Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-25

Welcome to the June 14 – 20, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Thirteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including items for Teams, SharePoint, Microsoft 365 Admin, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Outlook (web), and Yammer. The updates for Teams include Virtual Breakout Rooms, one of the current Top 10 most requested features on Teams UserVoice.

Existing event series had a few sessions added, but we should see lots of updates next week with the July schedule. The spotlight event of the week is the “Azure Active Directory Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)” session on Tuesday, June 23rd at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include information on the new “What’s New in Office Apps” card available in the Microsoft 365 admin center, a look at how Teams operates at pandemic scale using Azure, details on recent updates for Teams for Education, the general availability of PowerPoint Live, and new All Company features in Yammer.

Noteworthy item highlights include details on new features in Microsoft Forms, an upcoming change in Exchange Online device access and conditional access in Outlook mobile, a curated list of Microsoft 365 self-guided wizards, and steps on how to configure selective password synchronization with Azure Active Directory Connect (AADConnect).


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
Microsoft Teams: improvements in meetings experience for Safari browser users65090June CY2020Added: 15 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
We are bringing improvements to the browser-based meetings experience for those who join Teams meetings with Safari browsers. Users will no longer be required to use Audio Conferencing to dial into the meeting for audio needs, but rather, can use their device to speak and listen. As was prior, participants can continue to view meeting content being shared in their browser.
Templates in Teams63175August CY2020Added: 15 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
When creating a new team, users can now choose from a variety of customizable templates including event management, crisis response, as well as industry-specific templates like hospital ward and bank branch. Microsoft will publish a set of first-party templates and customers can also create new templates for their own organization.
Outlook on the web: New tasks experience64940July CY2020Added: 16 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web
Outlook on the web will update the classic Tasks experience with a new experience powered by To Do.
SharePoint: SharePoint spaces 360° image annotations and tours65072July CY2020Added: 16 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
360° tour web part in SharePoint spaces allows creation of immersive virtual tours for SharePoint sites.
Yammer: Live event carousel on home feed in the new Yammer65021June CY2020Added: 16 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Make your Yammer live events more discoverable and encourage participation with the new discovery carousel. Attendees can see relevant events right in their discovery feed and easily click to join the event. Users will see the live events in their discovery feed when using Yammer on the web and on their mobile phones. This functionality is enabled by default unless organizers turn off event promotion.
Outlook on the web: New tasks experience for GCC, GCC-High and DoD65091September CY2020Added: 16 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Web, Gov
Outlook on the web will update the classic Tasks experience with a new experience powered by To Do.
CJK/Double Byte support for Advanced eDiscovery62593September CY2020Added: 16 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365
CJK/Double Byte support for Advanced eDiscovery – adding CJK/Double Byte characters to review set.
Microsoft Teams: new policy to prevent upload of profile picture for GCC customers63312June CY2020Added: 17 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Teams desktop and web experiences will honor the Outlook on the Web mailbox policy setting that can control whether users are able change their profile pictures. This applies to GCC, GCC High, and DoD tenants.
SharePoint lists and libraries: Rename title column65146July CY2020Added: 17 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Users will be able to rename the title field column and see the name change appear consistently in grid view, when in Quick Edit and on the associated view and edit forms.
Microsoft 365 admin center: User storage limit management for OneDrive65148June CY2020Added: 17 June 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: M365 Admin, OneDrive
We’re enabling admins to manage storage limits for OneDrive-enabled users in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Microsoft Teams: Virtual Breakout Rooms65332Q4 CY2020Added: 18 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Meeting hosts can create breakout rooms to be used by meeting participants for smaller group discussion. They can assign participants to a room and call them back to the larger group when the breakout is complete.
Microsoft Teams: Group Calling for Safari Browser65330Q3 CY2020Added: 18 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Group call functionality for the Safari browser.
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Office 365 Security & Compliance Alerts65344Q1 CY2021Added: 19 June 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 ATP
We are adding new capabilities to the Office 365 Security & Compliance alerting feature, focusing on enriching the existing alerts as well as adding six new alerts related to Phish and Malware threats.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, June 23, 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.

