Tag Archives: Deals

LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh adds deals pipeline

A LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh adds a deals management feature, smoother search experience and mobile deal pages to the social media giant’s social sales platform.

The revamp injects an array of new ways to search, manipulate and process LinkedIn’s vast troves of personal and consumer data and data from CRM systems and puts LinkedIn in a better position to monetize the information — coming off a hot quarter for LinkedIn, which reported June quarter earnings of $1.46 billion, up 37% from Q2 2017.

These upgraded features represent the next step in AI-assisted sales and marketing campaigns in which B2B companies mash up their own customer data with information on LinkedIn.

Microsoft banking on LinkedIn revenue

Microsoft bought LinkedIn in June 2016 for $26.2 billion. While Microsoft doesn’t always announce how AI is assisting automation of sales-centric search tools in Sales Navigator, a premium LinkedIn feature that also integrates LinkedIn data to CRM platforms such as Salesforce and Dynamics CRM, some experts have noted how AI subtly manifests itself in the search. 

The LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh was unveiled in a blog post by Doug Camplejohn, vice president of products for LinkedIn Sales Solutions.

The new “Deals” web interface extracts and imports sales pipeline data from the user’s CRM system and enables users to update pipelines considerably faster, Camplejohn said in the post about the LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh.

“Reps can now update their entire pipeline in minutes, not hours,” he wrote.

Adobe Sign connector added

Meanwhile, a new feature in Deals, “Buyer’s Circle,” pulls in and displays opportunity role information to streamline the B2B buying process. Users can see if any “key players” such as decision-maker, influencer or evaluator, are missing from deals, according to LinkedIn.

We all live in email.
Doug Camplejohnvice president of products, LinkedIn

The vendor called another new function in the LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh — Office 365 integration — “Sales Navigator in your inbox.”

“We all live in email,” the blog post said. “Now you can take Sales Navigator actions and see key insights without ever leaving your Outlook for Web Inbox. “

LinkedIn also touted what it called a “new search experience” in the Sales Navigator update, saying it redesigned the search function to surface search results pages faster and easier.

Also as part of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator refresh, LinkedIn added mobile-optimized lead pages for sales people working on mobile devices. LinkedIn also named Adobe Sign the fourth partner to its Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP). Other SNAP partners include Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SalesLoft.

ONC unveils plan for health information sharing framework

If you want a say in how the government deals with health data interoperability, now’s your chance.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has released draft rules for a health information sharing plan, called the Trusted Exchange Framework, and the public has until Feb. 18 to comment.

The framework stems from the interoperability provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, a wide-ranging law that includes many aspects of healthcare and health IT, of which the health information sharing plan is only one part.

In a conference call with reporters, ONC National Coordinator Donald Rucker, M.D., called the framework concept a “network of networks,” and he noted that Congress explicitly called for a way to link disparate existing health information networks.

“How do these networks, which are typically moving very similar sets of information, how do we get them connected?” Rucker said.

Donald Rucker, M.D., ONC National CoordinatorDonald Rucker

The framework, Rucker said, is a response to what he called the “national challenge” of interoperability.

“It hasn’t been easy. Folks have made some great progress, but obviously there’s a lot of work to be done,” he said.

Among the existing networks that ONC officials are looking to link within the health information sharing framework are the many health information exchanges that have sprung up since the HITECH Act of 2009 spurred data sharing with the meaningful use program.

Other such networks include vendor-driven interoperability environments, such as the one overseen by the CommonWell Health Alliance.

CommonWell’s director, Jitin Asnaani, told Politico that he thinks the ONC model is a “path to scalable nationwide interoperability.”

Mariann Yeager, CEO of another vendor network, the Sequoia Project, was quoted by Politico expressing a somewhat more neutral assessment: “Overall, the approach seems reasonable,” but “we need to better understand the details.”

ONC envisions the Trusted Exchange Network — expected to be started by the end of 2018 and fully built out by 2021 — as being used by federal agencies, individuals, healthcare providers, public and private health organizations, insurance payers and health IT developers.

[The Trusted Exchange Framework is a] network of networks. How do these networks, which are typically moving very similar sets of information, how do we get them connected?
Donald RuckerONC national coordinator

The agency conceives of the network as a technical and governance infrastructure that connects health information networks around a core of “qualified health information networks” (Qualified HIN) overseen by a single, “recognized coordinating entity” to be chosen by ONC in a competitive bid process.

