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.

Elevate Your Security with Microsoft Defender...

Threats are becoming increasingly significant at a higher rate with a rise in cyberattacks targeting small and medium-sized businesses. In the last year, Microsoft have seen a 300% increase in ransomware attacks with over 50% reaching small businesses. Microsoft is investing in security solutions purposefully designed to help protect businesses from cyberattacks.

Microsoft Defender for Business is a new endpoint security solution that’s coming soon. Microsoft Defender for Business is specially built to bring enterprise-grade endpoint security to businesses with up to 300 employees, in a solution that is easy-to-use and cost-effective.

thumbnail image 1 captioned Figure 1: Microsoft Defender for Business brings enterprise-grade capabilities to help protect your business.

Microsoft Defender for Business elevates security from traditional antivirus to next-generation protection, endpoint detection and response, threat and vulnerability management, and a lot more. Defender helps businesses protect themselves against cybersecurity threats including ransomware and malware across macOS, Windows, Android and iOS devices.

Defender for Business includes the following capabilities:

 

Microsoft Defender for Business

Threat and Vulnerability management dashboard helps you to proactively discover and prioritise software vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.

Defender for Business delivers maximum security value at a price point that works for your organisation. Included as part of the Microsoft 365 Business Premium license (or as an addon license), this security and productivity solution brings together MS Teams and Office 365 with the essential security tools for organisations.

Contact Adepteq today to find out how we can help your organisation implement Microsoft Defender for Business to help secure your business.

Read the full Microsoft Defender article here.

 

 

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 are excited to announce that Windows 11 will start to become available on October 5, 2021.

A free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs that come pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to become available for users to easily buy. As PCs play a more central role in our day to day lives, Windows 11 is designed to bring you closer to what you love by empowering your productivity and creativity.

Adepteq have the rundown on this exciting new release:

  1. With Windows 11, users will experience new designs and sounds that are modern and fresh.
  2. 'Start' utilises the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what device you were viewing them on.
  3. Want an even more powerful way to multitask and optimise your screen? Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops provide just that.
  4. With conversations through Microsoft Teams, Windows 11 provides a faster way to connect with others, as Microsoft Teams will be integrated into the taskbar.
  5. Widgets, a new personalized feed powered by AI, provides a faster way to access the information you are interested in.
  6. This latest version of Windows, is inclusively designed with new accessibility improvements that were built for and by people with disabilities.
  7.  Microsoft are opening the Store to allow more developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps to the Store which unlocks new opportunities for developers and creators.
  8. Windows 11 is optimized for speed, efficiency and improved experiences with touch, digital pen and voice input.
  9. Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work and learning, delivering new experiences that work how you work, are secure by design, and easy and familiar for IT to deploy and manage.

The free upgrade starts on October 5 and will be phased and measured. New eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience. Microsoft expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade by mid-2022.

Being Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, Adepteq can provide Microsoft Licences for you to purchase. If you would like to speak to an expert for more information please contact us.

To read the full Microsoft article, click here.

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.

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 365 subscriptions allows businesses to link devices and data across platforms, from any location, all with a single login. Giving your company greater agility and your first steps towards a fully connected workforce. It brings Microsoft’s leading business applications and combines them into one integrated productivity suite. Familiar programs allow your workforce to use their existing skills and leverage your investments in the world’s number one business suite.

Assess and Build Resilience Throughout Your Organisation:

Covid-19 has forced businesses globally to work from home, therefore helping your workforce stay connected is important now more than ever. Get useful resources to learn about monitoring, reporting and decision‑making tools to help everyone stay connected, productive and secure. Find timely advice for whatever stage your organisation has reached in returning to the workplace.

Resilience is safely returning back to work. As you move toward bringing employees back, give your teams the tools to help them stay safe and productive on the job with solutions from Microsoft. Explore These Microsoft Resources Today

Features and Resources:

Discover the home site app for Microsoft Teams

Homesite app microsoft teams
 
The new home site app in Teams gives you global navigation across sites, communities and teams, plus a personalised news feed. This allows you to tailor your interests so that you get access to the things you like.  Read the blog and watch an on‑demand video session featuring demos and more.
 
Learn About The App >
 

Apply modern principles to your organisation's intranet

microsoft sharepoint

Learn how to use Microsoft SharePoint to meet your organisation's needs by integrating modern concepts into the design of your intranet, portals and sites. Adepteq have an extensive library of SharePoint designs and layouts for you to customise what's best for your business.

Read The Guide >

 
Best practices for sharing files and folders with unauthenticated users

file sharing man working on laptop with coffee

Explore options for creating an environment where your team can share files and folders with unauthenticated users. Ensure your company are utilising safeguards to help protect your organisation's content.

Learn How >


Explore a unified approach to data loss prevention (DLP)

data loss prevention microsoft edge

Working from home calls for strong and coordinated protection across all user touchpoints with sensitive data. Endpoint DLP integration in Microsoft Edge adds native awareness of sensitive content classification in Microsoft Information Protection, and DLP policies to online activities.

