imageThe majority of my customers have large Yammer Enterprise deployments that they use for providing executive communications, shared expertise, community development, and archives of institutional knowledge.

If you are interested in how the NEW 2020 Yammer Enterprise helps with both Leadership Engagement & Company-wide Communication, check out the following sessions for Ignite 2019:

Microsoft is pleased to announce the final release of the security configuration baseline settings for Windows 10 version 1909 (a.k.a., “19H2”), and for Windows Server version 1909. Note that Windows Server version 1909 is Server Core only and does not offer a Desktop Experience (a.k.a., “full”) server installation option.

Download the content from the Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit (click Download and select “Windows 10 Version 1909 and Windows Server Version 1909 Security”).

Read more at the announcement post:

Posted by: kurtsh | December 26, 2019

PREVIEW: Azure AD authentication to Windows VMs in Azure

As taken from the announcement:

imageI’m excited to announce that Azure AD authentication to Windows Virtual Machines (VMs) in Azure is now available in public preview—giving you the ability to manage and control who can access a VM.

Deployment of Windows VMs in Azure is becoming very common and a challenge everyone faces is securely managing the accounts and credentials used to login to these VMs. Typically, people create local administrator accounts to login to these VMs and it becomes difficult to manage these accounts as people join or leave teams.

To make things simple people often follow the risky practice of sharing admin account passwords among big groups of people. This makes it very hard to protect your production Windows VMs and collaborate with your team when using shared Windows VMs.

Now, organizations can utilize Azure AD authentication over a Remote Desk Protocol (RDP) for their Azure VMs running Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition or Windows 10 1809 and later.

Using Azure AD to authenticate to VMs provides the ability to centrally control and enforce policies using tools like Azure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Azure AD Conditional Access to allow you to control who can access a VM.

There are many benefits of using Azure AD authentication to login to Windows VMs in Azure, including:

  • Utilizing the same federated or managed Azure AD credentials you normally use.
  • No longer having to manage local administrator accounts.
  • Using Azure RBAC to grant the appropriate access to VMs based on need and remove it when it is no longer needed.
  • Requiring AD Conditional Access to enforce additional requirements such as:
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Sign-in risk
  • Automating and scaling Azure AD join for Azure based Windows VMs.

You can use Azure Portal, AZ CLI, or PSH to enable this capability. Below is a quick example of how to do this from Azure Portal.

Read the rest here:

imageWe’ve laid out the framework for successfully integrating Microsoft 365 into your organization in 46 slide presentation/guide, courtesy of Microsoft FastTrack.

We’ve compiled an easy-to-follow how-to guide that walks you and your team, step-by-step, through the best way to roll out Microsoft 365t to your organization.  The insights we share come from our most successful customers, who have maximized the power of their investment, adopting multiple, integrated technologies that now form Microsoft 365. Throughout this guide you will find links to additional tools and resources as well as the Adoption Planning Workbook where you can build your customer approach to adoption.

Get the guide & workbook here:

imageProcessing Big data in real-time is an operational necessity for many businesses. Azure Stream Analytics is Microsoft’s serverless real-time analytics offering for complex event processing.

We are excited and humbled to announce that Microsoft has been named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Streaming Analytics, Q3 2019. Microsoft believes this report truly reflects the market momentum of Azure Stream Analytics, satisfied customers, a growing partner ecosystem and the overall strength of our Azure cloud platform. You can access the full report here.

Read the announcement here:

imageAt Ignite 2019, we announced free Azure Active Directory Multi-factor Authentication for all customers using the Microsoft Authenticator app – including those using Azure Active Directory Free.

Our top priority is to make it super easy for you to secure your Azure AD accounts. It’s the main reason we’ve invested so much in building our passwordless sign-in options like Windows Hello and the Microsoft Authenticator app.

To make it easy for everyone to adopt more secure and phishing-resistant authentication, today we announced that all customers can now enable MFA for free with the Microsoft Authenticator app. Starting later this month, MFA will be enabled as a security default in all new Azure Active Directory tenants for Microsoft 365, Office 365, Dynamics, and Azure. These news defaults will be rolling out gradually to new tenants over the next few months. Customers with more than 150 seats can also now contact Microsoft to set up MFA and security capabilities via FastTrack.

Iimagemprove the agility, reliability, and efficiency of your distributed systems by using Kubernetes. Get the practical Kubernetes deployment skills you need in this O’Reilly e-book. You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop and deploy real-world applications.
  • Create and run a simple cluster.
  • Integrate storage into containerized microservices.
  • Use Kubernetes concepts and specialized objects like DaemonSet jobs, ConfigMaps, and secrets.

Learn how to use tools and APIs to automate scalable distributed systems for online services, machine learning applications, or even a cluster of Raspberry Pi computers.

Posted by: kurtsh | December 25, 2019

NEWS: Office 365 Video Retirement & Migration Timelines

imageMicrosoft Stream builds on learnings from Office 365 Video to bring intelligence and deeper integration into Office 365 and beyond. Since the launch of Microsoft Stream, we’ve been busy improving the platform in preparation for Office 365 Video migrations. Check out what’s new in the Stream release notes or what’s coming next on the Stream roadmap.

Customers who are currently using Office 365 Video should begin planning their migration to Microsoft Stream. Office 365 Video and the associated iOS app will eventually be retired, all timelines and details can be found below.

imageLearn how to improve and optimize the performance of SharePoint sites and portals, directly from the Microsoft SharePoint engineering team.

Explore new ways to drive information architecture and navigation, and how to avoid common pitfalls that impact end user experience.

imageLearn about administration and governance of the Microsoft Power Platform by reading our updated Power Apps and Power Automate Governance and Deployment Whitepaper.

The whitepaper, first released in Aug 2018, has been updated to include latest features as well as best practices for planning, securing, deploying, and supporting applications built on the Power Platform.

The whitepaper is covering the following sections:

  • Platform Architecture
  • Secure
  • Monitor
  • Alert & Act
  • Deploy, ALM and Azure DevOps
  • Educate and Support

Download the whitepaper here:

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