Do you Have Regular Backups for Your Microsoft 365 Content & Data

Microsoft 365 Backup and Recovery

The Microsoft 365 Services Agreement lists 3 different times a recommended a “regular backup” of your data. According to IDC there are 67% of Microsoft 365 customers who do not regularly backup their data.

It wasn’t until I recently started digging into backups and what Microsoft expects customers to be doing in the 2 way services agreement that I realized many may be relying 100% on Microsoft for recovery of their critical business data without realizing that Microsoft actually expects customers to be managing permissions, managing security, and managing a regular backup.

Microsoft Service Agreement:
•4 a iv – “You should have a regular backup plan as Microsoft won’t be able to retrieve Your Content or Data once your account is closed.”
•4 f – “You should have a regular backup plan.”
•6 b – “We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data…”

Microsoft produced a “Shared Responsibility Model” to help customers to understand who has responsibility and at what level across SAAS, PAAS, IAAS, and On Prem. I highly recommend referring to this across the various workloads and services you may be subscribed to from Microsoft.

Now that you’re wondering about backups. I’m putting together a webinar on backup and recovery for Microsoft 365. In an upcoming webinar I’m going to dive into some of the limitations for how long and in various ways Microsoft 365 retains and backs up your data in Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive and Exchange. How long can you request a file be restored that was accidentally deleted? What about an incriminating deleted Teams chat messages or a sensitive deleted exchange message or inbox? These questions will be answered and more…

>> Join me as I explore more on this topic in a free 1 hour webinar:

Title: Backup and Recovery for Microsoft 365–SharePoint, Exchange, Teams, OneDrive and More

Get peace of mind and keep your cloud data safe from disaster

When: Session starts on April 20, 2021 at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT.

Do you know how often your data is being backed up? Do you know how many days back you can get your data from Microsoft? Do you know if there was an extended outage what you would do for critical business data? Do you have a business continuity plan in the case of a major breach? These questions and more will be discussed as we reverse engineer the backup and recovery policies of Microsoft and find the edge of the cliff. After you understand the capabilities of Microsoft and the boundary of the cliff, you will explore where are you on the Maturity Model and plans around backup and recovery. The time is better now than ever before to focus on backups for remote employees and backups for Microsoft 365 with a serious plan for business continuity and recovery. Join us in this free, one-hour learning session with Microsoft MVP Joel Oleson and Synology to find out more.

>> Register Now <<

Microsoft 365 Backup and Recovery
Microsoft 365 Backup and Recovery

5 Favorite Announcements from Ignite & Best of Ignite Experts MVP Panel

Microsoft Ignite Experts Panel
I’ve been trying to watch and take in as much as I can from this “Surprise” spring version of Microsoft Ignite. It used to be we’d need to digest once a year the announcements from Microsoft Ignite. Now you’ve got two big ones. I guess the good news is we get that much more transparency into what is happening in Redmond. We shouldn’t complain. The three year cycle to the 6 month cycle or is it really one month cycle… I’ll let you decide. Either way, Join me on either my Club House tomorrow morning or join me on the experts panel on Tuesday morning 9am Pacific time.

I put together my 5 Favorite Announcements from Spring 2021 Microsoft Ignite.

1. Viva Connections will be free! It hasn’t even shipped yet and Microsoft Viva Connections with all the cool feeds coming at you is going to be included in the SharePoint licensing. That’s so awesome!! I think it’s going to be very important that we get this right. Is the Intranet dead? Did Viva Connections kill it? I don’t think so. I think there’s still an important need for corporations to learn how to both communicate to users, but also to gather and engage, and also provide value and direction for getting to the tools we use everyday and those rare ones we are digging into a mega menu, targeted content and departmental solutions… absolutely. Do I think that the Viva brand is here to stay and we should all be making Viva part of our Microsoft vernacular… absolutely… this train is just leaving the station. Read the Viva Guide to Ignite for tons more details. Watch Jared Spataro’s very funny and clever session on the Hybrid workplace on demand (no signin required) Also check out Chuck’s session on Viva on employee experience it includes a cameo from Naomi where she shows off some new Teams integration with Viva Topics… it’s way more than highlighting. Viva Learning will enter public preview in April 2021.

“Starting in March, the Microsoft Teams desktop experience for Viva Connections – which provides a curated, company-branded experience including news, conversations and other resources for employees – will begin rolling out to all customers as part of their existing Microsoft 365 license.” 

