Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-24

Welcome to the June 14 – 20, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Nineteen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Viva, Outlook, Whiteboard, SharePoint, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.

There are no new events, but a few of the existing meeting series have added a session or two for the remainder of June. The spotlight event of the week is the “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) session for Microsoft Viva on Wednesday, June 23rd at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include details on new hybrid work innovations across several Microsoft 365 services, the OneDrive roadmap roundup for May 2021, information on new functionality in Teams to create trackable tasks from Teams messages, and an update on Basic Authentication in Exchange Online.

Noteworthy item highlights include the latest updates for Excel for the web, on-demand workshops for Microsoft Lists, details on automated diagnostics for troubleshooting various Office 365 issues, and the general availability of Essential Announcements in Yammer.


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: Teams Meetings Auto Recording83054June CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This feature allows users to auto record meetings by choosing auto record option in meetings options.
Microsoft Teams: RTMP Streaming Support83562July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Enables support for your users to stream their Teams meetings to large audiences through RTMP, including endpoints outside your organization.
SharePoint: Migration Manager content discovery82000July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Before you move any file or folder from on-premises into Microsoft 365, you need to discover content and plan for the migration. The Migration Manager, from within the SharePoint admin center, will provide content discovery so admins can best understand what content they have, decide what to migrate and what to remediate.
Whiteboard: Web Templates82030June CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Whiteboard
Participants in Teams and on Whiteboard for the Web can add a variety of built-in templates for meetings, workshops, decision making, planning, design thinking and more.
Whiteboard: User Experience82034August CY2021Added: 01 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
Participants in Teams and on Whiteboard for the web will see a new, refreshed user experience.
Outlook and Exchange for Business: Microsoft Outlook browser extension for Edge82036July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
The Microsoft Outlook browser extension brings you the power of mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks using an icon in Microsoft Edge. Quickly access your Outlook work account or your Outlook.com or Hotmail account without switching to another tab or app. The extension will be available in the Chrome Store soon as well.
Microsoft Viva: Control visibility of suggested topics82050July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Viva
This update will empower knowledge managers to enable or prevent general visibility of AI-suggested topics.
Microsoft Compliance center: Information governance – Retention policies for Yammer82055July CY2021Added: 15 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance
This update enables organizations to apply retention policies on Yammer messages.
Microsoft Teams: New default settings when opening Office files82662May CY2021Added: 16 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Users can set a default of browser, desktop or Teams when opening Office files (Word, Excel, and Power Point) that are shared in Teams. The desktop setting can be selected, if the user has Office version 16 or newer installed and activated.
Outlook: Rich Auto Reply Toolbar for Android83732July CY2021Added: 16 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Users will now be able to format the text in their autoreplies. Options include bold/italics/underline, numbered/unnumbered lists, font style and links.
Outlook: Rich Event Description Toolbar83733July CY2021Added: 16 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook
Users will now be able to format the text in their event descriptions. Options include bold/italics/underline, numbered/unnumbered lists, font style and links.
Microsoft Teams: Pin chat messages82584June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Pin a Teams chat message to drive awareness and provide the chat members with quick access to important content. Pinning will help your team stay in sync on what’s and relevant in a timely manner.
Microsoft Teams: Fluid components in Teams chat82779June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Fluid components in Teams chat allow end users to send a message with a table, action items or a list that can be co-authored and edited by everyone in line.
Microsoft Teams: Paging on Video Gallery84464June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
When you choose Large Gallery, and there are more than 49 videos or in Gallery with more than 9 videos, navigation controls and now appear below the Large Gallery and Video Gallery. You can use these controls to view more video participants.
Microsoft Teams: Live Events in GCC-High, and DoD82954June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High, DoD
Soon, you will be able to use Live Events in GCCH and DoD for your needs.
Microsoft Teams: Left navigation updates in Teams Admin Center83320July CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
To make it easier to find Team’s features and navigate your Teams organization, we reorganized the left navigation based on user studies and customer feedback.
Microsoft Teams: Teams Network planner for government clouds83471August CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Network Planner can help you determine and organize network requirements for connecting Microsoft Teams users across your organization. When you provide your network details and Teams usage, the Network Planner calculates your network requirements for deploying Teams and cloud voice across your organization’s physical locations.
Microsoft Teams: EDU tailored deployment plan in Teams Advisor83509July CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, EDU
EDU IT Administrators can use a tailored plan to deploy Teams to their organization.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Investigation updates for improved email threats and actions82056June CY2021Added: 18 June 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
We have new updates and improvements to the Automated Investigation and Response (AIR) playbooks to better capture the state of the emails and entities that are being investigated. This results in more accurate threat data and actions – which are better for security operations workflows.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

