Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 5/18/2020

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. A couple of items of note from last week;

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Announcing the general availability of Azure Spot Virtual MachinesAzure
Business Applications
Learn how to deliver insights faster with Azure Synapse AnalyticsAzure
New Dynamics 365 Manufacturing Accelerator for supplier managementDynamics 365
Windows
  
App Dev
Enabling developers to work remotelyTips & Tricks
Overview of the Microsoft identity platform for developersYouTube
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) on the Power Platform explainedPowerApps
TWC9: #MSBuild Preview, VS Codespaces, GitHub Satellite, TypeScript 3.9 and moreChannel 9
Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon is a free online, 36 hour event happening May 27-28 2020. We will have sessions going the whole time with speakers from around the globe. This event is free for all wanting to attend. Come join us as we talk about the many different pieces of Microsoft 365 including Azure.M365 Virtual Marathon
Today, we start by announcing the general availability of the new Monthly Enterprise Channel and a few other changes that modernize the way you service Microsoft 365 Apps, as you deliver the latest productivity value to your businessesTech Community
Automate teams provisioning with the Request-a-team app templateTech Community
Top 10 keyboard shortcuts to make you a Microsoft Teams super userTech Community
Empower your employees to capture customer feedback in Microsoft TeamsTech Community
How to configure the new Room Finder in OutlookTech Community
Security
Monitor your Azure workload compliance with Azure Security BenchmarkAzure
Announcing general availability of ‘know your data’ (discovery and review capabilities) in the Microsoft 365 compliance centerTech Community
Microsoft helps employees work securely from home using a Zero Trust strategyIT Showcase
Empowering your remote workforce with end-user security awarenessSecurity
Open-sourcing new COVID-19 threat intelligenceSecurity
 
Manufacturing Industry Blog
Supercharging Industrial IoTMBT

View previous weeks news, tech posts and announcements here on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter @MrLouisG

Remote Work Resources

  • Enabling remote work with Microsoft 365 Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3 & Part 4 – Overview on YouTube by Stephen Rose
  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. If you are interested, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates.  If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • We have created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.  Details are available here. Schedule a remote MTC session to review app and provide deployment guidance.
  • To assist our customers and community in their crisis response efforts, we’re extending the Priority Notifications promotion into the second half of 2020. Ongoing access to Priority Notifications will be available to facilitate in crisis response and recovery efforts. After the promotion period ends, licensed users will be able to send Priority Notifications according to the terms of their subscription.
  • Leverage a bot to answer questions and keep employees up to date. Here is a the template for FAQ Plus.  You can find a description of other available templates here.
  •  Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.
  • In partnership with Commvault we are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • The Microsoft Work from Home Guide can be downloaded from this blog post. This is the guide Microsoft distributed to its employees.
  • Partner PTC is offering use of their AR Remote Assist Product Vuforia Chalk for free through June.
  •  Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation.  
  • User Solutions, a producer of production scheduling software systems, announces it will offer Resource Manager for Excel (RMX), a standalone production scheduling and materials requirements planning system, free of charge to manufacturers temporarily repurposing their production lines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Microsoft has created a detailed guide for enabling remote work designed for IT Pros. It can be downloaded from this blog post.
  •  New identity features help empower essential Firstline Workers

Join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work

Please see my post Enabling Remote Workers for a categorized overview of resources and my Enabling Remote Workers PointDrive for a more comprehensive list of documentation.

Upcoming Training

Power Apps: Search here for App in a Day workshops, Free online training at Learn

Azure Developer:  events

Office 365 & Teams: Join the  Adoption Monthly Community Calls

Azure: Microsoft Cloud Workshop hosts extensive hands on labs and workshop content

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 5/11/2020

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend.

I want to point out 2 important security changes from last week;

  • We’re extending the ability to use Azure AD single sign-on (SSO) for an unlimited number of cloud apps at no extra cost.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) along with security defaults is free across all Azure AD pricing tiers, so every one of your apps can also be protected.

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Microsoft announces next evolution of Azure VMware SolutionAzure
Manage and find data with Blob Index for Azure Storage—now in previewAzure
Azure HPC Cache – File caching for high-performance computing (HPC)YouTube
Azure AD Mailbag: What is identity provisioning and why does it matter?Tech Community
Migrate Virtual Desktops to AzureTech Community
How to migrate Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to Azure and Windows Virtual DesktopMechanics
Business Applications
Power BI Desktop April 2020 Feature SummaryPowerBI
How Microsoft and American Express help merchants battle fraudDynamics 365
Windows
Introducing Surface Go 2, Surface Book 3, Surface Headphones 2 and Surface EarbudsMicrosoft
Microsoft completes new Microsoft Edge browser deployment, experiences performance boostIT Showcase
Getting started: Windows Virtual Desktop ARM-based Azure portalTech Community
App Dev
Minecraft Earth and Azure Cosmos DB part 1: Extending Minecraft into our real worldCloud Strategyv
How to create dev environments in minutes with Visual Studio CodespacesYouTube
Exploring the Microsoft Graph ToolkitChannel9
Query Acceleration for ADLSJames Serra
Microsoft 365
Whiteboarding and Brainstorming in Microsoft TeamsTech Community
Reply All Storm Protection in Exchange OnlineTech Community
Workplace Analytics May 2020 Feature updatesTech Community
Screen Recording For Training Videos and Communications with Microsoft StreamTech Community
Set up a delegate to take your calls in Microsoft TeamsYouTube
How to set up self-service password reset for Microsoft 365YouTube
Security
Protect your accounts with smarter ways to sign in on World Passwordless DaySecurity
Support Tip: Intune Co-Managed Windows 10 Device Apps in Pending StateIntune
Microsoft researchers work with Intel Labs to explore new deep learning approaches for malware classificationSecurity
 
