The Office 365 confusion…

There are always questions regarding the Office 365 umbrella and what is right for the customer. Microsoft have made a tidy little page for getting the crux of what your customer wants vs all the bells and whistles that you can easily pay for above and beyond requirements.


The link to the Office 365 service comparison site is below;


This should enable you to get to the right plan through criteria quickly and efficiently.





Free Trial of Microsoft Office365! #office365

Please click the link below to initiate a trial for Office365. It will allow you to try the full product on an E3 plan for 30 days.

It includes all of the features that you will need to effectively trial the software as well as the ability to create a subscription once the trial has finished if you wish to carry on with Office365. Bear in mind the trial is for the Enterprise subscription so will be more expensive than a Home Premium version but it is definitely an opportunity to fully evaluate the software and see if Office365 is right for you.

(Awaiting new link) – Please contact Comms Group UK Ltd if you require a trial – 0844 848 8144

Experience Office virtually anywhere

Provide users with the Office applications they know, optimized for their devices, so they can work their best wherever they happen to be.

Watch how to work with files across your devices.

  • Get Office fast. With the new streaming Office, you don’t have to wait for Office installs or stop working to receive Office updates. Plus, the new Office can be installed side by side with previous versions of Office.
  • Roaming settings.  Your recent documents, settings, and custom dictionaries follow your Office 365 account, so you can quickly pick up where you left off from any device.
  • Office Web Apps. Enhanced Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote Web Apps let you work across multiple devices, right from your browser. Users can work on the same file together, simplifying version management.

Always have the latest version of the Office applications you rely on to stay productive.

Create and edit your Word documents even when you’re away from your desk with the Word Web App.

With the PowerPoint Web App, you can edit your presentations from any browser, so you can make changes whenever you need to.

Keep your business compliant

Help protect your company’s data and keep your business compliant with enterprise-grade security and protection tools.

Watch how Office 365 helps protect your data.

  • Unified eDiscovery. Search data across Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync. eDiscovery integrates with advanced retention and archiving, enabling in-place legal hold and case-based projects.
  • Data loss prevention. Create data loss prevention policies and use templates for protecting sensitive information. Built-in policy education in Outlook informs users what they are doing wrong before the email is sent.
  • Control access to information. Enable Rights Management Services and create access policies for your organization. Admins and users can use policies to restrict access to documents and email.
Advanced IT controls without the maintenance overhead

Reduce your IT overhead and stop patching servers. Office 365 gives you highly configurable administration and a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, financially backed SLA, so you can spend more time managing your core business.

