Comments from March 2016 Survey: Office 365 for Exchange Professionals


We received over 1,000 responses to our survey about the “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals” eBook and while we are still working through the details, I thought it would be interesting to post the comments that we received here so that people could see what came  in and post further views if they’d like.

First, we asked what people thought was their favorite part of the book.

Favorite part of Office 365 for Exchange Professionals

  • That it was written by the best professionals in the field and that each wrote the section that they are strongest in
  • Still reading it – but am really enjoying the real world references that it contains.
  • Yammer [TR: An interesting comment considering the relatively low amount of words we devote to this topic!]
  • I like at the time of release it was a one stop resource for Exchange and Office 365
  • All of it. the practical knowledge of the product was very helpful
  • Migration to Office 365 – Very well written, easy to understand.
  • The actual subject itself. It’s great to see it all (and updated) in one story line, if that makes sense.
  • Technical and information on how to pitch the service to management
  • language used in the book was good and the writing was current (as well as current as possible one can be with O365)
  • the practical info – saves me learning the hard way
  • Written and edited by very trusted Office 365 / Exchange sources.
  • It is a very good reference book. I have not found a topic yet that didn’t have something about it in the book.  This is the first thing I grab when something new comes along.
  • Haven’t finished reading it yet, but so far the technical details make it worth reading. Also the fact that you update it too so it keeps up to date.
  • All of it was excellent but I particularly liked all the stuff on hybrid. Also loved all the PowerShell examples.
  • No favorite part, different parts in various sections provided a lot of the info I was looking for in the book. As far as the writing quality I found myself sifting through the writing to get to the center of various technical details I was looking for in regards to actual implementation, namely for Hybrid Deployments. Wish there was a Step-by Step section as this is probably the most widely adopted deployment method
  • I’m a shell nerd, so the tidbits of useful shell script was good.
  • All the extra British “u”s [TR: No Brits were used or abused in the making of the book. I’m Irish and Paul’s Australian, so that’s where the “u’s” come from. MVH is Belgian, and probably doesn’t care too much about the details of the differences between British and American spelling of common English words]
  • Maybe not a “part” so much, but the incredibly detailed info contained in the book place it far above most MS-produced doc on O365.
  • I haven’t been through all of it, but “Doing More with Office 365” was a nice section.
  • Valuable real-world technical information from seasoned professionals.
  • The updates that keep coming out that detail the new enhancements to the service. The powershell scripts/tips are very good as well.
  • The in-depth technical detail that came from your experience with the products and services
  • The clear and straightforward manner in which it was written.
  • End to end document is very crisp and clear. Very easy to understand and interesting to read.
  • The hybrid connectivity and eDiscovery sections.
  • My favorite is less the content and more that it is searchable (as opposed to a paper book) so that if i need to reference something i know is in there, i can search and find it.
  • The writing style is very good – information is “to the point”, the book is not filled with a lot of “fluff”. The technical depth is pretty good. Overall I was very happy with the book.
  • The guidance on recovering disabled mailboxes and importing into existing mailboxes in one step. It came in handy when we were crossed with an issue and the info from the book pointed us in the right direction and helped solve the issue.
  • The writing style/quality of all three authors is amazing separately in each of their own blogs/books, and it meshes together very well in this one.
  • Migration section. This needs further attention and expansion as it’s a hot topic in the business world at the moment
  • All over the book has helped me with various tasks in my day to day job as I have developed my skills with O365 Exchange
  • Oh this is a hard one, I really liked all the book if I’m being honest. It was really in-depth but not overwhelming. It was written so I understood it and not so the author sounded over technical. There’s was enough information on each chapter for me to get a good understanding of what’s needed and where, there was also links to the appropriate subjects to gain a further understanding!
  • The PowerShell examples. The flow of the chapters. This is one of the best books I have ever owned for O365.
  • The sections on Office 365 Groups because it was the most detailed information on that feature that I could find.
  • For me it is clear that this book is delivered by individuals intimately experienced working with Exchange server
  • We bought a copy of this to have on hand for helpdesk staff. Everyone loves it. We listen to your podcasts and follow the blog. You are more informative than MVA!
  • Material has been great. Keep doing what you guys are doing and looking forward to the future releases.
  • It’s a great book written by some well-respected authors. keep up the good work!
  • It’s very well written and highly detailed.
  • A difficult book to write given the fast paced changes that happen with O365. A must read for any engineer who is moving Exchange mailboxes to the cloud. Keep it coming!!
  • excellent reference manual and love the dynamic updates
  • Keep up the good work. I think it’s a pioneering way to write an IT book about a cloud service that is changing very fast.
  • This ebook definitely fills a huge need, as the Microsoft TechNet site documentation is behind, typically sparse, and falling further behind daily. Of particular note is the information on hybrid configurations, that is invaluable, and I definitely desire more!
  • The update cycle you folks have embarked upon is impressive, and goes far beyond the often-outdated info scattered across multiple MS websites (and leaves all other “books” in the dust). As someone who has administered my company’s O365 tenant for a few years (and BPOS before that), I can say that I still find useful info in this book that I did not know and have not encountered elsewhere.
  • Keep up the good work – Love to see more Exchange/O365 architecture type of stuff.
  • Thank you for releasing updates on a frequent basis and including them in updates for existing purchasers.
  • I refer to at least a couple of times a week!
  • It’s essential for my job as a trainer to keep up-to-date and I do this mainly by reading your book.
  • Very comprehensive and I enjoyed the writing style.
  • Really good book! Bought this because MS itself doesn’t have any decent documentation for it.
  • Great book, this is my first source when looking for answers. More deep technical details would help more.
  • This book is the most practical and technical book on the market. My go-to resource.
  • My best resource so far for my company’s migration of one of our smaller divisions to Office 365
  • Really liked the way things are explained
  • Love the constant updates. Kindle edition would be nice, but I understand the difficulties with that. [TR note: The Kindle edition is available!]

Hybrid and migration seem to be the most popular sections.

Next, we asked people to suggest ways that we can improve the book in future editions.

Thoughts on improvements

  • keep the updates coming as Microsoft adds stuff to O365
  • Can you cover some multi forest migration to office 365 troubleshooting. Skype for business hybrid configuration. Lotus notes to o365 migrations.
  • More step by step guide on how to implement SSO with AD password syn to Azure
  • It should include troubleshooting scenarios as well like for different types of migration etc.
  • -It would be nice to have a chapter devoted to “things not available to you in O365 that were available in Exchange” [TR: Interesting idea!]
  • updates would be nice to be free. [TR: Updates are free to those who buy books from ExchangeServerPro.com or (in a lesser sense), the Kindle edition from Amazon. We restrict updates to a certain edition. The full explanation of how we manage updates is available for your reading pleasure.]
  • It would be great if the electronic version of the book came with a scripts library of the scripts used and if it was searchable.
  • more about migration scenarios – besides hybrid
  • The O365 Shell configuration from any machine to the required domain should be made easily accessible. This would help us work and get all the data just a click away.
  • more PowerShell commands would be nice
  • From a Consultant point of view, the information is great as a overall high level view. But, looking from the outside point of view, it would be nice to have some scenario based examples of how to approach or tackle implementation issues (troubleshooting), decommissioning steps to old environment, and validation steps for confirmation.
  • yes, im not clear on the assessment that I need to do prior to running the HCW. I would like to understand each and every tasks that I need to be prepared before installing the HCW.
  • should include scenarios of existing office365 Tennant migration to a different tenant (hybrid and online), mergers acquisition
  • Hybrid certificates in multiple SMTP domains
  • If someone has already purchased the original version, it would be nice to get the updates for free.
  • Keep up the good work. More in-depth stuff. Best practices.
  • A bit more info on how O365 servers secure their connection to CAS Servers (mutual auth or not) would be welcome.
  • Would like more details in cross-perm behaviours
  • would be helpful to have an example hybrid migration – step by step instructions similar to the migration docs such as 2003 to 2010 authored by Paul
  • Book should address changes in Domain Controller during Office 365 migration. like UPN etc.
  • You should include content relative to de-commissioning On-Prem Exchange servers after a Hybrid migration when there is no desire to host mailboxes On-Prem anymore. You should also discuss the Free-Co-existence Exchange Hybrid server to simplify End-User management if a company is using AAD-Connect or AD-FS. Make it clear in this situation how Cloud User in this scenario is Read-Only and discuss details of user management in this scenario. Also in this scenario can the Hybrid configuration be dismantled and the free co-existence server just be left to manage the users in the Cloud that were sync’d with AAD-Connect? A lot is unclear after all mailboxes have been migrated from On-Prem to Cloud when desire is to eliminate all On-Prem Costs, de-commission all On-Prem Exchange Servers but possibly leave one free co-existence Exchange server around to simplify end user management. Also speak to fact that ADSI-Edit use is possible but unsupported. Also I am not sure but in this scenario is it possible to simply use remote PowerShell only for user management and get rid of all On-Prem Exchange Servers and have No Co-existence Hybrid server as well? Also Put some links in Books to Videos where you actually us through some implementations like a simply Hybrid Deploment
  • I would love if it would go more into things like DLP and message encryption. [TR: There’s a full chapter on DLP (16) and we cover Office 365 message encryption in chapter 15. I am not sure what more is needed.]
  • Make EMS a chapter
  • I think a strong focus on hybrid transition needs to be explored better. Many professionals find the federation and upkeep of hybrid to be a very time-consuming challenge.
  • What to do when a user account is compromised via webmail.
  • I wish that it would be more in-depth of the decommissioning of the on-prem
  • Tony’s a great writer, but technical professionals is not so interesting to read the first chapter of a far far a distant galaxy. Maybe reduce it a little.
  • More info on managing remotely.
  • Please mention related to upcoming or expected new enhancements in office365.
  • My version has appendix A as the directory sync content. It has some detail on upgrading the sync tools, but i think expanding on the upgrading processes detail will be more important as O365 continues to evolve and the tools get replaced and rebranded.
  • I think it’s important not to skip over Exchange 2010 hybrid. I work as a consultant and while I see more and more Exchange 2013/2016 deployments I must say that the majority of clients I deal with are still running Exchange 2010. I think it’s important to include information on Exchange 2010 hybrid still as there are differences between the versions.
  • My most difficult moments have been migrating public folders. The more info you have on PF migration, the better.
  • Exchange online protection
  • A Chapter on ADFS
  • Keep improving it
  • Don’t charge full price again for a “new” edition within months after the previous release. That’s similar to an illegal practice called bait a switch here in the US. To me, it’s like selling a kite one day and withholding the string from the purchaser, and then selling the string at a later date for more than what the original cost of the kite was. It’s absurd.    Manage the purchasers list better to provide updates/offers. [TR: See the note above about updates. Our first edition was in May 2015 and our second in September 2015. There are lots of updates (250+ new pages) in the second edition so we thought that it was reasonable to charge for a new edition. The next edition is due in May 2016, so there’s more of a gap and it’s more like the cadence that we would like to have going forward. We’re learning about the mechanics of ePublishing and figuring out Office 365 too… and Microsoft keeps on changing Office 365 so we have to keep pace.]
  • Structure it a little better. Does jump around a bit especially in the hybrid sections. Would be nice to get that in one section with some good examples
  • Would love to see a more thorough walkthough with regards of hybrid configuration and AD FS and proxy.
  • Remove the history and just put in the facts.
  • To elaborate on Skype for Business implementations as well DLP.
  • More information on forthcoming features would be useful, since it is often hard to find usable technical information on new features.

Reactions:

The third edition should appear in May 2016 and will cover even more topics than before. We’re also taking the opportunity to restructure the book and move information around to create what we think is a better flow across the chapters. For instance, we’re building a new chapter called “Office 365 Identities” that draws together all of the information about directory synchronization, hybrid configurations, AD FS, single single-on, etc. The new chapter will include additional information and be presented at the start of book to set the context for other discussions. We’re also moving the Exchange history section out of chapter 1 into a separate appendix. It’s there for those who are interested in learning how the on-premises product evolved to deal with the cloud without interfering with the ability of readers to dive into the Office 365 straightaway.

We like PowerShell (a lot) and will include even more examples in the third edition. I think we should easily exceed 650 examples across all the chapters but we’ll have to wait and see.

We’ll share more details about our progress as we approach May. In the meantime, if you have other comments please post them as replies here. We need to get our heads down and get the writing done.

Follow Tony @12Knocksinna

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About Tony Redmond ("Thoughts of an Idle Mind")

Exchange MVP, author, and rugby referee
This entry was posted in Cloud, Office 365 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Comments from March 2016 Survey: Office 365 for Exchange Professionals

  1. Ryan Murphy says:

    Would there be any thoughts or addition to the document on migrating / uplifting Exchange Hybrid Servers at all guys?

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