Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CIAOPS Podcast–Episode 51


In this podcast Ryan Phillips, a Technical Account Manager (TAM) in the Microsoft Online Services Division, will discuss how Office 365 can be used, in concert with certain applications, components, etc. to properly scope, plan, deploy and use Synchronization and Single Sign-On (SSO) services to provide end-users with the best login and usage experience.  Ryan will discuss specifics around Directory Synchronization, Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), differences between Online (Managed) users versus Federated Users and how end-users will experience sign-on into Office 365 services, such as the Microsoft Online Portal (MPO), SharePoint Online (SPO), Exchange Online (EXO) and other services.
You’ll also learn about the new version of DirSync coming soon that will allow password synchronization from a local network to Office 365!
You can listen to this podcast and subscribe to the series at:
http://ciaops.podbean.com/2013/04/30/episode-51-ryan-phillips/
You can support this podcast via http://donation.ciaops.com
Don't forget all the other previous podcasts at
http://ciaops.podbean.com
and appreciate a like over at
http://www.facebook.com/n2kpodcast.
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me (director@ciaops.com).




Friday, April 26, 2013

May their memory live on

On every April 25 Australians and New Zealanders pause to remember those who have served their country. Some have paid the ultimate price, while others continue to bear the scars. To them and those that continue to serve our nations and put their themselves in harms ways we simply say – Thank You.

For anyone interested in the history of the ANZAC soldiers after their Gallipoli campaign I commend my site:

www.anzacsinfrance.com

as a great way to appreciate the major contribution these troops made to the war on the western front.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Additional SharePoint space for M and P plans not available yet

One of the really great additions to Wave 15 Office 365 SharePoint for all plans was the ability to add more SharePoint space beyond what you receive allocated per user. Where did I get that from? Here:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/office365-sharepoint-online-enterprise-help/sharepoint-online-software-boundaries-and-limits-HA102694293.aspx

Having just revisited that page after speaking with another reseller who had issues attempting to add space I note the above page says the following for P plans:

Additional storage for Small Business plans is not yet available.

and M plans:

Additional storage for Midsize Business plans is not yet available.

Problem for the reseller is that their customer needed greater space than the default and being told that it could be added went down the M plan route for the customer because of the cost savings over an E3 plan. Trouble is now that they need the additional SharePoint space and it can’t be added ‘yet’. That didn’t sit well with the customer or the reseller as the only option available with the space is an E3 plan and migrating from an M plan is not a simple upgrade of plans.

I am seeing a lot of confusion around what each plan does and doesn’t include. My recommendation is always E plans due to their flexibility. I would also recommend that if you go with either P or M plans check VERY carefully as to whether it exactly fits your needs now and into the future. Don’t rely on someone else, check it for yourself to avoid situation like the above.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

