Microsoft gets strategic with its Enterprise Mobility Suite

Microsoft began adding the ability to manage iOS and Android devices to its cloud-based Intune management last year. Although initial support for iOS device management was very basic, the company updated suite Microsoft Intune’s  iOS capabilities in January. While Microsoft has a ways to go before it catches up to the feature sets of the major mobile device management and enterprise mobility management vendors, the company looks committed to advancing its mobile management tools quickly.

Read More –

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SQL Server 2016 Roadshow

It’s time you got the inside scoop on how SQL Server 2016 can empower your organization to achieve more by discovering these new features:

Experience how Always Encrypted technology protects your most valuable asset – your data, in transit, at rest, or alive in your database.

  • Learn about the new Row-level Security (RLS) to limit data access in a multi-tenant environment based on customer ID.
  • We’ll show you how the Advanced Analytics provides deeper insight for better sales forecasting, fraud detection, and other data-driven business decisions.
  • And see why other features like The Query Store, Stretch Database and in-memory enhancements make SQL 2016 a can’t miss upgrade.

This event is being brought to you in partnership with Cloud 9 Infosystems – a Microsoft Certified Gold Cloud Partner with expertise in Cloud Platform Development, Data Analytics, Data Platform, Internet of Things (IoT) and Advanced Analytics.

Register for FREE At:

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Cloud9 April Newsletter

Microsoft launches SQL Server 2016
Come and discover for yourself why SQL Server 2016 is Microsoft’s biggest leap forward in data platform history at a workshop being hosted near you. Cloud 9 is hosting Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Launch events to showcase and demonstrate the functionality of SQL 2016 in ten cities across the Midwest. Don’t miss the chance to register at a location near you. Look for details in your email for events starting in May!
Microsoft gets Strategic with its Enterprise Mobility Suite
Microsoft began adding the ability to manage iOS and Android devices to its cloud-based Intune management last year. Although initial support for iOS device management was very basic, the company updated suite Microsoft Intune’s  iOS capabilities in January. While Microsoft has a ways to go before it catches up to the feature sets of the major mobile device management and enterprise mobility management vendors, the company looks committed to advancing its mobile management tools quickly.
The details on EMS
Microsoft’s EMS builds on the multi-platform management of Intune by integrating the company’s Azure Active Directory Premium service, which extends existing Active Directory credentials and infrastructure to mobile devices. That delivers features like mobile single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, a range of deep reporting capabilities and self-service functionality for password resets and managing group membership.
Microsoft Azure: The smart person’s guide
This comprehensive guide about Microsoft Azure includes common use cases, technical limitations, and what to know before adopting the cloud computing platform.
The rise of cloud computing provides businesses the ability to quickly provision computing resources without the costly and laborious task of building data centers, and without the costs of running servers with unutilized capacity due to variable workloads.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a platform of interoperable cloud computing services, including open-source, standards-based technologies and proprietary Microsoft solutions. Instead of building an on-premises server installation, or leasing physical servers from traditional data centers, Azure’s billing structure is based on resource consumption, not reserved capacity. Pricing varies between different types of services, storage types, and the physical location from which your Azure instances are hosted.
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In the March 2016 Newsletter

Both Microsoft Azure and AWS provide rich cloud services platform, and selecting one over another may come down to your workloads and individual needs. However as outlined by the author in this article, Azure is especially attractive for these IT environments….

1. Microsoft’s comprehensive hybrid story, which spans applications and platforms as well as infrastructure is highly attractive to many companies.
2. For those organizations which are already invested heavily in Microsoft in terms of technology and developer skills Microsoft Azure will continue to be a strong proposition.
3. PaaS capabilities is a particular strength of Microsoft’s.

Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS public cloud comparison: Which cloud is best for the Enterprise?

Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS public cloud. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are often regarded as the leading infrastructure as a service clouds. ComputerworldUK takes a look at the merits of each for enterprise customers.

Public cloud adoption has continued to gather pace in recent years, as more and more businesses move applications out of their data centres in a bid to cut costs and increase agility. This has fuelled a crowded infrastructure as a service (Iaas) market worth a total of $16.5 billion in 2015, according to Gartner stats. And it is a market that has, thus far, largely been dominated by AWS. It has been estimated that, until recently, AWS has more than 10 times the compute capacity of its all of its 14 closest rivals combined – and that includes Microsoft Azure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Read More

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3 Reasons Your Employees Need You to Switch to Office 365

Continuous product upgrades, robust security and IT controlare the obvious advantages from an IT organization perspective to move to Office365. But here are some reasons from your employee’s perspective for you to move…

This article excerpt, by Business 2 Community author Buddy Marti, originally appeared here: http://www.business2community….

