Dentsu Aegis Network manages growth and goes global with Office 365

The world of media and digital marketing is fast-paced and disruptive—all aspects of the job that I enjoy. Staying one step ahead of rapid change requires a technology vendor as committed to transformation as we are. Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) chose Microsoft Cloud technology to build our connected, digital workplace—one that we envisioned for the future of our enterprise.

With the word “network” in our company name, it’s not surprising that collaboration is one of our core strengths. We routinely bring together a variety of specialists from various parts of the business and different geographies to work on a single project. This requires a comprehensive and integrated set of technologies that are agile, innovative and compliant, such as Microsoft Office 365. Within Office 365, we see the flexibility of Microsoft Teams as a huge benefit to emulate the diverse ways our virtual groups work across different channels, brands and time zones to provide more efficiencies for our clients. Thanks to Office 365, not only are we better connected, but we are able to collaborate securely with external clients, suppliers and partners, a true competitive advantage when we work on large brand marketing campaigns.

Today, we have a roadmap for continued growth and are breaking down silos across the company, thanks to enterprise-grade connectivity services like Yammer and Skype for Business Online. By collaborating seamlessly, we boost the innovative brand building we are known for and drive the delivery of high quality media, digital and creative communications solutions. It’s all about continuing to improve our capabilities and knowledge by working together effectively across a rapidly expanding workforce. The cloud infrastructure of Office 365 is hyper-scalable, which is a tremendous asset to us. We are able to maintain communications and cultural alignment, all while remaining compliant across a global enterprise.

We are using Office Setup 365 to accelerate productivity internally at Dentsu Aegis Network, too. We reduced the time it takes to prepare for a pitch from three day-long meetings to a single three-hour meeting, thanks to the coauthoring capabilities of Microsoft PowerPoint and Word Online. Instead of lengthy conversations and incremental updates between team members, a pitch can be polished, curated and prepared in real time.

Of course, no amount of capabilities are worthwhile without robust security measures to back them up, and Office 365 balances productivity with protection. When compliance and security concerns are minimized, it allows us to focus on nurturing the creative, fast-moving aspects of our business: sourcing the best new and innovative ideas from across our global enterprise.

With Office 365, we help the experts within our global network connect quickly and seamlessly with the rest of the enterprise—key to delivering the best media and digital marketing solutions for our clients.

The future of work on Modern Workplace

Register to watch the latest Modern Workplace episode, “The Future of Work: Build, attract, connect,” which aired April 11, 2017.

  • Jacob Morgan—speaker, futurist and author—presents five factors affecting the future of work. He describes how, as a futurist, he helps people not be surprised by what the future will bring.
  • Angela Oguntala—futurist, designer and director at Greyspace—adds her perspective on how companies need to think about the future differently. Too often people confidently state, “This is what the future will be,” and organizations listen to them. But instead of trying to predict the future, organizations should consider different options and how their core processes could be affected.

New educator-focused features in Microsoft Forms

Embed forms in OneNote

Integrating Forms and OneNote is one of the top asks from educators who use the OneNote Class Notebook and want to seamlessly integrate formative assessments. Now, you can embed a form into OneNote Online in just a couple of steps. Under the OneNote Insert menu, click Forms, and then in the Forms for OneNote pane, select a form.

Select a form to embed in OneNote.

Once you select the form, you can embed it into OneNote. To learn more, see Insert a form into OneNote Online.

Embed the form into OneNote.

Once the form is embedded, students can answer the form and see their results, all in OneNote.

Form in OneNote for student to complete and receive feedback, in one place.

Customizing forms with images and backgrounds

Now, you can customize the background of your form by inserting an image from Bing and OneDrive, or uploading an image from your local computer.

Insert a customized background image.

Forms automatically adjusts the theme color to match the background image. To learn more, see Change a form theme.

Form theme color automatically matches the background image.

Accessing forms—the Other forms portal

The Other forms portal allows form designers to access all the forms they’ve opened via the Share to collaborate link. In other words, you can get back to “other people’s forms” without having to find the original email, IM conversation or other places where you originally opened the form.

Other forms portal page.

