Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-06

Welcome to the February 8 – 14, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, Lists, Microsoft 365 Compliance Center, Outlook (Windows), Word and Microsoft Information Protection.

There are a few additional sessions for existing meeting series, but there were no brand new events added. The spotlight event of the week is the Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Meeting Organizational Compliance Requirements session on Wednesday, February 17th at 10am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include two new PowerApps for Microsoft Teams that help you track projects and share news, information on why threat protection is critical to a Zero Trust security strategy, and a look at how partners are fueling growth and innovation on Microsoft Teams.

Noteworthy items from last week include the availability of Microsoft To Do widgets on iOS 14, the general availability of the Exchange Online V2 PowerShell module on Linux and macOS, and a couple of reasons to love passwordless authentication.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Increased set of first-party indicators for Insider Risk Management68924March CY2021Added: 09 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
The Microsoft 365 Insider Risk Management solution will now recognize an increased set of first party indicators, including Endpoint (Windows 10), Microsoft Teams, Azure Active Directory, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Cloud Access Security.
Microsoft Teams: Disable/Enable a Single Attendee’s Video70620April CY2021Added: 09 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Ability to disable and enable a single attendee’s video in a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Microsoft Teams: Disable/Enable all Attendee’s Video70621April CY2021Added: 09 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Ability to disable and enable video for all attendee’s before, or during, a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Enhanced support for domains in Insider Risk Management70631March CY2021Added: 09 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Insider Risk Management now support enhanced classification of unallowed, allowed, and third-party domains leveraging wildcards. This helps improve classification of detections.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Content explorer enhancements for Insider Risk Management70632March CY2021Added: 09 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
The Microsoft 365 Insider Risk Management solution will have an improved performance and experience within the content explorer, including transparency of document loads and completeness.
Microsoft Teams: Disable/Enable all Attendees’ Video80221May CY2021Added: 09 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High, DoD
Ability in GCC-High and DoD to disable and enable video for all attendees before or during a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Microsoft Teams: Disable/Enable a Single Attendee’s Video80224May CY2021Added: 09 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High, DoD
Ability to disable and enable a single attendee’s video in a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Syntex: Model usage analytics in content center70626February CY2021Added: 10 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint Syntex
The SharePoint Syntex content center provides model usage analytics to provide more information about how your models published from the content center are being used. The “How your models are performing in the last 30 days” section of the content center includes a 30 day roll-up of usage analytics data provided in the following charts and lists: Classification by model, Classification by library and Model usage.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Insider Risk Management recognizes sensitivity label downgrade70630March CY2021Added: 10 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Insider Risk Management will now be able to identify documents where the user successfully downgrades the sensitivity label applied on it.
Microsoft Teams: PowerShell Support for Team Templates70698May CY2021Added: 10 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
PowerShell support for team templates operations including creating a new team template, viewing all available team templates, etc.
Microsoft 365: Apps will require Microsoft Edge WebView2 runtime70699March CY2021Added: 10 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Apps
Microsoft 365 Apps is starting to provide new or improved features that rely on Microsoft Edge WebView2. WebView2 Runtime will be installed starting on March 8, 2021. Only devices that are running Windows and that have Version 2101 or later of Microsoft 365 Apps installed are affected.
Microsoft Search: Actionable items in search70700June CY2021Added: 10 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Search
A new action menu with search results will allow an item not only to be opened in the web experience, but directly opened in the client application, downloaded, shared or copy the link to the item.
Microsoft Teams: Manage team templates with template policies70701June CY2021Added: 10 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Choose which team templates are shown to your users by setting a policy.
OneDrive: Dialog on First-Time deletion of File(s)70702February CY2021Added: 11 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
When a user deletes a file(s) for the first time, they will be shown a dialog to educate them that their file is in the OneDrive recycle bin where it can be restored. This will show up on subsequent deletes until the user checks the box stating they do wish to see it again. Admins can turn off this notification all together with a group policy setting.
Microsoft Lists: Commenting (iOS)70705March CY2021Added: 11 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists – iOS
Bringing web commenting experience to Lists iOS mobile app. Add/delete a comment on list items to collaborate and share better.
Microsoft Lists: List Setting to disable/enable commenting70706March CY2021Added: 11 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
New list-level settings to disable/enable commenting
Microsoft Lists: Enabling commenting to Lists app in Teams70707May CY2021Added: 11 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Bringing web commenting experience to Lists app in Teams. Add/delete a comment on list items to collaborate and share better within the Teams canvas.
Outlook for Windows: Every meeting online for Government Clouds80164March CY2021Added: 11 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Update your settings to make every meeting you create a Teams Meeting by default so you no longer need to remember to click the Teams Meeting option.
Outlook for Windows: Every meeting online for Government Clouds80365April CY2021Added: 12 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High, DoD
Update your settings to make every meeting you create a Teams Meeting by default so you no longer need to remember to click the Teams Meeting option.
Microsoft Information Protection: Data loss prevention for Microsoft Teams for DoD80375May CY2021Added: 12 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, DoD
Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities in Microsoft 365 government clouds will be extended to include Microsoft Teams chat and channel messages, including private channel messages. If your organization has DLP, you can now define policies that prevent people from sharing sensitive information in a Microsoft Teams channel or chat session.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 9:00am PT | We’re so excited to announce our first-ever Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) for Office Scripts! The AMA will take place on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT in the Excel AMA space. Add the event to your calendar and view it in your time zone here. During this AMA, you will have the opportunity to share your questions and feedback about Office Scripts and receive responses directly from our product team. Facing trouble with automating on Excel for web? Have an idea that would make our feature better? Let us know- we’re eager to hear and learn from you! Looking forward to seeing you at the AMA.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – Thursday, March 4, 2021 | Join our digital experience on March 2–4, 2021 to learn, connect, and explore new tech that’s ready to implement. All skill levels welcome. Save the date! Registration is now open.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

Within the Teams app store, you’ll now find two brand new applications published by Microsoft: Milestones and Bulletins. With the Milestones app, you can seamlessly track projects across your company, and with Bulletins, you can quickly publish news articles to the rest of your company. Both are deeply integrated within Teams, but what makes them unique is that they are built with Power Apps on top of the recently released Dataverse for Teams. By shipping them on top of Dataverse for Teams, we’re making it possible for you to fully customize these apps from top to bottom and to leverage them as inspiration to build your own apps! | Related: Communicate broadly and collaborate effectively with two new Power Apps

There’s been a significant increase in identity-based attacks. As IT leaders rely more heavily on identity in their security strategies, cybercriminals have increased their efforts on this threat vector. And with the shift to remote work in response to COVID-19, we’ve seen a notable number of pandemic-related phishing attacks. IT leaders need more visibility and protection. With the increase in threats, security professionals and admins are being overwhelmed with alerts. IT leaders are looking for more effective ways to manage alerts and better tools to proactively prevent attackers from being able to compromise accounts. Preventing identity compromise is more critical than ever. As IT leaders evolve their security strategies, people increasingly working remotely, and the number of identity-based attacks are rising, it’s vital for organizations to implement real-time, AI-based protections that prevent identity compromise.

Teams not only enables you to meet, chat, call, and collaborate with your team, but it also serves as a platform that brings together the apps and workflows that help you get your work done. In fact, users utilizing third-party apps and custom-built solutions in Teams every month grew over seven times year-over-year. We also know that a workplace platform is only as good as the ecosystem of relevant and useful applications and custom integrations available. Because of this, we continue to invest in Teams platform capabilities to enable and empower our partners to continue to build new, innovative solutions. When our partners succeed, we succeed, and together we bring more value to our customers. The beauty and strength of Microsoft Teams is that it’s designed as a surface where partners can interweave capabilities to create innovative, productivity-enhancing solutions. With the broadest canvas to build upon—from bots, messaging extensions, cards, and apps across chat and meetings to name a few—partners have created amazing solutions that reach people where they are and fit the needs of customers in this digital, post-pandemic business environment. We are proud to have such a strong and thriving ecosystem of partners who are continuously pushing the bounds of innovation with the solutions they’ve built on Microsoft Teams. From the more than 800 Teams apps built by independent software vendors (ISVs) and published in our store to the thousands of systems integrators (SIs) who are developing custom Teams solutions—our partners are growing their business and finding immense value from building on Teams. Most importantly, our customers are benefitting from all of these solutions that increase employee productivity and enhance collaboration.


NOTEWORTHY

With the launch of iOS 14, you can now add widgets to your home screen. We’re excited to announce that To Do widgets for iOS 14 are now available! We’ve added three new types of widgets for you – read on to learn more. The Your Tasks widget helps you select and view tasks from a list of your choice. The widget is available in two sizes: the medium widget shows a list of your tasks, while the large widget shows a list of your tasks along with due dates and other details. By default, the Your Tasks widget shows the Tasks list. In the My Day widget, you can view the first task on your My Day list. The Add Task widget allows you to quickly add a task to a list of your choice without having to open the To Do app.

At Microsoft Ignite 2020, we announced the preview of support for Linux and Windows PowerShell Core in Exchange Online management using EXO V2 Module. We are delighted to announce general availability of this feature along with the support for macOS. Officially supported distributions of Linux are Ubuntu versions 18.04 and 20.04 (native installations – not WSL). For macOS, supported versions are Mojave, Catalina & Big Sur. Read more in the detailed release notes here. In addition to cross platform support, we added support for longer session timeouts in interactive scripting scenarios. The module is now more secure with real time policy and security enforcement in all interactive cases with the help of Continuous Access Evaluation provided by Azure AD. Version 2.0.4 of EXO V2 module is available at PowerShell Gallery and we recommend all Exchange Admins start using this version of the module.

The Microsoft identity team recently launched a series explaining why they love passwordless authentication (and why you should too!).The series kicked off with posts on FIDO and NIST compliance. Alex Weinert continues the series with this post speaking to biometric authentication. Rather than having to memorize a password (you can’t) or security answers (quick! What was your 6th grade teacher’s best friend’s pet’s maiden name when you had your first crush?), you can use what’s always with you – you! Biometrics let you use your face, fingerprint, or even heartbeat on some devices. Biometrics also provide terrific accessibility benefits, making it possible to sign in when typing in a password is not viable. It is really exciting to think about the technology in use by people or in situations where secure digital identity was previously out of reach. With biometrics, once a device is “bound”, almost any gesture can be used to authenticate. Think about the implications for folks who interact with technology in non-conventional ways, or whose job requirements make manual interactions impossible (e.g. a surgeon after scrubbing in) – with NFC and FIDO2, a tap of the token can sign you in securely. | Related: 10 Reasons to Love Passwordless #4: Secure your digital estate, while securing your bottom line

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-05

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

There were twenty-five additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft 365 Compliance Center, Outlook (Web, iOS), Word and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.

The customer immersion experience sessions for Microsoft 365 and for Teams are back with new dates. Registration for the Microsoft Ignite (digital) experience is now open – the conference is scheduled for March 2 – 4, 2021. This week’s spotlight event is the “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) for Microsoft Lists on Thursday, February 11th at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include lots of information on Microsoft Viva, details on an upcoming change to the default setting for Guest access in Microsoft Teams, a look at what rolled out for SharePoint in January 2021, and the announcement of Windows 10 in cloud configuration.

