MANAGED CLOUD

The Microsoft Cloud represents not only technical change but also operational, financial, and security benefits.

First Call helps organizations across America embrace Microsoft 366 for email, file management, phone systems, cybersecurity, help desk, advice, and easy billing. Our goal is to help people make the technical shift, save money and create operational boosts – all while improving their cybersecurity posture and even regulatory compliance.

Business owners love us for it!

BUSINESS CLOUD SYSTEMS

MANAGED BUSINESS
CLOUD SOLUTIONS

First Call believes good decisions start with a good education. We’ve put together good information that’s easy to understand and digest for organizations with 10 – 300 users.

BETTER IT

IMPROVE YOUR IT WITH
CLOUD SERVICES

 IT Managers with up to 300 users also leverage First Call to help them improve their IT function and services to end users by helping them with Microsoft 365 cloud services like SharePoint Online and OneDrive, Teams, Intune, Azure Identity Protection, Cloud App Security, Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Azure, or the Microsoft Phone System.  We can get you launched properly and quickly into those systems as your Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider and subscription reseller. 

First Call is a Microsoft Gold Partner, and we embrace Montana values to ensure our clients from coast to coast get not only the best in Microsoft technology but also an experience based on tried-and-true core values.   

IT SERVICES

MIGRATE EMAIL TO
MICROSOFT 365

If your organization is using an Exchange server, Gmail, GoDaddy or some other email service, it is time to migrate to Microsoft 365. The reasons being: it is extremely affordable, headaches around adding/removing email accounts go away and you can keep your domain name. More importantly, by moving email to Microsoft 365, organizations are gaining all the benefits of an enterprise cloud. Mobility, security, retention, virus and spam protection are all included, plus they are establishing a Microsoft Tenant!

What is a Microsoft Tenant?

Think of a Microsoft Tenant as the entry point to a whole new world of technology. Email is the ticket in, but now organizations can begin to free themselves from the technological burdens of the past.

First Call is well versed in the technologies of the past. We opened our doors in the late 90’s. Back then First Call was helping companies implement domain controllers, file servers, Exchange email, folder structures, phone systems, user accounts/permissions, terminal servers. Office licensing etc.

These technologies have been re-invented, re-shaped and re-launched in the cloud. The result is lower capital costs and technical complexity for organizations and IT departments.  A flexible intuitive set of services for users empowering them to work from anywhere from any device.

Pains such as licensing and renewals, hardware failures, incompatibility, and rigidity that makes it hard to change, evolve or integrate are all gone!

A Microsoft tenant allows organizations to ditch domain controllers, file servers and folders, exchange email and so much more. First Call helps organizations make the move in a logical, organized way, helping organizations make the move sensibly, one bite at a time versus trying to eat an elephant.

Less vendors to manage, one bill to pay and organizations can leverage as little as email service or a complete stack of cloud services and technologies.

How to Move to the Microsoft Cloud – One Step at a Time (for SMBs)

IT SERVICES

File Migrations to
MICROSOFT 365

Far too many organizations continue to store and organize their files on file servers, desktops, and My Documents folders.

Others might have expanded to use their personal GDrive or a Dropbox account.

Or maybe you, or some of your employees, attach files to emails and find their files that way. (you know who you are…)

Any of the above strategies won’t: scale, provide for work from anywhere, collaboration, security, or flexibility. By leveraging Microsoft 365 and technologies like OneDrive, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams organizations can cheaply store, secure, share, retain and collaborate on files easily from any device.

Learn more about how we help you plan and gain the skill sets to work with your new tools.

File Management Boost Pack | First Call Computer Solutions

Beneficial for any sized company

Whether you have 3, 30, or 300 employees you’ll be glad you made the move – so will your IT department whether it’s in-house, outsourced, or some combination thereof. They will be able to backup, restore and manage access and retention with confidence and without undue overhead, cost, or risk.

Give your operations a boost

In short, moving your files to Microsoft 365 will give you operations a boost. First Call provides planning, migration services (including retiring those old warn out file servers) and workforce training to help.

