Office 365 Weekly Digest | March 19 - 25, 2017

Welcome to the March 19 – 25, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. There were two major notifications in last week's Message Center information - one for Microsoft Teams availability to Office 365 Education customers and the other an update on the previous week's notification regarding the auto creation of a Direct Reports group in Outlook. I have also included a reminder about a change to unused anonymous links in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business scheduled for March 30, 2017. Highlights for upcoming events are more Microsoft Teams experiences kicking off this week at the Microsoft campus in Charlotte, NC and the SharePoint Virtual Summit coming in May. Microsoft Teams continues to be the focus of lots of recent content, from blogs to videos, and the Exchange Team also posted a couple of announcements last week. Rounding out information from last week are a few handy resources and a new Microsoft Virtual Academy course on provisioning Office 365 services.


Note: The information below may not be posted to your Office 365 tenant as not all notifications apply to all tenants. The Message Center ID for notifications could also be slightly different than those posted in your tenant.


New Feature: Office 365 Groups invite to join

MC96932 | Posted: March 20, 2017 | Expires: April 14, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 71997 | We are introducing a new feature for group users to create an invite link for any group they are part of and share it with others. The invite link can be emailed or can be copied and pasted to any other channels. The users who click on this invite link will join the public group automatically and will join private groups on approval from group owners. This feature is available only on Outlook on Web. Please visit to learn more.


Updated Feature: New Office 365 Profile Card Experience

MC96968 | Posted: March 20, 2017 | Expires: April 20, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 75838 | We’re rolling out a major update to the Office 365 profile card experience. You'll begin seeing this change today in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. We're overhauling the profile card experience to enhance the way users collaborate with colleagues and external contacts. You can access the new profile cards by hovering over the names of people from your organization that appear in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online and selecting the 'See more' link at the bottom of the floating card. We'll be gradually rolling this out to First Release customers starting today. This roll out will be completed by the end of April. Additional information is available at Introducing the new Office 365 profile experience.


Microsoft Teams now available in Office 365 Education

MC97078 | Posted: March 21, 2017 | Expires: April 20, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Last week, Microsoft Teams became generally available to Office 365 business users. Today we’re making Teams available in Office 365 Education. Microsoft Teams is the chat-based workspace in Office 365 Education. Teams brings people, conversations and content—along with the tools schools need—together in one place so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. Because it’s built on Office 365, teachers and students benefit from integration with their familiar Office 365 apps and services. It delivers enterprise-grade security and compliance, and is extensible and customizable to fit the needs of every team. Teams is available to you as part of the Office 365 Education suite licensing: Education, Education Plus and Education E5, as well as existing Education E3 suites. Starting today, you will be able to turn on Microsoft Teams for your institutions through the Office 365 admin center. Although Teams is off by default, you can easily configure access at the license level for Faculty & Teachers and/or Students. Learn more about enabling Teams for users by clicking Additional Information below. We recommend that you enable Microsoft Teams and begin using it now within your IT organization; and with targeted groups of faculty, teachers, and higher-education students. To learn how to manage licenses through the Office 365 admin center and PowerShell, review Administrator settings for Microsoft Teams. | Additional Resources: | Microsoft Tech Community post


Update: Auto creation of Direct Reports group in Outlook

MC96611 | Posted: March 22, 2017 | Expires: April 13, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 78174 | **We listened to your concerns and have decided to limit the rollout of this feature to a smaller set of customers (notified via MC94808) whom we will work with directly to ensure feedback is considered, and the feature has a positive impact. We thank you all for your constructive feedback, we have learned a few lessons and look forward to continued Group innovations in the future. If you do not see MC94808, you can safely ignore the rest of this message.** To help managers collaborate more effectively with their employees, we will automatically create Office 365 Groups containing the manager's direct reports. Managers can easily update, delete, or modify the group at any time. Beginning April 13, 2017, we will automatically create direct reports groups in Outlook (leveraging the Office 365 Groups Service) for eligible managers. We recommend becoming familiar with Office 365 Groups, update your user training, and notify your helpdesk, as needed.


REMINDER | Feature Update: Change to unused anonymous links

MC94822 | Posted: February 28, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | On March 30, 2017, we are adjusting how anonymous access and internal links (people within my organization) are used in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business – to improve reliability and manageability. We are standardizing how sharing links are used and registered in the system to offer you the greatest levels of creation, visibility and control. On March 30, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business will adjust aspects of anonymous access and internal links (people in my organization) that may impact any links generated before May 2016. Any links created before May 2016, and not used since, may no longer work and the owner will need to recreate a new anonymous link and share it again with the invitee. If a link had been generated AND used before May 2016, it will continue to work after this change. If you have any unused links that you want to continue to work, you just need to click on the link before March 30, 2017. Please review this support article to learn more about sharing documents with people outside your organization.



