Toward the end of 2008, a bit more than ten years ago, I shut down my previous business on Cape Cod, shut down the old Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, and shut down a few other servers for the last time. Instead, I went to the cloud. Ironically, I became certified with Microsoft as a Small Business Specialist in mid-2008, the same year that I abandoned Small Business Server for myself.

To replace the email functionality of SBS 2003, I went to Microsoft’s Hosted Exchange, actually provided by a Canadian company, SherWeb, who is still very much in business and still a Gold Microsoft Partner. For only a few dollars (I think it was $10-12) a month, I had all the features of the on-premises server-based Exchange, as well as document storage in the cloud with SharePoint, which came with the subscription as part of the packaged bundle.

For my two line-of-business (LOB) IT management tools, I elected each of their cloud-based versions. Same with the phone system – the IP PBX was now placed in the cloud.

I kept running QuickBooks locally for some time, although the data file and the backup file were both stored in SharePoint. Inuit doesn’t recommend this, but I was solo at that point, so there was no sharing of the working QuickBooks file. Eventually, though, I moved to QuickBooks Online.

Microsoft Office 365 was officially launched in late June 2011. I stayed with Microsoft’s Hosted Exchange for about six months but then moved to this new platform in January of 2012. That was over 7 years ago.

Since then, I have been introducing Office 365 to my customers, and no one is left that isn’t subscribed to this cloud-based platform.

When I first started with Office 365, what is now OneDrive for Business was then called SkyDrive Pro. I can’t tell you what improvements I’ve seen since then. What an evolution that I’ve experienced first-hand.

And now I use Microsoft 365 Business, which is a bundle of Office 365 Business Premium, Windows 10 Pro, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). EMS is the umbrella for several Microsoft technologies, such as Intune for device management, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, Azure AD, and Azure Information Protection. My subscription was a break-even upgrade from Office 365 Enterprise E3, which was also $20 per month.

I also have an Office 365 Enterprise E1 account for [email protected], which is more closely related to the Hosted Exchange account I had long ago with SherWeb. But with this Enterprise account, I can associate my Phone System and Calling Plan subscriptions. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s VoIP offering cannot be added to Microsoft 365 Business, but only available as an add-on to an E-level plan. I have to say that after using many VoIP systems in the past, I am very pleased with this Office 365 and Microsoft Teams-integrated phone system.

It’s been a long ride and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

 


From Wikipedia: “Form follows function is a principle associated with 20th-century modernist architecture and industrial design which says that the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose.”

The form that your IT infrastructure takes on or manifests also relates to the functions of your business. Your company might have frontline workers that share a computer, or you might have people that have a dedicated workstation, as well as they have a mobile device or two.

An aspect to consider here is the trend for organizations to extend their presence beyond the four walls of their primary HQ building, perhaps in the form of branch offices, home offices, or co-working spaces such as WeWork and other office sharing locations offer.

Just like in architecture, many business structures are cookie-cutter in nature, but these generic plans fail to address the unique needs of every business. Likewise, IT managed services are often offered as generic Bronze, Silver, and Gold packages, but not every organization fits perfectly into one slot of the other. And certainly, not every company fits into a one-size-fits-all scenario, such as where your IT provider multiplies the number of your users or devices by a certain amount to determine a monthly fee.

In architecture, before a building is designed there must be a site plan developed to understand the landscape and how a structure might best fit. Similarly, in businesses we see a wide terrain of varying operating systems, differing machine vintages, line-of-business applications that are respective to your industry, and unique end-user abilities. And as email hosting, identity management, and file storage are all moving to the cloud, then less on-premises servers will determine the size and cost of your telco closet.

Culture is another consideration in both architecture and technical solutions. Societal culture can be defined as an evolving set of collective beliefs, values, and attitudes, while business culture is related to behavior, ethics, etiquette, etc. For example, a current trend in new office spaces is for architects to include ‘huddle rooms’ for teams of 3-6 enthusiastic people rather than traditional conference rooms fit for a dozen staid board members. Huddle rooms must be outfitted with technology to fit the smaller collaborative group with WiFi, digital whiteboards, webcams, and multiple or side-by-side displays.

