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Data Visualization Enables Business to Transform Big Data into Big Value
A recent article appeared in Wall Street & Technology highlighting how the talent gap for data scientists could hamper successful execution of big data initiatives. While this article focuses on the financial services sector, similar sentiments echo in other global industries as enterprise looks to big data in driving competitive advantage.

Learn How Microsoft is Using Data Visualization to Help Solve Cyber-Crime
Using heat maps and data visualization, a team of hand-selected experts including federal prosecutors, police officers, technical analysts, bankers, engineers and physicists worked together to shut down 90% of the criminal network that had siphoned off more than half a billion dollars from five million unwitting users who had no idea their credit card, SSN, school, password and other sensitive identity data had been stolen.
Read the full story by Jennifer Warnick here
The spread of a zombie army

But while the search for talent continues, big data initiatives aren’t slowing down. Businesses continue to invest, seeking bottom-line results. Leading industry analyst Gartner predicts that 64% of organizations will make allocations for big data in 2014 compared to 58% in 2013. And so while organizations are shifting their thinking from asking “what does big data mean to us” to “how can we implement an initiative that delivers meaningful impact”, they are also struggling with finding ways to unleash the value that big data promises.

Data Visualization Technology and the Talent Gap

Microsoft accurately anticipated this shift by developing powerful visualization tools that enable experienced business leaders, analysts and non-technical employees to manipulate and understand information more effectively. However, the way in which those numbers are represented is key to disseminating the information to a wider audience. By using dynamic data visualization in charts and maps to interpret terabytes of data traditionally represented as numbers in rows and columns, Microsoft has placed enormous power into the hands of business and subject matter experts.

This new generation of Power BI tools from Microsoft enables rapid adoption because end-users are working with a familiar Excel interface. Data can be accessed from local files, HDInsight, Oracle, SQL, Access, DB2, MySQL, to name a few. Even websites can provide content by using the From Web button on the ribbon in Power Query. Simply by cutting and pasting the URL, this rich data can be displayed as interactive graphs, charts, and maps, enabling the user to dive into specific details, real-time.
\ Read the full story here
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Why My Company Ditched Google
An IT Specialist and Consultant helps his clients with their Office 365 and Google Apps installations. His consulting company spent nearly four years running Google Apps internally, learning the program inside and out, until he recently challenged them to switch to Office 365. They would transition by Thanksgiving 2013 to gain first-hand experience of both solutions they installed for their clients. From functionality and compatibility to SharePoint vs. Google Drive, read more about their key insights and why the company is leaving Google behind for good.
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Register for the Technology Roadmap Virtual Event /
Join us LIVE for the Microsoft Virtual Roadmap Event on April 23rd. This is an exclusive opportunity to see demos of the latest Microsoft technologies, hear customer success stories and participate in forward-thinking discussions. As a virtual attendee, you'll have the opportunity to download session materials, share ideas and ask questions to experts and speakers through live chat, twitter and Q&A.

This exclusive event will have two tracks: IT Professionals and Sales/Marketing; choose the track that best fits your needs. Of course, you are welcome to join us for both.
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Events /
Microsoft Technology Roadmap Events
As an IT leader, you're invited to attend the upcoming Microsoft Technology Roadmap Event as my VIP Guest. This is an exclusive opportunity to see demos of the latest Microsoft enterprise-level technologies, hear customer application success stories and participate in forward-thinking discussions with your peers. Reimagine your enterprise and discover how cloud computing is enabling new mobile, social and big data-driven solutions that can reinvigorate your business.
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How to Spark Engagement
Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:00 AM PST

Join this 30 minute webcast to learn how to identify and remove potential barriers for engagement on Yammer and tricks to increase participation on your network. In addition, learn how other customers have successfully sparked engagement on their networks.
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Project Webcast: Manage More Work With Less Effort With Project 2013 /
Attendees are eligible to receive a complimentary copy of Project Professional 2013! Delivered by Microsoft Gold Partner Projility, this session will provide an overview as to how the Microsoft Project platform can help large enterprises improve work management and collaboration efforts. This will include a detailed overview of the Microsoft PPM platform and its ability to support multiple groups, business units, and methodologies within the same organization. Join us on Tuesday, February 18th at 1:30pm EST / 10:30am PST for this free webcast.
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Manage Your IT Assets: End of Service for Windows XP, Office 2003 and More /
Don't be caught by end-of-life software support. We want to ensure you are up to date and able to take action to mitigate your risks as legacy technology that you may have installed reaches end of support. We are available to help you plan your upgrade so you can avoid the toughest challenges and reduce your risks. Here's why the time to upgrade is now:

Reduce risks and costs. These products are currently in the Extended Support phase, already out of Mainstream Support and quickly approaching end of support.
  • After support ends, no security patches or hotfixes will be available from Microsoft, and many third-party Microsoft software vendors will also end their support.
  • When support ends, machines running these products will be more vulnerable to security threats-putting your critical business data at risk.
  • IT management costs may rise significantly.
  • Compatibility with new hardware will not be assured.
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