Microsoft 365 Admin Monthly Digest – July 2023

Microsoft 365 Admin Monthly Digest – July 2023

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

a banner depicting the title of the blog with tagline ”Your monthly IT admin blog for all things Microsoft 365”a banner depicting the title of the blog with tagline ”Your monthly IT admin blog for all things Microsoft 365”



Welcome to the Microsoft 365 IT admin blog, your monthly source of tips, insights, and best practices for managing and optimizing your Microsoft 365 environment. In this edition, get ready for the next AMA on Microsoft 365 Copilot, learn about Bing Chat Enterprise, and the latest enhancements to the Microsoft 365 admin center. Read on to catch up about all things Microsoft 365 administration. 

Join the next AMA on Microsoft 365 Copilot

We’ll be hosting the next AMA (Ask Me Anything) focused on Microsoft 365 Copilot and Bing Chat Enterprise on August 10 in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Tech Community. The event was a great opportunity to hear from members like you and have the team of experts answer questions. You can start sending in your questions to the event page now, and a team of experts will join us to help answer them during the event. The first AMA was held on July 13, and focused on preparing for Microsoft 365 Copilot. If you missed it, you can review the full list of questions and answers here. 


Bing Chat Enterprise now in preview 

At Microsoft Inspire, Microsoft announced Bing Chat Enterprise, giving organizations AI-powered chat for work with commercial data protection. Chat data is not saved, Microsoft has no eyes-on access, and your data is not used to train foundation models. This gives users access to better answers, greater efficiency, and new ways to be creative while staying secure. Users can access Bing Chat Enterprise using their work account wherever Bing Chat is supported – and Microsoft Edge sidebar. 


To enable the preview, eligible customers can turn on Bing Chat Enterprise by going to to opt in. You will also need to ensure Microsoft Search in Bing setting in the Microsoft 365 admin center is turned on. Learn more about managing Bing Chat Enterprise here 


Have questions about Bing Chat Enterprise? Check out the FAQ here. 


Highlights across Microsoft 365 administration 

Let’s check out some of the latest features we launched in the Microsoft 365 admin center and how they can help you get things done.  


Learn about Microsoft 365 Backup and Archive 

Microsoft also announced many new AI capabilities across Microsoft 365 at Inspire. Particularly for Microsoft 365 admins, Microsoft 365 Backup was introduced to help you back up and quickly restore your organization’s data to a prior point-in-time after a catastrophic event or unforeseen data loss. Microsoft 365 Archive offers long-term storage of inactive or aging files that you might still want to maintain for compliance or retention requirements. You can also catch up on details on Microsoft 365 Copilot licensing and availability announced during the opening keynote. 


Simplify controls with the Microsoft Edge manager service 

Following our announcement in May, The Microsoft Edge management service is now generally available (Roadmap ID 123856). You can access the service through the Microsoft 365 admin center, Org settings > Microsoft Edge to configure Microsoft Edge browser settings for your organization and apply these settings by group assignment or group policy. Through the portal, you can also manage browser extensions and policies or view user requests for browser extensions. To learn more, read about the Microsoft Edge management service.


An image of the Microsoft Edge management service portalAn image of the Microsoft Edge management service portal




Improve employee experience with Viva Pulse 

Last week, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Viva Pulse, a new employee feedback experience that is now available for use with your Viva Suite subscription. It empowers managers and project team leaders to request and receive feedback from their teams at any time. Managers and project leads can choose from research-based templates to quickly create a survey and send it to select individuals or groups. They can also track feedback to understand team sentiment over time and show teams they’re being heard by working together to take clear steps to address needs.   


As an admin, you must execute a script in PowerShell for these notifications to appear. After the script is executed successfully, users will receive email notifications when a feedback author requests a Pulse, when feedback providers are reminded to respond, when a feedback author is notified their Pulse request has closed, and when a feedback author shares a Pulse report.  Find the script to enable notifications for your organization here. 


Better plan for change with Feature release status in the message center 

In continued efforts to make it easier for IT departments to manage change with greater predictability, Microsoft recently made feature release status in the message center for Teams, and Outlook on the web, and Microsoft 365 admin center available worldwide to customers. Now, you can have visibility to feature rollout status in the message center, Planner sync for the message center, and Service Communications API, along with the ability to view release status in Targeted and Standard release rings. Additionally, on the message center, you can apply filters based on the status of the releases and the timeframe of their status changes. To learn more, you can read the documentation here. 


An image of the feature release status column in the message centerAn image of the feature release status column in the message center



Stay updated 


As always, stay current with the latest updates Microsoft 365 admin center from the Microsoft 365 roadmap and the message center. In addition, we also highlight new feature releases and enhancements released each month in our What’s new in the Microsoft 365 admin center article.  


Comment below if there are IT admin or change management topics you would like us to explore in the future! 