Noteworthy item highlights include information on Microsoft Edge Legacy and the April 2021 Windows Update release, an update on the timeline for disabling Basic Authentication in Exchange Online, a reminder that Skype for Business Online retires on July 31, 2021 with available assistance/resources, and details on the ability to edit Microsoft Lists in grid view.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook for iOS: Conversational AI with Cortana79865February CY2021Added: 01 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Ask Cortana to provide assistant to schedule meetings, compose short email messages, and find files, emails, and people that are relevant to you, all using your voice and natural language.
Outlook for iOS: Expandable new message and event buttons79866February CY2021Added: 01 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
The button for new event and message buttons on your Calendar and Inbox hat will expand to provide quick actions that are available in Outlook. By long pressing these new buttons, you’ll have easy access to commonly needed email and calendaring capabilities.
Office 365: Office is now available on iPad60685February CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
With this release, we are bringing the Microsoft Office app to the iPad, combining the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps you know, plus additional tools to keep you more productive than ever. Optimized for iPadOS, use your keyboard, mouse, and trackpad to create and collaborate on Office documents, or create using your camera, sign PDFs, jot down notes, and more.
Office 365: Intelligent Suggestions70597March CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
Intelligent Suggestions will help you quickly find, work on, and collaborate on the files that matter most to you.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Hunting for Impersonated domains and users70613February CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
We are adding new filters called Impersonated user and Impersonated domain to enable Security Operations teams to explicitly hunt for specific users or domains within their organization that are targets of impersonation attacks. This additional information related to Impersonated domain(s) and Impersonated user(s) will surface in existing Impersonation insight pages and our new Email Entity page.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Updates to post-delivery detections and investigations70614February CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
We are rolling out updates to alerts and investigations including new alert policies and post-delivery detections related to Zero-hour auto purge (ZAP). There will also be updates and improvements to the AIR playbooks for the post-delivery detections to capture the state of the emails and entities that are being investigated.
Outlook: on the web – React to an email message70615March CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
Compliance Manager is the next generation of the existing Compliance Manager and Compliance Score solutions, which have been in commercial public preview since November 2019.
Microsoft Project: API Support for extensibility70618June CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
API support to create, update and delete Projects, Tasks, Task Dependencies, Resource Assignments, Team Members and Project Buckets.
OneDrive: Updates to the sync app on Mac available in .pkg format70693March CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive – Mac
Updates to the sync app on Mac will be available in the .pkg format which allows for faster updates and better security.
Word: Better collaboration with modern comments for Mac76166May CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Word – Mac
Share your comments with co-authors only once they’re complete, enjoy improved @mention notifications, and be more productive with a consistent commenting experience between Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Word: Better collaboration with modern comments76186March CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Word
Share your comments with co-authors only once they’re complete, enjoy improved @mention notifications, and be more productive with a consistent commenting experience between Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Microsoft Teams: Branded Lobby79957March CY2021Added: 03 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Admins will now be able to add a custom logo to the Teams experience, for display in the lobby and meeting pre-join experience. The logo will be displayed for meetings where the organizer has the Advanced Comms SKU.
Microsoft Search: reports in modern sites70616June CY2021Added: 04 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Search
Microsoft Search reports in modern sites will allow for site administrators to view usage analytics related to Microsoft Search in modern sites in SharePoint Online.
Microsoft 365 Compliance Center: Communication Compliance can now leverage optical character recognition to extract and evaluate messages70622March CY2021Added: 04 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Introducing the ability to extract printed or handwritten text from images using Azure’s Computer Vision Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Text extracted will then be evaluated against Communication Compliance policies conditions.
Microsoft 365 Compliance Center: Communication Compliance now support 7 languages for the Threat, Targeted Harassment and Profanities classifiers70623March CY2021Added: 04 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Communication Compliance can now detect threat, targeted harassment, and profanities in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese.
Microsoft Teams: Together mode for DoD70625March CY2021Added: 04 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, DoD
Together mode uses AI segmentation technology in meetings to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Audit retention dashboard for government clouds70627March CY2021Added: 04 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Create and manage audit log retention policies within the new Audit retention dashboard in the Microsoft 365 compliance center.
Forms: New Forms Start Page in GCC, GCC-High and DoD80044March CY2021Added: 04 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms, Gov
This update replaces the existing Forms Portal page with a new Forms Start page on Office.com (Office.com – Forms). Users who access forms via Office.com will get this experience first, then users accessing forms via the Forms website will get the experience soon after.
Azure Active Directory: Authenticator Code Match for MFA70617March CY2021Added: 05 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Azure Active Directory
Admins will be able to turn on code match for MFA notifications in Authenticator and apply the behavior by user/group.
Microsoft Teams: New file sharing experience70629February CY2021Added: 05 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Streamline sharing with Microsoft Teams. You can now create a shareable link for any file stored in Teams and directly set the appropriate permissions. Additionally, you can also set permissions for files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive while composing a private chat or starting a channel conversation.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: “Watch-the-watchers” audit trail for Insider Risk Management68921March CY2021Added: 06 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Audit and review activities of IRM Analyst, IRM Investigator, and IRM Admin roles within the Microsoft 365 Insider Risk Management solution. The audit trail will be available for a new role (IRM Auditor) to maintain integrity of an independent audit control.
Microsoft Teams: Integrated CART Captioning in Meetings70588July CY2021Added: 06 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Users will now be able to view captions coming from a CART provider (real-time captioning) within the Microsoft Teams meeting window. Meeting organizers and participants will be able to ask their captioning providers to stream captions to Microsoft Teams.
SharePoint: Company-Branded Auto News Digest70606March CY2021Added: 06 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
For SharePoint news users, we are launching an update to the Auto-News Digest feature. Now users will receive a company branded Auto-News Digest.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Potential Nation State Activity Alerts70624February CY2021Added: 06 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
Nation state threats are defined as cyber threat activity that originates in a particular country with the apparent intent of furthering national interests. These attacks represent some of the most advanced and persistent threat activity Microsoft tracks. The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center follows these threats, builds comprehensive profiles of the activity, and works closely with all Microsoft security teams to implement detections and mitigations to protect our customers. We’re adding an alert to the security portal to alert customers when suspected nation-state activity is detected in the tenant.
Outlook: on the web – New location for Outlook modules70628March CY2021Added: 06 February 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
We are changing the way you access Mail, Calendar, People, To Do, and other Outlook experiences. We are adding a way to easily access additional Microsoft 365 applications that are available to you.

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.

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

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).

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

When: Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 9:00am PT | Please join us for an ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) on Microsoft Lists – Your smart information tracking app in Microsoft 365 – has several new updates and resources to help you track information, organize work and get things done. An AMA is a one-hour online forum similar to “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Post any questions or feedback you have about Microsoft Lists for this event in the Microsoft 365 AMA space. The Microsoft Lists experts will be available during the hour to respond. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

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.

When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 9:00am PT | We’re so excited to announce our first-ever Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) for Office Scripts! The AMA will take place on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT in the Excel AMA space. Add the event to your calendar and view it in your time zone here. During this AMA, you will have the opportunity to share your questions and feedback about Office Scripts and receive responses directly from our product team. Facing trouble with automating on Excel for web? Have an idea that would make our feature better? Let us know- we’re eager to hear and learn from you! Looking forward to seeing you at the AMA.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – Thursday, March 4, 2021 | Join our digital experience on March 2–4, 2021 to learn, connect, and explore new tech that’s ready to implement. All skill levels welcome. Save the date! Registration is now open.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

Today, organizations spend over $300 billion a year on employee experience. That number includes employee development and training, benefits and wellbeing, and a whole host of employee experience technologies. But too often, these technologies are fragmented, hard to find, and disruptive to the flow of work. As digital tools become more crucial to a great employee experience, business leaders across every industry are embracing the opportunity to learn, and they’re re-evaluating both their spending and their approach. We believe what’s needed is a new approach and a new category of technology solutions called employee experience platforms (EXP). We’re introducing Microsoft Viva, the first EXP built for the digital era. Microsoft Viva brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into an integrated experience that empowers people and teams to be their best, from anywhere. Powered by the full breadth and depth of Microsoft 365, it is experienced through Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps that people use every day.

Related:

We want to make everyone aware of an upcoming change to the default setting for Guests in Microsoft Teams. With the large increase in organizations looking to use Teams to expand collaboration beyond the boundaries of their tenant, we want to make it easier for customers to get started. This has also been announced in Message Center post MC234252. As a result, starting on February 8th we are turning on Guest access in Microsoft Teams by default for any customers who have not already configured this setting. This will bring the control for Teams Guest capability into alignment with the rest of the suite, where the setting is already on by default. When this change is implemented, if you have not already configured Guest access capability in Microsoft Teams, that capability will be enabled in your tenant. With guest access enabled, you can provide access to teams and other resources to people outside your organization while maintaining control over your corporate data. Prior to this change taking effect beginning on February 8th, if you want Guest access to remain disabled for your organization, you will need to confirm that the Guest access setting is set to “Off” instead of “Service default”. Instructions for how to configure the Teams guest access settings can be found here: Teams guest access settings.

Related:

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in January 2021. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. To start the year, January 2021 brought many new offerings: Yammer notifications in Teams, inclusive Yammer reactions, OneDrive settings in SharePoint admin center, 250GB file uploads, Microsoft Lists app for iOS, Lists rules, Lists forms customization, task publishing, and more. All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of January 2021 (possibly early February 2021). | Related: Designing SharePoint sites with beautiful headers

Every day, Windows helps millions of people around the world get their work done. Now, more than ever, Windows is critical to keeping business moving, as organizations look to empower their people by enabling them to work from anywhere. It’s clear that customers need to equip people with devices that enable everyone, across every role in the organization, to do their best work. To do that, we need to empower them to deploy and update from a single dashboard, deliver essential apps to every user, provide secure access to corporate networks and resources, and get the necessary data storage to make it easy for users to access their data from any device. And given their many competing demands, customers need this solution to be cost-effective, secure, and simple to deploy. They need it to work seamlessly with Windows and other tools and experiences—including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Edge, and OneDrive for Business—that people know and want. And they need it today. That’s why we developed Windows 10 in cloud configuration. Cloud config is a set of recommended configurations that uses the technology infrastructure you already have—Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Windows 10, and apps—to save you time and money while getting your people the right device to get their work done. With cloud config, your users get a familiar Windows interface and productivity apps while your admins get a familiar management experience. All it takes is a Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise PC, Endpoint Manager, and to apply the cloud configuration apps and settings. And in addition to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Edge, and OneDrive for Business, cloud config gives you the flexibility to securely deploy Win32 and critical line-of-business (LOB) apps either directly to the device or via virtualization.


NOTEWORTHY

In August 2020, we announced that support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application ends on March 9, 2021. After this date, Microsoft Edge Legacy will no longer receive security updates. To replace this out of support application, we are announcing that the new Microsoft Edge will be available as part of the Windows 10 cumulative monthly security update–otherwise referred to as the Update Tuesday (or “B”) release–on April 13, 2021. When you apply this update to your devices, the out of support Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application will be removed and the new Microsoft Edge will be installed.

We previously announced we would begin to disable Basic Auth for five Exchange Online protocols in the second half of 2021. Due to the pandemic and the effect it has on priorities and work patterns, we are announcing some important changes to our plan to disable Basic Auth in Exchange Online. Please read this post carefully, as there’s a lot of detail. The first change is that until further notice, we will not be disabling Basic Auth for any protocols that your tenant is using. When we resume this program, we will provide a minimum of twelve months notice before we block the use of Basic Auth on any protocol being used in your tenant. We will continue with our plan to disable Basic Auth for protocols that your tenant is not using. The next change to the previously announced plan is that we are adding MAPI, RPC, and Offline Address Book (OAB) to the protocols included in this effort to further enhance data protection. | Related: Application Access Policy Support in EWS

Eighteen months ago, we announced the July 31, 2021 retirement of Skype for Business Online. With six months until the service ends, we’re focused on helping each of our customers upgrade to Microsoft Teams and enabling more ways to come together and get things done. Skype for Business Online has been a critical communications tool for millions of organizations across the globe. Once customers experience the way Teams brings together chat, calling, meetings and more, they realize the amazing potential to collaborate seamlessly and simplify work in a secure and compliant way. Regardless of where you are on the journey from Skype for Business to Teams, this is an important checkpoint to make sure your organization is on track to upgrade to Teams before Skype for Business Online retires and access to the service ends.

The new Microsoft Lists grid view is now available worldwide, including SharePoint lists and libraries that share the same technology platform in Microsoft 365. With simple, inline experiences, you can quickly update your information or add new items easily. Features like drag to fill, undo/redo, new field editors (text, date, people, yes/no, choice), and copy/paste make grid view the best place to get your information, quickly and organized. We’ll cover all new features and capabilities in this post – including screenshots and links to learn more, starting with an in-depth demo video to showcase all the goodness our Lists engineers have been working on and refining.

What’s the one essential you’d go back home for if forgotten? Maybe it’s your mask. But also, your mobile phone, right? Your personal organizer, your digital wallet, your instant camera—your mobile device has become the most essential tool you use to stay connected to the people and things that are important at home, at the office, and everywhere in between. It has evolved from being a companion to your desktop computer to being your personal, daily companion. We’ve explored the evolving needs of people’s mobility and connectivity and we are announcing a number of new Microsoft 365 mobile-first capabilities that help people bring balance to their day. This includes organizing and transforming their physical world such as documents, photos, and live-action video into digital assets, and offer secure ways to help protect sensitive information. | Related: Start a conversation with your personal productivity assistant in Outlook with Cortana

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-47

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

There were twenty-two additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, Microsoft Information Protection, Project, Outlook (iOS, Android), Microsoft 365 Compliance, Microsoft Search, To Do, and Microsoft Graph.