Announcing the release of Threat Intelligence and Advanced Data Governance, plus significant updates to Advanced Threat Protection

With the launch of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, we are enriching security in Office 365 to help customers stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. Today, we’re also introducing a new reporting interface to improve the customer experience for Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and extending the ATP Safe Links feature to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients.

Office 365 Advanced Data Governance also launches today, providing our customers with robust compliance capabilities. A new policy management interface for Data Loss Protection (DLP), helps Office 365 customers remain compliant and in control of their data.

Let’s take a closer look at these enhancements.

Enhancing threat protection—a path to proactive cyber-defense with Office 365 Threat Intelligence

According to a recent Ponemon Institute study,* the average cost of a data breach has risen to $4 million, with costs incurred for litigation, brand or reputation damage, lost sales—and in some cases—complete business closure. Staying ahead of threats has never been more important.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence, now generally available, provides:

  • Interactive tools to analyze prevalence and severity of threats in near real-time.
  • Real-time and customizable threat alert notifications.
  • Remediation capabilities for suspicious content.
  • Expansion of Management API to include threat details—enabling integration with SIEM solutions.

To provide actionable insights on global attack trends, Threat Intelligence leverages the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which analyzes billions of data points from Microsoft global data centers, Office clients, email, user authentications, signals from our Windows and Azure ecosystems and other incidents that impact the Office 365 ecosystem.

It provides information about malware families, both inside and outside your organization, including breach information with details down to the actual lines of code that are used for certain types of malware. Threat Intelligence also integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security features, like Exchange Online Protection and ATP—providing you an analysis that includes the top targeted users, malware frequency and security recommendations related to your business.

For an overview of Threat Intelligence, watch the following video:

Threat Intelligence is included in the Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan or as a standalone service. Visit Threat Intelligence—Actionable insights for global threats to learn more.

New Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) reporting interface

The new reporting interface for Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) reports is now available in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. These security reports provide insights and trends on the health of your organization, including information about malware and spam sent or received in your organization and advanced threat detections that Office 365 ATP helped discover and stop.

Using the new report interface, admins can schedule reports to be sent directly to their inbox, request custom reports and download or manage these reports through dashboards in the Security & Compliance Center. In our continued journey to provide our customers with the most powerful and robust advanced security solution, this new reporting interface helps you understand how ATP mitigates today’s most sophisticated threats from impacting your organization.

The new ATP reporting interface.

Extending ATP Safe Links to Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients

Later this month, we will enable ATP for Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients, a unique demonstration of the power of collaboration across the Microsoft ecosystem. As cyber criminals broaden the scope of attacks beyond email workloads, it’s necessary to extend security capabilities beyond email. The Safe Links feature in ATP protects customers from malicious links in email.

Safe Links is integrated across Outlook desktop, web and mobile to help protect a user’s inbox across devices. When a user clicks a link in an Office 365 client application (Word, Excel or PowerPoint), ATP will inspect the link to see if it is malicious. If the link is malicious, the user will be redirected to a warning page instead of the original target URL, protecting the user from compromise. This new capability will further integrate and expand security across Office 365. Our intent has always been to provide our customers with an end-to-end, unified and secure experience across all of Office 365, and this extended capability of Safe Links is an example of our continued step toward this goal.

Ensuring compliance—why Office 365 Advanced Data Governance matters

As the amount of electronic data grows exponentially, many organizations are exposing themselves to risk by retaining unnecessary data. For example, many organizations continue to retain the personal information of former employees who left the company long ago. If this data were compromised in a breach, the company could be liable for costly remediation, such as lifetime credit monitoring for these former employees.

Office 365 Advanced Data Governance applies machine learning to help customers find and retain important data while eliminating trivial, redundant and obsolete data that could cause risk if compromised.

Advanced Data Governance, also now generally available, delivers the following capabilities:

  • Proactive policy recommendations and automatic data classifications that allow you take actions on data—such as retention and deletion—throughout its lifecycle.
  • System default alerts to identify data governance risks, such as “Unusual volume of file deletion,” as well as the ability to create custom alerts by specifying alert matching conditions and threshold.
  • The ability to apply compliance controls to on-premises data by intelligently filtering and migrating that data to Office 365.

