Evaluating #Office365 ‘Directions on Microsoft’ Webinar Registration #O365 #DirectionsOnMS

Office 365 is a line of Microsoft offerings that combines cloud services such as Exchange Online e-mail with subscription licenses to the Office desktop software. This is the second major release of Office 365, and is now based upon Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, and SharePoint 2013. Office 365 strives to reduce IT costs and help free up personnel for business-specific tasks. Office 365 is also useful for IT organizations that want a single, predictable, per-user bill for their collaboration and communication software. However, Office 365 also requires organizations to trust Microsoft and their ISPs with critical infrastructure and data.
This TeleBriefing provides an overview of Office 365, summarizes the improvements that it delivers over the previous release of Office 365, and highlights some important transition considerations for customers.

Register for Webinar here: http://bit.ly/11wihFx

Visio Stencil Download for #Exchange2013 #Office365

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36448

Creating visual representations of your on-premises, hybrid and Office 365 architectures, including Microsoft Exchange icons is helpful way to communicate your deployment. This Visio stencil provides icons — many depicting servers, server roles, services, and applications — that you can use in architecture diagrams, charts, and posters. These icons are primarily centered around on-premise deployments of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, as well as hybrid Office 365 deployments of Exchange 2013.

#Office365 for Enterprise Service Descriptions – Updates for March #O365 #Lync Online

Download Link below for latest updates published 14/03/2012

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=13602

Office 365 is a suite of Internet-based services that are designed to help meet your needs for robust security, 24/7 reliability, and user productivity. This set of documents provides service descriptions for the components of the suite.

Files in this Download…

Microsoft Exchange Online for Enterprises Service Description – Microsoft® Exchange Online is a hosted messaging solution that delivers the capabilities of Microsoft Exchange Server as a cloud-based service. It gives users rich and familiar access to email, calendar, contacts, and tasks across PCs, the web, and mobile devices.

Microsoft SharePoint Online for Enterprises Service Description – Microsoft SharePoint Online is a Microsoft Office 365 service for businesses of all sizes. Instead of installing and deploying Microsoft SharePoint Server on-premises, any business can now simply subscribe to SharePoint Online to provide their employees with an enterprise grade solution for creating sites to share documents and information with colleagues and customers.

Microsoft Lync Online for Enterprises Service Description – Microsoft® Lync™ Online is a next-generation cloud communications service that connects people in new ways, anytime, from virtually anywhere. Lync Online provides intuitive communications capabilities across presence, instant messaging, audio/video calling and a rich online meeting experience including PC-audio, video and web conferencing. Transform your interactions with colleagues, customers and partners from today’s hit-and-miss communication to a more collaborative, engaging, and effective experience.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus Service Description – With Office Professional Plus, users get the latest version of the Microsoft Office applications, seamlessly connected and delivered with cloud services, so they can access their documents, email, and calendars from virtually any device. Office Professional Plus includes the new Office Web Apps—online companions to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel®, Microsoft PowerPoint®, and Microsoft OneNote®—which let users review and make minor edits to documents directly from a browser.

Microsoft Office 365 Apple Devices Service Description – The Microsoft Office 365 Apple Devices Service Description provides customers with an overview of Office 365 capabilities on the Mac and iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices.

Microsoft Exchange Online Archiving Service Description – Microsoft Exchange Online Archiving is a cloud-based archiving solution for organizations that have deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 on-premises. Exchange Online Archiving is an enterprise-class service that assists these organizations with their archiving, compliance, regulatory, and e-discovery challenges while simplifying their on-premises infrastructure, thereby saving costs and easing the information technology (IT) burden.

Microsoft Office 365 for Enterprises Support Service Description – Microsoft® Office 365 for enterprises Support Service Description provides information to customers about the technical and nontechnical support included in their subscription fee to Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises.

Microsoft Office 365 Mobility Services Description – The Microsoft Office 365 Mobility Services Description provides customers with information on mobility solutions—access to services from phones and devices—that are available for two online services in this current release namely, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint® Online.

Microsoft Office Web Apps Service Description– – Microsoft® Office Web Apps is the online companion to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel®, Microsoft PowerPoint®, and Microsoft OneNote® applications that helps users access documents from almost anywhere. Users can view, share, and work on documents online with other users across personal computers, mobile devices, and the web.

