Office 365 Weekly Digest | September 15 – 21, 2019

Welcome to the September 15 – 21, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were five features added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, most notably Pinned Channels in Microsoft Teams. There are also updates for Exchange Online and Office 365.

There are no brand new events, but several sessions have been added to existing event series. The spotlight event of the week is the “Syncing Up with OneDrive” webinar, followed by an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session on Tuesday, September 24th starting at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include information on what’s new in the Microsoft 365 admin center, two important announcements for Exchange Online, and the availability of an updated Page Diagnostics tool for SharePoint.

Noteworthy item highlights include the latest features for Microsoft Teams on desktop and web, a new “Transition your Organization to Microsoft 365 Enterprise” poster, information on resilient operations for Azure AD Connect, and details on a potential sign-in and sign-out issue with the latest Chrome Beta version.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Service Communications API GA55207September CY2019Added: 16 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
You can utilize the Service Communications API to access current and historical service incidents and message center communications for your tenant.
Microsoft Teams – Pinned Channels55369September CY2019Added: 16 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Stay organized and easily keep track of your work with pinned channels. Pinning a channel moves it to the top of your teams list for easy access. To pin a channel, simply select “…” next to the channel name and select “pin”.
Safe Links for Office Online55394October CY2019Added: 17 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office Online
Safe Links in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection has been protecting your links in Office clients on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Now, we are extending this protection to Office Online. When a user clicks a link in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote in Office Online, Advanced Threat Protection will inspect the link to see if it is malicious. If the link is malicious, the user will be redirected to a warning page instead of the original target URL. This new capability further integrates and expands security across Office 365. In addition, we are simplifying the policy setup for Safe Links for Office that will combine the configuration for both Office Clients and Office Online into one setting. This feature will be ON by default.
Introducing the Quarantine Administrator Role55471October CY2019Added: 19 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange
We’re introducing the Quarantine Administrator RBAC Role. With this introduction, users can now add a role for Quarantine to role groups within the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. The new Quarantine role will provide access to all components of Quarantine. We’ll be gradually rolling this out in mid-October 2019, and the roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of October 2019.
Phish and Spam Zero-Hour Auto Purge move to Quarantine55432Q1 CY2020Added: 19 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange
We are updating Zero-hour auto purge (ZAP) to move phish and spam messages identified post-delivery to Quarantine to better align the ZAP action to the mail flow action defined in the Anti-spam policy. We’ll begin rolling this feature out soon. After this update, ZAP will move post-delivery detected phish or spam mails to Quarantine if the respective phish/spam action in the recipient’s Spam policy is set to Redirect, Delete, or Quarantine. If the policy action is set to Move to Junk, then ZAP will continue to move the message to Junk. ZAP still will not take action if the policy action is Add X-header, Modify Subject, or No Action. We’ll be gradually rolling this out to all customers in early October, and the roll out will be completed worldwide by mid-November.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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!

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).

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.

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, 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!

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 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.

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.

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 session is IT Admins.

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.

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, 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

We’ve heard your feedback – creating multiple users with the same settings can be frustrating and time-consuming. We are pleased to announce the addition of templates to the active users page in Microsoft 365 admin center. You can now create and use a template to save time when adding multiple users. Templates are particularly useful if you have users who share many properties, like those who work in the same role and the same location. You can personalize multiple templates to speed up the work of adding different types of users. And you only have access to the templates you create as an admin; others cannot access your templates. We have started rolling out this new user template capability to tenants this month, and the rollout will continue over the next few months. | Resource: What’s new in the Microsoft 365 admin center – updated 16 September 2019

Last year we announced we are turning off Basic Authentication for Exchange Web Services on October 13, 2020. Now, we are announcing that we are also turning off Basic Authentication in Exchange Online for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), POP, IMAP and Remote PowerShell at the same time – October 13, 2020. We want your help in getting users to move away from apps that use Basic Authentication, to apps that use Modern Authentication. Modern Authentication (which is OAuth 2.0 token based auth) has many benefits and improvements that help mitigate the issues present in Basic Authentication. For example, OAuth access tokens have a limited usable lifetime and are specific to the applications and resources they are issued for so they can’t be re-used. Enabling and enforcing MFA is also very simple with Modern Auth. Please note this change does not affect SMTP AUTH – we will continue supporting Basic Authentication for the time being. There is a huge number of devices and appliances that use SMTP for sending mail, and so we’re not including SMTP in this change – though we are working on ways to further secure SMTP AUTH and we’ll share more on that in due course. Nor does this change affect Outlook for Windows or Mac assuming they are already configured and using Modern Auth (and they really should be). | Related: End of support for Basic Authentication access to Exchange Online API’s for Office 365 customers

