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Yearly Archives: 2015

Skype for Business for Android now available

Microsoft has announced availability of the Skype for Business app for Android.

A new dashboard design brings the contact search bar, your upcoming meetings and most recent conversations to one place. Simply tap the Quick Join icon to the right of your appointment name to join your meetings with one touch, or tap the name of the meeting to see its details. Your recent conversations are at your fingertips, no matter which device you had the conversation on. Additionally, full-screen video as well as larger call-control buttons to mute and add participants to a meeting make it easy for you to collaborate on the go


The contact search bar allows you to search your Global Address List by name, email or even a phone number. You can also easily search for a contact within your organized Skype for Business groups and add or remove a contact.


The Skype for Business Android app now supports modern authentication, which is utilized by other Office clients and allows for a consistent authentication experience for your users. Moreover, since modern authentication is based on access tokens, user’s credentials are not stored on their device.

Modern authentication also enables IT admins to configure multi-factor authentication for users of the Skype for Business Android app, increasing the security beyond just a user name and password. With multi-factor authentication, users are required to acknowledge a phone call, text message or an app notification on their device after correctly entering their user name and password.

The new Skype for Business app for Android is now available in the Google Play store. Android users with Lync 2013 will be automatically updated to the Skype for Business app based on their device settings. If you are an IT admin, use theSkype for Business for Android productivity guide to learn more and prepare your users.


ٍSource: Office Blogs

Office 365 Planner preview for Admins

Microsoft recently announced Office 365 Planner—a new experience in Office 365 that offers a simple, visual way to organize teamwork. Planner makes it easy for your team to create plans, organize and assign work, share files, chat about what everyone is working on and get updates on progress.

Microsoft has started rolling out Planner preview to Office 365 First Release customers. Office 365 administrators who have opted into First Release will receive an email with instructions on how to set up the preview once it is available for their tenancy. Once administrators take the necessary actions, users can start using Planner by launching it from the Office 365 app launcher.


One of the most valuable aspects of Planner is that it helps teams organize their work visually. Each plan has its own Board, and within each Board, each work item or task is represented by a Card that can have due dates, attachments, categories and conversations associated with it. Team members receive an email notification whenever they are assigned a new Card or added to a conversation.

Every Card can have documents (or pictures) attached that automatically get rich image previews, so it is easy to understand what the Card is about at a glance. In addition, Cards can be organized on the Board into customizable columns called Buckets, which can be prioritized and tagged with colored labels.

Planner also gives you views to keep your work on track. The Hub view lets you track overall progress across all plans, while the “My tasks” view lets you filter down to see just what you need to do across every plan. In addition, the “Charts” view includes interactive charts for visualizing people’s progress against deadlines. Click a red segment on the histogram to quickly see which aspects of a plan are behind schedule and use the Board to rebalance work across the team. With Planner, everyone is always on the same page. A single glance of the Charts view is all it takes to know where things stand.



Planner preview is available to First Release customers on the following plans: Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E4, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education E3, Office 365 Education E4, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium

Source: Office Blogs

Cloud PBX and PSTN meetings in Skype for Business Online

Now, with Skype for Business Cloud PBX, you can eliminate separate PBX systems for users and move the functions of the PBX into the cloud, assign and manage phone numbers using Skype controls within your Office 365 admin console, and easily enable dial-in telephone numbers for your Skype meetings. Microsoft explains how this works and demonstrate everything in this week’s Microsoft Mechanics.

You can get phone numbers directly from Microsoft or port existing phone numbers into Skype for Business and assign or re-assign them to your users as needed. If your organization has hundreds or thousands of users, all of this can be automated via PowerShell scripting. So all of the communication needs of a new user—from email and collaboration to meetings and phones—can be automated and delivered straight from Office 365. Additionally, with PSTN Conferencing, an administrator can easily enable phone numbers to be added to their users’ Skype meetings, so anyone who receives the meeting request can dial in via a land line or mobile phone.

Cloud PBX also works with your existing carrier circuits with on-premises PSTN connectivity. In this configuration, you connect Skype for Business software to communicate between your existing PBX or PSTN Gateway and Cloud PBX in Office 365. This allows you to continue to use your carrier contract and circuit for phone calls while the users are hosted in Office 365.


Ideally, the connection between anything on-premises and online would be done using Azure Express Route for Office 365, but you can use a normal Internet connection as well.

Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing are included in Office 365 E5 or can be purchased standalone. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding the number of countries where calling plans will be offered. And because this is a cloud service, you’ll see more and more features added to the service soon.

Source: Office Blogs


Announcing ExpressRoute for Office 365

Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365 enables organizations to establish a private, managed network connection to Office 365 as an alternative to connecting over the Internet. This direct connection offers customers more predictable network performance, an SLA for guaranteed availability and additional data privacy. As more organizations depend on Office 365 for document collaboration and communications, they will come to depend more and more on the network connectivity they have between their users and Office 365.

Depending on your network configuration, here’s how you can work with network operators offering ExpressRoute for Office 365 to establish a connection between your network and Office 365:

  • If your organization already uses Azure ExpressRoute, your network operator can simply turn on the connectivity for you. Since use of Office 365 generates additional network traffic, you should discuss the requirements for additional bandwidth with your network operator.
  • Organizations using IP VPN technology for a WAN provided by a network operator can ask the network operator to add Office 365 as a node on your WAN. Once Office 365 connectivity is added, Office 365 services appear as if they are on your WAN—like an offsite datacenter.
  • ExpressRoute can also support large or point-to-point network connections. If you have a large broad network, then you may already have a network connection in a co-location facility where Azure ExpressRoute is available. You should work with your network provider to identify the best way to connect to Azure ExpressRoute.

For More Clarification

Users can connect from anywhere in the world that your network operator provides access. Each network operator connects to the Microsoft network at specific locations. They can provide networking from the user location to the Microsoft network connection. You should discuss the options with your network operator. The locations where they will connect to Microsoft’s network are listed here.

Organizations interested in purchasing ExpressRoute for Office 365 should have an Azure subscription and should discuss details of the connectivity with an Azure ExpressRoute partner.


Source: Office Blogs

Exchange 2016 RTM is finally here

Microsoft has released Exchange Server 2016 RTM, available for download now. A public preview of Exchange Server 2016 has been available for customers to test and evaluate since July 2015.

You can download from here : Exchange server 2016 RTM


The Office 365 Service Trust Portal (STP)

The regulatory compliance and business risk landscape is continuously evolving. At Microsoft, we appreciate our customers’ need to understand the Office 365 architecture and compliance with regulations to help them evaluate moving to Office 365. We also know you need to understand how we keep your data secure on the service on an ongoing basis.

Insights from this portal help you evaluate how Office 365 maintains compliance with your regulatory requirements and how you can mitigate the risks with moving to Office 365.

Through the STP you can get direct access to a wide variety of compliance reports and trust resources, including:

  • Office 365 SOC 1 / SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 Independent Audit Reports
  • Office 365 SOC 2 / AT 101 Independent Audit Report
  • Office 365 ISO 27001 (including 27018 controls) Independent Audit Report
  • Various compliance reports, such as Office 365 Information Security Management System (ISMS)
  • Various GRC and Trust resources, such as whitepapers, FAQs, security assessment, risk assessment and other reports that will help you perform your own risk assessment

You can access the STP through the URL

First Thing to do is to choose your Region and Industry your tenant belong to as below


Now you can select the compliance report and trust documents , for your industry and region as below

3 2


If you have a comment or question on this post, or need a detailed on boarding guide to STP,email us at


Source: Office Blogs

The new Office 365 Admin Center Preview

Microsoft is improving the experience of the Office 365 Admin Center so that it is more delightful to use, by making it more intuitive, informative, scalable and insightful.

The Office 365 Admin Center Preview has started rolling out on 17th September,2015  to customers who have opted into First Release as well as some of our small business customers.

If your Office 365 subscription has the new Office 365 Admin Center enabled, you would need to sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with your Office 365 administrator credentials. The preview to the new Office 365 Admin Center can be accessed in the banner at the top of the Office 365 Admin Center dashboard

Not all the features are available yet. To access features that are not yet available in the preview, simply go back to the classic view of the Office 365 Admin Center by selecting the link at the top of Admin home in the new Office 365 Admin Center Preview.

Help for the new Office 365 Admin Center Preview is available at

Source: Office Blogs

Microsoft Announces New E5 Plan for Office 365

Microsoft announced a new premium Office 365 Enterprise Suite called E5 available to eligible partners and their customers by year end

The top seven features bundled into the forthcoming E5 suite include:
Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast
PSTN Conferencing, Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling
Power BI Pro
Delve Organizational Analytics
Customer Lockbox and Advanced Threat Protection.



Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast:

The highly anticipated Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast enables broadcast meetings for up to 10,000 participants. This is great for companies who communicate through town-hall, all-hands meetings, or need to make product or sales presentations. Attendees can join the meeting from a browser on nearly any device, as well as rewind, pause and resume playback based on his or her own schedule without affecting the broadcast.

PSTN Conferencing (US-based only):

PSTN conferencing will be available for U.S. based customers in the E5 bundle. PSTN conferencing allows people invited to a Skype for Business meeting via Office 365 to join by dialing-in using a landline or mobile phone

Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling:

Currently in preview for US-based Office 365 customers, cloud PBX with PSTN calling provides users the ability to make and receive traditional phone calls from their Skype for Business client. Calls may be managed using hold, resume, forward and transfer features found on traditional phones. This cloud-based service is built on proven Lync Server and Skype for Business Server technologies.


Power PI:

measures the health of your business through advanced data reporting and dashboards using natural query language.  Its Power Query, Power View and Tiling commands make Power BI a favorite with company CIOs, marketing heads and line of business users by effectively moving the power of data out of the server room and into the hands of on-demand, in-demand users.

Includes all the functionality of the free Power BI version plus additional data refresh and collaboration tools offering higher data-capacity and data-streaming limits.

New Power BI Pro features include creating and publishing customized content packs; sharing refreshable team dashboards and reports using groups; connecting on-premise data using Personal Gateways; and enabling live interactive connectivity to SQL Server Analysis Services


Delve Organizational Analytics:

Delve Organizational Analytics builds on the current Delve features and gives additional personalized insights from the most commonly utilized user data and coworker interactions. A dashboard has been added to measure, track and identify key trends such as frequently used team documents and leading team interactions.


Advanced Threat Protection:

Hardens subscriber email environments by blocking bulk email at the IP address level. The new service evaluates known bulk email offenders through advanced machine-learning identifiers, and then rates the reputation of a sender and frequency of mailing, thereby marking known spammers. Microsoft provides built-in safe lists and threshold levels for the administrator as well.


The real-time, time-of-click safe attachment protection scans each message, and,as described by Microsoft Office 365 security product manager Shobhit Sahay, creates a ‘detonation chamber’ that queries the URL for executables, registry calls or requesting access privileges.   Based on this analysis, the service can block the message via the ‘safe link’ and ‘safe attachment’ templates



Source: CDW Blog

New activity logging and reporting capabilities for Office 365

Microsoft is pleased to announce the roll out of new activity logging and reporting capabilities for Office 365, including the Office 365 activity report, comprehensive logging capability, PowerShell command or cmdlet and a preview of the Office 365 Management Activity API.

Office 365 activity report

The Office 365 activity report enables you to investigate a user’s activity by searching for a user, file or other resource across SharePoint Online, One Drive for Business, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory, and then download the activities to a CSV (comma separate values) file. You can filter by date range, user, file/folder and activity type. This feature is especially useful for compliance reporting purposes for companies that are in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals and financial institutions

You can use the Office 365 activity report in the Office 365 Compliance Center to view user and admin activity in your Office 365 organization. The report contains entries for the following types of events:

  • Admin activity (admin audit logging) in Exchange Online.
  • Access to mailboxes by someone other than the owner (mailbox audit logging) in Exchange Online.
  • User activity in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
  • Admin activity in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
  • Admin activity in Azure Active Directory (the directory service for Office 365).
  • User sign-in activity in Azure Active Directory.


Comprehensive logging capability

User and admin activity events are logged across SharePoint Online, One Drive for Business, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory. This is useful for helping to see what types of files a user has been sharing with others in the organization.

Today, you can search on over 150 events (with more coming soon), including file views, mailbox owner activity, Azure Active Directory log ins and many more. In the future, we plan to expand these capabilities to include activities in other Office 365 services, such as Yammer and Skype for Business.

Search PowerShell cmdlet

Another new way to search activity logs is with PowerShell, using the Search-UnifiedAuditLog cmdlet, which enables you to run scoped queries against the audit storage log, such as by date, record type, operation and file extension. This cmdlet also lets you export those logs to a file. For example you could run the following cmdlet to search user activity logs for all events from May 1, 2015 to June 26, 2015:

Search-UnifiedAuditLog -StartDate May 1, 2015 -EndDate June 26, 2015

These capabilities started to roll out last month. 


Sources: Office Blogs

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