Modern Service Management Blog Series Part 2: Monitoring

This is the second blog post from our blog series on Modern Service Management for Office 365. These insights and best practices are brought to you by Carroll Moon, Senior Architect for Modern Service Managment.

In the initial blog post in this series, we framed the Office 365 Service Management discussion into five categories:

  1. Monitoring and Major Incident Management…knowing if your users are impacted (regardless of root cause) and ensuring that the right things happen without heroics when users are impacted
  2. Evergreen Management…being ready to successfully absorb the changes and to achieve business value from the evergreen service
  3. Service Desk and Normal Incident Management…being ready to support Office 365 end-users leveraging the automation investments from the Office 365 service and being able to measure the call and escalation rates driven by your users on-premise and in the cloud
  4. Administration and Feature Management…managing the workloads and configurations thereof through the Admin Portal as well as programmatic management
  5. Business Consumption and Productivity…a higher order focus on the business to drive transformation using Office 365 capabilities do drive more business, more productivity, and lower costs

This blog post will focus on Monitoring and Major Incident Management for Office 365.  For more thoughts on overarching cloud monitoring, read the eleven posts in this blog series that Microsoft wrote for ITIL.

Monitoring in the realm of Major Incident Management

Monitoring is a broad topic.  For now, we will focus on “Availability and Performance Monitoring” for Office 365.  Receiving monitoring alerts without a downstream action and workflow will not accomplish much, so we will focus on Availability and Performance Monitoring within the Major Incident Management workflows that it supports.  We will use the following diagram to help in the discussion:

Service Management.png

In the diagram above, we are representing users from the customer premise connecting to Office 365 via “A” through Express Route and via “B”+”C” internet route.  Also, many customers have users that connect directly from the internet in addition to connecting from customer premises.

Major Incident Management Scenarios and Portal Specificity

From a Major Incident scenario perspective, if we focus on “cloud only” rather than “hybrid” for simplicity, there are only three Major Incident scenarios:

I.            (Customer has help desk calls OR end-to-end alerts) AND (Microsoft posts something for the customer’s tenant)

II.            (Customer has help desk calls OR end-to-end alerts) AND (Microsoft has NOT posted something for the customer’s tenant)

III.            (Customer does NOT have help desk calls OR end-to-end alerts) AND (Microsoft posts something for the customer’s tenant)

Now is a good time to speak to tenant specificity in the Office 365 Service Health Dashboard and Message Center.  Most people do not know that the communications dashboards are tenant-specific.  We do not have humans writing millions of paragraphs to publish uniquely to each tenant.  Rather, we write one paragraph and publish it to all relevant, possibly impacted tenants.  That is why we have an authenticated dashboard experience.  If we have the admin log in, we know who the admin is.  If we know who the admin is, we know the tenant.  And if we know the tenant, we know the capacity that the tenant’s users depend upon.  Thus, we can direct communications to the appropriate tenants as necessary.  Our systems allow us to post to a single tenant, to every tenant on the planet, or more likely, to a subset of tenants.  For example, we may get an alert that tells us “based on statistics, we know there is Outlook-connectivity impact for some North America users.”  In that scenario, we might automatically post that we are investigating Outlook-connectivity issues to all tenants with users in North America so the customers can get in front of any Help Desk volume and so the IT Pros can notify their management quickly.  Moments later, as more internal telemetry fires, we might know that the impact is limited to a particular unit of capacity.  At that point, we would update the post to reflect impact only to the tenants who have one or more users on that particular capacity.  Those tenants would continue to see the Incident, but the other tenants in North America would then see the issue as a “false positive”.

Major Incident scenario “I” is a fairly cut and dry scenario.  In that case, the customer knows they have impact end-to-end and Microsoft has published a corresponding incident in the dashboard.  The customer workflow would likely be to give the help desk a talk-track, to stand up automated voice response to deflect the help desk calls, to notify senior management, etc.

