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Are you keeping up with Microsoft updates? The Microsoft Mondays: Microsoft Service Updates series from Total Solutions is here for your needs, and remember that Total Solutions also provides tailored, expert guidance during our consulting process. We are highlighting a few of the Microsoft announced upcoming updates from October:

Keep an eye out for Microsoft Mondays for your Microsoft updates or speak with our technical team for your Microsoft needs.

*Updates posted here originally posted by Microsoft in the Microsoft 365 Message Center

Microsoft Viva: Create Up To 50 Distinct Experiences in Viva Connections

[MC679734 · Published Oct 7, 2023]: Customers with Viva Suite or Viva Employee Communications & Communities licenses can currently create up to 10 Connections experiences. Microsoft will soon be enhancing that limit to 50 experiences. This will allow greater flexibility for large enterprise customers who are looking to create more than 10 (and up to 50) Connections experiences.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 174466

When this will happen:

Targeted Release: Rollout will begin in mid-November 2023 and is expected to be complete by late November 2023.

Standard Release: Rollout will begin in early December 2023 and is expected to be complete by late December 2023.

How this will affect your organization:

This feature will not impact your existing Viva Connections experiences, home sites, or the designated landing destination for the desktop app.

Soon, you will be able to create up to 50 distinct Connections experiences within your tenant. 

What you need to do to prepare:

You do not need to do anything to prepare for this feature. However, if you are interested in setting up multiple Connections experiences for your organization, review the setup guidance to learn more about the requirements, best practices, and steps to create and manage them.

Additional information

Unblock Copilot by switching into and enabling Cloud updates for Current channel in Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center

[MC679740 · Published Oct 7, 2023] New capabilities coming soon to Microsoft 365 Apps admin center to help Admins unblock access to Microsoft 365 Copilot on licensed devices! Now Admins can activate Current Channel Profiles in Cloud Updates and switch Update Channels for their Devices or AAD Groups in Inventory.

Overview of upcoming changes:

In Inventory (https://config.office.com/officeSettings/inventory), Admins can switch channel of their devices or AAD Groups by clicking ‘Show all devices’ under Data Insights and then clicking ‘Switch Device Update Channel’ link over the Device Schema. The can pick targeted channel and devices/AAD groups in the flyout and click ‘Move Devices’. Device/(s) will reflect in targeted channels in Inventory within 24 hours and will continue to receive updates from Internet. If Cloud Updates are not already enabled, the Channel Change action will also automatically enable Cloud Updates, in other words, activate Current Channel and Monthly Enterprise Channel Profiles – if not already active. This way you can unblock your Copilot users from accessing Copilot capabilities. Checkout this ‘How-to’ video to learn more: How to trigger an update channel change for devices in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center.

Cloud Updates will offer an ‘Enable Cloud’ button on the home dashboard of Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center, 6will activate profiles for Current channel and/or Monthly Enterprise Channel (if not already active) in about 30 minutes. If the change does not reflect, it is suggested to refresh the webpage. Devices will be mapped to respective profiles based on their channel and will receive updates based on Profiles rules as configured by the admin. Checkout this ‘How-to’ video to learn more: Cloud Updates – Enabling the Current Channel Profile 

All the ‘Tenant Settings’ in Overview Page of Cloud Updates i.e. ‘Exclude Groups’ and ‘Exclusion Window’ will be applicable across all active profiles i.e. Current and Monthly Enterprise Channel.

Exclude Groups: If an admin adds an AAD Group to ‘Exclude Groups’ setting, the devices in this group will be excluded from Cloud Updates. The devices will be marked under ‘Cloud Update Status’ column as ‘Excluded from Current Channel or Monthly Enterprise Channel’ in the Inventory (Device Schema) within 30 mins. After this information is reflected in Inventory, Admins can manage these devices by first setting ‘ignoreGPO = 0’ for these devices before beginning to manage them using management tool of choice. Checkout this ‘How-to’ video to learn more:  Cloud Updates – How to exclude devices using Azure AD groups.

In Current Channel Profiles, Overview Page will have Rollout information representing current and next release dates for updates. Update Progress chart will display devices in the current channel which have been updated to the latest version available as well as which have not yet started the update. Admin can view all devices which are part of Current Channel profiles by clicking ‘View all devices.’  Learn more in this video:  Cloud Updates – Overview of Current Channel Profile

In Monthly Enterprise Channel Profiles, you can now validate updates in production via Deployment Validation. This will help you get statistically significant report for application compatibility across all your add-ins on devices in first wave to give you a high confidence for further rollouts to remaining waves. Microsoft highly recommends that you move all your devices from non-monthly channels such as semi-annual into Monthly Enterprise Channel to alleviate any of your application compatibility/ add-in related concerns with respect to updates.

Learn more here: Introducing Deployment Validation in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center

Announcing Viva Home: The Home for the Viva Suite on the Web

[MC680346 · Published Oct 10, 2023]: Microsoft is excited to announce the upcoming availability of Viva Home, a single web destination for your employees to access all the Viva apps they are licensed for. With Viva Home, employees can gain quick access to all Viva apps and learn how to incorporate them into their everyday work.

Labeled as “Viva”, this new page will be discoverable in the Apps experience at microsoft365.com/apps, as well as in the Microsoft 365 App Launcher. The new experience provides a centralized location for Microsoft 365 users to access all their Viva apps such as Connections, Engage, Insights, Learning, Goals and more on the web. The content displayed on the page will respect the end-user’s license and service plan assignment.

Compared to Viva Connections, Viva Home is the home for the suite on the web with the goal to provide education, discoverability, and navigation to various Viva modules. It cannot be customized. Viva Connections is the company-branded employee experience destination where employees can access daily tasks, workflows, company news and resources. Viva Connections is customizable to incorporate company branding, custom workflows and more.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 170772

When this will happen:

Rollout will begin in mid-November 2023 and is expected to be complete by late December 2023.

