Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-36

Welcome to the August 30 – September 5, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Eighteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Planner, OneNote, and Outlook (Android, iOS).

Additional dates for existing meeting series have been posted, and there are some new Teams “Chalk Talks” events listed. The spotlight event of the week is the “Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Upcoming Changes to Office Support” on Wednesday, September 9th at 9am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include the August 2020 updates for Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, as well as general availability of Microsoft Lists in Microsoft Teams, and information on three ways Microsoft 365 can help reduce help desk costs.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the “What’s New with Microsoft 365” August 2020 video, a video on “How Microsoft does Zero Trust”, and a reminder about upcoming changes to Office 2013 client connectivity to Office 365.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

Note: The Estimated Release dates listed below are subject to change. The direct link provided for each item can be used to determine if the estimated release date has been updated since the time of publication.

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Outlook for iOS: Recommended Office information67557October CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
The Discover feed of information on the Search home page is changing to Recommended and provides quick access to additional relevant company information based on the Microsoft Graph.
Outlook for iOS: SharePoint News and recorded Teams Meetings67560September CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Your company Discover feed (soon to be renamed Recommended Roadmap ID 67557) will include SharePoint news and access to recently recorded Teams online meetings that are relevant to you.
Outlook for Android: SharePoint News and recorded Teams Meetings67561November CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Your company Discover feed on the Search landing page will include SharePoint news and access to recently recorded Teams online meetings that are relevant to you.
Planner: More labels in Planner66193December CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Add up to 25 labels to your tasks in Planner.
Planner: File recommendations66364December CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Planner will recommend related files to attach your tasks.
Planner: Smart Planner Board backgrounds66578December CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Planner
Add relevant and unique background images to your Planner board through smart recommendations.
OneNote: Create a new OneNote page in the Assignments “New File” dialog menu66580September CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneNote
When educators are creating Assignments, or students are attaching work, it’s handy to be able to create a new file on the fly. We will be adding the ability to create a blank OneNote page that can easily be filled out, through the New File dialog.
OneNote: Students and educators get a notification when a new Class Notebook page is distributed66582September CY2020Added: 31 August 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneNote, EDU
We are making a new update that will allow any Educator using Page Distribution in the OneNote client to ensure that all students get a notification in Teams after a page is distributed! This notification will work for educators using the Class Notebook Toolbar in OneNote Windows 10, iPad, Web and Mac.
Outlook for Android: Use your voice to compose an email68286October CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Use your voice to start to compose a message to a specific person.
Outlook for Android: Use your voice to initiate a phone or Teams call68301October CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Start using your voice in Outlook to connect and call a specific person via their phone or Teams.
Outlook for iOS: Use your voice to create a new calendar event68302October CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Use your voice to create a new calendar event.
Outlook for iOS: Use your voice to compose an email68303October CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Use your voice to start to compose a message to a specific person.
Outlook for iOS: Use your voice to initiate a phone or Teams calls68304October CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Start using your voice in Outlook to connect and call a specific person via their phone or Teams.
Outlook for Android: Use your voice to create a new calendar event68305October CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Use your voice to create a new calendar event.
Office 365: Office.COM UI update67088October CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
Office.com is being updated to include the catch-up pane. A single place for you to catch up on all activity related to content you shared, or was shared with you. (including comments, @mentions, changes and more).
Microsoft Teams: Update to the format Meeting Invitations for Microsoft Teams67094September CY2020Added: 01 September 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams
Microsoft Teams Meetings Invites are getting a formatting update to make meetings easier to join. The new format will support all the same meeting invite customization Teams supports today.
Visio: Copy diagrams across Visio files in Visio for the web and Microsoft Teams67116September CY2020Added: 03 September 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Visio
Copy your shapes and diagrams across Visio files opened in Visio for the web or Microsoft Teams to extend, merge, or modify the diagram, and to create new ones.
Microsoft Teams: Suggested replies for iOS69740September CY2020Added: 04 September 2020
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Teams – iOS
Suggested replies in Teams chat uses assistive AI to create short responses based on the context of the previous message.

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.

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’.

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).

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

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!

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.

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. 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’.