Customers are already seeing value from Advanced Data Governance. Tom Stauffer, vice president of Records and Information Management for the Walt Disney Company, says:

“Effective governance of unstructured information across communication, content and social platforms has long been a goal of organizations. Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Data Governance appears to provide a well-thought-out solution that is integrated into their entire Office 365 suite. This functionality and integration provides the powerful potential of delivering on this long-sought-after goal, and doing so without a major burden to end users.”

In the coming months, we will be delivering additional Advanced Data Governance enhancements, such as event based retention, manual disposition and supervision.

Learn more about Advanced Data Governance in this episode of Microsoft Mechanics:

Office 365 Advanced Data Governance is included in the Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan. It is also available as part of the Office 365 Advanced Compliance plan—which also includes Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery and Customer Lockbox to provide a comprehensive set of expanded compliance value.

For a deeper demo of Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, watch this presentation.

For additional information about Advanced Data Governance, please see these TechNet articles:

  • Overview of retention policies
  • Overview of label management
  • Filter data when importing PST files to Office 365

Enhanced Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) management experience

Customers all over the world use Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies in Office 365 to help prevent sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands. Because of your feedback, we put DLP management front and center, providing quick access to content protection policies, app permissions and device security policies—all in one place.

It’s now easier than ever to configure and enforce sensitive data policies across your organization using the new DLP management experience in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. The new Policy page shows you important information about your current DLP policies at a glance, with detailed audit reports just a click away. It’s also easier to turn on and configure DLP—simply choose what you want to protect, then specify any special conditions to look for and the automatic actions you want to enforce to protect your important data. You can also go into the advanced settings to access additional customization and configuration options to help meet your specific compliance requirements. Learn more in this article.

The enhanced DLP management experience makes it easier to create and manage policies.

New value in Office 365 Enterprise K1 for frontline workers

Frontline workers are the heartbeat of many of the world’s largest industries, such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare and hospitality. They’re the people behind the counter, on the phone with customers, operating the production line, building products, and running the day-to-day operations. They are often the face of an organization to its customers. And as more companies invest in digital transformation, there’s a growing recognition of the importance of empowering frontline workers with modern productivity tools.

That’s why we have expanded the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan to include the following additional products:

  • Microsoft StaffHub—Helps frontline workers manage their workday with schedule management, information sharing and the ability to connect to other work-related apps and resources. StaffHub was added to the K1 plan earlier this year.
  • OneDrive for Business with 2 GB of cloud storage—Provides employees a secure environment to store, manage and access files from virtually anywhere and on any device.
  • Skype for Business presence and instant messaging—Enables employees to communicate in real-time, along with the ability to participate in Skype Meeting Broadcast sessions.
  • Microsoft Teams—A hub for teamwork that connects employees to the people, tools and content they need to do their best work.
  • Office 365 Video—Provides employees with a secure, company-wide destination for discovering and accessing video content.
  • Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow—Eases the automation of repetitive tasks and workflows.

These additional products build upon the core value already offered with the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan and unlock important scenarios for frontline workers, including the ability to view and swap shifts, take advantage of video-based employee training and onboarding, exchange best practices across the company and even participate in live, company-wide town hall meetings. The Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan gives companies the tools they expect to manage employee access and the digital identity to meet today’s complex and constantly changing security and compliance requirements.

Broadcast company town halls to engage employees remotely.

Finally, we are excited by the response of our customers, like AccorHotels, who’ve already started to change the way they work with Office 365 and Microsoft StaffHub.

These new capabilities will begin rolling out to customers in the next several weeks. Please visit the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan page to learn more, and check out the Microsoft Mechanics video below.

What’s new in Office 365 administration public preview of Microsoft Graph reporting APIs

Public preview of Microsoft Graph reporting APIs for retrieving Office 365 product usage data

The usage reports in the Office 365 admin center enable admins to understand usage across the various services within Office 365. However, many of you already have existing reporting solutions—such as a company reporting application or a web portal—in place. To assure that you can monitor your IT services in one unified place, the usage reporting APIs complement the existing usage reports by allowing organizations and independent software vendors to incorporate the Office 365 activity data into their existing reporting solutions. Using this API, you can retrieve the data available in all the usage reports, including organization level summaries per service, as well as entity level (user, sites, accounts) detail usage information for different reporting periods of the last 7/30/90/180 days, and daily activity aggregates.

