Everything you Need to Know About Office 365 – March 2020

Teams, Teams, and more Teams – Sorry kids, but this month I feel like the whole update is about Teams. Why? Because all of a sudden half the world is work from home and it turns out collaboration platforms like Teams are pretty helpful. Don’t worry; there are other updates about SharePoint Migrations (more typical news) and some covid-19 solutions available for free on the Power Platform. Make sure you stay safe out there!

Teams adds 12 million users in 7 days and Microsoft throttles stuff

12 million in 7 days is a lot of people, and while this isn’t helpful, news just gives you perspective about the amount of growth that literally happened overnight. The side effects of that is what you are probably more interested in. The primary one being Microsoft had to suddenly throttle a lot of services temporally while they caught up. This caused some hiccups along the way, but things seem to be running better, in my opinion. I don’t know about you, but I can’t handle my workload going up by 10%, let alone 800%. Fingers crossed everything is running well for you.

Mover Now available for Migrations to SharePoint and OneDrive

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Mover was now available to all Office 365 customers worldwide. This will make migrating from platforms like Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox easier for all of us. But, remember before you get too excited, in the previous throttling of services announcements migration pieces are heavily throttled. So maybe wait a bit before you start trying to mass move any content. I know you want to move away from those other platforms, but massive migrations are less than ideal at this moment, in my opinion.

Make sure to check out the rest of Petri’s Office 365 posts this month too, including that some SKU names are going to change.

Teams third birthday comes with lots of gifts for you

I had no idea that Teams was three years old, but I guess it is. As part of turning three, the platform is bringing to us a massive list of new functionality. While I will not give you all of the bullets, I will tell you about the two that are most interesting to me.

First, they are bringing to us the ability to pop-out chats into separate windows. I don’t know about you, but I often have about five conversations going at once, and that is a terrible experience today moving around. The ability to pop-out chats will be awesome!

The other feature that caught my attention was the ability for Teams to work offline and when you have terrible bandwidth. I didn’t even realize I needed this, but now that I have read about it, I must have it now! I have spoiled sitting here at my desk in the basement, but if I ever leave this place again, I need Teams no matter where I am. Sound like this feature is rolling out now.

What is your favorite new Teams feature? Maybe I missed something else cool since the list is about a mile long.

Power Platform Crisis Communication App

Good job, Power Platform team. With the sudden change brought upon all of us, Microsoft built and deployed this amazing Crisis Communication Template in a hurry. The solution allows for reporting of work status and for the ability to push out news as necessary. Overall it is also pretty easy to deploy, so if you haven’t yet, check it out.

And in my attempt to help, I have rolled out a video on Corona Virus Compliance using the Microsoft Forms and Power Automate (flow). This is based on a solution I rolled out for a customer in less than an hour. Their business was considered essential, but before an employee could work, they had to answer three questions. So we quickly put together a solution using Forms and flow that let them keep workers working while making sure everyone was safe!

Microsoft has also added an emergency response solution on the Power Platform that is being used by hospitals and the like to help them better manage the surge in demand. Guessing if you need it, you already know about it but wanted to make sure.

Take this whole section as a friendly reminder, as the world moves to work from home it turns out a lot of the paper processes don’t work. The Power Platform has plenty of solutions you can build to solve these problems, and since you are already in the Office 365 ecosystem, you can build many of them without buying new licenses. Use this time to grow your ROI on the platform.