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Microsoft 365 admin digest – February 2023

This month, we’re taking a closer look at change management in IT administration. Highlighting a few innovations and resources that’s been developed to help IT departments of large and small organizations manage change effectively. We also recently completed the migration of our Office 365 community to Microsoft 365 on Tech Community, bringing the previously disconnected spaces together and improving the overall experience. Lastly, learn more about the highly anticipated Microsoft 365 Conference that will be held in Las Vegas in May. Let’s dive in!

Effectively managing change

(Without too many spoilers, change management is going to be a recurring theme in this series because of how important we believe it is to your success as IT professionals.)

In our experience, having a robust change management strategy consists of more than just a process for successfully implementing change. Just as importantly, a good strategy should include how to appropriately help evaluate a change, determine its priority, and what the corresponding effort and resource required should be. We recognize this is challenging, especially in a cloud environment where changes and updates are constant and can affect a large, varied audience.

Knowing that IT departments are inherently at the heart of digital change and transformation, we’re continuously working on ensuring that while benefitting from the cutting-edge innovations cloud services offer, customers can thrive on predictability, relevance, and consistency. We recently published a blog post on this topic. Briefly, it covers:

  • How we’re supplying feature release status for each new and updated feature announcement in the Message center in the Microsoft 365 admin center to help you track feature availability, specifically for your organization.
  • Introducing relevance recommendations for Message center posts that give you the ability to differentiate the changes that are of high, medium, and low relevance to a particular tenant. Learn more here.
  • Use Targeted Release to manage how your organization receives updates. Allowing a select set of users in your organization to receive updates first or remain on the default release schedule and receive the updates later.

Successfully onboard Microsoft 365 with advanced deployment guides

If you’re an admin overseeing a larger company looking to deploy Microsoft 365, we recently updated the search tools, recommendations, and layouts for the Advanced deployment guides & assistance page in the Microsoft 365 admin center and at setup.microsoft.com. These guides are designed to offer step-by-step guidance and cover a range of scenarios to meet you where you are. Click the first link to learn more about how these improvements are going to help curate relevant guides specific to your tenant, offering you the most actionable information to help you get your Microsoft 365 apps and services deployed to your organization.

An image demonstrating the homepage for setup.microsoft.com.An image demonstrating the homepage for setup.microsoft.com.

Optimize user experience with the Experience insights dashboard

We’re starting to expand access to the Experience insights dashboard to Microsoft 365 tenants with at least 2,000 seats. Initially opened for preview to tenants of at least 20,000 seats in August, we’re excited to roll out availability to more accounts over the next month. We’ve developed Experience insights to give our customers’ designated IT admins an at-a-glance view of core user experience metrics, like product usage, in-product feedback, Net Promoter Score™ (NPS) values, and data on help content viewed across an organization. Seeing this information all together helps administrators determine whether they need to take specific actions, such as providing users with updated recommendations and support resources as workspaces and operations evolve over time.

If you’re in the Global Admin or Global Reader role, you’ll see Experience insights (preview) on the top right of the Microsoft 365 admin center. If you’re a member of Report Readers or User Experience Success Managers, you will be defaulted into the experience with the ability to opt out. Learn more about the Experience insights dashboard here

An image demonstrating how to view Experience insights (preview) in the Microsoft 365 admin center.An image demonstrating how to view Experience insights (preview) in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Bookmark these small business IT resources

Change management in a small company is often much easier to manage and the challenges are more around getting tasks completed as quickly as possible to get back to your core business operations. Here are some helpful support resources worth bookmarking as self-service references:

  • Small business help & learning: A space dedicated to small business support. Organized by task, it provides simplified, step-by-step instructions to help you get things done and get back to work.
  • Microsoft 365 help for small businesses: If you prefer a more visual guide, this video library hosts a collection of short, objective-focused videos to walk you through specific tasks.

Over the course of this monthly series, we’ll highlight innovations that are more relevant to small business and continue improving on the resources listed above. If there are specific tasks you’d like us to consider making content for, let us know below!

An image demonstrating the homepage of the Small business help & learning site.An image demonstrating the homepage of the Small business help & learning site.

Welcome to the unified Microsoft 365 Tech Community

We recently completed the migration of our Office 365 community to the Microsoft 365 community on Tech Community. We’re particularly excited to have the Microsoft 365 admin center discussion space to create focus for admin discussions. Please make sure to visit the discussion space and hit that subscribe button so you can stay updated on the latest discussions in this section. We encourage you to do the same for other sections you might be interested in following and look forward to having everyone together growing this community.

Check out the Microsoft 365 community here where you can find all our related discussion spaces.

Join the Microsoft 365 Conference

Lastly, it was announced that Microsoft will once again be a Diamond Sponsor at the Microsoft 365 Conference in Las Vegas, May 2-4. Recently, we shared news on Yammer’s evolution to Viva Engage, Teams Premium, Viva Sales, and of course the Reinvention of search. There is so much more on the horizon over the next few months – spanning fundamentals and innovation. The event will feature over 150 sessions led by Microsoft executives and Subject Matter Experts (SME), including keynotes, breakout sessions, Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA), and workshops. You can read more and register here: https://aka.ms/m365conf23.

More ways to stay updated

While we continue sharing highlights and insights that benefit IT admins through this blog series, consider subscribing to updates on specific items in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, and look out for communications published in the Message center in the Microsoft 365 admin center. We also highlight new feature releases and enhancements released each month in our What’s new in the Microsoft 365 admin center? series. 

Comment below if there are topics within IT administration or change management that you’d like us to explore!

Continue the conversation by joining us in the Microsoft 365 community! Want to share best practices or join community events? Become a member by “Joining” the Microsoft 365 community. For tips & tricks or to stay up to date on the latest news and announcements directly from the product teams, make sure to Follow or Subscribe to the Microsoft 365 Blog space!

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