OneDrive for Business sync client preview and new browser, mobile, IT control and developer experiences

Our team has set up a site for you to reserve a spot for your organization to start testing out the limited preview of the new sync client. When the preview is ready, we’ll send you an email with instructions on how to download it and set it up. Updates across browser experiences, mobile apps, IT controls and developer experiences have already begun rolling out to Office 365.

If that isn’t enough OneDrive news for you, we’ve also published how Lotus F1 Team’s IT crew implemented OneDrive for Business with recently updated IT controls on today’s Office Mechanics show. And we’ve begun rolling out Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online to work with the new Office 2016 apps. It’s a big day for OneDrive for Business, and you can find out more on today’s OneDrive Blog post.

Announcing general availability of 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.

Today we’re pleased to announce that Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365 is now generally available from these network operators:

  • British Telecom
  • Equinix
  • Tata Communications
  • TeleCity Group
  • Verizon

You can read about how Microsoft is using ExpressRoute for Office 365 in the Microsoft IT white paper, “Optimizing network performance for Microsoft Office 365.”

Connecting your network to Office 365 using Azure ExpressRoute

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 information, read about ExpressRoute for Office 365 here and watch this episode of Office Mechanics:

Download our free Office 2016 Quick Start Guides

To coincide with last week’s release of Office 2016, we put together a set of handy Quick Start Guides that introduce you to the newest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote.

Office 2016 Quick Start Guides

Whether you’re coming from previous versions of your favorite apps and want a quick orientation about where to find familiar basics or you’re entirely new to Office and want an overview of how to get to some of the most important things, each of our Quick Start Guides provides helpful information that you can read, print out and share.

Introducing Office 365 Planner

We are excited to introduce a brand new experience in Office 365—Office 365 Planner, which offers people a simple and highly visual way to organize teamwork. Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Planner can be used to manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively.

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Introducing Office 365 Planner 3Teamwork organized

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.

Introducing Office 365 Planner 4

Works great with all of Office 365

As a member of the Office 365 suite, Planner is integrated with other Office 365 services, such as Office 365 Groups, so all of the conversations in Planner are available in Outlook 2016, Outlook on the Web and the Outlook Groups Mobile Apps.

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Planner is also an ideal way to organize your Office files. Attach your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents to a Card and start editing them right away. When a document is attached to a Card, it is stored in a SharePoint Online document library, allowing you to work on them offline.

Planner in education

Plans are also a great way to organize schoolwork. Every plan has a OneNote Notebook created for it, which means you can organize your coursework and share all your notes with classmates.

Introducing Office 365 Planner 6

Enterprise ready, globally available

We have worked hard to ensure Planner lives up to the rigorous requirements of Microsoft’s largest enterprise customers. Technical features such as multiple redundant backups, virtually instantaneous recovery and HIPAA, FISMA, ISO27001 and EU Model compliance ensure that your data is safe, secure and always available. To make certain everyone has fast access to Planner, the service is deployed in multiple datacenters around the globe, so everyone has their work close at hand. You can visit Office 365 Trust Center to learn more.

Planner availability

Office 365 Planner will be available in preview to Office 365 First Release customers starting next quarter, so keep an eye on your Office 365 app switcher and give us your feedback after you make your first plan!

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Chicago improves city services with Office 365

The City of Chicago government leaders wanted to improve its employees’ ability to communicate and collaborate, as well as automate key processes that deliver important services to residents. The city needed an integrated platform to help it do all of this, but also to make the most effective use possible of taxpayer dollars. After comparing enterprise-class cloud computing services in categories such as cost, security, functionality and ease of adoption, the City of Chicago settled on Microsoft Office 365.

“When we looked across all the categories, we saw that Microsoft Office 365 would best fit our needs,” says Brenna Berman, chief information officer at the City of Chicago.

Microsoft Office 365 has helped the city government, which includes 30 distinct departments better work together. It helped to improve communication and collaboration, reduce redundancy and increase efficiency. It even reduced email costs per user by 80 percent.

“We have smoother intradepartmental communication, less need for physical meetings and paper printouts, and a more consistent conduit for information sharing,” said Brenna Berman, chief information officer for the City of Chicago.

Since the move, the City of Chicago has also sped up and automated some key processes, such as invoicing and reimbursement, all while remaining compliant with government standards for information and financial security. The hard copy paperwork from a single project from the city’s transportation or finance department could fill dozens of boxes, which was not only a storage dilemma, but difficult to search.

“In the past, it could take multiple days to track down a piece of information,” says Cheryl Donegan, director of Administration for Finance at the Chicago Department of Transportation. “Now it takes just a few minutes, so we’re operating more efficiently while providing greater transparency to the contractors who work on our projects.”

