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Office 365 – Microsoft’s Proactive Notification of User Issues

You would think that after working in technology for around 20 years, the “awe factor” would start to wear down. The fact is, I’m still amazed by some of the features that companies like Microsoft develop and how they manage to continuously push out great new functionality to their clients. With Office 365, it’s a continuous stream of features that either assists IT departments or provides added functionality for users with the end result of providing a better user experience through technology.
Today was another one of those “that just makes so much sense” moments where Microsoft was able to use the supporting infrastructure behind Office 365 to improve the user experience.
I’m referring to this email below that I received:

Update Outlook to Stop Connectivity Issues
I assume using client logging information from our users, Microsoft was able to identify that a small batch of users are connected with an out-of-date version of Outlook. In the email communication, I was provided a list of the affected users and the potential symptoms they may be seeing.
So simple yet so helpful.
Now you could likely implement something similar in an on-premises Exchange environment. I’m sure someone has done it already and you might even find a script out on the Internet or a package you can purchase. This however, just popped in my inbox with no additional effort or costs based out of Microsoft’s desire to ensure a good user experience.
Well done Microsoft!

Update: I have only received this notification from one Office 365 tenant and it would surprise me if it was the only one that had users without outdated clients. What’s unique with that tenant is that I was a “Service Admin” as opposed to a “Global Admin”; it’s possible that this message is only sent to Service Admins. Since the Service Admin role has the description of “Manages service requests and monitors service health”, I suppose it’s plausible.

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