Office 365 add-Ons

Office 365 add-Ons

Best Microsoft Office 365 Productivity Add-Ons

In a recent article featured in KitGuru online magazine, the latest Office 365 add-Ons were illustrated with CloudAlly Office 365 Backup Solution topping the chart.

The article titled: Extending 365: 7 Tools to Improve Your Microsoft Office Experience, explicitly pointed out CloudAlly backup as one of the best Office 365 tools.  CloudAlly is again recognized as a leading productivity tool by ‘techies’ who value the simple but yet safe cloud-to-cloud backup solution.

Microsoft’s Office 365 is an incredibly powerful and comprehensive suite on its own, but with add-ons you can supercharge your Office 365 productivity, being able to restore your data from any point in time.

Try out CloudAlly backup solutions for: G Suite, Office 365, and others.

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Office 365 add-Ons



Moving from Cloud-First to Cloud-Only

Planning on moving from Cloud-First to Cloud-Only ?

Recent article in IT Pro Portal describes how SMBs can Benefit from shifting to the Cloud.

The cloud is no longer an emerging technology market. In fact, 80% of the Fortune 500 is on the Microsoft Cloud, and Gartner expects that by 2019, more than 30% of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only. Unfortunately, adoption of the cloud hasn’t been as fast for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Only 64% of SMBs currently use a cloud-based software, according to a survey by BCSG. The good news is that 88% indicate they are considering using at least one cloud app in the next 2-3 years. Early adopters characterize the current market. So, what’s holding the rest back?  Read More


CloudAlly own CEO interview in IT Pro Portal quoted as saying: “Worry about data loss is one of the biggest barriers I run across when it comes to cloud adoption,” says Avi Katz, CEO of CloudAlly, an all-in-one cloud-to-cloud data backup and recovery solution for Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, G Suite, Salesforce, and “

Its time to backup your cloud based solutions, starting with Office 365 and G Suite.

Q&A Series: How and Why a Backup of Google Contacts is necessary?

How & Why a Backup of Google Contacts is necessary?

Using Google for your company’s email service is smart. It is simple, easy to use, and employees can log in to collect their messages from just about anywhere. You feel safe with Google and you should.

Google has a reputation for having reliable security. However, even the big names have their problems. While they do provide excellent security, they cannot protect you from yourself or other issues that can cause you to lose your Google Contacts.  So how and why you should backup Google contacts ?

What are some of the ways you can lose contact information? Merging problems are simple and often overlooked way contact details becomes deleted. If you select the wrong files or too many files at once, can result in data loss. It may not be obvious that the loss occurred at first.

Like merging address books, syncing your Gmail contact list with your phone contact list can also result in missing information. If the device has a misconfiguration, you can lose information from both the device itself and your Gmail account.

Syncing and merging problems are not the only way you can lose valuable data. Even though the Gmail account may be through G Suite, that does not make it impenetrable to hackers. Google does offer additional security features to make it more difficult for a hacker to access your account without your knowledge. However, unauthorized access does still happen, and their primary goal is to send out as many spam and scams as possible.

Hackers often delete your email history, sent files, and contact list. This way your contacts cannot alert you to their presence. The best defense against hackers is a complex password, changed regularly, and two step security sign-in measures. You can also set Google to alert you when a new sign in has occurred. With the email alert system, you always know when someone has logged in from a new location.

Of course, the most common reason for contact deletion is simple human error. Removing data from your Google account is straightforward. While you may be prompted from time to time to confirm the deletion, that is not always the case. Sometimes, you mean to delete one thing and then accidentally select a different name. When you confirm the deletion, you believe you are correct but turn out to be mistaken. Sometimes you realize your error immediately, other times it could be days or weeks before you realize that the name you need is no longer in your address book.

Backing Up Yourself

There are ways for you to back up contacts yourself. You can just export the data to a CSV document on your computer. If you update your contact page frequently, you might want to export about once a week. Saving a current CSV file once a month is enough to keep this information safe otherwise. If you are using the newest version of Contacts, you may be prompted to change back to the older version for export.