Managing your security and compliance needs with the new Office 365 Security and Compliance Center

With the recent launch of new security features in Office 365, such as Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Mobile Device Management (MDM), we are expanding the mission of the Office 365 Compliance Center and, in turn, are renaming it the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. We’ve also redesigned the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center with a new user experience that is more intuitive, informative, scalable and insightful.

Managing your security and compliance needs with the new Office 365 Security and Compliance Center 1

The new Security and Compliance Center includes all the same great features you’re accustomed to in the Compliance Center but surfaces them for a much more intuitive user experience. You’ll also start seeing the Office 365 security features, such as ATP, DLP and MDM, in the Security and Compliance Center during the first half of 2016.

Explore the new Office 365 Security and Compliance Center

You can check out the new Security and Compliance Center now through a direct link in the Compliance Center or by clicking on the Security and Compliance tile in the Office 365 waffle.

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Transition to the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center

We have already begun transitioning existing Compliance Center customers to the new Security and Compliance Center experience. Your feedback is incredibly important, so please use the feedback tool in the Security and Compliance Center to let us know what you think. For more information, read Overview of the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center.

Announcing Office 365 customer security considerations preview

Now we are pleased to present the customer security considerations (CSC) workbook that can be used to facilitate a quick review and implementation of the security controls available in Office 365. The CSC workbook is designed to provide you with information on key security and compliance features to consider when adopting, deploying and managing Office 365.

Office 365 customer security considerations 1

The CSC workbook, which currently is implemented as a Microsoft Excel workbook, is in preview. Your feedback will allow us to improve the CSC workbook for your business needs, and we hope to receive your feedback. Over time, the number of pivots will increase and additional compliance scenarios will be incorporated.

The CSC workbook contains two security-based pivots on the same set of features and information. One pivot is the Office 365 Customer Control Considerations section. Information in this section is organized into five scenarios listing the features that can be used to manage information security risks:

  • Data Resiliency—Considerations for protecting and recovering information from potential data corruption.
  • Access Control—Things to consider around managing identity and access control using Office 365 and Azure features.
  • Data Leakage—Considerations around using encryption and controlling forwarding.
  • Security and Compliance Investigations—Considerations for conducting compliance searches and forensics investigations, as well as logging and hold actions in Office 365.
  • Incident Response and Recovery—Things to consider around security incident response and recovery.

In addition to these five scenarios, an all-up list of considerations is provided.

The second pivot is the Office 365 Risk Assessment Scenarios section. Information in this section is organized by risks/threats and how you will implement various controls to manage these risks:

  • Malicious Customer Administrator
  • Former Employee
  • Credential Theft
  • Malware
  • Trusted Device Compromised
  • Attacker Foothold
  • Microsoft Operator

We hope that the CSC workbook provides you with quick information on how to help secure your Office 365 service with features/configurations that you manage. Based on the usage of this tool and your valuable feedback, we hope to expand the scope of considerations as appropriate and make it even more user friendly in the future.

Archiving third-party data in Office 365 now available

he service is available worldwide to all Office 365 commercial customers. To participate, you simply need to reach out to one of our partners listed below, indicating that you would like Office 365 to be your archiving destination for all third-party data.

The 17a-4’s DataParser is a cost-effective middleware solution with a modular design to collect many different forms of regulated content for compliance with SEC rules and eDiscovery requirements. The DataParser collects data feeds, instant messaging, database content, document management platforms and trading systems for ingestion into Office365 to create a single point of compliance management, discovery and supervisory procedures. The Actiance platform provides real-time policy enforcement, content monitoring and capture of 70+ leading social media, unified communications, collaboration and IM channels. The company services small- to large-sized businesses across all industries and counts among its customers all of the top-10 U.S., top 5 Canadian, top 8 European and top 3 Asian banks.
ArchiveSocial provides 100 percent authentic capture of social media for compliance with regulations such as SEC, FINRA and FOIA. It maintains social media records in pure native format and accurately replays social media conversations and other dynamic content. ArchiveSocial is the trusted solution for hundreds of organizations in regulated industries and the public sector, including the City of Austin, the State of North Carolina and the U.S. Department of Justice. The Daegis AXS-One Archive is a secure, highly scalable archiving solution for managing the preservation, collection, review and disposal of structured and unstructured data—including email, IM, social media, voice, file system, SharePoint and reports. With full support for Microsoft Office 365 content, the AXS-One Archive shines a light on dark data, simplifying and reducing the cost of information governance and eDiscovery while lowering risks related to Enterprise data.
Globanet’s social media and message capture platform—Globanet Merge1™— extends archiving, eDiscovery and compliance to data sources including email, IM, social media, financial and mobile text communications. The product is a dynamic, user-friendly and affordable way to merge all company data streams into a single database. Verba offers the first complete Collaboration Recording solution available today—only Verba provides collaboration compliance, quality management and speech analytics with integrated IM, voice, video call and desktop screen recording in an easy-to-use and cost effective software solution.  Regulated industries the world over have turned to Verba for a one-stop shop for their collaboration recording and compliance needs.

