Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-19

Welcome to the May 10 – 16, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty-two features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, Lists, Viva, Outlook, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Microsoft Information Protection, Project, and Search.

There are no new events, but some of the existing meeting series have added a few more sessions for May and early June. This week’s spotlight event is the Microsoft 365 Virtual Training for “Protect Sensitive Information and Manage Data Risk”, which takes place on Wednesday, May 19th and Thursday, May 20th, starting at 10:00am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include information and resources for securing a new world of hybrid work, a look at what’s new in April 2021 for OneDrive, the availability of Webinars in Microsoft Teams, and the general availability of network connectivity tools in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items with information on how hybrid customers can prepare for the retirement of Skype for Business Online, an inside look at how Microsoft drives inclusive and effective meetings with Microsoft Teams, a behind the scenes look at Microsoft Viva, and the general availability of Customer Key support for Microsoft Teams.


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 365 Compliance center: New Permissions management page72239May CY2021Added: 10 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
We’re adding a new Permissions page within the Microsoft 365 compliance center. Admins will be able to use this new page to view and assign user roles and create and modify custom role groups – activities currently managed within the legacy Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.
Microsoft Teams: Network planner tool updates82737May CY2021Added: 10 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Network planner tool will be updated to reflect the latest bandwidth requirements of Teams client. This will help IT administrators better estimate and plan their office bandwidth needs.
Microsoft Teams: Multi-language meeting invite control81521September CY2021Added: 10 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
IT administrators can apply a new policy to set multiple languages in Teams meeting invites.
Outlook: [iOS] Send Button move in full compose83145May CY2021Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
We are positioning the “send” button in a more convenient place when using your thumbs to type. This will match the experience in quick reply, and we hope will also be easier to reach for users.
Microsoft Teams: Together Mode Extensibility81123May CY2021Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Build your own scenes that elevate your meeting experience. We believe that by making Together Mode extensible, creators can create immersive scenes and users can go beyond simple video conferencing. Started building your scenes by going to the Developer Portal for Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Information Protection: Microsoft 365 Endpoint data loss prevention (DLP) for GCC81973June CY2021Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, GCC
Endpoint DLP extends the activity monitoring and protection capabilities of DLP to sensitive items that are on Windows 10 devices. Once devices are onboarded into device management, the information about what users are doing with sensitive items is made visible in activity explorer and you can enforce protective actions on those items via DLP policies.
Microsoft Information Protection: Microsoft 365 Endpoint data loss prevention (DLP) for GCC-H and DoD81974May CY2021Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, GCC-H, DoD
Endpoint DLP extends the activity monitoring and protection capabilities of DLP to sensitive items that are on Windows 10 devices. Once devices are onboarded into device management, the information about what users are doing with sensitive items is made visible in activity explorer and you can enforce protective actions on those items via DLP policies.
Microsoft Viva: Topic management dashboard81977Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Viva
You can track the stats over time for topics through the lifecycle of suggested, confirmed, published, and removed with the new visual topic management dashboard.
Microsoft Project: Book resources to manage resource availability81978August CY2021Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Avoid over-scheduling resources by using bookings to ensure a resource’s time is effectively allocated within their availability.
Office app: Improvements to help configure Automatic Deployment Rules for Microsoft 365 Apps updates published to the Microsoft Update Catalog81979June CY2021Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Office
With this change, IT admins that use Automatic Deployment Rules in Configuration Manager to deploy updates for Microsoft 365 Apps, including 2019 and 2021 volume license products, will be able to use the Title property within the search criteria of the ADR definition to easily find the desired update and not have to continually update the search criteria with each update release.
Microsoft Compliance center: New DLP alert management dashboard for gov clouds81980June CY2021Added: 11 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
A new data loss prevention (DLP) alert management experience within the Microsoft 365 compliance center will enable admins to review, investigate, and manage DLP policy match events, related content, and associated metadata, as well as edit alert configuration options as a part of the DLP policy authoring experience. The dashboard shows alerts for DLP policies that are enforced on these workloads: Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Devices.
Microsoft Teams: Immersive reader support for Mobile82937June CY2021Added: 12 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Immersive Reader, which uses proven customization techniques to support reading across ages and abilities, is coming to Teams iOS and Android apps. You can now hear posts and chat messages read aloud using Immersive Reader on the Teams mobile apps. This functionality was previously available only on the web and desktop apps.
Microsoft Teams: Live reactions in Teams Meetings for DoD83251October CY2021Added: 12 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
React during a meeting using emojis that will appear to all participants.
Microsoft Teams: Day view in calendar on iOS and Android80106June CY2021Added: 12 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams – Android, iOS
View all meetings and events for the day to easily see when you’re available or busy.
Azure Active Directory, OneDrive, and SharePoint for Business: Azure B2B integration with OneDrive and SharePoint is now generally available81955May CY2021Added: 12 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Azure AD, OneDrive, SharePoint
The Azure B2B Integration with OneDrive and SharePoint is now generally available. This integration is currently disabled by default but can be enabled using the SharePoint Online Management Shell.
Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match to support Auto-labeling81968June CY2021Added: 12 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Organizations will be able to configure new or existing Auto-labeling policies using Exact Data Match (EDM) Sensitive Information Types (SITs), enabling more fine-grained control over which sensitive content gets labeled.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Expanded limits for protected users within anti-phishing policies81981June CY2021Added: 12 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Defender for Office 365
We’re expanding the limits for protected users in the anti-phishing policy to allow 350 users.
Microsoft Teams: Restart Live Event82953July CY2021Added: 14 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Previously when a producer or presenter ran a live event, they were not able to restart it even if you accidently ended it or if the event ran into an error. With this new feature, you will be able to restart your live event after you have ended it or if you have encountered a problem during it.
SharePoint: Admin center – Migration Manager: Dropbox migrations for Government Clouds83456December CY2021Added: 14 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint, Gov
With our recent Mover acquisition, we are excited to expand our capabilities to allow moving content from Dropbox into Microsoft 365. When you’re ready to move your content, click on the Migrate tab in the SharePoint admin center to start scan discovery, assessment, and migrate. You’ll get detailed reports and the rest in a seamless transition of files and folders to Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and/or Teams).
Yammer: Updated community discovery experience in the new Yammer79325June CY2021Added: 14 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Re-invigorated experience to browse, discover, and join communities around your Yammer network.
SharePoint: Microsoft Lists – Updated sharing experience81965May CY2021Added: 14 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Create unique sharing links for lists based on who and how you wish to share them, while adhering to any sharing settings per established IT and governance planning and policies.
Microsoft Search: Search box changes for guest users in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Lists81983June CY2021Added: 14 May 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Search
The search box for guest users will move to the top of the screen across OneDrive, SharePoint, and Lists apps, similar to how it appears for regular users.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Hackers launch an average of 50 million password attacks every day—579 per second. Phishing attacks have increased. Firmware attacks are on the rise, and ransomware has become incredibly problematic. And while Microsoft intercepted and thwarted a record-breaking 30 billion email threats last year, our work is never done. Security continues to be a number one priority for our customers, especially as many companies around the world are looking to transition from remote work to hybrid. To truly meet this challenge, defenders across the industry must come together for an end-to-end, Zero Trust security approach that covers the entire technology ecosystem. Because today, digital transformation cannot happen without security transformation.

Related:

Here are the latest functionalities that rolled out to production in the month of April 2021 – (1) Bookmarks for PDF viewing on Android, (2) Page rotation for PDF viewing on Android, (3) Public Preview of 64-bit OneDrive sync client, and (4) Dialog on first-time deletion of file(s). Note: the 64-bit sync client is available for early access, and requires a OneDrive work, school, or home account.

Over the last year, we have found new ways to create engaging virtual experiences at work. We’ve transformed spaces in our homes to offices, developed new skillsets for remote collaboration, and in some cases, adopted new technology to get work done. We often hear from our customers about the burden of using different tools to accomplish similar tasks at work. This is one of the reasons we’re excited to announce new innovations in Microsoft Teams that give you more ways to use the tool you rely on every day for internal collaboration and meetings, now for webinars and external events. Beginning the week of May 10, 2021, Webinars and PowerPoint Live are beginning to rollout in Microsoft Teams. Additionally, Presenter mode will begin to roll out later in May. With these capabilities, you have new ways to deliver polished, professional presentations in meetings of all sizes, from small internal meetings to large customer-facing webinars and events—all from a single application. What’s even better? You don’t need to purchase a new license or product. These new capabilities are included in many of the Office and Microsoft 365 plans your organization uses today. There are no hidden costs or charges for overage fees with plans that include these capabilities—period.

We frequently hear from customers that they are concerned whether their users are getting the best possible performance and experience with Microsoft 365, which is often determined by the quality of connectivity that their users have and how Microsoft 365 connections are handled by the networks and network solutions between the client and Microsoft.  Customers ask how they can measure and see the quality of network connectivity for their Microsoft 365 users and get insights how to optimize it further. That’s why we are excited to announce the General Availability of Microsoft 365 Admin Center Connectivity and the Microsoft 365 network connectivity test tool! Using existing network connectivity tests in Microsoft 365 can provide network assessments and insights. They are aggregated to represent the network connectivity of a work location in use by an Microsoft 365 customer. This can be very valuable in identifying potential network connectivity improvements that would improve performance and provide a better user experience for Microsoft 365 users.


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.

As the retirement of Skype for Business Online approaches, we want to help customers with hybrid deployments of Skype for Business (Server + Online) successfully plan for the changes ahead. This post provides guidance for upgrade readiness, post-retirement experiences for hybrid deployments, and transitioning on-premises users to Teams after Skype for Business Online retires.

