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Microsoft and Salesforce expand strategic partnership to accelerate customer success

Salesforce names Microsoft Azure as its public cloud provider for Salesforce Marketing Cloud to help customers scale and grow; new integration between Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds with Microsoft Teams will boost productivity

REDMOND, Wash., and SAN FRANCISCO — Nov. 14, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) on Thursday announced plans to expand their strategic partnership to help customers meet the evolving needs of their businesses and boost team productivity. Salesforce has named Microsoft Azure as its public cloud provider for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Salesforce will also build a new integration that connects Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud with Microsoft Teams.

Salesforce and Microsoft logos
“At Salesforce, we’re relentlessly focused on driving trust and success for our customers,” said Marc Benioff and Keith Block, co-CEOs, Salesforce. “We’re excited to expand our partnership with Microsoft and bring together the leading CRM with Azure and Teams to deliver incredible customer experiences.”

“In a world where every company is becoming a digital company, we want to enable every customer and partner to build experiences on our leading platforms,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “By bringing together the power of Azure and Microsoft Teams with Salesforce, our aim is to help businesses harness the power of the Microsoft Cloud to better serve customers.”

Comments on the news

“Marriott has more than 7,200 properties spanning 134 countries and territories, so driving efficiency and collaboration is critical,” said Brian King, global officer, Digital, Distribution, Revenue Strategy, and Global Sales, Marriott International. “The combination of Salesforce and Microsoft enables our teams to work better together to enhance the guest experience at every touchpoint.”

“With 400 brands and teams in 190 countries, we are always looking for ways to scale more efficiently and strengthen collaboration,” said Jane Moran, chief technology advisor, Unilever. “The powerful combination of Salesforce and Microsoft enables us to be more productive and connect with each other and our customers like never before.”

Salesforce names Microsoft Azure as its public cloud provider for marketing cloud

With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, marketers are empowered to know their customers, personalize marketing with Einstein, engage with them across any channel, and analyze the impact to improve campaign performance. Bringing its Marketing Cloud workload to Azure, Salesforce joins the over 95% of Fortune 500 companies benefitting from an Azure infrastructure offering the most global regions of any cloud provider.

Through this partnership, Salesforce will move its Marketing Cloud to Azure — unlocking new growth opportunities for customers. By moving to Azure, Salesforce will be able to optimize Marketing Cloud’s performance as customer demand scales. This will reduce customer onboarding times and enable customers to expand globally more quickly with Azure’s global footprint and help address local data security, privacy and compliance requirements.

​Salesforce and Microsoft Teams integration will boost productivity

​As teamwork becomes a driving force in the workplace, people want to bring workflows and frequently used apps into their collaboration workspace environments. Sales and customer service are highly collaborative, team-centric functions, and many companies actively use both Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Teams. As part of this agreement, Salesforce will build a new integration that give sales and service users the ability to search, view, and share Salesforce records directly within Teams. The new Teams integration for Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds will be made available in late 2020.

Building on a commitment to customer success

These new integrations will build on existing solutions that enable mutual customers to be more productive, including the hundreds of thousands of monthly active users using Salesforce’s Microsoft Outlook integration to create, communicate and collaborate.

​About Salesforce​

Salesforce is the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), bringing companies closer to their customers in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, internet of things, artificial intelligence, voice and blockchain—to create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

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 for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Stephanie Barnes, Salesforce PR, (415) 722-0883, [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.

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For Sale – Huawei B535 4G LTE unlocked Modem £105 RMSD

Got this from 3 less than a month ago to bridge a few weeks between changing names on our virgin media account. Boxed as new, only used in a smoke-free home; extra antennae pictured are included.

Works perfectly… thought about putting it in a drawer, but will see if there’s any interest here. True, they’re £80 from aliexpress…. fill your boots and toss a coin as to whether it’ll arrive or not.

No sim or data included . Collection from B44 if preferred

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Software Reviews | Computer Software Review

Bottom Line: Hootsuite is one of the first names people list when considering social media management, which is with good reason considering all its core features as well as the built-in listening, publishing, and integration capabilities. Still its fast-rising price and some publishing quirks mean it might not be for everyone.

