Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-24

Welcome to the June 14 – 20, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Nineteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Viva, Outlook, Whiteboard, SharePoint, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.

There are no new events, but a few of the existing meeting series have added a session or two for the remainder of June. The spotlight event of the week is the “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) session for Microsoft Viva on Wednesday, June 23rd at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include details on new hybrid work innovations across several Microsoft 365 services, the OneDrive roadmap roundup for May 2021, information on new functionality in Teams to create trackable tasks from Teams messages, and an update on Basic Authentication in Exchange Online.

Noteworthy item highlights include the latest updates for Excel for the web, on-demand workshops for Microsoft Lists, details on automated diagnostics for troubleshooting various Office 365 issues, and the general availability of Essential Announcements in Yammer.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

Note: The Estimated Release dates listed below are subject to change. The direct link provided for each item can be used to determine if the estimated release date has been updated since the time of publication.

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Microsoft Teams: Teams Meetings Auto Recording83054June CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This feature allows users to auto record meetings by choosing auto record option in meetings options.
Microsoft Teams: RTMP Streaming Support83562July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Enables support for your users to stream their Teams meetings to large audiences through RTMP, including endpoints outside your organization.
SharePoint: Migration Manager content discovery82000July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Before you move any file or folder from on-premises into Microsoft 365, you need to discover content and plan for the migration. The Migration Manager, from within the SharePoint admin center, will provide content discovery so admins can best understand what content they have, decide what to migrate and what to remediate.
Whiteboard: Web Templates82030June CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Whiteboard
Participants in Teams and on Whiteboard for the Web can add a variety of built-in templates for meetings, workshops, decision making, planning, design thinking and more.
Whiteboard: User Experience82034August CY2021Added: 01 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
Participants in Teams and on Whiteboard for the web will see a new, refreshed user experience.
Outlook and Exchange for Business: Microsoft Outlook browser extension for Edge82036July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
The Microsoft Outlook browser extension brings you the power of mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks using an icon in Microsoft Edge. Quickly access your Outlook work account or your Outlook.com or Hotmail account without switching to another tab or app. The extension will be available in the Chrome Store soon as well.
Microsoft Viva: Control visibility of suggested topics82050July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Viva
This update will empower knowledge managers to enable or prevent general visibility of AI-suggested topics.
Microsoft Compliance center: Information governance – Retention policies for Yammer82055July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
This update enables organizations to apply retention policies on Yammer messages.
Microsoft Teams: New default settings when opening Office files82662May CY2021Added: 16 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Users can set a default of browser, desktop or Teams when opening Office files (Word, Excel, and Power Point) that are shared in Teams. The desktop setting can be selected, if the user has Office version 16 or newer installed and activated.
Outlook: Rich Auto Reply Toolbar for Android83732July CY2021Added: 16 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Users will now be able to format the text in their autoreplies. Options include bold/italics/underline, numbered/unnumbered lists, font style and links.
Outlook: Rich Event Description Toolbar83733July CY2021Added: 16 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
Users will now be able to format the text in their event descriptions. Options include bold/italics/underline, numbered/unnumbered lists, font style and links.
Microsoft Teams: Pin chat messages82584June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Pin a Teams chat message to drive awareness and provide the chat members with quick access to important content. Pinning will help your team stay in sync on what’s and relevant in a timely manner.
Microsoft Teams: Fluid components in Teams chat82779June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Fluid components in Teams chat allow end users to send a message with a table, action items or a list that can be co-authored and edited by everyone in line.
Microsoft Teams: Paging on Video Gallery84464June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
When you choose Large Gallery, and there are more than 49 videos or in Gallery with more than 9 videos, navigation controls and now appear below the Large Gallery and Video Gallery. You can use these controls to view more video participants.
Microsoft Teams: Live Events in GCC-High, and DoD82954June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High, DoD
Soon, you will be able to use Live Events in GCCH and DoD for your needs.
Microsoft Teams: Left navigation updates in Teams Admin Center83320July CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
To make it easier to find Team’s features and navigate your Teams organization, we reorganized the left navigation based on user studies and customer feedback.
Microsoft Teams: Teams Network planner for government clouds83471August CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Network Planner can help you determine and organize network requirements for connecting Microsoft Teams users across your organization. When you provide your network details and Teams usage, the Network Planner calculates your network requirements for deploying Teams and cloud voice across your organization’s physical locations.
Microsoft Teams: EDU tailored deployment plan in Teams Advisor83509July CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, EDU
EDU IT Administrators can use a tailored plan to deploy Teams to their organization.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Investigation updates for improved email threats and actions82056June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
We have new updates and improvements to the Automated Investigation and Response (AIR) playbooks to better capture the state of the emails and entities that are being investigated. This results in more accurate threat data and actions – which are better for security operations workflows.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

Join us to learn how to extend your circle of communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams. Easily connect with your colleagues anywhere, anytime and manage all your conversations from one central platform. In this 1-hour training you will learn how to: (1) Send and reply to chat messages, (2) Use messaging tools to enhance your conversations, (3) Manage your chat conversations, and (4) Use calling features.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and felt it wasn’t productive and not much was accomplished? Join us to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive, and meaningful. Use Microsoft Teams for your entire meeting experience. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Schedule and join meetings and initiate calls, (2) Use collaborative tools such as sharing, whiteboards, meeting notes, recording, and more, (3) Easily access important meetings and related content at any time, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Work together as a team from anywhere and with more flexibility, (2) Connect instantly with team members for fast-paced decision making, (3) Meet with anyone, anywhere through audio, video, and web conferences, and (4) Boost team culture with the digital equivalent of an open office space.

Do you need to rapidly onboard a large number of Frontline users to Microsoft Teams and configure a streamlined experience for them? Are you struggling with where and how to start? If yes, this is the clinic for you! Join Microsoft Teams customer engineering experts as we review how Microsoft Teams can accelerate your Frontline worker deployment. Featuring examples from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and transportation industries, we’ll explore how Microsoft Teams provides a single experience for productive conversations, smooth flow of information, simplified schedule management in a compliant and secure environment for your Frontline workers. You’ll leave this highly interactive session with tangible next steps to accelerate your planning. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify scenarios that matter to your Frontline workers and the best approach to implementing Teams from pilot to scale across your entire organization, (2) Map scenarios to Microsoft Teams use cases, and (3) Craft the right experience for your Frontline workers in Teams by configuring 1P apps and policies.

Do you use Microsoft Teams on a regular basis and want to learn more? Are you looking for ways to increase your efficiency and productivity in Teams? Join us to discover ways to enhance communication and increase your efficiency and productivity within Teams. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed and responded to, (2) Integrate tools and best practices to streamline and collaboration process, and (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work.

When: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 from 9:00am – 10:00am PT | Join this Microsoft Viva ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 9:00-10:00 AM PT! Microsoft Viva – the first Employee Experience Platform (EXP) built for the digital era – brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources and insights into an integrated employee experience that empowers people and teams to be their best, from anywhere. Post questions and feedback about Microsoft Viva, and the four Viva Modules (Viva Learning, Viva Connections, Viva Topics and Viva Insights) during this AMA. Members of the Viva team will be on hand to respond. An AMA is a one-hour online forum similar to “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. There is not an audio or video component included. To post a question or comment, click on ‘Start a New Discussion’ in the Microsoft Viva AMA Space. Be sure to add this event to your calendar – we hope to see you there!

The workforce relies on Microsoft Teams to chat, meet, and collaborate. But that’s just the beginning. Microsoft Teams can bring the applications and tools you’re already using, into one universal hub your workforce needs to get things done. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Integrate ready-to-use apps into the Teams experience, (2) Maintain control over which apps are accessible for your organization, (3) Create an App that embeds modern SharePoint pages in Teams using App Studio, (4) Manage permission and set up policies through the Admin Center, and (5) Scale business critical apps to your organization. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Remote work requires smarter workflows. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Building Microsoft Teams Integrations and Workflows shows you how the Microsoft Teams developer platform makes it easy to integrate your apps and services to improve productivity, make decisions faster and create collaboration around existing content and workflows. Join us to learn how to build apps for Teams and create integrated, people-centered solutions that can transform productivity in your organization, whether you’re on-site or working remotely. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Build modern enterprise-grade collaboration solutions with Microsoft Teams, (2) Transform everyday business processes with Microsoft 365 platform integrations for Power Platform, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, and (3) Use the wealth of data in Microsoft Graph to extend Microsoft 365 experiences and build unique intelligent applications.

This 1-hour session will provide an opportunity to learn practical guidance about conducting engaging and energizing large, online virtual events using Microsoft Teams. This session is designed for anyone wishing to organize, produce or speak at a large, virtual event and is open to anyone. During this session, you will: (1) Understand best practices to ensure your large, online virtual event is successful using Microsoft Teams or Teams Live Events, (2) Gain practical, technical production knowledge to ensure your event is engaging, (3) Understand the Attendee experience, (4) Learn before-during-after tactics to build & continue your large, online event momentum with Webinar features, and (5) Leverage and understand step by step virtual event resources as found at aka.ms/virtualeventplaybook.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Do you need an online, collaborative workspace for your project or workgroup? Join us to explore effective, virtual workspaces for projects and workgroups. Microsoft Teams offer the flexibility to set up a workspace that suits your needs. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs, (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams to enhance productivity.

Join us to learn how to accomplish the fundamental tasks in Teams. Learn how to easily communicate with your co-workers, save time while working and collaborating, and see how teamwork and projects can be managed in a central space. In this training you will learn how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and attend meetings, (4) Align your workgroup and projects, and (5) Collaborate on files and tools.

Do you need to regularly collaborate with your workgroup where you need to access shared files, apps, and conversation threads? Join us to learn how to extend collaboration, provide visibility, and manage teamwork from a central space. Microsoft Teams is a robust collaboration tool, providing you anywhere, anytime access to your group projects, daily operations, knowledgebase resources, and large scope initiatives. Use teams and channels to collaborate in virtual workspaces with your entire group. In this 1-hour training, you will learn how to: (1) Join and organize your teams and channels, (2) Use channels to streamline projects and operations, (3) Collaborate with your team members, and (4) Create and manage teams as an owner.

When employees are confident in their ability to collaborate remotely and securely, they are free to achieve more without worry. Learn how to protect data, devices, and applications while simplifying IT and minimizing the impact on employees at Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Secure and Protect Your Organization. During this free two-part learning event and accompanying Q&A, you’ll form the foundations to safeguard your company’s digital footprint. During this training event, you will explore how to: (1) Craft identity synchronization, protection, and management, (2) Utilize security in Microsoft 365, and (3) Integrate cloud app security and device management plans.

To be productive in a remote environment, your employees need to be able to safely collaborate from anywhere. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams helps you provide a remote workforce with the tools, resources and solutions they need to stay connected and productive. Join us to learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams online meetings, calling, video and chat, and empower your workforce to work from any location on any device. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Enable your people to meet and collaborate from home, (2) Make productivity applications available on any device, and (3) Deliver the best remote user experience.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

As people increasingly shift to remote work, protecting your organization’s information and managing risk should be a top priority. Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Protect Sensitive Information and Manage Data Risk teaches you how to take advantage of Microsoft technologies that identify and remediate risks that arise from creating, storing, sharing, and using sensitive data. In addition, you’ll learn how to protect that data throughout its entire life cycle—on-premises and across devices, apps, and cloud services. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Understand, identify, and protect your most sensitive data, (2) Identify and take action on insider risks and code-of-conduct violations, and (3) Utilize information protection and governance.

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.


BLOG ROUNDUP

At Microsoft, we believe that hybrid work is the future of work and that to empower their people to succeed in hybrid work, business leaders will need to reimagine their organizations with a new operating model for people, places, and processes. We’re also committed to building experiences that put everyone on equal footing—whether they’re together in a conference room in Atlanta, presenting remotely from a home office, or catching up with a meeting recording once the workday begins in Sydney. Microsoft Teams is mission-critical to this vision for a more flexible world of work. Teams is unique in that it brings together meetings, chat, calls, collaboration, and business process automation in a single app. Since COVID-19 spurred office workers around the world to work from home, we’ve been innovating in Teams to do things like create more natural and engaging meeting experiences—enable people to connect seamlessly with those inside and outside of their organizations and provide ways to make remote presentations richer and more impactful. And as we emerge into this new hybrid reality, we are focused on building experiences in Teams that are designed to ensure all voices are heard including the people not in the room—empowering everyone to connect and engage, from anywhere and at any time. And to make it easier to collaborate synchronously and asynchronously, we’re also announcing new Microsoft Fluid canvas innovations—in Teams and beyond. But COVID-19 also taught us that meeting fatigue and digital overload is real, and remote work has challenged our wellbeing. To help, Microsoft has built Microsoft Viva—our integrated employee experience platform—into Teams, so that employees can find ways to protect time and preserve their wellbeing right in the flow of their work. We are announcing new innovations—in Microsoft Teams Rooms, Fluid, and Microsoft Viva—all designed to empower your people for hybrid work. Let’s have a look.

Related:

Here are the latest functionalities that rolled out to production in the month of May 2021 – (1) Updated file picking experience for Yammer, (2) Immersive reader in OneDrive and SharePoint, (3) Link settings to Quick Permissions, (4) Expiring access for external users, (5) Exclude specific files from sync on macOS, (6) PDF viewing updates on iOS and Android, and (7) Request files for GCC High and DoD. | Resource: OneDrive release notes

Tasks happen everywhere. They can pop up in an email thread, working file, or team chat—really, wherever you work most often. But ad hoc tasks like this are disruptive and often forgotten. We’ve all been there: you promise yourself (maybe even out loud) that you’ll definitely remember so-and-so’s request only to forget it a minute later. That’s why one of our goals at Microsoft is to help you quickly capture those kinds of informal tasks the moment they happen. We’ve done this for emails in Outlook and comments in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs—and starting today, you can create tasks from Microsoft Teams messages on desktop and web. This update also addresses one of the most requested asks from customers. Before, lots of people were using third-party apps or creating Power Automate flows to convert Teams asks to tasks; now, that conversion is natively built into the Teams experience. This new way to capture tasks is perfect for tracking requests that come out of informal Teams messages and gives your team additional control and confidence over ad hoc requests. Tasks from Teams messages automatically appear alongside your other tasks in the Tasks app and To Do or Planner, so you can nix the sticky notes and instead manage all your tasks together. Plus, creating tasks out of ad hoc requests relieves the stress of trying to remember (or find) what was asked of you—all those requests are in one place. Bonus coverage! Creating tasks from Teams messaging isn’t the only Tasks app news this month. You can now delete and rename any task from Planner and To Do directly in Tasks. Before, you had to do this from each standalone app.

It’s been a few months since our last update on Basic Authentication in Exchange Online, but we’ve been busy getting ready for the next phase of the process: turning off Basic Authentication for tenants that don’t use it, and therefore, don’t need it enabled. We have millions of customers who have Basic Auth enabled in their tenant, but only use Modern Auth. Many of them don’t know Basic is enabled, and the risks that it presents – so we are going to do our bit to help secure their data by turning it off for them. Over the last few months, we have been building the supporting process and tools we need to do that at scale, and now we’re ready to start rolling it out. As we’ve said before, we’re only currently planning to turn off Basic Auth for those customers who are not using it. For customers that use still Basic for some or all the affected protocols, we are not touching authentication settings for those protocols (for the time being). We have been busy analyzing Basic Auth usage data for our customers and now have a solid understanding of who uses it and who does not. And we’re going to start turning it off for those who are not using it. The process is: We’ll randomly select customers with no usage in any, or all affected protocols, send them a Message Center post informing them that in 30 days we’re going to turn off Basic Auth. 30 days later, we’ll turn it off and send another Message Center post to confirm it was done. Just to reiterate – the program for disabling Basic Authentication for active in-use protocols has been paused for the time being, but will be coming back.


NOTEWORTHY

Delivering rich, delightful experiences to our customers continues to be a top priority for our Excel team. A few weeks ago, we shared how to easily format your data with color and style, and more. Now we bring you a set of new features and improvements to help you better analyze your data, specifically: (1) Text to columns, (2) PivotTable improvements, (3) Sort improvements, (4) Interactive charts, and (5) Additional keyboard shortcuts. These are just some of the latest improvements, many more are coming soon!

Go further with Microsoft Lists. You know you want to. And now you can – on-demand. We recently delivered five live workshops across multiple time zones – and we learned a lot. We’ve refined the content based on feedback and tightened up a few additional things – mindful of your time and ease of consumption. The result: We’ve got a great two-part, on-demand workshop – two videos wrapped in a single page with additional resources. Dig in and learn how you and your team can best utilize Microsoft Lists. We teach you how to use and create views, configure conditional formatting, adjust forms, use rules, and more. Plus, we highlight no-code and low-code solutions leveraging integrated tools from the Power Platform. You’ll also find materials to deliver the Lists workshop to your organization (PowerPoint, speaker notes, demo materials).

Seeing that this is a relatively new development, I wanted to share information about automated diagnostics that customers can run inside of the Microsoft 365 admin center. The goal of these is to help you to solve various support-related issues that you might encounter, without having to open a support ticket. Currently, the way to interact with available diagnostics is via the Need help? button in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Seeing that this is the Exchange blog, here is the article that lists currently available related diagnostics. But wait, there is more! Various other teams (including SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams) have also created diagnostics and documents listing what is available.

Keeping your employees informed and engaged is critical in today’s rapidly changing workscape. Over the past 18 months, we’ve continued to build capabilities in Yammer to help corporate communicators and leaders share their message at scale. Some announcements are crucial to keeping employees up to date – whether it’s regarding safety, protocols, policies, or other priority news. In these instances, corporate communicators and leaders need ways to guarantee that messages are delivered to every employee. This feature allows Yammer community admins to set an announcement as ‘essential’ to ensure that it’s delivered via email to every member of that community, even if it is outside of their preferred notification settings. By sending an announcement in Yammer, it will appear as an interactive conversation in Outlook. This helps accelerate the time to consumption and drive engagement, so members can see, react, and comment on the post right from their Outlook inbox. This works for desktop, web, and mobile experiences. And for those that have the Yammer Communities app for Teams installed, announcements and @mentions made in Yammer will also appear in your Microsoft Teams activity feed.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-18

Welcome to the May 3 – 9, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty-nine features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Lists, Exchange Online, Outlook, Microsoft 365 Compliance, and Yammer.

