Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-13

Welcome to the March 29 – April 4, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were nineteen features added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, Word, M365 Compliance, Azure Active Directory, and Yammer.

Some of the existing meetings had new April sessions added. The one new event is also the spotlight event of the week – an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) with the Microsoft Planner team on Wednesday, April 7th at 9am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include a look at what’s new in Microsoft Teams for February and March 2021, the March 2021 roadmap pitstop for SharePoint, details on new capabilities for admins in Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, the availability of the Viva Connections desktop app, and seven Zero Trust adoption strategies from security leaders.

Wrapping up the post is a look at recent visual improvements to Outlook mobile, the Project updates for March 2021, information on the April 2021 updates for Workplace Analytics, a native external sender callout on email in Outlook, and a look at the data points Microsoft uses to provide unique capabilities in Microsoft Defender for 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
SharePoint: SharePoint News Boost70810April CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Prioritize important news and announcements to appear at the top of news feeds across Microsoft 365. You can boost the visibility of a news article for a set time, until an employee has seen your content, or until a viewer has seen the item in their feed a set number of times.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Collection of Teams conversation as transcript in Advanced eDiscovery70812June CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
eDiscovery managers will soon have the flexibility to collect Teams messages as transcript items. Transcripts will aggregate and thread messages in the same Teams conversations into a single HTML file that is available for review and export. Customers will continue to have the ability to collect Teams messages as individual items as offered today.
Microsoft Teams: Admins can install Apps in Meetings81086May CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
We will enable IT admins to select Teams apps that can be installed in meetings for their organization.
Microsoft Teams: Tags are available in GCC High81091June CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Tags are available in GCC High. Tags in Teams let users quickly reach a group of people without having to @mention or type out everyone.
Microsoft Teams: Manage tags in Teams programmatically – Microsoft Teams Tags APIs are now in public preview81093June CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This set of APIs can be used to programmatically assign users tags in a team, making tag creation and maintenance faster and easier. Using these new APIs, developers can now: create tags in a team and assign users, get a list of tags in a team, update tags or delete tags.
Microsoft Teams: Tags are available in DoD81096August CY2021Added: 29 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, DoD
Tags are available in DoD. Tags in Teams let users quickly reach a group of people without having to @mention or type out everyone.
Word: Dark Mode65136March CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Word
Dark Mode in Word will provide a modern look for documents while giving users the ability to reduce eye strain and accommodate light sensitivity from long hours at a computer screen.
Yammer: Nested Replies in Yammer70809April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Yammer
Yammer conversations will soon have nested replies. This threading makes it easier for users to read and engage with conversations that have many comments by organizing replies together in a way that maintains context. This feature also includes improvements to: deleting comments, allowing users to deep link to specific replies, and improved community feed ordering.
Microsoft Compliance center: Data loss prevention (DLP) solution overview page70814April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
The DLP solution overview page will appear in the Microsoft 365 compliance center and house policy recommendation widgets and other actions and guidance related to your available DLP solutions.
Azure Active Directory: Password Protection Enforced for all Changes72197April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Azure AD
Currently password updates made through Graph do not have banned password enforcement, along with B2C users and Service Principals. This change will enforce Password Protection for all password creations and changes.
Microsoft Graph: Graph connectors Results in All tab72198April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Graph
Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search provide a set of out-of-the-box search connectors and search %26amp; indexing APIs that enable Microsoft 365 customers to connect Microsoft Search to data sources outside of Microsoft 365. With this feature, users can explore results from Microsoft Graph connectors in the All vertical.
Office 365: Microsoft feedback management controls72199April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
We are introducing new cross platform policies to help administrators better manage the feedback experience for their organization. They will be able set feedback collection policies per AAD group for Microsoft 365 products.
Microsoft compliance center: New DLP alert management dashboard72206April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
A new data loss prevention (DLP) alert management experience within the Microsoft 365 compliance center will enable admins to review, investigate, and manage DLP policy match events, related content, and associated metadata, as well as edit alert configuration options as a part of the DLP policy authoring experience. The dashboard shows alerts for DLP policies that are enforced on these workloads: Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Devices.
Azure Active Directory: Temporary Access Pass72242April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
Temporary Access Pass (TAP) is a time-limited passcode that can be used to registration Passwordless FIDO2 and Phone Sign-in. TAP also makes recovery easier when a user has lost or forgotten their strong authentication methods and needs to sign in to register new authentication methods.
Azure Active Directory: Application Proxy traffic optimization72248April CY2021Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
You now can now designate which region your Application Proxy service connector group should use. By choosing the closest region to your applications and connectors, you can improve performance and reduce the latency to the App Proxy service.
Azure Active Directory: B2C Identity Protection & Conditional Access72251April CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
You can enhance the security of Azure AD B2C implementation with Azure AD’s Identity Protection and Conditional Access capabilities. Identity Protection allows organizations to automate the detection and remediation of identity-based risks, investigate risks, and export risk detection data to third-party utilities for further analysis. Conditional Access is the policy engine that brings signals together to make decisions and enforce organizational policies. Together, these capabilities give application owners significantly greater control over risky authentications and access policies.
Azure Active Directory: Conditional Access authentication context72253April CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
Conditional Access authentication context lets you target policies for data and actions within an app so you can refine your Zero Trust policies for least privileged access while minimizing user friction.
Azure Active Directory: Verifiable credentials72255April CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: Rolling out
App / Service: Azure AD
Verifiable credentials let organizations confirm information about someone without collecting and storing their personal data. Organizations will be able to issue digital versions of a variety of credentials such as physical badges, loyalty cards, and government-issued paper documents based on open standards.
Microsoft Teams: Breakout Room Presenter support81118 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Extend the management of Breakout Rooms to specific presenters.
Microsoft Teams: Roaming bandwidth control81350May CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Enhanced UX for participant assignment. This includes new capabilities such as sorting participants and rooms and performing multiple selections and assignments to rooms.
Microsoft Teams: New assignment experience in modal window for Breakout Rooms81389June CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
You now can now designate which region your Application Proxy service connector group should use. By choosing the closest region to your applications and connectors, you can improve performance and reduce the latency to the App Proxy service.
Microsoft Teams: Breakout Room pre-meeting room creation and participant assignment81390May CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Introducing capability for organizer to perform breakout room configuration and participant assignment before the meeting starts.
Microsoft Teams: Separate Window Teams Live Events Producer Experience81804May CY2021 Added: 31 March 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
With this new feature, you are now able to produce your Teams Live Events as a Producer in a separate window, allowing you to effectively manage your event.
Outlook: Updates to attachments in received mail72212April CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
We are consolidating the options to manage a received file under a single dropdown menu similar to Outlook for Windows and Mac. For customers with OneDrive enabled, we are adding the ability to directly edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint attachments in the corresponding desktop or web app.
Outlook: Admin-set organization logos in Outlook for iOS and Android72214May CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android, iOS
Admins can set an organization logo through Azure Active Directory, and users will see this logo in certain multi-account scenarios to better differentiate between work and personal mail.
Microsoft Teams: Teams webinar capabilities general availability80099April CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Schedule and deliver 1,000 person webinars with the same Teams app you use for meetings! Webinar capabilities support registration page creation, email confirmation for registrants, host management for attendee video and audio, attendee reporting, plus interactive features like polls, chat and reactions.
Microsoft Teams: New manage tag experience and other enhancements81803April CY2021Added: 02 April 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Tags in Teams let users quickly reach a group of people without having to @mention or type out everyone. Tags now can be managed as a Tab and you can receive notification for tag membership changes or search for tags in Teams. Tags will also now have a description field so that you can add more details to a tag.

