David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Fixing my Office 365 Lync Voice (P1) and PGi world wide phone integration problems–error ID 3110 (source ID 243)

    I use Office 365.  Probably no surprise for many, but I like the world wide access and simplicity.  However, since leaving Microsoft I found having to Skype people a little frustrating if I wanted to host a multi-party conference call, especially if some people need to dial in using a phone, rather than Lync from a PC.  To this end I ended up purchasing a certified solution from PGi. PGi charge me per minute per person and I have dial in and out capability, so I can dial people to join the call and people can dial in with numbers for most countries around the world.  Perfect, just like the solution I had when I worked at Microsoft. Except it didn’t work.  People could dial the conference number and hear each other and others could be connected via VoIP, but the two groups could not hear each other. Not the solution I wanted.  I ran the DNS tests that Microsoft asks for and did test calls with the nice people from PGi, but nothing was showing up as the error.  Searching the internet showed various potential solutions, but nothing seemed to be working. When I tried to dial people in, I got this error here: Eventually, I came across a post that said it was a licensing problem and the users needed to be un-licensed, left for 15 minutes, then re-licensed.  I tried this and hey-presto, it all worked. So here is the fix I used: Go to http://office.microsoft.com and sign in with your office 365 credentials Select users and groups from the admin screen Select the user you want to enable and press the edit link that looks like a pencil Now press licenses on the left hand side Remove the tick from Lync Online (P1) and select save.  Repeat this for each user that needs to have access to Lync Voice Now, have a nice coffee, leave it at least 5 minutes, but 15 is advised Now go back, do the same again for the users, but re-select Lync Online (P1) and save the changes for each user.   For me, I was able to now schedule a meeting and it all works – hopefully the same will work for...
  • Diagnosing connectivity problems to Exchange and Office 365

    I was asked today about an Outlook synchronisation of the address book over the web (RPC over http) and did some digging and found this excellent diagnosis tool - https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com .  The nice thing is that it tests many products – Exchange, ActiveSync and Office 365 . Once you start the tool you have to choose what diagnosis you want: or After you have completed your sign-in details, you get the results.  In the example below it shows that my certificate is not publically signed and a number of other issues that I could address if they were the cause of connectivity issues (but I don’t need to as I get the functionality I want with the current setup)   ttfn David
  • Comparing a Word document on Office Web Apps on SkyDrive or Office 365 to Google Apps

    Hi, I’ve been asked this before, so I thought I would share this today.  I don’t use Google Apps, so I don’t have personal experience of the services, however I work with companies who employee’s choose to use the services – often because they can’t access the corporate environment from home or have file size limits that stop them.  Anyway, I do use Word, Excel and PowerPoint and I use quite a lot of the features in my documents (e.g. the book and reports in Word, my personal finance spread sheet in Excel and numerous presentations in PowerPoint).  I’m fussy, I like my documents to render the same, no matter what device I’m accessing them from and especially when I’m presenting.  I’ve always seen the differences when they are shared with products other than Office and have been known to spend a couple of hours fixing them up once they come out of the “other” services.  People ask me why I stick to Microsoft, this is one of the reasons. Today I saw this - http://bit.ly/tSedOC – it has a document available in Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 .  The nice thing is that I can edit both on the web.  Only one renders correctly and only one comes to my PC for full control with all functionality maintained.  I’m sure you can guess which. Now I expect some people to say “but Office 365 is charged for”, which is true, but as a consumer I can use the features of the web applications on SkyDrive for free. Have a look at the site, you may be surprised.   ttfn David
  • Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together.

