Update to Microsoft 365 and Outlook for Windows connectivity...

To ensure that Microsoft meet performance expectations, they are updating the supported versions of Outlook for Windows that can connect to Microsoft 365 services.

From November 1, 2021, the following versions of Outlook for Windows, as part of Office and Microsoft 365 Apps, were no longer able to connect with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services.

If organisations do not update, they may over time, encounter performance or reliability issues. Organisations that use these older clients will almost certainly face an increased security risk and may find themselves out of compliance depending upon specific regional or industry requirements. Therefore, administrators should update older Office clients to versions of Office supported for connecting to Microsoft 365 services.

Office and
Microsoft 365 Apps
Outlook for
Windows Version
Office 2013 15.0.4970.9999
and older
Office 2016 16.0.4599.9999
and older
Microsoft
365 Apps for enterprise (formerly Office 365 ProPlus)
1705 and
older
Microsoft
365 Apps for business (formerly Office 365 Business)
1705 and
older

If this is something your organisation is considering in order to prevent encountering performance or reliability issues, Adepteq are able to help your organisation update older Office clients to versions of Office supported for connecting to Microsoft 365 services. Contact us now.

Phil Cave - Technical Director Adepteq

We received a request to offer a solution to collect confirmations when a new starter has read and understood the company's policy documents. The policy documents are currently emailed to the new starters personal email address as they do not yet have an account in the organisations' Office 365 tenant and they then need to be printed, signed, scanned and returned. This is not a good solution because many people do not have access to a scanner.

My first thought was that either DocuSign or Adobe Sign would be the best tool for the job, but that would mean additional costs and training. They already have Office 365 and would like to use if possible.

To minimise administration and to avoid any security implications I do not want to offer a solution that includes adding the new starters as guest users to the tenant. This would mean that the user has to create a Microsoft account if they don't already have one and this can cause support issues for non-IT literate users. It would also mean that there would end up being a lot of guest accounts in the Tenant that need to be removed at some point.

The solution that I put together is quite simple and uses Outlook, Forms, PowerApps and SharePoint.

Outlook, Forms, PowerApps, SharePoint - Logos

The first step was to create the form. This has only a text box for the user to type their name and a submit button. The form must allow anonymous users because the new starters will not have an Office 365 account. The form settings are shown in the image below.

Microsoft Forms Settings

For simplicity the form that I created only collects the name of the new starter to use as their confirmation that they have read and understood the policies. You could collect as much information as you require, for example, there could be a tick box for each policy included in the policy pack.

Below are images showing how the form looks on a PC and on a mobile phone.

Microsoft Forms Desktop Display - Solution
Microsoft Forms Mobile Display - Solution

When you create a form using the Forms App it will work great on both PC and mobile without you having to do any extra work.

Next, I created a list in SharePoint. This will probably be in the HR team site and will serve as a register of all policy read confirmation. You can see from the image below that I am only using two columns to store the name and date. If the form was collecting more information, then a column would be required for each field on the form.

SharePoint list for confirmations

Next, I created a Flow using Power Automate. The Flow needs to run whenever a response to the Form is received and then add the Form data to the list in SharePoint.

First, create the trigger

Power Automate Trigger - Solution

Then get the response details

Power Automate Solution - Getting Form Response Details

Then create a new list item in SharePoint using the form response(s)

Creating a list item in SharePoint with Power Automate

This is one of the simplest Flows that I have had to create, but it does exactly as is needed. I could easily add some additional steps to enhance functionality, for example, a notification that the response was received could be sent to the HR team.

Now that everything is in place all that remains is to send out the email with policies attached and a link to the Form.

Go to your form in the Forms App and click Share and then copy the link.

Sharing a Form

The link will look like this:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=XCrnyHAiJ0uwaTIC3qHxQBx5jwCDZ4JJtd6NGALo3kNWVlZCTlBSWVdQNlA0Ti4u

You can add the link to the email using the insert link options in Outlook.

Insert Link in Outlook - Solution

If you would like to learn more about FormsSharePointPower Automate, or any products related to Microsoft 365 please visit our website. We are also available to speak to on 0800 6444 365 or via info@adepteq.com.

London Head Office

Adepteq,
152 - 160 City Road,
London,
EC1V 2NX,
0203 805 4143

Aylesbury Development Centre

Adepteq,
7 Smeaton Close,
Brunel Park,
Aylesbury,
Buckinghamshire,
HP19 8SU
01296 323460

 
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