Office 365 Weekly Digest | Week of December 18 – 24, 2016


Welcome to the December 18 – 24, 2016 edition of the O365 Weekly Digest. Highlighted this week are changes for Yammer and Project Online, what's new for Office 365 ProPlus as well as updated features for Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business. A new white paper on OneDrive / SharePoint security and important information for IE9 / IE10 users of SharePoint Online wrap things up.


MESSAGE CENTER

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

 

Changes to Yammer Android OS Support

Posted: December 19, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Prevent or Fix Issues | Action: Awareness | Beginning January 31, 2017, Yammer will no longer be supporting devices running Android 4.3 and below. Users running Android 4.3 and below will experience a degradation in app functionality over time. We strongly suggest communicating to your end users and recommend upgrading to Android 4.4 or above. Additional information is available at https://support.office.com/article/Yammer-admin-guide-a9c206d4-fb18-4250-bec6-e783b926e4f6.

 

Project Online requirements are changing

Posted: December 19, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Prevent or Fix Issues | Action: Awareness | Beginning February 28, 2017, Project Online will require the latest version of Project to connect to Office 365. We are making architectural changes to features in Project Online which impact older versions of Project, connecting to Project Online. If you are using Project 2016, you need to be on a supported build to connect to Project Online. For Project Professional 2016 customers, the RTM build (16.0.4266.1000) is the minimum build. For Office 365 customers using the Project Online Desktop Client (the subscription version of Project Professional 2016), you need to be on the previous Deferred Channel build (currently build 16.0.6741.2088) or any other build that is more recent. If you are using any prior version of Project, you will encounter issues connecting to Project Online. This change will not affect you if you are not connecting to Project Online. Make sure you've upgraded to a supported Project 2016 build, by February 28, 2017, to continue connecting to Project Online without interruption. Read more about the system requirements at https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/projectsupport/2016/12/15/using-project-online-time-to-be-sure-you-upgrade-the-client-software/.

 

Updated Feature: Docs.com manageable in Office 365 Admin Center

Posted: December 19, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Docs.com is an online service from Microsoft where users can publish and discover Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway, and PDF documents. Docs.com is now manageable from the Office 365 Admin Center. Docs.com supports logins from Facebook, Microsoft accounts and Work or school accounts. Docs.com does not yet meet all of Office 365 compliance framework requirements, therefore, using Docs.com with work or school accounts requires that you “opt-in” for your organization. Because Docs.com is typically used to share information publicly and make it easily discoverable by search engines, we want to make sure you are fully aware of the benefits and risks of using the service. “Opting in” means that any user will be able to sign-in to Docs.com with their work or school account and use it to share content with people using one of the following categories:

  1. Organization: Sharing only with signed in users from the same organization.
  2. Limited: Sharing a link that is not exposed to search engines by Docs.com but can be viewed by anyone who knows the link URL.
  3. Public: Sharing openly including with search engines.

We have also made improvements to ensure that when users choose to share publicly, they see the permission setting at least twice and need to manually confirm that their information will appear on the internet and in search engines. To enable the use of Docs.com, visit the Services and Add-ins page of the Office 365 Admin Center. No actions are needed if you wish to prohibit users from signing in with their work or school accounts. No actions are needed if you have already opted-in to Docs.com using PowerShell commands. Please visit https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=836570 for additional information, including instructions to opt-in.

 

New Feature: OneDrive for Business sync client updates

Posted: December 20, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | We have started rolling out updates to the OneDrive sync client that improve the user experience, administration, and accessibility of syncing files from Office 365. This includes a new activity center, conditional access support, and a new standalone sync client for Mac. We'll gradually roll this out to existing sync users over the next few months, with roll out completion by February, 2017. To learn more and access the standalone client for Mac, please visit https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/OneDrive-for-Business/Announcement-OneDrive-Sync-Updates/m-p/36441#M839.

