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The Grid is a private community that brings Office 365 experts and IT pros together to share their expertise about technology and Office 365. You have to apply to join The Grid, but you don’t have to wait to start enjoying the excellent content being created by Office 365 experts.
One great benefit of joining the Grid are the Challenges. The Grid community has weekly challenges that enable users to share their best Office 365 practices, scenarios and stories. Our latest challenge was entitled “Office 365 Service Updates” where we asked Grid members to share their favorite Service Updates and explain their benefits. Below are the top Grid user posts from this Challenge, and we hope that the rest of our community can benefit from this great Grid content.
Our first Challenge post is from Grid User suryabegum.
Office 365 has improved much and new features and updates help the users work efficiently.
The service update impressed me the most Lync mobile clients and Office Web Apps Improvements.
Lync Mobile clients : Lync support for mobile feature is really a good service updates which works with windows iphone, iOS, Andriod and Nokia Symbian. Users can do instant messaging, single touch audio conferencing and calling features. It works with Andriod and Windows phone and other platforms may available soon.
Office Web Apps : Office Web Apps helps to Access, edit and share word, excel, powerpoint and one note documents online from almost anywhere! Now with improved Features like View and Edit ODF 1.1 documents , support for browsers chrome and IE 9 , priniting capabilities and So on,.
The Service update i use the most is SharePoint Online access for external users via a Windows Live ID , Exchange enhancements, Office Web Apps.
SharePoint Online access for external users via Windows Live ID :
Windows LiveID now adds external sharing capabilities in SharePoint Online so companies can invite external users in to view, share, and collaborate on their sites. The feature is turned off by default, but a company’s SharePoint Online Administrator can enable external sharing for the whole company. Then each individual site collection owners can decide if they wish to share externally. Every Office 365 SharePoint Online customer at the tenant level, (not per subscription) includes 50 Partner Access Licenses (PALs) that can be used for external sharing. Customers are not currently required to obtain additional PALs for external sharing beyond 50 users and can have up to a maximum of 1,000 PALs until the next major update of the Office 365 service at which time Microsoft may choose to make it available as a paid add-on.
Exhcange Enhancements : New enhancements for the exchange online are retention policies, Email Migration, Multi Mail box search and Group naming policy and so on.
The service update that has the greatest benefits for Office 365 users is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Troubleshooting support tool , SharePoint Online support for IE 9 and Chrome and Admin self-serve password reset.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Troubleshooting support tool : This tool is a self help support for the office 365 customer which provide solutions with the step by step information provided by the user and gives the exact solution for the issue. This tool will really help the office 365 users.
SharePoint online support for IE 9 and Chrome : This feature lets you work with sharepoint online team site or a company site with the browsers you like.
Admin Self -serve password reset : This service update is a great feature for the Administrators which helps them to reset their own password with an alternative Email address or through phone by text message (SMS) without calling support. you must have already provided a phone number on which you can receive a text (SMS) message and an alternate email address. The email address must be different than your Office 365 email address.
Our second post is written by Grid member Loryan Strant You can view the original post here.
After putting out fires in the first couple of months, the ramp up begins.
One of the key advantages of subscription services from cloud providers is the addition of new features without the customer having to do any updates or experience any impact to operations.
With BPOS (the predecessor to Office 365) Microsoft aimed to release new updates and features every 90 days. After Office 365 was released there was nothing for a while as a few fires had to be put out, however we’re now seeing updates and new features being implemented almost on a weekly basis.
Here’s a brief listing of the improvements to Office 365 since its global release on June 28:
There’s also a few other improvements in the works and beta programs which I am prohibited from disclosing. SharePoint Online specifically has received quite a few updates recently, however I’ll go into those in more detail in the next few weeks.
And while the improvements haven’t been released in such a fashion there is almost a new feature or improvement each week.
As both a client of Office 365 and an implementer of it for many customers in Australia it’s quite reassuring to see this process of continual improvement and I have personally taken advantage of more than half of the above-listed features.
What’s important is that Office 365 will continue to adapt with the needs of its customers and ensure that they have the best experience possible.
Which Grid Challenge post do you like? Are you up to the Challenge? Click here to apply to The Grid.