LA County brings its 100,000 employees together with Office 365

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On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that Los Angeles County is moving more than 100,000 employees working in more than 30 departments to Office 365. The county is the largest in the nation, and it’s decided to go with Office 365 to get all employees on the same platform and “on an even playing field,” said Richard Sanchez, Los Angeles County’s chief information officer.

This move gives L.A. County workers access to the tools that come standard in Office 365, such as email; productivity apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint; voice and video conferencing and other collaboration tools; the ability to work from anywhere and virtually any device; and built-in security and privacy compliance. It also allows the county to simplify and unify all of its employees.

Microsoft spoke with three business decision makers at the county: Richard Sanchez, CIO; Peter Loo, chief deputy CIO; and Captain Paul Drake of the Sheriff’s Department. Each emphasized the fact that the county is made up of more than 30 federated departments, each of which had to agree to adopt Office 365 on its own.

All departments – even the ones that couldn’t afford upgrades – are now getting the same access to the tools. Offices with tight budgets, such as the Department of Children and Family Services, will now spend less time worrying about technology and more time working on cases and directly with families; saving even just five minutes per case can exponentially increases the agency’s capacity to take on and resolve more cases and ultimately serve more county constituents. The technology will also create opportunities for each department to develop solutions specific to their own needs and leverage solutions created by other departments.

The county is thrilled to see what employees generate. “We’re going to set them free, and see what they come up with,” said Sanchez.

Here’s a look at Los Angeles County departments and team.

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Rich Sanchez: “This is an investment in our future. That’s the beauty of the technology and of Microsoft, we know the tool won’t go away and we will continually get updates as the software develops. That’s huge for our departments, nobody will have to invest in technology that may be out-of-date within a year.”
Rich Sanchez in the Office of the CIO, World Trade Center in Los Angeles.
Rich Sanchez: “This is an investment in our future. That’s the beauty of the technology and of Microsoft, we know the tool won’t go away and we will continually get updates as the software develops. That’s huge for our departments, nobody will have to invest in technology that may be out-of-date within a year.”

Rich Sanchez: “The mission of the Los Angeles County Fire Department is to protect lives, the environment and property by providing prompt, skillful and cost-effective fire protection and life safety services. This new technology solution will give the department access to the most up-to-date software, so firefighters can focus their energy on serving their mission and protecting our county constituents.”
Los Angeles County Fire Department trucks. In 2013, the L.A. County Fire Department responded to a total of 329,119 incidents.
Rich Sanchez: “The mission of the Los Angeles County Fire Department is to protect lives, the environment and property by providing prompt, skillful and cost-effective fire protection and life safety services. This new technology solution will give the department access to the most up-to-date software, so firefighters can focus their energy on serving their mission and protecting our county constituents.”

Peter Loo: “Office 365 will allow our mobile workforce, like our social workers, district attorneys, assessors, field investigators, animal control and coroners to be more mobile. Office 365 will enable our law enforcement officers, public health inspectors, social workers and others to securely access information on multiple devices anytime, anywhere. This flexibility will dramatically increase productivity for the county and provide a technically secure environment for our employees to collaborate and share information.”
Peter Loo outside the County of Los Angeles Office of the CIO, World Trade Center in Los Angeles.
June 17, 2014
Peter Loo: “Office 365 will allow our mobile workforce, like our social workers, district attorneys, assessors, field investigators, animal control and coroners to be more mobile. Office 365 will enable our law enforcement officers, public health inspectors, social workers and others to securely access information on multiple devices anytime, anywhere. This flexibility will dramatically increase productivity for the county and provide a technically secure environment for our employees to collaborate and share information.”

Peter Loo: “We’re now giving all employees the appropriate tools to do their jobs. Increasingly, professionals coming into the county workforce expect to use the types of tools and resources that Office 365 provides to improve employee productivity and collaboration. Providing these tools will also help with employee retention for the long term.”
USC Medical Center and Teaching Hospital, Los Angeles. L.A. County is the second-largest municipal health system in the nation. In 2013, more than 820,000 residents received healthcare in L.A. County hospitals and clinics.
Peter Loo: “We’re now giving all employees the appropriate tools to do their jobs. Increasingly, professionals coming into the county workforce expect to use the types of tools and resources that Office 365 provides to improve employee productivity and collaboration. Providing these tools will also help with employee retention for the long term.”

