Microsoft Enterprise Technologies Perficient is proud to be partnered with Microsoft Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:41:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Copyright © Microsoft Community 2011 (Microsoft Enterprise Technologies) (Microsoft Enterprise Technologies) 1440 Microsoft Enterprise Technologies 144 144 Perficient is proud to be partnered with Microsoft Microsoft Enterprise Technologies Microsoft Enterprise Technologies no no Power BI Primer – 4 part series Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:54:14 +0000 In previous posts we’ve discussed how to introduce advanced analytics into your BI platform and along the way we introduced several new technologies. These technologies range from self-service query tools to cloud-based visualizations. Even though the previous scenario was based on the Healthcare industry, the concepts and technologies can be applied across all industries.

But how do you get started exploring these new technologies? Use this 4 part series as your guide:

Video 1 – Introduction to Power BI

Video 2 – Administration and Permissions in Power BI

Video 3 – Data Exploration and Visualization in Power BI

Video 4 – Data Management Gateway for Power BI

Also, don’t forget to register below for our upcoming webinar on implementing hybrid architectures in your organization!

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Introducing the Yammer Share Button Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:08:32 +0000 We’ve all seen the social media buttons on websites or blogs that are used to share content to another site. If you are unfamiliar, check out the buttons to the right of this blog post.

Today, Microsoft has introduced this functionality for Yammer! Read the full announcement here.

ShareIconMarquee_FINALbYou can now share useful web content directly with your network. All you need to do is embed some simple code into your website to enable the sharing. It does not require any advanced skills or developer application registration with Yammer, so you will be able to get up to speed very quickly.

Check out the full details on the Yammer Developer site.

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Office 365 – How to Stay Informed of Changes Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:00:42 +0000 As a consultant in our Office 365 practice, part of my role includes keeping up with the constant changes and features being added to the service by Microsoft.

When I worked with on-premises versions of Exchange and Lync, it was fairly easy to keep on top of things. You knew when changes came as they arrived in the form of an update that you or your client had to install. Office 365 - How to Stay Informed of  ChangesOutside of major service packs, you generally just had bug fixes with the occasional minor feature added in between. While the update release cadence has increased in recent years, each version of Exchange still receives only a couple of major service packs before the next version is released.

Office 365 is often referred to as “evergreen” meaning that it’s always the latest and greatest; it feels at times that there are changes occurring weekly. Trying to consume all the information about changes across the various workloads can be like drinking from a fire hose and you can quickly start to feel overwhelmed. Below are some sources that I use to stay aware of these changes and methods I use to sort through the information.

We live in a time where the amount of information available at your fingertips is endless and the general expectation is that it should all disseminated in near real-time. As a result, I find it becomes important to be tactical in the information sources you use, otherwise you’re just overloaded.

How to Follow

Most of my sources have RSS feeds and that’s what I use whenever possible. If you’re not familiar with RSS, it’s that little orange square with the circular bands (you’ll probably see one to the left of this post). While I’ve read some reports that RSS usage is on the decline, I find it incredibly useful for what I use it for.

There are an endless number of RSS clients out there, including Outlook. Given the amount of data, I like to have it available on my mobile devices so it’s always available. When I have a few minutes standing in line somewhere, I’ll pop open the app and go through a few feeds, “starring” the items I might want to dig into deeper later or share with my team.

I’ve tried at least a dozen mobile applications but have used “Feeddler Pro” (iOS) for the past several years. The way it and a few others work is they connect to a back end RSS feed aggregator site. I used “Google Reader” as this source up until it was shut down and now I use “The Old Reader” which is basically just a barebones aggregator supported by Feeddler. With the combination of Feeddler and the aggregator service, posts that I read on the website, phone or tablet all stay in sync.

For RSS feeds that have more time sensitive and critical information, I’ll add these RSS feeds to Outlook so they get the same attention as my email. I try to keep that list of feeds small otherwise the important data gets lost in the middle of data that is perhaps just interesting.

