Quadra

Connecting Technology and Business.

Isn't AI a part of your investment today? You might be left behind!

"Harley-Davidson Uses Artificial Intelligence to Increase New York Sales Leads by 2,930%", reads an article in HBR this May. Today’s leading organizations are using machine learning–based tools to automate decision processes, and they’re starting to experiment with more-advanced uses of artificial intelligence (AI) for digital transformation. AI is already transforming web search, advertising, e-commerce, finance, logistics, media, and more.

 

Here was the status of what AI currently could do (as of November 2016) as per a founding Lead of the Google Brain team: 


Input

Response

Application

Picture

Are there human faces?

Photo tagging

Loan Application

Will they repay the loan?

Loan approvals

Ad plus user information

Will user click an ad?

Targeted online ads

Audio clip

Transcript of audio clip

Speech recognition

English sentence

French sentence

Language translation

Sensor from hard disk, plane engine

Is it about to fail?

Preventive maintenance

Car camera and other sensors

Position of other cars

Self-driving cars


Corporate investment in artificial intelligence is predicted to triple in 2017, becoming a $100 billion market by 2025. Last year alone saw $5 billion in machine learning venture investment. In a recent survey, 30% of respondents predicted that AI will be the biggest disruptor to their industry in the next five years. This will no doubt have profound effects on the workplace.


Machine learning is enabling companies to expand their top-line growth and optimize processes while improving employee engagement and increasing customer satisfaction.


Here are some possible applications of AI to Businesses today:


Personalizing customer service. The potential to improve customer service while lowering costs makes this one of the most exciting areas of opportunity. By combining historical customer service data, natural language processing, and algorithms that continuously learn from interactions, customers can ask questions and get high-quality answers. In fact, 44% of U.S. consumers already prefer chatbots to humans for customer relations. Customer service representatives can step in to handle exceptions, with the algorithms looking over their shoulders to learn what to do next time around.


Improving customer loyalty and retention. Companies can mine customer actions, transactions, and social sentiment data to identify customers who are at high risk of leaving. Combined with profitability data, this allows organizations to optimize “next best action” strategies and personalize the end-to-end customer experience. For example, young adults coming off of their parents’ mobile phone plans often move to other carriers. Telcos can use machine learning to anticipate this behavior and make customized offers, based on the individual’s usage patterns, before they defect to competitors.


Hiring the right people. Corporate job openings pull in about 250 résumés apiece, and over half of surveyed recruiters say shortlisting qualified candidates is the most difficult part of their job. Software quickly sifts through thousands of job applications and shortlists candidates who have the credentials that are most likely to achieve success at the company. Care must be taken not to reinforce any human biases implicit in prior hiring. But software can also combat human bias by automatically flagging biased language in job descriptions, detecting highly qualified candidates who might have been overlooked because they didn’t fit traditional expectations.


Automating finance. AI can expedite “exception handling” in many financial processes. For example, when a payment is received without an order number, a person must sort out which order the payment corresponds to, and determine what to do with any excess or shortfall. By monitoring existing processes and learning to recognize different situations, AI significantly increases the number of invoices that can be matched automatically. This lets organizations reduce the amount of work outsourced to service centers and frees up finance staff to focus on strategic tasks.


Measuring brand exposure. Automated programs can recognize products, people, logos, and more. For example, advanced image recognition can be used to track the position of brand logos that appear in video footage of a sporting event, such as a basketball game. Corporate sponsors get to see the return on investment of their sponsorship investment with detailed analyses, including the quantity, duration, and placement of corporate logos.


Detecting fraud. The typical organization loses 5% of revenues each year to fraud. By building models based on historical transactions, social network information, and other external sources of data, machine learning algorithms can use pattern recognition to spot anomalies, exceptions, and outliers. This helps detect and prevent fraudulent transactions in real time, even for previously unknown types of fraud. For example, banks can use historical transaction data to build algorithms that recognize fraudulent behaviour. They can also discover suspicious patterns of payments and transfers between networks of individuals with overlapping corporate connections. This type of “algorithmic security” is applicable to a wide range of situations, such as cybersecurity and tax evasion.


Predictive maintenance. Machine learning makes it possible to detect anomalies in the temperature of a train axel that indicate that it will freeze up in the next few hours. Instead of hundreds of passengers being stranded in the countryside, waiting for an expensive repair, the train can be diverted to maintenance before it fails, and passengers transferred to a different train.


Smoother supply chains. Machine learning enables contextual analysis of logistics data to predict and mitigate supply chain risks. Algorithms can sift through public social data and news feeds in multiple languages to detect, for example, a fire in a remote factory that supplies vital ball bearings that are used in a car transmission.


Other areas where machine intelligence could soon be commonly used include:


Career planning. Recommendations could help employees choose career paths that lead to high performance, satisfaction, and retention. If a person with an engineering degree wishes to run the division someday, what additional education and work experience should they obtain, and in what order?


Drone- and satellite-based asset management. Drones equipped with cameras can perform regular external inspections of commercial structures, like bridges or airplanes, with the images automatically analysed to detect any new cracks or changes to surfaces.


