Archives 2012

Conferences coming up…


A quick update on some up coming conferences which may be of interest to people.

Firstly Quest; The Experts Conference is taking place in Barcelona in two weeks from 22nd to 24th October at the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos.

For more information and to sign up see the link below:

I will be with two sessions on the New Exchange.

The first is on the Monday and will cover –

Exchange 2013: Archiving and Compliance Tools.

The second is first thing on the Tuesday and will cover –

Collaboration and Exchange: How to Use Shared Mailboxes, Site Mailboxes and Modern Public Folders

If you would like to see the full agenda take a look here:



I will also be speaking at the Penton lead Exchange Connections conference in Las Vegas.


For more information see the site here:

This time I will be doing three sessions as follows:

1. ESE207: The New Exchange Security and Protection – Features to save your job!

2. EAR309: Dealing with those Pesky PSTs. A Look at Archiving and Discovery in Exchange 2010 and Office 365

3. ECO306: Collaboration and Exchange: How to Use Shared Mailboxes, Site Mailboxes and Modern Public Folders

For a list of all the sessions at the conference see the link below:


Hope to see some of you at the events.



Contributing to the UK English UM Preview Language pack.

As those of you who have worked with Exchange 2010 will know, it is possible for those using Exchange UM to have their incoming voicemails transcribed to text and shown with the messaging in their inbox.

The only issue is that currently we have support for voicemail preview in the following language packs:

  1. English (US) – (en-US)
  2. French (France) – (fr-FR)
  3. Italian – (it-IT)English (Canada) (en-CA)
  4. Polish (pl-PL)
  5. Portuguese (Portugal) (pt-PT)
  6. Spanish (Spain) (es-ES)

As you can see, English (UK) – (en-GB) is not supported for preview. Simply put this is because there are very many flavours of English in the UK and getting a single pack to correctly understand all of them to a suitable level of accuracy is a huge technical challenge.

With that in mind Microsoft needs to collect sample data (i.e. voicemails) to work with so as to improve the algorithm. So, if you would like to assist in the development of a English UK language pack which supports voicemail preview feel free to follow the steps below:

Voice mail collection is controlled with a setting on the UM Mailbox Policy object. This means that the UM administrator can choose which UM-enabled users’ voice mail is collected. This is important because there may be users that do not want to (or should not) have any of their voice mail collected: perhaps they receive voice mail with financially sensitive information.

To turn on collection for a UM Mailbox Policy, use the Exchange Management Shell (PowerShell) and set the AllowVoiceMailAnalysis property to true.

For example:

PS> Set-UMMailboxPolicy “some UM Mailbox Policy” –AllowVoiceMailAnalysis $true

The caller can prevent collection when they leave a message by pressing # instead of hanging up, and then choosing to mark the message private. This is also true if you are using the Protected Voice Mail feature.

For more information about language packs and Exchange UM see the link below:

Client Language Support for Unified Messaging

Speaking at The Experts Conference 2012 in San Diego


I am very happy to say that I will be at The Experts Conference in San Diego this April.

The conference runs from April 29th to May 2nd. This time round I have two sessions, which will be as follows:

Dealing with those pesky PSTs. A look at archiving and discovery in Exchange 2010 and Office 365

A growing number of businesses face regulatory pressures to retain and retrieve business data. This session will look at the features available in Exchange 2010 to manage, maintain and retrieve large quantities of data. You will learn about your options for storing data either in large mailboxes, using the archive functionality of Exchange on premises or through archiving to Office 365. We will discuss where and when the different approaches make sense and cover what your options are if you already have a vast amount of data stored in an existing archiving platform. Finally we will take a look at the new PST Capture tool from Microsoft which gives a solution to the problem of locating and importing PSTs from across your network.


Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) – What is it an why should you care?

Outsourcing your mail filtering is nothing new, however that doesn’t mean it isn’t a complex area which needs careful consideration and configuration. In this session we will introduce the capabilities of FOPE before diving into a demo based walk through of its configuration including coverage of Exchange Hosted Encryption (EHE). We will cover standalone FOPE used to protect an on premises deployment of a messaging platform and then cover the differences when using FOPE with Office 365. Finally we will get into the detail of routing topologies covering how mail flows in different scenarios from standalone, to Office 365 passing through Hybrid on the way.


If you want more information about the conference then take a look at the website here:



The 2012 Minasi Conference


As you may know, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to attend the first five years of Minasi Conferences held each year from 2006 to 2010. It gave me my first speaking opportunity and prompted me to get into writing (as well as photography!)

Well after a gap in 2011 the conference is back in 2012. Once again there is a great line up of speakers and the chance to hang out with some of the leaders of our industry. Sadly this year I won’t be able to make it as I’m going to be at another event in the US (more of which later). I have no doubt that it will be a great event!

For more information see the website here

And for schedule info here:

Hope some of you manage to make it to the event.



Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) is back!


Just a quick post to spread the announcement on the Exchange Team blog that MEC is back!

From what I’m told MEC was the best conference out there! A great chance for Exchange experts from all around the World to come together and share information about the latest and greatest in the world of messaging.

After an absence of 10 years, it’s back. To find out more checkout the post here:

Looking forward to seeing you there Smile



A further look at uCertify Prepkit 70-663

As I mentioned a while back I’ve been trying the uCertify Prepkit for the Microsoft Exchange 2010 Design exam (70-663). In fact I also used the Prepkit for the Configuration exam (70-662) as well.

Having passed both exams I thought it was time to share a few thoughts about the Prepkits.

The download and install process is very straightforward and it is possible to use a trial version which gives you a selection of tests whilst you decide whether they are right for you.

Once installed and fully licensed, a simple matter of inputting your purchase key into the software, there is a large range of information and test methods which help you study for your exam.

The Prepkit lays out the Exam Objectives and also has a range of Study Notes which outline key topics and which are supplemented by a couple of longer articles. It would be nice if these Study Notes were linked from the Exam Objectives so that there was a better flow from piece to piece however the information in general is useful.

Once you get down to the actual test material then there are various ways of learning including many ways to customise the actual tests by selecting the type of areas you want tested and also whether you want to be able to get the answers after each question or only at the end of the test.

Whilst testing, you can of course mark items for review and also tag items and give feedback on the questions. Your scores are logged and you can easily see which areas need more study and then take questions on those areas only. Equally you can simply retest questions that you got wrong before.

All in all, I found having sat and passed the exam, that the type of material in the 70-663 Prepkit wasn’t entirely representative of the material on the exam. The Prepkit material seems a little more suited to the 70-662 exam around configuration rather than more focussed on the design type questions in 70-663. Also 70-663 has a scenario type case study section where you must read a bunch of key information about a customer and come up with design suggestions. This isn’t covered at all in the Prepkit.

My feeling is that for the 70-663 exam whilst the Prepkit is full of useful Exchange related info I don’t think it was an ideal tool especially compared to the 70-662 Prepkit which was much better suited to that particular exam.

The ease of use and the general experience is good, but there is room for improvement in how the material matches the exam.

Studying for the Exchange 2010 exams

One of the things I’ve been a little slow in keeping up with is MCP exams. It’s something that I’m sorting out and in the next couple of weeks intend to take the two Exchange 2010 exams – 70-662 and 70-663.

With that in mind I thought I would look at some of the study aids out there. In particular uCertify offered to let me review their PrepKit for the Exchange design exam (70-663).

I’ve used their products once or twice before and have found them generally easy to use with a decent number of questions. So I will be testing out their product and hopefully it will get me through the exam.

I will write up a longer review of the PrepKit once I’m done!