Tag Archives: Office 365

Now is the best time to be a Surface partner

Men and woman sitting around a conference table looking at a Surface Pro.

I love the energy of our partners and hearing about their successes with Surface. To every Surface partner: thank you. You are helping businesses around the globe create workplaces that harness the full power of their teams and unleash their people’s creativity. It’s meaningful work that inspires me personally and the Surface team daily.

It’s amazing to think about how far the Surface Commercial business has come in three years because of our partners – from one to over 15,000 partners worldwide. Partners have developed innovative delivery and service models, such as Surface as a Service, which in under a year has grown from one partner and one customer to over 50 partners in 15 markets worldwide. Another partner-led program, the Surface Hub Value Added Distributor Program for Opportunity Resellers (VADOR), in less than four months has grown to over 500 partners and now accounts for 15% of Surface Hub sales worldwide!

The momentum Surface has will continue to grow especially considering today’s announcement of Microsoft 365, which combines the best of Microsoft products across Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Surface devices represent the best expression of the Microsoft 365 offerings, allowing individuals and organizations to take the fullest advantage of their Office and Windows investments.

Today, I am highlighting two new opportunities for partners and customers to get more value out of their Surface devices: a new Services and Support opportunity as well as previewing our new Surface Reseller Alliance.

Improvements to services and support

Pre and Post-sale Services and Support are essential for modern businesses to succeed. Enterprises need devices that not only help them transform digital workflows but also ensure that their employees are always productive. I am excited to share that since the announcement at Ignite last year, we have quite a bit of progress on our next-generation Services and Support. The partner program for Services and Support was successfully piloted and is now active in 10 countries: the US., U.K., Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Japan and the expansion to other Surface markets are coming over the next few months.

That said, we know larger Enterprise customers expect services such as next business day replacement and next business day onsite support on a global scale.

With that in mind, today I’m announcing that Microsoft Surface is partnering with IBM Technology Support Services (TSS) – one of the world’s leading support providers – to enhance our Microsoft Complete extended warranty offerings and deliver technology services and support for Surface devices. 

These services, offered by our channel partners, will be available starting July 15th in the US and Canada, with other Surface markets coming online soon.

I’m also happy to share that next business day replacement and next business day onsite support services will be available for new and existing customers who have a Microsoft Complete extended service plan.

Now whether you’re a 100-person company with one location or a 5,000+ person organization spread across the globe, you can receive the best post-sale services and support, thanks to our updated offerings.

Surface Reseller Alliance

Our goal is to enable our Surface resellers the ability to provide a premium experience when they interact with our shared end customers. To ensure our Surface reseller partners have the latest information in training, set up and transactional assistance, we’ve created the Microsoft Surface Reseller Alliance. The goal of the Alliance is to provide the Surface partners easy access to product information, training, marketing support materials, end-customer assistance and help with and direct deal registration for Distributor Managed Partners (DMPs). The Alliance is currently in preview and is accessible via the current Surface Drumbeat site. We will launch it in full later this fall.

The Surface Reseller Alliance training program includes a revamped online portal with training modules, live webinars for newly launched Surface products, and will provide incentives for partner sellers to complete training curriculum. We’re also ramping up our marketing support by making significant investments in lead generation, providing assets, guidelines and assistance to help partners create fantastic marketing collateral and web experiences wherever Surface is sold.

An example of our efforts to unify our resellers experience is the Deal Registration Portal that we will launch in the coming months. The Deal Registration Portal will allow our DMPs to register their deals directly as opposed to through their distributor. This will save them time and energy so they can focus on winning new business.

We will continue to create additional Microsoft Surface Reseller Alliance programs like the Deal Registration Portal and make other subsequent updates to improve the portal over time. This is just the beginning. To learn more partners can contact their Microsoft Account Teams starting today.

The success of Surface in the commercial sector in large part is due to the hard work of our partner network, who enable us to create innovative programs to better serve the needs of our shared customers worldwide. We are grateful to partners for their innovative spirits, tenacity, input, and desire as together we enable businesses and people around the world to do more. We look forward to years of continued success!

Connecting with partners to empower the modern workplace

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year! It’s a week where Microsoft leaders connect with thousands of partners from around the world to talk about what’s new and the opportunity in front of us in the coming year. Since our last partner conference a year ago, we’ve been working together to better serve customers who have continuously evolving demands of technology.

We’re on a mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more in the Modern Workplace. A big part of that mission is delivering a new way for customers to transform their business with modern Microsoft products and services that help make employees more productive, creative and secure.

Just last week we announced new security and management features in Windows 10 that will arrive in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

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Today, we’re excited to announce Microsoft 365, a new set of offerings that include Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, to create a complete, intelligent, secure solution that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely.

We introduced two Microsoft 365 solutions:

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise includes Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security and is offered in two plans – Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5.  Both plans provide customers with a complete set of productivity and security capabilities, while Microsoft 365 E5 provides the latest and most advanced innovations in security, compliance, analytics, and collaboration.
  • Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB) and includes Office 365 Business Premium, security and management features for Office apps and Windows 10 devices, upgrade rights to Windows 10, and a centralized IT console. It will be available in public preview starting August 2.

For our partners, Microsoft 365 offers exciting new opportunities – from the ability to modernize a customer’s environment through managed services, to the ability to differentiate their offerings with advanced enterprise services. We believe Microsoft 365 will be a further catalyst to drive customer creativity, security and simplicity in their desktop management.

In addition to having end-to-end solutions with Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, we know customers need the ability to decide how to operate. Today we are announcing that Windows 10 E3 and E5 customers will now have the option to add virtualization use rights to Windows subscriptions in the CSP program starting in September.

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Now is the best time to be a Surface partner

Since last year when we first introduced Surface as a Service at Inspire, the program has grown from one partner in the channel to more than 50 partners in 15 markets worldwide. The Surface channel is well equipped to handle the demand that will come from Microsoft 365 customers worldwide and we cannot wait for customers to get the best of the complete Microsoft stack in their hands.

On top of the momentum Microsoft Surface partners have worldwide, Surface is highlighting two new opportunities for partners to get more value out of being a Surface partner: a new Services and Support opportunity as well as a new Surface Reseller Alliance. The partner program for Services and Support was successfully piloted and is now active in 10 countries: the US., U.K., Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Japan and the expansion to other Surface markets are coming over the next few months. Surface also announced a partnership with IBM Technology Support Services (TSS) – one of the world’s leading support providers – to enhance our Microsoft Complete extended warranty offerings and deliver technology services and support for Surface devices.

