Ignite Live Blog : Communications-enabled business and services

You have probably heard about Office 365 Communications Platform all along the week. It’s now time to see what we can do with this platform. Taimoor has started by introducing the digital transformation helps by contextual communications. It’s changing the way we collaborate and how we are talking with our customers.



Some years ago, these interactions were mainly around telephony, and it was the only way we discuss with our customers. This time is over, we need to take advantages of all modalities to create more powerful line of Business applications with Presence, IM, Audio, video and other services.2.jpg


Microsoft‘s Platform offers lots of services and data to contextualize and make it intelligent

    • Cognitive services: It’s a powerful set of APIs to integrate AI in your application.
    • Bot Framework / Azure Bot Service is a framework to build bots and connect it over different channels (Skype, Skype for Business, Teams, Bing, Cortana and so on)3.jpg
    • Microsoft Graph is also a set of APIs which is exposing Office 365 Services (https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/)
    • Azure IoT suite is a set of services to build and process data for iot devices

Office 365 Communication Platform was announced this week. You can find more information in the following session :

  • Create new experiences with Office 365 Communications Platform (BRK2197)
  • Dive deep on building apps and services with the Office 365 Communications Platform (BRK3037)

After this complete explanation of what is available to help the digital transformation, Taimoor explains some concrete examples:

  • Use cognitive services with a bank account. Check your identity before a video conference
  • Extract context and data of the document you are editing (through Microsoft Graph) and create Skype Conference
  • Use bot framework to connect your customers and your employees through several channels : Facebook and Skype for business

He also dived deeper in specific topics:

  • IoT: Connection between things and peoples

Analyze Data produced by iot devices to create preemptive maintenance: an alert is throwing, an agent is available on Skype for Business, he received an IM. If it is a critical incident, an audio call can also be used.4.jpg


  • Virtual Health: Extend care experience

A patient can be connected with his doctor directly in a web browser with audio, video. Each participant on both side keeps the context of communication.5.jpg

  • Internal: Reactive engagement to proactive engagement

Use Teams to post validation in a channel and help managers to be more reactive. An adaptive card shows quick actions (for example accept or deny expenses)

These examples are very interesting and demonstrate the power of communications and Microsoft platform brought together . As I said in a previous post, all the developers should check all the capabilities of Communication platform and services explained below. The main benefits for me are the direct impact of productivity and efficiency either on customer or employee part.

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Ignite Live Blogging: Microsoft Teams Behind the Scenes


Teams is the big new collaboration buzz here at Ignite, and at today’s session we get to see behind the curtains and get a little insight about the announcements made at the conference. This is an open Q&A session where the panel will talk about the news at the conference, the reactions to the announcements, and take questions from the audience.


About the team onstage

Darrell Webster – @regarding365

Dan Stevenson – Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft

Loryan Strant – Consultant Prime – Office Server and Services MVP

Alistair Pugin – Productivity Evangelist – Office Server and Services MVP


Dan gave an introductory presentation with a few important  Key points

  • Microsoft is committed to Skype for Business. I have personally been asked if Teams is replacing SfB, but that is not the message here. There is at least one more server version in the making, and there is no announcement about any termination of SFBO
  • Teams is ready now, but will get readier over time. It is an application in constant development.
  • Microsoft and partners are ready to help customers adopt Teams One great place to start is using faststart  http://aka.ms/SkypeAndTeams or http://successwithteams.com
  • More on Compliance, management and administration will be coming soon
  • All other office 365 teams are integrating their products into Teams

Introduction to the Teams team

Dan moved on to go through a couple of slides to set the agenda for the Q&A, and letting the audience hear some of the Teams team (this being the software engineering organization that builds Teams) experiences and reflections. I reccomend looking at the slides for accuracy, but here are some of the highlights I want to share:

  • The team uses Teams for all internal meetings
  • Teams is used for most 1-1 communication within the engineering team
  • Many use chat, but the general trend is to use channels more than basic chat
  • A few core teams
  • 100 channels (by function, products, announcements, competitive, fun staff and more)
  • Apps and extensions are widely used

After working with Teams for a while, here are some of the Teams team wishes for the future. The wish list is not a roadmap, but rather examples of areas they could look into in the future.

