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Helping a Rapidly Growing Professional Services Company leverage Microsoft Office 365 and Azure

Posted by Shailendra Singh on 8/9/18 11:00 AM

Data is vital to the health and operations of any business. Regardless of industry, any unforeseen event or disaster that disrupts day to day functions of a company can have dire consequences and put the organization at risk for financial costs, data loss and even reputation loss.

This was the case with one of our clients. After a pipe burst in their office building, our client became concerned about the business-critical data that was primarily residing on the computers in their offices. Specifically, Quickbooks was the number one concern since it served as the backbone of the company and encompassed their complex business rules.

Additionally, all employees used a desktop computer or laptop that was purchased at a retail store and was not connected to a domain controller, leaving them frustrated with the number of different usernames and passwords that had to be maintained. This also put barriers to workplace mobility and productivity. Working remotely was next to impossible, with many employees using solutions such as GoToMyPC to work from home.

Office 365 was being leveraged by the company but only for OneDrive. Their mail was being hosted on a third-party Exchange provider. These siloed systems created inefficiencies and hindered employee productivity.

The company turned to TrnDigital to help them leverage Office 365 and Azure. We started out by defining their three top goals: create a single identity for each employee to access critical business systems, secure access to Quickbooks from anywhere in the country with data living off site, and consolidate emails into Office 365 while keeping costs to a minimum.

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We considered many ways to implement the single sign-on for employees, including domain controllers on premises, domain controllers in Azure and leveraging the fairly new Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AADDS). In the end, Azure AD DS was the best and most cost-effective solution.

We then defined the backup & disaster recovery strategy, email migration approach and determined the right level of licenses for Office 365 & Azure. We also defined the Multi-Factor Authentication Policies and the Windows 10 upgrade paths for all of the devices. Once that was done, we moved on to our execution phase, which was broken down into three work streams.

The first work stream consisted of implementation and configuration of Azure. Our team set up Azure AD Domain services, created IaaS VMs for Quickbooks and deployed Code42 CrashPlan for QuickBooks Server backup. We also integrated with Duo for multi-factor authentication.

Second work stream dealt with Office 365, where we migrated mailboxes from the 3rd party host to Office 365. We also implemented Backupify for Email, OneDrive, and SharePoint backups. Lastly, we upgraded all devices to Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise and joined them to the new Azure AD Domain Services Domain.

Today, the company is running Office 365 for Email, OneDrive, and SharePoint. It’s using Single Identity for each employee that encompasses their Computer Login, Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Azure IaaS VMs access. All workplace devices, such as desktops and laptops, are joined to Azure AD Domain Services. QuickBooks Server & Client is running in Azure IaaS VMs with Duo for Multi-Factor Authentication.

Moving to Microsoft cloud has allowed employees the ability to work remotely, more efficiently and helped mitigate overall risk for the company.

Looking to leverage Microsoft Office 365 and Azure within your company? Contact us today to learn more about our Office 365 & Azure Managed Services.

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Topics: Microsoft Azure, Sharepoint, Azure Active Directory Domain Services, Microsoft Office 365

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