  • Enjoy a new, unified admin experience. Easily manage Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services from any browser, while still having advanced PowerShell commands available for automating management tasks.
  • Migrate on your terms. Stream the latest version of Office and run it side by side with a previous Office version while users transition. Connect your on-premises servers to migrate to Office 365 on your timeframe.
  • Take advantage of new apps. With the new cloud app model you can build scalable, flexible cloud apps that integrate with users’ documents. The new corporate catalog app helps you manage apps  in your organization.
Manage all your Office 365 services simply from the easy-to-use, web-based admin portal.
Office 365 Enterprise E3 includes:
Office suite
Always have the latest versions of:
Microsoft WordMicrosoft PowerPointMicrosoft ExcelMicrosoft OneNoteMicrosoft OutlookMicrosoft AccessMicrosoft PublisherMicrosoft LyncMicrosoft InfoPath
  • Capture your ideas however you work best—using a keyboard, pen, or a touchscreen.
  • Easily format information in Excel with tools that recognize your pattern and auto-complete data.
  • Easily incorporate content from PDFs to create your own great-looking Word documents.
Office on more devices
Enjoy a consistent and familiar Office experience across PCs, Macs, Windows tablets, and most mobile devices.
Office on any PC
Stream full versions of Office programs to any Internet-connected PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8 with Office on Demand.
Advanced email
Use archiving and legal hold capabilities, plus unlimited storage, for compliance needs. And use data loss prevention  (DLP) policies for additional compliance enforcement.
Document and email access control
Rights Management Services enables you to restrict access to documents and email to specific people and to prevent anyone else from viewing or editing them, even if they are sent outside the organization.
Voicemail integration (Unified Messaging)
Hosted voicemail support with auto-attendant capabilities. Voicemails are recorded to Exchange Online and users can access them from Outlook, Outlook Web App, or a compatible mobile phone.
Advanced business intelligence tools
                                        Get the insight you need fast with advanced dashboards with full Excel Services. Perform big data analyses and data visualization mash-ups with the new Excel client with PowerPivot and PowerView.                                         Watch how easy it is to work with data and share it.Watch how easy it is for users to gather and interpret data.
Email and calendars
Use business-class email through a rich and familiar Outlook experience you can access from your desktop or from a web browser using Outlook Web App. Get a 25 GB mailbox per user and send attachments up to 25 MB.
Web conferencing Host online meetings with audio and video using one-click screen sharing and HD video conferencing.
Instant messaging and Skype connectivity Connect with other Lync users via instant message, voice calls, and video calls, and let people know your availability with your online status. Share presence, IM, and audio calling with Skype users.
File storage and sharing SkyDrive Pro gives each user 7 GB of personal cloud storage that can be accessed from anywhere and that syncs with their PC for offline access. Easily share documents with others inside and outside the organization and control who can see and edit each file.
Team sites
Work together on projects with team sites that help keep related documents, notes, tasks, and conversations organized together.
Office Web Apps
Create and edit Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from any modern browser.
Sync email, calendar, and contacts; access SharePoint sites; view and edit Office documents with Office Web Apps using a browser on Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices.
Office Mobile apps
Stay productive and never miss a meeting, even on the go. Access, edit, and view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on iPhones, Android phones, and Windows Phones. Use the OneNote, OWA, Lync Mobile, and SharePoint Newsfeed apps on most devices.
The admin portal provides IT detailed configuration options for your services, either from an online portal or through automated management with PowerShell commands.
Reliability Get peace of mind knowing your services are available with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, financially backed service level agreement (SLA).
Cutting-edge security practices with five layers of security and proactive monitoring help keep customer data safe. Watch an overview of Office 365 security.
Privacy Your data belongs to you. Microsoft does not scan emails or documents for advertising purposes.
Up to date No need to pay for version upgrades; updates are included in your subscription. New features are rolled out to Office 365 customers in an IT-configurable experience.
Support 24/7 phone support for all IT issues. For less urgent issues, you can make service requests directly through the admin portal.

Guest Product – Fujitsu CELVIN NAS @fujitsu_uk

NAS solutions for backups and file storage the latest offering from Fujitsu.

The Fujitsu CELVIN NAS range for small/medium sized business is certainly a product that will be looking to implement as part of our backup solutions as well as any file storage requirements that our clients may need.

Fujitsu have 4 main offerings with regards to the CELVIN NAS range which I will detail below (details taken from the Fujitsu CELVIN NAS brochure);

Fujitsu CELVIN NAS Q700 – Affordable UsabilityW-CM30742_tcm21-13610

“If you want to upgrade from using multiple external hard disk drives for data handling to a RAID capable professional NAS server, the Fujitsu CELVIN NAS Q700 is an affordable next step. It has space for two hard disk drives with up to 6TB of storage. Saving, sharing and managing files over multiple platforms has never been so easy or affordable.”

Product Summary –

  • Fast and easy setup.
  • Ideal NAS storage, multimedia, backup or print server.
  • Supports up to 2 IP cameras.
  • Backup to external drives.
  • Secure business service features like FTP server.
  • Three RAID levels: 0/1/JBOD.



Fujitsu CELVIN NAS Q802 – Business Versatility W-CM33198_tcm21-13899

If you need a balanced multipurpose NAS server to meet your data management, backup and storage needs, the flexible Fujitsu CELVIN NAS Q802 is your solution. Four hard disk drive trays provide plenty of storage, and it can be set up for anything from surveillance applications to NAS plus iSCSI storage.

  • Hot swappable drives.
  • VMware/Citrix/Hyper-V Capable.
  • iSCSI storage for cluster virtualisation.
  • Encrypted remote application for archiving.
  • LUN backup with one-time snapshot.
  • Seven RAID levels: 0/1/5/5+ HS/6/10/JBOD.



Fujitsu CELVIN NAS QR802 – Rackable ReliabilityW-DK26304_tcm21-326601

If you want all the benefits of a fully featured professional NAS server and need all the hardware out of the way, the Fujitsu CELVIN NAS QR802 is the solution for you. The Fujitsu CELVIN NAS QR802 has dual power supplies for superior reliability with up to 12TB of storage capacity. It is designed to be rack mounted right alongside your other networked enterprise equipment.

