Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Task Sync in Office365



Work plays a very important role in our daily life . So what is work? It is nothing but a series of tasks . Tasks have different priorities , different due dates , different owners, etc.

One of the most efficient ways to manage Tasks is to use MS Outlook, which is part of MS Office . And most of the working people do in fact use Tasks . So typically , as soon as people reach workplace , they spend about 15 to 20 minutes to plan their schedule for the day using Tasks of MS Outlook. Needless to say , MS Outlook is the best tool for Task management.

When you use Office365 , the Tasks of Outlook are in complete sync with the Tasks of Outlook on a browser , also called as Outlook Web Access or OWA for short . So even if you do not have access to your PC with Outlook, it does not matter as your Tasks are available on the browser.

However , it does not stop here . If your Smartphone , like Windows Phone , is configured with Office365, you can get your Outlook Tasks even on your Phone . And this takes productivity to the next level. Let me explain this with a scenario.

So normally when you come to work, you would spend about 15 minutes planning your Tasks for the day using MS Outlook. All of us travel at least for 1 hour every day to Work. Now while travelling , you could easily plan your tasks on your Smartphone . So you could set a Task reminder like say a) at 3 PM to call Mr. Mehta or at 4 PM speak to Peter . And guess what , at 3 PM and 4 PM respectively, you will get reminders on Outlook of your Work PC. Similarly if you have set a reminder in MS outlook and at that time you are Out of Office, you will get reminder on your mobile. There is seamless integration of tasks between Outlook, Browser and mobile.

So what is the BIG DEAL ? I believe this is HUGE .


So if we assume that an average person takes about 15 minutes to plan his To Do list for the day , then for 100 people Company , the time taken will be 100 x 15 = 1500 minutes . That is 25 hours per day spent on planning the tasks for the Day.

Now if these 100 people use their Smartphones to plan their To Do , what will happen is that when they reach office , they will already find their To Do list updated . Which means a saving of 15 minutes per person which is 25 hours per day .

Now 25 hours x 25 working days = 625 hours saved per month .

That is 625 x 12 = 7500 hours saved per year

So at average cost to Company per hour per person being about Rs. 200, this translates to a saving of Rs. 15,00,000 . This is a HUGE increase in productivity .

So get going and implement Office365 Tasks Sync in your Company ! Now !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shared Email Address Book in Office365



In my daily interactions with many Companies , one common area where I see inefficiency is in managing Email Address Book . A majority of the Companies maintain Address Book at Individual levels. This leads to following problems :

1. Duplication of Contacts

If there is a 100 user Company , and all are part of Email system , then its quite likely that they would be using MS Outlook as Email Client . The reason is that it’s the BEST Email Client in the World . And  it is part of MS Office which is a de facto standard for any Business User. If we assume that the average number of Contacts per user are 500 , more often than not , about 300 will be contacts which are common with other users in the Company . So we have this scenario where 300 contacts are entered in 100 address books leading to a huge waste of time.

Now , if one Contact changes phone number or the address , that means 100 address books have to be updated. So much waste of precious time.

2. Searching for Contact information which already exists in Company

Contact Information is already existing in the Company . But that is with some users who have stored the same in their address books . If this information is required by someone who does not have this information, then the process of searching will start and will include browsing the Internet or even calling the person for his information. All this means wastage of the precious commodity called TIME .

We can resolve this issue using SharePoint , which comes bundled with Office365 . Let me explain using our example.

We have created a TechGyan Contacts List on our SharePoint as can be seen in the highlighted portion of the snapshot below:




Now , I have gone inside this list and selected a contact “Baburaj” . So what you see in the snapshot below is the contact form in SharePoint populated with the entry of the Contact


Next I have synced this Contact List with my Outlook . What you see on the highlighted portion on the left is the name “TechGyan Contacts “. And on the right is the same contact “baburaj” appearing as a regular Outlook contact .






