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

Upgrading to Office? Eliminate Potential Incompatibilities with Office Telemetry

Upgrading to Office? Eliminate Potential Incompatibilities with Office Telemetry

Office Telemetry is a new monitoring framework tool, which collects the information you need to plan for a successful Office deployment.  It helps you minimize the time that you spend assessing Office compatibility. It also reduces the risks of an Office upgrade and eliminates the guesswork over which documents and add-ins are critical and if they will be compatible with future updates.

Performance Insights Inside of Excel

Office Telemetry is a dashboard that is accessible through Excel. It gives you even more control over your documents and add-ins as you can quickly identify which ones are business critical and need to be given a higher priority. Telemetry as an Excel add-in also makes sharing reports between IT team members easy.

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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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Matt Scherocman

What are the Differences Between Office Professional and Office Web Apps?

That’s a great question.  And unfortunately, a side by side comparison of the two is difficult to find.  In an effort to eliminate some of the mystery surrounding these products, I’ve created a quick summary that compares Office Professional Plus and Office Web Apps (both of which are available as part of the Office 365 product offering):

Essentially, Office Web Apps is a “light” version of Office Professional Plus.

Think of Office Professional Plus as your “traditional” Microsoft Office. It is the Office you are used to using – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.  It is a full copy of Office that sits on your machine and allows you to use each and every feature of the programs above.  If you have used Microsoft Office 2010 Professional (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath, Lync, etc.) licensed in a traditional volume license manner, then you will find the two highly similar. See our next blog post which talks about the differences.      

On the other hand, Office Web Apps is a limited, online version of certain Office products including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.  It provides a copy of the Microsoft Office programs, but with less functionality. I’ll use Microsoft Word for example.  The Word web app allows basic functionality (the ability to type, change fonts, bold, underline, etc.) but doesn’t allow you to use the more complex features (for example, editing pictures). It would be similar for other programs as well.

The benefit of Web Apps is that it is less expensive than Office Professional Plus.  Also, because it is web based, it can be accessed from any computer that has internet connectivity and a compatible browser. The downside is it does not offer as much capability as Office Professional Plus.  Web Apps tends to be beneficial for quick, light editing and for people who are not heavy users of the Office Suite.   If you want to try out the technology it is available for free at https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/  Just open an account and upload some Office files.  You can also see the same technology if you add Office files to Facebook. 


These links also provide some useful information:

For Web Apps: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps/
These links also provide some useful information:
Detailed Guide - feature by feature comparison between the two products: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office-online-service-description.aspx

For Web Apps: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps/
For Office Professional Pro: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/office-professional-plus.aspx

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Matt Scherocman

Exchange 2013 High Availbility revealed

Exchange 2013 has introduced some new features that bring great options for geographical disaster recovery and High availability.

1. You no longer need a layer 7 load balancing.  you can now use TCP based layer 4 transport load balancers.  These are typically cheaper, and is a clear reason the TMG is being eliminated

2. URL redirection is now built into Exchange 2013, as it is now a true HTTP proxy at the CAS.  It also serves as a stateless proxy for SMTP, which allows for pass through connections through to the mailbox server.

* Exchange will allow a client to cnnect to a CAS in one region, using a single namespace, then identify the URL of the CAS using URL redirection defined in Exchange 2013.  Once identified, it will redirect the client connecting to the CAS in the same AD site (assuming it's internet facing) as the mailbox server that users mailbox resides on.

3. Geographical load-balancing using DNS - Round Robin DNS is a way for you to allow external connections to cache multiple DNS entries, and if one is not available, the other will be pushed in 20 seconds.  What Microsoft also supports for single namespace HA is Geo Loadbalanced DNS, which will identify the DNS entry best suited for a client based on where they are connecting from (IP identification)

4. If you deploy a CAS with a DAG stetched across two sites - it will always route the SMTP connection to the DAG that your active mailbox sits on.  However, if the DAG member you are connecting to is not available, it will create multiple SMTP connections and write to both DAG members with a copy of the mailbox.  This feature is call Safety Net.

5. Managed Availability - All components of Exchange in terms of protocols on the mailbox servers has a recovery mechanism that is sequenced.  Many of the actions taken are automated, allowing for built in recovery mechanisms.

6. Maintenace Mode - you now have the ability to put a DAG member mailbox serveer into maintenace mode to allow for it to be temporarily be in service and not be active in the Exchange 2013 installation.

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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.