Using PowerShell to assign service admin roles in Azure AD

Published by:

Do you remember the times when you couldn’t assign service admin roles in Office 365? Those times are not gone for a long time, but however, it was not possible to add an Exchange Online Administrator, or a SharePoint Administrator. So, in most cases, companies used Global Administrators to manage Exchange, for instance, but the same admins had also access to SharePoint. It’s clear that this was odd.

The reason why this was not possible is that users and correspondent administrative roles are handled in Azure AD. So each Office 365 organization also has an Azure AD, only that many don’t know. And back then, administrative roles weren’t properly integrated across different services. However, this is possible now and we can also use PowerShell do handle everything. Continue reading

Demystifying Exchange Online plans

Published by:

Exchange Online is a great business productivity service, just like the entire Office 365 suite. However, offering each company only the services that the company really needs is not an easy task since companies of all sizes would like to use these services. This is the reason why Office 365 comes with different subscriptions, where each subscription includes different service plans. Further, we also have the so called standalone plans that companies may use. All of this could become very confusing for customers and that’s why I often receive questions like what Exchange Online plan is included in Office 365 Business Premium and how is this plan different from other Exchange Online plans? Other customers prefer an Office 365 Business subscription, but would like to have only all the Exchange Online features that are present in Office 365 E3 subscriptions. So that’s why I thought of trying to demystify Exchange Online plans. I can’t promise I will succeed, but I’ll give it a try.

So, first of all, please note that all Office 365 Business subscriptions and the Office 365 E1 subscription include Exchange Online Plan 1! All other Office 365 Enterprise plans include Exchange Online Plan 2. Having this in mind, the next question would be: “what are the differences between Exchange Online Plan 1 and Exchange Online Plan 2?” Continue reading

Azure AD, the door to the future

Published by:

Last week I was in Munich, attending a Microsoft partner event and I also delivered a track on Azure AD, called “Azure AD, the door to the future”. So I was thinking on writing down a brief summary of the content I delivered on Azure AD.

But it’s not possible to jump directly to Azure AD, without spending some words on the modern workplace, since Azure AD is just a technical answer for the challenges IT administrators face nowadays. Ten years back, the workplace was straightforward. Users came in their office, logged in to their PC and worked. In the evening they sut everything down and went home. Nowadays it’s different, since users are very mobile. They don’t simply work from their desk. Instead, users are now working from places difficult to imagine few years back, like bars, trains, hotels and their homes, of course. Not only that users are physically mobile, but they also use a vast palette of devices to accomplish work related tasks. If the IT department doesn’t offer devices, users will bring them themselves. In this circumstances, mobility is not something about movement anymore, but about the mobility of the entire experience.

Further, users also use a vast range of apps in their day to day work. And to be sincere, users also use a lot of third party SaaS apps to accomplish their tasks. Most IT departments wanted to improve the user experience and tried to integrate some way all the apps in their IT infrastructure, in order to prevent the leak of corporate information.  Continue reading

New Microsoft datacenters in Germany officially announced

Published by:

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, just announced in Berlin the new cloud strategy for Germany which includes two new Microsoft datacenters, one located in Frankfurt and the second located in Magdeburg. All major Microsoft Cloud services will be offered from the new facilities, including Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online. The new Microsoft datacenters in Germany will most probably go live in the second half of 2016.

The new Microsoft datacenters in Germany underline once more Microsoft’s commitment to data security and data privacy, making sure that all Microsoft cloud customers are able to meet their specific compliance and regulatory needs. The two datacenters are connected through a private network, so that the data flow is completely isolated from the internet.

