Apple has (very slightly) changed the way we add Office 365 email accounts to iOS 10. We’ve taken the opportunity to update our most popular How to video. We’re also giving a big plug for Outlook for iOS. Microsoft have done a great job with this app, and we think it’s a must have for Office 365 users. See how you can get your email under control in our 3 minute video:

You can customise your Office 365 login screens via a service called Azure Active Directory (or Azure AD).

Microsoft Azure continues to transition to the new portal at, and Azure AD is one of the last services to make the leap. Now that it’s in Preview on the new portal, we’ve made an updated video on how to easily brand your Office 365 login screens.


As Office 365 evolves, we need to refresh our training materials. So here’s our updated video tutorial on how to install Office from Office 365.

EmailToSharePointA common requirement for our customers is to forward emails to SharePoint Online lists. This email data usually comes from website forms or enquiry pages, though there’s no out-of-the-box way to extract the form data from an email, and upload it to separate columns in SharePoint list.

Previously I was using Cloud2050 Email Sync, though it relied on software installed on a PC to work, and only worked while that PC was operational and Outlook was open.

Here’s a solution that operates completely in the cloud using Outlook Rules, and Microsoft Azure Logic Apps.

The solution looks like this:

  1. Office 365 forwards email from your website’s form to your address via an Outlook Rule or Exchange Transport Rule.
  2. receives the email, extracts the form data and sends it to an Azure logic app using a Generic HTTP Webhook.
  3. Your Azure Logic App receives the form data, connects to SharePoint Online and adds the form data into the appropriate SharePoint list columns.


  • Sign up for – a free 30 day trial is available
  • Sign up for Microsoft Azure – use your Office 365 account, a free 30 day trial is available
  • A SharePoint List set up with the fields required for your form

Setting up MailParser

  1. Once you’ve signed up for, sign in and click Create New InboxCreate New Inbox In
  2. Give it a name and add some notes:Name Mailparser Inbox
  3. You’ll be given an email address to forward your form emails to. Keep track of this address, as you’ll need it to receive the emails you send from Outlook or Exchange mail rules. Forward a couple of sample form emails to the address to get started.Get Mailparser Email
  4. Once your emails are received, you can set up your Parsing Rules:Add Mail Parsing Rules
  5. Usually, the mailparser will be able to automatically identify the field names and values from your forwarded email. If it doesn’t, click Try Something Else to give it some help, otherwise click OK, start with this.Automatic Mail Parsing Rule Set Up
  6. Now, we start setting up our Generic Webhook. Click Webhook Integrations in on the left menu, then click Add New Integration.
    Click Webhook Integrations
  7. Click Generic Webhook.Click Generic Webhook
  8. Give it a descriptive name and type in a sample URL (I used into the Target URL field. We need to use a sample first so that we can copy the webhook’s JSON payload. We then use this JSON payload to help generate the actual TargetURL from Azure Logic Apps in the next steps.Save And Test Webhook With Sample URL
  9. Next, click Save and test.
  10. Then Send test data. We expect this to fail, though it will give us the JSON payload.Send Test Data With Sample URL
  11. Copy the text from Body Payload into Notepad or Visual Studio Code.Sample URL Fails, Get Body Payload

Set up the Azure Logic App

  1. Log onto Azure at If you don’t already have a subscription, you can sign up using your Office 365 account.
  2. Click New, search for Logic App, and click Logic AppSearch For Logic App
  3. Click CreateCreate Logic App
  4. Complete the fields, placing the Azure Logic App in the region of your choice. You can name the Resource group whatever you like, or use an existing one. Click Create.Enter Logic App Details
  5. Click Edit to start editing your logic app.Edit Logic App
  6. Search for Request and click the Request TriggerCreate Request Trigger
  7. Now you can use your copied JSON Body Payload from as a reference for your Request Body JSON Schema.You’ll need to define the data type for each Key-Value Pair in your JSON payload. This allows you to use the separate fields in your Azure Logic App, and add the field data into the appropriate SharePoint columns.The syntax of the Request Body JSON Schema is as follows:
    "type": "object", 
    "properties": {
        "name": {
            "type" : " string"
        "email": {
            "type" : " string"
    "required":["name", "email"]

You can use Visual Studio Code, Notepad++ or Notepad to edit this schema so that it describes your JSON Payload.

Replace the properties values with the name of the keys in your JSON payload. Not all fields need to be added to the required array, only the ones that you need to create a valid SharePoint list entry.

