Office 365 Weekly Digest | February 19 – 25, 2017


Welcome to the February 19 – 25, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. Highlights from last week’s Message Center notifications include new and updated features for SharePoint Online, Delve and Office 365 Groups, as well as an upcoming change for the Site settings button in OneDrive for Business. I also included 2 reminders for upcoming planned service changes at the end of February and early March. There are numerous events slated for March, including additional opportunities to gain experience with Microsoft Teams, an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session focused on Office 365 US Government and a webinar with a closer look at successful Office 365 adoption. Updates on new SharePoint Hybrid scenarios, Visio, SharePoint Framework and OneNote Class Notebook are featured in last week’s blog roundup. Security, Ignite and Azure AD content wraps up last week’s digest including the Top 5 Tips for Information Protection, Advanced Threat Analytics, Office 2007 end of life and Azure AD group-based license management.


MESSAGE CENTER

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

 

New Feature: Expanding file management in modern SharePoint libraries

MC94253 | Posted: February 21, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We previously rolled out the modern Copy/Move command bar button for OneDrive for Business. We’re now enhancing that capability to First Release tenants for SharePoint Online libraries, allowing you to copy files of larger sizes, up to 500MB from SharePoint team sites to other SharePoint team sites, or back to a personal OneDrive for Business, removing our initial limit of 50MB. The Copy/Move dialog uses Microsoft Graph to surface a list of most recently used team sites, as well as support for browsing to a target destination, rather than manually entering URL targets. Copy To will also allow the user to generate a duplicate copy if the file is copied to the same target library and folder. Finally, modern file management now supports downloading multiple SharePoint files to a single ZIP file. The new features provide additional capabilities and ease of use directly from the modern command bar. The new experience has begun rolling out to First Release organizations. You may want to advise your users or update training materials to take advantage of the new capabilities. Learn more at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint-Blog/Enhancing-File-Management-for-OneDrive-and-SharePoint-Modern/ba-p/46832.

 

Updated Feature: Delve – personalized search

MC94351 | Posted: February 22, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 73162 | We’re updating the search experience in Delve. When a user starts typing in the upper-left hand search text box in Delve, they will see personalized results based on the relevancy of who they work with and what they and others are working on. You’ll begin seeing this change over the coming weeks as we begin with First Release customers and then move into full, worldwide production tenants. Users will begin to see a new search results experience in Delve. It is structured to be more intuitive and relevant to their work and what they are looking for. It is a natural evolution of the search results experience that brings more intelligence similar to Delve itself. We’ll be gradually rolling this out to First Release customers, and the roll out will be completed by the end of March 2017. 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://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Delve-Blog/ANNOUNCEMENT-Intelligence-powered-search-Delve-and-Microsoft/ba-p/46529.

 

New Feature: Create Office 365 Groups with team sites from SharePoint Home

MC94419 | Posted: February 23, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 61578 | The creation of Office 365 Group connected team sites from SharePoint Home is a new Office 365 feature. We’re pleased to announce that soon you’ll be able to create a site and a group for your team—right from SharePoint Online home in Office 365. The Create site wizard will create an Office 365 group as well as a modern SharePoint Online team site. You will even be able add members and classify the site along the way. And if you’ve ever waited for a SharePoint site to be provisioned in the past, you’ll discover this process will create the site in mere seconds. We’ll be gradually rolling this out to customers in February, and the roll out will be completed by the end of March. This has administrative controls to enable and disable. This feature is on-by-default. More details can be found at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint/UPDATE-Create-Office-365-Groups-with-team-sites-from-SharePoint/m-p/48277#M4601.

 

New Feature: Office 365 Secure Score

MC94495 | Posted: February 23, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We are pleased to announce the general availability of a new security analytics service called the Office 365 Secure Score. The Secure Score is a security analytics tool that will help you understand what you have done to reduce the risk to your data in Office 365, and show you what you can do to further reduce that risk. We think of it as a credit score for security. This feature is available for you today. The Office 365 Secure Score is designed to help you quickly evaluate and communicate about your risk across all Office 365 services and to help you take incremental action to improve your overall security. You don’t have to do anything to enable it. The service collects and analyzes your configuration for you, and allows you to quickly evaluate your options, then take the action most appropriate for your organization. To learn more, please visit https://blogs.office.com/2017/02/10/new-office-365-capabilities-helps-you-proactively-manage-security-and-compliance-risk/.

