Digital Workplaces and Workflows: Overcoming Resistance to Change

Cost savings, productivity and efficiency improvements are top priority for any business. Embracing digitalisation of operational processes can offer plenty of opportunities for process optimisation and bring about positive change across your organisation.

Recent statistics show that by digitising processes and workplaces, an organisation can gain cumulative cost savings of up to 4.2 percent a year, varying depending on industry.

Benefits of Digitalisation across Different IndustriesSource: Statista

Resistance to change, however, is an intrinsic property of any organisation, whether in a startup or an established business. The only differences are in the specific processes such resistance to change is affecting across your operations.

Let us take a look at some important contributors to resistance and how you can pave the way to harness business technology for your organisation.

Age Is Key Factor in Digitisation Adoption

Widespread adoption of digital tools is inevitable as the workforce grows in fragmentation and an increasing number of roles can actually be carried out on the go or entirely remote. Digital workplaces now include teams on the field and remote workers that are located all over the globe. Even small and medium enterprises are digitising their business operations and workplaces to retain their competitiveness.

Introduction of digital technologies at the workplace is facing resistance, however. Contrary to popular beliefs, the oldest employees are not those who are the most resistant to digital change. A recent survey by Gartner shows that employees between 18 and 24 years of age are most willing to accept change. Older workers, at the age of 55 and over, rank second in openness to new technologies that eliminate routine tasks. The employees aged between 35 and 44 are those you should expect to resist tech adoption most.

So, how you deal with the opposition toward digitisation by your staff in their most productive age?

How to Overcome Resistance to Change

We need to turn to management theory for a moment to understand where the roots of resistance to change lie, and employ working methods for overcoming that very resistance. In 1969, Paul R. Lawrence, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Harvard Business School, published an article in Harvard Business Review titled “How to Deal With Resistance to Change”. It addresses the very phenomenon without delving into specific technical details, and offers ideas that are still very relevant in today’s corporations.

A summary of Lawrence’s findings:

  • You need not gamify digitisation by encouraging “participation”, as it may lead to trouble instead of solving digital transformation issues.
  • You must understand the true nature of resistance, since most employees do not resist the technical side of the changes but rather the social change, namely the changing aspects of human relationships.
  • You must assess the resistance as a function of the employees’ fixation with certain technical aspects of those new concepts you want to introduce.

Only after you have good understanding of why and how workers will or are reacting the change, can you move to overcoming opposition against digitalisation. At this point it is encouraged for you to hold plenty of meetings and discussions, to provide a forum where your teams feel heard, and for your leadership teams to promote the positiveness of such changes to the organisation and how they benefit everyone involved.

A working method is to introduce digital workflows and procedures within a larger transformative change that may include adoption of new machinery, network upgrade and expansion, or another business innovation. You should also make every effort to demonstrate the change is an opportunity and not a threat.

It helps if you have a CIO or a long term IT Services Provider on board, but it is not mandatory when you as a business leader understand the goals the organisation wants to achieve by introducing digital methods of work. Your CIO, IT Services Provider, or your leadership teams should be driving the transformation by:

  • Beginning digital transformation from the top.
  • Redefining business processes by placing technology as top priority.
  • Collaborating with all stakeholders and business counterparts to drive the change.
  • Being ambitious with these efforts.
  • Offering help for effortless transition.

It may sound simple, but it is far from it. Moving a complex system to the cloud, for instance, may involve certain technical challenges, however a complete shift to digital workplaces and procedures will involve organisational transformation. Challenging current models and looking beyond current practices is not an easy task for any founder, business owner, or C-level executive.

Your organisation must also overcome obstacles where business units or individuals across your organisation are implementing Shadow IT, when employees are addressing certain problems by implementing their own solutions rather than going through official IT, which then introduces security risks to the business. Being well aware of the entire workflow will enable you to improve on it and adopt applications and data solutions that will work for all of your business units and employees. A half-finished digital solution will face natural resistance from within, and may eventually be phased out altogether.

How to Plan for Digital Workplaces

In light of the above, careful planning is required for the adoption of digital workplaces. For a lasting transformation, first priority should be placed on business strategy to achieve long term goals rather than focusing on sporadic technology. A successful implementation of digital workplaces within an organisation involves a number of critical components.

