Introducing the new surf game in Microsoft Edge – Microsoft Edge Blog

Starting with build 83.0.478.37, users can now play a surfing-themed game in the new Microsoft Edge when they’re offline or by navigating to edge://surf. The game, which has been available for Insiders since late February, is now available for everyone to play in the latest Stable channel release. Download the new Microsoft Edge here to get started surfing today!

Inspired by the classic Windows game SkiFree, the surf game challenges players to ride through the water while avoiding islands, fellow surfers, and other obstacles. Watch out for the kraken! Players can also collect hearts to extend their lives and boosts for a burst of speed. Surf as far as possible in an endless ocean, compete for the shortest time, or zig zag through as many gates as you can in a row. With three distinct game modes, players have a variety of ways to pass the time.
To catch the wave, simply navigate to edge://surf in the address bar. If you are not connected to the internet, Microsoft Edge will also provide a handy link to the game to help you pass the time.

An early version of the surf game originally debuted in November as part of a special Easter Egg. Insiders followed a series of cryptic hints and puzzles in the run-up to Microsoft Ignite 2019 which eventually led them to unlock the hidden surf game using Collections. Upon reaching the end of the game, Insiders were treated to the world’s first look at the new icon for Microsoft Edge—two days before the official reveal.
Upon the conclusion of the Easter Egg, the number one request from Insiders was to turn the surfing game into an endless runner as the permanent “offline game” for Microsoft Edge. The team took this feedback to heart and has spent the last few months polishing edge://surf and adding new gameplay features and improvements, including support for accessibility features like high contrast, screen readers, and even the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Here’s a look at what’s included:
Let’s surf: Endless mode
Surf as far as you can while avoiding obstacles and the kraken. You can switch modes via the game settings menu.
Time trial mode
Reach the end of the course as fast as you can! Collect coins to help you achieve an even shorter time. The course is always the same—can you find the shortest possible route? You can switch modes via the game settings menu.
Zig zag mode
Surf through as many gates as you can in a row! Your streak will reset if you miss a gate, but you can keep playing until your lives run out. You can switch modes via the game settings menu.
Play with keyboard, mouse, touch, or gamepad
Play your way with support for keyboard, mouse, touch, and gamepads, including Xbox, PlayStation, Switch Pro, and the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The game also supports gamepad haptic feedback (rumble) for a more immersive experience. Instructions for how to play, including the controls for each input method, can be found in the game’s settings menu.
Personal high scores
Each game mode keeps a record of your high score, and you’ll see a notification every time you set a new record. You can also reset your stats from the game settings menu.

High visibility mode
High visibility mode (accessible via the game settings menu) highlights the hit boxes around objects, making it easier to identify and avoid obstacles in the water.
Reduced speed mode
For users who prefer a more relaxed pace or need extra time to pull off those surfing moves, they can enable the new reduced speed mode (accessible via the game settings menu) to slow down the speed of the game.
And much more!
The final release of edge://surf has many changes based directly on user feedback from the Easter Egg version, including an enhanced user experience, numerous gameplay improvements (such as smarter enemy logic) and bug fixes, and much more. Who knows? There might even be a few secrets just waiting to be found.
Thanks again to our incredible community that made this possible. Happy surfing!
– William Devereux, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

Latest ‘Simply Windows’ episodes: Tips for using virtual desktops and getting connected | Windows Experience Blog

The newest “Simply Windows” videos are now available, focusing on tips for working with virtual desktops and connecting to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices. 
If you’re new to Windows 10 or want to learn more about how to get the most out of it, this video series can help you get up to speed. And as writers in the series have had to work from home, like many people, they’re sharing their remote experiences in these newer episodes and answering questions from viewers. 

In episode nine, writer Maxx Ramos tackles a request from a viewer on how to do a lot – with less space – for those working from home, using their laptops. She shows how to set up and use virtual desktops to stay focused and organized when you’re working on multiple tasks/projects and want to keep them separate. 

In episode 10, writer Doug Thomas guides you through connecting your PC to Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth devices (such as mice, headphones and speakers) and printers. 
Find out more about “Simply Windows” and check out a playlist of previous shows. 
And if you like this, check out other Windows 10 Tips. 

