Enabling modern authentication in Office 365 script

Just a quick note to let you know that I have uploaded another short script to make life a bit easier. This one will enable modern authentication in a tenant for Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online (it is already on for SharePoint Online).

Modern authentication basically prevents multiple logins when using multi factor authentication for desktop apps like Outlook and Skype for Business client. You can read more about this here:

How modern authentication works for Office 2013 and Office 2016 client apps

Enabling modern authentication will also impact older clients like Office 2010, so enable it on your tenant with the understanding that when you do you really should be running the latest version of Office on all desktops.

That said, you can find my script here:


Note, that you’ll need to have connected to Exchange Online and Skype for Business online in PowerShell for the script to execute correctly.

Learning Collaboration in Office 365


A little while ago I announced that I’ll be conducting a new course focused on showing you the best practices when it comes to collaboration in Office 365. This will answer questions about whether you should use Microsoft Teams over Yammer, what roles Groups plays and to drive adoption for your business to ensure that everyone makes full use of the Office 365 suite they have been allocated.

You’ll find all the original information about the course here:

Understanding collaboration in Office 365 course

The course gives you the opportunity to participate in the learning live. You’ll be able to complete the hands on tutorials right there and then. You’ll get immediate feedback on what you’ve learnt and you’ll also be able to ask questions and most importantly get your questions answered right there and then. If you think this is just going to be a boring webinar style presentation, then you in for a shock as nothing could be further from the truth. This course will be more hands on than if you were sitting in a classroom!

Best of all is that all the sessions will be recorded and made available to you, along with all the training materials (notes, links, whitepapers and more) FOREVER! That’s right, you can continue to come back to the course and watch the training at your leisure. You can even download it all and watch it offline. So if you are too shy to attend the live events you’ll still get full benefit from all the material.

Those lucky enough to have signed up already have been able to take advantage of the initial substantial early bird discount, however if you missed that then you need to act now to get a $30 discount. Use the coupon code EAERLYBIRD2 at checkout or click here to have the discount automatically applied upon registration:

Understanding collaboration in Office 365 – $30 discount

Remember, you need to use the link or the coupon code to get the discount.

An additional offer is that if you are not already a CIAOPS Academy affiliate you should sign up so you can offer this course to others and receive a commission. That’s right, just refer this (or any CIAOPS Academy course) to others and you’ll receive a percentage of the course direct to you. To become an affiliate simply sign up for free at the CIAOPS Academy and then contact me (director@ciaops.com) to let me know you want to be an affiliate and I’ll send you all the details and get you signed up asap.

The count down to the course kick off on the 1st of June is on and I’d encourage you to take advantage of this discount before it expires on the 19th of May. Remember, the course includes over 5 hours of hands on training, video recordings of all sessions as well a lifetime access to all the course materials including video replays, course notes, links, white papers and more. All of which you can download and view offline.

If you want to learn how Office 365 can give your business a completive edge by being more effective and productive then sign up today to take advantage of this discount.

I’ll also point out that if you sign up as a CIAOPS Patron you’ll not only receive discounts starting at 25% on this course but you’ll also get access to my private Office 365 Facebook community where you can get your questions answered by myself and other in the community daily. For all the benefits of being a CIAOPS Patron head over to:


I hope to see you on the course with me and those who have already signed up.

Answering common questions with Office 365 Part 4

This is the fourth article in a series of typical customers questions around Office 365. These questions were part of presentation I did with two other resellers at the Australian Microsoft Partner Conference in 2016. You’ll find the other parts of the series here:

Answering common questions with Office 365 Part 1

Answering common questions with Office 365 Part 2

Answering common questions with Office 365 Part 3

The question for this article is:

My team isn’t in one location and staying in touch is a challenge. Email is not the answer as we already get too much of that as it is. How can I allow my team members to stay in touch in real time and be connected better so we can respond to customers faster?

There are obviously many potential solutions here that Office 365 can provide, however the biggest question is around mobility and real time communications.

This means that the solutions that makes the most sense are ones that are available on all platforms, both desktop and phone. Now the question also doesn’t speak to ‘collaboration’ per se, it simply talks about ‘staying in touch’. So to narrow our choices somewhat, let’s focus on Office 365 services that can typically replace the bulk of email communications inside a business.

