Interlink Cloud Blog

Matt Scherocman brings more than 15 years of experience in the information technology industry to Interlink Cloud Advisors. His experience includes both the system integrator and manufacturer sides of the business. During his time at the Microsoft Corporation he was responsible for all the the Large Account Reseller (LAR) relationships in the four state Heartland Area of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Prior to Microsoft, Scherocman led a Cincinnati based IT consulting company to grow 5000% and become a Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year. He is actively involved in the strategic vision and operation decisions of the company including finance, selling strategy and marketing. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from Miami University and is a Certified Expert in Microsoft licensing including speaking engagements at both Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference and Channel Partner Summit. He is a frequent contributor to leading industry publications.

Matt Scherocman

Office 365 - Pros and Cons of a Consolidated Tenant with Global User Dispersion

Office 365 Pros Cons Consolidated Tenant Global User Dispersion

A single Office 365 tenant may not be sufficient for some organizations. In certain cases, a company may need to provision mailboxes or manage end users in more than one tenant.

Below is a detailed breakdown and summary of a single global Office 365 tenant versus multiple tenants. This assumes that there are two or more agreements in place.

As it exists today, a single Enterprise Agreement cannot have licenses allocated to multiple tenants without an exemption and Microsoft intervention to allow it. However, agreements made underneath that entity, such as a second Enterprise Agreement for a sub-company in another country or division of the organization can have its own tenant.

Single Global Tenant

The Pros

  • Single name space support.
    Example: company.com is shared across the organization and everyone needs it as the primary email address. In this scenario, there is no way to provide a unified email address alias without all users existing in the same tenant.
  • Single point of control and management - The proper implementation of Role Based Access Control allows for flexible controls to be put in place to manage licensing, users, and services such as Exchange.
  • Branding controls for portal pages and SharePoint sites is unified.
  • Tenant location is nearest to the primary company listed as the contact location for Office 365. In some cases this is beneficial where the largest set of users exist in a specific office. Retail would commonly see this as a benefit, for example, where the corporate office contains most of the information workers.
  • Perfect solution when a single directory for the entire company is leveraged for user, group, and device management.

The Cons

  • No flexibility in the location of the services today. All services such as Exchange, Skype for Business, and SharePoint are provisioned in the nearest datacenter to where the company's contact listing.
  • Role Management is very cumbersome - even with groups.
  • One directory and its trusted relationships can be synchronized, a third party tool must be used if the company has multiple directories and no trusts in place.
  • Can be very complex when you are leveraging multiple AD forests and Trusts - Overlapping contacts and sync errors are common.
  • Services can be very slow when global access is enabled. An example is Skype, which has a low tolerance for latency and is impacted significantly for users outside of the country where the tenant is provisioned.
  • Global instances of Yammer and SharePoint can cause companies to rethink putting all collaboration sites in the cloud.


Multiple Tenant

The Pros

  • Primary benefit is autonomy and control of your own portal and services underneath it.
  • Performance on a per company / agreement basis is markedly better due to the location being closer to the sub-company.
  • Provides less complexity about managing admin roles on a large scale and can be less cumbersome.
  • In scenarios where the company is global and large sets of users are distributed, this provides the best performance on a per agreement basis.
  • Managing licenses is much easier and based intimately on the way each company operates.

The Cons

  • No single namespace and consolidated company domain support exists today.
  • Global policy adherence is very difficult to achieve since the policy setting company doesn't have a view into the settings.
  • Multiple locations to manage licensing can have limitations if only a single Microsoft licensing agreement exists.
  • Security of company information is in the hands of each company managing its own portal.
  • Compliance configurations are hard to regulate and enforce on an individual and consistent level.

If you have any addtional questions or would like to discuss, please contact us.

Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Office 365: Taking Information Security to a Whole New Level

Office 365 Taking Information Security

Imagine a world where you can continue work without even worrying about security. Microsoft Office 365 is getting closer and closer to that reality with controls that follow your data without affecting user productivity. Microsoft has (and is) investing a ton of time and resources making Office 365 secure, and it goes way beyond hard passwords and data encryption. Below is a quick look at just some of the ways they’re accomplishing this.

Secure Access Anywhere:

Once you set the rules for data loss prevention, the Office 365 service proactively protects in the background. You don’t have to take the data out of the service to protect it. It’s still usable in the cloud while completely secure to your organization based on who you’ve allowed permissions. New identity and access management controls allow you to set appropriate permissions that can be revoked at any time. Better yet, no matter where your data resides, Office 365 protects it while also protecting your device.

Policy Tips:

When you author a document, Office can inform you of any risks through policy tips before you save that document. Policy tips are based on the policies that you have set up in Office 365. When you’re checking email, Office 365 can detect malware before you’re even exposed to it, blocking malicious links across all devices.

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP):

ATP proactively protects against incoming threats. Phishing attacks are becoming more common and definitely more advanced. ATP catches any and all suspicious content and runs it through a real-time behavioral malware analysis. Suspicious attachments and malicious links don’t stand a chance when Office 365 is on the case.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP):

Office 365 backs up your data, sure, but it does it with security top of mind. DLP allows you to set granular policies so that when data is shared, it follows certain actions that you determine.

