Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Build 2016 has begun...

Microsoft Build 2016 conference has just begin, watch the live streaming from Channel 9.

Watch here: Live Build 2016

On demand Videos are now available in Channel 9Build 2016

This year Build was great with lot of exciting announcements and innovations.

Few Key blogs and articles to read are below:

Official Microsoft Blog - Build 2016: Announcing tomorrow’s cloud innovations for today’s developers 

The Verge - Microsoft Build: the 10 most important announcements

AD Team blog - Microsoft Identity at //build/ 2016 

Windows Blog - Best of Build 2016

Office Blogs - Office at Build 2016—new opportunities for developers

Skype for Business Voice Solutions Poster

Use this poster to choose the right Voice solution for your organization: an all-in-the cloud solution delivered by Office 365 or a hybrid solution that combines on-premises software and Office 365 services.

Download here: Skype for Business Voice Solutions Poster

Microsoft IT SME Roundtable on Skype for Business at Microsoft

IT subject matter experts (SMEs) from our Skype for Business at Microsoft IT Showcase course answer questions about how Microsoft IT implements, monitors, maintains, and supports Skype for Business at Microsoft.

Techincal Case Study: Automating licensing for Office 365 in a hybrid environment

Licensing is always a bit of challenging task in any large enterprise and it ideally varies between one another. Learn how Microsoft IT team automated the Licensing for Office 365 in their Hybrid environment from the below Technical Case study.

Utilize the resources provided and test how the solution fits in to your environment and reduce the License management overhead for your Admins.

Review here: Automating licensing for Office 365 in a hybrid environment

Add-on Read:

As we all know PowerShell plays a major role in Office 365 Administration, lets understand how to Manage user accounts and licenses with Office 365 PowerShell.

Access the TechNet documentation here: Manage user accounts and licenses with Office 365 PowerShell

More resources are available in PowerShell for Office 365 Website.

Managing security risk in the cloud

Lacking criteria or an assessment framework for SaaS applications, the Microsoft Information Security Risk Management team created a workbook to provide needed guidance. See how the team uses this to ensure the consistent evaluation of SaaS deployments.

Download here: Managing security risk in the cloud

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Office 365 Enterprise Guided Tour

Take a guided tour of the new Office 365. It’s a quick and easy way to test drive new enterprise capabilities, including advanced collaboration, analytics, and security features.

  • Step through common enterprise scenarios to see how Office 365 can support your business needs
  • See the latest in-product experience with the most up-to-date versions of the Office applications you use every day as well as the new advanced features
  • Explore the top features and advanced capabilities available for email and calendar management, collaborative meetings, analytics, and security

System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Vs Log Analytics in Operations Management Suite (OMS)

Monitoring plays a major role in any environment and with the advent of Cloud Computing, monitoring both On premises and Cloud workloads is now essential to take quick action and remediate issues proactively to provide a highly available environment to the users.

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) is a leading solution in the market and adopted by vast majority of Organizations around the world, and now Microsoft took one step ahead and introduced the Operations Management Suite (OMS) which does compliments the functionality of SCOM and even beyond.

I recently came across this TechNet article that clearly outlines the comparison between System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and Log Analytics in Operations Management Suite (OMS) in terms of their architecture, the logic of how they monitor resources, and how they perform analysis of the data they collect. This is to give you a fundamental understanding of their differences and relative strengths. You do have options to Integrating SCOM and Log Analytics in a hybrid model and obtain some rich monitoring capabilities for your environment.

Access here: Monitoring product comparison

Review OMS Architecture: OMS Architecture Documentation

Be sure to review the below Blogs to stay updated...

System Center Operations Manager Team Blog

Welcome to the Microsoft Operations Management Suite Blog

A Nice article that outline PowerShell Monitoring with OMS: Use Microsoft Operations Management Suite to track PowerShell activity

Sunday, March 27, 2016

AzureAD Connect Health for Sync

Microsoft team announced the General Availability of the new AzureAD Connect Health for Sync to monitor both the authentication components and the sync engine of Azure AD Connect. This now comes without any additional configuration or hardware. After installing and configuring the latest version of Azure AD Connect (version 1.0.9125 or higher), all you need to do is visit to view your Azure AD Connect Health Dashboard.

