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Posts Tagged ‘Office 365’

Office 365 – Getting Closer To “True” Single Sign-On For Outlook

One of the Office 365 concepts that gets glossed over a bit is “single sign-on”, in particular when it comes to Outlook. Many will provide the statement that if you implement AD FS, then you have single sign-on.

While it is true that AD FS provides single sign-on for some workloads, I’ve often argued that Outlook, possibly the most popular application used with Office 365, is not single sign-on under any scenario.

Last week Microsoft somewhat quietly updated documentation around “Modern Authentication” which gets us closer to “true” single sign-on.

Below is a link-filled overview of Modern Authentication and how it gets us closer to “true” single sign-on…
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Office 365 – Azure AD Connect: Did You Know?

brain_gears_shutterstock_wordpressAzure AD Connect is the synchronization tool formerly known as “Azure AD Sync” which was formerly known as “DirSync”. Regardless of what you call it, Azure AD Connect is the tool you’ll use to synchronize your on-premises Active Directory with Azure AD.

With each name change, new features have been added to the product.

Below are 10 quick little tidbits you might not have known about Azure AD Connect.
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Azure Powered Rights Management and Document Tracking

Moving your data to the cloud is not a trivial task, not only from technical standpoint but even from user adoption and business justification. Every organization deal with their challenges in different ways, some take the route of implementing least disruptive workload like exchange (mail) and some go with higher business impact workload like SharePoint Online. Which ever route you take one of the fundamental concerns and asks are always around data security and controls. You would always want your team to have a strong control of security while keeping their day to day tasks minimal. This is where Azure and Office 365 can help you pave the right path while you embark on the cloud journey. Office 365 provides various security controls empowering your administrators to keep their data secure at rest and in transit. One of the services protecting your information while your users are focusing on productivity, is Azure Rights Management Services (RMS).

RMS is a complete end to end information protection solution for documents, email, and any unstructured data that is sensitive for your organization. Highly integrated into Office, O365, Windows Server, and 3rd party applications for broad reach and consistent user experience. It covers a broad range of scenarios like

  1. Sensitive information – What (DLP)?
  2. Control Access – Devices
  3. Tracking
  4. Compliance and Governance

Based on whether you are committing fully to cloud or looking for a hybrid solution below are few deployment options Read the rest of this post »

Perficient buys Rise Foundation for SharePoint from Blue Rooster

Rise Foundation SharePoint

We have some exciting news to share! Perficient announced today that we have closed an asset purchase agreement with Blue Rooster to acquire the intellectual property Rise Foundation, a UX-as-a-service offering designed to help enterprises and teams offer a consumer-style experience for their SharePoint-based intranet, enabling them to enhance employee engagement and communication, while achieving a higher return on their SharePoint investment.

Rise Foundation is responsive and mobile-friendly, and boasts a rich user experience with the sort of consumer-style image and headline treatment for featured news. It also features easy, consistent navigation, and company-wide social engagement and collaboration. As Rich Wood, director at Perficient, described in a CMSWire article several months ago:

This warmth and commonality of [the Rise Foundation] experience is grounded in concepts and features most users will immediately recognize and understand. That approach minimizes the user disconnect that is anathema to good UX architects, and will allow this product to find an audience just about anywhere.

“In an increasingly competitive and cost-conscious world, we are doing everything we can to provide ready-built intranet solutions for our customers, leveraging SharePoint in the cloud,” said Mike Gersten, vice president of Perficient’s Microsoft group. “We are excited to provide our customers with a packaged intranet product that makes the robust features of SharePoint friendly and accessible for all employees, enabling them to achieve a higher return on their SharePoint investment.” Read the rest of this post »

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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