Rolls Royce has over 13,000 engines in operation around the world, and they provide services to maintain those engines at peak performance. Today’s engines have thousands of sensors that can produce terabytes of data on long-haul flights. Making sense of all that data is critical in transporting customers safely and efficiently. That’s why they use a suite of tools from Microsoft to help iron out what all that data means. But adopting the right tools is easier said than done.
Avoiding operating disruptions is crucial to success at Rolls Royce. In fact, a single issue with a plane, and its inevitable effect to an entire airline, can cost up to one million dollars per day! Limiting these disruptions is the biggest reason for their investment in IoT technologies from Azure. Being able to identify problems before they arise has been invaluable for the manufacturer. With early notice, Rolls Royce can reduce inventory costs and maximize availability of parts. Saving airlines millions!
At Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., we know that it can be a challenge, that’s why we want to help you drive the transformation you need. Contact us today to find out how we can help.
One of the biggest challenges in digital transformation is ensuring security across an organization’s entire digital landscape without reducing user productivity. Piecing together individual solutions can result in a complex security posture that overburdens operations and encourages users to bypass security measures. Cloud computing allows enterprises to share security signals worldwide, which is changing how they do security.
In this new world where data and users roam free, it’s even more important to have an integrated suite of security tools. Microsoft 365 is a complete, intelligent solution that helps secure corporate data and protect against bad actors, while taking advantage of the transformative opportunities presented by cloud computing. Its built-in security solutions integrate easily and share insights from the trillions of security signals on the Intelligent Security Graph across the global Microsoft ecosystem. With Microsoft 365, you can reduce the number of security vendors you manage and safeguard your organization, without sacrificing productivity.
Microsoft 365 keeps users, data, devices, and applications safe
An organization’s data is their most valuable asset, yet most enterprises lack the ability to understand what data is sensitive and control access to that data. Data protection requires a layered approach that starts with a great user authentication experience with policies to control access to sensitive information regardless of location or device. Microsoft 365 includes identity protection that provides the foundation for secure access to data, devices and applications. A set of advanced threat protection tools communicate with each other to correlate threat information across your entire digital footprint and automate threat protection, which eases the workload on your security operations team. Security insights recommend ways to optimize the configuration of your security tools and provide a quantifiable measurement of your security posture.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 unifies user productivity and enterprise security into a single suite
For customers that embrace the Microsoft productivity suite, there are significant gains to be realized in security. While no single security provider will cover your entire digital footprint, through Microsoft’s investments and scale within enterprises, their customers have an advantage in creating a comprehensive, adaptive security program.
Comprehensive, adaptive security
Technology has changed the way enterprises conduct business. As people bring devices, apps, and data into organizations today, protecting company assets requires a new approach. It’s important to find a balance between powerful, complicated security capabilities and a security posture that you can maintain over time with your current staff and budget.
Imagine if you could easily; identify sensitive information automatically, eliminate passwords entirely in favor of biometrics or pins, identify, quarantine, and wipe a compromised endpoint all from a single location and quantify your security position and gain insights on how to improve it.
All of this and more is possible with Azure Advanced Threat Protection, just one of four valuable tools included in Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5. Interested in what other tools are available to you? Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. has the answers to your questions. Contact us to learn more.
Since the beginning of the business computing revolution, IT professionals have been staffed with one over-arching mission: to empower their end users. Each and every employee within an organization – from the CEO to the firstline worker – depends upon IT to protect them from security threats, and provide them with the tools and technology they need to do their best work.
Although the technology we use has changed dramatically since PCs first started appearing in the workplace, the fundamental purpose of IT – to protect and empower the organization – still holds true today, and more so than ever before.
Looking back just over a decade ago, the world was a very different place where technology is concerned. The Nokia 2600 Classic was the best selling phone of 2007. The bleeding edge of technology for its time. Can you imagine still using a phone like this today? You wouldn’t. Nor would you expect your users to.
But the reality is, on their desktop devices, many companies are still running old, outdated platforms – or at best, following legacy IT paradigms – like the traditional 3-year update cadence – and asking their employees to work on machines that have missed out on years of advances no less ground-breaking than that of mobile technology.
Today we are in a fundamentally new era of intelligent computing. Due to the pervasiveness of consumer experiences, we are all more connected, more mobile, more tech savvy than we’ve ever been before. Technology is all around us – from smart thermostats to internet-connected dog collars.
These new consumer expectations are
disrupting traditional businesses, causing the lines between life and work to
be blurred forever. Employees expect work to fit them, and to be productive no
matter where they are. They expect access to colleagues, data, applications and
services at any time. Wherever and whenever they might be on the planet. As customers – and as employees – we are
demanding magical, intelligent, digital moments, that are increasingly
proactive and fit us in the moment.
According to The Future Workforce Study, people entering the workforce today no longer ask for sufficient technology at their jobs; they expect it – more than 80 percent of millennials say workplace tech would have an influence when deciding to take a job, while 42 percent say they are willing to quit their job if office technologies are not up to their standard.
Productivity is not enough – the addition of collaborative tools and innovative technologies are vital to the workplace of the near future. IT needs to provide tools and technology that enable collaboration and allow employees work efficiently no matter where or how that work is getting done.tools that employ intelligence, to assist users with daily tasks so that they’re free to focus on the things matter the most.
A 2017 Forrester Workforce Benchmark Survey shows that 59% of information workers would choose Windows 10 for their next PC or laptop. Why is this? We believe it’s because Windows 10 brings the richest, smartest desktop experience, on a platform that’s intuitive for them to understand and use. A platform built with end-user productivity and efficiency in mind.
“We are focused on empowering both people and organizations, by democratizing access to intelligence to help solve our most pressing challenges. To do this, we are infusing AI into everything we deliver across our computing platforms and experiences”.
Satya Nadella – Microsoft CEO
Microsoft infuses Windows 10 features and apps with the latest breakthroughs in AI – things like the Microsoft Graph, intelligent search, inking, and accessibility – to bring the latest advances and benefits to your users with each update. To help them save time, take advantage of modern conveniences, and make their job a little easier.
