Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-24

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

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

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

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

Related:

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

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

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


NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-23

Welcome to the June 7 – 13, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were forty-six additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Exchange, Planner, OneDrive, Stream, Lists, and Viva.

No new events have been listed, but there are additional sessions for most of the existing event series. There are some event series that only have on-demand sessions available, and these are all listed at the top of the section. This week’s spotlight event of the week is the “Empower your Frontline workforce to do more with Teams” session on Tuesday, June 15th at 11am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include an inside look at how Microsoft is reimagining meetings for a hybrid work world, information and resources to get started on Microsoft Viva Learning, the announcement on bringing Visio to Microsoft 365, and details on how Microsoft is working to ensure a great OneDrive experience on Apple products.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the June 2021 feature updates for Workplace Analytics, the announcement of the ability to import Project desktop files into Project for the web, a look at three new voice features for Outlook mobile on iOS, details on Scheduler, a new Microsoft 365 service, and the public preview of Azure AD access reviews for service principals.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

There were forty-six additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Exchange, Planner, OneDrive, Stream, Lists, and Viva.

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

EXCEL:

PDF:


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Microsoft Viva

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

One of the most challenging aspects of leading the Employee Experience team at Microsoft is the deployment, maintenance, and support of thousands of conference rooms around the globe. Since employees often encounter different conference room technology—even within the same building—it can lead to frustration, delay, and even support calls. As a result, employees have consistently identified that experience as an area for improvement. With the advent of Microsoft Teams and the amazing innovation being driven by the product team, we saw an opportunity to transform Microsoft employee and customer meetings from a weakness to a strength. By investing in the meeting experience with Microsoft Teams and by reimagining the physical and virtual spaces where meetings take place, we’re laying a foundation of innovation that will help Microsoft employees and our customers thrive in the emerging hybrid world of work. We’ve already seen satisfaction with meetings increase, while also making the migration to hybrid work more seamless for Microsoft and for our customers. How are we doing it? Read on to find out!

In May, we launched a new Microsoft Mechanics series on Microsoft Viva with an introduction to the employee experience platform (EXP), followed by deep dive videos on Viva Topics and Viva Connections. On the latest episode of Microsoft Mechanics, Jeremy Chapman, our Microsoft Mechanics host, and Swati Jhawar, Senior Product Manager, are excited to dive into Viva Learning to cover the personal and social learning experiences, as well as the IT admin experience for set up and configuration. Viva Learning is currently in preview, with general availability coming later this year. | Resource: Microsoft Mechanics – Microsoft Viva Learning | Personalized learning experience through Microsoft 365

Visio has long been available only as a standalone app for purchase for people with specialized diagramming needs. But this is changing. We are recognizing an increasing need for a diagramming solution for everyone to convey information more effectively, which is why we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing core Visio capabilities to Microsoft 365 for all commercial license subscribers. In July, we’ll start rolling out a lightweight version of the Visio web app in Microsoft 365 to bring visual diagramming and collaboration to all teams—both of which are especially important in this hybrid work environment. But the best part? It’ll be available, at no additional cost, for all commercial license subscribers. This lightweight version of the web app will offer core Visio functionalities and allow business users to create, edit, and share professional diagrams. While users with more specialized diagramming needs will continue to derive value from the standalone plans—Visio Plan 1 and Visio Plan 2—the web app in Microsoft 365 subscription is intended to be a powerful tool for essential needs. It will soon be available in your Microsoft 365 suite, but if you can’t wait to get started, then we invite you to sign up for Visio in Microsoft 365 early access. Let’s take a closer look at how this Visio web app in Microsoft 365 can help teams everywhere create professional diagrams effortlessly, collaborate with others and share diagrams seamlessly, and create diagrams from data to make decisions quickly.

As hybrid and remote work continue, many organizations are giving employees flexibility to choose not only where they work but also the devices they use to get work done. We have been working closely with Apple to ensure we’re providing a great user experience in OneDrive on Apple products, whether people are using OneDrive to keep their work files synced and protected or to store and share their personal files and photos in the cloud. We’re excited to share some of the updates and improvements we’re in the process of making to OneDrive running on Apple products to help people be more productive no matter where they are. These updates and improvements include: (1) OneDrive support for M1-powered Macs, (2) Known Folder Move (KFM) support for macOS, (3) Updates to Files On-Demand and Finder on macOS, (4) Sync Admin Reports support for macOS, (5) Exclude syncing of specific file types, and more.


NOTEWORTHY

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for June 2021. This month’s update describes the following features: (1) Expanded support for plans, (2) Updated wpa R package, (3) Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) updates, (4) Organization data uploads for licensed employees, and (5) Expanded support for mailboxes in datacenters globally.

The Project team is excited to announce that you can now import your Project Desktop files to Project for the web. Once imported, your .mpp files will act as normal Project for the web projects. Project for the web does not have all the same features as Project Desktop. However, we try to import all your relevant information so you can still effectively work on your projects. Any .mpp files from Project Desktop 2016 or later should be importable into Project for the web. Keep in mind that Project for the web has lower limits than Project Desktop. To learn more about Project for the web limits, you can check out our documentation. Any .mpp files that violate a limit will not be importable.