On-Demand Sessions: Introducing Microsoft Viva Connections by Adam Harmetz
Viva Connections is your gateway to a modern employee experience

Microsoft Viva

2. Microsoft Teams Webinar features – As someone who has been doing a lot of events. It seems like there’s a continuous battle to convince the Marketing folks that Teams is good enough, or it’s convincing the community that there are marketing reasons we didn’t use Teams. Announced at Ignite among dozens of other amazing Teams announcements is a pile of goodness for supporting real true webinars with over 1000 attendees internal or external with powerful attendance reports, and registration pages for our webinars that are integrated. He even teased about a webinar of 20,000 attendees. (That’s my target for M365 Virtual Marathon. The call for speakers is open. We already have 100 speakers lined up, but we seriously want 500.) Even setting up this event I wish I had this feature to be able to gather registrations for our experts panel. Here’s your Guide to Ignite from the Teams Team. Teams has more than 100 new features since COVID has started. Teams “Casting” and meetings rooms features were super cool. Some fantastic vision shared by Jared Spataro. The Teams Rooms of the future are already looking super awesome. Love the speech to text in captions and avatar facial and voice recognition. You can see the new webinar features in action in the “Easy, Intuitive Webinars with Microsoft Teams: Virtual Engagement in the Age of Remote Work” with Lars Johnson, Sr. Director, Microsoft Teams Marketing; and Christina Torok, Sr. Product Marketing Manager

3. Announcing Microsoft Mesh! – AR/VR took a big leap forward. The keynote showed us what is possible when running an event in VR. AltSpaceVR hosted the keynote as well as provided an opportunity to connect with people around the globe. I really enjoyed seeing friends from Utah, Germany, Netherlands, and Australia all in what felt like a hallway. The demonstration of Pokémon GO experience built on Niantic’s planet-scale platform that has enabled millions of people to have augmented reality experiences in the real world, is planned to be enhanced with Microsoft Mesh features enabling people to be present together in shared experiences across space and time. I’m anxious to see that myself. The keynote in AltspaceVR encouraged me to commit to putting together a future event and incorporating AltspaceVR into our virtual events. (I’ve been already trying to do that, but also hoping others are convinced.)

4. Announcing Power Point Live with Teams and Presenter Mode –  Presenter mode is the latest innovation in Microsoft Teams that empowers you to customize how your video feed and content appear to the audience. Seeing the speaker can reduce the cognitive overload for your audience since they can read your non-verbal cues and stay more focused with you as their visual guide. Presenter mode is a great companion to PowerPoint Live in Teams that makes your presentation immersive and engaging. 

Power Fx A new language for low code developers to be implemented across the Power Platform. Currently used as the language to develop canvas apps in Microsoft Power Apps, Power Fx will eventually become the consistent language across the Power Platform. You can learn more about this and other Power Platform and Dynamics features announced at Ignite.
The key sessions to watch:
What’s new and what’s next for Microsoft Power Platform
Hosted by Charles Lamanna, CVP, Low Code Application Platform and Julie Strauss, Partner PM Director
Power BI and Data
Drive a data culture with Power BI: Vision, strategy, and roadmap
Hosted by Arun Ulagaratchagan, CVP, Power BI

5. Azure – I feel so far behind in the LOADS of updates to Azure. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of Ignite was focused on this. I can’t not mention a few of them.

Semantic search capability in Azure Cognitive Search now in preview.
Azure Communication Services to be generally available, with Microsoft Teams interoperability in preview
Private Azure Marketplace now generally available
Windows Server 2022 is now available in preview
Azure Percept, AI-powered family of edge devices and services, now in preview

Yes I missed about 1000 other things including a few of your favorites I’m sure. Put them in the comments I’d love to hear them so I don’t miss them in the panel, but dive into the Book of Ignite AKA Book of Knowledge AKA Ignite Bible for more.

Join us on Tuesday March 9th at 9am Pacific 12pm Eastern with

Wow! Just wow! IGNITE 2021 has been packed with so many announcements, and roadmap updates

From Mixed Reality Pokemon adventures with Microsoft to Viva Connections being included with your Microsoft 365 licensing…   Did you catch ’em all??? No one did… believe us! As a result the best way to consume all of those updates in the shortest way possible is with a broad experts panel. Here we’ve assembled Developers, Architects, Evangelists, and IT Pros across the Microsoft 365 workloads. Bring your questions and join us for this experts panel!   This 1 hour session is an opportunity to hear from top experts, MVPs, RDs to discuss and interact with the community. Bring your questions and be ready to take ferocious notes!

