Announcing general availability of the Office 365 Centralized Deployment service

Office add-ins help Office users to personalize their work experience and streamline data access. Late last year, we announced the Centralized Deployment service in preview, which allows administrators to deploy Office web add-ins. Today, we are excited to announce general availability of Centralized Deployment.

From the Office 365 admin center or by using PowerShell scripts, administrators can deploy Office web add-ins to individual users, groups or an organization with ease, using Centralized Deployment. Users can simply open Office applications—such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint on Windows, Mac or Office Online—to see the add-ins installed on their ribbon. This allows organizations—large and small—to easily extend Office with high-value services across all platforms.

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Introducing OneDrive Files On-Demand and other features making it easy to access files

Today’s post was written by Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for the Office, OneDrive and SharePoint teams.

As people create and collaborate on more files, take more photos and work across multiple devices, it’s increasingly important to access your important content, both from your work and personal life—all in one place. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether there is enough storage on your device or if you can access your files on an airplane.

Today, we are excited to share a set of new features that will allow you to see and access all your files on Windows 10, be more productive offline on your mobile devices and quickly share files on iOS.

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New in Yammer—building a more connected and engaged organization

Yammer empowers every person in your company with an open space to connect, share and work out loud. With 70 percent annual growth in active groups, there’s greater momentum in Yammer than ever before. Yammer and SharePoint have always been natural complements, because together they deliver powerful connections and discoveries of people, content and information. Today, during the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we unveiled several new capabilities that make it easier to connect and engage through Yammer, whoever and wherever you are in the organization.

Spark conversations on your intranet by bringing Yammer and SharePoint together

Productive conversations can arise from anywhere you do your work. Last year, we enabled a more seamless document sharing capability across the Office 365 suite, including SharePoint, while collaborating in Yammer. You can now enrich your new SharePoint communication sites with a conversational layer by using the existing Yammer embed capability, triggering contextually relevant discussions and increasing the virality of your content.

Over the coming year, we will enhance the integration between Yammer and SharePoint by further improving the way SharePoint content appears in Yammer and making conversations from Yammer render more naturally within SharePoint on the web, desktop and mobile.

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New SharePoint and OneDrive capabilities accelerate your digital transformation

Today, during the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we unveiled a new wave of innovations that build upon the vision we set forth last year to reinvent content collaboration and usher in a new generation of mobile and intelligent intranets.

Customers’ successes inspire us and illustrate how SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365 empowers individuals, teams and organizations to share with confidence, transform business process, inform and engage the organization, and harness collective knowledge. Today’s announcements make it easier than ever for you to drive these outcomes and accelerate your digital transformation. For even more insights, read Jeff Teper’s post, “SharePoint Virtual Summit showcases growth, innovations and customer success.”

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Announcing the SharePoint Virtual Summit

With more than 85 million active users, Office 365 empowers individuals, teams and entire organizations with the broadest and deepest toolkit for collaboration. Office 365 is designed to meet the unique workstyle of every group with purpose-built, integrated applications: Outlook for enterprise-grade email; Yammer for networking across the organization; Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video; Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace; and SharePoint for intelligent content management and intranets.

Last May, at the Future of SharePoint virtual event—viewed by over 50,000 people—we unveiled a new vision and roadmap for SharePoint and OneDrive. Over the last year, we have delivered on new innovations, including:

  • The first ever SharePoint app across all mobile platforms and a new SharePoint home experience in Office 365.
  • Modern SharePoint Team Sites seamlessly connected to Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams.
  • A new OneDrive Sync client with support for SharePoint files and shared folders.
  • PowerApps and Microsoft Flow integration to support rapid app and business process development.
  • SharePoint Framework, a modern, client-side development model and toolchain to usher in the next generation of custom development on SharePoint.
  • New security and compliance capabilities such as data loss prevention (DLP), Conditional Access and Mobile Device Management (MDM).