Essentials of Implementing Digital WorkplacesSource: Gartner

As can been seen from the chart above, one cannot build a successful digitisation solution without a strategy. Digitalisation should be part of a broader business strategy, which takes into account essential factors such as employee skills, business goals, opportunities for consumerisation, as well as your core business specifics.

Planning for digital change will also require rethinking core roles and processes within your organisation. This could result in hostile reactions by internal stakeholders who oppose digital disruptions which may otherwise seem good to an unbiased external observer. You should also plan for initial loss of efficiency if your digital transformation involves a deeper learning curve, which is a common scenario across many industries.

Making informed decisions is a crucial part of the process of digitisation, and it applies to both managers and workers who need to comprehend why the change is necessary and how the entire process will look like. Do not fall victim to the prejudice that all your workers will resist the change for the sake of opposing the adoption of new methods and means of work. Once they understand the need for change and how digital transformation of core processes will benefit all parties involved, natural adaption should follow.

Finally, resistance must be dissected in detail. It oftentimes is result of small technical details not working as planned or omissions in your digitisation plan that in turn produce ineffective workflows. Any change is a dynamic process and transition to digital workplaces will require some time to produce best results. Correcting details on the fly is welcome once you have a broader digitalisation strategy in place.

Is your organisation due for a digital transformation? Speak to our experienced Solutions Architects at Interlinked and we can guide your business through all of the processes discussed above.

Improving Automated Business Processes with Office 365

After the initial implementation of Office 365, organisations will typically spend some time looking at their existing business processes to identify ways that Office 365 can improve them. It’s nearly impossible to move all processes at once, but identifying and improving the most highly utilised ones will certainly assist with organisation-wide adoption of Office 365.

Office 365 comes with a lot of tools and it can be challenging to narrow them down to get a full picture of the pros and cons that may affect a development process. So let’s take a look at some of the questions that frequently arise when reviewing requirements for a business process and how the Office 365 suite of tools might answer them.

Selecting the Right Office 365 Tool

When looking to improve a business process in Office 365 with a no or low-code tool, there are typically three options to consider: Microsoft Forms, SharePoint Lists/Libraries and PowerApps. The first thing to review is the current state of the business process and its complexity. If the process begins with something like simple data entry into an Excel spreadsheet with minimal logic, then Microsoft Forms might be a good fit. Microsoft Forms works well for those who are not very technical and need something simple and straightforward to manage the form. The biggest con of Microsoft Forms is it offers minimal field types and options for logic.

If the field types are more complicated than what Microsoft Forms offers, the next step is a SharePoint list (or library). SharePoint lists offer numerous field types and have some built-in features like views and validation. They are also a great jumping off point to utilize other tools like PowerApps. Libraries should be considered if a document upload is what initiates the business process.

PowerApps come into play when the logic of the form goes above and beyond what SharePoint lists can do out of the box. Think things like cascading dropdowns, repeating tables and connecting to data outside of the current list. Also, with PowerApps there is the bonus of adding mobile apps.

One other consideration is the audience for the business process. If that audience contains unlicensed external users, you may need to stick with Microsoft Forms or SharePoint Lists or Libraries, as PowerApps isn’t currently available for external users.

Finding Your Business Process’s “Flow”

Once the business process has a home, the next step is to establish how the process needs to flow. Use Microsoft Visio, or a similar tool, to map out the exact process. Are there approval stages? How many? Does that data need to be moved elsewhere when the process is complete? These are all great questions to ask when mapping out the workflow.

The main tool for workflows used to be SharePoint Designer. While that is still an option, a lot of people using Office 365 have turned to Flow to replace SharePoint Designer workflows. Like PowerApps, Flow comes with a learning curve. If you are new to workflows, Flow is a much more user-friendly version of Designer.

Flow does have some pre-built templates that come in handy. One example is a template that automatically sends data submitted to Microsoft Forms to a SharePoint list. This is perfect for those who like the user experience of Microsoft Forms but need the data in a SharePoint list for either reporting or to continue a more complex business process.

