Tag Archives: Corporate

Chief data officer role: Searching for consensus

Big data continues to be a force for change. It plays a part in the ongoing drama of corporate innovation — in some measure, giving birth to the chief data officer role. But consensus on that role is far from set.

The 2018 Big Data Executive Survey of decision-makers at more than 50 blue-chip firms found 63.4% of respondents had a chief data officer (CDO). That is a big uptick since survey participants were asked the same question in 2012, when only 12% had a CDO. But this year’s survey, which was undertaken by business management consulting firm NewVantage Partners, disclosed that the background for a successful CDO varies from organization to organization, according to Randy Bean, CEO and founder of NewVantage, based in Boston.

For many, the CDO is likely to be an external change agent. For almost as many, the CDO may be a long-trusted company hand. The best CDO background could be that of a data scientist, line executive or, for that matter, a technology executive, according to Bean.

In a Q&A, Bean delved into the chief data role as he was preparing to lead a session on the topic at the annual MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium in Cambridge, Mass. A takeaway: Whatever it may be called, the chief data officer role is central to many attempts to gain business advantage from key emerging technologies. 

Do we have a consensus on the chief data officer role? What have been the drivers?

Randy Bean: One principal driver in the emergence of the chief data officer role has been the growth of data.

Randy Bean, CEO, NewVantage PartnersRandy Bean

For about a decade now, we have been into what has been characterized as the era of big data. Data continues to proliferate. But enterprises typically haven’t been organized around managing data as a business asset.

Additionally, there has been a greater threat posed to traditional incumbent organizations from agile data-driven competitors — the Amazons, the Googles, the Facebooks.

Organizations need to come to terms with how they think about data and, from an organization perspective, to try to come up with an organizational structure and decide who would be a point person for data-related initiatives. That could be the chief data officer.

Another driver for the chief data officer role, you’ve noted, was the financial crisis of 2008.

Bean: Yes, the failures of the financial markets in 2008-2009, to a significant degree, were a data issue. Organizations couldn’t trace the lineage of the various financial products and services they offered. Out of that came an acute level of regulatory pressure to understand data in the context of systemic risk.

Banks were under pressure to identify a single person to regulators to address questions about data’s lineage and quality. As a result, banks took the lead in naming chief data officers. Now, we are into a third or fourth generation in some of these large banks in terms of how they view the mandate of that role.

Isn’t that type of regulatory driver somewhat spurred by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which recently went into effect? Also, for factors defining the CDO role, NewVantage Partners’ survey highlights concerns organizations have about being surpassed by younger, data-driven upstarts. What is going on there?

Bean: GDPR is just the latest of many previous manifestations of this. There have been the Dodd-Frank regulations, the various Basel reporting requirements and all the additional regulatory requirements that go along with classifying banks as ‘too large to fail.’

That is a defensive driver, as opposed to the offensive and innovation drivers that are behind the chief data officer role. On the offensive side, the chief data officer is about how your organization can be more data-driven, how you can change its culture and innovate. Still, as our recent survey finds, there is defensive aspect, even there. Increasingly, organizations perceive threat coming from all kinds of agile, data-driven competitors.

Organizations need to come to terms with how they think about data and, from an organization perspective, to try to come up with an organizational structure and decide who would be a point person for data-related initiatives. That could be the chief data officer.
Randy BeanCEO and founder, NewVantage

You have written that big data and AI are on a continuum. That may be worthwhile to emphasize, as so much attention turns to artificial intelligence these days.

Bean: A key point is that big data has really empowered artificial intelligence.

AI has been around for decades. One of the reasons why it hasn’t gained traction is, in its aspects as a learning mechanism, it requires large volumes of data. In the past, data was only available in subsets or samples or in very limited quantities, and the corresponding learning on the part of the AI was slow and constrained.

Now, with the massive proliferation of data and new sources — in addition to transactional information, you also now have sensor data, locational data, pictures, images and so on — that has led to the breakthrough in AI in recent years. Big data provides the data that is needed to train the AI learning algorithms.

