Sunday, May 3, 2015

New CIAOPS Office 365 bootcamp package coming

I am working on an update to my Office 365 bootcamp notes that I plan to offer. This new product will include:

1. OneNote notebook with all the knowledge I have accumulated over the years about Office 365. It includes links and information about the product. It includes troubleshooting tips and links, it includes links to third party solutions and so much more. Basically, everything I discover about office 365 goes into this notebook every day and I USE it everyday!

2. OneNote notebook with all the knowledge I have accumulated over the years about Azure. Like the Office 365 notebook, this one contains links, tips information and more about everything Azure. Everything I discover about Azure goes into this notebook and I am using it more and more EVERY day.

3. OneNote notebook with notes designed to help you pass the Office 365 70-346 certification exam.

4 OneNote notebook with notes designed to help you pass the Office 365 70-347 certification exam.

I plan to update all of these notebooks on a regular basis and make them available as an annual subscription. Before, when you bought the bootcamp notes you only got them as a point in time publication. With the product changing so rapidly much of the information becomes obsolete and out of date so quickly.

Also, because all the notebooks continue to grow over time I need to spend some dedicated time updating and improving them. However, if I am just doing that for myself then it always seems to take a lower priority. Having them as an subscription model will give me the impetus to ensure they are as up to date and relevant as possible.

There are two ways to get access to this material:

1. You can join my Cloud Business Blueprint community via:

http://www.cloudbusinessblueprint.com/members-sign-up/

where you’ll get immediate access to the latest versions plus heaps of other unique on demand training, cheat sheets, re-brandable content, articles AND access to the members forums to converse with other cloud resellers.

2. You can purchase the existing Office 365 bootcamp notes via;

http://www.e-junkie.com/ciaops/product/488325.php

for AU $148. This purchase will entitle you to a 12 monthly subscription to my new bootcamp notes product when it becomes available soon.

As a sweetner for option 2 (as everything offered is already part of option 1 anyway), I will also throw in, for a limited time, my:

Getting Started With Azure (valued at AU $120)

and

Getting Started with SharePoint Online Tutorial Team Site Standard Edition (valued at AU $90).

So that’s an extra AU $210 of value if you sign up today for the ‘pre-release’.

Note, this ‘pre-release’ of my new bootcamp notes product will only be available for a very limited time. As soon as I have put the finishing touches on it and launched it, then there’ll be no more sweeteners.

So many people come to me asking where they can find information about Office 365 (and now more so Azure). With this offer you can have access to the information I use in an easy to access format that you can upload to the cloud and sync and access on every device (how I do it).

As a final point, if you enjoy and obtain benefit from all the free stuff I do like this blog, my YouTube channel, my free downloads, my open sourced SharePoint Guide then I’d REALLY appreciate your support. Doing so will allow me to focus more on providing you a great solution and all the up to date information you need in one location for Office 365 and Azure.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Offline Azure backup

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One of the major challenges of ANY online backup is the initial backup where all the data needs to be sent to the cloud. For most businesses there is so much data and so little bandwidth.

Like other cloud backup solutions Azure Backup also had a similar challenge when it came to the initial backup. However, if you update to the latest client you will find a new option as shown above, Offline Backup. This will allow you to take a local copy of the Azure Backup that you can then ship to the data center to be uploaded.

Once the initial offline backup has been uploaded to your Azure tenant any backup you now perform of the same data will only be the changes in the data, which is generally small. This is known as seeding the backup.

This will basically means you can now make a local copy of your data, ship that data to Microsoft and they’ll upload it to Azure for you so you avoid any bandwidth limitations when you do that first backup.

This option uses the Azure Import/Export service which you read about here:

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-import-export-service/

At the moment the Australian data centers are not listed as an option to ship data to, but I know that this option is not very far away at all, so all you folks here down under, don’t worry it won’t be long before you to can ship drives to import into Azure.

If you want to read more about the new features that are also included in this update Azure Backup Client have a look at:

http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2015/02/16/new-features-in-azure-backup-long-term-retention-offline-backup-seeding-and-more

If you want to download the latest Azure Backup client you can do that here;

https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/3033794

I use Azure Backup to backup both workstations and servers, so if you haven’t taken a look yet, I strongly suggest you do as it is a great option and really easy to configure.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mobile Device Management has arrived!

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I was fiddling around in my Office 365 tenant and saw that the Mobile Device Management now appears as a license for the user as shown above.

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I then headed to the Office 365 Admin portal and sure enough on the menu on the left hand side I see Mobile Devices.

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When I select this I get some information on the right and a Get Started button which I press eagerly.

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Office 365 starts settings things up for me and says it may take a few hours (!). Actually, it took the whole of about 5 minutes.

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Now I see the above. I select the Manage settings in the top right.

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From the window that appears I select Set up from Configure an APNs Certificate for iOS devices.

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At the next screen I select Download your CSR file link and store it on my C: drive.

I then select Next to continue.

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Here I select the link for Apple APNS Portal.

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I login with a company Apple ID.

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Once logged in I select the Create Certificate button.

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I Accept the Terms of Use

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I now upload the CSR file that I downloaded previously.

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I receive confirmation that all is good. I select Download to get a copy of this Apple Certificate and store it on my local hard disk.

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I return to the Office 365 Admin portal and upload the Apple Certificate I just downloaded into Office 365.

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I now get the message that the Certificate Uploaded Successfully.

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In the top right corner of the windows I now have a green check indicating that my Apple Certificate is uploaded and valid.

