Sapienta Holdings achieves 500 percent growth with Office 365 Blogs: The Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 continues to reveal the value of partnership, connectivity and community. Throughout the remainder of the conference, we’ll be posting stories from our partners who’ve successfully grown their business while helping more customers migrate to Office 365.

Today’s post is written by Roger Teo, Business Director of Sapientia Holdings. Sapientia Holdings is an accredited Microsoft Solution Partner with expertise in delivering both on-premise and Cloud based services and solutions. Its services include IT and latest technological solutions that enable companies to leverage the Cloud by combining and focusing on productivity, communication and collaboration.

It is hard enough to find people, let alone businesses, you can trust. Being the Business Director of Sapientia Holdings, I’m constantly faced with the challenge of gaining new customers’ confidence. When you discover a company you can depend upon, you value their relationship and pass their services on to people already in your own trusted circle.

In 2010, Sapientia Holdings saw the huge potential of cloud services and created a company to help deliver them. To say the least, we have been rewarded by an incredible return on investment thanks to Office 365. We initially experienced a 20-30 percent developmental growth, but with the launch of Office 365, our growth has skyrocketed to 500 percent. While we have conversations with customers about the benefits and value of the service, Office 365 really sells itself.

One of our clients, SD Group Asia, a small to mid-sized Education and Consultancy Company, sought our company out after being disappointed with Google in 2011. SD Group Asia realized that Office 365 was a more valuable solution offering data security and the ability to connect offline, but at a much greater capacity than Google offers. Now, they’re leveraging all the tools Office 365 offers and it only took one day to install. SD Group Asia put its faith in our company, and we delivered a product that will save them time, money and become much more productive.

Office 365 has changed Sapientia Holdings’ business model from being a traditional solution integrator to becoming trusted advisors; Microsoft and Office 365 were key in this transformation. We look forward to continuing this partnership and remaining a trustworthy business consultant for our customers in the years to come.

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Automatically plot multiple pieces of online data in your Excel spreadsheet Blogs: This post on exploring Webservice functions is brought to you by Lee Bizek, a Program Manager in the Excel Team. Blogs: Automatically plot multiple pieces of online data in your Excel spreadsheet If you’ve ever wanted to incorporate data from online resources into Excel spreadsheets, now you can with the new Webservice function. With this new feature, you can add information such as stock quotes, weather, Bing Search results or even Twitter feeds to your spreadsheets—and you can make the information update automatically. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the more advanced aspects of the Webservice function.

I’m starting with a spreadsheet I created to organize a group camping trip that includes the latest weather information from the internet. In this example, being aware of online weather updates helped us to prepare for the elements and also predict high and low tides because we wanted to go crabbing as part of the adventure. I’ll show you how to take this spreadsheet a step further to use the =FILTERXML(xml, xpath) to extract multiple records of data from the XML string with an array. This will allow you to automatically plot multiple pieces of data in your spreadsheet.

Note: Before you start the exercise, be sure to review how to use Webservice functions to automatically update Excel 2013 spreadsheets with online data so that you know how to:

  • Use a =WEBSERVICE(url) function to get data
  • Use the =FILTERXML(xml, xpath) function to extract a single piece of data from the XML string

Use the =FILTERXML(xml, xpath) to extract multiple records of data from the XML string with an array

We’re going to set up a Webservice function call to the URL for the 10-day weather forecast and then pull out the details from the XML string. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Open the example file Kamping 2013 – Start and Complete Sample located at the end of this post (click the icon next to Attachment).

2. Go to to get the URL for the 10-day forecast. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see an example URL.

3. Copy the example URL and paste it into your Webservice function in cell B11 of your spreadsheet. (Note: Be sure to replace the API key and location information in the URL to the cell reference we used to incorporate data from an external source so that you can control the API key and zip code for both Webservice functions in the same place.)

4. In your Excel spreadsheet, select cell range B14:B23.

5. Click the Formula Editor Box and then type:

=DATEVALUE(CONCATENATE(FILTERXML(B11, “//date//month”), “/”, FILTERXML(B11, “//date//day”)))

In this example, I am pulling out the month and day, CONCATENATING them together and then converting the string to a DATEVALUE.

6. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER to execute the array. This action adds the brackets { } that indicate it is an array. Find more information about array formulas here.

