Microsoft 365 Admin Monthly Digest – Mar 2024

Microsoft 365 Admin Monthly Digest – Mar 2024

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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, we get an update on the latest products and services onboarded to the unified domain, cloud.microsoft, the new home for the Health dashboard, and explore the benefits of Microsoft product trials and how you can use them to maximize value from Microsoft 365 by accelerating new tool evaluation. We also have a discount code for the upcoming Microsoft 365 Community Conference below! 


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.  


Microsoft 365 admin center now accessible on unified domain 

Last year, we announced a new unified domain for Microsoft 365 apps and services, cloud.microsoft. Consolidating experiences to a single domain benefits customers in several ways by reducing sign-ins, redirects, and delays for users navigating across apps, and the complexity of allow lists admins must manage to stay secure and productive. This month, the Microsoft 365 admin center went live on the new domain, and is now accessible at admin.cloud.microsoft.  


Microsoft recommends educating your users to recognize and expect cloud.microsoft as the domain name for Microsoft cloud experiences – you can refer them to this support article for more information. The *.cloud.microsoft domain is already part of standard Microsoft network guidance on domains and service endpoints; no action should be needed from admins so long as this guidance is being followed. Admin documentation will continue to be updated with all the Microsoft 365 apps and services that are supported on the unified domain, and we’ll continue covering the latest each month in this section. 


Health Dashboard now accessible on Microsoft 365 admin center home page 

A recent update was made to bring the Health dashboard in the Microsoft 365 admin center to the home page, accessible via the View drop down menu. To streamline and simplify the interface, we’ve also removed the Dashboard link on the left navigation. 


The Health dashboard is designed to give you a snapshot of the overall health of your environment. You can see how well your organization is keeping desktop software up to date, following best practices for security, and using the products and services you’ve paid for. Learn more about the dashboard here. 


Take full advantage of product trials and get more value out of Microsoft 365 

Oftentimes, onboarding a new tool includes work to integrate privacy, security, and users to securely deploy it. This typically includes a trial period as well to ensure business fit, evaluate value, and return on investment. However, and particularly with third-party new technology, even a trial requires some level of integration to securely begin. With product trials offered through Microsoft 365, much of that work is simplified and ultimately accelerates the time required to evaluate a product and make a purchase decision. 


Product trials are a cost-effective way to explore new solutions that can enhance your users’ Microsoft 365 experience. By trying out different products, you can find the ones that best suit your business needs and goals, without having to invest upfront. You can also compare different features and functionalities and learn how to use them effectively in your users’ daily work. Microsoft offers a range of trials for products like Project, Visio, and Viva that can help you discover new possibilities and opportunities for your business. 


Trials can be initiated in different ways. Admins can start trials and assign trial licenses to select users via the Microsoft 365 admin center by navigating to Billing > Your products page. Alternatively, users could also initiate self-service trials either for premium features in an existing product, or to trial new Microsoft 365 products. In either case, Microsoft 365 admins retain full control with the ability to disable self-service trials, or take over trial subscriptions through the Microsoft 365 admin center. You’re also able to monitor usage of trial products to gain quantitative insights to evaluate success, or drive adoption. Learn more about managing trials here 


Microsoft has been consistently adding more trials for products and services, including the recently added trial for Viva Pulse, a new solution that helps you measure and improve employee engagement and well-being. Viva Pulse allows managers and team leaders to create and distribute surveys to collect feedback from your employees, analyze the results with AI-powered insights, and take action based on the data. Stay updated on new trial offerings communicated directly to you through the message center for future updates. 


Join us at the upcoming Microsoft 365 Community Conference 

Elevate your career at the Microsoft 365 Community Conference with five innovative general sessions that will set the tone for success. From AI and Copilot experiences to corporate communications to employee experience—learn to thrive in the era of AI. Come engage with experts at this in-person conference hosted in Orlando, Florida, from April 30 – May 2. Right now, customers can use the code MSCUST for a $100 discount on conference tickets. 


New sessions announced include:   

  • “Reshaping Productivity with Copilot for Microsoft 365” with Bobby Kishore   
  • “Transform Workplace Experience: Strategies and Best Practices” with Steve Clayton   
  • “Content Management and Collaboration for the AI Era” with Omar Shahine and Chris McNulty   
  • “The Future of Work with Microsoft Teams” with Manik Gupta   
  • “What’s New and Next for Microsoft Viva and the Employee Experience” with Kirk Gregersen   


Learn more at aka.ms/m365conf24. 


Stay updated 

As always, stay current with the latest updates on the Microsoft 365 admin center from the Microsoft 365 roadmap and the message center. To keep up with the latest on Copilot for Microsoft 365, consider joining our Copilot for Microsoft 365 Tech Community.  


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

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