Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-23

Welcome to the June 7 – 13, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

There were forty-six additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Exchange, Planner, OneDrive, Stream, Lists, and Viva.

No new events have been listed, but there are additional sessions for most of the existing event series. There are some event series that only have on-demand sessions available, and these are all listed at the top of the section. This week’s spotlight event of the week is the “Empower your Frontline workforce to do more with Teams” session on Tuesday, June 15th at 11am Pacific.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include an inside look at how Microsoft is reimagining meetings for a hybrid work world, information and resources to get started on Microsoft Viva Learning, the announcement on bringing Visio to Microsoft 365, and details on how Microsoft is working to ensure a great OneDrive experience on Apple products.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items such as the June 2021 feature updates for Workplace Analytics, the announcement of the ability to import Project desktop files into Project for the web, a look at three new voice features for Outlook mobile on iOS, details on Scheduler, a new Microsoft 365 service, and the public preview of Azure AD access reviews for service principals.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

There were forty-six additions to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Microsoft 365 Compliance, Exchange, Planner, OneDrive, Stream, Lists, and Viva.

In order to keep the length of the blog post to a minimum, the roadmap updates for last week are available via download as listed below:

EXCEL:

PDF:


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 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.

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.

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 need to regularly collaborate with your workgroup where you need to access shared files, apps, and conversation threads? Join us to learn how to extend collaboration, provide visibility, and manage teamwork from a central space. Microsoft Teams is a robust collaboration tool, providing you anywhere, anytime access to your group projects, daily operations, knowledgebase resources, and large scope initiatives. Use teams and channels to collaborate in virtual workspaces with your entire group. In this 1-hour training, you will learn how to: (1) Join and organize your teams and channels, (2) Use channels to streamline projects and operations, (3) Collaborate with your team members, and (4) Create and manage teams as an owner.

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.

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 to rapidly onboard a large number of Frontline users to Microsoft Teams and configure a streamlined experience for them? Are you struggling with where and how to start? If yes, this is the clinic for you! Join Microsoft Teams customer engineering experts as we review how Microsoft Teams can accelerate your Frontline worker deployment. Featuring examples from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and transportation industries, we’ll explore how Microsoft Teams provides a single experience for productive conversations, smooth flow of information, simplified schedule management in a compliant and secure environment for your Frontline workers. You’ll leave this highly interactive session with tangible next steps to accelerate your planning. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify scenarios that matter to your Frontline workers and the best approach to implementing Teams from pilot to scale across your entire organization, (2) Map scenarios to Microsoft Teams use cases, and (3) Craft the right experience for your Frontline workers in Teams by configuring 1P apps and policies.

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.

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.

This 1-hour session will provide an opportunity to learn practical guidance about conducting engaging and energizing large, online virtual events using Microsoft Teams. This session is designed for anyone wishing to organize, produce or speak at a large, virtual event and is open to anyone. During this session, you will: (1) Understand best practices to ensure your large, online virtual event is successful using Microsoft Teams or Teams Live Events, (2) Gain practical, technical production knowledge to ensure your event is engaging, (3) Understand the Attendee experience, (4) Learn before-during-after tactics to build & continue your large, online event momentum with Webinar features, and (5) Leverage and understand step by step virtual event resources as found at aka.ms/virtualeventplaybook.

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.

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.

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.

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 us to learn how to extend your circle of communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams. Easily connect with your colleagues anywhere, anytime and manage all your conversations from one central platform. In this 1-hour training you will learn how to: (1) Send and reply to chat messages, (2) Use messaging tools to enhance your conversations, (3) Manage your chat conversations, and (4) Use calling features.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Work together as a team from anywhere and with more flexibility, (2) Connect instantly with team members for fast-paced decision making, (3) Meet with anyone, anywhere through audio, video, and web conferences, and (4) Boost team culture with the digital equivalent of an open office space.

Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Microsoft Viva

When: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 from 9:00am – 10:00am PT | Join this Microsoft Viva ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 9:00-10:00 AM PT! Microsoft Viva – the first Employee Experience Platform (EXP) built for the digital era – brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources and insights into an integrated employee experience that empowers people and teams to be their best, from anywhere. Post questions and feedback about Microsoft Viva, and the four Viva Modules (Viva Learning, Viva Connections, Viva Topics and Viva Insights) during this AMA. Members of the Viva team will be on hand to respond. An AMA is a one-hour online forum similar to “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. There is not an audio or video component included. To post a question or comment, click on ‘Start a New Discussion’ in the Microsoft Viva AMA Space. Be sure to add this event to your calendar – we hope to see you there!

The workforce relies on Microsoft Teams to chat, meet, and collaborate. But that’s just the beginning. Microsoft Teams can bring the applications and tools you’re already using, into one universal hub your workforce needs to get things done. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Integrate ready-to-use apps into the Teams experience, (2) Maintain control over which apps are accessible for your organization, (3) Create an App that embeds modern SharePoint pages in Teams using App Studio, (4) Manage permission and set up policies through the Admin Center, and (5) Scale business critical apps to your organization. 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.

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.

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.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

One of the most challenging aspects of leading the Employee Experience team at Microsoft is the deployment, maintenance, and support of thousands of conference rooms around the globe. Since employees often encounter different conference room technology—even within the same building—it can lead to frustration, delay, and even support calls. As a result, employees have consistently identified that experience as an area for improvement. With the advent of Microsoft Teams and the amazing innovation being driven by the product team, we saw an opportunity to transform Microsoft employee and customer meetings from a weakness to a strength. By investing in the meeting experience with Microsoft Teams and by reimagining the physical and virtual spaces where meetings take place, we’re laying a foundation of innovation that will help Microsoft employees and our customers thrive in the emerging hybrid world of work. We’ve already seen satisfaction with meetings increase, while also making the migration to hybrid work more seamless for Microsoft and for our customers. How are we doing it? Read on to find out!

