Sometimes on news programs or webcasts, the best nuggets of information come after the director yells, “Cut!” With Modern Workplace, we kept the cameras rolling as our host, Alex Bradley, had candid conversations with experts in some of the most important topics facing organizations today, including:
Machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Security and data privacy.
In the latest Modern Workplace episode, “The Expert’s View: The future decoded,” you’ll see outtakes from our interviews with top experts over the past year. Bradley says, “Innovating, disrupting and consistently reinventing yourself can prove difficult.” But these clips offer insight and advice that will help you overcome obstacles and prepare your organization for the future.
According to a recent Forbes article, “Ninety-six percent of businesses in the U.K., Germany and France are underprepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), despite the law becoming effective May 2018.” This legislation will affect any organization doing business in the European Union. Are you ready?
Join us for the next episode of Modern Workplace, “GDPR: What you need to know,” airing June 13, 2017 at 8 a.m. PDT / 4 p.m. BST. We’ll take a closer look at the global impact of this all-encompassing privacy law.
Brendon Lynch, chief privacy officer for Microsoft, will share his tips on how to move your organization toward GDPR compliance.
Karen Lawrence Öqvist, GDPR expert and CEO for Privasee, will offer an EU perspective on this new law and share what an organization needs to do to be prepared.
Plus, we’ll showcase a hands-on demo of powerful security and privacy solutions—such as Office 365 Advanced Data Governance and Microsoft Azure Information Protection—which can help your organizations journey to compliance with the GDPR. Register now!
Today’s post was written by Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for OneDrive, SharePoint and Office.
Today, during the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we unveiled the latest innovations for SharePoint and OneDrive, including powerful integrations across Office 365, Windows and Azure. These developments build upon the vision we unveiled last year, and have been delivering on since, with innovations to reinvent content collaboration and usher in a new generation of mobile and intelligent intranets. We also showcased Office 365 customers who are using SharePoint to accelerate their digital transformation.
SharePoint continues to gain momentum
With more than 100 million monthly active users, Office 365 provides the most complete, intelligent and secure service for communications and collaboration. SharePoint plays an important role in Office 365, empowering customers to share and manage content, knowledge and apps to create a more connected workplace.
As customers transition to the cloud, we’re seeing tremendous adoption of SharePoint:
More than 250,000 organizations and over 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies now have SharePoint as part of Office 365.
In the last year, usage of SharePoint has grown 90 percent, content stored has grown 300 percent and more than 10 million new SharePoint sites have been created.
More than 60 percent of SharePoint seats are now online, reflecting the value customers see with SharePoint in Office 365.
Share files directly from File Explorer on Windows and Finder on Mac
OneDrive lets you share files securely with anyone—inside or outside your organization. Its deep Office integration, which powers rich co-authoring, allows you to collaborate on these shared files with others in real-time. And it lets you access all your Office 365 files, including your individual work files and files shared with you by individuals, teams and the organization—regardless of whether you’re on a PC, Mac, an iOS or Android device or a Windows phone.
Building upon last week’s announcement of OneDrive Files On-Demand—which lets you work with all your files within File Explorer on Windows 10—we announced today that starting this summer you will be able to share Office 365 files directly from File Explorer on PC and Finder on Mac. The sharing experience has been simplified, so you can share a file or folder with specific people or send a link that enables anyone who needs access, inside or outside your organization. In addition, you can now control how long a link provides access, and you can easily view and modify the permissions you have granted. The new sharing experience is the same, whether you share on the web, in Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7, or in Finder on Mac.
Share files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization directly from File Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7.
Share files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization directly from Finder on Mac.
Inform and engage employees with SharePoint communication sites
As the next step toward ushering in the next generation of intranets, today we announced SharePoint communication sites, coming this summer. A communication site is a beautiful, dynamic site that lets you reach a broad audience to keep the organization informed and engaged. Communication sites look great on the web, on a PC or Mac, on mobile browsers and in the SharePoint app.
Easily create beautiful intranet sites to reach a broad audience across your organization.
While your team site lets you share within your group as you’re working, a communication site lets your group share broadly and communicate its message across the organization. News published on a communication site surfaces on SharePoint home in Office 365 and on SharePoint mobile to all users who have access to the site.
Communication sites can be created in seconds. You can configure the default web parts on your site’s pages to tell your story. You can customize page layout with new multi-column sections and drag-and-drop authoring with a range of richly functional web parts, including an image gallery, interactive Bing maps, videos from a Microsoft Stream channel and a new events web part.