At Microsoft, we’re investing in voice capabilities that transcend the challenges of small screens and tiny keyboards to help people communicate and manage tasks when they’re working on the go. We’re powering these capabilities with Microsoft Graph, which aggregates and organizes billions of signals across your organization as people work in Microsoft 365 all day. And the true magic happens when we layer AI on top of the Graph to get really valuable insights, so that when you use your voice to do things like request “the 2022 budget report” or “email Kim’s boss” the correct document or name appears in a snap. We are announcing new enhanced voice capabilities in Outlook mobile for iOS (and coming soon to Android) that make using voice to schedule meetings and compose emails simpler for everyone. These new AI-enhanced voice capabilities quickly contextualize your voice requests and provide a rapid response, making it more easy and natural to work on the go. Let’s take a look. | Related: Introducing Microsoft Dictation for iOS

It’s not just you: weekly meetings have increased by 148% and the time that employees spend trying to schedule meetings both inside and outside of their organization is climbing.  With the average time to schedule a meeting taking 6 to 29 minutes, Scheduler aims to give you back time to focus on the important things by making it easier, faster, and being available 24/7 to schedule meetings for you, and it’s available now. Let’s dig into what makes Scheduler work. Scheduler understands what you write, so you can word your requests to Cortana just as you would when asking any person for assistance scheduling a meeting in an email. As simple as “Cortana, please find a time to meet next week,” to something more detailed like “Cortana, please find us 45 minutes in the last week of the month in the morning for Pacific time and make it a Teams meeting.” As Scheduler learns, you may receive responses from Cortana asking you to clarify certain asks or to provide more details in order to complete your request.

With the growing trend of more applications and services moving to the cloud, there’s an increasing need to improve the governance of identities used by these workloads. We’re announcing the public preview of access reviews for service principals in Azure AD. Many of you are already using Azure AD access reviews for governing the access of your user accounts and have expressed the desire for extending this capability to your service principals and applications. With this public preview, you can require a review of service principals and applications that are assigned to privileged directory roles in Azure AD. In addition, you can also create reviews of roles in your Azure subscriptions to which a service principal is assigned. This ensures a periodic check to make sure that service principals are only assigned to roles they need and helps you improve the security posture of your environment.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-21

Welcome to the May 24 – 30, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were forty-three additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, Planner, Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Microsoft Information Protection, Stream, and Yammer.

There is one new event – an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session for Microsoft Viva on Wednesday, June 23rd. A few new sessions for existing event series have also been added. This week’s spotlight event of the week is the Microsoft Virtual Security and Compliance Summit on Thursday, June 3rd from 9am – 12pm Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include a look at what’s new in Microsoft Teams for May 2021, information on what’s new in Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise in April/May 2021, a video walkthrough on how to implement Microsoft Viva Connections, details on improvements to shared calendars in Outlook for Windows, and lots of resources for accelerating your Zero Trust journey.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the general availability of Office Scripts, information on how Microsoft enables multi-cloud compliance, new Conversation Insights in Yammer, the public preview of Conditional Access authentication context, and details on Data Consistency Score (DCS) for Office 365 migrations.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

There were forty-three additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, Planner, Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Microsoft Information Protection, Stream, and Yammer.

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

EXCEL:

PDF:


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

Are you 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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Join 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.

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

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

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.

When: Thursday, June 3, 2021 from 9:00am – 12:00pm PT | The realities of widespread remote and hybrid work scenarios pose new challenges for organizations. Security, compliance, and identity are more complex—and more critical—than ever. Join us on Thursday, June 3rd 2021, for the Microsoft Virtual Security and Compliance Summit to hear some of the industry’s leading voices speak on mitigating risks and strengthening your security posture. At this event, you’ll gain fresh insights on: (1) Perspectives on what’s top of mind for CISOs – cloud-first security, training, resiliency, (2) Get an inside look at how we secure Microsoft today, (3) Securing the remote and hybrid workplace, (4) Trends and best practices from Microsoft defenders, detection & response teams, (5) Strategies for protecting against insider risk, and (6) Tactics to protect and govern data across your digital estate. | Resource: Detailed Agenda

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Work together as a team from anywhere and with more flexibility, (2) Connect instantly with team members for fast-paced decision making, (3) Meet with anyone, anywhere through audio, video, and web conferences, and (4) Boost team culture with the digital equivalent of an open office space.

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

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.

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

Welcome to What’s new in Teams for May! We are excited to share all the features and innovation that we have made available in Microsoft Teams in the last month. Before we get to the updates, this week at Microsoft Build 2021, we announced several new capabilities and tools for developers. These are designed to help you build the next generation of collaborative apps for hybrid work using Microsoft Teams. Now, let’s check out all the new features such as: (1) Dynamic View, (2) Presenter mode, (3) Large meeting support, (4) Custom attendee registration, (5) New Calling experiences, (6) Group chat with external users, (7) Microsoft Viva Insights, and many more!

