Office 365 Weekly Digest | July 23 – 29, 2017


Welcome to the July 23 - 29, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. Please see this page for details on a change regarding the inclusion of Message Center notification details in these weekly posts.

There are no new events for this week's digest, but several of the Azure Active Directory webinars are available on-demand. And, while you're there go ahead and register for one or all of the webinars slated for August, including the new Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Access Management session.

Rounding up last week's blogs, there were new features in the mobile apps for Microsoft Teams, public preview availability of Microsoft Forms for all Office 365 commercial customers, new voicemail features for users in Skype for Business Cloud PBX, lots of updates for Microsoft Flow and a look at what's new in Education from Microsoft for July 2017.  In addition, the latest installment of the Modern Service Management blog series, focused on Service and Normal Incident Management is now posted.

The usual (near) end-of-the-month updates for Office 365 URLs and IP addresses, notification on end of support for OneDrive on Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 and Mac OS X 10.9, a blog series on StaffHub, a couple of Microsoft IT Showcase technical case studies and the latest post from the Office 365 Security blog close out this week's digest.

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Free Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy

When: July 21, 2017 through September 29, 2017 at various US locations | Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Trainers are leading fun, professional development sessions this summer and they’re coming to a city near you. Join us for these BYOD workshops showcasing Microsoft’s hottest tools and resources for K-12 teachers, built to empower students to achieve more. Attendees will get to explore tools such as Microsoft Teams, Office Online, OneNote Class Notebooks, Microsoft Forms and Sway, and learn how technology can provide their students with learning experiences beyond the four walls of their classroom, thanks to Skype in the Classroom and the Microsoft Educator Community. Register today and join us at an upcoming Teacher Academy near you!

 

Azure Active Directory Webinars for August

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from August 8 - August 17, 2017 | New for August - Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Access Management! 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.

 


BLOG ROUNDUP

 

New collaboration features in Microsoft Teams mobile apps

We are excited to announce the ability to join meetings from the Microsoft Teams mobile apps on iOS and Android. Now you can join your private and channel meetings right from the app with one-touch, and participate with audio and HD video. You can also make a direct 1:1 audio or video call from the Teams mobile apps. While in a meeting, you can easily view shared content, start a chat with the meeting participants, and bring in a new participant. It's easy to switch between audio devices, and intuitive meeting controls appear only when you need them with a light tap on your screen, so you can stay focused on the content. Some other recent improvements to the Teams experience on mobile apps include: (1) Support for tabs, (2) Ability to view / edit Office files, (3) Integration of bots, and (4) Search improvements. | Related: Get Started with the Getting Started Sample App

 

Microsoft Forms Public Preview is available for all commercial customers

Following Microsoft Forms Public Preview for Office 365 commercial customers announcement June 23, 2017, we're rolling out Microsoft Forms Public Preview to our Office 365 commercial subscribers. Now, all commercial customers can visit http://forms.office.com to create surveys, polls or quizzes. The Forms tile in Office 365 app launcher is rolling out gradually and may take several weeks to appear in all commercial tenants. | Related: New Features in Microsoft Forms – July 2017

 

Skype for Business: New Voicemail User Settings Features

We are happy to announce that we are opening a new preview program for the New Voicemail User Settings features for Skype for Business Cloud PBX. This preview is scheduled to start at the beginning of August. Voicemail user-settings is a web portal that gives Cloud PBX users control of their voicemail preferences using virtually any standard browser. Entry-point into the portal will be available in most Skype for Business Apps, as well as in the voicemail email body. The portal will authenticate users using their corporate credentials. Currently, users will be able to: (1) Deactivate Voicemail, (2) Change Prompt Language, and (3) Customize Out-of-Office greeting.

 

Q2 Update for Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow, the automation service that helps business users work smarter by connecting their apps and services, is emerging as the go-to business workflow engine. Microsoft Flow is now embedded directly within a range of business applications, and offers advanced capabilities in a streamlined experience for end-users and administrators alike. With these advancements, Microsoft Flow is helping companies around the world save time and increase productivity through easy-to-implement workflow automation. | Related: Export and import your flows across environments with packaging | Use expressions in flow actions | Grow up to Azure Logic Apps | Advanced Button Sharing

 

Discover What’s New in EDU from Microsoft in July

If you want to learn all about new updates and features from Microsoft Education, you’ve arrived in the right spot and just in time to see our latest video. We’re talking about Microsoft Teams, OneNote and Forms this month on What’s New in EDU, and hearing from educators who got to experience International Society for Technology in Education 2017 Conference (ISTE17). Plus: We’re highlighting a new device that staff and students will love. Our group is so excited about Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education, which is available now with education experiences built in. In this episode, you’ll hear from a few special guests and MIE Experts on how they’re using Microsoft Teams today, along with their top ten highlights from ISTE17.