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The Surface Reseller Alliance training program includes a revamped online portal with training modules, live webinars for newly launched Surface products, and will provide incentives for partner sellers to complete training curriculum.  You can read more about it on the Devices Blog.

Expanding the Mixed Reality Partner Program

We’ve also been working to expand our partnership program for Windows Mixed Reality around the world. Today, we are excited to announce the creation of the Mixed Reality Partner Program, welcoming both system integrators (SIs) and digital agencies around the world.

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The Mixed Reality Partner Program is an expansion of the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program which was announced just over a year ago at //build 2016. At that time, we welcomed 10 digital and creative agencies to develop mixed reality solutions. As we have expanded Microsoft HoloLens to more developers and commercial customers around the globe, we added new Europe-focused partners to the program. Now with more than 16 HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners, we’re creating the future of mixed reality experiences with partners and customers.

As the technology landscape continues to advance at unprecedented rates, Microsoft and the Windows and Devices Group will be at the forefront with new ideas to enhance the way our partners work with customers.

Hearing from our partners is extremely important and we look forward to talking with you during a great week at Inspire!

Accenture to upgrade over 400,000 employees to Windows 10 by 2018

It’s remarkable how much technology can play a role in digitally transforming a business at a global scale. The way we work and collaborate is shifting, and I experience this firsthand every day at Microsoft. I enjoy working closely with customers across all industries who are so committed to their employees and dedicated to empowering them with the latest Microsoft technologies to do more and achieve more anytime, anywhere, like Accenture.

An Enhanced Way of Working

It’s Accenture’s mission to drive digital transformation for their clients, which also means they have to empower their own workforce of over 400,000 employees and become a prime example of what digital transformation can bring. At Accenture, they walk the walk, and talk the talk.

Accenture is preparing the future workforce and enabling their current workforce, which is now 75 percent millennial with a modern desktop. This offers Accenture employees access to the latest productivity apps while keeping their PC always secure and up to date. The way they work is changing and the kind of services they need are “cloud-first” that allow real-time engagement and collaboration. Windows 10, Office 365 and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite are at the heart of the digital worker at Accenture and helping to increase productivity for them. OneDrive has transformed the way employees work across the company in different time zones, enabling them to collaborate and communicate in real time in a virtualized project environment. In fact, Accenture has the biggest OneDrive in the world at over 6 Peta-bites! Accenture has also seen maturity in Microsoft’s security value proposition with Windows 10 and EMS, allowing employees to operate in both a mobile and secure way.

“Office 365 and Windows 10 are at the heart of a digital worker proposition which is really speeding up our workforce.” – Andrew Wilson, chief operating officer at Accenture
 

Accenture is displaying the art of what’s possible with Microsoft technologies and the company is the largest deployment of Windows 10 – and I’m pleased to share Accenture will be completing over 400,000 Windows 10 upgrades by 2018. Let me share how Accenture is making this all possible.

Windows 10 Deployment

A global Windows 10 project team began the upgrade project in September 2015, which first tested all business applications and validated compatibility with Windows 10. Then, the team proceeded with Windows 10 deployment to employees. By April 2016, initial deployment began with a “two-lane” deployment approach. First, they upgraded all new PCs with Windows 10 and provided a manual upgrade option for early adopters. The second deployment began in August 2016, which addressed existing PCs running Windows 7 and allowed employees to utilize an In-Place Upgrade tool and process that uses OneDrive for file distribution to perform a Windows 10 upgrade.

The In-Place Upgrade Tool played a key part in supporting deployments at pace and scale. The best part is the tool eliminated the need to come into an Accenture office to have an IT person perform the upgrade. Employees could make the upgrade wherever and whenever.

It’s incredible seeing Accenture accomplish the upgrade to Windows 10 in just a span of two years. Check out their case study to learn more.

Kayas College chooses Surface to transform distance learning

On his first day as Director of Kayas Cultural College, Kyle Trumpour walked in met his entire student body, of 13 students. Eight hours north of Edmonton, Kayas College, is a First Nation college located in the remote area of Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta. A difficult socioeconomic climate, combined with a large geographic expanse and harsh weather, had made it challenging for people living there to access education. Furthermore, the dated method of communicating and teaching between the college’s three campuses was extremely difficult and inefficient for the students and the teachers. Each of them lacked the face-to-face interactions that are fundamental to a teacher/student relationship.

Eight hours north of Edmonton, Kayas College, is a First Nation college located in the remote area of Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta.

Trumpour knew if the school was to thrive, and if lives were going to be changed, that he had to change the curriculum, and the tools used to reach the student body, from the ground up.

Soon after he arrived at Kayas, Trumpour and his staff began using Microsoft products starting with Surface devices and later incorporating Office 365 into their teaching, which radically changed their educational experience. Removing communication and technological barriers has led to increased student engagement, success and boosted enrollment. In this Winter semester, there were over 50 students enrolled at Kayas.

We sat down with Kyle to ask five questions about the drastic changes that have taken place at Kayas and how Microsoft’s products helped play an important role in the school’s transformation:

How long has Kayas been using Microsoft Surface and Office 365?

We have been on the Surface Pro bandwagon since the day one. We bought one Surface Pro 1 and one Surface Pro 2. At the time, we were beginning to roll out Office 365 and Skype for Business and we purchased units as a pilot project to determine how well they would work for marking student work electronically. Since then we have upgraded all our instructors and management staff to Surface Pro 4s.

What does Surface do for your staff that other devices can’t do?

What drew me to the initial Surface devices was that they could still serve a function similar to tablets, while running full 64-bit operating system. I hated the fact that I was limited with what software I had access to on an iPad or other basic tablets.

I wanted to move the school away from paper, faxing, and printing. At the time, the Surface devices carved out a unique competitive advantage over other devices, in that they came with a pen. At the time, we moved students from scanning to emailing all of their work, but we still needed to print the work off for marking. With the Surface, we envisioned never having to do that again.

Obviously, competitors for the Surface Pro devices have come out; however, nothing matches them entirely. Our Surface devices are versatile, functional, pack a punch and are extremely portable. They also work perfectly with Surface Hub.

We noticed how Surface devices are not only great tools but an amazing perk for our staff. When you think about how remote we are and the types of technologies our staff are being exposed to and getting to play with and use in very customized ways – it’s a great staff retention mechanism.

What benefits have you seen from Office 365?

The most significant is the ability to deploy all of this through a revamped and truly amazing Office 365 environment.