Major Incident scenario “II” is where the customer is getting help desk calls or end-to-end alerts, but Microsoft has not posted anything for the customer tenant [yet].  In this scenario, it could be a Microsoft issue that has not posted yet (in this case, soon, we will let you “tell us about issues” quickly from the admin portal.  It could be a customer-side issue.  Or it could be an issue in between (e.g. an Internet Service Provider issue).  In this scenario, the customer would likely stand up an Incident bridge on their side to begin troubleshooting the scope and root cause of the issue.  The customer would likely give their help desk a heads up, and they would likely engage senior management.  The customer would pull in Microsoft support when their triage process determines that it is appropriate.

Major Incident scenario “III” is also fairly simple.  In that case, there are no end-to-end alerts or user calls to the help desk, but Microsoft has posted something for the customer tenant.  In that case, it could be

  1. A false positive (per the scope example above)
  2. A real issue for a feature that the customer does not care about at the moment.  For example, we may post a Service Incident for “the ability to assign licenses” and the customer is not assigning licenses right now, so it is not an issue.  But another customer might be in the middle of massive mailbox migrations, so license assignment is very important to them at that moment.
  3. A real issue for real users but not enough to trigger end-to-end alerts or help desk calls.  Perhaps we post that “1% of emails are delayed up to 2 minutes”.  In that example, the impact is probably not enough to make your end users call the help desk nor the is it severe enough to make your end-to-end monitoring fire, but the impact is real nonetheless.  Or perhaps only one of the customer’s users is on a particular unit of capacity that is actually impacted.  If only that user is on the capacity, the test account used for end-to-end alerts would not be impacted.  And if that user is on vacation, she will not call the help desk to report the impact.  Recent improvements in providing user counts for impact in the Service Health Dashboard are intended to help with this scenario; note screenshot below:

Service Management_2.png

In Major Incident scenario “III”, the customer workflow is likely to give the help desk a talk-track, to ask the help desk to be on high alert and to page the appropriate team if they start receiving calls about the issue, and to email senior management with a heads up as a safety precaution.

Monitoring Scenarios

In support of the Major Incident scenarios, there are six core monitoring scenarios that we need to discuss (we will add more scenarios over time):

A)       Does Microsoft think my tenant is impacted (Microsoft-side)?

B)       Does Microsoft think that I need to take action to get healthy or to stay healthy with my tenant (Customer-side)?

C)       Does Microsoft think that I need to be aware of an upcoming release for my tenant?  NOTE: we will discuss this bullet more in the forthcoming Evergreen Management blog post

D)       Does Microsoft think that I need to be aware of general Service Management information for my tenant?

E)       Is AAD Connect and/or ADFS working well on both ends of the service?

F)        Are the Capabilities that my users depend on working well end-to-end?

Scenario A’s information is available via the Service Health UI in the Admin Portal.  It is also available via the Office 365 Service Communications API under the “Service Incident” class.  There is an Office 365 Mobile Admin app that allows for Push Notifications.  And finally, there is a SCOM Management Pack for Office 365 that pulls the relevant information from the Service Communications API.  Finally, per recent announcements, soon we will let you sign up to “stay informed via your preferred channel” for Service Health information via text or email.

Scenario B thru Scenario D are all available using the “Prevent or Fix Issues”, “Plan for Change”, and “Stay Informed” categories respectively.  As with Service Incidents, Message Center information is available programmatically thru the Office 365 Service Communications API using the “Message” class with filters for each category.

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CATAPULT SYSTEMS: CHOOSING OFFICE 365 IS A SLAM DUNK!

www.office.com/setup Blogs: Today’s guest bloggers are Sean McNeill, Cloud Services Specialist, and John Santiago, General Manager, at Catapult Systems, a national Microsoft-focused IT consulting company that provides application development, enterprise solutions and infrastructure services. Catapult Systems has 400 employees who work with mid-market companies and large enterprises across the U.S.

