August update for Office 365 – courtesy of blogs.office.com

Breakdown of the new Office365 features made available through August.Office365 - Cloud Solutions from Microsoft

Office365 Home Premium & Office365 University updates:

  • OneNote for Android now supports English QWERTY keyboards

Office365 for business updates:

  • Exchange Online mailbox sizes are doubling – increase in size from the original 25GB to 50GB. Kiosk, shared and resource mailboxes will also have some increase in size.
  • SkyDrive Pro enhancements – Increases default storage from 7GB to 25GB. Admins are now given option to increase this further. Upload of individual files not has a limit of 2GB. Increase in the default retention period from 30days to 90 days. Versioning has been turned on by default for newly created SkyDrive Pro Libraries.
  • Ability to easily switch plans – Switch Plans Wizard helps customers upgrade to higher plans within their service plan family.
  • Message Center – Admins have the ability to view important service updates from within their Office365 Admin Center.
  • Remote PowerShell for Lync Online – Improved management and automation.
  • Lync Mobile Apps – Mobile Apps for iPhone and Windows Phone now support viewing shared meeting content such as PowerPoint slides or a desktop.
  • Cascading controls in Access Web App – Build Drop-down selectors that show values based on previous selections.

Note* – Some of the above updates may take time to show up in your Office 365 account as they are being rolled out worldwide. Not all updates apply to every plan.

Many thanks to — Andy O’Donald @andyodonald at Microsoft for the update on the blogs.office.com website, appreciate your time in updating us!

Office365 Additional Mailboxes / Permissions #office365

In order to get access to another mailbox you will need to set Full Access permissions, before Office365 this was found in the Exchange Management Console, however the procedure for this has changed with the Admin portal in Office365 (Exchange Online).
In Exchange Online services, these are the steps to get the Full Access permissions for Office 365 Enterprises users:
a. Sign in to your Admin Centre (http://portal.microsoftonline.com)
b. Click the Admin drop-down list in the upper-right and select Exchange.
c. In the mailbox page, double-click the mailboxes which you would like to have Full Access permissions to.
d. Select mailbox delegation in the left panel of the User Mailbox window.
e. Click the plus icon under Full Access and add your own account/the person who requires the permission (if Administrator).
f. Click ok and save.

Below is a screenshot the above instructions.

mailboxpermissions

Lync Server 2013 – Brief Overview #lync2013

Below is the list of server roles available to your Lync 2013 on-premises environment;

  • Back-End Server
  • Front-End Server
  • Standard Edition Server
  • Director
  • Mediation Server
  • Edge Server
  • Persistent Chat Compliance Back End Server
  • Persistent Chat Server
  • Persistent Chat Back End Server

Lync 2013 Clients;

  • Lync 2013
  • Lync 2013 Basic
  • Lync 2013 Web App
  • Lync Win Store App
  • Lync 2013 Mobile
  • Lync 2013 Phone Edition (being phased out)

Administrative tools and enhancements to Lync Server 2013;

  • Lync Server Deployment Wizard
  • Lync Server Control Panel
  • Lync Server Management Shell
  • Lync Server Topology Builder
  • Central management database
  • Role-Based access control
  • DNS load balancing
  • Lync Centralized Logging Service

Lync Server – Hybrid Coexistence

Lync Hybrid diagram

Lync Hybrid

Exchange Online – Protection #Office365 #guru365

Exchange Online is protected by…. Exchange Online Protection. Not the most ‘funky/trendy’ name Microsoft could come up with, but it does what it says on the tin. (Exchange Ronseal?)

It helps combat malware in your email messaging cloud and on-premises environment.

 

To define what it protects, I’ll further define the terms used;

  • Malware – consists of viruses and spyware.
  • Viruses – infect other programs and data, and spread throughout your computer and network.
  • Spyware – Gathers personal information, such as passwords and usernames and sends it to the author of the spyware ‘application’.

 

Exchange Online Protection offers a multi-layered malware protection, not only protecting you from inbound malware but protecting you outbound too. (By protecting meaning you don’t infect your happy customers, turning them into unhappy customers).

What Exchange Online Protection consists of;

  • Layered defences against malware – Exchange Online Protection uses multiple anti-malware scan enginers to help protect against known and unknown threats. These engines include heuristic detection to provide early protection against an outbreak. This layered solution has been proven to provide more protection than just a single engine.

 

  • Real-time Threat Response – During some outbreaks, the Microsoft Anti-malware team may have gathered enough information to define policies that detect the threat even before it has reached a scan engine, they are published to the network every two hours to provide an additional layer of protection.

 

  • Fast Anti-Malware Definition Deployment – Exchange Online Protection maintains close relationships with partners who develop anti-malware engines. As a result this gives Microsoft the ability to recieve and integrate definitions before public release. The service checks for any updates, every hour.

 

Internal messages in your organisation are not scanned for malware, it is only for the inbound and outbound traffic received or sent to a mailbox. You can however utilise your onsite Exchange 2013 server to include this type of malware scanning.

Archive files are scanned and the engines are able to drill into compressed files such as .zip/.rar etc

Malware detected emails can be traced through the  Exchange Cloud service to find out why a message was detected to contain malware.

Office 365 Introduction – #guru365

Office365 has marginalised the gap between big business (enterprise) and the small to medium size businesses. For many this will increase the competitive advantage of smaller businesses, in my eyes, a fantastic opportunity to level the playing field.

SharePoint is a fantastic example of this playing field being levelled. Before the world of online SaaS – SharePoint was a huge investment, requiring dedicated servers, even farms to allow the kind of productivity that enterprise has been used to and invested in for years.

Even for enterprise there isn’t a stationary situation, Exchange Online allows enterprise to move their operationally important systems out into the cloud, allowing Microsoft to maintain and manage the hardware associated with these systems. This allows onsite technical staff to concentrate on the line of business applications and improve the productivity regard bespoke systems and settings on their infrastructure, leaving what could be seen as the mundane administration tasks of the Office infrastructure to Microsoft.

Exchange Online has been seen as one of the more popular components of Office365, one of the major advantages I see with regards to Exchange Online, you do not have the bottleneck of your broadband/internet connection. For Example, a on site hosted Exchange server requires an internet connection in order to send and recieve email, if this goes down you will need some sort of mail continuity service in order to queue mail until the internet is back online. Iin a situation where your emails are hosted in Exchange Online, you will simply need to connect a dongle or use a backup internet line to retrieve mail. Your mail will continue to flow inwards as the internet line of your business no longer effects the recieving of email to the server, just to your client, this makes a massive difference to administering and also the continuity is kind of built into Exchange Online, and even if that isn’t the case Microsoft financially back their uptime, which I’m very sure they will maintain through their excellent infrastructure.

Although setting up an Office 365 infrastructure from scratch is a fairly simple process, the migration to Office 365 can be a complicated process, depending on what you are currently using and how you wish to use Office 365. Don’t get me wrong, with reading and experience with Exchange it is fairly simple, but please don’t think this ‘Microsoft Service’ makes an Exchange Migration to the Cloud as simple as setting up an Outlook Profile. Hopefully my blog will shed some light on the ‘tricky’ parts of Office 365, ADFS appears to be one of the most commonly asked questions, which I have addressed in the ADFS section of my blog. If you do  have any further questions, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to delve into your particular question topic and answer with as much detail as I can.

Kind Regards

Steve Pothecary

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