Visualising the Process

Once automation is up and running, the next thing to consider is how the user will interact with all of it. This can be most easily achieved by using modern pages in SharePoint to give each type of user their own experience in a dashboard view. These pages can contain links to a form, views of lists or libraries, and embedded PowerApps. There is also an option to embed visualisations of data from Power BI. This does require some licensing considerations, but can be extremely helpful for those who need quick answers about the business process and how it is functioning. Microsoft also recently added connector web parts, which allow you to connect and display data outside of Office 365. Creating these robust experiences for users will help with overall adoption and ease the training burden.

Taking the considerations above will get your organisation started with automating your business solutions. If you have questions on how to further apply these to your business, feel free to speak to us! Send us a message or give us a ring on 1300 302 207.

7 IT Security Tools from Microsoft

When it comes to IT Security, 2017 was not a good year for many people. With data breaches, ransomware attacks, and security vulnerabilities making headlines around the globe, it appears as if both organisations and individuals were under attack.

So, how can you protect your organisation and its data?

Below is a list of 7 IT security tools that are recommended for organisations to increase their security posture. Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, these are relatively easy-to-use and fairly intuitive tools.

1. Windows 10

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s most secure operating system yet. With built-in features like Windows Hello, Microsoft Edge, and SmartScreen, Windows 10 protects your users’ identities, information, and devices from threats with several threat protection and security management tools.

2. Enterprise Mobility + Security

As a comprehensive Cloud solution, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) helps your organisation to address the constantly-changing cyber security landscape. By safeguarding your organisation’s resources, EMS helps you track suspicious login activity within your organisation, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of user, device, or data activities, and also gives you the power to change permissions when necessary.

By including such things as single sign-in access to your corporate resources from any device, EMS is the answer for improved security across cloud, on-premises and mobile devices.

3. Azure Active Directory Identity Protection

Hackers and cyber criminals are becoming increasingly effective in using sophisticated phishing attacks to steal a user’s identity and gain access to your environment. Once that hacker gains access – no matter who it is within your organisation – it’s relatively easy for them to gain access to more important content.

Azure Active Directory Identity Protection helps protect your organisation by allowing you to configure risk-based policies that will automatically respond to detected issues if the risk level you specified has been reached. Azure Active Directory Identity Protection can use adaptive machine learning algorithms and heuristics that will detect suspicious incidents or anomalies to generate both reports and alerts for you to review. These will let you evaluate what issues have been detected, then allow you to take the necessary steps to either mitigate or remove the threat.

4. Windows Information Protection

As a part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Windows Information Protection (WIP) was introduced to integrate with other Microsoft products like Office 365 and Azure Rights Management in order to increase your security posture. Designed to prohibit corporate data from leaking into personal or public domains, Windows Information Protection helps maintain control of your data. With Windows Information Protection, you can identify personal and business data, determine the apps that can access it, and provide basic controls to help determine what your users can do with business data (for example, you can limit your employees’ ability to copy and paste data to an unsecured location).

5. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

Office 365 ATP is a multipurpose add-on to many of the Exchange and Office 365 subscription plans. With features like Safe Attachments (protecting you from unknown malware and viruses), Safe Links (proactively protecting your users from malicious hyperlinks in email messages), Spoof Intelligence (detecting senders who are spoofing your domain by pretending to be someone else in your organisation), Quarantine, and advanced anti-phishing capabilities, Office 365 ATP helps protect your organisation’s email, files, and Office 365 applications from any unknown malware or viruses.

Helping you gain critical knowledge of who in your organisation is being targeted, Office 365 ATP can give you insight into which users are clicking on malicious links, and investigate which messages have been blocked because of unknown viruses or malware.

6. Office 365 Data Loss Prevention

No organisation wants to find out that their users are passing along sensitive information. So, with Office 365 Data Loss Prevention, you can empower your user to be more conscious about your company policies surrounding the sharing of sensitive information.

Through the Exchange Administration Centre in the Office 365 admin portal, your email administrators can set up policies that will tell your Office 365 Data Loss Prevention tool to scan through your user emails (in the background). If the tool determines that a policy is about to be breached, a Policy Tip will pop up in the email window that alerts your users that they are about to pass on sensitive information.

7. Office 365 Advanced Security Management

Included in the Office 365 E5 (and available to the other Office 365 enterprise plans for a small fee), Advanced Security Management for Office 365 gives you greater control and visibility over your Office 365 environment in these three areas: threat detection, enhanced control, and discovery and insights.

