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Posts Tagged ‘azure’

Boosting Cloud Security in Office 365

Microsoft has been spearheading the security campaign across cloud services. This week has been in focus with announcements of new capabilities affecting SharePoint Online (SPO), Email, and customer controls. I’ve been involved in numerous customer strategy sessions where similar concerns were raised. It is becoming increasingly clear that customers are expecting higher level of security controls across all Office 365 workloads. The vision has always been to extend these controls to services beyond email.

ExtendDLP1Data Loss Prevention (DLP) has been part of Exchange since 2013. In this post I explain how DLP feature extends within SPO and OneDrive for Business (OD4B). Last year DLP was added to SPO, where it provided capability to find sensitive information by searching and querying the data. This helped organizations to surface sensitive content, put them on hold for legal benefits, and take manual actions (like export). In Exchange, it provided with policy tips and notification emails. It is this capability that is now being extended to SPO and OD4B which in turn means greater proactive control over sensitive data.

These policies include simple “if-else-then conditions” and actions. It also provides preconfigured templates to start from. Users get real time notification if working within the context of SPO and OneDrive for Business

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Within SPO and OD4B it will detect if the user is sharing content externally and provide the user with policy tips. Furthermore it’ll go one level deeper by scanning for document metadata.

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Admins will get built in reports for incident and tracking

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If until now you were on the edge, concerned with the SPO security capabilities then hang on just a bit more until second quarter of 2015 when it rolls out as public preview.

Image source: Office blogs

Working with dynamic schema in Azure DocumentDB

dynamicAbout a week ago Azure DocumentDB, a new Microsoft’s entry into NoSql database market, become generally available. DocumentDB allows user to to store/update/delete arbitrary objects (as complex as needed, not limited by relation structure) and query these objects using a special (quite limited) flavor of SQL (yes, SQL!) or LINQ when it’s used from .NET. Although these kinds of databases are called NoSql, they should rather be called object databases, or non-relational, because, well, you can still use SQL to query them.

So, these objects that you can story in DocumentDB, they could be really anything. However, in order to effectively use DocumentDB .NET client library, you need to know the object schema in advance. For example, let’s say you have the following class:

public class Person
{
  public string FirstName { get; set; }
  public string LastName { get; set; }
}

And then you instantiating the object of this class and storing it to DocumentDB (assuming that you already created database, document connection and client): Read the rest of this post »

BUILD & IGNITE Know It. Prove It. Tech Challenge Tour

KiPiTour

I recently blogged about my personal experiences with the first “Know it. Prove it.” challenge that ran through the month of February 2015. The “Know it. Prove it.” challenge is back! This time it’s bigger and better than ever. The new challenge is a companion to both the Build and Ignite Conferences with 11 amazing tracks for both Developers and IT Professionals. Also, just like the first round, this set of challenges are completely Free!

Join the tour and accept a challenge today.

Whether you’re looking to learn something new or just brush up on something you’re already using, there’s definitely a challenge track for you.

Read the rest of this post »

2015 Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference – The Power of Community

The Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference is a virtual/remote, 2 day live event on May 14 – 15, 2015. This is a brand new conference presented entirely by Microsoft MVP’s! Conference sessions will be provided in IT Professional, Developer and Consumer tracks, in addition with sessions available in English, Spanish or Portuguese tracks.

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The full agenda for the sessions and tracks of the conference is really long. There is a ton of sessions being presented in this conference and it appears to be a very excellent event. Along with it being free to attend, it should be pretty phenomenal. Plus, you don’t have to pay for airfare or hotel accommodations since you can attend from home or work!

Register | Agenda | Sessions

2015 Global Azure Bootcamp

2015-AzureBootcamp_logo_frontThe third annual Global Azure Bootcamp is coming Saturday, April 25, 2015. The bootcamp is a free deep dive into getting familiar with developing Cloud Computing Applications for Azure over the course of a single day. This year there are a total of 194 confirmed locations around the globe where you can attend the event.

http://global.azurebootcamp.net/

In 2014 they leveraged a huge compute farm to perform diabetes research. This year everyone attending will have the opportunity to contribute to a massive compute pool used for performing breast cancer research! Read the rest of this post »

Azure – NoSQL database DocumentDB now Generally Available

DocumentDB-reliable-configurable-performanceLast week Microsoft released Azure DocumentDB out of beta and made it generally available.

As stated by Microsoft:

We are pleased to announce that Azure DocumentDB is now generally available. DocumentDB is a fully managed NoSQL document database service that allows applications to query and process JSON data at scale. With general availability, DocumentDB is now offered in three purchase options; each with reserved performance, hourly billing and 99.95% availability. Today we are also releasing a new open source data migration tool to ease the movement of existing data from other database systems to DocumentDB.

Source Announcement: http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2015/04/08/nosql-database-service-azure-documentdb-now-generally-available/

Introduction to Azure DocumentDB

Here’s a short “Introduction to Azure DocumentDB” from Channel9.

Get Started and Pricing

Go to the following link for more information about DocumentDB, including how to get started, pricing and documentation.

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/documentdb/

Webinar: Big Data & Microsoft, Key to Your Digital Transformation

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Companies undergoing digital transformation are creating organizational change through technologies and systems that enable them to work in ways that are in sync with the evolution of consumer demands and the state of today’s marketplace. In addition, more companies are relying on more and more data to help make business decisions.

