Office 365 Updates: September 2019

Office 365 Updates

AMT’s Monthly Office 365 Updates keep you up to date with new features and important announcements from Microsoft. Office 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 Office 365 September updates.

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Previous Updates – June 2019.

Office 365

New Feature: Outlook mobile is starting to roll out dark mode 

Outlook allows you to choose a dark theme which may reduce eye strain and optimise for extended battery life of your iOS and Android devices. You can turn on Dark Mode under Outlook mobile Settings/Preferences. Outlook on Android can automatically switch your experience to Dark Mode if you set your device to Battery Saver mode.

When iOS and Android devices support dark themes in system settings, Outlook is planning to automatically manage Dark Mode based on user preferences. This option is anticipated in iOS 13 and Android Q.

Dark Mode is rolling out off by default. It will take several weeks for the app to update worldwide in the Apple App store and Google Play store.

The rollout will begin on August 28 and should be complete worldwide by the end of September.

Additional information

Updated Feature: Ability to select a Product or service when creating a service request in the new M365 Admin Centre 

Premier, Unified and Japanese language customers who have opted in to the new M365 Admin Center preview experience will see an additional dropdown title, Product, when they create a service. The dropdown is optional but choosing a value will help route the ticket to a specialist in that area. We will use this information to enhance case routing. The goal may is to reduce time to resolution, improve overall transparency, and make the support process more effective. 

The roll out will be complete worldwide by the end of September. 

New Feature: Microsoft Power Apps and Flow availability for GCC High 

PowerApps and Flow is targeted to be available, late September 2019 for Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions in GCC High. 

This environment supports compliance with US government requirements for cloud services, including FedRAMP High, CJIS, ITAR, and other certifications and accreditations that are required for US Government and the US Government Defense Industry Base customers. 

Roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of December 2019. 

Additional information

New Feature: Office apps for Windows introduces native sensitivity labelling 

For customers who have defined sensitivity labels and protection policies in the Microsoft 365 Compliance centre: 

  1. A new Sensitivity button will appear in the ribbon with sensitivity labels options. 

  2. Administrator-defined policies or RMS templates will not be listed on the existing Encrypt button. The Encrypt button may only include Encrypt with S/MIME, Encrypt Only, and Do Not Forward. 

For customers running the Azure Information Protection client add-in: 

  • For admins who use the Azure Information Protection add-in today, this add-in will continue to run instead of this built-in sensitivity labelling. The Sensitivity feature will be turned off automatically. 

  • Admins can also choose to block the Azure Information Protection client add-in by group policy or can provide instructions directly to Office for Windows users to uninstall the add-in. Administrators may choose to switch over to the built-in experience instead of the Azure Information Protection add-in by setting the Group Policy Object when they’re ready. This affects Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word altogether. 

Additional information

Introducing the reimagined Microsoft Project 

You and your users will see the new project management experience, part of new Project, appear in your Project Home. The new Project service will share the same subscription as your current Project Online service. 

To get started, go into Project Home, click the “New blank project” button and begin to build your project. 

Additional information

Upload Centre is being replaced by the in-app Files Needing Attention experience 

Users will no longer be able to find the files that did not save successfully under the Upload Centre when this change is implemented. Instead, we recommend the utilisation of the Files Needing Attention experience under File>Open. 

Microsoft will be gradually rolling this out to the Insiders community in mid-October 2019. Roll out will be completed by the end of December 2019. 

Additional information

New Feature: Additional expansion of control over connected experiences in Office 

The Office 365 ProPlus 1904 update for Windows provides privacy controls for the level of diagnostic and related data that office sends to Microsoft. Now the Office apps for iOS will begin honouring the same controls, beginning with the mid-October updates. 

Office apps for iOS will follow the same privacy controls that you establish for Windows and Mac versions of Office 365 ProPlus. 

These privacy controls are scheduled to be available in the second half of October 2019 for the iOS versions of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word. We’ll provide more information in early October. 

Additional information

New Feature: Additional expansion of control over connected experiences in Office 

Office 365 ProPlus 1904 update for Windows provides privacy controls for level diagnostic/ related data that office sends to Microsoft. Now the Office apps for iOS will begin honouring the same controls, beginning with the mid-October updates. 

Office apps for iOS will follow the same privacy controls that you establish for Windows and Mac versions of Office 365 ProPlus. 

These privacy controls are scheduled to be available in the second half of October 2019. This would be for the iOS versions of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word.

Additional information

SharePoint

Updated Feature: Site Swap 

Admins will be able to swap the SharePoint root site with another site using a new PowerShell cmdlet Invoke-SPOSiteSwap. The root site will be archived automatically. You must use the SharePoint Admin PowerShell version 16.0.8812.1200 or later. 

 The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of October 2019. 

Updated Feature: Site owners can now manage sharing and access request settings from the Site permissions panel 

SPO Site owners can now manage sharing and access request settings. You can do this from the Site permissions panel by following the “Change sharing settings” link. 

Site owners will no longer need to go into the Advanced permissions page to view or modify these settings. Site owners can use these settings to, for example, allow only owners to share files, folders, and the site. Thus restricting everyone else from sharing. 

There are no new settings being introduced in this change. 

Site owners who are already familiar with using the Advanced page for managing sharing and access request settings can continue to do so. 

