Showing posts with label Office 365. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Office 365. Show all posts

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Server Upgrade and Online Collaboration Speeds Patient Care in Malaysia Hospitals Columbia Asia

"Having a fast, reliable server platform has a direct impact on patient services. Doctors can assess, investigate and diagnose much faster because they have patient data instantly at the fingertips."
Yogessvaran Mohantas
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
Project Management Office, Team Lead

International private healthcare company, Columbia Asia, needs exceptional server and database infrastructure for its highly-advanced core hospital information system. In 2013, they redeployed this core system using Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and helped medical staff share system data more easily and securely with Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based email and video conferencing. Now, medical consultations, specialist discussions and patient treatments all happen faster.

“It used to take two minutes to create patient files: now it takes only few seconds.”
Yogessvaran Mohantas
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
Project Management Office, Team Lead

Business Needs
Hospitals all over the world want to integrate health and management systems, so they can improve patient services and accelerate decision-making. The challenges are huge, however. Integrated health systems need server operating systems and databases that are not just fast, but exceptionally reliable. Clinical staffs need instant access to patient data and the ability to rapidly and securely collaborate with medical and administrative staff – wherever they are.
Columbia Asia, which is based in Malaysia, has a particularly acute need for robust infrastructure. The company has a single, central, custom-built hospital information system called Care21, which manages patients, operating theatres, staff scheduling, finance and all medical records emphasizing on constricted data security systems. As Care21 is used by virtually all staff members, performance is absolutely critical.
Care21 was originally deployed on Windows Server 2003, with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for the databases. However, as patient numbers grew, so did the complications. “Doctors were scanning more CT scans and MRIs onto patient records, while administrative staff demanded greater visibility and more detailed reports,” says Thavaseelan Kanasan, IT Infrastructure Executive. “As a result, applications became slow and patients experienced delay.”
At the same time, IT managers needed to minimise the disruption caused by IT maintenance and upgrades. “Disaster recovery took too long and monthly back-end maintenance became very difficult because we had to ask staff to revert to manual processes,” says Seelan. “And if we needed to take our Active Director Identity management offline, access was temporarily impossible.”
For clinical staff, improving communication and collaboration was a top priority. Doctors and other medical staff wanted the ability to access their email from anywhere and securely back up files they kept on their laptops. They also wanted desktop video conferencing and the ability to share CT scan images with consultants, so they could improve clinical collaboration and speed up decision-making.
Most important of all, executives wanted to minimise risk. “We backed up hospital data, including email, every day, but the operation took 30 minutes and we could theoretically lose a whole day of data,” says Mr. Giri, Database Administrator, Columbia Asia. “Care21 was capable of doing amazing things and our staff loved it but we had to make it easier for them to manage and help medical staff maximize the usage of it.

“Managers can focus on operations because applications are more reliable...”
Thavaseelan Kanasan
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
IT Infrastructure Executive


In early 2013, Columbia Asia executives decided to upgrade the server operating systems and databases at 10 hospitals and deploy new cloud-based collaboration tools.
With the help of Malaysian systems integrator., Columbia Asia tested Care21 on a new platform comprising Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V and Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Besides improved performance, this also means the company could migrate virtual machines live onto different clusters and replicate the live environment in two to three minutes.
New features in SQL Server 2012 also allowed the hospital to improve data backup and free up databases for more detailed and widespread analysis and reporting. “The AlwaysOn feature means I can permanently synchronise each hospital database. Consequently, the maximum amount of data lost is only 0.001% of daily inputs,” says Vijayaraghavan Yedhugirinath, Database Administrator.
Working with systems integrator, Columbia Asia deployed Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 in a succession of ultra-fast deployments. Deployments took just 10 weeks in each hospital, followed by two weeks of testing. “There were no delays and no postponements—it was a very impressive performance,” says Seelan. “Everything went according to plan despite a tight timeline.”
In addition, Columbia Asia began replacing staff members’ on-premises email with the cloud-based Microsoft suite; Office 365. Besides Outlook email which staff can access from any connected device, this includes SkyDrive file storage, so they can easily save and retrieve documents via the cloud. It also includes the unified communications tool, Lync Online, which enables staff to join video conferences and share documents live from any connected device.
Latter, Columbia Asia began deploying the enterprise social tool, Yammer. This creates a social-media platform inside an organisation, and enables employees to create profiles, list specialisations, create groups and broadcast requests for information. Within Columbia Asia, staff members enthusiastically using it to broadcast status updates and share clinical information across the hospitals.