Office 365 Security and Service Continuity Service Description– – This service description describes the security, continuity, privacy, and compliance policies and controls for the Office 365 for enterprises service offerings. It is intended to provide Office 365 customers with an overview of how each of the Office 365 services is designed to provide a high degree of security, privacy, continuity, and compliance—service goals that are derived from the Microsoft Risk Management program.

Office 365 Identity Service Description – This document discusses the design, policies, and best practices related to Office 365 identity, including the creation of user accounts, password policy, co-existence, directory synchronization, and single sign-on ( identity federation). Users can gain access to Office 365 by authenticating to their Office 365 user accounts—either through a prompt to provide valid credentials or through a single sign-on process. Once authenticated, users’ identities refer to the user names associated with the Office 365 accounts.

#Exchange 2010 Architecture: Microsoft’s Rajesh Jha Talks About the Future of Exchange #Office365

http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/exchange-server-2010/Exchange-2010-Architecture-Microsoft-s-Rajesh-Jha-Talks-About-the-Future-of-Exchange

…To round out this series, I spoke with Microsoft corporate vice president Rajesh Jha about what the future holds for Exchange Server. Of course, much of this conversation focused on the role Exchange plays in Office 365 and the cloud, but Rajesh also had a lot to say about the importance of listening and responding to the requirements of customers and embracing changes in technology as a way to move the Exchange team forward…

Comparing #Lync #Online with Lync Server (on-premises)

Comparing Lync Online with Lync Server (on-premises)

Information Courtesy of…
http://www.office365advisors.com/lync-online-lync-server

The following matrix compares features across the delivery models for Lync Server 2010 (on-premises), Lync Online, and Office Communications Online (“OC Online”)

 

Feature

Lync Server 2010

Lync Online

OC Online


IM and Presence

1-to-1 and multiparty IM/presence

Yes

Yes

Yes

Address book search

Yes

Yes

Yes

Distribution list (DL) expansion (DLX)

Yes

Yes

Yes

File transfers

Yes

Yes

Yes (inside firewall only)

PC-to-PC audio/video (A/V) dial-out calling

Yes

Yes

Yes (inside firewall only)

Click-to-communicate from Office applications

Yes

Yes

Yes

Interactive contact card in Office 2010

Yes

Yes

No

Lync skill search in on-premises SharePoint Server

Yes

No

No

Lync skill search in SharePoint Online

No

No

No

Persistent Group Chat

Yes

No

No

Privacy mode

Yes

No

No


Lync External Connectivity (Federation and Public IM Connectivity)

IM/Presence and A/V Federation with other organizations running  Lync Server, Lync Online, or Office Communications Server

Yes

Yes

No

IM/presence and A/V federation with Windows Live Messenger

Yes

Yes

No

IBM Sametime federation

Yes

No

No

IM/presence federation with Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) networks (including Jabber and Google Talk)

Yes

No

No

IM/presence with AOL and Yahoo

Yes

No

No


Meetings (A/V and Web Conferencing)

Meeting attendee capacity

250

250

No

Desktop sharing

Yes

Yes

No

Application sharing

Yes

Yes

No

White boarding and annotations

Yes

Yes

No

PowerPoint upload for online presentations

Yes

Yes

No

Upload for other Office file types

No

No

No

Polling

Yes

Yes

No

Multiparty PC-based A/V

Yes

Yes

No

Unauthenticated experience in Lync Web App

Yes

Yes

No

Unauthenticated attendee (rich client)

Yes

Yes

No

Authenticated experience in Lync Web App

Yes

No

No

Scheduled conferences (using the Online Meeting Add-in for Lync 2010 in Outlook)

Yes

Yes

No

Outlook delegation for scheduling meetings

Yes

Yes

No

Support for RoundTable conferencing device

Yes

Yes

No

Lobby

Yes

Yes

No

Interoperation with certified partners for dial-in audio conferencing

No

Yes

No

Provisioning for dial-in audio conferencing service for Office 365 direct customers

No

Yes

No

Phone dial-out from scheduled meetings via third-party dial-in conferencing service

No

Yes

No

Client-side recording and playback

Yes

No

No

Server-side recording and playback

No

No

No

Generate a link to a scheduled meeting via web page

No

No

No

Scheduling an online meeting in Outlook Web App

No

No

No

Dial-in audio conferencing on Lync Server

Yes

No

No

Multimedia content upload

No

No

No

Screen shot capture (including annotation)

