Practical PowerShell Exchange Online book is now available!

After working on this book for the past 9-12 month, the work is done. This book is basically taking the information from our first book, Practical PowerShell Exchange 2016, and translating it so the content would work for Exchange Online. Sounds simple right? Yup, that’s what I thought to. Until I started to dig in and see all of the major and minor nuances I realized it was going to take quite some work to make this happen. Sections on server configurations, WMI and even minor things like parameters were all different in Office 365. In addition, I had to add material for the Security and Compliance Center and completely change how to trace or track an email message in the service. All of this added up to rearranging and rework, which added up to quite a bit of time.

In the ends I am quite happy with the book and think it adds enough value by itself. The book is over 400 pages in-length and certainly covers a lot of material that is cloud-only that would not be in the Exchange 2016 book. So if you would like to purchase a copy, click on the book image below. Take a look at the sample chapter and see if it fits your needs.

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GDPR and Secure Score

What a great way to start off the new year…. an article on Office 365 and new regulations coming before mid-year 2018.
For my past two blog articles I’ve covered quite a bit of details on what Secure Score can offer you and your Office 365 tenant. What I wanted to do for this article is tie this in with the new and upcoming regulation called GDPR. GDRP stands for General Data Protection Regulation. The regulation initiative was passed by the EU in April of 2016 and it goes into effect on May 18, 2018. The regulation is not solely for companies in the EU, but is intended to protect personal data for people in the EU. This means that if you have customers in the EU or have dealings with the EU, GDPR will affect you.
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Office 365 Secure Score: Practical & In-Depth Analysis

*** WARNING *** – This is a long, long, long article.
This is the second in a series of articles on the Office 365 Secure Score feature. In the first article I covered the basic interface and usage of the Secure Score feature. In this article I will review it more in-depth and cover the practicality of the recommendations present in the ‘Tasks’ section. What does this mean? It means we are going to dive into as many tasks in-depth and examine them in-depth as well as determine what it actual means to put the item in place.
Tasks
As we saw in the previous article, there is a list of tasks that Microsoft provides the Office 365 tenant administrator to assist them in securing their tenant to a greater degree than is the default or maybe even beyond the admins own knowledge level. The tasks listed in this article may or may not match what you see in your tenant.
Each task in the list expands to provide more information on the issue identified by Microsoft: Continue reading

Office 365 Secure Score: An Introduction

If you have an Office 365 tenant and you have explored the Security and Compliance Center. On your dashboard, or home screen, you may have noticed an item called ‘Office 365 Secure Score’. It should look something like this:

Now, your score will be different (higher or lower) depending on the features you have enabled in Office 365 (due to licensing) or items that you may have already configured yourself. For the next two blog articles we are going to take a peek at this feature in Office 365 starting with an introduction in this article and a more in-depth article in the next few days.
Relevant Links

New Interesting Tiles – Office 365

Recently I noticed some tiles that appeared on my E3 tenant that I received as an MVP benefit. The tile exposes some new training options that are available to Office 365 Admins:

New Training Options

  • Train Yourself – Office 365 small business – training
  • Train Your People – Office 365 Training Center
  • Advanced Admin Training – Office 365 admin and IT pro courses

What exactly do these new training options provide?
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Outlook 2016 and Exchange 2010 Public Folder Woes

Upon finishing my last project and stopping to take a look back at the past year or so I’ve realized that most (90%+) involved Office 365. Quite a dramatic change from my previous rate of around 50%. I have worked on a couple of migrations over the past year that revealed that Outlook 2016 is quite a different animal than all of its predecessors. Specifically when it comes to Public Folders on Legacy Exchange 2010 servers which is the last Exchange Server version to support Public Folders with actual Public Folder databases.
The Problem
In my most recent migration I had a customer that was moving from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016. In doing to we needed to configure coexistence for Public Folders. The reason is that with Public Folders, if a mailbox is on Exchange 2016, it can access Public Folders on Exchange 2016 AND Exchange 2010. However, a user with a mailbox on Exchange 2010 can only access Public Folders on Exchange 2010. This is due to the way that Microsoft has always proxied requests from a higher version to a lower version, but never in the reverse (exception now would be 2013/2016).
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PowerShell Scripts for Office 365 Migrations

For the past 3 months I have been hard at work with a client migrating from Lotus Notes to Office 365. Most migrations present some challenges, when coming from a system other than Exchange and migrating users to Office 36, there are additional challenges that present itself. In order to make the migration go smoother and to keep your own sanity, PowerShell scripts are necessary. With this migration I have an assortment of scripts that I have users and help with Forwarders, Retention Policies, Licensing and more.
Scripts and Background
One of the issues with this type of migration is Free Busy sharing between Office 365 and Lotus Notes users. This requires a bit of a special setup as well as a third-party tool to handle the query traffic between users of both email systems. In this scenario we used the Quest Coexistence product to provide this. This entails a multi-tiered approach to mailboxes and mail objects in Office 365. The underlying function of free busy has a dependency on the SMTP domain of the user to query. So we have this in Office 365:
Office 365 Users – User have a domain of @cloud.domain.com
Lotus Notes Users – A contact with @lotus.domain.com is used to direct email to Lotus Notes
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