Productive Artificial Intelligence:

In the future, Office 365 will have the ability to suggest proactive security, giving you a 360-degree view on the security of your data wherever it is stored. To do this, Microsoft is using machine learning, which is implementing pattern recognition so that computers can learn without being explicitly programmed. Yes, artificial intelligence…but not take over the world type AI, beneficial and useful AI for you and your business. Intelligent protection can further help keep your data secure.

These advanced controls, accessibility, and security measures are making Office 365 even better and making users even more productive. For a service that already streamlines business processes, they are covering all the bases of security while they’re at it.

Are you wondering how these security features fit into your overall data protection plan?

Maybe you need insight into how to license the different options?

Contact Interlink and we’ll answer any and all of your questions.
We’ve helped highly regulated industries like banking and healthcare make the move – we can help you.

Office 365 Free Trial

Matt Scherocman

The New OneDrive For Business

The New OneDrive For Business

Microsoft has made significant improvements to their backup, syncing and sharing client - OneDrive for Business and has had an amazing 179% growth in active usage. The new client builds on the strength of the Consumer client for OneDrive and adds the features that businesses need like:

· Consolidated single sign on to Office 365 tenant

· Clear corporate ownership of data

· Attractive web and mobile interfaces - now iwth offline capabilities

· Shared and improved desktop-folder syncing

· Real-time coauthoring in Office with notifications of others' edits

· Increased mobile functionality

 

Let’s break down some of the new features and improvements to OneDrive for Business.


Solidified Syncing

First, the syncing process is solidified and more reliable with the new “next generation sync client (NGSC)” for companies. The new mobile clients allow access to both the Consumer and Business editions of OneDrive from the same app. The sync limit has been lifted to now allows individual files up to 10 GB in size and has removed the 20,000 file sync limit. As an added IT bonus, you can configure and deploy the client silently to help benefit the client on behalf of your users. Selective sync is also available – so you can select the files that are needed on each device that you are syncing.

one drive for business

Browser Experience & Sharing

The new browser abilities make sharing files quicker and easier. There is a new, easy to access command bar, tile or list view options, and enhanced sharing options. Therefore, the new browser experience lets you have more flexibility with new sharing features: link forwarding, non-sign in options, and even the option to add an expiration date.

Mobile Updates

In addition to OneDrive for Business being more flexible in sharing, there are now more mobile options. Recently released was a new OneDrive app for Windows 10 Mobile, which offers all the essential capabilities to view, edit, delete, share and upload files onto both your personal OneDrive and OneDrive for Business storage services. Offline flagging in the mobile Android apps lets you work unconnected. New PDF annotating abilities in the iOS app also add essential capabilities to the mobile work space.

OneDrive for Business update on storage plans 2a 509x1024

 Amplified Control

With more file-sharing capabilities and document access comes the need for new and improved controls and managing options for OneDrive for Business. These new controls will allow for governance of external sharing, limiting external sharing permissions, managing external sharing domains, and even auditing of external sharing invitations. For example administrators can turn on or off external sharing for single users. Administrators will also be able to limit sharing by domain in the near future.


 Interested in learning more about OneDrive for Business, seeing it in action, or utilizing its abilities?
Contact us here or give us a call at 1-800-900-1150.

Matt Scherocman

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in New Office 2016, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in New Office 2016, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business

Clients have benefited from Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology within Exchange Online for years. Microsoft is now expanding the functionality to cover data and documents that may be in Office, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Plus they are enhancing the console where the policy rules are managed so that the policy rules for all of the services are controlled in a single location.

Client can continue to use the templates that Microsoft builds to help them stay compliant with regulations like PCI and HIPPA. Severity levels can also be set – so administrators, for example, could have one set of actions that happen if a user tries to send a credit card number externally and another if they are trying to send a file that contains ten or more credit card numbers in it.

DLP not only is for people who are actively trying to share content that they shouldn’t, it is also for people who didn’t notice that there was a company credit card contained 10 emails down in a thread before they forward it to a new distribution list.

[...]
Matt Scherocman

Introducing Groups in Office 365

Introducing Groups in Office 365

Sharing and collaborating just got easier! Want a quick way to grab some co-workers and get productive on a project? Need to share documents on the fly without having to setup a SharePoint site?

With the introduction of Groups, working in Office 365 can bring people together to connect with colleagues and work on projects. You can search for and join existing Groups, which are open by default, to see all discussions, milestones and files and get up to speed quickly.  You can create private Groups as well for sensitive projects and content. Each group gets their own OneDrive for file sharing and their own group email box.

 

Where can you find Groups?

Groups is a feature that is available in Outlook Web App email and calendar and OneDrive for Business, and will be rolled out to all customers that have an Exchange Online or Office 365 commercial subscription, both new and existing.

 

Management
Group management is provided in Office 365. It is straightforward to create and manage, Groups can be optimized without learning to use a separate security management website. Public Groups support an open permission model, which allows you to add yourself as a member to any public Group, making it easy to access information. Private Groups provide data privacy while still allowing for prospective members to request access to the Group.

[...]

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