So, it is pretty safe to say there is no meaningful artificial intelligence without good data — without an ample supply of big data.

And it seems to some of us, on this continuum, you still need human judgment.

Bean: I am a huge believer in the human element. Data can help provide a foundation for informed decision-making, but ultimately it’s the combination of human experience, human judgment and the data. If you don’t have good data, that can hamper your ability to come to the right conclusion. Just having the data doesn’t lead you to the answer.

One thing I’d say is, just because there are massive amounts of data, it hasn’t made individuals or companies any wiser in and of itself. It’s just one element that can be useful in decision-making, but you definitely need human judgment in that equation, as well.

The beauty that comes from nuance: to help their daughter, a Microsoft employee and a filmmaker became transgender allies – Microsoft Life

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Chadd Knowlton and filmmaker Vlada Knowlton underwent a “radical transformation” and then made a documentary to tell stories of families like theirs

By Natalie Singer-Velush

Chadd and Vlada Knowlton will never forget the day they most feared for their youngest child.

They were driving to school and from the back seat of the car piped a little voice, asking where babies came from. Vlada Knowlton, a filmmaker and former Microsoft employee, explained to her 4-year-old that babies grew in moms’ bellies and came out when they were ready.

“I want you to put me back in,” said the trembling voice. “I know I’m a girl. It’s not fair.”

The parents worried immediately that this was their preschooler’s way of saying that life didn’t feel worth living.

“I kept the car straight. I tried to keep driving. But it was terrifying,” Vlada Knowlton said.

The Knowltons’ youngest child had always been artistic, creative, curious, and intelligent—but also, lately, very unhappy.

“She was born with the body of a boy. Everybody assumed she was a boy. [In the beginning] we never in a million years imagined anything different,” Vlada Knowlton said. “But . . . from about the age of 2, she seemed frustrated, unsatisfied with her life.”

At home, the Knowltons, who also have an older son and daughter, had been allowing their youngest to wear dresses and play with more stereotypically girly toys, and things seemed better during those times. But in public, their preschooler was frustrated and angry when presenting as a boy, which was leading to depression and withdrawal.

“She couldn’t express herself the way she felt she wanted to,” Vlada Knowlton said.

The day in the car was the turning point for the parents. Their daughter felt she was a girl, and so she should be able to live that way, they decided.

“We had to go through a radical transformation to learn, to understand, and to accept. Our daughter didn’t really transition—she was the same before. We transitioned as parents.”

“It was a great moment of clarity,” said Chadd Knowlton, a corporate vice president at Microsoft. “We were coming from a place of total unknown. Once we did the research and we understood how gender is formed in the brain, we could accept it. Gender is what it is.

“We had to go through a radical transformation to learn, to understand, and to accept. Our daughter didn’t really transition—she was the same before. We transitioned as parents. And then we moved ahead into a new kind of personal activism that we had never had to call upon in our lives before.”

That activism includes making a documentary about LGBTQ+ rights and the movements that threaten them. The film, “The Most Dangerous Year,” recently had its world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival. It tracks a wave of antitransgender legislation, including bathroom bills, and tells the story of a coalition of Washington State families who have transgender children who join together to fight it. Vlada Knowlton directed, wrote, edited, and produced the film; Chadd Knowlton served as the supervising sound editor and composed the score.

As they navigated their daughter’s and family’s journey, the Knowltons have been supported by many of their communities, including Microsoft.

“The environment is inclusive, accepting, and empowering for people to express themselves and to be allies,” Chadd Knowlton said of the company’s culture. “One of the first things I thought about was hey, maybe my daughter could get a job at Microsoft one day because I know it’ll be a great place for her to work.”

Their family’s journey has broadened their perspective in a way that now empowers them to be advocates and allies.

“We were new people after this, and honestly we’re thankful for that,” Chadd Knowlton said. “Gender is not binary. You could be anywhere on that spectrum. It’s one of the things I think people struggle with in our society. They really want things to be easily categorized and named. But the world is all nuance—and that’s the beauty of it.”

