Thursday, August 17, 2017
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Partners and Tools

 

by Brett

I was interviewed for this article in Channel pro Magazine. For some reason, they wanted me to be on the cover!

"Cloud offerings are now part of just about any channel partner’s bag of tricks, and for good reason. Cloud reduces up-front costs for customers, shifting the burden of maintaining the IT infrastructure to the cloud provider. For Microsoft partners, Office 365 is the cloud.

In the two-plus years since the debut of Office 365, channel partners that got in at the beginning have learned a lot about how to sell the cloud-based suite to small and midsize businesses. So without further ado, here are their 15 top tips: "

http://www.channelprosmb.com/article/office_365_master_class

Soultion Alignment and Tecnical Briefing Decks Released to Partners

by Brett

When Microsoft works with a large company, they go through a structured engagement. The engagement model and the materials they use are not generally available outside of Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft released two key parts of this process, the Solution Alignment Workshop and the Technical Briefing. The release is limited to Office 365 Partners.

The Technical Briefing occurs very early in the engagment. This is not a deep dive, but rather, is intended to identify issues that could be problems if they surfaced later. 

There are 8 Technical Briefing decks that cover
1. Agenda
2. Cloud Principles (one of the most important decks, actually)
3. Identity and Dirsynch
4. Exchange Online
5. Lync Online
6. SharePoint Online
7. Office Professional Plus
8. Deployment and Closing

Later in the process, another workshop is presented called the Solution Alignment Workshop (SAW). This two day workshop uses a single 109 slide deck and is a more detailed presentation intended to identify and perhaps resolve specific issues related to Office 365 for the company. Are all the SMTP gateways identified? Is the customer clear on security policy? Do they know that DAV is unavailable? Are they OK that Outlook Web App cannot be customized?

These decks, used extensively by Microsoft, have not been available outside of Microsoft until very recently.  Partners that sell Office 365 can now download the decks at Quickstartonlineservices.com.

The decks include some detailed "maps" about the onboarding process for larger companies, complete presentations on Office 365 security, and many other useful details. Partners will want to scrub some of the details to present your own services as more face forward than Microsoft's, but IMO, these are very important resources that all partners should at reference and potentially use. At the very least, it's a great education about the services.
 

https://www.quickstartonlineservices.com/Partners/LibraryDocuments/O365%20Technical%20Briefings%20and%20Solution%20Alignment%20Workshop.zip

Office 365 Tech Center Online

by Brett

Microsoft has created a new tech center for Office 365 that aggregates training, resources, and other details. This is a serioulsy needed resource that includes links to virtual labs, papers, and other details on topics related to Office 365 deployment including single sign on.

Free tool for O365 desktop readiness

by Brett

The next version of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit—version 6.0— is now available for free download.

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 6.0 includes assessment capabilities to evaluate workloads for both public and private cloud platforms. With MAP 6.0, you now have the ability to identify workloads and estimate the infrastructure size and resources needed for both Windows Azure and Hyper-V Fast Track. Also new to MAP 6.0 is an Office 365 client assessment, enhanced VMware inventory, and Oracle Schema discovery and reporting. Expanded assessment and discovery capabilities from MAP help you simplify planning for your next migration project. Plan what's next with MAP.

Brett Hill

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