Tag Archives: Office

Microsoft announces first renewable energy deal in India

Deal will help power Microsoft’s Bangalore office with solar energy; marks progress for both the company and India toward respective renewable energy goals

BANGALORE, India — March 6, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. has announced the completion of its first renewable energy deal within the Karnataka state of India. The agreement will see Microsoft purchase 3 megawatts of solar-powered electricity from Atria Power to help power its new office building in Bangalore. This will meet 80 percent of the projected electricity needs at the new facility. This deal is part of a state government of Karnataka program to encourage investments in local solar energy operations, in line with the larger Indian government goal to ramp up solar power generation to 100 gigawatts by 2022, as part of India’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Investing in local solar energy to help power our new Bangalore office building is good for Microsoft, good for India and good for the environment,” said Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India. “We are proud to be deepening our long history of partnership and investment in India with this agreement. This deal will help us grow sustainably and supports the growth of the Indian solar energy industry, so that the entire country can more easily and reliably access clean electricity.”

“Microsoft, like India, has ambitious commitments to use more renewable energy,” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist, Microsoft. “By purchasing local solar power to meet some of our local electricity needs, we’re not only meeting our goals but also supporting the growth of local clean energy industries. This growth leads to more clean electricity capacity, which will help India meet its targets for the Paris Agreement, reduce carbon emissions and provide clean electricity to its growing population. We’re proud to play a small role in this Indian energy transformation.”

This is Microsoft’s first solar energy agreement in India, and one of the first in Asia — the company completed a new solar agreement in Singapore last week. Once completed, this project will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 900 megawatts. The deals in Asia follow wind projects in Europe and a substantial portfolio in the United States, and mark continued momentum toward the corporate clean energy commitments set by the company in 2016. Microsoft’s goal is to rely on wind, solar and hydropower electricity for at least 50 percent of its energy usage worldwide by the end of 2018.

About Microsoft India

Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 8,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development, and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local datacenters to accelerate digital transformation across Indian startups, businesses and government organizations. In 2016, Microsoft opened one of its eight Cybersecurity Engagement Centers in the country to address security needs of both public and private sectors.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777,


Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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Office 2011 Mac – 3 user

Have a boxed copy of office 2011 for Mac Home and student which includes 3 users.

Original installation dvd included.

£30 plus postage

Price and currency: 30.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT/PPH
Location: London
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Office 2011 Mac – 3 user

Office Depot says ‘no’ to Oracle ERP Cloud customizations

Office Depot, a firm with about $11 billion in sales, is moving major applications to the Oracle ERP Cloud. In doing so, Office Depot wants to avoid any customizations as it shifts from in-house systems.

The retailer will use best practices embedded in various Oracle ERP Cloud platforms: in this case, Oracle’s Supply Chain Management Cloud, its cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) systems. Oracle announced Office Depot’s decision Jan. 29.

Rejecting customizations was easier for some systems than others. HR business processes lend themselves well to this change, said Damon Venger, senior director of IT applications at Office Depot.

With HR they “are not reviewing our customizations — we are getting rid of them,” Venger said.

By not customizing its Oracle ERP applications, the retailer will simplify its IT processes, and reduce the cost of maintaining and managing them, he said.

Office Depot started selling the initiative internally last year. “It’s hard for executives in the business to say, ‘I have to do performance management in a specific way,” Venger said. That’s the goal at least. Supply chain will “definitely be more challenging,” he said.

Deciding on no customization is ‘trendsetting’

Office Depot uses Oracle products, including PeopleSoft, hosted in an Oracle data center. It uses Hyperion Financial Management products, and a supply chain product.

It’s hard for executives in the business to say ‘I have to do performance management in a specific way.’
Damon Vengersenior director of IT applications, Office Depot

The HCM and EPM migration will take about a year, and supply chain about two years. The company plans to use Agile development processes to complete the migrations.

