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Cool New Features in Office 365

Published: 11/8/2017 Author: Brian Wallace

The Kiefer team always looks forward to watching Microsoft's videos on YouTube that summarize the latest updates to Office 365.  

This blog recaps a few things that we saw in the latest video and felt compelled to share.

In the recent announcements, amazingly there were 3 updates to PowerPoint in October!  If you know me, you'll know that I love PowerPoint. I use PowerPoint almost every day, and it's rare that I stop and say, "It would be cool if PowerPoint could…". However, when the updates come out, I often get pretty excited about the added functionality and I start to consider all the opportunities to leverage the new features. Here is a summary of the 2 updates that I thought were interesting.

Translator – This update allows you to add subtitles to a PowerPoint slide deck in real time. If you have a need to deliver information across several languages, this feature may be a fit for you.  Download the add-in at the microsoft.com/garage site.

Survey Features – This feature allows you to make your presentations more interactive by adding survey questions.  Live Survey allows you to create a survey question, provide response options, and then graph to display results. One of the coolest things about Live Survey is the ability to generate a QR code so participants can respond to the question using their mobile device. Audiences will find this feature very interesting and it's a useful tool in getting audience participation and engagement.


In addition to the new features in PowerPoint, there have been a few Power BI related updates. At Kiefer, we've been experimenting heavily with Microsoft Power BI. We even hosted a workshop in October called Dashboards in a Day. Our last workshop was very well attended and we showed our guests the benefits of Power BI and were offered the opportunity for those that attended to build a dashboard in Power BI. The "Get and Transform" features in Power BI make it easier and faster to process data and manipulate rows and columns quickly.   If you use Excel 2010 or 2013, you can join in the fun with "Get and Transform" functionality in Excel. Simply download the latest PowerQuery for Excel add-in.

There is also good news for Power BI users on iOS. Microsoft has added mobile filters for Power BI on iOS.

Another feature we've gotten into using at Kiefer is Microsoft Teams. We decided to start small because we weren't sure how we would use Teams. We first used it for an internal project and then leveraged Teams to receive updates and communicate with Peter Allen when he was at Microsoft Ignite. There is no doubt that Teams is really catching on. In the recent Microsoft update, they state that 100,000 organizations are using Microsoft Teams! One new feature that will be exciting to users of Teams is the ability to add guests to a Team's channel. Microsoft focused on three core tenets as it worked to create guest access:  1) Teamwork and collaboration, 2) Security and compliance, and 3) IT manageability. We think the Teams application aligns perfectly with Microsoft's approach to building strong, collaborative, digital workplaces.


Office 365 is full of surprises. If you are like us, you discover a lot of the new features by accident. We appreciate the video updates that Microsoft posts to YouTube – simply because so many of the features are released without a lot of fanfare and can easily be overlooked.

If you have a few minutes, check out the October video update. These new capabilities are featured in the 10-minute video from Microsoft.

Watch the video here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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