Monthly Archive January 2019

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Why Businesses Prefer SharePoint Hybrid Environment?

One question I hear a lot, why do we even want to go hybrid?

Many companies have already migrated their exchange server and Skype for Business and Office 365 without keeping the on-premises equivalent. The reason is that the SharePoint server is not equal to SharePoint Online regarding functionality and flexibility. There are some differences in Exchange and Skype for Business that could stop a company from migrating. However, most companies nevercustomize, and most business users don’t even care what exchange is, they use Outlook.

So, moving services such as Microsoft Exchange and Skype for Business to the cloud doesn’t have as much of the impact on business users as compared to moving the SharePoint. When we compare SharePoint Server 2016 with SharePoint online, there are many differences in UI, capabilities are different, and some customisations within SharePoint on-premises cannot be migrated to SharePoint Online. But, then why not stay on-premises or go entirely to the cloud?

Let’s discuss the advantages of each platform. Let’s start with SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Online Advantages

As you know Microsoft vision is to go mobile first Cloud first and I’m sure you heard that a ton of times in the past years, Mobile first Cloud first. As Microsoft pushes updates to SharePoint Online every two weeks. It also pushes cloud only updates, for example, Delve, Office 365 Video and Office 365 groups.  These are the few examples that are only available in SharePoint online for now.

Furthermore, another significant advantage of SharePoint Online is that by default it is assessable all over the globe. You can achieve that with premises as well. However, you will need to invest in the security, the infrastructure to make it secure.

Talking about SharePoint on-premises, there are various good reasons to stay on-premises.  Few of them are listed below.

SharePoint On-premises Advantages

The first favourite reason is that on-premise allows you to customise the SharePoint to answer your specific business need. Being able to quickly develop and create custom branding and solutions on your SharePoint is the reason why it enjoyed great success since SharePoint Online doesn’t allow developers to deploy full trust code, also known as farm solutions. Also, it doesn’t give all the SharePoint out of the box tools such as timer jobs. So, it’s limited in terms of what you can do to customise your SharePoint. 

The second reason, the people want to stay on SharePoint premises is having control of data for political or legal purposes. Some companies need to keep their data in their data centre or within their geographical boundaries.

The third reason is that even with the greatest and latest updates in SharePoint Online, the on-premises version still has some features that SharePoint Online doesn’t. For example, all the BI stack like Scorecards, Dashboards, Reporting Services, PerformancePoint. Also, on the other side, you are missing features such as customer entity extraction.

You cannot create a public site in SharePoint Online. You cannot have an Internet site on SharePoint online. Other service applications missing are the word automation services, PowerPoint automation services. So if any of those enterprises got SharePoint and they’re relying on those service applications and those features for their business needs they’re never going to move to SharePoint Online and will stay on-premises to answers the business needs.

There are many limits you cannot get around in SharePoint Online. The 5000 list item threshold for SharePoint on-premises is a recommended limit, but SharePoint admins can change it anytime they want. However, it’s a hard limit on SharePoint Online, and the admins cannot change it. 

There is no public crawl schedule in SharePoint Online. So, if you have a search-based Internet or a search-based site, it can either take minutes or up to six hours before your content gets crawled. If you rely on user profile audiences to show your data, they usually compile every night and SharePoint on-premises, and you can even do it manually or can change the schedules to fit the business needs. However, with SharePoint Online it’s only done once per week (Saturday run only). So, if you add a user to an audience on Monday, they will need to wait one full week to see the expected results.

Last but not least, another difference between SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online is that on SharePoint Online you do not have control over the release cycle and the objects. Let me give you a realistic example that happened recently. The new document library experience, first released customers got a new document library experience, and many custom solutions broke because users were able to activate it themselves.

Conclusion

You need to use the best of SharePoint Server on-premises and SharePoint Online and decide where each workload goes depending on your business needs. By enabling a hybrid SharePoint deployment, you get the benefits of both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online to address your business needs, and you get the best of both world.