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Cloud computing is a hot topic with our customers these days. Because of the economic benefits, we’re seeing tremendous interest in cloud services among our customers. They are looking for IT administrators to focus on more strategic projects instead of ongoing maintenance of on-premise software. And all this while not having to worry about disaster recovery and unpredictable costs.

REASONS WHY CUSTOMERS CHOOSE OFFICE 365

The majority of our customers were using on-premise software, while one fourth switched from Google Apps or another competing cloud platform. When moving to the cloud, most customers evaluate Google Apps and other competitive offerings before making a decision. In the end, they choose Office 365 because they want to stay within the Microsoft family. We see three reasons why customers choose Office 365:

Working with existing software: Office 365 works better with their existing software. Since both IT staff and employees are already familiar with Office, it enables them to be fully productive right from the start. In fact, most employees see no difference between Office in the cloud and Office on the desktop. It just works-and that’s a very compelling offering.

Moving to the cloud at their own paceAnother reason why customers choose Office 365 is the ability to move to the cloud at their own pace. If you’re a 10,000-person organization, it defies logic to take a big bang approach and move your entire organization to the cloud without first pilot testing it. Companies don’t want to impact all of their users at the same time. What’s more, they want a safety net. They want the ability to go back to an on-premise environment if the cloud doesn’t meet their needs.

Because Google Apps delivers its solutions online only, clients are left with no choice but to move to the cloud in one giant step. By contrast, Office 365 provides more flexibility. Users can choose whether to move to a pure cloud environment in one step or move to the cloud in smaller steps. The Office 365 hybrid environment provides customers the flexibility to integrate cloud services into an on-premises infrastructure, helping them to move to the cloud at their own pace. For example, Office 365 synchronizes with their on-premises Active Directory (AD) infrastructure, meaning that the IT department doesn’t have to create new global address lists and user identities for employees in the cloud. They can instead rely on the identities from their on-premises AD.

Enterprise credibilityGoogle is an advertising company. Over 95 percent of its revenue comes from advertising. On the other hand, Microsoft has a long track record of working on productivity solutions tailored for enterprises. It’s made a huge investment in security, much more than the average company can make itself. Our customers realize that, and it simplifies their decision.

REASONS WHY CUSTOMERS SWITCH FROM GOOGLE APPS

Over the last couple of years, we’ve helped many customers switch from Google Apps to Office 365, including three mid-size organizations ranging from 400 to 1,200 users within the last six months. There are a number of reasons why we’re seeing customers flee Google Apps for Office 365:

Outlook email experience: A key reason why customers abandon Google Apps is that they miss Microsoft Outlook.  We recently talked to an executive assistant responsible for managing multiple calendars. Doing so with Google Apps was so cumbersome that she ultimately started using Outlook on her own. Unlike Google Calendar, which required her to put everyone’s events onto one calendar, making it difficult to see whose calendar she was updating, with Outlook, she could see multiple calendars side-by-side, making it easy to coordinate calendars and schedule meetings.

When we told her we were there to help her company move back to Office, her reaction was, “Thank God!” She wasn’t the only one. After using Google Apps for a month, employees across the organization were exerting so much pressure on the IT department that the company decided to switch to Office 365.

Fidelity of Office documents: This is a huge issue with Google Apps. Most people use Microsoft Office. So, working with customers and partners outside of the organization becomes difficult when using Google Apps. The file formatting gets lost as documents are sent back and forth between organizations.

Employees using Google Apps are often forced to convert their documents into Word or Excel in order not to lose formatting, adding a layer of complexity to their already busy workloads. Rather than taking the extra step to make documents presentable to the outside world, many companies find that it’s easier to work natively within the Office suite.

Hidden costs: Yet another disappointment for Google users is the unanticipated costs associated with Google Apps. Companies assume that the cost of Google Apps is $50 per user per year. But once they factor in the price of training and lost productivity, the costs are actually much higher. On top of that, many companies end up paying extra for third-party tools not included with Google Apps, such as the advanced ability to archive and manage data. After discovering that Google Apps doesn’t fully meet their needs, customers continue to use Microsoft Office. Thus, they end up shouldering the cost of two productivity suites-Google Apps plus the Microsoft Office licenses they’d already been paying for.  In the end, they realize that Google Apps is not cheap. Office 365 is actually a better deal!