Further, German and European customers will be able to choose between a global Microsoft cloud service and a local cloud service. If customers opt for the local cloud service, none of the data or metadata will be stored outside Europe. To make everything as transparent as possible, the German company T-Systems will act as a data trustee under German law. What this means is that T-Systems is the only one to decide who gets access to the data stored in the new datacenters and who doesn’t. This means that Microsoft itself won’t have any access to the data. Continue reading

Microsoft cuts back on unlimited OneDrive storage for consumers

Published by:

Around one year ago, Microsoft made a very bold announcement: unlimited OneDrive storage for all Office 365 subscribers, consumer plans included. And at that point, OneDrive suddenly became relevant within the cloud storage market. Unfortunately, Microsoft has announced on Monday that OneDrive storage for Office 365 consumer subscriber will go back to the 1 TB threshold.

So Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscribers won’t have unlimited OneDrive storage anymore and the new limit will be 1 TB, just as it was before last year’s announcement. This change takes effect immediately for all subscribers. Users that have a larger amount of data stored on their OneDrive will have one year time to move the exceeding data elsewhere. If users fail to move their exceeding data elsewhere, they will have read-only access to their OneDrive storage for another 6 months. What happens with that data afterwards is still unclear.  Continue reading

About Exchange Online Archiving and Outlook client limitations

Published by:

Exchange Online Archiving seems to be a very popular service offered by Microsoft via Office 365 and it usually is a key factor for enterprise customers and small businesses to opt for their way to Exchange Online. Enterprise customers usually use Office 365 enterprise subscription, like E3, where Exchange Online Archiving is included by default, together with the Office 365 ProPlus desktop applications. Everything is very straightforward. However, small businesses usually work with the Office 365 Business Plans that don’t include Exchange Online Archiving by default, neither the Office ProPlus desktop applications and this may cause some headaches. That’s why I aim to clarify some important aspects around Exchange Online Archiving and Outlook client limitations.

First of all, if you are using an Office 365 business subscription (essentials, business, business premium), this doesn’t include Exchange Online Archiving. However, you can purchase it as additional service for your tenant for a fee around 3$/month/user. Still, there is another very BIG aspect you should take into consideration: Exchange Online Archiving is supported only with Office 365 ProPlus! With the Office 365 business plans you get the Office 365 Business desktop applications, and Exchange Online Archiving will not work with Outlook!  Continue reading

Windows 10 on 14 million devices in 24 hours

Published by:

Windows 10 was globally launched on July 29th in 190 countries and the free upgrade process started successfully. Press reviews were overwhelmingly positive and it seems like Microsoft did it right this time, even if, for sure, there are still things that can be improved. Windows 10 is delivered as a service and improvements will be shipped on a regular basis, so end users won’t have to always wait till the next patch.  Continue reading

Everything you need to know about the upgrade to Windows 10

Published by:

So tomorrow is the big day when Windows 10 will become generally available and when the first users will get the chance to upgrade for free to the best Windows ever made. In case you don’t know all the aspects about the upgrade to Windows 10, here is everything you need to know about it.

You can upgrade to Windows 10 in basically only two very simple steps. I’m sure you already noticed the “Upgrade to Windows 10” icon that appeared around one month ago next to the Windows clock in the bottom right corner.  Continue reading

Few things you could miss after upgrading to Windows 10

Published by:

When talking about some of the great Windows 10 features, I promised to come back with an article regarding some things that you could miss after upgrading to Windows 10 on July 29th. I have to admit that in my opinion only Windows 7 users will really feel a huge difference after the upgrade.

So first of all, Windows Home editions users are probably familiar with the Media Center. Well, the Media Center is not available in Windows 10 anymore so you would most probably need some third party software to do the job the Media Center did. However.  Continue reading

Windows 10 – some cool features that you may underestimate

Published by:

As promised I will continue to write about Windows 10 these days, since on July 29th Window 10 will become generally available, but I’m sure you know this already. So right now I would like to concentrate on some cool Windows 10 features that may be a little bit underestimated.

1. The Start button. Yes, in Windows 10 we will have the Start button back, and I mean the real one, not a surrogate like in Windows 8.1. Sure, the Windows 10 Start button has a total different design than the one we know from Windows 7, but it really takes advantage of the live tiles. Furthermore, it is fully customizable so that every user should find his perfect button.  Continue reading