Transfer OneNote Class Notebooks


As I’ve said every time I blog about the OneNote Class Notebook, this ever growing in popularity tool is a great addition to any classroom whether you have a 1:1 ratio of devices or not.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the product as Microsoft push hard with the marketing effects of the pen and OneNote, I want to make sure that when I work with customers I can be making recommendations about the product as well as how to implement it.  This is one of the reason why I wrote an implementation guide before the OneNote Class Notebook appeared in the App Launcher.

App Launcher

The app launcher version has made it easier to create the Notebooks but does have one downside which is that it stores the OneNote in the teacher OneDrive.  This has enabled the teacher full access and can do whatever they need and take advantage of their unlimited storage in OneDrive for Business without the need of an administrator.

Teachers can come and go throughout a students 5 – 7 years at a school both during a school year and at the end of the academic year and with many systems now integrating with Office 365 Education, users are created automatically from the MIS or finance system.  Of course these systems also can remove users and their licenses from Office 365.  If a users SharePoint or OneDrive license is removed, the OneDrive is still active for another 14 days before the delete it completely removed/deleted.  Of course we don’t want this to happen to the students work so Microsoft have built a PowerShell script around the OneNote Class Notebook API to help transfer these Notebooks between teachers.

Take a look at the link below to the script on GitHub and just remember to transfer the content before that 14 days have run out.

#SUGUK //Build/ Special 30th March, Manchester


A few weeks ago I was catching up with the leader of the north west area of the SharePoint User Group Mark Stokes and we were chatting about the up coming /Build conference in San Francisco and how much we would love to go (we can still get flights if someone can get us a ticket and buy us some aeroplane seats). Instead we got chatting about if we could get a live stream going of the event at the next SharePoint User Group in Manchester.

Well we’ve made it happen and at an earlier time of 5.30pm (rather than the usual 6.30pm) we will be streaming the conference from the Outsourcery offices in Manchester. For those of you who know the conference and time zone difference between the UK and PST, we are starting the stream an hour late but you wont miss anything.

We’ll provide food during the keynote and at the end we’ll take 30 minutes to chat about some of the announcements made. Then of course we can continue the conversation at a SharePint.

Get registered here – SharePoint User Group UK


Disable Yammer License in Office 365 Education


A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about changing licenses from the Office 365 Education license to the Office 365 Plus Education license.  This PowerShell script will help you to make these changes.

In the last week, further integration of Yammer and Office 365 has accord where we can now disable the Yammer license.

I’ve had many customers ask if there was a way we could just allow teachers and admin staff access to Yammer and we haven’t been able to do that until now.

Below are a set of script that will help you to either remove the Yammer license from all users (doesn’t matter what license they have been assigned), keep the current options they have enabled and then removes the yammer option.  The second script will just remove it from users who have a student license.

Remove Yammer license from all users


Remove Yammer from Student assigned accounts only


Change All Faculty and Students to Office 365 Edu Plus Licenses


We have seen many changes to Office 365 but Office 365 Education changes even more as Microsoft given more free services to education establishment worldwide.  Back in September 2015, Microsoft gave some of the E3 features to Office 365 and renamed the license from Office 365 E1 for Student (Faculty) to Office 365 Education for Student (Faculty), still free.

During the announcement around making the Office client available through Office 365, better known as Office 365 Pro Plus, Microsoft made it easy for students and teachers to get the software by asking for their email address and check their licensing records to then give them Office 365 Education.

You may have noticed this added over 1.5 million licenses to your tenant allowing you to change all your users to this new license.  This license is now called the Office 365 Education PLUS for Student (Faculty) license.

So you now have the ability to give all your students and staff Office 365 Pro Plus as you have these licenses added to your tenant, but to assign them to each of your users is time consuming and you may already have disabled other plans such as Skype for Business.  Something that can be time consuming.

The below script runs and checks to see what services are assigned to each user, removes the current license and then add the Plus license with the same disabled features as previous.  It will also check to see if their currently have a faculty or student license and ensure the right one is licensed.

You will need the Azure AD PowerShell install to make this run and also connected to your tenant (Connect-MSOLService).


Office 365 Edu Licensing Change – we get more for free :-)


You may or may not have noticed that on the 1st September Microsoft announced new security features for Office 365 Education users however these weren’t new as they have been in the platform for a few years.

Education licenses have been aligned more to the enterprises licenses with E1 Student/Faculty matching E1 Enterprise and as new features have been added to E1 they are assigned to both tenant types.  The new security features announced in this post are based around some of the features that are part of E3 Enterprise.

With any of my customers I haven’t seen any use of E3 as almost all have been happy to use the free licenses and pleased that they can get Office 365 Pro Plus as part of their Microsoft licensing but Microsoft have mixed up the features and given more to education customers for free which were in E3.

These are based more around security and discovery of files better known as E-Discovery, Rights Management Services and Data Loss Prevention have also been added but what are these.

I always describe E-Discovery as a search service if you need to find data across your whole tenant for a disciplinary hearing and you need to find everything that mentions certain words.  An example I use is if a gang has started in a school and they have a name and you need to find all the emails, files and data which uses the gang name.  Having searched the name, the E-Discovery tool will give you a ZIP file to download all that content.

Rights Management Services and Data Loss Prevention
RMS is a great way of keeping data secure by only allowing users to see the data they should.  Now you might be thinking ‘well SharePoint permissions does that for me’ but this takes it to the next level.  With RMS/DLP you can prevent sensitive data from being printed, secure documents with encryption if it starts to hold student data and also prevent files from being print screened and then copied into other files.  Rights ensures only the right people can view the content and alongside DLP prevents them from doing certain things with it.