Before you choose a metal-colored package, please consider that your firm is a unique entity and environment. Design your technology to harmonize with your business’s own culture, its own spirit, and its own purpose.

 

Business Agility with Teams
One of the buzzwords heard often in business circles is ‘agile’ or more specifically, ‘business agility’.

Its origins lie in a group of software developers from the early 2000’s that strived to innovate with a more dynamic approach. They formed a manifesto that is described by the following concept and quoted here in its entirety:

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”

Manuel Palachuk describes business agility in today’s world as “highly accountable teams [with] more action than mantra.” He says, “It is managing the work, not the people.” He promises to cover this more in his upcoming book: Agile Service Delivery – The Secret To Making Work Flow

This modality screams of Microsoft Teams to me. What better way to dynamically accomplish tasks for the greater good than when sharing the fun within Teams? As a Teams member of a team, you can collaborate with colleagues on projects by co-authoring Word or Excel documents simultaneously. Communication happens anytime from anywhere by either chat, voice, or video calls. And it’s not just about working within the confines of the organization as Teams allows guest users. As Microsoft describes it, “Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork.”

A paradigm shift within the Microsoft Office 365 ecosystem has been the adoption of Microsoft Teams as the new voice platform; Teams is taking over where Skype for Business will eventually leave off. I’m currently using the Phone System and Calling Plan from Office 365 as my business telephone system. I run Teams constantly on my computer, however, I keep it running as an app on my mobile phone, too. When a call comes in, I hear it ringing through my Bluetooth headset that’s connected to my iPhone. But aside from mobile devices, the new IP desktop phones from Poly and AudioCodes are sporting large displays without a physical touchpad – the screen *is* the touchpad, as well as it displays your colleagues’ smiling faces during an online meeting. Put any of these telephony devices in the hands or on the desks of your home-based end-users and they’ll become virtually down the hall, not only to you as the leader, but to other Teams members and yet reachable by the outside world.

But back to agility – I see a trend. I see businesses leaving the concept of even having a building or headquarters any longer. Workers can remain productive from home or they can stake out some co-working space such as offered by WeWork and many others. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear of a fellow IT consultant who has been tasked with the challenge to accommodate remote workers due to the downsizing of a company’s workspace. More often than not, I listen to them agonize as they attempt to bring legacy ways to the modern world. But again and with the fundamental need to feel the presence of fellow collaborators, what better way to keep connected with the rest of the team than with Teams?

I might not describe ‘business agility’ with the insight and clarity as Mr. Palachuk might within his upcoming book, but it’s become overwhelmingly evident that Teams will be there as the ideal platform when you want to become an agile company.

OneDrive for BusinessProperly known in this context as OneDrive for Business (just plain OneDrive usually means the consumer product), it serves as the file repository for end-users when storing their files that are ‘works in progress’ or files that only pertain to them personally as an individual member within the organization.

These files can be shared with people inside and outside of your organization, either specifically with certain users or with anyone that has a link to the file. Encryption keeps your files safe when at rest and while in transit.

The capacity of each person’s OneDrive  is normally 1TB, but some  Office365  plans offer unlimited storage. Files kept in this cloud location can be synced to the user’s device with various options to keep the files fully downloaded and available at all times (cached) or merely as placeholders for the occasional download to save space on the local drive  FilesOnDemand. If files are deleted by accident, they can be restored within 30 days of deletion.

OneDrive is included in every Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscription plan. OneDrive is also a feature-rich app for iOS and Android.

First there was the computer guy, then the web designer, cabling guy, and network engineer. Information Technology (IT) service companies have typically evolved in a similar manner until they reached the holy grail – they became the Managed Services Provider (MSP).

