Purchasing a new service to your Office 365 tenant:

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This is going to be a very simple article where I’ll be describing about how to add a new service to your Office 365 tenant. Let’s say there comes a scenario where your organization has been using Office 365 for quite some time and all of a sudden, the business shows interest on a new Office 365 service then you need to follow the steps mentioned in this article below to purchase that new service for your existing Office 365 tenant. Alright, let’s get started….

Note: Please ensure that you have global admin access in your tenant to perform these steps.

  1. Sign into the Office 365 admin center and navigate to the “Billing “section as shown in the image below.

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2. Under the billing section, please click on the “Purchase services” option as shown in the image below.

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3. Once you click on the “Purchase service “option it will take you to a page where you can see the list of services that’s available for you to purchase as shown in the image below.

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4. Choose the one that you’re looking for, you can either go for a trial subscription or purchase it completely. In my case I’ve chosen the “Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 “service as shown in the image below.

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5. Once done it will take you to the screen where it says “Try now “, please click on it as shown in the image below.

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6. After that you would be taken to the Order receipt page where you can see your confirmation number as well as your Order details. Please review it and click on Continue as shown in the image below.

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7. So, this concludes the process of purchasing a new service, you can validate this by going to the “Subscriptions “section under the “Billing “category in the Office 365 admin center as shown in the image below. You should be able to see the service that already existed and the one you purchased now.

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8. In addition to that you can also run the “Get-MsolAccountSku “command to verify it.

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Thanks for reading this post …..Good luck with Office 365 !!!

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Recording of my Webinar on SharePoint Online Communication Sites:

Webinar logo

Webinar Recording :_ https://youtu.be/rmpdFA0XiAg

Link to the PPT Slides :_ https://www.slideshare.net/VigneshGanesanMCPMCI/overview-of-communication-sites-in-sharepoint-online

Please keep checking my blog site for more webinars and useful articles .

Get to know Microsoft 365:

e1.pngYep you read it correctly, it’s not Microsoft Office 365 and its Microsoft 365. Well by saying so I didn’t mean that Microsoft Office 365 is going away or it’s getting renamed as Microsoft 365. This is a new service which was introduced by Satya Nadella 2 days back on Microsoft Inspire which brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. I’m sure most of you would have already read about this today and if not please take a moment in reading this article where I’ve explained in detail about Microsoft 365 and what are the services it delivers and how it can enhance your business.

  1. What is Microsoft 365?

Well as I already mentioned above this is a new service which was introduced by Microsoft two days back which brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

  1. Is this something new or was this service already present?

To be very precise, this isn’t something new and in fact this is the successor of the most successful service , “Secure Productive Enterprise” which was introduced by Microsoft on October 2016 .

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  1. What happens to Secure Productive Service now?

Moving further, Secure Productive Service would be replaced by Microsoft 365.

  1. Do we have different flavors in Microsoft 365 as well like Secure Productive Enterprise?

Yes, we have two flavors in Microsoft 365, 1. Microsoft 365 Business which is meant for small organizations and 2. Microsoft 365 Enterprise which is meant for large organizations

  1. What are these two flavors meant for and how can they enhance my business?

Microsoft 365 Enterprise:

  1. Unlocks creativity by enabling people to work naturally with ink, voice and touch, all backed by tools that utilize AI and machine learning.
  2. Provides the broadest and deepest set of apps and services with a universal toolkit for teamwork, giving people flexibility and choice in how they connect, share and communicate.
  3. Simplifies IT by unifying management across users, devices, apps and services.
  4. Helps safeguard customer data, company data and intellectual property with built-in, intelligent security.

Microsoft 365 Business:

  1. Helps companies achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers and suppliers.
  2. Empowers employees to get work done from anywhere, on any device.
  3. Protects company data across devices with always-on security.
  4. Simplifies the set-up and management of employee devices and services with a single IT console.
  5. How about the plans for Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is available in two plans, E3 and E5

  1. When would Microsoft 365 be made available for the public?

Microsoft 365 Enterprise will be available for purchase from August 1st, 2017 onwards. You get to purchase both the plans (E3 & E5)

Microsoft 365 Business will be available in public preview on August 2nd, 2017. It will become generally available on a worldwide basis in the fall of 2017, priced at US $20 per user, per month.

