O365 and SharePoint Update | October 2018 Part 1

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Ignite Conference Announcements – Part 1

Look, we’re not going to lie – literally our favourite time of the year is IGNITE TIME! The biggest and best, annual Microsoft Conference, where all the COOLEST things are announced.

No time to waste, let’s get into some of the AMAZING things that have been announced.

New Security and Compliance for SharePoint and OneDrive

There are a lot of new features coming to Office 365 (which we’re SUPER excited about) including new security and compliance for SharePoint and OneDrive.

We all know that data is one of the most important assets for any business. With the new feature of automation application of retention labels, you can make sure that you’re compliant, which we all love. File Restore is also now available for SharePoint document libraries, which protects your shared files in SharePoint, Teams, Outlook Groups and Yammer groups. This recovery solution allows site administrators to restore document libraries from any point in time for 30 days, and undo changes with the same recovery capabilities that protect OneDrive or Business files. This means greater tracking and amending if needed.

And speaking of tracking, you can now get insight into which labels are being used most, what emails and files certain labels are being applied to and explore user activity with label analytics.

Look out for these features, plus many more, which will be targeted release from next month until March 2019.

Find out more about what’s new in security, compliance & administration for SharePoint & OneDrive from Microsoft Ignite.

Description: Retention Labels

Description: Label analytics

SharePoint and MS365

New innovations to SharePoint and Microsoft 365 have been outlined and, as put by Microsoft, “is empowering organisations to better engage employees, teams to work together on content in new ways, and all employees to easily access and collaborate on files to get work done.”

To be honest, you had us at empowering. But, let’s look into just a few of the new changes now.

From new ways to create articles, such as page design, new web parts and news links that enable you to share content, such as external articles, as news through to capabilities on targeting audiences, SharePoint site and pages are making it easier for all employees to engage across your organisation.

Another way that engagement is due to increase is through Microsoft Stream, the video service in Microsoft 365, which powers video experiences on SharePoint sites. However, it’s not only limited to sites, Stream is also great for live and on-demand events in Yammer and Microsoft Teams. The new app also has an offline viewing feature, allowing you to catch up on content regardless of signal strength.

New file experiences in Microsoft Teams will grow to act like the SharePoint document libraries, enabling you to create custom views, pin files, add and format custom columns and gain insight into file activity.

Another awesome feature is that you will be able to connect any SharePoint team site to Teams! And, to make this even better, it’s as simple as just one more click.

Find out more about how SharePoint and Teams can collaborate.

Description: SharePoint news

Description: Microsoft Steam mobile app – with offline viewing feature

Description: Microsoft Teams

Description: Connect your SharePoint team site to Microsoft Teams


Aside from the amazing collaboration between SharePoint and Teams and greater compliance abilities, there have been some great updates announced at the Ignite Conference, such as new enhancements to SharePoint web parts and pages.

With webpart-to-webpart connections, you will be able to have your webparts “talking” to each other, meaning that you will be able to configure web parts to get their property values from other web parts and update them. Initially, only dynamic data will be supported in a few of the first party web parts (list, list property, file viewer and embed).

You have more control over what the title region of your page looks like thanks to the new page title region options. Choose from layout options, alignment of overlay text, text labels, public date viewing and alternative text. Plus, you can also mix up the background of your page sections (currently defaulted to white) by adding different colours.

With no exact date for targeted releases give (although it’s been said to expect around mid-next year) we will be keeping a close eye on these features and can’t wait for them to be rolled out! Find out more HERE.

Admin Centre Updates – What we’ve been asking for!

Yes, you heard right! Rolling out from THIS MONTH we’re excited to say that some great releases are on their way!
You can now make the new admin centre your default admin centre. So, if you’ve tried it and loved it, then you can keep it, all with the flexibility of still being able to go back to the classic admin centre if you need to.

More management controls have been added across site management and storage. This includes a more simplified view of your tenant-level storage usage and limit plus the ability to switch to manual site storage management. Not only that, but you can now have two administrators for a site collection with using the security groups in SharePoint Online as a site collection administrator. Finally, the site information panel has been removed with many of the common actions used being moved to the command bar.