CIAOPS Podcast–Episode 50


The CIAOPS podcast has now reached a milestone, 50 episodes! Who would have ever thought? And for such a special occasion we need to have a special guest and we have, SBS Diva Susan Bradley joins us again. Susan speaks about the challenges of compliance with technology and especially in the new world of cloud computing.
http://ciaops.podbean.com/2013/04/16/episode-50-susan-bradley/
You can support this podcast via http://donation.ciaops.com
Don't forget all the other previous 49 podcasts at http://ciaops.podbean.com and appreciate a like over at http://www.facebook.com/n2kpodcast.
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me (director@ciaops.com).
Show notes:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/office-365-security-and-privacy-verified-by-a-third-party-FX103089231.aspx
http://certification.comptia.org/getCertified/certifications/security.aspx
https://www.isc2.org/cissp/default.aspx
http://www.guidancesoftware.com/computer-forensics-training-courses.htm
http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR933.html
https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/
https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/topthreats/csathreats.v1.0.pdf
https://downloads.cloudsecurityalliance.org/initiatives/top_threats/The_Notorious_Nine_Cloud_Computing_Top_Threats_in_2013.pdf
Cloud Computing Risk Assessment
https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/risk-management/files/deliverables/cloud-computing-risk-assessment
Cloud Computing Information Assurance Framework https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/risk-management/files/deliverables/cloud-computing-information-assurance-framework
Procure Secure: A guide to monitoring of security service levels in cloud contracts https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/Resilience-and-CIIP/cloud-computing/procure-secure-a-guide-to-monitoring-of-security-service-levels-in-cloud-contracts
Just to add that ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) has some excellent material for free;
Cloud Computing Risk Assessment
https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/risk-management/files/deliverables/cloud-computing-risk-assessment
Cloud Computing Information Assurance Framework
https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/risk-management/files/deliverables/cloud-computing-information-assurance-framework
Procure Secure: A guide to monitoring of security service levels in cloud contracts
https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/Resilience-and-CIIP/cloud-computing/procure-secure-a-guide-to-monitoring-of-security-service-levels-in-cloud-contracts
ALSO, RAND did a decent cloud security / trust overview ...
http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR933.html
AND As these guys are good too, great organization... recent papers on top security threats..
https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/
https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/topthreats/csathreats.v1.0.pdf
https://downloads.cloudsecurityalliance.org/initiatives/top_threats/The_Notorious_Nine_Cloud_Computing_Top_Threats_in_2013.pdf
http://www.verizonenterprise.com/DBIR/2012/
http://governmentcio.com/content/going-all-cloud-computing






























Thursday, April 18, 2013

Office 365 SharePoint Administration requires a license

One of the misconceptions I see is that people believe you need to assign every Office 365 user a license. It has been best practice to create an Office 365 global administrator assign them no license and then use that user to configure and manage Office 365. You can create as many of these ‘admin’ users as you want generally as they don’t consume a license.

I just tried that with the latest version of Office 365.

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So I created a user called Tech Support and made them a global admin as shown above.

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I then didn’t assign any licenses as shown above.

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If I then login as the admin user I can go to Exchange Online administration as shown above.

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I can also go to Lync Online administration, again as shown above.

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But when I go to SharePoint Online administration I see the above error. I tried to add that Tech Support user as a site collection owner and that didn’t work either.

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As soon as a assign a SharePoint Online license to that user as shown above,

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I can access SharePoint administration.

So it would seem that to administer SharePoint Online I need to assign the user a SharePoint license but I don’t have to do the same for either Exchange or Lync Online?

That’s a little strange to my mind. I hope I’ve overlooked something obvious in all this.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Little work gets done at work

I am lucky that in my office of one I can totally control my work environment, yet am constantly attempting to strive for improved productivity. I really want to end each work day with the satisfaction that ‘I got something done’.

The occasional times that I do work at someone else’s office I am stunned by how little work actually gets done. Everyone seems so ‘busy’ but nothing really gets accomplished. If you are curious about this then I recommend the following TED talk by Jason Fried.

For those who are not frequent readers of my blog you may not appreciate that Jason is also the author of what I consider to be one of the ‘must read’ books on business – Rework. You can find my review and more about Jason and his concepts of ‘work’ here:

http://blog.ciaops.com/2010/07/rework.html

If you struggle getting ‘real work’ done every day, simply feel overwhelmed and fail to find fulfilment at the end of each work day then I commend to you the above video, book and additional information about Jason.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bulk Office 2013 installations from Office 365

Here’s some interesting issues that I came across with Office 2013 from Office 365. What happens in the case where you have a lot of PC’s which already have a previous version of Office (say 2010 in this case) already running Outlook connected to an old email account and you want to upgrade them all to Office 2013 with the latest version of Outlook?

I would have thought that the normal process you would do this via is simply to visit the downloads area in Office 365, download the Office 2013 software and upgrade the existing version on the desktop, retaining all the existing settings. At the very least I would have thought that it would have given you the option to do an upgrade or a side by side installation with the existing version of Office.