Using Google’s Built-In Backups

Google offers a basic backup option. Their service retains deleted contacts. However, they only retain the information for up to 30 days. You do not have to turn on any settings; this is an automatic feature.

While restoring contact information using Google is simple, it is also destructive. Instead of just restoring the items, it turns back the clock on your contact list, which means that any new names added go away.

>> To restore contacts through Google, start by logging into your Gmail account.

Once logged in, click on the Google Applications icon on the top right of the screen.


backup google contacts












>> Open the Contacts page by selecting Contacts from the drop-down menu.












>> On the Contacts page, choose More. In the newest version of Google contacts, the More option is on the left-hand side of the screen. Older versions of contacts, the More option is located above the contact list.

























>> From here you can choose Undo Changes and select the time frame from the pop-up box.













>> Completing an Undo option restores any contacts lost from within the period selected.













Older versions of Google Contacts you choose restore instead of undoing. The same time frame options appear.

Backup with CloudAlly – Backup Google Contacts

The best way to ensure you lose none of your Gmail contacts is to use a third-party backup like Cloud Ally. Exporting them and keeping them locally works well if your computer does not crash. CloudAlly backups all your contacts and restore them without deleting any new details.

­CloudAlly backs up all your contacts from any connected Google or Gmail account. To backup, log into your CloudAlly account and select the Add New Backup Task option. Then choose Google Account.











>> Select the Next button to give CloudAlly permission to access and save information from the selected account.










>> After giving Google permission, select the account you want to connect.








The backup begins automatically and runs at the same time each day. Updates made to your contact list are added, while any deleted names remain accessible for later restore.

When restoring contacts, you can choose to restore all names from a particular date with the Snapshot restore, or a specific contact by using the Search option.

When restoring, CloudAlly reinserts the information into your address book. Unlike with Google’s contact recovery feature, all existing entries remain even if they were added after losing the restored information.

Protect your connections from hackers, system errors, and your mistakes. Backup address book so that you never have to worry about losing an important email or phone number again. You can try CloudAlly free for 15 days, no credit card required to sign up.

The True Cost of SaaS Data Loss

Is every business manager familiar with the problem of SaaS data loss ?

Most of the time, the incidents are relatively inconsequential—an accidently deleted email that should have been saved or thirty minutes spent re-writing a client strategy document when Microsoft Word crashed. However, sometimes SaaS data loss is critical and the cost of that lost data is substantial.

In 2015, a study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that the average total cost of a data breach is $3.79 million. But that’s only part of the equation; there’s also cost that goes into recovery. For example, if you lose your Salesforce data with no backup, there is a steep cost to recover it. According to the Salesforce website, the price of recovery is a flat $10,000 USD, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get everything back

The problem is that most businesses don’t understand the full consequences and total cost of SaaS data loss. They think that data backup and recovery is too big of an initial investment with little reward, but that’s not the case. A little investment now in a backup and recovery solution can save your business thousands if not millions of dollars in the future.

In fact, it’s cheaper to back up your SaaS data cloud-to-cloud than using any other method, and it’s soon to become standard.

Why Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Is the Go-To Solution?

According to storage expert Brien Posey, who spoke with TechTarget, cloud-to-cloud backup will likely become the norm by 2018. Posey said its popularity is twofold. “”First, backup technology is finally starting to catch up to the public cloud, making it more practical to do cloud-to-cloud backups,” Posey said. “Second, and this is the big one, is the economic factor.” The economic factor is huge. For organizations that want to move their data to the cloud, they realize that it’s cheaper than backing up on site and that it makes more economic sense.

And Chris Evans, another storage expert and consultant, agrees. “We may see cloud backup moving to be the de facto standard, with snapshots retained on-prem for user error type restores,” he told TechTarget. “Backup software vendors need [to] and have started to adapt. The biggest losers could be backup appliances in this instance.”

