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ExchangeDefender 9 is off to a fantastic start, as mentioned in the previous post we’ll keep you up to date with any new bugs and fixes as we find and fix them here (http://www.exchangedefender.com/blog/2018/08/exchangedefender-9-launch-bugfix/). Great news on that front is that the entire codebase is new and thanks to new development methodology fixes for minor issues won’t take long. Neither will the addition of the new features: which is what we’d like to discuss today.

The following big features are coming in September and we’ll cover them in detail leading up to the release: ExchangeDefender encryption is getting a major upgrade in threaded conversations and ability to include attachments both ways, our support portal will begin mixing in live chat and status updates so you know immediately where your ticket is in our system and who is working on it, and we’re taking a major step forward to help you manage your security credentials.

      ExchangeDefender Encryption Upgrade

ExchangeDefender Encryption is getting a major expansion of features when it comes to handling files and conversations. Specifically, we never want you to have to leave the ExchangeDefender web site in order to communicate effectively and securely. Starting in September, we’re adding two major features to enhance our clients ability to exchange secure content with remote recipients: threaded views and attachment uploads.

Presently, only our clients (protected by ExchangeDefender) can send encrypted attachments. Soon, senders and recipients will be able to work through our portal to send encrypted contents back and forth. The way we’ll present the entire conversation will really take our clients productivity to the next level.

     Support / Ticket Live Chat

We’ve been testing a live chat/alert/popup functionality in our support portal where we can huddle up and work on the ticket in realtime with the entire team. This is a far cry from the traditional model where a ticket is accepted, assigned, worked on and completed by a single tech within a SLA mandated period of time.

In the new model, we all have the ability to work on every issue at once and quickly add relevant resources to the conversation: which is effectively what the new support is going to look like. So instead of a ticket being a single monolith of a problem that is handed from one person to the next in it’s entirety, we can now break it down into manageable pieces and a senior engineer can quickly pinpoint, triage and offer guidance that would let other technicians that are available assist the client far faster.

You will also be able to see who is viewing and working on your ticket and where/when the next update will come – this will eliminate the need for phone calls, escalation/status update requests and so on because the system is 100% reactive to what is going on – if the engineer is looking at the ticket they have a counter and they are printed on the ticket. We look forward to extending this functionality to our clients in September, we’ve been using it internally to raving reviews by our staff.

    Password Policy Enforcement

ExchangeDefender is a security product – one whose origins and some features trace back to the 90s. In the past 15 months the product has been rewritten entirely, giving us far more flexibility to help you manage your users and their passwords. In September we will start storing passwords with irreversible encryption and complying with many new technologies such as Magic Link that will make password tracking a thing of the past. Additionally we’re rolling out 2FA/OTP across ExchangeDefender with our own API to extend to other applications in the ExchangeDefender universe.

There will be many more features coming along as all our departments have stepped their game up – but these major ones will definitely change the way you work with ExchangeDefender and how much we’re able to do for you and your clients. Privacy, security and management are in the news every single night and we hope to give our clients and partners a level of control over their data that will make it easier for them to sleep at night.

 

It’s crazy to look at the ExchangeDefender roadmap from last spring and see how well we’ve been able to integrate the vision for a fully supported communications platform for business into our existing security, compliance and encryption product suite. To be honest, this whole process started well over a year ago with our ExchangeDefender Migrations where we learned just how poorly organized and borderline mismanaged most corporate email handling has become. And all the tools that are on top of it – from Outlook to supplement chat platforms – are just making the mess bigger and compliance problem more complicated and expensive.

I’ve personally spent countless hours with my staff looking at tons of research, behavioral data, purchase patterns, market leaders (and which features people most demanded from them compared to which features they actually used the most) and that’s where we started building our new platform. And if you’ve attended any of my webinars for the past year or so, you’ve heard me repeatedly call on partners, MSPs, VARs, etc to focus on the messaging, compliance and security because that is where the money has been and will continue to be – and it won’t be something you’ll ever earn with a low end network admin hire (not to mention that we’re better and far more affordable than another body).

NewUI

I am beyond thankful for all the feedback, input and suggestions (keep them coming, as brutally honest and direct as possible – no, we don’t expect you to be cheerful if/when we cause you support problems) that are pouring in as we start to expand this product. In terms of vision of what we’re building here:

A platform for secure, compliant and organized information management, sharing and collaboration.