Finally in the snapshot below , you see that the TechGyan Contacts address book appears as a Outlook Address Book from where you can pickup an address of your choice and mail the same.




So if we assume that an average person takes about 5 minutes to fill up an Outlook address contact , then for 300 contacts and 100 people Company , the time savings are:

5 x 300 x 100 = 1,50,000 minutes = 2500 hours

So at average cost to Company per hour per person being about Rs. 200, this translates to a saving of 5,00,000 . This is not a small saving by any measure.

And this saving will increase whenever the Contact has to be modified , updated . And when we calculate the savings , I am not calculating the time wasted in trying to find the information here and there and calling Customers and creating a sub optimal impression.

So hopefully I have given you a very strong justification for using Shared Contacts . So go ahead and start planning how to implement Shared Contacts within your Company . Start Now!

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 launched


I was recently invited to the launch of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in Mumbai. Not having any exposure to the Android World, I was a little hesitant to go . But then I thought it would be a good opportunity to see one of the leading Tablets of the Market . And since Enterprise Mobility is one of my core focus areas , it made sense to go.


I will not spend much time in hardware specs as they are available on the Web. I will talk about what I saw and liked/disliked.

Some good features are:

· 10.1” screen which appears smaller than 10.1”

· Record and play in full HD

· Reading mode which adjusts the screen to surrounding light, etc.

· Create your own menu screen for pinning apps , videos , etc. Similar to the start screen of Windows Tablet

· Multi tasking

· S-pen functionality . This is touted as one of the USP’s of the Tablet . You can for eg. Write a phone number and directly update your commands. Or you can scribble address and search the Maps directly . Very responsive pen.

· Scrapbooker . This lets you collect info from variety of media like YouTube, webpage, etc. This is again similar to the OneNote App

· S- finder . This is a decent Search

· Comes with 3G and wifi

So in my opinion , it is a well designed Tablet with good specs. Well suited for Content consumption. However , I found very little which can convince me that it can also be very useful for Work and Content creation .

And for that the price of Rs. 49,900/= did seem to be a little too steep to me.

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Office365 Retention Polices for Email


Exchange Online, which comes bundled with Office365 , has a very unique feature for Email compliance . It is called Retention Policies.

It offers two types of policies: archive policies and delete policies . Exchange Online offers retention policies to help organizations reduce the liabilities associated with email and other communications. With these policies, administrators can apply retention settings to specific folders in users’ inboxes. Administrators can also give users a menu of retention policies and let them apply the policies to specific items, conversations, or folders using Outlook 2010 or later or Outlook Web App.

Exchange Online offers two types of policies: archive policies and delete policies. Both types can be combined on the same item or folder. For example, a user can tag an email message to be automatically moved to the In-Place Archive in a specified number of days and deleted after another span of days.

Have a look at some of the Retention Policies that you may use as is shown in the snapshot below:


Let me highlight this with my example . I receive many newsletters every day . So I have this rule that all newsletters should go to my Newsletter folder . That rule saves me time to manually move the item to the Newsletter folder. I can have a glance at them as per my convenience . I have also applied a retention policy to my Newsletter folder . The policy is “6 months deletion” . What happens is that as soon as any item in this folder crosses 6 months , it gets auto deleted. Have a look at the screen shot below :


The newsletter folder is highlighted on the left . And the folder policy is highlighted on the right. And it says 6 months.

With Outlook 2010 or later and Outlook Web App, users can apply retention policies to folders, conversations, or individual messages. They can also view the applied retention policies and expected deletion dates on messages. Users of other email clients can only have email messages deleted or archived based on server-side retention policies set by the administrator.

So by making intelligent use of Retention policies , you can manage your email system much better and at the same time ensure compliance also .

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Enhancements to Office365


Office365, the Cloud Service from Microsoft , has been enhanced in a major way recently. Let me share the improvements with you.

