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Microsoft 365 and Office 365: Making a Move to the Cloud

Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are robust packaged licensing offers that take a bundled approach to Microsoft licensing and all of its features.

In this post, we’ll cover the main features that come in these packages and the differences in a few package offerings.

The main goal our clients usually want to accomplish with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 is to move their exchange to the cloud and gain access to important office apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneDrive, etc.).

Other popular features are:

Azure Active Directory Sync

Azure Active Directory provides a single sign on experience and makes managing user access in one place easy.

Intune

Intune provides mobile device and application management.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is another tool many companies leverage in this package.

Telcion leverages best-in-class Cisco technologies that seamlessly integrate Microsoft Teams into Cisco's Unified Communications Manager to create Teams calling using Cisco infrastructure.

SharePoint

SharePoint is a popular offering for file sharing.

Security Suite

Microsoft also offers a security suite of products for data loss prevention and threat protection like BitLocker, Microsoft Defender ATP, and others. 

Licensing Highlights

Under 300 users

If you are under 300 users and don’t expect to go over that number, you can look at the Business Premium offering in the Microsoft 365 suite. This package gives you a great set of features for $20 per user.

This includes 50GB of exchange storage (but you can add on archive storage) and 1TB of OneDrive storage per user.

Over 300 users

If you are over 300 users and want to stay in the Microsoft 365 suite, the best step up is E3 for Microsoft 365.

This gives you access to 100GB of email storage and 1-5TB of OneDrive storage per user for $32 per user

A great benefit of this plan is that it includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and machine learning. 

If you are over 300 users, you will want to look at the Office 365 plans as well. Two main plans are E1 and E3:

E1

Users get access to the online version access to the office apps. This means, these users won’t be able to download Office apps on their computers for use locally. 50G of email, along with 1TB of One Drive Storage is included in this user license. This license costs $8 per user/month. 

E3

Users can download office apps to their computers. 100 GB of email storage, along with 1-5TB of One Drive space is included in this license.  

Let us help you migrate

There are many considerations for migrating to the cloud with Microsoft. One major part of this is the cutover from your current platform to the MS O365 cloud. Telcion can help you with these conversions.

We use state of the art tools to help with the transition and make your move seamless. If you’re looking to make a move to Office365, we can walk through the many options with you and help you pick the correct licensing for your business. 

This post was contributed by Eric Mueller, VP of Sales @ Telcion.

Additional Reading
Can You Use Cisco WebEx Room Kits with Microsoft Teams?
5 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Cloud Calling
3 Reasons to Move to a Cloud Contact Center

Meet the Team: Mo Elmeligy

Welcome back to Meet the Team, where every month we introduce you to someone here at Telcion. This month we're talking to one of our newest team members, Mo Elmeligy.

Mo Elmeligy

Business Technology Consultant

Years at Telcion: 0.5

What are your main responsibilities at Telcion?
My main responsibilities are driving new client acquisition and maintaining and retaining our current client base and growing our client’s business. I do that by adding value to my clients with each interaction, communication, and touch points, and help them solve complex business problems with technology

How do you prefer to start your day at work?
For me, a good day starts with a good cup of coffee. So, this is the first thing I do every morning. I make my cup of coffee and then I organize my desk and workstation because normally every day by like 6 o’clock you’ll find sticky notes, pens, and papers everywhere.

So I like to put things together every morning before starting the day and then meet with the team, set the goals for the day, discuss our top priorities, and how we’re going to help our clients through the day, and then it’s started!

What energizes you at work?
I really value feedback and I think it’s the best way to know the direction that you’re going.

Either you’re doing a great job or there’s an area to improve or an area to learn… so I think feedback is what energizes me the most.

What led you to this career?
I started my career in sales back in 2012 directly after my graduation. I was selling commodities and production technologies until 2018.

Late 2017, we had a major security breach where most of the production data got stolen and erased and we faced a lot of losses during this period. I found out that no one had any idea on how to protect their IT environment against security breaches. That includes email protection and data centers. They didn’t have a disaster recovery solution or storage or backup or anything. It was a disaster that took more than 8 months to recover from.

I think that was the moment when I realized that this is the time where I focus my career on tech with a clear message to educate, sell, and protect.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
Commitment. I think always setting goals and being committed to them is the best way to success, in my opinion.

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
Well I strongly believe that there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

So what really makes a difference is the team. And I would say, being here at Telcion today, working with a company that really values the culture and teamwork and praises the team and celebrating small wins is something that I’m really proud of.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
That I was born and raised in Egypt.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
I think it was from my father. Actually, my father plays a very important role in me being in sales. Because in my opinion, he’s a very successful salesperson. I grew up seeing him doing sales and being successful in it all the time, so the best advice he told me when I started my sales career is, “Your success every day in sales depends on how much effort you’re going to put through the day.”

So I think this was the best professional advice that I got from him.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
Have a walk with my wife and kids. I have two boys—4 years old and 1 year old. We’re trying to keep it consistent every day after work, just go out for a walk to the park or just a bike ride.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A pilot. I really wanted to be a pilot but it just didn’t work at that time, so I was like, one day I might do it as a hobby.

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?
On my motorcycle, up the mountains. Motorcycle rides is something I picked up a year ago during quarantine. I’ve always wanted to have a motorcycle, but I just didn’t have the time or the skills to do it. So when COVID hit last year, I took a safety class, bought a motorcycle, and started doing it every Saturday until it became a habit now.

If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
Of course the Cisco WebEx app, because this is how we’re communicating as a team in the company.

And YouTube, because I watch a lot of videos.