Captain Drake: “Cost savings was huge in our decision-making process. At the time of the decision, we were in the process of evaluating hardware solutions to upgrade our own servers, but with Office 365 we can cut out that capital expense cost completely and have the most up-to-date software. Once Microsoft established CJIS compliance, this was really a no brainer.”
Captain Drake working at his office in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Captain Drake: “Cost savings was huge in our decision-making process. At the time of the decision, we were in the process of evaluating hardware solutions to upgrade our own servers, but with Office 365 we can cut out that capital expense cost completely and have the most up-to-date software. Once Microsoft established CJIS compliance, this was really a no brainer.”

Captain Drake: “The Sheriff’s department is the hub of all law enforcement here at L.A. County. Out of all the departments, we need to be the most secure with our data. With this secure software, our employees can easily share important documents with one another and outside the agency knowing that information is secure.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s vehicle. In 2013, 9,500 sheriff deputies and 4,000 civilian volunteers patrolled L.A. County.
Captain Drake: “The Sheriff’s department is the hub of all law enforcement here at L.A. County. Out of all the departments, we need to be the most secure with our data. With this secure software, our employees can easily share important documents with one another and outside the agency knowing that information is secure.”


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For more, check out the press release.

Microsoft News Center Staff

Hyper-V and Networking – Part 3: IP Routing

In the previous post, we dug into VLANs, which are a layer 2 concept in the ISO model. In this piece, we’re going to step up into layer 3 and look at IP address and routing and how they work with Hyper-V. Part 1 – Mapping the OSI Model Part 2 – VLANs Part 3 – IP Routing…

Original post link: Hyper-V and Networking – Part 3: IP Routing

The post Hyper-V and Networking – Part 3: IP Routing appeared first on Hyper-V Hub – Altaro’s Microsoft Hyper-V blog.

Microsoft and American Family Insurance launch startup accelerator for home automation

The following post is from Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of Developer Experience & Evangelism and Chief Evangelist for Microsoft.


On Tuesday, we hosted a number startups at Microsoft’s Global Startup Day in San Francisco, all of which were from Microsoft accelerator and incubation programs. This event wasn’t just an excuse to celebrate the successful startups that we’ve nurtured – it was an affirmation that startups from anywhere in the world can find success, on their terms, working with Microsoft. Most of these startups were participants in our Microsoft Ventures Accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.

We chose San Francisco for this event to highlight these startups against the backdrop of the Bay Area, the gold standard for startup success. The startups highlighted during this day have witnessed market successes through their strong efforts and support from our accelerators, and we wanted to share their stories. It also provided the perfect opportunity to announce Microsoft Ventures’ first Accelerator inside the United States.

In partnership with American Family Insurance, we are launching our next Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Seattle, to be hosted on Microsoft’s Redmond campus. Together, Microsoft and American Family Insurance will focus upon accelerating startups working on the next wave of services in home automation.

Every day, technology becomes a more integral part of our daily lives. Looking beyond the current wave of mobile and social companies, we are on the verge of a new wave of innovative companies that will go far beyond phones, creating a new wave of smart devices. With advances in sensor technology, cloud services and analytics tools, the homestead is the next frontier for startup innovation. Combining Microsoft’s deep technical expertise with American Family Insurance industry expertise, we are creating unique opportunities for startups building smarter, safer homes.

To help these startups grow, Microsoft is providing in-kind support in the form of space, access to dedicated mentorship and connections to its top customers, among many other resources…without taking any equity. American Family Insurance is also offering unique expertise, in addition to a minimum, optional $25,000 equity investment in each startup accepted into the program.

This will be an immersive experience, focused on launching world-class companies with an eye on the global marketplace.

Startups can find more information and apply at: www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/seattle.

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning combines power of comprehensive machine learning with benefits of cloud

The following post is from Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of Machine Learning at Microsoft.


Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but machine learning – a way of applying historical data to a problem by creating a model and using it to successfully predict future behavior or trends – is touching more and more lives every day. For example, search engines, online product recommendations, credit card fraud prevention systems, GPS traffic directions and mobile phone personal assistants like Cortana all use the power of machine learning. But we’ve barely scratched the surface of its potential to change the world. Soon machine learning will help to drastically reduce wait times in emergency rooms, predict disease outbreaks and predict and prevent crime. To realize that future, we need to make machine learning more accessible – to every enterprise and, over time, every one.

Machine learning today is usually self-managed and on premises, requiring the training and expertise of data scientists. However, data scientists are in short supply, commercial software licenses can be expensive and popular programming languages for statistical computing have a steep learning curve. Even if a business could overcome these hurdles, deploying new machine learning models in production systems often requires months of engineering investment. Scaling, managing and monitoring these production systems requires the capabilities of a very sophisticated engineering organization, which few enterprises have today.

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, a fully-managed cloud service for building predictive analytics solutions, helps overcome the challenges most businesses have in deploying and using machine learning. How? By delivering a comprehensive machine learning service that has all the benefits of the cloud. In mere hours, with Azure ML, customers and partners can build data-driven applications to predict, forecast and change future outcomes – a process that previously took weeks and months.

Azure ML, which previews next month, will bring together the capabilities of new analytics tools, powerful algorithms developed for Microsoft products like Xbox and Bing, and years of machine learning experience into one simple and easy-to-use cloud service. For customers, this means virtually none of the startup costs associated with authoring, developing and scaling machine learning solutions. Visual workflows and startup templates will make common machine learning tasks simple and easy. And the ability to publish APIs and Web services in minutes and collaborate with others will quickly turn analytic assets into enterprise-grade production cloud services.

Today, partners are using an early preview of Azure ML to build machine learning solutions for our customers. For example, MAX451 is helping a large retail customer determine what products a customer is most likely to purchase next, based on ecommerce data as well as brick and mortar store data. OSISoft is working with Carnegie Mellon University on real time fault detection and the diagnosis of energy output variations across campus buildings. Machine learning is helping to mitigate issues in real time and to predictively optimize energy usage and cost.

In July, we will release the Azure ML public preview and begin our journey to deliver machine learning with all the benefits of cloud computing for every organization. Azure ML is helping us realize that vision and, together with Microsoft’s data platform, customers will be able to create entirely new solutions that bring together big data insights, the Internet of things and predictive analytics. Visit our machine learning blog to learn more.

What version of Linux Supports what in Hyper-V?

We have been doing a lot of work to increase the functionality of Linux on top of Hyper-V, and we have been contributing the necessary changes directly to the main Linux source.  While this is all good – it has caused confusion for some people as they are trying to figure out which versions of Linux support which features on Hyper-V.

Thankfully – our documentation team have been busy putting together some awesome guidance here.

First there is the “Feature Descriptions for Linux virtual machines on Hyper-V” page – that explains all the features and options that are available.

Second – there are pages for a number of the major Linux variants:

Each of these pages tell you exactly what features are supported in what versions.  Very helpful!

Cheers,
Ben

Weekend Reading: June 13 Edition — Xbox brings the big guns to E3, Bing maps favelas, soccer tournament mania

It’s been a long four years for soccer fans everywhere, but the wait is over. The world’s premiere fútbol tournament is finally here! To celebrate, we’ve got a Weekend Reading guaranteed to make you shout “GOOOAAAAAL!”

Also, on the list of big events this week, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, where Xbox made a splash with the announcement of a spectacular lineup of games, including the following, planned for a fall or holiday season launch: “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” “Sunset Overdrive,” “Fable Legends,” “Dance Central Spotlight” and “Forza Horizon 2.”

