Hands-On with Microsoft Azure Marketplace

Join us for an informative hands-on workshop to learn about Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace.

The benefits of the Cloud are well known to many IT professionals. But knowing what, when and how to develop or deploy to the Cloud can seem challenging.

This one day, focused training session, will provide you with a valuable onboarding experience to Azure, Microsoft’s Cloud for modern business. You will learn how to search and deploy your own solutions from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace providing benefits such as:

  • Growing ecosystem of 3,000+ offers
  • Easy discovery and evaluation of customer offerings all in a single location
  • Streamlined configuration, deployment and management
  • Integrated platform experience

Lunch will be served and we will provide parking validation. Space at this event is limited so register today! We hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Microsoft Technology Center
3 Park Plaza – Suite 1600
Irvine, CA 92614

9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Lunch & Parking Validation Provided

Presented in Partnership With:


And now, a brief word from Azure Active Directory Engineering:

imageHi!  We are the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Customer Partner Engineering Team.

Are you looking to deploy Azure Active Directory quickly and easily? We are offering free webinar briefings on key Azure Active Directory deployment topics!

The same session is offered at three times in February:

Getting Ready for Azure AD Option 1

Tuesday February 16 – 7:00am  GMT-8

Getting Ready for Azure AD Option 2

Tuesday February 16 – 11:00am  GMT-8

Getting Ready for Azure AD Option 3

Tuesday February 16 – 7:00pm  GMT-8

Manage Your Enterprise Applications with Azure AD Option 1

Wednesday February 17 – 7:00am  GMT-8

Manage Your Enterprise Applications with Azure AD Option 2

Wednesday February 17 – 11:00am  GMT-8

Manage Your Enterprise Applications with Azure AD Option 3

Wednesday February 17 – 7:00pm  GMT-8

Secure Your Identities with Azure AD Multi Factor Authentication Option 1

Thursday  February 18 – 7:00am  GMT-8

Secure Your Identities with Azure AD Multi Factor Authentication Option 2

Thursday  February 18 – 11:00am  GMT-8

Secure Your Identities with Azure AD Multi Factor Authentication Option 3

Thursday  February 18 – 7:00pm  GMT-8

Streamlining Password Management Using Azure AD Option 1

Friday February 19 – 7:00am  GMT-8

Streamlining Password Management Using Azure AD Option 1

Friday February 19 – 11:00am  GMT-8

Streamlining Password Management Using Azure AD Option 1

Monday February 22 – 7:00pm  GMT-8

Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Applications via Azure AD App Proxy

Tuesday February 23 – 7:00am  GMT-8

Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Applications via Azure AD App Proxy

Tuesday February 23 – 11:00am  GMT-8

Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Applications via Azure AD App Proxy

Tuesday February 23 – 7:00pm  GMT-8

Azure AD Reporting, License Management and Securing Social Media Accounts

Wednesday February 24 – 7:00am  GMT-8

Azure AD Reporting, License Management and Securing Social Media Accounts

Wednesday February 24 – 11:00pm  GMT-8

Azure AD Reporting, License Management and Securing Social Media Accounts

Wednesday February 24 – 7:00pm  GMT-8

Each one-hour briefing is designed to support IT Pros in quickly rolling out Azure Active Directory features to their organization. All webinars are free of cost and will include an anonymous Q&A session with our Engineering Team. So come with your questions!

Capacity is limited. Sign up for one or all of the sessions today! If you have any questions about the free webinar offer, please let us know by emailing us.

For registration and more information visit:

imageIn a recent survey of 40,000 public companies, Gartner found that amongst large public companies, Microsoft “dominates” in adoption of cloud email services.

That’s their word, not mine.  In fact, it’s in the title of their survey report.  As summarized by Computer Weekly:

imageAccording to the analyst house’s report, Microsoft Dominates Cloud Email in Large Public Companies but Shares the Rest With Google, 13% of publicly listed companies use either Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps for Work.

Of this 13%, Gartner’s research shows that 8.5% of public companies use Office 365 while 4.7% use Google’s cloud-based productivity offering.

Read more about it from the Computer Weekly article:

Posted by: kurtsh | February 3, 2016

NEWS: Microsoft agrees to acquire SwiftKey


We entered into an agreement to acquire Swiftkey, the developers of the most popular 3rd party soft keyboards for mobile devices.  This will be integrated with our Wordflow technologies.

