Office 365 Weekly Digest | October 29 - November 4, 2017

Welcome to the October 29 - November 4, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Only a handful of updates to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, but one I do want to highlight - "First Release renamed Targeted Release."  Per the information presented at Ignite, the rename to Targeted Release is scheduled for Q4 2017.

There are no new upcoming events for this week's digest. There are still opportunities for customer immersion experiences, as well as the monthly Azure Active Directory webinars.

Included in the roundup from last week's blogs are a summary of  some of the new features and apps released in October, a Q&A summary from the Skype for Business to Teams roadmap announcement, and new / updated web parts for SharePoint Online. Also noted is the general availability of Microsoft 365, enhanced reporting with group insights for Yammer, as well as integration of Project with Microsoft Planner.

The monthly updates for Office 365 URLs and IP addresses and the second part of the PowerShell walk-through for leveraging Planner with Office 365 Message Center highlight the noteworthy items from last week.  Also included are a few Flow-focused articles and a Microsoft IT technical case study on managing modern mobile productivity with Enterprise Mobility + Security.




Items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week:


Outlook for Windows: Focused Inbox expansion

Feature ID: 8060

Status: In development

Date Added: November 1, 2017

Description: Focused Inbox will now be available to all user on the Monthly update channel for Office 365 ProPlus. Previously, Focused Inbox required that modern authentication also be enabled in order for it to be visible in Outlook for Windows. That requirement is being removed. Users on the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) will receive Focused Inbox in the March 2018 update for that channel.

More Info: n / a


Advanced eDiscovery: Analyze non-Office 365 data

Feature ID: 18286

Status: In development

Date Added: November 1, 2017

Description: Import data from outside of Office 365 and analyze it directly with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery.

More Info: n / a


First Release renamed Targeted Release

Feature ID: 24283

Status: In development

Date Added: November 1, 2017

Description: First Release will be renamed Targeted Release. There are no other changes in commitment or configuration for Targeted Release. Customers do not need to do anything to prepare for this change.

More Info: n / a


Office 365 Message Encryption: Encrypt Only

Feature ID: 24389

Status: In development

Date Added: November 2, 2017

Description: We recently released new Office 365 Message Encryption capabilities in September, which enables users to seamlessly share encrypted and rights protected messages with anyone. We are adding new value into Office 365 Message Encryption, so users can now only encrypt their sensitive emails without applying additional message restrictions such as Do Not Forward.  The 'encrypt only' can be applied through either through the Outlook client or Admin portal.

More Info: n / a




Productivity Hacks to Save Time & Simplify Workflows

When: Wednesday, November 8th / 15th 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, November 7th / 14th, 2017 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.


Azure Active Directory Webinars for November

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from November 7 - 16, 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.


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

When: Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 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.




New to Office 365 in October—online tools, Microsoft AI, and more

Office 365 provides the broadest and deepest set of apps and services with a universal toolkit for teamwork, giving people flexibility and choice in how they connect, share, and communicate. We’re excited to announce the addition of 96 new global markets, bringing Office 365 to over 246 markets worldwide in 44 languages. This month, new apps and features help organizations of all sizes around the globe accelerate their digital transformation and allow every user to produce compelling content that is accessible to all. Some of the new apps / features include Translator in Microsoft Word, OneDrive Files On-Demand, Visio Online, updates to MyAnalytics, and many more. 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. | Related: Microsoft Mechanics – Updates to MyAnalytics in Office 365


Teams On Air Q&A Roundup: Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams Capabilities Roadmap

Join host Delanda Coleman, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, and Ben Canning, Partner Director of Program Management for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, as they do a deep dive on the highly anticipated roadmap announced recently. At Ignite, Microsoft Teams was introduced as the primary client for communication and collaboration in Office 365 - tune into this session to learn how Microsoft plans on integrating Skype for Business capabilities into Microsoft Teams.



New and updated web parts rolling out to SharePoint in Office 365

If SharePoint sites are building blocks for your intranet, then SharePoint web parts are building blocks for your site pages and news – which you can configure to your needs. You can add files, videos, images, news, Yammer feeds and more. Just click the + sign and pick a web part from the toolbox to add content to your page. We’re pleased to announce that many of the announcements and demos we shared at Microsoft Ignite 2017 will now be rolling out into the Office 365 production environment. Expect to see these new and updated web parts within your page authoring toolbox within the next few weeks.


