Office 365 Weekly Digest | Week of December 11 – 17, 2016

Welcome to the December 11 – 17, 2016 edition of the O365 Weekly Digest. Important announcements regarding OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online and Azure AD are center stage this week. Lots of great Skype for Business training opportunities are lined up for the new year and please be sure to check out the new Office 365 Adoption Guide released last week. A new ten module training series for Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365 is also available. And, on a personal note - Happy Holidays!


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


New Feature: Identity Synchronization – Duplicate Attribute Resiliency

Posted: December 13, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Duplicate Attribute Resiliency is a new feature being introduced in order to eliminate friction caused by duplicate UserPrincipalName (UPN) and ProxyAddress conflicts when running one of Microsoft’s synchronization tools. This new feature is being enabled for your tenant on January 11, 2017. Identity synchronization errors caused by duplicate UserPrincipalName and ProxyAddress errors will no longer cause objects to fail to be provisioned into your tenant’s directory. Instead, the duplicate attribute will be automatically removed until the conflict is resolved, and a temporary value will be assigned if necessary. You can use new reporting tools in the Office 365 Admin Portal or Azure Active Directory PowerShell to learn about errors that have been handled with this new framework. It is strongly encouraged that you become familiar with the new reporting and troubleshooting tools for duplicate UserPrincipalName and ProxyAddress errors, especially if you have any of these errors today. To learn more, please visit


Updated Feature: Alert mails for SharePoint Online

Posted: December 13, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | The format of alert mails sent from SharePoint Online has been updated to present information in a clearer way and to better display content on phones. We originally communicated that we started rolling this out in February 2016, but we paused this roll out as we addressed customer feedback to improve the experience. This feature is now completely rolled out and existing alerts are now using the new format. Please visit to see how to set up alerts.


Updated Feature: Skype for Business on Mac December Update

Posted: December 14, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We’re updating Skype for Business on Mac. This change began rolling out December 12, 2016 and you can enjoy these new features today. This message is associated with Office 365 Roadmap ID 66763. Updates for December 2016 include Screen Sharing for Audio calls, VBSS viewing for Office 365 / 2015 Server users, and Single mode for 2013 Server users. Other improvements have also been made - please consult the release notes when available. Additional information is available at | Additional Resource: Microsoft Tech Community - Skype for Business on Mac CU2: December 2016 readiness update


Updated Feature: New ways to work with Team Assignments in Project Online

Posted: December 15, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | We've recently released an update to how Team Assignments are coordinated in Project Online. This updated feature has completely rolled out and you can start using it today. This message is associated with Office 365 Roadmap ID 59625. Previously when a member of a team takes an assignment, the other members of the team would not have visibility to the change. With this update, the assignment can be accepted by a team, giving the members of that team a customizable view. This has administrative controls to enable and disable. This feature is off by default. For more details, please visit


Feature Update: Project Online labels and progress in timeline view

Posted: December 15, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Timeline bar labels and task progress is a new Project Online feature. This feature is now available. This message is associated with Office 365 Roadmap ID 63188. Timeline bars can now be labeled, and task progress is shown right on the tasks themselves, making it simple to quickly illustrate your plan and the work in progress when sharing status. Please visit for more information.


Updated Feature: Default Mailbox size increasing for Office 365 E3 and E5 subscriptions

Posted: December 15, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We’re updating the default user mailbox size for Exchange Online for Exchange Plan 2 subscriptions, which includes E3, E4, and E5 subscriptions. This message is associated with Office 365 Roadmap ID 68127. The default user's mailbox size is now 100GB. If a mailbox has been assigned a non-default quota (for any of the 3 quota values) then no change is made. Tenants will be able to increase quotas up to 100GB. We'll begin rolling this out immediately, and the roll out is expected to be completed by the end of January, 2017. Please inform your IT staff and helpdesk of this change. Also update your user training, if you feel this change is important to you. Learn more at


New Feature: OneDrive admin center preview

Posted: December 15, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We’re excited to announce the rollout of the new OneDrive admin center preview to First Release customers. The new admin center makes it easier to manage company OneDrive settings and policies. This feature will roll out to First Release tenants throughout December, followed by worldwide rollout to complete by the end of February 2017. All tenant and SharePoint admins will have permission to access the admin center at and later through a dedicated link on the Office 365 admin center. The OneDrive admin center provides easy access to settings for sharing, sync, storage, device access and compliance. More information is available in the Microsoft Tech Community post at



Azure Active Directory Webinars for January

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through January 19, 2017 | 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, Streamlining Password Management, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication, Managing Enterprise Applications and Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Apps. 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. So come with your questions!  Capacity is limited. Sign up for one or all of the sessions today!


Skype Academy: What's new in Skype Operations Framework (SOF) - January 2017 edition

When: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 8:00am PT | Audience: CTOs, Architects, partner portfolio leads | Level: 200 | Customer Journey: Get Deployed, Cloud Migration | This session introduces you to the Skype Operations Framework (SOF) Operate Release, which covers what’s new in SOF since September 2016. This session covers updates to existing assets in the interim and new features that we have added to the SOF web site to make it easier to consume and use SOF.