Turns out from my testing that this is in fact not the case. If you have an existing version of Office (in my test case Office 2010 Pro Plus) and you install Office 2013 office 365 it automatically does a side-by-side installation, leaving the existing version in place. This now means you have two versions of Office on that desktop.

Interestingly, it also means you have two versions of Outlook. This is a little different from the experience I blogged about a while back when I upgraded my desktop to Office 2013 via non-Office 365 means. I wanted two of every application including Outlook. What I got was two versions of everything EXCEPT Outlook! This Office 2013 via Office 365 installation is different in that it does provides two complete versions of everything on the system

Now, having two versions of most applications like Excel, Word, PowerPoint etc isn’t a big issue. The main issue is that by not doing an in place upgrade of Outlook means you have to manually re-establish the old email account and somehow migrate the emails into the new version. Not such an issue if the old account was already using Exchange, since the users mail is still stored on the server, but what about the case when the emails where POP3? All these emails are stored locally in a PST file in the OLD version of Outlook.

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What I did find is that when I ran the new Outlook 2013 on the desktop it automatically picked up the account settings I had in the old Outlook (which were Exchange based) and set up Outlook 2013 using these. Thus, I could easily add the new Exchange Online account from Office 365 and see both accounts as shown above. With this I could simply drag and drop emails from the old account to the new account to do a migration if I wanted (although something like migrationwiz.com makes a lot more sense for Exchange accounts).

However, that doesn’t solve the problem for POP3 accounts. All you could really do is export to a PST in the old version of Outlook and then import this into Outlook 2013 and allow it to sync back to Exchange Online.

It would have been nice if Office 2013 from Office 365 had offered you the choice of doing an in place upgrade simply to save you the trouble of exporting old data and deleting the older version of Office. I am sure there is a reason why it doesn’t do this but I can’t think of why myself at the moment. However, when you have lots of machines to do in a network, with frustrated users standing over you wanting access to their stuff, that can take a very long time.

Now the next challenge with lots of machines is that you would appear to have to go to every machine and do the ‘click-to-run’ install of Office 2013 on each machine. Firstly, that is a lot of manual work and secondly that I believe creates a lot of downloads which can cause an issue if they are being done on multiple workstations at the same time.

It would be nice to be able to download a single copy of Office 2013 from Office 365 to a network share and then use that local copy to install on all workstations rather than running a download on each workstation.

Unfortunately, Office 365 uses the new streaming ‘click-to-run’ technology, which means no single download and install file. However, I believe I may have a solution.

Firstly visit the following site and download a trial of Office 2013 Pro Plus as a single download to a network share.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/jj192782.aspx

Install this trial onto all the machines on the network from the local file share.

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If you run an Office 2013 application now and look at the information about the product you will see that it is a trial version as shown above.

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Now downloading and running the installation of Office 2013 Pro Plus from Office 365 I believe that it updates the existing Office 2013 Pro Plus version it finds on the desktop so that it is licensed for Office 365. You can see this if you look at the application information again.

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Looking at the application information in Outlook 2013 you will see that it is not only licensed for Office 365 but you can also manage the account by pressing the Manage Account button.

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That button will take you to the area in Office 365 where you can manage the Office 2013 installation for that user.

So in summary, based on the testing I have done:

1. Office 2013 from Office 365 will do an automatic side-by-side installation with previous versions of Office rather than an in place upgrade which could have ramifications for migrating accounts.

2. You should be able to install a trial version of Office 2013 Pro Plus onto a network share and then simply run the Office 2013 installation from Office 365 over the top of it to appropriately license it, thereby saving downloads and setup time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Office 365 Exchange Public folders

One of the things that I have seen in my travels that prevents many businesses moving to Office 365 is the fact that it didn’t allow for Public Folders. With the upgrade to the latest version (Wave 15) that is now no longer the case I have posted about previously.

