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Benoit s Corner

Benoit's corner

May 24
Office 365 – Planner is now enabled by default

Few months ago, Microsoft has announced the availability of a new tool – Planner – in Office 365.

Starting now, Planner is now enabled by default.

If you are not yet ready to let your user use it or plan to not use now, you will need to disable it.

May 21
Office 365 – SharePoint Sites has been redesigned and is now called SharePoint Home

Microsoft is deploying an update to SharePoint Online to redesign the so called SharePoint Sites page – known as the SharePoint directory managed by administrators to push SharePoint sites and SharePoint workloads to propose you other sites to follow – to a new SharePoint Home.

Accessing this new SharePoint Home is easy, administrators and end-user has nothing to do. The “old” SharePoint Sites tile is being renamed from Site to SharePoint


Then, the first time you access the new Home, you will a quick welcome deck to help you use this new SharePoint Home


Then you got the new home, showing your recent activities, promoted sites (pushed in the left side)…


Last point, the URL is also being updated from https://<your tenant><user>/Social/Sites.aspx to https://<your tenant>

NOTE you may have some users in your tenant not getting yet the new SharePoint Home experience while others have; this is just because of the update deployment, it will come

May 18
Office 365 – Monitor Office 365 with Operation Management Suite

As you may know, Microsoft is providing a cloud based service to monitor your infrastructure called Operation Management Suite (OMS) which can work as a standalone solution (even if it is not yet at the same level than SCOM) or integrated with SCOM.

Now, you can also monitor your Office 365 tenant with OMS.

When you connect to your OMS portal, you should see an Office 365 component


If not, go to Settings\Connected Sources


Click Connect to connect to your Office 365 with your Office 365 administrator account

Once authenticated, you need to grant the required permissions


When you got this confirmation pop-up, you are all done


The data will start being gathered – NOTE it may take up to 4 hours


Once the data have been gathered, you get an insight


When clicking on the Office 365 dashboard, you can see all activities performed and by which account and then for each workload (Exchange, SharePoint or Azure AD) you get more details


May 17
Office 365 – Skype for Business now better integrated with OWA

An update is being deployed on Outlook on the Web (formerly Outlook Web Access) to provide a better integration with Skype for Business.

This update will allow you to start IM conversation from the web interface and not only just managing your IM status

The first thing is you need to check if you have the Skype for Business icon at the top right


Then you will be able to see your contact list


To start a conversation, just hit one of the contact


To add contact to the conversion, just hit Add people button shown just below the contact name


You can switch from a conversation to another using the side bar – which will be open completely when you are on top of the + (plus) sign


To close a conversation, just right click on choose Close conversation, you are then getting prompted to confirm your request


The good point is the conversation is being saved in the Conversation History folder as it is the case with the client and Outlook (hopefully this will be the case soon with the mobile client too)

May 11
Office 365 / SharePoint Online – Guest are not obliged anymore to create an account

Microsoft is deploying an update on SharePoint Online to make end-user’s life easier.

Until then, when you shared content on SharePoint Online with a guest (i.e. someone which is not part of your company and so do not have a corporate account), this guest was obliged to create either an Office 365 account or a Microsoft Account (MSA) before being able to access your shared content.

Starting with this update, the process of creating an MSA account is streamlined: you still need to create an MSA account BUT the full process has been simplified and integrated, you just need to define your email address and a password.


May 11
Office 365–Office 365 Groups now support multi domain and ability to update privacy type

Microsoft has deployed (or currently being deployed) an update to the Office 365 Groups feature to allow customer to use multi domain in Groups as well as the ability to update the privacy type (public and private) AFTER the creation.


Multi Domain Support

The multi domain support is added and available only through PowerShell. It is not available using the GUI when creating a new group and require an administrator to setup an email address policy.

To create an email address policy to take advantage of this new feature:

  • Connect to your Exchange Online tenant

$cred = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $cred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session

  • Create your email address policies to match your requirements; as example these commands create 2 policies: one if the owner is member of the Finance department, the other if the owner if member of the HR department

New-EmailAddressPolicy -Name FinanceGroups -IncludeUnifiedGroupRecipients EnabledEmailAddressTemplates "","” ManagedByFilter {Department -eq 'Finance'} -Priority 1

New-EmailAddressPolicy -Name FacultyGroups -IncludeUnifiedGroupRecipients EnabledEmailAddressTemplates "","smtp:@” ManagedByFilter {Department -eq 'HR'} -Priority 2

Changing the Privacy Type

Until then, it was not possible to change the privacy type (private or public) for an Office 365 Group after the creation.

