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Microsoft Windows 10 Announcement – Initial Impressions

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Today Microsoft held an event in San Francisco announcing the next version of Windows. There were a lot of rumors going into the event regarding the name and pricing. Some of those were answered, some were not, but there were definitely a few surprises.

The event featured Terry Myerson, Microsoft executive vice president of operating systems and Joe Belfiore, Microsoft corporate vice president, operating systems group, giving a peek at an early build of Windows 10 along with offering insight into future direction. The event was open to a small group of industry insiders and was not live streamed. My thoughts in this post are based on my impressions and interpretations of multiple live blogs that took place during the event.


Shellshock Bug Exploits Bash Defect – Steps to Limit Attacks

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The big security news last week was Shellshock, a vulnerability that affects the Bash shell on *nix operating systems (including Macs). So good news, Windows admins, you get to sit this one out.

For the rest of the world, the impact of Shellshock is still unclear and perhaps that’s what is making it most unsettling. Comparisons have been drawn to the Heartbleed vulnerability since it was released, and you can find folks arguing on both sides saying “it’s worse than Heartbleed” or “not as bad.”


Social Media and the Changing Contact Center

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Gone are the days when a customer calls a company or writes to complain.  They still write, but no longer to the CEO or some other board member of the organization.  They write to social media.

Customers still have complaints, like they always have. But their methods and how companies communicate back have changed significantly.  If organizations are not monitoring their brands on the litany of social media websites, a simple customer complaint can run viral, turning into a major public relations firestorm.

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Cisco adds TrustSec Inline Security Group Tagging (SGT) to the ASA

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Starting in Cisco’s Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software version 9.3.1, Cisco has added inline Security Group Tagging (SGT) support to the ASA-5500X and 5585X product lines.

If you are not familiar with SGT aka TrustSec, it allows you to tag a packet with an identity field as it travels through the network. Why would anyone want to do that, and why is it nice to have TrustSec on the ASA?

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Activating a New Microsoft Office 365 Volume License Subscription

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Office 365 introduces a drastically new way of managing your Microsoft Applications. In many ways, this is a positive change allowing you to gain insight into and control over the software deployed in your environment.

However, if this is your first Microsoft Office 365 Subscription, the activation process can be somewhat confusing. Here we will look at the major steps that you will take before you can begin using Office 365.


Snow Takes the Uncertainty Out of SAP Licensing

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Software licensing today is complex. But certain publishers and licensing programs take complexity to a higher level.  SAP would have to be one of the publishers in the latter category.  Within the SAP licensing scheme, there are multiple categories which include developer, professional, limited professional, employee and employee self-service. 


Beyond Office 365 – Identity and Security in Azure?

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Organizations subscribe to Microsoft Office 365; they synchronize their Active Directory and enable single sign-on (SSO). What they do not know is that they now have a bunch of capabilities available to them, many of them free, from their Microsoft Azure tenant. Yes, you heard correctly, their Azure tenant. But, wait a minute Pat; you said they subscribed to Office 365, not Azure. So how can they have an Azure tenant? Glad you asked.

Predictive Analytics and Healthcare: I Can See the Future

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Predictive analytics, otherwise known as data mining or advanced analytics, has become an area of increased interest in many industries. Predictive analytics leverages existing data sets and statistical algorithms to create models that predict future outcomes. With the advent of Big Data, large data sets combined with predictive analytics have led to jaw-dropping results.

To understand why, imagine a game show where you are asked to identify what picture is being slowly revealed square by square. As each piece of the larger picture is revealed, the chances of you accurately identifying the full picture increase. Similarly, the new ubiquity of data in fields – like healthcare – has increased the utility of predictive analytics.