Office 365 has dramatically evolved in the 3-4 years since we initially adopted it, and it is now a complete solution for an education institution. SharePoint Online has evolved as well, with more of a focus on the online offering as opposed to the on premise deployment. We are moving towards a blended integration of a student intranet using SharePoint Online and Office 365.

Have I mentioned a complete lack of needing a full-time IT department to manage all of this for us? My goodness, that’s huge. My background is Biochem and business…I basically set up and administer Office 365. I did all the PowerShell scripting for the Surface Hubs. No on premise servers required. We plan to fully integrate our new laptop carts with Intune and Azure AD, to cloud-manage our domain devices. We have single sign-on for O365 accounts; no more personal Microsoft accounts.

What has your experience teaching with Surface Hub been like?

We had been using a SMART-brand smartboard connected to a Surface Pro and it served its purpose. However, we saw what the Surface Hub could do and we recognized how well they would integrate into our Office 365 environment. The key was their camera system. Being able to stand basically 180 degrees from the screen and still have the cameras pick you up was an obvious advantage to the Surface Hub that had dramatic distance learning classroom applications.

Because of our unique distance-learning situation – I need to teach students physically in front of me while two other (remote campus) locations are seeing me on a screen. When the cameras can continue to track the instructor perfectly as they write on the board, the students learning remotely really do feel like they are in the same room with the instructor. It is what allows the Surface Hub to create what I describe as “a seamless virtual classroom,” as opposed to basic distance learning where an instructor sits in front of a laptop.

You get the feel of the classroom, as the instructor moves around, goes back to the “board” and interacts with students both physically there and virtually there.

We love being able to “book” the Surface Hub or invite them to meetings using Office 365 and Skype for Business. We often have internet issues, which, in the past, required someone to re-invite one or all call participants. You can imagine how that affects our classroom setting. Now, if a call drops, a student can just walk up to the Hub and easily rejoin the call by pressing the big, obvious button on the screen. It was much more difficult before with our projector and laptop/Surface Pro set up. It is all a complete and holistic solution that has transformed Kayas and the experience of our students and teachers.

Is there a plan to share your success with other First Nation (FN) schools and communities?

I truly believe that our method is the model for adult continuing education in remote and First Nation communities, and I have the numbers to back that up.

The dropout rate over the past 30 years for FN K-12 students is staggering. Everyone loves to focus on improving K-12 funding and systems, and that’s great, but what about the former students that are now adults? They’ve been forgotten and have literally no effective ways of improving their situation. If you were to look at many of the teaching assistants at the K-12 schools, the payroll staff, or admin staff at LRRCN, the majority of them are former Kayas students.

I need to get the provincial government to see and recognize what we are doing, as well and the federal government, so that we can export our model to other communities. I would love to, one day, to be a part of something that takes this model and help to set it up in FN communities across northern Canada, and get industry and all levels of government on board.

Removing communication and technological barriers has led to increased student engagement, success and boosted enrollment.

At Surface, we are inspired every day to work with educators like Kyle and students like those at Kayas to enable them to achieve more on their life’s journeys. We have seen tremendous growth for Surface in classrooms of all ages and all sizes, helping to deliver real impact to classroom outcomes.

A recent IDC study shows student’s science scores were 25 to 36 percent higher when using pen and digital inking to draw out diagrams before solving a problem. In the same study, two-thirds of teachers said digital inking with Surface saves them time when preparing materials and grading homework.

Check out our case study on Kayas Cultural College to read more about its amazing digital transformation, and be sure to watch our education-focused live stream on May 2 at 9:30 a.m. EST to see what else Microsoft has in store for students and educators.

Golf pro breaks down barriers to becoming a golfer with Microsoft Technologies

When I was a kid, I developed a huge interest in golf. I was a good athlete who could play all traditional sports well but golf was different. I quickly developed a passion for the game and had a strong work ethic, but like many people, I found golf to be an elusive riddle. Despite non-stop practice, my progress was not as fast as I hoped it to be. I knew that if I wanted to get better, I needed detailed feedback on my game. After a few years of trying to play professionally, I discovered that I spent more time helping others to play better and that my skill was to teach people how to improve their golf game. I earned my PGA of America membership and began to focus on ways to teach more efficiently and with better feedback using technology. Eventually, I opened the Gregg Rogers’ Golf Performance Centers which focuses on the latest golf teaching technologies to give aspiring and advanced golfers more personalized and effective instruction to help them become better golfers.

As an early adopter of technology, I’ve long relied on tech to help me run and grow nearly every aspect of my business. Everyone from our golf instructors to club fitters use Windows 10 Pro powered devices and Office 365 to schedule lessons and develop custom orders, as well as analyze costs and revenue.

With Windows 10 and the Microsoft cloud, we can collaborate, stay in touch with our clients and secure our business information. I’m always looking for new ways to grow my business and know technology can not only help our students improve but also change the perception that golf is too difficult to learn.

As a golf instructor, I use advanced tracking technologies to analyze swings and movement which allows me to pinpoint exactly what needs to be focused on to improve performance. Technology simplifies the learning process and makes improving fun. One of the challenges is many of my students have trouble remembering the lesson when they get to the golf course and may become frustrated. And, tracking their progress is something that is also difficult without the supporting data. As a teacher, I know that feedback and practice is key to improving, and with the right data, video content and a supportive coach, we can make it easier for people to learn golf and have more fun. I turned to Microsoft and the app-development firm Taqtile, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to create a Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) training app and student portal that takes golf instruction to a level not used before.  We created “The Gregg Rogers Golf Performance” solution in less than four months.  The solution empowers our instructors to not only provide deeper analysis and more personalized recommendations, but also places the data at our students’ fingertips so they can improve and track their progress every time they practice — with or without their instructor.

To use the app, our students hit shots in our controlled, indoor, simulated golf environment at one of my performance centers. The app integrates with these high definition golf simulators that use Doppler radar, ultrasound and high-speed video to record data from the shot such as body mechanics, club-head speed and swing angle. In fact, we capture over 26 pieces of data from each swing. The simulators instantly calculate where the ball will go, analyze the swing, and capture the data and video images. Our instructor and the student then use Windows 10 powered devices including Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Book devices at the swing bay to provide immediate replay and feedback. Our students often pick up 10 to 15 yards of distance and significantly improve accuracy and consistency within just a few lessons. The impact of the Golf Performance app has been dramatic as our students can now see exactly what their instructor is trying to teach them anywhere they go or practice. This has not only eased potential frustration for golfers, but also improved comprehension, progress and fun!

