Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-53

Happy New Year, and welcome to the December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Sixteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive (Android), Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Excel, and To Do.

There are lots of events for January 2021, with the full slate of dates available for most of the series. There is a new Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day offering available – “Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams”, which is scheduled for January 21st and 22nd. The spotlight event of the week is the “Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Securing Your Organization” session on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 from 10am – 2pm Pacific.

As expected, content was light over the holidays. The December 2020 SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop post was published, as well as information on a new set of documents to help automate business processes with Power Automate, along with a couple of posts focused on the recent Solorigate incident.


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 Teams: Prompt to set Meeting Options for Large Teams Meetings in Outlook for Windows68918January CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Teams users in Outlook for Windows will be prompted to set meeting options when organizing Teams meetings for 40 or more participants or 10 or more distribution lists.
Microsoft Teams: History Menu70545February CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
The History Menu for Teams desktop clients displays your recently visited locations when hovering over the backward and forward navigation options. Using the menu, you can quickly jump back to previous locations, making it much easier to quickly get back to nested locations like tabs or documents. The menu is also accessible via keyboard shortcut.
Microsoft Teams: Share to Outlook for GCC70546February CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Share to Outlook from Microsoft Teams will be released for GCC environment. Share to Outlook enables a Teams conversation to be shared via email.
OneDrive: Android – Bookmarks for PDF viewing70547January CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive – Android
Users of OneDrive for Android will be able to Bookmark, or “Tag”, PDF pages that they want to come back to later.
OneDrive: Android – Page rotation for PDF viewing70548January CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive – Android
Users will be able to rotate the page of a PDF being viewed in OneDrive on Android.
Microsoft 365 admin center: M365 informed network routing – SD-WAN integration70549January CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Admin
Informed network routing is a feature that integrates various Microsoft 365 applications with third party software defined network (SD-WAN) solutions in order to optimize and improve your network connectivity to Microsoft service endpoints. Optimized SD-WAN connectivity may result in improved user experiences and performance.
Microsoft To Do: now helps you to organize your tasks easily with intelligent list suggestions70550January CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do
Microsoft To Do now helps you to organize your tasks easily with intelligent list suggestions.
Microsoft Teams: Prompt to set Meeting Options for Large Teams Meetings in Outlook for Windows in GCC78699February CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Teams users in Outlook for Windows will be prompted to set meeting options when organizing Teams meetings for 40 or more participants or 10 or more distribution lists.
Microsoft Teams: Prompt to set Meeting Options for Large Teams Meetings in Outlook for Windows in GCC-High78700March CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High
Teams users in Outlook for Windows will be prompted to set meeting options when organizing Teams meetings for 40 or more participants or 10 or more distribution lists.
Microsoft Teams: Prompt to set Meeting Options for Large Teams Meetings in Outlook for Windows for DoD78701April CY2021Added: 22 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, DoD
Teams users in Outlook for Windows will be prompted to set meeting options when organizing Teams meetings for 40 or more participants or 10 or more distribution lists.
Excel: Co-authoring Support For Protected Files in Excel and Excel for the web60348June CY2021Added: 23 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel
Adding Support for the co-authoring of protected files to both web and desktop.
Excel: Support rich text editing inside cells for Excel on the web51847January CY2021Added: 23 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel – Web
Users will be able to use RTF (Rich Text Formatting) inside cells in Excel.
SharePoint: Page Authoring First Run Experience70667January CY2021Added: 23 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
The page authoring First Run experience is an interactive tutorial that walks users through the editing process the first time that they create a page or news post.
SharePoint: Web Part Toolbox Updates70668February CY2021Added: 23 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
We are rolling out several changes to the web part toolbox; featured web parts will be replaced with a user’s most frequently used web parts, the categories from the large toolbox will also appear in the small toolbox, and the size of the small toolbox has increased.
SharePoint: Image Lightbox70669February CY2021Added: 23 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
This feature lets users click on an image web part while in view mode to see a larger version of the image.
Microsoft 365 admin center: Conglomerate Branding70551March CY2021Added: 31 December 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Admin
Conglomerate Branding will give global administrators the ability to define multiple themes within their organization using Microsoft 365 Groups. Each theme can be further customized by specifying mobile-specific and alternate dark mode logo experiences.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Businesses are shifting to a desktop experience that empowers IT and enables employees to be more productive and secure, but not all employees sit in an office or always work from secure locations.  With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can set up a scalable and flexible environment to unlock mobility, productivity and security. This new 2-hour session will give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience with Windows Virtual Desktop. During this session, you will explore how to: (1) Create your first Windows Virtual Desktop architecture, (2) Create images and assign them to users, (3) Operationalize the virtual desktop infrastructure with monitoring, scaling, and image management, and (4) Explore security best practices within Windows Virtual Desktop. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

Remote work requires smarter workflows. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Building Microsoft Teams Integrations and Workflows shows you how the Microsoft Teams developer platform makes it easy to integrate your apps and services to improve productivity, make decisions faster and create collaboration around existing content and workflows. Join us to learn how to build apps for Teams and create integrated, people-centered solutions that can transform productivity in your organization, whether you’re on-site or working remotely. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Build modern enterprise-grade collaboration solutions with Microsoft Teams, (2) Transform everyday business processes with Microsoft 365 platform integrations for Power Platform, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, and (3) Use the wealth of data in Microsoft Graph to extend Microsoft 365 experiences and build unique intelligent applications.

