Office 365 Weekly Digest | September 8 – 14, 2019

Welcome to the September 8 – 14, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Seven features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Exchange Online, Project, SharePoint Online, and Outlook. Also of note is the introduction of the new built-in Global Reader role for Azure Active Directory, which is rolling out now.

There are several new events, as well as added sessions for existing events. The new events include “Syncing Up with OneDrive”, an upcoming OneDrive webinar followed by an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session, and three Teams-related Ask Microsoft Anything sessions. This week’s spotlight event is the “Protecting Your Sensitive Information” Customer Immersion Experience on Thursday, September 19th from 12pm – 2pm Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include a look at the top 5 advantages of syncing your files with OneDrive, the General Availability of Security Policy Advisor for Office 365 ProPlus, a new version of Microsoft To-Do, and updates for Yammer, MyAnaltyics and sensitivity labels in Office apps.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the recap of the 2019 Microsoft Flow Conference, information on end of support for Office 2010 clients (and Windows 7), recent enhancements to Exchange Online for replication in Azure Active Directory, and the general availability of Automated Incident Response in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Updated SharePoint start page experience54821October CY2019Added: 10 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
The SharePoint start page, previously known as SharePoint home is getting a UX refresh. We are also adding new experiences to the start page to help users discover and get back to their content.
Introducing the reimagined Microsoft Project!54641Q3 CY2019Added: 10 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
We are pleased to announce the rollout of the new Project to our existing Project Online Professional and Project Online Premium customers. Designed to be visual, easy to use, and collaborative, you can manage your work flexibly – from ad hoc projects to complex initiatives.
Addition of New File Types to Default Block List55100October CY2019Added: 11 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange Online
We are adding some additional file extensions to the BockedFileTypes list. The BlockedFileTypes parameter specifies a list of attachment file types (file extensions) that can’t be saved locally or viewed from Outlook on the web.
Enhancements to Office 365 Quarantine Notifications and Alerts55102October CY2019Added: 11 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange Online
With this change, the email template used for end-user-spam notifications will be modified to conform with other Microsoft email templates. As part of the change, end-users will need to navigate to the Quarantine Portal within the Security and Compliance Center to take actions, such as release message. Also with this change, a new alert is being added for Malicious email detected. With this, admins will be able to configure an alert to notify them when an end-user has a malware or phishing message quarantined. We’ll be gradually rolling this out to customers in early October 2019, and the roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of October 2019.
Azure Active Directory Global Reader Role55096September CY2019Added: 11 September 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure Active Directory
We are introducing a new Azure AD built-in role called Global Reader. A Global Reader can read everything that a Global Administrator can, but not edit anything. Global Reader role encompasses all Microsoft 365 workloads.
Outlook on the web – New Search suggestions55138September CY2019Added: 12 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
The new suggestions will help you easily find emails and files in your inbox when using Search. When searching for a keyword, Outlook will show relevant people, emails, and files that contain the keywords.
Outlook for iOS: Move messages to suggested folders54449October CY2019Added: 13 September 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Effortlessly move emails to folders using Outlook folder suggestions

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When: Monday, September 23, 2019 9:00am – 10:00am PT | This September and October Microsoft HLS will be hosting a series of 3 Microsoft Teams AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. Each session will kick off with a brief update on any Teams news followed by a short 10/15-minute topic of consideration with Teams. The remaining 40-45 minutes will be wide open Q&A where our panel Microsoft Teams Technical Specialist will be on hand to answer your questions. Each session will begin at 12 noon eastern (9am pacific) and last for one hour. The focus of the first AMA session is on network considerations for Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 9:00am PT | To get work done from anywhere, across your devices, you need ubiquitous access to all your files – online and offline. Business information needs to be up to date and in reach, without compromise. Digital natives and mobile professionals expect this. And OneDrive does not disappoint. OneDrive is the intelligent files app for Microsoft 365 – your conduit to access, share and collaborate on all your files anytime, from anywhere, and across all your devices. In this webinar, we will demonstrate the advantages of OneDrive sync client that can help you be productive and stay connected to all your files without using the storage space on your device. We will also showcase the ease with which admins can manage and protect their organization’s data with effective sync policies. Don’t forget to add the event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 10:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Syncing Up with 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, and be sure to add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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.

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.

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.

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: Monday, October 21, 2019 9:00am – 10:00am PT | This September and October Microsoft HLS will be hosting a series of 3 Microsoft Teams AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. Each session will kick off with a brief update on any Teams news followed by a short 10/15-minute topic of consideration with Teams. The remaining 40-45 minutes will be wide open Q&A where our panel Microsoft Teams Technical Specialist will be on hand to answer your questions. Each session will begin at 12 noon eastern (9am pacific) and last for one hour. The focus of the second AMA session is on non-native Teams Room Systems and Microsoft Teams Meetings. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!

