the death of instagram - managed solution

The death of Instagram for brands

By Steve Feiner as written on techcrunch.com
Earlier this week Instagram updated its news feed algorithm. Posts will no longer appear in chronological order and instead be sorted “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.”
What this means is that Instagram will choose what to surface and when – essentially mirroring Facebook’s news feed.
This change is being spun as a way to optimize a user’s feed, when actually it grants Instagram the power to control ad content. “On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed,” says Kevin Systrom, the co-founder and CEO of Instagram. “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.” While this certainly is true, make no mistake, Instagram is about to do this for monetization.

Why does Facebook care?

Facebook, which owns Instagram, just announced $5.8 billion in Revenue in Q4, a staggering 51 percent growth over the prior year. While Facebook’s growth rate has consistently been over 40 percent, maintaining that growth is not simple by any means.
By applying Facebook’s historical growth rate, it needs to produce an incremental $2 billion in growth next quarter and another $3 billion in growth in this quarter next year.
In the most recent earnings call, Facebook’s CFO mentioned “core Facebook is really driving the top line”. This growth is being driven by an increase in average revenue per user, not an increase in user growth. Can this growth continue to be driven by core Facebook?
Facebook needs to grow an incremental $3 billion more in this quarter next year. If we apply historical user growth numbers, of 13 percent that would mean average revenue per user would need to increase 33 percent. Can Facebook continue to do that given that Facebook has already increased Rest of World growth by 4x since and U.S. & Canada growth by nearly 5x since Q1 2012? How much further can Facebook average revenue per user growth grow before that too reaches a saturation point?
So this places an importance on monetization in new areas such as Instagram. According to eMarketer, Instagram revenues hit $600 million in 2015 and are forecasted to grow by 149 percent in 2016. Surely this will not be driven by user growth as a 149 percent growth in users would equate to nearly 600 million new users just in the next year.

Implications for brands

Here’s where Instagram comes in. Over the past few years, thousands of brands have joined Instagram after realizing that it is the social media platform brands and consumers engage in most. What happens when Instagram begins to monetize? The path of least resistance would be to follow a path similar to Facebook and limit organic reach — we have seen this story with Facebook before.
So what happens to brands that have heavily invested in creating wonderful content on Instagram? While larger brands have the marketing budget to pay for what was once free media, blogshops and other small businesses may not be so lucky.
Consider this your wake up call, because if your business relies heavily on Instagram as a channel, customer acquisition is about to come with a hefty price tag instead of a perfectly edited photo.

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OneNote now helps you make the move from Evernote

Earlier this month, we released a tool that will help you import your Evernote notes into OneNote, and the response has been overwhelming. To date, more than 10.5 million Evernote pages have been moved over to OneNote. If these were stacked pages of standard print paper, it would reach a height of approximately 3,500 feet—which exceeds the Burj Khalifa (the tallest skyscraper in the world) by almost 800 feet. We believe this success has a lot to do with OneNote’s unique capabilities, including a free-form canvas where you can mix text, images, documents, handwriting, audio, video and more; free offline access; and unlimited monthly uploads. Download the OneNote Importer tool for Windows and get started today. We’ll deliver the Importer tool for Mac in the coming months.

 

power bi case study managed solution

Othaim Markets Company, a leading food retailer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, chose Microsoft Power BI to gain immediate insight into the business and to improve everything across operations from stock distribution to category management. The result is a tangible revenue growth with the help of BI and accurate data informing its business strategy.

Business needs

Othaim Markets Company is a leading food retailer within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Founded in 1956 as a wholesaler in Riyadh, the company has grown into a large retailer with more than 130 outlets including hypermarkets, supermarkets, wholesalers, and convenience stores.
To obtain information on its operations, the company was using SharePoint Server 2007 and analytical services from SQL Servers, both of which had been in use for a long time. Mohammed Al-Fraih, VP - Information Technology, Othaim Markets Company, says, “It was an old and limited platform in terms of mobility and access control.
“People within the business couldn’t really depend 100% on the reports generated by the system due to the limitation in the BI data sources, and at the same time, many data elements were fragmented on other systems. They were relying on judgment and Excel sheets.”
The company clearly needed to upgrade the platform and began exploring the market for business intelligence options.

Solution

Because Othaim Markets Company has an infrastructure built around Microsoft technologies and plans to invest in Azure and Office 365 in the near future, it opted for Microsoft Power BI and upgrade to SQL Server 2014.
Abdullah Edris, Head of BI, Othaim Markets Company, explains, “Microsoft BI has a number of strong tools with compelling features. And given that we have a large Microsoft estate, we can consolidate and integrate data much easier. For these reasons, the company built a new data warehouse running on SQL Server 2014 with Power BI providing business insight.”

The key advantages of Power BI include:

• accessibility of business data from smart dashboards and availability on mobile devices via mobile app;
• ability to build robust, reusable models to provide consistency in reporting and analysis; and
• embedded visuals designed to generate visual format reports for quick and easy comprehension.

