Tag Archives: announced

Mist automates WLAN monitoring with new AI features

Mist Systems announced this week that its Marvis virtual network assistant now understands how to respond to hundreds of inquiries related to wireless LAN performance. And, in some cases, it can detect anomalies in those networks before they cause problems for end users.

IT administrators can ask Marvis questions about the performance of wireless networks — and the devices connected to it — using natural language commands, such as, “What’s wrong with John’s laptop?” The vendor said the technology helps customers identify client-level problems, rather than just network-wide trends.

Marvis could only handle roughly a dozen basic questions at launch in February. But Mist’s machine learning platform has used data from customers that have started using the product to improve Marvis’ natural language processing (NLP) skills for WLAN monitoring. Marvis can now field hundreds of queries, with less specificity required in asking each question.

Mist also announced an anomaly detection feature for Marvis that uses deep learning to determine when a wireless network is starting to behave abnormally, potentially flagging issues before they happen. Using the product’s APIs, IT departments can integrate Marvis with their help desk software to set up automatic alerts.

Mist has a robust platform for network management, and the advancements announced this week represent “solid steps forward for the company and the industry,” said Brandon Butler, analyst at IDC.

Cisco and Aruba Networks, a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, have also been investing in new technologies for automated WLAN monitoring and management, Butler said.

“Mist has taken a unique approach in the market with its focusing on NLP capabilities to provide users an intuitive way of interfacing with the management platform,” Butler said. “It is one of many companies … that are building up their anomaly detection and auto-remediation capabilities using machine learning capabilities.”

Applying AI to radio resource management

The original promise of radio resource management (RRM), which has been around for 15 years, was the service would detect noise and interference in wireless networks and adjust access points and channels accordingly, said Jeff Aaron, vice president of marketing at Mist, based in Cupertino, Calif.

“The problem is it’s never really worked that way,” Aaron said. “RRM has never been real-time; it’s usually done at night, because it doesn’t really have the level of data you need to make the decision.”

Now, Mist has revamped its RRM service using AI, so it can monitor the coverage, capacity, throughput and performance of Wi-Fi networks on a per-user basis. The service makes automatic changes and quantifies what impact — positive or negative — those changes have on end users.

Mist has RRM in its flagship product for WLAN monitoring and management, Wi-Fi Assurance.

Service-level expectations for WAN performance

Mist will now let customers establish and enforce service-level expectations (SLEs) for WAN performance. The agreements will help Mist customers track the impact of latency, jitter and packet loss on end users.

The release of SLEs for the WAN comes as Mist pursues partnerships with Juniper and VMware to reduce friction between the performance and user experience of the WLAN and the WAN.

Mist also lets customers set service levels for Wi-Fi performance based on metrics that include capacity, coverage, throughput, latency, access point uptime and roaming.

Paid parental leave matters – Microsoft on the Issues

Building on our 2015 announcement
Three years ago, we announced that we would require a wide variety of suppliers that do business with Microsoft in the United States to provide their employees with the important benefit of paid time off. Today we are announcing that over the next year we will take a further step, to ensure that these suppliers also provide their employees who handle our work with paid parental leave.

We have long recognized that the health, well-being and diversity of our employees helps Microsoft succeed. That’s why we provide industry-leading benefits for our employees, including comprehensive health and wellness programs for families, paid vacation, paid sick leave and paid time off for new parents.

We also know that we rely on a wide array of other companies to supply us with goods and services that reflect their core competencies, and that the people who work for our suppliers also are critical to our success. That is why we took the step three years ago to require our U.S. suppliers doing substantial business with Microsoft to provide paid time off for their employees. Paid time off is good both for employers and employees, and it was the right step for our business. By implementing that requirement, we were able to focus our resources on businesses that share with us a commitment providing employees with important benefits such as paid time off. We believe now is the time to work with our suppliers to take a next important step.

What we’re doing
Over the next 12 months we will work with our U.S. suppliers to implement this new paid parental leave policy. It will require that suppliers offer their employees a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave, up to $1,000 per week. This change applies to all parents employed by our suppliers who take time off for the birth or adoption of a child. The new policy applies to suppliers with more than 50 employees and covers supplier employees who perform substantial work for Microsoft.  This minimum threshold applies to all of our suppliers across the U.S. and is not intended to supplant a state law that is more generous. Many of our suppliers already offer strong benefits packages to their employees, and suppliers are of course welcome to offer more expansive leave benefits to their employees.

Our new supplier parental leave requirement is informed by important work on paid parental leave done in states, including Washington. In 2017, Washington state passed family leave legislation, including paid parental leave. This new law will take effect in 2020. As we looked at this legislation, however, we realized that while it will benefit the employees of our suppliers in Washington state, it will leave thousands of valued contributors outside of Washington behind. So, we made a decision to apply Washington’s parental leave requirement more broadly, and not to wait until 2020 to begin implementation.

Microsoft will work with our suppliers to understand the impacts of this change, and we will make these changes in a thoughtful way. We appreciate that this may ultimately result in increased costs for Microsoft, and we’ll put a process in place for addressing these issues with our suppliers. Our first step will be reaching out to our suppliers to discuss the impact of this policy change.

The case for paid parental leave
We recognize today’s announcement comes during an ongoing national dialogue about the importance of paid parental leave. The case for paid parental leave is clear. Studies show that paid parental leave enriches the lives of families.  Women who take paid maternity leave are more likely to be in the workforce a year later and earn more than mothers who do not receive paid time off.  Employers who offer paid time off for new mothers experience improved productivity, higher morale and lower turnover rates. And, paid parental leave is not solely a benefit for women.  Data from California’s paid family leave program shows that men take paternity leave at twice the rate and for longer periods of time when the leave is paid. This increased bonding and time spent caring for young children is correlated with positive outcomes such as higher test scores for these children. Further, when men and women have the opportunity to take paid leave, it can help counteract gender caregiving stereotypes, neutralize stigmas and promote equity in the home and office.

