Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-47

Welcome to the November 16 – 22, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were twenty-two additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, Microsoft Information Protection, Project, Outlook (iOS, Android), Microsoft 365 Compliance, Microsoft Search, To Do, and Microsoft Graph.

The December dates for existing meeting series are now listed, along with one new event – “Learn Together: Developing Apps for Microsoft Teams” on December 16th. This week’s spotlight event is the “Go Deeper with Microsoft Teams: Build collaborative workspace in Microsoft Teams” session on Monday, November 23rd at 9am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs the November 2020 look at what’s new to Microsoft 365, details on using priority accounts in Microsoft 365, guidance on creating a secure and compliant Microsoft Teams environment, and how to modernize secure access to on-premises resources using Zero Trust.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as a reminder about the timeline when the Teams app will no longer support Internet Explorer 11, a guide to creating a Yammer Live Event, best practices for public folder migrations, the deprecation notice for Outlook REST API beta and Outlook REST API v2.0, and information on the Microsoft 365 App Compliance Program.


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
Microsoft Project: Project for the Web – Export to Excel61297November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Export your project grid into an Excel spreadsheet. Share this information with colleagues so you can analyze your Project data.
Microsoft Project: Receive Email Notifications66608April CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Switch on to receive notifications about changes to your projects.
OneDrive: Dark Mode for the Web68868January CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
Dark mode changes the default bright background color in OneDrive for web. and Outlook on the web to a darker color, which is easier on the eyes in low-light environments or if you prefer less bright interfaces.
Microsoft Information Protection: Data-at-Rest Encryption for Microsoft 365 in WWMT and GCC68869March CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, GCC
Data-at-rest encryption for Microsoft 365 provides customer key-based encryption across multiple M365 workloads. Tenant administrators can configure a single data encryption policy using customer managed keys and assign it to the tenant.
Microsoft Information Protection: Data-at-Rest Encryption for Microsoft 365 in DoD and GCC-High68870May CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, GCC-High, DoD
Data-at-Rest Encryption for Microsoft 365 provides customer key-based encryption across multiple M365 workloads. Tenant administrators can configure a single data encryption policy using customer managed keys and assign it to the tenant.
Microsoft Information Protection: Exchange Online service encryption using Microsoft managed keys for government clouds68871December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Gov
Service encryption using Microsoft managed keys provides default encryption for all of Exchange Online data-at-rest. With Microsoft managed keys, data-at-rest always stays encrypted by default. Microsoft manages all cryptographic keys including the root keys in this case. Customers still have the choice to bring their own encryption keys by onboarding to Customer Key.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Communication Compliance Teams conversation context68872February CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance, Teams
Provide the ability to retrieve additional conversation context for Microsoft Teams messages that has matched a Communication Compliance policy. This feature will help an investigator make a more informed decision of remediation actions to take next.
Microsoft Information Protection: Mandatory Labeling in Office apps68873December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Office
Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) will now respect the Admin policy setting to require users to apply a label to documents and emails on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android (for the Office 365 subscription version of the apps).
Microsoft Information Protection: Teams location picker supports security groups and distribution lists68874January CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Teams
Data loss prevention (DLP) for Microsoft Teams will now support security groups and distribution lists as part of the Teams location picker, enabling more granular control of DLP policy scope (i.e. to include/exclude particular departments, business units, geo-specific security groups, etc.).
Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match to support improved auditability68876December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Customers who have configured Exact Data Match (EDM) will be able to view a complete audit trail of who created or modified and when each EDM component (i.e., Data schema, rule package and hashed / salted data uploaded).
Microsoft Search: Dynamic height for results68877November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Search
Improvements to results with Microsoft Search in SharePoint and Office.com will introduce dynamic height previews to support the results descriptive text and deliver preview images.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Advanced Audit log retention (1 year)68878December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
Log retention for up to one year to meet investigation requirements and customize retention policies per an organization’s requirements.
Microsoft Project: Export Timeline to PDF68879April CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Export your timeline to PDF to save or share your schedule with your stakeholders.
Microsoft Teams: Give feedback improvements68880January CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Teams will automatically review the feedback submitted by users and provide help documentation related to the topic if available. Additionally, once enabled by the Teams administrator, users will have the option to share their email address when submitting feedback in Teams to allow Microsoft to follow-up with them.
Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match to support Auto-labeling68881December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Organizations will be able to configure new or existing Auto-labeling policies using Exact Data Match (EDM) Sensitive Information Types (SITs), enabling more fine-grained control over which sensitive content gets labeled.
Microsoft Information Protection: Exact Data Match to support notifications for data upload status through alert policies68882December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Exact Data Match (EDM) customers will be able to configure alert policies in the security and compliance center for EDM Upload Agent notifications, enabling admins to receive alerts both via email and through the UI regarding EDM data upload status.
Microsoft To Do: iOS 14 Widgets68883December CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do – iOS
Now you can seamlessly interact with Microsoft To Do from your iOS 14 home screens.
SharePoint: Migration Manager – Teams and OneDrive68884November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Search
Microsoft Search now simplifies the process of creating and curating Bookmarks with Recommended Bookmarks.
Outlook for iOS: Reactions69095February CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
Thumbs up, laugh, heart, celebrate or shed a tear in reaction to emails in Outlook. Apply your sentiment and see the reaction of others in emails in Outlook without sending or receiving incremental emails.
Outlook for Android: Reactions69097February CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Thumbs up, laugh, heart, celebrate or shed a tear in reaction to emails in Outlook. Apply your sentiment and see the reaction of others in emails in Outlook without sending or receiving incremental emails.
Microsoft Project: Deploy to different environments71034March CY2021Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Organizations have more flexibility in how they deploy Project. In addition to using Project in the Default environment, you can now use it in Named Environments.
Microsoft Graph: Webhooks for To-Do Tasks (Preview)75253November CY2020Added: 20 November 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Graph
Developers can now create webhook subscriptions allowing their applications to receive notifications when To-Do Tasks change.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

