Tag Archives: growth

Tallying the momentous growth and continued expansion of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform – The Official Microsoft Blog

We’ve seen incredible growth of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform just in the past year. This momentum is driving a massive investment in people and breakthrough technologies that will empower organizations to transform in the next decade.

We have allocated hundreds of millions of dollars in our business cloud that power business transformation across markets and industries and help organizations solve difficult problems.

This fiscal year we are also heavily investing in the people that bring Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform to life — a rapidly growing global network of experts, from engineers and researchers to sales and marketing professionals. Side-by-side with our incredible partner community, the people that power innovation at Microsoft will fuel transformational experiences for our customers into the next decade.

Accelerating innovation across industries

In every industry, I hear about the struggle to transform from a reactive to proactive organization that can respond to changes in the market, customer needs, and even within their own business. When I talk to customers who have rolled out Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, the conversation shifts to the breakthrough outcomes they’ve achieved, often in very short time frames.

Customers talk about our unique ability to connect data holistically across departments and teams — with AI-powered insights to drive better outcomes. Let me share a few examples.

This year we’ve focused on a new vision for retail that unifies back office, in-store and digital experiences. One of Washington state’s founding wineries — Ste. Michelle Wine Estates — is onboarding Dynamics 365 Commerce to bridge physical and digital channels, streamline operations with cloud intelligence and continue building brand loyalty with hyper-personalized customer experiences.

When I talk to manufacturers, we often zero in on ways to bring more efficiency to the factory floor and supply chain. Again, it’s our ability to harness data from physical and digital worlds, reason over it with AI-infused insights, that opens doors to new possibilities. For example, Majans, the Australian-based snackfood company, is creating the factory of the future with the help of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Power BI and Azure IoT Hub — bringing Internet of Things (IoT) intelligence to every step in the supply chain, from quality control on the production floor to key performance indicators to track future investments. When everyone relies on a single source of truth about production, inventory and sales performance, decisions employees make drive the same outcome — all made possible on our connected business cloud.

These connected experiences extend to emerging technologies that bridge digital and physical worlds, such as our investment in mixed reality. We’re working with companies like PACCAR — manufacturer of premium trucks — to improve manufacturing productivity and employee training using Dynamics 365 Guides and HoloLens 2, as well as Siemens to enable technicians to service its eHighway — an electrified freight transport system — by completing service steps with hands-free efficiency using HoloLens and two-way communication and documentation in Dynamics 365 Field Service.

For many of our customers, the journey to Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform started with a need for more personalized customer experiences. Our customer data platform (CDP) featuring Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, is helping Tivoli Gardens — one of the world’s longest-running amusement parks — personalize guest experiences across every touchpoint — on the website, at the hotel and in the park.  Marston’s has onboarded Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Insights to unify guest data and infuse personalized experiences across its 1,500-plus pubs across the U.K.

The value of Dynamics 365 is compounded when coupled with the Power Platform. In late 2019, there are over 3 million monthly active developers on the Power Platform, from non-technical “citizen developers” to Microsoft partners developing world-class, customized apps. In the last year, we’ve seen a 700% growth in Power Apps production apps and a 300% growth in monthly active users. All of those users generate a ton of data, with more than 25 billion Power Automate steps run each day and 25 million data models hosted in the Power BI service.

The impact of the Power Platform is shared in the stories our customers share with us. TruGreen, one of the largest lawn care companies in the U.S., onboarded Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and the Microsoft Power Platform to provide more proactive and predictive services to customers, freeing employees to spend more time on higher value tasks and complex customer issue resolution. And the American Red Cross is leveraging Power Platform integration with Teams to improve disaster response times.

From the Fortune 500 companies below to the thousands of small and medium sized businesses, city and state governments, schools and colleges and nonprofit organizations — Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Cloud are driving transformative success delivering on business outcomes.

24 business logos of Microsoft partners

Partnering to drive customer success

We can’t talk about growth and momentum of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform without spotlighting our partner community — from ISVs to System Integrators that are the lifeblood of driving scale for our business. We launched new programs, such as the new ISV Connect Program, to help partners get Dynamics 365 and Power Apps solutions to market faster.

Want to empower the next generation of connected cloud business? Join our team!

The incredible momentum of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform means our team is growing, too. In markets around the globe, we’re looking for people who want to make a difference and take their career to the next level by helping global organizations digitally transform on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. If you’re interested in joining our rapidly growing team, we’re hiring across a wealth of disciplines, from engineering to technical sales, in markets across the globe. Visit careers.microsoft.com to explore business applications specialist career opportunities.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Managed security services, professional services to top $35B

Escalating cybersecurity threats and a shortage of in-house talent are driving double-digit growth rates in the managed security services and professional security services market.

