Office 365 Weekly Digest | September 22 – 28, 2019

Welcome to the September 22 – 28, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Thirteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, across Teams, Microsoft 365 (Security/Compliance), OneDrive, SharePoint, and Office 365 ProPlus.

There is only one brand new event, a webinar on hosting live events in Microsoft 365 on October 8th at 9am Pacific. There are lots of new sessions added for existing event series, some all the way through the end of 2019. This week’s spotlight event is the Azure Active Directory webinar, “Upgrade your security with multi-factor authentication”, on Thursday, October 3rd at 7am and 11am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blog posts include a look at new features in Office that help people brainstorm, create and present, teamwork tips for Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, and changes to file types blocked in Outlook on the web.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the on-demand content from last week’s “Syncing Up with OneDrive” webinar, the September 2019 feature updates for Workplace Analytics, and the Employee Experience Starter Kit for PowerApps. The ability to explore CAD drawing files in OneDrive is also now generally available.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Microsoft Teams – Enhanced Delegation55714October CY2019Added: 25 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Currently Microsoft Teams offers basic delegation which is the capability to delegate your calls to another user. That person can answer and make calls on your behalf. Microsoft has enhanced this capability so that the people who support you can now add or remove additional delegates. They will also be able to change call forwarding settings on your behalf. This will better support those who need to delegate their calls.
Microsoft Teams – Dynamic Emergency Calling for Calling Plans55716October CY2019Added: 25 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Dynamic Emergency Calling is a feature of Microsoft Teams Phone System. It uses the caller’s current location to route to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), a call center operated by the local government. This feature is for the United States. This is the second release of this feature which adds support for Direct Routing users.
Microsoft 365 compliance center available to Office 365 tenants55706Q1 CY2020Added: 25 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 compliance center will be available to Office 365 tenants. Office 365 customers can start using the specialized compliance workspace.
Idle session timeout for Microsoft 365 web apps55183Q1 CY2020Added: 25 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365
Idle session timeout feature allows IT admins to configure a tenant-wide timeout value based on which users get automatically signed out after a period of inactivity on Microsoft 365 web apps. This feature is an improvement over, and will eventually replace, current idle timeout settings in Outlook Web App (OWA) and SharePoint Online (SPO).
Compliance solution catalog in public preview55111Q1 CY2020Added: 25 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365
The solution catalog in public preview, which locates in the Microsoft 365 compliance center, will enable companies to better discover and learn the solutions that can help meet their compliance goals. Admins will be able to customize their administrative experience with this new feature.
Migrate compliance solutions from Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to M365 compliance center55112Q1 CY2020Added: 25 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365
Lift and shift compliance solutions from Office Security & Compliance Center to M365 compliance center, so admins won’t be redirected to the old platform.
Automated Incident Response for compromised user accounts55742October CY2019Added: 26 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange / Microsoft 365
We’re adding a new playbook for automated investigation and remediation of compromised user accounts. With the new playbook for detecting compromised users, security teams can automatically identify, mitigate, and contain threats due to these user accounts, reducing potential damages significantly. The playbook will trigger automatic investigations for users with abnormal sending patterns or users restricted from sending email. The playbook will also provide valuable insights into:
• How the user was compromised???if the user clicked on a bad link or it changed state, or if the user performed some malicious activity, such as sending phish or malware.
• What they did after that???for example, if they set up delegates or mail forwarding rules or changed other settings
• What actions the security team performed???such as cleaning up malicious messages, investigating URLs that changed verdict, removing delegates and inbox rules, and so on
Renaming of Subscription Names55573October CY2019Added: 27 September 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Project
The subscription names of Project Online Professional and Project Online Premium will be changing to Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5 respectively.
External sharing reports – OneDrive56194October CY2019Added: 27 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
End users will be able to access reports on all of their shared content.
Microsoft Compliance Score in Public Preview55109Q1 CY2020Added: 27 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365
Microsoft Compliance Score, which will be available in public preview, can help organizations simplify and automate risk assessments and provide recommended actions to address the risks. The new feature will be available in the Microsoft 365 compliance center.
File hover card – conversations56183Q1 CY2020Added: 27 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
This new file hover card feature, alongside file details and actions like ‘Inside Look’ and ‘Activity,’ will show relevant emails, meetings and Teams conversations to the individual reviewing the file hover card information. So, when someone sends an email, a Teams message, or a meeting invitation that references a file from SharePoint or OneDrive, that conversation is displayed in the file hover card with a link to the conversation(s).
Delivery Optimization Preview55135September CY2019Added: 27 September 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ProPlus
Delivery Optimization (Preview) is a peer-to-peer distribution technology available in Windows 10 that allows devices to share content, such as updates, that the devices have downloaded from Microsoft over the internet. This can help reduce network bandwidth because a device can get portions of the update from another device on its local network instead of having to download the update completely from Microsoft. Office 365 ProPlus on devices running Windows 10 can take advantage of Delivery Optimization during installation and when receiving updates, if certain requirements are met. To learn more, read the Delivery Optimization documentation.
Common Office 365 file sharing experience in OWA51541September CY2019Added: 27 September 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – Web
When you copy/paste a link to a file stored in OneDrive, Outlook Web App (OWA) will reconcile the file name as a hyperlink instead of the pasting the full URL. You also have the control to then change the access permissions on the shared link.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 9:00am – 10:00am PT | Learn how to create, promote, and manage live events in Microsoft 365. This deep dive will walk through the best practices and technical steps so your organization can start empowering leaders to connect with their employees, deliver impactful training, and improve communication and culture using Microsoft Teams, Stream, and Yammer. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!

