Posts Tagged ‘cloud’

Microsoft offers free help for new Office 365 rollouts


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.

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Cloud BI: Going Where the Data Lives

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.

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Infographic: Big Data & the Cloud


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Microsoft Gains Momentum on Cloud Rivals Amazon and Google

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.

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eBook: Information Week Reports – 2014 Cloud ROI Survey

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.


To read the original article, click here.

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Three Steps to Build a More Agile Infrastructure

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.

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Adopting the Cloud Drives Business Agility and a Competitive Agile Advantage

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.

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The Cloud for Modern Business

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.


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Yammer brings conversations to your OneDrive and SharePoint Online files

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.

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Crawl, Walk, Run to Cloud Adoption

Cloud computing symbol being pressed by handHow can your organization be successful with cloud adoption? In order to accomplish this, you will need to develop careful planning and a road map with measurable metrics to help you along the way.

These stages are outlined on in an article written by Carlos Granda, EVP with RiverMeadow, one of the best tool and solution vendors in the cloud migration space.

Stage One: Crawl

  • Internal readiness assessment: determine which processes, applications, dependencies and data are cloud-ready (not all applications belong in the cloud).
  • Market readiness assessment: determine which competitors are moving to cloud, with which processes and applications.
  • Prepare an adoption road map with all dependencies charted – people, applications, regulated data, regulations, business unit and customer SLAs, backup, storage and retention.
  • Develop a ‘future state’ vision that supports a cloud architecture not just for today, but also for tomorrow.
  • Use the discovery exercises to develop a road map that will have measurable, tangible, and short milestones to demonstrate quick wins and establish credibility.

Stage Two: Walk

  • Identify cloud services providers which meet your criteria and needs list.
  • Demand proof that selected cloud services offerings meet reliability, availability, scalability and security requirements.
  • Confirm the commercial viability of both the cloud offering and the cloud provider.
  • List deal breakers – anything that poses an operational or financial risk.
  • Partner with vendors who understand the market, have experience, and with a business model that aligns closely with your success to ensure cloud adoption.

Stage Three: Run 

  • Initiate sourcing action plan for cloud services.
  • Pilot options meeting your RASS requirements.
  • Identify a cloud mobility or migration tool.
  • Develop migration plan and road map.
  • Transition to new cloud services.
  • 2014 will be the year of the cloud adoption.

Remember, migrating to the cloud is a journey, not a destination.

Read Carlos Granda’s excellent full piece here

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