After investigating and analyzing the deployment state of an extensive number of Exchange customers we have decided to move the end of Extended Support for Exchange Server 2010 from January 14th 2020 to October 13th 2020. Our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our customers is as strong as ever, and we recognize discontinuing support for a product that has been as popular and reliable as Exchange Server 2010 can be an adjustment. We also know that some of you are in the midst of upgrades to a newer version of Exchange Server on-premises, or more transformative migrations to the cloud with Office 365 and Exchange Online. With this in mind, we are extending end of support to October 13th 2020 to give Exchange Server 2010 customers more time to complete their migrations. This extension also aligns with the end of support for Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010. After October 13th 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for problems that may occur including: bug fixes for issues that are discovered and that may impact the stability and usability of the server, security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered and that may make the server vulnerable to security breaches, and time zone updates. Your installation of Exchange 2010 will, of course, continue to run after this date; however, due to the changes and potential end of support risks, we strongly recommend you migrate from Exchange 2010 as soon as possible. | Related: Exchange On-Premises Best Practices for Migrations from 2010 to 2016

We’re pleased to announce availability of the next release of the Page Diagnostics Tool for SharePoint (Version 2.0.1) which now includes the ability to assess modern and classic SharePoint pages in SharePoint Online. The Page Diagnostics Tool for SharePoint is a Chromium Browser Extension (can be used in Chrome and Microsoft Edge version 77 or later) designed to help you identify site pages in SharePoint Online that may not be delivering optimal performance. The Page Diagnostics Tool works by comparing discovered characteristics of a site page in SharePoint Online to known best practices and provide guidance towards remediation of those issues to ensure you are delivering the best possible experience across these pages. In addition to addressing performance of existing pages, the Page Diagnostics Tool can also be used to evaluate existing pages before they are published in your environment. As such it is recommended that you use the tool to evaluate new pages or changes to pages prior to publication in your production tenant or as part of your development life cycle in your development tenant. The Page Diagnostic Tool also provides detailed information on a variety of characteristics useful for support and troubleshooting purposes to include the current CorrelationID which is helpful when engaging Microsoft support as well as page load time, and the current URL for the page being evaluated. An additional preview feature has also been included to further assist when working with Microsoft support, “Enable exporting to HTTP Archive (HAR) – Preview”. This can be used to provide debugging data to the Microsoft support engineer.


NOTEWORTHY

Updated: September 20, 2019 | There are several recent updates for Microsoft Teams on desktop and web, including the following: (1) Meet now – no invite required, (2) Chrome now has calling, and (3) Ability to mute a conversation in a channel. | Related: How to move around during a Microsoft Teams meeting | Manage notification settings in Microsoft Teams | Favorite and follow channels in Microsoft Teams

One of the first tasks in the transition of your organization to Microsoft 365 Enterprise is to understand: (1) What elements of my on-premises infrastructure need to be upgraded, migrated, or moved completely to the cloud?, and (2) What components of Microsoft 365 Enterprise replace third party products that I have? The answers to these questions will give you a big-picture view of what’s involved. For a quick assessment exercise, see the new Transition Your Organization to Microsoft 365 Enterprise poster – view or download.

Hybrid is the new IT reality. For most Microsoft customers that means Azure AD Connect (AADConnect) is your Identity Bridge between on-premise and the Azure Cloud. This blog post helps customers have a full understanding of how AADConnect is designed to function or how to ensure their AADConnect infrastructure is running smooth and is resilient to failure. Resilient operations for AADConnect involves three main topics: (1) Health, (2) High Availability (HA), and (3) Upgrades.

The Beta release of the Google Chrome web browser (build 78, released on September 19, 2019) features a change in how cookies are handled. This change is expected to severely affect many open standards-based applications and services, including Microsoft cloud services. The new behavior prevents users from being able to sign into services, and causes user sessions to be left active after users appear to sign out. Customers are advised to avoid using the Beta version of the Chrome browser to access Microsoft services until further notice. Microsoft is working to address this situation before these changes are included in the generally available version of Chrome.

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