Posts made in September, 2015

Working with a Microsoft Cloud Platform Provider

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Cloud, Microsoft, Partners, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Earlier this year AspiraCloud (or SharePointEdutech as we were known then) was awarded their Gold Cloud Platform Provider competency from Microsoft.  That might not mean a great deal to you now, but its big news for us.  In this blog post, I hope to unpack some of the key features of this program and why it will be of benefit to you to work with AspiraCloud as you Cloud Solution Provider partner. The whole purpose of the Microsoft cloud competencies is to improve the customer route to the cloud with the help of a trusted partner like AspiraCloud.  Like any good consultancy company we wanted to engage with the customer at every level of the process, from the initial consultation, right through to the sale.  By helping and supporting our customers the purchase of licenses and setting up a cloud tenancy is just the start.  The cloud platform program allows us to directly engage with the customer and support the development of their project throughout the early stages and in to the maturity phase.  By the time annual renewal comes around, the customer and AspiraCloud are fully engaged in assuring successful implementation and management of the project and the business solutions provisioned in the cloud. By working in partnership with AspiraCloud the customer will get a much netter picture of the billing process and what their cloud services are really costing them.  They can start to see the savings build up over time which maintaining the same strict financial controls they are used to operating with capital expenditure. Each month the customer and the partner receive a clearly laid out bill detailing their cloud usage and the associated costs.  There are no hidden extras. Working with a cloud specialist like AspiraCloud also allows the customer to tailor their spend exactly how they want to see it.  They can make an annual commitment or more to benefit from the best prices or simply commit to a monthly contracted fee.  This model also benefits AspiraCloud as we can create special offers and incentives in our own right to attract new customers and promote the fantastic opportunities available to the customer in the cloud. From time to time things will go wrong.  As part of the provisioning process for customers working with a Cloud Partner like AspiraCloud we are able to set up a direct route to technical support services and mange the calls on behalf of the customer.  Its like having your own team of support services but with the extra back up services from Microsoft, the world’s leading cloud provider.   So by now perhaps you are wondering what Cloud Services we can offer you as part of this program.  Well the answer is simple.  We can offer you Office 365, Windows Intune, Microsoft Azure, Dynamics Online, Microsoft Project Online and so much more. At AspiraCloud we want you to Expect More from your partner of choice.  We want our customers to Do More and work with us as your trusted Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform partner.  Contact us  or email us hello@aspiracloud.com and use our experience so you can Aspire to Be More. Stop Press News AspiraCloud Director of Strategy and Business Development, Seb Matthews will be the KeyNote speaker at the SharePointalooza event this coming weekend. For more information, check out their...

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Have you considered the cloud?

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Azure, Cloud, Law in the Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

July 15th was an important date for anyone using Microsoft Server 2003 and it probably passed many people by without noticing.  Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on that date and many of our customers are looking at this as an opportunity to move towards the cloud for their hosting and workload needs. We have a number of partners who are able to help you move to the cloud. This post explores some of the factors and objectives that you and your business should consider when migrating to the cloud.There has never been a better time for businesses and education providers to consider moving their workload to the cloud. Microsoft Support for Windows Server 2003 has come to an end and many organisations are looking at ways to migrate that load. Moving to the cloud can often be a challenge and we are here to help you, overcoming obstacles from financial, ethical or an institutional reluctance to trust the cloud. How many IT Leaders and network support staff still say that they “like to see their server workload buzzing away”?   The role of the IT Leader in business and education has never been more important. As budgets tighten and workloads increase it can often be a balancing act to find the best solution to meet the needs of the users and stay within budget. The concept of transferring that cost to a subscription model rather than capital expenditure is a great way to effect savings whilst responding efficiently to the needs of your customers. The first step for many is a migration to Office 365 in order to lever the benefits of world class email and communication technologies such as Exchange online or Skype for Business. There are so many more opportunities in the cloud ‘beyond the mailbox’ and it is the role of Microsoft Partners to help customers see the wide range of opportunities available. AspiraCloud, (formally SharePointEduTech) has been a Microsoft Partner for several years working in the education and SMB space delivering some great communication and collaboration solutions. As a Gold Cloud Platform Partner we are strategically aligned to help customers explore the cloud and see the potential benefits. Whether it’s a simple migration to Office 365, or an infrastructure move to Microsoft Azure (IaaS), or even a University research facility looking to make use of big data compute space, there are options in the cloud that make compelling reasons to make the move....

