Office 365 Weekly Digest | August 18 – 24, 2019

Welcome to the August 18 – 24, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were five additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Outlook on Windows, Forms, Stream, Teams and the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

New sessions are listed for most of the regular events series, including the Customer Immersion Experience events. This week’s spotlight event is the Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) and follow up session for how to “Simplify Collaboration with OneDrive” on Tuesday, August 27th starting at 9:00am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a new feature in the Office Deployment Toolkit that allows changes without changing the version, updates to MyAnalytics, enhancements to Desktop Analytics, and information on the one simple action you can take to prevent 99.9% of account attacks.

Noteworthy item highlights include 100 suggestions on how to use Yammer, upcoming changes to the Outlook connector in Microsoft Flow, a new Microsoft Graph Security API add-on for Splunk, and tips for Azure Active Directory reporting, monitoring, and using self-service password reset.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook for Windows: calendar sync protocol transition to REST API53191Q2 CY2020Added: 20 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
The new sync protocol will make your RSVP responses to meetings visible in the Tracking Status for organizers and attendees, even if you chose not to send a response, as well as the details of past events of a recurring meetings will not change if the end date of a series is updated.
Recommendation to re-use historical forms54465September CY2019Added: 20 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms
When a user starts to type in the forms title field, Microsoft Forms will recommend questions based on the user’s historical forms. The user would see only their own forms and questions.
Teams meeting recording tab54528August CY2019Added: 21 August 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Stream Easily locate your Teams meeting recordings with the new meetings tab in Stream. In Stream, simply navigate to ‘My Content’ and select the ‘Meetings’ option to access all your recorded Teams meetings.
Create users with templates in the Microsoft 365 admin center54434August CY2019Added: 23 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Admin
We are adding support for templates in user management in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Templates allow you to quickly create many users by saving and reusing the shared settings for these users. You can save values for roles, licenses assigned, contact information, location, and more. When you use the template to create a new user, they will automatically get the saved value for these settings. Example: I have a large group of engineers starting in Redmond. I know that they will all be users with no admin role, Microsoft 365 Business, be located in the United States, be Engineer 1, be in the engineering department, and be in the Redmond office. I can save all of these values to a “Redmond engineer” template. When I go to create the users, I can use this template to prepopulate all these values. Templates will be rolling out slowly over starting in the beginning of September. We will be looking at expanding the scenarios and functionality for templates over the next few months.
Microsoft Teams – Meet now54028September CY2019Added: 23 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Not all meetings can be scheduled in advance. Some happen spontaneously. Select ‘Meet now’ to start a new meeting instantly–no calendar, no scheduling, no fuss.

UPCOMING EVENTS

When: Monday, August 26, 2019 at 9:00am PT | With the recent announcement around end of life for Microsoft’s Skype for Business Online, the transition from SfB to Microsoft Teams is top of mind for many organizations. Organizations that have not already started down the migration route are now taking a long hard look at how to prepare and execute on a migration. To help customers prepare join this interactive session that will cover: (1) What are the Teams Modes and why do they matter?, (2) A “simple” vision of transition using a phased approach that works well in the real world, and (3) Real world examples of transitions from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Add the event to your calendar, or alternately you can join the broadcast event.

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.

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

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our Tips & Tricks sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In Part 1 – Effective Workspaces, you will explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Decide if your team is best served by a team and channels or a group chat and meetings, (2) Create a workspace for your team to provide the best collaboration experience, (3) Use a personal team to simplify your productivity, and (4) Determine best practices for Teams. 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 & Tricks sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In Part 2 – Get More from Teams, you will learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, (2) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (3) Easily find files, chats and projects, and (4) Simplify your workday. Access the consolidated on-demand version of Tips and Tricks here: https://aka.ms/teamstipsandtricksondemand.

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).

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.

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

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

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

When: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 9:00am PT | Strong teamwork is the foundation of most successful businesses, whether the team is located in a single office or working together virtually across the globe. Whether you are engaging with third-party vendors or telecommuting co-workers, having the right tools for collaboration makes all the difference. OneDrive is the files app for Microsoft 365, and it is a powerful sharing tool, too. OneDrive helps your organization embrace the transformation to a digital workplace as well as enable modern productivity without compromising on user experience or data security. In this session we will demonstrate how OneDrive makes it easy to share files securely within and outside our organization as well collaborate on them in real-time with your colleagues. Don’t forget to add the event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 10:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Simplify Collaboration in OneDrive ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA). 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 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!

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 6:00am – 3:00pm PT | Come and join some of the best teachers, trainers and Microsoft Flow MVP’s from around the world as they bring 9 hours of back-to-back Microsoft Flow training and tutorial sessions live and on-demand to you! The day will consist of 18 unique 30 minute sessions ranging from beginner at the start of the day all the way to advanced content toward the end of the day. This ensures that no matter what the viewer’s skill set is, they will be able to get valuable insights and new skills to help take their Flow game to the next level. Join us and take your Microsoft Flow skills to the next level! View the full schedule, and don’t forget to add the event to your calendar.

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

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

With the most recent release of the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) we have implemented a new feature based on customer’s feedback. Starting with version 16.0.11615.33602 it is possible to make changes to an existing installation of Office 365 ProPlus while keeping the installed version as is, even when a newer one is available on the Office CDN or in your network share/local folder. The updated “version” handling allows you to add e.g. Language Packs, Proofing Tools, additional products (like Visio or Project) or apps without updating the installed build, even when a newer build is available in the source location (Office CDN or the specified source path). In the past the ODT automatically updated the installation to the latest build while installing the specified product, Language Pack or Proofing Tool.