As Microsoft transitions to a hybrid work model where employees can choose to return to campus or work from home, Sara Bush, a senior program manager on the Seamless Teamwork team in Microsoft Digital, saw an opportunity to create research-driven guidance for running inclusive meetings. But what makes a meeting inclusive and effective? “Inclusion is defined by the ability to feel comfortable contributing their ideas and perspectives,” Bush says. “In an inclusive and effective meeting, I can participate fully because I have access to all the relevant documents, content, and people before, during, and after. This allows me to engage and contribute from anywhere.”

As work evolves rapidly into hybrid work, we need to do more to empower people to feel connected and bring their best self to work. Microsoft Viva, which we announced in February, brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into an integrated employee experience through the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day. Your response to Viva, the first employee experience platform (EXP) built for the digital era, has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re just getting started on this journey and excited to help you learn more about Viva through a new Microsoft Mechanics series. Watch our Microsoft Mechanics host, Jeremy Chapman (@JeremyChapmanMechanics), introduce Microsoft Viva and explain the underlying technology and core options for enabling and configuring the platform. In upcoming videos from this series, Jeremy will be joined by our Viva engineering leaders to take deep dives into each of the Viva modules as well as how to set up and manage the experiences for your organization.

Microsoft 365 provides baseline, volume-level encryption enabled through BitLocker and Distributed Key Manager (DKM) which ensures customer data is always encrypted at rest in the Microsoft 365 service with BitLocker and DKM. Microsoft 365 offers an added layer of encryption at the application layer for content, including data from Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Teams, called service encryption. Microsoft 365 Customer Key is built on service encryption, providing a layer of encryption at the application layer for data-at-rest and allows the organization to provide and control the encryption keys used to encrypt customer data in Microsoft’s datacenters. Customer Key provides an additional protection against viewing of data by unauthorized systems or personnel, complimenting BitLocker disk encrypted in Microsoft datacenters. Customer Key enhances the ability of organizations to meet the demands of compliance requirements that specify key arrangements with the cloud service provider, assisting customers in meeting regulatory or compliance obligations for controlling root keys.

This post provides information about creating OneDrive for Business profiles with Microsoft Endpoint Manager Configuration Manager (MEMCM). Let us start with the why. Since more businesses are allowing remote work these days what better way to allow your workforce to access their files from any device when their files are synchronized with OneDrive for Business. This can also lower the dependency on the company provided devices and provide less data loss in the case of faulty hard drives or if a machine needs a refreshed image. By using OneDrive for Business Profiles, we also automatically synchronize the content of the known folders unlike when we use folder redirection. Why should we do this with MEMCM when we can just set it with Group Policy? Two reasons number one: If you are like most organizations your On-Premises Active Directory environment already has plenty GPO (Group Policy Objects) settings being applied which can cause things like long logon times and waiting for all the Group Policies to process and refresh. Number two: The path to fully Azure Active Directory joined environment is to move away from group policy and apply these settings with Microsoft Endpoint Manager being that is one dependency a lot of environments have on staying hybrid joined is that Azure Active Directory does not have group policy like On-Premises Active Directory. So let us begin!!

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 | 2021-02

Welcome to the January 11 – 17, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft Lists, OneDrive, SharePoint, Stream, Excel, Microsoft Defender for Office 365, and Microsoft Information Protection.

There’s one new event, the “Get Your New Year Organized with Microsoft To Do” live session on Tuesday, January 19th at 9:30am Pacific. The spotlight event of the week is the “Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams” training on Thursday, January 21st and Friday, January 22nd from 10:00am – 1:45pm Pacific each day.

Highlights from last week’s roundup include information on eight new productivity features for frontline workers, managers and IT pros, the announcement of 250GB file size support in Microsoft 365, a look at the new Yammer features rolling out in 2021, and details on how to simply compliance and manage risk with Microsoft Compliance Manager.

Noteworthy items from last week include details on the latest features in Microsoft Forms, smart backgrounds in Planner, additional services available via FastTrack, and the expansion of Microsoft Defender for Identity to support Active Directory Federation Services.


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
Excel: Office Macro Runtime Integration with AMSI now includes Excel 4.0 macros68917February CY2021Added: 11 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel
Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI) integration with Office now also includes Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros. AMSI is an open interface available on Windows 10 for applications to request, at runtime, a synchronous scan of a memory buffer by an installed antivirus or security solution. When malicious activity is detected, the user is notified by Excel, and the application session is shut down to avoid any further damage. This can stop an attack in its tracks, protecting both the device and user.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Override Alerts70567January CY2021Added: 11 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
We’re introducing Override Alerts in Microsoft Defender for Office 365. With these new system alert policies, security admins will now be alerted if a message with a high confidence phish or malware verdict is delivered to a mailbox due a policy or configuration override rule.
Excel: Excel Trust Center – Adding a separate Macro Settings option to block Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros70568March CY2021Added: 12 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel
A new Excel Trust Center settings option will be introduced to further restrict the usage of Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros. With this new macro settings option, choosing to disable XLM macros will no longer impact VBA macro settings. Previously, all of Excel’s macro settings configurations applied to both VBA and XLM macros. This update will not change users’ existing macro settings.
Microsoft Teams: Follow or Mute Conversations in GCC70569February CY2021Added: 12 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This feature will empower users to have finer controls at a conversation thread level within a channel.
Forms: Specific User Sharing for Response Collection79246February CY2021Added: 12 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms
Microsoft Forms owners will now be able to send out a survey to collect responses from specific users or security groups. (You now have the new option in the “Send to Collect Responses” dropdown menu to select that “Specific people in my organization can respond.”
OneDrive: 250 GB file size support in Microsoft 36570558February CY2021Added: 13 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams
Users will be able to upload large file sizes up to 250 GB in OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams.
Outlook: on the web – New files search in compose mode70570February CY2021Added: 13 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
You can now add files from OneDrive, SharePoint, and notes from sticky notes by using the / and getting suggestions from Outlook.
Microsoft Stream: Enhanced video discovery and multi-video deletion for video admins in Stream (Classic)70571March CY2021Added: 13 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Stream
New filter parameters to allow video admins discovery based on video type, created date, creator and view permissions. Multi-select and bulk delete capabilities for video admins to allow better storage management.
Microsoft Lists: Grid view keyboard improvements70670January CY2021Added: 13 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
When you edit in grid view (previously ‘Quick edit’), you will have a faster editing experience that adheres to greater levels of accessibility. Navigate across rows and columns using the tab key. Plus, pressing Enter enables you to edit that field. Clicking Enter on a new row saves the new item. And pressing the Esc key closes editor.
Microsoft Lists: Number column symbols70671January CY2021Added: 13 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
When leveraging a Number column, select common number symbols (dollar, euro, yen, percentage) or create a custom symbol, plus decide if you want the symbol to be on the left or right of the number.
Microsoft Lists: visual UI for read-only fields70672January CY2021Added: 13 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Lists fields will show people when a field is edit-only and screen reader support when a field is read-only.
Microsoft Lists: Configure Person column profile pictures70673January CY2021Added: 13 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
When using a Person column (for individuals or groups), you will have more control to show as text-only or using available user’s profile pictures with the visual ‘pill’ formatting.
Microsoft Teams: Simple Periodic review for guest users70674March CY2021Added: 14 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Enable Teams IT admin to schedule a periodic reviews on guests across Teams, discovers every Team that has one or more guests, and triggers a review process for each.
Microsoft Teams: Zero Touch provisioning for Teams devices70675March CY2021Added: 14 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This will allow Remote Provisioning of Teams Android devices from Teams Admin Center.
Microsoft Teams: Role based Access scoping on devices category70676February CY2021Added: 14 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This feature allows you to delegate admin roles to specific members.
Microsoft Teams: Enhancement to app usage report – support for Line of Business apps70677February CY2021Added: 14 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Line of business type of Apps were added to the Teams Admin center App usage reports.
Outlook for Android: Weather71042February CY2021Added: 14 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Weather in Outlook for Android gives you the latest weather information based on your current location and indicates the forecast on all calendar views except monthly (Agenda, Day, 3 Day and Week).
SharePoint: Site Collection Level permissions for Microsoft Graph76685January CY2021Added: 14 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Applications can now use the new “Sites.selected” permission to request access to SharePoint sites. By default an application that requests “Sites.Selected” instead of a tenant wide permission may not access any SharePoint sites. The tenant administrator can grant or revoke an application’s access to individual sites through new endpoints in the Microsoft Graph API.
SharePoint: Video Webparts and Templates68715February CY2021Added: 15 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
New SharePoint video webparts and templates to enable users combine video with messaging and other media to tell their story on any page or news post.
Microsoft Teams: Large gallery view and Together Mode for web meetings in Edge and Chrome browsers70573February CY2021Added: 15 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
User can change layout to Together mode or Large gallery during a meeting in Edge or Chrome browsers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9:30am PT | Make the most out of your new year resolutions! Join us live to learn how you can use Microsoft To Do to stay on top of your new year resolutions and be more productive in 2021. You can learn how Microsoft To Do can help you stay organized and stick to your new year resolutions. To Do team members would be live to answer your questions and interact with you. You will also get a glimpse of the exciting new features we have planned to launch in 2021.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

If there’s one thing we learned in 2020, it is that frontline workers are essential in today’s world. As companies realize how important they are, this time, they are bringing them along the digital transformation journey. There is no excuse for these workers to be left on the sidelines anymore. Here are 8 new features that make frontline workers, managers, and IT’s jobs a little easier, including: Tasks Publishing and SMS sign-in for firstline workers, delegated user management through the My Staff portal for frontline managers, and policy packages and Team templates for IT pros.

Related:

With the retirement of Skype for Business Online in sight, we’re working to ensure customers transition to Microsoft Teams by July 31, 2021, including users homed online in hybrid configurations. But Skype for Business Online customers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from upgrading to Teams. Organizations using Skype for Business on-premises have also experienced the transformational impact Teams can have on communication, collaboration, and culture. Though mainstream and extended support continues for versions of Skype for Business Server and Lync Server, our focus is squarely on Teams and its ecosystem of applications, devices, and services. We’re continually developing new capabilities in Teams to meet our customers’ evolving needs, while enabling Teams experiences to scale across devices and varying connectivity.

As remote work and learning increases so does the need to reliably and securely share large files-4K or 8K video files, 3D models, CAD files, or large scientific data sets-with co-workers, clients and peers. At Microsoft we’re perpetually working to enable and support workers all over the world.  We are always striving to innovate and empower our users to be more productive. At the same time, we are extremely grateful to our customers and partners for all the helpful and insightful feedback – particularly in industries such as heavy manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and media for our latest enhancement. We are pleased to announce that we’re making it easier than ever for you to store, sync, and share large files in Microsoft 365. Our latest improvement will help increase the upload file size limit for Microsoft 365 from 100 GB to 250 GB—which includes uploads of files into SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive. So now, you will be able to easily share large files like a 3D model of a new building, a client commercial shot in 8K video, a large dataset for a vaccine trial or research projects or large videos for educational projects. And this change doesn’t just apply to businesses and schools. If you use OneDrive, for personal use, you can easily upload or your family video album to share with your relatives or upload that zip file containing a large PC game with your friends.

The Yammer team has been busy over the past several weeks and we wanted to take a moment to share some updates on previously announced features and experiences that are in the process of rolling out. (1) Share to Yammer from SharePoint – soon, you’ll be able to send SharePoint pages directly to Yammer communities, (2) New Yammer Embed – bring the new Yammer styling and functionality to any webpage, (3) New Yammer tab for Microsoft Teams – get the modern styling and features of the new Yammer in the Yammer tab within Microsoft Teams, (4) Immersive Virtual Event Styling which optimizes the viewing experience, and (5) Hashtags and Topics have visual updates and functionality.

Microsoft Compliance Manager is the end-to-end compliance management solution included in the Microsoft 365 compliance center. It empowers organizations to simplify compliance, reduce risk, and meet global, industry, and regional compliance regulations and standards. Compliance Manager translates complicated regulations, standards, company policies, and other desired control frameworks into simple language, maps regulatory controls and recommended improvement actions, and provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement those actions to meet regulatory requirements. Compliance Manager helps customers prioritize work by associating a score with each action, which accrues to an overall compliance score. Compliance Manager provides the following benefits: (1) Pre-built assessments for common industry and regional standards and regulations, (2) Workflow functionality, (3) Detailed guidance, and (4) Risk-based compliance score. | Related: Announcing GA of machine learning based trainable classifiers for your compliance needs


NOTEWORTHY

Entering 2021, Microsoft Forms’ new features aim to streamline your experience of accessing, creating, and distributing forms. From text formatting, specific user sharing, and creating polls for form creators, to response downloads and immersive reader for form respondents, read on to learn about our latest updates.

Planner enables us to visualize our work in a fun and flexible way. But it can be difficult to identify which plan you are in, especially when you’re a member of 50 different plans that look the same. That’s why we’re excited to begin rolling out smart backgrounds, which lets you customize your Planner boards to make them your own and help others quickly find the right plan. We’re starting to roll out smart backgrounds in Planner for the web this week. With smart backgrounds, you can choose from a variety of image recommendations to liven up your Planner boards. Smart backgrounds is powered by the same Designer feature that suggests creatively designed templates in PowerPoint. Designer works in the background, trying to match the title of your plan with relevant and unique high-quality background images, like a coffee scene for your Coffee Store plan, a business backdrop for your Online Marketing plan, or a city skyline for your Town Hall Meeting plan. Note: Smart backgrounds is currently only available in the Planner web experience.

Microsoft FastTrack is committed to helping you realize the value of your Microsoft 365 security solutions by providing remote deployment guidance. FastTrack for Microsoft 365 provides remote deployment guidance at no additional cost for customers with 150 or more licenses of eligible plans. In addition to the baseline security assistance we already offer, FastTrack has expanded the benefit in threat protection to now include Microsoft Defender for Identity and Microsoft Cloud App Security, and guidance to leverage Microsoft 365 Defender. FastTrack will provide remote deployment guidance to help eligible customers configure and deploy these Microsoft security products: (1) Microsoft Cloud App Security, (2) Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (formerly Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection), (3) Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (formerly Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection), and (4) Microsoft Defender for Identity (formerly Azure Advanced Threat Protection). In addition, Microsoft FastTrack will show you how to leverage the capabilities of Microsoft 365 Defender (formerly Microsoft Threat Protection), which protects against attacks with automated cross-domain security. You can use your security data to prevent and detect threats, heal affected assets, and proactively hunt across your Microsoft 365 data.

By now you are hopefully aware of the TLS 1.0/1.1 deprecation efforts that are underway across the industry and Microsoft 365 in particular. Head out to our documentation for more details and references if you need a refresher! Also check out this blog entry to see how you can use reporting in Exchange Online to get an overview about the TLS versions used by mails submitted to your tenant. This topic may be super-relevant to you, because as confirmed by the message center post MC229914, TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 deprecation started enforcing for Exchange Online mail flow endpoints beginning January 11th, 2021. The rollout will continue over the following weeks and months. This essentially means, soon this deprecation process will be over, and we will no longer accept TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 email connections from external sources. Also note that Exchange Online will never use TLS 1.0 or 1.1 to send outbound email. We wanted to talk about what this means for SMTP traffic destined to Exchange Online in particular. What happens if a server on your side can only use TLS 1.0 with SMTP? Will sending fail, and if yes, how do you notice TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1 is the root cause of your email problems? There are different variables that impact this and we will try to mention most frequent scenarios.

We are happy to announce the availability of the Microsoft Defender for Identity sensor for Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) after successfully piloting the feature with customers in Private Preview over the last few months. Microsoft Defender for Identity is a cloud-based security solution that leverages your on-premises Active Directory signals to identify, detect, and investigate advanced threats, compromised identities, and malicious insider actions directed at your organization. Until now, Microsoft Defender for Identity has protected domain controllers in either on-premises or hybrid environments. By installing the sensor on the domain controller, you are gaining access to the core value from our product: (1) Attack surface reduction, (2) Detect, and (3) Investigate. AD FS enables federated Identity and access management by securely sharing digital identity and access rights across security and enterprise boundaries. While we recommend customers upgrade their existing on-premises AD FS systems to Azure AD to gain the protections that a cloud identity solution can provide, we understand that some customers are on different journeys – which is why we are introducing today new capabilities from Microsoft Defender for Identity to protect your AD FS environment.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-01

Welcome to the January 4 – 10, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were fourteen additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Outlook (Android, iOS), Microsoft Defender for Office 365, and Microsoft Information Protection.

Additional events for existing meeting series have been posted, and there are also new dates for the various customer immersion experience sessions. This week’s spotlight event is the “Go Deeper with Microsoft Teams: Leverage pro tips and tricks” session on Tuesday, January 12th at 8am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a look at what’s new for Teams and OneDrive in December 2020, the new email-based one-time passcode feature for collaboration in Azure Active Directory, and the latest Zero Trust networking articles from Microsoft IT Showcase.

Noteworthy item highlights include a video demo of the updated FastTrack migration experience, the December 2020 updates for Project on the web, the general availability of attack simulation training in Microsoft Defender for Office 365, and information on how to use Microsoft 365 Advanced Audit and Advanced eDiscovery to minimize the impact of privacy breaches.


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 Defender for Office 365: Remediation enhancements70554January CY2021Added: 05 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
We’re making changes to remediation capabilities in Defender for Office 365. First, we’re increasing the export limit of records from mail submissions or action log in the action center to 100,000. We’re also adding two new columns to the action log details view within the action center. The first is a column for network message ID, allowing security teams to review based on network message ID. The second is a column for “Already in Destination”. Previously, all records submitted for remediation were remediated based on their original delivery location.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Investigations triggered by manual actions70555January CY2021Added: 05 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
In order to provide the most accurate information in the Action center, we’re making a change that creates an investigation when manual actions are taken by admins. As we converge to the security.microsoft.com portal, this will ensure that all actions are shown in the converged action center.
Outlook for iOS: Increase visibility of messages from people outside your organization75264February CY2021Added: 05 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Increase the visibility of email messages that were sent from outside the organization in order help identify and report suspicious emails that may be an attempt of impersonation or spoofing.
Outlook for Android: Increase visibility of messages from people outside your organization75265February CY2021Added: 05 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Increase the visibility of email messages that were sent from outside the organization in order help identify and report suspicious emails that may be an attempt of impersonation or spoofing.
Microsoft 365 admin center: Global Usage report for Microsoft Teams70552January CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Admin
A new report will be made available with both tenant level aggregation and per-team level details to enable admins to get an overall picture of how the organization is using teams within Microsoft Teams.
Outlook for iOS: Extending suggested replies in more languages worldwide70557January CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Customers worldwide will be able to see suggested replies to email messages in the following languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German. Suggested replies will appear if people are having a conversation in any of those languages.
Outlook for Android: Extending suggested replies in additional languages world wide70559January CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Customers worldwide will be able to see suggested replies to email messages in the following languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German. Suggested replies will appear if people are having a conversation in any of those languages.
Microsoft Teams: Revised in-meeting Share experience70560February CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
The user interface for the in-meeting Share feature in Microsoft Teams has been redesigned to help presenters find their desired content more quickly and easily.
Microsoft Teams: Revised in-meeting Share experience for GCC-High70561March CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High
The user interface for the in-meeting Share feature in Microsoft Teams has been redesigned to help presenters find their desired content more quickly and easily.
Microsoft Teams: Revised in-meeting Share experience in DOD70562April CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, DoD
The user interface for the in-meeting Share feature in Microsoft Teams has been redesigned to help presenters find their desired content more quickly and easily.
Microsoft Teams: Top hits in Search Autosuggest70563March CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Top Hits introduces a new section at the top of the autosuggest suggestions where the most relevant results, across domains, for a given query are represented. This feature is envisioned to reduce time taken for a successful search, as well as benefit the user through better task completion, especially for result types situated lower in the suggestions well.
Microsoft Teams: Teams casting from iOS Teams App70564May CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
For quick ad-hoc sessions that don’t necessarily require setting up a formal meeting, people can use Teams casting to wirelessly connect to a Teams Room from their mobile device and display content. Users can broadcast their screen and cast content stored on locally on their device or accessible via Office 365.
Microsoft Teams: Teams casting from Android Teams App70565May CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
For quick ad-hoc sessions that don’t necessarily require setting up a formal meeting, people can use Teams casting to wirelessly connect to a Teams Room from their mobile device and display content. Users can broadcast their screen and cast content stored on locally on their device or accessible via Office 365.
Microsoft Information Protection: Changes in display of hierarchical sensitivity labels for Microsoft Teams70566February CY2021Added: 08 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
For hierarchical sensitivity labels, channel headers will only display the parent label instead of showing the child label. For example, for a sensitivity label such as Confidential\Finance, Teams will only show “Confidential” in the channel header.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