There are no new events, but several new sessions have been added for existing event series. This week’s spotlight event is the “Protecting Assets and Empowering Your Defenders” Customer Immersion Experience on Thursday, May 13th from 12pm – 2pm Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include the public preview of OneDrive sync admin reports, new site templates for SharePoint, the ability to customize the reply all storm protection settings, a look at news from the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, and the latest accessibility, security and customization features for Microsoft Stream.

Noteworthy item highlights include the April Project updates, the May 2021 feature updates for Workplace Analytics, an updated landing page for Visio.com, the availability of new storytelling resources to assist with adoption and change management programs.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Twenty-nine features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Lists, Exchange Online, Outlook, Microsoft 365 Compliance, and Yammer.

In order to keep the length of the blog post to a minimum, the roadmap updates for last week are available via download as listed below:

EXCEL:

PDF:


UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Join us to learn how to extend your circle of communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams. Easily connect with your colleagues anywhere, anytime and manage all your conversations from one central platform. In this 1-hour training you will learn how to: (1) Send and reply to chat messages, (2) Use messaging tools to enhance your conversations, (3) Manage your chat conversations, and (4) Use calling features.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and felt it wasn’t productive and not much was accomplished? Join us to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive, and meaningful. Use Microsoft Teams for your entire meeting experience. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Schedule and join meetings and initiate calls, (2) Use collaborative tools such as sharing, whiteboards, meeting notes, recording, and more, (3) Easily access important meetings and related content at any time, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

Do you need to regularly collaborate with your workgroup where you need to access shared files, apps, and conversation threads? Join us to learn how to extend collaboration, provide visibility, and manage teamwork from a central space. Microsoft Teams is a robust collaboration tool, providing you anywhere, anytime access to your group projects, daily operations, knowledgebase resources, and large scope initiatives. Use teams and channels to collaborate in virtual workspaces with your entire group. In this 1-hour training, you will learn how to: (1) Join and organize your teams and channels, (2) Use channels to streamline projects and operations, (3) Collaborate with your team members, and (4) Create and manage teams as an owner.

Do you need to rapidly onboard a large number of Frontline users to Microsoft Teams and configure a streamlined experience for them? Are you struggling with where and how to start? If yes, this is the clinic for you! Join Microsoft Teams customer engineering experts as we review how Microsoft Teams can accelerate your Frontline worker deployment. Featuring examples from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and transportation industries, we’ll explore how Microsoft Teams provides a single experience for productive conversations, smooth flow of information, simplified schedule management in a compliant and secure environment for your Frontline workers. You’ll leave this highly interactive session with tangible next steps to accelerate your planning. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify scenarios that matter to your Frontline workers and the best approach to implementing Teams from pilot to scale across your entire organization, (2) Map scenarios to Microsoft Teams use cases, and (3) Craft the right experience for your Frontline workers in Teams by configuring 1P apps and policies.

This 1-hour session will provide an opportunity to learn practical guidance about conducting engaging and energizing large, online virtual events using Microsoft Teams. This session is designed for anyone wishing to organize, produce or speak at a large, virtual event and is open to anyone. During this session, you will: (1) Understand best practices to ensure your large, online virtual event is successful using Microsoft Teams or Teams Live Events, (2) Gain practical, technical production knowledge to ensure your event is engaging, (3) Understand the Attendee experience, (4) Learn before-during-after tactics to build & continue your large, online event momentum with Webinar features, and (5) Leverage and understand step by step virtual event resources as found at aka.ms/virtualeventplaybook.

Join us to learn how to accomplish the fundamental tasks in Teams. Learn how to easily communicate with your co-workers, save time while working and collaborating, and see how teamwork and projects can be managed in a central space. In this training you will learn how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and attend meetings, (4) Align your workgroup and projects, and (5) Collaborate on files and tools.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review high-value scenarios including incident management (help desk), employee engagement, and productivity that can be enhanced through simple integrations in Teams. We focus on popular enterprise applications your users may already be using every day. Come see how easy it is to connect your systems, increase automation, and deliver improved experiences by bringing the apps your organization relies on into Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand common app integrations for Teams across multiple scenarios and user personas, and (2) Understand third-party apps available for key scenarios.

When employees are confident in their ability to collaborate remotely and securely, they are free to achieve more without worry. Learn how to protect data, devices, and applications while simplifying IT and minimizing the impact on employees at Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Secure and Protect Your Organization. During this free two-part learning event and accompanying Q&A, you’ll form the foundations to safeguard your company’s digital footprint. During this training event, you will explore how to: (1) Craft identity synchronization, protection, and management, (2) Utilize security in Microsoft 365, and (3) Integrate cloud app security and device management plans.

Do you need an online, collaborative workspace for your project or workgroup? Join us to explore effective, virtual workspaces for projects and workgroups. Microsoft Teams offer the flexibility to set up a workspace that suits your needs. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs, (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams to enhance productivity.

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Do you use Microsoft Teams on a regular basis and want to learn more? Are you looking for ways to increase your efficiency and productivity in Teams? Join us to discover ways to enhance communication and increase your efficiency and productivity within Teams. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed and responded to, (2) Integrate tools and best practices to streamline and collaboration process, and (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work.

As people increasingly shift to remote work, protecting your organization’s information and managing risk should be a top priority. Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Protect Sensitive Information and Manage Data Risk teaches you how to take advantage of Microsoft technologies that identify and remediate risks that arise from creating, storing, sharing, and using sensitive data. In addition, you’ll learn how to protect that data throughout its entire life cycle—on-premises and across devices, apps, and cloud services. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Understand, identify, and protect your most sensitive data, (2) Identify and take action on insider risks and code-of-conduct violations, and (3) Utilize information protection and governance.

Office Hours: Managing Windows 10 Devices & Updates

To support your efforts to deliver and deploy updates to the Windows 10 devices being used by remote, onsite, and hybrid workers across your organization, and manage those devices effectively, we are continuing our series of weekly “office hours” for IT professionals here on Tech Community. During office hours, we will have a broad group of product experts, servicing experts, and engineers representing Windows, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager), security, FastTrack, and more. They will be monitoring the Windows 10 servicing space and standing by to provide guidance, discuss strategies and tactics, and, of course, answer any specific questions you may have. Office hours are text-based; there is no audio or virtual meeting component. To post a question, you just need to be a member of the Tech Community. Simply visit the Windows 10 servicing space and click Start a new conversation. At the start of office hours, we’ll pin a post outlining the individuals on hand, and their areas of expertise. Can’t attend at the designated time? Again, no problem. Post a question in the Windows 10 servicing space up to 24 hours in advance and we’ll make sure we review it during office hours.

The workforce relies on Microsoft Teams to chat, meet, and collaborate. But that’s just the beginning. Microsoft Teams can bring the applications and tools you’re already using, into one universal hub your workforce needs to get things done. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Integrate ready-to-use apps into the Teams experience, (2) Maintain control over which apps are accessible for your organization, (3) Create an App that embeds modern SharePoint pages in Teams using App Studio, (4) Manage permission and set up policies through the Admin Center, and (5) Scale business critical apps to your organization. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Remote work requires smarter workflows. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Building Microsoft Teams Integrations and Workflows shows you how the Microsoft Teams developer platform makes it easy to integrate your apps and services to improve productivity, make decisions faster and create collaboration around existing content and workflows. Join us to learn how to build apps for Teams and create integrated, people-centered solutions that can transform productivity in your organization, whether you’re on-site or working remotely. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Build modern enterprise-grade collaboration solutions with Microsoft Teams, (2) Transform everyday business processes with Microsoft 365 platform integrations for Power Platform, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, and (3) Use the wealth of data in Microsoft Graph to extend Microsoft 365 experiences and build unique intelligent applications.

Your business needs to control how sensitive data is managed. Join us and explore how to assess your compliance risk, protect sensitive and business critical data, and respond efficiently to data discovery requests. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Simplify assessment of compliance risk, (2) Integrate protection and governance of data, and (3) Intelligently respond to data discovery requests. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

To be productive in a remote environment, your employees need to be able to safely collaborate from anywhere. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams helps you provide a remote workforce with the tools, resources and solutions they need to stay connected and productive. Join us to learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams online meetings, calling, video and chat, and empower your workforce to work from any location on any device. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Enable your people to meet and collaborate from home, (2) Make productivity applications available on any device, and (3) Deliver the best remote user experience.

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

With the dramatic shift to remote work, we all continue to seek creative ways to stay connected and productive in our jobs. How do we recreate those meetings, calls, and large events that previously brought us together and helped us achieve our business goals? Do we have the right tools and devices to do so? And how do we do all of this while keeping security top of mind? These aren’t easy questions to answer. This one-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Power BI in a live cloud environment. A facilitator will guide you as you create a virtual company-wide meeting and explore how to: (1) Build a communication and collaboration hub, (2) Engage employees through chat and polls, (3) Set up automated meeting captioning, translation, and transcripts, and (4) Use analytical tools to make sense of data, categorize it, and make it easier to visualize. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Businesses are shifting to a desktop experience that empowers IT and enables employees to be more productive and secure, but not all employees sit in an office or always work from secure locations.  With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can set up a scalable and flexible environment to unlock mobility, productivity and security. This new 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience with Windows Virtual Desktop. During this session, you will explore how to: (1) Create your first Windows Virtual Desktop architecture, (2) Create images and assign them to users, (3) Operationalize the virtual desktop infrastructure with monitoring, scaling, and image management, and (4) Explore security best practices within Windows Virtual Desktop. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Work together as a team from anywhere and with more flexibility, (2) Connect instantly with team members for fast-paced decision making, (3) Meet with anyone, anywhere through audio, video, and web conferences, and (4) Boost team culture with the digital equivalent of an open office space.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.


BLOG ROUNDUP

We’re excited to announce public preview of OneDrive Sync Admin Reports in Microsoft 365 Apps admin center. These reports give you more visibility into who in your organization is running the OneDrive Sync client and any errors they might be experiencing. OneDrive Sync is a lot like electricity or internet—people tend to take it for granted until they have a problem and they’re in the middle of an important project. This is even more the case now with so many people working from home and relying on cloud capabilities like OneDrive and SharePoint Online to help them be productive. Having insights into what’s happening with OneDrive Sync across your organization can help you proactively reach out to educate people to resolve common issues and improve user experience to help increase OneDrive adoption.

Imagine you’re working on a project that needs a new SharePoint site to track deadlines, record progress, and serve as a central place to collaborate with your team. Perhaps you’ve been tasked with creating an onboarding portal for your organization complete with new hire checklists and key information to help them get started. Maybe you’re leading a training series where you need to store course files and post class announcements. Where do you begin when it comes to designing sites for these scenarios? Now you have a starting point! We’ve made it even easier to begin on the right foot with site templates that are available to you in SharePoint. SharePoint site templates are flexible enough to address a variety of needs, make it easy to create and populate site content, and show you what’s possible. These complement those found in the SharePoint lookbook, which has been and continues to be an amazing source of inspiration for modern experiences you can build with out-of-the-box SharePoint components.

Last year we released the Reply-all Storm Protection feature to help protect your organization from unwanted reply-all storms. This feature uses global settings applicable to all Microsoft 365 customers for reply-all storm detection and for how long the feature will block subsequent reply-alls once a storm has been detected. We’re pleased to announce you’ll now have the ability to make these settings specific to your Microsoft 365 organization; email admins will have the flexibility to enable/disable the feature, and set customized detection thresholds and block duration time. This not only makes it more flexible to tailor for your organization, but it also  allows more Microsoft 365 customers to take advantage of the Reply-all Storm Protection feature since the minimum number of reply-all recipients for detection can now be as low as 1000 when previously it was hard-coded at 5000. | Related: Loop Prevention in Exchange Online Demystified

While we connect with our customers, our community, and our partners every day, at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, we share some of our most important announcements on our strategy and roadmap. We prepare and deliver some really exciting demos and our product managers and engineers look forward to answering all of your questions. We had so much to announce that we had to break up our keynote into two parts, and then we had a special session just for goals in Microsoft Power BI…that’s 3 x 30 minutes of pure Power BI fun! In addition, we had tons of product sessions, and many real-world customer stories from Walmart, T-Mobile, Cerner, Bayer, and so many more. | Related: Microsoft Business Application Summit Recap

Microsoft Stream (built on SharePoint) is bringing to production long-awaited features that unlock new value for you in the areas of accessibility, security, and customized content consumption. We’re complementing recent Teams meeting accessibility enhancements with improvements to transcripts and captions in Stream on SharePoint. We’re also making Teams meeting recordings read-only be default and we will also add “block download” functionality to Teams meeting recordings that are automatically saves to OneDrive and SharePoint. The Stream web app will soon be part of office.com – consolidating videos into a seamless, individualized experience for all stakeholders. We’ll also release a new player for video files in OneDrive and SharePoint, including several upgrades for playback such as higher quality video, a transcript pane on the right, speaker identification in the transcript (if enabled), and support for switching between transcripts in multiple languages.


NOTEWORTHY

This post has a look at what’s new and upcoming for Project, including features such as: (1) Email assignment notifications, (2) Actions on Project Home, and (3) Open task from Project Power BI report. Upcoming features include: (1) Import from Project Desktop, and (2) Filtering on Board & Timeline views.

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for May 2021. This month’s update describes the following new features: (1) Collaboration metrics with Teams IM and call signals, (2) Metric refinements, (3) Analyze business processes, (4) New business-outcome playbooks, (5) More focused set of query templates, and (6) Workplace Analytics now supports mailboxes in datacenters in Germany.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Visio start page on Office.com, providing Visio users with a familiar start experience that is similar to other Office 365 apps and powerful Office features, like improved file discovery, improved collaboration features, and better template categorization. From the new landing page, you will experience the benefits of the Office.com ecosystem combined with unique features of the existing Visio landing page. This post includes additional details on the latest enhancements.

We are pleased to share a set of new resources on storytelling for Champions! Our overall goal for delivering these new resources is to enable you and your organization to achieve greater results from your adoption and change management programs. Stories are an amazing way to connect with people through shared experiences, inspire others to act, and are an influential way to communicate. Storytelling can play a key role in any change journey as a powerful way to showcase examples of the new behavior change in action. The resources include: (1) A new storytelling guide, and (2) a storytelling course on LinkedIn Learning.

Today, organizations face an evolving threat landscape and an exponentially increasing attack surface. Email represents the primary attack vector for cybercrime, and security teams are in search of efficient and cost-effective means to minimize the risk of these threats and the impact they have on organizational productivity and innovation. We are proud to announce today that Microsoft is positioned as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Email Security, Q2 2021, receiving among the highest scores in the strategy category. The Forrester Wave report evaluates enterprise email security solutions and provides a detailed overview of the current offering, strategy, and market presence of these vendors. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 received the highest possible score in the incident response, threat intelligence, and endpoint and endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions integration criteria, as well as in the product strategy, customer success, and performance and operations criteria. | Resource: Complimentary full report

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-17

Welcome to the April 26 – May 2, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were ten additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, Microsoft 365 admin center, Microsoft Defender for Office 365, and Search.

There is one new event – “Go further with Microsoft Lists”, which has five options based on region, taking place between May 10 – 14. The spotlight event of the week is the “Empower your Frontline workforce to do more with Teams”, with sessions on Tuesday, May 4th and Wednesday, May 5th.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include a look at what’s new in April 2021 for Microsoft 365, Teams and SharePoint, as well as the general availability of the new Exchange admin center.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items with details on updates to organizational theming in the Microsoft 365 admin center, the first two parts of a blog series on mastering configuration in Microsoft Defender for Office 365, information on how to connect your hybrid workforce with Yammer and OneDrive, and the April 2021 updates for Identity.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

Note: The Estimated Release dates listed below are subject to change. The direct link provided for each item can be used to determine if the estimated release date has been updated since the time of publication.

