Office 365 Wave 15 (the current release) brought with it a new admin console, that consolidates and streamlines access to most requirements. That said, one of the common worries for IT managers is around loss of control when compared to administering their on-site infrastructure.
A great tip from @12knocksinna shows how to gain access to an extra level of features:
To access this, simply fire up OWA and then change /OWA to /ECP in the URL an hey presto - you’re in!
I’m sure I remember these features being available in the beta release of Wave 15 – anyone else?!
See Tony’s full blog about it her:
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This is a great, nifty invention that’s just come out of Microsoft Research.
I quite like wandering around…out in town, at work and in general. When I’m presenting, I can’t really do it though, as I need to be close to my machine to click “next”…well no more!
Office Remote turns your Windows Phone 8 device into a remote control for your Office 2013 presentation apps (Word, Excel & PowerPoint). I’ve just downloaded the bits and tested this out with my upcoming Cloud presentation – it took about 2 mins to setup and works perfectly. You need:
It shows the elapsed presenting time, clear forward/backwards buttons and even shows your speaker notes on your phone!
I’ll definitely be using this when I present at Old Trafford on Thursday
Other use scenarios include:
PowerPoint: Large, easily accessible buttons on the phone enable you to start a presentation, advance slides forward or backward, view thumbnails and jump to a particular slide, access speaker cues while viewing the presentation time and the progress of slides, and deliver accurate, non-shaky direction with the on-screen laser pointer.
Excel: Simple gestures enable jumping not just between spreadsheets and graphs, but also among any named objects. Spreadsheets can be changed with a mere finger swipe, and navigation is available through rows or columns. In addition, you can use PivotTables or filters and change zoom levels, all with an Office Remote-equipped phone.
Word: Zoom control is available in this application, as well, and Word docs can be scrolled by screen or by line.
You can see more about it here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/inside_microsoft_research/archive/2013/11/18/advance-your-presentation-with-your-phone.aspx
At the 2013 WorldWide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft announced plans to make it easier for customers to switch between Office 365 plans – this was greeted by smiles & cheers from many!
The initial introduction worked only for a few cases but the supported switching scenarios have now been expanded to include:
|Small Business Premium
|Exchange Online Plan 1
Exchange Online Plan 2
“We continue to work on transition solutions for both additional scenarios (e.g., Exchange Online to Midsize Business) as well as for Open subscriptions and Government/Academic SKUs”
So there will continue to be additions and improvements around this – making Office 365 even more relevant for businesses everywhere.
Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) is now available as an add-on for Office 365 MidSize Business; this gives MidSize users unlimited archiving as well as legal hold capabilities.
It’s great to see Microsoft continuing to improve and add to their Office 365 platforms, and this move really helps SMBs to attain Enterprise levels of service.
The Ordering Process
Currently, EOA can only be added to MidSize Business licenses purchased via the Advisor model, that is via the Microsoft Online Portal. If you purchased via Open Licensing (so from your reseller partner – and you pay them rather than MS), you need to add just 1 license of MidSize Business via the Advisor Model. That way, you’ll then be able to attach EOA to that license but fear not, the subscription can be applied to all mailboxes on that tenant – including those purchased via Open.
The process is nice and simple, which is good:
- Login to your Office 365 account as the Administrator.
- Go to the “Purchase Services” tab in the Admin Console.
- Click “Add” to purchase one additional seat of Office 365 Midsize Business.
- You can add Exchange Online Archiving at the same time as you add the direct bill seat of Midsize Business:
- Select the “Optional Add-ons” dropdown and enter the number of licenses of EOA you want to purchase.
- Add to the cart and proceed to payment by clicking “check out.”
- Follow the wizard to complete your payment with a purchase by credit card or other locally available payment method.
Microsoft have announced another great benefit available to education customers:
“Any academic institution that licenses Office for staff & faculty can provide Office 365 Office Pro Plus to students AT NO ADDITIONAL COST”
This, known as Student Advantage, starts from December 1st.
Its aim is to help give students the skills they’ll need to be successful out in the world of work, whilst helping schools manage costs – certainly a worthy aim!
You can read more here:
Microsoft make yet another change to their licensing programs, aimed at making it easier for organizations to license what they need.
The Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE) is related to an EA (Enterprise Agreement) offers four components:
- Core Infrastructure
- Application Platform
- Developer Platform
- Windows Azure
Customers can choose any of these components individually or group them as needed. When choosing any of the first three components, customers will also have access to Windows Azure at the best pricing available.
How to get started
To enroll in an SCE, customers make an enterprise-wide commitment to one or more components. This means committing to full Software Assurance coverage across the installed base of an SCE component and in the case of System Center, committing to full System Center coverage on their Windows Server installed base through Core Infrastructure Suites (CIS).
- 15% off L+SA products and 5% off SA products, as well as 5% off Azure when another component is included.
- New subscription-based licensing options are available alongside perpetual licenses. This gives customers access to more flexibility when they need to retire workloads, consolidate, or migrate to the cloud.
- Core Infrastructure Suite (CIS) committed customers receive incremental rights to use System Center to manage Azure virtual machines and resources at no additional cost.
- Microsoft Premier Service’s customers may also qualify for unlimited problem resolution support for SQL Server, Windows Server and System Center, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server.
- All the benefits of Software Assurance (SA). This includes access to License Mobility for many of our applications, which enables even more seamless migrations to the cloud.
The SCE makes it easier for customers to standardise on MS technologies, easier for customers to migrate to the Cloud and simplifies the licensing involved.
More info is available in the datasheet here:
Server and Cloud Enrollment Datasheet and FAQ