Interlink Cloud Blog


Matt Scherocman

Grand Rapids Executive Briefing | Innovating Engineering, Design & Product Development - Powered by Microsoft Cloud Technologies

Learn the technologies that are rapidly changing engineering, design & product development...

grand rapids event

As part of an engineering team, you face many challenges. Your team needs to collaborate, innovate, and rapidly design and deploy robust products. And, as threats to the security of your data continue to increase, you also have to be responsible for data management and security of your products, solutions and consumers.

On October 11th, join Microsoft and top technology firms at the Downtown Market as we dive into the technology engineering teams are using to prepare themselves for the future of manufacturing. Through a series of short presentations and topic breakout sessions, we’ll explore how you can leverage cloud-based technology to:

  • Enable robust product design with high-performance computing (HPC)
  • Take IoT initiatives from research and development to business reality to reduce downtime, increase quality, reduce waste and decrease overall costs
  • Safeguard your data and consumer information while reducing costs, gaining greater quality control, and increasing the speed of production

Register today to learn how to get ready for tomorrow. 

DATE: October 11, 2016

TIME:  8:00 - 11:30


Downtown Market Grand Rapids
2nd Floor Banquet Room
435 Ionia Ave | Grand Rapids, MI 49503

THIS IS A NO-COST EVENT - Breakfast is included.

grand rapids event footer

Sarah Bunt

Microsoft Office 365 Planner: Teamwork Organized

Microsoft Office 365 Planner: Teamwork Organized

Bring together teams and tasks and get more done with Planner in Office 365 

You and your teams always have projects that you need to get done and management always seems to be adding more “to do” tasks. With the Outlook tasks feature you can’t be as collaborative as you need, and your projects often don’t require the sophistication of Microsoft Project. Microsoft has developed the perfect in between solution for those who have an Office 365 subscription – Microsoft Planner. 

Office 365 Planner is now being rolled out to all eligible users in Office 365! Planner makes working together a lot more organized and fun. It helps users organize and structure their teamwork. Teams can create new plans, organize and assign tasks, set due dates and update status in just a few easy clicks. With Planner, users can attach files and have conversations around tasks. Planner’s visual dashboards and email notifications keep everyone informed on the overall progress of their initiative.

  • Get started quickly
  • Work together without chaos
  • Always stay informed

Pain Point #1 – Coordinating Tasks:

Today, the majority of information workers coordinate their team activities and team tasks using sub-optimal tools and methods such as email, post-it notes, Office Apps like Excel and PowerPoint, or by memory!

The Solution:

Microsoft Planner is simple and easy to use.

  • Engaging User Interface helps users create a plan, build a team, and assign tasks and set due dates in just a few simple clicks
  • Users can find benefit the very first time using it

 Pain Point #2 - Communicating:  

To get work done, team members share files, communicate back and forth via emails, engage in IM conversations, etc. As the number of tasks continue to grow, teamwork becomes harder to organize. Key insights and conversations related to tasks get locked away in disjointed apps, email attachments, etc.

The Solution:

Microsoft Planner is transparent and allows team members to work together without switching apps

  • Everyone has a clear sight into who is working on what
  • Users can attach files to tasks in a couple of clicks and start editing them together
  • Team members can initiate a group conversation thread right from the task

Pain Point #3– Big Picture View:

As the number of tasks and size of the team starts to grow, team members lose track of the big picture.

The Solution:

Microsoft Planner is mobile and provides insights

  • With Planner ‘Charts’, everyone knows where things are at all times
  • Email notifications alert team members when things change, new tasks are assigned to them, or they get pulled into conversation


mytasks Office 365 Planner 

Want a free demo?  CONTACT US TODAY

Q & A

Q. Which Office 365 plans are eligible for Planner?

A. Planner is included in the Office 365 Enterprise E1–E5 subscription plans (including corresponding Government and Non-Profit), Office 365 Business Essentials and Premium plans, and Office 365 Education.