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
OneDrive and SharePoint: Adjusting version retention for PST files72237August CY2021Added: 26 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive, SharePoint
This update will help customers manage PST file versions from consuming storage capacity for OneDrive & SharePoint Online. PST files are a type of Outlook Data File which can consume a lot of storage – especially when versions are considered. The service will now limit the number of PST versions retained, often resulting in less storage consumption.
SharePoint: Updates for Microsoft Teams connected team sites81945May CY2021Added: 26 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint, Teams
Every Microsoft Teams team is connected to a SharePoint team site. If you create a private channel, it gets a unique team site. You will see specific updates, including updates to site features, site permissions alignment, site classifications and sensitivity labels, and improvements to the user interface.
Microsoft 365 admin center: New guide with scripts and tools for Microsoft Edge IE mode and site discovery72236May CY2021Added: 27 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Admin
Enterprise Site Discovery provides a way for you to detect which of your users’ frequently visited sites need to use Internet Explorer mode (IE mode) in Microsoft Edge. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll get scripts to automate configuration of Enterprise Site Discovery, get IE mode recommendations from a cloud-based tool, and create an Enterprise Mode Site List that you’ll deploy to your users.
Microsoft Teams: Public Preview: Teams follow Office preview81704May CY2021Added: 27 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Public Preview has provided IT admins with the ability to allow their users to receive preview features before they are released to the public. Coming up in June 2021, not only can users be opted-in to use Teams Public Preview, but IT admins can even configure Teams users preview state to follow Office preview state. All of this functionality will be accessible from the Teams Admin Center.
Microsoft Teams: Pairing the channel and the corresponding SharePoint folder name72211May CY2021Added: 28 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
When renaming a Teams’ channel, the corresponding SharePoint folder will be renamed and reflect the new name. This will help create consistency across Microsoft 365 endpoints, making it easier on users to find their files from anywhere. This new feature will be available for all Standard and Private channels. For Standard channels – The corresponding folder in SharePoint will be renamed. For Private channels – The corresponding site name and the folder in SharePoint will be renamed. For legacy Teams channels that were renamed prior to this rollout, there will be no change in experience. When a legacy channel is renamed after this release, it will simultaneously rename the corresponding SharePoint folder.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Advanced Delivery for SecOps Mailboxes and Third-Party Phishing Simulations72207June CY2021Added: 29 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
Advanced delivery gives admins the ability to configure advanced message delivery for special scenarios, including third-party phishing simulation campaigns and SecOps mailboxes. Advanced delivery will deliver unfiltered messages in these cases and clearly mark messages as part of each scenario across all admin surfaces.
Microsoft Compliance center and Microsoft Teams for Business: Compliance capabilities for card content generated through apps in Teams messages82992May CY2021Added: 29 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
We are extending Microsoft 365 compliance capabilities to content generated through Teams apps.
PowerPoint: PowerPoint modern comments for enterprise82731June CY2021 Added: 29 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: PowerPoint
The new modern comments experience for PowerPoint is now available through your enterprise account. Modern comments greatly improves your comments experience with features such as resolving comments, anchoring comments to objects and text, improved @mentions, and more.
Microsoft Search: Query variable support on Keyword Query Language (KQL)81953October CY2021 Added: 29 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Search
Profile attributes and Query String values from the URL can be used as Query variables on KQL. This will be resolved for both SharePoint and Graph connector verticals.
Outlook: Dictate emails on iPhone and iPad81951May CY2021Added: 30 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Use speech-to-text to dictate email messages, available starting in EN-US.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and felt it wasn’t productive and not much was accomplished? Join us to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive, and meaningful. Use Microsoft Teams for your entire meeting experience. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Schedule and join meetings and initiate calls, (2) Use collaborative tools such as sharing, whiteboards, meeting notes, recording, and more, (3) Easily access important meetings and related content at any time, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Do you need to regularly collaborate with your workgroup where you need to access shared files, apps, and conversation threads? Join us to learn how to extend collaboration, provide visibility, and manage teamwork from a central space. Microsoft Teams is a robust collaboration tool, providing you anywhere, anytime access to your group projects, daily operations, knowledgebase resources, and large scope initiatives. Use teams and channels to collaborate in virtual workspaces with your entire group. In this 1-hour training, you will learn how to: (1) Join and organize your teams and channels, (2) Use channels to streamline projects and operations, (3) Collaborate with your team members, and (4) Create and manage teams as an owner.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

Join us to learn how to extend your circle of communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams. Easily connect with your colleagues anywhere, anytime and manage all your conversations from one central platform. In this 1-hour training you will learn how to: (1) Send and reply to chat messages, (2) Use messaging tools to enhance your conversations, (3) Manage your chat conversations, and (4) Use calling features.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

Do you need to rapidly onboard a large number of Frontline users to Microsoft Teams and configure a streamlined experience for them? Are you struggling with where and how to start? If yes, this is the clinic for you! Join Microsoft Teams customer engineering experts as we review how Microsoft Teams can accelerate your Frontline worker deployment. Featuring examples from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and transportation industries, we’ll explore how Microsoft Teams provides a single experience for productive conversations, smooth flow of information, simplified schedule management in a compliant and secure environment for your Frontline workers. You’ll leave this highly interactive session with tangible next steps to accelerate your planning. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify scenarios that matter to your Frontline workers and the best approach to implementing Teams from pilot to scale across your entire organization, (2) Map scenarios to Microsoft Teams use cases, and (3) Craft the right experience for your Frontline workers in Teams by configuring 1P apps and policies.

Join us to learn how to accomplish the fundamental tasks in Teams. Learn how to easily communicate with your co-workers, save time while working and collaborating, and see how teamwork and projects can be managed in a central space. In this training you will learn how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and attend meetings, (4) Align your workgroup and projects, and (5) Collaborate on files and tools.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review high-value scenarios including incident management (help desk), employee engagement, and productivity that can be enhanced through simple integrations in Teams. We focus on popular enterprise applications your users may already be using every day. Come see how easy it is to connect your systems, increase automation, and deliver improved experiences by bringing the apps your organization relies on into Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand common app integrations for Teams across multiple scenarios and user personas, and (2) Understand third-party apps available for key scenarios.

To be productive in a remote environment, your employees need to be able to safely collaborate from anywhere. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams helps you provide a remote workforce with the tools, resources and solutions they need to stay connected and productive. Join us to learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams online meetings, calling, video and chat, and empower your workforce to work from any location on any device. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Enable your people to meet and collaborate from home, (2) Make productivity applications available on any device, and (3) Deliver the best remote user experience.

Do you need an online, collaborative workspace for your project or workgroup? Join us to explore effective, virtual workspaces for projects and workgroups. Microsoft Teams offer the flexibility to set up a workspace that suits your needs. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs, (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams to enhance productivity.

Do you use Microsoft Teams on a regular basis and want to learn more? Are you looking for ways to increase your efficiency and productivity in Teams? Join us to discover ways to enhance communication and increase your efficiency and productivity within Teams. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed and responded to, (2) Integrate tools and best practices to streamline and collaboration process, and (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work.

Learn all you can do with Microsoft Lists – your smart information tracking app in Microsoft 365. See how Lists evolve from SharePoint lists to empower individuals and teams to create, share and track information – including innovation in Microsoft Teams, information side-by-side your team conversations. We will teach you how to use and create views, configure conditional formatting, adjust forms and more. Plus, we will highlight extending lists with the integrated Power Platform and answer all frequently, or infrequently, asked questions. Get ready to become a Microsoft Lists pro, for free!

This 1-hour session will provide an opportunity to learn practical guidance about conducting engaging and energizing large, online virtual events using Microsoft Teams. This session is designed for anyone wishing to organize, produce or speak at a large, virtual event and is open to anyone. During this session, you will: (1) Understand best practices to ensure your large, online virtual event is successful using Microsoft Teams or Teams Live Events, (2) Gain practical, technical production knowledge to ensure your event is engaging, (3) Understand the Attendee experience, (4) Learn before-during-after tactics to build & continue your large, online event momentum with Webinar features, and (5) Leverage and understand step by step virtual event resources as found at aka.ms/virtualeventplaybook.

The workforce relies on Microsoft Teams to chat, meet, and collaborate. But that’s just the beginning. Microsoft Teams can bring the applications and tools you’re already using, into one universal hub your workforce needs to get things done. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Integrate ready-to-use apps into the Teams experience, (2) Maintain control over which apps are accessible for your organization, (3) Create an App that embeds modern SharePoint pages in Teams using App Studio, (4) Manage permission and set up policies through the Admin Center, and (5) Scale business critical apps to your organization. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

When employees are confident in their ability to collaborate remotely and securely, they are free to achieve more without worry. Learn how to protect data, devices, and applications while simplifying IT and minimizing the impact on employees at Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Secure and Protect Your Organization. During this free two-part learning event and accompanying Q&A, you’ll form the foundations to safeguard your company’s digital footprint. During this training event, you will explore how to: (1) Craft identity synchronization, protection, and management, (2) Utilize security in Microsoft 365, and (3) Integrate cloud app security and device management plans.

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

As people increasingly shift to remote work, protecting your organization’s information and managing risk should be a top priority. Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Protect Sensitive Information and Manage Data Risk teaches you how to take advantage of Microsoft technologies that identify and remediate risks that arise from creating, storing, sharing, and using sensitive data. In addition, you’ll learn how to protect that data throughout its entire life cycle—on-premises and across devices, apps, and cloud services. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Understand, identify, and protect your most sensitive data, (2) Identify and take action on insider risks and code-of-conduct violations, and (3) Utilize information protection and governance.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

To support your efforts to deliver and deploy updates to the Windows 10 devices being used by remote, onsite, and hybrid workers across your organization, and manage those devices effectively, we are continuing our series of weekly “office hours” for IT professionals here on Tech Community. During office hours, we will have a broad group of product experts, servicing experts, and engineers representing Windows, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager), security, FastTrack, and more. They will be monitoring the Windows 10 servicing space and standing by to provide guidance, discuss strategies and tactics, and, of course, answer any specific questions you may have. Office hours are text-based; there is no audio or virtual meeting component. To post a question, you just need to be a member of the Tech Community. Simply visit the Windows 10 servicing space and click Start a new conversation. At the start of office hours, we’ll pin a post outlining the individuals on hand, and their areas of expertise. Can’t attend at the designated time? Again, no problem. Post a question in the Windows 10 servicing space up to 24 hours in advance and we’ll make sure we review it during office hours.

Remote work requires smarter workflows. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Building Microsoft Teams Integrations and Workflows shows you how the Microsoft Teams developer platform makes it easy to integrate your apps and services to improve productivity, make decisions faster and create collaboration around existing content and workflows. Join us to learn how to build apps for Teams and create integrated, people-centered solutions that can transform productivity in your organization, whether you’re on-site or working remotely. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Build modern enterprise-grade collaboration solutions with Microsoft Teams, (2) Transform everyday business processes with Microsoft 365 platform integrations for Power Platform, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, and (3) Use the wealth of data in Microsoft Graph to extend Microsoft 365 experiences and build unique intelligent applications.

Your business needs to control how sensitive data is managed. Join us and explore how to assess your compliance risk, protect sensitive and business critical data, and respond efficiently to data discovery requests. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Simplify assessment of compliance risk, (2) Integrate protection and governance of data, and (3) Intelligently respond to data discovery requests. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

With the dramatic shift to remote work, we all continue to seek creative ways to stay connected and productive in our jobs. How do we recreate those meetings, calls, and large events that previously brought us together and helped us achieve our business goals? Do we have the right tools and devices to do so? And how do we do all of this while keeping security top of mind? These aren’t easy questions to answer. This one-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Power BI in a live cloud environment. A facilitator will guide you as you create a virtual company-wide meeting and explore how to: (1) Build a communication and collaboration hub, (2) Engage employees through chat and polls, (3) Set up automated meeting captioning, translation, and transcripts, and (4) Use analytical tools to make sense of data, categorize it, and make it easier to visualize. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Businesses are shifting to a desktop experience that empowers IT and enables employees to be more productive and secure, but not all employees sit in an office or always work from secure locations.  With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can set up a scalable and flexible environment to unlock mobility, productivity and security. This new 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience with Windows Virtual Desktop. During this session, you will explore how to: (1) Create your first Windows Virtual Desktop architecture, (2) Create images and assign them to users, (3) Operationalize the virtual desktop infrastructure with monitoring, scaling, and image management, and (4) Explore security best practices within Windows Virtual Desktop. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Work together as a team from anywhere and with more flexibility, (2) Connect instantly with team members for fast-paced decision making, (3) Meet with anyone, anywhere through audio, video, and web conferences, and (4) Boost team culture with the digital equivalent of an open office space.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.


BLOG ROUNDUP

As our customers around the world look for new ways to empower people for hybrid work, we’re committed to offering them experiences that enable everyone to connect and collaborate from home, at the office, and everywhere in between. From viewing live transcriptions during Microsoft Teams Meetings and tracking changes in Microsoft Excel documents to discovering and securing unmanaged devices, this month we’re announcing new features across Microsoft 365 designed to enable the flexibility that hybrid work requires. Other highlights include the ability to transform Microsoft Word documents into beautiful PowerPoint presentations using AI, expanded polling capabilities in Teams, and an updated Remote Desktop for Mac app. Let’s dive in.

Related:

Welcome to the April edition of What’s new in Teams – the monthly post where we’re keeping you updated on all the new features and innovation that we have made available in Microsoft Teams. This month we’re also excited to announce we’ve launched our new Microsoft Teams Instagram account. Go check it out for fun updates and new ways to engage with the product. Let’s check out all the new features we have delivered this month: (1) Meetings and webinars, (2) Devices, (3) Chat and Collaboration, (4) Management, (5) Frontline worker, and (6) Government.

Related:

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in April 2021. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. April 2021 brought some great new offerings: Immersive Reader: SharePoint pages and news posts, Events Web Part: Audience Targeting, SharePoint site templates, Microsoft Lists for iOS: iPad support, Manage Microsoft Lists for iOS using Intune APP, Microsoft Lists: Visualize date with Power BI, OneDrive sync 64-bit for Windows, and more. All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of April 2021 (possibly early May 2021).

The new Exchange admin center (EAC) is a modern, accessible, web-based management portal for managing Exchange Online that is based on the Microsoft 365 admin center experience. The new EAC is simple and accessible, and it enables you perform tasks like restoring mailboxes, migrating data, and much more. Since entering Public Preview in June 2020, over half a million admins around the world have used it. We thrived on the feedback of our early adopters and we have steadily improved the new EAC with the help from a great community of early users. We are now excited to announce that the new EAC is now generally available for customers (including GCC customers) in 10 languages. With this announcement, we are also releasing a new dashboard, new usability features, and several intelligent reports to help admins be more productive in their work. The new EAC is expected to be available to customers in GCC High at the end of May 2021, and to customers in DoD at the end of June 2021.


NOTEWORTHY

A lot has changed in Yammer over the past year and we continue to see new growth, new communities, and new users getting started with Yammer. With this in mind, we are excited to share training videos that you can use to share within your own organization. Use these training videos to build momentum in your Yammer communities. The videos include: (1) Microsoft Yammer conversations and discovery, (2) Microsoft Yammer notifications and announcements, (3) Microsoft Yammer communities overview, and (4) Microsoft Yammer network admin highlights.

We are so excited to announce an enhanced theming experience for tenants. We have started rolling out the improvements and will be generally available by late May 2021. Through the Microsoft 365 admin center, start playing around with colors and logos and assign custom themes to different Microsoft 365 groups in your organization! The organizational theme is what appears in the top navigation bar for people in your organization. | Resource: Customize the Microsoft 365 theme for your organization

This blog is part one of a three-part series detailing the journey we’re on to simplify configuration of threat protection capabilities in Office 365 to enable best-in class protection for our customers. Effective security is a never-ending battle to achieve balance between security and productivity. If we apply too many security controls to an environment, we limit the ability of its users to function efficiently. And if we err on the side of restraint, we do not hinder users in any way, but we leave the door open to threats. Email security is complex and ever-changing. With over 90 percent of threats surfacing through email, it’s critical that organizations are empowered to configure security tools in a way that works for their environment. We’re committed to offering Office 365 customers the best email protection by continually focusing on improving the effectiveness of our solutions both within Exchange Online Protection (EOP) as well as Defender for Office 365. EOP has a rich legacy of policy granularity and customizations that help customers meet their unique needs. As we’ve built and innovated on Microsoft Defender for Office 365, we have applied those same principles to the new advanced protection capabilities we offered as part of Defender for Office 365, while still respecting many of the EOP settings. | Related: Mastering Configuration in Defender for Office 365 – Part Two

Yammer is a best-in-class, secure, and private enterprise social network that empowers employees to be more productive and successful by enabling them to collaborate easily, make decisions faster, and self-organize to take on any business challenge. Where Microsoft Teams is the perfect option for groups working together to deliver specific projects or services, Yammer works best for broader groups of people and open discussion. Organizational or department leaders often use Yammer to share company news, but Yammer can also be valuable for bringing people together to form communities with a common objective or interest—say, a global marketing team at a professional services firm sharing messaging best practices, or two public sector agencies (like a city council and social services) building community outreach programs. Yammer is also great for bringing together inclusive, diverse communities to help improve employee engagement and connectedness. And files are a core component to the success of this community experience because files and rich media help drive participation in Yammer. The synergy Yammer shares with both OneDrive and SharePoint enables your employees to have more focused discussions and boost engagement. With the new file picker experience, employees working in Yammer will soon be able to easily upload files stored in their OneDrive or SharePoint through a familiar interface, for sharing and collaborating with colleagues all across the organization.

Critical infrastructure operators face a hostile cyber threat environment and a complex compliance landscape. Every operator of an industrial control system also operates an IT network to service its productivity needs. A supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system operator of a power grid or chemical plant needs email, databases, and business applications to support it, much like any enterprise. As the cyber threat landscape to ICS has grown more hostile and publicized, the compliance responsibilities of critical infrastructure operators have increased as well. Microsoft Compliance Manager is a feature in Microsoft 365 compliance center. It uses signals from the customer’s Microsoft 365 tenant, Microsoft’s compliance program, and workflows completed by the customer to manage and report compliance against regulatory and industry-standard templates. These templates include NERC CIP, NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), NIST 800-53, and the US Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act (H.R. 4007), as well as more than 330 standards-based assessments globally. You can also create custom templates based on other standards or mapped to your own policies and control set. | Related: What’s New from Ignite regarding Compliance Manager

We’re excited to share the latest Active Azure Directory news, including feature updates, support depreciation, and the general availability of new features that will streamline administrator, developer, and end user experiences. These new features and feature updates show our commitment to simplifying identity and access management, while also enhancing the kinds of customization and controls our customers need. New features for April 2021 include: (1) Additional service and client support for Continuous Access Evaluation (CAE) – MS Graph service & OneDrive clients on all platforms (Windows, Web, Mac, iOS, and Android) start to support CAE at the beginning of April. Now OneDrive client access can be terminated immediately right after security events, like session revocation or password reset, if you have CAE enabled in your tenant; (2) Embed Azure AD B2C sign-in interface in an iframe (Preview): Customers have told us how jarring it is to do a full-page redirect when users authenticate. Using a custom policy, you can now embed the Azure AD B2C experience within an iframe so that it appears seamlessly within your web application; and (3) Custom email verification for Azure AD B2C (GA): You can send customized email to users that sign up to use your customer applications, with a third-party email provider such as Mailjet or SendGrid. Using a Azure AD B2C custom policy, you can set up an email template, From: address, and subject, as well as support localization and custom one-time password (OTP) settings.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-09

Welcome to the March 1 – 7, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Last week everyone was focused on Microsoft Ignite March 2021. There’s a ton of content in this week’s digest, so the intro will be short. You can find recordings, and related content at Microsoft Ignite On-Demand.