  • Private channels within teams, creating a hierarchy
  • Shared channels between teams
  • Read-only channels for informational purposes
  • Sharing chat history
  • Participant controls in meeting (“Desperately” – Dan Stevenson )

Dan also shared some of the key findings when it comes to factors driving the usage, growth and retention

  • Get the users to use the Mobile app – Users tend to be more productive when using mobile: (mobile users tend to be more active overall when mobile).
  • Make sure users already belong to a team before adding them to Teams. This gives them something to start with.
  • Smaller teams usually tend not to work, 3 is to small, 6+ tend to work better
  • File sharing: People got to the places their files are
  • An IT-led adoption tends to get things going at a quicker pace, where an organic approach will take some time to catch up in volume of active users.


My own summary

“On the way”, “on the roadmap” and “coming soon” are often a part of the answers we hear, and it just shows this is a product in the making. And it will be evolved over time, just as many other products now are continuously being improved. Microsoft encourages us to use Teams and SfB side-by-side until required functionality is ready in Teams. But if the features a group of people require is already available in Teams (like internal chat, meetings and document collaboration) you should really consider to make the swap to Teams right away.

I think it will take some time until the consumers and IT-pros get used to the idea that the product is “never” being finished the way things were done in the “old” days. This is the power of the cloud, it’s a new way to deliver funtionallity into products continously. The time when finalized products are shipped every “X” years is simply over.

Don’t heistate to get started. Use tools side-by-side, and gradually phase out obsolete tools when the new tools cover your requirements. That’s the real message here at Ignite.

A great place to go for information on what is happening, or to submit your own requests is the user voice. Use the “feedback” link within the application to be redirected to the user voice site.

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Announcement | Intelligence-powered search, Delve, and Microsoft Graph updates

Microsoft puts people at the center of collaboration. In today’s demanding business climate, it is common for people to get overwhelmed by the ever-growing amount of data and documents swirling about. That’s why Office 365 infuses intelligence into experiences across the suite, like Delve, which provides insights to inform business decisions and connect you with the right content and the right people.

At the heart of it, Microsoft uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide unique, personalized experiences throughout. Users are guided to the right emails, files, sites, videos, news articles and more – in context with where they are already working.

Today, we’re starting to roll out a new, personalized search experience in Office 365, along with improvements to Delve, all powered by the Microsoft Graph.

Let’s dive into the details.

Personalized search coming to a Delve search box near you

Office 365 is growing from a usage and storage perspective. And specific to search, the content indexing service is growing steadily at 10 percent month-over-month (MOM) – proof that users may be more challenged to find the right people and content.

Today Delve delivers search results that are informed by who you work with, and what you work on, starting at the moment you begin typing in the Search box. With its new updates, Delve will provide even more personalized search experience in two ways:

  • Get back to what you were doing—When you click in the Search text box and before you type anything, you will see result items appear based on your most recent work. As you type, you’ll see a refinement of results related to the keywords you enter.
  • Discover new information—Once you press Return, you enter the discovery phase where you are searching content, people (based on name and expertise), and sites from throughout your organization. Content is presented in the order of what is most relevant to you. For example, documents by people you work with will typically rank higher than documents by other people. Similarly, documents on SharePoint sites you work on would be ranked higher.




The new, intelligent search experience from within Office Delve.



Immediate results when you click into the Delve search box. (Left) Fast refinement of content as you type ahead. (Right) All relevant to the user who is signed in.

Check it out at delve.office.com – the new Delve experience –home of search and discovery. It provides a more personalized view of content trending around a user’s work social sphere.

Learn more about Delve personalized search.

Microsoft Graph improvements for Office 365

The content, activity, people and recommendations that surface in Delve and other intelligent experiences are powered by Microsoft Graph, which has recently been enhanced to surface more personalized insights in Office 365. The MicrosoftGraph is designed as an intelligent and intelligible assistant with sophisticated protections to help secure personal and group information in ways that earn trust.

