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Office 365 - some good, some bad

We've all been to fair-grounds and fun-parks, we know just how fun and scary the big rides can be. Office 365 is like that. Sometimes its just fantastic and stuff works in the way no one ever expected, and other times... well its gut-churningly, diabolical. Ever got off the a Waltzer and wanted to vomit?! Yep, it can be like that.

Today I am avoiding (really, really avoiding) a big rant and thought I would bring you some good, and some less good.

Document management finally stands a chance: File "Move to"

Yep, after a ridiculous amount of time, the "Move-to" has been updated to reflect the "Copy-to" command in that it will let you send documents to site and library of your choice! Yay!

Which, provided you did your home-work on the IA and stapled in the basics to your content-types, means your metadata and your document history remain intact!

Outlook Groups: a BIG UX faux-pas

On the downside I find I just can't avoid this one any longer. Yep Groups self-service provisioning. If you are big company, and can afford to employ someone with a 1/2 a brain to tell you turn-off self-service (or limit it to a v. small support group) then you are going to end-up fowling the nest.

Yep, no matter what you tell your staff someone (many someone's, many times) will do the following:

  • Open Outlook

  • Click on "People" (Contacts)

  • Create a New group...

..cos 99% of people using Outlook think "group" = "distribution list", and because the normal Contact Group button has been moved right 1 space and looks nearly identical from iconography you get massive groups proliferation. Take a look at my video walk-through for it in action...

...if you weren't quick enough with the "Configure group naming policy" in Exchange Online Admin Centre, then you'll have awesome names of rubbish strewn across your AAD, global address list, Group discovery, SharePoint site-collections, search, Delve results... everywhere in fact.

Awesome email address like:

  • car-park noise discussion group

  • xmas meal and rocking night out

  • what's this ******* manager liek

  • ...

... and numerous others you do not want to see. Save the hassle, for what is one of the dumbest UI moves I've ever seen (at least I hope it is, and it is not a cynical attempt to tie people into licensing services they don't want/need)

If you are smart:

  • restrict self-service,

  • apply a naming policy (including restricted words)

  • look in to the new expiry policy for un-used sites

  • use group policy to block the Outlook button

For some more useful reference to really useful governance support in Office 365 *AND* Azure together keep an eye open for the next post - which will cover AAD dynamic groups, role-based access controls and SharePoint Online.

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