Are you ready to host large-scale virtual presentations?

Large-scale virtual meetings have unique needs and considerations that your IT team should keep in mind to ensure you can deliver a high-quality virtual experience. Beyond selecting the right virtual meeting software, what does your IT department need to do to ensure successful large-scale virtual presentations?

Identify what type of virtual meeting solution you need

First, know when to use a large-scale virtual meeting over other video meeting solutions, so your IT team isn’t tasked with preparing unnecessary technology. The chart below outlines some potential solution types—based on communication type, number of attendees, use cases and benefits.

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Recommendations based on general numbers and software; actual numbers may vary with different platforms.

If you require a large-scale solution for your virtual meeting, there are some important factors your IT team needs to consider—such as location logistics and broadcast bandwidth—to ensure a high-quality experience for everyone.

Presentation location logistics

Ensure your selected location has all the necessary elements to support all your technical needs during the presentation. Look for things like:

  • Internet/Wi-Fi strength.
  • Computer availability and features (webcams, etc.).
  • Installed software updates (to avoid last-minute downloads).
  • Number of outlets, extra internet connections and other connectivity considerations.
  • Space for extra people, cameras and equipment to ensure there’s room for someone from your IT team to be on-site for support during the presentation.

Best broadcast bandwidth

Both weeks before and the day of the presentation, check to ensure that your company’s internet connection is strong enough to broadcast in high definition. This is important for two reasons: broadcasting and streaming. For example, if people on location will be tuning in virtually, will broadcasting bog down their viewing experience? Is your network able to support large-scale, concurrent sessions or might you need a software-based media distribution solution? While there’s no way you can manage offsite attendee’s bandwidth, you can make sure that the internet used to broadcast your virtual meeting is ready for the task.

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Other important considerations

While not necessarily your IT department’s responsibilities, there are a number of different parts of a large-scale broadcast which might affect your team’s ability to successfully broadcast a large-scale presentation.

  • Camera quality—Whether you’re broadcasting with a built-in webcam or an external device, look for a high-quality camera that shoots in HD.
  • Sound quality—Unbalanced or extreme sound fluctuations distract audiences. Your IT department can help by researching the best mics available and ensuring that none of the other technology in the room will distract from the broadcast.

And, action!

Broadcast meetings are a great format for getting messages out to large audiences, no matter where they are. But low-quality presentations are a surefire way to lose attendee attention. Equipped to reach up to 10,000 attendees in a secure and familiar platform, Skype Meeting Broadcast puts two paramount features first: ease of use and meeting quality. By mastering professional-quality broadcast techniques, you can create engaging online broadcasts for any audience.

For additional insights on how to effectively and efficiently create the best possible meetings for your organization, check out “The Ultimate Meeting Guide.”

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Source: Office

When it comes to group collaboration, one size doesn’t fit all

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The way people work together is evolving, and unique projects, work styles, functional roles and workforce diversity call for a complete set of collaboration tools. As the appetite for new ways of working together grows, new developments in communications, mobility and cloud services are enabling professionals to communicate and collaborate in ways that were previously not possible.

Not your typical online event

Each 90-minute session starts with an online business roundtable discussing your biggest business challenges with a trained facilitator and then transitions into a live environment in the cloud. You will receive a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology, so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges.

Why should I attend?

During this interactive online session, you will explore:

  • How Microsoft Teams, the newest collaboration tool:
    • Keeps everyone engaged with threaded persistent chat.
    • Creates a hub for teamwork that works together with your other Office 365 apps.
    • Builds customized options for each team with channels, connectors, tabs and bots.
    • Adds your personality to your team with emojis, GIFs and stickers.
  • How to keep information secure while being productive—Make it easier to work securely and maintain compliance without inhibiting your workflow.
  • How to quickly visualize and analyze complex data—Zero in on the data and insights you need without having to involve a BI expert.
  • How to co-author and share content quickly—Access and edit documents even while others are editing and reviewing them all at the same time.
  • How to get immediate productivity gains—Most attendees leave with enough time-saving skills that time invested to attend a Customer Immersion Experience more than pays for itself in a few short days.

Space is limited. Each session is only open to 12 participants. Reserve your seat now.

  • U.S. customers: Register here.
  • Outside the U.S.? Register here.

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Source: Office

The new Office.com gets first major update

Editor’s note 12/29/2016:
This post was updated to reflect the latest design for the Office 365 application tiles.

Back in April, we started rolling out a new Office 365 home page experience that provided a redesigned environment for commercial, education and home users to collaborate and work across every device. The update also delivered improved access to recent files and folders and introduced a new platform for faster delivery of innovative features.

We’re now rolling out new changes that will greatly increase the ease of navigating apps and improve access to frequent and recently opened documents. These changes started rolling out in December and will continue through early 2017.

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Get back to your online documents

We know that your best work can take time, so we improved access to your unfinished documents. Users will now see additional controls within the “Recent documents” list to let users filter by document type across Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Have a document that you go back to frequently? Pin it to the list so it’s always just a click away.

