Executive Summary: Executive Summary: Fair Oaks Motors Settles Password Reset Issues and Adopts Manual Tracking of Office 365 Licenses through Subscription Policies
About Fair Oaks Motors
Fair Oaks Motors is a family-owned Virginia-based car dealership exclusively offering Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram products and services. They have been serving clients for over 15 years.
Fair Oaks Motors has been a client since 2005. Prior to working with Ciracom Cloud, Fair Oaks Motors had been running their own in-house Microsoft Exchange Server and found the ease of use and maintenance to be a burden. When Ciracom Cloud was hired, a plan was presented to the management team to free the dealership from running their own email server. The dealership also had issues with too many manual processes such as resetting passwords and lacked proper security policies. Furthermore, employees were forced to endure intermittent internet outages that disrupted the seven day a week operation.
Ciracom Cloud decided that the best way to solve the problems Fair Oaks Motors was facing is to:
- Empower employees with the enterprise class tools available in Microsoft 365 subscriptions that provide larger mailboxes, the ability for self-service password resets, and Office applications for multiple devices
- Implement Bigleaf Networks, Cisco Umbrella, and Cisco Meraki for improved staff and customer internet experiences.
- Build out an Azure virtual network, run a retention policy, and create a separate network for credit card machines for backup and security
Grant employees with Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard, and Premium subscriptions
Besides manually keeping track of Microsoft license codes, Fair Oaks Motors’ Human Resources team found their previous email exchange system not very user-friendly, difficult to manage, and it required extra fees to access it using mobile phones. Topping it off was the inability to reset user passwords conveniently. To resolve these issues, Ciracom Cloud provisioned Fair Oaks Motors’ managers with Microsoft 365 Business Premium that also came with Multi-Factor Authentication for added security, Microsoft 365 Business Standard for its sales personnel, and Microsoft 365 Business Basic for the rest of its employees. With these licenses, Fair Oaks Motors employees are not only granted bigger mailboxes, but self-service password reset was enabled, as well. Additionally, a Business Premium subscription allows two-way password sync between their Active Directory and Office 365, thus permitting password reset even outside the office.
Implement Bigleaf Networks, Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Meraki for improved Internet connection
One of the biggest obstacles for Fair Oaks Motors was the poor and unstable network connection and even though Fair Oaks Motors eventually took Ciracom Cloud’s advice to switch to fiber internet, which is more reliable and faster than what they had before, some network issues still periodically occur. With the nature of its business, it would cost quite a disruption every time the internet goes down, most especially during those days Ciracom Cloud is not available (major holidays and weekends). To prevent it from further happening, Ciracom Cloud coordinated with one of Fair Oaks Motors’ providers to deploy Bigleaf Networks, which provides users with static public IP addresses that do not change when internet traffic gets interrupted and moves between ISP connections. With Bigleaf in place, when one of the circuits experiences an outage or other unexpected downtime, a user’s IP address still stays the same and all applications stay up and running.
Two more important pieces were enabling content filtering and blocking website categories using Cisco Umbrella and deployment of Cisco Meraki. Cisco Umbrella is implemented to resolve issues with some staff frequently trying to go to other non-work-related websites, whereas deployment of Cisco Meraki is to provide excellent Wi-Fi signal throughout the office and track internet activity of Fair Oaks Motors’ employees, as well.
Build Azure virtual network, run a retention policy, and create a separate network for credit card machines for backup and security
Fair Oaks Motors had been previously utilizing old, on-premises servers stacked on top of each other that were acting as a backup domain controller. However, its operating system had gone out of support because it was still using Windows 2008, that Microsoft did not support or patch anymore, making it a security liability. To ensure that the server is safely backed up and protected, Ciracom Cloud built an Azure virtual network, created a virtual server running Windows, and set up the domain controller software on it. Now that it is in the Azure cloud, it is totally deemed safe from any kind of natural disaster or in any event the other server blows up. If that happens, all they must do is just turn on another server connected to the other one, re-sync everything and log in. This gives Fair Oaks Motors a greater advantage in terms of disaster or site recoverability.
Because Fair Oaks Motors stores credit card data for its clients, the organization must be PCI-compliant (Payment Card Industry). This requirement refers to a set of technical and operational standards businesses need to follow to secure and protect credit cardholder data transmitted through card processing transactions. One of those requirements Ciracom Cloud fulfilled was to build a separate network solely for credit card machines to prevent it from getting hacked.
Additionally, Office 365 retention policy has been placed for managers and their respective workstations, so all desktop documents are redirected to the server. If any of those workstations unfortunately stops working, documents can easily be retrieved because of this retention policy. Along with the retention policy, Fair Oaks Motors’ servers are being backed up with Unitrends, a Kaseya-owned company that specializes in backup and recovery plans.
Since Ciracom Cloud’s implementation of Microsoft subscription plans, its employees are now capable of easily resetting passwords through Microsoft 365’s self-service password setup. Migrating the dealership’s in-house Microsoft Exchange server to Microsoft 365 subscription plans not only keep costs down but completely obliterated the tedious task of managing store-bought licenses, as well. Since deployment, Fair Oaks Motors’s staff has yet to deal with any issues in resetting their passwords because of the self-service password feature Microsoft offers.
Additionally, Fair Oaks Motors staff and employees are now able to work in a non-disruptive workplace environment because of the fast network connections which stemmed from installation of Cisco Meraki, Cisco Umbrella and Bigleaf Networks.
Establishing Azure virtual network and the creation of a virtual server to replace old on-premises servers were also carried out to ensure that all files and data are properly backed up and safe, brought Fair Oaks Motors in a safer and a more secure position.
Ciracom Cloud not only addressed the problems at hand and provided Fair Oaks Motors with the right tools in a cost-effective way, but also paved the way for the dealership to streamline onboarding of its users and issuance of Office suite licenses.
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