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.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review high-value scenarios including incident management (help desk), employee engagement, and productivity that can be enhanced through simple integrations in Teams. We focus on popular enterprise applications your users may already be using every day. Come see how easy it is to connect your systems, increase automation, and deliver improved experiences by bringing the apps your organization relies on into Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand common app integrations for Teams across multiple scenarios and user personas, and (2) Understand third-party apps available for key scenarios.

To be productive in a remote environment, your employees need to be able to safely collaborate from anywhere. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams helps you provide a remote workforce with the tools, resources and solutions they need to stay connected and productive. Join us to learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams online meetings, calling, video and chat, and empower your workforce to work from any location on any device. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Enable your people to meet and collaborate from home, (2) Make productivity applications available on any device, and (3) Deliver the best remote user experience.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in December 2020. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. To close out the year, December 2020 brought many a new offering: SharePoint site header updates, send pages to Yammer, “SharePoint Success” site template, add Microsoft Teams to SharePoint team sites update, Microsoft Lists adoption center, Microsoft Graph Toolkit v2.0, and more. All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of December 2020 (possibly early January 2021).

We have just launched a new set of documents to help people learn how to automate their business processes with Power Automate. In these new articles, you’ll learn about the five basic steps of automating with Power Automate, using the best practices and knowledge from Power CAT (Customer Advisory team). The articles focus on the non-technical aspects of automating business processes with Power Automate, such as how to plan your Power Automate project, how to discover automation areas, how to assess business value, etc. Whether you’re a businessperson who has never participated in an automation or RPA project before, or you’re a “full stack” developer who wants to use Power Automate to bridge between cloud services and legacy systems – this set of articles is for everyone who wants to learn or upgrade their methodology for business process automation projects. We recommend that you start from the introduction and read through the document step by step.

In the interest of helping customers concerned about the Solorigate attacks we are publishing a new workbook in the Azure AD admin portal to assist investigations into the Identity Indicators of Compromise related to the attacks. The information in this workbook is available in Azure AD audit and sign in logs, but the workbook helps you collect and visualize the information in one view. The workbook is split into 5 sections, each aimed at providing information associated with the attack patterns we have identified: (1) Modified application and service principal credentials/authentication methods, (2) Modified federation settings, (3) Azure AD STS Refresh token modifications by service principals and applications other than DirectorySync, (4) New permissions granted to service principals, and (5) Directory role and group membership updates for service principals. First, we’ll detail how to access the workbook and then walk through each of these in turn.


NOTEWORTHY

We have heard your feedback on not being able to navigate to the relevant sections of your word documents on the Mobile Apps. We have started rolling out this, much-awaited feature in Word Mobile. You can now open your Headings Pane and navigate to the relevant sections of your documents with a few taps. What’s more? We even detect headings that are not marked in the Headings font styles using our Intelligence algorithm. The algorithm brings you sections of text that are most likely to be Headings as well. We would like your feedback on the accuracy of these detections.

For December 2020, the focus isn’t on a specific app but more so on deciding when to use our information protection services. There’s a lot of overlap, integration, and separate components that go into these two services. This blog serves as a starting point and a way to help guide some of those discussions. It is not the end-all of guidance and each environment is different. Overview: At a high level, AIP is a cloud-based solution that enables organizations to discover, classify, and protect documents and emails by applying labels to content. AIP is part of the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) solution, and extends the labeling and classification functionality provided by Microsoft 365. MIP is the common information protection stack that’s leveraged by AIP’s unified labeling client. MCAS and AIP are both a part of our MIP Offering. For this blog, we’ll be using MIP to identify all the non-MCAS components.

This blog is a comprehensive guide for security operations and incident response teams using Microsoft 365 Defender to identify, investigate, and respond to the Solorigate attack if it’s found in your environment. The description of the attack in this blog is based on current analysis and investigations by researchers across Microsoft, our partners, and the intelligence community who are actively collaborating to respond to the attack. This is an active threat that continues to evolve, and the findings included here represent what we know at the time of publishing. We continue to publish and update intelligence, indicators, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), and related details as we discover them. The report from the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) includes the latest analysis of this threat, known indicators of compromise (IOCs), and initial recommended defenses, and will be updated as new data becomes available.

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