M365 Conference wrap-up with tons of SharePoint news

Admins will have an easier life after these features.

If you’re returning back from the M365 Conference in Orlando, welcome to your vacation! That’s how I feel coming back home after a conference, anyway. I’m exhausted. My brain is full, my heart is overflowing from seeing friends, and I’m ready to get back to normal life. Have you had those vacations where you’re more tired than when you’re at work?? Maybe that’s where the expression “work hard, play hard” comes from.

There was a lot to talk about in this edition, because a lot of big news came out for SharePoint, so let’s get into it! Be sure to forward this to a friend who could use this info as well, or they can subscribe here.

Steve

ROADMAP
Sensitive information processing model

SharePoint Premium users will be able to apply a prebuilt sensitive information processing model to libraries. The model would detect and possibly extract sensitive information from documents. Seems a little vague, right? Is this for redaction? Simple removal of sensitive information? More information is definitely needed on this item, so we’ll have to wait until more info is released, but this looks interesting. Link to roadmap

GIF by Amazon Prime Video

Well, it hasn’t been the busiest of weeks for roadmap. It’s possibly due to the conference going on, considering the number of announcements, but I’ll keep my fingers just in case 😊

Steve

ANNOUNCEMENTS
SharePoint Brand Center

Ready to use custom fonts on your SharePoint sites??? Well now you can, thanks to the brand-spanking new feature! I’ve already made a video about it (going live TOMORROW), so you’ll know how to deploy and use it. I’m really excited about the Brand Center. It’s very cool. More features will be coming to this to keep your sites looking amazing!

New heading level options for web parts

New for the text web part, you can now apply heading levels (H1, H2, etc) to your text. More control over pages is always a good thing.


Updates to SharePoint Premium

We’ve had a lot of news coming out of the M365 Conference in Orlando, Florida. Here’s the highlights for SharePoint…

The Agreements app in Microsoft Teams, powered by SharePoint Premium, is expanding its preview program. If you haven’t heard of this, the agreements app will let you templatize a finished contract/agreement, and then create new agreements with ease. It’ll allow collaborative revisions by both parties until the final version is complete. This document intelligence solution can be signed up for by completing this form to let Microsoft know: https://aka.ms/ContentManagementPreviews

Data Access Governance (DAG) is getting enhanced to help keep tabs on what’s going on in your tenant. These include:

  • Permission state report (NEW) - find out which sites have been granted access to over X users, great for finding those easy wins when something is accidentally shared with the too many people unknowingly.

  • EEEU (Everyone except external users) report - The announcement isn’t really clear regarding what’s new, but the screenshot indicates that this report, which shows sites shared with the EEEU group, now shows how many items on the site were shared with EEEU.

    Note: Some of the DAG reports can be run without any cost/license (did someone say FREE?) so check them out in the SP Admin Center!

  • Site access reviews - This feature sends a message to site owners to validate that the issues identified (EEEU or “Over X users”) is intentional and correct. This report is getting new features like the ability to auto-run the report, and the ability to run the report via PowerShell.

  • Restricted access control (RAC) policy - RAC policies, which enable admins to ensure only specific groups can access a site (and overrides the site owner’s sharing), are getting new features as well. Now, you can apply these policies to OneDrive accounts as well. This is a great feature for ensuring site owners don’t share information outside of an authorized group.

  • Content Policy Analytics for RAC sites - New for RAC, you can get a report showing sites and users where access was denied due to the policy. This will be great for troubleshooting access issues, which I know is a PAIN sometimes.

  • AI-driven Content Policy Recommendations for SharePoint sites and OneDrive accounts - Simply point to a properly policy-configured site as an example, and let AI find all other sites with similar content. Those sites will be identified with the recommendation for how to better secure the site. This feature is in private preview, but hopefully soon we’ll have access. I see a lot of potential with this one!

  • Inactive sites policy - This site lifecycle policy is now in General Availability (GA)! Feel free to use this policy on specific sites which will notify the owner once the site becomes inactive/stale. The owner will have options to choose from such as keeping the site, archiving it, and so on. I’ve had to do this manually before for an entire farm, as have you, so this will save a ton of time and headaches.

  • Ownership management policy - This policy, now in private preview, gives you the ability to identify sites which don’t have any owners, or enough owners. This will be great for cleaning up your environment.

  • SharePoint Change History - This is now Generally Available (GA) as well. This feature enables you to view all changes made to a site's properties by other admins and site owners. Need to find out who just turned off custom scripting on a particular site, breaking a feature? This is how!

  • Advanced Insights for all SAM reports - Now, in all the SAM (SharePoint Advanced Management) reports, there’ll be a recommendations pane that shows additional analysis on the report data. This is an interesting feature. I don’t know whether I’d trust it or not, so I’ll reserve judgement for now 🤣

  • Restricted provisioning controls - Now in private preview, this feature allows admins to control which types of sites can be created by others. You can grant specific groups access to create communication, team, or all sites. I can see this being beneficial in very large enterprises.

Heart Attack Close Call GIF by reactionseditor

Wow, that’s a LOT of news just for SharePoint Premium! If you want to see more details on these items, here’s the announcement.

MY INSIGHTS

It’s no surprise that we’re seeing a lot of exciting news coming out the week of a Microsoft conference, even a 3rd party one like M365 Conference. I don’t expect this cadence to slow much throughout the year. I believe a lot of product developers were pulled off their products to focus on various Copilots last year, so now that they’re back to their main products, we’re seeing a lot of momentum in new features.

I think we’ll be seeing a lot of focus on the governance side of SharePoint Premium (DAG reports) as Microsoft tries to give customers more tools to prepare their environment/data for Copilot.

That’s not the only reason, though. I think that there’s not really a compelling reason to pay for SP Premium licenses (at $3/user/month), and Microsoft wants to add more value to that license. I hope I’m right, because I’d love to see more admin reports to both save time and increase productivity of SharePoint admins.

Steve

Trying to learn JSON formatting? Let me teach you in my online course! It’s on-demand training that you can take now, or six months from now with LIFETIME access.

BLOG
Here’s some articles you may have missed on my blog

Schitts Creek Do Not Want GIF by CBC

Find out more about this new Brand Center, and how it can help your organization.

Looking The Loud House GIF by Nickelodeon

Diving deeper into SharePoint Search’s query rules

VIDEOS

Another fun trick to do with JSON formatting in SharePoint

STORIES
SharePoint eSignature integration with Adobe and Docusign

SharePoint’s eSignature will soon be updated to include Adobe Sign and Docusign. We knew this was coming when the product was announced, but some customers have been waiting on it. This integration is slated to come in this summer. Link to announcement
Note: I’ve been thinking about making a video on this for my YouTube channel. Let me know if you’re interested in eSignature!

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