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Authors Posts by James Jones

James Jones

SAM and Licensing specialist at Crayon.

For IT-centric companies, cloud computing is a core building block for productivity, communication and collaboration.

And for most, Office 365 is the preferred environment to process and manage data with over 120 million active users in December 2017.

As you look to capitalise on Microsoft Office’s powerful solutions for email, instant messaging, web conferencing etc., here are ways you can get the best out of your investment via cloud computing.

  1. IT Strategy and Business Continuity

Attaining your business goals is the core focus of an IT strategy. Adopting the right Microsoft CSP for your Office 365 implementation will improve productivity, communication and efficiency right off the bat, ensuring you get the best bang for your Office 365 buck. With a customised IT strategy by your Microsoft CSP, Office 365 will be aligned with your overall business plans from the ground up.

A reliable CSP will balance control and cost with quality service by moving you away from cost hungry, traditional communications and collaborations infrastructure to a high-value enterprise cloud-managed service. A cloud optimised Office 365 will boost your business agility through automated provisioning and orchestration.

  1. Reduced Deployment Time

As everyday business activities demand more collaboration, productivity and agility, leveraging the services of a certified Microsoft CSP will ensure a seamless procurement and adoption of Office 365.

A Microsoft CSP will plan and design a custom migration outline that’s specific to your productivity requirements.

This will ensure the right Office 365 components are deployed which will drive internal collaboration and efficiency, leading to return on investment. Further, employing the appropriate Microsoft CSP will reduce the learning curve of your in-house IT staff for planning, designing and deploying Office 365.

That time can be allocated to more relevant business initiatives. Leveraging the expertise of Crayon’s Microsoft CSP services guarantees a textbook deployment process and an automated agreement product cycle.

  1. 24/7 IT Staff Support

Working with a Microsoft CSP that offers 24/7 support will ensure your internal IT department has the necessary support for the deployment and administration of Office 365.

This will build a stronger business relationship with your chosen CSP as they provide you custom cloud computing solutions to maximise your Office 365 investment. Easing the burdens of in-house IT maintenance, your CSP also serves as an IT outsource to proactively manage and resolve any ensuing incidents as regards Office 365.

As a global top 10 Microsoft partner for Cloud platform and productivity, Crayon is well-versed in optimising your Office 365 deployment. Maybe you are just beginning your cloud journey, or you’re looking to enhance your existing Office 365 subscription, Crayon will help you plan and deploy to get the most out of your subscription.

  1. Predictable Costs and Scalability

Outsourcing your cloud managed services to a cloud-centric managed provider such as Crayon can save you hundreds to thousands each month compared to setting up an in-house IT department to run your Office 365 setup. This holds true especially if you are a small-midsized enterprise.

By outsourcing your cloud managed services to a CSP you can:

  • Control and reduce network maintenance fees
  • Decide how much you are willing to pay, thus a consistent monthly bill
  • Have a ‘’concierge’’ like plan that’s customised to your Office 365 needs

CSPs not only offer hosted cloud solutions for Office 365; support alongside scalable access to applications, resources and upgrades is included in one bill eliminating the need for costly hardware and software.

  1. Data Security and Disaster Recovery

Fluid processing and security of data is the lifeline of a cloud computing service. Having assessed and designed countless cloud infrastructure and networks, Crayon can customise a Microsoft cloud service with demonstrated redundancy and resiliency for a fluid Office 365 deployment.

With ever-increasing concerns for cybersecurity, your Office 365 adoption plan must include operational risk assessments, data protection, disaster recovery and even IT staff awareness training.

Crayon’s FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment, as well as comprehensive Cloud-iQ service, is a double-barreled approach that can help you derive the most out of your Office 365 subscription, provided you detail your company’s unique aims and IT requirements.

Built from the ground up for the Microsoft Office 365 engine, Cloud-iQ offers unparalleled cloud services augmented according to your organisation’s unique needs. Depending on your data security needs, we will analyse your current state of preparedness, and offer expert guidance on courses of action to mitigate potential cyber threats to your confidential data.

