Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-17

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

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

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

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

Related:

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

Related:

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

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


NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-12

Welcome to the March 22 – 28, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty-two features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft Viva, Outlook, Office App (Desktop), M365 Compliance, and Microsoft Information Protection.

More sessions for existing meeting series have been added for March and April. There are two new events focused on migrating files to OneDrive / SharePoint Online, taking place on April 6th and April 13th. The spotlight event of the week is the Customer Immersion Experience sessions for “Protecting Identity, Apps, Data and Devices” scheduled at 9am Pacific and 12pm Pacific on Thursday, April 1st.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include a look at 7 urgent trends for leaders in the shift to hybrid work, availability of live transcription with speaker attribution in Teams meetings for English (US), best practices for migrating to SharePoint and OneDrive, and a new option to block Bcc messages to distribution groups in Exchange Online.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as information on Yammer Live Events Insights, the availability of Windows release health in the M365 admin center, details on how to get started with trials for Microsoft Viva Topics, and a new export to PowerPoint from Microsoft Word for the Web.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Twenty-two features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft Viva, Outlook, Office App (Desktop), M365 Compliance, and Microsoft Information Protection.

Due to some issues with table formatting in the WordPress editor, the roadmap updates for last week are available via download as listed below:

Note: The Estimated Release dates listed in the files 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.


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.

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 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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 9:00am PT | Moving to Microsoft 365? There are several tools and methods offered by Microsoft to help you through this journey. In this webinar we will demonstrate the various options available to enable you to successfully migrate your organizational data to Microsoft 365 so that you can empower your users for collaboration and productivity. The agenda is as follows: (1) Introduction, (2) Migration from file shares and SharePoint servers, (3) Migration from cloud providers, (4) Future investments, and (5) Conclusion and QA.

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.

When: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 9:00am PT | If you are evaluating , kicking off or in the process of moving your organizational data to Microsoft 365 here are some recommendations from the subject matter experts based on their learnings post managing large scale migrations for multiple organizations. Tune in to learn more about the best practices that will help you run an effective, speedy and seamless migration to OneDrive and SharePoint irrespective of the tools you choose to use. The agenda is as follows: (1) Introduction, (2) How to prepare data for migration, (3) How to plan and communicate about the migration, (4) How to run a successful migration, and (5) Conclusion and QA.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

We’ve published our first annual Work Trend Index: “The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready?” We surveyed more than 30,000 people in 31 countries, analyzed trillions of productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn, and talked to experts who have studied collaboration, social capital, and space design at work for decades. Our research uncovered seven key trends leaders need to know now to make hybrid work, work. One thing is abundantly clear: We are no longer bound to traditional notions of time and space when it comes to how, when, and where we work. It’s a big mental shift—one that will require leaders and organizations to fundamentally reexamine and rewire their operating model. And there are big changes ahead. Our research indicates that nearly half (41 percent) of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year, and 46 percent say they’re likely to move because they can now work remotely. Your approach to hybrid will ultimately impact who stays, who goes, and who seeks to join your company. We hope this research-backed guide can help business leaders on their own hybrid-work journeys. The next phase will bring challenges and opportunities, but we’re optimistic about the future. If we take what we’ve learned from overcoming a once-in-a-hundred-year challenge and use it to chart a path forward that gives people the flexibility they need, together we can build a better world of work for everyone. | Related: The philosophy and practice of our hybrid workplace

We’ve all been in situations where we’re double-booked or joined a meeting late. You don’t want to interrupt the flow but need to catch up quickly. Or, for accessibility reasons or ambient noise situations, you need help following the conversation and understanding who’s speaking. Wouldn’t it be great to have transcription with speaker attribution built into the meeting? We’re excited to now offer live transcription in Microsoft Teams meetings for English (US). Live transcription is a written record of the spoken text that occurs during a meeting. It identifies each speaker, is captured automatically in near real time, and is available during and after the meeting. Live transcription in Teams uses a meeting’s invitation, participant names, attachments, etc. to improve the accuracy and recognize meeting-specific jargon for each transcript automatically, without any human involvement. This means no one at Microsoft ever sees the meeting’s content, and the models are automatically deleted immediately after each meeting. In addition, Microsoft doesn’t use or store this data for improving its own AI.

