Each summer, we eagerly await the start of Microsoft’s new fiscal year on July 1 as we gear up to learn about their key focus areas and strategic initiatives. This year was a little sweeter as Quest continued its commitment to the Microsoft partner ecosystem by signing a partnership agreement – and we couldn’t be more excited! This extended agreement continues the alliance and gives us great visibility to align our product enhancements and innovation to Microsoft’s big bets and initiatives, ultimately positioning Quest at the forefront of accelerating our mutual customers’ digital transformations.
Our understanding of Microsoft’s priorities aligns closely with the innovative work we are doing across many fronts. Quest is a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner and one of Microsoft’s top IP Cosell ISV partners each year, earning numerous accolades including various category Partner of the Year Awards in 2004, 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019 and most recently in 2020. With one of the leading Microsoft Azure-based solutions across virtually all Microsoft workloads, partnerships with Cross Industry Services (formerly known as Microsoft Consulting Services), FastTrack and Microsoft IT, plus 3 years at the top of Microsoft’s global CoSell program, Quest is one of the most well-rounded ISV partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.
“Quest’s relationship with Microsoft can be traced back over more than three decades,” said Tyler Bryson, Corporate Vice President of Global Partner Solutions, US at Microsoft. “This extended partnership agreement sets the foundation for an ongoing relationship aligning both companies around go-to-market motions and dramatically accelerating our customers’ digital transformation.”
Now, why should you be excited and how does Quest support Microsoft’s initiatives?
Security in the connected workplace
Ransomware and cyberattacks continue to be in the nightly news, with 69 percent of businesses suffering an attack in 2020 alone, and an average downtime of 21 days. Business continuity and disaster recovery planning have become even more of a critical path to recovering for such attacks.
At Quest, we continue to be leaders in software solutions that help detect, defend against and recover from any destructive cyberattacks. Quest’s view on cyber resilience is that organizations should always “assume breach,” even the best perimeter defenses can do nothing to stop bad guys from eventually breaking through. That’s why you must have strong internal security and governance. Today, on-premises implementations of Active Directory (AD) centrally manage digital identities and privileges in many organizations as part of an integrated Zero Trust strategy alongside Quest and other solutions.
Quest helps organizations complement and protect critical apps and services, including Active Directory accounts and Microsoft 365 resources. The Quest difference is that we provide a complete and continuous cyber resilience lifecycle that provides defense in depth across many layers that map to the NIST Cyber Security Framework:
- Identify. Right size access and permissions with proactive vulnerability and risk assessment.
- Protect. Remediate vulnerabilities, mitigate risk and ultimately limit the potential impact of a cyber event with automated security governance and administration.
- Detect. Sound the alarm faster on suspicious activity with real-time auditing, anomaly detection and alerting.
- Respond. Rapidly respond before damage spreads with Bing-like search and forensic investigation.
- Recover. Back up AD and quickly recover from any disaster.
With ransomware in particular, it’s really not a matter of “if” but “when,” and many ransomware strains like SaveTheQueen and DopplePaymer compromise on-premises applications and spread throughout the target organization’s systems. One of the biggest problems we see today is that customers overlook key systems like Active Directory in disaster recovery plans. According to one Gartner analyst, “The restore process from many well-documented ransomware attacks has been hindered by not having an intact Active Directory restore process.”
We believe all organizations must ensure their ransomware risk mitigation strategies include a dedicated Active Directory recovery plan, and nothing cements our commitment to helping customers in the fight against ransomware like our latest release of Quest Recovery Manager for Active Directory Disaster Recovery Edition 10.2. This innovation introduces a new Secure Storage solution to protect AD backups from malware, as well as the ability to restore Active Directory to a clean Azure virtual machine. Both new capabilities will give organizations more control and confidence to prepare for and quickly recover Active Directory from any cyber disasters.
Unfortunately, accidents and malicious activity don’t happen just on-premises. Quest’s Azure-based On Demand Recovery solution drives resilience for hybrid cloud environments by spanning both local Active Directory and Azure Active Directory identity management. In Active Directory environments, a complete disaster recovery plan must include a backup strategy for cloud-only objects, such as Azure Active Directory. These critical resources might not be adequately protected by built-in recycle bin tools nor covered by any on-premises AD backup solution.
Slack to Microsoft Teams: the next wave of adoption
As companies expand their Microsoft 365 footprint and continue to deploy Teams, there must be some rationalization to determine the collaboration platform on which to standardize. As such, customers are starting to explore ways to leverage Teams even more by consolidating other collaboration platforms, like Slack, into Teams to leverage the entire Microsoft 365 integration.
As part of this alliance, Quest is partnering with Microsoft to build a new Slack to Teams migration tool built on Azure. We have been working directly with Microsoft to define the market opportunity and identify customer pains, and we are thrilled to also be invited as the ONLY ISV in the “Super 7” partner program. Through this campaign, we will team with Microsoft Consulting Services, Microsoft Modern Workplace sellers and System Integrator partners to help customers transition from Slack and drive Teams adoption.
“In talking to customers, I’m hearing more and more daily customers are wanting a solution to migrate their Slack content into Teams,” said Michael Tweddle, President and General Manager Microsoft Platform Management at Quest Software. “We are currently in private beta of our Slack to Teams migration solution and working closely with Microsoft on the go-to-market motions and roadmap enhancements. Our partnership has helped us bring this to market faster with the features and functionality we know customers need.”
We continue to be in lockstep with Microsoft working in parallel on solutions and products that further support the Microsoft mission and deliver the solutions customers need as environments continue to change. And further – at a high level – this partnership agreement personifies the Quest tag line of “Where Next Meets Now,” as we know in IT, next never stops and the next challenge is around the corner and the solution should be there too.