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Easily integrate Skype calls into your content with the new content creators feature | Skype Blogs

Skype is used worldwide as a tool for bringing callers into a variety of different podcasts, live streams, and TV shows. Today, we made it even simpler to bring your incoming audio and video calls to life with the Skype for content creators feature.

Building off the Skype TX appliance for professional studios, we built the feature directly into the desktop app, so podcasters, vloggers, and live streamers can bring Skype calls directly into their content without the need for expensive equipment, studio setup, or multiple crew members.

From a one-on-one audio call up to a four-person group video—incoming calls are available for you to build your own content by integrating Skype calls.

The feature uses NewTek NDI®. You need an NDI-enabled application or device to use Skype for content creators.

There are a number of NDI-enabled software and appliances to choose from,* including:

  • NewTek TriCaster®
  • Xsplit
  • OBS with NDI plugin
  • Pro presenter
  • Wirecast
  • vMIX
  • Ecamm Live for Mac
  • Ovrstream

You will be able to edit, brand, and distribute your Skype content, which can then be sent to a group of friends, uploaded as a podcast or vlog, or live streamed to an audience of millions using platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and LinkedIn.

Skype for content creators is now available on the latest version of Skype for Windows and Mac. Visit Skype for content creators to learn more. We would love to hear from and see what you have created using this feature; email us at sfcc@microsoft.com.

*Third-party applications have not been checked, verified, certified, or otherwise approved or endorsed by Skype. Applications may be subject to the third-party provider’s own terms and privacy policy. Skype does not control and is not responsible for the download, installation, pricing, quality, performance, availability, support, or terms and conditions of purchase of third-party applications.

Pivot3 storage moves toward composable capabilities

The Pivot3 storage portfolio has expanded into different directions over the years. Pivot3 started out selling — and still sells — storage for media and surveillance before moving into hyper-converged infrastructure after HCI gained popularity.

CEO Ron Nash said the acquisition of NexGen Storage in 2017 was a watershed moment for the vendor, based in Austin, Texas. NexGen gave Pivot3 storage quality of service and nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) PCIe flash — capabilities that underpinned the 2017 launch of the Pivot3 Acuity HCI system.

In the last month, Pivot3 added HCI products to expand its use cases. The vendor launched a ruggedized Intelligent Edge Command and Control system that’s optimized for analytics and virtual desktops and built for defense and intelligence operations in the field. It also forged a partnership with Lenovo to sell a set of edge computing systems for smart city security, based on Pivot3 HCI software and Lenovo ThinkSystem servers.

Nash said Pivot3 now has its sights set on adding composable infrastructure as a series of enhancements to its HCI platform.

He added that Pivot3’s average selling price per unit increased 74% since the Acuity launch. With the NexGen integration complete, composable infrastructure is part of Pivot3’s strategy to sell more to enterprises with sprawling application workflows that need both automation and scalability, particularly in a multi-cloud environment.

“When you first start out, you put your blinders on and try to go as fast as possible,” Nash said. “It’s almost like a demonstration market. But you have to keep innovating. You can’t keep still. Things that were seen as innovative a few years ago aren’t so innovative anymore. That’s both the beauty and the challenge of technology.”

Pivot3 CEO Ron NashRon Nash

We recently spoke with Nash on the Pivot3 storage strategy and product roadmap.

How do you evaluate the advent of composable storage? Some observers claim it is more flexible than hyper-converged infrastructure, which pacakges compute, networking, storage and virtualization on a single hardware appliance.

Ron Nash: Well, you could run composable units on a hyper-converged platform now, if you wanted to. In fact, that’s the direction we’re heading.

The composable stuff is really just a packaging exercise: You deliver processing, storage, networking and such as definable units that you can mix and match in different measures to meet different service levels. But once you start running composable units, you can run it on a hyper-converged infrastructure plaform just fine.

