Happy Thanksgiving 2014 from Matrixforce

From all of us at Matrixforce, enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends. We are sincerely grateful for the faith you place in us and the opportunity to serve you.

Our offices are closed November 27-28, 2014 for Thanksgiving. See the holiday schedule and emergency support for more information.

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Customer Immersion Experience Test Drive

Microsoft-Customer-Immersion-Photo

Most people don’t even know the Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (MCIE) exists, including over 635,000 Microsoft Partners. If you’re a business decision maker, it’s the best way to learn the technology while leveraging input from your peers and Microsoft experts.

On November 19, 2014, Matrixforce hosted 10 CPAs along with K2 Enterprises to provide customized and hands-on Continuing Professional Education (CPE) for Office 365.

Only select Microsoft Partners are allowed to participate in the program. Microsoft ships two large containers of notebooks, tablets, headsets, and smartphones. It takes about 48 hours to provision a demo tenant with data and configure the devices. In about 4 hours during the event, each participant learned specific examples from personal experience of how the technology would help their organization, along with real-world deployment insight and associated costs.

NOTE: If you are involved with any business association having at least 10 members with 25 or more employees, Matrixforce can provide this powerful event for your organization. Contact us and ask about scheduling the Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience event.

Test Drive The Latest Microsoft Technology

The Customer Immersion Experience aims to provide a conducive environment to deliver a best-in-class and hands-on demo experience for business and technology decision makers. Sessions are led by a trained facilitator and are designed to be interactive, experiential, and fun.

The immersion is not a generic demo about all the features Microsoft products offer. It’s a true-to-life experience that takes you through common work-related scenarios such as: understanding user presence and connecting in real-time using screen sharing or video, encrypting e-mail to protect compliance or sensitive information, securely sharing documents with co-workers or customers, and making sense of a bunch of documents with a few clicks.

Participants get a first-hand look at a fast and fluid experience with exciting new features across a variety of devices, including tablets, PCs, and smartphones. Immersion is the best way to learn about business productivity tools and technologies without sales pressure. All products are setup and configured with fictional users and data, allowing real life scenarios to be instantly simulated.

We would like to say a special thanks to Curt Witt for the opportunity to facilitate the Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience, Wendy Harrison for coordinating, as well as Val Steed for his instruction.

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Microsoft Customer Experience for Accountants

Day In The Life of the FutureVal Steed of K2 and Kevin Fream of Matrixforce present an exclusive event for members of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs on November 19, 2014 12:30PM – 4:00PM representing 4 hours of CPE.

NOTE: If you represent any other business association with 10 members having more than 30 employees each, Matrixforce can provide this event for your organization. Contact us and ask about scheduling the Microsoft Customer Experience event.

From Val -

It requires a very rare set of circumstances for me to write to you like this.  I would like to make you aware of a very unique CPE opportunity that may never happen in your area again.   The Oklahoma Society of CPAs, in partnership with Microsoft has scheduled a four-hour CPE, hands-on, training session.  This class is limited to 10 people per session so only 10 people can attend this event.  If I were a salesperson, I would blast this email with the phrase “limited number!” which is actually true in this case.

Office 2013 Professional License Raffle

At the end of the session one full Office 2013 Professional license will be given away so you have 1 in 10 chances of winning a $350 value.

Why is this training so unique?

Each person is provided with their own touch-based laptop system that is pre-installed with all the key software and Internet tools.  Each system also headset attached for video and audio conferencing.  The session will be taught using Office 2013 and Windows 8.1 Update.  You will be given a login name and password and you use that persona during the session.  This session is being held in the beautiful Microsoft Office in Tulsa, OK.  This is a very unique opportunity to attend training at a real Microsoft training center.

Hands on training?

 Yes, this is real hands-on training with new touch laptop systems running Windows 8.1 and Office 2013.  We at K2 Enterprises, wrote the course curriculum so it will NOT be “salesy”. We also designed the content to allow time for you to recreate as many examples as you can and converse with others in the room using powerful new tools such as Microsoft Lync. Matrixforce will also be on hand as one of Microsoft’s top national cloud partners to answer real-world deployment questions.

