Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-21

Welcome to the May 17 – 23, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

As a result of Microsoft Build 2020, thirty-two features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for the new Lists app, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, Outlook (web), Groups, and Office 365 Admin.

There is one new event, the “Galactic Collaboration Summit” on Tuesday, June 2nd and Tuesday, June 9th. Additional June sessions for existing event series are also now available. The spotlight event of the week is the “Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon, which is a free, online training event running on Wednesday, May 27th and Thursday, May 28th.

Information on releases from Build 2020 are the focus of last week’s blog posts, such as numerous updates for Microsoft Teams, the announcement of Microsoft Lists, and details on enhanced programs to help Microsoft 365 admins verify third-party apps. Details on a brand new capability to sync Message Center posts to Planner and upcoming changes to the SharePoint default site themes are also included.

Noteworthy item highlights from last week are the new Deployment Acceleration Guide for Microsoft Information Protection and Compliance, enhancements to the Business Continuity Dashboard, how to troubleshoot Out of Office replies, and guidance on provisioning mailboxes in Exchange Online when in Hybrid.


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
[iOS] Teams Mobile On-Demand Chat Translation63227June CY2020Added: 18 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams – iOS
Inline message translation will ensure that every worker in the team has a voice and facilitate global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat. This feature will now be available on iOS.
Android On-Demand Chat Translation63226May CY2020Added: 18 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams – Android
Inline message translation will ensure that every worker in the team has a voice and facilitate global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat. This feature will now be available on Android.
Microsoft Teams: Third-party single sign-on (SSO) for apps in Teams59369May CY2020Added: 18 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
End users will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of Azure Active Directory Single Sign-On (SSO) for supported Teams apps on both desktop and mobile. After they’re signed into Teams, users won’t have to sign in again on apps that integrate with single sign-on for both desktop and mobile. Developers will also enjoy a simplified authentication process through a single API call.
Simplified way to manage your channel notification settings64139June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams
Through the teams and channels list or from the channel header, the users can quickly manage their notification settings by the means of a new fly-out design. Users can turn on all activity on or off with a single click or diving deep into custom to set their preferred permutations.
[Teams Mobile Clients] Organization allowed accounts configuration for Teams64143June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams
Teams for iOS and Android now provides Teams administrators with the ability to push allowed account configurations to Teams. These configurations will work with any mobile device management provider that uses managed app configuration channels (for iOS) and the Android enterprise channel (for Android). The devices must be managed for this allowed account configuration to work.
Microsoft Lists: home page – built on SharePoint64160June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
The Microsoft Lists home page is your home for all your lists across Microsoft 365. You can start a list easily from scratch or with ready-made templates. Create new lists and access ones recommended to you, plus see all your favorited and recent lists – on the web. People will see the new Lists app icon in the Microsoft 365 app launcher that will then take them to the Microsoft Lists home page.
Microsoft Lists: rules – built on SharePoint64163June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Create simple if/then rules based on changes to list information to set reminders and send notifications.
Microsoft Lists: sharing – built on SharePoint64164June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Share entire lists, or individual list items, to individuals or groups with view or edit and the ability to manage access by expiration and password protection.
Microsoft Lists: ready-made templates – built on SharePoint64166June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Create a new list from ready-made templates that accelerate list creation, structure, forms and flows. There will be 8 templates at initial launch: Issue tracker, New hire checklist, Event itinerary, Business trip approvals, Team evaluations, Asset tracker, Project planning, Social media calendar.
SharePoint lists and libraries: Bulk edit your list items and file properties in the form64228June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
People will be able to select multiple items and edit their list items or documents properties all at once in the default form.
SharePoint lists and libraries: Save a view in Quick Edit64229June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
People can save their view in Quick Edit for any list or document lib in SharePoint for Microsoft 365. When a person saves a view in Quick Edit, the list or library will always render in quick edit for easy inline editing.
SharePoint lists and libraries: Open a list or document library item within the view form from Quick Edit64230June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Users will see their list and document library view forms inside of the Quick Edit experience.
SharePoint lists and libraries: Quick Edit page size expanding from 30 items to 10164231June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