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Know what’s coming up

We made it easier to see what’s coming up at a glance. Get an in-depth view of the day’s meetings and quickly respond to or join Skype for Business calls with one click. Enhanced people pictures help you build stronger connections with coworkers and help you keep track of your different teams and projects.

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Stay on top of tasks

Create, view and complete tasks directly on Office.com that stay in sync across Outlook on all your devices. Need to add more details to a task? Double tap to open in Outlook Tasks to add additional details.

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What’s next

We’re constantly developing and improving the Office 365 experience, so be sure to let us know what you think! We read every piece of feedback that we receive as we work to make your Office 365 experience the best it can be.

—Tom Batcheler, @TomBatcheler, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 team

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can I re-order or re-size the app tiles?

A. Office.com organizes the app tiles based on which apps are used most frequently. We do not currently offer the ability to re-order or re-size the app tiles. We are evaluating additional options to make app navigation even quicker.

Q. Will I be able to turn off the online documents, upcoming or tasks sections if I prefer not to see the content?

A. Office.com does not currently allow you to turn off this content. However, you can collapse the card containers to hide content that you do not want to see. We are evaluating additional customization, such as being able to turn on and off certain cards.

Q. Can I turn off or hide the install button?

A. These upcoming updates have no impact on the install button.

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Source: Office

How do you tell the story behind your data? Find out on the next Modern Workplace

According to a recent study conducted by Glassdoor, data scientists are the most in-demand job of 2016. But gathering the information is only half of your organization’s challenge—it’s what you do with it that counts. How can you be sure your data isn’t just telling you the story you want to hear, but showing you what you urgently need to know?

Join us for the next episode of Modern Workplace,” Visualize: The power of data storytelling,” airing January 10, 2017, at 8 a.m. PST / 4 p.m. GMT, and learn how to unlock the hidden potential within your data through visualization. Plus, get an exclusive demonstration of how Microsoft intelligent tools like Power BI and Excel can help you shape, analyze and visually explore your data.

  • Industry analyst at Altimeter Group, Susan Etlinger, shares how to strategize your data into actionable tips you can use today and provides insights into creating your organization’s most insightful data yet.
  • Data visualization specialist for The Washington Post, Gabi Steele, explains how to communicate insights through design and data storytelling.

Register now!

Related content

  • Get the free infographic: Pick Up the Pace of Productivity.
  • Take a quick trip through Office 365.

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Source: Office

6 signs your company has outgrown its free email solution

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A free email solution is great when your organization is first starting out. But how do you know when you have grown beyond the capabilities of your free email service and you need a more sophisticated solution? The business email requirements of a growing company are much different than those of a small startup. Whether you’re using Outlook.com or another provider, there are signs that indicate your business has outgrown free email.

The following list identifies six important capabilities you need now (or in the future) to ensure your email solution doesn’t hold you back. Needing any one of these capabilities is an indication that it’s time to consider moving from a free to a paid email solution:

  1. Security—If you’ve experienced a security breach—or are even worried about it happening—you need a more sophisticated solution that offers increased, enterprise-class security capabilities.
  1. Storage—You’ve reached your storage max: a very simple reason to upgrade. Storage space should never cause you to delete or change how you use your email, especially when paid solutions offer large stores of data.
  1. Tools—Free email tools don’t typically provide robust inbox- and user-management tools. Paid email solutions offer a range of features for managing users as well as extensive rules for managing your inbox—enabling you to spend less time managing your inbox and more time managing your business.

Bump your email up to business class

Learn how paid, hosted email solutions offer enhanced security features and ease of use that you don’t get from free email services.

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  1. Domain names—Using a custom domain for your business email is a vital way to ensure your business appears professional. For example, “yourname@yourcompany.com” has a lot more credibility than “yourcompany@domain.com.” While free custom email addresses are available, they often leave you open to security threats, because the company you host through will likely have access to your data and other information.
  1. Data—If you’ve ever felt the need to own and manage your email data, it’s time to move to a paid solution. Often, when you agree to free email terms, you’re granting the email provider permission to mine your data and send you ads—which is how their companies remain profitable while offering free services. Not only can this distract from your work, it also puts your company’s data at risk.
  1. File sharing—Need to share files and collaborate securely with your team? Paid email solutions enable team-based collaboration and sharing without putting confidential company information at risk.

Graduate to an email solution that offers your growing business increased security, enhanced customization and a variety of features and capabilities to improve collaboration. Not only will this keep your company running smoothly and increase teamwork—your IT team will no longer spend time on common free email service-level issues.

Learn more

  • Explore the email threat landscape in the “The Current State of Email Security” eBook.
  • Read “6 Ways Office 365 Keeps Your Email and Business Secure” to find out more about protecting your organization.
  • Discover the top reasons why now is the time to elevate your email to the cloud.

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Source: Office