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  • About Us
    • Message from the President

      Shamrock exists as a trusted ally to enterprise IT leaders responsible for making the most difficult and sensitive decisions related to technology procurement.

      We provide comprehensive and objective analysis at no cost to our customers, helping you make the right decisions on any product from any provider at the guaranteed best price.

      Paul Cooney
      President


      Contact me for a FREE on-site walk through.

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    • Our Company
    • In The News
      News Press Release

      CIO Review Awarded Shamrock as “20 Most Promising AWS Solution Providers” for 2019

      We are proud to announce that Shamrock has been recognized by CIO Review at one of the “20 Most Promising AWS Solution Providers” for 2019! Check out the article on how our AWS solutions are changing the game for IT decision makers around the globe.
      News Press Release
      Shamrock & Google Come Together to Talk Cloud Computing
      News Press Release
      Insight Success: Shamrock Consulting Group: The 10 Most Innovative Telecom Solution Providers 2018
  • Solutions
      • Cloud Services
        • cdc-wide-v2Cloud Direct Connect

          Connect From Any Location To Any Cloud.

          AWS Direct Connect | Azure ExpressRoute | Google Cloud Interconnect | IBM Cloud Direct Link

          Shamrock can reduce your cloud egress costs by up to 80%

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        • cloud-migration-v2Cloud Migration

          Proven leader with successful hands-on cloud deployments, systematically analyzing every aspect of your cloud infrastructure to avoid wasted dollars.

          34% Average Savings on Cloud Services through Shamrock

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        • cloud-security-1000×500(2)Cloud Security

          Whether your company is premise-based, in a private cloud, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud, Shamrock has you covered. We will help you secure and easily monitor your corporate environment in real-time.

          An industry leader in corporate security

          Learn More
        • cloud-cost-optCloud Cost Management

          Shamrock has carefully vetted the top performing tools for public and private cloud orchestration and cost management to service deployments of any size, on any budget at guaranteed best rates.

          Shamrock can reduce your public cloud spend by 40%

          Learn More
        • Platinum Public Cloud Services
          • aws-plat-v2

            Whether you’re looking to migrate to AWS, better manage your current AWS environment, or expand your capabilities within AWS, Shamrock can help.

            We’re top rated AWS consultants for a reason – because we’re a team of vendor-neutral, award-winning cloud experts who always act in the best interests of our clients, and we always guarantee the best price on AWS products and services.

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          • azure-plat

            We’ll help you maximize your Azure experience and take your business to the next level by designing, deploying and managing scalable infrastructure and application-based solutions. We’ll even facilitate your migration from your on-prem or environment or from another cloud provider to Azure, in whatever capacity you choose.

            Shamrock is a Certified MS Azure Partner, offering expert consulting services at the guaranteed best price.

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          • gcp-plat

            Google’s Partner Network is one of the most prestigious in the industry, and Shamrock is honored to be a part of it. As a Google Partner, Shamrock is your go-to resource for support in GCP. We provide free 24/7 US-based support, migration support, scalable solutions, cloud cost management and more within GCP, all for the guaranteed best price.

            Shamrock is the market leader in GCP cost reduction, GCP migration services, GCP Interconnect direct connects and much more.

            Learn More
      • Data Center
        • cloud-security-1000×500(2)Cloud Security

          Whether your company is premise-based, in a private cloud, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud, Shamrock has you covered. We’ll help you secure and easily monitor your environment in real-time to ensure proactive protection of your corporate IT environment. Join our growing list of Fortune 500, Fortune 100 and Fortune 50 customers and see why Shamrock is an industry leader in corporate security.

          Join our growing list of Fortune 500 and see why Shamrock is an industry leader in corporate security.

          Learn More
        • data-center-colocation-v2(1)Colocation

          We’ve been recognized as an industry leader in data center sourcing and procurement on a global scale. We represent every major data center operator both domestically and globally, so no matter the size, scope or area of your needs, we’ve got you covered. With over 1,200 major networks, enterprises, and business partners available for interconnection and traffic exchange via direct cross connects, peering and Ethernet services

          We Sell Data Center Space!