Get started with the new APIs

Any user with global admin or product admin rights (for Exchange, Skype for Business and SharePoint) in the organization can retrieve data through these APIs. You can leverage the Microsoft Graph documentation for the reporting API and submit feature requests by asking or voting on an idea on UserVoice. Please submit questions by posting them on Stack Overflow and tagging microsoftgraph.

With this announcement, we’re starting the deprecation of the following APIs available within the Office 365 Reporting Web Service: ConnectionbyClientType, ConnectionbyClientTypeDetail, CsActiveUser, CsAVConferenceTime, CsP2PAVTime, CsConference, CsP2PSession, GroupActivity, MailboxActivity, GroupActivity, MailboxUsage, MailboxUsageDetail, StaleMailbox and StaleMailboxDetail. We will remove these APIs, as well as any related PowerShell cmdlets, on October 1, 2017.

If you are currently using APIs or any of the related PowerShell cmdlets from the Office 365 Reporting Web Service, which are going to be replaced by the new APIs, please start planning the migration of any subsystems within your organization.

More management enhancements in March

Here’s a summary of additional Office 365 administration updates for March:

Additional mailbox settings in the admin center—Admins can now convert user mailboxes into shared mailboxes directly from the main Office 365 admin center. The default resulting shared mailbox will continue to have a license; however, admins can manually remove the license after the conversion.

Admins have now more control over what items get copied to a shared mailbox by enabling the Copy items set on behalf of this mailbox toggle. This allows the admin to ensure that members of the mailbox can see what other members have sent on behalf of it.

Dynamics 365 (online) admin role in Office 365 admin center—The Dynamics 365 service administrator role is meant for those who are administering Dynamics 365 for their organization. This role can now be assigned to users in the Office 365 admin center or via PowerShell. Once a user is assigned, they’ll be able to access the Dynamics 365 admin center without needing a paid Dynamics license. For more information, see “Use the Dynamics 365 service admin role to manage your tenant.”

New employee quick start guide—It is important for a company to quickly onboard a new employee into their role. As part of the ramp-up process, admins are often asked to help the new employee understand and use the available software and tools—including Office 365. The new employee quick start guide helps admins quickly get users started with Office 365 by walking them through the sign-up process, the installation of apps, as well as common scenarios such as saving files to OneDrive. It is also a helpful resource for organizations that just deployed Office 365 to use with all employees.

Managing Microsoft Teams from the Office 365 admin center—On March 14, Microsoft Teams reached general availability. Microsoft Teams is now enabled at the tenant level by default but will continue to respect per user licensing. Tenant admins can control the organization-wide settings as well as the per user settings in the Office 365 admin center or via PowerShell script for bulk editing. Read this article to learn more.

Improved support for full re-delegation of your domain—It is now even easier for admins to move their domain management to Microsoft. After adding a custom domain to Office 365, admins must verify that they are the owner of the respective domain by connecting it to Office 365. They can now do so by simply adding one TXT record to their name server DNS. Microsoft will then set up the online services and manage DNS records on your behalf.

New export capabilities in usage reports in the Office 365 admin center—Admins can now export the data from the organization-wide activity charts at the top of each usage report. By clicking or tapping the Export link, the data for the selected time period is exported into an Excel .csv file, enabling admins to further analyze or share the chart data with others. The export will contain data for the selected reporting period.

What’s new in Office 365 Groups for April 2017

With over 85-million monthly Office 365 users, there’s no such thing as a typical customer. That’s why we built Office to embrace the diverse needs of the modern workplace by giving teams their choice of tools. Even within a single organization, different teams often have different demands for the productivity tools they use every day. What’s unique about Office 365 is the ability to deliver tools that meet these diverse needs—all on a single, manageable platform.

Supporting these teams is Office 365 Groups, a membership service leveraged by millions of users, which helps teams collaborate in their app of choice, including: Outlook, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Planner, Yammer, OneNote and Microsoft Teams. Office 365 Groups helps to structure, format and store information in a way that is accessible across different applications, but remains secure and easily manageable.