The reality is that using cloud-to-cloud backup to protect your SaaS data saves you time and money, but if that’s still not enough to convince you let’s talk about the real cost of SaaS data loss. It’s not just an annoyance. It heavily affects your company’s bottom line in a multitude of ways. That’s why adding a cloud-to-cloud backup solution isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessary piece of every risk management plan.

So, how do you determine if a cloud-to-cloud back and recovery solution like CloudAlly is worth it?

To “Real” Cost of SaaS Data Loss!

The first key to understanding the benefit of a data backup and recovery solution is to understand the cost of not having it. The real cost of SaaS data loss isn’t an easy number to pin down. A recent Verizon report suggests that “small” data breaches (less than 100 records lost) cost $18,120 to $35,730, but in a worst-case scenario could reach $555,660. Large data breaches (100 million records or more) cost an average of $5 million to $15.6 million and top out at $200 million.

It’s not just about the data; it’s about the loss of revenue because of the breach, the total labor hours and time for full recovery, the inability to release new products, the lack of support for email and sales, and more. By making an initial investment in your IT department now for a backup and recovery solution, such as CloudAlly, you can avoid all these problems in the future.

Let’s take a look at everything that goes into SaaS data loss so you can better understand the cost of not being protected.

1. Cost of Data

Many times, when businesses attempt to calculate the cost of their SaaS data loss, they forget to calculate the actual financial cost of the lost or compromised data. In many situations, the lost data is vital to performing daily operating functions meaning its loss can create costly work stoppage until the data is restored. In another scenario, the data could be of vital importance to a client/customer and once the loss is discovered a monetary compensation may need to be paid until the problem is fixed.

2. Decreased Productivity

SaaS data loss doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Many times it results in major productivity loss, meaning that any task that needs to be accomplished either takes more time or more resources. These productivity costs can be related to shifting priorities—focused on recovery—which means that less time is spent on daily functions such as building the business, releasing new products, or customer service. In the case of Office 365 data loss, it can even affect your ability to release a new product due to the loss of access to your mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks—all necessary to daily function.

3. Client Loss

When calculating the financial cost of a data breach, one thing you can’t overlook is client loss. It is virtually inevitable that some of your clients will leave when they find out you’ve lost SaaS data, no matter the circumstances. And a lost client is more significant than a smaller monthly revenue stream; client loss can make your business goals, operating expenses, and overall business success more difficult to achieve.

4. Damaged Reputation

Just as clients are wary to continue working with a company that has suffered SaaS data loss, new companies, suppliers, vendors, and even investors may be hesitant as well. Most organizations are risk adverse, and if you show yourself to be a company that is at high risk of downtime or broken confidentiality due to data breach or data loss, then you’ll notice fewer opportunities to build relationships, and a poor reputation that will take time to rebuild.

5. Stunted Business Growth

SaaS data loss or breach can stop growth dead in its tracks. Let’s say you don’t have a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution and you lose access to Salesforce and all the data contained within. How are you going to make new sales or reach out to new leads if your Salesforce data has been lost or corrupted? In addition, during a data loss period, your sales professionals will be hard pressed to bring on new clients when most of their focus will be on retaining their current list.

6. SLA Penalties

Most service level agreements (SLAs) include a promise of a consistent level of service. In many cases, SaaS data loss or a data breach can result in slow or diminished customer service, which means that your business could owe regulatory penalties. Whether it’s fair or not, if a business has downtime as a result of data loss and it cannot fulfill its SLAs, you may take an unforeseen hit to your profit due to penalties.

7. Recovery

A 2014 study from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council (PDF) revealed that 25% of respondents believe recovery efforts consumed staff time and this has impacted the business. If you lose data without a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution in place, getting your data back isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers. Hours will be required to recover the data—if it’s recoverable at all—and the cost of employing a full-time data recovery specialist must be taken into account as well. Recovery may also include the need for a new service or piece of equipment to ensure that the problem does not recur.

