Archives: Blog

System Center Data Protection Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2 First Look

System Center Data Protection Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2 First Look

Adin ErmieToday New Signature’s Senior Infrastructure Consultant Adin Ermie takes a look at the recent release of System Center Data Protection Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2. Highlights include continuous protection for mixed-mode clusters, improved inquiry performance, and enhanced reporting with Data Protection Manager Central Console.

Head on over to his personal blog to hear what's new and changed in Data Protection Manager (DPM) in System Center Technical Preview.

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New Signature’s Dynamics CRM Online Practice capitalizes on the power of the Microsoft Cloud

New Signature’s Dynamics CRM Online Practice capitalizes on the power of the Microsoft Cloud

One of the many benefits of New Signature Canada's recent acquisition is the addition of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online practice. New Signature, the 2014 and 2015 Microsoft US Partner of the Year, had already built up CRM Online capabilities in the United States. Canadian customer can now, too, capitalize on New Signature's expertise spanning across the full Microsoft stack, and including Dynamics CRM Online and other cloud solutions.  … Read more

Video Case Study: New Signature helps imason Inc. transform Software Solutions into award-winning Managed Service with Infrastructure Guardian Cloud Management

Video Case Study: New Signature helps imason Inc. transform Software Solutions into award-winning Managed Service with Infrastructure Guardian Cloud Management

Case Study VideoInfrastructure Guardian Cloud Management (www.IGCM.com) from New Signature allows enterprise application developers, systems integrators (SI) and independent software vendors (ISV) to turn their software solutions into Managed Cloud Services running on Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform for business.  At the Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, New Signature and pilot customer imason inc. jointly won the 2015 Microsoft Canada Impact Award in the category “Winning Together”.  Using IGCM, imason has added a monthly recurring revenue model and is able to offer enterprise-class solutions to its customers as a Managed Cloud Service with 24/7/365 helpdesk.

 

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Video Case Study: New Signature helps imason Inc. transform Software Solutions into award-winning                Managed Service with Infrastructure Guardian Cloud Management

Video Case Study: New Signature helps imason Inc. transform Software Solutions into award-winning Managed Service with Infrastructure Guardian Cloud Management

Case Study VideoInfrastructure
Guardian Cloud Management (www.IGCM.com)
from New Signature
allows enterprise application developers, systems integrators (SI) and independent software vendors
(ISV) to turn their software solutions into Managed Cloud Services running on Azure, Microsoft's
cloud platform for business.  At the Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, New Signature and pilot
customer imason inc.
jointly won the 2015 Microsoft Canada Impact Award in the category “Winning
Together”
.  Using IGCM, imason has added a monthly
recurring revenue model and is able to offer enterprise-class solutions to its customers as a Managed
Cloud Service with 24/7/365 helpdesk.

Read more

Mobile Expands: Microsoft's Universal Apps and Continuum Strategy

Mobile Expands: Microsoft's Universal Apps and Continuum Strategy

The mobile world is moving so quickly it can be difficult to imagine a time before it arrived. For most of us, the capabilities of a phone merged to that of a true tablet over the past five years, albeit one that couldn’t replace our traditional laptop or desktop. In the next five years, that … Read more

Riding to Conquer Cancer with the New Signature Team

Riding to Conquer Cancer with the New Signature Team

This past weekend members of the New Signature team were able to be a part of something really special. We participated in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the Princess Margaret Cancer center. Team New Signature raised over $30,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Center contributing to a combined total of over $19 million … Read more

New Signature eBook – Building Your Cloud Infrastructure with Azure: Five High Value IaaS Scenarios                for Your Business

New Signature eBook – Building Your Cloud Infrastructure with Azure: Five High Value IaaS Scenarios for Your Business

http://www.igcm.com/ebookCloud infrastructure and Infrastructure as a Service are on the agenda of most IT executives,
managers and professionals today. Whether it is moving on-premise workloads fully to the cloud or
building out hybrid IT scenarios, Microsoft Azure is the most comprehensive cloud platform for business.

In working with our customers, we see the financial and operational benefits of
private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. At New Signature, we've even built a free IGCM Cloud Governance Portal to
help other Azure enterprise users get the most out of their subscriptions and usage.

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New Signature eBook – Building Your Cloud Infrastructure with Azure: Five High Value IaaS Scenarios for Your Business

New Signature eBook – Building Your Cloud Infrastructure with Azure: Five High Value IaaS Scenarios for Your Business

http://www.igcm.com/ebook

Cloud infrastructure and Infrastructure as a Service are on the agenda of most IT executives, managers and professionals today. Whether it is moving on-premise workloads fully to the cloud or building out hybrid IT scenarios, Microsoft Azure is the most comprehensive cloud platform for business.

In working with our customers, we see the financial and operational benefits of private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. At New Signature, we've even built a free IGCM Cloud Governance Portal to help other Azure enterprise users get the most out of their subscriptions and usage.

