|Over 18,000 Global Readers and Growing! October 4, 2011 - Issue 2-8 CloudSpeak|
Whew – my head is just coming out of the clouds! We have just successfully completed the 9th annual SMB Nation Fall conference and have flown above the clouds to return home. The cloud speeches from Earle Humphries, Robert Crane, Tom Poole, yours truly and many others were surprisingly well-attended, contentious and lively.
This issue continues my Office 365 journey. We configure the domain settings and add users. This is an ongoing series – more next month!A quick shout out to our event photographer Jeremiah Ilges (SMB Photo) who went sky diving yesterday after the event to de-stress. Seen below, he takes cloud computing to another level!
PS - Save the date for MVP Nation March 2-3, 2012 at Microsoft Redmond! It’s not for wimps!
Also, be sure to check out this week's webinar: : Frederick Lamont Norman and I speaking.
Part II: My Office 365 E3 Journey Continues…
Having successfully completed the steps necessary to be a Cloud Essentials partner, I was ready to acquire my 250 licenses to Office 365 E3 (a super robust offer – learn more about Office 365 here [http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/enterprise-solutions/enterprise-plans.aspx#fbid=VPESfOMr0Ae]). Basically Office 365 E3 contains everything but the on-premises enterprise capabilities of Lync Server on-premises. It's certainly enough to meet our demanding needs at SMB Nation and CloudNation.
In trying to acquire my Office 365 E3 licenses, I hit a snag. During the Office 365 E3 beta period over the summer of 2011, I signed up with a "fake account" just to check it out. Unfortunately, I used my real organization name (SMB Nation) and Microsoft believed my "beta behavior" to be true. When I tried to link "SMB Nation" organization name to my real Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) account, I received an error message. Microsoft correctly believed that the first rights to SMB Nation from the beta period trumped my attempt to re-register it to my MPN account. Essentially I had unknowingly created a CF (Cluster F). So I called the Cloud Essentials support line and explained my situation. The nature of my problem concerning the organization name was multi-dimensional in effect crossing partner and product teams (that's silo hopping at Microsoft Redmond!). My compliments that the competent Cloud Essentials support technician looped in his peer on the Office 365 team and magic happened. Shortly thereafter I received the coveted "Get started with Microsoft Office 365" e-mail (shown Figure #1 below)
Figure #1: Your Cloud Essentials Office 365 E3 licenses are a one-year trial, subject to program requirements. I suggest you read carefully as there is a minimum amount of licenses you must sell within a year.
The Office 365 implementation procedure is as follows. Note that the step zero was to have everyone export their existing Microsoft Exchange Outlook PST file to a backup drive. YES – our implementation of Office 365 E3 was also a MIGRATION!
Step #0. Work with each user to export his/her existing e-mail store to backup.pst from within Microsoft Outlook. This worked very well with the ladies who LISTENED and worked poorly with the men whou wouldn't read or listen to me!
Step #1. I logged on to the Office 365 site as per the sign in link as per Figure 1 above.
Step #2: I went out of order and added the domain smbnation.com to the Office 365 solution. This is accomplished by clicking Domains under the Management category in the left column (see Figure #2).
Figure #2: Adding a domain, while the third step under Management, was really my first step.
Step #3: On the Domains page, click Add a domain. You will be presented with four steps on the Add a domain page: Specify domain, Verify domain, Specify services, Finish.
Step #4. Select Specify domain. In my case initially is was smbnation.com. For this blog, I am showing the steps for cloudnation.co. Click Check domain. You will receive a domain confirmation similar to Figure #3.
Figure #3: Office 365 performs a validation test before continuing.
Step #5: Verify domain. You will add a TXT record to your DNS record as per the steps show in Figure #4. However, I suggest you click the Verify a domain at any domain registrar link. This will allow you to follow a step-by-step procedure specific to your domain registrar (in my case with SMB Nation, this was Network Solutions).
Figure #4: The generic instructors to add a TXT record with verification settings for your domain record.
Step #6: Logon to your domain registrar (in my case, Blue Host for cloudnation.co) and make the changes in Step #5 above. Kindly note that the TTL for one hour is 3600 seconds and that is the entry you make for Network Solutions (not "1" for one hour as show in step 5 in Figure #4). At Blue Host, the setting was 14400 (four hours) because that was the minimum you could set. This is seen in Figure #5.
Figure #5: The third entry down relates to Office 365.
Step #7: Click the Verify button on the Verify domain page back at Office 365.
Step #8: The Specify domain services page appears. Exchange Online and Lync Online are selected by default. I'll return another time to implement SharePoint Online. Click Next.
Step 9: You are at the "Finish" stage as seen in Figure #6. Cloudnation.co has been added to the SMB Nation account and it's now time to configure the domain. Click the Configure DNS records button.
Figure #6: Success! Now configure the DNS records.
Step #10: Click Next on the configure domain records page.
Step #11: Observe the information on the DNS records page you will add for your domain (see Figure #7). Logon to your domain registrar and complete these procedures.
Figure #7: These are very important settings to correctly make in your DNS records to properly use Office 365 for Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online.
Step #12: Click Next on the DNS records page after the above configurations are complete.
Step #13: Click Finish on the Finish page.
You have now completed the domain-related configurations for Office 365 E3.In my next submission, you will add the users. I will use the bulk add capability.
Need to Complete your “Technology Pie”? Piece of Cake!
