Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-31

Welcome to the July 26 – August 1, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were forty additions to the Office 365 Roadmap, with several updates for Teams, as well as updates for Forms, Yammer, and Outlook (web). Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-31.

Additional August sessions for existing event series continue to trickle in. There are no brand new events to highlight. This week’s spotlight event is the “Working with Microsoft Lists” webinar on Wednesday, August 5th at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include details on what’s new in Microsoft Teams for July 2020, the latest SharePoint-related updates for July 2020, information on new resources to help with the upgrade to Microsoft Teams due to the July 2021 retirement of Skype for Business Online, and the announcement of connected task experiences across Microsoft 365.

Noteworthy item highlights include the July 2020 “What’s New with Microsoft 365” video, the availability of the new Outlook for Mac in Insider Slow, information on how to boost security for remote workers using Security Policy Advisor, and the July update for Basic Authentication and Exchange Online.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

There were forty 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 | 2020-31.


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.

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’.

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.

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.

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 | This will be a 1-hour Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) within the Microsoft Tech Community. An AMA is like an “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” on Reddit, providing the opportunity for the community to ask questions and have a discussion with a panel of Microsoft experts taking questions about Microsoft Lists, SharePoint list, Lists + Teams integrations, Lists + Power Platform integrations, and more. Join in the Microsoft 365 AMA space, and don’t forget to add this AMA to your calendar.

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’.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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: 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

We announced a new set of features earlier this month that make virtual interactions in Microsoft Teams more engaging and inclusive, along with new capabilities announced at Microsoft Inspire 2020. This post provides information on new features such as new multi-window meeting and calling experiences, the new “only me” lobby setting, improvements in Teams device management, a new file share experience, Power Platform integrations, new EDU and US Government updates, and much, much more!

Related:

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in July 2020. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. Highlighted features include the New Employee Onboarding Hub, centralized management for hub visitor permissions, general availability for support in the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) for migrating content from SharePoint Server 2016, a new intranet resource center, the roll out of Microsoft Lists, and much more! All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of July 2020 (possibly early August 2020).

A year ago, we announced the July 31, 2021 retirement date for Skype for Business Online along with our recommendation that customers upgrade to Microsoft Teams. Since then, Teams adoption and usage continue to grow, as organizations have needed to find better ways to safely connect with their teams, customers, and partners. We’re seeing this play out in the dramatic increase in remote work, where traditional in-person meetings that are now impractical or impossible are being replaced by online meetings, calls, and chats. With 12 months until the retirement of Skype for Business Online, we want to ensure each of our customers has a plan to transition to Teams – not only because access to Skype for Business Online will end, but to help realize the full benefits of Teams. Whether your organization is looking to transition from Skype for Business Server, Skype for Business Online, or a hybrid deployment, this post has some resources to help along the way.

This new world of work can feel scattered. Even if you’re an old pro at working from home, things have changed. Your calendar is filled with meetings, you’re constantly managing requests from your team—not to mention your actual work. At times (or all the time), it can feel impossible to manage your ever-growing list of priorities, especially since those too are scattered across your calendar, Word docs, spiral notebooks, and sticky notes. In this new normal, Microsoft’s vision for a unified tasks experience, which we first announced at Ignite 2019, is more relevant than ever. Since then, we’ve made significant progress in creating a coherent, integrated, and intelligent experience to help you stay organized. Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Planner, Microsoft To Do, and Office—specifically, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—all play a role in the Microsoft 365 tasks experience.

Related:


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (8 mins) | This month we cover the new Yammer experience for web and mobile, how to integrate the Yammer Communities app for Microsoft Teams, new policy packages to support first-line workers and managers, profile cards in the admin center, collections in Microsoft Edge, Visio for the web, and lots more!

We are excited to announce the availability of the new Outlook for Mac for our Insider Slow users. The updated and revamped new Outlook is available via a toggle switch on the top right corner of your Outlook main window. The new Outlook for Mac is built on Microsoft sync technology that is fast, reliable, and allows us to bring you the latest and greatest functionality from Microsoft 365. An updated user experience and added features enable you to customize your email, all while keeping things simple and efficient. As a reminder, the new Outlook for Mac is only available for Office 365, Outlook.com, and Google accounts using mac OS 10.14 Mojave and above. We are planning to add new supported account types, including IMAP, in the coming months.

When it comes to securing the Microsoft 365 Apps using policies, IT Pros often face a challenge: You want to tighten security as much as possible to keep the bad guys out, but at the same time you do not want to impact your user’s productivity. And you would like to be able to evaluate the potential impact of a security config change before fully enforcing it. Sound familiar? Then this blog post is for you! This post will show you how to leverage the Security Policy Advisor (SPA) to identify slack in your security configuration, make changes to your policy settings and validate the new config first before enforcing them, reducing the risk to impact user productivity. The data-driven service allows you to make decisions based on facts like actual feature usage or if your users are already under attack by e.g. malicious Office documents being sent to them, rather than just guessing what the impact of a change might be.

We are pleased to announce some new changes to Modern Authentication controls in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, exposing simpler options for customers to manage both Modern and Basic Authentication requirements within their organizations. Available from within the Admin Center under Settings > Org Settings > Modern Authentication (alternatively, search for “Modern Authentication” in portal Home page Search field), customers may now quickly designate the protocols in their tenant that no longer require Basic Authentication to be enabled. While additional granularity is available through PowerShell, once Modern Authentication is enabled these new UI options will provide Administrators simpler controls to manage Basic Authentication access to common protocol combinations. These new changes, rolling out to all tenants, align with our entry from the M365 Roadmap.

Last June, when we shared the 5 principles driving a customer-obsessed identity strategy at Microsoft, many of you had embraced the idea of a boundaryless environment, but relatively few had implemented it in practice. A global pandemic made remote access essential and forced many of you to accelerate your digital transformation plans. The new reality requires not only supporting secure remote productivity and collaboration, but also other remote operations, such as onboarding, offboarding, and training employees. And this reality will continue for the near future. Your experiences and insights have helped shape the investments we’re making in our identity services for the coming year and beyond. This post provides the updated set of guiding principles we’re following to deliver a secure and scalable identity solution that’s seamless for your end-users.

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