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How IT Pros can use Office 365 to create winning solutions

Every team, whether in sports or business, has its most valuable players (MVPs), the people whose skills and leadership enable other team members to achieve high-level performance. Many organizations count IT Pros among their leading MVPs—and with good reason. IT Pros select the online services, software and devices that other employees depend on to do their best work, and also provide the support needed to keep those tools running smoothly and performing well. Office 365 puts IT Pros firmly in control.  IT Pros have the choice to deploy entirely in the cloud, move some workloads to the cloud while leaving some on-premise with inter-connectivity between them in a hybrid model, or deploy entirely on-premise. They can configure the controls to meet the specific needs of their organization, and support their mobile workforce. Even planning and support are easier with Office 365: Microsoft provides a clear roadmap to help IT Pros prepare for new features and updates; and the familiar tools mean that employees require less support, which frees IT Pros to focus on other strategic priorities for their business. Office 365 also makes it a snap for IT Pros to support a highly mobile or widely distributed workforce. With Office 365, company employees can access email, documents and spreadsheets online or offline, and easily collaborate with colleagues either offline or in real time. And Office 365 provides robust data protection for greater privacy and security. The infographic below shows how IT Pros can work more effectively using Office 365 versus Google Apps—and get the competitive advantage they need to help their organization develop a winning strategy. Check it out for yourself ! Click here  to download the infographic.

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How IT Pros can use Office 365 to create winning solutions

Find out what’s happening at the Microsoft Exchange Conference!

Watch Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Perry Clarke’s take on why you should go to MEC and who can benefit. Join us at MEC , the premier global event for Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 professionals, in Austin, Texas March 31 – April 2. You’ll learn the latest product news on Exchange and Office 365 and get unparalleled access to the people who built those products. Register here.

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Find out what’s happening at the Microsoft Exchange Conference!

Ignite live webcast series March 24 – 28

Register to attend the Ignite live webcasts March 24-28; 10 a.m.-11 a.m. PDT each day. Office 365 delivers the capabilities that users demand while allowing IT to stay in control. As you plan strategies for meeting your IT goals for the year, this Ignite webcast series will help you understand your options and show you how Office 365 can help. This series is designed specifically for IT Pros. You will see how new features come to Office 365 first, learn about the new tools and processes to migrate on premises workloads to Office 365, and prepare for the new operational role of IT Pros. Each day’s session takes less than an hour and will provide you with valuable information from an Office 365 deployment expert. You will also have the opportunity to ask them your pressing questions via instant message. You can register for the entire one-week series or any combination of individual sessions. March 24 Office 365 for IT Professionals Get an overview of the key Office 365 components and benefits from an IT perspective. March 25 Messaging and Communication Services in Office 365 See how to manage and secure the ever-growing volume of communications with the cloud or with a hybrid environment. March 26 Deploying Office 365 in Production (Part 1) See how to expand a pilot environment into a production deployment. This session includes an emphasis on mailbox migration. March 27 Deploying Office 365 in Production (Part 2) Get an advanced look at expanding a pilot environment into a production deployment. This session includes a discussion of hybrid environments. March 28 Enhancing Office 365 See how to enhance Office 365 with single-sign on, multifactor authentication, safeguard email, and on-premises SharePoint investments to the Cloud.

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Ignite live webcast series March 24 – 28

Mecklenburg County cuts costs and increases mobility with Office 365

We are seeing strong growth of Office 365 in a variety of markets as more and more businesses move processes and applications to the cloud. One such area of growth is State and Local Government (SLG). Customers like the State of Texas and the City of Chicago have very specific needs when it comes to productivity solutions, as states, counties and cities face a unique set of standards and regulations. We’ve worked with customers and industry leaders to make sure Office 365 meets the specific needs of government employees. By making sure Office 365 meets specific requirements for different industries, we’re seeing more SLG customers confidently make the move to the cloud. Mecklenburg County, the most populated county in North Carolina which includes the city of Charlotte, recently selected Office 365 as its productivity solution of choice to significantly cut costs and increase worker mobility. Employees throughout the county are able to access the information they need and stay productive on the go with Office 365 installed on their Surface tablets. Several departments throughout the county are realizing the benefits of Office 365: Employees of the Department of Youth and Family Services are able to easily and remotely access documents while visiting clients The Department of Food Services built an app on the Office 365 platform to make it easier for health inspectors to access state applications Medical Examiners are able to easily take notes using OneNote on Surface Pro tablets Parks and Recreation employees, all of whom are moving to Surface 2 devices, are using Office 365 to quickly collect payments, easily book venues and enjoy the integration with the county’s financial system The mobility factor and benefits of cloud storage were key to Mecklenburg County’s decision to move to the cloud. In addition, Office 365’s security and privacy were the best fit for the needs of the county. And finally, the Youth & Family Services Department reported a total savings of $3.2 million per year during the pilot phase alone – those savings will apply to other departments as well, so the county will see huge savings across the board. To learn more about how Mecklenburg County is using Office 365 and other Microsoft technology, see the press release .  