Learn More >

As Microsoft Gold Partners, we have the knowledge and skills to help assist you with your Microsoft 365 subscriptions. If you would like to assess and build resilience throughout your workplace, get in contact with us today to discuss how we can provide personalised support.

Working from home and remaining creative can sometimes come with challenges such as limited space, resources and support from co-workers. Microsoft Whiteboard is a solution that makes it easier to be creative, remotely.

Microsoft Whiteboard is a free-form, digital canvas where people, content, and ideas come together. Whiteboard integration in Microsoft Teams meetings is powered by the Whiteboard web app, which lets Teams meeting participants draw, sketch, and write together on a shared digital canvas. Users can share a whiteboard to make it available to all participants in a Teams meeting. That same whiteboard is simultaneously available in all the Whiteboard applications on Windows 10, iOS, and the web app.

How do I get started with a whiteboard in a Teams meeting?

You can share a whiteboard to make it available to all participants in a Teams meeting. After joining a Teams meeting, click the Share icon in the share tray of that meeting.

  1. In the Whiteboard section, select Microsoft Whiteboard.

Note: The ability to start a new whiteboard is currently limited to the Microsoft Teams clients on Windows 10, macOS, and for the web. The Teams apps for iOS and Android cannot initiate sharing a whiteboard, but they can collaborate once a whiteboard is shared.

How do you use the whiteboard in a Teams meeting?
A soon as the Whiteboard canvas has been started, Teams meeting attendees can ink and type collaboratively. To add ink, click the Pen icon, select a colour, and then begin to draw, sketch, or write on the board. To add text, click the Note or Text icons, and then begin to type. These objects can be moved around on the canvas.
If a Teams meeting is recorded, will it include Whiteboard as part of the recording?

If you share a whiteboard during a Teams meeting that is being recorded, it will not be part of the recording. Microsoft are yet to announce when this feature will be available.

Can I access and continue working on a whiteboard after a Teams meeting ends?

After a Teams meeting, its whiteboard will be available to all participants from the Teams meeting chat, in a tab labelled Whiteboard. The whiteboard will also be available in the Board Gallery in the Microsoft Whiteboard apps for Windows 10 and iOS, so that meeting attendees can continue collaborating on a whiteboard even after a meeting has ended.

Can anyone start or ink on a whiteboard in a Teams meeting?

Teams meeting attendees within the same Microsoft 365 tenant can collaborate on a whiteboard. Anonymous, federated, or external users are not yet supported. Microsoft are yet to announce when collaboration will be added as a feature.

So where can Microsoft Whiteboard integration with Microsoft Teams take you? At Adepteq, we are delighted that Microsoft have given organisations the resources to remain engaged, creative and experimental through a collaborative feature such as Whiteboard.

If you would like to see how your workplace can enhance creativity and productivity during the pandemic and working remotely, contact us now to discuss your options.

Click here to read the full Microsoft Whiteboard Release Article.

Adepteq are excited to share that ClearBox Consulting has today announced their Intranet Choices for 2021 and Omnia has been awarded Intranet Choice Europe.

Since 2016 UK based ClearBox Consulting has published a comprehensive report on intranet in a box-products for SharePoint and Microsoft 365. In 2020 they also released a similar report for independent intranet in a box-products. The purpose of both reports is to help workplace leaders, intranet managers, and IT professionals understand the market and match products to priority requirements. These reports are useful as they allow users to keep up with the growing demands and technology changes.

Over 70 products are covered within the reviews and today ClearBox Consulting has announced their Intranet Choices for 2021. The choices are a selection of products that the UK-based company feels are strong candidates for anyone’s best-fit shortlist.

Omnia has for the fourth year in a row been awarded the badge Intranet Choice Europe.

Anders Fagerlund, Product Offering Lead for Omnia, comments:

– We are thrilled to receive the badge for the fourth year in a row, especially since the choices have been made between all intranet in a box-products in the market – not only the ones designed to work on the Microsoft stack.

– Omnia got the highest possible score for User Experience which always has been a priority for us when developing the product. It was also great to see that the market-leading performance, an area that we have put a lot of effort in, was highlighted in the report.

Johan Schedin Jigland, Product Delivery Lead for Omnia, comments:

– During the last year, we have launched some game-changing new features that have been developed in close collaboration with some of our customers, so I would like to share the award with them. This work includes seamless integration with Microsoft Teams, a concept for mirroring intranet content to users that don’t have Microsoft 365 accounts and more, and I’m sure this has been significant for making Omnia perform well in all reviewed scenarios.

In the review, Omnia is viewed as a capable and pleasant product that works elegantly alongside and on top of Microsoft’s applications. The review also states that “users are likely to be happy with the attractive and easy-to-use approach, while content owners will appreciate the support for creating appealing content and admins will enjoy the degree of flexibility and control that they have.”

Adepteq chose to partner with Omnia as they continue to provide outstanding, and award winning applications for businesses using the Microsoft Cloud. If you would like to see how the Omnia Intranet in a Box solution can support and work for you, get in contact with Ian Loman ( ian.loman@adepteq-omnia.com) to book a demo.

microsoft competency 2021

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