Microsoft Ignite is currently being held in Chicago, IL, where the company announced a few upgrades to Office 365 that will be rolling out throughout 2015. While the average consumer may need simple solutions like Google Docs or Microsoft’s Office Online, businesses typically have a need for greater control and employ IT administrators to manage productivity applications. Admins for Office 365 will be gaining some new functionality throughout this year, as outlined in this post on the Office Blogs, written by senior product marketing manager Lawrence Chiu.
The first enhancement is of the Office 365 dashboard. Chiu notes that the new interface places a greater emphasis on visuals with trend and summary views. The idea behind this change is to provide IT admins a “greater visibility into usage across Office 365 services,” which is key to efficiently managing hundreds of employees in a global organization. As can be seen in the screenshot, metrics for login activity, email traffic, Skype calls, and more can be quickly assessed from this new dashboard experience.
The other upgrade is for Power BI, which Microsoft bills as a cloud service that provides data-based insights for your company. It can currently connect to a number of services, including Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and Github. This year, though, an Office 365 content pack will combine the strengths of Power BI – reporting and analytics – with relevant data from Office 365.
Finally, Chiu goes on to explain that workload-specific roles for administrators are being introduced. Previously, admins could only be assigned one role, such as SharePoint Online or Exchange Online. Now multiple roles can be assigned for greater granularity in distributing responsibilities.
While these announcements will primarily be of interest to businesses, it’s interesting to see how Microsoft’s vision of productivity is coming together for both workers and consumers. Just yesterday we reported that Outlook.com users will experience a migration to Office 365, which will hopefully combine the best from each service.Further reading: Microsoft, Microsoft Ignite, Office 365, Power BI