Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-10

Welcome to the March 1 – 7, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were twelve additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including Teams, OneDrive, Outlook (iOS / Android), and Office 365.

New events have been added for Teams with a focus on firstline workers and learning to use apps are available, in addition to a “Situational Response Management and Communications with Microsoft 365” webcast. ore Azure AD webinars, as well as new customer immersion experience sessions, have been added. This week’s spotlight event is the “Insider Risk Management & Communications Compliance” webinar on Tuesday, March 10th at 16:00 GMT and at 12:00pm Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include several focused on COVID-19 response and commitment from Microsoft, recommendations on how to optimize Office 365 for remote workers, and the OneDrive Roadmap Roundup for February 2020.

Noteworthy item highlights include videos on the Admin Steps for upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams, and Office 365 Data at Rest Encryption. Information on Forms activity reporting, the effectiveness of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Single Sign-On (SSO), and the release of PowerShell V2 Cmdlets for Exchange Online is also provided.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

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

Note: The Estimated Release dates listed below are subject to change. The direct link provided for each item can be used to determine if the estimated release date has been updated since the time of publication.

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Shareable address bar links61529April CY2020Added: 02 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
Tenant admins can specify whether the link that shows up in address bar for files is sharable within organization or not.
Version history in desktop61527March CY2020Added: 02 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
You will now be able to view and restore previous versions of your files directly in your desktop via your File Browser or Mac Finder.
Outlook for iOS: Availability in Office 365 operated by 21Vianet59920Q1 CY2020Added: 03 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Outlook for iOS will be available to customers in China through the services and support of Office 365 operated by 21Vianet.
Microsoft Teams for Firstline Workers: Off Shift Access – V161180March CY2020Added: 04 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Off shift access is a new setting that can be enabled by IT administrators to provide a notification to Firstline Workers when they access the Teams app on their personal device outside payable hours. The users then need to provide consent to the notification before being able to access their app.
Microsoft Teams for Firstline Workers: On/Off Shift – V259722March CY2020Added: 04 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
IT admins have the option to block the entire Teams app when a user is off shift.
Microsoft Teams for Firstline Workers: Off Shift Access – V057173March CY2020Added: 04 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Manage Teams for your Firstline Workers when on a personal device outside payable hours. IT admins can enable Firstline Workers to get shift-based presence (On shift and Off shift).
Tasks in Word61110April CY2020Added: 05 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Word
Create and assign tasks to collaborators in Word documents to track ownership and get work done.
Tasks in Excel61111April CY2020Added: 05 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel
Create and assign tasks to collaborators in an Excel workbook to track ownership and get work done.
Microsoft Authenticator App Full Screen Account Pages61746March CY2020Added: 05 March 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
The Microsoft Authenticator app is adding a new feature – the Full screen Account Details Page. When you click anywhere on your account tile, your account will expand into a full screen view. On the full screen view, you’ll be able to see your One-Time Password code (tap on the numbers to copy it). Additionally, you’ll be able to enable passwordless phone sign-in if your organization has requested you to turn that feature on. All other regular actions, such as approving a notification, adding a new account, or interacting with settings, will remain unchanged.
Custom Mailbox Submissions and improvements to the Admin Submissions60407Q1 CY2020Added: 28 February 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Office 365 Admin
We’re adding some enhancements to the admin submissions functionality of Office 365. You’ll now be able to submit .msg files, plus view more details about submitted content and policies or settings that may have allowed the message to bypass our filters. A new User Submission Policy will enable you to customize the message displayed to users before and after a submission, as well as choose the destination of a reported message. You can choose to send the message to your security team, a Microsoft expert, a custom mailbox of your choice, or a combination of these. The custom mailbox you choose will now be viewable in the Security center, and you’ll be able to trigger admin submissions from the custom mailbox as well.
Outlook for iOS: Suggested keyword spelling corrections56819April CY2020Added: 06 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Outlook will suggest an alternative word for a keyword if there is a possible mistake in the keyword search query and reduces the opportunity to return no results.
Outlook for Android: Suggested keyword spelling corrections59023April CY2020Added: 06 March 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Outlook will suggest an alternative word for a keyword if there is a possible mistake in the keyword search query and reduces the opportunity to return no results.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Many organizations are empowering their entire workforce with best-in-class tools that enable them to deliver superior customer experience and optimize operational productivity. In this session, we’ll explore how Teams can help you unlock the full potential of your Firstline Workforce and connect your entire organization. Featuring examples from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and transportation industries, we’ll discuss how Microsoft Teams provides a single experience for productive conversations, smooth flow of information, simplified schedule management in a compliant and secure environment. Join us to learn how to expand your enterprise in ways you never thought possible by integrating technology into every aspect of your business.