With Windows 10, your users always have the latest technology, and the latest intelligence. Windows 10 is an intuitive, easy-to-use operating system, with the built-in tools and features that individuals and teams need to collaborate and produce their best work. Core capabilities give your users options for how they interact with their devices, stay in sync, and find what they need faster. Built-in apps, designed to work across PCs, tablets, or mobile phones, help users pick up where they left off and stay in the flow.
Windows 10 productivity features show up in 3 key areas
Work smarter: Features to help people stay in the flow, work faster, and find what they need. This includes features and apps such as Microsoft Edge, enterprise search in Windows, Cortana, or Windows Timeline, which offers a chronological view of activities and documents, so users can go back in time and jump right back in where they were on documents and activities.
Enterprise Search – With enterprise search in Windows, users have one place to find whatever they need – right in the Windows 10 taskbar. Enterprise search finds results from apps on devices or in the Microsoft Store, settings, documents, email messages, company resources, web results, people, Power BI dashboards and reports and more. Enterprise search in Windows also has the ability to surface documents and items across local devices, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint locations. Searching on keywords or names will quickly return results from titles and document bodies, by author, or by collaborators and individuals who shared the documents.
Windows User Experience
Windows Timeline – Gives users a new view of activities and documents, so they can find things in chronological context. From one device to the next, Windows Timeline syncs and keeps track of where a user is in an app or document, and lets them jump back in where they left off. Timeline integrates seamlessly with Task View, with current activities highlighted front and center. With Office 365 apps, Timeline detects and includes what a user did on their Android or iOS device.
Optimize Screen Space – Windows enables users to keep the documents and apps they need in easy view. They can open up to four apps on one screen and easily snap documents or apps into place to optimize available screen space with Snap Assist. And if screens are getting crowded, users can create virtual desktops with just the items they want – great for when they don’t have multiple monitors to work with.
Start Fast & Smart – Users can personalize the Start menu by pinning their go-to apps and files for fast access, and organizing app tiles by groups and folders. They can pin underlying content to the Start menu, to jump into a specific document, and Live Tiles display updated information, like weather and headlines, so users can see information at a glance without opening the app. And for East Asian markets, the start menu now has simplified grouping of apps in the all apps list.
Enteprise Security – Microsoft Edge is the most secure browser for enterprise customers because it is the only browser that works with Windows Defender Application Guard. Users are automatically protected from phishing and malicious software while they’re online.
Productive Across Devices – Microsoft Edge, available on iOS and Android, creates a continuous browsing experience for Windows 10 users across their devices. Content and data sync seamlessly in the background, so users can browse across devices without skipping a beat.
Superior browser performance –Designed for how the web is built today, Microsoft Edge is created for modern web standards —and benchmarks like Jetstream 1.1 show it is the faster browser on Windows 10. It also delivers better battery life performance, letting users do more on the web and stay productive on the go.
Take Control & Unleash Creativity – Work in multiple tabs without all the clutter. Built-in tools make it simple to organize, find and set aside web pages to help users focus on the content they need. Use Windows Ink or type directly on webpages, transforming them into a canvas for collaboration and creativity. Users can add their thoughts to a page, then easily share with co-workers, or seamlessly save screenshots to apps such as OneNote.
Quickly Move Into Action – With Cortana enabled, users get instant access to key actions, like highlighting an unfamiliar term to get a contextual explanation right on the spot.
Cultivate collaboration: Seamless integration with tools for working with others. This includes the great things you can do with Office 365 on Windows, apps like Whiteboard and OneNote, and features like Nearby Sharing that allow users to quickly transmit documents, files, and web pages to nearby PCs via Bluetooth.
We know that collaboration is the way work gets done now. People on average participate on twice as many teams as they did 5 years ago and the average IW has seen increase time spent collaborating by 50.The benefits are undeniable – companies that invest in collaboration and teamwork are 5x more likely to be high performing.
But it’s not just about the numbers. The very nature of how we collaborate has shifted. Teams now are composed of both internal and external members – inside and outside the firewall. Team members are increasingly geographically distributed. And the workforce is increasingly diverse in many ways, including demographics – 5 different generations in the workforce at the same time, each with different expectations.
Cloud Location, Familiar Navigation – With OneDrive Files On-Demand, users can access all their files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on their device. Just by signing in, all files—even online-only files—are instantly available in on their PCs. And new enhanced activity indicators in File Explorer make the OneDrive experience on Windows even better than before.
Add power to the point with 3D – Users can leverage 3D content to increase the visual and creative impact of their PowerPoint, Word, and Excel documents, and Outlook messages. Users can bring 3D objects to life in presentations with transitions like Morph, that create cinematic animations between slides, or animations like turntable, that allow an object to turn continuously on the slide.
Ink the way you think –Employees can use a compatible digital pen to annotate Office documents in a fluid and natural way, or edit them directly. Users can convert handwriting to text, strikethrough to delete, circle to select, highlight to emphasize, and make room to write or insert text. Users can replay the sequence of mark-ups from co-workers, to better understand another’s thought process, and even use a digital pen as a clicker to advance through PowerPoint slides.
The best duo for multitasking – Windows multi-tasking features pair perfectly with Office. Users can arrange their screens however they want, to easily open and manage multiple Office apps and documents on one screen, and effortlessly snap up to four documents or apps at a time into view to optimize their digital workspace.
Nearby Sharing – With the Nearby Sharing feature in Windows 10, meetings with co-workers just got easier. Using the Share option in Microsoft Edge, File Explorer, OneNote, and other Windows apps, users can quickly transmit documents, files, and web pages to nearby PCs via Bluetooth. So spontaneous sharing and collaboration can happen anywhere – not just in spaces equipped with a screen or projector.
Collaborate effortlessly – Whiteboard’s limitless surface provides space for everyone’s ideas. Users can bring in teammates—whether they’re across the hall or in a different part of the world—with real-time collaboration across multiple devices. Users can see where everyone is on the board and the updates they’re making—whether they’re adding images, putting up sticky notes, or creating diagrams.
Work naturally – Microsoft Whiteboard lets people create in whatever way feels natural. Pen-first, touch-first technology lets users make fluid gestures with their fingers or draw details with a digital pen. Users can jot down notes, draw precise illustrations, or search for images on the web. Using fingers, users can swipe through sections of the board, turn the virtual ruler to any angle, or even drag and drop images.
Capture Intelligently –Intelligent ink in Microsoft Whiteboard recognizes freeform drawings and turns them into standard shapes, so it’s easy to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts. And unlike traditional whiteboards, the app automatically saves boards, so users can resume discussions later in another place, follow up from their desk after a meeting, or share links to boards so others can build on top of their work.
Start sharing immediately–OneNote comes pre-installed in Windows 10, so users can start jotting notes, sharing, and collaborating with peers as soon as they log in for the first time.
Stay organized –Whether users need to take meeting notes and share them with a group, sketch an idea, capture an image, preserve an email message in context, print a web page or file, or take a photo of a whiteboard, OneNote makes it quick and easy to get everything organized in one place – notebooks, sections, or pages. And users can search across all typed and handwritten notes to find whatever they need quickly.
Think with ink –Users can take notes any way they want – typing onto a page, writing or drawing with a digital pen or using a finger on the touchscreen. Users have access to a variety of drawing tools and effects, and OneNote integrates the latest advancements in shape recognition, including standard shapes and tables, as well as preserving ink color, size, and highlights when converting handwriting into text. OneNote users can even record their ink strokes so they can be replayed later.
Access from anywhere –OneNote is available on nearly any device, including Android, iOS, web, Chromebook, even wearables – so no matter where users are, they can access their notes.
Always up to date –OneNote supports the latest advancements in things like shape recognition, immersive reader, and integration with new Windows capabilities such as Timeline.
Empower workstyles: Windows is built to address the needs of the modern workforce – supporting different workstyles and individual needs, with things like inking, touch, voice dictation, mobility, accessibility features, and device options for everyone.
Work across devices is a compilation of features that are designed to make Windows 10 work better with iOS and Android phones.
Windows 10 + Android
Continue on PC: With Microsoft Edge on Android, users can move easily from an Android phone to their PC, picking up an activity right where they left off. Microsoft Edge creates a continuous browsing experience for Windows 10 users across their devices – content and data sync seamlessly and safely in the background, so users can seamlessly browse across devices.
Sync Office docs across devices:With Office apps on Android, users can move easily from one device to another, without loosing their place in the doc. Users can start a Word document or Excel spreadsheet on their mobile phone, and quickly resume writing on their PC with a full keyboard and screen.
Microsoft Launcher:On Android devices, users can download the Microsoft Launcher, to get an easy-to-personalize mobile experience, and single sign on for their favorite Microsoft productivity apps.4 Users can create a customized feed of notifications, people and activities, and personalize their home screen to take action quickly.
Intelligent assistance:Cortana helps keep things in order – at work or on the go. Users can add a new event or reminder to their calendar from their PC, and Cortana makes sure it’s on their Android phone, keeping users up-to-date wherever they go. Users can tell Cortana send activities from their phone to their PC, to continue activities with the benefits of a bigger screen.
Windows 10 + iOS
Continue on PC:With Microsoft Edge on iOS, users can send webpages or articles from their iPhone instantly to their PC, continuing to read or browse with a bigger screen on their PC. Microsoft Edge creates a continuous browsing experience for Windows 10 users across their devices – content and data sync seamlessly and safely in the background, so users can seamlessly browse across devices.
Sync Office docs across devices:with Office apps on iOS, users can move easily from one device to another, without loosing their place in the doc. Users can start a Word document or Excel spreadsheet on their mobile phone, and quickly resume writing on their PC with a full keyboard and screen.
Intelligent assistance:Cortana helps keep things in order – at work or on the go. Users can add a new event or reminder to their calendar from their PC, and Cortana makes sure it’s on their iPhone, keeping users up-to-date wherever they go. Users can tell Cortana send activities from their phone to their PC, to continue activities with the benefits of a bigger screen.
Accessibility: Windows 10 has a robust set of features for those in need of assistive technology.
Ease of Access:Windows Ease of Access settings provides a robust set of accessibility features, making it easy for users to customize their device experience to their needs. They can quickly discover what they need with a new design that groups features by ability – vision, hearing, and interaction.
Vision:Improved performance and unified navigation make Narrator (a screen reader built into Windows) easier to use than before. Narrator provides users a more robust and seamless experience, with capabilities like audio output control, machine-generated intelligent image descriptions, and contextual narration of content parts, such as text boxes within in Word documents.
Remove reading distractions:Microsoft Edge can help users focus and take in the words on a website or PDF. With Reading view, users can remove distractions like ads, or if they prefer listening to reading, Read Aloud will read PDFs or websites out loud.
Write freely:Any user can now author and edit documents with voice dictation in Windows. Dictation will convert speech to text, so users can think freely without a keyboard. And Windows supports text suggestions for hardware, as well as on-screen keyboards, so users can get their ideas intro writing more quickly.
Click with your eyes:For those who are not able to use a keyboard, Windows comes with built-in support for eye control. Users can control the mouse, type using an on-screen keyboard, and communicate with people using text-to-speech, all with their eyes.
Windows 10 isn’t just the platform of choice for end users. It’s also the platform trusted by IT. It’s designed to give YOU the tools to do more – to keep the company secure, simplify the deployment and update process, and to harness the power of the cloud to reduce the complexity of managing today’s IT device environment.
We here at Oakwood Systems Group hope you’ll take advantage of what Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 can offer you, to empower the new culture of work in your organization today.
There are major benefits awaiting organizations that modernize their data estate, including enhanced security and compliance, significant cost savings, and the ability to empower employees with business insights and advanced analytics capabilities.
With an out-of-date data platform, you could be…
Missing out on game changing cost benefits
Opening your business to potential vulnerabilities
Falling behind without modern analytics capabilities
What does it mean to ‘modernize’?