New insights come from Office 365 Groups and Outlook modern attachments

Microsoft Graph derives intelligence from things like who you work with, what departments your colleagues are from, what sites you work on, the content you share and have in common, and what sites the people around you are using. that which now also includes documents from Office 365 Groups, modern attachments from Outlook, and more. There is business value in all transactions. The breadth of content plays an important role, not only to surface important people and content, it, too, enables a more personalized, relevant experience based on these added signals of content and people interactions.

Improved performance and content freshness

addition to relevance improvements, Microsoft Graph results are returned faster with improved success rates and content freshness (the time it takes for new content to appear within results). Relevance context is now pre-processed and sent along with the query on the search index. All the while maintaining admin and users requirement and expectation of the highest level of data security and privacy.

And more to come

As we begin roll out of the updated search experience in Delve, we also have our sights on enabling intelligent search from within additional Office 365 applications like SharePoint home in Office 365 and mobile apps, OneDrive for Business and more.

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

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Introducing the IT Roadmap planning tool preview

he answers to many questions in IT start with these two words. “What is the best way to deploy a new operating system?” “Which security configurations should I use in SharePoint or Exchange” “How should we set up our directory services?” Answers to all of these questions depend on what’s important to you, what’s worked in the past and what your expectations or your users’ expectations are.

Those questions also just scratch the surface of the areas covered by Microsoft 365 services. There are a ton of options when you consider Office 365 – including email, intranet, file sharing, voice, apps and more, Windows 10 – including apps, servicing, deployment, security options and more, and Enterprise Mobility + Security – including identity, MDM, PC management, information protection and more.

To help with this, we’ve been working on a new tool called the IT Roadmap for Microsoft 365 – as a way to see your options, target what you want and build long-term set of deployment and configuration plans. The IT Roadmap is a web-based tool built for IT, so it’s different from Microsoft‘s product roadmaps that communicate Microsoft‘s future product plans. The IT Roadmap is about helping you form your plans.

As part of the process, it highlights the capabilities corresponding to all the services represented by Microsoft 365 across 4 levels, each level containing multiple attributes that differentiate it from previous levels. Using the tool, you select the services you want to prioritize, select what best describes how you deliver the service now, and then identify what best describes what you want to do using the Future Level slider.


IT Roadmap Assess Free.jpgService assessment view for Shared services: identity, security & compliance > Access management

The red dots above then indicate things to implement, and you can mark items green that are already in-place, or opt-out of items by marking them grey. The tool will calculate the capabilities and mapped features, display links to corresponding how-to content, offer direct links (when possible) to where desired configurations are set in Office 365 or Azure portals, and provide details for getting FastTrack-supported help with your implementation.

IT Roadmap Actions Free.jpg


Action view for Shared services: identity, security & compliance > Access management

The IT Roadmap will show key options around the core capabilities that span Microsoft 365 workloads, including identity management, messaging, collaboration, intranet and search, PC deployment and management, and meeting services. As options change or capabilities are added, the underlying model will continue to receive updates to corresponding services and technologies.

IT Roadmap Services Free.jpg

Service selection view in the IT Roadmap with 3 service groups selected

After you identify your current and set your future states, the IT Roadmap builds you a personalized action plan. This plan is a comprehensive, auto-generated document based on your inputs during the assessment phase and includes:

  • a description of how the IT Roadmap works,
  • a personalized IT Roadmap action plan for IT admins,
  • links to specific configurations and how-to guidance for each highlighted capability,
  • assessment of IT effort, user impact and whether FastTrack assistance is available, and
  • next steps to take once you’ve worked through the IT Roadmap action plan.

The IT Roadmap document is editable, so you can add or remove sections, change formatting or branding elements, assign tasks to individuals or teams, incorporate timelines and more.


IT Roadmap Plan Free.jpg

Example of IT Roadmap (Preview) document

Watch the IT Roadmap show from Microsoft Mechanics

See a deep-dive and demo-packed overview of the IT Roadmap filmed at Microsoft Ignite.