For customers that are considering a move to the cloud, the best way to understand the benefits of Office 365 is to see them firsthand.  When we bring customers into a room and show them the amazing services included with Office 365 and how Office 365 works seamlessly with their on-premises environment, it really opens up their eyes. When we demonstrate the rich, familiar experience across multiple devices, their interest only grows. And when we tell them they can move to the cloud at their own pace, it’s a slam dunk!

Original Post: https://blogs.office.com/2013/08/01/catapult-systems-choosing-office-365-is-a-slam-dunk/

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WHAT MICROSOFT TEAMS CAN DO FOR YOU

www.office.com/setup Blogs: Microsoft Teams is a chat-centered workspace in Office 365. It brings people, conversations, files, and tools into one place, so everyone has instant access to everything they need. Watch the video to see what Microsoft Teams can do for you and your teams.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. Look for an email invitation from Microsoft Teams in your Inbox. Select Open Microsoft Teams in the email.
  2. Sign in with your work or school account.

NOTE: To use Microsoft Teams, you need an Office 365 account with a Business or Enterprise Office 365 license plan. For more information, see How do I get access to Microsoft Teams.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams - www.office.com/setup

Get the app you want

Microsoft Teams is available as a desktop app and as a mobile app for iOS and Android.

  • Go to https://aka.ms/getteams.

You can also run Microsoft Teams as a web app.

  • Go to https://teams.microsoft.com.

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Big News for Office 365 Subscribers: Microsoft Planning to Upgrade Office 365| Support for www.office.com/setup on 1-888-262-1663 Toll Free

The corporate subscribers to Office 365, Office 365 ProPlus will now have an upgraded Office 365 every six months, just like Windows 10- according to the sources. This can be seen as an alignment with Windows 10. Microsoft outlined how it plans to deliver and support ProPlus, starting in September.

In this post we’ve listed Microsoft’s description to the most important questions and there answers.

Question:What’s the new schedule for Office updates? It is March and September, annually, like Windows 10?

Answer:Rather than issue Office feature updates three times a year — in February, June and October — the cadence since Office 2016’s launch in the fall of 2015 — Microsoft is slowing the tempo to twice yearly.

With this announcement, Microsoft seeks to have the customer feedback.

As per Ron Markezich, a Microsoft marketing executive, Customers also asked them to simplify the update process — and to improve the coordination between Office and Windows and this announcement will truly be a matter of delight for them.

Microsoft, with this announcement aims at promoting “Secure Productive Enterprise” (SPE), a subscription program that combines Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.Because SPE bundled both Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, subscribers had to deal with two different upgrade tempos.

“This change will make planning and managing updates for both Office and Windows easier for customers using the Secure Productive Enterprise,” Markezich, the Microsoft marketing exec, said.

Customers told Microsoft it needed to synchronize the Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus release schedules if it wanted to sell SPE.

Question:What else changed besides the schedule?

Microsoft extended support from 12 months per update to 18 months, an increase of 50%. The additional six months means IT professionals can choose to update once or twice a year.

The support extension matched that of Windows 10, which has also settled on 18 months, more proof of a link, at least in Microsoft’s mind, between Windows 10 and Office 365.

As Windows 10 and the latest version of Office 365 Pro Plus, based on Office www.office.com/setup 2016, were lurching toward launch, Microsoft laid out a three-times-a-year release schedule and pledged 12 months of support for both revenue pillars. Because Windows 10 was first in the queue, its release calendar and support lifecycle was revealed first, followed by Pro Plus.

Question:What are the other changes in Office 365?

Answer:Microsoft also changed the terminology it uses, and expects customers to understand, for the multiple Office 365 ProPlus release “tracks.”

