Technically Speaking: The Office 365 Upgrade

By Stephen Dolter, M.D., Chief Medical Informatics Officer

In the past few months, workstations throughout the organization were upgraded to Microsoft Office 365 (O365). The version it replaced, Office 2010, was no longer supported by Microsoft and had therefore become a security risk. This, along with its outdated features, made the upgrade very desirable for the organization. Jerry Vuchak, senior vice president and chief information officer, has prioritized life cycle management since his arrival in 2019. The Office upgrade is just one of many initiatives he has led to bring Children’s technology infrastructure and software systems up to date.

We recognize that some users experienced difficulties during or immediately after the upgrade. We would like to thank those individuals for their patience as the Helpdesk and O365 Project Team diagnosed and solved their problems. Now that those problems have been ironed out, I wanted to share just a few of the cool new features that O365 offers users:

  1. As part of our organizational license agreement, Microsoft allows each user to download the Office suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.) onto their own personal computers. This includes both PC and Apple desktops and laptops, as well as mobile devices.
  2. Users can leverage the Microsoft transcription tool to enter text hands-free. Just click the microphone button in the toolbar to get started. Please be aware that this feature is cloud-based and therefore not HIPAA-compliant. That said, it does work well.
  3. Users can also utilize web-based versions of Microsoft Office applications (available on office365.com) to work on documents even when Office is not installed on their computer. Soon, OneDrive will allow them to securely store their files in the Cloud and access them from anywhere.
  4. PowerPoint now features new slide templates and Design Ideas, which allow you to redesign your slides on the fly and really make presentations pop.
  5. Outlook’s Insights can help keep your digital life organized and your day efficient. Scanning emails for tasks to follow up on, suggesting times to block off to work uninterrupted, and making sure you save time each day to eat lunch are just a few of its many features.

As always, we welcome your feedback in our ongoing efforts to optimize the information systems you use at Children’s. If anyone is still experiencing O365 difficulties, please contact Children’s Helpdesk (402-955-6700) or me (stdolter@childrensomaha.org), and we will do our best to make everything right again!

Stephen Dolter, CMIO
Amy Kotera, Supervisor, IT Support Center

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