National Small Business Week Webcast—“Small Business, Big Ideas: Live Expert Q&A”

Small Business Big Ideas

Join us for a bonus episode of the Office Small Business Academy, “Small Business, Big Ideas: Live Expert Q&A, in celebration of National Small Business Week, airing May 5 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET.

We invite the small business community to ask our experts their questions about entrepreneurship during this special one-night event live from the Microsoft flagship store in New York. Together, we’ll discuss the best ways to lead and grow your small business—including tips to empower employees, embrace change, manage resources and create a loyal customer base.

Carol Roth, CNBC on-air contributor and best-selling author of “The Entrepreneur Equation,” will host the event and take your questions, along with Ramon Ray, publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine and small business evangelist, and Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media and former editorial director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Don’t miss this chance to ask our experts your burning questions!

Submit your questions now—Don’t miss this opportunity to ask our experts your burning questions! Submit your questions for Carol, Ramon and Rieva on Twitter with the hashtag #OfficeSmallBiz.

Special offer—And as a special offer for attendees, One Month of Office 365 Enterprise Plans or Two Months Office 365 Business Premium Free from Atidan with a one year committment. Email office365@atidan.com Offer good through May 31. You do not need to attend this event, just mention this offer.

Yammer External Groups Launched

Collaboration doesn’t stop at the company boundary. Sometimes you need to work closely with customers, consultants, partners or suppliers outside your organization.

Today, we are pleased to announce the new external groups feature in Yammer, enabling you to include people outside your company in a Yammer group—making it easier for extended teams to work together. The external groups capability builds on the existing ways to work with people outside your company, such as external networks and external messaging, which enables you to add people outside your organization directly to a thread in your organization’s Yammer network.

Yammer external groups 1

Creating a Yammer external group.

External groups allow team members with appropriate permissions from outside your organization to fully participate in projects and initiatives by providing access to all the conversations and content in the group. At the same time, we maintain the security of your network data by listing all external groups in a distinct section under the Groups menu and using clear indicators in the UI alerting users to the presence of external team members. Each external group requires group admin approval for external members to join, and a set of proactive controls via Exchange Transport Rules prevents sensitive company information from being shared. We also added functionality to our data export to help verified administrators see which files and conversations are accessible to external users.

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An external group in Yammer.

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Group membership in a Yammer external group.

External groups are available in your Yammer network today, so you can start working with your extended team right away! We are very excited about bringing this functionally to Yammer that helps our customers break down the silos between team members who work together from different organizations.

Learn more about how to create and manage external groups in Yammer.

Contact us at office365@atidan.com for more information, a free Yammer trial, and deployment offers

Updates to Microsoft OneDrive

New features added to the Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive Next Generation Sync Client:

  • Windows 8.1 support—This completes our commitment around Windows OS support (7, 8, 8.1 and 10).
  • Office 2016 integration—In conjunction with an Office 2016 update currently rolling out, key features such as real-time co-authoring, open documents from the Most Recent list and share documents from within the Office app will be available.
  • Improved setup—Now it’s easy for anyone to get and install the new OneDrive sync client. No more registry keys needed on Windows or Terminal window on Mac!
  • Seamless client migration—If you are running the previous sync client (groove.exe), this update seamlessly transitions without requiring a resync. For full details go here.
  • Pause sync—A handy feature when you want to suspend syncing for a period of time, like when you are tethered to your phone or using Wi-Fi on an airplane.
  • View files online—You can now right click any document in Windows Explorer and select “view online” to navigate to the OneDrive for Business file or folder in the browser.
  • Sync any file type you want—We’ve added support for .json, .aspx, .swf files and more; you can now add any file type to your OneDrive for Business.
  • Block file types—IT admins can now block certain file types from syncing, such as PST or MKV files protecting limited bandwidth.
  • Performance and reliability improvements—Give small files in particular a big boost in upload and download speed.