At this year’s SharePoint Virtual Summit you’ll learn how to take advantage of SharePoint, OneDrive and the rest of the Office 365 collaboration toolkit to create a connected workplace, empowering you to securely connect to the people and content you need, to transform business processes, to inform and engage your employees, and to harness the collective knowledge of your organization.

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.

—Seth Patton, general manager for Office 365 product marketing

Outlook mobile turns 2 and now comes with your favorite apps

Two years ago, we launched Outlook mobile with the goal of helping you accomplish more while on the go. More means an inbox that helps you focus on the emails that matter most. More means a calendar that can manage your entire day, not just show you your schedule. And today, we are excited to continue that mission by bringing apps to your inbox with add-ins for Outlook on iOS.

We’re thrilled to collaborate with Evernote, GIPHY, Nimble, Trello and Smartsheet and bring their add-ins to Outlook on iOS. We’re also making a few of our own add-ins available today with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Translator, with many more to follow.

With these add-ins, Outlook will help you accomplish awesome things you simply couldn’t do before from email. There has never been a better time to make your move to Outlook, called “the best mobile email app, no matter what phone you’re using” by WIRED.

Transform your inbox into a do-box with add-ins for Outlook

Today, we use email to communicate and to triage and prioritize information. Completing tasks often requires us to leave our inbox and access other apps and services. Add-ins for Outlook help you transform your inbox into a “do-box” and accomplish tasks quickly—right from your email.

For example, imagine you are at the airport and receive an email from a new customer contact from Italy. With add-ins for Outlook, you can translate the email from Italian to your preferred language, review and update the customer’s CRM history and update your notes or project board—without leaving Outlook.

Add-ins can help you get more done on the go, and save you valuable time spent switching between apps. This is why we introduced add-ins for Outlook on Windows, Mac (in Insiders) and on the web—and are now bringing them to iOS. Support for Android is coming soon.

Getting started with add-ins for Outlook on iOS

The add-ins launching today bring the power of CRM, social intelligence, project management and more—right to your inbox. Starting today, add-ins for Dynamics 365, Nimble, Evernote, Smartsheet and GIPHY are available for Outlook on iOS, complementing their existing add-ins already available to Outlook users on Windows, Mac (in Insiders) and on the web. Additionally, we are launching new add-ins for Trello and Microsoft Translator across Outlook on iOS, Windows, Mac (in Insiders) and on the web today.

Add-ins for Outlook on iOS are available today to Office 365 customers and are rolling out gradually to Outlook.com users. We will soon be bringing them to Outlook on Android.

To start using add-ins for Outlook on iOS, go to Settings > Add-ins and then tap the + sign next to the add-ins you want to enable.

Add-ins available in Outlook on iOS.

When you go back to your inbox and open an email to read, you will see the icon add-in icon in the email header. Tapping this icon will let you launch the add-ins you enabled.

(Left) Add-in icon displayed in email header. (Right) List of enabled add-ins.

Once enabled, you can access add-ins from Outlook on iOS as well as from Outlook 2016 or 2013 for Windows, Outlook on the web and Outlook 2016 for Mac (currently in Insiders) for the same email account.

Add-ins for Outlook on iOS are currently only available when reading email. We’ll be adding more add-in actions when composing or replying to an email in the future.

Here is a closer look at the add-ins launching today:

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 brings together business applications with the best of Microsoft—in productivity, collaboration, intelligence and platform—to give businesses the right set of tools to grow, evolve and transform.

The Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook delivers real-time insights about your business contacts and their organization, right in your inbox, so you can focus on the selling and have more meaningful interactions. With the Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook, you can quickly look up the Dynamics 365 record of your customer contacts, associate an email or appointment with an existing opportunity or create new records with just a few taps—right inside email—without having to copy/paste and switch back and forth between your email and Dynamics 365.

Quickly look up records and track emails with the new Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook.