No

No

No

Backstage/content preview for presenters

Yes

Yes

No

Mute all attendees

Yes

Yes

No

Mute individual attendees

Yes

Yes

No

Unmute all attendees

Yes

Yes

No

Unmute individual attendees

Yes

Yes

No

In-meeting attendee permission controls

Yes

Yes

No

Interoperability with on-premises video conferencing systems

Yes

No

No

Voice and Telephony

PSTN calling (incoming/outgoing calls)

Yes

No

No

Call hold/retrieve

Yes

No

No

PSTN dial-out for meetings

Yes

No

No

Advanced call controls (including transfer, forward, and simultaneous ring)

Yes

No

No

Access to Exchange Online voice mail

Yes

No

No

Team call

Yes

No

No

Delegation for voice (for example, boss delegates to admin)

Yes

No

No

Call park

Yes

No

No

Outgoing Direct Inward Dialing (DID) manipulation

Yes

No

No

Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1)

Yes

No

No

Dial plans and policies

Yes

No

No

IP desk phone support

Yes

No

No

Survivable Branch Appliances for branch office resiliency

Yes

No

No

Call admissions control (CAC)

Yes

No

No

Support for analog devices (for example, fax)

Yes

No

No

Response groups

Yes

No

No

Private line (secondary DID for executives)

Yes

No

No

Interoperation with third-party private branch exchange (PBX)

Yes

No

No

Presence interoperation with third-party PBX

No

No

No

Remote call control (RCC) (also known as “click-to-call”) with on-premises PBX

Yes

No

No

Malicious call trace

Yes

No

No

Unassigned number

Yes

No

No

Network Quality of Service (QoS) – Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP)

Yes

No

No

Media path optimization

Yes

No

No

Phone number management

Yes

No

No

Call detail recording (CDR) and billing reporting

Yes

No

No

Integration with call center solutions (Aspect)

Yes

No

No

Client Support

Lync 2010

Yes

Yes

No

Lync Web App (for participating in scheduled meetings)

Yes

Yes

No

Lync 2010 Phone Edition (IP phones for Lync)

Yes

No

No

Lync 2010 Attendee client (for joining meetings)

Yes

Yes

No

Lync 2010 Attendant client (receptionist rich client)

Yes

No

No

Lync 2010 Mobile

No

No

No

Office Communicator for Mac

Yes

No

No

Office Communicator Web Access (2007 R2)

Yes

No

No

Office Communicator 2007 R2

Yes

No

Yes

Office Communicator Mobile (for Windows Mobile 6.x phones)

Yes

No

No

IM and media encryption

Yes

Yes

Yes

IM filtering

Yes

Yes

Yes

Anti-malware scanning for meeting content and file transfers

Yes (partner solutions)

No

No

IM archiving (server-side only)

Yes

No

No


Exchange and SharePoint interoperability

Presence interoperation with Exchange and SharePoint on-premises

Yes

Yes

Yes

Presence interoperation with Exchange and SharePoint Online

Yes

Yes

Yes

Exchange Unified Messaging (UM) interoperation with Exchange Online

Yes

No

No

Exchange UM interoperation with Exchange on-premises

Yes

No

No


Hybrid Lync Online and On-premises Administration

Server and cloud coexistence (split domain) on user basis (some users on-premises, some users online)

No

No

No

Splitting workloads (for example, running IM/presence/voice on-premises, and conferencing in the cloud)

No

No

No

Windows PowerShell support

Yes

No

No

Web-based user interface (Lync Server Control Panel)

Yes

No

No

Attendee/user reporting

No

No

No

Reporting (using CDR and Quality of Experience (QoE)))

Yes

No

No

Third-party API Support

Client automation APIs (client-side only)

Yes

Yes

No

Server side APIs

     

 

Five quick links: Active Directory #Federation Services #ADFS #Cloud-Apps

Five quick links: Active Directory Federation Services.

Active Directory Federation Services  is a single sign-on technology that authenticates a user for multiple Web applications over the course of a single session. This federated identity management functionality, which was introduced in Windows Server 2003 and is now in its second version for Windows Server 2008 R2, has become increasingly important as IT shops begin to run more and more applications in the cloud. These five quick links help explain ADFS and how it can be used to increase efficiency and security in your organization.

Active Directory Federation Services 2.0: Is it right for you?