People will now see up to 100 items per page on their document library or list when using Quick Edit.
SharePoint lists: Create a new list item via a form in Quick Edit64232June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Users will see the “New” button on their command bar in lists when they are in Quick Edit to create new items via the default form.
Outlook on the web: In-product notification of full inbox64275June CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
When a user reaches 90% of their inbox capacity, Outlook will show a message on the bottom left (down on the left nav or folder column) warning the user and linking to the settings where they can address this.
Update to sharing links that block download64278May CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
We are expanding the list of supported file types that users can create block download links for. This update includes support for PDF files, Images, Audio, and other non-text and non-video file types.
Settings Gear on your Activity Feed64135May CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams
Users can now directly access activity feed and notification setting from the feed left rail by the means of a settings gear.
Microsoft Lists: mobile app (iOS) – built on SharePoint64161Q1 CY2021Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Access all lists you own and that have been shared with you – all on the go. You’ll be able to create new lists, edit list items and easily share with other people. The Lists app will first come to iOS and Android shortly after.
OneDrive: Sync reports64289Q1 CY2021Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
Ability to monitor the heath of OneDrive sync app across your organization.
Microsoft Lists: forms customization – built on SharePoint64165Q4 CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Adjust what information shows on the out-of-box forms and include custom header and footer imagery and information.
Microsoft Lists: calendar view – built on SharePoint64167Q4 CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Visualize any list with items that use date column information in a calendar view.
Microsoft Lists: sticky first column – built on SharePoint64168Q4 CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
As you scroll left and right, the first column of your list remains in place; similar to the sticky header that is already a part of Lists.
Microsoft Lists: comments – built on SharePoint64169Q4 CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Add a comment on a list or list items, including @mention capabilities to draw a person’s attention.
Microsoft Lists: Lists app in Microsoft Teams- built on SharePoint64162Q4 CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Lists
Team members will be able to both create new lists and add existing ones as tabs in Teams’ channels. The new Lists app in Microsoft Teams can be accessed by clicking “+” to add a new tab, and then select “Lists” to get started.
Outlook on the web: Admin control to remove the option to search for GIFs when composing a message64237Q4 CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
We are providing admin controls to remove the option for users to search and insert a GIF using the native controls in the ribbon.
Taxonomy service Graph APIs64185Q4 CY2020Added: 19 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
New Graph APIs that allow developers to work directly with Managed Metadata Services, which provides a common taxonomy for tagging and classifying content across Microsoft 365.
Office 365 Groups are being renamed to Microsoft 365 Groups64336June CY2020Added: 20 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Groups
To reflect the fact that Office 365 Groups power collaboration across Microsoft 365, Office 365 Groups will become Microsoft 365 Groups. These changes will happen over time and will be reflected in all the connected endpoints over the upcoming quarters.
Microsoft Teams: new lobby setting: only the organizer joins the meeting directly64343June CY2020Added: 20 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
A new lobby setting is coming to Teams Meeting Options. We are adding “Only me” as an option to the “Who can bypass lobby?” setting. Once enabled, only the organizer will be able to join the meeting directly. Everyone else, including people from within the same organization, will be sent to the lobby.
Power BI: Excel data types from Power BI57141June CY2020Added: 21 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel, Power BI
Using data types in Excel, you can quickly retrieve data from featured tables in Power BI and load it in the Excel grid. Discover available tables in Excel’s data types gallery and analyze your data in a familiar and simple way.
Power BI: PivotTables from Power BI Datasets63806June CY2020Added: 21 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel, Power BI
You can create PivotTables in Excel that are connected to datasets stored in Power BI with a few clicks. Doing this allows you get the best of both PivotTables and Power BI. Calculate, summarize, and analyze your data with PivotTables from your secure Power BI datasets.
Office What’s New management card available for Microsoft 365 admin center64337June CY2020Added: 21 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 Admin
Global or Office Apps administrators can select which new items to display in their end-users’ Office desktop applications’ “What’s New” section of Help. The Office What’s New Management card will be available in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Microsoft Teams: live captions in Teams meetings for GCC tenants64368June CY2020Added: 21 May 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
This feature enables meeting participants to view captions during a Teams meeting. Supported spoken languages in 1st release: English. Note this release is for our GCC tenants, and does not yet include GCC High and DoD environments.