Minecraft Dungeons now available on Windows, console and more | Windows Experience Blog

Minecraft Dungeons is out now for Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
“Minecraft Dungeons promises challenges and adventure for players of all skill sets and playing types, but we think that no matter the player, it’s always better to explore together,” says David Nisshagen, executive producer for the game, in a post on Xbox Wire. “We’re happy to offer both online and local co-op play, so that you can team up with your friends and family from a distance or even on your own couch – perfect for spending time at home.”
You can choose between the Standard Edition ($19.99) and the Hero Edition ($29.99), which includes the Hero Pass that has a hero cape, two player skins, two upcoming DLC packs and a chicken pet. To find out more and watch the trailer for Minecraft Dungeons, head over to the Xbox Wire post.

Wanted – 1TB NVME SSD

Europe’s busiest forums, with independent news and expert reviews, for TVs, Home Cinema, Hi-Fi, Movies, Gaming, Tech and more.

AVForums.com is owned and operated by M2N Limited,
company number 03997482, registered in England and Wales.

Powered by Xenforo, Hosted by Nimbus Hosting, Original design Critical Media Ltd.
This website uses the TMDb API but is not endorsed or certified by TMDb.

Copyright © 2000-2020 E. & O.E.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Racing against time, medical researchers, life science companies and COVID-19 survivors launch national campaign to drive blood plasma donation – Stories

“The Fight Is In Us” campaign seeks to mobilize COVID-19 survivors to accelerate the development of potentially lifesaving therapies

Editor’s note – May 26, 2020 – The list of participants below was updated following initial publication.

REDMOND, Wash., USA, and NEW YORK — May 26, 2020 — A coalition of world-leading medical and research institutions, blood centers, life science companies, technology companies, philanthropic organizations, and COVID-19 survivor groups has come together to support the rapid development of potential new therapies for patients with COVID-19. Working together under the “The Fight Is In Us” campaign, the coalition is seeking to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the United States who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their blood plasma, which contains vital antibodies that have fought off the disease and could now help others do the same.

The campaign is working against two urgent timelines: to recruit COVID-19 survivors within two months of their recovery to ensure that their blood plasma contains a robust enough concentration of antibodies to have a positive effect, and to address the substantial seasonal increase in COVID-19 cases anticipated this fall in the Northern Hemisphere by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health experts.

“As an early survivor of COVID-19, I was desperate to do whatever was in my power to be a part of the solution. I started Survivor Corps to mobilize and connect the thousands of people affected by COVID-19 to support all ongoing scientific, medical and academic research, and this coalition is furthering our goal,” said Diana Berrent, founder of Survivor Corps. “Inside COVID-19 survivors is the antibody-rich blood plasma that may help stem the tide of this pandemic. The time is now for superhero volunteers to donate their blood plasma and to potentially help stop COVID-19 in its tracks.”

Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, or know someone who has, can visit TheFightIsInUs.org to understand if they may be eligible to donate and find a nearby blood or plasma donor center using a simple self-screening tool. Donating blood plasma is a generally safe and proven process. The coalition offers more than 1,500 locations at which COVID-19 survivors can choose to donate. Donations can be made at both blood and plasma donor centers.

The coalition partners are working on two distinct approaches for treating COVID-19 that both urgently require collection of convalescent plasma now. One approach is the direct transfusion of blood plasma though the Expanded Access Program for convalescent plasma, which is currently being administered with authorization from the Food & Drug Administration by Mayo Clinic. Its safety and efficacy are currently being evaluated through multiple clinical trials in different populations. Blood donor centers throughout the country are currently collecting convalescent plasma from COVID-19 survivors for this purpose. The other approach is the development of a medicine known as a hyperimmune globulin (H-Ig), which is being manufactured now and will be studied in clinical trials this summer. Through the manufacturing process, the plasma is pooled, concentrated and purified, resulting in a vial of medicine with consistent levels of antibodies that is easy to store, distribute and administer to patients. Coalition members developing an H-Ig include the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance (CSL Behring, Takeda, ADMA Biologics, Biopharma Plasma, Biotest, BPL, GC Pharma, LFB, Octapharma and Sanquin) and Grifols.

