Yesterday, we released a great guide for deploying Azure Information Protection Deployment Acceleration Guide

Deploying Azure Information Protection from a technical standpoint is a fairly simple task.  Where it becomes challenging is when you begin looking at the business requirements that must be in place prior to deployment of AIP.

Because of this, we (the Information Protection Customer Experience Engineering Team) have developed this guide to assist customers with the acceleration of AIP from a business perspective.  While there is a fair amount of reference to technical details in this document, it is not intended to be an end-to-end project plan for full deployment. Rather, it is a guide to help business decision makers and IT implementers understand the best ways to deploy Azure Information Protection and to avoid mistakes that could cause delays in rollout.

In this guide, we cover the four phases of the Information Protection lifecycle and provide guidance on how to approach each of these phases.


By breaking down these phases into easy to follow sections, you can begin to see that there are actions you can begin taking today to improve your security posture and reduce risk related to protecting your company’s sensitive information.

This guide is available online as a PDF at

We welcome feedback regarding this guide. We have created a form at for this purpose.  We truly hope this will help you accelerate your deployment of AIP and help reduce the risk of compromise of your sensitive data.


The Information Protection Customer Experience Engineering Team

Original post here:

Interested in Power BI?

imageCome join us on March 12, 2019 for the Quarterly Los Angeles PowerBI User Group (LAPUG) meeting.  A great opportunity to learn about PowerBI and network with peers.

  • 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM 
    Lunch and Networking *
  • 01:00 PM – 01:15 PM 
    LAPUG Logistics and Planning
  • 01:15 PM – 02:00 PM 
    First Speaker
  • 02:00 PM – 02:15 PM 
    Questions and Break
  • 02:15 PM – 02:45 PM
    Second Speaker
  • 02:45 PM – 03:00 PM 
  • 03:00 PM – 03:15 PM
    Wrap-Up and planning for next Meeting

* Lunch will be shared between Dynamics GP and PowerBI user groups for co networking. 

PowerBI meeting will follow GPUG meeting and all are welcome to attend both events.

  • When: 
    Mar 12, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 3:15 PM (PT)

Associated with  Los Angeles Power BI User Group

  • Location:
    Microsoft Technology Center – Playa Vista, CA
    13031 W. Jefferson Blvd.
    Suite 200
    Playa Vista, CA 90094

For more event information:

Group information:


Microsoft Stream is the successor to Office 365 Video and will supplant Office 365 Video through a migration process, documented online, in 4 phases:

  • Phase 0 – Beta customers (Started 6/2018)
    Limited to beta customers willing to help test/verify the transition. Stream product group validates a customer is ready and eligible to move and then runs the scripts manually on the backend for the customer.
  • Phase 1 – Tenant Admin Opt-in (2019 Q1)
    Limited to customers in specific regions who are not using the Office 365 Video REST APIs, Office 365 integrations (Delve, SharePoint Home, SharePoint mobile, Enterprise Search), and are comfortable with other differences between Office 365 Video and Stream. See more details about the migration experience for this phase.
  • Phase 2 – Tenant Admin Opt-out (TBD)
    Applies to all customers in all regions. If the tenant admin doesn’t opt out of the transition their tenant will be transitioned over to Stream during this phase.
  • Phase 3 – Automatic Transition (TBD)
    All remaining Office 365 Video customers will be automatically transitioned over to Stream.

For more information on the migration from Office 365 Video to Microsoft Stream, visit the following pages:

(Thanks to Microsoft Modern Workplace Technology Specialist, Grant Earl, for this pointer)

Want to know how to identify & manage all the Power BI/Power Platform Gateways in your organization?


The Power Platform On-premises Data Gateway acts as a bridge, providing quick and secure data transfer between on-premises data (data that is not in the cloud) and the Power BI, Microsoft Flow, Logic Apps, and PowerApps services.

You can use the Power Platform Admin center to get visibility into all on-premises data gateways in a tenant.