Meet more Microsoft employees who are changing hearts and minds and advancing human rights.
https://news.microsoft.com/life/topic/pride/

See how Microsoft is celebrating Pride 2018 and how you can be an ally.
https://www.microsoft.com/pride/

Learn how Microsoft and its LGBTQ+ employees push for change across borders.
https://news.microsoft.com/life/pride/

Microsoft brings intelligent cloud, intelligent edge vision to life at Computex Taipei | Stories

Nick Parker and Roanne Sones hold the new HP ProBook x360 on stage
Nick Parker, Microsoft corporate vice president of Consumer and Device Sales, and Roanne Sones, Microsoft corporate vice president of Platforms, unveil the new HP ProBook x360 on stage at Computex 2018.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — June 6, 2018 — Wednesday at Computex Taipei, Microsoft Corp. underscored its commitment to the partner ecosystem and announced new programs and a new category of intelligent devices, designed to take advantage of a digitally connected world and drive new growth and opportunity for the industry. At the event, Microsoft shared how the era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will usher in the next phase of innovation and create a broad portfolio of devices that will blend more naturally into people’s lives.

Nick Parker, corporate vice president, Consumer and Device Sales, showcased how Microsoft is bringing the industry together to build the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge, delivering new experiences and solutions not previously possible.

“For Microsoft, it’s more than just screens and devices; it’s about creating services and experiences with technology that support ambitions and aspirations,” Parker said. Imagine the devices and experiences we can create with ubiquitous computing, infused with AI and connected to the cloud. This is such an incredible time for the industry.”

Parker was joined on stage by Roanne Sones, corporate vice president, Platforms, who announced a new partner community for the intelligent edge, a new category of Windows 10 devices called Windows Collaboration Displays and a new offering with Windows 10 IoT Core Services.

New programs to help build the intelligent edge

The intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will offer a new world of possibilities for the industry to deliver more flexible and custom experiences for everyone, whether a thermostat in a smart home or an interactive display in a smart office. In addition to modern devices from leading partners, Sones shared news and momentum in areas including these:

  • New intelligent edge partner community: To accelerate innovation in this new era we invite all our partners to join our intelligent edge partner community. The community will help partners connect with one another to identify opportunities to collaborate on technology innovation and achieve shared business goals. In addition, community members will be able to participate in trainings and community events, and can participate in early adopter programs that provide access to documentation, specs, OS builds and certification details. Those wanting to sign up should visit http://microsoft.com/intelligentedge.
  • Windows IoT core services: Microsoft revealed a new service offering that will enable partners to commercialize a secure IoT device, backed by industry-leading support. The service offering helps make it easier to manage updates for the OS, apps, settings and OEM-specific files; includes Device Health Attestation (DHA); and is backed with 10 years of support. More about the service offering can be found on the Windows blog.

A new category of devices: Windows Collaboration Displays

Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security that delivers a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. It’s a global productivity platform that enables multisense, multidevice experiences that put people at the center for both work and life. People around the world already use the power of Microsoft 365 across PCs, tablets, phones and other devices from our partners to work how, when and where they want.

Along with its partner ecosystem, Microsoft announced new opportunities to bring Microsoft 365 experiences to life through a new category of devices called Windows Collaboration Displays. These new devices allow users to experience Microsoft 365 collaboration tools, Office, Teams and Whiteboard, at room scale. A variety of Collaboration Displays from Sharp and Avocor will be available later this year.

Microsoft at Computex

Visitors to Computex Taipei can view the new Windows 10 devices and IoT solutions at the Microsoft Booth, on the 4th floor of the NanGang Exhibition Hall, L Area #0110. The show is open June 5–9.

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:

Rapid Response Team, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

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.

Mastercard disrupts payment industry with innovation driven by Microsoft 365


Today’s post was written by Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft.