Note: Lots of new dates for existing events have been added since last week. There are also a couple of new events – the “Ask the Expert: Microsoft 365 Networking” session at 10am Pacific on Wednesday, March 10th, and an “Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) for Microsoft App Assure” on Tuesday, March 16th at 9am Pacific.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

With Ignite March 2021, there were lots of updates to the Office 365 Roadmap last week – 63 new features to be exact! Microsoft Teams had the highest number of features by far with 35 total, followed by Microsoft 365 Compliance (9) and Microsoft Lists (6).

In order to keep the length of the blog post to a minimum, the roadmap updates for last week are available via download as listed below:


UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Join us to learn how to accomplish the fundamental tasks in Teams. Learn how to easily communicate with your co-workers, save time while working and collaborating, and see how teamwork and projects can be managed in a central space. In this training you will learn how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and attend meetings, (4) Align your workgroup and projects, and (5) Collaborate on files and tools.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and felt it wasn’t productive and not much was accomplished? Join us to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive, and meaningful. Use Microsoft Teams for your entire meeting experience. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Schedule and join meetings and initiate calls, (2) Use collaborative tools such as sharing, whiteboards, meeting notes, recording, and more, (3) Easily access important meetings and related content at any time, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Do you need an online, collaborative workspace for your project or workgroup? Join us to explore effective, virtual workspaces for projects and workgroups. Microsoft Teams offer the flexibility to set up a workspace that suits your needs. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs, (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams to enhance productivity.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review high-value scenarios including incident management (help desk), employee engagement, and productivity that can be enhanced through simple integrations in Teams. We focus on popular enterprise applications your users may already be using every day. Come see how easy it is to connect your systems, increase automation, and deliver improved experiences by bringing the apps your organization relies on into Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand common app integrations for Teams across multiple scenarios and user personas, and (2) Understand third-party apps available for key scenarios.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Do you use Microsoft Teams on a regular basis and want to learn more? Are you looking for ways to increase your efficiency and productivity in Teams? Join us to discover ways to enhance communication and increase your efficiency and productivity within Teams. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed and responded to, (2) Integrate tools and best practices to streamline and collaboration process, and (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

When: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 10:00am PT | Network connectivity in the Microsoft 365 admin center includes aggregated network connectivity metrics collected from your Microsoft 365 tenant and measurements from Office desktop and web clients that use Microsoft 365. Informed network routing enables third-party SD-WAN solutions to receive application-level feedback on network quality to make better decisions about the best routing path to use. Come learn about these new network-related features from the engineering teams that built them. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft App Assure ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA)! The AMA will take place on Tuesday, March 16th, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT in the Microsoft FastTrack AMA Space. An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!

When employees are confident in their ability to collaborate remotely and securely, they are free to achieve more without worry. Learn how to protect data, devices, and applications while simplifying IT and minimizing the impact on employees at Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Secure and Protect Your Organization. During this free two-part learning event and accompanying Q&A, you’ll form the foundations to safeguard your company’s digital footprint. During this training event, you will explore how to: (1) Craft identity synchronization, protection, and management, (2) Utilize security in Microsoft 365, and (3) Integrate cloud app security and device management plans.

To support your efforts to deliver and deploy updates to the Windows 10 devices being used by remote, onsite, and hybrid workers across your organization, and manage those devices effectively, we are continuing our series of weekly “office hours” for IT professionals here on Tech Community. During office hours, we will have a broad group of product experts, servicing experts, and engineers representing Windows, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager), security, FastTrack, and more. They will be monitoring the Windows 10 servicing space and standing by to provide guidance, discuss strategies and tactics, and, of course, answer any specific questions you may have. Office hours are text-based; there is no audio or virtual meeting component. To post a question, you just need to be a member of the Tech Community. Simply visit the Windows 10 servicing space and click Start a new conversation. At the start of office hours, we’ll pin a post outlining the individuals on hand, and their areas of expertise. Can’t attend at the designated time? Again, no problem. Post a question in the Windows 10 servicing space up to 24 hours in advance and we’ll make sure we review it during office hours.

In 2020, remote and hybrid working became the new normal. Through Microsoft Teams, we came together; connecting, collaborating – and keeping our teams productive, creative and secure. Microsoft is hosting a three-day digital event, The Microsoft Teams Summit, commencing the week of March 22, 2021. It’s an event you won’t want to miss. You’ll hear from experts on how Teams can supercharge the way you and your organization work and discover best practices from customers who’re using Teams to achieve amazing successes. To make sure you’re getting information tailored to your needs, each of the three days will be dedicated to a different group of Teams users: Business leaders, IT professionals, and our everyday users.. So, however you’re using Teams, join us to discover new ways to enhance your skills, and bring your teams closer together to achieve more.

Remote work requires smarter workflows. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Building Microsoft Teams Integrations and Workflows shows you how the Microsoft Teams developer platform makes it easy to integrate your apps and services to improve productivity, make decisions faster and create collaboration around existing content and workflows. Join us to learn how to build apps for Teams and create integrated, people-centered solutions that can transform productivity in your organization, whether you’re on-site or working remotely. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Build modern enterprise-grade collaboration solutions with Microsoft Teams, (2) Transform everyday business processes with Microsoft 365 platform integrations for Power Platform, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, and (3) Use the wealth of data in Microsoft Graph to extend Microsoft 365 experiences and build unique intelligent applications.

To be productive in a remote environment, your employees need to be able to safely collaborate from anywhere. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams helps you provide a remote workforce with the tools, resources and solutions they need to stay connected and productive. Join us to learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams online meetings, calling, video and chat, and empower your workforce to work from any location on any device. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Enable your people to meet and collaborate from home, (2) Make productivity applications available on any device, and (3) Deliver the best remote user experience.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Your business needs to control how sensitive data is managed. Join us and explore how to assess your compliance risk, protect sensitive and business critical data, and respond efficiently to data discovery requests. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Simplify assessment of compliance risk, (2) Integrate protection and governance of data, and (3) Intelligently respond to data discovery requests. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Businesses are shifting to a desktop experience that empowers IT and enables employees to be more productive and secure, but not all employees sit in an office or always work from secure locations.  With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can set up a scalable and flexible environment to unlock mobility, productivity and security. This new 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience with Windows Virtual Desktop. During this session, you will explore how to: (1) Create your first Windows Virtual Desktop architecture, (2) Create images and assign them to users, (3) Operationalize the virtual desktop infrastructure with monitoring, scaling, and image management, and (4) Explore security best practices within Windows Virtual Desktop. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

With the dramatic shift to remote work, we all continue to seek creative ways to stay connected and productive in our jobs. How do we recreate those meetings, calls, and large events that previously brought us together and helped us achieve our business goals? Do we have the right tools and devices to do so? And how do we do all of this while keeping security top of mind? These aren’t easy questions to answer. This one-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Power BI in a live cloud environment. A facilitator will guide you as you create a virtual company-wide meeting and explore how to: (1) Build a communication and collaboration hub, (2) Engage employees through chat and polls, (3) Set up automated meeting captioning, translation, and transcripts, and (4) Use analytical tools to make sense of data, categorize it, and make it easier to visualize. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

The workforce relies on Microsoft Teams to chat, meet, and collaborate. But that’s just the beginning. Microsoft Teams can bring the applications and tools you’re already using, into one universal hub your workforce needs to get things done. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Integrate ready-to-use apps into the Teams experience, (2) Maintain control over which apps are accessible for your organization, (3) Create an App that embeds modern SharePoint pages in Teams using App Studio, (4) Manage permission and set up policies through the Admin Center, and (5) Scale business critical apps to your organization. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.


BLOG ROUNDUP

Note: If you’re looking for one post to summarize Ignite 2021, this is it. | For some people, 2020 felt like the year work and learning moved home. For others, work continued to happen on-site—with the added challenges of staying safe on the job and learning new ways to connect to remote colleagues. But the reality is: 2020 is the year work and learning moved to the cloud. And it’s clear that flexible work is here to stay: According to research conducted for Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, over 80 percent of managers say they expect more flexible work from home policies post-pandemic, and more than 70 percent of employees say they expect to take advantage of them. So we can anticipate some pretty significant changes in the weeks and months to come. To thrive in this new hybrid world, people and organizations need solutions that are fluid, dynamic, and cloud-powered. At Microsoft, we’re building experiences to help everyone thrive in this new hybrid world of work and learning. At Microsoft Ignite March 2021, we announced new features designed for a hybrid world. From new digital event experiences in Microsoft Teams designed for internal and external attendees to new availability announcements about Microsoft Viva, there’s so much to share. | Resource: Microsoft Ignite 2021 Book of News

We announced innovation coming to Microsoft Teams to help people connect, collaborate, and accomplish more together! This blog post provides details for all the Microsoft Teams announcements from Ignite March 2021. This post outlines what’s new in: (1) Meetings, (2) Webinars, (3) Chat and collaboration, (4) Security, compliance, and privacy, (5) Calling, (6) Devices, (7) Power Platforms and custom development, (8) Management and more.

Related:

In the recent months, we’ve witnessed sophisticated attacks, like the recent SolarWinds incident, as well as the devices and online experiences have become more central to the way we work, learn, and live. Working alongside customers and partners, Microsoft takes cybersecurity, privacy, and compliance to the next level with innovation and a unique comprehensive approach. At Microsoft Ignite Spring 2021 we are excited to announce the following new security and compliance capabilities in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams that help you to secure and govern your data holistically in this remote work era. Here is what’s new in: (1) Secure external collaboration, (2) Securing access with contextual and conditional policies, and (3) Comprehensive compliance. | Related: OneDrive Roadmap Roundup – February 2021 | SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop – February 2021

Microsoft completed rolling out Microsoft Lists in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams last year (2020) – along with the release of Microsoft Lists for iOS earlier this year. We have received a lot of positive feedback and usage is growing fast. We are pleased to share future Lists innovation, as announced at Microsoft Ignite March 2-4, 2021.

Last month (February 2021), we announced Microsoft Viva, the first Employee Experience Platform for the digital era. At Microsoft Ignite March 2021, we are pleased to share a set of exciting news and updates across the four Viva modules (Connections, Insights, Learning & Topics), summarized in this post.

Related:

The past year has led to an evolution in not only how we think about work, but more importantly, where work gets done. Arguably, gone are the days that your organization’s data is limited to the protected confines of your corporate network as your people continue to work remotely, return in some capacity to the office, or even adopt some hybrid of the two. With your people working across networks, devices, clouds, and apps, how do you ensure your data remains not only secure but compliant? A culture of security starts by securing data where people get work done. We have been investing in innovation to make this easier, and we’re sharing with you some additional capabilities that enable you to extend data protection and governance across apps, clouds, endpoints, and on-premises file repositories that keep your people collaborative and productive while ensuring your most valuable asset—your data—remains secure and compliant wherever it lives.

Related:

More than ever, organizations need to strengthen their defenses to give employees, partners, and customers the flexibility to work from anywhere using apps that live inside and outside the traditional corporate network perimeter. That’s why Zero Trust, a security strategy that combines maximum flexibility with maximum security, is so crucial. For IT pros and security professionals, the implementation of Zero Trust should be simple and straightforward. For users, it should never get in the way, and it should fit into familiar workflows and habits. This week, on the virtual Microsoft Ignite stage, we announced several Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) innovations that will help make life easier for you and your employees now—and help you stay prepared for whatever comes next.

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

In the past year, we’ve seen explosive growth for video in the workplace. Video has become central to engagement, communication, and productivity as more organizations than ever before embrace asynchronous work. Leading the evolution of workplace video, the Microsoft Stream team embarked on a journey to integrate fast, intelligent video across Microsoft 365. We announced a new vision for Stream—one in which users can create, share, discover, and manage video —just as they would any other file in Microsoft 365. We’re glad to announce we’ll be entering the next phase of our journey to the new version of Microsoft Stream in Q3 2021. In this phase, we’re on track to start bringing new experiences for sharing, discovery, and video playback on top of the Microsoft 365 file experience.

Delighting our customers with faster, smoother, and richer experiences in Excel for the web is an uncompromised goal across our Excel team. Recently we shared how we’ve continued to improve performance to make opening workbooks, navigating a workbook, and other interactions faster and smoother for you. We’re introducing several additional features to help you better navigate and manipulate your Excel files in a browser: (1) Easier worksheet navigation, (2) Multiple range selection, (3) Zoom in/out, (4) Excel keyboard shortcuts by default, (5) Version history, and (6) Regional settings.

In July last year we mentioned that time is one of the most precious and scarce resources we have, and 9 months later that still seems to hold true with people still struggling to effectively prioritize and organize their time, manage meetings, and find time to focus. Almost 2/3 of information workers have had their typical work routines highly affected, add to that how their personal space has also been disrupted and so makes sense why people are struggling to organize their time. To help you organize your time and meetings, we are bringing 2 new capabilities to Outlook – (1) Organize everything your way with the new Outlook calendar board, and (2) Get intelligent scheduling assistance for your meetings.

To help you keep your devices protected and productive, in the coming weeks, Microsoft is launching Windows release health on Microsoft 365 admin center. Microsoft 365 and Windows administrators will now benefit from an expanded version of the Windows release health hub, with more in-depth information about Windows updates, known issues, safeguards, lifecycle updates, and related news. With life and business more virtual than ever and dependent on healthy large-scale environments, it is essential to make IT administrators’ work easier. Windows release health in the Microsoft 365 admin center will be available for organizations with applicable Microsoft 365 and Windows subscriptions. Windows release health will appear as a new menu item (image below) under the Health section.

In May and September 2020, we announced new cloud-based capabilities in the following three areas: intelligent insights, servicing automation with controls, and Microsoft 365 Apps health. Since then, we’ve seen over 11 million devices running Microsoft 365 Apps onboard to Inventory. We’ve also provided IT admins with over eight million app health metrics and delivered servicing updates to over 500,000 devices with our new Servicing Profile, keeping them continuously secure with the latest security improvements and up to date with improvements for collaboration and remote work. We are excited to announce improvements and more new capabilities to keep devices up to date, give you greater control and enable you to more easily manage Office as a service: (1) New in Microsoft 365 Apps Inventory and Servicing Profiles, (2) General availability of Skip and Rollback, and (3) General availability of Microsoft 365 Apps health.

As we return to the workplace, moving to a hybrid work model will not just be about continuing the great work-from-home experiment many of us have been participating in for almost 12 months now. We will need to change our behavior by developing new skills and habits to help us stay healthy, finding new ways to engage and stay connected as we adopt this new way of working. It is going to take a collective effort for organizations to make a successful transition to a hybrid workplace. There are big changes ahead for those of us moving to a hybrid work model. Like any organizational change initiative, we must be thoughtful about how we guide people through the journey. If not, organizations face risks such as decreased productivity, increased turnover, or employees that are just not engaged. To help our customers lead their organization’s transition to a hybrid workplace we have launched a SharePoint site template on the SharePoint look book called the Workplace transformation site as well as new end-user training to help employees learn new habits and skills that support hybrid work.

To provide a unified and streamlined customer experience, the Azure Information Protection labeling and policy management in the Azure Portal, and the AIP classic client, will be deprecated on March 31st, 2021as announced in our previous blog. We highly recommend customers on classic AIP labeling to migrate to unified labeling before this sunset timeline for a seamless transition to unified labeling. Note: This deprecation does not apply in the following scenarios: (1) For customers who have already been approved for extended support. Customers with extended support will continue using the AIP area in the Azure Portal with no impact until the end date of their extended support, and (2) For GCC/GCC-H/DoD customers. Support is extended for GCC/GCC-H/DoD customers until the end of September 2021. The deprecation does not affect the Azure Information Protection areas in the Azure portal related to the on-premises scanner and analytics. AIP analytics is still available in the Azure Portal, but we encourage customers to start using the Microsoft 365 Compliance center Activity Explorer.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-51

Season’s Greetings and welcome to the December 14 – 20, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were thirty-one additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Outlook (web), Microsoft 365 Compliance, Forms, Excel, and Microsoft Information Protection. Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-51.

A few pre and post holiday sessions have been added for a few of the Teams related event series. One brand new event has also been added have been added, the “Getting Started with Windows Virtual Desktop” customer immersion experience. This week’s spotlight event is the “Integrate apps to do more in Microsoft Teams” webinar on Monday, December 21st at 2pm Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include the general availability of breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams, information on the launch of the Microsoft Teams preview experience, details on new ways to celebrate holiday festivities with Microsoft Teams, and an update on the name changes for the Planner app in Teams.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items details on changing to search in SharePoint Online, a recap of what’s new in Teams phones for December 2020, information on securing remote work by embracing Zero Trust, and recommendations for delivering a productive and seamless user experiences with Azure Active Directory.

NOTE: Typically there isn’t much content published during the holiday week. As a result, there will not be a weekly digest posted on Monday, December 28, 2020. I am going to take a little extra time and spend it with my family. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Thirty-one features were added to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap last week, so for this week the roadmap updates are detailed in a separate post, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-51.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs (chat versus teams & channels), (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience​, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams​ to enhance productivity. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 1’.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and still felt it wasn’t productive? Have you attended a meeting only to leave feeling like not much was accomplished? Join this class to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive and effective. Microsoft Teams can help make your meetings worth showing up for. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Use Teams for your entire meeting experience, (2) Record your meeting, making it easy for those who couldn’t attend to get caught up, (3) Keep important meetings at your fingertips by pinning them for easy access, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (2) Easily find files, chats and projects, (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, and (4) Simplify your workday. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 2’.