Related:

In this month’s edition of the What’s New blog, we’re excited to share news regarding the availability of Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), OneDrive Admin Sync Reports (ADR), and updated Configuration Manager ADRs. We also point you to the latest admin-focused Microsoft Docs articles for Microsoft 365, as well as Amesh Mansukhani’s appearance on two new videos on the Office Deployment Insider’s YouTube channel and an interview on the Practical 365 Podcast!

We’re in the midst of our Microsoft Mechanics series on Microsoft Viva, the first employee experience platform (EXP) built for the digital era. In our last video, we dove into Viva Topics, which delivers company knowledge and expertise in the context of your work. Today, we’re taking a look at Viva Connections. The Microsoft Mechanics video walks through the user experience, as well as the steps for IT admins to setup and implement the module, including options for personalizing information sharing by role. You can start using Viva Connections now on Teams desktop as we continue to work on delivering the mobile experience and Dashboard capabilities later this year. Get started by building your SharePoint home site with global navigation enabled, adding Yammer Communities and modern pages, and connect Viva Connections to your Teams environment. This is Part Three of our Microsoft Mechanics video series about Microsoft Viva. If you’d like more information on Viva in the meantime, head over to aka.ms/Viva.

It is with great excitement that we are announcing that we have graduated the shared calendar improvements in Outlook for Windows out of preview! This new shared calendar experience dramatically improves the reliability and sync latency for shared calendars & delegated calendars in all Outlook clients. The improvements have been released in Outlook on the web, the new Outlook for Mac, and mobile for a while now, and we’re excited that Outlook for Windows is now enabled as well. Right now, about 10% of Outlook for Windows users in Current Channel with version 2103 have been enabled for those improvements, and we’ll keep expanding gradually throughout the spring and summer. This is one of those improvements that should be invisible because it eliminates issues but doesn’t change the core product functionality. Calendars will sync faster, and we have eliminated any reliability issues when managing a calendar. Delegates might only notice that things are smoother but no specific, obvious changes.

For many organizations, 2020 was the year that finally saw remote work become a reality on a global scale. As many people begin transitioning back to the office, many organizations are thinking about how they can transition from a remote workforce to a more permanent hybrid workplace. We recently conducted a study with over 900 chief information security officers (CISOs) on the state of Zero Trust and found that 81 percent say their organization has started or currently has a hybrid work environment in place and that 91 percent plan for their organization to be fully transitioned to hybrid work within the next five years. The era of hybrid work is here to stay. However, as recent events have shown us, the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve. Bad actors are getting more sophisticated and the need for a stronger security model has never been more important. Zero Trust is no longer an option, it’s now imperative for organizations that want to protect themselves while providing employees the flexibility they need to be productive.

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

We are happy to announce that Office Scripts in Excel for the web is now generally available for all eligible users! Office Scripts is an automation feature-set in Excel for the web that allows users with all levels of programming experience to automate their repetitive workflows. To get started, use the Action Recorder to record the actions you take in Excel. These actions are then translated into a script that you can run at any time. No programming experience required! Need to modify your scripts? Use the Code Editor! It’s a TypeScript-based editor directly within Excel for the web. Use it to edit your existing scripts or to create new ones using the Office Scripts API.

We know that the vast majority of enterprise customers have multi-cloud strategies. Our customers want and need to integrate Microsoft compliance solutions – including Information Protection and Governance, Insider Risk Management, eDiscovery as well as Compliance Management – with their other existing security, compliance, and identity-related investments. That is why we are building our Compliance platform to be extensible and address our customers’ multi-cloud reality. To that end, we see extensibility as a horizontal capability and developers as a key enabler of this across all compliance solutions. To enable our customers to apply Microsoft Compliance value to their entire data landscape including Microsoft and non-Microsoft systems we have an extensible data connector platform.

Analytics and data are key to understand the impact of our efforts. Over the last few months, we’ve shipped new ways to measure activity happening in Yammer across Communities, Knowledge, and Live Events. We are thrilled to announce the general availability of Conversation Insights. These insights empower authors and community managers to measure the reach and engagement of their conversations and announcements to understand what content resonates best with audiences. Conversation Insights is available on Yammer.com on the web, and through the Yammer Communities App in Microsoft Teams. These new conversation insights provide a new way for corporate communications teams to track their internal campaigns and announcements. And partnered with the Yammer Communities app for Microsoft Teams, it paves the way for communicators to reach everyone wherever they work, and track the effectiveness of their messages in a whole new way.

We’ve heard from many of you that you want to trigger a Conditional Access policy when sensitive content in your apps is accessed. This includes requiring multi-factor authentication, a compliant device or even GPS-based location. Existing app-level Conditional Access policies don’t support this level of resource granularity, so we’ve added support for authentication contexts. Now that Conditional Access authentication context is in public preview it’s great to be able to go deeper into some of the details. You can modify your line of business apps, or, thanks to integration with Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS), Microsoft Information Protection (MIP), and SharePoint Online, use it with all kinds of cloud apps right away!

