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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. More
Matt Scherocman

What are my options for reporting and monitoring in Office 365?

Office 365 is a great product that continues to improve, but when it comes to monitoring or reporting what is happening on the tenant today we feel it comes up short.  We have reviewed a few products that can help improve this experience:

Exoprise:
Exoprise will monitor your Office 365 tenant with a client that is installed on a local PC and then compare this data to results gathered by other clients around the world.  The crowdsourcing of the performance data allows the tool to narrow down if an issue is being caused by an Exchange Online server malfunctioning or if it is a potential local network issue between your client and the online tenant.

Pros:

  • Day to day report of how healthy your tenant is compared to others that are available
  • Ability to see how others are doing the same day helps to identity where problems are
  • Gives the ability to show where your data is headed on a geographical map
  • You can add multiple sensors/clients that will give you a more rounded view if you have multiple sites.

Cons:

  • If the PC with the sensor is off, no data can be gathered.
  • Limited number of reporting features

Cogmotive:

Cogmotive is a web based report driven tool for your Office 365 tenant. It gives detailed reports of statistical data on Exchange, Lync, mobile usage, licensing, and security.

Pros:

  • Great interface and easy to setup
  • Excellent graph outputs to quickly digest data
  • Detailed mailbox usage information
  • Mobile device reporting by device
  • Easy view of who has permissions to which mailboxes

Cons:

  • Limited custom reporting

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

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Matt Scherocman

Does Office 365 Include a New Version of Office?

The short answer here is, no.On a feature set level the version of Office that you can rent in the cloud is the same version of Office that you purchase at retail.However, from a licensing perspective, the versions are extremely different.

Licensed by user - In the cloud Office is licensed to the individual user versus the device for traditional licensing.This is great for many clients while it allows the user to install Office on up to five different machines for their use.

 

No downgrade rights - You have to stick with the version of Office - currently 2010 Professional, that is the one in the cloud.This is primarily done to easy downloading and complexity in the product.

 

Subscription checking - The version of Office from Office 365 will check to ensure that the subscription payments are up to date.

 

No Remote Use Rights or Roaming Rights - Due to the per user licenses, these rights aren't needed while the user can typically use their five device limit to accomplish the same access.

No Home Use Program - Again, while you can install a copy of Office at home, there isn't a need for a separate formal program or additional costs.

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Matt Scherocman

Skype for Business Server Licensing – A Hidden Gem

As we are working with clients on deploying Lync in their environment, there can be a number of different server roles engaged.  These can include conferencing servers, monitoring servers, front end, back end, and mediation servers.  One advantage of deploying Lync is that the current licensing rules allow for these additional software roles to be run without purchasing additional server licenses.  One suggestion, buy the Enterprise version to give yourself the most flexibility.

 From Microsoft’s Product Use Rights Guide:

Running Instances of the Additional Software.  You may run or otherwise use any number of instances of the additional software listed in the table below in physical or virtual OSEs on any number of devices.  You may use those instances only with the server software.  Use of any instance with the server software may be indirect, through other additional software, or direct.

 

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Matt Scherocman

Microsoft is Keeping the Cloud Safe, and They Want You to Know How

Is your cloud provider keeping your information safe? This is a fair question and one that certainly needs to be asked.  In the past year the cloud has been battle tested and the answer, fortunately, is yes.  Yet even though the cloud has proven to be a secure platform, skepticism persists – largely due to the fact that providers are hesitant to share their security measures with the public. Microsoft wants you to know that these complaints are not falling on deaf ears.   Microsoft recently confirmed its commitment to transparency by announcing three of its products are now part of the Cloud Security Alliance’s (CSA) new STAR registry. 

The STAR (or CSA Security, Trust and Assurance Registry) is a searchable database that allows the public to compare a cloud service provider’s security to CSA established standards.  In April, Microsoft was proud to announce that Office 365, Windows Azure and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online are all certified members of the registry. Check it out at and see for yourself what Microsoft is doing to keep your information safe. 

In addition to Microsoft’s commitment to transparency, Microsoft has taken numerous steps to ensure their cloud platforms are secure. For example, they were the first major cloud provider to be independently certified as ISO27001 (one of the best security benchmarks in the world), and the first to sign the EU’s Model Clauses for Security.  To find out what else Microsoft is doing to keep the cloud safe visit click here.

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Matt Scherocman

Integrated Audio Conferencing to Skype for Business Overview

Clients are loving the integrated audio conferencing options of Office 365.  Lync provides great client-to-client audio and video.  This is excellent when your entire team is at their desks.  Yet, some of the most critical times are when there is a participant on the road.  Maybe it is getting your pricing team together to discuss an important client while  the sales representative is at the client site.  Maybe it is when the President is driving to meet your largest client and needs a last minute set of data.  For these times, our clients have found tremendous benefit from integrated audio conferencing.  It allows participants to join via any phone, to an 800 number, and hear the same audio being shared on the Lync connection.  The best part is that the per minute costs are low, about $.06 per minute and only the participants that are joining over the traditional phone network are charged for the conference call.

Traditional Audio Conferencing:


One hour sales meeting once per week with 20 people


(60 minutes x 52 weeks x 20 people ) 62,400 minutes at .05 cents per minute = $3120


Integrated Audio Conferencing:

80% of the sales reps join via the client

(60 minutes x 52 weeks x 4 people ) 12,480 minutes at .06 cents per minute = $749

Want to see how it works?  Check out this video from Intercall.


http://www.brainshark.com/intercall2007/audiointegration

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