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.

When: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Bring conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place with Microsoft Teams. Build collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and connect with colleagues — all from a single Office 365 Education experience. Learn how IT can enable these capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Join us for this webinar to learn: (1) Administration capabilities to enable and govern Microsoft Teams, (2) Allow for frictionless user Teams creation while enforcing business rules and addressing IT concerns, (3) Understand the Teams lifecycle and recommended practices for long term management of the environment, and (4) Security and compliance capabilities for Teams integrated in the Office 365 tools you are already using today. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

When: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 – Thursday, May 28, 2020 | Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon is a free online, 36-hour event happening May 27-28, 2020. We will have sessions going the whole time with speakers from around the globe. This event is free for all wanting to attend. Come join us as we talk about the many different pieces of Microsoft 365 including Azure. Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon is a joint effort with SPC and members of the Office 365 community. There will be keynotes from key Microsoft employees and sessions from thought leaders and members of the community from around the world.

When: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 9:00am PT | On May 12 we made an announcement about modernizing of servicing Microsoft 365 Apps (formerly known as Office 365 ProPlus). Learn more about these announcements, and discuss any other questions you have about deploying Microsoft 365 Apps with the Microsoft 365 Apps experts. An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Join in the Microsoft 365 Apps AMA space, and be sure to add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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.

When: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 10:00am PT | During this webinar, you’ll learn how Microsoft automated the upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus using System Center Configuration Manager. You’ll also hear our experts talk about how we used update channels in Office 365 to specify our cadence for delivering Office updates to users.

Many organizations leverage a variety of apps and tools to get their work done. Often installed and managed separately, this requires a user to continually switch context/applications as they navigate their daily activities. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need from a single interface. With over 300 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, you can begin using today in Teams.

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.

When: Thursday, June 2, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Microsoft Teams allows up-to 250 students and educators to meet online for free. There are many reasons why schools may need to leverage remote communication tools to function. Whatever they may be, Microsoft Teams for Education makes connecting virtually seamless for members of any school, college or university. This webinar is designed to help first time users of Microsoft Teams get started hosting online meetings with their students. This webinar is for educators who need to create an persistent online space for their class: (a) Classrooms, (b) Lectures & courses, and (c) Module course groups. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

When: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 & Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | The Galactic Collaboration Summit is about to hit warp speed 10, to help you explore a Milky Way Galaxy full of sessions. Set your phasers on fun, to learn, and engage! Jeff “Captain” Teper (CVP, Microsoft) will be giving a keynote that’ll be out of this world, plus Microsoft speakers delivering breakout sessions among thought leaders and members of the community from around the world. The Galactic Collaboration Summit has something for everyone in all reaches of the Microsoft 365 galaxy: far, far away. You’ll find no star or cluster uncharted: modern workplace, remote working and distance learning topics on Microsoft’s technologies, such as Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, Microsoft Azure topics relevant to the modern workplace, as well as different Business App topics (Power Apps, Logic Apps, Power Automate, Planner, Yammer), and more.

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.

When: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft Teams ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) for Windows Autopilot! An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. The Microsoft Endpoint Manager team will answer questions and help you more easily set up and configure Windows 10 devices so end users can work productively (and securely) from anywhere. Questions about things like: (1) Using Windows Autopilot with user-owned devices, (2) Using Windows Autopilot to upgrade your Windows 7 devices to Windows 10, (3) Deploying applications with Windows Autopilot, and (4) your question here! Join in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager AMA space, and be sure to add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

When: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 8:00am PT | You are invited to a free webinar tailored for education. Learn how universities and schools are using Microsoft Teams for course delivery with students and staff collaboration. Hosted by the Microsoft Product Group, this webinar covers an introduction and best practices for academics using Microsoft Teams. Agenda: (1) Overview of Microsoft Teams for Education, (2) Best Practices for communication and collaboration, and (3) Using Class Teams with your students for assignments, online learning and digital skills. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand 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.

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: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Learn how IT can enable Microsoft Teams capabilities for users while maintaining the necessary configurations to align with required organizational business and security requirements. Agenda: (1) Automated team and policy provisioning strategies, (2) School Data Sync, and (3) Programmatically interacting with Teams. Note: You can also find this session, and more, on-demand here.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

Last week was Microsoft Build, and for the first time we held our annual developer conference entirely online. In this era of remote everything, technology is enabling us to keep providing experiences like Build even though we can’t meet in person. As CEO Satya Nadella put it recently, “We’ve seen two years’ of digital transformation in two months.” And as a company, we are so excited to translate what we’ve learned into new features and enhancements that help our customers stay productive and connected. At a moment when we’re all adapting to an evolving reality, these experiences are designed to enable you to keep work moving, no matter what. At Build, we announced new features and capabilities in Microsoft Teams, Fluid Framework, Project Cortex, Outlook and Edge and introduced the new Microsoft Lists app. They represent the latest innovations in our ongoing effort to build tools that enable our customers to stay connected and productive from everywhere.

Related:

The Message center in the Microsoft 365 admin center is designed to help you keep track of upcoming changes to Microsoft 365, including new and changed features, planned maintenance, and other important announcements. It’s where we post official announcements to help you take a proactive approach to change management. Each post provides you with a high-level overview of planned changes along with links to detailed information to help you prepare for and manage the change. To help you navigate the myriad of information that arrives in the Message center, and more importantly, to help you decide whether or not to act on the information, we are introducing the ability to sync your message center to Microsoft Planner. This feature will be entering Targeted Release in mid-May 2020 and released to General Availability this summer and it will include the ability to choose which type of messages are sync’d and to sync messages on a set cadence.

Microsoft Teams has seen tremendous growth, with more people on Teams than ever. At Microsoft Build 2020, we announced many new capabilities in Microsoft Teams to continue to provide a rich canvas for developers to build, engage, and transform workflows. This allows Teams to address the full app development journey. These new capabilities make it easier to build and publish apps, improve IT admins’ ability to manage apps, enhance the end user experience, and facilitate connections with external audiences.

