If you are a mid to large sized company and contemplating an Office 365 deployment or enhancing your existing Office 365 services, I cannot stress how important it is that you know of & take advantage a free service from Microsoft called Microsoft FastTrack (https://fasttrack.microsoft.com).
With the help of Microsoft FastTrack, you can accelerate your timelines for deploying Office 365 from months to weeks and ensure a smooth transition to the Microsoft cloud in the process.
Some of the benefits of Microsoft FastTrack include:
- Having dedicated Microsoft FastTrack engineers and a Microsoft FastTrack manager available to be working closely with both your internal teams and any Microsoft partners who may be assisting you on your deployment
- Have access to best practices, tools, remote assistance, and planning templates / resources customized towards adopting and deploying your Office 365 service
- Resources and tools to identify and overcome any technical hurdles and obstacles in your deployment
- Walking through all aspects of your rollout at the forefront of your deployment such as estimating bandwidth requirements and examining your Internet browsers, client operating systems, Domain Name System (DNS), network, infrastructure, etc.
- Identity any changes needed as a pre-requisite before onboarding
- Can include assisting you in configuring firewall ports, setting up DNS, configuring Autodiscover, Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and mail exchange (MX) records
- Having the FastTrack team in conjunction with your Microsoft partner perform setup, configuration, provisioning of services such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, Office 365 ProPlus, Yammer, Project and more…
- Assistance in migrating data from on-premises servers and other cloud-based services to Office 365, some services you can have help migrating from include: local Exchange servers, IBM Domino environments, Google Apps for Work, Novell GroupWise, IMAP-capable email servers. Box, Dropbox, and SharePoint ( Note: 150+ licenses needed on an eligible plan for this service)
- Support with building remediation plans that will bring your environment up to the minimum requirements for an Office 365 deployment
Eligible plans for FastTrack services include 50 or more users of one or more of the following subscriptions (Note: please visit the FastTrack web site for the most up-to-date eligibility):
MICROSOFT OFFICE 365
- Office 365 Business
- Office 365 Business Essentials
- Office 365 Business Premium
- Office 365 Education E5
- Office 365 Enterprise E1
- Office 365 Enterprise E3
- Office 365 Enterprise E4
- Office 365 Enterprise E5
- Office 365 Enterprise K1
- Office 365 Government E1
- Office 365 Government E3
- Office 365 Government E4
- Office 365 Government K1
- Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials
- Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium
- Office 365 Nonprofit E1
- Office 365 Nonprofit E3
- Office 365 ProPlus
MICROSOFT EXCHANGE ONLINE
- Exchange Online Plan 1
- Exchange Online Plan 2
- Exchange Online Kiosk
- Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection
MICROSOFT POWER BI
- Power BI Standard
- Power BI Pro
MICROSOFT PROJECT ONLINE
- Project Online with Project for Office 365
- Project Online Essentials
- Project Online Professional
- Project Online Premium
MICROSOFT SHAREPOINT ONLINE
- SharePoint Online Plan 1
- SharePoint Online Plan 2
- Yammer Enterprise (standalone)
MICROSOFT ONEDRIVE FOR BUSINESS
- OneDrive for Business with Office Online
MICROSOFT SKYPE FOR BUSINESS ONLINE
- Skype for Business Cloud PBX
- Skype for Business PSTN Calling
- Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing
- Skype for Business Online Standalone Plan 1
- Skype for Business Online Standalone Plan 2
- Enterprise Mobility + Security
- Enterprise Mobility + Security (as part of the Secure Productive Enterprise)
- Microsoft Azure AD Premium
- Microsoft Intune
For more information, please visit the Microsoft FastTrack web site at https://fasttrack.microsoft.com.
Little known to many is a really handy feature recently released by Microsoft called the Secure Score.
Secure Score is a totally different way of managing risk on your Office 365 deployment where by instead of reacting to security alerts sent to you by Microsoft, it lets you proactively track and incrementaly improve your Office 365 security.