And when it comes to consumer data – one challenge is the abundance of it. How can you turn complex data into business insight? The socially integrated world, the rise of mobile, IoT – this explosion of data can be directed and used, rather than simply managed. That’s why Big Data and advanced analytics are key components of most digital transformation strategies and serve as revolutionary ways of advancing your digital ecosystem.

Where does Microsoft fit into all of this? Recently, Microsoft has extended its data platform into this realm. SQL Server and Excel join up with new PaaS offerings to make up a dynamic and powerful Big Data/advanced analytics tool set. What’s nice about this is that you can leverage tools you already own for your digital transformation.

Join us next week, on Thursday, April 2 at 1 p.m. CT for a webinar, Transforming Business in a Digital Era with Big Data and Microsoft, to learn why you should be including Big Data and advanced analytics as components of your digital transformation and what options you have when it comes to Microsoft technology. Read the rest of this post »

A Day in the Life of an Office 365 User

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Office 365 comprises of a lot of services and features which can be overwhelming for an end user. More often than not, we hear concerns from organizations and individual users of how roll out of new products and technologies fail. I do not see this as a technology problem, rather a communication and change management issue.

At Perficient, we deal with this day in and day out and understand the importance of a successful roll out. Any big technology implementation requires a significant investment (time and effort) towards creating and utilizing process, training, and governance. It’s not just big talk, but an extremely important undertaking when moving your platform to the cloud (Office 365).

When we look at a typical day in life of an end user from the time they start their day to the time they shut down their devices (and brains), they go through their emails, work on documents, involve in conversations (phone or messaging), search for content, and much more. Office 365 connects all of these tasks and make it seamless so it’s tightly interwoven. In this post I will take the opportunity to showcase few of these scenarios and demonstrate how a day would look like for an office 365 user. Read the rest of this post »

Webinar Recap: @PIH Uses Office 365 for Global Collaboration

Last week,Partners In Health Office 365 we were very fortunate to have one of our customers, Partners In Health (PIH), join us for a webinar. If you are not familiar with PIH, it’s a Boston based non-profit global healthcare organization with a mission to provide a preferential option for the poor in healthcare. PIH works with sister organizations that are based in settings of poverty to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need, and also, to serve as an antidote to disappear.

Dave Mayo is a 25 year veteran of the technology industry, and for the last two years, Dave has been leading technology for Partners in Health. Together with Kent Larson, Director within Perficient’s Microsoft practice, and David Chapman, Director of Change Management within our Management Consulting practice, the three speakers spoke about the global deployment of Office 365 at PIH.

Many successful non-profits run lean, and PIH is no exception. Putting money back into the field for ten years equated to ten years of neglected technology. As Dave stated during the session, the non-profit organization was using decade-old hardware, which was failing, and failing fast. This was also spread across three email platforms. To add to that, email is mission critical for PIH… essentially a life and death type of application. PIH chose to partner with Microsoft and implement Office 365. Together, Perficient and Partners In Health have worked to successfully deploy Office 365 in some of the most remote areas of the world – think Malawi, Liberia, Rwanda.

It was a fantastic session from start to finish, and I encourage anyone interested to check out the replay here. You can also review the case study, which focuses on the Change Management aspect of the project.

To learn more about Partners In Health, visit www.pih.org.

Read the rest of this post »

Webinar: How the Microsoft Cloud Helps @PIH Improve Global Health

Many nonprofits (and cerpihtainly other organizations as well) would likely share the same sentiment as Partners In Health (PIH) – due to the mission at hand, resource allocation, more often than not, prioritizes the needs of people over systems. It’s not all that surprising that this can lead to disbanded communication systems. Systems that, over time, become expensive to maintain and increasingly deficient.

This was the situation Partners In Health faced, and they are solving it by migrating to Office 365. PIH is a Boston-based nonprofit that delivers high-quality health care and serves impoverished communities around the world. Through the move to Office 365, they now have a single, reliable platform for colleague interactions and can more effectively focus on the mission, improving the quality of health and meeting the needs of underserved populations.

More from a recent news release:

Deployment of Office 365 across sites in Africa, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Russia and the U.S. will further Partners In Health’s mission to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. It will also enhance cross-site communication and collaboration as the organization responds to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Cloud-based storage allows documents to be accessed at any time from any device in any setting, including those where bandwidth is limited. With a common email platform, information may be shared seamlessly among colleagues, partners and all others involved in the fight against illness and poverty.

This migration included including a transition to Exchange Online for company-wide communication, Azure-hosted ADFS for identity management, and SharePoint Online for document storage and collaboration.

We’re fortunate to have assisted PIH with this deployment, and are excited to host a webinar next week, on Wednesday, March 4 at 1 p.m. CT, How Partners In Health Is Using the Microsoft Cloud to Improve Global Health.

During the session, PIH’s CIO Dave Mayo, as well as Kent Larson and David Chapman from Perficient, will share details around the challenges the organization faced prior to moving to Office 365 and how the Microsoft Cloud has impacted their ability to share information and collaborate across the globe, even in the most remote locations. They’ll also discuss how change management played an important role in a successful deployment.

For more about PIH or to make a contribution to help the organization transform global health, visit www.pih.org. Read the rest of this post »