What to Follow

My Office 365 sources generally include the following:

  • Official Microsoft Sources
  • Blogs
  • Twitter
  • Yammer
  • Podcasts
  • User Groups

Official Microsoft Sources

Office 365 Roadmap: One of the first places you should probably be watching is the Office 365 Roadmap website. This site provides a summary of features that are in a status of “Launched”, “Rolling Out”, “In Development” or “Canceled”. Generally you won’t find specific dates as the updates are rolled out over a period of time but it gives you a good idea of what’s on the horizon.

Microsoft Team Blogs: There’s no shortage of blogs written by various Microsoft employees, my focus is predominately with those by the various product teams.

Here are some of the blogs that I follow:

  • The Exchange Team Blog: Covers both on-premises Exchange and Exchange Online; definitely one of the best and most technical blogs from Microsoft.
  • Office Blogs: This is where you find most of the new functionality announcements when it comes to Office 365. Some other blogs like the former Lync Team Blog were consolidated into this blog so it’s a bit of dumping ground for all products but the site is searchable which helps.
  • Active Directory Documentation Team: Definitely more than just Active Directory, updated pretty regularly with content about AD FS, RMS and DirSync.
  • The Official Microsoft Rights Management: A pretty regularly updated blog about AD RMS and Azure RMS.
  • Active Directory Team Blog: Not surprising but more Azure AD than on-premises AD these days.

DirSync Version History Wiki: The dirsync.exe download changes pretty regularly behind the scenes (about 7 times in the last year) and it can easily go unnoticed unless you’re checking the version number of the installer. The Directory Sync Tool Version Release History Wiki is critical in keeping track of what new features might be available or what issues have been fixed in the latest version. The page has an RSS feed and it’s one I like to keep listed in Outlook.

Office 365 Community Forums: While the Service Health Dashboard in your tenant is the first place to go when suspecting an outage, the Office 365 Community Forums are worth checking out to see if others are experiencing similar symptoms as you.

Microsoft KB Articles: New or updated knowledgebase articles can be found by the associated RSS feed for each product. I find these are a nice “heads up” as to problems that might exist with a particular CU update that I’m looking to install.

Here are the ones that I watch:

If you’re only responsible for a couple of these products in your role, it might be worth promoting these to your Outlook shortlist. For a complete list of Microsoft KB feeds, check out the “RSS Feed Product Index“.

Office 365 IP Address Lists: The Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges site maintains a list of IPs used by Office 365. During your Office 365 implementation, it’s possible that you generated firewall rules off this list for things such as the EOP source IPs. Watching this list is important in ensuring issues do not arise from having stale firewall rules. Fortunately, this page has an RSS feed; it’s one that I would recommend adding to Outlook.


I’m admittedly a blog junkie and follow way too many; a list here would go on forever. I’ve tried to reduce the list down to people that seem to produce original content or at least post regularly but the list is always growing. Seek out Microsoft MVPs and other industry experts, you’ll learn who is producing good material and who is just repeating posts from elsewhere. There are some people producing some really awesome and original content; hopefully my blog makes your list and you find it helpful.

A quick note to my fellow bloggers: One of the most difficult things is sorting through the massive amount of data available. I understand that producing original content takes more time than many might expect but “reblogging” content that has already been posted by an authoritative source just clutters up everyone’s feeds. I don’t need 100 posts that the next service pack for Exchange was released, I likely already read it on the Exchange Team Blog earlier in the morning. Let’s strive to focus on producing quality original content, not pushing out large quantities of repetitive information.


I’ll periodically check #Office365, #MSExchange and #IamMEC to see if anyone has posted anything interesting. Usually it’s a link to a blog I’m already following but sometimes it’s a new one for me to check out. After all, with only 140 characters, you’re pretty limited in the information you can communicate. Occasionally some spam will show up in these feeds and you may have to adjust your search to filter it out but it eventually is blocked.


