Here are some of the latest improvements and new features in Microsoft 365 for March 2019:
What’s new this month:
- SharePoint – Organizational news, page templates, admin center updates and sticky headers
- Microsoft Teams – custom backgrounds, live captions, private channels & more
- Whiteboard – Teams integration, ink grab and beautification
- LinkedIn – co-author with connections
- Live Events – stream from Yammer, Teams or Stream
- Forms Pro
- Security Center
- Admin Center
SharePoint organizational news
SharePoint news allows you to broadcast stories and announcements across the organization. Now, within the news web part you can apply a custom order to your news, meaning you can highlight key content to be more visible among other news items.
Also coming in March 2019 is the ability to make a SharePoint site an authoritative news site. When you post news from these sites, it will propagate throughout SharePoint home in Office 365 or via the news tab on the SharePoint app. You can tell an authoritative news post from others by a color badge on the title.
One that I’ve been personally waiting for…page templates! Templates are a really great way of ensuring a consistent design for your intranet or team sites. Initially there will be three page templates – basic, text-centric and visual, but you can also create your own template from an existing page and it will be displayed in the template gallery.
New sharing page in the SharePoint admin center
A new sharing page has been released within the SharePoint admin center. The new SharePoint admin center has been in preview for some time, and more management capabilities are being updated throughout March and April 2019.
List and library sticky headers
SharePoint list and libraries will now have the column headers pinned at the top of the page. This will prove extremely useful when dealing with large lists and libraries! Column headers will also remain in place when inside web parts.
Find out more:
- Using the news web part on a SharePoint page
- Making a site an authoritative news site
- Add a page to a communication site using page templates
- SharePoint online admin
Customized backgrounds in video chats
As mentioned in the November 2018 Office 365 update, background blur enables you to remove any unwanted distractions from video calls to keep colleagues focused. Later this year you will not only be able to blur but completely change your background.
Live captions/ subtitles
Live captions and subtitles make meetings in Teams more inclusive for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing, having different language proficiency levels or connect from a noisy location.
Secure private channels
This one is great 🙂 secure private channels are coming to Teams later this year. This will allow you to restrict channel participation and channel visibility without having to create an entirely separate Team.
Yammer in Teams
You can now add a Yammer tab to a Teams channel that will load a specific topic or group feed from Yammer.
Copy a plan…in planner
You can now duplicate an existing plan to create a new one based off of a previous creation. From the Planner hub, select the Copy plan option in the ellipsis menu.
Find out more:
- Microsoft Teams wins Enterprise Connect Best in Show award and delivers new experiences for the intelligent workplace
- Microsoft Teams UserVoice Site
- Add a Yammer page to a channel in Teams
- Copy a plan
Teams meeting integration
Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams meetings allows attendees in the same tenant to participate in the conversation on any device. The board is automatically shared with all meeting attendees.
Intelligent ink grab and beautification improvements
You can now easily take content from a physical whiteboard and convert it to digital using Ink Grab. Ink Grab converts images of your whiteboard notes into digital ink, making them easier to read and share with others.
Then this is where Ink Beautification comes in. Ink Beautification takes the written notes and makes them easier to understand, erasing a common problem with whiteboard notes – bad handwriting!
Find out more
Co-author with first-degree connections
Documents being shared in Outlook on the web, OneDrive, SharePoint, Word Online, PowerPoint Online and Excel Online can now be co-authored with first-degree connections from LinkedIn.
This feature is available for targeted release customers now.
Find out more:
Live events in Microsoft 365
Live events in Microsoft 365 is now generally available, meaning anyone can create live or on-demand events using video and interactive discussion across Teams, Stream or Yammer.
Attendees will receive notifications and are able to participate in real time, with high-def video and interactive discussion across all devices. Live Events also allows you to connect with attendees whether they are in Yammer, Teams or Stream.
Once a live event has finished, you can easily make the recording available to access on-demand and catch up quickly, with AI features that automatically transcribes the content and detects who the speakers are to make it simple to search for content later.
Forms Pro has just been announced in public preview, this new solution allows you to professionally distribute surveys (including custom forms), with extensive capabilities to collect feedback and analyze data.
You can try the preview at https://formspro.microsoft.com/
The new Microsoft 365 security center is the place to monitor and manage security across your Microsoft identities, data, devices, apps, and infrastructure.
Some of the new tools include:
- View security trends and track the protection status of your environment
- Analyze and take actions to improve your security posture with the all-new Microsoft Secure Score
- Hunt for intrusion attempts affecting your e-mail, data, devices, and identity
Find out more:
- The new Microsoft 365 security center and Microsoft 365 compliance center are now generally available
The also new Microsoft 365 admin center simplifies how you manage Microsoft 365 and Office 365 services. The admin center is tailored based on the roles within your organisation, improving task efficiency and providing insights deliver a better experience to users.
Find out more:
Links and resources
- Microsoft 365 blog – New in Microsoft 365 – March
- New in Microsoft 365 video – March 2019
- SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop – March 2019