Businesses are shifting to a desktop experience that empowers IT and enables employees to be more productive and secure, but not all employees sit in an office or always work from secure locations.  With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can set up a scalable and flexible environment to unlock mobility, productivity and security. This new 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience with Windows Virtual Desktop. During this session, you will explore how to: (1) Create your first Windows Virtual Desktop architecture, (2) Create images and assign them to users, (3) Operationalize the virtual desktop infrastructure with monitoring, scaling, and image management, and (4) Explore security best practices within Windows Virtual Desktop. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

In this training, you will learn how to protect your organization’s identities, data, applications, and devices across on-premises, cloud, and mobile – end to-end using the latest tools and guidance. This event covers intermediate to advanced content (level 200-300) and includes the following technologies: Threat Protection, Information Protection, Identify and Access Management, Security Management. In this workshop you will: (1) Increase level of understanding on how Microsoft delivers security across Microsoft 365, (2) Increase knowledge of security features and solutions, and (3) Connect with local technical experts and FastTrack resources.

Remote work requires smarter workflows. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Building Microsoft Teams Integrations and Workflows shows you how the Microsoft Teams developer platform makes it easy to integrate your apps and services to improve productivity, make decisions faster and create collaboration around existing content and workflows. Join us to learn how to build apps for Teams and create integrated, people-centered solutions that can transform productivity in your organization, whether you’re on-site or working remotely. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Build modern enterprise-grade collaboration solutions with Microsoft Teams, (2) Transform everyday business processes with Microsoft 365 platform integrations for Power Platform, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, and (3) Use the wealth of data in Microsoft Graph to extend Microsoft 365 experiences and build unique intelligent applications.

To support your efforts to deliver and deploy updates to the Windows 10 devices being used by remote, onsite, and hybrid workers across your organization, and manage those devices effectively, we are continuing our series of weekly “office hours” for IT professionals here on Tech Community. During office hours, we will have a broad group of product experts, servicing experts, and engineers representing Windows, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager), security, FastTrack, and more. They will be monitoring the Windows 10 servicing space and standing by to provide guidance, discuss strategies and tactics, and, of course, answer any specific questions you may have. Office hours are text-based; there is no audio or virtual meeting component. To post a question, you just need to be a member of the Tech Community. Simply visit the Windows 10 servicing space and click Start a new conversation. At the start of office hours, we’ll pin a post outlining the individuals on hand, and their areas of expertise. Can’t attend at the designated time? Again, no problem. Post a question in the Windows 10 servicing space up to 24 hours in advance and we’ll make sure we review it during office hours.

Leverage the intelligent and integrated Microsoft solutions to help your organization achieve its compliance goals by joining the Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Meeting Organizational Compliance Requirements free one day online training session. Level 200-300 (Intermediate to Advanced) content. Technology covered: Data classification, labeling, governance, policy violation remediation, eDiscovery, audit, risk assessment. In this session you will: (1) Learn to use intelligence to identify, protect and govern your important data, (2) Learn to intelligently identify and remediate critical insider threats and risks, (3) Learn how to use the latest eDiscovery and audit capabilities to find relevant data and respond efficiently, and (4) Learn how to simplify and automate IT risk assessment.


BLOG ROUNDUP

This is the second in a series of blog posts focused on helping you get the most out of your meetings and calls with Microsoft Teams. Millions of people around the world rely on Teams to collaborate via meetings, calls, and chat. In this series, we share best practices and highlight new features in Teams and the Microsoft 365 service designed to help your teams achieve more together. As many of us have experienced, meetings often get derailed by unintentional distractions. An echo or unidentifiable background noise cuts in. Someone’s audio breaks up while they’re making an important point. A person suddenly gets booted off the call. Poor audio and visual quality can hijack a meeting, inhibiting focus, wasting time, and in the long term, causing meeting fatigue. However, in the moments when technology fails us, it seems there’s nothing we can do but keep going and hope the problem resolves quickly. With Microsoft Teams, we want to give people more control over the digital quality of their meetings. Born in the cloud and built with Microsoft AI at its core, Teams uses AI to remove unwanted sounds, monitor quality and adapt as needed, give users more information and proactive actions, and provide insight into issues before they disrupt meetings.

Related:

Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) is a built-in, intelligent, unified, and extensible solution to protect sensitive data in documents and emails across your organization. MIP provides a unified set of capabilities to know and protect your data and prevent data loss across Microsoft 365 apps (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook), services (e.g., Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Exchange, Power BI), on-premises locations (e.g., SharePoint Server, on-premises files shares), devices, and third-party apps and services (e.g., Box and Dropbox). We are excited to announce availability for new MIP capabilities: (1) General availability of Exact Data Match user interface in Microsoft 365 compliance center and configurable match, (2) External sharing policies for Teams and SharePoint sites, in public preview, (3) Customer key support for Teams, in public preview, and (4) Expansion of MIP sensitivity labels support to Power BI desktop application (PBIX), in public preview.

Power BI is the Magic Quadrant Leader among analytics and business intelligence platforms and over 200,000 customers around the world use Power BI and bring 40 petabytes of data into Power BI every month 1 and now, we’re building on that momentum with Power BI in Microsoft Search. Microsoft Search transforms the way people in your organization find the info they need—no matter where you are in your cloud journey. Either integrated with Microsoft 365 or as a standalone solution, Microsoft Search is a secure, easily managed, enterprise search experience that works across all of your applications and services to deliver more relevant search results and increase productivity. With Power BI search in Microsoft Search we’re making it easier to find Power BI artifacts such as reports and dashboards, by expanding the ability to search across these artifacts in your favorite productivity apps including , Office.com, Microsoft Bing, and the search box in.

In this atypical year, many of us have discovered a new sense of appreciation for our computers as critical tools to get work done. Now more than ever, we are all looking for new ways to be productive on our laptops and desktops. At Microsoft, we are committed to delivering great Microsoft 365 experiences that help our customers work easier and faster on their favorite devices. With this in mind, we want to share some of the latest Microsoft 365 innovations that can make you even more productive on a Mac. We are excited to announce that we are releasing new versions of many of our Microsoft 365 for Mac apps that run natively on Macs with M1. Over the past months, we have redesigned the experiences in our flagship apps for Mac with a focus on simplicity to improve ease of use. Another area of focus is to make our Microsoft 365 apps work the way you do. Through many new innovations on our Mac apps, our goal is to help you get work done in more simple and intuitive ways. The shift to remote work highlights the need for teams to collaborate with agility, while ensuring sensitive data stays secure and meets compliance requirements. Our Microsoft 365 app teams have been busy getting modern collaboration and compliance capabilities ready so you can work from home more effectively on your Mac.


NOTEWORTHY

Our internal digital security team at Microsoft spends a fair amount of time talking to enterprise customers who face challenges similar to the ones we do when it comes to managing and securing our globally complex enterprise using a Zero Trust security model. While every organization is unique, and Zero Trust isn’t a “one size fits all” approach, nearly every CIO, CTO, or CISO that we talk to is curious to learn more about our best practices. We thought it would be useful to share our answers to the Top 10 Zero Trust questions from customers across the globe.

We are excited to announce that the Simplified Ribbon is now Generally Available in Excel for the web. The Simplified Ribbon has a refreshed modern design which makes it easy to use while retaining all the functionality and power of the classic Excel Ribbon. Going forward both the Simplified and Classic ribbon are available, and you can choose your preferred experience with a single click.

Microsoft Stream (Classic) now includes new features that deliver better video experiences across all of Microsoft 365. The Microsoft Stream team has replaced our old embed player with an improved version called Fast Embed. This means users will experience faster-loading times for all Stream videos embedded across Microsoft 365 applications. We’ve rolled out webcam-only recording to Stream (Classic) customers. This update gives everyone an additional way to create videos for training, knowledge sharing and communications across the organization without downloading additional tools or software.

Many customers connect their private corporate networks to Microsoft 365 to benefit their users, devices, and applications. However, there are many well-documented ways these private networks can be compromised. As we have seen in recent events related to the SolarWinds compromise, on-premises compromise can propagate to the cloud. Because Microsoft 365 acts as the “nervous system” for many organizations, it is critical to protect it from compromised on-premises infrastructure. This document will show you how to configure your systems to protect your Microsoft 365 cloud environment from on-premises compromise. We primarily focus on Azure AD tenant configuration settings, the ways Azure AD tenants can be safely connected to on-premises systems, and the tradeoffs required to operate your systems in ways that protect your cloud systems from on-premises compromise. We strongly recommend you implement this guidance to secure your Microsoft 365 cloud environment.

Because our identity services are vital to keep customer businesses running, resilience and security are and always will be our top priority. In the last year, we’ve seen a surge in demand as organizations moved workforces online and schools enabled study from home—in fact, some national education systems moved entire student populations online with Azure AD. We are pleased to announce that we are taking the next step in our commitment to the resilience and availability of Azure AD. On April 1, 2021, we will update our public service level agreement (SLA) to promise 99.99% uptime for Azure AD user authentication, an improvement over our previous 99.9% SLA. This change is the result of a significant and ongoing program of investment in continually raising the bar for resilience of the Azure AD service. We will also share our roadmap for the next generation of resilience investments for Azure AD and Azure AD B2C in early 2021. In conversations with our customers, we learned that the most critical promise of our service is ensuring that every user can sign in to the apps and services they need without interruption. To deliver on this promise, we are updating the definition of Azure AD SLA availability to include only user authentication and federation (and removing administrative features). This focus on critical user authentication scenarios aligns our engineering investments with the vital functions that must stay healthy for customers businesses to run. | Related: A “quick wins” approach to securing Azure Active Directory and Office 365 and improving your security posture

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-39

Welcome to the September 20 – 26, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Last week, all eyes (and ears) were focused on Microsoft Ignite 2020, the first ever virtual Ignite. There’s a ton of content in this week’s digest, so the intro will be short. You can find recordings, and related content at Microsoft Ignite On-Demand.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

With Ignite 2020, there were a ton of updates to the Office 365 Roadmap last week – 158 new features to be exact! Microsoft Teams had the highest number of features with 68 total, followed by Search (30) and Outlook (28 – all platforms).

In order to keep the length of the blog post to a minimum, the roadmap updates for last week are available via download as listed below:


UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

With the dramatic shift to remote work, we all continue to seek creative ways to stay connected and productive in our jobs. How do we recreate those meetings, calls, and large events that previously brought us together and helped us achieve our business goals? Do we have the right tools and devices to do so? And how do we do all of this while keeping security top of mind? These aren’t easy questions to answer. This one-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Power BI in a live cloud environment. A facilitator will guide you as you create a virtual company-wide meeting and explore how to: (1) Build a communication and collaboration hub, (2) Engage employees through chat and polls, (3) Set up automated meeting captioning, translation, and transcripts, and (4) Use analytical tools to make sense of data, categorize it, and make it easier to visualize.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and still felt it wasn’t productive? Have you attended a meeting only to leave feeling like not much was accomplished? Join this class to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive and effective. Microsoft Teams can help make your meetings worth showing up for. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Use Teams for your entire meeting experience, (2) Record your meeting, making it easy for those who couldn’t attend to get caught up, (3) Keep important meetings at your fingertips by pinning them for easy access, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs (chat versus teams & channels), (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience​, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams​ to enhance productivity. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 1’.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Determine the most suitable approach based on your current Skype for Business implementation and upgrade goals. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand common scenarios and upgrade approaches, (2) Visualize the user experience for each approach, and (3) Determine the optimal upgrade approach for your organization.  IT Admins are the primary audience for this session.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Design a user readiness strategy to help your users love and adopt Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize factors that influence user acceptance and adoption, (2) Define core value messaging for Teams in your organization, and (3) Outline your awareness, training and support activities. The audience for this session is: User Readiness/Change Manager.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (2) Easily find files, chats and projects, (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, and (4) Simplify your workday. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 2’.

Execute your defined upgrade approach as part of your formal upgrade plan. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize the upgrade settings in your O365 tenant admin portal, (2) Understand technical tips and considerations for a successful upgrade, and (3) Apply the appropriate settings in the Portal to execute your upgrade. The primary audience for this session is IT Admins.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

When: Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. The events industry transformed overnight, and Microsoft Teams played a big part in this transition. In Episode 7, we’ll sit down with members of the Microsoft Teams product group and learn how they are building the future of high-scale communication with Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 8, learn about new Teams deep dive help videos for administrators as well as other resources to get your support teams and help desk up to speed. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

When: Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 9, which is one of the most requested episodes, we’ll feature tips, tricks and gotchas on managing guest access in Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!


BLOG ROUNDUP

Note: If you’re looking for one post to summarize Ignite 2020, this is it. | Throughout 2020, as we’ve navigated the equivalent of a year of digital transformation every month, it’s IT pros who’ve led the way. When COVID-19 caused a sudden shift to remote work, IT pros brought entire organizations online—sometimes over a single weekend. They trained individuals and teams on essential new tools, quickly deployed custom apps, and vigilantly protected organizations from increasingly complex security threats. Now, as business leaders look to build resilient organizations and find new opportunities for expansion, they’re looking to IT pros for sustainable solutions to support them for the long haul. We want to help. At Microsoft, it’s our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. At Microsoft Ignite we announced scores of new features and capabilities that aim to do just that. But in this age of accelerated transformation, helping our customers achieve more also requires a broader view. So we’ve committed to becoming the world’s best students on the future of work, closely studying our own telemetry, and working closely with customers and researchers across every field, to understand our challenging new reality. This unique vantage point has shaped our understanding of where leaders and organizations need to focus today and in the future, and guided our innovation investments to build tools to support them. Here are seven keys to success for every IT and business leader to empower people for the new world of work—plus innovation in each area to deliver human ingenuity at scale – (1) Reimagine teamwork, culture, and social capital – digitally, (2) Prioritize wellbeing to help people focus and be their best, (3) Create a trusted, secure, modern experience for every employee, (4) Unlock the data, knowledge, and expertise of the entire organization, (5) Automate process and workflows to increase discontinuous innovation, (6) Include everyone in digital transformation, and (7) Help people learn, reinvent, and grow with the pace of change. | Resource: Microsoft Ignite 2020 Book of News

At Microsoft Ignite 2020, we announced a ton of new capabilities to help people stay connected, collaborate, and build solutions in Teams. This post outlines what’s new in: (1) Meetings, (2) Meeting room experiences, (3) Calling, (4) Chat and collaboration, (5) Microsoft 365 integrations, (6) Firstline Workers, (7) Healthcare, (8) Security and compliance, (9) Management, and (10) Power Platform and custom development.

Related:

2020 will be remembered as a year of historic transformation. The pandemic has changed the way businesses operate and people work. One thing that has not changed is our basic human nature and the need to feel safe. Being safe and feeling safe is what allows us to do more, create more, and have trust in the technology that connects us all. It’s no wonder, then, that cyber-security is so important right now. Digital security is about people—it’s about empowering defenders to defend and protect employees, data, work, and personal safety. It’s about making people and organizations resilient in an environment of unexpected change, like widespread remote work. Nearly overnight, organizations worldwide have had to enable remote workforces, support rapidly evolving business requirements, and steer to the next normal without knowing what that normal would be. All of this takes place against a backdrop of advanced threats and adversaries. For those responsible for securing their organization’s digital infrastructure, this has all come on top of what they were already navigating—levels of complexity that often translate into barriers for companies, their people, and the customers they serve. We’re delivering a new set of security, compliance, and identity innovations to help all customers simplify and modernize their environments by embracing the reality that the past seven months have likely reshaped the next 10 years of security and digital transformation.

Related:

In many organizations, world events have transformed technology adoption more in the past few months than in the past few years. Remote work and learning in virtual classrooms have accelerated the adoption of cloud services beyond anybody’s wildest expectations. Some organizations are now transitioning from remote work to hybrid work. Whatever the future holds, however, the workplace will no longer be either the home or the office but a fluid experience that spans both. At Microsoft, we’ve been intensely focused on our customers during this rapid transition—the teachers, the health care workers, the IT leaders who are trying to help their small business or global enterprise adjust to and thrive in a global pandemic. To support you through this transformation, we are moving faster than ever to bring you Microsoft 365, delivering a broader set of features than when we launched Office 365 in 2011. How will our capabilities come together to provide a holistic solution for organizations? First, we provide collaboration services with Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and Microsoft Lists. Second, we provide employee engagement and communication services through SharePoint, Microsoft Stream, and Yammer. Third, we connect people to knowledge and expertise through Microsoft Search and Project Cortex. All these tools are part of an integrated experience and platform.

Related:

At Microsoft Ignite 2020 we announced that the next versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server and Project Server will be available in the second half of 2021, and are only available with the purchase of a subscription license. Subscription entitles access to support, product updates, security and time zone patches. Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021. We also announced updates for the Exchange Hybrid Configuration Wizard, Exchange Admin Center, lots of features for Outlook, and much more!

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

Over the past few months, we’ve addressed several major asks from our Visio for the web users. We’re announcing some of these for this first time, like hyperlinks and copy diagrams across files, and recapping others that were released earlier this year, like export as image and multipage operations. Each of these is available for licensed users, although certain limited capabilities are available for Visio Viewer and unlicensed users. Read on for a quick overview of each feature.

As previously announced, Office 2013 clients’ connections to commercial Office 365 services will not be supported after October 13, 2020. After this date, ongoing investments in the Office 365 cloud services – including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business – will proceed based on post-Office 2013 requirements. We recommend that organizations with Office 2013 clients consider migrating to Office 365 ProPlus. Support for Office 2016 and Office 2019 connections to Office 365 cloud services will continue until October 2023. Up to date information on current system requirements can be found under on the Office system requirements page, with related timelines available in the Office system requirements matrix.

When Microsoft moved to Microsoft Teams for all communications, it needed a good plan. More than 250,000 employees and licensed vendors would be affected by the shift, as would 600,000 guests that the company collaborates with on a regular basis. Too much was at stake to allow anything to go wrong. “Our foundation for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams governance within Microsoft is tied to how we manage and govern Microsoft 365 Groups inside the company,” Johnson says. “Groups are the common layer under Teams, SharePoint team sites, Yammer Communities, Outlook groups, and a lot more.” Governance refers to the policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that a company like Microsoft uses to help ensure their IT resources are being effectively deployed and managed, and that data security and compliance standards are in place while still allowing employees get their work done. An effective governance framework can streamline deploying solutions like Microsoft Teams, ensure all systems are secure and compliant, and generally make sure its technology does what it’s supposed to do. Put simply, governance is setting things up so people can be their most productive selves.