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.

When: Monday, October 28, 2019 9:00am – 10:00am PT | This September and October Microsoft HLS will be hosting a series of 3 Microsoft Teams AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. Each session will kick off with a brief update on any Teams news followed by a short 10/15-minute topic of consideration with Teams. The remaining 40-45 minutes will be wide open Q&A where our panel Microsoft Teams Technical Specialist will be on hand to answer your questions. Each session will begin at 12 noon eastern (9am pacific) and last for one hour. The focus of the third and final AMA session is end user preparedness for Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!


BLOG ROUNDUP

To get work done from anywhere, across your devices, you need ubiquitous access to all your files – online and offline. Business information needs to be up to date and in reach, without compromise. Digital natives and mobile professionals expect this. And OneDrive does not disappoint. OneDrive is the intelligent files app for Microsoft 365—your conduit to access, share and collaborate on all your files anytime, from anywhere, and across all your devices. Let us look at the top 5 benefits when using the OneDrive sync client: (1) Be productive and stay connected, (2) With more files, comes more space, (3) Access beyond your individual files and folders, (4) Monitor your files and sync actions, and (5) Admins – customize sync experience with effective policies. | Related: Sync Up – a OneDrive podcast, Episode 1 – “Files, Files, Files”

We are pleased to announce the general availability of Security Policy Advisor, a new service that can help enterprises improve the security of Office 365 ProPlus clients in their organization. Security Policy Advisor has been in preview for the past few months and we wanted to first thank all our previewers who have evaluated this service and provided us with feedback that has helped us improve the service. Security Policy Advisor enables IT admins who have deployed Office 365 ProPlus to manage the security of their Office applications with confidence by providing the following capabilities: (1) Tailored recommendations, (2) Rich data insights, (3) One-click deployment of policies, and (4) Monitoring and reporting. This service is now generally available and supported for customers with Office 365 ProPlus. | Related: Office 365 ProPlus Deployment and Proxy Server Guidance

When Wunderlist became part of the Microsoft family, our mission was to bring the delightful, simple, and elegant daily task experience and build it into Microsoft’s intelligent, interconnected, and security-centric ecosystem to create a new app—Microsoft To Do. We’re unveiling the new version of To Do, which includes a fresh new design, access from wherever you are, and more integration with Microsoft apps and services. With To Do, we’re on a mission to bring everything you need to do—from anywhere tasks appear in your favorite Microsoft 365 apps and services—into one centralized view. Flag messages you need to follow up on and see them in the Flagged Email list (with Microsoft work or school accounts or Microsoft-hosted email accounts like Outlook, Hotmail, or Live). The Assigned to Me list shows you the tasks assigned to you in your shared lists and those from Microsoft Planner. From there you can add them to My Day to give you a holistic view of what you need to do today. But that’s not all—with our Cortana integration, you can also add tasks from your Amazon Echo.* Love Microsoft Launcher on Android? Guess what! To Do is integrated there too.

MyAnalytics in Microsoft 365 helps you to work smarter with personal productivity insights in Microsoft 365 by allowing you to explore your work patterns with MyAnalytics and learn ways to work smarter— improving your focus, wellbeing, network, and collaboration. Earlier this year, we announced a plan to make MyAnalytics broadly available to Microsoft 365 enterprise and business customers. Since then, we have rolled out Insights add in in Outlook and MyAnalytics dashboard. We’re excited to share that in the next couple of weeks we’ll start to roll out the MyAnalytics weekly digest email to E3, E1 and Business SKUs and based on customer feedback, we’ll continue to expand to 100% worldwide over the next few months. NOTE as with previous milestones, end users as well as tenant admins continue to have the ability to opt out of any component of MyAnalytics. Targeted Release refers to users or organizations who have been opted in by their admins as early recipients of new Microsoft 365 features.