1) Exchange Online Plan P1 goes up from 25 GB to 50 GB per mailbox

2) Exchange Kiosk goes up from 1 GB to 2 GB per mailbox

3) Shared Mailbox storage doubled to 10 GB

4) Resource Mailbox storage doubled to 10 GB

5) Site Mailbox storage remains at 5 GB

6) SkyDrive Pro storage goes up from 5 GB to 25 GB

7) SkyDrive Pro file size limit increased to 2 GB

8) SkyDrive Pro can now store 20,000 files from personal libraries

9) Versioning now enabled by default on SkyDrive Pro documents with default of 10 file versions

10) Shared with me view of SkyDrive Pro helps to easily locate files shared by your colleagues with you

11) Recycle bin retention increased from 30 days to 90 days

Let's look at what that means for the overall storage for each user. With Office 365, you get 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage + 50 GB of email storage + 5 GB for each site mailbox you create + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + (500 MB x # of user(s).

I am really excited with these announced enhancements . What about you?

To know more about Office365 Service , click here .

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Microsoft to buy Nokia Mobile Business


The biggest news of the day is that Microsoft is buying the Mobile Phone business of Nokia. There are many articles floating around the Internet about this deal. Here are my thoughts on the same:

I am personally happy with the news since as our Company TechGyan is heavily invested in Microsoft Technologies . And last year we made our foray into the world of Smart phones by entering into Enterprise Partner Agreement with Nokia. Since then we have done a decent business in selling Nokia Lumia Phones to Business Users . And personally , I am using Nokia Lumia 920 and I absolutely love the hardware and software.  So first impression is that I am positive about the news .

Nokia has come out with great Phone models like Lumia 520, 620, 625, 720, 820, 920, 925 . These models beat the hell out of the phones from Androids . So when we have the hardware capability of Nokia which combines with Software capability and deep pockets of Microsoft , we have an awesome combination  . From here , the market share of Lumia Phones can only increase provided:

1) Microsoft innovates faster on the Windows Phone OS

2) Microsoft comes out with an effective Partner Program for Lumia Phones and also Surface Tablets . This means that they should NOT go direct like Apple since that is not in their DNA . Instead , they should leverage their FANTASTIC Partner Ecosystem  to sell the devices .

3) The Nokia team which will come into Microsoft should be given a lot of freedom since Nokia has the history of coming out with great hardware at attractive price points .

4) Nokia Brand should not be killed , but should be leveraged as it has great pull in many Countries like India.


I also believe that many Customers will now adopt Lumia knowing that now with Microsoft’s backing , the Platform will only become bigger . And while the regulatory issue are sorted out and integration starts , I will tell my team to get more aggressive on Nokia Lumia Phones .  

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

MS Office Licensing


Greetings !

Microsoft Office or MS Office , as it is popularly called, is the World’s favorite productivity software . It is arguably the most widely used software application in the World. It is available via different modes for different kinds of Customers. Many times , the Customers are not clear about which is the best way to procure MS Office.

In order to help Customers make an informed decision , I have created a short 14 minute video which explains various ways in which MS Office can be procured. Please watch the video by clicking at the link below:

MS Office Licensing

The above video is also available on our YouTube Channel at

I would also recommend that you watch a more general video on Microsoft Licensing which I had created a while ago. This video will clear a lot of concepts regarding Microsoft Licensing schemes. It remains one of our most watched videos :

Microsoft Licensing basics

The above video is also available on our YouTube Channel at

Do share your valuable feedback as it will help me to prepare videos which are more useful.

You may also watch other videos which are listed in our YouTube Channel at

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Office Mobile for Android Phones


Greetings !

Microsoft has just announced the availability of the World’s BEST productivity software , MS Office , for Android Phones .

How do I get Office for my Android?

To get Office Mobile, you should have a subscription of Office365 which includes Office Pro Plus . If you have this subscription, then you can get the Office Mobile as a FREE download from the following location:

For more details of Office365, click:

Note that if you are a Windows Phone User, the Office Mobile comes pre installed on your Phone. For more details on Windows Phone, click :

When will it be available?

