Exclaimer cloud signatures for Office 365 review

Full disclosure – this is a sponsored post. I was asked to take a look at Exclaimer cloud signatures for Office 365 and write an article based on my thoughts and experiences.

As I have mentioned many times here, one of the most common things I see with traditional IT resellers is that they focus on just doing email migrations to the cloud. The ability to generate on going profits with that business model is simply no longer sustainable for so many reasons.

As I continue to advocate, IT resellers should be looking to add value to what they provide. One of the ways they can add value to email is to provide company wide email signatures.

Exclaimer has one such product called Exclaimer cloud signatures for Office 365 which I’m going to take a look at here. The place to start with the is product is to sign up for a 14 day free trial.


After you have set up an account you’ll need to configure Exclaimer for your tenant. To do this Exclaimer will need admin rights to your tenant to set up a number of Exchange connectors.


Once you provide permissions, you’ll see a number of PowerShell commands running in a window as your tenant is configured. After a few moments you’ll receive notification that everything is complete and now you’ll need to sync you data.

Because Exclaimer cloud is a system based outside your tenant it will need to collect information about your domains and users so it can allow you to manage signatures.


This initial sync may take a little while depending on the amount of information (users and domains) that you have inside your tenant.


Once that is complete you can then choose from a number of templated signatures to get the ball rolling.

Wanting to get this all up and running asap I selected a template and then tried to send an email out so I could see what the result was. Problem was I got a bounce. Hmmm… I waited a little while and tried again. Bounce yet again. Ok, I must be missing something here.


Luckily, I checked the inbox of the account that I had signed up for Exclaimer with and found a handy email telling me that I needed to update my SPF record to include the Exclaimer domain.

Ok, now here’s the problem. I was just using the default @tenant.onmicrosoft.com domain. How do I modify the SPF record in that case?

After a bit of mucking around I couldn’t find a way that you can modify the SPF record for the default @tenant.onmicrosoft.com domain (which makes sense when you think about). PowerShell to the rescue, as I added a custom domain using a script I have created for just such purposes.

Thinking all would be good, I again sent an email and again, frustratingly, it bounced yet again. What they heck?? I thought.


After some nashing of teeth I found an Exclaimer KB article that contained the answer. It was obvious really. I needed to re-sync my tenant to the Exclaimer cloud so all the new details would be available to Exclaimer cloud.

Seems to be that this sync process only occurs once a day which strikes me as being a bit slow. I also couldn’t see where you could the sync to run at a certain time, so at least you’d know when the process does run. It would also be nice to be able to configure the sync to run say 3 – 4 times a day, at specific times, rather than just once. The reason I say this is because in small business, when you add a new user you want their details updated asap and once a day seems like a long time.

Of course, you can go in and run the sync manually at any time as I did, but it would be nice if this sync options was a little more configurable.

So now I go back and send again. Bounce. Oh damm, forget to add the extra entry to the SPF record for Exclaimer as detailed in that email for the custom domain I just added to the tenant. At least now that is easy to add. I quickly added the appropriate information and re-synced just to be safe.


Viola, the email goes through and is received! Yeah.

I like how Exclaimer embeds the graphics into the email so you don’t have to select whether the images can be downloaded after the fact. Nothing annoys me more than receiving an email from someone who has a massive graphic for a signature that is blocked until I elect to download it. Painful.


So I fiddle some more with Exclaimer cloud and work out how to upload images for users and them embed them into signatures like so:


The ability to embed head shots is a request I see quite a bit too and Exclaimer makes it dead simple. You just upload the images for each user to the Exclaimer cloud and then add that field in the global signature.


So now what I want to do is add all the additional fields to the signature for phone and fax so it balances up the image I just added. This is easily done using the signature editor. You just drag and drop the fields you require to the signature, save and you are good to go. Or so I thought.

Ok, why aren’t the new details showing up in the signature? Thinking, thinking… Ah yes. Need to do that pesky sync again to ensure the information is matched in the Exclaimer cloud.


Once the sync is complete I see:


Yeah. Really, pretty easy. You just need to remember to force the sync when you make changes.


You can also have multiple signatures across your organisation.


As well as apply these to different people (based on group membership). You can also have a signature apply within a certain date range as well which is pretty cool, as it is nice to change signatures up now and again to see whether people are paying attention to what it says down there.

Now, what does Exclaimer cloud actually do in the back end to your Office 365 tenant?


As you can see from the above screen shot it creates two Exchange connectors.


You can see that these basically establish a connection to an Exclaimer mail sever.


