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U.S. Air Force Soaring to the Cloud with Office 365

By Leigh Madden | Senior Director, U.S. Air Force, Microsoft
For the United States Air Force, one of largest departments within the Department of Defense (DoD), having instant access to secure email and unified capabilities that enable real-time conversations can make all the difference when it comes to responding to threats at a moment’s notice or nimbly managing service-wide logistics.
The Air Force, along with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), understands that Microsoft offers secure cloud technology that can help provide the productivity and collaboration services that Service members need to fulfill their mission.
Last week, the Air Force, in partnership with the DLA, announced it awarded more than 100,000 seats of a DoD-dedicated version of Microsoft Office 365 to Microsoft, Dell, and General Dynamics through its Collaboration Pathfinder (CP) project.
The agreement, which has the potential to scale up in reach, is expected to help the Air Force and DLA reduce costs significantly over the next three years. The agreement is one of the largest commercial cloud contracts in DoD history.
As part of the deployment, which will begin in the next government fiscal year, the Air Force will have access to secure e-mail, calendaring, Office Web Applications, Skype for Business, and other important collaboration tools, helping the agency communicate more easily across active, civilian, and reserve personnel and move toward a consolidated mobile and messaging platform. Just as important, the Air Force anticipates that the migration will help it realign critical resources to better support its mission in a trusted cloud environment.
As noted in the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Strategic Plan, cloud computing plays an increasingly vital role in the DoD. Its ability to provide agile capabilities and real-time access to data is constantly enhancing the DoD’s decision-making skills and daily operations.
In addition, by securely combining commercial and government services with Microsoft’s trusted Cloud for Government solution, the Air Force is demonstrating its commitment to building on the successful DoD Enterprise Email (DEE) initiative and its support of the DoD’s unique security requirements and best practices.
No organization deserves a more enterprise- and security-ready approach than the Air Force. This announcement shows that when it comes to a trusted, secure, and productivity-enabled cloud, Microsoft is up to the task.
You can communicate in a text message-like format with anyone whose email address you have, and those communications will be synced with Outlook
Sometimes you just need to send a quick, short note to your co-worker. Of course, you can use Outlook for this, but today we’re launching a new app through the Microsoft Garage that is built specifically for those brief, snappy communications—Send, designed for in-and-out email.


Send is available for iPhone in the U.S. and Canada, and is coming soon to Windows Phone and Android phones. The app works for people with Office 365 business and school email accounts, and we expect to make the app more broadly available in the coming months.
While tools like text messaging and IM are great for short messages, you often don’t have your co-worker’s cell phone number or an IM app on your work phone. And we’ve heard loud and clear from people at work, they want all their communications available in Outlook—even if they send them from other apps. This is where Send comes in! Send gives you the simple, quick text message-like experience while allowing you to reach all co-workers and have all of your communications in Outlook for reference later.
Send lets you quickly and easily send any co-worker a message without a subject line or formal email constructs. Some examples of Send messages include:
Straight to the point: “Let’s chat in 10”
Super urgent: “Don’t send the presentation yet”
Simple back-and-forth conversations: “Are you in the Office today?” “No”
These are the sort of quick emails you send to the people you care about at work—your boss, your teammates, and sometimes partners or customers outside your organization. You’re usually busy or on the go when you send them, and Send is specifically designed for this get-in get-out scenario.
Imagine you’re walking into a big presentation and someone asks you to find out if your colleague will be attending. Chances are, you don’t have your colleague’s phone number, but you will probably have their email address—especially if you’ve been emailing with them recently. You don’t have time to search your inbox, start a new thread, or even type out a subject line. You just want to ask that person, “Will you be at the presentation?”
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Managed Solution's Home Run Derby is heating up in July! Thanks to our dedicated teammates at Managed Solution, we are officially a Gold Cloud Platform Microsoft Partner for Azure and now have our Microsoft Dynamics CRM Advisor (CSA).  Congratulations to everyone who helped obtain these new organizational level Microsoft competencies.
The Home Run Derby program provides fun incentives for our engineers to fulfill Microsoft certifications by using a customized incentive path with a baseball theme in mind. The program is structured to give individuals a customized plan that specifically aligns with their daily technical skills, as well as a plan for teams to earn points and money for successfully passing Microsoft certification exams.
Home Run Derby announcements are listed below and shared on our internal SharePoint site so engineers and other employees could see weekly highlights and congratulate one another on their progress.