To begin with , it is available for Customers in USA . However, over next few weeks , other countries will be covered and we should expect the availability in India in a few weeks from now.

What can I do with Office for Android Phone?

You can view and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint files on your Android Phone.

For more details on the announcement and capabilities , click :

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Windows XP End of Support

Greetings ! As you may be probably aware , the support for Windows XP officially ends on 8 April 2014. As a user , what does it mean to you? I will try and answer few of those questions:  

Security Issues

Post 8 April 2014, any security vulnerability which is discovered , will not be patched. So the unpatched Computer will be open to infection . And an infected machine will then most likely infect other Computers in the network. So if your Computer is in a network or is connected to Internet , then using such a PC is a big risk. However , if you are not connected to the Internet and working as a Standalone PC, then the risk is minimal.  

Driver Support

You may say that even if Microsoft does not issue a security patch , you have a third party anti virus to protect you. The bad news is that these products will not be tested for XP. Your other applications also will not be tested for XP post the deadline. So over time, the XP machines are likely to become unstable . And new applications will simply not work on XP.  


You should consider to move to a current computer with a current operating system. And with imminent launch of Windows 8.1, it will be the ideal time to upgrade your PC . Of course, you do have Windows 8 PC available even today. In fact , more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold so far.  However , if you are still reluctant to dump Windows XP, then at least ensure that

 a) It is not connected to Internet

b) It is not connected to other computers

Wish you Happy and Safe Computing !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Thursday, June 6, 2013

What is Email Journaling


Greetings !

Email is by far the most important mode of Business Communication. Most of the businesses would simply come to a stand still if Email is banned from use. However , Email is also a source of Data Leakage in an Organization. Hence Companies need to implement processes to minimize the data leakage via Email. One such effective method of minimizing data leakage is Journaling.


What is Email Journaling

Simply put , for every mail which is received or sent by any user in an Organization, a copy is generated and mailed to a pre defined mail box. The access to this Journal Mailbox is restricted. One can define the users to be covered by Email Journaling. The best way is to cover all users . Democracy !


How does Journaling differ from Archiving

Journaling is the ability to record email communications, in an organization

Archiving refers to backing up the data, removing it from its native environment, and storing it elsewhere, therefore reducing the strain of data storage.

Journal Rules and scope

The following are key aspects of journal rules:

•Journal rule scope Defines which messages are journaled by the Journaling agent.

•Journal recipient Specifies the SMTP address of the recipient you want to journal.

•Journaling mailbox Specifies one or more mailboxes used for collecting journal reports.


In Office 365, the maximum number of journal rules you can create is 10.

Journal rule scope

You can use a journal rule to journal only internal messages, only external messages, or both. The following list describes these scopes:

•Internal messages only Journal rules with the scope set to journal internal messages sent between the recipients inside your Exchange organization.

•External messages only Journal rules with the scope set to journal external messages sent to recipients or received from senders outside your Exchange organization.

•All messages Journal rules with the scope set to journal all messages that pass through your organization regardless of origin or destination. These include messages that may have already been processed by journal rules in the Internal and External scopes.

Journal recipient

You can implement targeted journaling rules by specifying the SMTP address of the recipient you want to journal. These recipients may be subject to regulatory requirements, or they may be involved in legal proceedings where email messages or other communications are collected as evidence. By targeting specific recipients or groups of recipients, you can easily configure a journaling environment that matches your organization's processes and meets regulatory and legal requirements. Targeting only the specific recipients that need to be journaled also minimizes storage and other costs associated with retention of large amounts of data.

All messages sent to or from the journaling recipients you specify in a journaling rule are journaled. If you specify a distribution group as the journaling recipient, all messages sent to or from members of the distribution group are journaled. If you don't specify a journaling recipient, all messages sent to or from recipients that match the journal rule scope are journaled.