It is additive. It gives you one higher level of abstraction, above the hyper-converged infrastructure platform you have now. That’s why we’re interested in it. We’ll have a policy-driven engine that allows you to specify those pieces and, in the parlance, compose those units such that we can provide modules of performance that people will need.

Would this be a different licensing model for Pivot3?

Nash: Yes, it would be another software layer on top of the hardware modules. We’re abstracting just one step farther from the hardware into the software zone.

The direction we’re taking is to make the composable stuff into a software mechanism. That software layer will manipulate the platform underneath to [provision] the right type of units to provide the right service level at the right cost level and right security level. They don’t have to think about the hardware underneath. They’ll think in terms of the load they have.

How soon do you expect this feature to go live on Pivot3 storage?

Nash: We are working on it right now. We have parts of it operating in our lab. We won’t have one grand step where we announce composable as a part of a big picture. We’ll have a series of releases over quarters that add different capabilities as we move down that road.

How rapidly are Pivot3 storage customers adopting a multi-cloud strategy? And how is it reflected in your growth?

Nash: I read a research survey that 80% of CIOs [are using] multiple clouds. To me, that’s [the equivalent] of crossing the chasm. Everybody put their toe in the water, figured out what the cloud was and then had to bring stuff back on premises. You need the ability to go into and out of the public cloud and private clouds.

We’re making our platform with high performance, such that it runs far more of a company’s applications than our competitors. That means we’re getting more load and bigger orders.

We have had people buying a bigger platform from the get-go, but our average selling price increased 74% in the last year. We’ve gone from a baseline of hundreds of thousands of dollars [per sale] to 74% higher on average. That’s massive. Usually, you’re happy if you get a 5% increase year over year.

Which vertical sectors account for the most growth in Pivot3 storage?

People are starting to get away from the early romance of the cloud — the idea that I could pick one cloud and put everything on it. That was never going to happen.
Ron NashCEO, Pivot3

Nash: We recently announced our revenue growth at 70% year over year. Growth is coming in the hybrid cloud and software-defined data center. People in that market are becoming more educated and discriminating. If you’ve got a little bitty job, there are a whole bunch of [vendors] for that.

The strengths of Pivot3 storage are ultrahigh performance, large application environments that need to scale, automated quality of service and policy management. We have broadcast that to the market, and enterprise customers are getting a bead on us. They seem to know when to call us.

Pivot3 and NexGen Storage are integrated in a single code base. Trace the impact the NexGen acquisition has had on your cloud business.

Nash: We are benefiting from the amalgamation of the NexGen and Pivot3 teams. You’ve got to have automation if you’re [managing] data that’s scattered across private, hybrid and public clouds. The fact we had the forethought to start working on the automation layer is really paying off now.

People are starting to get away from the early romance of the cloud — the idea that I could pick one cloud and put everything on it. That was never going to happen. People now have a more sophisticated view. They say, ‘I need some private cloud capabilities inside and probably need two or three different public clouds, based on the job and service level.’ And they need the ability to connect these clouds and move data back and forth. That plays to our strength as a platform, with automation layers that let you keep up with it.

What’s been the most surprising feature that customers are requesting?

Nash: The one people are asking about most is encryption. We have customers in government and security that need to encrypt data, so we’ve always done that. But we’re starting to see the early edge of a wave for encryption in many more companies. They have growing concern about [cloud] data breaches and being able to protect people’s personal identities. They think, ‘Why not just encrypt everything?’

As NVMe over Fabric gets going, we’ll move from a world of electromechanical devices and storage controllers to a world that looks more like memory. If you’re working in memory, the cost of encryption is in single digits, in terms of the impact on performance. If you’ve got the right architectural platform, the cost of encryption is well worth it.

Our erasure coding is not content-aware, but it uses a linear algebra algorithm that works just fine. That’s going to make a huge difference for us on encrypted data. We can get storage efficiency that is as good on encrypted as ion unencrypted data.

JetStream Data Protection safeguards data on the cloud

Cloud software development vendor JetStream Software is moving into backup with JetStream Data Protection, the newest member of its Cross-Cloud Data Management Platform.