New Feature: Sharing Reports for SharePoint Online 

SPO site administrators can now generate a CSV that shows how their content is being shared, both inside and outside the organisation. 

Generate the report which shows all shared content from the “Shared with External Users” section of the Site Usage page. The report outputs a CSV file that contains a row for every unique user, permission, link, and item that has been shared with both internal and external users. 

New Feature: Use Flow to  approve hub-site joins 

With this feature enabled, hub site owners will have the ability to create approval workflows that designate who can approve a SharePoint site association request. 

Administrators can enable or disable hub join approvals for all SharePoint Online site admins in their tenant using the controls in the hub site settings. This feature is off by default. 

Teams

New Feature: Cloud voicemail enhancements 

Cloud Voicemail (CVM) is undergoing multiple enhancements applicable to tenants that have PSTN-calling enabled. 

  • End users will be able to directly transfer a call to Cloud Voicemail or to a mobile phone number that is part of their Azure AD profile. 

  • End users will also be able to configure features in Teams settings. Customisations include configuring call answer rules and choosing the greeting language. Also customising standard and out of office greetings, and choosing when the OOF greeting should be played. 

Tenants that do not have PSTN-calling enabled will have access to a sub-set of features. This includes transferring a call to Cloud Voicemail. 

The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of September. 

New Feature: Microsoft Teams – Meet Now 

Microsoft Teams users will be able to start an ad hoc private meeting from the Calendar tab in the desktop and browser Teams clients. The feature is not currently available in the mobile client. With this feature, users can initiate a Teams meeting without going through the scheduling process. 

The feature is enabled by default. 

Once a user clicks on “Meet Now,” Teams will launch a new meeting where the user can add/drag in attendees. Attendees can be inside or outside the organisation. 

The rollout will be complete worldwide by the end of November. 

New Feature: Teams Secondary Ringer 

On your Teams Device settings page, you will be able to choose a secondary ringer from the drop-down of connected devices. This will allow you to hear your incoming Teams call ringer from more than one device, even when a headset is plugged in. 

The roll out will be completed worldwide by mid-October. 

Additional information

New Feature: Pinned Channels in Teams 

With this feature, users will be able to pin the channels that are important to them at the top of their sidebar. Once a channel is pinned, its placed in a new category ‘Pinned’ at the top of their teams and channel list. 

New Feature: New Teams reports, PSTN blocked users and PSTN usage 

Global admins of tenants that have PSTN-calling enabled will be able to view a PSTN usage report in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Admins will be able to view detailed calling activity for Calling Plans through Microsoft and for Direct Routing if you use your own telephony carrier.

New Feature: Music on hold for PSTN calls 

When an internal user places an external telephone call on hold, Phone System will play default music defined by the service. On first release, this feature is not configurable by the administrator. 

Additional information

New Feature: Voicemail settings in Teams desktop client 

End users will be able to customise additional voice mail settings from within the Teams client, such as configuring call answer rules and choosing the greeting language. 

Planner

New Feature: Priority field for Planner tasks 

You will be able to set tasks in Planner to Low, Medium, Important, and Urgent using the priority field. In addition, users can group by priority. 

Stream

Updated – New Feature: Teams meeting recording tab in Microsoft Stream 

We are adding a new tab for Teams Meetings to the Microsoft Stream navigation to help users more easily locate their Teams meeting recordings. 

To find the new tab in Stream, navigate to ‘My Content’ and select the ‘Meetings’ option to access recorded Teams meetings. 

This feature is available to all Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans that include both Stream and Teams. 

The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of September. 

Additional information

StaffHub

Microsoft StaffHub to be retired 

As previously communicated, Microsoft Teams is evolving to include a new set of capabilities that will simplify schedule management and help deliver the tools for every worker to get the job done. 

As a result, Microsoft will be retiring Microsoft StaffHub on October 1, 2019 and will be focusing their investments on Microsoft Teams. After October 1, 2019 users that attempt to log in to StaffHub will be greeted with a message directing them to download Microsoft Teams. 

Additional information

Outlook

New Feature: Outlook on the web: Manual sensitivity labelling for email 

You can create sensitivity labels to help your end-users classify and protect email. This keeps them in compliance with your organisation’s protection policies. 

When your end-users are authoring email in Outlook on the web, they can manually apply Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels. 

Use the default sensitivity labels template (see the screen capture) or create your own sensitivity labels in the Microsoft 365 Compliance centre admin portal. 

Updated Feature: Zero-hour auto purge: move phish and spam to Quarantine  

After this update, ZAP will move post-delivery detected phish or spam mails to Quarantine. Only if the respective phish/spam action in the recipient’s Spam policy is set to Redirect, Delete, or Quarantine. 

  • If the policy action is set to Move to Junk, then ZAP will continue to move the message to Junk. 
  • If the policy action is Add X-header, Modify Subject, or No Action, then ZAP will do nothing. 

Bookings

New Feature: Microsoft Bookings – Group Bookings 

Group bookings lets you create a service appointment that allows multiple people to register for a session with a single staff member. You can set a maximum number of attendees for this service; by default there is no limit on attendees. You can use group bookings to schedule conferences, lectures or training sessions for online or in-person audiences. 

Additional information