Saturday, October 01, 2016

Office 365 New Updates Blog posts !

Lot of new updates and enhancements are made to Office 365 and announced this week in the Microsoft's Ignite Conference 2016. Office Blogs is filled with lot of great posts on these new exciting announcements.

I curated some key posts below, 

Begin with the cumulative announcement post that covers all the latest announcements at Ignite,

Another detailed blog post on the Security and Compliance Announcements, 

Improvements to Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, New Threat Intelligence and Advanced Data Governance feature availability, and Updates to Advanced Security Management with the new Productivity App Discovery features.

Related post that focus on the Conditional Access part of Office 365, showcasing Most awaited Security,Privacy and Compliance controls for SharePoint and OneDrive.

A  series of new enhancements on user productivity and experience,

Long waited Ability to sync SharePoint Online document libraries and OneDrive folders shared with you (preview available) with few more enhancements covered in the article.

Major OneDrive updates at Ignite 2016 include SharePoint Online sync preview 

Delve Analytics has become MyAnalytics with some new features

Create better work habits with MyAnalytics (formerly Delve Analytics)

 Another New People Experience enhancement for better collaboration

Connect to expertise and content with new people experiences throughout Office 365

Most awaited integration of Yammer with Office 365 groups

Yammer strengthens team collaboration through integration with Office 365 Groups 

A new version of the Office 365 App Launcher, which will provide improved discoverability to new and recently used apps, additional customization options and search across all the services and applications you use in the Microsoft Cloud.

Introducing the new Office 365 App Launcher 

More Organizations blocked the usage of Outlook for iOS and Android apps as the service was initially running on AWS and now its fully powered by Microsoft Cloud.

Outlook for iOS and Android is now powered by the Microsoft Cloud

Make sure you review all the other latest posts from Office Blogs and few other greats posts made available outside by Technical experts in the global community.

Great post from our Veteran MVP Tony Redmond :  Wrapping Up Ignite: More Office 365 Snippets

Review the On Demand Ignite videos to know more on these features in visual and turn on First release to enjoy most of these benefits and share your feedback in the right channel provided and as usual in Office 365 User Voice forum.

Innovation doesn't Pause / Stop with Microsoft Office 365, if you are still waiting to make your move to cloud or haven't experienced Office 365, you would miss some great features out there waiting for you that will for sure enhance your Employee / Personal productivity and take your business to the next level.

Why to wait ? spin up your Trial Tenant, explore Office 365, Use Office 365 Dev/Test labs to evaluate more and finally make use of the Office 365 Fasktrack on-boarding center and start your journey to the cloud.

Stay tuned for more updates...

Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool now available

Microsoft team recently released the new Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool, which provides the ability to perform a simple test of network performance to determine how well the network would perform for a Skype for Business Online call.

The tool tests the connection to Microsoft Network Edge by streaming a set of packets to the nearest edge site and back for approximately 20s for a configured number of iterations. The tool reports:

Packet loss
Round-trip latency
Reorder packet percentage

A Nice tool to assess your environment for Skype for Business calls quality.

Download here: Skype for Business Network Assessment Tool

Review the install instructions and perform the tests.

Make sure you review the Microsoft Ignite On demand Sessions on Skype for Business to know more on the latest enhancements.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Microsoft Ignite 2016 has just begun!!!

Microsoft Ignite 2016 Conference has just begun, Excitement is just kicked in from today September 26–30, 2016, at Atlanta GA.

Watch the Event Keynote Live here: Microsoft Ignite 2016

You can favor and access the Microsoft Ignite Spaces on the new Microsoft Tech Community site to view the latest event updates and related Slide decks here :

Access the On demand videos in the Microsoft Ignite site here: Microsoft Ignite 2016 On-Demand

Direct link to the YouTube channel here:

Stay tuned for more updates...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Get ready for AzureAD admin experience in the new Azure portal !

After the announcement of (codename Ibiza), general availability (GA) status Last December, which is now the default portal for Azure, Microsoft team started to move the Services and applications from the Classic portal to the new Azure Portal. In this road-map this week we had a significant announcement on the Public Preview of AzureAD Admin experience in the new Azure portal. Azure AD is moving to the new portal in phases and within a few months the new portal will have all the features of the classic portal and beyond.

As stated in the announcement, to try the new experience you need login to the new portal as a global administrator of your directory. In the coming weeks, Microsoft team will update the new experience so that it works well for other directory roles such as user administrators and password administrators.

This new portal looks pretty good and will be enhanced in the upcoming days, Login today and share your feedback!

Access the Official Announcement with the Walk-through guidance here:  The AzureAD admin experience in the new Azure portal is now in public preview!

Additionally review the below chart to check which portal supports the Azure services and applications that you use.

Access here: Azure portal availability chart

See Week 1 update here: AzureAD in the new Azure portal: Week 1 update – Already being used in 125 countries!


One more exciting announcement was made recently that, Ping Identity and Microsoft are partnering to provide secure access to on-premises web applications through the Azure AD Application Proxy and PingAccess. This partnership will expand the reach of Azure AD for customers and is a key proof point of Microsoft vision that “Identity is the new control plane.”

Access here: AzureAD and PingAccess: Partnering to bring you Secure Remote Access to even more On-Premises Web Apps

Stay tuned for more updates...

Monday, September 12, 2016

MVA Learning: Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Hybrid Topologies

After the release of Exchange Server 2016, Organizations started to upgrade their On premises Legacy Exchange Environment to the latest version of Exchange, and most of the large Organizations have adopted the Hybrid model, having strong understanding of how to set up a hybrid topology with Office 365 is now essential for an Exchange Administrator.  To make your learning easier Microsoft team has published a new Microsoft Virtual Academy video Series on Exchange Server 2016 Hybrid Topologies.