This is an great add-on for the AAD Connect deployment and more on this is available in the below Official AD team blog post.

Access here: AzureAD Connect Health for Sync is now GA!

View it action here: Azure Active Directory Connect Health: Monitoring the sync engine

Refer Azure AD Connect Health for ADFS in this post: Azure AD Connect is now GA !!!

Updated Documentation here: Monitor your on-premises identity infrastructure and synchronization services in the cloud

As always share your feedback to the Microsoft.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Office 365 Connectors

Microsoft introduced Office 365 Connectors, a brand new experience that delivers relevant interactive content and updates from popular apps and services to Office 365 Groups. Now its time for the feature to roll-out to first release customers and reaching GA shortly.

Connectors are easy to configure and makes your Office 365 Groups communication more effective. If your organization already has Office 365, you can use Outlook, Outlook on the web or the Outlook Groups mobile app to start using Office 365 Connectors.

Access the Office Blog post to know more: Introducing Office 365 Connectors

Ensure to join the YamJam hosted next month Thursday, April 14, 9–10 a.m. PT / 8–9 p.m. GT. in the Office 365 Network.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Quarterly Exchange Updates

Exchange has a very long history as we all know and evolved a lot in the last 20 years from the time of  RTM of Exchange 4.0, which is beautifully explained in the latest blog " 20 years ago in a galaxy far away…" by Exchange Team. If you are attending Microsoft Ignite 2016, you get the opportunity to celebrate the birthday event in person.

It's now time for the Quarterly Exchange updates.

Exchange Server 2016 gets its first cumulative update and Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 12 is also released. Exchange Server 2007 gets RU 19 and Exchange Server 2010 gets RU13 and also few more important updates along with few new changes are shared.

Access the EHLO Blog post here to know more: Released: March 2016 Quarterly Exchange Updates

Hybrid News:

Support for Standalone Hybrid Configuration Wizard in Exchange Server 2010

Customers using Exchange Server 2010 in Hybrid mode with Office 365 will notice a new link in the EMC to use the Updated Standalone Hybrid Configuration Wizard. We encourage all customers to use this updated version of the Hybrid Configuration Wizard.

Reminder: Customers in hybrid deployments where Exchange is deployed on-premises and in the cloud, or who are using Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) with their on-premises Exchange deployment are required to deploy the most current (e.g., CU12) or the prior (e.g., CU11) Cumulative Update release.

Review the Release details for the Knowledge base articles and download links for the updates.

Finally, Always test the deployment of the updates in your lab environment to determine the proper installation process for your production environment.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

SharePoint 2016 RTM and Project Server 2016 RTM is now available

Microsoft team released the most awaited SharePoint 2016 RTM and Project Server 2016 RTM last week and this is a milestone in Microsoft software release cadence.

More updates are available in the Official Office Blogs posts:

SharePoint 2016 RTM and the Future of SharePoint event

Project Server 2016 RTM is now available

Also get to know What’s new for admins in SharePoint Server 2016

Be sure to register yourself and join the SharePoint Virtual Launch event Online on May 4 2016 and enjoy the celebration.

Register here: SharePoint Virtual Launch event

Stay tuned for more updates...

Microsoft Intune End User Enrollment Guide

Microsoft  Intune team recently published a customizable End User Enrollment Guide, that can help your end users enroll their mobile devices into Microsoft Intune

Download here:Microsoft Intune End User Enrollment Guide

Also Learn What's new in Microsoft Intune

Most importantly know how to Protect your company data and email with Microsoft Intune

Mobile device management at Microsoft - Technical Case Study

In today's world of mobility, every Organization wants their employees to be more productive and BYOD is now becoming a adoptable solution with the advent of strong MDM and MAM solutions.

Learn how Microsoft IT uses Enterprise Mobility Suite and other services to manage identity, devices, and applications. Now, simplified and integrated IT solutions enable their employees to be productive on any device.

Access the Case Study here: Mobile device management at Microsoft 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Preparing for Microsoft Specialist Certification Exam 70-534, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Are you preparing for Microsoft Specialist Certification Exam 70-534, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions, then below are few resources I came across in my journey, which will help you out with your Exam preparation Roadmap.

Review the Exam details here: Exam 70-534, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

This Exam is one of the Essential exam for your MCSD certification.