Leverage your resources

If you have a Microsoft 365 tenant don’t let it just sit there for email only. Leverage SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. You can still use Windows File Explorer from your desktop to access your files and move files like you always have. Or begin to learn the interface from your browser or the Teams client and get even more comfort, capabilities, and controls.

First Call is skilled at helping organizations understand how SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams work together. Understand this and you’ll understand why a file server is not a document management system. Having a shared drive and some folders like HR, Managers, Accounting, Sales with a few permissions in place doesn’t help you in the modern world whether you’re a CPA, landscaper, or auto dealer.

Moving your file to 365 makes everything easily searchable, allows people to work on documents at the same time, automatically saves the previous version, makes file recovery a snap. 

Stronger security

For those with more advanced security needs, Microsoft can auto encrypt files based on the type of content that’s in them like credit card info or personal identifiable information to avoid files getting emailed in plain text or force retention of certain files so that they can’t be deleted accidentally or intentionally. Or remove files older than 7 years.,   

Are you using VPNs to access files?

Retire the VPN by migrating your files to Microsoft 365.

Concerned employees may have copies of your files on their machines? With 365 organizations can allow employees to sync copies to their local devices but you can also auto wipe those devices in the event of the employee’s device being stolen or they leave your employ.

First Call can setup multi factor authentication so that people will need more than a password to access your files in the cloud. M365 is smart and can alert you if someone internally is trying to copy a bunch of your files to say their personal google drive.

Bottom-line: don’t stop with migrating your email, whether your file needs are basic or complex, it’s time to leverage your Microsoft 365 tenant for file storage, management and collaboration.

WORKING TOGETHER

MICROSOFT TEAMS
AND COLLABORATION

Collaboration is one of the biggest business buzz words out there. First Call hates buzz words. Buzz words don’t help organizations work smarter. By leveraging Microsoft Teams organizations will be collaborating, not just buzzing about it.

Teams is a stack of tools from our friends at Microsoft. It’s FREE with most Microsoft 365 environments for all your users. First Call has fully embraced Teams, and we would NEVER go back. Our work, work lives, and professional relationships are substantially better for it.

We love Microsoft Teams so much we wrote an entire eGuide to help organizations get it.

6 Ways Microsoft Teams Can Boost Your Operations

Teams is an application that easily enables the following for your end-users:

File access and management

Chat & Calling

Discussion

Video Conferencing and Meetings: one on one, departmental, companywide, webinars etc.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

Phone System (extra fees apply)

Application integration with many 3rd party apps

Think of Microsoft 365 as this technology platform and Microsoft Teams as a tool to make it easy to use and accessible for your users whether they are on a PC or Mac, an iPhone or an Android, or some combination thereof.

It’s very rare that a technology comes along that is cheap AND makes work easier and our connection to people richer. Teams is on the same level of innovation as the telephone, cell phone, smartphone, or email. Every business embraced those technologies, and Teams is no different.

Microsoft Teams drives organized, focused, collaboration in your company in a way not possible with legacy Outlook email messaging, Windows server file shares, and a traditional phone system.

First Call has been using Teams for years. Because of that, we don’t need a separate phone system, file system, Zoom subscription, DropBox, GDrive, Slack etc. Email use is down radically and it’s easy to use.

Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams are simpler, easy to use, secure, and far more affordable than having a spaghetti mess of vendors and subscriptions.  Plus, its enterprise-level meaning the uptime is extremely high, disaster recovery is built-in with world-class continuity across the globe and people can work the same way no matter where they are. No more file servers, mail servers, VPNs, Phone Systems etc. Finally, you will be actually collaborating versus using it as a buzzword.

 Download our Flexible Workforce eGuide if you want to learn more.

 

VIRTUAL WORKPLACE

WINDOWS VIRTUAL 
DESKTOP

Many organizations need to consider ditching the office building and physical workspaces for some or all their workforce. Not just because of the pandemic but because of the opportunity to reduce expenses and attract and retain good employees. If your organization is considering that consider ditching physical computers as well. Using Windows Virtual Desktop, you issue employees with a virtual Windows desktop that they can access from any device from anywhere.