Retail shelf analysis. A sports drink company could use machine intelligence, coupled with machine vision, to see whether its in-store displays are at the promised location, the shelves are properly stocked with products, and the product labels are facing outward.

 

Machine learning enables a company to reimagine end-to-end business processes with digital intelligence. The potential is enormous. That’s why software vendors are investing heavily in adding AI to their existing applications and in creating net-new solutions.


- gleaned from the pages of HBR

How to keeping winning the battle against hackers

Office 365 is the fastest growing SaaS offering globally. It is also the most targeted by hackers today as phishing and Ransomware transform into business models in the Dark Web world. Breaches come from emails and misused identities and the attacks only accelerate by the minute. It is high time that Office 365 admins hack-proof their environments – and it is possible with the tools available from Microsoft – tools for studying, analyzing, warning and preventing attacks and plugging vulnerabilities.

The recent Wannacry ransomware attack has created a sense of panic among enterprises using Office 365; remember other cloud services too, are not immune to hacking attacks. Attackers use Social engineering to gain access to the victim’s identity, data and device. It is a security attack vector that involves tricking someone into breaking normal security procedures.

A social engineer runs what used to be called a "con game." Techniques such as appeal to vanity, appeal to authority and appeal to greed are often used in social engineering attacks. Many social engineering exploits simply rely on people's willingness to be helpful. For example, the attacker might pretend to be a co-worker who has some kind of urgent problem that requires access to additional network resources.  

Popular types of social engineering attacks include:

  • Baiting: Baiting is when an attacker leaves a malware-infected physical device, such as a USB flash drive in a place it is sure to be found. The finder then picks up the device and loads it onto his or her computer, unintentionally installing the malware.
  • Phishing: Phishing is when a malicious party sends a fraudulent email disguised as a legitimate email, often purporting to be from a trusted source. The message is meant to trick the recipient into sharing personal or financial information or clicking on a link that installs malware.
  • Spear phishing: Spear phishing is like phishing, but tailored for a specific individual or organization.
  • Pretexting: Pretexting is when one party lies to another to gain access to privileged data. For example, a pretexting scam could involve an attacker who pretends to need personal or financial data in order to confirm the identity of the recipient.
  • Scareware: Scareware involves tricking the victim into thinking his computer is infected with malware or has inadvertently downloaded illegal content. The attacker then offers the victim a solution that will fix the bogus problem; in reality, the victim is simply tricked into downloading and installing the attacker's malware.

Security experts recommend that IT departments regularly carry out penetration tests that use social engineering techniques. This will help administrators learn which types of users pose the most risk for specific types of attacks while also identifying which employees require additional training. Security awareness training can go a long way towards preventing social engineering attacks. If people know what forms social engineering attacks are likely to take, they will be less likely to become victims.

Fortunately, Microsoft provides enough tools to protect its users and especially Office 365 subscribers from such attacks.

Exchange Online Protection (EOP)

Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect your organization against spam and malware, and includes features to safeguard your organization from messaging-policy violations. EOP can simplify the management of your messaging environment and alleviate many of the burdens that come with maintaining on-premises hardware and software.

As a part of Microsoft Exchange Online   By default, EOP protects Microsoft Exchange Online cloud-hosted mailboxes. Exchange Online Protection provides protection against malicious links by scanning content.

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
  • Securing mailboxes - With Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection, admins can protect mailboxes against new, sophisticated attacks in real time. By protecting against unsafe attachments and expanding protection against malicious links, it complements the security features of Exchange Online Protection to provide better zero-day protection.
  • Protection against Unsafe Attachments - With Safe Attachments, admins can prevent malicious attachments from impacting the messaging environment, even if their signatures are not known. All suspicious content goes through a real-time behavioral malware analysis that uses machine learning techniques to evaluate the content for suspicious activity. 
  • Unsafe attachments are sandboxed in a detonation chamber before being sent to recipients. The advantage is a malware free and cleaner inbox with better zero-day attack protection.
  • Protection of the environment when users click malicious links - Safe Links expands on EOP by protecting the O365 environment when users click a link. While the content is being scanned, the URLs are rewritten to go through Office 365. The URLs are examined in real time, at the time a user clicks them. URL detonation provides deeper protection against malicious URLs. Not only does Microsoft check a list of malicious URLs when a user clicks on a link, but Office 365 will also perform real-time behavioural malware analysis in a sandbox environment to identify malicious attachments. URL reputation checks are part of Advanced Threat Protection. If a link is unsafe, the user is warned not to visit the site or informed that the site has been blocked. Reporting is available, so administrators can track which users clicked a link and when they clicked it.
  • Dynamic delivery— Better performance and lower latency for emails with attachments. Users will see a placeholder while attachments are scanned in a sandbox environment. If deemed safe, attachments are re-inserted into the email.
  • Rich reporting and tracking links in messages — Gaining critical insights into who is being targeted in the organization and the category of attacks the organization is facing. Reporting and message trace allow admins to investigate messages that have been blocked due to unknown viruses or malware, while URL trace capability allows admins to track individual malicious links in the messages that have been clicked. Get better insights to malware activity. Security admins will have a new reporting dashboard to see details of malware that Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is analyzing.
  • Intelligence sharing with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection— Security admins will be able to see malware activity and relationships across Windows 10 and Office 365.
  • Broader protection— Advanced Threat Protection extends to include protection for SharePoint Online, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneDrive for Business. 
Threat Intelligence
  • The office 365 Threat Intelligence service provides information on security using data from various sources. The data is harvested via the Microsoft Intelligent security Graph technology. Organizations are being targeted with increasingly sophisticated attacks. 
  • Threat Intelligence, which helps admins proactively uncover and protect against advanced threats by analysing billions of data signals across Office consumer and commercial services.
  • It also provides deep insights from cyber threat hunters to create a comprehensive view of malware trends around the world. In addition, Microsoft is integrating signals from Windows and Azure to help customers realize the full benefit of the Microsoft Cloud.
  • Security admins will see a dashboard with rich insights to do deep investigation of malware and will be able to integrate data with existing security management tools.
  • Threat Intelligence takes it a step further by alerting security admins and proactively creating and suggesting security policies to help protect against malware. For example, if analytics show that attacks are happening in the financial industry, the service will alert customers in finance and related areas to the trend. Threat Intelligence will also dynamically create and suggest additional security policies to help protect you before they get to your network.