Last year, many IT organizations found themselves scrambling to quickly get people access to tools and information they needed to work from home effectively. Now, they’re in a position to think more strategically about the best ways to support a remote workforce. For organizations who’ve deployed Microsoft 365, one of those ways is by migrating content to SharePoint and OneDrive. No matter what your reasons for migrating to SharePoint and OneDrive, the process can seem overwhelming. You have so much to consider: What content do you have, and where is it stored? What will you move? What needs extra consideration, like regulatory compliance? How will you get data from file shares or third-party cloud apps into SharePoint and OneDrive? And those are just some of the logistical aspects—you also need to think about things like timing for the migration and how to communicate what’s happening to the rest of the organization. To help, we’ve outlined some critical steps for you to consider for a successful migration.

We all know that email distribution groups (DGs) are great for easily sharing information or engaging in discussions with a large group of people. Whether it is a DG for business-related discussions or a DG about upcoming yard sales this weekend, DGs have been a helpful part of email life since the beginning of… well… email. Yet, the amount of traffic for some DGs can overload your inbox and become a distraction from all the other important tasks of your job. How do you handle this torrent of enticingly distracting DG messages? One way is to create an Inbox rule to move messages sent to the DG to a specific folder, so instead of a flood of messages in your inbox, you can automatically store them in a folder for later review. However, sender behavior can break this process. To reduce the noise generated by Reply All’s to a DG message, some senders add the DG to the BCC line. This stops Reply All’s to the DG but is also considered bad email etiquette. And for privacy reasons, Inbox rules don’t evaluate anything on the BCC line, so the message ends up as noise in your inbox instead of going to special folder you created. Twice a year at Microsoft we let our developers go wild and come up with innovative features or new tech outside of their normal work. A few Exchange Transport engineers who were dedicated members of an internal “for sale / want to buy” DG had this exact problem: people would BCC the DG so these emails would bypass Inbox rules and land in inboxes as unwanted noise during the business day. So, these devs-gone-wild came up with a solution to block messages when the DG is on the BCC line. Admins can now thwart people from adding a DG to the BCC line with a new “-BccBlocked” switch on the Set-DistributionGroup cmdlet.


NOTEWORTHY

Over the last year, there has been a massive rise in the number of Yammer Live Events. Understandable. With so many people working remotely, Yammer Live Events are an awesome medium for organizations to connect with employees. Because of this, one of the recurring things we’re hearing from customers is the ability to understand the impact of these events. We’re thrilled to announce Yammer Live Events Insights. This gives organizations the insights they need to measure reach and engagement and build more powerful events. | Related: Guest Access in Yammer is now Generally Available

We have started the rollout of Windows release health to the Microsoft 365 admin center. Windows and Microsoft 365 IT admins now have easy, integrated access to essential information about monthly quality and feature updates, the latest features and enhancements for IT, servicing milestones, and lifecycle updates. The Windows release health experience on the admin center also offers insights into known issues, workarounds, and resolutions related to Windows updates. This will be a phased rollout and we expect this information experience to be available to all applicable customers by the end of April. In addition, you can also see Windows-related notifications in the Message center and customize your notification preferences just as you would for any other product or service in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

In case you missed Microsoft Ignite earlier this month, we’ve been busy adding new capabilities to help you secure and manage your apps in the cloud and on-premises with Azure AD. These updates will help: (1) Increase IT efficiency with new enterprise app management capabilities, (2) Modernize your app authentication from Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to Azure AD, and (3) Secure your on-premises apps with Azure AD application proxy. Read on to learn more about these new capabilities!

It has been awesome to watch customer excitement growing since last month’s launch of Microsoft Viva Topics. Viva Topics applies AI to empower people with knowledge in the apps they use every day, automatically organizing content and expertise across your systems and teams to create topics with built-in security, compliance, and workflow. Across the team we’ve been humbled by the enthusiasm and uptake. We know many of you are eager to start working with Viva Topics, and we want to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. | Related: Resources for setting up Viva Topics and Viva Connections

Have you ever wished you could easily export your Microsoft Word document into a PowerPoint presentation with just a few clicks? Now you can! We are excited to announce this feature is now available in Word and PowerPoint for the Web with your Microsoft 365 subscription, and we cannot wait for you to try it out! This feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to save you time and provide you with slide suggestions powered by Designer in PowerPoint. The slides are derived from your section headers in the document, so make sure to organize your Word document accordingly for optimal suggestions. Based on key words in your document, Designer in PowerPoint will suggest imagery, icons, videos, themes and fonts to arrange your content. You can always change the suggested content if needed. | Related: PowerPoint for the web introduces Auto Fix: A new time-saving feature to clean up your slides!