Market research firm Frost & Sullivan expects the global market to expand from $21 billion in 2018 to $35.6 billion in 2023, growing at a 11.1% compound annual growth rate. The top five providers are already experiencing even higher growth. Accenture, Deloitte, EY, IBM and PwC — a group which accounts for 42% of the global market — grew 27.6% year-over-year in 2018, according to Frost & Sullivan.

The market researcher’s report cited an “overdue need for a new chapter in security practices” along with rising risk levels and staffing limitations as the main factors propelling the demand for managed and professional security services. Digital transformation and customers’ heightened recognition of cyberthreats also contribute to increasing demand.

High growth services

Detection and response are the fastest growing offerings in the managed security services market, followed by DDoS protection and threat intelligence, research, detection and mitigation (TIRDM), noted Jarad Carleton, global program leader of cybersecurity information and communication technologies at Frost & Sullivan.

“We are noticing a strong demand across several areas in the managed security services space from our clients globally,” said Harpreet Sidhu, managing director and managed security services lead at Accenture. “One of those areas is definitely for detection and response as companies seek to add next-generation solutions to their security capabilities.”

Cybersecurity skills shortage chart
The cybersecurity skills shortage has helped fuel demand for managed security services.

Sidhu said managed detection and response (MDR) capabilities include security automation and orchestration and come with predefined playbooks. MDR, which uses technology to scale, “can help drive significantly faster analysis and improved responses,” he noted.

Chris Gerritz, chief product officer at Infocyte, a cybersecurity incident response platform provider in Austin, Texas, said detection and incident response is becoming more important for managed security services providers (MSSPs), which traditionally have focused on network monitoring.

“Generally, they are starting to add on endpoint capabilities and starting to add on response capabilities,” he said.

Gerritz said customers are telling MSSPs “I don’t want just 100 notifications that I have been attacked. I want you to actually do something about that.”

Infocyte this week launched its Response Ready program for its certified incident response partners. The program aims to help those partners scale up their incident response businesses and boost recurring revenue.

Assessment and advisory offerings, meanwhile, stand out in the professional security services market segment, according to the Frost & Sullivan report. Professional security services represent the biggest slice of the security services market, overall, with a 61% share.

Sidhu said Accenture is seeing consulting and professional services demand across several areas such as identity, cloud, cyber defense and application security, along with strong demand for assessment of those capabilities.

Breaking into the market

The market’s five largest players are generating considerable revenue growth, which Frost & Sullivan attributes to “their massive size, global reach, consultative strength, industry expertise, and established relationships with large enterprises and government agencies.”

Yet, smaller service providers also have the potential to grow — with a few caveats. Managed service providers are looking to add security services as more customers expect them to provide protection from cyberattacks.

The key for MSPs trying to break into the MSSP market is providing right-sized security services for small- and medium- sized enterprises.
Jarad CarletonGlobal program leader, cybersecurity information and communication technologies, Frost & Sullivan

“The key for MSPs trying to break into the MSSP market is providing right-sized security services for small- and medium- sized enterprises,” Carleton said.

Regional MSSPs, as well as MSPs offering security services, will find demand for security services among regionally-focused SMBs, he noted.

MSPs, however, must take care to properly scope their services and keep their own security house in order.

“What we have seen is that far too many MSPs are promising more than they can actually deliver in terms of managed security services, and that is damaging to the industry,” Carleton said. “What is even more damaging to MSPs trying to break into the MSSP market is that MSPs themselves have become targets of cybercriminals. If you cannot manage your own security, frankly you have no business selling managed security services to a customer.”

HCL unveils Google Cloud unit

HCL Technologies, a global technology company based in Noida, India, has launched a Google Cloud business unit, which will eventually house more than 5,000 Google Cloud specialists.

HCL currently has more than 1,300 Google Cloud platform professionals. The company’s Google initiative targets a range of fields, from containerization to machine learning. The HCL business unit will also build Google Cloud-specific Cloud Native Labs in Dallas, London and in India’s national capital region.