This blog post outlines all the great Teams features released in December 2020, including virtual breakout rooms, end-of-meeting notifications, a new Teams meeting pre-join experience, multiple number dialing, live captions for 1:1 calls, enhanced meeting experiences on Teams phones, proximity join for Teams conference phones, improved search relevance, improvements to video playback experience, enhancements to Yammer communities and conversations in Teams, the ability to restrict Windows and Mac managed device sign-in to specific tenants, an option for only invited users to join directly with a new Lobby setting, and many, many more!

Related:

The latest functionalities that rolled out to production in the month of December 2020 are: (1) Full fidelity shared libraries in OneDrive web – you can now view shared libraries with full fidelity from within the OneDrive on the web. This means you can create new documents, pin important ones to the top, add shortcuts to your OneDrive, create views, manage metadata, share and more; (2) Create shared library in OneDrive web – We’re updating the existing experience of creating new Shared Libraries from OneDrive on the web to make it simpler and easier to create collaborative spaces. The new streamlined experience backed by an Office 365 group, allowing you to specify the people you want to share with – and the new shared library appears immediately as a new content collaboration space for your team files; and (3) Exclude specific files from sync – admins can now specify a file name or file extension to exclude from sync at the device level.

We’ve heard from you that interconnected supply and distribution chains, and vendor models are bringing B2B partners directly into your business, where secure and seamless collaboration is more important than ever. We also know how painful it can be for IT managers to keep track of guest user accounts, and for end users to remember multiple usernames and passwords. We are continually improving our Azure AD External Identities solution with more support for bring-your-own-identity (BYOI) options. We are announcing another enhancement to our BYOI story with the general availability of email-based one-time passcode (email OTP) feature for collaboration. With email OTP, org members can collaborate with anyone in the world by simply sharing a link or sending an invitation via email. Invited users prove their identity by using a verification code sent to their email account. Once authenticated, each session providing access to the shared resource lasts 24 hours. On subsequent sign ins, users receive a new one-time code via email, which they must enter to prove continued ownership of the email account and continue receiving access. | Resource: Email one-time passcode authentication

Safeguarding corporate resources is a high priority for any business, but how does Microsoft protect a network perimeter that extends to thousands of global endpoints accessing corporate data and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week? It’s all about communication, collaboration, and expert knowledge. Phil Suver, senior director of networking at Microsoft, and his team help champion Zero Trust networking, an important part of Microsoft’s broader Zero Trust initiative. Driven by Microsoft’s security organization, the Zero Trust model centers on strong user identity, device-health verification, application-health validation, and secure, least-privilege access to corporate resources and services. Indeed, this extensive initiative affects all of Microsoft and every employee. To support the Zero Trust initiative, Microsoft’s network engineering team is partnering with the security and end-user experience teams to implement security policy and identity while ensuring productivity for employees and partners. Suver says that his team always aims to minimize those impacts and communicate how they ultimately result in benefits.

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (6 minutes) | FastTrack helps customers deploy Microsoft cloud solutions. Customers with eligible subscriptions to Microsoft 365, Azure, or Dynamics 365 can use FastTrack at no additional cost for the life of their subscription. Learn more about data migrations, how to create and schedule migration events, and reporting.

Many features that are requested through Microsoft UserVoice appear on the Microsoft 365 Public Roadmap when they are in development and within months of being rolled out. New features include Task attachments, API importing for .mpp files into Project for the web, and “Quick Look” column. Coming soon you will be able to deploy Project to different environments, export timeline to PDF, and turn on email notifications to see when you are assigned new tasks or alert you when a task’s due date is coming up. | Related: Import Project Desktop files to Project for the web API

We are pleased to announce the preview availability of Microsoft 365 informed network routing! This feature represents the next step in our efforts to improve the quality of connectivity to our service endpoints and improve the user experience across our suite of productivity applications. The informed network routing feature provides the ability for 3rd-party software defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solutions to receive application-level feedback on network quality, specific to branch locations and individual network circuits which carry network traffic from your users to the Internet and on to Microsoft. This feedback can be used to make better decisions about the best routing path to use to ensure an optimal end-user experience in the face of availability or performance issues within last-mile (customer) or middle-mile (ISP) infrastructure. To take advantage of this feature, you must be using a SD-WAN solution which has integrated with our platform.

We are pleased to announce the General Availability (GA) of Attack simulation training in Microsoft Defender for Office 365. Delivered in partnership with Terranova Security, Attack simulation training is an intelligent social engineering risk management tool that automates the creation and management of phishing simulations to help customers detect, prioritize and remediate phishing risks by using real phish and hyper-targeted training to change employee behaviors. To see a demo of the product tune into our announcement video at Microsoft Ignite 2020. As we mentioned in our blog announcing the expansion of public preview to E3 license holders, we will continue to offer a subset of Attack simulation training capabilities to E3 customers as a trial. The trial offering contains the ability to use a Credential Harvest payload and the ability to select from 2 training experiences ISA Phishing and Mass Market Phishing. The trial offering will not include any other phishing techniques, automated simulation creation and management, conditional payload harvesting, and the complete catalog of Terranova Security trainings.

GDPR, HIPPA, GLBA, all 50 U.S. States, and many countries have privacy breach reporting requirements. If an organization experiences a breach of customer or employee personal information, they must report it within the required time frame. The size and scope of this reporting effort can be massive. Using Microsoft 365 Advanced Audit and Advanced eDiscovery to better understand the scope of the breach can minimize the burden on customers as well as the financial and reputational cost to the organization. The Microsoft 365 Advanced Audit solution makes a range of data available that is focused on what will be useful to respond to crucial events and forensic investigations. It retains this data for one year (rather than the standard 90-day retention), with an option to extend the retention to ten years. This keeps the audit logs available to long-running investigations and to respond to regulatory and legal obligations. These crucial events can help you investigate possible breaches and determine the scope of compromise. There are built-in default alert policies that use the Advanced Audit data to provide situational awareness either through Microsoft 365’s own security and compliance portal, through Microsoft’s Azure Sentinel cloud-native SIEM, or through a customer’s third-party SIEM. A customer can create customized alerts to use the audit data as well.

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 | 2020-35

Welcome to the August 23 – 29, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were fifteen features added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer, and Visio.

A few events for existing meeting series were added, all in early September. This week’s spotlight event is the “Go Deeper with Microsoft Teams: Leverage pro tips and tricks for Microsoft Teams” webinar. There are two sessions, both on Thursday, September 3rd at 5am and 8am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a look at what’s new to Microsoft 365 in August 2020, tips for network optimization for on-premises Office installs and updates, information on the tools and services available from Microsoft to help migrate content to Microsoft 365, and details on the new transcription and voice commands available in Microsoft Word.

Noteworthy item highlights include information on the public preview of Application Guard in Microsoft 365 Apps, new features that provide agile management of SharePoint intranet sites, a look at Project Moca in Outlook on the web, and suggested steps for implementing a Zero Trust security model for your remote workforce.


