Office 365 Weekly Digest | March 4 – 10, 2018


Welcome to the March 4 - 10, 2018 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Of the seven total additions to the Office 365 Roadmap, two of them are most notable. First, the upcoming change for Office 365 Groups created from Microsoft Teams being hidden from Outlook by default, which is scheduled to release in March 2018. Second, updates to Office 365 organizational branding which moves the custom logo from the center to the left as a replacement for the default Office 365 logo. Other additions include upcoming updates to the Outlook mobile app for Android and iOS, as well as the OneDrive for Business mobile client.

A Microsoft Planner – Ask Microsoft Anything on Wednesday, March 14th is the featured event of the week. The customer immersion online experience sessions continue to fill up fast, with most now looking at April for earliest availability.

Blog posts in last week's roundup include a great example of customer focus from the Outlook Team, some details on how Office 365 protects against phishing, and some best practices for Azure AD and AD FS to protect against password spray attacks. Two major announcements are also included: (1) The retirement of the OWA apps in May 2018, and (2) the availability of Microsoft 365 for US Government. There is also an update on enhancements to the Office 365 support experience, including additional benefits for Microsoft Premier customers.

The latest Teams On Air episode on becoming a Microsoft Teams power user, an early look at Enterprise Content Management updates in SharePoint, and new features for Excel Online, Power BI and PowerApps highlight the noteworthy items from last week.

 

OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

 

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week:

 

Feature ID Title Description

Status

Added

Estimated Release

More Info
26977 Outlook for Android: Block links to external images Set up your account to block links in emails to external images

In development

03/07/2018

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n / a
26955 Office 365 Groups created from Microsoft Teams will be hidden from Outlook by default Based on customer feedback, new Office 365 Groups generated as a result of creating a team in Microsoft Teams will no longer show in Outlook by default. For customers that want to continue with the existing behavior of showing these groups in Outlook, an Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlet will be provided which can enable the group for the Outlook experience. Groups created through Outlook and then later enabled for Teams will continue to show in both Outlook and Teams. This update will gradually roll out across Outlook and Teams in the coming months.

In development

03/07/2018

March CY2018

n / a
20352 Microsoft Bookings - online payments Bookings provides the option to request an online payment from your customers in order for them to complete the booking of your services.

In development

03/07/2018

April CY2018

Set up customer payments for Microsoft Bookings
20758 Outlook for Android: Conversation count icon indicator See how many unread email conversations you have with an indicator on the Outlook application icon found on the home screen of most Samsung and Sony devices

Rolling out

03/09/2018

Q1 CY2018

n / a
26796 Outlook for iOS: Organization charts Know who's who within your company with quick access to the organization structure, including the manager, direct reports and other colleagues.

In development

03/09/2018

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n / a
27023 Updates to organizational branding for Office 365 Custom organization logos will soon move from the center of the Office 365 navigation bar and replace the Office 365 logo on the left side. By default, the color of the navigation bar will vary by application. If organizations wish to ensure that their custom logo shows up on the same navigation bar color across applications, they can set a custom navigation bar background color in the Organization profile section of the Admin Center.

In development

03/10/2018

Q3 CY2018

n / a
27009 New Sharing UX (ODB- Mobile) We will deliver a similar sharing experience to what we have on the web and other endpoints which supports all link types supported within an organization.

In development

03/10/2018

April CY2018

n / a

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Azure Active Directory Webinars for March

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from March 6 - 15, 2018 | Are you looking to deploy Azure Active Directory quickly and easily? We are offering free webinars on key Azure Active Directory deployment topics to help you get up and running. Sessions include Getting Ready for Azure AD, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Identity Management, Managing Your Enterprise Applications with Azure AD and more. Each 1-hour 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.

 

Microsoft Planner: Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)

When: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 12pm ET | We are very excited to announce an upcoming opportunity to 'Ask Microsoft Anything' (AMA) about Microsoft Planner! The AMA will take place in the Planner AMA space on March 14th 2018. Please submit your questions there. 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 Windows, Office and EM+S product and engineering teams who will be on hand to answer questions and listen to feedback.

