Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Adobe that will help to strengthen their brands and deepen customer engagement through integrated solutions with Microsoft Azure, Adobe Marketing Cloud & Microsoft Dynamics 365. Read More
On stage Tuesday at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, Facebook Chief Information Officer Tim Campos announced that the social network chose to buy Microsoft Office 365 for its employees because “Microsoft got cool again.”
Nonprofits are moving to Office 365 in droves, and for good reason.
However, in those implementations there are a lot of moving parts, and different things that can go wrong.
Office 365’s service to the nonprofit sector is well documented. One reservation many organizations have with making the switch is how difficult the migration process could potentially be .
It’s imperative that your nonprofit has a firm understanding of what’s going to be required to ensure your nonprofit makes the transition a clean one. The truth is, the migration process does not need to be difficult, time consuming, or expensive. If your nonprofit has properly prepared, it can be a breeze making the switch.
One of the biggest steps to pulling off a successful implementation is migrating users off of your existing mail system and into the new Office 365 cloud environment. Here are the three steps to successfully moving users to Office 365.
1. Choose your identity
Azure Active Directory (AAD) is used as Office 365’s directory services back end. Within that directory, you’ll have a few different options to choose from when selecting your identity models.
• Cloud identities: Often considered the easies model to deploy, this option is maintained independently from an on-premise directory. The issue that’s often run into is that two accounts are needed for one user as it requires an account in the cloud, and in the on-premise server.
• Synchronized identities: This option acts as a link between on-premises domains and AAD using the AAD Synchronization Services.
• Federated identities: Very similar to identities built using AAD Synchronization Services, the only difference is passwords and hashes are never synchronized to the cloud.
2. Import users
By using the sample CSV as a template, build a list of all your users and import it using the bulk import feature. NOTE: Ensure you change the order of the columns in the template. The User Name filed must contain the users email address or else you will get an error while importing.
3. Sync up the accounts
By using the AAD Sync tool, sync your on-premise user accounts to the cloud.
Here’s a great step-by-step guide for setting up the new AAD Sync Tool. http://blogs.technet.com/b/canitpro/archive/2014/09/30/step-by-step-setting-up-the-new-aad-sync.aspx
As of last Tuesday, Microsoft Citizenship is donating Office 365 to eligible nonprofits in 41 countries! Here are some some nonprofits already using Office 365 to make a difference, by spending less time and money on technology maintenance and more time on their foundation's mission.
First, if you have not been exposed to Microsoft’s Office 365 product or to their SharePoint solution, let me take just a moment to provide some background. Office 365 is a relatively new offering from Microsoft. They have taken the most widely used office and collaboration tools and placed them in the cloud. This includes email, shared calendaring, the Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote), file sharing, and web conferencing. All of these applications are hosted with no servers on your site. Some of the plans that you can choose also include SharePoint. SharePoint is a powerful alternative to traditional shared folders. It also includes collaboration and project management tools to help your organization work efficiently, effectively, and remotely.
Now that you have some background, let’s get geeky for a minute. Most of the smaller nonprofits we work with have an average of 80 gigabytes of data in shared folders. These shared folders are typically hosted on a server in their office along side email and shared calendars (Exchange). We have been advocating for nonprofits to move to Office 365 for email and shared calendars but have been somewhat hesitant about moving their shared files to SharePoint. SharePoint has been too expensive for most organizations to use as a primary shared file solution.
Email, on the other hand, has been inexpensive -- for a couple of dollars a month per mailbox, a small nonprofit will never have to worry about their email again. That is a pretty powerful statement. We run our nonprofit on Office 365 and I sleep better at night knowing our server will not crash, we are backed up, and we have access from anywhere at any time from any device. On the other hand, SharePoint storage was prohibitively expensive. At $2.50 a month most of our nonprofits would need to pay $200 per month to replace their file server.
That just changed. Microsoft dropped the price on SharePoint storage to $.20 per gigabyte. To say that is significant would be an understatement. Now that same shared folder costs about $16 a month to manage on SharePoint. Just like email, it is a better platform than most nonprofits would ever be able to afford with a server onsite.
This technology is disruptive. It changes everything – for the better. It means that small nonprofits should not invest in servers for email and share folders. Servers cost thousands of dollars to purchase, install, and maintain. For most nonprofits their server is also the basis for a single point of failure model. Because Microsoft deeply discounts their Office 365 services to nonprofits, the value proposition is too powerful to ignore. For a few dollars a month a nonprofit can host their email in Microsoft data centers and take the worry and cost of maintenance and crashes off the table. Before upgrading your server or upgrading your Exchange software, take a look at Microsoft Office 365. Once of the services we offer at npCloud are migrated to Office 365. We hope you consider us when making the move, but at the very least consider the technology.