Tag Archive Office 365 Features

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Office 365 Benefits for Students

Microsoft technology and educational programs support students use the technology of today to plan for the future of tomorrow. Office 365 widens the ability for learning that includes Office 365 offering Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and classroom tools. Let’s discover some of the many ways that Office 365 can support students and teachers inside and outside of the classroom.

Cloud-hosted application

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud hosted application accessed as a service known as Software as a Service application (SaaS). The cloud is a vast concept that covers several benefits and concerns when compared to standard deployment models. Any application can be hosted in Cloud and its installed and supported by Microsoft’s data centre elsewhere. Customers can access the Office 365 application through an Internet connection. Microsoft, therefore, is rendering the application as a service instead of a product.

Microsoft Office 365 Apps

Microsoft Office covers some of the most popular and powerful software on the market. Highly integrated with other Office 365 apps, allowing for smart and beneficial workflows. Cloud integration enables stress-free and smooth collaboration/sharing. Most commonly used apps are:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • Exchange
  • Online
  • One Drive
  • OneNote
  • Publisher
  • Microsoft Access
  • Skype for Business
  • InfoPath
  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams

Benefits of Office 365 For Students

Office 365 provides a fantastic integrated suite of products. Let’s explore all the resources used by Microsoft office 365 to gain valuable insights on how to implement the Education Transformation Framework in your school or district. Office 365 is a cloud-hosted service provided by Microsoft. It allows students the ability to create, edit, manage and even collaborate on the popular Microsoft Office products through a browser-based interface, rather than relying on locally installed software. Office 365 includes many other services that we will be investigating over time.

1. Cloud Storage Benefits for Students:

Office 365 gives close integration with Office Online. Students don’t need to install Office on a PC. Office 365 brings Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Sway to all devices. Office 365 licencing also means that students and teachers can download the full version of office client application too. Office 365 offers easy and anytime access to all its resources to students. If you have access to the Internet connection; you can connect to Office 365, and your files. Students can write papers in the classroom, and at home on any device they so choose. Students can make changes and updates to documents from anywhere, at any time like if they want to add thoughts to an essay draft or they can make changes to a PowerPoint slide, as soon as a new idea comes to their mind.

2. Collaborate without boundaries:

Office 365 Create, share and even collaborate real-time with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote—without worrying about lost formatting. With Office 365’s collaborative tools, projects will have more structure, allowing small groups to work on their projects at several times throughout the day. Instructors can also participate by adding comments and notes to assignments for added feedback.

3. Leadership & policy:

It helps students to set their directions and characterised by an open culture of learning and exchange across the system, with a cooperative buy-in of vision and shared goals that motivate students to drive change. Profound and sustainable transformation of the education system happens only with the support of people at every level – schools, local authorities, universities, teacher training colleges and national governments. The Microsoft Education Transformation Framework gathers the latest thinking from all of these to help you plan.

4. Modernise Learning:

Microsoft Office 365 helps out teacher and students by using Modern teaching and learning strategies and different ways to explore the Curriculum. It encourages a growth mindset in students, emphasising future-ready skills to help them succeed in jobs not yet invented. It’s not afraid to use new technologies and new forms of assessment to Measure student progress. Proficient educators are the motivating force in modern teaching and learning. By personalising learning pathways, teachers empower every student to reach their goals. To help them build skills, the Microsoft Office 365 Education Revolution Framework supports them with groups of practice, software and proficient development.

5. Intelligent Environments:

Microsoft office 365 gives a smart learning environment endows creative collaboration by students, educators and leaders in flexible learning spaces. It enables more sustainable and energy-efficient ways of working and more responsive and corresponding security to keep learning communities safe. It also helps administrators manage facilities more efficiently to maximise learning while cutting cost.

6. Technology blueprint:

Microsoft Office 365 provides a consistent, reactive and data-driven technology environment. It enables students, teachers and administrators to reach more every day with perceptive devices. Moreover, it gives everyone easy access to the data they need to estimate and Expand educational and administrative performance.

