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After IoT Hack, Microsoft Unveils New Partner Security Program

In the wake of a massive botnet attack from infected Internet of Things (IoT) devices last week, Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a limited release of a new Security Program for Azure IoT that involves working with and recommending certain partners to audit customers' IoT implementations.

"This new program brings together a curated set of best-in-class security auditors customers can choose from to perform a security audit on their IoT solutions, find issues and provide recommendations. The Security Program for Azure IoT will work from the ground up, examining everything from a businesses' devices and assets to gateways and even communication to the cloud," wrote Sam George, partner director of program management for Microsoft's Azure IoT, in a blog post announcing the program. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 26, 2016 at 10:48 AM0 comments

First Impressions: Microsoft's Windows 10 Event

Microsoft had its big Windows 10 Event in New York City on Wednesday, with several major product launches and unveilings. From watching the livestream and tracking coverage from RCP Editor at Large Jeff Schwartz who was on site, here are the big takeaways, especially for Microsoft partners.

This Was a 'Consumer' Day
Most, though not all, of Microsoft's announcements on Wednesday were aimed at consumers, in the sense of home users and gamers. Much of it also applied to students and educators, but the main overlap for business customers is in any department that employs creative professionals, who did have plenty to chew on. If some of the new products take off, they could give Microsoft a way to claw its way into the creative professional space that Apple has used as its beachhead into the business market. But for those looking for deployment advancements, system management, security improvements, et cetera, this wasn't your day. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 26, 2016 at 2:17 PM0 comments

Microsoft's Q1 Earnings in 7 Quotes

A strong earnings report from Microsoft on Thursday shot MSFT shares to record levels, largely on cloud growth and revenues. The investor call after the release had some interesting nuggets for Microsoft partners. Some of the key quotes from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood: More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 21, 2016 at 11:00 AM0 comments

Microsoft Inks Partnership for Omnichannel Engagement in Dynamics 365

New York-based CafeX Communications will be Microsoft's preferred solution provider for omnichannel engagement within the soon-to-be-released Dynamics 365 for Customer Service application, the companies announced Wednesday.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is one of the five initial applications coming in the Enterprise edition of Dynamics 365, which is set for availability on Nov. 1. Dynamics 365 is Microsoft's new flagship business application platform that serves both ERP and CRM functionality from the Azure cloud. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 19, 2016 at 2:40 PM0 comments

Belichick 'Done' with Surface Tablets

Bill Belichick is known for his terse responses at news conferences. Which is why it was surprising when the New England Patriots head coach went on for more than five minutes about his frustrations with stadium technology during games, including the Microsoft Surface.

"As you probably noticed, I'm done with the tablets," Belichick said, according to a conference call transcript posted on Twitter Tuesday by NESN's Patriots beat reporter Zack Cox. "They're just too undependable for me. I'm going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do, as well, because there just isn't enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can't take it anymore." More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 18, 2016 at 10:23 AM0 comments

Whiteboarding Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the company's most substantial move on business applications since entering the market in 2000 with the acquisition of Great Plains.

With Dynamics 365, Microsoft is adding business applications into the main effort of its strategic approach to the future of technology -- offering a single product to meet many customers' needs that fits the existing mantra of "cloud-first, mobile-first," and peppering it with the emerging emphasis on AI-first. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 14, 2016 at 4:17 PM0 comments

Hertz Stepping Down from New Signature

High-profile Microsoft partner Christopher Hertz is stepping down from New Signature, the two-time Microsoft United States Partner of the Year company that he founded 13 years ago.

Hertz has been president of the fast-growing, Washington, D.C.-based company since April 2015, when New Signature landed a $35 million venture capital investment from Columbia Capital, which brought in a new chairman and a new CEO. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 07, 2016 at 8:42 AM0 comments

Disaster Recovery Firms Offer Free Services Ahead of Hurricane Matthew

As Hurricane Matthew churned toward the Florida coast Thursday afternoon and residents of the southeastern United States evacuated, disaster and recovery vendors spun up emergency programs to help unprotected businesses with last-minute efforts to save their data.

Matthew was expected to make an extremely close approach along the Florida coast Thursday night as a Category 4 or even possibly a Category 5 hurricane. Although it was not expected to make landfall, Matthew's storm surge and winds could still wind up being more devastating than a more typical hurricane strike. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 07, 2016 at 8:31 AM0 comments

StorageCraft Adds Tiers, Training to Partner Program

The overhauled partner program that StorageCraft Technology Corp. executives promised earlier this year when the company got its $187 million private equity investment went live on Wednesday.

"Really as you look at it -- the way the company is changing, the expansion of the product line -- we kind of knew it was time to really revamp the entire partner program," said Marvin Blough, vice president of worldwide sales and one of several veteran technology executives brought in after Chairman and CEO Matt Medeiros joined the Draper, Utah-based company in January. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 05, 2016 at 12:37 PM0 comments

Microsoft Seeks To Frame Global Technology Policy Debate

Satya Nadella and Brad Smith kicked off a Microsoft campaign to shape the global debate on technology policy with a joint keynote in Dublin, Ireland, Monday morning and the release of a policy book containing 78 specific recommendations.

At a base level, Microsoft's interest in the global policy debate around the future of the cloud has to do with protecting its multibillion-dollar investment in a public cloud infrastructure and trying to maximize the opportunity for those datacenters to store and serve data and computing power to customers in as many countries as possible. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 03, 2016 at 12:23 PM0 comments

Microsoft Azure Footprint Approaching 3 Dozen Regions

Microsoft this week at its Ignite show in Atlanta unveiled several new regions for the Azure public cloud, opening its first two regions in privacy-conscious Germany and pinpointing plans for four more regions around the world.

Microsoft Azure is the second-largest global public cloud by customer revenues, according to independent analyst estimates, and Microsoft now claims an Azure presence in twice as many regions as the public cloud market-leading Amazon Web Services (AWS). More

Posted by Scott Bekker on September 27, 2016 at 3:13 PM0 comments

Dell Unveils 2 New Mobile Thin Clients

Dell on Thursday unveiled a refreshed line of mobile thin clients based on the Latitude family of laptops.

The Dell Latitude E7270 and the Dell Latitude 3460 will both be available on Oct. 4. While these new clamshell-based devices are mobile thin clients, the bulk of thin client demand is expected to continue to be for desktop devices, said Dan O'Farrell, senior director of product marketing for Dell Cloud Client-Computing. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on September 22, 2016 at 9:30 AM0 comments