Announcing the Sales Management Solution Template for Dynamics 365 with Data Export

Written by Richard Tkachuk as seen on Microsoft Corporation
Back in May, we announced the sales management solution template that simplified and accelerated building powerful and compelling Power BI solutions on Dynamics CRM (now Dynamics 365). The sales management solution template offered a very fast guided experience to create compelling reports on an extensible, scalable, and secure architecture that could be customized however one needed. This meant that instead of spending one’s time on plumbing, one could instead spend it on extending and customizing the solution template to meet your organization’s needs. Today, I’m pleased to announce the integration of Dynamics CRM Data Export with the sales management solution template for Dynamics 365.
Data Export is a free add-on service made available as a Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution that adds the ability to replicate Dynamics 365 online data to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database store in a customer-owned Microsoft Azure subscription.
There’s no more scheduling – your data is automatically replicated from Dynamics 365 as soon as it changes.
With this new capability, customers can use the sales management solution template create an enterprise-ready Power BI analytics solution on data that is replicated to their Azure SQL database in a fast, robust, and scalable manner.
Provisioning the solution template is just as simple as before, but now it’s much, much faster with Data Export. You don’t need to do anything new – if you’re a Dynamics 365 administrator, just run through a couple of pages to let us know about your instance and we do everything. Once you’re done, all changes in your Dynamics 365 records are automatically updated in the Azure SQL database and available to your Power BI reports.
And while we were at it, we rejuvenated the Power BI reports to give them a clean new look – here’s what the new first page looks like:
I hope you can check it out – we’re very happy with the changes and hope you are as well.


Planning a secure future for your company

As written on
When it comes to technology in the workplace, most every convenience is balanced against a potential threat. Email and the cloud—for as much as they’ve revolutionized the way we do business—have enabled new methods of theft and fraud and necessitated new regulations. That means planning a secure future for your company is no easy task. Thankfully, you don’t have to set out on the road to protection without a map. Keeping a few key considerations in mind can help guide your way and keep your business safe from harm.

Stay compliant

The amount of data in the world is expected to rise to 44 zettabytes by 2020. How much is a zettabyte? 44 trillion gigabytes.
That’s a lot of data.
And while storing it all presents an enormous challenge, retrieving it can make for an even bigger one. Without the right technology in place, finding a particular bit of information could take a comically long time. Of course, when you’re asked to dig up an email as part of a legal case, no judge will find it funny when you confess that you “can’t find it.” Per current regulations, all businesses are required to keep easily retrievable electronic records of all business data.
To stay compliant and avoid legal trouble, make sure you can properly store, retrieve and monitor your data. Choose a solution with top-level archiving, auditing and eDiscovery capabilities.


Choose privacy

Storing information in the cloud is a convenient way to reduce costs; however, hosting business or consumer data still poses risks. When determining which cloud strategy, you might take, ask yourself these questions:
  • Does my cloud provider offer information about its privacy and security practices in one central location?
  • If yes, does this information address: 1) where my data is stored; 2) who can access my data; 3) under what circumstances may my data be accessed; and 4) which subcontractors, if any, process my data?
  • Does my provider use customer content for purposes beyond optimizing my service platform?
  • Does my provider apply robust protections to data transfers in the cloud?
If your answer to many of these questions isn’t a hard “yes,” you may find yourself facing a data breach. And that can be costly. IBM recently found that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach ranges around $4 million.

Keep your business and email secure

Help protect your organization’s data with the email security features you need to move your business ahead. Office 365 has built-in, always up-to-date security and compliance features, for greater peace of mind.

Get the eBook

Don’t skip encryption

No matter your organization’s protection needs, satisfying the three areas of email encryption—security, control and usability—will place you ahead of the competition.
Your email encryption service should enable you to send encrypted messages to anyone, eliminate the need for certificates and enhance the security of email exchanges by encrypting entire threads. Your encrypted email platform should protect sensitive information and data from leaving your gateway, encrypt messages at the gateway based on policy rules and integrate with your existing email infrastructure.
When searching for a secure and confidential business communications platform, opt for a product that leaves email encryption hassles at the door. You’ll minimize capital investment, free up IT resources and mitigate risks.