About The Fight Is In Us

“The Fight Is In Us” is an initiative to maximize the individual and societal benefit of COVID-19 plasma. The campaign will focus on recruiting COVID-19 survivors to donate their plasma at licensed blood and plasma donor centers. The campaign will begin in the United States, and then expand to Europe.

This is a united effort bringing together several coalitions and organizations, including academic medical institutions (the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program led by Mayo Clinic and including Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis); plasma companies (Grifols and the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance including those announced at its inception — Biotest, BPL, CSL Behring, LFB, Octapharma, and Takeda — and new members ADMA Biologics, Biopharma Plasma, GC Pharma, and Sanquin); national blood center organizations (including the AABB, America’s Blood Center and Blood Centers of America); health benefits company Anthem Inc.; health care diagnostics company LabCorp; grassroots, survivor, and non-profit groups including Stop the Spread, Survivor Corps, and XPRIZE; and marketing and media support from the Ad Council. Ashfield Healthcare is providing contact center service to support COVID-19 survivors.

“The Fight Is In Us” is also supported by advisory and technology members. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lasker Foundation are providing advisory support. Microsoft is providing technology support for the recruitment website and self-qualification tool. The website and tool are hosted by the MITRE Corporation. MITRE is appreciative of the Microsoft AI for Health program for their support of MITRE’s hosting of the recruitment website and self-qualification tool in the Azure cloud. Uber Health is providing free, roundtrip Uber rides to and from donor the centers for those who are eligible to donate.

The combined efforts of these organizations will contribute specialist advisory expertise, technical guidance and additional support to potentially save more lives — together. But the coalition’s success depends on the urgent support of survivor donors around the world. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 can learn more about how to donate their strength and about the coalition partners at TheFightIsInUs.org.

For Media Inquiries:

Microsoft Media Relations
WE Communications for Microsoft
(425) 638-7777
[email protected]

About AABB

AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the fields of transfusion medicine and biotherapies. The Association is committed to improving health through the development and delivery of standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership includes physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. AABB members are located in more than 80 countries and AABB accredits institutions in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit: www.aabb.org.

About Bio Products Laboratory (BPL)
Recognising the power of plasma and with over 60 years heritage in the industry, BPL supplies high-quality plasma derived medicines to meet the needs of clinicians, patients and customers globally.  Headquartered in the United Kingdom and with plasma collection centres across the United States, we are dedicated to producing medicines for the treatment of immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders and infectious diseases as well for critical care.  BPL invests in the latest R&D, technology and manufacturing methods, and continuously adapts to ensure that we continue to serve all our stakeholders effectively.  For more information visit http://www.bplgroup.com.

About the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance

In an effort to help fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, a new alliance was created in April 2020 to help develop a potential plasma-derived therapy for people at risk for serious complications from COVID-19.

The CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance brings together world-leading plasma companies to work on the development of an investigational unbranded polyclonal anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin medicine with the potential to treat patients who are at risk for serious complications from COVID-19.

The “I” and “g” in CoVIg-19 stand for immune globulin, which the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance will use to concentrate the antibodies into a potential medicine.

The Alliance, formed by CSL Behring and Takeda, also includes the leading-edge expertise of ADMA Biologics, Biopharma Plasma, Biotest, BPL, GC Pharma, LFB, Octapharma and Sanquin. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing advisory support. Microsoft is providing technology including the Alliance website and the Plasma Bot for donor recruitment. Experts from the Alliance are collaborating across key aspects such as plasma collection, clinical trial development, and product manufacturing.

About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients’ needs by using the latest technologies, we develop and deliver innovative therapies that are used to treat coagulation disorders, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders. The company’s products are also used in cardiac surgery, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn. CSL Behring operates one of the world’s largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL;USOTC:CSLLY), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 26,000 people, and delivers its life-saving therapies to people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.cslbehring.com and for inspiring stories about the promise of biotechnology, visit Vita www.cslbehring.com/Vita.