What I’m really excited about is how our instructors can also annotate and add voiceover recommendations to the recording, and then upload it to our student portal hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Through the power of the Microsoft cloud, our students can access all the data and images anytime from any computer or mobile device – during a lesson, on the golf course, at home or even while traveling. Over time the app can provide comparative analyses to show where students are improving and where they need more work, so our instructor can create customized lessons. Overall, we’ve been able to eliminate trial and error and make a bigger impact on our students’ golf game, leading to greater enjoyment whether at the driving range or golf course. Because we are now able to track their improvement, our student retention and referrals have also increased by double digits as they frequently share their progress with friends.

At the Gregg Rogers Golf Performance Centers, an instructor uses “The Gregg Rogers Golf Performance” Windows 10 UWP training app on his Surface Pro device to record and provide immediate feedback on a student’s body mechanics, club-head speed and swing angle.

At the Gregg Rogers Golf Performance Centers, an instructor uses “The Gregg Rogers Golf Performance” Windows 10 UWP training app on his Surface Pro device to record and provide immediate feedback on a student’s body mechanics, club-head speed and swing angle.

Ultimately, we’re not a technology company. We’re a golf improvement facility and small business that happens to specialize in helping people achieve their desired potential and have fun. Microsoft provides the technology that we use to help our customers have more fun on the golf course – and take our business to the next level. If you want to check out more detailed information on how we’re not only using Microsoft technologies to help our students improve but also take our business to the next tee, please check out the case study here.

You can also follow me at @greggrogersgolf or learn more at www.grgolfperformance.com.

MARS future looking sweeter with Microsoft technology

Whether it’s grabbing gum at checkout, satisfying late-afternoon hunger with a Milky Way ®, or even buying pet food for that unconditional loving best friend, we’ve all been surrounded by MARS products and might not even know it! As a century-old family-owned business, MARS has certainly found its recipe for success. The company has made $35 billion in global sales by putting people first in everything they do. With 60 brands across six segments from food, drinks, chocolate, confectionary (gum), pet care and symbioscience, the company is more than just sweet treats. MARS understands a long-term vision that is committed to product, technology and workplace innovation based on the company’s Five Principles– Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom.

MARS has long valued a workplace that encourages mutuality and open communication among all Associates. As MARS looks at new products, services and business units to accelerate its growth, it knows a digital transformation would not only bolster its already collaborative and productive work environment but also attract and retain employees who expect a modern workplace. MARS is deploying Windows 10 to its more than 80,000 associates who work across 400 locations in 78 countries. Windows 10, along with Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, is enabling MARS to digitally transform how its Associates not only work with each other, but how they get work done.

“At MARS, we meet our goals,” says David Boersma, Senior Manager for End User Technologies, MARS, Incorporated. “This company will continue to accelerate its growth organically and through acquisition and we’re using Windows 10 to build the flexibility and capabilities we need to get there.”

— David Boersma, Senior Manager for End User Technologies, MARS, Incorporated

MARS has deployed Windows 10 to help reduce the cost and time associated with large-scale deployments. With a company that spans multiple geographies, its previous upgrades had taken up to four years and cost $4 million. According to Boersma, “Windows 10, on the other hand, has been substantially quicker and with less cost.” The “Windows as a Service” model has allowed MARS to skip the lengthy upgrade cycle which has resulted in accelerated Windows 10 deployment. Originally, MARS set out to deploy Windows 10 to 5,000 Associates in 12 months. Although, it has already exceeded its goal by 110 percent by deploying Windows 10 to 12,500 Associates and is now looking to scale to all Associates by 2018.

By embracing the “Windows as a Service” model, MARS has been able to refocus the time and energy of its IT department from chasing the next operating system update to strengthening its collaborative culture through Office 365, including Yammer and Skype for Business.

“Rather than tying up investment and time to just get through the next product release, we can focus on enhancing key aspects of our culture like mutuality at a digital level, across divisions, borders and time zones – so we can preserve what is special about MARS and help our Associates be more productive and agile.”

— Jonathan Chong, Digital Workplace and Corporate Systems Director at MARS, Incorporated

MARS associates collaborate while using their Windows 10 devices.

MARS associates collaborate while using their Windows 10 devices.

This highly collaborative company has helped create a place where many associates stay 25 years. Although, with its new goal set, MARS wanted to digitally transform not only how its associates work but also attract the next generation of workers.

“We invest a lot of money in attracting and retaining talent. These people now expect a modern, productive work environment and this includes the type of devices we provide and the tools they use at work every day. Products like Windows 10, Skype for Business and Yammer support our engagement and talent management strategies.”

— Paul L’Estrange, CTO and Vice President of Core Services, MARS, Incorporated

MARS Associates use Skype for Business to collaborate.

MARS Associates use Skype for Business to collaborate.

MARS is seeing the positive impact Skype for Business has had on its culture and Associate work-life balance. With Skype for Business, MARS has reduced travel, as Associates now use Skype for Business to tackle projects and resolve issues in real-time.

“We like a lot of human interaction and we’ve been able to use Skype for Business to help us increase that level of collaboration but not necessarily have the person fly half way around the planet. We’ve been able to reduce our overall travel which has been great from a cost perspective. But, we’ve helped positively impact people’s work life balance so they can spend more time at home yet they can still do the business that they need to do around the globe.”

— Joe Carlin, Technology Service Delivery Director, MARS, Incorporated

MARS is also seeing Associates quickly embrace Yammer, as another way to connect and share knowledge. Vittorio Cretella, CIO of MARS, Incorporated says Yammer is “taking down those walls around knowledge and making it accessible which is very valuable.”

MARS associate uses Windows 10 devices to conduct store walk-through.

MARS associate uses Windows 10 devices to conduct store walk-through.

Windows 10 provides MARS the flexibility with the types of devices its Associates and Senior Leaders can use to get work done whether at home, in the office or on the road. Senior Leaders and Associates can now use everything from Surface Pro to OEM devices to help fit their unique work styles. Previously, an associate conducting a store walk-through would have to juggle multiple devices and paper to make note of any product display issues. Once the Associate returned to the office, they’d connect with their peers to resolve the issue. This process could take several days to a week depending on their travel. Today, many issues can be resolved on the spot.

“By using Windows 10, MARS associates now finish things on the road instead of waiting until they get back to the office. For example, field associates use their Surface Pro devices in store walk-throughs, and if necessary, use Office 365 to connect with other team members and resolve display issues in one day instead of a week.”

