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Covid-19 pandemic has allowed many a business throughout the world an opportunity to reboot their thinking and reinvent their approach. One man in India, who’s been particularly, looking to create a real positive impact in country’s economy is Abheek Dutta of the renowned Henson Group, who has recently featured in ‘Asiaone India’s 40 Under 40’ list and won the coveted Asia’s ‘Entrepreneur of the year Award’ as well. A young entrepreneur from Jammu, Abheek Dutta, has been handling Global Service Delivery for the US-based Henson Group across 10 plus countries, and has emerged as one of those few business honchos of the year, who have actually doubled their profits. In fact, he is now looking to create impact more than ever before!

https://www.forbesindia.com/article/brand-connect/the-future-of-every-business-will-be-tech-and-data-driven-abheek-dutta/61593/1


Thank you for your blessings and assistance!

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As industries wrap their heads around the current global crisis, there’s a young man from Jammu, who has been constantly providing solutions to overcome the challenges that this time has brought with it.

Meet Abheek Dutta, a software professional – currently serving as the Senior Vice President of the renowned Henson Group – who with his innovative ideas, strategic solutions and cutting-edge technology, is helping corporates, industries, and startups to tide over many hurdles and challenges that this COVID era is offering.

https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/07/17/abheek-dutta-using-cloud-technology-is-the-best-way-to-combat-the-pandemic.html

 


I must confess! My outlook towards the repercussions of the pandemic on the markets has taken a bolt. Not that I have entirely changed my stance from this being just a passing cloud but the varied opinions from different corners have educated me about the possibilities that we shouldn’t ignore.

In a recent poll conducted for my LinkedIn community, only 25% of respondents believed that we’ll bounce to normal very soon. On the other hand, approximately 40% believed this will begin a marathon of scary job losses which has just begun while 33% see it as an opportunity to revamp our skills and embrace the digital transformation.

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2020 shall not go down in history with any pleasant memory. More than just a pandemic calendar, the year has knocked our socks off with repercussions that are beyond control. As the world economy takes a hit, the employment facet has changed with millions of people losing their jobs. From the unorganized sector down in the hierarchy to the most discussed markets such as IT, no one is spared. Particularly IT that performs closely with all sectors and verticals, is going through a highly volatile phase.

The COVID19 Impact 

From the end of March till present, all IT companies have both slashed salaries, sacked employees and even forced LOP leaves for indefinite periods. Consequentially, abrupt job loss emails from the leadership had become a routine. All sorts of predictions from market experts and advisors were found backing the wrong horse.

If the developed economies in the west couldn’t absorb the wrath then imagine the impact faced by countries like India where the unorganized sector accounts for more than 90% of GDP. As per the Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy, the jobless rate in the country surpassed 27% by the beginning of May.

 

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Courtesy – Centre of Monitoring Indian Economy

As per the findings, the unemployment rate in March had broken the record of 43 months. The rate of 8.4% had further risen to 23.4% in April. Scary but the truth!

So are we at risk of 100 million jobs?

Unfortunately, Yes! As per SC Garg, a finance ministry bureaucrat has cited 100 million going unemployed in manufacturing, construction and services. Putting it into figures, close to 14 crore Indians are at immediate risk of losing their jobs. Not only have these times put the careers of their employees trailing by 3 years but have also put the government under extreme pressure to organize relief packages.

In my previous post, I had discussed the government’s readiness to handle the crisis through relief packages for the workers. Besides enabling the moratorium facility for all the employees in the country, the authorities have identified millions of those in the unorganized sector to release the financial aid.  As reported by the Economic Times, the government has been planning to release a swaddle of unemployment benefits under the Employee State Insurance Corporation scheme. These include benefits up to 50% of the last drawn salary in recent 3 months. Read more about the government’s readiness to fight the economic crisis here.

An explosive rise of the Gig’s economy has finally arrived 

Freelancers and on-demand contractual service providers have been gaining popularity for more than a decade now. These professionals who are known to have adorned skills more than the usual full-time resources are economically more viable for enterprises. Since they are paid only for the tasks they have done, organizations have confirmed saving fixed overheads. It is obvious that those fixed cost roles and profiles that aren’t adding value to the business will be called off. The reporting hierarchies will be shortened and more freelancers will be brought on board. Therefore, except core job profiles, most roles will either be outsourced or assigned to contractual workers.

