Category Archives: IT Consulting

General Networks Named a Top Business Services Company by Clutch for 2019!

General Networks is proud to announce that we have been named as one of the top providers of business services in the world by Clutch! We are also excited to say that we have been doing well in a few of Clutch’s more competitive categories, their rankings of the best Microsoft Office 365 consultants, Microsoft SharePoint consultants, and OpenText ECM consultants.

We deliver technology consulting services for customers who need to manage and process critical business content. We bring together business strategy, specialized application expertise, and creative and technology professionals to solve business problems. We help our clients create effective solutions for automating any document intensive business process, from simple electronic libraries to complex document assembly and workflow. Our depth of experience reduces the time and risk of implementing IT solutions.

Clutch takes its reviews seriously, conducting phone interviews with a company’s past clients and getting honest feedback on the quality of their work. These reviews can all be found on our Clutch reviews page, but we wanted to include some of the nice things our clients have said about us here.

“I appreciate their ability to summarize information and suggest actionable solutions.” – IT Director, Research Center

“They are very professional, knowledgeable, and friendly and easy to work with. We’re very happy that we found them.” – Administrator, CF Kent

“General Networks’ responsiveness and accessibility sets them apart; we’ve had a harder time getting prompt support from other providers.” – Vice President, Real Estate Firm

We were also ranked as one of the best ECM consultants by Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest. We were featured for an email migration we performed for a large scale research group in California.

We are honored to receive this recognition. We do everything we can to help our clients succeed, and knowing that they appreciate our work so much is incredible. We will continue to improve and innovate, always keeping our clients ahead of the curve.

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Microsoft Office Deployment Just Got Easier!

The Office Configuration Tool can use configs saved in your Office 365 portal.

This new feature makes deployment of Office so much easier!  Not more XML files to manage.  Just setup your configuration and deploy from a URL on the Office Configuration Tool’s command line.

Here is how!  Be sure to watch the YouTube video that walks you through deploying Office via the cloud!

Contact General Networks and we can help you set this up so you can deploy Office faster than ever!

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Microsoft Teams, PSTN Conferencing and Bypassing “The Lobby”

If you using Teams for PSTN Conferencing (Telephone Dial In), you have probably noticed that anyone that is not a member of your Office 365 tenant must be manually admitted from the Lobby by someone who is part of your company. Skype for Business meeting allow the meeting creator to turn this off for a specific meeting and to set the “bypass lobby” as a default feature. However this feature has not yet been added to the Teams client or the Outlook Desktop Client.

And worse yet if everyone is dialing in (member or not) the same issue applies. We have had customers reject PSTN Conferencing as usable because of this problem. However, there is a workaround finally. It requires using PowerShell and its all or nothing but we have bypassed the lobby here at General Networks so we can use Teams as our primary PSTN conferencing tool.

Below are the notes from our engineer that got this working.

If your not a General Networks client to do this for you email tssales@gennet.com and we will let you know the costs. Current clients can email or call the helpdesk.

I’ve updated our meeting policy so that when you scheduled a teams call, anonymous callers can dial in and will be joined to the meeting immediately (no lobby, no admin pin necessary). Here’s how to do it.

  1. Install the Skype for Business Online Connector Module. This module in PowerShell is used to update Meeting Policies in O365 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39366
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Open a PowerShell window in Administrator mode
  4. Run this command: Import-Module SkypeOnlineConnector
    1. If you have trouble running scripts due to your execution policy you’ll need to update your execution policy. See here for details: https:/go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170
    2. If it asks you to start WinRM service say Yes
  5. Execute this command: $credential = Get-Credential
    1. Type in credentials of a O365 Tenant Admin (may only need rights to Teams but not sure)
  6. Execute this command: $session = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $credential -Verbose
  7. Execute this command: Import-PSSession $session
  8. You can now execute commands to interact with the Meeting Policies. Execute this command to see a list of your meeting policies: Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy
  9. Find the policy you want to update (i.e. Global)
  10. Execute this command using the policy name in place of GLOBAL: Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity GLOBAL -AllowAnonymousUsersToStartMeeting 1 -AllowPSTNUsersToBypassLobby 1 -AutoAdmittedUsers “Everyone”
    1. This will allow phone users to bypass the lobby as well as allow them (anonymous users) to start the meeting.
    2. Additional settings on this command can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/skype/set-csteamsmeetingpolicy?view=skype-ps
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Microsoft Nonprofit Pricing and Ordering Process is Changed

Microsoft Gold Partner

For nonprofit Microsoft customers, as of May 1st, your process for ordering software and services from Microsoft has changed.  In some cases just the authorization and purchasing method will change.  In others, the prices will go up.

If you order through TechSoup and you work with a Microsoft Partner, you should have a discussion with your Microsoft Partner about what the new plans will mean to your organization.  If you do not work with a Microsoft Partner (and are not big enough to have an Enterprise Agreement – over 500 users), you should find a partner that can help you navigate the new system.

 

General  Networks can help you migrate the new licensing for nonprofits.  If you need help please Contact Us

 

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General Networks Named Among Leading Los Angeles IT Services Firms

General Networks is proud to announce that we were recently named among the top 5 IT consulting companies in the Los Angeles metro area by Clutch, a technology research firm. It was an especially competitive category with over 100 companies being considered.  The rankings were determined by analyzing our past work, market presence, and client feedback.

Leading LA IT Firms

Leaders Matrix for Top LA IT Services

 

One client, an agency from the California State Government,  gave us a standout evaluation regarding a documentation management migration project. For this client, General Networks helped them migrate million of documents from eDocs to Content Server.

“General Networks does what they say they’re going to do for the amount that they’ve quoted, and their work product is very good….their team is just very friendly. They rarely, if ever, make mistakes.”

The General Networks team is dedicated to providing the highest quality work, and it is great to hear our clients validate our claims.

If you are interested in learning more about our award winning work, you can check out our case studies or our Clutch profile to read full reviews.

IT_Services_Firms_LosAngeles_2018-200x

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Growing from Within

I sometimes think hiring a “ready to go” consultant to get started immediately on an important project is a bit like Captain Ahab hunting for Moby Dick; if you actually “catch” a consultant with the right skills, you may end up sorry you did. You’ve found something very powerful and the allure is understandable given the potential, but highly experienced consultants are used to swimming their own way — and my experience is that more often than not, hiring one will leave you with a broken ship.

So it never works to hire experienced consultants?

No, it can definitely work. Of the dozen or so hires of highly experienced consultants that I’ve made over the past decade, it has worked out a few times. When it doesn’t, the problem is usually cultural. We have a very strong entrepreneurial culture of excellence that requires initiative and critical thinking. When people have been with organizations that discourage such things, the change can be jarring and, most of the time, insurmountable. We keep trying because the reward for the exceptions is significant, but we can’t build our business this way. Continue reading…

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