Feel like you need a crystal ball to compete in your soccer tournament office pool? Bing Predicts has you covered. That’s right. Your favorite search engine just got even smarter. And Bing has intel on more than fútbol. Since its launch this spring, Bing Predicts has accurately called the outcome of every week of “American Idol,” while also proving nearly perfect in predicting the results of “The Voice” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

This week, we also met the brains behind Cortana, your new personal assistant for Windows Phone 8.1., a.k.a. your gatekeeper, your mobile brain. Two years in the making and modelled on real-life personal assistants, Cortana was created by a team of scientists, software engineers and writers led by Marcus Ash.

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As visitors from around the world descend on Brazil for the world’s premier soccer tournament, they will be able to find previously unmapped tourist attractions in Rio’s densely populated, informal settlements called favelas, thanks to Bing’s Na Área. The project, which used Nokia Lumia phones to capture the corresponding images, is a collaboration with residents as well as public and private partners.

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Can’t make it to Rio? Xbox, Internet Explorer, Windows Phone, Skype and Bing have the next best thing: a bevy of ways to help enhance these weeks of soccer mania everyone’s been waiting for. Check out the Destination Brazil portal on Xbox One, a one-stop shop for all things fútbol. The Bing Sports app in the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store has been updated to include the tournament’s top stories, scores, standings, leading players and teams. And Internet Explorer is working with ESPN FC to bring the ESPN FC World Cup Essentials sports hub to the Web.

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And because we can’t get enough of “the beautiful game,” check out the Onefootball Brasil app for Windows Phone, which provides up-to-date play-by-play match commentary, the latest news of the tournament, and match schedules, results and statistics, all through personalized push notifications. Also in apps this week, lots of practical stuff: Use the Hhonors app to book a room; manage your car’s maintenance with the Jiffy Lube app; catch up on the day’s headlines with The Seattle Times News. Or, if you just want to terrorize some swine, Angry Birds has gone Epic, with more worlds, more battles, more awesome, now available on Windows Phone.

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In this week’s installment of Snaps, Microsoft Stories’ digital photo album, local kids play soccer in a favela of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where many of the world’s best professional soccer players will compete in the weeks ahead. Photo taken by National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez using a Nokia Lumia 1520.

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This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we introduced you to a group of graduating high school seniors planning their road ahead.

Here’s wishing your team multiple shots on goal this weekend. We’ll see you back here for more action, fútbol and otherwise, next week.

Posted by Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff

Programmatically Detecting when a VM Changes State

Every now and then I get asked how to detect whenever a virtual machine changes state.  Usually, people who ask about this have written some code that periodically queries Hyper-V to see what state different virtual machines are in (stopped, running, etc.).  What they find is that this is not efficient – and it sometimes misses a virtual machine that has quickly changed state (e.g. stopped and started again).

Luckily, there is a way to be notified of virtual machine state changes without polling for information.

To do this – you want to use WMI instance modification events:

# WMI Query that specifies what events we will watch for

$Query = "Select * from __InstanceModificationEvent within 3 where TargetInstance ISA 'MSVM_ComputerSystem' `

          and TargetInstance.EnabledState  PreviousInstance.EnabledState"

 

# Script block that will run whenever the event fires

[ScriptBlock]$Action = {

   $VMName = $Event.SourceEventArgs.NewEvent.TargetInstance.ElementName

 

   switch ($Event.SourceEventArgs.NewEvent.TargetInstance.EnabledState)

      {

        2 {$vmState = "running"}

        3 {$vmState = "turned off"}

        9 {$vmState = "paused"}

        6 {$vmState = "in a saved state"}

        10 {$vmState = "starting"}

        4 {$vmState = "stopping"}

        default {$vmState = "in an unknown state..."}

       }

 

   if ($Event.SourceEventArgs.NewEvent.TargetInstance.EnabledState -eq 1)

      {$vmState = $Event.SourceEventArgs.NewEvent.TargetInstance.OtherEnabledState}

 

   write-host "The virtual machine '$($vmName)' is now $($vmState)."}

 

# Register for the events

Register-WMIEvent -Query $Query -Action $Action -Namespace rootvirtualizationv2

 

# To clean up - run "Get-EventSubscriber | Unregister-Event"

This code will print out a message whenever a virtual machine changes state.

Cheers,
Ben