Thursday, November 22, 2012

Google Apps vs. Office365


Greetings !

With Cloud Computing gaining momentum with every passing day , one question which the Customers have is how should they start their journey on the Cloud. Their first question is which applications to consider shifting first to the Cloud.

The easy answer is to first shift Email, Collaboration & Communication to the Cloud . The benefits of shifting these applications to the Cloud are HUGE as compared to an On Premise Model.

Next question is which Solution is the BEST ?

Frankly , for Cloud based Email and Collaboration , there are only 2 vendors that matter : Google Apps from Google and Office365 from Microsoft.

I have created a short 4 minute video which compares Google Apps with Office365 . This will help you in your evaluation. Please click here for the same:

For a more detailed feature by feature comparison between Google Apps and MS Exchange , I have created a 20 minute video . Click here

I would love to hear on on these videos,

with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Windows 8 promo offers for Consumers


Greetings !

Last week I had posted some details on the Windows 8 .  Today I will tell you about some exciting promotions announced by Microsoft around Windows 8 .

There are 2 great offers from Microsoft on Windows 8:

1) Windows Upgrade   Offer

If you have purchased Windows 7 after June 30, then you can upgrade to Windows 8 at just Rs. 699/-

2) Great Deal Offer 

You get Windows 8 at just Rs. 1999/=


For detailed Terms and Conditions , click here.

with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Windows 8 is here


Greetings !

Last week has been pretty eventful for Microsoft . They had 3 big announcements :

a) Launch of Windows Surface

b) Launch of Windows 8

c) Launch of Windows Phone 8

I will focus mainly on Windows 8 and to a lesser extent on Surface as it is not available in India .

People are asking various questions. So let me talk about the product in form of FAQ:

1) What is the difference between Windows RT and Windows Pro

Windows RT is the brand new Operating System from Microsoft. It has significantly faster boot time . It is optimized for Touch. Important point to note is that only applications from the Microsoft App Store can be used on a RT device. It will power devices based on ARM processor like Surface RT . Another interesting this is that all RT devices will come pre loaded with MS Office Home & Student Edition. So you can use this MS Office at Home, in School, etc. But you cannot use it at Work from Licensing point of view as it is Home and Student Edition.

Windows 8 Pro on the other hand is the upgrade from Windows 7. So all your legacy applications will work on Windows Pro . You can also use the apps available on Windows App Store . Some apps will not work on Windows RT . So these will not be available to RT devices for download. Only for Win Pro devices.

2) What is the use of having Modern Tiles for a Business User

A Business User , especially the  Mobile User like Sales person or   Top Management  can use the LIVE Tiles on their touch enabled  laptops/ Tablets or Convertibles  and they will simply see a jump in their productivity .

Another interesting scenario is that you use the legacy application in Desktop mode ( classic mode) and then use the same data and do analytics using a app for say Business Intelligence  in LIVE Tiles.

And if you have no use at all for LIVE Tiles, then you can continue to use Desktop mode with keyboard and mouse . Here the advantage is that you have faster boot time as compared to Windows 7 . And there are features like Windows to Go which allow you to boot from any PC with your Windows 8 on a pen drive. Wow !

3) What is the BIG STORY about Windows 8

The BIG STORY is unification of User Interface across XBox Gaming Console ; Smartphone ; Tablet ; Laptop ; Desktop; Workstation.

And with Unification of User Interface comes Unification of your Data which will be on Microsoft Cloud. So if you use any device , you access the same Data. That’s HUGE…

4) Where can I get Surface Tablet

Surface is only available from Microsoft Store or Online in 5 Countries. So Indian Customer has to wait. But you can always buy any device from multiple vendors who are ready  with their devices.

5) What kind of devices will I get for Windows 8 and when will they be available

There is a plethora of devices available with Windows 8. There are broadly in 3 types:

a) Windows RT based on ARM

b) Intel Atom

c) Intel or AMD Processor

Various form factors are available and shipping today . Some are shown below:

WP_000085                   WP_000084  

The above device on left is from Acer . On right is the same device but with the screen removed and being used as a well designed Tablet. Cool !


The above is RT based Asus device with detachable screen  . Very light weight


   WP_000088                       WP_000089 

The above is Toshiba Device on the right . And the same device is in my hand on the left with the screen sliding in and converting into a Tablet


The above picture is a DELL  Device appearing as a Tablet . The same unit becomes a Laptop when you slide out the screen.. Based on Windows 8 Pro.