Active Directory Federation Services 2.0: Is it right for you?.

ADFS can be useful in federating directories between your organization and another organization to reduce Identity and Access Management headaches.

Prior to ADFS (or its previous incarnations), many organizations deployed a ‘separate’ Active Directory implementation, perhaps in their DMZ for less-trusted systems or to act as an extranet authentication and authorization for third parties that are coming in to consume services. The big challenge here is becoming an accounts administrator for extranet users (which may start as a “small 100 user pilot” that rapidly expands, as we’ve all experienced); when they need their password reset, when they have a new employee to be added, they have to call you to get it done. The other big concern here is around de-provisioning of users; do all of your extranet partners call you when they terminate an employee? You could potentially have a nasty security incident on your hands if a disgruntled employee still has access via the extranet.

Active Directory Federation Services does what it sounds like – it federates Directory A with Directory B to allow for mutually agreed upon authorization, authentication and access control decisions to be made. It allows for a more seamless experience for the user; they are able to manage (and remember) one set of credentials for access to multiple systems. This is also a lot easier on the administrator(s) as they can easily control access and set ACLs based on one set of credentials without getting lost in the overly complex task of managing users and groups, mapping which users should belong to which groups and which account (there may be several per person in different directory instances) the person is authenticating with.

Directions on #Microsoft TeleBriefing: #Office #365 Preview

Register here… https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/319089496

…This TeleBriefing provides an overview of Office 365 features and limitations, and highlights migration and management considerations for customers…..

….When Office 365 is released on June 28th, it will combine cloud services including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online subscription licenses with licenses to Office 2010 desktop software and the Office Web Apps. Like the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) that it replaces, Office 365 promises Microsoft collaboration software with a single, predictable, per-user bill and less management and maintenance that the software would require on-premises. However, Office 365 requires organizations to trust Microsoft and their ISPs with critical IT infrastructure and information, and it does not deliver the same features as the software would on-premises..

Microsoft to launch Office 365 on June 28

Microsoft is holding its official launch of its cloud-hosted application suite, known as Office 365, on June 28

…Office 365 is Microsoft’s successor to its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Live@Edu and Office Live Small Business products. Microsoft has begun educating its partners and customers about its BPOS-to-office 365 migration strategy. Packaging and pricing of the suite already has been announced.

Office 365 consists of Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, and also includes for customers who want it, a version of Office Professional Plus that can be installed locally on PCs and paid for per month, on a subscription basis. Office 365 competes head-to-head with Google Apps, and a handful of similar services….

Read more here…

#Licensing #Microsoft #Office365 – Directions on Microsoft Telebriefing

Office 365, scheduled for release later this year, will provide hosted versions of Exchange Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and Lync Server 2010 with subscription licenses to the Office desktop software. The new online offering has generated considerable interest among enterprise customers, but there’s still some confusion on exactly how Microsoft will license Office 365. In this TeleBriefing, Rob Horwitz, Research Chair and Co-founder of Directions on Microsoft, provides an overview of the seven Office 365 service plans, what they cost, and how they’re licensed. He also explained the new CAL Suite Bridge, a complex but strategically important set of new client access (CAL) licenses Microsoft has introduced to help large organizations with EAs purchase Office 365.

[Click Here] to view the slides with audio of this TeleBriefing.

Some High-Level Slides… full set available at link above.

Windows #Intune Launches Today

Read more here… http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsintune/pc-management.aspx

Partner info here…https://partner.microsoft.com/global/40136477

The long-anticipated arrival is here. The new Windows Intune is now Windows Intunebetter than ever for your customers who need to keep their PCs up and running, whether they’re in the office or on the road. With the launch of Windows Intune, you can now offer an all-in-one solution that can help your customers stay productive from virtually anywhere. This comprehensive solution combines an upgrade subscription to Windows 7 Enterprise with key Microsoft cloud services to simplify PC management and security, so you and your customers can stay focused on driving business success

TeleBriefing: #Licensing Microsoft Online Services and #Office365

Register Here

Office 365, scheduled for release later this year, will provide hosted versions of Exchange Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and Lync Server 2010 with subscription licenses to the Office desktop software. The new online offering has generated considerable interest among enterprise customers, but there’s still confusion on exactly how Microsoft will license Office 365.

