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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

Secure Productive Enterprise – The Ultimate License Bundle– The New Enterprise Cloud Suite

Secure Productive Enterprise – The Ultimate License Bundle– The New Enterprise Cloud Suite

What is Secure Productive Enterprise? 

Companies want to continue to use the most advanced technology to enable their employees to achieve more, but all of these new and different products have resulted in a licensing headache. We hear constantly that attempting to navigate around Microsoft licensing can be challenging and frustrating. Microsoft created the Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) a few years ago in an attempt to simplify this process. It was a single licensing option that included E3, the Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite and Windows Desktop upgrade. Building upon this initial base Microsoft is now continuing to simplify this process with the introduction of the Secure Productive Enterprise. This will be bringing together Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise upgrade, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite into a single licensing offering called the Secure Productive Enterprise. This will be replacing the Enterprise Cloud Suite and Microsoft will be introducing even more options by also offering an Office 365 E5 option in the bundle.   

Moving forward Microsoft will be standardizing packaging offers across Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite by offering two tiers of the Secure Productive Enterprise: E3 and E5. This is what it will look like:

Secure Productive Enterprise

Microsoft will continue to evolve the Windows E5 edition by adding more functionality. The first difference is the introduction of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection for end point breach detection.

For more information, check out Microsoft's blog post Empower Your Employees with the Secure Productive Enterprise.


Interlink can help guide you through your options and help figure out what works for your users. We can help profile your users - remember that you don’t have to license everyone with the same license bundle in the cloud.  

Contact us for more information.

 
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Matt Scherocman

ALERT! Office 365 OneDrive Forced Update

ALERT! Office 365 OneDrive Forced Update

Beginning in May 2016, Office 365 users with fewer than 250 Office 365 licenses will be required to use the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client to sync OneDrive for Business files. This automatic upgrade requirement has already started rolling out and will continue until July 31, 2016.

NOTE - It will NOT apply to those clients with more than 250 Office 365 licenses!

What does this mean for you?

If you are currently using less than 250 Office 365 licenses, you will be automatically upgraded sometime in the next month and a half and the following things will occur during the sync takeover:

  • The old OneDrive for Business sync client (Groove.exe) will begin to stop syncing OneDrive sites.
  • The new OneDrive for Business sync client (OneDrive.exe) will begin to sync the same OneDrive sites, but it will not re-download the content already there.
  • The old OneDrive for Business sync client (Groove.exe) will stop running and will remove itself from automatically running upon system startup. The only exception to this is if the client is still syncing other such as SharePoint site libraries or on-premises OneDrive for Business.

How to delay updating OneDrive.exe until the second release wave

The OneDrive.exe update is planned to roll out in two waves. The first wave will begin when the update becomes available and will take one to two weeks to completely roll out. The second wave will begin rollout shortly after the first wave comes to a closure. There is a policy that will prevent OneDrive sync clients from being updated until the second way which is the “Delay updating OneDrive.exe until the second release wave” setting.

  • By default, these updates are installed right after the first wave begins rolling out.
  • By enabling this setting you will force the update to occur for you during the second wave only.

What to expect after you begin to the use new OneDrive for Business sync client

  • The old OneDrive for Business sync client (Groove.exe) will still be the client you use to sync any site libraries or on-premises SharePoint content. You will be able to use both sync clients on the same computer without any issues.
  • Links in the “Recent list” Office desktop have the chance of no longer working. This means you may have to re-pin the files you want to appear since they might lose functionality.

Contact Interlink Cloud Advisors if you have any questions on this or need help with your cloud update strategy.

For more information please check out the support article from Microsoft - Transition From the Previous OneDrive for Business Sync Client.

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Guest Blogger

Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT Use Cloud Storage

Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT Use Cloud Storage

The value and benefits of cloud storage are so clear and compelling that I have found it difficult to understand why a business would choose not to embrace the cloud as a means of solving file sprawl. In the past, cloud fear was a major obstacle, but this is no longer the case. So I tried to put myself in the shoes of a change-averse enterprise to better understand their thinking. The result is a list of the top five reasons you should not move files to the cloud.