What will I learn in four hours?

  • The benefits, costs and key features of Office 365 – Is Office 365 a real option for my company or not?
  • The key features of Office 2013 for accountants with emphasis on Excel 2013 –  Is there reason to upgrade or not?
  • You will learn how to use a very powerful communication tool called Lync.  Lync alone is worth the time and money to learn and use.  I have never met anyone that does not love using Lync once they understand what it can do for them and their company or firm.
  • Learn how to run a touch-based laptop system.

Why does this four hour CPE event cost more?

Simple – we can only have 10 people per session so we have to increase the price over our standard CPE pricing model.  I can guarantee you that both K2 Enterprises and the Oklahoma Society of CPAs are running this near or at our breakeven point.  Both organizations are doing this because Microsoft has agreed to provide the lab and training center at no cost to us and we really want this event for the folks in Oklahoma that have supported our regular CPE events over the years.

OSCPA Registration Website:
http://www.oscpa.com/Public/Catalog/CourseDetails.aspx?courseID=14355

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OneDrive for Business Explained

What is OneDrive for Business? OneDrive for Business is intended to replace your user folder on your network, while offering easier sharing, better search and file management, and more security. The tagline is “One place for everything in your work life” and the following points are key aspects to understand:

  • OneDrive for Business only with Office 365. When saving files, the consumer OneDrive is for personal use and OneDrive for Business is for work.
  • Known limitations. You get 1TB of file storage and there is a 2GB upload limit per file. Also, folders and files may not contain any of the following characters: ~ # % * {} : <> ? / | “
  • Better features than file servers. Enjoy the benefits of fast search, Office Apps online, alerts on file changes, previous versions of files, a recycle bin, and regulation security compliance not available with other services like Dropbox.
  • Sync NOT recommended. While you can sync your OneDrive for Business for a trip on your tablet or notebook, there is a 20,000 item limit for folders and files. Syncing that much data regularly is not practical and there are so many reported problems that there is a published support article: Solve Sync Problems with OneDrive for Business.
  • Enhancements on-going. Microsoft has demonstrated a pattern of deploying nearly 3 dozen updates to online services each year with projected roadmap delivery of new capabilities for: extended cross-platform support, new mobility apps and enhancements, additional data loss prevention, new auditing and reporting, and file management improvements.

Office 365 Free Trial for 30 Days

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InnoTech Oklahoma 2014 Exclusive Cloud and Devices Demos

InnoTech 2014 CrowdThe turnout for the 9th annual InnoTech Oklahoma on October 9, 2014 was over 2,000 attendees with Matrixforce as a major sponsor for Microsoft Cloud Services. During the region’s largest technology event, dozens of attendees took advantage of a unique opportunity. Matrixforce specialists provided hands-on cloud demonstrations, personalized cost evaluations, and security comparisons for Office 365, Azure, and Intune. Attendees walked away with specific examples to save their organization money and a 20% off voucher toward deployment services.

Innotech 2014 Cloud Device Demo ImgageParticipants also leveraged the expert knowledge of Chuck Majors from the Microsoft Store showcasing the latest devices. Most patrons didn’t realize there were docking stations for the Surface or some of the common gestures to move around, not to mention the stylus buttons to automatically open OneNote. On 11/27 – 12/1, you can save up to $150 on select Surface Pro 3 models. From OneDrive to encrypted e-mail and even Yammer, no question was left unanswered with real examples using live data. In addition, each visitor to the Matrixforce booth also received distinctive Microsoft giveaways.

Top Cloud FactsAt 1:00 PM on the InnoTech Main Stage Theater, Matrixforce CEO Kevin Fream gave a special presentation about the Top Facts of Cloud 2.0. The TED style format presented legacy cloud roots to myths and current realities. It’s estimated that only 30% of Oklahoma businesses are using the cloud. Further, those organizations not using the cloud are incurring twice the cost and often have more risk than competitors already on the cloud. Winners in the new economy will also be those that not only figure out how to be found in a sea of Internet content, but offer unique value focused squarely on answering customer questions.