Modernization means taking advantage of the latest technologies to create transformational business benefits. With Microsoft, you have the flexibility to modernize your data estate in the way that’s right for your business:
Upgrade to SQL Server 2017: Move to a database with industry-leading performance and security—now on Windows, Linux, and Docker containers.
Modernize in the cloud: Move to Azure to get greater cost efficiencies, state-of-the-art security, and powerful data and analytics services – with fully-managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) solutions.
Take a hybrid approach: Deploy across on-premises and the cloud to extend your infrastructure and improve business continuity.
Why modernize now?
Reduce cost & maximize your investment
Benefits of SQL Server 2017
#1 database in Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) price/performance
Unmatched Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with everything built in
Get a comprehensive solution at one-fifth the cost of other self-service solutions with comprehensive BI
Reduce costs and create efficiencies with faster transactions with In-Memory OLTP and up to 100x faster analytics with in-memory Columnstore
Cut productivity losses and speed query performance without tuning using Adaptive Query Processing
Benefits of Microsoft Azure
Scale up or down quickly with pay-as-you-go, consumptionbased pricing and reduce licensing and hardware costs
50% of businesses reported reaching ROI at a faster rate with cloud applications
Optimize costs for database workloads with different VM sizes
75% lower costs on software licenses with Azure
Gain state-of-the-art, award-winning security
Benefits of SQL Server 2017
Least vulnerable of any enterprise database over last 7 years
Encrypt data at rest and in motion with Always Encrypted
Conceal sensitive data with Dynamic Data Masking
Control access to database rows with Row-Level Security
Benefits of Microsoft Azure
Meet a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance regulations
Continuous security-health monitoring across Azure, on-premises, and public clouds
Solve bigger problems with advanced business insights
Benefits of SQL Server 2017
Real-time operational analytics when you combine in-memory technologies
Visualize data anywhere with Mobile BI
Scale and accelerate machine learning by pushing intelligence to where the data lives with in-database R and Python analytics
Benefits of Microsoft Azure
Leading AI innovation to discover insights faster
Advanced machine learning capabilities at your fingertips
With the tech available to every business, modernization is now the norm. With a solution like SQL Server, you can reduce costs and maximize your investment, gain state-of-the-art, award-winning security, and solve bigger problems with advanced business insights.
If that sounds great but you’re unsure of how to proceed, it’s time to call the experts at Oakwood Systems Group at (314) 824-3000 or drop us a line in the form below. We’re industry professionals who have in-depth experience with helping businesses just like yours to plan, integrate, and execute with new technological solutions like SQL Server. Contact us today to find out more on how we can help your business.
Maximizing the impact of your IoT Proof of Concept Whitepaper. Download Here
The Internet of Things (IoT) is real and it’s here today, but to many of you, IoT may seem confusing and hard to understand how it applies to your business.
In this post, we hope to offer you further understanding on how Azure IoT could bring your business together in new, insightful ways – from generating new revenue streams, to increasing process efficiencies, and delivering better customer experiences.
What is IoT?
There’s a revolution underway that is positioning companies to take operational efficiency to new levels and inform the next generation of products and services. This revolution of course, is the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT, however is not a technology evolution. It’s a business revolution, enabled by technology. With Microsoft’s long history of driving business success and digital transformation for customers, it’s no surprise that Microsoft is also focused on powering the business revolution through its robust Azure IoT suite of products.
Azure IoT is for every business—it powers digital transformation by unlocking insights from connected devices.You can transform those insights into action through powerful applications to create new revenue and business opportunities.
Microsoft’s IoT platform spanning the cloud, OS and devices, we believe it is
uniquely positioned to simplify the IoT journey so any customer—regardless of
size, technical expertise, budget, industry or other factors—can create
trusted, connected solutions that improve business and customer experiences, as
well as the daily lives of people all over the world. The investment Microsoft
announced just a couple of months ago will ensure that it continues to meet
customers’ needs both now and in the future.
Microsoft’s IoT offerings today include what businesses need to get started, ranging from operating systems for devices, cloud services to control and secure them, advanced analytics to gain insights, and business applications to enable intelligent action. Microsoft has seen great traction with customers and partners who continue to come up with new ideas and execute them on their platform.
IoT isn’t one “thing”. It’s about an ecosystem of things or devices, the data and insights they generate, and the opportunity to take action based on the analysis of those insights.
Things: Build, manage, and monitor a network of physical objects by adding sensors and creating smart devices.
Insights: Collect data from your network and use advanced analytics to uncover new business insights and opportunities.
Action: Predict needs before they arise and act with precision based on unprecedented insights from your IoT network.
Why Azure IoT?
Microsoft has built a portfolio that supports the needs of all customers, and enables everyone to access the benefits of digital transformation.
Azure IoT Central is a fully managed SaaS solution that is best used when you need to get started quickly with minimal IoT experience. If your business is pursuing speed over customization, SaaS models could be the perfect fit for your IoT implementation needs. Organizations with fewer device models, more predictable scenarios, and limited IoT/IT capabilities can now reap the benefits of IoT through a SaaS approach. Those businesses that previously lacked the time, money, and expertise to develop connected products can now get started quickly with Microsoft IoT Central. Microsoft is leading the industry in providing a mature SaaS solution that meets common IoT implementation pain points.
Azure IoT solution accelerators is a customizable PaaS solution that is best used when you need a lot of control over your IoT solution. If your business is implementing IoT for connected operations, or have very particular customization requirements for your connected products, you can have the control you need with Azure IoT solution accelerators. Organizations with a large number of devices or device models, and manufacturers seeking connected factory solutions are examples of companies that can create highly customizable IoT solutions tailored to their complex needs.
In addition, Azure IoT Edge provides organization with the capacity to do local processing. When combined with a PaaS or SaaS solution, edge processing can offer faster calculations and reduce the cost of data sent to the cloud.
IoT Hub is a managed service, hosted in the cloud, that acts as a central message hub for bi-directional communication between your IoT application and the devices it manages.You can use Azure IoT Hub to build IoT solutions with reliable and secure communications between millions of IoT devices and a cloud-hosted solution backend. You can connect virtually any device to IoT Hub.
