Friday, October 31, 2014

Software and IT Partner News

Author:SuperUser AccountCreated:6/26/2010 10:03 PMRssIcon
Microsoft Product & Partner News
By SuperUser Account on 10/27/2011 11:27 AM

adaQuest introduces an internal enrichment program at no cost to clients

Quote startEveryone is facing this issue; we are the only ones addressing itQuote end

Bellevue, WA (PRWEB) October 24, 2011

The first company to offer an innovative solution to the industry-wide shortage of experienced Localization Engineers, adaQuest, Inc. introduces an internal enrichment program at no cost to the client, which provides senior-quality engineers from a pool of available talent.

“Everyone is facing this issue; we are the only ones addressing it,” explains Hiram Machado, CEO and Co-Founder of adaQuest. “Our clients are in need of this expertise. They address that need by coming to companies like us. Most companies have to pass on engineers that are not up to the bar, because that is what is available, but we offer the best possible candidate and offer ongoing training as well.”


By SuperUser Account on 10/26/2011 3:22 PM

Earlier this year in a post about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, IT Business Edge contributor Mike Vizard hit onthe key differentiator in how Microsoft approaches cloud-based CRM. Microsoft, along with other CRM providers, is chasing, the company that shook up the industry a decade ago by putting CRM in the cloud. In contrast to Salesforce, Vizard said, "Microsoft is building a cloud computing ecosystem where multiple partners will be able to not only deliver Dynamics CRM 2011, but those services can be integrated with Microsoft CRM and other application software running on premise to give customers maximum flexibility."


Microsoft may also find itself chasing Oracle, whichearlier this week acquired RightNow Technologies. Both Oracle and Microsoft seem to be following's lead (again) into the nascent customer experience management category, adding social elements to their CRM software and strengthening its capabilities to serve customers in new channels like social networks along with traditional ones like call centers.


CRM Buyer article spotlights Dynamics' new Activity Feeds, configurable, real-time notification streams that allow users to post information and follow feeds of interest. I guess we can thank Mark Zuckerberg for these, which seem to be showing up in all kinds of enterprise software these days, but Salesforce was the first to latch on to the concept when it launched Chatter in late 2009. Microsoft also added a microblogg

By SuperUser Account on 10/26/2011 3:17 PM

For those tired of, say, Firefox with Google, Microsoft and Mozilla announced today the release of Firefox with Bing, a version of the web browser that includes default search settings for Bing.

Firefox with Bing, downloadable here, sets as the default browser home page, as well as the default search engine in the search box and location bar.

There are nearly 20 customized versions of Firefox distributed globally by partners including Bing, United Internet, Twitter, Yahoo! and Yandex, according to Mozilla.

Firefox with Bing extends the partnership Mozilla and Microsoft announced last year whereby Bing was included as one of the search engine choices within Firefox.

The Firefox browser is created by Mozilla, a non-profit organization. In recent months, it's captured about 27 percent of the global browser usage, according to website analytics tracker StatCounter.


By SuperUser Account on 8/22/2011 1:32 PM



The reaction to Skype's proposed acquisition of the New York City-based group messaging service GroupMe for $85 million has been nearly universal: Good for Skype. It's the latest in a string of high-profile gambits in the world of social grouping technology. Google+ has made Circles central to its social efforts. Apple has announced plans to launch its own group service, iMessage. And Mark Zuckerberg, whose company recently acquired the group messaging service Belugahas called grouping friends "the biggest problem in social networking."

In all that excitement it's easy to overlook the fact that Skype is also in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion. That means any decision Skype makes should be viewed as a decision Microsoft would make as well. And Microsoft was well aware of Skype's acquisition of GroupMe, Sandhya Venkatachalam, Skype's head of corporate development, tells Fast Company. There was visibility at all levels of Microsoft including CEO Steve Ballmer. "This is something that's very important for Skype and for our mobile and overall social strategy," says Venkatachalam. "Of course, if and when the acquisition with Microsoft closes, we want to bring this functionality and this strategy to Microsoft and their mobile offerings." 