Manufacturing Industry Blog
Supplier Quality Problems During a Global PandemicMBTMag
Introduction to the Azure Sphere OSIoT

View previous weeks news, tech posts and announcements here on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter @MrLouisG

Remote Work Resources

  • Enabling remote work with Microsoft 365 Part 1, Part 2  and Part 3 – Overview on YouTube by Stephen Rose
  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. If you are interested, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates.  If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • We have created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.  Details are available here. Schedule a remote MTC session to review app and provide deployment guidance.
  • To assist our customers and community in their crisis response efforts, we’re extending the Priority Notifications promotion into the second half of 2020. Ongoing access to Priority Notifications will be available to facilitate in crisis response and recovery efforts. After the promotion period ends, licensed users will be able to send Priority Notifications according to the terms of their subscription.
  • Leverage a bot to answer questions and keep employees up to date. Here is a the template for FAQ Plus.  You can find a description of other available templates here.
  •  Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.
  • In partnership with Commvault we are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • The Microsoft Work from Home Guide can be downloaded from this blog post. This is the guide Microsoft distributed to its employees.
  • Partner PTC is offering use of their AR Remote Assist Product Vuforia Chalk for free through June.
  •  Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation.  
  • User Solutions, a producer of production scheduling software systems, announces it will offer Resource Manager for Excel (RMX), a standalone production scheduling and materials requirements planning system, free of charge to manufacturers temporarily repurposing their production lines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Microsoft has created a detailed guide for enabling remote work designed for IT Pros. It can be downloaded from this blog post.
  •  New identity features help empower essential Firstline Workers

Join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work

Please see my post Enabling Remote Workers for a categorized overview of resources and my Enabling Remote Workers PointDrive for a more comprehensive list of documentation.

Upcoming Training

Power Apps: Search here for App in a Day workshops, Free online training at Learn

Azure Developer:  events

Office 365 & Teams: Join the  Adoption Monthly Community Calls

Azure: Microsoft Cloud Workshop hosts extensive hands on labs and workshop content

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 5/4/2020

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Items of note from last week;

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Enable remote work faster with new Windows Virtual Desktop capabilitiesAzure
Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – April 2020Azure
Learn how to reduce costs with AzureTips & Tricks
Unlimited SSO and new Azure AD features to simplify secure access managementTech Community
Business Applications
Exploring Microsoft Power Virtual AgentsYouTube
Collaborate better with link previews for Power BI in Microsoft Teams (Preview)PowerBI
Windows
Steps to Deploy Edge to Thousands of DevicesMechanics
App Dev
Build is digital and free!Build Site & Registration
Do You Know Azure Cosmos Db Built-In Notebooks?Tech Community
Accessing Managed Instance via SSMSJames Serra
Microsoft 365
What’s New with Microsoft 365 | April 2020YouTube
How leaders can bring employees together during COVID-19Microsoft 365
What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2020Tech Community
A Refreshing New Look for Teams Phones!Tech Community
Introducing new Teams certified devicesTech Community
Microsoft Learn Supports Remote Technical SkillingTech Community
Security
New Data Loss Prevention capabilities in public previewBlog
Introducing Azure confidential computingYouTube
New tools to help IT empower employees securely in a remote work world​Microsoft 365
Managing and Securing Devices Utilizing Conditional Access Policies at MicrosoftTech Community
Microsoft Threat Protection will automatically turn on for eligible license holdersTech Community
Using a Zero Trust strategy to secure Microsoft’s network during remote workIt Showcase
Zero Trust Deployment Guide for Microsoft Azure Active DirectorySecurity
 
Manufacturing Industry Blog
Lean Innovation: What Manufacturers Can Learn From the Tech Sector’s Appropriation of Lean ThinkingNIST

View previous weeks news, tech posts and announcements here on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter @MrLouisG

Remote Work Resources

  • Enabling remote work with Microsoft 365 Part 1 & Part 2 – Overview on YouTube by Stephen Rose
  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. If you are interested, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates.  If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • We have created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.  Details are available here. Schedule a remote MTC session to review app and provide deployment guidance.
  • To assist our customers and community in their crisis response efforts, we’re extending the Priority Notifications promotion into the second half of 2020. Ongoing access to Priority Notifications will be available to facilitate in crisis response and recovery efforts. After the promotion period ends, licensed users will be able to send Priority Notifications according to the terms of their subscription.
  • Leverage a bot to answer questions and keep employees up to date. Here is a the template for FAQ Plus.  You can find a description of other available templates here.
  •  Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.
  • In partnership with Commvault we are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • The Microsoft Work from Home Guide can be downloaded from this blog post. This is the guide Microsoft distributed to its employees.
  • Partner PTC is offering use of their AR Remote Assist Product Vuforia Chalk for free through June.
  •  Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation.  
  • User Solutions, a producer of production scheduling software systems, announces it will offer Resource Manager for Excel (RMX), a standalone production scheduling and materials requirements planning system, free of charge to manufacturers temporarily repurposing their production lines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Microsoft has created a detailed guide for enabling remote work designed for IT Pros. It can be downloaded from this blog post.
  •  New identity features help empower essential Firstline Workers

Join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work

Please see my post Enabling Remote Workers for a categorized overview of resources and my Enabling Remote Workers PointDrive for a more comprehensive list of documentation.