The twice-a-year feature updates will be named Semi-annual Channel (Pilot) and Semi-annual Channel (Broad), each describing how Microsoft envisions them being deployed in the enterprise. Most people will probably refer to them as simply “Pilot” and “Broad,” the latter representing deployment throughout an organization.

This is the third round of names Microsoft’s hung on the faster release schedule. The original labeling used Windows 10’s “Current Branch” and “Current Branch for Business” starting in the fall of 2015; Microsoft ditched that for the “Channel” terminology in 2016.

Question: When will Microsoft release the first Office 365 ProPlus upgrade under the new schedule?

Answer:The company said the Pilot channel will ship Sept. 12, Four months later -on Jan. 9, 2018. The second release will bring a new Pilot to customers March 13, 2018, a new Broad on July 10, 2018.

Question: Can Microsoft skip aProPlus features upgrade?

Answer:Yes they do, but you will have to hustle to get onto a supported version before the one you’re on falls off the list.

If your firm deployed the Broad channel in January 2018, then decided to skip the July 2018 upgrade, you would have to deploy the next ProPlus in the two-month span between Jan. 8, 2019 and March 12, 2019. In other words, after the January 2019 Broad releases and before the January 2018 Broad drops off the support list at the end of its 18 months.)

Question:According to the previous Office 365 ProPlus schedule, an upgrade is due in June. What happens to that under the new scheme?

Answer:“Office still plans to release a new Deferred Channel and First Release for Deferred Channel on June 13, 2017,” Microsoft said in an extended support document.

That means current Office 365 subscribers will have just three months, rather than the usual four, to conduct enterprise pilots and validate applications with June’s “First Release for Deferred Channel” release before the final “Deferred Channel” release appears Sept. 12.

Note: The first Semi-annual Channel (Broad) doesn’t release until January 2018.

That last Deferred Channel will be supported until July 10, 2018, Microsoft said.

Looking Support for Your Office 365?

Looking for more information on this upgradation? Or looking for MS Office support? Call us! There are many issues you may face with your office subscription, some of them being issues in:

office 365 update

If you are too facing such issues, we recommend you to call us on Toll Free 1-888-262-1663 (USA).If you are unable to install or upgrade to this version of MS Office 365, then dial our MS Office Helpline toll free numbers. Our technical expert team has got years of experience gaining knowledge of this field and are capable enough to troubleshoot any problem you are facing with your any version of office suite. All you need to call on our toll free numbers.

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Allergan embraces growth pharma model, accelerates business with the Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise

With 22 acquisitions in the past five years, it’s easy to see how Allergan is a leading exponent of the new “Growth Pharma” business model. Expanding its diversified portfolio of branded and generic pharmaceuticals by acquiring companies like Botox and Zeltiq Aesthetics, Allergan is pursuing a rigorous growth strategy, rather than investing heavily in R&D. This approach, known in the industry as “open science,” sees the company enriching its intellectual property by acquiring new talent, promising new products and partnering closely with many external stakeholders. It requires an agile, IT-enabled workplace to pull off the rapid employee onboarding and a rich culture of teamwork and creativity to make this strategy work. At the same time, it’s critically important for Allergan to ensure the security of its IP and to remain compliant in this highly regulated industry. So, it’s great news that Allergan chose the Secure Productive Enterprise solution to enable this disruptive way of doing business in the pharmaceutical industry.

Here’s what CIO Sean Lennon has to say about the organization’s decision to facilitate a new culture of work at Allergan that securely enables teamwork and creativity for all workers with the help of the Secure Productive Enterprise solution:

“As Allergan continues to build its global portfolio of products and services, it’s our role in IT to enable the company’s scalability. That’s why we chose the Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise, because it allows me to deliver a secure technology experience that drives creativity, collaboration and teamwork for the business. So, while employees are working more collaboratively and are empowered to innovate with immediate access to all the tools they need—Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10 Enterprise—I’m also saving money by consolidating our IT landscape and reducing the burden of on-premises maintenance. It’s always a challenge to maintain a lean IT organization and provide the best tools for enabling the business to achieve its goals, but we’ve achieved the right balance with Microsoft.”