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        • cdc-wide-v2Cloud Direct Connect

          Shamrock is an industry leader in provisioning cloud direct connects from any business or data center location, anywhere in the world, at any speed (10 Mbps to 100Gbps).

          We’re also the exclusive solution provider for 100G cloud direct connects into Google Cloud Interconnect and AWS Direct Connect.

          Join Out 100GIG Pilot Program.

          Learn More
      • Telecom Solutions
        • tem-squareTelecom Expense Management (TEM)

          Our portfolio of services includes business process outsourcing (BPO), telecommunication audit, procurement advisory, and wireless expense management. We strive to produce sustained results for your organization.

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        • ent-mob-squareEnterprise Mobility Management

          Shamrock’s mobile cost management experts can help you drastically reduce your enterprise mobility costs without any provider or contract changes. Our technology uses patented algorithms and machine learning. The result: instant and tangible savings!

          Learn More
        • art1-new-1-smallVoice Services

          Shamrock Consulting provides Long Distance Services with cost-effective in-state, state-to-state, international and toll-free calling for businesses. International or Domestic Toll-Free Numbers, Conferencing Services, powerful cost-management options.

          Learn More
        • ucaas-thumb-optUCaaS / Hosted PBX

          As industry-leading UCaaS consultants, Shamrock has negotiated direct partnerships with every major UCaaS provider to ensure that our clients receive the best possible solution at the best possible price. Guaranteed.

          Learn More
        • 3-new-smallAnalog Line Consolidation

          Dynamically manage traffic pattern changes and get high-quality, reliable voice services that leverage your existing PBX investment. Pbx Service Providers, SIP Service, Pbx Pricing, Cloud Pbx and more.

          34% Average Cost Savings with Shamrock

          Learn More
      • WAN Solutions
        • 2-new-1Broadband Aggregation

          The need to future proof your network has created an unprecedented demand for fiber to the premise. Dark Fiber, Fiber Ethernet, DS3, OC-x, Fixed Wireless (Microwave, lazer, WIMAX), Ethernet over Copper (EOC), T1, NxT1, Cable, DS, Shamrock Consulting Group has all of your options in one place.

          Let's Start With Understanding Your Internet Access Options!

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        • art2-1-new-smallInternet Access

          The need to future proof your network has created an unprecedented demand for fiber to the premise. Dark Fiber, Fiber Ethernet, DS3, OC-x, Fixed Wireless (Microwave, lazer, WIMAX), Ethernet over Copper (EOC), T1, NxT1, Cable, DS, Shamrock Consulting Group has all of your options in one place.

          Let's Start With Understanding Your Internet Access Options!

          Learn More
        • art8-new-smallPrivate WAN (MPLS / VPLS)

          Global enterprises, financial institutions, the largest networks and the Internet’s foremost content companies trust us with what matters most to them—their information assets. Shamrock Consulting Group can design wide area networks for any size, any budget, anywhere.

          Let's Start With Understanding Your WAN Objectives!

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        • art3-new-smallDark Fiber

          We partner directly with every major Dark Fiber providers in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. We also work with cities and municipalities such as Los Angeles County, Orange County, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and elsewhere to find you the best possible solution at the guaranteed best price.

          Looking for fiber providers in your area?

          Learn More
        • art7-new-smallSD-WAN

          As top-rated SD WAN consultants who partner directly with every leading SD WAN provider in the industry, Shamrock is committed to helping you make well-informed procurement decisions at the guaranteed best price. We offer a free consultation to identify the best solution for your needs and budget.

          Considering an SD-WAN solution for your company?

          Learn More
      • Cybersecurity
        • crowd-strikeCrowdstrike EDR/MDR

          As a CrowdStrike partner, the Shamrock team as a whole are big fans of the company’s cloud native endpoint protection platform. But don’t take our word for it – we’ve had hundreds of customers using CrowdStrike tell us how much they love the platform, and many of them have said that they have no idea how they ever lived without it.

          Licensing discounts of up to 50 percent below market rates.

