SQL Server in Azure

SQL Server in Azure

As all of us in the technology industry are fully cognizant of now,  Microsoft ended extended support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 (actually, back in July of 2019). What this means for you as an organization, is that there are no longer updates available for your mission critical database applications running on SQL Server 2008.  This includes important security updates and enhancements which leaves your environment vulnerable to potential hacks, breaches and other security issues.  It also means that you are now likely out of compliance with several industry standard, government regulations and laws.  This is further complicated by Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 extended support ended in January of 2020.  If you run SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008, you will experience a double whammy!   This is just one of many use cases for considering an upgrade to SQL Server 2019, whether that be on premises, hybrid, or cloud. Some of the questions that...
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SharePoint Server 2019

SharePoint Server 2019

The business climate has changed. People expect to be productive across networks and devices, while boundaries between business units and roles have blurred. Moving forward, people want to communicate without collaborative barriers. For businesses, you want your collaboration, communication, and productivity solutions to be both cost-effective and flexible. SharePoint Server 2019 is designed to help you achieve new levels of reliability and performance, delivering features and capabilities that simplify administration, protect communications and information, and empower your users to work across devices and screens. SharePoint Server 2019 is the next-generation server product, building on the solid foundation delivered with SharePoint Server 2016 and investments in Microsoft Office 365 to: Enable productive experiences across desktop and mobileProvide a scalable and flexible collaboration and communications platformIncrease productivity with an intuitive user experience SharePoint is preferred by businesses who need an adaptable solution that delivers rich and productive experiences. As with SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2019 has been designed, developed, and tested with the Microsoft...
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Maximizing The Potential of Business Data with Power BI and Azure

Maximizing The Potential of Business Data with Power BI and Azure

While many organizations know what they should or would like to be doing with their business data, most still only use this data outside their everyday operations for things like yearly planning sessions or monthly reviews. A major reason for this is that many organizations simply aren't aware of how real-time visualization of data can produce actionable insights that can be used every day, or even how to make such capabilities a reality Today, organizations everywhere are dealing with an explosion of data. As this volume of data grows, technologically savvy organizations demand an end-to-end analytics solution that is fast, secure, and easy-to-use so they can quickly turn their data into actionable insights.  Power BI and Azure offer an unmatched combination for analytics that enables organizations to maximize the potential of their data. With Azure, companies can take data that is being ingested into Power BI and use Azure to perform real-time analytics, leverage AI to improve business processes, and more.  By using Power BI with...
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Data Estate Modernization

Data Estate Modernization

Many organizations today are experiencing the growth pains of a legacy data landscape and architecture for managing their analytics and reporting needs.  Many of the issues related to this obsolescence derive from the now outdated architecture of the enterprise data warehouse that no longer delivers digital value or data insights to drive business innovation.  While these legacy systems originally provided significant value by allowing the integration of data from multiple sources, provided a basis for better decision making, and allowed for robust enterprise reporting, they are no longer up to the task of driving that same business value with newer and more modern data sources. "Most existing legacy enterprise data warehouse systems were originally designed and architected for online analytic processing (OLAP) and reporting systems. These systems (many of which are outdated today) were often architected for highly normalized and structured data only".  Forbes Magazine - 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcIEJvpkKAY&t Other challenges with legacy data warehouses include things such as:  heightened risk of...
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Microsoft 365: Security YOU Can Trust

Microsoft 365: Security YOU Can Trust

As organizations like yours embrace the many opportunities presented by cloud and mobile computing to connect with customers and optimize operations, they take on new risks. One of the biggest challenges in digital transformation is ensuring security, privacy & compliance. Oakwood is here to help! Before we dive in too deeply on the reasons Microsoft 365 should be your trusted security solution, let's highlight just some of the reasons in which you'll want to engage with a proven Microsoft Gold Partner like Oakwood. Most organizations are... Lacking the security talent to get ahead of security and compliance risksUnable to identify, assess, and mitigate security risksUnfamiliar with security best practices and the overall threat landscapeConfused with many offerings and featuresUnable to correctly respond to compliance obligations in a timely fashion What is Microsoft 365 Exactly? Microsoft 365 (M365) is an integrated solution that includes; Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows 10 Enterprise that empowers everyone to be creative and work...
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SQL 2019

SQL 2019

One significant challenge with maintaining a large, enterprise data estate, leveraging multiple data sources, both structured and unstructured, is the inherent performance issues related to data flow and data movement.  While traditional extract-transform-load (ETL) processes still have relevant business and technical use cases, the delays and performance degradation often encountered with these processes can be significant, time consuming, resource challenging and carry the potential for significant technical debt.   While newer extract-load-transform (ELT) processes alleviate this in some instances, it can still present technical challenges in the quest to be nimble and responsive to the business in providing quality data across the enterprise.  Where the use case for traditional ETL or ELT processes is not as strong or compelling, there may be other options. Other issues inherent in traditional data warehousing, large enterprise data estates are managing sensitive data sets from multiple locations, storage costs from maintaining multiple large data sets in a variety of formats on various platforms, as well as significant data governance complexity. What is another option for addressing these challenges?  Enter...
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The Modern Classroom: Empowering Education

