Note: The information below may not be posted to your Office 365 tenant as not all notifications apply to all tenants.
Updated Feature: Skype for Business 2016 Windows Client UI
Posted: October 31, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | We’re updating client visuals to improve accessibility features for the Skype for Business 2016 Windows client. We'll be gradually rolling this out to First Release customers in early November 2016 and the roll out will be completed to Deferred Channel customers by March 2017. This change impacts only C2R customers. Those customers using MSI as their deployment vehicle are not impacted by this change. The new client visuals are part of a large amount of work (both visual and internal) Microsoft has done to make Skype for Business 2016 more accessible so that it can be enjoyed by more people around the world. One example of this effort is the slight variation in color changes which provides greater text-to-background contrast to empower those with low vision to more easily distinguish parts of the interface. We also improved screen reader support, simplified keyboard navigation and made the keyboard focus easier to see in many places. While the visual changes are minor, you may want to update any training materials that involve screenshots if that is important to your organization. Please visit https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/nexthop/2016/10/27/new-skype-for-business-2016-look-and-feel-coming-your-way/ to learn more and see examples of these changes.
Updated Feature: Change Photo Experience
Posted: October 31, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We’re updating the Change Photo experience within Office.com. You’ll begin seeing this change over the coming weeks. These changes are being done to move towards a single front-end experience for Change Photo. With this update, the Change Photo experience will begin to load inline in the Shell on most parts of Office.com. Going forward we will continue adding this experience to all locations where users can currently change their profile photo. We'll be gradually rolling this out to First Release customers in mid-November, and the roll out will be continue over the next months as we add this to all our Change Photo experiences. Inform your IT staff and helpdesk of this change. Update your user training, if you feel this change is important to you. Additional information is available at https://support.office.com/article/Add-your-user-photo-to-Office-365-2eaf93fd-b3f1-43b9-9cdc-bdcd548435b7.
New Feature: Yammer improvements to File Sharing
Posted: October 31, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | As part of the ongoing integration between Yammer and OneDrive, we are announcing improvements to Yammer File Sharing. In addition to being able to upload files from your computer, you will be able to attach files from your personal OneDrive for Business account, as well as from any SharePoint libraries associated with your groups, to your posts in Yammer. This will begin rolling out to users at the end of October 2016. For more details, please visit https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/07/now-you-can-create-and-share-office-documents-while-collaborating-in-yammer/.
New Feature: PowerApps and Flow Integration with SharePoint
Posted: October 31, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | As previously announced, Microsoft PowerApps and Flow are being released to General Availability on October 31, 2016. These services have been in preview mode for the past several months. Office 365 commercial tenants will be automatically licensed to use PowerApps and Flow to connect to consumer services and enterprise services like SharePoint, SQL, OneDrive and Exchange during November. If your tenant was previously configured to allow preview features, the integration to modern lists and the App Launcher will continue as is. If your tenant is set to prevent access to Preview features, PowerApps and Flow will appear for your users when the licensing reaches your tenant. These new features will be available to all Office 365 subscriptions, except Office 365 Kiosk. Connections to and from SQL, SharePoint and OneDrive are unaffected. Some connections built during the preview may require additional licensing to remain operational moving forward. Learn more at https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/31/sharepoint-welcomes-powerapps-and-microsoft-flow/.
New Feature: Skype for Business for Mac
Posted: October 31, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | The all new Skype for Business on Mac client released on October 27, 2016, and is available for download now. The new client brings new communication and collaboration experiences that are intuitive yet powerful. A clean information layout creates a modern look and feel. Great visuals such as edge to edge video with full immersive content sharing and viewing create great meetings. The client features integration with Outlook for meeting scheduling and one-click joins. The result is a great Skype for Business experience that is a first-class experience for Mac users. Please visit https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/27/skype-for-business-announces-new-mac-client-and-new-mobile-sharing-experiences/ to learn more and to download Skype for Business for Mac. Further deployment guidance can be found at www.skypeoperationsframework.com.
Updated Feature: Admin control for Docs.com
Posted: November 1, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We recently introduced a new service called Docs.com. Docs.com by Microsoft, is an internet site you can use to publish Office documents that anyone can find, browse or share. We are now adding administrator controls to enable and disable access to Docs.com for your users. Our records indicate users within your organization have signed up for Docs.com using their work or school credentials. There is no action required, but you can use Azure Admin portal or Windows PowerShell commands to enable or disable access to Docs.com for your users. Additional information is available at https://support.office.com/article/Manage-Docs-com-use-in-your-organization-053532b4-fb38-462d-b363-3dc26e55dea0.