Centralized Deployment for Office 365 launched by Microsoft

Murrieta, CL: Microsoft in its recently made announcement had talked about the release of its new “Centralized Deployment for Office 365 web add-ins” feature.Office 365

Making use of the PowerShell scripts or the Office 365 admin center, the latest feature enables the administrators to easily organize the add-ins to a particular user, a group of users or a complete organization based on one’s preference.

The release and preview of the particular service has been marked at the end of the year 2016.

Microsoft has also announced in a post on the company’s Office blog that the users can easily view all the add-ins that are installed on the ribbon of their MS-Office applications like Word, Excel or PowerPoint running on Mac, Windows or Office online, just by simply opening these applications. This will further permit all the organizations (whether small or large) to expand their Office with the help of the enhanced and important services across each and every platform.

To demonstrate the efficiency of the service, the usage case of the “Genetec Inc” (a Canadian supplier of access control and license identification solutions combined in a single platform, called Security Center) is concerned and praised by Microsoft.

“Genetec” makes use of “Qorus” add-ins that helps Office 365 users to search for proper content to add to proposals, pitches, emails and reports as well as to create accurate and efficient business-related documents.

Microsoft explained in a distinct but associated post on its blog that “Genetec’s bid response team” on realizing the requirement for boosting up of its content’s value along with the efficiency, joined hand with the “Qorus” to focus on content in Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft SharePoint Online for Business by creating separate Microsoft platform to make a better content easily available.

The post also includes that, the tasks such as creating new documents, increasing cooperation with subject matter experts, etc. is simplified by the “Qorus” add-ins.  It also provides the “Genetec” employees to have great prospect on its usefulness for tracking the usage of the content.

This latest feature (Centralized Deployment) of Microsoft is offered to almost all the supported Office languages. Another great news is that this is compatible with all recent editions of Office as well as of Exchange, that are OAuth-enabled.

One of the blog also states that, “the telemetry will be made available for the IT admins and the developers soon, to help them to view the facts about the deployments in the Office 365 admin center and to view their add-in deployments in the Office ISV Seller Dashboard respectively”.

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Finding a solution to pet anxiety with the help of Office 365

More than 32 million dogs in the U.S. suffer from anxiety, including Charger, ZenCrate co-founder Jon Azevedo’s dog. Initially hoping to create something that would help Charger, Azevedo and co-founder Chris Lightcap developed a product that could help millions of dogs. Office 365 played an important role in scaling their business as it grew.

ZenCrate co-founder, Jon Azevedo, with his dog Charger pausing to look at the scenery.

From pet project to production product

On a road trip during a typical Florida storm, Azevedo noticed that Charger was calm in the back seat of his car, and wanted to mimic that environment in a crate for home. “My focus in the beginning of this was Charger,” said Azevedo. “A year later, after a local veterinarian educated me on how large of a problem anxiety in animals is, I decided to focus on a product for other pet owners.”

Office 365 keeps ZenCrate current, connected and successful

Once Azevedo and Lightcap became aware of a bigger need, they began putting more focus on product development for consumers, and Office 365 became essential to ZenCrate’s growth. Knowing that the Office tools they use every day are always up to date allowed them to focus on the many moving parts associated with driving a product launch. “It allows usto grow as Office 365 grows,” Azevedo says.

And whether it’s creating a marketing presentation in PowerPoint, tracking tasks in OneNote, filling out purchase orders in Word or communicating between two offices and external vendors using Outlook, Office 365 helps them communicate both inside and outside the office.

Excel has made a huge impact on their ability to adapt and evolve. Being able to easily access expenses and track inventory allows Azevedo and Lightcap to make decisions based on information to meet increasing customer demand. Excel’s flexibility means they can leverage it in a variety of different ways. “We use Excel every day to track our income statements, accounts receivable and accounts payable,” says Lightcap. They also use Excel to manage production efficiencies, cutting production costs to create a product for customers at the lowest price possible. “Creating an efficient manufacturing process greatly impacts our ability to be successful,” says Lightcap.