AvatarByRashid Aziz

Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Advanced Features Explained

Let me discuss the advance features available in the Microsoft 365 enterprise plan, the Big Brother version of 365. There are two versions in 365 enterprise one called E3 and one called E5. Essentially what you’re getting over and above Microsoft 365 business are enhanced security features. First, let’s discuss what windows phone system provides for the business and then I will jump to explain the enhanced security features within Microsoft 365 enterprise E5 plan.

Windows Phone System

You might think with previous versions you’ve got Skype for business, and you can call everybody. Well, that is true but, the problem is you can’t call landlines you can’t call premium numbers. We’ve replaced our client telephone system recently. What we did was implemented landline type numbers for every employee at the client site. Even though they were accessing it through their headsets which were all wireless attached to Skype for Business. It gives call queues and calls forwarding features to each employee. It allows users to record messages come in through to the phones. So, it’s a proper telephone system.

With the E5 version what you need to do with a Windows phone system is add a call plan. Each user gets 12 hundred minutes allocated to their telephone system. That is then groups by the business. So, you get a whole pool worth of minutes for the company.

Enhanced security within Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5

It is one of the strongest parts of E5 plan. It’s fantastic for General Data Protection Regulation policies and security attached to that. So, let’s start with Windows Defender.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

Now the regular 365 Business contains this, but it doesn’t have the advanced elements. Windows Defender is primarily the advanced antivirus malware screening on all of the desktops. However, what the advanced element does is, it starts to look for malware that’s hit all the desktops and laptops that seems weird something strange going on and then it reports it in a dashboard in the office 365 portal. Office 365 advanced threat protection

If emails come through with attachments or certain nefarious links, they’ll send you the email first. But then it will scan the documents before it gets downloaded into the email that you’ve just received and it will also screen out any bad links or malicious links that it sees so you won’t get any of those.

Azure Active Directory Plan2

It enables you to do is connect to your Active Azure directory, but it also does some risk assessment for the administrators. It creates a dashboard for them. It enables them to have a look at what users are connecting to. With a single sign-on capability are they connected to certain types of applications that are not the company applications? So, it’s a better reporting mechanism for connection of users to Azure active directory. It’s excellent for the administrators. 

What it also gives you is the multi-factor authentication. This is great if you’re getting spam and it’s sending you to spoofed Web sites. It won’t allow that malware to get to your passwords because your multi-factor authenticating.

Azure Information Protection Plan2

One can create policies in their business that perhaps around things like credit card numbers or personally identifiable information and it will stop any of those from leaking out of the organisation without encrypting them. If something got out of the organisation, you could apply policies that automatically encrypt those pieces of information.

Microsoft Cloud App Security

What this enables you to do is to monitor the single sign-on from all of the users making sure that there’s nothing nefarious going on. Again, great for administrators.

Advanced E-Discovery

The Advanced E-Discovery feature is a critical tool for GDP. So, what it enables you to do is search all of your data but sub-search that data on separate sets of criteria and data that have different meta tags.

Customer Lockbox

Let’s assume that Microsoft is working on a case with you. They don’t automatically get access to your office 365 tenants. With lockbox what it enables you to do is to segregate a particular area that you’re working on maybe a specific set of users may be one particular area in SharePoint and you can allocate Microsoft to that so they can start to work on the case with you in that specific area of your tenants.

Advanced Data Governance

It’s all about data loss prevention. You can apply company policies to certain documents to certain types of information that will stop it from leaking out of your environment.

Power BI Pro & My Analytics

Power BI pro gives you enhanced reporting, slicing and dicing or presented through a web browser. My Analytics is like Delve, but it gives you analytics on all of the data using within your tenants.

So hopefully, that gave you a good rundown of what Microsoft 365 enterprises over and above Microsoft 365 business.

KeaPoint is a SharePoint & Office 365 consultancy based in the UK, dedicated to empowering users through smart solutions. Our experience and skill set continue to expand in many areas. We develop solutions according to the best business practices in the industry.

If your organisation needs assistance with SharePoint & Office 365 and would like to see how KeaPoint can help, please get in touch.