At Microsoft, we believe that hybrid work is the future of work and that to empower their people to succeed in hybrid work, business leaders will need to reimagine their organizations with a new operating model for people, places, and processes. We’re also committed to building experiences that put everyone on equal footing—whether they’re together in a conference room in Atlanta, presenting remotely from a home office, or catching up with a meeting recording once the workday begins in Sydney. Microsoft Teams is mission-critical to this vision for a more flexible world of work. Teams is unique in that it brings together meetings, chat, calls, collaboration, and business process automation in a single app. Since COVID-19 spurred office workers around the world to work from home, we’ve been innovating in Teams to do things like create more natural and engaging meeting experiences—enable people to connect seamlessly with those inside and outside of their organizations and provide ways to make remote presentations richer and more impactful. And as we emerge into this new hybrid reality, we are focused on building experiences in Teams that are designed to ensure all voices are heard including the people not in the room—empowering everyone to connect and engage, from anywhere and at any time. And to make it easier to collaborate synchronously and asynchronously, we’re also announcing new Microsoft Fluid canvas innovations—in Teams and beyond. But COVID-19 also taught us that meeting fatigue and digital overload is real, and remote work has challenged our wellbeing. To help, Microsoft has built Microsoft Viva—our integrated employee experience platform—into Teams, so that employees can find ways to protect time and preserve their wellbeing right in the flow of their work. We are announcing new innovations—in Microsoft Teams Rooms, Fluid, and Microsoft Viva—all designed to empower your people for hybrid work. Let’s have a look.

Related:

Here are the latest functionalities that rolled out to production in the month of May 2021 – (1) Updated file picking experience for Yammer, (2) Immersive reader in OneDrive and SharePoint, (3) Link settings to Quick Permissions, (4) Expiring access for external users, (5) Exclude specific files from sync on macOS, (6) PDF viewing updates on iOS and Android, and (7) Request files for GCC High and DoD. | Resource: OneDrive release notes

Tasks happen everywhere. They can pop up in an email thread, working file, or team chat—really, wherever you work most often. But ad hoc tasks like this are disruptive and often forgotten. We’ve all been there: you promise yourself (maybe even out loud) that you’ll definitely remember so-and-so’s request only to forget it a minute later. That’s why one of our goals at Microsoft is to help you quickly capture those kinds of informal tasks the moment they happen. We’ve done this for emails in Outlook and comments in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs—and starting today, you can create tasks from Microsoft Teams messages on desktop and web. This update also addresses one of the most requested asks from customers. Before, lots of people were using third-party apps or creating Power Automate flows to convert Teams asks to tasks; now, that conversion is natively built into the Teams experience. This new way to capture tasks is perfect for tracking requests that come out of informal Teams messages and gives your team additional control and confidence over ad hoc requests. Tasks from Teams messages automatically appear alongside your other tasks in the Tasks app and To Do or Planner, so you can nix the sticky notes and instead manage all your tasks together. Plus, creating tasks out of ad hoc requests relieves the stress of trying to remember (or find) what was asked of you—all those requests are in one place. Bonus coverage! Creating tasks from Teams messaging isn’t the only Tasks app news this month. You can now delete and rename any task from Planner and To Do directly in Tasks. Before, you had to do this from each standalone app.