“Microsoft has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SwiftKey, whose highly rated, highly engaging software keyboard and SDK powers more than 300 million Android and iOS devices.” 

“In this cloud-first, mobile-first world, SwiftKey’s technology aligns with our vision for more personal computing experiences that anticipate our needs versus responding to our commands, and directly supports our ambition to reinvent productivity by leveraging the intelligent cloud.”

The acquisition is stated to be completed in the next coming months.

Read more on the acquisition here:

Posted by: kurtsh | February 1, 2016

NEWS: Microsoft researches Underwater Datacenters

Now for something completely different: 
An underwater datacenter… from Microsoft.

Microsoft’s underwater datacenter: Project Natick


Project Natick is a Microsoft research project to manufacture and operate an underwater datacenter. The initial experimental prototype vessel, christened the Leona imagePhilpot after a popular Xbox game character, was operated on the seafloor approximately one kilometer off the Pacific coast of the United States from August to November of 2015. Project Natick reflects Microsoft’s ongoing quest for cloud datacenter solutions that offer rapid provisioning, lower costs, high responsiveness, and are more environmentally sustainable.

Read more about Project Natick:

UPDATE 2/1/16:
Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is a subscription service that works for both Exchange Online as well as Exchange Server On-Prem or hybrid.  I was recently notified by Chandler Bootchk, our regional Office 365 Technology Specialist, that ATP is actually a very useful service for organizations that are entirely on-prem, as well as those in our cloud at any degree.  Thanks Chan.

Back in April 2015, we announced the availability of Advanced Threat Protection for Office 365, a per-user add-on service for Exchange.

Here’s a video that talks about that technology and what it delivers for customers that are seeking a higher level of protection for those that might receive malware or dangerous hyperlinks in their inboxes. (And have the propensity to <ahem> click on them)

It is subscribed to per-user, and doesn’t require that your whole organization be subscribed.  It’s usually intended for executives of individual that are traditionally a high value target for malware writers & hackers.

(For the technical folks, this is similar to Proofpoint – except engineered as an additional service available for Exchange mail organizations.)

Stay Secure with Advanced Threat Protection in Office 365

Microsoft is hosting a 3-day online conference for IT Professionals called, “TechNet Virtual Conference”.

imageDay 3: “Infrastructure, on-premises and in the cloud”
March 3, 2016 | 9:00am – 4:30pm PST

With nearly continuous updates to our cloud infrastructure and major innovations just around the corner, it can be tough to find the time to keep up. Day three will look at some of the Microsoft infrastructure technology you should be trying out for yourself. Regardless of how much you think you know, there are many opportunities to learn from Microsoft experts who are creating the future!

Datacenter Infrastructure Fundamentals
With Windows Server 2016, Microsoft brings to market new innovations across virtualization, storage and networking that will enable you to transform and modernize your datacenter. From unique security capabilities with Shielded Virtual Machines, hyperconverged storage with Storage Spaces Direct, and comprehensive software-defined networking, you’ll get up to speed on the key infrastructure enhancements in this release.

Nano Server
As customers adopt modern applications and next-generation cloud technologies, they need an OS that delivers speed, agility and lower resource consumption. Nano Server is a deeply refactored version of Windows Server with a small footprint and remotely managed installation, optimized for the cloud and a DevOps workflow. It is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security. This session will explore everything you need to know about Nano Server!

There’s no denying that virtualization has dramatically changed the datacenter. Virtualization, however, is not without its limitations, and it’s not ideal for all use cases. Containerization takes virtualization to the next level. In many ways, containerization is an evolution of virtualization, and some would argue that the lines between the two are blurry and semantic. This session will help you understand Windows Server and Hyper-V Containers, in addition to how we’re integrating the Container ecosystem through partnerships with platforms such as Docker.

Operations Management Suite
The Microsoft Operations Management Suite is the IT management solution for the cloud era; a single solution built to manage your entire enterprise environment regardless of location, operating system, hypervisors, or cloud provider choices. The Operations Management Suite oversees the Windows and Linux workloads across your datacenter, Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), OpenStack, and VMware environments, incorporating cloud-scale resources to unlock newer, faster ways to solve and prevent problems. In this session, you’ll learn how the Operations Management Suite delivers a unified IT management solution that enables you gain deep visibility, automate, protect and secure your key workloads – no matter where they are.

Azure Fundamentals
Are you new to Microsoft Azure? If you’re an experienced IT Pro and you want to know more about Microsoft Azure, this session will help get you up to speed on the fundamental elements of the Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure platform that is Microsoft Azure. Topics covered will include Compute, Storage and Networking.

