All, you’ll land on a dedicated News page that serves as the team’s news archive.

Below shows how a team site with all the news—front and center—is displayed in the SharePoint mobile app:

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Team news in the SharePoint app. News articles render beautifully in the SharePoint app.

Team news is a great way to broadcast of all the important content from your team. In the future, you will receive mobile and email notifications to help keep you up to date.

SharePoint mobile app previews come to Android and Windows 10 Mobile

In June 2016, Microsoft released the first version of the SharePoint mobile app for iOS—your intranet in your pocket. Today, we are filling more pockets by introducing the SharePoint mobile app for both Android and Windows 10 Mobile previews.

The SharePoint mobile app helps keep your work moving forward by providing quick access to your team sites, organizational portals and the people you work with throughout Office 365 by letting you search for content and people across your organization. We leverage the Microsoft Graph to power several of the in-app experiences, providing you relevant information to get to the content and people you work with most frequently.

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Android: Main Sites tab showing Frequent and Followed sites. Android: Team site showing site activity, files, lists and the full site navigation.
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Windows 10 Mobile: Main Sites tab showing Frequent and Followed sites. Windows 10 Mobile: team site showing site activity, files, lists and the full site navigation.

You can use the SharePoint mobile app to:

  • Navigate from Sites to team sites you follow or frequently visit.
  • Navigate from Links to important sites configured by your organization.
  • Catch up on what’s happened with the Activity view, which shows recent file activity in your team site.
  • Open your document libraries with the OneDrive app and then edit your files using Office mobile apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
  • Learn more about people you work with and discover what they are working on.
  • Perform an enterprise-wide search to find sites, files and people throughout your organization.
  • Android first: you’ll be able to launch a PowerApp from a team site directly in the SharePoint mobile app.

Learn more about SharePoint mobile app for Android and the SharePoint mobile app for Windows 10 Mobile.

Catch up with all your team’s news in the SharePoint app on iOS

If you use the SharePoint app on iOS, you get the first look at the mobile experience of team news. When you tap the News tab, you will see a list of aggregated news using the intelligence of the Microsoft Graph from the sites you work in, the sites you follow and the sites your colleagues work in. SharePoint mobile on iOS gives you one place to catch up on the news from across your intranet. That’s your news in your pocket!

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News on SharePoint mobile will come to other platforms as a future update.

Create a modern team site and an associated Office 365 group from the SharePoint home

Microsoft is pleased to announce that soon you’ll be able to create a site and a group for your team—right from SharePoint home in Office 365. The Create site wizard will create an Office 365 group as well as a modern SharePoint team site. You will even be able add members and classify the site along the way. And if you’ve ever waited for a SharePoint site to be provisioned in the past, you’ll discover this process will create the site in mere seconds.

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Coming soon: Create a team site right from SharePoint home.

The result is the same as when you create an Office 365 group from Outlook: every group in Office 365 Groups gets the full power of a SharePoint Online team site.

Know who’s who, and who’s working on what, with new people cards

Teamwork is all about the people and what they’re working on. Now, when you see a person in a SharePoint team site, document library, list, or in OneDrive for Business, the value of discovering more about that person lies at your fingertips where you are already working.

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People cards appear in SharePoint document libraries when you hover over a person’s name.

When you hover over a person’s name or photo, you’ll now see a richer people card. Previously, the card contained basic contact information and one-click methods to connect with the person. Now, you instantly see who the person works for and what documents they recently worked on. Powered by the Microsoft Graph, these intelligent people cards provide a personalized and actionable experience as you work with your files across Office 365.

Read more about upcoming updates to people experiences throughout Office 365.

Stay tuned for more innovations

The innovations will keep coming. For example, with news, you’ll see enhancements to the news reading experience on both mobile and web, and you will be able to interact with news as well as sign up for notifications. We’ll expand on team news, using the Microsoft Graph to provide a stream of personalized news from across all your sites, complementing it with traditional corporate news articles. In future iterations, we envision corporate, divisional and influential blog posts to be surfaced along with a blend of top-down, curated content all powered by Microsoft Graph-driven relevance.

