Welcome to the January 8 – 14, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. There is a ton of content this week so I’ll keep the summary short with a few highlights – update on SharePoint Online team sites integration with Office 365 Groups, general availability of Microsoft StaffHub, more events including additional opportunities to test drive Microsoft Teams, as well as information on Data Loss Prevention, eDiscovery, new LinkedIn Learning Office training courses and much more!
Note: The information below may not be posted to your Office 365 tenant as not all notifications apply to all tenants.
New Feature: SharePoint Online team sites integration with Office 365 Groups
Posted: January 9, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | As announced in August, 2016, we are bringing SharePoint Online team sites to Office 365 groups. This change rolled out to First Release tenants in the end of 2016 and is now beginning worldwide rollout. This next phase of the rollout will start Thursday, January 12, 2017, and is expected to complete by the end of the month. Both existing and new groups will now get a SharePoint Online team site. Within a group’s team site, this roll out brings a new home page, features News for highlighting important content in the team, and the Activity web part for showing recently active content. These team sites also include our new responsive and powerful page authoring and consumption experience – all connected to the overall Office 365 group experience. Please visit https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint/UPDATE-SharePoint-Online-team-sites-Office-365-Groups-moving/m-p/38310#M3559 to learn more.
New Feature: Microsoft StaffHub General Availability
Posted: January 12, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | On January 12, 2017, Microsoft StaffHub announced general availability, which means it is now available to Office 365 customers with a qualifying subscription plan. Microsoft StaffHub is an app that is designed to help staff workers manage their work day – with schedule management, information sharing and the ability to connect to other work-related apps and resources. Microsoft StaffHub is now available, and on by default, for Office 365 customers with any of the following subscription plans: Enterprise K1, E1, E3, E5 and EDU plans. There is nothing you need to do to prepare for this change. Users with a qualifying license can login and start using Microsoft StaffHub immediately. Managers who need to create and manage shift schedules for their team can login at http://staffhub.ms and get started. Staff workers can download the Microsoft StaffHub app on iTunes or Google Play and sign in with their corporate credentials. IT admins can choose to turn off StaffHub for their organization by going to the admin controls at http://staffhub.ms/admin and toggling “Enable Microsoft StaffHub” to “Off”. For additional information, including a Microsoft Mechanics video on StaffHub, please see the “Microsoft StaffHub is here!” post in the “Blog Roundup” section below.
Feature Update: Removing the Recently Added page in Admin Center
Posted: January 13, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | This month, we are consolidating all change related messages into the Message Center. The Recently Added page within the Admin Center, will be integrated into the Message Center. You should now be using the Message Center to stay informed of changes in Office 365. The Recently Added page was used last year to communicate specific changes we were making as we rolled out our new modern Admin Center. Now that we have completely rolled out the modern Admin Center, we are removing the Recently Added page. Instead of using the Recently Added page to keep up to date on changes, please use the Message Center. The Message Center can also be accessed from your mobile device using the Office 365 Admin App (http://aka.ms/Office365AdminApp).
Updated Feature: Microsoft Teams Admin Experience
Posted: January 13, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Microsoft Teams will begin to adhere to user license assignments the week of January 23, 2017. You can now manage user access to Microsoft Teams ahead of our rollout, by assigning Microsoft Teams user licenses in your organization. As you may already be aware from our message from December, Microsoft Teams access can now be managed via user licenses as well as at the organizational level. We noticed that you may need more time to complete the appropriate licensing assignments in your organization. As a result, we are moving out our licensing adherence to the week of January 23. 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. More details, including instructions on how to enable and disable user access through Office 365 Admin Center or through PowerShell, can be found at https://support.office.com/article/Administrator-settings-for-Microsoft-Teams-3966a3f5-7e0f-4ea9-a402-41888f455ba2.
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!
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.
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.
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.
