close

Office 365

MigrationOffice 365

How to migrate mailboxes from one Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization to another

015oFFICE

This article explains how to migrate mailboxes and service settings from one Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization to another Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization in a business-merger scenario. If you have more than 500 users to migrate or a large amount of SharePoint data to migrate, it’s a good idea to work with a Microsoft solution provider.

The scenario in this article is based on two fictional companies – Contoso.com and Fabrikam.com – using two separate Office 365 organizations. Contoso has purchased Fabrikam and is moving the Fabrikam users and data to the contoso.com Office 365 organization.


TABLE 1
Domain Tenant 1 (Target) Tenant 2 (Source)
Custom email domain: contoso.com fabrikam.com
Office 365 initial domain: contoso.onmicrosoft.com fabrikam.onmicrosoft.com

Scenario: Migrate using a third-party migration tool

This scenario assumes that user, group and other objects from the Fabrikam Company will be manually created in Office 365, imported into the portal via script, or merged into the Contoso Active Directory through Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) consolidation.

When complete, all Fabrikam accounts will exist in the Contoso.com Office 365 organization, and will all use @fabrikam.com for the UPN. The final addressing scheme was chosen for simplicity and brevity but can of course be modified to meet your requirements.

How mailbox data can be moved from one Microsoft 365 or Office 365 organization to another

Planning: Two weeks before you migrate

If using a third-party migration tool to migrate your users, purchase the needed licenses for your migration.

Client considerations

For Outlook 2010 or above, you only need to remove the Outlook user profile and create it again.

For Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, when you are restarting the client, auto-discover will configure the client and rebuild the .OST file.

For the Skype for Business client, once migration is complete, since the process creates a new profile, you will need to add contacts.

Tenant preparation and licensing

The source tenant is the Fabrikam Office 365 organization from which you are migrating users and data. The target tenant is the Contoso Office 365 organization to which you are migrating.

  1. Increase licenses in Target Office 365 organization to accommodate all mailboxes that will be migrated from the source tenant.
  2. Create Administrator accounts in source and target tenants for use in migrating from Office 365 to another Office 365. Some migration tools may require more than one admin account in the source tenant to optimize the data throughput.

Room, resource, distribution group, and user object creation in the target tenant

To create the resources in the target (Contoso) tenant:

  1. If the Azure AD Connect tool will be used to sync all objects from the Contoso Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), the objects from the source (Fabrikam) tenant AD DS must be created in the target tenant (Contoso) AD DS through consolidation.
    1. AD DS consolidation can be done using various AD DS tools. Consolidation can take extra time and planning depending on how many objects are being moved, so it can be completed ahead of the migration project.
    2. Verify that all new users and groups are synced to the Contoso.com target tenant via directory synchronization. The objects should appear as user@contoso.onmicrosoft.com in the new tenant since the Fabrikam domain has not been moved over at this time. The primary email address for the users and groups can be updated to @fabrikam.com after the domain move is complete.
  2. If directory synchronization will not be used, or if any Rooms, Resources, Groups or Users are managed in the Microsoft 365 admin center of the source tenant; these objects must be created in the target tenant. Objects can be created manually in the Microsoft 365 admin center or for larger numbers import a CSV file by using the bulk add feature in the Microsoft 365 admin center, or by using Windows PowerShell.

End-user communications

To communicate the migration to the end users in your organization:

  1. Create a communication plan and begin to notify users of the upcoming migration and service changes.
  2. After migration, the Auto-Complete List (also known as the nickname cache) will have to be cleared on all Outlook clients. To remove all recipients from your Auto-Complete list in Outlook 2010 later, see Manage suggested recipients in the To, Cc, and Bcc boxes with Auto-Complete.
  3. Make users aware of how to connect to Outlook on the web (formerly known as Outlook Web App) with their new sign on information in case they have a problem after migration.

Preparation and pre-migration activities: Three days before you migrate

Domain preparation

To prepare the domain for migration, complete the following steps.

  1. Begin domain verification process on target (Contoso) tenant for the Fabrikam.com email domain.
  2. In the contoso.com Microsoft 365 admin center, add the Fabrikam.com domain and create TXT records in Domain Name Systems (DNS) for verification.

     Note

    The verification will fail because the domain is still in use in the other tenant.

    Performing this step now will allow the DNS record time to propagate as it can take up to 72 hours. Final validation will occur later in the process.

Migration scheduling

To schedule the migration:

  1. Create master list of user mailboxes you want to migrate.
  2. Create mailbox mapping .CSV file for the third-party migration tool you are using. This mapping file will be used by the migration tool to match the source mailbox with the target tenant mailbox when migration occurs. We recommend that you use the *.onmicrosoft.com ‘initial’ domain for mapping the source accounts since the custom email domain will be constantly changing.

CSV file used to migrate mailbox data from one Office 365 organization to another

Mail exchanger record (MX record) time to live (TTL) test

Next, you’ll schedule the TTL test.

  1. In DNS, change the TTL value on the MX record for the primary email domain you wish to transfer to a small number (i.e. 5 minutes). If the TTL cannot be lowered to 5 minutes, make note of the lowest value. Example, if the lowest value is 4 hours, the MX record will have to be changed 4 hours before your migration begins.
  2. Mx Lookup can be used to verify MX and DNS changes.