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.

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.

Join us to learn how to accomplish the fundamental tasks in Teams. Learn how to easily communicate with your co-workers, save time while working and collaborating, and see how teamwork and projects can be managed in a central space. In this training you will learn how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and attend meetings, (4) Align your workgroup and projects, and (5) Collaborate on files and tools.

Do you use Microsoft Teams on a regular basis and want to learn more? Are you looking for ways to increase your efficiency and productivity in Teams? Join us to discover ways to enhance communication and increase your efficiency and productivity within Teams. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed and responded to, (2) Integrate tools and best practices to streamline and collaboration process, and (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and felt it wasn’t productive and not much was accomplished? Join us to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive, and meaningful. Use Microsoft Teams for your entire meeting experience. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Schedule and join meetings and initiate calls, (2) Use collaborative tools such as sharing, whiteboards, meeting notes, recording, and more, (3) Easily access important meetings and related content at any time, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Do you need an online, collaborative workspace for your project or workgroup? Join us to explore effective, virtual workspaces for projects and workgroups. Microsoft Teams offer the flexibility to set up a workspace that suits your needs. In this training, you will learn how to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs, (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams to enhance productivity.

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.

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: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 9:00am PT | Moving to Microsoft 365? There are several tools and methods offered by Microsoft to help you through this journey. In this webinar we will demonstrate the various options available to enable you to successfully migrate your organizational data to Microsoft 365 so that you can empower your users for collaboration and productivity. The agenda is as follows: (1) Introduction, (2) Migration from file shares and SharePoint servers, (3) Migration from cloud providers, (4) Future investments, and (5) Conclusion and QA.