About Grifols

Grifols is a global healthcare company founded in Barcelona in 1909 committed to improving the health and well-being of people around the world. Its four divisions – Bioscience, Diagnostic, Hospital and Bio Supplies – develop, produce and market innovative solutions and services that are sold in more than 100 countries.

Pioneers in the plasma industry, Grifols operates a growing network of donation centers worldwide. It transforms collected plasma into essential medicines to treat chronic, rare and, at times, life-threatening conditions. As a recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Grifols also offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions designed to enhance safety from donation to transfusion. In addition, the company supplies tools, information and services that enable hospitals, pharmacies and healthcare professionals to efficiently deliver expert medical care.

Grifols, with more than 24,000 employees in 30 countries and regions, is committed to a sustainable business model that sets the standard for continuous innovation, quality, safety and ethical leadership.

The company’s class A shares are listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange, where they are part of the Ibex-35 (MCE:GRF). Grifols non-voting class B shares are listed on the Mercado Continuo (MCE:GRF.P) and on the U.S. NASDAQ through ADRs (NASDAQ:GRFS).

For more information, please visit www.grifols.com.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news and An Inside Look at Mayo Clinic for more information about Mayo.

About Octapharma
Headquartered in Lachen, Switzerland, Octapharma is one of the largest human protein manufacturers in the world, developing and producing human proteins from human plasma and human cell lines. Octapharma employs more than 10,000 people worldwide to support the treatment of patients in 118 countries with products across three therapeutic areas: Hematology; Immunotherapy and Critical care. Octapharma has seven R&D sites and six state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Austria, France, Germany, Mexico and Sweden, with a combined capacity of approximately 8 mil litres of plasma per annum. In addition, Octapharma operates more than 140 plasma donation centres across Europe and the US. For more information, visit www.octapharma.com.

About Survivor Corps

Survivor Corps is the largest grassroots movement in America dedicated to actively ending this pandemic. We are mobilizing all those affected by COVID-19 to support all ongoing scientific, medical and academic research to find a vaccine and a cure. We hope to get people back into their communities and back to work, all while fostering the spirit of unity and solidarity that is urgently needed during this time of crisis.

With every passing day, thousands of people across the country are being infected with COVID-19. The vast majority will survive and most will likely develop antibodies to the virus. The mysteries to this virus will be solved, in part, by individual donations to scientific research.

Survivor Corps is the epicenter of HOPE. For more information, visit www.survivorcorps.com.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries.

For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

# # #

Additional Quote Sheet will also be included in press package

AABB

“AABB is proud to support blood centers throughout the country that are collecting potentially lifesaving plasma from COVID-19 survivors. The blood banking community is an integral part of our health care system, and their heroism has truly been on display during this pandemic. Convalescent plasma can be a game-changing therapy for patients in need, and we are pleased to be part of a coalition that recognizes and supports the vital work blood centers do.” — Debra BenAvram, CEO of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)

Ad Council

“We are proud to join this critical campaign to educate and empower COVID-19 survivors to donate plasma to help save the lives of others. During this time of uncertainty, we know that this will be a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19.” — Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council

America’s Blood Centers

“Community blood centers continue to be at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to collect convalescent plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. ABC member blood centers remain committed to ensuring the availability of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients and are pleased to have the support of Microsoft and other partner organizations in expanding the collection of convalescent plasma throughout the U.S. Community blood centers will remain mobilized in assisting the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.” — Kate Fry, Chief Executive Officer, America’s Blood Centers

Anthem

“At Anthem, we recognize the importance of building a convalescent plasma biobank in the fight against COVID-19, and are proud to support the efforts to help COVID-19 survivors, patients and their caregivers. Joining the coalition and ‘The Fight Is In Us’ campaign expands on our partnership and leadership in collaborative efforts with community and healthcare organizations to lead through care, guide the recovery and help shape public-private solutions for the future of healthcare.” — Steve Friedhoff, Chief Clinical Officer, Anthem