“...This make a big difference to them: if our core systems are 99.99% reliable, then downtime is no longer a worry—half of their headache is gone."
Thavaseelan Kanasan
Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd.
IT Infrastructure Executive


With a swift, problem-free upgrade to Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012, Columbia Asia has made all its clinical systems safer with high security data protection, reduced the risks of data loss and improved reporting. With cloud-based communication and collaboration tools, staff members work more productively, sharing knowledge quickly and efficiently across 10 different geographical locations.
Reduced patient waiting time
Now, Care21 works noticeably faster. Doctors can open patient files and examine scans at the touch of a button, while admission staff are able to process registration quickly. “It used to take two minutes to create patient files: now it takes only few seconds,” says Yogessvaran Mohantas, Project Management Office, Team Lead. “Having a fast, reliable server platform also improves patient services. Doctors can assess, investigate and diagnose much faster because they have patient data instantly at the fingertips, so patient waiting time is reduced.”
Rapid, secure collaboration
Doctors can also share data more easily, because they have instant access to online collaboration tools. “With Lync, our medical staff can share presentations with each other, call for group meeting with colleagues from different hospitals and observe others’ desktops,” says Yogessvaran. “SkyDrive is extremely useful because each staff member can securely store their own data in the cloud and then retrieve it from home or wherever they are working. More importantly, our data is secured. Doctors don’t lose email or documents if their devices malfunctioned.”

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It gives an easy access to sophisticated reporting. Any hospital staff who want to analyse data be it doctors, pharmacists or marketers can now enjoy stress free experience. “With SQL Server Reporting Services, our staff can research data more extensively and generate reports without slowing down Care21,” added Yogessvaran. “For example, our accounts team generates daily financial reports, which they couldn’t do before. Now, they can even analyse data anytime they need.”
Increased confidence in IT
IT staff can perform the maintenance and upgrading without causing downtime. As a result, hospital managers have greater confidence. “Managers can focus on operations because applications are more reliable,” says Seelan. “This make a big difference to them: if our core systems are 99.99% reliable, then downtime is no longer a worry—half of their headache is gone.”
Better prospects for expansion
Within the next two years, Columbia Asia plans to open two more hospitals in Malaysia and two in Indonesia. According to Seelan, their rock-solid server platform provides an invaluable platform for this expansion. “With a new server operating system it means we can open these new hospitals more efficiently and reliably,” he says. “Whatever challenges we might face in the future, IT will not be one of them.”

Solution Overview

Customer: Columbia Asia Sdn. Bhd. 

Customer Size: 6000 employees 

Country or Region: Southeast Asia 

Customer Profile 

Established in Kuala Lumpur in 1994, Columbia Asia is an international private healthcare company that owns and operates 24 multi-specialty hospitals in Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Indonesia. The hospitals provide healthcare services to approximately 400–500 patients a day. In Malaysia, Columbia Asia operates 10 hospitals in Peninsular and East Malaysia. 