Which means you can expect GroupMe to play a prominent role in Microsoft's social efforts as well. 

When I recently spoke to Skype product VP Neil Stevens, he spoke at length about how Skype would become central to Microsoft's mobile efforts. He described how Skype will add deep integration with Windows Phone, at a greater level than with any other mobile OS, and how it will become a unifying force between various Microsoft products such as Windows, Windows Mobile, and Xbox.

By SuperUser Account on 7/26/2011 4:27 PM

Informational event shares how to use InsiteCommerce and its SDK to develop and deliver scalable, high-performing .NET B2B ecommerce sites

Minneapolis, MN., July 26, 2011Insite Software, a leading provider of B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms and shipping solutions, today announced it is hosting a one-hour informational webinar for the .NET developer community on its Windows Azure-certified ecommerce platform, InsiteCommerce, and the InsiteCommerce Software Development Kit (SDK). The event will take place on Thursday, July 28, 2011, at 12:00PM Eastern.

“InsiteCommerce is the fastest growing enterprise B2B ecommerce platform for .NET developers and the only B2B ecommerce platform certified for Windows Azure,” said Brian Strojny, CEO of Insite Software. “Our SharePoint-friendly platform gives .NET developers the power of the easy-to-use InsiteCommerce SDK to rapidly develop and deliver scalable, high-performing B2B ecommerce projects. We are expanding our partnerships in the .NET development community to help firms confidently deliver a B2B enterprise ecommerce solution to their clients. InsiteCommerce addresses a growing business need that is not being met by today’s available solutions.”

During this webinar, attendees will:

By SuperUser Account on 7/25/2011 8:53 AM

Cloud computing has definitely moved into the mainstream. You now see commercials from Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and others every evening on prime time Cable TV. CNBC has created a Cloud Computing Special Report for investors to learn more about it. Even government agencies are now moving to cloud-based solutions.

Unfortunately, one of the most touted reasons we see for using cloud computing – that it provides universal access to data and applications from the Internet – has nothing to do with what cloud computing actually is. This is simply what web-based applications have been doing since the 1990s. True cloud computing offers a whole lot more. In October 2009, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published an excellent definition of cloud computing that calls out five essential characteristics that separate clouds from simple remotely hosted, web-based computing models:

  • On-demand self-service
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service

I know, some of these terms are mouthful – especially to those who do “live and breathe” technology. However, they remove so much of the work and complexity that has so frequently made management of computing so painful and costly:

By SuperUser Account on 7/25/2011 8:49 AM
Published 13:10, 25 July 11

One of the unusual characteristics of the computer industry in recent years is the rapid rise of companies to almost complete market dominance of their respective sectors.

Things began with Microsoft, whose Windows operating system is still unchallenged on the desktop. Then came Google, which more or less owns the online search world (with the notable exception of the important Chinese market), and after that Facebook, which is probably hurtling towards 800 million users at the moment. What this means is that it is almost impossible for other companies to enter those particular markets and compete against the incumbent.

It's not hard to see why this has happened. It's all about network effects: once a particular player becomes established in a new market, it attracts more users than anyone else, ensuring that it grows yet bigger and more dominant. This kind of stranglehold is typically only broken once a step change in technology occurs that allows the story to begin all over again (the transition from MS-DOS to Windows was one such.)

Although there are many big and successful computer companies around at the moment, one stands out. Apple is currently going from strength to strength, as its recent figures show:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 third quarter ended June 25, 2011. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $28.57 billion and record quarterly net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $15.70 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 41.7 percent compared to 39.1 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Much of that was down to Apple's success in two emerging markets:

The Company sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 142 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter, a 183 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.


By SuperUser Account on 7/12/2011 11:58 AM


Greenville, SC – July 12, 2011 – AssetPoint, a leading provider of (EAM) Enterprise Asset Management and (CMMS) Computerized Maintenance Management Software solutions, announced it has successfully renewed its Gold Level Competency with Microsoft.