 In this TeleBriefing, Rob Horwitz, Research Chair and Co-founder of Directions on Microsoft, will provide an overview of Office 365 pricing and licensing. He’ll also discuss important licensing implications customers must evaluate before migrating on-premise Microsoft software to the cloud.

Microsoft Promotes Cloud Essentials As Path to Office 365

http://www.talkincloud.com/microsoft-promotes-cloud-essentials-as-path-to-office-365/

As Microsoft marches toward the Office 365 cloud computing launch sometime in 2011, the software giant is taking steps to prepare VARs and MSPs for cloud opportunities.

Cloud Essentials…provides access to software and training and other free resources to partners. The partners can test the software in a development environment while also gaining various marketing resources.

Cloud Accelerate…rewards Microsoft’s most committed cloud partners. The rewards include branding to that helps identify partners that are leading the pack into the cloud.

Preparing for Office 365

Longer term, Microsoft is striving to prepare partners for Office 365 — the forthcoming successor to Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite). Office 365 will include Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync (the successor to Office Communications Server), a SaaS version of Office, and more.

…Office 365 (Twitter: @Office365) will allow Microsoft to reach millions of SMBs with enterprise-class applications, hosted in the cloud. To get ready, Flinders recommends partners subscribe to the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack. Then, gain the technical know-how and business support that Microsoft is promoting.

Opportunity or Threat?

As a small business co-owner, I eagerly await Office 365 and I’ll be intrigued to see how it compares to Google Apps (which we already use heavily). At roughly $6 per user per month, Office 365 potentially packs a whole lot of power at a super-low price.

But now for the challenges: Small business owners certainly benefit from the Microsoft vs. Google price war, but plenty of partners are worried about Office 365 potentially disrupting the channel.

For some (but certainly not all) partners, Microsoft’s SaaS billing model remains a concern. Generally speaking, Microsoft directly bills end-customers for SaaS services. Scores of partners have been calling on Microsoft to adjust that policy, and to allow VARs and MSPs to bill customers directly for the Microsoft-hosted services. (Google already permits partners to manage the SaaS billing process, by the way.)

Publicly, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be budging on the issue. But privately, Microsoft is working with Parallels to help massive service providers manage end-customer billing. We’ll be watching to see if Microsoft extends the Parallels work towards smaller VARs and MSPs.

In the meantime, we’re trying to maintain a balanced view on SaaS applications within the channel. No doubt, Office 365 and Google Apps will disrupt many legacy resellers that hold tight to old PC and software business models. We’ll try to identify and track partners the get the new model right.

ToddCarter Blog: What is #Office365 ?

Taken from http://toddcartercissp.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-is-office-365.html

What is Office 365?
Microsoft Office 365 provides customers with access to hosted cloud services, rich local applications, and web-based solutions with a progressive approach to cloud applications. Office 365 is designed to work for a business of one or a business of one million and one.

Office 365 replaces some previous and familiar brands, including Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Office Live Small Business, and Live@edu. A single now provides a clearer picture to customers and consolidate a lot of previously separate functionality under one offering.

There are two versions of Office 365: Office 365 for small businesses and Office 365 for enterprises. Both are subscription services that include access to Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online (a next-generation version of Office Communications Server).

Office 365 small business version targets businesses with 25 or fewer employees and will cost $6 per user, per month. The enterprise version adds the Office 2010 Professional Plus client software, 24×7 support, and other features, and will cost $2 to $24 per user, per month, and have volume-license options.

The cloud-hosted Office 365 services will work through all major web browsers—including Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome—and via popular smartphones and portable devices, including Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry and the Apple iPhone and iPad.

More @ http://office365.microsoft.com/en-US/online-services.aspx

Microsoft Cloud Power – Online Services Training

“Delivered by a Partner Technical Consultant via Office Live Meeting this BPOS 9.1 package consists of 9 individually priced sessions designed assist professionals during their preparation to implement BPOS. Topics include understanding the competition, migration to BPOS and security for BPOS. Attend this training to accelerate your sales and deliver high quality BPOS engagements.
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/registrationex/LMS_Registration.aspx?UserMode=0&Mode=0&ActivityID=721508

Additional Resources:
https://www.quickstartonlineservices.com/

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud
http://office365.microsoft.com/
https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/productssolutions/productssoftwareplusservices
https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/productssolutions/productsonlineservices

The Features of Lync Online in Office 365 #office365

Taken from: http://www.office365rocks.com by Dan Burbage

Lync Online is the successor to Office Communications Online and Live Meeting. With the introduction of Office 365 Live Meeting will stop the be supported for new customers.