To tide you over until Ignite 2020, we’ve got a pair of feature enhancements to announce that improve the Planner web and mobile experiences. The first is the Filter by Progress (Completed) option for Planner web. As you know, completed tasks in Planner get moved to the bottom of your plan board and hidden under a disclosure widget—the official name of that twisty triangle. But those same completed tasks disappeared entirely from the Schedule view, and you couldn’t filter on them in the Charts view. We’ve now addressed both issues by adding completed tasks as a Progress filter option in both the Schedule and Charts view. In the Schedule view, completed tasks appear as a green bar; in the Charts view, you’ll see them in green in both the pie and bar chart. You can filter completed tasks alongside not started and in progress tasks, too, to see how your team is tracking against deadlines. You can also filter by completed tasks in the Board view. The second is the Copy links feature for Planner mobile. This feature works exactly like its name implies: in the Planner mobile app, you can copy a plan or task link and paste it anywhere else. This makes sharing your plans and tasks much easier, especially if you need input from others who aren’t actively members of your plan.

In the modern workforce, the emergence of hybrid cloud deployments and collaborative applications make it easy for employees to share information, data, and files with other internal as well as external users, helping them collaborate easily with vendors, business partners, contractors and customers. Managing all the access across different resources – Office groups, Teams, SharePoint sites, as well as your own applications and SaaS applications – is challenging. As requirements change with new applications being added, or users needing additional access rights, IT staff may not know who should have access or to which applications. To succeed at scale, an identity governance process must enable all users’ access to be able to change with their needs, without burdening IT staff to be involved in each access request. Azure AD entitlement management, a feature of Azure AD identity governance, helps organizations manage their access lifecycle at scale by automating request workflows, assignments, reviews, and expiration. You can empower users to request access to the resources they need. These requests and the resulting access can be approved and regularly reviewed by people across the organization who know whether someone should still have access.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-38

Welcome to the September 13 – 19, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were twenty-six additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Yammer, Visio, and Outlook. Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-38.

There are a couple of new events listed in this week’s post. The “Teams Chalk Talk: Get to Teams – Zero to Production” only has an on-demand session available for now. The Office 365 network connectivity team will hold office hours on Wednesday, September 23rd from 8am – 12pm Pacific. The spotlight event of the week is Microsoft Ignite, which runs from Tuesday, September 22nd – Thursday, September 24th.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include information on how to enable a seamless remote work experience for your users, a summary of the OneDrive roadmap updates for August 2020, the introduction of reactions in Yammer, the availability of the Microsoft Virtual Event Playbook, and lots of guides to Ignite 2020 for various services including Teams, Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, Stream, Outlook, Microsoft 365 Admin, Power Platform, and more.

Noteworthy items from last week include diagramming updates for Visio for the web, a friendly reminder regarding Office 2013 client connectivity to Office 365 services, a Microsoft IT Showcase on Teams governance, updates for Planner on the web and mobile app, and some best practices for simplifying governance for employee access across applications, groups and teams.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Twenty-six features were added to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap last week, so for this week the roadmap updates are detailed in a separate post, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-38.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs (chat versus teams & channels), (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience​, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams​ to enhance productivity. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 1’.

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 – Thursday, September 24, 2020 | Because the world is in unchartered territory with COVID-19, Microsoft Ignite will be launched as a complimentary digital event experience this year. Please join us to learn innovative ways to build solutions, migrate and manage your infrastructure, and connect with Microsoft experts and other technology professionals from around the globe. Registration is required. The session catalog and agenda builder are now available.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Determine the most suitable approach based on your current Skype for Business implementation and upgrade goals. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand common scenarios and upgrade approaches, (2) Visualize the user experience for each approach, and (3) Determine the optimal upgrade approach for your organization.  IT Admins are the primary audience for this session.

How do you bring various stakeholders together across multiple teams to achieve your goal? Do you wish you could reduce the number of meetings or e-mails while still being able to solicit feedback, keep everyone informed, and get consensus? Join us to explore how to bring everything together in a shared workspace with Microsoft Teams. Learn how to chat, meet, share files, and work with other business applications to effectively engage others. This interactive 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to try it for yourself and test drive Microsoft Teams in a live cloud environment. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and experience how they can work for you. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Design a user readiness strategy to help your users love and adopt Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize factors that influence user acceptance and adoption, (2) Define core value messaging for Teams in your organization, and (3) Outline your awareness, training and support activities. The audience for this session is: User Readiness/Change Manager.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 8:00am – 12:00pm PT | On Wednesday September 23 from 8am to 12noon PST the Office 365 network connectivity team will be online to take your questions. Set yourself a meeting request and come back here on Wednesday morning when this post will have been updated with a Teams link to connect. You can talk about our features, new Ignite announcements, or about our tooling for improving Office 365 network connectivity.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for a wrap-up of day 1 at Microsoft Ignite. You’ll hear all the highlights and we’ll talk about what’s coming up on day 2. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Are you ready to start enabling Microsoft Teams as a single experience for productive conversations, smooth flow of information, simplified schedule management in a compliant and secure environment? This interactive workshop is designed to help you prioritize your starting scenario and develop a plan for a pilot for the tailored experience to suit the needs for your firstline co-workers. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and transportation industries. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key decision points and implementation steps for digitally enabling your firstline workers with Microsoft Teams. In this workshop, you will learn: (1) How to identify scenarios that matter to your firstline workers and the best approach to implementing Teams from pilot to scale across your entire organization, (2) How to map scenarios to Microsoft Teams use cases, and (3) How to craft the right experience for your firstline workers in Teams by configuring apps and policies.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and still felt it wasn’t productive? Have you attended a meeting only to leave feeling like not much was accomplished? Join this class to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive and effective. Microsoft Teams can help make your meetings worth showing up for. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Use Teams for your entire meeting experience, (2) Record your meeting, making it easy for those who couldn’t attend to get caught up, (3) Keep important meetings at your fingertips by pinning them for easy access, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Execute your defined upgrade approach as part of your formal upgrade plan. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize the upgrade settings in your O365 tenant admin portal, (2) Understand technical tips and considerations for a successful upgrade, and (3) Apply the appropriate settings in the Portal to execute your upgrade. The primary audience for this session is IT Admins.

When: Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for a complete wrap-up of day 1 and 2 at Microsoft Ignite. You’ll hear all the highlights and talk with product experts. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

With the dramatic shift to remote work, we all continue to seek creative ways to stay connected and productive in our jobs. How do we recreate those meetings, calls, and large events that previously brought us together and helped us achieve our business goals? Do we have the right tools and devices to do so? And how do we do all of this while keeping security top of mind? These aren’t easy questions to answer. This one-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Power BI in a live cloud environment. A facilitator will guide you as you create a virtual company-wide meeting and explore how to: (1) Build a communication and collaboration hub, (2) Engage employees through chat and polls, (3) Set up automated meeting captioning, translation, and transcripts, and (4) Use analytical tools to make sense of data, categorize it, and make it easier to visualize.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (2) Easily find files, chats and projects, (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, and (4) Simplify your workday. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 2’.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

When: Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. The events industry transformed overnight, and Microsoft Teams played a big part in this transition. In Episode 7, we’ll sit down with members of the Microsoft Teams product group and learn how they are building the future of high-scale communication with Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 8, learn about new Teams deep dive help videos for administrators as well as other resources to get your support teams and help desk up to speed. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

When: Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 9, which is one of the most requested episodes, we’ll feature tips, tricks and gotchas on managing guest access in Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!


BLOG ROUNDUP

For many companies, providing remote work options was already a rapidly growing movement (+173% since 2005 according to Global Workplace Analytics). That was before the COVID-19 crisis, which has massively accelerated that trend and highlighted a number of remote work problems that require immediate remediation. The need to maintain security without sacrificing performance has generated unprecedented demands on enterprise IT to support work-from-anywhere productivity at a massive scale. Microsoft 365 is well positioned to help customers fulfill that demand, but high concurrency of users working from home generates a large volume of Microsoft 365 traffic which, if routed through forced tunnel VPN and on-premises network perimeters, causes rapid saturation and runs VPN infrastructure out of capacity. In this new reality, using VPN to access Microsoft 365 is no longer just a performance impediment, but a hard wall that not only impacts Microsoft 365 but critical business operations that still have to rely on the VPN to operate. For customers who connect their remote worker devices to the corporate network or cloud infrastructure over VPN, Microsoft recommends that key Microsoft 365 scenarios including Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, and Exchange Online are routed over a VPN split tunnel configuration. This VPN split tunnel guidance is in alignment with the Microsoft 365 Network Connectivity principles, which are designed to work efficiently for remote users whilst still allowing an organization to maintain security and control over their connectivity. These connectivity principles can also be implemented for remote users very quickly with limited work yet achieve a significant positive impact on the problems outlined above. | Related: Microsoft 365 network connectivity test tool now with report sharing is released to preview

We hope all of you are taking care of yourselves and staying safe. Here are the latest functionalities that rolled out to production in the month of August 2020, including: (1) Tasks in Word and Excel, (2) Update to comment notifications, (3) Mute comment notifications, and (4) OneDrive app for Surface Duo. | Related: OneDrive helps connect teachers and students in the new world of remote learning

People come to Yammer to have meaningful conversations, to share knowledge, and to build communities. Conversations on Yammer can inform you about a colleague’s personal milestone, help you seek information from a colleague who is more than one degree away in your organization and help you recognize the amazing accomplishments of your team. You may need more than a ‘like’ to express yourself on these conversations. That is why we are rolling out reactions for every conversation or reply in the new Yammer. You can now express yourself through gratitude and celebration, laughter, and sadness-just like in real life. This gives you more ways to respond or express your feelings in the conversations you care most about, while gaining insight about how others feel about your content and conversations.

Over the course of recent months, we have all embraced virtual events as an essential way to communicate and connect. Executive townhalls, employee training, digital conferences and customer engagements are just a few examples of popular scenarios. To simplify and accelerate your usage of Microsoft 365 for these scenarios we are delivering to you the Virtual Event Playbook. This comprehensive guidance provides you with information and tools to deliver seamless events easily and quickly for your audiences. This initial playbook covers the most common scenarios that we have seen and the guidance within it has been gathered from product engineering, field consultants, MVP’s, Microsoft Partners and others across our company. It is the comprehensive and official guidance from Microsoft for these services. We are currently working on additional modules for large scale custom events, device integration and industry specialties. We will be rapidly updating this content as new features become available.

This will be the first ever digital Microsoft Ignite, and Microsoft Teams is bringing you an amazing lineup of content all-digital event experience. Given we’re doing things a little bit differently this year, we want to walk you through what your journey will look like. We’ve created over 40 sessions that span the breadth of Teams so you can hear about the newest product capabilities, get your questions answered, and learn how to create a resilient, inclusive, and connected workplace with Microsoft Teams. For a full list of sessions, check out the Teams digital brochure embedded at the bottom of this blog and bookmark this brochure link for future reference.

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

Over the past few months, we’ve addressed several major asks from our Visio for the web users. We’re announcing some of these for this first time, like hyperlinks and copy diagrams across files, and recapping others that were released earlier this year, like export as image and multipage operations. Each of these is available for licensed users, although certain limited capabilities are available for Visio Viewer and unlicensed users. Read on for a quick overview of each feature.

As previously announced, Office 2013 clients’ connections to commercial Office 365 services will not be supported after October 13, 2020. After this date, ongoing investments in the Office 365 cloud services – including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business – will proceed based on post-Office 2013 requirements. We recommend that organizations with Office 2013 clients consider migrating to Office 365 ProPlus. Support for Office 2016 and Office 2019 connections to Office 365 cloud services will continue until October 2023. Up to date information on current system requirements can be found under on the Office system requirements page, with related timelines available in the Office system requirements matrix.

When Microsoft moved to Microsoft Teams for all communications, it needed a good plan. More than 250,000 employees and licensed vendors would be affected by the shift, as would 600,000 guests that the company collaborates with on a regular basis. Too much was at stake to allow anything to go wrong. “Our foundation for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams governance within Microsoft is tied to how we manage and govern Microsoft 365 Groups inside the company,” Johnson says. “Groups are the common layer under Teams, SharePoint team sites, Yammer Communities, Outlook groups, and a lot more.” Governance refers to the policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that a company like Microsoft uses to help ensure their IT resources are being effectively deployed and managed, and that data security and compliance standards are in place while still allowing employees get their work done. An effective governance framework can streamline deploying solutions like Microsoft Teams, ensure all systems are secure and compliant, and generally make sure its technology does what it’s supposed to do. Put simply, governance is setting things up so people can be their most productive selves.

To tide you over until Ignite 2020, we’ve got a pair of feature enhancements to announce that improve the Planner web and mobile experiences. The first is the Filter by Progress (Completed) option for Planner web. As you know, completed tasks in Planner get moved to the bottom of your plan board and hidden under a disclosure widget—the official name of that twisty triangle. But those same completed tasks disappeared entirely from the Schedule view, and you couldn’t filter on them in the Charts view. We’ve now addressed both issues by adding completed tasks as a Progress filter option in both the Schedule and Charts view. In the Schedule view, completed tasks appear as a green bar; in the Charts view, you’ll see them in green in both the pie and bar chart. You can filter completed tasks alongside not started and in progress tasks, too, to see how your team is tracking against deadlines. You can also filter by completed tasks in the Board view. The second is the Copy links feature for Planner mobile. This feature works exactly like its name implies: in the Planner mobile app, you can copy a plan or task link and paste it anywhere else. This makes sharing your plans and tasks much easier, especially if you need input from others who aren’t actively members of your plan.

In the modern workforce, the emergence of hybrid cloud deployments and collaborative applications make it easy for employees to share information, data, and files with other internal as well as external users, helping them collaborate easily with vendors, business partners, contractors and customers. Managing all the access across different resources – Office groups, Teams, SharePoint sites, as well as your own applications and SaaS applications – is challenging. As requirements change with new applications being added, or users needing additional access rights, IT staff may not know who should have access or to which applications. To succeed at scale, an identity governance process must enable all users’ access to be able to change with their needs, without burdening IT staff to be involved in each access request. Azure AD entitlement management, a feature of Azure AD identity governance, helps organizations manage their access lifecycle at scale by automating request workflows, assignments, reviews, and expiration. You can empower users to request access to the resources they need. These requests and the resulting access can be approved and regularly reviewed by people across the organization who know whether someone should still have access.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-34

Welcome to the August 16 – 22, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Eleven features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for Teams, Exchange, Forms, Microsoft Information Protection, Search, Word and the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

A few events for existing meeting series were added, all in early September. The spotlight event of the week is the “Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams: Back to School and User Adoption with Microsoft Teams” session on Tuesday, August 25th at 9am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include a look at four new integrations for Microsoft Teams and Power Automate, an announcement on the support lifecycle for Internet Explorer in Microsoft 365 apps, information on free event support and tech training for educational institutions, and details on new data that shows how the pandemic is accelerating the digital transformation of cybersecurity.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as data protection updates in Power BI, support for Workbook Link in Excel for the web, suggestions on how to boost the discovery of content within your network’s home feed in Yammer, and how Microsoft is empowering employees to securely work anywhere with internet-first thinking.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

Note: The Estimated Release dates listed below are subject to change. The direct link provided for each item can be used to determine if the estimated release date has been updated since the time of publication.

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Word: New Feature – Designer in Word for Word for the web63455September CY2020Added: 17 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Word – Web
Designer in Word for the web helps you make your document look and feel consistent by understanding different document constructs and intents. In addition, by providing a variety of document styles you can quickly change the look and feel of your document.
Microsoft Information Protection: Feedback Loop for Trainable Classifiers65763August CY2020Added: 17 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Customers can report whether classification hits are accurate or not to further improve classification performance.
Microsoft Search: Power BI results with Microsoft Search in SharePoint and Office.com67103September CY2020Added: 17 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Search
Microsoft Search in SharePoint and Office.com will now include results from Power BI. Power BI results with Microsoft Search in SharePoint and Office.com will allow you to search for Power BI artifacts (reports, dashboards, workspaces) based on keywords to get results list displayed in a new Power BI vertical.
Exchange: Block sending to a Distribution Group when it’s on the BCC line67096November CY2020Added: 18 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange
The high message traffic on some groups can lead to Inbox clutter and noise, especially when many members use Reply All to respond on the thread. To reduce the noise many people will create an Inbox Rule to move incoming group messages to a specific folder. Some well-intended senders will put the group on the Bcc line so recipients can’t Reply All to the whole group. But Inbox Rules doesn’t evaluate any recipient on the Bcc line, so doing so effectively breaks the rule so the message ends up in the Inbox, thus contributing to the inbox clutter the user was trying to avoid. When this feature ships we’ll enable the ability for group and distribution list owners and admins to block sending to a group if the group is put on the Bcc line. If a user puts such a group on the Bcc line and sends the message, it’ll be rejected with a non-delivery report (NDR) saying Bcc’ing this group isn’t allowed.
Microsoft 365 Admin Center: Improving the Message Center user experience67102December CY2020Added: 18 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Admin Center
We are enhancing filter and search to improve discovery of relevant messages. The list view will also be more customizable and interactive, and the message detail panel will be cleaned up for a better reading experience.
Microsoft Information Protection: Double Key Encryption for GCC-High and DoD67105October CY2020Added: 18 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Gov
Coming soon to government clouds, Double Key Encryption from Microsoft allows you to protect your highly sensitive data while maintaining full control of your key. You can protect your data with two keys – your Azure key and your key in the Double Key Encryption service.
Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams and Power Automate – Simpler automation for everyone68120September CY2020Added: 20 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
A new Power Automate app for Teams will make creating and using automation simpler than ever. New workflow templates will be made available and using those templates to build automation will become easier with a simplified editor experience.
Microsoft Lists: Updated Person column experience – built on SharePoint67095August CY2020Added: 21 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Lists
Items within a Person column, in and out of Quick Edit mode, will appear using the new “pill” design format when a person’s photo is displayed. Select one or more people to add to a Person column quickly and they appear with an updated look.
Microsoft Lists: Updated Choice column experience – built on SharePoint67097August CY2020Added: 21 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Lists
Items within a Choice column, in and out of Quick Edit mode for both lists and libraries, will support single, multi-choice, and manual fill as you add items. You’ll see updated formatting right away and can update and remove choice fields and formatting selections previously applied.
PowerPoint for Mac: Record Slide Show Updates67104October CY2020Added: 21 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: PowerPoint – Mac
With new Record Slide Show updates, users can now record presenter video and inking with PowerPoint.
Forms: Group Forms for GCC67106August CY2020Added: 21 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms, Gov
Recent group Forms will be enabled for all GCC customers. By doing this, when GCC customers access Group forms on Forms portal, they will see the group forms that they have been working recently.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (2) Easily find files, chats and projects, (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, and (4) Simplify your workday. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 2’.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and still felt it wasn’t productive? Have you attended a meeting only to leave feeling like not much was accomplished? Join this class to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive and effective. Microsoft Teams can help make your meetings worth showing up for. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Use Teams for your entire meeting experience, (2) Record your meeting, making it easy for those who couldn’t attend to get caught up, (3) Keep important meetings at your fingertips by pinning them for easy access, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

When: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Bring conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place with Microsoft Teams. Build collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and connect with colleagues — all from a single Office 365 Education experience. Learn how IT can enable these capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Join us for this webinar to learn: (1) Administration capabilities to enable and govern Microsoft Teams, (2) Allow for frictionless user Teams creation while enforcing business rules and addressing IT concerns, (3) Understand the Teams lifecycle and recommended practices for long term management of the environment, and (4) Security and compliance capabilities for Teams integrated in the Office 365 tools you are already using today. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

When: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for Episode 2 to learn about the latest features and functionalities to help educators make the most of Microsoft Teams and how IT pros can secure these features in a variety of environments. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Determine the most suitable approach based on your current Skype for Business implementation and upgrade goals. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand common scenarios and upgrade approaches, (2) Visualize the user experience for each approach, and (3) Determine the optimal upgrade approach for your organization.  IT Admins are the primary audience for this session.

