Activity Based Working supports the way people want to work today and into the future.

As alternative ways of working become more and more popular for organisations, many companies claim that they understand what it takes to make Activity Based working a reality for their clients, but no one has Veldhoen + Company’s unique experience and expertise. They first introduced Activity Based Working in the Netherlands in 1996 and are now doing the same in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.

As pioneers and market leaders, they offer clients something that no one else can, breadth of experience gained from real world implementations, and knowledge of what it takes to make ABW successful.

ABW is becoming increasingly popular as organisations are adopting flexible workplaces and practices. This includes creating virtual offices through implementing the latest technology such as unified communications and high capacity wireless networks enabling their staff to work almost anywhere.

Some benefits of this style of working include:

  • increased staff collaboration, productivity and efficiency
  • flexibility in where and how an employee chooses to work
  • focus on outcomes not effort
  • reduction in power, paper usage, real estate costs
  • improved work environment and job satisfaction
  • freedom and choice for staff
  • breaking down silos
  • modern work environment and practices
  • employer of choice
Posted in Activity Based Working, Microsoft Lync, UC Centre of Excellence, Unified Communications | Leave a comment

Are you getting problems starting your Edge service role ?

Is your Edge service going crazy about the certificate being not accessible ?

Do you get this dreaded error message from Event ID: 14591

Event ID: 14591

Error 0xC3FC7D95 (LC_E_VALIDATION_CERT_NO_KEYEXCHANGE)

Cause: The certificate may have been deleted or may be invalid, or permissions are not set correctly.

Fear not, you are not alone, after banging my head against the wall for a few days, rebuilding the Edge server from scratch, and trying out a bunch of different certificate templates; I have finally found the solution…

Although Microsoft Windows is happy with many types of Crypto Providers; alas, Lync on the other hand, only likes the "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider"

Next time you want to issue a certificate, make sure you choose the "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider"

To make this more informative, I have added below the certificate template options that should be used for generating Lync certificates…

  • Don’t select to publish to AD, as Lync Edge can not access the AD and is not authorized to do so: 

Template - General Tab

  • Choose the Purpose to be "Signature & Encryption" and allow "Private Key to be Exported"

Template - Request Handling Tab

  • Choose only the "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider"

Template - CSP Selection

  • Choose the Application Policies to be "Server Authentication"

Template - Extensions Tab

  • Choose the Key Usage to be "Allow key exchange only with key encryption"

Template - Extensions Tab

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Office 365 is the topic of conversation with many of our clients. “Our business is unique and cannot run in the cloud”, “We’re not ready to move to the cloud,” “We’re licensed for Office 365, but won’t be deploying anytime soon” are just some of the common responses. Poppycock!

The truth is, although there is some hesitancy to fully deploy in the cloud and legitimate steps you need to take to do it properly, there are important reasons to do it. Here are the big benefits to your organization.

1. OneDrive for Business : Microsoft provides each user with 1TB of storage. Users can store, sync, share and collaborate using their files across multiple devices with ease and security. Using OneDrive can be a significant cost offset for on-premises client backup technologies and a powerful way for your users to have access to their data on any device at any time

2. Office for iPad : Microsoft has released Office for the iPad. This milestone offering has enabled Office 365 E3, E4, and Office Pro Plus for 365 subscribers to download Office on up to 5 personally owned or worked owned iPads. Through OneDrive, you will have a seamless transition from editing a document on your iPad and then revisiting it on your laptop or other work device. The Apple store offers a free version that is read only, but if viewing corporate documents within the organization on your iPad without an O365 subscription, you will technically be out of compliance. Unlock the full Office for iPad capabilities through your O365 subscription.

3. Home Use Rights : If you were previously utilizing Home Use Rights from your Office Pro Plus perpetual license, you will not see that Software Assurance benefit when you move to an O365 licensing model. By activating your O365 subscription, your users will be able to locally install their Office Pro Plus for 365 on up to 5 machines and an additional 5 iPads/Tablets, therefore negating the need for the Home Use Program.

4. Yammer : Each Office 365 Enterprise plan includes a Yammer subscription for your users. Yammer is the market leader in private Social Business Networks. Keep your employees up to speed with the latest organization announcements and reduce email clutter.

5. Lync Web Conferencing : Many clients are spending considerable sums of money on Web Conferencing solutions. Lync Online can be used for hosting your companies web conferences without the high cost of establishing your own infrastructure or paying for another service

6. Manage User Identities : If you plan to synchronize users from your local Active Directory service to Microsoft Office 365, you must activate those users before they can use services. By Synchronizing and activating your users, you can evaluate and test various configurations that may be relevant to your organization as well as determine the best methods for authentication including Single Sign On. Generation-e offers a suite of services to provide simple administration and support for your Office 365 and other SaaS applications via SSO.