  • Rack mountable.
  • Four hot swappable business critical drives.
  • VMware/Citrix/Hyper-V Capable.
  • Redundant power supplies and cooling.
  • Failover redundancy and load balancing.
  • Seven RAID levels: 0/1/5/5+ HS/6/10/JBOD.



Fujitsu CELVIN NAS Q902 – Ultimate ScalabilityW-DK27716_tcm21-326619

If you have massive amounts of unstructured data or virtual machines to manage, you need to be able to easily scale up. The Fujitsu CELVIN NAS Q902 is perfect for your business. It has six hard disk drive trays so you will never have to worry about running our of space and has more configuration options than any other Fujitsu CELVIN NAS server.

  • Six hot swappable hard disk drives.
  • Ideal for VMware/Citrix/Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • Up to 18TB storage capacity and virtual disk expansion.
  • Online capacity expansion and RAID level migration.
  • Backup to eSATA and USB drives.
  • Nine RAID levels: 0/1/5/5+HS/6/6+HS/10/10+HS/JBOD.


If you believe any of these offerings are of use please give Comms Group UK Ltd a call on 0844 848 8144


Accessing OWA directly – Office365

To access OWA directly users will need to use the link below but change the “domain” part to their own email domain name”domain”/


This will take users directly to OWA instead of going to or via and selecting the Outlook tab at the top of the signed in users page.

Hope this helps!



For further help and assistance please give Comms Group UK Ltd a call on 0844 848 8144

Signing up to Office365 #freetrial

Why not take advantage of the free trials available to you! You can choose the smaller home and small business packages or if you wish you can delve into the enterprise packages with all the bells and whistles.

Signing up takes a very short amount of time – simply go to the following link or if you are a business and looking for a trial use this (Awaiting link details) (will take you to the Comms Group UK Ltd Office 365 partner link which will allow us to assist you in your trial or answer and questions you may have).

Once you have signed up it will automatically log you onto your Office 365 trial where you will be met with your services being provisioned!



Once provisioned, you are ready to go! Download the latest version of Office, look into what Yammer can do for your business, choose from a number of setup options to fully provision and manage your cloud environment ready for your cloud/on-prem data.

Although the portal can look quite clean and basic, there are plenty of advanced options to work with, it is wise to plan any moves effectively as you will need some ‘infrastructure’ with regards to SSL certificates to properly manage a cloud/on-prem/hybrid cloud environment.

It’s a trial after all so go nuts, make stuff happen, see what settings do, best in a trial then on a live environment right?

The other thing to do would be to look at the ‘exam blueprints’ to see what deploying and administering entails so that you can look into those areas in more detail.

Free trials are a great way of working with the product, Microsoft have given us the tools, use them! 🙂


Microsoft Exam Share

Many thanks to Jon Prince for the following information.

I just thought I’d share some of the resources which I’ve recently found helpful in studying for the 410 exam.

The “Born To Learn” site was quite good as it has a “Prep resources by objective” which includes video’s, TechNet links and Labs.



410 –

411 –

412 –


MCSE: Server

413 –

414 –


The following YouTube channel was also of help:

There is a playlist featuring Ed Liberman and Cynthia Wang who review 410, 411 and 412:

Or you can try here: which has vids and links to forums.


There is also an overview of loads of Server 2012 stuff on the MVA site:


If you ever need any assistance please call Comms Group UK Ltd on 0844 848 8144

Office 365 Retention Policies

Thanks to Matt Blaney for this ‘heads up’ with regard to archiving policies from an Exchange Server (on-prem) to Office 365. Obviously this will need to be enabled before the move to O365 on your on-prem, if you don’t have this enabled originally then you can move this forward with your retention policies in the cloud.

The main reason is that the retention policies created in Exchange are not migrated so this needs to be tallied effectively with your requirements on-prem.


When looking at/setting up Office 365 it has become apparent that the retention tags and the default retention policy include delete options. Its best to delete these tags and create a few choice ones such as 1 year move, the default policy can then have the tags changed to avoid deleting items. 

Even if a Hybrid mode exits it does not migrate retention tags and any mailboxes that are moved will be given the default tags in office 365 (potentially deleting emails).

In a standard situation users will not have archives when they are migrated to the cloud so it’s important to set these tags before enabling the archive feature for these mailboxes as well.

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