Office 365 Weekly Digest | June 16 – 22, 2019

Welcome to the June 16 – 22, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Sixteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week – nearly half of those for Teams, with SharePoint, OneDrive, PowerPoint, Outlook on the web also included.

The only net new event is a 2-part webcast on July 8th & 9th to provide guidance on driving adoption with Microsoft 365 integrated services. The spotlight event for this week is “Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks” with four total sessions – two for Part 1 and two for Part 2.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a look at calendar updates in Outlook for Windows, an updated Office 365 Network Onboarding Tool, a guide to creating a Live Event in Yammer, guidance on securing Microsoft Teams, and enhancements to PowerPoint AI and Designer.

Noteworthy item highlights include the release of Microsoft To-Do for Mac, new updates to Adobe Document Cloud integration with SharePoint and OneDrive, and the PowerApps Center of Excellence Starter Kit.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook on the web – Receive the emails you sent to a group in your inbox too52391July CY2019Added: 16 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
We’re introducing a new setting for groups in Outlook. Currently when you send an email to a group in Outlook that you’re a member of, you currently do not receive a copy of that sent email back in your inbox. With this new setting, you can start receiving a copy of the emails you send to the group in your Inbox (as long as you are following that group in inbox).  This is particularly helpful for those users who have workflows that get triggered basis receiving a copy of their sent emails in Inbox.
Microsoft Forms Pro51331July CY2019Added: 17 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms
Forms Pro is a simple, yet comprehensive enterprise survey solution for businesses to capture and analyze feedback to improve how they engage across their business. With Forms Pro, you can get actionable feedback from customers in real-time at every stage of their journey, improve organizational health with real-time feedback, build the products customers want, and leverage the data and tools you already use from Dynamics 365, Common Data Services (CDS) and Power Platform. Forms Pro will adhere to the compliance, security, and privacy levels you’ve come to expect from Forms and other Office 365 apps. Companies can collect information without users having to go to non-secure solutions, and there isn’t a need to build and maintain custom surveying tools.
Microsoft Teams: Partner Provided Calling Plans for Japan52282Q4 CY2019Added: 17 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
SoftBank is working with Microsoft to deliver their UniTalk calling plans to Office 365 customers in Japan. This collaboration enables SoftBank to provide and sell PSTN calling services specifically for the Japanese market. Prerequisites for this service include that the Office 365 tenant is based in Japan and customers will need to acquire Phone System. Customers interested in this offer should contact Softbank directly to learn more.
Enhancements to SPO Preservation Library52431July CY2019Added: 17 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
This update will introduce a 30-day grace period for the release of SharePoint Online holds, and in the Preservation Hold Library items are now moved to the second stage recycle bin before being purged.
Office 365 Groups – Updates to welcome emails to guests50027Q2 CY2019Added: 18 June 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Office 365 Groups
We are updating the welcome email that guests receive when invited to an Office 365 Group. With the update guests will now see your organization’s privacy policy link, group SharePoint site & OneNote. This will only affect organizations who have guest access enabled.
OneDrive & SharePoint integration with Azure AD B2B | Public Preview33415July CY2019Added: 18 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive, SharePoint
Integration of external sharing in OneDrive and SharePoint with Azure AD B2B. This includes external sharing of files, folders, list items, document libraries and sites.
MyAnalytics add-in coming to more Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Suites48497July CY2019Added: 20 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: MyAnalytics
The MyAnalytics add-in for Outlook will be made available to everyone using Office 365 and Microsoft 365 EDU suites that include Exchange Online, specifically Microsoft 365 A3 for Faculty and Students, Office 365 A3 for Faculty and Students.
Designer for branded templates51006July CY2019Added: 20 June 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: PowerPoint
Now large enterprises, SMBs, universities can utilize Designer recommendations in their own branded templates. This allows people to stay on-brand.
Micosoft Teams – Native Federation for 1:1 Chats52394July CY2019Added: 20 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Have richer conversations with people outside your organization with Microsoft Teams. Users in TeamsOnly mode can now enjoy the same familiar chat experience whether they are communicating with a colleague or an external user.
Microsoft Teams – Real Time Presence52395July CY2019Added: 20 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Stay focused throughout the day with Microsoft Teams. Whether you are free for a quick chat or presenting in a meeting, real time presence increases the accuracy of your status so others know when to reach out.
Microsoft Teams – Self-Service Sign-up for hybrid environment customers52416July CY2019Added: 20 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Want to enable all users in your hybrid environment to try Microsoft Teams? Users in hybrid tenants who are not in AAD will soon be able to sign-up for Teams using their organizational email address, which in turn will create an AAD identity and enable them to use the Teams Commercial Cloud Trial.
Teams EDU messaging policies migration52517June CY2019Added: 20 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Currently about 300 tenants have their messaging policies in the O365 portal, but all of their other policies are on MoPo. We want to move these customers over to MoPo so they have a consistent admin experience and so they can leverage all of the new messaging capabilities that can only be managed in MoPo.
MyAnalytics Email Digest is coming to more Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Suites52277Q4 CY2019Added: 20 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: MyAnalytics
MyAnalytics Email Digest will be made available to everyone using Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Business suites that include Exchange Online, specifically Microsoft 365 E5, E3, Business, Office 365 E5, E3, E1, Business Premium and Business Essentials.
Microsoft Teams Education – Redesigned UI51407July CY2019Added: 21 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams (EDU)
The improved Teams UI enables teachers and students to focus on one course at a time with minimal distractions from other teams. In addition, the new Assignments experience makes it easier to view existing and create new assignments.
Outlook on the web – browse rooms with filters52546June CY2019Added: 21 June 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
Outlook will offer an additional way to filters rooms based on features like capacity, building floor, and AV equipment. Those filters are possible thanks to a new Set-place cmdlet available in Exchange Online to add new properties to rooms.
Planner: Export to Excel52585June CY2019Added: 21 June 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Planner
Export the tasks in a Planner plan to an Excel file.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our Tips and Tricks sessions offer insights, best practices and advanced functionality to help optimize how Teams can work for you. Each session will also include a few real-world examples of how customers are using Microsoft Teams today. Part 1 is focused on tips for conversations and meetings. Many of our interactions start as a simple chat. Learn how you can take those conversations to the next level, including: (1) Formatting messages to help increase response rates, (2) Managing conversations to easily track and follow-up, (3) Organizing conversations, keeping important and active chats front-and-center, (4) Expanding conversations into a full meeting experience, and more. Prefer to watch this session on your own time or simply want a refresher after attending the live training? Access the consolidated on-demand version of Tips and Tricks here: https://aka.ms/teamstipsandtricksondemand.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our Tips and Tricks sessions offer insights, best practices and advanced functionality to help optimize how Teams can work for you. Each session will also include a few real-world examples of how customers are using Microsoft Teams today. Organizing your workflow and projects in Teams can really help simplify productivity. Join us for Part 2 of this series, where you’ll learn tips including: (1) Implementing effective strategies creating and managing teams and channels, (2) Leveraging best practices for channel-based conversations, (3) Utilizing a personal team to manage your own productivity, (4) Designing your workspace to quickly find relevant content in Teams, and more. Prefer to watch this session on your own time or simply want a refresher after attending the live training? Access the consolidated on-demand version of Tips and Tricks here: https://aka.ms/teamstipsandtricksondemand.

