New Microsoft Office 2016: Improved Collaboration and Productivity for Businesses

Last week saw the global launch of Microsoft Office 2016, the latest version of the popular productivity and collaboration tool and the first to be designed from the ground up for mobile and the cloud. It has the potential to transform collaborative working practices for enterprises large and small.

Along with Office 2016 for Windows, Microsofthas launched Office 2016 for Mac as a one-time purchase option, as well we several new and enhanced Office 365 services.

Microsoft Office is now a lot more than Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. The Office suite includes Office 365 cloud services, Skype for Business, Dynamics, Power BI and, of course, mobile Office apps for iOS and Android.

Users of Office 365 for Enterprise, Midsize and Education will be automatically upgraded to Office 2016 in the first quarter of 2016, according to Microsoft.

Some of the highlights from the new launch include an update to Outlook 2016 email, which the company claims is the ‘smartest inbox yet’, with ‘lightning-fast’ search and cloud-based attachments from OneDrive available to all recipients of an email.

OneDrive for Business will be delivered later this month across sync, browser, mobile, IT control and developer experiences. The next generation ‘sync client’ for Windows and Mac offers improved reliability and selective sync, as well as increased file size and volume limits.

Meanwhile, Excel 2016 now includes integrated publishing to Power BI and new modern chart-types to help businesses make the most of their data, while cloud-powered ‘most recently used’ documents lists allow users to pick up working on a document, from exactly where they left, on a different device.

Office 2016 also explands real-time co-authoring from web apps and builds it directly into Microsoft native apps, which means that co-authoring on a Word document can take place in real-time, with changes appearing immediately across all co-authors. According to Microsoft, it is committed to expanding real-time co-authoring to each of its native apps over time.

Skype for Business is now available in client apps in the new version, allowing users to IM, screen share, talk or video chat from within documents. Skype for Business also has faster screen sharing and adds the option of starting a real-time co-authoring session from any conversation or meeting.

In other new features, Office 365 Groups now comes as part of Outlook 2016 and in a new Outlook Groups app on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Office 365 Groups allows individuals to easily create public or private teams, with each group getting a shared inbox, calendar, cloud storage for group files, and a shared OneNote notebook.

For enterprises, Office 2016 apps with Office 365 also come with built-in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to reduce the risk of leaking sensitive data by giving IT admins tools to centrally create, manage and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing.

Multifactor Authentication, meanwhile, ensures secure access to content anywhere when employees are away from the corporate network. Later this year, Microsoft also plans to enable Enterprise Data Protection (EDP) in Windows 10, with support in Office Mobile, which will allow more secure corporate content sharing and prevent inadvertent content sharing outside corporate boundaries. This will be followed with EDP for Office on Windows desktop in early 2016.

At Aztech IT we have advised many enterprises about the right Microsoft-based collaboration and productivity tools, including Office 365 and Skype for Business. If you would like to discuss your Office requirements, please contact us.


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