Ashfield Healthcare

“Ashfield Healthcare is extremely proud to be part of this collaborative partnership in the fight against COVID-19. Patients are at the core of the healthcare services that we provide, and we’re passionate about leveraging our industry-leading contact center service to support COVID-19 survivors. We are committed to supporting the survivors who will be participating in this critical campaign to donate their plasma.” — Greg Flynn, Global President, Ashfield Healthcare

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“Safe and effective treatments for COVID-19 are urgently needed, and convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin could play a key role in saving lives and protecting frontline responders from infection until vaccines are widely available. We’re excited that major academic research institutions and life science companies have joined forces to accelerate the development of potentially lifesaving products, and we’re incredibly grateful to COVID-19 survivors for their essential commitment to this fight.” — Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

 CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance 

“Partnership and collaboration are critical to the success of all the coalition development programs that rely on convalescent plasma donation. The more plasma we can collect, and the earlier we can collect it, will directly impact the speed and scale of our efforts. The growing and active involvement of leading public and private companies from outside the plasma industry, who support the drive for plasma donation, underscores the potential of convalescent plasma to fight this public health crisis. Together, we all share the same goal — to save lives by using the power of this scarce resource in different ways.” — Julie Kim, President of Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit, Takeda, and Co-Leader, CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance

“During times of uncertainty, leaders must lead. The hyperimmune globulin therapy has the potential to be one of the earliest treatment options for COVID-19 and also can be scaled and distributed. We look forward to working with NIAID and health authorities to bring this therapy to patients as early as possible. One of the stated goals of the alliance is to be an effective partner for important institutions such as NIAID and also to help develop coherent regulatory strategies that can give global health authorities the confidence to streamline the approval process of hyperimmune globulin therapy for COVID-19.” — Bill Mezzanotte, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D, CSL Behring, and Co-Leader, CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance

Grifols

“The development of a hyperimmune globulin for treatment as well as pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis is not just a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to its attributes as a readily available therapy, it can bridge the time necessary to develop a vaccine. The technology also forms the basis for rapid deployment of a therapy in response to future outbreaks of emerging viruses and other pathogens. ‘The Fight Is In Us’ provides the opportunity to harness biology’s natural solution to fighting disease.” — David Bell, Chief Innovation Officer, Grifols

LabCorp

“LabCorp continues to do everything it can to address the healthcare crisis through our leadership in diagnostics testing and drug development, and now through ‘The Fight is in Us.’ We have performed over 750,000 COVID-19 antibody tests, with the numbers accelerating quickly. We encourage patients who have tested positive for antibodies to consider donating plasma to help patients currently fighting COVID-19 and to protect others in the future.” — Dr. Brian Caveney, chief medical officer and president, LabCorp Diagnostics

Mayo Clinic

“It’s important to know that convalescent plasma is a biological product that has to be obtained from a specific set of patients who have recovered from COVID-19. It cannot be made in a lab. There’s no other source. That’s why reaching as many of these volunteers as possible is so essential.” — Michael Joyner, M.D., Anesthesiologist, Mayo Clinic, and Principal Investigator, Expanded Access Program (EAP) for convalescent plasma to fight COVID-19

“Mayo Clinic’s researchers are working around the clock to accelerate discoveries related to NB SARS-CoV2, the virus, and COVID-19, the disease. Successful outcomes have never been more urgently needed, and we continue to depend on the collaborative efforts of many across the nation and the globe to rapidly discover, translate and apply scientific advances.” — Gregory Gores, M.D., Kinney Executive Dean for Research, Mayo Clinic

Microsoft

“Microsoft has provided the technology infrastructure for a health bot that guides people through their eligibility as a plasma donor and directs them to the nearest donor center. Basically, we’re asking people who have survived COVID-19 to contribute to helping others do the same.” — Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, AI and Research, Microsoft    

The MITRE Corporation

“We are privileged to serve as a trusted partner to host the website to spread the critical message on how recovered patients can help others in need. Building an army of donors to rapidly develop effective plasma-based treatments is an exemplar of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.” — Rich Byrne, Senior Vice President, The MITRE Corporation

Uber Health

“There is a long road ahead in the fight against COVID-19, and we must continue to support those on the front lines and those working towards a potential treatment. We at Uber are committed to helping move what matters, and Uber Health is proud to donate rides to the Plasma Collection Coalition, eliminating transportation as a barrier to plasma donation for those who are eligible, and willing, to participate.” — Dan Trigub, Head of Uber Health

Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center

Steer clear of trouble while following the Office 365 roadmap

Microsoft will make several changes to the Office 365 platform this year that will affect enterprise users. Email client changes and new features in the Office suite and subscriptions can increase support calls, but administrators can help themselves through training and engagement.