The average employee spends approximately 30% of their working life in meetings. But meetings in Microsoft Teams are designed to be flexible and enable different types of connections for all the ways that work needs to get done. For users who are familiar with Microsoft Teams but want to better understand and optimize the Teams meeting experience, this session provides guidance into how to create spontaneous and scheduled meetings, leverage the pre, during and post-meeting features, identifying supported devices, and more.

As an existing Skype for Business customer, we understand that upgrading to a new technology can be confusing and are committed to supporting you on your journey to Microsoft Teams. Through our two upgrade classes, you will find everything you need to plan and implement your upgrade. Part 1 is focused on upgrade planning and user readiness. Targeting project stakeholders with accountability for Skype for Business to Teams upgrade success and user readiness/change managers, this session serves as the foundation for your upgrade planning, including: (1) An overview of our proven, upgrade success framework, (2) Real-world customer examples, (3) Insights into facilitating user readiness and upgrade acceptance, and (4) Orientation to key upgrade guidance resources.

As an existing Skype for Business customer, we understand that upgrading to a new technology can be confusing and are committed to supporting you on your journey to Microsoft Teams. Through our two upgrade classes, you will find everything you need to plan and implement your upgrade. Part 2 is understanding coexistence and interoperability. Designed for the IT Pro/technical experts implementing the migration from Skype for Business to Teams, this session will arm you with the information you need to know before migrating your users, including: (1) End user experiences during the upgrade, (2) Available journey options an organization can take from online or on-premises as the starting point, and (3) Routing and federation experiences.