Disable directory sync in source tenant

In the source tenant Microsoft 365 admin center, disable directory sync. This process can take 24 hours or more so it must be done ahead of the migration. Once disabled in the portal, any changes to the source tenant AD DS will no longer sync to the Office 365 organization. Adjust your existing user and group provisioning process accordingly.

Migration: The day you migrate

These are the steps you’ll need the day you perform the migration.

MX record change – Stop inbound mail flow

Change your primary MX record from Office 365 to domain that is not reachable, i.e. “unreachable.example.com”. Internet mail servers attempting to deliver new mail will queue the mail and attempt redelivery for 24 hours. Using this method, some email may return a non-delivery report (NDR) depending on the server attempting to deliver the email. If this is a problem use an MX record backup service. There are many third-party services that will queue your email for days or weeks. Once your migration is complete, these services will deliver the queued mail to your new Office 365 organization.

 Tip

If your TTL is short, for example, five minutes, this step can be done at the end of the work day to cause less disruption. If you have a larger TTL, you must change the MX record ahead of time to allow the TTL to expire. Example, a four hour TTL must be changed before 2 PM if you plan to begin migrations at 6 PM.

Verify your MX and DNS changes if necessary. Nslookup or a service like MxToolbox can be used to verify MX and DNS changes.

Source tenant preparation

The primary email domain, fabrikam.com, must be removed from all objects in the source tenant before the domain can be moved to the target tenant.

  1. If you had also set up your domain with a SharePoint Online public website, then before you can remove the domain, you first have to set the website’s URL back to the initial domain.
  2. Remove all Lync licenses from the users in the source tenant using Lync admin portal. This will remove the Lync Sip address connected to Fabrikam.com.
  3. Reset default email addresses on Office 365 source mailboxes to the initial domain (fabrikam.onmicrosoft.com).
  4. Reset default email addresses on all Distribution Lists, Rooms and Resources to the initial domain (fabrikam.onmicrosoft.com) in source tenant.
  5. Remove all secondary email (proxy addresses) from user objects that are still using @fabrikam.com.
  6. Set default domain in source tenant to fabrikam.onmicrosoft.com routing domain (in the admin portal, click your company name in the upper right corner).
  7. Use Windows PowerShell command Get-MsolUser -DomainName Fabrikam.com to retrieve a list of all objects that are still using the domain and blocking removal.
  8. For common domain removal issues, see You get an error message when you try to remove a domain from Office 365.

Target tenant preparation

Complete the verification of the Fabrikam.com domain in the contoso.com tenant. You may have to wait one hour after removing the domain from the old tenant.

  1. Configure auto-discover CNAME (internal/External) optional.
  2. If you are using AD FS, configure the new domain in target tenant for AD FS.
  3. Begin mailbox activation in the contoso.com tenant > Assign licenses to all of the new user accounts.
  4. Set the Fabrikam.com email domain as the primary address on the new users. This can be done by selecting/editing multiple unlicensed users in the portal or by using Windows PowerShell.
  5. If you are not using the password hash sync feature, pass-through authentication or AD FS, set password on all mailboxes in the target (Contoso) tenant. If you are not using a common password, notify users of the new password.
  6. Once mailboxes are licensed and active, transition the mail routing. Point the Fabrikam MX record to Office 365 target (Contoso) tenant. When the MX TTL expires, mail will begin to flow into the new empty mailboxes. If you are using an MX backup service, you can release the email to the new mailboxes.
  7. Perform verification testing of mail flow to/from new mailboxes in the target tenant.
  8. If you are using Exchange Online Protection (EOP): In the target tenant recreate mail flow rules (also known as transport rules), connectors, block lists, allow lists, etc. from source tenant.

Begin migration

To minimize downtime and user inconvenience, determine the best method for migration.

  • Migration for 500 users or less: Migrate Mail Calendar and contact data to target tenant mailboxes. Limit mail migration by date if possible; for example, the last 6 months of data.
  • Migration for more than 500 users: Use a multi-pass approach where you migrate contacts, calendars and only 1 week of email for all users, then on succeeding days or weeks, do multiple passes to fill in the mailboxes with older email data.

Start your mail migration via the third-party migration tool.

  1. Monitor migration progress with the tools provided by the vendor. Send out periodic progress reports during migration to management and migration team.
  2. Do second or third pass migrations, optional after all migrations are complete.

At the end of migration, Outlook 2007 and 2010 will sync the entire mailbox for each user, consuming considerable bandwidth depending on how much data you migrated into each mailbox. Outlook 2013 will only cache 12 months of data by default. This setting can be configured to more or less data, for example, only 3 months of data, which can lighten bandwidth usage.

Post migration: Cleanup

User may receive NDRs when replying to migrated email messages. The Outlook Auto-Complete List (also known as the nickname cache) needs to be cleared. To remove all recipients from your Auto-Complete list in Outlook 2010 later, see Manage suggested recipients in the To, Cc, and Bcc boxes with Auto-Complete. Alternatively, add the old legacy DN as an x.500 proxy address to all users.

Sample Windows PowerShell scripts

Use the following sample Windows PowerShell scripts as a starting point for creating your own scripts.