Despite these clear benefits, just 13 percent of private sector workers in the U.S. have access to paid parental leave. And the lack of access to parental leave cuts broadly across professions – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22 percent of professional positions and 7 to 8 percent of workers in service and maintenance jobs have access to paid parental leave.

Like many large employers, we welcome the opportunity to engage in the important national conversation about how all U.S. workers, regardless of where they work, can access paid parental leave.  In the meantime, we will continue to focus our resources on doing business with companies that share our commitment to increase workforce inclusion and support employees and their families.  As we gain experience with this new approach, we’ll share what we learn with others.  And as always, we’ll look forward to learning more ourselves.

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Box admins get a deeper view with Insights Dashboard

With the Admin Insights Dashboard announced earlier this year, Box admins get a deeper view into collaborative work patterns related to the cloud services provided by the Box platform, something on-premises CMS admins may already take for granted, but hasn’t always been offered by cloud vendors.

Admins, of course, are on the front line for support and compliance, and they must contend with the ever-increasing complexity of these cloud-based services. While they continue to be responsible for routine tasks such as adding and removing individual users, assigning roles and maintaining workgroups, they also must now monitor what’s going on at all times, as well as be able to quickly diagnose and fix problems — before they impact others.

The Box Admin Insights Dashboard offers a window into those issues, as well as helping enforce compliance around data management and privacy. Using the Admin Insights Dashboard, administrators can monitor upload, download and preview events related to documents, files, spreadsheets, images and Box environments within their purview of responsibilities. Administrators also have visibility into adoption and user engagement with third-party applications, such as Salesforce, Office 365 and Slack.

Admins vs. users

When it comes to digital work, there are two sides to enterprise content management (ECM) in the cloud — what line-of-business workers experience and what administrators must do to maintain these shared enterprise resources.

Line-of-business workers are concerned about their own productivity, collaborating with colleagues and getting work done. They expect simplicity, intuitiveness, and just-in-time access to the right information. A cloud-based content services platform is simply the means to an end.

Box Admin Insights Dashboard screenshot
The Box Admin Insights Dashboard offers several snapshot views, including usage stats.

But a cloud services platform is only as viable as the range of digital experiences it supports. Making it easy for line-of-business workers to collaborate and securely manage the flow of everyday business information is one thing. Making it easy for administrators to monitor the platform’s health, report on operational activities, take administrative actions and enforce security mandates is something entirely different.

Visualizing the administrative experience

From its inception in 2005 as a cloud-native set of services, Box has featured extensive metadata capabilities for content tagging and event logs for auditing. Today, the Box platform includes a wide range of capabilities for enterprise content management (ECM), compliance, governance and data sovereignty, designed to support line-of-business workers.

While Box provides new tracking resources, administrators still need to know what they are looking for.

Administrators can drill into activity reports and further analyze them by time of day and location. They can sequence events along a timeline or map them geographically, selecting from a variety of displays to identify trends and spot anomalies. Administrators can visually detect what line-of-business workers are doing, as well as how apps connected to the platform are being utilized.

In short, monitoring important events for ECM in the cloud matters. Visualizing these events adds insights. With the Admin Insights Dashboard, administrators can intuitively understand what is happening, identify problems and take actions — and also drive Box adoption and collaboration in new ways.

Tracking events that matter

Yet being able to visualize administrative parameters is like an iceberg — often, the most significant lurk below the waterline. The Admin Insights Dashboard highlights the baseline event-monitoring capabilities that are possible within the Box platform. Box promises next-generation administrative experiences in future updates.

Box logs more than 90 events related to content management, external collaboration, categorization, security and endpoint management, retention policy management, legal holds and other usage patterns, both with Box and third-party applications.

By tracking the events that matter to individual Box admins, Box can provide added insights into work activities. For instance, with enhanced controls based on metadata, Box can set retention policies using a file’s metadata, providing organizations with added flexibility and control over their content governance.

Visualizing events is an important first step for enhancing the administrative experience. While Box provides new tracking resources, administrators still need to know what they are looking for and understand the meaning of relevant indicators.

Making things easy, intuitive and useful for administrators takes design expertise to envision, model and implement the next-generation metrics for tracking the health of a cloud-based platform. To deliver on the promise of insightful administrative experiences, it is essential to add meaning to the visible events

Hyper-V HyperClear Mitigation for L1 Terminal Fault

Introduction

A new speculative execution side channel vulnerability was announced recently that affects a range of Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors. This vulnerability, referred to as L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF) and assigned CVE 2018-3646 for hypervisors, can be used for a range of attacks across isolation boundaries, including intra-OS attacks from user-mode to kernel-mode as well as inter-VM attacks. Due to the nature of this vulnerability, creating a robust, inter-VM mitigation that doesn’t significantly degrade performance is particularly challenging.

For Hyper-V, we have developed a comprehensive mitigation to this attack that we call HyperClear. This mitigation is in-use by Microsoft Azure and is available in Windows Server 2016 and later. The HyperClear mitigation continues to allow for safe use of SMT (hyper-threading) with VMs and, based on our observations of deploying this mitigation in Microsoft Azure, HyperClear has shown to have relatively negligible performance impact.

We have already shared the details of HyperClear with industry partners. Since we have received questions as to how we are able to mitigate the L1TF vulnerability without compromising performance, we wanted to broadly share a technical overview of the HyperClear mitigation and how it mitigates L1TF speculative execution side channel attacks across VMs.

Overview of L1TF Impact to VM Isolation

As documented here, the fundamental premise of the L1TF vulnerability is that it allows a virtual machine running on a processor core to observe any data in the L1 data cache on that core.

Normally, the Hyper-V hypervisor isolates what data a virtual machine can access by leveraging the memory address translation capabilities provided by the processor. In the case of Intel processors, the Extended Page Tables (EPT) feature of Intel VT-x is used to restrict the system physical memory addresses that a virtual machine can access.