In my case, this JSON body becomes the following JSON Schema.JSON Body In Visual Studio Code
JSON Request Body Schema

  1. Paste the Schema into the Request Body Schema and click Save.Save Request To Get POST URL
  2. You will then receive the URL that you can use in to send your requests:
  3. Next click + New step.Add New Step To Logic App
  4. Type SharePoint and click SharePoint – Create item.Create SharePoint List Item
  5. You may need to add a Connection to SharePoint Online. If you’re prompted, add a connection using an Office 365 account that has permission to write to the required SharePoint list. If you don’t have a SharePoint list available to accept the data, you’ll need to set one up now before proceeding.
  6. Next enter your site URL. The List Name drop down will be populated with the available lists. You should also see that the Outputs from the Request step are available to use.Enter SharePoint Site And List Details
  7. The list columns that can accept strings, as well as a few other column types will be available for you to modify. Click in each relevant column and select the relevant output.Add Outputs To SharePoint List
  8. Once you’re finished, go back to the Request Step in your Logic App and copy the URL from the Request stepCopy Request URL
  9. Return to, go back to Webhook integrations, and click Edit.Edit Webhook Integration
  10. Paste the URL from your Logic App Request step into the Target URL.Update Webhook Target URL
  11. Click Save and test.
  12. Click Send test data.Test Custom Webhook
  13. You should receive a response code of 202 to confirm it was sent successfully.Confirm Webhook Works
  14. You can now check Azure Logic Apps to confirm that it ran correctly.Logic App Runs Correctly
  15. You should also see the new entry in your SharePoint Online list.New Item In SharePoint

Setting up the Outlook Rule

Once you’ve confirmed it’s working, you can set up your mail rules in Outlook or via Exchange to automatically forward emails to your email address.

  1. Right click on an email sent via your web form. Click Rules, then Create rule.Right Click Rules Create Rule
  2. Choose a condition that matches all emails sent via your form, eg. Subject. Then click Advanced Options…Tick Subject Click Advanced Options
  3. Click Next.Click Next On Outlook Rule Wizard
  4. Tick forward it to people or public group, then click people or public group.Forward To People Or Public Group
  5. Enter the email address from, click OK, then click Next twice.Paste Email From Mail Parser
  6. Turn on the rule, and choose whether you want to run it on mail already in the same folder.Turn On Outlook Rule

And that’s it. From now on, any mail sent by your website’s form will be automatically forwarded into, broken up into the relevant fields, and added to SharePoint Online. You can also use Azure Logic Apps to automate a bunch of other business processes. Check out the documentation here.

Similar services to Azure Logic Apps include Microsoft Flow, Zapier and IFTTT.

Data Location

Microsoft has delivered Office 365 from their Australian datacenters since the end of May 2015.

It was a big deal at the time, and it’s still a major selling point for their cloud platform, especially amongst businesses that have strict data residency requirements.

If you’ve purchased Office 365 since May 31, 2015 with an Australian billing address, you’ll be accessing your services from the Australian datacenters already. If you purchased it before then, some of your services might have moved automatically, though some may still be delivered from the Asia Pacific region.

If you’d like to move, be quick – the option is only available until October 31, 2016.

How to request a move to Australia’s datacenters

To make sure your organisation’s data is being hosted in Australia, or to request a move, follow these instructions.

  1. Log into the Office 365 Admin portal as a Global Administrator
  2. Click Settings then Organization Profile
    Organization Profile
  3. See your current Data locationData Location
  4. To move your data click Edit under Data residency optionData Residency Option
  5. Click the switch to Yes, then click SaveChanging Your Data Residency Option
  6. Within 12 months from October 31 2016, your data will be migrated to the Australian datacenters. You will be notified once it’s complete.Data Migration Confirmation

Since it’s a complex operation, no exact date for your migration can be given. See this link for more info:

Connect To PowerShell First

We have a couple of customers that want to maintain distribution groups of external contacts that can be used company wide.

The way to do this as an Exchange admin is to create a Mail Contact for an external user first, and then add that mail contact to a distribution group. This can be quite an involved process, and you may not want to have users traversing the Exchange Admin Center to complete this sort of task.

To make this easier, we’ve put together a power shell script that you can download here.

