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Entries for September 2010

by host

As I mentioned in my previous post, the mission of my team is to make sure that BPOS customers have a great experience with our services. Since writing my first post for this Team Blog, I have talked with a number of customers and followed your comments closely. One theme that has carried through – both in past and more recent conversations – is the desire of our customers to have more detailed information about the status of their services. 

 

Today, we’re taking a step forward in delivering more timely, accurate and targeted information about BPOS service status by introducing the Microsoft Online Service Health Dashboard.  It is designed to provide a greater level of information regarding the status of all services and tools, and it includes information about current service status as well a 35-day status history.

 

Accessing the Service Health Dashboard

There are separate Service Health Dashboard for each of our three data center regions: Americas, serving customers in North America and Latin America (NOAM); Europe, the Middle-East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific (APAC).

 

Administrators can navigate to their regional Service Health Dashboard using one of the following URLs; administrators then use their normal BPOS credentials to access the Dashboard:

 

Datacenter Location

Service Health Dashboard URL

Americas (NOAM)

https://health.noam.microsoftonline.com/

Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

https://health.emea.microsoftonline.com/

Asia-Pacific (APAC)

https://health.apac.microsoftonline.com/

 

Using the Service Health Dashboard

Upon logging into the Service Health Dashboard, administrators are presented with the status of the current day and week for all BPOS services.  The status for each service or tool represented in the Service Health Dashboard is represented by one of four icons, each representing a different level of service availability:

 

Current day status displays the status as of the last login or page refresh. The historical status displays the greatest level of service degradation for the given day. The Additional Information, Performance Degradation, and Service Interruption icons are clickable, providing drilldown information about service status the given service and day. Clicking the Previous Week link allows administrators can navigate to historical service status for preceding weeks.

 

With all improvements to BPOS, we’re trying to increase our timeliness, accuracy and granularity of information.  I encourage every administrator to poke through the site and provide us with feedback regarding usage and improvements.  We hope the service health dashboard gives you confidence that we take information regarding status very seriously, and that you can stay ahead of questions from your own internal customers and users. 

 

As always, if you are experiencing service issues or have questions about the Service Health Dashboard, we encourage customers to contact us. Our customer support is available, 24 hours a day, by telephone or via Service Requests submitted from the Microsoft Online Services Administration Center.

 

by host

Great news today as the State of Minnesota moves to the cloud with BPOS. Today, the state issued a press release announcing  this “groundbreaking enterprise-wide service agreement.” Read more about this “historic cloud computing agreement” on the Bright Side of Government blog and learn how “the move makes Minnesota the first U.S. state to move to a large collaboration and communication suite in a private cloud environment.”

The state chose BPOS to save money, expand capabilities, and improve operational efficiency for as many as 33,000 state users. The new BPOS services will:

  • Allow seamless migration from existing IT resources, because BPOS leverages familiar technologies.
  • Require little retraining of state employees, limiting service disruption, because BPOS already works with Office.
  • Enhance security for sensitive state data because BPOS is built from the ground up for security and privacy.
  • Extend enterprise-class services with advanced functionality because BPOS is based on the most popular productivity platform in the world.
  • Contribute to significant cost savings by working within existing partner agreements because BPOS has the most expansive and best trained partner ecosystem for the cloud.

Welcome to the cloud Minnesota!

by host

This week in BPOS news is a recurring segment on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog that covers news from all sectors of Cloud Computing and the Microsoft Online Services business suite known as the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). You can read all past This Week in BPOS News segments here.

This week in BPOS news we cover two stories that include a tale about a town named Buda and its new affiliation with a product named BPOS, and a new partner perk.