Here is a summary of what we’re doing to power your mobile, intelligent intranet:

Release date Feature
First Release in October 2016. Team news in SharePoint Online team sites.
In preview today. SharePoint mobile apps for Android and Windows 10 Mobile.
Update pushed to App Store in October 2016. News tab within SharePoint mobile app for iOS.
First Release in October 2016. Create site from SharePoint home integrated with Office 365 Groups.
Rolling out now. New people experiences in SharePoint Online document libraries and OneDrive for Business.

Every day, the Atidan team is helping our clients to get the most out of SharePoint and Office 365. Please contact us at sharepoint@atidan.com for additional information!

 

Reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/26/enriching-the-mobile-and-intelligent-intranet-with-team-news-apps-for-android-and-windows-and-more/

 

 

Major OneDrive Updates Include SharePoint Online Sync Preview

OneDrive and SharePoint work together to make storing and accessing all your files simple and powerful. Microsoft recently outlined a vision for file management in Office 365 that included a set of new features, such as simplified file sharing (both inside and outside your organization), the ability to copy files directly from OneDrive to SharePoint, mobile access to all your Office 365 files on iOS and the innovative Discover view that uses Microsoft Graph to suggest relevant and trending files.

Microsoft announced today new sync, browser, mobile and IT capabilities for you!

New sync capabilities include:

  • Ability to sync SharePoint Online document libraries and OneDrive folders shared with you (preview available today).
  • An “activity center” has been added to the OneDrive sync client to allow you to view synchronization and file activity at a glance (preview available today).

New browser capabilities include:

  • Rich thumbnails and previews for over 20 new file types (rolling out before the end of 2016).
  • Ability to access and edit all your files in OneDrive and SharePoint Online from the OneDrive browser client (rolling out before the end of 2016).
  • Capability to download multiple files as a .zip file (rolling out before the end of 2016).

New mobile capabilities include:

  • Notifications to your iOS or Android device when someone shares a OneDrive file with you (available today).
  • Access to SharePoint Online files in the OneDrive app on Android (available today).
  • Multi-page scan enhancements in the OneDrive app on Android (available today).
  • Ability to see over time how many people have discovered and viewed your files in OneDrive for iOS (available today).

New IT capabilities include:

  • Enhancements to integration with Office 2016 (available in First Release).
  • Simple, flexible OneDrive user management in Office 365 (available in First Release).
  • Dedicated OneDrive administration console in Office 365 (rolling out before the end of 2016).

Take your files on the go with powerful new sync options

Microsoft promised to bring a single sync experience for all your files in Office 365, across OneDrive and SharePoint. Today, Microsoft announced the public preview of this eagerly anticipated update for both PC and Mac.

SharePoint sync is being added to the OneDrive sync client, which we released last year, and offers superior levels of reliability, performance and control—including the flexibility to select the specific folders you want to take offline.

Now you have one simple way to take any of your Office 365 files offline. And we’ll make it even easier, with a seamless upgrade from the legacy sync client (groove.exe).

sharepoint-online-sync-preview-01

Shared folder sync is another powerful capability shipping with this preview. If a colleague in your organization shares a folder with you from their OneDrive, then you can choose to take that folder offline. What’s more, it doesn’t count against your storage quota!

For better visibility of what is going on with your sync client, we’re rolling out the activity center. When a file is added, deleted or changed in a folder that you are syncing, the activity center shows you exactly what happened—so you can catch up on the most recent activity and see current sync status.

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To get started with the preview download the setup instructions here.