Assign the minimum permissions

Any Global administrator will be able to run this powershell script, though if you want to give a user the ability to execute the commands, you’ll need to assign them to the appropriate role groups. These are Recipient Management and Organization Management. Keep in mind, even though these are the minimum permissions required to run this Powershell script, they still enable the relevant user to do pretty much everything within Exchange. For a full list of the permissions granted, see these links:

To give a user the correct permissions, connect to Exchange Online via Powershell as a global administrator and run the following commands. Replace [email protected] with the identity of the relevant user.

Add-RoleGroupMember "Recipient Management" -Member [email protected]
Add-RoleGroupMember "Organization Management" -Member [email protected]

Running the PowerShell Script

Once the user has been granted access they can run the powershell script under their own credentials.

  1. Download the script here. 
  2. Rename it with a file extension of .ps1 eg. DistributionGroups.ps1
    Rename Distribution Groups To DistributionGroups.ps1
  3. Run the script by right clicking the file and choosing Run in PowershellRight Click to Run With Powershell
  4. Press 1, then Enter to connect to Exchange Online. Press Enter again once the commandlets have downloaded.Connect To PowerShell First
  5. Follow the menu items within the PowerShell script to perform the following actions:
  • Add Mail Contacts to distribution groups
  • Get a list of distribution groups
  • Create a distribution group
  • Get a list of distribution group members
  • Remove a contact from all distribution groups
Information Rights Management In Office 365

Information Rights Management In Office 365
In the past few months we’ve put together a few Data Rooms for our clients – virtual places where internal and external parties can be invited to view confidential, or commercially sensitive data. One of the features of Office 365 that’s allowed us to protect these files is Information Rights Management.

What is Information Rights Management?

Information Rights Management is a feature that is only available on the Enterprise Office 365 Plans. It allows you control the security of your data, and prevent users from printing, marking up your documents or even accessing them after a specified period of time. When used in conjunction with the existing security features of SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business, Information Rights Management can be used to lock down your important and sensitive data quite comprehensively.

Who can use it?

In order to get this set up, you must be using an Office 365 Enterprise plan, like Office 365 E1, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E4 or Office 365 E5.

Office 365 Small Business, Small Business Premium, Midsize Business, Business Essentials, Business or Business Premium miss out on the extra security measures available in Information Rights Management.

How to set up Information Rights Management in Office 365

Information Rights Management is not enabled by default, it needs to be manually configured. Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Log into Office 365 as an administrator at
  2. If you’re not already taken to the Office 365 Admin center, click the App Launcher on the top left, then click the Admin tile.Open Office 365 Admin Center
  3. Under Service Settings, click Rights Management.Click Rights Management In Office 365 Admin Center
  4. Click Manage, under Protect your information.Click Manage To Enable Information Rights Management
  5. Click Activate, to activate Rights Management for your organisationActive Information Rights Management
  6. Click Activate again.Click Activate To Enable Information Rights Management
  7. Wait for Rights Management to activate.Wait For Information Rights Management To Activate
  8. Navigate to the SharePoint Admin Center, by clicking SharePoint under Admin, on the left menu.Open SharePoint Admin Center
  9. Click Settings in the SharePoint admin center.Open SharePoint Admin Center Settings
  10. Click Use the IRM service specified in your configuration, then Refresh your settings.Use The IRM Service Specified In Your Configuration
  11. Wait for the settings to be applied.Refresh Your IRM Settings
  12. Navigate to the SharePoint Document Library that you want to apply Information Rights Management to, then click the Library tab at top, followed by Library Settings.Open Your Document Library Settings
  13. Under Permissions and Management, choose Information Rights Management.Navigate To Information Rights Management
  14. Tick the box to restrict permissions on this library on download. Then, give your Permission Policy a name and a description that you’d like to appear for the users. Choose the settings of the policy for this document library.Set Information Rights Management Policy Settings
  15. Any Office documents uploaded to this document library will have the IRM policy added when they are opened or downloaded. If you would prefer that users cannot download documents, and can only view them in the browser, give them View Only permission in SharePoint Online.See Information Rates Management Applied To Documents

A note about Information Rights Management and PDF files

In our experience, Information Rights Management works best when working with Office documents, because they can be securely opened in the browser and don’t have to be downloaded to the computer. PDF documents can also have IRM policies applied to them, though since there is no way to open these in the browser, they must be downloaded and opened with a PDF reader that supports IRM. There are a couple of options for this, though the experience may not be ideal for the user who is accessing the data, since they may have to install a supported PDF reader.