Create custom SharePoint forms with PowerApps and automate approvals with Microsoft Flow
SharePoint enables you, your team and your organization to streamline tasks, automate workflows and integrate processes seamlessly into your work—on any device and from anywhere you work. Starting this summer, you will be able to use Microsoft PowerApps to easily create custom forms that surface right in the context of a SharePoint list or library. Users can then create, view and interact with data using your custom form, rather than default SharePoint forms. This is a significant milestone for both SharePoint and PowerApps, as it empowers any user to drive transformation of team and organizational processes.
Create custom forms inside SharePoint lists and libraries with no code using PowerApps.
We also continue to deepen integration of SharePoint and Microsoft Flow. New built-in approval flows let you send any document for approval with a custom message. The recipient can approve the request directly from a rich, actionable email message, so approval and feedback can be given without leaving your inbox.
Approval flows, built in to SharePoint, send a rich, actionable email message.
Find people, expertise and content with powerful, personalized search
Today, we announced a more personalized search that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence from Microsoft Graph to surface more relevant and valuable results, faster. When you’re searching for knowledge, it may be found in content such as files, sites and news. And it might also be found through your colleagues. Now, your search results will include people whose skills, interests and projects—part of their Office 365 profile—are relevant to your query.
Search results activate people cards, so you can learn at a glance about a person and the content they work on. One more click activates an extended view with richly detailed information from the user’s profile. These enhancements to search are rolling out over the next few months.
Showcasing customer success
These innovations illustrate our commitment to reinventing productivity, so that you, your teams and your organization can achieve more. Today, we showcased customers like DBS, Avanade, Shire and Fourlis who use SharePoint and OneDrive to achieve more. We’re honored to have them join the growing ranks of customers who are sharing their stories of success, including Rackspace, The Hershey Company, NASCAR, Qantas, T-Mobile and many more.
The headline announcements I’ve shared here are but the tip of the iceberg. At the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we announced dozens of innovations that will help you accelerate your digital transformation in the year ahead. To learn more about the new capabilities across SharePoint and OneDrive, and the transformational outcomes they drive, read “New SharePoint and OneDrive capabilities accelerate your digital transformation.”
Join us for the next episode of Modern Workplace, “The Expert’s View: The future decoded,” airing May 9, 2017 at 8 a.m. PDT / 4 p.m. BST. We’ll dive deeper into what’s in store for organizations in the future and take a closer look at innovation, collaboration and security trends to help organizations prepare for what’s ahead. Hear from top experts such as Kyle Nel, Nancy Duarte, Uri Levine, Aaron Dignan, Bret Arsenault, Max Wessel, Dr. Jessica Barker, Phil Ferraro and Jules Polonetsky.
Plus, we will showcase powerful productivity tools, such as Office Threat Intelligence, Microsoft Teams and Power BI, to help your organization stay ahead today. Register now!
Register to watch the latest Modern Workplace episode, “The Future of Work: Build, attract, connect,” which aired April 11, 2017.
Jacob Morgan—speaker, futurist and author—presents five factors affecting the future of work. He describes how, as a futurist, he helps people not be surprised by what the future will bring.
Angela Oguntala—futurist, designer and director at Greyspace—adds her perspective on how companies need to think about the future differently. Too often people confidently state, “This is what the future will be,” and organizations listen to them. But instead of trying to predict the future, organizations should consider different options and how their core processes could be affected.
Also, see a demo of the new Microsoft Teams enhancements, available to all Office 365 business users, and get an exclusive tour of the Microsoft Envisioning Center, where you’ll see how Microsoft is planning for the future of productivity.
Today, as part of our deep and continued commitment to make Office 365 the most trusted cloud service for productivity, we are announcing the general availability of Office 365 from our new cloud datacenters in Seoul and Busan, South Korea. We are pleased to be the first global cloud productivity provider offering customer data residency in Korea.
Since October 2014, we have expanded our global cloud footprint and opened new datacenter regions in Japan, Australia, India, Canada, U.K. and now South Korea. In addition to the same highly secured productivity capabilities already enjoyed by Office 365 customers all over the world, these new datacenter regions add local data residency, failover and disaster recovery to help effectively address the legal and regulatory needs of customers in industries like banking, public sector and healthcare.
Today’s Office 365 post was written by Brett Coryell, chief information officer at Northern Illinois University.
A key role of any university is to provide students, faculty and staff with access to amazing resources: world-class libraries, state-of-the-art labs and innovative research facilities, to name just a few. As the CIO and vice president of Information Technology at Northern Illinois University (NIU), I make sure the wealth of campus resources that the campus community enjoys is also reflected in the technology they use. Higher education is synonymous with innovation, collaboration and communication. We enhanced these values at NIU by bringing in Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based services.