 

Planned Maintenance: Message Center

MC94516 | Posted: February 24, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We have maintenance planned for the Office 365 Message Center.

  • Starting: February 27, 2017 at 18:00 UTC
  • Ending: February 28, 2017 at 01:00 UTC

As part of this planned maintenance, there is no downtime, but the following feature areas may be affected: Previously dismissed or read message center posts may re-appear (as unread). During this planned maintenance window, the following workarounds can be used: None.

 

We are removing the Site settings button from OneDrive for Business

MC94651 | Posted: February 24, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | We are removing the Site settings and Site contents buttons from the OneDrive for Business settings pane on March 6th. This change does not affect classic OneDrive. The Site settings page was designed to modify settings for a SharePoint site. The majority of these settings, such as creating subsites or modifying site collection administrators, are not applicable to OneDrive for Business. Users in First Release, will no longer be able to navigate to Site settings from the OneDrive for Business settings pane unless they click Return to classic OneDrive. If you need users to easily navigate to Site settings for OneDrive for Business, you can reset the OneDrive experience to Classic by going to the SharePoint Admin Center > Settings. Under OneDrive for Business experience, select Classic experience. Please visit https://support.office.com/article/Where-s-the-Site-Settings-page-ed377f28-f888-4c59-9148-879ba3ff9d9f for additional information.

 

Feature Update: Email sending behavior for Groups in Outlook

MC94667 | Posted: February 24, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We have recently fixed the email sending behavior to a group, where senders had complained about receiving the emails they send to a group, back in their personal inbox. With this fix, senders will no longer receive the emails they send to a group in their personal inbox. The primary complaints we heard were about reading the same message users sent to a group multiple times – in their sent messages and their inbox. This fix makes it convenient for those users who have a habit of adding themselves to CC to keep track of their sent messages in inbox. We are rolling out this fix now, and it will be completed by the end of February. Learn more at https://support.office.com/article/Have-a-group-conversation-in-Outlook-a0482e24-a769-4e39-a5ba-a7c56e828b22.

 

Updated Feature: Monthly feature updates for Office 2016 for Office 365

MC94668 | Posted: February 24, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | The latest feature updates for Office 2016 for Office 365 are now available. One of the benefits of Office 365 ProPlus is that Microsoft can provide new features for Office apps on a regular basis, through monthly updates. This month’s update includes new feature updates, as well as other security and bug fixes. Some of the new features available in the February update include Data transformation and connectivity enhancements, Collaboration on attachments in real time, Consultative transfer of calls, Microphone notifications and a Database modeling add-in. A more complete list of features and descriptions is available at https://technet.microsoft.com/office/mt465751. If you have users configured for Current Channel release updates, you may want to get up to speed on the new features this month. Other than that, you do not need to do anything to prepare for this change.

 

REMINDER: Removing the Office 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus

MC81842 | Posted: October 19, 2016 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Required by February 28, 2017 | Office 2016 is the recommended version of Office 365 ProPlus and includes all the latest upgrades and new features. As we announced in September 2015, when we released Office 2016, beginning March 1, 2017, the Office 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus will no longer be available for installation from the Office 365 portal. Beginning March 1, 2017, your users will no longer see Office 2013 as an option for download through the Office 365 portal, and admins will no longer have the option under Software download settings in the admin portal to choose to enable Office 2013. In addition, we will no longer provide feature updates for this version, nor provide support. We recommend you install Office 2016 as soon as possible to have the latest and greatest features and support. Additional information is available at https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3199744.

 

REMINDER: We’re removing Site Mailboxes in SharePoint Online

MC92090 | 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.

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

Azure Active Directory Webinars for March

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through March 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!

