Various Office 365 updates were released last month, including the classroom experience for Microsoft Teams for Education, Stream being made generally available, Forms available for commercial public preview, and incorporating a number of security and compliance announcements.
Microsoft Teams classroom experiences - the June update is designed to bring together key features within an Office 365 hub for education for use by teachers, staff and students, currently rolled out for Office 365 for Education customers in more than 180 markets and 25 languages.
- School data sync enables teachers to automatically populate class rosters or registers from a school’s information systems.
- OneNote Class Notebooks is useful for the organisation and delivery of personalised, interactive lessons.
- Integrated apps enable seamless access to Office 365 apps, including Planner, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- End-to-end assignment management, which gives teachers the ability to manage through from assignment creation and distribution to collection and marking.
Teams’ functionality supports collaboration among the education community, but outside the immediate classroom and school environment – enabling members of a professional learning community to communicate, for example.
Released for Office 365 Enterprise mid-June, Stream can be seen as an evolution of Microsoft Video.
James Phillips, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Business Applications Group, writes, “Microsoft Stream provides a common destination for video management, with built-in intelligence features, deep integration across Office 365 and the IT management and security capabilities that businesses of all sizes require.”
Features enabling users to search and jump to specified places within a video include searchable transcribed audio, face detection and linked timecodes.
Until June available to Education customers only, Microsoft Forms has been released for commercial public preview, enabling the creation of quizzes and forms that can be accessed and completed online.
Use in the commercial sector can include for the collection of customer feedback, measuring employee satisfaction, or organising team events.
Enhancement to intelligent services
Extending on from Word for Windows desktop, Researcher has been developed for Word for Macs and OneNote for Windows 10. Utilising Bing Knowledge Graph, Researcher facilitates location and incorporation of reliable sources and content for use in papers and notes.
MyAnalytics introduces functionality to be able to mark a section, summary or overview to share with selected recipients.
Security and compliance updates
June 2017 saw updates to Office 365 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). These include:
- Threat protection status report. This new ATP and EOP feature enhances reporting functionality developed for the Security & Compliance Center for ATP Safe Attachments, adding visibility to malicious emails detected and blocked.
- Enhanced quarantine capabilities. Emails denoted malware will be quarantined in both ATP and EOP for administrators to review. Functionality incorporates the ability to permanently delete selected emails from quarantine.
- ATP Safe Links Policy. Administrators are now able to block set URLs and email wildcarding for domains and handles, with the character limit for blocking/allowing URLs extended. Customisation means policies can be tailored to certain user lists, such as a selected group or department.
Released eDiscovery and data governance features support enhanced compliance. For example, rights management (RMS) decryption and unified case management creates a consistent user interface for eDiscovery in Office 365.
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