 

Hands-on with security in a cloud-first, mobile-first world

When: Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 12pm and 3pm ET | This 2-hour hands-on session will give you the opportunity to try Microsoft technology that secures your digital transformation with a comprehensive platform, unique intelligence, and partnerships. 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) Detect and protect against external threats by monitoring, reporting and analyzing activity to react promptly to provide organization security, (2) Protect your information and reduce the risk of data loss, (3) Provide peace of mind with controls and visibility for industry-verified conformity with global standards in compliance, (4) Protect your users and their accounts, and (5) Support your organization with enhanced privacy and compliance to meet the General Data Protection Regulation. 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, April 3, 2018 and Tuesday, April 10, 2018 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.

 

Transforming your business to meet the changing market and needs of your customers

When: Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 12pm and 3pm ET | This 2-hour 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) Use digital intelligence to build personalized experiences across all customer touchpoints, (2) Improve customer service through a single, unified experience that delivers end-to-end service across every channel, (3) Increase customer satisfaction with intelligent scheduling, native mobile support, and remote asset monitoring to help you get the job done right the first time, and (4) Run your project-based business more productively by bringing people, processes, and automation technology together through a unified experience. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

 

Connecting, Organizing & Collaborating with Your Team

When: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 12pm 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.

 

BLOG ROUNDUP

 

Outlook is committed to FindTime and to making group scheduling easier

We recently created some confusion with a decision to remove the FindTime add-in from the Office Store. We heard loud and clear from you that you missed FindTime and wanted it back. As a result, we brought it back as quickly as we could. We pride ourselves on being customer-focused so, again, we apologize for the frustration that our decision to remove the FindTime add-in caused. We want customers to know that going forward, we are committed to FindTime and plan to continue investing in making group scheduling easier. We will keep the FindTime add-in up and running, and we will continue to improve it based in large part on customer feedback. In parallel, we will invest to build an even more robust group scheduling solution that is integrated across Outlook.

 

How Office 365 protects your organization from modern phishing campaigns

We often allude to the benefits of having an integrated threat protection stack in Office 365. In this post, we'll review how Office 365 threat protection services provide holistic end-to-end protection against today's most sophisticated phishing campaigns. We wanted to take the opportunity to walk you through how the combined features and services in the Office 365 threat management stack help your organization protect, detect, and respond to a potential phishing attack. Phishing is the term for socially engineered attacks designed to harvest credentials or personally identifiable information (PII). Attackers use a variety of strategies to make the recipient believe the email is coming from a legitimate source. Phish emails often convey a sense of urgency to the recipient to take an action described in the email. | Related: Schooling A Sea of Phish Part 1: How Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Helps Stop Spear Phishing

 

OWA mobile apps to be retired in May 2018

We are announcing the retirement of OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android. For the last several years Microsoft has focused on delivering an effortless user experience and bolstering security in the native Outlook app for iOS and Android devices. We've used your feedback to make Outlook an award-winning app and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device. In April 2018, the OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android apps will no longer be available for download from Apple's iTunes store and the Google Play store. Also in April, OWA mobile app users will see a recurring in-app message notifying them of the date when the app will be retired, with a link to download Outlook for iOS or Android. On May 15, 2018, the OWA mobile apps will stop working. Office 365 users who attempt to open them will be greeted with a message directing them to download Outlook for iOS or Android. If you are an Office 365 administrator and received a notice in the Office 365 Message Center, it means one or more people in your organization are still using the OWA mobile app. If you don't receive a notice in Message Center, then you don't need to take any administrative action. | Resource: Microsoft OWA mobile apps are being retired

 

Enhancements in new Office 365 support experience - now available for Premier customers

As an Office 365 customer, it's important that you have reliable support from Microsoft that is flexible to your needs so that you can focus on your business. In September 2017, we launched a new support experience for Office 365 customers to provide this service. After hearing initial customer feedback, we're rolling out improvements to the support experience in admin center for all customers and to extend the enhanced experience to Premier customers as well. For Premier customers, we also understand the importance of being routed to Microsoft's Premier-specific engineers for the most critical issues and have added features to deliver Premier tickets to the correct teams right away. The new support experience will begin rolling out to Premier customers in the beginning of April and will be available to all Premier customers by July. Other non-Premier specific improvements made to the overall support experience are currently rolling out to all customers.

