Tony Redmond is an independent consultant who specializes in Microsoft collaboration technology. He runs his own consulting company and advises many companies on how to best develop, use, or exploit Microsoft technology, He has written 15 books and is the lead author of the "Office 365 for IT Pros" ebook.
Tony Redmond's Recent Posts
Microsoft StaffHub is a new Office 365 application built from bits of Office 365 Groups, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Azure, and Teams. The concept is simple – provide an application to allow the schedules of workers to be managed through a combination of browser and mobile interfaces. It’s an idea that will be popular with some Office 365 tenants, but it’s probably of limited interest to the majority.
It’s hard to think of new features for an application like Word that has been around for so long. Adding something that nags the user to be more precise and concise wouldn’t seem like it would be popular, but I rather like the new “Editor” feature. And providing more context in spell checking is a good thing too!
You might be familiar with the DLP policies available in Exchange or SharePoint. These policies work, but they are workload-specific. Microsoft has embarked on a journey to replace them with Unified DLP policies, which provide protection across multiple Office 365 workloads. The new policies are not yet as functional as those available for Exchange, but they will get there.
Microsoft can’t be expected to code for every possible scenario within Office 365. That’s why PowerShell is so useful as it lets administrators come up with their own solution. Master the Shell!
Microsoft is improving the way that people share calendars in Office 365 to make it easier and more straightforward. That’s nice, especially as the new mechanism extends to Outlook.com as well. However, no joy for on-premises servers…
It’s impossible for an email hygiene service like Exchange Online Protection (EOP) to suppress every possible piece of malware that attempts to penetrate Office 365. Even the broad array of anti-malware techniques will let some small percentage of spam through. Email administrators need to be on guard all the time.
Auditing is usually one of the last things that are considered for implementation in an IT system. The Office 365 audit log gathers a lot of information. Can you use it?
Microsoft is increasing the default mailbox quota for the Office 365 E3 and E5 plans to 100 GB. That’s quite a lot of space to fill, but Microsoft has good reasons for upping the limit.
Microsoft has fixed the IIS crash that caused problems for Windows 2016 DAG members in Exchange 2016 CU4. Exchange 2013 also gets its quarterly overhaul of fixes in CU15.
It’s reasonably common for an HTTP 400 error to occur when accessing an Office 365 page. The Office 365 Admin Center seems to be particularly susceptible to the problem. What can you do when an Office 365 page barfs?
Microsoft set out to rename OWA as Outlook on the web last year. That effort never gained real acceptance in the Exchange community, but in fact the project isn’t to rebrand OWA. Instead, it’s all about preserving and building out the Outlook brand across multiple clients and different experiences. Microsoft is struggling against the weight of history here, so don’t expect any great success anytime soon.
Managing Azure Active Directory using PowerShell is a pretty common technique for Office 365 administrators to master. Many scripts to automate administrative processes have been written to leverage the -Msol* cmdlets included in version one of the Azure Active Directory PowerShell module. Version 2 of the module is now generally available, which is good, but be careful because scripts need to be updated before you can use the new module.
Microsoft is introducing safety tips to Office 365 to highlight bad or suspicious email that might tempt users to do things that they shouldn’t. The initiative is good and valuable, but it rather loses some of its gloss because not all safety tips are exposed in Outlook. However, Microsoft is making sure that mobile and other clients see safety tips, even if not in the same interactive manner as is possible with OWA.