 

Advanced Data Governance

Microsoft has also brought Advanced Data Governance to Office 365 to help customers manage the exploding volume and increasing complexity of corporate data. Microsoft applies intelligence to help admins achieve organizational compliance and automate data retention.

Enterprises will be able to classify, set policy and take action on the data that is most relevant for their organization and industry, with recommendations driven by behavioral analysis and machine learning.

 

Advanced Data Governance includes the following capabilities:

  • Import—Intelligently import only the data needed from on-premises and third-party archives using classifications such as age, data type, user or groups, sensitivity or importance.
  • Policies—Policy recommendations are provided, based on machine assisted insights of the data, classifications, tenant, organization, industry, geography and more. Recommendations may include delete, move, encrypt or share.
  • Retention—Intelligently preserve only what’s important to the organization by using classifications such as keywords, age, data type, user or group, sensitivity, importance. Integration with line-of-business systems allows admins to trigger retention based upon events, such as creation of a human resources record.

 Advanced Data Governance will help organizations apply the right actions to preserve high value data and purge redundant or obsolete data.

 

Advanced Security Management (ASM)

 

Microsoft has launched Advanced Security Management to help give organizations visibility and control over security in Office 365.

 

They have added a new feature lately called Productivity App Discovery, which will help IT pros and security operations teams understand their organization’s usage of Office 365 and other productivity cloud services. This will help them to better determine the extent to which shadow IT is occurring in their organization.

 

Productivity App Discovery shows usage of Office 365 and other productivity cloud services. App Permissions will assist in monitoring applications that users are connecting to Office 365.

 

Office 365 Secure Score

The Office 365 Secure Score is available to help organization evaluate their security level in Office 365. Secure Score analyzes an Office 365 organization’s security based on their regular activities and security settings and assigns a score. It is a credit score for security.

Secure Score figures out what Office 365 services an organization is using (like OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange) then looks at the settings and activities and compares them to a baseline established by Microsoft. O365 admins get a score based on how aligned they are with best security practices.

Using Secure Score helps increase an organization’s security by encouraging them to use the built-in security features in Office 365 (many of which they have already purchased but might not be aware of). Learning more about these features as they use the tool will help give them piece of mind that they are taking the right steps to protect their organization from threats.

Admins must check secure scores reports weekly. A sample list of reports is presented here:

  • Sign-ins after multiple failure report
  • Sign-ins from unknown sources report
  • Sign-ins from multiple geographies report
  • Mailbox access by non-owners report
  • Malware detections report
  • Sing-in devices report
  • Account provisioning activity report
  • Non-global administrators report
Making use of these features that are made available by Microsoft will help enterprises not only defend themselves  from hackers but also keep winning the battles against them.

 

If you thought managing Financial Capital was difficult, how about Human Capital?

Bain’s Macro Trends Group estimates that global financial capital has more than tripled over the past three decades and now stands at roughly 10 times global GDP.

Indisputably, finding Financial capital is easy these days. It is superabundant. As its supply is far more than the demand, it is cheap. Skillful allocation of financial capital is no longer a source of sustained competitive advantage for enterprises. There is a scarcer resource that business owners don’t focus much on or track in their annual balance sheets but which invariably has a greater impact on the businesses - Human capital.

The assets that are in short supply at most companies are the skills and capabilities required to translate good growth ideas into successful new products, services, and businesses—and the traditional financially driven approach to strategic investment has only compounded this paucity.

“Unemployability is a bigger crisis than unemployment”, said an India Labour Report a decade back and this still continues to be the challenge for the country which has launched into the Make in India mode lately.

A country-wide survey found that only 25% of the Indian professionals are considered “employable” by multinationals and the difficulty of employers in India to fill job vacancies had increased to 67% in 2011. The situation has only worsened ever since.