Are you ready to start enabling Microsoft Teams as a single experience for productive conversations, smooth flow of information, simplified schedule management in a compliant and secure environment? This interactive workshop is designed to help you prioritize your starting scenario and develop a plan for a pilot for the tailored experience to suit the needs for your firstline co-workers. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and transportation industries. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key decision points and implementation steps for digitally enabling your firstline workers with Microsoft Teams. In this workshop, you will learn: (1) How to identify scenarios that matter to your firstline workers and the best approach to implementing Teams from pilot to scale across your entire organization, (2) How to map scenarios to Microsoft Teams use cases, and (3) How to craft the right experience for your firstline workers in Teams by configuring apps and policies.

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.

When: Tuesday, September 15, 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, 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!

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

When: 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!

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: 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

In August, we saw updates in Microsoft Teams that continue to improve the meetings experience and new features that provide developers a rich canvas to build workflows to enhance personal productivity. We are excited to share new features this month across meetings, calling, devices, chat and collaboration, IT admin, and industry. Some of the new features highlighted in this post include: (1) Spotlight – meeting organizers and presenters will be able to lock their video as the main view for all meeting participants, (2) Meeting recording storage for areas where Stream is not available, (3) Real time presence, and (4) New Power Automate triggers and actions for Teams. This post also has information on updates available in EDU and US Government tenants. | Related: New Insights, Spotlight video and 6 other updates for Microsoft Teams for Education | August 2020

We are proud to announce the general availability of the Lists app in Teams for all our commercial and GCC customers. As you might already know, Microsoft Lists, which we announced at Build 2020 is a Microsoft 365 app that helps you track information and organize your work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team. Track patients, loans, issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory and more using customizable views and smart rules and alerts to keep everyone in sync. With ready-made templates, you can quickly create lists from directly within Teams and access them on the Teams mobile app by accessing the Lists tab you added as a channel. | Related: Microsoft Lists in Microsoft Teams is now generally available in GCC

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in August 2020. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. Highlighted features include SharePoint site templates for Education, Azure CDN caching for SharePoint and OneDrive video, Download SharePoint site usage data in Excel, Updates to the list and list item sharing experience, Improved image columns in SharePoint lists and libraries, and much more! All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of August 2020 (possibly early September 2020).

With more people than ever working remotely, organizations must maximize employee productivity while protecting an ever-growing digital footprint. Many have stitched together specialized security solutions from different vendors to improve their cybersecurity posture, but this approach is expensive and can result in gaps in coverage and a fragmented user experience. With Microsoft’s integrated security solutions, you can enhance security and user productivity more cost-effectively. Focusing a lens on the helpdesk illuminates how consolidating with Microsoft helps streamline and strengthen your security posture. Your helpdesk plays an important role in enabling employees to be more effective, but it can also reveal organization-wide productivity challenges. Productivity matters because if security controls are too cumbersome, employees will find workarounds. This blog highlights three examples of how Microsoft 365 can help you reduce costs while strengthening cybersecurity.


NOTEWORTHY

Format: Video (8 mins) | This month, we cover new features available for Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams and on the web, how to automate user provisioning to Azure AD from SAP SuccessFactors, new Power Automate triggers and actions in Teams, and more!

Format: Video (31 mins) | Learn about Microsoft’s approach to Zero Trust within the context of network configuration.  Research shows that the Zero Trust concept is used to discuss very different approaches to the same problem and it is often left to the organization to determine which approach is best for their environment.  In this session, we’ll outline an approach that details 4 critical categories that evolve the discussion from “Trust but verify” to “Verify everything, trust nothing” including the network.

The Project team has been focused on big features, with one new release for August 2020 – Group by Assigned. Starting in September, you can organize your tasks by assignee in the Board view. This will provide insight into what each person is working on! There are several upcoming features including: (1) Share Projects with groups you don’t own, (2) Task Custom Fields, (3) Project & Roadmap in Microsoft Teams, (4) Email notifications, and (5) Export to Excel.

As previously announced, Office 2013 clients’ connections to commercial Office 365 services will not be supported after October 13, 2020. After this date, ongoing investments in the Office 365 cloud services – including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business – will proceed based on post-Office 2013 requirements. We recommend that organizations with Office 2013 clients consider migrating to Office 365 ProPlus. Support for Office 2016 and Office 2019 connections to Office 365 cloud services will continue until October 2023. Up to date information on current system requirements can be found under on the Office system requirements page, with related timelines available in the Office system requirements matrix.

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