Next to the sacking of millions of workers, half paid salaries is another immediate reaction that the enterprise sector is facing the criticism for.

When the entire world ushered into lockdown in the last week of March, employees across the industrial facet were shocked to receive emails pertaining to the unfixed amount of salary payouts for the next few months. Since companies are no longer ready to back their employees beyond their capacity, unfixed salary payouts followed by more freelancers on board will change everything. Therefore, variable salaries will now become a mainstream practice wherein employees will have no choice of performing beyond expectations.

Final Word – How long will the job losses continue?

As a business leader, I stand witness to the horrors of job cuts. Having dealt with these circumstances first hand, I believe this is a passing cloud and will soon evade. However, the greater challenge will be to recover the losses within limited means and that’s what the workforce all over the world must get adaptive to.

 

 

 

 

 


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The MSME sector is on the verge of collapse. After Union Minister Nitin Gadkari cited concern in his last statement and asked industrialists to clear the dues of their vendors, India’s claims to successfully absorb the COVID-19 miseries has been put under the scanner. Are we really in a better position? If yes then why are millions of workers forced to return home on foot? If No, how ready are we to fight the impact?

MSMEs hold undeniable importance in India. 99.5% of MSMEs have been identified as micro employers and are almost equally distributed in urban and semi-urban regions of the country. And the rest are inordinately established in the urban cities. Contributing 30% to the economy’s GDP, the sector is feared to have lost 5 lakh crore of gross value added.

Furthermore, wages account for 80% of the gross value added which means 10 crore jobless workers collectively suffered a wage loss of Rs 4 lakh crores. As the virus outbreak has directly derailed more than 6.3 crore MSME businesses in India, any delay in action to rescue them could produce dangerous results.

What can we expect?

 A fund stimulus package of 12 lakh crore on its way

By the end of Lockdown 2.0, the central government finally addressed the needs of the drowning MSME sector. With no official announcement as yet, sources hint at a stimulus package meant for rescuing the lifeblood of the Indian economy. As per reports, the government is looking forward to raising a major percentage of the money from the markets. According to the statement from the Finance Ministry that also controls the Economic Affairs Department, the government plans to raise 12 lakh crore in the fiscal year 2020-21.

With this move, the government foresees a major relief in uplifting the smallest organized sector in the country. Not only will the move ease the disparity between the expenditure and income but will also directly impact the unorganized sector employing millions of labourers.

The government must proactively address the following key points to uplift the sector 

Given the severity of the COVID-19 impact on the MSME sector, the government has identified major points to target. And as expected, the inability to pay the salaries has emerged as the main bone of contention. Therefore, the Centre is expected to use the funds towards providing wage support for workers. Furthermore, this will be formally brought under the Employees State Insurance Scheme Corpus.

MSMEs have been out of operations for more than 2 months now. Add to it the pending salaries of 2 months has worsened the circumstances. Thus, the sector looks up for a grant of at least Rs 80,000 crore to seek some relief from the pressures.

Not to miss, the 3-month loan moratorium approved by the RBI, shall be extended for businesses with term loans. It is anticipated that the moratorium period shall be extended up to 9 months.

Despite aid promises from the government, lack of resources stands as a graving challenge among the MSME enterprises. There has been a major communication failure from the authorities that produced a sentiment of confusion among millions of workers. Whether they should leave for home or wait for the government to revive the industries, no one knows. And if left unattended, this could branch out to more complexities in the months to arrive. Hence, deserves immediate action.

Another key concern MSMEs are currently facing involves a lack of working capital. The central government is, reportedly, also planning to provide interest-free working capital to MSMEs. With production coming to a standstill, many businesses have found themselves severely cash-strapped, having not received dues for products they have already supplied.

As the industrial operations including those of FMCG production units has slowed down or completely halted, MSMEs those who were dependent on these units are facing a severe crunch of working capital. The government, therefore, has to address this to.

The million-dollar question is brimming to highlight those responsible – Did India act late in providing economic relief to the small scale industries? 

Let’s face it. We shouldn’t be taking any pride over a lesser mortality rate when millions of daily wagers are forced to walk hundreds of miles.

In all honestly, the government did take long to announce the aid. Even though are COVID-19 numbers are less scary than the western countries, we lag behind their readiness to help the small scale industries. Canada, for example, pledged to raise USD 27 billion in direct support to businesses and their employees. While Germany is extending aid of USD 800 billion for the country.

