First Release: First look at MDM Mobile Device Management in Office 365

Office 365 Mobile Device Management is now available for early adopters and those tenants who have elected to opt into the First Release Program. I can’t tell you when you’ll get these features or if they are already released if you’re not already in the First release program. I’m not telling you to move up your tenant, but if you want to tell if you are or if you want to change, here you go:

How do I join First Release or get in Office 365 preview?

First Release program simply go to Admin > Service Settings > Update then switch it to “On”

This is not a beta program, just an early preview of new features. Note First Release in Office 365 primarily relates to SharePoint Online and Exchange Online.

There are other programs to get access to early bits such as the client or on premises servers:

Office 2016 Preview – For office 2016 client

Office Preview Programs – program span across the full family of Microsoft Office client, server and cloud services

Getting Started with Office 365 Mobile Device Management

You can tell if you have MDM features by going to the Office 365 Admin and selecting Mobile Devices in the left hand navigation. Click Get Started to kick it off.

Admin > Mobile Devices > Mobile Device Management

Looks like a simple wizard to get started, but in my experience this is something you need to do before you get started.

Check back in a few hours!?? After 15 minutes I checked and my hello kitty Office 365 Admin screen looked like this.

There are some recommendations from Microsoft on what to do next. You’ve completed Step 1 which didn’t do anything yet other than give you the ability to Manage them. Seems to me like EVERYONE should do that first step.

Step 2. Click “Manage Settings” on Mobile Device Management for Office 365


Detailed Steps for these are here: Manage Mobile Devices in Office 365

Required Steps: Next you can configure domains for MDM, then you can setup the Apple Push Notifications Certificate to manage the iPhone and iPads to connect. (Second isn’t required unless you’re using iOS devices)

Recommended Steps: Then consider Multifactor Auth options and security policies.



Secure and manage the mobile devices that connect to my organization?

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets play a big part in helping people get their work done. Mobile Device Management for Office 365 helps make sure that your organization’s information is protected on these devices. Learn more 

How to set up Mobile Device Management for Office 365
How to create policies to secure device access 


Blacklist or Whitelist Users and Devices for Exchange based on Security Groups


Ok. Here’s the Richness of Options:

Mobile Device Security Policy

Then there are these additional options

The default settings are really pretty good. If you simply agree you’ll get this… Seriously if this is your first time, I suggest you not go past this, and at first only do this for a specific security group so you can tell you setup the APNs properly. There’s a lot of good reasons to roll this out slowly. Imagine how upset you’d be if you couldn’t get your email. These kinds of rollouts really should be connected with announcements to affected users AHEAD of TIME.


Planning Delve Deployment in Office 365

Delve seems to get a lot of buzz, but there are still many I hear who say… I checked it out, but I still don’t use it.  Delve is one of those tools that many users simply won’t understand until they start making it part of their entrance into Office 365.  My recommendation is to make Delve your start screen in Office 365.  That’s the only way to get the necessary usage to get real adoption and users will see the power of it.  I think it takes looking at Delve about 5 times, to see the power of it.  Often it is NOT the first time you see it.  It takes time and it’s not going to be relevant and interesting every time.  It won’t get adoption in many companies because their users won’t give it the opportunity to provide the insights into what’s happening and to allow it to discover what’s relevant.  People use what they are use to, so it may simply take a few years for users to get use to the idea and need to hear it again and again for some time.  Microsoft doesn’t seem to be backing down as more and more features are added.


Go to the image of a “gear” and choose “Office 365 settings” then set your start page as “Delve”


Not yet convinced?  I really do think you should have this be default for all users.  Was hoping to find a way to set this via powershell or something in Admin UI, but no luck.  Looks like others have asked for this capability as well.

Not yet seeing Delve.  It may need to be enabled.

Enabling or Disabling Delve for your organization

  1. Go to the SharePoint admin center.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Under Office graph, select one of the following:
    • Allow access to the Office graph
    • Don’t allow access to the Office graph


After that each user has the ability to opt out from Delve. In Delve settings it can be turned on or turned off.  The only other setting is for help tips.



I had an impromptu session at this past SharePoint Saturday Utah.  The session was on Delve and I was handed a deck from the brilliant Naomi Moneypenny.   I was doing a tag team job with David Leveille and he took the first shift while I caught up with Noah.  After a good thirty minutes I went back into the session and the first question from the audience was… “I still don’t get it.”

Amazing.  After 30 minutes, the audience still had lots of questions, not about the features, but about why!  Why was this built.  They were trying to understand when it should be used and really dig into the use cases.

Here’s what I said…

What is it about? Discovery.  It’s all about discovering what you don’t know, but that maybe you should know. 

That wasn’t enough.  They still didn’t know when a user would use this.

