Interlink Cloud Blog

Interlink Cloud Blog

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.
Mike Wilson

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR | Azure Data Center: Understanding the Real Costs & ROI

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR | Azure Data Center: Understanding the Real Costs & ROI

On-Demand Webinar & Slides

Azure Datacenter On Demand Webinar view cta


 Azure Datacenter On Demand Webinar playConfused (or curious) on how to determine the true cost of moving your data center workloads to the cloud?

In this on-demand event, Microsoft and Interlink Cloud Advisors walk you through our key methodology for evaluating which workloads you should move, their dependencies, and how to price out workloads for Azure.

During this online event, we'll review what is possible with Azure, where other clients are finding positive ROI after their move to the cloud, and:

  • Pricing scenarios, major options, and creating accurate estimates
  • Determining ROI factors
  • Moving to the cloud when you have physical hardware that you need to maintain
  • Cloud vs On-Premises
  • Leveraging Microsoft Funding: How to leverage Microsoft paid for assessments and proof of concepts

Register now to instantly watch this information-packed webinar and download the slide deck.


PRESENTER

mike wilson

Mike Wilson

Vice President + Managing Consultant
Interlink Cloud Advisiors

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SEO

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR | Understanding Skype for Business – A Deep Dive into Voice in the Cloud

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR | Understanding Skype for Business – A Deep Dive into Voice in the Cloud

On-Demand Webinar & Slides

skype view webinar and slides


The all-new Skype Voice is more than just video calls and IMs…

From improved online meeting experiences to global scale PTSN conferencing and live multi-region meeting broadcasts, Microsoft has launched an affordable, complete meeting and call management solution - Skype for Business Voice.

With recent updates and forecasted functionality releases, there are many questions around what solution features are ready and which ones are still coming.

In this on-demand event, Microsoft and Microsoft Cloud Consumption Partner of the Year, Interlink Cloud Advisors, helps answer your questions and gives you a full overview of Voice in the Cloud, including:

  • Functionality and roadmaps of what is coming
  • Deployment options and scenarios
  • Hybrid deployment options - use existing telephony connections
  • Introduction into online meetings
  • New video conferencing hardware available
  • Meeting broadcast capabilities
  • Mobile functionality

Live Demo Includes:

Skype Voice - management console, mobile clients, video conferencing


PRESENTER

aaron seals

Aaron Seals

Aaron is a Microsoft certified Skype Voice Consultant and has lead the implementation of Skype Projects for customers in a wide range of industries and geographic scenarios.

 

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Matt Scherocman

Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft Azure SQL Database

Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft Azure SQL Database

The question of whether or not to put your business data in the cloud is getting easier and easier these days and a lot of that is thanks to Microsoft’s investment in Microsoft Azure. Their strategy to create an infrastructure, like Microsoft Azure SQL Database, that can manage big data (as big as petabyte-scale) and everything on down from that is working and it’s working well.

The advancements made in SQL Database are making it more and more possible businesses of all sizes to save money and scale up or down efficiently. Below are the top five benefits that companies are realizing with SQL Database as their database service:

1) Scalability and Beyond

First of all, flexible service plans for SQL Database meet the needs of both big and small business users. SQL is no longer way out of reach for smaller operations because the pricing structure allows users to pay as little as $4.99 per database per month with a maximum storage set at 150 GB per database. That’s a lot of space for very little cost.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database

2) High Speed and Minimal Down Time

High availability architectures mean high speed connectivity and data retrieval as well as low down time at your organization. There’s nothing worse than stopping business because your technology can’t keep up, but that is no longer a problem with SQL Database.

Secondly, companies can add application instances as needed through sharding, for example. Sharding is a type of database partitioning that separates very large databases into smaller, faster, more easily managed parts called data shards. Not only can you spin nodes up and down on demand, you can leverage a federation infrastructure to scale more easily without affecting other areas of the server. SQL Azure Federation Data Migration Wizardcan even further automate this process, which impacts your organization and the employees much less.

