Office 365 Weekly Digest | October 1 – 7, 2017


Welcome to the October 1 - 7, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

New additions to the list of upcoming events are the return of the Azure AD webinars for October and a Teams Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) on Thursday, October 12th at 12pm ET.

The focus for last week's blog posts were follow ups from Microsoft Ignite 2017, with additional content for Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Active Directory, and more.

Noteworthy items from last week include the October 2017 Office 365 Update video, new voicemail user settings in Skype for Business, Office 365 Networking and a list of pertinent videos from Microsoft Mechanics Live at Ignite 2017.

 


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

With all the news and announcements at Microsoft Ignite 2017, the natural result is a significant update to the Office 365 Roadmap. There were 30 items added over the last week, so in an effort to keep the weekly digest post from being extraordinarily long, I have separated the Office 365 Roadmap updates out for this week. Please see the Office 365 Roadmap Update | October 1 - 7, 2017 post for details.

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Azure Active Directory Webinars for October

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from October 10 – October 19, 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.

 

Productivity Hacks to Save Time & Simplify Workflows

When: Wednesdays in October (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.

 

Microsoft Teams: Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)

When: Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 12pm ET | The Microsoft Tech Community will host an ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT in the Microsoft Teams AMA space. An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback.

 

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

 

Automate your workflows using Connectors in Microsoft Teams

One of the coolest features of our product is the ability to use the apps, tools, and services you know and love right within Teams. A key scenario is getting notified when events happen elsewhere. Since launch, Microsoft Teams has supported Office 365 Connectors, allowing you to configure external services to post rich notifications into your team’s channels. You can integrate with nearly 100 services right out of the box, or you can wire up your own custom workflow using the incoming webhook Connector. Some awesome use cases for Connectors in Teams include new Visual Studio Team Services bugs and pull requests, RSS alerts from your favorite feeds, tweets to your company's social media account, etc. Also new to Teams is the ability to control which Connector apps are on or off for your organization. If you manage your company’s Office 365 settings, you can now selectively enable and disable apps for your employees to use. This setting controls whether or not that app can post Connector messages into Teams. Lastly, you can now also develop and submit your own Connector with actionable messages. You can package up your Connector in a full Microsoft Teams app alongside a bot, tab, and compose extension. From there, you can either side load that app to use internally or you can submit it to the Office Store so that it appears for all Microsoft Teams users. | Resources: New admin controls for apps in Teams | Documentation: Connectors in Microsoft Teams

 

Introducing a new secure external sharing experience (OneDrive for Business & SharePoint Online)

At Ignite we announced a major improvement to the way secure external sharing of files and folders works in both OneDrive and SharePoint in Office 365 and we wanted to share what this means for users and IT administrators alike. Based on your feedback, we have focused our updates on two key areas: ensuring intended recipients get access 100% of the time, and continual reverification of identity. These features start rolling out on October 9, 2017 to First Release customers and will roll out to all customers by the end of the year. For additional information on the new external sharing experience in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, read the New Sharing Features in First Release help article.

 

Stay ahead of data residency requirements with Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365

Last week at Microsoft Ignite we announced new Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 to help ensure you remain compliant with services to include SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange. The new Multi-Geo Capabilities in Microsoft 365 with SharePoint and OneDrive provide global organizations a solution to maximizing the value of Office 365, including SharePoint and OneDrive, while meeting data residency and compliance requirements. Multi-geo capabilities provide you with a choice of geographical locations in which to store, manage, and secure your data by allowing a single Office 365 tenant to span multiple regions, storing data on a per-user or per-site basis.

 

Microsoft Ignite Session Recap and Feature Updates for Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

Last week at Microsoft Ignite, we made several announcements on new and exciting features that will be launching in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), including updates to Safe Links, Safe Attachments, admin reporting enhancements and consolidation of EOP and ATP security dashboards into a single pane. Earlier this year, we expanded ATP coverage to Office 365 ProPlus Desktop Clients which offers ATP security for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Visio documents. During Ignite, we also announced the expansion of ATP for files stored in SharePoint Online, OneDrive For Business, and on Microsoft Teams.