Under normal execution, the hypervisor leverages the EPT feature to restrict what physical memory can be accessed by a VM’s virtual processor while it is running. This also restricts what data the virtual processor can access in the cache, as the physical processor enforces that a virtual processor can only access data in the cache corresponding to system physical addresses made accessible via the virtual processor’s EPT configuration.

By successfully exploiting the L1TF vulnerability, the EPT configuration for a virtual processor can be bypassed during the speculative execution associated with this vulnerability. This means that a virtual processor in a VM can speculatively access anything in the L1 data cache, regardless of the memory protections configured by the processor’s EPT configuration.

Intel’s Hyper-Threading (HT) technology is a form of Simultaneous MultiThreading (SMT). With SMT, a core has multiple SMT threads (also known as logical processors), and these logical processors (LPs) can execute simultaneously on a core. SMT further complicates this vulnerability, as the L1 data cache is shared between sibling SMT threads of the same core. Thus, a virtual processor for a VM running on a SMT thread can speculatively access anything brought into the L1 data cache by its sibling SMT threads. This can make it inherently unsafe to run multiple isolation contexts on the same core. For example, if one logical processor of a SMT core is running a virtual processor from VM A and another logical processor of the core is running a virtual processor from VM B, sensitive data from VM B could be seen by VM A (and vice-versa).

Similarly, if one logical processor of a SMT core is running a virtual processor for a VM and the other logical processor of the SMT core is running in the hypervisor context, the guest VM could speculatively access sensitive data brought into the cache by the hypervisor.

Basic Inter-VM Mitigation

To mitigate the L1TF vulnerability in the context of inter-VM isolation, the most straightforward mitigation involves two key components:

  1. Flush L1 Data Cache On Guest VM Entry – Every time the hypervisor switches a processor thread (logical processor) to execute in the context of a guest virtual processor, the hypervisor can first flush the L1 data cache. This ensures that no sensitive data from the hypervisor or previously running guest virtual processors remains in the cache. To enable the hypervisor to flush the L1 data cache, Intel has released updated microcode that provides an architectural facility for flushing the L1 data cache.
  2. Disable SMT – Even with flushing the L1 data cache on guest VM entry, there is still the risk that a sibling SMT thread can bring sensitive data into the cache from a different security context. To mitigate this, SMT can be disabled, which ensures that only one thread ever executes on a processor core.

The L1TF mitigation for Hyper-V prior to Windows Server 2016 employs a mitigation based on these components. However, this basic mitigation has the major downside that SMT must be disabled, which can significantly reduce the overall performance of a system. Furthermore, this mitigation can result in a very high rate of L1 data cache flushes since the hypervisor may switch a thread between the guest and hypervisor contexts many thousands of times a second. These frequent cache flushes can also degrade the performance of the system.

HyperClear Inter-VM Mitigation

To address the downsides of the basic L1TF Inter-VM mitigation, we developed the HyperClear mitigation. The HyperClear mitigation relies on three key components to ensure strong Inter-VM isolation:

  1. Core Scheduler
  2. Virtual-Processor Address Space Isolation
  3. Sensitive Data Scrubbing

Core Scheduler

The traditional Hyper-V scheduler operates at the level of individual SMT threads (logical processors). When making scheduling decisions, the Hyper-V scheduler would schedule a virtual processor onto a SMT thread, without regards to what the sibling SMT threads of the same core were doing. Thus, a single physical core could be running virtual processors from different VMs simultaneously.

Starting in Windows Server 2016, Hyper-V introduced a new scheduler implementation for SMT systems known as the “Core Scheduler“. When the Core Scheduler is enabled, Hyper-V schedules virtual cores onto physical cores. Thus, when a virtual core for a VM is scheduled, it gets exclusive use of a physical core, and a VM will never share a physical core with another VM.

With the Core Scheduler, a VM can safely take advantage of SMT (Hyper-Threading). When a VM is using SMT, the hypervisor scheduling allows the VM to use all the SMT threads of a core at the same time.

Thus, the Core Scheduler provides the essential protection that a VM’s data won’t be directly disclosed across sibling SMT threads. It protects against cross-thread data exposure of a VM since two different VMs never run simultaneously on different threads of the same core.

However, the Core Scheduler alone is not sufficient to protect against all forms of sensitive data leakage across SMT threads. There is still the risk that hypervisor data could be leaked across sibling SMT threads.

Virtual-Processor Address Space Isolation

SMT Threads on a core can independently enter and exit the hypervisor context based on their activity. For example, events like interrupts can cause a SMT thread to switch out of running the guest virtual processor context and begin executing the hypervisor context. This can happen independently for each SMT thread, so one SMT thread may be executing in the hypervisor context while its sibling SMT thread is still running a VM’s guest virtual processor context. An attacker running code in the less trusted guest VM virtual processor context on one SMT thread can then use the L1TF side channel vulnerability to potentially observe sensitive data from the hypervisor context running on the sibling SMT thread.

One potential mitigation to this problem is to coordinate hypervisor entry and exit across SMT threads of the same core. While this is effective in mitigating the information disclosure risk, this can significantly degrade performance.

Instead of coordinating hypervisor entry and exits across SMT threads, Hyper-V employs strong data isolation in the hypervisor to protect against a malicious guest VM leveraging the L1TF vulnerability to observe sensitive hypervisor data. The Hyper-V hypervisor achieves this isolation by maintaining separate virtual address spaces in the hypervisor for each guest SMT thread (virtual processor). When the hypervisor context is entered on a specific SMT thread, the only data that is addressable by the hypervisor is data associated with the guest virtual processor associated with that SMT thread. This is enforced through the hypervisor’s page table selectively mapping only the memory associated with the guest virtual processor. No data for any other guest virtual processor is addressable, and thus, the only data that can be brought into the L1 data cache by the hypervisor is data associated with that current guest virtual processor.