Upcoming Training

Power Apps: Search here for App in a Day workshops, Free online training at Learn

Azure Developer:  events

Office 365 & Teams: Join the  Adoption Monthly Community Calls

Azure: Microsoft Cloud Workshop hosts extensive hands on labs and workshop content

Please reach out to us if you need assistance. Have a great week!

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 4/27/2020

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. A couple of items of note from last week;

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Update #3: Business continuity with AzureAzure Blog
Tracking Reservation Utilization | Azure Cost ManagementYouTube
Enhanced features in Azure Archive Storage now generally availableAzure
Have you seen the “My” URLs of Azure Active Directory?Tech Community
Azure Data Explorer and business continuityTech Community
New identity features help empower essential Firstline WorkersTech Community
Business Applications
How Microsoft transformed key Finance audit practices with Azure DevOpsIT Showcase
Explainer: What is a Planetary Computer?YouTube
Start using the Common Data Service on the Power Platform with Ryan JonesChannel 9
Windows
How to configure file associations for IT ProsTech Community
App Dev
Azure Maps updates offer new features and expanded availabilityAzure Blog
Optimize cost and performance with Query Acceleration for Azure Data Lake StorageAnnouncement
Using Azure Functions Premium Plan to avoid cold startsTips & Tricks
Azure DevOps: Update release variables across stagesRajbos
Microsoft 365
Connect people across the entire organization through communities in Microsoft TeamsTeams Blog
How remote work impacts collaboration: findings from our teamJared Spataro
Design your remote work culture with Microsoft Teams appsTeams Blog
How Microsoft Teams will use AI to filter out typing, barking, and other noiseVenture Beat
Security
Azure Security Center enhancementsSecurity
Protecting your organization against password spray attacksSecurity
MITRE ATT&CK APT 29 evaluation proves Microsoft Threat Protection provides deeper end to end view of advanced threatsSecurity
Moving towards real time policy and security enforcementAzure AD Blog
Microsoft Endpoint Manager simplifies deployment of Microsoft Defender ATP for macOSTech community
 
Manufacturing Industry Blog
Flash whitepaper: IT top of mind for Firstline WorkersTech Community
How Star Wars Inspired the Future of Robotics in ManufacturingCMTC

View previous weeks news, tech posts and announcements here on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter @MrLouisG

Remote Work Resources

  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. If you are interested, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates.  If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • We have created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.  Details are available here. Schedule a remote MTC session to review app and provide deployment guidance.
  • To assist our customers and community in their crisis response efforts, we’re extending the Priority Notifications promotion into the second half of 2020. Ongoing access to Priority Notifications will be available to facilitate in crisis response and recovery efforts. After the promotion period ends, licensed users will be able to send Priority Notifications according to the terms of their subscription.
  • Leverage a bot to answer questions and keep employees up to date. Here is a the template for FAQ Plus.  You can find a description of other available templates here.
  •  Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.
  • In partnership with Commvault we are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • The Microsoft Work from Home Guide can be downloaded from this blog post. This is the guide Microsoft distributed to its employees.
  • Partner PTC is offering use of their AR Remote Assist Product Vuforia Chalk for free through June.
  •  Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation.  
  • User Solutions, a producer of production scheduling software systems, announces it will offer Resource Manager for Excel (RMX), a standalone production scheduling and materials requirements planning system, free of charge to manufacturers temporarily repurposing their production lines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Microsoft has created a detailed guide for enabling remote work designed for IT Pros. It can be downloaded from this blog post.
  • NEW New identity features help empower essential Firstline Workers

Join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work

Please see my post Enabling Remote Workers for a categorized overview of resources and my Enabling Remote Workers PointDrive for a more comprehensive list of documentation.

Upcoming Training

Power Apps: Search here for App in a Day workshops, Free online training at Learn

Azure Developer:  events

Office 365 & Teams: Join the  Adoption Monthly Community Calls

Azure: Microsoft Cloud Workshop hosts extensive hands on labs and workshop content

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates: 4/20/2020

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Please find below an overview of available resources and what’s new at Microsoft we call the Premier Proactive Report.  A couple of items of note from last week;

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
How to configure an Alert Rule with Azure MonitorYouTube
Microsoft extends Azure management to the private cloud with Azure ArcIT Showcase
Business Applications
Modernize field service with Dynamics 365 Remote AssistDynamics 365
Windows
Optimize Windows monthly update deployment for remote devicesIT Pro
Get an edge while working from homeWindows Blog
Office hours: servicing Windows 10 in a remote worldTech Community
App Dev
Writing code and having fun with Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, SpockAzure Friday
Secure the software development lifecycle with machine learningSecurity
Azure Pipelines: Generate release notes using Queriesslothycode
Similarity and Scoring in Azure Cognitive SearchAI Show
Microsoft 365
Nothing can stop a team [This video provides examples of how organizations are adjusting to new normal]Office 365
Multi-Geo reduced seat minimum and expanded geo coverageOffice 365
How to secure your remote workers with Office Cloud Policy ServiceOffice 365
Create and award digital publicly verifiable badges in TeamsTeams
Reach the right people faster with tags in Microsoft TeamsTeams
Updated Rewrite Suggestions in Microsoft Word – sentence-level writing suggestionsMicrosoft 365
Security
Combined MFA and password reset registration is now generally availableIdentity Blog
Security guidance for remote desktop adoptionSecurity
 
Manufacturing Industry Blog
I added “ The Road to Intelligent Manufacturing” to Manufacturing eBooks and WhitepapersMy  PointDrive
Manufacturing’s Finest HourMBT

