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We’re always excited to see what new enhancements Microsoft are delivering to further demonstrate the great value Office 365 provides. With its May 2017 updates, we welcome a number of new features. Here’s a quick look at what’s been added…


1. Office 365 Adoption Content Pack in Power BI

Marrying the intelligence of Office 365 usage reports with the interactive and visual reporting capabilities of Power BI, the new Office 365 Content Pack for Power BI will help admins visualise and analyse their organisation’s usage data.


Enabling the creation of custom reports, its shareable insights will pinpoint attributes such as location and department giving organisations an improved understanding of how Office 365 is being utilised. This insight will help deliver targeted user training and communications, ensuring productivity, collaboration and of business value is maximised. The feature is available to all commercial customers.

Office 365 Power BI Content Pack
 

2. SharePoint Communication Sites

There is also a focus on helping to better inform and engage employees through the utilisation of SharePoint Communication Sites. Unveiled at the recent SharePoint Virtual Summit, these will allow users to create highly attractive and also mobile-ready intranet sites.


While team sites can already be used to share content, knowledge, and apps within an organisation, this new feature enables users to relay resources, news, and information to a much broader audience. The idea is that the feature’s integration with Yammer will encourage engagement with your audience, help you solicit feedback, and optimise best practice sharing.


The best part? These communication sites will be incredibly easy to create and customise, so that absolutely everyone can take advantage of them. The first release should be available from June.


SharePoint Communication Sites 

3. Access to all Files from File Explorer

New features Microsoft are unveiled at various events throughout the year, and this was first revealed at Build. It’s one that everyone will benefit from.


Files On-Demand allow you to see all of your OneDrive content on a PC via File Explorer, Finder on Mac and also across Android and iOS devices, without the need to download them to your device and use up your storage space. This means that you all your files, including those which are stored online, visible and available to you. The insider preview should be available early this summer, with the public release expected around autumn.

Office 365 Access Files from File Explorer
 

4. A Unified Sharing Experience

You’ll also soon have the option to share from both File Explorer on PC and Finder on Mac. Introduced at the SharePoint Virtual Summit, this will give you the full sharing experience for OneDrive, where you’ll be able to share documents or data with selected people right from your desktop, as well as having the ability to send links to these to individuals both inside and outside of your organisation.


You’ll have the additional ability to easily view and change which people have permission to view these files, as well as how long you wish this access to last for. This feature will be available to commercial customers from around June time.


5. SharePoint and Microsoft PowerApps Integration

The final feature announced at the SharePoint Virtual summit was the ability to integrate SharePoint and Microsoft PowerApps. This means that from summer 2017, you’ll be able to create both custom forms and fantastic digital experiences with PowerApps, right from a SharePoint list or library.


This will enable your organisation to transform team and company processes, so that those using your system are able to create, view, and utilise data via your custom form or app, rather than having to use the default option available from SharePoint.


6. Microsoft Planner iOS and Android Mobile App

Released in 2016 Planner enables users with Office 365 to view, create, organise and prioritise personal and team tasks. With the ability to share files, chat, and feedback, it embeds perfectly into Microsoft Teams to create an even richer experience.


Last week Microsoft launched their mobile application to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store providing users the ability view and update plans on the go.

Microsoft Planner Mobile App
 

Microsoft is committed to constantly improving the user experience, and with its latest innovations, we feel that it has once again achieved exactly that. With plenty of things for you to get excited about, we are already looking forward to the next month’s announcements.


Which new features are you most excited about?