What I have wondered about was how much storage you received with Public Folders in Office 365? Well, my question has been answered by this excellent blog post on storage in Office 365:

http://community.office365.com/en-us/blogs/office_365_technical_blog/archive/2013/04/10/skydrive-pro-using-office-365-for-file-storage-in-sharepoint-online-grid-user-post.aspx

In there you will find the following information:

“In Exchange Online you now can create up to 100 public folders, each with a 25 GB storage limit.  Theoretically that's 2.5TB. Realistically, because it's not possible to fill each of the mailboxes perfectly, you should be able to store around 1TB total.”

So being conservative, that is 1GB of email storage for public folders that’s included with Exchange Online! If you also combine that with 7GB for each SharePoint Online user with SkyDrive Pro, you would have to admit that is extremely generous.

Let me put that into context. The biggest public folder hierarchy that I have ever seen was 600GB and growing at 300MB per month! Aside from the fact of getting that up to the cloud, Office 365 could EASILY accommodate even that capacity! If you could get it all up there you’d probably never have to worry about buying additional storage space (which I know the business struggles with daily on premise).

Most public folder arrangements I see are much less that the 600GB monster I mentioned above, so really (bandwidth aside) there is now no good reason not to consider moving public folders to the cloud with Exchange Online. It would probably also be a good opportunity to do some spring cleaning on them as well to reduce the bloat!

Finally, as I know most people won’t read to the bottom of the article, I’ll quote it for you (my emphasis added):

With all the storage options on Office 365 there's a solution for most situations, but don't retire your old file server just yet.  If you have applications on-premises that require local access to shared file storage... think Autocad or a document management system that ties in to a large format printer... you'll still want some network attached storage (NAS) or an actual file server.  You can supplement that file storage using these methods though and use a tiered storage plan.  Maybe you keep large binary files (ISOs, software install packages, etc.) on your file server, your documents on SharePoint and personal files on SkyDrive (instead of your network My Documents).

I point this out to highlight that Microsoft UNDERSTANDS that some stuff should stay on-premise. As the heading for that sections says – THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB! I say this as I believe much of the Microsoft cloud message has been mis-represented and interpreted as the ‘Cloud or nothing’. That, in fact is the catch cry of many other cloud providers, irrespective of what actually works best for the user. The right approach for the moment is hybrid. Microsoft understands and, to my knowledge, is the only supplier that provides that option. If you think otherwise, the above quote illustrates that you maybe mistaken.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Office 365 bootcamp training in May


The latest version of Office 365 (Wave 15) is now available and there are some big changes. You’ll find not only new features and capabilities but also new plans and offerings.
If you use or resell Office 365 then this bootcamp is for you. After attending you’ll be clear on not only exactly what is available but also how to make the most from all the new features.
This bootcamp will take you beyond just Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Office and will introduce you to new Office 365 offerings like Project Online. if you have never used Office 365 in depth before, this bootcamp is for you. If you resell Office 365 this bootcamp is for you. If you thought you knew Office 365 then this bootcamp is for you.
Sign up today at:
http://ciaops090513.eventbrite.com.au/
Discounts are available to CIAOPS SharePoint and Office 365 Guide  subscribers, see the latest newsletter for details.
More information and testimonials of previous bootcamps can be found at:
http://www.ciaops.com/bootcamp
I hope to see you there on the day.








Thursday, April 4, 2013

More free reseller exam cram sessions


I am please to announced that Microsoft Australia has extended the full 2 day exam cram training session on the following exams:
Day 1 - 70-410: Installing and configuring Windows Server 2012Day 2 - 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business
to:

Brisbane
  • Day 1 – Monday 27th May (70-410: Installing and configuring Windows Server 2012)
  • Day 2 – Tuesday 28th May (74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business)
You can register here -
https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032549551&Culture=en-AU&community=0
It is important to note that this training in not like my normal bootcamps. These days are specifically focused on helping attendees pass the appropriate Microsoft certification exams so they are eligible to attain the Microsoft Small Business Competency. Thus, to get the most from this training you should be at least familiar with Windows 8 and Office 365.
I hope you are able to attend and I look forward to meeting you on the day but remember to book early as there is only a limited number of places available at each venue.