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: New File Viewer released for GCC-High67087August CY2020Added: 24 August 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams, GCC-High
GCC-High will have a new file viewer – OneUp.
Office 365: Application Guard for Office67101December CY2020Added: 24 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office
Files from the internet and other potentially unsafe locations can contain viruses, worms, or other kinds of malware that can harm your users’ computer and data. To help protect your users, Office can open files from potentially unsafe locations in Application Guard, a secure container that’s isolated from the device through hardware-based virtualization. When Office opens files in Application Guard, users can securely read, edit, print, and save those files without having to re-open files outside the container. This functionality is available as a Preview to organizations with Microsoft 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 Security license or Users (in the above enterprise) who use Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise on Beta Channel.
Microsoft Teams: File Viewer Upgrades in Gov Clouds66200September CY2020Added: 24 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Teams file viewer is being upgraded for Gov clouds from legacy to OneUp for non-Office file types and to unified app for Office file types (Word, PowerPoint and Excel).
SharePoint Spaces: Touch device support67107December CY2020Added: 25 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
SharePoint spaces will enable users to interact with a space using touch interactions in addition to the mouse and keyboard based interactions currently supported.
OneDrive: Selective sync in KFM66186August CY2020Added: 25 August 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: OneDrive
Known Folder Move (KFM) is now possible even if the Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folder were previously selected not to sync down to the device. Instead of blocking KFM, we will support syncing those folders at time of KFM.
OneDrive: OneDrive Home in mobile66190September CY2020Added: 25 August 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: OneDrive
New landing tab in the app to make it easier to find your important files (featuring Recent, Offline, and shared libraries).
OneDrive: Updates to comment notifications66192September CY2020Added: 25 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
Users who create or upload Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other type of file to OneDrive or SharePoint will now get email notifications whenever someone else leaves a comment on their file.
Yammer: New reactions for posts64931August CY2020Added: 27 August 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Yammer
Users will be able to react to posts in Yammer. New reactions include Like, Love, Laugh, Sad, Celebrate, and Thanks.
OneDrive: Expiring access for external users for the Government Clouds68542September CY2020Added: 27 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive, Gov
Admins and end users can expire shares to external users.
Yammer: Edit attachments in a post67239September CY2020Added: 27 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
When editing a posting in Yammer, a user can now also edit the attachments in the post.
Microsoft Teams: Incoming video support on Safari67109September CY2020Added: 27 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Teams meetings in Safari 13 and later will support incoming video. A participant can see the video of an active speaker. No configuration is needed.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Communication compliance availability for government clouds67112September CY2020Added: 27 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365, Gov
Communication compliance is an insider risk solution in Microsoft 365 that helps minimize communication risks by helping you detect, capture, and act on inappropriate messages in your organization.
Microsoft Teams: Custom Meeting Images67113September CY2020Added: 28 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Admins will now be able to add a customer logo to the Teams experience, for display in the lobby and meeting pre-join experience. The logo will be displayed for meetings where the organizer has the Advanced Comms SKU.
Microsoft To Do: Support for push notifications for shared list activities for work and school accounts67114October CY2020Added: 28 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do
This update adds the ability to create Microsoft To Do push notifications in Work and School accounts just as you can in your Personal account.
Microsoft Visio: Azure icons in Visio for the Web56627August CY2020Added: 28 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Visio – Web
The latest Azure icons are available in Visio for the web. These icons can be used to accurately create diagrams to represent Azure services and networks.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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!

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.

When: Tuesday, September 15, 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, 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!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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

As we work to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, we’re learning to embrace a heterogeneous future. Our mission is to enable people, teams, and organizations to thrive in this new world of remote and hybrid work and learning. Last month at Inspire, we shared how we’re working together with our partners to build new experiences for our customers designed to connect people, inspire creativity, and foster innovation. We’re committed as ever to develop technology that helps you keep moving forward, no matter if you’re fully remote or in a hybrid work environment. This month, we’re releasing new features in Microsoft Teams to help users automate more of their workflow, ideate on digital whiteboards more easily, help improve readability while browsing the web, and more. Let’s take a deeper look at these updates and what else is new in August.

There are a variety of scenarios including but not limited to, installations of Office using Content Delivery Network (CDN), lean 2nd installs (removing the Office source files from the install packages), right-sized first install (only include most used language packs), and default behavior where Office stays up to date using CDN. Microsoft recommends optimizing these network operations because a device can get portions of the content from other devices on its local network instead of having to download the update completely from Microsoft CDN. The goal of this article is to provide solutions for challenges collected from customers in the field.

The latest productivity experiences await you and your content. Once in Microsoft 365 – you will see improved collaboration, increased security, and compliance. Our goal is to help all customers to easily migrate their content to Microsoft 365. The infographic and information in this post will help you learn about the numerous content migration tools and services from Microsoft and our 3rd-party migration partners. This is collectively the broadest set of offerings to assist your migration into Microsoft 365 – from assessment, to planning and onboarding. Migration Manager simplifies file share migrations, Mover provides capabilities to migrate from 3rd-party cloud providers, the SharePoint Migration Tool accelerates on-premises migrations of SharePoint, and Microsoft 365 FastTrack helps organizations plan, migrate and adopt these services.

Whether you’re a reporter conducting interviews, a researcher recording focus group sessions, or an online entrepreneur recording informal discussions, you want to be able to focus on the people you’re talking to without worrying about taking notes and without having to spend hours transcribing your conversations after-the-fact. If that sounds like you, Transcribe in Word is here to help. Now you can record your conversations directly in Word for the web and transcribe them automatically. Transcribe detects different speakers so after you finish recording, you can easily follow the flow of the transcript. After your conversation, you can revisit parts of the recording by playing back the time-stamped audio and you can even edit the transcript if you see something amiss. Your transcript will appear alongside the Word document, along with the recording, which enables you to leverage your transcript to create great content in the way that is best for you. | Related: Save teachers and students time and effort with new transcription capabilities in Word


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (25 mins) | In this series, we will highlight how organizations are solving common problems with Microsoft Teams and how those solutions evolve over time. This first video features a simple solution for harnessing knowledge management, low code/no-code options for finding the right info at the right time and wrangling multiple apps, all the way to creating a self-service support model that comes to you. Timestamps for each scenario highlighted in the video are available in the description.

Application Guard for Office is now available in public preview! Files from the internet and other potentially unsafe locations can contain viruses, worms, or other kinds of malware that can harm your users’ computer and data. To help protect your users, Office opens files from potentially unsafe locations in Application Guard, a secure container that is isolated from the device through hardware-based virtualization. When Office opens files in Application Guard, users can securely read, edit, print, and save those files without having to re-open files outside the container. Note: This feature will be off by default. | Resource: Application Guard for Office (public preview) for admins

Business changes at a faster pace today more than ever before. The agility of IT to be both proactive and reactive in the face of change is a must. Adapt, or fade out.  This affects everything and must be reflected in your intranet. The more change you can absorb and respond to, the more value you can provide without compromise or arduous task – for both change and growth expansion. Microsoft has released numerous admin capabilities to both modernize your intranet, manage change, and keep it dynamic. The SharePoint admin center offers the flexibility and control you need to manage everything your intelligent intranet requires. SharePoint admins create and manage sites, establish or adjust the primary intranet entry point, optimize for spanning geographies – location and languages, and more. Features highlighted in this post include: (1) the ability to adjust a SharePoint site address, (2) power to invoke a SharePoint root site swap, (3) multi-geo capabilities in OneDrive and SharePoint, and (4) multi-lingual publishing features for SharePoint communication sites.

The way you work is complex and the streams of information keep increasing, constantly demanding your attention. Your projects, your team’s projects, and the information you need to do your work are stored across multiple applications, forcing you to constantly switch between them and then re-focus and regain context. That constant switching and the inevitable distractions add up quickly – and your productivity plummets. Keeping things organized is one step to being productive. Having everything in one place will save you time and being able to quickly find what you need will make you more effective. Imagine a dresser, with unlimited drawers, and each drawer with unlimited organizers in them. To help you achieve that, we are introducing Project Moca in Outlook on the Web. With Project Moca, you can simplify your workflow so you can focus on what matters. Add tasks, goals, notes, files from OneDrive and other cloud storage providers, links, contacts, and even emails and events, all into one dynamic space. Each space has a flexible canvas so you can customize and view your content your way.

Zero Trust has always been key to maintaining business continuity. And now, it’s become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic to helping enable the largest remote workforce in history. While organizations are empowering people to work securely when, where, and how they want, we have found the most successful are the ones who are also empathetic to the end-user experience. At Microsoft, we refer to this approach as digital empathy. As you take steps to protect a mobile workforce, a Zero Trust strategy grounded in digital empathy will help enhance cybersecurity, along with productivity and collaboration too. Some of the key steps that you can take to begin applying digital empathy and Zero Trust in your organization include: (1) Protect your identities with Azure Active Directory, (2) Secure employee devices, and (3) Discover and manage cloud apps. | Related: Microsoft Zero Trust deployment guide for your applications

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-33

Welcome to the August 9 – 15, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were fifteen features added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for Teams, Outlook (web, Android, iOS), Microsoft Information Protection, and Forms.

There were no new events to be added, even for existing event series. This week’s spotlight event is “Integrate apps to do more in Microsoft Teams” on Tuesday, August 18th at 10am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include answers to common questions about Teams compliance, a look at Teams updates for back-to-school, tips on the three basic Microsoft 365 security measures, and details on the Microsoft 365 network connectivity principles.

Noteworthy item highlights include six tips for using Microsoft To Do (on Windows), information on conditional access policies applying to all client applications by default, the public preview of assigning groups to Azure AD roles, and a note about the end of mainstream support for Exchange Server 2016 as it relates to using it for recipient management in a hybrid environment.


