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Get your message across with Pickit add-in for Microsoft Office

As written on blogs.office.com
Pickit makes it easy for Microsoft Office users to tell impactful stories by leveraging specially curated photos. Today, they announced their new image collection, “Talk Like a Rosling,” which features inspired content from statistician and presenter Hans Rosling and the latest project from his team at Gapminder—Dollar Street.

Learn more about the partnership and how you can use Pickit and their new collection at betterwith.office.com.

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Enterprise email—what a new business needs to know

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A small investment in a business email account can be the difference between success and failure for your new business. Yet, for many businesses, finding the right enterprise email provider isn’t top of mind. Most people think email is just a given—it is free, after all, so why not just set up a simple email account, like “YourGreatNewBusiness@outlook.com?” While free email accounts are great for personal use, the lack of a proper business email solution could sneak up on you as your company starts to scale.
Be prepared for growth with an enterprise email account. Here are a few of the benefits from a business email account that you won’t get from a free email account:

Customers will notice your email address

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Imagine you are at a networking event and meet your dream client. You spend the evening talking about your services and what makes you different from the competition. She is excited about what you bring to the table and asks for your business card. You hand it over only to show that your free email address does not reflect your business’s name. Instead of reading “YourName@YourGreatNewBusiness.com,” your non-enterprise email reads “YourName@outlook.com.” A familiar look of uncertainty rushes over her face and you know that she likely won’t reach out after all.
Small details can make or break trust with a client. Using a free email account implies that your business is too young, small or lacking in the technical proficiency to obtain a domain-based email address—all red flags to a potential client.
Besides gaining client trust with a business email, you also have a better chance of your email being remembered in case your business card is lost. It’s standard practice for business emails to be simple, like “YourName@YourGreatNewBusiness.com,” which allows for easier recall if someone is trying to get ahold of you quickly.

Build trust with your customers

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Have you ever received spam from a friend’s personal account after their email address was hacked? Imagine receiving a scam from a client you recently partnered with. Would you want to continue sending your company’s sensitive information to this client?
Quality enterprise email accounts include advanced security protocols and spam filters to safeguard your email from outside threats. This becomes ever more important as business scales since it will protect both your employees and your customers.
Secure business email accounts give you the peace of mind in knowing that your important files won’t be subject to a virus. In addition, your customers will rest assured that they can email you sensitive information without fear of that email being hacked.

Rest assured that your technology will grow with you

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When relying on personal emails, business owners often lose valuable insight into communications, which could hinder long-term growth. Enterprise email accounts ensure that your email service becomes an extension of your communication strategy. Employers and managers gain the ability to join the conversation, ensure their clients’ information is secure and their needs are met.
A standard business email provider will make it easy for employers and manager to:
•Check the email of a vacationing or ill employee to ensure nothing is dropped.
•Review a client email string for context on a project.
•Address a conflict at work that may have started over email.
•Add email accounts as your company scales.
•Help an employee respond to a customer on a sensitive issue.
As businesses grow, conflict is often unavoidable. Business email accounts put the ownership of all correspondence in the company’s hands, whereas personal emails put the ownership in the hands of the individual. If a conflict arises, your business has no control over or access to personal email accounts. Enterprise email, on the other hand, puts the company in control, which is a necessity as a company grows and must become even more accountable to its customers.

Make your email work for you

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The best enterprise email solutions today come packed with a suite of integrated tools to add efficiency to your workday.
Quality business email accounts might include:
•Calendars for internal and external scheduling or planning.
•Office applications (like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.).
•Email or phone customer service support.
•Consistent spam filtering and malware protection.
•Huge mailbox storage for better email management.
•Stronger security for protecting sensitive data.
When searching for the right enterprise email solution for your business, it’s important to compare toolset integrations to determine which option is best for you.

Save time and money

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It might come as a surprise, but an enterprise email platform can save you more money than even a free solution could. Free solutions come with a set storage limit, meaning you’ll be purging your email once every few months. This not only takes time, but could leave you losing valuable emails and files in the long run.
The time it takes to manage your email storage is time you could be spending growing your company. You might consider an internal email server instead, but that requires an IT team to manage the server, which costs far more than finding a trustworthy enterprise email provider.

