November 30, 2023

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Welcome to the Microsoft 365 IT admin blog, your monthly source of tips, insights, and best practices for managing and optimizing your Microsoft 365 environment. In this edition, we cover the upcoming AMA on Microsoft 365 Copilot, briefly recap a knowledge-filled Ignite, and talk about the latest enhancements and updates relevant to Microsoft 365 admins including end of support for Office 2016 and Office 2019, setting up auto-claim policies, and adding organizational data to Viva. 


Join the next AMA on Microsoft 365 Copilot  

We’ll be hosting the next AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Microsoft 365 Copilot on Wednesday, December 6, in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Tech Community. The upcoming AMA will be focused on Copilot for Microsoft 365 and follow up on any questions you might have coming out of Ignite 2023. In our previous AMA, we had great discussions on how to use Copilot and what to expect, extending Copilot through Microsoft Graph connectors and plugins, and admin controls and how to measure success. You can catch up on the previous AMA here.  


You can send in your questions to the event page now, and a team of experts will join us to help answer them during the event. 


Recapping Ignite 2023 

Earlier this month, Microsoft hosted our annual Ignite conference in Seattle. Some highlights this year include announcing the Private Preview of Copilot for Microsoft 365 admin, enhancements to simplify managing multi-tenant environments, an in-depth look under the hood of Copilot for Microsoft 365, and how you can prepare for Copilot. Check out this blog for the highlights at Ignite that are most relevant to Microsoft 365 admins.  


In case you missed them, here are some session recordings and videos that are highly recommended: 

  • What’s new for Microsoft 365 admins: This session covers the latest updates for Microsoft 365 admins with topics ranging from Copilot for Microsoft 365 admin, the unified domain, managing multi-tenant and cross-tenant environments, to network provider data and actionability 

  • Getting your enterprise ready for Copilot for Microsoft 365: Hear from experts on preparing an organization for Microsoft 365 Copilot including information protection, compliance, privacy, deployment prerequisites, information access optimization, and extensibility options. 

  • How Copilot for Microsoft 365 works: Go behind the scenes to understand the architecture and dataflows behind Microsoft 365 Copilot including retrieval augmented generation techniques, app commanding, and options to securely connect to external data. 


Highlights across Microsoft 365 administration 

Let’s check out some of the latest features we launched in the Microsoft 365 admin center and how they can help you get things done.  


End of Support for Office 2016 and 2019 clients connecting to Microsoft 365 services 

In October, Microsoft announced that it had ended support for clients connecting to Microsoft 365 services for Office 2016 and Office 2019. Customers affected by these End of Support milestones should transition to a supported Office version to prevent potential security, compliance, and productivity risks. Organizations seeking a solution that is always supported are recommended to consider transitioning to Microsoft 365 E3 that comes with not only the Microsoft 365 Apps, but also capabilities like foundational security, streamlined endpoint management, and enhanced productivity and collaboration features. 


For customers who are unable or not yet ready to move to the cloud, there are other options. As previously announced, we will be making the next version of Office LTSC generally available in the second half of 2024. For our server products including SharePoint Server and Exchange Server, we are also committed to supporting our on-premises customers as long as there is substantial demand. 


New eligible products for Auto-Claim policy and license request notifications 

Auto-claim policies help reduce the need for admins to go into the Microsoft 365 admin center and assign licenses to individual users. With Auto-claim, you can now set up a pool of licenses on a per product basis that automatically gets assigned to a user they launch an application or service that a policy has been set for, helping reduce time for user onboarding and admin time spent on repetitive tasks. Microsoft recently added support for PowerApps and PowerAutomate to auto-claim eligibility, with support for Microsoft Project coming soon, and more. To learn more about setting up auto-claim, check out this article. 


New devices available for Teams Rooms and more market availability 

Microsoft now offers IT admins the ability to discover and purchase devices from the device store in the Teams admin center in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Ireland, France, and Portugal with availability in Austria, Spain, Greece, Belgium, and Netherlands coming soon. Microsoft recently announced new devices available through the store specifically catering to customers who have simpler requirements. For more information on some of these offerings, check out this article. 


Organizational data now supported in Viva 

We’re excited to announce that Microsoft 365 now supports importing organizational data as part of your subscription. Upload your organizational data via .csv file to power high-value capabilities and new scenarios across Microsoft Viva and Microsoft 365, such as Viva Amplify reporting and more personalized experiences in Viva and Microsoft 365.

Organizational data in Microsoft 365 is built on Microsoft’s current commitments to data security and privacy in the enterprise. There is no change to these commitments. Organizational data in Microsoft 365 is integrated into Microsoft 365 and adheres to all existing privacy and compliance obligations. To learn more, check out this article.


Stay Updated 

As always, stay current with the latest updates on the Microsoft 365 admin center from the Microsoft 365 roadmap and the message center. In addition, we also highlight new feature releases and enhancements released each month in our What’s new in the Microsoft 365 admin center article.  


Comment below if there are IT admin or change management topics you would like us to explore in future! 

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