Prioritize virus protection

Until you’re facing a virus, it may seem like a you’re immune to an inbox invasion. However, in the last year alone, Kapersky detected 4,000,000 unique Malware threats. If you really want to plan a secure future for your company, email monitoring is your first line of defense. Prevent your mailboxes from advanced threats by working with an email provider who provides anti-virus protection, malware analysis on attachments and malicious link scanning.



The public preview of SQL Server on Linux has arrived!

As written on
The public preview of the next major release of SQL Server brings the power of SQL Server to both Linux and Windows.  SQL Server enables developers and organizations to build intelligent applications with industry-leading performance and security technologies using their preferred language and environment.  With the next release of SQL Server, you can develop applications with SQL Server on Linux, Windows, Docker, or macOS (via Docker) and then deploy to Linux, Windows, or Docker, on-premises or in the cloud.
You’ll find native Linux installations made easy with familiar RPM and APT packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu Linux, and a package for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server will be coming soon as well.  Finally, the public preview for SQL Server is also available on Azure Virtual Machines on Windows and Linux and as images available on Docker Hub, offering a quick and easy installation within minutes.
Tooling on Linux
We have also released updated versions of our flagship SQL Server tools including SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)Visual Studio SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and SQL Server PowerShell with support for the next release of SQL Server on Windows and Linux. We are also excited to announce the new SQL Server extension for Visual Studio Code that is available now on the Visual Studio Code marketplace. Developers can use the SQL extension for VS Code on macOS/Linux/Windows with SQL Server running anywhere (on-premises, on Linux and Windows, in any cloud, in virtual machines, Docker) and with Azure SQL DB and Azure SQL DW. Native command-line tools are also available for SQL Server on Linux.
Get started today
Try the SQL Server on Linux Public Preview today! Get started with the public preview of the next release of SQL Server on Linux, macOS (via Docker) and Windows with our tutorials that show you how to install and use SQL Server on macOS, Docker, Windows, RHEL and Ubuntu and quickly build an app in a programming language of your choice.




UK Ministry of Defence on the frontline of cloud-based data protection with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

By Ron Markezich as written on
Today, providing security on any front requires a willingness to adopt leading-edge technologies. So it’s great to see the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in the United Kingdom assume a leadership role in their decision to adopt the Microsoft Cloud, as well as Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection and Customer Lockbox from a Microsoft U.K. data center.
According to Mike Stone, chief digital and information officer (CDIO) at the Ministry of Defence, Microsoft cloud services bring world-class reliability and performance to its operations in a way that fits perfectly with its digital transformation agenda:
“The MOD chose Microsoft cloud technologies to support our transition to a more cost-effective, modern and agile organisation. Microsoft offers the security, privacy, control and transparency that meets our stringent criteria for cloud services—all available from data centres in the U.K. Additional cloud-based services such as Advanced Threat Protection provide us with complementary capabilities to keep our employees productive and our network secure.”
Mike’s statement resonates with any highly regulated government entity that must find the right balance between enabling employees with anytime, anywhere data access while ensuring security.
Now that MOD mailboxes will be protected with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, staff will stay productive and secure around the clock. That’s because, despite the escalating severity and complexity of today’s malware, Advanced Threat Protection offers better protection and control. Additionally, with Customer Lockbox, the MOD gets full visibility and control of their customer data during service operations, which can help them meet compliance obligations.
Aligning its vision for digital transformation with the Microsoft Cloud, the MOD gets the best of both worlds—productivity-enhancing agility in a highly secure online environment. I’m happy to see that by empowering staff to achieve its goals in our rapidly evolving digital world, the MOD is entering a new era of heightened performance—at home and abroad.

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Employees “Catching ‘em all”? Don’t Let Your Business Play Victim

Don’t let productivity or security slip while your employees Poke Mon Go!