Enhanced control lets you set up policies that track specific activities, like flagging when someone downloads more than they usually do, when someone has multiple failed sign-in attempts, or when someone signs in from an unknown or risky IP address. With threat detection, you can set up anomaly detection policies that will alert you of potential breaches in your network. And with the app discovery dashboard, your IT professionals can see your organisation’s Office 365 and other Cloud services usage, which in turn allows you to maximise your investments in IT-approved solutions. Plus, Advanced Security Management for Office 365 will help you determine if there’s any activities from shadow IT occurring within your organisation.

Unsure which product is best for your business?

To find out more about which solutions are the most suitable for your organisation, contact us today.


Microsoft Teams for Mobility and More

Today, 61% of employees say they work outside of the office at least part-time, and that number is gradually increasing. As staff continue to adapt and evolve in today’s digitally-transforming landscape, it’s important to ensure that your business is equipped with the right tools to facilitate collaboration.

Solutions like Microsoft Teams are designed to ensure that experts can continue to communicate with their colleagues, contribute to workflow, and produce exceptional results regardless of where they are.

With the dedicated Microsoft Teams mobile app, users can view shared content, connect through chat with meeting participants, and catch up with various tasks, all within a convenient, easy-to-use application. So, what makes Teams so beneficial for remote workers?

Easy-to-Adopt with a Simple UI

The mobile user interface for Teams is simple, with a minimalist navigation menu that makes it easy for users to find the chats and activity feeds that are relevant to them. Users can check recent conversations, mentions, and team actions within a matter of minutes, and everything is organised chronologically for the best results.

Effective Mobile Device Management

Another thing that gives Microsoft Teams the edge for mobile workers is the fact that CIOs and admins can maintain all the control they need over mobile devices, using Intune for Office 365, which allows your organisation to:

  • Manage which mobile devices the workforce can use to access business data
  • Manage the mobile apps that the workforce uses
  • Protect and control the way your team can access and share information
  • Ensure that apps and devices remain compliant with security requirements

A Simple but Valuable Feature Set

The features available on the Microsoft Teams mobile app are designed to be easy to use and access. The most prominent tools available include chat and calling. Chat comes with things like photo uploading, rich text editing features and more.

While Microsoft Teams might not have the widest selection of features available on the market, there are numerous add-ons available so that you can basically build the team collaboration software of your dreams. With the Teams Mobile app, remote workers can tap into the rich desktop experience of Teams collaboration and plug into an array of third-party services without ever having to switch to another tool or provider. All that, and the app is extremely easy to use, which ensures that you don’t have to bring remote workers in for training.

One point worth noting is that the Microsoft Teams application does work more effectively for file editing through mobile if you have other Microsoft Office 365 applications installed too. This may be something to consider when building a suite of tools for your mobile workers.

A Host of New Microsoft Teams Features

Microsoft recently announced a new suite of features intended to appear within Teams throughout 2018, including the delivery of new inline messaging translations between a range of languages in chat and conversation channels. There’ll also be a background blurring option for video calls, proximity detection to add Skype systems to meetings, and mobile sharing facilities too. Mobile sharing will mean that attendees can share video live streams and photos from their mobile devices.

Alongside the huge selection of planned features, Microsoft has announced new calling features for the enterprise-grade system, including call delegation and consultative transfer. There’s also Direct Routing available, which allows customers to integrate their existing telephony with Teams.

Additionally, Teams will also be available across a range of meeting room devices, including the Microsoft Surface Hub, and a selection of partner-created devices like those from HP, as well as Plantronics and Polycom.

Bringing Voice Computing to the Workplace

Microsoft has announced new features that will help users to transcribe, record, and save meetings in the cloud. The anticipated inline message translation function will also integrate with Microsoft’s very own voice assistant, Cortana.

According to Microsoft, their decision to integrate Teams with Cortana should help users to make calls more easily, join meetings, and add people to conferences using nothing but natural language.

During this year, Teams will see the arrival of cloud recording – another solution that will take advantage of recent developments in cloud technology. Teams will have the opportunity to record meetings with nothing but a click and create automatic transcriptions of whatever was said. Attendees in meetings will be able to play back key parts of their recordings with the help of transcription guidance.