Starting today, the Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook is available for Outlook on iOS users with a Dynamics 365 subscription. For detailed steps on how to install the Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook, please refer to the deployment guidance.

Nimble

Nimble is a social CRM application that provides business intelligence about your email contacts and their organizations—right in email. With the Nimble add-in for Outlook, you can get insights on any contact included in Outlook, including broad social profiles, industry, shared relationships, mutual interests, company profile, revenue and more, to help you get prepared for meetings and engage effectively.

Get real-time insights about your contacts with the Nimble add-in for Outlook.

Trello

Trello is a collaborative tool that enables you to organize and prioritize your projects. With the Trello add-in for Outlook, you can turn your email into actionable items, keep track of your projects and make sure important emails never fall through the cracks.

Once enabled, simply click the Add card to Trello action to associate any incoming email with an existing board. You can create cards and edit associated descriptions and due dates directly from Outlook.

Stay on top of your projects by quickly associating any email with a Trello board.

Evernote

Evernote helps you capture what’s on your mind and stay organized. With the new Evernote add-in for Outlook, you can clip emails from Outlook to a project notebook in Evernote, where they will appear alongside other project-related assets such as meeting notes, saved web pages or Office documents.

Stay organized by saving emails directly to your notebook via the Evernote add-in for Outlook.

Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator provides you with a simple and effective way to translate and read messages in your chosen language. With the Translator add-in for Outlook, you can now translate email messages on the fly, with support for 60 languages powered by Microsoft Translator.

Quickly translate any email from 60 languages with the Translator add-in for Outlook.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a collaborative solution to help you manage and automate work. With Smartsheet’s add-in for Outlook, users can get work assigned, updated and completed more quickly, without ever having to leave their email. Once the add-in is enabled, you can create new tasks and add relevant information, including attachments from email into Smartsheet, and stay on top of your work.

Manage your work by assigning, updating and creating tasks in Smartsheet—right from Outlook.

GIPHY

GIPHY is the world’s first and largest GIF search engine, where thousands of artists, brands and pop culture moments make today’s expression, entertainment and info a little more moving. With the new GIPHY add-in for Outlook, you can now use GIFs to congratulate a friend or co-worker, wish them a happy birthday or simply add a touch of your personality, without leaving your inbox. Once enabled, simply click the GIPHY icon while replying to an email and then search for the GIF you are looking for, such as “congratulations” or “well done.” The selected GIF will be included in your reply.

Make your replies fun and expressive by adding GIFs with the new GIPHY add-in for Outlook.

Developers—make your apps a part of Outlook mobile

We’re committed to making Outlook an open platform for developers, so you can bring apps and services people love, right in email. Interested in building for Outlook? Check out our developer blog, “Add-ins are now available for Outlook on iOS.”

We want to hear from you!

Add-ins for Outlook help you stay productive on the go and accomplish tasks faster. If you have feedback or suggestions on adding your favorite app in Outlook, visit the add-ins section of Outlook for iOS uservoice and sign in with your Microsoft account to leave your comments—we’re eager to hear from you!

—Javier Soltero, corporate vice president for the Office team

Office 365 news in February—new and improved intelligent services

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

This month, we released several improvements to our cloud-powered intelligence services. These services use machine learning and advanced algorithms to create magical experiences that save you time and help produce polished, gorgeous content. And they will just get better each month as we deliver continued innovation and further tune our intelligent recommendations as more people use them.

Jumpstart presentations with QuickStarter in PowerPoint

QuickStarter is now available in PowerPoint. Announced in September, QuickStarter reinvents how you create presentations by helping you conquer blank slides. Simply type in your topic and QuickStarter gets you going with a curated outline, recommendations on what categories to include, information to research further, and associated images tagged with Creative Commons licenses. Check out QuickStarter in action to see what it can do!

QuickStarter is being shown in PowerPoint, launched from the start page. The topic “Mount Everest” is entered, slide templates are picked, the overall design of the deck is selected, and a QuickStarter presentation is created. The curated outline is then shown. This includes recommended categories to consider including, which appear in the notes for a given slide.