Most of these new capabilities will be available to all customers within 1–2 weeks, the Office 2016 integration (including the associated Office 2016 update) and Pause sync features will continue rolling out during the course of the summer. There are additional sync updates to be rolled out later this year:

  • Manage bandwidth—By the end of June, we’ll deliver IT controls to throttle bandwidth consumption of the client.
  • Extended Windows Explorer integration—A simple right-click action to get a link or share files directly in Windows Explorer.
  • SharePoint Document Library Sync—We’re adding SharePoint Online document library sync, starting with a preview in the third quarter of 2016, with general release by the end of 2016.

Browser experience enhancements

We’re introducing a simple way to remove files and folders from the “Shared with me” view in the browser experience. Removing an item from the “Shared with me” view doesn’t delete the file; it can still be found via a search, so it’s not lost if you need to get back to it.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 1Easily remove items from your “Shared with me” view.

Sharing with people outside your organization is now a whole lot easier!

We’ve streamlined the process for an external recipient who doesn’t have an Office 365 or Microsoft account to open files you share with them from OneDrive for Business. Now, anyone without an Office 365 or Microsoft account who receives a file invitation just needs to enter an email address or phone number and a password, then confirm their account (one time only), and they’ll have access to the file.

 

Simplified creation of a Microsoft account.

Driving mobile productivity further

This update is a big one for our iOS and Android apps! We’re integrating Outlook mobile with OneDrive for Business, so you can share files through email on both iOS and Android—this update will roll out in the coming weeks.

 

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 3Composing an email on an iPhone and attaching a link to a OneDrive for Business file is quick and easy.

We’ve introduced a richer sharing experience in the OneDrive app for Android, including a fantastic new PDF viewing and annotation experience and an embedded Office Lens experience. You can now take a photo of the whiteboard after an important meeting and have it automatically converted to a PDF file and uploaded to the OneDrive for Business folder of your choice, in one simple process. We’ve included support for Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP). This builds on the DLP integration already in the browser experience. This update will start rolling out today and be available to all users within a week.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 4In the OneDrive app for iOS, we have a new, richer sharing experience including SMS, Mail, Outlook Mobile, Copy Link (both Edit and Read-only links), Invite People and others. You can also save files to OneDrive for Business from any iOS app. As with the Android update, this iOS update also supports Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies defined by your organization. Again, this update will roll out to all users in the next week.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 5This iOS update has much richer sharing options for OneDrive for Business files.

New insights, governance and controls for IT

One of the great things about Office 365 is the ability for IT to get an unprecedented view of what’s going on with your critical business data across email and files. We recently started to roll out a new reporting portal in the Office 365 admin center, where you can see key usage metrics for all of your Office 365 services including OneDrive for Business.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 6Comprehensive usage reporting across Office 365 services is now available.

In addition, along with making external sharing easier for end users, we’re also giving IT administrators more controls over who their users can share with. For example, perhaps your organization is OK with files being shared with external parties, but doesn’t want employees to share files with certain organizations, such as direct competitors. Now, IT administrators can set up a list of domains that people can share with or a list of blocked domains (but not both). This new capability is currently rolling out and will be available to all OneDrive for Business customers by the end of April.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 7Setting a list of domains that users can share with.

In September 2015, we rolled out the ability for end users to define an expiration date for an anonymous or guest sharing link. Now we’ve added the ability for IT to set a tenant policy (RequireAnonymousLinksExpireInDays) that makes expiration dates mandatory for anonymous or guest links and assigns default expiration period (e.g., 7 days). Users can still set an expiration date that is shorter, but not longer, than the default period.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 8The user experience if they try to set an expiry date beyond the organization’s policy.

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

New SharePoint Online Interface Enhancements

Improve end user collaboration and sharing with latest SharePoint Online Document library updates. These new enhancements are rolling out now and are similar to what has appeared in OneDrive for Business in December 2015. Six cool enhancements are described below!

  1. Add Links You can Add Links pointing to other documents in the document library. These links can be from user’s OneDrive or another SharePoint Online site.

SharePoint Online Atidan 1

Create a Link and otice the .url extension when the link is added.

The links are security trimmed are treated as any other file or folder in your document library – all with properties and workflow options. Perfect for adding a link to a Shared folder user’s OneDrive.

  1. Upload Folders With the new library experience, users will now have option to Upload Folders.

Simply select the folder to upload on your local and then Drag and drop onto a library.

