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

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/

 

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/

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/

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.

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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.

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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.

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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