Customer service is a (Microsoft) Teams sport 

Customer service is a (Microsoft) Teams sport 

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

The customer service world has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. With the rise of digitalization and advanced technologies, customers now expect seamless and personalized experiences across multiple channels. Automation and AI have become integral to customer support teams, enabling faster response times and more efficient issue resolution.  

Moreover, post-pandemic, remote work and virtual communication have become the norm, reshaping the way customer support teams operate and collaborate. Agents find themselves in silos, unable to seek immediate help from colleagues in neighboring cubicles like in traditional office settings. 

As businesses strive to meet the escalating demands of customers, contact center leaders must be strategic about agent productivity. They must enhance agent collaboration and efficiency, ensuring the delivery of high-quality customer service even in a dispersed working environment. 

We acknowledge customer service is a collective effort. Hence, by bringing together Dynamics 365 Customer Service and Microsoft Teams, we aim to provide agents with a cohesive environment to get help from experts across the entire company to resolve complex customer issues which they might not have expertise on.  Both experts and agents can use their preferred tools; Dynamics 365 Customer Service for agents and Microsoft Teams for experts. Experts don’t have to be Dynamics users; a Teams license is all they need to participate and collaborate effectively. 

With the enhancements in this release wave, Teams collaboration features (embedded chat, swarming, and Teams meeting integration) are even more robust. Let’s dive into the details of these exciting advancements. 

Keep Teams chat participants informed of updated fields

Reduce overhead for agents by automatically updating all chat participants when an essential field on a connected record is updated. This time-saving feature helps keep everyone in the know without any manual effort. This allows agents to focus on what’s important and helping experts in the chat be aware of pertinent updates.

Send a bot event update in the connected Teams chat to inform participants of an updated field on the connected record. With the suite of Teams collaboration features, not only you can start a chat with the users who are connected with Dynamics 365 records, now you can keep them informed when the record changes, without any manual effort. For example, when the priority of a case changes, all the chat participants are notified. 

Microsoft Teams chat showing an update to the priority of a linked case

Dynamics links unfurled in Teams chat

Links to Dynamics 365 and Power Apps records are unfurled when pasted in Microsoft Teams chats and meetings. See the details of your business data in your Microsoft Teams chats and feel confident that the link you’re selecting is an authentic Power Apps link. Now, when you paste a Dynamics 365 Customer Service link into a Microsoft Teams chat, meeting, or channel, participants will see an adaptive card with more details about the shared link. Links to canvas apps will show the app name and record name. Model-driven app links to records show the entity type. The user pasting the link can delete the card in the message compose window before sending the message if they don’t want to send the link as a card. 

Timeline integration

When you start a connected chat or connect an existing chat to a record, you can see it as an activity on the connected record’s timeline. This makes it easy for agents to get the full case view by allowing them to see any chats related to the case or record directly on the timeline. 

If there is an agent hand-off, the next agent, who may not have been a part of the chat initially, can also see the conversation on the timeline. The next agent can directly join the discussion as a chat participant to see the entire chat exchange.  

To enable the feature, the admin can turn on the Join chat toggle in the Customer Service admin center app. This gives users with read and write privileges the ability to join a connected chat. 

Swarming enhancements

Customer support swarming helps agents connect with experts in their organization to solve cases faster. We made the following enhancements to swarming: 

  • Guided admin setup: The guided, step-by-step setup makes it easy for admins to configure and onboard their agents. It significantly reduces the time for admins to configure swarming in their organizations, helping make the onboarding experience more efficient. Now agents can more quickly get the help they need from experts across the organization.
  • Swarm form UI: Administrators can add a tab, section, or field to the swarm form and customize it as needed. The changes they make will promptly reflect in the agent workspace. The swarm creation form now comes with an advanced look and feel. With the visual indicator, agents can view the progress of swarm creation and see the steps completed and those remaining. 
  • Auto resolve swarm: When a case is closed (that is, canceled or resolved), associated swarms are automatically resolved. 
Pop-up window in Dynamics 365 Customer Service to enable the agent to resolve a case and the associated swarm

With Microsoft Teams chat embedded in Dynamics 365 Customer Service, collaborating with colleagues is easier than ever. Both agents and experts can stay informed about important case details without making a lot of manual updates and circling back. Try these features and more with the latest updates to Dynamics 365 Customer Service. 

Learn more

To learn more about Microsoft Teams chat embedded in Dynamics 365 Customer Service, read the documentation: Overview of collaboration in Dynamics 365 Customer Service | Microsoft Learn

The post Customer service is a (Microsoft) Teams sport  appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

How to improve business KPIs with Connected Field Service

How to improve business KPIs with Connected Field Service

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to revolutionize your organization’s service delivery with Field Service. Connected field service refers to IoT connected devices sending information about their performance to a field service organization. This allows the field service organization to perform proactive and predictive maintenance for their clients moving from a break-fix model. Instead of the client calling you and saying, “This machine is broken,” you call the client and say, “We see your machine might be performing less than optimally. We will come in later today to service it.” Based on the service alert, the best-suited technician with the right skill and proximity to customer location is dispatched to resolve the issue resulting in reduced asset downtime.