The December dates for existing meeting series are now listed, along with one new event – “Learn Together: Developing Apps for Microsoft Teams” on December 16th. This week’s spotlight event is the “Go Deeper with Microsoft Teams: Build collaborative workspace in Microsoft Teams” session on Monday, November 23rd at 9am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs the November 2020 look at what’s new to Microsoft 365, details on using priority accounts in Microsoft 365, guidance on creating a secure and compliant Microsoft Teams environment, and how to modernize secure access to on-premises resources using Zero Trust.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as a reminder about the timeline when the Teams app will no longer support Internet Explorer 11, a guide to creating a Yammer Live Event, best practices for public folder migrations, the deprecation notice for Outlook REST API beta and Outlook REST API v2.0, and information on the Microsoft 365 App Compliance Program.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Microsoft Project: Project for the Web – Export to Excel61297November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Export your project grid into an Excel spreadsheet. Share this information with colleagues so you can analyze your Project data.
Microsoft Project: Receive Email Notifications66608April CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Switch on to receive notifications about changes to your projects.
OneDrive: Dark Mode for the Web68868January CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
Dark mode changes the default bright background color in OneDrive for web. and Outlook on the web to a darker color, which is easier on the eyes in low-light environments or if you prefer less bright interfaces.
Microsoft Information Protection: Data-at-Rest Encryption for Microsoft 365 in WWMT and GCC68869March CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, GCC
Data-at-rest encryption for Microsoft 365 provides customer key-based encryption across multiple M365 workloads. Tenant administrators can configure a single data encryption policy using customer managed keys and assign it to the tenant.
Microsoft Information Protection: Data-at-Rest Encryption for Microsoft 365 in DoD and GCC-High68870May CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, GCC-High, DoD
Data-at-Rest Encryption for Microsoft 365 provides customer key-based encryption across multiple M365 workloads. Tenant administrators can configure a single data encryption policy using customer managed keys and assign it to the tenant.
Microsoft Information Protection: Exchange Online service encryption using Microsoft managed keys for government clouds68871December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Gov
Service encryption using Microsoft managed keys provides default encryption for all of Exchange Online data-at-rest. With Microsoft managed keys, data-at-rest always stays encrypted by default. Microsoft manages all cryptographic keys including the root keys in this case. Customers still have the choice to bring their own encryption keys by onboarding to Customer Key.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Communication Compliance Teams conversation context68872February CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance, Teams
Provide the ability to retrieve additional conversation context for Microsoft Teams messages that has matched a Communication Compliance policy. This feature will help an investigator make a more informed decision of remediation actions to take next.
Microsoft Information Protection: Mandatory Labeling in Office apps68873December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Office
Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) will now respect the Admin policy setting to require users to apply a label to documents and emails on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android (for the Office 365 subscription version of the apps).
Microsoft Information Protection: Teams location picker supports security groups and distribution lists68874January CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Teams
Data loss prevention (DLP) for Microsoft Teams will now support security groups and distribution lists as part of the Teams location picker, enabling more granular control of DLP policy scope (i.e. to include/exclude particular departments, business units, geo-specific security groups, etc.).
Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match to support improved auditability68876December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Customers who have configured Exact Data Match (EDM) will be able to view a complete audit trail of who created or modified and when each EDM component (i.e., Data schema, rule package and hashed / salted data uploaded).
Microsoft Search: Dynamic height for results68877November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Search
Improvements to results with Microsoft Search in SharePoint and Office.com will introduce dynamic height previews to support the results descriptive text and deliver preview images.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Advanced Audit log retention (1 year)68878December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Log retention for up to one year to meet investigation requirements and customize retention policies per an organization’s requirements.
Microsoft Project: Export Timeline to PDF68879April CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Export your timeline to PDF to save or share your schedule with your stakeholders.
Microsoft Teams: Give feedback improvements68880January CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Teams will automatically review the feedback submitted by users and provide help documentation related to the topic if available. Additionally, once enabled by the Teams administrator, users will have the option to share their email address when submitting feedback in Teams to allow Microsoft to follow-up with them.
Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match to support Auto-labeling68881December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Organizations will be able to configure new or existing Auto-labeling policies using Exact Data Match (EDM) Sensitive Information Types (SITs), enabling more fine-grained control over which sensitive content gets labeled.
Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match to support notifications for data upload status through alert policies68882December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Exact Data Match (EDM) customers will be able to configure alert policies in the security and compliance center for EDM Upload Agent notifications, enabling admins to receive alerts both via email and through the UI regarding EDM data upload status.
Microsoft To Do: iOS 14 Widgets68883December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do – iOS
Now you can seamlessly interact with Microsoft To Do from your iOS 14 home screens.
SharePoint: Migration Manager – Teams and OneDrive68884November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Search
Microsoft Search now simplifies the process of creating and curating Bookmarks with Recommended Bookmarks.
Outlook for iOS: Reactions69095February CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Thumbs up, laugh, heart, celebrate or shed a tear in reaction to emails in Outlook. Apply your sentiment and see the reaction of others in emails in Outlook without sending or receiving incremental emails.
Outlook for Android: Reactions69097February CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Thumbs up, laugh, heart, celebrate or shed a tear in reaction to emails in Outlook. Apply your sentiment and see the reaction of others in emails in Outlook without sending or receiving incremental emails.
Microsoft Project: Deploy to different environments71034March CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Organizations have more flexibility in how they deploy Project. In addition to using Project in the Default environment, you can now use it in Named Environments.
Microsoft Graph: Webhooks for To-Do Tasks (Preview)75253November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Graph
Developers can now create webhook subscriptions allowing their applications to receive notifications when To-Do Tasks change.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

When: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 from 9:00am – 11:00am PT | Millions of new Microsoft Teams users are looking to you, the developers, to create engaging and unique application experiences on Teams. In this two-hour livestream on Learn TV, you’ll learn: (1) Why you should consider building apps for Teams, (2) How to get started building apps for Teams in VS Code, and (3) Where you can integrate your apps in the Teams user experience. Quickly get started learning how to build these apps and stick around for some fun trivia and prizes.

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

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

As we enter the holiday season, it’s been inspiring to see organizations condense years of transformation into just a few short months. Many of you are adopting new digital technologies, transforming your business processes, and fundamentally rethinking how work will get done going forward. Throughout all of it, we’ve been focused on studying how work is changing and listening to you, our customers, so we can prioritize features and capabilities that will help you adapt to these changes and improve your workflows. In November 2020, we’re thrilled to announce that many of your top requested features—like background noise suppression in meetings—are coming to Teams and other Microsoft 365 services. Read on for details on those, plus the highly anticipated Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention and other new features across Microsoft 365 to help make it easier to pick up where you left off, keep track of your notes and tasks more easily, sketch out Amazon Web Services (AWS) application architectures in Visio for the web, and more.

Related:

Many organizations have people that are considered priority accounts for IT, such as executives, leaders, managers, and others. To help IT ensure a high quality of service and protection for these people, we have introduced capabilities in Microsoft 365 that enable an admin to tag specific users as priority accounts and then leverage app-specific features designed for them. To start with, we’ve announced two capabilities: priority account protection and premium mail flow monitoring. Let’s have a closer look at the app-specific features for priority accounts.

Organizations are continuing to work in a remote or hybrid-remote environment which accentuates the need to protect people, devices, apps, and the data that spans across the entire landscape. An increase in online collaboration has caused an influx of data that is critical for organizations to ensure remains secure, wherever employees are collaborating from. This is supported by the 115 million daily active users on Microsoft Teams, reemphasizing the need to ensure we can protect all the information and data created from increased online collaboration. This blog post provides information on how to create a secure and compliant Microsoft Teams environment.

Change came quickly in 2020. More likely than not, a big chunk of your workforce has been forced into remote access. And with remote work came an explosion of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios, requiring your organization to extend the bounds of your network to include the entire internet (and the added security risks that come with it). Organizations that steadfastly relied on the “flat network” approach of firewalls and VPNs to regulate access now find themselves lacking the visibility, solution integration, and agility needed to deliver end-to-end security. A new model needed to adapt to a remote workforce, protecting people, devices, applications, and data—from anywhere. The right security solution for our new perimeterless workplace employs the principles of Zero Trust, allowing users access only to the specific applications they need rather than the entire network. Because Zero Trust access is tied to the user’s identity, it allows IT departments to quickly onboard new and remote users, often on non-corporate devices, scoping permissions appropriately.


NOTEWORTHY

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

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. Here 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.

We wanted to share some best practices to prepare the on-premises public folders for migration to Exchange Online. The document will walk you through the overview of process to migrate public folders to Exchange Online, using the native tools as well as talk about best practices and tools used for trouble free migration. A quick overview of how the native migration process works follows. The intention here is not to walk through details of each step of native migration, that is already done here and here. Preparation is the key step, and we will be spending majority of this post on that part, which will ensure you face minimal issues during the actual migration.

We are announcing the deprecation of the Outlook REST API beta and  Outlook REST API v2.0 endpoints, and that they will be decommissioned on November 30, 2022. Once past this date, these services will be retired, and developers may no longer access them. As part of the deprecation, we will soon disable creation of new Outlook REST API beta or Outlook REST API v2.0 applications. Going forward, we will not be making any further investments in the capabilities or capacity of the Outlook REST API beta or Outlook REST API v2.0. This will result in two changes for developers. First, we will retire the OAuth Sandbox by December 31, 2020. Additionally, we have removed the “Exchange” app permission from the Azure portal. We have updated our documentation with additional information regarding creation of EWS apps. If you are using the Outlook REST API beta or Outlook REST API v2.0 in your app, you should plan on transitioning to Microsoft Graph.

Here in our Microsoft 365 App Compliance Team, the focus is to protect our customers’ data by creating a trusted ecosystem of secure and compliant apps. Our program also helps customers like you to distinguish and filter out apps, based on their own risk tolerance. Our program is designed to provide assurance to organizations and enterprise IT admins like you, that when your data interacts with a certified application, that application has undergone a security and privacy review. Microsoft 365 Certification requires a thorough assessment of an app and its underlying infrastructure against a series of security controls. This involves validating a variety of things such as updated antimalware signatures, proper data encryption at rest and in-transit, and many more. All controls span four domains: (1) Application Security, (2) Operational Security / Secure Deployment, (3) Data Handling Security and Privacy, and (4) Optional External Compliance Frameworks.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-46

Welcome to the November 8 – 15, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Ten features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Planner, Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, and Microsoft Graph.

A few new dates for existing meeting series have been added, along with several new events – AMA sessions for Planner and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, and the December dates for Customer Immersion Experiences. The spotlight event of the week is the “Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Productivity Score” session on Tuesday, November 17th at 8am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include the October 2020 updates for OneDrive, general availability of Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention, updates to Topics and Hashtags in Yammer, and information on what Microsoft learned in an internet-first model with Zero Trust security approach.

Noteworthy item highlights include a reminder about the timeline when the Teams app will no longer support Internet Explorer 11, information on moving away from SMS and voice MFA mechanisms, the public preview of Attack Simulation training is now open to all E3 customers, and several Microsoft compliance webinar recordings and resources.