 

Modern Service Management Part 6: Service and Normal Incident Management for Office 365

In this installment of the blog series, the time has come for us to discuss the Service Desk and Normal Incident Management. This post because will complete the baseline, core content for the series. Most of us are aware of the term "Help Desk". That term implies a reactive function that a user would call if they have an issue. "Service Desk" is the industry term for the one-stop-shop function for IT engagement - both reactive and proactive. The Service Desk would take the "I need help fixing XYZ" calls along with "will you add another network cable to my office?" and "we need to order a new PC for an employee who is starting next month" requests, and the Service Desk would be accountable for the user experience with those incidents and requests. In a previous post, we covered Major Incident Management. Major Incident Management deals with incidents that meet certain criteria in terms of scope or criticality. Normal Incidents are about the routine, end-user calls. "I am getting prompted for my password continually" or "I cannot open my spreadsheet." Of course, those routine calls add up in terms of cost-to-IT, cost-of-user-time-to-engage-IT, and lost-user-productivity costs for the business. Yet, the rigor and the response are generally less for Normal Incidents than they are for Major Incidents.

 


NOTEWORTHY

 

Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges

July 27, 2017: Updates for Microsoft Teams, Office Online 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.

 

OneDrive End of Support Notice for Vista SP 2, Windows Server 2008 and Mac OS X 10.9

The OneDrive engineering team is committed to bringing you the best, most secure, end user experience possible. To support that commitment, the OneDrive Desktop application (sync client) is updating the matrix of supported operating systems to align with Office 365 and Windows support. These changes will go into effect November 1st, 2017. After November 1st, OneDrive will be phasing out support for the following operating system versions: Windows Vista SP2 (All versions), Windows Server 2008, and Mac OS X 10.9. To ensure a smooth transition we recommend that you upgrade machines on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or Mac OS X 10.9 to supported operating systems before November 2017.

 

StaffHub: Overview, Initial Setup & Configuration

StaffHub is a remarkable new tool from Microsoft that enables organizations to effectively manage their firstline workers and enable them to have a collaborative experience to achieve more in their jobs. A firstline worker can be a nurse, barista, retail worker, manufacturing worker, hospitality worker, service technician, etc. The purpose of this blog post is to walk you through initial setup and configuration of StaffHub in your Office 365 tenant to get started using the service. | Part 2: Create a Team | Part 3: Using the app as a firstline employee

 

Microsoft IT Showcase: A global Microsoft team runs an 18-hour virtual rally using Skype and Yammer

Format: Technical Case Study | Published: July 25, 2017 | In 2017, the End User Services Engineering team tried a new type of team meeting to better serve 380 employees spanning 45 countries and 11 time zones. Using Skype Meeting Broadcast, Skype for Business, and Yammer, we created a global virtual rally that ran continuously for 18 hours, allowing attendees to join at an appropriate time for them, connect with each other, hear from leadership, ask questions, volunteer together, and strengthen our sense of community as effectively as any in-person meeting.

 

Microsoft IT Showcase: Redesigning business applications at Microsoft using PowerApps

Format: Technical Case Study | Published: July 24, 2017 | For a consistent look and feel across web and mobile apps on the company dashboard, Microsoft IT uses PowerApps. With PowerApps, our engineers and our business analysts can contribute to app development and they can easily configure and manage apps from a single point. This gives apps on the company dashboard a unified and consistent user interface, making it easy for employees to do common tasks quickly on any iOS, Windows, or Android device. | Related: Power Apps Q2 Update | Latest PowerApps update adds the ability to Import/Export apps, a new PowerBI tile control, and the Coalesce function

 

Mitigating Client External Forwarding Rules with Secure Score

Client created rules, that Auto-Forward email from users’ mailboxes to an external email address, are becoming an increasingly common and fruitful data exfiltration method being used by bad actors today and something we see quite a lot of in the Office 365 Service. There are a lot of legitimate reasons for using rules that externally Auto-Forward email, such as mergers and acquisitions, etc. However, they also represent a risk that needs careful and vigilant management by the admins of your tenant to ensure they are not being misused. These rules can be created through several interfaces, a desktop client, Outlook Web Access even PowerShell (admins). One of the most recent scenarios we have seen, involved a bad actor compromising a tenant admin account, the tenant had Auto-Forward disabled on the default (*) Remote Domain, which offered some protection from client rules externally forwarding email, however the bad actor then created a new Remote Domain, with the namespace of where they wished to exfiltrate data to, enabled the Remote Domain to allow Auto-Forward emails and voila, started to implement client rules that would then Auto-Forward to that namespace. We have implemented a new Security Control in Secure Score called 'Client Rules Forwarding Blocks'. It allows you to quickly implement a Transport Rule to help mitigate client created rules that Auto-Forward to external addresses. By using this control, it will allow you to create the Transport Rule above, you can then subsequently tweak the rule directly, for example if you wished to change the NDR text. This feature is now live within Secure Score.

 

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