View previous weeks news, tech posts and announcements here on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter @MrLouisG

Remote Work Resources

  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. If you are interested, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates.  If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • We have created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.  Details are available here. Schedule a remote MTC session to review app and provide deployment guidance.
  • To assist our customers and community in their crisis response efforts, we’re extending the Priority Notifications promotion into the second half of 2020. Ongoing access to Priority Notifications will be available to facilitate in crisis response and recovery efforts. After the promotion period ends, licensed users will be able to send Priority Notifications according to the terms of their subscription.
  • Leverage a bot to answer questions and keep employees up to date. Here is a the template for FAQ Plus.  You can find a description of other available templates here.
  •  Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.
  • In partnership with Commvault we are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • The Microsoft Work from Home Guide can be downloaded from this blog post. This is the guide Microsoft distributed to its employees.
  • Partner PTC is offering use of their AR Remote Assist Product Vuforia Chalk for free through June.
  •  Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation.  
  • NEW User Solutions, a producer of production scheduling software systems, announces it will offer Resource Manager for Excel (RMX), a standalone production scheduling and materials requirements planning system, free of charge to manufacturers temporarily repurposing their production lines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • NEW Microsoft has created a detailed guide for enabling remote work designed for IT Pros. It can be downloaded from this blog post.

Join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work

Please see my post Enabling Remote Workers for a categorized overview of resources and my Enabling Remote Workers PointDrive for a more comprehensive list of documentation.

Upcoming Training

Power Apps: Search here for App in a Day workshops, Free online training at Learn

Azure Developer:  events

Office 365 & Teams: Join the  Adoption Monthly Community Calls

Azure: Microsoft Cloud Workshop hosts extensive hands on labs and workshop content

Lindsey and I value your partnership and we are committed to helping you achieve more.  Please reach out to us if you need assistance. Have a great week!

signature

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates : 4/13/2020

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend.

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
Next Generation SAP HANA Large Instances with Intel® Optane™ drive lower TCOAzure
Architecture Walkthrough: Building a multi-tenant Azure Architecture for a B2C scenarioTech Community
Business Applications
How international health care organizations are using bots to help fight COVID-19Microsoft
How Microsoft modernized its purchase order system with Azure microservicesIT Showcase
Announcing designing custom navigation for Power BI apps is now generally available (GA)Power BI
How Public Agencies Keep Communities Informed on COVID-19 with Power BIPower BI
New omnichannel, AI, and IoT updates for Dynamics 365 Customer ServiceDynamics 365
Windows
Managing reserved storage in Windows 10 environmentsTech Community
App Dev
How to use Azure App Service managed certificatesTips & Tricks
How to choose Azure services for working with messages in your application | Azure FridayYouTube
How to choose Azure services to speed up your application | Azure FridayYouTube
Migrate on-premises SSIS jobs to Azure Data FactoryTech Community
Testing and Monitoring Systems for ConfidenceDev Ops Lab
Microsoft 365
New Teams training site is live. Includes a quick start guide which is perfect for end user referenceTeams
Enhancing VPN performance to enable remote workMicrosoft 365
Remote work trend report: meetingsMicrosoft 365
For IT professionals: Privacy and security in Microsoft TeamsMicrosoft 365
Use Microsoft Teams Rooms as an Interactive Whiteboard DeviceTech Community
How Microsoft moved its large meetings online with live events in Microsoft 365IT Showcase
Security
Detect large-scale cryptocurrency mining attack against Kubernetes clustersAzure
Turning collaboration and customer engagement up with a strong identity approachSecurity
Secure remote access to on-premises appsTech Community
Microsoft shares new threat intelligence, security guidance during global crisisSecurity
Enable remote work while keeping cloud deployments secureSecurity
Protecting your data and maintaining compliance in a remote work environmentSecurity
The Long-Term Impact of #COVID19 on the Cybersecurity IndustryInfo security
 
Manufacturing Industry Blog
Accelerating digital transformation in manufacturingAzure
Take these steps to enable your Firstline Workers todayTech Community
Reduce supply chain disruptions with AI, IoT, and mixed realityDynamics 365
Accelerating innovation: Start with Azure Sphere to secure IoT solutionsAzure

View previous weeks news, tech posts and announcements here

Remote Work Resources

  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. If you are interested, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates.  If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • We have created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.  Details are available here. Schedule a remote MTC session to review app and provide deployment guidance.
  • NEW To assist our customers and community in their crisis response efforts, we’re extending the Priority Notifications promotion into the second half of 2020. Ongoing access to Priority Notifications will be available to facilitate in crisis response and recovery efforts. After the promotion period ends, licensed users will be able to send Priority Notifications according to the terms of their subscription.
  • Leverage a bot to answer questions and keep employees up to date. Here is a the template for FAQ Plus.  You can find a description of other available templates here.
  •  Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.. 
  • In partnership with Commvault we are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • The Microsoft Work from Home Guide is attached to this email. This is the guide Microsoft distributed to its employees.
  • Partner PTC is offering use of their AR Remote Assist Product Vuforia Chalk for free through June.
  •  Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation.  

Join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work

Please see my post Enabling Remote Workers for a categorized overview of resources and my Enabling Remote Workers PointDrive for a more comprehensive list of documentation.

Upcoming Training

Power Apps: Search here for App in a Day workshops, Free online training at Learn

Azure Developer:  events

Office 365 & Teams: Join the  Adoption Monthly Community Calls

Azure: Microsoft Cloud Workshop hosts extensive hands on labs and workshop content

Lindsey and I value your partnership and we are committed to helping you achieve more.  Please reach out to us if you need assistance. Have a great week!