Questions about Office 2013 via Office 365


Here are some common questions that I see out there about Office 2013 via Office 365.
Q. Can I run Office 2013 from Office 365 in a Remote Desktop Environment (i.e. on Terminal Services)?
I covered this extensively in a previous blog post. The answer is basically NO unless you purchase Office 365 via Volume Licensing.
Q. Can I downgrade to Office 2010 Professional Plus if I purchase Office 2013 Professional Plus from Office 365?
No. Only Volume Licensing has downgrade rights.
Q. Am I required to upgrade from Office 2010 Professional Plus to Office 2013 Professional Plus if I previously purchased an E3 or E4 SKU of Office 365?
Yes. If you have already installed Office 2010 Professional Plus that came with older versions of Office 365 (E3 or E4) then you are required to upgrade to the new version of Office 2013 Professional Plus by the 8th of April 2014. After that date Office Professional Plus 2010 originally from Office 365 will only operate in deprecated (i.e. read only mode), like other unlicensed versions of Office 2010.
Q. Can I obtain Office 2013 from Office 365 from DVD media or downloading an ISO?
No. Office 2013 from Office 365 uses streaming ‘click-to-run’ technology that delivers the software directly from the Internet.
Q. If my existing Office 365 tenant that includes Office for the desktop has not yet been upgraded to Wave 15 can I install Office 2013 Professional Plus that will come with the upgraded tenant now?
Yes. See the following:
http://community.office365.com/en-us/blogs/office_365_technical_blog/archive/2013/03/24/office-365-proplus-upgrading-customer-preview-4128-clients-to-release-4454-or-4481-clients-plus-deploying-release-clients-and-office-for-mac-2011-clients-from-pre-upgrade-tenants.aspx
under the heading:
Installing Office 365 ProPlus Release Build... and the answer to "If my Office 365 tenant hasn't been upgraded, how do I get the new Office clients for PCs and Macs?"
Q. If my existing Office 365 tenant that includes Office for the desktop has not yet been upgraded to Wave 15 can I install Office for MAC that will come with the upgraded tenant now?
Yes. Again, see the following:
http://community.office365.com/en-us/blogs/office_365_technical_blog/archive/2013/03/24/office-365-proplus-upgrading-customer-preview-4128-clients-to-release-4454-or-4481-clients-plus-deploying-release-clients-and-office-for-mac-2011-clients-from-pre-upgrade-tenants.aspx

under the heading:
How Do I Get Office for Mac 2011 with a Pre-Upgrade Tenant?
If you have more questions about Office desktop software via Office 365 either leave a comment on this post or email me directly (director@ciaops.com). If I don’t know I’ll find out for you. Otherwise visit the following link for more information on Office Professional Plus via Office 365.
http://community.office365.com/en-us/wikis/upgrade/faq-regarding-office-proplus.aspx



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Office 365 has new login page

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Office 365 has a new login page when you visit:

http://login.microsoftonline.com

Very Bing like eh? Looks great. Only problem is I now have to go and update all my documentation. I wonder what else we’ll see on this page in the future?

Nice Office 365 customer video

Here’s a nice Office 365 customer experience video, that illustrates how Office 365 is helping a card dealership.

A great example of how all the features of Office 365 come together to make a business more productive.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

CIAOPS Podcast–Episode 49


This podcast is a recording from a Google Hangout conducted by Richard Tubb on the matter of Google Apps vs Office 365. Panellist included: James Kimberly, Owen Kane and myself. During the session we focus more on the similarities of the products rather than their differences and the reasons why both present compelling options for customers and resellers.
http://ciaops.podbean.com/2013/04/02/episode-49-cloud-panel/ 
You can support this podcast via http://donation.ciaops.com
Don't forget all the other podcasts at http://ciaops.podbean.com and appreciate a like over at http://www.facebook.com/n2kpodcast.
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me (director@ciaops.com).