Empower your team and safeguard your business with Microsoft 365 Business

We’re announcing general availability of new solutions purpose-built for small and medium-sized businesses with up to 300 employees. Available worldwide today, Microsoft 365 Business includes the Office 365 suite of productivity and collaboration tools, as well as device management and security tools to safeguard company information across Windows 10 PCs, mobile devices, and apps. It is an integrated solution designed to simplify IT for small and medium-sized businesses. We’re also announcing general availability of three new business apps—Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings, and Microsoft Invoicing—which join Microsoft Bookings, Outlook Customer Manager, and MileIQ to create a suite of capabilities to help small businesses grow and thrive. These new apps are now available in Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium for customers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. In addition, Microsoft StaffHub, an app to help Firstline Workers manage their workday, is now included in Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions.


Measure and grow engagement with group insights in Yammer

Yammer helps you engage employees across organizational groups, form communities and run cross-company initiatives. Community managers play a large role in creating and nurturing groups for these purposes. We want to empower community managers to make better decisions around their efforts on Yammer by helping them better understand the activity happening in their groups. Over the past year, we have made significant progress on helping Office 365 admins gain insights on how people are using Yammer in their organizations through the Office 365 Usage Reporting Dashboard, Office 365 Adoption content pack and Microsoft Graph reporting APIs. These reporting capabilities provide and extensive view into Yammer usage and adoption at the user, device and group levels. We are excited to release new group insights in Yammer, providing engagement metrics right within Yammer so that community managers and members can get a better understanding of their groups' engagement and activity. This, in turn, will help better inform efforts to improve, grow or execute campaigns in groups. | Resource: Introducing new tools to measure and build your Yammer communities (Ignite 2017)


Introducing new ways to work in Microsoft Project

Today’s project teams need to collaborate successfully to deliver value. Project managers and teams want to work in ways that make sense for their projects. Program and portfolio managers want transparency and governance across the entire project portfolio. How can your company or department support different work styles without losing the power of a centralized project management system? With agile in Project, project managers and teams can choose the methodology that makes sense for the project at hand, including: agile, waterfall, hybrid, or task-oriented. The integration of Project with Microsoft Planner lets you connect Project tasks to a Planner plan and track detailed work in Planner. We are excited to be adding agile functionality to Project and integration with Planner. Both are available now through Project Online Professional and Project Online Premium subscriptions. | Resource: Streamline cross-team work with the newly integrated Project Online Desktop Client and Microsoft Planner




Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges

October 31, 2017: Updates for Exchange Online Protection, Office 365 Identity, Office 365 Shared, Office Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online and Microsoft Teams. 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.


Better Together: Microsoft Flow and Rich Cards in Microsoft Teams

Video: 10 minutes | Nishanth Nadarajah in Microsoft Teams Engineering demonstrates how he quickly configured a connection between Microsoft Teams and a SharePoint list to enable collaboration on key list items. This easy solution enabled the team to know when new items were posted, collaborate on those items easily in chat and utilized the power of SharePoint to track information in a format that can be actionable in a variety of other ways.


Office 365 Message Center to Planner: PowerShell walk-through–Part 2

Part 1 walked through the PowerShell that was reading the messages, filtering out the ones I was interested in by product and then adding the required metadata to get them to the right plan, bucket and assignee – and finally writing that to a storage queue in Microsoft Azure. Be sure to go back if you didn’t see the update regarding the tenantId – which I had incorrectly hard-coded in the original post and since corrected. In this part, I’ll explain the code that is picking up the messages from the storage queue and creating the tasks.


Microsoft IT Showcase: Managing modern mobile productivity with Enterprise Mobility + Security

Format: Technical Case Study | Microsoft Core Services Engineering (CSE, formerly Microsoft IT) manages a diverse data environment that includes a variety of company and personal devices that contain both work-related and personal data. We use Enterprise Mobility Security (EMS) in Microsoft 365, which includes solutions in Microsoft Intune and other Microsoft Azure services to help us give Microsoft employees a consistent, satisfying experience on secure, compliant devices. Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Azure helped us address a range of challenges that we faced when enabling mobile productivity and protecting corporate data on both work and personal devices, including identity and access management, mobile device and app management, and information protection.


Flow of the Week: Get notified immediately when your flow has errors or failures

If you have been using Microsoft Flow for a while and have automated your business processes, chances are that your flow has failed or errored out due to some unforeseen circumstances or bugs in the logic of your flow. One of the key principles of software engineering is to consider and handle as many failure cases as you can, but to also be able to detect, respond and recover from failures as soon as you can when they happen. These principles can be transferred to business processes that are automated using Microsoft Flow. The Flow of the Week shows you how to stay on top of mission critical business processes that you have automated using Flow, and how to get notified or perform recovery steps in case a flow fails or errors out. Let’s jump into the details, and look at the how, since we have already established the what. | Related: Microsoft Flow audit events now available in Office 365 Security & Compliance Center