7. Microsoft’s Email Filtering : Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect your organization against spam and malware, and includes features to safeguard your organization from messaging-policy violations. EOP simplifies management of your messaging environment and alleviate many of the burdens that come with maintaining on-premises solutions. EOP can be configured to protect your messaging environment and control mail routing when you have a mix of on-premises and cloud mailboxes

8. Microsoft Funding : Most every purchase of Office 365 has coincided with a deployment promotion where Microsoft has provided a significant amount of partner funding to help activate and provision Office 365. Based on reports from Microsoft, only 33% of our clients have taken advantage of these funds. Microsoft’s Fast Track Promotion assists customers to deploy their O365 seats by providing funds to help subsidize the cost of the migration engagement.  This is time limited so you have to act fast.

Posted in Microsoft Office 365 | Leave a comment

The concept of activity based work (ABW) is becoming increasingly popular as organisations are adopting flexible workplaces and practices. This includes creating virtual offices through implementing the latest technology such as unified communications and high capacity wireless networks enabling their staff to work almost anywhere.

Some benefits of this style of working include:

  • increased staff collaboration, productivity and efficiency
  • flexibility in where and how an employee chooses to work
  • focus on outcomes not effort
  • reduction in power, paper usage, real estate costs
  • improved work environment and job satisfaction
  • freedom and choice for staff
  • breaking down silos
  • modern work environment and practices
  • employer of choice

Generation-e’s strength in Unified Communications enables the technology that makes ABW a success.  We work with your business, architects and fit out companies to deliver the technology that makes ABW work.

Initially Activity Based Working mainly involved switching to flexible workplaces and drastically reducing the number of desks and offices required. Some of the budget saved in leasing and fit out was invested in a higher spec working environment and IT.

Over time the focus on individual offices disappear, and increasingly staff were meeting with employees from other departments or units. As a result teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, employee satisfaction and consequently business performance improved.

Today, organisations continue using Activity Based Working to achieve quantifiable operational targets, however increasingly its introduction is being linked to cultural change programmes with ABW providing a platform for transforming the business.

We also see the dynamics of the talent market and the technologies that support business are shifting. A growing number of employees are able to (and expect to) work efficiently and effectively regardless of time or location. They make their own decisions about their work and make the necessary arrangements with their co-workers to achieve the outcomes they are accountable for. Activity Based Working has shifted from a fringe idea to something every organisation should consider as part of their work culture.

Activity Based Working leads to new insights that focus on the core of the organisation: it reminds them that motivation is about more than setting targets; connecting means more than interlocking individual choices and rules; and commitment involves more than attending the Friday afternoon get-together.

What you want Activity Based Working to do for your organisation determines the journey your organisation will need to take. In very broad terms organisations choose to implement Activity Based Working for a combination of three core aspirations: Sharing, Connecting, and Transforming.

Sharing breaks old habits and customary patterns around the ownership and allocation of space. The main aim is to improve the services offered to employees by offering more choice and options to suit the way individuals work, while gaining efficiencies which come from sharing the workplace. By letting go of the old, we also create more room for people to interact in ways they haven’t before.

By combining this view of the office with an increased effort in enabling and promoting flexible working (working from home, etc.) results in a sharp reduction in your outlay on facilities, and more budget available to improve the quality of IT to enhance the effectiveness of the working environment.

Information from Veldhoen shows that their clients have experienced a number of significant benefits when implementing ABW. A few of these include: 

  • 10% increase in productivity
  • 30% reduction in square metres required
  • 40% decrease in the cost of churn
  • 10% increase in engagement scores
  • 28% saving on fit-out costs
  • 43% of staff feel ‘More effective’ in the new ABW environment
  • 43% agree that work is more enjoyable as a result of the workplace change
  • 44% of staff believe the new ABW workplace will assist in becoming an employer of choice
Posted in Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Office 365, Unified Communications | Leave a comment

CPLS_W

CPLS_W

Well done the the whole Generation-e team.  Your commitment to quality and our customers shines through again!

Posted in Microsoft, Microsoft Lync | Leave a comment

Generation-e is proud to have been awarded the HP and Microsoft Outstanding Frontline Partner for 2014 in Unified Communications & Collaboration.  This is the 2nd year in a row and we couldn’t be more excited and proud.

This is a great recognition of the work done in our UC Centre of Excellence to integrate solutions from leading vendors.  The strength of HP’s SDN enabled networks integrated with Microsoft Lync is a real game changer for our customers.

The award will be conferred at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington DC on Monday 14th July, 2014.

Posted in HP, Microsoft, Microsoft Lync, Networking, SDN, UC Centre of Excellence | Leave a comment

Sonus is moving to a model where they supply the physical gateway (SBC/SBA) with a selection of interfaces pre-populated but not activated.  You licence activate them when you want to use them.

Original article: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140709005050/en/Sonus-Delivers-Enhanced-Investment-Protection-Microsoft%C2%AE-Lync%C2%AE#.U73SsY2KCpp

Posted in Microsoft Lync, Sonus, UC Centre of Excellence | Leave a comment