View files fast with better previews and thumbnails

OneDrive offers deep integration with Office Online, so you can view, edit and create Office files from any browser. There are times you want to view other types of files in the browser without downloading them. So, we’re enabling rich previews for your most commonly used business file types. Without leaving OneDrive, you will be able to preview Adobe files, including Illustrator (.ai), Photoshop (.psd) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps). Email files (.msg and .eml), almost all photo files (including many RAW formats) and streaming video are also supported. Additionally, most of these file types now have high resolution thumbnails in the folder’s tile view. We won’t stop here—we’re continuously building support for new file types, creating better previews and increasing coverage for thumbnails.

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Access all your Office 365 files through the OneDrive browser experience

Our mission is to enable you to work with all your Office 365 files wherever you are. We’re releasing an update to the OneDrive browser experience that enables you to access, edit and share all files and folders in SharePoint Online that you own or follow. We’ll start rolling this out to First Release customers in the coming months, and rollout to all customers will be complete in the first quarter of 2017. Combined with the single experience in mobile apps and sync, you have one consistent way to work with the Office 365 files you care about. Regardless of whether you’re in the browser on PC or Mac, or on your device using our apps, OneDrive is the one place to access, share, edit and collaborate on all your Office 365 files.

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Download multiple files as a .zip file

Based on your feedback, we’ve added another new capability to the OneDrive browser experience. You can now select multiple files and folders and download them in a .zip file.

Keep informed with mobile notifications

For iOS or Android users, we’ve added notifications when a colleague shares a file with you. You can now open the file directly from the notification. You won’t have to rely on email to know when you can start working on that shared proposal with colleagues or complete the final review of tomorrow’s presentation. In the future, we’ll bring notifications to Android and Windows, as well as add notifications for other file activities beyond just sharing.

sharepoint-online-sync-preview-05

Extending the Scan function to handle multiple photos

Earlier this year we released the Scan function on Android, which enables you to take single photos that are then converted to PDF files and uploaded to OneDrive. We’ve now expanded this allow you to add multiple photos and combine them in the one PDF file. Now you can scan your multi-page expense receipt or extensive notes across multiple whiteboards into a single PDF that’s uploaded and stored in OneDrive.

This feature will be rolling out to iOS in the coming weeks.

Understand the reach and impact of your work

When you copy from OneDrive to SharePoint—a feature we recently released—your file becomes accessible and discoverable by your team. We announced in May that we were working on a feature to measure the reach of your files. Starting today on iOS, you can see over time how many people have discovered and viewed your files. This provides simple insight into the impact of your work. We’ll add this capability to Android and Windows in future updates.

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New deeper Office 2016 integration saves you time in collaborating with others

We’re continuing to deliver true, seamless Office integration everywhere you use Microsoft Office and OneDrive. In the top right of the Office 2016 ribbon, you can see the users who are currently editing the file and launch Skype for Business to converse in real-time. You can also share the file, see the history of all activity on the file as well. Being able to share with others and getting a snapshot of what is going on with your file without having to jump out of the Office app are big time-savers.

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Additionally, when you click the File tab to open a file, you’ll notice now that in addition to having access to files you recently accessed in OneDrive and SharePoint Online, you can now also access files most recently shared with you. The result is simple: access to all the files you’re working with on any device—yet another time-saving feature exclusive to OneDrive and SharePoint.

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Secure and manage OneDrive with enhancements for IT pros

Between now and the end of 2016, Microsoft is releasing even more features for IT to secure and manage OneDrive. We’ll add per-user controls for OneDrive directly in the Office 365 User Management console. As an admin, you will be able to set the storage quota and external sharing permissions for a specific user, as well as help a user who misplaced a file or inadvertently shared the wrong file with others. In emergencies, such as a lost device, you can sign a user out of OneDrive on all devices. And, when an employee leaves the organization or is terminated, you can take over the user’s OneDrive to move or copy important files to other locations. This capability complements the feature we shipped earlier this year that allows you to preserve files in a deleted user’s OneDrive for up to 10 years, so that you can be confident important files are not lost. We’ll continue to add new per-user settings and controls.