The latest entry into the social rotation is Yammer. The Office 365 Technical Network on Yammer has groups related to new features in Office 365 and “ninja updates” found by end users that don’t seem to be documented elsewhere. There are over 20,000 participants in this network so the activity is pretty strong. It’s not designed to be a support site but there is a wealth of information regardless.


When I have a full hour to kill while driving or cutting the lawn, I’ll listen to Podcasts from one of two sources:

One podcast that is dedicated to Office 365 is the Office 365 FM podcast. It’s been a couple months since they’ve had a new episode so I hope they’re still active, I’m sure producing such a podcast takes a considerable amount of effort.

Another podcast that I listen to, while not dedicated to Office 365, is The UC Architects podcast. It’s predominate focus is on-premises installations of Exchange and Lync but there is still some Office 365 content from time to time.

User Groups

What better way to share information about Office 365 than talking with other Office 365 users or consultants? Yes, the long lost art of talking to real people, in person (or at least via a Lync call). Unfortunately there is not a user group dedicated to Office 365 locally for me, my understanding is there is a pretty strong presence in Boston, MA and in Sweden. I do participate in the “Office 365 International User Group” which takes place as a monthly Lync call and also participate in my local “Lync Users Group” as well. So ask around if there is a local group for you. …or maybe even start your own!

Other Sources

There are certainly other sources available. I’m told there are a few Facebook pages with good activity but I’m not a big fan of Facebook and don’t tend to frequent them. Microsoft has its “Curah!” site but I’ve yet to get involved there and I’m not sure what kind of adoption it’s really had. LinkedIn also has some groups with decent activity but the advertising and job recruiting posts clutter up the groups too much in my opinion.

Do you have any favorite sources that I should be aware of?


There’s no shortage of readily available information, the largest challenge is sorting through it. The above is what works for me in my specific role but may be light in some areas important to you. Use this as a starting point and it will likely lead you to additional sources to fill in the gaps.
Did you find this article helpful?

Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter (@JoePalarchio) for additional posts and information on Office 365.

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Microsoft-Salesforce Integrations as Cloud Giants Shake Hands Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:08:29 +0000 Microsoft and Salesforce has made significant progress to their strategic partnership announced in May. They unveiled new joint solutions—including Salesforce1 for Windows, Salesforce for Office, and Power BI for Office 365 and Excel integrations with Salesforce—at Dreamforce 2014. salesforce1microsoft1

The companies disclosed that in early 2015, they will release a Salesforce1 app for Windows Phone. Alongside, OneDrive will be linked to the Salesforce solutions. In addition, Office will also be incorporated with the Salesforce suite. Through the alliance, Microsoft will gain an opportunity to provide its user-friendly products to Salesforce users. Salesforce, on the other hand, will be able to sell its SaaS product in the more conservative enterprise channels, currently controlled by Microsoft.

The companies plan to integrate Salesforce into Office, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business on the Android and iOS platforms in the first half of 2015. Also, in the first half of 2015, the companies plan to ship a Salesforce app for Outlook. The second half of 2015 will also see a Salesforce1 app for Windows Phone along with a Salesforce app for Excel. Power BI for Office 365 and Excel integrations with Salesforce. With these new integrations, customers will be able to bi-directionally load data to Salesforce and Excel to build reports, visualize information and discover new insights.  Power BI integration with Salesforce is anticipated for the first half of 2015. A Salesforce app for Excel is anticipated for the second half of 2015.

Some key things to note for existing features (live and preview):

  • Linking is in future
  • You can’t post from Salesforce to SharePoint
  • Metadata updates made in Salesforce will stay in Salesforce.
  • Files integration with SharePoint (OneDrive) is now Live
  • Chatter and Search leverages SharePoint metadata and Security
  • Respects security and compliance of SharePoint
  • Files always remain in SharePoint, simply linked to Salesforce
  • Similar integration and experience is missing in SharePoint, but some web parts are available.