Jumpstart presentations with QuickStarter in PowerPoint.

Availability: QuickStarter is now available in PowerPoint on Windows desktops, for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast.

Writing assistance all in one place with Editor

Editor, your digital writing assistant in Word, is now even more helpful. The new Editor pane gives you additional information from its advanced spelling, grammar and writing style recommendations. It also makes it easy to scan your whole document. This experience replaces the Spelling & Grammar pane and incorporates inclusive design best practices to be accessible for the visually impaired. Learn more about Editor.

The new Editor pane is being shown alongside a document being written. The Editor pane is showing recommendations for more concise language for a highlighted passage.

The new Editor pane helps you learn to improve your writing by providing even more information and context.

Availability: The new Editor pane is now available in Word on Windows desktops, for Office 365 customers in Office Insider Fast.

Remember commitments with Cortana’s help

Cortana now works with Outlook to remember things you said you’d do in email. For example, Cortana will automatically recognize if you promise to send your boss a report by the end of the week and then proactively remind you so you can follow through at just the right time. Learn more and get started in this Windows blog.

 

 

Availability: Cortana’s suggested reminders are now available in the U.S. on Windows 10, for customers using an Outlook.com email address or an Office 365 work or school account. Support for iOS, Android and other email services is coming soon.

Intuitive commands at your fingertips with Touch Bar support in Office for Mac

Touch Bar support is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Mac. As previously announced, the most common commands are intelligently placed at your fingertips based on what you’re doing in the document, spreadsheet or presentation. For example, one tap can put you into distraction-free Focus Mode in Word or an enhanced slideshow experience with thumbnails in PowerPoint. Touch Bar support in Outlook for Mac is coming soon.

The image shows a Mac with touch bar enabled in Excel. The touch bar shows commonly used functions such as “SUM” that are related to the cell that is being selected within the spreadsheet.

Access the most common Office commands in the Touch Bar, based on what you’re doing in the document.

Availability: Touch Bar support is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Mac, for all Office 365 subscribers and Office for Mac 2016 customers. Touch Bar support is coming soon in Outlook on Mac.

New Office 365 capabilities help you proactively manage security and compliance risk

Earlier this month, we announced several new capabilities in Office 365 that help you manage risk and stay ahead of threats. We introduced a new security analytics tool—Office 365 Secure Score—which helps you understand your organization’s security configuration and actions you can take to enhance security and reduce risk. In addition, Office 365 Threat Intelligence helps you stay ahead of cyber threats by leveraging billions of data points from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph. It offers information about malware families inside and outside your organization and integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security features, so you’ll be able to see analysis, malware frequency and security recommendations related to your business. We also introduced Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which helps you find and retain important data while eliminating redundant, obsolete and trivial data that could cause risk if compromised. It does this by applying machine learning to intelligently deliver proactive policy recommendations; classify data based on automatic analysis of factors like the type of data, its age and the users who have interacted with it; and take action. Read this month’s security and compliance blog for more.

Availability: Office 365 Secure Score is now generally available to commercial customers. Commercial customers can contact their Microsoft account representative to sign up for the private preview of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, or register for the limited preview of Advanced Data Governance.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office 2016 | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Current Channel and Deferred Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through First Release. This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

Visio Online—anywhere, anytime access to your diagrams

Mobility is paramount in today’s business environment. That’s why we’re excited to announce Microsoft Visio Online, which enables users to share and view Visio diagrams in high fidelity from almost any device using their favorite browser. Today, Visio Online opens the online viewing experience to almost all Office 365 commercial users, boosting productivity for everyone on your team, no matter where they’re working. In addition to Visio Online, we’ve released JavaScript APIs for IT professionals to extend Visio capabilities to meet specific user needs.