Thus, regardless of whether a given virtual processor is running in the guest VM virtual processor context or in the hypervisor context, the only data that can be brought into the cache is data associated with the active guest virtual processor. No additional privileged hypervisor secrets or data from other guest virtual processors can be brought into the L1 data cache.

This strong address space isolation provides two distinct benefits:

  1. The hypervisor does not need to coordinate entry and exits into the hypervisor across sibling SMT threads. So, SMT threads can enter and exit the hypervisor context independently without any additional performance overhead.
  2. The hypervisor does not need to flush the L1 data cache when entering the guest VP context from the hypervisor context. Since the only data that can be brought into the cache while executing in the hypervisor context is data associated with the guest virtual processor, there is no risk of privileged/private state in the cache that needs to be protected from the guest. Thus, with this strong address space isolation, the hypervisor only needs to flush the L1 data cache when switching between virtual cores on a physical core. This is much less frequent than the switches between the hypervisor and guest VP contexts.

Sensitive Data Scrubbing

There are cases where virtual processor address space isolation is insufficient to ensure isolation of sensitive data. Specifically, in the case of nested virtualization, a single virtual processor may itself run multiple guest virtual processors. Consider the case of a L1 guest VM running a nested hypervisor (L1 hypervisor). In this case, a virtual processor in this L1 guest may be used to run nested virtual processors for L2 VMs being managed by the L1 nested hypervisor.

In this case, the nested L1 guest hypervisor will be context switching between each of these nested L2 guests (VM A and VM B) and the nested L1 guest hypervisor. Thus, a virtual processor for the L1 VM being maintained by the L0 hypervisor can run multiple different security domains – a nested L1 hypervisor context and one or more L2 guest virtual machine contexts. Since the L0 hypervisor maintains a single address space for the L1 VM’s virtual processor, this address space could contain data for the nested L1 guest hypervisor and L2 guests VMs.

To ensure a strong isolation boundary between these different security domains, the L0 hypervisor relies on a technique we refer to as state scrubbing when nested virtualization is in-use. With state scrubbing, the L0 hypervisor will avoid caching any sensitive guest state in its data structures. If the L0 hypervisor must read guest data, like register contents, into its private memory to complete an operation, the L0 hypervisor will overwrite this memory with 0’s prior to exiting the L0 hypervisor context. This ensures that any sensitive L1 guest hypervisor or L2 guest virtual processor state is not resident in the cache when switching between security domains in the L1 guest VM.

For example, if the L1 guest hypervisor accesses an I/O port that is emulated by the L0 hypervisor, the L0 hypervisor context will become active. To properly emulate the I/O port access, the L0 hypervisor will have to read the current guest register contents for the L1 guest hypervisor context, and these register contents will be copied to internal L0 hypervisor memory. When the L0 hypervisor has completed emulation of the I/O port access, the L0 hypervisor will overwrite any L0 hypervisor memory that contains register contents for the L1 guest hypervisor context. After clearing out its internal memory, the L0 hypervisor will resume the L1 guest hypervisor context. This ensures that no sensitive data stays in the L0 hypervisor’s internal memory across invocations of the L0 hypervisor context. Thus, in the above example, there will not be any sensitive L1 guest hypervisor state in the L0 hypervisor’s private memory. This mitigates the risk that sensitive L1 guest hypervisor state will be brought into the data cache the next time the L0 hypervisor context becomes active.

As described above, this state scrubbing model does involve some extra processing when nested virtualization is in-use. To minimize this processing, the L0 hypervisor is very careful in tracking when it needs to scrub its memory, so it can do this with minimal overhead. The overhead of this extra processing is negligible in the nested virtualization scenarios we have measured.

Finally, the L0 hypervisor state scrubbing ensures that the L0 hypervisor can efficiently and safely provide nested virtualization to L1 guest virtual machines. However, to fully mitigate inter-VM attacks between L2 guest virtual machines, the nested L1 guest hypervisor must implement a mitigation for the L1TF vulnerability. This means the L1 guest hypervisor needs to appropriately manage the L1 data cache to ensure isolation of sensitive data across the L2 guest virtual machine security boundaries. The Hyper-V L0 hypervisor exposes the appropriate capabilities to L1 guest hypervisors to allow L1 guest hypervisors to perform L1 data cache flushes.

Conclusion

By using a combination of core scheduling, address space isolation, and data clearing, Hyper-V HyperClear is able to mitigate the L1TF speculative execution side channel attack across VMs with negligible performance impact and with full support of SMT.

Cisco bolsters cloud security with Duo acquisition

Cisco has announced the $2.35 billion acquisition of Duo Security, adding two-step authentication services to the networking company’s cloud-based security portfolio.

Cisco said this week it expects to close the cash deal by the end of October. Following the Duo acquisition, Cisco will make Duo part of its security business under its general manager and executive vice president, David Goeckeler. Duo, which has 700 employees, will remain at its Ann Arbor, Mich., headquarters, and CEO Dug Song will continue to lead the company.

Under Cisco, Duo could grow much faster than it could on its own by gaining access to Cisco’s 800,000 customers. Duo, which was founded in 2009, has 12,000 customers.

Cisco wants to buy Duo to strengthen its cloud-based security services. Duo offers two-factor authentication that companies can integrate into websites, VPNs and cloud services. Duo services can also determine whether the user device trying to access the corporate asset poses a security risk.

The Duo acquistion adds another set of capabilities to those provided by Cisco’s other cloud-based security products, including OpenDNS and Stealthwatch Cloud. OpenDNS blocks malware, phishing attacks and botnets at the domain name system layer. Stealthwatch Cloud searches for threats by aggregating and analyzing telemetry drawn from public cloud infrastructures, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

Cisco’s plans following Duo acquisition

During a conference call with reporters and analysts, Goeckeler said Cisco will sell Duo as a stand-alone product, while also integrating its services into some of Cisco’s other cloud-based services. He did not provide details or a timeline, but noted other cloud-based products that Cisco has combined with each other include OpenDNS, the Viptela SD-WAN and the cloud-managed Meraki wireless LAN.