    I saw this and just had to blog it.. The graphic on the left has amazing information – 41 of Interband Top 100 run on Microsoft’s cloud productivity services. 90% of Office 365 customers (not the seats, but the customer count) are SMEs with less than 50 employees.  You can guess the big customers from the stats. The PR can be found at Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together. One last thing I like, since I’ve been hearing people say “SharePoint is hard for file sharing” – SkyDrive works with Office 365 too.  This is simple, drag and drop and works natively with Office! Snippets from the PR statement: Small Businesses and Big Brands Bet on Office 365 More and more large global companies are choosing Office 365 to enable their employees and customers to work together in the cloud. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the global Interbrand list of the 100 top brands use Office 365 or related cloud productivity services from Microsoft. Among the new customers are Campbell Soup Company and Groupe Marie-Claire, which have recently chosen Office 365 to reap the benefits of cloud productivity. “Office 365 is key to our plans to propel our employees to next-generation innovation in productivity technologies, at a very rapid pace,” said Joe Spagnoletti, senior vice president and chief information officer at Campbell Soup Company. “We’re betting on the cloud — and Office 365 — as we prepare to build a highly collaborative workplace where employees across our global offices can all work together and communicate in a seamless fashion.” Groupe Marie-Claire, a leading fashion magazine published in more than 30 countries, will use Office 365 to modernize the company’s email and collaboration capabilities, while moving away from a costly and inefficient legacy technology. Employees at Groupe Marie-Claire will be able to access email and share documents on a PC, Mac or various...
  • How to find out about service disruption for Office 365, BPOS, Windows Azure and Windows Intune

    Hi, I got this e-mail from Microsoft, but wanted to share with all should you ever need to get this information.  The key elements are:       1. Today: Educate Yourself 2. During the Event: Stay Informed 3. After the Event: Understand the Situation 1. View service status via the Service Health Dashboards BPOS: Americas: https://health.noam.microsoftonline.com Europe: https://health.emea.microsoftonline.com Asia/Pacific: https://health.apac.microsoftonline.com Windows Azure Service Health Dashboard Windows Intune Service Service Status 2. Office 365 Within the Dashboard, Click on "Service Health" in the left column of the Admin Overview under Support 3. Sign up for Windows Azure and BPOS-S RSS Feeds via the Service Health Dashboards 1. Track customer updates on the service dashboards 2. Subscribe to Twitter Handles: @MSOnline @Office365 @Windows Intune @Windows Azure The Microsoft Online Services Team will convey the latest updates via the above Twitter Accounts. 1. Request the Post Incident Report (PIR) from Support. 2. Meet with your customers to assess the impact. 3. Provide your feedback and feedback on behalf of your customers around the event and communication process. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Intune , Office 365 , Azure , BPOS , Microsoft
  • Office 365 integration module beta for Windows SBS 2011 Essentials

    Hi, I just saw this on the wires and wanted to share it, although please note that this build is for evaluation purposes only. You should not install this in a production environment. Microsoft does not license you for, nor support installing in these environments. You can download the preview package from by navigating to it in the download section of the connect site or by using this link . Please refer to Release Documentation for installation and uninstallation instructions. Feedback is very important to Microsoft. In order for Microsoft to gather feedback on any issues encountered while using this build, please submit all bug reports for this release using the bug reporting form on MS Connect , via the http://connect.microsoft.com/SBS web site. It goes without saying that in order to participate in the Beta Program you need to be signed up on the connect site. Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBS 2011 , Office 365 , Cloud , Microsoft , SBSC
  • How does a SBS partner win / lose with Windows Intune–discuss