Office 365 bulk password reset

  1. Create a CSV file named password.csv.
  2. Insert “upn” and “newpassword” columns in this file (Example: johnsmith@contoso.com,Password1)
  3. Use the Windows PowerShell command:
  1. Import-Csv password.csv|%{Set-MsolUserPassword -userPrincipalName $_.upn -NewPassword $_.newpassword -ForceChangePassword $false}
    

Copy all Office 365 accounts with a specific proxy address into a CSV file

PowerShell

##########################################################################
# Script: showproxies.ps1
# Copies all accounts in Microsoft 365 that contain/don't contain a specific
# proxyaddress to a .CSV file (addresses.csv)
#
# Change the following variable to the proxy address string you want to find:
# $proxyaddr = "onmicrosoft.com"
################################################################################
$proxyaddr = "onmicrosoft.com"
# Create an object to hold the results
$addresses = @()
# Get every mailbox in the Exchange Organization
$Mailboxes = Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited
# Loop through the mailboxes
ForEach ($mbx in $Mailboxes) {
    # Loop through every address assigned to the mailbox
    Foreach ($address in $mbx.EmailAddresses) {
       # If it contains XXX,  Record it
        if ($address.ToString().ToLower().contains($proxyaddr)) {
            # This is an email address. Add it to the list
            $obj = "" | Select-Object Alias,EmailAddress
            $obj.Alias = $mbx.Alias
            $obj.EmailAddress = $address.ToString() #.SubString(10)
            $addresses += $obj
      }
    }
}
# Export the final object to a csv in the working directory

$addresses | Export-Csv addresses.csv -NoTypeInformation
# Open the csv with the default handler
Invoke-Item addresses.csv

##### END OF SHOWPROXIES.PS1

Bulk Create room mailboxes in Microsoft 365

 Note

  • Before you run the following script, you need to install the Exchange Online PowerShell V2 module. For instructions, see Install and maintain the EXO V2 module. The EXO V2 module uses modern authentication.
  • Typically, you can use the script as-is if your organization is Microsoft 365 or Microsoft 365 GCC. If your organization is Office 365 Germany, Microsoft 365 GCC High, or Microsoft 365 DoD, you need to edit the Connect-ExchangeOnline line in the script. Specifically, you need to use the ExchangeEnvironmentName parameter and the appropriate value for your organization type. For more information, see the examples in Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell.
PowerShell

################################################################################
# Script: create-rooms.ps1
# Description:*** RUN THIS SCRIPT FROM A WINDOWS POWERSHELL SESSION ***
# This script creates room mailboxes in Microsoft 365.
# Syntax:Create-Rooms.ps1 -InputFile "file name.csv"
#
# Dependencies: Input file should contain 3 columns: RoomName, RoomSMTPAddress, RoomCapacity
#
################################################################################
param( $inputFile )
Function Usage
{
$strScriptFileName = ($MyInvocation.ScriptName).substring(($MyInvocation.ScriptName).lastindexofany("\") + 1).ToString()
@"
NAME:
$strScriptFileName
EXAMPLE:
C:\PS> .\$strScriptFileName -InputFile `"file name.csv`"
"@
}
If (-not $InputFile) {Usage;Exit}

If ($ExchRemoteCmdlets.State -ne "Opened")
{
Write-Host
Write-Host Connecting to Exchange Online PowerShell...
Write-Host
Import-Module ExchangeOnlineManagement
Connect-ExchangeOnline
$Global:ExchRemoteCmdlets = Get-PSSession -Name ExchangeOnlineInternalSession*
}
# Import the CSV file
$csv = Import-CSV $inputfile
# Create Rooms contained in the CSV file
$csv | foreach-object{
New-Mailbox -Name $_.RoomName -Room -PrimarySmtpAddress $_.RoomSMTPAddress -ResourceCapacity $_.RoomCapacity
}
##### END OF CREATE-ROOMS.PS1

Bulk remove secondary email address from mailboxes

 Note

  • Before you run the following script, you need to install the Exchange Online PowerShell V2 module. For instructions, see Install and maintain the EXO V2 module. The EXO V2 module uses modern authentication.
  • Typically, you can use the script as-is if your organization is Microsoft 365 or Microsoft 365 GCC. If your organization is Office 365 Germany, Microsoft 365 GCC High, or Microsoft 365 DoD, you need to edit the Connect-ExchangeOnline line in the script. Specifically, you need to use the ExchangeEnvironmentName parameter and the appropriate value for your organization type. For more information, see the examples in Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell.
PowerShell

##########################################################################
#      Script:  remove-proxy.ps1
# Description:*** RUN THIS SCRIPT FROM A WINDOWS POWERSHELL SESSION ***
# This script will remove a secondary email address from many users
#
# Syntax:remove-proxy.ps1 -InputFile "filename.csv"
#
# Dependencies:Input file should contain 2 columns: Username, Emailsuffix
#               Example:  Username=tim, Emailsuffix=fabrikam.com
# Script will remove the address tim@fabrikam.com from the mailbox for Tim.
# NOTE: Address must be secondary; it will not remove primary email address.
#
################################################################################
param( $inputFile )
Function Usage
{
$strScriptFileName = ($MyInvocation.ScriptName).substring(($MyInvocation.ScriptName).lastindexofany
("\") + 1).ToString()
@"
NAME:
$strScriptFileName
EXAMPLE:
C:\PS> .\$strScriptFileName -inputfile `"file name.csv`"
"@
}
If (-not $inputFile) {Usage;Exit}