Design a user readiness strategy to help your users love and adopt Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize factors that influence user acceptance and adoption, (2) Define core value messaging for Teams in your organization, and (3) Outline your awareness, training and support activities. The audience for this session is: User Readiness/Change Manager.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs (chat versus teams & channels), (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience​, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams​ to enhance productivity. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 1’.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Execute your defined upgrade approach as part of your formal upgrade plan. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize the upgrade settings in your O365 tenant admin portal, (2) Understand technical tips and considerations for a successful upgrade, and (3) Apply the appropriate settings in the Portal to execute your upgrade. The primary audience for this session is IT Admins.

Your business needs to control how sensitive data is managed. Join us and explore how to assess your compliance risk, protect sensitive and business critical data, and respond efficiently to data discovery requests. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Simplify assessment of compliance risk, (2) Integrate protection and governance of data, and (3) Intelligently respond to data discovery requests. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

When: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Let’s talk security in Episode 3. The top challenge IT pros are facing right now is securing data. Join our product expert for a deep dive discussion on identity and authentication. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Are you still sending an e-mail with an attachment to your teammates when you want to collaborate on a file? How fast do they respond? How do you know if they are working on the file? How do you manage version control? With Microsoft 365 tools for teamwork, you can seamlessly collaborate on files with your team members. Using Microsoft Teams, you can invite your teammates into an environment where they can effectively collaborate and engage in a persistent conversation. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid productivity sinkholes and increase productivity. This interactive 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams in a live cloud environment. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and experience how they can work for you. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 9:00am PT | Join us for an opportunity to “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) about upcoming changes to support for Office 2016 for Mac, Office 2010 and Office 2013 connectivity to Office 365 services. To join, simply visit the Office End of Support AMA space at 9:00am Pacific and submit a question. An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Note: While we’ll only be answering questions in real-time from 9am – 10am Pacific, you can post your questions for the AMA to the Office End of Support AMA space up to 24 hours in advance. We look forward to seeing you there!

When: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In this special episode, you’ll get a preview of what’s coming up at Microsoft Ignite. Hear about upcoming sessions you don’t want to miss, as well as new resources that will help you make the most of your experience. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for a wrap-up of day 1 at Microsoft Ignite. You’ll hear all the highlights and we’ll talk about what’s coming up on day 2. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for a complete wrap-up of day 1 and 2 at Microsoft Ignite. You’ll hear all the highlights and talk with product experts. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. The events industry transformed overnight, and Microsoft Teams played a big part in this transition. In Episode 7, we’ll sit down with members of the Microsoft Teams product group and learn how they are building the future of high-scale communication with Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 8, learn about new Teams deep dive help videos for administrators as well as other resources to get your support teams and help desk up to speed. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 9, which is one of the most requested episodes, we’ll feature tips, tricks and gotchas on managing guest access in Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!


BLOG ROUNDUP

Microsoft Teams can help people stay connected while working apart with capabilities like chat, meetings, and calling, but users often ask how it can help streamline the work they do. Fortunately, Teams and Microsoft Power Automate work seamlessly together to simplify how you and your team work – whether you’re on the Sales team, the Product team, the HR team, or just the office ping pong team. Power Automate allows you to create low-code workflow automation for yourself and your entire team using logic-based building blocks, starting with a trigger that sets one or more actions in motion. The new “for a selected message” trigger is unlocking new ways to drive business processes, starting from a message in Teams. This post provides four examples of how teams are doing this, but the possibilities are endless. Templates are now available for each of these scenarios to help you get started right away! | Related: Trigger flows from any message in Microsoft Teams

We’re announcing that Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) by this time next year. Beginning November 30, 2020, the Microsoft Teams web app will no longer support IE 11. Beginning August 17, 2021, the remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support IE 11. This means that after these dates, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11. While we know this change will be difficult for some customers, we believe that customers will get the most out of Microsoft 365 when using the new Microsoft Edge. We are committed to helping make this transition as smooth as possible. Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today. Since then, open web standards and newer browsers—like the new Microsoft Edge—have enabled better, more innovative online experiences. We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets like Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more.

As we head toward a new school year that will be largely remote or hybrid, educators are faced with new challenges: creating safe and healthy learning environments and designing welcoming, engaging experiences that are accessible for all students. Like graduations at the end of the year, new student orientation is an especially important experience that connects students, faculty, and administrators and sets the tone for the year. With the current need to limit in-person interaction, schools are recognizing that orientation shouldn’t be one single event, but an ongoing program that keeps students engaged. So, how will institutions present all their welcome and informational sessions when classes may be online or hybrid, and when many students may not physically travel to campus? Online events will be their best bet. Starting today, the Microsoft Store team is offering free support to help institutions drive engaging online orientations and help staff and students make the most of their tech for online learning. Just tell us what you need to help your students thrive in an online or hybrid learning environment, and our team of nearly 3,000 talented Store associates will help you get the tech training you need to start the new school year with confidence. | Related: Virtual campus tours in Microsoft Teams make back-to-school feel more familiar | 9 Back to School Updates for OneNote and Class Notebooks – August 2020

The importance of cybersecurity in facilitating productive remote work was a significant catalyst for the two years-worth of digital transformation we observed in the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this era of ubiquitous computing, security solutions don’t just sniff out threats, they serve as control planes for improving productivity and collaboration by giving end-users easier access to more corporate resources. Microsoft recently concluded a survey of nearly 800 business leaders of companies of more than 500 employees in India (IN), Germany (DE), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) to better understand their views of the pandemic threat landscape, implications for budgets and staffing, and how they feel the pandemic could reshape the cyber-security long-term. Among the key insights are data showing that an alarming number of businesses are still impacted by phishing scams, security budgets, and hiring increased in response to COVID-19, and cloud-based technologies and architectures like Zero Trust are significant areas of investment moving forward.


NOTEWORTHY

Following the Sensitivity Labels in Power BI GA announcement back in June, we’re happy to update you about new Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels features available now in production. The updates are: (1) Excel file to inherit the Power BI dataset’s sensitivity label when using a PivotTable connection, (2) Sensitivity labels in embedded reports and dashboards – public preview, and (3) Label inheritance upon creation of new content.

When collecting data from multiple workbooks, it’s often desirable to link directly to the data. Why? It provides a record of where the data was sourced and, if the data changes, you can easily refresh it. This has made Workbook Link support a highly requested feature for our web users. We are excited to announce that Workbook Link support is beginning to roll out to Excel for the web. This was previously only available in Excel for Windows and Excel for Mac, and is an important step on our journey to meeting one of our key goals: “Customers can use our web app for all their work and should never feel they need to fall back to the rich client”.

With the new Yammer comes a new Yammer home feed. This is the place for you to catch up on conversations happening in the communities you belong to today and what’s most important to you. Additionally, one superpower of Yammer is discovery – discovering new communities and new conversations that help broaden your perspective, includes viewpoints, deepens experiences that may not come across you path otherwise directly in your home feed. What we have learned through the years is that our Yammer customers are curious – you want to know what is in your feed and why it’s there. Plus, we know that you want to be able to educate the rest of your organization when they have questions. This post shares some ideas of how to use tools in Yammer to continue to boost the discovery of content within your network’s home feed.

For most people, hybrid working means having employees split time between their home offices and their work offices. That rings true at Microsoft, where most employees are predominantly working remotely in response to COVID-19. The company is currently exploring what the near future will look like, and it’s clear that when employees go back their offices, they will likely be brought back in a thoughtful and deliberate hybrid approach. The digital security team in Microsoft’s Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) has thought through how a hybrid connectivity model would work for employees. They used Zero Trust principles to set up systems that ensure Microsoft employees have access to applications and resources from any location. Employees can be productive from anywhere, whether they’re at home or at the office. Microsoft is embracing Zero Trust by adopting an internet-first model. This approach allows employees to access corporate applications primarily using direct internet connections rather than requiring that an employee initiate a virtual private network (VPN) connection to the company’s private corporate network. Internet-first is a reality due to the security protections that exist to verify an employee’s identity, strong authentication, and device health verification using Microsoft’s mobile device management program, Microsoft Intune.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | December 8 – 14, 2019

Welcome to the December 8 – 14, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for OneDrive, Outlook, SharePoint, Stream, Teams, Excel and Office 365.

2020 sessions for existing event series are now available. The spotlight event of the week is the Customer Immersion Experience session “Protecting Assets and Empowering Your Defenders” on Thursday, December 19th at 9am and 12pm Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a summary of resources to help with the upgrade from Skype for Business to Teams, the announcement of the Teams Linux client, the OneDrive Roadmap summary for November 2019, updates to the Microsoft 365 Attack Simulator, and a look at how to support an internal campaign with video content via Yammer.

Noteworthy item highlights include the latest Microsoft 365 related updates on Microsoft Learn, how to automate the provisioning of selective Microsoft Teams with guest access, and new campaign views in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Account manager ‘View account’ link change57078January CY2020Added: 09 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
The ‘View account’ link in the account manager found in the header of Office 365 will now link to a new account management site called My Account. The site will include password reset, security information, privacy, and more.
Outlook for iOS: S/MIME automated certificate delivery59404Q2 CY2020Added: 09 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Sign or encrypt messages in Outlook for iOS with company certificates issued via Microsoft Intune on enrolled devices.
3P apps in GCC tenants55373January CY2020Added: 10 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
With this feature, GCC admins have the option to enable external third-party apps in Teams. By default, users in the tenant will continue to have the experience they have today. Admins must know that they take responsibility for compliance when enabling a Microsoft external app. Microsoft is compliant by disabling all external apps by default for users in the tenant.
Outlook on the web – Files view59643January CY2020Added: 11 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
Outlook on the web will release a view of all the files sent and received as attachments in your inbox. To access it, search for Files on the switcher bar that includes Mail, Calendar, People.
Outlook for Android: S/MIME with automated certificate delivery59644January CY2020Added: 11 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Sign or encrypt messages in Outlook for Android with company certificates via mobile device management, enrolled devices.
Add participants to Teams Meetings chat59664December CY2019Added: 12 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Today in private meeting chat threads, user don’t have functionality to easily add more participants to chat. This feature will add an entry point “Add participants” in the meeting chat header and users who are already part of the chat thread will be able to add more users to the meeting chat using this feature. This functionality currently exist in group chat and it will work exactly the same way as group chat.
Updates to Office.com and Office 365 App Launcher59667January CY2020Added: 12 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
There are two changes coming for Office.com and the Office 365 App Launcher: (1) Admins will have the ability to pin applications to Office.com and the Office 365 app launcher through the Azure Active Directory admin portal. Global admins, App admins and Cloud app admin roles can be used to pin apps for users. (2) Office.com and the Office 365 app launcher will show the same set of apps. Recently used apps will now be pinned for users on both. We’ve removed the ability to self-pin apps because the system now pins recently used apps automatically. In both cases, users have the ability to unpin apps that have been pinned automatically from recent usage or manually by an admin.
Microsoft Teams – Phone System Additions for GCC59663Q2 CY2020Added: 12 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
6 additions for Phone System for GCC customers which helps enhance Teams Calling. These features were initially available in commercial and now are available to GCC customers. This includes (1) Teams users being able to screen share to SFB users, (2) Callers can transfer directly to voicemail, (3) GCC users can configure voicemail settings directly in the Teams client, (4) Reverse Number Lookup supported based on AAD or Telco provided data, (5) GCC users can use the power bar slash command to make PSTN calls, (6) and GCC users of Teams in Chrome can send and receive video.
Store recordings in-region storage when Stream is not available in Go Local59665Q2 CY2020Added: 12 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Stream
Teams meeting recordings are stored in Microsoft Stream cloud storage. Tenant admins have an option to go the admin center to turn ON/OFF “Allow cloud recording” setting for Teams meetings. Cloud recordings are currently not allowed/enabled for customers where Stream service is not available in the corresponding Go Local region. We are going to change the existing behavior by enabling “Allow cloud recording” and turning it ON by default. This change will store the recordings in the respective in-region data center. This change will take affect beginning February 3, 2020.
Outlook for Mac: Actionable Messages45556Q2 CY2020Added: 12 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Mac
Support actions in emails created with adaptive cards. Developers can use adaptive cards to create email message with actions such as Approve or survey responses.
Excel on mobile (iOS): XLOOKUP and XMATCH54948Q4 CY2019Added: 12 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Excel – iOS
XLOOKUP and XMATCH are successors to the iconic VLOOKUP and MATCH functions.
Excel on Universal: XLOOKUP and XMATCH54949Q4 CY2019Added: 12 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Excel – Windows
XLOOKUP and XMATCH are successors to the iconic VLOOKUP and MATCH functions.
Excel on Windows: XLOOKUP and XMATCH54951Q4 CY2019Added: 12 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Excel – Windows
XLOOKUP and XMATCH are successors to the iconic VLOOKUP and MATCH functions.
Excel on Mac: XLOOKUP and XMATCH54952Q4 CY2019Added: 12 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Excel – Mac
XLOOKUP and XMATCH are successors to the iconic VLOOKUP and MATCH functions.
Microsoft Productivity Score46529Q4 CY2019Added: 12 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
Microsoft Productivity Score is an analytics service that gives you insights that transform how work gets done. It will provide you visibility into how your organization works, insights that identify where you can enable improved experiences so people can reach their goals, and actions to update skills and systems so everyone can do their best work.
SharePoint lists – Auto-save column operations (Show / Hide / Reorder)59732January CY2020Added: 13 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
This allows people to view SharePoint lists as others intended, whether they reorder items, hide or show columns – without explicitly saving the current view or creating a new one.
SharePoint – Format list and library JSON using Monaco code editor59733January CY2020Added: 13 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
This allows people formatting JSON scripting the ability to use Visual Studio code editor as their preferred coding tool; the “Monaco Editor” is what powers Visual Studio code.
View labeled & protected Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business using Office Online apps49448January CY2020Added: 13 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office Online
Ability to open labeled and protected documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business using the Office Online apps.
Automatic sensitivity labeling in Office apps on Windows49444Q2 CY2020Added: 13 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office
Automatic sensitivity labeling based on content inspection is built natively into Office apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook) on Windows (in the Office 365 subscription version of the Office apps).
Automatic classification and labeling of documents in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business49446Q2 CY2020Added: 13 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive, SharePoint
Automatic classification and labeling of documents (based on content inspection) stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Determine the most suitable approach based on your current Skype for Business implementation and upgrade goals. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand common scenarios and upgrade approaches, (2) Visualize the user experience for each approach, and (3) Determine the optimal upgrade approach for your organization.  IT Admins are the primary audience for this session.

Designed specifically for Skype for Business end users, this course offers everything you need to help make the transition to Microsoft Teams. We’ll focus on the core communication capabilities you use today, chat and meetings, as well as provide an orientation to additional collaboration functionality Teams has to offer. The session is also available on demand at https://aka.ms/fromskypetoteamsondemand.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our Tips & Tricks sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In Part 1 – Effective Workspaces, you will explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Decide if your team is best served by a team and channels or a group chat and meetings, (2) Create a workspace for your team to provide the best collaboration experience, (3) Use a personal team to simplify your productivity, and (4) Determine best practices for Teams. Access the consolidated on-demand version of Tips and Tricks here: https://aka.ms/teamstipsandtricksondemand.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and still felt it wasn’t productive? Have you attended a meeting only to leave feeling like not much was accomplished? Join this class to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive and effective. Microsoft Teams can help make your meetings worth showing up for. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Use Teams for your entire meeting experience, (2) Record your meeting, making it easy for those who couldn’t attend to get caught up, (3) Keep important meetings at your fingertips by pinning them for easy access, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs. You can access the recorded version of this session on-demand at Run Effective Meetings with Microsoft Teams – On Demand.