When: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 and Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 10:00am PT & 12:00pm PT | Around the world teamwork is on the rise. Research suggests employees now work on nearly double the number of teams than they did just five years ago. This means more than ever people are reliant on their peers to help get things done. But a “one size fits all” approach does not work when it comes to group collaboration—different tools appeal to different groups and address unique needs. Join Microsoft to test drive Office 365 and our hottest new collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. Each 90-minute session starts with an online business roundtable, discussing your biggest business challenges with a trained facilitator and then transitions into a live environment in the cloud. You will receive 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. Space is limited: each is session is only open to 12 participants. Reserve your seat now.
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.
- 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
All organizations, regardless of size and industry, have data that they consider sensitive. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is an important capability for protecting this information from getting into the wrong hands. We are always looking to enhance the DLP solution in Office 365 to help meet this organizational need. We are pleased to announce a single management experience for DLP policy creation and reporting across Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. In addition, we are introducing enhancements to the DLP data delivered via the Management Activity API.
There are an estimated 500-million frontline staff workers around the world in retail stores, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing and other service-related industries. These employees typically don’t have their own office, desk or computer—making it hard to access and share information important for the workday. Far too often, these workers rely on manual processes and outdated tools—cumbersome creation and printing of paper schedules, bulletin boards crammed with notes and a flurry of phone calls and text messages to cover shifts. Microsoft StaffHub is here to help. We’re pleased to announce the worldwide general availability of Microsoft StaffHub—a new application for Office 365 designed to help staff workers manage their workday—with schedule management, information sharing and the ability to connect to other work-related apps and resources. | Microsoft Mechanics: Introducing Microsoft StaffHub for deskless workers
To continue to meet legal, business and regulatory compliance challenges, businesses must be able to keep and protect important information and quickly find what’s relevant. Spending days, if not weeks, manually sifting through millions of files to find the small number that are relevant isn’t just expensive—it isn’t an option. At Microsoft, we know how demanding and complex compliance can be. As you might imagine, being a large enterprise operating at a global scale, we’re subject to many discovery requests every year. Our legal department uses the eDiscovery features of Office 365 to improve the accuracy and usefulness of our discovery results and save time and money. Our white paper titled “Office 365 meets evolving eDiscovery challenges in a cloud-first world” walks you through the rich eDiscovery capabilities in Office 365 and gives examples of how we use them at Microsoft to help satisfy compliance and legal requests in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Continuing our rollout of copying and moving files between SharePoint and OneDrive, we’re announcing the ongoing expansion of this capability to allow copying files within SharePoint Team Sites, from one Team Site to another; from Team Sites back to OneDrive for Business; and from OneDrive for Business to another OneDrive for Business library. Modern file management is built for modern document libraries. Once you select a file inside SharePoint, you’ll see the Copy to option appear on the command bar. Copy to uses intelligence from Microsoft Graph to display your most frequently used sites, along with the option to browse to sites you’re following. Modern Copy/Move lets you copy single files, multiple files, or whole folders, preserving metadata.
Cai Kjaer wrote a piece, Connecting the enterprise — one tool breaks the rule. It’s a great read and I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it. One of the most compelling pieces from Cai’s article is Tom Allen’s “50m Rule” which states that the majority of a person’s interactions happen with people within 50 meters of them. When Cai analyzed interaction patterns of people on email and chat, he found that those methods conformed to the 50m rule. Yammer, however, was the one platform that truly allowed for cross functional, cross organization connections to be had regardless of distance. When teams, groups, and communities of interest use Yammer consistently, it becomes a vibrant place where people share knowledge about their work. Where people learn from someone they didn’t know before. We’ve seen that when people are comfortable with sharing their work in open and transparent ways, like Yammer allows, organizations see real business transformation. Knowledge and information is allowed to flow freely from team to team in a way that email and chat don’t accommodate.
As showcased at Ignite in September 2016, we are bringing network location-based conditional access policy to SharePoint and OneDrive for Business to First Release starting 20 January 2017. This policy can help prevent data leakage and can help meet regulatory requirements to prevent access from untrusted networks. IT administrators can limit access to specific network ranges from the SharePoint Admin console. Once configured, any user who attempts to access SharePoint and OneDrive for Business from outside the defined network boundary (using web browser, desktop app, or mobile app on any device) will be blocked. These policies will be available to all First Release commercial & GCC tenants, and will not require additional licensing.