Downtime Cost Calculator

To help your organization determine how much a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution, such as CloudAlly, is worth we’ve created a quick and easy-to-use Downtime Cost Calculator.

This calculator let’s you quickly and simply input a few key figures such as annual gross revenue, number of employees, system downtime, labor hours, equipment cost, and more to discover exactly how much SaaS data loss could cost you.


The reality is that a small investment in a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution now could save you thousands of dollars in the future.

Use our ROI downtime calculator and send the result to your CFO, CIO, clearly demonstrate why backing up your cloud services will save your company money, and keep your business continuity in check.

The Foundation of a Successful Office 365 Migration

Office 365 Backup and Restore – Migration Plan

Migrating to Office 365 has become common practice. Businesses large and small have been attracted to the online environment as a way to save money, increase efficiency, and improve business continuity. The issue is that too many organizations take Office 365 migration lightly and don’t include such basic foundational items as: Office 365 backup and restore.

Office 365 migrations are not simple cookie-cutter processes. To do it correctly requires experience in Exchange, Office 365, archives, security, DNS, storage, firewalls, proxies, networking, backups, and more. And with so many different products in the Microsoft Office 365 Suite, comprehensively covering the entire migration process can be a challenge.

So, what makes a successful Office 365 migration to cloud? It’s all about having a solid foundation and avoiding these common pitfalls.

4 Tips for Successful Office 365 Migration

1. Choose an Appropriate Migration Method

There are four different migration methods that companies can choose from, and each method has its pros and cons. For example, there’s a lot of hype surrounding Exchange Server migrations to Office 365, stating that it can be completed in six easy steps. But the reality is that only the smallest organizations can get away with such a simplified migrations. The key to success is choosing the right method for your business.

  • Cut-over Migration: This is considered the easiest of all migration methods. Basically, it transfers all mailboxes, users, contacts, and mail groups to Office 365 in one fell swoop. The downside to this migration type is that it’s limited. It works best for small business owners because cutover migrations can only handle up to 1,000 mailboxes and may take several days to complete.
  • Hybrid Migration: This is a much more complicated migration method and involves moving only some on-premise capabilities to Office 365 while leaving the rest to be managed on-location. The biggest difficult with this migration type is deciding what should be transferred and strategically planning for it. For example, with a hybrid migration you can decide to keep your SharePoint data in-house while moving your mailboxes online.
  • Staged Migration: This migration works best for those companies who can’t afford any downtime and want to opt into only migrating a few resources at a time. Just like the cut-over migration, staged migration is limited to fewer than 1,000 mailboxes, but there is little disruption for users.
  • Third-Party Migrations: The final migration approach, and our recommendation, is to use a data migration expert. Many cloud partners have their own Office 365 tools with a dedicated team of experts to ensure the migration goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Understand Office 365 Limitations

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to Office 365 migration plans. That’s because every business has different needs, and require you to perform due diligence on what Office 365 can handle before you move forward.

For example, Office 365 offers a variety of support plans and they were not all created equal. If you’re going hybrid, it’s essential that you have a support plan in place that supports Azure Active Directory Synchronization. The solution:

Another limitation is the inability to keep legacy archive solutions on-premise. The reality is that when you move your mailboxes to the cloud, you break the stubs and so users are unable to access archived email. The solution is to use your own third-party Office 365 backup and restore archive solution to handle the export, rehydration, and upload process. That’s where CloudAlly comes in handy. With the click of a button, we make it easy to create a zip download containing Outlook compatible PST format.

And if you choose the hybrid migration method, you need to understand the differences between the Exchange environments. If you have an Exchange 2007/2010 environment set up, then you’ll need at least one Exchange 2013 Client Access and Mailbox server ready to run the Hybrid Configuration wizard. And if your business doesn’t have Exchange 2013, you’ll have to update before going hybrid.

