Infographic: Big Data & the Cloud

August 29th, 2014

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Gartner names Microsoft a leader in Four Magic Quadrants

August 22nd, 2014

Microsoft is currently positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, x86 Server Virtualization, Enterprise Application Platform as a Service and Public Cloud Storage Services.*

Only Microsoft has achieved recognition as a Leader across all four capability areas. This in turn validates their strategy to enable the power of choice as we deliver industry-leading infrastructure services, platform services and hybrid solutions.

The four areas are as follows:

Cloud Infrastructure as a Service

Microsoft feels the pace of innovation in their cloud solutions led to much greater customer adoption in the past year, contributing to a very strong showing in the Cloud IaaS space.

x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure

Recognized as a leader for the fourth year in a row, Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V continues to deliver an enterprise-class datacenter that customers can depend on.

Enterprise Application Platform as a Service

Azure has added over 200 new services since last year, delivering a more complete portfolio and enabling customers to focus on creating the next generation of amazing apps without having to worry about managing the full stack.

Public Cloud Storage Services

One of two vendors listed as a leader in this area. Microsoft believes the integration of their server, management and cloud offerings was the key to success.

To read the full blog, please click here.

*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Lydia Leong, May 28, 2014; Gartner, Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure, Thomas J. Bittman, July 2, 2014; Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platform as a Service, Yefim V. Natis, January 7, 2014; Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Storage Services, Gene Ruth, July 9, 2014.

**Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.**

Microsoft Gains Momentum on Cloud Rivals Amazon and Google

August 15th, 2014

A survey of CIOs at 152 companies with 1,000 or more employees — most of them with over 5,000 employees conducted by the research firm Pacific Crest Securities has Cloud computing concept.
found that Microsoft’s cloud services appear to be quickly catching up to Amazon and Google in ability to supply companies with cloud services.

In the survey, CIOs were asked to list the services on which they expected to increase spending in the coming year. Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 beat both Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, and was the second most preferred supplier for public and private cloud services behind VMware. The overall strength for Microsoft: big as it is, Amazon’s AWS tends to be more popular with earlier-stage (and therefore, smaller) companies.

According to the survey, one thing that large enterprises tend to like is Microsoft’s cloud tends to work nicely with existing Active Director Infrastructure, the system used to sign into older Microsoft products such as Exchange. They also like it because they get access to a lot of Microsoft products that they couldn’t get from a standard installation of Microsoft Office.

To read the original article, please click here.

eBook: Information Week Reports – 2014 Cloud ROI Survey

August 8th, 2014

This survey finds that one in five companies doesn’t calculate ROI for cloud projects and half can only do a ballpark comparison between cloud and on-premises data centers. Take a look at the survey below and learn how two companies calculate cloud ROI. Click on the image below or here to read the survey results.

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To read the original article, click here.

Three Steps to Build a More Agile Infrastructure

August 1st, 2014

The new cloud computing model can help transform your approach to infrastructure in fundamental ways. However, with such vast opportunities within the cloud, it may be difficult to determine a starting point.Cloud Computing - Datacenter 2

The Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform Team has a three step process they blogged about last week which is worth a look, in pursuit of the goal of Agile infrastructure:

1. Rethink your traditional manual approaches in the datacenter.

One way to make your infrastructure run smoother is to reduce the manual processes for network management. The main objective when looking at your current on-premises infrastructure is to determine where your existing processes are lacking. To get the most out of the cloud it is best to identify one or two areas where you want to effect change the most, then explore how software-defined approaches could get you optimal results. Discovering ways to standardize, streamline, automate and simplify across your organizations usual processes will allow you to benefit the most.

2. Get past the more flexible and simplistic objections to the cloud.

Many organizations have a list of reasons why they feel cloud computing shouldn’t be a part of their infrastructure strategy, many of which are compliance requirements and regulatory hurdles. Your organization is probably already using many SaaS applications, using Azure Trust Center as a resource for answering any security or compliance questions is a great place to start. Cloud storage is a great starting point; you can begin moving infrequently accessed data in order to free up space on-premises.

3. Identify where the cloud will bring you the strong benefits.

There isn’t one right answer as to why you should shift your infrastructure to the cloud. If you know in advance how much scale you need or that you need significant scale, cloud deployment makes a lot of sense. If your business has developed applications that support a new line of business where the demand isn’t easily predicted you can take advantage of cloud scale on-demand instead of investing in a lot of infrastructure right off the bat. Cloud is a great solution for applications with predictable spikes in demand that would otherwise put a lot of pressure on your existing infrastructure.