Azure Active Directory Webinars for April

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled April 4 - 20, 2017 | New for April – Azure AD Connect Health! Are you looking to deploy Azure Active Directory quickly and easily? We are offering free webinar briefings on key Azure Active Directory deployment topics! Sessions include: Getting Ready for Azure AD, Streamlining Password Management, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication, Managing Enterprise Applications and Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Apps. 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.


Introducing Microsoft Teams: Smart Collaboration in Office 365

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through May 18, 2017 | Note: These sessions are being held at several locations across the United States | Microsoft Teams has arrived to Office 365, bringing a chat-based workspace to your fingertips. See how Microsoft Teams can pull together everything you need to collaborate - schedule and conduct meetings, share notes and files, have threaded conversations - all in one place. Sessions are 4 hours in length. Availability is limited, so don't delay! Sign up and see the power of Microsoft Teams!


Skype Academy: What's new in Skype Operations Framework (SOF) - April 2017 edition

When: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 8:00am PT | Audience: CTOs, Architects, partner portfolio leads | Level: 200 | Customer Journey: Get Deployed, Cloud Migration | The Skype Operations Framework (SOF) team is excited to announce that, in April 2017, we will release the latest update for Skype Operations Framework. Together with the release of our new assets, we will host a webcast to talk about all the changes since our previous release – register on Skype Academy now! This overview session covers what’s new in SOF since January 2017. This session introduces both new and updated assets and training to keep you informed of progress.


Online Customer Immersion Experience: Get more done faster with Microsoft Teams

When: Wednesdays through April 5, 2017 at 10:00am PT & 12:00pm PT | Around the world teamwork is on the rise. Research suggests employees now work on nearly double the number of teams than they did just five years ago. This means more than ever people are reliant on their peers to help get things done. But a “one size fits all” approach does not work when it comes to group collaboration—different tools appeal to different groups and address unique needs. Join Microsoft to test drive Office 365 and our hottest new collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. Each 90-minute session starts with an online business roundtable, discussing your biggest business challenges with a trained facilitator and then transitions into a live environment in the cloud.  You will receive a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges. Space is limited: each is session is only open to 12 participants.  Reserve your seat now.


Announcing the SharePoint Virtual Summit

When: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 10:00am PT | A connected workplace empowers you to securely connect to the people and content you need, to transform business process, to inform and engage your employees and to harness the collective knowledge of your organization. At this year’s SharePoint Virtual Summit—a free, online event on May 16, 2017—you’ll learn how to create a connected workplace in Office 365 with OneDrive and SharePoint and integrated with Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Windows, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper will unveil the latest product innovations and roadmap. You’ll also hear from industry-leading customers on how they are leveraging these technologies as part of their digital transformation. Jeff will be joined by Microsoft corporate vice presidents James Phillips and Chuck Friedman to discuss how Office 365, connected with Windows and Azure, is reinventing productivity for you, your teams and your organization. We hope you’ll join us at this year’s event, so register now to save your space on May 16, 2017.


FastTrack Webinars: Learn how to do more, together

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through April 27, 2017 | Ask questions, learn shortcuts and find out how Office 365 can make you and your team more productive. Each webinar is a live, instructor-led session offered at multiple dates and times. Facilitated discussion follows each session, with opportunities to ask questions and discuss specific scenarios to you. Direct registration links for each webinar are provided below.



Collaboration options: Office 365 Groups, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer

With the recent release of Microsoft Teams and updates to Office 365 Groups and Yammer, there are lots of questions on how organizations and teams should think about each of these collaboration products, how to determine which product is the right one, and how to effectively use them. Microsoft recognizes there are many ways for people to work together and why it’s necessary to have options that address the varying needs of collaboration scenarios for an organization, a business unit, a project-oriented team, a group that blends internal and external contributors, and more. Customers need flexible collaboration solutions and tools that keep teams connected anytime, anywhere, and that deliver seamless user experiences along with security, compliance, and manageability. Office 365 is made for collaboration. It addresses a broad range of collaboration needs and use cases across an organization and for diverse teams. This post calls out potential use cases for these products. | Additional Resources: Video – Introduction to Microsoft Teams | Video - Deploying and Operating Microsoft Teams | The Microsoft Teams Team uses Yammer?


