What’s new in Office 365 administration—new Service health dashboard now generally available

Today, we’re pleased to announce that the new Office 365 Service health dashboard is now available to all customers. Since the first preview—announced at Ignite in September 2016—the new Service health dashboard has provided admins with a deeper level of service health insight. We’re excited about the rich insights that it is bringing to admins.

The new Service health dashboard reaches general availability

For many of you, moving to Office 365 was a big change. In an on-premises world, if there was a service incident, you were the ones investigating and solving the issue. With Office 365, you trust Microsoft with running the service as well as with quickly solving service incidents. We know that having visibility into the service is crucial for you, and we built the Service health dashboard with that in mind. We are now providing an even deeper level of service health insights that are personalized for your organization. This allows admins to stay on top of service incidents, improve their internal support experience and improve their users’ Office 365 experience.

We’d like to thank each one of you who has participated in the preview program and who has provided feedback on the Service health dashboard. Over the last four months, we have received numerous pieces of feedback that have helped us identify gaps, fix bugs and evolve the Service health dashboard to a monitoring experience that meets the needs of all company sizes. And it’s great to hear how it is already helping you:

“The Service health dashboard has helped us better understand the current state of the office setup 365 service and is a much clearer picture of potential service. It conveys easy to understand information about service health and makes me aware of what is relevant to me.” —Customer feedback

Here is a summary of the main improvements:

Access rich and more actionable incident insights—The dashboard now features a view that separates major business critical outages from others and splits them into two categories: Incidents and Advisories. This view makes it easy for you to identify issues that you might want to act on immediately.

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Quickly understand the incident—A summary view surfaces the most relevant and critical details to you in two short sentences—easy and quick to consume. If you want to access additional details, you can go to a more detailed view that provides you with all available information, including workarounds and message history. You can also access a history of incidents and advisories that occurred in the past 30 days.

Easily see the impact for your organization—The dashboard allows you to quickly understand the impact of the service incident on your organization by showing you the number of impacted users. (Please note: This functionality is currently available for Exchange Online–related incidents only and will be extended to other workloads over time.)

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Quickly provide feedback—A rating option now enables admins to provide feedback on the accuracy and usefulness of the information of each post on the Service health dashboard.

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To access the new Service health dashboard, click Service health in the left navigation menu in the Office 365 admin center.

More to come

This is just the beginning. Our goal is to provide you with richer and more actionable service health insights that will help you to stay on top of incidents, reduce support costs and improve end user experiences. We’ll be adding more enhancements in the coming months, including:

Tell us about issues—If you are impacted by an issue that is not showing up on your Service health dashboard, the Tell us feature will provide you with a quick and easy way to let us know.

Stay informed through your preferred channel—The Service health dashboard will enable you to sign up for notifications via text and/or email, so that you can monitor the service and track issues through the channel you prefer.

Access user level details—In addition to the number of impacted users, you will also be able to access a full list of impacted users to enable you to drive more targeted communication and support.

Check the health of your users—On-demand user health checks will allow you to check end user health by running a test against our service. User Monitoring will enable you to proactively monitor specific users and to find out about possible health issues affecting those users right away—often before they might even notice them.

In-product messaging—The Service health dashboard will enable you to make your users aware of service incidents and inform them about possible workaround solutions through optional in-product notifications.

More management enhancements in February

Here’s a summary of additional Office 365 administration updates for February:

Weekly Message Center digest—Based on popular demand, we introduced a weekly digest that enables Office 365 admins to receive a summary of their Message Center notifications via email. The Message Center is the main channel that Microsoft uses to inform admins about changes, maintenance work and updates coming to their service. To make it easier for you to stay up to date and to share the notifications with your co-workers, the weekly digest now brings them directly to your inbox and can be configured for delivery to any email address of your choosing—even an Office 365 Groups mailbox in Outlook. The weekly digest capability is currently available to Office 365 admins who are set to First Release in tenants with more than 50 subscribed users and will become available for all customers over time.