What exactly are employers looking for? Personal attributes like a positive attitude: a ‘can do’ approach, good work ethic and willingness to learn, good personal presentation, honesty and integrity, reliability, timekeeping and personal organization, team working, collaboration and co-operation, flexibility, commercial awareness and customer focus are considered as essential skills. Other skills include, communication – oral and written, numeracy and computer literacy/IT skills.

While acquiring human capital is a drastic challenge today, there is an urgent need for managing effectively the available human capital if enterprises intend to lead from the front. Unfortunately, unlike Financial capital where metrics like ROA, RONA, ROIC, ROCE, IRR, MVA, APV etc. are available for measurement, there are no significant measureable metrics to gauge the value, growth or decline of Human capital.

Broadly speaking, human capital is the sum total of the time, talent and energy of the workforce in an enterprise.

Technology to the rescue - Office365 MyAnalytics

Microsoft MyAnalytics, can provide detailed reviews of how we use time. 

MyAnalytics is an application that analyzes data gathered from user activities within Office 365 to provide users with an insight into how they use their time dealing with email, attending meetings, and interacting with key contacts. It is an information discovery and knowledge tool to track your time, because that’s the valuable resource you have.

The concept underpinning MyAnalytics is that by observing and understanding how someone interacts with the components of Office 365, you can build up a picture of their day-to-day activities. You can also compare how they spend their time against an anonymized set of data drawn from other tenant users.

Based on data drawn from across Office 365, Microsoft knows that the average office worker spends up to 20 hours per week working with email while senior managers will be glued to their keyboards for between 40 and 70 hours. Your data might vary!

All of the data used by MyAnalytics is available to users if they care to look. For example, it is possible (but tedious) to count the number of messages you create and send. You can also figure out how much time is taken to respond to other people within your company by looking at the timestamps in message headers and calculating the difference between when a message was sent and when a response was generated. The same is true when it comes to analyzing the number of meetings you attend, who also attends, the topics discussed, and the outcomes. You can assess whether meetings were effective, ineffective, or just so-so.

MyAnalytics is included in the Office E5 plan. MyAnalytics is also available as an add-on for the E1 and E3 plans.

- based on some articles in HBR and another article in IT Pro Windows

Cooking up a storm with the cloud!

A cloud kitchen or a digital restaurant is a fast growing trend that has quickly established itself as a formidable restaurant format. Internet-first restaurants are stepping on the gas and companies such as Zomato, Swiggy and Fresh Menu have already started grabbing a slice of this fast-growing sector.

So what is cloud kitchen a.k.a Internet-first restaurant?

A cloud kitchen is basically a restaurant kitchen that accepts incoming orders only through online ordering systems and offers no dine-in facility. They just have a central kitchen that delivers food at customer’s doorsteps.

 

The primary source of revenue for these internet restaurants is through the various food ordering platforms, such as Swiggy, Food Panda, Zomato, etc. Critical to their business model is a Point of Sales software that accepts orders from multiple sources. 

Food, at the click of a button

Digital technologies are reshaping our daily experiences as consumers and businesses, and these cloud kitchens are no exception. They have the potential to redefine the contours of the restaurant business. For example, take Swiggy, the trending food delivery app that has its roots in Bengaluru. It was the first among the crowd in the cut throat market to venture cloud kitchen in India. Swiggy has set up ‘The Bowl Company’ in Bengaluru joining hands with the popular restaurateurs to offer a wide selection where the restaurant need not have a physical presence.

 

Following this, Zomato has opened its first cloud kitchen in the suburb of Delhi, Dwarka as a pilot for its new project, Zomato Infrastructure Services, in which they provide their partner restaurateurs with 300 square feet of space and kitchen equipment. So, an aspiring chef has to just walk in and cook on gas while Zomato takes care of the rest. This could be a great opportunity for budding chefs and entrepreneurs.

The secret sauce!

Inexpensive access to pervasive computing power via cloud and mobile technologies is the secret sauce. Market reports indicate that Swiggy’s technology stack comprises of Amazon (EC2, RDS, Cloudfront and Route53) while Zomato’s technology stack also includes Amazon Route53.  With cloud and mobile technology facilitating online ordering, cloud kitchens suddenly seem like the only rational thing to do to manage the high rentals and poor margins in the F&B industry.

Why is this restaurant stuff important for my business?

Just as cloud and mobile technologies are redefining a traditional industry, the ramifications are just as huge for any other business. It’s no longer about “technology has no role to play in my business”. Chances are, if you don’t know how technology can impact your business, your competitor already does.

 

With a plethora of services provided by cloud, every business can benefit - from SMBs to large enterprises; from education to hospitality.  The cloud is like this huge switchboard where anyone can plug in and use it when they want to but they don’t have to carry the switchboard, they just use the “service”. Gone are the days of expensive, complex IT infrastructure which deterred many businesses from taking advantage of technology.


The cloud allows you to focus on what you do best - run your business. You can move from being a reactive business to a proactive business that offers transformational products and services. The cloud is also highly resilient, especially during these trying times.