 

Announcing Microsoft 365 for US Government

Make no mistake: over the last few years, we've seen faster acceleration of government organizations moving to the cloud. So why now? This move is driven largely by the desire to bring the most up-to-date tools and capabilities to employees to meet demands for mobility and create a more modern workplace—and to ensure they are better equipped to face rising security challenges. And this desire is supported by recent legislation like the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which creates IT modernization funds to help agencies replace aging infrastructure that poses security risks. That's why we are excited to announce the availability of Microsoft 365 for US Government Cloud environments, which will bring together Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and Windows 10 for US Government organizations to help agencies provide a modern workplace while meeting US compliance and security standards.

 

Azure AD and ADFS best practices: Defending against password spray attacks

As long as we've had passwords, people have tried to guess them. In this blog, we're going to talk about a common attack which has become MUCH more frequent recently and some best practices for defending against it. This attack is commonly called password spray. In a password spray attack, the bad guys try the most common passwords across many different accounts and services to gain access to any password protected assets they can find. Usually these span many different organizations and identity providers. They use the accounts to get data from emails, harvest contact info, and send phishing links or just expand the password spray target group. The attackers don't care much about who those initial targets are—just that they have some success that they can leverage.

 

NOTEWORTHY

 

Teams On Air: Ep. 63 - How to become a power user of Microsoft Teams

Format: Video (14 minutes) | In this week's episode of Teams On Air host, Delanda Coleman, will be joined by Microsoft Teams Program Manager, Harysh Menon, as they show you how you can become a power user of Microsoft Teams. Harysh will introduce the command box experience and demo how to be more productive with slash commands, messaging extensions and the Store. | Resource: Microsoft Teams Release Notes

 

Microsoft Mechanics: Early Look - Enterprise Content Management updates in SharePoint

Format: Video (6 minutes) | In this demonstration, Chris McNulty from the SharePoint team explains recent optimizations in SharePoint to support Enterprise Content Management. From increases to file count and size limits to improved indexing, classification and data protection controls, Chris highlights major platform updates for ECM.

 

Insert new Pivot Tables in Excel Online

We are excited to announce that it is now possible to insert new Pivot Tables in Excel Online. This was one of the top requests from our community and we have now rolled it out for all of our Office Online customers. This post walks you through inserting a new Pivot Table, including some tips on how data should be organized to use this new feature.

 

Share your Power BI content with anyone by email

We're excited to announce the ability to share content with users using their personal email accounts, making it easier to share data with people outside of your organization. Previously, you could only share content to other users with work email addresses. This can be useful in many situations. For example, if you're a service provider such as a financial planner, you often need to securely provide your clients reports and dashboards. Sometimes your clients prefer to use personal email addresses, like Outlook.com or Gmail, and now you can share to those people with Power BI. Sharing with personal email works just like external sharing with Azure B2B to organizations. You'll either need to put the content in a Premium capacity or assign a Power BI Pro license so the user can consume the content.

 

PowerApps: Add attachments to SharePoint lists

We are excited to announce the release of one of our most requested and anticipated features – attachments upload in PowerApps version 2.0.820. You can now use the Attachments control to add files to SharePoint list items (or remove them) from any device. If you are on a mobile device you can easily add your existing photos or a new one taken with your camera. To enable attachment upload you need to have an app with forms that connect to a SharePoint list as their data sources. Alternatively, you can create an app from data from a SharePoint list data source on the new app screen in PowerApps.

 

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