As confirmed by Nitin Gadkari, industries, state governments, central government owe up to 6 lakh crore to allied vendors and other small industries.

There are no second thoughts that comparing our situation with those of developed nations in the west is the sheer covering of facts. As an economy driven by daily wagers, our problems are different and so should be our plan of action. Despite partial relaxation in the lockdown on 4th May, more than half of the economy was shut. And the number of workers losing their jobs is the scariest part – 10 crore.

However, the assurances from government authorities will inject new life in otherwise handicapped businesses. After successfully extending the moratorium facility to millions of people, such an initiative to provide relief package will pull the economy out of the misery.

 

 


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Not all cloud solutions are equal. Despite all of them putting the SME sector on the frontline of technology adoption, there are significant differences. And since Microsoft’s Azure is being trusted by more than half of Fortune 500 companies, there’s something more about this cloud service crusading the managed services sector. Given USD 1.3 Trillion at stake towards cloud adoption by 2022, Azure continues to hack all the attention and the reasons are valid.

Azure has been assisting a swaddle of organizations in aligning their enterprise processes in the cloud without causing any hindrance to the current business functions. In fact, Azure has taken the anytime anywhere access to newer levels with a stupendous rise in the subscription count during the COVID-19 worldwide lockdown.

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So be it the Hybrid framework, hassle free migration or scalable designs made for companies of all sizes, Azure’s dominance in the managed services is confirmed.

How can your business entity benefit from Azure Managed Service?

One of the greatest challenges on the road to cloud adoption is the degree of uncertainty that derails enterprise processes. While most businesses don’t foresee it, they end up producing more complexity. With Azure, however, process transformation from on premise to cloud brings down the risk of uncertainty while creating a balance of business benefits with emerging technologies.

Since the cloud service is hosted from pre-configured software packages, performance metrics are easy to track and set appropriate accountability. This comes attached with infrastructure guidelines and a disaster recovery catalogue. Given such a comprehensive approach at performance measurement, managed services from Azure have set a benchmark and made it superior to all those in the league.

And since cloud comes attached with customer expectations for on demand customization, it is easier to tune the system in development for different sectors. Ultimately, it is the utmost data autonomy that enables faster recoveries; making Azure as a trusted cloud partner

Security Design & Operations: Azure secures your customer data faultlessly

Microsoft has its security goals clear – to deliver the optimal degree of protection to all the customers by ensuring data privacy, compliance management ate controlled costs. In fact, the company continues to  invest USD 1 billion annually in Azure’s cyber security while employing over 3500 security professionals.

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Azure, not only empowers your security infrastructure but also aligns your digital transformation efforts across systems and verticals. Inevitably, thousands of global organizations in private and public sector have been trusting upon Azure as their ultimate partner for cloud security and operational management.

To upscale the quality of Azure cloud managed services, Microsoft has diligently implemented a wide Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) process. These procedures help lay down security controls and incident management norms as per exclusive stature of every customer.

Then there’s Operational Security Assurance (OSA) that works towards making Azure business services more resilient to attack by responding to extempore security threats to detect and contain risk areas.

Deploying a mix of defensive, reactive and preventive measures, the Azure cloud offers the below mechanisms –

  • Using multifactor authentication to strengthen access controls over protecting confidential data
  • Customizing control patterns to improvise independent detection of malicious activity
  • Multi-level checks before every session of monitoring, logging and reporting
  • Controlling the number of people requesting access to administrative privileges

Compliance Management: Matching all global standards and certifications  

As one of the crusaders for building trust relationships with the customers, compliance has a role to play in the long shot, and managed services are not untouched. Microsoft allows third-party independent auditors to certify the security standards and assist the customers in complying by constantly evolving regulations that define or impact access, capture, and use of enterprise data.

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However, this never came easy. It took the company years of hard work in building collateral relationships with the compliance community for the longer run. Not to miss, the company has been working towards developing an ocean of resources for professionals those who aim to access updated information on the essential compliance and regulatory considerations.

Henceforth, Azure’s COE (Centre of Excellence) of compliance services touch base upon the important factors so that exclusive data requirements pertaining to nations, enterprises or even individuals could be complied to. These services are designed as per all global standards, major country specific and sector specific regulations.

The following listing of globally recognized compliance services across markets have been included in the portfolio.

