Office 365 Weekly Digest | September 1 – 7, 2019

Welcome to the September 1 – 7, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were four additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Office 365 ProPlus, SharePoint Online, and Exchange Online.

New Azure Active Directory webinars and Customer Immersion Experience sessions have been added. The spotlight events of the week are the “Microsoft Flow Online Conference” and the “Simplifying Your Privacy and Compliance Journey” Customer Immersion Experience, both on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

The August 2019 recap posts continued last week with the latest OneDrive and SharePoint features. Also included are posts on building dynamic, lean and universal packages for Office 365 ProPlus, managing your Skype to Microsoft Teams transition with Yammer, and information on upcoming changes to Yammer profiles that will merge into the Office profiles.

Noteworthy item highlights from last week include information on the availability of Planner for all F1 commercial plans and government offerings starting in October, August 2019 updates for PowerApps, and the first of a two-part series on the foundations of Microsoft Flow.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Security Policy Advisor is now available54813September CY2019Added: 03 September 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Office 365 ProPlus
Security Policy Advisor for Office 365 ProPlus is now available. Learn more at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/DeployOffice/overview-of-security-policy-advisor.
Manage sharing and access request settings from the Site permissions panel54983September CY2019Added: 04 September 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: SharePoint
Site owners can now manage sharing and access request settings from the Site permissions panel. Site owners can use these settings to, for example, only allow owners to share files, folders and the site and restrict everyone else from sharing. Previously these settings were only available in the Advanced permissions settings page.
Exchange Online Improvements to Accelerate Replication of Changes to Azure Active Directory55023October CY2019Added: 06 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange Online
We’re updating Exchange Online to accelerate replication of changes to Azure Active Directory. With this change, modifications to Exchange properties will be written immediately to AAD reducing the replication time.
Tenant Customizable Recipient Limits55025Q1 CY2020Added: 06 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange Online
In Exchange Online a mailbox user is allowed to send to a maximum of 500 recipients per message. This default value currently can’t be changed by the tenant admin. Yet, many admins would like to raise this limit on at least a few mailboxes (for monthly newsletters for example). Others want to significantly lower it (to, say, 50 or some such) for most or all mailboxes in their organization, as part of a perceived defense-in-depth strategy to reduce the potential impact should a hacker compromise a user account and start blasting out spam, or a disgruntled employee tries to air their grievances company-wide. With the upcoming customizable recipient limits, you’ll now be able to customize this setting between 1 and 1000, for a single mailbox, multiple mailboxes, and for the default setting for new mailboxes that you create in the future. Single and bulk edit will be available in the Exchange Admin Center UI, while customizing the default setting for new mailboxes can be done via Remote PowerShell.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory. In this webinar, 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.

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.

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.

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory. In this webinar, learn how to simplify identity lifecycle management with Azure AD automatic user and group provisioning for SaaS applications.

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.

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory. In this webinar, learn how to protect your users by leveraging Azure AD and 3rd-party multi-factor authentication.

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, 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.

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory. In this webinar, learn how to shore-up your environment by following zero trust methodologies and Azure AD technologies.

Please join us for the Azure AD Webinar Series. Our engineering team is hosting these (free) sessions on deploying and configuring Azure Active Directory. In this webinar, learn how Azure AD enables your users to reset their passwords securely and manage their own IT security and allows you to scale IT management of groups.

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.

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

The OneDrive team has been hard at work releasing features that will further enhance the collaboration experience with OneDrive. Here are the latest functionalities that landed in production in the month of August-2019: (1) Comments on non-Office files, (2) Popular Around Me, (3) Direct sharing link to individual PowerPoint slide, (4) Virtual Desktop updates. | Related: Sync Up – a new OneDrive podcast from Microsoft

August was a busy delivery month. And we hope some of that busy output has crept into your work day-to-day already, to help you be more productive and connected with your projects and peers. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. The coolest update is site swap, which magically changes the root site for your SharePoint Online tenant. Other updates include the option for site owners to join their site to a SharePoint hub site, the ability to comment on non-Office files, getting a direct link to individual PowerPoint slides, and more. All the features listed below began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of August 2019 (possibly early September 2019).

As an admin, you might have been tasked with the deployment of Office 365 ProPlus to your organization. But such a deployment is more than just Office. After the initial migration to ProPlus, you might have to provide ways for your users to acquire automated installs of additional Language Packs, Proofing Tools, products like Visio and Project or other components. This blog post will walk your through a concept of building dynamic, lean & universal packages for Office 365 ProPlus, greatly reducing long-term maintenance costs and effort needed in managed environments.