Read more

New Signature acquires Microsoft cloud platform leaders CMS Consulting and Infrastructure Guardian

New Signature acquires Microsoft cloud platform leaders CMS Consulting and Infrastructure Guardian

New Signature, the 2014 Microsoft US Partner of the Year, announced today that it
has acquired CMS Consulting Inc. and Infrastructure Guardian, both based in Toronto, Ontario.

New Signature, the 2014 Microsoft US Partner of the Year, announced today that it has acquired CMS
Consulting Inc. and Infrastructure Guardian, both based in Toronto, Ontario. By adding Canadian
operations with deep technology expertise in Microsoft Azure and cloud infrastructure solutions, New
Signature continues its aggressive strategic expansion of capabilities and market coverage as North
America’s premier cloud focused Microsoft partner. … Read more

FIM Service: Quick on the draw

FIM Service: Quick on the draw

FIM Service is often used to take actions upon seeing a new person object or new attribute(s). This involves running Workflow Activities that are run by FIM Service, and these are often invoked for a user immediately upon a change about that person syncing to FIM Service. However, FIM Service often receives changes about a person asynchronously. What … Read more

IGCM's Chief Strategy Officer discusses Windows Server upgrades in Globe and Mail

IGCM's Chief Strategy Officer discusses Windows Server upgrades in Globe and Mail

With Microsoft support for Windows Server 2003 ending on July 14th, 2015, many Canadian
companies still need to upgrade to a newer on-premise version or the cloud. According to an article in
the Globe and Mail, 380,000 servers or 40% of Microsoft's Canadian customer base) are still
running Windows Server 2003 in Canada. 

John Czernuszka, Chief Strategy Officer of Infrastructure Guardian, and Jason
Hermitage, Vice President of Operations at Microsoft Canada  highlight the potential impact
of not upgrading, and the opportunities of moving to Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform for
business.

“[A]s both
Microsoft and Mr. Czernuszka point out, just updating the server isn’t enough. Companies
running applications that rely on Server 2003 will need to update those too, which can double the time
needed to change systems. Microsoft’s big push is to have customers move to its Azure
cloud computing platform.”

To read the full article in the Globe and Mail, click here.

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CRM is not software

CRM is not software

CRM is not software. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is what you do; you build amazing relationships with your customers and everyone you do business with. CRM is a behavior. It’s at the core of any business, and people have been doing it since well before the days of semiconductors, “big data,” and petaflop calculations. It … Read more

Lightning in a Bottle: Identity Management in the Cloud

Lightning in a Bottle: Identity Management in the Cloud

When we chat with customers about taking advantage of cloud services for their infrastructure, applications and data we often begin with a conversation around security. The benefit of moving to a hosted cloud service, from a security perspective, is that the provider assumes the onerous responsibility for much of the data access controls (physical access, … Read more

New IGCM Azure Cloud Governance Portal offers free dashboard view and trend analysis of Azure subscriptions

New IGCM Azure Cloud Governance Portal offers free dashboard view and trend analysis of Azure subscriptions

portal.igcm.comInfrastructure Guardian, our sister company that provides governance, operations and advisory services for public, private and hybrid cloud environments, just launched the public preview of its new IGCM Cloud Governance Portal.

The dashboard view lets users with a Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA) easily see where dollars are being spent and quickly identify billing trends and usage over time. Administrators can create relevant charts and delegate views to department heads and project leads through an intuitive interface.

Instead of exporting detailed usage spreadsheets with thousands of data rows from Microsoft’s Azure portal, EA customers can log into the IGCM Azure Cloud Governance Portal to get quick views and meaningful trend insights for cost control and capacity planning.

Using the IGCM Portal to control and mange subscriptions allows EA owners to slice and dice Azure usage based on logical groupings and accounting needs. EA customers can also monitor per resource usage thresholds or for anomalous changes in usage to get peace of mind that unexpected usage bills will be prevented, and problems that otherwise may go unnoticed until the next billing cycle can be contained quickly.

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Introducing the IGCM Azure Cloud Governance Portal

Introducing the IGCM Azure Cloud Governance Portal

John CzernuszkaFor years we've been talking about the promise of cloud-first and
hybrid cloud scenarios, and we have seen rapidly increasing adoption. Now it's time to make sure
IT organizations transitioning to cloud scenarios are able to keep this promise every day. That's
why we have launched the new Azure
Cloud Governance Portal
.

Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform for business, is the foundation for many IT
scenarios, including IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Microsoft offers an incredible amount of technical resources
for Azure. However, Azure customers cannot easily summarize and analyze their Azure usage and billing
data. The IGCM Azure Cloud Governance Portal fills this much needed gap by making it easy to 
get key insights into usage and billing trends.