Secure Score figures out which Office 365 services you have along with how they are configured and compares it to a baseline level of security that Microsoft recommends. For good configurations, Secure Score will give you more points and the higher the level of security the higher than score.
Try it now by logging to your Office 365 subscription as tenant admin and visiting https://securescore.office.com.
In my tenant, my secure score was 48 of 257.
The tool then guides me with some basic and high impact actions to up my score that you are categorized by Category, Action Type, User Impact, Implementation Cost and Control Type:
A few actions that upped my score were substancially were the following:
Enable MFA for all global admins - You should enable MFA for all of your admin accounts because a breach of any of those accounts can lead to a breach of any of your data. We found that you had 3 admins out of 3 that did not have MFA enabled. If you enable MFA for those 3 admin accounts, your score will go up 50 points.
Enable MFA for all users - You should enable MFA for all of your user accounts because a breach of any of those accounts can lead to a breach of any data that user has access to. We found that you had 15 users out of 16 that did not have MFA enabled. If you enable MFA for those 15 user accounts, your score will go up 29 points.
[Not Scored] Enable audit data recording - You should enable audit data recording for your Office 365 service to ensure that you have a record of every user and administrator's interaction with the service, including Azure AD, Exchange Online, and SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business. This data will make it possible to investigate and scope a security breach, should it ever occur. We found that your enablement is set to [Not Measured]. If you enable audit recording, your score will go up 15 points.
Secure Score also has the ability to compare your score to an average Office 365 environment as well as telling you how your score has improved over time:
I highly recommend that all tenant admins get familiar with Office 365 secure score functionality to ensure the safety of their Office 365 environment.
Join me at Toronto SharePoint User Group (TSPUG) on Wed, Feb 15th, 2017 to learn about Office 365.
Topic: Office 365 for Business demystified for the average technology and business professional
(IT Pro, End-User, Business) Are you feeling overwhelmed by the big push to move to the Office365 cloud? Are you just not up to speed on the major features, applications & technology advances to Office365 cloud that Microsoft seems to be releasing on a weekly basis (i.e. Mail, Planner, Delve, Teams, Yammer, etc.)? This session aims to give the average technology and business professional a high level and up to date overview of many of the major Office365 for Business features and applications as well as how you can get started with them. It also aims to give a quick overview on when you would use each feature.
6:00pm – Pizza and social
6:30pm – Introductions and Q&A
7:00pm – Feature Presentation
8:30pm – Prizes and closing
Based on the long standing European aOS Community conference tours, the first annual Canadian aOS community tour is happening this Februrary!
The aOS Canadian Tour 2017 is a conference taking place in four different Canadian cities, over the span of five days. Starting February 6th we will tour from Quebec City, to Montreal, Ottawa all the way down to Toronto with some of the most influential speakers from Europe and Canada.
We are aiming at delivering over 60 sessions to over more than 360 attendees and share our knowledge about some of the most common challenges organizations are dealing with when integrating Azure, Office 365 or SharePoint in their digitization strategies.
The aOS Canadian Tour is a free event aimed at both technical and non technical audiences but with a focus on the business challenges and the value technology can bring to the organization. Our main objective is to share our experiences and expertise with people trying to make their organization more productive and efficient by using technology.
Register now as slots are filling up fast!
Are you a former recognized Microsoft MVP? This new program from Microsoft is for you.
Over the years, Microsoft has received feedback from former MVPs that they were looking for ways to stay in touch with the program and with their peers. This program is an extension of Microsoft’s commitment to the MVP program and another way to recognize the expertise and engagement that folks contribute to technical communities.
Read more about it in the below link and if you are a former Microsoft MVP, I highly encourage you to sign up.
Please join me at our annual free, SharePoint Saturday Ottawa on Saturday December 3rd, 2016. I am presenting on the following:
Session: Office 365 for Business demystified for the average technology and business professional
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the big push to move to the Office365 cloud? Are you just not up to speed on the major features, applications & technology advances to Office365 cloud that Microsoft seems to be releasing on a weekly basis (i.e. Mail, Planner, Delve, Teams, Yammer, etc.)? This session aims to give the average technology and business professional a high level and up to date overview of many of the major Office365 for Business features and applications as well as how you can get started with them. It also aims to give a quick overview on when you would use each feature.
