Author: Tony Redmond

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 is the lead author of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, the only constantly-updated book covering Office 365 and associated technologies. You can buy a copy of the book at (Gumroad.com – EPUB/PDF version) or (Amazon – Kindle).

Controlling Communications Inside Office 365 Tenants with Information Barriers (Part 1)

by Tony Redmond

Office 365 Information Barriers allow organizations to erect logical firewalls between different user communities to ensure that regulatory and legal requirements are met. Teams and Exchange Online support Information Barrier policies, which replace Address Book Policies. Some work is necessary to get Information Barriers set up. We cover that work in this article and prepare the ground for deploying the policies to Teams.

Slack Takes Aim at Teams Weaknesses

with 3 Comments by Tony Redmond

Slack's July 22 post reports some advances in their desktop client that seem to aim at reported weaknesses in the Teams desktop client. The best update is better protection against network outages. The other claims of 50% less RAM, 33% faster startup, and 10x better call joining need validation in the real world.

Microsoft Partner Benefits Intact for Now but Change is in the Air

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft dug themselves out of a pit of pain last Friday when they reversed the decision to nix some popular partner benefit just before the Inspire conference in Las Vegas. However, the world is changing and the cloud is where the action is. Microsoft pays to deliver services from the cloud and that cost must be either absorbed internally or transmitted to partners. That simple fact makes it sure that difficult conversations await in the future.

Petri Newsletter Sign-up
Tech Tuesday

Subscribe to Tech Tuesday, the latest insights from Petri.com for IT Pros.

    See All Petri Newsletters

    Emailing Owners About Obsolete Office 365 Groups and Teams

    by Tony Redmond

    In February, I published a script to report the activity in Office 365 Groups and Teams. It is natural that some of those groups will be obsolete, so here's another script to email the owners of those groups. I know the script works because I tested it against 200 groups, but it's rough and ready and deserves some TLC from people who really know PowerShell.

    Microsoft Decision on Internal Use Rights Doesn’t Inspire Partners

    with 2 Comments by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft's decision to make its partners pay commercial rates for software licenses might seem logical at first glance, but it's not helpful in a world where cloud technologies change so often. The problem I have is that anything that might prevent partners acquiring knowledge about Microsoft technologies is a bad thing for customers who depend on those partners. It should be interesting to see if any spirited debates happen at next week's Inspire conference.

    Email, Teams, and Expressing Reactions with Likes

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft introduced support for like reactions in OWA in 2015. Teams also supports likes, but it also supports other reactions to messages from sad to angry. Knowing how to use these reactions is a social minefield. On a serious notes, reactions are not currently stored in Teams compliance records in Exchange Online, which is a problem if people react to messages with likes.

    Teams Gets Urgent Message Capability for Personal Chats

    by Tony Redmond

    Microsoft is rolling out priority notifications for Teams, the ability for users to send urgent messages in chats so that the recipients get notified every two minutes until they respond. Office 365 tenants (except GCC) should see the new functionality in July. Tenants can control who gets to send urgent messages with messaging policies, and some user education would be good to help those allowed to send these messages understand when a message is truly urgent.

    Planner Supports Export to Excel

    by Tony Redmond

    Excel fans delight! You can now export task data for a Planner plan to Excel and slice and dice the task information to your heart's content. The new feature is likely to be popular with Office 365 users because it adds values and it makes sense to use Excel for this purpose, but another way of looking at it is that Planner is so poor at analysis and reporting that it needed external help. The truth probably lies in the middle.

    The PowerShell Mess in the Microsoft Cloud

    with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

    PowerShell is a great way of automating common administrative Office 365 operations. That is, if you know what module to use and how to use the cmdlets in that module. Unfortunately things are a bit of a mess with too many modules and inconsistent behavior in areas like error handling. With so many development groups working on Office 365, the PowerShell situation might be inevitable, but it needs cleaning up.

    MyAnalytics Focused on Outcomes not Raw Statistics

    by Tony Redmond

    The new version of MyAnalytics is available to Office 365 E3 and E5 users and takes a different approach to the interpretation of data gathered about user work activities inside different apps. Instead of telling you the raw counts of messages sent and read and other data, MyAnalytics gives insights to help people work smarter and achieve a better work-life balance.

    Finding the Identifier for Azure or Office 365 Tenants

    by Tony Redmond

    After seeing a tweet about a site that could return the tenant identifier for any Azure or Office 365 tenant, I was a tad suspicious. After all, this data should be private - or so you'd think. In fact, the WhatIsMyTenantId.com site simply takes records available to enable OAuth 2.0 sign-ins and extracts the tenant identifier from their content. It's an easy way to get hold of tenant identifiers.