CEO Interview Part Two
Recently, CoreView CEO Michael Morrison recently sat down for an interview with Techgenix contributor and 12-time Microsoft MVP Mitch Tulloch. In part two of this interview, Morrison talks a about making Office easier to manage, more secure and compliant, and how to train end users to push Office 365 to its limits.
What follows is just a part of Tulloch’s in-depth interview. The full Part Two is called How to Take Office 365 Management to the Next Level.
You can also read the full Part One Ease the Frustration of Managing Office 365 in Your Enterprise, or the condensed blog version here (get link).
MITCH: I’m curious about workflow automation? What is the value proposition there for CoreView?
MICHAEL: We think of it as workflow and process automation. Process automation is a best practice that reduces human error, and delegates and automates complex tasks to lower skilled operators. Automating those processes improves key operations, generates opportunities to save money through efficient license management, while reducing overall security risks.
While you can automate hundreds of different processes, provisioning and deprovisioning are critical processes to prioritize. Consider a standard turnover rate of 11%. That means you should be deprovisioning at least 10% of your employees, and provisioning 11% of new employees every year.
With CoreView, Workflow Templates automate provisioning and deprovisioning operations, which ensures your users always have correct licenses and access to the right applications and infrastructure.
We can automate user provisioning steps through our new workflow capabilities. In fact, a client can configure the automated processing for the complete user provisioning cycle. Several customers told us this workflow automation reduces the weekly tasks for user provisioning and deprovisioning from up to 20 hours — to under 10 minutes. This saves a typical organization about 1,000 hours a year in manual IT admin activities, while improving quality of service and reducing human errors.
MITCH: How does CoreView handle policy management, and how does this help to avoid and remediate Office 365 misconfigurations?
MICHAEL: Gartner and Forrester both indicate that 80% of SaaS breaches stem from misconfiguration, inappropriate user behaviors, or incorrectly elevated user permissions.
For enterprises, correctly defining configurations and appropriate user behaviors are essential best practices. However, misconfiguration still happens due to operator workarounds or operator error. That is why it is so important to monitor and enforce your configuration best practices including policies and baselines, and thus fully secure your SaaS environment.
CoreView, and in particular, our CoreAdmin solution, helps set up administrators that are specific to a location, functional set of users, or other attributes. This means admins know who their users are, and have a manageable set of end users to handle.
With CoreView, policy management moves from a manual and error-prone process to one that is intuitive, easy and automated.
MITCH: What is unique about your product’s security features?
MICHAEL: Email is one of the largest sources of attacks and breaches. We tighten email security by identifying dangerous auto forwards, users with access to too many mailboxes, which can invite breaches or leak data, and find which email accounts are spreading malware.
We track user actions to find dangerous behaviors, identify passwords that are weak or set to never expire, find which users have multi-factor authentication enabled and which do not, and discover instances of unsafe data sharing.
Breaches are a huge concern, and a major compliance problem. The Ponemon Institute says it takes an average of 191 days to discover that a breach has occurred. We can spot breaches before they happen, and through forensics, find the source of a breach that slipped through the cracks. We also offer long-term log retention to conduct deep forensics against events that happened a year or more ago. With Microsoft, log retention is limited to 90 or 180 days.
MITCH: Managing licenses is another core administrative task. Why is Office 365 licensing usage such a mystery?
MICHAEL: IT often buys Office 365 licenses in batches, and make a guess at what they need. They do not or cannot perform discovery on all the on-premises end users, and identity their precise license level needs before purchasing. We find most enterprises save 30% or more by optimizing their licenses – getting rid of unassigned licenses, reclaiming inactive licenses and rightsizing where, say the E3 or E5 license paid for is more than the end user needs.
MITCH: How does CoreView offer visibility and control over licenses?
MICHAEL: It is simple. In fact, we have a free Office 365 Health Check that starts this whole process. The Health Check scans the entire Office 365 tenant environment and finds the exact number of unused licenses – either inactive or unassigned, knows the level of these licenses, and tells you precisely how much you can save.
MITCH: How does the CoreView Office 365 Health Check tie into this license optimization issue?
MICHAEL: We have one customer with about 13,000 seats. Our Health Check report showed yearly savings for optimized license management of around $1,800,000.
We found that only 25% of their users need the Office 365 E3 Plan they were assigned, and that 75% of those users could be switched to an Office 365 E1 plan.
MITCH: Do you have an example of interesting economic or security findings relating to CoreView solutions?
MICHAEL: The economics of CoreView are easy and fun to define – the solution captures most of this data itself, such as through detailed license cost reduction findings.
There are also deep savings in IT labor costs and increased admin productivity. Here are a couple of examples.
With CoreView automation, deprovisioning goes from up to 20 hours down to under 10 minutes. This saves a typical organization about 1,000 hours a year in manual IT admin activities, while at the same time improving quality of service and reducing human errors.
We found that a company with 10,000 employees could save 950 hours of administration time per year, at a projected savings of $45,600 a year – just by properly using RBAC to set Office 365 admin permissions.
Our Health Check almost always find security vulnerabilities that could not be discovered any other way. We had one customer that was based almost entirely in Canada. Our Health Check found several dozen logins and login attempts from Asia, where they had no operations. This was not a typical hacking job. Instead, the intruders were looking to steal the organization’s health care-related research – it was intellectual property theft pure and simple. They never would have known if their logins had not been analyzed.
MITCH: In the real world, I have heard that only about half, or 50% of Office 365 applications are used. Is that true? Why does it matter?
MICHAEL: By only using half of the applications, you are not getting near what you pay for. That is actually a minor concern compared to unrealized productivity. These services are in Office 365 for a reason – they make workers more productive, increase information sharing, boost teamwork leading to better project results, and create a more nimble, digitally dexterous workforce.
Getting end users to fully adopt Office 365 services – that is a game changer.
MITCH: Microsoft is pushing Office 365 customers strongly towards using Teams. How does CoreView help with Teams adoption, and what is the benefit of driving this kind of adoption?
MICHAEL: Great timing on that question Mitch. You must have heard that Skype for Business is dead as of July 31 2021. This is short notice in the software world. Think of all shops that still run COBOL apps on mainframes, or Windows XP on PCs. And as of today, Microsoft is pushing all new Office 365 users to Teams rather than Skype – the time to move is now.
Forrester just came out with a remarkable report “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Teams”. The ROI on Teams adoption is 832%. Pretty stunning. Meanwhile, having all these collaboration solutions in one place saves employees from 1.1 to 8 hours a week. Moreover, Forrester argues that Teams represents 25% of the price of an Office 365 license, so if it is not used, that is a lot of wasted value.
Our solutions drive adoption by identifying which users need help. By creating and analyzing a segmented user list, you gain valuable information for your adoption campaign and can track campaign efficiency.
Once you have an adoption strategy, you can train your users. Experts have found that standard training (classroom and eLearning) are not optimal since users forget 70% of what they learned within 24 hours.
That is why we offer context sensitive, just-in-time learning videos that teach users as they work in the application.
What CoreView can do for You
Want to learn how to stop overspending on licenses, underusing applications, or mismanaging security and configurations? Our free CoreView Office 365 Health Check diagnoses all your Office 365 problems. Sign up for an Office 365 Health Check and we will build a detailed 20-page report to cure your Office 365 ills.
Not ready for a full custom report? You can still take a look at a Health Check sample report.
If you want to see firsthand how CoreView solves Office 365 problems, just request a demo.