Disruption in the payment industry is all about simplification, expedience, and secure global connections. Mastercard is leading the charge to a “world beyond cash,” creating products and services such as the company’s new digital wallet, Masterpass, and tokenization solutions that improve the security of digital payments. These advances continue the company’s long history of innovation, rooted firmly in its culture and people. That’s why it’s so exciting that Mastercard uses Microsoft 365 to incentivize and engage its employees through highly secure, modern workplaces—where creative collaboration happens as quickly and seamlessly as any Mastercard payment.

Here’s what Ed McLaughlin, president of Mastercard Operations and Technology, has to say about the company’s adoption of Microsoft Cloud solutions:

“Mastercard connects people, financial institutions, merchants, and businesses across the globe. As one of the largest technology companies in the payments space, we give our employees the tools they need to deliver continual innovation to our customers and do it securely. We selected Microsoft 365 to support a modern workplace for our 11,900 employees, giving them the capability to collaborate on the fly and deliver their best work.”

I like to think of how we are amplifying the ingenuity and creative thinking that goes on every day at Mastercard through continuous improvements to the Office 365 platform. For example, we are weaving Microsoft machine learning and AI capabilities throughout Office 365 apps. One new feature, Insights in Excel, automatically highlights patterns, outliers, and trends in data, so employees see different perspectives on their business information to spark new ideas.

I’m looking forward to seeing the next iteration of Mastercard’s take on disruption in the global payment ecosystem!

—Ron Markezich

New to Office 365 in January—enriching teamwork across devices

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

We’re launching into 2018 by bringing great new value to Office 365 subscribers, with updates that enhance how teams work together and unlock new ways to create and manage content across devices. Read on for details.

Get more done in Microsoft Teams

New features for Microsoft Teams enable you to interact with apps in new ways, customize your personal workspace, and take quick actions.

Find and use apps in new ways—Now you can include interactive cards from apps in conversations the same way you would add an emoji or GIF. With one click, you can bring important information, like a task from Trello, into a channel conversation or chat. Finding new apps and services in Teams is now easier with the new Store, where you can search for apps by name or category, such as “Project management” or “Analytics & BI.”

Command apps and take quick actions across Teams—We also introduced the new command box in Microsoft Teams, a single point of entry that integrates your search and command experiences. Now you can quickly interact with apps, perform tasks, and navigate throughout Teams directly from the command box, in addition to searching across people, messages, files, and apps.

A view of the apps available for Microsoft Teams from the Store dash.

Work together more effectively with updates to iOS and Mac

New Office 365 capabilities for iOS and Mac enhance how teams create content together, make it easier to produce advanced documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from anywhere, and introduce new ways to search, preview, and interact with files.

Co-authoring for iOS and Mac—We made it easier for individuals to work together across devices with the general availability of co-authoring in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iOS and Mac. Now, whether you work on a Mac, PC, or mobile device, you’ll know who else is working with you in a document, see where they’re working, and view changes. Co-authoring is already available on the Office desktop applications for Windows, Office for Android, and Office Online. Learn more at the Microsoft Tech Community.

Automatically save your work on Mac—Today also marks the general availability of AutoSave in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Mac for Office 365 subscribers who store their documents in OneDrive and SharePoint. Whether you’re working alone or with others, your latest changes are now automatically stored in the cloud, so you never need to worry about hitting the Save button again. You can also view and restore content from earlier versions of the document at any time with support for version history.

Image of a laptop open, displaying a financial report in Excel.

Drag and drop content and files on iOS—The Office and OneDrive iOS apps now support drag and drop for content and files. One of the most common and powerful tasks when creating content is integrating photos, graphs, and other objects from a variety of sources. Now Office 365 subscribers on iPad and iPhone can easily drag and drop content into documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from other Office apps or OneDrive. Support for drag and drop for iOS also enables you to move files to and from OneDrive and other sources—such as SharePoint or iMessage—making it easier to organize content scattered across different apps and services.

Animated image shows the drag and drop capabilities in Office and OneDrive for iOS.