Microsoft Azure Stack
Microsoft Azure Stack brings proven innovation from Microsoft’s hyper-scale public cloud into your datacenter, providing agility and productivity for application owners, flexibility and control for IT, and assurance that corporate assets are protected. Founded on Azure technologies, Microsoft Azure Stack delivers proven, software-defined infrastructure for existing and next-generation applications. With advanced compute, networking, storage and security solutions, you can unlock new levels of flexibility and performance using industry-standard hardware, on top of which you can deliver Azure-based IaaS and PaaS services in your datacenter. These services can be customized to meet the needs of your users, delivering the same self-service experience as Azure to empower your developers through write-once/deploy-anywhere freedom.

Read more at the TechNet Virtual Conference site:

Microsoft is hosting a 3-day online conference for IT Professionals called, “TechNet Virtual Conference.

imageDay 2: “Windows 10 & Mobility”
March 2, 2016 | 9:00am – 4:30pm PST

Day two will explore the latest developments in Windows 10 and provide IT Pros with the skills they need

to plan out scaled deployments. We’ll focus on the key areas described here.

  • IT Pro: Identity and Security
    The modern business world is fraught with IT security challenges: How do you stay cost-effective and protect your business information? How do you enable people to
  • work where they need to? How do you prevent the types of attacks you read about almost daily? This session will teach you how to move users away from easily phished, guessed or shared passwords with Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport, protect credentials from common attack vectors such as pass-the-hash, and protect your company’s information from accidental data leakage.
  • IT Pro: Management for continuous innovation
    The way your business works today has undoubtedly evolved, requiring the flexibility to configure and protect your identities, devices, applications and data. The techniques you already know are valid, but there are more flexible, cost-effective ways to make it happen. This session will explore new configuration management tools such as provisioning packages and mobile device management, uncovering fresh ways to enhance your day-to-day productivity.
  • IT Pro: Productivity
    Learn how to ensure your critical line-of-business apps keep working, whether they’re Win 32 or web-based applications. Discover new ways to manage and control apps with the Windows Store for Business. We’ll also explore key technologies including Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer, Edge, Office, and Bridges.+
  • Managing Windows 10 with Enterprise Mobility Suite
    Where does Windows 10 fit into your wider mobility management strategy? With more users connecting their own devices to your services, it’s important to have an all-up strategy that ensures your business is both productive and secure. This session will help you understand the role that Enterprise Mobility Suite can play in your enterprise and how it works with Windows 10.

Read more at the TechNet Virtual Conference site:

Microsoft is hosting a 3-day online conference for IT Professionals called, “TechNet Virtual Conference”.

imageDay 1: “Inspiring IT Pros”
March 1, 2016 | 9:00am – 1:00pm PST

The world of IT is evolving at a more

dramatic pace than any other time in our industry’s history – and change equals opportunity. It’s our choice whether to embrace change or shy away from it, but if we don’t step up, others will!

Day one is designed to get us thinking about change and how to embrace it. We’ve designed a half-day of content, anchored by journalist Mary Jo Foley and our own Senior Evangelist Rick Claus, that will address some of the hottest industry trends.

  • My career as an IT Pro
    We no longer live in a world where you hold one job for life. Navigating the latest technologies and knowing where to focus your energy can be tough. At the same time, CIOs recognize that our industry has a talent crisis. We’ve asked some industry leaders to share their career thoughts and discuss how they approach change and learning.
  • Security
    Rarely a day goes by when we don’t hear about a high-profile hack or government concerns about cybercrime. Microsoft has the privileged position of partnering with government and organizations to respond to these challenges – and empowering every person on the planet to achieve more is what drives our company. This session will highlight our latest security observations and the steps we’re taking to help everyone stay secure online.
  • How does IT lead the business?
    Is your IT group a cost center or a strategic asset? As the role of IT grows and evolves, how do these changes affect the department and team leadership? We’ll explore how IT shows up in business interactions, the evolving role of IT leaders, and what we can learn from other divisions.

Read more at the TechNet Virtual Conference site:

imageJoin this Webcast with Mark Russinovich and Jeffrey Snover & learn how Azure Stack will help you drive app innovation by delivering the power of Azure in your datacenter. Experience the new potential of hybrid cloud computing and get your questions answered by the Azure Stack team.

Read the announcement here:

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