Students can have access to Office 365 for free. It’s not a trial Version! Both students and teachers are eligible for Office 365 Education, which includes Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools. Both teachers and students are eligible to get Microsoft 365 online version for free, with this you also get 1TB of online storage.

KeaPoint is a SharePoint & Office 365 consultancy based in the UK, dedicated to empowering users through smart solutions. Our experience and skill set continues to expand in many areas. We develop solutions according to the best business practices in the industry.

If your organisation needs assistance with SharePoint & Office 365 and would like to see how KeaPoint can help, get in touch.

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Office 365, the right solution for your business?

If you are a small business and you are wondering if Office 365 the solution for your businesses? The short answer is yes. Office 365 could help your employees work together in new and more efficient ways. Office 365  not only provide you set of tool. It instead introduces the new way of working. Below are some reasons small business owners should consider using Office 365.

Are you look to implement Office 365 in your organisation and don’t know where to start? Our experienced consultants can help you with the initial setup and can assist you going forward.

No downtime

If a fire or flood ruin your system crashes or the office building, you are stuck. You have no servers, website or even no data. Statistics collected in 2015 by the Institute for Business (U.S) and Home Safety showed that 25% of small businesses never reopen following a major disaster. If all employees send the data to the cloud, all your business documents and applications, such as email, will always available. You will face no downtime, no matter what happens.

Data security

Office 365 has built-in security features so small businesses can focus on the other essential things. You always know where your data reside and who has access to it. Storing your data online also keeps it safe from any disaster.

Office 365 has many built in security features to keep your company’s data safe. Some of them are listed below.

Message Encryption: This feature allows employees to send encrypted email, preventing anyone other than the recipient from reading the contents of your email. The encryption works no matter which email service the recipient uses.

Advanced Threat Analytics: This uses analytics and machine learning to detect and alert you about any suspicious activity straight away. As part of this tool, the emails are scanned for malicious links and attachments as soon as they hit your network. If it detects something doubtful, it’ll stop the malicious attachment from getting downloaded. The recipient will still get the email explaining why the attachment isn’t available for download.

Data Loss Prevention: The Data Loss Prevention feature monitors emails and stops sensitive data from leaving your organisation. Once enabled, all emails to and from an organisation will be scanned for information such as passport credit card or NI number.

Mobile Device Management: This feature helps you secure employees mobile devices to protect sensitive company info. You can create the security policies which can remotely wipe a device, and view detailed device reports.

Better Collaboration Process

Office 365 makes it simple for multiple team members to co-author the same document. The real-time document editing and formatting ability enhances the collaboration process for small businesses. The days of emailing huge files and also worrying about file version control are now a problem of the past. The Office 365 also makes it easier to share any documents with clients at all stages of the production process. The members can also take advantage of the Skype for Business tool to chat with each other throughout all stages of project planning and implementation.

Get Things Organised

The day to day activities like Meetings, email and contact management is a big part small business. When you use Office 365 features like email, calendar and contacts. You can sync files to OneDrive on your Pc and can work offline. That is a cool feature to help small businesses get the most out of Office 365. You can also access the same data from anywhere and from any device.

Access anywhere at anytime

Working away from the office is handy for small business employees. In most cases, you needed help from an IT friend to set up a Virtual Private Network so that you could access your office data and files. With Office 365, you don’t need any unique configuration or IT skills. You only need an internet connection and login to your office 365 environment, and you can start working. Isn’t it simple?

Control Monthly cost

This one is perfect for small businesses. Office 365 has a flexible monthly billing process that lets the organisation increase or decreases the number of users to suit their needs. You never locked into any contract, and you can change plans at any time to satisfy your business growth. Since you don’t need to worry about upfront costs, it will be easier to fit this subscription into your monthly budget.