Data Consistency Score (DCS) is a (somewhat) new feature for Office 365 migrations that scores the fidelity of migrated data, allowing admins to identify inconsistencies and integrity issues between source and target data when performing a migration to or from Office 365 (onboarding and offboarding). DCS is meant to replace the existing Bad Item Limit and Large Item Limit (BIL / LIL) model and related shortcomings. The DCS model identifies and tracks data that cannot be successfully migrated from an on-premises source environment to Office 365 (e.g., corrupt data, items larger than the service allows, or data that is found to be missing in the target but present in the source). The DCS model examines this data based on quantity (count of the items that cannot be migrated and must be skipped by the MRS service) and quality or importance (DCS differentiates between user data and metadata / system data). We then calculate a score based on the total amount of data that might be skipped during migration and how significant it is for the user. This means that the admin is no longer required to guess the number to use for Bad Item Limit (BIL) or Large Item Limit (LIL) in advance, as the DCS mechanism takes care of this automatically. The admin is therefore better informed of the possibility of data loss during migration and can take necessary actions when appropriate. DCS allows admins to only have to deal with approvals at the end of the migration, when they have all of the information that they need to make an informed decision.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-20

Welcome to the May 17 – 23, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty-seven features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook, Forms, Microsoft 365 admin center, Microsoft Information Protection, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.

There are two new events – the first is an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session for Microsoft Defender for Office 365 on Thursday, May 27th, and the second is the Microsoft Virtual Security and Compliance Summit on Thursday, June 3rd. New sessions for existing event series have also been added. The spotlight event of the week is the Microsoft Defender for Office 365 AMA on Thursday, May 27th at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include information on how Microsoft approaches hybrid work (with two resources), the announcement of the Topics management dashboard in Microsoft Viva, details on App customization in Microsoft Teams, and a list of nine modern work sessions at Microsoft Build that you shouldn’t miss.

Noteworthy item highlights include the April Project updates, the release of Dark Mode in Microsoft Office for Android, an inside look at decommissioning Skype for Business within Microsoft, information on best practices for using global navigation in the SharePoint app bar, and a new enhancement for Configuration Manager ADRs for Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Twenty-seven features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook, Forms, Microsoft 365 admin center, Microsoft Information Protection, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.

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

EXCEL:

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

When: Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 9:00am – 10:00am PT | The Microsoft Defender for Office 365 team wants to hear from you! We’re excited to invite you to join us for a Tech Community Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA). Learn more about how Microsoft Defender for Office 365 can help safeguard your organization against malicious threats posed by email messages, links (URLs), and collaboration tools. Our team will be on hand to answer any of your questions about Microsoft Defender for Office 365, Exchange Online Protection, and email and collaboration security in general, so come prepared! An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. The AMA will take place in the Security, Compliance, and Identity AMA space. We hope to see you there!

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

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

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

When: Thursday, June 3, 2021 from 9:00am – 12:00pm PT | The realities of widespread remote and hybrid work scenarios pose new challenges for organizations. Security, compliance, and identity are more complex—and more critical—than ever. Join us on Thursday, June 3rd 2021, for the Microsoft Virtual Security and Compliance Summit to hear some of the industry’s leading voices speak on mitigating risks and strengthening your security posture. At this event, you’ll gain fresh insights on: (1) Perspectives on what’s top of mind for CISOs – cloud-first security, training, resiliency, (2) Get an inside look at how we secure Microsoft today, (3) Securing the remote and hybrid workplace, (4) Trends and best practices from Microsoft defenders, detection & response teams, (5) Strategies for protecting against insider risk, and (6) Tactics to protect and govern data across your digital estate. | Resource: Detailed Agenda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Work together as a team from anywhere and with more flexibility, (2) Connect instantly with team members for fast-paced decision making, (3) Meet with anyone, anywhere through audio, video, and web conferences, and (4) Boost team culture with the digital equivalent of an open office space.

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

There’s no doubt that the shift to a more flexible approach to work will be an enormous undertaking for every leader and every organization. That is certainly true for Microsoft as we create a plan to implement a hybrid work model for our more than 160,000 employees across the globe. We know that no one person or organization will have all the answers, but we believe that, as part of a growth mindset, each of us will be better off if we share what we’re learning with each other. That’s why we recently released two resources that detail what we’re learning as we adopt a hybrid work model at Microsoft, in hopes that we can help you create the hybrid work plan that best fits your organization. At their core, these resources reflect our belief that leaders will need to come together to create a new, flexible operating model—spanning people, places, and processes—to fundamentally rewire their organization for hybrid work. The first resource I want to point you to is our Hybrid Workplace Flexibility Guide—which we originally created for Microsoft employees. In it, you’ll find sample team agreements, templates, and tools for hybrid work. There are also detailed plans that encompass everything from strategies to keep your people healthy, to exact roadmaps for how to help divide your people’s time between a physical or remote workplace. And there’s much more to come soon. The second is called Hybrid Work: A Guide for Business Leaders, and it wraps up much of what we’ve learned about how to reimagine people, places, and processes for a hybrid world.