1. You love running big hardware datacenters.

We are all still kids at heart and a massive datacenter is essentially a giant playroom filled with very expensive and complex toys.

These toys, otherwise known as servers, do not take care of themselves. You get to oversee the maintenance of both the datacenter as a whole and the actual hardware. Heating, cooling, electricity, disaster planning – that’s all yours.  As time goes by and your employees and applications generate more and larger files, this hardware will start to run out of capacity.

But don’t worry about consolidating your data center. You can always buy a whole new set of big, shiny, expensive servers when you need more space. This makes your storage environment more complex. 

And don’t forget the budget planning that goes along with it – what’s not to love about complex financial spreadsheets?

2. Migrations are a joy!

Speaking of fun, who enjoys a good migration? 

Nothing is more thrilling than sitting at your workstation and managing the movement of files from one storage volume to another.  No matter which solution you have in place, migrations can be very complex affairs.  And IT professionals love nothing more than performing challenging, pull-out-your-hair tasks on nights and weekends when all their friends and families are doing normal activities (e.g. having a life). 

Don’t worry, you will not be going through this misery alone. You get to interact with your peers when they call you about the inevitable permissions problems that keep them from their data. Then you can be a hero and solve the problem they blamed you for in the first place.

3.  You have no need for backups.

Your users may have lost access to their files before.

Maybe they deleted a document they needed, or suddenly wanted an old project back. But you know that files are files.  Your users can always create new ones. In fact, you and your colleagues have been wondering whether it’s necessary to protect company files at all.  Sure, you may have heard about how the cloud can eliminate the need for backup, generating significant cost savings and improving protection, but why not just leave everything to chance instead?

Writing to tape is the Russian roulette of the IT world.  So go ahead, scrap protection, and inject a little do-or-die drama into your work place. 

state of cloud storage

 

4.  Your users work only at their desk.

Employees are constantly on the go. They need access to their files from any device or location. The right enterprise cloud storage solution makes this possible. 

But when you don’t use cloud storage, you’re operating as though your employees work only at their desks.  In fact, they never:

  • Go home at night
  • Visit clients
  • Work in conference rooms, common areas or off-site
  • Travel for business

You might as well shut your servers down at night while you’re at it.  

5. None of your employees collaborate on work. 

This especially gets complicated with users in different branches or those working remotely. When collaborating, users will need to access the same files that others are also working on. But in a company without cloud sharing, these collaborations are intensely more difficult, stressful and time-consuming.

On those rare occasions when a project requires the input of an employee who works in a different region, the standard operating procedure is to charter a jet, fly that person into the office for a few hours, then whisk them back again. If something comes up the next day, and that employee’s input is needed again, there are always more jets.

Personally, I still think cloud storage makes more sense, and Cloud NAS in particular, but this has been a helpful exercise for me. I am starting to understand why companies choose to avoid moving files to the cloud. That said, if you are the sort who would rather avoid migrations, reduce your dependence on expensive hardware, enhance protection and extend file access, you might want to take 90 seconds to watch this quick video on our complete storage solution leveraging the cloud.

 


Nasuni is a partner of Interlink. If you need help with a cloud storage solution, Interlink can help - contact us today.

 

Nasuni 2015 State of Cloud Storage Report Thumb no DS Web

Download this white paper to receive your copy of the The State of Cloud Storage in 2015.

 

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Matt Scherocman

The Struggle is Real: How to Deal with the Growth and Sophistication of Cybercrime with Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

The Struggle is Real: How to Deal with the Growth and Sophistication of Cybercrime with Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

As business changes and technology evolves, the majority of organizations depend on IT systems to store their data and run critical workflows. Unfortunately, these systems can be a prime target for cyber-attacks as sophisticated hackers put the enterprise in a vulnerable position. Just take note of these especially stunning stats:

  • 76% of attacks stem from compromised user credentials
  • The average cost of a data breach to a company is $3.5 million and total cost of cybercrime on a global scale is as high as $500 billion
  • Because of dangerous IT security blind spots (shown in the image below), it could take over 200 days to detect an attack

    IT blind spots Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

Stats courtesy of Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics Datasheet.