The Modern Classroom: Empowering Education

The world our students learn in today is vastly different than when we went to school.  They have more access to information and technology than ever before, but it is the skills around the effective use of that technology to analyze, evaluate, and create that will set them up to become lifelong learners.  Transformation and evolution in education can mean any number of things.  For example, taking learning beyond the classroom, personalizing those experiences to reach and challenge all learners, providing several ways to interact with content like hands-on or game-based learning as well as immersive experiences using Virtual and Augmented Reality.  Transformation in education is not without its challenges.  Microsoft understands the teacher's role in the lives of their students as critical to the child's academic, social, and mental well-being.  Teachers are tasked with increasing student learning outcomes as well as the instructional capacity of their peers  This is what they do for every student they have regardless of their academic,...
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Microsoft Teamwork Solutions

Microsoft Teamwork Solutions

Staying connected with communication tools from Office 365. It takes a village to turn ideas into realities. Teamwork is bringing people together to share information, work together, and accomplish common goals and objectives. When you have a place to create and make decisions as a team, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Teamwork solutions from Microsoft provide a modern conversation experience for today’s teams. Now, you can bring everything together in a shared workspace where you can chat, meet, share files, and work with business apps. Powered by Office 365, Teamwork solutions from Microsoft empower people to express their ideas more effectively, promote a more flexible workplace, and reduce costs for customers. Finding secure, easy ways to connect across locations and time zones should be a high priority for companies seeking a competitive advantage in today’s quickly changing technology landscape. Luckily, Teamwork solutions from Microsoft provide a complete solution that connects your teams and resources and make it easier than ever to work together across organizations. Teamwork solutions from...
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Evolve Your Web Applications with Microsoft Azure

Evolve Your Web Applications with Microsoft Azure

Today, every company runs many different applications that are essential for success – both internal business applications but also external-facing applications for customers and partners (such as the company website, customer self-service portal, e-commerce sites, or mobile apps). And then, there's data. Every user interaction with any application works with data, consumes data and generates data. Today, every business collects tremendous amounts of information - and the challenge is how to turn this data into actionable insights and intelligence to provide a superior customer experience. The Customer Experience To ground us into the importance of customer experience, let's start by looking at a Forrester quote that says “More than any other factor, customer experiences determine whether companies thrive and profit, or struggle and fade." In today’s digital economy customers are the new market-makers, reshaping industries and changing how businesses compete and win. Your end users have really high expectations. Here are a few interesting points from the Forrester study previously mentioned. 79% of customers won’t return...
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Get Modern with Windows 10 and Office 365

Get Modern with Windows 10 and Office 365

Digital transformation and the modernization of IT are essential priorities for companies seeking a competitive advantage in today’s quickly changing technology landscape. Organizations like yours are driven to make changes by consumer demands and expectations, technology improvements, competitive and market forces, and changing regulatory requirements. In this shifting landscape, you and your employees need to work better and smarter. It's time to get modern with Windows 10 and Office 365. If you’re like most companies, you’re now starting to recognize the value of moving to a cloud-based solution and upgrading to Windows 10 and Office 365. However, you probably have a few questions about what this might look like for your team. How does upgrading to Windows 10 and Office 365 empower people to collaborate in real time and store and access data? Microsoft 365 provides organizations with a unified environment for collaboration and teamwork. All services are managed under the same framework and identity management solution. Data is protected by first-class security and encryption standards, and your collaboration...
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4 Myths of Cloud Computing

4 Myths of Cloud Computing

With security breaches and their impact on businesses frequently in the headlines, the need for stringent security measures has never been more evident. A third of U.S. businesses report having had a breach of customer information, and the costs can be significant. One in five organizations have lost customers due to a cyberattack and nearly 30% have lost revenue, with the average cost of single data breath reported at $4 million. However, 74% of IT leaders say security concerns are holding back their move to the cloud. Are you one of them? While reservations about the security capabilities of cloud environments concerns used to be a reason for companies to delay migration, investment by Microsoft into new security tools and resources are challenging those misperceptions and providing compelling reasons to make the move. It's time for the the real story. Here are four common myths about cloud security, and some facts about the Microsoft cloud. Myth 1 Microsoft employees will have...
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The Second Wave is Cresting…

The Second Wave is Cresting…

...and this time your options aren’t as limited as they were last time. What you don’t know, however, can hurt you this time around. Let me explain.  A couple of years ago, all the IT managers and server admins we know were rushing to get their Windows Server 2003 boxes upgraded (or get everything off of them) and either:  Moved onto 2008 boxes ~ GOOD Moved onto 2012 R2 boxes ~ BETTERFinally rewrite this dang ColdFusion app ~ PROBABLY OVERDUE Remember those excel sheets with the lists of servers and the apps / databases installed on them? I know these kids do Back then Office 365 was still something “new and shiny” and no one was sure that if it was around to stay yet or not. Most people didn’t even know who Satya Nadella was. Satya Nadella Bill Gates Fast forward several quarters, and that Win Server 2003 wave seems like a distant memory. But now the clock is ticking on Win Server 2008 R2, and a new wave is cresting. Just like before, IT organizations have choices that include...
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