The Visio team has steadily released more and more features to increase mobility across your organization. In November 2016, we brought Visio Online Public Preview for a group of Office 365 users—and their feedback was fantastic! Since then, we’ve enabled Visio Online for VSD file format and for users who are using email through Exchange Online, Outlook.com and Hotmail. In addition to online viewing, we’re excited to announce commenting for Visio Online, giving you and your team a place to review and discuss process flows, shape data and more without switching windows.

Get started today! For more information, visit our FAQ page.

Visio Online 1

Add comments to Visio diagrams from your browser.

Create custom Visio Online solutions to meet your needs

We are also releasing Visio JavaScript APIs that extend the capabilities of Visio Online for developers. Using these APIs, IT professionals can now build rich mashup solutions to meet their organization’s specific needs.

The APIs enable programmatic access to the embedded Visio Online diagrams in a SharePoint Online page. Developers can use them to interact with Visio diagram elements—like pages and shapes—expose diagram data, write custom handlers for mouse events, create visual mark-ups on the diagram canvas and more. As a mashup example, developers can create a custom overlay, such as a list of steps required to complete before moving forward in a process, that appears when users select or hover over a diagram shape.

Visio Online 2

Embed Visio Online diagrams into SharePoint Online using JavaScript APIs.

Please visit the Office Dev Center and read the related blog for detailed instructions and more information on how to use JavaScript APIs with Visio Online.

You can also visit our UserVoice page to submit suggestions for new products, and follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for the latest Visio news.

—The Visio team

New Office 365 capabilities help you proactively manage security and compliance risk

Missing a key security signal could mean not catching a breach, but the number of security signals is increasing exponentially. It’s becoming impossible to manually prioritize them. That’s why Office 365 applies intelligence to help you proactively manage risk and ward off threats. Today, we’re pleased to introduce several new capabilities in Office 365 that help you manage risk and stay ahead of threats:

  • Office 365 Secure Score—A new security analytics tool that applies a score to Office 365 customers’ current Office 365 security configuration.
  • Office 365 Threat Intelligence Private Preview—Service that leverages billions of data points from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph to provide actionable insights to the global threat landscape and help customers stay ahead of cyber threats. Office 365 Threat Intelligence is now in private preview, with general availability planned for later this quarter.
  • Office 365 Advanced Data Governance Preview—Applies machine learning to help customers find and retain the most important data to them while eliminating redundant, obsolete and trivial data that could cause risk if compromised. Office 365 Advanced Data Governance is now in preview, with general availability planned for later this quarter.

Know your Office 365 Secure Score

Do you know how you’d be rated if someone were to evaluate your security configuration? To give you better visibility into your Office 365 security configuration and the security features available to you, we’re pleased to introduce Secure Score—a new security analytics tool. Secure Score helps you understand your current Office 365 security configuration and shows you how implementing additional controls can further enhance your security and reduce risk.*

Here’s how it works:

Secure Score Summary—Displays your Secure Score and provides access to view your Score Analyzer. Your Secure Score, the numerator, is the sum of the points associated with security configurations that you have partially or fully adopted. The total score, the denominator, is the sum of the points associated with all the security controls that are available to you through your Office 365 plan.

In this example, the Secure Score is 130 out of 273 points possible:

New Office 365 capabilities 1

Score Summary window showing your Secure Score.

Score Analyzer—Allows you to track and report on your score over time. The graph shows your Secure Score on any date in the past, what specific actions you completed and which actions were available to you. Your score results can also be exported to a CSV file for easy planning and communication with your organizations.

New Office 365 capabilities 2

Score Analyzer graph showing the Secure Score over time.

In addition to providing insight, Secure Score provides suggestions on the possible actions you can take to improve your security position. These suggestions are prioritized based on the effectiveness of the action and level of impact to end users. Actions that are highly effective with low level of user impact are placed at the top, followed by actions that are less effective and more impactful to users. You can also filter actions in the list with criteria such as those that have low end user impact or that apply to user accounts.