Q. Is Planner available for customers on premise?

A. Microsoft Planner is an Office 365 cloud only solution and not available for customers on premises.


Q. Can Planner be purchased stand-alone?

A. Microsoft Planner is only be available through Office 365 Subscriptions, and cannot be purchased stand-alone.


Have additional questions -  CONTACT US TODAY



Matt Scherocman

What Are the Storage Limits of SharePoint?

storage limits sharepoint

Customers are frequently asking what kind of storage they get with SharePoint Online. Microsoft has recently released updates for SharePoint Online via their Office 365 Roadmap:  

Quick Summary for E plans:

  • Each Tenant (SharePoint Online instance) gets 1TB of storage space included. Then each user of the E plans will add 500MB of storage space into the shared pool. This is up from 10GB per tenant and 500MB per user.
    • For example:  A client with 250 users would get 1TB + 125GB (500MB x 250) for the main storage on SharePoint. Each extra GB is 0.20 per month, so an additional incremental Terabyte would only be about $200 per month.

Improvements for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business 2b 1024x379
Example of a large CAD file successfully uploaded into a Team Site Document Library in SharePoint Online.

  • The pooled storage is used across all sites on SharePoint Online, Office 365 Groups, and Office 365 Videos
  • Upload larger files, up to 10 GB each
    • This applies to files uploaded to Team Sites, and OneDrive for Business, as well as for videos uploaded into the Office 365 Video Portal.

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. 


Stephanie Donahue

Microsoft SharePoint - Proving a Return on Investment

microsoft sharepoint proving roi

Every day I speak to clients about how we can solve their communication and content challenges with Microsoft SharePoint. However, no matter how obvious it is that SharePoint can solve their issues, we still run into scenarios where we hear, “We think your team is great and we love your ideas, but we just don’t have the budget this year.” What do you do when you don’t have a budget? You prove the return on investment of Microsoft SharePoint.

No Budget

The challenging thing -- okay one of the challenging things -- about SharePoint is that it too often starts out in the IT budget because it’s considered company-wide software that everyone uses. In addition to not being allocated as part of everyone’s budget, SharePoint also has the issue of being tough to measure in terms of return on investment (ROI). Those of us who have been around SharePoint long enough know the value of what SharePoint can do, but we struggle to communicate how that translates into real money saved. Being frustrated with the no budget answer, I’ve been racking my brain on what the answer is to showing SharePoint’s true ROI. So, I decided to run through a series of recent scenarios I’ve heard about from clients, friends, and even personal experiences. What has been obvious is that it all comes back to communication. Problems stem from communication issues, and conveniently, SharePoint (and Yammer) fix those communication issues.

The ROI Challenge

You can’t estimate SharePoint ROI, or any content management system, in terms of dollars gained during a more efficient process. People are not a manufacturing plant where stats are kept on how much content or value is derived from a single action from a single person. However, what you can measure is the cost of mistakes. People are human and while some mistakes can be contributed to inexperience or a lapse in judgment, it’s more often related to a lack of communication. In some cases, communication can even overcome inexperience and bad judgment.

Think back through the last time your organization lost money on a deal, a new partnership, or a new product. How would effective communication have changed the situation?

Communication Issues Plague Organizations

Scenario 1: A client has a proposal sent out with unclear terms of engagement with a vendor. This client is now ‘on the hook’ for far more work than they should’ve been. Not to mention the initial projected time-frames for the work are now completely irrelevant. Had this proposal been put through a formal review process where the entire team knew about it (rather than it ‘hiding’ in email and file shares), the ambiguity could’ve been caught. Not simply because of a formal approval process being in place, but because of the visibility of the document to someone who may not be directly involved.

The cost: Extra time negotiating what can be accomplished in the contract, lower profit margin on the work, if there is a profit at all, and potential loss of client due to the possibility of expectations not being met.

Scenario 2: A survey was sent out to all users and the number one complaint was a lack of company-wide communication. Employees did not feel properly informed. This same client doesn’t have the budget for SharePoint this year. So they continue to use a home grown intranet application where a developer must provide announcement updates. This slows the time to share those updates and will likely prevent many from being shared in the first place.

The cost: Unlimited and depends on the organization

What is the cost of the lack of rapid communication across the organization?

  • What is the turnover cost of an employee who doesn’t feel engaged or informed and leaves the organization?
  • What is the cost of waiting on an email response only to find out after the person you’ve been waiting on for 3 days is the wrong person?
  • What is the cost of not properly communicating new safety procedures to field engineers on remote sites? Have you dealt with law suits this year?
  • What about health care benefits to those sitting at headquarters? How much time does HR spend explaining things that could be available in a forum or Q&A section?
  • What about new compliance policies to content managers? Have you been through a painful audit recently?

