Monday, July 6, 2015

Need to Know podcast–Episode 84

In this episode I’m joined by Office 365 MVP Martina Grom to talk Yammer. We cover what Yammer is, how to implement it as part of Office 365 and how to ensure it is a success within a business. Martina shares her experience and technical knowledge on how to make Yammer a success.

You can listen to the episode at:

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show. I’m also on the hunt for some co-presenters so if you are interested on being a regular part of the show please contact me.


Martina on Twitter

Skype for Business preview

PowerShell for Office 365

Changing Office 365 plans

Azure AD Connect gets released


Friday, July 3, 2015

Office 365 PowerShell Webinar

I am currently working with Dicker Data on producing a number of training webinars around Office 365. The next one will be on Managing Office 365 with PowerShell which will show you the basics of administrating you Office 365 tenants from the command line. importantly, it will show you how to automate these tasks to reduce the time required will deliver more consistent results.

The webinar is next Wednesday the 8th of July from 11am – 11.45am (Sydney Australia) time and is free for anyone to attend.

If you do want to attend simply pop you email address below and subscribe and you’ll immediately be emailed the connection details for the Skype for Business meeting. Your email address will also be automatically added to the list of my upcoming Office 365 email newsletter due for release soon.

I hope to see you at the event.

Watch out GotoMeeting

I do a lot of webinars. I also use Skype for Business a lot. Why do I use two tools? Typically, I use GotoWebinar to host public webinars. Why? It is generally set up to handle one to many presentations. Skype for Business has typically worked best for one to one or one to a few meetings.

You can of course use Skype for Business for general webinars but it wasn’t quite a polished a tool for that job as GotoWebinar. However, it you look at what Microsoft has just announced with the new Skype for Business preview it looks like I’ll only need one tool going forward.

One of the new features available world wide is the Meeting Broadcast option which does much of what GotoMeeting does and more! What excites me about the new Skype for Business Meeting Broadcast is the ability to have direct integration with Yammer. so people can be watching and contributing. Another impressive feature is the DVR ability. That means that individual viewers can pause, rewind, etc the presentation at any point in time independent of what other viewers are doing.

There are so many really cool features of this new preview that I’d encourage you to watch the video and sign up at:

Hopefully my tenant get this enabled soon and I can document how it all works. In the meantime watch the video and I’m confident you’ll be impressed.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The upgrade from old Office 365 plans is coming

If you purchased Office 365 prior to October 2014 you may have an older P (Small Business) or M (Mid-sized Business) plan. Once the new Business plans (Business, Business Essentials and Business Premium) where announced pots October 2014, you could no longer purchase the P or M plan new (you could add to existing plans but could no longer buy them new).

Existing P and M plan users then had a maximum of 12 months to upgrade from these plans to new plans. If they hadn’t done so by 1 October 2015 then they would automatically be upgraded to the equivalent plan.

I details all of this in a prior blog post:

Changes to the Office 365 P and M plans

and from this blog post:

The follow table outlined the automatic upgrade routes:

July 9 image 2

Microsoft has recent announced further guidance around this automatic upgrade process which you can find here:

which basically says:

After October 1, 2015, you will need to select one of the new plans at your next renewal date. These new plans are very similar but not identical to your current plan.

The biggest change I see is that existing M plans have RDS right but after October 1, 2015 they will be migrated to Business Premium plans which DON’T have RDS rights.

If you are yet to move from the old plans ensure you check out this new guidance website from Microsoft to understand what will happen to your tenant after 1 October 2015 and the changes in functionality that will mean.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Office 365 Settings gets a refresh


If users nos select the cog in the top right of their Office 365 web portal and then the Office 365 settings option, they will see things have changed.


The new Office 365 settings page is now very different from what it used to as you can see from the above.


It is beginning to look at lot like the Delve profile.


If you select the Edit Profile link the top right of the page you’ll be taken to the above screen with a series of entries.


If you are an Office 365 Global administrator you can edit these.


If you don’t have the rights you won;t be able to change this information as it comes from the Active users area in Office 365 admin center.

I think the interface changes look good. I would also suggest that these are point towards the trend of Delve becoming more important to the overall scheme of Office 365. I’d suggest that you stay posted for further changes like this soon!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Office 365 store now open for business


If you go to your Office 365 app launcher (typically accessed via the waffle in the top left corner of your Office 365 web portal) you’ll see or soon see a new icon.


The Office 365 Store has arrived!


Selecting the Office 365 Store icon will take you to the above page, where you can now start adding third party applications to your Office 365 environment.


Selecting an app will take you to a dedicated page like that above, where you can now add it to your environment.


As you can there are currently over 1,200 apps available to be added in! You can also expect this number to grow rapidly.

Office 365 provides a standard platform to develop and use apps. This is appealing for both users and developers. Other cloud platforms make lots of noise about all the third party add-ons they have. 1,200 is s good starting point that will only increase. You just watch and see.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Office 365 Video now supports embedding


Hopefully you know that Enterprise Office 365 suites have a video portal facility built right in, kinda like YouTube for the Enterprise.

I wrote a post a while back on Office 365 video embedding. It was a bit of a hack to be honest since Office 365 didn’t at that stage expose the HTML embed code. That’s all just changed!


If you now look in the top right of any video in Office 365 you see the Embed link as shown above.


Selecting that will open a new dialog that provides the embed code. Simply copy this.


Go to the location in SharePoint where you wish to display the video, edit the element, select the Insert tab at the top of the page and then select the Embed code button right of the Ribbon menu.


Paste the embed code into the box that appears. Immediately, you should see a display of he video below as shown above.

Select the Insert button to save the changes. Then save the element you are editing.


Now the video should be visible in the element as shown above (here, just a normal page).

The answer to your very next question is that at this stage is, no, you can’t publically (i.e. without an Office 365 login) share videos from Office 365 video, even using the embed code. However, as I understand it, that ability is coming so stay posted for updates.