  1. How do I get to know more about the services and features available in both the flavors of Microsoft 365 ?

        Please go through the links below to know more about the features and services available in both the flavors.

For Business: _ https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/business

For Enterprise: _ https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/enterprise

Thanks for reading the post. Good luck with Microsoft 365.

 

PowerShell to on-board list of users to Office 365 and assign them Office 365 licenses:

1.jpgOffice 365 is a SaaS platform which is  being used by many organizations these days and it becomes quite hard for IT administrators to on-board their users to Office 365 manually .Of course , this may not be the case when your user identities gets synced to Azure AD from on-premises AD using AAD connect tool .However, if you’re one of the organizations who totally buried all your IT infrastructure implementation and decided to go with a Cloud implementation completely then possibilities are such that you as an IT administrator should take care of on-boarding your users to Azure AD .As we all know , this is indeed quite a time consuming task if we have to do it manually and then assign the appropriate licenses to all the users . So, to surpass all those manual effort, I’ve put together this PowerShell script which will do the magic for you. Alright, let’s get into the details ….

1.Sign-in to your Office 365 admin center using your global admin account and navigate to the “Active users” section as shown in the image below.

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2.At this moment, you might see only the user account which was used to set-up the Office 365 tenant.

Note: In my case, you might see 3 users as I manually created them using the “Add a user “option.

3.Create a CSV file which has the details of all your users by following the guidelines mentioned in this article. The below mentioned screenshot depicts the CSV file which I’ve prepared which has the list of all my users.

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4. Once done, please login to the PowerShell window and type the below mentioned command as shown in the image below. This will tell you the type of license that your tenant is using and how many licenses have been utilized till now.

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Note : In my case you can notice that my tenant is on  Office 365 E5 Enterprise E5 plan +EMS  (Enterprise Mobility ) and it also displays how many licenses have been consumed till now .

5. Prior to running the above command, please ensure that you’re connected to your Office 365 tenant via PowerShell, if not please follow the below article to do that first.

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn975125.aspx

6. Now, let’s specify the required variables for the PowerShell script.

$UsersToAdd = Import-Csv C:\Users\Vignesh\Documents\Import_User_Sample_en.csv

$LicenseToAdd = “sptech80:ENTERPRISEPREMIUM” à This information can be grabbed from the Get-MsolAccountSKU command which we ran in the above step.

$UsageLocation = “US”

$LicenseOptions = New-MsolLicenseOptions -AccountSkuId $LicenseToAdd

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7.Once you’re done specifying the required variables, please go ahead and run the below mentioned PowerShell command as shown in the image.

$UsersToAdd | ForEach-Object {

New-MsolUser –UserPrincipalName $_.UserPrincipalName -DisplayName $_.DisplayName

Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName $_.UserPrincipalName -UsageLocation $UsageLocation

Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName $_.UserPrincipalName -AddLicenses $LicenseToAdd -LicenseOptions $LicenseOptions

}

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8.You may notice that your users are getting created after running the script as shown in the image above and the licensing tab might display the status as “False”. That’s due to the time taken for the script to reflect the licensing details as it first creates the user and then assigns the license to the user’s account. This is quite normal and hence you don’t need to panic about the “isLicensed” column

9. You can verify the status of the users as well as the licenses assigned to them by running the “Get-MsolUser” command. This time it should display the licensing details correctly.

10. Additionally, you can also navigate to the “Active users” section to verify the same.

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Thanks for reading this post ….Good luck with Office 365 !!!

What is Secure Score in Office 365?

