Office 365 Weekly Digest | August 27 – September 2, 2017


Welcome to the August 27 - September 2, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

New to the Office 365 Roadmap this week are Yammer and Sway features that are currently in development. Also note that the previously planned feature for App Launcher customization tools has been cancelled.

There are no new events in this week's post, but there are still plenty of opportunities including an on-demand webcast for IT transformation using Yammer, the monthly Azure AD webinars and immersion sessions for Power BI and Windows 10 + Office 365 + Microsoft Teams.

Lots of variation in last week's blog posts, from a recap of what's new in August, a handful of Teams-focused posts and device-based policies in SharePoint and OneDrive to updates for Microsoft Forms, Flow and Microsoft Learning Tools.

The monthly updates to Office 365 URLs and IP addresses, First Release functionality to link a task in Project Online to a Plan in Microsoft Planner, changes in token lifetime defaults in Azure AD, and per user usage metrics in Power BI are highlighted as the Noteworthy items from last week.

 


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

 

Items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week:

 

Sway: user-created templates

Feature ID: 20556

Status: In development

Date Added: August 29, 2017

Description: Office 365 subscribers will be able to create templates from their own Sways.

More Info: n / a

 

Yammer: Push Notification Subscription

Feature ID: 18222

Status: In development

Date Added: August 30, 2017

Description: Users will have the option to subscribe for push notifications from Yammer Groups.

More Info: n / a

 

Yammer: Messaging Enhancements

Feature ID: 20503

Status: In development

Date Added: August 30, 2017

Description: Yammer will improve the messaging experience through a number of initiatives. These will include GIF integrations, celebrating first posts, user delights, typing indicators, and first post notifications that will enhance messaging for Yammer.

More Info: n / a

 

Note: Feature ID 14792 - Admin App Launcher Customization Tools has been cancelled. This feature would have implemented customization options for admins, including the ability to select and create custom tiles that appear in the user's 'HOME' view.

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Free Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy

When: September 9, 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!

 

Free Webcast: Transforming the IT Organization with Yammer

When: On-Demand | Social integration and team communication are at the forefront of employee focus. As internal communication evolves, organizations need to embrace social media and cutting-edge tools to help employees work smarter and collaborate stronger. Watch this on-demand webcast to find out how Yammer completes the Office 365 experience with a powerhouse of communication tools to inspire digital transformation, collaborate across teams, and execute faster while working smarter.

 

Visualizing, Analyzing & Sharing Your Data Without Having to be a BI Expert

When: Thursday, September 7, 2017 and Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 1pm ET | This 2-hour hands-on experience will give you the opportunity to test drive the latest business analytics tools. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they can work throughout your organization. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Locate and organize large amounts of data from multiple sources, (2) Visualize complex data and identify trends quickly without having to be a BI expert, (3) Find and collaborate with company experts on the fly, even if they work in another part of the country, and (4) Gather colleague’s opinions easily and eliminate communication and process bottlenecks. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

 

Connecting, Organizing & Collaborating with Your Team

When: Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 1pm ET | During this 2-hour session, you will have the opportunity to experience Windows 10, Office 365 and Microsoft’s newest collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they work for you. During this interactive session, you will explore how to use Microsoft Teams and Office 365 to: (1) Create a hub for team work that works together with your other Office 365 apps, (2) Build customized options for each team, (3) Keep everyone on your team engaged, (4) Coauthor and share content quickly, and (5) Gain skills that will save you time and simplify your workflow immediately. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

 

Azure Active Directory Webinars for September

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from September 12 - September 20, 2017 | Sessions include Azure AD Connect Health, Getting Ready for Azure AD, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Access Management, 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 to Office 365 in August - enriching teamwork

More than ever, effective teamwork is critical to your success. This month, we made the experience of working with others even better through the release of co-authoring in Excel, AutoSave in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, enhancements to Microsoft Teams (including OneNote Class Notebook, enhanced assignments and improved IT control), rich profiles in Outlook for Windows, an updated Yammer app, and a Yammer activity report. Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktop | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android Phones and Tablets.

 

Microsoft Teams: Restrict Usage with Azure AD Conditional Access

Conditional Access is a feature of Azure AD that enables organizations to define specific conditions for how users authenticate and gain access to applications and services. Note, Conditional Access requires Azure AD Premium P1 or above. This blog post discusses how to use Conditional Access in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to restrict how Microsoft Teams is accessed by employees. This blog post covers how to configure Conditional Access, and what the experience is like for users. | Related: Microsoft Teams – What happens to a terminated employee and their conversation history?  |  Microsoft Teams – Using Planner to stay organized

 

Device-based Policies Updates with SharePoint and OneDrive

In March 2017, we introduced device-based policies for SharePoint and OneDrive, enabling administrators to configure Tenant-level policies. Device-based policies for SharePoint and OneDrive in 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 on unmanaged devices. On September 1st, 2017, we continued to evolve our conditional access investments to address the ever-changing security landscape and business needs by introducing new levels of granularity with conditional access that allow administrators to scope device-based policies at the site collection level. In addition, this granular policy can be configured to allow users on unmanaged to edit Office Online documents in the browser.

 

Office 365 commercial customers can access Microsoft Forms via Office 365 app launcher

Microsoft Forms is a simple and lightweight app for creating polls, surveys, and quizzes. With Microsoft Forms, your users can easily gather customer feedback, measure satisfaction, organize team events, and more. The app works on any web browser and includes features such as themes, logo and image support, real time responses, automatic charts, question branching, and support for collaboration. Following our July 26, 2017 announcement, we have completed rolling out Microsoft Forms Public Preview to our Office 365 commercial subscribers. Now, all commercial customers can access Microsoft Forms through the Forms tile in the Office 365 app launcher or directly at http://forms.office.com. Learn more about Microsoft Forms at https://support.office.com/en-us/forms.

