ENow Exchange & Office 365 Solutions Engine Blog (ESE)

Lies, damn lies, and statistics obfuscate Office 365 numbers

Posted by Tony Redmond MVP on Apr 27, 2016 9:30:34 AM

Microsoft Office 365 Usage Statistics

Only a statistician loves statistics and I am no statistician. However, it’s interesting to try to track the growth in Office 365 numbers based on the snippets of information released by Microsoft in their financial results and elsewhere. Last week Microsoft talked up their FY16 Q3 (to the end of March 2016) results and revealed that Office 365 had achieved 63% growth in constant currency over the previous year. That’s a pretty good result that demonstrates continuing interest by customers in moving from on-premises Office services to their cloud equivalents.
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Topics: Office 365, Microsoft 2016 quarterly results, Osterman Research report on Microsoft

New spoofing report available in Exchange Online

Posted by Vasil Michev MVP on Apr 26, 2016 9:27:34 AM

Spoofing has long been one of the biggest issues with email, and with the move to cloud services in the last few years it has become an ever hotter topic. Although a number of features designed to combat spoofing exist, many of which have been discussed on the blog, no perfect solution is available. To make matters even worse, configuring some of these features might require in-depth knowledge and prolonged involvement by the costumer. This in turn creates a situation where the expectations of small organizations, such as that everything should be configured by the cloud provider, are not met.

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Topics: exchange online, spoofing report Exchange Online

AAD Connect Advanced Deployments and Troubleshooting

Posted by Nathan O'Bryan MVP, MCSM on Apr 18, 2016 4:58:32 PM

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post here covering how to deploy Azure Active Directory Connect 1.1. Due to popular demand, today I'm going to circle back and review some of the advanced configurations of AAD Connect as well as some troubleshooting tips to cover you in case you run into a hitch with your AAD Connect deployment.

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Topics: Active Directory, Azure, AADConnect, Azure active directory, Active Directory deployment

VIDEO: Office 365 Groups - New SharePoint Document Library Features

Posted by Justin Harris MVP, MCSM, MCM on Apr 13, 2016 11:11:54 AM

Customers that have the First Release option turned on within their tenants were treated to a welcome surprise this weekend. Additional Groups features!

The file repository section within my Groups has been upgraded with new SharePoint document library functionality. In reviewing the updates, I found there are four distinct features that add tremendous value to the Groups value proposition.

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Topics: Office 365, SharePoint, Office 365 groups, SharePoint document library features

Preservation policies in Office 365

Posted by Vasil Michev MVP on Apr 6, 2016 10:25:19 AM


Preservation policies were introduced almost a year ago as part of the Compliance Center in Office 365 (which you might also know as the Protection center, or as Security & Compliance Center after the latest rebranding). In a nutshell, they allow you to preserve content across (almost) all Office 365 workloads. They also provide support for true immutability of the data, such that even the company administrators cannot override.

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Topics: exchange online, Office 365, SharePoint Online

Enabling DKIM in Exchange Online

Posted by Nathan O'Bryan MVP, MCSM on Mar 30, 2016 6:30:00 AM


Spam is the bane of all messaging administrators, as well as a major pain for all email users. Using email means a consistent battle against spam, malware, and unwanted nonsense flooding your inbox. There are a number of different tools and tactics we, as administrators, can use to reduce the impact of these attacks and recently Microsoft has added another one to the toolboxes of Office 365 customers. In this blog post I'm going to explain what DKIM is, and how you can use it to help make the world a safer place for legitimate email messages.

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Topics: Office 365, Exchange, Microsoft

AD FS Claims Rules and Modern Authentication

Posted by Vasil Michev MVP on Mar 23, 2016 8:35:00 AM


Modern authentication has been around for a while now, and it’s great. It brought support for the latest and greatest in authentication and authorization protocols and made new scenarios available. It gave us simple, unified experience across devices and platforms and improvements to the Alternate Login ID feature. On top of all that, it enabled proper support for two-factor authentication for all clients and put an end to the Office 2013 RTM fiasco (bye-bye rich clients, rest in peace app passwords!).

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Topics: Office 365, Powershell, Microsoft

Deploying Azure Active Directory Connect 1.1

Posted by Nathan O'Bryan MVP, MCSM on Mar 16, 2016 7:34:12 AM

Active Directory Synchronization for Office 365 and Azure has been a vital, but fairly straight forward, part of Office 365 migrations for almost 5 years now. DirSync was updated to Azure Active Directory Sync, and AAD Sync was updated to Azure Active Directory Connect. In this blog post, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about deploying the newest version of AAD Connect.

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Topics: Azure, Microsoft

Hybrid Headache: Hybrid mailbox moves and the “expect 100-continue” header

Posted by Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM on Mar 9, 2016 6:30:00 AM


A little over two years ago, I wrote about an issue I encountered with a KEMP load balancer and how Microsoft performs hybrid mailbox moves. More specifically, the issue evolved around a seemingly different interpretation between KEMP and Microsoft regarding the implementation of the expect 100-continue header. As I noted then, the workaround was to configure the KEMP load balancer to ignore the 100-Continue rules as described in RFC 2616.

A while ago, my good friend Bhargav Shukla reached out to me informing me that KEMP had tracked and solved the problem I described back then. As it turns out, Microsoft had based their interpretation of the expect 100-Continue header on RFC 7231 which superseded RFC 2616. I believe KEMP based itself on the latter, ultimately leading to the issue I described. This illustrates that it’s not always easy to keep up with the fast pace in the tech industry…

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Topics: Office 365, Exchange, Microsoft

Security Improvements in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business (External Sharing and More)

Posted by Vasil Michev MVP on Mar 2, 2016 4:32:00 AM


Over the past few months, some significant improvements have been made around the external sharing functionality in Office 365. Some other very important features were introduced as well. The marketing teams at Microsoft, however, were more focused on getting the message for the new and improved OneDrive for Business (ODB) client out, so no big announcements or press focused on these sharing improvements. With that in mind, I decided to do a quick recap to put together an updated list of important improvements that everyone should at least know about.


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Topics: Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive

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