As organizations look to roll out various services from Microsoft 365 to their users invariably 2 questions consistently pop up. 1- How do I support and educate our users to help them adopt and improve their workstreams? 2- How do the services work together and when and where do we use what in order to provide a rich collaboration platform that abstracts complexity for users? In this two-part webcast “Show Me How” series Microsoft’s Michael Gannotti will walk attendees through the use of various Microsoft 365 services and solutions to create an end-to-end, scalable, solution for training and engaging organizational employees. Session attendees can follow along step-by-step and set up their own POC/Pilot environments for testing and use. | Note: There are .ics files available for download to add the events to your calendar.

During this session, you will have the opportunity to experience Windows 10, Office 365 and Microsoft’s newest collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they work for you. During this interactive session, you will explore how to use Microsoft Teams and Office 365 to: (1) Create a hub for team work that works together with your other Office 365 apps, (2) Build customized options for each team, (3) Keep everyone on your team engaged, (4) Coauthor and share content quickly, and (5) Gain skills that will save you time and simplify your workflow immediately. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

This 2-hour hands-on session will give you the opportunity to try Microsoft technology that secures your digital transformation with a comprehensive platform, unique intelligence, and partnerships. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they work for you. During this interactive session, you will: (1) Detect and protect against external threats by monitoring, reporting and analyzing activity to react promptly to provide organization security, (2) Protect your information and reduce the risk of data loss, (3) Provide peace of mind with controls and visibility for industry-verified conformity with global standards in compliance, (4) Protect your users and their accounts, and (5) Support your organization with enhanced privacy and compliance to meet the General Data Protection Regulation. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Join us for a hands-on introduction to Microsoft 365 Compliance features and an opportunity to experience powerful solutions across the data lifecycle of assess, protect and respond. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Understand your compliance from a single pane of glass, (2) Make identity the new perimeter, (3) Discover and govern sensitive data across clouds, devices and apps, (4) Recognize attacks, detect breaches, and recover quickly using automation, and (5) Streamline your operational processes and understand your security posture. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.


BLOG ROUNDUP

We’ve made updates to the Calendar in Outlook for Windows to help you effectively manage your most valuable resource, your time. We listened to your suggestions and made improvements so you can schedule meetings faster and easier and better personalize your experience. For example, there is a new Meeting form where you can now choose Required or Optional attendees, so you no longer need to switch to Scheduling Assistant or open the Address Book, so it’s faster to create a meeting invite. Another example, is that we’ve enhanced the capability to reserve multiple rooms multiple locations in Room Finder. There are additional enhancements such as default duration, time zones, attendee tracking, response options, and more. All the enhancements are available today to Monthly Channel Office 365 subscribers!

We’ve just released an updated Office 365 Network Onboarding Tool which includes additional recommendations based on tests that you run from a Windows 10 application. It can now make perimeter network design recommendations related to proxy servers, firewalls, DNS, and we have added the first tests for Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online to the existing Exchange Online tests. The Office 365 Network Onboarding Tool uses testing you run to make specific network design recommendations for enterprise organizations who are seeking to get optimal performance for Office 365. It highlights common large enterprise network perimeter design choices which are useful for Internet web browsing but impact the performance of large SaaS applications such as Office 365. | Related: Office 365 Connectivity Guidance – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

We’ve been making a lot of noise about Live Events in Yammer as we strive to modernize the employee experience. With live events now generally available, you can now bring this type of event to your organization. This post is a guide to creating an engaging live event in Yammer and what to do before, during, and after the event to maximize the value, keep momentum going, and build reach. Keep in mind, to create a Live Event, you’ll need to be a Yammer group admin and create the event in an Office 365 connected Yammer group. For Live Events, a Yammer moderator is a good idea to keep conversation flowing and connecting back to the presenters and content teams. Depending on how large the event is and how much the conversation is flowing, you may need 1-2 people. A Yammer moderator, Yammer champion, the event executive sponsor or a presenter could participate in any of these recommendations.