If ($ExchRemoteCmdlets.State -ne "Opened")
{
Write-Host
Write-Host Connecting to Exchange Online PowerShell...
Write-Host
Import-Module ExchangeOnlineManagement
Connect-ExchangeOnline
$Global:ExchRemoteCmdlets = Get-PSSession -Name ExchangeOnlineInternalSession*
}
# Import the CSV file and change primary smtp address
$csv = Import-CSV $inputfile
$csv | foreach-object{
# Set variable for email address to remove
$removeaddr = $_.username + "@" + $_.emailsuffix
Write-Host ("Processing User: " + $_.UserName +" - Removing " + $removeaddr)
Set-Mailbox $_.Username -EmailAddresses @{Remove=$removeaddr}
}
##### END OF REMOVE-PROXY.PS1

 

Source Microsoft365

read more
Office 365

ENABLE SMTP FOR OFFICE 365

Microsoft-Clouds-Pixels-Reuse-696×464

I recently signed up for a office 365 account for my domain. I tried to create a simple C# application that sends emails via SMTP. I was getting the following error “The SMTP server requires a secure connection or the client was not authenticated. The server response was: 5.7.57 SMTP; Client was not authenticated to send anonymous mail during MAIL FROM [CH2PR18CA0002.namprd18.prod.outlook.com]”. This error also prevented me from setting up database mail in SQL Server. I followed the Microsoft documentation and tried the direct SMTP Auth, direct send, and Office 365 SMTP relay methods. After a ton of Googling and wasting more time then I am willing to admit I finally landed on a solution that worked for me.

 

The Problem

Sending emails via SMTP is considered less secure. It does make sense that email providers like Microsoft and Google have security measures put in place so it does not get abused. However, there are some cases where you may still want to send emails via SMTP. For example, setting up SQL server database mail. Google allows you to enable “less secure applications” to bypass the SMTP restrictions on a account. Microsoft’s setting was a little more buried.

 

The Solution

I used PoweShell to turn on SMTP authorization for my organization within Microsoft. The documentation stated you could turn it on for an individual account using the following command “Set-CASMailbox -Identity {AccountName} -SmtpClientAuthenticationDisabled $false”. I could not get the command to work on an individual account level and was happy just enabling SMTP authorization for my organization.

1. Open up PowerShell ISE as a admin.

2. run the following command, and press yes to any prompts that appear.

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

3. run the following command, and enter your exchange account username and password when the prompt appears.

$UserCredential = Get-Credential

4. run the following command

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session -DisableNameChecking

Get-TransportConfig | Format-List SmtpClientAuthenticationDisabled 

Set-TransportConfig -SmtpClientAuthenticationDisabled $false 

Get-TransportConfig | Format-List SmtpClientAuthenticationDisabled

5. Your PowerShell output should show the Smtp client authentication was disabled, and is now enabled.

SmtpClientAuthenticationDisabled : True

SmtpClientAuthenticationDisabled : False

6. Now retry sending your SMTP message.

 

Alternate Solution

If you do not want to enable SMTP authorization, I did find a solution for C#. This method will only work for your custom code and will not work for other apps such as SQL Server database mail.

1. In Visual Studio, open your NuGet package manger for your solution.

2. Install Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices. At the time of this post the version was 2.2.0.

3. Add the following code to your application

using Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data;
public void SendFromNoReply(Email email)
{
     ExchangeService myservice = new ExchangeService(ExchangeVersion.Exchange2010_SP1)
     {
          Credentials = new WebCredentials(configuration["NoReplyAccount:Username"], configuration["NoReplyAccount:Password"]),
          Url = new Uri(configuration["NoReplyAccount:ExchangeUrl"])
     };
     EmailMessage emailMessage = new EmailMessage(myservice)
     {
          Subject = email.Subject,
          Body = email.Body
     };
     email.Recipients.ForEach(r =>
     {
          emailMessage.ToRecipients.Add(r);
     });
     foreach (KeyValuePair<string, byte[]> attachment in email.Attachments)
     {
          emailMessage.Attachments.AddFileAttachment(attachment.Key, attachment.Value);
     }
     emailMessage.Send();
}
public class Email
{
     public Email()
     {
          Recipients = new List<string>();
          Attachments = new Dictionary<string, byte[]>();
     }
     public Email(string subject, string body, string recipient)
     {
          Subject = subject;
          Body = body;
          Recipients = new List<string> { recipient };
          Attachments = new Dictionary<string, byte[]>();
     }
     public List<string> Recipients { get; set; }
     public Dictionary<string, byte[]> Attachments { get; set; }
     public string Subject { get; set; }
     public string Body { get; set; }
     public bool IsBodyHtml { get; set; } = true;
     public EmailSender EmailSender { get; set; }
     public override string ToString()
     {
          return $"Subject: {Subject}, Body: {Body}, IsBodyHtml: {IsBodyHtml}, Recipients: ({string.Join(",", Recipients)}) ";

Source Teckstack
read more
Office 365

Gain more flexibility with 250 GB file size support in Microsoft 365

Win18b_Consumer_Creativity_VideoRemix_Dell_XPS_27_0104

Happy new year and welcome to 2021. We are thrilled to begin this year with some exciting news.