AssetPoint ( has been a leader in CMMS/EAM solutions for over 30 years, and its TabWare CMMS/EAM solution is designed by maintenance professionals for maintenance professionals. TabWare is easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to own, so companies are able to get up and running in days not months. AssetPoint offers flexible deployment options, including acloud computing solution (SaaS) or on-site for companies who want TabWare on their own servers. TabWare is the leading EAM solution for companies who want full functionality without the expense, resources and time other solutions demand. TabWare is proven to maximize asset performance, resulting in reduced operating costs and higher profit margins.

By SuperUser Account on 7/5/2011 1:14 PM

By Howard Ryan, CEO, Total Alert Systems, Inc.

Mass notification has experienced significant expansion over the last decade.  Look no further then some of the most recent tragic events globally and it's not surprising that the standard one-generation-technological-improvement cycle is no longer adequate.  Near real-time and instantaneous communication of crucial alerts to in-and-out-of-enterprise recipients are required.  Unfortunately, few mass notification technologies can deliver these requirements in a minute or less and also offer continuous updating capability, two criteria that could radically change outcomes in an emergency situation.

Total Alert Systems is a provider of IP-Based mass notification systems publishable alerts across numerous modalities in 30 seconds or less to targeted recipient lists that could number in the thousands. In an emergency, one-to-three minutes for alert publication and 'eventual' alert receipt is unacceptable.  During an emergency, events change rapidly. Situational awareness is crucial to help mitigate and diffuse an unfolding crisis. An alert that is received after several minutes (and possibly without knowledge of an updated communication) could become dangerous. A key factor for recent technological advancements in the alerting industry has been the participation through interoperability across IP-Based computer networks. Total Alert Systems is a sponsor-level member at OASIS.

By SuperUser Account on 7/1/2011 7:41 PM

By Aviv Siegel, AtHoc, Inc.

Campuses, government agencies, military and enterprises are facing increased threats from terror, accidents and weather. Legacy fire systems are inadequate and incapable of handling the wide-spectrum of threats. The advent of new communication technologies enabled by Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure presents excellent opportunity to address the challenge.

Protecting, informing and accounting for people quickly and effectively during emergencies is the problem addressed by AtHoc Emergency Mass Notification System (EMNS).  AtHoc IWSAlerts™ network-centric mass notification currently represents the state-of-the-art in emergency alerting technology. It leverages the ubiquitous IP network and transforms an organization’s existing IP network and its connected devices into a rapid and pervasive emergency notification system. A net-centric unified notification system can reach people through multiple redundant channels in minutes—with detailed information for a safe course of action. Additionally, emergency managers can provide detailed instructions for action to all personnel and receive feedback to ensure a safe response--a capability absent on traditional passive alerting systems.


By SuperUser Account on 7/1/2011 7:34 PM


Microsoft-centric solution provides .NET developers with advanced cloud computing solution and SDK for more profitable and rapid ecommerce deployments


Minneapolis, MN., June 29, 2011Insite Software, a leading provider of B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms and shipping solutions, today announced that Microsoft Corporation has certified InsiteCommerce as one of the first enterprise B2B ecommerce platform powered by Windows Azure for cloud computing. The latest version of InsiteCommerce provides the Microsoft .NET development community and design agencies with advanced cloud deployment and an easy-to-use SDK allowing firms to rapidly develop and deliver scalable, high performing, B2B ecommerce projects for their manufacturing, distribution and retail clients.

 “.NET developers have been looking for a reliable, scalable, ecommerce platform that delivers the B2B capabilities in the cloud, as Microsoft Commerce Server does not currently support the Windows Azure platform,” said Brian Strojny, CEO of Insite Software. “InsiteCommerce is designed for cloud computing and leverages the benefits of Windows Azure to help developers provide faster, scalable and more profitable B2B ecommerce deployments. We are pleased to be one of the first enterprise B2B ecommerce platforms certified by Microsoft and look forward to working more closely with the .NET development community.”