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Mecklenburg County cuts costs and increases mobility with Office 365

Introducing: OneNote + feedly

We’re excited to announce that feedly , the content discovery and reading platform for professionals, now features one-click integration with Microsoft OneNote. Feedly is a single place to connect to the content that matters most to you. With feedly you can find, follow and read the sources of information to help you become better at what you do. Whether that’s following a sports team, keeping up with the latest trends or researching a school project, feedly can help you connect to the knowledge you need. Now, with feedly’s new OneNote integration, it’s easier than ever before to organize, annotate and collaborate around that content. Once you connect your OneNote account to feedly (you’ll be prompted to log in using your Microsoft account the first time to try to save an item to OneNote), you’ll be able to easily save stories to OneNote with just one click. Save to OneNote will be part of feedly Pro , which unlocks a supercharged experience, but from now until April 17, Microsoft has graciously agreed to sponsor the feature on feedly — which means it will be free for everyone for the next month! We hope you’ll sign up for feedly today and give the new OneNote feature a try. We know that once you start using feedly, you’ll discover that it is simply the best place to find and follow everything you want to read. Sign up for feedly today .

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Introducing: OneNote + feedly

Scan everything with Doxie and OneNote

Paul Scandariato from Doxie brand mobile scanners. Doxie is designed to make scanning paper and going paperless easy for everyone, so that’s why we’re so thrilled to have partnered with Microsoft to seamlessly integrate Doxie with OneNote, allowing you to bridge the gap between between the physical world – all your paper – and your digital notes in OneNote. Doxie makes award-winning portable scanners for going paperless anywhere. Unlike the scanners of the past, Doxie scans anywhere with no computer required, and setup is a cinch – just charge up its built-in battery and turn it on. We built Doxie to be an easy way to scan everything without fussy driver installs and complex setups. When you’re done scanning, tuck Doxie in a drawer for next time you need to scan. Once you have your Doxie, here’s how to send your scans to OneNote:  Add OneNote in Preferences > Cloud Apps. You’ll be asked to sign in with your Microsoft account. If you haven’t done so already, import your latest scans from Doxie, via USB, an SD card, or wirelessly. Select your scan, then click Cloud > Upload to OneNote Now that your scans are in OneNote, you can work from anywhere and access all your scans on Windows, Windows Phone, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, or on the web with OneNote Online. With all your notes, documents, and photos in one place, OneNote and Doxie offer you an incredible way to capture and organize all of your information. For more on Doxie, check out our flagship Doxie Go portable scanner , read more about Doxie/OneNote integration , or check or the rest of the line-up at Doxie’s home page . – Paul Scandariato

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Scan everything with Doxie and OneNote

The Garage Series for Office 365: The evolving role of IT in a cloud services world

