How Microsoft Deploys New Outlook Mobile Features

Deploying new features to a massive 100-million plus user community takes a lot of planning and careful management. Outlook Mobile caters for both consumer and commercial users, and different methods are used to deliver new features to the two groups. Sometimes this means that different users in the same tenant can’t access a new feature even if they have the right software.

Three New Themes Available for Office 365

Much to our surprise, this blog is covering the availability of three new Office 365 browser themes. We’re only doing this so that we can avoid including it in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. We know this will upset some people, especially fans of the unicorn theme, but we really have to draw the line somewhere when deciding what should be in the book.

Using PowerShell to Add Teams to the Groups Expiration Policy

How best to add every team in your tenant to the Office 365 Groups Expiration Policy? Well, one way is to check all groups for Teams. Another is to use Get-Team to return the set of teams and process those. But then you should think about how to mark the teams that are in the policy in such a way that you don’t process them again. It’s easy to do this with one of the Exchange Online custom attributes.

How to Use Teams App Setup Policies to Control the Apps Available to Users

Teams App Setup policies allow tenant administrators to modify the set of apps shown in the Teams navigation bar,. You can add your own apps and move apps around and then assign policies to select groups of users individually or using PowerShell. This is part of a set of features designed to make apps more manageable within enterprises. The next step will be Teams app permission policies (not yet available).

Quantifying the Value of Collaboration with Teams

Microsoft commissioned Forester Consulting to write a total economic impact study of Teams. As you’d expect, the report says that Teams is a good deal. But like any consulting report, you need to question the findings and assumptions to figure out where the truth lies. In some cases, I simply disagree with the underlying logic for a conclusion. In others, I think the authors are mistaken. It’s up to you to make your own assessment.

The Complexities of Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration

Depending on your tenant’s configuration and the applications in use, the prospect of a tenant-to-tenant (T2T) migration might be appealing or a horror story. Applications like Quadrotech’s Cloud Commander are designed to help move data between tenants. In this video, Tony Redmond and Mike Weaver discuss some of the complexities involved in T2T projects. The program is 15 minutes long.

Office 365 Reaches 180 Million Monthly Active Users

At their Q3 FY19 earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Office 365 is now used by 180 million monthly active users. Office 365 is now growing at more than 4 million users per month. The earnings call also noted success for Enterprise Mobility and Security and the Outlook mobile client, both of which are now used by more than 100 million people.

The Changing Role of Office 365 Admins (Video)

No one can say that the role of an Office 365 admin is static. In fact, it changes all the time as new technologies appear or Microsoft changes existing applications. This video featuring MVPs Paul Robichaux and Tony Redmond explores the changing role of Office 365 Admins, and sometimes it even makes sense.

Unified Labelling Version of Azure Information Protection Client Now Generally Available

Microsoft has released the GA version of the Azure Information Protection client, which reads information about Office 365 sensitivity labels and policies from the Security and Compliance Center. It’s one more step along the path to making it easy for Office 365 tenants to protect their data. Work still has to be done, but at least we can see light at the end of the encryption tunnel.

Teams User Count Outpaces Slack and Workplace

Teams and Slack competitive data

New data about the number of Slack and Workplace usage gives the chance to compare how Microsoft is doing with Teams. And the answer is that things seem to be going well, largely because Teams is growing off the huge Office 365 base. With 155 million users (the last figure) and 3 million more added monthly, Teams has a lot more to go after in the Office 365 installed base.

Configuring PowerShell for Office 365

If you work with Office 365 through PowerShell, you probably have your own script to connect to the various services. If you don’t want to write your own script, you can download one from GitHub or the TechNet Gallery. This article covers two that you might like to try, including one with a GUI to choose which Office 365 services it should connect to.

Publishing News in Office 365 with the SharePoint Online News Digest

SharePoint Online supports the ability to create and publish a news digest from news items published on a site (or sites associated with a hub site). It’s a great way to spread information within an Office 365 tenant.

Phishing: Your Document Has Been Completed

Phishing attacks through email happen all the time. A new relatively crude one arrived today. It’s easy for the trained eye to detect phishing, but do your Office 365 admins know how to use the tools available in Exchange Online Protection to suppress malware, and do your users know the signs of bad email? In this case, it’s an invitation to click to get to a PDF document to bring you to digitaloceanspaces.com. Some interesting things might happen afterwards, but I really don’t want to find out what occurs when I click the link.

Who Will Lead Your Office 365 Deployment?

A recent Petri.com article set out the case that the technical lead for Office 365 deployments is best found in the ranks of people experienced with Exchange.The uphot was a flurry of tweets where people who worked with SharePoint and Skype explained their (strong) feelings on the matter. The upshot was an online debate to explore the attributes of people who lead successful Office 365 deployments. You can listen to a recording online.

