Episode 3: ILTACON Event, Washington DC
J. Peter, where are you?
Greetings! J .Peter here and this week I’m in Washington DC. DC is an amazing town with so many historical locations museums to visit. I had a chance to see the White House (from the outside of course), the Washington Monument and a few Smithsonian museums.
Incidentally, a little bit of trivia here, the Washington monument is two different colors. The base started in 1848 but the building stopped from 1854 to 1877 due to funding issues and… well… the Civil War. When they started again the marble color was slightly different.
Why are you there?
I’m here in Washington DC to speak at ILTACON 2016 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. ILTACON is a technology conference focused on law firms and legal departments. The folks running the conference apparently read an article I wrote in InfoWorld about the gotchas of Office 365 and asked if I would come and give an Office 365 session.
What are you there for?
The session I’m giving is entitled: Office 365: Where do you start?
It covers the three main questions I’m often asked by folks regarding Office 365. Should we move to Office 365? How do we move to Office 365? What are the gotchas (aka buyers remorse) concerns when moving to Office 365?
Personally, I love what Microsoft has done with Office 365. It’s a fantastic solution with flexible price points depending on your needs. That doesn’t mean I recommend it for everyone. But I think it’s obvious that it’s the future email solution for most enterprise customers. With how to make the move I discussed the decisions that need to be made. Do I do a cutover or a hybrid staged migration? Do I use a third-party migration solution? Do I pull in consultants for the hybrid configuration? If I go with a hybrid do I determine self/same or single sign on and then do I go with ADFS or some kind of third-party solution like Okta or Centrify? With the gotchas of a migration… what do I do with my legacy archive solution? And then with post-migration gaps… what about my security with Office 365? How do I maintain continuity or availability of services even when Office 365 is down?
The session was not a product pitch for Mimecast by any means but I made sure to point out where Mimecast fills the gaps with regard to security, archiving and continuity. Mimecast had a booth at the event so I was able to point them off to the Mimecast folks for more information. In addition, we gave out copies of the Conversational Geek book sponsored by Mimecast entitled “Conversational Office 365 Risk Mitigation” which just had a 2nd Edition release this week and you’re welcome to download the book directly with the link provided here.
It was a great event. I had a chance to talk to a lot of folks moving toward Office 365, many with some trepidation, and I was able to allay those fears by helping them appreciate that just like our on-premises Exchange, there is an ecosystem of third-party solutions that can assist in enhancing what Microsoft is providing.
Hey, I hope you’ve enjoyed following me to Washington DC.
Where am I going next? Your roadmap says Atlanta Georgia for Ignite. But I might just surprise you folks with a bonus stop!
Episode 2: Lunch Event at the Palms - Nashville, TN
Q: J. Peter, where are you?
A: Greetings! J .Peter here and this week I’m in Nashville Tennessee. When I think of Nashville I think of country music and the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry was founded nearly 100 years ago in 1925 and is a weekly country music stage concert that has hosted all the greats over the years. Did you know it’s the longest-running radio broadcast in US history? It’s also a hotspot for Pokemon Go players. I caught several new ones right in front of the place. But I digress.
Nashville also makes me think of the movie “The Thing Called Love”. A 1993 film about four young song writers trying to get their music noticed. Starred River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, a young Sandra Bullock and a young Dermot Mulroney.
Q: Why are you there?
A: I’m here in Nashville TN to Keynote a lunch event sponsored by Mimecast. It’s held at the Palm Restaurant in downtown Nashville. I’ve done events at Palm’s before in Orlando, Chicago, Colorado, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Philly and I’m a huge fan of this location as a venue. Should have about 25 in the audience and I’m looking forward to having a lively discussion about Office 365.
Q: What are you there for?
A: I’m going to discuss with the audience a comparison between the big switch that occurred by in the day with a move to electricity being generated as a utility as opposed to it being generated on-premises and our day, where we are moving from on-prem to the cloud. This comparison was brought to my attention by Nicholas Carr in his book “The Big Switch” and I like to tell the story for the audience. By the end of the discussion we hone in on Office 365 rhetoric vs. reality and I point out several areas where there is a need for enhancements in areas like Security, Compliance and Archiving, and increased availability or continuity. At the end of the event, I answered questions from the audience and then give everyone a copy of the book “Conversational Office 365 Risk Mitigation” sponsored by Mimecast.