Cut Costs

Imagine getting out of the game of buying desktops and laptops for your employees. Instead, you just supply them with a link and a username and password. They log in and there is a complete Windows system to work from over the cloud.
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Easy Billing

Your Microsoft Tenant and subscription includes the licensing for this. Think of Microsoft as the power company, they are billing you not for the virtual desktop, but for the computing power each user consumes, and the amount of data stored on the virtual device between software programs installed and files stored each month. It’s a “metered” desktop with easy billing through First Call as your Microsoft Cloud Solutions provider.

Multi-options for Use

Users can continue using their old company computer to access the Windows Virtual Desktop. Or they could use their own personal device with the company paying them a small nominal fee for its business use. Another approach is to purchase a thin client or what used to be called a dumb terminal for your employees to use.
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The business can save money by:

  • Not buying new computers every 4 years,
  • Not having to manage so many physical computers.
  • Not replacing new computers, decommissioning old ones.
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Users can:

  • Have access to their work desktop from anywhere.

  • Can work on the type of device of their choice: MacOS, Linux, Windows…even iOS or Android.

  • Simplify their life by using one device.

Sleep better, knowing employee desktops and their settings and data aren’t sitting in your offices, in your employees’ homes or who knows where, as they move around. Virtual desktops and your installed applications and local date are in the Microsoft Azure Cloud with simple to implement controls to ensure data protected from being downloaded or saved to local physical machines.

MANAGED RESOURCES

With Windows Virtual Desktop organizations can also manage their computing resource by resource, day by day, even hour by hour. A couple of scenarios:

Lay off 10 employees.

Discontinue the virtual desktops. This is way better than having bought 10 computers that you now have to collect, store, mothball.

Bringing on temp labor?

Spin up the virtual desktops for them and ask them to connect from their personal devices during the duration of the gig. When the gig is over decommission the virtual desktops.

Limit Access.

Not everyone needs access to their Desktop during all hours. Limit access to virtual desktops to shift employees only during the hours they commonly work. 

New employees starting in a rush.

Don’t worry about ordering new PC’s, getting them here, set up and configured. Spin up the right number of Windows Virtual Desktops.

Office is down to a fire, flood or some other reason.

Business continuity is built when the desktops are virtual and hosted in the cloud.

Going 100% Virtual Windows Desktop is not required. First Call has customers who have just one employee or a handful of employees on Virtual Desktops. Some cloud providers demand their clients are 100% cloud. Not First Call. We work mostly with hybrids. First Call’s job is to understand your environment, users/roles, applications, connectivity, horsepower requirements and put together a plan that makes sense technically, financially, operationally and for security.

First Call can provide Windows Virtual Desktops from the Microsoft Azure platform or from a private 3rd party enterprise data center to ensure your requirements for uptime, security, performance and cost management are right for your organization.

Microsoft Partners

First Call is a Microsoft Gold Partner with Gold competencies in:

Cloud Productivity

Collaboration and Content

Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions

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First Call has been a Microsoft Partner for more than 20 years, not only providing the solutions to our clients but in our own business and operations.

VIRTUAL WORK OPTIONS

Windows Virtual Servers

Servers too can be virtualized to the Cloud. SQL servers, application servers, etc. are normal table stakes in the Azure cloud. Many servers as previously discussed like file, print, domain, patch management (WSUS) servers are retired as those are replaced by cloud services in Azure and 365. Costs need to be analyzed and compared but most organizations that simply tell you it’s too difficult or too expensive just simply aren’t qualified and don’t have the history of doing it. The old adage “it’s easy once you know how” applies here. All Microsoft Partners are not created equal.

CYBERSECURITY

MODERN SECURITY

For much of the last two decades, businesses have worked to secure their physical offices because that’s where their files, servers, data, users, and applications resided. Today the workplace and the workforce are wildly more flexible. The old perimeter-based security strategy is outdated both in thinking and in tools. The modern security approach is what is called Identity based security. The premise is straightforward: Hackers aren’t hacking firewalls; they are hacking people’s identities! Security is now given to the user based on who they are, what they do, what they need access to and to secure the devices they use. Rights and controls are established using this thinking. Execution is difficult in that users use lots of different 3rd party applications and services. They use devices other than Microsoft Windows. Microsoft has embraced those facts and developed two technologies to make Identity based security a reality.
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Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1

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Microsoft Intune

AZURE ACTIVE DIRECTORY

Premium Plan 1

Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) so that even if a password is stolen in a phishing scam the attacker needs the 2nd form of authentication to login in.