Salesforce1 for Outlook (2nd gen)

  • Built in latest integration
  • Does not require installation of client software
  • Works with outlook and OWA (require Exchange 2013 SP1)
  • Within a OWA message launch a Salesforce app. It’ll open up people, opportunities associated, accounts, cases etc. in a modal window. Early 2015 availability
  • Underlying Logic– similar to Delve. Predefined algorithm, will evolve as you go. It tracks each time an email is sent.
  • Pilot on calendar sync in near future.

At Perficient, we have award-winning Microsoft and Salesforce practices, and we are very excited for what this partnership brings to the table. Stay tuned for future updates to this blog as I get my hands on these integrations.

Follow Perficient’s Microsoft blog on Twitter via @Perficient_MSFT

Follow Perficient on LinkedIn here

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Upcoming Webinar: Planning for a Lync 2013 on a Global Scale Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:00:17 +0000 At Perficient, we communicate via Lync 2013. As an end user, I can’t say enough about the ability to use it from anywhere I have internet access to take calls, instant message colleagues, customers and partners, and to hold meetings with content sharing and video. Webinar_1Using Lync 2013 is a simple, easy process for me, whether from my computer or my phone, but I know that’s due in part to our implementation team spending the necessary time planning the solution design and preparing to implement.

When it comes to planning for a global Lync deployment, there is a lot more to take into consideration to get your core Lync Server 2013 infrastructure ready to support voice, video and content sharing capabilities. It’s important that you understand the impacts Lync Server 2013 can have on the global IT infrastructure’s network, security, telephony and virtualization.

To understand how to get “Lync Ready,” join Perficient’s Microsoft Certified Masters Jason Sloan and Keenan Crockett on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 1 p.m. CT for a webinar, How to Plan for a Lync Deployment on a Global Scale. They’ll cover topics like high-level server and pool design and placement, importance of the edge servers, the hardware vs. virtualized debate, and ultimately a high-level understanding of the impact Lync has on your network.

If you’d like to learn more about the topic, I recommend taking a look at a white paper that Jason recently authored, “The CIO’s Guide to a Lync Server 2013 Global Deployment.” You can download it here. In the guide, Jason addresses two key areas often overlooked by organizations during the planning stage: impact to server infrastructure and the impact to the network.

To register for the webinar, click here.
How to Plan for a Lync Deployment on a Global Scale
Thursday, October 30, 2014
1:00 p.m. CT



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Office 365 – Understanding Archiving in Lync Online Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:00:44 +0000 Understanding the archiving feature in Lync Online can be a bit confusing. Unlike an on-premises installation of Lync Server 2013, there is no option for storing archived data in SQL and thus the only option is integration with Microsoft Exchange.

Office 365 - Understanding Archiving in Lync OnlineWhile having only one option might sound like this should be easier to understand, a Lync Online user’s mailbox can fall into a number of categories depending on whether the mailbox is located on-premises or in Exchange Online. If the mailbox is located in the cloud, the mailbox licensing and archiving settings become relevant to its ability to retain Lync Online archive data.

Complicating the situation is that several articles and even Lync Online policies refer to “Conversation History” as “Archiving” when in fact they are completely separate concepts. With this article, I hope to clear up some of this confusion.

Conversation History vs Archiving

To start, I think it’s important to clarify the difference between the “Conversation History” and “Archiving” features.

Conversation History is dependent upon the Lync client’s integration with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Web Services (EWS). This integration allows messages to be placed in the “Conversation History” folder in the user’s mailbox if selected to do so in the Lync client and if allowed by policy. The content that is retained is fairly limited and is basically the content of your IMs; there is no meeting content such as whiteboard data or file uploads saved here. Since this is a client side integration, if the connection breaks for some reason, the data might not be saved in the Conversation History folder.

Archiving uses the In-Place Hold functionality of the user’s mailbox to store retained data in the hidden “Recoverable Items” folder of the mailbox; this folder is not visible to the user and is accessed via the eDiscovery tools in Exchange. Archiving in Lync Online is considered “user-level archiving” meaning it is enabled/disabled at the user level, there is no option to enable it globally in the Lync Admin Center within Office 365. The content retained by Archiving includes whiteboard data and file uploads however it will not retain peer-to-peer file transfers, conferencing annotations, audio or video.

