Microsoft has made available a preview of Office 365 Planner, a simple project management tool the firm is developing for its cloud-based productivity service. The firm has also published ISO audit assessment reports on the security of Office 365.
Office 365 Planner was first announced in September as a "brand new experience in Office 365" which would aim to offers subscribers to the cloud services a "simple and highly visual way to organise teamwork".
Microsoft has now offered a preview version of the tool to Office 365 First Release customers, those who have signed up to get early access to parts of Office 365 that are still under development, analogous to the Windows Insider tech preview programme for Windows 10 releases.
"Office 365 administrators who have opted into First Release will receive an email with instructions on how to set up the preview once it is available for their tenancy. Once administrators take the necessary actions, users can start using Planner by launching it from the Office 365 app launcher," Microsoft's Planner team wrote on the Office Blog.
Planner can be used to manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organise a team more effectively, according to Microsoft.
With ease of use in mind, Planner has been designed around a highly visual way of organising information. Each plan has its own Board, and within each Board, each work item or task is represented by a Card that can have due dates, attachments, categories and conversations associated with it.
Team members receive an email notification whenever they are assigned a new Card or added to a conversation, Microsoft said.
Office 365 Planner preview is available to First Release customers on a number of plans, including those for Enterprise and Education customers, plus Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium.
Microsoft said it expects to make Planner generally available to all eligible Office 365 commercial and education customers sometime during 2016.
Meanwhile, the firm has also published ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 reports on audit assessments regarding the security and privacy of customer data in Office 365.
"In line with our commitment to provide customers the utmost transparency, we have enhanced auditing around Office 365 information security and privacy controls," Microsoft stated on the Office 365 blog.
"We asked independent third-party auditors to test and assess Office 365 against the ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 standards, making Office 365 one of the first major cloud services to be assessed against these standards."
The audit assessment reports are available in the compliance reports section of Microsoft's Office 365 Service Trust Portal.
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