Saturday, January 13, 2018

Office Customization Tool for Click-to-Run Preview

There was an interesting product release that has gone into preview that I felt was worth sharing.  For years, Office 365 ProPlus administrators had to use XML to write the configuration.xml file which is used with the Office Deployment tool to deploy Office 365 ProPlus client.

Microsoft has a new solution in Preview called the Office Customization Tool for Click-to-Run.  This tool provides a nice GUI that will generate your configuration.xml file for the Office Deployment Tool.  You can also input existing configuration.xml files to the tool to modify them.

Sometimes it is the small things that count, and doing this does not require you to memorize the configurations, and make mistakes within the XML file itself.

References
Announcement - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/Customizing-Office-365-ProPlus-using-the-Office-Customization/bc-p/143275#M334

Office 365 Deployment Tool Reference - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/overview-of-the-office-2016-deployment-tool

Office Customization Tool for Click-to-Run (Preview) - https://config.office.com/

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Microsoft Graph Reporting APIs are now Generally Available

Microsoft Graph Reporting APIs are now Generally Available.  These reporting APIs allow organizations to get the data feeds that are used to populate reports in the Office 365 Admin Center, and use that data to create custom usage reports.

Note this new capability replaces the old Office 365 Reporting Web Service feeds; these old APIs will go out of support on January 29, 2018.  There is a reference in the announcement for where the feeds for the old reporting web service are now located within the Microsoft Graph.

Public Announcement - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/Announcing-the-General-Availability-of-Microsoft-Graph-reporting/ba-p/137838

Technical Reference for Graph Usage Reports - https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/docs/api-reference/beta/resources/report

Thursday, November 23, 2017

New Microsoft Cloud Compliance Manager

I would like to draw your attention to the announcement about the new Compliance Manager Preview which as recently announced.

Announcement - https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/11/16/microsoft-365-helps-businesses-increase-trust-and-innovation-through-compliance-with-compliance-manager-preview/

The new Compliance Manager is a new cross-Microsoft Cloud services solution that is focused on helping customers protecting their data.  The Compliance Manager provides real-time risk assessment that reflects your entire compliance position for data protection.

The Compliance Manager gives you insight to controls you have implemented versus controls that Microsoft has implemented.  Over the years this is something that I have discussed extensively with Microsoft Office 365 cloud customers.  Microsoft does all the work on our side to implement all the required controls defined in such standards FedRAMP (NIST 800-53), FedRAMP+ (DoD CC SRG IL5), ISO, HIPPA, etc. yet there are still controls that are required customer implementation and configuration.  Microsoft gives you the features and capabilities to complete customer owned configurations, yet these configurations remain the responsibility of the customer.  This Compliance Manager will give you better insights, recommendations and guidance.



For more information about the Compliance Manager, please go here - https://servicetrust.microsoft.com/

How to Launch the Compliance Center - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Go-to-the-Office-365-Security-Compliance-Center-7e696a40-b86b-4a20-afcc-559218b7b1b8
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Go-to-the-Office-365-Security-Compliance-Center-7e696a40-b86b-4a20-afcc-559218b7b1b8

Office 365 Secure Score – Another good tool focused on Office 365 - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Introducing-the-Office-365-Secure-Score-c9e7160f-2c34-4bd0-a548-5ddcc862eaef?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

Going to Office 365 Product Group

I am super excited yet again.  When I started this blog a little over 10 years ago, I was a fledging developer goaled on writing efficient code and helping others out.  The blog evolved over the years as I transitioned into technical sales at Microsoft.  I was focused on Office 365 government technical sales for past 7 years.  As of last week, I joined the Microsoft Office 365 engineering / product group directly supporting our delivery of Office 365 GCC, GCC High and DoD cloud.  I did not think an opportunity would ever come to me like this.  I have to truly thank all the great people around me that gave me an opportunity to excel.   Will continue to contribute to this blog about interesting topics as they come up.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Microsoft Intelligent Communications Announcement

There was a big announcement today about Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business.

The big announcement is that Microsoft is uniting the Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business to bring together a new vision of intelligent communications.  Microsoft Teams is a core Microsoft’s vision for communications and bringing the Skype for Business capability into this solution will further enable communication within groups and teams of people.

So, what are some important facts?  This is what I picked up from the reference items below:
  • Skype for Business is not going away; Skype for Business is being incorporated and will remain a key solution for Microsoft.
  • Microsoft Teams will evolve as the primary client for intelligent communications for Office 365.
  • Skype for Business brand will not be removed, and that brand will be surfaced up in the Microsoft Teams client.
  • The integration of Skype for Business Online capabilities to the Microsoft Teams user experience will not occur immediately.  Features such as Cloud PBX and voice capabilities to Cloud PBX will not occur until late CY18.
  • Skype for Business clients will remain supported for a long-time, so customers have time to transition.  Running both Microsoft Teams and the Skype for Business client will remain supported.  Customer administrators have control and choice of how to transition users to this new experience.
  • Microsoft recommends to start using the core capabilities of Microsoft Teams sooner than later to prepare yourself for this transition.
  • They are bringing together “conversation can be captured, transcribed, and time-coded, with closed captioning and voice recognition for attributing remarks to specific individuals”.  From what I can tell they are leveraging services used to support the new Microsoft Stream service with this.  Brilliant!
  • Skype for Business Server will still have another on-premise release due out in CY18 H2.
References
Announcement - https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/09/25/a-new-vision-for-intelligent-communications-in-office-365/
Intelligent Communications - http://skypeandteams.fasttrack.microsoft.com/
FAQs - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/faq-journey

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Celebrating 10 Years!


I have reached a milestone; 10 years with 451 blog entries.  I started this blog in September 2007.  Over the years the blog evolved, starting out an app dev blog to now being focused on cloud strategy.  This blog has been truly valuable in my career development.  Learning about new solutions and communicating them outward has help me improve my writing and communication skills.  It has helped me learn new technologies and hone my thoughts.  In these 10 years, I have had two kids, worked at couple companies, landed at Microsoft for past 7 years, and have been part of Office 365 the entire time.  I am super excited to keep this going.