Blog: All Things Nortec

3 Things We Learned at Microsoft Inspire You Need to Know

We recently attended Microsoft Inspire. The conference is like an IT barometer for businesses, telling stakeholders where Microsoft will be investing money and what technological changes to look out for. These are the 3 key takeaways your business needs to know about.

1. New Microsoft Licensing Options Could Save You Money

For years, if businesses wanted additional security and compliance capabilities, they had to purchase enterprise-grade licensing. A higher price tag and unnecessary tools came along with the desired features. The arrangement left many customers dissatisfied with their options, so Microsoft has released separate security and compliance add-ons. Customers can now pick which ones they want to bolt on to their current licensing agreement.

As options increase, so does complexity

The potential cost savings of the add-ons is the upside. The downside is the new options make Microsoft licensing even more complex. It would take the average business owner hours of research and careful reading of Microsoft’s website to select every single tool they need and then pair those features with the right licensing. When businesses purchase Microsoft licensing on their own, one of two extremes typically happens. They either choose the least expensive option and lack the functionality and security their businesses need or they opt for the “Cadillac” option and grossly overpay.

Microsoft partners help you obtain the right licensing for less

Microsoft partners, like Nortec, can help your business save money at several stages during the licensing process. Before you purchase, we can point out if business licensing is a better option for you because it contains all the functionalities, and sometimes better security, than Enterprise. When you’re ready to purchase, we secure your licensing at a lower rate than what you see online through platforms available to a Microsoft partner, like the Cloud Solutions Provider program. After, we can deploy your new technology and provide training to guarantee you fully use the features of your new technology and maximize return on investment.

2. Be Strategic About Microsoft Teams

Teams is continuing to grow, and as more businesses adopt Teams as their unified communications system, they’re starting to look beyond the phone features to see what other advantages the platform provides. But, before rolling out new tools, it’s important to strategically think through security and operational concerns. You need to ask and answer questions like:

  • Who will be authorized to set up channels and teams?
  • How will you manage endpoints?
  • What security policies need to be in place before inviting external partners to a channel?

Taking a strategic approach will prevent gaps in security. For instance, if you allow guests to access Teams but don’t have Advanced Threat Protection turned on, anyone could upload a virus to your network. Take the time to strategically plan how you’ll use Teams, then establish policies and communicate the new procedures to your staff.

Attend one of our upcoming CIO Roadshows to learn more about Teams and how to create a secure, managed modern workplace – coming to Pittsburgh Oct 16, Philadelphia Oct 23 and Reston Oct 24.

3. Get Ready for a More Secure, Password-Less Future

Anyone who regularly forgets their password or is annoyed by having to constantly change their credentials will be happy about the security innovations making it possible to log in using other methods.

  • Windows Hello
    • Instead of entering a password, the camera on your computer recognizes your face or you use your fingerprint to log in.
  • Microsoft Authenticator
    • A code is sent to a second device, like your phone, which you enter to log in.
  • Security Keys
    • You plug a USB drive loaded with the keys into your computer to access your accounts.

Another option is to establish safe IP addresses, eliminating the need to log in at all when you’re accessing the internet through that router. Many of our clients are already adopting these more secure login methods and so has the team at Nortec.

Plan for the Future with Your Microsoft Partner

Microsoft provides all the tools modern businesses need to succeed. Unfortunately, the vendor is less helpful when you want strategic advice about licensing or need to troubleshoot issues. Microsoft partners who’ve demonstrated competencies in deploying solutions fill the void.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can obtain the right level of licensing for less on your behalf, work with you to enhance your workplace through technology and keep your organization secure.

Nortec Communications - Washington D.C