Wednesday 8, June 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Microsoft Office lineup gears up for a new addition. Fueling the digital transformation in modern workplaces, and after the successful preview last fall, Microsoft Planner was launched today as the newest project management application, and is now available to Office 365 customers worldwide.
Over the next several weeks, Planner will be rolled out to all users with eligible subscription plans including Business essentials, Premium and Education subscription plans. A planner tile will automatically appear in the Office 365 app launcher, indicting the app is now ready to use.
The addition of Microsoft Planner to Office 365 marks a new and improved way of doing businesses, structure teamwork for educational institutes and organizations, and get more done in less time. Users will be able to work more effectively in teams by creating new plans; organise, assign and collaborate on team tasks; set due dates, update statuses, share files and stay current on the latest news and notifications; all through improved visual dashboards.
A recent Microsoft study highlights that 40% of employee productivity is lost switching between different apps due to the inability of social tools to interoperate effectively. Additionally, an IDC study reveals that 25% of employee time is lost on non-productive tasks while searching for the right information amidst emails, attachments and shared documents. The new Microsoft planner is designed to address these productivity challenges and allows teams to access the right information at the right time so it’s made more valuable.
“In today’s modern workplace, remote working can often get chaotic.” said Ihsan Anabtawi, Regional Director for Applications and Services at Microsoft Gulf. “Office 365 was launched with an aim of helping people get more done, increase collaboration and leverage Microsoft services to acquire more flexibility in the way they work. Introduction of Planner to the Office 365 family helps fulfil that vision and makes teamwork much more organized and interesting.”
With Planner, remote working is made possible in a simple, yet integrated manner with each team having a Planner card on their own customized dashboard. Cards or planners carry due dates, attachments, categories of tasks and conversations associated with them. Though similar to Microsoft Project in some ways, Planner does not carry its full functionality and is a mere lightweight app used for visually organising work tasks amongst employees.
The latest app is all about working together. With timely alerts and notifications to meetings, documents to review and collaborative tasks, employees can access more valuable at-a-glance statistics through visuals; organise data, reduce task hours and experience more transparent and cohesive collaboration; ultimately tracking team progress and staying at the top of their work.