Microsoft’s Compliance Manager is intended to help cloud tenants cope with regulations like ISO 27001 and GDPR. The Compliance Manager has a nice dashboard, but it is passive and offers very weak options in terms of organizing the work needed to achieve compliance. But Office 365 has Planner and Teams, and it is easy to create the necessary collaboration structure to allow people to work on GDPR controls.
Microsoft clarified what AAD features need premium licenses at Ignite. Tenants need many of those features to control Office 365 Groups and Teams, and some of the listed features are surprising. Did you know that the group creation policy is a premium feature? Or adding a default classification. The chosen set of features seems odd, but at least Microsoft is now clear about what you must license.
On August 9, Microsoft launched the Office 365 Groups expiration policy into preview. It expires groups after a set period and helps keep the spread of groups under control. All sounds good, but the new feature needs an Azure Active Directory Premium license, which isn’t so welcome.
Microsoft has launched a new external sharing policy for groups that allows tenants to set allow and block lists for domains. The new policy is due for use with Teams, Planner, and other applications that need to block external users from specific domains. It’s a set along the path to getting full external access for Office 365 apps.
Gartner’s recent SWOT analysis of Office 365 contains some interesting thoughts and observations. I do not agree with them all because I think some of their thinking is a little dated, but it is always interesting to read what Gartner is whispering into the ears of their customers.
The news that Teams won’t support external access when they planned is not a shock. But what is needed is a common external access mechanism that can work for all of the Office 365 applications. Let’s not reinvent the wheel!
Backup solutions for Office 365 are available from many ISVs. However, six years after the Office 365 launch, no product exists that takes a comprehensive and integrated approach to Office 365 applications.
Microsoft has updated Yammer so that new groups use the Office 365 Groups service to manage the identity and membership of the groups. There are far too many “groups” in that last sentence, which kind of illustrates how a surplus of groups might be building up within Office 365.
The Mobile Planner app is another milestone for the Office 365 Task Management Service.
Microsoft Planner added the ability to assign multiple people to a task. It’s a good step, but it’s the first new feature in nine months. That’s curious when you compare to the development cadence of other Office 365 applications.
The latest version of the PowerShell module for Azure Active Directory contains the cmdlets to recover a deleted Office 365 Group (and a plan or a team). We have been waiting for this feature for two and a half years, but maybe the waiting makes the feature all the sweeter…
The Microsoft Teams application is now generally available. Lots has been done to improve Teams since its preview release and Microsoft has made many good updates. Some edges remain for Microsoft to work on, but Teams is now more than a valid competitor for Slack in the chat-based collaboration market.
Teams and Planner are excellent examples of new functionality that Microsoft can create using the toolkit of parts that exist within Office 365. The two applications have excited and delighted customers since their announcement, but the applications are not yet complete. Some challenges exist that Microsoft really needs to take on to round out functionality and capabilities.