Saturday, July 14, 2018

Free Microsoft Teams

There was a big announcement by Microsoft Teams.  Microsoft Teams is now being offered in a Free version worldwide.  This capability is intended to provide Microsoft Teams to small businesses and groups of users who do not have access to an Office 365 subscription.

This new free version of Microsoft teams allows you:
  • Collaborate with up to 300 people.
  • Audio and video calling.
  • 10 GB of file storage
  • 2 GB per person of personal storage
  • Office Online
  • Ability to communicate with other organizations using Teams
Anyone can use this free version of Microsoft Teams.  However, if you use an identity that is associated to an instance of Office 365, the user will be routed to the Microsoft Teams user experience managed by Office 365.  

References
Announcement - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams-Blog/Introducing-a-free-version-of-Microsoft-Teams/ba-p/214592

Comparison - https://products.office.com/en-US/microsoft-teams/free?ms.officeurl

Teams Live Events

Microsoft Teams had a recent important announcement.  Live Events has gone into preview.
Live Events is a capability that allows for one to many content and video sharing to large audiences.  Events can be scheduled through Teams, and then Stream delivers the webcast.  This solution is intended to replace Skype Meeting Broadcast over time.

Organizers will have the ability to:
  • Manage permissions to the event
  • Choose production method
  • Assigning production roles
  • Manage event reports (recording and attendance)
  • Real-time caption and translation options 
Producers will have the ability to monitor the event itself.  They will have the ability to start/stop, share video, share desktops, chat with event attendees, view live attendance data, moderate question / answer, manage captions, etc.



Presenters will have the ability to share content and moderate question and answers.

Attendees can attend the event from browsers, desktops and mobile devices.  They have the ability to pause the stream and restart it on demand.  They can interact through question and answer.

Other important facts:
  • Max supported audience size is 10,000 users
  • If you have SfBO and SfB hybrid, and you want to allow SfB on-prem users to attend Live Events, it is possible to configure this through hybrid
References





Saturday, June 23, 2018

Office 365 Event Driven Retention

There was interesting announcement last month for a new feature being released call Event Driven Retention.  Microsoft has been making tons of investments into Data Governance, and there is a specific feature called Office 365 Labels.  It is very exciting to see these mature, enterprise features being incorporated into the Office365.

So if you have content in Office 365 that has been labeled, when a business event occurs, retention will be applied based on that events occurrence.  For instance, lets say there is a business rule that you have to keep all contact information for 5 years when the contract expires.  With this solution, what that contract expires, the retention period will be enforced proactively for you.

If you dig a little deeper, there is really interesting capability within Office 365 Labels that automatically apply labels to content for you.  This drives down the responsibility we have placed on users in the past to manually classify and set retention periods for files.

Overview of event-driven retention - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Overview-of-event-driven-retention-dd851332-747b-45b9-82de-e3cd7d01c8a7

Overview of labels - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Overview-of-labels-af398293-c69d-465e-a249-d74561552d30



Saturday, May 5, 2018

Office 365 Mult-Geo goes Generally Available

Office 365 multi-geo has now gone GA.  This is a significant feature release that allows a single Office 365 tenant to span across multiple Office 365 datacenter geographies.  This allows companies and organizations to store data-at-rest, on-a-per-user-basis in a chosen geography. 

This allows organizations to support data residency guidelines they have been asked to address in the cloud.  To date, many organizations have had to address these solutions through cloud hybrid solutions and retaining locally hosted services on-premises within those countries.  It worked, but customers were stilled required to invest in on-premises solutions.

This solution has been launched for the Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business services.



Announcement - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Security-Privacy-and-Compliance/Get-global-data-location-controls-with-Multi-Geo-Capabilities-in/ba-p/182710

Announcement - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/04/16/preparing-for-a-new-era-in-privacy-regulation-with-the-microsoft-cloud/

Product Home Page - https://products.office.com/en-us/business/multi-geo-capabilities

OneDrive Multi-geo Page - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/enterprise/multi-geo-capabilities-in-onedrive-and-sharepoint-online-in-office-365

Exchange Online Multi-geo Page - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/enterprise/multi-geo-capabilities-in-exchange-online

Office 365 Privileged Access Management

There was a Preview announcement for the Privileged Access Management feature.  This feature is super exciting to hear about and really demonstrates how mature Microsoft Office 365 is in its delivery of security services for their customers.

Privileged Access Management is a feature to help customers provide limited privileged rights to administrator functions.  Doing this provides greater control, oversight and audit trail to what customer Office 365 administrators can do.

Since the beginning, Microsoft has had a solution called the Lockbox.  This is a Just-in-time (JIT) access solution that manages all Microsoft administrator access to Office 365 itself.  Microsoft has standing privileges to Office 365 and all our access to the environment is controlled through this.  We even created a solution called Customer Lockbox, which allows customers to approve Microsoft to manage aspects of the Office 365 environment if access to their customer data was needed as part of a support operation.

Apparently, customers liked the Lockbox concept so much, they wanted a similar capability to manage their Office 365 Admin users.  This is the new Privileged Access Management solutions.  Customers have the ability to create policies where Office 365 Administrators can make requests to perform specific actions.  This will initiate workflow approvals to allow them to perform those actions for a specified period of time.  All of this auditable.  Wow.  This is huge.

Customers always have risks of insider threats, and this can help control that access.

Note this solution does required the Advanced Compliance Office 365 E5 SKU.

Reference - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Security-Privacy-and-Compliance/Announcing-preview-of-privileged-access-management-in-Office-365/ba-p/183743


SharePoint Online Storage Increase!

Major announcement was made in late April that SharePoint Online storage allocation is increasing significantly.

Previously SharePoint Online storage was 1 TB plus .5 GB per user license purchased.

Now SharePoint Online storage is 1 TB plus 10 GB per user license purchased.

So, if you have 100,000 users in your organization, you have 1001 TBs of storage.  Wow!

This is usage and it being driven by the usage and consumption of file storage in SharePoint Online.

Reference - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint-Blog/Increase-in-SharePoint-Online-storage-allocation/ba-p/187617

Monday, April 9, 2018

Office 365 Endpoint Management

Microsoft Office 365 just released a preview new capability that publishes end points using a new set of web services.  This will make it significantly easier for organizations to evaluate, configure and stay up to date with changes to Office 365 endpoints.  Today customers have had to watch a public webpage and sign-up for a RSS feed; which is not always the most efficient.

With this new solution customers will have the ability to automate endpoint changes with their environment.

Reference - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/Announcing-Office-365-endpoint-categories-and-Office-365-IP/ba-p/177638