If you don’t receive the weekly digest yet, you can also access the Message Center in the admin center, admin mobile app and Office 365 Service Communications API.

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Introducing Azure AD tenant restrictions (preview)—Certain organizations choose to restrict internet destinations by filtering on Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) and/or IP addresses using proxy and/or firewall devices. However, this approach is not effective in a world where SaaS applications are hosted in a public cloud, running on shared FQDNs such as outlook.office.com (Outlook on the web) and login.microsoftonline.com (Azure AD). Blocking these FQDNs would effectively block access to every instance of the service, including the organization’s.

The new tenant restrictions feature enables organizations to control access to SaaS cloud applications, based on the Azure AD tenant the applications use for single sign-on. For example, you may want to allow access to your organization’s Office 365 applications, while preventing access to other organizations’ Office 365 applications.

Tenant restrictions is a new feature being introduced to Azure AD Premium P1 subscribers and all Office 365 customers. To make use of this feature, Office 365 subscribers must enable Modern Authentication as the default authentication protocol for the cloud service and access the service using a Modern Authentication–enabled client. When you’re ready to get started, see Use Tenant restrictions to manage access to SaaS cloud applications for more information.

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Office 365 admin center learning page—To help small business run their business on Office 365, we’ve launched an Office 365 admin center video page that makes it easy to understand key management scenarios through a series of short, easy-to-follow videos. Learn how to add a domain name, add people, set up document storage, download software and much more. Please let us know what content you’d like to see as we continue to add more videos and categories in the coming months.

New Power BI admin role—The Power BI admin role is a new role in Azure AD, meant for those tasked with administering Power BI for their organization. Office 365 user admins can assign users to be Power BI admins within the Office 365 admin center or via PowerShell script. Once a user is assigned, they’ll be able to access the Power BI Admin portal. There, they will have access to tenant-wide usage metrics and be able to control tenant-wide usage of Power BI features.

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Office 365 admin app improvements—The Office 365 admin app now supports cert-based authentication and multi-factor authentication.

New tile for the Office 365 admin center dashboard—To enable admins to manage Setup Microsoft Office 365 more efficiently, we continue to evolve the admin center home page. In February, we included a Suggested Features tile that admins can add to their home page. The tile shows features we recommend enabling to increase the value your organization is getting out of Office 365.

In addition, we’ve started to retire the old admin center and the ability for customers to switch back to the old experience.

More to come

Over the coming months, we will add more reports, focused on the clients used to access SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. We are also working on making the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI available to all customers and on providing new public APIs that will enable you to programmatically access the usage data and integrate it into custom applications, like a company reporting portal.

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New Office 365 adoption resources, webinar with Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois

Over the past couple years Microsoft FastTrack, the customer success service for the Microsoft Cloud, has helped more than 22,000 customers worldwide achieve success with Office 365. That number is growing quickly, with more than 4,000 new customers each month now turning to FastTrack for guidance on Office 365 implementation and user adoption. In addition to providing onboarding, FastTrack helps customers think beyond just the deployment to help organizations move to the cloud with confidence and realize business value faster.

Many organizations rely on FastTrack for assistance, guidance and resources that are provided directly from the people that build and run Office 365. Today, FastTrack is announcing several exciting new resources to help customers achieve widespread adoption of Office 365 and get the most from their investment, including:

  • A new webinar, featuring Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois, which will share best practices and discuss the resources available to help you achieve your business goals through Office Setup 365 adoption.
  • Expanded Productivity Library scenarios to show your users how embracing Office 365 will lead to success.
  • The Office 365 Adoption Guide, which provides a step-by-step blueprint for adoption.

Ensure your business goals are met—plan ahead for user adoption

Organizations of every size and description—including 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies—count on the Microsoft Cloud and Office 365 to provide the collaboration, mobile productivity, intelligence and trust they need to run their businesses. But what if you’re the person your company has charged with ensuring user adoption to realize the full value of Office 365? How can you help your organization achieve its business goals through Office 365 adoption when your schedule is overloaded, your team is overextended and you aren’t sure where to begin?