Design a user readiness strategy to help your users love and adopt Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize factors that influence user acceptance and adoption, (2) Define core value messaging for Teams in your organization, and (3) Outline your awareness, training and support activities. The audience for this session is: User Readiness/Change Manager.

This 60-minute session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with Microsoft Teams today. From setting your profile, to running a meeting, users will leave this session with the foundation needed to use Teams with confidence. The session is also available on demand at https://aka.ms/teamsgettingstartedondemand.

Execute your defined upgrade approach as part of your formal upgrade plan. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize the upgrade settings in your O365 tenant admin portal, (2) Understand technical tips and considerations for a successful upgrade, and (3) Apply the appropriate settings in the Portal to execute your upgrade. The primary audience for this session is IT Admins.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our Tips & Tricks sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In Part 2 – Get More from Teams, you will learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, (2) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (3) Easily find files, chats and projects, and (4) Simplify your workday. Access the consolidated on-demand version of Tips and Tricks here: https://aka.ms/teamstipsandtricksondemand.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Are you still sending an e-mail with an attachment to your teammates when you want to collaborate on a file? How fast do they respond? How do you know if they are working on the file? How do you manage version control? With Microsoft 365 tools for teamwork, you can seamlessly collaborate on files with your team members. Using Microsoft Teams, you can invite your teammates into an environment where they can effectively collaborate and engage in a persistent conversation. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid productivity sinkholes and increase productivity. This interactive 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams in a live cloud environment. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and experience how they can work for you. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

How do you bring various stakeholders together across multiple teams to achieve your goal? Do you wish you could reduce the number of meetings or e-mails while still being able to solicit feedback, keep everyone informed, and get consensus? Join us to explore how to bring everything together in a shared workspace with Microsoft Teams. Learn how to chat, meet, share files, and work with other business applications to effectively engage others. This interactive 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to try it for yourself and test drive Microsoft Teams in a live cloud environment. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and experience how they can work for you. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 10:00am PT | In this webinar, experts from both the product group, and the IT side of Microsoft will share candid insights and best practices around modernizing employee experiences including Enterprise Search, Microsoft’s home site (MSW), and the latest on how we manage our authoritative portals. Our experts will also take your questions about our strategy for delivering targeted communications and enabling employees to find the content they need.

Your business needs to control how sensitive data is managed. Join us and explore how to assess your compliance risk, protect sensitive and business critical data, and respond efficiently to data discovery requests. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Simplify assessment of compliance risk, (2) Integrate protection and governance of data, and (3) Intelligently respond to data discovery requests. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 10:00am PT | For today’s mobile workforce, providing users with access to the content they need at any time, from any place, and on any device is important. During this webinar, experts from the Microsoft Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) team answers audience questions about our strategy for file management across mobile web, sync and sharing using OneDrive, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.


BLOG ROUNDUP

Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts focused on successfully upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams. In this series, we will share resources, best practices and highlight success stories of customers to help you identify the most suitable path and develop user readiness strategies for your organization. November was an eventful month for Microsoft Teams. During Microsoft Ignite at Orlando and Microsoft Ignite the Tour event in Paris, we shared Skype for Business to Teams upgrade guidance during numerous sessions, workshops, and 1-1 conversations. It’s been great to hear feedback from customers about their Teams experience and the upgrade resources they’ve found most helpful.

Microsoft Teams is now available for Linux users in public preview, enabling high quality collaboration experiences for the open source community at work and in educational institutions. Users can download the native Linux packages in .deb and .rpm formats here. We are constantly improving based on community feedback, so please download and submit feedback based on your experience. The Microsoft Teams client is the first Microsoft 365 app that is coming to Linux desktops, and will support all of Teams’ core capabilities. Teams is the hub for teamwork that brings together chat, video meetings, calling, and collaboration on Office 365 documents and business processes within a single, integrated experience.

As we wrap up an exciting quarter filled with innovations and announcements, we have some great  features to share with you. Here is the latest and greatest that landed in production in the month of November 2019: (1) Save for Later – ability to bookmark files and folders across OneDrive and SharePoint for later access, (2) Request files – you can create special links to request files from others, and (3) Language localization for OneDrive emails.

The Microsoft 365 Attack Simulation team is pleased to announce the release of several new features in our phish simulation tool. This includes: (1) an attachment-based phishing attack, (2) the ability to filter your simulation user targets by directory metadata like title, city, and department, (3) the inclusion of IP addresses and client data in the simulation detail report, (4) Simulation phish message simulations are included in your user phish submission reports. We know that phishing attacks that use attachments are very popular and an effective way for attackers to get malicious code to run on your endpoints. Teaching your users to be wary of attachments can reduce your overall risk. To help you educate your users of this risk, we’ve added a new type of simulation attack called Spear Phishing (Attachment) to the catalog.

Yammer can empower employees at every level to engage with video. Depending on the audience, message and timeline there is a video option for almost every initiative. Whether your team has the budget, equipment and experience of a highly professional video production or your organization has enabled employees to broadcast from their webcams, each has unique opportunity to support your core messages. We’ve seen some best practices from our own experiences as well as our customers when it comes to video and campaigns. Some organizations use the high-end production event to kick off an organizational wide event. Employees can ask questions before, during and after this event. And even if they miss the live streaming the recording is there for them to watch at their convenience. Following the large gathering, local groups or departments can host specific broadcast type of live events. And then as the employees are participating within the campaign can join in by themselves via their own recording devices.


NOTEWORTHY

Microsoft Office 365 is now available for organizations and enterprises from our new cloud datacenter regions in Switzerland making it the third new geography launched in 2019. Earlier this year, Microsoft became the first global provider to deliver cloud services from datacenter regions in Africa and the Middle East by opening new geographies in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. In 2020, we’ll continue to expand by delivering Office 365 from new datacenter regions in Germany and Norway. The new datacenter regions offer the same reliability and performance as our globally delivered Office 365 service combined with data residency in Switzerland. This provides our customers trusted cloud services that help them meet local compliance and policy requirements. In addition, replication of data in multiple datacenters across Switzerland gives customers reliable in-country protection for business continuity in both pure and hybrid scenarios.

Since our previous post, where we introduced Microsoft 365 as being available on Microsoft Learn, there has been a lot going on in the learning space! An incredible week of Microsoft Ignite 2019 wrapped up in Orlando, Florida, while our Microsoft Ignite The Tour has officially kicked off across the globe – look for a city near you! We launched five new learning paths at Microsoft Ignite aligned to some of the most critical items IT is facing today – organizational security, upgrading to Microsoft Teams, and upgrading to the latest version of Office. Another announcement we’re extremely excited to make is that we have now localized twelve of our Microsoft 365 learning paths in six different languages – French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Chinese (Traditional)! At Microsoft we’re always committed to making learning more accessible by helping scale it across the world.

Microsoft’s Michael Mukalian is an architect in the Philadelphia MTC (Microsoft Technology Center). In his role Michael engages a number of large enterprise customers in regulated industries. A frequent request that has been sent to Michael is the ability to automate the provision of selective Microsoft Teams with guest access. Michael has helped customers to achieve this using services that come with Microsoft 365. To help spread the word on approaches that customers can look at as they consider their Teams guest access options Michael has published a series of posts detailing the approach and services leveraged to attain selective Teams provisioning with guest access.

We’re thrilled to announce the public preview of campaign views in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection. The additional context and visibility available in these campaign views provide the full story of how attackers targeted the organization and its users and how their defenses held up (or not). Security teams can quickly: (1) See summary details about the campaign, including when the campaign started, the sending pattern and timeline, how big the campaign was and how many users fell prey to it, (2) See the list of IP addresses and senders used to orchestrate the attack, (3) Assess which messages were blocked, ZAPped, delivered to junk or quarantine, or allowed into the inbox, (4) See all the URLs that were manifested in the attack, and (5) Learn if there are users that have fallen prey to any attacks and clicked on the phish URL. | Related: Introducing the integrated Microsoft Threat Protection solution (public preview)

Office 365 Roadmap Update | December 1 – 7, 2019

With numerous updates for Yammer, Exchange Online, Outlook, Teams, Excel and Forms, the December 1 – 7, 2019 roadmap update has been separated from the normal Office 365 Weekly Digest post.

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Natural Language Queries in Ideas in Excel for the Web54632December CY2019Added: 03 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App/Service: Excel – Web
Ask a question of your data using natural language query in Ideas in Excel for the web. Ideas will populate with formulas, charts, or PivotTables that help you glean insights from your data.
Natural Language Queries in Ideas in Excel on Windows54633December CY2019Added: 03 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App/Service: Excel – Windows
Ask a question of your data using natural language query in Ideas in Excel on Windows. Ideas will populate with formulas, charts, or PivotTables that help you glean insights from your data.
Natural Language Queries in Ideas in Excel for Mac54634December CY2019Added: 03 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App/Service: Excel – Mac
Ask a question of your data using natural language query in Ideas in Excel for Mac. Ideas will populate with formulas, charts, or PivotTables that help you glean insights from your data.
Outlook for Windows: Administrator notification of Outlook incidents58085January CY2020Added: 03 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Outlook – Windows
Microsoft 365 tenant administrators will be notified about Outlook incidents affecting their users with a new Outlook for Windows right side panel notification.
Outlook on the web – progressive web app59250December CY2019Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Outlook – Web
Outlook on the web can be installed/added as a progressive web app in Chromium based browsers.
Outlook on the web – new experience in mobile browsers59334December CY2019Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Outlook – Web
We are releasing the new Outlook on the web experience to mobile browsers. Similar to the new Outlook on the web on PC, users accessing Outlook in mobile browsers will see a new experience. You can opt out by switching a toggle in Settings.
Introducing Multilingual Support for Government59343December CY2019Added: 04 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App/Service: Forms
Multilingual support is now available for GCC. With Multilingual Support, the form designer can add multiple language versions, which allows respondents to choose their preferred language. All responses will then be stored in a single form for easy analysis.
Introducing File Upload59344December CY2019Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Forms
A type of question that allows responders to upload files, such as Office documents, images, and video, to their answers. These uploaded files are safely stored in your SharePoint or OneDrive for you to access with ease. With file upload, you can, for example, create a recruiting form that collects resumes or a photography competition form that requests images.
Add additional participants to meeting chats59386December CY2019Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Teams
Today in private meeting chat threads, user don’t have functionality to easily add more participants to chat. This feature will add an entry point “Add participants” in the meeting chat header and users who are already part of the chat thread will be able to add more users to the meeting chat using this feature. This functionality currently exist in group chat and it will work exactly the same way as group chat.
Outlook for iOS: Search results presented in a tabbed view53118Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Outlook – iOS
Keyword search results presented across All, Mail, Contacts and Events tabs.
Outlook for iOS: Top results53120Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Outlook – iOS
The best 3 results from your keyword search is presented on the top of Search in Outlook in addition to results in chronological order.
Outlook for Android – Top results53299Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Outlook – Android
The best 3 results from your keyword search is presented on the top of Search in Outlook in addition to results in chronological order.
Pinned conversations in Yammer communities52551Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
Community managers (admins) can now pin a conversation to the top of the feed. Help orient users by pinning a welcome message, sharing best practices, or extend the longevity of announcements by pinning polls, praise, and questions.
Customize All Company community branding52554Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
Customize the All Company feed to bring your organization’s unique branding and culture into the default Yammer community. One of the top UserVoice requests, new All Company capabilities like cover photos and read-only conversations mean you can use this prominent community to land key messaging, welcome new members, promote company-wide initiatives, or even just reinforce company values in the only community that all Yammer users belong to.
Community cover photos in Yammer52555Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
New community branding gives you the power to style your community your way. Upload a cover photo to show off your community’s identity, share a campaign, or publicize a community event.
Close a conversation in Yammer52556Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
Along with pinning, we’re also giving community managers the ability to close conversations. Use this to share messages as read-only, steer feedback to an alternative location, or prevent further responses to discussions.
Improved Network Branding59281Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
The new Yammer homepage will inherit the Office 365 suite navigation and allow network admins to upload a company logo that gets displayed on the web and in the mobile apps.
New Publisher for Yammer Web App59282Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
We are expanding the use of announcements so you can have the same reach with polls, questions, or praise. We’re making improvements for gifs, videos, link previews, and file attachments to make sharing content simple.
Attach recently used files in Yammer59283Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
When attaching files to a Yammer post, we’ll display your three most recent files using the Office graph.
New Yammer Home Feed59319Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
A new, personalized discovery feed powered by AI connects you with conversations from across the organization and prioritizes the conversations that are most relevant to you. We’ve overhauled conversation styling and added colorful framing and iconography that distinguishes questions and best answers. New treatments for praise and polls also show beautifully in the feed whether you’re on a mobile app or in the browser. The Feed is powered by machine learning and designed to help you keep a finger on the pulse of the company and discover trending conversations.
Renaming of Groups to Communities in Yammer59345Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
Community is the driving force of Yammer, and to better reflect the purpose and role of Yammer within Microsoft 365, we’re renaming Yammer groups to communities.
Pin your favorite communities in Yammer59346Q2 CY2020Added: 04 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Yammer
Pin your favorite Yammer communities to the left navigation bar for fast access.
Microsoft Teams – Number Normalization Rules59410December CY2019Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Teams
Tenant administrators often need to change the callee or caller number for inbound/outbound numbers in order to ensure interoperability with SBCs. A Number Translation Rules policy can be used to alter these numbers. The policy can translate either callee or caller number to a desired format. Policy can then be applied using PowerShell in inbound and/or outbound directions.
Outlook on the web – room feature card59430December CY2019Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Outlook – Web
You will be able to see room features and details in the room card in Outlook on the web. This feature uses the same data used for room filters in Set-Place which admins can set in PowerShell.
Teams-Outlook Email Integrations57389January CY2020Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Teams, Outlook
Teams-Outlook Email Integrations make it easy to share information between email and chat with three new features: Share email to Teams – Share an email from Outlook, including any attachments, to a channel or chat in Teams. Share conversation via email – Share a Teams conversation via email without leaving the app. Reply to missed activity emails – See the latest messages and respond to Teams missed activity emails from within Outlook.
OneNote integration in Teams (GCC, GCC High)57708Q2 CY2020Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Teams, OneNote
Users will have the ability to add a OneNote notebook tab to their Teams channels.
Reply-All Storm Protection59440Q3 CY2020Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Exchange Online
When a Reply-All mail storm happens in your organization it can disrupt business continuity and even cause unexpected throttling of your organization’s mail flow within Office 365. While Exchange Online has several features designed to help prevent Reply-All storms (e.g. Distribution List (DL) allowed sender lists and recipient limits) that reduce the severity and impact of reply-all storms, they can still happen, especially if the DLs haven’t been locked down tightly. Reply-All Storm Protection in Exchange Online will detect when a Reply-All storm is happening (or likely to happen) and will temporarily block users from replying to everyone on the thread. During this “cool down” period the service will send anyone who tries to reply to everyone a bounce message (or NDR) that effectively tells them to not try to reply all to the message. The temporary block will be active for several hours, usually enough time to dampen end-user enthusiasm to reply to the thread, and thus curtail the storm before it gets started or before it gains much momentum.
Support for Plus Addressing in Office 36559441Q4 CY2020Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Exchange Online
Plus Addressing is a great way to quickly create custom (or disposable) email address based off your standard email address, by simply adding a ‘+’ suffix string to an existing email address in Office 365. Plus Addressing support in Office 365 is also a great way to more easily manage your Inbox, and even track mail like marketing and sales campaigns.
Message Recall in Exchange Online59438Q4 CY2020Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Exchange Online
The Outlook for Windows Message Recall feature is extremely popular with users, yet it doesn’t always work so well. Part of the problem is that the recall is client-based, and the recall can only happen if the recipient also uses Outlook. With millions of users with mailboxes in Office 365, we’re now able to improve upon that feature by performing the recall directly in the cloud in Office 365 mailboxes, so it doesn’t matter which email client the recipient uses, the recall takes place in their Office 365 mailbox, and when their client syncs their mail, the message is gone. While there are still some conditions where the recall still won’t happen (like the message being read by the recipient), moving the recall to the cloud significantly improves the recall success rate. Additionally, we’ll now also offer an aggregate message recall status report, to make it simpler to see for whom the recall succeeded and for whom it failed.
Securing SMTP Authenticated Submissions – Per Mailbox and By Default59439Q4 CY2020Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Exchange Online
We’re kicking off a multi-phased effort to better secure SMTP authenticated submissions. SMTP authenticated submission is commonly used by applications or devices (printers, scanners, etc.) to submit email into the Office 365 service. It only requires login credentials, and doesn’t support modern authentication. So this leaves any account that’s using SMTP authenticated submission more vulnerable to abuse and hacking than accounts that exclusively use the other protocols that do support modern authentication. Last year we introduced Remote PowerShell cmdlets to disable SMTP authenticated submission for your entire organization or for individual mailboxes, and recently we released a switch in the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) to toggle it off for individual mailboxes. In Q2 CY2020 we’ll start to disable it for existing Office 365 organizations who aren’t using SMTP Authenticated Submission at all, and starting in Q4 CY2020 we’ll start to judiciously disable it for existing organizations in Office 365 who have it enabled for some mailboxes, working closely with them to transition away from this less secure protocol while ensuring the continuity of their critical business email workflows.
Send from proxy addresses (aliases) from OWA59437Q4 CY2020Added: 07 December 2019
Status: In development
App/Service: Exchange Online, Outlook – Web
The ability to send email from a proxy address (aka alias) other than the sender’s primary SMTP address is useful in multiple scenarios, such as mergers and acquisitions when you need the to send from multiple branded domain names, or sending on behalf of a team or department, like info@contoso.com. And of course, having the FROM and REPLY TO boxes preserve that alias when the recipient sees it is just as important. So to kick-off our journey to provide you and your users with the flexibility to send email using alias, we’re excited to announce that soon Outlook on the web (aka OWA) will natively support the ability to choose the sender or FROM from a drop-down list right within the compose pane. And when the recipient receives that message, the FROM and REPLY TO will show that alias, regardless where the recipient’s mailbox happens to live.