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
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Updates to Automated Investigations68949November CY2020Added: 11 November 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
A number of improvements are being delivered to improve the clarity and value of automated investigations: Alerts for manually triggered investigations, User compromise investigations show email clusters to identify malicious, suspicious, and clean email from a potentially compromised account, A new mailbox configuration entity category will be listed for investigation findings associated with suspicious mailbox configuration findings, Removal of block URL action from existing investigations, due to it being a unnecessary action.
Microsoft Teams: Tasks in Teams in GCC68950January CY2021Added: 11 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Tasks in Teams gives you a new unified view of your personal and team tasks, powered by Planner and To Do. It consolidates your tasks across Microsoft To Do, Planner and Outlook. Smart lists like Assigned to me bring tasks together across different task lists, whether you’re on desktop or mobile.
Microsoft Planner: Tasks for Information Workers in Teams in GCC68951January CY2021Added: 11 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner, GCC
Tasks in Teams gives you a new unified view of your personal and team tasks, powered by Planner and To Do. It consolidates your tasks across Microsoft To Do, Planner and Outlook. Smart lists like Assigned to me bring tasks together across different task lists, whether you’re on desktop or mobile.
Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection: Network protection for macOS68859December CY2020Added: 13 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MDATP
Microsoft is bringing Network Protection functionality to MacOS (min. macOS v10.15.4). Network protection helps reduce the attack surface of your devices from Internet-based events. It prevents employees from using any application to access dangerous domains that may host phishing scams, exploits, and other malicious content on the Internet. Network protection expands the scope of Microsoft Defender SmartScreen to block all outbound HTTP(s) traffic that attempts to connect to low-reputation sources (based on the domain or hostname).
Microsoft Teams: Improvements to the “Create a Microsoft Team from SharePoint” experience68861November CY2020Added: 13 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Enhance existing Microsoft 365 Groups with Teams functionality, directly from SharePoint team sites.
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Defender for Office 365 – Evaluation Mode68862December CY2020Added: 13 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
We’re introducing Evaluation Mode in Microsoft Defender for Office 365 – the most effective way to evaluate the filtering efficacy of Defender for Office 365 using real-world email in your production environment. The feature can be configured by all customers that have Microsoft Exchange Online mailboxes, and provides a report that quantifies the messages that would have been blocked by Defender for Office 365 had the policies taken action. With Evaluation Mode, messages are scanned and evaluated without requiring a change to your MX record.
Microsoft Graph: New privacy controls for Microsoft Graph-based insights68863November CY2020Added: 13 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Graph
For administrators who wish to enable granular control over where intelligent insights are available to their employees, we’re introducing new controls that provide you the ability to configure the visibility of Graph-derived insights, between users and other items in the Graph (such as documents or sites) across apps and services in Microsoft 365.
Microsoft Search: Bookmark recommendations in Microsoft Search68864November CY2020Added: 13 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Search
Microsoft Search now simplifies the process of creating and curating Bookmarks with Recommended Bookmarks. These recommendations are generated by reasoning across SharePoint sites in Microsoft 365 to suggest Bookmarks to the Microsoft Search administrator, reducing the need to manually look across sites and information to determine the most valuable resources to curate and promote to users of Microsoft Search.
Microsoft Teams: EHR connector for virtual visits in healthcare68865December CY2020Added: 13 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
The Microsoft Teams EHR connector let’s patients schedule and join the virtual visit from within their electronic health record (EHR) system’s patient portal. Providers can schedule and launch the visits from within the EHR provider portal. Integration with Epic is currently supported by the Microsoft Teams EHR connector, with other EHR systems coming soon.
Microsoft Teams: Linux Client available in GCC-High68866November CY2020Added: 13 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High
The Microsoft Teams Linux client will now be available in GCC-High.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Productivity Score has reached general availability and we are hosting an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) to make sure you have an opportunity to get answers to any technical questions you may have about. An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Join us Tuesday, November 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time to connect with the product managers and engineers behind Productivity Score. Anyone can ask a question. Simply make sure you’re a Tech Community member, then: (1) Visit the Microsoft 365 AMA space at 9:00 a.m. PT (We’ll actually open up the space 24 hours in advance for everyone not in the Pacific Time zone.), and (2) Submit a question by selecting Start a new conversation—and do this for each new question. At the end of the AMA, the Microsoft 365 AMA space will close and become a read-only resource. We will post a final recap within 72 hours. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 8:00am PT | We’re excited to invite you to the first Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the Microsoft TechCommunity! The product team has missed meeting customers at security and tech conferences and expo halls through the year and so we’d like to engage with you virtually. Our goal is to do these at least on a quarterly basis and have them focused on specific topics related to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Our first AMA will be on November 17, from 8:00-9:00am PT and it will be focused on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint capabilities for macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Bring all your burning questions! Our product team will be there to answer them. An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We want to hear from you and answer your questions around using Microsoft Planner! We will be hosting an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) session on Tuesday, November 17th at 9 AM Pacific Time, on the Tech Community. To join, simply, visit the Planner AMA space and click “Start a New Conversation” to post your question. This event is open to all Tech Community members and we’ll have members of the Microsoft product and engineering teams standing by to provide answers. An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

The latest updates for OneDrive that rolled out in October 2020 are: (1) File sharing in Teams, (2) Known Folder Move in FRE (First Run Experience), and (3) Teams Meeting & Call Recordings stored in OneDrive and SharePoint. Teams is your hub for teamwork where people collaborate on files, communicate, and streamline processes. Now, users will be able to set familiar sharing and access controls directly in Teams with the added option to share a link with a specific private or group chat. This means only people in that chat have access to the shared content. Shared links intelligently reconcile to file name and all sharing follows the admin settings and configured policies. Our new first run experience now allows you to select which Windows known folders you would like to sync to OneDrive. Teams meeting and call recordings can now be stored in your OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint, providing the ability to share recordings with guests or external users, access meeting recordings faster, and manage recordings with security and compliance controls available to other file types in Microsoft 365.

Managing and protecting data is critical to any organization. Data is growing exponentially, and remote work is making it even harder to manage risks around data. In fact, a recent Microsoft survey of security and compliance decision-makers found that data leaks are the top concern in remote and hybrid work scenarios. To help our customers to address this challenge, we are excited to announce the general availability of Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Endpoint DLP builds on the labeling and classification in Microsoft Information Protection and extends the existing DLP capabilities in Microsoft 365, helping you to meet compliance requirements and protect sensitive information on endpoints. It’s built into Windows 10, the Microsoft 365 Apps, and Microsoft Edge—without the need to deploy additional software on the device, which eliminates friction and makes it far easier to have visibility into your data. For users, it ensures security, without compromising productivity. Endpoint DLP provides policy tips to help educate users when they are about to violate a policy. It’s also integrated with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (formerly known as Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection), which can help you prioritize incident response based on additional factors. | Related: Announcing Microsoft Endpoint DLP General Availability

Yammer powers communities, knowledge, and employee engagement in Microsoft 365. At Microsoft Ignite, we shared how Yammer is investing in three areas for knowledge: capturing knowledge with questions and answers, organizing it using topics, and spreading it across the organization with Project Cortex. We are sharing the first updates to our new topics experience—which lays the foundation for future improvements and greater distinction between topics and hashtags. Topics are a useful tool to organize, curate, and reference knowledge within and across communities. Anyone can affix a topic to a conversation by using the “Add Topics” option during or after posting. If a topic exists already, it is presented as a suggestion. Topics are metadata that apply to the thread, not individual messages, whereas hashtags are part of the message itself. Clicking a topic takes you to that specific topic’s page. Hashtags are a great way to encourage and promote participation in campaigns and conversations across communities. They also provide a creative way to express yourself. You can include a hashtag in a message by simply adding the ‘#’ symbol before the text. Posting a message with a hashtag automatically adds a topic of the same name to the thread. Clicking a hashtag takes you to the topic page of the same name.

This blog outlines some recommendations on implementing an internet-first approach plus a few of the things we learned in our efforts here at Microsoft. Because every company has its own unique culture, environments, infrastructure, and threshold for change, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Please note that this blog will assume you’ve completed some of the foundational elements needed for a Zero Trust security model. These include modernizing your identity system, verifying sign-ins with multi-factor authentication (MFA), registering devices, and ensuring compliance with IT security policies, etc. Without these protections in place, moving to an internet-first posture is not possible. As previously mentioned, your apps will need to be modernized by migrating them to the cloud and implementing modern authentication services. This is the optimal path to internet accessibility. For apps that can’t be modernized or moved to the cloud (think legacy on-premises apps), you can leverage an app proxy to allow the connection over the internet and still maintain the strong authentication principles.


NOTEWORTHY

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

Millions of people use Microsoft Teams to be productive across different workstreams, and the latest Sentry app in Microsoft Teams is here to keep you up to speed on emerging alerts and issues in your DevOps environment. Using rule-based configurations, the Sentry app in Microsoft Teams will automatically notify pre-defined channels of code errors, performance issues, or other events. Rule-based configurations allow customers flexibility in customizing which alerts generate notifications in Teams. Users can respond to the alert by ignoring, assigning, or resolving directly from Teams; they can also use channel messages and mentions to collaborate with others on response and next steps.

This blog will attempt to convince you that it’s time to start your move away from the SMS and voice Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) mechanisms. These mechanisms are based on publicly switched telephone networks (PSTN), and they’re the least secure of the MFA methods available today. That gap will only widen as MFA adoption increases attackers’ interest in breaking these methods and purpose-built authenticators extend their security and usability advantages. Plan your move to passwordless strong auth now – the authenticator app provides an immediate and evolving option. It bears repeating, however, that MFA is essential – we are discussing which MFA method to use, not whether to use MFA. Quoting an earlier blog, “Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is the least you can do if you are at all serious about protecting your accounts. Use of anything beyond the password significantly increases the costs for attackers, which is why the rate of compromise of accounts using any type of MFA is less than 0.1% of the general population.”

We are opening the full public preview of Attack simulation training to all Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers to discover, quantify, and remediate social engineering risk across users. After Attack simulation training becomes generally available, all E3 customers will retain access to a trial version of the product which will include a smaller subset of capabilities. Attack simulation training empowers customers to accurately detect risk by phishing employees using constantly-updated real phish templates, with granular, context-specific targeting. Automated simulation creation, payload attachment, user targeting, schedule and cleanup simplify the process for Security Administrators. Rich reporting and analytics helps customers quantify social engineering risk and remediate it intelligently through strategic training programs. Metrics like coverage and completeness, training effectiveness and predicted compromise rate measure true behavior change and risk reduction.

The Microsoft 365 community is excited to announce new capabilities in Microsoft Insider Risk Management & Communication Compliance to help minimize internal risks by enabling you to detect, investigate, capture, and act on malicious and inadvertent activities in your organization. The links to the webinar recording and resources, such as the webinar FAQ, are included in this blog post.

Related:

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-39

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

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

Related:

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

Related:

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

Related:

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

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

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

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-38

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

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

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

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

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

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

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

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

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

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

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-37

Welcome to the September 6 – 12, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were twelve additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Lists, Planner, Outlook (Windows, iOS), Forms, and Search.

Information for Microsoft Ignite and new dates for existing meeting series have been added. And speaking of Microsoft Ignite, this week’s spotlight event is the “Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Ignite 2020 Pre-Show” on Tuesday, September 15th at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include the announcement of GitHub integration with Microsoft Teams (Preview), a list of Ignite 2020 sessions for Microsoft Search and Yammer, as well as upcoming changes for “Hybrid Voice” connectivity and Cloud Connector Edition.

Noteworthy item highlights include the September 2020 feature updates for Workplace Analytics, details on new discounts on meeting and calling experiences in Microsoft Teams, and another reminder regarding Office 2013 client connectivity to Office 365 services.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook for Windows: Text Predictions60340September CY2020Added: 09 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
Outlook will provide you with suggested ways to complete the text in your email messages. Just tab to accept and finish emails faster, with less typing.
Outlook for iOS: Sync contact sub folders as category labels69139October CY2020Added: 09 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Your Outlook contacts and subfolders in Outlook for Windows or on the web will labeled with a contact category based on the name of your contact sub folder and synced to Outlook for iOS.
Outlook for Windows: intelligent based translations69305December CY2020Added: 09 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
Communicate across languages with new translation features, which allow you to translate full messages or specific words and phrases.
Microsoft Teams: Templates for creation of a new Team67110September CY2020Added: 09 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
With Templates in Teams, users can choose from a variety of customizable templates when creating a new team, helping them get started quickly. IT professionals can also create new custom templates for their organization, allowing them to standardize team structures, surface relevant apps, and scale best practices.
Microsoft compliance center: Records Management in Microsoft 365 available in Government cloud63063October CY2020Added: 10 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance, Gov
Records Management in Microsoft 365 enables government customers to manage recordkeeping obligations intelligently. This update restructures capabilities that were previously part of the Advanced Data Governance solution and provides you with a dedicated and specialized solution for records management, with new features including proof of disposal, record versioning, and enhanced record immutability.
Office 365 Advanced threat Protection: Attack Simulation Training68925January CY2021Added: 10 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
Attack Simulation training helps customers detect, assess, and remediate phishing risk across users through integrated simulations and targeted training campaigns that change user behavior.
Microsoft Lists: updated Yes/No column experiences – powered by SharePoint67119September CY2020Added: 10 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Lists
List items with a Yes/No column, in and out of Quick Edit mode, will appear using the new experience design format – making it easier to create and more accessible to consume.
Microsoft Forms: Progress Bar for multipage Forms and Quizzes67120September CY2020Added: 10 September 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Forms
Microsoft Forms now provides a setting on multi-page (multi-section) Forms/Quizzes which, when enabled, will show responders a progress bar. The progress bar is a visual indicator telling the responder how far they are through the survey, e.g. “Page 1 of 3”. Note: this feature is off by default on new forms and quizzes. Form owner should choose to enable this setting if they want to use it. However, forms/quizzes already existing at rollout time will have the progress bar setting checked. This Progress bar feature still is only shown on multi-page forms, and can be easily disabled by the Form owner in the settings pane for that form/quiz.
Microsoft Teams: Manage your meeting options in-meeting67121October CY2020Added: 10 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Meetings organizers can now view and update meeting options within the meeting making it easier and faster to manage your meeting options during a meeting.
Microsoft Teams: End-of-meeting notifications67122September CY2020Added: 10 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Microsoft Teams will automatically issue a 5-minute warning when the meeting is nearing a close – it will be triggered for all scheduled private, and channel meetings.
Planner: Use Dark Mode in Planner Mobile68083November CY2020Added: 11 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Use your system’s dark settings or enable Planner’s dark settings to view Planner Mobile in dark mode.
Microsoft Search: New image vertical67117November CY2020Added: 11 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Search
A new image vertical is coming to Microsoft Search to provide better search capabilities for images in your organization. The new image vertical will initially be available for search results in SharePoint and Office.com, and will come to Bing.com later in the year.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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.

