Office 365 Weekly Digest | April 16 - 22, 2017


Welcome to the April 16 – 22, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. Lots of new features for Outlook, Office 365 Groups and OneNote Class Notebook are included in last week's Message Center notifications, as well as an update to the OneDrive and SharePoint Online sharing experience. Also, this is the last reminder for SharePoint Online Public Websites going away - if you need more time to move your public site, you have until April 30th to request a one-time postponement for 12 months. New to the Upcoming Events is a virtual class where you can learn, through extensive hands-on labs, how Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) can help keep the employees in your company productive on their favorite apps and devices and your company's data protected. Last week's blog roundup includes the announcement of Microsoft To-Do, details on some of the security and compliance features of Microsoft Teams as well as insight into DNS intrusion detection in Office 365.  However, the major news is all focused on the Office 365 ProPlus updates that were announced - Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services starting October 13, 2020. More information and resources are included in this week's post and I would recommend reviewing them in detail. Wrapping up this week's post are several items related to Skype for Business, a Microsoft IT Showcase technical study on how MyAnalytics is inspiring change across Microsoft, a summary of recent updates to Microsoft Flow and new features in Yammer and the Security & Compliance Center.


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.

 

New Feature: MyAnalytics Outlook add-in feed update

MC98764 | Posted: April 17, 2017 | Expires: May 17, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 74712 | The MyAnalytics Outlook add-in feed is a new Office 365 feature. You’ll begin seeing this new feature over the coming weeks. This new add-in feature will provide you with more in the work flow assistance with a feed of productivity insights. For example, the add-in will provide you a weekly forecast, help you proactively schedule focus time for your big rocks, summarize unread email from Important people you’ve pinned, and provide new dwell time insights around quality of email engagement. We'll be gradually rolling this out beginning now, and the roll out will be completed in the following weeks. Please visit the Microsoft MyAnalytics Outlook add-in page for additional information.

 

Updated Feature: OneDrive and SharePoint Online sharing experience

MC98808 | Posted: April 17, 2017 | Expires: September 30, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We are updating the sharing experience in OneDrive and SharePoint, both in the web and in the sync client. We’ve improved the sharing UI on the OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online websites and sync clients to provide easier collaboration, better usability and improved security. We've also overhauled the sharing dialog in both OneDrive and SharePoint and replaced it with a single control that will be available to users in the web and in the OneDrive sync client. We’ll be gradually rolling this out starting in late spring, and the roll out will be completed summer 2017. You may consider updating your user training, and notifying your helpdesk. Please review the New OneDrive and SharePoint Online sharing experience article to learn more.

 

We’ve made a change to the Office 365 Trust Center

MC98898 | Posted: April 18, 2017 | Expires: May 12, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | As you might be aware, Office 365 security, compliance and privacy information is located in the Office 365 Trust Center. As a commitment to transparency, anytime we materially change the data maps, we disclose this information in the Office 365 Trust Center and send you a notification about this change. The Office 365 data maps were recently revised to include a new datacenter region for Korea.

 

New Feature: Office 365 Groups support in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android

MC98924 | Posted: April 18, 2017 | Expires: May 18, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 72294 & 75119 | We’re pleased to announce groups are now rolling out for Outlook for Mac, iOS, and Android. This adds to our previous releases for Outlook for Windows and the web, letting you get work done in groups no matter what platform you use. You’ll begin seeing this new feature in the following days. With these updates you can: (1) View a list of your groups, (2) Read and reply to group conversations, (3) Add group events to your personal calendar, (4) View unread messages sent to the group, and (5) View group details within the group card (Outlook for iOS and Android only). We'll be gradually rolling this out starting now, and the roll out will be completed in the coming weeks. To start using Groups, ensure your users are using the latest versions of Outlook for Mac, iOS & Android. For more details, please see the “Introducing Groups in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android” post in the “Blog Roundup” section below.

 

New Features: OneNote Class Notebook – Parent and Guardian links and Permissions in the Collaboration Space

MC99051 | Posted: April 19, 2017 | Expires: May 19, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 82204 | This week, we are rolling out new capabilities in OneNote Class Notebooks. These capabilities allow teachers to: create read-only Parent and Guardian links, assign Permissions in the Collaboration Space to allow project-based learning, and remove student content when removing student permissions in a Class Notebook. You’ll begin seeing these new features today. You are receiving this notification because you have teacher and faculty user licenses that enable you to enjoy these new features. Additional information is available in the OneNote Class Notebook updates include read-only parent or guardian access and Collaboration Space permissions blog post. | Related: OneNote—one school, one stop

 

Office 365 System Requirements for Client Connectivity & ProPlus Updates

MC99202 | Posted: April 20, 2017 | Expires: June 30, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | We’re making three important announcements related to Office 365 ProPlus: changes to the Office 365 system requirements; improvements to the ProPlus update model; and new tools and programs to manage ProPlus application compatibility. These updates may impact any organization connecting to Office 365 with an MSI desktop client, as well as those considering moving to Office 365 ProPlus. To learn more, please review the “Office 365 ProPlus Updates” post in the “Blog Roundup” section below.

 

We’re removing the parameter “SuppressWarmupMessage” from the “New-UnifiedGroup” PowerShell cmdlet

MC99370 | Posted: April 21, 2017 | Expires: May 31, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We’re removing the SuppressWarmupMessage parameter from the New-UnifiedGroup PowerShell cmdlet. A warmup message is the first message that shows in the group conversations space after a group is created. This message is not sent to the Inbox of the group members. We are removing your ability to suppress the warmup message while creating an Office 365 group via PowerShell. If you have PowerShell scripts which call the SuppressWarmupMessage parameter, the groups will continue to get created successfully but the parameter will be ignored. Your PowerShell script may give you a warning, but it will not fail. There is no action required to prepare for this change. Optionally, you can update your PowerShell script to remove this parameter from the New-UnifiedGroup cmdlet, but your script will not fail if you do nothing. Please visit https://technet.microsoft.com/library/mt219359(v=exchg.160).aspx for more details.

 

Reminder: SharePoint Online Public Websites are going away

MC97418 | Posted: March 28, 2017 | Expires: October 31, 2017 | Urgency: High | Category: Prevent or Fix Issues | Action: Required by April 30, 2017 at 5:59PM UTC | As we originally communicated in March 2015, new Office 365 subscription plans no longer include the SharePoint Online public website feature. We notified all Office 365 customers that currently use this feature that they could continue using this feature for a minimum of two years. Beginning May 1, 2017, existing SharePoint Online organizations will no longer have access to the public website feature. Then, on September 1, 2017, we will be deleting the public site collection in SharePoint Online. Beginning May 1, 2017, people outside your organization will no longer have access to your public facing website.  People inside your organization may be required to login to view your website. On September 1, 2017, when we delete the public site collection in SharePoint Online, you will no longer have access to the content, images, pages or any other files that reside on your public website. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization has the SharePoint Online public website feature enabled. Alternative public website solutions from industry leaders are now available, and you should begin investigating these alternatives to integrate your public presence within the Office 365 environment.  Do this prior to May 1, 2017. Before September 1, 2017, you should make a backup copy of all your public website content, images, pages and files, so you don’t lose them permanently. If you need more time to move your public website, you have a one-time postponement option for up to one year. You must select the postpone option by May 1, 2017. | Information about changes to the SharePoint Online Public Websites feature in Office 365

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

Virtual Class: Getting Hands-on with Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security

When: Recurring sessions in different time zones throughout April, May and June | Duration: 2.5 hours | Intended Audience: IT Influencer & Implementer | Attend this free, instructor-led virtual live training, and learn through extensive hands-on labs how Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) can help keep the employees in your company productive on their favorite apps and devices and, your company data protected. Space is limited so reserve your virtual seat today.

 

Azure Active Directory Webinars for May

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled May 16 - 24, 2017 | Sessions include Azure AD Connect Health, Getting Ready for Azure AD, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Applications via Azure AD App Proxy and more. 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!  Note: There are also some sessions available on-demand.

 

Introducing Microsoft Teams: Smart Collaboration in Office 365

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through May 18, 2017 | Note: These sessions are being held at several locations across the United States | Microsoft Teams has arrived to Office 365, bringing a chat-based workspace to your fingertips. See how Microsoft Teams can pull together everything you need to collaborate - schedule and conduct meetings, share notes and files, have threaded conversations - all in one place. Sessions are 4 hours in length. Availability is limited, so don't delay! Sign up and see the power of Microsoft Teams!

 

Explore Microsoft Teams, Windows 10 and Office 365 in an interactive online session

When: Wednesdays May 3, 2017 through May 31, 2017 at 10am PT & 12pm PT | Today’s fast-paced workplace requires you to transition between tasks seamlessly and find things quickly. As work and collaboration evolve to become more web-based and complex, changing professional styles call for tools that provide agility across the full span of a workday. Instead of wasting time searching for your most-used features and content, you need technology that allows you to transition from email to collaboration to project work and back again with ease. Microsoft is now offering hands-on live sessions where you’ll have the opportunity to test drive Windows 10, Office 365 and our hottest new collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. During these small-group sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they work for you. 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 technology, so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your challenges.