If you haven’t noticed, the new license name is called Office 365 Education Faculty/Student

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Live Session: Are Team Sites Dead? #Collab365


This week sees the online conference called Collab365 which is run over 24 hours with sessions from great names from around the SharePoint and Office 365 community.  Alongside at the same time of the record sessions, there are live sessions part of the Collab TV hosted by different people from around the world.

I’m delighted to be speaking on a hot topic with is ‘are teams sites dead’ but we wanted to do something a little different!

Mark Stokes and I have had many debates about the future of team sites and during one evening I pitched the idea to turn this into a battle during a live sessions at a conference.  Collab365 will be round 1 and I hope to take an early lead in convincing you that it’s time for us to move away from team sites and think differently.

Come register and listen along at 5.45pm UK on Thursday and hear the battle.

“Are team sites dead?!!  A big question that has been asked for some time now as the Office 365 platform has changed and developed.  Today the heat is on as the battle between Alex Pearce (Office 365 MVP) and Mark Stokes (SharePoint MVP) fight for your vote but whos side are you on?  Do you we stick with the traditional SharePoint team sites or do we need to move away from Team sites to Office 365 Groups or are there other options?  Our host Andy Tablot will be the ring master while the two sides battle it out and you crown the victor at the end.”

OneDrive is not the location for Business Data


Over the past few months I’ve noticed more Office 365 solutions and Add-Ins that use OneDrive as the location to store data. This has always concerned me as I see OneDrive for Business a very different solution to others so I hope this brings some clarity to my thinking and hopefully start a discussion where either I will be put right or wrong.

Lets remember what OneDrive for Business is first. It’s a storage place for you to store data within your Office 365 tenant. But what is more important is how do we get this personal storage? OneDrive for Business is part of a SharePoint license. You can assigned a user a SharePoint Online license and they can access what they are given access to but they do have OneDrive straight away.

Now here is my main point. A users OneDrive is only a temporary location of storage during the life of an organisation. A users OneDrive is created when that user is licensed. When the license is removed, the OneDrive is deleted 30 days as part of an Office 365 retention policy meaning any data that is not backed up or achieved from that location is deleted and not recoverable.

Knowing this, do you want business critical data stored in a temporary location. If data is important and needs to be kept when this user leaves or the license is removed, you need to ensure that you have your business continuity.

So how should we use OneDrive?
• OneNote Notebooks – Your notes from meetings. If you need to share them for business use, store them in the right location such as CRM if they are customer based or the SharePoint team site.
• Expenses Forms (Before submitting)- While you fill out your form during the month but then an app is used to send the files to the right SharePoint team site or third party location

Where I feel you shouldn’t be using OneDrive
• Customer Note
• Customer opportunity information
• Customer proposals – this includes draft version. These should be stored in the right location
• Business critical data

If a member of staff leaves and you decide to archive their OneDrive to SharePoint Online – why? Why not make them store this information in there anyway.

It makes me wonder why we need more than 1TB of storage in OneDrive for Business – what do you need to store in there for it to be 1TB, or 2TB, 10TB and of course this only increases as we will soon get unlimited storage. Just because OneDrive for Business has more storage available to you than SharePoint Online, does not mean you should store your data there.

So please do let me know your thoughts, am I right, wrong or should I be thinking it in a different way?

OneNote Class Notebook Implementation Guide


In the past 9 months we have seen a new add-in added to all Office 365 Education tenants which has encouraged people start using OneNote as a tool in the classroom allow a teacher and their students to view and share notes between each other.

The tool have moved through a few updates and is seeing further implementation in classrooms around the world.

I’ve recently been at some of our customers where they have implemented OneNote Class Notebook and they as they start to think about technology for the next academic year, they wanted some guidance around what to do next.

In this article, I’ve tried pass on how I see the product and explain why OneNote and the Class notebook should be considered and how the setup of the add-in at this moment in time works with academic years.

It then goes onto considerations how you should implement it across your tenant. Its not as easy is implementing it and using it as this is not what you do with normal student notebook (in paper format). This also talks about some of the limitations you might get with the Office 365.

The final section is a bit of a guide to implementing a structure around the add-in and how you can do this.

Special thanks to Alan Richards (Office 365 MVP) for his input on this.

Click here or the image below to download the whitepaper


Sway now in Office 365


At the recent Microsoft Ignite, it was announced that Sway was coming to Office 365 and that it would be here for First Release Office 365 tenants in the next month. Well we were pleased to see it added to some of our customers with those settings today (21st May).


So what does it look like? Well first we have Sway now in the App Launcher. Nice an easy to fine and to start Sway’ing. At the time of writing this, even though I was logged into my account, I had to log in again and confirm that I wanted to log in with my Office 365 account not my personal Microsoft account.

One I had done that, Sway is the same but I get two examples of Sways for me to play with and see what can be done with the product.

There are a few options regarding Sway now in my Admin Portal. I can either turn Sway on or Off for my tenant, or prevent Sways from being accessed externally.


Happy Swaying

Slides from SharePoint Evolution Conference


I always enjoy presenting and having done three presentation at the recent SharePoint Evolution Conference, it has left be buzzing and look forward to speak to more people soon.


Managing Security and Permission in SharePoint: Level 100


Next Generation Portals in Office 365: Level 100


Office 365 Groups Deep Dive