Microsoft 365 Updates: September 2020

microsoft-365-updates-september

AMT’s Monthly Microsoft 365 Updates keep you up to date with new features and important announcements from Microsoft. Microsoft 365 has a continuous roll-out of changes. We filter out the announcements that we think will be most relevant to our customers and send them out in an easily digestible form. Here are the Microsoft 365 September updates.

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Teams

Teams custom meeting images

Teams admins will be able to upload a custom logo for display in the Teams meeting lobby and pre-join screens. This feature is completely optional for your organisation.
New meeting lobby

Introducing floating call controls in Team meetings

This feature makes it easier to access key controls such as mute/unmute. Users will no longer be able to dismiss floating call controls by tapping on the screen.

Floating controls on a phone
Floating controls on a phone
Floating controls on a tablet
Floating controls on a tablet

Introducing shift conflict alerts in Microsoft Teams shifts app

Today, managers must manually cross-check each shift to make sure the schedule is conflict-free. With Shifts schedule assistance, managers see an alert icon when there are conflicts anywhere in the schedule. They will also see conflict warnings when reviewing schedule change requests.

Shifts alerts

This feature will save managers time and reduce inaccuracies that can lead to employees not showing up for their shift.

New Power Platform Features coming to Teams

Select Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions that include Power Apps and Power Automate are expanding with the introduction of Microsoft Dataflex – a built-in, flexible datastore supporting relational, image and file data with a one-click experience for deploying solutions natively in Teams.

Your users will be able to access these public preview features in Teams.

  • With Dataflex, Power Apps will provide an integrated app studio that lets users build and deploy custom apps within Teams.
  • Your end users will also be able to build and deploy custom chatbots in Teams with the introduction of Power Virtual Agents.
  • Microsoft are also adding Power Automate capabilities, including the ability to trigger flows directly from Teams messages.

This new Power Platform functionality for Teams is included at no additional cost with your Microsoft 365 and Office 365 licenses. Existing Power Platform functionality available for use in Office 365 more broadly outside of Teams remains unchanged.

Introducing macOS native notifications in Microsoft Teams

Should your users wish to change notifications of Teams messages from the Teams app to the native Mac OS notification system, they can do so in the Teams Notifications settings:
Native notification

Turn off message preview for chat notifications in Teams

One of the key privacy requests we have heard from customers is for individuals to be able to disable chat notification previews in Teams.

With this release, your users can enable or disable message preview notifications in Teams. The setting is respected across all notifications all clients.
Teams notification settings

 

Introducing live transcriptions in Microsoft Teams Meetings

If you have enabled recording (Allow cloud recording) and transcription (Allow transcription) policies for your tenant, your users will now see two options in the meeting control bar:

  • Recording and Transcription
  • Transcription

Note that recording is combined with transcription. If a user begins recording, the meeting will also feature a live transcription. The meeting transcript is automatically saved whether or not the meeting has been recorded if a user initiated the transcription.

The transcript file will be accessible for download post-meeting via chat as well as from the Transcript tab.
Chat window

The meeting organizer will be able to delete the saved transcript when using the Teams desktop app.

Team meetings, end of meeting notifications

Once available in your tenant, Teams will alert participants when there are five minutes remaining during any scheduled private or channel meeting. The notification will appear on screen for 10 seconds and disappear without any user action.
Alert

Introducing Microsoft Teams Templates

Your users can choose from 13 pre-built or base templates when they need to create a new team. Microsoft built these base templates for different tasks, such as managing a project or an event or coordinating an incident response. Base templates have a predefined team structure with a set of channels, tabs, and apps; they can be duplicated but not edited.
Teams default templates

Your Teams admins can develop custom teams templates to enable users to create the right collaboration space quickly. Each custom template will have its own defined team structure, channels, tabs, and apps. Teams admins can start from scratch, start with an existing template, or duplicate an existing team as a template.

Outlook

The new tasks experience is becoming generally available for Outlook on the web 

The new tasks experience in Outlook powered by To Do helps users plan better and get more done with smart lists like Important and Planned. The list sharing feature will enable users to collaborate with friends, family and colleagues. Your tasks sync across Microsoft 365 and Office 365 so you can also manage your tasks on the go, with the Microsoft To Do Android and iOS mobile applications.

With this change, Tasks will get all the collaboration and co-editing features of To Do but the following features will not be supported in the new tasks experience in Outlook on the web.

  • Advance formatting options in notes (e.g., tables and inline images)
  • Charms
  • Marking task private
  • Multiple priority levels
  • Multiple Task status
  • Start and end dates
  • Task completion percentage
  • Tasks in shared mailboxes; users will still be able access those tasks in Outlook for Windows and Mac
  • Task work hours

Yammer

Introducing Yammer reactions

With this feature, users can express a range of emotions that a ‘like’ did not allow them to easily communicate. Microsoft hope reactions will allow Yammer users to connect better and to build a deeper sense of community.

  • Users will be able to react to conversations and comments using a range of lightweight reactions
  • Users will be able to see who has reacted and how

Yammer reactions

Search Yammer using the Teams Community app

While using the Teams app, your users will be able to search all of Yammer or content within a specific community, including posts, communities, and profiles. The search works just as it does in the new Yammer, without the head to leave Teams.
Search Yammer in Teams

 

New Yammer setting change

All classic Yammer users will now see the opt-in toggle for new Yammer by default.

The “Stay in classic Yammer” option will no longer be an option in the Yammer admin center.

Newly-created Yammer networks will default to “Enabling the new Yammer as default” with the option to change the default setting.

New features include:

  • Ability to customize network branding to suit your organization
  • Groups are now called communities
  • New reactions to posts and replies
  • Pin posts to the top of a community feed

 

Office 365

Introducing the ability to print a blank form

The Forms owner can print any form or quiz on paper or as a PDF if they choose PDF printer using the browser print dialog. Form owners can then distribute the printed version as needed.  Perhaps they need to administer the form in an area with no computers/internet or to a student who can’t use a computer for some reason.

Forms

Updates to the Ideas Feature in Excel

While this feature provides powerful capabilities Microsoft have found that it is not easily discoverable and they believe this may relate to the name of the capability. As such, starting in 30 days they will begin rollout of a new name for the Ideas feature to validate improved discoverability of this feature. To ensure the best result Microsoft will be updating the name to one that better reflects the feature’s focus on Data Analysis Ideas. It will be monitored for improved discoverability and make a decision of which name resonates best with your users before continuing rollout to the remainder of your user population.

After the Group Policy setting is retired, whether users can use the feature will depend on your policy settings to manage privacy controls for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. Moving forward the the Ideas feature will only be managed as a Connected Experiences in Office, please review your policy settings to manage privacy controls for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise and the overview of the Office cloud policy service for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise.