Ensure Your Employees Thrive with Microsoft Viva in our Hybrid World

As a result of the pandemic and a gradual return to 'normality', the shift to hybrid work has become a reality. It's clear that the workplace today is different than it was two years ago. Employees’ expectations continue to evolve as they reconsider their “worth it” equation. In Microsoft's 2022 Work Trend Index, 53 percent of employees say they’re more likely to prioritise their health and wellbeing over work than before. At the same time, 43 percent of employees are somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing jobs in the coming year, with younger employees even more likely to consider changing employers.

What are employees looking for in a job now? Research shows that they want purpose, flexibility, growth and development, and a culture where they feel like they belong. Based on the latest data from the 2022 Work Trend Index, beyond pay, the top three aspects of work that employees view as “very important” are for an employer to provide: a positive culture (46 percent), mental health/wellbeing benefits (42 percent), and a sense of purpose/meaning (40 percent).

Introducing the Viva Insights Inspiration library

Creating a great employee experience isn’t just about providing great technology, it’s also about cultivating a culture where every individual can learn and share best practices that help bring balance to work and life, be more productive, and foster an engaged and productive workforce.

Microsoft announced the new Inspiration library, available in preview through the Viva Insights app in Microsoft Teams. The Inspiration library brings together a curated set of best practices and thought leadership content written by experts from Harvard Business Review (HBR), Thrive, and Microsoft on how to approach resiliency, wellbeing, culture, and leadership amidst the evolving world of work.

“We’re excited that HBR will be part of the Inspiration library. Our hope is that it provides some useful ideas on hybrid work, productivity, leading a team, and more to help Viva users in the flow of their workday.”—Maureen Hoch, Editor, HBR.org.

With the addition of the Inspiration library, productivity and wellbeing insights delivered by Viva Insights are enhanced by premium content focused on topics that are top of mind for employees—from burning out, to rediscovering joy at work, to proven ways to inspire your team—there’s insightful, research-backed guidance for individuals, managers, and leaders that gives everyone a space to learn and grow. Embedding these resources directly into the Viva experience will meet employees where they are, enhancing the digital employee experience.

“Fostering a culture focused on employee wellbeing is now more important than ever. That is why we are delighted to partner with Microsoft to bring content from Thrive directly into people’s workflow through the new Inspiration library in Microsoft Viva Insights. With access to articles and science-backed Microsteps on everything from how to improve your leadership style to why takingbreaks can help you have a more productive workday, we hope to inspire new ideas and best practices among employees—giving them tools they need to thrive.”—Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive.

Inspiration library content will be refreshed periodically and will expand to include additional high-value and impactful content from other respected thought leaders.

The new Viva Insights Inspiration library, available in preview through the Viva Insights app in Microsoft Teams.

Focusing on employee work-life balance and wellbeing

Beyond inspiring ideas and providing employees with ways to make the most of their workday, managers and leaders can use these insights and real-world examples along with recommendations from Viva Insights to take action, and then use advanced insights to measure the impact of their actions.

A manager may notice that the team’s overall after-hours work and time spent in meetings are trending upwards. Effective collaboration is important to your business, but people also need focus time to think and work without distraction. With Viva Insights, managers now have the toolkit to build a set of best practices for their teams, such as tips for staying focused, giving permission to say no, and other tools like setting up a no-meeting day for the team or encouraging the team to enroll in a personal focus plan to protect time for important projects during their regular working hours.

The business case for employee experience

Organisations are now beginning to understand that robust employee experience programs supported by the right technology and insights can lead to significant business value. The more employees are invested in the mission and purpose of the organization, the more committed they are to its business outcomes.

Leaders recognise this change and are shifting investments accordingly. While business leaders are using it to accommodate hybrid work environments (like better connections and access to resources), employees say they also value personalised, curated learning experiences, stronger feedback loops, and an inclusive culture. Additionally, there are too many tools and too little adoption.

The good news is, both business leaders and employees agree that technology can help and that a single, integrated EXP can help organisations improve in ways that match the priorities of both groups.

Looking ahead

To make hybrid work work, leaders will need to embrace this shift in employee expectations and transform their organisation’s employee experience. We’re learning together with our customers and partners, and it’s just the beginning of what’s possible.

Read the full article here.

For more information about Microsoft Viva, read our blog.

Microsoft Defender for Business rolling out now

The commercialisation of cybercrime has led to an increase in the frequency and sophistication of attacks on small and medium-sized businesses. Business interruption is a concern, especially from a cyber-attack such as ransomware (Allianz Risk Barometer 2022). For smaller businesses this type of impact can be hard to manage with potential operational, financial, and customer trust implications.

Microsoft are pleased to announce the general availability of Microsoft Defender for Business for Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers. This brings cross-platform endpoint security capabilities to many small business customers worldwide. At no additional cost!

