One Drive for Business – The ugly duckling

So first things first, if you use office365 and One Drive for Business, let me advise you of the following updates coming in the next few months….

  • Manage bandwidth—By the end of June, we’ll deliver IT controls to throttle bandwidth consumption of the client.
  • Extended Windows Explorer integration—A simple right-click action to get a link or share files directly in Windows Explorer.
  • SharePoint Document Library Sync—We’re adding SharePoint Online document library sync, starting with a preview in the third quarter of 2016, with general release by the end of 2016.

It’s always good to start on a good note as most of my previous posts about One Drive have not been so positive from the outset.

OneDrive for Business has made significant progress in the last six months, and was recently named a Leader by Forrester Research in “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise File Sync and Share Platforms, Cloud Solutions, Q1 2016.” You can read the report here.

 

Browser experience enhancements

Microsoft are introducing a simple way to remove files and folders from the “Shared with me” view in the browser experience. Removing an item from the “Shared with me” view doesn’t delete the file; it can still be found via a search, so it’s not lost if you need to get back to it.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 1

Easily remove items from your “Shared with me” view.

Sharing with people outside your organization is now a whole lot easier!

Microsoft have streamlined the process for an external recipient who doesn’t have an Office 365 or Microsoft account to open files you share with them from OneDrive for Business. Now, anyone without an Office 365 or Microsoft account who receives a file invitation just needs to enter an email address or phone number and a password, then confirm their account (one time only), and they’ll have access to the file.

Simplified creation of a Microsoft account.

Driving mobile productivity further

This update is a big one for our iOS and Android apps! We’re integrating Outlook mobile with OneDrive for Business, so you can share files through email on both iOS and Android—this update will roll out in the coming weeks.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 3

Composing an email on an iPhone and attaching a link to a OneDrive for Business file is quick and easy.

We’ve introduced a richer sharing experience in the OneDrive app for Android, including a fantastic new PDF viewing and annotation experience and an embedded Office Lens experience. You can now take a photo of the whiteboard after an important meeting and have it automatically converted to a PDF file and uploaded to the OneDrive for Business folder of your choice, in one simple process. We’ve included support for Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP). This builds on the DLP integration already in the browser experience. This update will start rolling out today and be available to all users within a week.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 4

In the OneDrive app for iOS, we have a new, richer sharing experience including SMS, Mail, Outlook Mobile, Copy Link (both Edit and Read-only links), Invite People and others. You can also save files to OneDrive for Business from any iOS app. As with the Android update, this iOS update also supports Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies defined by your organization. Again, this update will roll out to all users in the next week.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 5

This iOS update has much richer sharing options for OneDrive for Business files.

New insights, governance and controls for IT

One of the great things about Office 365 is the ability for IT to get an unprecedented view of what’s going on with your critical business data across email and files. We recently started to roll out a new reporting portal in the Office 365 admin center, where you can see key usage metrics for all of your Office 365 services including OneDrive for Business.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 6

Comprehensive usage reporting across Office 365 services is now available.

In addition, along with making external sharing easier for end users, Microsoft are also giving IT administrators more controls over who their users can share with. For example, perhaps your organization is OK with files being shared with external parties, but doesn’t want employees to share files with certain organizations, such as direct competitors. Now, IT administrators can set up a list of domains that people can share with or a list of blocked domains (but not both). This new capability is currently rolling out and will be available to all OneDrive for Business customers by the end of April.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 7

Setting a list of domains that users can share with.

In September 2015, MS rolled out the ability for end users to define an expiration date for an anonymous or guest sharing link. Now we’ve added the ability for IT to set a tenant policy (RequireAnonymousLinksExpireInDays) that makes expiration dates mandatory for anonymous or guest links and assigns default expiration period (e.g., 7 days). Users can still set an expiration date that is shorter, but not longer, than the default period.

OneDrive for Business recognized as an EFSS leader and continues momentum with spring updates 8

The user experience if they try to set an expiry date beyond the organization’s policy.

 

All in all….Good News for OneDrive/SharePoint and Office365 Users !!!

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