Office 365 Weekly Digest | August 25 – 31, 2019

Welcome to the August 25 – 31, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Eleven features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week. Most of the updates are for Outlook (Windows, Android, iOS) and Planner.

A few brand new events have been added, including the return of the Azure Active Directory webinars and a couple of Microsoft IT Expert Roundtable sessions focused on the transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. The spotlight event of the week is the “Microsoft Teams: Plan your upgrade (Start here)!” session on Wednesday, September 4th at 11am Pacific.

What’s new in August 2019 is the theme for last week’s blog roundup, with posts for Microsoft 365 overall, Teams, and SharePoint. There is also a post with details on how Microsoft has scaled live events in Yammer.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items including information on dark mode rolling out to Outlook mobile, as well as feature updates to Workplace Analytics and PowerApps.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Ability to select a Product or Service when creating a service request in the new M365 Admin Center54599August CY2019Added: 26 August 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Admin
We’re updating the service request creation experience in the new M365 Admin portal to enable customers to choose an affected product or service when creating a service request This will be used to enhance case routing and may help to reduce time to resolution and overall transparency and effectiveness of the support process. We are constantly looking to improve our features and this was one of the most requested asks. Customers must opt-in to the new Microsoft 365 Admin Center to have access to this new feature. The feature is only available to Premier, Unified and Japanese Language customers.
Microsoft Whiteboard Web App General Availability54596Q1 CY2020Added: 26 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Whiteboard
Microsoft Whiteboard, the digital infinite canvas is coming soon to Office for the web.
Outlook for Windows: support for native sensitivity labeling53147September CY2019Added: 26 August 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
Support Microsoft Information Protection native labeling of sensitive messages with justification for changes with company administrators.
Outlook for Android: Time-zone support54733Q1 CY2020Added: 28 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
You can schedule events and meetings with co-workers in a different time-zone.
Outlook for iOS: Time-zone support54450Q1 CY2020Added: 28 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
You can schedule events and meetings with co-workers in a different time-zone.
Outlook for Windows: Advanced Room Finder with filters54517Q2 CY2020Added: 28 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
Adding an Advanced Room Browse functionality as a replacement for the existing Room Finder add-in in the meeting form leverage similar functionality that will be used in Outlook on the web.
Outlook for Android: Dark Mode45779September CY2019Added: 28 August 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – Android
You can turn on Dark Mode by choosing your theme for Dark, Light or on Battery Saver in Settings under Preferences. Virtually every screen is designed and engineered to help you be even more productive where you couldn’t before. The true black color palette takes full advantage of your OLED screens to help reduce eye strain and optimize battery life.
Outlook for iOS: Dark Mode50479September CY2019Added: 28 August 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
You can choose to turn on Dark Mode in Settings under Preferences. Virtually every screen is designed and engineered to help you be even more productive where you couldn’t before. The true black color palette takes full advantage of your OLED screens to help reduce eye strain and optimize battery life.
Planner for Office 365 F1 and Microsoft 365 F154748August CY2019Added: 29 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Microsoft Planner is a simple, intuitive, and collaborative work management tool that helps teams visually organize their work and reach shared goals. Planner will be available for Office 365 F1 and Microsoft 365 F1.
Planner for Office 365 Government F154747August CY2019Added: 30 August 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Microsoft Planner is a simple, intuitive, and collaborative work management tool that helps teams visually organize their work and reach shared goals. Planner will be available for Office 365 Government F1.
Priority Field for Planner Tasks54786August CY2019Added: 30 August 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Planner
Microsoft Planner is adding a new field to all tasks: Priority! Users will be able to choose one of the following priority levels to further organize tasks: Low, Medium, Important, and Urgent. In addition, users can Group by Priority and filter tasks of a certain priority.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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 & 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 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.

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

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

Learn how and why to integrate your on-premises identities with Azure Active Directory.

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.

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.

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.

Learn how integrating your line of business and SaaS apps using Azure Active Directory enables advanced security, single sign-on, and convenience for you and your users.

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.

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

When: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:00am – 11:00am PT | A cultural change is taking place at Microsoft with the implementation of Microsoft Teams as the new hub for collaboration and communication. During this roundtable, you will learn how CSEO systematically drove the adoption of Teams across the company by implementing a change management plan that actively engaged executive sponsors as well as end users, creating training and evangelism programs, and promoting the transition to Teams through a comprehensive channel strategy—all supported by metrics-driven analytical tools.

When: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 10:00am – 11:00am PT | Microsoft CSEO is meeting the needs of an evolving, increasingly modern workplace by upgrading employees from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams: the new hub for calls, chat, meetings, and file sharing in Office 365. After introducing users to Teams by configuring it to run alongside Skype for Business, we began upgrading employees to Teams-only mode. In this webinar, our experts will answer questions on how we used a phased approach emphasizing readiness and productivity to accelerate adoption and help ensure a smooth transition.


BLOG ROUNDUP

This month, we’re rolling out improvements to help you build a more productive, collaborative, and secure work environment for you and your organization. The new XLOOKUP formula for Excel helps you find data and improve calculation time. OneNote and Yammer mobile updates help you work on the go and find the answers you need more quickly. And the new FastTrack guidance will help ensure seamless Windows 10 migrations.

