MVPs are "independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others." - Overview,

Bulk Assigning Customized licenses in Office 365 using Powershell



Bulk assigning customized licenses in office 365 using PowerShell is one of those rare asked that customer can ask you to do based on their business and technical requirements. I have been working with many enterprise customers and many of them come up with the same request to only assign the license for specific workloads in Office 365 as they do not prefer to assign the license of any workload for which they haven’t done the planning and implementation according to their business angod security requirements. I do support and highly recommend this approach and it’s a best practice

Naming New Office 365 Groups Intelligently Is !Important


Sympraxis is starting a new Office 365 -based Intranet project with Sue Hanley (@susanhanley). Julie (@jfj1997) and I are really going to enjoy working with Sue!

As always when we’re starting a project, we want to start collaborating with the client project team in the tools we’re rolling out for their organization.

It’s a funny thing, but I often get push back on this, especially if the project team is IT-based. If the project team won’t use the tool set, then it’s not reasonable to expect everyone else to embrace it. As I always talk about in my Creating a

Stop making your users feel stupid!


A common complaint I hear from IT Professionals today is that technology is moving too fast and they can’t keep up. Yup, agreed. However, did you ever take a step back and think about what it’s like for your users? The people who actually need to use this stuff to actually get their jobs done? People who only want to use technology as a tool, not something to ‘play’ with?

I see so many instances of IT Professionals bearing the brunt of end user frustrations when it comes to migration to Office 365. You wanna know why that is most of the time? Simple. Almost zero effort and resources have been invested in end user adoption. IT Professionals focus on what they know and love, the technical back end and system bits, and then leave users to fend for themselves when it comes to actually using the technology. “They’ll work it out” is the catch cry of the IT Professional who thinks their job is done just getting the technology running.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, the back end technical stuff is important but just as important is user adoption and the most important aspect of this is first impressions. If an end user has a bad first impression with a technology a the outset (i.e. they don’t know what it is for or how to use it) then their chances of adopting it are minimal. So what techniques do YOU have in place to ensure this doesn’t happen if you are an IT professional?

This means that a much great focus needs to be placed on the end user’s journey with the technology. From start to finish. How are they going to use it? How can they use it to help them get their work done? How can working with the technology be made easier? What resources do they need to help them understand and adopt the technology? IT Professionals simply can’t install the software then leave an user to adopt it. Without assistance and guidance they never will. To think otherwise is delusional. To do so is irresponsible and unprofessional to say the least.

You need to create a broad supportive environment to help all sorts of people learn any new technology. Different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. This means having different resources and programs for your users. From videos, to case studies (hello Teams Site portal). From tutorials to question and answer sessions (hello Skype for Business lunch and learns). You need to make it easy for users to get over that initial hurdle when it comes to adoption.

Nobody wants to feel stupid and few people really have the discipline or motivation to ‘nut’ out something technically for themselves. Fewer still have a good appreciation of how something can help them do their job better. They just want to do their job. Period. They don’t want to ‘play’ with technology. People learn best from the experiences of others and that is why shared experience and feedback are so important to the adoption process (hello Yammer or Teams!).

The amount of times I walk into a business that has Office 365 but has no idea about anything other than email is amazing! Most have no concept of basic productivity enhancements in Office 365 that provide ‘quick wins’ like OneDrive for Business, OneNote, Skype for Business and so on. Too many IT Professionals want to inflict the hardest adoption hurdles on end users out of the gate. Why? Take the low hanging fruit first. Drive adoption with quick and easy wins. As I have said many, many times here, just dumping file server data into a single document library in SharePoint is a recipe for disaster. Why? Too much change too quickly for most users. In such cases, zero consideration was given to the end users use of SharePoint. They were simply thrown to the lions and expected to ‘learn’ for themselves. That process is only going to instil frustration and resistance as well as overt hostility. In short, it just makes everything worse. So why do it?

Technology is a massive enabler in business today, but it is also a massive distraction. The technology is the same, the difference between success and failure is how that technology is used. Usage is dictated by adoption and adoption is something that doesn’t appear magically. Adoption is the end result of a process, not random circumstance. Adoption is a focus, not a result!

Successful IT resellers are focused on ensuring the success of the end user’s journey. They treat adoption and enablement with equal importance to technical deployment. They provide the resources to help their end users embrace the technology and becomes fans of it. That’s the key way to measure the successful adoption of technology inside a business. Do people simply use it or do they love it? If you ever find users who don’t love, yes I said love, the technology they are working with, then that is a sign of a failed adoption process. Such failures are the sole responsibility of the IT professionals who rolled it out, not the end users.