          Learn More
        • penntesting-v2Penetration Testing

          We’ve formed deep partnerships with the most trustworthy cybersecurity vendors in the industry, and we guarantee the best price from every single one of them. Black, White & Gray Box Testing, Cloud Pentesting, Mobile & Web App Pentesting, Wireless Pentesting, Physical Pentesting, Client-Side Pentesting. In addition to pentesting, we can also help you out with next-generation firewalls, endpoint protection and corporate email security.
          Schedule Your Free Pentest Analysis.

          Learn More
        • vulnerability-testingVulnerability Management

          We take a look at some great security solutions that achieve real time visibility into all aspects of a corporate network, even reaching the most remotely deployed endpoints. If you’re interested (and you probably should be), Shamrock Consulting Group can secure these cutting-edge tools for you at the best prices.

          We can offer the best prices on CrowdStrike products and can also provide a free security assessment.

          Learn More
        • ngfwNGFW & Software Defined Perimeter

          How can companies be both agile and secure in these unprecedented times? For help with empowering your WFH teams with the tools and processes they need, speak to a Shamrock consultant today.

          Our strategic partners are comprised of the very best in the industry from a security standpoint (Trustwave, AlertLogic, CrowdStrike, Fortinet, PaloAlto, Carbon Black, etc.).

          Learn More
        • cloud-security-smallCloud Security

          Whether your company is premise-based, in a private cloud, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud, Shamrock has you covered. We’ll help you secure and easily monitor your environment in real-time to ensure proactive protection of your corporate IT environment.

          Join our growing list of Fortune 500 and see why Shamrock is an industry leader in corporate security.

          Learn More
  • RFP Services
  • Industries
    • biotech-telecom-consulting-v2Biotech

      Safeguard Proprietary, Mission Critical Data Whether its R&D for a world changing innovation or straightforward emails to accounting, Shamrock provides a comprehensive suite of security services – including Managed Firewall, Intrusion Detection/Prevention, and Vulnerability Scanning – to ensure that your organization’s data is safeguarded and kept out of the wrong hands.

      Let's Start With Understanding Your Biotech Telecom Objectives!

      Learn More
    • real-estate-construction-cloud-solutionsConstruction & Development

      Whether you are looking to increase network uptime, reduce operational expenses, or build a next generation global development company, Shamrock Consulting Group has turnkey solutions tailored to the needs of the Construction and Development industry at guaranteed best rates.

      Let's Start With Understanding Your Telecom Objectives for Construction & Development sites!

      Learn More
    • finance-cloud-solutionsFinance

      Shamrock Consulting Group’s Financial Services practice offers customers robust custom architected network, cloud, data center, and unified communications solutions that provide the security, compliance, and uptime their organizations require to function on a day-to-day basis.

      Let's Start With Understanding Your Financial Organization's Telecom Objectives!

      Learn More
    • healthcare-cloud-solutionsHealthcare

      Shamrock has cross-disciplinary knowledge of healthcare-specific IT apps. Shamrock has extensive rural network design and build experience. In addition to 100+ partners, Shamrock has experience, connections and industry tools to identify, design to, spec, procure and project manage complex multi-vendor deployments. Healthcare institutions, financial institutions, the largest networks and the Internet’s foremost content companies trust us with what matters most to them—their information assets.

      Let's Start With Understanding Your Healthcare Telecom Objectives!

      Learn More
    • media-entertainment-cloud-solutionsMedia & Entertainment

      Whether you are looking to increase network uptime, reduce operational expenses, or build a next-generation global studio, Shamrock Consulting Group has turnkey solutions tailored to the needs of the Media and Entertainment industry at guaranteed best rates. Nobody delivers more connectivity solutions to Media and Entertainment companies than Shamrock Consulting Group!

      300+ Media and Entertainment Customers Served!

      Learn More
    • retail-cloud-solutionsRetail / Restaurant

      Shamrock Consulting Group offers its retail customers the best-fit, access technologies at each of their sites to ensure complete coverage and uptime at low costs. We design solutions that provide PCI-compliant security for credit card transactions and support for data communications for key retail applications—including point-of-sale, back-office systems, training, and digital video surveillance.

