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.
Matt Scherocman

Difference Between Microsoft’s Cloud App Security and Office 365 Advanced Security Management

Difference Between Microsoft’s Cloud App Security and Office 365 Advanced Security Management

Cloud App Security and Office 365 Advanced Security Management are very comparable Microsoft products, and many of our clients are confused over the difference between them. Both were acquired by Microsoft through the acquisition of Adallom and give users the capability to create security policies and receive alerts when those policies are breeched. In addition, each of the products give users the ability to set manual or automation remediation. Focused on Office 365, Advanced Security Management (ASM) does that work automatically.

In contrast, Cloud App Security covers a wide range of SaaS-based applications - including competitor’s services like Box, Salesforce, and Amazon Web Services. Cloud App Security also adds more functionality including its own data loss prevention, ability to automatically add new applications, and integration with Security Information Event Management (SIEM) products. 

The below chart provides additional details on when each product includes:

Difference Between Microsoft Cloud App Security and Office 365 Advanced Security Management

Contact Interlink today to discuss your needs and which solutions would be a fit for your organization.  

Continue reading
  14224 Hits
  0 Comments
Mark Rackley

Impactful Changes to Office 365 – SharePoint Sandbox Solutions [Time Sensitive]

Impactful Changes to Office 365 – SharePoint Sandbox Solutions [Time Sensitive]

Microsoft has recently made a significant change to the way they are handling SharePoint Sandbox Solutions in Office 365. This may have a major impact or your organization as these changes roll out across tenants.

If you have uploaded any Sandbox Solutions to your Office 365 tenant in the past week or so, you may have found that you are no longer able to activate these templates. That is because Microsoft is in the process of disabling the activation of any Sandbox Solutions that contain code. In addition, according to an article in Reddit - Microsoft has disabled activation of Sandboxed code solutions AND will disable all active solutions in 30 days on SharePoint Online.

Now, I’m skeptical of the statement that all Sandbox Solutions with code will be disabled in 30 days, as this will unlikely cause catastrophic consequences for some folks, but I don’t have any further information at this time.

What do disabled SharePoint Sandbox Solutions mean to me?

There are a few implications here. If you have any code-based Sandbox Solutions running in your environment in Office 365 you may start to see broken web-parts, pages, event receivers, or broken other functionality/errors in the next month or so. The implications could be as small as a missing web part on a page to a broken site collection. It really depends on what code has been deployed to your tenant.

In addition, if you’ve previously created any Site Templates that were created from sites that had activated code-based Sandbox Solutions, you will NOT be able to create sites from these templates after the solution has been disabled.

How can I tell if I have any SharePoint Sandbox Solutions?

You can go to your Solutions Gallery to see if you have any Sandbox Solutions deployed. You can get to the Solutions Gallery by going to the Site Settings of your Site Collection, then clicking on the “Solutions” link under the “Web Designer Galleries” section.

sandbox Solutions

Please note, this is also where things like Site Templates are stored, so don’t freak out of you see some solutions deployed and don’t know what they are. Hopefully they were named well as there are little details displayed from the Solutions Gallery itself.

Why weren’t we warned sooner?

Microsoft actually DID warn everyone back in January 2014 - one instance of this is on the SharePoint dev blog in an article titled Deprecation of Custom Code in Sandboxed Solutions. Plus we’ve been telling clients since then to stop doing code-based Sandbox Solutions.

Yet, it is a little surprising they would make sure a hard cut off of 30 days though. If I can get some confirmation I’ll be sure to update the post.

What do I do if this affects my company?

Excellent question. First of all, if you have any Site Templates that utilize code-based Sandbox Solutions, re-create those Site Templates with your code-based Sandbox Solutions disabled. I would do this immediately - if not sooner. Once a solution has been deactivated there is no way to create a site with a Site Template dependent on that feature.

Secondly, if you have any code-based Sandbox Solutions, evaluate their functionality and determine what will stop working. Some of the functionality (visual web parts) can be recreated with scripting, while other functionality (event receivers) may cause you a lot more heartburn to replicate without a Sandbox Solution.

You can also reach out to us at Interlink and we could help point you in the right direction for what to do in your particular scenario. It is important you do SOMETHING though. Interlink can assess your current environment, help point out possible pain points, and guide you through the re-creation of code-based Sandbox Solutions into a supported format.

Should I panic?

Hopefully, no, but honestly, if code-based Sandbox Solutions are forcibly disabled in 30 days you should be concerned if there is any chance you have them in your environment.

[Update as of 8/3/2016: Microsoft released a script that lets you check for sandbox solutions]

Continue reading
  3742 Hits
  0 Comments
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

 

 

Continue reading
  7840 Hits
  0 Comments
Sarah Bunt

[On-Demand Webinar] Getting Value from Office 365: You’ve Deployed Exchange – Now What?

[On-Demand Webinar] Getting Value from Office 365: You’ve Deployed Exchange – Now What?

view webinar slides o365 blue

Do you know what you already own ?

Many organizations deploy Office 365, but only use Exchange. There are so many other applications within Office 365 like Groups, Sway, Video, and Delve that have been designed to help your users be productive.

In this on-demand webinar Microsoft and Interlink Cloud Advisors - Microsoft Cloud Consumption Partner of the Year - showcases the features and resources Office 365 (E3 plan) includes beyond Exchange.

Covers some of the most common workload scenarios and questions, including:

  • Efficiently sharing ideas and content
  • Collaborating together – co-authoring
  • Accommodating different working styles
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Better coordinating group communications and efforts
  • Live demos, including: Sway, Delve, Planner, Office Groups, OneDrive, and Admin Portal

Whether you have already started moving workloads to the cloud or are just getting started, view the webinar to hear the best practices and insights into promotions that can further accelerate your cloud projects. 


Presenter:

Matt Scherocman

Matt Scherocman
President, Interlink Cloud Advisors
Microsoft VTSP and #1 in the world at helping clients with Microsoft funding 

 

Continue reading
  3669 Hits
  0 Comments
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.

Continue reading
  17473 Hits
  0 Comments

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.