Tuesday, 31 January 2012

RIM Launches BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365

Research In Motion (RIM) today announced general availability of BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 – a new service for business and government organizations that extends Microsoft Exchange Online to BlackBerry® smartphones and allows customers to manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud. The service is available at no additional charge to current medium-sized or enterprise subscribers of the Office 365 suite or standalone Exchange Online and works with BlackBerry smartphones on business or consumer data plans.

“RIM is pleased to launch BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365. This new cloud-based option allows customers to cost-effectively support mobility across their organizations and easily manage and secure their BlackBerry deployments,” said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. “We continue to build upon the end-to-end BlackBerry solution for our business and government customers with both on-premise and cloud-based solutions, a range of technical support options to suit any size organization, and a growing ecosystem of apps and services for users.”

“Microsoft’s partnership with RIM exemplifies our commitment to providing customers with the best productivity experience across the PC, browser and phone,” said Julia White, Senior Director of Microsoft's Exchange Product Management Group. “The availability of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is great news for Office 365 and BlackBerry customers who want to get the maximum benefit from these two business collaboration services.”

BlackBerry Business Cloud Services offers advanced administration and flexible smartphone self-service features to support an organization’s BlackBerry deployment in the cloud. Key features include:
  • Wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Online email, calendar and organizer data from a BlackBerry smartphone
  • BlackBerry® Balance™ technology, which presents a unified view of work and personal content on a BlackBerry smartphone while keeping the content separate and secure
  • An intuitive web-based console for IT administrators to provision, manage and secure BlackBerry smartphones from anywhere
  • Online access to employee self-service smartphone security functions, allowing users to easily reset a device password or remotely lock or wipe a device in the event of loss or theft
Managed service providers, systems integrators, carriers, resellers and other partners can also use the cloud service to manage BlackBerry deployments on behalf of their customers.
The service is available today in over 50 countries. Customers can go to www.blackberry.com/cloudservices to get started.

Reference: http://press.rim.com/release.jsp?id=5359

Friday, 27 January 2012

Authentications Options for Office 365

There are two authentications options for Office 365:

1.       Authenticate using Microsoft Online IDs

Authentication by using Online IDs is mainly appropriate for small businesses which either do not have an Active Directory on-premises or they have an AD but willing to decommission it after migrating to Office 365.

The advantage of this is that it is easy to deploy and does not require any on-premises servers. However from end-user experience point of view, users will be prompted for username and password when try to access Online Services and they will end up with two sets of IDs – one to access corporate network and one to access Office 365.

Authentication for users is handled in the cloud.

From the IT management point of view, as there are two different identities to manage, maintaining and resetting passwords is required for both on-premises and cloud based AD which doubles the administration time and effort.

2.       Authenticate using Federated corporate IDs

Users continue to authenticate on-premises and have only one set of credential to access both corporate network and Office 365 services.

This is a perfect solution for medium/large organizations to provide Single Sign-on (SSO) for end-users. IT management is also easier as password policy and password resets are all managed on-premises.

The main drawback is that it requires on-premises servers to enable identity federation and also more on-premises infrastructure required to provide high availability of federation server on-premises.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Manually Configure Lync App on iPad and iPhone to Connect to Lync Online on Office 365

When you setup Lync Online as one of your domain services in Office 365, you need to create few DNS records in your domain's public DNS to configure your domain to use Microsoft Lync Online for instant messaging.
Your DNS records will look like these below (replace "yourdomain" with the domain name you have enabled Lync Online on it)
SRV_sipfederationtls_tcp506111001 Houryourdomain.comsipfed.online.lync.com

TypeHost namePoints to addressTTL
CNAMEsip.yourdomain.comsipdir.online.lync.com1 Hour
CNAMElyncdiscover.yourdomain.comwebdir.online.lync.com1 Hour

These records are used by Lync client (desktop and mobile apps) to determine server information for connecting to Lync Online on your Office 365 account.
If for any reason you are not able to create these records in your public DNS, you need to manually configure Lync clients to connect to Lync Online.

To configure Lync 2010 desktop client follow the instructions here

To configure Lync 2010 iPad app go through following steps:

In your iPad navigate to Lync app. enter your email address as Sign-in Address, enter your password and expand More Details.

Enter your email address as User Name.
Turn off the Auto-Detect Server and enter following address in place of Internal Discovery Address and External Discovery Address:
Click on Sign In button.
On the Welcome page click Next.
In the next page enter your mobile number and click Next.
On the next page click Done and you are all set.