Office 365 Weekly Digest | March 5 – 11, 2017


Welcome to the March 5 - 11, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. It was a light week for Message Center notifications with only two - one for upcoming changes to the Yammer Analytics Dashboard and the other for a new SharePoint Online feature with personalized news on the home page in Office 365. Microsoft Teams will reach General Availability (GA) on Tuesday, March 14th and we're hosting an online event to mark the occasion. There are other Teams-related event opportunities through early April, as well as an upcoming webinar on successful Office 365 adoption. Microsoft Teams also takes center stage in one of last week's blog posts, outlining a different approach for release. Additional blog posts from last week cover a new Office 365 profile experience and device-based conditional access policies for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business.  Several videos and new Office Basics training updates wrap up this week's post.


MESSAGE CENTER

Note: The information below may not be posted to your Office 365 tenant as not all notifications apply to all tenants. The Message Center ID for notifications could also be slightly different than those posted in your tenant.

 

Feature Update: Changes to Yammer Analytics Dashboard

MC95315 | Posted: March 6, 2017 | Expires: May 5, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | We have moved overview and access information from the Yammer Analytics dashboard, to the Office 365 device usage report. As a result, we are removing the Overview and Access sections from the Yammer Analytics dashboard, in 30 days. Other sections, such as Members, Messages, Groups, and Files, will remain in place until there is a suitable replacement for them. You can now use the new Office 365 device usage report to show you the activity overview across the Office 365 services in your organization. To learn more about how to get the Yammer device usage report, please visit View the Yammer device usage report in the Office 365 Admin Center.

 

New Feature: Personalized news on the SharePoint home page in Office 365

MC95388 | Posted: March 7, 2017 | Expires: April 6, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 74716 | Personalized news from your teams and colleagues is a new feature on the SharePoint home page in Office 365. You’ll begin seeing this new feature over the coming weeks. Today, you have an aggregate, personalized view of team news coming to you on your SharePoint mobile app - team news that comes from across all your active team sites. You now will be able to view this same aggregated view of news articles at the top of the SharePoint home page in Office 365 (where you land when you click the "SharePoint" tile within the Office 365 app launcher). This makes the SharePoint home in Office 365 the best place to see what's happening in all the sites and portals you interact with and track. It allows you to perform enterprise-wide search, and consume all the news happening around you. No action is required to prepare for this change, but you may want to consider updating your user training, and notifying your helpdesk. Additional information is available at Find sites and portals in Office 365.

 


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!

 

Celebrating the global availability of Microsoft Teams

When: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 8:30am PT | Please join us for an online event to celebrate the global availability of Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace in Office 365. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Kirk Koenigsbauer and a special guest will share perspectives on teamwork, what’s new in Microsoft Teams and talk about how customers are using Office 365 to collaborate and deliver great results.

 

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. | Additional Resources: Office Blog post | Adoption Guide | Productivity Library

 

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

When: Wednesdays through April 5, 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

Introducing the new Office 365 profile experience

In the modern workplace, an organization’s most important assets are its people. The knowledge, skills and expertise found throughout your carefully recruited teams are tantamount to individual and collective success. All too often, however, this specialized knowledge is obfuscated by physical and organizational barriers. People know what information they need, but are unable to track down the answers they’re looking for. The popular adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” reminds us that the best-connected employees get the most done. That’s where Office 365 can help. As Microsoft works to reinvent productivity for the modern workplace, our goal is to put people at the center of the connected suite experience. When you’re able to tap into the hidden knowledge throughout your organization and leverage your talent pool, you’re able to achieve more. We're now rolling out an extended profile card experience across Office 365 to enhance the way you collaborate with colleagues and external contacts. We’ve made several big improvements that improve on the existing experience across three pillars to create an intelligent, holistic and integrated profile experience. Over the next few weeks, the new profile card experience will begin rolling out in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online for Office 365 customers enrolled in first release. We’ll continue to roll out this service for all Office 365 users over the next few months.

 

A New Release Strategy: Preparing for Teams Release

Does your organization have a Teams release plan? Will users know to install the application on desktop and mobile devices or access the service through a browser? And is your help desk prepared to support and guide less tech savvy users and VIPs? Adoption and satisfaction is not an accident, but it does take planning and deliberate preparation. While putting these processes and supporting resources in place, you need control of your users' experience. Yes, Microsoft wants your organization to realize the full potential of Office 365, and we would prefer if you use all of the powerful applications and services. However, we've heard your feedback and recognize the need to meet your organization's security, compliance, and support requirements. That's why we took a new approach with Microsoft Teams. During the Public Preview period, Microsoft Teams was available for use, but it was disabled at a tenant level by default. At any time of your choosing, an admin could enable the application for organization. As we approached General Availability, we introduced the per user licensing capability, which allows an organization to enable Teams for specific users as defined by you. This is important and the key to our approach. | Additional Resources: Administrator Settings for Microsoft Teams | Frequently Asked Questions about Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Teams Readiness Video Series | Teams Channel – Tech Community