Secure Score can play an important role in a holistic security strategy, which encompasses how an organization strengthens its risk controls, mitigates potential losses and offsets some of the risk. To help businesses strengthen their security position, property and casualty insurer The Hartford will consider a customer’s Office 365 Secure Score as a part of the cyber insurance underwriting process.

We believe aligning the solutions between security and insurance can make a real difference. By encouraging the use of an innovative security analytics tool like Office 365 Secure Score and making it a part of the underwriting process, businesses have more information to make risk-based decisions around privacy and security, potentially reducing their exposure to loss.”
—Tom Kang, head of Cyber Insurance at The Hartford

This builds upon the endorsement of Office 365 made by insurance industry leader AIG last year.

Watch this Microsoft Mechanics video for an in-depth look at Secure Score:

 

 

To learn more about Secure Score, check out your score and see recommendations on how you can increase your security position in Office 365, go to securescore.office.com.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence—now in private preview

According to a recent Ponemon Institute study, the average cost of a data breach has risen to $4 million. These costs can include litigation, the effects of brand or reputation damage, potential lost sales, and in some cases, complete business closure. Organizations that are prepared for a breach by spending on appropriate staffing, security training and security products can ultimately reduce their long-term costs.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence uses the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph to analyze billions of data points from global datacenters, Office clients, email, user authentications and other incidents that impact the Office 365 ecosystem, as well as signals from our Windows and Azure ecosystems—to provide actionable insights to global attack trends.

It provides information about malware families inside and outside your organization, including breach information with details, like how much bitcoin the attackers typically request in ransomware attacks. Office 365 Threat Intelligence also integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security features like Exchange Online Protection and Advanced Threat Protection, so you’ll be able to see analysis, including the top targeted users, malware frequency and security recommendations related to your business.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence provides this visibility, along with rich insights and recommendations on mitigating cyber-threats, ultimately supporting a proactive defense posture, leading to long-term reduced organizational costs.

New Office 365 capabilities 3

The Office 365 Threat Intelligence Dashboard provides visibility into the global threat landscape.

To sign up for the private preview of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, please contact your Microsoft account representative.

Why data governance matters

Many organizations are exposing themselves to unnecessary risk because they don’t have a good grasp on all the data they have. Often, they retain data they no longer need, such as the personal information of former employees who have long since left the company. Should this personal data be compromised in a breach, the company could be liable for costly remediation, such as lifetime credit monitoring for these former employees.

Office 365 Advanced Data Governance helps you find and retain the data that is most important to you while eliminating redundant, obsolete and trivial data that could cause risk if compromised. Office 365 Advanced Data Governance applies machine learning to intelligently deliver proactive policy recommendations; classify data based on automatic analysis of factors like the type of data, its age and the users who have interacted with it; and take action, such as preservation or deletion.

We’re already receiving a great response from legal professionals who expect Office 365 Advanced Data Governance to enhance their data management practices.

“The machine learning designed into Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Data Governance’s suite has the potential to tame the ever-increasing growth and complexity of data types we deal with. Office 365 Advanced Data Governance can apply unified policies to data in place across all Office 365 applications, regardless of when the data was ingested, to intelligently retain high-value data while deposing of what isn’t needed or is obsolete. As organizations grasp its potential to reduce compliance and security risks, this will be a game changer in information governance.”
—Paul Meyer, eDiscovery and Data Management managing counsel at Willis Towers Watson

Watch this Microsoft Mechanics for an in-depth look at Office 365 Advanced Data Governance:

 

 

Visit Office 365 Advanced Data Governance to register for the limited public preview.

Availability

Office 365 Secure Score is now generally available to organizations with an Office 365 commercial subscription and who are in the multi-tenant and Office 365 U.S. Government Community clouds.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence and Advanced Data Governance are expected to be generally available by the end of March 2017, and will be included in the Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan, as well as in the Secure Productive Enterprise E5 offering.