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
Outlook on the web – Reply with a file27132Q2 CY2020Added: 10 August 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – Web
We are adding a new option to suggested replies in Outlook. Now when someone asks you for a file, Outlook will show a suggested reply to attach a file and recommend potential files from OneDrive and SharePoint.
Microsoft Teams: New Teams meeting pre-join experience67089September CY2020Added: 10 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
We are improving upon the pre-join meeting experience for Teams meetings. The new pre-join screen includes easier discovery for audio, video, and device selection configurations before joining a Teams meeting.
Microsoft Teams: Spotlight an individual video participant for all attendees in a Teams meeting67090September CY2020Added: 10 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
We are delivering the ability for presenters to lock on an individual video feed for all attendees to see during a Teams meeting. Once selected, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants. This applies to PC, Mac, mobile, and Microsoft Teams room systems.
Microsoft Teams: Enable tenant administrators to configure masking of PSTN participant phone numbers67091September CY2020Added: 10 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
For customers with Audio Conferencing enabled for their Teams meetings, we are providing the ability for tenant administrators to define how Audio Conferencing participants’ phone numbers appear in the roster view for meetings scheduled within their organization: masked to external users, masked for everyone, or off (visible to everyone).
Microsoft Teams: Customizable Praise Badges64978August CY2020Added: 11 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Ability to create custom Praise badges (title, colors, images, language) that expresses company culture.
Advanced eDiscovery: Supporting modern attachments from SharePoint Online66185Q3 CY2020Added: 11 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Collect, review, analyze, and export linked content from SharePoint Online in the new user experience.
Outlook for iOS: Automatic signing and encryption67271August CY2020Added: 11 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
User setting to enable all messages to be automatically signed and encrypted using Secure Mobile Internet Mail extensions (S/MIME).
Outlook for Android: Automatic signing and encryption67272August CY2020Added: 11 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
User setting to enable all messages to be automatically signed and encrypted using Secure Mobile Internet Mail extensions (S/MIME).
Outlook for Android: End user options for Delegate permissions67273September CY2020Added: 11 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
You can extend permissions to have your delegate manage email and calendar events on your behalf by granting permission to read, create, change or delete items in your folders. Colleagues who have delegate permissions can add a Delegate Mailbox account to Outlook for Android.
Outlook for iOS: End user options to extend Delegate Permissions67274September CY2020Added: 11 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
You can extend permissions to have your delegate manage email and calendar events on your behalf by granting permission to read, create, change or delete items in your folders. Colleagues who have delegate permissions can add a Delegate Mailbox account to Outlook for iOS.
Microsoft Information Protection: Teams DLP for Adaptive Cards67093September CY2020Added: 13 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Data Loss Prevention for Microsoft Teams now extends to adaptive cards generated for Teams by apps and bots. Teams DLP will support scanning and detecting sensitive information in data embedded in Teams messages. Administrators will now be able to apply DLP policies to the adaptive cards generated by apps, as well as the user actions from users on the adaptive cards.
Microsoft Information Protection: Data loss prevention for Microsoft Teams in GCC-High and DoD67098November CY2020Added: 13 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, GCC High, DoD
Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities in Microsoft 365 government clouds will be extended to include Microsoft Teams chat and channel messages, including private channel messages. If your organization has DLP, you can now define policies that prevent people from sharing sensitive information in a Microsoft Teams channel or chat session.
Forms: Print a blank Form67099August CY2020Added: 13 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms
This new feature allows form designer to print a blank form/quiz to responder, who cannot fill the online form, to finish the form.
Microsoft Information Protection: UI for configuring Exact Data Match67100September CY2020Added: 13 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Admins will be able to configure and edit Exact Data Match (EDM) from within the Microsoft 365 Compliance Center, providing an alternative to configuring EDM from PowerShell.
Microsoft Compliance Center: Expanded support to search and export items in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business Recycle Bin in Core eDiscovery & Advanced eDiscovery67092December CY2020Added: 14 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: eDiscovery, OneDrive, SharePoint
Traditionally, when a site is on hold, the files in the Recycle Bin would be stored in the Preservation Hold library. In cases when a site is not on hold, there is no way to search or export items in the Recycle Bin. The eDiscovery and SharePoint Online teams are making architectural changes that will make the Recycle Bin (both first-stage and second-stage Recycle Bins) in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business searchable and exportable by eDiscovery Managers. That means organizations can search and export items in the Recycle Bin regardless of whether a site is on hold or not.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 8:00am PT | You are invited to a free webinar tailored for education. Learn how universities and schools are using Microsoft Teams for course delivery with students and staff collaboration. Hosted by the Microsoft Product Group, this webinar covers an introduction and best practices for academics using Microsoft Teams. Agenda: (1) Overview of Microsoft Teams for Education, (2) Best Practices for communication and collaboration, and (3) Using Class Teams with your students for assignments, online learning and digital skills. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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’.

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.

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: 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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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: 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!

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

This post aims to answer common questions related to compliance in Microsoft Teams, specifically for eDiscovery and retention. Questions such as: “Can you collect information from users with on-premises mailboxes?”, “Do Retention Policies support Teams?”, and “Are historical Teams memberships considered when performing a search?”, along with many others.

A new school year is upon us, and so are Microsoft Teams updates that will make learning even more collaborative, engaging, and secure. We heard your suggestions, solutions, and successes over the past several months and enhanced our digital platform with updates just in time for back-to-school. More than 25 Teams updates are ready to support you and your students, whether your school is operating remotely, returning to the classroom, or doing a combination of both. Here are a few exciting updates, designed to help educators, students, and IT professionals save time, stay organized, and excel in the year ahead.

Through difficult times, some adversaries will find opportunities and COVID-19 has proven to be a ripe opportunity for them to target a new, expanding, remote workforce. While these threats morph and evolve, Microsoft’s Detection and Response Team (DART) finds ways to endure and help organizations become more resilient. Cloud environments are continuously being put to the test during this challenging period. DART has seen various security configurations in our customers’ cloud tenants. The one commonality: administrators flip the switch on a few security tasks without genuinely understanding the process and procedures needed to ensure everything works as designed and consequently create gaps in defenses and opportunities for attackers to circumvent security controls. When it comes to defense-in-depth, these controls must work in concert with one another. This post describes three security measures you should employ for your Azure AD/Office 365 environment when first setting up a new tenant, or when tightening the reins on a well-established tenant – (1) Create an emergency Global Administration account, (2) Enable Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), and (3) Block legacy authentication.

To help customers modernize their network architectures, Microsoft has developed 4 Network Connectivity Principles. These principles can help customers evaluate their existing network architectures and its readiness for Microsoft 365; inform future network design choices for in office and remote users; and modernize their networks to achieve both security and optimal user experience, instead of trading one versus another.  These principles can also be helpful to evaluate different network partner solution architectures for Microsoft 365 alignment and provide confidence that customer network choices are not only optimal, but future proof for the dynamic and evolving nature of the Internet and Microsoft 365 cloud. To dive into the details please watch the first video in our Microsoft 365 Network Connectivity Video Series. Please watch out for additional videos that dive deep into the details on how those principles can be applied to network design, network configuration, remote user connectivity, and achieving Zero Trust security. For the latest information on how to configure your Microsoft 365 network components to maximize performance and provide the best possible user experience visit: https://msft.it/6003To3vP.

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

Whether you use to-do lists for work, school, or personal tasks, engaging with your tasks is key to a balanced schedule. Microsoft To Do syncs your tasks across your devices, whether you use Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, or the web. To Do is also integrated with the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, including Outlook and Teams. In the first installment of our Six Tips series, we’ll focus on Windows 10 devices. The six tips are: (1) Pin to taskbar, (2) App badge notifications, (3) Using Live Tiles, (4) Assigning tasks in shared lists, (5) Reminders and due dates for tasks, and (6) Add context to your tasks.

Organizations use Azure AD Conditional Access to enforce Zero-Trust Least-Privileged Access policies. Conditional Access allows you to determine access based on explicitly verified signals collected during the user’s sign-in, such as the client app, device health, session risk, or IP address. This is the best mechanism to block legacy authentication, but a recent analysis showed fewer than 16% of organizations with Conditional Access have policies that apply to sign-ins using legacy authentication protocols. To help organizations more easily achieve a secure Zero Trust posture, we’re announcing 2 updates to help customers block legacy authentication: (1) New Conditional Access policies will apply to legacy authentication clients by default, and (2) The client apps condition, including improvements to the client apps admin experience, is now in General Availability. | Related: New Forrester study shows customers who deploy Microsoft Azure AD benefit from 123% ROI

We’re excited to share that you can assign groups to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) roles, now in public preview. Role delegation to groups is one of the most requested features in our feedback forum. Currently this is available for Azure AD groups and Azure AD built-in roles, and we’ll be extending this in the future to on-premises groups as well as Azure AD custom roles. To use this feature, you’ll need to create an Azure AD group and enable it to have roles assigned. This can be done by anyone who is either a Privileged Role Administrator or a Global Administrator. After that, any of the Azure AD built-in roles, such as Teams Administrator or SharePoint Administrator, can have groups assigned to them. The owner of the group can then manage group memberships and control who can get the role, allowing you to effectively delegate the administration of Azure AD roles and reduce the dependency on Privileged Role Administrator or Global Administrator. You can also use this along with Privileged Identity Management (PIM) to enable just-in-time role assignment for the group. With this integration, each member of the group activates their role separately when needed and their access is revoked when the role assignment expires.

As hopefully many of you already know Exchange Server 2016 enters the Extended Support phase of its product lifecycle on October 14th 2020. That’s just a few short months away. During Extended Support, products receive only updates defined as Critical consistent with the Security Update Guide. For Exchange Server 2016, critical updates will also include any required product updates due to time zone definition changes. With the transition of Exchange Server 2016 to Extended Support, the quarterly release schedule of cumulative updates (CU) will end. The last planned CU for Exchange Server 2016, CU19, will be released in December 2020. There is one more consideration for this change that we want to address, and that is the ongoing use of Exchange Server 2016 for recipient management for hybrid organizations that have moved all their mailboxes to the cloud. As you probably also know we have historically provided a free license for these ‘management’ servers if their only use is to properly manage Exchange attributes when recipient objects are mastered on-premises. You also know that we never provided this free license type for Exchange Server 2019. We want to assure you that we are still committed to delivering a solution that will allow these lingering servers to be removed, but it will not arrive before Exchange Server 2016 enters Extended Support. For this reason, we want to make our recommendation for this scenario clear. Our broad recommendation is to keep Exchange Server 2016 in production use until such point as we release a solution that allows those servers to be removed. As explained earlier, Extended Support still provides security and time zone updates and so keeping them in production and ensuring they are properly patched does not increase your risk profile in any way.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-32

Welcome to the August 2 – 8, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Thirty-three features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, with updates for Teams, OneNote, Whiteboard, Word, Outlook (iOS) and Azure Active Directory. Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-32.