In May, we launched a new Microsoft Mechanics series on Microsoft Viva with an introduction to the employee experience platform (EXP), followed by deep dive videos on Viva Topics and Viva Connections. On the latest episode of Microsoft Mechanics, Jeremy Chapman, our Microsoft Mechanics host, and Swati Jhawar, Senior Product Manager, are excited to dive into Viva Learning to cover the personal and social learning experiences, as well as the IT admin experience for set up and configuration. Viva Learning is currently in preview, with general availability coming later this year. | Resource: Microsoft Mechanics – Microsoft Viva Learning | Personalized learning experience through Microsoft 365

Visio has long been available only as a standalone app for purchase for people with specialized diagramming needs. But this is changing. We are recognizing an increasing need for a diagramming solution for everyone to convey information more effectively, which is why we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing core Visio capabilities to Microsoft 365 for all commercial license subscribers. In July, we’ll start rolling out a lightweight version of the Visio web app in Microsoft 365 to bring visual diagramming and collaboration to all teams—both of which are especially important in this hybrid work environment. But the best part? It’ll be available, at no additional cost, for all commercial license subscribers. This lightweight version of the web app will offer core Visio functionalities and allow business users to create, edit, and share professional diagrams. While users with more specialized diagramming needs will continue to derive value from the standalone plans—Visio Plan 1 and Visio Plan 2—the web app in Microsoft 365 subscription is intended to be a powerful tool for essential needs. It will soon be available in your Microsoft 365 suite, but if you can’t wait to get started, then we invite you to sign up for Visio in Microsoft 365 early access. Let’s take a closer look at how this Visio web app in Microsoft 365 can help teams everywhere create professional diagrams effortlessly, collaborate with others and share diagrams seamlessly, and create diagrams from data to make decisions quickly.

As hybrid and remote work continue, many organizations are giving employees flexibility to choose not only where they work but also the devices they use to get work done. We have been working closely with Apple to ensure we’re providing a great user experience in OneDrive on Apple products, whether people are using OneDrive to keep their work files synced and protected or to store and share their personal files and photos in the cloud. We’re excited to share some of the updates and improvements we’re in the process of making to OneDrive running on Apple products to help people be more productive no matter where they are. These updates and improvements include: (1) OneDrive support for M1-powered Macs, (2) Known Folder Move (KFM) support for macOS, (3) Updates to Files On-Demand and Finder on macOS, (4) Sync Admin Reports support for macOS, (5) Exclude syncing of specific file types, and more.


NOTEWORTHY

The Workplace Analytics team is excited to announce our feature updates for June 2021. This month’s update describes the following features: (1) Expanded support for plans, (2) Updated wpa R package, (3) Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) updates, (4) Organization data uploads for licensed employees, and (5) Expanded support for mailboxes in datacenters globally.

The Project team is excited to announce that you can now import your Project Desktop files to Project for the web. Once imported, your .mpp files will act as normal Project for the web projects. Project for the web does not have all the same features as Project Desktop. However, we try to import all your relevant information so you can still effectively work on your projects. Any .mpp files from Project Desktop 2016 or later should be importable into Project for the web. Keep in mind that Project for the web has lower limits than Project Desktop. To learn more about Project for the web limits, you can check out our documentation. Any .mpp files that violate a limit will not be importable.

At Microsoft, we’re investing in voice capabilities that transcend the challenges of small screens and tiny keyboards to help people communicate and manage tasks when they’re working on the go. We’re powering these capabilities with Microsoft Graph, which aggregates and organizes billions of signals across your organization as people work in Microsoft 365 all day. And the true magic happens when we layer AI on top of the Graph to get really valuable insights, so that when you use your voice to do things like request “the 2022 budget report” or “email Kim’s boss” the correct document or name appears in a snap. We are announcing new enhanced voice capabilities in Outlook mobile for iOS (and coming soon to Android) that make using voice to schedule meetings and compose emails simpler for everyone. These new AI-enhanced voice capabilities quickly contextualize your voice requests and provide a rapid response, making it more easy and natural to work on the go. Let’s take a look. | Related: Introducing Microsoft Dictation for iOS

It’s not just you: weekly meetings have increased by 148% and the time that employees spend trying to schedule meetings both inside and outside of their organization is climbing.  With the average time to schedule a meeting taking 6 to 29 minutes, Scheduler aims to give you back time to focus on the important things by making it easier, faster, and being available 24/7 to schedule meetings for you, and it’s available now. Let’s dig into what makes Scheduler work. Scheduler understands what you write, so you can word your requests to Cortana just as you would when asking any person for assistance scheduling a meeting in an email. As simple as “Cortana, please find a time to meet next week,” to something more detailed like “Cortana, please find us 45 minutes in the last week of the month in the morning for Pacific time and make it a Teams meeting.” As Scheduler learns, you may receive responses from Cortana asking you to clarify certain asks or to provide more details in order to complete your request.

With the growing trend of more applications and services moving to the cloud, there’s an increasing need to improve the governance of identities used by these workloads. We’re announcing the public preview of access reviews for service principals in Azure AD. Many of you are already using Azure AD access reviews for governing the access of your user accounts and have expressed the desire for extending this capability to your service principals and applications. With this public preview, you can require a review of service principals and applications that are assigned to privileged directory roles in Azure AD. In addition, you can also create reviews of roles in your Azure subscriptions to which a service principal is assigned. This ensures a periodic check to make sure that service principals are only assigned to roles they need and helps you improve the security posture of your environment.

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