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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

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

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

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

Features of the next version of Office – Wave 15

Customers have been asking me about the new features of the next version of Office – the wave 15 release.  Here are 10 top changes to the platform in a quick read format.  Check it out…..

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/2012/sep12/09-10Office10Things.aspx

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Matt Scherocman

Office365 Voicemail and Exchange Messaging in Action

Several posts ago, I did a short review of Exchange online and Lync online. During that time we discussed another soon-to-be-revealed post, reviewing the capabilities of Office365 and Unified Messaging. So, let’s get right down to it!

First – What does it get you?
1. Obvious – voicemail through Exchange – using SIP gateways configured to connect to UM online.
2. Faxing – Yes, you can have an on premise fax solution, with SIP capabilities or compatible with exchange, along with a gateway. However, most providers doing Exchange 2010 UM integration for faxing support Microsoft SIP, some are even Virtual Machines.
3. Outlook voice access – Perhaps the most critical to some of us!!!
4. Missed call notifications.

Configuring – If you’ve configured Exchange UM on premise, you have an immediate advantage. Very simple:

Note that we can set the dial play URI type, this includes SIP URI, and the preference of most, E.164.

So, we have configured our UM dial plan. Now let’s get our gateway in place. The gateway will be the interface between either your standard POTS based PBX or another IP PBX. There are many gateways out there that can do SIP/TLS in a supported fashion with Microsoft.

Now, configure your respective gateway based on the new UM IP gateway configuration – The following will be generated for configuration:

Note here is where Microsoft is giving you the SIP forwarding address. This will assist you in configuring your SIP gateway. Seems easy enough, but depending on the device you use and your unique situation, as well as the general IT principle, nothing is ever as easy as it looks. Fortunately, we can troubleshoot!

Now, let’s not forget we have to set an auto-attendant up. For SIP and E.164, keep in mind you must configure this for the E.164 extension type. See the configuration options below:

Also – If you are using E.164 or telex you will need at least one UM Hunt Group:

Get stuck? Well you can check call logs, and user logs right from the Exchange online console:

Very familiar look and feel, however the architecture of this is key. It’s great to show you what it is capable of doing, but to get it functioning is based on your situation. However, the one thing that doesn’t change regardless of where you are, is that  you must understand the concepts and technologies that power this experience. For many of us, telephony integration into systems is new because we are systems, but there are also some of you out there that decided to learn core infrastructure. With systems and infrastructure knowledge, you begin working toward understanding the Microsoft Lync, and Exchange PBX solutions, and how online ports those into hosted integration.

Hope this was a helpful post, more to come soon!

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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.