Tag Archives: leader

OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage now available worldwide

Microsoft OneDrive has long been an innovation leader in cloud storage, and today we’re excited to launch a new feature that gives you greater security for your files in the cloud. This summer, we announced OneDrive Personal Vault, which uses identity verification to protect your most important files. Now we’re happy to share that Personal Vault is available worldwide on all OneDrive consumer accounts. Additionally, we have more OneDrive news to share on expandable storage options, automatic folder backup, and dark mode—read on to learn more.

Meet Personal Vault

Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS.1 Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.

Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.2

Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:

  • Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
  • Automatic lockingNo need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.3
  • BitLocker encryptionOn Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.4
  • Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.

Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.

Animated image of a user verifying her identity in OneDrive Personal Vault.

Personal Vault is the latest advancement in OneDrive’s suite of security features, which also includes file encryption at rest and in transit, suspicious sign-in monitoring, ransomware detection and recovery, mass file deletion notification and recovery, virus scanning on downloads for known threats, password protected sharing links, and version history for all file types.

Personal Vault is now available worldwide

To start using Personal Vault, look for the Personal Vault icon Personal Vault icon. in your OneDrive and simply click or tap it. If you’re using OneDrive’s free or standalone 100 GB plan, you can store up to three files in Personal Vault. Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home subscribers can store as many files as they want in Personal Vault, up to their storage limit.

OneDrive

Don’t have OneDrive? Download the app and get your first 5 GB of storage free.

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Learn more in this Personal Vault podcast on Intrazone.

Backing up your folders just got easier

We made it easy to back up your important folders to OneDrive—so your files are protected and available even if something happens to your PC. With PC folder backup you can choose to automatically back up files in your Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folders to OneDrive. Now you don’t have to worry about protecting your work—OneDrive will do it for you.

You can also access your backed-up files even when you’re away from your PC—just use the OneDrive mobile app or go to OneDrive.com. Plus, saving your files to OneDrive allows you to view and restore previous versions of your files up to 30 days in the past.

PC folder backup is now more deeply integrated with the newest version of Windows 10, so you can easily enable it during Windows setup or updates. The feature is included with all OneDrive consumer plans and is available on Windows 7, 8, and 10 PCs with the OneDrive sync app. Learn more about PC folder backup.

OneDrive fans rejoice—additional storage is now available!

In June, we announced that we would deliver on one of the most requested OneDrive features of all time—more storage options. Now you can add storage to your existing Office 365 subscription in 200 GB increments, starting at $1.99 per month.5 Learn more about OneDrive additional storage.

Dark mode is now available on OneDrive iOS

We’re also thrilled to announce that the OneDrive mobile app on iOS 13 now supports dark mode. This dramatic new look is both easy on the eyes and lets you take full advantage of an OLED screen to save battery life. To try it out, simply set your iOS 13 device to Dark Appearance in Settings > Display and Brightness and then open the OneDrive app.

Animated image of a phone switching between dark mode and standard, and back again.

Let us know what you think

To let us know what you think or share your thoughts and ideas, visit OneDrive UserVoice. To learn more about all the advanced protection features included in Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions, see our support page.

Notes:
1 Face and fingerprint verification requires specialized hardware including a Windows Hello capable device, fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor, or other biometric sensors and capable devices.
2 OneDrive for Android requires Android 6.0 or later; OneDrive for iOS requires iOS 11.3 or later.
3 Automatic locking interval varies by device and can be set by the user.
4 Requires Windows 10 version 1903 or above.
5Additional storage only available to Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers. For Office 365 Home subscribers, only the primary subscription holder may purchase additional storage, and only for that user’s account.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Clumio backup seeks to simplify with SaaS

As a new vendor’s first customer, the IT leader of a city wouldn’t be faulted for worrying about the product.

But Cory Smith, CIO and CTO of Davenport, Iowa, said he didn’t have concerns with using Clumio for backup and recovery. Clumio, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., came out of stealth Aug. 13 with its cloud-based backup as a service.

Smith said the city was looking for a new backup product earlier this year when Clumio contacted him about trying out a beta version. He said he felt more at ease with the product after using it in beta and performing backups and restores. The city purchased Clumio as soon as it became generally available April 30.

Though Davenport doesn’t have a major cloud initiative, Smith said going cloud-only for backup is a goal.