For a company its size, Office Depot’s decision on customizations is “trendsetting,” said Seth Lippincott, an analyst at Nucleus Research. But it’s also possible because vendors are developing “what they would consider best practices in every one of their capabilities,” he said.

Some users argue that they need ERP customizations because of unique business requirements or industry-specific practices. But those arguments are waning as vendors add industry-specific capabilities, Lippincott said.

If customizations are about “letting people feel comfortable and safe in what they’re used to, it won’t help,” Lippincott argued. A firm will still go through a change management process. It makes sense for the long-term to force users into the new environment, he said.

APIs will connect customizations, but once started problems mount.

Office Depot made ‘pragmatic’ decision

Judith Hurwitz, the CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, called Office Depot’s decision “pragmatic.”

Routine updates mean testing against the customizations. “You are always sort of out of sync” with the latest updates. They may take months of testing. Asking a vendor for customizations can add millions, she said.

“Are your processes really so unique, so different?” Hurwitz said. For most firms, they aren’t, she said.

Venger said the decision to migrate to the cloud “was not a blind move to go.” Office Depot analyzed its real costs, including data center costs, licensing — every aspect.

Oracle ERP Cloud “came with a significant cost-savings,” and functionality upgrades, Venger said. With the on-premises system, “unless we customized it, you wouldn’t have functionality changes,” he said.

New to Office 365 in January—enriching teamwork across devices

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

We’re launching into 2018 by bringing great new value to Office 365 subscribers, with updates that enhance how teams work together and unlock new ways to create and manage content across devices. Read on for details.

Get more done in Microsoft Teams

New features for Microsoft Teams enable you to interact with apps in new ways, customize your personal workspace, and take quick actions.

Find and use apps in new ways—Now you can include interactive cards from apps in conversations the same way you would add an emoji or GIF. With one click, you can bring important information, like a task from Trello, into a channel conversation or chat. Finding new apps and services in Teams is now easier with the new Store, where you can search for apps by name or category, such as “Project management” or “Analytics & BI.”

Command apps and take quick actions across Teams—We also introduced the new command box in Microsoft Teams, a single point of entry that integrates your search and command experiences. Now you can quickly interact with apps, perform tasks, and navigate throughout Teams directly from the command box, in addition to searching across people, messages, files, and apps.

A view of the apps available for Microsoft Teams from the Store dash.

Work together more effectively with updates to iOS and Mac

New Office 365 capabilities for iOS and Mac enhance how teams create content together, make it easier to produce advanced documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from anywhere, and introduce new ways to search, preview, and interact with files.

Co-authoring for iOS and Mac—We made it easier for individuals to work together across devices with the general availability of co-authoring in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iOS and Mac. Now, whether you work on a Mac, PC, or mobile device, you’ll know who else is working with you in a document, see where they’re working, and view changes. Co-authoring is already available on the Office desktop applications for Windows, Office for Android, and Office Online. Learn more at the Microsoft Tech Community.

Automatically save your work on Mac—Today also marks the general availability of AutoSave in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Mac for Office 365 subscribers who store their documents in OneDrive and SharePoint. Whether you’re working alone or with others, your latest changes are now automatically stored in the cloud, so you never need to worry about hitting the Save button again. You can also view and restore content from earlier versions of the document at any time with support for version history.

Image of a laptop open, displaying a financial report in Excel.

Drag and drop content and files on iOS—The Office and OneDrive iOS apps now support drag and drop for content and files. One of the most common and powerful tasks when creating content is integrating photos, graphs, and other objects from a variety of sources. Now Office 365 subscribers on iPad and iPhone can easily drag and drop content into documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from other Office apps or OneDrive. Support for drag and drop for iOS also enables you to move files to and from OneDrive and other sources—such as SharePoint or iMessage—making it easier to organize content scattered across different apps and services.

Animated image shows the drag and drop capabilities in Office and OneDrive for iOS.