Access OneDrive files from more iOS apps—OneDrive for iOS now natively supports the new iOS 11 Files app. This means iPhone and iPad users can upload, access, edit, and save content to OneDrive or SharePoint from any iOS app that supports File app integration—a top requested feature. Users can also tag their favorite OneDrive and SharePoint files from within the Files app, making it easier to find and use the content that matters to you.

Preview more file types with OneDrive for iOS—We redesigned the OneDrive for iOS app with a more detailed list view, making it easier to scan file names, see relevant information, and sort files by specific attributes. The updated OneDrive for iOS app also creates crisp thumbnails and supports previews for over 130 file types, including Adobe Photoshop and 3D objects, so you can open, view, and share the right content without leaving the app.

Search across your organization with Outlook for iOS—The new search experience in Outlook for iOS leverages the Microsoft Graph to surface results from your top contacts, upcoming travel itineraries, package deliveries, recent attachments, and more. Together with proactive search suggestions and a unified design, it now provides consistent, personalized results that enable you to discover information from across your organization faster.

Improve reading skills with Learning Tools for Mac—Word for Mac now supports Immersive Reader and Read Aloud, tools previously available in Word for Windows and mobile apps. These tools enable content to be viewed in ways that are optimized for learning differences and allow documents to be read back with simultaneous highlighting. These features make it easier to recognize and correct errors as you write, improving reading and editing accuracy for everyone—especially users with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Additional updates

  • New ways to share on YammerEarlier this month, we introduced new ways for users to share engaging company-wide content from wherever they are with the Yammer mobile app. Users can now post announcements to groups, add animated GIFs, and more.
  • Powerful inclusive learning tools—Last week at Bett, we introduced a range of powerful new tools that make teaching and learning in schools more inclusive and collaborative, including built-in dictation across Office 365 and the expansion of Learning Tools to Mac and iPhone.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office for Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office for Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). All updates in this blog have reached general availability and are beginning to roll out to Office 365 subscribers. Microsoft Teams updates are rolling out automatically and you can expect to see them in your Teams desktop client soon. For iOS and Mac updates, check for updates on your device. Some devices may receive these updates later than others.

Digital transformation on a global scale—Accenture runs its business on Microsoft – Office Blogs

Logo for Accenture.

Today’s post was written by Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft.

I have known Andrew Wilson since he became Accenture CIO more than four years ago, and I continue to be impressed by what a strong IT organization he has built. Andrew not only motivates the IT organization, but he also takes a strong leadership role across the company, encouraging everyone to adopt new technology to transform the business. Just look at the stats. More than 420,000 Accenture employees in 120 countries embody the digital transformation experience. One of the first global corporations to migrate to Office 365, Accenture has 484,000 Exchange Online mailboxes. Consultants work in creative teams and stay engaged with the company through 20,000 SharePoint Online sites, and more than 25,000 employees are enthusiastic early adopters of Microsoft Teams. Cloud-first file storage is the norm, with employees enjoying mobile access to 900 million files or 2.2 petabytes of corporate data in OneDrive. And with employees racking up more than 309 million minutes of Skype for Business Online conferencing every month, it’s clear that they’re empowered to communicate on any device, when and where they need to. Mobility at this level does not come at the expense of security, because Accenture has the world’s largest deployment of Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security to manage approximately 450,000 identities and 104,000 mobile devices.

At Microsoft Ignite 2017, Brad Nyers, managing director at Accenture, walked us through the company’s global rollout of Windows 10. This will be the world’s largest Windows 10 deployment—comprising 450,000 users by the end of 2018—and it also includes Office 365 ProPlus and OneDrive. It was fascinating to hear about this latest example of Accenture using Microsoft technology to boost its own agility and productivity, so it can help drive its customers’ digital transformation stories.

To streamline the Windows 10 deployment, Accenture built the In-Place Upgrade Tool (IPU), which checks for adequate disk space and whether security tools are up to date. Employees with Windows 10–ready computers are notified via email. They follow a link to get the IPU package from OneDrive and perform the installation themselves. For employees whose devices are not ready, Accenture automatically generates remediation lists and points people to documentation that explains how to migrate their files to the cloud.