About SharePoint Saturday Ottawa:
SharePoint Saturday Ottawa is an annual event where you can join SharePoint/Office 365 architects, developers, and other professionals that work with Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365. SharePoint Saturday Ottawa is an educational, informative, and interactive day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint/Office 365 professionals & MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint/Office 365-orientated topics. SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint & Office 365!
Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta proved to be quite eventful this year. I thought I would put together some key highlights & takeaways (based on my own opinion) for the common Office 365 & SharePoint consultant from this year's event. Note that many of the features listed below might only be in preview or may not even be released till next year.
1. Modern Teams News articles capability to easily post rich multimedia content and view news aggregated across all of your teams, groups and sites online or through your mobile phones powered by Microsoft Graph
2. New "People card" capability in modern document libraries and OneDrive browser showing rich sets of details about a user such as contact info, expertise, organizational hierarchy, document, etc.
3. Modern team sites that are mobile friendly with site creation capabilities that automatically create an associated Office 365 group for your team, with quick links and activity views. This comes with easy to create publishing pages and associated modern web parts based on the new SharePoint Framework
4. Office 365 site collections and groups now support 25 TB of storage
5. Customizable web parts are back and Microsoft is actually using them themselves! SharePoint Framework based web parts that are now are actually easy to add and use with a user friendly and reactive toolbox in your team site publishing pages. Furthermore, they will be backwards compatible with classic experience and work with open source tools and JS frameworks
6. A now useful new SharePoint Site Contents page which includes insights for your SharePoint site including site visits and trending content
7. Capability from modern document libraries to download multiple files as one "zip" file
8. OneDrive browser client now will allow you to browse your SharePoint sites and Office 365 group libraries à Termed the new "Discover view"
9. OneDrive now uses the new sync engine to sync your SharePoint site document libraries for working offline
10. OneDrive choice to take a folder offline using new shared folder sync capability with ability to take the folder offline and not count against storage quota using the concept of "file stubs"
11. Activity view in OneDrive that shows the most recent activity and sync status as well as Shared with Me view in File tabs in Office
12. File previews and thumbnails within Office Online in OneDrive browser view
13. For all the folks still using InfoPath, more justification that Microsoft is pushing towards the alternative of modern lists (with a nice new dragging capability to add metadata) with support for integration of Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. Furthermore, they have promised the ability to embed PowerApps in SharePoint in 2017.
14. The release of the first on premise SharePoint Server 2016 "Feature Pack" which is promised to be more frequently released and bring many of the existing cloud Office 365 features to your on premise environment
15. A new Office 365 App Launcher with a tabbed layout with "Home", "New" and "All" filters as well as search, pinning and drag & drop customization capabilities
16. Location based conditional access for Office 365 which is a really cool ability to restrict access to documents based on IP address or network location
17. Yammer integration with Office 365 groups
18. Sharing files from OneDrive or SharePoint in Yammer
19. MS Office Excel client co-authoring coming in 2017
20. You can add "links" or "short-cuts" directly to your SharePoint libraries
Please join me at SharePoint Saturday Toronto 2016 on July 9, 2016 at Microsoft HQ in Mississauga.
SharePoint Saturday is an educational, informative, and lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals and MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint-orientated topics. SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint!
My talk is on an Introduction to Records Management in Office 365
Track: IT Pro
This session is an introductory session geared towards IT Pro's and Business Users who are interested in how Office 365 can facilitate their Records Management and Security Compliance needs. Microsoft Office 365 has been built from the ground up with concepts of security and data usage compliance in order to meet your organization's legal, regulatory, and technical requirements. Setting up policies and enabling services to meet your Records Management needs throughout the various capabilities of Office 365 (SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, etc...) will be covered in this session.
Welcome to Rez's SharePoint Blog Spot
I'm a Microsoft Office 365 / SharePoint Server MVP and Solutions Architect who enjoys working with the most cutting-edge Microsoft technologies