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The business benefits of enterprise data governance and MDM

With seemingly overwhelming amounts of data coming from myriad sources, the need for effective enterprise data governance strategies is of paramount importance to many organizations.

Enterprise data governance has many facets and can often intersect with master data management (MDM) efforts. That convergence was on display at Informatica’s MDM 360 and Data Governance virtual summit hosted on March 19.

The enterprise cloud data management vendor, based in Redwood City, Calif., has been particularly active in recent months, hiring a new CEO in January and expanding the company’s product portfolio with updated governance, data catalog and analytics capabilities.

“We all want tomorrow’s data yesterday, to make a decision for today,” Informatica CEO Amit Walia said during the event’s opening keynote.

Informatica’s virtual conference was among the many similar events that tech vendors have held or are planning to substitute for in-person events canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

One notable tech conference producer, O’Reilly Media, sponsor of the Strata Data and AI conferences, among others, said March 24 it is closing its in-person conference business altogether because of the pandemic.

Amit Walia
Informatica CEO Amit Walia

How Hertz is mastering enterprise data governance and management

Meanwhile, with its global car rental operations, Hertz Corporation possesses a lot of data that it needs to collect and govern, for some 100 million customers and a fleet of nearly a million vehicles.

We all want tomorrow’s data yesterday, to make a decision for today.
Amit WaliaCEO, Informatica

Speaking at the virtual event, Richard Leaton, master data leader at Hertz, outlined the challenges his organization faces and the best practices for data governance and data management Hertz has used.

“The overall business objectives of MDM from an IT perspective, was a $1 billion transformation, changing our reservation system, rental system, sales engine and fleet management,” Leaton said. “If it had an electronic component to it, I think we changed it.”

As part of that effort Hertz needed to improve data quality and data governance, so there could be a single source of information for customer and fleet vehicle data.

Leaton noted that when he joined Hertz in 2017, the company had multiple sets of customer and vehicle master data sources and 30 years of mainframe-based proprietary databases. The systems were highly customized, not easy to upgrade and not uniformly governed.

Leaton emphasized that Hertz started with a process to engage all the right constituencies in the business.

“Data is an asset,” he said. “Data can have real hard number committed to it and when you have hard numbers associated with a data program, you’re going to have people who are helping you to make that data program successful.”

The technology should be the easy part of data transformation, Leaton said. The business processes, the buy-in and making sure the right data quality is present become the hard parts.

Enterprise data governance is the key to master data management

The first step for enabling MDM is to start with data governance, according to Leaton.

“If you don’t have your terms defined, you can’t build an MDM suite effectively,” Leaton said. “We were partway along the governance journey and started into MDM the first time and that’s where we ran into trouble.”

Hertz IT managers thought that they had defined enterprise data governance terms, but they came to realize that the terms were not agreed upon across the multiple platform of the business.

Securing executive buy-in for defining data governance across an organization is critical, Leaton said. He also emphasized that financial metrics and business value needs to be associated with the effort. Business leaders need to understand what the business will get out of a data governance effort. It’s not enough just to want to have good data, leaders need to define terms.

The defined terms for data governance can outline how the effort will help ensure regulatory compliance and how it will help to grow the business because all the systems talk to each other and there is better operational efficiency.

Data governance at Invesco

Rich Turnock, global head of enterprise data services at financial services firm Invesco, based in Louisville, Ky., also has a structured process for data governance.

The Invesco enterprise data platform incorporates three core steps for data governance and quality. In the planning phase, much like at Hertz, Turnock said the organization needs to define and document data requests in terms of business outcomes.

In the capture phase of data, enterprise data governance policies for mapping and cataloging data are important. For data delivery, Turnock said data output should be delivered in the agreed upon format and with preferred mechanisms that were defined up front in the planning process.

Using data to improve healthcare at Highmark Health

Using enterprise data governance and MDM best practices isn’t just about improving business outcomes. Those best practices can also improve healthcare.