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. You can access the recorded version of this session on-demand here.

This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

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

Please join us for this compliance webinar which will cover the new Insider Risk Management and Communications Compliance features. Note: The link below is for the calendar invite, which includes the attendee link.

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 here.

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. You can access the recorded version of this session on-demand here.

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: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 10:00am PT | At Microsoft, modern meetings give employees the right tools to share ideas and make decisions across locations, environments, and devices. In this webinar you will learn about our modern meeting strategy and how Microsoft Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) deploys, manages, monitors, and supports services for the collaboration application Microsoft Teams and the smart meeting-room solution Microsoft Teams Rooms.

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, you will learn about how to collaborate with your partners in a secure manner.

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: Monday, March 16, 2020 at 9:00am PT | In the course of regular business operations, any organization situations may arise that can serve to interrupt business flow and continuity. Employees may be unable to get to offices. Offices may be shut down due to physical plant failure. Whatever the reason, organizations need the ability to manage such situational incidents and be able to communicate with, and engage employees, to ensure business continuity. Microsoft’s Healthcare and Life Sciences group will show how organizations can cope with disruptive situations and ensure business continuity irrespective of the situation using Microsoft Teams and the additional Microsoft 365 Services of SharePoint Online, Yammer, Stream, and more. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

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, you will learn how to enable new customer experiences with Azure AD B2C..

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: Friday, March 20, 2020 from 6am – 3pm PT | Come and join some of the best teachers, trainers and Power Platform MVP’s from around the world as they bring 9 hours of back-to-back training and tutorial sessions live and on-demand to you! The day will consist of 18 unique 30 minute sessions ranging from beginner at the start of the day all the way to advanced content toward the end of the day. This ensures that no matter what your skill set is, you will be able to get valuable insights and new skills to help take your #LessCodeMorePower game to the next level. Join us for a fun day of laughs and learning, right from the comfort of your own living room or office!  The full conference schedule is available here.

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.

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, we will introduce tools to govern the lifecycle of your user and guest identities in your Azure AD and Office 365 deployment.

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, you will learn how to interpret Azure AD logs, integrate with your SIEM tools, and gather insights about your Azure AD service.

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, you will learn how to assess and implement a modern approach to secure your organization identities with Azure AD.

When: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft 365 ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA). An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering teams who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Join in the Microsoft 365 AMA space, and be sure to add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!


BLOG ROUNDUP

With COVID-19 continuing to impact people and countries around the world, teams everywhere are moving to remote work. Earlier this week, we posted a letter from Lily Zheng, our colleague in Shanghai, detailing her team’s experience using Microsoft Teams to work from home during the outbreak. Lily’s team is one of many. Here at Microsoft in the Puget Sound, we’re encouraging our teams to work from home as much as possible, as are many organizations in this region. And we expect this trend to continue across the world. At Microsoft, our top priority is the health and safety of employees, customers, partners, and communities. By making Teams available to as many people as possible, we aim to support public health and safety by keeping teams connected while they work apart. As we have read through your responses to Lily’s letter, it has become clear that there are two big questions on your minds. First, how can people access the free Teams offerings that Lily referenced? Second, what is our plan for avoiding service interruptions during times of increased usage? Below, you’ll find detailed answers to both. And over the next few days we’ll be sharing more tips, updates, and information related to remote work.

Related:

Over the past few weeks, Microsoft, and more specifically the Office 365 Network team have seen a large influx of questions from customers around how best to optimize their Office 365 connectivity as they work diligently to plan for a large amount of their userbase suddenly working from home. We’ve also seen similar queries from customers looking for best practice whilst rapidly enabling their Office 365 benefits, Free Teams plans or free 6 month E1 trial recently announced to rapidly roll out Teams to allow their business to continue to function and allow users to collaborate effectively without being in the Office.  In this post, we outline the simple steps an organization can take to drastically reduce the impact Office 365 traffic has on the traditional corporate infrastructure when we have a large percentage of users working remotely all at once. The solution will also have a significant impact on user performance and also provide the benefit of freeing up the corporate resources for elements which still have to rely on it.