Yammer mobile iOS and Android apps keep you connected from anywhere – driving employee engagement and participation across the entire company. Earlier this year, we announced a preview of upcoming changes to the mobile experience, and now, Yammer’s superpowers are getting even stronger. Here’s a look at how we’re building beautiful new mobile experiences to help you connect, discover, and share in a way that’s easy on the thumbs and the eyes. A new card-based design sharpens content in the feed and helps you focus on the discussions that matter most to you. This is combined with a refreshed icon set, additional fonts and typography, new color palettes, and smoothed out spacing & indentations that create a delightful interface and encourages effortless scanning and comprehension. A new bubble layout organizes replies for mobile allowing the user to read more as desired. Similarly, we’ve added a “Read more” option in the feed to see additional conversations and expand threads. | Related: Bringing new Yammer Users into Active State

Microsoft Information Protection solutions help you better protect your sensitive information, wherever it lives or travels – across devices, apps, cloud services and on-premises. Our goal is to provide a consistent and comprehensive approach to discovering, classifying, labeling and protecting sensitive data. Earlier this year we released built-in sensitivity labeling in Office apps for Mac, iOS and Android. These capabilities enable users to easily apply sensitivity labels to documents and emails – based on the policies defined by your organization. The built-in labeling experiences are integrated directly into Office apps – there’s no need for any special plugins or add-ons. We’re expanding to additional Office apps, and now sensitivity labeling is available in Office apps for Windows. With this release, end-user driven sensitivity labeling is now available in Office for Windows: Word, PowerPoint, Excel & Outlook. The labeling experience in Office apps for Windows is similar to the labeling experience on other platforms – making it easy and familiar for your end-users. Once you define and configure your sensitivity labels and policies, the same labels are published out and made available across the supported Office apps.


NOTEWORTHY

WOW! Flow Conference 2019 was Amazing!! 18 Sessions from 18 of the best teachers! So many new skills acquired, so many new people inspired, this event was truly amazing because it was for the community, by the community! For those unable to join the live conference, all of the content is available on-demand! You can watch the entire conference as it was presented, or individual sessions. Links to both are included in the blog post, along with a list of speakers.

Some important Microsoft products are going to end of support in 2020, which include: Windows 7 and Exchange Server 2010 on January 14, 2020, and SharePoint Server 2010, Project Server 2010, and Office 2010 on October 13, 2020. End of support means that Microsoft will no longer provide free security updates. If you haven’t already, you should be planning and acting to upgrade or replace these products soon. For each product, there are multiple options. For a visual summary of the products and their options, see the new Office 2010 clients and servers and Windows 7 end of support poster.

In support, we hear from people in this “duplicate mailbox” situation relatively often. When this happens, our customers ask us for the best way to recover. There are typically two main scenarios under which accounts can get into this situation – (1) Duplicate (new) mailbox in Exchange Online, and (2) Duplicate (new) mailbox on-premises. No matter how you get into this situation, the recommended recovery process will be the same. You can find that recently documented process here: How to recover when a mailbox exists in both Exchange Online and on-premises. In this blog post, we did want to acknowledge that we know there might be other ways to recover from this scenario. We spent quite a bit of time discussing how to best approach this and document a process that repeatedly gives you the best chance of success with no data loss.

More organizations are seeking automation solutions and there will be many options. As security professionals, you’ll have to recommend the service offering all the benefits of automation, while ensuring the organization remains secure and compliant. Flow is natively integrated with best-in-class authentication services, offers powerful data loss prevention and an enhanced IT experience ranging from broad visibility and control to automating IT functions, and is built on rigorous privacy and compliance standards. We’re confident that Flow will be the right choice for your organization, so let’s get started on showing you why.

As part of continued improvements to the Exchange Online service we are releasing an improvement to the User object management experience. Currently, when you create or modify user’s properties via Exchange Admin Center (EAC), Exchange Online PowerShell or other API, you might not see the result of your change in AAD for a while. The Exchange Online and AAD teams have worked together to provide a new mechanism to synchronize the changes that originate in EXO and need to replicate to AAD without relying on the current back-sync mechanism. Once this improvement is deployed to your tenant, when you make user object changes in Exchange the changes will now be dual-written to AAD and EXO. The end result is that the replication of those properties should be close to immediate and changes made in EXO will immediately reflect in AAD when the cmdlet completes successfully. Note, that this change should be transparent to all the Exchange management operations you are doing today. There is absolutely no need to change your scripts or your usage of EAC or other Exchange APIs. You may see new errors, but they should be treated the same as you do today: re-run the cmdlet. If the issue persists when you open a support ticket, just mention that the error in Exchange is due to AAD and support should be able to help you redirect to the correct teams.

Security teams responsible for investigating and responding to incidents often deal with a massive number of signals from widely disparate sources. As a result, rapid and efficient incident response continues to be the biggest challenge facing security teams today. The sheer volume of these signals, combined with an ever-growing digital estate of organizations, means that a lot of critical alerts miss getting the timely attention they deserve. Security teams need help to scale better, be more efficient, focus on the right issues, and deal with incidents in a timely manner. This is why we’re excited to announce the general availability of Automated Incident Response in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). Applying these powerful automation capabilities to investigation and response workflows can dramatically improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your organization’s security teams.

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