You may have already read about Microsoft retiring Skype for Business Online in 2021. One way that customers are successfully managing this transition is by using Yammer to support and communicate this change widely within their organization. Changing from one IT system to another is a daunting task and can create disruption and uncertainty throughout the organization. Luckily, Yammer can help. Using a community-based approach encourages your coworkers to help each other, solve problems, and share tips in a public way that benefits everyone. Having a community such as this to support one another also helps to ease the load on the IT department. Yammer is a great platform for this because you don’t know who will be affected most by this change, where your best feedback might come from, or who else might be passionate enough to volunteer to participate in the change efforts with you… and Yammer makes it easy to find experts and share knowledge quickly. A few of our best practices are: (1) Create a specific community to support the change, (2) Encourage employees to use this space to ask questions, (3) Share trips and tricks, (4) Collect feedback, (5) Communicate the change, and (6) Host a live event and encourage Q & A.

We’re continuing to strengthen the integration and experiences between Yammer and Office 365, with recent announcements about the app launcher and header, the new SharePoint web part, and Microsoft Teams integrations, and now we’re excited to announce that we are simplifying the profile and identity experiences within Yammer to better align with suite and enhance security. Later this quarter, Yammer profiles will be merged into the Office profile. We will write over the Yammer profile with their Office identity to create a single source of truth. At that time, we will also remove the profile tab from the Settings menu. Users that want to change their photos, phone numbers, and other data will need to do so from Delve or ask their IT administrator to assist, just as you would across the rest of Office. This also means that we’ll remove some otherwise un-used or antiquated fields like your MSN or AOL account information. If the user does not have an Office identity, this change won’t impact them. They can continue editing their Yammer profile directly in Yammer. While this change does remove the ability to change your Yammer name to reflect campaigns or out of office messaging, it brings a greater coherence to the suite and allows admins to better manage policies, improve data accuracy, and streamline the profile experience for their users.


NOTEWORTHY

As organizations grow, they amass tons of tribal knowledge that often sits within documents, SharePoint sites and FAQ manuals. Not everyone is interested in everything and it becomes tricky to find the information quickly. This forces employees to switch context between applications or deal with the specialists / subject matter experts directly which causes frustration for both. An FAQ bot can solve the problem and with Microsoft’s QnA Maker tool it is simple to create a powerful chatbot rather quickly without writing a single line of code. We’re excited to bring to you the FAQ Plus app template that capitalizes on both the areas of opportunities above to deliver a rich employee experience. In addition, creating your own employee facing bot using the template requires no coding and deploys in minutes.

Planner has always been for people like you—people who manage work on a daily basis without being in a formal work management role. And it’s with people like you in mind that we’re releasing Planner for all F1 commercial plans and government offerings starting in October. Microsoft’s F1 plans are specifically designed for Firstline Workers, who are the first people to interact with customers and see their company’s products and services in action. Planner will start backfilling for the below plans at the beginning of October, with availability through the app launcher in early November. It will be turned on by default as it’s released, so there’s nothing for you to do to start using it. Once released, Planner will be available alongside your other F1 productivity tools, like Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business, and the web versions of Office. Planner in F1 commercial will be fully functional, inheriting all the same features as Planner in other enterprise SKUs. Planner for all F1 government plans will come with some limitations at its initial launch. Please visit our Planner for Office 365 US Government website for a full list of feature limitations and current status. In addition to F1 availability, Planner is coming to all available DoD government offerings. This includes Microsoft 365 F1 and G3 and Office 365 F1, G1, G3, and G5. The release schedules for F1 and DoD are the same: Planner will begin rolling out for all applicable plans at the beginning of October and become available through the app launcher in early November.

The PowerApps developers have definitely made up for lost time being at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit shipping over 19 features this month! While all the PowerApps developers went above and beyond the Unified Interface team really delivered the goods with 8 suites of enhancements (with each suite containing multiple features!). If you aren’t familiar with the Unified Interface, it provides a consistent and accessible user experience across devices—whether on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. The apps scale by reflowing the components on the screen. The responsive design adapts to your environment based on screen size, so the more available space that you have, the more information can be displayed. If you don’t want to wait for the end of month post you can always can view a roll up of the upcoming features at https://aka.ms/businessappsreleasenotes and more fine grained PowerApps weekly release information here: https://aka.ms/PAWeeklyReleaseNotes.

Automation services are steadily becoming significant drivers of modern IT, helping improve efficiency and cost effectiveness for organizations. Automation is no longer a theme of the future, but a necessity of the present, playing a key role in a growing number of IT and user scenarios. In our two-part series, we share how Microsoft delivers on the promise of empowering a secure, compliant, and automated organization. In part 1, we provide a quick intro into Microsoft Flow and provide an overview into its best-in-class, secure infrastructure. In part 2, we go deeper into how Flow secures your users and data, as well as enhances the IT experience. We also cover Flow’s privacy and certifications to give you a glimpse into the rigorous compliance protocols the service supports. Let’s get started by introducing you to Flow.

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