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Infrastructure Guardian launches free Cloud Governance Portal for Microsoft Azure

Infrastructure Guardian launches free Cloud Governance Portal for Microsoft Azure

Now in public preview, the IGCM Portal provides enterprise users
of Microsoft's cloud platform with a free dashboard view and trend analysis of all
Azure
subscriptions, usage and spending.

Tportal.igcm.comORONTO,
March 9, 2015 –
Infrastructure
Guardian
, a provider of cloud management as a service for public, private and hybrid
cloud environments, today announced the public preview of its new Cloud Governance Portal for Azure. Users of a Microsoft
Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA) can sign up for free at IGCM.com
to start analyzing their Azure subscriptions for key insights into usage and billing trends.

Read more

New Signature’s #1 Customer is…

New Signature’s #1 Customer is…

If you don’t know me, I’m a bit of an evangelist. I believe an executive leader’s job is to ensure your business is delivering positive, successful experiences to its customers. But while most leaders think of customers as the groups outside their firm that pay their bills and generate revenue, I do not. No, my job is … Read more

Enterprise Mobility + Morton's Steakhouse is the recipe for a great learning event

Enterprise Mobility + Morton's Steakhouse is the recipe for a great learning event

On Wed, February 25th, the New Signature team hosted a lunch and learn event at Morton’s Steakhouse in NYC for our customers around the Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). The turnout for the event was stellar proving what we already knew — people are ready to embrace the world of mobility in the business environment. The Enterprise Mobility … Read more

Identity Management for the Cloud matters in every IT Environment

Identity Management for the Cloud matters in every IT Environment

Identity RepositoryIf you do only one thing
with Cloud, get your identity management strategy right. Even if your organization's IT
environment is all on-premise, you have to know how to handle identity management for cloud
applications. Here is why.

Enterprise use of cloud based applications has increased dramatically in recent years.
For example, a report on cloud apps by Netskope showed that
in the last quarter of 2014, enterprises on average use 613 cloud applications per organization.
Business units often see IT as an inhibitor to providing business solutions quickly, so end users will
access Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, even if corporate IT doesn't endorse it.
According to the recent Cloud Adoption, Practices and Priorities Survey Report
by the Cloud
Security Alliance
(CSA), “nearly 72 percent [of surveyed executives and IT
managers] admitted that they did not know the number of shadow IT apps within their organization, but
certainly want to.”

Read more

David Geevaratne receives the 2014 WBJ Minority Business Leader Award

David Geevaratne receives the 2014 WBJ Minority Business Leader Award

On February 19th, New Signature President and Co-Founder, David Geevaratne was among the recipients of the Washington Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award. The award reception was hosted at the Ritz Carlton Washington, D.C. and the WBJ MBLA team did a stellar job of coordination and planning. The event was a wonderful celebration of the honorees and the … Read more

Red Light, Green Light And Engaging Employees In Your Network

Red Light, Green Light And Engaging Employees In Your Network

Remember the childhood game of Red Light, Green Light? You designated one person to be the “stop light” and the rest to try and touch or pass the “stop light.” This game can apply to Enterprise Social networks by replacing the stop-light with the network you’re using: Yammer. The players in this case are your … Read more

Successfully synchronizing files to OneDrive

Successfully synchronizing files to OneDrive

Tips for synchronizing files to OneDrive for Business We have seen a number of organizations moving the contents of users’ folders on file servers to OneDrive for Business, allowing them to decommission on-premises file servers. Each Office 365 Enterprise license holder has their own OneDrive for Business web site that provides cloud-based storage for their … Read more

Windows 10 Technical Preview Using VHD Native Boot

Windows 10 Technical Preview Using VHD Native Boot

You probably already know that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is out and available for download. If you like trying out the latest and greatest from Microsoft, and can deal with some bugs, installing it now will give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with it before it is released. You’ll even have an opportunity to … Read more

New Signature Thermos Goes Ice Fishing

New Signature Thermos Goes Ice Fishing

And the travels of our New Signature drinking vessels continue… This edition come to us from Lake Archer, MA. This is where New Signature employee, Mike Sawyer took his New Signature thermos out with him for a cold day on the lake while ice fishing. As a fishing enthusiast Mike is used to braving the … Read more

Data Loss Prevention in Office 365

Data Loss Prevention in Office 365

What is Data Loss Prevention? The term “Data Loss Prevention” refers to strategies that help prevent sensitive, confidential or legally protected information from leaking out from the organization, such as Social Security numbers, credit card details and passport numbers, for example. What’s new? Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is now available for SharePoint Online and One … Read more

Synching Azure Active Directory with on premise Windows Server AD

Synching Azure Active Directory with on premise Windows Server AD

Rodney BuikeAzure Active
Directory (AD) provides identity and access management in the cloud. One of the challenges of Azure AD
was connecting it with existing on premise identity management solutions such as Windows Server Active
Directory.  

Microsoft addressed the issue earlier
this year
with a beta release of the Azure Active Directory Connect tool that made
Azure AD integration with local directories easier. This tool has now reached Public Review stage.  