Microsoft has suggested that the transcription service will be upgraded in the future with facial recognition to make sure remarks are properly attributed to the right people.

Teams is Gaining Traction

Alongside all the recent updates, Microsoft also gave an insight into the popularity of Microsoft Teams, with 200,000 customers currently in the Teams environment, over 181 markets, using 39 different languages.

Are You Ready for Teams?

To learn more about enabling your teams with Teams, contact us today.

Conferencing Made Easy

Are your meetings frequently disrupted or delayed due to connectivity issues? What are the main barriers your business faces when conferencing?

In a recent study* by Barco, the most common IT related issue in the boardroom is Connecting Hardware, followed closely by Using Meeting/Presentation Software.

There are many negative impacts caused by such meeting disruptions, from appointments being postponed or cancelled, to even damage to business reputation.

Check out how Interlinked can make conferencing easy by adding Barco ClickShare to your business solution:

For more findings from Barco’s study, check out this infographic:

Want to learn how Interlinked can make conferencing easy by adding Barco ClickShare to your business solution? Contact us today.

*Barco, 2017, The Workplace Digital Divide

What Shadow IT means for your organisation

Shadow IT represents any technology spend that occurs outside of and without input from the IT department. An estimated one-third of all technology spending falls under this category.

The rise of Shadow IT is as harmful as it is inevitable. Tech savviness is no longer concentrated within the IT department. As more and more digital natives enter the workforce, the demands on the IT department, and business as a whole, are changing. These new users want technology to enable their work, and in many cases they don’t understand why they have a much richer and more robust computing experience at home than at work. They demand to, for example, bring their own devices (such as mobile phones) to work…so why not bring their own IT solutions too?

The cloud has also made it easier than ever to identify and consume IT resources. Implementations that used to take an army of consultants and a matter of years can now be done in a fraction of the time with nothing more than a credit card. Today’s business leaders are armed with the ability to bypass IT.

Causes of Shadow IT

At its core, Shadow IT results from a disconnect between IT and the business. The business believes that IT is being unreasonable in not adapting to its needs, and IT thinks the business is sacrificing long-term environmental stability at the altar of short-term needs.

Often, Shadow IT grows in an organisation from certain potential factors:

  1. IT does not respect its users. We have all seen IT departments that treat users as an inconvenience, and if IT does not show a willingness to engage and cooperate with the user base, the users will find solutions on their own.
  2. IT isn’t innovative. As mentioned earlier, users are more technically savvy than ever before. They have rich computing experiences at home, and they are able to encounter new and powerful IT paradigms through social media. If IT doesn’t deliver innovation, it’s not surprising to see users discover and seek the innovation on their own.
  3. IT is expensive. If your IT department is bloated with bureaucracy, or projects constantly find themselves over time and over budget, users will run out of patience, especially when external providers can deliver powerful Shadow IT with just a few clicks and a credit card.
  4. IT isn’t flexible. Some IT departments can develop a siege mentality, in which any suggestions for improvement are dismissed simply because they differ from “how things were always done.” Users are only human; they will tire of a can’t-do attitude and seek alternative solutions.
  5. IT is too slow. Before the digital age took over all aspects of business and life, it was more defensible for IT departments to deliver solutions more slowly. These days, if the time to deal with requests can be measured with a calendar, users will look to a company that can provide them solutions quickly.

Risks of Shadow IT

Shadow IT has many logical explanations with reasonable causes, but it also presents risks for the average organisation.

The biggest and most obvious risk is data security. Each cloud service has its own data protection and retention practices, and these might not match with your organisation’s requirements, even if the service itself meets your needs. For example, the cloud service might not encrypt data, either at rest or in transit. The cloud service might even have rigid terms of service that entitle it, at least in theory, to your company’s intellectual property.

If an employee who used a Shadow IT service ends up leaving the company, he or she could still have access to the cloud service, which might have important data both for your organisation and its clients. This is a major risk to the company’s long-term client retention and its reputation in the industry.

Tribal knowledge is another key risk of Shadow IT. Even if the credentials don’t leave with a certain employee, the knowledge of how to utilise the service might leave when a certain employee decides to move on. This could render the shadow service completely useless.