Additional mailbox settings in the Office 365 admin center

Admins can now convert user mailboxes into shared mailboxes directly from the main Office 365 admin center. Per default, the resulting shared mailbox will continue to have a license but if desired, admins can manually remove the license after the conversion. Admins have now more control over what items get copied to a shared mailbox by enabling that “send on behalf of emails” get copied to the mailbox. This allows the admin to ensure that members of the mailbox can see what other members have sent on behalf of it.


New reasons to make Microsoft Bookings the go-to scheduling software for your business

Last year, we released Microsoft Bookings to customers in the U.S. and Canada, introducing an easy way for small businesses to schedule and manage appointments with their customers. We are pleased to announce that we’re beginning to roll out the service to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers worldwide. Based on your feedback, we are bringing several new features to Bookings: (1) Add your Office 365 calendar to Bookings, (2) Add buffer time before and after your appointments, (3) Bookings apps for your iOS and Android phone, and (4) Customize your Booking page. These new capabilities will start showing up automatically in Bookings in the coming weeks.


Help us test Cloud Attachments in Outlook 2016 with SharePoint Server 2016

We have released (to Insiders) support for Outlook 2016’s Cloud Attachment experience with SharePoint Server 2016. We need your help to test this out and give us your feedback! Until now, Cloud Attachments were only available from Office 365 services or the consumer version of OneDrive. We are now adding the ability to connect to SharePoint Server 2016, so you can find and share files from your on-premises SharePoint server in a single click. We’d love your help testing this out before we roll it out to everyone! The new experience will match what we have today, just with an additional set of locations. Once setup, you’ll have new entries under Attach File -> Browse Web Locations. These will show up as “OneDrive for Business” for a user’s personal documents folder, and “Sites” for team folders.


Announcing the availability of modern public folder migration to Exchange Online

We are happy to announce the availability of public folder migration from Exchange Server 2013/2016 on-premises to Exchange Online! Many of our customers asked us for this, and the full documentation is now here. To ensure that any version-specific instructions are addressed appropriately, we have two articles to point you to: Use batch migration to migrate Exchange 2013 public folders to Exchange Online and Use batch migration to migrate Exchange 2016 public folders to Exchange Online. While all of the information is located in the documentation, the key requirements are: Exchange Server 2013 CU15 (or later), Exchange Server 2016 CU4 (or later) and Exchange on-premises hybrid configured with Exchange Online.



Compare Outlook 2016 for Mac with Outlook 2016 for Windows

Curious about which features are available in Outlook 2016 for Windows but not for Mac, or vice versa? This article has all the details in nicely formatted tables for your review! Need info on an older version? Outlook 2016 for Mac and Outlook 2013 for Windows | Outlook for Mac 2011 and Outlook 2016 for Mac


New employee quick start for Office 365

When a new employee joins, it is important for the company to enable that employee to quickly onboard to their role. As part of the ramp up process, admins are often asked to help the end user understand and use the available software & tools including Office 365. This guide helps by walking them through the sign up process, the installation of apps, as well as common scenarios such as saving files to OneDrive. It is also a helpful resource for organizations that just deployed to Office 365 to use with all employees. | Direct Link


Troubleshooting Office 365 ProPlus patching through System Center Configuration Manager

The intention of this blog post is to talk about how to troubleshoot Office 365 ProPlus patching, through System Center Configuration Manager, using a recent case as reference. Basic documentation and requirements are posted here on TechNet. The reality is, each of us learns more when things don’t work than when they do. My case started with the following question... “Hey Microsoft, we’re not seeing any updates for Office 365 ProPlus in Software Center?”


New Microsoft Virtual Academy Course: Provisioning Office 365 services

Level: Intermediate | Published: March 14, 2017 | If you’re tasked with configuring, managing, and troubleshooting an Office 365 tenant, be sure to check out this practical tutorial on provisioning Office 365 services. Walk through the required steps, in detail, with experts whose goal is to make your job easier and to help your Office 365 tenant and clients be ready from day one. Begin with planning and provisioning an Office 365 tenant, and then look at managing that tenant on a day-to-day basis. Wrap up the course with an exploration of usage and a look at troubleshooting. Along the way, learn about the various services available in Office 365, like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, and others. Plus, take a look at the various subscription options for small businesses, educational customers, and enterprises.


Office 365 Video now supports Kiosk Plans as View Only

Users in your organization with Kiosk licenses (Office 365 Enterprise K1/K2) now have access to the O365 Video portal directly to browse and watch videos. Previously Kiosk users could only watch videos that were embedded outside of the video portal. Now Kiosk users can play and browse videos inside the video portal directly. These kiosk users will have view only access and will not be able to upload videos, create channels, modify video metadata, or change channel settings, etc. These changes are live in production now for Office 365 Video.