How to Enable Archiving in Lync Online

Now that we’ve established that Archiving uses the mailbox’s In-Place Hold feature, enabling Lync Online Archiving really becomes an Exchange task. If your organization separates Lync and Exchange management, it’s time to phone (or IM) your Exchange friend.

In Exchange Online, mailboxes can be placed on In-Place Hold using the Exchange Admin Center or via remote PowerShell. Before doing so, you’ll need to add yourself to the “Discovery Management” role in Exchange Online.

These links cover the process of placing a mailbox on In-Place Hold and selecting the “Lync Items” content:

Create or remove an In-Place Hold
Archive Lync conversations and meeting content to Exchange

A few things to know about In-Place Hold:

  • The Exchange Admin Center is limited to 500 mailboxes per hold whereas PowerShell allows up to 10,000 mailboxes. If you need to place more mailboxes on hold, multiple holds will need to be created.
  • In-Place Hold requires that the user is licensed with an E3, E4 or other license combination that allows for mailbox archiving (E1 does not allow for archiving on its own).
  • The “Recoverable Items” folder of a mailbox technically has a quota of 30 GB; this is separate from the normal 50 GB mailbox quota. This value can be increased by opening a support ticket. According to the Office 365 Roadmap, the quota is scheduled to be increased to 100 GB.

Accessing Archived Data

Now that we’re archiving Lync content, how can we access it? There are essentially two ways to access the data, both performed via the Exchange Admin Center: the eDiscovery search results of the In-Place Hold can be copied to a discovery mailbox or they can be exported to a PST.

Other Items of Importance

Below are a few other items of note related to Lync Online Archiving:

In-Place Hold Criteria
For some organizations, the desire is that Lync conversation data is not archived. While these organizations may have retention policies around email messages, it’s not uncommon for Lync conversation data to be treated differently. For these organizations, it is important that they do not select “Include All Content” when placing a mailbox on In-Place Hold; they will need to “Filter Based on Criteria” and select all message types except “Lync Items”.

Litigation Hold vs In-Place Hold
In-Place Hold was introduced with Exchange 2013 and “Wave 15” of Office 365; prior to that we had the feature “Litigation Hold”. Litigation Hold still exists today and is used by some organizations, especially those that have a requirement to place all mailboxes on hold. One of the main differences between Litigation Hold and In-Place Hold is that Litigation Hold places all mailbox data on hold. Despite this, this article states that a mailbox on Litigation Hold will not retain Lync archive data: Litigation Hold and In-Place Hold in Exchange 2013 and Exchange Online. My testing, however, has shown that this is not the case and that Litigation Hold does in fact retain Lync archive data. For organizations that are not expecting or do not want to retain Lync archive data, this could be an issue.

Archiving != Archiving
While Lync Online does not allow you to create client policies, there are a number of pre-defined policies that can be assigned to users. The names assigned to these policies are a bit misleading as they use the word “archiving” when they really mean “conversation history”. Even the property set by the client policy is ambiguous as setting the property “EnableIMAutoArchiving” to “False” disables “Conversation History”, not “Archiving”.

Meeting Content Retention
Completely independent of the Lync archiving is the retention period for Lync Online uploaded meeting content. Meeting content is retained for 15 days after the last person leaves the meeting with the exception of “Meet Now” meetings that retain data for 8 hours after the meeting end time.

On-Premises Mailboxes
If your mailbox is not located in Exchange Online, archive data cannot be retained for a Lync Online user. Conversation History will still continue to work.

Mobile Clients
The Microsoft documentation on the Lync Mobile Clients indicates that they do not support archiving. My experience, at least with the iOS client, is that IMs from mobile clients are in fact archived in Lync Online. Of course the article refers to “client-side archiving” so it’s not clear if we’re talking about “conversation history” or “archiving”.