Once in the Power Platform Admin Center, the “Data Gateway” page lists all on-premises data gateway clusters installed on the tenant. (Requires being a Azure AD tenant Global Admin or Office 365 Global Admin for the Data Gateway page to be visible)

In addition, you can review the following information about these clusters:

  • Gateway Cluster Name: The name of the gateway cluster.
  • Contact Info: Admin contact information for the gateway cluster.
  • Administrators: The list of gateway administrators.
  • Gateways: The number of gateway members in the gateway cluster.

Administration allows you to:

  1. Add or remove gateway admins
  2. Search all gateway clusters, view their details, and administer them

For more details, read the docs pages here:

imageThe Microsoft Flow Conference was an amazing event, full of useful demos, great humor and mountains of valuable information!

We had 16 sessions ranging from beginner to intermediate all the way to into advanced techniques. We also had sessions that focused on the community, on real world scenarios and even about non-connected connectors.

Here’s some of the sessions posted online:

  • Meet Microsoft Flow  – Melissa Hubbard
  • Flow Buttons | What & How – Jerry Weinstock
  • PowerApps And Flow, Better Together – Mark Stokes
  • How we use Microsoft Flow: Real world use cases  – Sandro Pereira
  • 5 Tips when Introducing Microsoft Flow to your customers  – Kent Weare
  • Microsoft Flow’s unconnected connectors – Sandy Ussia
  • Upgrade your skills: Modern out-of-box Approvals – Laura Rogers
  • Use your on-prem data with Microsoft Flow – Daniel Glenn

Read more about the online sessions here:

Posted by: kurtsh | January 23, 2019

INFO: Determining entitled Software Assurance Benefits

Calculating expected Software Assurance benefits for purchases made on volume licensing agreements sometimes feels like a voodoo science.  This is in some ways because:

  1. There are several different benefits granted (Planning Services, Training Vouchers, 24/7 Problem Resolution Support, etc.)
  2. The grant sizes of each benefit differs depending on two things:
      1. The number of “Software Assurance Benefits (SAB) Points’ accrued by the volume of total eligible product licensed on the agreement
      2. A specific scale for that benefit – and this differs for each benefit.

For example:

  1. A total number of SAB points can be calculated per agreement or per purchase.  Here’s an example of the point calculation table. (This can CHANGE to refer to the current “Product Terms” documentation – not this table.)
  2. For a given benefit, such as “Planning Services Days”, there is a scale for how many days are granted based on the volume of SAB points attained.
    The table below is an example of the scale used for Planning Services days grants.  (The table below may not be accurate so refer to the “Product Terms” documentation for actual quantities.)

The documentation for what benefits exist and how they are granted is located in the “Microsoft Product Terms” documentation, published & updated monthly for download as a Word .DOC document on the Microsoft site.

In the January 2019 English publication of the Product Terms, page 78 has the information on Software Assurance Benefits.

Do you use Outlook & Exchange?  Have you ever been told:

  • “Hey, I tried scheduling a meeting with you but can’t see your free/busy in Scheduling Assistant.”
  • “I can’t see your calendar.”

Their view of your free/busy looks something like this:


Meanwhile, you have granted READ access with FULL DETAILS by default to everyone, like this:


The fix is pretty simple & it has nothing to do with your Exchange email account. 

The problem is with the cached entry on the other person’s Outlook instance for your email address.  It’s out of date & needs to be deleted.

Simply have the other person do the following: (Again, this is not done on your system but on the PC of the person having the problem viewing your free/busy or calendar.

  1. Open a new email.
  2. Type in the first few characters of your name – but do not hit enter.  This will display a drop down list of all predicted email addresses – including yours.
  3. Hover over the entry for your email address.  And X will appear on the far right.
  4. Click the X.  The entry for your email address will disappear.

That’s it.  Your calendar or free/busy should now be visible to the user.