Enhancements to help admins manage groups

A key benefit of Office 365 Groups is that any user in your organization can create a group and start collaborating with others in seconds. Self-service creation is great for users, but we know IT admins need to be able to easily manage groups, gain insight into their use, control their directories and ensure compliance of group data. Today, we are announcing new enhancements for administering Office 365 Groups to support these needs:

  • Restore deleted groups—If you deleted an Office 365 group, it’s now retained by default for a period of 30 days. Within that period, you can restore the group and its associated apps and data via a new PowerShell cmdlet.
  • Retention policies—Manage group content produced by setting up retention policies to keep what you want and get rid of what you don’t need. Admins can now create Office 365 Groups retention policies that apply to the group’s shared inbox and files in one step using the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.
  • Label management—With labels, you can classify Office 365 Groups emails and documents across your organization for governance, and enforce retention rules based on that classification.

This adds to our broad set of group management tools recently rolled out to Office 365 customers:

  • Guest access—Guest access in Office 365 Groups enables you and your team to collaborate with people from outside your organization by granting them access to group conversations, files, calendar invitations and the group notebook.
  • Upgrade Distribution Groups to Office 365 Groups—The Exchange Admin Center now offers an option to upgrade eligible Distribution Groups to Office 365 Groups with one click.
  • Data classification*—You can create a customizable data classification system for Office 365 Groups, such as unclassified, corporate confidential or top secret.
  • Usage guidelines*—You can define usage guidelines for Office 365 Groups—to educate your users about best practices that help keep their groups effective, and educate them on internal content policies.
  • Azure AD Connect*— Enables group writeback to your Active Directory to support on-premises Exchange mailboxes. See “Configure Office 365 Groups with on-premises Exchange” for more information.
  • Dynamic membership*—Admins can define groups with rule-based memberships using the Azure Management Portal or via PowerShell. Group membership is usually updated within minutes as users’ properties change. This allows easy management of larger groups or the creation of groups that always reflect the organization’s structure.
  • Hidden membership—If you want group membership to be confidential (for example, if the members are students), you can hide the Office 365 group members from users who aren’t members of the group.
  • Creation policies—There may be some people in your organization that you don’t want to be able to create new groups. There are several techniques for managing creation permissions in your directory.
  • Office 365 Groups activity report—These reports includes group properties, messages received and group mailboxes storage over time. Note you can also leverage the SharePoint site usage report to track groups’ file storage.

A look at upcoming features

Because Office 365 is a subscription service, we’re able to continue improving the admin capabilities based on customer feedback. Here’s a look at some of the enhancements on our Roadmap for the next three months:

  • Expiry policy*—Soon, you will be able to set a policy that automatically deletes a group and all its associated apps after a specific period. The group owner(s) will receive an email notification prior to the expiration date, and they will be able to extend the expiration date if the group is still in use. Once the expiration date is reached, the group will be soft deleted for 30 days (and hence can be restored by an administrator if needed).
  • Azure AD naming policy*—Admins will be able to configure a policy for appending text to the beginning or end of a group’s name and email address no matter where the group is created, such as Outlook, Planner, Power BI, etc. Admins will be able to configure a list of specific blocked words that can’t be used in group names and rely on the native list of thousands of blocked words to keep their directories clean.
  • Default classification and classification description—Will enable admins to set default Office 365 Groups classification at the tenant level using PowerShell cmdlets. In addition, admins will be able to provide a description for each of the defined classifications.
  • Classification is available when creating or modifying a group across apps—Selecting a group classification will be available when creating or editing a group across the following Office 365 applications: Outlook, SharePoint, Teams, Planner, Yammer and StaffHub.

Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint: The Perfect Marriage

4_27

Microsoft Office tends to be a staple of every workplace, and Office 365 only furthered the solution’s popularity. Cloud security firm Skyhigh Networks found that the service was the most widely used cloud-based enterprise tool by user count. One of the biggest benefits of a popular tool is that it usually integrates with other useful business software, improving both efficiency and productivity.

As Office 365 becomes increasingly mainstream, so does SharePoint, Microsoft’s collaboration tool. Using SharePoint, teams can work together on the same project, with updates available in real time. Instead of going through the hassle of emailing documents back and forth, workers can log into one place and see the latest version of every document.