Google and HCL said joint investments to support customers’ digital transformation projects will cover several areas:

  • SAP workload and application migration to Google Cloud Platform. In August, Google launched a partnership with DXC Technology that also focuses on enterprise migration of SAP applications to public cloud.
  • Hybrid and multi-cloud deployments using Google Cloud’s Anthos. Google partners cited Anthos as a business opportunity and one of the key developments during Google’s Next ’19 conference.
  • Adoption of Google Cloud data, AI and machine learning offerings in areas such as e-commerce, supply chain and marketing.
  • Application and data center modernization.
  • Workplace transformation and collaboration via G Suite.
  • DevSecOps and service orchestration.

Tech Data buys government channel partner DLT Solutions

Tech Data has agreed to purchase DLT Solutions, a Herndon, Va., company that aggregates technology for public sector clients and channel partners.

The deal, expected to close by Jan. 31, would make DLT a wholly owned subsidiary of Tech Data, a distributor based in Clearwater, Fla. DLT’s government contract vehicles include the General Services Administration Schedule 70, the Defense Department’s Enterprise Software Initiative, The National Institutes of Health’s Chief Information Officers — Commodities and Solutions and NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement V.

DLT had been a Millstein & Co. portfolio company. The private equity firm acquired DLT in 2015. TZP Group owned DLT prior to that deal, having acquired the company in 2009.

The DLT transaction will expand Tech Data’s value proposition, “especially in government solutions,” according to a bulletin from Martinwolf, a merger and acquisition advisory firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Martinwolf advised DLT on the TZP deal and then advised TZP on the Millstein acquisition.

Evercore, an M&A advisory firm based in New York, is representing DLT on the Tech Data deal.

Axcient launches X360 backup platform

Data protection company Axcient unveiled Axcient X360, a converged backup platform for MSPs.

The Axcient X360 platform offers single sign-on and centralized management of Office 365 backup, sync and share, and business continuity and disaster recovery. The platform also provides unlimited storage and retention and supporting services such as billing, training and certification, co-branded collateral and market development funds, the company said.

David Bennett, CEO of Axcient, speaking with SearchITChannel at MSP software vendor ConnectWise’s IT Nation conference, said the platform is designed to ease the backup burdens of MSPs. “Anything that puts a burden on an MSP’s business in terms of people and time is costly,” he said.

Bennett said Axcient X360 aims to be easy to learn, to the extent an MSP’s tier-1 technician could quickly train and operate the platform.

The X360 platform also documents backups for customers in regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, Bennett added.

Axcient currently works with about 3,000 MSPs and integrates with ConnectWise.

Other news

  • Cloud distributor Pax8 inked a deal with Nerdio, an Azure solution provider for MSPs. Under the agreement, Pax8 will offer Nerdio for Azure in three packages: Core, Professional and Enterprise.
  • Intermedia, a cloud communications provider, joined ConnectWise’s Invent partner program for integrating with the ConnectWise MSP platform.
  • Webroot said ConnectWise partners can buy licenses for its security awareness training offering at 50% off from Oct. 30 to Nov. 30. The offer is available only through ConnectWise and to partners that are not currently purchasing Webroot’s security awareness training.
  • MSP360, formerly CloudBerry Lab, said MSP interest in its multi-cloud data backup and recovery portfolio helped boost Q3 revenue 60% over the same period last year.
  • Synechron Inc., a digital consulting firm based in New York, launched Digital Ecosystem Accelerators for the financial sector. The company described the accelerators as “solution prototypes” targeting such fields as retail banking, wealth management, corporate banking and capital markets.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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Boost your ecommerce revenue with Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection – Dynamics 365 Blog

With the booming growth of online technologies and marketplaces comes the burgeoning rise of a variety of cybersecurity challenges for businesses that conduct any aspect of their operations through online software and the Internet. Fraud is one of the most pervasive trends of the modern online marketplace, and continues to be a consistent, invasive issue for all businesses.

As the rate of payment fraud continues to rise, especially in retail ecommerce where the liability lies with the merchant, so does the amount companies spend each year to combat and secure themselves against it. Fraud and wrongful rejections already significantly impact merchants’ bottom-line in a booming economy and as well as when the economy is soft.

The impact of outdated fraud detection tools and false alarms

Customers, merchants, and banking institutions have been impacted for years by suboptimal experiences, increased operational expenses, wrongful rejections, and reduced revenue. To combat these negative business impacts, companies have been implementing layered solutions. For example, merchant risk managers are bogged down with manual reviews and analysis of their own local 30/60/90-day historical data. These narrow, outdated views of data provide a partial hindsight view of fraud trends, leaving risk managers with no real-time information to work with when creating new rules to hopefully minimize fraud loss.