Access OneDrive files from more iOS apps—OneDrive for iOS now natively supports the new iOS 11 Files app. This means iPhone and iPad users can upload, access, edit, and save content to OneDrive or SharePoint from any iOS app that supports File app integration—a top requested feature. Users can also tag their favorite OneDrive and SharePoint files from within the Files app, making it easier to find and use the content that matters to you.

Preview more file types with OneDrive for iOS—We redesigned the OneDrive for iOS app with a more detailed list view, making it easier to scan file names, see relevant information, and sort files by specific attributes. The updated OneDrive for iOS app also creates crisp thumbnails and supports previews for over 130 file types, including Adobe Photoshop and 3D objects, so you can open, view, and share the right content without leaving the app.

Search across your organization with Outlook for iOS—The new search experience in Outlook for iOS leverages the Microsoft Graph to surface results from your top contacts, upcoming travel itineraries, package deliveries, recent attachments, and more. Together with proactive search suggestions and a unified design, it now provides consistent, personalized results that enable you to discover information from across your organization faster.

Improve reading skills with Learning Tools for Mac—Word for Mac now supports Immersive Reader and Read Aloud, tools previously available in Word for Windows and mobile apps. These tools enable content to be viewed in ways that are optimized for learning differences and allow documents to be read back with simultaneous highlighting. These features make it easier to recognize and correct errors as you write, improving reading and editing accuracy for everyone—especially users with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Additional updates

  • New ways to share on YammerEarlier this month, we introduced new ways for users to share engaging company-wide content from wherever they are with the Yammer mobile app. Users can now post announcements to groups, add animated GIFs, and more.
  • Powerful inclusive learning tools—Last week at Bett, we introduced a range of powerful new tools that make teaching and learning in schools more inclusive and collaborative, including built-in dictation across Office 365 and the expansion of Learning Tools to Mac and iPhone.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office for Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office for Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). All updates in this blog have reached general availability and are beginning to roll out to Office 365 subscribers. Microsoft Teams updates are rolling out automatically and you can expect to see them in your Teams desktop client soon. For iOS and Mac updates, check for updates on your device. Some devices may receive these updates later than others.

Office 365 labels help keep content under control

Office 365 labels make it easy to classify data for compliance purposes through both manual and automatic methods.

Office 365 label policies, included with E3 subscriptions, provide a central location to configure and publish labels to Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and the services that depend on them, such as Office 365 Groups.

For example, administrators can add a label named Financial Data to the Security & Compliance Center and designate it to keep data with that label for six years. An Office 365 label policy pushes that label out to the other Microsoft services on the platform.

Users mark items in their inbox or documents with labels. Office 365 labels have policies that retain or delete data based on the organization’s needs. Personal data might get marked for deletion after a certain amount of time following a review, for example, or other information might get marked as an organizational record, so nobody can change or purge it.

The Advanced Data Governance functionality in an E5 subscription enables the automatic application of data labels based on keywords or sensitive information. Policies could mark all data with Social Security numbers as personal data or mark all data with credit card numbers as financial data.

The Advanced Data Governance functionality in an E5 subscription enables the automatic application of data labels based on keywords or sensitive information.

Label policies require some forethought to cover different types of information. Many organizations might require multiple labels to cover the types of data to retain or delete.

Office 365 labels take approximately 24 hours before they appear. Automatic labeling starts after about seven days.

User or organization-wide retention policies that hold data take precedence over Office 365 labels. A policy that holds data for 10 years across the organization will overrule one that removes certain data after five years.

