As a Microsoft Partner and an ISV developing mailbox migration solutions (among others) for Office 365, we have helped thousands of businesses transition to the cloud. A couple of days after switching to Office 365, almost every customer and every partner we work with asked us the same question: How can we quickly upload photos of our users to Office 365 and manage them in an easy way? Here’s how we addressed the problem.
Recognizing a Customer Pain Point
In Office 365, users can upload their own pictures by themselves, naturally. But if you want to do this in bulk you have to use PowerShell. It works, but to do so requires an admin to write a script that will upload the photos, take care of proper photo sizing and match photos with users on Office 365.
To simplify the entire photo import and management process, we decided to use Microsoft Graph API and develop an application that would make this formerly complex task as easy as 1-2-3. Better yet, we are now making this application available to the entire Office 365 Community, for free.
CodeTwo User Photos for Office 365 is a completely free program that lets Office 365 admins upload multiple users’ pictures to Office 365 in bulk and manage them using an intuitive GUI.
The program simply uploads selected photos of users to their mailboxes on Exchange Online. Once this is done, Office 365 propagates these photos to all Office 365 apps and services.
But that’s not all we designed the app to do. It also completely automates the photo sizing process, meaning that the user doesn’t have to complete any photo-editing tasks as the program will do it automatically to meet Office 365 requirements and maintain the best possible image quality. This saves users time and frustration throughout the migration process.
After the upload completes, the picture should be immediately available in most web and desktop apps connected with Office 365, such as OWA, Outlook and Office 365 Groups, Office 365 Teams, OneDrive, Delve, and so on.
While it may take a while (up to 72 hours) until Office 365 synchronizes the pictures across all Office 365 workloads and displays them in apps like SharePoint Online and on-premises and Skype for Business, the end result is a seamless image migration that can save customers hours of effort.
“I’ve been waiting for a tool that automates the photo import process in Office 365, as some of my clients needed it. CodeTwo are experts in Office 365 and I’ve been using their products for years, so I took for granted that CodeTwo User Photos for Office 365 will do the job flawlessly. I was right.”
– Emil Wasilewski, Microsoft Azure MVP
Embracing Cloud Collaboration with Office 365
If you haven’t started using Office 365 yet, it’s really worth a try as it’s the future of online collaboration. Today, Office 365 is not only a combination of Office apps, Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business, but also a tightly integrated set of business and collaboration tools.
The recently launched workspace in Office 365, called Microsoft Teams, is a perfect example of how Office 365 services can be integrated into an intelligent platform for collaboration. Teams is a single pane of glass build around a typical chat functionality that lets users from different teams and locations share the date, communicate and cooperate in real-time and by using multiple Office 365 tools – all from a single interface.
If you’re ready for the Microsoft cloud, there are a lot of apps and Microsoft partners out there that will help with your move to Office 365 or make the most of it while you’re there. If you’ve been using Office 365 for some time now but you haven’t gotten around to exploring Microsoft Teams and other new collaboration features yet, put it on your to-do list – it’s a game changer. And don’t forget to import the photographs of your users to Office 365 – it’s simple and it’s free.