Benefits

Othaim Company has gained a reputation for innovation given that the Power BI implementation is the first in Saudi Arabia and only the second in the Middle East.
Also, the company can now monitor business performance from any location, at any time. There are continuous, near real-time updates ensuring the latest business performance information is always available.
The benefits to decision-makers, staff members, and customers are numerous. Some of these are listed below.
• Automated KPI notifications alert staff immediately when stock sells quickly, thus enabling timely stock transfers.
• The platform also allows suppliers to monitor their products’ performance and stock availability through a web app directly connected to the BI.
• Staff members are able to quickly work with the data and identify trends. This empowers them to shape strategies within stores and radically improve category management.
• Information provides insight into customer buying habits, depending on demographics. This shapes much more accurate and targeted marketing campaigns. Moreover, the information allows for tailored SMS messaging to different customer groups rather than blanket messaging to all customers.
• The data also informs strategic planning by revealing individual store performance and has the ability to take into account the location of rival stores.
• The platform has become an essential strategic tool guiding executive level planning and strategy. The CEO is able to monitor business performance in smart ways, and this results in more accurate and strategic decisions.
Overall, Othaim has tangible revenue growth and efficient operations with the help of BI platform.
Read customer success stories to learn how Managed Solution helps businesses implement technology productivity solutions.

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OneDrive for Business update on storage plans and Next Generation Sync Client

By Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for OneDrive and SharePoint as written on blogs.office.com
Today, I’d like to share an update on our OneDrive for Business storage plans, the availability of our Next Generation Sync Client and several other new capabilities we’re delivering in our December update.

Storage plans

Office 365 customers on our premium Enterprise, Government and Education plans will receive OneDrive for Business unlimited storage. Specifically, this includes unlimited storage for individuals in organizations with more than five people subscribing to one of the following plans:
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3, E4 and E5
  • Office 365 Government E3, E4 and E5
  • Office 365 Education
  • OneDrive for Business Plan 2 and SharePoint Online Plan 2
We will begin rolling out increased storage to these customers by the end of this month, starting with an automatic increase from 1 TB to 5 TB per user. We expect this rollout to complete by the end of March 2016. After this point, customers who want additional storage can request it as needed by contacting Microsoft support.
Customers on all other Office 365 Enterprise, Business and standalone plans that include OneDrive for Business will continue to receive 1 TB of storage per user. While customers on these plans will not receive the full unlimited benefit, we expect it will serve the vast majority of users. Today, most OneDrive for Business users consume significantly less than 1 TB.
Overall, we have taken too long to provide an update on our storage plans around OneDrive for Business. We also recognize we are disappointing customers who expected unlimited storage across every Office 365 plan, and I want to apologize for not meeting your expectations. We are committed to earning your business every day by delivering a great productivity and collaboration service and improving our communication approach.

Next Generation Sync Client for Windows and Mac

After a successful preview program, we are happy to report that the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client is now available for deployment. Our top priorities for this release were improved reliability and performance, as well as delivering core capabilities such as selective sync, support for large files up to 10 GB in size and removing the 20,000 file sync limit. For IT Professionals, we’ve provided the ability to silently deploy and configure the client on behalf of your end users. The OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client is available for Windows 7, 8 and 10 (8.1 support will be added in the first quarter of 2016) and Mac OS X 10.9 and above. The Windows client is available today with the Mac client being available before the end of December 2015.
With this first release, the Next Generation Sync Client supports OneDrive for Business only, but we will add support for SharePoint document libraries in future releases. In the interim, if customers require sync for both OneDrive for Business and SharePoint document libraries, the Next Generation Sync Client is designed to work side-by-side with the existing sync client.
Additionally, we are actively working on other important features including Office integration to support the co-authoring of documents and sharing scenarios (planned for the second quarter of 2016), as well as a more seamless experience for users who are migrating from the existing sync client (planned for the first quarter of 2016).

Mobile updates

In addition to updates on our desktop offerings, we have several improvements for our mobile apps. First, we recently released a new OneDrive app for Windows 10 Mobile. This app offers all the essential capabilities to view, edit, delete, share and upload files onto both your personal OneDrive and OneDrive for Business storage services.
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Users can easily manage their files and folders on their Windows 10 Mobile device.
A range of required actions such as view, edit, delete and share are available for the user.
We are also happy to announce the OneDrive for iOS app will support offline storage. You can selectively flag files for local availability and open them when disconnected. The updated app will be available before the end of December 2015. We first released offline storage on Android in September 2015 and will take this same capability to Windows 10 Mobile in the second quarter of 2016.
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You can select one or more files to take offline.
All offline files can be accessed through a single view.
Lastly, Office Lens for iOS now supports uploading your content directly into OneDrive for Business. Office Lens is essentially a mobile scanner that lets you to take pictures of printed documents, business cards, expense receipts and even whiteboards, with automated cropping, trimming and searching of those images. We will add OneDrive for Business support to Android and Windows 10 Mobile in the first quarter of 2016.
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Use the whiteboard capture feature to store all meeting notes in OneDrive for Business.
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Access whiteboards, business cards and photos quickly and easily.

New capabilities for developers

We are also releasing exciting new value for developers. First, we created a new OneDrive for Business API that allows developers to programmatically access OneDrive for Business files. The API includes support for thumbnails, search, large file upload and sync changes. Developers can write directly to the OneDrive for Business API or access it via the Microsoft Graph. We also provided new tools and SDKs for Universal Windows, iOS and Android—including support for simple “file picker” integration that enables import and export of OneDrive for Business content. Finally, we released an updated preview of a JavaScript Picker SDK for web app file management. All developer tools and documentation can be found on the new OneDrive developer portal.

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hololens managed solution

Create holograms to bring ideas to life. Help develop the future. The first Microsoft HoloLens devices will ship in the first quarter of 2016 to developers in the US and Canada.

Interact with digital content in the most natural way possible. Teach and learn more efficiently, visualize your work, and share ideas with others more effectively.

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