CIS Benchmark                              CSA STAR Attestation
CSA STAR Certification                 ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011   
ISO/IEC 27001                                ISO/IEC 27017
ISO/IEC 27018                                ISO 9001
SOC 1, 2, and 3                              WCAG 2.0.

Going Ahead

Security is one of those concerns that doesn’t look like fading anytime soon. In 2019, Norton reported a jump in security breaches by 54%. Since the numbers shall only go up, managed cloud service providers must sustain their focus towards ensuring higher degrees of system security. Therefore the enterprise steering towards Microsoft Azure will only increase.

Intrigued? Stay connected to my blog for insights into the world of Microsoft cloud technology.


Decoding the MSP’s success shouldn’t be tough. Many MSPs guides entail it as managing multiple applications in the cloud and assuring exceptional service to the customers. However, newbies in the market don’t look beyond the conventional definition and fail to address the fast-evolving market called cloud technology. As a result, they end up trapped in the rat race wherein the only motive is to sell less and survive.

Amateur entrepreneurs must demonstrate a competitive edge by pitching a robust solution for the market. They must articulate the true essence of the cloud and educate more businesses about the perks of on-demand services.

Having led a successful managed services business myself, I believe every startup must adorn the following best practices to actually decode the potential in the billion-dollar market place.

Deploy a smart sales model

Deciding what to sell and at what price is a tough task and gets more complicated for a MSPs that commits to providing on-demand customization of services. As of now, the most popular pricing models hover around charging as per user, per device, per hour or as per consumption of cloud infrastructure. At times, fixed cost models or recurring pricing have also been used in delivery engagements. However, cut-throat competition and increasing commoditization have led to MSPs selling lesser than their peer and ultimately killing their margins. Solution?

Get this straight – no matter how bad the market is, nothing beats qualitative service followed by a smart sales model. Hire professionals who not only have a compelling command over their sales pitch but also possess in-depth knowledge of various cloud models, software systems and other infrastructural resources in the play. Yes, building a qualitative sales team takes time but then what doesn’t?

Once you are good to go with a dependable sales team, deploy a thorough (P&L) model that can determine the most appropriate price for a particular customer. This will include metrics such as the willingness and the capacity of the customer to pay, operational expenses, expected longevity of the association and the contribution to the overall ROI targeted for the organization.

Create a Security-Based Culture

The worldwide spending on cybersecurity is expected to reach USD 133 billion in 2020. As more enterprises embrace the cloud adoption for their critical functions, security awareness has emerged as the top priority for the market. Start today and introduce security awareness as a prime offering attached to your core services. This can include professional assistance to look deeper into issues with threats such as phishing, firewall attacks, nonperforming 2-factor authentications, and others. The fear of cyber-attacks has and will continue to generate demand for managed security services that help to mitigate risk in the cloud.

Discover more opportunities after the current assignment

If your client has moved on from legacy systems into the cloud, that doesn’t end your association with them. I come across many long time channel partners who fear a loss of business because the client doesn’t have any budget for their core services. That’s not the way to pursue organizational growth. If the client has moved budgets to the cloud, MSPs must explore further opportunities for offering services in the newer ecosystem.

This could open newer avenues for you with projects ranging from routine maintenance, quality assurance, cybersecurity, scalability, and integrations. As an MSP, you should be prepared to adapt to changes in the technology spectrum; and there isn’t any better start than exploring cloud services. At Henson Group, our association with customers didn’t end with one time Azure migration projects, Rather, we were able to steer their focus towards further possibilities such as moving the legacy email system to Office 365.

Most of the time, all it takes is an approach forward to pitch.

Domain expert consultants

One of the key factors that encouraged more enterprises to associate with MSPs is the demand for multi-functional resources, tools and a process in the center to manage them. Since MSPs bring on board a lineup of services from different domains, it becomes easier for the enterprise (customer) to align their processes by simply handpicking the service or the resource they want.

Therefore, MSPs must ensure in house availability of all resources within the targeted service domain.

For example, at Henson Group, we made it a point to have all types of resources within the Microsoft cloud services umbrella and that all of them are certified, professionals. Not only has this helped us hone our collective skill set but also put us among the most valued partners by many customers.

Small is Big!