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.

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 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!

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 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

With school back in session and work schedules ramping up, this time of year can be hectic. So it’s the perfect moment to highlight app updates and enhancements that help you work more productively—with the flexibility and mobility that modern life demands. We’re committed to empowering people to use the cloud to work and learn from anywhere, and Office for the web now fully enables this new productivity. We’re excited to announce new features in Office to help you brainstorm, create, and present more effectively: (1) Practice makes perfect with Presenter Coach in PowerPoint for the web, (2) Present, annotate, and interact naturally with Inking in Office for the web, (3) Brainstorm together and get work done with new Microsoft Whiteboard templates for desktop, and (4) Bring your ideas to life with new 3D models and lesson plans in Office for desktop. | Related: Microsoft Whiteboard Announces Preview of New Templates

When people work together and get things done – there is less confusion between team members and the content they create. This is the design goal behind Microsoft Teams – the hub for teamwork – and the reason why SharePoint is deeply integrated to provide great content experiences and services within the same user interface. At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. And when you do this together – as a team – it’s teamwork that moves things forward. This blog (and embedded video) highlight everything you can do with SharePoint directly from within Teams. Work easily and confidently with files, news, home pages and lists, assured everything is protected by industry-leading security and compliance and the ability to adhere to your desired governance outcomes. The video demonstrates each of the four topnotch tips along with guidance on “how to” within your Teams experience. Then, dig into the blog post for more context, screenshots/GIFs and links to learn more per these four tips: (1) Work on files together using the Files tab and full SharePoint document libraries, (2) Let SharePoint news headlines flow into Microsoft Teams, (3) Add a “business app” by adding the default, group-connected SharePoint team site home page as a tab in Teams, and (4) Make a list (in SharePoint) and check it twice (in Teams).

We will soon be adding several additional file extensions to the BlockedFileTypes property of existing OwaMailboxPolicy objects. This change will prevent Outlook on the web users from downloading attachments that have those file extensions. We’re always evaluating ways to improve security for our customers, and so we took the time to audit the existing blocked file list and update it to better reflect the file types we see as risks today. The newly blocked file types are rarely used, so most organizations will not be affected by the change. However, if your users are sending and receiving affected attachments, they will report that they are no longer able to download them. If your organization requires that users be able to download attachment of these types from OWA, you should first ensure that our organization’s operating systems and application software are up-to-date (in the case files that are opened by application software) or ensure that your users are familiar with the risks associated with the file types (in the case of files that are interpreted by scripting software). If you want a particular file type to be allowed, you can add that file type to the AllowedFileTypes property of your users’ OwaMailboxPolicy objects. Note: In order to minimize disruption from this change, we will not add a file extension to a policy’s BlockedFileTypes list if that extension is already present in the AllowedFileTypes list.

