Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Let’s saddle up and apply Adaptive Scopes to Retention and Label Policies

course updates. I am also back on the circuit courtesy of aMS Germany and Power Platform France. As always, thank you to the organisers for having me. Yet, despite all this good stuff I am also acutely aware that I haven't done any technical writing on the blog since the day before I got Covid - and as my good friend Vesku Nopanen released one today on the new Whiteboarding features in Teams, the situation demands I write. So where to start? Having effectively had two months off I can certainly say I am not in short supply of subject matter - but one that I thought I would start on since I am really interested in it is adaptive scopes for retention and label policies.

Microsoft Ignite 2021: My Schedule, 10 for Teams and Everything Else I’d Recommend

Like Inspire earlier this year; this Ignite will be my 4th. Having just got back from surviving Covid I don't mind admitting to you that I'm completely unprepared this time around. I wish I could tell you differently. Yet if I had said something different a.) I'd be lying and b.) that's really the reality when you are out of the loop for a month working in cloud. Saying that; I am actually looking forward to this Ignite probably more than any other since it's been held virtually. Why? We are going to hear a lot about Teams, about Collaborative Apps and Fluid. We are going to hear more on Windows 11 and Windows 365. We are going to hear more on Viva and probably the recent acquisition of Ally.io. We'll hear about the new Stream and how it continues to evolve, more about new devices and form factors, and a slew of new features for the Power Platform which will continue to fuel its prodigious growth. We'll see how Yammer is changing and how SharePoint is being fused increasingly with teams, yet at the same time broken apart and siloed into apps as it's services are pulled through. But you know, we are going to hear the word Hybrid most of all. It's going to be used in this event like never before. And it'll be used alongside resilience, and agility, and analytics, and zero trust. We may even hear more about that new kid on the block digital optimism. So why am I so interested in all this? Rather than just about the tech? As an event organiser myself I am always interested in fleshing out the narrative: the overall story of the conference which binds all these subjects and sessions together. Well, if you've been around and followed what Microsoft's been up to during the course of the pandemic then that narrative hasn't really changed all that much. It been coming to fruition, playing out, following the script to use idioms. Cast yourself back to Judson Althoff's session at Inspire 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic it was about being first responders; it was all about survival. As we meandered through the pandemic and the lockdowns it was about supporting recovery. Now its time for the the third act. As vaccine development has helped us begin to manage Covid and countries and economies start opening up it's now about the reimagining and the rebuilding. And what that constitutes is what Microsoft is doubling down on. Hybrid. Hybrid which posits that a.) we are going to go through something like this or something similar again and b.) Something that is almost inevitable given our experiences during the past 2 years. But you know, it's not a particularly earth shattering or revolutionary insight. Most of us know or have personally experienced that some people want to work alongside others in person or have to because of their roles. We also know that some people want to work from home as it benefits their personal life or their views on - for example - sustainability. Again, we also know others want a mix of both. So in fairness many of us didn't need Covid or the experience of it for what we already knew. Yet, the why as in why Microsoft is going all in on Hybrid? Its because for them it represents the greatest opportunity. Hybrid is the greatest opportunity for mitigating what we've all just been through. It's the greatest opportunity for creating a permanent change to the way that we work, and for real meaningful social change. But let's not forget too: hybrid represents the greatest return on their investment for what they have been investing in for many years. And don't forget - it what's going to keep us all in the job as technicians; it's where Microsoft is focusing their innovations

My Experience of Covid-19

I've been away from the community for what feels like a long time. Of course, I say a long time but in reality its only really been a month. On Monday 23rd August I woke up as I usually do around 7am feeling completely out of sorts; and two days later having taking two lateral flow tests and spending most of the previous 48 hours in bed both of them confirmed what I was anticipating. I had contracted Covid-19. Since returning to work last week a few people have asked what my experience was like. By experience they mean what was it like to get a severe case of Covid-19 and be hospitalized by the disease? How bad was it? Because after all its been well documented that you can have Covid-19 and not experience any symptoms at all. On the other hand I am sure most of us are aware of the huge number of global deaths resulting from this disease since the pandemic began. John Hopkins shows it being well on it's way to about 5 million people