“This is one of those situations where the cloud is really good for us,” Smith said.

Striving for simplicity

Clumio CEO and co-founder Poojan Kumar aims for his company to do with backup what Salesforce has done with CRM and ServiceNow with service management. He wants to deliver a true service offering that’s completely run and managed in the cloud by Clumio.

“SaaS is taking over,” Kumar said. “Our founding vision was really around going and building a data management platform on top of the public cloud.”

SaaS is taking over. Our founding vision was really around going and building a data management platform on top of the public cloud.
Poojan KumarCEO, Clumio

Kumar said he wants customers to get away from the complex nature of installing software and hardware for backup. In addition, as workloads are moving to the cloud, the practice of using multiple accounts, regions and clouds is increasing complexity.

“We saw all of this as an opportunity for simplification,” Kumar said.

To start, Clumio protects on-premises and cloud-based VMware environments on top of AWS. It also provides native AWS backup for accounts that run Elastic Compute Cloud and Elastic Block Store.

The majority of backup vendors were “born in the world of on premises,” delivering protection through software, hardware or both, which the customer has to manage, Kumar said. He said legacy backup players cannot take advantage of the public cloud “the right way” by building a cloud-native architecture and true SaaS platform.

“By SaaS, I mean a true service that is multi-tenant that frees the customer from the mundane of managing these solutions,” Kumar said.

Andrew Smith, research manager at IDC, noted that Clumio customers don’t need to use anything on premises. They can simply spin up the virtual appliance and start using Clumio. The vendor says it takes 15 minutes to get the product running.

“The way they’re approaching backup as a service as an all-inclusive platform is unique,” Smith said. “The idea is to ‘SaaSify’ the entire backup environment.”

Davenport’s Smith said even with his larger environment — about 70 VMs and 40 TB worth — getting to the cloud was not an issue.

The city, with a population of about 100,000, has to retain some data indefinitely. For example, police video — a data set that’s often large — could be critical in court 10 years from now.

“The city’s not going to go out of business,” he said. “I’ve got to keep it.”

Smith said its price is an advantage. Because Clumio charges per virtual machine rather than by the size of the VM, the cost does not rise as a VM grows larger.

Screenshot of Clumio backup
Clumio, a backup-as-a-service vendor that came out of stealth Aug. 13, charges per VM.

A look at current and future features

Smith said Davenport was looking for a new backup system because its Rubrik platform wasn’t performing well enough, especially with getting data sets to the cloud. The city wanted to get away from running hardware on premises and using traditional disaster recovery, and sought a cheap cloud service.

“Clumio has kind of hit that niche,” Smith said.

He acknowledged that the product is not yet mature and Clumio is still adding functionality. He said he’s looking for the vendor to add Microsoft Exchange and SQL support. Davenport still uses old Veeam licensing for Exchange and SQL Server, but Smith said he thinks eventually the city will only use Clumio for backup. He said he finds the interface and search easy to use.

Security wise, Clumio’s backups are encrypted in transit and at rest. Kumar said its immutability is especially important in the face of data protection threats like ransomware.

“You know that you can go back to the copy [and] it’s going to be kosher,” Kumar said. “We do a whole bunch of things automatically in the platform to make sure that it is restorable to the previous copy. It’s not just about backing it up — it’s about making sure it is restorable.”

Kumar said he expects Clumio will delve into machine learning to help look at potential issues with customer data.

Funding, founders, fighting status quo

Clumio has $51 million in funding over two rounds. Sutter Hill Ventures led the Series A round. Index Ventures drove the Series B round, which also had significant participation from Sutter Hill Ventures.

The company was founded in 2017. Kaustubh Patil, vice president of engineering, and CTO Woon Ho Jung were the other founders with Kumar. All three founders previously worked at VMware, Nutanix and PernixData. Kumar was a founder of PernixData, which was acquired by Nutanix.

Clumio has about 75 employees, Kumar said.

The product is sold exclusively through the channel.

IDC’s Smith said competition will include Veeam, Zerto, Rubrik and Cohesity, as well as the more traditional backup vendors such as Veritas, Dell EMC and Commvault. Druva and Carbonite are also leaders in cloud-based backup.

“They’re going to have to compete with everybody,” Smith said. “It’s going to be pretty difficult.”

It will be important for Clumio to attract customers moving all data to the cloud, Smith said, as well as users tackling multi-cloud and that increased complexity of environment.

Kumar said his biggest competition is the status quo.

“It’s going to be about educating the market that something like this is possible,” Kumar said. “And we can give you freedom from the mundane.”

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Author:

Recruiting platforms see large VC investments

Recruiting platforms have long been a leader in the HR venture capital market and this year seem to be attracting some big funding rounds.

Recruiting platform Greenhouse recently received $50 million in new funding, and Hired recently received $30 million. Earlier this year, Scout Exchange gained $100 million in funding. Applicant-tracking systems and recruiting platforms typically lead the HR market in venture capital funding, industry analysts have reported.

These platforms each approach the problem of recruiting in different ways, and their methods illustrate the complexity of filling jobs with high-quality candidates.

With its latest funding round, Greenhouse, a recruiting platform and applicant-tracking system provider, has now raised $110 million. Raising $100 million or more is not unusual for recruiting platforms.

Greenhouse believes recruiting is a companywide responsibility, and its platform is built with this approach in mind, said Daniel Chait, CEO of Greenhouse, based in New York. Recruiting “involves everyone in the company, every single day,” doing all kinds of things, such as interviewing and finding candidates, he said. The Greenhouse platform uses data to help consider candidates “in a fair and objective way,” and to ensure a good candidate experience, he said.

Employees don’t like interviewing job candidates

Recruiting platform Greenhouse recently received $50 million in new funding, and Hired recently received $30 million. Earlier this year, Scout Exchange gained $100 million in funding.

Preparing employees to take part in candidate interviews is an important aspect of Greenhouse’s platform, Chait said. It provides all the people conducting the interview with all the available information on the candidate, but also helps users develop questions to ask the candidates.

“Employees generally don’t like doing interviews. They are stressful, and they don’t know what questions to ask,” he said.

Scout Exchange runs a marketplace recruiting platform that matches recruiters with job searches based on their expertise and “their actual track record of filling positions,” said Ken Lazarus, CEO of Scout, based in Boston.

Scout enables employers to tap into one or more recruiters with the best record for filling a particular type of job, Lazarus said.

Meanwhile, Hired has a created a talent pool and the technology to help match candidates with employers. If an employer believes a candidate has the right skills, they will send an interview request to the candidate. The firm said it has raised more than $130 million to date.

Setting the right salary level

Knowing what to pay candidates helped to drive Salary.com’s just-announced acquisition of Compdata Surveys & Consulting.

Salary.com gets its compensation data from surveys purchased from other providers, as well as what it gathers in its own surveys. The acquisition of Compdata, which is predominantly a survey firm, gives Salary.com the platform, analytics and the data it needs, said Alys Scott, chief marketing officer at Salary.com, based in Waltham, Mass., although the firm will still buy some third-party surveys.

The low unemployment rate and retirements of baby boomers is putting pressure on firms to have good compensation models, Scott said. The “No. 1 motivator” around retaining, attracting and engaging talent is compensation, she said.

Gartner UC Magic Quadrant ranking belies Avaya’s challenges

Avaya has regained its position as a market leader in Gartner’s annual rankings of unified communications vendors, after being dropped from the list amid bankruptcy last year. But the vendor will likely struggle to keep pace with Microsoft and Cisco in the years ahead, analysts said.

Avaya’s return to the leadership quadrant in the 2018 Gartner UC Magic Quadrant report is a positive development for the company as it tries to reassure customers that new leadership and a cloud-first strategy will lead to long-term financial stability.

But IT buyers should be careful not to read too much into Avaya’s latest Gartner ranking. The vendor lost its leadership spot because it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2017 — and it regained the honor this year mostly because those proceedings are now finished, according to a co-author of the Gartner UC Magic Quadrant. 

“Overall, they are looking in better shape financially,” said Steve Blood, analyst at Gartner. “What they can’t shake off yet, though, is that they did have years of underinvestment in product.”

Avaya has gotten more aggressive in building out its cloud portfolio and investing in AI technologies over the past year, acquiring the cloud contact center vendor Spoken Communications and launching a partner program for AI developers. The vendor is “moving in the right direction,” Blood said.

But Avaya still has work to do to convince businesses of the value of its relatively new cloud products, such as Avaya Equinox and Avaya Oceana, Blood said. Meanwhile, Microsoft and Cisco have continued to expand upon a “huge” product and execution advantage over Avaya and Mitel, the other top-ranked vendor in the Gartner UC Magic Quadrant.

