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Azure AD Connect – Take Action!
What is it? Azure AD Connect is a Microsoft identity tool used by organizations with on-premise Active Directory infrastructure and Microsoft 365 environments. It makes sure that identity data such as passwords and user accounts are in sync – which generally improves your productivity all around! Your organization may be using this in a situation commonly referred to as a ‘hybrid model.' If you are in a hybrid model and have Azure AD Connect installed as an in-between, this software is critical to keep both on-premise and Microsoft 365 linked together . . . oftentimes going unnoticed until something goes wrong and suddenly your password for Outlook is no longer accepted by your laptop to sign-in or you keep having to remember two separate passwords for what is supposed to be one unified ecosystem. What a pain . . . has this happened to you? What do you have to […]
MFA, is it enough?
For as long as I can remember, "username and password” were a fundamental combo to everything in your digital life. You had a username for work, school, even your bank account. Simple passwords became complex passwords as security grew – but that only led to password reuse across platforms typically stored in plain text in your ‘passwords.xls’ file or worse, a ‘sticky’ on your monitor.  Over the last twenty years we’ve watched news headlines report security breaches at the places we expected to have the highest levels of security; however, they had cracks in their armor. The breaches became so abundant sites like www.haveibeenpwned.com were built to give you the ability to check if you’ve been compromised. To improve upon complex passwords, two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) came about with promise of higher levels of security. But is that enough? A brief history: Two-factor and Multi-factor authentication have […]
5 Microsoft Teams Features We Love
Some of us have been using Microsoft Teams since its inception in 2017. Some started this year. Regardless, it is clear that the ease of collaboration and visibility afforded by Teams have secured this platform a rank at the top of the modern business tech stack. Forrester found that executives and decision makers improve their time-to-decision by 17.7% with Teams. Plus, with 75 million daily active users, Microsoft has voiced its commitment to continually improving the feature-rich platform.   Features we currently love “Blur my background” has always been handy, but now Microsoft has made it even easier to add your own custom background. In Background settings, where you would go to blur a background or choose one of the provided landscapes, select “Add new” to upload your own .JPG, .PNG, or .BMP file.   Double click any chat in your chat list to pop out a separate window for that […]
Microsoft Teams Is Becoming More Powerful with Power BI
Microsoft Teams provides several options for integrating popular services into tabs. One of these is a Power BI report tab. You can add a report from any workspace that you own or is shared with you as a tab on your team channel. This is awesome! We will show you how to start using this powerful function by adding the Power BI tab to Teams.   How to Add Power BI Report Tab to Microsoft Teams You can add a Power BI report tab in Teams by simply adding a tab in a channel or chat. Click here to learn more. At FMT Consultants, we took a different route since Power BI did not offer this capability previously. We needed to take it a step further and allow for some configuration of the report before adding it. Our requirement was to embed the report into a tab using user-specified criteria […]
How Can Microsoft Help Your HR Team?
The onboarding and offboarding of employees is often complex and involves manual processes. It may require dependencies on external teams or even applications to complete. Typically, Human Resources department (HR) will interact with the IT department on an ad-hoc basis to either request application provisioning or de-provisioning. All this interaction requires time and resources, which can slow down the new employee onboarding process. There is a possibility of idle time for the new employees as they wait for access to applications. On the flip side, as an employee offboards, this same interaction creates a security risk in the form of prolonged access to applications for former employees as well as the account possibly being compromised. Is there a way to optimize HR processes?   Single Sign-On (SSO) Microsoft entered the Cloud landscape back in 2008 with Microsoft Azure, providing the world new resources. One of them is a service called […]
Best Practices for Organizing Teams
In our day-to-day business lives, I think we could all enjoy the ability to make decisions more quickly! To do that, you need to eliminate organizational roadblocks such as analysis paralysis and disjointed workspace and create a modern and digital workspace that supports and fosters discussion and collaboration. Read more to learn how FMT Consultants is utilizing technology to align with Microsoft’s digital transformation both internally and for our clients in order to achieve faster decision making and growth from our very own Director of Consulting Services Zach Saltzman.