When: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 9:00am PT | Last year, we hosted several “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) sessions for Planner—and they were a huge hit! We heard from customers around the world who asked about our plans for future feature releases, technical difficulties, integrations with other Microsoft 365 apps, and much, much more. The conversations were engaging and enlightening: our team learned even more about your needs to make Planner the best task management app for your work. If you’re curious about the kinds of questions and answers in these sessions, check out the November AMA summary. Coming on the heels of several app enhancements, like more labels, and the Reimagine Project Management with Microsoft digital event, we’re excited to be hosting our first AMA of the year on Wednesday, April 7 at 9 a.m. PST right here on Tech Community. Make sure to save the date! To join, simply visit the Planner AMA space at the time of the event and select “Start a New Conversation” to post your question. This session is open to all Tech Community members. Representatives from both the product and engineering teams for Planner will be on hand to answer your questions.

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.

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.

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 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 9:00am PT | If you are evaluating , kicking off or in the process of moving your organizational data to Microsoft 365 here are some recommendations from the subject matter experts based on their learnings post managing large scale migrations for multiple organizations. Tune in to learn more about the best practices that will help you run an effective, speedy and seamless migration to OneDrive and SharePoint irrespective of the tools you choose to use. The agenda is as follows: (1) Introduction, (2) How to prepare data for migration, (3) How to plan and communicate about the migration, (4) How to run a successful migration, and (5) Conclusion and QA.

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.

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 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

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. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how 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. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

When employees are confident in their ability to collaborate remotely and securely, they are free to achieve more without worry. Learn how to protect data, devices, and applications while simplifying IT and minimizing the impact on employees at Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Secure and Protect Your Organization. During this free two-part learning event and accompanying Q&A, you’ll form the foundations to safeguard your company’s digital footprint. During this training event, you will explore how to: (1) Craft identity synchronization, protection, and management, (2) Utilize security in Microsoft 365, and (3) Integrate cloud app security and device management plans.

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 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

As people increasingly shift to remote work, protecting your organization’s information and managing risk should be a top priority. Microsoft Security Virtual Training Day: Protect Sensitive Information and Manage Data Risk teaches you how to take advantage of Microsoft technologies that identify and remediate risks that arise from creating, storing, sharing, and using sensitive data. In addition, you’ll learn how to protect that data throughout its entire life cycle—on-premises and across devices, apps, and cloud services. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Understand, identify, and protect your most sensitive data, (2) Identify and take action on insider risks and code-of-conduct violations, and (3) Utilize information protection and governance.

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 15 participants, reserve your seat now.


BLOG ROUNDUP

It’s been a busy, productive couple of months. We announced a lot of exciting product updates and offerings at Ignite earlier this month, and many of these are now generally available. However, those aren’t the only new features and capabilities to launch in February and March. In fact, there’s a lot. So, grab a cup of something and let’s see what’s new in: (1) Meetings and webinars, (2) Calling, (3) Devices, (4) Chat and Collaboration, (5) Power Platform and custom development, (6) Management, (7) Security, compliance, and privacy, and (8) Government.

Related:

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in March 2021. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. March was a month that brought more Viva goodness, refined SharePoint and Lists experiences, and a few gems for your content migrations. Blink and it’s April, but first, let’s review March. March 2021 brought some great new offerings: Microsoft Viva Connections, SharePoint app bar, Focus mode for SharePoint pages and news, images in SharePoint Events web part, SharePoint page analytics, Integrate menu for Microsoft Lists, Graph-based people picker for Person columns, Box migration into Microsoft 365, guest access in Yammer, and more. All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of March 2021 (possibly early April 2021).

March was an exciting month for the Microsoft 365 Apps community. We know that IT admins like you are continuing to play a critical role in keeping your organizations focused and productive, which is why we’re always innovating new features and services for Microsoft 365 Apps. Read on to discover more about the latest capabilities, including Microsoft 365 Apps health, extended offline access, and device-based subscription. And if you missed any of our Microsoft Ignite sessions, watch the on-demand videos to learn more about what we’re developing to help make your role easier. | Related: Deploying Microsoft 365 Apps for Mac with Microsoft Endpoint Manager – A Deep Dive

The next step in the journey towards greater employee experience is here. Earlier this month, we announced that Microsoft Viva Connections would soon be available for desktop and today, we’re excited to share that you can now download and install the Viva Connections desktop app in your organization. The mobile experience for Viva Connections will be available in Teams in the summer of 2021. In conjunction with the release of the mobile experience, we will also release an update to the desktop experience that will focus on improvements for IT administrators and deployment enhancements. This summer update will combine both the mobile and desktop configuration and deployment into the Teams admin console. In this summer update we will also release web parts for the “dashboard” and “feed” to align with the mobile experience. These new web parts will enable the dashboard experience, authored in SharePoint, to be constant across all end points. As web parts they will be available to add to any of your sites and allow you to leverage multiple columns and other advanced layouts on the desktop.