IoT Hub supports communications both from the device to the cloud and from the cloud to the device. IoT Hub supports multiple messaging patterns such as device-to-cloud telemetry, file upload from devices, and request-reply methods to control your devices from the cloud. IoT Hub monitoring helps you maintain the health of your solution by tracking events such as device creation, device failures, and device connections.
IoT Hub’s capabilities help you build scalable, full-featured IoT solutions such as managing industrial equipment used in manufacturing, tracking valuable assets in healthcare, and monitoring office building usage.
Establish bidirectional communication with billions of IoT devices: Use device-to-cloud telemetry data to understand the state of your devices and define message routes to other Azure services without writing any code. In cloud-to-device messages, reliably send commands and notifications to your connected devices and track message delivery with acknowledgement receipts. Device messages are sent in a durable way to accommodate intermittently connected devices.
Enhance security with per device authentication: Set up individual identities and credentials for each of your connected devices, and help retain the confidentiality of both cloud-to-device and device-to-cloud messages. To maintain the integrity of your system, selectively revoke access rights for specific devices as needed.
Provision devices at scale w/ IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service: Speed up your IoT deployment by registering and provisioning devices with zero touch in a secure and scalable way. IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service supports any type of IoT device compatible with IoT Hub.
Manage devices at scale with device management: IoT Hub scales to millions of simultaneously connected devices and millions of events per second to support your IoT workloads. IoT Hub offers several tiers of service to best fit your scalability needs.
Multi-language and open source SDKs: Use the Azure IoT device SDK libraries to build applications that run on your devices and interact with IoT Hub. Supported platforms include multiple Linux distributions, Windows, and real-time operating systems. Supported languages include: C, C#, Java, Python, Node.js. IoT Hub and the device SDKs support the following protocols for connecting devices: HTTPS, AMQP, AMQP over WebSockets, MQTT, MQTT over WebSockets.
Azure IoT Edge
Azure IoT Edge is a fully managed service that delivers cloud intelligence locally by deploying and running artificial intelligence (AI), Azure services, and custom logic directly on cross-platform IoT devices. You can run your IoT solution securely and at scale—whether in the cloud or offline.
Move cloud and custom workloads to the edge, securely: Azure
IoT Edge moves cloud analytics and custom business logic to devices so that
your organization can focus on business insights instead of data management.
Enable your solution to truly scale by configuring your IoT software, deploying
it to devices via standard containers, and monitoring it all from the cloud.
With IoT Edge, your edge devices operate reliably and securely even when
they’re offline or have intermittent connectivity to the cloud. Azure IoT
device management automatically syncs the latest state of devices once they’re
reconnected to ensure seamless operability.
Seamless deployment of AI and advanced analytics to the edge: IoT
Edge allows you to deploy complex event processing, machine learning, image
recognition, and other high-value artificial intelligence without writing it
in-house. Run Azure services such as Functions, Stream Analytics, and Machine
Learning on-premises. Create AI modules and make them available to the
build AI at the edge with the AI Toolkit for Azure IoT Edge. Most data becomes
useless just seconds after it’s generated, so having the lowest latency
possible between the data and the decision is critical. IoT Edge optimizes for
performance between edge and cloud while ensuring management, security, and
a small fraction of IoT data acquired is meaningful post-analytics. Use
services such as Azure Stream Analytics or trained models to process the data
locally and send only what’s needed to the cloud for further analysis. This
reduces the cost associated with sending all your data to the cloud while
keeping data quality high.
Configure, update and monitor from the cloud: Azure IoT Edge integrates seamlessly with Azure IoT solution accelerators to provide one control plane for your solution’s needs. Cloud services allow users to:
Create and configure a workload to be run on a specific type of device.
Send a workload to a set of devices.
Monitor workloads running on devices in the field.
Compatible with popular operating systems: Azure
IoT Edge runs on most operating systems that can run containers.
Code symmetry between cloud and edge for easy development and testing: IoT Edge holds to the same programming model as other Azure IoT services; for example, the same code can be run on a device or in the cloud. IoT Edge supports OS such as Linux and Windows, and languages such as Java, .NET Core 2.0, Node.js, C, and Python, so you can code in a language you know and use existing business logic without writing from scratch.
Secure solution from chipset to the cloud: Intelligent edge devices face security threats ranging from physical tampering to IP hacking. IoT Edge is designed for security that extends to different risk profiles and deployment scenarios, and offers the same protection you expect from all Azure services.
Azure Time Series Insights
Azure Time Series Insights is a fully managed analytics, storage, and visualization service for managing IoT-scale time-series data in the cloud. Instantly explore and analyze billions of events from your IoT solution.
IoT scale time-series data store: Time Series Insights manages the storage of your data. At its core, Time Series Insights has a database designed with time series data in mind. Because it is scalable and fully managed, Time Series Insights handles the work of storing and managing events. To ensure data is always easily accessible, it stores your data in memory and SSD’s for up to 400 days. If you’re building an application, either for internal consumption or for external customers to use, Time Series Insights can be used as a back-end for indexing, storing, and aggregating time series data.
Schema-less store, just send data: Today,
many organizations are limited by siloed data that’s difficult to compare
onsite in one location, let alone many. With Time Series Insights, you now have
a view of your time-series data across all your locations. It’s built for
IoT-scale data so that you can visualize and interact with billions of streams
of sensor data from all your connected things.
Easy IoT Hub connection: Azure Time Series Insights requires no up-front data preparation. Connect to millions of events in your Azure IoT Hub or Event Hub in minutes. Once connected, visualize and interact with sensor data to quickly validate your IoT solutions. You can interact with your data without writing code.
Store, query and visualize billions of events: Time Series Insights provides a query service, both in the TSI explorer and by using APIs that are easy to integrate for embedding your time series data into custom applications. You can interactively query billions of events in seconds – on demand.
Get near real-time insights in seconds: Get
more value out of your time-series data with storage, analysis, and
visualization, all in one place. Time Series Insights ingests hundreds of
millions of sensor events per day and makes up to 400 days’ worth of
time-series data available to query within one minute to empower quick action.
