Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-03

Welcome to the January 12 – 18, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Four features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for OneDrive, SharePoint, Search and Yammer.

Two new events have been added – a Teams Adoption webcast on Monday, January 27th at 9am Pacific, and a “Meet the new Yammer” webinar on Thursday, January 30th at 9am Pacific. Additional sessions for existing event series have also been listed. The spotlight event of the week is the “Seamless Collaboration with Microsoft 365” customer immersion experience on Tuesday, January 21st at 12pm Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include details on 10 ways shift workers (but really everyone) can use Teams, the January 2020 updates for Workplace Analytics, information on Office 365 ProPlus as it relates to the recent end of support of Windows 7, and recent improvements to the way Microsoft detects inconsistencies and data loss during migrations to Exchange Online.

Noteworthy item highlights include a look at how Microsoft leverages multi-geo to meet changing data residency requirements, recommendations on using Microsoft To Do for your 2020 resolutions, the general availability of activity based expiration policies for Office 365 Groups, and a view from Microsoft Security on how to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA).


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
SharePoint – updating modern home pages for classic team sites60405February CY2020Added: 14 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Get ready to have a cleaner look home page, one that makes it easy to create news posts for your team and that looks great on mobile. A new, modern home page for classic SharePoint team sites (aka, sites that use the STS#0 site template) is coming to Microsoft 365. We will automatically update classic home pages to a modern home pages if they have not been customized. You can revert back if desired. Note: this update does not create an Office 365 Group for the team site.
We’re refreshing the Microsoft Search in Bing User Experience60422January CY2020Added: 15 January 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Microsoft Search
We’re refreshing the Microsoft Search in Bing user experiences to make it easier to find what you’re looking for whether at work on or the web. A new organizational vertical allows you to quickly navigate the your search results across Microsoft 365.
Mobile video sharing from Yammer50557January CY2020Added: 15 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Connect with your community instantly. Capture, edit, and share videos from your mobile device.
Updates to “Recent View” on web60511Q2 CY2020Added: 17 January 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
We are updating the Recent View in on OneDrive Web to include the Activity and Sharing columns.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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 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.

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, January 27, 2020 at 9:00am PT | This webcast will show how organizations can supercharge their Microsoft Teams adoption by deploying, and leveraging, the power of the Office 365 Adoption Bot. During the webcast attendees will learn: (1) What the Office 365 Adoption Bot is and how it can help with Microsoft Teams and Office 365 user adoption, (2) How the Adoption Bot can be deployed, configured, and extended to assist with an organizations Microsoft Teams and Office 365 adoption, (3) See the bot in action, and (4) Learn how to get the bot running within their organization. The event will be delivered using Microsoft Teams Live Events. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!

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.

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: Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 9:00am PT | Join the Yammer product team as we introduce you to the new Yammer – a completely redesigned UI packed with new features and integrations. This webinar will walk through the modern interface, demonstrate new experiences and capabilities, and showcase how Yammer has been rebuilt to power leadership, communications, and engagement. Attendees will have the opportunity for Q&A with the Yammer engineering + marketing team to help prepare for the arrival of the new Yammer. Be sure to add the event to your calendar!

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.

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

Microsoft Teams is the only platform with tailored capabilities to connect everyone in your company, from the C-suite to the firstline, in one digital workspace. Our capabilities are built for your customer support staff, IT help desk, store associates, line workers and more. We have delivered many features that are already available in your tenant today, and coming soon, several new features will provide new ways of communication and collaboration across your entire organization. And it’s inspiring to see how industry leaders like are driving higher levels of employee engagement and enhancing the customer experience by putting tools like Microsoft Teams into the hands of their Firstline Workforce. Continue reading to learn about the 10 ways Teams can unlock productivity for your shift workers. Of note, these capabilities will be made available to all Teams users.

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for January 2020. This update covers our latest feature, an improvement in the way that admins can handle changes in organizational data that affect auto-refresh queries. In response to customer feedback, we have given admins a way to respond to schema mismatches that might occur when they upload organizational data. Organizational data is structured by columns (fields), and admins can change or delete those fields. In turn, these changes can affect how auto-refresh queries function in Workplace Analytics.