If that sounds like a Dilbert cartoon too heavy on jargon, what I mean is that we’re launching a series of web sites, mobile apps, web applications and automation scripts that any organization out there can plug in their email into and start assigning, prioritizing, discovering and working on issues together. We’re not just talking about b2b or b2c email either, anything that generates an email notification or a social alert or an order receipt or booking confirmation or a tweet or a Facebook update – anything that impacts your business – will be more secure, better organized and have a clear chain of custody, deadline, track record and more.

This is not a one-off upgrade that we’re thankful to be done with, this is just a piece of the overall puzzle we have for our partners to help organizations get better organized. So please, stay in the loop, and most of all understand the game plan: we aren’t building this to amuse ourselves – what you see here will be your product in another month or two and you will be able to sell, implement, customize and manage. And that kind of work pays a lot better than hard drive swapping, OS reinstall and malware license renewals.

We hope you like it. And we hope that if you don’t like it, you tell us what you need. Either way, we won’t do this without you. #team

-Vlad

We’ve been getting incredible feedback since the launch of our new support portal but believe me when I say that this is just the preview of what we’ve got going on behind the scenes. As ExchangeDefender’s business model continues to shift towards security and compliance services (instead of just software/cloud) our ability to provide excellent service becomes the top goal organizationally. And it matters the most to you, our clients and partners, because we’re lifting the burden of support and platform management from you so we need to be able to provide support on a whole new level as a result of it.

On the bottom of all the new sections of the portal you will see a link that says [BETA] Give us feedback

image

Tap that link and tell us what you would like to see.

I cannot overstress the importance of us getting this right, not just for our own sake but for yours as well: support and assistance will start getting bundled and integrated into the very solutions we provide. This means that we will be using your brand, your logo, your site to deliver ExchangeDefender services on your behalf and that will include realtime communications with clients, employees, staff and anyone else with valid credentials. You will have full control over it all, along with analytics and reporting: we won’t do this without you is more than just a tagline on every webinar I’ve held in the past two years.

So please. Whatever you see, however minor, whatever idea you have, however major: I want to hear it. Developers won’t. I want us to continue providing an integrated cloud service end-to-end that continues to thrill customers instead of frustrating IT people. We’re changing the game here.

-Vlad

Not growing as fast as you’d like, or spending too much time on email/client support? Hear our CEO’s thoughts on what is fueling our growth and how ESS is already playing a huge part in growth of managed services across our client base.

Posted by ExchangeDefender on Friday, April 13, 2018

Not growing as fast as you’d like, or spending too much time on email/client support? Hear our CEO’s thoughts on what is fueling our growth and how ESS is already playing a huge part in growth of managed services across our client base.

ExchangeDefender Become a Partner banner

On February 1st, ExchangeDefender will officially start providing end user support for all email issues related to our platform. For our many partners and resellers this means that we will, under your name and brand, take and place calls and help your clients solve email problems. At no additional cost, across our entire Pro line of services: ExchangeDefender Pro, Exchange Pro, Compliance, and Encryption.

It just makes sense. Our entire service lifecycle is structured around ITIL, integrates into our partners support infrastructure seamlessly, is covered by our SOC1 and SOC2 audits, comes with advanced reporting, security/id, session and call recording… and a lot more that we cannot publicly disclose. But if you join me:

Wednesday, February 7th, Noon Eastern
Click here for the NDA & Instructions

This is going to be one of the denser webinars we’ve ever put together and the audience includes everyone from management down to helpdesk – what I have on deck is a layout of our service model, our scope, our escalation policies, our compliance protocol, authentication and validation service, etc. Consistency in this service is key so winging it or improvising isn’t an option.

-Vlad

P.S. I encourage you to check this thing out live. If you think this will be a service you offer down the road, this webinar (minus the Q&A) will be required viewing and the software will track attentiveness so if you even mildly care, I’d tune in or make someone at the office watch it.

Throughout the day we receive hundreds of requests for new services and  existing account modifications. Luckily we automated this process from a very early stage and this helped to prevent 99% of account provisioning errors. Believe it or not, there was once a time where everything was processed manually!

However on occasion when there is a hiccup, then it’s simple a matter of locating the source of the issue. While issues on our end are rather easy to diagnose and fix, it’s not always as simple  on the partner’s side. There can be a handful of issues that can arise if the account is not properly configured or contains an invalid parameter.