Avaya looks to move past bankruptcy, achieve growth

Some channel partners that had previously sold only Avaya products decided to pursue partnerships with competing vendors amid the financial uncertainty in 2017 — a weakness highlighted in the Gartner UC Magic Quadrant.

For the most part, however, Avaya’s sizable customer base seems comfortable with the company’s position right now, a testament in part to how transparent Avaya was with them during the bankruptcy proceedings, said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research in Westminster, Mass.

“Now they are in a position where they are OK financially at this current revenue level and this current debt load,” Kerravala said. “From a customer perspective, these next two, three, four quarters are very important to see if the company is actually growing.”

Avaya does have a strong portfolio of public and private cloud products, Kerravala said. The company’s challenge now will be changing its public perception as a legacy on-premises vendor.

Avaya likely has more opportunity for growth in the contact center market — where its products stack up well against main rivals Genesys and Cisco — than in the UC market, which is becoming dominated increasingly by Microsoft and Cisco, said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill.

“I think they have got a challenge in terms of where they have opportunities to grow at this point,” Lazar said. “I don’t see them taking market share from Microsoft and Cisco.”

Three capabilities all leaders of innovation possess

Being a leader is never an easy job, but the job is getting harder, according to Linda Hill. To be a leader today, traditional management is not enough, you also have to help foster company-wide innovation — or risk being left in the dust.

Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School and co-author of the book Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, is in a good position to know that. She and her colleagues have spent the last decade observing leaders of innovation around the globe, trying to understand what makes them successful and searching for commonalities.

Speaking to an audience of IT leaders at the recent LiveWorx event in Boston, Mass., Hill said that even though there’s a lot of research on leadership and a lot of research on innovation, there’s actually very little research that looks at the connections between the two.

In her research on leaders of innovation — studying successful people at companies like Google, HCL Technologies, Volkswagen and Pixar, to name a few — Hill and her team certainly found differences in how these people went about their work, including cultural differences, organizational differences and varying leadership styles, she said. But they also found real commonalities in what these people did and why they did it.

Whether these leaders of innovation were working at an Islamic bank in Dubai, a social enterprise in east Africa or a luxury product brand in Korea — they all championed three types of creativity that became part of their organizations’ cultures and a key to their organizations’ capacity to innovate. Hill dubbed them “creative abrasion,” “creative agility” and “creative resolution.”

Hill detailed these three capabilities and encouraged IT leaders to find ways to incorporate them into their own organizational cultures to foster innovation.

linda hill, liveworx, innovation
Leadership expert Linda Hill speaks to IT leaders at the recent LiveWorx event in Boston, Mass.

Creative abrasion

The ability to generate a marketplace of ideas through discourse and debate.

“You rarely get innovation without diversity and conflict,” Hill said.

Organizations may do brainstorming sessions in which people can say whatever is on their mind without judgment, but it can’t all be sunshine, rainbows and pleasantries. You need some abrasion and pushback to not only refine ideas but also develop a robust pipeline of ideas, Hill said.

“What you see in these [innovation-forward] organizations is people know how to inquire and they know how to actively listen, but, guess what — they also know how to advocate for their point of view,” Hill said. One of the organizations she and her team looked at actually taught their employees how to advocate for their point of view to help push creative abrasion.

Good leaders of innovation also understand that one of their key roles is to make sure that they — and everyone else — hear the minority voice, Hill said. “That does not mean you do what that minority voice says, but if you don’t know what it is, then you haven’t been doing things properly.”

Creative agility

The ability to test and refine ideas through quick pursuit, reflection and adjustment.

In order to refine your pipeline of ideas even more, Hill said you need to go through the process of actually testing it, getting feedback and making the necessary adjustments — and in a timely manner. Hill finds that many companies put in place lean startup or design thinking approaches to help organizations become better at being agile.

One of the organizations Hill observed decided not to run pilots anymore because if you run a pilot and it doesn’t work, someone or something was “wrong.” Instead, they run experiments.

“When you run an experiment, you learn something one way or the other and you move on to the next one,” Hill said. “But if you do a pilot and it doesn’t work, then usually there are politics around that. People often ignore the feedback they’re getting or somebody pays the price because it ‘failed.'”