The MSP was proactive in regard to workstations, internet services, and defending the network with sophisticated devices as if they were castle walls protecting the inhabitants within. Perhaps they might reach beyond the ‘castle’ and establish pathways with a VPN to a branch office, or with ‘roads to a village’ in this metaphor. The network and all of its devices were maintained within the perimeter, even if it meant creating a virtual private network.

In today’s world of computing, there are no walls or perimeter appliances – there are end-user devices and there are a random connections to the internet. Devices come in the form of Windows PC’s, Macs, mobile phones, and tablets – all using disparate operating systems because it doesn’t much matter any longer. The network is the internet – wired or wireless, and your connectivity alone ensures access to your company’s resources.

Here’s an example when using the Windows AutoPilot Service and a Windows 10 Pro machine:

You order 10 Dell laptops for your remote employees and have the machines shipped to each worker at their respective location. But prior to shipment, the hardware ID’s are registered with the Windows AutoPilot Service. Upon arrival, the remote workers unbox their devices and connect them to any internet service, wired or wireless. As soon as the machines connect and they login with company credentials, the machines ‘check-in’ with the Windows AutoPilot Service, which in return sends instructions to download and install all the applications, security settings, permissions, policies, and data that your company provides. This all happens prior to the first appearance of the computer’s desktop, so there is little to no interaction required. This is referred to as the Out-of-Box Experience or OoBE (pronounced oo’-bee) for the end-user. And it’s considered a Zero Touch Deployment for the IT organization.

Once the remote worker in the above scenario is able view their desktop (usually within just a matter of minutes), then they are immediately able to become productive using company assets from anywhere and at any time.

This is the Intelligent Workplace using Microsoft 365 Business, Windows AutoPilot, and the device of your choice. And it is now the mission of Resolute IT (RIT) to embrace this innovation from Microsoft and to become your  Intelligent Workplace Provider.

Microsoft 365 Business is the new way to get Office 365. It’s all the features of the Office 365 Business Premium plan, plus Advanced Security (including Windows 10 Pro upgrade) with Safe Links and Safe Attachments, plus Device Management using Intune to manage remote computers and devices (think remote wipe of a company-owned device).

The graphic above shows the left-hand, blue-highlighted column as a stack of 3rd-party services that a company might combine to create a desktop productivity solution, a comprehensive security solution, and a device management solution. As a sum of the whole 3rd-party stack, the company might very well spend over $100 per month per end-user.

If we were to consider all the various Microsoft offerings individually to accomplish the same, then the company would pay $33.50 per month per end-user.

But as a bundle of services called Microsoft 365 Business, the company can opt for the $20 plan per month per end-user.

I use Microsoft 365 Business myself. Prior to this, I paid the same amount for the Office 365 Enterprise E3 plan. But now I get all the added features for the same price. To switch from Office 365 E3 was a wash.

For those currently on the Office 365 Premium Business plan, you can realize a considerable improvement to your company’s security, data integrity and overall productivity for only $7.50 additional per month per end-user. From my point of view, just the addition of Safe Links and Safe Attachments as integral parts of Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection would make the investment worthwhile.

If we haven’t spoken yet, then please either contact us by the form below, email , text , or schedule for a free 15-30 minute meeting to establish ideal goals and to initiate a preliminary plan.

Professional Services | Fix IT Now

Hourly Remediation and Professional Consulting Services:

          • Per request and approved proposal.
          • Same rate for remote and onsite.
            • Minimum 1 hour for remote control.
            • Minimum 4 hours for on-site visit.

Migrate 365 | Move to the Cloud

One Seat – covers all of the following:

          • Documents & Email transfer from on-premises server or other system
          • Automatically discover email environment and configure a migration plan that’s right for you.
          • Identify the impact of migrating your file server to SharePoint Online with Office 365.
          • Perform identity mapping by scanning SharePoint, Active Directory, and Azure Active Directory.
          • Monitor progress and output files into the Logs directory showing the summary and more detailed insights into the scenarios that could be impacted by migration.
          • Data automatically synced before, during and after migration cutover.
          • Full fidelity sync technology ensures no data loss on final data sync post-cutover.
          • Account provisioning and DNS updates take place during Migration Sync.
          • Desktop readiness and remediation:
            • Outlook configured to work with Office 365.
            • Local data moved as required.
            • User’s previous Outlook experience recreated as closely as possible post-migration.
          • Seat defined:
            • For billing purposes, any migrating top-level Public Folder or Mailbox (Individual, Shared, or Resource Room/Equipment) is considered a seat.