Office 365 Group lets you collaborate with teammates easier when doing your admin tasks, such as project plans, scheduling meeting or writing documents. Now, SharePoint administrators can manage group-connected sites easier with the ability to change sharing settings, delete and restore sites and manage ownership.

Other changes also include being able to quickly customise and control site creation, a more simplified hub site creating and association and improved access control and policy options. Find out more HERE!

Description: New management controls for site management and storage in SharePoint.

Description: Look out for improved management experiences with Office 365 Groups.

Teams – What’s new?!

A lot of changes to Microsoft Teams have been announced at Ignite with new meeting tools and a new experiences to empower all workers in all roles across, just to name a few.

Looking for more ways to be productive in your meetings? New capabilities in Teams may be your answer. Meeting recording is available now and, as the name suggest, this feature lets you record your meetings, so it can be watched later on (with both audio and video content). Paired with Microsoft Stream, create a transcript of the meeting which allows you to search or key works. Cloud video interop will allow you to bring your existing room technologies into teams. Currently offered by Polycom, with Pexip and BlueJeans aiming to be onboarded by the end of this month, you will be able to bring “a full portfolio of legacy devices [as] fully-fledged audio/video participants in Teams meetings with content sharing”. With the Background blur feature, you can remove background distractions from your meeting with the push of a button. See the background blur feature in action (with BBC Dad as an example)

Teams are now being extended to include industry-specific and role-based workflows to help more workers achieve more each day. With new Home and Shift experiences and features like adapted messaging features, Teams are more tailored to meet the needs of first line workers.

As explained by Microsoft below, both Home and Shift are new mobile experiences designed to assist first line workers and managers in productivity and communication – all from their phones.

  • Home is a new mobile experience that allows firstline workers to see at a glance the most important and relevant info for their day. With Home, firstline workers can clock in and out of shifts/breaks, receive important notes for the day or shift, find out who is working during the shift and save time by easily reviewing information and schedule.
  • Shifts enables firstline managers to plan schedules in an employee self-service and integrated experience. They can create, update and distribute schedules for teams as well as broadcast open and unfilled shifts so that other employees can cover them. Finally. they can review and accept time off requests and swap shifts – all from mobile. For firstline employees, they can swap/offer shifts and request time off, right from their phones.

Two new secure messaging features will also be released for organisations with enhanced security and compliance needs, such as healthcare. Image annotation (where annotated images can be shared on a secure platform) and priority notifications (with urgent message notification and 2-minute alerts for up to 20 minutes) will be rolled out to Team commercial customers by the end of this year.

As Teams become the hub for all employees (with Home and Shifts becoming available soon), unfortunately, Microsoft StaffHub will be retired on 1 October 2019. From 1 April 2019, Microsoft StaffHub will no longer be available for new tenants, and will be removed for download. Current users will still be able to use StaffHub until its retirement, but no additional features will be made available. If you’re an IT administrator of tenants that are active with StaffHub, you will be notified about this change in the Office 365 Message Centre. Users will also be informed through the in-app notifications. Find out more about Microsoft StaffHub’s retirement.

Other new items include more devices that are Team compatible, Surface Hub 2, a new certification program for Teams and improved developer tools. Read more HERE

Description: The Home and Shifts mobile apps with Teams

Description: Priority notifications in the new Home mobile app experience.

AI for Excel

WOW! This is AMAZING – take a picture of a table and have it converted into data…

That’s right! Say goodbye to data entry and hello to Insert Data from Picture!

Take a picture on your Android device and convert the information into an editable Excel spreadsheet in just one click. Insert Data from Picture will be available to preview for the Excel Android app soon.

That’s not all. Al, or artificial interagency, for Excel is helping customers analyse and understand their data in seconds, thanks to the Ideas help lightning bolt, which creates graphs and statistics, the ability to recognise real word concepts (such as stocks and geography), calculate with dynamic arrays and faster Lookup and Matchfeatures.

This will be rolled out in preview soon (we can’t wait). Read more about Al in Excel.

Description: Insert Date from Picture available to Android soon

Description: Al’s ideas help in Excel

LOOK OUT FOR PART 2. …..there’s lots more!

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O365 and SharePoint Update | September 2018
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O365 and SharePoint Update | October 2018 Part 2

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