Software and Services 

 Microsoft Server Product Portfolio 

 Windows Server 2012 R2 

 Microsoft SQL Server 2012 

 Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 

Microsoft Office 365 

 Office 365 Exchange Plan 1 

 Office 365 E1 

 Office 365 E3 

 Technologies 

 Hyper-V 

 Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services 

 Active Directory 




Wednesday, 7 October 2015

M3 Marine Group Marine Consultancy Charts a New Course to Global Productivity with Cloud-Based Tools

M3 Marine Group staff did not have the access to emails and documents needed to support the global expansion envisioned by founder Mike Meade. Then he subscribed to Microsoft Office 365. Today, brokers reliably access archived emails for market trending to build better deals, and consultants collaborate better in virtual teams to expedite reports—two essential steps toward building a global business that stays true to its service-oriented roots.
  • “We can build a global company and stay true to our roots as a service-based business because we’re using Office 365 to support productive virtual teamwork around the world.”
    Mike Meade
    M3 Marine Group
    Chief Executive Officer

As one of the busiest ports in the world, it’s not surprising that Captain Mike Meade chose Singapore as the headquarters for his company, M3 Marine Group. Meade worked as a ship’s captain before trading in his sea legs for senior management positions in the corporate world. However, his experience dealing with major oil companies and offshore marine engineering service providers is just one reason for M3 Marine’s success.
“Our brokers are veterans in the industry who use their experience to broker deals that build lasting customer relationships,” says Meade. “On the consultancy side, we are well-known for our expertise in designing computer-controlled ship positioning systems and the relevant documentation, especially FMEAs [failure mode effects analysis].

Defining a Vision for Growth

Today, Meade envisions M3 Marine as a global company. “I want to broaden our base, first by opening an office in Australia and then expanding to the Middle East,” he says. “We will populate those offices over time, always with a focus on delivering best-in-class service and gaining repeat business.”
To achieve this goal, Meade needed to reevaluate the technology his staff uses every day. “I looked for productivity tools that would amplify the core competencies of the brokerage and consultancy sides of the business,” he says. “We need communication and collaboration tools that work on any device across any time zone so that we can function as productive, virtual teams. That means we need easy access to corporate data and customer information, no matter where we are in the world.”

Choosing Microsoft Office 365

Meade knew that cloud-based IT services would be the most cost-effective computing platform for his company. “We tried Google, but we didn’t like the interface and it didn’t do what we wanted; we tried a ship broker’s proprietary database and messaging service, but it didn’t perform to contract,” he recalls. “Then, in 2012, I went to a luncheon hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce Small Business Group. I met our IT provider, and I learned about Microsoft Office 365. Things at M3 Marine haven’t been the same since.”

Business Tools that Just Work

M3 Marine worked with IT provider to migrate to Office 365 and the seamless transition for all 30 employees was the first indication that the new cloud-based business communication and collaboration tools lived up to Meade’s expectations. Today, all M3 Marine employees are using the same up-to-date Microsoft Office programs as part of the cloud-based suite of services.
“Each of us can deploy Office 365 ProPlus on up to five computers and devices, saving me licensing costs,” says Meade. “And with Office Web Apps, we will be able to work with Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel programs on the go, using any browser.”
Meade begins his day by checking email on his PC at home. On his way to work, he stops for coffee and logs on to the corporate network using his laptop. Then, he’ll use a PC at the office during a meeting. Later, he’ll take his laptop to talk to a consultant about a report. “It’s that seamless transfer from one location and one device to another and knowing that I’ll always have access to up-to-date information that’s made me productive, no matter where I go,” he says.

Reliable Email, Better Customer Service

Today, brokers are negotiating better deals in chartering, ship building, and sales and purchases. They are also building better customer relationships. That’s because with Office 365, brokers gain reliable, ubiquitous access to email, contacts, and shared calendars. Now they can search archived emails to benchmark indexes so that they can provide better advice to customers about market trends.
Weekly downtime due to someone’s overflowing archived emails that blocked the network is a thing of the past. “If staff can’t work because email is down for two hours, that’s a massive cost to me; almost as much as my annual IT burden,” says Meade. “So maintaining that reliability and productivity—with Office 365 we haven’t had a moment of downtime—is key to growing my business and saving money.”

