Office 365 Weekly Digest | August 6 - 12, 2017

Welcome to the August 6 - 12, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. Please see this page for details on a change regarding the inclusion of Message Center notification details in these weekly posts.

There's a new section for the Office 365 Weekly Digest - Office 365 Roadmap. This is intended to highlight the items that were added to the roadmap in the previous week. Please post in the comments if you think this information is beneficial and should become a standard part of the weekly digest.

There is one new event - an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) for Office 365 Admin on Tuesday, August 15th at 9am Pacific. Bring your questions!  I'm looking forward to reading the summary following the session...

Sticking with the Office 365 Admin topic, there are some new usage reports for Yammer groups and Office 365 groups rolling out to the Office 365 admin center. New theming options for SharePoint Online sites are now rolling out. The ability to add and edit contacts is now available in the Outlook for Android app. A new Office 365 groups expiration functionality was announced for Azure AD Premium customers and the Intune team announced the ability to deploy Office 365 ProPlus applications to Windows 10 devices from the cloud.  

The Office 365 update video for August 2017, a Microsoft Mechanics episode focused on Office 365 ProPlus, Skype for Business Online network assessment and updating training for Call Queues and Auto Attendant wrap up this week's digest.


Items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week:

Outlook for Windows: Cloud attachment support for SharePoint Server 2016Feature ID: 10035Status: LaunchedDate Added: August 8, 2017Description: Cloud Attachments were previously 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 in a single click.More Info: Exchange Team Blog
Yammer: Announcements on Mobile – iOSFeature ID: 20538Status: In developmentDate Added: August 8, 2017Description: Yammer will enable users to publish announcements on iOS mobile client.More Info: n/a
Outlook for Windows: Redesigned conversation viewFeature ID: 7007Status: In developmentDate Added: August 8, 2017Description: We are releasing newly redesigned conversation view for Outlook for Windows. This view will provide a more natural, top to bottom ordering of your conversation, along with a redesigned reading pane that simplifies UI elements to make it easier to stay on top of discussions. This new view will be made available in a default off state. Users can enable it on the View tab in Outlook.More Info: n/a
Office 365 App GalleryFeature ID: 20468Status: In developmentDate Added: August 8, 2017Description: We’re introducing a new way to explore and understand all the apps in your Office 365 subscription with the Office 365 App Gallery. This additional view is accessed via the App Launcher and Office 365 Homepage to help users learn about the apps that are available to them.More Info: n/a
Improved Office 365 App LauncherFeature ID: 20465Status: In developmentDate Added: August 8, 2017Description: We’re updating the Office 365 App Launcher to help you get more done from anywhere in Office 365. Changes include a simplified apps list, access to recent documents, and improved navigation of company-wide apps and services.More Info: n/a





Free Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy

When: August 8, 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!


Azure Active Directory Webinars for August

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from August 8 - August 17, 2017 | New for August - Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Access Management! Sessions include Azure AD Connect Health, Getting Ready for Azure AD, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), 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.


Office 365 Admin: Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)

When: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 9:00am PT | Join the Office 365 product team for an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST. 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 the Office 365 Admin team. Add the event to your calendar and join us in the Office 365 Administration AMA space. We hope to see you there!




New Yammer groups usage report and updated Office 365 groups report

We continue to update the usage reports in the Office 365 admin center to provide you with a complete picture of how your organization is using Office 365. You'll start noticing the following enhancements over the coming weeks: (1) New Yammer groups activity report -  The new Yammer groups activity report will help you understand how your users engage in groups in Yammer to connect and collaborate across your organization, and (2) Updated Office 365 groups report - The existing Office 365 groups report will be enhanced to include activities across Sharepoint sites and groups in Yammer associated with the Office 365 group. Please note: The updates will gradually be rolled out to customers in August. Thus, if you don't see the changes in your tenant yet, please check back in a few days. This rollout is excluded from Office 365 subscriptions in ITAR and German national Cloud.


New site theming options for SharePoint sites in Office 365

Sometimes there’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make a room or a house look new, familiar and engaging! Well, get your paint brushes ready. The new site theming experience, previewed last may during the SharePoint Virtual Summit (showcased here), will begin rolling out to First Release customers on August 21st, 2017. This new capability provides site owners with six default themes that can be applied to all pages of the site - both within team sites and communication sites. | Resource: Change the look of your SharePoint site


Improving People in Outlook for iOS and Android

Updated: August 7, 2017 - This post was updated to reflect that these improvements have been made available in Outlook for Android. | Outlook for iOS and Android is on a mission to help you accomplish more with your email and calendar while on the go. With our latest release, we’re addressing one of our most highly requested features with improvements to our People experience. You now have the ability to add and edit contacts right from Outlook on iOS and Android. We’ve also completely redesigned the contact card to show more details—including latest conversations and shared files—and enabled easier calling and messaging with your contacts.