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).

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: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft Teams ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) for Azure Active Directory! 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 team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Join in the Azure AD AMA space, and add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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 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.

How do you bring various stakeholders together across multiple teams to achieve your goal? Do you wish you could reduce the number of meetings or e-mails while still being able to solicit feedback, keep everyone informed, and get consensus? Join us to explore how to bring everything together in a shared workspace with Microsoft Teams. Learn how to chat, meet, share files, and work with other business applications to effectively engage others. This interactive 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to try it for yourself and test drive Microsoft Teams in a live cloud environment. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and experience how they can work for you. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Having 100% of Microsoft’s intranet portals moved to SharePoint in Microsoft 365 has contributed to our seamless transition to a work-from-home environment. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO), Corporate Communications, and the SharePoint product group as they answer questions about how we managed the massive migration to SharePoint in Microsoft 365. They will discuss what it took to create an intelligent intranet for 220,000 users, how SharePoint keeps employees connected, and how simple it is for them to create, and update intranet portals, so information is accessible and easy to find.

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.

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.

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 a secure your organization identities with Azure AD.

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.

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, June 25, 2020 at 10:00am PT | Now, more than ever, it is important for users to be able to access files from any location and on any device. Join Microsoft experts from Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) and the SharePoint product group as they answer questions about our cloud-first file management strategy, using Known Folder Move to redirect employees files to OneDrive for Business, multi-geo capabilities in OneDrive for Business that help keep data compliant with regional data residency requirements, and nurturing collaboration with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer.

When: Tuesday, June 30, 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.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

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.

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.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

Previously, you told us that you want the ability to control communication of new Office features to your users. A few months ago, we announced the generally availability of Office What’s New management capabilities that give you control of your users’ experience with the What’s New section of the Office desktop app Help pane. We’re now excited to announce that a What’s New in Office Apps (also know as Office What’s New management) card is now available in the Microsoft 365 admin center. The Home page of the Microsoft 365 admin center is customizable, and it allows you to add cards for tasks that you perform frequently, such as user management, reviewing Message center posts and service health information, and working with Microsoft Teams. The Office What’s New management card shows the latest versions for each channel, and it provides an easy way to access the Office What’s New management page. | Resource: What’s new in the Microsoft 365 admin center

Scale, resiliency, and performance do not happen overnight—it takes sustained and deliberate investment, day over day, and a performance-first mindset to build products that delight our users. Since its launch, Teams has experienced strong growth: from launch in 2017 to 13 million daily users in July 2019, to 20 million in November 2019. In April, we shared that Teams has more than 75 million daily active users, 200 million daily meeting participants, and 4.1 billion daily meeting minutes. We thought we were accustomed to the ongoing work necessary to scale service at such a pace given the rapid growth Teams had experienced to date. COVID-19 challenged this assumption; would this experience give us the ability to keep the service running amidst a previously unthinkable growth period?

Related:

Over the last few months, schools and institutions have been working tirelessly to enable distance learning. We’ve heard directly from many of you about engaging students in lessons, encouraging student-to-student collaboration, and facilitating staff professional development, all while remote. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas about how to improve Microsoft Teams for distance and hybrid learning. We continue to be inspired by you and are always exploring and implementing new ways for Teams to support student engagement and professional development. We pulled together key learnings we’ve heard from customers, and announced new features designed to support you and your class. This post covers the following: (1) Getting back-to-school ready with 4 top-requested features, (2) What is available now, what’s coming soon, (3) Resources for educators, and (4) Guidance for IT admins.