Effective Virtual Teams

M3 Marine consultants provide a range of technical and commercial consultancy in the oil and gas space along with concept design of computer-controlled ship positioning systems called Dynamic Positioning. The team can deliver their reports quicker thanks to improved virtual teamwork using Office 365 sophisticated document versioning capabilities and cloud-based document storage. In this data-centric business, these reports are a key deliverable that M3 Marine customers rely on for FMEA of their computer-based ship dynamic positioning systems.
“Four or five consultants can contribute to a single 1,000-page marine report, including drawings, schematics, and charts,” says Meade. “Using team sites in SharePoint Online will streamline virtual teamwork and document collaboration to more quickly deliver the massive reports that they develop for our customers.”

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Business Platform for Growth

With Office 365, it’s easy to simplify the process of hiring new employees. When Meade hired a new general manager for the brokerage business, all it took was a few minutes to furnish him with a laptop and an Office 365 account. Today, everyone at M3 Marine is well equipped to help Meade achieve his vision of expanding from one of Asia’s largest independent ship broking and marine consultancy houses to a global operation.
“I’m using Office 365 to build a global network that supports real-time collaboration through web conferences, instant messaging, desktop sharing, emails, and calendaring, and breaks down the barriers of time and space to boost productivity and customer service,” concludes Meade.


Professional Services

Organization Size

Small (1 - 49 employees)



Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Healthcare Provider Gains Robust, Compliant Email; Avoids 83 Percent of On-Premise Cost

October 16, 2014
Compliance with federal requirements is a challenge for medical professionals, as new laws, new technologies, and new ways of working continually call for new solutions. Excel Anesthesia, a 26-physician group, found a long-term solution for secure, compliant e-mail in Microsoft Office 365. By choosing Microsoft, the practice also avoided 83 percent of the cost of an on-premise solution.
  • “Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365. He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft.”
    Michael Walsh, M.D.
    Excel Anesthesia
    Head of Compliance
  • “Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365. He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft.”
    Michael Walsh, M.D.
    Excel Anesthesia
    Head of Compliance
  • “Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365. He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft.”
    Michael Walsh, M.D.
    Excel Anesthesia
    Head of Compliance
Business Needs
It can be difficult to meet federal privacy and security requirements for IT when your workforce isn’t just communicating over a protected local area network, but also wirelessly over mobile devices. And it can be even more difficult when your workforce is 100 percent mobile, 100 percent of the time.

That’s the challenge that faced Excel Anesthesia and its Head of Compliance, Michael Walsh, M.D.
The company’s 26 anesthesiologists don’t work out of offices; they work in hospital operating rooms and other surgery and out-patient facilities, and travel constantly among those locations. They have to coordinate and update schedules, review patient files, and communicate and collaborate with colleagues, all on-the-fly. Combine the issues of mobility with those of compliance with HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act of US, and other regulations, and few healthcare providers face greater challenges than Excel Anesthesia.
For the past 18 months, Walsh has led a practice-wide effort to upgrade compliance procedures. Ensuring secure email—which often contains private health information (PHI)—has been a key focus. That means more than just securing email transmission; it also means securing email storage. Even when messages are transmitted securely—which can’t be assumed with free, public email—those messages remain only as secure as the PC or mobile device on which they then reside. With physicians often using their own computers and phones, standardization, let alone security, can be elusive. And the risk is immense; the cost of mishandling PHI can run into the millions of dollars.
Excel Anesthesia had no computer servers to support email, and it was reluctant to invest in the hardware and maintenance that an on-premise email system would require. While it wanted to keep costs low, it also wanted a solution that was highly reliable and available. Its practice had reached a critical size and was continuing to grow. It couldn’t wait any longer to address the email situation.
Fortunately, it didn’t have to. Its technology provider, introduced the company to Exchange Online, the email solution included in Microsoft Office 365.
Office 365 for business provides virtually anywhere access to Office applications, enterprise-grade email, file sharing, conferencing, a public website, and more. Varying combinations of service are available through a series of subscription options.
“Given the crucial issues surrounding compliance, we asked our attorney—not just our techies—to evaluate Office 365,” says Walsh. “He told us that we couldn’t do better than to choose Microsoft: it stands behind its products and will likely be around to provide that support for many years.” Most important from a compliance perspective, Microsoft signed a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Excel Anesthesia. That means that Microsoft—not Excel Anesthesia—takes on the risk stemming from compliance gaps in the technology.
Consultant helped the company to deploy Office 365—along with encryption and passcodes—on the mobile devices that its physicians already used.
The practice introduced its physicians to Office 365 in phases, starting with Exchange Online, since email is such a common, essential function. Links in email messages provided introductions to SharePoint Online and Lync Online.