 

As remote work and learning increases so does the need to reliably and securely share large files-4K or 8K video files, 3D models, CAD files, or large scientific data sets-with co-workers, clients and peers.  At Microsoft we’re perpetually working to enable and support workers all over the world.  We are always striving to innovate and empower our users to be more productive. At the same time, we are extremely grateful to our customers and partners for all the helpful and insightful feedback – particularly in industries such as heavy manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and media for our latest enhancement.

 

We’re listening! And we are pleased to announce that we’re making it easier than ever for you to store, sync, and share large files in Microsoft 365. Our latest improvement will help increase the upload file size limit for Microsoft 365 from 100 GB to 250 GB—which includes uploads of files into SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive. So now, you will be able to easily share large files like a 3D model of a new building, a client commercial shot in 8K video, a large dataset for a vaccine trial or research projects or large videos for educational projects. And this change doesn’t just apply to businesses and schools. If you use OneDrive, for personal use, you can easily upload or your family video album to share with your relatives or upload that zip file containing a large PC game with your friends.

thumbnail image 1 of blog post titled 

							Gain more flexibility with 250 GB file size support in Microsoft 365

We’ve achieved the 250 GB limit by optimizing storage for upload performance—each file is split into chunks and each piece is encrypted with a unique key. All your files are backed up in Azure Storage, ensuring high availability and performance. You can easily upload and download your large files when you need them, where you need them.

 

And you need not worry about syncing these large files – with differential sync, only the changes that you and your collaborators make are synced—shortening the amount of time it takes you to sync, helping improve performance and reducing network utilization. Finally, as always, your files are always with you on any device, wherever you go, whether you’re editing files in OneDrive, sharing projects for review in SharePoint, or collaborating in Teams.

 

Support for 250 GB file size upload will be rolling out by the end of January and we are looking forward to general availability by end of this quarter.

 

Learn more about OneDrive , SharePoint and Teams and how you can help users in your organization store, sync, share and collaborate on files in Microsoft 365.

 

Thanks,

Ankita

Source Microsoft

read more
Office 365

Microsoft’s One Outlook Monarch App Leaks Online, Bringing Unified Mail Desktop Experience

Outlook-For-Mac-New-Microsoft-696×407

Microsoft’s Outlook email client has received numerous major updates over the years. However, it has never managed to be truly unified, whether as a standalone app or integrated in Office365/Microsoft 365. That is set to change with Microsoft’s “One Outlook” project, which has now leaked online.

When we talk about a unified email experience through Outlook, it will gather the various versions of the services from across platforms into a single app. For example, it will replace the Win32 and UWP apps on Windows 10, Outlook Web Access, and the macOS version. It will also be hosted as Outlook for Web on browsers.

With this single version of One Outlook, Microsoft’s Mail and Calendar apps will look and functions the same across desktop platform.

Currently under development as Project Monarch, the One Outlook experience has leaked online. In this leak, Microsoft describes the app as a “new version of Outlook designed for large-screen experiences.”

Building One App

Monarch takes its cues from the existing Outlook for Web. It brings many of that services dynamics to app form as a desktop client. It seems Microsoft is already at the stage of testing the app internally. Employees can use the app but are warned of its nascent nature.

In fact, Microsoft says the app is for “brave dogfooders” and lacks an offline mode. If you’re unfamiliar with the term dogfood, it basically means someone who embraces software very early in development.

While the app is available online, it cannot be accessed by anyone with a Microsoft Account. In fact, an internal Microsoft Account is needed to tap into the app.

As noted, this is an early version and is unlikely to arrive until 2022. Indeed, Microsoft will first roll out the One Outlook experience in preview to testers through the Insider Program. This public testing phase will take some time and a Windows 10 22H1 roll out is the most likely for this app.

Tip of the day:

Do you often experience PC freezes or crashs with Blue Screens of Death (BSOD)? Then you should use Windows Memory Diagnostic to test your computers RAM for any problems that might be caused from damaged memory modules. This is a tool built into Windows 10 which can be launched at startup to run various memory checks.

Source Winbuzzer

read more
Office 365

A first look at the Productivity Score Dashboard

16-11-2020-711-p365-Labyrinth-LOW

In this blog, we are going to be taking a closer look into a helpful new feature Microsoft is rolling out right now called Productivity Score.

Because of the pandemic and the inevitable demand of working from home, Microsoft is looking for more ways to accommodate companies and their users with valuable tools that ease the experience of end users and controls for IT admins.

However, for business owners, there is still a challenge getting insights into how people are working and collaborating from home. Apart from the Microsoft 365 reports, there wasn’t a real option to have deeper insights on how productive your employees are in their daily activities.

Now with the release of the Productivity Score dashboard, this changes the game and gives you much more ways to drive and improve productivity throughout your business.

Enabling the Productivity Score dashboard

To get started with the Productivity Score, you will first have to enable the feature and wait approximately 24 hours for Microsoft to collect telemetry data from its services.

To get access to the Productivity Score dashboard, you will need to have access to the Reports Reader role or higher.

You can then enable the Productivity Score dashboard by going to https://portal.office.com, then expand the Reports > Productivity Score branch and click on Enable Productivity Score.

Productivity score dashboard

After you’ve enabled the Productivity Score feature, you’ll have to wait for the dashboard to get filled up with information.

