Imagine What Dynamics 365 Can Do For You!

Imagine What Dynamics 365 Can Do For You!

Customer experience is often the key differentiator between businesses. In fact, 3 in 4 business leaders in a recent study said improving the customer journey and user experience was their top priority in the next year. What's your priority? For Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, who own 23 luxury hotels worldwide, they sought out a solution to more intelligently manage customer data while personalizing communication with their guests. Through their integration of Microsoft Dynamics 365 they've seen increased year-over-year revenue growth by sending relevant, customized content enabled by an automated, cloud-based system. Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft A powerful CRM, like Dynamics 365, can increase your organization's profitability by streamlining administrative processes in your sales, marketing, and service divisions, while letting you focus on building and maintaining the customer relationships that matter. A strong CRM solution is a multifaceted platform where everything crucial to developing, improving, and retaining your customer...
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Streamline Data Management and Turn Communication Challenges into Opportunities

Streamline Data Management and Turn Communication Challenges into Opportunities

After several acquisitions and quick growth from a small and nimble company to a much larger group of properties and brands, Red Lion Hotels Corporation needed to digitally transform.   Using Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams, they improved employee connectivity and unified two legacy data management systems into a single, customized platform, addressing data-quality concerns and improving customer satisfaction.   At Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., we realize that technology affects not only companies, but also owners, staff, and customers. To learn how your organization can leverage smart technology to simplify your business and improve customer and employee relationships, contact us today. ...
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Drive secure and scalable business success with a modern data platform

Drive secure and scalable business success with a modern data platform

If you really want to make a difference in your organization, you can start by modernizing your IT infrastructure. That’s what Kyle began with when he started to work for the City of Corona. He worked hard to help the citizens of Corona by moving the city’s IT services to Microsoft 365 and Azure. This allowed the Corona government to provide real-time data and insights for their traffic management professionals; enable better communication with first responders via mobile devices; and connect with the community. Editing in Microsoft Teams and being able to access features from a mobile platform brought huge time savings and removed redundant efforts among the staff, saving time and resources. With Azure, the city can now access and analyze data quickly, so they can respond to the changing environment faster and with greater accuracy. Thanks to Kyle and Microsoft, Corona’s shift to a modern IT platform helps them to rapidly meet the changing needs of the city...
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MS Office 365 – It May Be Time To Look

MS Office 365 – It May Be Time To Look

Wondering about Office 365 benefits.   Time to consider it?  We agree!  And, we have you covered.  Let's jump into the world of online applications.  It hasn't been without challenges.  The launch of Business Productivity Online Suite, or BPOS, may have been too much, too fast, considering that it was seemingly fast-tracked in response to the launch and aggressive sales campaigns done by another company.  Let me pause here and state clearly that I don't work for Microsoft, but I do drink the kool-aid.  That said, I had a tough time with BPOS because it was marketed mainly to small businesses, we saw a flurry of tiny deals, a lot of noise, and a little bit of MS bravado - "see, we have a cloud offering too."New CapabilitiesOffice 365 is infinitely better, and the exciting next releases of products like Exchange and Lync will make it easier than ever to manage a hybrid environment if that is what will work best...
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Office 365 Promo to Expire Shortly, Regeneration Expected

Office 365 Promo to Expire Shortly, Regeneration Expected

We had a client tell us yesterday that the current pricing promotion for Microsoft Office 365 is too good to ignore.  Office 365 is being used by some of the largest enterprises in the world (CapGemini, American Red Cross), and it is most definitely an enterprise-class solution.  To lower the barrier of adoption, Microsoft put some VERY attractive pricing and bonus offers in place for its customers which currently have Enterprise Agreements (EAs) - on the order of $1.00 per user per month PLUS a potential for $40 per user for partner implementation services.What's Going On?This offer expires on 3/31/2013.  While we expect the offer to be regenerated, the new version will likely have pricing differences.  As a result, we are actively encouraging our clients to get in on this offer.  With a minimum of fifty users (regardless of how many you have on your EA), and up to eighteen months to do the implementation, the best time to jump into...
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Office 365 Hybrid Deployment; Get Prepared!!

Office 365 Hybrid Deployment; Get Prepared!!

Hybrid deployment?  What exactly is it?  Over the last several months we have worked on many Office 365 deployment projects. In some cases, they can be straightforward, but most commonly they are not. This seems to hold particularly true for hybrid deployments.  This is especially true if there are several integration points.  Also, you need to consider network devices such as load balancers, and restrictive server access from the Internet. Advanced Planning Although rolling out a Hybrid deployment of Office 365 isn’t straightforward, it doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. It’s extremely important to have your documentation and proper planning done in advance in order to be prepared for the implementation (as with any project!). Main difficulties?  There is no single point of reference for how a hybrid deployment should be implemented.  Also, what steps need to be taken and in what sequence. The lack of documentation and improper planning can lead to misconfigurations and re-work.  As a result, this can lead to issues and...
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Dismantling an Office 365 Hybrid Deployment