Gain deeper insights into your sensor data by spotting trends and anomalies
fast, which allows you to conduct root-cause analyses and avoid costly
downtime. Plus, unlock hidden trends by cross-correlating discrete data and
viewing real-time and historical data simultaneously.
Build apps using Time Series Insights APIs: Integrate Azure Time Series Insights data into your existing applications or create new custom solutions with Time Series Insights REST query APIs. Adding Time Series Insights data into existing workflows will allow you to get more out of your time series data, and when you use this data to build custom solutions for your users, you’ll provide more value to your partners.
Azure IoT Central
Azure IoT Central is a fully managed global IoT SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution that makes it easy to connect, monitor, and manage your IoT assets at scale.It allows you to bring your connected products to market faster while staying focused on your customers and it reduces the complexity of IoT solutions because it doesn’t require cloud solution expertise.
Fully hosted and managed by Microsoft: Azure
IoT Central applications are fully hosted by Microsoft, which reduces the
administration overhead of managing your applications.
As an operator, you use the Azure IoT Central application to manage the devices in your Azure IoT Central solution. Operators can perform tasks such as:
Monitoring the devices connected to the application.
Troubleshooting and remediating issues with devices.
Provisioning new devices.
No cloud development expertise required: You can build production-grade IoT applications in hours, without worrying about managing infrastructure or hiring developers with specialized skills. Reduce the complexity of customizing, deploying, and scaling an IoT solution. Bring your connected solutions to market faster—while you stay focused on your customers.
Device connectivity and management: Easily build and configure your IoT solution using Azure IoT Central without cloud development expertise. The easy-to-use interface makes it simple for you to connect, manage, and control access to millions of connected products remotely, throughout their lifecycle.
Monitoring rules and triggered actions: To monitor and manage the devices effectively, users can define the different types of measurements emitted by it and displayed by the application. Microsoft IoT Central supports measurements types such as telemetry including device-emitted numeric values, often collected at a regular frequency (e.g. temperature), events including device-emitted numeric or non-numeric values generated on the device, with no inferable relationship over time (e.g. button press and error code), and state including device-emitted numeric or non-numeric values which defines the state of a device or one of its parts and maintained until the state change is informed by the device (e.g. Engine ON).
User roles and permissions: Roles
enable you to control who, within your organization, can perform various Azure
IoT Central tasks.
Analytics, dashboards and visualization: Microsoft IoT Central integrates Azure Time Series Insights – a fully managed analytics, storage, and visualization service for managing IoT-scale time-series – to enable users to explore and analyze billions of events streaming simultaneously from devices deployed all over the world. Microsoft IoT Central provides massively scalable time-series data storage and several ways to explore data, making it super easy to explore and visualize millions of data points simultaneously, conduct root-cause analysis, and to compare multiple sites and assets. Within an application, time-series visualization is available for a single device, for a Device Set – with the ability to compare multiple devices – and as a multi-purpose Analytics tool.
IoT Solution Accelerators
IoT solution accelerators are a collection of complete, ready-to-deploy, IoT solutions that implement common IoT scenarios such as remote monitoring, connected factory, and predictive maintenance. When you deploy a solution accelerator, the deployment includes all the required cloud-based services along with any required application code.
The solution accelerators are starting points for your own IoT solutions. The source code for all the solution accelerators is open source and is available in GitHub. You can also use the solution accelerators as learning tools before building a custom IoT solution from scratch. The solution accelerators implement proven practices for cloud-based IoT solutions for you to follow. The application code in each solution accelerator includes a dashboard that lets you manage the solution accelerator.
All the solution accelerators follow the same design principles and goals. They are designed to be:
Scalable: letting you connect and manage millions of connected devices.
Extensible: enabling you to customize them to meet your requirements.
Comprehensible: enabling you to understand how they work and how they are implemented.
Modular: letting you swap out services for alternatives.
Secure: combining Azure security with built-in connectivity and device security features.
Remote Monitoring: Use this solution accelerator to collect telemetry from multiple remote devices and to control them. Example devices include cooling systems installed on your customers’ premises or valves installed in remote pump stations.
Connected Factory: Use
this solution accelerator to collect telemetry from industrial assets with an
OPC Unified Architecture interface and to control them. Industrial assets might
include assembly and test stations on a factory production line.
Predictive Maintenance: Use this solution accelerator to predict when a remote device is expected to fail so you can carry out maintenance before the predicted failure happens. This solution accelerator uses machine learning algorithms to predict failures from device telemetry. Example devices might be airplane engines or elevators.
You Can Trust Azure
Microsoft understands every company, organization, and industry has unique needs and requirements. This is why they’re continuing to invest in their global infrastructure to provide the scale and performance needed to bring applications closer to users, keep them running with robust resiliency features to better meet your local data residency and compliance needs.
Still Have Questions?
The professionals at Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. can help. We’d like to talk to you about how your organization can leverage the power of IoT!
If you’ve ever had a beer, more than likely it was an AB InBev product. This global company brews and markets one-third of the beer products sold around the world and stores massive amounts of data in order to do so.
With siloed datacenters, AB InBev lacked integrated systems, cohesion between markets and regions, and the agility to get to market quickly. Like businesses of every size, they needed a robust cloud solution in their digital transformation journey.
Watch this quick video to see why AB InBev chose Microsoft Azure and let Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. show you how you can also break down data silos, increase operational insights, and cut down on IT costs with a modern data platform.
Making the shift to a modern desktop helps you to foster a highly secure workspace, empowered by the latest productivity, teamwork and collaboration experiences for your organization. As an IT Admin, making the shift also removes much of the pain of keeping your desktop environment secure with built in end point protection and easier access to the latest security updates, as well as improved information protection and integrated identity and access management. Deploying new PCs or getting PCs back to a business ready state gets easier and you can keep your user populations happy and secure with the most up to date experiences.
This is best achieved through Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365 with Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security in a complete intelligent solution.
Has It Been A While?