With guidance from Consultant, the practice used SharePoint Online to roll out a robust compliance program with online policies that replace traditional, often inaccessible, hard-to-update “black binders” containing pages of regulations and policies.

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Excel Anesthesia now has the secure, reliable, and cost-effective compliance solution it wants—with a new level of business agility as an added benefit.
Robust Compliance with 99.9 Percent Uptime
The company now tracks compliance tasks automatically and has a central, online location for collaboration among members of its compliance committee. And it spots and corrects chart deficiencies in half the time it used to take.
“The Microsoft data centers behind Office 365 provide levels of security, fault tolerance, replication, and backup that we couldn’t afford on our own,” says Walsh. Microsoft also provides a financially-backed service-level agreement with 99.9 percent availability. Security in the cloud with Exchange Online means that the practice has no on-premise servers to fail, to be stolen, or to be lost during office moves.
Subscription Avoids 83 Percent of First-Year On-Premise Costs
With Office 365, the practice pays a low subscription fee--$8 per month per user—instead of buying and maintaining its own servers. That saved it 83 percent of the first-year costs for on-premise email. Excel Anesthesia pays only for what it needs, and can expand its subscriptions to support continued growth.
“Getting compliant email was our priority,” says Walsh. “We were concerned about cost, but knew we had to spend what it took. With Office 365, we got compliant email and low cost. We didn’t expect that.”
Agility Supports Broader Collaboration
The practice used to choose only local vendors and professional services firms—people it could meet with frequently, and on short notice. But some of the providers that it wanted to work with aren’t in Dallas—such as Anesthesia Compliance Consultants, located hundreds of miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio.
That firm was using Google Docs until Walsh and his colleagues showed them the Microsoft alternative. The consultants made the move to Office 365, and for many of the same reasons that convinced the practice. Excel Anesthesia is now the firm’s client, and the two hold web and video conferences several times each week, without any concern for the vast distance between them.

Solution Overview

Product and Services

Microsoft SharePoint Online
Office 365



Organization Size

Small (1 - 49 employees)


United States

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

G&J Pepsi Strives for Operational Excellence with Microsoft

 Slashed licensing fees, reduced implementation costs and proved ROI

G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc., the US's largest independent Pepsi bottler, consistently looks for ways to improve its operations to drive business growth, and is an IT standard-bearer in the bottling and distribution industry.

Like many companies fighting for market share, G&J Pepsi's Chris Witzgall, Vice President of Information Systems, is constantly exploring ways that technology will drive operational efficiency throughout the company's 11 locations in Ohio and Kentucky so that he not only reduces costs, but supports sales, marketing, production and other departments in order to grow revenues. G&J focuses mostly on the activities that impact their core bottling and distribution centered businesses. Then they collaborate with a small number of partners to outsource non-strategic commodity workload.

With the help of a consulting company., G&J Pepsi's IT team removed workloads by moving email and collaboration tools to the cloud using Microsoft's Office 365. They boosted their ability for real-time from anywhere on any device communication with LyncEnterprise Voice. Furthermore, they added Windows Azure to enable disaster recovery from the cloud. Then G&J outsourced the support of Office 365, Lync Voice, and a major piece of their server infrastructure to Outcousing company. By shifting some processes to cloud computing and outsourcing others, G&J Pepsi became more agile and efficient.

The transition allowed Witzgall's small IT team to stop maintaining, monitoring, patching and fixing the complex configuration problems with these workloads. By shifting to Office 365, G&J avoided spending $30,000+ in future hardware and software upgrades needed to support the latest version of Exchange.