One of the most common ways that fraud impacts everyday consumers and business is through wrongful rejections. For example, when a merchant maintains an outdated and/or strict set of transaction rules and algorithms, a customer who initiates a retail ecommerce transaction through a credit card might experience a wrongful rejection known to consumers as a declined transaction, because of these outdated rules. Similarly, wrongful declined transactions can also happen when the card issuing bank refuses to authorize the purchase using the card due to suspicion of fraud. The implications of these suboptimal experiences for all parties involved (customers, merchants, and banks) directly correlates into loss of credibility, security, and business revenue.

Introducing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection

As one of the biggest technology organizations in the world, Microsoft saw an opportunity to provide software as a service that effectively and visibly helps reduce the rate and pervasiveness of fraud while simultaneously helping to reduce wrongful declined transactions and improving customer experience. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection is a cloud-based solution merchants can use in real-time to help lower their costs related to combatting fraud, help increase their revenue by improving acceptance of legitimate transactions, reduce friction in customer experience, and integrate easily into their existing order management system and payment stack. This solution offers a global level of fraud insights using data sets from participating merchants that are processed with real-time machine learning to detect and mitigate evolving fraud schemes in a timely manner.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection houses five powerful capabilities designed to capitalize on the power of machine learning to provide merchants with an innovative fraud protection solution:

  • Adaptive AI technology continuously learns and adapts from patterns and trends and will equip fraud managers with the tools and data they need to make informed decisions on how to optimize their fraud controls.
  • A fraud protection network maintains up-to-date connected data that provides a global view of fraud activity and maintains the security of merchants’ confidential information and shoppers’ privacy.
  • Transaction acceptance booster shares transactional trust knowledge with issuing banks to help boost authorization rates.
  • Customer escalation support provides detailed risk insights about each transaction to help improve merchants’ customer support experience.
  • Account creation protection monitors account creation, helps minimize abuse and automated attacks on customer accounts, and helps to avoid incurring losses due to fraudulent accounts

See the image below to learn more about the relationship between merchants and banks when they both use Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection:

Banks worldwide can choose to participate in the Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection transaction acceptance booster feature to increase acceptance rates of legitimate authorization requests from online merchants using Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection. Merchants using the product can opt to use this feature to increase acceptance rates for authorization requests made to banks without having to make any changes to their existing authorization process.

Learn more

This week at Sibos 2019 in London, Microsoft will be showcasing its secure and compliant cloud solutions for the banking industry. Read a round-up of announcements unveiled at Sibos and  view an agenda of Microsoft events and sessions at the show. Stop by our booth (Z131) for a showcase of applications relevant to banking, including Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection, which will be generally available on October 1st, 2019. Contact your Microsoft representative to get started.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

At the Microsoft global Hackathon, customers break something to make something | Transform

Summer is a time for growth. Whether you’re traveling to an historical destination or picking out a book for the beach, the season is ripe for taking a break from the grind to focus on introspection and renewal, to make new friends, re-connect with old ones, and create shared experiences together. With any luck, come autumn you have a sharpened mind and a greater sense of where you want to go next.

Which is why summer is the ideal time for the Microsoft global Hackathon. Minds will be sharpened, advancement made tangible, and friends with diverse backgrounds will be brought together to create shared experiences.

By now you’re probably aware of the 27,000 employees who gather at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington campus and 45 venues around the world, embracing the event (part of One Week – a series celebrating the company’s people, products and ideas) as a platform for innovation. But at the 6th annual installment, there’s another rapidly growing segment that deserves its own spotlight: customer collaborations.

Two participants wave
More than 30 customer teams join 27,000 Microsoft employees at the 2019 Microsoft global Hackathon. (Photo by Scott Eklund, Red Box Pictures)

“We started inviting customers two years ago,” explains Susie Kandzor, group program manager at The Garage, an experimentation and growth program at Microsoft that produces the Hackathon to further its mission of encouraging collaboration, creativity and experimentation. “In 2017, we only had four customers join us. Last year we had 10 customers join us, and the feedback from executive leadership was that they loved it and wanted more.”

For the 2019 installment, the largest private hackathon on the planet welcomes some 30 companies (a dozen more will participate around the globe). Each sends three to five representatives, cross-functionality encouraged, arriving with wildly diverse business hurdles they hope to jump – and confidence that the latest technological breakthroughs can get them there.