In the event of a compromise, the continuity of your business operations is guaranteed with minimal downtime (if any.)

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Microsoft is offering new tools on Azure and Office 365 to help bring firms towards complying with the EU's upcoming regulation.

How is Microsoft Helping Firms en Route to GDPR Compliance?

As the countdown to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues many firms are still in a mad scramble to ensure that they are prepared for its arrival. However, in an effort to stem the panic Microsoft has attempted to help bring order to the process by offering new tools on Azure and Office 365 that will help bring firms towards compliance.

The GDPR is of concern to businesses of all shapes and sizes, affecting any company wanting to do business within the EU or with member states, including US firms handling the data of European citizens.

For those within the enterprise, this means that from May 25th this year they will have a legal requirement to notify customers of any data breach within 72 hours. Failure to do so could businesses fined either €20 million or 4% of their annual global turnover – depending on which is greater.

At its core, the GDPR is an attempt by the EU to drive better standards of cybersecurity to provide increased protection for the data of EU citizens being handled by firms. Of course, the new regulations have given those within the boardroom further cause for concern, leaving some businesses feeling overwhelmed. Just last year, Thomson Reuters put the average cost of compliance for global financial organisations at $119M per organisation.

Now, Microsoft wants to assist firms with compliance by providing new GDPR-friendly tools to aid with the transition. The thinking from Redmond is that rather than just being seen as a regulatory requirement, the GDPR can be harnessed as an opportunity to strengthen relationships with customers, as well as enhancing collaboration and productivity as far as employees are concerned.

Here’s how Microsoft is helping businesses to meet the GDPR:

Microsoft is offering Compliance Manager for Azure, Dynamics 365 and Office 365 Business and Enterprise users using public clouds – grouping the services as Microsoft 365. This solution enables enterprises to perform periodic risk assessments in order to check whether they are compliant with the GDPR and other regulations.

Alongside this, Compliance Score, a feature within Compliance Manager, enables businesses to continually assess their compliance performance via a series of risk assessments on Microsoft cloud services that provide a score based on the ability to comply with the GDPR.

Another feature, Azure Information Protection scanner, allows for the protection of sensitive data on-premises by allowing you to set up policies that enable the automatic discovery, classification and protection of documents both in file servers and on-premises SharePoint servers.

When coupled with Azure Information Protection (AIP) firms can feel confident that data is securely classified as it travels across devices, applications and cloud services, thereby protecting sensitive files and emails.

Furthermore, enterprises can ensure that confidential files and information remain within the confines of the corporate network by using Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS) to read any such files labelled by AIP and set policies based on based these. The service also covers any sensitive files in cloud apps, automatically applying these labels for encryption and protection.

In addition, with the ability to automatically classify personal data being a critical part of GDPR compliance, Microsoft has already deployed over 80 out-of-the-box sensitive information types that firms can use to detect and classify data. These will soon be followed by a GDPR sensitive information type template that will enable firms to effectively consolidate everything into a single template, detecting and classifying personal data relevant to the GDPR.

To find out how Crayon and Microsoft can help you on the road towards GDPR compliance please click here.

When Microsoft launched Teams last year, the idea was to embed itself into the centre of workplace culture within the enterprise – something that saw more than 125,000 firms adopt it within just six months.

Promoting Collaboration Within the Enterprise Using Teams

For those in the boardroom the need to refine the way teams communicate with one another to achieve business goals is something that’s explored on an ongoing basis. After all, any technology that increases the likelihood of desired outcomes through collaboration in as few a steps as possible at a cost that suits is certainly something likely to be considered at board level.

So, when Microsoft launched Teams in May last year, there was a clear desire to embed itself firmly in the centre of workplace culture within the enterprise.

As an addition to Office 365, those already familiar with the ecosystem would no doubt see the benefits a new real-time messaging solution could bring to the work place and inter-office communications.

