New communication, analytics and security features empower Asia Pacific businesses to embrace true mobility
The notion of work is changing. People are more connected today than ever before with the proliferation of devices and mobile connectivity enabling individuals to work from anywhere, anytime.
However, as the world of work changes, so do the demands on employees. A recent Microsoft study of 5,000 mobile professionals in Asia discovered that workers in the region are spending more time working longer hours and outside the office, and are expected to respond promptly to all stakeholders – colleagues and customers alike.
It seems that as workplace demands increase, companies are not always keeping up. The majority of employees surveyed felt they were not equipped to be successful at work, with only 44 out of every 100 workers saying they were well equipped to do their jobs. Through the study we discovered that employees overwhelmingly want to be mobile, with 70% considering themselves to be mobile workers, but with only a third being empowered to do so.
Organizations in Asia Pacific have to look at enabling true mobility for employees as means of promoting a more productive, collaborative, innovative and happier workforce. Part of that entails ensuring that teams are able to “meet” virtually in a secure manner no matter where they may be. Today, 41% of employees in the region do not have access to or use virtual meeting tools.
Communication-powered productivity for the New World of Work
With this in mind, we are putting Skype for Business at the heart of Office 365 and modernizing meetings. We recently announced the availability of several new Office 365 communications services designed to modernize voice, video, and meeting experiences, while saving companies substantial costs in their communication infrastructure.
Organizations can replace some of their legacy meeting and phone systems with innovative services built on the familiar Skype for Business experience, all naturally integrated within Office 365—the world’s most-used collaboration and productivity platform. New enhancements for Skype for Business are built on the familiar Skype user interface making connecting with colleagues as easy and intuitive as connecting with friends and family on Skype.
- Skype Meeting Broadcast makes it easier than ever to produce large virtual meetings for up to 10,000 meeting attendees, who can join from virtually any browser or device (see it in action). Now Skype for Business truly is a single platform for every type of meeting.
- Cloud PBX enables companies to eliminate separate PBX systems and transition to the cloud with Office 365 as the central location to manage users
- PSTN (public switched telephone network) Conferencing provides the flexibility to dial in to a meeting from a traditional phone, in addition to the existing ability to join a meeting with a single click on your PC or mobile device. We will be launching PSTN Conferencing first in Singapore and Australia in the first half of 2016 followed by additional Asia Pacific markets in the later part of 2016.
- With PSTN Calling, Office 365 customers can also subscribe to Microsoft managed calling plans and phone numbers. PSTN Calling was launched in the US and additional markets will follow
Empowering mobile professionals in the New World of Work with advanced data analytics and new security capabilities
For data to have impact given the sheer volume of information we face today, it must be personalized by intelligent software and tools that understand the context of why people do things, not simply what they do. Our new investments in this area focus on bringing that personalized intelligence to life through two Business Intelligence offerings:
- Power BI—A business analytics service that enables employees to visualize and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency and understanding through live data dashboards, interactive reports and compelling visualizations.
- Delve Analytics—Empowers individuals through rich dashboards that provide insights on time and relationships, with the goal of helping individuals get time back and spend it effectively.
We have also introduced several new security and compliance capabilities to Office 365. These new security and compliance capabilities expand upon the market-leading, built-in security capabilities in Office 365.
- Customer Lockbox—Gives customers new approval rights, transparency and control over their data in the cloud.
- Advanced Threat Protection—A new email filtering service that complements Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and provides protection against specific types of advanced threats.
- Advanced eDiscovery—Integrates Equivio machine learning, predictive coding and text analytics capabilities, to reduce the costs and challenges that come along with sorting through large quantities of data for eDiscovery purposes.
All of the new data analytics and security capabilities are now available and represent significant new value to organizations in Asia.
With companies looking towards the cloud to meet shifting employee workstyles and habits in the New World of Work, we are excited to see the impact the new capabilities of Office 365 will have on your organization.
For a deeper look at the new capabilities and the scenarios enabled with Office 365, please visit Office.com/enterprise.
-Written by, Byron Rader, General Manager, Apps & Services, Microsoft Asia Pacific
Byron Rader is the General Manager of Microsoft Asia Pacific’s Applications and Services Group. In this role, Byron oversees Microsoft’s business in productivity tools across consumer and enterprise including product marketing, brand strategy, business insight and audience go-to-market.
Byron has more than 17 years of experience at Microsoft across Sweden, France, England, California, Singapore and Washington in a variety of Finance, M&A and Product Marketing roles. Byron received his MBA with Honors from University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business and his undergrad degree from the University of California, San Diego in quantitative economics and decision sciences
 The Microsoft Asia New World of Work Study was conducted in September 2015 with 5,000 respondents working in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with less than 250 employees and employees working in larger organizations (Enterprises) with more than 250 employees in 13 Asian markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.