 

Announcing the SharePoint Virtual Summit

When: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 10:00am PT | A connected workplace empowers you to securely connect to the people and content you need, to transform business process, to inform and engage your employees and to harness the collective knowledge of your organization. At this year’s SharePoint Virtual Summit—a free, online event on May 16, 2017—you’ll learn how to create a connected workplace in Office 365 with OneDrive and SharePoint and integrated with Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Windows, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper will unveil the latest product innovations and roadmap. You’ll also hear from industry-leading customers on how they are leveraging these technologies as part of their digital transformation. Jeff will be joined by Microsoft corporate vice presidents James Phillips and Chuck Friedman to discuss how Office 365, connected with Windows and Azure, is reinventing productivity for you, your teams and your organization. We hope you’ll join us at this year’s event, so register now to save your space on May 16, 2017.

 

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

Office 365 ProPlus updates

Office 365 ProPlus delivers cloud-connected and always up-to-date versions of our most valuable enterprise apps. We’re making three important announcements related to ProPlus: changes to the Office 365 system requirements; improvements to the ProPlus update model, including alignment with Windows 10; and new tools and programs to manage ProPlus application compatibility. The updates to the system requirements are summarized as Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services starting October 13, 2020. This only applies to Office 365 commercial services and Microsoft is providing more than three years' notice for this change to allow IT time to plan and budget for this change. With regard to the improvements to the ProPlus update model, targeting September 2017 the ProPlus update cadence will be reduced from three to two times a year, with semi-annual feature updates targeted for March and September. To help customers plan and manage this change, we are providing several upgrade assessment tools including application compatibility testing and ProPlus monitoring services. | Additional Resources: Updated System Requirements | Overview of the upcoming changes to Office 365 ProPlus update management | New Upgrade Readiness Tools | Office 365 ProPlus Deployment Guide

 

Office 365 system requirements changes for Office client connectivity

We announced changes to Office 365 system requirements for Office client connectivity and how we will make it easier for enterprises to deploy and manage Office 365 ProPlus. In this post, we are sharing some more detail on what the system requirement changes mean for IT between now and 2020 and why we've decided to make this change. The new system requirements provide clarity and predictability for client connectivity to Office 365 services. When customers connect to Office 365 with a legacy version of Office, they're not enjoying all that the service has to offer - The IT security and reliability benefits and end user experiences in the apps is limited to the features shipped at a point in time. When we release new on-premises apps and servers, we use that opportunity to update the system requirements. But there is not yet a common convention on when to update system requirements for a multi-tenanted cloud service that is always up to date. In absence of that, we are sharing these system requirement changes as early as possible and as part of a larger discussion of the Office 365 ProPlus roadmap for deployment and management capabilities. As we get closer to 2020, we will share more details about implementation and the user experience for affected desktop clients. This post provides a high-level summary of the implications for client connectivity in 2020, depending on how you use Office 365. Note: The comments on this post are active with numerous questions and scenarios, so I would encourage you to review these as well.

 

Introducing Groups in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android

More than 10 million people rely on Groups in Outlook every month to work together and get things done. Groups is proving useful to our customers. And for that, we couldn’t be more thankful. Groups in Outlook offers huge improvements over traditional distribution lists, with a shared space for group conversations, calendars, files and notebooks, the convenience of self-service membership and much more. We’re pleased to announce Groups is now rolling out to Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android. Groups is already available in Outlook for Windows and on the web—so now you can access your group conversations and content no matter which platform you use. This post details new functionality on these platforms, along with recently released updates for Groups in Outlook and a peek at what's coming next.

 

Introducing Microsoft To-Do—now available in Preview

We’re excited to introduce a new, intelligent task management app that makes it easy to plan and manage your day. Say hello to Microsoft To-Do—now available in Preview. To-Do comes from the team behind the Wunderlist app, and delivers a smarter, more personal and intuitive way to help people stay organized and get the most out of every day. Powered by Office 365 integration and an intelligent algorithm, it is the first step on our journey to simplify task management and help you achieve more. To-Do helps you create a list for anything—for work, home projects or just your groceries. You can keep track of deadlines by adding reminders, due dates and notes, and personalize each list with colorful themes. You can access your lists from anywhere with the To-Do apps for iPhone, Android phone, Windows 10 devices and the web.