“This is how we channel innovation into a focused effort,” says Angela Yochem, executive vice president/chief digital and technology officer for Novant Health, a network of healthcare providers that attended the global Hackathon in 2018 and is sending two teams this year from their offices in North Carolina.

“Remember in the movie ‘Apollo 13,’ where there’s something wrong with the spacecraft and all the engineers get together, spill parts all over a table, and using their past experiences and backgrounds, solve the problem? A Hackathon is that, on steroids.”

A doctor uses a touch-screen device to consult with a patient.
By leveraging technology, Novant Health is improving the health of its community. (Photo courtesy of Novant Health)

“We’re going to talk about the art of the possible,” agrees Kirk Windisch, Novant Health’s vice president of Digital Products and Services. “I’m excited to find solutions that we haven’t even thought of yet.”

The 2019 list of customer attendees is as diverse as it is impressive. Where else could you find 3M, Starbucks, Mastercard and Blackbaud under one roof? From meals (Nestle) to electricity (Chesapeake Energy) to investments (Vanguard), you’d be hard-pressed to find a greater range of industries innovating alongside one another.

“In the past we’ve seen a lot of instances where companies talk between themselves, and the Microsoft Hackathon has introduced different companies to one another. We’re just humbled by the enthusiasm our customers have toward hacking, and honored that these customers have given us the opportunity to help develop their growth ideas,” Kandzor says of the Hackathon’s unique atmosphere.

One customer attending Hackathon 2019 is Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile – a company with over 80 million customers and annual revenues of $43 billion – wearing their self-proclaimed moniker of “The Un-carrier” with disruptive pride. Principal analyst Sarah O’Brien says T-Mobile is perfectly positioned for the Hackathon experience.

Two T-Mobile employees collaborate at a workstation.
T-Mobile employees, who proudly sport their branded black and magenta, are encouraged to share ideas that lead to new technology solutions. (Photo courtesy of T-Mobile)

“I was at a conference not long ago, and my takeaway was the sheer volume of publishing, whitepapers and patents around machine learning and AI coming out of Microsoft ­– the true investment in it – and the notion that rather than treating it like a buzzword, there is thought leadership and movement to drive it forward for everyone,” she says.

“Our companies have a lot of shared experience and recognition that what made you successful in the past does not guarantee success in the future, so I’m excited that we can put these great teams together and build something impactful.”

Novant Health has over 650 locations in five states, and provides increased access to care through digital channels, and through advanced tech in their hospitals and physician centers. “We just deployed an AI-based system for treating stroke patients faster than ever before,” says Yochem, citing one exciting example. “With a stroke victim, every minute matters, and now we are able to save many more lives. It’s an example of how leveraging technology can impact the health of our community.”

Two Novant Health employees consult monitors at a nursing station.
Novant Health team members train on new technology at patient check-in. (Photo courtesy of Novant Health)

And while Novant Health’s goal is nothing short of saving lives, other companies may simply seek to improve the quality of life.

“We’re empowered to achieve more, simply by combining forces,” says Jan-Jaap Oosterwijk, global head of innovation for digital platform security firm Irdeto, who is flying in with his team from The Netherlands. “I love the diversity of the event. I also really like that in the invitation, it was specified that the team doesn’t need to consist of engineers only. The Hackathon is open to people from any background, which will provide a wide range of perspectives.”

There are a lot of great brains working together at the global Hackathon, using a variety of technologies (last year, efforts focused on everything from artificial technology to sustainable farming). Much like a summer cookout, each customer brings their own specialty – in this case, a hack.

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Author: Steve Clarke

Attending Black Hat USA 2018? Here’s what to expect from Microsoft.

Black Hat USA 2018 brings together professionals at all career levels, encouraging growth and collaboration among academia, world-class researchers, and leaders in the public and private sectors. This is an exciting time as our Microsoft researchers, partners, and security experts will showcase the latest collaborations in defense strategies for cybersecurity, highlight solutions for security vulnerabilities in applications, and bring together an ecosystem of intelligent security solutions. Our objective is to arm business, government, and consumers with deeply integrated intelligence and threat protection capabilities across platforms and products.

Security researchers play an essential role in Microsoft’s security strategy and are key to community-based defense. To show our appreciation for their hard work and partnership, each year at Black Hat USA, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) highlights the contributions of these researchers through the list of “Top 100” security researchers reporting to Microsoft (either directly or through a third party) during the previous 12 months. While one criterion for the ranking is volume of fixed reports a researcher has made, the severity and impact of the reports is very important to the ranking also. Given the number of individuals reporting to Microsoft, anyone ranked among the Top 100 is among some of the top talent in the industry.