According to ONC, among other things, Qualified HINs must be able to locate and transmit electronic protected health information between multiple organizations and individuals; have mechanisms to audit participants’ compliance with certain core obligations; use a connectivity broker; and be neutral as to which participants are allowed to use the network.

A connectivity broker is a service provided by a Qualified HIN that provides the following:

  • A master patient index to accurately identify and match patients with their health information;
  • A health records locator service;
  • Both widely broadcast and specifically directed queries for health information; and
  • Guaranteed return of electronic health information to an authorized Qualified HIN that requests it.

Governance for the proposed framework consists of two parts. Part A is a set of “guardrails” and principles that health information networks should adopt to support interoperability; part B is a set of minimum required legal terms and conditions detailing how network participation agreements should be constructed to ensure health information networks can communicate with each other.

Genevieve Morris, ONC’s principal deputy national coordinator, specifically acknowledged the efforts of private sector organizations in laying groundwork for health data interoperability and noted that another private organization will coordinate the health information sharing framework.

“We at ONC recognize that our role is to make sure there is equity, scalability, integrity and sustainability in health information sharing,” Morris said.

Last Chance holiday savings at Microsoft Store begin today – Windows Experience Blog

It’s not too late to save big on last-minute holiday deals from Microsoft Store.*

Words on a white background that read, last second gifts

Still scrambling to find those final few gifts? Microsoft Store has the perfect last-minute gifts with major savings on the season’s hottest products like Surface, Xbox, Windows Mixed Reality headsets and PC bundles, accessories and more to get you through the final shopping push. You can still get your gifts in time for the holidays by picking up your online purchase at your local Microsoft Store open through Dec. 24.

Keep reading for the final holiday deals of the season from Microsoft Store kicking off today!

Surface, Xbox one S and an Xbox controller pictured together

Last-minute deals at the best price for those left on your list:

  • Save up to $80 on select Xbox One S 500GB bundles, now starting at $199, plus a free select game (through Jan. 6, 2018) **
  • Get PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) for a limited time with an Xbox One X purchase (through Jan. 6, 2018)
  • Save up to $100 on select Xbox One S 1TB bundles, now for $299 (through Jan. 6, 2018)
  • Save $20 on select Xbox Wireless Controllers including the Minecraft Creeper and Minecraft Pig editions with purchase of the Minecraft Explorers Pack (through Dec. 30)
  • Get $10 off Super Lucky’s Tale, Disneyland Adventures, Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection or Pixar’s Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure
  • Get $20 off Halo Wars 2, Gears of War 4, Forza Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 3
  • Plus! Get a Limited-Edition Xbox Holiday Ornament with any purchase at your local Microsoft Store. For terms and conditions click here.
  • Save $200 on select Surface Pro and Laptop i5 devices, starting at $799 (through Dec. 31)
  • Buy a select Surface device and get the new Harman Kardon Invoke speaker, $199 value (through Dec. 24) ***
  • Save up to $650 on Windows Mixed Reality headsets and select gaming PC bundles (through Dec. 31)
  • Save up to $500 on select PCs, starting at $329 (through Jan. 2, 2018)
  • Save up to $50 on select Fitbit devices (through Dec. 24)
  • Save $10 on the Bose SoundLink Micro Speaker (through Dec. 30)
  • Save $60 on Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones (through Dec. 26)
  • Save $50 on select EERO home WiFi products (through Dec. 24)
  • Save $30 on select JBL Speakers (through Dec. 30)
  • Save $20 on Circle Media with Disney (through Dec. 24)

Countdown to 2018 sale kicks off Dec. 22

Words on a white background that read, countdown to 2018

Here’s a sneak peek into digital deals starting on Dec. 22 through Jan. 4, including this year’s hottest games, movies and TV. For those who are truly hard to shop for, let them choose their perfect gift with a digital gift card to Microsoft Store online, on Windows 10, and on Xbox. Limitations apply.

  • Xbox Digital Games: Save up to 65 percent on Middle Earth: Shadow of War and Forza Motorsport 7 and more. Plus, Xbox Live Gold members save up to 10 percent more.
  • PC Games: Save up to 50 percent on popular PC games, including Cuphead, World of Warships and others.
  • Books: Save up to 80 percent on Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Objective, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff, Etiquette and Espionage and others.
  • Movies & TV: Save up to 60 percent on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Spider-Man: Homecoming and others.
  • Apps: Save up to 75 percent on Affinity Photo, Dolby Access, djay Pro, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018, Drawboard PDF and others.