Well, let’s try an analogy.  Remember Outlook Today?  This is Outlook today in the ways that it was designed to help you get a quick glance on what’s going on, but in Outlook you’ve got structured data with Tasks, Messages, and Calendar items.  Delve takes unstructured data that come from any number of different sources that could be documents, conversations (coming soon), along with third party.

There are lots of articles that describe the features of Delve, and the power is really under the hood.  In imagining how this becomes valuable you have to understand the algorithm.

The algorithm looks at a number of factors:

1. What’s New – recent documents created by your colleagues


2. Popular/Views by people close to you – popular items that are being viewed by colleagues


3. Email attachments – Items that can otherwise be buried in email


3. Overall – Delve will show items that are of interest to you based on insights it has gathered and analyzed in the Office Graph database.

4. Signals from Exchange Online currently are used to determine who you care about.

5. Yammer conversations coming soon

6. On premise and Third party signals – Planned.  Lots more to be announced at Ignite…


In many ways Delve introduces the power of machine intelligence into our everyday lives.  It starts here.  We allow a machine access to our data across many systems and say.  Use big data and your knowledge of what I care about and tell me what I should be looking at.  The concept is pretty awesome.  We just need some time for the trust to sink in, and idea of a computer learning enough about us that it can be smart about what it starts recommending.  The more it learns, the better the algorithm gets, the better access to data that matters, and pretty soon this Artificial Intelligence becomes irreplaceable.

#1 Business Concern with Delve: Security/Privacy…  It exposes items and documents that can’t be removed in the Delve interface, but permissions can be viewed and changed in the source system like OneDrive or SharePoint by someone with permissions.  Microsoft has done a few things to make it easier to get at permissions.  You’ll notice a few things in the UI.  One is the person icon which if you mouse over will say “who can see this?”

Here are some additional articles for ramping up on Delve

What is Office Delve?

Are my documents safe in Office Delve?

What kind of information will I find in Office Delve?

Users are concerned that private or sensitive documents are available in Delve


Other community folks thoughts on Delve

Who is SharePoint

Who’s Who in the SharePoint and Office 365 World at Microsoft HQ

There’s been some serious shuffling that has gone on since we were last looking at the who’s who of the SharePoint world at Microsoft.  Over the years many have gotten familiar with Jeff Teper as our one neck to choke in the SharePoint world.  Jeff Teper moved on back in June of this past year with little fanfare in the SharePoint community.  In fact I was reading Mary Jo Foley’s article about the structure at MS since the move and it wasn’t even tweeted or shared on facebook.  So it’s possible that this is not widely known.  When I was at the Office 365 event in San Diego a few weeks ago, I was talking with Bill Baer and Sonya about some of the restructuring and I was blown away with the changes.  It shows a united world with serious focus on Office 365 and on OneDrive.

I didn’t get a chance to salute to Jeff, so I wanted to start with his send off and while Satya Nadella isn’t directly involved in SharePoint/OneDrive, you must know who he is and plan to hear him speak at Ignite.  Surprises me that there are still some folks out there who don’t yet recognize his name, so this is another chance.

This list is mostly to help you understand who is out there fighting for you.  Go up and thank them sometime.  If you’re going to Ignite or SPTechcon or other major SharePoint or Office 365 summits, say hi.

Microsoft reorgs its Office business to focus on four new investment areas

(Note: This isn’t designed to be everyone.  There are tons of people and entire groups I’m missing, this is just a handful of the visible ones.) 


SharePoint and Office 365 People you should know:


Jeff Teper – previously the Corporate VP of SharePoint since 1999 (headed up the original PKM team and launched Tahoe the V1… SharePoint Portal Server 2001!).  We sometimes called him the Father or Grandfather of SharePoint.  Some may say the godfather, but that role is taken, wink, wink.  Jeff Teper is now head of corporate strategy to work in areas such as acquisitions and development reporting directly to the CFO of MS. (Photo from LinkedIn)

– Led SharePoint from inception to the leader in portals, collaboration, and content management with $2B+ in annual revenues, 150M+ users, and an ecosystem of 700K+ developers
– Managed 1000+ person, globally distributed engineering team
– Led successful $1B+ acquisitions of FAST, the leader in enterprise search, and Yammer, the leader in enterprise social networking
– Led Corporate Strategy team supporting new Microsoft CEO and CFO on cloud and mobile-first strategies and acquisitions



Satya Nadella – Microsoft CEO, Hired by Jeff Teper! “Teper said he was the one who hired Nadella to work at Microsoft. Nadella had been working at Sun Microsystems Inc., and Teper’s team was looking for someone to help persuade developers to move from Sun’s server operating system to Windows NT, he said.”  He will be at Ignite and keynoting the event.  Satya Nadella leads Microsoft’s transformation to a productivity and platform company in the cloud-first, mobile-first world. Prior to becoming CEO, he held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company. (Photo MS Ignite)



Chris Jones, Corporate Vice President, OneDrive and SharePoint, Microsoft

Chris Jones joined Microsoft in 1991 and currently leads the engineering team for OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and SharePoint Servers. Prior to his current role, he led the engineering for, OneDrive, Microsoft account, and Messenger; and he served for several years as Vice President in both program management and engineering in the Windows Division.


Dave Campbell – Chief Technology Officer, Cloud & Enterprise, Microsoft

Dave Campbell helps formulate, implement and communicate Microsoft’s cloud strategy. Over the last five years he has focused on the Azure platform and Microsoft’s Big Data strategy

(Photo from LinkedIn)


Julia White – General Manager : Microsoft Office Division, Technical Marketing. Responsibilities include Office 365, Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Developer and IT Pro audience marketing.

(Photo from Facebook Ignite ad)

(Photo from LinkedIn)


Jared Spataro – General Manager, Microsoft Office



Arpan Shah – Office 365 Technical Product Management group at Microsoft

Sonya Koptyev

Sonya Koptyev – Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft (Apps for Office cloud app model)


Jeremy Thake – Senior Product Marketing Manager in the Office 365 (focused on Developers)

(Photo from his twitter profile)


Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson – Group Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft

(Linkedin photo)

Michal Gideoni

Michal Gideoni – Director, Product Management at Microsoft

(Photo from LinkedIn)


Bill Baer – Senior Technical Product Manager at Microsoft Corporation

(SP24 profile photo)

Olaf Hubel

Olaf Hubble – Senior Technical Product Marketing Office 365 at Microsoft

(LinkedIn photo)

Mark Kashman

Mark Kashman – Senior Product Manager at Microsoft

(Photo via LinkedIn)


Bonus: For those who remember Tom… He’s not far!


Tom Rizzo – Director of Skype and Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync)

Office 365 Security and Compliance Infographic

After watching a few of the videos from Julie White, and digging into the information in the NEW Office 365 Trust Center, I was convinced that customers don’t really know how secure Office 365 really is.  Just a week ago, someone was saying they were looking for encryption in Office 365.  It’s already there, as are a ton of things compliance and security standards that are unmatched.  I believe Office 365 has more compliance and security standards as a platform than any other cloud service…. period!

I put together an infographic based on some of the statistics and information on their top 10 lists of security and compliance to help spread awareness.  Hope you enjoy it!  Feel free to share or reblog.

Worldwide uptime number for Office 365 beginning July 2012 has been 99.98%, 99.97%, 99.94% and 99.97% respectively with most recent quarter at 99.98% see the for more.

Office365TrustCenter (1)


This may just be what you were looking for to share with your team or management to help them understand the security, privacy, and compliance needs of your company for SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Yammer or Skype for Business.

Image credits: Flickr Creative Commons, Yuri Samoilov, System Lock, American Advisors Group, Security – Dicitionary,, Perspecsys Photos

SharePoint Hike

Next version of SharePoint in 2015 and other things I learned at SharePoint Conference #SPC14

There are a few things that I learned from SPC.  First off many saw this as a non launch year.  After day 1 I was so overloaded with announcements that I couldn’t keep up with them.  I was trying to tweet every announcement I came across, and after dozens of tweets I realized I was missing many as the track keynotes each contained more announcements, and I’ll have a lot of work to do to dig into those.  I plan to make a series that dive into the various areas, but there are some big takeaways both subtle themes and messages that while they may not be pointed out directly, there are key insights to gain.  For simplicity I’m going to give you a list of 5 key biggest takeaways from the SharePoint Conference #SPC14.  I’ll be doing a further drill down on the big 5 social features that were announced on the ViewDo Labs Blog.  So this blog serves as the overview.  I really should give the low down on the parties, hikes, dam, forts, and kareoke, but much of that is already on Facebook and twitter @joeloleson.  AvePoint Red Party didn’t disappoint great energy and some of the best music and dancing of the year, and the Metalogix party was pretty good as well (until they wouldn’t let us dance on the platforms… come on that’s what we do!), but the best club on the strip was Hakkasan.  After the speaker party, all of the speakers had access to the after event and Fergie DJ was incredible passion and energy and the club was the best on the strip.  You want more on the parties and social?  Let me know I could easily do a few pages with photos on that.


SPDev brain power

Lots of social announcements as well.  Chris Johnson and Jeremy Thake are headed to Redmond to work for Arpan Shah at Microsoft on a special team (Devs, if you’re not convinced about dev’ing with the cloud, they will get you there… No doubt.)  Andrew Connell was named the #1 Influencer this year by an independent study.  Congrats to AC, in my book he’s always been one of the biggest influencers.  His books, blog, and tweets and classes have been bringing up the education of the community for many years.


1. Office 365 & Yammer will be the focus and continue to get significant updates over the next year.  While a few of us hoped to get real concrete info on the next version of SharePoint on premises, the message was… the next release will be in 2015.  While I almost heard a groan, as many of us were hoping to see previews of the new version, I think the pregnant pause of not hearing anything significant about the next release other than the fact that it will continue to support server solutions.

2. Service Pack 1 included a significant switch to support hybrid OneDrive and Yammer. You could say the most significant announcement for On Premises customers was in the announcement and demo of the simple control to point at your yammer and or One Drive environment.  Essentially on a single page designed like a wizard, you can hook up your yammer environment so it seemlessly integrates into Office 365.  Additional yammer enhancements are on their way to support cross navigation between Office 365 and yammer making it simple for users.  The new OneDrive license with Office 365 allows one to start with a simple start of just OneDrive.  I like to think of it as dipping your toe in the water.  OneDrive has great sharing capabilities that help it compete with Dropbox and additional announcements for OneDrive including a new API for building solutions against it, and significant announcements with support for MAC and iOS.

3. Office 365 has a new within tenant self service provisioning engine supporting custom branding and a javascript injection approach with API.  Essentially supporting the idea of keeping branded sites and custom navigation.  This can really be a huge boost in adoption preventing the out of the box exhaustion of having to start from scratch every time.  Corporate branded sites and richer cloud APIs all around is a big step in the right direction.

4. Cloud APIs with a significant emphasis on a never give up approach to making Office 365 work.  I refer you to the many new cloud and Office 365 APIs and Azure integration.  Great example is the Office 365 Video portal.  I heard from more than one developer they need to shift their toolset to developing in Azure.  There were additional subtle conversations I had with Chris Johnson and Jeremy Thake which ended up being the biggest news.  Having those guys both commit to joining a new Office 365 API like DPE team led by Arpan Shah really means business.  That may have been the biggest announcement.  These guys are some of the smartest dev evangelists who already have serious credibility in the community.  There were more than a few sessions on these new APIs.  Key takeaways from me a non dev… make sure you guys are ramping up on Agile, learning to work as a network, drinking from the Javascript fire hose.  There are so many frameworks which can make your life easier.  Client Object Models and Cloud development is NOT going away.  You’ll need to understand how to build apps whether you are on premises or not.  Even many on premises deployments will be using the improvements that happen to apps and the APIs.  Don’t rely on me for all of the developer updates.  Follow guys like Mark Anderson and check out his update on the #SPC14.

Other SPC Conference wrap ups I’d recommend:

Gus SPC Wrap up from old Jersey – Nice Overview

Fabian Williams shares his Conference Wrap up Day by day wrap up

Cimares Wrap up – more detail on dev and keynote announcements

InfoPath Funeral

5. InfoPath is dead. One of my favorite events of the conference was leading a funeral march through the exhibit hall and screaming InfoPath is dead, what will we do!  You could say I had many motivations in leading this parade.  One of those motivations was to ensure people not only had heard this news, but also to ensure that Microsoft was serious in positioning the messaging loud enough to the community to help us understand the direction of web forms.  There was a session on the future of web forms, and you won’t understand what to build without digging into the new Access, new Excel surveys, and app forms.  InfoPath is farm from out of use or end of life.  We’ll see InfoPath use way beyond 2014, but most of the items in the product roadmap support a streamlined set of forms based on the user scenarios which start releasing this year.  Expansion of OneDrive API. The ability to create Workflow App Packages as SharePoint apps and new workflow activation rules based on content types. Workflow is one of the larger considerations in any upgrade and migration project.

There are many solutions beyond this not simple technical roadmap diagram.


Jennifer Mason, while not a fan of the funeral, put together a CMSWire article that covers these Navigating the Microsoft Forms Roadmap.  I’m not sold on InfoPath support on any future versions of SharePoint, but at least we know it works up through SharePoint 2013.  I do see InfoPath support as a key consideration in many workflows and forms story.  Both Nintex, K2, Bamboo, and a dozen other partners out there would love for you to consider their solutions as alternatives as well.


5. Enterprise social continues to be a huge investment with Yammer and Office 365.  Organizational transformation through change and “working like a network” was a big theme in the social track.  There were many announcements and a lot of positioning.  If you think that Microsoft isn’t innovating you aren’t talking to the enterprise social team.

  • Office Graph, which uses “signals from email, social conversations, documents, sites, instant messages, meetings, and more to map the relationships between the people and things.”
  • Code-named Oslo, the first application of office Graph helps deliver personalized “insights” to help people get their jobs done, and lets users navigate, discover, and search for people and info across an organization.
  • Groups – a new feature which grows out of a combination of team calendars, team mailboxes, team tasks and sites and conversations allowing users to work together and gather and share knowledge in Office 365.  Takes the power of having email, sites, conversations and weaves these worlds together with new features.

I’m going to do a full post on this… lots to talk about…


Special thanks to the #ShareHike crew!  I

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