Bottom Line: Hootsuite is one of the first names people list when considering social media management, which is with good reason considering all its core features as well as the built-in listening, publishing, and integration capabilities. Still its fast-rising price and some publishing quirks mean it might not be for everyone.

MSRP: $10.00

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Meltdown and Spectre patches and mitigations released

The microprocessor architecture flaws under intense speculation now have names — Meltdown and Spectre — as well as details, patches and mitigation techniques, although serious concern remain.

A collaboration of researchers from Google’s Project Zero team; Graz University of Technology in Styria, Austria; the University of Pennsylvania; the University of Adelaide in Australia and various security companies released the full details of two attacks — called Meltdown and Spectre — that exploit flaws inherent to modern CPUs in order to steal sensitive data from memory. Meltdown has currently only been proven effective against Intel processors, while the Spectre attack can be leveraged against processors from Intel, AMD and ARM.

Both attacks exploit flaws in how modern processors implement address space layout randomization (ASLR). According to the official vulnerability disclosure brand page for Meltdown and Spectre, the difference between the attacks is the type of memory accessible.

“Meltdown breaks the mechanism that keeps applications from accessing arbitrary system memory,” researchers wrote. “Consequently, applications can access system memory. Spectre tricks other applications into accessing arbitrary locations in their memory. Both attacks use side channels to obtain the information from the accessed memory location.”

Meltdown and Spectre attacks

Jake Williams, founder of consulting firm Rendition InfoSec LLC in Augusta, Ga., expanded on this to explain that Meltdown was able to read physical memory, including kernel memory, while Spectre “can only read memory from the current process, not the kernel and other physical memory.”

Meltdown logo, designed by Natascha Eibl

Because of this distinction, Williams said during a SANS webcast that the primary use of Meltdown appeared to be for privilege escalation and container/virtualization hypervisor escape, while Spectre would primarily be exploited through JavaScript execution in the browser.

Spectre logo, designed by Natascha Eibl

“On any unpatched system, if an attacker can execute a process, they can dump all (or most) physical memory [using Meltdown.] With physical memory, attackers could identify password hashes, execute a Mimikatz-style attack on Windows or find private keys,” Williams said. “Using JavaScript, Spectre attacks could be used to leak browser cache or other saved data that pertains to other sites. Spectre can be used to determine the address of a module in memory and bypass ASLR, ushering in the new age of practical browser exploitation.”

Researchers admitted that Meltdown and Spectre can be especially dangerous because it may not be possible to detect if an attack has occurred since “the exploitation does not leave any traces in traditional log files.”

Meltdown and Spectre patches and mitigation

The Meltdown attack exploits vulnerability CVE-2017-5754 and Spectre uses CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715. Patches and mitigation techniques have already been released by most major vendors. [Editor’s note: Links to all Meltdown and Spectre patches and mitigation techniques are located on the research site.]

The initial speculation surrounding Meltdown and Spectre began because of the merger of kernel page-table isolation (KPTI) into Linux code, which mitigated the threat, and major Linux distros — Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu and SUSE — have confirmed the updates are live for users.

Google released the Android patch as part of its January security update — which will only be received by Nexus and Pixel users at first — as well as announcing protections for G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, Chrome OS, Chrome and more.

Microsoft said “the majority” of its Azure cloud infrastructure has been patched against Meltdown and Spectre, but some customer VMs may need to be rebooted in order to apply the patch; Microsoft has sent notifications to those affected. Microsoft also released a patch and security advisory for Windows, but noted that there is an issue with some “incompatible anti-virus applications” that could leave devices unable to boot and has not pushed the patch to systems with known AV issues.

Kevin Beaumont, security architect based in the U.K., has been gathering information on such AV compatibility issues.

Statements from Intel, AMD and ARM have commented on Meltdown and Spectre and the patches and mitigations available. Apple did not release a statement, but researchers have found evidence of patches in macOS and iOS.

Alex Ionescu, vice president of EDR strategy at CrowdStrike, applauded all of the work by vendors to mitigate the risks of Meltdown and Spectre.

