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Matter Center for Office 365

The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) Conference is off to an exciting start! The Perficient team is in Las Vegas this week to present our solutions for the Legal industry including our partnership with Microsoft on the new Matter Center for Office 365.


Matter Center was built for Microsoft’s own Legal and Corporate Affairs group and will now be offered at no additional cost to Office 365 customers. The solution provides document management using SharePoint Online and Azure as its foundation. Integration to Outlook and Word come via Add-Ins enabling all the major user stories an attorney would expect. By virtue of being deployed to Office 365 other major benefits of the platform such as: mobility, security, compliance, search, external sharing and discovery can be realized.

Perficient has been working behind the scenes to deploy early versions of Matter Center and collect feedback from Law Firm customers. Our involvement builds upon our breadth and depth in SharePoint solutions, SharePoint-as-a-DMS and early experience with Office 365. All of which make Perficient a ‘go to’ partner for Matter Center.

In many ways Matter Center is a further extension of the patterns Microsoft is offering for Office 365 development. Rob Lefferts, Director of Program Management at Microsoft, presented at ILTA yesterday on this topic. In Perficient’s experience it’s a common misconception that Office 365 and SharePoint Online cannot be extended. In fact, the APIs have never been so rich, versatile and fresh.

The Office Patterns and Practices (PnP) group is a great starting point to help understand this very open, collaborative and progressive stance for the platform.

Matter Center will likely fulfill many of the requirements for a legal document management system out-of-the-box as well as offer new opportunities on the platform like Delve and the Office Graph. Where there are gaps we can rely on development against rich APIs to complete solutions in a supported fashion. Microsoft will even be releasing the source code on GitHub by the end of year.

If you are at the ILTA conference please do stop by the Perficient booth (#127).

AzureCon – 1 Day Free Virtual Event with Top Azure Experts

AzureCon is a Free virtual conference for Developers and IT Pros on September 29, 2015 focusing on all things azure. This conference builds on AzureConf 2014 and offers an exceptional opportunity to learn all about what existing, new and coming soon to the Microsoft Azure platform. This event is lead by top Azure experts from Scott Guthrie, Jason Zander, Bill Staples, Mark Russinovich, Scott Hanselman, and others.


1 amazing event! 3 game-changing keynotes! 50 technical sessions!
Cost to attend: FREE

Go register and don’t miss out on this amazing event!

Office 365 – Disabling MAPI Includes Unexpected Results

Just a quick FYI in this post…

Exchange Online allows for a fair amount of customization however there are still a few items here and there that can be done in on-premises Exchange but not in the cloud.

Recently, I’ve had a couple clients interested in blocking their users from using Outlook or a specific version of Outlook. In on-premises Exchange, the “Set-CASMailbox” cmdlet has a parameter called “MAPIBlockOutlookVersions” that can be used to achieve this; unfortunately, Exchange Online does not have this parameter.

The next thought was that the “MAPIEnabled” parameter could be used to block Outlook; this setting is actually what is set on users with an Office 365 “Kiosk” license which does not allow for connectivity via Outlook.

While “MAPIEnabled” does in fact block Outlook, it also causes some unexpected changes to Autodiscover…
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Office 365 – Using Office ProPlus? Take Caution Upgrading To 2016

Office ProPlus has done a great job of getting many organizations in a position where they’re running a fully patched and current version of Microsoft Office. It’s a component of Office 365 that really brings great value to organizations that previously didn’t have a solid deployment or patching process for Office.

Quick Aside: If you’re still running Office 2010, mainstream support is up in October

While the current version of ProPlus is essentially Office 2013, there will come a time when Office ProPlus upgrades to Office 2016.

In the article below I’ll outline some of the reasons you’ll want to take some caution with this upgrade.
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Azure: Did you know? PowerShell Automation

PowerShell has existed within Windows for some time now, providing much superior scripting / automation abilities than the old command line. Although, you can use the Azure Xplat CLI from the command line on Windows, Linux or Mac, the Azure PowerShell cmdlets provide a better environment to create, test, deploy and manage your Azure solutions using Windows PowerShell. Read the rest of this post »

Office 365 – Efficiently Connecting to Office 365 Via PowerShell

If you’re an administrator for Office 365, you’re likely very familiar with the fact that while some tasks can be performed in the portal, many need to be done via PowerShell. If you’ve managed to get this far in your IT life without using PowerShell, Office 365 is going to force you to learn it.

Even those that are savvy with PowerShell at times still do things in what I would consider a less than efficient manner. I’ve watched countless admins paste commands into the PowerShell window in order to connect to Office 365. They open up their OneNote or a Notepad file on the desktop every time they want to connect to Exchange Online and paste in the string of commands.

Below is an easier and more efficient way…
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Azure SQL – Row Level Security Now Available

RLS-Diagram-4-636x300Row-Level Security (RLS) for Azure SQL Database is now generally available. RLS simplifies the design and coding of security in your application. RLS enables you to implement restrictions on data row access. For example ensuring that workers can access only those data rows that are pertinent to their department, or restricting a customer’s data access to only the data relevant to their company.

The access restriction logic is located in the database tier rather than away from the data in another application tier. The database system applies the access restrictions every time that data access is attempted from any tier. This makes your security system more reliable and robust by reducing the surface area of your security system.