Productivity score dashboard

Diving into the categories

Once you have collected all the data, your dashboard will be populated, displaying all the different categories that the Productivity Score dashboard looks at.

Populated Productivity Score Dashboard

Diving into the categories, you’ll see a breakdown of each category, showcasing useful information on the subject matter. For example, when looking at the Communication category, you will notice that there are a lot of improvements that could be made, such as trimming down email usage across my organization.

To motivate people to collaborate via Teams instead of through email, I could set up a Team inside my Microsoft Teams environment named Tips and Tricks and share links to content that explains to people how they can collaborate more efficiently. You can even view the top users who use email instead of Teams and target your actions on these persons or groups.

Populated Productivity Score Dashboard

Think it’s hard to find material for that? Well, think again – clicking on View related content will give you links to videos created by Microsoft. You could post these links with a small introduction and view the progress right from the dashboard, measuring progress as you go along.

View related content on Productivity Score Dashboard

Endpoint analytics

Besides from training and tips you can send to users, there is also a category which is more focused on the endpoint. We determine user experience through the tools we have to our disposal, but also on how our workstations perform. Boot times is one of the factors that can have a real impact on the experience users get while working on their endpoints.

To analyze this endpoint behavior, you can set up Endpoint Analytics in your Endpoint Manager environment.

You can do this by clicking on the Endpoint analytics header, where you’ll then be taken to Endpoint Manager to start the collection of data from your endpoints.

Note: To use Endpoint Analytics, your devices need to be enrolled and licensed for Endpoint Manager.

More details on licensing can be found here.

Endpoint Analytics on Productivity Score Dashboard

To start collecting the data, simply click on Start and the collection begins.

 Collecting data Endpoint analytics
Endpoint analytics overview

To send data over to the Endpoint analytics workspace, the Connected User Experiences and Telemetry service needs to run on your endpoints. This service is enabled by default, but if you find some endpoints that aren’t sending any data then be sure you check that out first.

Sending data over to the Endpoint analytics workspace

Once your all set, the Endpoint Analytics category will be showing the collected telemetry data from your endpoints, and you can then act upon the generated reports.

Collected telemetry data from Endpoints

Network Connectivity

Apart from endpoints, there is also another highly important factor when it comes to cloud services, which is network performance.

Network performance should not be overlooked, as it is crucial when it comes to delivering a great user experience.

Microsoft has added this new option to measure the network performance and which Paul Robichaux has written a blog about called Basic network monitoring for Office 365 which you can read here.

This test is a direct part of the Productivity Score dashboard and adds the test results to the overall score.

Network connectivity on the Productivity Score Dashboard

Part of this category is adding (Office) locations and specifying the IP subnets which are being used in the local networks.

To do this, you will need to go into the Locations tab and select Add location.

Next, you will need to enter the address of the location you want to add and the local subnets.

Network connectivity - add location page

After you’ve finished adding in all the locations, it will start collecting and sorting all the measured performance telemetry data per location so you can have insights on your various Office locations.

Network connectivity insights

Microsoft 365 Apps Health

The last category in the dashboard is M365 Apps Health score.

Microsoft 365 apps health

What this does is collect all the active versions of the Microsoft 365 Apps for Business and Enterprise installations.

The installed instances might get outdated over time, which could potentially lead to incompatibilities with add-ons and mean users experience issues which already have been fixed in new releases.

To be sure users get the best experience here you should choose your Update Channel wisely. Microsoft also recommends using the Current Channel or Monthly Enterprise Channel as the preferred channel for your Office installations.

You can change your companies Office Update Channel by expanding the Settings branch, then go to Org settings and select the Office installations option in the presented list.

Microsoft 365 app health settings page

Final verdict on the Productivity Score Dashboard

As you can see, The Productivity Score dashboard truly does bring insights into how people work to life, delves into how they operate in the Microsoft 365 services and how well the endpoints and networks that they are connected from are performing.

In my opinion, in times where so many of us now rely upon working from home, this will give IT pros and businesses more ways to ensure people are staying productive.

This concludes my first blog for Practical 365. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if have you any questions, be sure to post them in the comments section below.

Source Practical365

read more
Office 365

Basic network monitoring for Office 365

26-10-2020-686-p365-Email-LOW-1

Introduction to Basic Networking Monitoring for Office 365

One of the most significant objections heard from customers who don’t want to move to the cloud is simple: “what if my network stops working?” This seems like a fair question since, without a network that can reach Microsoft’s services, you won’t be able to get all that much work done (or even watch Netflix!) Reliable Internet connectivity is critical to many different essential business services, so most of us have some network monitoring in place. The problem with trying to monitor connectivity to a complex service like Microsoft 365 is that there are lots of endpoints to monitor. In our current forced-working-remotely world, your users are likely to disperse into lots of locations that require monitoring.

Note that the feature described here is officially in preview as of November 2020, so it may change at any time.

Microsoft decided to attack this problem differently: they have released the first version of a network monitoring toolset, first announced at Ignite 2019, that uses telemetry from Office desktop clients to report on connectivity between your clients, wherever they are, and the Office 365 “front door” location that the client is connecting to. In Microsoft-speak “front door” refers to the service entry point that a client connects to; one of the primary design goals for what Microsoft refers to as the Microsoft Global Network is to minimize network latency between a client and the front door. Once your Office 365 traffic enters the front door, Microsoft’s private network is supposed to efficiently get the traffic to and from the appropriate Microsoft 365 service resources, wherever they are. (This isn’t as straightforward as you might think because not every region has its own set of M365 services—look for more details on this in a future article).

