Greetings folks! Approximately four-score and seven years ago (in cloud-years), I posted a blog with a stated intention of it being the first in a series about the modern Microsoft enterprise productivity platform.
I assure you, that intention remains but it’s just taken me a teeeeeeeny bit longer than I’d expected to get to the second post in the series. Better late than never? I guess we’ll see…
NOTE: I’ll say/repeat what you all know: this “cloud stuff” changes fast - and as such, blogs about cloud stuff “drift” fast. The above post is dated; the high-level concepts still apply but you should ALWAYS rely on our docs which are official and kept up much more so than blogs.
I ended that last post with the initial AD + AAD hybrid ID service established and now, I’ll discuss custom branding across the EMS + O365 ‘space’ (along with Windows 10, these are collectively bundled as “Microsoft 365” or M365).
Some of the biggest aspects of a company’s “visual identity” are the branding elements. Logos, images, tag-lines and phrases, and other information, presented to users, helps ensure consistency, as well as reduce confusion by clearly indicating that ‘this is a legitimate service/notification from my company.’ Extending that consistent look/feel to corporate IT services as they move/expand to the cloud should be part of the integration planning and deployment.
Also, in many cases, there is policy text/verbiage that is important to display from a compliance standpoint.
Once you’ve customized branding elements, they’ll permeate across M365, including Azure AD/O365 sign in pages, MFA prompts, portals, Autopilot screens, and the Intune Company Portal, as well as on emails/notifications for end-users and/or operations folks.
Let’s take a look…
Azure AD - Company Branding
The primary location to customize branding for many aspects of M365 is in the Azure AD configuration.
Once you’ve configured the ‘service settings,’ here are some examples of the resulting customizations (UIs and emails).
Office 365 Theme
Some UI elements of O365 are also customizable.
Intune – Company Portal
You can customize elements of Intune, such as the Company Portal app/website and compliance emails sent by Intune, to match your corporate branding/colors, support links, etc.
Company Portal App examples:
Intune – Non-compliance Notification Emails
Intune can generate/send emails to end-users if/when devices that they’ve enrolled fall out of compliance.
Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS) Policy Email Notifications
Custom branding alignment for SCCM Software Center
SCCM Software Center can be customized to match the other custom branding elements:
As someone who works in these portals every day, it’s not lost on me that ‘portal sprawl’ is real. We are making things better with a move towards ‘role-based’ portals and ‘favorites’ or bookmarks can help, too.
However, here is a tip that helps me and the way I operate…
1. From the ‘main’ Azure portal (portal.azure.com), get to your ‘Dashboard’ view:
2. Click “Edit” along the top:
3. Add “Markdown” from the Tile Gallery:
4. Give your Tile a title and edit the HTML ‘content’…
<a href='https://portal.azure.com/#blade/Microsoft_AAD_IAM/ActiveDirectoryMenuBlade/Overview' target='_blank'>AAD Portal</a>
<a href='https://portal.cloudappsecurity.com' target='_blank'>MCAS Portal</a>
<a href='https://portal.azure.com/#blade/Microsoft_Azure_InformationProtection/DataClassGroupEditBlade/global...' target='_blank'>AIP Portal</a>
The result is a clean, easy launch-point for the various portals, all from my main Azure dashboard
So, there you have it, friends … a picture-heavy run-down of many of the cross-service branding customization capabilities, as well as a tip about living with portal sprawl.
As Porky Pig says at the end of each cartoon, “That’s all folks!”
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