When I joined NIU in 2014, the IT environment had a distinct divide between students, who used Google G Suite for Education, and faculty and staff, who used Novell GroupWise. The very first decision I made as CIO was to move faculty from an outdated, on-premises solution to Office 365. Next, I addressed one of the chief complaints of our faculty members, which was the difficulty of navigating the Google environment to collaborate with their students. Collaboration between students and faculty is fundamental to learning, and it simply didn’t make sense to keep students and teachers on separate software platforms. For that reason, we migrated all 19,000 students to Office 365, completing a campus-wide move to the cloud.
Any time we make a change at NIU, we think first about the effect it will have on our students. Our change management team did a stellar job of keeping students in the loop when it came time to migrate, using an impressive 33 channels of communication to ensure they understood the benefits of moving to Office 365. Now that everyone is on the same page, communication issues have naturally dissipated, and closer connections are being forged. I can see this in the enthusiasm with which students and educators have adopted the dynamic email and collaboration tools. Shared calendaring is an incredible way for professors and students to coordinate their schedules and implement flexible “digital” office hours. Using tools for anytime, anywhere collaboration among individuals both on campus and off improves teamwork on projects. There are many benefits to an integrated, multiplatform suite where you can store data online so it’s always available. Amazingly, I’m seeing students start to write their papers on their smartphones and finish the work at home on their laptop or in the computer lab.
Email and data security at NIU gets a boost from Office 365 features like Microsoft Exchange Online Protection, which streamlines how we deal with compromised accounts, and Exchange Online Archiving, which we use to ensure compliance. By adding these features, our IT team has gained more time to focus on strategic projects instead of putting out fires.
There is a tangible value to moving to Office 365 as well. Previously, we had a surplus of videoconferencing solutions—everything from WebEx to Polycom. By consolidating on Skype for Business Online, we are saving US$300,000 a year on licensing. The switch from Google to Office 365 gives our students a yearly benefit of US$400,000 in services they didn’t have before, all for the cost of tuition. And we are avoiding half a million dollars in hardware upgrades.
Universities are about preparing for the future, and I’m excited about the future of Office 365 at NIU. For example, we plan to use Office 365 Video to boost learning with short clips that help students solve an equation. I anticipate the combination of Office Delve and Office 365 Video will be a powerful new way to help students gain access to visual learning.
When it comes to standardizing on a productivity platform across NIU, I’m thrilled that today we have a broad group of powerful tools that are equally available to everybody. Not only will students be learning the technology they will most likely use once they graduate, but everyone has the same opportunity to take those tools and achieve their personal best.
Today’s fast-paced workplace requires you to transition between tasks seamlessly and find things quickly. As work and collaboration evolve to become more web-based and complex, changing professional styles call for tools that provide agility across the full span of a workday.
Instead of wasting time searching for your most-used features and content, you need technology that allows you to transition from email to collaboration to project work and back again with ease.
Test our latest technology on your own work
Microsoft is now offering hands-on live sessions where you’ll have the opportunity to test drive Windows 10, Office 365 and our hottest new collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. During these small-group sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they work for you.
Each 90-minute session starts with an online business roundtable, discussing your biggest business challenges with a trained facilitator, and then transitions into a live environment in the cloud. You will receive a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest technology, so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your challenges.
Learn skills that will simplify your workflow immediately
During this interactive online session, you will:
Explore how Microsoft Teams helps you collaborate with your coworkers in different locations and time zones.
Discover how you can keep your information more secure without inhibiting your workflow.
Learn how to visualize and analyze complex data, quickly zeroing in on the insights you need.
See how multiple team members can access, edit and review documents simultaneously.
Gain skills that will save you time and simplify your workflow immediately.
Register for a free interactive session and experience for yourself how the latest Microsoft technology can help you be more productive.
Editor’s note 3/15/18:
The post has been updated to clarify closed caption file association is available to Office 365 commercial subscribers.
Over the last few months, we’ve been on the ground asking users what features they would like to see in the Sway app. We heard all the ways you use Sway in your personal, school and work lives, and listened to tons of great recommendations on how we could make these experiences even better. As a result of this partnership, we’re proud to announce another round of updates from the Sway team.
The ability to add audio to Sways was the top request from educators—as students and teachers (among others)—love to express their ideas and thoughts in this natural and intuitive way. Now, you can record your voice directly in Sway web app to make your Sway more interactive and engaging.
