Office 365 – For Reals Now

As a Microsoft employee, we use Office 365.  As a consumer of Microsoft services, like email, phone apps and Xbox music, I have a “Microsoft account”… but I’ve never had a need until recently to actually pay for any services like a home user or small business would.

But I’ve been making some changes to the backend of this blog and it finally came time to change up how my email was serviced.  Up until a few days ago, my @techbunny.com domain mail was simply forwarded by the basic mail services provided by my domain registrar.  But since the move to host this blog on WordPress.com, paying for the basic hosting and mail services through my domain provider seemed less than ideal, so it became time to start using Office 365 as a real consumer.

A while back I had created my techbunny.onmicrosoft.com tenant in Azure.  It has pay-as-you-go Azure tied to it to support images and downloads for the blog.  So it made sense to go ahead an activate a single license of Exchange Online.

Once I’d added my appropriate billing details, it was just a matter of adding the appropriate DNS settings with my registrar. The Office 365 Portal did a nice job of providing all the necessary DNS entries I needed to add to validate the ownership of my domain (with a TXT or MX record) and then provide all the entries to activate the functionality of email, auto discover for mobile devices, as well as Skype.  The longest part of the process was waiting for my registrar to update the DNS entries so Microsoft could verify them.

At this point, I could continue to add on users to my Techbunny org via Azure Active Directory, as well as turn on the basic multi-factor authentication features that come with Office 365.  And if my phone wasn’t already managed by work, I could even consider adding Intune to support my mobile devices.  But for now, I’ll just be happy that it’s easier to access my email!

 

 

Loving Office 365? Now Hack It!

If Office 365 is your thing, you might want to check out this ongoing virtual hackathon for Office 365. Running from Nov 23rd until March 1st, you might find yourself in the position to win some of over $30,000 in prizes – if you’ve got an idea for an app that uses Office 365 to make you EVEN MORE productive!

Hack Productivity gives you access to the Office 365 APIs for mail, calendar, contacts, photo/video, and files so you can create tech solutions that allow people to do everything they set out to do, and more.

Your time-saving, achievement-producing app will be up for cash prizes, plus some other shoutout-worthy swag:

  • meeting w/ a Microsoft product exec
  • one-year allowance on a premium Office 365 service
  • expenses-paid trip to a Microsoft conference
  • Surface products

There will be lots of support throughout the hackathon, including online office hours, tutorials, and tech tips. So if you’d like to develop something cool (and productive!) check off the first thing on your to-do list: Register & start building your productivity hack @ msoffice365.devpost.com.