Congrats to all our Home Run Hitters!


  • Ben Ward, MB5-705 Managing CRM and Microsoft MB2-700 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
  • Will Marchesano, Certified Sales Specialist for Office 365, Sales Specialist for Datacenter and Sales Specialist for SMB Infrastructure
  • Tina Rountree, Sales Specialist for Office 365
  • Lloyd Bowen, Microsoft 70-646
  • Jeff Lizerbram, Office 365 70-347
  • George Fedoseyev, Office 365 70-346 - MCSA in Office 365


  • Will Marchesano, Sales Specialist Assessment For Dynamics CRM 2013 PLC 873218 Presales Technical Specialist
  • George Fedoseyev, 347 Enabling Office 365 Services


  • Lloyd Bowen, Exam 70-642 (Server 2008)
  • George Fedoseyev, MCSE: Server Infrastructure
Certifications help engineers grow professionally as well as help Managed Solution grow as a company. Players are continuing to be added to the roster. Below is an example of one of our leading teams with several players on deck to bat (scheduled exams in the near future).



Sneak Peak: Accessibility in Office Web Apps

Microsoft Office Web Apps allows you to access and edit files online in your web browser. Office Web Apps include a number of accessibility features. Office Web Apps provide screen reader support, keyboard accessibility, and high contrast modes.

Support for assistive technology products.

The Word Web App and PowerPoint Web App have display modes that make them accessible to screen readers. If you use assistive technologies, such as a screen reader or speech recognition software, you will have the best experience in Office Web Apps if the assistive technology that you use supports WAI-ARIA. Office Web Apps provide WAI-ARIA support for assistive technologies (WAI-ARIA stands for Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications).
Use familiar keyboard shortcuts from the Office desktop applications that also work in Office Web Apps.
Use accessibility features in your web browser to improve accessibility of Office Web Apps. Office Web Apps run in a web browser so you can use your web browser’s accessibility features to improve the readability and accessibility of Office Web Apps.



Work Anywhere With Documents Online

Save your Office documents online via the Microsoft account. Microsoft has the sister suite of web apps for Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint save the last location where you left off work before saving– to the letter, cell, or slide. Pick up where you left off working on a different device while away from your main computer. You can also continue your work on Mobile apps for Office.

Don't Cut and Paste Anymore

There’s this quicker way that uses lesser key presses. Using Cut-Paste (Ctrl-x Ctrl-v) to move text from one place on the page to another within a Word document is fine. But try this. Select any block of text. Press F2. You will notice that the status bar (at the bottom of your screen) says Move to where. Place the cursor at the location where you wish to move the block of text. Press Enter and the selection will be moved.

Searching for Data in Excel

When you search for data, you can use ? to represent any single character or * to represent a series of characters. Example if your data has all the states, you could type “*Dakota” and it will pull up both North and South Dakota data.

Auto Filter in Excel

Too much data to go through? Use AutoFilter to find values, show or hide values, in one or more columns of data. You can filter based on choices you make from a list, search to find the data that you want to see. When you filter data, entire rows are hidden if values in one or more columns don't meet the filtering criteria. Click the Data Tab- Filter to activate.

Save and Auto Recover in Word 2013

It will happen! A computer crash, power goes out or you just close without saving. To avoid losing all your work when this happens, make sure AutoRecover and AutoSave are turned on. Simply click on the File Tab- Options- Save and make sure the SAVE AUTORECOVER INFORMATION IS SELECTED and you can select the number of minutes from 0-120.


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