If you haven’t shifted your desktop environment for a while, you will notice that a few things have evolved since your previous desktop deployments. Here are the top areas to be aware of as you plan your migration.
At the core of modern desktop and its connectivity to cloud productivity, security and management services, is the modern Identity and Access Management service with Azure Active Directory. This enables single sign on and secure connectivity across cloud services. It also enables new options for device and configuration management – without requiring connectivity to your local network or systems management tools.
Next in-place upgrade is now the recommended approach in Windows 10 instead of the wipe-and-load reimaging process you might be using today. This preserves apps, data and configurations from the previous installation.
If you haven’t switched from BIOS to UEFI, now’s the time. UEFI not only speeds up boot times, it is required to enable many of the modern security capabilities in Windows 10. There are tools available to make this switch after or during upgrades to Windows 10.
Furthermore, Microsoft Intune can be used to manage your Windows 10 devices like other mobile devices from one place. Now you can also co-manage your Windows 10 devices with System Center Configuration Manager together with Microsoft Intune.
Office 365 ProPlus is the preferred option for Office desktop apps and they have new installation options that are different than the MSI-based packages in the past. Don’t worry, it is still a local copy of Office and you can still use your deployment tools to provision and configure the apps.
Update behavior can now be managed for Office 365 ProPlus at install time and now for Windows using the Windows Update for Business service by configuring policy or using MDM tools.
Windows Autopilot deployment service
Windows Autopilot brings together Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite, Office 365, and Windows 10 into a single, cohesive experience for IT as well as end users. With the latest updates, Windows Autopilot now spans each step in your device’s lifecycle from acquiring and deploying devices to ongoing resets. This is useful whether you need to transfer ownership of a device from one user to another, or break/fix a malfunctioning device. The goal is to give you a zerotouch IT experience so that you can reset your devices and bring them back to a fully business ready state with the click of a single button in Microsoft Intune.
Despite the new tool and connection options, you can continue using preferred OS deployment tools like System Center Configuration Manager and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit if you wish.
Preparing for Deployment!
The first step of your deployment is to create a high-level plan and get necessary approvals and project sponsors. Next you can assemble your teams and assign areas of responsibility across the following eight steps:
Device & App Readiness
Directory & Networking Readiness
Office and Line of Business App Delivery
User Files and Settings Migration
Security & Compliance
OS Deployment & Feature Updates
User Communication & Training
Windows and Office as a Service
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of how to plan your path to a modern desktop. While there may be some up front learning to take advantage of new resources and updated approaches, the value of making the shift should outweigh the initial investment.
The Microsoft deployment experts at Oakwood Systems Group would like to talk to you today and get you, and your staff, on the path to a modern desktop environment!
In a world of instant gratification, customers expect more from the businesses they patron. That’s why you need a CRM solution that’s more than just a CRM platform. You need an all-in-one business management solution to streamline and connect business processes with customer experience. It’s the way of the future for a demanding generation of customers. Deliver the level of service and experience they deserve with Microsoft Dynamics 365.
This all-in-one Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business management solution will help connect your financials, sales, service, and operations to streamline business processes, improve customer interactions, and make better decisions.
Manage Your Financials
Make informed decisions: Connect data across accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory, and customer interactions to get an end-to-end view of your business. Chart financial performance in real time with built-in Power BI dashboards.
Accelerate financial close and reporting: Streamline accounts receivables and payables, and automatically reconcile accounts to close and report on financials quickly and accurately, while maintaining compliance.
Improve forecast accuracy: Refine financial forecasts by modeling and analyzing data across multiple dimensions. Customize reports using seamless Microsoft Excel integration.
Automate and Secure Your Supply Chain
Optimize inventory levels: Use built-in intelligence to predict when and what to replenish. Purchase only what you need with dynamically updated inventory levels.
Avoid lost sales and reduce shortages: Maintain the right amount of inventory by automatically calculating stock levels, lead times, and reorder points. Suggest substitutes when requested items are out of stock.
Maximize Profitability: Get recommendations on when to pay vendors to use vendor discounts or avoid overdue penalties. Prevent unnecessary or fraudulent purchases through approval workflows.
Sell Smarter and Improve Customer Service
Deliver value at every touch point: Prioritize sales leads based on revenue potential. Keep track of all customer interactions and get guidance on best upsell, cross-sell, and renewal opportunities throughout your sales cycle.
Boost sales productivity: Accelerate the quote to cash process. Act quickly on sales-related inquiries, manage service requests, and process payments—all from within Outlook.
Deliver exceptional service: Gain a comprehensive overview of your service tasks, workloads, and employee skills to effectively assign resources and accelerate case resolution.
Keep Projects on Time and on Budget
Stay on budget: Create, manage, and track customer projects using timesheets along with advanced job costing and reporting capabilities. Develop, modify, and control budgets to ensure project profitability.
Plan with precision: Manage resource levels by planning capacity and sales. Track invoicing for customers against planned costs on orders and quotes.
Analyze project performance: Make effective decisions with real-time insight on project status, profitability, and resource-usage metrics.
Optimize Your Operations
Manage forecasting to fulfillment: Use sales forecasts and expected stock-outs to automatically generate production plans and create purchase orders.
Run your warehousing efficiently: Get a holistic view of inventory for efficient order fulfillment. Track every item transaction and movement by setting up bins based on warehouse layout and storage unit dimensions.
Reach optimal output levels: Calculate and optimize manufacturing capacity and resources to improve production schedules and meet customer demands.
Protect Your Data and Support GDPR Compliance
Respect your customers’ privacy: Use built-in privacy-by-design and privacy-by-default methodologies to help your business comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Grant and restrict access to personal data on multiple levels and enable audit trails to ensure security and accountability.
Handle, store and transmit data securely: Move and store personal data freely across your systems while protecting it from unauthorized access with Microsoft datacenters’ automatic encryption.
Run Your Business Anywhere
Choose cloud, on-premise or hybrid deployment: Business Central runs where you need it, in the cloud or on-premises, with the same user experience no matter how you deploy.
Take your business on the go: The mobile version of Business Central supports both cloud and on-premise users with a consistent, modern experience across Windows, Android, or IOS devices.