JetStream Software is demonstrating its data protection software this week at VMworld. The application is in technology review and will enter beta in the fourth quarter of this year, with general availability scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.

JetStream Data Protection protects VMware environments by using continuous data capture and continuous replication methods, rather than the more commonly used snapshot-based backups.

The other applications of JetStream Cross-Cloud Data Management Platform are JetStream Migrate and JetStream Accelerate. JetStream Migrate moves live enterprise virtual machines (VMs) and their workloads into the cloud, while JetStream Accelerate uses nonvolatile memory in a low-latency storage tier to increase storage and compute performance.

JetStream Data Protection captures data through the use of VMware vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO). It replicates that data to a low-latency log on an on-premises appliance before sending it through a crash-consistent data pipe to a cloud data center also running vSphere or a cloud-based object store.

The core technology in JetStream Data Protection is the I/O filter.

“It’s a way for a third-party technology to be integrated into the hypervisor to capture data as it moves between the virtual machine and the virtual disk,” said Rich Petersen, president and founder of JetStream Software, based in San Jose, Calif. “When you intercept data in this manner, it has much less impact on application performance than when creating a snapshot.”

Close connection with VMware

Only customers running VMware will be able to use JetStream Data Protection, as the company’s I/O filter is built on the vSphere-exclusive VAIO. According to Jeff Byrne, senior analyst and consultant at Taneja Group in Hopkinton, Mass., VAIO is unique.

“As far as I’m aware, VMware is the only vendor that has implemented I/O filters in user space in the hypervisor [ESXi] I/O stack,” he said. “Prior to VAIO, I/O filters were generally implemented in virtual appliances [that have access to I/O streams] or in the kernel itself. These approaches tended to be operationally complex to manage and, in the case of kernel deployment, risked introducing bugs or other instabilities.”

Byrne pointed out that many engineers and executives working at JetStream Software came from FlashSoft, a company that worked closely with VMware to develop I/O filters for caching and replication. JetStream used this familiarity and expertise to create JetStream Data Protection.

Still, Petersen said building software to take advantage of VAIO isn’t trivial. Any given on-premises environment could have hundreds or even thousands of VMs, and it’s difficult to handle the sheer volume of data going through the I/O filter. JetStream Data Protection handles that by replicating the data to a nonvolatile memory-based appliance.

“You have to have a highly scalable and very low-latency methodology for capturing it and replicating it somewhere else,” Petersen explained. “It really does produce a problem of a fire hose of data in the data center and a garden hose of connectivity onto the cloud, so you have to find a way to get around that. And the way we got around it is we took 50 garden hoses and strapped them together, basically.”

Screenshot of JetStream Data Protection
JetStream Data Protection’s user interface

Moving toward data management

Long term, where we see the company going is extending policy-based data management beyond just availability.
Rich Petersenpresident and founder, JetStream Software

While the individual products of the platform enable data resilience, data migration and I/O acceleration, Petersen stressed that the goal of the overall platform is ultimately data management.

“Long term, where we see the company going is extending policy-based data management beyond just availability,” he said. “We do believe because of our position in the hypervisor, where we are in the data I/O path, we can also help support policies for maintaining service-level agreements, identifying and moving data to best-execution venues, and ensuring compliance with respect to things like data sovereignty and regulatory compliance.”

Petersen said JetStream is looking for ways to bring the Cross-Cloud Data Management Platform to other hypervisors, such as Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM.

Like the vendor’s other products, JetStream Data Protection will be sold through enterprise technology resellers, cloud service providers and managed service providers.

2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: A SearchCIO guide

Introduction

Today’s enterprise can be divided into two groups: the departments that are acquiring advanced digital capabilities and those that are lagging behind. This bifurcation of digital prowess was evident at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, where we asked CIOs and digital experts to expound on the factors driving digitalization at enterprises and the barriers holding them back. Not surprisingly, the departments that are customer-facing, such as marketing, are leading the digital transformation charge.