 

Planned Downtime: Yammer Data Export API

Posted: December 20, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We have downtime planned for the Yammer Data Export API, starting Wednesday, December 28, 2016 from 9:00 PM UTC, and ending at 11:59 PM UTC. This will only affect companies that have built integrations using the Yammer Data Export API. For those companies, the API will be unavailable during the downtime window. This does not impact normal usage of Yammer in browser or mobile applications. There are no workarounds that can be used during this planned window.  More details are available at https://developer.yammer.com/v1.0/blog/downtime-announcement-data-export-api.

 

Updated Feature: Microsoft Teams admin experience

Posted: December 22, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | You can now manage user access to Microsoft Teams, by assigning user licenses. Previously, Microsoft Teams access could only be managed via an organization-level on/off switch. With this update, user access to Microsoft Teams can now be managed via user licenses as well as at the organizational level. This makes it easy to pilot Microsoft Teams within your organization before rolling it out broadly. As enabling per user licensing results in a sign-in blocker for anyone without their license enabled, we will begin to adhere to user license assignments the week of January 9th to provide you time to make licensing changes within your organization. The organization-level on/off switch for Microsoft Teams is currently released 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, unless you have explicitly turned this off through managing user licenses. Microsoft Teams is available in the following Office O365 commercial suites: Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 plans. Microsoft Teams will also be available to existing E4 customers who purchased E4 before its retirement. Microsoft Teams is not available to Education and Government customers at this time. We encourage you to begin piloting Microsoft Teams in your organization. Please visit https://support.office.com/article/Administrator-settings-for-Microsoft-Teams-3966a3f5-7e0f-4ea9-a402-41888f455ba2 for additional information, including instructions on how to enable and disable user access through Office 365 Admin Center or through PowerShell.

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

 


BLOG ROUNDUP

New to Office 365 in December—accessibility updates and more

This month, there are several updates to the Office apps to help you more easily create accessible content and more. This includes the Accessibility Checker, intelligent alternate text for images, a MailTip in Outlook on the web which alerts coworkers to your preference for accessible content, easy and accessible hyperlinks, new cloud storage options for Office on Android and Visio coming to the web and iOS. Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office 2016 | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android Phones and Tablets.

 

What’s new in Office 365 administration—December update

Recent updates to the Office 365 admin experience include a new OneDrive for Business admin center, new settings to manage Microsoft Teams and GigJam, and improvements to the new Service health dashboard. In November and December, our efforts focused on enabling admins to manage new workloads and improving the monitoring and the OneDrive administration experience. In the coming months, we will add more reports that focus on which clients are used to access SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Yammer. We are also working on making the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI available to all customers and providing new public APIs that will enable you to programmatically access the usage data and integrate it into custom applications, like a company reporting portal.

 

New Office 365 ProPlus deployment guide for IT pros now available

The Office 365 ProPlus deployment team has been working hard to give IT pros the tools they need to successfully deploy Office 365 ProPlus in various scenarios. We recently released a new guide focused on making your organization’s ProPlus deployment a success. The Preferred Practices for Office 365 ProPlus Deployment guide was created for IT pros by a team of Office 365 deployment experts. The guide features actionable guidance and real-world scenarios, including: (a) recommended guidance for discovery of applications, (b) preferred deployment scenarios and practices, (c) recommended approaches for channel management and (d) reporting capabilities for licensing and usage. The guide also walks you through each phase of the deployment process. | Direct Download

 

5 most popular questions from the Power BI Ask Microsoft Anything event

A couple of weeks ago, the Power BI Team held its first Ask Microsoft Anything event, and it was a fantastic success! We received several pages of questions on the AMA community forum, and for over an hour a mixed group of Power BI Program Managers, Marketing Managers, and Developers answered them all. If you missed this event, we’ve collected the five most popular questions and answers. Don’t see your question? Keep an eye out for the next AMA event and get your answer live!