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

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

When: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Bring conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place with Microsoft Teams. Build collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and connect with colleagues — all from a single Office 365 Education experience. Learn how IT can enable these capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Join us for this webinar to learn: (1) Administration capabilities to enable and govern Microsoft Teams, (2) Allow for frictionless user Teams creation while enforcing business rules and addressing IT concerns, (3) Understand the Teams lifecycle and recommended practices for long term management of the environment, and (4) Security and compliance capabilities for Teams integrated in the Office 365 tools you are already using today. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

Developers use GitHub together with a number of other platforms, to communicate with each other on issues, pull requests, deployment statuses, and other updates. We want to integrate GitHub with other platforms to make it easier for developers and teams to collaborate around their projects from whatever context they work in. We are excited to announce a new GitHub + Microsoft Teams integration, now available in public beta. To get access to this new integration, head over to the Microsoft Teams app store and install GitHub (Preview), or directly install from here. There’s a lot to be excited about with this integration, including the ability to close/reopen issues and comment on issues/pull requests right in Teams. | Resource: GitHub + Microsoft Teams Integration (Public Preview) Documentation

Microsoft Ignite 2020 is a complimentary digital experience, happening on September 22 – 24, 2020. Our Microsoft Search speakers are firing on all cylinders to finalize their sessions for this year’s conference. And while the Ignite session catalog is live at https://myignite.microsoft.com, choosing from hundreds of sessions can take some time even for the veteran attendee. But have no fear, we are here to help! If you’re passionate about Microsoft Search this post has the recommended sessions to get you started.

Microsoft Ignite 2020 is quickly approaching. The world has changed a lot since the new Yammer was announced last November and this year’s event will be entirely digital, making it available to attendees instantly around the globe. The new Yammer is now generally available, which means we’ve got a lot to share about what’s new and how you can use Yammer to drive community and employee experience. You can find the entire Microsoft Ignite session catalog at https://myignite.microsoft.com, but here is a list of our dedicated sessions if you’re looking to learn more about Yammer and employee engagement.

Last year we announced the July 31, 2021 retirement of Skype for Business Online. In addition to the discontinuation of Skype for Business Online, other “Hybrid Voice” configurations that depend on the service will require changes as well. The first is for organizations with hybrid Skype for Business configurations for on-premises Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connectivity and online Phone System capabilities. Some organizations have split users between homed on-premises for PSTN connectivity and homed online for Phone System capabilities. Once access to Skype for Business Online ends, organizations will need to transition online users to Microsoft Teams and connect their on-premises telephony network to Teams through Direct Routing. The second is for Skype for Business Online customers using Cloud Connector Edition to integrate Phone System services from the Microsoft cloud with their existing on-premises configuration (PBX, call centers, devices, etc.) and PSTN connectivity. As Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition (CCE) was designed as a virtual on-premises deployment to bridge Skype for Business Online with a customer’s on-premises setup and PSTN connectivity, CCE will also retire July 31, 2021 along with the Skype for Business Online service. Once an organization has transitioned from Skype for Business Online to Teams Only, they can connect their on-premises telephony network to Teams through Direct Routing.


NOTEWORTHY

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for September 2020. This post describes the following new features: (1) Inform your return to worksites plan – we have released the Return to Worksites Power BI template and supporting playbook, (2) Customize the definition of meeting attendance – until now, having accepted a meeting invitation was equivalent to attending, and (3) Teams metrics are now available – Teams chat and call data is now included in Workplace Analytics metrics.

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

Over the past 6 months, organizations around the world have adjusted to remote and hybrid work, pioneering new methods of collaboration, and transforming communication systems to stay connected and productive. By working closely with our customers, we’ve identified key requirements that define how you are using meeting and calling solutions and rethinking your costs to achieve long-term resiliency. As we’ve shared, your organization’s communication needs likely span a spectrum—from the most basic 1:1 meetings and calls to group meetings to large virtual events and conferences. During the pandemic, organizations transformed rapidly moving meetings online and created hybrid workplaces. This environment confirmed the need for multiple ways to join online meetings. For example, participants who do not have reliable internet access to join Microsoft Teams meetings can use Audio Conferencing to join via a dial-in number. Our customers increasingly need to host large scale virtual events ranging from internal town halls to customer events, and Teams can help with these, too. The new Advanced Communications add-on enables large scale events, but also provides structure and admin control to achieve more professional, seamless, and compliant meeting experiences. To help our customers enable these scenarios and experience the best of what Microsoft Teams can offer in meetings and voice, we’re announcing new promotional offers that deliver these experiences with significant cost savings.

Microsoft has tied STRONTIUM to a newly uncovered pattern of Office365 credential harvesting activity aimed at US and UK organizations directly involved in political elections. Analysts from Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and Microsoft Identity Security have been tracking this new activity since April 2020. Credential harvesting is a known tactic used by STRONTIUM to obtain valid credentials that enable future surveillance or intrusion operations. Subsequent analysis revealed that between September 2019 and June 2020, STRONTIUM launched credential harvesting attacks against tens of thousands of accounts at more than 200 organizations. In the two weeks between August 18 and September 3, the same attacks targeted 6,912 accounts belonging to 28 organizations. None of these accounts were successfully compromised. Not all the targeted organizations were election-related. However, we felt it important to highlight a potential emerging threat to the 2020 US Presidential Election and future electoral contests in the UK. Microsoft CVP Customer Security and Trust, Tom Burt provided some additional details on this campaign in his recent On The Issues blog post. The purpose of this post is to provide defenders in any organization, but especially those directly or indirectly affiliated with electoral systems, insight into the technical nature of this activity. By providing these details, we hope to enable better defense against future attacks and share best practices for securing cloud environments against this type of activity.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-29

Welcome to the July 12 – 18, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Thirty-two features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap for the second consecutive week, with even more updates for Teams, along with updates for SharePoint, Yammer, and Bookings. Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-29.

Two events added this week are both “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) sessions – one for Microsoft Planner on July 28th at 9am Pacific, and the other for Upcoming Changes to Office Support on September 9th at 9am Pacific. This week’s spotlight event is the “Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): The New Yammer” on Thursday, July 23rd at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include information on new Microsoft 365 features to help you get more control of your day, resources to help you make the shift to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, the general availability announcement for the new version of Microsoft Secure Score, and details on how to implement a solid Information Architecture (IA) for your SharePoint Online intranet.

Noteworthy item highlights from last week include information on the July 2020 updates for Microsoft Search, details on how FastTrack can help with the implementation of intelligent compliance and risk management solutions, the public preview of user-friendly sign-in to Azure AD with email as an alternate login ID, and recommendations on how to prevent and detect identity-based attacks with Azure Active Directory.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

There were thirty-two features added to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap last week, so for this week the roadmap updates are detailed in a separate post, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-29.


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When: Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 9:00am PT | Bring all your questions and feedback about the new Yammer (available in public preview) to this ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) on Thursday, July 23, 2020, 9:00-10:00 AM PT. AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Members of the Yammer team will be online during this one-hour event to respond directly to your posts. Join in the Yammer AMA discussion space, and add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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

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

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

When: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We want to hear from you and answer your questions around using Microsoft Planner! We will be hosting an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) session on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM Pacific Time, here, on the Tech Community. Save the date! An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. To join, simply, visit the Planner AMA space on July 28 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time and click “Start a New Conversation” to post your question. This event is open to all Tech Community members and we’ll have members of the Microsoft product and engineering teams standing by to provide answers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

Over the past few months, managing time has become even more challenging. While there are benefits to a more flexible schedule, people are now facing changes in how they live, work, collaborate, and take care of themselves and their loved ones. Those changes have resulted in overcrowded calendars with more meetings and the prep and follow-up work that come with them; that, in addition to the blurred lines between personal and work time and space, has been emotionally and physically draining. It is understandable why many people are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. You need ways to manage your time that evolve as the world changes. We recognize that and are working to do so across Microsoft 365, whether in Outlook, Teams, To Do, MyAnalytics and other apps. We hope this first set of new and updated experiences will help you get more control of your day, spend less time preparing for meetings, protect your personal time, and organize your calendar to stay balanced.

With three months until support for Office 2016 for Mac and Office 2010 ends this October, now is the time to transition to Microsoft 365 Apps. We know that transitions like this can be challenging – we’ve heard your concerns about app compatibility, managing configurations and the installation process, and getting users up and running on new devices even while working remotely. In the most recent update to the Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise guided tour, we’ve included a few new videos that show how you can use Microsoft’s cloud deployment tools to address these concerns. Keep reading – and watch the videos – to learn more about these tools.

Earlier this year (2020), we blogged about the latest public preview of Microsoft Secure Score and now we’re pleased to announce that we‘ve completed our global roll out making it generally available to all of our commercial customers. This a major release for us and it marks Microsoft Secure Score’s transition from simply being a gamified list of security recommendations to one that we think is on its way to becoming the go-to posture management app for security administrators. There’s lots of work left to do to achieve that aspiration, but we feel we’re well on our way. With this release, we focused on the following areas: (1) Improving the assessment and scoring models, (2) Adding planning, workflow and posture monitoring improvements, and (3) Adding metrics and trend reports to drive meaningful planning and status discussions with leadership.

We commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a New Technology Total Economic Impact™ study of Microsoft Teams Platform and examine potential return on investment enterprises may realize by rolling out the Microsoft Teams platform. Using the Microsoft Teams platform as a hub for teamwork enabled organizations to reduce disruptions to employee productivity, helped IT and security teams strengthen protection against data leaks, and contributed to a culture of citizen developers that, in turn, accelerated business digitization and innovation. The study reflected a projected return on investment of 393% to 1,085% over 3 years and following key projected benefits. Note: The post includes a link to download the report.

Having a solid information architecture (IA) is an important prerequisite for realizing a well-maintained and well-performing intranet. Good IA helps people find what they need and accomplish the tasks they want to complete – in a way that makes sense to them. A great IA helps improve user adoption, satisfaction, and productivity, reduce IT cost, reduce information overload, and minimize governance compliance and bad information risk. Great IA takes good planning. It requires knowledge of the domain or content, understanding the user and user experiences, and awareness of approaches and best practices in Microsoft SharePoint. An important best practice is providing a consistent experience for everyone. The best way to ensure a positive experience for site owners and visitors is to establish design patterns for your intranet sites and use site designs and templates to ensure that the patterns are applied consistently on all sites. In this post, we will dive into the following areas + resources throughout: (1) Ensure consistency across all sites throughout your intranet scripting, (2) Organizing with hubs that can organize themselves, (3) Utilizing Microsoft Teams templates, and (4) Manage who can create Microsoft 365 Groups.


NOTEWORTHY

Microsoft Search is the evolution of search, smarter search to help you stay in touch with what’s important and trending around you in Microsoft 365 and your connected systems. This post outlines the updates for Microsoft Search in July 2020, including: (1) Contextual Search in Microsoft Teams, (2) Acronym search in SharePoint and Office.com, (3) Enriching Profile Cards in Office 365, (4) PnP Modern Search, and (5) Connectors.

As a project manager, your job is to schedule tasks accurately to ensure everything happens at the right time.  However, before you begin to schedule, you need to determine the number of the working hours and days it will take to complete these tasks. Project for the web comes with a default work template that can be automatically applied to all projects. This template is based on the average work schedule: it specifies work hours of 9AM through 5PM from Monday through Friday. If your work does not follow this schedule, you can create a new work template to suit your project’s needs. This blog post will walk you through the steps of changing the working hours and days of a project in Microsoft Project. Note: Project for the web is built on the Microsoft Power Platform. Because of this, some aspects of calendar and assignment setup needs to be done in Power Apps.