Build 2021 is soon upon us (May 25–27). The prudent attendee will take the time to plan their virtual session schedule. To help with your plan, we are highlighting nine key sessions across the platform that you won’t want to miss. These sessions share all the great new features and announcements that demonstrate how we’re empowering developers to build the next generation of collaborative apps. Build is a great way to see the art of the possible – so if you haven’t already registered, do so today and create your session schedule online. And remember – almost all sessions can be seen on demand so you can enjoy them even after Build is over. Let’s walk through these important sessions.

Microsoft Viva Topics is our newest addition to Microsoft Knowledge and Content Services – helping you automatically organize and discover knowledge and expertise across your organization. At Microsoft Ignite in March, we spotlighted a handful of our continuing enhancements to Viva Topics, including our vision for topic management. We’re announcing our next feature to help you manage topics. Viva Topics was built to scale. Many of our early customers have discovered tens of thousands of topics in their content. Managing thousands of suggested and published topics over time is crucial to their success with Viva Topics. With the topic management dashboard, knowledge managers can track topics discovered by Viva AI, as well as how topics are progressing through the topic lifestyle stages: Suggested, Confirmed, Published, and Removed. This feature will begin rolling to Targeted Release in May 2021, and is being tracked under Roadmap ID 81977. | Related: Get started on Microsoft Viva Topics with Microsoft Mechanics

Microsoft Teams provides the a customized experience for customers, not only enabling them to pick and choose the apps they can allow in their tenant but also providing the capability to rebrand apps in order to integrate them completely in their ecosystem. When an app publisher publishes an app to the global app store, they do so generically – the app that they’ve built looks and feels the same for all customers who use it. But customers often take these publicly available apps and integrate them into internal business processes so completely that they want their users to see the apps as an extension of other internal tools – they want any seams between internal processes and tools and external tools to be invisible to their employees. This introduces a need for app branding configuration, where customers can take apps that are published to the global store and re-brand them as internal tooling. Doing so reduces roadblocks in users’ cognitive understanding and adoption of the app, and reduces enterprises’ reticence to adopt 3P apps. Today, some customers build custom apps in order to re-brand the available third-party apps which is not an optimal experience. With app customization, admins will be able to simply customize the available third-party and Microsoft apps through Teams admin center and publish it to their users in a few friendly experience steps. The app customization feature allows developers to specify which properties of the app can be customized by the tenant. Admins can then rebrand or customize these properties in their Teams Admin Center as per their tenant’s requirements.


NOTEWORTHY

You asked, we listened! Dark Mode is now rolling out in the Office app for Android phones. It’s been a highly requested feature by many of our customers, and we’re proud to begin releasing it today. Many people prefer using Dark Mode as they find it provides a more comfortable visual experience for reading and working on mobile devices. The Office app helps you get work done on a mobile device by combining Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single app and adding many rich capabilities for creating and working with PDFs, images, scanning, capturing notes, and much more. Now you can do all this using a theme of your choice — based on the time of day, your surroundings, or your device settings. Dark Mode ensures that you can adjust the Office app to low-light environments, while providing you with better viewing options and keeping battery consumption low.

It’s been a long journey, but decommissioning Skype for Business on premises across Microsoft is complete. Almost. Just a few more special lines of business to go, and then all of Microsoft will be able to benefit from the better performance and collaboration capabilities found in Microsoft Teams. A subset of employees relies on the specific functions within Skype for Business to complete their work. Some of these features are necessary for interacting with external partners, so prematurely moving these users to Microsoft Teams could disrupt operations. Phasing out the communication platform has taken a fair amount of time and effort. Fortunately, Microsoft Digital, the organization that powers, transforms, and protects Microsoft, has developed specific communication and migration strategies for decommissioning Skype for Business.

The SharePoint app bar is a fixed navigation experience across all modern SharePoint sites that provides quick access to the most important sites, news, and files as well as the organization’s global navigation. Your tenant just got the new SharePoint app bar, and you are probably wondering how it should fit in with the rest of your intranet architecture. You may be asking yourself, what should be in the global navigation and what should be home site navigation? What if my home site is also a hub site? In this blog, we’ll share best practices on how to think about global navigation, how to align with existing home site and hub navigation, and how to prepare for the app bar.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise offers three production update channels for you to choose from: Current Channel, Monthly Enterprise Channel and Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel. The channel(s) you choose to support in your environment will determine the update frequency, features, and support duration between versions. There are a number of ways for you to manage these updates, including our latest addition: Servicing Profiles. We are pleased to announce an update for Microsoft 365 Apps that will improve update manageability in Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. Up until now the use of Automatic Deployment Rules (ADR) with Microsoft 365 Apps has been a challenge to manage, depending on the update channel(s) you support. Starting in late June, all future updates for Microsoft 365 Apps, including 2019 and 2021 volume license products, will receive an updated naming convention via the Title property. With this change you will be able to utilize the Title property within the search criteria of your ADR definition to easily target the necessary updates for your environment. This improvement should eliminate the need for IT admins to continually update their search criteria with each new release.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-19

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

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

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

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

Related:

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

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

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


NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-13

Welcome to the March 29 – April 4, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were nineteen features added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, Word, M365 Compliance, Azure Active Directory, and Yammer.