If you missed Innotech, we hope to see you next year to help you streamline your technology. We would like to say a special thanks to Sean Lowery for another great Innotech and Curt Witt for the opportunity to yet again represent Microsoft.

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InnoTech Oklahoma 2014 Augmented World

Cox Convention CenterWelcome to the Augmented World is the opening keynote of the 9th annual InnoTech Oklahoma. Robin Raskin will kickoff the region’s largest business and technology conference.

Last year InnoTech hosted over 3,000 of the area’s top business and technology professionals for a full day of education, hands-on exhibits, special events, and peer networking.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about innovative technology to help your business and get advice directly from the experts.

Registration

Innotech Oklahoma is regularly $30 per person. However, as a nine time presenter and exhibitor, you can register for FREE using code MATRIX4C.

To register, visit the official InnoTech Oklahoma registration page.

When and Where

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Cox Convention Center
1 Myriad Gardens
Oklahoma City , OK 73102
Get Directions ››

Hands-on Exhibits

In Booth #98, specialists will be providing cloud demonstrations, cost evaluation, and security comparisons for Office 365, Azure, and Intune. We will also have representatives from the Microsoft Store showcasing the latest devices.

There are over 200 vendors exhibiting including major manufacturers like Microsoft, Aruba Networks, and Sophos. Interworks software development is the presenting sponsor.

Featured Sessions

1:00 PM  Top Facts of Cloud 2.0 presented by Matrixforce CEO, Kevin Fream in the InnoTech Main Stage Theater.

There are also 50 other sessions and registration includes access to the Route 66 Information Security tracks of mobility, information security, Infrastructure, Development, and IT Leadership.

 

 

 

Top 5 Active Directory Best Practices

Shields UpPrescriptive guidance about Active Directory hasn’t generally been updated since the January 21, 2005 TechNet Active Directory Best Practices article. Some of the legacy information no longer applies, but we see many of the basics being ignored putting organizations at high risk:

  1. Two Domain Controllers. Always have a second domain controller for Active Directory, DNS, and DHCP failover. If you only have one domain controller and it fails, no one can access either the network or the Internet.
  2. Authoritative Backup. Backup the system state and not simply the virtual image of your domain controllers. Without an authoritative backup, you cannot restore Active Directory and must create a new domain (even if named the same) and rejoin all workstations for potentially days to weeks of user profile and application problems. If you don’t have an authoritative backup when the main domain controller fails, but do have a second domain controller then you face the pending emergency tasks of USN rollback error:
    • Seize roles on another domain controller
    • Export any DHCP scopes
    • Manually remove the problem domain controller from Active Directory and shutdown
    • Build another domain controller
    • Import DHCP scopes
    • Test proper Active Directory replication and network logon
  3. Standard networking. These rules are law with few exceptions:
    • Only one network connection enabled and it should be listed first in priority
    • Single static IP Address assigned with valid subnet mask and default gateway
    • DNS 1 is the IP Address of the machine and DNS 2 is the IP Address of the second domain controller
    • IPV6 is enabled with settings set to obtain
    • There should be no forwarding addresses in DNS to other servers internal or external
  4. Firewall On. Domain controllers should have the firewall on as the most sensitive machines on the network, containing the master user security database and network configuration. The firewall should be on for all devices for encapsulation to prevent rampant hacking and virus outbreak. Backup and anti-virus programs generally will not install without the firewall enabled.
  5. Anti-virus Installed. If a domain controller is accessed by a malicious intruder, you should have anti-virus to prevent installation of a rogue Trojan program or Rootkit. Proper exclusions of files or folders in use do not slow response or interfere with network access on a domain controller.

Active Directory and associated network security are the only things that should run on a domain controller. Running applications, hosting websites, and sharing files should be avoided on a domain controller. Microsoft also doesn’t support installation of Exchange (or SQL Server) on a domain controller.