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Replace Forefront TMG with a high quality, flexible, edge security, SSO application from KEMP TECHNOLOGIES

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Cloud, Kemp, Microsoft, Partners | 0 comments

AspiraCloud have been working with a series of education and SMB clients all looking for an effective replacement for their Microsoft Forefront TMG server that will reach end of support in December 2015.The answer comes in the form of an Edge Security device from KEMP.   TMG goes End of Life Many businesses, schools, colleges and universities around the world are still deploying services such as Exchange, Lync, SharePoint or other web based services on premises and will continue to do so despite the compelling reasons to consider the cloud. For many years, these services have all sat securely behind a Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway device. With TMG reaching its end of life status and Microsoft declaring no replacement models we spent quite some time looking for a cost effective replacement. The answer came in the form of the Kemp Technology LoadMaster and its extended feature pack. Built in as a standard feature, the Edge Security Protection (ESP) has the ability to secure all of the usual public facing services. The ESP features offer a secure and effective gateway and offer all of the following familiar requirements from TMG. End Point Authentication for Pre-Auth Persistent Logging and Reporting Single Sign On across Virtual Services Active Directory Integration RADIUS Authentication Support Fully Customizable FBA Forms Soft Lockout Group Membership Validation Dual factor authentication with RSA SecurID AspiraCloud have found, in KEMP LoadMaster, a flexible solution that allows customers to decide on the best options for their infrastructure when deciding on installation. You can chose between, Virtual devices on Hyper V, Xen, VMware or Virtual box Custom built hardware devices on premises Cloud devices on AWS or Microsoft Azure Bare Metal conversions of your existing high performing server solutions. Five reasons why this solution suits our customers?   1. Flexible solutions with straightforward installation and commissioning As you can see from the options above there is a Kemp Solution to meet your requirements, either on premises or in the cloud. Once installed the commissioning process is so straightforward. If you can manage a rule set on TMG then there is no reason you can’t manage your Kemp device. The device will come with a series of inbuilt templates to allow for quick commissioning of all the familiar workloads. If your workload isn’t listed there is likely to be a downloadable template for you. 2. Top class Support From time to time, things will go wrong, after all it is IT we are talking about here. The level of technical support offered by Kemp is first class. You decide on the level of support required from Basic to Premium plus. In our experience the Premium support gives you a high level of support that is really proactive. How often have you had a support engineer chase you for a response rather than the other way around? We have found the level of technical support from KEMP to be quick and effective. What more could you ask for? 3. Industry Standard KEMP is not a new company. When we started to look for a replacement for TMG they took some finding. This might make you think that they are a small company. Nothing could be further from the truth. KEMP have been in operation since 2000 with over 26,000 worldwide installations. They are listed third in the Load Balancing market with a rapidly growing profile and they are consistently marked as an industry leader. KEMP is a big player who places a great deal of importance on customer satisfaction. 4.  Simple Licensing Model Whether it’s on premises physical, cloud or part of your virtualisation infrastructure, KEMP have the right model to meet the scale of your implementation. The ESP features all come as standard and there are no hidden costs. Ask about pricing for your school and we guarantee you will be surprised. 5. Let’s not forget the Load Balancing This post has talked about the TMG replacement provided by KEMP LoadMaster but don’t forget that you also get a top quality load balancing service as the primary feature of the device. Maybe you’ve been using...

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