All the best;

Lou

signature

Microsoft Tech News and Product Updates : 4/6/2020

As we strive to ensure the safety of our employees and create business continuity during these difficult times. I wanted to offer our assistance in your efforts.

  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. If you are interested, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates.  If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • We have created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.  Details are available here. Schedule a remote MTC session to review app and provide deployment guidance.
  • Leverage a bot to answer questions and keep employees up to date. Here is a the template for FAQ Plus.  You can find a description of other available templates here.
  •  Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.. 
  • In partnership with Commvault we are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • NEW The Microsoft Work from Home Guide is attached to this email. This is the guide Microsoft distributed to its employees.
  • NEW Partner PTC is offering use of their AR Remote Assist Product Vuforia Chalk for free through June.
  •  NEW Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation.  

Join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work

Please see my post Enabling Remote Workers for a categorized overview of resources and my Enabling Remote Workers PointDrive for a more comprehensive list of documentation.

Product News, Tech Posts & Announcements from last week

Azure Infrastructure
General availability of new Azure disk sizes and burstingAzure
Announcing server-side encryption with customer-managed keys for Azure Managed DisksAzure
Write queries and create dashboards using the full power of Azure Resource GraphTips & Tricks
Go serverless: Enterprise integration with Azure Logic Apps | Azure FridayYou Tube
Business Applications
Microsoft and the CDC have built an AI-powered coronavirus chatbot that can help you figure out whether you need to go to the hospitalBusiness Insider
New AI tools help writers be more clear, concise and inclusive in Office and across the webAI Blog
Simplifying Microsoft’s complex meetings with Power Automate and Microsoft 365IT Showcase
How Public Agencies Keep Communities Informed on COVID-19 with Power BIPower BI
2020 release wave 1 launches with new apps and over 400 featuresDynamics 365
Windows 10
Microsoft’s new browser tool will save you from accidentally tweeting something insensitiveFast Company
Plan for change: TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 soon to be disabled by defaultWindows
App Dev
Go serverless: Serverless operations with Azure DevOpsChannel 9
Intro to PowerShell notebooks for Azure SQLChannel 9
Microsoft 365
Improve virtual meetings and bring consultations online—here’s what’s new to Microsoft 365 in MarchMicrosoft 365
Guide to online meetings and live eventsMicrosoft 365
Mapping External Users’ Locations with CQD Data and PowerBITech Community
Transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams: Latest functionality and upgrade resourcesTech Community
Security
Zero Trust framework to enable remote workSecurity
Making it easier for your remote workforce to securely access all the apps they need, from anywhereSecurity
Attack matrix for KubernetesSecurity
Secure your remote workforce with Microsoft Defender ATPTech Community
 Manufacturing
Manufacturing Industry Blog
Modeling and visualizing discrete IoT data using Azure Time Series InsightsTech Community
Supporting the manufacturing community during this challenging timeIndustry

Upcoming Training

Power Apps: Search here for App in a Day workshops, Free online training at Learn

Azure Developer:  events

Office 365 & Teams: Join the  Adoption Monthly Community Calls

Azure: Microsoft Cloud Workshop hosts extensive hands on labs and workshop content

Lindsey and I value your partnership and we are committed to helping you achieve more.  Please reach out to us if you need assistance. Have a great week!

signature

Enabling Remote Workers

As we strive to ensure the safety of our employees and create business continuity during these difficult times. I wanted to help in your efforts. Below is a categorized listing of resources available from Microsoft. I will update this blog as new information becomes available. Please reach out to me if you need more information. […]

As we strive to ensure the safety of our employees and create business continuity during these difficult times. I wanted to provide an overview of resources available from Microsoft. The majority of the programs listed are included in most Office 365 licensing. We’ll be adding more programs over the next few weeks and I will update this blog as new information becomes available. To collaborate with peers and share your experiences join the community Microsoft Tech Community: Enabling Remote Work Microsoft has also created a detailed guide designed for IT Pros which you can download below.

Please reach out to me if you need more information. Thank you.

Enable your Infrastructure

Ensure your infrastructure is capable of supporting the increased traffic and optimize performance.

For enterprises and organizations looking to optimize and scale out their VPN capabilities, some of the best practices shown above and recommended by Microsoft are:

  • Save load on your VPN infrastructure by using split tunnel VPN, send networking traffic directly to the internet for “known good” and well defined SaaS services like Teams and other Office 365 services, or optimally, by sending all non-corporate traffic to the internet if your security rules allow.
  • Collect user connection and traffic data in a central location for your VPN infrastructure, use modern visualization services, like Power BI, to identify hot spots before they happen, and plan for growth.
  • If possible, use a dynamic and scalable authentication mechanism, like Azure Active Directory, to avoid the trouble of certificates and improve security using multi-factor authentication (MFA) if your VPN client is Active Directory aware, like the Azure OpenVPN client.
  • Geographically distribute your VPN sites to match major user populations, use a geo-load balancing solution such as Azure Traffic Manager, to direct users to the closest VPN site and distribute traffic between your VPN sites.

Finally, and probably most important, know the limits of your VPN connection infrastructure and how to scale out in times of need. Things like total bandwidth possible, maximum concurrent user connections per device will determine when you’ll need to add more VPN devices.

If your devices are physical hardware having additional supply on-hand or a rapid supply chain source will be critical. For cloud solutions, knowing ahead of time how and when to scale will make the difference.