“We think we can drive [more] integrations here,” Goeckeler said of Duo. He later added Duo could bring more value to Cisco Umbrella, a cloud-based service that searches for threats in internet activity.

“Duo is another asset we can combine together with Umbrella to just increase the value of that solution to our customers,” Goeckeler said.

Cisco has been growing its security business through acquisition since at least 2013, when it bought firewall provider Sourcefire for $2.7 billion. In 2015, Cisco acquired OpenDNS for $635 million, and it bought CloudLock a year later for $293 million. CloudLock provides secure access to cloud applications, including those running on platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service providers.

“All of these pieces are part of the larger strategy to build that integrated networking, security and identity cloud-delivered platform,” Goeckeler said.

Cisco’s acquisitions have fueled much of the growth in its security business. In the quarter ended in April, Cisco reported an 11% increase in security revenue to $583 million.

4 steps to engage employees with new live events in Microsoft 365 – Microsoft 365 Blog

Earlier this month, we announced new intelligent event capabilities in Microsoft 365 that enable anyone to create live and on-demand events for teams and across the organization. Today, we invite you to use the public preview of live events in Microsoft 365 and discover new ways to foster connection and engagement between leaders and employees at every level in your organization.

More than ever before, employees in the modern workplace seek work environments that unlock creativity, make their lives more productive and fulfilling, and foster a sense of connection with their organization’s mission and purpose.

A critical first step for your organization to thrive in this new culture of work is to drive alignment of your people around shared purpose and goals. Leaders realize that organizations who do this well have an advantage in attracting and retaining an engaged workforce.

Here are four ways your organization can enable leaders and employees to connect with new live events in Microsoft 365:

1—Use live events to kickstart interactive discussions across your organization

Today, executives at Microsoft—including CEO Satya Nadella—use Microsoft 365 to connect and communicate with employees around the globe. Now, any company or organization with Microsoft 365 can create these moments of high engagement, where people are focused on leaders and their messages and ask questions to clarify or reinforce conversations in the community.

Using Microsoft Stream, Teams, or Yammer, you can create a live event wherever your audience, team, or community resides. Attendees receive notifications and can participate in real-time, with high-definition video and interactive discussion using web, mobile, or desktop.

Following an event, it’s easy to make the recording available on an event page, allowing you to watch the event on your own schedule and catch up quickly with powerful AI features that unlock the content of the event recording. The recording is automatically transcribed and detects changes in speakers—making it simple to search for content later.

For employees who are in different time zones or unable to attend live, the conversation keeps going, so they still feel connected to leaders and peers—helping to overcome geographical or organizational boundaries.

The event and recordings are powered by Microsoft Stream, the intelligent video service in Office 365.

Image of a laptop open to display a live event in Microsoft 365.

2—Foster sustained dialogue in open communities

Give everyone a voice—before, during, and after a live event in Microsoft 365—with Yammer communities that span functions or the entire organization. Providing a forum for employees to be heard is an important piece of transforming a culture. These communities are where people can come any time to raise ideas, concerns, or questions, and where leaders can reply in an authentic way.

An active Yammer community builds trust and a sense of connection and belonging. And it provides a forum where employees who might not feel comfortable speaking out during a live event can connect directly with leaders.

With inline message translation, live events in Microsoft 365 empowers people to express themselves in their own language.

3—Create an intranet site for leaders to share events, blogs, video, news, and resources

Communicate at scale as a leader with a continuous, online presence using content, conversation, and video channels within a SharePoint communications site. You can optimize for news distribution and blogs, and deepen engagement with related content, polls and surveys, and readership analytics.

This is also a great spot to share recorded events for later viewing. Simply create a dedicated page for each event where employees can submit questions and comments in advance. Leaders and organizers can then use this input to craft the messaging and content of the events.

4—Plan corporate communications and measure impact

Executive and internal communications may be managed by a team of one or a team of many—but it takes careful planning and execution to ensure success. Microsoft Teams—the hub for teamwork in Office 365—is ideally suited to work together in the creation and production of events and other executive communications. It provides an effective backstage for your live event, giving you a shared space to work with speakers and approve content before sharing with a broader audience.

Once you have begun engaging your audience, every message within a Yammer community has a visible count of how many people your post has reached. This helps both community organizers and employees understand what is being read. Group insights demonstrate how the knowledge and information created in the community benefit people—regardless of their membership status in the group. For example, passive visitors may gain value from group conversations and apply the information elsewhere in their daily work. You can also see the number of views for an event recording and across a channel, and how many people liked the video. Pages and news articles also have statistics to understand readership.

Empowering all leaders across an organization

Leadership, of course, does not just refer to organizational leaders. Leaders of communities may be subject matter experts, functional managers, or passionate individuals who are leading areas of expertise, practices, or interest groups. These same capabilities in Microsoft 365 can enable leaders at any level to create and sustain connection with their communities.

Patrick Yates, manager of Diversity and Inclusion at TDS Telecom, considers community connections and engagement an important part of the employee experience, and a boon to recruiting talent. “Younger generations entering the workforce especially want a modern, inclusive environment—to be part of something that’s larger than themselves.”

Connect your employees and leaders today

Experience the public preview of live events in Microsoft 365, and get started on connecting your leaders and employees today. We will be adding additional features and functionality based on your feedback in the Tech Community.

To create a live event, you will need an Office 365 E3 or E5 license and your admin must give you permission to do so. To attend a live event, you need an Office 365 license for authenticated users. Public (anonymous) access is possible in specific configurations.

For more information on the intelligent event capabilities, visit the Microsoft 365 live events post on Tech Community.

Tableau BI gets Extensions API in version 2018.2 update

Amid positive early reviews, Tableau announced the general availability of Tableau 2018.2, an extensive upgrade that amplifies the scope of Tableau BI tools with expanded analytics functions and a more streamlined dashboard.