Journaling mailbox

The journaling mailbox is used to collect journal reports. How you configure the journaling mailbox depends on your organization's policies, regulatory requirements, and legal requirements. You can specify one journaling mailbox to collect messages for all the journal rules configured in the organization, or you can use different journaling mailboxes for different journal rules or sets of journal rules.


You can't designate an Office 365 mailbox as a journaling mailbox for on-premises mailboxes. If you’re running a hybrid deployment with your mailboxes split between on-premises servers and Office 365, you can designate an on-premises mailbox as the journaling mailbox for your Office 365 and on-premises mailboxes.


Usage Scenarios

To meet an increasing number of regulatory and compliance requirements, many organizations must maintain records of communications that occur when employees perform daily business tasks.

For eg. corporate officers in some financial sectors may be held liable for the claims made by their employees to their customers. To verify that the claims are accurate, a corporate officer may set up a system where managers review some part of employee-to-client communications regularly

Another usage is to have a backup of all Emails . Some Customers in fact do not take backup of individual users. They only backup Journal Mailbox .


So how does one setup Email Journaling

Here’s how we have setup Journaling in our Company. First we create a group containing the members whose mails need to be journaled. The group name is AllUsers as seen below:


Once the rule is enabled , then the magic begins. What you see below is the Distribution Group AllUsers whose members have been defined as per previous snapshot.


Now you are good to go. Given below is the snap shot of Outlook one of the users  :


The same mail has also been sent to Journal mailbox which has been created on which has also collected mails from other users:


I do hope that you have understood the importance of Journaling. Get started today. You need to implement the same at the earliest !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Thursday, May 16, 2013

What is SkyDrive Pro


Greetings !

In my last post, I discussed about my personal Cloud which is SkyDrive . Today I shall talk about SkyDrive Pro .


Difference between SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro

The first question which will come to anyone’s mind is how’s SkyDrive Pro different from SkyDrive ? So here we go:

1) SkyDrive is your Personal Cloud which can be used to store your documents, pictures, videos , songs . SkyDrive Pro on the other hand is your Professional Cloud. And it is primarily to store your documents since in our professional work , we mainly work with documents .

2) SkyDrive Cloud is hosted as a free service on Microsoft Servers. SkyDrive Pro Cloud on the other hand, is hosted on SharePoint , whether On Premise or Online, as a part of Office365 Cloud Service . So it is essentially a part of your Company Intranet .

3) The document storage in SkyDrive is simple storage without any version control. The documents in SkyDrive Pro have built in capability of version control.

4) You can add ratings feature to your SkyDrive Pro document library . This is not available in SkyDrive .

How do you get SkyDrive Pro

SkyDrive Pro comes in 2 parts

a) A component of Microsoft SharePoint , either SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server

b) Client component of Office 2013 Pro Plus .

So when you install Office 2013 Pro Plus , the SkyDrive Pro gets auto installed . But kindly note that unless you have SharePoint , the SkyDrive Pro does not have much use. So it would be correct to state that SkyDrive Pro = SharePoint + Office Pro plus 2013

This is My SkyDrive Pro

Now let me deep dive into my SkyDrive Pro . Given below is the screen shot of my PC. I have highlighted 2 icons a) SkyDrive b) SharePoint . The SkyDrive icon is my SkyDrive . The SharePoint icon is actually the SkyDrive Pro icon.


Now let me go inside my SharePoint ( SkyDrive Pro ) folder :


As can be seen , I have 6 folders in my SharePoint folder . Of these , there are 2 Admin folders , 2 Marketing folders , 1 Sales folder , 1 Jobs & Hiring folder .

Now let me go one level deeper into the Techgyan Events folder within Marketing:


As is seen above, I have highlighted the path . Within the Techgyan Events , you can see 6 folders representing 6 events which we have recently hosted. Against each folder on the left , you can see a green tick indicating that the folder is in sync with the Cloud. These folders are all on my PC. And where is the Cloud? Lets see that :


The Cloud is on our SharePoint which is part of our Office365 Service hosted and managed by Microsoft .I have highlighted few portions as follows:

1) The Internet path where our SharePoint is located

2) The Marketing Team site

3) TechGyan Events

And within TechGyan events are the same folders which appear above on my PC as local folders.