— Joe Carlin, Technology Service Delivery Director, MARS, Incorporated

With a more on-the-go workforce, MARS has strengthened security and data protection for its Associates who are on their smartphones, tablets or their PCs from the office, at home or on the road. As a privately-owned company, MARS takes security seriously especially when it comes to its intellectual property. MARS has enabled Windows security features like BitLocker to encrypt data and Windows Defender to provide a strong layer of security and authentication.

To ensure MARS can do business securely in the cloud and fully realize its digital transformation, MARS has only just begun its journey with Microsoft Azure to enable greater efficiency and reliability. Currently, MARS has two global datacenters that run 85 percent of its business with one datacenter being 25 years old which requires significant cost resources and time to maintain. Now, MARS is currently testing a hybrid cloud model and recently moved its first live production application, a retail app, into Microsoft Azure as well as about 150 other workloads with the expectation to expand to 500-600 workloads over the next year.

We’re excited to see that with Windows 10, Microsoft Azure, and Office 365, MARS is able to foster a modern and productive workplace that will support the company’s ambitious growth strategy. For more detailed information about MARS’ deployment of Microsoft technologies, please check out the case study and video here.

Save big on Windows 10 devices this Black Friday

Microsoft Store with holiday products

Gadget geeks, get ready. If you’re looking to upgrade your tech this holiday, there’s no better time to buy than Black Friday. Microsoft Store and other retailers across the country are offering some of the steepest discounts of the year on Microsoft’s hottest selling PCs and game consoles, so there’s something for everyone on your shopping list. Visit your local Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com or any of our retail partners for more details on availability and pricing. Here are just a few of the great deals for shoppers next weekend:

Upgrade to Surface and save up to $430

This Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Microsoft is offering an unprecedented deal of up to $430 off select* Surface devices and bundles between Nov. 24 – 28 at Microsoft Store and Best Buy locations. This includes at least $400 off the Surface Book i5 256GB, the ultimate laptop with a detachable screen, exclusively at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and an exclusive Best Buy bundle with Surface Pro 4 128GB and the Signature Type Cover for $599.

Xbox bundles

Lowest price ever on Xbox One S, starting at just $249!

Between Nov. 24 – 28, shoppers can get $50 off any new Xbox One S bundle – its lowest price ever, starting at $249

Xbox One has been the best-selling gaming console in the U.S. for the past four months according to NPD Group, and between Nov. 24 – 28, shoppers can get $50 off any new Xbox One S bundle – its lowest price ever, starting at $249.

For those looking to beat the Black Friday crowds, shoppers can also save $50 on any new 1TB Xbox One or Xbox One S bundle between Nov. 20 – 23 at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and participating retailers nationwide. The sleeker, slimmer Xbox One S is the only console available this holiday with built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray so you can watch UHD Blu-ray movies and stream video in stunning 4K Ultra HD. It also enables High Dynamic Range (HDR) for gaming so you can experience richer, more luminous colors in games like Gears of War 4, which marks the beginning of a new saga for one of the most acclaimed videogame franchises in history, and Forza Horizon 3, the year’s best-selling and highest-rated racing game. And play with friends on Xbox Live, the fastest, most reliable gaming network with $10 off a 3-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold subscription at participating retailers.

Microsoft Studios’ biggest blockbuster games are also on sale, including $25 off Gears of War 4 and the entire Gears Xbox 360 Collection, and $20 off ReCore at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and participating retailers. Starting Nov. 22, gamers can also enjoy deep discounts on digital games and entertainment purchased through the Xbox Store. Xbox Live Gold members enjoy early access to Black Friday digital deals on Nov. 18 along with exclusive savings. A full rundown of Xbox Black Friday details can be found on Xbox Wire.

Start the year off right with a new Windows 10 PC

Windows 10 devices

The only way to experience the Windows 10 Creators Update next year is on Windows 10, so if you’re looking to ditch the brick to upgrade to a lighter, more powerful Windows 10 PC and save as much as $400, check out these great Black Friday deals.

  • For all of the power of Windows 10 PCs below $500, Microsoft Store and microsoftstore.com will be offering Dell Inspiron PCs starting at $399 and the HP Notebook 15 for just $299.
  • Best Buy is offering the HP X360 for $229 or Lenovo Ideapad for $400.
  • Office Depot has HP laptops NT Ci3 for $269 and NT Ci5 for $329.
  • You can get the ASUS Transformer Mini T102 for $299 from Amazon.
  • You can get a $99 Inspiron 11 3000 from Dell.
  • For all the bells and whistles, Costco members can save $300 on a Dell XPS 13 from Nov. 25-28 or $100 off the Acer Spin 5 Nov. 24-28.
  • Best Buy is also offering $150 off the Lenovo Yoga 910 from Nov. 25-28 or a $200 instant rebate on the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S until Nov. 19.

Elevate Your Style with Deals on Tech Accessories.

Xbox and Surface accessories

This Black Friday save on customized covers and devices that let you personalize a one-of-a kind gift sure to match any unique style. Enjoy free engraving Nov. 24 – 28 when you design your own custom controller with Xbox Design Lab. You can also save $10 on select Xbox Wireless Controllers and Xbox Stereo Headsets. Also, don’t miss the Complete Your Desktop deal, save $200 when you purchase a Surface Dock, Surface Mouse and Surface Keyboard from Nov. 24 – Dec. 24 at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and online at BestBuy.com.

Microsoft Store: Your one stop shop for everyone on your shopping list

Microsoft Store

Take advantage of Microsoft’s hottest Black Friday deals beginning online at microsoftstore.com on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. PST, and available at participating Microsoft Stores on Thursday, Nov. 24 and in all Microsoft Stores on Black Friday. Shop these great savings on an assortment of best-in-class products, including Surface devices, Signature PCs and more, with exclusive offers including,

  • Save $429 on Surface Pro 4 with a Type Cover.
  • Save $50 on select Xbox One or Xbox One S bundles with a $25 gift card plus a free select game.
  • Take advantage of great deals on Office with $20 off Office 365 Home and $30 off Office Home & Student.
  • Buy an unlocked Lumia 950XL or unlocked 950 and receive a Microsoft Display Dock for free.

Get hands-on with products and hear from our knowledgeable and friendly Microsoft Store associates for gift recommendations, or shop at microsoftstore.com for free shipping and extended holiday returns.

And don’t forget to check out Microsoft’s newest devices announced at our October event, the stunning Surface StudioSurface Dial and the now on-sale powerful Surface Book i7 with performance base.

Happy shopping!

*Valid in the US only at Microsoft retail and online stores, limit one per customer.