  • Conversation History and Archiving are different in the content they retain and the accessibility by the end-user.
  • The task of archiving Lync Online data is really an Exchange task and is controlled through the In-Place Hold feature.
  • In-Place Holds or Litigation Holds placed on a mailbox could inadvertently archive Lync Online data if the hold criteria is not configured appropriately.
  • On-Premises mailboxes cannot be configured to store Lync Online archive data.
  • Lync Mobile Clients may archive IMs despite the documentation.

Did you find this article helpful?

Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter (@JoePalarchio) for additional posts and information on Office 365.

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Yammer’s Keyboard Shortcuts Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:18:08 +0000 Did you know that you can use Yammer pretty much without even touching your mouse? Yammer, first and foremost, is focused on bettering the user experience and making it more friendly to more people. That’s why there are several keyboard shortcuts to help you delete messages, like posts, and even switch between pages, all without taking your hands off of your keyboard.  To see a list of all Yammer’s shortcuts, simply hold shift and press the question mark button on any Yammer page. As pictured below, a list of all of Yammer’s keyboard shortcuts shows up.

Full list


List of Yammer Shortcuts

Just to clarify, the shortcuts listed above, will only work if you are on the page that the shortcut is listed under. For example, if you click u (Mark as Unread) in anything but inbox messages all you will be doing is fruitlessly pressing a button and waiting for something to happen. However, these shortcuts if used correctly can save a lot of time and make Yammer a much more effortless platform. My personal favorite is that whenever I need to search for something, rather than navigating to the search bar and clicking it, I always press the “/” key.

Ease of access is a key component in driving Yammer adoption, and these shortcuts can go a long way towards showing people who might be concerned about using a new platform that Yammer isn’t hard to use after all.

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How many Personal sites do I have in my O365 tenant? Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:17:27 +0000 Cloud UserPersonal sites (formerly known as My Sites) are provisioned on demand in Office 365. Only when the user first clicks e.g. their OneDrive link in the suite bar is their personal site actually provisioned. This was a prudent architectural decision on Microsoft’s part to not provision space until it is actually needed. Anybody who managed pre-provisioned personal sites on premises will know that this can be unnecessarily expensive, especially when you have a very large number of users.

With this approach it is sometimes useful to know how many users have already provisioned their personal site, so as to get a measure of adoption.

Individually by User Profile

We can navigate to the ‘Manage User Profiles’ link and find this out individually for each user. When the user has a personal site we can click the drop down option to ‘Manage Personal Site’ and we are taken to the site settings.

Mange Personal Site

When the user does not have a personal site, a message is displayed saying they don’t have one.


 O365 Reports 

For gathering a total count, there is a report under:

Admin > Office 365 > Reports > OneDrive for Business sites deployed



Use Search to report on Personal Sites

We can also use Search to find all the personal sites e.g.

Path: AND contentclass:STS_Site

This will get all the personal sites under the My Site application ( The query will naturally return only one page of results at a time. However, we can use the search REST API to get creative and return large pages (maximum 500) and iterate through all pages to get a count. The REST API call would look like something like this:’’&trimduplicates=false&startrow=4500&rowlimit=500

This particular request will get all the personal sites from count 4,500 – 5,000. In my case this returned 239 results telling me that 4,739 personal sites had been created thus far.

You may be comfortable writing REST API calls to achieve this. Alternatively, I would highly recommend using the SharePoint 2013 Search tool to help out.

Remember to set trimduplicates=false as identification of duplicates can cause a lot of confusion with this type of query.

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How Secure is Your Cloud? – Introduction to Office 365 Security Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:28:18 +0000 Who owns the data we store in your service? Will you use our data to build advertising products? Do you offer privacy controls in your service? Do we have visibility to know where our data is stored? Can we get our data out of your service if we decide to leave?

These questions are top of mind for any organization that is considering Office 365. Luckily for you, Microsoft publishes the Office 365 Trust Center to answer those and many more questions about security on the Office 365 service.