—Alym Rayani, director for Office Security and Compliance team

*The Secure Score is a numerical summary of your security posture within Office 365 based on system configurations, user behavior and other security related measurements; it is not an absolute measurement of how likely your system or data will be breached; rather, it represents the extent to which you have adopted security controls available in Office 365, which can help offset the risk of being breached. No online service is completely immune from security breaches; the Secure Score should not be interpreted as a guarantee against security breach in any manner.

Office 365 administration announcements: new admin center reaches general availability and introducing the Service health dashboard

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking the new Office 365 admin center out of preview. Since the first preview in September 2015, the new admin center has provided admins with an improved management experience that makes it easier and faster for you to manage Office 365 while providing new capabilities and insights.

 

The new Office 365 admin center reaches general availability

Over the last years, Office 365 has been evolving at a rapid pace, making more features and functionality available to users and admins on an almost daily basis. Over 350 new services and features were introduced last year alone. As we continue to add new capabilities to Office 365, we are focused on providing a first-class admin experience with tools to efficiently manage all aspects of the service. The new admin center has been designed to support this rapid growth and will continue to improve as the service further evolves.

We’d like to again thank each one of you who has provided feedback on the new admin center. Over the last year, we have received more than 49,000 pieces of feedback that have helped us identify gaps, fix bugs and evolve the new admin center to a management experience that meets the needs of all company sizes. And it’s great to hear how it’s already making your work easier:

“I love everything you are doing to make Office 365 for Business an incredible management and organizational tool for business. The old format sorely needed updating and is a constant source of complaints by users. Thanks guys for finally getting this whole thing right!”
—Customer feedback in the new admin center

Here is a summary of the main improvements:

The new admin center makes it easier and faster to manage Office 365

Quickly access relevant information and functionality from the new home page—The home page has been redesigned with you and your most common tasks in mind—such as adding a user or resetting a password. The new admin center makes these items accessible directly from the home page. The home page also proactively surfaces information important to you, such as notifications from the Message Center.

office-365-administration-announcements-1

Customize your admin experience—Frequent tasks may vary from admin to admin, so we’ve enabled customization of the home page, making it a truly personal experience. Remove cards that aren’t important to you. Rearrange cards so the ones you care about most are at the top, and add other cards so you can get to tasks straight from the home page.

Quickly find what you’re looking for with improved navigation and search—If you’re looking for a specific setting or feature, you can use the navigation menu, which has been reorganized to make it easier for you to find information. For example, you can see the settings for all services in one place. The search bar (at the top) is the easiest and fastest way to navigate the admin center, by giving you the power to search for most every capability within the admin center.

Manage licenses in fewer steps—The new admin center makes it easier for you to purchase and assign licenses. When you add a new user, you can buy and assign a license in one simple step.

More functionality at your fingertips

The new admin center isn’t just an update to the look and feel of the old admin center, it also provides new management capabilities and additional actionable information.

Manage more user details—Now, the user list supports infinite scroll, so that admins can see all their users on one page, including which license is assigned to a specific user. When you click a user’s name, important properties appear in a fly-out window allowing you to edit settings such as email forwarding, automatic replies and email apps.

office-365-administration-announcements-2

Edit more user details simultaneously—The new admin center provides the ability to bulk edit more user details simultaneously, including product licenses, domains or user roles. In addition, the bulk edit limit has increased—you can now edit up to 100 users at the same time.

Edit all groups in one place—The new admin center fully supports all group types including distribution lists, security groups, mail-enabled security groups and Office 365 Groups. You can manage all your groups from the same location.

Message Center improvements—The Message Center has completely been redesigned to provide you with more functionality. You can filter by message type, dismiss a message, mark it as read or unread or even share it with peers. The Message Center also allows you to use machine translation to view messages in your preferred language.

