Outlook Web App (OWA) Improvements

The Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA) is the cloud portal to Microsoft Exchange, and the newest version is the most sophisticated yet. If you’ve not yet accessed your email in the cloud using OWA, these new features could persuade you to give it a try.

Exchange Server 2013

1. Social Media Integration

Microsoft’s Outlook Web App now allows you to list your social media profiles in your account. Adding your LinkedIn and Facebook URLs will allow colleagues to find and contact you.

To set up your profile, click the Settings gear icon in OWA. Then, proceed to Options, then Accounts, then Connected Accounts.

If you’re a frequent LinkedIn user, you’ll also enjoy the automatic contact import feature that’s new in OWA.


2. New Apps for Outlook

Microsoft has given users the ability expand their OWA experience with additional data. The new apps include a Bing maps widget, which automatically imports location data into your email message window in its own handy tab. There’s also a new Action Items app that can auto-suggest tasks based on the content of a message. These apps have to be enabled by the Exchange system administrator before they can be used.


3. Single Calendar View

Many busy people have multiple calendars in Outlook, and it can be difficult to keep track of them all separately. Now, OWA offers a merged calendar view where all appointments appear overlaid on one calendar screen. Entries are colour-coded so it’s clear which calendar they belong to; in the Day layout, you can see them combined or split into their own calendar lists.


4. Linked Contacts

Most of us have more than one contact record for the same people, and choosing between them on the fly can be a productivity killer. Now, OWA gives users the tools to consolidate contacts so that one card shows multiple contact records. Better still, you don’t need to trawl through your contact list to set this up; Exchange 2013 does it automatically.


5. Quick Compose

In the Exchange 2013 version of OWA, messages can be composed in the reading pane and don’t have to be written in a new window. In practice, replying to stacks of email is much faster this way.


Upgrading to Exchange 2013

Cloud email solutions from Dell include Exchange Server 2013 on Dell PowerEdge servers. Take full advantage of your a virtualized environment with Microsoft Hyper-V and Exchange, and give your staff the convenience of cloud-based email with the brand new OWA.


As part of the Dell team, I recommend you check out the fantastic range of exchange server setups to cater for all businesses, which can be found at dell.co.uk. Head over to the site and take a look at the solutions on offer.