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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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?

CodeTwo reprezentative and SuperTechBoy at IT Dev Connections.

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

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How IT Dev Connections 2015 stacks up against Microsoft IT Conferences

This year’s IT Dev Connections takes place in Aria Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. Allegedly what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but since we did not throw a mattress out of the window and we didn’t kidnap anyone (yet), I think I can share my first impressions after day 1 of Penton Media’s flagship conference.

It’s the third conference taking place in the US that we are sponsoring and exhibiting on in 2015. Traveling from Poland is not an easy thing (especially if you’re based far from any international airport) and this time it took us three days to get to Nevada. No… we didn’t travel by bike, it’s our flight that got delayed and grounded us in Philadelphia for 15 hours. Anyway… let’s cut to the chase.
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Email unsubscribe mechanism and new DLP features – new version of CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro

Today marks the release of a new version of CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro – our flagship email disclaimer and email flow manager. The new version (2.1) has a number of bug-fixes but it also sports two very important new features:

Adding unsubscribe link to Exchange email

A mechanism adding an “unsubscribe me” link to emails sent from Exchange, and letting admins manage blacklists of recipients, has been requested by a number of our Canadian clients due to Canada Anti Spam Law (CASL), which went into effect on July 1st, 2014. The new law affects every commercial email sent to Canada and coerces the sender to include a disclaimer with an unsubscribe link, which lets a recipient unsubscribe from any correspondence from this individual or company. Failing to comply with the regulation may result in the imposition of fines up to 10 million dollars.

Learn more about this feature.

DLP content filtering for credit card numbers

We have improved the Remove Sensitive Content action to properly recognize credit card numbers. This option now utilizes the modulus 10 (aka Luhn) algorithm, which validates credit card numbers. As an Exchange administrator, you can set up the program to remove any credit card number from users’ correspondence to protect company data from leakage.

Learn more about this feature.

More about the program

Read more or download the program now. Existing users of version 2.0 of CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro can install the update absolutely for free – just install the program on top of the existing installation. Your settings will not be lost.


UPDATE: Exchange Server 2013 SP1 Transport Service issues with CodeTwo Exchange Rules 2013/PRO

Our developers have just found a solution to the problem with transport agent failures caused by Exchange Server 2013 SP1 update further described in this post. Microsoft is currently working on an official fix, but if you need a workaround right now, you can resort to instructions from our KB article.

The problem stems from improper formatting of assembly redirection policy files, which makes them unrecognized as valid XML files. Removing one invalid comment line from two config files located in the GAC folder fixes the problem.

Please note that we strongly recommend that you back up these config files before you make any changes.

Let us know in the comments or contact us directly if you have any questions.

EDIT: Microsoft has just officially confirmed that the issue is caused by SP1: support.microsoft.com/kb/2938053

Exchange Server 2013 SP1 Transport Service issues with CodeTwo Exchange Rules 2013/PRO

Note that this applies only to CodeTwo Exchange Rules 2013 or CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO installed on Exchange 2013.

Please be advised that installing the Service Pack 1 update on Exchange 2013 has been reported to cause transport agent failures (for more information see this TechNet thread). It has been just confirmed that upgrading to SP1 with CodeTwo software being installed may stop the Exchange Transport Service on a given server.

Due to the above, we recommend putting off the installation of SP1 until the problem is resolved. Chances are that Microsoft will release an update that fixes the issue in a few days. Nonetheless, we are currently working on our own fix that should be available soon. Please check back on our blog for future updates – we will post an update as soon as we know more about the issue.

If you have any questions, please contact our Support Team directly. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

For more information, please consult this article:

UPDATE: The workaround is now available here: http://www.codetwo.com/kb/codetwo-and-exchange-2013-sp1

Our Office 365 migration tool featured on InfoWorld

CodeTwo Office 365 Migration on InfoWorld

CodeTwo Office 365 Migration has just been featured by J. Peter Bruzzese in his InfoWorld column as one of his three favorite tools for migrating to Office 365. That’s awesome news for us and a third great review of this new product that supports mailbox migrations from Exchange 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2003 and from Google Apps for Business.

We are seeing a lot of traffic to our website these days especially for products that support Exchange-to-Exchange migrations but Microsoft cloud email system migrations do not fall behind. Both of our migration tools are being constantly developed to deliver new features and to improve overall stability. New releases are due soon.

Learn more about the product and how to migrate to Office 365 for free.

And thanks, J. Peter Bruzzese!