Enterprise email helps you scale with ease

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For growing companies, switching email providers can be a daunting task. Data is often lost in the transfer, employees go without email for a few days (or even weeks) and customers grow frustrated as their emails bounce. Building your business on an enterprise email foundation will help you keep up as your company grows. Easily add and subtract accounts, change storage, back up your data and integrate collaboration tools.
Your email is a recorded history of your company, and losing any bit of that could leave you without important context as you grow. By choosing a business email solution from the beginning, you are laying the groundwork to scale with ease.

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windows 10 july 29

Windows 10 – Improving the Enterprise Experience by Collecting the Opinions of Large Corporations

Thought-Leadership by Jon Nicponski
Microsoft is going to great lengths to ensure Windows 10 is better received than its predecessor. Unlike the experiment with Windows 8, Windows 10 Developers have gone out and engaged large corporations to discern which features they needed. Product support was involved from the first on Windows 10 in order to maintain the vision for a common experience across device platforms.

Regular Maintenance Makes for a Reliable Enterprise Solution

Probably most important to enterprises, the start menu is back, so user confusion will be an absolute minimum. There are a LOT of features that make Windows 10 a compelling upgrade including much improved security, but here we will focus on how easy that upgrade will be to accomplish.
Automated updates used to NEVER be an in-place upgrade option, but now, Microsoft has enabled the ability to do an automated update that is un-attended from Windows7/8. This update can take as little as 7 minutes.
The update carefully inspects the machine and if there are ANY known issues it behaves as you have configured by either rolling-back or displaying the errors. In fact, the US Air Force, one of the fastest adopters of new Microsoft technologies, will be using the in-place upgrade.
Microsoft’s recommended upgrade path for Enterprises is to go direct via unintended upgrade 7-10, 8->10, 8.1->10. There is not a Vista or an XP direct upgrade path.
There are some scenarios where an upgrade won't work, for instance with X86 to X64 systems. Also, the base language needs to be the same. As an example, you can’t have a base language of German and try and upgrade with Base language of English.
In-place upgrades can also happen other ways, included SCCM, or even a batch file sent via email that points to your customized source media.
Changes were made to SCCM/WSUS for compatibility, so make sure you get the updates to these tools for preparing and deploying your new images!

Simplified Deployment and Provisioning

The preview for the new Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is available now, with all the tools to do image creation for windows 10. The final version is scheduled for the launch on July 29th.
There were some early issues with 3rd party encryption products because the Windows pre-execution environment did not have drivers for some of the vendors. Microsoft and these vendors are working hard to have these issues resolved by the release date. A couple of security companies are going to create a management engine for Microsoft Bitlocker and drop their own encryption. This is HUGE: it will be the least expensive way to use Microsoft Bitlocker in an enterprise environment. Previously you had to purchase Windows Enterprise plus the MDOP product to get the Microsoft Bitlocker Management Studio.

What happens when an employee leaves with a Windows Enterprise enabled device?

To help corporate IT better manage devices, Windows 10 can re-provision a machine from Pro to Enterprise and connect to a domain in the process. You will also be able to roll-back a machine from Enterprise to Professional if the machine isn’t domain joined. For now, Microsoft recommends joining the machine to an Azure domain (a new feature of Windows 10), which can be rolled back. Microsoft is working on the ability to roll-back Enterprise to Professional on domain joined machines, however, this will likely not be a feature in the released product.
Lastly, if an employee leaves the company and has Windows Enterprise installed on their BYOD, the Windows Enterprise version won't be able to see the company’s KMS server, so after 180 days, the end user will get a watermark, and some reduced functionality on updates. Microsoft is recommending AADJOIN (Azure Active Directory Join) for BYOD devices so that they can easily have company specific information removed and rolled back to Windows Pro.
For more information on Windows 10, tune in to SoftwareONE Tech Talk on the SoftwareONE Radio Network every other Wednesday of the month where we talk regularly on IT topics, especially Windows 10 as we get closer to the date. Click the banner below and fill out the form to receive information on joining this innovative radio show!
Source: http://blog.softwareone.com/windows-10-improving-the-enterprise-experience-by-collecting-the-opinions-of-large-corporations/

0626-infographic managed solution

The cloud isn’t some nebulous construct that floats above us in the sky and magically stores and disseminates information. It’s actually a mind-boggling number of hard drives collected in datacenters located all over the world, connected by miles and miles of cable, so we can store enormous amounts of information and communicate almost instantaneously across the globe. You and everyone who uses the Internet to send an email, update a social media site, or host a sound file uses these datacenters. How much do you know about them?