Read more about Azure AD and the Connect tool over at the
CMS blog
.

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Connecting Azure Active Directory and Windows Server AD

Connecting Azure Active Directory and Windows Server AD

Rodney BuikeAzure Active Directory (AD) provides identity and access management in the cloud. As part of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform for business, Azure AD offers “a robust set of capabilities to manage users and groups and help secure access to on-premises and cloud applications including Microsoft online services like Office 365”.

Using Azure AD comes with the great benefit of being able to extend single sign-on capabilities not only to Office 365 but also other Microsoft and third-party solutions. This includes Azure Rights Management Services, which uses encryption, identity, and authorization policies to help secure files and email, and works across multiple devices and operating systems. It can also enable single sign-on capabilities to other SaaS applications, so that companies can have their end users access CRM, BI, HR or other important corporate applications safely and securely.

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Azure RemoteApp available from Microsoft starting today

Azure RemoteApp available from Microsoft starting today

Microsoft is
making Azure RemoteApp generally available today. Azure RemoteApp was first unveiled under the codename
“Mohoro” at TechEd North America last Spring. According to Microsoft's documentation,
The TechNet
blog post
sums it up nicely: “With Azure RemoteApp, you can deploy Windows
apps in the cloud and access them from any device.” Available now as a pay-as-you-go
subscription, Microsoft will also create plans within Enterprise Agreements with annual per-user
commitments starting February 1, 2015.

Read Brian’s full blog post on Azure RemoteApp GA over at the CMS
blog
.

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Another New Signature Water Bottle Spotted

Another New Signature Water Bottle Spotted

Where has your New Signature Water Bottle been? Less than a mile from New Signature Headquarters stands The National Christmas Tree, which resides inside The Ellipse near the White House in DC. It is surrounded by smaller evergreen trees, which represent the U.S. States, District of Columbia, and the inhabited territories. The first National Christmas … Read more

The story of the traveling New Signature water bottle

The story of the traveling New Signature water bottle

It makes my marketing heart soar when I see people enjoying the New Signature branded items we have handed out for different events and promotions over the years. The latest story involves a New Signature water bottle and its adventure to 11,000 feet. Susan Carlin and her family took what sounds to be an amazing 4WD … Read more

Five Questions for John Czernuszka, Infrastructure Guardian's new Chief Strategy Officer

Five Questions for John Czernuszka, Infrastructure Guardian's new Chief Strategy Officer

Infrastructure Guardian has added experienced IT executive John Czernuszka to its senior
leadership team. In the newly created role of Chief Strategy Officer, John will build out Infrastructure
Guardian's Cloud Management as a Service offering and help drive geographic expansion into the
United States. We asked John five questions about his new role.

  1. Throughout your career in IT you
    have contributed to the adoption of new IT trends from both the corporate and the consultant
    perspective. What do you think matters most to organizations currently looking to move some of their IT
    environment into the cloud?

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Goodbye Lync, welcome Skype for Business

Goodbye Lync, welcome Skype for Business

Microsoft this week announced that Lync will be rebranded as “Skype for Business” in the first half of 2015. The next version of the unified communications product will feature “a new client experience, new server release, and updates to the service in Office 365”, according to a post on the Skype blog. At past conferences, Microsoft referred to this new server and service as “vNext”. … Read more

How to load balance cloud services with Azure Traffic Manager

How to load balance cloud services with Azure Traffic Manager

Azure offers a
number of features that can help improve performance and availability of Microsoft's cloud
platform. For example, Azure
Traffic Manager
provides you with the ability to “control the distribution of
user traffic to your specified endpoints, which can include Azure cloud services, websites, and other
endpoints”.

With Azure Traffic Manager you can deploy cloud services in a variety of regions and
then load balance them across those regions based on a couple of options:

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Creating SharePoint Relative Links

Creating SharePoint Relative Links

Site Templates in SharePoint can be extremely useful, however one of the major shortcomings is that any links you put into the site template will be relative to the site collection, and not to the site. This can be overcome with some simple HTML embedded in Script Editor web part, meaning creating SharePoint relative links is quite easy … Read more

Microsoft Azure – The jump to Hyperscale

Microsoft Azure – The jump to Hyperscale

There’s really no better way to describe yesterday’s Azure announcement except to say that everything is getting bigger and better. Before we discuss new announcements let’s look at where we are now. Per this excellent Ars Technica Article, Azure is already massive: 600,000 servers per region More than 11 million total servers Moving forward, Azure … Read more

How to auto-scale virtual machines with Microsoft Azure

How to auto-scale virtual machines with Microsoft Azure

Running Azure
Websites over a virtual machine (VM) makes it easy to scale up or down as required. If you are using the
Standard Tier for Azure Websites, you get automatic scaling of up to three VM sizes and up to ten
instances based on schedules and/or CPU. I explained how to configure scaling in a post
on The Lazy Admin blog earlier this year … Read more