Office 365 Groups expiration is now in public preview

We're announcing the public preview of Office 365 groups expiration for Azure Active Directory Premium customers. You can now manage the lifecycle of Office 365 groups, by setting an expiration duration for any group you choose. Once this is set, owners will be asked to renew their group as they come close to expiry if they want to continue to use them. Any group that is not renewed will be deleted. Office 365 groups expiration can be configured from the Azure Active Directory portal, as well as programmatically via Azure Active Directory PowerShell. You can also create a policy that applies to all the groups in your tenant. 30 days prior to the expiration of a group, renewal notifications are sent out by email to the owners of the group, from which they can renew their group with a single click. If the owners don't renew the group within the required timeframe, the group expires, and is deleted. The Office 365 groups expiration feature is available in public preview today for Azure AD Premium customers. | Related: Enterprise Mobility & Security Blog - Azure AD Automated Expiration for Office 365 Groups is now in Public Preview


Deploying Office 365 ProPlus with Microsoft Intune

We have been hard at work with Office 365 and Windows 10 teams to create Microsoft 365, a modern workplace solution that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely. We are excited to announce the latest innovation in this space – the ability to deploy Office 365 ProPlus applications to Windows 10 devices from the cloud with Intune. This development marks the first step towards having simple and enterprise-ready ProPlus deployment capabilities with Intune with more enhancements to come in the near future. We worked to make it easier for you to select specific Office 365 ProPlus apps (using Click-to-Run or C2R technology), deploy them to enrolled devices running Windows 10 Creators Update, and view deployment metrics through the new Intune portal on Azure. This works nicely with Windows AutoPilot that enables employees to get their new devices work-ready by just providing their company credentials during OOBE while Azure AD and Intune work in the background to register the device, deploy the necessary configurations, and now also install Office 365 ProPlus apps. Note: Currently, this form of Office 365 ProPlus deployment is only supported for devices without an existing version of Office. | Resources: Documentation | Infographic




Video: Office 365 Update for August 2017

Format: Video (12 minutes) | Jim Naroski covers recent enhancements to Office 365, including Microsoft 365, Excel co-authoring, Autosave, OneDrive version history, Outlook on Android and iOS, Workplace Analytics, and more. The video transcript, complete with links to additional information on everything covered, is available at


Microsoft Mechanics: Keeping your Office clients up-to-date: New tools and aligned update model with Windows 10

Format: Video (10 minutes) | This episode of Microsoft Mechanics explores the streamlined update model between Office and Windows 10. See the upcoming changes to Office 365 system requirements so that your Office desktop apps can benefit from the latest Office 365 capabilities. Also, take a look at the improvements that we're making to make it simpler to deploy and update Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 10.


Assess Your Network’s Readiness for Skype for Business Online

Skype for Business Online has specific network requirements in order to provide end-users with an optimal experience. Customers will need to assess the readiness of their network to ensure it can provide the level of experience that both the business and end-users are expecting. The purpose of this blog post is to describe how to use the Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool and perform an "Essentials Assessment" to see if your network meets the Jitter, Packet Loss and Latency requirements that are needed to provide said experience.


Skype for Business: Call Queues and Auto Attendant trainings updated

As announced in last week's blog post What's new for Auto Attendants and Call Queues in July 2017? Call Queues and Auto Attendant got updated with new features and improvements. Korneel Bullens updated the Skype Academy training for Call Queues and Auto Attendant with this latest content. If you have already watched the previous versions of the trainings, you probably want to just review the blog article mentioned above, but if you have not seen the sessions yet, you can leverage them to learn all you need to know about these Cloud PBX features.


Assigning Office 365 Licenses Automatically

Nowadays, when a new user needs to have Office 365 License, it is necessary run a PowerShell command to set a location (Some Microsoft services are not available in all locations. Before a license can be assigned to a user, the administrator should specify the Usage location property on the user.) and assign a license. But now, it is possible to assign license in Azure AD based on groups, and it´s extremally helpful, because you don´t need to run script for every new user in your organization. To complete this task, it´s necessary complete two steps: (1) Add a AAD Connect Synchronization rule, to populate the attribute UsageLocation in Azure AD and (2) Select Office 365 Products to assign license based on groups.