Directory Sync Tool for Office 365

by Arman Obosyan 22. November 2013 23:52

Office 365 New DirSync version re-released

New features and fixes for:
DirSync can be installed on a Domain Controller
Sync Engine memory leak issue
Sync Engine export issue (FIM 2010 R2 hotfix 4.1.3493.0)
"Staging-Error" during large Confirming Imports from Windows Azure Active Directory
password sync behavior when sync'ing from Read-Only Domain Controllers (RODC)
DirSync setup behavior for domains with '@' symbol in NetBois names

Customer facing documentation on how to deploy can be found here

Also see the Wiki

You can check your DirSync version by running the following PowerShell command: 
(GP 'hklm:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Microsoft Online Directory Sync').DisplayVersion

The latest version can be downloaded here: Windows Azure Active Directory Sync tool – 64 bit


Office 365 service comparison

by Arman Obosyan 12. November 2013 09:30

Interactive Office 365 service comparison, you can also download excel file from web page (click on image)

Office 365 service comparison

Visit the Office 365 Service Descriptions in the TechNet library for detailed descriptions of the services and features that are available with Office 365. The feature tables in the Office 365 Service Descriptions also include footnotes that provide additional information about specific plans.


EASAdmin 1.0 (Beta) Tool to manage Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

by Arman Obosyan 4. November 2013 08:02

The Exchange ActiveSync Admin (EASAdmin) tool enables administrators to manage the process of remotely erasing lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised mobile devices. The EASAdmin Tool is designed for use with Exchange Server 2010, Exchange 2013, Office 365 (Wave14 and 15).

By using the EASAdmin tool, administrators can perform the following actions on Office 365 and Exchange On-Premise:

  • View a list of all devices that are being used by any enterprise user.
  • Find Inactive Devices.
  • Get No. of devices per user.
  • Block/Allow devices.
  • Select/De-select devices to be remotely erased.
  • View the status of pending remote erase requests for each device.
  • Remove Mobile Devices.
  • Enable,Disable ActiveSync/MAPI/EWS/OWA Exchange features during troubleshooting.
  • Clear Blocked/Allowed Devices.
  • Execute Get-CASMailbox, Get-Mailbox,Get-ActiveSyncDeviceStatistics,Get-MailboxFolderStatistics,Get-ActiveSyncDeviceClass,Get-ActiveSyncDeviceAccessRule,Get-ActiveSyncOrganizationSettings,Get-ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy.
  • Parse IIS log and get reports to troubleshoot ActiveSync related Issue and manage the device/user from report output.

EASAdmin 1.0 (Beta) Tool to manage Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

Version: 1.0 (beta)
Last updated:  10/25/2013

More at TechNet Gallery: Tool to manage Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync | EASAdmin 1.0 (Beta)

Free Office 365 ProPlus for students of schools that subscribe to Office 365 ProPlus for faculty & staff

by Arman Obosyan 18. October 2013 07:44


With the new “Student Advantage” program students can get Office 365 ProPlus at additional no cost.  This means full access to Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Outlook 2013, Lync 2013, OneNote 2013, Publisher 2013, Access 2013. This also includes the ability to install the software on up to 5 devices simultaneously on Windows PCs or Mac!


In an effort to help prepare students for the technology skills required in the workforce, Microsoft on Tuesday announced Student Advantage, a new benefit to qualifying institutions that brings Microsoft Office 365 Education to more students worldwide. Microsoft Office 365 Education, an always-up-to-date cloud productivity service, is currently used by 110 million students, faculty and staff around the world. Office 365 Education enables students to communicate and collaborate more efficiently, access assignments in shared workspaces, have notes synchronized in OneNote and have familiar Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel anywhere, across virtually any device.

Beginning Dec. 1, 2013, any institution worldwide that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. Today, more than 35,000 institutions are automatically eligible to deliver the Student Advantage benefit to their students. Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications — locally installed on up to five devices and available offline. When a school combines Student Advantage with Microsoft’s other cloud services, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, all available free through Office 365 Education, students have access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies all over the world.

“Students use Office every day for school work and activities that are most important to them. Office not only helps students stay organized and get their work done today but at the same time develops skills that will be required when they enter the work force. In fact, no other software or services show up in the top 20 most important skills identified in the research report,” Salcito said. “We are thrilled to offer Student Advantage to schools across the globe so students have access to the latest, most up-to-date version of the world’s leading set of productivity tools in order to give them a competitive advantage when entering the workforce.”

Nearly 98 percent of students using productivity software currently use Office. Student Advantage enables students to access the familiar experience of Office in an always-up-to-date cloud service across their compatible PCs, tablets and phones.

Read the full story at: New study reveals most important skills for students


Rights Management for Office 365

by Arman Obosyan 7. October 2013 14:31

Rights Management is now an implicit service within Office 365, which of course begs the question, “What’s Rights Management?”  Here’s a brief explanation:

Have you ever had your email or documents shared or given to other people than you intended, or seen your company’s information shared with people outside the company by accident? Maybe you have information that you want to share confidentially with only a few trusted colleagues for purposes of collecting feedback, but you’re concerned that the information may get leaked inadvertently before you are ready?

Fortunately, with Rights Management in Office 365, you can secure your information and apply an intelligent policy so that only specified internal and/or external people can "act" on your information. For example, you can allow recipients to edit and print, while restricting them from forwarding to others. This policy is attached to the information, so it applies no matter where your information lives-in the datacenter, in transit, or on your laptop, mobile device, or a USB key. Rights Management lets you assign policies to email, SharePoint Online libraries, individual Office documents, and other file types. 

Rights Management for Office 365 isn’t just data security or encryption, although you get both with access control and 128-bit AES encryption. Rights Management is about putting you, the creator of content, in control. Now, with you firmly in the driver’s seat, you can confidently share information with anyone.

Here’s a quick demo of these functions:

Collaborate securely with Office 365 using Rights Management

Read more about Rights Management for Office 365


The Difference between Office 365 & Office 2013

by Arman Obosyan 6. October 2013 14:26

Yes, the products are from a functional standpoint very similar but there are some key differences in the end user experience & the IT administration workloads that people need to know.

Get the break down of the differences in this video from Jeremy Chapman and Tal Krzypow in The Garage video series.

365 Days Later – Office 365 vs. Office 2013 on the Desktop Review

Read more at The Garage Series: 365 Days Later - Office 365 vs. Office 2013 on the Desktop Review


Microsoft Office 365 Cash Back program

by Arman Obosyan 20. September 2013 09:17

For a limited time only, Cash Back is available to all Microsoft resellers (partners) who are registered with Cash Back and selling legitimate Microsoft licenses in eligible territories.

To qualify for reimbursement, your sales should meet the eligibility criteria for any selected Cash Back offer. The criteria typically include, but are not limited to:

  • sales date for Open Licenses
  • Microsoft product
  • License type
  • Customer segment

Please note that there is a minimum and a maximum number of Licenses per customer for each Cash Back offer.

Cash Back is paid to resellers in the form of a credit note through an authorized Microsoft Distributor. The credit notes are paid within 90 days after the reseller claim has been validated and approved for payment.

To apply for Cash Back:

To make a Cash Back claim, you must register for the Cash Back program (or sign in if you are already registered) and submit a reimbursement request (claim), along with all required documents.

Cash Back claims must be submitted during the open claiming period for a selected Cash Back offer. All you have to do, is provide the Open Agreement number, customer and distributor names for this Open Agreement and attach a copy of the customer invoice for the submitted claim. Please don’t forget to attach a copy of the customer invoice. Otherwise it won’t be possible to finalize the claim submission.

Important notice: Before submitting your claim, make sure you review all eligibility criteria outlined for the selected Cash Back offer.

And, as if you were not surprised Georgia is also in the list!


For more info visit Microsoft Office 365 Cash Back program


Office 365 for Non-Profit Organizations

by Arman Obosyan 10. September 2013 16:38

Microsoft will donate Office 365 services to Non-Profit Organizations at no cost. This is business class Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and Office 2013 Web-based Productivity Suite.

If you operate or work for an eligible non-profit organization in one of the 41 countries (not sure about Georgia) the program is offered in & would like the full benefits of:

  • Professional email
  • Shared calendaring
  • Instant messaging (IM)
  • HD video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • Online storage
  • Web-based version of Office 2013 Apps

And for a discounted price, upgrade to the full Office 2013 productivity suite across 5 devices per person, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Lync.


“Today we are donating to nonprofits and NGOs access to Microsoft’s best-in-class cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools, enabling them to spend fewer resources and time on IT and focus on their missions addressing global issues, such as disease eradication, education and literacy, and environmental sustainability,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president, Microsoft International. “Nonprofits operate in the same way as any other organization or business; however, many lack the resources to implement the latest technology. The donation of Office 365 allows them to be more effective and efficient in the work they do.”

“In many of the countries served by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), connectivity can be unreliable and equipment disproportionately expensive. Our Digital Divide Initiative aims to build professional capacity across our global network and help Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies that work in challenging environments to introduce technologies, such as cloud-based email servers, that are suited to their needs,” said Edward Happ, global chief information officer, IFRC. “Building on this, we’ve made available Office 365 as our cloud-based solution. The technology just works; it helps people do what they need to do. This means that the time and energy of the National Society is devoted to helping the vulnerable, not to managing its IT systems. It makes a real difference to humanitarian delivery at minimum cost.”

“Microsoft has a long-standing history of philanthropy, providing nonprofits with software donations and cash grants for the past 30 years,” said Lori Harnick, general manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft. “Office 365 for Nonprofits is a new, critical investment Microsoft is making in the global nonprofit community so nonprofits can streamline their IT and focus on doing more good.”


