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

OCS Ethical Walls

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.

I do a lot of work with OCS 2007 and its R2 friend.  One of the challenges that I’ve come in contact with is the prevention of certain users from contacting other users (perhaps those higher up the food chain).  Contrary to some beliefs, not everyone should be able to just IM the CEO of a Fortune 100 company!  There was a great posting today that came across my Google Reader about ethical walls for school districts which can be found here from the UC Amigos.  Check it out, download the sample API tool and let me know if you have success!

The cousin of OCS, Exchange, just recently went 2010 flavor as I am sure you already know.  Ethical walls were introduced in EX 07 and have been GREATLY enhanced in 2010.  These walls can be set up for a variety of reasons, regulatory coming to mind quickly.  One good example of combining these EX walls with OCS walls gets into using your AD containers and OUs to match up with the walls you need to define.  That assumes, of course, that your AD is laid out well…another several blog posts later :)

OCS Auditing Made (Slightly) Easier

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.

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is an unbelievable product.  There is literally nothing I don’t love about it.  Okay, maybe there are a few things – like redundancy, clustering, ease of installation, number of systems required – okay maybe there are more than a few things…BUT, overall – what a great product!  Software based phone systems are the wave of the future and I’ll be devoting an entire series of posts in the near future about OCS07R2 and how it can be used right now for SMBs and big boy enterprises alike.

One particular challenge of the OCS stack is auditing.  It is built in and works fantastically well.  You even have the opportunity to bring the entire OCS stack down if auditing fails – which is very important thing in a highly regulated environment.  Earlier today (like ten minutes ago) I talked about OCS Ethical Firewalls.  The enforcement of those firewalls is crucial to the success of many deployments, but you can’t prove out the system without auditing.  So there it all sits – every IM conversation (and more) you ever wanted, but the only way to get that data out was to A) query the db by hand (ewe) or B) use the Resource Kit which, if I may say, is … thick to say the least.

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