Licensing is Straightforward

Keeping an eye on software licenses and renewal can be a real headache for a small business owner. Also making sure that all the employees are using the same version of the software can be challenging. The Office 365 includes all licensing, and it can be consistent company-wide. That means everyone has the same version of Microsoft Office and other tools. Office 365 will make sure that all users get software upgrades at the same time.

Huge Mailbox storage

Let’s face it. The employee never want to get rid of old email, at least for some years. Sometimes we encourage them to clean it up, but most of the time they end up keeping every single email they have ever sent or received. With Office 365, you can say hello to 50GB of email storage space and goodbye to conventional way of email inbox clearing requests from IT.

KeaPoint is a SharePoint & Office 365 consultancy based in the UK, dedicated to empowering users through smart solutions. Our experience and skill set continues to expand in many areas. We develop solutions according to the best business practices in the industry.

If your organisation needs assistance with SharePoint & Office 365 and would like to see how KeaPoint can help, get in touch.

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Why Businesses Prefer SharePoint Hybrid Environment?

One question I hear a lot, why do we even want to go hybrid?

Many companies have already migrated their exchange server and Skype for Business and Office 365 without keeping the on-premises equivalent. The reason is that the SharePoint server is not equal to SharePoint Online regarding functionality and flexibility. There are some differences in Exchange and Skype for Business that could stop a company from migrating. However, most companies nevercustomize, and most business users don’t even care what exchange is, they use Outlook.

So, moving services such as Microsoft Exchange and Skype for Business to the cloud doesn’t have as much of the impact on business users as compared to moving the SharePoint. When we compare SharePoint Server 2016 with SharePoint online, there are many differences in UI, capabilities are different, and some customisations within SharePoint on-premises cannot be migrated to SharePoint Online. But, then why not stay on-premises or go entirely to the cloud?

Let’s discuss the advantages of each platform. Let’s start with SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Online Advantages

As you know Microsoft vision is to go mobile first Cloud first and I’m sure you heard that a ton of times in the past years, Mobile first Cloud first. As Microsoft pushes updates to SharePoint Online every two weeks. It also pushes cloud only updates, for example, Delve, Office 365 Video and Office 365 groups.  These are the few examples that are only available in SharePoint online for now.

Furthermore, another significant advantage of SharePoint Online is that by default it is assessable all over the globe. You can achieve that with premises as well. However, you will need to invest in the security, the infrastructure to make it secure.

Talking about SharePoint on-premises, there are various good reasons to stay on-premises.  Few of them are listed below.

SharePoint On-premises Advantages

The first favourite reason is that on-premise allows you to customise the SharePoint to answer your specific business need. Being able to quickly develop and create custom branding and solutions on your SharePoint is the reason why it enjoyed great success since SharePoint Online doesn’t allow developers to deploy full trust code, also known as farm solutions. Also, it doesn’t give all the SharePoint out of the box tools such as timer jobs. So, it’s limited in terms of what you can do to customise your SharePoint. 

The second reason, the people want to stay on SharePoint premises is having control of data for political or legal purposes. Some companies need to keep their data in their data centre or within their geographical boundaries.

The third reason is that even with the greatest and latest updates in SharePoint Online, the on-premises version still has some features that SharePoint Online doesn’t. For example, all the BI stack like Scorecards, Dashboards, Reporting Services, PerformancePoint. Also, on the other side, you are missing features such as customer entity extraction.

You cannot create a public site in SharePoint Online. You cannot have an Internet site on SharePoint online. Other service applications missing are the word automation services, PowerPoint automation services. So if any of those enterprises got SharePoint and they’re relying on those service applications and those features for their business needs they’re never going to move to SharePoint Online and will stay on-premises to answers the business needs.

There are many limits you cannot get around in SharePoint Online. The 5000 list item threshold for SharePoint on-premises is a recommended limit, but SharePoint admins can change it anytime they want. However, it’s a hard limit on SharePoint Online, and the admins cannot change it. 