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For Sale – Huge tower ex-CAD workstation intel i7

Not sure on value of this, so offers are welcome.
From an office clearance (my old works office) is an ex-CAD workstation. Used to run Solidworks no problem.
HDD removed, but I can include the one from it if it’s a deal breaker. Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500gb. Windows 7 pro oem sticker on side of case. I will not load Windows on, but I am happy to install Ubuntu and supply it as fully working if needed. But as it is, no HDD and sold as-is.
The case is huge, 530mm long, 420mm high, 195mm wide. It does have some marks and scratches, it is not mint.
Front did have a clear swing open door, but that is missing. It’s an Antec case with 430 watt Antec power supply.
4 fold out feet.
Mobo is an intel DP55WG.
CPU is an i7, but not sure on exact spec until I try and power it up.
Memory is 4 sticks of Kingston, in 2 matched pairs. Not sure on size, so will advise when I power it up, but I’ll need to use the ancillaries from my main PC, so will not be until this evening.
Graphics card is a Nvidia Quadro 2000 with DVI and two display ports.
Lightscribe DVD writer.
The case is huge and heavy, so collection only from Spalding, PE11 area.

Price and currency: £150
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash
Location: Spalding, Lincs
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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

From Redmond with WiFi: How this Microsoft employee helped bring critical infrastructure to a hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island

Nicholas Harland at his office, with an image behind him showing the path of Hurricane Irma. (Stephen Smith Photo)

Nicholas Harland worried about his uncle Roger.

Roger Harland, a resident of the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John, is on medication for a recent liver transplant, and over the summer, with Hurricane Irma approaching, the family couldn’t get in touch. So his nephew began hatching a plan with his family to get to the island and make sure his uncle had the medication he needed.

Nicholas Harland, a senior manager at Microsoft, ran into a roadblock right away. St. John lacks its own airport, so the typical method of passage would be to fly to the island of St. Thomas and take a ferry over. But Irma decimated the St. Thomas airport, forcing Harland to find another path.

A damaged St. John, days after Hurricane Irma hit the island. (Nicholas Harland Photo)

So he turned to the internet, finding a Facebook group of people trying to get supplies to those affected by the hurricane. There he connected with a restaurant owner cooking meals and sending them by boat to St. John from St. Croix, an island 45 minutes south that was spared the full brunt of Irma.

Nicholas Harland on the job in St. John. (Nicholas Harland Photo)

“I flew there, and these people that I didn’t know put me up in their house overnight and fed me and gave me an air-conditioned room,” said Harland. “And then I got on a boat the next morning and went over to St. John.”

A little more than a week after Irma hit, Harland reunited with his uncle and aunt Fran. It turned out Roger was well supplied with four months’ worth of medication, and Harland brought another two months’ worth.

An experienced backpacker, Harland brought everything he needed to survive for a couple days. He says he wanted to help, not turn himself into someone who needed aid.

That’s when his mission took on a larger purpose. He had brought with him $7,000 worth of satellite phones and other communication equipment to help Roger and Fran stay connected to the family.

Harland’s equipment stash included 12 Baofeng UV5-R radios, powerful handheld Ham Radios, to hand out to friends and neighbors. If they caught on, Harland said, he was ready to recruit folks who could set up radio towers to restore some form of communication to the island.

But it turned out there was a group already doing that. After getting a signal, Harland started asking around to find out who was working on re-connecting the island. He hooked up with a group of local IT pros working to restore internet service via a new WiFi network. Though cell service was down and the island was without power, the group was able use an undersea cable that still worked as the backbone of its network.

They set up the first WiFi hotspot on the island four days after Irma hit, before Harland arrived. They also managed to set up a point-to-point link at a National Park Service office where first responders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were stationed and at a few businesses, so customers could run credit cards.

When Harland arrived, he met up with the team at a pizza shop that would serve as their home base. Together, they came up with a plan to provide WiFi to the entire island.

The office in the early days of the effort that would become Love City Community Network. (Nicholas Harland Photo)

Harland was only supposed to stay a couple of days, help out his uncle, drop off the equipment he brought and then head out. But the second catastrophic storm to hit the area, Hurricane Maria, disabled the St. Croix airport, leaving him stranded.

Harland did eventually get off the island, but three months later, he is still making trips to St. John from Redmond, Wash., and is back there again between Christmas and New Year’s. Each time he has hauled with him thousands of dollars in gear to bolster the WiFi network. This effort is a first for Harland, taking his philanthropic giving to a new level of engagement.