Office 365Microsoft has 4 core tenants for its approach to earning and maintaining your trust:

1. Built-in Security

  • Service-level security through defense-in-depth
  • Customer controls within the service
  • Security hardening and operational best practices

At the service level, Office 365 uses the defense-in-depth approach to provide physical, logical, and data layers of security features and operational best practices. In addition, Office 365 gives you enterprise-grade, user and admin controls to further secure your environment.

Physical Security – 24-hour monitoring of data centers, Multi-factor authentication, including biometric scanning for data center access, Internal data center network is segregated from the external network, Role separation renders location of specific customer data unintelligible to the personnel that have physical access, Faulty drives and hardware are demagnetized and destroyed

Logical Security – Lock box processes for strictly supervised escalation process greatly limits human access to your data, Servers run only processes on whitelist, minimizing risk from malicious code, Dedicated threat management teams proactively anticipate, prevent and mitigate malicious access, Port scanning, perimeter vulnerability scanning, and intrusion detection prevent or detect any malicious access

Data Security - Encryption at rest protects your data on our servers, Encryption in transit with SSL/TLS protects your data transmitted between you and Microsoft Threat management, security monitoring, and file/data integrity prevents or detects any tampering of data

Admin and User Controls- Rights Management Services prevents file-level access without the right user credentials, Multi-factor authentication protects access to the service with a second factor such as phone, S/MIME provides secure certificate-based email access, Office 365 Message Encryption allows you to send encrypted email to anyone, Data loss prevention prevents sensitive data from leaking either inside or outside the organization, Data loss prevention can be combined with Rights Management and Office 365 Message Encryption to give greater controls to your admins to apply appropriate policies to protect sensitive data

2. Continuous Compliance

  • Proactive processes to meet your compliance needs
  • Customer controls for organizational compliance
  • Independently verified to meet evolving standards

Office 365 is a global service and continuous compliance refers to the commitment to evolve the Office 365 controls and stay up to date with standards and regulations that apply to your industry and geography. Because regulations often share the same or similar controls, this makes it easier for Microsoft to meet the requirements of new regulations or those specific to your organization and industry. In addition, Office 365 provides admin and user controls, including eDiscovery, legal hold, and data loss prevention, to help you meet internal compliance requirements. These require no additional on-premises infrastructure to use.

Independent Verification – Our service is verified to meet requirements specified in ISO 27001, EU model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA, Our data processing agreement details privacy, security, and handling of customer data, which helps you comply with local regulations

Proactive Approach to Regulatory Compliance – We have built over 900 controls in the Office 365 compliance framework that enable us to stay up to date with the ever evolving industry standards, A specialist compliance team is continuously tracking standards and regulations, developing common control sets for our product team to build into the service

Customer Controls for Organizational Compliance – Legal hold and eDiscovery built into the service helps you find, preserve, analyze, and package electronic content (often referred to as electronically stored information or ESI) for a legal request or investigation, Data loss prevention in Office 365 helps you identify, monitor, and protect sensitive information in your organization through deep content analysis

3. Privacy by Design

  • Your data is not used for advertising
  • You have extensive privacy controls
  • You can take your data with you when you want

When you entrust your data to Office 365 you remain the sole owner of the data: you retain the rights, title, and interest in the data you store in Office 365. It’s our policy to not mine your data for advertising purposes or use your data except for purposes consistent with providing you cloud productivity services.