Customer Success Story: 24 Hour Fitness
Just about everybody wants to get fit, but there are as many paths to fitness as there are people embarking on the journey. 24 Hour Fitness stands out in a crowded wellness industry not just for its innovative approach to fitness but for its personalized approach to member services. The company is applying data analytics to member marketing by connecting Microsoft Dynamics 365 with Adobe Experience Cloud hosted on Microsoft Azure to personalize marketing messages to millions of members at its 400-plus US health clubs. By connecting marketing and sales data, 24 Hour Fitness is reaching people in exciting new ways, bringing in record numbers of members, and helping more people reach their fitness goals.
It’s a tall task for any health and wellness business to keep people on track with their fitness goals. In many cases, life intervenes and fitness can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. 24 Hour Fitness uses tech to set themselves apart from the competition by making their customers’ experience personal and engaging so they keep coming back.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe Experience Cloud, we’re able to meet customers wherever they are—with the activities that they’re interested in to achieve their personal fitness goals.
Jenn Galantini: Director of Acquisition Marketing | 24 Hour Fitness
Email Oakwood Systems Group today to find out more on how we can help you integrate Dynamics and other Microsoft solutions to get a leg up on the competition and ensure your customers are getting the personalized experience they deserve.
Customer experience is often the key differentiator between businesses. In fact, 3 in 4 business leaders in a recent study said improving the customer journey and user experience was their top priority in the next year. What’s your priority?
For Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, who own 23 luxury hotels worldwide, they sought out a solution to more intelligently manage customer data while personalizing communication with their guests. Through their integration of Microsoft Dynamics 365 they’ve seen increased year-over-year revenue growth by sending relevant, customized content enabled by an automated, cloud-based system.
Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation
Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft
A powerful CRM, like Dynamics 365, can increase your organization’s profitability by streamlining administrative processes in your sales, marketing, and service divisions, while letting you focus on building and maintaining the customer relationships that matter. A strong CRM solution is a multifaceted platform where everything crucial to developing, improving, and retaining your customer relationships is stored. Without the support of an integrated CRM solution, you may miss growth opportunities and lose revenue because you’re not optimizing your operating processes or making the most of your customer relationships or sales leads.
Imagine misplacing customer contact information, only to learn that your delay resulted in losing your client to a competitor. Or, picture your salespeople pursuing the same prospect, resulting in an annoyed potential customer and some unfriendly, in-house competition. Without a centralized and automated CRM system, your people can lose track of customer interactions and miss business opportunities.
Send us a message below or contact us at (314) 824-3000 to find out how you can make Microsoft Dynamics work for you and your customers too.
One thing that makes Azure unique is its ability to handle nearly any situation. If you’re not ready to completely move to the cloud, no problem. Azure has hybrid options that let you get your foot in the door and build on it. If you’re running an app or system that requires multiple capabilities, Azure has seamless integration across its different service offerings that can fit every need. The possibilities are endless.
What exactly is Azure? Flying at a high level, it may look like only a cloud, but delve under the surface, and you’ll discover an entire world of integrated offerings. When SitePro was looking to move their operations from on-premises physical servers, they needed a system that could handle the multiple elements of their innovative turnkey application. They found all these capabilities through Azure.
SitePro utilizes multiple services, including Azure App Service, Azure Cosmos DB, and SQL Database, to handle the various aspects of their application and their business. This simplicity reduces cost and improves user experience.
With service offerings spanning everything from AI to Developer Tools, we’ve got your needs covered, whatever they may be. Azure is perfect for that period of transition from your on-premises servers to the cloud and built-in top-of-the-line security and compliance.
Contact Oakwood today and learn more about how Azure can streamline your business while saving you money along the way.
The ability to innovate is what separates long-term successful businesses from the pack. However, a business can have all the game-changing innovative ideas in the world, but it won’t do them any good unless they are actually implemented.
SitePro gained a competitive advantage by combining onsite sensors and data collection with online data processing and management using Microsoft Azure. As a result, they were able to provide faster and more effective service to their customers, which in turn strengthened the offerings of their customers. It’s a win for everyone.
“We realized we were leaving too many good ideas on the side,” Aaron Phillips, President and CEO, SitePro.
SitePro, a software platform that supports oil and gas facilities, knew that to power the kind of data collection and usage they imagined, they were going to need to switch from an onsite infrastructure to a scalable cloud service. They found the solution they were looking for in Microsoft Azure.
Now, they alone can provide data services that usually require multiple companies to perform, and they are passing on those benefits in cost savings and efficiencies to their customers.
Interested in what innovations you might achieve with Azure on your side? Send Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. an email to learn more.
A large insurance provider in the Northeastern US decided to implement an Agile Transformation initiative across their organization, as part of the implementation of a new policy provisioning system.
The Operations department were using a number of time intensive manual tasks to process client applications. The Business and IT relationship had grown to be rather dysfunctional, with a series of failed or incomplete projects. The business did not feel included in the initial development process, believed they needed to have the project scope identified in advance, and continued to build and support Microsoft Access databases to track work progress because the provided tools were not process focused.
Partnering with the client, we were able to break the 12 month waterfall project into four separate 90 day releases, with 2 week sprint cycles per release. The first release consisted of the technical framework, creation of an Agile development cycle, simple product sets, and simple quality assurance and training review steps. The subsequent releases added product and client complexities, medical underwriting and other processes to the model.
The results was a successful deployment of the provisioning solution within their timeframe and budget, a large reduction in organizational risk, organizational acceptance and support of the Agile process, reduction in pre-production user acceptance testing from 3 months to 2 weeks, and client satisfaction and appreciation for our commitment to the initiative.
At A Glance
Large, nationwide disability insurer that lacked automated workflow capabilities or the ability to provision new policies.
Business Process Analysis
Java Based UI
Agile Methodology Transformation
Total Scope – Delivered on time and on budget.
500% improvement in provisioning cycle
$400,000 in first year savings
Full ROI achieved after 18 months
Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems. We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward. Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes. With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget. 11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.