Utilizing collaboration features through the cloud in the future

As ZenCrate scales up to fulfill customer orders, Azevedo and Lightcap are looking to the Microsoft Cloud to keep them connected. Lightcap says, “We have two separate offices and multiple team members working on the same project. Co-authoring will allow all team members to have up-to-date files, so they can make real-time changes to documents.”

New guides to help you make the switch to Office 365

If you or your company are switching to Microsoft Office 365, new go-to guides are here to help. As of today, you’ll find eight Switch to Office 365 guides with step-by-step pages to make a fast and smooth transition from Google G Suite to Office 365.

“Companies like the guides because they highlight the key differences between G Suite and Office 365 and show users how to get up and running with a minimum of disruption,” says Peter Krebs, commercial training and adoption manager.

The guides, and there are more on the way, also highlight the way you can work together more effectively. Krebs says, “One of the common comments we hear from users is, ‘I didn’t know Office could do that.”’

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How to Set Up Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Excel Set Up Guide

Microsoft Excel: Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program introduced by Microsoft for Windows and Mac OS. Later, Microsoft Excel is launched for Android and iOS. It helps us to do calculations, use graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for applications.

Basic Functionalities of Microsoft Excel:

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel uses a grid of rows and columns called cells to organize data manipulations like arithmetic operations. Rows are denoted by numbers whereas columns are denoted by alphabets. Excel has a bank of functions to analyze statistical, engineering, and financial data and answer it. Microsoft Excel can also show data as line graphs, histograms, and charts and also in three-dimensional graphical form but with a little application of three dimensions. Excel  also helps in sectioning of data to view its dependencies on various factors for different uses such as using pivot tables and the scenario manager.

Microsoft Excel

Excel have programming features; Visual Basic for applications, allowing the user to employ a wide variety of numerical methods; such as solving mathematical physics and then showing the answers or results back to the spreadsheet. Excel has also a variety of amazing features allowing user interfaces that can completely hide the spreadsheet from the user, so the spreadsheet presents itself as a so – called application, or Decision Support System (DSS), via a custom – designed user interface.

Microsoft allows for a number of optional commands – line switches to control the manner in which excel starts.

Microsoft Excel supports charts, graphs, or histograms created from a certain group of cells. The created graphic component can either be grounded within the current sheet or added as a separate object. These charts, graphs, and histograms can change as the content of cell changes.

Other windows applications such as Microsoft Access and Microsoft Word can match up with Excel and its capabilities and Vice – Versa. The most common are Dynamic Data Exchange (used to send or receive data between applications), OLE Object linking and embedding (allows a window application to control another window application to enable it to format or calculate data).

Data Storage and Communication :

Number of Rows and Columns –

Excel 7.0 had a limitation in the size of their data sets of 2^14 = 16384 rows. Version 8.0 – 11.0 of Excel could handle 2^16 = 65536 rows and 256 columns.

File Formats –

Microsoft Excel uses a proprietary binary file format called Excel Binary File Format (.XLS) as its primary format.

.XLS is an XML-based format. XML format is first brought up in Excel 2002. Excel uses another file format as .XLSX

Excel Workbook (.xlsx), Excel Macro – enabled workbook (.xlsm), Excel Binary Workbook (.xlsb), Excel Macro – enabled Template (.xltm), Excel Add – in (.xlam).

Old file extensions of Excel are .xls (spreadsheet), .xla (Add-in VBA), .xlc (Chart), .xld (Dialog), .xlk (Archive), .xll (Add-in DLL), .xlm (Macro), .xlt (Template), .xlv (Module), .DLL (Library), .xlw (Workspace).

Microsoft Excel

Using External Data –

Users can access external data sources via Microsoft Office features such as .odc connections built with the Office Data Connection file format. Excel adopts data in real time through various programming interfaces, which allow it to communicate with many other data sources.