      Let's Start With Understanding Your Retail Business Operational Objectives!

      Learn More
    • saas-cloud-solutionsSAAS Providers

      Whether you are looking to increase network uptime, reduce operational expenses, or build a next generation global Software as a Service Platform, Shamrock Consulting Group has turnkey solutions tailored to the needs of the SaaS Industry at guaranteed best rates. Low, Mid, and High-density data center options with robust connectivity options to extend service coverage all over the globe.

      Let's Start With Understanding Your SAAS Objectives!

      Learn More
  • Tools
  • Press
  • Contact Us

How to Get Started with Microsoft Teams

Licensing basics, key features, how to choose the right vendor & more!

Microsoft Teams is the most integrated, highly comprehensive bundle of MS Office apps to date. The best part is that it is flexible and can be adapted to any scenario – for home personal use, for work and productivity at home, for small and medium businesses, educational institutions, government establishment, NGOs and of course, enterprise communications. The use cases are virtually limitless.

As is often the case with an option pool so vast, choosing the right ones for your business can be a daunting task. Luckily, we’re here to make the navigation a little easier.

1. How much do we need to pay to use Microsoft Teams?

The price you pay to pay for Microsoft Teams depends on your usage. Overall, the pricing from Microsoft direct is competitive, especially as they bundle a lot of daily use applications for work and productivity. But be forewarned – there certain caveats to going with MS direct vs. a third-party provider that you’ll need to evaluate before making a decision. More on that later.

Truth be told, while you can get by with alternatives to the core Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc. – they never feel as intuitive or user-friendly. There’s a reason why MS Office and SharePoint have been the industry standard for decades.

Here are the different price points that Microsoft has introduced for a variety of Teams use cases:

Types of Microsoft 365 Licenses

Home – Family and Personal
Business – Basic, Standard, and Premium (max 300 users)
Enterprise – E3, E5, and F3*
Other – Education, Government, Non-Profit and Front-line worker

*Front-line worker

Other License Types

MS recently re-aligned their licensing, which you can find below)

Education (student) – A1 (free), A3 ($2.50), A5 ($6)
Education (staff) – A1 (free), A3 ($3.25), A5 ($8)
Government – G1, G3, G5
Non-Profit – Business Basic, Business Standard, E1, E3, E5
Front-line worker – Office F3, MS365 E1 ($4), MS365 E3 ($10)

*All Licenses above include Teams
*All x5 licenses include Phone

2. What’s the difference between E1, E3 and E5 licenses?

E1, E3 and E5 are simply different tiers of licenses that Microsoft bundles with its range of Office applications.

E1 comes with the following advantages:

• Office Apps On-line
• Teams – IM, Voice, Video Chat
• Email and Calendar
• Yammer, Video, SharePoint
• OneDrive for Business, Delve
• Power Apps and Power Automate
• Exchange Online Protection
• Archive

E3 comes with

all the features of E1 and makes the most sense if you’re working cross-platforms, need storage solutions with privacy and security capabilities such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Rights Management. If any of these use cases match what you’re doing (or what you need), E3 will be the right category for your needs. Additionally, you also get:
• MS Office Suite
• Cross-Platform Installation
• Cloud Storage: Ability to increase it to 5TB and even 25TB if needed
• Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
• Rights Management
• eDiscover

E5 is the absolute full-featured MacDaddy version of MS Teams’ suite of applications.

In addition to all E1 and E3 capabilities outlined above, it comes loaded with advanced analytics and security features like Advanced Threat Protection.
Most importantly, E5 also comes with telephony features including Telephony system (PBX), PSTN conferencing facilities, and number porting.
• Power BI Pro License
• MyAnalytics
• Advanced Threat Protection
• Customer Lockbox
• Telephony system (PBX)
• PSTN conferencing facilities
• Number porting

It’s also important to note that all Microsoft Teams licenses come with full collaboration features including:

• Individual and team messaging channels with guests and internal users
• Video meetings and internal calls
• Real-time document collaboration
• Third party app integrations
Learn More about MS Teams

3. Why use Microsoft Teams over similarly priced competitive services?

If you’re already using MS applications extensively for productivity, storage, and communications, it makes sense to opt for a comprehensive plan that covers all bases for productivity, communication, and connectivity.