We’re announcing the public preview of the ability to sign-in to Azure AD with email in addition to UPN (UserPrincipalName). In organizations where email and UPN are not the same, it can be confusing for users when they can’t use their familiar email address to sign-in. With this preview capability, you can enable your users to sign in with either their UPN or their email address, helping them avoid this confusion. This feature can be enabled by setting the AlternateIdLogin attribute in the HomeRealmDiscoveryPolicy. Some customers are using capabilities in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Connect to achieve this today, but that requires them to set the email address as the UPN in Azure AD. With this preview capability, you can now use the same UPN across on-premises Active Directory and Azure AD to achieve the best compatibility across Office 365 and other workloads, while still allowing your users to sign in with either their UPN or email, further simplifying their experience. | Resource: Sign-in to Azure Active Directory using email as an alternate login ID (preview)

Technology is profoundly impacting our lives—from the way we connect with each other, to how we interpret our world. With that, we have seen an explosion in the amount of data created, accessed, and shared across businesses. Also, many companies are now facing compliance and risk management requirements due to industry or government mandates. To help you intelligently assess your compliance risks, govern and protect sensitive data, and effectively respond to regulatory requirements, FastTrack assistance for Microsoft 365 compliance capabilities is now available. This assistance is available for eligible customers with 150+ licenses, and includes guidance to: (1) Get started – steps to ensure a strong foundation for the engagement, (2) Implement lead scenarios – solutions that are recommended as a compliance baseline, and (3) Compliance and risk management in depth – solutions that take more time and effort to deploy, as they require user adoption. | Resource: FastTrack Center Benefit for Office 365

Security incidents often start with just one compromised account. Once an attacker gets their foot in the door, they can escalate privileges or gather intelligence that helps them reach their goals. This is why we say that identity is the new security perimeter. To reduce the risk of a data breach, it’s important to make it harder for attackers to steal identities while arming yourself with tools that make it easier to detect accounts that do get compromised. Over the years the Microsoft Security Operations Center (SOC) has learned a lot about how identity-based attacks work and how to reduce them. We’ve leveraged these insights to refine our processes, and we’ve worked with the Azure AD product group to improve Microsoft identity solutions for our customers. At the RSA Conference 2020, we provided an inside look into how the Microsoft SOC helps protect Microsoft from identity compromise. Now, we are sharing best practices that you can implement in your own organization to help decrease the number of successful identity-based attacks.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-24

Welcome to the June 7 – 13, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were twenty-seven additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for Teams, SharePoint, Lists, Microsoft 365 Admin, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), To Do, and Search.

A few sessions have been added for existing event series. A new Azure Active Directory Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session will take place on Tuesday, June 23rd at 9am Pacific. This week’s spotlight event is the “Enabling Remote Work at Microsoft: Teamwork and meetings” session on Thursday, June 18th at 10am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blog posts include the availability of custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams, a look back at OneDrive updates in May 2020, information on what’s new in Microsoft 365 Compliance and Risk Management, and 11 security tips to help stay safe in the COVID-19 era.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items on recent updates for Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics, expanded migration services from Microsoft FastTrack, and a compilation of answers to frequently asked questions about device-based Conditional Access.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Microsoft Lists: new ‘Integrate’ drop-down menu – powered by SharePoint64869July CY2020Added: 08 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
As part of updating the command bar at the top of Microsoft Lists, we are introducing a new top-level menu item: ‘Integrate.’ This is the home for features that help extend list experiences. To start, existing command buttons for Power Apps and Power Automate will move into Integrate – as they are integrated technologies and experiences.
Microsoft Lists: visual updates for Quick Edit64871June CY2020Added: 08 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
When in Quick Edit, we are introducing a number of new and refined user interface updates. You’ll see new grid lines, an improved on-hover experience when using your mouse around the grid, themed color bars on the side of list items – including error messaging, a “Create New Item” button at the bottom of quick edit for creating new items inline, and updated column header drop-downs.
Acronyms answers with Microsoft Search are coming to SharePoint and Office.com64865June CY2020Added: 08 June 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Search
We are increasing the number of participants who can be viewed simultaneously on the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9.
SharePoint lists and libraries: Sticky column in Quick Edit64866June CY2020Added: 08 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
As users scroll horizontally across a list in Quick Edit mode, the far-left column remains in place – improving context while viewing and editing.
SharePoint lists and libraries: Fixed row height in Quick Edit64867June CY2020Added: 08 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
When in Quick Edit, you will see a new layout option “Fixed Height” within the view drop-down menu. This layout will adjust the height of all rows in the list or library to the same height to optimize the vertical spacing.
SharePoint lists and libraries: updated Quick Edit row selection64868June CY2020Added: 08 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
When in Quick Edit, people will see an updated way for selecting single or multiple items in a list or files in a library. This selection update supports existing copy/paste and drag-to-fill, applicable to multiple rows when using shift+selection. This, too, improves navigating and interacting with a list or library via keyboard key strokes.
SharePoint lists and libraries – Improved Image columns64872August CY2020Added: 08 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Upload a new image – including mobile camera support. You can add a new Image column to lists and libraries. When creating or editing items in that list or library, you can upload an image for that list item of file.
Microsoft Teams: Safe Transfer64779July CY2020Added: 10 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Teams users will be able to transfer a call safely, between Teams and Skype For Business. If the target user does not answer the call, it will ring back to the transferrer. The person transferring the call must be a Teams user. The person the call is being transferred to must be either a Teams or Skype for Business user in the same tenant or in a federated tenant.
Microsoft Teams: Tagging by Shifts64972July CY2020Added: 10 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Tagging by shift connects you to the right people faster. This new feature automatically assigns users with tags matching their schedule and shift group name from the Shifts app in Teams.
We’re updating SharePoint Online search query volume limits when using app-only authentication64963August CY2020Added: 10 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
When this change is implemented, queries using the Site.Read.All permissions level or greater will be throttled at 25 QPS. The search query will return with a 429 response and you can simply retry the query. When waiting for 429 recovery, you should ensure to pause all search query requests you may be making to the service using similar app-only permission. Making additional calls while receiving throttle responses will extend the time it takes for your app to become unthrottled. As we scale our system, we realize the importance of hardening the system to run it efficiently and also to protect the system and hence this change. This change is expected to rollout beginning August 2020 into the Fall of 2020.
Working on multiple pages now gets more convenient in Visio for the web55725July CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Visio
Multi-page operations is easier in Visio for the web. You can now drag pages and position them anywhere in your file. There is also a page navigation list, which will give you an one-shot view of all the pages in the current file and can be used to navigate non-sequentially through the pages. Also, you can create a copy of any existing page or insert a blank page anywhere in your file.
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Mail Flow Status Summary Report64907July CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
We’re working on a way for you to see how much mail was caught by various layers of our filtering stack. This report will allow customers to see how messages pass through the different layers of protection that we offer.
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Mail Latency Summary Report64908July CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
We’re adding a report that will show the time it takes for messages to traverse the full filtering stack, including detonations.
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Enhancements to the Threat Protection Status Report64912July CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
The additions to the Threat Protection Status Report will help educate customers about the effect their configurations have on their security posture. We’re adding an Override Allows view on the Threat Protection Status report to show customers threats that were allowed in due to configurations they’ve made, allowing customers to evaluate the effectiveness of their configuration and address any unintentional gaps in their protection.
Microsoft 365 Admin center: Exchange Online Basic Authentication Settings65007July CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Admin, Exchange Online
We are adding Exchange Online Basic Authentication settings to Microsoft Admin center. This will enable an administrator to easily disable Basic Authentication within their tenant.
Microsoft Information Protection: Using sensitivity labels in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 groups, and SharePoint sites64965June CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Information Protection
When you create sensitivity labels in the Microsoft 365 compliance center, you can apply them to the following containers: Microsoft Teams sites, Microsoft 365 groups (formerly Office 365 groups), and SharePoint sites. The following apps and services support the new sensitivity labels for Microsoft 365 groups: SharePoint Teams Admin centers: SharePoint Azure Active Directory(AAD) Security & Compliance Outlook for the web Outlook for the Mac Outlook desktop app for Windows Outlook mobile app for Android and iOS Forms Stream.
Microsoft Teams: Teams meetings background effects and policy administration for GCC, GCC High, and DoD tenants65009June CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
We are building upon the heavily popular background effects feature in Teams meetings with custom upload capabilities. This new feature in Teams allow meetings attendees to customize their background by uploading their own images. As part of this we are enabling tenant administrators to assign a user-level policy to control how users engage with background effects in Teams meetings. Options include: offer no filters; background blur only; use background blur and default provided images; and all, which includes the ability for users to upload their own custom images. This applies to GCC, GCC High and DoD tenants.
“Integrated apps” in the Microsoft 365 admin center Settings page is being changed to “User consent to apps”64478June CY2020Added: 11 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Admin
We’re changing the name for the “Integrated apps” setting on the Settings > Org settings page in the Services tab to better reflect what policies admins can manage in the setting.
Microsoft To Do: Support for Sharing Personal Lists64658June CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do
Microsoft To Do will now allow you to share lists from personal to work accounts.
Microsoft To Do: List Prediction64659July CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do
As you add tasks, Microsoft To Do will suggest what list, the task should go to.
Microsoft 365 Admin Center: Usage Report in DoD tenants64906July CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Admin, DoD
A set of usage reports will be available for DoD tenants. The reports that will be available are: Microsoft 365 Groups, SharePoint user activity, Email activity, Email app usage, Office activation report, Mailbox usage report, OneDrive for Business user activity report, Microsoft Teams user activity report, Microsoft Teams device usage report, Microsoft 365 active users report.
Microsoft Teams for RealWear65038July CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams
FirstLine Workers using RealWear HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1 can now collaborate with a remote expert using video calling on Teams. Through a voice-controlled user interface, Teams for RealWear allows field workers to remain 100% hands-free while maintaining situational awareness in loud and hazardous environments. By showing what they see in real-time, field workers can accelerate the time to resolve issues and reduce the risk of an expensive downtime.
Microsoft 365 admin center: Business Continuity Report added to Microsoft Productivity Score65035June CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Admin
A new business continuity report will be made available in Microsoft Productivity Score. This report will provide visibility and insights into how collaboration norms have changed due to the recent global shift to working remotely. Organizations that are part of the Productivity Score preview and have at least 100 users will get this report.
Microsoft To Do: Support for Outlook Categories in To Do64657July CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do
If you have categorized your Outlook emails, those categories will also be available in the To Do web app.
Microsoft Teams: Push-to-talk voice communications57157July CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Microsoft Teams, will provide instant voice communication using push to talk.
Microsoft Search is coming to Windows 10 with Microsoft 36564994September CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Search
Microsoft Search is an enterprise search experience in Microsoft 365 that increases productivity and saves time by delivering more relevant search results for your organization. Get blazing fast search for people, bookmarks, locations, and Q&A in Windows search. With Microsoft Search in Windows, you can now get answers across both work and web integrated into the search panel.
Advanced eDiscovery: Direct download export65004Q3 CY2020Added: 12 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
We’re eliminating the need to use the Azure Storage Explorer to download exported content from a review set in Advanced eDiscovery. We’re moving to a model where content is downloaded directly through a web browser. After an export is completed, an eDiscovery manager can download a single zip file from the Exports tab in the review set.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

When: Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Join our experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) organization for this informative session where they will answer frequently asked questions around how VPN, modern device management, and Zero Trust come together to deliver a world class remote work platform. During this webinar, our experts will discuss our infrastructure design and the device management we have deployed to support remote and hybrid work. They will also go into detail around our Zero Trust security framework.

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

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

When: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Learn how IT can enable Microsoft Teams capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Agenda: (1) Automated team and policy provisioning strategies, (2) School Data Sync, and (3) Programmatically interacting with Teams. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

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

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

When: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft Teams ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) specific to Teams for Education! An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Join in the Microsoft Teams AMA space, and add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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

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

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

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

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory.  In this webinar, you will learn how to interpret Azure AD logs, integrate with your SIEM tools, and gather insights about your Azure AD service.

Many organizations leverage a variety of apps and tools to get their work done. Often installed and managed separately, this requires a user to continually switch context/applications as they navigate their daily activities. 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 from a single interface. With over 300 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, you can begin using today in Teams.

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

When: Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 10:00am PT | After moving to Microsoft Teams last year, Microsoft employees rely on Teams as a central hub for chat, calls, meetings, and collaboration. When it became essential for employees to work from home, this foundation made the transition easier. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) as they answer questions about how Teams fosters collaboration, how CSEO upgraded Microsoft employees to Teams, and how Microsoft uses Teams to power inclusive, modern meetings.