Moving to Office 365: Enabling OneDrive for Business

Moving to Office 365: Enabling OneDrive for Business

In our first OneDrive for Business blog post, we outlined why businesses that currently have or are considering moving away from on-premise Microsoft Office to a hosted Office 365 environment should also consider taking advantage of OneDrive for Business as a cost-effective way to store and share documents, files and video content in the cloud.  … Read more

Canadian CloudLab Training Tour is starting soon – Get hands-on training for cloud infrastructure                solutions and Microsoft Azure

Canadian CloudLab Training Tour is starting soon – Get hands-on training for cloud infrastructure solutions and Microsoft Azure

CMS
Consulting and Microsoft are taking the CloudLab Training Tour across Canada. Participants get two days
of hands-on training for cloud computing with a focus on Infrastructure-as-a-Service and the Microsoft
Azure cloud platform for business. Usually priced at $899, Microsoft and CMS are making the CloudLab
training available for only $99.

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Canadian CloudLab Training Tour is starting soon – Get hands-on training for cloud infrastructure solutions and Microsoft Azure

Canadian CloudLab Training Tour is starting soon – Get hands-on training for cloud infrastructure solutions and Microsoft Azure

New Signature and Microsoft are taking the CloudLab Training Tour across Canada. Participants get two days of hands-on training for cloud computing with a focus on Infrastructure-as-a-Service and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform for business. Usually priced at $899, Microsoft and New Signature are making the CloudLab training available for only $99.

Read more

Why I Love (and Hate) Yammer

Why I Love (and Hate) Yammer

When I joined New Signature (Microsoft’s US Partner of the Year) I had assumed I would learn new Excel and PowerPoint tricks, I never dreamed of Yammer.  Don’t worry, this isn’t a commercial of why your company should implement Yammer but rather a reflection on how Yammer brings employee engagement to a different level and how … Read more

Exchange 2013 CU5/CU6 Hybrid and WSSecurity Federation Issues

Exchange 2013 CU5/CU6 Hybrid and WSSecurity Federation Issues

While recently deploying a 2013 CU6 Hybrid Server for a 2007 Exchange customer moving to Office 365, I ran into an issue with Free/Busy federation that may have been lurking around Exchange 2013 Hybrid servers since CU5. A short description of the issue: Free/Busy information was not available for a 2007 mailbox on-premises when performing … Read more

Four ways mobility is impacting cloud computing

Four ways mobility is impacting cloud computing

The cloud computing landscape opens a whole new world of opportunities to organizations. With the right managed systems and business oversight, these tools can become some of the most unifying, innovative and strengthening forces in a corporate environment. What’s most important though is that companies are focusing their attention in the right places and on … Read more

Four tips for proper unified communications adoption in the cloud

Four tips for proper unified communications adoption in the cloud

Implementing unified communications in the cloud computing atmosphere is an ideal move for firms that want to make the most of this technology. These solutions facilitate more centralized information resources that improve insights, generate superior analytics, allow for enhanced control over business systems and provide a means for consolidating corporate knowledge. It may seem daunting … Read more

Custom templates with Azure Rights Management Services

Custom templates with Azure Rights Management Services

Today we will a look at creating and using custom templates with Azure Rights Management Services (RMS).   If you’re new to the topic you might find it useful to read our earlier post explaining Azure Rights Management Services.   To start, logon to Office 365 as an administrator and go to Service Settings in the Office 365 … Read more

Wireless Network Troubleshooting with inSSIDer4

Wireless Network Troubleshooting with inSSIDer4

Today we’ll discuss using inSSIDer4 software from MetaGeek for wireless network troubleshooting, and compare it with the Wifi Explorer product we reviewed here in an earlier post.  Below is a screen shot showing the inSSIDer4 interface, with the focus on the “NewSig-Internal” network.  Just like Wifi Explorer, inSSIDer4 will show you the name of the … Read more

Office 365 Pro Plus Adds Shared Computer Support

Office 365 Pro Plus Adds Shared Computer Support

Back in May, the Microsoft Office team announced that they would be adding Shared Computer support to the Office 365 Pro Plus suite (Link). Today they announced that this feature is now available for everyone. (Link). By providing shared computer support, Microsoft has now lifted a barrier that previously prevented customers from deploying the Office Click-to-Run … Read more

What is Infrastructure Guardian Cloud Management?

What is Infrastructure Guardian Cloud Management?

Alex ChanOver the past two years, we have seen cloud computing turn from theory to reality in many
business organizations, and the trend towards accelerated adoption will continue. A July 2014 report by technology research firm
TechNavio forecasts the Cloud Computing market in Canada to grow at a CAGR of 17.8 percent until 2018.
Market researchers at IDC Canada in March 2014 predicted the Canadian
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market to grow by more than a 40% CAGR over the next four years, and
by 2017 be valued at close to C$1B.  

