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Office 365 Service Expansion

September 19, 2017

Office 365 is comprised of almost three dozen apps and services. So far, we've promoted the Outlook suite for email, the Office suite for productivity apps, and OneDrive for cloud storage and collaboration. The remaining Office 365 services are now available to everyone at Drexel. This includes apps and services such as:

  • Skype for Business, for ad-hoc IM or calls, and for scheduled meetings;
  • Teams*, for group chat, threaded discussions, and shared files;
  • Planner*, for managing small personal or team projects;
  • Sway, for a modern take on presentations;
  • Delve, for finding people and files related to your work;
  • Power BI, for analyzing data and generating reports;
  • Bookings*, for setting up service desks and managing appointments (think of appointments for a haircut or car repair);
  • StaffHub*, a website and mobile app for managing "deskless" staff such as co-op, work study, or student employees;
  • and many other included and optional apps and services.

*These services let you pick a name for your team, plan, etc. Remember that these names are visible to other users, so you should choose a name that is both unambiguous and appropriate for a large education and business environment. Inappropriately-named works or groups may be deleted.

Because so many new services are coming online simultaneously, some will initially be partially- or self-supported. The full list of apps and services, including optional ones, and the associated Drexel IT support level for each is shown on the Office 365 Support and Use Guidance Web page.

Support Levels

Outlook, Office, and OneDrive will continue to have full support from Drexel IT, with multiple experts available to help.

A number of IT staff at Drexel have found Skype for Business to be extremely useful on a day-to-day basis. We’re finding good results in working with Teams and we've started working with Delve. Until everyone in IT, including the fall/winter co-ops, are fully trained in those three services, your questions might take a bit longer to answer than would questions about Outlook, Office, or OneDrive. We might not be able to answer every question, especially regarding apps we do not yet fully support.

The remaining new services, including the ones that require additional licenses for use, will be self-supported for the time being. Online help is available from Microsoft, and web searches will be adequate to answer many questions.

Although available, we discourage the use of Class Notebook, a OneNote-derivative that overlaps with Blackboard Learn; and Dynamics 365, a customer relationship management service. The University is not planning to deploy Dynamics, so offices should not use it except as needed to access related PowerApps services.

Optional Services

While most of the new apps and services are intended for general use, some are provided primarily for faculty (e.g., Class Notebook), professional staff (e.g., Power BI), or University departments (e.g., StaffHub).

A handful of the new apps and services are available only after purchasing an additional license. Likewise, some of the available services can be enhanced through the purchase of optional add-ons.

The ability for departments to buy apps and add-ons is forthcoming in October 2017. These services are subscriptions that will have annual fees charged to departments via inter-office charge.

Drexel IT will let departments know when additional apps and services can be purchased and will publish a subscription fee schedule.