Take heed, IT Professionals. In a world where anyone can buy and sell cloud services like Office 365, the key differentiation point is how you go about helping your users move from mere adoption to adoration of the technology. If you view technology as mere technical problems to solve you are failing your customer and you are not doing your job. Your job is to help those with less knowledge and experience understand how the tools you are providing help them do a better job, and how it improves the way they work.

Anyone can sell technology today, but in my experience very few can actually successfully implement it. Why? Because they fail to appreciate that success is judged in the eye of end user not those who roll it out. Adoption is key to success today, so pay attention to it because without it you’ll NEVER succeed!

Changing the OWA Reply All Default Setting to Reply


One of Microsoft’s interesting design decisions with Outlook on the web (OWA) for Exchange is the default setting of “Reply all” for replying to email messages.

As any seasoned email admin will tell you, careless use of “Reply all” has the potential to take down entire Exchange servers. And even though there are methods we can use to prevent such an incident, it would be preferable to take all possible steps to reduce the change of an accidental reply all storm breaking out. When I questioned this decision some time ago, I was told by some Microsoft employees that the

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 133


A quick news day and then we jump in to interview Greg Low on his upcoming Microsoft Ignite Australia event.

Why your Next Application Should use Azure SQL DB as a Datastore

Developers who are creating new applications need a reliable and capable datastore. Azure SQL DB is an awesome platform for creating new applications on. Come and find out why.


What’s new in SQL Server 2016 for Developers

SQL Server 2016 introduced significant enhancements for database development. In this session Greg will describe the features that are of interest to developers.

Don’t forget to send us your feedback at 

You can listen to this episode directly at:

or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.





Power BI and Azure Analysis services

Outlook mobile turns 2

New Azure market place

SQL Down Under

Greg Low

Recap Office 365 Konferenz – Office 365 Business Tag 2017


In der vergangenen Woche fand der Office 365 Business Tag statt. Es war die in diesem Jahr stattfindende Office 365 Konferenz, die über einen Tag ging und im Münchner Office der Microsoft Deutschland GmbH stattfand. Das Orgateam bestand diesmal aus Michael Kirst-Neshva, Patrick Lambert und mir.





Bewertungen des Office 365 Business Tags

Die TeilnehmerInnen konnten über ein Excel-Formular die Veranstaltung bewerten, wobei das klassische Schulnotensystem zum tragen kam. Hierbei war 1 =sehr gut und 6 = ungenügend. Leider haben nur 50% der Teilnehmer das Formular ausgefüllt, ich denke wir müssen dieses das

New Service Health Dashboard for Office 365


The Service Health Dashboard in the Office 365 admin portal provides customers with a view of the health of the wide variety of services in Office 365. Microsoft uses the Service Health Dashboard to notify us about known issues, incidents, and planned maintenance. Now Microsoft has given the SHD a much needed overhaul, with a new look that they hope will provide a clearer picture of the status of our tenants. The new SHD is rolling out to customers right now, and should be completed by the end of February.

Looking at the new SHD (on the left) and the previous design (on

Office365MVPs moving to RE:Office 365 on Medium

We’ve been working on a new collaborative project regarding Office 365. But first a salute to what has paved the way.

For a few years now, I have run the blog aggregate site The goal has been to bring together blog posts from Microsoft MVPs who are writing about Office 365, into one place for people to keep up to date. The site polls a list of RSS feeds on a regular interval and extracts the first hundred words from any new post that it finds. Readers can click through to read the full story on the original blog site. I personally found it a handy place to find out what my peers are working on and what they are thinking about.

However, the site has become difficult to maintain and the aggregation plugin misbehaves occasionally. Last year there were a few blog posts that were extracted hundreds of times, then tweeted every minute as new posts. Let me tell you, that was not fun tidying up afterwards.

I want to extend my thanks to the MVPs that have supported and continued to write thought provoking content about Office 365. Sadly, we plan to close the site.

On February 8th, we will switch off the aggregation plugin and not be importing any more content.
On February 20th, we will close

However, 2016’s challenges led us to consider an alternative.

The team have been working on a more engaging project that will gather together stories, opinions, advice and reactions regarding Office 365. Which is why we have called it RE:Office 365, derived from the expression RE: meaning regarding. A quick check into the origin of the expression reveals that the Latin “Res” was also said “Re” and it means “thing.” Ergo (sorry, a little more Latin meaning therefore), our new project could be called “The thing about Office 365…”

Now, RE: writing platforms. We could have re-purposed the WordPress platform running It is versatile, there are plenty of plugins and it runs nice and neatly in an Azure websites subscription. But we settled on being late comers to the Medium platform. Aside from offering a clean and refreshing reading experience, it’s publishing, networking and commenting capabilities are impressively simple, yet effective. Stories are easy to create in a writing environment that helps you to focus on the content. But it was also important to the team that writers could continue to write content on their own blog sites and use a simple process to republish their stories to RE:Office 365. There are a few options to do this which I discuss further in our introduction video:

  1. If you host your blog on a self-hosted WordPress blog (not WordPress), a plugin is available for publishing directly to your Medium account and to the RE:Office 365 publication.
  2. If you blog from other platforms, Medium can import a post simply by giving it the URL. The import results from different platforms may vary. Once a post has been imported, it will be available in draft to review, fix any formatting issues and then publish.
  3. Finally, there’s good old cut-and-paste. It’s the more laborious of the three methods but the Medium tools are easy to use so it shouldn’t take too long.