You will learn the below key topics in the sessions,

  • Plan and implement a hybrid deployment.
  • Plan and implement Exchange federation.
  • Plan for Exchange federated sharing.
  • Implement Azure AD Connect.
  • Plan and implement Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) for a hybrid deployment.
  • Examine deployment topologies.
  • Manage a hybrid deployment and advanced hybrid functionality.

Access the Series here:  Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Hybrid Topologies

MVA Learning: Microsoft Azure for IT Pros Content Series: Live Kick-Off

Its time for another fast-paced live virtual session on Microsoft Azure from Microsoft Virtual Academy, starting tomorrow September 13, 2016 9am-12pm PDT. If you are an IT Pro and interested to know more on Microsoft Azure then this is the right course for you.

Know more and get Registered soon here: Microsoft Azure for IT Pros Content Series: Live Kick-Off

Solutions using Office Servers and the Cloud

Microsoft Office team has provided us with an one stop resource to solve business problems by leveraging the integration among SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, Lync Server, Microsoft Azure, and Office 365.

The resources are covered under these broad categories,
  • Microsoft Cloud IT architecture resources
  • Cloud adoption Test Lab Guides
  • Architectural models for SharePoint, Exchange, Skype for Business, and Lync
  • Technical diagrams for Office Server solutions

Great News for AzureAD Customers

Great new is nothing but the announcement on the GA dates for AzureAD Identity Protection, Azure AD Privileged Identity Management and Azure AD Premium P2, which is happening this week on Sep 15th. Many Organizations already started using the AzureAD Identity Protection and AzureAD PIM in their environment during the preview stages and creating a secure environment by reducing identity risks, this GA is a great news for all. Also after the new changes to Microsoft EMS (Enterprise Mobility Suite) which is now EM+S i.e, Enterprise Mobility + Security, new SKU of Azure AD "Azure AD Premium P2" is getting GA'd  which includes all the capabilities in Azure AD Premium P1 as well as the new Identity Protection and Privileged Identity Management.

Access the Official Announcement with Walk through here: AzureAD Identity Protection, Azure AD Privileged Identity Management and Azure AD Premium P2 will be generally available Sept 15th

Be sure to watch the Office Mechanics video here: Intelligent identity protection with Azure AD

Get to know the new Enterprise Mobility + Security here : Introducing Enterprise Mobility + Security

Securing your user Identities using risk-based Conditional Access policies to block attacks in realtime is essential in today's world of cyber attacks, and additionally having your Privileged Admin accounts' elevated access under control by adopting the JIT model of making Admins to elevate their access on demand further keeps your Organization more secure.

Stay tuned for more updates... 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

PowerShell is Open Sourced !

Greatest milestone in the history of PowerShell happened last month, Now PowerShell is provided as an open source project on GitHub, available on Windows, Linux and macOS! This is a great news, as many of the customers required to utilize PowerShell other platforms and Microsoft took to the right decision inline with their focus on the support for Open Source Software.

Official Announcement here : PowerShell is open sourced and is available on Linux

Read the Windows PowerShell blog post here for additional information :  PowerShell on Linux and Open Source!

Access the How-To demos from Channel 9 here : PowerShell Open Source Project

Be sure to watch the video session presented by the father of PowerShell himself "Jeffrey Snover" on the new announcements, and the story behind how this innovation started and went live.

Stay tuned for more updates...

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Microsoft IT Showcase - Enterprise Mobility at Microsoft

I recently wrote a whereto post on the new Microsoft Virtual Academy expert level course for Deploying Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite, this course provides complete in-depth training for you to know more on EMS and enhance your skills to deploy and administrate EMS in your Organization. As an add-on to the learning, you want to know how Enterprise Mobility can be implemented in a large Organization, and the best practices that you ideally need when you plan for your's, now take a look at the IT Showcase Course on Microsoft's own Journey.

Learn how Microsoft implemented mobile solutions globally to support its 180,000 internal users, Be sure to take this IT Showcase course, as you continue your exploration of “how Microsoft does IT.” Get insight into the best practices Microsoft has employed to plan, design, deploy, and manage mobile solutions, and hear practical details from Microsoft IT subject matter experts (SMEs).

Below are the key topic covered in the course,

1 . Introduction - Get an overview of Microsoft IT, the IT Showcase team, and the background on the Microsoft IT story of how Microsoft went to the cloud.
2 . Evolution of Mobility and Storage - Explore the history of storage and how its evolution has enabled the modern mobile computing trends.
3 . Mobility Management - Learn about the Microsoft IT mobile strategy and how the team manages the mobile environment.
4 . Application Development - Find out how Microsoft IT develops applications in the modern cloud-first, mobile-first world.
5 . MS Approvals Case Study - Get the details on MS Approvals, an application that leverages legacy applications and cloud technologies to deliver a modern application experience.
6 . Security in Mobility - Explore the Microsoft IT approach to mobile security, from the basics to preparation for cyberattacks.
7 . Identity Management - Gain insight into the Microsoft IT transition to the mobile workplace and how identity and authentication changed.
8 . Access Management - Find out how Microsoft IT created a policy-driven enforcement of access to resources.
9 . Mobility Future - Learn about how Microsoft IT sees mobility evolving in the future.
10. Conclusion - Learn how it all comes together. Hear the story of a day in the life of a Microsoft employee.

Access the IT Showcase here: Enterprise Mobility at Microsoft