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Connecting Technology and Business.

Innovations in Excel that users love

Real-time collaboration—As with other Office 365 apps, you and your co-workers can securely work simultaneously within an Excel file from any device (mobile, desktop, and web). This allows you to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, see where they’re working, and view changes automatically within seconds, reducing the time it takes to collect feedback and eliminating the need to maintain multiple versions of a file. Live, in-app presence indicators through Skype for Business make it easy to connect with available co-workers in the moment.

Powerful data modeling—Get & Transform is one of Excel’s most powerful features, enabling you to search for data sources, make connections, and shape your data to meet specific analysis needs. Excel can connect to data sitting in the cloud, in a service, or stored locally. You can then combine different data sets from these sources into a single Data Model for a unique, unified view. Plus, you can create a Data Model to import millions of rows of data into Excel—keeping your analysis in one place.

Insightful visualizations—Excel is an inherently visual tool, giving you new perspectives through a variety of charts and graphs. We continue to enhance visualization in Excel—with geographical maps and waterfall charts—to provide easier analysis and a better, more impactful way to share insights across your company.

Dashboard creation and sharing—Power BI is the cloud-based data visualization tool that allows you to create and publish dashboards. We intentionally designed Power BI and Excel to work together, so you can surface the most relevant insights for the task at hand. Excel data can be imported into Power BI, while Power BI reports can be analysed in Excel for new perspectives. You can then easily share these dashboards and insights with others in your company.

Built-in extensibility—Like other Office 365 applications, Excel can be customized to meet the specific needs of your company. Excel’s rich ecosystem of add-ins and other tools can help you work with data in more relevant ways. Plus, the Excel platform is flexible enough for IT admins or Microsoft partners to develop custom solutions.

-Office Blogs, Dec 2017

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

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



File Sharing Hacks

If you want to receive a file of a type that is blocked by Outlook, you can ask the sender to either make the file available without using Outlook, or make it less likely to be blocked by Outlook. The following are some safe ways to share files with people that you trust.

  • Use a shared server    You might want to ask the sender to save the attachment to a server or an FTP site that you can access. This can include a secure network share server such as SharePoint. The sender can send you a link to the attachment on the server or FTP site. You can click the link to access the file and save it to your computer.
  • Use a file compression utility    Using a compression utility, such as WinZip, creates a compressed archive file that has a different file name extension. Outlook doesn’t recognize these file name extensions as potential threats. Therefore, it doesn’t block the new attachment. Many third-party compression utilities are available.
  • Rename the file    You can request that the sender rename the attachment to use a file name extension that Outlook doesn’t recognize as a threat. For example, an executable file that has the file name extension .exe could be renamed as a Word file that has a .docx file name extension.

Ask the sender to resend the renamed attachment to you. To save the attachment and rename it to use the original file name extension, do the following:

  1. Locate the attachment in the email message.
  2. Right-click the attachment, and then click Copy.
  3. Right-click the desktop, and then click Paste.
  4. Right-click the pasted file, and then click Rename.
  5. Rename the file to use the original file name extension, such as .exe.

- Microsoft Support

Six tips to a better engaged online meeting

15 percent of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings, as reported by the Harvard Business Review. But as technologies change, workloads increase and attention spans shorten, truly reaching your audience can be a challenge. Making use of tools like Skype for Business (SfB) for such meetings can not only reduce the challenges of distance and travel but also give the participants an added luxury of attending the meeting from wherever they are – not necessarily at their office meeting rooms. Result? More attendance. More savings in travel costs.

But there is a flipside to this.

A major hurdle is addressing the audience across multiple locations. Attendees might join from a conference room at office or might connect from various enterprise or home connections. Involving the audience and making them feel that their efforts are appreciated will go a long way in making the meeting successful. But, this might be an unsurmountable challenge.

Here are six tips to make your SfB meetings and webinars more interesting and fruitful:

Send a meeting request in advance – Use your Outlook calendar to open a new meeting and choose a suitable date and time. You can make use of the Scheduling Assistant for this purpose. Include all the names of the invitees to the event one below the other. (Include also names of people who you want to just inform of this meeting – though they might not participate – and mark them as optional attendees). Then choose the date and the time slot in which all required attendees are available. Optionally, add a room if you want, to book it for your convenience. (This must be enabled already in your enterprise). Set a reminder for the meeting depending upon the preparation time required for the meeting.

Make joining hazel-free—Click the “Skype meeting” option to include the auto generated hyperlink Join Skype Meeting appear in the body of the meeting invitation. Also, include any audio bridge numbers, participant PINs, document attachments (Optionally, include a Meeting Notes OneNote notebook page) in the invitation. Add reusable parts of documents – if any - that have been already shared among the users internally by clicking on the Document Item feature. Once the invitation is received at the participants’ end, all that he/she needs to do to join the meeting is the one-click on the Join Skype Meeting link.

Take control of your meeting - Make use of the Meeting Options feature to choose who all should wait in the lobby or join the meeting without waiting. You can also nominate / manage presenters for and during the meeting. This will provide an uninterrupted flow to keep everyone’s attention on the content being presented. You can also set some limitations – disabling IM, mute attendees, block attendees’ video – only presenters can always share audio and video.

