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Intelligent Decisioning Renew as Microsoft Gold Partner

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Wikipedia describes gold as “a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum) and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally.
It is a bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal in a pure form.”

At id, we also think of gold as a level of Microsoft Partner where Microsoft says this about gold partnership

“Attain a gold competency to demonstrate your best-in-class capability within a Microsoft solution area”

We agree wholeheartedly with this. which is why we’re delighted we’ve just renewed as a Microsoft gold partner.

We’ve been a Microsoft partner since first qualifying as a gold partner back in 2008 and our latest renewal demonstrates our ongoing commitment to delivering innovative, cost effective, Microsoft technology based solutions for our customers. It also demonstrates the level of knowledge and skills that our team have as they keep up to date with the latest and greatest Microsoft technology and it’s beneficial uses for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

As a Microsoft gold partner, we will continue to deliver great solutions to business problems with our Mercury Intranet and docCentrum Control products which boost the collaboration, communication and document control within organisations using the Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) stack.

If you’d like to know more about our gold partner renewal or how our Mercury and / or docCentrum products can help your organisation achieve more for less, then contact us on info@id-live.com.


ID sign the Partner Pledge

Committing To Transformative Technology: ID Have Signed The Microsoft Partner Pledge

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Microsoft Partner Pledge logo

ID are proud to announce that they have officially signed the Microsoft Partner Pledge as of November 2021. Sustainability has been a focus for us here at Intelligent Decisioning Ltd. for some time. Our ongoing flexible working arrangements help in reducing commuting emissions, and we limit paper-based work where possible. We have also provided apprenticeship and work experience opportunities that have allowed students to explore the industry in greater depth. In fact, two of our current full-time employees joined us as a result of these schemes.

Alongside over 200 other organisations, ID have committed to promote the five critical goals outlined by Microsoft through their partner pledge.

We too believe ‘in the role technology can play in addressing broader societal challenges’. We aim to focus our support on:

Digital Skills

82% of jobs require Digital Skills. Through the Digital Skills Hub, people can develop skill sand increase their chances of employment.

Apprenticeships

We believe in helping young people kickstart their careers with the help of industry leading experts. Microsoft’s Apprentice Network supports people in gaining qualifications through on the job training to support eh early stages of the career.

Diversity

A diverse team brings more creativity, innovation and variation. The Tech Talent Charter is committed to supporting teams and individuals through their dedication to enhancing diversity within tech sector.

Responsible and Ethical AI

AI for Good and The Future Computed both ensure Artificial Intelligence is developed and implemented in its most ethical way.

Sustainability

Microsoft aims to be Carbon Negative by 2030. This level of commitment to reducing emissions and protecting our planet is an essential part of the Microsoft Partner Pledge, and of our continued commitment to sustainability.

You can read more about what these five goals entail on the Microsoft partner pledge page.

We are actively seeking out opportunities to support these goals further, including helping schools with interview practice to researching further ways to reduce our Carbon Footprint.

We look forward to supporting Microsoft’s goals of improving the UK’s technological workforce.

Microsoft Ignite November 2021, latest updates and the highlights from the MVPser 2021 A look from Microsoft MVPs

Microsoft Ignite November 2021: A look from Microsoft MVPs

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Microsoft Ignite November 2021 Logo

Are you all caught up from the latest at Microsoft Ignite November 2021?

Vast improvements are being made across the Microsoft Office 365 platform, and we’ve compiled a list of the most useful updates according to MVPs Neil McLoughlin, Kevin McDonnell, Anoop Tatti, Paul Hunt and Albert Hoitingh, and host of the MS365 User Group Meetup Chirag Patel.

In the 17th edition of the M365 User Group, which you can sign up for on meetup.com, they gave a run down of the latest updates and the most valuable insights into Microsoft’s roadmap.

If you haven’t yet caught up on October’s updates, read our latest blog here.

An MVPS overview of Microsoft Ignite November 2021

Neil Mcloughlin on Azure Virtual Desktop

First up, Neil McLoughlin discussed what caught his eye, highlighting the ‘integration with azure stack HCI’ which enables the azure virtual desktop to be accessed within the azure stack. He highlighted the financial benefit of this update as it is now been opened up to third party vendors, making it accessible on-premises and at a more reasonable cost than before, although still more appropriate for those enterprises with large budgets who are able to make the investment.

Kevin McDonnell on Microsoft Loop and Context IQ

Kevin was keen to emphasise Microsoft Loop and Context IQ in his section of the meetup. Context IQ is a set of integrated AI experiences that ‘predicts, seeks, and suggests information people might need in the flow of their work’. He noted that ‘Context IQ is something that will be a lot more interesting and people will engage with it even if they don’t really notice it that much’

Going on, he mentioned:

Microsoft Ignite November 2021 Microsoft Loop

‘that everyday ai to recommend documents that may be relevant to your email as your typing, not just the bits at the bottom, but to allow you to select those based off what you’re writing, I think that’s where a lot of this power comes through’

Kevin also highlighted Microsoft Loop as another key feature. It is made up of three parts: Loop components, Loop pages and Loop workspaces.