Don’t hesitate from making an announcement that you just started with a new line of MSP services. There’s no shame in admitting that you are a small entity but credible enough to take up complex requirements. On the other side, it is always easy to start and manage small IT environments. Start with restricted demographics and scale up gradually. Not only will this hone your organization growth skills but it will also help you build a stronger foundation as an MSP.


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If the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has pushed your 2020 plans in dire straits, you aren’t alone. Businesses all over the world, across the industrial facet and countries, are facing the wrath of human negligence. As expected, profit margins have dropped, unemployment rates have gone higher and above all, the enterprise processes are trying hard to dodge the bullet and execute as much possible by working remotely.

And like every time, technology is at the epicenter of driving communications, empowering millions of remote workers to perform normally and to put it correctly, saving the world. While a swaddle of technology companies have rolled out innovative software applications, Microsoft’s Azure and other applications are leading the show with their prompt response to the world crisis.

Azure’s explosive surge is known as its demand quadrupled within a few weeks. With tools like Microsoft Teams that cater to millions of sessions every day, Azure, which is the backbone of all cloud applications is once again setting examples of producing solutions most effectively.

Just a few weeks before the official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azure had already registered a growth by 62%; taking Microsoft’s collective quarter turnover to USD 11.9 billion.

Here’s a quick run through the different applications that are either built on Azure or working closely with the cloud platform.

Microsoft Teams 

Since millions of employees are confined to work from home, enterprises are in a fix to replace their standard processes; except those who had a backup plan for extreme circumstances like these. However, Microsoft Teams has come to the rescue of enterprises across industrial facet.

In Italy, the platform’s demand surged by 775% due to abrupt lockdown enforced in the country. This has put the application at the forefront of all enterprise communications.

Not only is the Azure driven meeting service seamlessly running professional engagements but also saving cost for the organizations; that helps insensitive days like these. Despite hosting over 900 million meetings every day, Teams hasn’t faced any major disruptions. The number of users has grown explosively to more than 40 million.

In their latest upgrade that is due for the end of April, up to 9 team members will be able to participate in a single video call feature.

The COVID-19 Assessment Bot

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been burning the midnight oil to reinvent better methods for containing the pandemic. Since vulnerability identification is a key process here, Microsoft has joined forces with the agency for quick and accurate filtration of those showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 disease.

Powered by Microsoft Azure, the bot asks users questions about their health so that possible infections could be faultlessly assessed. The bot further uses an AI screening process and empowers organizations in detecting potential infection.

For the first few weeks, the Healthcare Bot service can be accessed on the CDC’s website. The bot will interact with people who fear any symptoms in their health condition and filter those who are at a higher risk of acquiring the infection.

Based on the series of chats and the data analyzed, the bot suggests the next course of action including home remedies, sharing medical support contact numbers of the concerned team and any other details as asked by the user.

Given the severity of the situation caused due to panic, such an automated service helps in educating the population about the right process to follow and that there’s nothing to fear about.

The COVID-19 Portal

As tech giants across the world lock horns with a dependable website to track the COVID-19 expansion, Microsoft’s Bing team had developed the COVID-19 Tracking Portal. Publishing a US heat map illustration, the portal depicts disease distribution in all 50 states while highlighting the worst affected areas in red and so on.

Furthermore, the interactive map also lets the user click on a specific country on the world map and consume updated information about the status in real-time. This includes newly reported cases, deceased count, recovered count and predicted cases.

Aggregating the data from different sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others.

Going Forward

Given the upheaval of events in 2020, businesses need to rekindle their goals for the year ahead. And that requires flexible policies and above all, patience. While all of us need to retrospect and weigh our options, the disparity in profit margins should be expected. Yes, the customer base shall contract that’ll directly impact the income and bring on allied consequences.

Does that mean the end is near? No way! Embracing our learnings from the 2008 dip, we must act wisely, rework our plans and emerge stronger.


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2020 is here and the arguments around the art of perfect project management are still in the mainstream. With fast-paced advancements across organizational functions, project development has to address the paradigm shift happening everywhere, internally in our work cultures and externally in the market trends. And since project managers are the flag bearers of the bandwagon, they must act sooner than everyone else.

Having led a swaddle or projects from the front, 2019 has revamped my understanding of the roles in discussion. It is way more complex yet exciting in the months to arrive. Here’s a quick run-through of the 3 skills that I believe project managers must acquire.

A deeper understanding of Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Till about last year, subject matter experts and those with in-hand technical experience were preferred for management roles. They, although continue to supersede non-technical candidates but are falling short of an essential trait – emotional intelligence (EQ).