Want to take that conference room outfitted with an old-fashioned whiteboard, whiteboard markers/erasure, and turn it in to a slick Microsoft Teams Meetings space that brings the whiteboard in to the modern collaboration world? Well thankfully you now can and with a minimal investment that will delight your internal users. With the introduction of Content Cameras for Microsoft Teams Rooms organizations can deliver clear, unobstructed, whiteboarding using traditional whiteboards to all attendees, in person and remote. To help simplify hardware setup Microsoft has worked with a number of hardware partners to provide ready to use plug and play equipment. Approved Content Cameras when added to the a Microsoft Teams Rooms System will provide organizations with all the needed pieces to take their collaboration and meetings to the next level while leveraging their existing physical setups.

MyAnalytics helps you work smarter. To help you be better prepared for your day, we’ve recently added more insights to MyAnalytics Insights pane in Outlook to help you stay on top of your work, whether it’s making the most of your meetings or catching up with colleagues. The first is the Meeting Preparation Card which shows you a list of upcoming meetings that you have organized, and it helps you evaluate whether each meeting is ready to go. We chose to include the following components of a meeting to help you be prepared – the card makes It easy to review if your meeting has quorum, if you have included an agenda, prep docs and suggests prep time if you need it. The second is the Follow Up Card which provides a summary of all requests you made in emails from the last 14 days.

There are over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts to our cloud services every day. Cyberattacks aren’t slowing down, and it’s worth noting that many attacks have been successful without the use of advanced technology. All it takes is one compromised credential or one legacy application to cause a data breach. This underscores how critical it is to ensure password security and strong authentication. You can help prevent some of these attacks by banning the use of bad passwords, blocking legacy authentication, and training employees on phishing. However, one of the best things you can do is to just turn on MFA. By providing an extra barrier and layer of security that makes it incredibly difficult for attackers to get past, MFA can block over 99.9 percent of account compromise attacks. With MFA, knowing or cracking the password won’t be enough to gain access.

Desktop Analytics has been available in public preview for over a month. We’re getting some great feedback from our customers and are committed to adding value to our offerings. We’ve added some exciting features in our August update for Desktop Analytics. These features are based on the feedback we heard from you. Here are a few top picks from the features we delivered this release: 1) The App Health Analyzer, which provides compatibility readiness insights for your Line of Business apps, is now retired as a standalone toolkit. The good news is it’s now integrated with the Configuration Manager client in 1906. This integration simplifies deployment and manageability of app readiness insights in the Desktop Analytics portal. 2) We received feedback from customers that sometimes, while onboarding, they selected the wrong workspace or chose a test tenant. Now, a global admin can reset and change the workspace after setting up Desktop Analytics in the environment. 3) From your feedback, we learned that providing user inputs for all your noteworthy apps in the workflow can sometimes be an intensive process. We now have a new feature to help reduce your efforts in annotating certain apps in the workflow. These apps are System apps and components published by Microsoft, and Apps managed and updated from the Microsoft Store.


NOTEWORTHY

Because it’s the 100th blog post for Yammer we decided to crowdsource this blog post with our guest bloggers via Yammer to come up with 100 ways to use Yammer. From sharing company news, to posting an inspirational quote or photo to sharing Stream videos and running AMA sessions, there are at least 100 ways to use Yammer. Check it out!

The Office 365 Outlook connector is one the most popular connector in Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. It is also one of the most feature-rich connector we have today. We are making a few important updates to the connector as we migrate the underlying API to use the Microsoft Graph API instead of Outlook REST API. These updates will unfortunately force us to deprecate most of the current set of actions and triggers. We will be rolling out these changes over the next couple of months and we strongly encourage all users to start adopting the new actions and triggers. In this post, you can find the full list of operations that will be deprecated and the new actions and triggers that you can use instead.

A new add-on from Microsoft enables customers to easily integrate security alerts and insights from its security products, services, and partners in Splunk Enterprise. The new Splunk add-on is built by Microsoft, certified by Splunk, and is available on Splunkbase at no additional cost. This add-on, powered by the Microsoft Graph Security API, supports streaming of alerts from the following Microsoft and partner solutions into Splunk using a single add-on and common schema, enabling easier correlation of data across products such as Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Active Directory Identity Protection, Microsoft Cloud App Security, and more. Since the new add-on extends support across a broader set of security products, it will replace the Azure Monitor add-on for Splunk as the preferred method for integrating with the Microsoft Graph Security API.

Password resets are a pretty costly and time-consuming endeavor for your users and your helpdesk folks, especially early on Monday mornings (or Tuesday, if Monday happened to be a holiday). In this post, we’ll cover a really great feature of Azure AD Premium services – self-service password reset (SSPR) with password writeback to AD. The focus of this post is “enterprise” SSPR in a hybrid identity model (on-premises Active Directory synchronized to Azure Active Directory via Azure AD Connect). SSPR is available for cloud-only accounts, but that is not covered here, specifically. | Resource: Deploy Azure AD self-service password reset

One area where we invest a lot of time with our customers is Azure AD logs. Why? Because that’s where all the insights about your environment reside. These logs can be a real treasure trove — you’re only limited by the questions you ask about the data. While working with some of our enterprise customers, they’ve asked what they should be using the logs for from a day-to-day perspective. This post will address some of the most common questions we receive. We’ve also released a new deployment plan for Azure AD monitoring which you will find at http://aka.ms/deploymentplans.

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