Executive Summary: Ciracom Cloud Migrates MBACSI to Microsoft Cloud Solutions For More Secure Communications and Team Collaboration
MBA Consulting Services, Inc. (MBACSI) is a technology consulting company providing IT talent staffing support via full systems engineering life cycles as well as facilities management and digital solutions talent since 1999.
MBACSI users experienced issues with their email accounts and outdated Microsoft licenses. When Ciracom Cloud met with the MBACSI team, staff were communicating through email addresses in different domains because, at the time, MBACSI didn’t have its own.
Furthermore, data-sharing was challenging because there was no way to securely share files other than by physically logging in at the office or using VPN.
“Ciracom Cloud has been responsible for updating the software on a regular basis. Through a subscription-based model, we're able to stay current on malicious attacks and have software to prevent those from happening. Ciracom Cloud also advises us from time to time on certain risks that are out there and gives us real comfort in knowing that we've got the current software to protect us. Those are very positive features because I think that’s often a very big worry for many executives. Everybody wants to protect their data, and Ciracom Cloud really has managed those security issues well for us.” - Mark Colturi: Chief Operating Officer
MBACSI required up-to-date Microsoft Office products, an official MBACSI email for internal communications, an upgraded security posture, and a means to enable advanced collaborative software for its organization.
To address the organization's needs, Ciracom Cloud implemented the following solutions:
- Creating MBACSI’s official email domain by installing Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and Exchange Online Kiosk (as well as SharePoint migration)
- Running Kaseya VSA into their machines to locate PST files and migrate them into Office 365
- Deploying of MFA, Microsoft Defender, Cisco Umbrella, and Webroot for heightened security measures
The installation of Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and Exchange Online Kiosk and migration to SharePoint Online
MBACSI’s primary business is placing employees, mostly in government offices. Because MBACSI at the time didn’t maintain an email domain to issue to its staff, the primary source of communication was routed through exchanges using government-issued email addresses. To enable direct email for the company to communicate with its own employees rather than emailing them at their government-issued email addresses, Ciracom Cloud deployed Microsoft 365 F3 for MBACSI’s remote employees, Microsoft 365 Business Premium for its office users, and Exchange Online Kiosk for its placed employees. Ciracom Cloud recommended the Exchange Online Kiosk license as a cost-efficient way to provide the majority of MBACSI’s users with an MBACSI email domain that also allows them to log into various SaaS platforms.
Additionally, staff were given access to SharePoint (automatically included with their new email addresses) to safely access data Ciracom Cloud migrated from an old SharePoint site, all without the need to rely on VPN.
Running Kaseya VSA to locate PST files and migrate them into Office 365
Another major project Ciracom Cloud executed for MBACSI was locating its personal storage table (PST) files and migrating those into the newly deployed Office 365 mailboxes. A PST file is a file format Microsoft programs use to store items such as calendar events, contacts, and email messages. If a mailbox fills up and a user wants to make more room without deleting current messages, they can download and store current emails in PST file format on a computer.
Previously, older emails were constantly archived to local PST files stored in computers since the old mailboxes’ storages weren’t big enough. MBACSI was concerned about securing these PST files. To address this, Ciracom Cloud ran a Kaseya VSA script to locate all important PST files in the organization and migrated them into Office 365 mailboxes to make them available and easily accessible.
The deployment of MFA, Microsoft Defender, Cisco Umbrella, and Webroot for heightened security
Besides keeping licensing costs as low as possible, MBACSI wanted to ensure secure access to data that is protected 24/7/365. To strengthen MBACSI’s overall network security, Ciracom Cloud implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA), Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (an email defense that comes with Microsoft Business Premium), CiscoUmbrella, and Webroot Cybersecurity (an antivirus solution).
At the time of implementation, MBACSI had just moved offices and was experiencing undue network issues. There was an Active Directory server on-premises and another one in the cloud. Both were supposed to be connected; they weren’t, and it seemed that no one was able to fix it. Ciracom Cloud, however, stepped in by cleaning MBACSI’s network to ensure that it was back up and running smoothly again while ensuring that all accounts in Active Directory were functioning properly.
During this clean-up project, Ciracom Cloud implemented Cisco Umbrella, a cloud security solution that blocks all malicious activities through whitelisting, content filtering, and further blocking known bad sites in each of MBACSI’s workstations. CiscoUmbrella provided additional security and dramatically improved the internal network problem MBACSI had been experiencing.
Prior to working with Ciracom Cloud, MBACSI had been using outdated Office 365 software. The company was archiving mailboxes through fragile PST files, and they’d often experience poor network connections for accessing their data.
“We had a lot of individual software licenses on many different laptops, and various versions of those software licenses were causing some critical version control issues and translation issues among some of the applications,” said Mark Colturi, MBACSI’s Chief Operating Officer. “So, we went to Ciracom Cloud to help us with the Microsoft 365 migration. They provided a thoroughly phased approach to implement the migration, and it was a smooth one. It involved a discovery phase, followed by a very careful configuration phase that gave everybody here a lot of confidence. Everyone had different software applications with different versions, and we wanted to make sure that we didn't lose any data during this migration. We also wanted to ensure that we had the right privilege model for secure access to the data downstream. So I think it was that experience, this so-called white-glove treatment, that Ciracom Cloud provided that gave everybody a great deal of peace of mind.”
Currently, MBACSI benefits from Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, since the Microsoft migration allows for a more secure and synergetic working environment for the team.
“The results have been outstanding. Certainly, we are a much more advanced technology company today. We're able to use collaborative software like Teams and SharePoint, we've upgraded our company intranet portal to have a much more informative, and a data-sharing environment that people have immediate access to materials when they need it,” Colturi shared.
Furthermore, MBACSI no longer worries about keeping its software updated and creating a secure and locked-down environment for its organization.
“Ciracom Cloud has been responsible for updating the software on a regular basis. Through a subscription-based model, we're able to stay current on malicious attacks and have software to prevent those from happening. Ciracom Cloud also advises us from time to time on certain risks that are out there and gives us real comfort in knowing that we've got the current software to protect us. Those are very positive features because I think that’s often a very big worry for many executives. Everybody wants to protect their data, and Ciracom Cloud really has managed those security issues well for us,” Colturi concluded.
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