August sessions for existing event series continue to be added. There are several new events, most as part of the new “Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams” series that kicks off on Tuesday, August 11th at 9am Pacific. It is also the spotlight event of the week.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include details on new offerings in Microsoft Teams, numerous updates for Microsoft Whiteboard, availability of SharePoint site templates for Education, the ability to customize recipient limits at the tenant level, and the August 2020 feature updates for Workplace Analytics.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as a video overview of Microsoft 365 network connectivity principles, an announcement about Microsoft Ignite 2020, July 2020 feature updates for Project on the web, and the general availability of Azure AD “My Sign-Ins”.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Thirty-three 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 | 2020-32.


UPCOMING EVENTS

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’.

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’.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 8:00am PT | An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Join us for a one-hour AMA event to get answers to questions about managing iOS and macOS devices using Microsoft Endpoint Manager. We’ll be here to help you with everything from setting up automatic enrollment and remotely managing user-owned devices to custom configurations and troubleshooting. Join in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager AMA space, and don’t forget to add this AMA to your calendar.

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 11, 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 1, as we sit down with members of our IT pro community to discuss their Teams customer stories. You’ll hear about what worked and what didn’t work so you can avoid the same pitfalls with your own rollouts. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 9:00am PT | 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. providing the opportunity for the community to ask questions and have a discussion with a panel of Microsoft experts taking questions about Microsoft Lists, SharePoint list, Lists + Teams integrations, Lists + Power Platform integrations, and more. Join in the Microsoft Security and Compliance AMA space, and don’t forget to add this AMA 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.

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.

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.

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: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 8:00am PT | You are invited to a free webinar tailored for education. Learn how universities and schools are using Microsoft Teams for course delivery with students and staff collaboration. Hosted by the Microsoft Product Group, this webinar covers an introduction and best practices for academics using Microsoft Teams. Agenda: (1) Overview of Microsoft Teams for Education, (2) Best Practices for communication and collaboration, and (3) Using Class Teams with your students for assignments, online learning and digital skills. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

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.

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: 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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

When it comes to communications, there is a broad spectrum of needs that are required to connect employees from the worksite to the main office to the home office—across locations and time zones. The spectrum starts with the most basic 1:1 meetings and calls with colleagues, to larger group meetings, all the way to large events and conferences. During the crisis response to the pandemic, many organizations transformed rapidly in group meetings first, as evidenced by Microsoft Teams reaching 200 million participants in a single day. Organizations looking to create more sustained transformation are seeing that Teams serves communications needs well beyond group meetings, taking communications to the next level with broad scale company-wide events. At the other end of the spectrum, Teams modernizes 1:1 calling with a cloud-based phone system in the same Teams app that keeps you in the communications flow. We’re excited to announce new offerings and capabilities across all ends of the communications spectrum.

Whether you’re working remotely or in the office, your team can use Whiteboard to run effective meetings, brainstorm, plan and think creatively. We’re excited to announce that some of the most loved Microsoft Whiteboard features on Windows 10 and iOS, such as Sticky Notes and Text Objects, are now available to use in Teams and Whiteboard on the Web. These new features make it easier than ever to keep the creative process moving forward virtually with your team or class. Our updated Whiteboard features in Teams enable students who don’t have access to a touch or pen device to participate in whiteboarding sessions during Teams meetings. Plus, educators will also have the option to present the digital whiteboard without students having access to drawing on the board during class. For business customers, we have all have been in a meeting where we are using a dry erase board, adding sticky notes to a wall, and taking pictures of the material we write, draw, and discuss. We have brought the physical board to you via Whiteboard in Teams.

The SharePoint team is excited to launch site templates for schools and universities, available via the Microsoft Look Book. The templates bring together news, events, highlighted content, quick links and more. Each has been designed with a specific scope and audience for our Education customers: (1) School home page: a central, institution-wide landing experience for students and staff with the latest school happenings and important resources, (2) Staff home page: a dashboard for staff members with time-saving links, documents, and calls-to-action. This template is designed to be used with a Staff team or a Professional Learning Community (PLC) team in Microsoft Teams for Education, and (3) Class home page: a dashboard for a class with resources, updates, and learning content. This template is designed to be used with a Class team in Microsoft Teams for Education. While planning and designing the templates, we listened to school leaders and educators all over the world. Armed with this feedback, we went to work to provide rich, effective site templates that help students and staff stay connected and up-to-date on school life and class work. Plus, the sites look great on any device by default, so students and educators can use them on desktop, tablet and mobile.

Controlling the number of recipients per message that your users can send to is one of several measures email admins can use to help curtail the risk of email abuse and spamming from compromised accounts. Earlier this year the Exchange Online Transport team introduced customizable Recipient Limits in Exchange Online. With it you can customize the setting on a mailbox or mail user object, you can bulk edit multiple existing mailboxes or mail users at the same time, and you can even set the default for new ones. Yet, that update didn’t offer a single, master tenant-wide setting. It gave Exchange Online admins more control than they had before, but it still wasn’t as comprehensive as what Exchange Server on-premises offers. We’re announcing the immediate availability of a super useful extension of the mailbox customizable recipient limits feature that helps deliver a more complete solution: The ability to use Remote PowerShell to customize a tenant-wide recipient limit with the MaxRecipientEnvelopeLimit property on the TransportConfig object (Set-TransportConfig -MaxRecipientEnvelopeLimit).

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature update for August 2020. This month’s update gives you a preview of something to come – Teams metrics! Workweek Span and Person and Person-to-Group Network Metrics will now include Teams chat and data. With the recent shift to remote work, large numbers of users are relying on Teams for much of their remote collaboration. In other words, communication over Teams is at an all-time high. To improve the accuracy of metrics within Workplace Analytics, we are soon adding Teams chat and call data to Workplace Analytics metrics. Data about calls and chats will now be reflected in several metrics, including Workweek Span. This will improve the quality of data that’s available to analysts by more truthfully delineating the actual workweek span of users. By using these new metric values, you’ll be able to more accurately analyze connectedness across the company, analyze changes in the workweek span, gauge the effect of Teams in improving organizational connectivity, and support Business Continuity scenarios. Note: We are planning to release this change on August 20, 2020. If you want early access to the updated metric values complete the Teams metric changes preview form and we’ll activate the new metric values for your organization. It might take up to four business days to activate the new metric values and we will send you a confirmation email after they’ve been activated.


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (24 mins) | Learn about the Microsoft 365 Network Connectivity Principles, which serve as foundational elements to achieve optimal network connectivity and most performant user experience with Microsoft 365. Learning about these key principles can help ensure your network strategy and design choices are optimal for your Microsoft 365 users, competitive in the marketplace, and future proof to the constant evolution of the cloud.

Because the world is in unchartered territory with COVID-19 impacting people, organizations and economies this year, we’re excited to announce that we’ve pivoted Microsoft Ignite from a week-long, in-person event to two global events that are free, 48-hour digital gatherings. The first event is Sept. 22-24, and registration will open on Sept. 3. We’ll be adding a second Microsoft Ignite in early 2021 to create an additional opportunity to connect with our technical communities, and to share the latest product developments. We’ve learned from the global digital events we’ve held this year that we now have the opportunity to bring the whole global community together in one place to create a truly worldwide event.  For this reason, we’re not going to be holding Microsoft Ignite Tour events in different cities around the world this year; instead Microsoft Ignite will bring all global participants together and include the opportunity for local community meetups, will have language localization, and participants will also be able to get skill building with Microsoft Learn and certifications.

This post is a summary of the latest features for Project on the web. For July 2020, updates include: (1) Project Operations – The Project team has been working with Dynamics 365 to build Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations. This product aims to help teams predict, adapt, and rapidly respond to change across their projects and organizations, (2) Documentation – The materials to help you leverage Project for the web for your team have been updated, (3) Scheduling Changes – Our scheduling changes to effort and duration are now available to all organizations using Project for the web. New projects should be scheduled with these changes. We’re working on converting old projects to this new scheme for the next month. The article also has a few soon-to-be-released features including Teams Integration for Project and Roadmap, and Custom Fields at the Task level.

We are excited to announce the General Availability of Azure AD My Sign-Ins—a new feature that allows enterprise users to review their sign-in history to check for any unusual activity. As we discussed in the Public Preview blog post, the My Sign-Ins page empowers users to see: (1) If anyone is trying to guess their password, (2) If an attacker successfully signed in to their account from a strange location, and (3) What apps the attacker accessed. The newest addition to this page allows end users to report “This wasn’t me” or “This was me” on unusual activities. | Related: How the Microsoft Mission Critical Team Helped Secure AAD | Microsoft Authenticator app lock now enabled by default

With billions of people around the globe working from home, changes to the daily practice of cybersecurity are accelerating. Organizations are shifting from defending a traditional network perimeter (keeping business assets in a safe place) to more effective zero trust strategies (protect users, data, and business assets where they are). This transformation brings technology changes and also opens up questions of what people’s roles and responsibilities will look like in this new world. At the same time, continuous delivery models are requiring security teams to engage more closely during business planning and application development to effectively manage cyber risks (vs. the traditional ‘arms-length’ security approaches). This requires security professionals to better understand the business context and to collaborate more closely with stakeholders outside of security. While each organization and each person will have a unique journey, we have seen common patterns for successfully transforming roles and responsibilities. To help security leaders and practitioners plan for this transformation, Microsoft has defined common security functions, how they are evolving, and key relationships. In this blog, we’ll provide a summary of our recommendations to help you get started.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-27

Welcome to the June 28 – July 4, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Fifteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for Teams, SharePoint, Planner, Microsoft Information Protection, Outlook (web, Windows, Mac), and Visio.