Row-level filtering of data selected from a table is enacted through a security predicate filter defined as an inline table valued function. The function is then invoked and enforced by a security policy. The policy can restrict the rows that may be viewed (a filter predicate), but does not restrict the rows that can be inserted or updated from a table (a blocking predicate). There is no indication to the application that rows have been filtered from the result set; if all rows are filtered, then a null set will be returned. Read the rest of this post »

How The Default SIP Domain Impacts Exchange Online UM Connections


I was recently working on an engagement where the customer was migrating from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 Exchange Online. The customer had been a long time Enterprise Voice customer (OCS, Lync 2010, and now Lync 2013). As the customer grew over the years, so had their Lync environment. The customer originally deployed OCS 2007 R2 for only internal use. The default SIP domain was based off their internal Active Directory namespace ( When Lync 2010 was introduced, the publicly routable SIP domain was added to the Lync topology ( to clean things up and match their SMTP addresses. Fast forward to 2015, the customer is migrating to Office 365 Exchange Online, which means voicemail and auto attendants were also being migrated to Exchange Online Unified Messaging.

Note, this article will not walk through the actual steps necessary to configure Lync/Skype for Business with Exchange Online Unified Messaging. If you need guidance in this area, refer to this article.

Issue Overview

The issue encountered was internal Lync calls to Exchange Online Unified Messaging (voicemail, auto attendants, etc.) would complete successfully, but any call made from a PSTN caller to Exchange Online Unified Messaging (subscriber access, auto attendants, voicemail) would fail. After reviewing traces of the call, it appeared that the default SIP domain was appended to the From/To fields in the SIP INVITE.   It makes sense why a SIP domain would get appended to these types of calls (so Office 365 knows where to route traffic). The problem is, an administrator cannot control which SIP domain is appended in the INVITE. From my testing, the default SIP domain will always be the domain appended to the PSTNGateway FQDNs when egressing out to Office 365.

From the traces below, you can see that the cause of the failed calls was a result of Office 365 not being able to do a DNS SRV lookup for as the ms-diagnostics response from Office 365 mentions “Unable to resolve DNS SRV record.” Read the rest of this post »

Northwestern Medicine Uses Epic to Deliver Value-Based Care


Recently, Kate Tuttle, my colleague and healthcare marketing guru, wrote a post over on Perficient’s Healthcare Industry Trends blog, describing the shift from a fee-for-service based model to a value-based care model and the subsequent need for a 360-degree patient view. Many healthcare organizations are facing challenges around transforming data into meaningful information – information that outlines the population and identifies the most high-risk patients, resulting in improved management of chronic diseases and improved preventative care.

Health data has become a powerful influencer in population health management as organizations seek to analyze data and translate it into actionable, real-time insights that will lead to smarter business decisions and better patient care.

Because of the changes in the delivery model and payment reform,  these organizations increasingly look to implement a centralized data warehouse that will meet the growing data and reporting needs, and provide the health system with a central data repository for clinical, financial and business data.

Kate also shared that Cadence Health, now part of Northwestern Medicine (a large Epic user) sought to leverage the native capabilities of Epic in the management of their population health initiatives and value-based care program. Cadence Health engaged us because of the work we’ve done with ProHealth Care, the first healthcare system to produce reports and data out of Epic’s Cogito data warehouse in a production environment.

By leveraging Epic’s Cogito and Healthy Planet, nmNorthwestern Medicine is able to track the health of their population and evaluate whether or not patients with chronic diseases are proactively getting care. They also have real-time reports generated that provide their physician’s with a dashboard view, designed to instantly provide them with an overview of the performance of their patient population across all registry-based measures.

You can learn more about Northwestern Medicine’s value-based care journey in a webinar next weekon Thursday, August 27th at 1:00 PM CT.. Read the rest of this post »

Microsoft Azure Helps Drive Healthcare Advances through Analytics

A recent press release from the University of Washington Tacoma provides a great example of how Big Data and Advanced Analytics are having a direct impact on the Healthcare industry. Readmission rates are a hot topic for hospital and health care systems across the country, so the application of cutting edge data science to the task of reducing readmissions could be a literal life-saver.AzureML

This is exactly what the team at MultiCare Health System in Washington found when they asked for assitance from the Center fro Data Science at UW Tacoma.   With the help of an Azure for Research grant from Microsoft, the team was able to leverage Azure to accelerate the data analysis and model building process to develop their “Risk-O-Meter” predictive analytics tool.  This tool is able to predict 30-day readmissions with a walloping 82 percent accuracy rate.  Ccontrast this against a standard accuracy rate of predictive models of around 60 percent.

While initial use of the tool was granted to clinicians, the team was able to expand its availability to patients as well — putting in their hands the ability to predict how likely they are to be readmitted within 30 days given biometric and behavioral inputs.

The collective UW Tacoma and MultiCare teams are now looking towards commercialization of the tool as a “readmission score as a service” offering.  This could help put a serious dent in the estimated $26B annual national cost of 30-day readmissions.  Yes — that’s “Billion” with a B.  To healthcare companies, this is obviously an area with serious potential for cost savings.  And that doesn’t even take into account that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon start levying penalties on companies exceeding threshold readmission rates.

And of course, this is obviously of great benefit to patients, who can see a direct link between following their courses of care and avoiding readmission.  The coming together of Big Data technology and Healthcare know-how will continue to provide advances in quality of care and cost savings.   To find out more about how Microsoft and Azure technology play a role, follow these links: