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14 Office 365 Updates You Might've Missed in September

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September’s Office 365 announcements provide admins and end users with many software updates and a variety of new features. Read on for a summary of the newsworthy updates you can use.

1. Office 2016 is here!

One of the largest releases in September was the Office 2016 release. The updated software focuses on collaboration, includes new integrations, and incorporates Windows 10. New collaboration tools include the ability to co-author in real-time with multiple people on a document. This feature is now available in the native desktop apps. Office 365 Groups (see more below) is also a new feature available for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS users. Users in Outlook can create public and private groups to help improve collaboration. For more details on how to upgrade to the latest software and what you can expect, check out the summary post.

2. Microsoft Office integration with iPad Pro, iOS 9 and WatchOS 2

Microsoft took the stage at the Apple media event earlier this summer to make these several integration announcements. Microsoft’s presence on the stage speaks to the continued integration between the two companies and the cross platform functionality trend.

Two features that enable multi-tasking easier are Slide Over and Split View available on iOS 9 devices. With Slide Over, users can actively use two apps at once and reference data in one app while in two apps. For instance, you can take notes in OneNote, while reading an email or presentation.

With Split View, you can copy and paste between apps without having to close out an app. To learn about other features such as Inking, Intelligent Search, and Watch OS2 enhancements, read this article.

3. Signed, Sealed, Delivered with Microsoft Send

Send, a Microsoft Garage app, has extended its Office 365 customer reach. In mid-September the text messaging app became available to Android users with a beta version. The app has also expanded to more international app stores, such as the UK, Brazil, and Denmark. New features in Send include adding new people to conversations, sharing your location, and sending a GIF. Read more about the expansion to learn more about the expanded features.

4. Ship your hard drives with Office 365 Import Service

When making the switch over to SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business content storage, migrating your information can be challenging. In the new Office 365 Import service, administrators can copy their data to a hard drive and ship the hard drives to Microsoft. From there, your data will be uploaded into your tenant in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business.

5. Office 365 Admin Center enhancements

In the new Office 365 Admin Center, admins now have more options to customize and edit their dashboards. The dashboard is also more simplified, designed for an intuitive console experience. The left navigation menu has been updated with more advanced tool options. The Admin center is also expected to deliver more reporting options in the coming months.

6. New data features for analysts in Excel 2016

Data analysts will greatly benefit from the new features available in Excel 2016. In the latest Office suite, users have access to new charts like the 3D maps in Power Map, Power Query add-in, and new Power Pivot features such as automatic relationship detection and inline creation of DAX calculated measures. Several more features are also available with premium Microsoft packages such as advanced connectivity with Power Query and improved collaboration that allow you to share queries with others. See the full list and several screenshots of new features here.

7. Snip it, snip it good

Snip is a new tool that is part of the Microsoft Garage Project. Think of it as a video capture of your screen. It’s perfect to help explain a photo because you can use the pen tool to add context or commentary to a visual image. Teachers can use it to explain homework to a student home sick and project managers can use it to step through a screenshot from a whiteboard meeting. Check out the demo videos to see how the tool works.

8. New app: Outlook Groups enables Office 365 Groups on your mobile device

To further support Office 2016’s focus on collaboration, Outlook follows suit with the feature called Office 365 Groups. While Office 365 Groups have been available prior to the September release date, Groups is extending into other Microsoft apps such as Yammer, Delve, and Planner. In the updated Outlook 2016, Outlook users can now make groups on the go with Outlook Groups, the mobile app for Office 365 Groups. The app allows Windows Phone, iOS, and Android users to interact with their groups in Outlook while on the go.

9. Office 365 Planner is not just a calendar

The new Office 365 Planner has launched to organize your tasks and group projects, with dashboards to track progress. Within Planner, you can collaborate with co-workers and create plans to organize projects. On the dashboard, users can organize activities on Boards and assign tasks out to the team. Within your personal console, you can see your assigned tasks and how your tasks are progressing in regards to due dates. To help make the experience more seamless, Planner is also integrated with Office 365 Groups. Learn more about Planner here.

10. Schedule meetings on your mobile device with Invite

Microsoft Garage launched Invite, a mobile app to help you schedule meetings. The app allows you to contact others internally and externally to find the best time to meet. Within the scheduler, invitees can select the times they are available and share their availability with others. The app is currently available for iPhones and will soon be available to Windows Phone and Android.

11. For the developer crowd, Office 2016 has a bundle of features

With the new Office 2016, many of the new available updates benefit developers. Add-ins take a step up in the latest software. Add-ins can now be added into documents, JavaScript can be run using add-in commands, and Excel and Word now have Office.js functionality.  Microsoft partners have also integrated and added partner add-ins from PayPal, Evernote, Uber, and Boomerang.

12. New app acquisitions drive mobile-first, cloud-first strategy

Innovations from the Microsoft partner community help Office 365 embrace the mobile first, cloud first world. In Project Online, project and portfolio management (PPM) partners have completed app acquisitions Sensei Task Master, Sensei Project Dashboard, and Sensei Portfolio Dashboard. These acquisitions complement and help drive a cloud-focused future for Office 365. To learn more about these apps, read the blog article.

13. Data Loss Prevention available in OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Office 2016

In a security-minded era, it’s important to protect data whenever possible. Microsoft has added Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Office 2016. These newly DLP protected apps will help protect your data, and allow IT admins to create policies and compliance rules to manage their organization’s data. There are lots of policies that can be created in the Office 365 Admin Center, and these new capabilities add on to the list of possibilities.

14. September wraps up with OneDrive for Business updates

To wrap up September announcements, Microsoft rolled out many exciting updates for OneDrive for Business (ODfB) on the last day of the month. The long awaited updates include next-gen OneDrive for Business sync client, a new browser experience, new sharing options, mobile app enhancements, and improved data security. Read the highlights of each of these updates. Based off the August 19 webinar, these ODfB updates were hotly anticipated and we’re excited they’ve arrived!

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