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.

 

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!

Meet CodeTwo at TechEd Europe 2013

teched2013europe-codetwoThis year we’re going to be exhibiting at some great events in Europe. We’re almost ready to head to Madrid for Microsoft TechEd Europe 2013, so if you’re attending this amazing conference, it would be great to meet up and talk!

You will have a chance to talk directly to our dev and sales teams, and to see our new applications in action. We’re going to be presenting a bunch of tools for Exchange 2013, Office 365 and Outlook 2013, as well as for mobile devices.

We would really love to meet you in-person and to hear your product questions, remarks and feedback. Just visit Booth 12 (CodeTwo) anytime you want, and hang out with us during the Welcome Reception on Tuesday, 25 June. If you want to schedule a meeting, just drop me a line at simon.s [att] codetwo.com.

Ohh.. and make sure to grab one of our 100% bug free T-shirts when you get there!

bug-free

This is what it looks like if one of us tries it on. Sorry, but I couldn’t find anyone slimmer in CodeTwo!

Ok, these guys somehow pulled it off to draw their bellies in for 5 seconds!

codetwo-sales-dev-teched

And that’s us – meet us at TechEd! See you there!

How to set up Out of Office reply for another user on Exchange or Office 365

UPDATE: We are sorry, but CodeTwo Out of Office Manager mentioned in this article has been discontinued. If you are looking for an alternative for Exchange Server, take a look at the auto respond feature in CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro.

It’s essential to keep your customers, business partners and employees abreast of the important stuff. If you’re away due to illness, conference or a business trip with no access to your business email, it goes without saying that you should enable email automatic replies, which will notify all senders that you won’t get back to them as quickly as usually, and suggest an alternative contact person.

Creating auto-replies just for yourself on Exchange Server or Office 365 is pretty easy, but if you are an HR manager, receptionist or team leader, and you want to create such replies for a colleague or for multiple employees, there is no such option. Well, you could log in to each and every mailbox and set auto-replies manually, but that’s a never-ending job and a security breach as you can see people’s email.

Today we stand an exciting moment together, as we have given a full unveiling to a new tool. CodeTwo Out of Office Manager makes it possible to centally manage Office 365 or Exchange Out of Office messages for many users. What’s more, the product is extremely easy to use and the installation process takes literally 60 seconds. Make sure your HR team or the management is equipped with the program.

CodeTwo Out of Office Manager

The program has been designed with non-technical employees in mind to take the burden of setting group auto-replies from administrators’ shoulders.

When you open the program for the first time, you are greeted with the connection dialog box. Just use credentials of a user who has Organization Management rights and you’re ready to go. The employees who will be using the program don’t need those rights and they are also not able to use the entered credentials for any other actions whatsoever.

Selecting connection to server to set global auto-replies

The main window will launch once you connect to your server. In addition to being able to easily manage auto-reply items, you’ll also get the general overview of all absences in you company, both upcoming and past. It helps you stay better organized and can serve as an absence monitor, planning aid, you name it.

Manage Exchange and Office 365 autoreplies for multiple users

Scheduling multiple Out of Office items for weeks and months to come is also possible with CodeTwo Out of Office Manager. In other words, if someone is off every Thursday or if you know they will be out of office more than once, you can plan it in advance and be sure the program will activate and deactivate Out of Office items automatically.

Fine-tune your automatic email replies with a built in editor. It’s really easy to design whatever you want even if you have no experience in HTML. Using the editor view, you don’t have to code anything to add tables, links and even Active Directory placeholders.

Designing Out of Office for many employees in the built-in editor

Use smart email templates that can be used for hundreds or thousands of personalized automatic replies. Active Directory attributes used in one template will change into user data when a template is submitted to Exchange or Office 365 user’s settings.

Group out of office message email template

Ready-made auto-replies with Active Directory data for Exchange and Office 365

It’s just one minute to be up and running! I mean it. Install the program in a domain environemnt on any machine if you want to connect to Exchange global Out of Office settings. If you’re an Office 365 user, you can use any computer to do it. What is more, the application works on Exchange 2010, 2013 and all Office 365 plans.

Download CodeTwo Out of Office Manager now and enjoy a 30-day trial with full tech support.