Simplify processes and meet your requirements with new records management updates

Published Jan 29 2019 09:00 AM 18.9K Views

We have heard from customers the challenges with maintaining compliance in the modern workplace, and the desire to reduce the complexity and friction of core compliance processes such as records management. For many organizations, maintaining and validating critical business records is imperative to maintaining business continuity. Today we are announcing new capabilities integrated into Microsoft 365 to help you simplify and streamline core records management processes.  


Working closely with several customer development partners, we have understood the importance of using the in-place archive within Office 365 core workloads such as Exchange email and SharePoint online. Organizations are already starting to realize the benefit of the in-place archival capabilities of Office 365 for a variety of content across both communications and collaboration. With these new updates, now organizations will be able to do more with the integrated archive and records management capabilities.  


First we are excited to announce a new assessment of Exchange based content including email, chats, teams messages and more to meet the SEC 17a-4 compliance requirement for WORM (Write once, ready many) and non-WORM storage and immutability of records. This assessment was completed by an independent third party, Cohasset Associates, and covers SEC 17a-4, FINRA Rule 4511c and CFTC 1.31 (c-d) and provides a credible confirmation of the features built into Office 365 and their ability to help your organization meet your requirements for immutability and records retention. Learn more about this assessment and download your own copy here 


In addition, file plan manager is now generally available. This new capability allows records manager to automate retention schedules policies throughout the lifecycle using intelligent analytics and insights. Record managers can also migrate complex records retention schedules from existing on-prem or other systems into Office 365 and maintain a cohesive experience. Simplified Import and export along with file plan descriptors can be used to create a hierarchical file plan.  File plan will also provide into Microsoft Information Protection analytics described below. 


Read more about file plan manager here. 


File Plan Screenshot.jpg


We are also releasing enhancements to the disposition workflow, allowing record managers to defensibility delete content and produce a certificate of destruction within the integrated workflow. Read more about this update here 


The API supporting Event Based Retention based on triggers from outside systems and workflows is now generally available. Now organizations can trigger retention based on employee departure from HR systems, or accomplish other retention triggers from customer relationship management or financial systems. Read more about this and how to set this up here 




Finally, we know that visibility and ability to derive insights from classification, protection and management of records is critical and ensures confidence in the fidelity of advanced services like auto-classification. Today, along with the introduction of the Microsoft 365 Compliance Center we are announcing the preview of Microsoft Information Protection label analytics, bringing together label insights across Office 365 and Azure Information Protection to share classification and labeling of Office 365 and non-Office 365 data in your environment. This helps deliver a comprehensive view of your digital estate, sensitive data and protection and retention polices that are in place. Read more about the compliance and these updates here. 



Get started with these capabilities today. 


- Maithili Dandige, Group Program Manager, Microsoft 365 Compliance Solutions 


Does this mean that disposition now works with email items?

Occasional Contributor

@Maithili Dandige Thanks for the insights into new capabilities. Retention Policies can have Preservation Lock enabled, which is essential for meeting the compliance requirements you noted above, but they do not support Disposition Workflow. As far I can see, Retention Labels do not have the same Preservation Lock capability but do support Disposition Workflow, meaning that firms subject to the aforementioned compliance requirements will not be able to use the newer Retention Labels nor have an integrated disposition workflow


Another way I wondered if you have linked the two was that a Retention Policy could be set under Advanced Retention to look for content carrying a Retention Label (using searchable properties - which are apparently coming), but at the current time, there's only a keyword query editor available.


Is there something I haven't seen? Is there a strategic direction to address the above?

Frequent Visitor

If File Plan is GA, then why can I not see it in the side menu?  We have E5 Licenses.


@COSManager access to file plan requires the user to be assigned to the Security and Compliance Center's 'Retention Management' permissions role. Please verify and if file plan still does not display in the left navigation, I can investigate. I'd need to know the Tenant ID and URL, send via email to



@Vasil Michev 

The capability of reviewing and disposing email items is available since earlier last year (2018).

You can see email items by selecting "Emails" option in the filtering dropdown menu on the Disposition page.

Thanks, seems I've missed this one.

Frequent Visitor

All permissions are assigned correctly.  If we manually type "", we can get to the File Plan Manager.  I think you guys need to fix your interface.


@COSManager - as of 4/2/2019, Office 365 file plan completed its worldwide rollout process, would you please confirm if you can now see it in your tenant? Thank you!

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