Office 365 Weekly Digest | September 17 – 23, 2017


Welcome to the September 17 - 23, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Six new items were added to the Office 365 Roadmap including a rebranding of the adoption content pack in Power BI to "Office 365 Usage Analytics" and a couple of other admin-focused items.

Microsoft Ignite kicks off on Monday, September 25th and if you're not there in person, you can watch live online. There's also a live stream for a Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business session on Monday afternoon. In addition, a few new customer immersion experience sessions have been added for October.

Last week's blog roundup is all about the Office 365 Admin - from news about the new Office 365 App Launcher and enhancements to common admin tasks, to an improved support experience and new free admin training!  In addition, information on a new "Keep me signed in" (preview) experience in Azure Active Directory is also provided.

Highlighted in this week's noteworthy items are an update that shared calendars now sync to mobile phones, details on the latest feature updates for Office on Android, a new experience for Excel survey in Office 365, lots of new features for Microsoft Flow and updates for OneNote Class Notebooks, including stickers for everyone!

 


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

 

Items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week:

 

Office 365 Usage Analytics GA

Feature ID: 16781

Status: In development

Date Added: September 20, 2017

Description: Office 365 Usage Analytics - formerly known as adoption content pack in Power BI - enables admin to visualize and analyze their organization’s Office 365 usage data, create custom reports, and share the insights – pivoting by attributes available in Azure Active Directory such as location and department.  With these insights, admins can drive more targeted end user training and communication that will help them transform how their organization communicates and collaborates, enabling a truly modern workplace.

More Info: n / a

 

Usage reports update: new Office Extensibility Add-Ins report

Feature ID: 16816

Status: In development

Date Added: September 20, 2017

Description: New report in the Office 365 usage dashboard. We continue to update the usage reports to provide you with a complete picture of how your organization is using Office 365. We’re adding a new Office Extensibility Add-Ins report that will help you understand how your organization leverages Office Add-Ins.

More Info: n / a

 

Outlook: Drag and drop emails into group mailbox

Feature ID: 20787

Status: In development

Date Added: September 20, 2017

Description: Groups in Outlook users can drag and drop their emails from their inbox to the group mailbox.

More Info: n / a

 

Mail tile change in Office 365 App Launcher

Feature ID: 23551

Status: In development

Date Added: September 20, 2017

Description: We’re updating the Office 365 app launcher. With the new App launcher, the Mail tile will be renamed Outlook, functionality will not change. The Outlook tile will be pinned by default to your main view.

More Info: What happened to the Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks tiles?

 

Office 365 Administration - support for "Azure Active Directory Administrative Units" (preview)

Feature ID: 18278

Status: In development

Date Added: September 20, 2017

Description: We continue to update the Office 365 management experience to make it more efficient for you to manage Office 365. To enable you to better delegate permissions, we’re adding support for “Azure Active Directory Administrative Units” to the main Office 365 admin center. This will allow scoped administrator accounts to use the Office 365 Admin center and only see and manage users within their assigned scope(s).

More Info: n / a

 

Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365

Feature ID: 16358

Status: In development

Date Added: September 20, 2017

Description: Multi-Geo enables a single Office 365 tenant to span across multiple Office 365 datacenter geographies (geos), and store data at-rest on a per-user basis in customer chosen geos. This helps customers to address their corporate, regional or local data residency requirements in Office 365. Multi-Geo will be available for Exchange Online, OneDrive and SharePoint.

More Info: n / a

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Free Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy

When: September 26, 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!

 

Microsoft Ignite - Online

When: Monday, September 25, 2017 at 9am ET | If you didn’t register before Microsoft Ignite sold out, you can still be part of Microsoft Ignite and learn about the future of tech. Watch live on your favorite device as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shares his vision for the future of tech in his keynote on Monday, September 25. He will also talk about his new book, Hit Refresh, which explores transformation as essential for individuals and organizations. We’ll live stream every session that day, so you can get the latest on the tools you use every day.

 

Microsoft 365: Transform your communications with Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business

When: Monday, September 25, 2017 at 2:15pm ET | The modern workplace is here. Rapid, dynamic communications and collaboration are the heartbeat of today's organizations but are too often disconnected. Join Lori Wright, General Manager of Microsoft Teams and Skype, as she unveils exciting news for the future of unified communications in Microsoft 365. In this deep-dive session, Lori and Corporate Vice President Bob Davis discuss the latest innovations and how they deliver a new landscape for communications. This action-packed session features live demos and discussions with global thought-leaders to help you realize business value faster. The modern workplace is here. Are you ready?

 

Productivity Hacks to Save Time & Simplify Workflows

When: Wednesdays in October (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th) at 1pm ET | This 90-minute hands-on experience will give you the opportunity to test drive Windows 10, Office 365 and Dynamics 365. 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: (1) Discover how you can keep your information more secure without inhibiting your workflow, (2) Learn how to visualize and analyze complex data, quickly zeroing in on the insights you need, (3) See how multiple team members can access, edit and review documents simultaneously, and (4) Gain skills that will save you time and simplify your workflow immediately. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

 

Connecting, Organizing & Collaborating with Your Team

When: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 12pm ET and Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 1pm ET | During this 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.

 

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

When: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 and Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12pm 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.