The most likely candidate to replace many email conversations is Skype for Business. This will allow employees to conduct things such as text chats, one on one phone conversations as well as group video meetings if required. It cam even be connected to normal phone lines.

What is Skype for Business?

Skype for Business has a desktop app as well apps for all mobile platforms. You can also attend Skype for Business meetings with nothing more than a modern browser.

Download Skype for Business across all your devices

All Skype for Business chat conversations are automatically recorded within each users inbox for later reference and is also interfaced directly to each users Outlook so they can schedule meetings with others directly from their personal calendar. When they don’t have access to their Outlook calendar they can use the Outlook Web Scheduler to create meetings for anyone, inside or outside the business, to attend. Skype for Business meetings can also be recorded and output from those recordings could be uploaded to Office 365 Video for internal use or YouTube if for public consumption.

Now Skype for Business is probably more about immediate communications, much like using a phone. It is however going to eliminate many of those annoying emails that require only a simple response. For communications that you want to be more persistent, in that people can revisit topics at their leisure, you probably want to consider something like Yammer.

Yammer is an enterprise social network that allows people to post information and others to comment on it. Information appears in user’s feeds as part of their membership of different groups within the Yammer network.

The Business of Yammer

Yammer allows the posting of text discussions, images, links, videos and so on. It also supports standard social networking features such as ‘@’ mentions and ‘hashtags’ to allow people to easily focus on relevant information. Yammer also allows you to create internal or external groups, typically focused on a single topic. These groups can be have their access restricted to only designated members (for example management).

Getting Started with Yammer

There are Yammer apps on all platforms and on a desktop you simply access Yammer via a browser. When a user looks at their Yammer they will see all messages directed to them as well as other relevant messages they have not have directly participated in as yet.

The real bonus about Yammer information is that it is easily searchable using the search box in the top left hand corner of the browser page. This makes it quick and easy to locate information.

By making information that was once siloed public in Yammer it makes it easier for people to not only find the information they need but also share with others. Why email when you can Yammer?

The final option to look at here is the new Microsoft Teams, which can be thought of as basically a combination of the features of Skype for Business and Yammer with SharePoint also thrown into the mix. With Teams, messages are persistent like they are in Yammer but it is extremely easy to jump into a direct video conference using Skype for Business from Teams.

Teams also has apps on all devices, including a dedicated version for Windows 10 now!

Teams is more a collaboration solution than a pure communications service. However, most collaboration challenges require communications, so Teams is probably the right place to start if you are looking at sharing and working on files and documents, even down the track.

The great thing about Office 365 is these are only a few of the services that you can use to help make your employees more connected and productive in real time. The other great thing is that many of the services detailed here are integrated through the rest of the Office 365 suite. For example, in SharePoint Online, you can see who last modified a file and quickly launch a Skype for Business conversation with them as you can see directly whether they are online.

Working out what the right tool or tools are for organisation is probably something you’ll discover over time and with experience. However, services like Skype for Business and Yammer are a great place to start when it comes to easing the burden of email overload on staff.

Watch out for the answers to more common questions with Office 365 coming soon.

Free Skype for Business webinar

The co-author of our book:

Getting Started with Skype for Business

Greg Plum, is running a free webinar about Skype for Business can save you money by eliminating many services for which you are probably paying extra for that are in fact included natively with Skype for Business.

You’ll find the link to register here:

How Skype for Business Saved Me $2,750 and 120 Hours a Year!

If you are not using Skype for Business and you have Office 365, then you should be! Buy the book and join webinar to learn more!

Office 365 Collaboration, Skype and Backup





Here are some recent presentations I gave around Office 365:


Skype for Business



In essence they all point to the opportunity Office 365 provides IT resellers to go out and build services on stuff other than email migrations.

In short, if you are not adding value then your days are numbers. And simply moving data from one location to another and doing nothing else is not adding value!

Introduction to Skype for Business

With the roll out of Skype for Business Cloud PBX and PSTN conferencing I’m still amazed at how many people who actually have Skype for Business and never use it!

I have just uploaded a video I have had on file for a while that gives you an overview of Skype for Business. It’ll give you all the basics plus an idea of what is coming (now closer than ever).