To be able to handle interpersonal relationships at work judiciously can create an enthusiastic workforce, exactly what EQ stands for. Given the increasing number of stakeholders associated with a project, consistent & correct communication is the greatest expectation and managers of the future should adhere to the same. As the project implementations become diversely categorized, managers have to collaborate with a wider pool of stakeholders externally and diverse teams internally.

Along with the ability to hone technological transition, managers need to embrace communication skills, mentor their teams while keeping intact to core strategy building and business management skills. Not to miss, the ability to make data-driven decisions in the digital ecosystem is equally essential. As the learning curve is steep, managers must up their game and emerge multi-faceted.

However, that doesn’t detach them from their core responsibilities. In 2020, managers must enhance their rudimentary application knowledge in emerging technologies such as Blockchain, AI, Data science, etc.

Therefore, the pursuit of such hybrid skills will require thorough retrospection followed by proactive learning. Consider soliciting all-round analysis of your current strengths and weaknesses while seeking feedback from peers or taking up professional courses.

 

 Embracing Hybrid Project Development methodologies

I have been vouching for hybrid methodologies for long. In rapidly changing implementation landscapes, uniform project development approaches tend to give up at some point or the other. Not that I am not pleased with Agile delivery anymore, it’s just the extended benefits of bringing Waterfall back to the scene. As a project focused organization, we are looking forward to creating exciting extensibilities by bundling different project delivery practices and produce the one that seeks the best of all. Besides simplifying our developments, the hybrid approach has empowered us to stay compliant with speed to market while being flexible to make changes at any given time.

While some will argue that these approaches are diametrically opposed and therefore mutually exclusive, my own personal experience begs to differ. These practices may look exclusively different diagrammatically (which they actually are) but still, the possibility of using both can’t be ignored. Yes, implementing Agile into classic project environments or vice-versa is absolutely plausible.

As per a survey, approx. 26% of professionals used hybrid project delivery methodology. 63% of those working IT software development confirmed greater throughputs.

As Agile and others become increasingly popular, managers must revisit the books. Which means, not sticking to that one methodology they have worked upon, future project managers must get familiar with the entire catalog.

Going forward, begin with browsing different case studies (there are ample available online). Try to incorporate a hybrid approach in some applications.

Monitoring Expansive Distributed Teams 

Teams have already gone beyond geographies, driving critical communications through digital mediums and it has been working all well. What’s changing is the increasing number of people wanting to take up remote work. Given the drastic cost reduction it means for organizations, they were always up for it. Furthermore, it is the project managers who should be worrying if they took this trend casually.

Managing people working from different time zones while keeping everyone on the same page requires pulling out all the stops and managers must prepare themselves.

At Henson Group, our teams work from diverse locations all over the world and we made sure this doesn’t affect our deliveries. They should learn tools on the cloud so that administrative hassles such as system access, attendance, task assignment & reporting don’t create any obstructions. This becomes even more imperative when teams are getting leaner, per head responsibilities are increasing and the deadlines have gone narrower.

 Going Forward 

No matter what newer comes on board, the core responsibilities of managers towards the individual betterment of the employees and the organizations collectively stay intact. You mustn’t stop conceiving innovative ideas, encouraging fairer practices; develop a culture of R&D in addition to the previously mentioned skills. 2020 is going to get crazily interesting.

 

 


Do you have SQL Server 2008 ? Are you worried about End of Support ?

End of support means the end of regular security updates. With cyber attacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running apps and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks.

On the Positive , this is great Opportunity for you to transform your applications and infrastructure to take advantage of cloud computing and the latest versions of SQL Server .

The good news is that ” If You Migrate to Azure, you get free Extended Security Updates” . When you Migrate to Azure you get below benefits . Figure 2 is for Servers only .

 

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So if you have SQL Server 2008 and are worried about End of Support , you can always reach out to me @ Abheek@HensonGroup.com . I am sure with my team of Ex- Microsoft and MVP’s we will make this move easy for you .


With changing times , CSP Model has gained more popularity across the companies currently using Azure ! Not only the Model provides great benefits , it also makes life easy for the companies IT Departments .

Customers use Azure in different models mainly Pay as you go , EA , BizSpark etc . With the entry of CSP model , it has become the most popular of all these models  . The Model is a Win-win for both the customers , Microsoft and its partners .