This post includes the latest OneDrive functionalities that landed in production in the month of February 2020: (1) Updates to @mention email notifications – whenever someone @mentions you in an Office file you receive an email notifying about the same. With this update, you will be able to read through the comments you have been @mentioned in, directly in the email notification; (2) Sync Help Pane – rolling out to Windows and Mac, featuring static links to top troubleshooting and self-help content, as well as the ability to search through support articles, and when enabled, the ability to reach out to assisted support; and (3) Mover migration now available worldwide to all Microsoft 365 customers.

Outlook on the web users can now interact with Yammer conversations, polls, questions and praise without leaving their Outlook inbox. We announced this feature at Microsoft Ignite 2019, and it is now rolled out to 100% of enterprise tenants. It will be coming to desktop and mobile apps next quarter with releases for Outlook for Windows, Outlook for Mac, and Outlook for iOS and Android. This experience is now on by default for web users and works with all Yammer emails in Outlook on the web, and leverages the new Yammer design and publisher. Paired with the new ability to announce polls, questions, and praise it gives communicators and community owners a seamless way to share news and knowledge at scale, collect feedback, and connect across their organization. We understand that sometimes change takes a little longer to get used to. If you would like to see the classic Yammer emails, you can turn off this update on a per-email basis by selecting “Hide Yammer Conversation” at the bottom of the email. | Related: 100 ways to use Yammer

Since introducing Microsoft 365 Apps at Microsoft Ignite 2019, we’ve made investments to further enhance the value and the experience for IT admins. Now, rather than searching for apps in multiple places and deploying them separately from different platform, you can discover, purchase, acquire, deploy, and manage Microsoft 365 Apps from a single location in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Today, we’re starting to roll out this feature to small and medium business customers. Initial rollout will include Microsoft 365 Apps from Microsoft partners, which includes web apps and add-ins that integrate with Microsoft Graph and productivity apps, workflows, and data across devices. When this feature is rolled out to your tenant, you will automatically see the experience in the Microsoft 365 admin center.


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (7 mins) | This video takes you through the mechanics of the upgrade options, built-in services you’ll want to know about before you start, and explains the steps you’ll take for: (1) Skype for Business Online with Enterprise Voice to Teams if you have a Microsoft Calling Plan, (2) Skype for Business Online with Enterprise Voice using Cloud Connector Edition or Direct Routing, and (3) Skype for Business Server with or without Enterprise Voice. Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021, so now is the time to start planning and taking the next steps to implement Microsoft Teams.

Format: Video (6 mins) | For companies seeking to migrate to the Microsoft Cloud Services, Microsoft created a series of videos that speak high level to common risk and control considerations. This specific video will walk you through how Office 365 data is encrypted at rest, and dive into several encryption key management options, which are available to further meet business needs and compliance obligations. For data at rest, Office 365 uses various encryption technologies like BitLocker and service encryption. BitLocker offers volume-level encryption by encrypting the physical disk containing customer data. This helps reduce the risk of data being compromised if the physical disk is stolen. Service encryption provides an added layer of encryption beyond BitLocker at the application level, such as files and mailboxes in Office 365. It also offers strong separation of server admin roles and customer data, while providing an added layer of protection against physical data theft.

Don’t know if or how Microsoft Forms is being used within your organization? Forms activity reports are rolling out to all Office 365 commercial tenant users over the next week in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Expect to see them around March 11. More details are available at Microsoft 365 Reports in the admin center – Forms activity.

With Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO) being a few of the most effective countermeasures against modern threats, organizations should consider a Cloud Identity as a Service (IDaaS), and MFA solution, like Azure Active Directory (AD). This post outlines seven benefits of using MFA and SSO. | Related: IT executives prioritize Multi-Factor Authentication in 2020

At Microsoft Ignite 2019, we announced new Exchange Online management cmdlets and showed how they can be used to perform fast and highly reliable data retrieval operations. These cmdlets are generally 4-8 times faster and have proven to be highly reliable for bulk-retrieval scenarios. Many large enterprises have already started using the new cmdlets in their production environment and we’re very proud of that. The new EXO V2 module contains all the old Remote PowerShell cmdlets as well as (currently) 9 new V2 cmdlets. These 9 cmdlets use REST API to fetch data. This change alone makes them faster and highly reliable. Since the new module is available on PowerShellGallery, it can be easily installed using the command line. Compared to the MFA PowerShell module, which required a Click-2-run installation, the new module is far better suited to automation scenarios. The module is currently in Public Preview and will be released as “Generally Available” soon.

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