Each step can allow your organization to increase efficiency, reduce costs and still allow you to have money left in your budget to make your infrastructure a competitive advantage.

To read the original article, click  here.

Adopting the Cloud Drives Business Agility and a Competitive Agile Advantage

July 25th, 2014

According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review (HBR) Analytic Services, companies that are adopting cloud computing are winning the competitive advantage, and especially achieving business agility, which was found to the leading driver for adopting cloud among all respondents.

HBR surveyed 527 Harvard Business Review readers in large and mid-sized companies in a wide range of industries around the world. 44 percent of the respondents came from organizations with more than 10,000 employees and 34 percent from organizations with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees.Businessman working with a Cloud Computing diagram on the new co

Question: Are you or have you adopted the cloud in your business?

  • 70 percent of respondents had adopted cloud computing for some production use cases
  • 35 percent of adopters are very aggressively moving forward where ever it makes sense

Question: What is the result cloud adoption has had on your business?

  • 56 percent of aggressive adopters told HBR they were gaining a significant advantage as a result

Question: What is your leading driver for adopting the cloud?

  • 32 percent (of all respondents): business agility
  • 41 percent (of aggressive adopters): business agility
  • 14 percent: increased innovation
  • 14 percent: lower costs
  • 13 percent: capability to scale up and down in response to demand

Question: Have you entered into a new market since you adopted the cloud in past three years?

  • 49 percent of aggressive adopters - yes
  • 35 percent of moderates  - yes
  • 36 percent of cautious adopters – yes

Question: Have you been a part of a merger or acquisition since adopting the cloud?

  • 49 percent of aggressive adopters - yes
  • 29 percent of moderates - yes
  • 31 percent of cautious adopters - yes

Question: Among the companies that had already begun to adopt cloud computing, how has it improved company functionality?

  • 37 percent said it had simplified internal operations (e.g., HR, CRM)
  • 33 percent said it led to better delivery of internal resources (like web hosting or storage)
  • 31 percent said it led to new ways for employees to work, connect and collaborate
  • 23 percent of the respondents also cited faster rollout of new business initiatives to exploit new opportunities
  • 23 percent said they experienced improved ability to acquire, share, analyze and act on data

Overall, companies moving aggressively to adopt cloud computing are winning the competitive advantage by reducing complexity and increasing business agility. These companies that are leveraging the cloud for this advantage have two things in common: a champion at the C-suite level and a CIO that can drive change.

To view the original article, click here.

The Cloud for Modern Business

July 17th, 2014

Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise, discusses the evolution and ongoing transformation of the cloud, hybrid cloud and data in the cloud, and announces Microsoft Azure Certified, Microsoft Azure in Open and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning.

To learn more, view the demonstration below.

 

Small Businesses: The Modern World is One Upgrade Away

July 11th, 2014

In this day in age, small businesses can benefit from the same technology as larger firms. This is in part because of cloud services like Office 365. The days of large enterprises having many advantages over small businesses when it comes to using and benefiting from the latest IT tools and services, is now over.

Office 365 allows small businesses to adopt enterprise-grade capabilities or even opt for a tailor made solution to meet the needs of their business, all at an affordable price point. The benefits of these new services are significant for smaller enterprises that need to work smarter – using better collaboration and communication, but they also help improve customer acquisition and retention. Consider the fact that 90% of consumers said they would take their business elsewhere if a small business was using outdated technology.*

See the main difference updating your technology can make in the chart below.

smallbiz

* Microsoft commissioned and conducted a survey among 1,405 general consumers between September 13–16, 2013.

To view the original article, click here.

Printable Guides: Switching to Office 365 for business

July 3rd, 2014

Today we’re making it easier to move from earlier versions of Office desktop apps, and other products, to Office 365 for business. These printable guides contain useful tips, shortcuts, and screenshots to help you quickly find your way around.

Click here or on the image below to download the guides.

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Yammer brings conversations to your OneDrive and SharePoint Online files

June 27th, 2014

Microsoft’s Office 365 Team released the latest in leveraging the power of the cloud to bring people together. By embedding the social collaboration capabilities of Yammer into the Office apps you use to get work done every day, Microsoft has created a simple way for you to share ideas around Office documents, images and videos right from within the content they are editing or reviewing.

Ask questions, find expertise and offer feedback without leaving the application you are working in. You also have the ability to view and participate in conversations outside your document, on your mobile device, in Microsoft Dynamics CRM or any app where a Yammer feed is embedded.

Click on the video below to see how it works!

Yammer document conversations in Office 365 enabling contextual social collaboration from TopLine Strategies on Vimeo.