How does connected field service improve your key performance indicators (KPIs), you ask? Let’s discuss seven KPIs that will improve with connected field service.

Dynamics 365 Field Service

Deliver exceptional service

1. First-time fix rate

This is an important field service KPI related to customer experience. According to Aberdeen, the average first-time fix rate for an organization is around 75 percent.1 That means three out of four service calls are resolved on the first visit by a technician. With connected field service, you notify the customer when things need to be fixed or adjusted. You can funnel information about the problem, as well as customer information, to a technician in real time, and the technician arrives on-site with all relevant customer history.

First-time fix rates remain consistently high in connected field service organizations. This improves customer experience, which increases retention and referral in most organizations. Keeping your customers informed throughout the resolution process builds confidence and trust and leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. More importantly, customers want their problems fixed the first time to minimize disruption.

2. Customer retention

This is a standard field service KPI. Think about it along these lines: there is a cost for most of your clients to switch to a different field service provider. They need to do a lot of research, break your contract, initiate a new contract, and so on. In a predictive maintenance context, customer retention tends to be very high because equipment malfunctions are addressed even before customers have the chance to call it in. Remote monitoring of IoT devices enables organizations to enhance their responsiveness to customer needs. With continuous monitoring, you can quickly detect issues and notify customers about service disruptions or necessary actions. Keeping your customers informed throughout the resolution process builds confidence and trust and leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. By using Connected Field Service, the client has “one less thing to worry about,” and they are not likely to walk away from those contracts.

3. Percentage of billable hours

Percentage of billable hours is a measure of productivity because it refers to the percentage of time your technicians are doing work that is directly billable to a client. For productivity to increase on the technician side, technicians need tools, guidance, and data they can pull up in real time. Percentage of billable hours typically drops when technicians need to spend a large portion of time on non-essential, more logistical business tasks. When all the resources are transparent within the same customer relationship management (CRM) system—which happens at the intersection of the cloud, IoT, and connected field service—technicians’ time becomes more productive.

4. Completed vs. invoiced jobs

This KPI goes right to your revenue stream, as you typically cannot get paid for a job without invoicing it. You are looking for integrative, intelligence-driven solutions whereby customer information is “speaking” directly to invoicing within your CRM. The goal is to create a seamless loop for the client: you solve a problem they were not even aware of by using information from connected devices, and once the problem is solved, the invoice arrives ready to go. There are no lags. Connected field service can help keep your financials consistent.

5. Cost reduction

IoT-powered Field Service enables organizations to streamline their operations and reduce costs. Remote monitoring and predictive maintenance reduce the need for frequent physical inspections and unnecessary maintenance visits, resulting in efficient resource utilization and reduced operational expenses. Proactive problem diagnosis and maintenance prevent major breakdowns and extensive repairs. Prevented issues lead to cost savings by minimizing downtime, eliminating emergency service calls, and optimizing resource allocation. 

6. Employee retention

Customer retention is crucial to your bottom line, yes, but employee retention is a good measure of how functional your organization is in terms of leadership, managers, and processes. One of the core issues when employees leave any field service organization is lack of communication and collaboration; connected field service can help solve collaboration problems by allowing everyone in your organization open access to the same sets of resources and data. (You can restrict some access to the most senior levels, too.) If employees feel like a valuable part of the business, they are less likely to leave.

7. Resource allocation

With device data and service maintenance information gathered through IoT, organizations can make informed decisions when dispatching technicians. Factors such as device performance data, historical maintenance records, technician expertise, availability, and proximity help to optimize resource allocation. Assigning the right technician with the appropriate skills and proximity to the job ensures efficient service delivery and reduces response and resolution times.

Learn more about connected field service

Connected Field Service can impact almost any KPI. This is a look at seven of them, but there’s more to explore—learn how Dynamics 365 Field Service can help you deliver exceptional service.


1The Numbers Behind First-Time Fix Rates You Should Know About, Fieldpoint.

The post How to improve business KPIs with Connected Field Service appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

Introducing Microsoft Clipchamp: Unlock the power of video at work

Introducing Microsoft Clipchamp: Unlock the power of video at work

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

With Clipchamp as part of Microsoft 365, it’s easy to know where to turn to make videos and get started. Anyone can confidently create and publish videos, using an intuitive interface and harnessing useful tools. Clipchamp empowers anyone to produce high-quality videos they can be proud of.  

The post Introducing Microsoft Clipchamp: Unlock the power of video at work appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.