Microsoft Defender for Business now rolling out to new and existing Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers

Microsoft introduced Microsoft Defender for Business, built to bring enterprise-grade endpoint security to businesses, in a solution that is easy-to-use and cost-effective. Defender for Business goes beyond traditional antivirus and delivers threat and vulnerability management, endpoint detection and response, and automated investigation and remediation capabilities in a single solution.

Defender for Business has started rolling out to existing Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers. No action or additional transactions are required for existing customers, the service will become available within the Endpoint section of the Microsoft 365 Defender security portal over the next few weeks. For new Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers, you will see Defender for Business available immediately.

ms business defender

If you have an existing Microsoft Defender for Endpoint license within your tenant this will affect the administrative experience, within the Microsoft 365 Defender security portal. Enabling the Defender for Business service changes the following experiences:

The transition from Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P1 or P2 to Microsoft Defender for Business will not require offboarding and onboarding devices again. Security settings will remain in place.

Defender for Business will also be offered as a standalone package. This will be coming later this year. You can continue to preview the standalone solution by signing up at https://aka.ms/MDB-SA-Preview.

To read the full Microsoft announcement, click here.

If you are looking for more support and guidance on Microsoft Business Defender, Adepteq can assist you. Contact us today.

A new vision for Microsoft Stream encourages users to create, share, discover, and manage video.

With video that will be stored in Microsoft 365, the new version of Stream builds on the rich content management features of SharePoint and unlocks the intelligence of Microsoft Graph to enhance videos across Microsoft 365. The earlier version of Stream will now be known as Microsoft Stream (Classic) and the new version will be known as Microsoft Stream (built on SharePoint) or Stream (on SharePoint).

Microsoft Stream is an intelligent video app in Microsoft 365 that is being reimagined and rebuilt to integrate seamlessly with applications across the suite. You can create, share, discover, and manage video as easily as any Office document.

Video and audio files will be stored on the SharePoint files platform within Microsoft 365 like all other file types. SharePoint powers file experiences for Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Yammer, and Outlook. This will provide the best of both worlds:

Customers who want to create future-proof video experiences in Microsoft 365 can start building them today with SharePoint Online and Microsoft Graph File APIs.

Vision

Stream (on SharePoint) empowers every Microsoft 365 user to achieve more with fast, intelligent videos.

To achieve that vision:

stream

To read the full article, click here. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us,

Microsoft has announced price rises to the majority of its productivity suites from 1st March 2022.

This is the first substantive update since to the Office 365 productivity suite was released in June 2011. This price update builds on the product innovation Microsoft has delivered over the past ten years to meet the changing needs of customers. Since initial release, Microsoft has added 24 new apps – including Microsoft Teams – and over 1400 features like data loss prevention (DLP) for documents and emails, Office messaging encryption, and attack surface reduction capabilities.

How does this affect you? Well the suites that will be increased are listed below with the new prices (pre user, per month).

The good news, is that if you are using or considering Microsoft 365 Business Standard productivity suite or the 'top of the range' Microsoft 365 E5 then you will not see a price increase this year.

Adepteq is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider and can help you with your CSP licencing requirements. Adepteq can help you maintain your current prices for another 12 months by moving you to the Microsoft New Commerce Experience (NCE) before 1st March. This is especially advantageous if you currently pay monthly for you licences and subscriptions.

Contact us to understand your options.

Update to Microsoft 365 and Outlook for Windows connectivity...

To ensure that Microsoft meet performance expectations, they are updating the supported versions of Outlook for Windows that can connect to Microsoft 365 services.

From November 1, 2021, the following versions of Outlook for Windows, as part of Office and Microsoft 365 Apps, were no longer able to connect with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services.

If organisations do not update, they may over time, encounter performance or reliability issues. Organisations that use these older clients will almost certainly face an increased security risk and may find themselves out of compliance depending upon specific regional or industry requirements. Therefore, administrators should update older Office clients to versions of Office supported for connecting to Microsoft 365 services.

Office and
Microsoft 365 Apps
Outlook for
Windows Version
Office 2013 15.0.4970.9999
and older
Office 2016 16.0.4599.9999
and older
Microsoft
365 Apps for enterprise (formerly Office 365 ProPlus)
1705 and
older
Microsoft
365 Apps for business (formerly Office 365 Business)
1705 and
older

If this is something your organisation is considering in order to prevent encountering performance or reliability issues, Adepteq are able to help your organisation update older Office clients to versions of Office supported for connecting to Microsoft 365 services. Contact us now.

In the month of November, Adepteq are excited to announce two new webinars in collaboration with Omnia- 'Supercharge your Intranet with Microsoft Viva' and 'Improve Employee Experience- The Practical Guide to a Successful Intranet'.

The first webinar will be taking place on Thursday 4th November 2021 titled 'Supercharge your Intranet with Microsoft Viva'. 

