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

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.

Continue reading
  4168 Hits
  0 Comments
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. 

Continue reading
  4002 Hits
  0 Comments
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

Continue reading
  5393 Hits
  0 Comments
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.

Continue reading
  4113 Hits
  0 Comments
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

Continue reading
  12146 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.