Geographic Blocking

Azure Active Directory can be set to only allow logins from specific geographic areas. Only the USA for instance or even a specific State. So, if an attacker from a foreign country tries to access it, they are automatically blocked.

Azure Active Directory

Azure Active Directory can also work with a device management technology from Microsoft called Intune to ensure the devices users are using meet your company’s standards. Example: if your standard is the machine used by the employee must have up-to-date patches and current antivirus, and hard drive encryption and it doesn’t…. they won’t be able to log in from that machine.

Grant 3rd Party Access

Azure Active Directory can also be used to help organizations give users access to lots of 3rd party applications and 3rd party web services once they successfully login to which is called single sign-on. This makes life super easy for end-users – log in once and have access to all your stuff without having to sign in to each application or web service individually. It also makes life easy for IT when a user leaves, disable their account in Azure Active Directory and they no longer have access to all this other stuff.

AZURE ACTIVE DIRECTORY

Premium Plan 2

More Options

More bells and whistles but fundamentally it is using machine learning to know each users’ common behaviors and if it detects deviations will take steps to monitor and even disable the account.

MICROSOFT INTUNE

Premium Plan 2

Microsoft needed a solution that would manage rules and compliance across Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS devices. Intune is that solution. Some examples:

Force Settings

Force machines to have certain settings such as what applications are installed; how certain settings are set (for example screen idle lockout time or number of failed logins before lockout).

Limit Access

Insure employees can only access company data on specified company applications and limit how they can share those files. Example: word documents can only be opened in word and can’t be shared via a SMS text message or to a DropBox account on their smartphone

Easily Apply Updates

Apply patches and updates that are required by the company for the device to be secure.

There are so many controls and options for security in Azure and Intune it can make your head spin.

The key takeaway: Identity is the new perimeter.

The Microsoft cloud has far more capabilities to enable and deliver security across devices and various other 3rd party applications than traditional IT security models. Having a qualified partner like First Call can help you navigate the options and implement solutions that make sense.

Microsoft Cloud Managed and Professional Services

In the Microsoft world organizations can try and go at it alone or develop a relationship with a qualified Microsoft Partner.

As explained a Microsoft Tenant is the entry point to a whole new world of technology. Organizations can keep the scope narrow by only having their email and Microsoft Office licensing served through the tenant or they can embrace strategies for their files, collaboration, phone system, Teams and collaboration, Windows Virtual Desktops, Virtual Servers, Active Directory, and device management through Intune.

First Call offers fixed monthly billing for:

Licensing

Managed Security M365 Tenant and Devices

IT Support and User Help Desk

Managed Backups/Business Continuity of M365 Tenant and Devices

Account and Identity Management

IT Strategy, Advice, Planning, Budgeting and Technology Steering

Workforce Training & Development

Virtual Desktops and Servers

WORK WITH FIRST CALL

WHY FIRST CALL?

First Call also offers one-time projects through our professional services teams to help your organization:

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Establish a Microsoft Tenant

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Migrate Email

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Understand OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams from a Files perspective and migrate files accordingly.

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Setup a Microsoft Phone System

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Migrate all or some users to Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure or a 3rd party data center.

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Migrate all or some servers to Virtual Servers hosted in Azure or a 3rd part data center.

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Train your workforce and given them a boost with our workforce boost packs.

First Call has created a variety of small projects, called “Boost Packs” that will assist business leaders with implementing specific portions of the Microsoft 365 productivity tools. The individual Boost Pack projects may be purchased as standalone projects or combined into larger projects.

Our team will stand shoulder to shoulder with organizations with 20 to 300 employees across America from our offices here in Montana to help you truly embrace the Microsoft cloud to boost your operations, reduce your risk and make your employees lives easier.

CONTACT FIRST CALL

NEED SUPPORT?

FOR SALES
Sales@firstsolution.com | 406.721.6462


FOR SERVICE

HelpDesk@firstsolution.com | 406.540.1969


FOR WEB SERVICES
WebHelp@firstsolution.com | 406.540.1969

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