Creating a culture that makes people feel comfortable running experiments and putting themselves out there without fear of retribution is crucial.

“So many people report feeling that they are, in fact, punished when they speak out, fail or have a misstep,” Hill said. “If that is the case, there is not enough psychological safety in that environment for you to unleash the kinds of conversations necessary to hone your ideas.”

Creative resolution

The ability to make integrative decisions.

Most innovations are really a combination of ideas; very rarely is the innovation all new, Hill said. It could be a new idea and an old idea combined to solve an old problem, or two old ideas that together solve a new problem, or some other amalgam of new and old.

“Unless you do decision-making in a way that you can actually combine ideas, you rarely get the innovative solution,” Hill said.

As a result, what Hill sees in these innovation-forward organizations is they’re very clear about who has decision-making rights, but they still do it in a more “inclusive and patient” way. By that she means they won’t allow one group to dominate. They won’t let the experts dominate — something she notes Steve Jobs was particularly worried about because he often felt that this group was the least likely to want to see change because then their expertise wouldn’t be as valuable as it was before. And these organizations don’t let the bosses dominate either.

“They will also not compromise, which is what we often do in these situations — go along to get along,” Hill said. “Instead, they will have, if you will, a fight. They will actually go through the creative abrasion process again and they will design the next experiment to get more data in order to move forward.”

For Sale – MSI Geforce GTX 980Ti 6GD5T OC

It’s the Armor 2X version as featured here

GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GD5T OC | Graphics card – The world leader in display performance | MSI Global

Core/Memory

  • Boost Clock / Base Clock
  • 1190 MHz / 1102 MHz
  • 6144 MB GDDR5 / 7010 MHz Memory

Video Output Function

  • Dual-link DVI-I x 1
  • DisplayPort x 3
  • HDMI x 1

Features

  • Virtual Reality Ready
  • DirectX 12 Ready
  • Great for 4K
  • Gamestream to NVIDIA® SHIELD

Item is in great condition, has never been overclocked beyond how it arrived from the factory, and as specified above. Used in a smoke-free environment and for gaming only. It will come in an anti-static bag, but not in the original packaging, and will be the card alone (i.e. no drivers disc)

Only selling because of upgrading to a 1080ti. Still a great card for 1080p gaming and above.

Price and currency: £260
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Balance Transfer
Location: Spalding Lincs
Advertised elsewhere?: Not 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.

For Sale – MSI Geforce GTX 980Ti 6GD5T OC

It’s the Armor 2X version as featured here

GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GD5T OC | Graphics card – The world leader in display performance | MSI Global

Core/Memory

  • Boost Clock / Base Clock
  • 1190 MHz / 1102 MHz
  • 6144 MB GDDR5 / 7010 MHz Memory

Video Output Function

  • Dual-link DVI-I x 1
  • DisplayPort x 3
  • HDMI x 1

Features

  • Virtual Reality Ready
  • DirectX 12 Ready
  • Great for 4K
  • Gamestream to NVIDIA® SHIELD

Item is in great condition, has never been overclocked beyond how it arrived from the factory, and as specified above. Used in a smoke-free environment and for gaming only. It will come in an anti-static bag, but not in the original packaging, and will be the card alone (i.e. no drivers disc)

Only selling because of upgrading to a 1080ti. Still a great card for 1080p gaming and above.

Price and currency: £260
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Balance Transfer
Location: Spalding Lincs
Advertised elsewhere?: Not 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.

Park Place Technologies selects Microsoft Cloud to transform sales and customer engagement | Stories

CLEVELAND, and REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 11, 2017 — Park Place Technologies Inc. (www.parkplacetechnologies.com), a global leader in datacenter third-party maintenance and support, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: “MSFT”) have announced they are planning to collaborate on driving digital transformation across Park Place Technologies’ global sales and service operations and rapidly accelerate its ability to deliver engineering services across the over 100 countries in which it operates.

Park Place plans to fully deploy Microsoft enterprise cloud services, including Dynamics 365 and Office 365, along with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, to enhance collaboration and productivity across its sales and service operations. With the ability to leverage data and insights from across its organization, Park Place will be better positioned to deliver optimal service and ultimately maximize uptime for its customers.