SharePoint Online Atidan 2

Hints:

  • If you don’t see the option to drag and drop files, update your copy of Office.
  • If you’re using Windows 10 Edge browser, drag and drop might not work. Use Upload instead.

 

  1. Pin Folders or Documents Now you can Pin folders and documents on the top of the view in a document library. To highlight the file or folder menu when in thumbnail view simply Pin them from the edit menu.

Manage your Pinned documents and folders through the Edit Pin in the banner.
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  1. Move or Copy Documents\Folders\Links Now a fantastic way to move document libraries into SharePoint in mass quantities

SharePoint Online Atidan 5Move Items – Select one or more documents and then click on three dots

Copy Items– Select one or more documents and then click on three dots

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  1. Thumbnail or Grid View At the top right of the document library page, you can change the document library views using All Documents drop down menu. You can either choose list view or thumbnail view or Grid View to change the entire view of the library.SharePoint Online Atidan 7

You can also edit the views and select columns right from the page itself.

  • The highlight area is specific to a single folder or library view. When using custom views, you need to pin the item in each view where you want it to appear.
  • You can highlight a maximum of 3 items per library, folder, or view.
  1. Properties Quick View You can edit  properties of a document and share from the menu on the right.SharePoint Online Atidan 8SharePoint Online Atidan 6

5 Commonly Overlooked Security Threats

 The Internet is a vast place that brings amazing information to our fingertips in a matter of seconds. While this is a wonderful attribute, it also can be dangerous to your personal information or business’s data. That’s because there are hackers out there just itching to access your information and email is still a common way they accomplish this feat. And as we’ve seen through several recent examples—including the 2015 Pentagon and 2014 Sony email hacks—simply having a “strong” email password isn’t enough to keep your data from being compromised.

While some may jokingly (or not-so-jokingly) call for less email usage and more frequent use of the phone to communicate important information, it’s not always possible in our highly digital world. So in addition to being cautious about what is communicated in your emails, it’s important to understand how to protect those emails in the first place. To ensure secure email on your personal and work devices, you first have to recognize threats to your email system—including the less common ones.

Overlooked security threats

Here are five often overlooked threats to your email security:

  1. Social engineering schemes that use your mobile number—Did you know that attackers only need your mobile number to trick you into giving access to your email? Essentially, they’ll send you a text posing as your email provider (e.g., Outlook) and tell you you’re about to receive a code to ensure your email account is secure. This text will then ask you to reply with the code to confirm. Then, they’ll trigger the password reset process, you’ll receive a real message with the unlock code—and if you send it to the attackers unknowingly—they’ll use it to reset your password without your knowledge. Check out this video if you want more specifics on this scheme.
  2. Sharing your access credentials with others—It’s common for some employees to share their credentials—including their password—with a fellow employee or manager when they’ll be out of the office, whether on vacation or during short-term or long-term disability. If organizations don’t have defined security policies for these situations, a lack of accountability could lead to compromised email security.
  3. Loss of a phone with pertinent information—Password management applications are wonderful tools that help you keep track of all the passwords for all of the email accounts you undoubtedly have. But if this application is installed on a phone that is lost or stolen, that can be a problem. Of course, it’s important that your phone is also password-protected, but organizations should take security one step further when it comes to work or personal devices that carry business data or information. Specifically, a business should standardize acceptable use policies regarding the local storage of files, remote wipe capability and network connectivity.
  4. Lack of email encryption—Just because data is passed via a secure email server doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent safe. To add an extra layer of protection, companies should invest in an encrypted email service, which seals email messages and ensures only those with a decryption key can read and access sensitive information.
  5. Crypto-ransomware—Ransomware is nothing new, but it’s a nasty way for hackers to operate. They essentially take the files on your computer or devices hostage until you pay a ransom to have them released. Crypto-ransomware is even nastier, as the hackers encrypt your computer’s files and will only surrender decryption keys upon payment. How is this related to email? These attacks are typically triggered through the opening of some sort of email attachment (e.g., an invoice, energy bill, image, etc.) and they often look legitimate. According to Symantec’s 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, attacks of this nature are highly profitable (bringing in approximately $34,000 per month for one group alone) and growing in popularity.