Try the IT Roadmap Preview

There are two ways to try the IT Roadmap preview. The screenshots above are from the light version of the IT Roadmap tool and available for anyone to try. The full version – as shown in the Microsoft Mechanics show – is available to Microsoft partners as part of the Business Value Programs. The full version requires partner authentication, saves your state so you can return to it later, offers additional controls to toggle audience-specific tone (IT admin, business manager, security manager, and end user), and has additional navigation and filtering options.

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

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New features of Microsoft Forms September 2017

Teams and Forms Integration 

In Microsoft Teams, you can now use the Microsoft Forms app to quickly conduct a poll in a conversation through the Microsoft Forms bot. By adding a Forms tab, you may invite others to respond to a survey, collaborate on one together, and check results as a team. Your team can also configure a connector to provide daily notifications on a survey to a channel.  Find more at Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Forms Integration.sept-1.PNG

Microsoft Forms SharePoint web part

In SharePoint, you can now use the Microsoft Forms web part to insert a form directly on your page. Others can take the survey in SharePoint and you can also share survey results with a group of people. This web part can be used in both a communication site and teams site. Find more at SharePoint web part powered by Microsoft Forms sept-2.PNG

Share Results with a Link 

You can now share survey results with others through a link. Anyone who has the link can access the summary view of the form responses.sept-3.PNG

Preview URL card

Copy a Forms web address and paste it into a Teams conversation or OWA email. The web address will transform into a user-friendly preview card that contains useful information.sept-4.PNG

All features are under rolling out and will be available for your organization soon.

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

www.office.com/setup : Blog

SharePoint web part powered by Microsoft Forms

In SharePoint, using pages is a great way to share ideas and collect feedback. You can now use a Microsoft Forms web part on your SharePoint pages to collect responses, or show survey results right on your site.

Note: This update will coming soon for Office 365 Commercial and Education customers.

Add a survey to a communication site


Take a survey or show survey results on your team site



How do you add the Microsoft Forms web part?

Choose “Microsoft Forms” in the list of web parts on the SharePoint page.


Add a new or existing form.


For more details, see Use the Microsoft Forms web part.

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

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Yammer at Microsoft Ignite Interview with Pavan Tapadia

It’s been a big few days for Yammer at this year’s Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, and we’re excited to be spending the week sharing what’s new in Yammer with customers. Watch Pavan Tapadia, Head of Product at Yammer, tell you firsthand about all the great new features we’ve announced and how they help drive growth of your outer loop.

Pavan demonstrates the new native Yammer web part for SharePoint, enabling Yammer conversations to surface on the new communications site; great new community management tools like move post and group insights, allowing for much deeper understanding of how their groups are being used; and shares our plans to have your Yammer data store in one of the many Microsoft data centers located around the world.


For a deeper dive into Yammer’s future, be sure to check out the vision and roadmap session from earlier in the week.

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com


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Identify business needs and prioritize Microsoft 365 scenarios

This is the third post from our blog series on the four success factors for driving Microsoft 365 adoption.

Check out the other posts part of this series:

Part 1: Enable your business stakeholders with a successful Microsoft 365 adoption
Part 2: Recruit key stakeholders to help with your adoption

In this blog post I will focus on the second success factor – Scenarios, and how to identify and prioritize them, while measuring their impact on your organization.

The true measure of success for your Microsoft 365 adoption, like any change or new technology, will be the value realized by your organization from its investment. Your opportunity with Microsoft 365 is to enable the different Lines of Business (LoBs) and departments in your organization to realize important business outcomes. This requires identifying and prioritizing scenarios – which are the different ways people and teams in your organization can use the capabilities of Microsoft 365 to achieve their goals.