Don’t forget to share your most inspiring wish through the Microsoft Wish Machine at any Microsoft Store across the U.S.Canada and Sydney, Australia. Wishes are already being granted so get yours in today through Dec. 31! For official rules, including prize descriptions, click here.

For more information on Xbox deals at Microsoft Store and other participating retailers head to Xbox Wire.

Happy shopping!

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

**Offer valid from 9:00 PM PST on November 16, 2017 to 11:59 PM PST on December 31, 2017, while supplies last. Available only in Microsoft retail and online store in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Offer valid only on select Xbox One S consoles. Excludes Xbox One X, refurbished and pre-order consoles. Not valid on prior orders or purchases; cannot be transferred or otherwise redeemed for cash or promo code(s). May not be combinable with other offers. Refunds will take into account the discount. Price discount does not include taxes, shipping or other fees. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue offers at any time. Limit of 3 offers per customer. Other exclusions and limits may apply.

***Offer valid from December 2, 2017 to December 24, 2017, while supplies last. Available only in Microsoft retail and online store in United States. Offer valid only on select Surface i7 laptop, Surface i7 Pro, Surface Studio, and Harmon Kardon Invoke when purchased together in same transaction. Not valid on prior orders or purchases; cannot be transferred or otherwise redeemed for cash or promo code(s). May not be combinable with other offers. Refunds will take into account the discount. Price discount does not include taxes, shipping or other fees. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue offers at any time. Limit of 1 offer per customer. Other exclusions and limits may apply. 

Updated December 19, 2017 1:00 pm

Xbox Live Gold Members Can Now Get A Jump Start On Black Friday Savings

Starting today, Xbox Live Gold members can take advantage of great deals on Xbox digital games during the Black Friday Gold Early Access sale. Xbox Live Gold members enjoy an exclusive 4-day head start on Black Friday, with savings up to 65% on Xbox digital games, movies, and TV shows. Plus, Xbox Live Gold members receive up to 10% more in savings on top of existing Black Friday game deals. Gold Early Access lasts until November 20, so now’s a great time to find that perfect gift for yourself, friends, or family.

    

Xbox One Deals

Please note: actual discounts and availability are subject to change and may vary by region and Xbox Live Account type.
Xbox Live Gold Members save up to 10% more off of the discounted sale price.

    

Xbox 360 Deals

Please note: actual discounts and availability are subject to change and may vary by region and Xbox Live Account type.
Xbox Live Gold Members save up to 10% more off of the discounted sale price.

Save Up to 65% on More Than 500 Black Friday Deals

This year there are more than 500 Black Friday deals on popular Xbox games and add-ons including Call of Duty: WWII Digital Deluxe, Destiny 2 Digital Deluxe, FIFA 18, NBA 2K18, Assassins Creed Origins, and many more. And don’t forget the many Xbox 360 fan favorites on sale, playable on Xbox One via Backward Compatibility, like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Red Dead Redemption, Skate 3, and more.

Save on Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Subscriptions

Not an Xbox Live Gold member? Get Xbox Live Gold for just $1 for your first month and join the greatest community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network. Get 2 – 4 free games every month, and save up to 50 – 75% on games for Xbox One from Microsoft Store. Sign in and save before this offer expires on November 27 (online only).

Need even more Black Friday gaming deals? For the first time ever, join Xbox Game Pass for just $1 for the first month and play over 100 great games, from exclusives like Halo, Gears of War and Fable, to critically-acclaimed indie titles like Limbo. Sign in and save before this offer expires on November 27 (online only).

A Better Way to Gift Xbox Games

Skip the holiday lines this year and give the gift of great games to your friends and family. Now you can gift select Xbox One games and downloadable game content as well as Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, right from Microsoft Store on your Xbox console, on Windows, or online. Limitations apply. See here for Terms and Conditions.

Black Friday deals will be available to everyone starting November 21, so check out Xbox.com to take advantage of these great deals before they end on November 27, 2017.

