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Office 365 News & Analysis

Microsoft Leaks Offer a Glimpse of SharePoint 2016

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Microsoft has started leaking news about SharePoint 2016 — and they suggest the company plans to showcase an early edition at Ignite, its upcoming all-in-one conference for everyone from senior decision makers, IT pros and "big thinkers" and to enterprise developers and architects. 

In a just released podcast, Bill Baer, senior product manager for SharePoint, said the company will offer a look at the latest version of SharePoint at the conference, which will be held in Chicago from May 4 through 8.

Amazon Muscles Deeper into the Enterprise Space

Amazon Web Services has introduced several upgrades aimed at moving it deeper into the enterprise space.

Its identity and access management (IAM) upgrades, for instance, make it easier for enterprise users and, specifically, systems administrators, to manage and change identities and security settings.

Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, explained In a blog post that the upgrade enhances longstanding IAM features, which until now been associated with single users and the identities they governed.

Microsoft Adds 4 Security Measures to Office 365

Microsoft has added four security measures to Office 365 to help businesses keep their data secure. Two of the measures are focused on compliance and the other two offer better identity protection.

Are four new measures at once a bit much? Not if you consider things like the recent Anthem breach.

Microsoft’s drive to ensure Office 365 security and compliance is nothing new. But with the number of high profile information breaches growing, everyone responsible for enterprise data is a bit edgy.

Microsoft Sends Productivity to the Stratosphere via Cloud Integrations

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If Steve Jobs were still alive, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella would give him a kiss. Ok, maybe that’s going too far, but a hug or a warm handshake certainly isn’t. After all, that’s what Nadella offered Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff.

Today Microsoft announced that Office for iPad and iPhone — which have seen more than 80 million downloads to date — is also available for third-party storage providers via an open API. “We want Office to be the preferred way to work with documents no matter where they’re stored,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

Or as Damon Tompkins, corporate vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Microsoft partner Metavis recently explained in a blog post, Microsoft "plans to be the go-to for all you do, in other words, it wants to be your gateway to the cloud.”

SharePoint in the Sky: Takeaways from #SPTechCon, Austin

2015-17-Feb-Mcnulty-Image1.jpgWith apologies to Norman Greenbaum, greetings from sunny Austin! This year, the SPTechCon conference came for the first time to the Lone Star State. It was a great place to soak up the latest on SharePoint, as well as some sun. (Full disclosure: I live in Boston, where annual snowfall already totals over 100 inches.)

SPTechCon was billed as “SharePoint at the Crossroads” -- but from the presentations and keynotes, “SharePoint in the Sky” seems more appropriate. Microsoft and Amazon focused almost exclusively on the cloud in the keynotes, and interest in learning about cloud optimization seemed greater than ever before.

AvePoint Update Looks Ahead to SharePoint 2016 Release

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Some Service Packs have long and useful futures. Some just crawl away under the IT bed and expire.

AvePoint’s new DocAve 6 Service Pack (SP) 5 falls into the former category. Given the fact that it provides an enterprise-class infrastructure management platform for SharePoint 2016, it seems assured of a long life.

Though how it will work with SharePoint 2016 is not completely clear given the holes in what we know about this pending product, John Peluso,  vice president of Product Management at AvePoint, told us there is enough information to know that DocAve 6 Service Pack  5 can manage hybrid deployments for the new SharePoint platform, too.

Cryptzone Company Promises to Secure Office 365 Data #SPTechCon

Although Microsoft has been building up Office 365 at a furious rate, the development of its security features haven't kept pace. Enter the Sheriff — or at least Cryptzone’s version of it.

HiSoftware, a Cryptzone company, now offers Security Sheriff for Office 365, which extends the features and functions of its on-premises solution for inspecting, classifying, securing and auditing content to Office 365.

Looking for Microsoft Universal Apps for Windows 10?

Only two weeks after it announced they were on the way, Microsoft has released the preview version of Universal Office apps for Windows 10. This first batch includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

These apps are available for free download for PCs, tablets and phones that are running Windows 10 Technical Preview, and will be followed in the coming weeks by the other Office apps.

4 Directions For SharePoint and Office 365 in 2015

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It’s going to be a big year for SharePoint, but details about what to expect are fuzzy.

Microsoft has promised a new on-premise version will be released later this year. However, it has been less forthcoming about SharePoint Online in Office 365.

Microsoft upgrades Office 365 on a regular basis and has given some indication as to where it would like to go with SharePoint Online. But a lot of questions remained unanswered.

Microsoft Gives Apple Users OneDrive For Business Access

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Last year, Microsoft promised OneDrive for Business for Mac would be ready by the end of the year. It wasn't. However this week Microsoft finally released the first public preview.

The comes only two weeks after Microsoft announced that it was pulling the OneDrive consumer storage service and the OneDrive for Business storage together so that users will be able to sync shared folders across the entire system or selectively chose files to sync, just like products like Dropbox.

Office For Windows 10 Optimizes Mobile, Touchscreen

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During this week's Windows 10 reveal event, Microsoft gave a glimpse of the future. And yesterday Microsoft’s Julia White, general manager for Office Product Management, provided a few more details.

Here's what we know. In addition to the soon to be released Windows 10 Technical Preview, look for a touchscreen version of Office as well as Office for Windows 10, a suite of apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and Calendar.

Office 365 Extends Email Security to Address Spammers, Phishers

Microsoft is tightening up the security of its email offerings on Office 365 through the extension of features.

The goal here is to provide a “safer client experience” that will authenticate senders and help identify untrusted senders, helping to protect your system from spam and phishing campaigns, the tech giant explained.

While Office 365 is already pretty secure, Microsoft maintains the only way to beat hackers and other Internet nuisances is to keep one step ahead.

Office 365 Gains Text Analytics With Equivio Buy

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Microsoft has bought text analytics provider Equivio — an acquisition that should both add another piece to the Office 365 puzzle and give Microsoft considerable traction in document-heavy enterprises like legal or financial firms.

While neither company would confirm the sales price, there is speculation the deal closed for about $200 million. If that's correct, Microsoft snapped up some pretty impressive text analytics for a relatively reasonable sum. In fact, the technology could end as a premium layer to Office 365 once Microsoft starts pulling it into its wider portfolio.

Office 365: 2014 Highlights, Preparing for 2015

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We've heard a lot about the "new" Microsoft over the last few years, complete with promises of fast innovation and the impact this would have on existing products. Microsoft delivered on these promises in 2014, with the addition of many new features and products within Office 365. It was a year of open communication filled with Roadmaps, Yam Jams and User Voice sites. In many ways, 2014 was a fulfillment of the promises made by Microsoft at the last SharePoint Conference.

Don't Be Afraid of SharePoint Customization

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When SharePoint first came on the scene many years ago, Microsoft embraced a broad and deep partner ecosystem, supported all sorts of educational events to train people and placed millions if not billions on marketing events, all focused on showing us how to customize SharePoint.

With the release of SharePoint 2013, we suddenly had Redmond telling everyone to stop customizing SharePoint. A lot of companies are now embarrassed and ashamed to admit that they have customized their SharePoint sites. In less than three years it went from de rigeur to risky and questionable.

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