Dismantling an Office 365 Hybrid Deployment

Recently we dismantled an Office 365 Hybrid Deployment. In this scenario, we had a hybrid with SSO deployed but hadn’t started migrating users. We were signed up in the v14 tenant and wanted to start deploying Exchange 2013 in our organization, but that’s not a compatible configuration. The solution was to remove the association between Office 365 and our on-premises Exchange servers so we could do the upgrade. We had to take this route because MS could not commit to any time frames to have our tenant upgraded to v15 but only suggested that we would receive notice in advance of any upgrades. Being a partner, I would have hoped for a better answer than that! Anyways, moving on… Why Remove A Hybrid Configuration? There may be other reasons to remove a hybrid configuration. Most commonly it may have been implemented as part of a larger staged migration that had requirements to take advantage of Hybrid features until the migrations were completed,...
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Office 365 Managed Services

Office 365 Managed Services

The Business Office 365 value proposition is greater reliability, security, and productivity at less cost than on-premise server infrastructure or applications.  Office 365 is a hosted offering for Software as a Service (SaaS) providing portals and applications for administrators and end-users. It combines the familiar Office desktop suite with cloud-based versions of next-generation communications and collaboration services.Why Office 365 For Your Business? Exchange Online offering business-class e-mail, scheduling, and mobility SharePoint Online giving advanced document storage and application integration Lync Online providing presence availability, instant messaging, and desktop sharing. Microsoft takes a comprehensive approach to protecting your data at both the physical layer with significant investment in state-of-the-art data centers and the logical layer using security-aware engineering practices for services and software. Office 365 provides secure access across platforms and devices, as well as premium anti-spam and antivirus technologies that are automatically updated to protect against the latest threats.SecurityThe security features and services associated with Office 365 are built in, reducing the time and cost...
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Busting Office 365 Myths

Busting Office 365 Myths

Ready for some Office 365 myths?  Here we go.  Microsoft has paved the way for Office 365 and its components to become part of computing infrastructure. The good news is that these new technologies create a better, more efficient way for teams to work together. This can result in better collaboration, information sharing, and discoverability.Myth BustersThe bad news is, however, there is a fear of the unknown. Many myths and misunderstandings surround Office 365 and its capabilities.According to a Microsoft survey of over 2,000 Microsoft Partners, the most common myths regarding Office 365 stemmed from issues relating to: Security and privacy Compliance Maturity Complications regarding productivity when offline Debunking Office 365 MythsTake a lunch or coffee break and join in on a 20-minute webinar dedicated to busting common Office 365 myths. In a fast-paced, "Pecha Kucha" format style webcast, you'll learn invaluable information on four topics: Identity myth: Azure and SaaS identity integration Data location myth: Data connection/web apps co-authoring Data analysis myths: Unlocking data insights Mobility myth -...
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Microsoft Now Publishing Office 365 Roadmap

Microsoft Now Publishing Office 365 Roadmap

Who needs an Office 365 roadmap?  I do!  Microsoft has recently announced the publication of an Office 365 road map to give customers a glimpse at what is coming down the Pike.  For you bleeding edge folks, they're offering a first release program to allow you early adoption of features before they hit the masses.Microsoft 365 Road MapThis is great transparency not previously provided to customers, considering the scale of investment for some, and will be a helpful tool for those responsible for maintaining technology road maps.About OakwoodSince 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong....
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Office 365: When is Email Gone For Good?

Office 365: When is Email Gone For Good?

Here is something interesting around the Office 365 Email category.  We often get questions from clients asking about deleted items in Exchange Online. There seems to be some lingering confusion about how long a deleted item persists, who can see it, and when it can be recovered. So, I thought I’d share my take on this - for what it’s worth. Here is the process from beginning to end. Office 365 Email | Gone? When a user initially deletes an item from their mailbox, it is moved to the Deleted Items folder. There, users can view it, move it, or respond to it, just like messages in any other folder. There, the message will remain indefinitely by default. There is no Microsoft policy to automatically empty a user’s “deleted items” folder. So, the only real difference between the “deleted items” folder and all other folders is that items do not show up via a full mailbox search (although of course items are...
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Office 365 Compliance and Regulations

Office 365 Compliance and Regulations

What does Office 365 compliance mean to you?  If you're in a highly regulated industry like a lot of our clients you might have some real challenges with everything to do with the cloud.  Good news!  Office 365, which includes cloud-based services, is being put in a bucket with "cloud" which is really perhaps a bit unfair.  Office 365 is much more than just cloud. What IS Office 365? This table below outlines what Office 365 is and is not: Office 365 IS Office 365 is NOT A suite of hybrid on-premises and cloud-hosted services and software: Exchange SharePoint Lync Microsoft Office JUST e-mail in the cloud A highly-available service developed for business A consumer-grade e-mail solution designed for end-users Private and transparent A vehicle for generating more advertising revenue Compliant to regulatory requirements An all-in cloud solution unable to handle on-premises data requirements Secure - both for physical and logical access Always a valid answer for every security requirement A licensing vehicle for flexible access to the Microsoft Office suite of applications A replacement for your EA licensing agreement with...
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