Getting Started With Microsoft Action Pack

Almost two years ago I asked my fellow CTPs about their best TechNet Replacement. It became very clear that Microsoft Action Pack Subscription for Partners is the best kept secret no one seems to know about.

At Citrix Summit 2015 we learned from Brad Anderson that the ONLY way to deliver the 3rd most popular PBX (Skype for Business) on VDI is by using Citrix.

Brad Anderson400png

So to be able to test, write and create training videos for my membership site I finally got my Action Pack. In the following months I’m going to share my experience. Let’s get started!

What You Get

The Action Pack includes Office 365 E3 and a lot of licenses. I’m happy to see that MDOP (App-V) is now also part of the pack. You normally get 5-10 licenses. Here’s some of them:

  • Office 365
  • RDSH Cal
  • App-V
  • SCCM / Intune
  • Hosted Exchange
  • Skype for Business
  • Windows 8 / 10 / 2012

Who To Get It

To enroll for Microsoft Action Pack you’ll first need to become a member of the Microsoft Partner Network. This is straight forward, but does require that you have a company registration number. The price is currently $475 per year.

office365

How To Migrate

I’ve been running Gmail for my company for years. The biggest pain point has always been the calendar that never works and the lack of Citrix XenMobile support.

Moving to Office 365 was straight forward and there are great guides on how to migrate Gmail and edit e.g. your Hostgator DNS settings.

Just two things

#1 On some less used email accounts I constantly got a connection error. This was because IMAP wasn’t enabled and the fact that you need to allow less secure apps to access your Gmail account.

#2 When creating SRV records for Skype for Business I couldn’t find Service & Protocol. Turns out they’re are part of the record name.

Skype for Business DNS Settings

Conclusion

Microsoft Action Pack is a no brainer for Independent Consultants running their own company. Add the $200 VMware EVALExperience on top and you have the perfect setup. I’ve been begging Citrix for years to come up with something similar.

Please be aware that most company’s offer community licenses or even free licenses. Just ask my sponsors, it doesn’t cost anything.

Delivering Office 365 with Citrix isn’t straightforward though. Stay tuned for more blog posts on Office 365 and how to integrate it with the various Citrix products.

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