Secure-Keyboard-Hero

This post is on a new service which was introduced by Microsoft couple of months back called as “Office 365 Secure Score “. If you’ve ever wondered how secure your Office 365 tenant really is, then it’s time about time now to stop wondering because we have “Secure Score “now to take care of that. So, what’s this new service called as Office 365 secure score? What does it do? How do I make use of it? …. Well, I’m going to answer all those questions that you have in your mind about Office 365 secure score in this article and you will also learn about how to make use of this service to enhance your business with Office 365. Alright, let’s get started …. Shall we?

What is Office 365 secure score?

This is how Microsoft defines Office 365 secure score … “The Secure Score is a security analytics tool that will help you understand what you have done to reduce the risk to your data in Office 365, and show you what you can do to further reduce that risk “. To put it in very simple words, it’s a tool that runs on the background and checks the security standards of all the service used by you as an organization (i.e. SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Skype for Business Online, Azure AD etc. …) and assigns a credit score.

What’ the idea behind Office 365 secure score?

The approach by Microsoft to this experience was very simple. First, they created a full inventory of all the security configurations and behaviors that customers can do to mitigate risks to their data in Office 365 (there are about 77 such things in total). Then, they evaluated the extent to which each of those controls mitigated a specific set of risks and awarded the control some points. More points means a more effective control for that risk. Lastly, they measured the extent to which the service has adopted the recommended controls, add up the points, and present it as a single score.

How to use Office 365 secure score?  

  1. The first thing you would notice once you login to the secure score portal is the welcome screen (check the screenshot below) which gives you a small definition about Office 365 secure score. In the below mentioned screenshot I’ve logged into the secure score portal of my Office 365 tenant by accessing this URL (i.e. https://securescore.office.com/ ) and I get this screen which gives me a welcome message about Office 365 secure score.

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Note: If you already logged into your tenant you can directly access the Secure Score URL which I mentioned above and it will allow you inside the portal without prompting for your credentials once again.

2. Once you read all the welcome messages about Secure score you will get two different tabs as shown in the image below.

                    i)Dashboard.

                   ii )Score Analyzer.

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3. The first tab which says “Dashboard” is where you get to see the secure score summary. This panel gives you your current Secure Score, and the total number of points that are available to you, given your subscription level, the date that your score was measured, as well as a simple pie chart of your score. The denominator of your score is not intended to be a goal number to achieve. The full set of controls includes several that are very aggressive and will potentially have an adverse impact on your users’ productivity. Your goal should be to optimize your action to take every possible risk mitigating action while preserving your users’ productivity. The below mentioned screenshot depicts the secure score summary of my Office 365 tenant where I’ve scored 61 out of 344 as on May 27, 2017.

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4. The next section on the “Dashboard” tab after the “Secure score summary” section would be the section which tells how to improve your score. It gives you the targeted score that you can achieve for your tenant and lists out the action items to improve your score. You can make use of the slider to preview your improved score as shown in the image below.

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5. The next section will list out all the pending action items that I’m supposed to complete to achieve the maximum score.

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6. Now, let’s look at few pending action items to see what it means and how it would impact my Secure score in Office 365.

i) Designate less than 5 global admins:

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This one says that I should designate less than 5 global administrators for Office 365 tenant and in my case, I’ve breached it by making it as 6. Hence, it’ asking me to correct it and it also gives me an overview about the score I would get by doing so.

ii) Enable MFA for all global admins:

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This one says that I have to enable Multi factor authentication for all my 6 global admin accounts as none of accounts have that enabled and this is considered to be a security breach. It also tells me that I can achieve a score of 50 by doing so.

7) The next section under the “Dashboard” tab is the “Risk Assessment “section which gives me an overview about the top threats in my tenant. It is very important that Office 365 global administrators should read this and understand the risks they are mitigating every time they take an action.

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Let’s look at the “Account breach” scenario here and see the details about the risk.

19Compare your score:

The Office 365 Average Secure Score is calculated from every Office 365 customer’s Secure Score. You can use this section to understand how your score stacks up against the average score.