 

Microsoft Teams: Our Vision for Planner in Microsoft Teams

With the release of Microsoft Teams, Office 365 customers can now use Planner in the same interface as their shared chat-based workspace. While Teams is in Preview, the Planner tab will have a limited feature set, with a plan to roll out a fully featured integration in the upcoming months. Even with limited features, we have received plenty of positive feedback in addition to questions about what the fully featured Planner integration will look like, and we wanted to share our plans about how we envision the future of Planner and Microsoft Teams: (1) We will make working across Planner and Microsoft Teams a seamless experience, where plans fully integrate across applications, (2) We will add support for selecting your existing Plans from Planner as Tabs in Microsoft Teams, (3) From a Planner Tab in Teams, you will be able to launch the full Planner experience to access capabilities like Charts and other views and (4) Users will the ability to have multiple plans per Office 365 Group within Planner.  When we complete that work, you’ll also be access any of the Plans you started in Teams as well. While there are currently some feature differences between the Planner tab in Microsoft Teams and the Planner web experience, our overall direction is to support the same core feature set – attachments, notifications, “group by” views, and others. We have a few other integration ideas in the pipeline, and we’ll share more details as we further develop our plans.

 


NOTEWORTHY

Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges

December 23, 2016: Updates for Certificate Verification, Exchange Online, Exchange Online Protection, Office 365 portal and shared, Skype for Business Online and Office Online. Details on the updates are available on the RSS feed and the complete list is located here. | Additional Resources: Managing Office 365 Endpoints, Content Delivery Networks and Client Connectivity.

 

Microsoft IT Showcase: Office 365 meets evolving eDiscovery challenges in a cloud-first world

Technical White Paper | Published: December 19, 2016 | Microsoft Office 365 gives you eDiscovery in the cloud. Quickly and easily find and retain content to satisfy legal and regulatory requests and internal investigations. And there’s no need to move content to an archive—it stays in place, immutable, secure, and accessible to content owners. Use eDiscovery search tools and Advanced eDiscovery analytics tools to filter content, and to cut review time and costs. Using these tools, our legal department at Microsoft saves about $4.5 million per year.

 

New White Paper on OneDrive and SharePoint Security

We understand that enterprise security is critical. Trust is not a product – it’s a value that must be earned every day. Our approach to SharePoint and OneDrive security, privacy and compliance is simple: It’s your data. You own it. You control it. We’re just caretakers. We give you controls to manage the data, paired with our own controls for securing and running our services.  Policy governs every millimeter of a file’s journey from conception to deletion. We continue to hear questions about the best way to safeguard information in SharePoint and OneDrive. Again, it’s a simple answer – we think the best way to protect your information in SharePoint is, well, SharePoint! And OneDrive.  Along with our partners, we continue to achieve more in security and information protection. We’ve recently published an updated white paper that details our security investments and capabilities for SharePoint and OneDrive. It’s one document that details all our capabilities in the platform, access and sharing, awareness, governance, and compliance.

 

IE9 / IE10 users in SharePoint Online - Time to move to modern browsers!

If you are one of the few organizations still accessing SharePoint Online using earlier versions of Internet Explorer, make it a new year's resolution to move to IE11 or Edge! Some new functionality coming to SharePoint Online in 2017 will require the latest version of IE, and users who are using older versions may be redirected to a page that tells them to upgrade their browsers. As most of you probably already know, Microsoft had announced the end of support for versions of Internet Explorer earlier than IE11 as of January of 2016. In SharePoint Online, our engineers have been taking care to not fundamentally break any critical functionality, and even avoided using some of the newer technologies in our pages to support these earlier browsers. One year down the line from end of support, with the usage of earlier versions of Internet Explorer now under a few percent of our users, we are finally starting to leverage some of these more advanced browser capabilities that earlier browsers do not support. This means if you are still using earlier versions of Internet Explorer you will start to see more "diminished experiences", and sometimes functionality will be completely broken. Other times, if a new experience requiring modern browser features detects that an earlier browser is being used, users will be redirected to a page that asks them to use a modern browser. There is no set time for this change, it will gradually happen over time as features are updated to use advanced browser capabilities. We had signaled the end of support in our earlier blog posts, especially for modern experiences we are building. We will reach out to specific customers where we see large percentage of IE9 and IE10 usage to ask these customers to move to IE11 or Edge. We are also in the process of updating our user facing documentation to indicate that IE11, Edge or another modern browser is required to access SharePoint Online.

 

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