Announcing the public preview of the new Office 365 Network online community

Today, we are pleased to announce the public preview of the new Office 365 Network. Over the last three years, the Office 365 Network has become a vibrant online community for IT pros, technical experts, product enthusiasts and Office 365 customers to come together and share best practices related to Office 365.

As more organizations embrace the cloud and move to Office 365, we want to make the wealth of valuable information in the Office 365 Network available to anyone who is looking for it. Currently, the Office 365 Network is hosted as an authenticated Yammer network, which requires registration and sign-in to participate in the community, and makes discussion content searchable and discoverable only by users who are registered and signed in to the network. In an effort to make the community content accessible to anyone, the new Office 365 Network will be hosted on an unauthenticated platform, meaning community posts will appear in internet search results and visitors won’t have to sign in to view content in the network.

The Office 365 Network will continue to be a community for valuable insights and great conversations, including engagement from Office 365 product teams seeking input and feedback on products, knowledge sharing among community members and involvement from product experts, who help make the Office 365 Network the place to be for passionate technology pros to connect every day.

The new experience provides the ability for community members to:

  • Personalize your home page so it displays community discussions and other content related to topics you select.
  • Earn badges based on your activity in the community, which will be displayed on your profile page along with a summary of your activity—including latest posts, likes given and received, people you follow and community notifications.
  • Search community content to uncover discussions, ideas and other information from across the Office 365 Network.
  • View conversations as threaded conversations and hold private conversations with others using your community inbox.

Community members will no longer be able to create a group at will, but can request a new group in the Community Ideas Exchange.

We encourage current Office 365 Network members to start participating in the new Office 365 Network right away by visiting network.office.com. The current Office 365 Network will permanently redirect to the new community starting September 1, 2016.

Some technical communities will continue to be hosted on Yammer, as it provides a secure, authenticated environment for NDA discussions. This includes the Office 365 MVP Network, an invitation-only network for Office Server & Services MVPs and Microsoft product teams—and a new external group for Yammer Community Managers, which will also be invitation only. To view content and participate in these communities, participants need to be invited, and sign-in is required.

We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. Use the Community Ideas Exchange to let us know what you’d like to see! For discussions about this announcement and the Office 365 Network in general, visit the Community Discussion Board.

—Anna Chu, senior product marketing manager for the Office Marketing team