Jeff Teper is the Corporate Vice President of Office Service and Servers group.
Last week we heard from our new CEO Satya Nadella about Microsoft’s cloud-first, mobile-first approach. In his keynote, he stated that as long as human curiosity and ambition drive us to create new things, capture moments and collaborate to get things done, we should expect the world of devices to follow suit; and the way we get there is through the cloud.
We shared with customers some new ideas and new cloud scenarios at SharePoint Conference earlier this month. We introduced the Office Graph, the new experience codenamed Oslo and the concepts of Groups and in-line social experiences – all of which speak to our core beliefs around working like a network and the need to enable more collaborative, personal and relevant experiences, in the cloud.
At this week’s Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Austin, we’ll continue to discuss these themes that embody the new world of work, while we shine a spotlight on an application at the heart of communications and collaboration: email. We’ll talk about how we are modernizing email by bringing the benefits of Yammer and social to email. We’ll discuss how Groups promote open conversations and smarter collaboration. We’ll show how email triage and search will become truly intelligent with the Office Graph, and unveil awesome support for collaborating on attachments and shared docs in email. In all of this, giving customers the best mobile experience across all devices is critical. On iPhone and iPad, we released the OWA app last year. And today we are announcing that we will be releasing the OWA app for Android Phones as our latest step in that journey. Our phone users will have great built-in support for Exchange via the default email app on all phones – plus they can also use the OWA app on iPhone, iPad and now Android phones to get the latest features.
This blog post explains the details of the specific features we previewed today in the MEC keynote, which are coming to Outlook Web App in Office 365 later this year. These new capabilities will help redefine the email experience as we know it today making it more social, more relevant, more collaborative and easier to manage.
But what do all of these cloud and mobile-first scenarios mean to the average IT administrator? In an effort to separate fact from fiction, we did some research in this area a few months ago, specifically addressing the question of what happens to the person in charge of Exchange when their organization moves to Office 365? We studied more than 30 organizations who have been using Exchange Online for 2+ years and what we learned was that the Exchange administrator was still around and as important as ever. The cloud didn’t take away their jobs. Quite the opposite, in fact. We heard time and time again that the cloud changed their jobs in positive ways. They now spend less time on activities like managing infrastructure, taking emergency late night phone calls and dealing with back-ups and recoveries. Instead, they spend time tackling new projects, getting closer to the business needs of their organization, and expanding the scope of their role to include other products.
Lastly, at this week’s conference, we’ll also talk about how we’ll continue to invest in built-in security and compliance features like archiving, eDiscovery, DLP, and encryption. We will continue to make these capabilities in Exchange more and more robust. We’re also expanding these capabilities to other products like SharePoint and Lync. We’re unifying the concepts across Office, so our customers won’t need to manage them in separate places.
Once again we welcome the opportunity to talk with you about what’s working, where we can improve and to share with you all of the exciting innovation on the horizon. Thank you for investing time with us – we look forward to a great few days together!
– Jeff Teper