Microsoft 365 solutions for home working

Image: Microsoft 365 tips for home working
By Mark Ison on

Microsoft 365 is what Silversands does, so I thought I’d share some tips with you.

So… a few months ago I was writing a blog series on the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Little did I, or anyone else, know how pivotal technologies and solutions like WVD would become in such a short space of time. In the new and uncertain times, I just wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone of the tools and services available with Microsoft 365 that will keep people working and businesses running.

Microsoft Teams

The importance of communication cannot be understated. Whether you’re using Teams or Skype for Business, the reality is instant message, voice or video calls will be the primary form of interaction between colleagues for the foreseeable future. Whilst Skype for Business is capable of this, Microsoft Teams takes performance and collaborative features to the next level.

Office Portal

Image: Office 365 portal screen shot

The Office Portal is often forgotten about when it comes to remote working. I believe this due to organisations not spending enough time using the Office web apps, but it is the simplest way to work remotely. No, they aren’t as powerful and feature rich as the full fat ProPlus clients but are more than capable for most common tasks.

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

As I’ve mentioned, the Office portal will cater for most remote working capabilities. However, we understand that there are somethings that just don’t work out of the browser. Complex spreadsheets and other internal applications pose a different challenge. The Windows Virtual Desktop (or RDS) solves this problem by providing users with either a full Windows 10 desktop experience, or specific Remote Apps. WVD is a perfect solution for times such as these due to its scaling flexibility. Adding additional hosts or resizing existing hosts allows you to simply and quickly scale up or down the environment based on need.

Intune

We have been engaging with customers over the last few years around their Mobile Device Management (MDM) / Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) requirements. Many of which are probably thanking their lucky stars they did. There was a time when Intune had a bit of a bad ‘rep’. Not enough features and too many promises. Years later, I think its safe to say that it has matured into a fantastic product. Flexible enough to cover multiple different use cases and scenarios, while taking advantage of EM+S to provide a full security wrap around from Identity to MFA to Conditional Access. Full device management with the potential to distribute new applications with a few clicks, or App Protection to keep corporate and personal lives separate.

What about Security?

In times such as these where the approach is reactionary, responding to pressure and urgent demands, it is all too easy to forego basic security in the name of ease of access. Thankfully with EM+S (Enterprise Security + Mobility) there is no need to sacrifice security for productivity.

At the core of securing access to these productivity services is Conditional Access. Policies can be deployed to adapt to changing requirements, such as allowing access to services from BYOD devices only using browser apps if the user passes MFA.

Additional layers and capabilities can be built upon these foundations to provide deeper and broader security and capabilities. The point though is that the strength of Microsoft cloud services in response to the current demand for changeable working practices is the flexibility to change, grow and adapt to your needs.

How can we help?

Silversands is a Microsoft Gold Partner of over 30 years standing,  which specialises in Microsoft 365 delivered across cloud (Azure) and hybrid IT infrastructures. We provide consultancy, support and user adoption services. The Covid-19 virus will make organisations seriously re-assess their business continuity plans and we are running a series of webinars over the next few months that will be relevant to your organisation.However, in the short-term your priority is more likely to be support to back up your IT team.

IT Support – Silversands provides pre-paid support which covers a wide range of needs including:

• Remote IT cover
• IT service desk calls / escalation
• End user support calls
• Setting up VPNs on firewalls
• Windows Virtual Desktop
• Microsoft Teams deployments
• Intune / BYOD management
• General Microsoft 365 advice & guidance

Image: FREE Office 365 E1 Trial

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