Note: The Average Secure Score only includes the numerator of the score, not the denominator. So, the average points may be higher than you can achieve because there are points in controls associated with services that you have not purchased (meaning , you might be using a different plan such as E3 whereas other customers might be using E5 or other plans) .

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Alright, now let’s look at the “Score Analyzer” tab in the Secure Score portal.

Score Analyzer:

As of now, it’s only the global administrators who have access to the “Secure Score “portal and in the future, it would be made available to other administrators as well such as SharePoint Online administrator, Exchange Online administrator & Skype for Business administrator. However, in the interim you can use the “Score Analyzer “tab to export the secure score results and share it with your executives or stakeholders or other administrators (i.e. SharePoint Online, Exchange Online etc.)  so that they’re aware of the progress that’s made on risk mitigation in Office 365. The Score Analyzer experience allows you to review a line graph of your score over time, to export the audit of your control measurements for the selected day to either a PDF or a CSV, and to review what controls you have earned points for, and which ones you could act on.

  1. The below mentioned image depicts the “Score Analyzer” tab of my secure score portal.

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2. I can make use of the “Export “button on the top right corner to export these results in PDF & CSV format.

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3. It also gives you an overview of all the “Complete “and “Incomplete” actions and the scores associated to those action items as shown in the image below.

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4 .The “Complete “and “Incomplete” actions are classified based on three different categories as you see below (i.e. Account, Data & Device)

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5. Finally, I can make use of the “Export “button which I mentioned above to export the results to a PDF/CSV Please check the image below to see a sample report.

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So finally, to conclude, the Secure Score is indeed a great tool to keep your Office 365 tenant as secure as possible and at the same time you need to be aware that the Secure Score does not express an absolute measure of how likely you are to get breached. It expresses the extent to which you have adopted controls which can offset the risk of being breached. No service can guarantee that you will not be breached, and the Secure Score should not be interpreted as a guarantee in any way.

Resources to know in detail about Secure Score in Office 365:

Microsoft Mechanics video on Office 365 Secure Score: https://youtu.be/h__nxWlm5Nc

Office 365 Secure Score API:  https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/office365security/using-the-office-365-secure-score-api/

You can also check my Webinar recording on Office 365 where I’ve shown a small demo on Office 365 secure score. Here’s the link to that: https://youtu.be/HYcfXWN30O0

Thanks for reading this post …. Good luck with Secure Score in Office 365!!!

 

Recording of my Webinar on Getting started with Microsoft Office 365 :

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Webinar Recording :_ https://youtu.be/HYcfXWN30O0

Link to the PPT Slides :_https://www.slideshare.net/VigneshGanesanMCPMCI/getting-started-with-microsoft-office-365-by-vignesh-ganesan

Please keep checking my blog site for more webinars and useful articles .

 

What is Customer Lock box in Office 365?

1.png“Customer Lock box” –This terminology was something new to me until I heard it at Microsoft Tech Summit this year .There was one of these sessions which I was attending on Office 365 and the speaker was talking about this feature .Sadly only few folks in the room were aware of it and I was one among those folks who haven’t heard that terminology before.

Anyways, now that I’m aware of it I decided to write an article on it so that my readers get to understand about this cool feature in Office 365 and they can start using it in their Office 365 tenants.

So what is Customer Lockbox? To put it in simple words, it’s a feature that’s available in Office 365 to ensure that there’s zero interaction by Microsoft on your contents that’s saved in Office 365(i.e. SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Skype for Business Online etc…)

Roughly around couple of years back Microsoft has come up with this feature to maximize the data security and privacy for Office 365 customers by ensuring that there’s zero interaction with the customer’s content by Microsoft engineers.

Almost all the service operations performed by Microsoft are either fully automated so there is no human interaction, or the human involvement is abstracted away from the customer’s content that’s stored in Office 365.

Only during some circumstances where something is broken in your tenant and you raised a support case for that , Microsoft engineers will access your content to fix it .So with this feature  Microsoft enforces access control through multiple levels of approval, providing just-in-time access with limited and time-bound authorization. In addition to that all access control activities performed by the Microsoft engineer does gets logged and audited.