In August 2019, we saw updates in Teams that help improve your personal productivity experience, as well as several updates that help Teams of all kinds have effective calls and meetings. Read on for a round-up of exciting features that have launched in Teams over the past month including “focus time” integration with MyAnalytics, sharing system audio during a Teams meeting, Microsoft Teams Rooms, etc.

Related:

Pages deliver great content and news to your organization. We’ve heard your feedback for more ways to create rich, beautiful experiences through SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. In addition to our out-of-the-box page templates, you can easily add interactivity and automation with SharePoint web parts. Here are our latest updates starting targeted release in summer 2019. The Button and Call to Action web parts allow you to engage page viewers through guided experiences. For example, you can provide focused text on a button. Clicking it brings viewers to their next content experience. Furthermore, with the Call to Action web part you can add explanatory text or even a background image to further draw viewers’ attention. We’re also adding a World Clock web part and updating the Weather web part. You can now add individual cities/locations, or a group of locations to a web part. In the hero web part, you’ve asked us for two links on larger tiles. The primary link connects to content, while the secondary link can help with other initiatives, such as employee engagement and discussion. The Highlighted Content web part is a great multi-gadget tool for modern pages. It lets you filter for selected sets of documents by time or relevance.

In March of 2019, Microsoft announced the general availability of Live Events in Microsoft 365 a video and townhall solution for enterprises to host live and on-demand events at scale across Yammer, Stream, and Microsoft Teams. As we continue to build features and experiences that improve live events, we wanted to spend some time to talk about how we embarked on this mission and how we’re continuing to test and scale Live Events in Yammer to unprecedented levels. The modern workplace requires a modern video event experience that scales to the size of enterprises and supports worldwide viewership and traffic without lag or overload. This is where Live Events in Yammer comes in. The initial goal was to support up to 5 concurrent live events per tenant, with each event supporting up to 10k attendees, or in other words, 50k concurrent users per tenant. We began by trying to better understand the traffic pattern and the potential spikes that Yammer would need to support, thus we looked at the past Skype for Business broadcast distribution of attendees as they connected to the broadcast. It seemed that for an event with 50k attendees, about 10k of those users would join over a one-minute timespan near the beginning of the event. Managing such an intake would be a challenge. The way our architecture is designed generated additional difficulties. In Yammer, when a notification is received by the clients to notify them of a message being posted in a Live Event a storm of requests ensues. That means 50k requests would be issued in a second to reload the feed and display the new message(s) for all users. Fortunately, our clients implement jittering which helped distribute that 50k load over a window of 2 minutes. Thus, the highest actual requests per second (rps) we had to support in this initial iteration was 830 requests per second, quite higher than our usual pattern at approx. 200rps (which would also need to be supported throughout the event).


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (9 minutes) | This month, we’re rolling out improvements to help you build a more productive, collaborative, and secure work environment for you and your organization. The new XLOOKUP formula for Excel helps you find data and improve calculation time. OneNote and Yammer mobile updates help you work on the go and find the answers you need more quickly. And the new FastTrack guidance will ensure seamless Windows 10 migrations. Learn more about what’s new in August 2019 at http://msft.social/f5w8nL.

We are starting to roll out dark mode in Outlook for iOS and Android. For added comfort or when a bright screen may not be appropriate, we’re bringing people the choice and flexibility to adapt their experience with a simple and powerful Microsoft 365 Dark Theme experience. Adapting to work life flow, Outlook focuses its design on the context of where people want to use Dark Mode. When asked, people found the experience comfortable and aesthetically pleasing while keeping their email and calendar content crisp and clear. This way, Outlook helps you stay connected and organized so you can get things done wherever you are such as dimly lit living rooms, home offices or airplanes. Note: It’ll take several weeks to complete the full roll out of Dark Mode in Outlook for iOS or Android worldwide. | Related: Video – Dark Mode in Microsoft 365

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for August (see past blog articles here). In this update, you’ll discover the latest, including: (1) Solutions scan, which uses machine learning and automation to uncover hidden opportunities for effective and timely intervention; (2) Customize network metrics, which lets users customize the organizational data (HR) attributes of employees who are involved in a network connection; (3) Peer analysis – this capability helps analysts unlock this hidden value in an easy-to-use interface, with the goal of using these insights to benefit the broader population; and (4) Visualize person queries provides a view of a person query results (in the form of charts) without leaving Workplace Analytics. Further, the results view can be customized by having the charts focus on any of the metrics that they used in the query or on organizational data attributes that have been uploaded.

Technology in the classroom continues to be critical as we head into the next school year. At the ISTE 2019 conference, some trends heavily emphasized were digital learning via interactive technologies, accessibility, and the need for immediate feedback. Microsoft Forms is one such technology that allows all students to participate in learning, engages them for deeper understanding, and provides a timely feedback loop to facilitate faster improvement. To make the upcoming school year even more effective, Microsoft Forms has many new and improved features spanning across creation, responses, analysis, and integration with other productivity apps. | Related: What’s New in EDU—Back to School Edition: Start the year off with how-to videos, professional learning opportunities and innovative classroom tools

In the PowerApps October release wave we have some amazing new features landing that you have been asking for! Below are directions to find out about all the new features but highlighting the four that we have been getting the most requests for: (1) PowerApps Guest access, (2) Solution checker enhancements, (3) Building with components, and (4) Unified interface enhancements.

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.