There is no public crawl schedule in SharePoint Online. So, if you have a search-based Internet or a search-based site, it can either take minutes or up to six hours before your content gets crawled. If you rely on user profile audiences to show your data, they usually compile every night and SharePoint on-premises, and you can even do it manually or can change the schedules to fit the business needs. However, with SharePoint Online it’s only done once per week (Saturday run only). So, if you add a user to an audience on Monday, they will need to wait one full week to see the expected results.

Last but not least, another difference between SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online is that on SharePoint Online you do not have control over the release cycle and the objects. Let me give you a realistic example that happened recently. The new document library experience, first released customers got a new document library experience, and many custom solutions broke because users were able to activate it themselves.

Conclusion

You need to use the best of SharePoint Server on-premises and SharePoint Online and decide where each workload goes depending on your business needs. By enabling a hybrid SharePoint deployment, you get the benefits of both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online to address your business needs, and you get the best of both world.

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Advanced Features Explained

Let me discuss the advance features available in the Microsoft 365 enterprise plan, the Big Brother version of 365. There are two versions in 365 enterprise one called E3 and one called E5. Essentially what you’re getting over and above Microsoft 365 business are enhanced security features. First, let’s discuss what windows phone system provides for the business and then I will jump to explain the enhanced security features within Microsoft 365 enterprise E5 plan.

Windows Phone System

You might think with previous versions you’ve got Skype for business, and you can call everybody. Well, that is true but, the problem is you can’t call landlines you can’t call premium numbers. We’ve replaced our client telephone system recently. What we did was implemented landline type numbers for every employee at the client site. Even though they were accessing it through their headsets which were all wireless attached to Skype for Business. It gives call queues and calls forwarding features to each employee. It allows users to record messages come in through to the phones. So, it’s a proper telephone system.

With the E5 version what you need to do with a Windows phone system is add a call plan. Each user gets 12 hundred minutes allocated to their telephone system. That is then groups by the business. So, you get a whole pool worth of minutes for the company.

Enhanced security within Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5

It is one of the strongest parts of E5 plan. It’s fantastic for General Data Protection Regulation policies and security attached to that. So, let’s start with Windows Defender.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

Now the regular 365 Business contains this, but it doesn’t have the advanced elements. Windows Defender is primarily the advanced antivirus malware screening on all of the desktops. However, what the advanced element does is, it starts to look for malware that’s hit all the desktops and laptops that seems weird something strange going on and then it reports it in a dashboard in the office 365 portal. Office 365 advanced threat protection

If emails come through with attachments or certain nefarious links, they’ll send you the email first. But then it will scan the documents before it gets downloaded into the email that you’ve just received and it will also screen out any bad links or malicious links that it sees so you won’t get any of those.

Azure Active Directory Plan2

It enables you to do is connect to your Active Azure directory, but it also does some risk assessment for the administrators. It creates a dashboard for them. It enables them to have a look at what users are connecting to. With a single sign-on capability are they connected to certain types of applications that are not the company applications? So, it’s a better reporting mechanism for connection of users to Azure active directory. It’s excellent for the administrators. 

What it also gives you is the multi-factor authentication. This is great if you’re getting spam and it’s sending you to spoofed Web sites. It won’t allow that malware to get to your passwords because your multi-factor authenticating.

Azure Information Protection Plan2

One can create policies in their business that perhaps around things like credit card numbers or personally identifiable information and it will stop any of those from leaking out of the organisation without encrypting them. If something got out of the organisation, you could apply policies that automatically encrypt those pieces of information.

Microsoft Cloud App Security

What this enables you to do is to monitor the single sign-on from all of the users making sure that there’s nothing nefarious going on. Again, great for administrators.

Advanced E-Discovery

The Advanced E-Discovery feature is a critical tool for GDP. So, what it enables you to do is search all of your data but sub-search that data on separate sets of criteria and data that have different meta tags.

Customer Lockbox

Let’s assume that Microsoft is working on a case with you. They don’t automatically get access to your office 365 tenants. With lockbox what it enables you to do is to segregate a particular area that you’re working on maybe a specific set of users may be one particular area in SharePoint and you can allocate Microsoft to that so they can start to work on the case with you in that specific area of your tenants.