We can’t really it hammer it home any more than we have – it would benefit your business to switch to Office 365. With rare exception, we’re recommending Office 365 to most of our small and medium-sized business clients. In fact, we’ve been talking about it for quite some time on the blog. If you’ve been considering a migration because of licensing or equipment costs – know that there’s another reason to consider it: your employees. Check out these three reasons your employees need you to switch to Office 365:

  1. They’re fantasizing about destroying your lagging server.
    Your server is getting older and it just isn’t keeping up like it used to. Your employees see it in every click they make. It’s impacting their productivity and they’re thinking of pulling an Office Space and taking it out back with a baseball bat. The only thing worse than losing money due to unproductive employees is losing employees due to outdated technology. Don’t allow your employees to continually become more frustrated. Migrating to Office 365 means a huge load off your server when all your e-mail data moves to the cloud. This will speed your server up, giving your employees faster access to other files and applications on your server in addition to their e-mail service in the cloud. It’s a win-win scenario.
  1. They want to work from home – or anywhere else.
    Your employees don’t like the idea of being chained to their desk. More than ever users are demanding flexibility. They need immediate, speedy access to e-mail from anywhere. They want to be able to get work done from home, at a coffee shop, or while they’re on vacation. An Office 365 migration is going to give them the flexibility they need without having to rely on your local server or internal connection to access their e-mail. Hosted e-mail means that employees can access their e-mail at any computer with a browser, securely, reliably and quickly.
  2. They need Word and PowerPoint on more devices.
    While we went into this in a previous post, we didn’t really outline what this means for your employees. Office 365 comes with licensing for all user mobile devices and smartphones rather than the two-computer limit that Office had previously. This is huge for employees that use tablets, phones or laptops to access presentations, spreadsheets or other Office documents. It means collaborative editing and quickly transitioning from device to device with a user login to access recent documents. Read: increased productivity.

Employee happiness is about more than annual raises and BBQ events. It’s a comprehensive undertaking. Technology plays a massive role in the satisfaction of your employees, and every moment they have to spend working on subpar technology is contributing to their level of engagement with your organization. If you want to employ savvy, quick people, you need innovative, quicker technology. Take a moment and assess the true impact that a transition like this can have on your employees and consider making the switch to Office 365.

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Microsoft Revenue from its Azure services grows by 140%.

MicrosoftAzureBannerBy Chelsey Dulaney


Microsoft Corp. continued an era of renewed vitality in the latest quarter, showing progress in newer cloud-computing services, as well established business lines such as the Windows operating system.

One continuing drag comes from smartphones, a business Microsoft retooled after it wrote down about 80% of its disastrous $9.4 billion purchase of Nokia Corp.’s handset business. Microsoft said phone revenue declined 49% in the second quarter, excluding currency effects, an especially poor showing after repeated efforts to establish a foothold in the phone market.

Microsoft said it brought in $1.3 billion in revenue in the second fiscal quarter from its Surface computing products. That is up 29% from the year-earlier period, excluding negative effects from a stronger U.S. dollar.

The company also showed further growth in cloud services, a term that refers to selling access to software or raw processing power running in Microsoft’s own data centers.

It said all its cloud businesses are running at an annual rate that is 70% higher than the year-earlier period. Revenue from its Azure service, which competes with cloud-based infrastructure services from Inc., grew 140%, the company said.

Microsoft also is showing strength in its traditional business of operating systems for PCs, despite a declining hardware market. The company said its Windows 10 offering, introduced last summer, earlier this month was running on 200 million computers — up from 100 million for the period ended in September, Microsoft said.

“Windows 10 is outpacing adoption of any of our previous operating systems,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, during a conference call with analysts.

Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, called demand for Windows 10 “eye-popping.”

Rather than booking revenue from sales of its operating system up front, Microsoft records it gradually, along with deferred revenue generated by the product. As a result, analysts and the company focus on adjusted figures for earnings and revenue.

Microsoft’s profit on that basis rose 8%. Under generally accepted accounting principles, by contrast, its profit declined 15%.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has suffered as sales of PCs have declined. Gartner Inc. recently estimated that PC shipments fell 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Rival International Data Corp. put the drop at 10.6% and noted that total unit sales in 2015 fell below 300 million for the first time since 2008.

But Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, said Thursday that revenue from selling Windows to PC makers only declined 5% in the period ended in December. A segment called “More Personal Computing,” which includes revenue from Windows and the company’s Surface tablet computer, decreased 2%, excluding currency effects, the company said.

Microsoft said that its “commercial cloud” businesses were running at an annual revenue rate of $9.4 billion as of the second quarter, compared with $5.5 billion for the same period in 2014.