It’s been a few months since our last update on Basic Authentication in Exchange Online, but we’ve been busy getting ready for the next phase of the process: turning off Basic Authentication for tenants that don’t use it, and therefore, don’t need it enabled. We have millions of customers who have Basic Auth enabled in their tenant, but only use Modern Auth. Many of them don’t know Basic is enabled, and the risks that it presents – so we are going to do our bit to help secure their data by turning it off for them. Over the last few months, we have been building the supporting process and tools we need to do that at scale, and now we’re ready to start rolling it out. As we’ve said before, we’re only currently planning to turn off Basic Auth for those customers who are not using it. For customers that use still Basic for some or all the affected protocols, we are not touching authentication settings for those protocols (for the time being). We have been busy analyzing Basic Auth usage data for our customers and now have a solid understanding of who uses it and who does not. And we’re going to start turning it off for those who are not using it. The process is: We’ll randomly select customers with no usage in any, or all affected protocols, send them a Message Center post informing them that in 30 days we’re going to turn off Basic Auth. 30 days later, we’ll turn it off and send another Message Center post to confirm it was done. Just to reiterate – the program for disabling Basic Authentication for active in-use protocols has been paused for the time being, but will be coming back.


NOTEWORTHY

Delivering rich, delightful experiences to our customers continues to be a top priority for our Excel team. A few weeks ago, we shared how to easily format your data with color and style, and more. Now we bring you a set of new features and improvements to help you better analyze your data, specifically: (1) Text to columns, (2) PivotTable improvements, (3) Sort improvements, (4) Interactive charts, and (5) Additional keyboard shortcuts. These are just some of the latest improvements, many more are coming soon!

Go further with Microsoft Lists. You know you want to. And now you can – on-demand. We recently delivered five live workshops across multiple time zones – and we learned a lot. We’ve refined the content based on feedback and tightened up a few additional things – mindful of your time and ease of consumption. The result: We’ve got a great two-part, on-demand workshop – two videos wrapped in a single page with additional resources. Dig in and learn how you and your team can best utilize Microsoft Lists. We teach you how to use and create views, configure conditional formatting, adjust forms, use rules, and more. Plus, we highlight no-code and low-code solutions leveraging integrated tools from the Power Platform. You’ll also find materials to deliver the Lists workshop to your organization (PowerPoint, speaker notes, demo materials).

Seeing that this is a relatively new development, I wanted to share information about automated diagnostics that customers can run inside of the Microsoft 365 admin center. The goal of these is to help you to solve various support-related issues that you might encounter, without having to open a support ticket. Currently, the way to interact with available diagnostics is via the Need help? button in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Seeing that this is the Exchange blog, here is the article that lists currently available related diagnostics. But wait, there is more! Various other teams (including SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams) have also created diagnostics and documents listing what is available.

Keeping your employees informed and engaged is critical in today’s rapidly changing workscape. Over the past 18 months, we’ve continued to build capabilities in Yammer to help corporate communicators and leaders share their message at scale. Some announcements are crucial to keeping employees up to date – whether it’s regarding safety, protocols, policies, or other priority news. In these instances, corporate communicators and leaders need ways to guarantee that messages are delivered to every employee. This feature allows Yammer community admins to set an announcement as ‘essential’ to ensure that it’s delivered via email to every member of that community, even if it is outside of their preferred notification settings. By sending an announcement in Yammer, it will appear as an interactive conversation in Outlook. This helps accelerate the time to consumption and drive engagement, so members can see, react, and comment on the post right from their Outlook inbox. This works for desktop, web, and mobile experiences. And for those that have the Yammer Communities app for Teams installed, announcements and @mentions made in Yammer will also appear in your Microsoft Teams activity feed.

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