 

SharePoint home in Office 365 and team news updates across Web and mobile

Extra, extra, read all about it! Lots of news on team news. Improve the reach of your internal communications – to individuals, the team and throughout the company. SharePoint Online promotes efficient and effective collaboration and communication throughout your intranet. When you have news to share, it should be easy to author with powerful methods of distribution and consumption for the greatest impact. We’re pleased to highlight several new SharePoint capabilities in Office 365 that help you inform and stay on task in a very personal way: (1) News on SharePoint home in Office 365, (2) News in SharePoint mobile app for Android, (3) Create news with the SharePoint mobile app for iOS and (4) Create impactful news and pages.

 

Big updates to Office 365 Identity

At Microsoft, we understand that ideas aren’t formed in a vacuum. Office 365 is designed to allow users to engage and collaborate with employees and trusted partners inside and outside your organization. In this cloud-first world, effective identity management is the key to enabling secure, mobile, productive working scenarios. Over the past months, we’ve made some big updates to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) that will enable a number of important new scenarios for Office 365 customers. We’re really excited by the possibilities these new features will bring to Office 365 administrators and users including: (1) Pass-through Authentication and Seamless Single Sign-on in Public Preview, (2) Group-based license management for Office 365, (3) Tenant Restrictions now Generally Available and (4) General Availability of Certificate-baesd Authentication.

 

Device-based Conditional Access Policies Rolling out to First Release for SharePoint and OneDrive

The collaboration landscape has changed, people expect to work across both boundaries and devices, to bring content with them versus bringing themselves to content.  Location, location, location is the best choice when buying or selling a home, but introduces new challenges when it comes to securing that content.  Ubiquitous connectivity and the proliferation of devices means responding to new security challenges.  SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business are uniquely positioned to help you address these challenges. Over the past several weeks we’ve introduced a variety of policies, to include location-based policies, that provide contextual controls at the user, location, device, and app levels and we’re excited to share you can now explore new device-based policies in First Release. Conditional access provides the control and protection you need to keep your corporate data secure, while giving your people an experience that allows them to do their best work from any device. Device-based policies allow you to allow or block access or challenge users with Multi-Factor Authentication, device enrollment, or password change. Device-based policies for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in First Release help administrators ensure data on corporate resources is not leaked onto unmanaged devices such as non-domain joined or non-compliant devices by limiting access to content to the browser, preventing files from being taken offline or synchronized with OneDrive for Business on unmanaged devices. With conditional access you get the control you need to ensure your corporate data is secure, while your people roam freely between apps and devices, accessing your data in the cloud and on-premises. | Related: Conditional Access “limited access” policies for SharePoint are in public preview!

 


NOTEWORTHY

Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges

March 7, 2017: Updates for 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.

 

Video: Office 365 Update for March 2017

Format: Video (10 minutes) | Jim Naroski covers recent enhancements to Office 365, including MyAnalytics, Power BI, Office 365 Administration, Outlook Mobile Add-Ins, Advanced Threat Protection and more!

 

Video: What's new in Office 365 for Windows: February 2017

Format: Video (2 minutes) | If you have an Office 365 subscription, these are some of the new features available to use for Office 365 for Windows including an onscreen Ruler in PowerPoint and a new way to view pages in Word. See more of what's new at http://aka.ms/new365.

 

Skype for Business Broadcast: Custom Policies

Format: Video (30 minutes) | In the latest episode of the Skype for Business Broadcast, the team dives into PowerShell demonstrating Skype for Business Online Custom Policies that let you manage your tenant down to the user level with greater control.

 

New basics training to get the most out of Office

We are rolling out six new training courses covering the basics of using Office. Like any subject—math, chemistry or video games—even when you understand more advanced concepts, you can stumble over the basics. We looked at what customers struggled with, both novice and expert alike, and Office Basics was born. Whether you work with Excel, Word, PowerPoint or another Office app, you can learn a lot in these short videos, like how to sign in to Office, rename files, add comments or insert hyperlinks. | Video: Introduction to Office Basics training

 

Announcing granular tenant settings in Power BI

Power BI allows organizations to monitor and analyze their most critical business data. As such, it’s very important for administrators to have control over how Power BI is used in their organizations. We are happy to announce an exciting new update to the Power BI admin portal that provides more control for organizations. The Power BI admin portal allows administrators to view usage data and set tenant-wide controls over what Power BI features are available to their organization. For example, some organizations have concerns over data being shared externally. In those cases, they can switch off external sharing for their organization. Until now, all these settings were at an organizational level – turning them off affects all Power BI users in the tenant. We have heard from many organizations and administrators that it is critical to have better granularity for these controls. They would like to apply these settings only for a subset of users in their organization. With this release, you can do just that!

 

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