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Category Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Office 365 Updates October 2021

The latest Microsoft Office 365 Updates, October 2021

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  • What are the latest Microsoft Office 365 updates?
  • What’s new in Microsoft in October 2021?
  • How do I install the latest Microsoft updates?

With monthly Patch Tuesday updates and an extensive Roadmap, it can be difficult to keep track of what Microsoft Office 365 updates are on the way, work out how they will affect you, and what you need to do to make the most of your Microsoft investment.

We’ve pulled together the most important updates from the last few months to ensure you make the most of Microsoft’s ongoing developments.

Remember to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be kept right up to date on all the updates and how we can help you make Microsoft work for your business.

Current Microsoft Office 365 updates:


Update: Teams templates to include Power Automate Templates

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? When you create a team, recommended flow templates will automatically appear for you to choose from. With Power Automate templates available, you’ll be able to speed up the process of setting up a team by automatically including relevant workflows.

Installation requirements: A selection of curated Power Automate flow templates will be available to you when you go to select Microsoft provided templates. Automation really is the future for Microsoft!


Update: Pilot and deploy Teams for frontline workers with the onboarding wizard

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? The FLW (Frontline worker) onboarding wizard speeds up the process of onboarding frontline workers by allowing admins to create teams and assign roles to up to 100 users at a time. Each role then receive a policy package which generates a tailored teams experience.

Installation requirements: Go to the left navigation of the MS 365 admin center, select Setup, Apps and email, and then click View under ‘Get your frontline workers up and running’, then click Get started when you’re ready to go. All it takes is assigning a team name, team owners and adding users to your team.

A sound onboarding process is key for a successful remote working environment. Book a FREE demo of our Mercury Digital Workplace product here.


Update: Present from PowerPoint to Teams and improve presentation capabilities

October 2021 Microsoft Office 365 Updates - Present PowerPoints directly in Teams image

Current Status: Available

Installation requirements: Look for the ‘Present in Teams’ button in PowerPoint when in a Teams call.

What does this mean for you? This stops you from needing to upload PowerPoints in Teams ahead of time or spend unnecessary time screen sharing and alternating between Tabs. It makes the process of preparing and delivering presentations in Teams simpler, faster, and hassle free. Read more about integration and the power of an intranet here.


Update: Left navigation updates in Teams Admin Center

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? The Left navigation bar now allows you to access more of the key settings and sections of Teams, making it easier for admins to manage, edit and maintain their Teams channels.

Installation requirements: As with many Microsoft Office 365 updates, this is applied automatically to the latest versions of the Teams app


Update: Share Feedback in mobile app

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? This updates means feedback for Microsoft 365 can be sent directly without the need for extra emails (great news seeing as the average employee receives over 120 emails a day!).

Installation requirements: Go to Settings, and select Help & Feedback.


Update: Teams meetings through Apple CarPlay

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? With Hybrid working a sign of the times, Microsoft are making it even easier for employees to work on the go by enabling you to join Teams Calls whilst commuting, on the school run, or running errands in the car. In doing so, they make it easier for work and home life to seamlessly merge, but perhaps run the risk of making 24/7 availability an expectation of remote working employees. The feature is available in audio format only and also allows you to use Voice Command to message other Teams contacts.

Installation requirements: Find the Teams icon on your Apple CarPlay Screen


Update: Press “Ctrl Spacebar” to Speak

Microsoft Office 365 updates 2021 Play Teams meetings on Car Play

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? It is now easier than ever to begin speaking in a meeting, without the need to use your mouse and unmute your Mic. This comes as Microsoft aim to improve collaboration across their platforms with Hybrid working very much a sign of the future to come.

Installation requirements: Simply press Ctrl + Spacebar and you’re ready to go (best to try it in an internal meeting though. We don’t want anymore embarrassing ‘your mic isn’t on’ mistakes at this stage in the remote working game!)


Update: Time Sensitive Emails in Play My Emails (PME)

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Outlook Mobile will now prioritise emails it believes to be time sensitive by reading these to you first in Play My Emails (PME). This will ensure you don’t miss important opportunities, deadlines, changes etc. and that you’re always on top of the most important elements of your workload. What’s more, you can spend less time scrolling through your inbox and more time getting those important tasks ticked off.

Installation requirements: Ensure you have PME set up by going to Outlook Mobile Settings, Siri Shortcuts, Play my Emails, and then tap the red button to record your siri shortcut. For information on how PME works on Android devices, see here: Microsoft Outlook now supports Play My Emails on Android (androidpolice.com) (integrated link)


Update: Simplified Breakout Room assignment 

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Breakout Rooms provided a great opportunity for including small group collaboration within large group calls when they were introduced in 2020. However, with presenters needing to individually assign participants to rooms, it resulted in a clunky experience on both ends. Now, with the ability to select multiple participants to add or remove from rooms, the process is much quicker and will allow more time to be spent on collaboration.