This is why we’ve implemented a well overdue feature integrated directly inside the service manager. If you select the drop down box next to any Hosted Exchange account, you will see a new option called “Check Configuration”.

check_address1

After selecting this option you will be brought directly to the “Check Configuration” page. It will automatically populate the email address from the previous screen and run the initial check. Also keep in mind that you are able to test other accounts without leaving this page.

It will perform several checks including: Syntax, Server Location, Provisioning, MX Record, Autodiscover and validates that the account is protected by ExchangeDefender. In the event an issue arises you have the option to either “Email” or “Open Ticket” which will automatically include the onscreen results.

check_address2check_address3

We believe that solving the issue promptly makes for a better long term relationship. So if there are any features or adjustments we can make to help smooth the transaction between you and your clients, don’t hesitate to let us know! Our support staff eagerly awaits the opportunity to speak with you about how we can continue to improve our process!

Here at ExchangeDefender we have a wide range of products and service offerings. With close to seven years with ExchangeDefender, I’ve designed and written a majority of the software that is offered as a part of continuously growing platform. This includes several of our key systems such as: Encryption, Compliance Archive, Web Sharing, LocalCloud and even our service ordering & account provisioning! The only areas that I don’t touch directly are mobile applications, we have additional developers who designs and tackles any issues that may arise on our mobile platforms.

Throughout the course of the day I find myself working on various bugs and communicating with our team to ensure that bugs and new feature requests are considered and placed within our internal development pipeline. Recently I’ve been going through our old documentation and working on updating that with fresh information detailing step, by step how to use our products.

Keep in mind that it takes a while to develop and test fixes to assure they don’t introduce other problems. There are no quick fixes or features, everything we implement needs to work well across web, desktop and mobile devices and our support staff needs to be trained and alerted of these upcoming features.  So if you have a bug or feature request that is absolutely something that we must fix and/or implement, we would love to hear about it! However, due to my schedule and workload I’m typically a very hard person to reach. So first open a ticket in our portal, our highly trained technicians will review your ticket and possibly collect further information. After which, they will then escalate the ticket into a bug or feature request. Once in this section, it will be reviewed every Friday to see just how we can make our services even better!

Here at ExchangeDefender we want to help you fill your services portfolio with everything your client needs to operate their business successfully. We strive every day to be the absolute best for all of your service needs. So please (I cannot stress this enough) if you think we are falling short due to a software glitch or missing feature, let us know!

movingchangingThe most important aspect of a large scale migration is communication.  This can make a migration that either turns you into a trusted company relationship or the most recent “IT guy” that was fired by that company. There is a delicate balance that you must preserve between the needs of the technology and the needs of the business owner. The best way to do that is to be as meticulous as possible with your communication process.

Prep work, communicate.

The first thing you must do is map out an initial time line and start testing the process. This time line will start solely based on the IT departments recommendations. These recommendations are generally based on the hardware or support life cycles and the length of time to complete it. Once you have that sorted out, you probably want to add another two weeks to a month of notice and relay that information to the decision makers at the affected company.

Test, communicate.

Once you’ve received a response, you make adjustments as necessary to your schedule and begin a live test where permissible. We also see excellent guides on the internet on how to do any migration imaginable; the most important point to consider is that no two are alike. So you found a frame work to use on the internet, so you have to take the next step. What we typically do is use test mailboxes, we migrate them individually, and then we move them as batches, repeatedly. The bottom line is this; the more work you do before the migration the less likely you will have to pay overtime for a botched migration.

Execute, communicate, then communicate again

Once you’re satisfied, you reach out to your clients again and confirm that you’re ready to start as you previously agreed. This is where the process will vary when dealing with end users versus an IT partner. We can get away with the following notices: an announcement, a reminder, a start, a mid-point, a completion and a couple of follow-ups. We are about to do this due to the fact that we’re dealing with top notch technology professionals.  However, with end users you have to have a more controlling approach, depending on the size of the business, you may opt to have everyone come into the office and leave their mobile devices with you for the migration, or you can do appointments. The most important thing in the process is to check as often as your staffing will allow it, that everything is going smoothly and that the expectations you set are being met. I would even advise a follow up call at 1 week and 2 weeks out to pick up the “slow to report issue” folks.

What is it?