By SuperUser Account on 6/7/2011 11:55 AM

Apple's iCloud promises to sync every document and every edit across multiple devices but Apple's idea of every document is every iWork document. If iCloud doesn't play nice with Microsoft Office, it doesn't stand a chance to replace other syncing and file-sharing software, like Dropbox, and Microsoft's own Windows Live SkyDrive.

Apple's decision to build its iCloud Storage APIs around iWork -- Keynote, Pages and Numbers -- makes a lot of sense. The company has been fortifying its product and lifestyle ecosystem for a long time and iCloud is another incentive to streamline your productivity by purchasing Apple products. But Microsoft Office isn't going anywhere; Forrester Research stated that as of 2009, 80 percent of the enterprise is using some form of Microsoft Office, with 64 percent using Office 2007.

iCloud's Syncing Limitations May Keep Service BackImage courtesy of Macworld.


By SuperUser Account on 6/7/2011 11:52 AM


Microsoft and Facebook are throwing their weight behind the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger that would consolidate the wireless industry.

"The FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it," the companies wrote in a Monday letter to the Federal Communications Commission. Several other companies signed on to the letter, including phone technology company Avaya, software and server company Oracle, Blackberry maker Research in Motion, mobile chip maker Qualcomm and Brocade.

Microsoft provided a copy of the letter. Missing in action on the letter: Google and Apple. Out of all the big technology companies, Apple has the most intimate working relationship with AT&T because the iPhone was for a long time exclusive to the AT&T. Google's Android software is the fastest growing mobile platform with 100 million users.


By SuperUser Account on 5/23/2011 1:33 PM

Remarks by Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer
Tokyo, Japan
May 23, 2011


STEVE BALLMER: Well, thank you very much. It's very much a privilege to have a chance to join many of Japan's most thoughtful leaders from business, from government, from academia, and from the media.

I want to thank Nikkei Newspaper for inviting me here today, and to have the opportunity to discuss the role of technology in Japan's reconstruction.

I'll begin by expressing my deep sympathy to the people of Japan who were affected by the earthquake and the tsunami in March. The scale of what happened here, the extent of the devastation is truly beyond words. I think it is inspiring to hear how Japan has united in these very difficult times to move forward.

Certainly on behalf of Microsoft, I want you to know what while you were standing strong together, you do not stand alone. Our company is fully committed to assisting Japan in any way we can, and to the companies and individuals in this room, as the recovery efforts move forward in this long term process of rebuilding.

We see Japan as an important and longstanding friend and a vibrant part of the world's marketplace. Microsoft has been in business here for 25 years, and we have today more than 2,500 employees in Japan.

Nihon Microsoft was our first country subsidiary outside the United States, and today, it is our largest, other than the United States.

We also have more than 8,000 companies, individual companies who are business partners of Microsoft's here in Japan, spanning every field of technology, communications, entertainment, and more.

And while it's certainly been painful to see the impact of the earthquake on our customers and our colleagues and our friends, we are hopeful about what we can do together to support Japan's forward progress.

Microsoft's commitment to Japan in the wake of the earthquake has included both financial and technical support. Initially, we provided a small $2 million donation to the relief efforts in both cash and in-kind contributions, and we are matching every dollar that our employees not only here in Japan but around the world are donating to the Japanese relief efforts.

We also offer free technical support and free temporary software licenses to an array of the customers and partners and organizations that have been involved in the response and relief efforts.

By SuperUser Account on 5/19/2011 11:12 AM

Well-respected SMB Nation community announces 6th Annual Spring Conference

Hosted in Toronto, June 10-11, 2011 at International Centre

With a “Pivot to the Cloud” mantra, SMB Nation, the well-respected technology channel community, has awarded its 6th annual Spring conference to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s part of SMB Nation’s on-going worldwide SMB channel partner outreach to engage and extend the success of its tribal membership. “We are thrilled to freshen our Spring conference with impactful content that is first cloud focused while honoring traditional SMB IT topics.” Shared Harry Brelsford, CEO of Seattle-based SMB Nation. “We have brought in the best and brightest technical and business minds for an amazing two-day professional conference. We have speakers delivering unique content on Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Office 365, cloud and hybrid computing, managed services provider (MSP) business models and important ‘BusinessSpeak’ topics such as increasing technology sales.”  