Let’s talk about how you can secure your Teams environment. We can focus this conversation in 3 main areas; ensuring your users’ identities are secure to access Teams, protecting the Teams application and securing the data in and out of Teams. Microsoft Teams uses Azure Active Directory as the identity and access management platform so you can take advantage of many security features to secure access to Teams. The first step is to plan a good Conditional Access strategy. Since Teams is accessible from anywhere, you want to ensure that you can verify your user’s identity using Azure Multifactor Authentication (MFA). You can also use Hybrid Azure Active Directory Domain Join in order to define corporate owned PCs. By defining a device identity, you will be able develop rules around the device types that people are using; corporate, personal or mobile. Many customers take advantage of the Intune integration to look at device compliance as well. So you can create a rule that states not only should access to Teams be on a corporate managed PC, but the PC must meet your compliance standards. If the device isn’t compliant, like BitLocker is disabled, the end user would not be able to access Teams until BitLocker ins enabled.

A few years ago, the PowerPoint team took a bet on artificial intelligence (AI) and started the PowerPoint Designer effort. We aspired to help our customers overcome some of the fear around building an effective slide by offering up suggested slide designs. We started with making photo slides compelling, eventually adding capabilities around transforming text slides into their more visual—and hopefully impactful—counterparts like process diagrams and timelines. More recently, we started complementing text with iconography. We’re now excited to share that not only have we hit a major milestone in PowerPoint Designer usage, we’re also announcing new Designer capabilities that suggests high quality content to jumpstart authoring and provides perspective suggestions for quantitative content. And yes, in a “but wait, there’s more” moment, we’re ready to share that our AI effort is moving beyond Designer—with our new Presenter Coach—intended to help our users build confidence in their presenting abilities.

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NOTEWORTHY

We’d like to announce the arrival of a new family member—that’s right, the moment many of you have been waiting for is here—say hello to the Mac app. If you’ve already been using our app on Android, iOS, Windows, or web, then the Mac app will feel very familiar. Sign in and all your tasks will be waiting for you, ready to be checked off. You can work offline, add tasks to My Day, see your flagged email in your Flagged email list, and share your lists with colleagues or friends and family. The Planner integration isn’t available yet, but we’re already working on bringing the Assigned to Me list to you.

Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure are taking a major step together to help support the digital transformation of our customers. Both Azure and Office 365 are now generally available from our first cloud datacenter regions in the Middle East, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, offering the next generation of intelligent business applications and tools, are anticipated to be available from the cloud regions in UAE by the end of 2019. The opening of the new cloud regions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai marks the first time Microsoft will deliver cloud services directly from datacenter locations in UAE and expands upon Microsoft’s existing investments in the Gulf and the wider Middle East region. By delivering the complete Microsoft cloud – Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 – from datacenters in a given geography, we offer scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services for organizations while helping them meet their data residency, security, and compliance needs.

Microsoft 365 is designed to be tailored with web technologies to make every experience fit your team workflows. Well-integrated tools save you time by avoiding distracting context switches and providing tools right where you need them. Applications like SharePoint feature many ways to extend many user experiences, including file handlers and SharePoint Framework Extensions. For example, Adobe Acrobat is perhaps best known as a powerful Windows and MacOS application for working with PDF files. Through an updated web application and many integrations with SharePoint, Adobe Acrobat on the web brings these PDF tools to where your files are – in SharePoint and OneDrive. In the newest set of updates to PDF tools designed to deepen integrations with SharePoint and OneDrive, Adobe Document Cloud has improved the user experience for its web tools, ensuring that you have all of the major capabilities to work with PDF files on the web and in the context of SharePoint. New inline commenting and drawing capabilities keep feedback close at hand. Adobe Document Cloud also now supports single sign-on with Azure Active Directory, dramatically simplifying log-in and avoiding the need to manage multiple account sign-ins. Taken together, common tasks for working with content and PDF files are just a click away, saving you time, and extending the power of your Microsoft 365 investments.

A Center of Excellence (CoE), as talked about in this blog post, refers to an entity that is responsible for nurturing the growth of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow in their organization, while applying the right administrative guardrails. The responsibilities of a CoE typically fall into these four buckets: (1) Administration & Governance, (2) Nurture, (3) Support, and (4) Operations. The Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit is a collection of templatized best practices, that are designed to help organizations get started with tools needed to set up a CoE. Today the starter kit focused specifically on the Administration and Governance function of the CoE, but we do plan to grow it over time to be more encompassing of all the CoE functions listed above. For a more detailed explanation of the functions and best practices to establish a CoE – see the talk titled “Tried and tested techniques for establishing a CoE”, that was presented at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit in June 2019. The PowerPoint for this session is also available for download.