Microsoft is creating a dedicated administration console for OneDrive in the Office 365 admin center, so you’ll have one place to discover and configure OneDrive-specific settings and perform administrative tasks—many of which used to require PowerShell. The new experience is simple, modern, fast and responsive, and makes managing OneDrive for your organization much easier.

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The future of simple and powerful file sharing is now

We’re pleased to deliver these innovations that lead the way to simple and powerful file sharing for Office 365 customers. OneDrive delivers a single, consistent experience for working with all your files in your individual OneDrive, your SharePoint team sites and Office 365 Groups. We’re bringing you rock-solid sync, a rich browser experience, highly-rated mobile apps and deeper, more powerful integration with Microsoft Office. And we’re bringing all of this to your PC and Mac as well as all your devices. We’re innovating ways to use intelligence to accelerate your productivity, with content discovery and insights into the impact of your work. And of course, behind these great experiences and capabilities are the security, compliance and manageability controls that are the hallmark of Office 365.

Get started with the new updates today!

Contact the Atidan Office 365 team at office365@atidan.com for additional information and special offers.

 

Blog reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/26/sharepoint-online-sync-preview-headlines-ignite-announcements-for-onedrive/?Wt.mc_id=DX_MVP4029260

 

Stay connected wherever work takes you

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/

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.

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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

IM on it—Why Instant Messaging is Collaboration’s Secret Weapon

Implementing an instant messaging platform is important for productivity for teams of all sizes. Enabling a system for quick, informal, easy-to-reference and mobile chats keeps teams connected for nimble collaborations—resulting in a major value-add to your business.

How much value, exactly? Businesses that have embraced instant messaging practice have seen remarkable improvements in productivity and streamlined communication. According to a survey of employees using chat services conducted by SoftwareAdvice.com, 75 percent saw decreased call and email volume, and 66 percent noticed quick resolution for simple questions. When it comes to productivity, 21 percent noted either moderate or significant increase.

IM instant messaging is collaborations secret weapon FI

As company-wide IM benefits become clear, more and more businesses are getting on board. If you’re interested in these benefits but are wary to ensure proper implementation and use throughout your company, provide best practices for your employees to reference to increase productivity and reduce frustrating growing pains.

Don’t shoot the messenger

The following five best practices help ensure successful adoption and usage of IM in your organization:

  1. Provide a company-wide solution—Don’t require employees to use personal accounts; implement a company-provided instant messaging offering. This will streamline features and allow all your employees to find each other to chat.
  2. Choose a secure solution with robust featuresCompliance standards (like HIPPA, DPAS and FISMA, FERPA and banking) apply to more than just email and other secure information sources. Ensure that all your business communication tools align with common compliance standards.
  3. Integrate with other collaboration tools—Standalone instant messengers can leave employees with cumbersome roadblocks. Ensure your solution integrates seamlessly with other tools like business email, phone and video conferencing. Encourage employees to start conversations within project-specific documentation, so that the goal of the conversation remains clear and important information can be easily referenced.
  4. Empower employees to set and respect boundaries—Being reachable 24/7 is unrealistic and sets up your employees for burnout. Encourage colleagues to mute their instant messaging tool for periods of private productivity and focus, then remind co-workers to respect that virtual space.
  5. Don’t replace email completely—Instant messaging is a great option to communicate with even the most inbox-overwhelmed colleagues. But, instant messaging should not replace email or other collaboration tools that are core to keeping record of memorialized conversations. Set standards and show examples of the types of content best handled via IM, email or other project management tools. A general rule is length, if the message will contain more than a few words or sentences, email remains the best option.

A valuable tool for company-wide collaboration, instant messengers should be used to keep employees productive—not distracted or stressed. By implementing and encouraging best practices and sticking with a solution that includes everything you need to implement these practice at the outset, you can see skyrocketing productivity and results.

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

Reference: https://blogs.office.com/2016/07/20/im-why-instant-messaging-is-collaborations-secret-weapon/