Installation requirements: Look out for the separate pop up in Teams after selecting ‘Assign Participants’


Update: Pin messages and participants

Microsoft updates pin messages and people in teams

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Whilst the ability to pin specific chat conversations is not new for Teams, all participants can now pin and unpin specific messages to be highlighted at the top of the chat. This supports GIFs and images, but is recommended to be used for text based messages.

Installation requirements: Use the center of the room console to pin up to 9 participants at a time in a Teams meeting, and simple click the three dots next to the message you’d like to pin to see the options.


Update: Improved delivery for Live Events

Current Status: Available

What does this mean for you? Virtual events started with pub quizzes and friendly cocktail nights, but with the worldwide reach and reduced costs, they are a certain reality for the future. Microsoft Office 365 updates their systems in accordance with demand and they have responded to this new demand by allowing you to scale Teams Live Events to 100,000 attendees. You can work with eCDN support, Peer5, to optimise your live events AND you can restart events if you end them earlier than intended – no more panicking as you lose the audience you’ve spent weeks building up. This final feature is only available to the Producer of the Event. It’s safe to say, Microsoft see Virtual live events as a lasting result of the Pandemic that they can make the most of.

Installation requirements: To allow for the increase in attendees, you must engage the Microsoft LEAP team, and to benefit from Microsoft’s Peer5 acquisition you should get in contact with them or Microsoft directly. For Producers restarting a Live Event, simply click and select ‘Restart Event’.


What’s Coming next?

That’s the roundup of the recent Microsoft updates for October 2021, but with constant development and investment, a constant stream of updates will be coming your way throughout Autumn. Keeping up to date is the single best way to make the most of your Microsoft investment and ensure that your business processes are optimised. If you need support figuring out how to make Microsoft work for you, get in contact for a free Ask the Expert Session with one of our Office 365 experts.

Keep an eye on our social media accounts for information regarding the latest Microsoft Office 365 updates, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to be ahead of the game, so here’s a sneak preview of what to expect in the next few weeks:

Microsoft Office 365 updates coming soon:

OneDrive and SharePoint: Improved Move or Copy user experience

We’re refreshing the Move/Copy user experience in OneDrive and SharePoint to make it easier for you to choose where to move or copy your files and folders.

October 2021

Microsoft Search: Work Search Shortcut in Edge

To help users stay focused and find work results faster when searching from the Microsoft Edge address bar, Microsoft Search is adding the capability to create customized address bar shortcuts for your organization. With this feature, Edge users can type a shortcut keyword in address bar, then press the Tab key followed by their work query, they will see internal work results on Microsoft Search.

October

Microsoft Viva: Quiet time settings in Teams and Outlook

To help create better boundaries and protect your personal time, later this year Viva Insights will offer the ability to configure quiet time to silence mobile notifications from Outlook and Teams outside your working hours as well as provide personalized insights on how well you are disconnecting. You will also be able to set quiet time directly from Teams and Outlook mobile.


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top 5 advantages of an intranet

Top 5 Advantages of an Intranet

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The workplace has evolved dramatically over the years, with more and more businesses shifting to a work from home type culture. 

In a world where employees now work remotely, it’s important to have a tool to keep your company connected. 

Whether you’re looking for a way to drive productivity or manage important projects, knowing the (many) advantages of an intranet will help you decide whether an intranet such as Mercury or Modern Intranet is the right choice for you business.

In this blog post, we have put together 5 reasons why implementing an intranet would be beneficial to your business.

In this article we cover;

1) Information sharing

2) Document management

3) Employee collaboration

4) Business transparency

5) Mobile optimisation

If you want to find out more about the advantages of an intranet continue reading below.

Top 5 advantages of an intranet

1) Easily share information

Many businesses use email as their primary tool for information sharing. But did you know that an average person sends and receives 126 business emails per day? That’s a lot of information to open and read.

Implementing an intranet can reduce email and provide a platform to share important company information, enabling direct, clear communication between employees and management. 

Through the benefit of your intranet, you can crowdsource information and make better strategic decisions regarding your organisation.

2) Manage documents

No matter where you work, most businesses have a lot of information. This is likely to be accessible across multiple locations including, Dropbox, email, Google Drive etc. making it extremely tedious trying to find information, especially when you’re in a rush! 