SMB TechFest Spotlight - FMT Consultants
Technology choices matter. Applying new technology tools, or revising existing ones, requires a significant effort and sustained commitment to transformation. All, while continuing to run a business at top speed. Whether you work in operations, finance, IT… or all of those (and more), creating lasting value takes real work from people committed to building better business solutions one business at a time, every time. In this discussion between Eric Casazza, CEO at FMT Consultants, and Dave Siebert of SMB TechFest, we discuss advanced supply chain solutions ranging from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), to Demand Planning, to Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). It’s not just about financial management software. New technology investments can pay real dividends in operational efficiencies, advanced manufacturing capabilities, and stronger distribution networks.     At FMT we have decades of experience working side-by-side with businesses looking to take the next step (or giant leap) forward using the right […]
Strengthen your Security Posture with Microsoft 365 Secure Score
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in July 2017. Content was updated in July 2020.  Do you use any of the myriad of services offered by Microsoft 365? If you do, then you should know about Microsoft Secure Score. Secure Score analyzes your Microsoft 365 environment to help articulate your current security posture and provides actionable steps needed to strengthen and improve your Microsoft Cloud Security. After companies deploy Microsoft 365 services, there is commonly a lull or period of administrative inactivity. Maybe the IT team is satisfied with a job well done after a successful implementation or they might be buried in day-to-day workloads, leaving security behind.  Although Microsoft 365 offers much better overall security than most on-premise deployments of email systems or other cloud-based email providers (Gmail), for example, it does not mean that the job is done on a security front. There are still safety configurations […]
5 Reasons to Upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2016
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re interested in using SQL 2016 for your databases but are adopting the “wait and see” approach before making the leap to a new software version. Whether you’re interested in trying SQL Server’s new free editions and reworked reports, or you’re trying to enhance your current working environment with high availability, improved backups, and cloud functionality, you’ll be very excited to hear about the changes in SQL 2016. With the release of SQL 2016, a few major changes were made to entice customers to make the switch. Free Access to the Developer Edition You can now download and use the Developer edition for free. This is a great way to test out the functionality of SQL 2016 without the upfront cost. This edition of SQL server is fully functional, and comes equipped with every feature that you would find in the standard edition all the […]
Explore New Features and Stay Current with Windows Server 2016
At the Ignite conference in September, Microsoft released an evaluation version for IT professionals to get a look at what the RTM or “Release to Manufacturing” version of Windows Server 2016 will look like. The final version was generally released on October 12th. Like many Microsoft releases, Windows Server 2016 brought a lot of new and expanded features to the flagship server OS software. However, it’s important to keep in mind another important reason to begin planning for your deployment of Server 2016: staying current. Out with the old … In with the new As you probably know, extended support for Server 2003 has ended, and with it comes the end of patches and security updates. I’m sure we all have a few 2003 servers left that are running legacy applications or non-production workloads. While these servers should definitely be addressed, let’s also talk about Server 2008 and 2008 R2. […]
Dynamics GP Disaster Recovery Planning
While setting up and upgrading Dynamics GP for clients, I often find disaster recovery planning is something that is overlooked. Often, only the databases are backed up and newly created companies have not been added to the backup plan. In light of this, I want to walk you through what you’ll need to have ready to bring up your GP system quickly in the event of a disaster or data loss. For the purposes of this blog, we will assume that only the SQL Server needs to be recovered. In this case, no software will need to be reinstalled unless it was installed on the SQL server itself. Since all our other servers are still up and running, but are pointed to the SQL server, the software on these servers would be safe in this case. 1. Capture Logins It is important to capture SQL logins from the SQL server […]
Is Your Redundancy Safe Enough?
Redundancy is not a new concept, but not all redundancy is equal. The value of redundancy depends on how closely (or broadly) you look at it. Hardware Redundancy If you have five storage devices working in RAID 5 you may have one of those storage devices fail, but all of your data would remain intact due to the support of the redundant drives. To use an analogy, if you have five warehouses and they are all are filled to 80% capacity, you can move some of the contents into the extra space left in all the other warehouses in the event that one experiences a flood. Normally, this means each warehouse uses less than 100% of the available capacity, so in the event of a flood, you can redistribute the contents of the flooded warehouse into the undamaged warehouses. This redistribution allows you to keep working on cleaning up the […]
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