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Google, Cisco pitch hybrid cloud benefits for modern apps

Once unheard of, deals to bridge public and private cloud resources have become the norm. The latest, an agreement between Google and Cisco, aims to bring hybrid cloud benefits to modern application frameworks.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Cisco this week said they will offer a hybrid cloud service next year that incorporates an amalgam of the two companies’ orchestration, management, networking and security tools. This joint engineering effort is the latest acknowledgement that, despite the torrid growth of public cloud, most IT shops aren’t ready to ditch their private data centers any time soon.

The hybrid offering follows the lead of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has teamed with VMware to bring vSphere environments to its public cloud, and Microsoft, which has collaborated with several hardware vendors to build a scaled-down version of its Azure public cloud to run in customers’ private data centers. The VMware-AWS deal, as well as Google’s own efforts with Nutanix, is more akin to a lift-and-shift strategy to port legacy assets to the cloud, but this deal focuses on cloud-native workloads.

The service will rely on two open source projects to dynamically link private and public resources: Kubernetes, the Google-led container orchestration tool, and Istio, a platform developed by IBM, Google and Lyft to connect and manage networks of microservices. Google acquisition Apigee will manage APIs to securely communicate between environments. Users will be able to write their code once and maintain consistency between Google Container Engine and HyperFlex, Cisco’s hyper-converged private cloud infrastructure, but choose their own management, software, hypervisor and OS. A brokerage service will connect in-house workloads to big data and machine learning services on Google Cloud Platform.

A cloud-native, developer-friendly spin on hybrid cloud makes a lot of sense for Google, and this deal represents Google’s best response yet to Microsoft’s and Amazon’s efforts in this space, said Melanie Posey, an analyst at 451 Research. Cisco is a particularly good partner because it introduces Google’s cloud to an enterprise market where GCP use lags, she said. And Cisco has done more than any other traditional server vendor to enable hybrid architectures by building or acquiring tools for DevOps, orchestration and end-to-end management.

Now we’re getting to true hybrid [cloud] where you can share services on both ends.
Jeff Katoanalyst, Taneja Group

“If you put all those things together on the Cisco side and everything Google has on their side related to developer tools and frameworks, I think you get the closest thing to maybe an organic on-prem, off-prem hybrid cloud story,” she said.

Because the service relies on many of Google’s open source projects, it could provide a model for other on-premises vendors into Google’s hybrid cloud framework in the future, Posey said.

Each vendor’s services can be bundled or purchased separately, with Cisco acting as the technical support lead. Cisco software purchased for this service will be licensed on one- to five-year subscriptions and hardware sold through perpetual licenses. Google services, which can be purchased through subscription or pay as you go, will be bought directly through Google or a GCP reseller.

Beta testing begins early next year, with general availability expected in the second half of 2018.

Hybrid cloud benefits push partnerships

The concept of shared resources between public and private cloud environments is not new, though most of the early promises of bursting and other seamless integrations largely fizzled. Instead, most cloud usage today — public or private — consists of siloed architectures, even as enterprises increasingly use multiple clouds.

In 451’s latest surveys, just 17% of respondents who said they use the cloud indicated they also have a hybrid cloud setup, which the firm describes as workloads that share resources dynamically across public and private clouds. Still, that percentage is rising, and IT vendors at both ends of the spectrum have sought to provide more hybrid cloud benefits to their customers.

This string of collaborations represents a realization that these companies need each other. Many traditional IT vendors were reluctant to provide a bridge to the public cloud upstarts that were eating into their bottom lines. Several, such as Cisco, tried and failed to build public clouds. Private data centers remain the dominant IT architecture model, but the continued growth of the public cloud market has left them scrambling to remain relevant.

Meanwhile, many public cloud companies scoffed at the idea of hybrid, but have come around to focus on an enterprise market that’s unprepared or unwilling to relinquish all in-house resources. The result is a handful of strategic partnerships intended to resolve competitive disadvantages on both sides.

“The hype and the promise [is] that this stuff would work together … but, in reality, that hasn’t worked all that well, especially with the big three public clouds,” said Jeff Kato, an analyst at Taneja Group in Hopkinton, Mass. “There’s been a renewed focus on getting this right, and also a recognition that hybrid is really what customers want.”

There’s finally some meat on the bones with these hybrid offerings, and for Google, this hybrid partnership is about extending the focus to modernization and container-based workloads.

