Office 365 Weekly Digest | Week of March 20 – 26, 2016


Note: The information below may not be posted to your Office 365 tenant as not all notifications apply to all tenants.


New Feature: Office 365 Connectors

Posted: March 22, 2016 | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Connectors is a new Office 365 feature that enables premium user experiences by bringing relevant interactive content from popular apps and services to Office 365 Groups in a configurable and contextual manner. End users will be able to view, discuss, and interact with this content right alongside their normal conversations and perform simple actions against the updates as they happen. First release tenants will begin seeing this feature activated starting today and will be rolling out worldwide over the next few weeks. Your users will spend less time searching and collecting data and more time using it. Connectors for services like Twitter, Trello, Salesforce and 55 others are available today and developers can also create custom Connectors using incoming webhooks to generate rich connector cards that will show up in Outlook client, OWA and Groups mobile app experiences. The feature will be automatically available to users in your tenant once the update is deployed. This feature has administrative controls to enable and disable. This feature is on by default but can be turned off using a PowerShell script for your entire organization or for a specific group mailbox. More details are available in the blog post linked below in the “Blog Roundup” section.


Updated Feature: SharePoint Online theming

Posted: March 22, 2016 | Action: Awareness | We’re updating SharePoint Online to improve how we render site pages. You’ll begin seeing this change starting April 15. The changes we are making are in how we process and load the CSS. Previously, the CSS was computed at design time, and the final CSS was stored in the database. The new changes store the theme setting and process the final CSS at runtime, in the client. Most likely, you will not notice this change. Your SharePoint Online sites should continue to operate as they do currently. If you have customized your sites, you may experience issues.

Note: First Release tenants have already been notified of this change happening on March 24. All others, will happen on April 15.

What do I need to do to prepare for this change?

  • If you have not done any customization to your SharePoint sites, there is nothing you need to do.
  • If you have customized the CSS file, you should not be impacted. There is nothing you need to do.
  • If you have customized the theme-able CSS, used an alternate CSS, or a CSS class override at run time, then you should not be impacted. There is nothing you need to do.
  • If you have a custom way of loading the CSS file, or have a script which relies on a specific path of CSS class (or loaded using link tags), then you may be impacted.

If you are experiencing issues with your customized SharePoint site, after this change is implemented, please click the link below to follow a conversation in our Office 365 community.


Updated Feature: Office 365 Security and Compliance Center

Posted: March 25, 2016 | Action: Awareness | We communicated the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center (formally called Protection Center), as an opt-in experience, in December. While we changed the name since then, we've also made this the default security and compliance experience in Office 365. In the coming weeks, you'll also see this in the App Launcher. The Security and Compliance Center is now the default experience. You can access Security and Compliance by signing in with your work account to the Office 365 Admin Center. Please visit to learn more.



Azure Active Directory Webinars for April

Are you looking to deploy Azure Active Directory quickly and easily? We are offering free webinar briefings on key Azure Active Directory deployment topics! Sessions include: Pre-requisites, SSPR, MFA, SaaS Application Integration and Reporting. Each 1-hour briefing is designed to support IT Pros in quickly rolling out Azure Active Directory features to their organization. All webinars are free of cost and will be followed by Q&A with our Engineering Team. Capacity is limited. Sign up for one or all of the sessions today!


YamJam: Office 365 Connectors

When: April 14, 2016 @ 9:00am PT | The Office 365 Network will host a YamJam for Office 365 Connectors. Members of the product engineering team will be on hand to answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you there!


FastTrack Webinars: Learn how to do more, together

The best productivity experience? It’s already in your Office.  Ask questions, learn shortcuts and find out how Office 365 can make you and your team more productive. Each webinar is a live, instructor-led session offered at multiple dates and times. Facilitated discussion follows each session, with opportunities to ask questions and discuss specific scenarios to you. Direct registration links for each webinar are provided below.