While the transition to a digitalized enterprise is happening at varied speeds for most companies, the need to develop a viable digital business mode is universally recognized. Indeed, this year’s event was all about taking action — it is no longer enough just to have a vision for digital transformation, and the conference underscored that: sessions featured leading CIOs, IT practitioners, consultants and academics from across the globe dispensing hard-won advice on methods for planning and executing a future-forward digital transformation strategy.

In this SearchCIO conference guide, experience the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium by delving into our comprehensive coverage. Topics include building an intelligent enterprise, talent recruitment, the expanding CIO role and integration of emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, cloud and more.

To view our complete collection of video interviews filmed at this year’s event, please see our video guide: “MIT CIO 2018 videos: Honing a digital leadership strategy.”

1Thriving in a digital economy

Digital transformation strategy and advice

Implementing a digital transformation strategy requires a clear set of objectives, IT-business alignment, recruitment of the right talent, self-disruption and building what experts call an “intelligent enterprise,” among other things. In this section, the pros discuss the intricacies of leading the digital transformation charge.

2Technology transformation

Utilizing emergent tech like AI, machine learning and cloud

Every digital transformation requires a future-forward vision that takes advantage of up-and-coming tools and technologies. In this section, academics and IT executives discuss the enterprise challenges, benefits, questions and wide-ranging potential that AI, machine learning, edge computing, big data and more bring to the enterprise.

3Evolving CIO role

The CIO’s ever-expanding role in a digital world

Digital transformation not only brings with it new technologies and processes, it also brings new dimensions and responsibilities to the CIO role. In this section, CIOs and IT executives detail the CIO’s place in an increasingly digital, threat-laden and customer-driven world and offer timely advice for staying on top of it all.

4Videos

Interviews filmed on site

During the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, SearchCIO staff had the pleasure of conducting several one-on-one video interviews with consultants and IT executives on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass. Below is a sampling of the videos.

A link to our full collection of videos filmed at the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium can be found at the top of this guide.

Driving digital transformation success with Agile


In this SearchCIO video, Bharti Airtel’s CIO Mehta, MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award winner, explains why implementing Agile methodologies can help organizations scale their digital transformation projects.

For Sale – MSI Geforce GTX 1080Ti Gaming X – £510.00

Bought this back in January as I got into the bit coin mining craze but never got round to doing it properly so was only used for around 2 months, since then it has just been used for the odd bit of VR gaming.

Full spec of this card can be found here…

MSI Global

It still has 6 months warranty left so any issues in that time I can get it replaced.

I have all the bits it came with and the original packaging still in excellent condition, delivery will be via next day DPD courier.

[​IMG]

Price and currency: £510
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Bristol/England
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – GTX 950 or 1050

Hi…

I’m after a cheap gfx card (will output to 1080p maximum) to put into a basic desktop for the kids to play games, such as Fortnite, at a reasonable performance level.

Edit… I’m now after a low powered graphics card that powers itself from the PCIe slot, so a GTX 950 or 1050 or equivalent?

System is:

CPU: AMD A8-6600k
RAM: 8GB DDR3
BOARD: MSI A78M-E35
PSU: 500W

Thanks for looking.

Location: Liverpool

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – MSI Geforce GTX 1080Ti Gaming X

Bought this back in January as I got into the bit coin mining craze but never got round to doing it properly so was only used for around 2 months, since then it has just been used for the odd bit of VR gaming.

Full spec of this card can be found here…

MSI Global

It still has 6 months warranty left so any issues in that time I can get it replaced.

I have all the bits it came with and the original packaging still in excellent condition, delivery will be via next day DPD courier.

[​IMG]

Price and currency: £650
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Bristol/England
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 updates add AI features to CRM

When incorporated into business applications, AI can provide insights into how best to engage potential customers, predict customer needs, answer questions and, ultimately, sell products. Microsoft hopes to enable all that in its latest Dynamics 365 updates for marketing, sales and customer service.

