Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-02

Welcome to the January 5 – 11, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were five features added to the Office 365 Roadmap, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, Forms, and Outlook on iOS and Android.

There are some new sessions for existing event series, but no brand new events this week. This week’s spotlight event is the “Microsoft IT Showcase: IT expert roundtable – Modernizing out SharePoint experiences” webinar on Wednesday, January 15th at 10am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blog posts include details on how to protect information and stay compliant in Microsoft Teams, information on 8 new features to empower Firstline Workers, recommendations on how to streamline the deployment and management of Microsoft Teams with Office 365 ProPlus, and the availability of security baseline recommendations in the Office Cloud Policy Service.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as information on base OS upgrade supportability for Lync and Skype for Business Server, availability of Office What’s New Management Preview updates, the rollout of Microsoft Fluid Framework preview, and Security Defaults for Azure Active Directory.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook for iOS: Privacy controls58135January CY2020Added: 05 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Outlook for iOS will follow the same privacy controls for the level of diagnostic and related data that Office sends to Microsoft established in other Office 365 apps.
New Admin YouTube Toggle60191February CY2020Added: 07 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms
Existing Toggle within Admin center to control Bing Image search is being changed to control Bing Image search AND YouTube videos. It will appear and function as follows. Header: Grant Access Label: Include Bing search and YouTube videos Description: Allow users in your organization to add images from Bing and YouTube videos to Forms. Note: If unchecked, previously added images from Bing will remain, but any previously added YouTube videos will be converted into a YouTube link that will launch outside of Forms. In app functionality – If unchecked, Form designers will no longer be able to add new YouTube videos to Forms, and will see a warning. However, they can continue to add Stream videos. Previously added YouTube videos will be converted to links that launch outside of forms (for both Form designers, and Form responders).
Outlook for Android: Privacy controls60109February CY2020Added: 08 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Outlook for Android will follow the same privacy controls for the level of diagnostic and related data that Office sends to Microsoft established in other Office 365 apps.
Administrators can default sharing on sites to People with Existing Access Links60335January CY2020Added: 09 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Prior to this change, SharePoint Administrators had the ability to set the default sharing link on a per-site basis and they could choose either “Anyone”, “People in my organization” or “Specific People”. We are now introducing support to set the default sharing link to “People with Existing Access”. Once set, users who click on the Share button or Copy Link will, by default, get an Existing Access link that does not change the permissions on the item. Additional link types are still available in Link Settings if needed.
Microsoft Teams – enhanced scheduling form54364January CY2020Added: 09 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
We’re updating Microsoft Teams with an improved scheduling experience. The existing scheduling form will be updated with multiple new features, including: improved scheduling assistant, time zone picker, availability status on people and locations, option to add required and optional attendees, and more.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Adopting Microsoft Teams in your organization brings the benefits of chat-based collaboration and an integrated hub for your calls, meetings, apps, and content. This is why there are more than 20 million daily active users of Teams. But it isn’t all about productivity, we want Teams to contribute to your security and compliance requirements and you probably have a lot of questions on how this happens. You may be used to protecting email and files in Microsoft 365 and on your mobile devices, but how should you approach security and compliance as you add Teams to the mix? Did you know, for example, that Teams keeps persistent records of chat conversations by default? As we enter the new year, we’ll help you answer these top-of-mind questions starting with the latest episode in our Microsoft Teams for IT series on Microsoft Mechanics, dedicated to security and compliance. | Video (direct link): Microsoft Teams Essentials for IT – Security and Compliance

With Microsoft 365, the world’s productivity cloud, we’re in a unique position to help companies of all sizes and across all industries provide their employees the tools and expertise they need to do their best work, without sacrificing the security of their organization or customers’ data. Giving Firstline Workers the tools they need requires companies to address unique user experience, security and compliance, and IT management. We are excited to introduce new capabilities for Firstline Workers coming to Microsoft 365. Here’s a look at what’s coming soon: (1) Walkie Talkie in Teams, (2) Tasks targeting, publishing, and reporting, (3) Workforce management integrations, (4) SMS sign-in, (5) Shared device sign-out, (6) Off-shift access controls for Teams apps, (7) Delegated user management, and (8) Inbound provisioning from SAP SuccessFactors to Azure AD.

As more and more Office 365 customers adopt Microsoft Teams, we’ve heard from many of you that you want to deploy and manage Teams the same way you deploy and manage other Office 365 apps. To streamline that process, we made Teams available through Office 365 ProPlus alongside Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive. We first provided this option to customers on the monthly channel several months ago. Starting on January 14, 2020, customers on the semi-annual channel will start to receive Teams through Office 365 ProPlus as well. With that date approaching, we want to remind you how to configure Office 365 ProPlus and Teams updates to meet the needs of your organization.