Also at the Informatica virtual event, Anthony Roscoe, director of enterprise data governance at Highmark Health in Pittsburgh, explained how his organization embraced data governance and MDM. The key challenge for Highmark Health is that the organization had grown via acquisitions and ended up with multiple disparate data systems.

Operational integration of data is also part of Highmark Health’s data journey, making sure that clinical data from health systems can be correlated with health plans. It’s an approach that Roscoe said can help to streamline care decisions between the health insurance and care delivery portions of Highmark Health’s business.

The overriding goal of Highmark Health’s enterprise data platform is to take all the individual parts, find where the organization needs to gather data from so it can be organized, and ultimately govern the data so that appropriate access is in place.

“Mastering the data so that we speak a common language across the entire enterprise is key,” Roscoe said. “Speaking from the same language can deliver accurate data statements and reports and other metrics across the different business units.”

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Endpoint management in a COVID-19 world

Employees forced to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic are using a variety of internet-connected devices — including smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, and both corporate-owned and employee-owned computers — to get their jobs done. Yet the use of each additional device poses a threat to a company’s security strategy.

For IT administrators, the management of those devices, including such means as those provided by unified endpoint management products, is now a critical consideration for enterprises in a COVID-19 world. Endpoint management is used to secure devices before they are given access to a company’s network. Unified endpoint management is the concept of controlling multiple types of devices through a single console.

“With much of the global workforce moving to work remotely, endpoint security has never been more critical,” said Christopher Sherman, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “In many cases, enterprises are quickly provisioning new remote resources to their employees, further exposing an already increasing attack surface.”

With these additional devices potentially serving as new attack vectors, he said, opportunities for cybercriminals have grown.

“We’ve already seen opportunistic attackers taking advantage of the pandemic and increasing their campaigns against consumers, as well as employees,” he said. “This is likely to increase as the quarantines continue.”

Accelerating the mobility trend

Mark Bowker, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), said the trend toward mobility and remote work has existed since the launch of the iPhone and has already forced IT professionals to secure an “expanded perimeter” around a company’s data.

Mark Bowker, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy GroupMark Bowker

Citing an ESG survey of full-time employees — including those in sales, marketing, HR, finance, IT, engineering, software development and customer service — Bowker said 74% of respondents did at least some work in a non-office setting at least once a week, while 50% did so every day of the work week.

“Employees expect to be productive from anywhere, and most IT organizations have implemented capabilities to securely deliver applications and data to employees,” he said. “The current challenge is rapidly scaling existing deployment, while maintaining security policies for users that may have a higher risk profile associated with them — and [who are] no longer working on a known network or known device.”

Alex Willis, vice president of global sales engineering at BlackBerry, agreed, noting the predominance of the mobile workforce.

Alex Willis, vice president of global sales engineering, BlackBerryAlex Willis

“Now there’s a lockdown, and at most places, people are having to do their entire job on these devices,” he said. “I think the problem organizations are seeing is the urgency in expanding it beyond the typical road warrior or mobile worker. They’re talking people who have never worked from home before and they’re having to, very quickly, set them up in a home office.”

Jason Dettbarn, founder and CEO of cloud-based Apple device management firm Addigy, said there had been increased demand for device-management products since the early days of the outbreak.

“The clear consensus is that a lot of people didn’t feel they needed device management for Apple,” he said. “They’ve had a BYOD model, maybe, or have allowed [Apple devices] in the office … now, they have this forced need where they really have to make sure they’re managing [these devices].”

Employee devices provide flexibility and risk

Given the widespread nature of the pandemic, many firms are trying to roll out remote work devices at the same time — making provisioning a challenge. This, experts noted, could lead to enterprises allowing employees to use their own devices — a flexible option, but one that imperils data security.

“Most people have really powerful home computers these days, but getting remote access to be productive on a home computer introduces a lot of risk,” Willis said. “If you don’t control the machines, you can’t really control the security posture of that machine.”

