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In case you missed it – February & March Office 365 Updates

5 Apr 2018 by Laura Zawacki

This article refers to our former reporting, security, and management products. We have now integrated these products into Nova, an all-new Office 365 management platform. Find out more

We’ve pulled together some of the more notable updates in Office 365 over the past couple of months.
Add guests to Microsoft Teams
Organizations using Microsoft Teams can now add anyone with an email as a guest with full access. While guest access used to be limited to those with an Azure AD account, now any user with a business or consumer email address can participate as a guest. Guest users are securely managed in Azure AD and have the same compliance and auditing protections that Office 365 subscribers have. This feature enables collaboration with partners, customers, and advisors where it makes sense for your organization.
Enforce naming conventions across Office 365 Groups
This was one of the points brought up in the REgarding 365 Office 365 Groups user creation debate. When users have full reign over naming groups, they might go a bit rogue. This update allows administrators to set naming policies to ensure consistency and avoid certain words. The policies can include dynamic attributes from Azure AD including department, office, or region. This feature is currently in private preview and is available only to organizations with a Premium P1 Azure Active Directory subscription.
Compliance updates for GDPR
The GDPR compliance deadline is May 25, 2018 and Microsoft has added several new features and tools to help companies achieve compliance. Compliance Manager is now generally available, and new features have been added to Azure Information Protection (AIP), such as the AIP Scanner which automatically discovers, classifies, labels, and protects sensitive data in hybrid and on-premises environments. More information on Microsoft’s compliance tools can be found here.
Cogmotive also recently hosted a webinar which addressed best practices for Office 365 security and GDPR.
Intelligent & personalized search
Personalized search capabilities in SharePoint Online will soon be available to all Office 365 subscribers. Powered by the Microsoft Graph, results are customized based on a user’s activity in Office 365 and results include related content, sites, people, and the ability to preview hundreds of different file types right within the results page. You may have already noticed the updated results if your organization has opted in to Microsoft’s Targeted release program for Office 365.
 SharePoint hub sites
SharePoint hub sites are currently being rolled out to subscribers in the Targeted Release Program. Team and communication sites can be associated with a main ‘hub site’ to better organize, search, navigate, and govern site information. The worldwide rollout is targeted for May 2018.
Connect your Yammer community to your SharePoint site or webpage.
Organizations can now embed Yammer group feeds and conversations to their SharePoint sites and/or webpages. Showcase top conversations, latest conversations, or conversations of your choosing. More information on Yammer integration can be found here.
Microsoft expands cloud infrastructure
In March it was announced that Microsoft has plans to open new datacenters in Switzerland (cantons of Geneva and Zurich), and the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai). In addition, expanded cloud service options will be available in Germany, and a new datacenter has opened in France, which today delivers Azure and Office 365, with Microsoft Dynamics to follow in early 2019. These new datacenter locations make it easier for organizations to comply with local and regional regulations, and support growth and innovation.