One question that came up was “how is Microsoft’s archive solution different from a third-party?” I explained that Microsoft doesn’t have a traditional archive solution which goes beyond eDiscovery and offers user interactivity (aka a read-only archive), nor does it allow for data agility or portability as a separate data bank solution. Rather, it’s simply legal hold on all mailboxes, which does provide for eDiscovery but does not reflect the modern advancements we’ve come to expect from an enterprise-grade archive solution. It was a good question I thought.
Q: Last question, right now Ransomware is a big topic in the news, can you tell me what you’ve heard recently on it?
A: Another question involved how Office 365 handles advanced threats like ransomware. Well… if you have an E5 plan or pay extra for their advanced threat protection, it includes a sandboxing solution that can help against attachments that might include a ransomware attack. Recently a macro-enabled Word document ransomware attack attracted a lot of attention in the news because it made it through Office 365 defenses until they eventually caught it and updated their security solution to spot it. Typically that happens from time to time. Something gets through initially until it’s discovered and blocked. It’s one of the reasons I preach defense in depth. If one solution doesn’t have the fix than the other one might. I also like having solutions that offer different features. For example, Mimecast does sandbox too but first it does document conversion. So a file that comes in with ransomware in a weaponized attachment would have been rendered ineffective due to the document conversion process. That’s something Microsoft simply doesn’t have. So by layering your security approach you have a much better chance of protecting your organization from the modern threats that come our way, whether ransomware, impersonation attacks, spear phishing, whaling and so on.
Hey, I hope you’ve enjoyed following me to Nashville Tennessee
Where am I going next? The ITLA Conference in Washington DC!!!
Episode 1: Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada
Q: J. Peter, where are you?
A: Greetings! This week I’m in Toronto Canada. Toronto is an interesting place to visit. Whenever I visit a city I like to do a couple of touristy things. Here in Toronto I went up the Toronto CN Tower, visited the aquarium, and went to Casa Loma (which, if that doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a huge castle-like house built in 1914 and, most importantly, it has been used in the XMen movies for Xavier’s School. One other cool thing about Toronto is that it’s only 1 hour and a half from Niagra Falls, which is an amazing place.
One cool geeky note is that Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse created the first major AC current hydroelectric power plant in Niagra Falls in 1895 and there is a statue of Tesla right near the falls on the Canada side.
Q: Why are you there?
A: This week I’m at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference here in Toronto Canada. It’s completely booked out with partners and attendees. The vibe is positive and upbeat although there is a slight tension due to world events with an added layer of police protection.
Microsoft is not oblivious to the times and the Keynote was kicked off by a singer and poet named K-naan with his song “Waving Flag”. He was joined on the stage by a group of children from all parts of the globe singing the song beautifully in acapella at the end. I think I saw a few tears… or maybe I shed a few tears. Hey… no judging.
Q: What are you there for?
A: I’m here at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto Canada for several reasons. First off, I’m here to cover the event as a journalist for InfoWorld. I write the Enterprise Windows column. Second, I’m here to gain insight on the future goals of Microsoft, especially with regard to the cloud and Office 365. I can use that insight in my writing and speaking engagements, and it’s especially helpful when I travel and speak for Mimecast about developments on the Microsoft side with Exchange and Exchange Online.
Typically when I attend WPC I attend the Keynote and then spend most of my time talking to vendors in the expo to see what they’re working on, what they feel is important and what is the overall focus on the floor. It’s a good show. Very different from others I typically attend like Ignite or Techmentor where the vibe is more IT admin focused. WPC is more business and partner focused.
Hey, I hope you’ve enjoyed following me to Toronto for WPC 2016.
Where am I going next? Nashville Tennesee!!!
July 18, 2016Get ready as Mimecast travels the world in a “Road Show” with J.Peter Bruzzese, a Microsoft MVP. Listen to each episode as he works with us to help share his experiences. He’ll be starting July 11th in Toronto, Canada and ending on December 9th in Orlando, Florida. Get ready to hear from J.Peter each episode on where he’s at, what he’s doing and what he’s excited about.