An intranet can provide a central location for all of your documents to be stored, making it easier for your employees to find what they need. 

3) Encourage employee collaboration

Intranets like Mercury and Modern Intranet incorporate an instant messaging feature where employees can directly generate easy and immediate conversation. The benefits of this feature can be tenfold; create group chats, share photos and videos, enjoy social features such as emojis and communicate with colleagues in a centralised location. Through quick and collaborative capabilities, the workday can be optimised by eliminating unnecessary meetings and video calls. 

4) Increase transparency

In various studies, employees indicate that company transparency was the number-one factor in determining workplace happiness. 

In order to create transparency, you need to create a space where employees feel comfortable sharing thoughts and opinions. 

Intranets provide valuable tools that improve productivity and communication collaboratively. Direct chat options, blogs, task management, and notifications are some of the features that can be used to increase transparency in the workplace. 

5) Mobile friendly

When you need to quickly access information outside of the office, you will need to be able to access important information and documents on your phone. 

Intranets like Modern Intranet and Mercury are mobile friendly, which means they can be accessed on mobile, desktop and tablet. 

Receive work notifications on your phone and access important information on the go. All that is required is a mobile device and an internet connection.  

Ready to install your new intranet? 

There you have it! 5 reasons why an intranet could benefit your business.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you think an intranet could benefit your organisation get in touch with us to speak to one of our specialists about our range of intranet solutions.

Alternatively, give us a call +44 845 643 9726 or email info@id-live.com.

5 Ways Office 365 Can Save Your Organisation Money Right Now

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Microsoft Office 365 for Business comes with a whole host of benefits to many organisations of any size around the world. However, when it comes to making decisions it can be difficult to see straight away the “quick-wins” that could tempt you or your decision makers to take the plunge.

There is already a lot of excellent material on the Internet demonstrating all the features that Microsoft Office 365 for Business can provide, but here is a run down of the immediate benefits you can achieve by signing up.

Reduced infrastructure costs

Arguably one of the biggest selling points of Microsoft Office 365 for Business is that you can get access to all of the incredible productivity features as soon as your tenancy has been created, without any extra outlay for more infrastructure in your organisation.

For example, if you wanted to install a collaboration platform such as SharePoint, traditionally you would need at least 3 high-powered servers, licenses for each user accessing the environment, and to manage your data (backups, database maintenance etc). And then you have costs for your data centre footprint which includes electricity costs, cooling, hardware failures and end-of-life disposal. A lot of small things can up to a large total cost of ownership.

If you maintain a server on-premises for email currently, you will be able to migrate your accounts to Exchange Online and decommission your on-premises servers.

With Office 365 and SharePoint Online, all of this is taken care for you, for the cost of your user subscriptions only.

Simple, subscription-based licensing

Managing your user subscriptions and licenses is now made a lot simpler thanks to the Admin Centre. This gives you a single place to monitor how many user licenses you have purchased, how many you’ve assigned, and what your monthly cost is.

O365Subs

Which Microsoft Office 365 plan is right for your business?

Improved communications tools

Office 365 for Business includes powerful communication tools such as Skype for Business, which is a voice and video conferencing tool. With this you can telecommute with ease, arrange meetings with voice and video and send these to people outside your organisation, who will join the meeting using Skype for Business (if they are also users of Office 365), or with the web-based client.

O365SkypeForBiz
This lets you make dramatic cuts to your travel costs for meetings and presentations, allowing you to deliver to your customers regardless of where you (or they) are!

Read more about Skype for Business’s web conferencing capabilities.

Secure online storage

All of your data is securely stored in Microsoft data centres which are geographically local to your part of the world. The infrastructure is maintained by Microsoft and therefore is regularly kept up to date with the latest security updates and virus scanning capabilities. Backups and data redundancy are all taken care of for you without the need for any extra personnel or hardware. Office 365 also complies with the EU Privacy Law so you can ensure your data is safe.

O365OneDriveForBiz

The Office 365 Trust Centre has a wealth of information regarding your data security as a Microsoft Office 365 customer.

Access to your data anywhere, on any device

To be able to access Email, Documents, Tasks and even Skype for Business, all you need is an internet connection and a device with a supported browser. Here’s more on the system requirements for Office 365 for Business.O365Mobile

Because Microsoft manages data security and integrity (leaving it to you to decide and manage who can see what), Office 365 allows you the freedom to implement a “Bring Your Own Device” strategy, allowing your users to use any phone or tablet device to access their data.

As you can see, your organisation can start reducing costs almost immediately by switching over to Microsoft Office 365 for Business.

Get started today with a FREE no obligation Office 365 Trial.

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