Advanced Data Governance

It’s all about data loss prevention. You can apply company policies to certain documents to certain types of information that will stop it from leaking out of your environment.

Power BI Pro & My Analytics

Power BI pro gives you enhanced reporting, slicing and dicing or presented through a web browser. My Analytics is like Delve, but it gives you analytics on all of the data using within your tenants.

So hopefully, that gave you a good rundown of what Microsoft 365 enterprises over and above Microsoft 365 business.

KeaPoint is a SharePoint & Office 365 consultancy based in the UK, dedicated to empowering users through smart solutions. Our experience and skill set continue to expand in many areas. We develop solutions according to the best business practices in the industry.

If your organisation needs assistance with SharePoint & Office 365 and would like to see how KeaPoint can help, please get in touch.

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Business Benefits of Microsoft Teams Application

Thinking about organisation’s productivity and team collaboration, and not exactly sure how to achieve it? There are numbers of applications and technologies available, but Microsoft Office 365 Teams app is a unique and one-stop shop for collaboration, designed to help the business to grow.

The Major Business Benefits of Microsoft Teams

Communication Tools

An organisation’s workplace is nothing without conversations. Microsoft Office Teams is a fast and powerful platform that allows team members to collaborate as efficient and instinctive as possible. All the text, audio, and video conversation can be done within the team conversation window.

Microsoft Application Integration

Microsoft made Teams app fully integrated with Office 365 Groups, persistent chat, meetings, classic tools such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Skype for Business. It also integrates well with newer tools like Power BI, SharePoint Team Site and Delve etc. All the app tabs appears in one clean place which help to interact team members seamlessly. A user can work on projects, schedule a meeting, and make an audio or video call without leaving a team conversation in a Channel.

No Additional Cost for Office 365 Users

This is probably the best point of Microsoft Team app. If the organisation already own a Microsoft Office 365 license, then the Teams application won’t cost any money.  Although, it also has a paid versions (Essential and Premium) for more advanced features.

Real-Time Document Collaboration

Microsoft Office made Teams application so convenient to the users. It allows a user to work on documents without leaving a chat or meeting. Within Teams, any user can edit Microsoft Office documents and also pin the most important files, documents, resources and websites that are used frequently.

Integration with Third-Party

Besides integrating smoothly within Teams application, Microsoft Teams allow integrating with third-party services and tools. A user can add Cloud storage features like Dropbox, ShareFile and Google Drive etc. It also allows the marketing team to manage and bring the content within the channel from Hootsuite.

Useful Bots

Bots are just like your friends. They help the user to complete the tasks without leaving the conversation.  They appear like any other team member and are always online. For example, T-Bot can answer user question about Teams. And with Kayak Bot user can create travel plans, inquire about ticket price and track flights.

Mention a Team or Channel

By using ‘’@’’ sign within a Channel or conversation, the specifically mentioned team member receives a notification. A user can also use the filters tool to search or view activity or anything else according to their need in the conversation.

Anytime Anywhere Access

At present, most of the communication takes place through mobile phonedevices. Microsoft Teams has its desktop and mobile application that allowusers to have seamless collaboration anytime with team members and shareinformation, files, schedule and attend the meetings.

KeaPoint is a SharePoint & Office 365 consultancy based in the UK, dedicated to empowering users through smart solutions. Our experience and skill set continues to expand in many areas. We develop solutions according to the best business practices in the industry.

If your organisation needs assistance with SharePoint & Office 365 and would like to see how KeaPoint can help, please get in touch.


AvatarByRashid Aziz

How can small businesses benefit from Office 365?

As a small business owner, if you have been looking around for tools that would make it possible for you to manage your team more efficiently and have everyone in sync on all accounts, then it is time that you stop looking any further. Office 365 with its excellent features and model is the answer you have been seeking all along. It might just be the perfect tool but what exactly makes it so crucial for your team? Let us find that out.