So there is a great choice available. There were a few devices from Lenovo and HP too . The Lenovo Ideapad Yoga   is one great device which is very flexible. And HP also has a few innovative devices for the Business User.

So all in all , Windows 8 is a totally new direction for Microsoft and Windows . The LIVE Tiles will take a few days to get used to. But it is a fantastic Interface . I have been using that Interface on my Windows Phone for past 8 months and I simply love it .

My feeling is that Consumers will love it from day one. Business user will adopt it slowly . So the real Business adoption will happen only after one year .


with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cloud Computing … IT Just Works

Greetings !
A lot of vendors are offering Cloud Services as a cheaper option to the On Premise Solution . In my opinion, the biggest advantage of Cloud Computing is that you get a Solution which is very reliable , hassle free . In short it just works !  So this was the theme of a video which was prepared recently : Cloud Computing…. It Just Works !.
This short 3 minute video explains Cloud Computing and then goes on to say why the Microsoft Cloud Service Office365 is better than Google Apps . It also features Testimonials of our Customers who are using Cloud Services like Exchange Online , SharePoint Online , Lync Online and MS Office on subscription .
The video is available on the Microsoft website  . To watch the same, click here .
This video is also uploaded on our YouTube Channel . Click here for the same .
I would love to get your feedback on this video.
with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2012

MS Exchange Online Deep Dive


Greetings !

I am back from a Terrific Customer Event on Cloud Computing which was held in the Mumbai Office of Microsoft Corporation.  . The Topic was Exchange Online Deep Dive. The invitees were all existing Customers of  TechGyan and were all users of Cloud Services .


The Focus of the Event was to inform the Customers of various Features available in Exchange Online for Productivity and Security . Some of the Productivity Features which were discussed and demoed were :

—Connected Accounts

—Out of Office Replies

—Federated Calendar sharing

—Multi Mailbox Search

—Create standard signatures

—Exchange Voting buttons

—Recurring Tasks

—One Click Holiday Inclusion in Calendar



After Productivity Features , we covered Security and Compliance Features like

—Archive Mailbox

—Retention Policy

—Supervisor Mailbox


—Blocking of internal & external Domains


Finally we covered  , Integration of Exchange/Outlook with SharePoint and Lync.

The General Feedback was that Customers felt that such events help them become more productive . And they urged us to have such events on regular basis .


with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Document Management using SharePoint

Greetings ! Collaborating on Documents is one of the biggest challenges for Companies, large or Small ! But since it is essential to Collaborate on Documents, the one solution which people rely upon is emailing documents among the various people in the Team . This method has many pitfalls

1. Version control becomes impossible
2. It leads to unnecessary Email traffic
3. Its always a challenge to identify the conflicting versions.
4. Such documents can be easily mailed out of the Company thus leading to document leakage.
5. Its difficult to identify the right documents as the process of document search is a nightmare.

This is where SharePoint Technologies comes into picture . To understand what is SharePoint, please click here .

To understand how Document Management can be done , using SharePoint, we have created a short 12 minute video . Watch the video here.

The SharePoint solution  not only removes the bottlenecks given above, it also introduces a few wonderful concepts on Collaboration like: a) Document Workflow b) Access and edit documents  from any device like PC, laptop, Tablet, Smartphone. c) Ability to work offline .Later when Internet is available, the changes made get synced automatically . d) Search by keywords. e) And much more …. To know more about SharePoint Online, click here .

Let me know what you feel about using SharePoint as a Document Management System

with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Windows phone the Best Smartphone for Business



Over past few months,  I have been playing with my Windows Phone. I am really enjoying the experience. It has done wonders to my productivity . So I thought why not share this information with others !

I have listed reasons why I believe that Windows Phone is the BEST Business Smart Phone. And the BEST Smart Phone for Consumers too ! So do take a moment and review the reasons I have put up . Click here for details.

I have also created a short video on why I love my Windows Phone .

What I especially love is the fantastic integration with Office365 , the Cloud based service from Microsoft . The phone has wonderful email client called Outlook Mobile which does a great job of integrating MS Exchange Online . It does not stop there. It offers a wonderful experience while integrating with SharePoint Online allowing me to read and edit my MS Office files.