“Microsoft is uniquely positioned with integrated offerings across the whole cloud stack,” said Chris Adams, president and COO, Park Place Technologies. “We’re confident this trusted, global platform will further enhance productivity for our employees and provide more value to our customers.”

As a first step, Park Place Technologies plans to equip its salesforce with the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, a joint offering that combines the power of Dynamics 365 for Sales with the world’s largest professional network in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. By surfacing relationships between people, and then integrating that information within a single platform, Park Place salespeople will be able to access information in a way that saves time and improves productivity.

“Park Place Technologies is at the forefront of IT service and support with a commitment to innovating ways employees are empowered to deliver value to customers,” said Alysa Taylor, general manager, Business Applications Group at Microsoft. “Putting the power of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud behind Park Place’s customer care organization will connect people, processes and data insights to optimize productivity and transform its service delivery operations.”

About Park Place Technologies

Since 1991, Park Place Technologies has provided an alternative to post-warranty storage, server, and networking hardware maintenance for IT data centers. Supporting more than 10,000 organizations in over 100 countries, Park Place Technologies offers an exceptional customer experience, superior service delivery, and an operational advantage for businesses ranging from government, higher education, and healthcare institutions to cloud service providers, SMB and Fortune 500 companies.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and 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 for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Stephen Karaolis, (212) 337-4048, [email protected]

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.

4-H youth leader rocks the Hour of Code, plans to continue the movement in her community – Microsoft on the Issues

4H youth leader and Seattle Seahawk player with student in Microsoft Store in Bellevue, Washington
4-H youth leader and TEALS student Nora Medina, left, and Seattle Seahawks player Luke Willson participate in an Hour of Code with a student Dec. 5 at the Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square Mall in Bellevue, Washington.

Earlier this fall, Microsoft and National 4-H Council announced a partnership to support young people to be digital leaders, equipping them with the digital skills and other resources to help them make an even bigger, positive impact on their communities. Youth leaders are working with educators, community members and others to identify challenges their communities face, and to use technology to address those challenges.

Nora Medina, from Quincy High School in central Washington state, is working to inspire kids to learn to code, and help adults build digital skills to close the digital divide in her community. We caught up with Nora during Computer Science Education Week when she visited the Microsoft Store in Bellevue, Washington, alongside Seattle Seahawk Luke Willson, to coach elementary school students through their first Hour of Code. Nora and Luke used the new Minecraft tutorial for Hour of Code, called Hero’s Journey, which introduces kids to coding in a fun and engaging way. While our partnership with 4-H is wide-ranging, going beyond digital skills, computer science was the focus of this conversation with Nora:

4H youth leader and TEALS student Nora Medina with Seattle Seahawk Luke Willson
4-H youth leader and TEALS student Nora Medina with Seattle Seahawk Luke Willson.

How did you discover computer science?

I was introduced to coding and Code.org in middle school in an afterschool club. I started by playing with Minecraft and JavaScript. After that I got involved in Digital Tools class, which opened up more classes at my high school, where I learned web design. I realized you can do so much with your imagination and your creativity. Nothing limits you!

Why do you think learning to code is important for kids today?

Coding is everywhere! If you know coding, companies will be more inclined to hire you. You’ll have more skills to offer.

What can you tell us about your involvement with 4-H?

We’re starting a service project where the main focus is teaching adults digital skills. There’s a gap between students and parents. If we teach adults about digital skills, and why we’re on our phones so much, that can bring us closer as a community, and opens up more opportunities for parents and adults!

Microsoft is a leading supporter of Computer Science Education Week because the lack of access to computer science education threatens to widen the income gap between those who have the skills to succeed in the 21st century and those who do not, impeding students’ ability to eventually thrive in their future careers. We’re inspired by young people like Nora Medina who are stepping forward to help us, and others, address the problem.

In the United States alone, there are over 500,000 open computing jobs, however last year, less than 43,000 computer science students graduated into the U.S. workforce.  Learning to code is one of the most important steps students can take to prepare themselves to fully participate in, and benefit from, our digital economy. That’s why Microsoft Philanthropies is working to help young people and adults become creators of technology, advance their careers and grow their local economies by making computer science education and digital skills available to everyone.

Learn more, and find resources to start learning to code, or to teach others, by visiting your local Microsoft Store or https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/digital-skills/hour-of-code.

Tags: Computer Science Education Week, Hour of Code, Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft Store