Welcome to the April 23 – 29, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. Several new and updated features for Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Groups, SharePoint Online and Security & Compliance are the focus of last week’s Message Center notifications.
A new event listed this week is an Ask Microsoft Anything session with the Outlook Customer Manager team on May 9th at 9:00am Pacific. The Azure Active Directory and FastTrack webinars have new dates set up for May.
A recap of what’s new to Office 365 in April kicks off this week’s Blog Roundup, with other posts about Outlook Customer Manager, Guest Management in Office 365 Groups, Accessing On-Premises Applications in Microsoft Teams and several blog posts and videos from the Skype for Business Team.
Rounding out this week’s post are noteworthy information including updates to Office 365 URLs and IP addresses, new features in Microsoft Teams, an Office 365 Change Management Survival Guide and much more!
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.
Updated Features: Monthly feature updates for Office 2016 on Office 365
MC98699 | Posted: April 24, 2017 | Expires: May 15, 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. Here is a list of some of the new features available in the April update: (1) Get and Transform improvements in Excel, (2) Guest access to Office 365 Groups in Outlook, (3) QuickStarter in PowerPoint, (4) Share file activity in Excel, Word and PowerPoint, and (5) Make diagrams from Excel data in Visio. A more complete list of features and descriptions is available here. 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.
New Feature: Distribution list owners can upgrade the DLs they own to Office 365 Groups
MC99607 | Posted: April 24, 2017 | Expires: May 24, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 72274 | The ability of distribution list owners to upgrade the DLs they own to Office 365 Groups is a new Office 365 feature. You’ll begin seeing this new feature today. In Outlook on the web, distribution list owners will see a list of their eligible distribution lists under the Groups section of the navigation pane on the left. The option to upgrade distribution lists is only available in Outlook on the web and under the following conditions: (1) the distribution list must be eligible for update (see which distribution lists can be upgraded), (2) the user must be the owner of the distribution list, and (3) the user must have permissions to create Office 365 Groups. We’ll be gradually rolling this out beginning April 24, 2017, and the rollout will be completed over the coming weeks. Please review the Upgrade distribution lists to Office 365 Groups in Outlook article to learn more.
New Feature: Modern List and Document Library Web Parts
MC99617 | Posted: April 24, 2017 | Expires: July 31, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 83895 | The Modern List and Document Library Web Parts are new Office 365 features. You’ll begin seeing these new features over the coming weeks. The web parts can be added to any modern SharePoint page, allowing users to view and edit files directly from the web part. Any list or document library can be displayed and customized with the users’ own title, view, and size choice. We’ll be gradually rolling this out in early May, and the roll out will be completed by the end of June 2017. For more details, please visit the Introducing SharePoint modern list library web parts post in the Microsoft Tech Community.
Updated Features: Data Loss Prevention management experience enhancement and location exclusion
MC99685 | Posted: April 18, 2017 | Expires: May 24, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 73621 | Customers all over the world use DLP policies in Office 365 to help prevent sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands. We’re updating the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) management experience and policy location exclusion in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. You will start seeing these changes today when you log in to the Security and Compliance Center. Enhanced management experience – We are pleased to announce that its now easier than ever to configure and enforce sensitive data policies across your organization using the new DLP management experience in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. We listened to you and made Data loss prevention front and center, providing quick access to content protection policies, app permissions and device security policies – all in one place. The new Policy page shows you important information about your current DLP policies at-a-glance, with detailed audit reports just a click away. It’s also easier to turn on and configure DLP: simply choose what you want to protect, specify any special conditions to look for, and select the automatic actions you want to enforce to protect your important data. You can also go into the advanced settings to access additional customization and configuration options to help meet your specific compliance requirements. Policy location exclusion – You now have even more granular controls over the locations you protect with a DLP Policy. By default, your policies will continue to operate normally. You can decide the specific places where you want to exclude a location from a policy. Additional information is available in the support article, Overview of data loss prevention policies.
Updated Feature: Enhanced Reporting Dashboard in Security & Compliance Center
MC99702 | Posted: April 25, 2017 | Expires: May 25, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 82207 | The Office 365 Security and Compliance Center will now show a reporting dashboard which offers an updated view of reports for DLP policies and Advanced Threat Protection. A new reporting dashboard for Data Loss Protection & Advanced Threat Protection is now available in the Security & Compliance Center within Office 365. This new dashboard and the enhanced reporting UI enables greater visibility and control over your security and policies. This rollout is excluded from Office 365 subscriptions on Government Community Cloud. This video provides a detailed look at the new reporting dashboard and UI offered in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center and the functionality of several of the reports available.
Planned Maintenance: SharePoint Online Search
MC99837 | Posted: April 27, 2017 | Expires: May 04, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Maintenance Starts: May 02, 2017 at 09:00 AM UTC | Maintenance Ends: May 03, 2017 at 11:59 PM UTC | We are performing planned and regular maintenance outside of business hours on the search farm to increase index capacity. During this time, the Search Service Application (SSA) is paused, and document changes (such as edits, adds and deletes) are not propagated into the index; so, freshness issues are expected. All of these changes are queued and will proceed as soon as maintenance completes. No data loss is expected.
When: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 9:00am PT | Join us for an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session, hosted by the Microsoft Tech Community on May 9, 2017 at 9 a.m. PDT (UTC-8). An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This live online event will give you the opportunity to connect with members of the product and engineering teams who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Add the event to your calendar and join us in the Outlook Customer Manager AMA group.
When: Wednesdays May 10, 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.
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.
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!
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 May 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
Several Office 365 updates this month can help companies of all sizes accelerate the digital transformation within their organization. We released Outlook Customer Manager, introduced Microsoft To-Do in Preview, extended Designer to PowerPoint on iPad, added support for Office 365 Groups in additional Office apps, updates to Office 365 security and compliance and more. Read on for the details. Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office 2016 | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android Phones and Tablets.