Storing data in OneDrive also helps employees who receive a new Windows 10 device. Because their data is in the cloud, when they get a new device, all they have to do is authenticate to access their information and get back to being productive. Accenture created a streamlined imaging process that layers its security tools and Office 365 ProPlus to achieve huge time savings for the company.

I’m excited to hear about the value that Microsoft technologies provide Accenture as it leads the way with a digital transformation that’s truly changing how its workforce—now 75 percent millennial—enacts the company’s mission. For a deeper dive into how “Accenture runs on Microsoft,” read the full story.

—Ron Markezich

Hyper-converged infrastructure disperses for edge computing

Having established a foothold inside many corporate data centers, hyper-converged infrastructure is poised to extend its reach into the world of edge computing, although precious few IT shops have fully formed edge computing strategies.

The explosion of IoT technologies to collect, analyze and stream rivers of data to central data systems has pulled edge computing to the center of many IT shops’ radar. This will be no casual encounter, but rather a cosmic collision over the next five years. Gartner predicts that 40% of all enterprises will have a full-blown edge computing strategy in place by 2021, up from less than 1% as of late 2017.

“Out on the edge … is where the physical will meet the digital,” said Dave Russell, vice president and analyst at Gartner, speaking at the company’s annual data center conference earlier this month.

Among the array of IoT devices out on the edge is an influx of hyper-converged infrastructure systems. The vast majority of hyper-converged systems currently reside in central data centers of large corporate users or their service providers, to serve as less expensive cloud on-ramps or supplemental processing power for core servers. But IT shops have begun to rethink hyper-converged infrastructure for edge computing as the technology evolves: more robust hardware, falling prices, and steadily improved capabilities from remote management to simpler installation and configuration.

“People want to move so much faster now. …They want to go to one vendor and just drop [hyper-converged systems] into their environment,” said Jeff Hewitt, a research vice president at Gartner. “[Hyper-converged systems] are small and getting smaller, quick to deploy and easier to manage. People feel more confident about putting them out on the edge.”

Gartner analyst Jeff HewittJeff Hewitt

Hyper-converged infrastructure, or HCI, servers found early appeal in remote offices/branch offices (ROBO), but over the past year hyper-converged infrastructure has been deployed in more edge locations on factory floors, disaster recovery sites, retail stores and warehouses, according to Gartner.

“I haven’t considered them [hyper-converged systems] for the edge, because we’ve been deploying IoT products,” said Todd Hansen, a project manager at a Midwest-based engineering firm that he said deploys sensors to collect and analyze multiple streams of “big data” from field engineering projects passed on to its central data center. “But their smaller form factor might open up possibilities for us in field offices.”

[Hyper-converged systems] are small and getting smaller, quick to deploy and easier to manage. People feel more confident about putting them out on the edge.
Jeff Hewittresearch vice president, Gartner

Over the next year or two the battle over real estate among the many edge computing products figures to intensify. Gartner is currently compiling data about hyper-converged infrastructure for edge computing, with results expected in early 2018. How successful HCI offerings will be out on the edge is uncertain, although Hewitt likes their chances.

“It’s hard to say in these early days, but it is safe to say there will be a lot of [hyper-converged systems] deployed out there,” he said.

Pick your partner for the hyper-converged edge

Enterprises have several options to deploy and support hyper-converged systems in edge computing environments, and the pros and cons for each will be familiar to most IT pros.

Infrastructure providers such as Dell offer the full range of hardware and software technologies and the technical support to help integrate HCI edge systems with systems back in the central data center. The downside is such vendors are hardly agnostic and will strongly push only their products.

Facility specialists tend to be hardware agnostic and offer a wider range of options for modular hyper-converged systems, but some may lack the support organization to help Fortune 500 companies.

Regional providers can be appealing due to their proximity and sometimes a more personal service touch. But size matters with an IT partner, and these providers don’t have enough of it.