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

When: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Microsoft Teams allows up-to 250 students and educators to meet online for free. There are many reasons why schools may need to leverage remote communication tools to function. Whatever they may be, Microsoft Teams for Education makes connecting virtually seamless for members of any school, college or university. This webinar is designed to help first time users of Microsoft Teams get started hosting online meetings with their students. This webinar is for educators who need to create an persistent online space for their class: (a) Classrooms, (b) Lectures & courses, and (c) Module course groups. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

When: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft Teams ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) for Azure Active Directory! An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Join in the Azure AD AMA space, and add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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

When: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Having 100% of Microsoft’s intranet portals moved to SharePoint in Microsoft 365 has contributed to our seamless transition to a work-from-home environment. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO), Corporate Communications, and the SharePoint product group as they answer questions about how we managed the massive migration to SharePoint in Microsoft 365. They will discuss what it took to create an intelligent intranet for 220,000 users, how SharePoint keeps employees connected, and how simple it is for them to create, and update intranet portals, so information is accessible and easy to find.

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory.  In this webinar, you will learn how to assess and implement a modern approach to a secure your organization identities with Azure AD.

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

When: Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Now, more than ever, it is important for users to be able to access files from any location and on any device. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) and the SharePoint product group as they answer questions about our cloud-first file management strategy, using Known Folder Move to redirect employees files to OneDrive for Business, multi-geo capabilities in OneDrive for Business that help keep data compliant with regional data residency requirements, and nurturing collaboration with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer.

When: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Bring conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place with Microsoft Teams. Build collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and connect with colleagues — all from a single Office 365 Education experience. Learn how IT can enable these capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Join us for this webinar to learn: (1) Administration capabilities to enable and govern Microsoft Teams, (2) Allow for frictionless user Teams creation while enforcing business rules and addressing IT concerns, (3) Understand the Teams lifecycle and recommended practices for long term management of the environment, and (4) Security and compliance capabilities for Teams integrated in the Office 365 tools you are already using today. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.


BLOG ROUNDUP

Video capabilities, once a nice to have, have become a critical component of collaborative work. In fact, when the world moved to remote work earlier this year, Microsoft Teams customers turned on video in Teams meetings two times more than they did before many of us began working from home full-time. We also saw total video calls in Teams grow by over 1,000 percent in the month of March. These trends, along with daily conversations with customers navigating remote collaboration, inspired us to accelerate new features to customize your video experiences and make meetings more productive, comfortable, and fun. We are announcing the rollout of new custom background effects in Teams, along with new features in the free version of Teams. It’s all about enabling you and your team to work productively, collaboratively, and with everyone’s well-being in mind. Let’s get into the details.

The OneDrive team is hard at work to maintain service uptake as well as roll out features to provide quality product performance and experience. Here are the latest functionalities that landed in production in the month of May-2020. Updates to sharing links that block download – We are expanding the list of supported file types that users can create block download links for. This update includes support for PDF files, Images, Audio, and other non-text and non-video file types. Open in “Review mode” in Word Online – Users can now choose to share Word documents with the new “Open in Review mode” option. When enabled, recipients can only open the Word file in the Word web app with the “Reviewing” mode enabled. While in Reviewing mode, users can suggest changes (using the track changes feature) and make comments but they may not make edits that can’t be tracked. Owners of the document have the option to accept or reject the suggestions made by the recipient. | Related: Top 4 tips to protect your remote workforce with data compliance in OneDrive

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily routines, the ways we work, and our reliance on technology. Many of us are now working remotely, students are attending classes virtually, and we’re relying more on social media and social networks to stay connected as we define what our new normal looks like. As we spend more time online, it’s important to remember that the basics of online safety have not changed. These guidelines provide a strong foundation for digital security, but as we think about the “new normal” and how the internet is woven into the fabric of our lives, extra steps may be necessary to further reduce risk. So, in addition to the security policies implemented by your work or school, here are a few more practices we recommend you—and your family and friends—adopt to further increase personal cybersecurity resilience. These practices are divided into four categories: (1)  Keep devices secure and up to date, (2) Secure your identity, guard your privacy, (3) Protect business data while at home, and (4) Be aware of phishing and identity scams.

The world has dramatically changed over the past three months. As Satya shared in our recent quarterly earnings, we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. With that significant amount of rapid change, it’s more important than ever to make sure your business-critical data is kept private and secure while ensuring you remain compliant with privacy laws and regulations. As the world continues to adjust, many of the customers I’ve been talking with lately have started to focus on cost optimization—how to do more with what they already have or even consolidate the number of systems they have to maintain. Within Microsoft 365 Compliance, we have been working alongside many of you to help you through the crisis, as well as continue to evaluate the implications of tech decisions on security, privacy, and compliance. With that in mind, here’s a summary of some of the investments we’ve made in the last two months in Microsoft 365 Compliance to help you to get the most out of Microsoft 365 and take a more integrated approach to secure, protect, and manage your data, while mitigating risk. These investments are across four categories: (1) Data protection, (2) Data governance, (3) Compliance and security in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Managing insider risk and maintaining your culture.


NOTEWORTHY

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for June 2020. A Power BI dashboard is a set of visualizations in Power BI that provide information about a particular workplace theme. This month, we have released four Power BI dashboards:  (1) Influence insights – gain insights into influencers – people who are well connected in your company, (2) Teams insights – highlights where a shift to remote work could have the largest impact and help leaders understand where they might use tools and processes to support and sustain new ways of working, (3) Collaboration assessment – highlight collaboration patterns for different groups and organizational levels and to identify opportunities for improvement, and (4) Collaboration tracker – helps analysts track changes in collaboration over time.

It has never been more important than now to focus on your own and your co-workers’ wellbeing. As mentioned in this blog post, increased demands placed on our work and personal lives due to remote work are leading to increased after-hours collaboration and longer workdays. To support our users’ sense of wellbeing, we are pleased to share the rollout of the following features: (1) Delay Delivery Inline suggestion in Outlook, (2) Set Lunch Hours with MyAnalytics Insights Outlook add-in, and (3) Plan your time away with MyAnalytics Insights Outlook add-in. The Delay Delivery inline suggestion is now available for MyAnalytics users with an M365 E5 license and will soon be available to all MyAnalytics users. The Set Lunch Hours feature is now available for all MyAnalytics users. Plan your time away insight is currently rolling out to all MyAnalytics users.

FastTrack has helped thousands of organizations—from 500 users to over 900,000 users—successfully migrate to Microsoft 365, and we’ve moved over 26 petabytes of data for some of the world’s largest organizations across a variety of industries. By having FastTrack perform your Microsoft 365 migration, you can lower the impact on your IT department by giving your team more time to handle other critical tasks. FastTrack has best practices and organizational excellence that can help accelerate your migration to Microsoft 365. FastTrack has expanded our service and we now offer support for the following migrations: (1) Google Drive to SharePoint team sites, (2) Google Shared Drives to SharePoint team sites and/or OneDrive for Business, (3) Dropbox to OneDrive for Business and/or SharePoint Online. Microsoft FastTrack assists with planning and migrating data to Microsoft 365, for tenants with 500 or more seats, at no additional cost. For more information, refer to the FastTrack data migration service description.

We’re back with another mailbag, this time focusing on your common questions regarding device-based Conditional Access scenarios. Lately, we’re seeing more customers implementing device-based Conditional Access (a way of configuring Conditional Access policy) and Hybrid Azure AD Join to enable secure remote work. Our Azure AD Devices team would like to share best practices and tips that we’ve assembled while working closely with customers. | Related: “Why are my users not prompted for MFA as expected?”

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-23

Welcome to the May 31 – June 6, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Nineteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for Teams, Yammer, SharePoint, Planner, and Outlook (Android, iOS).

Additional June sessions for existing event series have been added. “Enabling remote work at Microsoft”, a four-part series from Microsoft IT Showcase, is new since last week. The spotlight event of the week is the “Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Migrating Content Into Microsoft 365” on Wednesday, June 10th at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include the May 2020 SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop, details on the new multilingual publishing feature for news posts in SharePoint, remote working tips for IT Pro admins, and guidance on how to optimize Stream and Live Events traffic in a VPN scenario.

Noteworthy item highlights from last week include information on the June 2020 update for Outlook for Mac, a couple of recent Microsoft IT Showcase articles, and general availability of the Exchange Online PowerShell v2 Cmdlets.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook for Android: Gallery Support60393June CY2020Added: 01 June 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Browse your photo gallery from Outlook when you want to add a photo to your email message.
Microsoft Teams: Support for native device camera and location capabilities for Personal apps and tabs64615July CY2020Added: 02 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
App developers will be able to use mobile native capabilities like capturing an image through camera and providing location coordinates through GPS.
Microsoft Teams: increase in the number of simultaneous videos in Teams meetings for GCC High and DoD customers64611July CY2020Added: 02 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCCH, DOD
We are increasing the number of participants who can be viewed simultaneously on the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9. This new experience optimizes for attendees who have enabled video and places the remaining audio-only participants below the meeting stage. To provide a high audio and video quality experience, the layout logic will consider user bandwidth and alter the number of videos shown to provide the best meeting experience.
Office 365 Message Encryption (OME): updates for mail servers64532Q1 CY2021Added: 02 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
We are rolling out a series of updates to Office 365 Message Encryption aimed at creating a more authentic OME email experience. The capabilities rolled out in this update include improvements to reduce the likelihood of mail servers marking OME OTP mails as spam.
Outlook for iOS: Create task from an email message60722Q4 CY2020Added: 03 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Use the option to create a task from an email message and have it sync with tasks in Microsoft 365.
Planner: Copy a plan within an existing Group or Teams49429July CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
You will be able to select an existing group or team that you’d like to copy an existing plan into. You will also be able to select what should be copied over from the original plan.
Microsoft Teams: Priority Notifications in Gov Clouds64689July CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Share urgent messages and time-sensitive information more effectively with Teams. Priority notifications alert a recipient of an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices until a response is received, every two minutes for up to 20 minutes. IT Admins will be given reporting on priority notification usage to support appropriate user licensing. IT Admins can manage this feature as part of messaging policies in Teams.
Search Yammer from the Communities app in Teams64691June CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Yammer
Search Yammer communities and content from within the Communities app in Teams.
SharePoint: Auto-News Digest64685June CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
SharePoint Auto-News Digest sends automated email to employees in you company about the latest News posts that they have not yet read. Using Microsoft intelligence, a curated selection of News posts are shared with employees through an email that comes from SharePoint. This is a great way for employees to catch up on News that they may have otherwise missed. Only published news posts are sent in the digest, and employees will have access to all the news posts that they are sent so rest assumed that employees won’t see news that they don’t have permission to see. If employees want to opt-out of receiving the Auto-News Digest, they can click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email.
We’re improving Bookmarks administration in Microsoft Search64686June CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Search
In Microsoft Search, when adding or editing a Bookmark, a new category field will be displayed as a dynamic dropdown. When entering information in the category field, the dropdown data will keep filtering to match what is being typed. Microsoft Search Administrators or Editors will be able to select from one of the dropdown options or enter new text as category. Once a Bookmark has been added, the category (if it is new) will get added to list of unique categories and become available for future Bookmark additions or edits. The categories will be visible in the list view for Bookmarks and can be filtered based on the categories through the Filter Pane.
Microsoft Teams: Queue sent messages when offline64687June CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
When attempting to send messages while offline, Teams will queue messages and send once a network connection is re-established. If the message is in an unsent state for more than 24 hours, the message will fail and the user will be prompted to resend or delete the message.
Notifications added to the Yammer Communities App in Teams64015June CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Yammer
Yammer notifications will be available from with the Yammer Communities app in Teams.
Yammer Communities now available in Teams Mobile apps64016June CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Yammer
Access all your Yammer communities from within the Teams mobiles app.
New Advanced eDiscovery solution in Microsoft 365 for Gov clouds64288Q3 CY2020Added: 04 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 Gov
The Advanced eDiscovery solution in Microsoft 365 builds on the existing eDiscovery and analytics capabilities in Office 365. This new solution, called Advanced eDiscovery, provides a workflow to identify, preserve, collect, review, analyze, and export content that’s responsive to your organization’s internal and external investigations. It also lets legal teams manage the entire legal hold notification workflow to communicate with custodians involved in a case.
Office 365 ATP: Customization for Quarantine Notifications and Alerts64781July CY2020Added: 05 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
With this update, tenant administrators will be able to add various customized components to quarantine notifications and alerts, such as an organization logo, a custom display name, and custom disclaimer.
Microsoft Teams: Time clock in Shifts for web & desktop64782July CY2020Added: 05 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Time clock, the ability to clock in and out of your shifts, in Shifts in Teams will be available on web and desktop.
Safe Documents is available worldwide64678June CY2020Added: 05 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
With Safe Documents, we’re bringing the power of the Intelligent Security Graph down to the desktop to verify that documents are safe at the endpoint itself. Although Protected View helps secure documents originating outside the organization, too often users would exit this sandbox without great consideration and leave their networks vulnerable. Bringing a minimal trust approach to the Office 365 ProPlus clients, Safe Documents automatically checks the document against known risks and threat profiles before allowing to open. Users are not asked to decide on their own whether a document can be trusted; they can simply focus on the work to be done.
Microsoft Planner: Filters in Planner iOS63464June CY2020Added: 05 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Use the keyword filter to quickly find tasks on the board.
Microsoft Bookings web app available to GCC customers64386Q4 CY2020Added: 05 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Bookings, GCC
Microsoft Bookings will be released as a Microsoft 365 app to all GCC customers. This release will only include the Bookings web app. The Microsoft Bookings API in Microsoft Graph will not roll out at this time.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