For more information on how to record audio in Sway and what browsers support audio recording, please see “Record audio in Sway.”
With the Microsoft mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, we continue to add features to improve accessibility. We are excited to announce that authors can now associate closed caption files with their audio recordings or audio files added from their local drive or OneDrive/OneDrive for Business. Authors with an Office 365 commercial subscription can also associate closed caption files with any video files uploaded from their local drive or from OneDrive for Business.
First, add a new video or audio card to your Sway—by either uploading the content, recording it or adding the content from your OneDrive/OneDrive for Business account—and then expand the card using the Details button. Next, click the Add closed caption button at the bottom of the expanded card and select your closed caption file (.vtt format) and the language it is in.
When viewing a Sway that has a video with closed captions available, it is easy to simply select the option to turn closed captions on and the language of the closed caption they’d like to see.
Sways are now easier to navigate. Jump back and forth between sections or get a glimpse of the Sway content—all from the new Navigation view.
When you click or tap the Navigation icon (in the bottom-right corner), the Sway fades into the background and the Navigation view appears. Your Sway title, section headers, images and text collectively form an engaging and informative navigation view.
Click or tap each section tile to jump to that section, or scroll to see more sections if your Sway is longer.
You told us you wanted to automatically play and continuously loop a Sway for unattended cases such as billboards.
We’re happy to announce that, if you have an Office 365 subscription, you can now set your Sway to play automatically! If you are the author of the Sway, use the … menu on the top right to go to Settings and turn autoplay on. Additionally, you can autoplay any Sway you are viewing by clicking the Settings gear at the top right-hand corner of the Sway. In the Autoplay settings box, set the delay and then press Start. The Sway will now play automatically.
Once the Sway is playing, you can change the delay, pause or stop playback using the controls on the bottom-right corner.
We also heard from our users that they want to know how engaged their audience is with their Sways. Now, authors can see how many people have viewed their Sway. We officially started the view count on March 13, 2017, so if you see “No data,” this means that the Sway has not had any viewers since that date.
We hope you enjoy using the newest features in Sway, and as always, we look forward to your suggestions, feedback and comments on our UserVoice page.
Last year, we announced the #ExcelWorldChamp competition. From October to November 2016, Microsoft ran four rounds of Excel tests for residents of select countries. The top competitors in each round made it through to the next level—until there was one Excel champ from each country!
Now, these country champions are competing head-to-head in one last round to declare the #ExcelWorldChamp and win a trip to Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., to meet with the Excel product team.
Help us determine the winner!
Submissions for the data visualization challenge are now posted on the #ExcelWorldChamp website. Visit the site anytime between April 4 and April 6, 2017 and vote for your favorite submissions. Your vote will help determine each contestant’s final score. Join us at the #ExcelWorldChamp website on April 7, 2017 at 2 p.m. UTC / 10 a.m. EDT for our LIVE announcement of the winner!
Today, we’re pleased to announce several enhancements that bolster Office 365’s security and compliance capabilities.
With the launch of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, we are enriching security in Office 365 to help customers stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. Today, we’re also introducing a new reporting interface to improve the customer experience for Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and extending the ATP Safe Links feature to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients.
Office 365 Advanced Data Governance also launches today, providing our customers with robust compliance capabilities. A new policy management interface for Data Loss Protection (DLP), helps Office 365 customers remain compliant and in control of their data.
Let’s take a closer look at these enhancements.
Enhancing threat protection—a path to proactive cyber-defense with Office 365 Threat Intelligence
According to a recent Ponemon Institute study,* the average cost of a data breach has risen to $4 million, with costs incurred for litigation, brand or reputation damage, lost sales—and in some cases—complete business closure. Staying ahead of threats has never been more important.
Office 365 Threat Intelligence, now generally available, provides:
Interactive tools to analyze prevalence and severity of threats in near real-time.
Real-time and customizable threat alert notifications.
Remediation capabilities for suspicious content.
Expansion of Management API to include threat details—enabling integration with SIEM solutions.
To provide actionable insights on global attack trends, Threat Intelligence leverages the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which analyzes billions of data points from Microsoft global data centers, Office clients, email, user authentications, signals from our Windows and Azure ecosystems and other incidents that impact the Office 365 ecosystem.
It provides information about malware families, both inside and outside your organization, including breach information with details down to the actual lines of code that are used for certain types of malware. Threat Intelligence also integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security features, like Exchange Online Protection and ATP—providing you an analysis that includes the top targeted users, malware frequency and security recommendations related to your business.
