Welcome to the January 29 – February 4, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. There were several Message Center notifications last week, highlighted by news that Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online will be removed in March 2017 and information that the new Service Health Dashboard will be rolled out to all customers by the end of February 2017. Sticking with the Office 365 Admin theme, a recent post provides details on updates released in January for the Office 365 Admin Center. There is also an important update to last week’s reminder for Exchange Online / Exchange Online Protection customers who have configured connectors with the deadline extended to July 5, 2017. Updates to the Office 365 URLs and IP addresses, details on new features and functionality available in Azure Active Directory and several new Skype for Business training sessions are all noteworthy from last week.
Note: The information below may not be posted to your Office 365 tenant as not all notifications apply to all tenants.
New Feature: OneDrive for Business sync client updates
Posted: January 30, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | We are 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 support syncing Shared Folders and SharePoint Online document libraries as well as a new activity center, and a new standalone sync client for Mac. We have begun rolling this out to existing sync users. The roll out will be complete by February 2017. To learn more and access the standalone client for Mac, please visit OneDrive brings new file collaboration and management features to the enterprise.
We’re removing Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online
Posted: January 30, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | Beginning March 2017, new SharePoint Online organizations will no longer have access to the Site Mailbox feature, existing SharePoint Online organizations will no longer be able to create new Site Mailboxes; however, any Site Mailboxes provisioned prior to March 2017 will continue to function. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization has one or more Site Mailboxes available. Beginning March 2017, your users may no longer create new Site Mailboxes. In September 2017, we will have a process in place allowing you to transition your existing Site Mailbox site to an Office 365 Group. We will communicate again in June 2017, via Message Center, with more details. If you are using the Site Mailbox feature in SharePoint Online, you should consider transitioning to Office 365 Groups, to support email-centric collaborative scenarios. Additional information is available at https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=831908.
Updated Feature: New Service Health dashboard
Posted: February 1, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 60645 | We’re updating the Office 365 Service health dashboard. We have rolled this out to First Release customers, and will begin rolling it out to the rest of Office 365. This roll out will be completed by the end of February. The new Service health dashboard provides you with more relevant incident insights, and features a new view that separates major, business-critical outages from others and splits them into two categories: incidents and advisories. When you click an incident or advisory, you’ll see a summary that surfaces the most relevant and critical details, including the number of users in your organization who are impacted for Exchange Online incidents. (This functionality will expand to other services over time.) Learn more at https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/27/office-365-administration-announcements-new-admin-center-reaches-general-availability-and-introducing-the-service-health-dashboard.
Message Center translation
Posted: February 1, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Over the past few months we received a number of negative feedback responses on our message center posts, due to lack of translation. It has been clear many of you would like to see these message center posts in the language of your choice. In August 2016, we implemented the ability to translate messages, in an effort to make Office 365 more relevant to you, no matter the language you speak. It is apparent, we did not give you the necessary information how to use this feature. Machine translation of communications allows you to ensure our notifications are relevant and clear. Translation and filtering options are available in the message center. The default language is English, but needs to be changed to view the message center translation options. Please visit Turn on language translation for Message Center posts to learn how to change the language preference for the Admin Center, and message center posts.
New Feature: Learning Tools for Word Online
Posted: February 2, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 61734 | New features in Learning Tools, currently available in OneNote and OneNote Online along with Word desktop, are now rolling out to Word Online with modify views and include techniques that help people read more effectively, such as: (1) Read Aloud reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting which improves decoding, fluency, and comprehension while sustaining focus and attention, (2) Spacing optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users who suffer from “visual crowding” issues, (3) Syllables shows the breaks between syllables to improve word recognition and decoding, (4) Parts of Speech supports instruction and improves writing quality by identifying verbs, nouns, and adjectives. Available for OneNote desktop, Word Online and OneNote Online only at first availability. Learning Tools is now available for Word Online in Office 365, providing an immersive reader that helps everyone on any device improve their reading skills; including students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and English Language Learners (ELL). More details on these new features is available at https://support.office.com/article/Learning-Tools-in-Word-Online-a857949f-c91e-4c97-977c-a4efcaf9b3c1.