Basic Network Monitoring for Office 365

The network monitoring tools appear in the Microsoft 365 admin center under the Health section in the left navigation bar. When you click on Network connectivity, you’ll see the connectivity dashboard, which will look something like this once it’s fully populated. How do you get it fully populated? Ah, there’s the question!

Basic network monitoring for Office 365 in Admin Center

There are two ways to make data appear in this dashboard:

  • You or your users can manually run a connectivity test from https://connectivity.office.com/ from a Windows machine.
  • Your end-users’ machines can contribute telemetry that the service uses to populate data.

Let’s take a look at each of these alternatives.

Manual connectivity tests

If you choose to manually run the connectivity test, you should first sign in using the link in the upper-right corner of the web page—if you don’t, you’ll still get test results, but they won’t be associated with your tenant. After signing in, you can tell the tester whether you want to allow automatic detection of your location and what domain you’re using, then click the “Run test” button. You’ll see an immediate map of your network connectivity and some basic data about its quality, and you’ll receive a prompt to download and run a small executable that performs some extra tests. The screenshot below will give you an idea of what this looks like:

Network connectivity test results for your location

In my tests, this required an upgrade to the .NET Core runtime on about 40% of my test machines; if you need the upgrade, the test executable will tell you. Once you start the executable, it will run more than 350 (as of this writing) connectivity tests covering almost all of the services and endpoints and give you a detailed report. The report contents are described pretty thoroughly in Microsoft’s documentation, so I won’t repeat them here, except to say they will be mostly incomprehensible to everyday users.

As long as you sign in first, those results will both be reported to you but also contributed to the Locations tab of the dashboard— locations that have at least one user-submitted report will show up with a “View results” link that shows a summary similar to this. As an administrator, you can control whether you consider user-submitted results as part of the summary data for a location.

Microsoft says that these user-specific tests provide more depth than the automatically gathered test data, so they are useful for tracing problems reported by a specific user.

Collecting data automatically

Instead of depending on users to manually run tests, you can automatically collect data but only under a specific set of conditions. The first condition is that you will only see data for specific locations known to the tool. How does it know what locations exist? One way is that you can manually add a location by specifying the physical location, the local IP subnets in use at that location, and the public IP addresses used to egress traffic from that location to the Internet. In that case, you need at least two Windows machines in the location running version 20.161 or later of the OneDrive for Business client. The location data you see will be based on the network information you provide when defining the location.

Another way is that you can let the service figure it out based on the client telemetry it sees. In that case, you need at least two Windows machines running version 19.232 or later of the OneDrive for Business client in that location. The Windows machines must have the Windows Location Service enabled, and they must be connected to the Internet using wi-fi. In this mode, all the machines in a single city will be treated as one location, and the location will be blurred to the nearest 300 meter by 300 meter square.

While manual measurements can show up in the admin center after a few minutes, automatically gathered results can take up to 24 hours.

Working with insights

After you’ve started to gather some data, the Insights tab will start to show data; you’ll also see location-specific insights when you view the details for a specific location. Insights include a network map that shows you what front doors are optimal for your location, what front doors you’re actually connecting to, and any weird egress routes that may exist. You’ll also see workload-specific insights, if any exist; for example, my work tenant currently shows me that users in Slovakia and Alabama are both routed to a non-optimal front door for SharePoint traffic.

There are five location-specific insights currently supported (plus one specific to tenants in China):

  • Backhauled network egress
  • Better performance detected for customers near you
  • Use of a non-optimal Exchange Online service front door
  • Use of a non-optimal SharePoint Online service front door
  • Low download speed from SharePoint front door

In addition, there are tenant-level insights for SharePoint and Exchange Online performance.

The future

Some of the additional data items shown in the portal, such as the average latency for Exchange Online connections, fall into the “fun fact” category; in the majority of cases, it doesn’t matter to your users whether your ExO latency is 28ms or 32ms. However, the insights, such as “you’re connecting to a front door on the other side of the ocean from your location,” are valuable because they can lead you to find and fix networking problems that may lead to poor performance and user complaints. As Microsoft continues to extend this feature to gather more data for more workloads and—more importantly—turn that data into useful insights, I expect the value of this feature to continue to increase.

Source Practical365

read more
Office 365

Microsoft OneDrive Gets Handy New Group Sharing Tools

OneDrive-Group-Sharing-Microsoft-696×390

Microsoft is tweaking the sharing experience in its OneDrive cloud service. According to the company, users can now create groups before they share files. This makes it possible to share files with groups of people more easily.

By allowing users to create groups before, OneDrive makes it easier for users to find these groups when sharing files. Microsoft points out there are two ways to create groups in the app, through a Microsoft Account to invite family members, or through Outlook.com creating a group from contacts.