In addition to unveiling the Top 100 and showcasing Microsoft security solutions at Booth #652, there are a number of featured Microsoft speakers and sessions:

Join us at these sessions during the week of August 4-9, 2018 in Las Vegas and continue the discussion with us in Booth #652, where we will have product demonstrations, theatre presentations, and an opportunity to learn more about our Top 100 and meet with some of Microsoft’s security experts and partners.

Powering our customers: the innovation story behind Microsoft’s earnings – The Official Microsoft Blog

With Microsoft’s fourth quarter earnings, we delivered double-digit revenue growth across all segments anchored by the growing success in our commercial cloud as technology helps our customers power their innovation. Recently organizations like GE, PGA, NBA, Marks & Spencer, Starbucks, InMobi  Bayer and Telefonica shared how they are leveraging cloud and artificial intelligence to support growth and deliver great employee and customer experiences. Across industries and solution areas, here are some of the latest examples.

This week we unveiled a strategic partnership with Walmart as the company’s preferred cloud provider and strategic partner to accelerate its digital transformation in retail. Through a five-year agreement, Walmart has selected the full range of Microsoft cloud solutions, including Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 for enterprise-wide use, to help standardize across the company’s family of brands. Using a broad base of cloud, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, the company plans to further its mission in creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empower associates to do their best work.

We announced Campbell Soup Company selected Microsoft Azure. The much-loved soup and snack company announced plans to drive IT transformation with the help a global hybrid cloud solution. Campbell chose Azure to increase the flexibility, agility and resiliency of its always-on IT, provide employees with real-time access to customized information and insights, and optimize its complex supply chain.

At Microsoft Inspire this week, I was also thrilled to feature on stage Carlsberg and its ongoing digital transformation. For 171 years, the Carlsberg Group has been brewing for a better today and tomorrow. Now, the iconic brewery group is leveraging AI and IoT on Azure to bring more science to the craft of beer, increase speed to market and improve quality control through the “Beer Fingerprinting Project.”

Also onstage at Inspire, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared how Walt Disney World Resort technology and conservation teams partnered with Microsoft to help develop the “tiniest smart homes” for the songbirds called purple martins. Purple martins are a unique species of bird that travel between South and North America each year to raise a family, but unfortunately their population is in decline. By outfitting birdhouses at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, using Azure IoT Edge with computer vision and building models to recognize important events, Disney scientists are able to learn more about the species and help inspire a new generation of conservationists in the parks. The scientists have unprecedented insight now into the nesting behavior of the purple martins. They are also creating new experiences for guests and have even built an augmented reality game on a tablet to help guests learn about what it takes to be a great purple martin parent.

We are seeing additional momentum in Azure IoT with one of our first customers for the new Azure Sphere. For more than 70 years, Sub-Zero and Wolf have built a legacy of innovation in food preservation and preparation. As the company looks toward the next wave of innovation, along with its new Cove dishwasher brand, Sub-Zero sees an opportunity to create more personalized experiences through connected products. Securing these products over the lifetime of the device is a top priority, and they are planning to use Azure Sphere as a comprehensive solution for future products to address security holistically at every layer.

When it comes to the modern workplace solution, we are seeing continued momentum across customers in the enterprise. The nearly 40,000 employees of Eli Lilly are on a mission to make medicines that help people live longer, healthier, more active lives. That is why Lilly takes a collaborative approach to discovering and developing new medicines — between lab researchers and the rest of the company, as well as with a global network of physicians, medical researchers and healthcare organizations — and has selected Microsoft 365 to bring together scientists across hundreds of locations and organizations and truly empower the workforce.

Across our Windows 10 and Surface business, we see customers taking advantage of how the right device can light up the modern workplace for employees. Melbourne-based infrastructure, building and rail leader John Holland selected 1,200 Surface Pros with LTE to power its field workers across large geographical construction zones. Using cellular and Wi-Fi, the Surface devices seamlessly connect workers with key information like blueprints and documents at project sites. As a Microsoft 365 E5 customer, the company has also deployed Surface Hub and Surface Book 2 devices. By standardizing on Microsoft modern workplace, John Holland is helping deliver a better experience to employees and a higher standard to customers.