The below mentioned image depicts the complete approval process:

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So with this feature Microsoft has given their assurance to its customers that their content will not be accessed by Microsoft employees without their explicit approval. It brings customers into the access approval process, requiring the customer to provide explicit approval of access to their content by a Microsoft employee for service operations.

Now that we have understood about this feature lets take a look on how this complete process works ….

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Let’s consider a scenario where-in something is broken in SharePoint Online or Exchange Online and you raised a support case for that. The engineer upon reviewing your request feels that he/she might need access to your Exchange/SharePoint Online content to fix it .So this is how the process flows when you have Customer Lock box turned on in your tenant.

  1. Administrators in the customer’s Office 365 environment are notified via email that there is a request for access as shown in the image below.

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2. In addition to this the Office 365 Admin Center portal will also display requests that have been submitted to the customer for approval as shown in the image below.

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3. You as an Office 365 administrator can approve or reject Customer Lock box requests. Check the image below where you get the option to approve or reject a request.

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4. Microsoft can only proceed following approval of a Customer Lock box request. See the image below where the customer has approved a request by the engineer.

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5. If a customer rejects a Customer Lock box request, no access to customer content will occur.

Note: Customer Lock box requests have a default lifetime of 12 hours; after which they expire. Expired requests do not result in access to customer content.

Enabling Customer Lockbox in the Office 365 admin center:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 admin center
  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.
  3. Navigate to Settings > Security & privacy and scroll to locate Customer Lock box

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4. Click Edit and move the toggle on or off to turn lock box requests on or off.

9.pngApprove or deny a Customer Lock box request in the Office 365 admin center:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 admin center
  2. Go to the office 365 admin center
  3. Navigate to Settings > Support > Service requests.

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4. Select a customer lock box request, and then select Approve or Reject.

5. This is how the view looks in the new Office 365 admin center .Check the image below.

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How to avail Customer Lock box for Office 365?

Customer Lock box for Office 365 will be available as part of a new premium Office 365 Enterprise Suite called E5

Thanks for reading this post ….I hope you will enable this feature in your Office 365 admin center which gives an extra layer of security to your contents in Office 365.

Terminologies one must be aware of in Office 365:

Listed below are the few important topologies one must be aware of while working on Office 365.Office 365

  1. Active Directory Federated Services (AD FS):

On-premises security token service (STS) that provides simplified, secure identity federation and Web single sign-on (SSO) capabilities for users who want to access applications within an AD FS-secured enterprise, in federation partner organizations, or in the cloud. Federated identities with Modern Authentication-enabled clients interoperate with EvoSTS, which is the Azure AD STS.

AD FS indirectly supports CA scenarios, as it offers a set of controls known as client access filtering that allow the creation of perimeter network-based policies for IP range filtering, accessed workload, or client type (browser vs rich client).

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

Protects access to data and applications by requiring a second form of authentication. Strong authentication is available through a range of verification options.

  1. Azure Active Directory Premium:

All CA scenarios that leverage Azure AD require Azure AD Premium. Azure AD Premium adds feature-rich enterprise-level identity management capabilities and enables hybrid users to seamlessly access on-premises and cloud capabilities. It includes everything you need for information worker and identity administrators in hybrid environments across application access, self-service identity and access management, identity protection and security in the cloud.

  1. Azure Rights Management Services (RMS):

Uses encryption, identity, and authorization policies to protect files and email. Information protection that is applied by using Azure RMS stays with the files and emails independently of the location, allowing customers to remain in control of their data even when this data is in motion.

  1. Conditional Access (CA):

CA allows customers to selectively allow or disallow access to Office 365 based on attributes such as device enrollment, network location, group membership, etc.

