Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-30

Welcome to the July 19 – 25, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were thirty features added to the Office 365 Roadmap, with updates for Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer. Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-30.

Sessions for early-to-mid August have been added for most existing event series. With the general availability announcement of Microsoft Lists, there were two related events added – a webinar, “Working with Microsoft Lists”, and an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) session, both on Wednesday, August 5th at 9am and 10am Pacific respectively. The spotlight event of the week is the “Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Microsoft Planner” on Tuesday, July 28th at 9am Pacific.

Last week’s blog posts cover the flurry of announcements from the Microsoft Inspire conference, including a look at what’s new in Microsoft 365 for July 2020, numerous updates for Microsoft Teams, the general availability of Microsoft Lists, updates to Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways and adoption content, and several updates for security and compliance.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the (worldwide) general availability of the new Yammer, new meeting intelligence in the Insights pane in Outlook, the release of the New Employee Onboarding hub templates for SharePoint, and the addition of Intune role management in the Microsoft 365 admin center.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

There were thirty 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 | 2020-30.


UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

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.

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. 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’.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 9:00am PT | Learn how to get started with Microsoft Lists from the Microsoft Lists engineers themselves. Start a list from a template, add your information, and then use conditional formatting, rules, and key collaboration features to make the list your own – to make it work across your team. Lots to learn. Lots of demos. Don’t forget to add this event to your calendar, and join us live!

When: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 10:00am PT | An AMA is a one-hour online forum similar an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA will follow a ‘Working with Microsoft Lists’ webinar (information above). Share your questions and feedback about what was covered in the webinar, and all things related to Microsoft Lists during the AMA in the Microsoft 365 AMA space. Members of the Lists team will be online to respond directly to your posts. Don’t forget to add this AMA to your calendar.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

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.

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

Together with our partners, we are also so inspired by the resilience our customers around the world have shown throughout these challenging times. It reinforces our belief that humans have unlimited potential, and that it is our job to enable that potential with technology that supports their creativity and innovation. We are announcing features and experiences designed to streamline workflow and automate process right within Teams, ensure great meetings experiences in a hybrid work environment, enable Firstline Workers, protect data and mitigate threats, and more. And this is just the beginning. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing so many more innovations across the product to help our customers thrive in a more fluid world of work, school, and life.

Related:

You may have seen the recent announcement of new meeting features in Teams in Reimagining virtual collaboration for the future of work and learning. We’re pleased to share that we’re making several of these features available to most users of Teams over the next few days. We’re gradually rolling the features out. Once you’ve got the build that has the new experience (Teams desktop app only), you’ll have the option to turn it on. Read on to learn how to turn it on, what comes with it, how to use it, and answers to some common questions. Some of these new features include: (1) Any calls and meetings will pop out into their own window, separate from the main Teams window, (2) Large gallery view lets you see up to 49 video streams at once, (3) Together mode lets you feel like you’re in the same shared space with everyone in the meeting, (4) Focus mode is available when content is being shared, and much more!

At Build 2020, we introduced Microsoft Lists, a smart information tracking app in Microsoft 365. Today, we’re thrilled to announce Microsoft Lists begins roll out to Microsoft 365 business customers worldwide, starting this month with the Lists app in Microsoft 365 and next month with the Lists app in Microsoft Teams. We are excited to share more details in the blog sections below: (1) Create and use Microsoft Lists within Microsoft Teams, (2) Make lists smarter to get more done in Microsoft 365, (3) Lists for every team and every situation (customer stories), (4) Want to learn more?, and (5) Frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Microsoft 365 Learning Pathways, our free, customizable product training experience, has been widely utilized by companies driving adoption of Microsoft 365 applications including Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Office applications like Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Microsoft 365 learning pathways delivers on three key customer asks: (1) On-demand delivery of Microsoft product training, (2) Customizable experience to allow including customer content, and (3) Open ecosystem to integrate Microsoft Partner content. Now we are expanding the capabilities of this solution by integrating with the multi-lingual feature of SharePoint to deliver nine (9) languages natively in the solution. Learning experiences in Microsoft Teams will continue to evolve as the Microsoft Learning app makes its way into the hands of customers. These two solutions will complement each other delivering content from different sources and leverage each other’s strengths as the future roadmap for both are refined. | Related: Launch of adoption.microsoft.com and expansion of worldwide Champion program