New Experience: Microsoft Teams
Posted: November 2, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Microsoft Teams is the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. This preview is now available to enable for your users. Microsoft Teams makes it easier to work together and get things done by bringing together group chat, content and everyday tools in a fun, informal team environment. We are rolling this preview out off-by-default, to give you a chance to explore the new capabilities. This experience will be turned on-by-default in the first quarter of 2017. At this time, you can control access to this experience, at the organization level. We are working on user-level controls for this feature, and will communicate again when available. We encourage you to turn on Microsoft Teams, and start using this new chat-based workspace in Office 365. To enable Microsoft Teams: (1) Log into the Office 365 Admin portal, (2) Select Settings & Add-Ins, (3) Select Microsoft Teams and (4) Click to turn on. For additional information, please see the "Introducing Microsoft Teams--the chat-based workspace in Office 365" post in the "Blog Roundup" section below.
New Features: Office 365 FastTrack
Posted: November 2, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | FastTrack for Office 365 has recently launched several new features to help customers utilize Office 365 more effectively and efficiently. You’ll begin seeing this new features starting October 18, 2016. We’ve expanded the FastTrack for Office 365 service. This expansion adds the following capabilities: guidance and assistance for SharePoint Online Hybrid Configuration, guidance for Exchange Online Protection, and guidance for Advanced Threat Protection. In addition to the service expansion FastTrack is providing a limited time data migration service offer for SharePoint on-premises to online for customers with more than 150 more eligible seats. These service benefits are ready for use now when you engage with FastTrack. Please visit http://aka.ms/fasttrack to learn more about these new capabilities.
Updated Feature: What’s new in Office 365 admin center
Posted: November 2, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | In October, we continued our work to evolve the new Office 365 admin center to make it easier for you to manage your subscriptions and users. This month, we focused on providing you with additional usage insights, including new usage reports, the preview of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI, and more role-based permissions through a new Power BI admin role. Please log into the new admin center and try the new functionality. We also welcome you to provide feedback using the feedback button in the admin center. More details are available at https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/31/whats-new-in-office-365-administration-october-update/.
Deprecation of Topic Experts and Top Contributors section in Yammer
Posted: November 4, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We are removing the Topic Experts function and the Top Contributors section in Yammer, beginning November 4, 2016. Users will no longer be able to see the Top Contributors section when this change is implemented.
When: November 9th / 16th / 30th, 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.
When: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 @ 8:00am PT | For the first time in history, many organizations now have five distinct generations in the workplace, according to Forbes.com. From Gen-Xers and Millennials, to Baby Boomers and beyond, how can you ensure your multi-generational teams are collaborating and communicating effectively? Join us for the next episode of Modern Workplace, “Bridging the Generation Gap: How to create cohesive teams,” and learn how to leverage the skills and knowledge from each team member to maximize productivity. Asha Sharma, COO for Porch, and Haydn Shaw, author of the book, Sticking Points, will provide insight into creating your organization’s most collaborative team yet. Plus, get an exclusive look inside Microsoft’s latest collaboration tool—Microsoft Teams—and find out how you can improve communication and revolutionize the way your teams work. Register now!
FastTrack Webinars: Learn how to do more, together
When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through December 14, 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.