Enhancing VPN performance to enable remote work provides additional guidance from Microsoft.

Manage remote devices

  • If you need to get started quickly Office 365 provides much of the essentials. Set up Mobile Device Management (MDM) in Office 365 describes how to turn on the built in features MDM features. More advanced features including MAM are available in Microsoft Intune and Microsoft EndPoint Manager. Guidance on creating a POC can be found here. FastTrack  resources are also available to assist in your deployment.
  • Deployment guidance and assistance is available for corporations using Defender ATP. This post Secure your remote workforce with Microsoft Defender ATP provides on overview.
  • In partnership with Commvault they are offering free data protection for devices through 9/1. Please see offer here.
  • As we move to a greater dependence on external connectivity adopting a Zero Trust security becomes a critical security stratedgy, To see where your company is on its journey and recommendations you can take the Zero Trust Assessment.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Move user data to Office 365

Migrate data to Office 365 allowing users to access the data from anywhere.  Microsoft offers free tools to help you migrate your data including Mover and the SharePoint Migration Tool as well as FastTrack services to guide you through the project. Here is the File share to OneDrive and SharePoint Migration Guide.

International organizations maybe faced with data residency requirements and low bandwidth sites. Office 365 Multi-Geo allows you to store select datastores (mailbox, onedrive, site collection) in a region that s different from your tenant region,

Go mobile

Microsoft provides a suite of mobile applications the most relevant to working from hme include Outlook, Teams, Office, SharePoint and PowerApps. Your Office 365 licenses allows for access for up to 5 PC’s and Macs plus 5 Tablets plus 5 Phones. When I work from home I have my laptop docked in my office. I will use my tablet when I’m downstairs in the kitchen and my phone when outside feeding the fish, walking the dog or just getting some fresh air.

Outlook Mobile App

Enable work at home with Teams, Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10

Microsoft currently has several programs available to assist in enabling remote work including.

  • If you own Office 365 and are currently deploying Teams, we have multiple free programs we can offer to assist. Here is Microsoft Teams admin documentation which provides extensive instructions on deployment. End user training including a very useful quick start guide is available at Get work done from anywhere with Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in learning more about the programs, we can schedule a 30-minute call to review the available resources.
  • If you have users that are not licensed for Teams, we are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 subscription to our clients affected by COVID-19.
  • Firstline workers are often the hardest group to reach. Teams offers a solution specifically designed for this use case. Please see Shift App for Teams for an overview. In safety-critical environment our partner RealWear developed a Teams enabled headset allowing field workers to share what they are seeing with remote experts.
  • Microsoft is offering Windows Virtual Desktop at reduced rates. If you are interested, we can schedule a call to review options.
  • Deploy Office 365 ProPlus to remote workers.

Microsoft Teams Shift

Leverage Augmented Reality

Using augmented reality you can provide remote access to sites. As an example a safety inspector can visually inspect a site guided by first line workers while being remote. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist allows field technicians and engineers to collaborate with colleagues and experts from different locations, reducing travel and resolving some of the immediate obstacles facing us all. Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist may be available free of charge for up to 6 months if you are implementing a solution in response to COVID-19, either on a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation. 

Keep everyone informed

It is crucial to keep employees up to date during uncertain times. Here are options to leverage Microsoft Technology as a communication platform.

  • Microsoft has created a PowerApps CRISIS COMMUNICATION template and reclassified Push Notifications from premium to standard licensing so you can use the apps full functionality.
    • Key features include:
      • Employees can report their work status (e.g., working from home) and make requests. This helps managers coordinate across their teams and helps central response teams track status across an organization.
      • Admins can use the app to push news, updates, and content specific to their organization, and can provide emergency contacts specific to different locations.
      • The app includes the ability to add RSS feeds of up-to-date information from reputable sources such as WHO, CDC, or a local authority.

Details are available here. If you need help deploying this app we can provide guidance.

Crisis Communication App (layout is responsive)
  • Build a crisis management site in SharePoint to connect people and information here is the blog post and the Look Book so you can add to your tenant.
  • Build a Crisis FAQ bot using Power Virtual Agents.
  • Deliver online events and meetings. Microsoft provides a range of options for meeting. This post provides an overview.
  • Here is the work from home guide Microsoft created for its employees.

Creating a Surgical Checklist in SharePoint Online

Surgical checklists can saves lives, improve efficiencies and reduce costs. It is estimated that over 150,000 deaths a year in the US from surgery with as many as half of those avoidable. Surgery can be extremely complex often involving large teams. Checklists’ can help with memory recall and clearly set out minimum necessary steps within a process. Healthcare institutes have had varied success implementing. Some of the difficulties are cultural and some technical. In this article I would like to show how checklists can be implemented using Office 365. The article assumes a working knowledge of SharePoint Online. It is not meant to be a tutorial but an example of the possible. I’ve added links to more information throughout for those not familiar with the concepts.

We begin with an idea. The idea is adding a procedure, the checklist to surgery will reduce errors, length of hospital stays and costs. The checklist has a lifecycle, beginning with creation and ending with disposal. Additionally it needs to be categorized, managed and measured. This is true for any content we plan to add to a system. We must holistically approach the design so all aspects are considered. In this case content is a surgical checklist. Keep in mind content can be anything a web page, wiki, conversation, record in a list, multi media file. E=mail etc. Regardless of the type the planning is the same.

The Plan

Figure 1 Content Lifecycle

Figure 1 is a simplified content lifecycle model. I will use this model to plan my checklist.