    Hi, I don’t run my own business offering support to customers, but I thought I would put out a suggestion, since some partners have asked me “how do I make money from the cloud?” Before I start I really do have to stress that this is NOT MY DAY JOB and that my opinions here are MINE and not those of Microsoft.  They may align, they may not, but I have been thinking about this and wanted to share MY thoughts and then see what others had to say about it. There are so many answers and depending on the customer, the answer may well be “you can’t, not yet.”  However, I’ve tried to draw 3 comparison graphs on how I see things changing.  I mean, the number of times I’ve heard SBSC partners say “I want the management functionality of SBS, but I don’t want Exchange”, well, we have that with SBS Essentials now.  There are other times when customers don’t visit the office often enough and while Direct Access can solve some problems, only if the customer has the infrastructure for it. If not, unless a PC visits the office or VPN’s in, then the policies do not get applied. So, we know what Windows Intune “does” versus the SBS servers as I’ve described this here . The next question for a partner is what is the impact on my revenue and profit margin.  I’ve tried to depict this with some very simple graphics of this below.  I’m thinking of a customer who wants desktop management or desktop plus Exchange and SharePoint.  It would be great to know if this is too simple or the concept is wrong – please feel free to comment below. SBS costs and profit You can see from the picture that hardware , while expensive have a very small (if any) profit associated to it.  The same is true of software , especially if it is Microsoft software which I’m told has lower margins that some other people’s. We then come onto the services elements.  The first part is i nstallation .  For some people this is a lower revenue and profit part of the process.  This is then followed up by the support element...
  • New role–Enablement Partner strategy

    I thought I would share some details of my new role at Microsoft, which is still as a Partner Account Manager, but also responsible for the Enablement Partner strategy.  Obviously this is my day job with my author and blogging work still being a personal project for the evenings and weekends. So what are Enablement Partners you may ask?  Well they are partners who provide technology or services that help a customer (or another partner) deploy their chosen Microsoft technology, but do not deliver the project itself.  This may sound complex, so let me give you some examples: AppSense provide a host of technology, but it is around managing the user so they have a great experience no matter which device they log into and their profile flows between these devices, regardless of which version of Windows they are using (XP, Vista, 7, Server, 64-bit, 32-bit).  The direction is forwards and backwards.  They also offer many other benefits such as locking down licenses to specific devices which is frequently an issue for Project and Visio in an RDS environment.  Customers use this before, during and after upgrades to Windows 7, where a user can still use and update their profile on XP, for example. ChangeBase help customers ready their applications for migration, enabling remediation, packaging and certainty to an often complex area.  App-DNA provide an overlap of capabilities and both partners offering unique differences and benefits to customers and partners – I’m not going to try to differentiate either here. Both and excellent partners and both can easily explain their uniqueness and why you should use them without my help.  Customers often need to do this work before embarking on a migration to Windows 7 or a new version of Quest enable customers to manage, consolidate and migrate from non-Microsoft and legacy communication and collaboration systems to modern Exchange or Office 365.  This can be delivered with Microsoft tools, but frequently Quest simplify this process. ...
  • Office 365 for small businesses

    I got this e-mail and thought I would share as I love Office 365.  I'm moving my e-mail there as £4 per user per month is just amazing! Are you ready to embrace the cloud computing revolution? It could cost much less than you think. Microsoft Office 365 gives growing businesses access to Microsoft's most advanced collaboration and communication technology – just the thing if you want to become more productive and competitive. It lets you: • Deal with email, work on documents and stay in touch almost anywhere • Share diaries, contacts and tasks with colleagues • Store company documents in a central, secure online filing cabinet • Communicate via online chat, web conferences and email Big capability, small price Microsoft Office 365 costs from £4 per user per month with no upfront costs or capital expenditure. Just pay as you go. It's a surprisingly small amount of money considering the benefits it offers. Just think of how little you get for the same amount: • A gallon of petrol 1 • A single edition of The Economist 2 • Running a single 100w light bulb for a month 3 • An adult ticket from Heathrow to Central London 4 • Approximately 20 minutes' salary for a typical full-time employee 5 Competitive advantage But there's another way to look at it. Microsoft Office 365 costs a fraction of what it would cost to buy, install and manage the kind of hardware and software it would take to provide the same services in-house. For small businesses and growing companies, it is like renting a big company IT department and big company technology for a fraction of the cost. It could be the best bargain your company ever does. Try it for yourself Office 365 changes everything about the way that growing businesses use IT, including the price. Find out for yourself. Join the Microsoft Office 365 beta programme . Kerry Bentley Small Business Marketing Manager Need more information? Why not visit our Small Business website or contact our Small Business team directly . Sign up for the Office 365 beta programme...

(c)David Overton 2006-13