Thursday, January 30, 2014

Managing Team Tasks in Office365


Teams are a reality for every Company , Large or Small. These Teams usually have a Team Leader whose job it is to ensure that Team members work in unison and complete the Team tasks .

In order to effectively manage the Team Tasks , the Team leader can make use of the Team tasks which is available in SharePoint , a part of Office365 . Let me show you how we make use of Team Tasks in our Company TechGyan.

Given below is the snapshot of our Team site “Admin “ . You can see various tasks that are created along with the name of the person to whom they are assigned ; status; priority; due date; % complete.


These tasks can be easily added and updated on SharePoint itself. For example, given below is the snapshot of one of the Tasks which has description of the Task . And being an update on SharePoint , you can see that it has various bells and whistles like Description , Workflow, Shared with, etc.



Alerts can also be set so that as soon as task is created , an alert can go to the person assigned the task. You can have various alerts configured as can be seen in the following snapshot below:


By itself, the above system is very efficient in managing the tasks between the Team members thereby improving the efficiency of the Team . But the functionality can be taken to the next level by integrating the Team tasks with the Outlook of the User . In the screenshot below , the Admin Tasks have been integrated with the local outlook on my PC :



In the above snapshot , the Admin Task list of SharePoint has been synced with my local Outlook . It appears to me as a regular Task item of Outlook. What that means to me is that I allocate tasks using Outlook without having the need to go to the SharePoint. However , in case I wish to allocate a task while I am on the rod, I can do that by going to SharePoint and updating the Task. This will then sync up with my outlook .

What this means

By implementing the Team tasks in SharePoint and then integrating the same with MS Outlook, we have created a very effective Platform within our Company which allows us to share and manage Team Tasks without bothering about the location of the Team members. This has considerably added to our productivity and mobility because ultimately Work = series of tasks . So if we can streamline Team Tasks , it means we have streamlined work . How’s that for Productivity !

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

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Benefits of Alias in Office365


There is a very useful feature available in Exchange Online . Its called alias. Today I will discuss the benefits of using alias in a Business. I shall show you how we use Alias within our Company TechGyan.

We have created a few aliases as follows:

Helpdesk : This is for existing Customers. They can send a mail to this alias if they wish to record a support call; they have some queries in billing ; they need any kind of information. In short , if an existing Customer needs to communicate with us , there is only one email id he should remember.

Sales : If a new Customer wants some information on our products or service or if we have to send a proposal , then this alias is used.

Services : If the Customer is discussing any issue with the Services Team

Infoline : General information

Officeadmin : Communication with Vendors

Advantage of alias :

In every Company , people change or leave . So it always creates a disconnect between the Company and the external stake holders . Mails bounce or go unanswered. To overcome this problem, we have created the above aliases in Exchange Online. They are also called as Distribution Lists . So if an existing Customer sends a mail to Helpdesk , there is a Distribution List linked to this alias by which , any email to Help Desk will get auto forwarded to the people in Distribution list . If any person in the list changes , we have to just remove old name and add new name . The alias name remains unaffected.


The above screen shot shows the general information about the alias Helpdesk

Other Features of Alias in Exchange Online:

1) Membership


The above screen shows the list of people who are members of this alias. Here you can add or remove people as per your requirement .

2) Membership approval


As shown above, various options are available. Group can be open or closed. Members can join it by themselves or only owners can add them.

3) Delivery management


You can create alias such that only senders inside the organization can send the mail . Or , as in our case for Helpdesk , you can specify that Senders from inside and outside the organization can send the mail

4) Message approval


Any messages sent to this alias could be moderated before being delivered. In our case, we have not kept any moderator as we want any Customer to contact our Helpdesk without restriction.

5) Group delegation


By creating Group delegation, a group member can send outgoing mail also as an alias

So in the above case , we have given kkalani and bnaik the required group delegation. What happens with that can be seen in the next screen shot:


In the above image, you can see that Kavita is sending mail from her outlook. But the outgoing mail has mail id of .

As you can understand, the alias feature in Exchange Online is very powerful and can be customized with various options. And the best part is that it is FREE . Which means , you can create as many aliases as you wish to and there will be no charges for the same.

So get going and implement Office365 aliases in your Company ! Now !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


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