The Outlook Customer Manager provides an easy way for small businesses to track and grow customer relationships from right within Outlook. We are pleased to announce the Outlook Customer Manager is now rolling out to all Office 365 Business Premium subscribers worldwide, and is also now available for Outlook on the web and Outlook for iOS. In addition, we’ve enhanced the Outlook Customer Manager to help you manage customer relationships more effectively, including intelligent reminders and integration with Bing, Cortana and Microsoft Flow. We are excited for you to begin using Outlook Customer Manager to stay on top of customer relationships and grow your business. As you use Outlook Customer Manager, please tell us what you think by providing feedback in our feedback forum. Also, don’t forget to register for the “Ask Microsoft Anything” session on Outlook Customer Manager – details are in the “Upcoming Events” section above. | Related: Scheduling Customer Meeting with Cortana
We are happy to announce the world-wide roll-out of Guest management features in Office admin portals. With guest access we have democratized the way people collaborate with external users and since its launch 6 months ago, it’s an extremely popular feature among the 10 million people using groups in Outlook every month. It is important for IT Admins to manage guest users in safe and secure way. We have provided controls for IT admins to manage guests in portal & now we are rolling out Guest user management features in Exchange Admin Center(EAC) & Office Admin Center(OAC) where you can view & filter Guest users and add existing guests to Group through portal. The Manage guest access in the admin portal support article has more details. | Related: Interactive Guides: Using Office 365 Groups and Administering Office 365 Groups
Format: Business Case Study | Published: April 28, 2017 | Digital transformation isn’t only about how technology changes, it’s also about how corporate culture—our people—adapt to that change. At Microsoft, we’re changing company meetings from static presentations into dynamic conversations, and we’re empowering attendees by giving them a voice. Using Skype Meeting Broadcast, Yammer, and Microsoft Pulse, we engage our employees around the world during corporate events by encouraging interaction, collecting real-time feedback, and promoting collaboration.
We have created a way for you to access your on-premises applications in your channel through pinned tabs. This can include your SharePoint sites or other business applications. This flow is made possible using the Azure Active Directory Application Proxy. Many customers currently use Application Proxy to provide single sign-on (SSO) and secure remote access for web applications hosted on-premises. These flows don’t use a DMZ or VPN – all traffic goes through a light-weight agent on-premises that only uses outbound connections. You can learn more about the Application Proxy flow in our documentation. This post details the steps for adding these applications to your channel. Please note that Application Proxy does require an Azure Active Directory License, and many O365 customers already have Azure Active Directory Premium.
Skype for Business updates and videos
The Skype for Business Team continues to crank out lots of content, including blog posts as well as several new videos last week:
- Skype for Business on Mac – Insider Release is Available
- The Secret for Success with Skype for Business? Focus on End User Experience and Satisfaction
- Modern Authentication for the Skype for Business Online Windows PowerShell Module
- Digging into Media Setup Failures using CQD Online
- Skype Operations Framework: Tenant Dial Plan
- SfB Video Broadcast: Ep. 38 Skype Meeting Broadcast Best Practices
- SfB Video Broadcast: Ep. 39 Enterprise Connect Recap
- SfB Video Broadcast: Ep. 40 Modern Voice in O365
Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges
April 28, 2017: Updates for Exchange Online HCW, Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, and Yammer. 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.
The following features were added or enhanced in the latest release of Microsoft Teams: (1) Wiki supports Markdown, (2) Link to a channel or team, (3) Better viewing experience, (4) New refresh button, and (5) New upload indicator.
This post provides details on the process to recover deleted mail and calendar items from a group mailbox in Office 365. EWS Impersonation is not an option at the moment, so an EWS editor will need to be downloaded in order to complete the steps.
Staying up-to-date with Office 365 changes can take some effort, to help Microsoft have many related resources that are available but not all of them are easy to find. This “Survival Guide” aims to gather these useful resources related to Office 365 change management. This TechNet Wiki page brings together some of the best information about changes and updates to Office 365 all in one place. Whether it is roadmap information, or what is new in Office 365 or Office 365 ProPlus (Office 2016) updates, this and more are part of this survival guide.
In the DNS Intrusion Detection in Office 365 post we introduced strategies implemented in Office 365 to detect anomalous DNS activity. Dnsflow is one of those strategies and involves aggregating DNS data processed by the DNS servers in Office 365. In this post, we discuss detailed benefits, challenges and implementation of Dnsflow. We also discuss how Dnsflow enables us to easily build detections that inform us about the potential abuse of DNS in our network.
Deploying and initial configuration of hybrid self-service site creation is done by using the hybrid picker in the SharePoint Online admin center, select at least the “Hybrid Self-Service site creation” , input the web application farm and complete the Hybrid Picker execution. Then, in on premises central admin you will also see a top line banner to indicate that the farm meets the prerequisites for hybrid self-service site creation. Note that the Hybrid Self Service Site Creation feature requires SharePoint Server 2013 March 2017 Public Update and is not yet available for SharePoint Server 2016.
Earlier this month we changed the logic that controls app vs. company branding on Azure AD login pages. These changes had two key motivations: provide better brand awareness to customers using B2B flows, and reconcile the branding logic between Azure AD and Microsoft accounts, as a prerequisite to merging the two login experiences later this year. And while we tested and validated the new logic with many customers, we underestimated the impact of these changes to the broader community. You’ve also told us that these changes had disrupted your business because we failed to provide advanced notice. We’ve heard you loud and clear and therefore decided to rollback these changes, effective immediately. We’re also making changes to our engineering and communication process to ensure this doesn’t happen again.