Finally, Office 365 is limited in its message recovery ability. Office 365 cannot perform message retrieval beyond the deleted item retention period. This can be a major problem for admins, but there’s an easy solution. Use CloudAlly to perform daily-automated backups of all your Office 365 information and keep it forever with unlimited storage and unlimited retention.

2. Don’t Skimp on Migration Infrastructure

When planning a migration, there are some infrastructure requirements you have to adhere to. Technically, a migration can run solely on virtual hardware, but it t4ends to result in performance problems except for smaller organizations. Microsoft recommends that larger businesses use Exchange 2013 and 2010 hybrid servers. We also recommend having a server that is running Active Directory Federation Services. This server can be used to handle identity management between the Office 365 cloud and your on-premise environment.

3. Implement a Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Service for Exchange Online

Office 365 Exchange Online lacks the daily backup and point-in-time recovery process that was probably present in your hosted Exchange environment. This means that you no longer have the ability to recover data lost or corrupt data once you’re up and running in your new Office 365 online environment. The recycle bin provides short-term recovery of individual items but can be hard deleted by a user. Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) provides immutable protection of individual items, but lacks the ability to recover a complete mailbox, folder, calendar, etc. Individual Items must be queried using eDiscovery, exported to an eDiscovery mailbox, and then downloaded, before moving back to the source mailbox.

CloudAlly’s Office 365 backup and restore service is compatible with all plans, includes Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks, and you can backup user and shared mailboxes, as well as public folders.

CloudAlly’s restore process allows you to non-destructively, recover lost or corrupt data, or export it in Outlook compatible format. You can even drill down through each backup by date or keyword to quickly search and located specific data, or perform a complete point-in-time recovery at an hierarchical level.

In the end, a successful Office 365 migration is dependent on using the right tools and having a complete backup and recovery solution in place once the migration is complete. While Microsoft provides some decent tools for migrating Exchange Server mailboxes to Office 365, they don’t provide everything. Familiarize yourself with all available migration tools, understand Exchange Online limitations, and consider CloudAlly’s Office 365 Exchange Backup to provide ongoing protection of your Exchange Online data.

It’s worth it.

Microsoft SharePoint Backup Comparison (2017)

SharePoint On – Premises VS. SharePoint Online (2017)

Microsoft SharePoint Backup – 2017 updates

CIO executives and IT managers are facing a tough decision selecting between SharePoint On – Premises, and SharePoint online of Office 365. This is much more apparent since 2013 when we reviewed the choices at hand.

It has been 4 years since we first brought you a comparison between SharePoint On-Premises and Office 365’s SharePoint Online. Since then, Microsoft has updated their SharePoint software with the new release of SharePoint 2016.

While a lot has stayed the same, the subtle changes might make a difference in determining which product best serves your needs.

Here is a basic overview of the primary differences between SharePoint Online and SharePoint On Premises:

Updates to SharePoint On-Premises

If you are familiar with SharePoint 2013, you may have some reservations about using the software on-premises. However, the 2016 release has many updates that make it more user-friendly.

One of the greatest updates that SharePoint 2016 has is the easier patching ability. Previous versions required IT personnel to take the server offline to perform updates. Now, installation of these patches occurs without taking the servers offline. These software updates help fix security holes and bugs.

Other notable updates include:

  • Improved naming system with shorter easier to understand names
  • Increased file size allowance
  • Increased storage number of records
  • Increased list threshold
  • Automatically updated links for relocated files
  • Faster search

One other area Microsoft improved is the ability to use SharePoint 2016 on-site in a hybrid situation. Administrators can connect the on-premises SharePoint with online storage. Searches conducted include results from both online and on-site locations.