With Microsoft Viva, we get superpowers to our Intranet, and we can utilise Viva Topics as a Knowledge Management system, and Viva Connections to reach our employees with the latest news and corporate information. Join Ian Loman and Omnia's Knut Relbe-Moe, while they give you an overview of how to supercharge your Intranet with Microsoft Viva and Omnia.

Microsoft Viva helps you connect with your employees through multiple apps within Microsoft Teams. While your Intranet is typically the place where you used to look for corporate information and find news, announcements, and other important information about your company.

To find out more about this webinar and to register now, click here.

The second webinar will be taking place on Monday 18th November 2021 titled 'Improve Employee Experience- The Practical Guide to a Successful Intranet'.

Join Ian Loman and Omnia's Anders Fagerlund, while they give you an overview of how to drive implementation of a successful intranet and also an overview of Omnia, a top-ranked Intranet in a box product. Omnia shows the way to a well-used intranet and a world-class Employee Experience.

In this webinar, you will learn how to design and implement an intranet that improves Employee Experience. We will take you through the process step by step and share several solution examples that are designed for the purpose.

To find out more about this webinar and to register now, click here.

Target audience

This event is primarily aimed at roles like CIO, CDO, Business developers, Intranet or Digital Workplace Managers or similar roles within organisations planning for a new intranet based on Microsoft technology.

General information

If the date and time don’t suit you, sign up anyway and we will send you the presentation and a recording of the webinar.

This webinar is free of charge and is held in English. You can participate using a web browser or a mobile app. Unfortunately, we cannot accept registrations from private email addresses (gmail, outlook, yahoo etc.).

We look forward to having you join us, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Have you ever wondered whether or not your Microsoft 365 data is secure and protected?

Many users sadly become victims to cyber attacks due to not knowing that Microsoft aren’t actually protecting their valuable data. Adepteq SaaS Protection makes it easier and more cost effective than ever to safeguard all of your Microsoft 365 data- putting your mind at ease.

So, what is Adepteq SaaS Protection?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is an intelligent way to deliver applications over the internet. These SaaS apps have revolutionised the way we do businesses. It allows companies to limit installation and maintenance of software by accessing applications with a click of a button. Adepteq Datto SaaS Protection helps you to remove the risk of losing any or all of your data with a simple, automated and secure backup of your Office 365 Data.

Feeling unsecure and want to know how we can protect your data?

We’re holding a FREE Online Webinar on ‘Protecting your Microsoft 365 data with Adepteq SaaS Protection’!

Our Webinar takes place on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 from 10:00AM – 10:45AM BST.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Microsoft’s backup recommendation
  • The threat landscape
  • How to protect your data
  • Ransomware in action (demo)
  • Recovering your data

REGISTER NOW FOR OUR WEBINAR

There will also be a short Q&A where our experts and presenters- Ian Loman and Adam Salley will be able to provide additional support.

This webinar is free of charge and is held in English. You can participate using Microsoft Teams in web browser, desktop app or mobile app. If the date and time is not suitable, sign up anyway and we will send you the presentation and a recording of the webinar.

If you want to know how to Secure and Protect your Microsoft 365 Data with Adepteq SaaS Protection, REGISTER NOW for our Free Webinar to avoid missing out!

Microsoft Inspire: Modern Working

Last week tens of thousands of people from all over the world came together to gain experiences and insights from Microsoft subject matter experts and partner communities as they advance their businesses, with a more thorough understanding of Microsoft's cloud to edge, secure, and trusted business platforms.

The following is a summary of the announcements and news related to modern working for you to keep in mind as you start implementing plans for a very successful year ahead.

Windows 365 Cloud PC:

If you're looking for a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 as a cloud service, then Windows 365 Cloud is your way to go. You will be able to stream the full Window's experience including Apps, settings and data to any device from the Microsoft Cloud.

With Windows 365, partners can:

Read Microsoft 365 General Manager Wangui McKelvey’s blog post to learn more.

Microsoft Teams:

New collaborative apps from partnerships with independent  software vendors (ISVs). These include Atlassian Confluence, SAP Cloud for Customer, Workday and Salesforce- are coming to Microsoft Teams. These integrations allow structured business processes and data to come together increasing collaborative work. Developers and ISVs can build the next generation of apps with collaboration at the core, allowing asynchronous and real-time collaboration for chats, meetings, content creation and business processes.

Read Microsoft 365 CVP Jared Spataro’s blog post to learn more.

Microsoft Viva:

Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform that brings together tools for employee engagement, wellbeing, learning and knowledge. Adding integrations with more than 20 partners from the likes of ServiceNow, Workday and Qualtrics comes into play during Autumn. With these new integrations customers can seamlessly surface tools, insights and experiences personalised for employees during their workflow.