Lastly, there are multiple levels of implementation that you can benefit from. If you just need a website and a database, you can hitch a SQL Azure instance to an Azure website and you’re done! If you need a full-blownvirtual machine(VM) now or even down the road, you can get that as well. You can even use a locally deployed instance of SQL Server in the VM instead of SQL Azure. These implementation options help make your company more adaptable to the inevitable changes it undergoes on a regular basis. With SQL Azure, you’re not stuck. You’re on a foundation that encourages growth while working with it!

3) Improved Usability

SQL developers are familiar with all things SQL and SQL Database can be updated with SQLCMD or the SQL Server Management Studio. Better yet, there’s no coding required! Using standard SQL, it’s much easier to manage database systems without having to write or update a huge amount of code.

4) Time Is On Your Side

With no administrative duties on your physical location, employees can take time for strategic work to advance and grow all-around business success. When your database is hosted in the cloud, you don’t have to deal with setting up SQL Server, apportioning databases, and dealing with physical machine maintenance and upkeep. All of this results in better alignment of your organization and ultimately more time on your side.

5) Easy-to-Use Migration Tools

Ramp up time with SQL Database is now easier than ever and free! SQL Data Sync allows you to either sync your SQL Server-stored data or migrate the data without having to worry about the costs to migrate by syncing gigabyte-sized tables.

Take into account all that SQL Azure has to offer and contact us at Interlink if you have any questions. 

SQL Modernization Assessment Ad

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Sarah Bunt

Microsoft Delivers Long-Awaited Office 365 E5

Article originally published on crn.com/news by Joeseph Tsidulko - December 01, 2015

Office 365 e5

Recently, Microsoft released the latest and greatest enterprise edition of its Office 365 cloud-based productivity suite, promising partners that the product's added capabilities would create entirely new opportunities for them to drive business.

E5, the long-anticipated release of the enterprise-grade version of the world's leading office productivity and collaboration SaaS suite, introduces first-time functionality into Office 365, including cloud-based calling and web-conferencing, security and compliance features and an eDiscovery tool.

While partners were expecting most of the new capabilities -- Microsoft discussed the product extensively in July at its Worldwide Partner Conference and has been briefing partners since — the channel finally got a look at how E5 would be packaged and priced.

[Related: Equinix Cloud Exchange Debuts Direct Access To Office 365 Through Microsoft ExpressRoute]

Phil Sorgen, Microsoft's corporate vice president of its Worldwide Partner Group, told partners in a blog post that "the new Office 365 unlocks a whole new suite of capabilities for our customers, and a whole new opportunity for our partners."

Those innovative tools will be available as standalone features, or as the Office 365 Enterprise E5 package, said Microsoft's channel chief.

"For partners, this means one thing – opportunity," Sorgen blogged. "There are a few specific ways you can maximize this opportunity with new and existing customers."

Among them, partners can upsell to existing customers the web-conferencing and cloud-based communications tools. Or they can leverage the security, analytics, insights and compliance features to win new customers, Sorgen said.

Ric Opal, vice president of Peters & Associates, a Microsoft partner based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., told CRN that partners must now start thinking about how to capitalize on Microsoft's innovations.

"We have to figure out how we're going to leverage the new features Microsoft released in E5 and differentiate ourselves," Opal said.

Those capabilities are raw ingredients that partners must use to carve out their own positions in the market and drive healthy margins, he said.

"The true trick is figuring out from all the stuff they dropped how to weave your value proposition around their innovation," Opal told CRN.

Matt Scherocman, president of Interlink Cloud Advisors, a Microsoft partner based in Cincinnati, said E5 is a major upgrade, not just a gradual evolution, of the enterprise product.

"If you look at what they added, like end-user and organizational analytics, that stuff wasn't in [the edition] before this one," Scherocman told CRN. "It's cool that it’s a whole separate product. The cloud-based phone functionality didn't exist before, and now it's in E5."