  1. Device-based CA restricts access to devices that are managed by the organization and are in a healthy state. Device-based CA is a feature of Intune. Users must enroll their devices in Intune and validate that the device meets the organization’s access rules regarding device health and security.
  2. There are other CA scenarios that do not require device enrollment, such as restrict access only from specific locations. These scenarios do not require Intune and are provided through Azure AD Premium access control features.
  1. Data Loss Prevention (DLP):

Helps identify and monitor sensitive information, such as private identification numbers, credit card numbers, or standard forms used in your organization. DLP Policies enable you to notify users that they are sending sensitive information and to block the transmission of sensitive information.

  1. Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS):

Provides identity and access management, MDM, MAM and Azure RMS. Intune is a part of EMS.

  1. Microsoft Intune (Intune):

Intune is a cloud-based service that helps you manage Windows PCs, and iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices. Intune also helps protect corporate applications and data. You can use Intune alone or you can integrate it with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 to extend your management capabilities.

  1. Mobile Application Management (MAM):

Controls how corporate-managed applications work and interact with other managed applications and unmanaged applications (e.g., provides the ability to restrict user actions such as copy, paste, download, etc.). Available through Intune.

  1. Mobile Device Management (MDM):

Provides the ability to configure mobile device policies, such as enforcing complex PINs or passwords, blocking devices that have been jail broken or rooted from syncing email, disabling Bluetooth, etc. Available through Office 365 MDM and Intune.

  1. Modern Authentication:

Provides OAuth-based authentication for Office clients against Office 365 using Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL). Replaces the Microsoft Office Sign-In Assistant. Allows for CA policies, so administrators can define granular applications and device-based controls for corporate resources.

Thanks for reading this post ….Good luck with Office 365 !!!

 

 

Sync button missing in SharePoint Online doc library -Project site template:

Alright, so this article is going to be a simple one where I’ll be sharing my recent experience with SharePoint Online where the ‘’Sync Button “which you see on the document library went missing all of a sudden. If you’re not sure about what I’m talking, this image below should help you understand.

Sync 1.pngSo couple of days back ,  a user  who’s always known for finding bugs in SharePoint called me and said , ‘”Hey the Sync button is missing in SharePoint Online doc library ….” . I felt like, that’s not possible and I wanted to double check that. So I went ahead and took a look at the document library on a SharePoint Online team site and found that nothing is wrong with the “Sync button” and it was showing up perfectly fine.

So I took a look at the URL which he was referring to and found that it was missing which was really bizarre to me. Upon digging further I found that the site which he was referring to was a “Project Site “and the one which I tried first was a “Team site”. Now things got really interesting and I did some testing to isolate this issue. I tried reproducing this issue in different site templates and found that this was something specific to “Project site “(top level sites as well as subsites that make use of Project site template) alone. As this is on SharePoint Online I raised a premier support case to know what Microsoft had to say about this. The support engineer checked with the product group team and informed that this is a bug which was caused post the “New Experience” rollout which was released by MS few months back and it seems that many customers have already reported this issue to them.

If you’re hearing this for the first time, please take a look at this link below to understand this feature named “New Experience”.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Switch-the-default-experience-for-lists-or-document-libraries-from-new-or-classic-66dac24b-4177-4775-bf50-3d267318caa9?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

Finally, based on my testing what I identified is listed below:

  1. On SharePoint Online Team sites, I don’t see this issue. Please check the image below …

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2. On SharePoint Online Project sites, I can see this issue .Please check the image below (the sync button is missing)….

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Note: MS has checked and confirmed that this issue is a known bug and will take at-least 3 to 6 months to get this fixed. Also as per MS it seems that this issue persists on other site templates also apart from “Project sites “.However, I didn’t get a chance to try them yet. So just in case you get a call or may be an email from users about this issue, please be informed that this is a known bug at the moment and will be fixed in 3 to 6 months’ time.

Workaround:  The workaround for this is to…. Go to the library settings –> Go to advanced settings –>Change the option in the list experience from New to Classic experience as shown in the image below. By doing so you’re switching back to previous document library experience.

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Once you do that, you will notice the “Sync button” on a SharePoint Online Project site document library as shown in the image below.

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Thanks for reading this post…. I hope this would save your time in troubleshooting this issue.  Happy SharePointing!!!