Experts Lineup:
Eric Overfield, CEO of Pixelmill, MVP & MS Regional Director
Jeff Willinger, Digital Workspace Innovator, MVP
Ryan Schouten, MVP Blizzard Entertainment
Joel Oleson, Sr. Product Manager, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron & Founder Joel365, MVP & RD
Sharon Weaver, CEO Smarter Consulting, Microsoft Regional Director
Amber Bahl, CEO, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron 

 What you’ll learn:: Announcements Roadmap updates Open Q&A Expert Feedback Discussions about what’s coming next

>>Register Here<<

Intelligent Content Enrichment with SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics

From Content to Knowledge using the Microsoft SharePoint Syntex and Microsoft Viva Topics

>> Register for the upcoming webinar.

Every company struggles with how to move from what many call the “Wild West” of content services. How can content and files be tamed? You’ll need to build an approach for how to Tame this content, but even better would be to unlock the organizational knowledge… classify it, label it, automate and and integrate approvals, and highlight topics with definitions creating organizational knowledge. Microsoft’s latest advancements and release of SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics both provide key features in helping you go from content to knowledge.

For any customer that’s starting from scratch, you’ll notice most content is NOT ready to be analyzed by SharePoint Syntex. I recommend a how a systematic approach to help you get your arms around your data first before moving it into content libraries in SharePoint or into a Content Center. For example discovery can help you first get a handle on repositories size and scale, but some rigorous “File Analysis” to remove Redundant, Obsolete, and Trivial (Referred to as ROT) information in conjunction with a solid information architecture practice ensures a consistent and reliable content services program. Studies show that 30-40% of all content stored by businesses is considered ROT – understanding and managing this content before it moves to the Cloud is critical to an organization’s search and content services strategies.


Where does your content live? Most likely it is spread out in Box, Dropbox, Google Drives, FileNet, File Shares, Blob storage, SharePoint and Teams. Many of us would like to skip this step, but the liability of what is being hoarded for years and years simply continues to grow. What is it? How much of it is ROT? What kind of richness or liability does it carry with it?

Information Architecture

Before we get to far, there’s the question of where data should be stored. As you find what I like to call the organizational knowledge aka crown jewels there will be the question beyond the storage mechanism which is the structure. The information architecture to describe and house the knowledge so it can be more easily retrieved. Some companies may design knowledge bases, others content centers, and yet still repositories structured by Team, organization, or simply described by taxonomies and tagging. The task here is to ensure you have a good structure that is often based on the technology it is built on. For Teams they are Teams and channels, for SharePoint they are sites, libraries and lists.

File Analysis

You’ll find the further you dig into the new technology from Microsoft not all files are created equally. Microsoft Office content has many attributes and is structured in a way that’s easy for search to pull content out of it, but what do you do with images, tiff, faxes, and scanned content. There’s also PDFs and bulk and dumps. Any file share migration should involve some level of effort involved in understanding what is stored. Hence the “File Analysis” to remove Redundant, Obsolete, and Trivial (Referred to as ROT) information. In my experience with file share migrations… it’s not uncommon to find that 70-80% or more can be archived allowing you to focus on the key parts of the content.

Content Enrichment

The newest products from Microsoft really give us a lot to work with here with SharePoint Syntex with document understanding and electronic forms processing both providing classification extraction and AI models that can be used to apply to libraries enhancing our content with intelligent file storage capabilities. SharePoint Syntex provides enriched content types and columns populated by content from within the documents themselves. This allows a much improved user experience of grouping, filtering, sorting and loads of automation capabilities that come along with enriched content. Not only content extraction, but also information governance enhancements such as protecting, labeling, and applying content and applying policies for enforcement or disposition.

Intelligent Migration

Once you’ve classified your content you can move it to be better utilized in knowledge bases, content centers, or other departmental repositories based on content type. One quick example of migrating content is to gather letters, SOWs, Resumes, Invoices, and other contracts in their respective enhanced repositories which provide improved search and discovery. Some may find they have a lot of content that as well meets the criteria of archival or disposition to expire the content.