Feature Updates: Yammer
Posted: February 3, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We have been working on a number of enhancements to the Yammer experience. In the past month, we released the following:
- Android: Yammer now supports keyboard navigation across UI elements
- External groups on iPad: Released to app store
- iOS: Large text support – Released to app store
- Changes to Yammer Group types
- Device Usage Reporting
- iOS: Group suggestions
The following are other Yammer updates, currently in test, which some users may experience:
- Private Messaging: We are rolling out a number of improvements to the private messaging experience on Yammer, as we combine Private Messages and Online Now (chat) into this single, simpler experience. Private messages will soon be readily accessed from the left navigation bar on the home screen, right below the list of groups.
- Mobile notifications: Similar to the web experience, users will now receive new push notifications for conversations that show up in their Inbox (i.e. announcements, messages where users are mentioned, when someone replies to a user, etc.). At the same time, Yammer is managing the number of notifications so users working regularly in Yammer will not get inundated with notifications on conversations that they have already seen.
- New User Emails: As part of the on-going initiative to improve the Yammer on-boarding experience, Yammer will roll out a new series of emails to new users to help facilitate the on-boarding process.
These updates have already started rolling out to Yammer users. Some may be complete, and some may be in progress. Additional Information on these updates is available at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Yammer-Blog/Yammer-Mobile-Feature-Updates/ba-p/42584.
When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through February 16, 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: Monday, February 6, 2017 at 9:00am PT | We are excited to announce a StaffHub AMA! On Monday, February 6, 2017 the Microsoft Tech Community will host a StaffHub ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT / 4–5 p.m. GT in the StaffHub AMA group. Add the event to your calendar here. An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. We hope to see you there!
When: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 8:00am PT | According to Forbes, investment in cybersecurity is expected to more than double from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020, but how can you be sure your organization is creating the right framework to help safeguard against a security breach? Join us for the first episode in a two-part Modern Workplace special security series, “Cyber intelligence—help prevent a breach,” airing February 14, 2017 at 8 a.m. PST / 4 p.m. GMT. In the first episode, we explore the world of a chief information security officer (CISO) and show you how to help keep your organization more secure from potential security breaches. The episode also includes an exclusive demonstration of Office 365 Threat Intelligence which can help increase your security. | Registration Link
When: Wednesday, February 15, 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 February 23, 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
In January, we continued to further improve the Office 365 administration experience. To ensure that you’re getting the maximum value out of Office 365, a new Setup section on the navigation menu now provides access to all setup related settings in one place and gives you improved setup guidance. To provide you with a complete picture of how your organization is using Office 365, we continue to include more reports in the Office 365 admin center. In January, we began to roll out the Yammer device usage report. The report shows a breakdown of activity across web and mobile clients, and lets you see the device types commonly used by people in your organization. To help IT admins better manage sync and sharing capabilities, we are rolling out a new OneDrive admin center. The admin center controls how and from where a user will access the files in OneDrive—across device, location and app. Additional features include sync, storage and device access settings. Over the coming months, we will add more reports focusing on which clients are used to access SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. 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.
As Satya Nadella discussed in last Thursday’s quarterly earnings call, Microsoft Teams has picked up momentum since its launch last November. In the last month alone, 30,000 organizations across 145 markets and 19 languages have actively used Microsoft Teams. For companies that haven’t tried it yet, Microsoft Teams is a new chat-based workspace in Office 365 that brings together people, conversations and content to facilitate collaboration. IT administrators interested in the preview can light up Microsoft Teams in the Office 365 Admin Portal by clicking here. We’re especially inspired by this early usage. Not only does it show that the product fills a real market need, but it gives us a ton of information to help shape the product leading up to General Availability, which is still on track for this current quarter, Q1 2017. Our customers have been a great guide as we’ve delivered numerous features into the product even since the preview launched—including built-in audio calling on mobile and named group chats, an easy way to keep track of the context of a conversation. | Related Content: Free your teams to innovate by improving collaboration
Since we posted this blog post, we have received positive responses from many of our customers, who have proceeded with changing their connectors (as per instructions in the post), thereby protecting their email/domain reputation. However, we are also aware of customers who are either in the midst of making this change or need some additional time to complete their changes. We understand a change like this can take some time, so we have decided to move our deadline from Feb 1st, 2017 to July 5th, 2017. We have also added more details in the original post. If you are an Office 365 email customer and your organization is hybrid (you have an on-premises environment), please take some time to read it! | KB3169958 – Important notice for Office 365 email customers who have configured connectors
Business Case Study | Published: January 30, 2017 | Microsoft MyAnalytics gives you insights about how you spend your time at work and who you spend it with. To improve your time management skills, use your MyAnalytics dashboard to set goals for time spent in meetings and on email. With the detailed information in your dashboard, you can target ways to gain time so that you can focus on what matters most. The data MyAnalytics provides can also help you stay connected to important people in your network.