“We found the Microsoft FastTrack adoption methodology really beneficial,” says Simon Denton, business architect at Mott MacDonald. “It set out quite clearly the steps we needed to go through to define principles and scenarios. Once we did that, we knew adoption would come easily. We based our entire adoption plan on Microsoft FastTrack documentation. It gave us a really good foundation.”

Join us for our upcoming webinar, “Microsoft FastTrack: Achieve your success with Office 365”

Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois will share insights on how to enable digital transformation of your organization through Office 365 adoption. In addition, Simon Denton of Mott MacDonald will explain how he used FastTrack resources to help his company increase productivity by moving to Office 365. And we’ll demonstrate many of the adoption resources at fasttrack.office.com. The webinar is Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT/UTC. Reserve your place today.

Plan for success with our new Office 365 Adoption Guide

Based on our extensive research, and insights from thousands of customer engagements worldwide, the new Office 365 Adoption Guide provides an end-to-end methodology to help you realize business value through user adoption. The Adoption Guide includes best practices and guidance on how to develop and execute a successful adoption strategy.

Explore the Office 365 Productivity Library at fasttrack.office.com

Use the Productivity Library to learn how to talk to users about Office 365, discover what the service makes possible for your professional role and your industry, and access guidance and resources to help you get started with your chosen scenarios. It includes guidance to help you get started, awareness and training templates, and resources that relate Office 365 apps to real-world business situations and highlight product benefits for daily tasks we all experience. We’re continually improving and expanding the Productivity Library, so visit often to get regular updates related to Office 365 product features and see case studies of how organizations use the platform to realize business value.

Maybe you’re just starting to think about making the move to Office 365, or perhaps you’ve already begun your digital transformation journey. Either way, FastTrack has the resources to help you achieve user adoption of Setup Microsoft Office 365 and realize business value for your organization.

Introducing a new file experience for groups in Outlook on the web

Access all your group documents—A new file view gives you access to all the documents shared with the group, including files shared as email attachments, files stored in the group’s SharePoint document library and files shared from OneDrive or other SharePoint document libraries.

Co-author and communicate updates quickly—Now you can edit a document and reply via email side-by-side, so no need to switch contexts to update a document and communicate about the changes with your colleagues.

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You can access the new Files view from the group’s header (next to Conversations) in Outlook on the web. From there, you can create new Office documents (such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint), view, edit or download files. You can also easily track who has updated the file and reach out to them using Skype for Business.

In addition, you can edit files sent as email attachments to the group, send a reply to the group and store a copy in SharePoint to maintain version control going forward. When you click Edit and reply, the file is automatically added to a new folder in the SharePoint document library called Email attachments, creating a single version for the file, enabling co-authoring for the group and making it very easy to track changes.

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In addition to the new Files experience described above, you can easily navigate to the group’s SharePoint document library to access all the files stored online and leverage SharePoint’s rich content management capabilities, such as track the activity on a file, create custom views, share files or folders with others or sync files with OneDrive for Business, to name a few.

October Office 365 security and compliance update

 

Applying intelligence to security and compliance in Office 365—To stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape, companies need the ability to analyze and learn from that data to identify, intercept and respond to threats. Office 365 provides unmatched security intelligence to help customers protect, detect and respond to threats. Read about the new security and compliance capabilities of Office 365 that were announced at the Microsoft Ignite conference.

Security engineering evolution in Office 2016 for Mac—Security is a critical component in all our products at Microsoft. To help you get a better idea of how we build security into Office 2016 for Mac, the engineering team discusses how we think about it from a development and testing perspective, including the latest updates.

Get updates on Office 365 Security & Compliance Center—The Microsoft Office 365 Security & Compliance Center is the central place to view and manage your data. Find out how the experience is improved by centralized security controls, including the ability to view and manage security and compliance for your cloud services.