It also creates a transport rule that it makes it the highest priority.


It uses that rule to identify messages to send to the Exclaimer cloud as shown above. You can see that this rule uses the connector that was established.


So, what’s the cost for all this? As you can see from the above screen shot, for a typical small business of around 25 users, you’ll be paying A$48.50 per month. Obviously, the more licenses you have the cheaper per license it becomes. That’s pretty good value for a centrally managed and maintained email signature system I’d suggest.

There is a partner program that you can sign up for if you are an IT reseller. If you want more details that what you find on the web site contact Exclaimer to discuss. It would be nice if the program included one single partner console to manage all of you customers signatures but I’m sure whether that is available. As I said, speak with Exclaimer directly for more details of exactly what you receive with the partner program.

Add ons like Exclaimer provide an excellent opportunity for resellers to solve real pain points for customers. The Exclaimer cloud products provides a single location to manage all corporate signatures to ensure they are consistent across the organisation. This is a big pain point for many businesses today.

My feedback on the Exclaimer cloud system is that I find the interface a little dated now and I’d like more flexibility and regularity when it comes to syncing, but these are minor gripes for a product that does its job very well. Once it is all configured correctly, creating and managing signatures is quick and easy. Having the whole system hosted in the cloud means it can be updated anywhere. That’s were IT resellers can add value by perform that tasks for their customers in an ongoing manner (who said you can’t do managed services in the cloud?).

My advice would be to ensure you have everything set up in your Office 365 tenant first, i.e. the domain, the users and their properties. If you don’t, you’ll need to manually re-run the sync to ensure Exclaimer cloud has all the updated details. The other thing to note is that you’ll need to make changes to the default SPF DNS record for the domain. If you can’t change that, then your emails will bounce as I discovered.

The revenue opportunities around pure email migrations are declining rapidly. A reseller should be looking at where they can add value for their customers and Exclaimer cloud signatures for Office 365 provides just such an opportunity.

If you want to learn more about the technology behind Exclaimer, listen to our interview with Brad Shepard, Senior Product Specialist, from Exclaimer all about their product.

Bye bye docs.com


Received the above from Microsoft today. Unfortunately, docs.com is going away. Damm and blast, I really liked docs.com and I put a lot of stuff up there over the years. However, I understand that Microsoft wants to consolidate entities and having less means you can focus on making the alternate better.

The other good thing is that Microsoft has provided a really option to migrate everything across to my OneDrive for Business, including all the statistics, which I was impressed with. I have completed and when you do use the migration Microsoft provides you docs.com account becomes read only, which means you can’t upload of change anything any more.

So, fear not, I have copies of the documents that were in docs.com and now it looks like I need to re-activate my Slideshare account and move everything up there.

Stay tuned for details for details of when I have moved the material across. Until then you can still access my docs.com/ciaops but you won’t see any more information go there. It will now all be at:


Ask what others can’t do


The shift from traditional on premises to technologies like cloud has created significant disruption in the market. Such disruption extends through the entire chain and also includes IT resellers who have traditionally made their revenue by selling physical devices like servers.

The move to the cloud has meant that many IT resellers are receiving significantly less revenue and thus need to look elsewhere to generate additional income. Most turned to email migrations as way to keep the dollars flowing. Unfortunately, that opportunity quickly became commoditised and in fact also declines as more organisations move to the cloud. Unfortunately for IT resellers, the email migration to the cloud is probably the last email migration they will do for a customer.

So now it is back to square one for IT resellers looking for revenue. Unfortunately, most are looking for additional opportunities in the wrong way I believe. Most now look for something they ‘want’ to do rather than looking for what nobody else can do.

The problem with doing what you ‘want’ to do is that based on your history, associations, experience you are most likely going to choose something your peers are also going to ‘want’ to do. Why? Because they are just like you and thus make similar choices. That simply lands us back in a world like the traditional box moving or email migrations, with many people are doing the same thing. The result? A commodity market where it is hard to make a decent profit.

Instead, I would suggest, you need to look out at the market and find what others are not doing or don’t want to do and fill that void. Profitability, in the SMB space, really doesn’t come from doing what everyone else does. It comes from being a specialist, from being a unique provider that remains largely unchallenged in the market.

Chances are that if you do something no one else can do you’ll need to improve your skills and incorporate new knowledge but the ROI you’ll receive doing that will be significantly higher. It simply supply and demand economics. You can charge more if there are less suppliers in the market.