1. City of Buda, TX.

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Have you been to Buda, TX? Buda is located near the capital of Texas, Austin, and is becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the state. Microsoft conducted a case study about the city of Buda tapping into Microsoft’s BPOS Suite for email and collaboration software. Buda’s City staff, including the bimonthly City Council, needed a way to manage emails and agenda items. An Email system for any city’s government can include thousands of emails with large files, meeting requests, and other items which result in a daunting task for whoever maintains the email system. The city was seeing productivity losses surrounding their previous email solution and knew that they needed to upgrade their collaboration capabilities. The solution lied in the hands of Microsoft Online Services.

“After the City of Buda went through an extensive evaluation process to replace an existing e-mail system -- which included looking at Google and other cloud providers -- staff decided to go with Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS),” says Rishi Khanna, President and CEO of ISHIR, the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner who worked with the City of Buda to deploy the solution.

Soon after migration, the city of Buda already started seeing an increase in productivity with the BPOS Suite. “I’m really pleased because right off the bat, people were saying how much better their performance was, how much easier it was to get reports and to get connected with their colleagues,” Ruiz says.

You can read more about Buda, TX and their experience migrating to BPOS with the Microsoft case study which dives into the situation, solution and benefits of Buda choosing Microsoft Online Services over the competition.

2. Microsoft doubling BPOS initial margins for top US partners

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Microsoft is working hard to make partners happy. One perk that partners are going to see is the new Cloud Champions Club. “The US Cloud Champions Club offers resources, funding and training to SMB-partners that have made a commitment to the cloud.” I recommend reading more about the new cloud champions club if you haven’t already. Our first piece of BPOS news this week comes from the Redmond Channel Partner website. There, they discuss the new cloud champions club as well as news about the initial margin for partners.

Microsoft is preparing to roll out a new cloud computing engagement model for U.S. partners that will double the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) finders' fee for top-selling partners from 12 percent to 24 percent.

If you are interested in these new exciting opportunities make sure to read more about the BPOS Margins for partners and attend the Cloud Champions Club webcast October 1st.

What are your thoughts about the stories we shared with you this week? Did you see a story you want to share with us? Let us know what other topics you’d like to see. You can comment on this blog post or send an email to our community mailbox. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

by host

What is MOSBAC? It stands for the Microsoft Online Services BlackBerry Administration Center. MOSBAC is an extension to the existing Microsoft Online Services Administration Center that focuses on controlling BlackBerry licensees for your BPOS users. With MOSBAC you can fulfill the following scenarios:

  • Provisioning and removing BlackBerry access for new or existing BPOS users.
  • Assigning BlackBerry IT policies to Hosted BlackBerry users.
  • Initiating remote wipes of BlackBerry devices.
  • Resetting Enterprise Activation Passwords for devices.

This video shows you how to access MOSBAC and complete common tasks. Two scenarios that are explored in this video are provisioning new users and initiating device wipes. This support video is a great resource for users that may not be familiar with MOSBAC and want to learn more about how to troubleshoot MOSBAC.

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Learn more about Microsoft Online Services with our other support and how to blog posts.

What support videos would you like to see? We want to hear from you in the comments section below or send an email to our community mailbox. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

by Brett

Interview with Chas Mosman - MessageOps

Microsoft posted another one of my entries for their blog today. This one is a very interesting interview with Chad Mosman, CEP and Founder of Messageops.

Hear the conversation at : http://blogs.technet.com/b/msonline/archive/2010/09/20/an-interesting-interview-with-chad-mosman-of-messageops.aspx

Message Ops is a very active Microsoft Online Services Partner that focuses exclusively on the Business Productivity Online Suite also known as BPOS. The MessageOps company website features detailed technical guidance as well as ready to use scripts. You can find a link to their blog and other essential Microsoft Online Services blogs under “Blogroll” on the right side of this post.

Chad Mosman and his team at MessageOps has built some useful tools that accentuates the productivity of the BPOS services. Brett Hill of Advaiya Inc. chatted with Chad Mosman, CEO and Founder of Message Ops, and recorded the conversation below in which they discuss what it’s like to be a partner dedicated to Microsoft Online Services. 

 

Brett Hill

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