 

Microsoft Teams in Office 365

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I hope everyone would agree to the fact that Office 365 has been one among the best products Microsoft has delivered till date and it’s good to see Microsoft adding a lot of new features and functionalities to the Office 365 suite every now and then. Today many organizations have started choosing Office 365 over on-premises Microsoft products as they’re easy to use and manage and in addition to that you get to remain up to date with all the latest updates.

  1. SharePoint provides intranets and content management solutions to more than 200,000 organizations and 190 million people.
  2. Yammer is the social network for work, enabling cross-company discussions for 85 percent of the Fortune 500.
  3. Skype for Business provides real-time voice, video and conferencing and hosts more than 100 million meetings a month.
  4. Office 365 Groups is our cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another.

Today in this article, we will be discussing about “Microsoft Teams “, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365 that has built-in access to SharePoint Online, OneNote & Skype for Business Online. It was recently introduced by Microsoft couple of months back and acts as a hub for team chats, calls, meetings, and private messages.

Microsoft Teams mainly focuses on these four areas ….

  1. Chat for today’s teams
  2. A hub for teamwork
  3. Customizable for each team
  4. Security teams trust

Let’s look on all these areas and understand how Microsoft teams is built to support all these four areas that can enhance business as well as user experience.

  1. Chat for today’s teams:

It provides a modern conversation experience for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams supports not only persistent but also threaded chats to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations are, by default, visible to the entire team, but there is of course the ability for private discussions. Skype is deeply integrated, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences. You can also add emoji’s, stickers, GIFs and custom memes to make it their own.

  1. A hub for teamwork:

Microsoft Teams is built on Office 365 Groups and is backed by Microsoft Graph. So, it brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365 to provide a true hub for teamwork. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are all built into Microsoft Teams so people have all the information and tools they need at their fingertips.

  1. Customizable for each team:

Since all teams are unique, Microsoft has invested deeply in ways for people to customize their workspace, with rich extensibility and open APIs available at general availability. For example, Tabs provides quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. Microsoft Teams also shares the same Connector model as Exchange, providing notifications and updates from third-party services like Twitter or GitHub. In addition to that Microsoft has also included full support for the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into your team environment

  1. Security teams trust:

Microsoft Teams is designed in such a manner that it provides the advanced security and compliance capabilities that our Office 365 customers expect. Data is encrypted in transit and at rest. Like all other commercial services, Microsoft has implemented a transparent operational model with no standing access to customer data. Microsoft Teams will support key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more. In addition to that, Microsoft Teams is served out of our hyper-scale global network of data centers, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 service.

Availability of Microsoft Teams:

As of now Microsoft Teams is on preview mode and its general availability details can be found below.

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Subscription details for Microsoft Teams:

If you have a personal Office 365 subscription, you won’t be able to access Microsoft Teams. To access the app, you need one of the following Office 365 license plans:

  1. Business Essentials
  2. Business Premium
  3. Enterprise E1, E3, or E5
  4. Enterprise E4 (for anyone who purchased this plan prior to its retirement)

Note: If you’re licensed for a suite plan like Office 365 Education or a non-suite plan like Skype for Business Online Plan 2, then you won’t be able to get the app. You need to change your license or purchase additional licenses for your company.

Alright, I guess we have now see enough about Microsoft teams. So, let’s see how to enable this in your Office 365 tenant so that your end users in your organization can start using this.

Note: I’ve chosen India in the county field while signing up for Office 365 and I’m able to see Microsoft teams in my tenant. If you’re not seeing that in your tenant it could be because you’re choosing a country where this feature is not available yet.

Turning on Microsoft teams in Office 365 tenant:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.
  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center as shown in the image below and click on the app launcher. You can optionally click on “Admin” option as shown below.

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3. Click on “Admin” as shown in the image below.

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4. Navigate to Settings and click on “Services & add-ins” as shown below.

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5. On the Services & add-ins home page, choose Microsoft Teams as shown in the image below.