Speakers were selected in a competitive process where an authoritative content selection committee vetted a large number of papers to select the more relevant content. This resulted in Microsoft MVPs, published authors, accomplished CEOs and surprisingly successful MSPs speaking from the stage. The conference is well supported by enthusiastic sponsor community including D&H Distributing, Microsoft, Intel, AppAssure, Cisco and many other familiar names. 

“First and foremost, we are community. We’re from the community producing a community event supported by the community and attended by community members. How cool is that?” Brelsford exclaimed. “Beyond the amazing SMB Nation staff and tribal membership, we have enjoyed fantastic support from like-minded similar communities including the MVPs, user groups, trade associations and other affinity entities. And most importantly, we really recognize and realize the warm welcome we’ve already received and Toronto and hope that our efforts satisfy the hunger of the Canadian SMB technology community!”

By SuperUser Account on 5/16/2011 3:06 PM
New social features in Bing let users make decisions with help from their Facebook friends.

REDMOND, Wash. — May 16, 2011 — Bing is adding 500 million new friends, and they’re all going to help the search experience become a lot more social.

Microsoft today announced new features in Bing that bring together Facebook and search to offer users personalized results based on the opinions of their friends. The new social features, which are available today, surface the stories, content and sites that their Facebook friends “like” right on the results page.

Today, Bing is bringing the collective IQ of the Web together with the opinions of the people you trust most, to bring the “Friend Effect” to search. Starting today, you can receive personalized search results based on the opinions of your friends by simply signing into Facebook.

By marrying fact-based search results with the opinions of trusted friends, Bing aims to help people make better decisions, said Sean Suchter, general manager of Microsoft’s Search Technology Center in Silicon Valley.

“We partnered with Facebook to basically allow Bing users to bring their friends to search with them,” he said. “That means they’ll be able to make decisions not just with facts but with the opinions of their friends. With almost any task on Bing, if your friends can help you out we’ll bring them right there with you.”

By SuperUser Account on 5/16/2011 9:28 AM


Avatar Kinect, the facial recognition technology coming to Kinect for Xbox 360 this spring, started out in the lab and soon will end up in the living room. Avatar Kinect’s journey from prototype to product shows how ideas move from research to product at Microsoft.

REDMOND, Wash., – May 16, 2011 – When you smile, your Xbox 360 avatar will smile with you.

Just a few months after Kinect turned heads with its controller-free technology comes Avatar Kinect, a new Xbox LIVE social experience that uses the sensor’s precise facial-recognition capabilities to project your face and your expressions into a virtual word.

Avatar Kinect will enable you to hang out with up to seven friends in creative themed environments, from talk-show sets to a tailgate party, projecting your facial expressions and voice.

When it rolls out later this spring, “Avatar Kinect will let you hang out and socialize with seven of your friends in a simulated environment,” said Umaimah Mendhro, a senior product manager for Microsoft Startup Business Group. “The gathering spots will range from the set of a late-night talk show to a tailgate party to a magical forest.”

By SuperUser Account on 5/9/2011 1:49 PM

by Ravi Mandalia


Words have hit the streets that Microsoft is also likely to join the bidding war for acquiring the VoIP service provider Skype.

If these rumours are to be believed, Microsoft has joined the likes of Google and Facebook as the potential new owner of the widely popular voice and video chat service provider from Luxembourg. 

Earlier, Om Malik of the website Gigaom also claimed with inputs taken from unnamed sources that Microsoft is also interested in "either partnering with, acquiring or investing" in Skype.

Apparently, Skype bosses are not willing to disclose any thing in this regard, at least not at the moment. 


By SuperUser Account on 5/5/2011 11:30 AM
Microsoft employee Larry Venter, a native South African, had a hunch that Kinect for Xbox 360 could help the children at a rural school in his hometown get excited about learning English and that gaming could help in the fight against widespread illiteracy.

