Office 365 Weekly Digest | Week of October 2 – 8, 2016


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


New Feature: Outlook on the web – New First Run Experience

Posted: October 4, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We are adding a First Run Experience (FRE) for new users initially on-boarding to Outlook on the web for our Office 365 commercial users. The FRE will prompt new users to select their default signature and default theme. First Release users will begin to see the new FRE in late October. Assuming rollout goes as planned, all users will begin to see the feature in late November. The FRE is designed to help new users to Outlook on the web quickly get their account configured to their liking.


Updated Feature: Monthly feature updates for Office 2016 for Office 365

Posted: October 5, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | The latest feature updates for Office 2016 for Office 365 are now available. This month’s update includes new feature updates, as well as other security and bug fixes. If you have users configured for Current Channel release updates, you may want to get up to speed on the new features this month. Other than that, you do not need to do anything to prepare for this change. Additional information is available at | Additional Resources: What’s new in Office 365 for Windows – September 2016 (Video) and What’s new and improved for Office 2016 for Office 365 (Office Support article)


New Feature: Cloud PBX Voicemail now supports Exchange Server

Posted: October 7, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | A new configuration is available for Cloud PBX customers to store their voicemail in Exchange Server operating on-premises. This capability is available immediately for customers worldwide to configure with their existing Exchange Server 2013 and later deployments. If you want to use Cloud PBX Voicemail with Exchange Server on-premises, you now have the ability to configure this connectivity. If you already have Cloud PBX Voicemail working with Exchange Online there is no impact. Please visit to learn more.



Azure Active Directory Webinars for October

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: Getting Ready for Azure AD, Manage Your Enterprise Applications with Azure AD, Secure Your Identities with Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication, Securing Your Enterprise Office 365 Applications with Azure AD and more. Each 1-hour or 75-minute webinar 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 include an anonymous Q&A session with our Engineering Team. Capacity is limited so sign up for one or all of the sessions today!


Modern Workplace: The Privacy Balance - Staying Secure and Ethical with Your Data

When: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 @ 11:00am ET | In this episode, learn how to navigate common blind spots in data security and avoid privacy pitfalls. Hillery Nye, Chief Privacy Officer of Glympse, shares how you can create an amazing user experience while limiting your legal liabilities. Jules Polonetsky, Chief Executive Officer for the Future of Privacy Forum in Washington DC, will share his top tips for creating an organization that is profitable and ethical. Plus, get an inside look at Secure Productive Enterprise, the new premier offering from Microsoft that brings together Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows 10 Enterprise. Don’t miss the discussion on how to balance privacy and data security without sacrificing growth and innovation.


Online Immersion Experience: Improve your organization’s ability to react quickly to new data and information using Office 2016 and Windows 10

When: October 12th / 19th / 26th, 2016 at 10:00am and 12:00pm PT | Boost your productivity with Office 365 and Windows 10. An online immersion session is not your typical online event. These 90-minute interactive sessions start with an online roundtable discussing your business challenges and then launch into a live environment in the cloud. A skilled facilitator guides you through simulated business scenarios that are customized to your interests. We will send you a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology, so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges in a collaborative, fun environment. Please note: Each session is only open to 20 participants. Reserve your seat now and learn how you can be more productive anywhere, anytime with Office 365.


FastTrack Webinars: Learn how to do more, together

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through October 31, 2016 | 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.



Now you can create and share Office documents while collaborating in Yammer

Yammer connects people and teams across your organization. To be truly productive, team members need to be connected not only to each other but also to the tools they need the most. Last week, with Office 365 Groups integration, we announced that every team working in Yammer now has integrated access to a SharePoint Team site and Document library, a OneNote notebook and Planner for task management. We are now connecting teams in Yammer to another core productivity need: the ability to collaborate around Office documents. With this announcement, users can now create Office documents such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel and co-author them with their team from within a Yammer group. Additionally, users can easily browse their SharePoint and OneDrive libraries to share files and start discussions with their teams on Yammer. This focus on enabling employees to get work done through deeper integration into the Office 365 suite has led to the fastest annual user growth in Yammer’s history. These new features start rolling out today and will be available to all Yammer users in the coming weeks.


Demonstrate enterprise features with the Office 365 test lab guides

Office 365 Enterprise E5 has a host of great features tailored to an enterprise organization’s needs for additional security (Advanced Security Management), enhanced protection (Advanced Threat Protection) and the ability to quickly locate and analyze emails, files and other resources that meet specific criteria (Advanced eDiscovery). To configure these new features and show them working for yourself—and to leave you with a working dev/test environment with which you can further experiment—take a look at the new Office 365 Enterprise test lab guides (TLGs). With these articles, you can quickly create a free dev/test environment for demonstration or evaluation of these enterprise features for training or for application development.