And… what else do I check daily… Robin Hood. It’s a stock market app.

What’s your favorite sport to watch and who do you root for?
I’ve not been keeping up with it very well lately, but my most favorite sport is the Formula 1. My favorite team is the AMG Petronas, and my favorite driver of all time is Michael Schumacher. I grew up watching his races, watching him transfer between teams and I feel like the peak of his career was from 1994 till 2004, it’s like from when I was a kid to a teenager.

What’s one hobby you’d love to get into?
Playing guitar. That’s one thing on my radar that I never had time to do. But this is something that I want to do in the next 2 years.

I’m a huge fan of Frank Sinatra and Cat Stevens and, you know, listening to their songs and the guitar parts of their songs makes me want to play it myself.

What’s your favorite place to eat around here?
I’m a breakfast person, so my favorite breakfast place is actually in San Francisco—Brenda’s French Soul Food. The food is amazing. Their beignets, Eggs Benedict, coffee… everything there is amazing.

What’s your favorite TV show—the one you’re always watching on repeat?
Friends. I’ve watched it like 12 times now and I will keep watching it.

Thank you, Mo!

Connect with Mo on LinkedIn.

WebEx Cloud Contact Center FAQs

We’ve been talking about WebEx Contact Center all month long—reasons to switch to a cloud contact center, favorite features, and cost. Today we’re answering some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that’s not covered here, let us know!

FAQ #1: How does WebEx Contact Center licensing work?

Simply, the solution is sold by agent and supervisor licenses needed. There are additional layers to this question based on functionality and agent type, as well as the buying model.

Agent types

Standard Agent — “Standard agent provides essential functionality to voice-only call centers with typical or sophisticated needs. Standard Agent functionality includes browser-based agent desktop, inbound and outbound voice, call recording, touch-tone IVR, web and voice callbacks, and standard CRM connectors.” (source)

Premium Agent — “Premium Agent includes all Standard Agent features and adds omnichannel communication such as chat and email, multi-channel reporting and analytics, and supervisor monitoring and barge-in for all types of agents.” (source)

Buying models

Concurrent Agent — “the maximum quantity of Contact Center users who are simultaneously logged in to use the Webex Contact Center Enterprise software or services.” (source)

Named Agent — “a unique Contact Center user who logs in in any given month to use the Webex Contact Center software or services.” (source)

Other features can be licensed within the solution and can be purchased a la carte via agent count. Features like Workforce Optimization can be added per your agent count requirement and will also have a committed agent amount and overage for going above committed user counts.

All user licensing is subscription-based and can be prepaid, or paid monthly or annually. Auto renewals are also available for ease of continuing with the Flex subscription model for contact center.

FAQ #2: Can I transfer my existing on-premise UCCX licensing into WebEx Contact Center licensing?

The short answer is yes!

Value Transfer Credits (Purchase Adjustments) can be entered on a per-line basis through the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan model. The Flex plan is the subscription model used to purchase the solution. The process for calculating transfer credits and SWSS residuals take into account how many perpetual licenses you own, and the software support time left on those licenses.

FAQ #3: What are some optional add-on features for WebEx Contact Center?

WebEx Calling Integration
WebEx Contact Center supports several easy-to-provision telephony options, including integration with WebEx Calling.

WebEx Experience Management
WebEx Experience Management (WebEx XM) is Cisco’s next generation Customer Experience Management solution. It improves customer and agent experience by giving businesses greater insights across the entire user journey.

WebEx XM maps customer and agent experiences across all touchpoints in the organization before, during, and after the contact center interaction—consolidating data that was once siloed—and uses predictive analytics to make informed decisions on how to improve customer and agent experiences and create positive business outcomes.

WebEx Workforce Optimization
There are three components of WebEx Workforce Optimization:

  • Workforce management — Schedule and manage staff.
  • Quality management — Measure agent efficiency and performance.
  • WFO analytics — Analyze speech and desktop actions to gain insights.

Outbound Campaigns
This option improves agent productivity and overall contact center performance by allowing agents to spend more time talking with customers and less time trying to reach them.

PSTN Services
See next question below for more on this.

FAQ #4: What PSTN connectivity is available for WebEx Contact Center?

Cisco PSTN for WebEx Contact Center provides voice telecommunications services including toll-free inbound, DID/Local Number Service inbound, and outbound calling. Purchasing telecom services via Cisco SKUs simplifies ordering and speeds deployment (frequently within 7 days).

Cisco PSTN is available as an add-on to WebEx Contact Center and WebEx Contact Center Enterprise. This service is available in the contiguous United States, and Canada.

Some features of Cisco PSTN are:

  • Simple pricing, with a flat-rate for predictable cost with “all you can call” usage*
  • No metering/reporting of PSTN usage
  • No additional initial or recurring charge for acquiring or porting DIDs or TFNs (some limits may apply)
  • Bundles need to be purchased for all agents (not subsets)

*There are two “all you can call” bundles:

Basic telephony bundle — Inbound local number access + PSTN outbound termination to agent
Per peak concurrent agent per month

Bundle 2 — Inbound toll-free number access
Per peak concurrent calls (agent + IVR)

Available as committed and overage. Committed quantity can be zero with all overage billed monthly in arrears. Overage price is 20% higher than committed price.

FAQ #5: What certifications does WebEx Contact Center have?

  • CATO-compliant
  • HIPAA-compliant
  • GDPR-compliant
  • PCI-DSS Level 1-compliant

Additional Reading
5 Benefits of Cloud Calling
3 Reasons to Move to a Cloud Contact Center
How Much Does WebEx Cloud Contact Center Cost?

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