 

For instance, during an unprecedented natural disaster like Cyclone Vardha, which shut down many businesses, or even during a watershed day like Flipkart’s Big Billion Day, the cloud has played knight in shining armor through its various features like instant scalability, disaster recovery, backup & restore and many more. A survey says 60% of SMBs pull the plug after a disaster but with the advent of cloud technology, they could surely turn the tables and cope up equally with large businesses in this uphill battle.

Your technology GPS

At Quadra, we can help you plan and prioritize your cloud journey by helping you formulate well defined business objectives, along with a business and risk analysis that considers multiple dimensions such as long term cost savings; data criticality, security and privacy concerns; audit and assurance; and regulatory norms, right down to service provider agreement review.

 

Our job is simple – we put the cloud to work for your business, and free you from the complexity of choosing and managing multiple vendors. We aim to let you do what you do best – run your business!

The Smack of the “SMAC”:


To start with, I should ask, Is your Business model ready for disruption from digital transformation? No? Don’t be afraid! we’re here to help you! The four megatrends, Social, Mobile, Big Data (Analytics) and Cloud seems to have a clear positive Impact on today’s transforming world. Digital transformation is occurring rapidly at almost all sectors. These four technologies will not only boost efficiency and cut costs, it will help you craft new business models.

Social – The easy global reach:

You want to publish an ad and you select the medium as paper. What is the people response on it? How many like it? How many don’t? What are the suggestions from the end users? What are the expectations? Costs incurred? Manpower Incurred?

Lots of questions with no answers in hand! Think about Digital on Social Media – An ad can achieve a global reach in seconds. No significant Manpower required, No high investments, Immediate suggestions from customers.

You’ll have a wider scope of Improving things when you go on Digital rather than going through any other medium.

The key capabilities of Social media are:

·         Increased ability to effectively communicate with customers

·         Increased employee collaboration

·         Improved ability to provide customer service

Mobile has become a new norm:

The smartphone era is emerging like never before. A mobile has become the true face of digital. Behind the scenes, we must cope up with technology. The mobile has become the interface between your brand and your customer. So, one must leverage the mobile to the max to accelerate the digital transformation and also transform the customer experience you deliver.

So, to help increase productivity of your employees, give them the luxury of working from anywhere whereas keeping your company data secure. Make changes to your internal IT to provision a Bring Your Own Device Environment.

A Real estate agency, Foxtons wanted to enhance employee mobility by deploying smartphones that run the Windows Phone 8 operating system and two productivity-boosting apps. But Foxtons needed to be able to remotely manage and secure the devices. To deliver this solution, Foxtons subscribed to the Windows Intune PC and mobile device management solution. Employees now use their smartphones to conduct business from anywhere, furthering their reputation for fast, attentive service.

The key benefits of using mobile devices and the LOB applications of your company are:

·         Access to corporate data from anywhere

·         Increased Employee productivity

·         Increased employee collaboration

Analytics:

Collect - Analyse – Identify – Decide is a way which we follow unknowingly. And Yes, this is the key role to success anywhere.

Organizations today have the ability to process and analyse large quantities of structured & unstructured data to generate real time business insights. The amount of data that organizations have to analyse is set to increase exponentially.  

However, leading companies aren’t just integrating more data into their analysis, they’re also using the results to develop new products and services.

This is how most of the e-commerce sites will work. Their key to success is to have different dimensional data and generate results by using that.

The key benefits of using Analytics are:

·         Integrate more data into decision making processes

·         Ability to generate faster insights

·         Integrate desperate data sources into analysis

Cloud:

Only cloud has the ability to deliver flexible capacity as needed.

Companies need to be agile, flexible and fast to meet customer expectations. Cloud computing can be the key to that responsiveness. “We have customers who give us 90 days to get something up and running,” observes a user of the Cloud. “There’s no way I can do that in my traditional data centre.” The public cloud delivers a time-to-market advantage that’s hard for enterprises to beat. “We see a lot of traction with customers who have projects that have a short window of time to deliver results,” says the user.

Heavy initial investments and massive operational costs is something that IT is afraid of. With the agile built-in, flexible environment, cloud helps you avoid that.

The stunning capabilities of cloud which helps you move faster:

·         Flexibility: Ability to scale up & down on demand

·         Increased business agility: Ability to respond quickly to new opportunities

·         Lower costs / Pay as you go

Conclusion of SMAC:

While it is clear that each of the technology has a tremendous impact, it’s always good to deploy the integrated solutions to achieve the greatest impact.

Any successful running business will have the SMAC concept deployed.

For example, let’s take PayTm (My Favorite), an Indian payment & e-commerce company. How quickly it coped up with the demonetization effect. Started promoting (Social) the payments bank. While the Indians were facing severe currency issues (Analytics), PayTm made India “Go Cashless from mobile” (Mobility) anywhere. Scan and Pay with no minimum purchase amount barriers. It helped the merchants to do a smooth business and also the customers to go cashless. They use a flexible environment on demand (Cloud).

Get Ready to face Disruption! SMAC – Social, Mobility, Analytics & Cloud!