While the customers can migrate to CSP from most of their Existing Models , but you can have hard time with EA . Moreover if you are currently on ASM , you would first need to migrate to ARM based Model and then to CSP .

 

I found the attached guide from MS very useful if you plan to migrate your resources to CSP Model .

 

ASM to ARM Step by Step

 

 

 

 

New lower Azure pricing


Interesting Article for those who plan to Migrate to Azure

 

As part of our continued commitment to deliver Azure to customers at the best possible prices, effective October 1st, we are lowering prices on many of our most popular virtual machines (VMs). The rest of this blog covers key highlights, but if you are ready to learn more, please check out our redesigned website that makes it easier for you identify the VM categories that map to your use cases and find their prices across our regions.

Here is the summary of the changes:

  • General Purpose Instances: Prices of our Dv2 series VMs will be reduced by up to 15%. We are also lowering prices of our A1 and A2 Basic VMs by up to 50%.
  • Compute Optimized Instances: Prices of our F series will be reduced up to 11%.
  • Av2 series: In November 2016, we will introduce new A series virtual machines (Av2), with prices up to 36% lower than the A series Standard VM prices available today.

More Details : https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/new-lower-azure-pricing/


Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Google continue to compete fiercely in the area of cloud services for consumers, developers and enterprises, and today Microsoft made its latest moves to lay out its bid to lead the race, while also launching a new mission to position itself as the cloud provider you can trust.

Microsoft announced it would build its first Azure data center in France this year, as part of a $3 billion investment that it has made to build its cloud services in Europe. At the same time, the company also launched a new publication, Cloud for Global Good, with no fewer than 78 public policy recommendations in 15 categories like data protection and accessibility issues.

The new expansion, investment and “trust” initiative were revealed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who was speaking at an event in Dublin, Ireland. He said that the expansion would mean that Microsoft covers “more regions than any other cloud provider… In the last year the capacity has more than doubled.”

As a measure of how Microsoft and Amazon are intent on levelling each other on service availability right now, the news of the French data center comes one month after Amazon announced that it would also be building a data center in France.

Nadella, of course, did not mention AWS by name but that is the big elephant in the room for Microsoft. Nadella said today that Microsoft has data centers covering 30 regions across the globe, “more regions than any other cloud provider,” with the European footprint including Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.

In Germany, its data center is operated by Deutsche Telekom on Microsoft’s behalf in atrustee model, a move made both for “digital sovereignty and compliance,” Nadella said, “and a real world understanding of what the customer needs.”

The popularity of cloud-based storage and services has grown exponentially in the last several years, fuelled by the rise of smartphones and tablets that rely on cloud-based architectures to run apps; as well as a rise of other consumer and enterprise services that have also taken a remote storage and processing approach to deliver software more efficiently.

While Microsoft may have lost to companies like Google/Android and Apple when it came to building a mobile platform or phone that is widely used by the mass market, it’s hoping that its presence in cloud services will give it a place at the table for computing in the future.

“We have a very particular point of view by what we mean by mobile first and cloud first,” Nadella said today “It’s about the mobility of your experience across all devices in your life [and] the way to achieve that mobility … those experiences… is only possible because of the cloud.”

 

More :  https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/03/microsoft-expands-azure-datacenters-to-france-looks-to-beat-aws-on-image-of-trust/?ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29


Microsoft and Adobe today announced a major partnership that will see Adobe deliver its cloud services on Microsoft Azure and that will make Adobe the preferred marketing service for Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Enterprise CRM solution.

Microsoft says Adobe will now make Azure its “preferred cloud platform” for its three main services: the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Creative Cloud and Document Cloud. Specifically, Adobe will use SQL Server and Azure’s machine learning services available in the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite.

“Customers today expect a well-designed, personalized and consistent experience every time they engage with a brand,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe, in a statement today. “Adobe and Microsoft will bring together the cloud horsepower and end-to-end capabilities brands need to design and deliver great digital experiences.”

As is so often the case with these partnership announcement, quite a few questions remain unanswered. Traditionally, Adobe has run its own data centers, for example, and it’s unclear from today’s announcement what will happen to these (though we have asked Adobe for comment and will update this post once we hear more).

 

More : https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/26/microsoft-signs-up-adobe-for-its-azure-cloud-computing-services/?ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=twitter