Monday, June 20, 2016

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 106

In this episode we talk with Stephane Budo from Vigilant IT all about Azure stack and how Microsoft is bringing what it has learned from running the public cloud and making that available to people who want to run their own private cloud. Azure stack provides a consistent way of managing datacentre resources no matter where they may be. Allowing management via a single consistent interface provides a lot of benefits as Stephane explains.

Of course you'll get the latest Azure and Office 365 news from Marc and myself as well as plenty of opinions as to what's happening with Microsoft and the Cloud. We appreciate you taking the time to listen and look forward to your feedback.

Listen to this episode at:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-106-stephane-budo/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

Stephane Budo from Vigilant.IT,  +61 2 8925 1800, sales@vigilant.it

Marc Kean - @marckean

Robert Crane - @directorcia

Microsoft buys Linkedin

Azure updates from Marc Kean

Hybrid architecture for IT Pros

Office 365 Planner is generally available

GigJam preview now available to all

Friday, June 17, 2016

All about E5

I presented on a webinar yesterday with Ingram Micro around the Office 365 E5 license. I did a quick dive into some of the major additions that E5 bring to the tables as well as the business benefits these can provide for both customers and resellers.

The features, I believe, that are the most exciting are the improvements that are coming with Skype for Business, including the connectivity to landlines via the PSTN connectivity feature. I wrote about these details here:

I’m totally blown away with what’s coming with Skype for Business

and encourage those interested to check out the video that is there, especially from around the 28 minute mark.

I’ve also posted up the slides for the E5 presentation at:

https://doc.co/2VRHMh/qcihGm

which you can download and review.

E5 has lots of features for customers and lots of opportunities for resellers to provide services and configuration around these. For information on the full feature set visit:

https://products.office.com/en-au/business/office-365-enterprise-e5-business-software

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Azure Backup overview

There are three different forms of Azure Backup, many of which I have detailed previously here including:

Azure desktop backup - http://blog.ciaops.com/2014/12/azure-desktop-backup.html

Azure Backup Server for Applications configuration - http://blog.ciaops.com/2016/01/azure-backup-server-for-applications.html

Backup files and folders using Azure - http://bit.ly/1TkoBe7

Restoring files and folders with Azure backup - http://bit.ly/1WBVsih

Azure Backup for Applications using Resource Manager - http://bit.ly/1WkWC1N

However, I have decided to pull of this information together and update it for Azure Resource Manager (ARM). The result is the video presentation above and accompanying slides which you can find at:

https://doc.co/BV66nP/qcihGm

Hopefully, this makes understanding and configuring Azure Backup and lot easier for people and encourages them to start using it.

Setting Partner of Record in new Office 365 Admin portal

A little while ago I wrote a post on how to set the partner of record in Office 365.

Since then, the Office 365 billing interface has changed so here’s an updated tutorial on how to set the partner of record in Office 365 tenant.

You’ll firstly need to login to the Office 365 web portal as an administrator with the appropriate rights.

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Once you have logged onto the web console navigate to the Office 365 admin center using the app launcher.

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From the menu on the left of the page you will find a heading Billing which you will need to expand.

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Below the Billing heading you should find an option Subscriptions which you need to select.

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Now what actually appears here depends on what licenses you have in the Office 365 tenant but at first glance of the above screen shot the location to enter your partner of record is not very obvious.

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You need to select the More Actions pull down in the bottom right as shown above. When you do this a menu will appear.

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In this menu option you will find the option Add partner of record.

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Selecting this will slide an options screen from the right hand side of the page as shown above.

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You can then enter you Microsoft Partner ID in that field and select the Check ID button.

if you have completed all the partner pre-requisites you should see that your organisation has been located and is displayed in all green indicating everything is good.

You now need to go to the bottom of this slide and Save the changes and apply that partner to this tenant.

image

When you do that, administrators in the tenant will be sent a confirmation email like that shown above indicating that a new partner of record has been set.

Remember, what you see in the subscriptions area may vary depending on what licenses have been added to the tenant. Some licenses should already have your partner of record set but it is worthwhile double checking that each license for the tenant is set appropriately to ensure you receive credit for managing that tenant. Details from tenants about partner of record is reported back to Microsoft and feeds into things such as the Microsoft partner competencies.

It is therefore important, as a partner, you ensure you receive full recognition for your involvement with the tenant and why you should always ensure your partner of record is appropriately set. Hopefully, this article has made that a bit easier.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

SBS to Office 365 and Azure slides

I have recently completed a roadshow for Microsoft where I spoke about the options and potential processes for the migration of Small Business Server (SBS) environments to Office 365 and Azure. I have posted the slides from that presentation on my docs.com site so they are available for people to download. The presentation is also posted above.

The idea with the presentation was to show the possibilities when it comes to migration to Office 365 and Azure. It is not a step-by-step procedure for those environments, there are simply too many variables. However, hopefully, it does give people looking to do this a better overall picture of what can be done and a potential way of going about it.

I’ll be diving deeper into the migration process from SBS to Office 365 and Azure, based on this presentation, in upcoming articles so stay tuned for more.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Administering SharePoint

For those who are not familiar with SharePoint Online it can be a very daunting product to wrap your head around. This is even more so when it comes to administering SharePoint Online.

So with that in mind I have created the above video to give you an overview and some guidance when it comes to administering SharePoint Online that is part of Office 365.