Microsoft has bundled internal calling, video and collaboration within the O365 environment for this very reason – so users don’t have to shop around for separate pieces for telecommunications and connectivity. It’s all bundled together in one super package for collaboration and productivity, no matter where you are or which device you are using.

Here are our top reasons for using Microsoft Teams:

Microsoft is the dominant software vendor for business applications and servers, operating systems, and cloud computing with a huge O365 install base
Internal calling, video and collaboration is free for O365 users
Strong compliance capabilities and language support
Deep Integration with other Microsoft applications
Group Messaging Capabilities – competing with Slack
Microsoft views Teams as a Platform, not just an application, and is continuously adding integrations to other platforms
Since Teams is included with most O365 licenses, there is a huge install base

4. I’m planning to/ already using Teams. Should I switch to a 3rd party vendor?

While Microsoft certainly is the Big Man on Campus when it comes to collaboration, there are several other providers who are making noise with not only their ability to sell Teams with zero markup, but also with some smart and helpful add-ons that you can’t get from Microsoft.

So, who are these mysterious 3rd party vendors? Glad you asked. Some of our favorites include:

Although Teams offers local PSTN (a true cloud solution with both domestic and international outbound calling plans), it is currently active in only 11 countries. Plus, Microsoft relies on its partners to provide support for customers – not an ideal scenario. In contrast, certain vendors offer native Cloud PBX replacement in nearly 60 countries, and they also include strong CRM integration, data and analytics capabilities.

Additionally, some providers deliver direct support globally, and one – Fuze – is even TSIA L2 certified. They currently hold the only TSIA L2 certification of any 3rd party Teams vendor.

They allure of 3rd party vendors is that they bring a much more intuitive ‘feel’ to the Teams platform thanks to their ‘voice-first’ approach. It’s important to remember that Microsoft essentially ‘got in on’ the collaboration game with Teams; they’re not a native voice and collaboration provider. 3rd party vendors, on the other hand, offer a much more user-friendly interface and customer experience because voice and collaboration are at the core of their business principles.

While Microsoft is simply diverting from its traditional ‘walled garden’ approach, opening up multiple new APIs to allow better integration with non-MS applications, 3rd party vendors live in the integration space and offer a wide array of them to their customers.

Here’s another big reason why companies look beyond Microsoft’s walls to deliver Teams functionality: Teams’ much-touted free voice offering isn’t really ‘free’ – it actually costs between $20-$32 (US list) per user to add PSTN voice to an E3 license.

Moreover, direct routing involves additional costs and complexity, and Microsoft’s calling plans are typically more expensive (and remember – only available in 11 countries as of the writing of this article).

5. What’s the best choice for your business?

There’s no denying that Microsoft is the default base of many core productivity applications and servers that you simply cannot do without. But 3rd party vendors do bring quite a lot to the table. They offer greater cost efficiencies with licensing and add-ons, and their mobile capabilities are years ahead of Microsoft.

But it also doesn’t have to be one or the other. Here’s a snapshot of what a 3rd party vendor + Teams integration can do for your business:

In today’s remote working world, the need for a solid voice and collaboration strategy is crucial to any company’s success. And whether or not you decide to get Teams directly through Microsoft, via a 3rd party vendor, or even leverage the strengths of both in an integrated fashion, Shamrock can help you make the best decision for your business at the guaranteed best price.

Let’s Talk Teams
Ryan Reeves

Ryan Reeves is the Director of Marketing and Customer Success for Shamrock Consulting Group, and he is also an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. Ryan brings a unique perspective and skill set to the technology industry after spending the first 10 years of his career working with some of most innovative media and entertainment brands in the world. His versatility has been vital in establishing Shamrock as an award-winning industry leader and industry disruptor. In his free time, Ryan likes to snowboard, play soccer and basketball, and travel with his lovely wife, Lucy.

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