The shift to remote work over the past few months has increased the need for organizations to re-evaluate their security and risk management practices. With employees accessing corporate data at times on home computers or sharing and collaborating in new ways, organizations could be at greater risk for data leak or other risks. To help companies with the visibility they need and better protect their data, we are announcing several new capabilities across Microsoft 365 and Azure, including: (1) New Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention solution in public preview, (2) New features in public preview for Insider Risk Management and Communication Compliance in Microsoft 365, (3) New third-party data connectors in Microsoft Azure Sentinel, and (4) New Double Key Encryption for Microsoft 365 in public preview. Read on to get more information about all these new security and compliance features now rolling out.

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

Yammer connects and engages employees across the organization. Last November, we announced an entirely new Yammer experience, delivering new capabilities and integrations that power leadership engagement, corporate communications, and knowledge sharing across Microsoft 365. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that the new Yammer is now generally available for all customers. We’re also excited to unveil several additional features to help your organizations get more out of Yammer and collaborate across companies. We’re continuing to develop and release features as we optimize Yammer for communities, engagement, and knowledge sharing across Microsoft 365. We’ll have more to announce and show at Microsoft Ignite. | Related: Yammer ‘Communities’ app now available for Microsoft Teams mobile | The new Yammer has arrived on SharePoint Online

Last year, we launched a meeting preparation insight in the Insights Outlook Add-in to help organizers prepare for meetings they have set up. Based on customer feedback, we have added insights for meetings you are invited to as well as added additional features for you as a meeting organizer. Here is a list of new experiences you can now use: (1) Prepare for invited meetings: In addition to meetings you organize, you will also see insights for meetings you’ve been invited to, (2) Assist in establishing quorum: Review conflicts for your upcoming meetings and respond to a meeting request inline, helping the organizer get an accurate count for the meeting, and (3) Review essential information before the meeting: Get pre-read recommendations for upcoming meetings as well as suggested tasks related to the meeting and review all explicitly attached documents.

Planning, implementing, and managing an onboarding experience for new employees is time consuming and challenging. For organizations, it’s difficult to efficiently onboard new employees into the complexity of an organization’s structure, people, processes, and culture. Only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees. For new employees, the onboarding experience is often exciting, but can also be stressful, overwhelming, and inconsistent. Based on research, new employees who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for new opportunities within the first six months of starting their new job. To help our customers improve their new hire onboarding experience, we have launched a new set of SharePoint site templates on the SharePoint look book called the New Employee Onboarding (NEO) hub.

At the end of August 2020, Outlook for Android will roll out support for the new device password complexity functionality included within Android 10 and later. With each operating system version release, Google includes new APIs in which apps can target for supporting new functionality offered in the operating system release. Until apps target those APIs, they are not able to take advantage of that functionality. When Google announced Android 10 and its latest API (API 29), they also announced deprecation of Device Admin. Prior to targeting Android 10, Outlook for Android used Device Admin to manage device password settings defined in an Exchange mobile device mailbox policy; for more information see, Managing Outlook for iOS and Android in Exchange Online. With Outlook for Android targeting Android 10, when a user launches Outlook on Android 10 and later devices, Outlook queries the device’s (or the work profile’s) screen lock complexity.

One of the best ways to protect your organization from security threats is to make sure that your staff uses the appropriate level of access to perform their job, ideally following the concept of least privilege. Like other services in Microsoft 365, Intune uses a role-based access control (RBAC) model that helps you manage who has access to your organization’s resources and what they can do with those resources. By assigning roles to your Intune admins, you can limit what they can see and change. We have added Intune role management to the Microsoft 365 admin center, where you can also leverage features such as the ability to search for roles and view role permissions. This means you don’t need two separate tools to manage roles for Microsoft 365 and Intune. When you sign into the Microsoft 365 admin center, you’ll see that there are two pivots on the Roles page, one for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and one for Intune.

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