Below are the specifics of those two methods:

  • “To set up your family, go to family.microsoft.com, then select Create a family group and follow the directions. Note: All members of the group need a Microsoft account, and each will need to accept your invitation to the group to access it. (You can also set up a family group on Xbox or with the Family Safety app.)
  • To set up a friend group, see the article how to create an Outlook.com group. Groups can be family, friends, classmates, your kids’ sports league, your sports league, old college buddies, new game night pals—anyone you want to stay connected with. Note: you will need a free or paid Outlook account.”

Details

When a group is generated, the group will become available in the Share menu in OneDrive. However, it seems this tool is only available for the web version of the service. Users can choose “Anyone with a link can edit” or “Anyone with a link can view.

When searching for an individual through name or email, all group members will surface to allow more efficient sharing.

Microsoft says the new sharing feature is already available for free. It will also work through the OneDrive sync option in Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. However, this functionality will not be available until mid-2021.

Source Winbuzzer

read more
Office 365

Microsoft Office Apps Get Trackpad Support on Apple’s iPadOS

Word-iPadOS-TrackPad-Microsoft-548×420

Microsoft is rolling out some new updates for its Office applications on Apple’s iPadOS. Specifically, the update brings one of the most anticipated features to the tablet-specific platform… trackpad support.

The ability is coming to both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel on iPadOS. You may remember Microsoft began testing this support back last month. It is worth noting since then PowerPoint support for the trackpad has also been added.

Microsoft is sending out the update is phases, so some iPad users will see the changes before others.

Trackpad support for Office apps on iPadOS is a major step. We previously reported on Microsoft also wants Word and Excel to have mouse and trackpad support on iPadOS. Microsoft promised a fall release at the time and has stuck to that timeline.

It is worth noting Apple only brought its own cursor and trackpad support to iPadOS in March. While Microsoft may not want the iPad to become closer to a laptop, there’s no doubt Word and Excel will become more usable with a trackpad functionality. In other words, this move will benefit both the iPad and Microsoft’s apps.

Improving the Platform

Microsoft clearly has long term plans to make Office apps more functional on iPad. In fact, the company has been one of Apple’s biggest supports with iPadOS. Apple reflected this at launch of the platform, pointing to the significance of Word and Excel working with a trackpad.

Microsoft has also given Office apps Split Screen support, and OneDrive Multiple Windows support on the platform.

Source Winbuzzer

read more
Office 365

Microsoft Forms is Now Widely Available to Everyone

Microsoft-Forms-Microsoft-560×420

This week, Microsoft Forms has left preview and is now officially launching. The survey creator is heading to users through the Microsoft Office mobile app or on the web. This new tool is completely free for all users.

However, you will need a Microsoft Account to access Microsoft Forms, at least if you want to create your own surveys and quizzes.

It is also worth noting subscribers to Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family get some more templates and tools such as allowing more people to share and complete their designs.

Microsoft Forms is a platform that helps professionals and educators create content in minutes. Forms can be surveys, feedback forms, or quizzes. They can be shared with anyone and form owners can see results of completed forms in real time.

For users interested in using Forms, the official website is here. I had a quick run around the tool and my admittedly basic creation is below (go easy, it took me around a minute!).

Some of the best features of Forms include Quick Poll and Branching. The former integrates with Outlook and allows users to create real-time polls quickly. When typing an email in Outlook, the Quick Poll add-in button can be used to generate poll questions with answer options.

Forms Pro

Last year, Microsoft rolled out the Pro version of Forms. Available globally through the Dynamics 365 Enterprise license, Microsoft Forms Pro is also available to other Office 365 users.

Dynamics 365 users can access Microsoft Forms Pro for free, although they are limited to 2,000 survey responses per month. Office 365 users can buy that same amount of responses for $100 each month, which is about 5 cents per response.

Source Winbuzzer

read more
Office 365

Microsoft Word and Excel Trackpad Support Testing on iPadOS

iPadOS-Apple-655×420

Apple has pushed the idea that the iPad is an alternative to a laptop for years, without ever really convincing anyone. With the launch of iPadOS a year ago, the company took its argument up a notch. Now iPad has functionality and multi-tasking. It’s not a laptop, but it’s getting closer.

Even Microsoft is on board, giving some Office apps Split Screen support, and OneDrive Multiple Windows support. Earlier this year, we reported on Microsoft also wants Word and Excel to have mouse and trackpad support on iPadOS.

At the time, we said the support would likely come this fall. And so it seems, with Microsoft now testing trackpad support through iPadOS TestFlight.

According to MacRumors, Microsoft has been testing the support on beta versions of its Word and Excel Office apps. Both apps are in preview on version 2.42, available on Apple’s beta service TestFlight.

Importance

It is worth noting Apple only brought cursor and trackpad support to iPadOS in March. While Microsoft may not want the iPad to become closer to a laptop, there’s no doubt Word and Excel will become more usable with support. In other words, this move will benefit both the iPad and Microsoft’s apps.

Microsoft clearly has long term plans to make Office apps more functional on iPad. Cursor support, Split View, and separate applications could all be available before the end of the year.

While Apple and Microsoft are currently trading blows over Cupertino’s steep App Store revenue rules, Apple clearly sees Microsoft as an important developer for iPadOS. In fact, when the operating system was launched, the company’s Craig Federighi suggested Microsoft Word integration with Split Screen was something users would like.

“Two Microsoft Word documents side-by-side, I mean that’s enterprising right there!”

Source Winbuzzer

read more
1 2 3 7
Page 1 of 7