So the way I use SkyDrive Pro is that I have offline access to various document libraries of different Teams in our Company like Sales, Admin, Marketing . These folders are shared with the respective Team members . So whether I am in office or outside, I am actually working on files available on the hard disk of my local PC . This gives me great speed as I work on files which are locally available and NOT on the Internet nor on my SharePoint site .


SkyDrive Pro usage scenarios

So having understood the above , SkyDrive Pro gives rise to various interesting scenarios :

1) If I go to outstation and I do not have access to Internet continuously, I need not stop my work. I would continue to work . And as soon as the PC senses Internet connection, it will automatically sync the changes to my SharePoint Server . And it will only sync the delta changes , making it extremely fast .

2) If my Office Internet has slowed down for any reason, I don’t have to slow down as I am working locally on my PC . All my edits will get auto synced with my SharePoint server depending on the speed of my Internet. But that does not affect my work as I continue to work with the locally available SharePoint files.

3) This also is a great way to have an offline backup of my SharePoint data .

Hopefully I have been able to explain to you what is SkyDrive Pro. Trust me, its an awesome technology once you start using it . This one piece of Technology can improve your productivity by leaps and bounds. Seriously !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Monday, April 8, 2013

SkyDrive is my PC


Greetings !

Over past many months , various “so-called” experts have been predicting death of the PC. While I have own strong views about this which are contrary to the views of these experts , today I will share with you something pretty fundamental which has happened to the way I use Computers . In fact I will go to state that in past few months , the PC for me no longer means “Personal Computer “. It now means “Personal Cloud” . And while there are few popular “Personal Clouds “ out there , what I will focus is the personal cloud , or lets call it PC , that I use. My PC of choice is SkyDrive.

How do you get SkyDrive

First question is , how does one get SkyDrive ? This one is a no brainer. Anyone who uses Hotmail or live id , already has SkyDrive . And now with Hotmail being retired, you can go to and signup for new email id with . Once you login to your account, you will get the following option as shown here :


Click on the SkyDrive option and you are good to go !

My SkyDrive

Let me now take you inside my SkyDrive. This is how my SkyDrive looks:


At bottom left corner, it tells me that I have 21.6 GB space available. I can also get SkyDrive apps for PC, Windows Phone and other platforms as SkyDrive is true cross platform solution.

Just above that is the list of my various PC’s which access SkyDrive. Above that are some of the groups I have created .

In the center are the various folders I have created for my Data, Pictures, Videos.


SkyDrive Office WebApps

One killer feature of SkyDrive which is lacking in other Cloud Solutions is the support of Office WebApps . I can open and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote in a browser. Yes. You read it right. You can edit MS Office documents which are stored on SkyDrive directly in a browser without needing to use MS Office stored on your PC . And Office WebApps on SkyDrive support co-authoring meaning multiple people can edit the same file at the same time. How cool is that !


SkyDrive PhotoApp

The Photo sharing app on SkyDrive is wonderful. I use it extensively to store my digital pictures . In functionality , it is comparable to the best dedicated photo sharing applications available.


SkyDrive App for Windows OS

This is by far the killer feature as far as I am concerned. I have downloaded SkyDrive App on my PC . This creates a SkyDrive folder on my PC . Next I decide which SkyDrive folders I wish to sync with the PC SkyDrive folder . So I can select folder a, b, c , d to sync with my Office PC. Next I can select folder a and b to sync with my home PC.


Now whatever data I create in my SkyDrive folder of my PC gets synced with my SkyDrive Cloud. This gives me an effective online backup solution. And if I add or edit anything online, the same gets reflected on my local hard disk .

I typically work on my hard disk as it is much faster . But while I am working on the hard disk of my PC, the SkyDrive app is pushing the data into my Personal Cloud giving me an online backup.