“I give to charities, I have payroll deductions, but I’ve never actually been in a position where I had skills and experience that could really impact an entire community like that,” Harland said.

Harland and the local IT guys — Matt Gyuraki, Jason Monigold, Morgan Barlas, Rob Tutton, Pete Miazga — have since founded a nonprofit called Love City Community Network. The goal is to continue developing a plan for bringing WiFi to storm-stricken areas like St. John and serve as a resource for other groups that want to replicate that effort. Harland recruited a fellow engineer, Majdi Abbas, a former Yahoo engineer, to join the effort, and he has since become a critical team member.

Gear for one of Harland’s trips to St. John. (Nicholas Harland Photo)

Harland is in St. John again right now, his fourth trip there, and possibly his last for a while. This time around, he will be setting up more point-to-point equipment to increase the capacity of the network, as it is starting to run up against bandwidth issues.

Testing WiFi equipment at Harland’s Redmond, Wash. apartment. (Nicholas Harland Photo)

And even if he can’t go back for a while, Harland will remain prominently involved in the effort. During an interview at his Microsoft office in Redmond, Wash., part of the network briefly went down, illustrating that the work didn’t end when the network launched. His office, where he is surrounded by a quartet of monitors and a poster showing Irma’s path in September, is a mix of his work life and his growing mission on St. John.

At his apartment, also in Redmond, Harland has been testing the equipment he brings to St. John. That gives him what he calls “probably one of the fastest WiFi networks around.”

Harland has always been an internet enthusiast. He got his first job with an internet service provider at the age of 15, back in an era when every small town had a dial-up internet service provider. He’s been with Microsoft for five years now, and today he works in the company’s Global Network Acquisition Group, which plans and manages Microsoft’s worldwide network of data centers. He knows a few things about managing a complex network.

Those skills came in handy when the group was hunkered down during Maria. Still without power, the team had to take down much of the infrastructure it had built because of the risk posed by the second storm. So they began building a plan to present to aid and governmental organization to get funding for their work and the equipment they needed. In putting together the bones of the new WiFi network, they went analog.

“We got out a map and some pins and strings, and pieced together sight lines to get point-to-point wireless all over the island,” Harland said.

Once the storm clouds cleared, the team that would become Love City Community Network got back to work. And so did other island residents. That included country music star Kenny Chesney, who has a home on the island that was destroyed by Irma. His charity Love for Love City aimed to identify the biggest needs and create an avenue for people to donate money and supplies to the rescue effort.

The WiFi network on St. John.

A friend of Harland’s in Boston bought some wireless equipment and sent it down on a private jet owned by a hedge fund manager on the island. With the local public airports still decimated, that same plane got Harland off the island nearly two weeks after he first arrived, along with some injured residents.

Wealthy and isolated, with 70 percent of the 20-square-mile island an undeveloped national park, the challenges on St. John were different from those in dense cities. With only about 5,000 people, a small proportion of the overall Virgin Islands population, Harland says St. John was not the top priority for government response. The team counted on their knowledge of the island, finding the right spots on the rugged terrain to put up their equipment

At the same time, other organizations on the ground were working to get things back up to speed. One was a group called Global Disaster Immediate Response Team, or Global DIRT. Founded to respond to the massive 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, the organization aims to fill in gaps in disaster response and work with both government organizations and locals participating in the recovery.

In the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the organization has been working to get communications back online. Zac Clancy, director of IT at Global DIRT, told GeekWire that the locals on St. John have made a huge difference in the recovery — doing everything from getting communications back online to making meals to just walking around and asking people what they need.

The Global DIRT team installing solar panels on St. John. (Global DIRT Photo)

As the internet and smartphones have proliferated around the world, getting the web back up has become almost as important as getting power again, and that’s why it’s among Global DIRT’s top priorities on the ground.

