Tagged: Cloud

Google Workspace

In today’s post I take a look at and provide an overview of Google’s Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, for communication and collaboration.

Please note, the described tools, services and subscriptions might be subject to change at any time.

What’s Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a set of tools and services for productivity. It includes the following major cloud communication and collaboration capabilities:

  • Gmail | Send and receive mails
  • Calendar | Calendaring
  • Meet | Interactive online meetings
  • Chat | Chat and group messaging
  • Drive | Store and share documents and files
  • Docs | Create documents
  • Sheet | Create spreadsheets
  • Slides | Create presentations
  • Forms | Create forms
  • Sites | Create websites
  • Keep | Notes and lists
  • Apps Scrips | Automate and develop workspace scripts
  • Currents | Enterprise social network
  • Cloud Search | Workspace integrated search across enterprise files
YouTube – Google Workspaces Overview

Subscriptions and packages

Google Workspace is available in four packages on a per user/month price. There are offerings from small to large companies as follows:

  • Subscription | main differentiations per user subscription package
  • Business Starter | 30 GB cloud storage, video conferences for up to 100 attendees, mail, basic support
  • Business Standard | 2 TB cloud storage, video conferences for up to 150 attendees and recording, mail, upgradable basic support
  • Business Plus | 5 TB cloud storage, video conferences for up to 250 attendees incl. recording and attendee reports, mail, e-discovery and retention, advanced security and management features, upgradable basic support
  • Enterprise | unlimited cloud storage, video conferences for up to 250 attendees (incl. recording, attendee reports, noise suppression, internal live streaming), mail, S/MIME for mails, e-discovery and retention, advanced security, compliance, data loss prevention and management features, premium support

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Google’s Workplace offering obviously delivers a comprehensive cloud productivity suite at the first glance. In my opinion and for what I saw the subscription packages seem to be not as modular as offered by Microsoft 365. I also noticed some features and capabilities which are provided by default in Microsoft 365 with Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive etc., e.g. attendee reports for Microsoft Teams meetings and meeting recordings.

Additional resources

Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice Study

In this post I highlight a study publication by Forrester regarding Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice. Forrester is a market research and analysis company focused on the information technology sector. Microsoft mandated Forrester to carry out the study on Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice.

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/lernen-hinweis-schule-betreff-3245793/

What’s the study for?

The so called TEI (short for “Total Econonomic Impact”) study examines Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice in regards of

  • benefits
  • costs and
  • risks.

What does the study say?

To sum it up a little bit the study provides the following key aspects:

  • employees save time due to telephony integration in Microsoft Teams
  • integration enhances business outcomes
  • Microsoft 365 Cloud Voice enables companies to replace legacy telephony systems (PBX/s)
  • costs for telephony are reduced
  • better security and compliance because of its integration in the Microsoft security and compliance capability stack
  • higher availability as (legacy) PBX
  • better performance as (legacy) PBX
  • better scalability as (legacy) PBX
  • higher employee/user satisfaction especially for younger employees
  • reduced total cost of ownership (TCO)

Well, for details, I’d recommend to read the study by yourself [see links at the bottom].

Conclusion, summary and opinion

In my view the study can be seen as supporting document for you in case your are about to decide on what’s next for your company’s telephony due to ending support or just because you want to embrace modern workplace at your company. The study gives you some numbers, facts and figures for further consideration, evaluation and decision making.

Additional resources

Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019 – 2020

In this post I like to highlight Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019 – 2020 and what it is and why you might want to attend.

Microsoft Ignite 2019 took place in November 2019 in Orlanda, Florida, USA. More than 25k people were attending the technical event onsite. Months before it was sold out due to the high demand for it. Customers and partners from all across the globe attended the event if they were lucky to get tickets early enough.

Source: https://erik365.blog/2019/11/08/microsoft-ignite-2019-recap/

After the major event, Ignite 2019, the Tour starts and delivers the Microsoft Ignite experience around the world near to you. It’s smaller in attendee numbers and takes places in many cities on the globe to provide you with great contents from Ignite 2019 nearby so that the event comes to you.

The Tour takes places in many cities and in each world region (EMEA, NOAM, LATAM, APAC). You can learn, explore and connect on the Microsoft Ignite The Tour.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

If you could not attend Microsoft Ignite 2019 in Orlando and interested its best contents to learn, explore and connect you might want to attend Microsoft Ignite The Tour near you. In 2020 there are many dates for the Tour till May 2020 but you need to be quick because some are already booked and you can only join a waiting list.

In my opinion Microsoft Ignite The Tour is really a great idea (by Microsoft) and opportunity (for you). You do not need to travel so far, have the best contents delivered more or less nearby and you can get in touch with Microsoft experts and other attendees.

Additional Resources

Cisco Live 2020

Cisco Live 2020 is ahead. Cisco Live 2020 takes places in each world region (EMEA, NOAM, LATAM, APAC) and it is for customers, experts and partners. It’s the annual Cisco event to learn, explore and connect all around Ciscos’ products and services. And of course if you are not able to attend onsite you can watch certain live streams or afterwards session recordings.

In 2020 the events takes places at the following cities

  • 27.-31.01.2020 Barcelona Spain, EMEA
  • 03.-06.03.2020 Melbourne, Australia, APAC
  • 31.05.-04.06.2020 Las Vegas, USA, NOAM
  • 27.-29.10.2020 Cancun, Mexiko, LATAM

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I’m not going to attend the event but I’ll probably find some time to watch the key notes and some overview sessions regarding communication and collaboration to see what Cisco is planning in this space. Especially, what’s on the road map for 2020 and beyond.

