I like to do a little end of year review here to reflect on how things have gone throughout the year, and consider what the future will bring.
2017 has certainly been a busy year for me outside of this blog, which is shown by the changes in the numbers that I look at each year:
- 100 new blog posts (compared to 135 in 2016). That's still a lot, but the decrease is fairly simple to explain. I've had more non-blog work that has taken up my writing time. The posts I have written have often been longer, and more in-depth, requiring more time to write. And I also think it's partly due to the way in which the Office 365 ecosystem is rapidly changing, but in chaotic way that is challenging to track. I often find myself pondering the best time to write about a new feature or a significant change. Should I write about it when it's announced, when it hits preview, or when it hits general availability? Those can all be months apart, and sometimes I am struck by geographic disadvantages, with new features arriving in my own tenants much later than other parts of the world. Simply put, I think sometimes by the time a change reaches me, my attention has been drawn elsewhere.
- There were 2894 new comments posted. That's about 1/3rd fewer than last year, which neatly correlates with the decrease in my publishing of new blog posts.
- My contact form was used for 1282 new submissions. That is, thankfully, a big drop from 2016 when I was quite overwhelmed by the incoming requests, and often could not respond to them. Most of the drop is attributable to work I've put in adding information to the contact page to answer the most frequent questions before you submit the form.
During the year I co-authored the update to Office 365 for IT Pros, which is now in its 4th edition.
I also published two new courses with Pluralsight:
- Managing Exchange Mailboxes and Distribution Groups in PowerShell
- Office 365 Administration Playbook
Normally I include a list of the top 10 most visited posts on the blog for the year. However, that often includes posts written 2-3 years ago, which remain popular for a long time. Instead, I have dug a little deeper and looked for posts that I wrote in 2017 that I think were the most important, even if they weren't necessarily the most popular. Here they are.
- The Price of Office 365 Groups – after a long campaign of pushing Groups on customers, Microsoft used Ignite to announce additional licensing requirements for some basic features that we previously took for granted.
- Managing Office 365 Licenses with the Azure AD V2 PowerShell Module – with the MsOnline module likely to be deprecated in the near future, adopting the AzureAD PowerShell module is critical.
- First Steps: Configuring Exchange Online Protection – EOP is often criticized for it's perceived lack of effectiveness, but often the issues are simply that EOP has not been adequately tuned for the customer.
- Managing Change in Office 365 – it's not getting easier. I am seeing more and more “change fatigue” from customers and their IT staff.
- Managing Adoption of Office 365 by Controlling Access to Apps – turns out you don't have the level of control that you might expect.
- Removing On-Premises Exchange Servers after Migrating to Office 365 – this may be one of the most misunderstood aspects of Office 365 migrations.
- How to Use Azure AD Conditional Access to Enforce MFA for Unmanaged Devices – a demonstration of how you can shift your security thinking to align with the cloud first, mobile first era.
- Microsoft Recommending Non-Expiring Passwords to Office 365 Customers – yes, it's true. Password expiry is unfashionable now.
- Migrate Home Drives to OneDrive for Business – one of the biggest hurdles to OneDrive adoption is what to do about all that data that's stored on legacy file servers.
- What Can Microsoft Intune See On Your Managed Mobile Devices? – users are right to be cautious about enrolling in corporate MDM, but it's not quite as bad as some people think.
As always, I will be taking a few weeks of vacation with my family to relax and enjoy the best part of our summer. Thank you for all your support again this past year, I couldn't do this without you. Have a safe and happy new year, don't work too hard, and I'll see you again in 2018.