Author: Tony Redmond

Tony Redmond has written thousands of articles about Microsoft technology since 1996. He covers Office 365 and associated technologies for Petri.com and is also the lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, updated monthly to keep pace with change in the cloud.

Lurking Challenges for Teams and Planner

by Tony Redmond

Teams and Planner are excellent examples of new functionality that Microsoft can create using the toolkit of parts that exist within Office 365. The two applications have excited and delighted customers since their announcement, but the applications are not yet complete. Some challenges exist that Microsoft really needs to take on to round out functionality and capabilities.

Office 365 Halts Workload-Specific eDiscovery

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft has announced that they will block Office 365 tenants from creating workload-specific searches from July 2017. Instead of using Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, you have to create content searches and eDiscovery cases through the Security and Compliance Center. It's a good change, even with the complication of keeping old searches until they expire.

How Background Office 365 Processes Cause Confusion

by Tony Redmond

Background processing usually remains hidden from end users. No need exists for a user to understand what maintenance goes on under the covers of the service. Office 365 delivers service with no fuss to its users, but recently I have noticed some instances when background processes have made themselves felt. Although these are not serious issues, they are a worrying sign of a lack of attention to detail.

Using the Office 365 Connector Incoming WebHook to Post Service Health Information

by Tony Redmond

Office 365 Connectors provide a means to connect network data sources such as Twitter, Trello, and RSS feeds to Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. The out-of-the-box connectors work well, but there’s nothing like being able to process your own data, which is exactly what the Incoming Webhook connector allows you to do. In this example, we grab some Office 365 service incident information and post it to a group. All a mere matter of writing some PowerShell code.

OWA Search Now Supports Office 365 Groups

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft has long used OWA as the test-bed client for new features. After all, it's easy to update a web client. Now they've added the ability to integrate content stored in Office 365 Groups in OWA searches. It's a nice feature, as is the message digest for Office 365 updates that you can have sent to your mailbox.

New Office 365 Admin Center Takes Over

by Tony Redmond

The advent of the New Year is a catalyst for change. One change that’s been coming for a while is the “new” Office 365 Admin Center. Now it’s time for the “old” to be swapped out and the “new” to be used everywhere. The change is good. At least, I think it is.

Microsoft Finally Adds an Undo Send Feature to OWA

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft has finally provided an effective method to allow users to recall messages. Outlook’s Recall Message function usually doesn’t work, but OWA’s new Undo Send will stop messages that should never be sent. Five seconds might be too short to realize that you have made a mistake and should stop an outbound message, but ten seconds is about right. And if you are really indecisive, you can take up to 30 seconds to decide whether a message should go.

Chrome Makes SharePoint Look Insecure

by Tony Redmond

An update to SharePoint Online for some Office 365 tenants clashed with Google’s determination to move from SHA-1 to SHA-2 as the basis for securing web sites. The symptom is that Chrome flags SharePoint sites as “Not Secure”, which is a pretty worrying thing for an Office 365 administrator to see. Fortunately, Microsoft is reversing the update out to fix the problem.

Microsoft StaffHub – Another Use for Office 365 Groups

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft StaffHub is a new Office 365 application built from bits of Office 365 Groups, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Azure, and Teams. The concept is simple – provide an application to allow the schedules of workers to be managed through a combination of browser and mobile interfaces. It’s an idea that will be popular with some Office 365 tenants, but it’s probably of limited interest to the majority.

New Word Editor Feature Proves its Worth

by Tony Redmond

It’s hard to think of new features for an application like Word that has been around for so long. Adding something that nags the user to be more precise and concise wouldn’t seem like it would be popular, but I rather like the new “Editor” feature. And providing more context in spell checking is a good thing too!

Unifying Data Loss Prevention across Office 365

by Tony Redmond

You might be familiar with the DLP policies available in Exchange or SharePoint. These policies work, but they are workload-specific. Microsoft has embarked on a journey to replace them with Unified DLP policies, which provide protection across multiple Office 365 workloads. The new policies are not yet as functional as those available for Exchange, but they will get there.