For the best user experience, you may decide to secure PDF files using the dedicated PDF security features. You can still store these PDFs on SharePoint Online on OneDrive, though it is best to keep these in a separate document library without IRM applied.

Alternatively, you can convert your PDF documents to Word Documents, for consistent IRM policies and security for all of your files.

Exchange Online

Exchange Online

One of the conditions of setting up an Exchange Account on a mobile phone or tablet is that the Exchange administrator has control over that device’s security features. If you’re new to administering Exchange, the level of control that you get over these connected devices may surprise you.

Here’s a few things that you can do.

  • Enable/Disable the camera
  • Enable/Disable WIFI
  • Enable/Disable Internet Tethering
  • Enable/Disable the device’s web browser
  • Enable/Disable personal, POP or IMAP email accounts
  • Enable/Disable the use of storage cards
  • Enable/Disable text messaging
  • Require a password on the device
  • Require a password after a defined period of inactivity

To get this working, there are two main steps.

  1. Create a Mobile Device Mailbox Policy
  2. Apply the Mobile Device Mailbox Policy to the relevant users

How to create your Mobile Device Mailbox Policy

  1. Open PowerShell on your computer
  2. Connect to Exchange Online via PowerShell. Follow our quick guide to get this set up.
  3. Build your New-MobileDeviceMailboxPolicy cmdlet, or use one of our samples below. For more information, refer to the documentation at
  4. Paste and Run your New-MobileDeviceMailboxPolicy cmdlet. For example:
    New-MobileDeviceMailboxPolicy -Name "No Camera Policy" -AllowCamera $false

How to assign your mobile device mailbox policy to users

To assign the new policy to users, use the Set-CASMailbox cmdlet. See this link for the complete documentation:

To use this cmdlet, ensure you are connected to Exchange Online via Powershell

Assign the Policy to all users

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited | Set-CASMailbox -ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy "Your Policy Name"

Assign the policy to a specific user

Set-CASMailbox -Identity [email protected] -ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy "Your Policy Name"

Confirm that your policy was added correctly

To make sure your policy was applied successfully run this:

Get-CASMailbox -identity [email protected] | fl *

You should see the policy name next to ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy:Applied Mobile Device Policy

A few minutes after running the policy, you should see it take effect on the relevant devices:

Disable Camera Via Office 365

Camera Disabled Via Office 365

Revert back to the default policy

You can revert back to the default policy by running the following:

Set-CASMailbox -identity el[email protected] -ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy "Default"

Sample Policies

Use these sample policies or create your own. These sample policies only use one parameter eg. -AllowCamera $false, though you can add as many parameters to a policy as you like. See this link for the complete list of available parameters:

Disable a mobile device’s camera

New-MobileDeviceMailboxPolicy -Name "No Camera Policy" -AllowCamera $false

Disable a mobile device’s WIFI

New-MobileDeviceMailboxPolicy -Name "No WIFI Policy" -AllowWifi $false

Disable Internet tethering on a mobile device

New-MobileDeviceMailboxPolicy -Name "No Tethering Policy" -AllowInternetSharing $false

Disable the web browser on a mobile device

New-MobileDeviceMailboxPolicy -Name "No Browser Policy" -AllowBrowser $false

When you’re getting started with Office 365, you might find our Office 365 for Beginners videos to be helpful. Feel free to watch the video and read the summary below.

Your Office 365 account = Your identity

Office 365 works best when everybody in the team has an Office 365 account – and your account is everything to you in Office 365, it’s your identity, and when it comes to working in the cloud, your identity and the security of that identity is really important. It doesn’t matter if you share mailboxes, or files, or responsibilities with another person, because that can all be accounted for and easily configured. The bottom line is, having your own Office 365 login is essential.

There are a few different ways to login to Office 365, though my personal favourite is via Because that takes you to your Office 365 Portal and you can get to everything from here.

Personal vs Work or School?

Microsoft provide two types of accounts. There’s Personal Accounts and there’s Work or School accounts. Unfortunately these aren’t the only two names that these accounts go by. Personal Accounts are also called Live IDs or Microsoft Accounts. Work or School accounts are also known as Office 365 accounts, Organisational accounts or even Azure Active Directory accounts. But basically, Personal accounts are accounts for consumers and you use them to log into consumer level services like the regular Skype, or Xbox Live or Work or School accounts are accounts that are given to you by your work or school. And you’ll primarily use them to sign into the Office 365 services.

