Office 365 Weekly Digest | July 14 – 20, 2019

Welcome to the July 14 – 20, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Eight features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Yammer, Teams, Outlook (Web), and SharePoint.

There are quite a few new events, including new Microsoft Teams focused immersion experiences, and a OneDrive webinar and Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session. The spotlight event for this week is the “Provide Integrated Training and Knowledge Check with Microsoft Teams and more” webinar on Monday, July 22, 2019 at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include code-free options to enhance the Microsoft Teams experience, a private preview of user activity based expiration policies for Office 365 Groups, managing authentication sessions in Outlook on the web with Azure AD conditional access, and a look at the new updated design of the OneDrive mobile experience.

Noteworthy item highlights include a Microsoft IT Showcase article on the start of the Microsoft Teams era within Microsoft, updates for Skype for Business, and the public preview of PowerApps Portals.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Microsoft Bookings – Online meetings53542August CY2019Added: 16 July 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Bookings, Teams
Bookings will integrate with Teams and Skype meeting capabilities. Businesses can set up services with online meeting enabled. A meeting link will be added to the booking invite which customers can use to join the appointment.
Microsoft Bookings – group bookings53548August CY2019Added: 16 July 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Bookings
Group bookings will allow a business to provide a service where multiple users can book an appointment with a single staff member.
Outlook on the web – More controls for events from email53580July CY2019Added: 16 July 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
We are making available more end-user granular controls for events from email.
Enforce all Yammer groups are Office 365 Connected Groups53550Q1 CY2020Added: 16 July 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer, Office 365 Groups
Admins can enforce all Yammer groups are Office 365 Connected Groups
Drag and drop files to the canvas to upload53194July CY2019Added: 17 July 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: SharePoint
Now if you drag and drop files to the canvas, they’ll be uploaded for you.
Enforce Yammer group creation rights53629Q1 CY2020Added: 17 July 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Allow Admins to permission who can/cannot create Yammer groups.
Prevent Yammer groups from being hidden from the directory53635Q1 CY2020Added: 17 July 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Yammer admins will be able to prevent Yammer groups from being hidden from the groups directory
Microsoft Teams – Policy packages53641Q4 CY2019Added: 17 July 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
IT admins can meet user requirements faster by applying a pre-defined set of policies across Teams functions, such as messaging and meetings, to employees based on the needs of their role.

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.

When: Monday, July 22, 2019 at 9am PT | This webcast will provide step-by-step guidance in setting up several scenarios for integrating Microsoft Stream Videos (both on demand and Live Events) with Microsoft Forms for knowledge check quizzes and surveys. Additionally, attendees will learn how to further leverage these integrated assets within the previously covered Integrated User Training and Support Solution (based on Learning Pathways) as well as integrating directly into Microsoft Teams! Also at the conclusion of this one hour webcast, attendees will be provided access to the session slides as well as a step-by-step document that will guide users through the how to steps with in depth process documentation, screen shots, and subsequent resources.

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.

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.

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

When: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 9am PT | In an era of rapid digital transformation, how we work is changing. Work does not solely revolve around an office space and we are expected to be productive even when we are working remotely or traveling. Our OneDrive mobile apps on iOS and Android empower you to stay connected to all files throughout Microsoft 365 from anywhere as well as capture and collaborate on the go. Alongside Office mobile apps, with OneDrive, you can create and edit documents, scan receipts and business cards, markup and annotate PDFs, chat and co-author Office documents and securely share content with your peers across departments and with external clients and vendors outside your organization – directly from a mobile device. In this webinar we will demonstrate these effective functionalities and discuss end user scenarios that can make you productive. We will also showcase the refreshed look and feel of the OneDrive mobile app that we have recently released.

When: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 9:30am PT | We are very excited to announce a Redefining Mobility with OneDrive ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) for OneDrive for Business! The focus will be on the recent Fluent Design updates to the OneDrive mobile app. 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 teams who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Join in the OneDrive AMA space, or add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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

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

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

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


BLOG ROUNDUP

We’d like to show you how you can take your Teams experience to the next level through automation and integrated custom apps. Aya and Jeremy will walk you through a few examples of how you can get started. Have you ever thought that it sure would be nice if you could take a few steps out of a process that you have to do at work on a regular basis? Well, maybe Microsoft Flow is the tool you’ve been looking for. Flow is a cloud-based service that allows users to build custom workflows to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Most importantly, you can use Flow without having to write a single line of code. Flow is fully integrated in Teams, and you can easily access Flow directly through Teams. You can also access hundreds of prebuilt Flow templates in our extensive template library. Microsoft PowerApps is another tool that enables you to do more, streamlines your business, and empowers your organization. Have you ever thought it would helpful to create an app for your teams to do work better? Whether it’s collecting data on a new customer, tracking time off, or entering feedback on events, PowerApps enables you to quickly and simply create mobile and desktop apps that can drastically change how your business operates. If you’re wondering where to get started, there is a library with numerous templates to get you going.

We are excited to announce the new version of expiration policy which ensures any group being actively used continues to be available, circumventing expiration. This feature makes life easier for users, including admins, group owners and members, by automating the expiration and renewal process by tracking groups for user activity across different apps, like Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, tied to the group. The current Expiration policy allows you to set an expiration time frame for selected or all Office 365 groups. After the defined group lifetime, owners are asked to renew them if they are still needed. With this newly added intelligence, groups which are being actively used will be automagically renewed. This preempts the need for any manual action on the part of the group owners. This is based on user activity in groups across Office 365 apps like Outlook, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and others.