By Kelly Cronin
On July 6, 2016, the workplace as we know it changed forever.  Okay maybe not forever, but it has changed for as long as employees remain more or less obsessed with being "the very best, like no one ever was" (for full Pokémon theme song lyrics click here).  According to staff reporter Tess Townsend of, Pokémon Go is creating distractions in a variety of office settings.  One company has warned employees there will be consequences for playing at work, putting up a sign saying, "We are paying you to work, not chase fictional video game characters  with your cell phone all day.  Save it for your break time or lunch. Otherwise you'll have plenty of time unemployed to 'catch them all.'"  In addition, a recent CareerBuilder survey shows about 24 percent of employees spend time at work on their smartphones playing online games (
If this doesn't scare you, maybe the thought of your employee's phone with company data being stolen at a Pokémon Lure will.  Ryan Miller of USA Today reports, "teens, whose ages range from 16 to 18, are suspected to be behind 10 to 11 armed robberies in St. Louis and St. Charles counties in which they allegedly used the app to bait victims".  The teens reportedly used lures at Poke Stops to bring more people to an area, and then robbed them, including mainly stealing their smartphones.  Now imagine if one of your employee's becomes a victim, leading to a major security breach at your company.  Suddenly a fun, nostalgic game has cost your company a boatload of money.

But what if Managed Solution could give your business the tools you need to keep your employees on track, while also protecting your company data from theft at popular Poke Stops and Lures?

The answer:

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Mobile Security

Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS):

Keeping Your Data Safe while Employee's "Search Far and Wide"

You've just updated a document containing private client information and sent it to your top salesperson.  Then, said salesperson finds a Poke Stop by his favorite pizza place featuring a Lure.  He only needs to catch one more Eevee to evolve, so after grabbing a few slices, he heads over to the Lure.  But BAM! out of nowhere two people wearing masks push him down, steal his phone, and eat his pizza.  Now your company's private information is at risk for being viewed, shared, and possibly even sold.  What do you do next?

The Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) is the comprehensive cloud solution to address your consumerization of IT, BYOD, and SaaS challenges.  As your employees are out getting robbed, EMS lets you protect your data with:

  • A comprehensive set of access control and data protection capabilities.
  • Self-service password reset for your people, to reduce helpdesk calls
  • Multi-factor authentication options for greater security
  • Machine learning-driven security reports for visibility and threat management
  • Selective wipe of apps and data for greater security
  • Information protection from the cloud or in a hybrid model with your existing on-premises infrastructure

Meet the needs of your mobile workforce—and their runaway devices.

The best part? With Microsoft EMS, you can instantly wipe a stolen device, with just one click.  Now you no longer have to send passive aggressive emails warning employees about the dangers of Pokemon Go.  As far as you are concerned, you can have peace of mind with your data safe and sound.

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Mobile Productivity

Office 365:


One of the highlights of Pokémon Go is getting players outside and on-the-go, but the downfall to this is employees need constant mobility with their work accounts so they can stay connected while making sure their eggs hatch.  Office 365 has mobile apps available on both iOS and Androids.  With Office 365, you can be sure that employees will still get your Outlook emails, be able to edit spreadsheets with Excel, and access OneNote - no matter where their Pokémon Go adventures take them.

Real-time co-authoring

Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and other Office tools make collaboration effortless with real-time co-authoring.  Let multiple employees work on a single spreadsheet at the same time, so you can avoid constantly editing, sharing, re-editing, and re-sharing documents.  Just make sure co-workers aren't making spreadsheets about where the coolest Pokémon are located nearby.

Collaboration and connectivity

As Pokémon Go has created more and more travel opportunities, Skype for Business  prioritizes collaboration and connectivity to keep everyone in the office in the loop, no matter where they work from.  If your employee is working outside to train at the gym by the office, Skype for Business lets you show them step-by-step how to do something on the new database by presenting your desktop so they can see exactly what you're doing on your screen.  Communicating, collaborating, and connecting with remote employees (or simply those die-hard Poke masters), is perfectly attainable with Skype for Business on Office 365.

Productivity tracking

Track what employees are doing, so they know they need to stay productive, and you know when they're doing more Pikachu hunting than actual work.  Office 365's Planner gives you the capability to create and assign tasks, both to yourself and to anyone within your company.  For each task, you can state your progress, add files and links, and update with comments.  This keeps both you and your employees on track, whether or not the nearby Pokémon gym just got taken over by Team Valor.

Managed Solution is a full-service technology firm that empowers business by delivering, maintaining and forecasting the technologies they’ll need to stay competitive in their market place. Founded in 2002, the company quickly grew into a market leader and is recognized as one of the fastest growing IT Companies in Southern California.


We specialize in providing full managed services to businesses of every size, industry, and need.


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Offering an in-depth view into your network providing documentation to identify security risks

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