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  • i365 Hosted and Managed by m-hance (Azure) – Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about moving your i365 solution to the cloud?

Here are our most commonly asked questions to help guide you through any queries or concerns you may have. Simply click on the plus sign to expand the content.

Security

Yes, in fact it is likely that your data is safer and more secure than it would be with an on-premise system.

Encryption.
For data in transit, Azure uses industry-standard transport protocols between user devices and Microsoft datacentres, and within the Azure datacentres themselves. For data at rest, Azure offers a wide range of encryption capabilities up to AES-256.

Control.
A hybrid solution lets customers decide what gets stored on-premise and what goes to the cloud. Information can be moved back and forth between these options as they see fit. Microsoft takes strong measures to help protect customer data from inappropriate access or use by unauthorised persons, and to prevent customers from gaining access to one another’s data. For more information visit the Microsoft Trust Center.

Global standards.
Microsoft solutions and services are built on a trustworthy computing foundation consisting of security, privacy, and reliability. Microsoft creates, implements and continuously improves security aware software development, operational and threat mitigation practices, and shares this knowledge with government and commercial organisations.

Microsoft engages in industry-leading security efforts through its own centres of excellence, including the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Cybercrime Center and Microsoft Malware Protection Center. Microsoft continually collaborates with industry and governments to build trust in the cloud ecosystem.
Not at all, in fact placing your data into the cloud gives you more control by making it accessible whenever and wherever you want it. Your data will always be kept segregated from any other customers and it will always remain 100% your data.
As part of i365, entry level disaster recovery functionality is included. Azure Storage replication copies data so that it is protected from planned and unplanned events ranging from transient hardware failures, network or power outages. m-hance will make reasonable endeavours to restore the system within 2 working days. Where a shorter or guaranteed recovery is required, customers may choose to “bolt-on” one of our full disaster recovery solutions, allowing you to meet specific recovery objectives. For more details on the options available, or for a quote, please contact your Account Manager.

Flexibility

The beauty of the cloud and in particular i365 is that the data is highly portable, meaning you can easily move from your current vendor to an m-hance solution. Similarly, m-hance commit to supply your data to you, either as data backups or as an entire virtualised solution environment (depending upon the solution chosen), should you wish to move either to another hosted vendor or to an on–premise system.
Delivered via the cloud means that your system can be made available year-round from anywhere in the world. That means whether you are in the office, working from home or out on a customer site, you can access that critical business data using a secure VPN gateway. Access is also possible on a range of devices to suit the different needs of your users and their job roles, from office-based desktop PC users to fieldstaff with a Microsoft Surface device.
As the environment is dedicated to your use and m-hance manages it in its entirety, we have complete flexibility in how we deliver solutions and this flexibility can be passed onto our customers. Furthermore, m-hance has strong consultancy and development teams, able to precisely tailor an i365 solution to your businesses’ requirements.
No, not at all, they will access i365 using the same method as when on-premise. The connection will be routed via the VPN Gateway which will be seamless to the end user. It will require a firewall or similar device with Site2Site capabilities onsite, but this is pretty much standard on all devices today.
As the i365 hosted system is a cloud-based solution, you do not need to worry about hardware capacity or performance requirements. You will be contacted when a new version is released and suitable for installation. You will have the opportunity to schedule in the upgrade at a convenient time straight away, or defer the installation until a later point in time.
Hosted i365 is a virtual private cloud solution, where infrastructure is dedicated to only a single customer.

This configuration is analogous with an on-premise system, offering a higher degree of flexibility for configuration, customisation and integration with other systems.

Cost

Unlike traditional on-premise deployments, cloud-based solutions do not require that sizable capital expenditure to purchase hardware and software up front. Instead the solution becomes a more manageable and predictable operating expense.
When service packs and patches are released for i365, we will apply them as part of your managed service solution. For i365 customers, you will be made aware in advance when upgrades are scheduled to take place. Customers will be offered the opportunity to schedule in and if required to defer upgrades to a more convenient time.