However, despite all of this work, Williams noted that with the Meltdown patches specifically, “the patch does not address the core vulnerability; it simply prevents practical exploitation.” He warned that this should protect users for now, but the fact that malicious actors will continue to find ways to exploit the Meltdown and Spectre flaws “make it clear that CPU architecture decisions need to be rethought.”

Never mind the DevOps maturity model, focus on principles

There are few names in DevOps as big as Gary Gruver. He’s an experienced software executive with a knack for implementing continuous release and deployment pipelines in large organizations. In fact, he literally wrote the book on the subject. His latest, Starting and Scaling DevOps in the Enterprise, is an insightful and easy-to-read guide that breaks down DevOps principles by putting them all in a context enterprises can use to gain alignment on their journey to continuous delivery.

Gruver, president of Gruver Consulting, sat down with DevOpsAgenda to discuss the DevOps maturity model, core DevOps maturity principles, and how small and large organizations must take different paths on their DevOps journey.

What’s your take on the DevOps maturity model? Can that stymie DevOps adoption in large organizations?

Gary Gruver: A lot of people come out with these maturity models and say, ‘We had some success in DevOps, and now everybody has to do what we did.’

If you don’t start with the changes that are going to benefit people the most, you’re going to lose the momentum in your transformation.
Gary Gruverpresident at Gruver Consulting

And what I find when I go into different organizations, or even looking at different deployment pipelines within organizations, [is] that the things impacting productivity are fundamentally different. You look at a DevOps maturity model and it might claim, ‘You need to have Infrastructure as code, automated deployment, test automation, and this and that.’ I think that overlooks the actual problem each different deployment pipeline might have.

This is about organizational change management, and it’s about getting people to work in different ways. If you don’t start with the changes that are going to benefit people the most, you’re going to lose the momentum in your transformation.

Therefore, I think it’s important to start with DevOps principles so people can pick the changes that’ll make the biggest difference to them, so they will take ownership for implementing the changes into their organization.

How does scale affect success in DevOps?

Gruver: If you’re a small team and you have four or five developers, then DevOps is about just getting people to embrace and take ownership of code all the way out to the customer. It’s making sure the code is meeting the needs of customers and stable in production. Then, it’s responding to that feedback and taking ownership. It’s a lot about helping these developers become generalists and understanding the operations piece of this puzzle.

But if you have a tightly coupled system that requires thousands of people working together, then there aren’t that many people who are going to know the whole system and be able to support it in production. In these situations, someone needs to be responsible for designing how these complex systems come together and continually improve the process. It is going to require more specialists, because it is hard for everyone to understand the complexities of these large systems. The ways you coordinate five people are a lot different than coordinating a thousand.

Simon Wardley's Pioneer, Settlers and Town Planners model
Maturity models aren’t the only models of use. Organizations can turn to the Pioneers, Settlers and Town Planners model to reach DevOps efficiency in the best, most organic way for them.

What are some of these difficulties applying DevOps practices from small- to large-scale organizations?

Gruver: What I hear a lot of people in large organizations do with DevOps is they look at what the small teams are doing, and they try to replicate that. They try to reproduce and figure out how to make the small-team strategy work in a tightly coupled system, instead of really looking at the issues blocking them from releasing on a more frequent basis.

They’re not asking, ‘What are the ways we can address this waste and inefficiency and take it out of the system so we can release more frequently?’ They figure if they just do what the small teams are doing and try to replicate that and create a DevOps maturity model, by some magic, they’re going to be successful. Instead of doing that, they should focus on principles to figure out what’s going on in their system.

Large organizations should break it down as small as you possibly can, because smaller things are much easier to solve, maintain and manage. So, if you can break your system down into microservices and make that work, those teams are always going to be more efficient. That said, rearchitecting a large, tightly coupled system can be extremely complex and time-consuming, so it is typically not my first choice.

Additionally, there are a lot of DevOps practices that can be successfully implemented in large, tightly coupled systems. In fact, I would argue that applying DevOps principles in these complex systems will provide much greater benefits to the organization just because the inefficiencies associated with coordinating the work across large groups is so much more pronounced than it is with small teams.