The main features of Lync Online are:

  • Know whether others are available to communicate. Repeatedly attempting to reach each other by phone or email is a common communication problem in today’s business world. Often the problem stems from workers who are physically separated by geography and time zones and who lack visibility into other people’s availability or presence. Presence information is especially important when there is a need for a critical business discussion or a time-sensitive decision has to be made. Lync Online helps organizations increase individual productivity by adding presence, IM, and PC-to-PC audio and video calling to the business IT infrastructure.
  • Presence and click-to-communicate from Microsoft Office Outlook. Collaborating with others can be challenging for workers whose jobs require constant use of business productivity applications during the work day. Lync Online connects presence and real-time collaboration capabilities with the Microsoft Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client. This enables higher productivity by allowing workers to collaborate using the programs they’re already familiar with.
  • Connect with people and be more productive through a rich and immersive online meeting experience. Online meetings enable users to connect wherever they are through PC-based audio, video, and web conferencing, both as scheduled meetings and spontaneous, ad hoc collaboration sessions. With Lync Online, users can collaborate, share information, and coordinate their efforts in real time, all within the context of an existing workflow. Lync Online supports an integrated conferencing experience, enabling users to join the same conference from the PC (via the Microsoft Lync 2010 client) or from a phone (requires a separate PSTN audio conferencing service).
  • Collaborate within SharePoint sites. Lync Online serves as the presence engine for SharePoint team sites and portals, providing presence and IM access from within Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Server sites. For example, users can enable the Members Web Part to see the presence of anyone associated with a SharePoint site, which allows information workers to spend more productive time in their business productivity applications.
  • Communicate with other organizations. The federation feature of Lync Online establishes trusted relationships between an organization and one or more external organizations. This allows users to see user presence and communicate across organizational boundaries.
  • Communicate with public IM service providers. Public IM connectivity (PIC) allows an organization to securely connect its existing base of enterprise-enabled IM users to trusted contacts using public IM services that can be provided by Microsoft Windows Live™ Messenger and MSN® Messenger.
  • Reduce costs. Lync Online allows person-to-person communication across an organization without expensive business travel or costly phone bills. The Lync Online service allows organizations to focus IT resources on developing value instead of running IT infrastructure. Microsoft manages the risks and complexity of operational systems.
  • Online Meetings. Lync Online helps people collaborate through voice and video conferencing and simplifies the user experience by incorporating video into the unified client. With Lync Online, users can easily schedule an online meeting with video or seamlessly escalate to video spontaneously. Support is available for a wide variety of video conferencing options, including integration with room-based conferencing systems.

Next to this Microsoft will introduce Voice capabilities. With that organizations will be able to actually call to PSTN phone via Lync. This feature however will not be available upon release.

The Cloud and the IT Pro

“…This bus has already left the station. You can either be under it, or on it…”

Said Acadia CEO on ‘Cloud Computing’ at the opening keynote of IP EXPO 2010.

*******************************

There is now a new playing field, a changing landscape… the Nature of Competition has changed.

The Cloud is an Industry Transformation and is set to revolutionize (or should that be Evolutuion of ) IT as we know it and the business effectiveness of the organisations that adopt it. The Cloud brings new and industry transforming models business models, it brings new opportunities and responsibilities.

The Cloud is nothing more than another way of doing computing – Mainframe, Client/Server, Cloud. The pendulum in IT swings between centralisation and distributed.

I see the Cloud as allowing customers to do business the way they want to do business, CIOs not constrained by the technology or infrastructure.

I have an idea for a blog post around this and Maslows Hierachy of needs, or in my case, Business hierachy of needs, if you are aware of Maslows, you will know, you cant satisy higher layers until all lower level need have been fullfilled, removing any piece from lower layers brings the rest crashing down, held hostage by a bottom infra layer that creaks and groans as more layers and demands need to be fullfilled… What If business needs/ initiatives were at the bottom, not top? what If there was no dependency between all the layers, a complete abstraction between business needs/ initatives, the infra, platform, apps needed to deliver them….Thinking of calling it my what If… or…Upside Down way of thinking concept, but more of that for another day and post.