The update comes a few days after Tableau released the beta version of 2018.3 that further simplifies the user interface and enables users to more easily consolidate different sources of data.

The general release version of 2018.2 brings a range of notable changes and new capabilities to Tableau BI tools that introduces customized third-party capabilities to the self-service analytics and data visualization platform.

Released in beta form in April, this week’s formal release of Tableau 2018.2 enables nonbeta users to use several new features, including automatic mobile layouts and Spatial Join, which integrates disparate data sources under a single common attribute.

Probably the two most significant features the release adds to Tableau BI tools are in Dashboard Extensions and Tableau Services Manager.

Drag-and-drop dashboard extensions

The Extensions API essentially opens the platform to both first-party and third-party developers and users, allowing them to create and share their own dashboard extensions with different functionalities.

It’s really exciting to see what the community is able to do and also the creativity of folks to take self-service analytics to the next level.
Francois Ajenstatchief product officer, Tableau

“It’s really exciting to see what the community is able to do and also the creativity of folks to take self-service analytics to the next level,” said Francois Ajenstat, chief product officer at Tableau.

Introducing third-party extensions to a dashboard is a drag-and-drop process, and the new Extensions Gallery enables users to browse and select extensions made by Tableau partners. For example, the feature could let users who, on their own, might not be able to design, say, a predictive analytics model, to simply drag and drop one in.

The Extensions API and several other recent dashboard design enhancements will be welcomed by Tableau users, said Jen Underwood, founder and principal analyst of Florida-based Impact Analytix.

It could “open up a new world of possibilities for augmented analytics, machine learning, statistics, advanced analytics, workflow and other types of apps to integrate directly within Tableau,” Underwood said.

The other standout feature of the new release of 2018.2 is Tableau Services Manager, which allows Tableau Server administration to be done completely through the browser, and generally tries to make server management simpler and faster.

New update enters beta

The beta release of Tableau 2018.3 brings its own expanded capabilities to Tableau BI tools, including dashboard navigation buttons in Tableau Desktop, transparent worksheet backgrounds and a mixed content display in Tableau Server and Online that can show all of a user’s content on the same page.

Heatmaps, a new mark or chart type for Tableau, are expected to be added to the beta in a future update, Tableau said in a blog post.

While Tableau did not say when 2018.3 would be officially released, in sticking to the company’s quarterly schedule, it can likely be expected to leave beta this fall. Betas can see numerous tweaks and adjustments before the official release and even “fundamental changes,” depending on customer feedback or Tableau’s own observations,” Ajenstat said.

Seeking to simplify

The new Tableau BI capabilities introduced in the updates are indicative of Tableau’s business mission, “to help people see and understand data,” Ajenstat said.

Future updates, he said, will likely be aimed at making “analytics easier for everyone,” and will incorporate smart capabilities with tools like AI, machine learning and natural language processing, in part due to the organization’s recent acquisition of MIT AI startup Empirical Systems.

Tableau’s announcements came as competitor Qlik, which research and advisory firm Gartner regularly ranks highly alongside Tableau and Microsoft’s Power BI, announced the acquisition of self-service BI and data visualization startup Podium Data. According to Qlik, the move will increase the company’s ability to compete with Tableau.

Microsoft expands commitment to support computer science education in Seattle for students of color

Today Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the company is investing $500,000 in two partnerships that will expand computer science and STEM learning opportunities for students of color in our backyard.

We are partnering with Black Girls Code to help them establish a Seattle based chapter. Kimberly Bryant founded the nonprofit seven years ago to introduce programming and technology to young and pre-teen girls of color through clubs led by women engineers of color. It has grown 13 cities across the United States and we are proud Seattle will be its 14th. We are also deepening our longtime partnership with Technology Access Foundation (TAF) with an investment in STEMbyTAF. The foundation was founded in 1997 by former Microsoft leader, Trish Millines Dziko, initially as an out-of-school program offering technology skills training, internships and college prep to students of color in Seattle. Since then, TAF has opened its own school and become a sought-after expert on how to create learning environments that eliminate race-based disparity in academic achievement. STEMbyTAF is designed to help replicate their successful strategies at other area schools. 

The partnerships build on Microsoft’s long-term commitment and responsibility to help ensure every young person has access to computer science education, from all gender, racial, ethnic, geographic and income backgrounds. While we are proud of our long-term investments in our Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program and in Code.org, along with many other vital partners, we know there is still more we have to do to bridge the gaps in equity in the field of technology. Despite the increase in access of computer science education in schools across America, significant gender and racial gaps remain between which students participate in high school computer science courses. Last year, only five percent of AP Computer Science test takers were African-American and only one-quarter were young women. At the same time, we face a STEM pipeline crisis where our workforce needs are growing at an accelerating pace.

Kimberly and Trish are extraordinary role models for young women of color and have made it their life’s work to ensure all students of color – especially black and brown girls – have the access, encouragement and support they need to pursue careers in technology. To do so, both believe these students need more culturally relevant learning opportunities that include mentoring and relationship building with teachers and adult engineers that look like them and have shared experiences as women of color. 

We applaud trailblazers like Kimberly and Trish and are proud to support their important work. But most of all, we hope these investments will help a lot more students find a passion for technology, the opportunity to pursue a STEM education and most importantly believe it is possible for them. As Satya has said in the past, Microsoft can only be successful if we have people of all backgrounds building our technology and we cannot build product and services for everyone unless everyone is represented in our engineering ranks. We look forward to working with partners in the region to bring even more resources to ensure that girls of color in the Puget Sound region have opportunities to learn computer science.

Microsoft Cloud drives record fourth quarter results | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 19, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year:

  • Revenue was $30.1 billion and increased 17%
  • Operating income was $10.4 billion and increased 35%
  • Net income was $8.9 billion GAAP and $8.8 billion non-GAAP
  • Diluted earnings per share was $1.14 GAAP and $1.13 non-GAAP

“We had an incredible year, surpassing $100 billion in revenue as a result of our teams’ relentless focus on customer success and the trust customers are placing in Microsoft,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation.”