Product: SP4 256GB i5 8GB + black type cover Bundle in MS Store only for $999 (save $429.99). Offer valid on select Surface Pro 4 i5 256GB and Surface Pro Type Cover (excludes NFL, Alcantara and Fingerprint Type Covers). Includes P4 i5 256GB, pen and Black Type Cover all in exclusive bundle.

Product: Surface Book i5 256GB with GPU device. Regular $1899, promo price $1499.

Product: Surface Pro 4 Core M Bundle for $599 at Best Buy only. Includes P4 Core M device, No Pen and Alcantara Cover all in exclusive bundle.

Product: Surface Pro 4 i5 128GB for $799 across full Retail Channel.

Product: Surface Book i5 128GB for $1249 across full Retail Channel.

Not valid on prior orders or purchases; cannot be transferred or otherwise redeemed for cash or coupon code(s). May not be combinable with other offers. Refunds will take into account the discount. Price discount does not include taxes, shipping or other fees. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue offers at any time. Other exclusions and limits may apply.

Hendrick Motorsports gains competitive advantage on the race track

I am a huge NASCAR fan, following races since I was a teenager. It’s a sport where champions are defined by tenth of a second; the smallest detail in a race car makes the difference between winning and losing. NASCAR has the longest season of any sport in the United States, and the competition is fast-paced and relentless. Hendrick Motorsports holds a record 11 car owner championships in NASCAR’s premier division and has four of the most successful teams, including car number 5 driven by Kasey Kahne, car 24 driven by Chase Elliott, car 48 driven by Jimmie Johnson, and car 88 driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr – they are a team to be reckoned with.

“The biggest challenge that we have is keeping a competitive advantage against 39 other teams that we race against on a weekly basis.”

— Matthew Cochran, Manager of Information Technologies at Hendrick Motorsports

Windows 10 provides speed, versatility and enhanced security for its versatile teams

Hendrick Motorsports Gains Competitive Advantage On the Race Track

Hendrick has already upgraded all of its 600 employees to Windows 10 Enterprise, giving them a common mobile platform and the ability to work across devices. Not only does Windows 10 keep their devices and data more secure than any other operating system, the experience works seamlessly on whatever size screen they are using – whether it’s Surface Pro 3, a Panasonic Toughbook or a Windows 10 mobile device. The IT team has also embraced the new approach of Windows as a service to keep all employees up to date.

Hendrick Motorsports Gains Competitive Advantage On the Race Track

By moving to Windows 10, the IT team says it’s seen a 64% reduction in installation and patch time. Outside the office, staff use their devices in a non-traditional environment—the racetrack. Hendrick race engineers have to keep pace with activities on the track and in a highly mobile work environment.

“The racetrack’s probably one of the harshest environments that IT can operate in. We utilize a combination of Windows 10 devices in the garage, on race car haulers, and all the way to the pit boxes. Windows 10 works seamlessly across all those devices from small; 8” devices to large monitor laptops, and that’s what so important to us and such a huge benefit to Hendrick.”

—  Matthew Cochran, Manager of Information Technologies at Hendrick Motorsports

Using data and machine learning to push the limits and take action

With strict regulations governing stock cars, engineers have a limited number of ways they can legally change a car to make it go faster. We worked with Hendrick to develop a customized proprietary universal Windows 10 app powered by the Microsoft Cloud to collect data and distill it quickly enough to inform decisions during a race. Prior to using the solution, much of this data was collected manually and could take many hours and multiple engineers to parcel this data into a manageable format. Now with the power of the Azure cloud and Windows 10, the team can digitally transform their process into real-time data to free up engineers for more mission-critical tasks.

“Before, we had all this aggregated data that we really couldn’t do much with, and now with Azure we can parse it down to really get something useful. The true power of using Azure is that you can make a more informed decision, and nine times out of ten, that’s going to translate into greater performance.”

— Tom Gray, #24 Team Engineer at Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick selected the Microsoft Azure cloud to analyze large amounts of structured and unstructured data. Cortana Intelligence Suite, a feature of Azure Machine Learning, allows Hendrick to automate data flow. Teams can collect data from the car and timing and scoring feeds from NASCAR, push it up to the cloud for analysis, and then pull back information that’s valuable. With our cloud-based services, Hendrick does not have to invest in costly server infrastructure and instead can pay by the minute for only the computing power the team needs. For instance, on race day, the team can bring a cluster of virtual machines online, and then take it offline as soon as the event is over.

“We have high-performance computing power with Azure that we can scale up only when we need it compared to building a $200,000 infrastructure and keeping it running 24 hours a day, there’s really no question.”

— David Hood, Engineer and Data Scientist at Hendricks Motorsports

Adopting high octane productivity tools

Hendrick Motorsports Gains Competitive Advantage On the Race Track

Hendrick also wanted to standardize on communication, collaboration, and productivity applications companywide, so it deployed Microsoft Office 365 alongside Windows 10. Since the Hendrick racing team supports four different cars, it’s essential that data gets shared among all team members. Employees were quick to start using OneNote to share notes and Skype for Business Online for videoconferencing and messaging teammates during practices and races, when engineers, coaches, and other staff are out on the track in a noisy environment.

“We use OneNote to share information from the racetrack back to our home campus. We have a lot of data throughput and a lot of iteration going on, and it’s paramount for us to be able to share that information among the four teams,” says Hood. “It’s a more collaborative effort now, and as an organization as a whole we’re much stronger because of that.”

The combination of Windows 10, Microsoft Azure, and Office 365—all accessible through a single sign-in on a wide variety of devices—is what makes their experience so powerful. From the IT side, moving to the cloud has reduced an IT maintenance and support burden, and staff is able to spend time more effectively.

Racing toward success

Hendrick Motorsports is keeping its eye on the prize: and by delivering a seamless experience that allows its teams to be inventive, consistent, and collaborative in their decision making is giving them a competitive edge.

“A season is a marathon of 39 races. When you’re successful, it’s the challenges you win that you remember, not necessarily the champagne at the end,” says Doug Duchardt, General Manager at Hendrick Motorsports. “We’re using Windows 10, Microsoft Cloud and Office 365 to work together and get better every day—just as we do across all our race teams.”

I couldn’t agree more!

Jason

Surface and partners: Creating next generation services and support

Last September, we launched the Surface Enterprise Initiative – to help the world’s biggest businesses get the most out of Surface devices with strategic partnerships designed to provide unmatched services and support, industry specific application and solutions development, and flexible purchase and deployment methods.