Hopefully after watching the video you’ll be more comfortable with managing and configuring SharePoint Online which will allow you to more easily unleash SharePoint Online’s benefits in your business.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 105

Join myself and Marc as we catch up on all the latest Azure news and discuss Marc's recent blog posts on updates that have recently come to Azure. We cover off some updates to SQL, Microsoft's new documentation service and more. Plenty of really great content aimed at keeping you right up to date with everything Azure and in the Microsoft cloud.

As always don't forget to send us your questions and feedback as well as leaving review to help grow our audience. We appreciate you taking the time to listen.

or can listen to this episode at:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-105-azure-updates/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

Marc Kean on Twitter

Robert Crane on Twitter

Azure news week 22 (Marc Kean)

Use PowerShell for Windows updates

Azure tenant subscription accounts

Azure Enterprise enrolment hierarchy

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Office 365 Azure

I’ve been doing a lot of presenting around Azure and Office 365 of late and there is a lack of appreciation that when you sign up for Office 365 you automatically receive a free (limited) Azure account.

The difference between the available versions of Azure can be found here:

Azure AD Editions feature comparison - http://blog.ciaops.com/2015/08/azure-ad-editions-feature-comparison.html

How to enable the free version of Azure with Office 365 I have covered here:

Enabling your Office 365 Azure AD - http://blog.ciaops.com/2015/01/enabling-your-office-365-azure-ad.html

This free Azure account allows you to perform some basic functions such as:

Configuring an Azure Single Sign On portal - http://blog.ciaops.com/2015/02/configuring-azure-sso-portal.html

Enabling self-service password resets in Office 365 - http://blog.ciaops.com/2015/02/enabling-self-service-password-resets.html

Using Azure AD B2B sharing with SharePoint Online - http://blog.ciaops.com/2015/11/using-azure-ad-b2b-sharing-with.html

The above presentation on Office 365 Azure provides a good overview of what is possible with Azure from Office 365 that most people don’t even realise is available.

The real message is that you need to think of Office 365 and Azure together, especially in the SMB space. You START with Office 365 to get a free Azure tenant AND then you add a paid subscription of Azure and build from there. You DON’T start with Azure first and add Office 365 as that creates two separate tenants. Always, Office 365 first and then Azure but I’ll cover more about that in upcoming pos

Monday, June 6, 2016

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 104

I’m joined by returning guest Sonia Cuff to talk about the secrets of successful presentations. They cover off the things that you should and shouldn't do when it comes to giving meaningful and memorable presentations. Sonia shares her extensive experience from presenting both locally and internationally that will benefit anyone who has to stand up in front of a crowd. In this episode you'll learn a lot about delivering an experience that will leave your audience asking for more.

As always don't forget to send us your questions and feedback as well as leaving review to help grow our audience. We appreciate you taking the time to listen.

or can listen to this episode at:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-104-sonia-cuff/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

Sonia Cuff - @Cuff_S

http://soniacuff.com

James Whittaker

Resonate - Nancy Duarte

Talk like Ted

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Office 365 Delve and Groups

I would contend that most people have more technology at their fingertips than they imagine. The problem is that most don’t make full use of what’s available to them. In fact I would contend that most people are far from effective when it comes to using technology.

Why is this? The simple answer is legacy. Human beings are creatures of habit, they don’t like change and prefer to do things ‘the way they have always been done’. The typical manifestation of this is the common statement ‘I’m just too busy’.

In short, you need to invest to get the reward. To be constantly busy, as I have pointed out before, is a cop out. It is simply an excuse for being unfocused. Technology is there to be our slave not our master. What many fail to appreciate is that if we don’t use technology appropriately it actually makes us less effective. That’s right, the inappropriate use of technology makes you more unproductive and ‘busier’.

Therefore to reap the benefits of technology we need to invest in education to learn how to make best use of the technology we have. Typically this will also mean changing the way we do things to get optimal returns but isn’t that the end game? Isn’t the ultimate aim to become more productive and attain more ‘free’ time to do with what you choose? Yet few seem to be willing to make that investment in education, which to me is very strange.

A good case in point is the feature set that is available to people using Office 365. Most simply use it for email and they use in exactly the way they have always. What real benefit does that provide? How is their life really any better if they are just what they have always done? A smaller subset of people use OneDrive and Teams Sites but little else.

Having been available for many months, most people are still puzzled at what Delve actually is. I wrote an article a while back that explains it in detail and why it is so important:

Delve should be the centre of your Office 365 universe

Delve is automatically configured in Office 365, there is nothing that needs setting up. All you need to do is use it! Sure, it’ll mean doing things differently but the productivity rewards are great.

Another component of Office 365 that I don’t used nearly as frequently as it should be is office 365 Groups. Groups are merely a combination of an email distribution list and file storage and make a great starting point for basic collaboration inside a business. Sadly, most overlook it.

What I find helps is getting an overall picture of a product like Office 365 and then mapping data and functions into that. Here is an article I wrote to help people understand that very fact:

Where to put data in Office 365

To therefore help people better understand Office 365 Delve and Groups I have published the above webinar I conducted which will give you a deep dive into both areas and hopefully open you eyes to the potential benefits they can provide when it comes to boosting your productivity.

Remember, improved effectiveness means education and being ‘busy’ all the time is simply an excuse to avoid becoming more effective. Technology is merely a tool, whether you use to improve your life is totally up to you. Technology can only perform to the skill level of the operator, it doesn’t do anything magic or miraculous on its own. If you therefore want to use technology more effectively, educate yourself on the tools you have and the above video maybe a great place to start if you are yet to undercover the power of Delve and Groups in Office 365.