- Use Office 365 to achieve more: Discover how to get work done more efficiently with Office 365 | Video
- Your files anywhere: Discover new ways to achieve more by getting work done with your documents from anywhere | Video
- Make meetings matter: Discover how Office 365 can help you get the right people achieving more together by connecting online through Skype for Business | Video
- Bring your team together with Yammer: Discover how to successfully launch a Yammer Network within your organization | Video
- Get it done from anywhere: Discover how to access Outlook from anywhere and share your files to get things done in real time | Video
- Key roles in making Office 365 successful: Discover how different roles work together to execute a successful launch | Video
- Build awareness: Foster adoption of Office 365 in ways that matter to end users; understanding training resources and develop champions | Video
Last week, at an event in New York City, we announced Microsoft Teams—the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Office 365 global, secure cloud. Starting today, Microsoft Teams is available in preview in 181 countries and in 18 languages to commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans, with general availability expected in the first quarter of 2017. At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to the mission of helping people and organizations achieve more—and reinventing productivity for the cloud and mobile world is core to our ambition. We built Microsoft Teams because we see both tremendous opportunity and tremendous change in how people and teams get work done. Teams are now more agile and organizational structures more flat to keep communications and information flowing. With Microsoft Teams, we aspire to create a more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible—across the team—so everyone can stay in the know. | Additional Resources: Watch Satya unveil Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Mechanics: In-depth look at Microsoft Teams | Product Videos to get you started | Microsoft Virtual Academy: Introducing Microsoft Teams (Preview) | Microsoft Teams Tech Community
Several weeks ago, we enabled a new Office 365 feature to some tenants where the removal of the Exchange License didn’t immediately mail disable the user and disconnect the mailbox. The new behavior then required to manually (via RPS – remote PowerShell) go and run through EXO RPS the Disable-Mailbox -PermanentlyDelete cmdlet to achieve the same result we previously had – a permanent deletion of the disconnected mailbox. Due to extensive feedback from customers we are rolling back this feature to the original behavior in order to improve the feature before we release it again in an easier format (and with better documentation).
As businesses of all sizes come to realize the value of data analytics to inform decision-making, many are also discovering the need for database solutions like Microsoft Access to help collect, organize and share data, as well as create reports that deliver valuable insights. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that Microsoft Access is now included in the Office 365 Business and Business Premium plans—designed to meet the needs of small and mid-size businesses. We’re also introducing an additional set of data sources that can be integrated with Access for Office 365 ProPlus, E3 and E5 subscribers.
From the very beginning, our goal with Outlook has been to provide a mobile experience that’s good for more than reading messages while standing in line for coffee. As part of our mission, we released a new and improved calendar on iOS and Android in September that brought you things like Maps and Skype for Business integration. We are thrilled to announce another step in that journey with a powerful scheduling assistant on Outlook for iOS. Inspired by the well-loved scheduling assistant of Outlook on the desktop, you can now easily see your coworkers’ availability and find a time that works for everyone—all from the palm of your hand.
Format: Video (40 minutes) | With the transition to Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft IT migrated mailboxes from on-premises Exchange servers to Exchange Online. This shift changed responsibilities for the Exchange service management team, releasing the team from server maintenance tasks such as applying patches or defining server policies. Andrew Kim, IT Service Manager for the Exchange email and calendaring service, shares how the team refocused roles to improve the end-to-end service experience across client devices and applications.
Do you have users connecting third-party applications to Office 365? Many organizations allow users to connect apps to Office 365 without IT intervention to help them be more productive. The challenge is that it reduces the visibility and control that IT has over what apps are doing with the data. We’re announcing App Permissions as part of Office 365 Advanced Security Management to help with that problem. App Permissions provides information to IT about which applications in their network have access to Office 365 data, what permissions they have and which users granted these apps access to their Office 365 accounts. Based on this information, IT admins can choose to approve the app or revoke its access to Office 365. If they choose to revoke permissions to the app, it will no longer be able to access the information for any of the users in the Office 365 tenant. App Permissions also makes it easy for IT admins to notify users who have installed the application that is going to be banned.
Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges
Format: Video (10 minutes) | Jim Naroski covers recent enhancements to Office 365, including Power BI to PowerPoint, Tap in Word, App Launcher Update, Yammer Updates and more.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), which includes two-factor authentication (2FA), in Exchange Server and Office 365, is designed to protect against account and email compromise. Microsoft has evaluated recent reports of a potential bypass of 2FA. We have determined that the technique described is not a vulnerability and the potential bypass does not exist on properly configured systems. The reported technique does not pose a risk to Exchange Server or Office 365.
Format: Video (45 minutes) | In this webcast we will look into OneDrive Sync. We will touch on several topics, concentrating on how to efficiently manage OneDrive and show some tips and tricks on how to efficiently troubleshoot potential issues using appropriate tools. Most of this event will consist of live demos.
Over the last month, the Office 365 team has continued to introduce new security features and capabilities. This post is a roundup of some key security and compliance news from the last month, including updates to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center, applying intelligence to security and compliance in Office 365, accelerating eDiscovery analysis workflow and more.