A few weeks ago, Azure AD announced the public preview of capabilities which are a part of Azure AD Conditional Access. Authentication Session Management allows you to control the frequency at which your users are required to enter their credentials. By default, the session lifetime to a rolling window of 90 days. We understand that this setting may not be desired by everyone, and some will ultimately need to decrease this value. However, it is important to keep in mind that decreasing the value to very short intervals does have a great impact to your user experience and productivity. An additional benefit with the Authentication Session Management work is that you will get the ability to configure fine grained controls that will allow you to create policies that target specific users or use cases. For example, you can create a policy that has a shorter session time for unmanaged or shared devices, while keeping a longer session time for compliant devices. This will allow you to balance your security stance as well as ensuring your users are staying productive.

Work does not solely revolve around an office space. With Microsoft mobile apps, you can create and edit documents, scan receipts and business cards, markup and annotate PDFs, chat and co-author Office documents and share content with your peers across departments and with external clients and vendors outside your organization – directly from a mobile device. Alongside Office Mobile apps and Microsoft Teams, our OneDrive mobile apps on iOS and Android empower you to stay connected to all files throughout Microsoft 365 from anywhere as well as capture and collaborate on the go. Last year we announced that Office Fluent Design would expand to OneDrive for the web and align with the entire Office 365 suite on a common color palette, typography and icon systems. We introduced a shared header seamless across products, with elements thoughtfully aligned to focus on what matters. As we continued to roll out the Fluent Design system and the revamped Office brand icons, we also updated the file folder representation, unveiling golden folders across web and mobile. Today, we carry forward this broad design overhaul to mobile and are excited to share the refreshed look and feel of the OneDrive mobile app. We, too, are updating how you work with recent files, annotate PDFs, link to files via Outlook mobile and more.


NOTEWORTHY

Published: July 18, 2019 | Microsoft’s internal upgrade to Microsoft Teams is complete, and now the company is looking to get its base of more than 200,000 employees and vendors to do more with this versatile collaboration platform. Usage of Teams has been high since the company largely finished its move from Skype for Business to Teams in March, says Keshav Puttaswamy, a director of program management in Microsoft Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO). “While we are seeing some change in how employees collaborate, many are still using Teams like they did Skype for Business—for chats, calls, and meetings,” Puttaswamy says. “But Teams is much more than a Skype for Business replacement. It can transform how our teams work together with channels and has deep Office 365 and third-party integration.”

If you currently have connected you Skype for Business Server to consumer IM federation, you will want to read this and insure you are configured for the future. Federation between Skype for Business on-premise deployments and Skype (Consumer) will change on 8/15/2019 to use federated partner discovery, which is the same mechanism required for federation with Skype for Business Online. The pic.lync.com website that was formerly used to manually provision on-premise deployments for public IM connectivity will be shut down due to end of life. Communication between any on-premise Skype for Business deployment and Skype users via the existing Public IM infrastructure now requires the on-premise edge server configuration to be compatible with Skype for Business Online. If the customer’s SfB deployment is currently using public IM connectivity but is not able to federate with Skype for Business Online due to their edge proxy FQDN configuration and/or their certificate is incompatible with federated partner discovery, they will need to update their deployment configuration by 8/15/2019. Failure to do so could lead to an interruption to public IM connectivity. Please note this change may require the purchase of a new certificate. | Resource: Deploy Skype Connectivity in Skype for Business Server

Users who share their screen into a meeting from the Skype Meetings App (the web-downloadable meetings app for Skype for Business) now get the significantly improved performance of Video-based Screen Sharing (VbSS). While you won’t see any changes in the way you present on-screen content during your meetings, you will notice that the connection time is drastically reduced, and the screen presentation is always in sync between presenter and viewer. Not only is VbSS faster, but it also more reliable and works better in case of low network bandwidth conditions. When you start sharing, the app automatically chooses how to share your screen, but it will always choose VbSS when possible. In some cases, it may continue to use the older Remote Desktop Protocol if VbSS is not supported by the Skype for Business server hosting the meeting, someone is recording the session, or an attendee is using an older client version that does not support VbSS. Click here for information on VbSS technology and supported server and client versions. For users who have previously downloaded and installed Skype Meetings App, this update will automatically download when they next join a meeting.

During Microsoft Business Application Summit last month, we introduced PowerApps Portals as a new capability coming to PowerApps. We are excited to announce that the public preview for PowerApps Portals is now open for everyone. Now all PowerApps makers can create powerful low-code and responsive portals which allow users external to their organizations to interact with data stored in Common Data Service. As a PowerApps maker, you’ll be able to now create and manage a new App type called “Portal” for your Common Data Service as well as Dynamics 365 environments directly from make.powerapps.com. You will also be able to access all the Portals present in your environment in the apps list. PowerApps Portals allow organizations to create websites which can be shared with users external to their organization either anonymously or through the login provider of their choice like LinkedIn, Microsoft Account, other commercial login providers. You can also integrate enterprise login providers using a variety of industry standard protocols like SAML2, OpenId Connect and WS-Fed. Websites can also be created for Employees who can connect using their corporate Azure Active Directory account.

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