Convey a Certain Idea or a Concept Stylishly

Need to insert an icon that conveys a certain ideaLightbulbor conceptsThought bubble,Head with Gears, but you don't want to draw it yourself? Microsoft has introduced a very easy and stylish way of doing this in your Word documents Documentor Presentation slidesFlip Calendar.

Check out the Icons button on the Insert tab. Choose a category like people, technology, or sports. Then click the icon that represents the idea or concept you have in mind.

 

You have 25+ categories to choose icons from.

These Icons can be managed and manipulated like any other graphic using the Graphics Tools that will appear as a contextual tab when the icon is clicked.

Now OneDrive for Business in under better control of the Admin

Control provisioning of OneDrive

OneDrive for a user is created when they click on OneDrive tile or access the service first time. Their ability to create OneDrive site is governed by the create personal site permission in SharePoint Online. By default, the permission is assigned to all users.

If your Organization is looking for a phased rollout then you can create specific user groups and assign the create personal site permission to them.

Enable Sync client restrictions

SharePoint Online administrator can use PowerShell cmdlets to enable the OneDrive for Business sync client from only the domains present in the safe recipients list. After that, if the version of sync client on a user’s PC is earlier than 15.0.4693.1000, sync client is considered outdated and user will not be able to sync documents.

Configure restricted Domain sharing

At a tenant level, administrators can configure external sharing by using either the Allow List or Deny List feature. Administrators can limit sharing invitations to a limited number of email domains by listing them in the Allow List or opt to use the Deny List, listing email domains to which users are prohibited to extend invitations.
 
Additional parameters have been added to the PowerShell, to allow configuration of restricted domains using PowerShell.

All external sharing invitation emails will blind copied to set mailboxes using available parameters.

Discourage Org-wide sharing

To discourage users from sharing files from their OneDrive with everyone in the Organization, hide “Everyone”, “All Users” and “Everyone except External Users” groups in the people picker.

Restrict Sync based on file types

When required, block syncing of certain file types using the new sync client. For e.g. sync of .pst and .mp4 can be blocked as all emails should be in EXO mailbox and videos should be in O365 Videos service or, just to conserve bandwidth consumption.

Monitor User activities

Office 365 Audit log search and Management Activity APIs enable monitoring of user activities on OneDrive and also integrate them with existing SIEM tool in your Organization. Refer to the Audit log search section later in this document.

Configure usage or anomaly based alerts

Office 365 Advanced Security Management enables you to set up anomaly detection policies, so you can be alerted to potential breaches of your network. For example, you can be alerted to impossible travel scenarios, such as if a user signs in to the service to check their mail from New York and then two minutes later is downloading a document from OneDrive in Tokyo.

Advanced Security Management also lets you set up that can track specific activities. With out-of-the-box templates like Mass download by a single user, IT can easily create policies that flag when someone is downloading an unusually large amount of data. Alerts can also be for multiple failed sign-in attempts or signs in from a risky IP address.

Configure Mobile App Management (MAM) for mobiles

Intune MAM, part of Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite, provides ability to manage OneDrive mobile app and disable user’s ability to copy-paste corporate content from their OneDrive to a non-managed/consumer app.

Configure Conditional Access

Azure AD Premium, part of Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite, provides Risk-based conditional access through an intelligent assessment of granting or blocking access to OneDrive. For e.g. access to OneDrive can be blocked is the user is using non-managed device.

Additional Administrative settings for the sync client

A variety of OneDrive and OneDrive for Business settings can be centrally administered through group policy. The group policy objects are available as part of the OneDrive Deployment Package.

The following User Configuration group policies are available:
• Coauthoring and in-app sharing for Office files
• Configure OneDrive.exe to receive updates after consumer production
• Prevent users from changing the location of their OneDrive folder
• Prevent users from configuring personal OneDrive accounts
• Set the default location for the OneDrive folder
• Users can choose how to handle Office files in conflict
The following Computer Configuration group policies are available:
• Prevent users from using the remote file fetch feature to access files on the computer
• Set the maximum percentage of upload bandwidth that OneDrive.exe uses

- Office 365: Everything You Wanted to Know - Jan 2017 - Microsoft

Secure Your Cloud Users with these Advanced Management Features

The cloud offers many security benefits to organizations, but also raises new security considerations. It can also add to existing ones such as shadow IT, the use of software that is not formally sanctioned by the organization. Office 365 Advanced Security Management, a new set of capabilities powered by Microsoft Cloud App Security gives you greater visibility and control over your Office 365 environment.

Advanced Security Management includes:

  • Threat detection - Helps you identify high-risk and abnormal usage, and security incidents.

  • Enhanced control - Shapes your Office 365 environment leveraging granular controls and security policies.

  • Discovery and insights - Get enhanced visibility into your Office 365 usage and shadow IT without installing an end point agent.

Threat Detection

Advanced Security Management enables you to set up anomaly detection policies, so you can be alerted to potential breaches of your network. Anomaly detection works by scanning user activities and evaluating their risk against over 70 different indicators, including sign-in failures, administrator activity and inactive accounts. For example, you can be alerted to impossible travel scenarios, such as if a user signs in to the service to check their mail from New York and then two minutes later is downloading a document from SharePoint Online in Tokyo.