For more information and to apply for a donation, visit .

More at Office 365 for Non-Profit Organizations


Office 365 Exchange Online mailbox sizes are doubling!

by Arman Obosyan 29. August 2013 13:41

The size of user mailboxes in all Exchange Online and Office 365 service plans is doubling. Beginning today, the current 25 GB of mailbox storage is increasing to 50 GB. With this increase even the most active email users don't have to worry about mailbox size limitations-we've got you covered! There's no price increase associated with this change. Our doubling of your mailbox storage is simply part of our promise to continuously deliver value to our Office 365 customers. 

You don't need to do anything to take advantage of this new mailbox size. Your mailbox size will automatically be increased. The increase starts rolling out to customers today and continues through November.

This increase to a 50 GB mailbox per user benefits Exchange Online and Office 365 service plans, including: Exchange Online Plan 1, Office 365 Small Business, Midsize Business, Enterprise E1, Government G1, and Education A1. If you have one of our premium service plans (Exchange Online Plan 2, Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E4, Government G3 and G4, Education A3 and A4), you already enjoy unlimited email storage through your personal archive, but now your default primary mailbox size is increasing to 50 GB. Kiosk user mailboxes are doubling in size, too-from 1 GB to 2 GB.

In addition to doubling the storage in your users' primary mailbox, we've increased the size of other mailboxes to help you work even more productively. Shared mailboxes and Resources mailboxes are both increasing to 10 GB (more than doubling), so you'll have plenty of room to store everything you need for your projects and collaborations. The size of Site mailboxes remains unchanged.

Office 365 Excahnge Online new mailbox sizes by plan:


For complete details about mailbox types and sizes, read the Office 365 service descriptions.


Mail Protection Reports for Office 365

by Arman Obosyan 24. July 2013 23:46

This reporting workbook provides you with a detailed view into the email protection data that is available in the Office 365 Reporting dashboard.

This workbook is available to all Exchange Online and Exchange Online Protection customers. The workbook provides summary graphs for a number of different types of email message filtering. This includes messages identified as spam, malware, or good mail (mail that cleanly passed all filtering). It also shows graphs for messages that were identified by either a transport rule or DLP policy (Exchange Online customers only).

The data for the summary graphs is pulled locally via a web service call. After loading the summary data into the workbook, you can perform deeper analysis through the use of data slicers. These allow you to change the view of the data in order to identify trends or unusual activity. When such a condition is found, you can click through from the summary to the detail data. Another web service call will be made to pull the detail data that you can use to identify the actual messages that caused the condition seen in the summary graph.

Download Microsoft Office 365 Excel Plugin for Exchange Online Reporting

Version: 15.0.620.000
Date Published: 7/22/2013
File name: MailProtectionReport_v2_en32.msi (For Office Excel 2013 32 bit)
File size: 2.7 MB
File name: MailProtectionReport_v2_en64.msi (For Office Excel 2013 64 bit)
File size: 2.7 MB

Required Software:
1. Microsoft Office Excel 2013
2. Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
3. Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant (for Exchange Online Protection customers only)
4. An Office 365 subscription that contains Exchange Online or Exchange Online Protection
5. Email address you use to sign in to Office 365

Install Instructions
1. Install the required software if it is not already installed.
2. Download the installer. Select the installer that aligns with your version of Excel 2013. For 32-bit Excel 2013 use the 32-bit MSI
3. Run the installer and follow the prompts.
Note: Customers who purchase EOP as part of the Exchange Enterprise CAL with Services subscription plan should install the workbook by selecting the Exchange Online service rather than the Exchange Online Protection service.
4. After completing the installation, open the workbook in Excel 2013 using the shortcut on your desktop.

Microsoft Office 365 Excel Plugin for Exchange Online Reporting Microsoft Office 365 Excel Plugin for Exchange Online Reporting

Microsoft Office 365 Excel Plugin for Exchange Online Reporting 

Microsoft Office 365 Excel Plugin for Exchange Online ReportingMicrosoft Office 365 Excel Plugin for Exchange Online Reporting



OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad

by Arman Obosyan 20. July 2013 22:53

In case you missed this news, OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad are now available!

For more details, head over to OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad on the Office 365 technology blog


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About the author

Arman Obosyan have more than 20+ years’ work experience in Information Technologies sector.

Last few years he working on a position Technology Strategist at Microsoft Corporation, In the past Arman was Head of IT Infrastructure in Governmental Central Bank of Georgia (National Bank of Georgia).

Nowadays Arman is supporting C-Level and enabling business, visionary with a passion of technology, trends.


Certified since 2003 year, passed following certifications MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP, Exin ITIL and VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

Founder / Lead of Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP) Club Tbilisi and Community GE project 

In 2010 Was awarded a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)

2017 MVP Reconnect


The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent anyone else's view in any way, including those of my employer.

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