This post was written by Jill Robinson, instructional technology staff developer for Lynbrook Public Schools. | As I walked through the halls of Lynbrook North Middle School early one morning, I noticed half a dozen students sitting in the halls, intently drawing and explaining how to perform a seemingly complicated math problem. Surface Pro tablets in hand, their goal was to create a teaching video on how to calculate the sales tax and discounts on store merchandise. After several takes, and lots of giggling, the pairs of students were satisfied with their teaching videos. With one click, they embedded the Microsoft Snip teaching videos to the OneNote Class Notebook Collaboration Space for all their classmates to view. Just three years ago, this type of learning experience would not have been possible for these students. In the fall of 2014, our school district began a “one-to-one” tablet program, beginning with a single grade at our two middle schools. Many months prior to the start of this school year, 6th-grade teachers received devices and began weekly training sessions. Getting familiar with the devices—as well as learning new software—was only part of the goal. We also wanted to integrate this new technology in the classroom and needed to answer questions that came up as teachers entered this new phase that would change their instructional approach.
Microsoft’s commitment to providing government customers the most complete, trusted and secure cloud results in a significant step forward: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) granted accreditation for Azure and Office 365 to handle controlled unclassified information (CUI). By gaining the DOD’s Level 5 Provisional Authority (PA) for the DOD regions of Microsoft Azure Government and Office 365 U.S. Government Defense, Microsoft becomes the first and only commercial cloud provider to offer an exclusive DOD cloud that is L5-approved for our infrastructure, platform and productivity services. To date, we have received widespread interest in our new Level 5 capabilities from across the U.S. Department of Defense, including all branches of the military, unified combatant commands and defense agencies. Additionally, four DOD entities, such as the Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Air Force, are have already committed to use Office 365 U.S. Government Defense.
Format: Video (5 minutes) | Have you ever had the experience of not being able to access your tenant? Have you been frustrated and found it hard to understand what to do in these scenarios and lost time regaining access? Use the short and easy steps provided in this video to prevent the frustration and lost time in the future.
See how Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) can provide comprehensive protection of your company’s Office 365 data on any device. Learn more about how EMS protects access on devices, selectively wipes company data while leaving personal data intact, provides conditional access, and protects data at the app and file level.
We are continuing to bring training courses from LinkedIn Learning to our Office Training Center with more than 20 new courses on working with Word and PowerPoint. There are more than 60 new videos to help you quickly get up to speed on Office—whether you need to learn about tracking changes in Word or designing PowerPoint presentations. With the previous releases from LinkedIn Learning for Outlook and Excel—you now have free access to over 170 LinkedIn Learning videos. They can be found alongside the hundreds of courses in our Office Training Center.
Format: Video (10 minutes) | With the release of a new auditing event for Power BI, you can use PowerShell to automate Power BI Pro license assignments. Auditing with Power BI has been available for a few months within the US and more recently within all regions except Europe and Australia as a preview. This provides auditing on certain events to understand what your organization is doing with the service. You can look at the documentation for a full list of activities audited by Power BI. Within the documentation, we list out how you can use PowerShell to search the audit logs for Power BI activities. This will retrieve all activities for Power BI. You can further filter the list down by a specific activity. We can also use PowerShell to assign licenses to users. The blog post also includes a sample PowerShell script for Power BI license assignment.
We are happy to announce the general availability of Power BI reports optimized for phones! Not long ago we announced the preview of phone reports, and now it’s time to make them available to all users. With Phone reports you can specifically tailor a portrait view of your existing report on Power BI Desktop for mobile viewers. With this update, everyone can create report views optimized for phones, to enhance the experience of viewing Power BI reports on phones. Learn more about authoring phone reports in Power BI Desktop and the report experience on phones. Thanks to your great feedback during preview, we have added many improvements to both authoring and exploring phone reports. This post includes a list of the new capabilities and improvements we added in this release.