 Review here:  MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect

Keith Mayer MSFT has published the below Early Experts Study Guide in his blog with rich set of resources available for the Exam preparation.

Access here: Early Experts Study Guide for Microsoft Specialist Certification Exam 70-534, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions.

Microsoft Virtual Academy course targeting this Exam preparation is the next key resource: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Next on the list is the new Jump Start Series from Channel 9Exam Jump Start 70-534 Prerequisites: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Also take a loot at the Cert prep Guidance from Sidney Andrews, MCT:  70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Another essential guidance from renowned IT Expert Mark Wilson here: Preparation Notes for Microsoft Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Grab the Exam reference E-book from Microsoft Press store for your reference.

Buy here : Exam Ref 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions


Access the new Certification Exam Prep session from Microsoft Ignite 2016.

Access here: BRK3264 - Cert Exam Prep: Exam 70-534: Architecting Azure Solutions

More Good news:

Passing an Exam is always not easy and you can take an extra chance for success now with the advantage of  Microsoft Certification Booster Pack.

Know more here: Give yourself an advantage with a Microsoft Certification Booster Pack

Get an Azure Trail now and get started...


Microsoft team made new changes to the Certification path, Be sure to know the latest Microsoft Certification updates and decide your learning path.

Microsoft Azure Datacenter IP Ranges

For anyone interested to know the IP Ranges used by Microsoft Azure Datacenters.

Download here: Microsoft Azure Datacenter IP Ranges

OneDrive for Business Product Recap and Roadmap Primer

To add to the list of resources, I shared earlier on OneDrive for Business, here comes the key session from Microsoft Virtual Academy to examine the latest key innovations in OneDrive for Business, and get a detailed look at the product strategy and roadmap.

Access the Session here: OneDrive for Business Product Recap and Roadmap Primer

To add to this,  Read the below excellent write up by Russell Smith in Petri IT Knowledgebase, where he shows and talks more on the current Roadmap from Microsoft.

Read here: Microsoft updates its OneDrive for Business roadmap

Interested to know more stuff on OneDrive for Business. Follow fellow MVP Hans Brender and read his blog posts to stay updated.

Stay tuned for more updates...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Controlling the Uncontrollable Series

If you want to advance your learning on Microsoft Cloud and Mobility platforms and how their combination addresses today's IT needs in real world scenarios, then get ready and start reading the new series of blog posts on the topic from In the Cloud Blog from Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise and Client Mobility.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts in the series, from Brad and also review the Additional Resources outlined in each of the posts for more information on the topics.

Access the related Channel 9 video series here: How to: Control the Uncontrolled

Add-on Bytes:

A great article to read from Microsoft Intune Blog

The evolution of access control: from VPN to identity-based anywhere access

Great Skype for Business News for Week

Microsoft team made few Significant announcements this week over Skype for Business during the Enterprise Connect 2016 conference, below is the Official Office blog post reference, that covers the key innovations in detail for your visibility. Get ready to enjoy the new experience.

Read here : Expanding the reach of Skype for Business meetings and voice services in Office 365

Friday, March 04, 2016

Microsoft Intune Step By Step eBook

Microsoft Intune is gaining momentum in today's Mobility world and having strong understanding of how to configure and use Intune in your environment is essential for an IT Pro managing Enterprise Mobility. I recently came across this new eBook on Microsoft Intune written by fellow MVP Mai Ali , This eBook is worth reading to start your Intune learning.

Access the E-book here: Microsoft Intune Step By Step for Anyone eBook 

Add-on Bytes:

Read the below Excellent post from Ask PFE Blog by Michael Hilderbrand - MSFT

Microsoft InTune for the Old-School GPO Admin

New Office 365 Admin Center and Reporting Dashboard

Microsoft team made a significant announcement that, Over the next few weeks, the new admin center and the reporting dashboard, which is in preview will gradually start to roll out as the default experience for all Office 365 Customers.

More information is available in the Official announcement here: Announcing the new Office 365 admin center


Get to know more on the new Reporting portal.

Access here: New reporting portal in the Office 365 admin center


Microsoft team announce the rollout of usage reports for SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business and Yammer, which give IT greater visibility into usage across these services in Office 365.