Create – creation is a key component in the user experience. We want an easy to use intuitive interface interactively guiding the creator through the process. In this example I’m using an InfoPath form. Yes, I know InfoPath has been deprecated but let’s not jump the gun. The current version will be supported through 2023 so I still have plenty of time. Coming soon is forms on SharePoint List or FOSL. FOSL will provide a uniformed inline form building experience across Office 365. It will also provide for modern device experiences further enhancing creation and consumption experience.

Approve – Approval can be passive I’ve saved or upload a document or it can be active I’m asking someone to review and approve. In this case we need someone to approve so I’ll be using a workflow created in SharePoint Designer. Workflow in SharePoint online is major upgrade from 2010. It is based upon windows workflow foundation and enables the creation of declarative workflows capable of solving real business problems. Click here for more information on workflow.

Discover – Discovery is where we often fall short. We create massive amounts of content but trying to find it can be a challenge. To simply discovery we will create an additional search vertical in the discovery center and add refiners to easily filter the information. We will also provide a simple and clean view in the list providing easy navigation. We will add item level security so a surgeon can only see their data.

Consume – Consumption is another key element in the user experience. How easily the information is discovered and presented are important components. We will accomplish this using the search vertical in search center, refiners, an Infopath form and a display template.

Dispose – Content is removed according to organizational policy. This will be accomplish by creating a management information policy along with the content type.

Manage – Management of the content exists through it lifecycle. Using out box the features like content type automates the management. The content type will also provide an easy way for categorization. The surgeon simply picks the content type “PreOperative Checklist” from a menu and the content will be categorized and managed throughout it’s lifecycle.

Measure – Measurement can take many forms. It could be how often something is consumed, whether is liked or how it has been rated. In our example measurement will be comparing the results of patient’s outcomes prior to checklist being initiated to those after. We expect positive results in lower costs and less complications. If we do not receive the expected results we will investigate our process looking for flaws.

The Solution.

Figure 2 Site Hosting Checklist Solution

Figure 2 is an example of a SharePoint Online site hosting our solution. There are 4 components.

1. A menu to navigate the site. It is 3 tiles.

a. Create – Select this option to create a checklist

b. Search – Select this option to search for a checklist

c. Research – Displays a dashboard showing results of our study. Whether or not using these checklists reduce errors and if this reduction leads to shorter hospital stays which are less expensive.

2. On Call. Will show any checklist approvers who are on-call. If a question arises they can be easily contacted from this page using built in Lync integration

3. My Checklists – A list of my approved checklists in reverse chronologic order

4. Pending Checklists – Any checklist not yet approved.

The checklist I’ll use for this our example is the Preoperative Checklist from the Patient Safety Authority.

Figure 3 Preoperative Checklist from Patient Safety Authority

1. I’ll build this checklist using a SharePoint list. Figure 4 shows the fields and their type.

Figure 4 SharePoint List with fields representing checklist data

My first step is to create the site columns that will comprise the list.

2. Now, I’ll create a content type. The content type is a key building block. It will do much of the heavy lifting.

· Data is automatically categorized. This categorization can be used for discovery in our case navigation and search.

· Site columns create crawled properties. I can map these to managed properties and use as part of my discovery strategy.

· A template is assigned to the content type, the InfoPath form, controls the creation and consumption experiences.

· A workflow is used for approval. Once approved the workflow will declare the checklist a record and begin the disposal process.

· Auditing is enabled and allows us to measure and manage the content.

· A management information policy is applied. This policy is configured to delete the checklist after the required retention period is completed.

3. Apply the content type to my list and set versioning and item level permissions. Adding versioning gives me more control particularly if the form is lengthy and I don’t expect someone to finish it in one session.

Item level security ensures a surgeon will only see their data and reduces the clutter in the view making navigation easier.

Figure 5 Versioning Settings

Figure 6 Item level permission settings

4. Customize the form to provide a better creation and consumption experience. For this example I’m using InfoPath. I could also use HTML5 and JavaScript to create almost any type of experience imaginable.

Figure 7 InfoPath form used to create checklist

5. Create an approval workflow. This is done with SharePoint designer. This workflow will look up the appropriate approver and once approved create a record which begins the disposition process. The workflow has two parallel steps so if needed the creator can recall the checklist prior to approval

Figure 8 Approval Workflow

6. My content type contained site columns. These site columns automatically become crawled properties. I can map crawled properties to managed properties. This will allow me to use any of the site columns in my content as search refiners. In this example I am using doctor and procedure.

Figure 9 Mapping a managed property

7. Configure search. Search is highly flexible and easily configurable. In this example I decided to extend the default search center by adding a new search vertical “Checklists”. The search vertical is created using a result source. Result sources replace search scopes. They are essentially queries which allow you to organize content to be searched. I’ll also create a display template for the results. Display templates allow me to use html5 and java script to display the managed properties we previously created.

Figure 10 Search center with custom navigation and display template

8. Create a dashboard. The dashboard is created in Excel and displayed in SharePoint. I combine data sources to produce the charts. Dashboards can also be built with Power BI providing state of art business intelligence right within your portal.