Data Ownership and What it Means – You are the owner of the data; Microsoft is the custodian or the processor of your data, It’s your data, so if you ever choose to leave the service, you can take your data with you, We do not mine your data for advertising purposes

Our Role as Data Processor – We only use your data for purposes consistent with providing you services you pay us for, regularly disclose the number of law enforcement requests we receive through our transparency reports, a government approaches us for access to customer data, we redirect the inquiry to you, the customer, whenever possible and have and will challenge in court any invalid legal demand that prohibits disclosure of a government request for customer data

Privacy Controls – Privacy controls allow you to configure who in your organization has access and what they can access, Design elements prevent mingling of your data with that of other organizations using Office 365, Extensive auditing and supervision prevent admins to get unauthorized access to your data

4. Transparent Operations

  • You know where your data resides and who has access
  • Visibility into availability and changes to the service
  • Financially backed guarantee of 99.9% uptime

Moving to a cloud service shouldn’t mean losing access to knowing what’s going on. With Office 365, it doesn’t. We aim to be transparent in our operations so you can monitor the state of your service, track issues, and have historical view of availability.

Data Location and Access – We maintain multiple copies of your data, across data centers, for redundancy and will share with you where your data is located, We tell you who has access to your data and under what circumstances

Support with a Human Face – You have on-call 24/7 phone support for critical issues, We have DevOps processes which means 24/7 escalation to the actual development team to resolve issues that cannot be resolved by operations alone

We’re Accountable to You – We conduct a thorough review of all service incidents, regardless of magnitude of impact and we share the analysis if your organization is affected, We commit to delivering at least 99.9% up-time with a financially-backed guarantee.

If you would like to know more about Office 365 Security, contact us at Perficient and one of our certified cloud specialists can assist you in your deployment of Office 365.

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Office 365 – Dynamic Distribution Groups in Exchange Hybrid Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:00:30 +0000 When running in an Exchange Hybrid configuration, DirSync/AADSync takes care of maintaining a consistent Global Address List (GAL) for both on-premises and cloud users. The one exception is with regards to Dynamic Distribution Groups; these objects need special care to ensure that the recipient filters produce the desired results and for the objects to show up in the cloud GAL.

Recipient Filters

There are endless ways that filters can be used with a Dynamic Distribution Group. Before you start moving mailboxes to Office 365, it’s important to evaluate these groups and their associated filters to make sure that users still fall into scope properly. The two areas you need to look at are the objects types and attributes being used by the filters.

For the object type, you may have a filter that basically states “all mailboxes with attribute X”. Well once you move a user to Exchange Online, that user is no longer a “UserMailbox” object in the on-premises Exchange organization and the user has now fallen out of scope of the group. The filter will need to be updated to now include “UserMailbox” objects as well as either “MailUser” or “Remote Mailbox” objects.

With attributes, many common attributes such as “company” or “department” will remain valid as these are still populated in your on-premises Active Directory. However, I’ve run across organizations using Exchange attributes such as “msExchHomeServerName”; depending on your intent, you may or may not need to modify these. If you want the dynamic group to represent users on a particular mail server (to send maintenance alerts, etc), then the group is doing exactly what you wanted as your Exchange Online user will not receive the message. If the assumption is that “users on server X are in office Y” and the group is used for a more general office purpose, you will need to modify this filter.

Exchange Online GAL

Neither DirSync nor AADSync will synchronize Dynamic Distribution Groups to Windows Azure Active Directory; as a result, Dynamic Distribution Groups located on-premises will not appear in the GAL for Exchange Online users. To make these groups appear, Microsoft recommends creation of a contact object directly in Exchange Online with the SMTP address of the on-premises dynamic group. Since the contact is created on the cloud side and the dynamic group does not sync, there is no risk of an address conflict. The Exchange Online users can then see the “group” (really represented by a contact) in the GAL and sending a message to it will route on-premises where the group members will be evaluated.

The script below will handle creation of the contact objects in Exchange Online for all Dynamic Distribution Groups on-premises. It creates the contact using the original display name and email address, sets CustomAttribute1 to “On-Premises DDG” for easy sorting and configures the object to only allow messages from authenticated users.

Additional Notes

When creating the objects in Exchange Online, keep in mind the delays involved before the objects appear in the user’s Offline Address Book. If there’s ever a question, check the address book via Outlook Web App (OWA).



The script for this post can be found in the Microsoft Script Center at the following link: Recreate-DDGs.ps1
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