Microsoft announced they are releasing a roadmap feature that moves Outlook email signatures from each local device to the O365 cloud. As a part of the changes, Outlook email signatures will be uniform across all devices (PC, Mac, phone, tablet, etc).
The upcoming changes from Microsoft will impact certain functionality of Sigstr’s Outlook Agent in the short term and its ability to update email signatures on an ongoing basis (more details below).
That said, this has the potential to be an overall positive change that allows Microsoft & Sigstr customers to standardize their email signatures across all devices, without having to route mail. Sigstr has run into issues in the past with standardizing signatures on mobile devices and this change may provide a path to getting past that issue.
How Sigstr Currently Works
The Sigstr Outlook Agent currently adds a new file to a user’s hard drive representing the Sigstr-controlled signature - copying the user’s existing default signature if the customer is campaign-only, and updates a registry value to make said signature the default. It also updates this file every 15 minutes to reflect changes to the signature done in the Sigstr platform.
The agent also handles recipient tagging on message send as well as alternate banner functionality.
We anticipate Sigstr’s ability to update these on-disk signatures to be broken by the forthcoming update - as Microsoft has explicitly stated that the on-disk file structure and registry values will be changing. (ref: referenced article → specifically the Signature Add-ins section at bottom).
We further anticipate that existing on-disk signatures managed by Sigstr would be synced appropriately to the cloud upon the roaming signatures feature release.
We do not anticipate this update affecting recipient targeting or alternate banner functionality or breaking existing signatures for clients - only the ability to install new signatures for clients or updating existing signatures.
Short Term Mitigation
Microsoft has published a temporary way to mitigate the effects of these changes using a registry value in Microsoft 365 tenants. Microsoft outlines how to add the registry key in this article (see the Signature Add-ins section at bottom). An O365 admin can bulk change employee registry keys using Group Policy.
Longer Term Changes
Microsoft states in their short-term mitigation as well as in a relevant UserVoice item (referenced article) that the ability to manage these roaming cloud signatures via the Microsoft Graph api is forthcoming.
Once details of this API are made available to us, we will begin work on a new Graph API application (modeled on our successful Google Sync application) that will manage a user’s signature through this API. Unused code from the current Outlook Agent will also be removed and a new version will be made available for customers.