Fixing Shadow IT

Fortunately Shadow IT is not the end of the world (or your business). While it is unavoidable, embracing and managing it is certainly helpful in reducing the risk of negative impact and ensuring that all uses of technology create value for your organisation – whether it was approved or not.

If you are looking for a quick guide on addressing issues caused by Shadow IT, check out our 5 Step Plan of Attack on Shadow IT.

The most important way to combat Shadow IT is to engage with your users as active partners, rather than an annoyance or a hindrance. Opening lines of dialogue, such as what DevOps encourages, can strengthen the bond between IT and the business and bolster each side’s sense of common purpose. This could in time eliminate the need for Shadow IT solutions.

The IT department has many core competencies, including standards, process, and best practices. For the long term, it would be easier for an IT department or a Managed IT Services Provider to sit down and develop objective standards for any external cloud service, against which the business can gauge a proposed solution, rather than treating each request as an ad hoc. As a result, IT can still become the overall arbiter of technology, as well as the keeper of standards and best practices. It’s a departure from the historical “we build everything” idea, and a great way for IT to fit into the paradigms of modern day business.


Shadow IT was the result of numerous factors and developments over the past decades, including increased technical knowledge among end-users and increased gatekeeping and inertia from IT. A new sense of partnership, and a promulgation of key standards and best practices, can allow the IT department to embrace the new reality and bring business tech out of the shadows.

Do you have concerns about Shadow IT in your organisation? Chat to us today on 1300 302 207 or send us a message here.

Is your business on ISDN? Upgrade before you’re disconnected.

In 2016, Telstra announced its decision to cease sale on its ISDN products and other special services as of June 2018. This is due to the nationwide rollout of the National Broadband Network and the incompatibility these products face with the new technology.

Telstra’s anticipated final disconnection will occur in 2022 – but businesses could begin losing services as early as 2019 depending on their location.

Affected services include:

  • ISDN2
  • ISDN2 Enhanced
  • ISDN10/20/30
  • DDS Fastway
  • Megalink
  • Frame Relay

Important dates:

  • 31 January 2018 – New ISDN service unavailable for customers who do not already have ISDN in place
  • 30 June 2018 – Full cease sale on new or additional ISDN services for all customers
  • June 2019 – Disconnection will commence for existing ISDN connections
  • By 2022 – All ISDN connections will be disconnected and full network will be decommissioned

Companies that currently utilise an ISDN service should start considering an upgrade.

If your business hasn’t transitioned to a compatible product within eighteen months of the NBN becoming available at your address, your services will be disconnected. This could mean permanent loss of your phone numbers and disruptions to your business.

You don’t have to wait until the final disconnection date. Interlinked can help your business migrate to an IP system today that is fully customisable and compatible with ADSL and NBN. On top of functionality and compatibility, it can also cut down on costs by reducing the cost of all your calls.

To assist with your migration, Interlinked can help your business evaluate the below:

  • Upgrading your existing phone system vs buying a new one
  • Selecting a hosted VoIP system vs an on-premise VoIP-enabled PBX
  • Network capacity and speed – your internet connection may need to change to accommodate for voice quality

Next Steps:

  1. Speak to us for a free consultation
  2. Interlinked will tailor a new solution based on your business’ needs
  3. We will take care of all paperwork and migration processes

To find out if your address is NBN-ready, click here.

For details of Telstra’s announcement, click here.

Track, secure and control corporate devices under one single system

The Interlinked Mobile Device Management (MDM) service allows you to manage and secure the increasing volume and diversity of both ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) and corporate-owned devices.

Here’s a quick overview of our MDM solutions powered by Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security products, and how Interlinked can help your business stay in control:

To learn more about protecting and controlling your business devices, contact us today.

Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme – Quick Facts & Answers

Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Scheme went into effect recently in February 2018.

Cyber security is now more important to Australian businesses than ever, and IT leaders can expect questions and concerns from key stakeholders about what the new laws mean for their organisation.

Here are some easy-to-understand answers to the most common questions, or simply download our NDB Fact Sheet.

Who does the new Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme affect?

Australia’s Data Notification Law came into effect on February 22, 2018. It applies to businesses governed under the Privacy Act 1988 – including any with annual turnovers of $3 million, or businesses that collect and store sensitive user information like payment or personal data. If a data breach will likely result in “serious harm” to individuals, whether reputation, finances, or safety, you are required to notify the relevant parties. Failure to do so can incur fines of up to $1.8 million.