 

Top Features of Microsoft Teams & Information Protection in Office 365

We're excited about last month’s global launch of Microsoft Teams. We have had several queries and how-to questions from our customers around how Microsoft Teams plugs into the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center and we want to make sure that this article provides sufficient coverage and links to other useful resources for that topic. To start, let’s take a quick look at the features we delivered for GA: (1) Archive, (2) Compliance Center Search, (3) eDiscovery - Messaging/Files, (4) Legal hold, (5) Auditing and reporting, (6) Exchange Online Protection, and (7) Conditional Access and Intune MAM. Microsoft Teams provides coverage for its information protection dataset i.e. all user conversations, channel messages, group chats and files stored within the context of these chats. This post takes a closer look at Compliance Center Search, Auditing and reporting, Exchange Online Protection and Conditional Access and Intune MAM.

 

DNS Intrusion Detection in Office 365

In Office 365, we are committed to protecting our customer’s data. We implement and exercise industry leading security practices to ensure that customer’s data is safe. Intrusion detection is one such security practice which ensures that we are notified about any anomalous activity or behavior on our servers or in our network. We monitor and investigate notifications from our intrusion detection system for signs of adversary activities against our service, with the goal to prevent the adversary from gaining unauthorized access to customer data. The Domain Name System, or DNS, is used in computer networks to translate domain names to IP addresses which are used by computers to communicate with each other. DNS exists in almost every computer network; it communicates with external networks and is extremely difficult to lock down since it was designed to be an open protocol. An adversary may find that DNS is an attractive mechanism for performing malicious activities like network reconnaissance, malware downloads, or communication with their command and control servers, or data transfers out of a network. Consequently, it is critical that we monitor our network for these activities to protect our customer’s data. This post discusses adversary techniques that abuse the DNS protocol to gain unauthorized access in computer networks and monitoring strategies for detecting such techniques.

 


NOTEWORTHY

Skype for Business training and updates

There were several posts by the Skype for Business Team last week including updates, new training and an article on the growing interest in user adoption:

 

Announcing support for custom sensitive information types in the Security & Compliance Center

Core to protecting your organization’s data is identifying which data is sensitive and creating policies to govern its use.  We include over 80 sensitive information types out of the box to detect commonly used data types in regions around the globe; however, some information is proprietary in nature and is specific to your organization.  For example, your organization may need to protect employee ID numbers or other data with unique characteristics.  To better help you meet your data protection needs, we’re pleased to announce that you can now create your own custom sensitive information types for use in your Security & Compliance Center policies.

 

Microsoft IT Showcase: Quantifying personal productivity inspires change across Microsoft

Format: Technical Case Study | Published: April 19, 2017 | “Work smarter, not harder” sometimes falls flat when it comes to productivity at work. Like others, Microsoft is challenged by measuring and managing personal productivity. We’re using a new tool—MyAnalytics—that brings powerful new insights through objective, specific, and quantitative productivity data. Personalized dashboards bring focus and empower employees to improve communication, collaboration, and engagement, which in turn drives greater productivity across the organization and accelerates our digital transformation. It’s a win-win—helping to improve both business outcomes and employee engagement. Microsoft MyAnalytics is arming our people with quantitative data about their own work habits, practices, and personal networks.

 

Q1 Update for Microsoft Flow

In the five months since its general availability, Microsoft Flow has seen huge growth. This post summarizes the updates for Q1 that enhance team productivity, extend support for partner services, and modernize approvals for businesses of all sizes. Microsoft partners are also now able to develop and ship support for their own services directly from Microsoft Flow with a new connector building experience and submission process. The updates include Modern Approvals, just announced this week.

 

New Feature - Yammer inline play of videos from O365 Video & Stream

Post a link to a video from Office 365 Video or Stream on Yammer and it will now play inline directly in Yammer web. You can use Yammer to broadcast out your internal messages using O365 Video/Stream and users don’t have to leave Yammer web to watch the videos. As always, the permissions on the video in O365 Video or Stream will be respected in Yammer. If someone posts to a Yammer group that doesn’t have permissions to the video they’ll get a friendly message saying they don’t have access to watch the video. Note: Inline play is only enabled in Yammer web not the Yammer mobile apps.

 

Get Office365 usage reports from the Microsoft Graph using Windows PowerShell

The Microsoft Graph is a single endpoint that provides access to multiple APIs for Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud services. A preview Reporting API was recently released that brings Office 365 usage and analytics reporting into the Microsoft Graph. Along with this release, the deprecation of the several reporting APIs and PowerShell cmdlets in the Reporting Web Service was announced and these will be disabled on 10/1/2017. This post and sample script demonstrates how to consume Office 365 usage information from the Microsoft Graph using Windows PowerShell. A basic understanding of OAuth is helpful but not required.

 

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