Show, don’t just tell, important information—Effective visual communication is key to employee engagement in meetings. Show videos, presentations, websites, pictures and presenters themselves—instead of a static image that’s easy to ignore. On-site employees shouldn’t get a different meeting experience or information from people joining the meeting from other locations.

Allow for feedback, comments and engagement—If employees feel that they can’t ask questions or get involved in a meeting, they’re likely to pay little or no attention to the proceedings. Keep watch on the IM window for comments or suggestions flowing in. Appoint a person (moderator?) to attend to questions from the audience so that queries can be addressed promptly. Conduct polls at intervals to receive feedback from the participants, to gauge the interest of the participants on the topic being handled, whether they are following your line of thought and also to make sure you are driving home your point.

Mind the anywhere any time any device access - Since the meeting attendees are given the freedom to choose which devices they use to join the meeting, it is also more likely that you will hold their engagement through the duration of your meeting. (It gives everyone the freedom to participate whatever works best for them: on-the-go, at their desk or from anywhere their devices are connected to the internet). Keep this distributed audience in mind when you are speaking and keep addressing them - if possible, by individual names - so that they feel engaged well.

Follow these and your next meeting might be the most productive ever.

Microsoft obtains new cloud-centric ISO 27017 certification

Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Azure has obtained the ISO/IEC 27017:2015 certification, an international standard that aligns with and complements the ISO/IEC 27002:2013 with an emphasis on cloud-specific threats and risks.

 

This certification provides guidance on 37 controls in ISO/IEC 27002 and features seven new controls not addressed in ISO/IEC 27002. Both cloud service providers and cloud service customers can leverage this guidance to effectively design and implement cloud computing information security controls. Customers can download the ISO/IEC 27017 certificate which demonstrates Microsoft’s continuous commitment to providing a secure and compliant cloud environment for its customers.

 

Microsoft Azure helps customers meet their compliance requirements across a broad range of regulated industries and markets including financial services, healthcare, life sciences, media and entertainment, worldwide public sector, and US federal, state and local government.

- Office blogs

Now customers can perform a risk assessment on Office 365 services

Microsoft wants to ensure that its Office 365customers have access to the information that is relevant for them to perform a risk assessment on Office 365 services—on demand. Access to this information should be seamless.

 

To achieve these goals, they have released the Service Assurance Dashboard as part of the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center, which provides you immediate access to:

  • Details on how Office 365 implements security, privacy and compliance controls including details of how third-party independent auditors perform audits to test these controls.

  • Third-party independent audit reports including: SSAE 16 / SOC 1, SOC 2 / AT 101, ISO 27001 and ISO 27018.

  • Deep insights into how we implement encryption, incident management, tenant isolation and data resiliency.

  • Information on how you can leverage Office 365 security controls and configurations to protect your data.

While there are many detailed insights provided through Service Assurance, initial customer feedback indicates that Audited Controls are particularly helpful. The Audited Controls feature in Service Assurance helps you to understand how Office 365 protects customers' data by detailing:

  • Test status—Status of the Office 365 controls.

  • Control implementation details—Explanation of how Office 365 implements a control.

  • Testing performed to evaluate control effectiveness—How independent auditors test the effectiveness of our security, compliance and privacy controls.

  • Test date—When a control was validated.

  • Office 365 controls—How the Office 365 internal controls map to standard controls.

- Azure blog

Improve compliance with Office 365 Services

Organizations own the data they keep in the cloud and they need to know how it is being handled at all times.


Microsoft is the industry leader in cloud compliance for enterprise customers. With the Office 365 E5 plan, advanced compliance is integrated into the service, so organizations can meet their unique requirements using a single cloud service.

 

Microsoft recognizes that organizations want control over access to content stored in cloud services. To maximize data security and privacy for Office 365 customers, Microsoft has engineered the service to require nearly zero interaction with customer content by Microsoft employees. Access is obtained through a rigorous access control technology called Customer Lockbox for Office 365, which helps enterprises meet compliance obligations for explicit data access authorization. In the rare instance when a Microsoft service engineer needs access to enterprise data, access control is extended to you so that you grant final approval for access. Actions taken are logged and accessible to you so that they can be audited.

 

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery simplifies the eDiscovery process, reducing the volume of data by finding near-duplicate files, reconstructing email threads and identifying key themes and data relationships. Leveraging machine learning and predictive coding, it helps compliance administrators intelligently explore and analyze large, unstructured datasets and quickly zero in on what’s relevant to save time and money.

-Office 365 pages from the net

Check this out…

Many times we require a Check mark inserted in our documents. Many keep searching for this in the Webdings or Webdings fonts, then they copy and paste this in the document.

There is a quicker way to insert Check marks - a Tick mark or a Cross mark in Word.

You should use the character code of the Checkmark symbol. Remember that you will have to use the numerical keypad rather than the QWERTY keyboard. There are a series of codes that will enable you to insert these Check marks.

First you have to change the current font to “Wingdings”

Now, hold down Alt and use the numerical keypad (not the numbers at the top of your QWERTY keyboard) and enter any one of the following combination of numbers:

For Ticks

  • ALT + 0252 (without a box) ü
  • ALT + 0254 (with a box) þ

For Crosses

  • ALT + 0251 (without a box) û
  • ALT + 0253 (with a box) ý

Remember to switch back to your original font for continuing with your document.

You can also choose the Webdings font and use the following shortcuts to insert Tick marks and Check marks:

Type a for a and r for r