Microsoft is pleased to announce the final release of the recommended security configuration baseline settings for Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, version 1908. This baseline builds on the overhauled Office baseline we released in early 2018. The highlights of this baseline include: (1) Componentization of GPOs so that “challenging” settings can be added or removed as a unit, (2) Comprehensive blocking of legacy file formats, and (3) Blocking Excel from using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). Also see the announcements at the end of this post regarding the new Security Policy Advisor and Office cloud policy services. The downloadable baseline package includes importable GPOs, a script to apply the GPOs to local policy, a custom administrative template (ADMX) file for Group Policy settings, all the recommended settings in spreadsheet form and as Policy Analyzer rules. The recommended settings correspond with the Office 365 ProPlus administrative templates version 4909 released on September 5, 2019. The download for the final version of this baseline will be released through the Security Compliance Toolkit.


NOTEWORTHY

If you weren’t able to attend the live session on September 24th, you can now view the recording and download the content for the “Syncing Up with OneDrive” webinar. This webinar demonstrated 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 also showcased the ease with which admins can manage and protect their organization’s data with effective sync policies. | Related: Syncing Up with OneDrive AMA

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for September 2019. In this update, you’ll discover the latest, including: (1) Teamwork Solution refresh with updates to functionality and appearance in several ways, (2) Peer comparison query, which can be used to investigate the context of a measured employee’s metrics, and (3) Synchronous file validation, which streamlines the onboarding process to make it possible for customers to complete the required steps in a single session.

Identity is a fundamental and required part of the overall infrastructure for Microsoft 365 Enterprise. Without it, your users would not be able to sign in securely, you could not use groups to manage access to resources, and you could not impose requirements on users and devices to keep your organization and its Microsoft 365 subscription secure. The identity infrastructure for Microsoft 365 can also leverage your existing on-premises Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) forest, which already has many directory objects for users and devices. There’s a lot of identity services and features and multiple ways to leverage AD DS for authentication and security management in your subscription. To see the bigger picture of identity in Microsoft 365 Enterprise, get the new Identity infrastructure for Microsoft 365 Enterprise poster – view or download.

A while back, we shared the story of Microsoft Thrive, a suite of employee engagement apps deployed worldwide to 100K+ Microsoft employees. In this blog, we are pleased to share the PowerApps Employee Experience Starter Kit – a refactored version of the Microsoft Thrive Apps, built using the latest Common Data Service (CDS) improvements and available for Microsoft Power Platform customers to download and use as reference templates. The Employee Experience Starter Kit consists of 5 turnkey solutions: (1) Employee Hub: An app to view company news and connect with other apps via actionable cards, (2) My Conference: An event management app for internal employee conferences, (3) Kudos: An app for peer recognition and praise among employees, (4) People: An app to view and navigate the company org chart, and (5)Time Away: A time and absence reporting app.

For those working in architectural, engineering, and manufacturing spaces, ubiquitous access to computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and tools is key to staying productive. As we announced in March, we’re working with the Autodesk team to better connect the industry-leading capabilities of AutoCAD with DWG files in Microsoft OneDrive. We’re now pleased to announce the general availability of AutoCAD-based previews of DWG files in OneDrive and SharePoint. As you work with files across OneDrive and SharePoint, views of those files will use AutoCAD technology to display rich previews inline. With these AutoCAD-powered previews, see all the extended detail as you focus and zoom on different facets of CAD drawings. Because the AutoCAD previews are built with the original AutoCAD engine, it displays drawings with the precision and fidelity of AutoCAD – consistent across the web and in the native AutoCAD application. When you need to further explore or edit these drawings, use the built-in links to the AutoCAD web app to open files directly from OneDrive. The AutoCAD web app features familiar drafting tools and commands, making it easy perform common actions straight from your browser. Because AutoCAD works with these files in OneDrive and SharePoint using the Microsoft Graph, it doesn’t require making a separate copy of your files – ensuring a simple and compliant experience for managing and tracking your important files. Of course, you can also edit DWG files in OneDrive directly from the powerful AutoCAD native applications available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices.

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