With growing investments in Dynamics 365 as our third cloud, we are continuing to drive value for customers across various industries. National Oilwell Varco (NOV), a leading provider of technology, equipment and services for the global oil and gas industry, is deploying Dynamics 365 across its sales and field service networks worldwide. This deployment enables NOV to optimize productivity and minimize downtime by streamlining business processes and delivering a mobile-first approach to field service operations. NOV is investing in state-of-the-art technology and cloud services to deliver premier, customized experiences to customers.

Across every industry, businesses are expanding their digital business. These are just some of the most recent examples of leading enterprises choosing Microsoft solutions to help them transform customer experiences, fuel employee creativity and collaboration, innovate operations and bring new products to market.

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Microsoft Inspire 2018

Inspire 2018: Opening doors for partner innovation, growth and differentiation

Organizations around the world are undergoing transformation fueled by cloud, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and the Internet of Things. These technologies are helping businesses and society reach new heights – retail is becoming more personal, banking is becoming more seamless, and healthcare is becoming more predictive and preventive.

At the heart of these incredible stories of transformation – and more – are Microsoft partners. The Microsoft partner ecosystem is a group of hundreds of thousands of organizations driving positive, global impact. Building everything from line-of-business apps to industry-specific solutions on Dynamics 365 to gaming experiences, these companies are a natural extension of the team at Microsoft, delivering cutting-edge technology to millions of customers.

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DattoCon 2018: Focus on MSPs poised for SMB growth

AUSTIN, Texas — Managed service providers stand on the cusp of explosive growth in the small and medium-sized business market, but they must focus their sales and look for points of differentiation to cash in.

That’s one takeaway from this week’s DattoCon, Datto Inc.’s annual partner conference. The three-day event attracted about 1,650 service providers, a record for the Norwalk, Conn., data protection, networking and managed service provider (MSP) business management vendor. The event concluded June 20.

“The SMB spend rate is climbing really fast,” said Austin McChord, CEO and founder of Datto. “The opportunity is absolutely massive.”

Austin McChord, founder and CEO, DattoAustin McChord

Citing research from MarketsandMarkets, McChord said SMB IT spend will grow from about $40 billion in 2017 to nearly $72 billion in 2022. He estimated half of SMB transactions currently involve MSPs — so while the SMB market is already large, there is still room for the MSP industry to capture more business.

“Small businesses will be scrambling to rethink their IT infrastructure [and will] need to turn to managed service providers,” McChord said during his DattoCon keynote address.

Valuations climb

While demand expands, MSP market valuations are also growing.

Paul Dippell, CEO of Service Leadership, a company that benchmarks the financial performance and operational maturity of solution providers, said the arrival of private equity investment firms is one force driving valuations. IT services companies, such as Reliam, are partnering with private equity firms to do deals.

“Private equity groups have found the MSP industry,” Dippell said during a DattoCon presentation.

The equity investor’s typical target — MSPs with $5 million or more in annual profit — are rare, which makes those companies more valuable. Meanwhile, MSP owners looking to sell to such buyers may need to acquire another MSP to boost the bottom line and be deemed desirable, Dippell noted. An MSP with $3 million in profit, for example, may look to acquire an MSP with $2 million in profit. But even MSPs at the $2 million profit mark are unusual.

Deals have been rampant in the MSP and cloud consulting sectors of late, including Green House Data’s merger with Infront Consulting Group in May.

Chart showing recent mergers and acquisitions in the IT services industry
New buyers in the MSP market, such as private equity groups, are driving up service provider valuations.

MSP industry execs: Focus is key

High growth and ample valuations, of course, are not guaranteed. Industry executives suggested several factors that could improve a service provider’s ability to make the most of these trends. Among those factors is focus: Pick a target market and stick to it. That target can then become a point of differentiation.

“They have got to differentiate themselves — just figure out what they are best at and sell that,” McChord said.

That approach could mean only selling services to dental practices or biomedical research companies, he said. The idea is to understand an industry and its lingo, cultivate vendor partners to serve that space, and develop a differentiated business model. Indiscriminate and opportunistic selling, on the other hand, may backfire, McChord suggested.

Work in a fishbowl, not an ocean.
David Pencefounder and CEO, Acumen IT

“Just taking any revenue that shows up almost always puts you in a bad spot,” he said.

David Pence, founder and CEO at service provider Acumen IT, based in Greenville, S.C., echoed McChord’s sentiments.

“Work in a fishbowl, not an ocean,” he told attendees during a DattoCon presentation on MSP selling strategies.

He suggested MSPs create a dream 100 list of customers to pursue rather than buy a mailing list and trigger an email blast to 100,000 companies. And when service providers call on their dream list, they should focus on delivering a superior customer experience rather than providing technology.