When: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | The Galactic Collaboration Summit is about to hit warp speed 10, to help you explore a Milky Way Galaxy full of sessions. Set your phasers on fun, to learn, and engage! Jeff “Captain” Teper (CVP, Microsoft) will be giving a keynote that’ll be out of this world, plus Microsoft speakers delivering breakout sessions among thought leaders and members of the community from around the world. The Galactic Collaboration Summit has something for everyone in all reaches of the Microsoft 365 galaxy: far, far away. You’ll find no star or cluster uncharted: modern workplace, remote working and distance learning topics on Microsoft’s technologies, such as Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, Microsoft Azure topics relevant to the modern workplace, as well as different Business App topics (Power Apps, Logic Apps, Power Automate, Planner, Yammer), and more.

When: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 8:00am PT | You are invited to a free webinar tailored for education. Learn how universities and schools are using Microsoft Teams for course delivery with students and staff collaboration. Hosted by the Microsoft Product Group, this webinar covers an introduction and best practices for academics using Microsoft Teams. Agenda: (1) Overview of Microsoft Teams for Education, (2) Best Practices for communication and collaboration, and (3) Using Class Teams with your students for assignments, online learning and digital skills. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

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

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

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

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

When: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 9:00am PT | This will be a 1-hour Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) within the Microsoft Tech Community. An AMA is like an “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” on Reddit, providing the opportunity for the community to ask questions and have a discussion with a panel of Microsoft experts taking questions about the SharePoint admin center Migration Manager, SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT; content from on-premises, Mover (cloud-to-cloud), FastTrack, and our 3rd-party migration ecosystem. This AMA is to answer your questions about the products, tools, and services. We, too, will share details around the above announcements. And as always, we appreciate your input on what you want to see next – aka, what is missing to make your migrations smooth and successful. Join in the Migrating Content into Microsoft 365 AMA space. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory.  In this webinar, we will introduce tools to govern the lifecycle of user and guest identities in your Azure AD and Office 365 deployment.

Many organizations leverage a variety of apps and tools to get their work done. Often installed and managed separately, this requires a user to continually switch context/applications as they navigate their daily activities. 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 from a single interface. With over 300 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, you can begin using today in Teams.

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

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

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

When: Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Join our experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) organization for this informative session where they will answer frequently asked questions around how VPN, modern device management, and Zero Trust come together to deliver a world class remote work platform. During this webinar, our experts will discuss our infrastructure design and the device management we have deployed to support remote and hybrid work. They will also go into detail around our Zero Trust security framework.

When: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Learn how IT can enable Microsoft Teams capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Agenda: (1) Automated team and policy provisioning strategies, (2) School Data Sync, and (3) Programmatically interacting with Teams. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

When: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft Teams ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) specific to Teams for Education! An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Join in the Microsoft Teams AMA space, and add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory.  In this webinar, you will learn how to interpret Azure AD logs, integrate with your SIEM tools, and gather insights about your Azure AD service.

When: Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 10:00am PT | After moving to Microsoft Teams last year, Microsoft employees rely on Teams as a central hub for chat, calls, meetings, and collaboration. When it became essential for employees to work from home, this foundation made the transition easier. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) as they answer questions about how Teams fosters collaboration, how CSEO upgraded Microsoft employees to Teams, and how Microsoft uses Teams to power inclusive, modern meetings.

When: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Microsoft Teams allows up-to 250 students and educators to meet online for free. There are many reasons why schools may need to leverage remote communication tools to function. Whatever they may be, Microsoft Teams for Education makes connecting virtually seamless for members of any school, college or university. This webinar is designed to help first time users of Microsoft Teams get started hosting online meetings with their students. This webinar is for educators who need to create an persistent online space for their class: (a) Classrooms, (b) Lectures & courses, and (c) Module course groups. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

When: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Having 100% of Microsoft’s intranet portals moved to SharePoint in Microsoft 365 has contributed to our seamless transition to a work-from-home environment. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO), Corporate Communications, and the SharePoint product group as they answer questions about how we managed the massive migration to SharePoint in Microsoft 365. They will discuss what it took to create an intelligent intranet for 220,000 users, how SharePoint keeps employees connected, and how simple it is for them to create, and update intranet portals, so information is accessible and easy to find.

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory.  In this webinar, you will learn how to assess and implement a modern approach to a secure your organization identities with Azure AD.

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

When: Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Now, more than ever, it is important for users to be able to access files from any location and on any device. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) and the SharePoint product group as they answer questions about our cloud-first file management strategy, using Known Folder Move to redirect employees files to OneDrive for Business, multi-geo capabilities in OneDrive for Business that help keep data compliant with regional data residency requirements, and nurturing collaboration with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer.

When: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Bring conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place with Microsoft Teams. Build collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and connect with colleagues — all from a single Office 365 Education experience. Learn how IT can enable these capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Join us for this webinar to learn: (1) Administration capabilities to enable and govern Microsoft Teams, (2) Allow for frictionless user Teams creation while enforcing business rules and addressing IT concerns, (3) Understand the Teams lifecycle and recommended practices for long term management of the environment, and (4) Security and compliance capabilities for Teams integrated in the Office 365 tools you are already using today. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.


BLOG ROUNDUP

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in May 2020. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. Highlighted features include availability of SharePoint home sites to all, the Saved for later web part is now available for modern pages, an update to the Yammer Conversations web part, the ability to schedule pages and news posts, an extended site footer, the public announcement of Microsoft Lists, and much more! All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of May 2020 (possibly early June 2020).

With organizations around the world enabling remote work for their teams, it is essential now, more than ever, to ensure that information on your intranet is readily available to your users. Using communication sites in SharePoint for Microsoft 365, you can now create a flexible, intelligent intranet in multiple languages! The multilingual publishing feature for SharePoint communication sites, now rolled out worldwide, enables you to create and translate pages, set translator roles, and get email alerts when pages are ready to be translated, updated, and published. All of this comes on top of the rich and flexible pages and news creation experience in SharePoint. Everything is built to give the user the best experience possible. Let’s jump in to see how multilingual publishing for modern SharePoint works.

It’s natural for IT workers to first ensure that frontline and supporting workers in an organization have a secure and productive way of performing their usual tasks remotely. After all, a reduction in the business’ ability to provide its products and services correlates pretty quickly to a drop in revenue, cashflow and profitability. Without this financial sustainability, the IT department has no organization to support. But if your IT Pros are also working remotely, what additional considerations and tools are available that are relevant to them? This post outlines five considerations and tools to help IT Pros. With their high levels of access to critical systems and data, secure work methods and tools are important for IT Pros, regardless of where they are working from. It is possible to provide both an increased level of security and the access and productivity that your IT workers need. Investing the time to review this now will help to protect your organization from future malicious access attempts. | Related: Remote Working: Fewer people working on-premises doesn’t mean less risk to their identities

During this current COVID-19 crisis, many organizations have had to rapidly implement a work-from-home model for the majority of their users. For many, this means an enormous increase in load to the VPN infrastructure as all traffic is traditionally sent via this path that was invariably not designed for the volume or type of traffic now reliant on it. To improve performance, and also reduce load on the VPN infrastructure, many customers have achieved significant results by following the Microsoft guidance to implement split tunneling (or forced tunnel exceptions to use the correct technical term) on the Optimize-marked Office 365 endpoints. This traffic is high-volume and latency-sensitive traffic, and thus sending it directly to the service solves the problems outlined above and is also the designed best practice for these endpoints. Microsoft 365 Live Events (Teams-produced live events and those produced with an external encoder via Teams, Stream, and Yammer) and on-demand Stream traffic are not currently listed within the Optimize category with the endpoints listed in the ‘Default’ category in the Office 365 URL/IP service. The endpoints are located in this category as they are hosted on CDNs that may also be used by other services, and as such customers generally prefer to proxy this type of traffic and apply any security elements normally done on diverse endpoints such as these. Microsoft is working to provide more-defined and service-specific URL/IP data to help simplify connectivity to the service for the VPN connection model but as you can imagine for a global SaaS service like Office 365, this is not something which can be achieved overnight. Therefore, in the interim we’ve been working on interim methods to meet customer demand for this information. As a result of some changes we were able to perform relatively quickly, we are able to provide the following steps to allow for direct connectivity for the service from a client using a forced tunnel VPN.


NOTEWORTHY

Over the past few months, we have continued to introduce new features and capabilities to the new Outlook for Mac in Insider Fast. We have listened to your feedback and are introducing even more updates so you can get the most out of Outlook. This month we released many new features that will help you: (1) make the most of your inbox, (2) focus on what matters with enhancements to contacts and people, and (3) manage your email and calendar with ease. We also provide a sneak peek at what’s coming soon. As a reminder, the new Outlook for Mac is only available for Office 365, Outlook.com, and Google accounts using macOS 10.14 Mojave and above.

Gina Dyer is passionate about all things “workplace” at Microsoft, which encompasses everything from workspace design and building construction to employee services like dining, transportation, events, and catering. Dyer’s email inbox was often flooded with questions from employees about facilities issues, feedback, and requests for dining changes. This meant that she often received duplicate emails about similar facilities problems and answered each message individually. She began to look for a central tool to solicit feedback from employees, answer commonly asked questions, and share her team’s work. That’s where Yammer came in. Created to build community across an organization, Yammer is a Microsoft 365 social networking tool that enables users to share knowledge, build trust, and engage with leaders and managers about company values and strategy. As Microsoft’s primary internal networking tool, Yammer communities are set up for different organizations, roles, and affinity groups across the company.

At Microsoft, we’re creating a seamless, effortless workday experience for our employees, enabling them to manage their workday, find information, and get things done quickly and easily. We’re transforming our search and task-completion experience into a unified, informed, and automated digitally assisted workday that improves our employees’ productivity and helps them achieve more. The digitally assisted workday is rooted in a functional vision—our employees have the unified, highly informed, assisted, and automated experiences that they need to be empowered, productive, innovative, and satisfied. Our vision is to help our employees save time during their day so that they can focus on more critical, complex work responsibilities. The unified employee experience creates an empowering, productive, and personalized workday with consistent tools and a centralized access hub. Great search experiences enable our employees to find relevant information in whatever context they need it, including proactively delivered information and insights that fit their needs and interests. Personalized assistance and automated task completion provide simple, accessible help for routine tasks and the capabilities to automatically complete those tasks when applicable. We envision all these experiences working together to help Microsoft employees get the most out of their day.

At Microsoft Ignite 2019, we announced new Exchange Online management cmdlets and showed how they can be used to perform fast and highly reliable data retrieval operations. We’re delighted to be able to announce the general availability and full support of these cmdlets in all Exchange Online environments. The V2 module is now available in the PowerShell Gallery and we recommend all Exchange Online customers start using these new cmdlets right away. The new EXO V2 module contains all the existing Remote PowerShell cmdlets, as well as 9 new V2 cmdlets. So you can use the new module with no impact or change to your day to day tasks or scripts. The new module is entirely Modern Authentication based. If you start using this, you are getting off Basic Authentication for your admin tasks, and as you know, that’s a good thing because Basic Auth is going away in Exchange Online. So just switching to this module means your connection is more secure and you have one less thing to worry about. And, there are (currently) 9 new REST based cmdlets for the most commonly executed tasks and they are considerably faster and more reliable than their v1 counterparts.