Back on track…..Like or loathe the term Cloud, and all those BandWagon Jumpers that dont have a Cloud Solution, Just a legacy app they have SaaS’ified or changed their logo / brand to include something blue and fluffy, and call it a cloud solution whether it is or not… its here to stay.

IMO, the Key to IT moving forward is to deliver IT as a service.
What is the role/ mission of IT? …To Enable the Business to function, Buisness Enablement…. The Buisness to Gain competetive advantage through use of technology….. IT to be removed as a Cost Center and become a Strategic Business asset to facilitate this. IT must be adding real value and being able to deliver Agility to the Business.

As one of my fomer bosses used to say to the Engineering and Product Team I was in “I dont want it now… I want it RIGHT NOW!”

Billy Connelly sum’d it up perfectly in his Business Plan Here, and how the business wanted it yesterday, more today and stay alert as it will all need to be changed tomorow

The IT Pro…Domination to Extinction, where will you be.

There are some great topics surrounding this changing role of the IT Pro that I have eluded to in my earlier Blog post From Servers to Services. The Role for the IT Pro in the Cloud and as an IT Pro the looming question regarding the cloud is “What is the future for my role?”

There is an interesting comment on the David Chappel Article in that post that said “…Some of the comments towards the end were the sort of thing that gives Microsoft (usually unfairly) a bad name. I think the conclusion was that if you are an admin then you can look forward to being out of work in the mid to distant future unless you become a devie or manager, and if you don’t like change then get out of IT etc etc.
How about some information on how admins can GET INVOLVED in the cloud revolution rather than this sort of bleak outlook!!!…”

“… think that Cloud gives IT Pros, admins, etc, the opportunity to get involved with more interesting and higher value activities, such as capacity planning and forecasting, health monitoring, QA, etc, rather than the lower level stuff that is needed just to keep systems up and going…”

I would totally agree on that last point, nobody aspires to changing tapes, patching servers and updates, watching little blue bars in out of hours maint windows. At the same time the first point is very true, IT Pros need to look at not necessarily an Exit Strategy, but how they can themselves move up the stack, add value to the CIO/ CTO and the buisness, trusted advisors and Services and Information Architects to the Enterprise.

But with that said, there is almost a gulf often between an Engineer, the Architect and the Business, a sort of Engineers are from Venus and Architects from Mars. I eluded to this in my blog post….The Architect, The Engineer, and a Hot Air Baloon

Whilst the Cloud seems to be a very much C-Level discussion occuring with the business (interesting video from Event that I was in the audience for What in the Cloud is my CIO Thinking), What does it mean for the IT Pro and his everyday Role and what does it translate to, the impact or consequences of the CIOs discussion with vendors about the Cloud and decision made for the buisness to adopt the Cloud, in whole or in hybrid.

Microsoft have outlined some myths and facts in This Article that below is taken from
Below Source: Microsoft Cloud Articles….

“…Cloud computing represents the next revolution in the way that IT services will be delivered to companies large and small. As an IT professional, you must play a key role as your company make this important transition. This is a career-defining opportunity to add real business value through your strategic and tactical understanding of the cloud’s relationship with organisational goals…

…There are many misconceptions surrounding the cloud and what it has to offer. By becoming more knowledgeable, you can help guide others to a better understanding of the next steps to take to enable your organisation to reap the benefits of cloud computing. It can provide much more than savings, creating a foundation for new competitive advantages in your customer and partner relationships…”

Myths

  • Job Security
  • IT Role Changes
  • Job Outlook
  • Data Control
  • Integration
  • Benefactors of the Cloud
  • Cost Saving
  • Cloud Types
  • Private Cloud
  • Getting Started with the Cloud
  • Virtual Machines = Cloud Computing?
  • Security
  • Flexibility


    Read the Full Article of Myths and Facts behind each one of these HERE

  • Ensim Unify – BPOS Syndication Service Manager

    BPOS Syndication Service Manager available.

    Wondering what BPOS Syndication is? …Read my Blog Post here S is for Syndication


    “…If you are a certified Microsoft BPOS Syndicated Reseller, your customers can now have to same Ensim Unify platform and control panel to provision and manage users. In addition, BPOS can run from the same Unify platform as your other Microsoft and non-Microsoft application and aggregated cloud services. This service manager is a great way to signup customers who are looking for the cost advantages offered by Public Cloud platforms, but still want customer service and 3rd party applications only an independent service provider can provide….”