Some of the existing meetings had new April sessions added. The one new event is also the spotlight event of the week – an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) with the Microsoft Planner team on Wednesday, April 7th at 9am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include a look at what’s new in Microsoft Teams for February and March 2021, the March 2021 roadmap pitstop for SharePoint, details on new capabilities for admins in Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, the availability of the Viva Connections desktop app, and seven Zero Trust adoption strategies from security leaders.

Wrapping up the post is a look at recent visual improvements to Outlook mobile, the Project updates for March 2021, information on the April 2021 updates for Workplace Analytics, a native external sender callout on email in Outlook, and a look at the data points Microsoft uses to provide unique capabilities in Microsoft Defender for Office 365.


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
SharePoint: SharePoint News Boost70810April CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Prioritize important news and announcements to appear at the top of news feeds across Microsoft 365. You can boost the visibility of a news article for a set time, until an employee has seen your content, or until a viewer has seen the item in their feed a set number of times.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Collection of Teams conversation as transcript in Advanced eDiscovery70812June CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
eDiscovery managers will soon have the flexibility to collect Teams messages as transcript items. Transcripts will aggregate and thread messages in the same Teams conversations into a single HTML file that is available for review and export. Customers will continue to have the ability to collect Teams messages as individual items as offered today.
Microsoft Teams: Admins can install Apps in Meetings81086May CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
We will enable IT admins to select Teams apps that can be installed in meetings for their organization.
Microsoft Teams: Tags are available in GCC High81091June CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Tags are available in GCC High. Tags in Teams let users quickly reach a group of people without having to @mention or type out everyone.
Microsoft Teams: Manage tags in Teams programmatically – Microsoft Teams Tags APIs are now in public preview81093June CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This set of APIs can be used to programmatically assign users tags in a team, making tag creation and maintenance faster and easier. Using these new APIs, developers can now: create tags in a team and assign users, get a list of tags in a team, update tags or delete tags.
Microsoft Teams: Tags are available in DoD81096August CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, DoD
Tags are available in DoD. Tags in Teams let users quickly reach a group of people without having to @mention or type out everyone.
Word: Dark Mode65136March CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Word
Dark Mode in Word will provide a modern look for documents while giving users the ability to reduce eye strain and accommodate light sensitivity from long hours at a computer screen.
Yammer: Nested Replies in Yammer70809April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Yammer conversations will soon have nested replies. This threading makes it easier for users to read and engage with conversations that have many comments by organizing replies together in a way that maintains context. This feature also includes improvements to: deleting comments, allowing users to deep link to specific replies, and improved community feed ordering.
Microsoft Compliance center: Data loss prevention (DLP) solution overview page70814April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
The DLP solution overview page will appear in the Microsoft 365 compliance center and house policy recommendation widgets and other actions and guidance related to your available DLP solutions.
Azure Active Directory: Password Protection Enforced for all Changes72197April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Azure AD
Currently password updates made through Graph do not have banned password enforcement, along with B2C users and Service Principals. This change will enforce Password Protection for all password creations and changes.
Microsoft Graph: Graph connectors Results in All tab72198April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Graph
Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search provide a set of out-of-the-box search connectors and search %26amp; indexing APIs that enable Microsoft 365 customers to connect Microsoft Search to data sources outside of Microsoft 365. With this feature, users can explore results from Microsoft Graph connectors in the All vertical.
Office 365: Microsoft feedback management controls72199April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
We are introducing new cross platform policies to help administrators better manage the feedback experience for their organization. They will be able set feedback collection policies per AAD group for Microsoft 365 products.
Microsoft compliance center: New DLP alert management dashboard72206April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
A new data loss prevention (DLP) alert management experience within the Microsoft 365 compliance center will enable admins to review, investigate, and manage DLP policy match events, related content, and associated metadata, as well as edit alert configuration options as a part of the DLP policy authoring experience. The dashboard shows alerts for DLP policies that are enforced on these workloads: Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Devices.
Azure Active Directory: Temporary Access Pass72242April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
Temporary Access Pass (TAP) is a time-limited passcode that can be used to registration Passwordless FIDO2 and Phone Sign-in. TAP also makes recovery easier when a user has lost or forgotten their strong authentication methods and needs to sign in to register new authentication methods.