Accelerate your eDiscovery analysis workflow with one click—Does your legal department often complain about how long it takes to run an analysis for eDiscovery investigations? We released two new features for Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery—Express Analysis and Export with analytics to Excel—to make it easier and faster for organizations to quickly find, analyze and review relevant information related to investigations, legal matters and regulatory requests.

How can my organization achieve intelligent compliance with Office 365?—Organizations are facing significant data overload with the amount of electronic data not only exploding but also getting more complex. Office 365 will intelligently bring this information overload under control and support o

Work securely anywhere with Office 2016 and Windows 10

An online immersion session is not your typical online event. Each 90-minute interactive session starts with an online roundtable discussing your business challenges and then launches you into a live environment in the cloud. A skilled facilitator will guide you through simulated business scenarios that are customized to your interests.

We will send you a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology, so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges in a collaborative, fun environment.

Online immersion sessions help you discover how to:

  • Keep information secure while being productive—Make it easier to work securely and maintain compliance without inhibiting your workflow.
  • Capture, review and share notes from anywhere—Boost your team’s productivity by sharing documents and collaborating in real time.
  • Use social tools to find experts and answers—Break down barriers between departments to share knowledge quickly.
  • Quickly visualize and analyze complex data—Zero in on the data and insights you need without having to involve a BI expert.
  • Co-author and share content quickly—Access and edit documents even while others are editing and reviewing them—all at the same time.

Connect your team using Office 2016 and Windows 10

An online immersion session is not your typical online event. Each 90-minute interactive session starts with an online roundtable discussing your business challenges and then launches you into a live environment in the cloud. A skilled facilitator will guide you through simulated business scenarios that are customized to your interests.

We will send you a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology, so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges in a collaborative, fun environment.

Online immersion sessions help you discover how to:

  • Keep information secure while being productive—Make it easier to work securely and maintain compliance without inhibiting your workflow.
  • Capture, review and share notes from anywhere—Boost your team’s productivity by sharing documents and collaborating in real time.
  • Use social tools to find experts and answers—Break down barriers between departments to share knowledge quickly.
  • Quickly visualize and analyze complex data—Zero in on the data and insights you need without having to involve a BI expert.
  • Co-author and share content quickly—Access and edit documents even while others are editing and reviewing them—all at the same time.

New FastTrack offer to migrate SharePoint 2013 customers to Office 365

One of the keys to any successful migration, once an organization has deployed the new tools, is to make sure people are learning and using them. Some of the most popular digital resources for adoption include our Awareness kits to drive awareness of Office 365 scenarios, the Office Training Center for user training content, and the Productivity Library to help individuals in HR, R&D, Finance, Legal and Sales get the best value from Office 365.

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New FastTrack offer for SharePoint 2013 migrations

As you get ready for onboarding, we can support you with emails and file migration from other on-premises environments and cloud providers like Notes, Gmail, GroupWise, file shares, Box and Google Drive.

Today, we are pleased to announce a limited-time offer of migration services from on-premises SharePoint 2013 to Office 365—available at no additional cost to eligible Office 365 customers until March 31, 2017. This offer is available to customers with at least 150 licenses for an eligible service or plan for their Office 365 tenant. For customers who take advantage of this offer, the FastTrack team will assess your SharePoint 2013 environment, and help you build and execute a plan to migrate from your on-premises team sites and MySites to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, respectively. Refer to the offer FAQs for a complete list of items available for migration. To get started, sign in to FastTrack and request the offer from the list of available offers.

FastTrack helps customers add value to their businesses

FastTrack is engineering-led by design to help you reduce the time and cost of migration, and resolve deployment and adoption challenges more easily. As the FastTrack team works with customers, we learn from those experiences and use all of that learning to continually improve the service. With more customers discovering the benefits of Office 365 and FastTrack, migrations are now increasing at an average rate of 10 percent per month. For example, companies like CSC, a leading IT services company, and Jabil, a global manufacturer, have used FastTrack to move to Office 365 to increase productivity and improve collaboration.

