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.
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Recent August, 2018 Stories
Two simple principles are key for Office 365 network connectivity. Keep things simple and get user data to a Microsoft edge node as quickly as possible. However, some organizations insist on using VPNs and proxy servers to interfere with Office 365 network traffic, which slows things down and makes users unhappy. It's strange that people haven't gotten the message after so many years...
Most of the time, the Teams clients run along without a problem. But like all software, they have their moments. Here's how to attack the problem if your Teams clients start to misbehave, including how to give the Microsoft developers some feedback.
Microsoft issued a new wizard to delete Office 365 accounts last week. It has the normal quota of cute graphics and some glitches to boot, but the wizard gets the job done in terms of converting a user mailbox into a shared mailbox and reassigning access to their OneDrive for Business account.
Scammers and spammers love having large databases of email addresses to use for their nefarious purposes. Your Exchange Online addresses might be in those databases, so here's how to check the email addresses for your mailboxes against the Have I been pwned service (HIBP) using some PowerShell.
Office 365 content searches can find all sorts of information, but they cannot decrypt protected files in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business sites. This prompts the question of how to deal with protected files exported by a search. As it turns out, the combination of a rights management superuser and some PowerShell makes short work of unprotecting files so that they can be read by all.
Office 365 apps like Teams, Groups, Planner, and SharePoint support guest user access, so they create guest accounts. Those accounts are pretty bare-boned, but you can liven them up by adding details, including user photos - which you might just copy from LinkedIn.
Microsoft has just launched the preview version of Exchange 2019. The good news is that it's a new version. What might be unexpected is the lack of new features. Some worthy plumbing won't turn user heads, but then again, when you're the best standalone email server on the planet, do you need to change very much? Dropping Unified Messaging will cause some brows to darken. Expect some sparks at Ignite.
Microsoft Teams now supports inline translation for messages and personal chats. The translation is done by Microsoft Translator for over 60 languages, and it works well. A couple of small glitches might occur in translation, but Microsoft Translator is probably better at generating foreign language text than you are...
The news that Microsoft will make mailbox auditing the default in Exchange Online is very welcome, as is the new mechanism they plan to use. Microsoft won't get the new feature rolled out across Office 365 until the end of 2018, so there's still a gap to fill to make sure that audit records are gathered for mailbox activity.
A free version of Teams is now available and it's pretty good. Up to 300 users, free storage, and lots of functionality - and a phantom Office 365 tenant (or so it seems). The nice people at Slack might not like what they see, but there's fierce competition to secure the hearts and minds of those who choose to collaborate using a free platform.
Microsoft made a mistake in their provisioning process for Exchange Online shared mailboxes, so lots of mailboxes have 100 GB quotas. Things are changing now and new shared mailboxes will have 50 GB quotas, unless you license them. Here's how to check the status of your shared mailboxes.
Recent news (or FUD) about an "undocumented" Office 365 API got the security world in a tizzy, but in reality it's likely just part of the Graph. What's more important is to help tenant administrators understand how to harden their tenant against Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. As it turns out, there are many different things you can do, if you want to.
Office 365 generates lots of audit data. Some of the data seems a little strange, and we need some help to understand it. Office 365 Cloud App Security helps, but at a considerable cost. Do you need the extra insight provided by Cloud App Security? That's a decision you must make.
If you use Office 365 Video today, you will use Stream in the future. The migration is happening - slowly. But when it does, you can use Office 365 Groups to organize videos into mini-portals and take advantage of some interesting "intelligent" features to better use content in videos. The only downside is that you'll have to pay a little more.
Microsoft Teams has introduced a way for Office 365 tenants to archive teams. Basically you set the team to be read-only, a status that affects conversations and files. However, it doesn't stop team members having read-write access to other group resources, like Planner or Power BI.