While partners who sell on-premises phone systems might not see that as much of a benefit, for "those who don't, it’s a natural add-on that we can start selling as a package," Scherocman said.

"The key here is that Microsoft continues to innovate the platform," he told CRN.

The two most-surprising elements of E5, Scherocman said, are the enhanced eDiscovery capabilities, which help customers prioritize the most-relevant documents they query; and the ability to open e-mail attachments securely in a virtual machine, making sure the attachments and links are safe.

"I think it will help get rid of a lot of malware and issues that people have with their PCs," Scherocman told CRN.

Sorgen encouraged Microsoft's partners to team with their peers who specialize in such areas as security, eDiscovery, business intelligence and communications and take on joint engagements to expand their practices.

"This is perhaps our best opportunity yet to convince customers that the benefits of the cloud far outweigh the risks," Sorgen said.

o365 free trial

 

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Matt Scherocman

Comparing Office 365 E1 Plan vs. the Core CAL

Things that are included in the E1 plan that are not in the Core CAL:

  • Skype for Business Enterprise CAL functionality is included.  This enables unlimited audio, video, and web conferencing.
  • Yammer is designed for social collaboration and is popular for millennials which will be beneficial to help the organization collaborate.
  • OneDrive gives unlimited storage per user and the ability to protect data on laptops, on the go, and sync data from multiple devices.
  • Office Online is a lightweight version of Office available via any modern browser – great for quickly editing documents from anywhere.
  • Office Video is your organization’s own internal video channel. Share the latest news from your management, a video on your latest product, or demonstrate weaknesses in your competitor’s product.

 

Benefits of leveraging the cloud for deployment:

The E plan components can either be run in the cloud, on premise, or a hybrid between the two.  So, fundamentally the E1 plan provides the cloud infrastructure as an option to the purchaser. 

  • Servers, storage, server licenses, power, cooling, etc. are offered by Microsoft in their data centers included in the pricing of E1.
  • All future cloud upgrades done by Microsoft. Automatically!
  • Global redundancy - now you have a built in disaster recovery plan.
  • Pre-integrated functionality, i.e. Lync is federated and mobile out of the box. Saves a ton of time and effort.
  • Easy to add functionality like encrypting outgoing mail for your executives which can be added for $2 a month and be up in running in minutes.
  • Mail filtering is included with a 100% Service Level on malware.  Microsoft promises not to let viruses through.

What is included in the Core CAL that is not in E1? 

Fundamentally the Core CAL is a license and is typically sold with maintenance from Microsoft called Software Assurance.  The license portion is good perpetually and clients are entitled to the last version Microsoft published under their maintenance period.  Therefore, a client can stop paying maintenance and legally continue to run the software.  The subscription model of E1 is different.  It does not include any perpetual licensing rights and rights to run the software will terminate when the agreement ends. Clients who move to the cloud on an Enterprise Agreement can transition back to legacy on premises licensing at an anniversary date if they desire.  Check with us or a licensing specialist for details and restrictions. 

Cloud Return on Investment

Is all of that worth extra money a year to your organization? We can help you figure that out. We are happy to run an ROI calculation using your data! Some quick thoughts on where savings can be found:

  • Admin savings – a low estimate around $20k per year
  • Hardware / maintenance costs - $10k per year, higher for redundant configurations
  • Storage costs – reuse expensive fast disk for other workloads - totally get rid of email archives
  • Mail filtering software – approximately $10 per user per year
  • Data protection - An executive’s laptop is stolen, but not their data because of OneDrive
  • Backups – reuse existing disk / tape, remove agents from maintenance
  • Server licensing costs if workload is deployed in the cloud.  For example, SharePoint would require a SharePoint server license, a Windows Server license, and SQL licensing
  • An email system that stays up and running even in the event of a natural disaster – priceless!

If you would like to learn more about your options as you consider your Enterprise Agreement renewal, we would be happy to walk you through your options and how to get the most out of your Microsoft licensing! Give us a call at 800-900-1150 or contact us here.

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Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.