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6. On the Microsoft Teams settings page that opens, click or tap to switch the toggle to the on position to turn on Teams for your organization, and then choose Save.Once you’re done you will be redirected to the Microsoft teams home page as shown in the image below and this where you need to enable the features specific to Microsoft teams.

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7. On the Microsoft Teams settings page, in the General section, you can choose if you want to show an organization chart in user profiles. By default, this setting is turned on. To change this setting, click or tap to switch the toggle next to Show organization chart in personal profile to Off or On, and then choose Save.

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8. In the Teams & Channel section you can manage team owners and members by using the Groups control panel in the Office 365 admin center portal. At this time, you cannot create teams from the Groups control panel – teams must be created by using the Microsoft Teams desktop client or web app which we will be discussing later in his article.

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9. In the Calls & Meetings section, you can choose if users can use video and screen sharing during calls and meetings as shown in the image below.

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10. In the Messaging section, you can turn on or turn off media content such as animated images, memes, and stickers etc.

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Note: To turn on or turn off animated images, click or tap the toggle switch next to Add fun animated images to the conversations, and then choose Save. When animated images are turned on, you can apply a content rating to restrict the type of animated images that can be displayed in conversations. You can set the Content Rating to be one of the following:

  1. Strict
  2. Moderate
  3. No restriction

To turn on or turn off custom memes, click or tap the toggle switch next to Add customizable images from the Internet, and then choose Save.

To turn on or turn off stickers, click or tap the toggle switch next to Add editable images to the conversations, and then choose Save.

  1. The Tabs section, let you customize a channel to include content and capabilities your team needs every day. They provide quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services. In the preview release, there are several built-in tabs such as Files and Notes. In the Microsoft Teams client, at the top of the channel, users can add tabs for Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, OneNote notebooks, Power BI reports, and plans from Planner.
  2. You can turn on Tabs as shown in the image below.

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Please check the Tabs section in my “Microsoft teams” desktop client below.

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13. Finally, you can enable Bots as shown in the image below

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Note: Using Bots, Microsoft Teams users can complete tasks such as querying information and performing commands by using bots. Users can also integrate your existing LOB applications with Microsoft Teams by using a bot.

To prevent or allow side-loading of proprietary bots, click or tap to switch the toggle next to Enable side loading of external Bots, and then choose Save.

Finally, once all the features are enabled this is how the Microsoft teams home page will look like…

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Point to Note:

Although the Office 365 Global administrator has turned on this feature in the tenant end users may not see the Microsoft Teams app tile in the app launcher after an admin turns on Microsoft Teams for an organization. Admins can direct end users to go to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads to get the desktop apps. To access the web client, users can go to https://teams.microsoft.com. For mobile apps, go to the relevant mobile store for Google Play, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store.

Desktop client for Microsoft teams:

The below mentioned image depicts the desktop client for Microsoft teams using which I can create my team. You can do the same using web client as well.

Desktop client for Microsoft teams:

You need to sign in with your Office 365 credentials in the desktop client.

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Web client for Microsoft teams:

You can check the web client below which opens on a browser and you can also notice that I’ve created my team in the image below.

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Creating a team:

You need to use the Create Team on the bottom left of your screen as shown in the image below to create teams. In addition to you also have a “settings” option on the left corner which can help you turn on and off certain features.

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Conversations in Microsoft Teams:

You can notice some conversations happening between the users in my team in the image below. You can mention a user, reply to a message and like a conversation or a reply.

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In addition to that as mentioned earlier, you can add emoji’s to your conversations, attach files and also use the video camera icon to create new video meetings.

Adding a Tab:

Finally, you can add tabs using the “+” symbol as shown in the image below to add documents & One Note files to your conversations. You can notice that I’ve added a One Note file to my conversations in the image below

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Microsoft teams is truly phenomenal and is a great way for users to communicate within themselves in a team . Please turn this on for your users so that they can enjoy this great application.

Thanks for reading this post …. Good luck with Microsoft teams in Office 365!!!