• Microsoft 365 Setup Guidance

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    Hi folks,

    I wanted to share here a link to some Setup Guides which help IT Admins setup Microsoft 365 / Office 365 services. https://aka.ms/setupguidance

    Background: I used to own my own small business helping migrate businesses to the cloud (Google Apps/G Suite/Google Workspace or BPOS/Office 365/Microsoft 365.) About 6 years ago I submitted critical feedback to Microsoft about how challenging the services were to setup at that time, and Microsoft appreciated the feedback enough to hire me to make things a little easier.

    You need to have a tenant administrator login to a valid M365 tenant in order to check out the guides. Anyone can get a free trial (which comes with a tenant admin login) here: Compare All Microsoft Office Products | Microsoft Office

    (I have a single seat tenant with what is now called Microsoft 365 Business Standard, which I use for my test tenant because I tired of setting up new trials as the trials expired. It’s a good value for small businesses, if you are looking for a suggestion on which product to choose.) 

    I’d love to get your feedback on the Setup Guides so that my team can keep improving on these guides, and making life a little easier for IT Pros who are trying to deploy/configure Microsoft 365 online services and applications.


    Mike Bailey

    Microsoft Program Manager

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    • #2316008

      Thank you for posting.  Mind if I also forward this to other venues?

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2316104

      I would emphasize setting up two factor authentication.  Also I still have to walk through the process of how to set it up and what to expect when using the authenticator app.  I would recommend more screen shots for setting up on android and iphones.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2317159

        Thank you for this feedback, Susan. We did used to have more screenshots, but we struggled to keep screenshots updated as UI changed, and also localization of screenshots into non-English was a challenge. As a result, we’ve tended to use a lot less screenshots across the Admin Center and docs.microsoft.com. If we come up with a way to deal with the screenshot challenges, we will revisit this.

        We have two factor/ multi factor auth guidance in place, but I think your feedback is that we should more strongly encourage folks to set up MFA. We are working on ways to better communicate this to tenant admins, and to make it easier to set up. As of now we have Security Defaults, Conditional Access, and per-user MFA. This can be confusing for admins to decide which method of MFA setup they want. We will likely have some changes regarding MFA in our Setup Guidance landing in the Jan-Mar timeframe.


    • #2316124

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    • #2316234

      Clicking a guide opens in a new tab, and then when you are done takes you back to guides page, so you end up with many extra tabs going through them.

      Not sure how to complete a guide. I opened the “prepare your environment” guide on my existing tenet, and despite having done everything there it shows as in progress.

      I know I have used them before in the 50ish tenets I manage and they are nice to consolidate all the places one might need to make changes when doing a deploy.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2317167

        Hi RandomPherret, thanks for this feedback.

        We used to open a guide in the current tab rather than a new tab, and we got a lot of feedback that people preferred a new tab, so that they would not lose their place in their current tab, in case they still had something in progress in the current tab. So this is now behavior by design based on that feedback.

        The guides are a guidance walkthrough, in some cases with automation, and in some cases they are content only. The guides may cover many features for a given service, so while you may click through on an initial run to explore or enable a single feature, you may want to return at a later time to run through and enable a different feature. So we don’t mark the entire guide as complete, because we don’t want to dissuade you from using again as needed. In cases where we have automation and telemetry for a given feature, you may notice in a step in a guide that the specific feature is enabled/complete. Teams external guest access is an example of this in the Teams guide. There is not yet a dashboard, so you would see this in the specific guide. As we add more such automation, we will look to provide an at-a-glance dashboard.

        I’m glad to hear you have used these in some of the tenants you manage! We’ve improved the performance a great deal this calendar year as we pivoted to React code and a cleaner UI, so hopefully you have felt these improvements.

    • #2316393

      First, there are several issues with MS 365.

      Second, MS thinks that everyone has a cell phone. This is not the case. Having to find a workaround for those users, who are not tech people is difficult. MS should have a set up that makes it easier for these users. I still get call from these people on my days off how to set the work around. It would be nice if MS allowed that X person had no 2FA and had no rights except for ability to to do C with read only access. This would make my life simpler. Hopefully will not get call from these users again.
      Third, not everyone has high speed internet, so ways to improve that would be great. Have several users still on dial up and have issues with M365.
      Fourth, I really surprise that MS listen your feedback. Will see if you and MS can do something about this but mostly it will be ignored as every thing else. MS touch or buys it and it goes down hill from there.
      Welcome and hopefully my critique of MS does not scare you off. I have too much issues with MS in the last few years that not happy with their service-which is not doing anything usefully in my opinion.

      • #2317172

        I’m sorry to hear that you have been experiencing these challenges. Most of my IT career was outside of Microsoft, and I can sympathize.

        I can confirm that M365 Services are much easier to set up at this time than they were in the past. But I can also agree that improvements are still needed, and many are on the way.

        There are MFA/2FA alternatives to cell phone MFA, and MFA is not required for tenants unless the tenant admin requires it (although it is recommended.)

        Bandwidth is a challenge for any cloud service, but for the desktop apps, we have ways to run those in low/no bandwidth scenarios. Docs.microsoft.com is a good place to find this documentation.

        Please note you can use the Need Help widget in the lower right corner of the Admin Center to open a support ticket, interact with the chat bot, or search for useful guidance to drill deeper into these topics.

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