Related:

Over the last year, SharePoint has embraced the new Microsoft Office icons that were announced in late 2018.  A large part of this change is the transition of the SharePoint identity from blue to teal, signaling a shift in the identifying color scheme. In order to best embrace this shift, we are now working to complete an update from blue to teal across the product more broadly. Updating the SharePoint default theme from blue to teal is the final step to adopting the new SharePoint identity. With this update, you will see classic and modern SharePoint communication sites and team sites (new and existing) update to the teal theme if they have not been customized. A site is considered customized when a custom theme has been selected in the Change the look panel or customizations have been made for classic. This will not impact your sites in any way beyond changing colors from blue to teal as seen in the images below. All new sites from the time of change to teal will be created with teal as the default theme color. This change will happen for any communication site, regardless of modern or classic and for classic team sites. Any modern team site that is group connected will still be created in the existing color selection associated to the M365 group. Note: This update will not impact custom themes, settings, or the content and structure of sites. This update will only change the theme of new and existing sites that have not been customized. | Related: Now Live – SharePoint home sites: a landing for your organization in the intelligent intranet


NOTEWORTHY

The Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) and Compliance Customer Experience (CXE) team are part of M365 Security Engineering at Microsoft. We work with Microsoft’s largest enterprise customers to help them accelerate deployment of our features by providing deployment guidance and advisory services. An important part of our function is to gather customer feedback and present this back internally to the team to improve our MIP and Compliance products. We can’t work with every customer, so we have combined all these experiences into a deployment acceleration guide. This document  will guide our customers on their information protection and compliance journey, learn best practices and key benefits to help get the most out of their Microsoft 365 investments. Download the guide at https://aka.ms/mipc/dag.

Last month, the Workplace Analytics team released the Business continuity dashboard to provide you insights about the impact of shifting to remote work. We have listened to your feedback since that initial release, and we are excited to announce an update to this experience. With the new Business continuity dashboard, you are able to identify opportunities to improve remote work effectiveness, track the evolution of remote collaboration over time, and customize your report to suit your organization’s needs. With this release, the dashboard now includes: (1) New ways to customize and pivot insights in the report, (2) A simpler and clearer dashboard design, (3) A summary page highlighting five key focus areas for remote work improvement and best practice recommendations, and (4) Rolling average trend lines to track remote work impact over time.

Out of Office replies are also known as OOF replies or automatic replies. They are Inbox rules that are set in the user’s mailbox by the client. OOF rules are server-side rules, so the response is sent regardless of whether a client is running, or not. Out of Office replies can sometimes be a bit of a mystery to people; how do they work? What do you do if they don’t work? In this blog post, we will discuss the bits and pieces of Out of Office and some of the main reasons why an Out of Office (aka. OOF) reply might not get delivered to users. Note that while we are writing this from the viewpoint of an Exchange Online configuration, many of same things can be applied to on-premises configuration also.

In this blog post we will cover a very common scenario faced by customers who have moved all of their mailboxes from on-premises to the cloud. How do you create mailboxes directly in the cloud? The task might seem simple, but in support we see a fair amount of confusion around it. And there are certainly opportunities to do wrong things here! You have set up Exchange hybrid configuration with Exchange Online (EXO) and have started or even completed your mailbox migrations. At some point, you decide that you want to have new mailboxes created as EXO mailboxes instead of creating them on-premises (and then migrating them to Office 365). But you quickly learn that if you create on-premises users, allow them to sync, and then just license them for Exchange Online, you’ll be unable to manage the Exchange attributes because there is no mail-enabled user in the on-premises Exchange organization. If you’ve ever been in that position, this is the post for you. The process detailed in this post will enable you to correctly provision mailboxes in EXO.

Businesses worldwide are learning AI is incredibly useful to deriving insights from massive data sets and therefore helping reduce repetitive tasks; however, with that there is also the realization that is only half of the equation. The other half, is that of maximizing employee’s ability to take these AI-driven insights and use them in creative ways to solve challenges, identify opportunities, and democratize knowledge. It’s about empowering people to effectively use the time that’s freed up by AI taking on more repetitive tasks. This is precious time that can be spent with customers, collaborating with colleagues and focusing on professional development. With Microsoft 365, the world’s productivity cloud, we’re bringing world class productivity experiences across apps services. Thanks to new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, we can build experiences across devices to connect organizations from the shop floor to the top floor. Through our deep learning models, we’re able to bring new, innovative experiences across the products you’re already using. | Related: Take Microsoft Search further with Microsoft Graph connectors | New capabilities coming to the Microsoft Graph

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