Automatically identify and Highlight topics

The newest product Viva Topics can be used to have AI to reason over your organization’s data and automatically identify, process, and organize content. It can recognize common topics across content and conversations, organize information, and generate topic pages. Discover and display complementary topics and expertise from across sources across the tools they use every day. Those topic pages can be the start to organizational like wikipedia of knowledge to help both new employees ramp up, but really connect the experts with the knowledge they are producing and provide centers of knowledge for all employees.

I’ve put together this illustration to help one understand the process and methodology for going from content to knowledge.

This infographic: intelligent content enrichment using Microsoft SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics is provided as creative commons share alike. Special thanks to Helux who contributed a lot to the process work on the graphic. You can see more about their intelligent content enrichment process and tools on their site at

Chaos to Knowledge with SharePoint Syntex and Microsoft Viva on March 10th from 2-3PM EST

Every company struggles with how to move from what many call the “Wild West” of content services. How can content and files be tamed? Join us as we show you how a systematic approach to discovery with File Analysis to remove redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) information in conjunction with a solid information architecture practice ensures a consistent and reliable content services program. Studies show that 30-40% of all content stored by businesses is considered ROT – understanding and managing this content before it moves to the Cloud is critical to an organization’s search and content services strategies.

Microsoft is leading the market in using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enrich content with SharePoint Syntex and surface topics in the newly released Microsoft Viva. These new products provide a game-changing way for organizations to classify, extract and build document understanding into their content. For instance, SharePoint Syntex integration with AI Builder and Power Automate allows you to create and use AI Builder form processing models directly from your SharePoint document library, and to automate the processing of forms. The new Microsoft Viva product builds on the power of Teams and Microsoft 365 to unify the employee experience across four key areas — Engagement, Wellbeing, Learning, and Knowledge — in an integrated experience that empowers people to be their best. What you can expect to learn:

• Best practices to achieve the Content Services goal of chaos to knowledge

How to build Knowledge bases known as Content Centers with SharePoint Syntex

How to empower knowledge workers with Microsoft Viva

Understand the latest in Microsoft’s Knowledge Roadmap

Register below for the upcoming webinar where we will walk through these steps and help you understand how SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics fit in a comprehensive process methodology helping you formalize a more cohesive Enterprise Content Services Knowledge Strategy.

Join me in a this free 1 hour webinar on “Intelligent Content Enrichment Using Microsoft SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics: Chaos to Knowledge with SharePoint Syntex and Microsoft Viva” on March 10th from 2-3PM EST sponsored by Helux.

Live Webinar with Q&A:

March 10 at 11:00AM Pacific & 2PM Eastern

>> Register Now

Read more about SharePoint Syntex at

Read more about Viva Topics at

Microsoft 365 Tenant Administration and Delegation for Complex Environments

Microsoft recently shipped a new way to slice up your Microsoft tenant in Azure AD. These new Microsoft 365 Administrative Units may help support teams and IT teams including Business Unit IT administration the world over. It’s a start. There are limits.

Do you struggle with how to slice up administration of your Microsoft 365 tenant? I know there are many who wish they could segment their services, and that is not this feature. Licensing administration and user support and even MFA support may find a huge boost with this new feature set. Have you ever wished there was an easy way to segment your tenant so you could delegate permissions more granularly to group of operators or admins?  Now there is… Administrative Units also known as AUs are now in Preview.

Download this infographic above “Slice up your Microsoft 365 Tenant Administration with Administrative Units” as an image or as a PDF

*Now in Preview* Microsoft has introduced Administrative Units in Azure AD for creating delegated boundaries within a single tenant for user and group administration. It’s also accessible via PowerShell and Microsoft Graph.

Administrative Units

Download the “Understanding Microsoft 365 Administrative Units” infographic as jpg, png, or pdf. This image sponsored by CoreView is shared in creative commons share alike. Feel free to use it in your company, share it in your slides, or use it as a reference.


Administrative Units Roles and Rights

  • Authentication Administrator – Has access to view, set, and reset authentication method information for any non-admin user for the assigned Administrative Unit.
  • Groups Administrator – Can manage all aspects of groups and groups settings like naming and expiration policies in the assigned Administrative Unit.
  • Helpdesk Administrator – Can reset passwords for non-administrators and Helpdesk administrators in the Administrative Unit.
  • License Administrator – Can assign, remove, and update license assignments within the Administrative Unit only.
  • Password Administrator – Can reset passwords for non-administrators and Password Administrators within the Administrative Unit.
  • User Administrator – Can manage all aspects of users and groups, including resetting passwords for limited admins within the assigned Administrative Unit.