Figure 11 Excel services dashboard

This solution provides an easy to configure checklist system which can be modified to meet various needs and requirements. It is one approach. Another would be creating an app. This would require programing skills. One great feature of the app model is the app store. It is possible someone has already created a solution that fits our needs. One example Form FrameWorX contains templates for medical checklists including;

· Basoor Heart Failure Checklist

· Basoor Heart Failure Readmission Prevention Checklist

· PQRI Diabetes Measures Form

Figure 12 App store search for forms

eDiscovery using Office 365

eDiscovery is the discovery and delivery of electronic information related to civil ligation or government investigations. It is a key component of an organizations security and compliance strategy. Enterprise Office 365 subscribers and SharePoint 2013 enterprise customers can use eDiscovery center to search, hold and export cases. The discovery can be configured to include Exchange, SharePoint, Lync or external sources like a file share. The eDiscovery center is designed to be self-service allowing legal personal to manage cases without using IT resources. Using role based access you can provide appropriate levels of access to legal and compliance teams. Key benefits of the eDiscovery center include;

  • Search across Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint
  • Reduce Amount of data sent to review
  • Near Real time results
  • In Place Hold keeps the business running
  • Export results with a few clicks
  • Reduce dependency or eliminate other services

Let’s walk you through an example using SharePoint Online. eDiscovery center is a SharePoint Online site collection. To create an eDiscovery center from the SharePoint Admin portal we’ll create a new private site collection. When selecting a template, select the “Enterprise” tab and then select “eDiscovery Center”

Figure 1 Creating an eDiscovery site collection

A new site collection is generated and you can begin creating cases.

Figure 2 SharePoint online eDiscovery center

Select “Create new case”. A case is a SharePoint Online site so we will be prompted for some basic information about the site.

Figure 3 Creating a case. A case is a SharePoint Online site.

Select create and a new site is generated.

Figure 4 A new case has been created

The first step is to identify the data to include in our case. This is done by defining eDiscovery sets.

Figure 5 Creating a eDiscovery Set

A set contains data sources. A source can be an Exchange Online mailboxes a SharePoint Online sites, Lync or external sources which have been included in SharePoint search index. To add a source select add & manage sources. I can further refine my source by adding a query in the filter section.

In this example I am searching a mailbox and a SharePoint site. Searching using an Exchange distribution group is supported so I can easily search a large group without having to enter all the names individually. I am using the company name ‘Contoso’ as a filter. This is a simple keyword but rich query syntax is supported so I can add a complex query. An example would be a proximity search: For instance, wingtip NEAR(30) marketing identifies results where “wingtip” is within 30 keywords of “marketing”.

Figure 6 Adding my sources

Results will be returned almost immediately because they are retrieved from the search index.

Figure 7 eDiscovery sets with sources and a filter

I can then preview the results ensuring I have the right information and if needed make adjustments. If I decide to place this content on hold I can do so by selecting “enable in place hold”. In place hold ensures the original content cannot be altered or deleted. If an attempt is made to delete or alter the original content it will be copied and hidden from view and the action is performed on a duplicate. Using in-place hold allows the business to functional normally irrespective of the hold there by limiting the impact on business.

Figure 8 Previewing Results of the eDiscovery set

Figure 9 In-Place Hold Status shows “processing”

Office 365 will now process the hold request. We can see this under “In-Place Hold Status”. Office 365 uses a process called “copy on writer” this means the on hold data is not automatically copied. Only content that is modified/deleted is copied. This reduces storage requirements and system stress.

Exchange Online In-Place Hold uses the Recoverable Items folder to preserve items. The Recoverable Items folder replaces the feature informally known as the dumpster in previous versions of Exchange. The Recoverable Items folder is hidden from the default view of Outlook, Outlook Web App, and other email clients.

Figure 10 – View In Place hold status from Exchange admin console

In SharePoint hold is set at the site level and will include any sub sites. SharePoint Online creates a hidden document library “Preservation Hold Library”. We can see this if we are the admin and open the site in SharePoint Designer. Once a document is modified or deleted it’s on hold state is preserved in this library.

Figure 11 Viewing hidden library in SharePoint Designer

Figure 12 Hidden library is SharePoint, looks like any other document library

Once content in a site or mailbox has been placed on hold. It cannot be deleted until the item are removed from hold.

Figure 13 Error message I tried to delete a site that had documents with legal hold

Once we have established our eDiscovery sets we are ready to export. Select new item from the Search and Export section. The eDiscovery set we just created is set as the default source. This can be modified. You are then asked to supply a name and can further refine the results. The ability to further refine results, quickly and easily ensures only needed information is sent to review. Review is costly so we do not want to send excess content. The dashboard provides detailed statistics so you can perform accurate refinements.

Figure 14 Refined export query

In my example I am adding the filter “expansion” to further refine my export.

Figure 15 Export Options

Selecting export provides additional options. Select OK to export. The first time an export is performed a client side download tool is installed and controls the download process.

Figure 16 Confirm output

Figure 17 Status provided by eDiscovery Download Manager

Figure 18 Exported results on PC

Results are exported in industry standard EDRM format

List à csv

Web pages, blogs, wikis à mht

eMail à pst

To remove an in place hold return to the case and select “Disable In Place Hold”.

Figure 19 – Disable In place hold

The eDiscovery center can also be used to identity sensitive data types in SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business. Sensitive information is a pre defined template the search engine uses to find data like social security number or credit card numbers. There are 51 templates. A list can be found here. To find sensitive information use a query in the “Search and Export” section of a case. An example would the query SensitiveType=”U.S. Social Security Number (SSN)” will find any content containing US social security numbers. The results can be previewed or exported.

I hope you found this information helpful. The example above uses out of the box features. If extended functionality is required eDiscovery can be extended using client side object model or by leveraging one of the many partners within the Office 365 ecosystem.

This paper was written in August of 2014. The Office 365 service is continually improving to find the latest features please check the Office 365 Service descriptions. To see what is coming up you can check the Office 365 Public Roadmap.