Password Protection –

Microsoft Excel provides various types of passwords such as a password to open a document, password to modify a document, password to unlock worksheet, password to protect workbook, password to protect the sharing workbook.

Although all passwords except password to open a document can be removed instantly regardless of Microsoft Excel version used to create the document. The passwords which can be removed are used primarily for shared work on a document. Such password protected documents are not encrypted and a data sources from a set password is saved in a document’s header.

Microsoft Excel

Features of Microsoft Excel:

  • Count and Sum – The frequently used function of Excel is Count and Sum. We can Count and Sum based on one criterion or multiple criteria.
  • Logical – IF, AND and OR functions for logics.
  • Cell references.
  • Date and time – to enter a date in excel we use “/” or “-“ characters. To entering time we use “:”. We can also enter date and time in one cell.
  • Text – Excel has many functions to offer when it comes to manipulating text stringsLookup and Reference.
  • Lookup and Reference.
  • Formula Errors – It teaches us how to deal with some common formula errors in Excel.
  • Array Formulas – This helps us understand array formulas in Excel. Single cell array formulas perform multiple calculations in one cell.

How to set Up Microsoft Excel:

Microsoft Excel is an application of Microsoft Office. So, for using Microsoft Excel we need to setup Microsoft Office in our PC.

How to install Excel in PC –

  • Sign in with My Office account at office.com/myaccount.
  • Click on install button to begin the process. We can install both 32- bit as well as 64 – bit version according to our requirement. We can select different language also while installing as per our convenience by clicking on language and install options.
  • After this Office performs a series of pre – checks and after that, it starts its installation process.
  • Depending on the browser we use click Run (in Internet Explorer), Setup in Google Chrome and Save File in Mozilla Firefox. After that, the installation begins automatically.
  • When the installation is finished we can see the instruction saying “You’re all set! The office is install now” and an animation plays to guide us where to find Office applications on our PC. We have to just follow the animation guide and it’s all done.
  • Now if we start Excel a dialog box appears where we have to agree or accept its License terms agreement.
  • The office might get automatically activate. It do not get automatically activat then Microsoft office Activation Wizard opens and then we have to select one of the options for activation and then continue.

How to install Excel on Mac:

  • Open office.com/myaccount and then sign in to your Microsoft account.
  • On the My Account section, select install button.
  • After this in install information page select install to begin downloading the installation package.
  • Once the download had completed, go to downloads and open Microsoft Office 2016 Installer.pkg and then continue to begin the installation process.
  • Now we have to agree to its License agreement terms; review the disk space requirements and then click on install button. If password asked to enter your Mac password and then click on install software option.
  • Once the installation is finished click on Close button.
  • After that, we have to begin the activation process. For this click on Launchpad icon; select Microsoft Excel; after that, a window appears saying What’s New and then we have to click on Get Start to start activating.

Formulas and Functions in Excel:

A formula is an expression which calculates the value of a cell. Functions are predefine formulas and are already available in Excel.

Enter a formula –

To enter a formula,

  • Select a cell.
  • To let Excel know that you want to enter a formula, type an equal sign (=).
  • Type the formula.

Edit a formula –

  • To edit a formula, click in the formula bar and change the formula.
  • Press enter after editing the formula.

How to insert a function in Excel :

All functions in Excel have a similar structure. Steps to insert a function in Excel

  • Select the cell in which we want to insert.
  • Click on the insert function button (fx) then a window opens saying “insert function”.
  • From the “insert function,” dialog box search for a function or select a function from a category like statistical.
  • After that select ok button and then “function argument” dialog box appears.
  • On the range, box selects range A1:C2.
  • On the Criteria box type >5.
  • Click on the ok button.
  • The result is that excel counts a number of cells that are higher than 5.

Security of Microsoft Excel:

Since Microsoft Excel is mostly use application worldwide, it has been attack by hackers. Since Excel is not directly connect to the internet; if an attacker can get a chance to open a file in excel, then the attacker may get control over victims computer.

Get more information: http://officecomsetup.com