The tricky part is, these two accounts can be used to log into the same applications and services, and you can have the same email address associated with both types of accounts which is the case with mine.

Work or School or Personal accounts

I have signed up for a Microsoft account, or a Personal Account, with my Work or School email, and I also have an Office 365 account. So when I put my email address in, occasionally it will say Work or School, or Personal account? And If you’ve signed up for a Personal Microsoft account using your work or school email and you also have Office 365 for work or school, you’ll probably see this too.

So you need to pay attention, is this particular login screen asking for a personal account, or a work or school account, or is it asking for either. The general rule of thumb is, if you’re using Office 365 for work or school, choose a ‘Work or school’ account.

Inside the Office 365 Portal

Office 365 Portal

Once you’re logged into Office 365, you can do quite a lot from inside the portal. Here’s what you get.

  • Install Office for PC or Mac

    Install Office at the top of the portal – This one may not be common to most people, though if you’ve got an Office 365 account that gives you the desktop versions of Office, you can install it for PC or Mac by clicking ‘Install now’.

  • Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks

    The first three tiles Mail, Calendar, People, and the one below called Tasks, are your email, your calendars, your contacts and your tasks. You can work with them from here through the browser, or through Outlook, or on your phone or tablet.

  • Yammer

    Next is Yammer. This is a social network for your business. It’s just like an internal Facebook.

  • Sites

    SharePoint Online is under Sites. SharePoint sites are places where your team can collaborate on projects and share information.

  • OneDrive

    OneDrive for Business is your personal cloud file storage. It’s private to you, though you can share things from it.

  • Delve

    Delve is your Office 365 search engine, it also helps you discover what’s everyone’s working on in Office 365.

  • Video

    Think of Office 365 Video as an internal YouTube that you can use for training videos, meeting recordings or any video material that needs to stay internal.

  • Power BI

    If you’ve signed up for the Power BI Add-on, you’ll see it in the portal too. Power BI Pro is costs extra, though if understanding data is important to your business, it’s absolutely worth it. The free version also lets you accomplish quite a bit.

  • Office Online

    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote are the Online versions of the Office programs that you can use to work on your files over the internet, even if you don’t have Office installed.

  • Sway

    Sway is pretty similar to PowerPoint, use it to present information in ways that look really nice on all devices.


So we’ve covered logging into Office 365, the difference between a Personal Account and a Work or School account, and we’ve touched on a few of the common Office 365 services. If you think that’s all you need to get started, you can go ahead and dive right in. But if you do want to dive a little deeper on some of these services you can go ahead and check out some of our other videos or articles.


 A new way to build powerful business applications

If you think you haven’t got what it takes to build a mobile app for your business, think again. Microsoft PowerApps fill a huge gap in the development of business applications – and you can use them to automate your tedious manual processes.

Typically, If you need a custom app built for internal use, you’ll take this to your internal IT department, or outsource it to an external development team. Software developers will then use tools like Microsoft Visual Studio to build these apps to your requirements.

The process to take your app idea from concept to a finished product that can run on PCs and devices is extensive and expensive. So much so, that many teams will use a combination of existing tools like Excel, SharePoint or OneNote to achieve similar results. This can work well when you’re using a PC or Mac, though what if you really need to build an app that runs well on a mobile device? You use Microsoft PowerApps.

PowerApps allow you to uniformly design your own mobile applications and the logic behind them. These powerful applications run on Apple, Android and Windows devices and connect to almost any data-source imaginable.

So now, instead of approaching a software development team with a list of requirements, you open PowerApps and start building. Once you’ve created your application, you can share it with anyone on your team.

It’s important to note that PowerApps are for building internal tools only. Though, while you can’t share these with the public, they can be used in public facing scenarios, such as survey collection, or event signups.

Data that PowerApps can work with so far:

  • Excel
  • Dropbox
  • Dynamics CRM Online
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • SalesForce
  • SharePoint Online
  • Dynamics ERP
  • SQL Server
  • SharePoint Server
  • Any custom datasource you configure!

Some PowerApps you can build:

  • Company asset manager
  • Budget Tracker
  • Conference Agenda
  • Instruction Manual
  • Service Desk
  • Survey collection and reporting
  • Event sign-ups
  • Opportunity tracking
  • Product Catalog

How to get started with PowerApps

If you’re interested in getting started with PowerApps and Office 365, you might have to wait for your invite. PowerApps are currently in private preview, though you can sign up for your invitation here.