 

Office 365 US Government: Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)

When: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 9:00am PT | We are excited to announce an Office 365 US Government “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) to coincide with the Microsoft Tech Summit in Washington DC! Please add the event to your calendar and join us on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 9:00am to 10:00am PST in the Government AMA group. 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 Microsoft SMEs and MVPs who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. We hope to see you there!

 

Office 365 Live Demo Series: Master chat-based collaboration tools in Microsoft Teams

When: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 9:00am PT | Join this live demo and learn how to: (1) Use chat for today’s teams in a threaded, persistent way that keeps everyone engaged, (2) Participate in a hub that works seamlessly with Office 365 apps, (3) Customize options for each team with channels, connectors, tabs and bots and (4) Add your personality to your team with cool emojis, GIFs and stickers.

 

Microsoft FastTrack: Achieve success with Office 365

When: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 10:00am PT | Join host Dux Raymond Sy, IT advisor and author, for an inside look at successful Office 365 adoption. Microsoft CIO Jim Dubois will share advice on how to enable digital transformation with Office 365. Mott MacDonald’s Business Architect, Simon Denton, will walk through how he helped his colleagues boost productivity by moving to Office 365. And FastTrack Product Manager Sharon Liu will demo the best resources to start your adoption journey and achieve your goals. Reserve your spot today.

 

Online Customer Immersion Experience: Get more done faster with Microsoft Teams

When: Wednesdays through March 22, 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 April 27, 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

Hybrid Scenarios with SharePoint and Office 365 Updates and Recap + Hybrid Taxonomy GA

The cloud has become mainstream and services such as Office 365 are an attractive alternative to on-premises business solutions with SharePoint.  However, for a variety of reasons, you might want to or need to deploy specific solutions in the cloud while still maintaining your on-premises investments.  For some organizations, you may wish to gradually move to cloud using a staged, workload-driven approach.  Hybrid scenarios with Office 365 and SharePoint on-premises allow you to bring the cloud to your business while bringing the business to the cloud.  From on-premises to the cloud and back—your information is where and when you want, at your pace, using the investments you already have. Your existing solutions coexist with the cloud—without the full cost of migration. You can even use Delve and Power BI with on-premises data. The cloud is no longer a luxury—it’s central to a mobile, modern workplace—and Office 365 brings the cloud to you, on your terms and across SharePoint and OneDrive we’re constantly working to help you take advantage of the power of Office 365. In November we announced preview availability of two new hybrid scenarios coinciding with Feature Pack 2 for SharePoint Server 2016 – hybrid auditing and hybrid taxonomy. This post has details on the availability of each new hybrid scenario.

 

Visualize work in powerful new ways

We’re constantly pursuing the latest innovations to help your team create powerful diagrams. That pursuit continues with several recently released updates for Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365, including robust database reverse engineering capabilities and new third-party content that meets various industry standards. With these updates, you can visualize your work in exciting and meaningful ways, boosting efficiencies and helping your team make informed decisions with confidence.

 

Manage Flows in the Admin Center and two new services

One of the top requests we’ve heard from enterprise customers is the ability for admins to manage Flows for their company. With this week’s release of the Microsoft Flow Admin Center, environment administrators can now manage all flows created in their environment. i.e. you can view all flows, delete or disable a flow, and view the connections used in the flow. To get started, head over to the Microsoft Flow Admin Center and log in with your corporate credentials. Note – You must have a Flow Plan 2 or PowerApps Plan 2 license to access the Admin Center. Select the Environments tab and choose an environment. Note – Only the environments of which you are an environment admin are listed. We have also added support for Azure Automation and Basecamp 2.