The thinking behind the solution was that Teams would go some way to replacing those annoying inter-team emails we all receive when working on projects. Instead, the new system allows the various participants – or members if you prefer – to communicate and collaborate via both chronological and threaded messages and Skype calls via Office 365 Apps like OneNote, Word, Excel and Power BI. Furthermore, as a neat addition for subscribers on the Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3 and E5 packages, Teams would offer new levels of collaboration not seen before. Even in its preview mode Microsoft confirmed that more than 50,000 organisations had signed up to the new service.

Since then, the team at Redmond has been doing its best to ensure that Teams is being constantly refined and improved upon – something that saw more than 125,000 organisations around the world buy into the solution within just six months of its launch.

Part of this has also meant opening the platform up to offer more enhanced collaboration features so that those using it can integrate more easily with Microsoft’s own applications and ecosystem, as well as other third party offerings like Trello, InVision, SurveyMonkey, Wrike or Adobe Creative Cloud.

So, what does this really mean for those within the enterprise? Well, it delivers real-time continuity whereby users of Teams now have the ability to bring information from apps into work chats and channel messages via just a simple click. Imagine the man-hours shaved across important projects as you effortlessly push information to the wider team, whilst at the same time holding direct chats, audio and video calls. With Teams this can happen. It’s something Microsoft refers to as intelligent communications with the product itself providing the hub to bring together your business conversations, meetings, files, Office apps, and third-party integrations in Office 365.

For those with experience of working in the likes of OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Power BI and SharePoint, Teams feels vey familiar and the high degree of personalisation that is now available following a recent update allows users to see apps they frequently use without having to search for them. In addition, they can also see specific collaboration apps that have been enabled by managers, as well as specifically assigned individual tasks in what is their own personal space. Of course, if there’s something you feel you’re missing and might wish to implement, a new Apps Discovery feature enables businesses to find new apps in areas such as project management, analytics and BI and simply add these in.

Another new addition from Redmond comes in the form of Who, a new app powered by Microsoft Graph that allows you to search across the enterprise for people by name and subject area or topic. Furthermore, the ability to search for information from an app and add this directly into chats and single workflows is something users will welcome as they move towards tasks of increasing complexity.

How does Microsoft think this will work in the future? Well, let’s consider what happens prior to meetings. By using Teams those taking part will be able to extract relevant documents and ‘rich’ information about those participating to help with preparations. Then, as the meeting takes place, everything can be captured, transcribed, and potentially time-coded, with the ability to use closed captioning and voice recognition for attributing remarks to specific people. Then, once the meeting is finished the actual recording and any transcript can then be added to a particular channel so that those needing information can look at any conversations, documents and notes whenever they need to follow-up, feedback or review things.

To find out more about Microsoft Teams and how Crayon can help your business with communication and collaboration, click here.

The impact that Artificial Intelligence – and Machine Learning as an extension of this – looks set to have on enterprises in the coming years cannot be underestimated.

What is Artificial Intelligence and how can it help your business?

Today, enterprises are being asked questions about how they can further harness the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) when it comes to processing tasks and solving problems within their business. Indeed, according to a recent survey of 3,000 executives conducted by McKinsey & Co., although just a small percentage reported using AI within their core business at present, around 80% admitted to considering future deployments or experimenting with it.

Of course, in reality the ubiquitous AI has been with us for some time already, helping us with buying decisions online, when trading stocks and shares, aiding firms when it comes to tackling things like fraud and of course, assisting those at the cutting edge of cybersecurity.

Most of us are already now familiar with personal assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. And AI within the enterprise to help with problem solving, learning and planning seems like a natural extension and fit for businesses. Certainly, the impact that Artificial Intelligence – and Machine Learning as an extension of this – looks set to have in the coming years cannot be underestimated.