How big is the impact?

According to the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Global Study by Ponemon Institute, 1 in 4 organisations with top cyber security defences still experience data breaches. 90% of a cyber attack’s bottom-line impact is felt up to two years after an attack. It is important to recognise that data breaches are not an “if” scenario, but “when”. The new data breach laws add hefty fines and heightened public scrutiny on top of many other consequences of a breach, including: loss of sales and contracts, compromised IP, and legal action. Customers and shareholders will hold business leaders responsible for non-compliance with these laws.

What do we do when a breach is detected?

Verified breaches must be reported to the Australian Information Commissioner and all affected individuals, along with descriptions of
the breach, the nature of any compromised information, and recommendations to individuals on what they should do next. The law gives organisations only 30 days to investigate any suspected breach, or plug any possible data loss, before notification is required.

How can you protect your business against breaches?

Monitor your networks. According to the Cost of Data Breach Global Study, it takes an average of six months to discover a data breach. It’s critical to have a robust monitoring system not only to help you and your team identify and stop threats more consistently, but also to make compliance with data breach notification laws much simpler. The more visibility you have into your data and networks, the easier it is to give details to regulators and the public if a breach occurs.

Download our NDB Fact Sheet for quick sharing with your business leaders and colleagues.

Have concerns or want to learn more about the NDB Scheme? Contact Interlinked today.

Make voice calls from Office 365

Microsoft has recently signed a new deal with Telstra, introducing Telstra Calling for Office 365.

It’s a cloud-based service for public switched telephone network (PSTN) calling within Office 365 delivered from the Microsoft cloud, and available only for Telstra business customers in Australia.

The service will be available from mid-2018, and supports Telstra calling plans from both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams – the software giant’s chat-based Office 365 workspace – meaning users can access cloud collaboration and voice services.

Telstra Calling for Office 365 lets customers access cloud collaboration and voice call services with Telstra calling plans supported directly from Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.

Benefits of Telstra Calling for Office 365:

  • leverage Skype for business and/or Microsoft Teams to use one business number to make and receive local, long distance, mobile, audio, or video calls
  • enable voice in cloud just like every other Office 365 service in a matter of seconds in the same Office 365 management portal
  • use all the normal call handling functions such as call hold, transfer, forwarding, and voicemail in the cloud
  • reinforce branding by letting staff use their existing business landline number regardless of their location

The partnership combines Telstra’s carrier-grade service with Microsoft collaboration platforms, resulting in a richer user experience.

Telstra’s Executive Director of Global Products, Michelle Bendschneider, says employees want to connect in lots of different ways, but without the hassle of disparate systems.

“We are always looking for ways we can make it easier for our customers to connect. Telstra Calling for Office 365 brings the full scope of Office 365’s cloud productivity and collaboration apps – including video conferencing and meeting broadcast capabilities – alongside Telstra voice calling.”

“By combining what have traditionally been separate collaboration channels, we’re helping to increase productivity while simplifying the experience for employees.

“We’re able to offer this unique solution for our customers thanks to our close partnership with Microsoft and deep mobility and connectivity expertise.”

Microsoft Australia’s chief operating officer, Rachel Bondi says the addition of voice services to Office 365 is “enabling all components of our modern workplace solution.”

Telstra Calling for Office 365 is a unique solution to enable cloud voice within Office 365 and is testament to the strong partnership our two organisations have built over many years,” Bondi adds.

Business grade voice coupled with collaboration apps like Office 365 will accelerate the migration from traditional services, such as an IP PBX, to the cloud.

Over 200 customers have taken part in a pilot of the service over the last six months, with 30 Telstra customers now taking part in an early adopter program to move voice services to the cloud. According to Microsoft and Telstra, they have seen “strong” interest in the product.

As a Telstra Partner for Enterprise & Business as well as Microsoft Gold Partner, we’re excited about the opportunity to provide our clients with the best of Microsoft’s productivity cloud and collaboration tools combined with Telstra’s expertise in voice, network and service capabilities in one single solution.

To learn more about moving your business voice needs to the cloud, contact us today.