Azure Active Directory: Application Proxy traffic optimization72248April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
You now can now designate which region your Application Proxy service connector group should use. By choosing the closest region to your applications and connectors, you can improve performance and reduce the latency to the App Proxy service.
Azure Active Directory: B2C Identity Protection & Conditional Access72251April CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
You can enhance the security of Azure AD B2C implementation with Azure AD’s Identity Protection and Conditional Access capabilities. Identity Protection allows organizations to automate the detection and remediation of identity-based risks, investigate risks, and export risk detection data to third-party utilities for further analysis. Conditional Access is the policy engine that brings signals together to make decisions and enforce organizational policies. Together, these capabilities give application owners significantly greater control over risky authentications and access policies.
Azure Active Directory: Conditional Access authentication context72253April CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
Conditional Access authentication context lets you target policies for data and actions within an app so you can refine your Zero Trust policies for least privileged access while minimizing user friction.
Azure Active Directory: Verifiable credentials72255April CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
Verifiable credentials let organizations confirm information about someone without collecting and storing their personal data. Organizations will be able to issue digital versions of a variety of credentials such as physical badges, loyalty cards, and government-issued paper documents based on open standards.
Microsoft Teams: Breakout Room Presenter support81118 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Extend the management of Breakout Rooms to specific presenters.
Microsoft Teams: Roaming bandwidth control81350May CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Enhanced UX for participant assignment. This includes new capabilities such as sorting participants and rooms and performing multiple selections and assignments to rooms.
Microsoft Teams: New assignment experience in modal window for Breakout Rooms81389June CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
You now can now designate which region your Application Proxy service connector group should use. By choosing the closest region to your applications and connectors, you can improve performance and reduce the latency to the App Proxy service.
Microsoft Teams: Breakout Room pre-meeting room creation and participant assignment81390May CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Introducing capability for organizer to perform breakout room configuration and participant assignment before the meeting starts.
Microsoft Teams: Separate Window Teams Live Events Producer Experience81804May CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
With this new feature, you are now able to produce your Teams Live Events as a Producer in a separate window, allowing you to effectively manage your event.
Outlook: Updates to attachments in received mail72212April CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
We are consolidating the options to manage a received file under a single dropdown menu similar to Outlook for Windows and Mac. For customers with OneDrive enabled, we are adding the ability to directly edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint attachments in the corresponding desktop or web app.
Outlook: Admin-set organization logos in Outlook for iOS and Android72214May CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android, iOS
Admins can set an organization logo through Azure Active Directory, and users will see this logo in certain multi-account scenarios to better differentiate between work and personal mail.
Microsoft Teams: Teams webinar capabilities general availability80099April CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Schedule and deliver 1,000 person webinars with the same Teams app you use for meetings! Webinar capabilities support registration page creation, email confirmation for registrants, host management for attendee video and audio, attendee reporting, plus interactive features like polls, chat and reactions.
Microsoft Teams: New manage tag experience and other enhancements81803April CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Tags in Teams let users quickly reach a group of people without having to @mention or type out everyone. Tags now can be managed as a Tab and you can receive notification for tag membership changes or search for tags in Teams. Tags will also now have a description field so that you can add more details to a tag.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 9:00am PT | Last year, we hosted several “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) sessions for Planner—and they were a huge hit! We heard from customers around the world who asked about our plans for future feature releases, technical difficulties, integrations with other Microsoft 365 apps, and much, much more. The conversations were engaging and enlightening: our team learned even more about your needs to make Planner the best task management app for your work. If you’re curious about the kinds of questions and answers in these sessions, check out the November AMA summary. Coming on the heels of several app enhancements, like more labels, and the Reimagine Project Management with Microsoft digital event, we’re excited to be hosting our first AMA of the year on Wednesday, April 7 at 9 a.m. PST right here on Tech Community. Make sure to save the date! To join, simply visit the Planner AMA space at the time of the event and select “Start a New Conversation” to post your question. This session is open to all Tech Community members. Representatives from both the product and engineering teams for Planner will be on hand to answer your questions.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