REDMOND, Wash. – May 5, 2011 – A story that began with a mischievous Icelandic volcano has ended happily with South African schoolchildren using Kinect for Xbox 360 to learn English.

The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull was causing chaos a year ago when its ash cloud stranded travelers all over Europe and beyond, including employee Larry Venter, who was vacationing in his native South Africa.

Watch a video about an innovative new use for Kinect—using the controller-free gaming device for Xbox 360 in the classroom to engage young learners. Children at Lakeside Park Primary school in South Africa are using Kinect to help learn English.

"It turned out not to be a tragedy," said Venter, a senior director for Microsoft Retail Solutions. Venter's friend Yunus Kirsten used the extra time to take Venter on an unplanned tour of an area primary school that he leads.

Venter had mixed feelings about what he saw at the school in Vryheid, a small town in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. There, children are taught English and their local language, Zulu, until the fourth grade, after which they are taught solely in English. Most children at the school—called Lakeside Park Primary school—are poor and have few English-learning resources at home. As a result, literacy acquisition is a real challenge. The language the children spoke when they played (the language spoken during play is a main indicator of how effective language learning is) was not English, but Zulu.

Lessons and languages are more likely to sink in for young learners (like this one at Lakeside Park Primary school in South Africa) when the children are engaged and having fun, said Larry Venter, a senior director for Microsoft Retail Solutions.
Lessons and languages are more likely to sink in for young learners (like this one at Lakeside Park Primary school in South Africa) when the children are engaged and having fun, said Larry Venter, a senior director for Microsoft Retail Solutions.
Click for larger image. 

"They have no one at home to help them with their homework or to help teach them English," Venter said. "Only 53 percent of children who start schooling in South Africa will finish it, and most of that is a result of poor education in the foundation phase."

At the same time, Venter saw that Kirsten, the headmaster of Lakeside Park Primary school, and the teachers were relentlessly trying to find ways to help the children learn.


By SuperUser Account on 5/5/2011 11:11 AM
Q&A: Ron Markezich talks about his vision for transforming the U.S. sales force toward selling cloud services.

REDMOND, Wash. – May 5, 2011 – After several years as Microsoft’s chief information officer and corporate vice president of Microsoft Online, Ron Markezich was recently appointed corporate vice president of Microsoft’s U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group, where he will bring his expertise to the company’s enterprise sales and marketing efforts. The Microsoft News Center caught up with Markezich in late April to get the scoop on his vision for Microsoft’s strategy for courting CIOs and pitching the company’s cloud computing strategy. Here’s what we learned:

Ron Markezich, corporate vice president, U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group at Microsoft.
Ron Markezich, corporate vice president, U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group at Microsoft.
Click for high-res version. 

On what his priorities will be in the first weeks and months of his new role as head of the U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group: “The first priority will always be to continue to grow the Microsoft business. Today, there are so many ways customers can take advantage of Microsoft technology, and we want to grow our customers’ success. Second, we have a set of great partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) making the cloud transition with us. There will be a need for a large amount of coordination. The key factor with partners and ISVs is to make sure we have a strong rhythm in terms of sharing information to make sure we’re in alignment.”

On how selling cloud computing applications and services is different from selling on-premises enterprise software installations: “One, you have to have a deeper relationship with enterprise customers. Two, we’re not just selling a product. We own that process from the implementation all the way through the run. Our support never ends, post-sale. Also, there are regulatory aspects to selling cloud services such as security and privacy that are not typically covered when selling enterprise software.”

On whether Microsoft’s sales force is ready to sell the cloud: “Absolutely, we’re ready to sell the cloud. We’ve been selling our services to the largest customers in the world – McDonalds, Coca Cola – for many years. Many have already moved to Office 365. I’m coming into an organization that’s extremely healthy. Employee satisfaction is increasing and one of the highest I’ve seen at this company. We continue to beat our numbers. Customer satisfaction results are great. When you have great employee and customer satisfaction while bringing in record revenue - I feel great about what I’m taking over.”

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