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Lane Shelton - Vice President of Software Business Development

Max Out Outlook

Exchange Server Upgrades will Maximize Outlook 2016


You don’t hear too many complaints about Outlook, but Microsoft has managed to improve upon all the functionality and tools organizations have become accustomed to. Outlook 2016 offers new features for managing your email, calendar, contacts, and tasks so users can communicate more efficiently. To get the full benefits though you’ll have to ensure your Exchange Server is up to date. Read on and you’ll quickly see why it makes sense to ensure you can max out your Outlook. 

Microsoft Outlook

Here’s an example of a great new feature with Outlook 2016, you can easily attach recently saved documents to your emails directly from Outlook’s Ribbon. When you attach files from OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint, you can share them as “view only” or give recipients full editing permissions to streamline collaboration. 

Microsoft has taken ease of collaboration step further with Groups instead of distribution lists to involve your team members. Create groups with just a few clicks and organize them around topics as well as conversations. Teams gain a shared place for all their email conversations, members can create team events, join existing Groups, or create new ones.

And for those of you who vow to get more organized, Outlook 2016 could just be your holy grail. Email search is faster, more reliable, and provides improved performance. And, wait there’s more. Clutter is a feature that automatically puts messages that you are most likely to ignore in a Clutter folder. It analyzes your emails based on your past behaviors to predict which messages you’re most likely to ignore. It then automatically places those messages into the Clutter folder so you can review them when you have time. Wow, now that’s priceless. Think of it as more educated “junk”.

And for the multilingual at heart, Email Address Internationalizatio(EAI) is an Outlook 2016 feature that lets you send mail to—or receive mail from—any email addresses regardless of the language of the email address. International addresses work just like English email addresses, so you can reply, send, and compose emails the same way.  

And, last but not least, the Tellme feature makes other features and help topics more readily available, and it can save you the time you would have normally used to look for a specific function on the Ribbon.

I’ve highlighted just a few of the new features in Outlook 2016, but hopefully you agree they are worth having in your arsenal of email weaponry.  But perhaps the more important message here is that upgrading to Outlook 2016 requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth transition.

If you’re using Exchange, Outlook 2016 requires Exchange 2010, 2013, or 2016, although many new features require Exchange 2013 or 2016. So if you’re running Exchange 2010, you’ll lose access to many of the most promising new features. We see a large trend of organizations that are running older versions of Exchange upgrading in order to support Outlook 2016.

Interestingly enough, many organizations are also concurrently implementing Microsoft Azure integrated cloud services to rely on a trusted cloud platform to support business operations. For example, you could provision Azure AD Domain Services to join your Azure virtual machines to a domain without the need to deploy domain controllers. Users can sign into these virtual machines using their corporate Active Directory credentials and access resources seamlessly.

You could also implement Azure Active Directory to support B2B collaboration by enabling access to your corporate applications from partner-managed identities. You can also implement Azure Active Directory B2C to stay connected with your consumers with a cloud identity service that is more reliable and cost effective than on-premises systems. Built on Azure Active Directory, Azure Active Directory B2C is a highly available, global, identity management service for consumer-facing applications that scales to support hundreds of millions of identities. Clearly, there are a lot of fantastic options out there designed to make life in IT a lot more efficient, but, here’s the but, navigating these options can quickly become overwhelming. Fear not, we’re here to lend a hand.

Our team is known for its combination of unbiased expertise and best-of-breed partners.  Our customers turn to us for everything from Microsoft Services that help avoid Microsoft licensing woes to seamlessly upgrading to Outlook 2016. And our Microsoft Exchange Services Team can work with your organization to create a powerful, streamlined messaging infrastructure. That includes a wide range of Exchange services, including planning and implementing new Exchange environments, transitioning from previous versions of Exchange, and migrating from other messaging platforms.

Our Microsoft Practice also offers Microsoft Azure Cloud Services that can help you get to know the Microsoft Azure platform at your own pace, and discover how it can support your organization’s needs.

That’s a lot to absorb, but we make it easier, just fill out this brief form to engage our Microsoft experts and we will respond to your inquiry by the close of the next business day.  Max out Outlook without getting stressed out. Promise.

For more than 30 years, the Connection family of companies has been trusted to provide and transform technology into complete solutions. For more information, drop us a line.