Why a Cloud-Based Managed Print Offering Makes Sense for Your Business
By Tim Brien, Director of Managed Print Services for OKI Data Americas
Not all IT Service Providers deliver complete end-to-end technology support and services. Like many within this space, you may believe that outsourcing those incremental services is too costly, too time consuming, and will not generate sufficient profitability for your business. This couldn't be further from the truth, as the addition of Managed Print Services (MPS) can easily extend your penetration within existing accounts, increase customer satisfaction and retention, create new opportunities to develop recurring revenue streams, and help mitigate the risk of competition through the sale of long-term contracts.
What is Managed Print Services?
MPS is the active management and optimization of document output devices and related business processes. For Managed Service Providers and Managed Print Providers alike, MPS is the piece of the “technology pie” that you have traditionally lacked in terms of the provision of services. However, the opportunities within the provision of MPS are substantial.
Inclusion of a MPS solution will allow you to boost revenues by 20% or more while driving profit mark-up of 50% or more without any added effort, costs or infrastructure. And the growth potential is remarkable – in 2010, global MPS revenues exceeded $31.5 billion; by 2014, that number is projected to reach more than $68 billion, with 54% of MPS revenue generated by small- to medium-sized businesses.
Where do I begin?
There are a number of MPS offerings in today’s marketplace from which to choose. Finding one that fits your organization’s specific and emerging needs is key to your success as an MPS provider in both the short- and long-term. If you’re providing only one piece of the technology pie to your customers, not only are you leaving money on the table but you are doing your customers a tremendous disservice. Learn how to complete your technology pie; visit http://www.okidata.com/tmp or email me at email@example.com.
Microsoft intros new Office 365 ad campaign
Companies of all sizes, around the world, are rapidly adopting Microsoft Office 365 to dramatically change the way they collaborate and do business. Microsoft Office 365 delivers the industry's most recognized set of productivity and collaboration tools—Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync—in a cloud-based subscription service. People can videoconference, chat, share documents, socially network, and simultaneously edit documents from any location using a single, comprehensive suite, with the security and reliability businesses expect from Microsoft. It all works together.
Datto’s SIRIS Sets the New Standard for BDRs in the Channel. Accept Nothing Less.
Datto recently released the third generation of Datto’s hybrid cloud business continuity solution, SIRIS, and the feedback from the channel has been overwhelmingly positive. Datto chose to strengthen its current relationship with StorageCraft by commissioning them to create a custom backup engine for SIRIS that could be easily implemented into existing devices and also used moving forward. The new backup engine is more robust and allows Datto to offer partners many features that were not available with the previous version of SIRIS at the same price. By paring StorageCraft’s reputation for legendary reliability with Datto’s instant virtualization and inverse chain technology, Datto and StorageCraft have created a product that is difficult to rival.
Datto’s SIRIS is a true business continuity solution that is rapidly gaining momentum in the channel. SIRIS dramatically simplifies and streamlines the BDR process by eliminating the traditional backup chain and converts data straight to .vmdk files. SIRIS has earned 'Best New Product' recognition at both ASCII Chicago and ASCII Boston this year, as well as 'Best Service Provider Solution' at ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin, TX.
SIRIS is still the ONLY BDR solution to offer:
- Inverse Chain Technology
- Instant On-Site Virtualization
- Instant Off-site Virtualization
- Screenshot Verification of Backups
- Complete Management through a Remote Web Interface
SIRIS now offers other great features such as:
- 2TB+ Volume Support
- Software RAID Support
- USB & Network BMR
- GPT Partition Support
- Windows 2000 Support
- Integrated Lights Out Management
To find out more about SIRIS and request a live technical demo visit: www.dattobackup.com/siris3
To contact the Datto sales department or to become a Datto partner call 203-665-6423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Part III: My Office 365 Journey Continues - Bulk Add Users
In this article, we will add users to the Office 365 environment. This will be done for the cloudnation.co domain. This is a standard procedure adding names, e-mail address but with a twist. I will use the bulk add capability.
Figure #1 – the Users page.
3. On the Select a CSV file page, click Download a blank CSV file link. You will have a template to add your users such as I did in Figure #2. Save the CSV template as a file.
Figure #2 - Meet the Cloud nation users!
Figure #3 – All 16 users passed the verification step.
6. On the Settings page, select Allowed for the Set sign-in status and set the user location as appropriate (for Cloud Nation, the location is the United States). See Figure #4. Click Next.
Figure #4 Complete the Settings page.
7. Select the Microsoft Office 365 Plan E3 checkbox on the Assign Licenses page. That’s what I did for cloud Nation. See Figure #5. Click Next.
Figure #5 – This is a generous allocation of product licenses when you are a cloud Essentials partner.
Figure #6 – Cloud Nation users have been created in Office 365. I can’t show you the passwords in this figure. Sorry.
Why Do You Need to Partner with Cisco, Today?
Teaming with Cisco can be a profitable proposition. Here are the top five reasons to become a Cisco Registered Partner and benefits from the Cisco Small Business Advantage:
• Products: We have the broadest portfolio of solutions to help you meet your customers' needs.
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• Support: Get the help you need to sell, deliver, and support Cisco solutions with pre- and post-sales support and customized tools like SMART Designs.
• Marketing: Use co-branded materials to help drive sales; having ready access to free customizable marketing materials can help put more money in your pocket.
• Financing: We have EasyLease options for those who qualify. EasyLease may help you overcome customer budget objections and help eligible customers acquire technology solutions based on business needs.
It's easy to join. No training courses, exams, or additional costs required. Visit HERE.
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