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’.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

With the dramatic shift to remote work, we all continue to seek creative ways to stay connected and productive in our jobs. How do we recreate those meetings, calls, and large events that previously brought us together and helped us achieve our business goals? Do we have the right tools and devices to do so? And how do we do all of this while keeping security top of mind? These aren’t easy questions to answer. This one-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Power BI in a live cloud environment. A facilitator will guide you as you create a virtual company-wide meeting and explore how to: (1) Build a communication and collaboration hub, (2) Engage employees through chat and polls, (3) Set up automated meeting captioning, translation, and transcripts, and (4) Use analytical tools to make sense of data, categorize it, and make it easier to visualize.

Leverage the intelligent and integrated Microsoft solutions to help your organization achieve its compliance goals by joining the Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Meeting Organizational Compliance Requirements free one day online training session. Level 200-300 (Intermediate to Advanced) content. Technology covered: Data classification, labeling, governance, policy violation remediation, eDiscovery, audit, risk assessment. In this session you will: (1) Learn to use intelligence to identify, protect and govern your important data, (2) Learn to intelligently identify and remediate critical insider threats and risks, (3) Learn how to use the latest eDiscovery and audit capabilities to find relevant data and respond efficiently, and (4) Learn how to simplify and automate IT risk assessment.

When: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 from 9:00am – 11:00am PT | Millions of new Microsoft Teams users are looking to you, the developers, to create engaging and unique application experiences on Teams. In this two-hour livestream on Learn TV, you’ll learn: (1) Why you should consider building apps for Teams, (2) How to get started building apps for Teams in VS Code, and (3) Where you can integrate your apps in the Teams user experience. Quickly get started learning how to build these apps and stick around for some fun trivia and prizes.

In this training, you will learn how to protect your organization’s identities, data, applications, and devices across on-premises, cloud, and mobile – end to-end using the latest tools and guidance. This event covers intermediate to advanced content (level 200-300) and includes the following technologies: Threat Protection, Information Protection, Identify and Access Management, Security Management. In this workshop you will: (1) Increase level of understanding on how Microsoft delivers security across Microsoft 365, (2) Increase knowledge of security features and solutions, and (3) Connect with local technical experts and FastTrack resources.

To support your efforts to deliver and deploy updates to the Windows 10 devices being used by remote, onsite, and hybrid workers across your organization, and manage those devices effectively, we are continuing our series of weekly “office hours” for IT professionals here on Tech Community. During office hours, we will have a broad group of product experts, servicing experts, and engineers representing Windows, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager), security, FastTrack, and more. They will be monitoring the Windows 10 servicing space and standing by to provide guidance, discuss strategies and tactics, and, of course, answer any specific questions you may have. Office hours are text-based; there is no audio or virtual meeting component. To post a question, you just need to be a member of the Tech Community. Simply visit the Windows 10 servicing space and click Start a new conversation. At the start of office hours, we’ll pin a post outlining the individuals on hand, and their areas of expertise. Can’t attend at the designated time? Again, no problem. Post a question in the Windows 10 servicing space up to 24 hours in advance and we’ll make sure we review it during office hours.


BLOG ROUNDUP

As we enter the holiday season, it’s been inspiring to see organizations condense years of transformation into just a few short months. Many of you are adopting new digital technologies, transforming your business processes, and fundamentally rethinking how work will get done going forward. Throughout all of it, we’ve been focused on studying how work is changing and listening to you, our customers, so we can prioritize features and capabilities that will help you adapt to these changes and improve your workflows. In November 2020, we’re thrilled to announce that many of your top requested features—like background noise suppression in meetings—are coming to Teams and other Microsoft 365 services. Read on for details on those, plus the highly anticipated Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention and other new features across Microsoft 365 to help make it easier to pick up where you left off, keep track of your notes and tasks more easily, sketch out Amazon Web Services (AWS) application architectures in Visio for the web, and more.

