Seven Days to Create an Office 365 Label – Someone Could Create a World in That Time

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Seven Days to Create an Office 365 Label – Someone Could Create a World in That Time

I’m rather indifferent to Office 365 labels, part of Microsoft Information Protection (MIP), as I have no need for them, but if they help you as an IT person, then I’m all for them. In reading about labels, I was surprised – no, shocked – enough to tell my dog that it can take seven days to finalize a label.

What happens in testing or if you want to make changes? I assume you must go through the whole rigmarole again. I wonder how anyone gets them implemented. According to Microsoft, “Their purpose helps you take the right actions on the right content. With labels, you can classify data across your organization for governance, and enforce retention rules based on that classification.” Can’t argue with that.

So how does this lag occur? Well, first, the label policy needs to be synced from the Security and Compliance Center to the locations in the policy. Then the location may require time to make manual labels available to end users, or automatically apply labels to content. How long this takes depends on the location and type of label.

What’s going on here? If you publish labels to SharePoint or OneDrive, it can take one day for those labels to appear to end users. In addition, if you publish labels to Exchange, it can take seven days for those labels to appear to end users, and the mailbox needs to contain at least 10 MB of data. If you automatically apply labels to content matching specific conditions, it can take seven days for the labels to be applied to all content that matches the conditions.

What on earth is it doing? Labels appear to be easy to create, so hopefully they do not require extensive testing. At least it’s job protection. I guess I am so surprised because our indexing and classification process does not take seven days.

It’s also important you don’t make a mistake. If you choose to classify content – email and documents – as a record, the label can’t be changed or removed, and the content can’t be edited or deleted. Is this, like, forever? We are all human, so we all make mistakes. How the heck do you get it deleted then? What’s even worse is you must wait seven days until it’s processed. By that time everyone will know you made a mistake. You’ll be the water cooler conversation topic for months.

Seriously folks, labels do provide value. No software works exactly as we want it to. At least Microsoft is upfront enough to tell you – some vendors would be reticent. Give me a shout if you are using labels and tell me the value they provide to your organization.

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