Whether through phishing schemes or direct malware attacks, email security threats are prevalent—and as we’ve seen, even the mighty can fall prey to them. That’s why it’s more important than ever for organizations to invest in a secure email service that will help them keep their data safe. In addition, employee education is a large part of maintaining a secure email environment. When people know what to expect, they’re better equipped to protect themselves and their companies from liability.

Get more out of your email to help grow your business with solutions from Atidan and Microsoft. Contact us today at office365@atidan.com

 

Blog credit to Microsoft: https://blogs.office.com/2016/01/28/overlooked-email-security-threats/

Office 365 Video – Beyond the Portal

A video message that is easy to find and easy to view will be more successful than one buried in the depths of one, two, three clicks away. When you put a company message from the CxO or a status update from a project leader—front and center where employees and team members are—the information and insights will be better targeted, more fully understood and ultimately shared within the right context.

Within Office 365, it is possible to place videos (embed) in-line and in-context where people work on projects, online and on-premises. You can do this within SharePoint Team Sites, custom company portals, internal blogs, wikis and more. Using the Office 365 Video solution, it is as simple as copy, paste and publish.

Watch our video here!

Learn more about how to embed a video to your online or on-premises SharePoint Team Site from Office 365 Video.

Let’s dive into three key scenarios where embedding videos improves corporate communications.

Embedding video scenarios

SharePoint Team Sites—SharePoint Team Sites are a place for working together with a group of people. They are great destinations to emphasize your brand and information out to your peers throughout the organization. They are central locations to manage content and information, sharing internally and externally to work in rhythm across the collective group of people you work with. As you continue to share documents, team notes, project timeline information and lists of data—so, too, can you easily place important video communications within the primary experience of a team site.

Embed video throughout your intranet 1

SharePoint Team Site showing an embedded video among an embedded PowerPoint, a document library, a KPI web part, plus navigation to other sites and subsites.

The company portalAn important part of the modern intranet is enabling companies to build their own custom portals and sub-portals (company intranet sites) that support search, custom design and navigation and business solutions on-premises and online. Here, too, it is critical for important, company-wide video messages—like a quarterly earnings report from the CFO—to be accessible; not a link to a video, but right there, playable on the home page where the eyeballs are and the desired action lives.

ContosoHomePortal

An embedded video within a custom portal home page, side-by-side with news and announcements, custom navigation elements and custom design.

Internal blog post—Blog what you want to say and do it in a modern way. That is the mantra of the new authoring canvas within the Office Delve profile experience. And spice up your posts with multimedia elements, including video, like a trip report; it’s easy! And because it’s integrated across Office 365, you can embed videos from the Office 365 Video portal—with inline playback—in seconds.

Embed video throughout your intranet 2

A video embedded within an internal blog post (rendered from a tablet device). Video plays back inline within the post, and can go full screen.

Watch a short video showcasing the Office 365 authoring canvas inside Office Delve, including adding a video within an internal blog post.

Take Office 365 Video beyond the portal

As you begin to embed videos onto team sites, portals and blogs, take advantage of the many ways to share video beyond the Office 365 Video portal and land your message to your intended audience. Share via email; post to Yammer; search and discover with Delve; make videos available on the go, accessible throughout your intranet—where users are active, engaged and ready to consume your information. Embed today, increase your reach and be heard!

Please contact the Atidan Office 365 team at office365@atidan.com for a free trial and no obligation briefing!

 

Blog credit to Microsoft: https://blogs.office.com/2016/01/19/embed-video-throughout-your-intranet/

Eight Ways to Successfully Lead Your Mobile Workforce

For many of us, the rise of the remote workforce comes as no surprise. For years now, office workers have been abandoning their desks in favor of settings that are farther afield and allow them to work in a more comfortable, and often more productive, environment. And it’s a trend that only promises to keep growing. In fact, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the U.S. mobile worker population is on track to grow from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. And by the end of the forecast period, IDC projects that mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3 percent) of the total U.S. workforce.