 

Improving access control with three new Azure AD Public Previews

If you were at Ignite, you know we announced a ton of new Azure AD capabilities last week. As a follow-up, we’re going to do a few posts that cover the new capabilities we turned on in more detail. First up, let’s take a look at some of the new access control features we’ve just put into public preview. As customers increasingly adopt Azure AD, we’ve received a ton of request for features that help make sure the right people have access to the right resources, and that give enterprises control of and visibility into this access. In response to that feedback, we’re pushing three new and exciting features in Azure AD to public preview: (1) Extending Azure AD Privileged Identity Management to include Azure RBAC roles, (2) Automated, periodic access reviews, and (3) Automated Terms of Use administration and reporting.

 

Introducing Education Resources, a source of Open Educational Resources within Office 365

In the Education Product Team, we spend a lot of time in classrooms. We talk to teachers, students, parents, education leaders, curricula specialists, IT professionals, policy writers – pretty much everyone who has anything to do with teaching and learning. In these conversations, we've become aware of challenges teachers face in differentiating student instruction. Finding quality, standards-aligned teaching materials drains teachers time. And so, a team of us at Microsoft created a new Office 365 feature that we call Education Resources, which includes a Standards-Aligned Curriculum Solution and a Standards-Aligned Assessment Solution. We believe it will be a game-changer for how teachers search for and access classroom content that meets the varying academic interests and needs of their students.

 


NOTEWORTHY

 

Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges

October 6, 2017: The Office 365 example PAC files are updated as of 10/04/2017 to include the updates effective 11/01/2017. 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.

 

Video: Office 365 Update for October 2017

Format: Video (11 minutes) | Jim Naroski covers recent enhancements to Office 365, including Guest Access in Microsoft Teams, Presentation Translator, PowerPoint Live Survey, Apps for Outlook, Power BI on iOS, and more. The video transcript, complete with links to additional information on everything covered, is available at http://aka.ms/o365update-transcripts.

 

Skype for Business Hybrid Modern Authentication with Exchange Online goes Public Preview

Last week at Microsoft Ignite, we announced that Modern Authentication for Skype for Business server has gone to Public Preview. These configurations will enable customers to use Modern Auth enabled security features such as Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), Cert Based Authentication (CBA), Conditional Access (CA) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) for users who are homed on-prem as well as those homed in the cloud. Both of these topologies require you to use Azure Active Directory as the authorization server for your on-prem SfB deployment. To see the full list of pre-requisites and to join “Hybrid Modern Authentication - w/ Exchange Online” Public Preview, please go to http://aka.ms/skypepreview.

 

New Voicemail User Settings Features

User can now manage their voice mail settings via the Skype for Business settings portal. Back in May we introduced the settings portal with the ability to control pin and caller ID (see Skype for Business settings portal: Reset your pin and more for details) and now Phone System users (previously called Cloud PBX) will also be able to manage their voicemail preferences using virtually any standard browser. Entry-point into the portal will be in the Skype for Business Desktop Client, 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) Customized OOF greeting.

 

Office 365 networking at Ignite 2017

The Office 365 networking team had an action-packed week at Ignite 2017, filled with many sessions and customer meetings. Our conversations centered around the evolution of the enterprise network, and best practices for optimal connectivity and an enhanced end user experience in Office 365. Our recommendation is to adopt the simplest network design when routing traffic to Office 365, which can be achieved by following the Office 365 connectivity principles. The principles debuted at Ignite and are result of analyses into customer feedback that connecting to Office 365 workloads is challenging and a bottleneck to adoption. The connectivity principles are common to all Office 365 workloads, they align customer network strategies with Office 365 networking investments and differentiate enterprise networking requirements between IaaS and SaaS. The same connectivity principles were in focus at every session, in our meetings with customers and in the strategy and guidance that we shared with network security partners.

 

Microsoft Mechanics Live at Ignite 2017

During the recent Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference, the Microsoft Mechanics team took advantage of the time by hosting shows live at the conference. Below are some of the most pertinent shows related to Office 365:

 

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