All posts in Office365

Information and Records Management in M365 – Disposition Reviews

In honour of Microsoft’s recent announcement concerning multi-stage disposition reviews and other enhancements, I thought I’d start a short series discussing what disposition reviews are, how to configure them, but also how to make use of them.  We’ll start with the basics and move our way up to the new multi-stage disposition reviews.

Disclaimer: Microsoft is making changes all the time to the Microsoft 365 interface.  Any screenshots displayed in this post are current at the last edit of the post.

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Microsoft 365 Records Management – Moving Beyond the Created Date

Over the last few weeks, I have had the privilege to speak to several conferences and user groups about a topic that has become quite a passion of mine within Microsoft 365.  Records management is increasingly becoming important to many organizations. They realize their content is being maintained for longer than it should be, or in some cases, removed before it should be.  Microsoft 365 has made huge strides to help organizations control this through its various compliance controls.  In my session, I discuss both the basics and some advanced concepts of M365 records retention.  As promised to my session attendees, here is the slide deck from my presentation.


Thanks for reading and attending my sessions!

Microsoft 365 – Apply Sensitivity Labels for Automated Processes

When creating a policy for a sensitivity label you have the option to set a default label for the user the policy is pointed at.  You can get more information on this process at the “Apply a default label” item on Microsoft’s Learn About Sensitivity Labels page.  This method, however, has a limitation.  It only works within a mail client that can connect to the Microsoft 365 Security/Compliance endpoints.  Doesn’t seem like a huge issue right?  Well, what about automated notifications that are sent via Power Automate or another custom solution that doesn’t utilize the Outlook (or other) client?  I’ve tested this.  It doesn’t work.  If I send it from Outlook or OWA I get the default label.  If I have an automated process within Power Automate it doesn’t.  In this post, I will show you how you can apply sensitivity labels for automated processes so all of your emails can contain a sensitivity label.

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Create a Sensitive Info Type in Microsoft 365

When dealing with sensitive information within Microsoft 365 you often need to utilize a sensitive info type.  This is an entity within the security console that groups data by the sensitive information it contains.  For example, a credit card is a sensitive info type and is configured to look within content for credit card number formats.  Luckily, Microsoft provides 100 pre-configured sensitivity types and they really cover a large number of possibilities.  Well, what if you have a type of sensitive data that isn’t in the provided templates.  Well, that’s where this blog post comes in handy.  In this post, I will show you how to create a sensitive info type in Microsoft 365’s security console.

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Project Cortex – Topic Cards and Topic Pages

In my previous post, I provided a brief overview of what Project Cortex is and how it can benefit an organization.  In this post, I would like to focus on topic cards and topic pages.  I’ll discuss what they are and what goes into creating them.

Topic Cards

A Topic card is an overlay that sits within the Office 365 tool you are using (Word, Outlook, etc).  A topic card is going to give you an overview of a knowledge topic (hence the name) within your organization.  It contains a description/definition, any acronyms it may exist under, People who may be experts in the topic, any files that may contain any information pertaining to the topic and any other topics that may be related.

For the most part the different components of the card are self-explanatory, but related topics might need a bit of an explanation.  Quite often if a topic is found to be related to other similar items people may want to know about these.  If these items are also a topic in Project Cortex a link to that topic will also be listed here.  For example, say your company is going through a massive records management overall and has a subproject within it related to configuring Microsoft 365 to organize and retain the information you are storing.  If that project is also a topic within Cortex the link to it will be displayed in the “related topics” section of a topic card.

Project Cortex - Topic Card

Topic Pages

Think of a topic page as a full-page view of a topic card.  The information is going to be very similar, but it also will likely be more extensive because more information can be fit on a page than a card.

Project Cortex - Topic Page

Something that Project Cortex allows with a Topic Page that will be extremely beneficial to a communications team within any org is the ability to edit Topic Pages.  While Cortex will build out the initial page for you, the actual page can be edited for both content and format.  So if the information pulled and built by the AI isn’t quite right or you want to elaborate a bit more you have that ability.

Before I complete this post I want to ensure everyone is aware that everything that Cortex builds is completely security trimmed.  In fact, if Cortex pulls data from a document to build a page or topic card out and you as the user viewing the card or topic card does NOT have access to the document (in a location you don’t have access to) then our experience will actually be a little different.  Cortex will actually build the information on your card or topic page from documents that you do have access to.  So users that shouldn’t have access to a particular component of data for a topic (whether a project or even general information on something within the company) won’t be able to get it via Cortex.

In a future post, I will discuss the next level in a Cortex topic card or page.. the knowledge center.


Thanks for reading!!