Office 365 Weekly Digest | December 15 – 21, 2019

Season’s Greetings and welcome to the December 15 – 21, 2019 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were twelve features added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Outlook, SharePoint, Yammer, and Kaizala.

New January 2020 sessions have been added for most existing event series. This week’s spotlight event is the “Make the switch from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams: End User Guidance” session on Thursday, December 26th at 12pm Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blog posts include a summary of what’s new in Microsoft Teams for December 2019, updated guidance for organizing Teams channels, details on the retirement of Office 365 Video and migration timelines to Microsoft Stream, and the December 2019 feature updates for Workplace Analytics.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the “What’s New with Microsoft 365” video for December 2019, the latest updates to the Microsoft 365 admin center, guidance on troubleshooting the Office Client Policy Service, and information on how the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Identity team is advancing Azure AD availability.

NOTE: Typically there isn’t much content published during the holiday week. As a result, there will not be a weekly digest posted on Monday, December 30, 2019. I am going to take a little extra time and spend it with my family. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook for Android: Discover relevant files in Search58733Q2 CY2020Added: 16 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook -Android
In Search, find a feed of Office 365 files that are connected to you based on ongoing collaboration activity within your company.
Website tabs in Teams GCC High59839December CY2019Added: 17 December 2019
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams
This feature lets users in GCC High add a website tab in Teams.
Outlook on the web – view and edit Sticky Notes59840January CY2020Added: 17 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
From Outlook on the web, view and edit the notes you create in Outlook for Windows and Sticky Notes right in the “Notes” folder, now with a new look. If you sign in with the same account across apps, your notes will sync across them like Sticky Notes for Windows 10, OneNote for iPhone and Android Phone, and Microsoft Launcher for Android Phone.
Outlook on the web – Add a personal calendar54015January CY2020Added: 17 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
Your time includes both personal and work events, so you should be able to see both in one place. Outlook on the web will give you the option to connect a personal calendar (Outlook.com or Google Calendar) to your Office 365 account. With this, you can see both kind of events in one place.
SharePoint: Stock Images59834Q2 CY2020Added: 17 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Free to use stock images will be available in the SharePoint image file picker.
Usage Analytics Report for Office 365 ProPlus and Forms59845Q2 CY2020Added: 17 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ProPlus, Forms
Usage analytics in Microsoft 365 will add a new report that will help you better understand how Office 365 Pro Plus and Forms is be used in your organization.
SharePoint admin – Azure Active Directory Global Reader Role59984January CY2020Added: 19 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
We have introduced a new Azure Active Directory (AAD) built-in role called “Global Reader.” Global Reader is the read-only counterpart to Global admin. Users in this role can read settings and administrative information across Microsoft 365 services, but cannot take management actions. When the Global Reader role initially launched, it did not support the SharePoint admin center. And now, a “Global Reader” will see ‘SharePoint’ listed in left pane under Admin Centers in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Users who are assigned this role will have read-only access to all info and settings in the new SharePoint admin center. Note: This feature is related to the global admin role introduced in Message Center post: MC191391 (September 2019); roadmap ID: 55096.
Announce when PSTN participants join/leave the meeting59919January CY2020Added: 19 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Any user who schedules a Teams meeting will now see a new setting in Meeting Options page of a meeting to control the announcement sound when a PSTN/dial-in participant joins or leaves the meeting.
Enable organizers to change lobby settings for PSTN meeting participants54418January CY2020Added: 19 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Any user who schedules a Microsoft Teams meeting will now see a separate setting to control the lobby for PSTN participants in the Meeting Options page of a given meeting.
New experiences for scheduling and attending Live Events in Yammer59993Q2 CY2020Added: 20 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Schedule and produce a Live Event in Yammer using webcams and desktop and file sharing from Microsoft Teams. Create and manage the entire event in just a few clicks and broadcast from your device.
Kaizala – Consent for Custom Actions59705December CY2019Added: 21 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Kaizala
This will allow users to provide consent before accessing a custom action card. A permission dialogue will be activated when the user uses a Custom Action either from the action palette or chat via the “Discover” tab in Kaizala. It will only be shown for the first time to the user per custom action card.
Kaizala – User Admin Role Deprecation59706December CY2019Added: 21 December 2019
Status: In development
App / Service: Kaizala
The user admin role will no longer be able to manage Kaizala for their organization. Instead, the Kaizala admin within the admin portal will be able to manage Kaizala in their organization, and have full access to all Kaizala management features and data.