To be truly productive, however, the two solutions should connect to each other, like partners in a perfect marriage. Here are a few things IT pros should know about using Microsoft Office Setup 365 and SharePoint in the same environment and having them work well together.

Making the Connection

To make this perfect union work, linking SharePoint to Office 365 is done through the Connect to Office commands in SharePoint Server. There, you can add, manage, and remove connections to the software. However, the technicalities of connecting the two platforms is just the honeymoon — and only a small part of the process. Your team will also need to plan in advance how you’ll work with the new couple.

In addition to determining which projects can be completed through SharePoint, admins need to decide who should be given view and edit rights to each SharePoint group, and how those rights will be managed on an ongoing basis. As employees come and go, developing a strategy and system for permissions adjustments to be made in a timely manner is crucial.

Using SharePoint

Open and honest communication makes a good marriage work, and SharePoint manages to be very open in how it communicates with Office 365 and its end users. As Microsoft demonstrates on its site, SharePoint appears to the end user through a web browser, where they can choose from a variety of features. Users can search for documents, upload files to OneDrive, work in conjunction with others, or share existing files with their teams. Once complete, documents can be shared with an entire organization from within SharePoint. The simple interface makes it easy for the whole team to know what’s going on and makes it easily accessible through any web browser.

SharePoint and Office

Before the emergence of collaboration tools like SharePoint, version control was a nightmare — even for end users. In those days, when a professional created a document in Microsoft Word or Excel and sent it via email, the recipient could only see the revised version. Unless the recipient used Track Changes before editing the document, the team would have to backtrack if changes needed to be reversed.

But today, the glory that is Microsoft SharePoint not only eliminates the errors that come from multiple versions but because everyone’s working in the same place, it also includes a version history that allows users to review previous versions of a document.

Presentations

Even though there are other tools available, Microsoft PowerPoint is still the most popular tool for presentations. However, with this new coupling, you no longer have to be in the same room to present to business associates. Using SharePoint, you can share your PowerPoint presentations with clients and coworkers across the world with just a few clicks. Whether you’re using it in conjunction with a teleconference or separately, this pairing will help you save time and resources.

Add-Ins

In the best marriages, the partners work to strengthen each other. SharePoint features add-ins that make Microsoft Office products and documents more functional. One of the most notable is DocuSign, which can add signing capabilities to contracts, proposals, and other documents. Because all of that is handled within SharePoint, professionals can make complex processes much simpler, keeping everything in one place for easier tracking.

Microsoft Office 365 has taken the most popular office software to the cloud, making it easier to manage projects. When Setup Microsoft Office 365 is coupled with SharePoint, admins can create an infrastructure where team members can easily collaborate and share with external associates. The end result will be an increase in productivity, meaning everyone will get more done with less, helping a business rapidly scale.

Tie the Microsoft Knot

As an admin looking to capitalize on these popular Microsoft products, there are some specific steps you can take to ensure you have the technical expertise and knowledge to make the marriage work. For many who are looking to develop expertise in using Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint, the first step is often earning the Microsoft MCSA: Office 365 certification.

Once you’ve mastered Office 365, take your relationship with Microsoft to the next level with the MCSE: Productivity to conquer SharePoint.

Not a CBT Nuggets subscriber? Start your free week now.

CBT Nuggets has everything you need to learn new IT skills and advance your career — unlimited video training and practice exams, virtual labs, validated learning with in-video quizzes, accountability coaching, and access to our exclusive community of professionals.

Automatically create process diagrams in Visio from Excel data

Today, we’re excited to announce Data Visualizer, a new Visio feature that automatically converts process map data in Excel into data-driven Visio diagrams. This update, which is available to Visio Pro for Office 365 users, helps reduce manual steps while giving business analysts even more ways to create process diagrams in Visio.

Automatically create process diagrams from Excel data

Diagrams don’t always start in Visio. They often begin as hand-drawn sketches or—in today’s data-driven age—in Excel. Using Data Visualizer, business analysts can represent process steps and associated metadata in a structured Excel table and quickly convert that information into a visualized Visio diagram. You can do this by either using a premade Excel template or an existing spreadsheet of your own design. The premade templates—there’s one for basic and one for cross-functional flowcharts—provide a sample mapping table to populate with diagram metadata. The table includes predefined columns for process step number, description, dependencies, owner, function, phase and more. You can also customize the table with your own columns to meet specific business requirements.