Read more

Beyond Passwords: Modern Identity Security in Azure

Beyond Passwords: Modern Identity Security in Azure

​Identity has, by and large, remained fairly static over the past two decades. The concepts of “usernames” and “passwords” have aged (not gracefully, as headlines reveal) but still are in use by most organizations. Here at New Signature, we’ve championed the use of “passphrases” (e.g. “I went to dinner, with style!”) over the past several … Read more

Journey to Working Social: New Signature and Yammer

Journey to Working Social: New Signature and Yammer

One of the most amazing things about working for New Signature is our push to “drink our own champagne.” We extensively experiment with new technologies, solutions and processes internally before giving our endorsement for customer adoption. One of those that we truly needed to experience before recommending was Yammer, Microsoft’s Enterprise Social Platform. Our social … Read more

The Age of the Customer

The Age of the Customer

New Signature has, since its inception, focused intensely on providing amazing customer experiences. It is increasingly obvious that Microsoft is starting to become a true believer as well. From Satya Nadella’s first company wide email, through the sessions at this year’s Convergence Conference (Microsoft’s annual gathering of Dynamics ERP and CRM partners and customers) and now … Read more

Multi-factor authentication with Office 365

Multi-factor authentication with Office 365

What is multi-factor authentication? Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a process whereby you have to present more than one type of information to gain access to a system or location.  For example, to access a building you might have to show an identity card and enter a PIN number on a keypad.  For multi-factor authentication with … Read more

SecTor Pre-Conference Microsoft Azure Training

SecTor Pre-Conference Microsoft Azure Training

www.sector.caCMS Consulting Inc. invites you to register for an introductory, hands-on training course on Microsoft Azure. Join Brian Bourne and Rodney Buike for an interactive session where you can expect to learn how Azure Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) can support your organization. The full day session is comprised of technical presentations, lab exercises and a Q&A session that will help you learn how storage, network and compute is handled by Azure.

Read more

Multi-forest Identity Synchronization for Office 365 Using Azure AD Sync

Multi-forest Identity Synchronization for Office 365 Using Azure AD Sync

In April, Microsoft announced on the Active Directory Team Blog a bunch of cool new identity synchronization features available in preview. This includes password write back, new Azure AD Sync (AAD Sync), and multi-forest support. The multi-forest support was particularly exciting as I regularly work with customers who have multiple on-premises Active Directory forests and … Read more

Defeating Evil Maids: Modern Devices Fight Back

Defeating Evil Maids: Modern Devices Fight Back

For technology security experts, it is taken as an a priori that once a device falls into the wrong ​hands, the data contained within that device is no longer secure. The only question is one of time: how long would it take a determined malicious actor, organization or state to get at the data given their … Read more

The public sector needs a cloud ice breaker

The public sector needs a cloud ice breaker

CMS Consulting president Brian Bourne frequently contributes to IT security and privacy discussions in Canada. With cloud computing gaining rapid traction in Canadian organizations, the questions of  “data sovereignty” and “data residency” come up frequently now.

To get more clarity on these topics in a public sector setting, Brian talked to Tracy Ann Kosa, a senior strategist in privacy at Microsoft Corp. and a doctoral candidate in Computer Science at University of Ontario Institute for Technology. Tracy is working on creating models for measuring privacy. Here is her take on what is important with regard to establishing “reasonable protection” for cloud computing in public sector settings:

Read more

The art of creating Driver Packages

The art of creating Driver Packages

There are a number ways to manage device drivers in Windows at the enterprise level. Jason Cotton, a Senior Consultant at CMS Consulting, recently shared key approaches over on the blog of our sister company Infrastructure Guardian.

The four approaches are:

1. Include everything the manufacturer offers for that model
2. Do an ‘auto detect’ drivers task
3. Combination of drivers and executables
4. Include only what plug and play will use for the tested model

Here are the key arguments for his favourite method of creating driver packagers:

Read more

How to create Driver Packages faster and more accurately

How to create Driver Packages faster and more accurately

Everyone working
with business technology knows that there is a “science” and an “art”
to IT. Today I’d like to discuss my “art” of managing device
drivers.

My approach is not the only method that will end up with a functional product. But,
although it may not be the most obvious way, it offers me specific advantages over all the others
methods. That’s why I call it an art.

Here is an overview of different methods for creating driver packages:

Read more

Electronic Discovery in Office 365

Electronic Discovery in Office 365

This is the first of a series of posts regarding the retention, protection, deletion and auditing of email data in Office 365. Along the way we will examine the concepts behind some powerful but little known features of the service. In this post we’ll be focusing on the Exchange Online and SharePoint Online components of … Read more

Using Icons in Web Development: The move to SVG

Using Icons in Web Development: The move to SVG

Background SVG, Scalable Vector Graphics, is an XML format for 2D graphics. As the name implies, a document in SVG format can scale to any size, effectively filling up any size container. Also, being a vector based format means that each portion of the graphical image is actually comprised of primitive parts, called “paths.” These … Read more

Migrating Email to Office 365: Tips and Tricks from the Field – Part 2

Migrating Email to Office 365: Tips and Tricks from the Field – Part 2

Dan Djurasovic In Part I of our list of tips and tricks from the field, we highlighted some Configurations to look out for when moving email from on-premise to Microsoft Office 365 with hosted email through Exchange Online.