“When you have these larger bodies arriving, like your Navy, your Coast Guard, if you don’t have any sort of communications infrastructure laid out already, or if there isn’t a way to communicate anyways, things become very complicated,” Clancy said.

The first thing the Global DIRT team did when they arrived in St. John was hand out a bunch of satellite phones. And the large volume of equipment brought down by Harland, the local IT pros on the island and other volunteers sped things up. One of the local IT guys, Gyuraki, extrapolated what they did on St. John and installed a WiFi network working with Google, Facebook and the non-profit NetHope to set up an “air fiber” connection linking cell towers on a 19-square-mile Puerto Rican island.

Despite all this work, there remains much to do. It took almost two months for the first buildings to get power back on St. John, and Harland’s team estimates that still only about 60 percent of houses on the island have power. In Puerto Rico, devastated by Hurricane Maria, many remain without power.

The island of St. John. (Nicholas Harland Photo)

Beyond the efforts of residents, aid organizations and government agencies, tech companies have stepped up to help the recovery mission. Tesla, Facebook, Google and many more all worked in the immediate aftermath of the storms to restore power and connectivity to the regions.

Microsoft has pitched in with both donations and technology. It gave $1 million for disaster relief in the immediate aftermath, and as of November it had donated more than $5 million.

Microsoft is teaming with NetHope and aid organizations to provide connectivity through TV white space technology. That involves tapping into unused blocks of broadcast spectrum between TV channels to deliver wireless broadband connections over great distances and difficult terrain.

The efforts of these tech companies has greatly aided recovery, said Clancy of Global DIRT. What helps most in terms of long-term recovery is manpower. Getting talented engineers down to fix problems is a key part of getting connections back up and keeping them functional. A long-term presence beyond just the initial shock of the storm makes it easier to maintain and manage new systems built during the recovery.

“It’s hard to gain perspective over a smaller period of time,” Clancy said. “One of the reasons we find ourselves so effective is because we are here for months, and we will be here months later. Because we’ve been here for that long and because we anticipate being here for that long, the decision-making of how we’re doing things becomes a bit easier because we don’t necessarily feel a crunch for time and we don’t necessarily feel like we need to make the most amount of impact in a couple days and hope it pans out.”

Beyond the effort on St. John, Harland hopes the Love City team group can help provide a model for re-connecting communities after disasters. Harland said initial recovery efforts from non-governmental organizations don’t often focus on getting businesses up and running so the economy can rev up again.

That was a big part of their work on St. John.

“When you lose your communication circuits and all of your power, all the banks close and you can’t use an ATM, and stores can’t process payment cards. So the entire economy became cash and what we realized, people can’t get more cash because banks the are closed, and the ferries weren’t running,” Harland said. “We deployed WiFi to the grocery store, the hardware and a pharmacy so that they could run credit cards again.”

Set Office 365 group limits to avoid administrative hassles

Office 365 group limits to rein in unchecked access, which could lead to unintended consequences.

An Office 365 group not only contains the membership list for a collection of people, but also manages provisioning and access to multiple services, such as Exchange and SharePoint. At a fundamental level, this means each time a user creates a group for something — a project, or perhaps a team — they add a SharePoint site, group inbox, calendar, Planner, OneNote and more.

Groups is also the foundation behind new services such as Microsoft Teams, Office 365’s chat-based collaboration app. In addition to messaging via channels, Teams enables users to chat with colleagues over voice and video calls, collaborate on documents and use tabs to display other relevant team information. Teams uses Office 365 Groups to produce a team within Teams, not only for the membership list, but also to connect the underlying group-enabled services for data storage.

Why Office 365 group limits are crucial

By default, Office 365 users can create groups without any restrictions. While this appears to be a great idea to prompt viral adoption, it is likely to backfire.

The strength of Office 365 Groups is only one group is needed to manage a team’s calendar, share files among colleagues, and hold group video calls and chats. However, this is not immediately obvious to workers as they explore available services.