Reports you can act on

The new admin center also provides you with a richer reporting experience and additional insights that help you to proactively manage your service.

New usage reporting dashboard—The new usage reporting dashboard provides you with valuable insights about how the Office 365 services are being used and delivers details down to the individual user level. The usage reports will be accompanied by a Power BI content pack that will allow you to share the reports and to pivot by attributes like region or department. More information will be shared next week.

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Export additional information—To further analyze and process the data, you can now export more information directly from the UI—including the usage reports as well as the user list—to a CSV file.

Monitor your Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Status and quickly identify issues—The DirSync card on the home page and the new subsite make it easy for admins to understand their DirSync status and to identify errors.

We will continue to further improve the new admin center to provide you with the best management experience possible. We’re currently working on additional reports and on modernizing the product admin centers.

The old admin center will be retired at the end of December.

Announcing a new Service health dashboard

For many of you, moving to Office 365 was a big change. In an on-premises world, if there was a service incident, you were the ones investigating and solving the issue. With Office 365, you trust Microsoft with running the service and quickly solving service incidents. But moving to a cloud service shouldn’t mean losing the ability to know what’s going on. With this in mind, we built a new Service health dashboard that provides admins with a new level of service health insights that are personalized for their organization. This allows admins to stay on top of service incidents, improve your internal support experience and improve your users’ Office 365 experience.

Since the launch of Office 365 in 2011, our promise to provide you with timely, targeted and accurate communications in the event of a service incident hasn’t changed, and we’ve focused on being transparent in our operations so that you can monitor the service, track issues and have a historical view of availability. Service health is a very important area for all of you and over the last year, we’ve received a lot of feedback that has helped us to reimagine service health.

Here is a summary of the improvements that you’ll find in the new Service health dashboard:

Access rich and more actionable incident insights—The new Service health dashboard provides you with more relevant incident insights and features a new view that separates major business critical outages from others and splits them into two categories: incidents and advisories. This new view makes it easier for you to identify the issues relevant for you that you might want to act on immediately.

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Quickly understand the incident—A new summary view surfaces the most relevant and critical details to you in just two short sentences—easy and quick to consume. If you want to access additional details, you can go to a more detailed view that provides you with all available information, including workarounds and message history.

Easily see the impact for your organization—The new dashboard allows you to quickly understand the impact of the service incident on your organization by showing you the number of impacted users.

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Sign up for the preview program

The preview of the new Service health dashboard is available for Office 365 customers worldwide today. To get access to the new dashboard, please send an email with the subject “I want to be part of the preview” to shdpreviewsignup@service.microsoft.com and include both your tenant ID and your tenant domain (i.e., contoso.com). After we have enabled the preview for your tenant (it can take 1-2 weeks), you will receive an email with access instructions.

More to come

This is just the beginning. Our goal is to provide you with richer and more actionable service health insights that will help you to stay on top of incidents, reduce support costs and improve end user experiences.

We’ll be adding more enhancements in the coming months, including:

Tell us about issues—If you are impacted by an issue that is not showing up on your Service health dashboard, the Tell us feature will provide you with a quick and easy way to let us know.

Stay informed through your preferred channel—The new Service health dashboard will enable you to sign up for notifications via text and/or email so that you can monitor the service and track issues through the channel you prefer.

Access user level details—In addition to the number of impacted users, you will also be able to access a full list of impacted users to enable you to drive more targeted communication and support.

Check the health of your users—The new Service health dashboard will also include new features that will improve the end user experience. On-demand user health checks will allow you to check end user health by running a test against our service. User Monitoring will enable you to proactively monitor specific users and to find out about possible health issues affecting those users right away—often before they might even notice them.

Let us know what you think!

Please try the new features and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower right corner of the admin center. And don’t be surprised if we respond to your feedback. We truly read every piece of feedback that we receive to make sure the Office 365 administration experience meets your needs.

—Anne Michels, @Anne_Michels, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 Marketing team