What is a publication and how do you publish to it?

As a writer, you create a Medium account using Twitter, Facebook, Google or your email address. Let us know your Medium account @accountname and we’ll add you as a writer (more on this later.) Content that you write is yours, more than just attributed to you as the author. It is stored in your account. Any story you write can be associated with one Medium publication. This can be performed on a story by story basis. The publication is a collection of stories from different writers. A writer submits the story to the publication, meaning that it wont be visible immediately on RE:Office 365. We are forming a team of Editors that will briefly review and publish the story. Editors won’t change the story or review it for technical accuracy, grammatical correctness. The content is your responsibility and should adhere to MVP guidelines and professional commonsense.
As you can see, publishing to Medium requires some effort from you as a contributor. But it’s worth it.
A couple of good examples of Medium publications are The Mission (life lessons, tech and start up stories) and Backchannel.

We have set up @reoffice365 on Twitter to share stories. We encourage you to share the post via Twitter, Facebook or paste a link to it via your favourite social platforms.

So, who is with us?

If you’re a Microsoft MVP or an industry thought leader writing about Office 365, we welcome your stories. Much as we’d like to leave it open to anyone to contribute as a writer, our team do have day jobs and need to keep writer numbers at a manageable level.

If you don’t have a Medium account:

  1. Sign up using your Twitter, Facebook, Google account or your email address.
  2. Contact us
    1. Tweet @reoffice365 saying “Count me in. My Medium account is[username] . “ Follow @reoffice365 and we’ll follow you back so we can Direct Message.
    2. Or email saying “Count me in. My Medium account is[username]”
  3. If you use a self-hosted WordPress blog, install the Medium plugin. After we have added you as a writer for the publication, you’ll have an option to submit your posts directly to RE:Office 365.
  4. If you host on a different blogging platform, visit your Profile > Stories and use the Import a story option to import your first story.
  5. The editing team will check periodically for new stories to publish and will share it via Twitter.

That’s all for now. But I do have a few other ideas to help make the publication even more engaging, involving Live interviews and discussions about the articles we write.
In the meantime, help us to create a publication that becomes a thought provoking and inspiring place for people and organizations working with Microsoft Office 365.

Originally posted at RE:Office 365 “Introducing RE:Office 365”

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 132


Jeff Alexander from Microsoft joins Marc and I after our usual cloud updates to talk about his two sessions at the upcoming Microsoft Ignite Australia conference. These are:

Get ahead of Cyber attacks with Enterprise Mobility + Security

We are in the middle of as mobility and cloud transition which has made employee interactions with other users, devices, apps and data more and more complex. This has created blind spots for IT. At the same time attack vectors continue to get more sophisticated. Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security takes a holistic approach that is identity driven with a collection of innovative technologies to address these sophisticated challenges in the new attack landscape. In this session we will show you how our technologies help to protect at the “front door”, protect your data from user mistakes and detect attacks before they cause damage.


Discover & Control SaaS Application Usage with Microsoft Cloud App Security

In this increasingly cloud and mobile world, users are using more and more SaaS applications to remain productive at work. This has created a gap for IT in not having visibility and control over the use of these 3rd party applications. In this session we will cover how Microsoft Cloud App Security can give IT departments visibility and control of these applications while empowering their users to remain productive. We will cover an overview of what Cloud App Security is, the architecture, deployment recommendations and common blockers.

Don’t forget to send us your feedback at

You can listen to this episode directly at: 

or on Soundcloud here:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.





About Jeff Alexander

New SharePoint management shell

New Azure B2B options

Recent Office 365 updates

4K monitors and Surface PC’s

Microsoft Identity management

Convert Office 365 Domain to Managed



You are required to convert office 365 domain to managed when you have issues with federated domain or federation provider. We can leverage cloud based identities, synced identities or federated identities to authenticate in Office 365. This blog post is focused on converting the federated domain to managed in Office 365 when you have issues with your ADFS deployment or you are looking at taking off your federation with Office 365. Federated Identities also known as Single Sign on allows you to setup a token based authentication for your organization. If you have setup Single sign on