The reality is, businesses need to pay attention and adapt to this changing nature of data security threats.

Now available in the Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) helps to protect your company from attacks by leveraging machine learning. It uses behavioral analytics to uncover suspicious behavior, internally or from external attacks. It also detects known security issues and risks , the goal is to stay  one (or two, or three) steps ahead of the attackers.

Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

When you think of security software, your mind might immediately turn to configuring system rules and alerting. All of which take time and commitment from your team. With ATA, you don’t need to create rules, baselines, or thresholds. It’s streamlined from setup and works immediately. Once a threat is detected, it’s also easy to view a timeline of when the attack hit. It can help pinpoint where the breach took place. All of this insight can better prepare you for future attacks.

The thought of being hacked and not even knowing it is scary enough, but ATA also helps identify internal threats like why a user would be accessing files in accounting if they’re in the marketing department? Combined with online security reports, ATA can show anomalies for logins.  It will help detect when user credentials have been compromised by reporting geographically distant logins that occur at the time time – like a single user being logged in from Ohio and from Romania at the same time.  

The high-level benefits of using ATA at your business are obvious. Peace of mind goes a long way, and you also want it to help you adapt as cyber-attacks grow in frequency and sophistication. The features of ATA are even more appealing when you see exactly how it works for your business. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Timeline: We’ve already mentioned that timeline, but it’s worth noting again. In addition to listing the activities as they occur, ATA provides recommendations on how to handle that alert.
  • Organizational Security Graph: This maps out entity interactions which represents the context and activities of the users, devices, and resources. This will be a big driver in managing security for each of your users.
  • Email Alerts: There’s no need for one person to be continuously monitoring for cyber-attacks. With ATA, you can have emails sent to users or groups when suspicious activity is detected.
  • Leveraging the Cloud:  Microsoft cloud based correlation engine helps more quickly identify new attacks and reduce the amount of false positives. 

The cyber-attack threat is real and ATA can help you adapt to the changing cyber-attack world we live in.

Contact Interlink if you any questions.

 

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Mark Rackley

Changes to SharePoint Online Document Libraries & What They Mean

Changes to SharePoint Online Document Libraries & What They Mean

If you are on an Office 365 first release tenant you may have noticed a new option when you logged into your environment this past Friday morning when going to view your Document Libraries.

What’s this? New stuff? Cool! Let’s click on it and see what happens?

SharePoint Online Document Libraries 2

Woah! What have they done? Not only is the cheese moved, but they replaced my smooth buttery Havarti with some pungent foot smelling stuff!

Needless to say, my first reaction was not one of joy and the immediate response from many people out there was similar to mine. At first look it could be said that this is the most drastic change made to the UI in SharePoint in a very long time. Menus are moved (missing), options are different (or missing), and my branding did not carry over. It looks much more like OneDrive than SharePoint. It’s easy to see why the first reaction would not be positive to someone who lives and breathes SharePoint every day.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that I saw missing in this new experience:

  • Left navigation changed (and no obvious way to edit it).
  • My global navigation is gone
  • My Theme is no longer applied
  • My branding did not carry over
  • It’s not possible to edit the page (cannot add web parts like we did in the past).
  • Managed Meta Data Navigation gone.
  • Display forms are gone. (Display forms, NOT Edit forms).

But we do get a nice preview panel with some helpful information by clicking on the “…” for an item and selection “Details.”

SharePoint Online Document Libraries 3

There are other things changed as well. But as you can see at first glance there’s a LOT missing. How do we do what we used to do? There’s a good thread on Yammer with people discussing their frustrations as well as other thoughts on the new experience.

Luckily you can easily switch back to “Classic Mode” to go back to the way things were before by scrolling down the left navigation and clicking “Return to Classic SharePoint” link.

SharePoint Online Document Libraries 4

Okay… things are back to normal. Deep breath.

What does it mean to you?

