Wednesday, 29 July 2015

An approach to enabling Office 365 features and functionality using group membership

For large enterprises with a mature approach to IT services, the idea of managing access to features and functionality in Office 365 via a web portal is a step backwards. Service desk teams may be given specific instructions and limited access in order to carry out just the tasks that they need to. Arguably that’s not “may be given” but “should only be given”…
One of my customers uses Active Directory groups to assign access to software – for example Project, or Vision – applications that are not universally available. We were talking about doing something similar for Office 365 features and functionality – i.e. adding a user to an Active Directory group to enable an element of their Office 365 subscription (the users are synchronized from the on premises AD to Azure AD).
I suggested writing a Power Shell script to run as a scheduled task, querying the membership of a particular group, and then making the changes in Office 365 to enable particular features. We could use it, for example, to enable a feature like One Drive for Business to just a sub-set of users; or to assign Project Online or Vision Online licenses.
Well, it turns out I’m no innovator here and it’s already being done elsewhere   I haven’t run the script yet… but it certainly proves the concept and gives us a starting point…

Self-Soothing Homework

 it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written a syllable here.  Sorry for that.  My life has been moving at the speed of light this year.  So fast, I was complaining to telling my coach the other day that I didn’t have time to process everything that’s going on as it happens. I pronounced myself emotionally constipated, for lack of a better description.
Among her recommendations was this:  Sing “The 59th Street Bridge Song” to myself…really S-L-O-W-L-Y.  (And let’s just skip right over the fact that, yes, I am old enough to know that song, and know it by name, shall we?  Thanks.)
It’s an infectious little song, under two-minutes long when Simon and Garfunkel do it, but an easy one to slow down and add a little funky groove to without losing any of the infectious quality. As soon as she mentioned it, it lodged itself in my brain and has been there ever since.
Last night, I was so exhausted, I went to my room at 8:20pm, intending to relax and catch up on some of the shows I’d recorded, but as soon as I got horizontal, I was OUT. COLD. Dead to the world.
I woke up to my light and TV still on, with cramps so bad, I was sure I was being sawed in half. I went to the bathroom, came back and crawled back in bed after peeking out the window and seeing that it was still dark outside. I tried and tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t. I was WIDE awake…at 4:39am. UGH.
I gave up and got dressed and wandered out here to my office, railing against the idea of starting client work while it was still dark outside. Then, it occurred to me that I had also promised her that I would take time to think and write about what was going on in my world as a way to process it all. But…I didn’t feel like writing.
The song was STILL playing in my brain, so in a flash of brilliant self-care, I gave myself permission to “play” and create a video using pictures and that song. But first, I had to find a way to slow it down without making Simon and Garfunkel sound ridiculous. I entertained the idea of recording myself singing it…for about 3 seconds…until I remembered the hour and nixed that idea with a quickness. So, to iTunes I went, searched by song title and what to my wondering eyes would appear, but a slow version recorded by Kathy Troccoli on an album called, “Heartsongs”. BINGO!
I spent my early morning creating this little video using pictures of people I love. Now, when I need to soothe myself, I can not only “hear” the song in my head, I can “see” this little video. And, of course, I can play it anytime I want. I’m sure it will mean more to me than anyone else, but you might enjoy it, so I’m including it here.

Win a Copy of Golf List Mania!

Note: the contest has ended and a winner was chosen via drawing.
You may have recently read my review of Golf List Mania! and I’m happy to say that the publisher has provided a copy for me to give away to a reader. If you were thinking of picking up a copy, then enter the contest and you might win one!
Obviously, I can’t give away a copy of a book of golf lists without having you do a list of your own, so here’s how it will work: write a comment giving me a list of five things you love about golf. It doesn’t have to be a top-five, though it certainly can be. It can be people, places, courses, shots you’ve seen, tournaments you’ve attended or played in, anything at all that you love about the game.
I’ll give it a couple of weeks to get some good lists going. Then, I’ll choose my top-three favorites. From those, I will randomly draw the winner. Feel free to be as creative as you like because only my three favorites will make it to the finals. If you’ve been paying attention over the years, you might have a good feel and be able to figure out what will impress me. There is a soft spot in my heart for many things relating to golf.
Get your entry in before August 2nd for a chance to win!
Please be sure your entry complies with my comment policy, or it will not be accepted. In addition, you must include a valid e-mail address when you fill out the comment form (in the e-mail field, not in the comment body).
I will post the winner on August 2nd, or thereabouts.
Good Luck! I can’t wait to read those lists!