So get known for something else that no else is known for. Be the go to person for that specific technology or technique. Don’t simply travel with the pack and do what everyone else does. That is lazy and the results you receive will be less than stellar for exactly that reason. Success doesn’t arrive or appear, it is earned. It is on the other side of hard work, persistence and discipline. The good thing is that success is definitely on the other side of those attributes and the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll arrive there.

So remember, to ensure future profitability and relevance, don’t ask what you ‘want’ to do, find what nobody else can do and then go do exactly that. That is your guarantee of success, mark my words.

Book me for a free Office 365 demo

If you would like me to give you or your customers a free remote 45 minute demonstration of the power of Office 365 then please use the following URL to make an appointment:



Once booked I’ll provide you with a Skype for Business meeting link you can use to view my screen. You’ll need to ensure you sound and microphone are working beforehand to get the most from the demonstration. You also won’t need to have Skype for Business on your desktop, you can connect just using a browser.

You’re probably asking why would I do this for free and without obligation? Obviously, I’m keen to spruik my knowledge and services but more than that, I want to understand the questions people have about Office 365. I want to understand what solutions they need so I can improve my offerings and knowledge of the product. Finally, I also want to see Office 365 demo’ed correctly. I want to ensure that people know ALL the features that are available rather than just one or two.

So, if you are looking to understand what Office 365 has to offer please book me for a free and non obligation remote demo using the URL:


This offer is not limited to just Australian businesses and customers. I’m happy to present in any time zone provided you can live with accent!

CIAOPS online course catalogue promotion


Here’s a special offer on the Complete Course Catalogue for my online training academy you can find at:


The Complete Course Catalogue is an annual subscription that gives you access to every course I have created (including courses on Azure, Office 365, Yammer, SharePoint and more) and will create. Thus, if you sign up today you get access to the 25+ courses I have already created PLUS you’ll also get access to all the new courses I have in the works for 2017-18.

So the deal, until July 1 and for a strictly limited number of takers, is:

$100 discount off the first year’s subscription (making it US$499)

– a 1 hour remote consulting call with me that you can use for training, business mentoring or the like ($300 value)

– access to the private CIAOPS Facebook tech community to discuss and ask your questions in and share with other members ($120 value), including access to my Office 365 and Azure codexes.

– free Getting Started With Skype for Business eBook ($10 value)

– free Beyond the Basics with SharePoint Online eBook ($10 value)

That’s over $450 in value plus what you’ll get from the online courses that include video lessons, downloadable notes, links and more.

As I said, this offer is strictly limited until the 1st of July 2017 or until sold out, so don’t delay. Sign up today to take advantage of this strictly limited learning opportunity.

To take advantage of this deal use the code EOFY17 at checkout or click this link:


I look forward to seeing you in the CIAOPS Academy and Facebook Tech group.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 154

We again cover off the latest Microsoft Cloud news for you and then we dive into a real world migration scenario. We spend our time discussing the best way to move a legacy server environment like Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) to Azure and Office 365. There isn’t a single path along this journey so we need to consider many things. That’s why this topic is going to run into a few episodes no doubt, but here’s the first one to get you started.

Take a listen and let us know what you think –feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:





CIAOPS SBS to Azure course

Azure news from Marc

New Planner app on iOS

SharePoint and OneDrive updates

New SharePoint Communication sites

Migrate Azure Recovery Vaults

This episode is brought to you by:


CIAOPS Need to Know Webinar–June 2017


We are half way through 2017 already! Wow, where did the time go? Good news is that the CIAOPS Need to Know webinar is back again with a focus on some little known functionality in Office 365. For June, aside from the usual news and update we are doing to do a deep dive into information rights management (IRM) in Office 365. IRM provides you the ability to protect your document no matter where they are shared on the Internet. It allows you to effectively embed permissions inside your documents. This is a great way to protect your intellectual property and you’ll see how to do this if you attend the webinar.

You can register for free at:

June Webinar Registrations

The details are:

CIAOPS Need to Know Webinar – June 2017
Thursday 22nd of June 2017
11am – 12am Sydney Time

All sessions are recorded and posted to the CIAOPS Academy.

There of course will also be open Q and A so make sure you bring your questions for me and I’ll do my best to answer them.

The CIAOPS Need to Know Webinars are free to attend but if you want to receive the recording of the session you need to sign up as a CIAOPS patron (for only USD$10 per month) which you can do here:


or purchase them individually at:


Also feel free at any stage to email me directly via director@ciaops.com with your webinar topic suggestions.

I’d also appreciate you sharing information about this webinar with anyone you feel may benefit from the session.