Microsoft has announced availability of the Skype for Business app for Android.
A new dashboard design brings the contact search bar, your upcoming meetings and most recent conversations to one place. Simply tap the Quick Join icon to the right of your appointment name to join your meetings with one touch, or tap the name of the meeting to see its details. Your recent conversations are at your fingertips, no matter which device you had the conversation on. Additionally, full-screen video as well as larger call-control buttons to mute and add participants to a meeting make it easy for you to collaborate on the go
The contact search bar allows you to search your Global Address List by name, email or even a phone number. You can also easily search for a contact within your organized Skype for Business groups and add or remove a contact.
The Skype for Business Android app now supports modern authentication, which is utilized by other Office clients and allows for a consistent authentication experience for your users. Moreover, since modern authentication is based on access tokens, user’s credentials are not stored on their device.
Modern authentication also enables IT admins to configure multi-factor authentication for users of the Skype for Business Android app, increasing the security beyond just a user name and password. With multi-factor authentication, users are required to acknowledge a phone call, text message or an app notification on their device after correctly entering their user name and password.
The new Skype for Business app for Android is now available in the Google Play store. Android users with Lync 2013 will be automatically updated to the Skype for Business app based on their device settings. If you are an IT admin, use theSkype for Business for Android productivity guide to learn more and prepare your users.
ٍSource: Office Blogs
Microsoft recently announced Office 365 Planner—a new experience in Office 365 that offers a simple, visual way to organize teamwork. Planner makes it easy for your team to create plans, organize and assign work, share files, chat about what everyone is working on and get updates on progress.
Microsoft has started rolling out Planner preview to Office 365 First Release customers. Office 365 administrators who have opted into First Release will receive an email with instructions on how to set up the preview once it is available for their tenancy. Once administrators take the necessary actions, users can start using Planner by launching it from the Office 365 app launcher.
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.
Planner preview is available to First Release customers on the following plans: Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E4, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education E3, Office 365 Education E4, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium
Source: Office Blogs
Now, with Skype for Business Cloud PBX, you can eliminate separate PBX systems for users and move the functions of the PBX into the cloud, assign and manage phone numbers using Skype controls within your Office 365 admin console, and easily enable dial-in telephone numbers for your Skype meetings. Microsoft explains how this works and demonstrate everything in this week’s Microsoft Mechanics.
You can get phone numbers directly from Microsoft or port existing phone numbers into Skype for Business and assign or re-assign them to your users as needed. If your organization has hundreds or thousands of users, all of this can be automated via PowerShell scripting. So all of the communication needs of a new user—from email and collaboration to meetings and phones—can be automated and delivered straight from Office 365. Additionally, with PSTN Conferencing, an administrator can easily enable phone numbers to be added to their users’ Skype meetings, so anyone who receives the meeting request can dial in via a land line or mobile phone.
Cloud PBX also works with your existing carrier circuits with on-premises PSTN connectivity. In this configuration, you connect Skype for Business software to communicate between your existing PBX or PSTN Gateway and Cloud PBX in Office 365. This allows you to continue to use your carrier contract and circuit for phone calls while the users are hosted in Office 365.
Ideally, the connection between anything on-premises and online would be done using Azure Express Route for Office 365, but you can use a normal Internet connection as well.
Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing are included in Office 365 E5 or can be purchased standalone. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding the number of countries where calling plans will be offered. And because this is a cloud service, you’ll see more and more features added to the service soon.
Source: Office Blogs