Eight ways

Although the mobile workforce has been building for some time, managers are, in many ways, still catching up and trying to determine how best to lead their teams when they’re not only not in the same room, but may be spread out over a number of cities, states or even countries. However, because so many organizations have used a remote workforce model for so many years now, and technology has moved ahead by leaps and bounds, leading remote teams is certainly easier than in years past. Of course, finding your own path to successful leadership will largely depend on your personal style, corporate culture and team members, but if you don’t know where to start or would like to add new techniques and technology to your bag of tricks, you would do well to try these time-tested tips:

  1. Manage results, not style—Remote employees often have their own style of working. Some may work for two hours, then take a break to take their kids to school or run an errand, then work four more hours, take a break and work the remaining two (or more) later, while others may keep regular office hours. So instead of managing how an employee gets his or her work done, focus on the quality of the work, whether deadlines are being met, whether they exhibit good decision-making skills, etc.
  2. Encourage teamwork—Working great distances from your co-workers can feel isolating, so make a point to encourage project work that allows team members to work together. This way, your staff will feel more connected to each other, and your department will benefit from shared ideas and greater communication between team members.
  3. Communicate—Because you can’t just pop over to someone’s desk or grab a cup of coffee in the break room, managers need to take initiative to establish relationships with their teams. Weekly or bi-weekly status calls can often help you address upcoming projects, performance issues, etc. Yet, other times an instant message or email conversation (that may or may not be work related) might be the best way to stay in touch. Whatever your approach is, be clear in your communications—but also let your personality shine through. After all, when you’re building and managing a team it’s important for everyone to know who they’re working with.
  4. Host web meetings (with video)—With everyone’s camera up and a shared view of your agenda, presentation, etc., your team can not only see each other—and put faces to names—but see the presenter’s desktop and get a clear picture of the information being addressed.
  5. Give them the right technology—Part of being a good manager is ensuring that your team members have everything they need to work efficiently. And when your workforce works remotely, that means supporting your staff with the right technology. When researching your options, look for software that makes sharing files safe, secure and simple; works on a range of devices, including laptops and desktops, tablets and mobile phones; and gives your workers the power to work on the same documents simultaneously. This way, everyone will have access to the same tools, you can mitigate compatibility issues, and your collaborative efforts can flourish.
  6. Give them a reason—Remote workers can feel disconnected from an organization’s goals and may not have a clear understanding of where their work fits into its mission. If you share the company’s vision and goals with your remote workforce and address how their work contributes to the success of the organization, your team will feel less detached from the company. This, in turn, inspires remote teams to work toward a common goal and be productive members of the organization.
  7. Be inclusive and provide praise—When it comes to training, praise for a job well done, and parties, offsite employees are often overlooked or simply forgotten about—which does nothing to encourage loyalty or foster relationships. As you manage your team of remote workers, try to ensure that they have the same opportunities for training as others and receive the same, prompt praise for a job well done that you would offer onsite workers. As for parties and team outings, if remote team members can’t make it to an event, consider giving them a small gift or a few extra hours off in a week. It’s a small gesture, but it can go a long way toward making them feel appreciated.
  8. Encourage a work-life balance—For remote workers, it’s easy to get caught up in a project or want to make just a little more progress on something before calling it quits for the day. It’s also equally easy to get distracted by projects at home, spouses, kids, pets, etc. The key is to strike a balance between the two. When onboarding new remote workers, talk to them about setting a schedule that they can stick to and setting aside a space designated for work only. Then, at the end of the day, they can shut down their laptops and disconnect from work. This will help them mentally unwind and enjoy their downtime, and start work with a clear head and a fresh perspective the next day.

Finally, as with most things in life, you must lead by example. By taking a proactive, transparent approach to work, being available to your teams and communicating clearly and often with staff in a wide variety of ways, they’ll see that you can not only be relied on, but trusted. They’ll see firsthand how you want the team to function and will follow your footsteps—helping you create a supportive virtual environment that’s conducive to mobile productivity and exemplary work.

For more information about our collaboration and mobile solutions please contact us at sales@atidan.com

 

Credit to Microsoft https://blogs.office.com/2016/01/13/successfully-lead-your-mobile-workforce/