Jason Dettbarn, founder and CEO, AddigyJason Dettbarn

The same holds true on the mobile side, Dettbarn said. As Apple depends on China for manufacturing, the company is facing a shortage of devices available to enterprises — meaning those businesses may have to rely on the devices employees have on hand for mobile productivity.

“A lot of [employees] will likely have an Apple device in their home that they can use for BYOD,” he said. “Now, an organization that might be a little more Windows-focused might have to adapt to Apple devices to get people up and running.”

Zero trust for remote work

As companies may be forced to rely on employee devices, they could turn to zero-trust security — in which a user’s actions and devices are continuously evaluated — to allay security worries.

Chris Sherman, senior analyst, Forrester ResearchChris Sherman

“When a company implements a zero-trust strategy extending to all their edge devices, they can afford to be less concerned with the health of the … employee’s home network, since protection is centered around what is most at risk — their corporate apps and company data,” Forrester’s Sherman said.

Willis said zero trust represented a departure from the castle-and-moat approach to security — a model in which everything outside the firewall was untrusted and everything inside was considered safe.

“Now, with zero trust, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the network or not. Everything is considered untrusted,” he said. “Even though the users don’t know it, they’re being authenticated with every step they take: How are they interacting with the application? What network are they on? What endpoint are they [using]?”

If something looks wrong, Willis said, the zero-trust management product will require reauthentication, but the hope is to keep employees from having to jump through hoops to accomplish their usual tasks.

Getting management in place

Like many other companies, both BlackBerry and Addigy are providing limited-time free access to some of their products during the coronavirus crisis. Dettbarn said the nature of the situation drove the decision.

“Everybody is so uncertain about what’s going on, that admins are handcuffed by financial constraints or a spending freeze,” he said. “If [IT administrators] had to go get those financial approvals [to buy new management products], that’s probably not going to happen.”

[Companies] think the end goal is connectivity, but the real end goal needs to be secured connectivity.
Alex WillisVice president of global sales engineering, BlackBerry

Sherman said proper patch and configuration management, as well as a robust endpoint security solution, are the best ways to protect the devices employees use for remote work.

“To this end, we’re seeing many endpoint management-focused products offering combined management and security,” he said.

Willis said organizations that are hoping to put work-from-home plans together quickly would do well to remember the importance of device management.

“[Companies] think the end goal is connectivity, but the real end goal needs to be secured connectivity,” he said.

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Companies bolster endpoint data protection for remote work

With more people working from home due to the coronavirus, some companies have had to adjust how they handle backup and business continuity.

The spread of COVID-19, which is the disease caused by the new coronavirus, created a unique challenge for data protection experts. Instead of threatening data or applications, this disaster directly affects personnel. Because of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, many employees must work remotely. Not all businesses’ IT infrastructure can easily accommodate this shift.

In recent months, MDL AutoMation, based out of Roswell, Ga., has been testing a business continuity plan for when its employees can no longer come to work. This includes Carbonite software installed on all laptops, Dell DDPE encryption and Absolute DDS for asset tracking and security. This level of endpoint data protection is largely unnecessary when everyone works in the office, but MDL AutoMation manager of infrastructure Eric Gutmann said they may not have that option for long.

“We will be able to continue functioning as a company with all our employees working remotely as if they were in the office,” Gutmann said.

MDL is a software company that sells car tracking capabilities to car dealerships. It has a client base of about 250 dealerships and manages 1.4 TB of data gathered from IoT devices.

Gutmann said he has VPN and remote desktop protocol (RDP) ready, and the switch to remote working and enhanced endpoint data protection is meant to be temporary. He is prepared to implement it for two months.

No going back

Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, said it’s highly unlikely that any business that implements endpoint data protection will want to go back. Endpoint data protection is a separate investment from workstation data protection and involves extra security measures such as geolocation and remote wiping. Businesses that do not already have this will need to invest time and money into such a system, and will likely want to keep it after making that investment.