I’ll also point you towards the eBook I wrote a while back with Greg Plum (from PlumUC.com) that is great introductory to Skype for Business. You can purchase the PDF version here:


or on Amazon at:


I use Skype for Business everyday and recommend that if you have access to it already as part of your Office 365 plan that you should be exploring the ways that your business can use it also to improve communications and help you be more productive.

Office 365 PSTN Conferencing launches in Australia

Microsoft has announced that dial in PSTN conferencing as part of Office 365 provided directly from Microsoft (i.e. Microsoft provide the dial in phone access for conference calls), specifically via Skype for Business will be available from the 1st of September 2016 in Australia. You can read more about the announcement here:


Although you have been able to do dial in PSTN conferencing via a third party provider for a while here in Australia, this the first time the service has been offered by Microsoft directly.


Once your tenant has been enabled for PSTN conferencing, when you go to the Skype for Business Admin area you should see Microsoft Bridge option as shown above that lists all the dial in numbers from locations all over the world.


You can also go into the Microsoft bridge settings as shown above to set additional options.


Basically how Office 365 dial in conferencing works is that the meeting organiser sets up a normal Skype for Business meeting exactly as they have always done. Provided that user is enabled for PSTN conference dial in, the meeting details will also include a conference id as shown above which is typically unique for that user (here the last digits have been blacked out for privacy).

The meeting organiser then simply connects to the meeting via their normal Skype for Business desktop software and others can join the same meeting via the dial in numbers provided or using Skype for Business on their desktop or mobile device.

However instead, if the meeting organiser wants to join the meeting using only a phone they dial one of the access phone numbers listed above. After dialling this they will be prompted to enter a unique meeting code (the conference ID) that was generated when the meeting was created (blacked out above). After this, as the meeting organiser, they then enter their unique security pin number (provided when they are assigned an Office 365 PSTN conferencing license). Once the unique pin number has been entered they are joined to meeting as an organiser and can manage the call and attendees.

Any other attendee who wished to join via a phone line simply dials an access phone number and enters the conference id to join. Simple.


Once a user has been licenses for PSTN conferencing they need to be configured with a PSTN provider as shown above. One of these providers is now Microsoft.

When the user is assigned a PSTN dial in provider they are also given a unique conference id that is used when they schedule meetings with Skype for Business. They are also given a unique security PIN to protect their account should they ever need to manage a conference call using only the phone.


They also receive a confirmation email with all these details as shown above.


Now, if they organise a Skype for Business meeting, the dial in details will automatically appear in the invite as shown above. They can then send that invite to anyone who will be able to connect either via Skype for Business, a browser or simply via a phone. Easy.

The only thing that I don’t have information on as yet is what the PSTN dial in conferencing costs will be from Microsoft and how they will be charged. I assume that all this will handled like the existing Office 365 licensing and hopefully directly via the CSP program. That should allow resellers to be able to bill direct and manage the amount charged to customers, thereby making some margin. However, at this stage, I have no specific details on how the billing will be handled or the cost involved but I’ll certainly let you know as soon as I do.

Now all of this is extremely exciting as it is providing us here in Australia features that have been standard in other part of the world for a while. However, what excites me more is that fact that with the delivery of PSTN conferencing the full Office 365 Cloud PBX functionality, including the ability to call any phone number directly from Skype for Business can’t be far away. That is going to be a huge game changer, especially in the SMB market.

So my fell Aussies, get ready for PSTN conferencing in Office 365 directly from Microsoft here in the land down under from September 1. Also keep your eye on the horizon because the full Office 365 Cloud PBX and PSTN calling are not very far away I would suggest.

Upcoming Ingram Bootcamps

Ingram Micro Cloud Elevate Bootcamp

I’m presenting at the next round of Cloud Elevate Bootcamps from Ingram Micro. You can register for upcoming sessions in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth here:


In these sessions I’ll be talking about Office 365 collaboration (particularly SharePoint and OneDrive for Business) as well as on Skype for Business and Skykick backups. There will also be a session on Dropbox.

Love to see you come along, participate, ask questions and most importantly learn more about Office 365!

I hope to see you at an upcoming event.