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Joel Rollins

A slew of Teams updates for Microsoft 365

Excel – Live Custom Data Types
Microsoft is overhauling Excel with the ability to support custom live data types. While Microsoft has added dynamic arrays and some custom stocks and geography data types previously, the company is now updating Excel to let people import their own data as a custom data type.

This means you’ll be able to manipulate data in Excel in new ways and hopefully without much of the hassle that exists today. You could import the data type for Seattle, for example, and then create a formula that references that single cell to pull out information on the population of Seattle.
Microsoft is bringing more than 100 new data types into Excel for Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscribers. Excel users will be able to track stocks, pull in nutritional information for dieting plans, and much more, thanks to data from Wolfram Alpha’s service. This is currently available for Office beta testers in the Insiders program.
Microsoft is leveraging its Power BI service to act as the connector to bring sources of data into Excel data types on the commercial side, allowing businesses to connect up a variety of data. This could be hierarchical data or even references to other data types and images. Businesses will even be able to convert existing cells into linked data types, making data analysis a lot easier.
These new Power BI data types will be available in Excel for Windows for all Microsoft 365 / Office 365 subscribers that also have a Power BI Pro service plan. Power Query data types are also rolling out to subscribers. On the consumer side, Wolfram Alpha data types are currently available in preview for Office insiders and should be available to all Microsoft 365 subscribers soon.

OneDrive Family Group Sharing
Family and group sharing is available in OneDrive for the web and included in all free and paid OneDrive consumer plans, as well in Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans. Expect it to become available on OneDrive sync client, Mac, and directly from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint by mid-2021.

To use family sharing, have your Microsoft account login and password at hand and follow these instructions:
First you will need to set up your family or a friend group:
  1. To set up your family, go to, then select Create a family group and follow the directions. Note: All members of the group need a Microsoft account, and each will need to accept your invitation to the group to access it. (You can also set up a family group on Xbox or with the Family Safety app.)
  2. To set up a friend group, see the article how to create an group. Groups can be family, friends, classmates, your kids’ sports league, your sports league, old college buddies, new game night pals—anyone you want to stay connected with. Note: you will need a free or paid Outlook account.
  3. Go to the OneDrive page and sign in with your Microsoft account (or your,, Hotmail, or MSN account).
  4. Select My files or Photos on the left pane.
  5. Pick the file or folder you want to share by selecting the circle in the upper corner of the item, then select Share at the top of the page.
  6. Select Anyone with the link can edit.
In the Enter a name or email address field, type “Family” or the name of your group (i.e., Soccer Team). When you type “Family,” OneDrive will give you the option to share with specific members by surfacing their names, or you can select Your family to share with your entire family.

Free for one year: users can join Team meeting via call-in number
Microsoft 365 customers now have the option to activate one year of free dial-in Audio Conferencing for Microsoft Teams.
To take advantage of this offer, an administrator will need to navigate to the Admin center à Purchase services à Add-ons then select the free Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing Adoption Promo.
After the promo has been activated, the Admin will then need to assign the licenses to the users.
App Templates for Microsoft Teams
Teams is always improving, and Microsoft has made a way to ring production-ready apps for Microsoft Teams that are community driven, open-source, solve real world problems, and the best part is that they are all plug and play through GitHub.  Each of these apps come with good documentation and architecture diagrams and conform to recommended best practices for security.  Below are the currently available apps broken down by category:

Apps For Productivity Apps For Question Answering Apps For Communication Apps For Team Culture
  • Celebrations app: Celebrate team member birthdays & anniversaries. Can also be used to remind about any recurring event, such as important deadlines
  • Custom Stickers app: Upload, share and use a custom set of GIFs, images and stickers
  • Icebreaker bot: Pair random team members together from across the organization.
Apps For Specific Use Cases For more information on how to deploy these apps please visit the Microsoft Docs Library