Pros Cons
  • Full Customization
  • Increased Cost of workforce and equipment
  • Reduced Bandwidth (when not part of hybrid setup)
  • Redundancy required
  • Compliance with local security regulation
  • Scale up/out costs
  • Full Control
  • Additional set up for disaster recovery
  • Migrate when necessary

SharePoint Online

Microsoft is always working to make their Office 365 SharePoint better for their customers, with Cloudally’s Microsoft Sharepoint Backup the online option is extenuated, and adding hybrid compatibility for on-site SharePoint 2016 to work seamlessly is a huge upgrade. Also, it is important to mention that Microsoft has added security framework to make their Online Storage compliant with HIPAA, SSAE, and EU Model clauses to name a few.

Pros Cons
  • Reduced workforce/hardware costs
  • Not controlled locally
  • Automatic updates
  • Greater bandwidth use
  • Anywhere access
  • Added storage costs
  • Complaint friendly
  • Limited customization
  • Enterprise grade security
  • Easy scale up/out

As Microsoft stores your files on their Azure servers, they offer automatic redundancies. These redundancies protect your data from loss due to hardware malfunction.

Overall Comparison

Sharepoint 2016 and SharePoint Online, via Office 365, operate the same. Users store documents and share them with their colleagues. Thanks to recent updates on both the onsite 2016 platform and Office 365 both programs can now work seamlessly together.

The following will help you with a better understanding of their differences.

Category On-Site Online
Cost Requires purchase of hardware and software license plus IT personnel to maintain system Annual subscription of Office 365 Plan billed per user
Deployment and Maintenance IT personnel to deploy and manage farm, patches may be delayed due to workload Microsoft controls environment and installs patches when released
Business Continuity Dependent on internal capabilities Built-in redundancy and failover for data centers.
Features Support for Enterprise feature, with installation ofOffice web app Limited, preconfigured features
Customization Full server side code and client side code support. Full client side support. Limited server side support
Security Dependent on internal capabilities Enterprise grade security
Compliance Dependent on internal capabilities Eu Model Clauses, US-EU Safe Harbor Framework, HIPAA, FISMA, ISO 27001, FERPA, and SSAE16 compliant
Storage More expensive storage devices with scalable size, more than 100GB Cheaper costs, site collection up to 100GB, maximum content in single tenant Office 365 plan based.

Which Best Serves Your Needs

There are no absolutes when it comes to determining the best fit for your business. Office 365’s online Sharepoint makes it easy for your employees to access the files they need from anywhere. The greater fluidity allows you to utilize a remote workforce in addition to your in-house personnel.

However, due to security regulations, some information cannot be stored in a cloud setting. That means you must invest in Sharepoint software housed in on-site servers. Local service limits your company’s ability to allow employees to work remotely.

Bottom Line

In most cases, the middle ground might be your best option. By investing in on-site Sharepoint 2016 software, you can house sensitive information locally. Storing sensitive documents on-premises can help you maintain compliance with government regulations.

However, employees can store data that does not contain restricted information in the cloud environment. Workers can then access these non-sensitive documents from anywhere. With Sharepoint 2016 and Office 365 both having hybrid capabilities you can have the best of both worlds.

Disaster Recovery in High Priority

Choosing to go with Microsoft Sharepoint Online backup is placing your disaster recovery in top priority and your recovery protocol in place. An online backup of all your Sharepoint files allows you to recover data lost due to viruses or human error, eliminating data center issues.

Without a 3rd party backup service, such as Cloudally, your company lacks protection against malicious attacks. Ransomware attacks can occur at any time, forcing you to pay a hefty price to recover your information. With a proper backup in place, you can recover compromised files without paying the enormous fees requested by the hackers.

CloudAlly offers continuous support with Microsoft SharePoint backup. Data is saved daily to your online depository. Files deleted from your Office 365 online account remain within your CloudAlly backup until you choose to remove them.

There is no way to know when a ransomware attack or malicious employee error may occur. However, having CloudAlly Sharepoint backup available can protect you. Learn on Microsoft SharePoint and Check out our FREE TRIAL.