We continue to invite more data capture partners to integrate with Office 365. If you’re a partner who is interested integrating, please email to learn more and participate in this program.

Reduce eDiscovery costs and challenges with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery

Predictive coding

In eDiscovery, there’s a lot of data that’s just not relevant to a case. Predictive coding enables you to train the system to automatically distinguish between relevant and non-relevant documents by making decisions on a small set of data. The system will then use this learning to make decisions on relevancy across all of the documents. Advanced eDiscovery provides a relevance ranking, so you can decide which documents to review based on the percentage of documents that are most likely to be relevant to your case.

Reduce eDiscovery costs and challenges with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery 1

Near-duplicate detection

When dealing with thousands of documents, some will be the same or have content that’s similar to other documents. During the document review process, reviewers must read each of these documents, and the costs can quickly add up. If you have five people reviewing documents, each person could review five different versions of the same document, wasting valuable time and money looking at the same information. With near-duplicate detection, you can structure your review so one person reviews a group of similar documents, making it far more efficient.

Email threading

When a user sends an email and another person replies, an email thread starts. The second email has all of the information from the first email, so there is no reason to review both messages (unless something was changed between them). Email threading identifies the unique messages in an email thread, so you can focus only on the unique information.


Themes aid with investigations by grouping related documents, so you can look at the documents in context. Themes allow you to view the related themes for a set of documents and determine how much overlap there is and identify cross sections of related data. For example, one theme might be agreements and contracts, an overlapping theme might be a company called Contoso. With this information you can discover and drill down to see the contracts and agreements involving Contoso.

Export for review applications

With Advanced eDiscovery, when you export the data from Office 365, it’s packaged with a CSV file that contains the document properties and analytics metadata. Once exported you can load this CSV file into eDiscovery review applications and maintain the analytics information.

Reduce eDiscovery costs and challenges with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery 2

Next, you can create searches in an eDiscovery case and then select the option to Analyze with Equivio.

Reduce eDiscovery costs and challenges with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery 3

After the data is prepared, you can use the Equivio analytics capabilities integrated with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery.

Get started with Advanced eDiscovery today

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery is part of the new Office 365 E5 plan. The integrated Equivio capabilities, as part of Advanced eDiscovery, can be accessed from the Office 365 Compliance Center eDiscovery section.

For technical information, see the Advanced eDiscovery user guide.

To see Advanced eDiscovery in action, watch this Microsoft Mechanics demo:

Office at Build 2017—announcing new opportunities for developers

At Build Day 2, we announced OneDrive Files On-Demand. Access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device. You don’t have to change the way you work, because all your files—even online files—can be seen in File Explorer and accessed on-demand whenever they are needed. Read more about the details.

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

Today at Microsoft Build 2017, we announced new opportunities for developers in three areas—updates to the Microsoft Teams developer platform, new capabilities in the Microsoft Graph and better ways to connect Office users with partner integrations. With over 100 million monthly commercial active users, Office 365 is the largest productivity service available. Office 365 offers an incredible opportunity for developers, with its business-critical data and millions of users, combined with a platform designed to keep people in the flow of their work.

Deliver Microsoft Teams apps through the Office Store

Beginning today, Microsoft Teams is open to all developers to publish apps through the Office Store onboarding and distribution process—enabling them to engage users where they work. Published apps will surface in a new discover apps experience—making it easier for users to add and use apps within Teams. This and other new features are now available in the Developer Preview and coming to users soon.

When we launched the preview of Teams in November, we introduced a deep developer platform with tabs, bots and connectors. Today, we are announcing two new capabilities, available in the Developer Preview, enabling developers to build even more engaging experiences for users.

Compose extensions, in preview, allow users to issue commands to bring information from an app or service directly into their team chat and avoid distracting context switches.

Example compose extension in Microsoft Teams (in Developer Preview).

