Office 365 Weekly Digest | June 16 – 22, 2019

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

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

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

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

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


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

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

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

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

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

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

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

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

One thought on “Office 365 Weekly Digest | June 16 – 22, 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.