Now, the owner can edit it. To do so, connect to Outlook On the Web (formerly Outlook Web Access) and go to the Contacts and select the group you want to change the privacy type

Then Edit the group and change the privacy type


NOTE this is not (yet?) available using Outlook client


Apr 30
Microsoft Intune – Enrollment support change for iOS

In the coming months, Microsoft Intune will be updated to allow only iOS 8.x or later to be enrolled.

Existing enrolled devices will not be impacted and will continue to be managed for a limited time but it will not be possible to enroll new devices running older version of iOS.

As usual, this is always important to run the latest version to ensure you can continue to use the service.

Apr 26
Yammer – External Groups is coming

This update is being rolled out over the week.

Yammer is being updated to allow end-users to create Yammer groups with external users. This feature called External Groups does not impact existing groups; if you want to have external user added, you must create a new external group

Create an External Group

  • Logon to Yammer
  • Click on Create a new group


  • Select External Group


  • And complete the creation by naming the group and inviting peoples, including external users

NOTE if you administrator has blocked external groups creation, you will not see this option


Block External Groups

If you want to block such external group, you have the following options:

  • Block end-users to create external groups: This is the same control you use to block external messaging participants. Blocking users in this fashion ensures that content within your Yammer network will not be made visible to external users via external groups. This means that people in your network will not be able to create external groups
  • Allow inbound external groups only: This blocks external group creation BUT still allow end-users to be invited to other external groups (from external networks)

For these options, you need to contact the support

One last option (and which does not require support call) is to use Exchange Transport Rules (ETR).

To do so, you need to logon as a Yammer network admin and access the Security Settings and enforce the use of Exchange Transport Rule


Apr 18
Exchange Online – Additional safety tips in Outlook and Outlook on the Web

As you may know, Exchange Online is already protected with Exchange Online Protection (protection you can improve with the E5 license and Advanced Threats Management).

That said, the EOP security is already quite good and performing well, but even with this, sometime when a message is being put into the Junk Email folder, the end-user may be lost with what to do? is it really a junk or a false positive?

New safety tips are being displayed in both Outlook client and Outlook on the Web (formerly Outlook Web Access) to help the end-user to better understand:

  • Messages marked Suspicious have a red safety tip and are either a known phishing message, have failed sender authentication, are a suspected spoofing message or have met some other criteria that Exchange Online Protection has used to determine the message is fraudulent. You should not interact with suspicious messages and instead should delete them


  • A yellow bar at the top of the message indicates an Unknown safety level. Being marked as Unknown indicates that Exchange Online Protection has marked the message as spam. You can click the It’s not spam link in the yellow bar of a junk mail item to move the message to your inbox


  • Messages from a Trusted sender display a green bar at the top of the message. These are from domains identified by Microsoft as being safe


  • Messages marked with a gray safety tip indicates that the email was not filtered for spam because it is either considered Safe by the user’s organization, is on the user’s safe senders list or Exchange Online Protection marked the message as junk but the user moved it out of the junk folder to the inbox. The gray safety bar also appears when images within the message have been disabled


Apr 18
Yammer – Yammer User Profile is now using Azure Active Directory

Starting today, the Yammer User Profile feature is now using user’s details from Azure Active Directory to populate profile on Yammer.

This evolution follows the announcement of the depreciation of Yammer DirSync (see

If you were still using Yammer DirSync, you should stop using it and ensure you are using the latest version of Office 365 directory synchronization (Azure Active Directory Connect – you can check the latest version here and get the download link)

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Benoit is specialized on Microsoft infrastructure (Active Directory, Azure, ForeFront products, Hyper-V, Identity Management, System Center, Windows) and collaboration (BPOS, Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint) technologies.

He has been awarded as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2002 - on Windows, then SharePoint and finally Office 365. He has been recoginzed as Microsoft Community Contributor for his work on the Office 365 community in 2013 and 2014.

He has been involved in early stage of testing phase for many Microsoft products - from Windows to Office 365, including Exchange, SharePoint or Office client and WindowsUpdate.

He has participated as speaker or Ask The Expert (ATE) at many Microsoft or Quest events. He also participed in writing several books on SharePoint (2003 to 2010).

With more than 10 years of professional experience, he has a deep knowledge of the Microsoft market and his competitors.

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