How this will affect your organization:

There is no impact to existing Viva apps in your tenant. The new page will make it easy to discover and learn more about Viva functionality across the suite. Viva Home offers a beautifully crafted destination for employees to access all their licensed Viva services on the web.

Viva Home
Figure Image 1 – Viva Home

What you need to do to prepare:

You don’t need to do anything to prepare for Viva Home. Viva Home will automatically display Viva apps and scenarios based on the end-user service plan assignment. It’s recommended that you review the license and service plan assignments to ensure that the end-users see the intended Viva apps and scenarios on Viva Home .

Viva Home is not an additional Viva service, hence there is no separate service plan to control the enablement. Any user who has access to any Viva app will also see Viva Home as a way to navigate to that app.

Home & Pro editions of Windows 11, version 21H2 have reached end of servicing – October 10, 2023

[MC680544 · Published Oct 12, 2023]  As of October 10, 2023, Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro Education editions of Windows 11, version 21H2 have reached end of servicing. The October 2023 security update, released on October 10, 2023, is the last update available for these editions. After this date, devices running these editions will no longer receive monthly security and preview updates containing protections from the latest security threats. Enterprise, Education, IoT Enterprise, and Enterprise multi-session editions for this version will reach end of servicing on October 8, 2024 and will receive security updates until then.

To help keep you protected and productive, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update for Windows 11 consumer devices and non-managed business devices that are at, or within several months of reaching, end of servicing. This keeps your device supported and receiving monthly updates that are critical to security and ecosystem health. For these devices, you will be able to choose a convenient time for your device to restart and complete the update.

As always, Microsoft recommends that you update your devices to the latest version of Windows 11. For detailed information, see the Windows 11, version 21H2 end of servicing (Home & Pro) lifecycle page. For information about servicing timelines and lifecycle, see Windows 11 release informationLifecycle FAQ – Windows, and Microsoft Lifecycle Policy search tool.

Day 1 with Windows 11: a quick tour

[MC681168 · Published Oct 13, 2023] A new blog article is here to help IT pros prepare users for Windows 11. It includes a video walkthrough of the user experience on the first day of using Windows 11. This quick tour covers the basics of navigation, collaboration, multitasking, and the overall experience in comparison with Windows 10. Besides the visual tutorial, the recommendations of the Windows 11 onboarding kit and Windows 11 tips videos complement anyone’s Windows 11 adoption toolbox.   

When will this happen: 

Windows 11 is already available. 

How this will affect your organization: 

The IT team and users at your organization now have an additional resource to help with the transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11. 

What you need to do to prepare: 

Please read the blog article and watch the embedded video for helpful tips. Use or share these resources with colleagues, users, and leadership teams as necessary. 

Additional information: 

Watch the Windows 11 tips video series.

Microsoft Purview – General availability of Power Automate integration with records management

[MC681242 · Published Oct 13, 2023] To provide greater process flexibility, Microsoft has integrated Microsoft Purview Records Management with Power Automate. We provide the actions ‘Apply a retention label on the item’, ‘Relabel an item at the end of retention’, ‘Delete an item at the end of retention’, and ‘Trigger a new instance of the flow if an item can’t be located’ in Microsoft 365 Compliance connector to unlock more scenarios on this integration. Compliance administrators will now be able to create retention labels and choose a Power Automate flow to run when an item labeled with it expires in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange. This capability is currently available in public preview.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 88816

When this will happen:

This feature will be Generally Available beginning mid-October 2023.

How this will affect your organization:

With this feature, Records Management administrators in your organization will have the ability to execute custom workflows they have created in Power Automate after the contents in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange reach the end of their retention period.

Retention labels that are already created in Records Management will remain unaffected by this. There are no changes to the retention settings in the retention label creation wizard. In addition to the current label actions in the retention label creation wizard, administrators will have the ability to select a pre-existing flow from the Power Automate solution to be triggered after the retention period expires.

What you need to do to prepare: There is nothing you need to do to receive this feature. You may consider updating any training or reference material for your Records Management administrators and evaluate if you would like to use this new capability.

Adaptive Protection in Microsoft Purview: Public preview of HR resignation date as a condition for risk level

[MC681240 · Published Oct 13, 2023] Coming soon, Adaptive Protection in Microsoft Purview will be rolling out public preview of HR resignation date as a condition for risk level.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 124972

When this will happen:

Rollout will begin at the end of November and is expected to be complete by mid-December.

How this will affect your organization:

When the HR connector has been configured, admins with appropriate permissions can now select the HR resignation date as a condition to assign a minor, moderate, or elevated risk level. For example, an admin can configure the elevated risk level to be assigned when an HR resignation date is sent via the HR connector. 

What you need to do to prepare:

No action is required for this update. To configure user’s risk level for Adaptive Protection, admins can visit Insider Risk Management > Adaptive Protection (preview) > risk levels for Adaptive Protection.

Microsoft Purview Insider Risk Management correlates various signals to identify potential malicious or inadvertent insider risks, such as IP theft, data leakage, and security violations. Insider Risk Management enables customers to create policies based on their own internal policies, governance, and organizational requirements. Built with privacy by design, users are pseudonymized by default, and role-based access controls and audit logs are in place to help ensure user-level privacy.

You can access the Insider Risk Management solution in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal.

Learn more: Help dynamically mitigate risks with Adaptive Protection (preview) | Microsoft Learn

Additional information

Check out previous Microsoft Updates that Total Solutions has posted here -> Microsoft Updates Archives – Total Solutions Inc.