Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-32

Welcome to the August 2 – 8, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Thirty-three features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, with updates for Teams, OneNote, Whiteboard, Word, Outlook (iOS) and Azure Active Directory. Due to the large number of items, all of the roadmap items are in a separate post this week, Office 365 Roadmap Update | 2020-32.

August sessions for existing event series continue to be added. There are several new events, most as part of the new “Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams” series that kicks off on Tuesday, August 11th at 9am Pacific. It is also the spotlight event of the week.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include details on new offerings in Microsoft Teams, numerous updates for Microsoft Whiteboard, availability of SharePoint site templates for Education, the ability to customize recipient limits at the tenant level, and the August 2020 feature updates for Workplace Analytics.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as a video overview of Microsoft 365 network connectivity principles, an announcement about Microsoft Ignite 2020, July 2020 feature updates for Project on the web, and the general availability of Azure AD “My Sign-Ins”.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Thirty-three features were 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 | 2020-32.


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’.

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’.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 8:00am PT | An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Join us for a one-hour AMA event to get answers to questions about managing iOS and macOS devices using Microsoft Endpoint Manager. We’ll be here to help you with everything from setting up automatic enrollment and remotely managing user-owned devices to custom configurations and troubleshooting. Join in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager AMA space, and don’t forget to add this AMA to your calendar.

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, August 11, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for Episode 1, as we sit down with members of our IT pro community to discuss their Teams customer stories. You’ll hear about what worked and what didn’t work so you can avoid the same pitfalls with your own rollouts. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 9:00am PT | 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. 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 Security and Compliance AMA space, and don’t forget to add this AMA to your calendar.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for Episode 2 to learn about the latest features and functionalities to help educators make the most of Microsoft Teams and how IT pros can secure these features in a variety of environments. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Let’s talk security in Episode 3. The top challenge IT pros are facing right now is securing data. Join our product expert for a deep dive discussion on identity and authentication. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Are you still sending an e-mail with an attachment to your teammates when you want to collaborate on a file? How fast do they respond? How do you know if they are working on the file? How do you manage version control? With Microsoft 365 tools for teamwork, you can seamlessly collaborate on files with your team members. Using Microsoft Teams, you can invite your teammates into an environment where they can effectively collaborate and engage in a persistent conversation. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid productivity sinkholes and increase productivity. This interactive 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams in a live cloud environment. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and experience how they can work for you. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Wednesday, 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!

When: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In this special episode, you’ll get a preview of what’s coming up at Microsoft Ignite. Hear about upcoming sessions you don’t want to miss, as well as new resources that will help you make the most of your experience. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for a wrap-up of day 1 at Microsoft Ignite. You’ll hear all the highlights and we’ll talk about what’s coming up on day 2. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. Join us for a complete wrap-up of day 1 and 2 at Microsoft Ignite. You’ll hear all the highlights and talk with product experts. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. The events industry transformed overnight, and Microsoft Teams played a big part in this transition. In Episode 7, we’ll sit down with members of the Microsoft Teams product group and learn how they are building the future of high-scale communication with Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 8, learn about new Teams deep dive help videos for administrators as well as other resources to get your support teams and help desk up to speed. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

When: Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 9, which is one of the most requested episodes, we’ll feature tips, tricks and gotchas on managing guest access in Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!


BLOG ROUNDUP

When it comes to communications, there is a broad spectrum of needs that are required to connect employees from the worksite to the main office to the home office—across locations and time zones. The spectrum starts with the most basic 1:1 meetings and calls with colleagues, to larger group meetings, all the way to large events and conferences. During the crisis response to the pandemic, many organizations transformed rapidly in group meetings first, as evidenced by Microsoft Teams reaching 200 million participants in a single day. Organizations looking to create more sustained transformation are seeing that Teams serves communications needs well beyond group meetings, taking communications to the next level with broad scale company-wide events. At the other end of the spectrum, Teams modernizes 1:1 calling with a cloud-based phone system in the same Teams app that keeps you in the communications flow. We’re excited to announce new offerings and capabilities across all ends of the communications spectrum.

Whether you’re working remotely or in the office, your team can use Whiteboard to run effective meetings, brainstorm, plan and think creatively. We’re excited to announce that some of the most loved Microsoft Whiteboard features on Windows 10 and iOS, such as Sticky Notes and Text Objects, are now available to use in Teams and Whiteboard on the Web. These new features make it easier than ever to keep the creative process moving forward virtually with your team or class. Our updated Whiteboard features in Teams enable students who don’t have access to a touch or pen device to participate in whiteboarding sessions during Teams meetings. Plus, educators will also have the option to present the digital whiteboard without students having access to drawing on the board during class. For business customers, we have all have been in a meeting where we are using a dry erase board, adding sticky notes to a wall, and taking pictures of the material we write, draw, and discuss. We have brought the physical board to you via Whiteboard in Teams.

The SharePoint team is excited to launch site templates for schools and universities, available via the Microsoft Look Book. The templates bring together news, events, highlighted content, quick links and more. Each has been designed with a specific scope and audience for our Education customers: (1) School home page: a central, institution-wide landing experience for students and staff with the latest school happenings and important resources, (2) Staff home page: a dashboard for staff members with time-saving links, documents, and calls-to-action. This template is designed to be used with a Staff team or a Professional Learning Community (PLC) team in Microsoft Teams for Education, and (3) Class home page: a dashboard for a class with resources, updates, and learning content. This template is designed to be used with a Class team in Microsoft Teams for Education. While planning and designing the templates, we listened to school leaders and educators all over the world. Armed with this feedback, we went to work to provide rich, effective site templates that help students and staff stay connected and up-to-date on school life and class work. Plus, the sites look great on any device by default, so students and educators can use them on desktop, tablet and mobile.