Advanced Security Management also leverages behavioral analytics as part of its anomaly detection to assess potentially risky user behavior. It does this by understanding how users typically interact with Office 365, spotting anomalies and giving the anomalous activity a risk score to help IT decide whether to take further action.

Enhanced Control

Advanced Security Management lets you set up activity policies that can track specific activities. With out-of-the-box templates, IT can easily create policies that flag when someone is downloading an unusually large amount of data, has multiple failed sign-in attempts or signs in from a risky IP address. Policies can also be customized to your environment. Using activity filters, IT can look for the location of a user, device type, IP address or if someone is granted admin rights. Alerts can be created to notify an IT lead immediately via email or text message.



Default activity policy templates that are included:

  • Administrative activity from a non-administrative IP address Alert when an admin user performs an administrative activity from an IP address that is not included in a specific IP range category.

  • User logon from a non-categorized IP address Alert when a user logs on from an IP address that is not included in a specific IP range category.

  • Mass download by a single user Alert when a single user performs more than 30 downloads within 5 minutes.

  • Multiple failed user log on attempts to an app Alert when a single user attempts to log on to a single app, and fails more than 10 times within 5 minutes.

  • Logon from a risky IP address Alert when a user logs on from a risky IP address to your sanctioned services. The Risky IP category contains, by default, anonymous proxies and TOR exits point.

After reviewing an alert and investigating a user’s activities, IT may deem that the behavior is risky and want to stop the user from doing anything else. This can be done directly from the alert. Some activities may be deemed so risky that IT may want to immediately suspend the account. To help with this, IT can configure the activity policy so that an account is automatically suspended if that risky activity takes place.

Advanced Security Management also shows which apps are connected to Office 365 in their environment, who is using them and the permissions they have. For example, if a user grants a scheduling application access to their Office 365 calendar data, IT will be able to see the details of the connection and revoke that application’s permissions with one click if they deem it a security risk.

Discovery and Insights

Advanced Security Management also provides an app discovery dashboard that allows IT Pros to visualize your organization’s usage of Office 365 and other productivity cloud services, so you can maximize investments in IT-approved solutions. With the ability to discover about 1,000 applications in categories like collaboration, cloud storage, webmail and others, IT can better determine the extent to which shadow IT is occurring in your organization. Advanced Security Management will also give you details about the top apps in each category. For example, you can see how much data is being sent to OneDrive for Business, Box, Dropbox and other cloud storage providers.



You can do all this without installing anything on device end points. To load the data into the dashboard, all you have to do is take the logs from your network devices and upload them via an easy-to-use interface.

Many organizations allow users to connect apps to Office 365 without IT intervention to help them be more productive. The challenge is that it reduces the visibility and control that IT has over what apps are doing with the data. App Permissions as part of Office 365 Advanced Security Management can help mitigate that risk.

App Permissions provides information to IT about which applications in their network have access to Office 365 data, what permissions they have and which users granted these apps access to their Office 365 accounts.



Based on this information, IT admins can choose to approve the app or revoke its access to Office 365. If they choose to revoke permissions to the app, it will no longer be able to access the information for any of the users in the Office 365 tenant. App Permissions also makes it easy for IT admins to notify users who have installed the application that is going to be banned.

- Office 365: Everything You Wanted to Know - Jan 2017 - Microsoft




A New Tube For Your Enterprise

Office 365 Videos is an intranet website portal where people in your organization can post and view videos. It's a streaming video service for your organization that's available with SharePoint Online in Office 365. It's a great place to share videos of executive communications or recordings of classes, meetings, presentations, or training sessions.

Channels

  • Channel admins for Office 365 Video can create channels to organize videos.
  • You can have channels for particular subjects, for example, or for specific groups such as departments or teams
  • You see only the channels that you have permission to view

Uploading videos

  • To upload a video, you upload it to a specific channel.
  • You can upload multiple videos to a channel at the same time.
  • Anyone in your organization who has edit permission for a particular channel can upload videos to it

Editing information about a video

  • Providing information about a video will make it easier for other people to find it through search, and will provide additional context for it in Delve and the Office Graph.
  • You have to have owner or editor permission for the channel that the video is in

Owner and people metadata

  • Office 365 Video also shows who uploaded the video and the various people who are in the video.
  • This enhances the discoverability of the video and highlights the main speakers; it, too, enhances when and how your videos appear in other users’ Delve activity feeds pivoting off of the relevant context of who knows who

Changing a thumbnail for a video

  • After a video you've uploaded to Office 365 Video has been processed and is ready to play, you can add a custom thumbnail for the video or you can choose from one of the auto-generated thumbnails provided.

Add subtitles or captions

  • Subtitles or captions are lines of text that appear at the bottom of a video and provide a transcript of the audio portion of the video
  • You can add subtitles or captions to any video by uploading one or more subtitle or caption files



  • Office 365 Video only supports the Web Video Text Track (.vtt) file format.

