Richard is the Principal Consultant and Founder of Arcible. A specialist in cloud solutions using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Enterprise Mobility, and more. Richard holds numerous Microsoft certifications for both cloud and on-premises technologies.

Away from Arcible, Richard loves being involved in Scouting and getting outdoors with nature. You can find Richard online on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Microsoft Flight Simulator on a Work Device

If you are a developer planning on using the Microsoft Flight Simulator APIs or whether you run some kind of aviation playground, running Microsoft Flight Simulator is going to be a must which may mean being able to run Microsoft Flight Simulator on a work device.

I’m a big aviation fan and while I don’t fly myself (the PPL is a dream for one day), simulations are the closest I’ll come for now. For anyone interested, the picture on this post is of me flying the Cessna 172 over Farnborough Airport, not too far from us in Basingstoke.

When I tried to install Microsoft Flight Simulator on a PC that was domain-joined as my Arcible work device, I couldn’t even get it installed. To download and install Microsoft Flight Simulator through the Xbox Store requires the new Xbox app for Windows 10. For this app to work, you need to be able to sign-in with your Xbox Live account and that was failing.

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Replace Your File Server with Azure Files

We’ve previously talked about migrating files to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Even if you’ve done this, you will no doubt have a reason for a file server still. If cloud is your goal, why not replace your file server with Azure Files?

You get all the same capabilities as you do with an on-premises file server but the benefits of a Platform-as-a-Service solution that doesn’t require servers.

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Sharing Templates and Logos with an Organisation Asset Library

At Arcible, we love our brand and we want to make sure that it gets used correctly. We have standard document templates, high-quality versions of our corporate logo, and more. We want these to be used and used correctly. If there isn’t an organisation asset library that is easily accessible to users then they are more likely to go off-piste and make up their own. When you’ve worked hard to create and design a brand, you want to make sure that users stay on it.

With Microsoft 365, we have various ways that users can author content and access information so making sure that our asset library is accessible to them across all of these modalities is important. This is where the SharePoint Online organisation asset library feature comes in.

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Free Calling Plan for Microsoft 365 E5 Customers

Until this announcement, Microsoft 365 E5, the gives you everything plan for Microsoft 365 excluded one critical piece: a Calling Plan. The Microsoft 365 E5 license included the Phone System license and the Audio Conferencing license. This mean you had the licenses to use PSTN Audio Conferencing and to receive incoming calls but you would either need standalone Calling Plans for Microsoft 365 or pay Communication Credits for calls.

With the news of a Calling Plan for Microsoft 365 E5 customers, you will be able to, at no extra charge, get a 120-minute Domestic Calling Plan for each of your licensed E5 users.

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Microsoft 365 Enterprise Voice Plans and Pricing

People talk. Whether it be one-to-one or many-to-many, people talk. If you want to be able to give users the ability to make and take phone calls to non-Teams users then you need to enable voice elements of the service. Without these voice elements, Microsoft Teams users are only able to perform Teams-to-Teams calls. If you’ve come from a Skype for Business background, this is the same as the choice between PC-to-PC calling and Enterprise Voice. Microsoft 365 Enterprise Voice Plans are here to simplify things and hopefully make them cheaper too.

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Hybrid Windows Autopilot over VPN

Windows Autopilot until now has only worked 100% remotely for Azure AD Joined devices. For devices which are Hybrid Azure AD Joined via Active Directory, Windows Autopilot could fail as it required the device to have line-of-sight to a Domain Controller to perform the Domain Join operation. With the introduction of support for Hybrid Windows Autopilot over VPN (Bring Your Own VPN as the Microsoft documentation calls it) the game has changed.

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Migrate File Servers to SharePoint and OneDrive

File servers are something that almost every organisation has at least one of. They also can be one of the easiest things to migrate to Microsoft 365 and biggest benefits to your users so long as you do it right so what tools and knowledge do you need to migrate file servers?

The price of a single disk may be cheap enough these days but managing storage at an enterprise level with storage arrays, managing disk tiers and caching, redundancy, and backup all to think about not to mention the cost of the file server operating system upkeep and maintenance, is there a another way that’s cheaper for you to run as a business and gives the users’ a better, more modern service?

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Using Microsoft Teams Calendar with Exchange Server On-premises

Microsoft Teams is a cloud only service. There is no on-premises version of Microsoft Teams like there was with Skype for Business Server. If you are using Microsoft Teams but your mailboxes are still on-premises because your organisation isn’t ready to move to Exchange Online, what happens to the Microsoft Teams calendar with Exchange Server on-premises?

When using Microsoft Teams with Exchange Online, we get a Calendar app to allow us to view our calendars directly in Microsoft Teams, however, if your mailbox is in Exchange Server on-premises then you may not see get that functionality today. In this post, we’ll look at what you can do to enable the Microsoft Teams calendar with Exchange Server on-premises.

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Using Azure AD Application Proxy to Publish Internal Web Apps

With users working remotely, how are they accessing the internal line of business systems such as web applications that you have running? Chances are they may be having to use a VPN but Azure AD Application Proxy could provide you with a better solution.

Oftentimes, we work with customers to help them to move workloads to Microsoft Azure but what if you want or need to keep something on-premises?

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Using the Office Configuration Service

Hands up if you’ve just wanted to get Office deployed or updated on a bunch of machines but struggled with writing the configuration XML file for it? What about remembering to add all the required properties or what the attributes available for each one are? Difficult right? Sounds like the Office Configuration Service is just for you then.

At Arcible, we’ve talked about the Office Configuration Service in passing before and we really like it not only because it simplifies the creation of the XML files for us but also because it saves all the files generated through the service within the Tenant making them available to access again-and-again and acts as part of our documentation.

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