Microsoft, which was once tolerant of customers on older products, is pushing customers to adopt the latest Windows 10 build and Office suite to take advantage of new Office 365 functionality and capabilities. At time of publication, the Office 365 roadmap shows nearly 250 features in development with nearly 150 rolling out. Some of the changes include:

  • After October 2020, only Office 2019 and Office Pro Plus will be allowed to connect to Office 365 services, such as email on Exchange Online and SharePoint Online;
  • Microsoft Outlook will receive several changes to its user interface throughout 2020;
  • Office Groups and Microsoft Teams will be the focus for collaboration tool development;
  • Office ProPlus is no longer supported in Windows 8.1, Windows 7 or older on the client operating system and Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016 on the server side.

Given the number of updates in the works, many administrators realize that the wave of change will affect many of their users, especially if it requires upgrading any legacy Office suite products such as Office 2013, 2016 and even 2010. To ensure a smooth transition with many of the new Office 365 tools and expected changes, IT workers must take several steps to prepare.

Develop an Office 365 or Office 2019 adoption plan

One of the first steps for IT is to plot out a strategy that outlines the upcoming changes and what needs to be done to complete the adoption process. During this step, the IT team must detail the various software changes to implement — upgrades to the Office suite, introduction of Microsoft Teams and other similar items. The adoption plan can define the details around training material, schedules, resources and timelines needed.

Identify platform champions to help encourage adoption

To be more effective when it comes to gaining the trust of their end users and keeping them invested with the upcoming Office 365 roadmap features, administrators must identify a few platform champions within the business to help build support within the end-user groups and outside of IT.

Build excitement around the upcoming changes

Changes are generally met with some resistance from end users, and this is especially the case when it comes to changing tools that are heavily used such as Outlook, Word, Excel and certain online services. To motivate end users to embrace some of the new applications coming out in 2020, administrators must highlight the benefits such as global smart search, a new look and feel for the email client and several enhancements coming in Microsoft Teams.

Be flexible with training materials and methods

Everyone learns differently, so any training content that administrators provide to the end users must come in several formats. Some of the popular delivery mechanisms include short videos, one-page PDF guides with tips and tricks, blog postings and even podcasts. One other option is to outsource the training process by using a third-party vendor that can deliver training material, tests and other content through an online learning system. Some of the groups that offer this service include BrainStorm, Microsoft Learning and Global Knowledge Training.

Monitor progress and highlight success stories

Once IT begins to roll out the adoption plan and the training to the end users, it is important to monitor the progress by performing frequent checks to identify the users actively participating in the training and using the different tools available to them. One way for the administrators to monitor Office activation is through the Office 365 admin portal under the reports section. Some of the Office usage and activation reports will identify who is making full use of the platform and the ones lagging behind who might require extra assistance to build their skills.

Stay on top of the upcoming changes from Microsoft

End users are not the only ones who need training. Given the fast rate that the Office 365 platform changes, IT administrators have a full-time job in continuing to review the new additions and changes to the applications and services. Online resources like Microsoft 365 Roadmap and blog posts by Microsoft and general technology sites provide valuable insights into what is being rolled out and what upcoming changes to expect.

Share stories and keep the door open for continuous conversations

Microsoft Teams and Yammer are highly recommended for administrators to interact with their end users as they are adopting new Office 365 tools. This gives end users a way to share feedback and allows others to join the conversation to help IT gauge the overall sentiment around the changes in Office 365. They also provide IT with an avenue to make some announcements related to major future changes and evaluate how their end users respond.

Go to Original Article
Author: