Will Microsoft finally harness collaboration with new features in Office 365?

At IT conferences I always try to attend sessions that are not only technical but also focus on management and collaboration. I always wonder how a given feature or solution would influence the productivity of the teams I work with, and whether it would help at all, or whether the result would be the exact opposite of what was expected.

I’ve heard of companies blocking internal IM features in Skype for Business due to the fact that some employees spent too much time chatting, and that the key employees were constantly flooded with IMs until they decided to permanently log off from the program.

Obviously, the tool is just a tool, and some internal rules are always required to use it properly. But a user is just a user and “old habits die hard”. Just take a look at Public Folders and how many times Microsoft has tried to publicly assassinate them.

I was, however, surprised to see how many IT pros at this year’s IT/DEV Connections in Las Vegas and UC Day in Birmingham expressed their interest in Office 365 Groups. It’s not just Microsoft’s sales pitch and global marketing explosion, it’s really the users who are actively interested in this feature. Since Office 365 groups are pretty new, it’s still hard to tell whether it’s just an attractive feature or a solution that will ultimately change the way of collaboration of Office 365 users.

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Add signature with image in first email and text-only footer in replies

In many business scenarios it makes sense to stamp emails with signatures which include images. The obvious examples that come to mind are social media buttons and marketing banners, but I’m sure you can think of a bunch of other ones (users’ photographs?).

This, however, may come into conflict with the need to not overcrowd the recipient’s eye with too much content or to simply conserve disk space.

CodeTwo Exchange Rules and CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 solve this by allowing to automatically add a full-blown email signature to new emails and a simplified version to subsequent replies and forwards.

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5 reasons not to attend IT/Dev Connections

IT/Dev Connections organized by Penton Media is believed to be among a few famous IT conferences in the world that focuses on Microsoft technology but is neither organized nor supported by Microsoft. Therefore the feel of the conference is different than at Ignite or WPC.

Last year I wrote a review of the 2015 edition. Today, I’d like to update it with a “slightly” different opinion.

Here are the 5 reasons why you should NOT attend IT/Dev Connections:

1. You are superstitious

If you hold superstitious beliefs, you probably know that there is a superstition that having bananas on a fishing boat may bring bad luck. It’s pretty hard to have bananas on a boat in Vegas (as it’s pretty hard to have a boat in Vegas), but there’s a lot of hand-shaking here with Microsoft MVPs and IT Pros from all over the US (and some from Europe). And… there is a superstition in African culture not to shake hands with anyone or… your testicles (sic!) will disappear!

Glad I’ve got two kids already! How about you, SuperTekBoy?

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Who else did I shake hands with? Paul? Michel? J. Peter? Are you guys ok now?

2. You don’t like the Sun

I mean… this star in our solar system. When we were leaving Poland for Las Vegas and IT/Dev Connections a few days ago, it was snowing like hell and it was 1 degree centigrade (I don’t know the Fahrenheit equivalent, as there was no information available on the Imperial system when I was in grade school).

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I am disappointed that my snow shoes are useless in Nevada…

3. You’ve always lived under the rock

IT/Dev Connections is all about networking .There is no way to avoid that. You have to do this everywhere. In the lobby, in the bathroom, on the escalator (check out this video, but keep in mind it will be someone else touching you). If you don’t like this or your social skills are as bad as mine, don’t attend this conference.

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4. You love marketing stuff

IT Pros don’t like marketing in general. That’s why at IT/Dev Connections there is no mind control, no blathering on about how this new feature will “take your business to the next level”. It’s life. It’s challenges problems! And first and foremost – there are answers and solutions here!

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BTW I guess I need to change my job title…

5. You like prison food

If you like prison food, it’s too bad. There’s no way to get it here. No long lines, no shouting staff, no food boxes and artificial ingredients. You have to eat sirloin, fresh vegetables and drink Blue Moon Belgian White. Disgusting!

I wanted to come up with a smart summary, but I’m still too jet-lagged. It’s good to know that the 2017 edition of IT/Dev Connections is in San Francisco. It’s even a longer flight from Poland… and I will be forced to see the Golden Gate for the very first time.

And please excuse the quality of the pictures – it took them with a mobile vacuum cleaner.

Let’s meet at UC Day 2016 in October!

A second edition of UC and Cloud Day 2016 is just round the corner. This year, the conference takes place at Nation Conference Centre in Birmingham, on 24th October 2016. We are proud to participate in this event as a sponsor, so don’t forget to book your ticket now (it’s free) and stop by our booth to chat about our solutions for Office 365 and Exchange Server.

Meet us at UC Day in UK in October 2016!

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New! Display Office 365 email signatures in users’ Sent Items folders

Server-level email signature solutions for Office 365 have several advantages over client-based systems. They are easier to deploy, immune to end-user tinkering, changes are easier to introduce, you don’t have to worry about the variety of email clients and devices in your organization, and so on.

But they also used to have one major drawback – the email signatures were not displayed on the user-end.

Today, we are happy to announce that this is no longer a problem.

CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 has just become the first server-level email signature management system for Office 365 to support displaying signatures in users’ Sent Items folders!

Display Office 365 email signatures in users' Sent Items folders

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How to share calendar in Outlook 2016/2013/2010/2007

Working on office tasks very often requires sharing one’s Outlook calendar with other people. If you want to get things done quickly and efficiently, it is a good idea to share your calendar across a company. Why? Simply because your co-workers can check e.g. your availability in a timely manner and schedule meetings without bothering your.

To share a calendar in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007 you can use: native solutions available in Microsoft Outlook or a third party tool like CodeTwo Public Folders.

Share calendar in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007.

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Meet us at IT/Dev Connections 2016 in October!

We are happy to let you know that CodeTwo will be exhibiting at IT/Dev Connections 2016 in a few weeks. The event will take place in Aria Resort in Las Vegas on October 10-13, 2016. We will be there for the second year in a row as a Silver Sponsor and we can’t wait to meet you there!

CodeTwo at IT/Dev Connections 2016

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How to set autoreply for another user in Exchange Server or Office 365

During the holiday season, many IT admins face the problem of setting an autoreply for another user on Exchange Server or Office 365. The story is often the same… An employee goes on vacation and forgets to set the autoreply in the Exchange/Office 365 mailbox. The only person capable of fixing this is usually the IT guy, who can use his or her admin rights to set the autoreply in Exchange Admin Center.

While many administrators don’t mind performing such small office tasks, others may find it distracting and would rather delegate setting autoreplies for users to a secretary or an HR specialist. In this article I am going to show you how you can grant Exchange or Office 365 autoreply editing rights to another user – not necessarily the admin – by installing a smart 3rd party tool called CodeTwo Out of Office Manager. Let’s get started then!

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New update to CodeTwo Exchange Rules product family released!

The product family of CodeTwo Exchange Rules and CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro has just been updated!

New version of CodeTwo Exchange Rules and CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro available.

The current release features some improvements and fixes to most recently reported issues. It also introduces a bunch of new features.

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Update to CodeTwo Exchange Sync: Synchronize Exchange folders on Exchange 2016!

For all those who have already moved to Exchange Server 2016 and can’t wait to synchronize exchange folders (e.g. public folders with users’ personal folders and view their content on mobile devices), we have good news – CodeTwo Exchange Sync is now compatible with Exchange 2016.

Update to CodeTwo Exchange Sync - synchronize Exchange folders on Exchange 2016.

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