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

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

Do Not Go To The Cloud, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

My last article talked about the benefits of heading to the cloud.  The cloud is not for everyone.  Prospects frequently ask us why they should avoid the cloud – or delay their cloud purchase.  Here are some thoughts on when Office 365 migrations may not be a fit.

·         Control – you wouldn’t have control of the environment- it would be configurable, but not customizable.

·         Integration with other systems in the environment – may need to add hybrid ability.

 ·         99.9% uptime is not 100%; some clients can achieve better performance in their own environment.  Or at least want to be responsible themselves for trying. 

 ·         Loss of visibility – unsure of when issues will be resolved, limited ability to escalate outside of Microsoft’s predefined structure.

 ·         Office upgrade- Microsoft will require the current version or one previous one for access to the platform which will require a regular investment in licensing.             

 ·         Loss of functionality –  for example – mail enabled folders in SharePoint; Public Folders in Exchange are both not supported.  Business intelligence features of SharePoint are more robust for the on premise version. 

 ·         Dealing with Level I support in a foreign country – it is horrible. 

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Matt Scherocman

What are long- and short-term cost benefits of the cloud?

It varies for each client that we work with.  Some are bursting at the seams in their data center, some need the speed of adding new users, and with others it is just a cost savings play.  Here are some overview ideas on the areas that we are seeing customer savings.

·         The elimination of a workload within their environment - Physical server support for Exchange

·         Hardware costs associated with the Exchange Server – Virtual machine processor and memory / SAN storage usage / Tape or Disk Backup / DR Setup / Maintenance Contracts

·         Software costs associated with Exchange Server – Exchange Server licenses / Windows Server Licenses / Backup Agents / Blackberry Server

·         Trade costs of migrating to an online platform versus upgrading to a new version

·         Services Costs – Email archiving, Email filtering, Antivirus Enterprise Plans, Tape offsite storage

·         Facilities Cost – Power / Cooling / Space

·         Reduction in future version upgrade costs / faster speed to deployment

·         Tiered workforce takes advantage of K plan economics

·        Economics of scale in setup – Example: Lync for mobile clients takes time to setup and software to ensure that it is deployed securely.  Lync in the cloud is as simple as downloading from the app store and entering a user’s email and password.

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Matt Scherocman

How Unsecure Is the Cloud?

How Unsecure Is the Cloud?

Clients frequently ask our team about security in the cloud and how their data is protected.  We spend a ton of time with them walking them through the features of security that Microsoft has built.  Generally, the discussion boils down to two topics:

Even though the cloud isn’t perfect for security, it is exponentially better than what is currently protecting the same data at the client’s site.  Frequently, the customers who question the security of the clouds are the same ones who believe that a firewall and antivirus is strong security.  In my opinion, it is the bare minimum.  Taking these clients to the cloud provides a level of security that they have never seen and likely could never make the investment for.

Security by obscurity – many smaller clients believe that they have a level of security provided by the fact that they shouldn’t be a target.  “No one knows who we are.”  “No one knows our network is here.”  These arguments tend to fall apart with the use of automated tools that aren’t targeted.  They are just pointed at people’s internet addresses and sent to try and open as many doors as possible.  These automated bots do not discriminate like a human would – they will go after any and all data.  Our general advice is to remove the Exchange server which is one of the chattiest services on the network – it will talk to anyone.  And if a client really wants security by obscurity, Microsoft’s Office 365 service is so large that their mailboxes are sure to be lost in the mix.  If they find that comforting.

 

 

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Matt Scherocman

Are You Ready for the Cloud? Are You Sure?

Microsoft has come out with a great assessment tool that helps you determine if you are ready for the cloud or is virtualization still the name of the game for you.  It is an 11 question survey that allows you to answer on a sliding scale of IT sophistication.  By putting in a more exact answer in the scale, the output is better customized that most of these type of tools that I have seen previously.  Plus, it doesn’t always tell you that the Microsoft Cloud is the best choice.  Many times it will indicate that on premise solutions could still be the best fit for the client. 

 
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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.