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ENow's Top 12 Posts of 2020

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As we start off 2021, we thought it would a perfect time to look back at the ENow Solution Engine blog results for 2020.

It was an interesting year to say the least. Many of us found ourselves working remote (whether our organizations were prepared for it or not) amongst the many other challenges 2020 brought and although we've learned a lot, we think it's safe to say we're all ready for a fresh start in 2021. Hopefully this year is better than the last. Considering the bar is set pretty low, we have high hopes!

Of course, 2020 wasn't all bad! Our MVP blogger team produced some amazing content throughout the year and we wanted to share the top 12 posts of 2020 with you to wrap up the year!

1. Avoid the Microsoft Teams 'Islands Mode' Trap   - Johan Delimon (MVP)

Many organizations unfortunately found themselves in Island- Mode in 2019, which led to unhappy end users… This turns out to be a real problem as most companies just turn on Microsoft Teams without properly planning their journey from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.  This results in unhappy users because of feature overlap and none interoperability between both communication tools. In this post Johan covers how to avoid Island mode. Read more.

2. Exchange 2019 CU4 and Exchange 2016 Explained - Jaap Wesselius (MVP)

On December 17, 2019 Microsoft released Exchange 2019 CU4 and Exchange 2016 CU15 as part of their quarterly release cycle. As expected, no new features in these Cumulative Updates. According to the Microsoft vision, if you want the latest and greatest you need Exchange Online, if you’re satisfied with a rock solid on-premises deployment you’re good with these versions. And since Exchange 2013 is out of support, no Cumulative Update for Exchange 2013 is released. Read more.

3. Microsoft Teams for Business vs. Microsoft Teams for Education - Matt Levy (MVP)

With the COVID-19 situation impacting the world in 2020, many, if not all, learning institutes are turning to remote learning and some schools and education institutes are leveraging tools such as Microsoft Teams.

Students, teachers and parents are having to quickly learn about Microsoft Teams and the features available to them, while also preparing lessons, turning in assignments and in the case of some parents, working from home. Read more.

4. Microsoft Stops Basic Authentication, Now What? - Jaap Wesselius (MVP)

October 13, 2020, is an important date for Microsoft for a variety of reasons. On this date, Microsoft will stop support for their 2010 suite of products like Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, etc. In addition, Microsoft will stop basic authentication in Office 365 as outlined in their post Upcoming changes to Exchange Web Services (EWS) API for Office 365 and their follow-up post Basic Auth and Exchange Online – February 2020 Update. Read more.

5. Teams in a Hybrid Exchange Environment - Michael Van Horenbeeck

Recent reports have shown that Teams is gaining a lot of momentum within the enterprise. According to the survey from Spiceworks, about 21% of the respondents were using Microsoft Teams over 15% that were using Slack. Although the sample size (901 respondents) is too small to represent the entire market, it clearly shows an upward trend.Given its popularity, it’s not uncommon to see that Teams is also used within organizations that haven’t fully migrated to Office 365 (yet). However, the use of Teams in a hybrid deployment is bound to a couple of restrictions. Read more.

6. Conditional Access for Office 365 - Matt Levy (MVP)

Azure Active Directory Conditional Access has been around since 2016. Conditional Access governs access to cloud resources by evaluating the conditions associated with the sign-in of a user or application accessing a resource. Conditional Access policies allow an admin to stipulate under what conditions certain actions are enabled. I like to think of them as If-then statements. For example: If: “Sign in comes from an untrusted network, accessing any cloud app”, then: “Require another form of authentication (MFA) before granting access to the cloud app” Read more.

7. Using Azure AD Application Proxy to Publish Internal Apps  - Jeff Guillet

Earlier in the year, Jeff covered the Hybrid Agent Public Preview. In this post, Michel cover the will discuss the major changes in the agent since the initial Preview release. The purpose of the Hybrid Agent, also branded as the “Exchange Modern Hybrid Topology”, is to simplify the process of setting up and deploying Microsoft Exchange Hybrid for Exchange 2010 and later deployments, where full “classic” Exchange Hybrid is not an option. Read more.

8. Why Modern Exchange Hybrid? - Thomas Stensitzki

The question of why should I implement Exchange Modern Hybrid is justified. Exchange Modern Hybrid is specially designed to simplify implementing Exchange Hybrid Mode by eliminating the requirement for inbound HTTPS connections to an on-premises Exchange organization. The technical specifications for Classic Exchange Hybrid are sometimes unsuitable for enterprises. You can read more about the differences between the two Exchange Hybrid modes in ENow's blog post, "What are your Hybrid Options." Read more.

9. Exchange On Premises and Microsoft Teams - Jaap Wesselius

With the work from home going on due to the COVID-19 crisis there’s an increasing demand for tools like Zoom, Skype for Business and Teams. While Zoom is doing a great job for personal use, I prefer Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams for business use.

Rolling out Skype for Business in your organization is not something you will do on a Friday afternoon (remember that Microsoft will decommission Skype for Business Online) so Teams is a great candidate for cloud-based messaging and collaboration. Read more.

10. Modern Authentication in Exchange Online - Thomas Stensitzki (MVP)

In their blog article, "Improving Security - Together," the Exchange product group announced that the insecure Basic Authentication authentication method switches off on October 13, 2020, not just for Exchange Web Services (EWS), but also for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), POP, IMAP, and Remote PowerShell. Read more.

11. Exchange Online Automation with EXOv2 module Part 1 - Ingo Gegenwarth (MVP)

The same question as been asked for a long time: How can EXO recipient management be done without the need of administrative accounts?

Microsoft Graph does not cover the entire recipient management in Exchange Online and Microsoft customers have been asking for a solution for a long time.

Now as Microsoft turns off Basic authentication, it looks like there is some movement.“Some movement?” Microsoft has put a lot of efforts into this in order to make Modern Authentication available in all ways. Read more.

12. Who Really Owns Microsoft 365? Part 1 - Loryan Strant (MVP)

In many organizations, there is no clear answer for this question. And because it’s not a simple answer, I’ve had to break this up over two parts.

It is assumed that IT departments own Microsoft 365 (M365), as it is a technology platform, and that makes sense. However, in larger organizations where IT departments are made up of multiple business units or teams – who owns it amongst them? Read more.

These selections were definitely difficult given the constant flow of contact and our large blogger team. We want to give a special thanks to all of our bloggers who contributed in 2020!

Well that’s it for this year, excited to see what 2021 will bring us! Join the conversation on Twitter (@ENowConsulting) and let us know your favorite post!

ENow editorial team’s main goal is to product high quality content that is of value to the the IT Pro community. If you have any suggestions please contact our marketing lead, Nicole Silva at

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