Once the table is populated, Visio’s wizard helps you complete the remaining steps to transform your Excel data into a Visio process diagram. If you customize the premade template or create one of your own, the wizard helps you map certain flowchart parts, like swim lanes and connectors. The resulting diagram is linked to the Excel table, so if the underlying process data is modified, the diagram updates accordingly. Likewise, shape modifications in Visio are preserved if the Excel data changes.

Additionally, analysts can save their Visio diagrams and the underlying Excel mapping table as a single package using the “Export as a Template Package” feature. These packages can be shared and reused by others, eliminating the need to recreate the same diagram from scratch while encouraging process consistency across the organization.

No matter your preference—whether creating diagrams from a template or your own spreadsheet—the underlying Excel data travels with the related Visio Pro for Office 365 file, helping ensure your team always has the latest diagram version.

Start a free trial of Visio Pro for office setup 365 to try Data Visualizer today, and visit our support page for step-by-step instructions to create your first process diagram from Excel data.

Please visit our UserVoice page to submit suggestions for new capabilities, and follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for the latest Visio news.

Evolving Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery

We built Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection to provide nearly unparalleled email security with little impact on productivity. Advanced Threat Protection defends your organization from today’s growing and evolving advanced threats with powerful safeguards like Safe Links, which provides time-of-click protection to help prevent users from opening or accessing malicious links, and Safe Attachments, which protects users from opening malicious email attachments. Today, we’re pleased to announce availability of two new capabilities—URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery—which improve the security Advanced Threat Protection provides while keeping people productive.

General availability of URL Detonation

URL Detonation helps prevent your users from being compromised by files linked to malicious URLs.

Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery 1

Email with malicious link to PDF file. 

When a user receives an email, Advanced Threat Protection analyzes the URLs for malicious behavior. This new capability is in addition to the URL reputation checks that Advanced Threat Protection already does. If the user clicks a link during the scan, the message “This link is being scanned” is displayed. If the link is identified as malicious after the scan, a pop-window opens notifying the user that the file is malicious and warns the user against opening it.

Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery 2

Link scan in progress notification (left). Malicious link notification (right).

IT admins can configure a SafeLink policy that turns on the URL trace to track user clicks, which is especially useful for instances when users can bypass the warning and click through to blocked pages. This enables them to appropriately focus on remediation efforts for impacted users while not disrupting the work of unaffected users.

Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery 3

URL trace of user activity.

Public preview of Dynamic Delivery

Since introducing Safe Attachments, we have greatly reduced the time it takes to scan emails containing attachments. While any malware solution requires some small amount time to scan suspicious attachments, Advanced Threat Protection enables you to remain productive during this scan time. Now, with Dynamic Delivery, recipients can read and respond to the email while the attachment is being scanned. Dynamic Delivery delivers emails to the recipient’s inbox along with a “placeholder” attachment notifying the user that the real attachment is being scanned—all with minimal lag time.

Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery 4

Users can read the email body while the attachment is scanned in a Safe Attachments sandbox.

If a user clicks the placeholder attachment, they see a message showing the progress of the scan. If the attachment is harmless, it seamlessly re-attaches to the email so the user can access it. If it is malicious, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection will filter out the attachment.

Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery 5

The scan progress page displayed when a user clicks an attachment undergoing a scan.

How to enable URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery

URL Detonation can be enabled through the policy controls in the Safe Links admin window under settings. To enable URL Detonation, select the On radio button and then select the Use Safe Attachments to scan downloadable content checkbox.

Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery 6

Admin control window for Safe Links policy. Both Linked Content Detection and Dynamic Email Delivery (through Safe Attachments) are enabled.

Dynamic Delivery can be activated through the policy controls from the Safe Attachments admin control window under Settings. Simply select the Dynamic Delivery radio button.

Advanced Threat Protection with URL Detonation and Dynamic Delivery 7

Admin control window for Safe Attachments policy with Dynamic Delivery activated.