As you probably know, the Power BI service is updated weekly with fixes and new features. When we release major features, we always to make sure to release a coinciding blog post explaining the new features in detail so you can begin using them right away. In addition to these individual feature posts, we’re starting a monthly feature summary for the Power BI service, similar to the posts you know and love for Power BI Desktop. So, without further ado, here’s the complete list of January updates in the Power BI service: (1) Power BI admin role, (2) Power BI audit logs globally available, (3) Public preview: Email subscriptions, (4) New APIs available for custom visuals developers, (5) Real-time streaming generally available, (6) Push rows of data to Power BI using Flow and (7) New Microsoft Azure AD content pack.
While many companies are still in the process of transitioning products to the cloud, early adopters face a new challenge—what does a best-in-class, cloud-enabled IT organization look like? Companies with fully-deployed Office 365 after several years are starting to recognize organizational disruptions brought on by transitioning to the cloud—including an unrealized expectation of organizational downsizing. With cloud-enablement, IT organizations are dramatically shifting their visions towards becoming more agile and business-oriented rather than on-prem technical experts. Recently, Microsoft conducted research with hundreds of IT employees across different business sizes and roles to find out how small businesses and enterprises were dealing with these new organizational challenges. While a dominant best practice for restructuring has yet to emerge, three common organizational themes appeared: decentralization, customer-centric and the strategic steering arm.
Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges
January 31, 2017: Updates for Delve, Office 365 portal and shared, Sway and Skype for Business 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.
Format: Video (10 minutes) | Jim Naroski covers recent enhancements to Office 365, including OneDrive updates, Microsoft StaffHub, Office.com Homepage, Data Loss Prevention and more!
Typically, we only publish trainings for the latest features. However, we partnered with the Office 365 Center of Excellence (CoE) of Microsoft Consulting Services, to create trainings to help all customers and partners leverage Skype for Business Online, including sessions on hybrid configuration, Skype Meeting Broadcast, maintaining health, Cloud PBX and more!
We’re happy to announce that our new Tenant Restrictions capability is Generally Available! We built Tenant Restrictions with extensive input from our customers in finance, healthcare and pharmaceutical, industries which have relatively strict information access and compliance requirements. Tenant restrictions gives customers with these kinds of requirements enhanced control over access to SaaS cloud applications. Admins can now restrict employees using their corporate network to only being able to use Azure AD identities in tenants they have approved. For example, you can use Tenant Restrictions to allow access to your organization’s Office 365 applications, while preventing access to other organizations’ instances of these same applications. | Related: Azure Active Directory Tenant Restrictions
Azure AD B2B collaboration is a set of capabilities that makes it easy for IT pros and information workers to invite people from any organization in the world to collaborate online. The goal of Azure AD B2B is to enable organizations of all sizes and industries – even those with complex compliance and governance requirements – to work easily and securely with collaborators around the world. We’re excited to let you know that we’ve just turned on a boat load of new enhancements in our B2B public preview including UX enhancements, self-service invitation capabilities, tenant-branded email invitations, require and provide MFA for guest accounts, auditing and reporting capabilities and much more! | Related: Microsoft Ignite – Share corporate resources with your partners using Azure AD B2B collaboration