The following table reconciles our financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to non-GAAP financial results. Additional information regarding our non-GAAP definition is provided below. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

Three Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $25,605 $7,682 $8,069 $1.03
  Restructuring Expenses 306 243 0.03
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $25,605 $7,988 $8,312 $1.06
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,873 $1.14
  Net TCJA Impact (104) (0.01)
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,769 $1.13
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 17% 35% 10% 11%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 17% 30% 5% 7%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 15% 24% 2% 3%

GAAP results include a net benefit of $104 million related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for the three months ended June 30, 2018 and a charge of $306 million related to restructuring expenses for the three months ended June 30, 2017, which are excluded from our non-GAAP results.

Microsoft returned $5.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, an increase of 16% compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017.

“Exceptional sales execution delivered double-digit revenue growth across all segments and strong progress against our strategic priorities, anchored by commercial cloud revenue growing 53% year-over-year to $6.9 billion,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $9.7 billion and increased 13% (up 10% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 10% (up 8% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 38% (up 35% in constant currency)
  • Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 8% (up 6% in constant currency) and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 31.4 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 37% (up 34% in constant currency) with continued acceleration in engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of 41%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 11% (up 8% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 61% (up 56% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $9.6 billion and increased 23% (up 20% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 26% (up 24% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 89% (up 85% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 8% (up 7% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $10.8 billion and increased 17% (up 16% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 7% (up 7% in constant currency) driven by OEM Pro revenue growth of 14%
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 23% (up 19% in constant currency) driven by an increased volume of multi-year agreements and the mix of products that carry higher in-quarter revenue recognition
  • Gaming revenue increased 39% (up 38% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36% (up 35% in constant currency) mainly from third party title strength
  • Surface revenue increased 25% (up 21% in constant currency) driven by strong performance of the latest editions of Surface against a low prior year comparable
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 17% (up 16% in constant currency) driven by higher revenue per search and search volume

Fiscal Year 2018 Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year:

  • Revenue was $110.4 billion and increased 14%
  • Operating income was $35.1 billion and increased 21%
  • Net income was $16.6 billion GAAP and $30.3 billion non-GAAP
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.13 GAAP and $3.88 non-GAAP
  • GAAP results include a $13.7 billion net charge related to TCJA

The following table reconciles our financial results reported in accordance with GAAP to non-GAAP financial results. Additional information regarding our non-GAAP definition is provided below. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

Twelve Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $96,571 $29,025 $25,489 $3.25
  Restructuring Expenses 306 243 0.04
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $96,571 $29,331 $25,732 $3.29
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $16,571 $2.13
  Net TCJA Impact 13,696 1.75
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $30,267 $3.88
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 14% 21% (35)% (34)%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 14% 20% 18% 18%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 13% 17% 15% 16%

GAAP results include a net charge of $13.7 billion related to TCJA for the twelve months ended June 30, 2018 and a charge of $306 million related to restructuring expenses for the twelve months ended June 30, 2017, which are excluded from our non-GAAP results.

Business Outlook

Microsoft will provide forward-looking guidance in connection with this quarterly earnings announcement on its earnings conference call and webcast.

Webcast Details

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, Carolyn Frantz, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, and Michael Spencer, general manager of investor relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time (5:30 p.m. Eastern time) today to discuss details of the company’s performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on July 19, 2019.

New Accounting Standards

We adopted new accounting standards related to revenue recognition and leases effective July 1, 2017. The prior periods presented here have been restated to reflect adoption of these new standards.

Non-GAAP Definition

Restructuring Expenses. We recorded $306 million of restructuring charges primarily related to our sales and marketing restructuring plan during the three months ended June 30, 2017.

TCJA Impact. We recorded a benefit of $104 million during the three months ended June 30, 2018 and a net charge of $13.7 billion during the twelve months ended June 30, 2018 related to TCJA. As of June 30, 2018, we have not completed our accounting for the tax effects of TCJA. Our net charge is provisional based on reasonable estimates for those tax effects. Changes to these estimates or new guidance issued by regulators may materially impact our provision for income taxes and effective tax rate in the period in which the adjustments are made. Our accounting for the tax effects of TCJA will be completed during the measurement period, which should not extend beyond the second fiscal quarter of 2019.

We have provided non-GAAP financial measures related to restructuring expenses and TCJA to aid investors in better understanding our performance. We believe these non-GAAP measures aid investors by providing additional insight into our operational performance and help clarify trends affecting our business. For comparability of reporting, management considers non-GAAP measures in conjunction with GAAP financial results in evaluating business performance. The non-GAAP financial measures presented in this release should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Constant Currency

Microsoft presents constant currency information to provide a framework for assessing how our underlying businesses performed excluding the effect of foreign currency rate fluctuations. To present this information, current and comparative prior period results for entities reporting in currencies other than United States dollars are converted into United States dollars using the average exchange rates from the comparative period rather than the actual exchange rates in effect during the respective periods. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year. Microsoft has provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding our performance. The non-GAAP financial measures presented in this release should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. 