Particularly of interest, Loop Workspaces allows you to group everything to your project within a shared space, all using OneDrive. It is ‘that ability to have that kind of live collaborating senior in one place’ that caught the attention of MVPs in the latest Microsoft Ignite session.

New MVP Anoop Tatti on Viva connections

Anoop Tatti, who became an MVP in the last month, highlighted his interest in the Viva connections dashboard.

With this update, the focus was on strengthening relationships within companies to optimise hybrid working teams. He was also ‘excited about’ the new teams toolkit, with Paul Hunt introducing his segment of the talk with ‘Teams, it was all about Teams for me, I mean my life at the moment is Teams.’ Microsoft well and truly listened to the demand for streamlined Microsoft teams experiences with their latest updates as they further develop their remote and hybrid working capabilities.

Mentioned at this month’s Microsoft Ignite were:

  • Real-Time Call analytics – these allow you to see participants, join and leave times, user and device information such as IP addresses, networks and connectivity.
  • Seeing the order of raised hands and the ability to assign roles from the Teams admin centre.
  • MS Teams connect, which allows you to share with individuals and teams across as many organisations as you need.
  • Teams Mesh – 2D avatars and 3D workspaces that allow you to keep your camera off whilst staying engaged and showing your reactions to the team.
  • Early 2022 – we’ll be seeing virtual meeting and event experiences with a green room to socialise and conduct Q&As in. Organisers will also be able to monitor and manage what attendees see.

Paul Hunt on Microsoft Teams Mesh and accessibility

‘Teams Mesh, if anyone saw it they probably saw this really gimmicky thing about people with 2D avatars and then going into a 3D workspace’,

Microsoft ignite November 2021 mesh avatars

He continued by saying:

we spend 10 hours a day on video calls and you get to that four o’clock call and you think I’ve really had enough you know, I just I don’t want to turn my camera on.’ So ‘The ability to pop up an avatar and have it you know, convey your reactions and convey your emotions to the rest of meeting but not having to have your visible face there, you know, having an off camera day or having a bad hair day.[…] so, we looked at something that looks quite gimmicky, but actually when we talk about things like accessibility and inclusion, it becomes really, really powerful tool.

Beyond accessibility, Microsoft Mesh provides a great opportunity for organisations to begin replicating the physical workspace online far more so than before.

Paul continued:

When ‘we talk about maybe having spatial gatherings where I can maybe onboard the new employees, we can go to that area where you’ve got the table tennis table, and then you can break out into individual rooms. And just by walking into that space, I leave that conversation I joined this conversation, we start to recreate some of what we’ve taken for granted in the physical world.’

‘the focus from Microsoft on accessibility and inclusion and how the technologies helps that that for me has been a really biggie and just making teams so much more accessible’

Albert Hottingh on security and compliance

The final MVP panellist was Albert Hottingh, who highlighted the renaming that has taken place in this Microsoft Ignite session. He says ‘It’s around security. Right now. It’s all about Microsoft defender.[…] But just a couple of examples. Azure Sentinel right now is now the Microsoft Sentinel. […] I even saw someone call it Microsoft defender for defender. So just put Microsoft defender in front of it, and it kind of works because now you’ve got Microsoft Defender cloud, which is basically the developer the security, the Azure Security Center and Azure defender combined. We’ve got a rename for Microsoft Cloud App Security.’

He went on to discuss Microsoft’s Information Protection, discussing the hassle caused by the lack of co-authoring when you use Cloud apps. There was no auto-save due to encryption and that issue has now been resolved.

Interestingly, Albert emphasised Microsoft’s constant surveillance of Mac OS. He highlighted the increased security that is part of Windows 10, which allows you to ‘set limits on … copy pasting information or even saving to a usb drive’

The MVP highlights

The final emphasis from the MVP panelists was the ability to ‘Share channels in teams [which is] the new way of really working with external entities within your organization without the need to switch a tenant from teams without a need to really add guest users to your talent.’

It’s going to be more frictionless, which can only benefit the end users’ – who?

A roundup of Microsoft Ignite November 2021 from Chirag Patel

As a brief overview:

SharePoint and OneDrive

  • It will now be possible to view immediately who already has access to a file through shared links.
  • OneDrive quick access will allow you to pin and reorder your shared libraries
  • Microsoft Teams meetings will now allow for video transcriptions

Security and Compliance

  • There have been updates to the MS authenticator app – you can now change passwords and view recent sign ins.
  • Versions of files shared in a Teams message will be preserved, this also works with outlook attachments.

Office

  • There will be a new addition to the office family with ClipChamp – an in browser video editing and creation experience
  • There is a new recording studio available in PowerPoint. You can now customise your background, and annotate on your slides

See here for the full list of Microsoft Ignite November 2021 updates, and to discuss how these updates may change the way you work, book an Ask the Expert Call with us here.

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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Armed Forces Covenant

Armed Forces Covenant

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At Intelligent Decisioning we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

We do this with first hand knowledge from our current and ex employees who served in the UK forces.

To show our commitment we have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

Home – Armed Forces Covenant (armedforcescovenant.gov.uk)

Certificate No:377602021
Certificate No:288302018