Note: As of November 5th, 2018, Microsoft has informed customers that the planned effective date for this email training service has been postponed. They said based on customer feedback they are taking another look at their plans and will advise customers once any additional information is available.
Microsoft informed administrators for organizations with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions that the company would begin sending email to subscribed users offering helpful product training and tips for services in their subscriptions. The new training service is scheduled to take effect on November 29, 2018. At that point, the emails will automatically begin flowing to users directly from Microsoft, with no consent or further action required on the part of IT pros in organizations with subscriptions to Microsoft 365 or Office 365.
According to Microsoft, these emails will contain information intended to help end users become more productive with their Microsoft 365 or Office 365 accounts. These users will also only receive emails about services that admins have enabled on their subscriptions for end users. That means if you have not switched to Microsoft Teams yet under your subscription, there will not be any emails sent about the use of Microsoft Teams.
While the initial reaction to this training offer has focused on the need to opt out of it instead of voluntarily activating the option, this might actually be a real plus for your IT staff in challenging times of limited end-user training opportunities.
First, Microsoft is only going to send your users email tips about the products and services you have selected for your tenant. That means no users learning about what they wish they had rather than what the organization has decided to make available.
Second, most end users only need the smallest of nudges to bump their feature awareness up a notch or two and these emails can provide that catalyst. It also allows IT staff to focus on administering users and services rather than answer basic questions.
Third, in most circumstances, there is no such thing as too much awareness of the features and capabilities of your software and services suite.
Fourth, when a new feature is added to one of the Microsoft 365 or Office 365 services someone is using in their organization, users will likely hear about it through one of these emails and be able to maximize their use of that option.
All of those items above happen without admins having to hold any user training or draft any feature update emails.
However, if admins definitely do not want to have Microsoft providing these tips and productivity awareness emails to their users, there is an opt-out setting in the admin portal.
- Log into the Office 365 Admin Center
- Click on Services & Add-ins
- Click on End User Communication
Just toggle to Off and click Save to stop the flow of end user training emails from Microsoft.
If organizations do choose to take advantage of these emails, end users will still have the ability to unsubscribe from them on their own.
Gartner named Microsoft as a leader in its Content Services Platforms Magic Quadrant for 2018. This metric is often used for IT professionals to assess which companies are capable of executing on their stated industry segment, and whether or not those companies have a strong grasp of both current and future market needs. Additionally, Microsoft is the only company recognized as a leader in both the Content Collaboration Platforms and Content Services Platforms Magic Quadrant reports.
Meanwhile, Forrester named Google as an API management solution leader in The Forrester Wave: API Management Solutions, Q4 2018. “Google has a comprehensive view of the industry and this provides great value to customers’ API strategies,” according to the Forrester report.
Developers with apps listed on the Chrome Web Store have 90 days to migrate them to Google's G Suite Marketplace. The move reflects Google's push into the IT space; in the announcement that effectively merges the Chrome Web Store with the G Suite Marketplace, Google writes, "IT admins also have the ability to manage access and controls of apps from within the G Suite Marketplace—like whitelisting app access for users or installing an app for an entire domain."
Google's G Suite push continues with a renaming of their Apps Script dashboard as the G Suite Developer Hub. The move is meant to encourage developers to think of G Suite as a hub for enterprise apps.