PART 2 – Obstacles, Limitations and Policies

Today we will focus on a number of potential issues including:

  • Large mail limitations
  • Accounts with disabled email policy
  • Temporary coexistence during cutover
  • Default MRM policy
  • Syncing to Azure Active Directory
  • Email flow issues

As with the first part of our series, everything mentioned here is based on a recent customer scenario with Office 365 (V15), Exchange 2007 (Legacy) and Exchange 2013 (Hybrid Server).

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Migrating Email to Office 365: Tips and Tricks from the Field – Part 1

Migrating Email to Office 365: Tips and Tricks from the Field – Part 1

Dan DjurasovicMoving your corporate email from an existing on-premise infrastructure to Microsoft Office 365 with hosted email through Exchange Online has many advantages. The right planning and preparation is important to make the migration a success because there are a lot of technical and administrative considerations to think about.

CMS Consulting handles many email migrations for our customers. Based on one of my recent successful experiences, I have compiled a list of tips and tricks an organization planning to upgrade to Office 365 with hosted email may find useful. After starting to write them all down, the short article I was planning to write actually turned into a series on migration.

Read more

A robust approach to data migration

A robust approach to data migration

If you are moving a large number of files between servers in a Microsoft Windows environment then you might want a more robust solution than using Copy and Paste from the Edit menu. You might for instance want to have a log of all the files moved, or have an individual file copy retried after … Read more

New Signature Announced as a 2014 Helios Apollo Award Finalist

New Signature Announced as a 2014 Helios Apollo Award Finalist

On March 20, 2014, New Signature was named one of five finalists for the Helios Apollo Award in the Thio category. The Helios HR awards recognize exceptional organizations that “foster employee development and community impact.” New Signature was selected by an independent panel of judges from a pool of nearly 200 impressive candidates.. “We are … Read more

Back To The Future: Experiencing Win 8 Modern Applications

Back To The Future: Experiencing Win 8 Modern Applications

​While at Microsoft’s annual Dynamics Convergence conference, I decided to try a novel approach to modern applications: instead of using them in a one-off mode, I’d dive into the deep end and attempt to use *only* modern applications for an entire week. The results were quite surprising to me, as I’d attempted this same journey … Read more

Welcome to the Future: Building Modern Customer Experiences

Welcome to the Future: Building Modern Customer Experiences

​As I read Mary Jo Foley’s excellent recap of what is to come in Windows 9, I recalled several conversations with customers and New Signature employees who were curious about the direction Microsoft was taking with their operating systems and what it meant for their business. Thinking back thirty years, the goal Microsoft had seems … Read more

New Signature makes MediaCurrent's "Top Drupal 7 Module" list

New Signature makes MediaCurrent's "Top Drupal 7 Module" list

New Signature was excited to see our Drupal 7 module, Smart Trim, made the MediaCurrent list of Top Drupal 7 Modules. MediaCurrent routinely publishes a list of their most frequently used modules in order to help new Drupal devs and the general Drupal community. Smart Trim implements a new field formatter for text fields (text, text_long, … Read more

SharePoint Online Site Collections now 10x Larger

SharePoint Online Site Collections now 10x Larger

There have been a lot of great features shown during this week’s SPC2014 related to the new Office Graph, but something that’s just as exciting for those of us looking for new features we can use right now is the increased limits and boundaries for Office 365. The most important change here is the increase from … Read more

Data Protection Manager and Windows Azure Online Backups

Data Protection Manager and Windows Azure Online Backups

In this post we will look at configuring online backups from Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2012 R2 to the Windows Azure online backup service. First you will need to logon to your Windows Azure portal and create a new storage vault to store the backups. Next you will want to create a certificate for … Read more

Lync Will Change the Game in 2014

Lync Will Change the Game in 2014

Let’s be honest — Lync has already changed the game; it’s transformed the unified communications experience for enterprise users with Lync 2013, and extended the availability of a robust UC experience to more organizations than ever before with Lync Online through Office 365. Even with all this under its belt, the Lync team continues to … Read more

SkyKick Office 365 Migration (Automated)

SkyKick Office 365 Migration (Automated)

A new tool called SkyKick, which promises effortless migrations for Office 365, has been released. Having been through many migrations through all of the iterations of Microsoft’s hosted email offerings, starting with Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), I was excited to see how many of the routine and time consuming tasks could be automated. SkyKick promises … Read more

