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Posts Tagged ‘Office 365’

Office 365 – Excel Tips For Mail Migration Data Manipulation

While a good percentage of my mail migrations are part of an Exchange Hybrid environment, I don’t always have that luxury. We still work with plenty of migrations to Office 365 from non-Hybrid environments, each with different migration toolsets.

When you get to a migration that is something like Google, Zimbra or even an Office 365 “tenant to tenant” migration, Microsoft Excel becomes part of your migration tools. These types of migrations are full of CSV exports from multiple sources and manipulation of these exports with various formulas. While some might argue that this data should be put into a database instead of spreadsheets, I generally don’t have access to a DBA and Excel offers more agility in manipulating the data.

Below are some of the Excel tricks that I use when managing this data.
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How Is The Office 2016 Release Relevant To My Office 365 Users?

On September 22nd, Microsoft announced the release of Office 2016. The latest version of the Office suite, as you can imagine, brings with it a number of new features. In addition to the new features, Office 2016 will be deployed to users with a new deployment strategy for those using the “click-to-run” installations.

New Version!
New Features!
New Deployment Strategy!

So what does this mean for your Office 365 users that are currently running the Office 2013 version of Office ProPlus?
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Office 365 – Why You Should Be Using The “Service Admin” Role

When it comes to security “best practices” there are some that are debatable and others that are fairly well accepted. One that is difficult to argue against is that administrators should maintain an account with elevated access that is separate from their day-to-day user account (see note at the bottom for a possible argument against this “difficult to argue” point).

For Office 365, there are a number of roles available with varied level of elevated access. Despite this, I still see many administrators with their “user” account assigned the “Global Administrator” role. In the Office 365 realm, this role has more privileges than a “Domain Admin” would typically have in the on-premises environment. A “Global Admin” account, if compromised, could certainly do some dastardly things.
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Office 365 – Can OWA Be A Replacement For Outlook?

I’ve had a few clients recently that have asked about using OWA instead of Outlook as their primary mail client. It’s a valid question given that users are very familiar with web-based email and likely use a similar interface with their personal email. If OWA meets all of your users’ needs, using OWA can help to reduce the installed applications that have to be maintained and supported on each user’s workstation.

Microsoft has consistently delivered the message that the OWA interface will likely see updates and enhancements more quickly than the Outlook client. While Office 2016 helps Outlook catch up in a few areas, there are still differences between the two interfaces.

Below are some observations when trying to use OWA as replacement for Outlook.
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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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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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Office 365 – A Deeper Look at the Microsoft “Send” App

On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a new Office 365 mobile app called “Send“. The idea behind the app is to be able to send quick and simple messages to other users via email.

The first question that came to mind was, “What problem is this app trying to solve?” My phone can already send emails, IMs and text messages, did we really need another option?

My thoughts then shifted to “How does this work?”, “What kind of security options are there?” and other questions that clients are bound to ask.

In the interest of peeking behind the scenes, I ran the app through Fiddler to see what the traffic looked like. Some thoughts based on the results are below…
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Azure Active Directory Reporting APIs Now Available

shutterstock_100605349 (2)One of the most common things we hear from our clients is their need to automatically access security related reports from Azure AD. With last week’s announcement from Microsoft about AAD Reporting APIs Public Preview, we now have that capability.

Azure AD already has a robust set of activity, security and audit reports, with some of the most useful provided within Azure AD Premium, and they can all easily be viewed within the Azure portal. With the new APIs, we can now programmatically access that data via “any tool or programming language which supports REST APIs with OAuth” and integrate it into a custom dashboard, Power BI/Excel, or your favorite SIEM solution.

The following reports can be accessed via the API:

  • AuditEvents
  • AccountProvisioningEvents
  • SignInsFromUnknownSourcesEvents
  • SignInsFromIPAddressesWithSuspiciousActivityEvents
  • SignInsFromMultipleGeographiesEvents
  • signInsAfterMultipleFailuresEvents
  • signInsFromPossiblyInfectedDevicesEvents (AAD Premium)
  • IrregularSignInActivityEvents (AAD Premium)
  • allUsersWithAnomalousSignInActivityEvents (AAD Premium)
  • CompromisedCredentialsEvent (AAD Premium)

Ready to get started? Check out this guide to Get Started with the Azure AD Reporting API.

MSFT US Partner & Industry Team Partner of the Year: Perficient!

Rich Figer quote with image

I am absolutely thrilled to share that Perficient has been named Microsoft EPG United States Partner and Industry Team Partner of the Year for 2015. This is a huge honor, and we are incredibly thankful to Microsoft, our customers and our partners for sharing in this recognition and working so closely with us this past year.

The newly created award recognizes Perficient for sweeping Microsoft’s regional Enterprise Platform Group (EPG) honors. In addition to the national award, Perficient was named Microsoft’s East Region National Solution Provider (NSP) Partner of the Year, Central Region NSP Partner of the Year and West Region NSP Partner of the Year.

From the press release:

“Perficient’s ability to deliver high-quality digital experiences, business optimization and industry solutions for our largest and most critical customers in the enterprise customer segment is what won them National Solution Provider Partner of the Year across East, Central and West regions in U.S. EPG,” said Rich Figer, Senior Director, U.S. Enterprise Partner Group Sales at Microsoft. “We are also honored to name Perficient the overall U.S. EPG Partner and Industry Team Partner of the Year in 2015 based on unanimous confidence across our partner sales executive teams in all three regions across the United States. They consistently deliver cloud-optimized solutions across our platforms and productivity services with complete customer and Microsoft sales executive satisfaction.”

Perficient has activated over 2.5 million Office 365 seats and has 26 Azure certified consultants, more than any other NSP.

“Microsoft’s enterprise offerings have grown increasingly cloud-based as companies move to adopt this innovative, efficient and secure technology,” said Mike Gersten, Vice President of Perficient’s Microsoft national business group. “Cloud computing lowers operating costs and provides agility and scalability options unavailable on limited legacy infrastructure. We are honored to receive these partner awards, which reflect the strength of Perficient’s Microsoft cloud consultation and delivery expertise at work across the country.”

While at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), it’s also been exciting to see the video highlighting how Perficient and Microsoft have worked together to empower our customers, and in this case, Partners In Health, to achieve more through technology. Dave Mayo, CIO at Partners In Health, spoke of the value of our partnership:

“Perficient’s proven track record in the health care industry, its Microsoft cloud services expertise, and its recognition as a top U.S. Microsoft partner all stood out prominently when we were looking at technology solutions providers,” said Dave Mayo, CIO of Partners In Health. “Thanks to our partnership with Perficient, we have adopted a consolidated, reliable platform for colleague interactions that enables us to more effectively serve the world’s most vulnerable. Perficient’s generosity and support of our efforts has earned our profound gratitude.”

Thanks to our entire team that helped to make this happen. What I love most about working here at Perficient is the people. Our team is second to none, and every single day, I’m amazed by the talent and passion they possess. Sweeping the nation with all three regional awards for Microsoft EPG PTU Partner of the Year is proof of their commitment to helping our customers scale operations and remain agile with Microsoft solutions. Well done, team! I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in the coming year.

You can read the full news release here.