Monthly HelpDesk 365 | Remote IT Services

Your technical support on retainer for reactive IT services.

            • Limited to to five (5) incidents or service tickets per month per end-user
              • non-transferable to other end-users.
            • Service tickets initiated by email to [email protected] or via online scheduling calendar .
            • Remote desktop agent installed for quick support sessions.
            • Response time can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours.
            • Business hours only.
            • Limited monitoring and reporting of critical events.
            • Automated updates and patches
              • No verification.
            • No hardware support.
            • No onsite support, except by pre-paid request apart from this agreement.
            • 7-day free trial!



Annual HelpDesk 365 | Remote IT Services

Your technical support on retainer for reactive IT services.

            • Limited to to five (5) incidents or service tickets per month per end-user
              • non-transferable to other end-users.
            • Service tickets initiated by email to [email protected] or via online scheduling calendar .
            • Remote desktop agent installed for quick support sessions.
            • Response time can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours.
            • Business hours only.
            • Limited monitoring and reporting of critical events.
            • Automated updates and patches
              • No verification.
            • No hardware support.
            • No onsite support, except by pre-paid request apart from this agreement.
            • 7-day free trial!



Optimum 365 | Fully-Managed IT Services

All-inclusive and proactive IT services (per user per month):

          • 24/7 remote included.
          • Vendor liaison and purchasing agent roles.
          • Network documentation.
          • Network health monitoring & reporting.
          • Customer support ticketing portal and knowledge base.
          • Security hardening with best practices.
          • Microsoft 365 Business subscription included!
          • Complete Cloud Backup included.
          • One license for one user and *all* of their devices to enjoy on-demand support throughout the year.
          • Unlimited support incidents (tickets) per month.
          • Covers Windows 10 Pro, MacOS, iOS, Android, all Office 365 plans (software and services), and cloud-to-cloud backup offered by RIT.
          • Support of Line of Business (LOB) applications included.
            • Must have current maintenance or service plan
            • Must have proper & complete licensing for every user
          • Infrastructure ramp-up project required prior to start of agreement.
            • Computers and servers fully updated and running optimally.
            • Printers under service plan.
            • Mobile devices (phones and tablets) updated to recent model and current operating system.
          • Ongoing training & coaching.
          • Servers and network-attached devices not included.

Backup 365 | Cloud-to-Cloud Every 4 Hours

One User License:

          • 1 year of cloud-to-cloud, unlimited backup with lightning-fast search and one-click restore of Office 365 data:
            • SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange, Office 365 Groups, and Microsoft Teams.
            • Microsoft Teams conversations, calendar, files, and notebook.
          • Six daily snapshots.
          • Self-service restore.

 

We’re very careful about choosing our affiliations. Only the highest quality vendors become part of our offerings.

A case in point would be AppRiver, our Microsoft licensing provider for Office 365 and associated services. AppRiver not only provides the software licensing, but they support the product with their award-winning ‘Phenomenal Care’ helpdesk solution, as well.

When you call into AppRiver, they answer within 3 rings and present themselves in a friendly, polite and clear manner. 

This is your second line of support – your first call would be to our primary helpdesk line, but we can scale according to demand by leveraging AppRiver as an option.

Microsoft
Intel
Apple
Cisco Meraki
Dell EMC
HP Enterprise
Lenovo
Android
Plantronics
Polycom
Logitech
BitTitan
SkyKick
Sennheiser
D&H Distributing
AppRiver

 

Microsoft 365
Office 365

PLANNING. MIGRATION. CONFIGURATION. DOCUMENTATION. TRAINING. SUPPORT. SECURITY. BACKUP. ADMINISTRATION. 