Related:

Earlier this year, we announced that Live Presentations was coming soon, and we are excited to share that it is now generally available on PowerPoint for the web. When we first announced PowerPoint Live, we saw excitement from both enterprise and education customers around how this feature could be utilized during in-person events—conferences, lecture halls, corporate all hands, town halls, and more. Of course, the world has changed a lot since then. We know that as more physical events and meetings take place, PowerPoint Live will prove to be a very useful tool for connecting with your audience and communicating more effectively, which we are excited to show you. However, we also have tips below on how to use this capability now in remote work and learning scenarios. | Related: PowerPoint Presenter Coach on Android

Organizations are rapidly transforming to meet the needs of a virtual workforce and respond to changing industry conditions. Yammer has been repowered to enable two-way communication between leaders and employees to ensure everyone has the information they need to stay safe, align on priorities and get their work done, together. We’re excited to share several changes to the All Company experience that give corporate communicators the tools to keep the entire organization informed and engaged, wherever they are. The new composing experience provides new ways for admins to share announcements at scale, including using questions and polls in the All Company community to spark engagement and feedback. Customize your All Company with a unique name, description, and image to create a strong identity for your All Company community. Upload a cover photo to All Company to drive campaigns across your organization or just reinforce your culture and values. Host townhalls and company meetings in All Company using live events to align the organization and celebrate milestones. Control and co-curate conversations that take place in All Company by restricting who can post in the community with the new restricting post feature.


NOTEWORTHY

This month, we have new integrations with your favorite Microsoft apps to ensure your teams’ voices and opinions are heard, no matter where you’re working from. Now you can create a real time poll in seconds when composing an email in Outlook. Once sent, recipients vote directly in email or click on an included link and vote in a browser window. You can then check poll results in real-time using the voting card. Poll is now pre-installed to your Outlook mailbox so you no longer need to install the add-in yourself. During this time many companies are working remotely and need to collect information from their employee base while planning for their eventual return to the office. We’ve received  feedback that many Teams users are looking for an app that enables them to push pulse surveys to their employees on a regular basis. Based on this feedback, we have designed several templates for common scenarios to help teams create and share surveys in their Teams channels. Previously, we launched the preview of Forms in Excel. In addition to releasing general availability and removing the ‘Preview’ label of Forms in Excel, we have improved the performance and reliability of the app.

Beginning in August 2020, we are rolling out changes in Exchange Online to ensure that only certain Conditional Access policies bypass Exchange’s mobile device access rules for Outlook for iOS and Android devices. Specifically, only Conditional Access policies configured with the following grant access controls will prevent Exchange mobile device access rules being applied to Outlook for iOS and Android: (1) Require device to be marked as compliant, (2) Require approved client app, and (3) Require app protection policy. The good news is that if you are utilizing one (or more of) these grant access controls, your Outlook for iOS and Android users will not be affected. However, if you are utilizing Conditional Access policies that do not leverage the above grant access controls and have configured the mobile device access level within Exchange Online to block or quarantine devices, users using Outlook for iOS and Android will be blocked or quarantined by Exchange Online after this change is implemented. By default, the mobile device access level in Exchange Online is set to allow. You have a few different options on how you can remediate this prior to the change…

Microsoft is continuously looking for ways to make things easier and more efficient for our customers. We’re happy to introduce our new Microsoft 365 self-guided wizard for business and enterprise customers, based on scenario and product selections for deployment, migration, adoption, learning, and security. The self-guided wizards also include a new remote work and learning path, in response to COVID-19, for business use, plus education and government entities. We’ve collected our best resources, based on your unique and specific needs. Look for regular monthly updates to our wizards, including additional scenario and user coverage. You can select whether you are looking for resources for Microsoft 365 for Business (small and medium business plans) or for Enterprise, along with the new COVID-19 path to address a variety of remote work and learning scenarios. Based on your selection, the wizard will guide you through a set of simple questions to help you identify the top resources for guidance and implementation.

We generally see two sets of customers, the first who want to use the modern identity for cloud applications and have decided to synchronize the hashes from on-premise identity systems (Active Directory) and the second who are not comfortable with password hash synchronizations to public cloud and hence use the traditional methods for accessing the cloud applications like ADFS. This blog especially focuses on the 2nd set of customers who would like to take a gradual approach to modern identity and would like to start slow in their adoption by only targeting a small set of users for synchronizing password hashes.

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