Occasionally, an instance of Outlook will have a problem updating the Offline Global Address book.  (Usually due to size, bandwidth, or poor network connectivity)

If this happened, and your “entry” changed in the GAL for whatever reason, anyone that can’t download an updated copy of the Offline Global Address Book may run into issues viewing your calendar or free/busy. 

Deleting the cached entry will force Outlook to look up your credentials again from the ONLINE Global Address Book, which it normally doesn’t do because it takes longer time than using the Offline Global Address book.

Posted by: kurtsh | January 16, 2019

WHITEPAPER: “Reimagining retail in the digital age”

imageThe retail industry is undergoing seismic shifts stoked by swift and unprecedented technology innovation. This change presents both a challenge and an opportunity for retailers faced with adapting to a shopping landscape being upended by a $2.3 trillion global ecommerce market, and the rise of savvy, ever connected consumers with the world’s biggest virtual mall at their fingertips.

For retailers and brands navigating this new world, digital intelligence and innovation—be it an artificial intelligence powered chatbot that fields customer service requests or a hyper-local store assortment informed by the Internet of Things—are critical to driving sales and margins in today’s on-demand consumer economy.

Digital technology is the connective tissue adding ease, convenience, customization, and automation to every aspect of a retail organization—from its business processes, operations, and how employees work, to the customer experiences provided and the very products and services offered.

In this paper, we explore the opportunities birthed by digital transformation, and how Microsoft can help retailers reimagine their businesses and survive and thrive in today’s competitive environment.

Posted by: kurtsh | January 14, 2019

INFO: Resources for shifting to a “Modern Desktop”

imageThis is a great post from Jared Spataro, our VP for Microsoft 365, highlighting the new resources we’ve announced to help customers move to a “Modern Desktop”, meaning one that leverages Windows 10 & Office 365 ProPlus.

The blog focuses on 4 resources/announcements customers should leverage to get to a Modern Desktop:

    Cloud-based analytics tools called “Desktop Analytics” that provide inventory & usage information about Windows 10 & Office 365 ProPlus & integrate with SCCM to make modern desktop deployment even easier.
    A program to ensure app compatibility for upgrades and updates of Windows and Office.
    • [NEW] September releases of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education edition are supported for 30 months.
    • [NEW] Windows 10 Enterprise & Education edition Versions 1607, 1703, 1709, and 1803 are also supported for 30 months.
    • [SAME AS PREVIOUS] Otherwise
      • March releases of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education edition are supported for 18 months.
      • Windows 10 Pro, Home, & Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported for 18 months.
    • Windows 7 has Extended Security Updates available at a subscription cost, enabling paid-for support up to 2023
      • Note: This announcement was posted before the announcement of Windows Virtual Desktop which ALSO provides Extended Security Updates – except at no additional cost to the subscriber of Windows Virtual Desktop services.
    • Office 365 ProPlus is supported on Windows 8.1 until 2023
    • Office 365 ProPlus is supported on Windows Server 2016 until 2025
    • Office 2016 will be supported on Office 365 until October 2023

Read the details of these announcements here:

imageJoin us for a workshop on data privacy and compliance at Microsoft Technology Centers in the US

With evolving data regulations, you need a trusted source for information, best practices, and strategies.  This January, Microsoft is hosting Data Privacy and Compliance Workshops, at US Microsoft Technology Centers. This hands-on session will be invaluable for you and your legal, compliance, risk, and/or security teams.

Attend this session to learn about:

  • Key changes and regulations affecting personal privacy, controls, notifications, transparent policies, IT, and training.
  • How Microsoft runs on trust and uses AI ethically as part of this commitment.
  • How Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance technology can help you along your journey toward compliance with a geographic or industry regulation such as the GDPR, ISO, SOX, HIPAA, etc.
  • See and experience how Microsoft 365 simplifies your compliance journey.
  • Next steps for assessing if your company is ready for evolving regulations across assess, protect, and response. 


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