It’s been a busy, productive couple of months. We announced a lot of exciting product updates and offerings at Ignite earlier this month, and many of these are now generally available. However, those aren’t the only new features and capabilities to launch in February and March. In fact, there’s a lot. So, grab a cup of something and let’s see what’s new in: (1) Meetings and webinars, (2) Calling, (3) Devices, (4) Chat and Collaboration, (5) Power Platform and custom development, (6) Management, (7) Security, compliance, and privacy, and (8) Government.

Related:

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in March 2021. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. March was a month that brought more Viva goodness, refined SharePoint and Lists experiences, and a few gems for your content migrations. Blink and it’s April, but first, let’s review March. March 2021 brought some great new offerings: Microsoft Viva Connections, SharePoint app bar, Focus mode for SharePoint pages and news, images in SharePoint Events web part, SharePoint page analytics, Integrate menu for Microsoft Lists, Graph-based people picker for Person columns, Box migration into Microsoft 365, guest access in Yammer, and more. All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of March 2021 (possibly early April 2021).

March was an exciting month for the Microsoft 365 Apps community. We know that IT admins like you are continuing to play a critical role in keeping your organizations focused and productive, which is why we’re always innovating new features and services for Microsoft 365 Apps. Read on to discover more about the latest capabilities, including Microsoft 365 Apps health, extended offline access, and device-based subscription. And if you missed any of our Microsoft Ignite sessions, watch the on-demand videos to learn more about what we’re developing to help make your role easier. | Related: Deploying Microsoft 365 Apps for Mac with Microsoft Endpoint Manager – A Deep Dive

The next step in the journey towards greater employee experience is here. Earlier this month, we announced that Microsoft Viva Connections would soon be available for desktop and today, we’re excited to share that you can now download and install the Viva Connections desktop app in your organization. The mobile experience for Viva Connections will be available in Teams in the summer of 2021. In conjunction with the release of the mobile experience, we will also release an update to the desktop experience that will focus on improvements for IT administrators and deployment enhancements. This summer update will combine both the mobile and desktop configuration and deployment into the Teams admin console. In this summer update we will also release web parts for the “dashboard” and “feed” to align with the mobile experience. These new web parts will enable the dashboard experience, authored in SharePoint, to be constant across all end points. As web parts they will be available to add to any of your sites and allow you to leverage multiple columns and other advanced layouts on the desktop.

Microsoft considers Zero Trust an essential component of any organization’s security plan. We have partnered with Cloud Security Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that promotes cloud computing best practices, to bring together executive security leaders to discuss and share insights about their Zero Trust journeys. We recently sat down with 10 executive security leaders from prominent energy, finance, insurance, and manufacturing companies in a virtual roundtable, to understand what has worked and discover where they needed to adjust their Zero Trust security model. Our collective goal was to learn from one another and then share what we’ve learned with other organizations. Discussions like these give us valuable opportunities to grow and led us to publish an eBook to share those conversations with other cybersecurity professionals. We are publishing the “Examining Zero Trust: An executive roundtable discussion” eBook as a result of those conversations. The eBook describes how the Zero Trust security model involves thinking beyond perimeter security and moving to a more holistic security approach. The eBook complements other resources we have published to help organizations expedite their journeys in this critical area, such as the Microsoft Zero Trust Maturity Model and adoption guidance in the Zero Trust Deployment Center. Zero Trust assumes breach and verifies each request as if it originates from an uncontrolled network. If Zero Trust had a motto, it would be: never trust, always verify. That means never trusting anyone or anything—inside or outside the firewall, on the endpoint, on the server, or in the cloud.


NOTEWORTHY

Outlook for iOS and Android brings together email, calendars, contacts and files in one app so you can quickly connect, organize, and get things done. Over the last year, Outlook has worked on several enhancements designed to provide a clear separation between work and personal accounts, in addition to, helping users quickly identify external messages. These enhancements include: (1) Account switching, (2) Contact separation, (3) Organization logos, and (4) External sender tag.

This post has a look at what’s new and upcoming for Project, including features such as: (1) Export Timeline to PDF, (2) Email Assignment Notifications, (3) Project Accelerator, and (4) Overall effort in the Project details pane. Upcoming features include: (1) Import from Project Desktop, (2) Assign tasks to non-group members, and (3) Actions on Project Home.

We are pleased to announce a new feature release for April 19, 2021. The new release includes a few exciting updates: (1) Integration of Microsoft Teams chats and Teams calls into the Collaboration hours metric and refined Collaboration hours logic to better accommodate overlapping activities, and (2) New “is person’s manager” and “is person’s direct report” attributes available in Person-query participant filters. (Please note that these became available on March 29, 2021.). Additionally, we’ve implemented a handful of improvements to other metrics: (1) Outlier improvements to Email hours and Call hours metrics, and (2) Better alignment of After-hours collaboration hours and Working hours collaboration hours to total Collaboration hours, and of After-hours email hours and Working hours email hours to total Email hours.

We know that some of our customers leverage Exchange transport rules to prepend subject line or insert the message body to show the email is from external senders. This approach has a few limitations including: ending up with duplicate [External] tags in the subject line if there are additional replies from external users, and adding things to the subject line breaks Outlook conversation threading. There can also be localization issues, as transport rules have no knowledge of client language that end-users are using. We have heard the feedback on this, and are working on providing a native experience to identify emails from senders outside your organizations (which can help protect against spam & phishing threats). This is achieved by presenting a new tag on emails called “External” (the string is localized based on your client language setting) and exposing related user interface at the top of your message reading view to see and verify the real sender’s email address.

In the previous two blogs in this series, we detailed the evolution of business email compromise attacks and how Microsoft Defender for Office 365 employs multiple native capabilities to help customers prevent these attacks. In Part One, we covered some of the most common tactics used in business email compromise attacks, and in Part Two, we dove a little deeper into the more advanced attacks. The BEC protections offered by Microsoft Defender for Office 365, as referenced in the previous two blogs have been helping keep Defender for Office 365 customers secure across a number of different dimensions. However, to fully appreciate and understand the unique capabilities Microsoft offers, we need to take a step back. When we talk to customers about Microsoft Defender for Office 365, we always mention not only the size of our service, but the volume of data points we generate and collect throughout Microsoft. These things together help us responsibly build industry-leading AI and automation.

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-12

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

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

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

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

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

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

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


NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

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

Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-09

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

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

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

Related:

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

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

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

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

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

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NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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