What began with assistance with increasingly complex calculations, work in the field of AI has moved towards mimicking human decision making processes as businesses seek to carry out tasks in this manner. Consider the incredible growth we are witnessing in areas such as computer vision – the ability to understand images and video and apply that to the wider world and the assistance it can provide businesses with when it comes to identifying products and defects that humans would have previously had to do manually.

This brings us nicely to the two types of artificial intelligence that we see within the workplace and how they apply to today’s economy. The first, Narrow AI, represents those computers going about tasks in an intelligent fashion that aren’t specifically programmed to do so. In essence this means that such systems can only be taught specific tasks. This could be anything from virtual assistants to AI solutions for spotting things like tumours in healthcare. The other flexible form of intelligence, or artificial general intelligence in essence represents that which we seek to replicate, one with reason and the adaptable form of intellect that only humans have displayed until now. Of course, the possibilities for AI are almost limitless.

Gartner was another to recently suggest that although AI is not yet commonplace within the enterprise, almost half of CIOs plan to adopt it in the near future. Furthermore, around 20 percent of CIOs have pilot AI programs in their implementation pipelines. This is because AI, when combined with cognitive computing, enables enterprises to dive deeper when it comes to analysing data analytics, identifying patterns, improving industrial processes and of course security. When you consider the impact it can have in terms of extending personal relationships with customers and end-users, the argument for further deployments that provide more accurate, actionable data becomes even more compelling.

The cloud is another aspect helping to bring AI to the masses. With the mobile internet now delivering global networking and the associated digital technologies businesses have literally billions of potential new customers. Taking this one step further, imagine cloud-based AI and the implications this might have in terms of robotics and accelerated learning processes when it comes to sharing data across huge networks.

Right now, much of the focus has been around machine learning – where a computer system is fed huge amounts of data, which is then used to learn how to carry out a specific task – and deep learning. Such tools are already helping thousands of businesses worldwide through huge cloud-based platforms such as Azure. For its part, Microsoft is offering firms on-demand AI-powered services and access to its growing ecosystem of artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning technologies.

Already trusted by around 90 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, Azure is also enabling businesses to forecast trends, create real-time data, and make accurate predictions based on that data. And with machine learning these outcomes are continually improving as firms use solutions such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Bot Service, Visual Code Studio, AI toolkits and Redmond’s own specific Machine Learning Services to add intelligence to their operations. This means enterprises can drive digital transformation and continually use data new and valuable ways.

To explore the various ways in which how AI is being used in sectors such as healthcare or to discuss how Azure can help your business please visit:

The Microsoft Intelligent Asset Manager (IAM) allows Crayon to provide transparency in software consumption, move beyond license compliance and increase customer value.

24th January, 2018, Crayon today announced it is collaborating with Microsoft to help customers maximise the value of Software Asset Management (SAM), moving beyond license compliance and toward increased customer value. Microsoft Intelligent Asset Manager (IAM) enables Crayon’s partners and customers to more easily and transparently collect and securely share inventory data and leverage Microsoft’s centralised service to establish a licensing position. This helps make time-consuming, expensive and disruptive reviews a thing of the past and enables more time and focus on helping customers manage their IT infrastructure and derive meaningful insight from this process.

IAM, coupled with Crayon’s technology, will make it easier to understand a customer’s IT inventory, store that data in a secure and customer-controlled manner and enable the seamless creation of an Effective License Position (ELP) – a trusted baseline for both parties. Through a special program with Crayon, Microsoft customers can use the resulting ELP via the Crayon solution to manage their Microsoft license position on an ongoing basis. Doing so in a managed and transparent process using pre-agreed metrics will save customer resources, allow friction-free self-optimisation, create more value driven relationships for Microsoft customers and empower informed strategic technology and cloud decisions.

Ashley Gatehouse, CMO, Crayon said, “Crayon understands the critical role transparency and vendor involvement play in a healthy and successful software supply chain. We’re extremely proud to work with Microsoft to help our customers maximise the value of Software Asset Management for their organisation and their customers.”