July sessions for the remaining existing event series have been added. New this week is a “What’s new and upcoming in OneDrive” webinar on Tuesday, July 28th at 9am Pacific. The spotlight event of the week is the “How to get started with Microsoft Defender ATP” webinar on Tuesday, July 7th at 8am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a look at the June 2020 updates for Microsoft Teams, details on new OneDrive features, the June 2020 SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop, and the June 2020 updates for Azure Active Directory.

Noteworthy item highlights include the “What’s new with Microsoft 365 June 2020” video, an update for modern authentication and unattended scripts in Exchange Online PowerShell v2, major new investments in Microsoft Learn, and a recent update that simplifies Office 365 URL publishing by FQDN deduplication for proxy servers.


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 Planner: Copy a link to your task or plan in Planner iOS and Android63466July CY2020Added: 29 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Easily share your task or plan with others in your organization by copying and sending a link.
Microsoft Visio: Link your diagrams53961July CY2020Added: 30 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Visio
Link shapes in your diagram by adding hyperlinks to web pages, other files stored online, pages within same Visio file, and email addresses to make your diagrams interactive with richer information.
Outlook for Android: Rich text options65442July CY2020Added: 30 June 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Access text formatting options when creating or replying to an email on your phone or tablet such as fonts, font sizes, bold / italics / underline, links and bullet / numbered lists.
SharePoint: New ways to add SharePoint images65599July CY2020Added: 01 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Page authors can now copy and paste images on the canvas to automatically create a new image webpart. Authors can also drag and drop or paste images on top of an existing image webpart or title region to replace the image previously in the webpart.
Microsoft Teams: Meeting attendee limit increases to 300 participants for GCC, GCC-H, and DoD65668July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
To help customers meet rapidly changing communication and meeting needs, we are increasing the maximum number of participants allowed in a Teams meeting to 300. We expect to enable this new increase in June.
Microsoft Teams: Multi-Window Chat65602July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Users will be able to pop out individual Teams chat conversations into a separate window, to help them streamline their workflow and more easily move between ongoing conversations.
Microsoft Translation is coming to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in GCC-High64616Q3 CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Apps, GCC High
M365 Intelligent Translation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will soon be enabled for GCC-High customers. This will allow users to translate text in their documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint slides into any of the languages supported by Microsoft Translator on Win32 Desktop versions.
Microsoft Teams: Simplified Global Notification Settings65636July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Users can now configure and customize their notification settings through a newly designed notification settings section.
Microsoft Teams: Simplified Global Notification Settings for GCC, GCC-H and DoD65638Q3 CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Government users can now configure and customize their notification settings through a newly designed notification settings section.
Outlook on the web: book a physical workspace65646July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
You will be able to use your Calendar in Outlook to reserve a physical workspace at your office location in a way similar to conference room booking.
Outlook for Windows: book a physical workspace65642July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
You will be able to use your Calendar in Outlook to reserve a physical workspace at your office location in a way similar to conference room booking.
Outlook for Windows: book a physical workspace65643July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
You will be able to use your Calendar in Outlook to reserve a physical workspace at your office location in a way similar to conference room booking.
Outlook for Mac: book a physical workspace65644July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Mac
You will be able to use your Calendar in Outlook to reserve a physical workspace at your office location in a way similar to conference room booking.
Outlook for Mac: book a physical workspace65645July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Mac
You will be able to use your Calendar in Outlook to reserve a physical workspace at your office location in a way similar to conference room booking.
SharePoint: Centralized management for hub permissions65641July CY2020Added: 02 July 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Hub permissions enable you to centralize the management of visitor access to associated sites. This is an optional feature for both hubs and associated sites.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

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.

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.

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’.

When: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Chris Jackson and Dominique Kilman, Principal Program Managers at Microsoft, will share their experiences and provide recommendations on how to get started with Microsoft Defender ATP using a phased roadmap. Working with a variety of customers, they have documented a path to enable the many capabilities in Microsoft Defender ATP: what you should enable in the first 30 days, the first 90 days, and what you can look to enable beyond that!

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).

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.

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.

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.

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: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9:00am PT | As the business world shifts to a new normal, digital transformation is taking place at a faster pace than ever before. Safely accessing, collaborating and sharing content remotely is becoming increasingly important. Files are often the starting point for getting work done and staying connected. Memos, presentations, photos, videos—these are the conduit for more fruitful interactions. OneDrive is a foundational product in our effort to build a seamless, connected experience in Microsoft 365. It cuts across Microsoft products so you can access and share your files from most endpoints, like Microsoft Teams. We’re excited to announce new OneDrive features for a more connected, flexible and secure files experience across Microsoft 365 . Join us for a free webinar to learn about new and upcoming innovations in OneDrive like Add to OneDrive, Sync admin reports, File sharing in Teams, Information barriers and more. This session is followed by an “Ask me anything” session at https://aka.ms/OneDriveAMA.

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.

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.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

Microsoft Teams continues to evolve to be the hub for teamwork and we’re excited to share new functionality that helps people do their best work. We have new meetings, calling, devices, chat and collaboration, IT admin, and industry features this month! Updates like Large gallery view (7×7), Virtual Breakout Rooms, Multi-Window for Meetings & Calling, new capabilities for EDU and GCC customers, and much, much more!

Related:

If there are two words that define the way we’ve used technology this year, they might just be “remote everything.” Our jobs. Our meetings. Our kids’ schools. Our social gatherings. Everything has moved online, accelerating our digital transformation both professionally and personally. We not only need the right apps to stay productive while working remotely, but we also need the right apps to stay connected with family and friends. Files are often the starting point for getting work done and staying connected. Memos, presentations, photos, videos—these are the conduit for more fruitful interactions. That’s why we’re excited to announce new OneDrive features across Microsoft 365 that bring a more connected and flexible files experience to business users, more control to admins, and a more personal touch to everyone at home.

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in June 2020. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. Highlighted features include the ability to enable the communication site experience for classic SharePoint team sites, Site analytics, Updating the default SharePoint site theme from blue to teal, support of up to 100GB file sizes, per file, into OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Teams, and much more! All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of June 2020 (possibly early July 2020).

We’re excited to share new Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) enhancements that will streamline administrator, developer, and end-user experiences. These new features really highlight our efforts to simplify identity and access management, while we also enhance the kinds of customization and controls our customers need. Specific examples are the preview of Switch tenants, general availability of the My Apps and My Account user portals default experience, and the general availability of the refreshed Azure AD and Microsoft 365 sign-in background design, as well as the Basic formatting for sign-in experiences.


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (8 mins) | This month, we cover new syncing options in Microsoft Edge for you and your users, improvements for managing Microsoft 365 Groups, how to get the new FastTrack Microsoft 365 set-up guides, Microsoft Forms in Teams, and other updates in the admin center and the productivity apps.

We are happy to announce the Public Preview of a Modern Auth unattended scripting option for use with Exchange Online PowerShell V2. This feature provides customers the ability to run non-interactive scripts using Modern Authentication. This feature requires version 2.0.3-Preview or later of the EXO PowerShell V2 module, available via PowerShellGallery. As previously announced, Basic Authentication for Exchange Online Remote PowerShell will be retired in the second half of 2021. Customers who currently use Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlets in unattended scripts should switch to adopt this new feature. This new approach uses Azure AD applications, certificates and Modern Authentication. Please note the feature does not support delegation. Unattended scripting in delegation scenarios is supported with the Secure App Model which is documented here. We hope this new feature makes it possible for you to move away from using Basic Authentication for your unattended scripting needs and appreciate the increased security this new option provides.

At Microsoft, we’re building a “learn it all” culture where we aim to embrace curiosity, focus on being resourceful, and take our learnings and apply them for future success. In that light, learning is more important than ever, and our goal is to help make technical learning even more accessible to everyone who wants to acquire a new skill, chase a new career path, and stay up-to-date on the latest technological advances. As we announced yesterday, Microsoft and LinkedIn are making a broad commitment to help students, job seekers and employees gain the skills they need to be successful in today’s digital-first economy. Microsoft Learn is an integral part of our skilling experience – it’s a free online learning platform that combines short step-by-step trainings, browser-based interactive coding and scripting environments, and task-based achievements to help learners advance their technical skills and prepare for certifications. From Azure to Microsoft 365 and Power Platform to Dynamics 365 and more, we offer training that can help everyone learn – from students to job seekers to professionals. Learners and organizations can personalize their experience by building and sharing customized training collections and can use bookmarks to easily find and return to content. Throughout the learning journey, learners can earn points, levels, and unlock badges, and can easily share their progress with colleagues and on social media.

Office 365 publishes IP Addresses and Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) so that customers can configure firewalls and proxy servers to allow appropriate access by users. These are published to https://aka.ms/o365ip and there is a web service which makes them available along with change tracking and 30 days’ notice for additions at https://aka.ms/ipurlws. We publish updates at the end of each month and included in today’s publishing is a new method for deduplicating FQDNs which would be already allowed by a published wildcard URL. This new method has two implications for customers: 1) There is a new change impact description in our changes web service called RemovedDuplicateIpOrUrl. This will be included any time we remove an FQDN because it is not necessary due to it matching a wildcard URL. When you see these changes, it means that an FQDN was removed from publishing, but that the FQDN is still in use by Office 365. The FQDN is covered by a wildcard URL which is also published. For example: connectivity to *.office.com is required for Office 365. Proxy servers do not need to additional have config.office.com allowed since access to that is already permitted by the *.office.com entry. 2) There are fewer entries published now that need to be listed on a proxy server. The changes to the Office 365 worldwide instance are published here, show 52 fewer FQDN/URL entries than yesterday. Note that the changes URL shows all changes since June 28, 2020 and will show additional changes in the future. This should help simplify proxy server configuration for Office 365.