Microsoft 365 Licensing, Yammer and Teams, Office DPIA, and Exchange

Office 365 changes all the time, which is good because it keeps the Office 365 for IT Pros writing team busy and happy. Discussions this week included Microsoft’s response to a Dutch DPIA, the effect large Teams have on Yammer, how Exchange Online validated a fix to a security problem, and graphics to help understand the components of the Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 plans.

It’s Now the Teams Admin Center… And Some New Teams Usage Reports

The Teams Admin Center has been renamed to remove any reference to Skype for Business Online. The console now includes a set of new Teams usage reports. The reports differ from what’s available in the Office 365 Admin Center and aren’t quite as powerful, but we can expect Microsoft to improve and refine these reports over time.

Azure Active Directory Still a Weakness for Office 365

The January 24-25 Azure Active Directory outage demonstrated once again how important AAD is to Office 365. Microsoft’s Post Incident Report tells us what happened to deprive 1% of the users in Europe of service. That doesn’t sound a lot, but you’d be mad if you were affected.

Teams Growth Accelerates to 420,000 Organizations

According to Microsoft’s FY19 Q2 results released on January 30, Teams is now used by 420,000 organizations. That’s a strong growth rate over the 329,000 number given at Ignite 2018. And with Office 365 still growing, there’s plenty of room for Teams to expand.

Logos in Email – Another Way to Stop Spoofing

Including a company’s logo when listing or displaying email is another way to give users confidence that the email is in fact from that company. Business Indicators for Message Identification is a draft standard that might become generally used by all email clients. But for now. Microsoft has their own business profile “brand card” program, and that’s where OWA gets its logos.

How to Embed External Content in Modern SharePoint Online Pages

Embedding external content in modern SharePoint Online (SPO) pages is a really easy task using Microsoft’s out of the box Embed webpart. In the WebPart settings panel we can add the external content URL (such as a YouTube video) or by using the standard <iFrame> HTML tag: In the event we want to add a …

Office 365 Tenants to Microsoft: Send Training Tips to End Users – No Thanks!

Microsoft’s grand plan to send helpful emails to Office 365 users hit a roadblock when customers said “No thanks” to the idea. Microsoft has now taken the plan back for mature reflection. Does this kind of initiative reflect a certain arrogance on the part of Microsoft?

The Vexed Question of Microsoft 365 Backups

Backup vendors say you should definitely use their products to protect your valuable Microsoft 365 data. Backup products can do a good job, but the nature of Microsoft 365 creates many challenges at a technical level. A lack of APIs is the most fundamental issue, but the connected nature of Microsoft 365 apps is another.

Network performance and connectivity evaluation with Network Testing Companion

Microsoft has released a nifty Network Testing Companion to help Office 365 admins validate that their network can support the deployment of Teams and Skype for Business Online.

Org-Wide settings in the Teams & Skype Admin Center

Microsoft designed the Teams & Skype Admin Center to make it easy to manage settings for both platforms. In the case of the organization wide settings, the latest updates in the Teams & Skype Admin Center provide the following features: Manage External access, Guest access, Teams settings and Teams upgrade options for the organization. This …

How to Export Microsoft 365 Roadmap to a CSV File

The new Microsoft 365 roadmap features the ability to download items (filtered or the entire roadmap) to a CSV file. You can then open the file with Excel or pour its contents into Power BI to analyze the roadmap to your heart’s content. That seems like a good thing.

New Search Experiences Coming to Office 365

In the same way Microsoft is introducing a new modern search experience in modern SharePoint Online (SPO) sites, the same strategy is being applied to search in Office 365. In this article we take a look at the modern search features you can find in Office 365. This article was published on Petri.com on September 27, 2018. …

The unified Microsoft 365 Roadmap is here

As expected, Microsoft has announced the unified Microsoft 365 Roadmap that includes all the technologies that are part of Microsoft 365: Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10. The new roadmap comes also with a new web site and a new URL (Note: the Old Office 365 Roadmap Url is still live, but …

When Things Go Wrong in the Cloud It’s Hard to Look Where for Help

An outage in a U.S. datacenter on September 4 caused problems for Azure Active Directory with a ripple effect on Office 365. It’s a good example of how cloud services depend on each other, so when one fails, another has problems.

Making sure that Office 365 Retention Policies process Teams Items

Microsoft Teams support Office 365 retention policies, but how do you know if policies you create are effective in removing items from Teams? Well, as it turns out, you must go poking under the covers to validate that removals happen as planned.