SkyDrive App for Windows Phone

I have also downloaded the SkyDrive app for my Windows Phone. So using SkyDrive app on my phone, I can access the complete SkyDrive which in my case is of 25 GB. I can not only access my files, but also work on them using my phone. And the edits I do using my phone get synced with all my Computers which are connected with my SkyDrive Account. I can also send a link to my SkyDrive file to anyone by email.



For me, SkyDrive has become one of the most useful applications . It has truly made me mobile . I can now work on my Data from any device . While there are other Cloud Solutions out there which offer some of the functions of SkyDrive , I prefer SkyDrive due to following reasons :

1) Ability to use Office Web apps , which is missing in other services.

2) I can buy extra storage at a nominal cost from Microsoft. And I can increase my storage to mind boggling 100 GB

3) I trust Microsoft more than other services like Dropbox, Box, etc. The reason is that most of the other services are currently running on VC money . They do not have any revenue model . So they may go down any time . But Microsoft is one Company which will not disappear in a hurry. And they cannot allow negative publicity to affect their other profitable business . So my data will remain secure with Microsoft as compared to others.

So go ahead and give SkyDrive a try. You will fall in love with it . Take it from me.

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Office365 new plans announced

Greetings !

Yesterday Microsoft announced a few major changes in their Industry leading Cloud Service Office365 . I will highlight some of those changes which to me appear most exciting .

1) Office365 E1 Enterprise Plan

This Plan was available at USD 8 per user per month and it consisted of :

MS Exchange for Messaging

MS SharePoint for Collaboration and Public website

MS Lync for Communication

What’s new is that without changing the price , Office Web Apps are now bundled in this plan. This means that that if you subscribe to this plan , you can also get the Web edition of MS Office consisting of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote . So you can edit any Office document using any browser . How cool is that ! Great Value and a BIG Thumbs Up from me.

2) Office365 Mid Business Plan

This is a new member of the Office365 family . It is meant for Companies upto 300 users . The plan price is USD 15 per user per month and you get:

MS Exchange for Messaging

MS SharePoint for Collaboration and Public website

MS Lync for Communication

Office Web Apps

MS Office Professional Plus

To understand what you will get in Office Professional Plus, click here .

You can download the copy of MS Office on your PC and use it. Also you can install it on upto 5 devices . Besides, you will always get the latest edition . To know more about MS Office as a Service, click here .

I believe Ofice365 Mid Business has “winner “ written all over it .

I shall come back with other changes in Office365 later.

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani

Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nokia Lumia 920 The Best Smartphone in the World