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Select the link Manage device security policies and access rules near the top of the page.

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I’m now taken to the Office 365 Compliance center and the option Device Management as shown above.

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I select the option to create a new policy by selecting the + (plus) icon. I then given the policy a name and select Next.

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Now I can select all the device security options I want.

When complete, I press Next to continue.

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I now get the option to select more configuration options as shown above.

When complete, I press Next to continue.

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I now elect whether I wish the policy to be applied to my users. At stage stage I will leave the option set to No and press Next.

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I now get a summary to review and when complete I select finish.

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You should now see your policy listed as shown above.

If I now want to apply that policy to a user I select the pencil icon to edit it.

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I select the Deployment option on the left and then Yes. I then select the + (plus) icon that appears to add the desired user(s) to whom the policy should apply.

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Unfortunately, at this stage I get the above error that doesn’t allow me to apply the mobile device policy to a user for some reason.

I suspect I have stuffed up somewhere so I’ll do some research and post an update soon.

Till then, if you see Mobile Device Management appear in your Office 365 tenant, have a play and let me know how you go.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

An important day

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Australian and New Zealand troops going ashore at Gallipoli in Turkey in an ultimately futile attempt to shorten World War I. What many don’t realise is that just three short years later on the 25th of April 1918 these same troops would liberate the small town of Villers-Bretonneux in northern France in an action that was described at the time as:

"perhaps the greatest individual feat of the war"

and

"altogether astonishing valiance" ( most likely meaning valour )

The ANZACS had by now left a lasting legacy on the world stage and had become recognised as some of the best fighting troops that the Allied command possessed.

Their last major action in World War One was in a place that few have ever heard of, Mont St Quentin The result was that three weakened Australian Divisions were able to defeat five German Divisions. The action saw its fair share of heroics, with eight Victoria Crosses awarded, and losses, with 20% of attacking forces becoming casualties. The battle was a true infantry victory achieved without the use of tanks or creeping artillery barrage.

The 25th of April is more than just the anniversary of ANZACs going ashore at Gallipoli, it is remembering all those who have served and continue to serve our country and especially those who never returned. We can never truly appreciate their sacrifice but we can, and do pause at this time to ensure their actions are never forgotten.

Lest we Forget

You can read more about the ANZAC contribution in France during World War One at my web site:

www.anzacsinfrance.com

You can follow the events via:

www.twitter.com/anzacsif

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Enable Dropbox Integration in Office 365

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Login to your Office 365 portal and navigate to:

https://portal.office.com/Home

where you should see the above screen.

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Select the Word Online icon.

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Word Online will now launch and you should see the splash screen you see above prompting for Dropbox integration.

Select Add Dropbox account and enter yoru Dropbox account details if prompted.

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Once you have entered your details you will see in the top a drop down menu with options for OneDrive for Business and Dropbox as shown above.

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In the bottom left as well, you will see the above locations you can select to open a file from, OneDrive for Business and Dropbox.

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If you select Open from Dropbox you will be able to navigate your Dropbox file locations and select a file.

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The first time you select a Dropbox file you’ll be prompted to allow Microsoft Office Online to access Dropbox as shown above.

Select Allow to proceed.

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You’ll now be able to edit that document in Word Online.

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In the bottom of the window in the middle you will see that any updates you make are Saved to Dropbox automatically.

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If you now go into your Dropbox at any time and select an Office document you can elect to open it with the appropriate Office Online application.

Pretty handy if you are using Dropbox in some capacity along with Office 365. I couldn’t see a way to open from say Dropbox and save to OneDrive for Business for example, hopefully we’ll that edition in the not to distant future.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Forcing an update of Office 365 desktop applications

Let’s say that you want to ensure that you have the latest desktop software via Office 365 click to run. In this case I wanted to ensure that I had the Skype for Business update on my desktop.

Of course, you need to have installed your Office desktop application from an Office 365 plan that includes Office desktop software. To update simply open one of these applications.

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Select the File tab of the application to view the backstage area as shown above.

From the menu on the left select Account.

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On the right hand side you should see a section Office Updates.

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Select Update Now from the menu that appears when you select the Update Options button.

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If there are new updates to be installed they will now be downloaded. The time taken will depend on how many updates need to be installed.

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Any Office applications that are running may need to be shut down to apply updates.

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The updates will be applied.

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When complete and you run the applications again they should be updated as you can now see I have Skype for Business on the desktop.

So, if you want to manually force your Office Click to Run updates, simply go into an Office application and do so.

Free Cloud Q and A tomorrow

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I’m back on deck for our free monthly public Cloud Business Blueprint webinar, tomorrow Thursday the 23rd of April 2015 at 12.30pm Sydney time. We run this regularly to give people an update of everything that is happening in the cloud as well as the ability to ask any question. You can still sign up for the webinar here:

http://www.cloudbusinessblueprint.com/ask-weekly-webinar

We also do plenty of demos and have some great input from attendees so the webinar provides a huge amount of value by giving you a summary of all the latest changes in the cloud plus demonstrations and tutorials.

We also record these webinars for the Cloud Business Blueprint community so they can be view on demand. There you’ll find all the previous webinars plus on demand training, forums, white papers, templates, best practices and more. So if you are an IT reseller focused on providing cloud solutions you should join us.

If you can’t make this month’s event, don’t worry, there will one next month and you can sign up at the same place:

http://www.cloudbusinessblueprint.com/ask-weekly-webinar

I hope to see you there.