Third-party notifications in the activity feed allow developers to alert users of key information and updates from their service. New Teams APIs are also coming to the Microsoft Graph, in preview, allowing developers to access team and channel information. Developers can now package these capabilities—tabs, bots and connectors, compose extensions, and activity feed notifications—into a single Teams app to make it simpler to publish and manage. At Build 2017, partners such as Wrike, Sapho and Adobe will demonstrate their new Teams integrations.

Discover more about everything new with Microsoft Teams.

In addition to Teams-specific updates, there are many new opportunities to customize Office applications. Earlier this year, Office add-ins became available on Mac and iOS clients, making any add-in seamlessly exposed across many platforms. Today, we’re announcing expanded JavaScript APIs in Word and Excel, in preview, which let developers access and extend structured data within documents. We’re also previewing an easier, integrated sign-on system that streamlines the use of services such as Microsoft Graph for both developers and users.

OneDrive is adding new File Handler capabilities that allow partners to extend the experience of working with files with new web-based views and connected actions. The SharePoint Framework, available since February, let developers use modern JavaScript tools and frameworks to build web parts within SharePoint. The preview of SharePoint Framework Extensions, coming soon, will let developers use these tools to deeply customize SharePoint team sites, document libraries and lists. Find out more about SharePoint Framework Extensions.

New capabilities in the Microsoft Graph to build intelligent business processes and apps

Artificial intelligence and data can help your applications become more engaging and focused. On stage this morning, we demonstrated the upcoming Presentation Translator add-in, which leverages Microsoft’s translation APIs in PowerPoint, giving presenters the ability to add subtitles to their presentations in the same language or in different languages. Read more about the Presentation Translator and sign up for an early access.

Similarly, developers can integrate intelligence and data from around their organization to enhance the user experience and build focused business processes using the Microsoft Graph.

With brand new capabilities in addition to an expanding API set, Microsoft Graph is truly the ubiquitous API for accessing core data in an organization, and is critical to any business process or app. Today, the SharePoint site, OneNote and Planner data APIs are generally available and are ready for developers to use in production.

We are announcing new Insights APIs, coming soon in preview, which will let developers build smarter processes by leveraging relationships between users and documents. We are also expanding the library of webhooks, in preview, which includes user and group changes.

Today, we made two new core capabilities of Microsoft Graph generally available. Delta queries provide access to lists of changes for types of data, helping developers build powerful, high-performance application integrations. Custom data empowers developers to extend base types of Microsoft Graph (e.g., users, contacts) to store critical data in context.

These actions and activities can be orchestrated with Microsoft Flow. With Flow, every user can add actions and conditions in response to operations across Office 365. Developers can extend Flows easily with code hosted in Azure. Today, we are excited to announce an offer for Microsoft Azure ISV customers that enables them to directly provide new PowerApps and Flow Connectors to the broad audience of Office 365 customers. With expanding Microsoft Graph data from across the organization, a great development platform with Azure and native integration of Flow with applications such as SharePoint—it is now much easier to create focused, tailored business processes.

Last fall, we previewed Actionable Messages in Outlook on the web, which enabled users to take quick actions such as approving an expense report or assigning a project task to a team member from within Outlook. We are rolling out Actionable Messages to more Office 365 users in Microsoft Teams as well as in Outlook 2016 for Windows (in Insider Fast), with new integrations from Salesforce, Freshdesk, Wrike and more. We are also announcing new Actionable Message tools for developers. Learn more about building Actionable Messages for Outlook and Teams.

Actionable Messages let you take quick actions right from a conversation in Microsoft Teams and Outlook.

New ways to connect Office users with the partner integrations that matter to them

Finally, we are adding several new paths to get apps and add-ins in the hands of users.

The Office Store is now connected to Microsoft AppSource, making it easier for organizations to find the most relevant apps and add-ins to their work. With Office 365 apps and solutions available in Microsoft AppSource, business users can stay connected to relevant business apps and partners in one place.

Centralized deployment of Office add-ins is currently available in preview, allowing administrators to automatically deploy add-ins to their organization, making selected Office add-ins directly accessible from the ribbon and other key user experiences within Office, with general availability coming soon. Today, we’re announcing that centralized deployment is supported on Office for Mac and Office Online, allowing you to deploy add-ins from the Office Store as well as via a set of deployment scripts.

Office at Build—new capabilities to make every user more productive

For developers, Office continues to grow across all dimensions, with new development scenarios in Microsoft Teams and across Office applications, increased depth and data access with Microsoft Graph, and new ways to reach users with applications and integrations. The best time to transform work in organizations is now. At Build and through our online videos, developers can explore all that is new with the Office platform. Sign up for the Office Developer Program to stay connected to updates across these APIs.

Get more information contact   to our tech support number – 844-777-7886 &  888-262-1663