Resolute IT is a Microsoft certified consulting firm with a focus on Office 365 | Microsoft 365 cloud consulting — migration, configuration, maintenance, administration, cloud backup, security, helpdesk support, and training — all under the umbrella of our Optimum 365 fully-managed IT services and even computer repair (when under an agreement).

We offer just one optimal, fully-managed IT services plan, which is standardized by device, software, and procedure. All are documented and accessible to you, while reporting and ticketing are inclusive, too. Microsoft 365 Business and SkyKick cloud backup are both included as standard features of the fully-managed monthly offering. It’s a proactive and mutually beneficial approach to keeping your systems always available.

Our ongoing HelpDesk 365 plan is not proactive managed IT service, but it provides access to our expertise, whether as an emergency request, scheduled training, or standard support on a limited basis.

Certified by CompTIA in 1999 with the A+ exams and again by Microsoft in 2007 as a Small Business Specialist.

Microsoft Office 365 Tech Support & HelpDesk
Support Number:

(727) 300-4940

 


 

 

 

A Different Approach

Office 365 | Microsoft 365 consulting is our primary offering, but helping people with their small businesses is our passion. As Office 365 | Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based platform, we can perform 100% of these cloud functions on a remote basis.

Just like a general contractor would do in the building trade, we hire independent contractors for specific tasks as required, both onsite and remote. These are North American and certified engineers, and some are heralded Microsoft MVPs.

Office 365

Office 365

Microsoft 365

Ease and Assurance

Business continuity is a mutual objective — we are partners with a common goal: You want to remain operational and therefore profitable, while Resolute IT benefits by avoidance of unexpected and untimely workloads.

Along with peace of mind, Resolute IT includes ongoing training and proactive support, empowering your workers while cultivating a competitive advantage for your firm.

Included within this optimal IT support package is our cloud-to-cloud backup system with the lightning-fast recovery of lost, damaged, deleted, or maliciously encrypted files (ransomware).

Microsoft Office 365 Migration

 Renovation

Whether you need to start from scratch or enhance your current systems, we can work together on a plan.

Productivity

Productivity

Keeping you and your employees up and running is a mutually beneficial and ongoing process.

Mobility

Mobility

Catering to the needs of today’s workers means business happens at any time and at any location. 

Analytics and Reporting

Analytics

Knowing the effect your technology investment has on your bottom line is critical to the health of your business. 

microsoft 365 consultant
Get to the cloud from on-premises servers by automated migration: assess your assets, plan, organize, configure accounts and security, and then we migrate your data.

microsoft teams devices

microsoft teams live training
Microsoft Teams Training courses for 1-100 students. Take 1 class, 3 classes (one level of three), or all 9 classes (three levels) of the entire course. Live Instructor. The first class is free.

Born in the cloud
with Microsoft Office 365

..included in your Optimal 365 package. Cloud backup, too.


Our Story


Always on the cutting edge, we strive to bring the most productive, secure and affordable new technologies to the small business.

We’ve come from beginnings as a 1996 web designer and a 1999 support technician for the US Census.  When our Cape Cod-based company (pleasantbay.NET) launched in January 2000, the transition from offering web design services to the hands-on skills of network and computer support began an exciting and rewarding journey.

Our move to Florida meant the decommission of our on-premises servers. We moved to cloud-hosted Exchange email and SharePoint document storage. Once in the cloud, we’ve never looked back.

Our mission is to help the small business rid themselves of archaic technologies, bringing cloud-based solutions to practical use.  While many cling to legacy servers, unsecured and unreliable VPN tunnels, legacy methods represent security risks and hidden costs. But we are moving to embrace the world of cloud computing by offering Microsoft Office 365 consulting, administration, backup, and training. We empower your teams with collaboration, industry compliance, and productivity tools such as Microsoft Teams — from anywhere at any time. 

Free Consultation – Schedule Now

 (727) 300-4940

 

No Obligation

Get a free 15-30 minute consultation without any pressure.