We are pleased to announce a new feature in the Office Cloud Policy Service that will allow you to easily find and configure policies that are recommended by Microsoft as security baseline policies. To easily identify Security Baseline policies, we have added a new column to the policy table called ‘Recommendation’. If the policy is recommended as a Security Baseline you will see the policy tagged as such in this column. You can also use the column filter to limit the view to only policies that are tagged as Security Baseline. The experience to configure these policies has also been optimized as the policy is preconfigured with the recommended settings. You can simply review the policy behavior and click OK to accept the recommended configuration. If the recommended configuration does not meet your needs, you can select to manually configure the policy and configure the settings.

Until recently, the prevailing paradigm for system security was to protect the perimeter—that is, protect the network’s entry and exit points, typically through firewalls or virtual private networks (VPNs). This model is built on implicit trust that access is legitimate by default for anyone inside the perimeter. The basis for this implicit trust in traditional network security is becoming obsolete in the wake of changes such as the expansion of the mobile workforce, the rapid growth in digital data, the proliferation of shadow IT, and the rise of cyberattacks. Today, more and more organizations are pivoting to a Zero Trust model for security where all users and devices—both inside and outside the network—are deemed untrustworthy by default and the same security checks are applied to all users, devices, applications, and data. For an agency to retain its commitment to the constituents it serves and uphold data privacy standards, implicit trust within a data estate no longer makes sense. An end-to-end Zero Trust approach aims to build security into the entire digital estate, across your identities (usernames and passwords), devices, network, infrastructure, applications, and data.


NOTEWORTHY

With the imminent end-of-life of support for Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2, we’ve received questions from customers surrounding the supportability of upgrading the base OS with Lync or Skype for Business Server installed on it. With this in mind, we wanted to provide a few key points in this area: (1) It is not supported to upgrade the base OS with Lync or Skype for Business Server installed, (2) All servers within a pool must run the same OS, and (3) Paired pools must run the same OS. Attempting to do so will cause problems, up to and including catastrophic failure of the pool. The recommendation is to build a new pool to replace the existing pool and move users to the new pool. The previous hardware or resources can be used once the old pool has been drained of all users and workloads; this is known as the ‘swing’ upgrade method. Effectively, it would be a similar process to migrating Lync or Skype for Business Server versions.

We have published the updated Microsoft Online Services Terms with the changes we announced in November 2019. As Julie Brill, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Privacy and Regulatory Affairs, described in her post, Introducing more privacy transparency for our commercial cloud customers, these changes provide our customers with more transparency on data processing in the Microsoft cloud, and increase Microsoft’s data protection responsibilities for a subset of data processing that we engage in when we provide commercial cloud services. As of today, the updated terms are available to all our commercial customers—public sector and private sector, large enterprises, and small and medium businesses—globally. We’ve already started the process of gathering feedback from our customers, including the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, on the revised contractual language of the Online Services Terms. We anticipate that the feedback will lead to some further adjustments of the terms, which we’ll implement over the coming months.

The Office What’s New management Preview allows your organization to decide which features are shown to or hidden from end users in the What’s New panel of Office desktop apps, and it gives you visibility into new content for each release version and channel, along with the capability to hide or show each feature’s What’s New content. We’re announcing two updates to the Preview: (1) It is now accessible by users with the Office Apps admin, and (2) It now includes early visibility into the Semi-Annual update channel. Previously, the Office What’s New management Preview was available only to users with the Global admin or Global reader role. As of today, the Preview can also be accessed by users with the Office Apps admin role. Global admins and Office Apps admins have full access to the Preview, while users with the Global reader admin role will have read-only access. Admins will be able to see the What’s New content for the Semi-Annual update Channel, and pro-actively manage it using the Office What’s New management Preview.

We hope you got a chance to checkout November’s announcement and demos of the Fluid Framework preview at Ignite. We’re humbled by the positive reaction so far and the exciting ideas we’ve heard from our customers and partners. Together, we’re on a journey to explore the Fluid Framework’s capabilities to break down application barriers, allowing for co-authoring at industry-leading scale, and providing intelligent agents to work alongside humans. Get started today with the early preview of the Fluid Framework experience that is starting to roll out to tenants configured for Targeted Release. In this early preview, you will be able to: (1) Create, share, and edit Fluid Framework files, (2) Coauthor and collaborate via @mentions anywhere, and (3) Insert built-in components.

With millions of organizational accounts vulnerable to preventable compromise each year, we felt we needed to take a different tack – to protect organizational accounts just like we do the consumer accounts. We experimented with a few different approaches (including “Baseline protection”), listened to partners and customers, and learned a ton along the way. The result of all this learning is Security Defaults. Security defaults provide secure default settings that we manage on behalf of organizations to keep customers safe until they are ready to manage their own identity security story. For customers like this, we’ll manage their security settings like we do for our Xbox, OneDrive, Skype and Outlook users. For starters, we’re doing the following: (1) Requiring all users and admins to register for MFA, (2) Challenging users with MFA – mostly when they show up on a new device or app, but more often for critical roles and tasks, and (3) Disabling authentication from legacy authentication clients, which can’t do MFA. We will judiciously expand these security defaults to maximize protection for our users, but as MFA prevents >99.9% of account compromise, that’s where we’re starting. We are applying security defaults for all license levels, even trial tenants, ensuring every account can be protected by MFA.

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