Read the Microsoft 365 Blog post from Microsoft CVP Jared Spataro and Microsoft Business Applications CVP Alysa Taylor to learn more.

Benefits for partners building Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Viva apps

Microsoft have announced new benefits for ISVs who want to build and market Modern Workplace apps for Microsoft Viva and MS Teams. Those ISVs that are eligible, will receive access to Microsoft technology, one-on-one consultations, curated training, and marketing resources that will help them reach the 145 million people using and collaborating on MS Teams daily.

Visit the Modern Work and Microsoft Viva ISV app development pages to learn more.

New Partner Tools:

Two new tools are now in preview that are intended to make it easier to deliver managed security services and identify opportunities to grow.

Microsoft 365 Lighthouse

Microsoft 365 Lighthouse is a unified portal that assists managed service providers (MSP) partners to easily secure devices, data and users, at no extra costs, for their Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers.

Project 'Orland'

Available in private preview, Project "Orland" is a fresh, new experience in the Partner Centre to help Microsoft Partners grow their cloud business by sharing Microsoft-powered insights about their own customers which will improve account management.

To find out more about the Microsoft Inspire event, head over to the main article.

If you need additional Office 365, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams or Power Platform support, feel free to contact us and one of our expert advisors will be able to assist you.

Last week, Microsoft shared a new remote code execution vulnerability in Windows, that has been using the Windows Print Spooler. A remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Print Spooler service improperly performs privileged file operations. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. The vulnerability is actively removed and Microsoft published two workarounds to protect systems from being attacked.

Microsoft have provided two suggestions: to disable the Print Spooler service or to disable inbound remote printing using the Group Policy.

Determine if the Print Spooler service is running

Run the following:

Get-Service -Name Spooler

If the Print Spooler is running or if the service is not set to disabled, select one of the following options to either disable the Print Spooler service, or to Disable inbound remote printing through Group Policy:

Option 1 - Disable the Print Spooler service

If disabling the Print Spooler service is appropriate for your enterprise, use the following PowerShell commands:

Stop-Service -Name Spooler -Force

Set-Service -Name Spooler -StartupType Disabled

Impact of workaround Disabling the Print Spooler service disables the ability to print both locally and remotely.

Option 2 - Disable inbound remote printing through Group Policy

You can also configure the settings via Group Policy as follows:

Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Printers

Disable the “Allow Print Spooler to accept client connections:” policy to block remote attacks.

You must restart the Print Spooler service for the group policy to take effect.

Impact of workaround This policy will block the remote attack vector by preventing inbound remote printing operations. The system will no longer function as a print server, but local printing to a directly attached device will still be possible.

To read the full Microsoft CVE article, click here, which also contains a handy FAQ. If you would like more support and assistance, click here to speak to one of our expert advisors.

When it comes to security, according to the 'State of SMB Cyber Security in 2019', 60% of small business say they lack the skills to deal with security issues and are not prepared to deal with cyber attacks. A lot of small businesses fall into the trap of thinking it's a lot of work to ensure the safety of your company, however it is much easier than you think...

With Microsoft 365 Business Premium, advanced security capabilities along with collaboration tools, can help you run your business safely, from anywhere. Here are the Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

  1. Communicate and collaborate effortlessly: Save time with Microsoft Teams which allows your employees to collaborate in real-time, through Chat and Online Meetings, Share Files and Co-Author documents all in one convenient place.
  2. Protect your important work data from unauthorized access: Covid-19 means remote working has been taken to a whole new level, however there is a fear of employee's working remotely, falling vulnerable to email hacking where passwords and valuable details could land in the wrong hands. Advanced multifactor authentication, uses a second form of authentication that has been show to thwart 99% of identity hacks according to a Microsoft Security blog (2019). Conditional access policies ensure only authorised company personnel have access to private company data.
  3. Protection against phishing attacks and ransomware: With real-time AI Powered malware scanning, you are able to detect attachments and links shared across email, one drive and teams. Anti-spoof technologies help identify and protect against impersonation and phishing. It helps prevent unauthorised apps or scripts from accessing files.
  4. Safeguard sensitive data: When dealing with sensitive data like customer payment details, you need information protection capabilities. Microsoft 365 Business Premium helps safeguard these confidential business data against breaches and accidental loss, encrypting email and prevents unauthorised access.
  5. Secure your work data on personal devices: Employees use personal phones and laptops to sometimes access work data, Microsoft 365 Business Premium prevents these confidential files from being saved into unsecure, personal locations. Mobile app protection policies help keep work and personal apps separate. Work data can be easily, and safely, wiped remotely if an employee moves on from the company.

 

Microsoft 365 Business premium can help secure work data from anywhere, whilst being cost-effective and easy to use. For more help understanding how your company can benefit from securing their data from anywhere, speak to our technical experts.

 

microsoft competency 2021

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