Watching a video

  • You can watch videos from where they are featured on the Office 365 Video home page, and from specific channels.
  • When you select a video thumbnail, the video plays right in your browser window

Sharing videos with others


  • Embed an Office 365 video on your site. You can display the video on a SharePoint Online site or other website by adding the embed code for that video to the page where you want the video to appear.
  • Post to Yammer. You can post to Yammer about a video while you're watching it, and your post will automatically include a link to the video that you're watching.
  • Send a link to a video in an email. To get a link for a video, select the video in Office 365 Video and then copy the URL from the browser address bar.

Discover spotlighted channels and videos

  • Admin can spotlight up to three channels and four videos on the home page.
  • Person with edit permission for a channel can spotlight up to five videos on the page for that channel.

Find the most popular videos

  • See what videos are most popular for your entire organization, check the Trending section on the home page.
  • See what videos are particularly popular in a certain channel, check the Trending section on that channel page.

Find videos that you've uploaded

  • See what videos you've uploaded to a channel, select a channel, and then choose My Videos.

Search for a video

  • Search for a particular video by typing what you are searching for in the Search videos box.
  • Find videos that are in Office 365 Video by using SharePoint enterprise search.

Restore a video in the Recycle Bin

  • Deleted videos sit in the Recycle Bin for 90 days, and it is now possible to recover and restore videos from the Recycle Bin.
  • Admins can restore videos that have been deleted by a user

-Office 365: Everything You Wanted to Know - Jan 2017 -Microsoft



Yammer for Your Organization Too...

Here are some of the ways that organizations benefit from Yammer.

  • Centralize teams and projects. Simplify collaboration by providing teams and projects flexible workspaces that allow them to communicate, share files, and find resources in one place.

  • Promote knowledge sharing. Improve decision-making and reduce duplicate work by using Yammer to tap into knowledge across the organization and build on the work of others.

  • Foster innovation. Foster innovation by connecting employees, ideas, and information without regard for time zones, geographies, or hierarchies

  • Support remote/mobile workers. Identify and resolve problems with the customer experience by giving employees on the front line an efficient way to communicate with headquarters and supporting teams.

  • Improve internal communications. Improve the effectiveness of the corporate communications strategy by connecting employees to executives, groups, and feedback.

  • Expand external collaboration. Extend collaboration to customers, partners, and vendors by sending them a Yammer message, inviting them into a Yammer group, or setting up an external network.

  • Empower sales. Yammer can maximize your sales team’s effectiveness with better account insight, instant access to experts, and enhanced information when on the road.

  • Enhance HR practices. Reduce cost and initial training cycles for new employees by creating a designated group with the onboarding resources they need, while giving them access to subject matter experts across the organization.

  • Extend the reach of IT. Speed end-user adoption by sharing tips and tricks for new products. Enable self-help, access to peer expertise, and a searchable knowledge base to reduce total time to problem resolution.

Transform Your HR Organization

An engaged workforce means good things for your company’s HR and Corporate Communications Organizations. With Yammer, employees feel empowered to make a difference by contributing to recruiting efforts, recognizing peer performance, and learning from experts throughout the company or industry. Yammer increases employee engagement by giving every team member a voice and the tools and information to do more.

  • Onboard new hires quickly. Enable new hires to ramp up faster and continue to develop their skills over time as they learn from their peers.

  • Recognize top talent. Identify high performers and publicly recognize employees who do great work - increasing engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

  • Gain insight into performance. Keep up to date with what your team is working on and the progress made.

  • Start a company dialogue. Connect with your coworkers and encourage two-way dialogues in order to improve communication among teams, employees, managers, and executives.

  • Give employees a voice. Spark creativity and innovation by allowing all employees to share ideas, offer feedback and help drive business results.

Transform Your Marketing Organization

Collaboration across teams and with customers is critical to your organization’s marketing success. With Yammer, you can engage with agencies to build high-impact campaigns across geographies, share customer insights, and drive refined go-to market strategies. You can also improve execution through real-time collaboration of collateral. Empower your employees to become brand ambassadors and strengthen your competitive position with Yammer.

  • Centralize information. Create one workspace where designated teams can sync up and get projects done.

  • Accelerate collateral development. Develop quality collateral much faster and in real-time with colleagues, ensuring that the salesforce is always equipped with the latest materials.

  • Collaborate securely with agencies. Share information and gather feedback easily with internal and external agencies through external private networks.

  • Plan and execute events. Drive awareness of activities and promote interaction among attendees pre-, during-, and post-event.

  • Create brand ambassadors. Easily ensure employees and partners are aligned with company messaging and positioning.

Empower Your Sales Organization

Finding the right information at the right time is critical to the success of your sales team. With Yammer, sales representatives can tap into the collective knowledge of your organization to close deals quickly and increase customer retention. Empower your teams to instantly access expertise and information, gain a competitive advantage, and secure deals faster.

  • Access and share key information. Quickly distribute the latest key messaging out to the entire field.

  • Connect mobile workers. Give your mobile and remote sellers access to key information in a timely manner with the Yammer mobile app.

  • Beat the competition. Share in real-time what is and isn’t working in the field, giving your team a competitive advantage.

- Office 365: Everything You Wanted to Know - Jan 2017 - Microsoft