  • Use Office 365 to achieve more: Discover how to get work done more efficiently with Office 365
  • Your files anywhere: Discover new ways to achieve more by getting work done with your documents from anywhere
  • Make meetings matter: Discover how Office 365 can help you get the right people achieving more together by connecting online through Skype for Business
  • Work like a network: Discover new ways to use Yammer to create conversations and quickly communicate answers
  • Get it done from anywhere: Discover how to access Outlook from anywhere and share your files to get things done in real time
  • Key roles in making Office 365 successful: Discover how different roles work together to execute a successful launch
  • Build awareness: Foster adoption of Office 365 in ways that matter to end users; understanding training resources and develop champions


Microsoft Technology Centers: Drive Business Results with Intelligent Tools Series

When: Thursdays, February 11 – March 31, 2016 @ 10:00am PT | Join us for a virtual event series, live from a Microsoft Technology Center, covering sales and cloud productivity solutions. We are thrilled to announce that in partnership with MTC studio our live events during the months of February and March will revolve around Driving Business Results with Intelligent Tools. Covering both Office and Dynamics solutions this event proves to be exciting, as organizations can increase customer satisfaction by creating intelligent workplace by utilizing intelligent tools. With a great line up of speakers, this eight-part MTC webcast series will allow customers to see how innovations can help them drive maximum impact across multiple teams, impacting customer loyalty, agent efficiency, employee satisfaction, and cost savings to their organization. Join us on Thursdays in February and March, and we’ll show you how to do more with less using new solutions that increase customer loyalty, boost employee satisfaction, and cut costs.

  • March 31, 2016 – Reinventing Customer Experience: Field Service and the Modern Dispatch Technician



New to Office 365 in March

This month, our updates include a tool for migrating Evernote notes to OneNote, enhancements to PowerPoint Designer and new languages supported in Office for Mac and Skype Translator. We also have updates for our commercial customers using Skype for Business, Project Online and Office 365 video. Read on for more…


What's new - Office 365 Video

Office 365 Video provides you a single tool for uploading, sharing and playing back videos anywhere on your company intranet—whether you use SharePoint Online and/or SharePoint Server on-premises. As you may have seen on the Office 365 Roadmap, we’ve been working hard to bring you numerous features and capabilities ranging from improving the upload experience, enhancing accessibility with closed-caption support, delivering analytics per video to provide aggregate trending patterns and more.


Introducing Office 365 Connectors

Last November, we announced the limited preview of Office 365 Connectors, a brand new experience that delivers relevant interactive content and updates from popular apps and services to Office 365 Groups. We are now bringing this experience to you, our Office 365 customers. Whether you are tracking a Twitter feed, managing a project with Trello or watching the latest news headlines with Bing—Office 365 Connectors surfaces all the information you care about in the Office 365 Groups shared inbox, so you can easily collaborate with others and interact with the updates as they happen.


Excel Online - what's new in March 2016

Excel Online lets you view, edit and share your Excel workbooks from anywhere and it is free as part of Office Online or available for collaborating securely across your organization as part of an Office 365 subscription. We are pleased to announce several updates that help you with some of your most common spreadsheet tasks, including new ways to format data, use hyperlinks in your spreadsheet and explore data using PivotTables. Read on for details about each one of these new and exciting improvements.


PowerPoint Designer - what's new and what's next

Four months ago, we launched PowerPoint Designer and Morph, new intelligent tools in PowerPoint that automate the creation of slides and presentations. This marked the starting point of an evolution PowerPoint is undergoing to help users unlock even more value from the app. Since then, Designer has saved our customers millions of clicks based on the amount of designs generated on a daily basis—illustrating the value of great design made easy. At launch we gave some insight into the future of Designer and how we would continue to evolve this feature as a core benefit to our users. We are introducing three enhancements of Designer that give users even more creative options and greater visual impact, all within seconds...



Microsoft Data Insights Summit

Last week Microsoft hosted the Data Insights Summit where leading experts in data analysis, Power BI and Excel shared their knowledge, experience and new ways to get things done. If you weren't able to be there in person or you didn't catch your preferred sessions online, then you're in luck!  The link takes you to on-demand videos of the sessions. Don't forget to join the Power BI group in the Office 365 IT Pro Network.


IT Showcase: Automating licensing for Office 365 in a hybrid environment (Technical Case Study)

IT managers have many options for setting up and managing Microsoft Office 365. Administrators need to consider how they are going to manage user identities for Office 365 and how they are going to assign licenses to users. When Microsoft migrated corporate users to Office 365, the Microsoft IT team used a hybrid approach for managing identities. The team also developed an application to automatically assign licenses and verify that users have the licenses that they need to stay productive. With less manual work to do, the team can spend more time adding value to business applications.


Comments (0)

Skip to main content