The Large Enterprise and the Cloud

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin is an accomplished Microsoft systems developer and integrator, experienced in developing and deploying SharePoint and CRM solutions, integrating line of business applications, and leveraging existing infrastructure investments.

Recently, I was privileged to begin working on a project where a feasibility assessment was being conducted much like similar studies taking place in Enterprises all over the world these days. “Shall we go to go to the cloud or to not go to the cloud; more precisely, to go Exchange 2010 on premises or the venerable Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) from MSFT, as upgradable to Office 365 (O365)?” It is telling that it took so long for many companies to even consider “cloud” as infrastructure, but these days, most companies worth their salt are either:

  1. Actively leading with “cloud first/why not cloud?”; or,
  2. Dipping their toes in the water and trying out the services to see what all the fuss is about.

It’s no mistake that O365, or even other similar cloud solutions are very attractive to the small business, between 1 and 100 employees. As a general rule of thumb, this also holds true for Read more of this post

What to Expect from Microsoft & BPOS

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin is an accomplished Microsoft systems developer and integrator, experienced in developing and deploying SharePoint and CRM solutions, integrating line of business applications, and leveraging existing infrastructure investments.

The previous several days have been quite busy in the cloud collaboration front, in part because the General Services Administration is shopping for a new email system.  The GSA, as detailed by MJF in today’s article, can be thought of as a key test bed for what the rest of the federal government (and therefore state and local governments) will do in the collab space when evaluating the cloud.  Part of the requirements for their search is FISMA compliance, which yesterday was announced proudly by Google that they had.  This is a good thing indeed, because it now means that the space is going to heat up some more.  On the Microsoft side, FISMA is something they are working to get – which when piled in with the other certifications that MS is tossing around, make for a VERY secure environment.

If you are in a regulated industry, there is no question these certifications are important.  In fact, when I’m doing calls of late, the MS certifications are the first thing out of my mouth because NOTHING ELSE matters if a company doesn’t have these.  MS is very proud of these and should be screaming them from the rafters.  The media darling Google is getting props for their entry into this space, but make no mistake, this is a reactionary improvement to their standard practice and prospective clients should remember that.  They should also remember that Google is not in the business of collaboration – it isn’t their first (search) and arguably not their second (advertising) business objective.  Additionally, it is NOT a reasonable or even fair comparison to equate the offering Google has to Microsoft’s offering – but we do it anyway.

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Biggest US cloud deployment – BPOS :)

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin is an accomplished Microsoft systems developer and integrator, experienced in developing and deploying SharePoint and CRM solutions, integrating line of business applications, and leveraging existing infrastructure investments.

Was reading this article about the largest BPOS (Live@Edu) rollout.  Then realized it was the largest Cloud Deployment in the country.  Then realized they migrated HALF A MILLION mailboxes from on prem 2003 Exchange to Exchange 2010 in the cloud IN A WEEKEND.

Security? Reliability? Scalability?   ….. Check

Biggest US cloud deployment kills Google Apps for Education | ZDNet.

If you want to talk cloud sometime, I’ve got some great stories to tell.  Why on earth would any SMB or MidMarket business invest another dime in on prem with BPOS and Azure scaling like this?

Compliance? Covered…ISO, ITAR, SAS70, FERPA, FIPS, TIC, BLURP (I made that one up), FISMA, HIPPA – check (or just about there).  See MS Press release here on the details of where they are headed…Google doing this?  Nope.  Gotta have your data in the US of A and know right where it is and who has access to it?  Got that too.

BPOS for Governments

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin is an accomplished Microsoft systems developer and integrator, experienced in developing and deploying SharePoint and CRM solutions, integrating line of business applications, and leveraging existing infrastructure investments.

One of the biggest concerns that governments and even some specific industries have with cloud based services is the absence of control.  Physical controls to your data is critical for lots of these guys and the hesitation isn’t unwarranted.  A recent spat of news relating to compromised data (including a bad one with Twitter and Google’s services) is enough to give anyone pause.  Microsoft lost out on a pretty major deal with a California city recently to Google because Google promised them a locked down version of Google Apps for Enterprises.  The problem with the path that Google took to win that customer is that they made an exception to their standard protocols and basically stood up a private cloud for the city (from what I understand).  One of Microsoft’s strengths, however, has been with their willingness to back up their data centers with real dollars for downtime as well as going the extra mile to get some of those compliance ratings.

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