Explore Enterprise Social Scenarios

October 17th, 2014

The scenarios in this poster are examples that represent many types of use cases. These examples can be helpful as you determine how Enterprise Social can contribute in your organization.

They show what’s possible, but may require additional components or solution building to bring to reality. If you want to implement one of these scenarios or one of your own and need help getting started, you can engage with TopLine Strategies to build an overall enterprise social solution. Click here or on the picture below to download the PDF.

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Infographic: Yammer Cheat Sheet

October 3rd, 2014

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Mobile-First, Cloud-First Microsoft Product Line

September 26th, 2014

Microsoft has announced that they would be both a mobile-first and cloud-first company from here on out, but what does that mean exactly? There are several announcements among this that can be used to provide clarity.

Hybrid Cloud Initiatives:

  • Extension of the ExpressRoute interconnect program: Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute enables customers to create private connections between Azure and on-premises environments.
  • Simplified cloud storage: Available in preview, Microsoft Azure Files enables a single file share from multiple virtual machines.
  • Compute-intensive virtual machines sizes available: In-region and cross-region virtual networking connections and reserved IP addresses.
  • API management: Available in preview, Azure API Management lets customers expose APIs through the cloud.

Security Initiatives:

  • Enhanced disaster recovery: Available in preview next month, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager, enables enhanced disaster recovery in the cloud. With this new capability, customers can replicate and recover virtual machines and services to Azure in the event of an outage at their primary datacenter.
  • Advancing antimalware: Microsoft Antimalware for Azure, available in preview, offers customers the ability to install an antimalware agent for both cloud services and virtual machines.
  • New encryption technology for Office 365 business customers: Enhanced encryption technologies ensures that every file stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is encrypted with its own key. The encryption technologies also distribute files across multiple Microsoft Azure storage containers, each with separate credentials, to ensure highly secure content storage.
  • Expanding data loss prevention: Existing Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities available in Exchange will now expand to include documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for Office 365 E3 enterprise customers. DLP prevents the sharing of sensitive content inside and outside an organization.

Mobile Initiatives:

  • Office mobile app management with Windows Intune: Intune and Office 365 will deliver protected mobile productivity across Office for iPad, iPhone and Android phones including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook Web App.
  • Microsoft Azure RemoteApp: Available in preview, Azure RemoteApp helps companies give mobile employees access to Windows applications across a range of devices.

Developer-Focused Initiatives:

  • .NET cloud optimized: The next version of ASP.NET vNext, a streamlined framework and runtime that enables developers to optimize cloud and server workloads with maximum agility and performance. ASP.NET will be a new Microsoft contribution to the .NET Foundation as an open source project.
  • Advancing mobile development: Visual Studio tooling for the Apache Cordova platform, allowing developers to build multi-device hybrid applications using their HTML and JavaScript skills. Visual Studio developers can now build Windows, iOS and Android native applications with either .NET and Xamarin or hybrid applications with Apache Cordova. Microsoft also released Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RTM including support for universal Windows apps.
  • Enterprise agility: Microsoft extended Visual Studio Online, the cloud-based application lifecycle management offering, by releasing a set of APIs and service hooks that integrate with third-party services. The new APIs make it easier for organizations to adopt Visual Studio Online without abandoning the tools they’re using today.

To read the original article, please click here.

Microsoft offers free help for new Office 365 rollouts

September 19th, 2014

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New Office 365 customers who buy at least 150 seats of the online apps suite will get deployment help from Microsoft at no additional charge. Microsoft says that they will ensure that the Office 365 service is provisioned and ready for use in your organization. The services will be provided in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish.

For customers that want assistance with additional tasks, such as email and document migration, Microsoft is offering through March 31, 2015 what it calls an “adoption offer” to help with that. New customers who buy at least the 150 seats can then choose between two alternatives. The “adoption activities” option provides an unspecified amount of money to a partner to foster adoption of the suite among employees.

To read more, please click here.

Cloud BI: Going Where the Data Lives

September 12th, 2014

More than ever, cloud adoption has become a recent trend for companies as they are generating and storing more data in the cloud.

Joao Tapadinhas, a Gartner analyst said, “As more data sources move to the cloud, it makes more sense to also adopt cloud BI solutions because that’s where the data is. It’s easier to connect to cloud data using a cloud solution.”

Historically, cloud BI products have been most appealing to smaller businesses, in part because those are less likely to have an IT department that can manage an on-premises product. However, analysts are starting to see larger companies adopting cloud BI, typically starting with individual groups or departments. Of the companies that made the move to cloud BI say that the benefits include fast time to market, no need to maintain on-premises software and simplicity of use, which outweigh any downsides.

Is your company moving to the cloud BI? What benefits have you found by switching over?

To read the original article, please click here.

SharePoint & OneDrive for Business: Protect and Search for Your Sensitive Data

September 5th, 2014

Need to keep your data safe? OneDrive for Business and SharePoint are some of Microsoft’s technologies which enable users to store, share, edit and collaborate with documents in the cloud. One benefit of having documents in the cloud is Data Loss Prevention (DLP). These are policies which backup data to prevent losing work or information due to user error or system error. Another facet of DLP is keeping data safe from people who are not authorized to view or edit the data. Microsoft has a new tool available to help accomplish this. Now users of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business can search for sensitive data across their files in the cloud.

A document containing credit card numbers or social security numbers would be an easy target for thieves or hackers, and once it’s found it be further evaluated. Knowing which documents contain sensitive data is the first step to keeping those documents safe.

How does Microsoft protect these documents? Microsoft uses pattern recognition software to sift through such documents for sensitive information. Currently, they has 51 built-in sensitive information types such as, social security numbers, passport numbers, banking account numbers, etc. Now, the compliance officer at a company can use simple queries to find any documents which may contain sensitive data and deal with them accordingly.

Senstive Info

To view the original article, click here.

Do you think this will reassure concerns about security in the cloud? Let us know in the comments below.

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.