Microsoft 365 Admin Units Challenges

Administrative Units (AUs) require an Azure Active Directory Premium license for each AU admin not required for AU members
Requires Global Administrators rights or Privileged role administrators to create and manage in Azure AD portal or with Graph/PowerShell
AU delegated admins must use M365 Admin Center for managing Users
Currently No management of AUs in Admin Center
No Dynamic Administrative Units… (Yet!)
Odd Elevation of Privileged Path Scenarios AU-scoped administrator can’t reset the password of a user who’s assigned to a role with an organization-wide scope
Devices cannot be made members of AUs. Scoping management of devices in Azure AD

Register now to learn:

  • Techniques to slice up a Microsoft 365 Tenant
  • How best to manage blocks of licensing for departments
  • Various ways to segment your Microsoft 365 tenant to support a delegated admin model
  • Techniques for SharePoint, Teams and Exchange regional or departmental delegation
  • Strategies for Automation for Administrators

Live Webinar with Q&A:

February 3 at 11:00AM Eastern & 8:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now


February 3 at 2:00 PM Eastern & 11:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now

7 Keys to Securely hardening Microsoft 365

When it comes to cloud, Microsoft is super focused on Security. I would venture to say they have likely invested more in security than all their SAAS platform competitors combined. At the same time, it’s been a struggle to understand what tool to use when, and how to get licensed for it. In this illustrated infographic I’ve attempted to help you get your arms around the platform and the various security investments from privacy and tools to platform investments.

This infogrphic is shared with creative commons community share alike rights. Feel free to use it in your conversations in part or in whole in or presentations. You can download the 7 Keys to Harden Microsoft 365 infographic in PDF or JPG

I’m delivering a 1 hour webinar where we will look at the 7 Keys to Hardening Microsoft 365 for Teams, SharePoint, Exchange and More. You’ve invested in these platforms, but you’ll quickly find out that simply moving your data does not light up the security and compliance features and many of the lower level packages don’t come with the tools you need.

In this webinar sponsored by Coreview, we’ll dive into the various layers of security both in and on top of the platform as well as identify the space where partners are increasing the barriers and providing additional solutions on top of the Defender toolsets formerly known as Advanced Threat Protection.

Register for the webinar happening on Nov 17.

7 Ways to Harden and Secure Microsoft 365

  1. Enable Secure Access for Users with Azure Active Directory MFA
  2. Identify compromised identities or malicious insiders with Microsoft Defender for Identity
  3. Protect and Encrypt Sensitive Data with Microsoft Information Protection
  4. Manage and Protect Devices and with Secure Score for Devices
  5. Prevent Unauthorized Access and Sharing with Cloud App security
  6. Secure your Email and Files with Microsoft 365 Rights Management Policies and Defender for Microsoft 365
  7. Use Intelligent Insights and Guidance to Strengthen Your Organizational security posture with Microsoft Secure Score

In this session we’ll dive into the various layers of Microsoft 365 from identity, apps, services, and data to understand the best ways to prevent cyber attacks. We’ll look at 7 Key Ways to Harden Microsoft 365 including Microsoft Defender formerly known as Advanced Threat Protection. We’ll also dive into service configuration of Microsoft 365 to ensure identity, services and accounts are secured against common exploits and attacks. 

It’s been difficult in today’s modern work environment and it is getting more difficult to keep up with the technology. Learn to use Microsoft 365 effectively for active data governance, application security, and Shadow IT oversight. Coupled with disparate Admin Centers, and global admins having access to everything in your tenant, your organization is likely less secure than you think!

Register now to learn:

  • How to harden your admin accounts
  • Better understand licensing around security features of Microsoft 365 and what is required
  • How to segment your Microsoft 365 tenant to support a delegated admin model
  • How to focus on the various layers of service, data and information security for administrators
  • How to get a better handle on shadow IT and external sharing

Live Webinar with Q&A:

November 17th at 11:00AM Eastern & 8:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now


November 17th at 2:00 PM Eastern & 11:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now