UPCOMING EVENTS

This 60-minute session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with Microsoft Teams today. From setting your profile, to running a meeting, users will leave this session with the foundation needed to use Teams with confidence. The session is also available on demand at https://aka.ms/teamsgettingstartedondemand.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our Tips & Tricks sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In Part 1 – Effective Workspaces, you will explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Decide if your team is best served by a team and channels or a group chat and meetings, (2) Create a workspace for your team to provide the best collaboration experience, (3) Use a personal team to simplify your productivity, and (4) Determine best practices for Teams. Access the consolidated on-demand version of Tips and Tricks here: https://aka.ms/teamstipsandtricksondemand.

Designed specifically for Skype for Business end users, this course offers everything you need to help make the transition to Microsoft Teams. We’ll focus on the core communication capabilities you use today, chat and meetings, as well as provide an orientation to additional collaboration functionality Teams has to offer. The session is also available on demand at https://aka.ms/fromskypetoteamsondemand.

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

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our Tips & Tricks sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In Part 2 – Get More from Teams, you will learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, (2) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (3) Easily find files, chats and projects, and (4) Simplify your workday. Access the consolidated on-demand version of Tips and Tricks here: https://aka.ms/teamstipsandtricksondemand.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, January 15, 2020 at 10:00am PT | In this webinar, experts from both the product group, and the IT side of Microsoft will share candid insights and best practices around modernizing employee experiences including Enterprise Search, Microsoft’s home site (MSW), and the latest on how we manage our authoritative portals. Our experts will also take your questions about our strategy for delivering targeted communications and enabling employees to find the content they need.

Your business needs to control how sensitive data is managed. Join us and explore how to assess your compliance risk, protect sensitive and business critical data, and respond efficiently to data discovery requests. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Simplify assessment of compliance risk, (2) Integrate protection and governance of data, and (3) Intelligently respond to data discovery requests. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

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

When: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 10:00am PT | For today’s mobile workforce, providing users with access to the content they need at any time, from any place, and on any device is important. During this webinar, experts from the Microsoft Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) team answers audience questions about our strategy for file management across mobile web, sync and sharing using OneDrive, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.


BLOG ROUNDUP

As we near the end of 2019, we can’t help but reflect on all of the incredible ways that Teams has evolved this past year, and how so many of our customers were able to use Teams to help them transform their own workplace collaboration. And a big thank you to all of you who have implemented Teams at your own organizations, and shared feedback with us along the way! Read on to learn what’s new in Teams in the month of December, including: (1) Teams for Linux client, (2) Native federation for 1:1 chats with users outside your organization, (3) Add additional participants to meeting chats, (4) Meeting roles – presenter or attendee, (5) Video calling on Chrome, (6) Citrix VDI support general availability, and much more. | Related: Microsoft Teams Rooms December Update | Jira Server App for Microsoft Teams

With the release of private channels in Microsoft Teams we wanted to update our guidance for organizing your hub for teamwork. Bringing people together across your organization is powerful and we want you to have the best experience with our product. With the release of private channels you can now have focused conversation areas with a subset of members of your team alongside the standard channel conversations that drive collaboration across the broader team. Our TechTip video will guide you through a variety of examples of team and channel structure, remind you of the differences between chat and channel conversations and help you to get the most from private channels in Microsoft Teams.

We are excited to announce that Office 365 Video customers in most regions are now able to migrate their video content to Microsoft Stream using an administration migration tool. Microsoft Stream builds on learnings from Office 365 Video to bring intelligence and deeper integration into Office 365 and beyond. Since the launch of Microsoft Stream, we’ve been busy improving the platform in preparation for Office 365 Video migrations. Customers who are currently using Office 365 Video should begin planning their migration to Microsoft Stream. Office 365 Video and the associated iOS app will eventually be retired, all timelines and details can be found in this post.