The visibility provided by the social communication channels provided in SharePoint (and also in Yammer) can transform the way an organization works. The speed at which information is communicated is directly tied to an organizations ability to adjust to rapid changes in the market, to the amount of income that can be generated with the same number of people, and most importantly tied to defining an efficient and effective corporate culture that spans many remote locations.

The next time you are faced with the ‘no budget for SharePoint’ problem, it may be time to start discussing the cost of poor communication. From there you should be able to start defining what your return on investment looks like.

Sarah Bunt

Your Microsoft FY16 Funding Guide

Microsoft has announced their first round of funding buckets for their 2016 fiscal year.

Funding can be used to help offset the costs of deployment and adoption of Office 365 Workloads and the deployment and adoption of the Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Funding available for purchases of Office 365:

 Clients who purchase Office 365 between July 1, 2015 and August 31, 2015, are eligible for the US Early Bird Office 365 Active usage funding.

The payout is $15/seat up to 1000 seats with a maximum of $15,000.


  • Clients first purchase of Office 365
  • Purchase of 150+ seats of eligible 365 SKUs:  any combination of E Suite (E1, E3, E4), or standalone SKU’s of Office ProPlus, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, Project and Visio
  • Must reach 5% active usage on a single workload by December 31st, 2015 to qualify for payment
  • Please note: Exchange active usage is not eligible for this offer

**The deadline to apply for the Early Bird Office 365 Active usage funding is August 31, 2015.


Clients who purchase Office 365 from September 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016 are eligible for the Office 365 Adoption Funding.  

The Payout is $15/user for first 1,000 users and then $5/user for 1000+ users up to $60,000.


  • Clients first purchase of Office 365.Purchase of 150+ seats of eligible Office 365 SKUs: All E Suites, Office 365 ProPlus, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, OneDrive for Business, Project Online, Project Pro, Project Lite and Visio Pro for Office 365 standalone SKUs
    • This offer is available through EA/EAS, Open, Open Value, Open Value Subscription, Cloud Solution Provider, MPSA, AOS and MOSP
  • Purchase of 150+ seats of eligible Office 365 SKUs: All E Suites, Office 365 ProPlus, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, OneDrive for Business, Project Online, Project Pro, Project
  • Qualified workloads:  SharePoint, Skype for Business, Office Pro Plus or Yammer
  • Client must meet 15% active usage metric on any one workload
  • Please note: Exchange active usage is not eligible for this offer


 Funding available for purchases of Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) or EMS through the Enterprise Cloud Suite:

 Clients who purchase Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) Or Enterprise Cloud Suite before August 31, 2015 are eligible for the EMS Deployment Funding

Amount of funding based on # licenses purchased: 150-249 users = $4,000 ; 250-999 users = $6,000


  • Purchase ECS or EMS from before August 31, 2015
  • Funds can be used to offset the cost of deployment for Microsoft Intune, Azure Active Directory Premium, or Azure Rights Management System.
  • Deploy any two components and receive double the funding
  • Example: purchase 250 EMS licenses under ECS and deploy Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory Premium = $6,000+$6,000 = $12,000 maximum EMS deployment funding.
  • Funding must be requested within 4 months of purchase date and deployed within 90 days of funding approval.

Clients who purchase Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) from September 1, 2015- March 31, 2016 are eligible for the EMS Adoption Funding.

The Payout is $15/user for first 1,000 users and then $5/user for 1000+ users up to $60,000.


  • Net new Purchase of eligible SKU’s: EMS & ECSPurchase of 150+ seats of a single eligible SKU qualify for an investment toward driving active usage of Intune and Azure Active Directory Premium.
    • This offer is available through EA/EAS, Open, Open Value, Open Value Subscription, Cloud Solution Provider, MPSA, AOS and MOSP.
  • Purchase of 150+ seats of a single eligible SKU qualify for an investment toward driving active usage of Intune and Azure Active Directory Premium.
  • Client must meet 15% active usage metric for Intune and/or Azure Active Directory Premium
  • Please note: Azure Rights Management is not eligible for this offer

Click here to view a summary of what determines active usage for both Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS)

Contact Interlink today if you have any questions or want to know if you qualify for any Funding!


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.

Blog Categories

Interlink Cloud
Interlink Cloud
5 post(s)
Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks
1 post(s)
2 post(s)
1 post(s)
Cloud Storage
Cloud Storage
1 post(s)
9 post(s)
5 post(s)
3 post(s)
11 post(s)
9 post(s)
5 post(s)
8 post(s)
Office 365
Office 365
47 post(s)

Blog Archive