Watch this video to learn more about the value of FastTrack from customers who have experienced it firsthand:

FastTrack is continuously evolving

Over the past 12 months, we’ve continuously evolved FastTrack to help meet your needs by enhancing the FastTrack digital experience at fasttrack.microsoft.com and expanding the scope of services delivered by our engineering team. Learn more about what’s included (or not) by watching this webcast and reading our service description. Visit the Office 365 Roadmap to learn about other new updates, features and improvements coming from Microsoft FastTrack.

Introducing the new Office 365 profile experience

In the modern workplace, an organization’s most important assets are its people. The knowledge, skills and expertise found throughout your carefully recruited teams are tantamount to individual and collective success.

All too often, however, this specialized knowledge is obfuscated by physical and organizational barriers. People know what information they need, but are unable to track down the answers they’re looking for. The popular adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” reminds us that the best-connected employees get the most done.

That’s where Office 365 can help. As Microsoft works to reinvent productivity for the modern workplace, our goal is to put people at the center of the connected suite experience. When you’re able to tap into the hidden knowledge throughout your organization and leverage your talent pool, you’re able to achieve more.

Starting today, we’re rolling out an extended profile card experience across Office 365 to enhance the way you collaborate with colleagues and external contacts. We’ve made several big improvements that improve on the existing experience across three pillars to create an intelligent, holistic and integrated profile experience.

Intelligent

Traditionally, employees looking for specific information had to manually connect the dots between people and units of knowledge. By tapping into the Office 365 graph and machine learning, the new Office 365 profile card can identify information relevant to you based on the person you’re looking up. This can help you quickly look up documents that have been shared with you, independent of how they were sent.

Holistic

We’re also working to help employees connect with people across the organization that they don’t traditionally interact with. The new Organization view shows a complete picture of the highlighted user’s position in the company, including their direct reports and co-workers. Office Setup 365 will also surface other people relevant to the person you are looking up based on their working habits and communication.

Integrated

We’re integrating the new profile card everywhere you see a person’s name—but it’s important that the experience doesn’t interrupt your productivity. We’ve made it easy for users to achieve these tasks with as little interruption to their workflow as possible. Hovering over a name provides a quick look at their most important attributes, such as contact details, recent documents and manager. More details are only a click away with the extended flex pane that displays additional information without navigating from the page.

Over the next few weeks, the new profile card experience will begin rolling out in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online for Setup Microsoft Office 365 customers enrolled in first release. We’ll continue to roll out this service for all Office 365 users over the next few months. As always, we’d love to hear what you think, so please let us know in the comments below.

Yammer integration with Office 365 Groups now rolling out

Yammer empowers people to work out loud and connect with others across their organization to share ideas and get things done. In Yammer, groups provide the structure for people to gather in open spaces to share best practices, develop into communities of interest and ignite new initiatives.

Today, we are pleased to announce the integration of Yammer with Office 365 Groups—the group membership service that provides a single identity for teams in Office 365. Now, when you create a new group in Yammer, it will automatically be part of the Office 365 Groups service, giving the group a OneNote notebook, a Planner for task management, a SharePoint Online team site and document library. With the integration, you and the members of your group can readily access these shared resources directly from Yammer.

This integration between Yammer and Office 365 Groups affects customers who have enforced Office 365 identity in their networks, and have only one Yammer network associated with their Office 365 tenant. The full rollout of Office 365 Groups will take place in phases, which will connect Office 365 Groups with existing non-connected Yammer groups and remaining Office 365 tenants. You can also look forward to integration with Outlook Calendar as well as greater enhancements to Yammer integration with SharePoint Online and Planner.

Through Office Setup 365 Groups integration, Office 365 administrators will soon be able to use query-based group membership in Yammer based on Azure Active Directory attributes such as role, location and manager. This will ensure that certain groups based on organizational structure dynamically include the right members.