"We were spending many hours a month on Exchange patches, backups and maintaining storage for the virtualization environment," Witzgall said. "Email is one of those areas we feel is more of a commodity service, and any time we spend supporting it is not time well spent."

Witzgall has worked with consultant on multiple projects to automate G&J's infrastructure. He views consultant as an extension of his IT team, and the partnership allows him to service the company's 1,600 employees with a small IT staff. In fact, the first time Witzgall engaged with consultant to explore moving to the cloud, consulting company recommended waiting. “G&J had already upgraded their infrastructure to the latest releases, their infrastructure was solid and running well – so it made sense for them to wait until the next major revisions were released in the cloud before they migrated,” says President of cloud consulting company.

The consultant team walked Witzgall through possible options for migrations and technology that would allow G&J employees to access information from any device with a single sign on. Consulting company  then gathered information to help Witzgall make the business case for moving the company's email to the cloud and adding Lync and Azure.

Pre-Assessment Analysis Reveals Cost Savings 
Consulting company completed a technical assessment to make sure G&J could easily move to the cloud, and then a business assessment to make sure that such a move aligned with company business objectives. Consultant also provided a detailed hard cost return-on-investment report demonstrating how the new technologies would help G&J not only save money but give employees tools to help them operate and communicate more efficiently.

Pre-Assessment Analysis : G&J Pepsi also received a written plan explaining how to get ready for a cloud migration and a project plan outlining who would own what part of the migration to make sure everyone was on the same page. The process also includes documentation on how to set up the new system, how to cut users over and a communication plan IT managers use to tell employees what is going to happen and when. Consultant also provides end user training guides so employees know how to use the new system’s functionality.

Consultant's role was to manage the project, build the redundancy and failover capability and ensure there was no data loss in the migration to Office 365.

Because Consultant carefully watches Microsoft partner incentives, consultant was able to alert G&J Pepsi to funding from Microsoft that allowed G&J to reduce the consulting costs of installation by 75%. Additionally, Consultant helped G&J secure and utilize 100 free licenses of Office 365 and a promotion that offered an 80% cut in the retail cost of Office 365 licenses, saving G&J Pepsi's $100,000 over three years.

"The implementation was very smooth," Witzgall said. "Consultant handled the initial set up and testing, which was crucial. Then they helped us get the first set of users up and going, and we took it from there, with consultant acting as a resource when we needed it."

Moving to Office 365 allowed G&J Pepsi to eliminate $1,500 in annual spam filtering costs and another $2,500 in annual maintenance for Symantec Enterprise Vault, which the company used for email archiving. The move to the cloud-based system also freed up about 3 TB of storage, and it allowed G&J to give everyone in the company access to email with Microsoft’s low cost kiosk emails plans. HR will be streamlining their processes with this new digital communication channel.

Lync Drives Internal and Partner Collaboration 
The bulk of G&J Pepsi's 1,600 employees work in 11 locations in two states. In addition, many employees work from home, and the salesforce operates in the field on more than 300 routes. Because of the dispersed work force, G&J needed a more robust and mobile friendly collaboration system. Consultant helped them upgrade to the latest version of  Lync Enterprise Voice, which give them a new level of functionality including better mobile access and enhanced web meetings.

Upgrading to Lync 2013 "allows people to participate in meetings easier, and access corporate information in real time," Witzgall said. Mobile employees previously printed information from their laptops or had to drive around looking for good wifi Internet connections if they wanted to participate in meetings while they were traveling.

Now, they can provide customers instant information from their devices of choice and join meetings from their smartphone, tablet or other device no matter where they are, and no matter what operating system their device uses, he said.

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Azure Allows On-Premise Integration with Cloud Applications 
Like many companies, G&J Pepsi needs its technology systems to be highly available and redundant. As part of building that redundancy, Consultant showed G&J how using Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform would provide them with disaster recovery for its critical authentication workloads.

 Those workloads include Active Directory for user authentication, Directory sync for synchronizing users and groups between their on premise network and the cloud, and Password sync, which allows users to have single sign on abilities for their desktop computer and web applications.