For an overview of Threat Intelligence, watch the following video:
New Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) reporting interface
The new reporting interface for Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) reports is now available in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. These security reports provide insights and trends on the health of your organization, including information about malware and spam sent or received in your organization and advanced threat detections that Office 365 ATP helped discover and stop.
Using the new report interface, admins can schedule reports to be sent directly to their inbox, request custom reports and download or manage these reports through dashboards in the Security & Compliance Center. In our continued journey to provide our customers with the most powerful and robust advanced security solution, this new reporting interface helps you understand how ATP mitigates today’s most sophisticated threats from impacting your organization.
The new ATP reporting interface.
Extending ATP Safe Links to Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients
Later this month, we will enable ATP for Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients, a unique demonstration of the power of collaboration across the Microsoft ecosystem. As cyber criminals broaden the scope of attacks beyond email workloads, it’s necessary to extend security capabilities beyond email. The Safe Links feature in ATP protects customers from malicious links in email.
Safe Links is integrated across Outlook desktop, web and mobile to help protect a user’s inbox across devices. When a user clicks a link in an Office 365 client application (Word, Excel or PowerPoint), ATP will inspect the link to see if it is malicious. If the link is malicious, the user will be redirected to a warning page instead of the original target URL, protecting the user from compromise. This new capability will further integrate and expand security across Office 365. Our intent has always been to provide our customers with an end-to-end, unified and secure experience across all of Office 365, and this extended capability of Safe Links is an example of our continued step toward this goal.
Ensuring compliance—why Office 365 Advanced Data Governance matters
As the amount of electronic data grows exponentially, many organizations are exposing themselves to risk by retaining unnecessary data. For example, many organizations continue to retain the personal information of former employees who left the company long ago. If this data were compromised in a breach, the company could be liable for costly remediation, such as lifetime credit monitoring for these former employees.
Office 365 Advanced Data Governance applies machine learning to help customers find and retain important data while eliminating trivial, redundant and obsolete data that could cause risk if compromised.
Advanced Data Governance, also now generally available, delivers the following capabilities:
Proactive policy recommendations and automatic data classifications that allow you take actions on data—such as retention and deletion—throughout its lifecycle.
System default alerts to identify data governance risks, such as “Unusual volume of file deletion,” as well as the ability to create custom alerts by specifying alert matching conditions and threshold.
The ability to apply compliance controls to on-premises data by intelligently filtering and migrating that data to Office 365.
Customers are already seeing value from Advanced Data Governance. Tom Stauffer, vice president of Records and Information Management for the Walt Disney Company, says:
“Effective governance of unstructured information across communication, content and social platforms has long been a goal of organizations. Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Data Governance appears to provide a well-thought-out solution that is integrated into their entire Office 365 suite. This functionality and integration provides the powerful potential of delivering on this long-sought-after goal, and doing so without a major burden to end users.”
In the coming months, we will be delivering additional Advanced Data Governance enhancements, such as event based retention, manual disposition and supervision.
Learn more about Advanced Data Governance in this episode of Microsoft Mechanics:
Enhanced Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) management experience
Customers all over the world use Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies in Office 365 to help prevent sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands. Because of your feedback, we put DLP management front and center, providing quick access to content protection policies, app permissions and device security policies—all in one place.
It’s now easier than ever to configure and enforce sensitive data policies across your organization using the new DLP management experience in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. The new Policy page shows you important information about your current DLP policies at a glance, with detailed audit reports just a click away. It’s also easier to turn on and configure DLP—simply choose what you want to protect, then specify any special conditions to look for and the automatic actions you want to enforce to protect your important data. You can also go into the advanced settings to access additional customization and configuration options to help meet your specific compliance requirements. Learn more in this article.
The enhanced DLP management experience makes it easier to create and manage policies.
Join our Security, Privacy & Compliance tech community
These new features help broaden and enhance the scope of security and compliance capabilities within Office 365. To further evolve your organization’s security and compliance with these services, join our Security, Privacy & Compliance tech community. It is a great resource to communicate and learn from your peers, as well as offer your insights on the growing importance of security, privacy and compliance.
*IDC Ponemon Institute, Sponsored by IBM, Cost of a Data Breach Report (2016)
As of today, Microsoft Planner users can assign multiple people to a task—a feature that tops the list at planner.uservoice.com. Now, users can assign more than just one user to a task in Planner, and every user that is assigned the task will see it on their My Tasks page.
Our goal is to support additional collaboration, and we will continue to develop features and enhancements that our users want. Feel free to join the conversation about this feature and many others at our TechCommunity page. Also, please share your feedback with us about Planner features you would like to see at planner.uservoice.com.