For the most part, the majority of ExchangeDefender services are ordered within the OwnWebNow support portal at https://support.ownwebnow.com. However, ExchangeDefender for Service Providers portal (or ExchangeDefender SP for short,) is where you, the partner, will order and manage the ExchangeDefender service for your clients. The ExchangeDefender SP portal is designed for IT Solution Providers that want to offer their own ExchangeDefender service under their own brand–including color templates and logo uploads.

How do I order it?

To order an ExchangeDefender Service Providers portal:

  1. Log into your OwnWebNow Support Portal (https://support.ownwebnow.com);
  2. Click on the Service Manager tab;
  3. Click on ExchangeDefender SP;
  4. Click the New Account button on the upper right of the screen;
  5. By clicking the New Account button, this will initiate the setup process;

Step 1. Contacts and Contracts

  • This information should be pre-populated with your administrative contact and billing information. If not, please provide this information.
  • Pricing: Although it is listed as $2.00 per month for ExchangeDefender SP portals; as an ExchangeDefender partner, you will exempt from this fee.
  • If you agree, check the following boxes:
    • Terms of Services;
    • Acceptable Use Policy; and
    • Service Level Agreement.
    • Click Next

Step 2. Service Configuration

On this page, you will start branding your ExchangeDefender SP portal.

  • First, provide an MSP ID. The Service Provider ID is a signal word that identifies your company, e.g. ABCTech, OwnWebNow, etc.;
  • Secondly, choose a product name. The product name is what you wish your ExchangeDefender service to be called, e.g. Awesome Email Scanning Service, ABCTech AntiSPAM Solutions, etc.;
  • Fill in all the necessary Admin contact information;
  • Click Review to proceed to the final step.

Step 3. Review and Finalize

If all of the information presented on this page is correct, please click Finalize Order. This will finalize this order and provision your portal. After you finalize your ExchangeDefender SP order, you will receive an email containing information about your new SP portal. After you order the ExchangeDefender accounts within your newly created SP portal, you will need to follow our deploy guide, located at: http://exchangedefender.com/media/ExchangeDefender_Deployment_Guide.pdf.

Ordering an ExchangeDefender SP portal is a one-time process. You do not need to order a new portal every time you wish to on-board a new ExchangeDefender client. You will use this newly created portal to add new client wishing to use ExchangeDefender, as well as manage existing client you previously signup for ExchangeDefender services. However, if you wish to use and resell ExchangeDefender Essentials, you will create and use a separate ExchangeDefender Essentials SP portal.

Remember, you will now use this newly created ExchangeDefender Service Provider portal to order and manage the ExchangeDefender service only. All other orderings, including Hosted Exchange, Offsite Backup, etc., will be ordered in the OwnWebNow support portal (https://support.ownwebnow.com). All service tickets concerning issue for any ExchangeDefender service should be opened in the OwnWebNow support portal (https://support.ownwebnow.com) as well.

helping-handsFirst off, our thoughts are with all of you and your families, and we hope you are all safe at least. We understand that a lot of the North East, which is densely populated, is out of power. Once an area or office is out of power obviously it means that mail servers are not online. Let ExchangeDefender be a helping hand in during this natural disaster. As subscribers know, we have multiple options to help you and your clients:

 

Mail Spooling/Bagging

ExchangeDefender will hold up to 7 days worth of your mail for you automatically. Remember once your server is online, there is nothing within ExchangeDefender that you have to do, it will spool down to you automatically in intervals.

Note: If you know you will be down for longer than a 7 day period please let us know via support ticket and we will see what we can do to help out with that issue.

LiveArchive

If your clients have employees that are out of the affected radius, remember LiveArchive is an option for them to at least lightly continue working if the majority of the company is within the affected area. Remember LiveArchive was designed for issues like this.

It is available at https://livearchive.exchangedefender.com/ with their ExchangeDefender credentials.

If you have any issues, please let us know you either call us or open a support ticket at https://support.ownwebnow.com.

Tips & Tricks:

We are talking about massive quantities of mail here so we do not want you to lose any. Remember when you bring your servers back online make sure all the settings are correct, meaning they accept mail from our subnets anonymously. We can only spool messages that are deferred, once a bad configuration outright REJECTS mail, it is no longer spooled. So a smart approach may involve bringing the server online with the WAN NIC unplugged to just be sure your settings are before you let it rip.

Carlos Lascano
VP Support Services, ExchangeDefender
carlos@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x737

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