24/7 availability

Considering all the significant factors that pose a threat to your business, you need to ensure that your business and the system at the backend stays running all day round, no matter what happens. As per a survey conducted by the U.S. Institute for Business and Home Safety in 2015, more than 25% of the small business owners are not prepared to handle a disaster like fire or flood. Office 365 saves all the data on the cloud ensuring that all your applications and documents are fully protect-ed at all instances.

Security of data

Because your data is safe in the cloud, Office 365 offers you a fair chance to focus on things that matter. You can now:
• Control the data remotely
• Access it anytime and even from the mobile devices
• Store the data whenever you want
• Ensure better security of your data
For added security, the online storage of 1TB of OneDrive will further secure the data and provide more space for storage.

Work remotely

Remember the times when you had to take assistance from someone who was in IT and capable enough to set you for VPN (virtual private network) services just so that you could access the work files remotely? Well, it won’t be the case anymore. With Office 365 and an internet connection, you can now work anywhere anytime without any hassle at all.

Scalable pricing model

With transparency in the pricing packages and that too with the added feature of customising the plan for your personalised needs, Office 365 lets you control your monthly budget even better. Furthermore, you are not tied into any contract and would be free to modify the package based on your business requirements.

Licensing is not a problem

Sorting through licensing and ensuring that all your employees are working on the same version of the software can be a real mess but not anymore. Office 365 takes care of it all and ensures that all the users get upgraded simultaneously, across the company, and are using the same version.
Managing the operations and workforce is as important for big organisations as it is for the small business owners. Choosing the right tools that complement and are coherent with business methodologies is the first right step you can take. Office365 with its features as mentioned above will prove to be the right choice for you. So, make the needful switch today and experience the difference for yourself.

KeaPoint is a SharePoint & Office 365 consultancy based in the UK, dedicated to empowering users through smart solutions. Our experience and skill set continues to expand in many areas. We develop solutions according to the best business practices in the industry.

If your organisation needs assistance with SharePoint & Office 365 and would like to see how KeaPoint can help, please get in touch.

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Sharing Office 365 Files & Folders with People outside your Organisation

If you perform work that involves sharing documents or collaborating directly with vendors, clients, or customers, then you might want to share content on your Team site or OneDrive for Business with people outside your organisation who do not have licenses for your Office 365 Small Business subscription.

You can share individual documents by inviting external users to sign in to your site using a Microsoft account or work or school account.

Here’s how you share files or folders in SharePoint:

  1. Select the file or folder you want to share, and then select Share

Click “People in your Organisation” dropdown and select Specific people (gives access only to the people you specify, although other people may already have access. If people forward the sharing invitation, only people who already have access to the item, should be able to use the link.)

By default, Allow editing is turned on. To only view your files, uncheck the checkbox.

When you’re done, click Apply.

Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with and a message, if you want. When you’re ready to send the link, click Send.

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Microsoft Flow using Office 365 E3 Developer Plan

I have recently came across an issue. I was trying to do proof of concept project for one of my client. I tried to create Microsoft Flow using my Office 365 E3 Developer subscription. The flow created successfully but when I ran it throws the following error.

Start an Approval

The request failed. Error code: ‘CommonDataModelNamespaceNotProvisioned’. Error Message: ‘A Common Data Service database has not been provisioned for environment ‘Default-535dc980-ce8a-49fc-8f50-9b930035e176′, or is currently being provisioned.’

Condition

ActionConditionFailed. The execution of template action ‘Condition’ is skipped: the ‘runAfter’ condition for action ‘Start_an_approval’ is not satisfied. Expected status values ‘Succeeded’ and actual value ‘Failed’.

I tried to create Common data Service from Power app but “Environments” tab was not available under PowerApp admin portal.

After talking with Office 365 support people they made it clear that Environments and Common Data Service database cannot be created under Enterprise E3 developer Plan. My question is then, how a developer can build and test flows using Office 365 E3 developer plan?