"Azure's infrastructure as a service allows us to have full functionality to authenticate users without on premise equipment, so if we lost our datacenter, our employees can still fully communicate," Witzgall said.

With Azure, resources are readily available and accessible, user authentication requests are quick because Azure sits in the same data center as Office 365, and companies do not have to build the hardware or obtain software licenses to run it from their own data center.

From Blocking & Tackling to Proactive Business Decision-Making

 Removing basic blocking and tackling technology maintenance tasks like email, backups and worries about disaster recovery allow Witzgall and his team to think more about how they approach the business and how they can make employees more productive.

"One of the biggest benefits is that Office 365 allows us to give our sales team all the information they need to get their jobs done," Witzgall said. Coupled with Lync, employees have "the tools they need to make a sale and to make more sales. Without a productive sales team, the company isn't going to grow." G&J continues to grow their partnership with  Consulting company. “They are on our same wavelength for outsourcing and being efficient. The consulting company continues to find ways to gain funding for us and use technology even if it means less revenue to themselves,” concludes Witzgall.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium upgrade path

We have been talking about upgrade path for Microsoft Office 365 Business and  Office 365 Business Essentials.

Today, we going to discuss about upgrade path for Office 365 Business Premium. 

Office 365 Business Premium is a plan for combination of both Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Essentials. This mean you want both Microsoft Office and Email Outlook Exchange.

Of course, you get 1TB of One Drive for Business per user for backup and Disaster Recovery, which is effectively unlimited storage for backup and sync with your hardware for Disaster Recovery. 

If your company want Microsoft Access, or Self Services Business Intelligence like Powerpivot etc, or Hybrid deployment. Then, your company can upgrade to Office 365 Enterprise E3 Plan

Alternatively, your company can add other standalone online plan. Like Microsoft Project Online, Visio Online or Dynamics CRM Online etc.

Exchange Online Plan 1

What if you intend to subscribed for or currently using Exchange Online Plan 1?

By adding additional USD1 per user per month. You can upgrade to Office 365 Business Premium, which you have SharePoint Online, Lync online, Yammer and you have 1TB of One Drive for Business per user

Or if your company want to included Microsoft Office. Then, your company can upgrade to Office 365 Business premium. Then your company can add stanalone plan like Microsoft Project Online, Visio Online and Dynamics CRM online.

A comparison of all Office 365 plan with Exchange Online Plan 1 and Plan 2 as follow : 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials upgrade path

Our previous blog post discuss about Microsoft detach Office and email Exchange online from Office 365 Plan. Now customer can choose Office only, Email only or Cloud ( both ).

If your company choice is Outlook Email Exchange Server online, One of the most popular product of Microsoft, other than it Microsoft Office product. 

Then your choice should be Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials. Of course, there is  standalone Exchange Online Plan 1 and Plan 2.

However, with Office 365 Business Essentials. You get Sharepoint Online, Lync online, Yammer, in addition to Email Exchange Online.

Previously, small and Medium enterprise ( SME ) can buy Small Business Server that included Exchange Server, Sharepoint Server,and Lync Server in a box with affordable price.

Now, Microsoft Small Business Server no longer in the market. SME have to order Windows Server 2012 Essentials but doesn't included Exchange Server at all. For that functionality, you're expected to subscribe to Office 365 Business Essentials in addition to Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

The advantage is that you get 50GB inbox per user. Majority of Exchange Server or within Small Business Server. Each user get 50MB inbox per user that constantly need to delete archieve to keep your email with active.

With 50GB inbox, it seem each user have unlimited storage.

Each user also get 1TB of One Drive for Business, like Office 365 Business.

Staff can book their meeting room with Shared Calender now

What is the upgrade path than?

If you want to keep your company On premises Exchange Server for hybrid deployment as not confident on pure cloud services. You can upgrade to Office 365 Enterprise E1, then data still can keep on your server and on the cloud.

If you want to combine Office 365 Business Essentials together with Office 365 Business to include Microsoft Office like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, etc. Then your company can upgrade to Office 365 Buisness Premium.