Microsoft IT Showcase: Planning and supporting meetings in a complex global enterprise

Meetings at Microsoft can be complex—crossing time zones, regions, and business groups. Microsoft IT ensures that participants stay productive and focused on the business at hand, without technical difficulties or disruption. A framework that supports Office 365 apps, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, and Yammer helps to facilitate collaboration for attendees. Proactive preparation and a range of technologies—such as Microsoft Azure for data storage and Microsoft Identity Manager for security—keep meetings on track.


Microsoft IT Showcase: Understanding file sharing and collaboration options

Microsoft IT has deployed team collaboration tools to suit the varied needs of employees, while enabling us to manage data, enforce business policies, and manage document lifecycle. We challenge employees to change old habits and try to help them understand the cloud solutions available to them, including Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint Online for saving and sharing files, and Outlook 2016 and Yammer for communicating. Our goal is to help people choose the best tool for their collaboration needs.


QuickStarter, audio and new styles in Sway

Last week, we announced the launch of QuickStarter, a new intelligent service that lets you go from the blank canvas to a great, working outline in seconds. Just enter your topic and QuickStarter automatically pulls in recommended sections, relevant content and suggested images tagged with Creative Commons licenses into a starter Sway. We also heard from many users that you wanted to add audio clips to your Sway. We are pleased to release the ability to insert the most common audio formats (such as .mp3 and .wav) in your Sways so you and your audience can have an even richer multimedia experience. Finally, we recently added a new set of styles that give your Sways a more holistic and striking visual aesthetic. Apart from adjusting your color palette and font, you can now apply vibrant filters to the photos in your Sway—making for more visually impactful outputs.


Empowering IT professionals to advance accessibility initiatives

Last week, Microsoft hosted the Ignite conference and showcased our latest solutions and innovations to over 20,000 IT professionals seeking to power digital transformation in their organizations. As part of this digital transformation, we partnered with IT professionals to identify ways organizations can advance accessibility initiatives and create more digitally inclusive working environments. At sessions at Ignite focused on accessibility, we invited accessibility experts to share their real-world experiences, challenges and strategies for making progress in this area with others. We also invited Office 365 product managers to share details about our approach to accessibility and showcase productivity experiences that offer enhanced usability to people with disabilities. Additionally, we discussed enhancements launching in the coming months that will make authoring accessible content easier for everyone...



Create a Custom Management Role for Granular Permissions in Exchange Online

Creating custom management roles can be very powerful, and they are not nearly as complicated as one might think. Most clicks in Office 365 actually cause a PowerShell cmdlet to run in the background. With a custom management role, you can specify right down to which cmdlets you would like a user to have access to. Technically, you can go right down to which parameters on a cmdlet that a user has access too, but this article won't go quite that deep.


Tip: a few useful PowerShell scripts for Exchange and Office 365 Admins

Recently there has been some helpful activity over on the Microsoft Script Center for Exchange and Office 365 administrators. Here are 3 scripts that we wanted to call out, as well as a bit of an overview of what they do: (1) Install Exchange 2016 Pre-requisites.ps1 – makes it easier to install Exchange 2016 prerequisites, (2) O365_Installs_Connections.ps1 – makes it easier to prepare machines from which you administer Office 365 and (3) O365_Logon Module – an easier way to log into Office 365 services using PowerShell. Please see specific script downloads for support options and more details.


Looking back at Microsoft Ignite 2016

The Exchange Team had a lot of fun last week, with hundreds of sessions that covered vast variety of Microsoft services and products. If you were there – we hope that it was time well spent for you! We had many Microsoft experts in sessions and on the Expo floor to give you access and help answer some of the questions that you might have. Now that Ignite 2016 session recordings are showing up online, we have gone though and picked a set of sessions that we thought might be interesting.


Take a guided tour of a Microsoft datacenter to learn how Microsoft delivers your cloud services

Come check out the season three premiere of Modern Workplace, which aired September 13, on “Data Defense: An inside look at your secure cloud,” where viewers got a VIP-access tour of a state-of-the-art Microsoft datacenter. Register now and see how a world-class datacenter design helps keep your data secure and drive efficiency, passing savings along to customers. You’ll see how the modern cloud works! We talked with Doug Hauger, general manager of the National Cloud Programs, to explain the scale and professionalism that Microsoft brings to its datacenters for the benefit of Microsoft’s cloud customers. Hauger explained how Microsoft builds multiple datacenters in every region to provide a level of scale and redundancy that other cloud providers can’t match. Microsoft also invests in redundant power and multiple network connections at each datacenter. With more than 100 datacenters in 34 regions, Microsoft has the scale to meet almost any need a customer could have. Microsoft is also the industry leader from a compliance and certification standpoint on both a global and local level.


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