Patama Chantaruck, General Manager of Worldwide Software Asset Management & Compliance at Microsoft Corp., said, “We believe SAM, when done right, is a strategic advantage for our customers. We stay committed to helping all organisations maximise value, minimise risk and achieve more with their IT investments. To enable this, we work with partners to simplify the way SAM engagements are conducted and ensure customers receive meaningful value from them. We are delighted with Crayon’s support for Intelligent Asset Manager, and we look forward to bringing the powerful value of SAM to accelerate the digital transformation for our customers.”

For more information about Crayon’s Software Asset Management services please contact your local team or visit:


We are delighted to announce that Cybereason, creators of the leading cybersecurity data analytics platform, has chosen Crayon to be their European distributor.

This partnership allows us to begin distributing Cybereason’s award-winning cybersecurity data analytics platform to our distribution network of 3,500 global partners.

“Crayon has proven to be a true leader in the enterprise software community. We look forward to working closely together as we enable their community of 3,500 global partners to deliver new cybersecurity software and services offerings to their customers,” said Gregg Henebry, Vice President of Channels, Cybereason.

Read the rest of the article here

Check out Cybereason’s webpage

Torgrim Takle, CEO at Crayon Group, says businesses that seek to optimise IT estates can get past fears surrounding the latest piece of EU legislation by using joined-up thinking, regarding software asset management and cloud economics.

Unless a business has been living under a rock for the past 12 months, the threat of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will not have escaped it. For those in the boardroom of companies that handle, process or monitor the data of EU citizens, it is a very real threat.

The news headlines in 2017 were filled with cybercriminals and reports of breaches, and the notion that businesses must be able to spot and report on these to the relevant authorities within 72 hours came as a shock to some. Failure to do so could see enterprises fined up to €20 million or 4% of their annual turnover.

Read the rest of our article here

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Want to improve your Cloud sales?

With Crayon’s ultimate incentive platform PULSE, you can bring your Cloud sales to life!

PULSE has been created to reward our partners for their Cloud consumption. All they need to do is have an active CSP Indirect reseller agreement with Crayon. Once enrolled, for every $5 consumption they will receive 1


Pulse Point to spend in the Crayon Reward Catalogue. For example, 20 Pulse Points for every $100 dollars consumed!

It’s that simple!

Crayon’s Reward Catalogue features everything from the latest technology to high street vouchers.

How does it work? 

It’s as easy as 1,2,3

  1. Have an active CSP Indirect reseller agreement with Crayon.
  2. Activate enrolment by billing through Crayon’s CSP Indirect reseller agreement.
  3. Spend the Pulse Points through the Crayon Reward Catalogue.

Plus, Partners with a CSP Indirect reseller agreement with Crayon, automatically receive 1,000 Pulse Points to get them started!

Request an account here and start earning.

Choose crayon and we’ll reward you!

Contact us today if you want more information and want to start making the most out of your Cloud sales.

Crayon har søkt om notering på Oslo Børs.

Crayon Group Holding ASA vil ifølge en melding søke om notering på Oslo Børs.

Crayon ble grunnlagt i 2002 og ble notert på Oslo Børs etter fusjonen med Inmeta i 2011.

Selskapet var notert på Oslo Børs frem til 2012, frem til det norske kapitalfondet Norvestor la inn bud og overtok samtlige aksjer i lisens- og konsulentselskapet.

Etter at selskapet ble tatt av børs, har det fokusert på internasjonal ekspansjon.

Crayon Group Holding har ifølge en melding besluttet å gjennomføre en IPO med notering på Oslo Børs. I tillegg vil selskapet gjøre en emisjon på 340 millioner kroner.

Første handelsdag kan – dersom noteringen godkjennes – bli på eller rundt 8. november.

Emisjonen ventes ifølge meldingen å gjøres til en kurs på mellom 15,50 kroner og 19,00 kroner per aksje.

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