Office 365 Pro Plus Shared Computer Activation

Shared computer activation can be enabled by editing the configuration XML file (part of the Office Deployment Tool) to include the following lines:

<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="True" /> 
<Property Name="SharedComputerLicensing" Value="1" />

Any licensed user who subsequently uses the computer to run Office 365 Pro Plus will be able to (and will be granted a temporary token).  The temporary token does not count against the user’s 5 computer limit, and a user can have a ‘reasonable’ number of tokens on various shared computers.

For more details please see: Overview of shared computer activation for Office 365 ProPlus


Azure AD Connect Pass-through authentication

Azure AD Connect build 1.1.371.0 introduced Pass-through authentication (Preview).  Pass-through authentication can be used by many organisations as an alternative to AD-FS.  Jeff Guillet has published a very good article explaining how this technology works at ENow Software

Migrate Users between Office 365 Tenants

Microsoft have written a fairly comprehensive guide to the migration of accounts between Office 365 complete with sample PowerShell code.  Unfortunately the article is lacking in detail about how to move Email and SharePoint data but it has a good explanation of how to move the accounts.  The article can be found here, but an overview of the steps is listed below.

  1. Export a list of users from the original tenant.
  2. Create users in the new tenant from the information gathered at #1.  If their email domain will be changing they can be created with the new domain name, otherwise they will need creating witht email addresses.
  3. Point the MX record to a service that will store emails for you.
  4. Remove all references of the domain name from the old tenant.
    1. Change the name of the public sharepoint site if you have one.
    2. Remove Skype for Business licenses to remove SIP addresses.
    3. Change users to domain
    4. Get-MSOLUser -DomainName will list any objects that need modifying
  5. Remove the domain from the old tenant.
  6. Add the domain name to the new tenant.
  7. Change addresses in the new tenant to use the domain name
  8. Point your MX record back to Office 365.
  9. Retrieve your stored emails from th3 host you setup at #3
  10. Re-configure Outlook profiles and delete nickname caches.
  11. Export mail from old tenant and import into new.

Add Customised Help

By going to Company Profile and filling in a help desk card (under Custom Help Desk) you can provide a sort title and contact details that users can see when the click on help.

Using Discovery Search Mailboxes

Discovery Search Mailboxes are arguably less used in Exchange 2013 (and Exchange online) than they were in Exchange 2010.  This is mainly due to the additional options for handing search results available in the the Exchange Admin Center.  An added factor to this is that the Mailboxes themselves can not be managed from the Exchange Admin Center, making it harder to both assign permission to the mailbox and make them visible so administrators can open them.

Should you wish to do these tasks, the syntax is:

To assign permissions:

Get-Mailbox –RecipientTypeDetails Discovery |Add-MailboxPermission –User –AccessRights FullAccess –InheritanceType All

To make visible in address lists so can be opened:

Get-Mailbox –RecipientTypeDetails Discovery | Set-Mailbox –HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled $False


Increased maximum email size (150MB)

Until now, the maximum email size in Office 365 was 25 MB.  If users wanted to ‘send’ larger document they could store the file in OneDrive for business and email a link to it.

From April 2015, the maximum possible email size has been increased to 150 MB to allow direct sending of larger messages, however existing mailboxes will initially retain their current values.

The default maximum message size for the organization can be increased and this will apply to all new mailboxes, but existing mailboxes will need to be manually edited to change their maximum message size.


Latest Exchange Updates (March 2015)

Microsoft have released the latest updates to Exchange.  The updates are:

  • Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 8
  • Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 9
  • Exchange Server 2007 SP3 Update Rollup 16

Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 8 includes the following updates to Public Folders:

  • Migrated hierarchies can now contain up to 500,000 folders.
  • New hierarchies can now contain up to 1,000,000 folders.
  • Calendar and Contact Public Folder favorites added in Outlook are now accessible in OWA

In addition to these changes, Activesync Users who are migrated from on premise Exchange to Office 365 will no longer have to manually update their EAS profile.  See here for more details.

Office 365 Internet Bandwidth usage

Using Office 365 will increase your organisation’s Internet traffic, so it is important to evaluate and assess the network impact of the various services. To help with this, Microsoft have some capacity planning tools available.

These tools include:

  • The OneDrive for Business Client Network Bandwidth Calculator. Link
  • The Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator. Link
  • The Lync 2010 and 2013 Bandwidth Calculator. Link

More details about the planning can be found here.

Disable Group Creation

In September 2014, Office 365 announced the “first phase of Groups in Office 365”.  Although Groups already existed, this heralded a new collaboration tool that would be universally accessible from Outlook, Lync and SharePoint environments including Yammer.  These groups, by default, can be created by normal users.

However, not all Office 365 administrators are delighted with the thought of users provisioning groups and may want to limit this functionality.  The ability to create groups (or not) is controlled with OWA Mailbox Policies.  Currently, the option to disable this is not in the GUI, so needs to be done using PowerShell.  The Syntax to disable collaboration group creation is:

Set-OWAMailboxPolicy –Identity <ID> -GroupCreationEnabled $false