Revenue for a relatively new reporting segment called Intelligent Cloud — which commingles the Azure cloud-computing service with data-center software installed on customers’ computers, as well as support and consulting — grew 11% excluding currency effects, the company said.

Revenue for Microsoft’s productivity segment, which includes the cloud version of Office and a conventional version, rose 5% on a constant-currency basis, Microsoft said.

In all, Microsoft said its second-quarter net income declined to $5 billion, or 62 cents a share, down from $5.86 billion, or 71 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding the effect of revenue deferrals and restructuring charges, adjusted earnings rose to 78 cents from 70 cents a year earlier. Revenue, which fell 10% to $23.8 billion, on an adjusted base rose 3% excluding currency effects.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected adjusted per-share profit of 71 cents and revenue of $25.26 billion

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How growing hybrid cloud usage will double in two years

The hybrid cloud is the combination of a public cloud – from provider such as Microsoft Azure or  Amazon Web Services – with a private cloud platform – one that’s designed for use by a single organization. The public and private cloud infrastructures, which operate independently of each other, communicate over a secured connection.


This article excerpt, by author David Deans, originally appeared here: http://www.cloudcomputing-news…/

Cloud enables IT agility, empowers DevOps teams and helps to transform legacy business models. The fifth annual Future of Cloud Computing survey investigates key trends in corporate cloud usage. This year’s insightful survey findings offer perspective from cloud service practitioners across all industry sectors.

“Cloud has been gaining momentum year­-over-­year since the Future of Cloud Computing survey was launched five years ago. Looking at the adoption rates and trends at such a detailed level, it’s undeniable that the most successful technology leaders of today and tomorrow are scaling in the cloud,” said Jim Moran, General Partner at North Bridge.

“Last year, we discussed the second cloud front and the rise of cloud­-native companies. This year, we’re seeing the pervasiveness of cloud disrupt industries across the board as companies look to maximize and implement cloud as a strategic and integral technology,” Moran added.

“We’re also seeing the emergence of the cloud as the only way businesses can truly get more out of their data including analysing and executing on it in real-­time. This will be a huge opportunity, but as the survey showed, because data rarely moves between clouds companies must first learn how to interconnect disparate data sources into new applications.”

Savvy business leaders are no longer debating whether or not to use cloud, but how pervasively they will use it in their digital transformation plans. The latest survey results highlight record levels of corporate adoption of cloud computing, both for business functions and in areas such as content management and application development in the cloud.

Even the most traditional IT teams are finally evolving. Some are taking back technology strategy from the forward­-looking line of business leaders that led the way to progress. Therefore, North Bridge believes that digital technologies – delivered from the cloud – are becoming differentiating factors for more businesses.

Cloud is the business transformation catalyst

  • Significant processing, systems of engagement and systems of insight are moving to the cloud ­­– 81.3 percent of sales and marketing, 79.9 percent of business analytics, 79.1 percent of customer service and 73.5 percent of HR & Payroll activities have already transitioned to the cloud.
  • IT is moving significant processing to the cloud with 85.9 percent of web content management, 82.7 percent of communications, 80 percent of app development and 78.9 percent of disaster recovery now clou­d-based.
  • While business users have been a fan of cloud’s ease of use, accessibility and scalability since 2011, the importance of cloud agility has jumped from fourth to second in importance within five years.
  • Among all survey respondents, the top inhibitors to cloud adoption are security (45.2%), regulatory/compliance (36%), privacy (28.7%), vendor lock-­in (25.8%) and complexity (23.1%).
  • Concerns regarding interoperability and reliability have fallen off significantly since 2011 (15.7% and 9.9% respectively in 2015). However, the cost of cloud services are now three times as likely to be a concern today, versus five years ago.

Raised expectations for public and hybrid cloud

  • Today, three quarters of company data in significant volumes is living in private or public clouds. However, company data in hybrid cloud systems is forecast to double over the next two years.
  • Corporate cloud computing strategies are focusing on public (up 43.3%) and hybrid (up 19.2%) while private cloud has taken a significant back seat in comparison (down by 48.4%).
  • SaaS is the most pervasive cloud technology used today with a presence in 77.3 percent of all organizations, an increase of 9 percent since 2014.
  • Accordingly, ROI expectations are high with 78 percent expecting to see results within three months. Fifty eight percent expect ROI in less than three months for PaaS services.
  • Among users taking the survey, the biggest factors preventing use of public cloud offerings are security (38.6%), privacy (29.8%) and expertise (22.8%). Regardless, the outlook for ongoing cloud service adoption is very bright.
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