Financial Performance Constant Currency Reconciliation

Three Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $25,605 $7,682 $8,069 $1.03
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $25,605 $7,988 $8,312 $1.06
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,873 $1.14
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,769 $1.13
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 17% 35% 10% 11%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 17% 30% 5% 7%
Constant Currency Impact $549 $450 $279 $0.04
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 15% 24% 2% 3%

 

Twelve Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $96,571 $29,025 $25,489 $3.25
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $96,571 $29,331 $25,732 $3.29
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $16,571 $2.13
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $30,267 $3.88
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 14% 21% (35)% (34)%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 14% 20% 18% 18%
Constant Currency Impact 1,275 654 569 $0.07
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 13% 17% 15% 16%

 Segment Revenue Constant Currency Reconciliation

Three Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions) Productivity and Business Processes Intelligent Cloud More Personal Computing
2017 As Reported $8,548 $7,822 $9,235
2018 As Reported $9,668 $9,606 $10,811
Percentage Change Y/Y 13% 23% 17%
Constant Currency Impact $228 $182 $139
Percentage Change Y/Y Constant Currency 10% 20% 16%

 Selected Product and Service Revenue Constant Currency Reconciliation 

Three Months Ended June 30, 2018
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) Constant Currency Impact Percentage Change Y/Y Constant Currency
Office commercial products and cloud services 10% (2)% 8%
Office 365 commercial 38% (3)% 35%
Office consumer products and cloud services 8% (2)% 6%
LinkedIn 37% (3)% 34%
Dynamics products and cloud services 11% (3)% 8%
Dynamics 365 61% (5)% 56%
Server products and cloud services 26% (2)% 24%
Azure 89% (4)% 85%
Enterprise Services 8% (1)% 7%
Windows OEM 7% 0% 7%
Windows commercial products and cloud services 23% (4)% 19%
Search advertising excluding traffic acquisition costs 17% (1)% 16%
Surface 25% (4)% 21%
Gaming 39% (1)% 38%
Xbox software and services 36% (1)% 35%

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release that are “forward-looking statements” are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors such as:

  • intense competition in all of our markets that may lead to lower revenue or operating margins;
  • increasing focus on cloud-based services presenting execution and competitive risks;
  • significant investments in new products and services that may not achieve expected returns;
  • acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances that may have an adverse effect on our business;
  • impairment of goodwill or amortizable intangible assets causing a significant charge to earnings;
  • a change in our ability to earn expected revenues from our intellectual property rights;
  • claims that Microsoft has infringed the intellectual property rights of others;
  • the possibility that we may fail to protect our source code;
  • cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities that could lead to reduced revenue, increased costs, liability claims, or harm to our reputation or competitive position;
  • disclosure and misuse of personal data that could cause liability and harm to our reputation;
  • the possibility that we may not be able to protect information stored in our products and services from use by others;
  • abuse of our advertising or social platforms that may harm our reputation or user engagement;
  • excessive outages, data losses, and disruptions of our online services if we fail to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;
  • government litigation and regulatory activity relating to competition rules that may limit how we design and market our products;
  • potential liability under trade protection, anti-corruption, and other laws resulting from our global operations;
  • laws and regulations relating to the handling of personal data that may impede the adoption of our services or result in increased costs, legal claims, fines, or reputational damage;
  • the dependence of our business on our ability to attract and retain talented employees;
  • claims against us that may result in adverse outcomes in legal disputes;
  • additional tax liabilities;
  • quality or supply problems;
  • exposure to increased economic and operational uncertainties from operating a global business, including the effects of foreign currency exchange;
  • catastrophic events or geo-political conditions that may disrupt our business;
  • adverse economic or market conditions that may harm our business;
  • changes in our sales organization that may impact revenues;
  • the development of the internet of things presenting security, privacy, and execution risks;
  • issues about the use of artificial intelligence in our offerings that may result in competitive harm, legal liability, or reputational harm; and
  • damage to our reputation or our brands that may harm our business and operating results.

For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

All information in this release is as of June 30, 2018. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Michael Spencer, general manager, Investor Relations, (425) 706-4400

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information, as well as today’s 2:30 p.m. Pacific time conference call with investors and analysts, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

Microsoft announces partnership with Campbell to drive IT transformation on Azure | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 16, 2018 — On Monday, Microsoft Corp. and Campbell Soup Co. announced a partnership to modernize Campbell’s information technology (IT) platform through the Azure cloud by streamlining workflows and driving efficiencies.

The migration to Azure is designed to improve the responsiveness of Campbell’s IT infrastructure, enabling it to be faster and more agile. Azure will provide Campbell with a global, hybrid cloud solution that will deliver new capabilities and provide near-real-time access to information and insights that will inform business decisions. The platform will streamline operations across the enterprise and provide additional flexibility for Campbell employees through customized reporting and analytics.

“Campbell’s migration to Azure will increase our flexibility, agility and resiliency,” said Francisco Fraga, CIO, Campbell Soup. “Azure will give us the ability to respond quickly to evolving business needs, introduce new solutions, and support our 24/7, always-on architecture. The Microsoft cloud is a proven, reliable and highly secure platform.”

“We are honored that Campbell chose to modernize its IT platforms and evolve its digital strategies with Azure,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “We are looking forward to working with Campbell as it transitions to the cloud, helping them optimize operations, extract insights from data and advance their business.”

The Microsoft solution will provide additional benefits, including increased security, compliance and information protection. The move to Azure will allow Campbell to re-architect its data warehousing capabilities to be able to support the company’s data and analytics needs.

About Campbell Soup Company

Campbell (NYSE:CPB) is driven and inspired by our Purpose, “Real food that matters for life’s moments.” We make a range of high-quality soups and simple meals, beverages, snacks and packaged fresh foods. For generations, people have trusted Campbell to provide authentic, flavorful and readily available foods and beverages that connect them to each other, to warm memories and to what’s important today. Led by our iconic Campbell’s brand, our portfolio includes Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, Arnott’s, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum, Royal Dansk, KjeldsensGarden Fresh Gourmet, Pacific Foods, Snyder’s of Hanover, Lance, Kettle Brand, KETTLE Chips, Cape Cod, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Pop Secret, Emerald, Late July and other brand names. Founded in 1869, Campbell has a heritage of giving back and acting as a good steward of the planet’s natural resources. The company is a member of the Standard and Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com or follow company news on Twitter via @CampbellSoupCo. To learn more about how we make our food and the choices behind the ingredients we use, visit www.whatsinmyfood.com.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Medius Media Relations for The Campbell Soup Company, Fredrik André, VP Global Marketing, +46 709 23 93 81, fredrik.andre@medius.com

The Campbell Soup Company media relations contact: Corporate Communications, (800) 257-8443

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.