To me, it’s important to observe the communication and collaboration market to stay up-to-date and to know (different) communication and collaboration services’ capabilities. Knowing helps in discussions regarding pros and cons. 

Additional Resources

New Microsoft Cloud Data Center Region Germany available

In this post I like to quickly inform about the availability of a new Microsoft cloud data center region in Germany. I was about to deploy a new cloud-based session border controller (SBC) and saw that the region “Deutschland, Westen-Mitte” is available on Azure.

Source: Screenshot showing the Azure Portal https://portal.azure.com and creation of a template-based Azure resource group

Additional resources

Cloud Storage by 2020

In this post I like to share a nice info graphic from statista which depicts where data is and will be stored.

In 2015 most data was stored locally (66 %) and only around a third (31 %) was in the cloud. The graph shows that, of course, storing data online in the cloud increases. By 2020 more data is stored online in the cloud instead of locally / offline / onpremise.

Source: Statista.com

The author of the statista article also quickly mentioned the pros and cons, he says, that it is more comfortable and faster. Hence, he also says, that it poses risks, e.g. data breaches or leaks can cause high costs for people and companies which are subject to these.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

First of all, I’m a big fan of statista’s info graphics. Nicely illustrated and easy to understand figures.

Based on my personal and professional experience I’d assume that these above figures and trends regarding data storage locations seems to be comprehensible. I guess that cloud service adoption statistics would also draw similar trends.

Addition Resources

Microsoft Build 2019 live stream

For market observers, in this post I want to notify about Microsoft Build 2019. The event takes place in Seattle, WA from May 6th – 8th, 2019. It’s all about development around Microsoft products and services, e.g. containers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, DevOps, IoT and mixed reality.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

At the time I wrote this post there were no details regarding live streams available. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure there will be a live stream at least for certain sessions available. I guess on the Build 2019 page and Channel 9 you might be able to watch the keynotes and later, after the event you could find recordings of certain sessions there. So, stay tuned for more details on the below pages as the event comes closer.

Additional Resources

Google Cloud Next ’19 recordings

In this post I’d like to point out some Google Cloud Next ’19 recordings which you can watch on YouTube. Their focus are on modern communication and collaboration based on Google services. The links are at the bottom of this post.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

I watched some bits of the event to get some insights on what’s Google offering regarding modern collaboration and communication services. I saw some common, innovative as well as different (implemented/looking) features and services. From my point of view, although otherwise mentioned by the speakers of the sessions, to me the services deliver just some certain service building block for an enterprise grade IT service infrastructure. You need to take a close look at several aspects to find out if the provided services are right for your company. But that’s what you need to do for all services and things before you start rolling out anything.

To me, it was interesting to watch what and how certain modern collaboration capabilities are offered by Google. Also remarkable that Google partners with Cisco to enrich their, both, communication and collaboration portfolio and feature set. Finally, I’m looking forward to read news from Gartner regarding cloud-based unified communication (for 2019) and which player is categorized as a leader (for 2019).

Additional Resources

Google Cloud Next ’19 live stream

For market observers, in this post I want to notify about Google Cloud Next. The event begins at April 9th, 2019 in San Francisco. However, you can watch it online at April 9th, 19:00 h (CET) on YouTube. The event is about news all around Google’s cloud services. There are “special” tracks you can stream which are regarding communication and collaboration services with the G Suite. I added the links to these communication and collaboration sessions at the bottom of this post.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Why do I share this? In my opinion it’s important to observe the communication and collaboration market and always stay up-to-date. To know (different) communication and collaboration services’ capabilities helps in discussions regarding pros and cons plus adds more value to advisory services. 

Additional Resources

Exchange Online Unified Messaging is transitioned to Cloud Voicemail

In this post I’d like to point out the most important aspects of the discontinuation of Exchange Online Unified Messaging (hereinafter: EXO UM, voicemail and auto attendant capabilities). EXO UM is discontinued as announced by Microsoft months ago. Now, Microsoft published an information regarding the planned transition towards Cloud Voicemail. Below a short summary of the announced information by Microsoft:

  • EXO UM will be transitioned and migrated to Cloud Voicemail in calendar year 2019 (not later than February 2020)
  • Voicemail messages can still be stored on Exchange Online as well as Exchange Server
  • You’ll receive a transition notification by Microsoft via Office 365 Admin Center
  • You can postpone the transition to Cloud Voicemail via the support panel in the Office 365 Admin Center (however before February 2020)
  • EXO UM with Lync Server 2010 will not be supported anymore and will not be transitioned
  • EXO UM with Lync Server 2013 will be transitioned to Cloud Voicemail
  • EXO UM with Lync Server 2015 will be transitioned to Cloud Voicemail
  • EXO UM Auto Attendants must migrated to Cloud Auto Attendant services
  • EXO UM Auto Attendants must be re-created on the Cloud Auto Attendant service

Conclusion, opinion and summary

EXO UM will be replaced by Cloud Voicemail. The EXO UM service will be transitioned to Cloud Voicemail based on Azure. To me it seems that it will not be a big difference for your users. They’ll still get voicemail and auto attendant capabilities. It’s more an slight cut over to a different backend for the same features.

However, if you are still on Lync Server 2010 you should consider to upgrade to Skype for Business Server to carry on providing voice mail and attendant services.

In case of many auto attendant services on EXO UM you should prepare and plan to re-create auto attendant services on Cloud Voicemail.

Further Resources