Get started with early wins and build on that success

Our most successful customers typically start their journey with more basic scenarios that have universal appeal across the organization:

Employee Engagement & Communication: Create a sustainable, consistent way for senior leaders to connect with employees, using Yammer as a community to share and engage, and Skype Meeting Broadcast for companywide meetings.
Bring Campaigns to Market Faster: Enable marketers to collaborate with people inside and outside the organization using Microsoft Teams as their shared workspace for communicating and sharing with team members.
Increase Sales Productivity and Grow Revenue: Provide sales teams with a centralized hub with Microsoft Teams for sales planning, real time collaboration on proposals and RFPs, and for managing their monthly, quarterly, and annual business reviews.
Streamline Business Reviews: Help finance move beyond gathering and cleaning data to be able to analyze data with Power BI, and collaborate together on the data in one place with Microsoft Teams.

Once you’ve delivered value with these more basic scenarios, you have more credibility to engage your business stakeholders for custom scenarios that deliver unique value. Think of this value realization motion as a flywheel – score some early wins with cross organization scenarios, and then move on to more ambitious areas of impact for each LoB or department. As you provide more and more impact to the business, more stakeholders will get engaged and the momentum of the flywheel builds and builds.

So, how can you work with your business stakeholders to identify relevant scenarios for their teams to adopt? At it’s most basic level it’s about identifying what the team wants to accomplish, how they can use the technology to accomplish their goal, and what the expected impact of the Scenario is. To help you get started, check out the Microsoft 365 productivity library, where you can discover new scenarios based on your industry and different functional departments.

The IT team leading the Microsoft 365 adoption at Standard Bank – Africa’s largest banking group, has done a great job engaging with the business to identify scenarios that are helping different stakeholders accomplish their goals. Standard Bank dedicated an adoption team within IT to engage with each business unit and functional department to realize unique value with Microsoft 365 in a consistent manner – i) conduct an “art of the possible” session with the team so they can start to envision relevant Microsoft 365 scenarios, ii) workshop scenarios by mapping Microsoft 365 capabilities to the team’s challenges and goals, iii) prototyping and implementing prioritized scenarios, and iv) enabling the business unit to be self-sustainable in their adoption of scenarios and evolving the solutions to suit their needs.

“You don’t need a large team and budget to get going. Dedicate some resources who are passionate about improving the business, who can get in where the work is happening and can assist business users in making the bridge between their day to day challenges and friction points, and the enabling technology that comes with Microsoft 365.

A great resource to help with this is the Microsoft 365 Productivity Library, we’ve used it to help our business discover scenarios and use cases that are relevant to them. Once they see that they can bring different components of the suite together to respond to different needs, they get it.”

To avoid overwhelming end users with too many scenarios at the same time it’s important to prioritize your scenarios based on expected impact and difficulty of implementing. This prioritized list will determine what scenarios get rolled out when.
To measure the success of your Microsoft 365 rollout, it’s critical to develop a set of criteria to evaluate the different scenarios you and your team have implemented. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you expect will improve based on adopting your scenarios. Evaluate where you are before implementing Microsoft 365 and measure your ongoing progress post implementation. While it’s important to measure and showcase the business value you are providing the organization with your Microsoft 365 implementation, monitoring and reporting on usage helps demonstrate overall adoption levels and areas where improvement is required. The Office 365 adoption content pack is available to gain insights on how your organization is adopting the various services within Office 365.

Success stories are often just as valuable as quantitative measures when demonstrating Microsoft 365 success. Encourage your project team members and champions to identify examples of people and teams using Microsoft 365 to accomplish their goals and everyday tasks. Make sure you share these success stories through Yammer or other internal channels.

Now that you have identified and prioritized your scenarios, it’s time to create internal excitement about the scenarios and ready end users to successfully adopt them. Stay tuned for the next blog post where I will cover the final two success factors for driving Microsoft 365 adoption – Awareness and Training.

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Microsoft Tech Support Summit Sydney Nov 16-17 2017 – Recap with Adam Fowler and friends!

Community Reporter @Adam Fowler did a fantastic job covering the Tech Summit in Sydney on Twitter! Now a week out I wanted to gather Adam’s thoughts on the event. Here is his interview:

  1. Of the sessions you attended, which were your favourites?
    I think the Office 365 sessions were my favorites, as they were focused at the IT Administrator looking after the environment. Learning about some of the logic behind Office 365 Groups I can take straight back to my place of business and implement. It’s always good to take away information you can immediately use.
  2. Who do you think was the best speaker of the event?
    I don’t like to pick favourites 🙂 It was great to see a lot of Product Managers from Redmond presenting, something we often don’t get in Australia. I did get to say ‘hi’ to @Michael Niehaus and saw a lot of other very high up people, which I think goes to show that Microsoft puts a lot of weight behind these events to make them successful and to share the knowledge.
  3. With a packed agenda, how did you determine which sessions to prioritize attending?
    I used the Microsoft Tech Summit app which gives a list of all the sessions. I added anything that sounded interesting for the entire event (some timeslots had 5 sessions I was interested in!) and then when the time came up, I re-read the sessions and decided what the best fit was. I find I make better decisions at the time just before I need to go and want to commit to the most relevant or interesting to me.
  4. Outside of sessions, what other things did you do at the event?
    I hung out at Microsoft‘s Tech Community Booth and answered a few questions from passers by which was fun, as I hadn’t done it in the context of being a Microsoft MVP before. I also went around to the vendor booths which is worthwhile finding out about other solutions out there as well as talking to existing vendors and getting an update on the latest information (and yes, getting swag is nice too!).
  5. What advice would you give someone who is attending the Tech Summit for the first time?
    Go to lots of sessions, but also don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with anyone you come across. From my experience, the people that attend these events are very friendly and happy to have a chat. If you can’t find anyone that way, talk to people at booths or speakers after an event. Find what you’re passionate about and go for that. If you’re the social media type, that can be a good way to make new contacts too – there were a bunch of people I got to meet for the first time that I’d been tweeting to for months or years!

We also had @Dux Raymond Sy on site interviewing a few Microsoft staff at the event, check out his video interviews here


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Welcome to the Cortana Skills Tech Community! – Office tech Support 844-777-7886

Greetings everyone & Welcome to the Cortana Developer community!

Just over 3 months ago at Build 2017, we announced the public preview of the Cortana Skills Kit which allows developers to easily create intelligent, personalized experiences for Cortana. Since then we have been working hard to improve the developer and runtime experiences that enable a much broader and richer set of skills to be developed for Cortana. We’ve also been working very closely with select partners to bring useful, relevant and delightful skills to the growing number of Cortana users across all their devices.

Today, we are excited to launch the Cortana Developer Community, as a place for all us to come together, connect, share and work together to help people get more done through Cortana. This community is intended to foster collaboration and innovation by bringing together users, enthusiasts, developers, partners, MVPs, and the Cortana product and engineering teams into one place.

To begin with – we’ll use this blog to post how-tos, best practices, platform updates, and feature any cool new skills that our users love. We also created some spaces for you to ask questions, answer others questions, and participate in the discussion. We’ll monitor these spaces regularly and help resolve queries. If you have any inputs on what you would like on the Cortana Dev Community, please let us know by commenting below.

Haven’t started building a skill yet? Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Overview of the Cortana Skills Kit – a suite of tools that help you build extensions (or skills) for Cortana
  • Read more about the Bot Framework which you need to leverage to build a Cortana Skill
  • Add natural language understanding to your skills by leveraging LUIS.AI, a Microsoft Cognitive Service
  • Check out some samples on GitHub that can help you get started
  • Sign in using your free Microsoft Account and register your Cortana Skill on the developer portal
  • You can join the discussion and let us know if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions

Office 365 setup:-

Microsoft Office 365 is an integral part of complete package which is widely used by professionals and non-professionals. There is a simple activation process of activation by entering account credentials and product key. Our technical team can help in complete process if there is any issue while activation of application.

Office Setup – To activate office visit www.office.com/setup and verify product key or Get Technical support for office download,install and online activation.If you do not have office subscription do not worry, sign in and download and follow below steps for setup.If you are stuck call for support.

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