Greetings !
Yesterday I was invited for a preview of new Windows Phone 8 models being launched by Nokia next week in India.  There are 2 models being launched   :
a) The Lumia 920
b) The Lumia 820
This post will focus on 920 as it is truly a mind blowing phone !
The event began with the Nokia representative gives some details of the Lumia Sales. Nokia has sold more than 100,000 Lumia units only during the 4 days of Diwali in November . That's pretty decent ! They also cracked the largest Corporate deal involving 4500 Lumia devices . Very Impressive . Makes me wonder about the crap dished out by experts saying that Lumia sales are very poor!  These experts can be really biased ! And they are biased against Windows Platform for sure!
Next we were given some hardware specs of the models . I have summarized some of these in this post below. We were told of various awards won by Nokia Lumia 920 . These have also been summarized below.
The indicative pricing of the models which will be released next week are:
Lumia 920 @ Rs. 37000/=
Lumia 820 @ Rs. 27000/=
We then saw some jaw dropping demos:
a) Camera quality vs. Samsung Galaxy  for night picture
No comparison here . Lumia was miles ahead
b) Optical Image Stabilization
The video shot with 920 was rock steady. The one with Samsung Galaxy was wobbly.
c) Nokia Lens by which one can remove unwanted objects from the picture.
d) Great Sound
Given below is the summary of the hardware specs
Lumia 920 has many things which are better or You don't have at all with iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3:
 1. The best screen - 2.4x faster than Samsung S3's screen and 5.4x faster than iPhone 5's screen (tested with Lagom test). Super sensitive and bright screen that can be used with gloves or finger nails.  It's the first smartphone in the world to deliver a full 60 frames-per-second (FPS) without any blurring.
2. It has 3pcs HAAC (High Amplitude Audio Capture) microphones and so the recorded audio is distortion free also at the loudest music performances and it can record also very low bass sound vs its rivals has nonHAAC mics and so the recorded audio at music concert recordings is mostly distorted and they can't capture low bass sound.
3. Nokia Lumia 920 is the first smartphone which has pentaband LTE support.
4. Nokia Lumia 920 is the first smartphone with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) system which makes it possible to get better photos in the low light and makes more stable videos. Floating-lens PureView camera with optical image stabilization
5. Nokia Lumia 920 is the first smartphone with integrated wireless charging.
6. WP8 is smooth, efficient and simple. MS Word & Excel seamlessly integrated.
7. Free Apps: City Lens, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Nokia Music, Smartshoot etc. Augmented reality City Lens is very cool.
8. Aluminium cover of iPhone 5 and Samsung S3 gets broken easier than Lumia 920's polycarbonate cover - polycarbonate is used for example with bulletproof windows
9. Premium GPS that can be used also without internet!
10. NFC ( Near Field Communications)
11. Rich sound recording in vids
12. Wireless Purity Pro headphones
The awards:
Before that , lets see some images. First lets see the Windows UI vs. Apple UI . Clearly the Apple iPhone UI looks very tired as compared to super sleek LIVE Tiles of Microsoft.
Now lets see the 920 in full glory. Its looks absolutely gorgeous !
 Awards Won By Nokia Lumia 920
The Top Smartphone of 2012, V3, UK

Top rated product on Amazon based on Customer reviews

The Best Mobile Phone of 2012, Readers Choice Award, Gizmodo, Australia.

iF Award for Outstanding Design, International Forum Design, Germany

Mobil Award for Best Smartphone Design, Mobile Magazine, Denmark

Best Smartphones of 2012, The Next Web, USA

Top Score Award, Mobil, Sweden

The Best High End Smartphones for the Holidays, CNET, USA

Best Productivity Phone, Best Camera Phone, Best Mapping Phone, Best Windows Phone, Runner up, Arstechnic, USA

Top 25 Tech of 2012, Mashable, USA

Top Smartphone of the Year, Mybroadband, South Africa

Best AT&T Smartphones of 2012, BGR, USA

I am totally convinced that over next few months, Windows Phone 8 will keep gaining marketshare and in particular, the Lumia range will be a big Winner . Willing to bet ?
with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Windows 8 for Business

Greetings !

Just before the year ended , we did a wonderful event on "Windows 8 for Business" on December 27, 2012 , at the ITC Grand Central .

First , Mr Satabdee Hait  of Microsoft started the proceedings by doing a detailed presentation cum demo on Windows 8 features specially those which are meant for business. He spoke about the following features:

  • Direct Access
  • Hyper V
  • Windows to Go
  • SkyDrive
  • SkyDrive Pro
and many more.

Next it was my turn . I focused on the Microsoft Ecosystem and its advantages over the Apple and Google Ecosystems. And of course I spent some time on showing how comfortable it was to use on my old laptop which had no touch . Some of the business benefits I spoke about were :

1)  Much faster boot up time
2)  20% more battery life
3)  Live Tile User Interface
4)  Great apps for Windows 8

After the formal part was over , we cut the cake welcoming Windows 8 . After that we took a few Group pictures. These have been put up on the events page of Facebook at

There was also a small Nokia Counter where we had latest Windows 8 based Lumia Smartphones on display . Many Customers showed interest in the devices on display.

All in all , the Customers were hopefully clear that Windows 8 is THE BEST EVER Operating System for a Business User.

with warm regards
Suresh Ramani

Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007