Review here: New usage reports for SharePoint, OneDrive, Yammer and Skype now available


Microsoft Team recently announced three new usage reports for SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Exchange Online, in addition to the existing reports, which provide you with additional insights about how end users in your organization are using and adopting Office 365.

New usage reports for SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Exchange Online


Read here: The new gets first major update

Stay tuned for more updates...

Azure AD Identity Protection Public Preview and Azure Security Center Overview

Identity protection is now critical in today's world filled with numerous attacks, to identify and mitigate these issues, Organization's spend lot of effort and investment in the IT Security, even a small loop hole can allow cyber-attacks. Microsoft team is constantly investing more in building a secure Infrastructure and with this now, we have the new Azure Active Directory Identity Protection in public preview, Azure AD Identity Protection uses advance Machine Learning capabilities that analyze your environment and helps Organization's to secure and protect both Cloud and On-premises applications that uses Azure AD.

More Information is available in the below Offical Blog post: Azure AD Identity Protection is in public preview! (Whoop whoop!)

Read the Documentation here: Azure AD Identity Protection documentation


Microsoft team recently announced an update to the public preview of Azure Active Directory Identity Protection that extends risk-based conditional access to federated identities.

Access here to know more: AzureAD Identity Protection adds support for federated identities!

Azure Security Center

Get to know about Azure Security Center, the latest security monitoring and management Solution for your cloud resources and is an essential part of Microsoft’s vision to deliver a holistic, agile security platform for today’s enterprise

Read here to know more: Azure Security Center now available

Access the Overview Video here: Azure Security Center Overview

Additionally get to know Security management in Azure

A Nice Blog post showing the significance of Azure Security Center - Detecting threats with Azure Security Center

Read the Whitepapers to understand Shared responsibility in Cloud Computing and Security response in the cloud here: Microsoft Incident Response and shared responsibility for cloud computing

Update :

Download and read the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report to know how Microsoft is handling Security threats in today's cyber world.


Read the below Blog post to understand how Microsoft team is protecting their identities

How we protect #AzureAD and Microsoft Account from lists of leaked usernames and passwords


Access how Microsoft IT reveals its own Azure Security evolution & cloud mindset in their IT Showcase here: The cloud security mindset


Announcing the new Azure Security Information Site -

Stay tuned for more updates...

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

MVA Learning : Office 365 Admin Support Skills

If you want to sharpen your Office 365 Administration skills, then spend sometime to complete your Learning on the "Office 365 Admin Support Skills" series from Microsoft Virtual Academy.

Below are the courses available in the Series,

Office 365 Admin Support Skills: Core Concepts

Office 365 Admin Support Skills: Service Management

Office 365 Admin Support Skills: Mail Flow Specialty

Add-on bytes:

Access Support article set here: Office 365 for business – Admin Help

Stay tuned for more updates...

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Skype Meeting Broadcast a Quick Review

Creating larger meetings were always painful at earlier times, thanks to Skype Meeting Broadcast, a new component of Skype for Business. As part of Office 365 and Skype for Business Online, Skype Meeting Broadcast lets you produce, host, and broadcast meetings to large online audiences up to 10,000 attendees.

I have written this blog post to curate few important support articles that I came across during evaluating this feature,

Begin with What is Skype Meeting Broadcast ? article, this gives you an idea how the broadcast works, Roles, System, Licensing and authentication requirements.

Setting up your environment for Skype for Business Broadcast is the first step, ensure that you read the below article and configure your Skype for Business Online or Hybrid environment to use the feature.

Set up Skype Meeting Broadcast

Not just setting up the environment gives you the access, follow the instructions provided in the below article and enable the feature for your organization through Remote PowerShell.

Enable your organization for Skype Meeting Broadcast

*Ensure that you download and install the Skype for Business Online, Windows PowerShell Module to execute the above PowerShell cmdlets.

Once you are all set to schedule your first meeting, take a look at the below support articles, to know how to schedule a meeting broadcast and mange the event.

Schedule a Skype Meeting Broadcast

Manage a Skype Meeting Broadcast event

You can raise a support incident from the Skype Meeting Broadcast portal to the Skype Meeting Broadcast Event Team when you encounter issues with your meeting.

Watch the Microsoft Mechanics video here for a quick visual experience : Skype Meeting Broadcast - What it is and how to use it.

Enjoy the Broadcast experience...