 

Microsoft Teams rolls out to Office 365 customers worldwide

Today, during a global webcast from Microsoft headquarters, we announced that Microsoft Teams—the chat-based workspace in Office 365—is now generally available in 181 markets and in 19 languages. Since announcing the preview in November, more than 50,000 organizations have started using Microsoft Teams, including Accenture, Alaska Airlines, Cerner Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Expedia, J.B. Hunt, J. Walter Thompson, Hendrick Motorsports, Sage, Trek Bicycle and Three UK. We’ve also introduced more than 100 new features to deliver ongoing innovation and address top customer requests.

With more than 85 million active users, Office 365 empowers individuals, teams and entire organizations with the broadest and deepest toolkit for collaboration. Office Setup 365 is designed to meet the unique workstyle of every group with purpose-built, integrated applications: Outlook for enterprise-grade email; SharePoint for intelligent content management; Yammer for networking across the organization; Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video; and now, Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365.

Microsoft Teams—the chat-based workspace in Office 365

Microsoft Teams is a digital workspace built on four core promises: chat for today’s teams, a hub for teamwork, customization options and security teams trust.

Chat for today’s teams

Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversations experience, with threaded, persistent chat to keep everyone engaged. We’ve rolled out many new communication features since preview, including audio calling from mobile devices, plus video on Android, which is coming soon to iOS and Windows Phone. And we’ve addressed numerous customer requests, adding the ability to email a channel, including attachments, send messages with markdown-based formatting, and receive notifications about all posts in a channel.

Move a conversation from email into Microsoft Teams with rich formatting, including attachments.

Hub for teamwork

The Office Setup 365 applications and services that people use every day—including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Power BI*—are built into Microsoft Teams, giving people the information and tools they need. We’ve recently added support for open, public teams within an organization. We’ve also enhanced the meeting experience by adding scheduling capabilities, integrating free/busy calendar availability for team members, adding recurrence, and making it easier to transition from chat to high-quality voice and video.

Ad hoc and scheduled voice and video meetings right from within Microsoft Teams.

Customizable for every team

Every team is unique, so we’ve made it easy for teams to customize their workspace with Tabs, Connectors and Bots. More than 150 integrations are available or coming soon, including Bots from hipmunk, Growbot and ModuleQ. We’re also partnering with SAP and Trello to build new integrations. SAP SuccessFactors will help employees and managers track goals and performance as part of the way they work in Microsoft Teams every day. Trello will empower teams to easily get projects done with boards, lists and cards right within Microsoft Teams. These partnerships let users bring important apps and services into Microsoft Teams, truly making it their own hub for teamwork.

New Bots help you to complete tasks within your conversations.

Security teams trust

Finally, Microsoft Teams is built on the Office 365 hyper-scale, enterprise-grade cloud, delivering the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect. Microsoft Teams supports global standards, including SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001 and HIPAA. We also added support for audit log search, eDiscovery and legal hold* for channels, chats and files as well as mobile application management with Microsoft Intune.* And starting today, Microsoft Teams is automatically provisioned within Office 365.

These security and compliance capabilities are critical for enterprise customers, but our responsibility at Microsoft goes beyond this. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With that in mind, we’re working to ensure every team member can participate, with new accessibility features, including support for screen readers, high contrast and keyboard-only navigation. This will enable Microsoft Teams to be more inclusive and tap into the collective brainpower and potential of every person.

Customers achieve more with Microsoft Teams

We’re thrilled by the enthusiasm of customers like Trek Bicycle, who’ve built Microsoft Teams into the way they work every day.

“Across Trek’s global teams, the integrated collection of Office 365 applications serves up a common toolset to collaboratively drive the business forward. We see Microsoft Teams as the project hub of Office 365 where everybody knows where to find the latest documents, notes and tasks, all in-line with team conversations for complete context. Teams is quickly becoming a key part of Trek’s get-things-done-fast culture.”
—Laurie Koch, vice president of Global Customer Service at Trek Bicycle

Start using Microsoft Teams today

Moving forward, we’ll provide a regular rhythm of new features and capabilities. For example, we are targeting to deliver guest access capabilities in June along with deeper integration with Outlook and a richer developer platform. Expect our pace to be rapid and responsive to customer needs.