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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, general availability of the new Teams desktop app, take a peek into the impact of hybrid work on carbon emissions, and explore new and upcoming features in the Microsoft 365 admin center including enhancements to Migration Manager, device management, and new RBAC roles in Microsoft Purview.
Join the next AMA on Microsoft 365 Copilot
We’ll be hosting the next AMA(Ask Me Anything) on Microsoft 365 Copilot tomorrow on Thursday, November 9, in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Tech Community. The upcoming AMA will be focused on getting ready for Copilot and Ignite. 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 that was focused on Microsoft 365 Copilot here.
The event is a great opportunity to hear from members like you and have the team of experts answer questions. 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.
Upgrade to the new Microsoft Teams – now generally available
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced the general availability of the new Microsoft Teams app for Windows and Mac, including education customers. Public Preview is also rolling out for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and government cloud customers (GCC, GCC-H, DoD).
The new Teams app now has full parity with almost all features of the previous version, and new features and enhancements in the future will be available exclusively on new Teams. No migration is required, and automatic upgrading will be rolled out over the coming months. To get started today, users simply have to flip the toggle in the upper-left corner of the class Teams app.
Some of the benefits of new Teams include:
Performance and memory improvements, which is up to two times faster and uses 50% less memory and disk space than classic Teams.
Security enhancements, which uses a containerized app model, simplifies app updates, and supports web security policies.
New personalization options, allowing users to switch between light or dark mode, select color sensitivity themes, and use keyboard shortcuts more effectively.
The multi-tenant organizations (MTO) and multi-tenant, multi-account (MTMA) capabilities of enabling seamless cross-tenant communication and collaboration with coworkers in different groups and accounts.
A cross-cloud authenticated meeting feature which allows users to join a meeting hosted in any Microsoft cloud without signing out of their home tenant.
Climate mitigation potential of hybrid work
Since the pandemic pushed most information workers into remote work, there’s been an ongoing period of discovery for companies to define the balance of remote and in-person work that works best for them. A recent peer-reviewed study published by researchers at Microsoft and Cornell University explores hybrid work from a different angle, assessing how the location of work affects its carbon footprint.
In this study, the researchers found that remote work could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 58% compared to onsite work, mainly due to reductions in office energy use and commuting. However, the benefits depend on the number of days worked remotely, the type of transportation used, and the configuration of home and office. Notably, the researchers found that the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) usage on GHG emissions is negligible compared to other sources. They recommend that organizations focus on other factors such as commute decarbonization, facility downsizing, and renewables penetration to mitigate GHG emissions of remote and onsite work. You can read the full report here.
What this means for IT: Supporting remote and hybrid work can increase the complexity of IT management and security – but striking the right balance can have implications well beyond the organization, including for global climate. Remote employees need to access company resources from outside the corporate network. IT admins should ensure that remote access is secure and that employees follow best practices for password management, data protection, and network security. Having the right collaboration tools is also necessary to support a productive organization and IT has become even more responsible in the process of acquiring tools and driving adoption with their users.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a new Emissions Impact Dashboard for Microsoft 365 that can help admins and IT leaders track emissions from their Microsoft 365 use. To learn more about getting the dashboard running, check out this article.
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.
New Role-based Access Control (RBACs) in Microsoft Purview
In November, more Role-based access control types will be available in Microsoft Purview to prepare for upcoming features and capabilities relevant to those role groups. Additional roles will be added to Microsoft Purview built-in role groups for Compliance Administrator, Information Protection related role groups, and Privacy Management related role groups. Microsoft Purview also supports the creation of custom roles, if needed, to support more unique needs of organizations. Learn more about RBACs here.
Enhancements to Migration Manager
Migration Manager is a powerful tool, hosted within the setup page of Microsoft 365 admin center, that helps seamlessly transfer data from various file sources, such as BOX, Google Drive, Dropbox, and File Share, to Microsoft 365. Microsoft recently made a number of improvements including migrating File Level Permissions for Dropbox, Box and Google Drive, support for Box Notes conversion, multi-project support on a single source, and optimization to the summary report bulk download process. For a rundown of all the updates, check out this article.
Enhancements to device management in Microsoft 365 Apps admin center (channel updating)
Currently rolling out, Microsoft is improving how admins manage user device update channels in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center to simplify getting ready for Microsoft 365 Copilot and manage devices in general. Admins can soon activate Current Channel updates in Cloud Updates, configure various settings for Current and Monthly Enterprise Channel to exclude groups, create exclusion windows, configure rollout waves, update deadline, and manage rollbacks. There will also be new channel switch functionality to move channels of devices or AAD Groups in Inventory with a single click. For more information on managing channels, check out this article.
It’s not too late to register for Ignite digital experience
From November 15-16, Microsoft will be hosting Ignite 2023 and there’s still time to register for the free digital experience. The event will showcase the latest innovations in AI, Cloud, and security, with numerous sessions covering the latest for IT admins across Microsoft. While tickets to the in-person event are sold out, registering for the digital experience gets you access to livestream keynotes, breakouts and discussion sessions, Microsoft Cloud Skills challenges, and attendee networking. Next month, look out for our Ignite preview blog for Microsoft 365 admins!