“Now we’re getting to true hybrid where you can share services on both ends,” Kato said. “In this case, by focusing on Kubernetes, they’re able with container infrastructure and Cisco’s networking capabilities to do that end-to-end networking and provisioning and coordinate on premises and the cloud.”

Trevor Jones is a senior news writer with SearchCloudComputing and SearchAWS. Contact him at [email protected].

Awesome Black Friday deals on Windows PCs and Tablets

This Friday is “Black Friday” – the biggest shopping day of the year. This is when people begin their holiday shopping. Retailers offer deep sale prices on lots of stuff including Windows PCs and tablets. I thought I would do a quick round-up of some of the best Black Friday deals as you might be looking at picking up a new device for someone in your family (or yourself – that’s cool too). If you find a really awesome deal on a Windows device that’s not covered here – feel free to leave a comment to let others who are reading this post know!

Here are some deals on tablets, which would make great stocking stuffers this year:

Nextbook8win_L_01

As I blogged about earlier this month, E FUN’s 8-inch Nextbook will be on sale in Walmart retail stores for just $99 on Black Friday.

YOGA Tablet 2 13 with Windows

The 13-inch Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 will be on sale for $599 (you save $100) at Lenovo.com. This brand new tablet was just announced last month and you can read my blog post about the YOGA Tablet 2 here.

If you think a convertible PC might be a better fit, here is a deal on a 2-in-1 to check out:

Toshiba_Radius_11

The 15.6-inch Toshiba Radius 2-in-1 will be available at Best Buy for $699 (regular price is $899) starting Nov. 27th through Nov. 29th. The Toshiba Radius 2-in-1 comes with a touch screen and has a brushed-aluminum finish in satin gold. It comes powered by a 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor too so it has quite a bit of power and quite a bit of storage with a 1TB hard drive.

A laptop is always a great choice and they are made even more affordable with these Black Friday deals:

ASUS_EeeBook_X205

The ASUS EeeBook X205TA will be available at Staples for $99 ($150 savings) – in Staple retail stores only – Nov. 27th  through Nov. 29th. It also comes with 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage for 2 years – on top of the 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage you get automatically.

703198_o02_right_angle_i3542_5000bk_2

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series will be available at Office Depot for $279 ($250 savings) starting 6pm on Nov. 27th. The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series has a 10-point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen!

Acer-E5

The Acer Aspire E5 will be available for just $399 ($200 savings) at the Microsoft Store Nov. 27th through Dec. 2nd. The Aspire E5 has a 15.6-inch HD display with CineCrystal glossy screen technology, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, and up to 7 hours of battery life.

The HP Pavilion Notebook 15.6-inch will be $476 and the 17.3-inch will be $511 from QVC airing on Saturday, Nov. 29th. It’ll be available in a variety of colors including pink, purple, blue, red, white, black and silver and have Beats Audio and dual speakers for rich sounding audio.

If you are looking for something a little bit bigger at an affordable price, here are some deals on All-in-One and desktop PCs:

HP Pavilion 23

The HP Pavilion 23″ Touchscreen All-in-One will be available at Costco for $799 ($100 savings) Dec. 1st  through Dec. 4th. Perfect for the entire family to share with it 1TB of hard drive space. It also has a 7-in1 memory card reader so you can easily save your holiday photos off your camera.

lenovoERAZERX315

The Lenovo Erazer X series X315 will be available at Lenovo.com for $649 ($350 savings) starting Nov. 27th through Nov. 29th. You can also use the eCoupon BFRIDAYX3 to get this price right now! This powerful desktop would be a perfect gift for a gamer in the family. It has a futuristic, cutting edge design with AMD Radeon R9 graphics and 7.1 channel surround sound with Dolby Advanced Audio technology.

Here are some deals on 3D printing awesomeness:

en-INTL-L-Makerbot-Replicator-Desktop-3D-Printer-DGF-00035-mnco

Starting 12:00am on Nov. 28th and running through until 11:59pm on Dec. 1st, the 5th generation MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer will be available at the Microsoft Store for $2,699 (was $2,899).

en-INTL-L-Makerbot-Replicator-Mini-Desktop-3D-Printer-DGF-00036-mnco

The MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer will also be available at the Microsoft Store for $1,275 (was $1,375).

For more Black Friday deals, head on over and read this blog post from the Fire Hose Blog.