O365 and SharePoint Update | March 2019

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Can you believe that we’re already through the first three months of the year? With some great changes and developments seen so far this year within Office 365, March has been no exception. So, what’s been happening this month?

Office.com is becoming the default start page for all Office 365

At the moment, Office 365 enables users to personalise what page they land on when they log in. Office.com has evolved to pull a user’s most relevant apps, documents and places where they are working through to their log in page, and because of this, will be the default page a user lands on when signing into Office 365 at Office.com. So, no more hunting for your favourite apps and documents when you log in. What a time saver!

Open file links directly in Office desktop apps

Nothing makes us happier than being able to open document links easier. Users now have the option to open Office cloud file links in the Office desktop apps. When you open a file link from the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook desktop app, you can choose to have the file open directly in the appropriate Office app instead of in the browser. Keep in mind, as well, that Office file links opened from the browser will still have the file open in the Office web apps.

Re-order Site Navigation Links Via Drag and Drop

SharePoint has had some great changes made over the last few months, making it more user friendly, efficient and all-around better program to use. One recent change is the new way to re-order Site Navigation Links with simple drag and drop gestures. Say goodbye to the multiple clicks to move up and down as a means of re-arranging, this new feature will make organisation a breeze. Simply grab the navigation item that you want to move and drag it to the new location.

Scheduling Meetings in Teams is now easier (and better!)

It’s time to say goodbye to the existing Meetings app in Teams, making way for a new Calendar app that retains all existing app functionality while introducing a range of new features.

We’ve highlighted our four favourite new features below that have begun rolling out this month:

Feature 1: New Calendar Views

There are three new types of calendar views that will be available in the Calendar app:

  • Day,
  • Work Week, and
  • Week View (default).

You will now have the ability to go back or forward in time to see any past or future meeting, making it easier for you to get greater visibility over your time.

Feature 2: Easier Key Actions

You will be able to perform key actions on meetings such as Joining, RSVPing, Editing, and Cancelling from the right click menu on meetings displayed. Meetings on the calendar will light up to indicate when someone joins it online, giving you real-time information on the status of your meeting.

Feature 3: Exchange Settings for Working Hours

Your current exchange setting for working hours and working days of the week will be respected in this new calendar, making it easier to view working periods.

Feature 4: Scheduled Events Changes

Lastly, you will now be able to schedule events in your calendar without adding any attendees in the Teams scheduling form. Non-Teams meetings can also be edited and updated from Teams as part of the new release.

Live Events – Goes, well, live!

It’s time to broadcast with Live Events going, well, live this month!

If you’ve wanted to broadcast a video from Microsoft Stream, Teams and Yammer, then now is your chance. With a range of support from third-party encoders, you will be able to create lives from screensharing and webcam recordings all the way up to studio-quality broadcasting. Not only that, but after the event, your video will become available on demand and includes intelligent features such as a speaker’s timeline (using face detection to identify who’s talking), speech-to-text and closed captions and transcription.

It’s easy to get started as well, simply go to Create and then Live Event. And, you can also monitor your event to see how much engagement has been received, in real time.

Find out more about Live Events, the Capabilities and how to Monitor your event:

Copy Plans!

There is nothing more time consuming then manually recreating plans (especially when there are a lot of elements that are similar as a previous one)… and thanks to a new update, this frustration is now a thing of the past as you can now copy existing plans to use for future projects.

And it couldn’t be simpler to do! From the Planner hub, simply go to the … menu and select Copy plan, or do the same action when looking at a specific plan.

Copy plans from the Planner hub or within the Board view.

Keep in mind that copying over a plan doesn’t copy over the members, task assignments, due dates, attachments and comments. Task Progress is also reverted back to Not Started. However, this feature does copy everything else, making it a huge time saver.

Connect webparts in your SharePoint Pages

Customisable webparts – they’re all about creating an interactive and dynamic experience for your page viewers. With the ability to add and customise, plus new changes and updates happening all the time, you can get more creative then ever before, especially when you connect two webparts together.

We’ve highlighted some webpart partnerships that you will be able to implement soon (if not already).

Connect a File viewer part to a Document library webpart

Save time by browsing through a library and see documents by selecting the file, without the need to open it and leave the page.

Connect a List properties webpart to a List webpart

When you’re dealing with large lists with a lot of information, it can be hard to find specific information. This webpart match can help viewers see only the value/s that are specified, cutting out a lot of white noise information.

Connect an Embedded webpart to a List webpart

By combining the Embedded webpart to a List webpart, you’re able to show a wide variety of items depending on the page your viewer selects. This is particularly useful for images, videos and locations and can be a real gamechanger for your sites.

Some of the above are on a targeted release program, meaning that if you haven’t seen these changes yet, then they’re in the pipeline and will be implemented soon. So, be sure to keep an eye out!

Find out how to implement these pairings: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/connect-web-parts-in-sharepoint-online-b457668c-d843-4b1b-8977-a6f9228a1dec?ui=en-US&rs=en-AU&ad=AU

New Site Page Templates – YES!!!

Whether you want to use one of the three page templates (shown below) to start your new site, or have an amazing site that you want to replicate, site templates will save time and help with consistency within sites. Once a page is saved as a template you can found in the Template gallery for other uses to create pages and news from.

Figure 3 SharePoint page templates

Find out more about these templates, plus other enhancements for SharePoint this month: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-SharePoint-Blog/SharePoint-News-Enhancements-March-2019/ba-p/366585

MiVirtual Update

This month we’ve partnered with the awesome Be Cloud Smart Team!

Be Cloud Smart are our new go-to people for anything cloud based and, as their name suggests, they are passionate about helping create the best cloud-based solutions for their clients. From planning digital transformation journeys to implementing cloud software and all-round innovation, we’re looking forward to seeing where this partnership leads.

Find out more about Be Cloud Smart in an online catch up with myself and Be Cloud Smart co-founder, David Maher, below.

VIDEO LINK: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6517150646888734720/

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O365 and SharePoint Update | February 2019
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O365 and SharePoint Update | April 2019

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