For example, a user starts work on a project and, being new to Microsoft Planner, decides to add a plan with the name Project Z Plan. The user also sees he can create a group calendar in Outlook, which he names Project Z Calendar. He feels he could also use a SharePoint site for the project, so he makes one called Project Z. Later, the user discovers Microsoft Teams and feels it can help with the project collaboration efforts, so he generates a new team named Project Z Team.

Each of those actions creates a new group in Office 365. A combined lack of guidance and structure means the worker’s actions — intended to build a seamless fabric that connects multiple Office 365 services — added multiple silos and redundant resources.

This scenario illustrates the need for administrators to develop Office 365 group limits to avoid similar issues. Users need instruction on what tool to use and when, but also some understanding of what a group is in the context of the organization.

Checklist for a proper Office 365 Groups configuration

Before enabling Office 365 Groups for widespread adoption, the administrator should adjust the basic settings to provide limits and help users adhere to corporate standards.

At a minimum, the IT department should consider the following Office 365 Groups configuration:

  • the email address policy for group Simple Mail Transfer Protocol addresses;
  • usage guidelines;
  • group creation restrictions; and
  • group classifications.

Apart from the email address policy, all other configurations require an Azure Active Directory Premium license, as documented here.

Next, define the settings to adjust:

Policy to update

Configuration to implement

Reason for the change

Email address


The company will use the main domain name because all the mailboxes were moved to Office 365.

Usage guideline URL


Shows users best practices for producing Office 365 Groups.

Group creation restrictions

Enables line managers group to add Office 365 Groups

Only managers can create new Office 365 Groups.

Group classifications

Low risk, medium risk and high risk

Enables users to classify groups and be aware of the sensitivity of the information within the group.

To make these changes, we use PowerShell to change the configuration in multiple places.

For the email address policy configuration, add a new policy that applies to all groups with the New-EmailAddressPolicy cmdlet:

$UserCredential = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session

New-EmailAddressPolicy -Name GroupsPolicy -IncludeUnifiedGroupRecipients -EnabledEmailAddressTemplates “SMTP:@contoso.com” -Priority 1

For the group configuration settings, use the Azure AD preview module. After connecting to Azure AD, use this code to confirm there is a template for group settings:

Connect-AzureAD -Credential $UserCredential

$Template = Get-AzureADDirectorySettingTemplate | Where {$_.DisplayName -eq “Group.Unified”}

$Setting = $Template.CreateDirectorySetting()

Next, define the group settings based on the configuration defined in the table and apply it:

# Configure the URL for our guidelines

$Settings[“UsageGuidelinesUrl”] = “https://contoso.sharepoint.com/usage”

# Disable group creation except for the Line Managers group

$Settings[“EnableGroupCreation”] = $False

$Settings[“GroupCreationAllowedGroupId”] = (Get-AzureADGroup -SearchString “Line Managers”).ObjectID

# Create our list of classifications

$Settings[“ClassificationList”] = “Low Risk,Medium Risk,High Risk”

# Apply the settings

New-AzureADDirectorySetting -DirectorySetting $Settings

Verify those settings with the following command:

(Get-AzureADDirectorySetting -All $true).Values

Office 365 Groups configuration
Use PowerShell to check the settings for Office 365 Groups.

With those adjustments in place, the new Office 365 Groups creation process changes, as shown below.

Office 365 Groups plan
A new plan shows the configuration settings defined by the Office 365 administrator.

Now, new Groups will have appropriate email addresses assigned — existing groups remain unchanged.

Office 365 Groups email
With a configuration in place for Office 365 Groups, the proper email address gets produced automatically.

Add boundaries and reduce complications

It’s important for administrators to employ Office 365 group limits. This practice prevents unchecked access to resources in the collaboration platform, which maintains order and avoids problems with redundancy and wasted resources.

Change key settings to put basic governance in place to steer users toward usage guidelines for Office 365 Groups. This helps the administrator ensure the groups are created correctly and can be managed properly as adoption grows.