So hopefully some of you will now be convinced that there is life beyond iPhone and Androids! Love my Windows Phone !

with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Friday, July 6, 2012

Windows Small Business Server to bid goodbye


Greetings !

I just read that Microsoft has announced that there will be no more editions of Windows Small Business Server Standard . The current product is Small Business Server 2011 . When Windows Server 2012 is released, the corresponding Small Business Server edition will be missing.

Just to refresh , the Small Business Server or SBS for short was a huge success in small business all over the World ! The peak was SBS 2003. Our Company TechGyan implemented many SBS suites for our Customers.  We also won our first Worldwide award in 2007 based on the  Solution we implemented around SBS . The SBS was limited to 75 users and was packaged with Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server and then ISA Server . Great Solution at a great price. We loved it.Our Customers loved it.

Then the Cloud came in around 2010. For Small Business it made more sense to move Exchange & Collaboration to the Cloud. In June 2011 , Microsoft launched Office365 , its State Of the Art offering on the Cloud for Customers large and Small. At TechGyan , we began to see a trend of Customers moving to the Cloud especially in the Small and Mid sized space . We took a call to focus on the Cloud for SMB Customers. I personally felt Cloud was a very compelling story for the SMB.

So when I read this news that Microsoft will not refresh SBS and the 2011 edition will be the last , I was sad . Read the official blog here . But at the same time,  my personal opinion is that this was inevitable. Many partners are upset . But !

So folks , SBS is dead ( will be available till June 2013 ). Long live the Cloud !


with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Friday, June 29, 2012

Office365 completes One Year


Greetings !

Happy Birthday Office365. Today this wonderful Cloud Service from Microsoft completes One Year since its launch . What a year it has been so far !

For our Customers , Office365 has been a super success . We have had Customers with as low as 5 seats and also others going upto hundreds ! When we analyze our Customers who have subscribed to this service , we find that we have a nice mix across Industries . Some of them are :

Legal Firms, Insurance Agents, Industry Associations , Manufacturing , Retail , Exporters, Advertising & Public Relations , BPO, Educational Institutes , etc.

So it’s a great mix. We have created a few resources which should be very useful for anyone who wishes to know how Office365 can help them. Have a look at some of the resources that we have created by clicking here :

To understand various Office365 plans and pricing , click

So Happy Birthday Office365 ! I know that as you grow , you will become better and better.


with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remote wipe data from lost mobile

Greetings !
Ever lost a mobile ? Chances are that you have . Studies have shown that on an average , we lose at least one mobile in our life time. But most of the people I know are above average !
The biggest worry when you lose a phone is that you lose your confidential Data. What if it falls into wrong hands ? Here is a Solution . If you are a user of Office365, the cutting edge Cloud Service from Microsoft , you can remote wipe the data from your lost phone . To know more about how to do it, click here

with warm regards
Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Beat the Bandh with Cloud Computing

Greetings !

So yesterday we had Bharat Bandh where the Opposition Parties declared that no one will work throughout India. This is one of the sad facts of India where the short sighted Politicians even take on the Indian Constitution !

Anyway , that is not the point of discussion of this post . I want to share with all as to how our Company beat the bandh making full use of the capabilities of Cloud Service like Office365 . We had 65% attendance in the office . However, the communication given the previous day was that if for any reason they cannot commute to the Office, they should logon to their Office365 accounts and work from home.

And guess what ? If I factor the people who worked from Home, then the attendance was 100% ! Wow! And how did these people work ? Pretty simple as is explained below:
Using Cloud based Lync , which is a tool for Unified Communication, the office workers knew if their colleague was online or not. And then it was a matter of just starting a conversation either by text chat or audio call . Video calls were not done as the Home workers probably felt they were not presentable enough !

Using Cloud based Sharepoint , the office and home workers could collaborate on proposals and other documents and do host of other Collaborative stuff like Helpdesk, Opportunity management etc. which we have developed on Sharepoint .

Using Cloud based MS Exchange , everyone was able to communicate with their Clients via email thus ensuring that Customers were taken good care of .

So friends , as long as we live in India , we know that we will have to live with these Bandhs which one party or the other will call for. But the next time there is a Bandh, be sure that you have Cloud Services implemented so that your work does not suffer . So Beat The Bandh with Cloud Services !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani
Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007