January 14, 2020 marked the end of support for Windows 7. Ten years ago, when we first announced Windows 7 and Office 2010, we focused on delivering the best productivity experience of the time. But since then, thanks to breakthrough advancements in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), we’ve been able to build tools to help you take advantage of new forms of productivity. And as the cybersecurity landscape continues to dramatically evolve every day, ten-year-old tech just can’t keep up. Powered by the cloud, Office 365 ProPlus is the future of Office. Users who still haven’t transitioned to it are missing out on essential productivity features critical to competing in today’s marketplace. First, AI and machine learning advance creativity and innovation in everything from PowerPoint design to Excel analysis. Second, the cloud enables real-time collaboration across apps and enables Microsoft Teams to be the hub for teamwork. Then finally, built-in, cloud-powered security protects your data and provides the peace of mind that comes with knowing your business will not only be productive, but also secure. Once support for Office 2010 ends later this year—October 13, 2020 to be exact—we’ll no longer provide security updates or technical support for Office 2010. So, make sure your users have a highly secure Office experience with Office 365 ProPlus.

The O365 migration team has been working on improvements to the way we detect inconsistencies or data loss during migrations or moves. We’ve historically used a configurable parameter called the ‘Bad Item Limit’ to define the number of items that you, the admin, are okay with dropping during migrations. We allow the admin to use their discretion to set this bad item limit to as low or as high as they feel comfortable with. On the service side, we can see that many migrations hit a large number of ‘bad items’ which are simply inconsistencies in metadata that the end-user may not even notice. This then resulted in many admins running their migrations with a very high Bad Item Limit by default. The problem is that the current implementation has limited capabilities to alert the admin when there are bad items that the end-user will notice, or significant amounts of truly ‘bad items’. As our experience around migrations has grown over time, we’ve learned to distinguish between ‘expected’ and ‘unexpected’ inconsistencies and have built functionality to expose this to admins. We call this mechanism Data Consistency Scoring or DCS. Based on the number and type of data inconsistencies we detect, your migration will be categorized as Perfect, Good, Investigate, or Poor. Migrations that end up in the Investigate bucket would require additional admin approval (self-approval via the UI or cmdlet) for completion. Migrations marked as Poor cannot be completed without escalating to support. By doing this, we are taking the guessing out of the “How many bad items am I OK with?” equation. We never had an official recommendation on what to set your ‘bad items’ limits to, and we are hoping this helps to deal with ambiguity that resulted.


NOTEWORTHY

Published: January 15, 2020 | Microsoft IT worked with Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs (CELA), Human Resources, and the OneDrive product group to support a new Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 scenario that helps to meet data residency requirements. By configuring a Preferred Data Location (PDL) for each user, CSEO can determine the optimal region for a user’s OneDrive for Business, their Exchange Server mailbox, and any SharePoint or Teams sites that they create. This setting is now available to Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft 365 customers as well. The PDL helps Microsoft meet the requirements of numerous laws and regulations, including the Global Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The PDL field will also help Microsoft deploy new features and services more efficiently. It will allow product groups and CSEO to quickly determine which regions can adopt new features and which ones cannot.

Did you know that January 17th has been designated as the day you’re likely to ditch your New Year’s resolutions? We’re here to say “STOP, don’t do it!” But also, can we please make them better? Whether your resolutions are to walk more, to start a new hobby, or to get that dream project off the ground, we’re here for you. It’s time to get serious. Here are our top tips for sticking to those resolutions beyond January 17th. As they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Let’s make 2020 the year we stop wishing and start planning.

We are happy to announce the general availability of User Activity based Expiration Policy for Office 365 groups. This means any active groups covered by the expiration policy will be automatically renewed. The current Expiration policy allows you to set an expiration time frame for selected or all Office 365 groups. After the defined group lifetime, owners are asked to renew them if they are still needed. With this newly added intelligence, groups which are being actively used will be automagically renewed. This preempts the need for any manual action on the part of the group owners. This is based on user activity in groups across Office 365 apps like Outlook, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and others. Note: The new version of Office 365 groups expiration feature is available for all Azure AD Premium customers.

Another day, another data breach. If the regular drumbeat of leaked and phished accounts hasn’t persuaded you to switch to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) already, maybe the usual January rush of ‘back to work’ password reset requests is making you reconsider. When such an effective option for protecting accounts is available, why wouldn’t you deploy it straight away? The problem is that deploying MFA at scale is not always straightforward. There are technical issues that may hold you up, but the people side is where you have to start. The eventual goal of an MFA implementation is to enable it for all your users on all of your systems all of the time, but you won’t be able to do that on day one. To successfully roll out MFA, start by being clear about what you’re going to protect, decide what MFA technology you’re going to use, and understand what the impact on employees is going to be. Otherwise, your MFA deployment might grind to a halt amid complaints from users who run into problems while trying to get their job done. Before you start on the technical side, remember that delivering MFA across a business is a job for the entire organization, from the security team to business stakeholders to IT departments to HR and to corporate communications and beyond, because it has to support all the business applications, systems, networks and processes without affecting workflow.

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