Change control processes will be applied to routine updates and patches. Where significant changes to the system are foreseen as a result of a given patch or update, extended testing and validation will be performed.

In certain circumstances m-hance may apply additional fees for testing activity, dependent upon the nature of the update (e.g. required or optional updates) and scope of work involved.
The i365 Application Support provided to our i365 hosted systems is the same highly skilled team who provide that support to you already. Your existing contract can be migrated across at no extra charge and with no loss of service.
The pricing is based on Azure infrastructure which includes a dedicated virtual machine and VPN, storage, backups, data transfer and m-hance managed service charges to deliver the solution.
Moving from an on-premise solution can result in a saving, allowing a cloud-based solution to consistently deliver a lower TCO. Ask your Account Manager for our “Counting the Cost” document to help you see how on-premise costs, from big ticket items to support personnel, quickly add up.

Backups

All systems are backed up daily with the following recovery points.
  • Daily: 14
  • Weekly: 4
  • Monthly: 12
  • Yearly: 7
The daily backups, described under the “How often do you backup the systems?” frequently asked question, is the standard offering included as part of the solution. If you wish to increase the frequency of the backup we would be more than happy to accommodate your requirements, however an additional fee may be chargeable. Please contact your Account Manager for more details or a quote.
The nightly backups are stored within the Azure datacentre on separate storage to the live systems. There is an option to replicate the backup data across zonal data centres if required, however an additional fee may be chargeable.

Support

Unlike on-premises systems which are of a fixed size, following Microsoft best-practice guidance and architecture recommendations, our Azure infrastructure allows us to scale resources to meet customer demands.

This IT elasticity, coupled with constant monitoring and maintenance activities, ensures our systems are running optimally and delivering the best possible user experience.
No, we are using the same i365 you know and love, but we are taking responsibility for it. That means all your customisations and integrations should work exactly as they have, allowing your business processes to remain the same. A Site2Site VPN from your site to Azure will be required to facilitate on-premise printing and access.
Your existing support contract will still be payable, its benefit will be transferred to the i365 hosted system and the renewal anniversary date will be retained.
When service packs and patches are released for i365, we will apply them as part of your managed service solution. For i365 customers, you will be made aware in advance when upgrades are scheduled to take place. Customers will be offered the opportunity to schedule in and if required to defer upgrades to a more convenient time.

Change control processes will be applied to routine updates and patches. Where significant changes to the system are foreseen as a result of a given patch or update, extended testing and validation will be performed.

In certain circumstances m-hance may apply additional fees for testing activity, dependent upon the nature of the update (e.g. required or optional updates) and scope of work involved.
If you encounter a problem with your i365 solution, you can raise a call with our support teams via telephone, email or our internet portal.

One of the great benefits of choosing a single source supplier for your i365 solution is that once your call has been raised, you can sit back and we will take care of it. Whether the problem is the Operating System (OS), Virtualisation layer or the underlying hardware; we are responsible for it.

If you have our i365 application support as well, no matter where the problem lies, we can help you get back up and running quickly.
Our standard support hours are 9am to 5.30pm (UK), with support delivered from our Stockport and Dublin offices.
If you encounter an issue outside of the standard support hours, you are free to raise calls via email or our web portal, which will be picked up when support staff come online.

If you require extended support hours, or operate in a different time zone, please contact i365cloud@m-hance.com or your Account Manager to discuss the available options.
For those customers who require support outside of our standard support hours, please contact i365cloud@m-hance.com or your Account Manager to discuss the available options.
Yes, m-hance is responsible for all of the systems which underpin the i365 system, including the OS. In order to ensure a smooth operation, we monitor and perform proactive maintenance of all systems to ensure the user experience is optimal.
A Service Level Agreement (SLA), in this context, is an agreement between m-hance and our customers of the level of service they can expect from various aspects of their i365 system.

m-hance commit to having your i365 available 99.9% of the time, during a 30-day rolling period. We also have SLA targets for support, should you encounter an issue.

Interested in finding out more?

Call our team to discuss moving your i365 solution to the cloud

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