Many businesses may already be in a good position to support remote work. Staimer said organizations that use virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) do not have to worry about backing up laptops, and less data-intensive businesses can have everyone work off of the cloud. Bandwidth is also much more abundant now, eliminating what used to be a roadblock to remote work.

With SaaS-based applications such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs and cloud-based storage such as OneDrive and Dropbox, teleworking isn’t complicated to implement. The difficulty, according to Steven Hill, senior analyst at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, comes from making sure everything on the cloud is just as protected as anything on premises.

Unlike endpoint data protection, using the cloud is more about locking down storage being used than protecting multiple devices. Whether it’s Dropbox, OneDrive or a private cloud NAS, an administrator only has to worry about protecting and securing that one management point. Aside from native tools, third-party vendors such as Backblaze and CloudAlly can provide data protection for these storage environments.

“Rather than storing business information locally, you could dictate that everything goes to and comes from the cloud,” Hill said.

Staimer said the pandemic will make many businesses realize they don’t need all of their workers in a single location. While some organizations won’t treat the coronavirus seriously enough to implement any of these systems, Staimer expects that for many, it will be the impetus to do what they should’ve been doing.

Coronavirus is going to change the way we work — permanently.
Marc StaimerPresident, Dragon Slayer Consulting

“Coronavirus is going to change the way we work — permanently,” Staimer said.

For some businesses, the biggest challenge will be accommodating workers who cannot perform their jobs from home. They may include partners or customers, as well as a company’s employees.

KCF Technologies, based in State College, Penn., which manufactures industrial diagnostic equipment, is already invested in endpoint data protection. Myron Semack, chief infrastructure architect at KCF, said the company is cloud-centric and many of its workers can work from anywhere.

However, the business would still be impacted if it or its customers go into lockdown because of the coronavirus. Not only would KCF be unable to produce its sensor products, but any installation or project work in the field would have to be suspended. This isn’t anything IT can fix.

“Our manufacturing line employees cannot work from home, unfortunately. If they were forced to stay home, our ability to build or ship product would be impacted,” Semack said.

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Welcoming more women into cybersecurity: the power of mentorships

From the way our industry tackles cyber threats, to the language we have developed to describe these attacks, I’ve long been a proponent to challenging traditional schools of thought—traditional cyber-norms—and encouraging our industry to get outside its comfort zones. It’s important to expand our thinking in how we address the evolving threat landscape. That’s why I’m not a big fan of stereotypes; looking at someone and saying they “fit the mold.” Looking at my CV, one would think I wanted to study law, or politics, not become a cybersecurity professional. These biases and unconscious biases shackle our progression. The scale of our industry challenges is too great, and if we don’t push boundaries, we miss out on the insights that differences in race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, neurology, ability, and degrees can bring.

As we seek to diversify the talent pool, a key focus needs to be on nurturing female talent. Microsoft has hired many women in security, and we will always focus on keeping a diverse workforce. That’s why as we celebrate Women in Cybersecurity Month and International Women’s Day, the security blog will feature a few women cybersecurity leaders who have been implementing some of their great ideas for how to increase the number of women in this critical field. I’ll kick off the series with some thoughts on how we can build strong mentoring relationships and networks that encourage women to pursue careers in cybersecurity.

There are many women at Microsoft who lead our security efforts. I’m incredibly proud to be among these women, like Joy Chik, Corporate Vice President of Identity, who is pushing the boundaries on how the tech industry is thinking about going passwordless, and Valecia Maclin, General Manager of Security Engineering, who is challenging us to think outside the box when it comes to our security solutions. On my own team, I think of the many accomplishments of  Ping Look, who co-founded Black Hat and now leads our Detection and Response Team (DART), Sian John, MBE, who was recently recognized as one of the top 50 influencers in cybersecurity in the U.K., and Diana Kelley, Microsoft CTO, who tirelessly travels to the globe to share how we are empowering our customers through cybersecurity—just to name a few. It’s important we continue to highlight women like these, including our female cybersecurity professionals at Microsoft who made the Top 100 Cybersecurity list in 2019. The inspiration from their accomplishments goes far beyond our Microsoft campus. These women represent the many Microsoft women in our talented security team. This month, you’ll also hear from some of them in subsequent blog posts on how to keep the diverse talent you already have employed. And to conclude the month, Theresa Payton, CEO at Fortalice Solutions, LLC., and the host of our CISO Spotlight series will share tips from her successful experience recruiting talented women into IT and cybersecurity.

Our cyber teams must be as diverse as the problems we are trying to solve

You’ve heard me say this many times, and I truly believe this: As an industry, we’ve already acknowledged the power of diversity—in artificial intelligence (AI). We have clear evidence that a variety of data across multiple sources and platforms enhances and improves AI and machine learning models. Why wouldn’t we apply that same advantage to our teams? This is one of several reasons why we need to take diversity and inclusion seriously:

  • Diverse teams make better and faster decisions 87 percent of the time compared with all male teams, yet the actual number of women in our field fluctuates between 10 and 20 percent. What ideas have we missed by not including more women?
  • With an estimated shortfall of 3.5 million security professionals by 2021, the current tech talent pipeline needs to expand—urgently.
  • Cyber criminals will continue to exploit the unconscious bias inherent in the industry by understanding and circumventing the homogeneity of our methods. If we are to win the cyber wars through the element of surprise, we need to make our strategy less predictable.

Mentoring networks must start early

Mentorship can be a powerful tool for increasing the number of women in cybersecurity. People select careers that they can imagine themselves doing. This process starts young. Recently a colleague’s pre-teen daughter signed up for an after-school robotics class. When she showed up at the class, only two other girls were in the room. Girls are opting out of STEM before they can (legally) opt into a PG-13 movie. But we can change this. By exposing girls to technology earlier, we can reduce the intimidation factor and get them excited. One group that is doing this is the Security Advisor Alliance. Get involved in organizations like this to reach girls and other underrepresented groups before they decide cybersecurity is not for them.

Building a strong network

Mentoring young people is important, but to solve the diversity challenges, we also need to bring in people who started on a different career path or who don’t have STEM degrees. You simply won’t find the talent you need through the anemic pipeline of college-polished STEM graduates. I recently spoke with Mari Galloway, a senior security architect in the gaming industry and CEO of the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) about this very topic in my podcast. She agreed on the importance of finding a mentor, and being a mentee.

Those seeking to get into cybersecurity need a network that provides the encouragement and constructive feedback that will help them grow. I have mentored several non-technical women who have gone on to have successful roles in cybersecurity. These relationships have been very rewarding for me and my mentees, which is why I advocate that everybody should become a mentor and a mentee.

If you haven’t broken into cybersecurity yet, or if you are in the field and want to grow your career, here are a few tips:

  • Close the skills gap through training and certificate programs offered by organizations like Sans Institute and ISC2. I am especially excited about Girls Go Cyberstart, a program for young people that Microsoft is working on with Sans Institute.
  • Build up your advocate bench with the following types of mentors:
    • Career advocate: Someone who helps you with your career inside your company or the one you want to enter.
    • Coach: Someone outside your organization who brings a different perspective to troubleshooting day-to-day problems.
    • Senior advisor: Someone inside or outside your organization who looks out for the next step in your career.
  • Use social media to engage in online forums, find local events, and reach experts. Several of my mentees use LinkedIn to start the conversation.
  • When you introduce yourself to someone online be clear that you are interested in their cumulative experience not just their job status.

For those already in cybersecurity, be open to those from the outside seeking guidance, especially if they don’t align with traditional expectations of who a cybersecurity professional is.

Mentorship relationships that yield results

A mentorship is only going to be effective if the mentee gets valuable feedback and direction from the relationship. This requires courageous conversations. It’s easy to celebrate a mentee’s visible wins. However, those moments are the result of unseen trench work that consists of course correcting and holding each other accountable to agreed upon actions. Be prepared to give and receive constructive, actionable feedback.

Creating inclusive cultures

More women and diverse talent should be hired in security not only because it is the right thing to do, but because gaining the advantage in fighting cybercrime depends on it. ​Mentorship is one strategy to include girls before they opt out of tech, and to recruit people from non-STEM backgrounds.

What’s next

Watch for Diana Kelley’s blog about how to create a culture that keeps women in the field.

Learn more about Girls Go Cyberstart.

Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity. Or reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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What we can learn from the current school closures about how to support remote learning | | Microsoft EDU

From time to time, we feature guest blogs from educators who are making a difference in the lives of young people and who are eager to share their success with the Microsoft Education community. These  Changemakers, as we call them, offer insights into the effective use of classroom resources, how to prepare today’s youth for the jobs of tomorrow, and ways that technology can personalize instruction and empower students to lead in their learning. Today’s Changemaker blog was written by Meredith Roe, virtual school program manager for Catholic Education Western Australia. 

The global COVID-19 outbreak is challenging the continuity of learning for schools and other education institutions. Whether you’re at a school that has experience with remote learning, or one that’s learning how to implement it in the moment, there are resources available to help. I’ve found Microsoft Office 365 tools can be especially useful for remote learning. 

The learning opportunity 

Events that close schools can leave us with a sense of loss, sadness and worry, and going remote can come with negative connotations or be considered a second-rate option. However, if we try to see the current crisis, hard as it might be, as a chance for reflection and staff and student skill development, then remote learning seems like less of a burden. Let’s be clear, though, there are important conditions that must be met for remote learning to succeed. I’ve listed the ones that I believe are critical here. 

Staff professional development  

Developing teacher skills ought to be a top priority for any school or system. We can ensure quality learning continues if we prepare teachers through strategic planning and meaningful professional learning opportunities. 

There lots of options for delivering high-quality professional learning. Here are some examples, all of which should be possible to try even during a closure. 

  • Online courses through the Microsoft Educator Community
  • School- or system-led webinars delivered via Teams
  • Access to existing resources in a OneNote or a SharePoint site or many of the other resources that Microsoft have created specifically for remote learning. 

Remember, Teams and OneNote, along with other Office 365 tools, can provide a platform for easy collaboration and communication and access to resources.  

Spending time to skill up for distance learning during ordinary times is worthwhile. If a school ends up not needing to close in the event of an emergency, it will simply have had an opportunity to engage staff in learning that helps integrate technology into the curriculum. It’s hard to argue against that! 

One great resource is the Network of Microsoft Authorized Global Training Partners, which is available to help schools develop a comprehensive professional development plan and staff training. 

Student skill development  

Experience with remote learning can help students gain the skills needed to transition to post-secondary settings, such as college and the workforce. Among other things, it can build resilience and the ability to collaborate and problem solve.

Students need to be given some independence and taught technical skills to be ready for distance learning. Here are some ideas: 

  • Use the Praise app in Microsoft Teams as a badging system and feedback tool when working on skills development.
  • Involve students in your remote learning planning by using Polly, a way to conduct polls in Teams, to determine structure of the class team. 
  • Through Flipgrid you can gather student voice, such as what they perceive as challenges and opportunities during remote learning days. 
  • Microsoft Forms is terrific for feedback, including after a school-closure event is over. 

During the school year, it’s a good idea to promote remote learning as it will provide parents with a springboard for conversations with their children about the importance of keeping learning going.  

Clear expectations  

Clear expectations are essential to make remote learning work. These should include expectations around: 

  • Educator and staff availability
  • Communication tools and strategies 
  • The completion of student work
  • Staff response time to student questions

Ensuring everyone understands these expectations prior to starting remote learning will avoid rash decisions during an emergency. While these plans can be documented in a text-based tool, consider also recording a message in Flipgrid or Stream so staff can access those during the remote learning period if clarification is needed. Also add them to a OneNote document, as a tab in a staff team, for easy access.  

Communication strategy 

During an event that requires schools to move to distance learning, school and system leaders have to communicate regularly with key stakeholders including parents, students, staff, and the relevant authorities. Teams can be a huge help. 

Creating a staff Team will help school leaders and teaching staff remain connected, enable easy sharing of resources, and contribute to a supportive community.  Asking staff to ‘like’ your posts in Teams is an easy way for administrators to make sure all parties are seeing what you’re communicating. And adding the Insights app as a tab in your team will also give you detailed data on staff activity in Posts.  

Staff support 

Remote learning can feel isolating, but with Teams, educators can remain connected to their department leaders, school leaders, and each other. School leaders also need to be visible during remote learning, which can mean: 

  • Being an active member of the team – liking staff posts (emoji’s)
  • Posting a daily staff message of encouragement (announcements)
  • Sharing best practices (through a collaboration space in a Class Notebook, embedded in the Team)
  • Showcasing examples of great work by staff (using the praise tool in Teams)
  • And encouraging the usual banter that would occur in the school corridors and staffroom (gifs, memes).  

Don’t miss the opportunity to also connect and share via Teams calls, which you can record for staff unable to attend the live call, or a Flipgrid video. 

Backup plan 

As educators we know, there will always be a need for a backup plan. It’s true when physically in the classroom, and its true with remote learning. A staff member or student might be without internet, for example. Keep in mind that if students sync their OneNote/Class Notebook before leaving school at the point of closure, they can continue to work offline.   

The more opportunities students and staff are given to use the tools needed to make distance learning a success, the smoother the transition to this type of learning will be. In an ideal world, such a transition would be seamless and the disruption to learning limited. I think that’s achievable with Teams, OneNote, and other Office 365 tools but, going forward, planning and preparation are the key to making this possible! 

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – 2 x WD Red 2TB; 1 x Seagate 500GB

Hello,

Selling 3 x HDDs due to recent upgrade to bigger drives for NAS use.

1 x WD Red – 2 TB – Purchased Oct 2014 from Amazon. No Warranty, but no performance issues – £27

1 x WD Red – 2 TB – Purchased Oct 2014 from Amazon. No Warranty, but no performance issues – £27

1 x Seagate Barracuda 7200 – 500 GB – No warranty, but no performance issues – £12.50

Collection available from SE23 or will post at buyer’s cost.

Thanks,

Alex

[Edit 14/03 – price dropped. 17/03 – 1 drive sold]

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For Sale – Gaming pc

Sahara p35 case and 4 led fans and remote control, new from amazon
Amd Ryzen 3 1300x quad core processor
ASRock X370 Killer SLI motherboard
2 x Adata Gammix D10 8gb Ddr4 3000mhz, 16gb total @ 2667mhz
ASUS STRIX GTX 970 O.C.
Deepcool GAMER STORM LUCIFER V2 cpu cooler and 140mm fan
Kingston SSD A400 120 GB
EVGA 600 W1, 80+ WHITE 600W, Power Supply 100-W1-0600-K3 purchased 26 Apr 2018 remainder of 3 year warranty left
Windows 10 pro

I have never been able to run the memory at 3000mhz with this cpu, add my 3700x into the mix and the ram will clock to 3200mhz YMWV
Update to system forces sale, would like pick up and cash on collection after a demo.

Ryzen 7 1700 8 core available for an extra £50, will swap out the 1300x

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For Sale – Nvidia MSI RTX 2070 ARMOR 8G

Nvidia MSI RTX 2070 ARMOR 8G bought from Scan October 2018 and still under warranty until October 2020,

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Not seen too much use as only game 4/5 times a year on a LAN weekend so in good condition and boxed.IMG_20200310_224051.jpg

Location
Hornchurch
Price and currency
£300
Delivery cost included
Delivery is NOT included
Prefer goods collected?
I have no preference
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Payment method
PPG/BT

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Congratulations to our 2020 Imagine Cup EMEA Regional Final winners!

Ten student teams from across nine European, Middle Eastern, and African countries pitched their tech solutions at the 2020 Imagine Cup EMEA Regional Final this week. Each team brought a project ignited from their passion and developed with purpose, impact, and Microsoft Azure. The event concluded with the selection of the top two EMEA teams moving forward to this year’s World Championship at Microsoft Build – congratulations Team The Knights from Kenya and RedWalls from Tunisia for taking home the winning spots!  

 

The Imagine Cup aims to inspire students to use their imagination and passion for technology to create innovative and inclusive projects that tackle some of the world’s biggest social, environmental, and health challenges. Taking on this challenge, The Knights created an automated weeding bot to help farmers eliminate the need for herbicides in their crops, and Team RedWalls created a mobile application designed for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers to help evaluate and train the user’s memory. 

 

Out of hundreds of EMEA submissions, the ten regional finalist teams virtually showcased their innovations to a panel of judgesto compete for prizes totaling USD20,000, Azure credits, and two spots in the 2020 World Championship. With ideas encompassing solutions in education, wildlife conservation, cancer detection, emotional wellbeing, accessibility, and more, judges had a difficult task selecting which teams to advance. 

 

Congratulations to all our winners and thank you to everyone who participated in bringing your passion to life! We’d also like to give a special thank you to our competition judges for their expertise and time.  

 

Meet the winning teams: 

 

World Finalist – Team The Knights, Kenya 

The Knights created an automated robot using artificial intelligence to identify and remove weeds from rows of crops. Their solution uses cameras as sensors to gather input from the environment and eliminate farmers’ need to use environmentally harmful pesticides in their weeding. 

Prizes: USD8,000, Azure credits, a spot in the 2020 Imagine Cup World Championship   

 

World Finalist – Team RedWalls, Tunisia 

Team RedWalls created I-Remember, a two-part mobile application designed for the wellbeing of both Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. The patient interface includes task reminders, live facial recognition, labelled photos, emergency location and call assistance, as well as memory games to help evaluate and train the user’s memory. The caregiver interface provides the same, but with supervisor features. 

Prizes: USD8,000, Azure credits, a spot in the 2020 Imagine Cup World Championship   

 

Runner-up – Team Wild Eye, Kenya

The team’s project, Wild Eye_KE, brings technology to the wild by monitoring and tracking animal activities. Wild Eye_KE will notify authorities if animals move away from the wildlife protected areas in an effort to reduce poaching and human interaction.

Prizes: USD2,500 and Azure credits   

 

Runner-upTeam Allez, Ukraine

Allez supports personal development through sports experience. The team created a mobile app which collects athlete analytics and improves communication with the coach. The aim is to maximize the performance of an athlete and help coaches grow individuals mentally ready to fight obstacles. 

Prizes: USD2,500 and Azure credits   

 

Runner-up – Team Vhysio, United Kingdom

Vhysio is a web application utilizing tensorflow.js, a cutting-edge browser-based Machine Learning library, to enable accessible physiotherapy for the visually impaired. Vhysio provides real-time feedback by speaking through exercises and responding to the user’s posture.

Prizes: USD2,500 and Azure credits   

 

Follow the journeys of our winning teams on Instagram and Twitter as they prepare for the 2020 World Championship! They’ll be competing against Asia Regional winners, team Syrinx and team Hollo, and the winners of the upcoming Americas Regional Final.  

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 router

Selling this gaming router due to change of circumstances.. Was brought in July 2019 from Very.. Opened up over the weekend to set it up forgotten I had it to be honest was due to have my front room Extended why the delay is setting it up.. but loft is now getting done first so item has not even been turned on yet took pics and put back in box. Had a little. Accident with one the anttanas must of been lose wire has come out and little clip will need gluing. Price adjusted for the antanna

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