Nuance Acquisition Marks a Major Move by Microsoft in Health Care

With its second-biggest acquisition to date, Microsoft is massively increasing its bet on becoming a prime mover in health care tech.

Microsoft on Monday announced the planned acquisition of Nuance Communications for $19.7 billion. Boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close this calendar year. Only Microsoft's $26.2 billion payment for LinkedIn in 2016 was larger in dollar terms. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 12, 2021 at 1:29 PM0 comments


Microsoft UK Gets New Channel Chief

Microsoft has hired Accenture's Salesforce business lead for the United Kingdom and Ireland as its new U.K. channel chief.

Orla McGrath will run the Microsoft Partner organization as the One Commercial Partner lead for Microsoft UK. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 30, 2021 at 12:25 PM0 comments


Rodney Clark Named New Microsoft Global Channel Chief

Microsoft is shaking up its worldwide partner organization this week, with new leadership at the top, a new name for the global team and the centralization of the previously independent partner programs for IoT and mixed reality devices under the main channel sales umbrella.

Rodney Clark, a longtime Microsoft executive with significant channel experience, will become corporate vice president of Global Channel Sales effective Thursday, April 1. The title makes Clark the worldwide channel chief at Microsoft, replacing Gavriella Schuster. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 30, 2021 at 12:20 PM0 comments


Enterprise Cloud Spending Vaults Past Datacenter Spend in 2020

It took 10 years of steady growth for enterprises to spend the same amount on cloud services as they did on their on-premises datacenter hardware and software.

But it happened in 2019. And then in 2020, cloud service spending left datacenter-related spending in the dust. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 26, 2021 at 7:50 AM0 comments


IDC: Data Creation Hit 64ZB in 2020

I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for data milestones.

They're simultaneously amazing and entirely expected.

After all, we're all doing more digitally, seemingly every day, with more and more of our output occurring with images and video. Over this last year, a lot of these remote work meetings happen on video. We're recording a lot of the meetings rather than picking up a pen since the fidelity of a recorded conversation is always better than what you happen to scribble down while the conversation is continuing in your ears. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 25, 2021 at 1:01 PM0 comments


Veeam Puts Hourly Downtime Cost at $85K

There's a new hourly metric for the cost of downtime -- $84,650.

That hyper-specific average comes from the new "Veeam Data Protection Report 2021" released Thursday. The report is based on a survey of 3,000 IT decision makers around the world. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 18, 2021 at 12:53 PM0 comments


Sherweb Adds MDR Solution to Microsoft Partner Offerings

Sherweb is taking another step to support smaller managed service providers whose customers' security expectations sometimes outstrip their MSPs' in-house capabilities.

The Sherbrooke, Quebec-based cloud solution provider (CSP) this week rolled out Office Protect Alliance, a managed detection and response (MDR) solution. The new service gives Sherweb's partners access to a security operations center staffed by security analysts who monitor the partners' clients' activity. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 17, 2021 at 9:13 AM0 comments


Now There's Ransomware for Those Exchange Vulnerabilities

A little more than a week after being revealed in on-premises Exchange Servers, some of the zero-day vulnerabilities are appearing in ransomware, adding further urgency to the associated patches.

Microsoft disclosed the existence on March 2 of four zero-day vulnerabilities in certain versions of Exchange that enabled access to e-mail accounts and allowed attackers to install leave-behind malware. The announcement included patches for the vulnerabilities in Exchange Server 2019 and Exchange Server 2016. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 12, 2021 at 12:58 PM0 comments


Three Dozen GA Announcements from Microsoft Ignite

Editor's Note: This article is updated to correct the general availability date of Azure Communication Services. The service will be available in the next few weeks.

We like to think "general availability" still counts for something in this always-iterating development world, which is why we often take the opportunity at Microsoft events to separate the GA milestones from preview news.

At Microsoft Ignite on Tuesday, there were more than three dozen announcements of features, services and a few products at or near the GA stage, meaning the item is deemed stable and tested enough for a supported production deployment. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 02, 2021 at 4:24 PM0 comments


BitTitan Expands Microsoft Teams Capabilities in MigrationWiz

BitTitan is expanding its tools and capabilities around tenant-to-tenant migrations of Microsoft Teams.

The move comes as the managed services automation specialist, like the rest of the industry, is seeing booming interest and usage around the Teams component of Microsoft 365. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2021 at 2:17 PM0 comments


Microsoft Postpones More Deadlines To Ease Bureaucratic Burdens on Partners

As the global pandemic drags on, partners facing Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) renewal deadlines for competencies and advanced specializations in the first half of this year are getting a one-year extension.

During a Microsoft "State of the Partner Ecosystem" session on Wednesday for channel media, Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president for Microsoft One Commercial Partner, detailed the ongoing adjustments that have been made to MPN deadlines since last March. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2021 at 8:07 AM0 comments


Microsoft Adds Advanced Specializations in Low-Code and SMB Management

Microsoft's advanced specialization catalog for partners is getting more extensive by the quarter. The company now boasts two new advanced specializations, bringing the total list to 16.

A relatively new addition to Microsoft's list of badges for partner organizations, the advanced specializations, are layered over a gold competency and demonstrate extra expertise in a particular area. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2021 at 8:29 AM0 comments