“It’s not technology and blinking lights,” Pence said. “When you are talking to customers, be consultative. Don’t be a tech engineer.”

Key attributes

Dippell cited focused selling as one of five key attributes of the top performing service providers. Companies that have a well-defined target customer profile tend to outperform their peers who don’t.

The other attributes, he said, are whether the service provider charges for technology assessments, drives technology standards across customers, conducts quarterly business reviews and cross-sells the breadth of its service portfolio to all customers.

A yes on those counts can help service providers join the ranks of best-in-class companies.

Microsoft to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion | Stories

Acquisition will empower developers, accelerate GitHub’s growth and advance Microsoft services with new audiences

Chris Wanstrath, Satya Nadella and Nat Friedman
From left: Chris Wanstrath, Github CEO and co-founder; Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO; and Nat Friedman, Microsoft corporate vice president, Developer Services

REDMOND, Wash. — June 4, 2018 Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced it has reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform where more than 28 million developers learn, share and collaborate to create the future. Together, the two companies will empower developers to achieve more at every stage of the development lifecycle, accelerate enterprise use of GitHub, and bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences.

“Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “We recognize the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. Subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries. Developers will continue to be able to use the programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for their projects — and will still be able to deploy their code to any operating system, any cloud and any device.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman, founder of Xamarin and an open source veteran, will assume the role of GitHub CEO. GitHub’s current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow, reporting to Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, to work on strategic software initiatives.

“I’m extremely proud of what GitHub and our community have accomplished over the past decade, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. The future of software development is bright, and I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Microsoft to help make it a reality,” Wanstrath said. “Their focus on developers lines up perfectly with our own, and their scale, tools and global cloud will play a huge role in making GitHub even more valuable for developers everywhere.”

Today, every company is becoming a software company and developers are at the center of digital transformation; they drive business processes and functions across organizations from customer service and HR to marketing and IT. And the choices these developers make will increasingly determine value creation and growth across every industry. GitHub is home for modern developers and the world’s most popular destination for open source projects and software innovation. The platform hosts a growing network of developers in nearly every country representing more than 1.5 million companies across healthcare, manufacturing, technology, financial services, retail and more.

Upon closing, Microsoft expects GitHub’s financials to be reported as part of the Intelligent Cloud segment. Microsoft expects the acquisition will be accretive to operating income in fiscal year 2020 on a non-GAAP basis, and to have minimal dilution of less than 1 percent to earnings per share in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 on a non-GAAP basis, based on the expected close time frame. Non-GAAP excludes expected impact of purchase accounting adjustments, as well as integration and transaction-related expenses. An incremental share buyback, beyond Microsoft’s recent historical quarterly pace, is expected to offset stock consideration paid within six months after closing. Microsoft will use a portion of the remaining ~$30 billion of its current share repurchase authorization for the purchase.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal advisor to Microsoft. Morgan Stanley is acting as exclusive financial advisor to GitHub, while Fenwick & West LLP is acting as its legal advisor.

Media & Analyst Conference Call

Nadella, Friedman, Wanstrath and Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood will host a joint conference call for media today, June 4, 2018, at 7 a.m. Pacific/10 a.m. Eastern to discuss this transaction. The call will be available to international callers at +1 (201) 689-8023 (no password required), to U.S. callers at (877) 407-0666 (no password required), or via webcast at https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/eudfciq3 at that time. More information is available on http://news.microsoft.com.

Additional details will be available when the acquisition closes.

About GitHub

GitHub is the developer company. We make it easier for developers to be developers: to work together, to solve challenging problems, to create the world’s most important technologies. We foster a collaborative community that can come together — as individuals and in teams — to create the future of software and make a difference in the world.

About Microsoft

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

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777,

[email protected] 

Forward looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are any predictions, projections or other statements about future events based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, that the expected financial and other benefits from the GitHub transaction may not be realized, including because of: the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all; any restrictions or limitations imposed by regulatory authorities; the impact of the acquisition on GitHub’s developer community and enterprise customers; the extent to which we achieve anticipated financial and buyback targets; the impact of management and organizational changes on GitHub’s business; the impact on GitHub employees and our ability to retain key personnel; our effectiveness in integrating the GitHub platform and operations with Microsoft’s business; and our ability to realize our broader strategic and operating objectives. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements because of these and other risks and uncertainties of our business, which are described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including our Forms 10-K and 10-Q. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Microsoft undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

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.