“Regional providers are usually close by and they can get to know your needs pretty well,” said one senior engineer with an aeronautics company who attended the session. “But the downside is they don’t have the range of pre- and post-sales support a company like Dell can offer.”

In an informal instapoll during a session at the Gartner conference, the majority of audience responders indicated a preference for infrastructure providers to help install and support hyper-converged systems out on the edge, followed by facilities specialists. Only a small handful indicated they would prefer to work with regional providers.

Ed Scannell is a senior executive editor with TechTarget. Contact him at escannell@techtarget.com.

Microsoft Intune and Jamf Pro: Better Together to Manage and Secure Macs

This post is co-authored by Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft and Dean Hager, CEO, Jamf.

At the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) in October, we talked about how our partnership would provide an automated compliance-based solution for secure access to corporate data from Mac devices. This solution uses Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) conditional access and Jamf Pro Mac management capabilities to ensure that company data can only be accessed by trusted users, from trusted devices, using trusted apps.

Today, Microsoft and Jamf are proud to make this integration generally available to our shared customers. Jamf customers can upgrade to Jamf Pro 10.1 to get started today.  The EMS cloud services have already been updated with this functionality and are available globally.

Every organization wants to ensure that only trusted users, on trusted devices, using trusted apps get access to their data.  However, the perimeter-based security model that organizations have traditionally used is no longer effective in providing this level of security when the data is increasingly outside of the corporate firewall – in cloud services and on mobile devices.  To address this challenge, EMS has delivered a unique set of security controls for the modern world. Each time access to corporate data is requested, EMS is able to quickly determine if the request is in fact coming from a trusted user, on a trusted device, with a trusted app. Access is then “conditionally” granted to company data based on the policies IT has defined — and this action relies on the unique data and intelligence in the Microsoft Cloud. This identity-driven security model is what is needed in the modern world of cloud services and mobile devices.

Given the increasing sophistication of the attacks and the speed at which these attacks are designed to spread, organizations require solutions that put the power of intelligent clouds working on their behalf 24×7 to assist them in protecting the organization. Conditional access gives IT the power to enforce policies that work in real-time based on the intelligence in the Microsoft Cloud. With this partnership, Jamf is continually feeding the rich data on Macs from Jamf Pro into the Microsoft Cloud – further strengthening the ability of the Microsoft Cloud to protect access to company data.

The reasoning behind this partnership is simple: Our mutual customers were looking for a way to enforce EMS conditional access policies across all the devices their users chose to use — PCs, mobile devices, and Macs. We combined the power of the unified endpoint management and conditional access in EMS with Jamf’s Mac device management capabilities to meet the needs of our mutual customers, focusing on three key functions:

  1. Jamf admins will now be able to sync their Mac inventory data with Intune and the Microsoft Cloud. With critical information about the security status of managed Macs, this inventory opens up the ability to do single-pane-of-glass reporting within Intune.
  2. This inventory data can then be analyzed by Intune’s compliance engine to generate a report and then, combined with intelligence about the user’s identity, enforce conditional access via EMS. If the Mac is compliant with the conditional access policies IT has set, it will be given access to the protected company resources.
  3. This integration also provides a user-friendly remediation experience for noncompliant devices. Users are seamlessly directed back to Jamf Self Service to fix any security issues causing the device to be non-compliant and preventing them from accessing company data.

Here’s an overview of the architecture for this integration:

Both of our teams are excited to continue working together to enable this functionality for our mutual customers. Because these solutions now work together, IT can enjoy the management power of each ecosystem with the simplicity of inventory reporting in a single pane of glass. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback and continuing to add new features in the coming year.

Since the announcement on this partnership, we have had the opportunity to personally talk with more than 100 joint customers.  The feedback has been universally positive.  This is a solution that is integrated, modern, and is loved by users and trusted by IT.

We are genuinely excited to make these capabilities generally available and can’t wait to see how our customers will use them.

To learn more about Jamf’s Microsoft Intune integration, please visit:

To learn more about Intune, please visit: