April 2, 2020

Outlook Email Signatures: how to manage them without issues

Wassim Achkar
Product Marketing Manager
A homogeneous electronic signature provides a real benefit to enterprises. How can you simplify the management and automation of the deployment? With a centralized cloud platform!

Deploying email signatures in Outlook hardly ever brings excitement to the IT department.

If the task is done manually it takes at least 30 minutes per workstation to set-up the signature in Outlook.

Multiply this by the number of workstations and employees and the manual deployment quickly becomes time-consuming and resource-intensive, especially as it involves tasks with little added value for your IT teams.

Nevertheless, a consistent email signature guarantees that the company conveys its image in a uniform way. It is important that managing these signatures is simple.

What is the best way to do this? The answer: using a centralized Cloud platform 100 % securised to automate the deployment. It allows the IT department to save time and is a low impact on the information system thanks to the integration with Microsoft 365 (Office 365) and Azure. Most importantly, it brings a value-added service to the user.  

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Connect to your Active Directory (Azure AD)

Managing directories is often a thankless task for the IT department.

It requires making sure that all the information is constantly up to date, the attributes are correctly filled in, and any departed employee is erased.

This maintenance often results in tedious procedures with no real added value.

Hence the importance of ensuring that the arrival of a new application or service does not make this type of task even more burdensome.  

In the case of Letsignit, the connection with the company directory is designed to be painless for the IT team.

The first step after subscribing to the Letsignit platform is to import the users

If you are an Office 365 administrator, go to the “ Microsoft 365 (Office 365) Integrations” tab and authorize the synchronization with your directory. The operation is then launched: users, groups, attributes, and domain names associated with your Office 365 account will all nourish your Letsignit user list. It only takes a few minutes and, every change made in the directory will be echoed in the solution's platform.  

When users install the Letsignit application, or when you deploy the Letsignit Add-in for Outlook take the opportunity to ask them to check their information and update it if necessary.

Some organizations also take this opportunity to feed this updated information back into their own directories via an export.

The Azure Seamless SSO: an optimal user experience

It is well known; the main reason the support team is called upon is for a lost password. These calls are multiplied with every new application proposed to users. To avoid this, Letsignit allows users to have a transparent authentication. Letsignit adopts the same password as the one used for Microsoft 365 (Office 365) - a technique called Seamless Single Sign-On (SSO). The username and password are automatically exchanged between Office 365 and Letsignit for a seamless SSO without friction.

To take full advantage, this option should be activated from the Microsoft 365 (Office 365) administration platform.

The result of this manipulation is that the user doesn’t need to enter their password or their username. And, the new signature is activated starting from the first sent email.

Another good news, this time for the IT department, is that activating the Seamless SSO doesn’t demand any local component. In terms of security, this feature is compatible with all Cloud authentication methods, including password hashing or direct authentication. Even better, this feature can be deployed to certain accounts or users with different group strategies.

This simple, secure and robust approach doesn’t need a heavy deployment or special safety instructions for employees. One less worry for the company when it comes to protecting against cyberattacks.  

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A deployment in only a few steps

How to deploy this unique authentication?

The actions of the IT department must make are minimal. If seamless SSO is already in use, be sure to update the green list connections to the Azure datacenter's IP address URL ranges.

Then, the application takes care of retrieving the user's email addresses or UPNs (User Principal Name) before authorizing a connection. No in-depth modification of workstations and servers is required. And authentication is carried out with a maximum level of security, aligned with the company's encryption and protection policies via the firewall.

Create groups to better manage

Depending on the job function, department, or service, it is sometimes useful to create user groups for each one of them with specific Outlook email signatures. For example, a group for the communication service, one for the managers and another for a subsidiary or a certain branch. To do this from the directory, all that is needed is to define certain rules for the users and modify the group strategies. A task that is usually time-consuming but done in only a few minutes from the Letsignit administration.  

How to proceed?

From the menu bar, all you must do is click on the “Team” tab, then on “Groups”. These groups are separated into two categories:  

  • Directory groups: these are groups that already exist in the directory. They cannot be changed or deleted. You can only see which members are in the group and select the entire group to assign a signature or campaign to it.
  • Letsignit groups: these are groups that you can create, modify, and delete. They are independent of the directory.

To create a Letsignit group

  1. Name your group
  2. Determine rules based on attributes (email, name, department, etc.); you can also manually select users
  3. Save it Once groups are created, it is very easy to modify them by using the "edit" function to add or remove users.

Remote Servers and TSE/RDS Environment

Do you find that managing Outlook signatures on PCs within the company takes too much time? Even more time-consuming and complex is the implementation of signatures for remote offices. It requires a lot of exhausting handling and back and forth between the application and the server. Fortunately, Letsignit supports the deployment of Outlook signatures within these environments as easily as for a standard desktop, as soon as the application is installed by the user or as you deployed the Letsignit Add-in for Outlook.

Remote control and supervision

To measure and evaluate the use of Letsignit for inventory and rationalization purposes, you may want to know who is using the application. A simple glance at the "Team" tab in the administration interface will give you the information. An equally useful look to ensure that no user has any problems with the implementation of their signature. Please note that if you wish to delegate support to the Letsignit team, the procedure is very simple:

  1. In the drop-down menu, search for "My company" in the settings
  2. On the account page, click on "Support Login"
  3. Send the email to the support member

In the menu, you set the desired time duration for the support help session. You can, of course, revoke the login rights from the interface by opening the support icon. In the end, the benefits are numerous.

IT departments benefit from a simple and vigorous application, without the need to modify the information system or add intermediate layers. Letsignit removes all complexity by connecting natively to the company's directory, thereby reducing the need for human resources to deploy and manage the solution.

For their part, users will benefit from a service with a high added value and are complemented by a robust layer of security, ideal for all businesses, whether private or public.

About the author
Wassim is a Product Marketing Manager at Letsignit. He ensures that our solution aligns with market expectations and perfectly meets the needs of businesses. He is a fundamental element of the marketing team, ensuring that the product's value is well conveyed across all services and channels. In addition to his marketing role, Wassim also plays a key role in animating the Letsignit football team. He knows how to seize the most opportune moment to make decisive passes!
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