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Let’s get 100% on Teams Items in Microsoft 365 Secure Score

Last week I was in a bit of a funk. I just couldn't think of something to write about Teams. I mean, sure, at this point I've pretty much been writing about Teams weekly for over two years so it's probably not a surprise that the well runs dry occasionally. But there's also times where subject matter for blogs simply spring out of thin air. This was one. I was doing something like making my son's sandwich in the kitchen for lunch last Monday and there it was. You see the thing about me is I don't plan blogs. I don't have a list or an excel on my machine indexing what I am going to write about over the course of next few months. I'm much more clandestine and transactional. Basically I sit down and make something up on the spot, or if my memory is working as it should be take something I have thought about during the week and go with that. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes I absolutely stitch myself up if the subject matter ends up being long. Overall? It kind of works out. So this week the thought was on Teams items in Secure Score. Secure Score is concerned with the measurement of an organization's security posture; a higher number indicating more improvement actions taken. In other words, the higher score you get, the more secure you should be through actions you have taken in your Microsoft 365 tenant such as enabling MFA or disabling legacy auth. Some people love it and see it as a great assessment tool which provides quantifiable measurements which can be used for continuous improvement and managed services. The more skeptical amongst us have viewed it as a way to work up the SKU's especially in the early days when you couldn't reach high scores without purchasing things like E5 or Azure AD P2 licences. Throughout 2021 (I had to look this up to confirm the dates), Teams was added as a new category in Secure Score and 6 items fell into this category. 1 in January, and 5 recently in July. All are to do with securing meetings. Let's go take a look at these six and how to implement each of them. Let's go get you 100% on Teams items in Secure Score. The completionist in me is looking forward to this one

Teams Real Simple with Pictures: So you don’t want to see Freehand by InVision in Teams Meetings anymore? No problem.

It's kind of a weird time. A bit of a dry summer if you will. There hasn't been a lot of conferences on or events. I haven't written tons of blogs; mainly because there hasn't been a great deal of major change when it comes to Teams the last few months. And whilst I've tried to keep things ticking over with a few user groups and a session at the Microsoft Reactor, I'm very much looking forward to things picking back up again in the Autumn. I'll be at Commsverse. I'll be at South Coast Summit too. There are several other events I may be at. But let's see. I was saying to Vesku [Nopanen] we certainly all need a break given how crazy 2021 has been - we probably managed to stuff enough into H1 to compare to the whole of 2020: yet at the same time you always get the sense of wanting to be back out there and doing more. So this week the subject is, I guess, a bit of a filler - but it's a legitimate ask and something I was asked this week by someone in my org. You yourselves may get asked at some point in the future. Why is Freehand by InVision visible in Teams Meetings? How can I get rid of it? Good news - there are ways and we can certainly do that. Can you as a user get rid of it by yourself? No. And there's a bigger issue for you, the admin, than you realise. Why? Because Microsoft already have a Whiteboard app. Freehand by InVision is a third party app. What's the problem with this? Users may get confused and when asked to use the Whiteboard they may end up using the wrong one, signing up for the third party app and then having company data stored in third party storage. You know, before the new meeting experience in Teams rolled out, people always asked why InVision was there and why Microsoft seemed to prioritise this specific app over others. If my memory serves me correctly it was in Teams before Microsoft's own. However, with the ability to add apps to Teams Meetings due to meeting extensibility you would think it would be there not on the sharing screen, visible, by default. Now don't get me wrong - this blog isn't beating up on Freehand by InVision. Personally I have used it and I think it's a solid app. However, this isn't about whether an app is good or not. It's about ensuring an easy and straightforward meeting experience for users who may not be as tech savvy as you. It is about compliance and it's about users like me who if you never use something, and are likely never going to, why is it there at all?