 


BLOG ROUNDUP

 

New Office 365 app launcher and Office.com help you be more productive on the web

More than ever before, users expect an unparalleled productivity experience on the web. As we continue to expand the broad set of online productivity tools available to Office 365 customers, we are also committed to improving the experiences that help you understand, navigate, and collaborate across the entire Office 365 ecosystem. We’re announcing a redesigned web experience for Office.com, an easy-to-remember URL to help you sign in to Office 365 and get to all your apps, documents, sites, and people. We’ve also simplified the Office 365 app launcher to help you open and switch between your web apps easier. Finally, we’re introducing the new Office 365 gallery to provide Office 365 users with personalized information about the apps, tools, and services already in their subscription. | Direct Video Link: Microsoft Mechanics - New personalized experiences on the web with Office.com and the Office 365 app launcherMicrosoft Ignite Session: BRK1050—New web experiences in Office 365 that empower your users

 

What's new in Office 365 administration - September Update

We continue to improve the Office 365 administration experience. In September, we added domain verification via email, improved the domain removal process and made it easier to identify guest users.

 

Improving the Office 365 support experience

Having fast, efficient, and trustworthy support is extremely important for all Office 365 customers. Whether you are an IT admin in an enterprise company with thousands of employees, or the owner of a flower shop with five employees, you depend on Microsoft to provide excellent support so you can focus on your business. Based on customer feedback, we've updated the Office 365 support experience to provide you with faster and more efficient support that helps you to get the most value out of Office 365. The new experience will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks and will be available to all customers by the end of October. The new support experience provides several major enhancements in three categories: (1) Inline, simplified support experience, (2) Intelligence built-in, and (3) Faster connection with support.

 

Just released: Free Office 365 training for IT pros, small business, and end users

As of September 22, 2017, you'll find a whole new set of training on support.office.com. For enterprise admins and IT pros, ramp up on critical skills for Office 365 deployment, administration, and internal help desk support. For small business owners or admins, learn how to set up Office 365 for your business, use communications tools for email and meetings, store and share files in the cloud, and manage your employees and the service in the Office 365 Admin Center. For everyone else, including end users, get the most out of Office 365 with over 130 new content experiences including video training, Quick Start guides, templates, infographics, cheat sheets, and more.

 

Fewer login prompts: The new “Keep me signed in” experience for Azure AD is in preview

A common request we get from our customers is to reduce the number of times users are prompted to sign into Azure AD. One way to reduce the frequency of prompts is to check the “Keep me signed in” checkbox on the sign-in flow, but our telemetry shows that usage of that checkbox is very low. But we know from talking to customers, that cutting down on the number of sign-in prompts is REALLY important. Nobody wants to have to sign-in to an app multiple times! So, we're happy to share that we’re improving how “Keep me signed in” option is shown to users. We’re also adding intelligence to ensure users are prompted to remain signed in only when it’s safe to do so. We’re replacing the “Keep me signed in” checkbox with a prompt that displays after the user successfully signs in. This prompt asks the user if they’d like to remain signed in. If a user responds “Yes” to this prompt, the service gives them a persistent refresh token. This is the same behavior that currently occurs when a user checks the “Keep me signed in” checkbox. For federated tenants, this prompt will show after the user successfully authenticates with the federated identity service. | Related: Marching into the future of the Azure AD admin experience – retiring the Azure classic portal

 


NOTEWORTHY

 

Shared calendars now sync to mobile phones

We have rolled out a new feature update that enables shared calendars to sync to mobile phones. This update will make it possible to sync all your Office365 shared calendars to your mobile phone for any permission level (view, edit, or delegate permissions). In addition, you can now share a calendar or accept shared calendar invitations from Outlook on iOS and Android. Existing shared calendars will not be upgraded as part of this change, and they will continue to sync only to Outlook on the web, Windows, and Mac. Only shared calendars that are accepted after these changes are released will sync to mobile phones. The shared calendar will only sync to mobile phones if: (1) the calendar is shared between users who are both hosted in Exchange Online, (2) The calendar is accepted from a sharing invitation using Outlook on the web, iOS, or Android. | Resource: Calendar sharing in Office 365

 

Office 365 for Android - September 2017 Release details

Microsoft recently released the September update Office for Android (build # 16.0. 8528.2074) in 44 languages. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, then you will see the following features when you update to it: (1) In Word now you can work better with others in real time, (2) Excel now blocks malicious links in workbooks keep you safer, and (3) In PowerPoint you can now add animations to your slides from your phone or tablet. PowerPoint is also now more secure and blocks malicious links in presentations to keep you safer! For more information please have a look at What's New for Office 365.

 

Forms for Excel, new experience for Excel survey in Office 365

Forms for Excel, powered by Microsoft Forms, has replaced Excel Survey. This update, available for Office 365 Commercial and Education customers, comes with a modern experience to make it simple and easy to collect information from users in the same organization, to anyone in the world. Forms for Excel includes new features such as response time, responder name, images, videos, themes, and branching logic. | Resources: How to configure Microsoft Forms | Security and Compliance for Microsoft Forms

 

Download flow run history, build advanced recurring schedules and more

In the past couple of weeks we have added several new features that enhance the power of Microsoft Flow: (1) Download Flow Run History, (2) Build advanced schedules to trigger flows, (3) IntelliSense when building expressions, (4) Connect to endpoints with user-based Azure AD authentication, (5) Three new connectors, and (6) Generate Share Links for Files. | Related: Flow of the Week - Remind you to follow up on High Importance emails you send | Microsoft Flow and PowerApps in over two dozen sessions at Microsoft Ignite 2017 - come join us!

 

OneNote Class Notebooks get iPad updates, everyone gets new sticker packs

With the new school year underway in many places around the world, we’re releasing a set of updates to help teachers save time, be more organized, and have fun.  Here are the updates for OneNote Class Notebooks, rolling out now: (1) iPad Class Notebook Toolbar, (2) OneNote on iPad now supports stickers, (3) New sticker packs in all Class Notebooks, (4) New OneNote Online user interface rolled out, and (5) Updated Class Notebook add-in for OneNote Desktop.

 

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