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Today Microsoft has announced that the County of Los Angeles is moving over 100,000 users to Microsoft Office 365 for government. As part of the deployment, LA County will roll out the solution across more than 30 different departments to unify platforms, enable mobilization and collaboration among staff, and address critical security compliance standards and regulations.
By moving to Microsoft Office 365, LA County is reducing costs and becoming more productive, efficient and modern at the same time. CJIS and HIPAA compliance were two of the top reasons that LA County selected Microsoft Office 365. No other cloud productivity solution can match what Microsoft has to offer from a cloud privacy and compliance perspective. California is leading the way in utilizing cloud solutions, and LA County is the latest in a series of California municipalities to choose Microsoft and Office 365.
The new Office 365 Readiness and Adoption kit allows you to browse through resources available to help drive Office 365 end-user adoption within your organization.
Content in this free kit includes:
- Awareness and teaser videos
- Overview of end user capabilities in Office 365
- Change management templates, policy templates, and user surveys
- Posters and flyer templates
- Email templates to announce the upcoming rollout of Office 365
- Quick start guides
- Training resources
Over the past weekend I started working on a little project to help consolidate some of the most important Office 365 news into a single web location. I wanted to take the basic concept I used for the Office 365 Resources App for Windows Phone and build upon it to include information from more sources across the Internet.
I will admit that I was being selfish when I created this. I wanted something I could glance at each morning to quickly get caught up on all of the internet buzz related to Office 365. I think this web app is a great start. Check it out by clicking on the news link in the top menu or by directly going to http://blog.mikehacker.net/o365resources.
Over time I will be adding (and removing) sources that are aggregated into the single view. I also have some plans for additional data sources. If you have a suggestion for a blog site that should be included, send me a message via the Contact me form. My goal is to only include content sources that are primarily focused on Office 365, do not contain profanity or offensive content, and are not commercial blogs for advertising.
Let me know what you think!
Recently Paul Andrews, technical product manager for identity management with Office 365, wrote a great blog article on how to setup the Windows Azure Active Directory Sync Tool (DIrSync) for your Office 365 deployment. I highly recommend this article for any organization that is interested in deploying any Office 365 services, including Office 365 Professional Plus or Office for iPad.
From his post:
If you’re just getting started with Office 365, you’re probably considering how to extend the user directory that you use for accessing internal resources for connecting to cloud resources. The simplest way to achieve this is with the Windows Azure Active Directory Sync Tool (DirSync). This tool runs on a Windows Server machine on your network and synchronizes users to the cloud. DirSync has a wizard-driven install and can be set up in just a few minutes. You should be able to synchronize your directory to Office 365 in under a day.
You can read the full post on the Office Blogs web site here.
The Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) 2014 recently wrapped up. MEC is the premier global event for Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 professionals to enhance their skills. The MEC sessions will help you understand the future of Exchange for all customers and learn from people who build and maintain the product. MEC allows administrators, IT Pros, and Developers to elevate their career potential and enhance their overall knowledge of Microsoft Exchange. MEC2014 took place March 31-April 2, 2014 in Austin, TX.
MEC2014 delivered the latest content for Office 365 Exchange Online and Exchange on-premises customers. Content is delivered across tracks including: Architecture; Deployment & Migration; eDiscovery and Compliance; Exchange Extensibility; Manageability and Support; Outlook, OWA, and Mobility; and Security and Protection
Microsoft has been rolling out an update to Office 365 tenants that adds Windows Azure Rights Management and Office 365 Message Encryption. The initial deployment of these technologies were targeted towards customers in the enterprise cloud; referred to as “E” tenants. Customers in our Government Community Cloud (GCC) environment have not had access to these capabilities until recently.
A co-worker has written up a great blog post that shows how to setup Office 365 Message Encryption in a GCC tenant. Check it out here.
Today Microsoft announced a new Office suite for iPad. The applications provide users the ability to view Word, Excel and PowerPoint files for free. If you have a personal or enterprise Office 365 account you can use the Office suite to edit documents too.
You can download these new Office applications for iPad below:
Organizations that choose to deploy Office 365 or any of the individual components are always concerned about deployment, end user adoption, training and support. Questions I receive from customers usually include:
- How do we build excitement within the user community about the upcoming deployment?
- How do I communicate the changes to the users?
- What tools does Microsoft make available for our help desk employees for supporting Office 365?
- Do you have a sample project plan for deploying Office 365?
To help organizations accelerate their deployment, Microsoft has created a package called the Office 365 Change Management Guide for the Enterprise. This guide includes the following great content:
- Email templates to help generate end user awareness and excitement about the Office 365 deployment.
- Policy templates that help the organization to build out best practices for using the new capabilities included in Office 365.
- Launch event and awareness PowerPoint presentations that can be used by the organization to introduce Office 365 to the end users.
- Posters that can be printed and displayed within the organization to build interest and awareness of Office 365 capabilities.
- A help desk troubleshooting guide to assist help desk employees support the end users.
- Net User Satisfaction (NSAT) survey that can help an organization measure internal user satisfaction with their deployment of Office 365.
- Training document template that can be used to help create standardized internal training offerings.
- Two Office 365 introduction videos that can be shared with end users to help with awareness of capabilities.
- An Office 365 rollout and adoption workbook that can be used by the project manager during awareness, pilot, deployment, and run state.
You can download the free Office 365 Change Management Guide for the Enterprise kit here. I also maintain a curated list of links to important Office 365 documentation and training materials in my resource section on this blog.
I ran across an interesting blog post that I thought I would pass on to my visitors.
As customers roll out Office 365, they often ask us how they can best use Yammer to manage their deployment. Changing from one IT system to another can be a daunting task, and the potential to create a large degree of disruption and uncertainty throughout the organization underscores the need for change management. Using a community-based approach on your Yammer network, with peer to peer learning, will help your organization adopt new technologies alongside the change.
Read the full post here: https://about.yammer.com/yammer-blog/manage-office-365-rollout-using-yammer/