Microsoft Surface

We kicked off the Surface Enterprise Initiative with Dell providing Surface customers with global procurement capabilities and the power of Dell’s services and support offering. In July, we added specific application and solutions development partnerships with IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton. In one short year, we grew our purchasing and deployment partner footprint from 200 to more than 10,000 partners worldwide in the channel; created a Multi-National Purchasing Program with resellers like CDW, Insight, SHI and Zones; and created an entirely unique model for purchasing and deploying our devices with Surface as a Service.

Today, we are proud to share what’s next for the Surface Enterprise Initiative in services and support while sharing the remarkable progress we are seeing with Surface as a Service.

Expansion of Services and Support Capabilities

Over the past 12 months our customers have told us they love Surface devices. They value the flexibility, choice and control we offer them from a purchasing perspective and have asked that a similar flexibility be applied to support capabilities. And, like we have with hardware, they want Surface to help anticipate their future services and support needs while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, since devices are a catalyst of the transformation they are driving in their businesses.

With that in mind, we are excited to expand the Surface Enterprise Initiative to enable partners, worldwide, to create and provide services and support capabilities for Surface. We will invest in the following fundamental services and support areas:

Surface and Partners: Creating Next Generation Services and Support

  1. Configuration and Deployment Services – such as imaging, asset management, provisioning and integration services.
  2. Enhanced Replacement and Exchange Services – such as next business day, advanced exchange and onsite replacement services.
  3. Logistics and Warehousing Services – such as custom shipping, order consolidation and kitting services.
  4. Next Generation Services and Support – working alongside IT decision makers, partners and the broader Surface ecosystem to conceive and create solutions, that will provide tools for businesses worldwide to enable change in their organizations and use devices as a key component in that change.

Surface has a history of pushing the envelope and setting new standards for how devices transform businesses and lives. While field serviceability is important today, as businesses embark on their digital transformation journeys, their support needs are evolving. Surface will evolve with them, to not only change and create lasting and meaningful employee engagement, but to also enable IT and Business Decision Makers.

There is fertile ground to be explored in this area, and we are excited to work with and through partners worldwide to create the next generation services and support capabilities. For the partners interested in joining us on this journey, please visit the website Surface Drumbeat: drumbeat.surface.com.

Surface as a Service Partner Momentum

We created Surface as a Service to provide enterprise customers who love Surface greater flexibility and choice in their deployment and purchasing decision making process, as many look to move from CAPEX to OPEX. Surface as a Service provides flexibility of solutions, enables faster device refresh, and ensures customers can have the latest Surface devices that evolve with the best of Windows and Office.

We’re extremely pleased by the momentum we’ve seen in the past two months since we introduced Surface as a Service. Some of the largest distribution and reseller partners have joined us, including: ALSO, Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Inc., Acrodex and others, with market coverage across the US, Canada, UK and Western Europe. Based on the customer demand and partner interest, we anticipate additional markets coming online in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia soon.

Our first partner to offer Surface as a Service was, in Germany. ALSO has been extremely successful in recruiting partners, already 300 resellers since July, by creating compelling customer offerings and delivering powerful tools for resellers such as pricing and offer configurators, easy and simple billing, hence accelerating the buying process.

 “Surface as a Service is a great model for ALSO to reach customers that want choice, flexibility and control. Our customers love Surface not only for its flexibility, but also for the unique way it takes advantage of this buying model.”

— Malte Wigger, head of Workplace as a Service, ALSO

One of ALSO’s premier resellers, Infoteq, agrees that Surface as a Service has the potential to significantly impact their engagement with customers.

“We are absolutely confident that this new model – Surface as a Service – is a highly attractive solution for SMB customers. It’s great that we can support customers with an easy and flexible solution with this end-to-end approach.”

— Franz Martin, Managing Director, Infoteq

In addition, Tech Data, a global leader in distribution of technology, services and solutions, has joined Surface as a Service with their program: Surface Advantage.

“We are seeing an increased interest from our partners and their customers to provide innovative ways to deliver Microsoft Surface. Our Surface Advantage program combines the power and mobility of Microsoft Surface with the productivity and security of Windows 10 and Office 365. We are proud to partner with Microsoft to address the building demand for Device-as-a-Service solutions.”

— Brian Davis, senior vice president, U.S. Marketing at Tech Data

We’re proud to highlight that Ingram Micro is launching its Surface as a Subscription offering in October, which allows a monthly payment for the use of Surface during the subscription period versus buying the devices. Under the new program, Ingram Micro uses end-of-term residuals to lower monthly payment plans and create more ongoing refresh and sales opportunities for channel partners. Available in the U.S., the Ingram Micro offering expects up to provide 20 percent cost savings over a two-year term, with options for extended terms.

“Surface-as-a-Subscription is a simple and sales-friendly solution that benefits both the channel partner and their customer. We’re excited to build awareness and generate demand for Surface-as-a-Subscription and see tremendous business value and potential growth in the ‘as a subscription’ service model.”

— Mike Erwin, senior director, Ingram Micro, Inc.

Acrodex (a PCM Company), one of Canada’s largest IT solution providers, has achieved great success with their offering that leverages the benefits of Surface as a Service. The solution, Evolve, is designed to enable and empower end users with the five pillars of productivity: Microsoft Surface, Office 365, End-User Coaching, On-Call Support, and an online license Management Portal. The solution starts at $89.95 per user per month.

“Evolve is designed to remove productivity obstacles for our customers. We want to provide a smart-bundle that truly empowers end users with the right device, software, and services. The Microsoft Surface is integral to our Evolve solution, providing clients with a device that is truly unique among the competition – much like our bundled solution.”

— Phil Soper, President PCM Canada

We’ve made it our mission to partner with the best in the industry to create the Surface ecosystem together. We continue to look for partners who want to be a part of the greater Surface ecosystem. Those who are interested in taking advantage of our next-generation services and support or procuring their devices via Surface as a Service should go to drumbeat.surface.com – our one-stop shop for partner guidance and resources. Together we will do great things.

New Windows 10 and Office 365 features for the secure productive enterprise

Today I am pleased to join Scott Guthrie and Satya Nadella at Ignite, the largest IT conference in the industry with more than 20,000 attendees. It’s an exciting time to be in IT, with the modern workplace creating a major shift in the way people work. Information is abundant, experiences and data must easily move across multiple devices, and collaboration is critical as the workforce becomes more mobile and more global. At the same time, security has never been more challenging as attacks have become more advanced and targeted, with the average data breach costing $12 million and costing an estimated $3 trillion in lost productivity by 2020.