blackcloud

The Internet has a fundamental problem with security that’s a part of its very DNA. And if things stay as they are, that problem -- and Internet security -- can only get worse. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and its industry partners intend to change that.
If things go as planned, within two years the partners will produce the first “Black Cloud” -- an open source, software-defined perimeter (SDP) solution that will stop distributed denial of service attacks dead in their tracks and enable highly secure cloud-based applications.
“We think this a pretty big idea,” said Jim Reavis, the CSA’s co-founder and CEO. “We’ve already defined a very specific framework for how you could implement this so that organizations can build the software themselves, and several government agencies are now doing that.”
The current project, which the CSA is developing with Waverley Labs, will develop open source code for one specific use case to start. The intent is to create standards, Reavis said, and to start seeding the market with open source software that will then be embedded in the solutions provided by information security and network providers.
“We’ve been working for a while with the [CSA] SDP working group, and have already had several proprietary versions that have gone into different security control layers,” said Juanita Koilpillai, the CEO of Waverley Labs. “So we thought, why not make this an open source project, which we’ll develop versions for multiple layers over time, the first being single-packet authentication that will allow [network] devices to deny all connections from anything other than the application they want to talk to.”
Similarly for applications, the goal is to deny all connections except for the device that’s been authorized to talk with them, which provides the ability to hide applications from all eyes except those that have a specific right to see them.
This essentially turns the original concept of the Internet, as an open communications medium, on its head. The fabric of the Internet is now like Swiss cheese, with so many holes that it’s all but impossible to completely defend against modern threats such as man-in-the-middle or SQL injection attacks. If you use the Internet, you are vulnerable.
The CSA’s SDP approach instead makes total security the starting point for the Internet and allows only those connections it can authenticate. It can’t be done for the whole of the Internet all at once, but with the Internet of Things looming, where millions of embedded computers and sensors are connected over the Internet, “fundamentally we are now at the point where we are going to have to shift from this default open approach to layer on default closed, to darken parts of the Internet,” Reavis said.
One place where this could be immediately useful is in spurring the move of organizations to the cloud. Despite various mandates and directives, this has been a slow process for government because of security concerns, which has prompted the rise of the hybrid cloud model, where some applications and services reside in the public cloud while keeping more sensitive information behind the agency firewall in private clouds. That solution can still be costly for agencies, however, because the cost savings associated with the public cloud are blunted by having to maintain on-premise, private cloud infrastructure.
In the CSA model, however, everything could be moved to the public cloud because SDP allows the creation of dark clouds inside the public cloud infrastructure. Those dark clouds would be owned by the government agency and would be invisible to everyone except for those designated and authenticated. There’d be no possibility for anyone else in the public cloud to share the organization’s data or be able to get a look at it, the main fear of agencies in moving sensitive applications and their data to the public cloud.
“Virtual private cloud is going to be such a commonplace term once this gets implemented, and that’s going to be the default way that people operate,” Reavis said. “It’s going to be a big shift for IT and will deliver big cost savings to agencies over time.”
None of the technology the CSA and its partners are using for the project is new. It’s based on protocols developed by the Defense Department and National Security Agency, and it uses standard security tools such as public key infrastructure, layered security, IPsec and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), along with well understood concepts such as geolocation and federation to enable connections.
Up to now, however, most SDP implementations have been highly customized solutions, available only to the organizations (like Coca-Cola) that developed them. The goal of the CSA project is to move the SDP model to a more general audience, The open source version now being developed by Waverley Labs is aimed at bringing people together to talk about how to implement SDP generally, what standard protocols could be used, what sequence of events needs to be followed, how to write JSON files to allow interaction with applications and so on.
“Our goal is to create a community that is really struggling to protect their applications and help them either hide them or move them to the cloud,” Koilpillai said. “None of the problems we are trying to tackle with this are simple; otherwise, they would have been solved by now.”
Waverley will do a phased release of the SDP for different security layers over the next 18 to 24 months. The open source project will help federal agencies see how an actual implementation works, she said, which is vital for this kind of thing because “you actually have to take that and prove it, otherwise people won’t believe you.”

Source: http://gcn.com/Articles/2015/05/20/software-defined-perimeter.aspx?s=cloud_020615&admgarea=TC_Cloud&Page=1

IT Worker via Microsoft -Managed Solution 5.26

Heroes. Champions. The oft-unseen glue that keeps our companies running. Meet the IT professional.

The IT pro: master of the technology universe

Source: http://blogs.microsoft.com/work/2015/05/22/the-it-pro-master-of-the-technology-universe/

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