imageAvanade has written a nice blog post that talks to the frequent issue of “what Office 365 collaboration tool should we use for a given need”. 

They wrote a blog post that outlines 9 modes of communication & collaboration and how they appear to different generations in the workforce.  They also should what specific Microsoft Office 365 solutions meet these needs.


Read the full blog post here:

Download the slides here:

imageToday Jeff Teper, CVP of SharePoint & OneDrive for Business, announced the SharePoint Virtual Summit, an online event similar to last year’s news-packed “The Future of SharePoint” event, taking place on May 16th, 2017. 

Taken from the announcement page:

At this year’s SharePoint Virtual Summit you’ll learn how to take advantage of SharePoint, OneDrive and the rest of the Office 365 collaboration toolkit to create a connected workplace, empowering you to securely connect to the people and content you need, to transform business processes, to inform and engage your employees, and to harness the collective knowledge of your organization.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper will unveil the latest product innovations and roadmap. You’ll also hear from industry-leading customers on how they are leveraging these technologies as part of their digital transformation. Jeff will be joined by Microsoft Corporate Vice Presidents James Phillips and Chuck Friedman to discuss how Office 365— connected with Windows and Azure—is reinventing productivity for you, your teams and your organization.

Read more at the announcement site here:

imageWith large enterprises deploying Azure Site Recovery (ASR) as their trusted Disaster Recovery solution to protect hundreds of virtual machines to Microsoft Azure, proper deployment planning before production rollout is critical. Today, we are excited to announce the Public Preview of the Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner. This tool that helps enterprise customers to understand their on-premises networking requirements, Microsoft Azure compute and storage requirements for successful ASR replication, and test failover or failover of their applications. In the current public preview the tool is available only for the VMware to Azure scenario.

  • The Deployment Planner can be run without having to install any ASR components in your on-premises environment.
  • The tool does not impact the performance of the production servers, as no direct connection is made to them. All performance data is collected from the VMware vCenter Server/VMware vSphere ESXi Server which hosts the production virtual machines.

For more information on the Public Preview or to download the tool, visit:


Damn. I missed this.

Apparently, the Azure Active Directory engineering team did an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit On March 9th from 10AM-1PM PST.

Here’s a few of the many, many questions they answered:

  • “ETA on Azure Active Directory Domain Services in ARM?”
  • “Any cool new AAD-Joined device features in the pipeline?”
  • “When we can expect self service reset to be available from the windows lock screen?”
  • “Why doesn’t the Authenticator App say what you are trying to authenticate?”
  • “I have O365 and have just purchased EMS/Azure AD Premium, what should I do next?”

Yeah, I’m ticked I missed this and even more ticked I didn’t get to share it with y’all before it happened.

Here’s the archive of the AMA for your own viewing:

Here’s the video from the product team about Azure Active Directory:

Azure Active Directory: Protect your business, empower your users

Taken from the registration site:

imageCustomers and employees quickly judge the health and relevance of organizations based on their application experience.  Because of this, it’s never been more important to ensure that the most stunning, innovative and insightful applications are being designed, released, maintained and continuously improved.

Microsoft technologies support a holistic environment that can succinctly deliver the most intelligent applications, streamlined operations, and an IT platform that allows you to create a new breed of applications. Being able to successfully combine DevOps, mobile + web application development, and intelligence can produce truly innovative applications that can drive these successes and gain/maintain customer and employee loyalty.

This event will provide you with the insight to optimize your development, IT operations, and data departments, turning them from cost centers into innovation centers. Let us help you enable a robust application platform that can support your next generation of innovative applications.


Sr. Development, IT and Data Professionals who are interested in identifying how they can move their organization forward by implementing DevOps practices, tools and adoption of the newest application architecture and functionality that can differentiate their organization from their competitors.

We suggest that you forward this to your colleagues who would be working with you on implementing this transformation.

Please note:  This is ‘NOT’ a hands-on lab boot camp.


Posted by: kurtsh | March 21, 2017

HOWTO: Disable Focused Inbox in Outlook 2016

imageHave you received the new Outlook “Focused Inbox” through Office 365 Updates?  Having problems adapting to it and wanna disable it?

For Outlook 2016 (Windows)

  • Select View tab
  • Unclick “Show Focused Inbox” button

For Outlook 2016 (Mac)

  • Select Organize tab
  • Unclick “Focused Inbox” button

For Outlook Web App (Online)

  • Select “Settings” gear
  • Navigate to “Display Settings” –> “Focused Inbox”
  • Select “Don’t sort messages”
Posted by: kurtsh | March 21, 2017

INFO: Creating Bots for Microsoft Teams (preview)

imageBuild and connect intelligent bots to interact with Microsoft Teams users naturally through chat.

Or bring your existing bot from another channel, and add Teams-specific support to make your experience shine.

Or if you are just looking for a way to simply extend your team by integrating with custom tools and services in a secure manner, check out our new Custom Bots feature.

Taken from the UserVoice site for Microsoft Teams:

imageFor those who want to be able to format text on the fly or collaborate on code, Markdown has finally arrived. Now, you’ve got a quick, easy way to perform the following actions:

  • Add asterisks to either end of some text to make it bold
  • Underscore the beginning and end of some text in order to make it italic
  • Add a tilde before and after your text to strike through
  • Add a double pound sign (##) before your text to create a Header
  • Type [text](URL) to create a hyperlink within a message
  • To start a bulleted list, preface your text with an asterisk (*) or a hyphen (-)
  • To start a numbered list, preface your text with
  • To create a block quote, just add a right-hand bracket (>) before your text

Even better, our markdown syntax includes support for code:

  • To add an inline block of code, start and end the block of text you want to add with an `
  • To add a multi-line block of code, preface your text with “` and then paste it into your compose box

Please let us know how it goes and keep adding more suggestions here!


Twitter: @skprufo

Posted by: kurtsh | March 21, 2017

INFO: Enabling & Using Windows 10 Speech Recognition


Did you know Windows 10 has a voice-to-text solution built into it?

It can be used to dictate content into things like email through Outlook, Word, OneNote or any note-taking solution.  And it comes for free with Windows 10.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. In the search box of Windows 10, type speech recognition
  2. Select Windows Speech Recognition.
  3. Follow the instructions to train the tool using your voice. (This will take a few minutes, requiring you to speak a variety of sample sentences.)

Windows 10 builds a voice profile during training to recognize your voice. The more you use it, the better it will understand you.

If you’re interested in knowing what the speech commands are, go to this Support article for a reference:

imageWe have a single page that provides a series of whitepapers for the person interested in Azure Active Directory’s offerings.  Updated as of Feb 24, 2017, this is the latest content available for most things Azure AD.

Here’s the topics:
(Note: “Azure AD seamless sign-in” is actually a 7-part series of whitepapers)

    1. Towards Identity as a Service (IDaaS) – Use cloud power to solve cloud era challenges
    2. Active Directory from the on-premises to the cloud (updated)
    3. An overview of Azure AD
    4. An overview of Azure AD B2C
    5. Introducing Azure AD B2B collaboration
    6. Azure AD & Windows 10: Better together for Work or School
    7. Azure AD/Office 365 seamless sign-in
    8. Azure AD/Office 365 single sign-on with Shibboleth 2
    9. Leverage Multi-Factor Authentication with Azure AD
    10. Leverage Multi-Factor Authentication Server on your premises
    11. Leverage Azure AD for modern Business Applications

Get the whitepapers here from this one page:

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