 

SharePoint Framework reaches general availability—build and deploy engaging web parts today

The past year has come with significant updates to our SharePoint user experiences, such as modern team sites, document libraries and pages. These modern experiences feature simple and powerful web parts that are responsive, easy to use and mobile-ready. By customizing web parts on a page, team members can build tailored sites that feature the most relevant content and tools for their team. In addition to a rich set of web parts available within SharePoint, developers can also create completely new web parts. We’re modernizing our developer surface to keep pace with rapidly changing techniques and technologies used in the broader industry. SharePoint Framework lets developers take advantage of up-to-date practices, tools and libraries to help them build more engaging, mobile-ready web parts at a rapid pace. We’re proud to announce the general availability of SharePoint Framework—allowing developers and administrators to build and deploy parts that are used by Office 365 users in their production environments.

 

OneNote Class Notebook add-in now includes grade scales, improved LMS integration and sticker customization

Since launching the OneNote Class Notebook add-in a year ago, hundreds of thousands of teachers have downloaded and started using the add-in. Teachers all over the world have saved time in distributing assignments, individualizing learning, connecting to their existing systems’ assignments/grades and reviewing student work all within Class Notebooks. Today’s updates for the Class Notebook add-in for OneNote desktop update include: (1) Grade scale support for Canvas and Skooler, (2) Skooler joins the OneNote add-in family and (3) Stickers—now includes the ability to customize.

 


NOTEWORTHY

Updated IP ranges and ports for Skype for Business Online

We heard from some of our customers recently, that the number of IP ranges and ports required for Skype for Business make it complex to configure firewalls. To address this feedback, Microsoft decided to perform several optimizations to simplify the requirements. Skype for Business Online has a significant infrastructure, so while we have started with these changes, it will take some time to be completed. We strongly recommend to open the IP subnets and ports today, to avoid any negative impact to connectivity.

 

Microsoft Mechanics: The Top 5 Tips for Information Protection

Format: Video (17 minutes) | Information security expert, Dan Plastina from the Azure security team shares the top 5 tips for successfully accelerating information protection inside of your organization. Watch too as Dan also highlights key technology updates for Azure Information Protection, including: ‘scoped policies’ for scaling up and personalizing default information classification labels for specialized teams and next generation RMS-protected secure email.

 

Managing End of Life for Office products and services

Microsoft Ignite – Australia 2017 | Major Office release waves are approaching the end of their lifecycle, with extended support ending for Office 2007 on October 10, 2017 and Office 2010 on October 13, 2020. Now is the time to plan to upgrade on-premises software or move to the always-up-to-date Office 365 subscription service. In this session learn how to plan and execute a once in a generation productivity platform migration. | Channel 9: All Microsoft Ignite – Australia 2017 sessions

 

Ransomware lateral movement, and how Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics can help

Companies across the globe were affected by an increased amount of ransomware attacks that caused an estimated damage of $1 billion. Ransomware attacks are becoming more powerful and crafty to force victims to pay their ransoms. Ransomware is now looking for new ways to cause the maximum damage possible to victims’ assets. One of the shifts we are seeing is that instead of using the well-known method of encrypting the first machine breached using phishing attacks or random downloads, some attackers are using the initial computer for reconnaissance on the network, and then spreading to any accessible machine. After the lateral movement phase, once the attacker hits multiple targets, they drop the ransomware that encrypts files. At this point, the attackers present a ransom note demanding an anonymous Bitcoin transfer. In this post we will demonstrate the different ways Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) can help you detect this modus operando. We will break it down in three different phases: getting in the network, reconnaissance, and lateral movement. | Related: Advanced Threat Analytics Attack Simulation Playbook

 

Announcing the public preview of Azure AD group-based license management for Office 365 (and more)!

One of the top requests we hear from Azure AD and Office 365 is for richer tools to manage licenses for Microsoft Online Services like Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility + Security. Admins need easier tools to control who gets a product license and which services are enabled. Some customers have even had to delay service roll-outs as they struggled to find a reliable solution that works at scale. We’re happy to be able to fulfill this request by announcing the public preview of a much-anticipated new capability in Azure AD: group-based license management! With this new feature you can define a “license template” and assign it to a security group in Azure AD. Azure AD will automatically assign and remove licenses as users join and leave the group. This preview also includes the highly-requested ability to selectively disable service components in product licenses, making it possible to stage the deployment of large service suites such as Office 365 Enterprise E5.

 

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