7. Select cell range C14:C23, then type: =FILTERXML(B11, “//high//fahrenheit”)

8. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER for the high temperature.

9. Select cell range D14:D23, then type: =FILTERXML(B11, “//low//fahrenheit”)

10. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER for the low temperature.

11. Select cell range E14:E23, then type: =FILTERXML(B11, “//conditions”)

12. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER for the conditions.

Note: To edit the formula, select all of the cells in the array, then click the Formula Editor. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER to execute the new formula.

Refreshing data

WEBSERVICE Functions are “non-volatile”, which means they refresh only when:

  • A referenced cell is edited
  • The entire workbook is refreshed (CTRL + ALT + F9)

Using text strings with spaces and non-URL-friendly characters in the Webservice function

Some text strings include spaces or non-URL-friendly characters instead of URL-friendly characters such as a zip code. You can still use the URL in the WEBSERVICE function, but it’s best to encode the string first. Use the =ENCODEURL(text) function to include text searches into your WEBSERVICE function URL. Learn more about ENCODEURL function here.

Now we are better prepared for packing and planning our crabbing activities!

–Lee Bizek, Excel Program Manager

Example files

Download the full example file Kamping 2013 – Start and Complete Sample attached below. The example file also utilizes the tide data and includes XPATH filters in the WEBSERVICE Functions. Remember you can use this functionality for many different web services to pull in data that you can then analyze using Excel.

Using the linked file

To use the web service in this example, go to and register for their Weather API to get your own API key. Once you have your API key, add it to the Weather tab. All WSF calls in the file will use this cell reference in the URL.

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Save the date: Join us for Project Conference 2014 in Anaheim, CA Blogs: Project Conference is back by popular demand: Mark your calendar now to join us February 2-5 for Project Conference 2014. After over 1,000 people from around the world made Project Conference 2012 a huge success in Arizona, our expectations are even higher for an excellent event this time around in Anaheim, California–right next door to the happiest place on earth and just a quick trip from some of North America’s most loved beaches. Have a look at our quick teaser video packed with pictures from last time!

Can’t view this video? You can also watch it here.

How can you get to Project Conference 2014?

That’s the question everyone is asking. Simply click through to the official Project Conference 2014 website and submit your email address to be notified when tickets go on sale.

Start connecting with Project Conference attendees on our LinkedIn Group or join the broader conversation with #ProjConf on Twitter @msftProject.

It’s time to anticipate greatness. The countdown to Project Conference 2014 has begun!

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Office 365 now available in 38 new markets Blogs: Office 365 is expanding commercial availability in 38 new markets, 3 new languages, and 5 new currencies.  Office 365 is now available in 127 markets worldwide and it is easier for customers to pay with their method of choice.  For both the Philippines and Thailand all Office 365 plans are now available for customers to subscribe to.  The other new markets can now start a 120-day trial before paid subscriptions are made available.

The new languages include Vietnamese, Arabic, and Malay. This raises the number of Office 365 languages to 36, including English.

New markets include:  Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Lebanon, Jamaica, Bolivia, Brunei, Nicaragua, Honduras, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Ghana, Mauritius, Macao SAR, Iraq, Bermuda, Rwanda, Belize, Cameroon, Nepal, Moldova, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Barbados, Cape Verde, Fiji, Kyrgyzstan, U.S. Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Angola, Libya,[1]Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Yemen.[2]

New currencies accepted for payment include:  Brazilian Real (BRL), Mexican Peso (MXN), Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) and Indian Rupee (INR).

We are excited to bring Office 365 to more customers around the world.  You can see the complete list of markets Office 365 is available here.


[1] Five markets will not have Academic offers until later this calendar year: Virgin Islands, U.S., Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Angola, and Libya

[2] Three markets will have Academic offers, but not have trials until a future date: Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

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San José and Microsoft announce city’s selection of Office 365, Windows Azure and StorSimple for over 5,000 employees Blogs: Today, we are pleased to share that the City of San José has selected Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Windows Azure and StorSimple to expand the productivity potential of its more than 5,000 city employees, reduce operational costs, and deliver improved services to over 984,000 residents in the Capital of Silicon Valley.

To learn more about today’s news and how San José will use these products to streamline their business, please read the official press release on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight page.

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