How to Tune a SCOM Environment for Holistic Monitoring: Best Practices

How to Tune a SCOM Environment for Holistic Monitoring: Best Practices

SCOM
                Environment for Holistic MonitoringMicrosoft System Center 2012 R2 provides unified management across customer, service provider,
and Windows Azure data centers. Part of this offering is System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), which
allows organizations to manage data centers and cloud infrastructures with a set of monitoring tools for
both the underlying physical infrastructure and the virtualized infrastructure. … Read more

Setting Up Connectivity to a Microsoft Azure Cloud

Setting Up Connectivity to a Microsoft Azure Cloud

Many of our customers ask us to guide them on setting up connectivity to a newly made Azure tenant. While this post will show you how to do this using Windows 2012 RRAS, one could certainly use any perimeter device that supports IPSec. The advantage of using Windows Server 2012 RRAS (and for the most part Cisco or Juniper firewalls) is that configuration of the network connectivity on Azure portal includes configuration script generation for it.   
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Sending SCSM 2012 incident data to an external system

Sending SCSM 2012 incident data to an external system

Through interactions with our customers who have shown an interest in System Center Service Manager (SCSM) 2012, we have noticed the need to be able to share data stored within SCSM with other systems. An example of this could be an external ticketing system that is used outside of SCSM, and a need exists to … Read more

Windows Azure online backup configuration

Windows Azure online backup configuration

With the recent release to mainstream delivery of the Windows Azure backup service Microsoft has entered the marketplace of online backups.   Windows Azure Backup is just one aspect of the suite of functionality provided under the Windows Azure family.  The Azure Backup service is intended to provide cloud-based backups of your organization’s data and supports … Read more

Envisioning the Future: The Microsoft Experience Center

Envisioning the Future: The Microsoft Experience Center

For many customers, purchasing software is akin to shopping for a car. Simply select the model you want, based on appearance, gas mileage, horsepower or acceleration. If you have purchased cars thirty, twenty or even ten years ago, the experience was largely the same. Come into the showroom, take a test drive, argue over the price, … Read more

How to determine if you need an on-premises Exchange server for recipients management when you move to Office 365

How to determine if you need an on-premises Exchange server for recipients management when you move to Office 365

We get a lot of questions on mailbox and distribution group management in Office 365 and how their day to day administration will differ from their traditional Exchange environment. Microsoft has an extensive FAQ section on managing Office 365, but here is a quick list of items that you should browse through to determine if you need to keep an Exchange server just for recipients management when you move to Office 365 and Exchange Online.
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SCCM 2012 Reporting – Troubleshooting HTTP 500 Errors

SCCM 2012 Reporting – Troubleshooting HTTP 500 Errors

System Center Configuration Manager 2012 provides an IT administrator with many great capabilities.  One out of the many features that comes with SCCM is reporting.  SCCM 2012 comes loaded with over 400 reports out of the box, and because it utilizes SQL Reporting Services, anyone with knowledge of SQL Reporting Services can create their own … Read more

Resolving disk space issues

Resolving disk space issues

It is not uncommon for us to receive a request from someone for assistance with a computer that is running slow or behaving erratically. There can be a number of causes for these symptoms, in this post we will look at one of them: the issue of what happens when you run out of disk … Read more

Exchange 2013 Upgrade Considerations

Exchange 2013 Upgrade Considerations

There are several reasons for wanting to upgrade to Microsoft Exchange Server 2013.  Here’s a few of them: Exchange server architecture is greatly simplified with just two main server roles: mailbox server and client access server. Outlook Web Access can now be used in an off-line mode allowing users to still see emails within browsers when … Read more

Why Social Media Management Matters for CRM

Why Social Media Management Matters for CRM

Connecting and building relationships with your customers has never been more complicated – or more important. Yesterday, organizations connected with their customers and prospects through email and over the phone. But thanks to the rise of the social web, today’s customers expect to be heard from everywhere, forcing leading organizations to become more adaptable and … Read more

Secure wipe of sensitive files

Secure wipe of sensitive files

A client contacted me the other day with an issue that might be of interest to others. He had a Windows 7 laptop which had been used on a project and contained sensitive files. He wanted to re-use the laptop for a new project, and needed to know how he could remove the sensitive files … Read more

Windows Azure Backups

Windows Azure Backups

Microsoft has taken its Azure backup service out of preview mode and made it a mainstream service. Windows Azure Backup is just one aspect of the suite of functionality provided under the Windows Azure family. The Azure Backup service is intended to provide cloud-based backups of your organization’s data and supports all the usual features … Read more

SkyDrive Pro Client Lookup Column Threshold Error

SkyDrive Pro Client Lookup Column Threshold Error

SharePoint Online has some unique features, as well as some special limitations in comparison to SharePoint 2013. Some of these features are obvious, like the lack of vanity URLs in the private site collections. Some are much less apparent, however.  A specific example is the List View Lookup Threshold. When the SkyDrive Pro client is used … Read more