 

Microsoft Flow: How to gain business insights on videos in your work place

Many business users need the ability to search their organizational video library and gain quick insights on the content. For example, search for videos which include information on a term you are interested in, or search for all the videos which include a certain person of interest. Some libraries contain hundreds of videos, and it’s a hard task to effectively search them all. To that end, the Video Indexer service was recently introduced. Video Indexer is a Microsoft product that extract insights from videos and can help with these tasks and much more. Well, this is where the new integration between Microsoft Flow and Video Indexer steps in, to solve these types of business needs. You can find Video Indexer templates here. In this blog, we walk you through an example of what can be done with the two services and we show how easy it is to setup. The “Gain video breakdown insights for videos uploaded to OneDrive” template will allow upload of multiple videos into Video Indexer for insights, automatically without writing a single line of code. | Related: Flow of the Week – Turning Forms surveys into insights with Flow and Power BI

 

Learning Tools and Immersive Reader updated for OneNote, Word and Outlook

Educators have been seeing great outcomes in using Microsoft Learning Tools for their students over the past year. Spurred by great feedback, the Microsoft Education Team wants to empower even more students around the world with inclusive and accessible technology, and so we’re excited to announce new capabilities in Office 365 for Education including the ability to use Learning Tools while writing with Microsoft Word, the Read Aloud feature is now available in all of Word's views, Line Focus, Voice Selection, Automatic Language Detection, and several improvements to Word/OneNote/Outlook Online and the OneNote for Windows 10 app. | Related: Microsoft To-Do now available for EDU

 


NOTEWORTHY

 

Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges

August 31, 2017: Updates for Exchange Online Protection, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Endpoints, Office 365 ProPlus, Skype for Business Online and StaffHub. 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.

 

Change to ODB/SPO sharing dialog specific people option

Based on feedback, we're making a small update to how the new sharing dialog works with the "Specific People" option. You may recall that we previously had two people pickers in the dialog: One to select who the sharing link work for and another to choose who to actually send the link to. We have eliminated the first people picker and have folded the functionality together. When "Specific People" is selected as the default link type, users will no longer need to open the Links settings page to choose who they want to share with. This change should now be available in all organizations.

 

Microsoft Planner: Linking Plans to a Project Task

For those on the Office Insider builds – or First Release – you will already be seeing a new link in the ribbon for Tasks in Project Online Desktop Client. This is a feature only available for the subscription client – so don’t expect to see this in Project Professional 2016 if you own the perpetual license.  The new link enables you to link a task in Project Online to a Plan in Microsoft Planner, assuming you have an Office 365 subscription that includes Planner.  Let’s take a look and think about how you might use this.

 

Changes to the Token Lifetime Defaults in Azure AD

As part of our efforts to eliminate unnecessary sign-in prompts while maintaining high levels of security, we’re making some major improvements to how we manage refresh tokens lifetimes. Going forward the following defaults will now apply to all new Azure AD Tenants: (1) Refresh Token Inactivity: 90 Days, (2) Single/Multi factor Refresh Token Max Age: until-revoked, and (3) Refresh token Max Age for Confidential Clients: until-revoked. It’s important to note that these new defaults will only apply to new tenants and that if you want to override these settings with your own custom setting, you can do that. As part of this effort to remove user friction, we analyzed the impact of our current default Refresh Token lifetime and found that nearly 20% of authentication prompts were caused by refresh token expiration. We also analyzed account compromise to see if there is correlation between refresh token lifetime and the likelihood of account compromise. We were pleased to find there was no statistically significant correlation between token lifetimes and compromised accounts. Using this and other data on usage patterns, we determined that extending refresh token lifetime will greatly improve the authentication experience while still maintaining high security standards. | Related: Basics of tokens issued by Azure AD

 

Power BI: Introducing per-user usage metrics: know your audience and amplify your impact

This June, we released usage metrics for reports and dashboards in the Power BI service. The response has been tremendous. Usage metrics has already been used hundreds of thousands of times by report authors to measure their impact and prioritize their next investments. Since release, by far the biggest request has been for a way understand which users were taking advantage of your content. We are excited to announce that we’re supercharging usage metrics by surfacing the names of your end users. And of course, you’re free to copy and customize the pre-built usage metrics reports to drill into the data. The change should be completed by September 1, 2017. This simple change has the potential to magnify your impact like never before. Now, you can understand exactly who your audience is, and reach out to your top users directly to gather asks and feedback. Excited? Read on for a walkthrough for what’s new in this update of usage metrics. | Related: Create interactive timeline visualizations for your data with the new timeline storyteller community visual

 

Improvements to Azure AD Connect Health sync error reporting

The Azure AD Connect Health service allows you to monitor and gain insights into your hybrid identity infrastructure. It also provides reports about synchronization errors that might occur while syncing data from on-premises AD to Azure AD using Azure AD Connect. In this short post, we wanted to make three key announcements about sync error reports: (1) Accessing the sync error report does NOT require Azure AD Premium, (2) The sync error report now includes errors due to the Duplicate Attribute Resiliency feature, and (3) We’ve added a dedicated category for the “FederatedDomainChange” errors. To view the report, upgrade to the latest version of AAD Connect (also works with version 1.1.281.0 or higher) and then simply navigate to the Azure AD Connect Health Dashboard.

 

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