At the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2018, James Phillips, corporate vice president of the vendor’s business applications group, said in a keynote that the Dynamics 365 updates change the platform from something that feels like “a surveillance system” to a business intelligence (BI) tool incorporating AI-driven analytics.

CRM “is not a category of software that people are deeply in love with,” Phillips said. “A salesperson sits down and enters their leads and opportunities. It’s for someone else, so they can track the forecast, understand the pipeline [and] whether you’re doing your job or not.”

The granularity of the AI tools Microsoft added with the Dynamics 365 updates will likely be useful for the average end user, said Kate Leggett, analyst at Forrester Research.

“What Microsoft is really excelling at is infusing AI into all their applications to help the business user — whether it is a marketing or salesperson or customer service agent — make the right decisions for that particular interaction,” Leggett said.

Business-user AI: Microsoft’s strength

On the stage at the July 2018 conference, Tammy Mihailidis, vice president of digital customer engagement at Polaris, a maker of power sport vehicles based in Medina, Minn., spoke about how Polaris uses Dynamics 365’s marketing, sales and service platforms to give its customers a more personalized shopping experience.

Phillips said Dynamics 365 and its Power BI tools help organizations analyze traffic patterns of email and other communications and marry that information with LinkedIn to help understand where they should focus sales efforts.

Microsoft is trying to break down the artificial division between the front office and the back office by making the CRM assets available to all users.
Kate Leggettanalyst, Forrester Research

“As a salesperson, I have got a tool now that helps me focus my attention, helps guide me to success and isn’t simply about keeping track of what I am doing,” Phillips said.

Using Polaris as an example, Ryan Darby Martin, a senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, demonstrated how this process would look to both the customer — in this case, a fictional municipality — and to the Polaris agents, from within Dynamics 365.

The process with the Dynamics 365 updates includes a chatbot answering questions from a potential customer, predictive lead scoring recommending that sales staff focus on this particular lead, making the sale and welcoming the customer.

“We are actually able to track all of those interactions and calculate the health score of this particular lead,” Martin said. “We could see the time that was spent by us, but also the time that was spent by them. For example, I can actually see if they opened [an] email, if they clicked on the attachment, if they viewed the link [and] how many times they were responding to us.”

Getting AI into end users’ hands the end goal

The integration of the marketing, sales and service platform is an example of what Leggett said makes CRM features more accessible to end users.

“Microsoft is trying to break down the artificial division between the front office and the back office by making the CRM assets available to all users with its integration into Skype and the Office products,” she said. “They are making it very easy to consume. It’s probably one of the most inexpensive enterprise solutions available.”

In addition being a venue for unveiling the Dynamics 365 updates, the conference was an opportunity for Microsoft to announce it would be releasing updates to its suite of products twice a year. Each release will be preceded by release notes that will help IT professionals prepare for the software updates months in advance, according to Microsoft.

“Companies have to be continually innovating,” Leggett said. “You are getting new releases twice a year, and when that happens, you need to have change management processes in place to be able to understand the changes, communicate them to the end users and then roll out these new releases to you CRM users.”

Wanted – Cheap GPU

Hi…

I’m after a cheap gfx card (will output to 1080p maximum) to put into a basic desktop for the kids to play games, such as Fortnite, at a reasonable performance level. R9 270 would be a good fit I think….. but anything considered.

System is:

CPU: AMD A8-6600k
RAM: 8GB DDR3
BOARD: MSI A78M-E35
PSU: 500W

Thanks for looking.

Location: Liverpool

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Cheap GPU

Hi…

I’m after a cheap gfx card (will output to 1080p maximum) to put into a basic desktop for the kids to play games, such as Fortnite, at a reasonable performance level. R9 270 would be a good fit I think….. but anything considered.

System is:

CPU: AMD A8-6600k
RAM: 8GB DDR3
BOARD: MSI A78M-E35
PSU: 500W

Thanks for looking.

Location: Liverpool

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.