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What’s new in Microsoft Information Governance and Records Management
Published Sep 22 2020 08:00 AM 20.9K Views

The unprecedented times we’re living in have dramatically accelerated remote work and collaboration, creating unique challenges for organizations of all sizes. Companies need to rethink and adapt their approach to govern data amid the explosive volume of Microsoft Teams chats and meetings, Yammer messages, shared files, and even text messages used as key business communications. Legacy software and on-premises records management solutions cannot support the active needs of online and real-time collaboration without significant productivity loss.


Today, during our first-ever all-digital Microsoft Ignite, we announced new capabilities in Microsoft Information Governance and Records Management to help customers meet these unique challenges:

  • In-place retention and deletion policies for Yammer messages (rolling out public preview) and Teams meeting recordings (coming soon)
  • New regulatory record label (public review) that provides enhanced immutability
  • New Cohasset Associates report assessing how Microsoft 365 can help support SEC 17a-4 and similar WORM requirements
  • SharePoint Syntex integration with Microsoft Information Governance and Records Management
  • Feedback loop for trainable classifiers in public preview that fine-tunes the machine learning model
  • 25 pre-built data connectors that help you archive and manage business-critical information in one place

Let me share more on each one of these announcements.


Create in-place retention policies for Yammer and Teams meeting recordings

With widespread remote work replacing ad hoc hallway conversations and in-person town hall meetings, Teams meetings and Yammer communities have become the most commonly used communication tools for company announcements, ideation, project collaboration, and more.


We are thrilled to share that with the storage of Teams meeting recordings moving to SharePoint and OneDrive, as announced in this blog post, you will be able to utilize all the rich retention capabilities available in these platforms to manage the retention and deletion of the recordings. In addition, we have added support for you to easily use our automatic labeling capabilities to apply different retention periods or immutability to Teams meeting recording files, separated from the rest of your OneDrive and SharePoint files. If you’re interested in the auto-labeling capability, our online documentation is now updated to include instructions for Teams meeting recordings.


 Figure 1 - Apply a retention label on a Teams meeting recording in OneDrive


We are also excited to announce the public preview of retention policies for Yammer, which will be rolled out to your environment in the next few weeks, so you can easily configure policies to retain and delete content as you do for Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange.


 Figure 2 - Create a retention policy for Yammer messages


Manage regulatory records with strict immutability requirements

Confidentiality, integrity, and availability of records are vital principles that must guide companies as they govern business-critical information. This is especially true for organizations required to comply with regulations such as SEC 17a-4, FINRA, and CFTC.


Previously, we introduced retention labels for records to help meet recordkeeping requirements, such as being non-editable and non-erasable, while providing capabilities such as records versioning to allow information workers to collaborate in future iterations if needed. Record labels will continue to be our vision for how to handle critical business records in a modern digital world.


However, highly regulated industries such as financial service or government need the most stringent controls to ensure records integrity. Today, we are announcing the public preview of regulatory record labels which further enhance immutability by preventing metadata changes, records movements, records versioning, and blocking users and admins from removing the label once applied. Review our regulatory record labels documentation for a detailed comparison on the restrictions, including what actions are allowed or blocked.



 Figure 3 - Apply regulatory record label for highly regulated or business-critical information


With the introduction of this new capability, we are thrilled to share that SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, and Exchange email messages, and certain Teams and Skype for Business content, when configured as recommended, can help you meet SEC 17a-4, FINRA Rule 4511, and CFTC Rule 1.31 (c) – (d) requirements. The new independent third-party assessment report created by Cohasset Associates will be available in a few weeks. You can learn more about the recommended configurations in the report when it’s available.


Leverage SharePoint Syntex to manage records intelligently

If you are an organization heavily invested in SharePoint, you will love this announcement! With the new knowledge solution, SharePoint Syntex, becoming generally available to customers in October, we are thrilled to announce its integration with Microsoft Information Governance and Records Management. You can easily assign a retention label created in the Microsoft 365 compliance center to a document understanding model that you create, leveraging the classification in SharePoint Syntex for dual purposes— business processes and compliance. You can learn more about SharePoint Syntex in the announcement blogpost.


 Figure 4 - Use the classification in a document understanding model to apply retention label automatically


Fine-tune trainable classifiers with the new feedback loop capabilities

With data exploding at an unprecedented rate, manual labeling can be error-prone and cause critical delays in business process. We previously announced as part of Microsoft 365 Compliance the ability to auto-label content using machine learning powered trainable classifiers to help identify documents that cannot be easily found by keyword queries or pattern recognition, such as contracts or resumes.


Today, we are introducing a new enhancement—feedback loop—which allows admins to improve auto-classification performance. You can fine-tune the ones you built on your own by reviewing the classified information in the content explorer within the Microsoft 365 compliance center. The feedback loop capability is rolling out as public preview for items classified on Exchange. Learn more about it in this documentation.


 Figure 5 - Provide feedback to help improve auto-classification performance in Content Explorer


Manage Zoom, Slack, WhatsApp, and more data with the new pre-built data connectors

As we adapt to remote work, we’ve accelerated our investment in archiving third-party data to Microsoft 365 and worked with partners like TeleMessage and Globanet to provide 25 pre-built data connectors. These new connectors allow organizations to archive business-critical information from instant messages on platforms like Zoom, collaboration tools such as Slack, and text messaging from WhatsApp and many service providers, all within Microsoft 365.

By bringing third-party data to Microsoft 365, you can then utilize the integrated compliance solutions to manage this information intelligently. Learn more about our pre-built data connectors announcement in this blogpost.


 Figure 6 - The catalog of 25 pre-built data connectors in Microsoft 365 compliance center


Build a proactive information governance program with Microsoft 365

Before we conclude the announcements, we’d like to share with you a customer story. Data hoarding is the new threat—over-retaining data can increase attack surface, as well as operational and legal risks. CenturyLink leverages Microsoft Information Governance to manage its information lifecycle and reduce risks, proactively disposing of information that brings little to no value to the business. Learn more about how Microsoft Information Governance can help in this case study.




We hope you are excited to try these new features of Microsoft Information Governance and Records Management. You can learn more about all these updates in our technical documentation. If you haven’t had a chance to try out the solution, sign up for a trial. We would love to hear more feedback from you to help us make better progress and more exciting announcements in the future, so please continue to share your feedback through our UserVoice category.


If you haven’t watched the Ignite sessions on Microsoft Information Governance, watch them now online in the links below. Yes – Ignite is completely free this year, and you can see demos of these announcements:

To learn more about Microsoft Compliance and access technical training, visit the Virtual Hub today.


Roberto Yglesias

Principal PM Manager

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