What do these changes mean for you? The user, the admin, the developer? At first glance, here are the major effects for this change as it stands today:

Handling the Fear of Change

I’d gather most people will not react fondly to these changes. I get it. You get comfortable with something and someone moves it. There’s that immediate drop in productivity as people learn new functionality. It will be important to properly announce these changes within your organization when they are rolled out. Just communicate well, talk in calm soothing tones and don’t make any sudden movements. But seriously, just educate people. These new views are not all bad, they are just really different. In fact, they are now much more mobile friendly and responsive.

Broken Functionality

You’ll be missing some of the items listed above. If you’ve added/injected any JavaScript into to your Document Library views you’ll likely lose that functionality (at least in its currently deployed fashion). This loss of JavaScript will likely be one of the biggest obstacles faced since JavaScript has become so ubiquitous with SharePoint Online development. How do you even DO development with this new view?

Your documents are still there. Your metadata is still there. No content has been lost. It’s a new way of working within SharePoint Document Libraries. In fact, Microsoft has already written an article on how to use these new Document Libraries.

“What was Microsoft Thinking?”

This was the phrase I heard most often about this change. What on earth could Microsoft be thinking? How could they drop something like this on us without warning? I have to admit my first reaction was to complain. Change is bad. Right? In fact, I DID do some complaining on that Yammer thread. I definitely want to give a big shout out to Lincoln DeMaris at Microsoft. He fielded the questions more gracefully than almost anyone else I’ve seen in his position and it sounds like his team was working pretty hard on fixing any bugs that came up.

So, before I wrote a blog post about how horrible the new experience was or how out of touch with reality Microsoft is, I decided to take a step back and really thing about what’s going on.

It’s First Release Only

Before you panic too much, keep in mind that this functionality is only available to SOME first release tenants. If you didn’t sign up for preview release you won’t see the option for the new look. Your users will not see it. There is no reason to panic!

May the 4th Be with You

Isn’t there some big event happening on May the 4th about SharePoint? In “The Future of SharePoint” event, Microsoft is unveiling their vision and roadmap for SharePoint and OneDrive. Could these changes be related to that? Did Microsoft release these changes before the event to first release customers to make sure it’s stable by May 4th ? Is it possible there is a plan in place? Is there a customization story? In the light of the May 4th event I can understand the thought process to make sure these new Document Libraries were pretty solid from a functional standpoint. This would also explain the lack of communication beforehand? Conspiracy theory maybe? I don’t know for sure, but this May 4thevent is a free online event you can register for. So, go, register. Let’s see how wrong I am. I’ll actually be at the event, so I’ll be live tweeting (@mrackley) and blogging about what I find out. Stay tuned for that!

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

This is first release. Nothing is set in stone. Microsoft is test driving this new functionality. LET THEM KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS! Do you love it? Hate it? Do you have any great ideas to make it better? Don’t just be part of the problem, be part of the solution. Submit your feedback on Yammer or Uservoice and help drive the evolution of SharePoint.

Classic Mode is an option

From reading the Yammer thread it sounds like “Classic Mode” will be around for at least a year. So even when they do push these new document library views out to all the tenants you will have some time to ease into it, fix anything that may be broken, and make sure you apply it when you are ready. Again, don’t panic.

Just MAYBE the sky’s not falling.

What’s the bottom line?

There’s two ways we can look at these changes. We can think that Microsoft is out of touch with how people use SharePoint (which they are sometimes) and are introducing changes that will crush our ability to use and develop in SharePoint, or there is a reason and plan for these changes and we’ll have to wait to find out more. Regardless, the worst thing you can do is be silent. Send them your feedback and thoughts.

I think most people (everyone?) can agree that Microsoft should have handled the communication of these changes better instead of just dropping them in our lap, but before we all throw our hands in the air and threaten to move to Canada (isn’t that what we are supposed to threaten to do now?) let’s take a deep breath and tune in to the May 4th event and hopefully most of our questions and concerns will be addressed and all of these changes will make sense.


Questions? Concerns? Contact the Interlink team anytime.

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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.