Skype Academy: Managing a high quality and reliable service delivery

When: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 8:00am PT | Audience: Collaboration Lead / Architect, Service Owner, IT Admins | Level: 300 | Customer Journey: Get Deployed, Cloud Migration | This session helps you to find answers for “How do I run a Skype for Business Online deployment to deliver great experience to my end users and value to the business?”. What’s involved in user experience, what is delivered by Microsoft and where are you responsible? This session helps you to be prepared for ongoing operations and decide on an operations model.


Skype Academy: Roles and Responsibilities beyond Skype for Business operations

When: Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 8:00am PT | Audience: Collaboration Lead / Architect, Service Owner, IT Admins | Level: 300 | Customer Journey: Get Deployed, Cloud Migration | Which teams are involved in running a Skype for Business Online deployment, what tasks need to be performed? This session helps you to identify the operational roles and map them to teams delivering these operational roles/functions. This allows you to align for operations early and make sure that all teams are ready to engage as soon as the pilot starts.


FastTrack Webinars: Learn how to do more, together

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through January 26, 2017 | 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.



Certificate-Based Authentication (CBA) for Exchange Online is Generally Available

Many organizations have been using certificate based authentication for Exchange Online while the feature was in preview. We are excited to announce that the feature is generally available in Office 365 Enterprise, Business, Education, and Government plans. For more details, please reference our preview post which has been modified to reflect this announcement. As always, we look forward to hearing your suggestions and feedback!


Microsoft IT Showcase: Digital transformation at Microsoft - Achieving more with Microsoft Office 365

In our Finance organization and across Microsoft, Office 365 Enterprise E5 accelerates our own digital transformation—employees feel empowered to achieve more with business intelligence, collaboration, and productivity. We gather data-driven insights with Power BI Pro and collaborate in the cloud with Skype for Business. To help provide security and ensure compliance, we’re using Advanced Security Management, Advanced Threat Protection, and eDiscovery technologies. Our experience moves us forward along a journey of innovation and growth.


Enroll in the preview and let Cortana schedule your meetings

Setting up a meeting with someone outside your company can be a time-consuming hassle. When you can’t see each other’s calendars and free/busy information, working out a time to meet can easily take more time than the duration of the meeting itself. Emailing back and forth, proposing alternative times and dealing with conflicts keep you from doing more productive work. Wouldn’t it be great and save a lot of time if you had your own personal scheduling assistant? Overcoming the challenges of scheduling meetings outside your organization is the goal of a new Microsoft incubation project code-named “” This project gives Cortana, your personal digital assistant, the ability to arrange meetings on your behalf. By delegating scheduling tasks to Cortana, you can focus on getting things done rather than wasting time emailing back and forth. is the latest project in a series of coordinated investments across Microsoft that bring together artificial intelligence (AI), conversational computing and calendaring. The project, which we introduced last week at a Microsoft AI event in San Francisco, combines efforts from Microsoft Research, Outlook, Cortana and Genee—a scheduling AI startup that Microsoft acquired in August.


Updates to the OneNote Class Notebook add-in—read/unread indicators in Review Student Work and more

Since the school year started, we’ve been making improvements to the Class Notebook add-in for OneNote on the desktop. This post includes information on improvements to review student work, improvements to notebook and student mapping, additional LMS support for SEQTA and a detailed summary of all the new capabilities and improvements to the Class Notebook add-in over the last few months. To update your OneNote Class Notebook add-in, just click the Update button on your toolbar to download and install the latest version. If you’ve never installed the Class Notebook add-in, you can get it from the OneNote Class Notebook website.



New Office 365 Adoption Guide from Microsoft

Microsoft is pleased to share the new Office 365 adoption guide. In it you will find: (1) Our end to end methodology for driving adoption success, (2) Adoption best practices, (3) Prescriptive guidance on how to do some of the tasks/activities we suggest customers do as part of their rollout and (4) The voice of successful customers throughout to share their best practices. | Direct Download


Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365 Training

We're pleased to share some new video training on implementation of ExpressRoute for Office 365. These ten video modules are a studio recorded version of implementation training that we have been running for system integrator partners across the world. Training workshops have been held in Redmond, WA, London, Tokyo and Sydney. We also have written guidance for implementing ExpressRoute for Office 365 online at One of the key issues with ExpressRoute for Office 365 has been the complexity of implementation required. This content is a big step towards solving that problem.


Azure AD Certificate Based Authentication is Generally Available!

Many big organizations that have certificates have been using the certificate-based authentication (CBA) feature while it was in preview and giving us feedback. Thank you for your input! We're excited to announce the GA of certificate based authentication. This announcement enables two key scenarios: (1) Federated Azure AD customers can sign in using certificate-based authentication (performed against the federation server) with Office applications on iOS and Android and (2) Azure AD customers can sign in using certificate-based authentication with Exchange ActiveSync mobile apps in iOS and Android when signing in to Exchange Online. | CBA documentation


Skype for Business: New Call Queues (Preview) and updated Auto Attendant (Preview) training

We are happy to announce the release of our Skype Academy training on Call Queues, which is currently in Preview. Learn how to plan, deploy and manage Call Queues in this training recorded by Korneel Bullens, Senior Customer Engineering Architect on the Microsoft Customer Experience and Deployment team. Call Queues provide a mechanism to offer a single call to multiple Skype for Business Online users at the same time. Call queues are in Preview for Skype for Business online. At the same time, we updated the Auto Attendant training. It includes now the newly introduced business hours, more details on search options and Call Queues.


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