Microsoft considers Zero Trust an essential component of any organization’s security plan. We have partnered with Cloud Security Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that promotes cloud computing best practices, to bring together executive security leaders to discuss and share insights about their Zero Trust journeys. We recently sat down with 10 executive security leaders from prominent energy, finance, insurance, and manufacturing companies in a virtual roundtable, to understand what has worked and discover where they needed to adjust their Zero Trust security model. Our collective goal was to learn from one another and then share what we’ve learned with other organizations. Discussions like these give us valuable opportunities to grow and led us to publish an eBook to share those conversations with other cybersecurity professionals. We are publishing the “Examining Zero Trust: An executive roundtable discussion” eBook as a result of those conversations. The eBook describes how the Zero Trust security model involves thinking beyond perimeter security and moving to a more holistic security approach. The eBook complements other resources we have published to help organizations expedite their journeys in this critical area, such as the Microsoft Zero Trust Maturity Model and adoption guidance in the Zero Trust Deployment Center. Zero Trust assumes breach and verifies each request as if it originates from an uncontrolled network. If Zero Trust had a motto, it would be: never trust, always verify. That means never trusting anyone or anything—inside or outside the firewall, on the endpoint, on the server, or in the cloud.


NOTEWORTHY

Outlook for iOS and Android brings together email, calendars, contacts and files in one app so you can quickly connect, organize, and get things done. Over the last year, Outlook has worked on several enhancements designed to provide a clear separation between work and personal accounts, in addition to, helping users quickly identify external messages. These enhancements include: (1) Account switching, (2) Contact separation, (3) Organization logos, and (4) External sender tag.

This post has a look at what’s new and upcoming for Project, including features such as: (1) Export Timeline to PDF, (2) Email Assignment Notifications, (3) Project Accelerator, and (4) Overall effort in the Project details pane. Upcoming features include: (1) Import from Project Desktop, (2) Assign tasks to non-group members, and (3) Actions on Project Home.

We are pleased to announce a new feature release for April 19, 2021. The new release includes a few exciting updates: (1) Integration of Microsoft Teams chats and Teams calls into the Collaboration hours metric and refined Collaboration hours logic to better accommodate overlapping activities, and (2) New “is person’s manager” and “is person’s direct report” attributes available in Person-query participant filters. (Please note that these became available on March 29, 2021.). Additionally, we’ve implemented a handful of improvements to other metrics: (1) Outlier improvements to Email hours and Call hours metrics, and (2) Better alignment of After-hours collaboration hours and Working hours collaboration hours to total Collaboration hours, and of After-hours email hours and Working hours email hours to total Email hours.

We know that some of our customers leverage Exchange transport rules to prepend subject line or insert the message body to show the email is from external senders. This approach has a few limitations including: ending up with duplicate [External] tags in the subject line if there are additional replies from external users, and adding things to the subject line breaks Outlook conversation threading. There can also be localization issues, as transport rules have no knowledge of client language that end-users are using. We have heard the feedback on this, and are working on providing a native experience to identify emails from senders outside your organizations (which can help protect against spam & phishing threats). This is achieved by presenting a new tag on emails called “External” (the string is localized based on your client language setting) and exposing related user interface at the top of your message reading view to see and verify the real sender’s email address.

In the previous two blogs in this series, we detailed the evolution of business email compromise attacks and how Microsoft Defender for Office 365 employs multiple native capabilities to help customers prevent these attacks. In Part One, we covered some of the most common tactics used in business email compromise attacks, and in Part Two, we dove a little deeper into the more advanced attacks. The BEC protections offered by Microsoft Defender for Office 365, as referenced in the previous two blogs have been helping keep Defender for Office 365 customers secure across a number of different dimensions. However, to fully appreciate and understand the unique capabilities Microsoft offers, we need to take a step back. When we talk to customers about Microsoft Defender for Office 365, we always mention not only the size of our service, but the volume of data points we generate and collect throughout Microsoft. These things together help us responsibly build industry-leading AI and automation.

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