Now that so many apps (like Teams) create Office 365 Groups, it’s logical that some of the groups will serve their purpose and then need to be archived. Office 365 offers no way to do this, but conceptually it’s a reasonably easy task and something that PowerShell handles with aplomb.
A recent vacation meant that I didn’t spend as much time as usual monitoring changes inside Office 365. As it happened, lots of change occurred. The large stuff (major updates for Teams and Planner) has already been covered in detail, but many other small but important changes are now active inside Office 365. And, as always, it’s the small stuff that can trip you up. Here’s what I learned after a weekend of catching up…
One of the premium features for Office 365 Groups is the ability to use a naming policy so that all groups (and Teams) have a compliant name. The policy is a nice-to-have feature if you are concerned about having a well-organized directory with all your groups gathered in the same place. The question is whether enough business value is gained from a naming policy to make it worthwhile.
Office 365 Groups (and Teams) can quickly become obsolete, but administrators need some help to find the underused groups. PowerShell comes to the rescue through a mixture of checks against the group mailbox, Office 365 audit log, and Teams compliance records. A nice HTML report is the result – and isn’t that always welcome.
Microsoft says that Office 365 will support internationalized email addresses (EAI) in Q1 2018. Support is limited to inbound and outbound email and you will not be able to assign email addresses with non-Latin characters to Office 365 accounts until all the heavy lifting is done to make sure that nothing breaks, including in hybrid organizations.
The Teams PowerShell module is flawed, but that does not mean that you cannot do work with it. Here’s a primer of the most important cmdlets, together with a link to a rather interesting approach to finding out what Office 365 Groups are team-enabled.
Office 365 Groups have been very good for SharePoint Online. Because many apps use Groups, they also use SharePoint, even if they don’t know it. Teams, Planner, Yammer, StaffHub, Stream, and Groups in Outlook (or whatever the name is this week) all drive SharePoint usage. SharePoint Online is Office 365 document management, and that’s a good thing.
A new Microsoft support article clarifies premium features used by Office 365 Groups that require premium licenses. While good to know when you have to pay extra, it is baffling why some of the features fall into the premium category and why so many licenses are needed. The solution is to buy the Enterprise Mobility and Security suite. Or just pay for the extra licenses.
Microsoft’s Compliance Manager is intended to help cloud tenants cope with regulations like ISO 27001 and GDPR. The Compliance Manager has a nice dashboard, but it is passive and offers very weak options in terms of organizing the work needed to achieve compliance. But Office 365 has Planner and Teams, and it is easy to create the necessary collaboration structure to allow people to work on GDPR controls.
A new premium Azure Active Directory feature allows you to force group owners to certify that external members should have continued access. Given that Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams now both support guest users, it is wise to check on who can access what from time to time. Whether you will want to pay extra for such a feature is quite another matter!
Microsoft has released a beta version of the Teams PowerShell module. The only problem is that the module is not very good. In fact, the module is very disappointing because it does not contain the cmdlets that an Office 365 administrator might except to automate operations around Teams. Maybe the 1.0 release will be better. We can only hope!
After returning from the Ignite conference, I have pages of notes to pour over. Here are some of the more interesting things i learned about Office 365, including who should be in my “inner loop” and “outer loop”, why Microsoft talks about Microsoft 365 when they really mean Office 365, and some Exchange Online cmdlets I had not heard about before.
Now that Microsoft has shipped external access for Teams, it is obvious that they have some work to do to smoothen access and increase functionality. Although access works as long as guest users have accounts in other Office 365 tenants, areas like switching, auditing what external users do, compliance, and blocking deserve some consideration. Here’s what we know from the last week.