Controlling the number of recipients per message that your users can send to is one of several measures email admins can use to help curtail the risk of email abuse and spamming from compromised accounts. Earlier this year the Exchange Online Transport team introduced customizable Recipient Limits in Exchange Online. With it you can customize the setting on a mailbox or mail user object, you can bulk edit multiple existing mailboxes or mail users at the same time, and you can even set the default for new ones. Yet, that update didn’t offer a single, master tenant-wide setting. It gave Exchange Online admins more control than they had before, but it still wasn’t as comprehensive as what Exchange Server on-premises offers. We’re announcing the immediate availability of a super useful extension of the mailbox customizable recipient limits feature that helps deliver a more complete solution: The ability to use Remote PowerShell to customize a tenant-wide recipient limit with the MaxRecipientEnvelopeLimit property on the TransportConfig object (Set-TransportConfig -MaxRecipientEnvelopeLimit).

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature update for August 2020. This month’s update gives you a preview of something to come – Teams metrics! Workweek Span and Person and Person-to-Group Network Metrics will now include Teams chat and data. With the recent shift to remote work, large numbers of users are relying on Teams for much of their remote collaboration. In other words, communication over Teams is at an all-time high. To improve the accuracy of metrics within Workplace Analytics, we are soon adding Teams chat and call data to Workplace Analytics metrics. Data about calls and chats will now be reflected in several metrics, including Workweek Span. This will improve the quality of data that’s available to analysts by more truthfully delineating the actual workweek span of users. By using these new metric values, you’ll be able to more accurately analyze connectedness across the company, analyze changes in the workweek span, gauge the effect of Teams in improving organizational connectivity, and support Business Continuity scenarios. Note: We are planning to release this change on August 20, 2020. If you want early access to the updated metric values complete the Teams metric changes preview form and we’ll activate the new metric values for your organization. It might take up to four business days to activate the new metric values and we will send you a confirmation email after they’ve been activated.


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (24 mins) | Learn about the Microsoft 365 Network Connectivity Principles, which serve as foundational elements to achieve optimal network connectivity and most performant user experience with Microsoft 365. Learning about these key principles can help ensure your network strategy and design choices are optimal for your Microsoft 365 users, competitive in the marketplace, and future proof to the constant evolution of the cloud.

Because the world is in unchartered territory with COVID-19 impacting people, organizations and economies this year, we’re excited to announce that we’ve pivoted Microsoft Ignite from a week-long, in-person event to two global events that are free, 48-hour digital gatherings. The first event is Sept. 22-24, and registration will open on Sept. 3. We’ll be adding a second Microsoft Ignite in early 2021 to create an additional opportunity to connect with our technical communities, and to share the latest product developments. We’ve learned from the global digital events we’ve held this year that we now have the opportunity to bring the whole global community together in one place to create a truly worldwide event.  For this reason, we’re not going to be holding Microsoft Ignite Tour events in different cities around the world this year; instead Microsoft Ignite will bring all global participants together and include the opportunity for local community meetups, will have language localization, and participants will also be able to get skill building with Microsoft Learn and certifications.

This post is a summary of the latest features for Project on the web. For July 2020, updates include: (1) Project Operations – The Project team has been working with Dynamics 365 to build Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations. This product aims to help teams predict, adapt, and rapidly respond to change across their projects and organizations, (2) Documentation – The materials to help you leverage Project for the web for your team have been updated, (3) Scheduling Changes – Our scheduling changes to effort and duration are now available to all organizations using Project for the web. New projects should be scheduled with these changes. We’re working on converting old projects to this new scheme for the next month. The article also has a few soon-to-be-released features including Teams Integration for Project and Roadmap, and Custom Fields at the Task level.

We are excited to announce the General Availability of Azure AD My Sign-Ins—a new feature that allows enterprise users to review their sign-in history to check for any unusual activity. As we discussed in the Public Preview blog post, the My Sign-Ins page empowers users to see: (1) If anyone is trying to guess their password, (2) If an attacker successfully signed in to their account from a strange location, and (3) What apps the attacker accessed. The newest addition to this page allows end users to report “This wasn’t me” or “This was me” on unusual activities. | Related: How the Microsoft Mission Critical Team Helped Secure AAD | Microsoft Authenticator app lock now enabled by default

With billions of people around the globe working from home, changes to the daily practice of cybersecurity are accelerating. Organizations are shifting from defending a traditional network perimeter (keeping business assets in a safe place) to more effective zero trust strategies (protect users, data, and business assets where they are). This transformation brings technology changes and also opens up questions of what people’s roles and responsibilities will look like in this new world. At the same time, continuous delivery models are requiring security teams to engage more closely during business planning and application development to effectively manage cyber risks (vs. the traditional ‘arms-length’ security approaches). This requires security professionals to better understand the business context and to collaborate more closely with stakeholders outside of security. While each organization and each person will have a unique journey, we have seen common patterns for successfully transforming roles and responsibilities. To help security leaders and practitioners plan for this transformation, Microsoft has defined common security functions, how they are evolving, and key relationships. In this blog, we’ll provide a summary of our recommendations to help you get started.

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