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for December 2019. This update covers our latest feature, an update to the query-visualization feature. In August 2019, we introduced the capability to visualize Person query results without having to leave Workplace Analytics. Analysts could create charts, modify them, and examine the new visualizations in real time. However, they could not save their work, create and retain modified versions, or recover changes following a crash. All these things are now possible!

Data governance has relied on transferring data to a third-party for hosting an archive service. Emails, documents, chat logs, and third-party data (Bloomberg, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) must be saved in a way that it can’t be changed and won’t be lost. Data governance is part of IT at the enterprise level. It serves regulatory compliance, can facilitate eDiscovery, and is part of a business strategy to protect the integrity of the data estate. However, there are downsides. In addition to acquisition costs, the archive is one more system that needs ongoing maintenance. When data is moved to another system, the risk footprint is increased, and data can be compromised in transit. An at-rest archive can become another target of attack. When you take the data to the archive, you miss the opportunity to reason over it with machine learning to extract additional business value and insights to improve the governance program. The game changer is to have reliable, auditable retention inside the Microsoft 365 tenant. This way, all the security controls and visibility in Microsoft 365 and Azure remain in effect. There is no additional archive to be attacked, protected, or monitored. In addition, there is no third-party archiving system to be purchased or maintained. All the machine learning and correlation tools—always on and native to Microsoft 365—are reasoning over your data estate. Dark data can be illuminated.


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (16 minutes) | This video recaps what’s new with Microsoft 365 in December 2019, including: (1) Microsoft Fluid Framework, (2) Mobile Productivity, (3) Microproductivity, and (4) Fluent for iOS and Android.

Updated: 20 December 2019 | The November and December 2019 updates for the Microsoft 365 admin center are combined, as there were very few announcements following the Ignite 2019 conference. A few highlights include: (1) broader rollout of the Global Reader role, (2) a new Settings page, and (3) lots of newly available training, this month from Microsoft Learn.

The whitepaper, first released in Aug 2018, has been updated to include latest features as well as best practices for planning, securing, deploying, and supporting applications built on the Power Platform. The whitepaper includes the following sections: (1) Platform Architecture, (2) Secure, (3) Monitor, (4) Alert & Act, (5) Deploy, ALM and Azure DevOps, and (6) Educate and Support. This whitepaper will help give you a better understanding of what currently is in your environment, how to proactively plan for applications being developed and deployed and finally how to handle day to day administrative tasks to manage deployments.

The Office cloud policy service (OCPS) is a cloud-based service that enables you to apply policy settings for Office 365 ProPlus on a user’s device. The policy settings roam to whichever device the user signs into and uses Office 365 ProPlus. As end users become increasingly mobile, IT Pros need a single approach to secure Office 365 ProPlus for traditional on-premises domain devices, Azure AD registered devices, Azure AD Joined, and Hybrid Azure AD joined devices. OCPS applies to all scenarios above without the need to download and replicate any content such as Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) on-premises. The goal of this blog is to provide some transparency of how the service works to help IT Pros during their validation phase and to encourage transition from classic domain-based policy to OCPS service for Office 365 ProPlus.

Our customers trust Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to manage secure access to all their applications and services. For us, this means that every authentication request is a mission critical operation. Given the critical nature and the scale of the service, our identity team’s top priority is the reliability and security of the service. Azure AD is engineered for availability and security using a truly cloud-native, hyper-scale, multi-tenant architecture and our team has a continual program of raising the bar on reliability and security. Our resilience investments are organized around the following set of reliability principles: (1) Highly Redundant, (2) No single points of Failure, (3) Multiple levels of isolation, (4) Elastically scales, (5) Safe Deployment, (6) Modern Verification, (7) Fine-grained, physically separate domains, and (8) Decorrelated backup authentication service.

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