Thursday, December 29, 2016

Office 365 branding using Azure Resource Manager

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When most people login to Office 365 they see the above standard branding.

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What you may not know is that you can, in fact, customise this branding to look much more enticing as shown above.

This branding is accomplished via the Azure portal. I detailed how to do this a while back:

Office 365 tenant branding

Such configuration needed to be carried out using the older, Azure Service Manager (ASM) portal.

Luckily, the ability to brand Office 365 tenants is now available in the new Azure Resource Manager (ARM) portal in preview. Here’s the process.

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You’ll need to have previously enabled the Azure management portal from your Office 365 tenant. You should always do this as part of your Office 365 tenant enablement process because there are so many additional cool features (like branding) that you get access to. If you haven’t enabled your Office 365 Azure AD subscription then the steps to do this are here:

Register your free Azure Active Directory subscription

Once you have completed that process you’ll be able to login to the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) portal at:

https://portal.azure.com

using your administrator Office 365 credentials.

When you do so, you should see something like the screen above.

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From the list of items on the left hand side of the window you should find one called Azure Active Directory. If you can’t, simply search for the service and when you have found it in the available list as shown above, simply select it.

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This should then open the above blade, where you can see information, such as users, from your Office 365 tenant displayed.

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From the options available, on the left, locate and select Company branding as shown above.

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This will open another blade to the right as shown above. In here select the link Configure company branding now.

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A further blade will open to the right and you’ll be presented with all the branding options for your tenant.

All the details about these options can be found here:

Add company branding to your sign-in and Access Panel pages

The most important section you’ll need, is the one telling you the image sizes required. That section is located at the bottom of the page under the heading – Customizable elements.

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The first option you can brand is the large image on the left hand side of the login page. The maximum image size here is 1420 x 1200 pixels, with a maximum file size of 500KB.

Simply select an image file from your local machine and you’ll see a preview as shown above.

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The next option to customise is the Banner logo, which is located above where the user enters their credentials on the Office 365 login page. The maximum image size here is 60 x 280 pixels, with a maximum file size of 10KB.

Again, simply select an image file from your local machine and you’ll see a preview as shown above.

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You can then customise the User name hint if desired (generally not recommended), as well as a some Sign-in page text which appears in the lower left of the login screen, under the users login credentials.

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If you scroll down, you’ll see some additional options that you can customise if desired.

When complete, simply Save your changes and they will be applied to the tenant, which in this case means the login now looks like:

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You can of course return at any point and edit these settings and update or remove them if desired. My experience is that when you do make changes, it may take 10 – 15 minutes for you to actually see the branding changes appear in your tenant, so be patient.

Office 365 is built on Azure Active Directory which means it provides a whole range of extras that most people don’t know about. A good overview article can be found here:

Sign in page branding and cloud user self service password reset for Office 365

I’ve also got a presentation you can download here:

Office 365 Azure AD

So take a few moments to brand your Office 365 tenant. It is quick and easy to do and really helps drive adoption for your users because it becomes a much more personal experience.

Remember, every Office 365 tenant has the ability to be branded. The only thing missing in my books, is the ability to do all this via a PowerShell script. Hopefully, now the Office 365 branding options have come to the new Azure Resource Manager (ARM) portal, the ability to brand via a script isn’t far away.