Today we head back to the Garage in Redmond and discuss what cloud services mean to administrators of Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and other Office services. Garage Series host, Jeremy Chapman, is joined by Curtis Sawin, a technology consultant who’s helped quite a few IT departments move from locally managed to Office 365-managed services. They discuss how both IT operations and end user demands have met at the cloud, demonstrate tips to efficiently administer Office 365 using PowerShell and answer whether moving to the cloud changes the role of IT. One of the most common questions I hear from admins considering services like Office 365, Windows Azure or other cloud services offerings is “Will the migration to the cloud be last thing I do at my company?” The short answer is no. We’ve spent the last year working with the IT community, speaking to analysts and even conducting research with early Office 365 adopters. And while some of the day-to-day tasks change, the shift — like with the increases of automation and virtualization before it – enable more compute per user and further extension to an IT department’s service offerings and capabilities. On the show, Curtis and I explain how IT and the services themselves have progressed toward the cloud and in parallel users have moved from company-provided PCs to bringing their own devices and services. As Mark Kashman and I pointed out last fall , the new access model is really about authenticating services by your users’ identities as people want to access their work more and more from unmanaged devices, often not joined to your domain. Richer, browser-based solutions also make it easier for users — even those in locked-down environments without admin privileges to install software – to find their own solutions to share files and communicate with people using tools with limited to no visibility from IT. The rapid iterations of Office 365 capabilities are a means to stay current with user needs while keeping in control of who can access services along with full visibility of how data is accessed and shared. All of this leads to how the role of IT changes. It’s been a relatively standard practice to lock software and capabilities sometimes for two major release cycles and in doing so, keep IT services and capabilities static for 6-7 years at a time. The challenge is that user demands tend to outpace those longer cycles. A measured and constant rate of new capabilities means IT might spend less time keeping services running or working on major upgrades, but more time delivering the incremental updates to capabilities people want and making sure people are taking advantage added capabilities. Of course the IT toolset gets better and all of the service management controls spanning Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Yammer, user accounts and software get further consolidated into a central administration portal and you can perform bulk tasks for hundreds or thousands of users and settings at a time using PowerShell. We walk through all this while showing the admin tools in action and more on the show. Next week we’ll be heading down to  MEC in Austin and will have a full Garage Series experience similar to SPC a few weeks back and TechEd New Orleans last summer. If you are heading down to Austin, come by and join us in the Garage. See you next time, Jeremy Chapman   More resources Microsoft Office 365 Administration Inside Out Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Office 365 management and deployment Garage Series Video Channel Garage Series Season 1 Blog Archive Follow @OfficeGarage on Twitter                         About the Garage Series hosts By day, Jeremy Chapman works at Microsoft, responsible for optimizing the future of Office client and service delivery as the senior deployment lead. Jeremy’s background in application compatibility, building deployment automation tools and infrastructure reference architectures has been fundamental to the prioritization of new Office enterprise features such as the latest Click-to-Run install. By night, he is a car modding fanatic and serial linguist. Curtis Sawin has a long history in application management, software distribution and Office 365 implementation with early adopters. In his spare time, he is a competitive long distance swimmer and outdoorsman.

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The Garage Series for Office 365: The evolving role of IT in a cloud services world

Genius Scan and OneNote: Capture and Save!

Genius Scan is a scanner in your pocket. We designed it to make it easy for individuals and small businesses to digitize their important documents. This convenient scanner app for iPhone, iPad, and Android now integrates with OneNote. OneNote users have been looking for a better way to go paperless and Genius Scan is a great solution for that. On the other hand, a lot of Genius Scan users are looking for better ways to store and organize their documents. By working together, Genius Scan and OneNote open a whole new world of possibilities. Using Genius Scan is simple: Snap a picture of a document (contracts, business cards, whiteboards!). Genius Scan detects the frame of the document, crops it and enhances the colors to make it legible, like a real scanner would do. If desired, save your scan in a PDF document. You can add multiple pages. Export your document to save it to the cloud, share it with colleagues and friends. With the OneNote integration, you are now able to save your documents to your OneNote notebook. The OneNote integration is available for both iOS and Android. Tell us what you think at contact@thegrizzlylabs.com and follow us on Twitter @thegrizzlylabs , to get more updates.

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Genius Scan and OneNote: Capture and Save!

Weave + OneNote: better together

Ever read a great article and wish you could save a copy for later? Weave is an exciting news app that lets you do just that. Weave is a news aggregator – a fancy way of saying an app that pulls news from a variety of sources, websites, blogs, and anywhere else that exposes their news via a technology called RSS. The app has been lauded for quite a while on the Windows Phone platform, and recently became available for Windows 8 as well. With Weave News Reader, you can view an article from any of your favorite websites, and at the touch of a button save a copy of that article to OneNote. Great for times when you are too busy to read an entire blog post or article right then and there, or the times when you read something so good you want to come back to it later. For the first-time user, Weave is incredibly easy to setup and integrate with OneNote. The first time you launch the app, select a few of your favorite categories of interest. Once you have an article open, tap the OneNote button, login with your Microsoft Account, and you’ll have successfully saved your first article to OneNote! Download Weave now: Weave for Windows Phone Weave for Windows 8

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Weave + OneNote: better together

Introducing the OneNote Channel on IFTTT

Now you can connect OneNote to over 80 other services like Email, Twitter, Craigslist, and your phone. Introducing the OneNote Channel on IFTTT . IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement — if this then that. Sync content across apps, archive data that’s important to you, and control the notifications you want to follow. Learn more about IFTTT and unlock new value in the products you use every day.   Get OneNote | F ollow OneNote

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Introducing the OneNote Channel on IFTTT