Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-29

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

Thirty-two features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap for the second consecutive week, with even more updates for Teams, along with updates for SharePoint, Yammer, and Bookings. Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-29.

Two events added this week are both “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) sessions – one for Microsoft Planner on July 28th at 9am Pacific, and the other for Upcoming Changes to Office Support on September 9th at 9am Pacific. This week’s spotlight event is the “Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): The New Yammer” on Thursday, July 23rd at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include information on new Microsoft 365 features to help you get more control of your day, resources to help you make the shift to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, the general availability announcement for the new version of Microsoft Secure Score, and details on how to implement a solid Information Architecture (IA) for your SharePoint Online intranet.

Noteworthy item highlights from last week include information on the July 2020 updates for Microsoft Search, details on how FastTrack can help with the implementation of intelligent compliance and risk management solutions, the public preview of user-friendly sign-in to Azure AD with email as an alternate login ID, and recommendations on how to prevent and detect identity-based attacks with Azure Active Directory.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

There were thirty-two features added to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap last week, so for this week the roadmap updates are detailed in a separate post, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-29.


UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

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.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs (chat versus teams & channels), (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience​, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams​ to enhance productivity. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 1’.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. 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.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (2) Easily find files, chats and projects, (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, and (4) Simplify your workday. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 2’.

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).

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.

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.

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 in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

When: Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 9:00am PT | Bring all your questions and feedback about the new Yammer (available in public preview) to this ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) on Thursday, July 23, 2020, 9:00-10:00 AM PT. AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Members of the Yammer team will be online during this one-hour event to respond directly to your posts. Join in the Yammer AMA discussion space, and add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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.

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: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9:00am PT | As the business world shifts to a new normal, digital transformation is taking place at a faster pace than ever before. Safely accessing, collaborating and sharing content remotely is becoming increasingly important. Files are often the starting point for getting work done and staying connected. Memos, presentations, photos, videos—these are the conduit for more fruitful interactions. OneDrive is a foundational product in our effort to build a seamless, connected experience in Microsoft 365. It cuts across Microsoft products so you can access and share your files from most endpoints, like Microsoft Teams. We’re excited to announce new OneDrive features for a more connected, flexible and secure files experience across Microsoft 365 . Join us for a free webinar to learn about new and upcoming innovations in OneDrive like Add to OneDrive, Sync admin reports, File sharing in Teams, Information barriers and more. This session is followed by an “Ask me anything” session at https://aka.ms/OneDriveAMA.

When: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We want to hear from you and answer your questions around using Microsoft Planner! We will be hosting an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) session on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM Pacific Time, here, on the Tech Community. Save the date! An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. To join, simply, visit the Planner AMA space on July 28 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time and click “Start a New Conversation” to post your question. This event is open to all Tech Community members and we’ll have members of the Microsoft product and engineering teams standing by to provide answers.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, August 18, 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.

When: Tuesday, August 25, 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.

Your business needs to control how sensitive data is managed. Join us and explore how to assess your compliance risk, protect sensitive and business critical data, and respond efficiently to data discovery requests. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Simplify assessment of compliance risk, (2) Integrate protection and governance of data, and (3) Intelligently respond to data discovery requests. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 9:00am PT | Join us for an opportunity to “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) about upcoming changes to support for Office 2016 for Mac, Office 2010 and Office 2013 connectivity to Office 365 services. To join, simply visit the Office End of Support AMA space at 9:00am Pacific and submit a question. An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Note: While we’ll only be answering questions in real-time from 9am – 10am Pacific, you can post your questions for the AMA to the Office End of Support AMA space up to 24 hours in advance. We look forward to seeing you there!


BLOG ROUNDUP

Over the past few months, managing time has become even more challenging. While there are benefits to a more flexible schedule, people are now facing changes in how they live, work, collaborate, and take care of themselves and their loved ones. Those changes have resulted in overcrowded calendars with more meetings and the prep and follow-up work that come with them; that, in addition to the blurred lines between personal and work time and space, has been emotionally and physically draining. It is understandable why many people are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. You need ways to manage your time that evolve as the world changes. We recognize that and are working to do so across Microsoft 365, whether in Outlook, Teams, To Do, MyAnalytics and other apps. We hope this first set of new and updated experiences will help you get more control of your day, spend less time preparing for meetings, protect your personal time, and organize your calendar to stay balanced.

With three months until support for Office 2016 for Mac and Office 2010 ends this October, now is the time to transition to Microsoft 365 Apps. We know that transitions like this can be challenging – we’ve heard your concerns about app compatibility, managing configurations and the installation process, and getting users up and running on new devices even while working remotely. In the most recent update to the Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise guided tour, we’ve included a few new videos that show how you can use Microsoft’s cloud deployment tools to address these concerns. Keep reading – and watch the videos – to learn more about these tools.

Earlier this year (2020), we blogged about the latest public preview of Microsoft Secure Score and now we’re pleased to announce that we‘ve completed our global roll out making it generally available to all of our commercial customers. This a major release for us and it marks Microsoft Secure Score’s transition from simply being a gamified list of security recommendations to one that we think is on its way to becoming the go-to posture management app for security administrators. There’s lots of work left to do to achieve that aspiration, but we feel we’re well on our way. With this release, we focused on the following areas: (1) Improving the assessment and scoring models, (2) Adding planning, workflow and posture monitoring improvements, and (3) Adding metrics and trend reports to drive meaningful planning and status discussions with leadership.

We commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a New Technology Total Economic Impact™ study of Microsoft Teams Platform and examine potential return on investment enterprises may realize by rolling out the Microsoft Teams platform. Using the Microsoft Teams platform as a hub for teamwork enabled organizations to reduce disruptions to employee productivity, helped IT and security teams strengthen protection against data leaks, and contributed to a culture of citizen developers that, in turn, accelerated business digitization and innovation. The study reflected a projected return on investment of 393% to 1,085% over 3 years and following key projected benefits. Note: The post includes a link to download the report.

Having a solid information architecture (IA) is an important prerequisite for realizing a well-maintained and well-performing intranet. Good IA helps people find what they need and accomplish the tasks they want to complete – in a way that makes sense to them. A great IA helps improve user adoption, satisfaction, and productivity, reduce IT cost, reduce information overload, and minimize governance compliance and bad information risk. Great IA takes good planning. It requires knowledge of the domain or content, understanding the user and user experiences, and awareness of approaches and best practices in Microsoft SharePoint. An important best practice is providing a consistent experience for everyone. The best way to ensure a positive experience for site owners and visitors is to establish design patterns for your intranet sites and use site designs and templates to ensure that the patterns are applied consistently on all sites. In this post, we will dive into the following areas + resources throughout: (1) Ensure consistency across all sites throughout your intranet scripting, (2) Organizing with hubs that can organize themselves, (3) Utilizing Microsoft Teams templates, and (4) Manage who can create Microsoft 365 Groups.


NOTEWORTHY

Microsoft Search is the evolution of search, smarter search to help you stay in touch with what’s important and trending around you in Microsoft 365 and your connected systems. This post outlines the updates for Microsoft Search in July 2020, including: (1) Contextual Search in Microsoft Teams, (2) Acronym search in SharePoint and Office.com, (3) Enriching Profile Cards in Office 365, (4) PnP Modern Search, and (5) Connectors.

As a project manager, your job is to schedule tasks accurately to ensure everything happens at the right time.  However, before you begin to schedule, you need to determine the number of the working hours and days it will take to complete these tasks. Project for the web comes with a default work template that can be automatically applied to all projects. This template is based on the average work schedule: it specifies work hours of 9AM through 5PM from Monday through Friday. If your work does not follow this schedule, you can create a new work template to suit your project’s needs. This blog post will walk you through the steps of changing the working hours and days of a project in Microsoft Project. Note: Project for the web is built on the Microsoft Power Platform. Because of this, some aspects of calendar and assignment setup needs to be done in Power Apps.

We’re announcing the public preview of the ability to sign-in to Azure AD with email in addition to UPN (UserPrincipalName). In organizations where email and UPN are not the same, it can be confusing for users when they can’t use their familiar email address to sign-in. With this preview capability, you can enable your users to sign in with either their UPN or their email address, helping them avoid this confusion. This feature can be enabled by setting the AlternateIdLogin attribute in the HomeRealmDiscoveryPolicy. Some customers are using capabilities in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Connect to achieve this today, but that requires them to set the email address as the UPN in Azure AD. With this preview capability, you can now use the same UPN across on-premises Active Directory and Azure AD to achieve the best compatibility across Office 365 and other workloads, while still allowing your users to sign in with either their UPN or email, further simplifying their experience. | Resource: Sign-in to Azure Active Directory using email as an alternate login ID (preview)

Technology is profoundly impacting our lives—from the way we connect with each other, to how we interpret our world. With that, we have seen an explosion in the amount of data created, accessed, and shared across businesses. Also, many companies are now facing compliance and risk management requirements due to industry or government mandates. To help you intelligently assess your compliance risks, govern and protect sensitive data, and effectively respond to regulatory requirements, FastTrack assistance for Microsoft 365 compliance capabilities is now available. This assistance is available for eligible customers with 150+ licenses, and includes guidance to: (1) Get started – steps to ensure a strong foundation for the engagement, (2) Implement lead scenarios – solutions that are recommended as a compliance baseline, and (3) Compliance and risk management in depth – solutions that take more time and effort to deploy, as they require user adoption. | Resource: FastTrack Center Benefit for Office 365

Security incidents often start with just one compromised account. Once an attacker gets their foot in the door, they can escalate privileges or gather intelligence that helps them reach their goals. This is why we say that identity is the new security perimeter. To reduce the risk of a data breach, it’s important to make it harder for attackers to steal identities while arming yourself with tools that make it easier to detect accounts that do get compromised. Over the years the Microsoft Security Operations Center (SOC) has learned a lot about how identity-based attacks work and how to reduce them. We’ve leveraged these insights to refine our processes, and we’ve worked with the Azure AD product group to improve Microsoft identity solutions for our customers. At the RSA Conference 2020, we provided an inside look into how the Microsoft SOC helps protect Microsoft from identity compromise. Now, we are sharing best practices that you can implement in your own organization to help decrease the number of successful identity-based attacks.

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