To help businesses take advantage of the modern workplace while protecting their greatest assets, Microsoft has invested in enabling the digital transformation of business – helping connect employees and optimize operations with enhanced productivity in secure environments. To aid their digital transformation, starting on October 1 businesses can get the Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE), with Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), with the flexibility to deploy either on-premise or in the cloud.

With more than 400 million monthly active devices now running Windows 10, enterprises are moving faster than ever to the most secure Windows.

“Windows 10 is the first operating system to deliver a completely integrated mobile and cloud experience to our entire workforce. It’s the only operating system that can unlock the full potential of our employees, while still providing the security and control we require to operate our company.”

— Mike Macrie, Land O’Lakes CIO

Combined with the 70 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365 and Azure Active Directory in EMS protecting 1 billion logins each day, customers like Expedia, Goodyear, and Facebook are already taking advantage of these technologies.

Today our security offering gets even stronger, delivering even more value for SPE customers, with the introduction of Windows Defender Application Guard – which makes Microsoft Edge the most secure browser in the enterprise –  and the expansion of our Advanced Threat Protection technology across Windows 10 Enterprise and Office 365 for complete protection across endpoints and in the cloud.

“We chose Windows 10 because of the myriad of enhancements; from faster boot & login times, security offerings, and mobile friendly enrichments. Modern technologies such as BitLocker, Credential Guard, and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection offer end-to-end security features that promote mobility while reducing worry.”

— Armand Campo, Director, IT Systems, Expedia

Announcing Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge

Since we released Microsoft Edge, we have been making continuous improvements with hundreds of new features and security enhancements to deliver the fastest and safest browser. While Microsoft Edge has the lowest number of vulnerabilities of any major browser on Windows, any vulnerability in the browser is a risk for businesses that must protect their networks and data from increasingly sophisticated and targeted threats.

Today we announced a new addition to the extensive Windows 10 security stack with a revolutionary security improvement to Microsoft Edge. Windows Defender Application Guard uses virtualization-based security technology to protect against advanced attacks coming from the Internet, helping to protect the enterprise’s devices, employees, data and even their corporate networks. This level of protection has never been more important, as the majority of attacks start in the browser.

Unlike other browsers that use software-based sandboxes, which still provide a pathway for malware and vulnerability exploits, Microsoft Edge’s use of Application Guard isolates the browser and employee activity using a hardware-based container to prevent malicious code from impacting the device and moving across the enterprise network. This robust security service helps protect enterprises from malware, viruses, vulnerabilities, and even zero-day attacks. Once enabled, enterprise administrators can configure a trusted network site list policy and distribute the group policy to any devices it wishes to protect with Application Guard. Even if an untrusted site successfully loads malware, the malware is unable to reach beyond the isolated container to steal data or permanently compromise devices or the network. Once the employee exits their Microsoft Edge browsing session, any malware is erased, preventing further attacks.

With Application Guard, Microsoft Edge becomes the browser standard for the enterprise and Windows 10 becomes the first operating system to ship this type of technology alongside a browser. It will become available to Windows Insiders in the coming months and roll out more broadly next year.

Combining Windows 10 Enterprise and Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Intelligence Graphs

We recently released Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP), a cloud-based service to help enterprises detect, investigate, and respond to advanced attacks on their networks. WDATP is powered by a combination of Windows behavioral sensors, cloud based security analytics, threat intelligence, and by tapping into the Microsoft Security Graph.

WDATP is already protecting hundreds of customers such as Emirates Airlines, Humanitas, Cellcom, Avanade, and Pella across more than 800,000 endpoints.

“The information our team is able to obtain through Windows Defender ATP is nothing short of impressive. When we need easy to read forensic data, it does a perfect job of giving us timelines at impressive speeds. It’s an invaluable tool for greater visibility into our environment.”

— Daniel Betz, IT Security Engineer, Union Bank & Trust

Today, we’re introducing threat intelligence sharing between WDATP and Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, enabling IT to investigate and respond to security threats across Windows 10 and Office 365 more efficiently. By combining the intelligence of WDATP and Office ATP, the Microsoft Security Graph, which analyzes over 300 billion authentications processed per month, 200 billion emails for malware and phishing, and one billion Windows device updates – gets even more robust.

Now, IT can identify and follow the complete chain of an attack from an email – to across the network -with detailed timelines and analysis. This real-time access and product integration converts the time to investigate an incident from days or weeks to mere hours. And the comprehensive security intelligence from Microsoft and our industry partners, including FireEye iSight threat intelligence, puts all the information needed to investigate and respond in an easy, simplified interface with clear steps for remediation. It’s the most comprehensive and robust security solution available today.

New Windows 10 and Office 365 Features for the Secure Productive Enterprise

New Deployment Tools for Windows 10 Releasing Today

We want all of our customers to experience the most secure Windows and deploy today. Not only are Windows 10 customers seeing a 33% reduction in security issues, customer satisfaction is at an all-time high with organizations seeing many benefits – including installation reduced from 1 hour to 5 minutes.

“Windows as a service has reduced our operating system deployment time by 75%.”

— Dorothy Stephenson, Director, ITS Kimberly Clark

To help companies move even more quickly to Windows 10, today we’re releasing Windows Upgrade Analytics, a free service that helps IT easily analyze their environment and upgrade to Windows 10.

Upgrade Analytics works by gathering data about installed hardware and software across devices, analyzing the data and providing a snapshot that identifies app compatibility, device and driver readiness and suggested remediation so customers can quickly take action for faster deployments. More than 500 customers have been piloting the service, including The Daimler Group and Ryder Systems Inc.

New Windows 10 and Office 365 Features for the Secure Productive Enterprise

Additional features include Site Discovery, which lists an inventory of web sites used on an organization’s network that are running Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 to help prioritize web application testing prior to upgrading. The Ready for Windows web site lists software solutions that are supported on Windows 10 and by using Upgrade Analytics, IT can see adoption and vendor support status for applications in use across their enterprise.

With advanced security, all new deployment tools, and purchasing options with the Secure Productive Enterprise, it’s a great time for enterprises to deploy Windows 10. Some of the customers joining us at Ignite include Crystal Group of Companies, a leading garment manufacturer who uses Windows 10 and the Microsoft cloud to improve clothing design concepts for customers like Victoria’s Secret to rapidly increase delivery time to days, compared to months; and Hendrick Motorsports, who uses WDATP to protect their employees while mobile, some as much as 40 weeks per year.

We are excited by the momentum we’re seeing for Windows 10 and look forward to helping more businesses digitally transform.

Yusuf