Related:

Many organizations have people that are considered priority accounts for IT, such as executives, leaders, managers, and others. To help IT ensure a high quality of service and protection for these people, we have introduced capabilities in Microsoft 365 that enable an admin to tag specific users as priority accounts and then leverage app-specific features designed for them. To start with, we’ve announced two capabilities: priority account protection and premium mail flow monitoring. Let’s have a closer look at the app-specific features for priority accounts.

Organizations are continuing to work in a remote or hybrid-remote environment which accentuates the need to protect people, devices, apps, and the data that spans across the entire landscape. An increase in online collaboration has caused an influx of data that is critical for organizations to ensure remains secure, wherever employees are collaborating from. This is supported by the 115 million daily active users on Microsoft Teams, reemphasizing the need to ensure we can protect all the information and data created from increased online collaboration. This blog post provides information on how to create a secure and compliant Microsoft Teams environment.

Change came quickly in 2020. More likely than not, a big chunk of your workforce has been forced into remote access. And with remote work came an explosion of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios, requiring your organization to extend the bounds of your network to include the entire internet (and the added security risks that come with it). Organizations that steadfastly relied on the “flat network” approach of firewalls and VPNs to regulate access now find themselves lacking the visibility, solution integration, and agility needed to deliver end-to-end security. A new model needed to adapt to a remote workforce, protecting people, devices, applications, and data—from anywhere. The right security solution for our new perimeterless workplace employs the principles of Zero Trust, allowing users access only to the specific applications they need rather than the entire network. Because Zero Trust access is tied to the user’s identity, it allows IT departments to quickly onboard new and remote users, often on non-corporate devices, scoping permissions appropriately.


NOTEWORTHY

Beginning November 30, 2020, the Microsoft Teams web app will no longer support IE 11. This means that after this date, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11. While we know this change will be difficult for some customers, we believe that customers will get the most out of Microsoft 365 when using the new Microsoft Edge. We are committed to helping make this transition as smooth as possible. Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today. Since then, open web standards and newer browsers—like the new Microsoft Edge—have enabled better, more innovative online experiences. We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets like Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more.

We’ve been making a lot of noise about Live Events in Yammer as we strive to modernize the employee experience.  With live events now generally available, you can now bring this type of event to your organization. Here is a guide to creating an engaging live event in Yammer and what to do before, during, and after the event to maximize the value, keep momentum going, and build reach. Keep in mind, to create a Live Event, you’ll need to be a Yammer group admin and create the event in an Office 365 connected Yammer group.

We wanted to share some best practices to prepare the on-premises public folders for migration to Exchange Online. The document will walk you through the overview of process to migrate public folders to Exchange Online, using the native tools as well as talk about best practices and tools used for trouble free migration. A quick overview of how the native migration process works follows. The intention here is not to walk through details of each step of native migration, that is already done here and here. Preparation is the key step, and we will be spending majority of this post on that part, which will ensure you face minimal issues during the actual migration.

We are announcing the deprecation of the Outlook REST API beta and  Outlook REST API v2.0 endpoints, and that they will be decommissioned on November 30, 2022. Once past this date, these services will be retired, and developers may no longer access them. As part of the deprecation, we will soon disable creation of new Outlook REST API beta or Outlook REST API v2.0 applications. Going forward, we will not be making any further investments in the capabilities or capacity of the Outlook REST API beta or Outlook REST API v2.0. This will result in two changes for developers. First, we will retire the OAuth Sandbox by December 31, 2020. Additionally, we have removed the “Exchange” app permission from the Azure portal. We have updated our documentation with additional information regarding creation of EWS apps. If you are using the Outlook REST API beta or Outlook REST API v2.0 in your app, you should plan on transitioning to Microsoft Graph.

Here in our Microsoft 365 App Compliance Team, the focus is to protect our customers’ data by creating a trusted ecosystem of secure and compliant apps. Our program also helps customers like you to distinguish and filter out apps, based on their own risk tolerance. Our program is designed to provide assurance to organizations and enterprise IT admins like you, that when your data interacts with a certified application, that application has undergone a security and privacy review. Microsoft 365 Certification requires a thorough assessment of an app and its underlying infrastructure against a series of security controls. This involves validating a variety of things such as updated antimalware signatures, proper data encryption at rest and in-transit, and many more. All controls span four domains: (1) Application Security, (2) Operational Security / Secure Deployment, (3) Data Handling Security and Privacy, and (4) Optional External Compliance Frameworks.

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