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3 recommended updates: Microsoft Teams-Outlook integrations

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Version 20.01.16 is now available.

Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld on SharePoint page difference visualization, three new features for improved Microsoft Teams-Outlook integration, and eDiscovery for Yammer.

Happy new year! And welcome back to 3 recommended updates, a bi-weekly blog series where I bring you the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft and Office 365.

I hope you enjoyed the last one—with my thoughts on the updated SharePoint team sites ‘Next steps’ panel, the new Microsoft Teams client for Linux, and multiple updates to the SharePoint admin center—and are ready for the eleventh installment!

3 recommended updates series:

In this release, you’ll find my opinion on the SharePoint page difference visualization; new Microsoft Teams and Outlook email integrations; and the addition of eDiscovery for Yammer.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at my 3 recommended updates you need to know about now.

SharePoint page difference visualization

Since the dawn of SharePoint, the ability to work with versioning has been one of its strong suits. It allows you to track the activity of an item (like documents, events, and tasks) by creating a new version each time you make changes.

Unfortunately, the usability of versioning for SharePoint pages isn’t great; it’s difficult to view changes between versions of a SharePoint page as opposed to a document. 

Let’s look at the following example: I want to compare version 2.0 with version 3.0. When I open version 2.0, a small pop-up opens: 

Version history pop-up window in SharePoint Online.

I have to scroll from top to bottom and literally guess what’s been changed—there are no visual indications of the modified web parts or content, making it impossible to execute a proper revision. 

Microsoft was aware of the situation, and is now in the process of launching a SharePoint page difference visualization feature. This feature will allow page editors to access the version history of a page, either through page details or on the command bar. 

With page difference visualization, you can see the version history of a modern page or new post and compare versions in SharePoint, including comparing changes visually on the page. You can see when a page was changed and who changed it. You can also see when properties (information about the file) were changed. If you need to, you can restore a previous version or delete a previous version.”

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 57813

Editors will also have the option to: 

  • See differences between the current and previous version highlighted on the canvas 
  • Delete older versions 
  • Restore older versions

Good to know: 

  • You should inform your content editors bound to targeted release, as they will be among the first wave of users encountering this new feature. 
  • You should start updating your adoption and training materials to include mention of this new feature.  

Microsoft started gradually rolling this out to targeted release customers in late December 2019. The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of January 2020. You can learn more about all the upcoming intelligent Intranet features on Microsoft’s Sharepoint community blog.

Teams-Outlook email integrations

The new year just started, and Microsoft Teams is already receiving its first killer feature of 2020: the ability to share information between email and chat with three new integrations.

E-mail is still a prominent communication tool for most companies. Although many organizations are starting to make the switch to more chat-based communication with Microsoft Teams, that means there are now two tools where we receive and send conversations.

Teams-Outlook email integrations make it easy to share information between email and chat with three new features.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 57389

This can result in scenarios where you receive an e-mail and want to share it with your team in Microsoft Teams or vice versa—especially in scenarios where you want to share information with people who aren’t using Microsoft Teams. 

Maybe you’re asking yourself: “Jasper, hasn’t there already been an e-mail integration for many years?”

And you would be correct: 

Existing email integration in Microsoft Teams.

The major downside of the current approach? You have to leave Outlook, open Microsoft Teams, find your channel, right click and copy the e-mail address, re-open Outlook, create e-mail, and send. That’s a lot of clicks! Not to mention it’s time consuming.

The new integration provides a button in Outlook, allowing you to copy the content of your e-mail directly to your favorite channel. Easy and time efficient! You want to share information from Teams to Outlook? No problem at all. 

Here’s an overview of all the new features being provided: 

  1. Share email to Teams: Share a copy of an email and any attachments from outlook to a channel or chat in Teams.
  2. Share conversation via email: Share a copy of a Teams channel or chat conversation via email without leaving the app.
  3. Reply to missed activity emails: Respond to Teams missed activity emails directly from within Outlook, as well as see the latest missed messages.

Good to know: 

  • ‘Share to Teams’ is an Outlook add-in.
  • ‘Share to Teams’ does not allow sharing of IRM/DRM-protected emails. 
  • All content is fully eDiscoverable and GDPR compliant. 
  • ‘Reply to missed activity emails’ uses Outlook Actionable Messages. 
  • You should start updating your adoption and training materials to include this new feature.  

Microsoft is rolling this new feature into general availability starting in mid-January, with complete roll out by early February. 

eDiscovery for Yammer

In the past few years, I became a bit skeptical about Yammer—mainly due to the lack of updates and the meteoric rise of Microsoft Teams. But after the announcements at Ignite 2019 and the upcoming Yammer integrations and updates, I’m definitely regaining faith!

Yammer will bring eDiscovery capabilities to Office 365-connected Yammer groups. We are excited to add Yammer content to the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect. This helps your company search, discover, and hold content related to its legal policies and helps you to be proactive in the management of information and records, giving your organization more control over the handling of eDiscovery cases and requests.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Featured ID: 50555

There’s one update in particular I’m especially excited about: eDiscovery for Yammer. More and more companies are feeling the pressure to deliver a strong compliance strategy—mainly due to government regulations and data leaks—and this new feature really shows Microsoft’s dedication to continue improving the app. Being able to integrate Yammer with eDiscovery allows companies to gain more control over their sensitive information.

Good to know: 

  • For new customers, data is now automatically discoverable in eDiscovery. 
  • Existing customers will be able to turn on eDiscovery for Yammer after Microsoft releases the Native Mode Wizard in mid-January. Learn more about Native Mode in Yammer in the official Microsoft documentation.

You can also read up on eDiscovery in Office 365 in more detail in the Microsoft documentation.

It’s all about integrations

2020 has just begun, but Microsoft isn’t slowing down! The Office 365 message center is full of exciting new features and updates. 

I am especially excited about the new integration features between Outlook and Microsoft Teams. Outlook is the past and Microsoft Teams is the future—the only thing holding companies back from fully embracing Teams is those darn e-mails! 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think e-mail is going away anytime soon. But integrations like these do help improve the overall shift towards Microsoft Teams for collaboration.  

Until next time!

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