Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more…!

As we think about empowering everyone, and helping them achieve more, it helps to understand what is holding people back today. What keeps them from achieving more?

We think we can help people achieve more by giving them the tools to overcome the limits of time, place and complexity.

Why We’re in the Business of Small Business

  • Small businesses make a big difference to the economy.
  • According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), small and midsize businesses are responsible for 50% of worldwide economic output.
  • Small businesses are adopting technology that helps expand their reach and grow their revenue, making them important economic drivers and effective competitors with businesses of all sizes.
  • Big enterprises no longer have the edge! In fact, for small businesses worldwide, technology has a tremendous effect on the bottom line.
  • Mobility is enabling teams to work together from anywhere. Thanks to cloud services, small businesses are expanding their reach across boundaries to serve customers and employ people from other regions, countries, and continents.

As a small business we care a great deal about small business owners and managers…What keeps you up at night and what gets you to jump out of bed in the morning. We believe that the right technology can make a positive difference in reducing worry, encouraging innovation, and advancing success.

So…with that being said…Shall we begin?

Keep Enterprise Productivity High. What will it take?

You are an IT professional in an enterprise supporting mobile workers, branch offices, global collaboration, and third-party access to corporate networks. Collaboration is part of the competitive strategy, demands on data, applications, and networks are high, and visibility into the increasingly BYOD environment insufficient. Your organization wants to streamline routine IT practices to enable you to provide services that create business revenue. The workforce expects a seamless “consumer” experience that enables 24/7 productivity.

The Landscape

According to IDC, the mobile worker population in the U.S. alone will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. By the end of 2020, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three-quarters (72.3 percent) of the total U.S. workforce. Mobility is just one factor impacting business productivity. A decentralized, often global workforce; telecommuting; the consumerization of IT, BYOD; increased collaboration with external partners, suppliers, and vendors on business networks; and a data-driven economy are all challenging organizations and their IT professionals. Keeping both employees and IT productive can require evaluation of a spectrum of variables—ranging from user experiences, device choice, and collaboration tools to device provisioning, manageability, performance, and availability. Security is both critical and challenging for end users and IT. A study by Dell found that 82 percent of remote workers require additional security measures from IT. At the same time, 92 percent of business users feel additional security measures negatively impact their productivity.

Integrated Productivity Solutions

Running Windows* 10 Pro on 6th and/or 7th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors brings a host of advanced productivity benefits for both end users and IT. And the transition to Windows 10 is simplified with the Intel® Stable Image Platform Program (Intel® SIPP). Intel SIPP offers essential stability, hardware consistency, and reliability amidst PC lifecycle changes. It gives you the confidence of solid hardware and zero changes to key platform components or drivers for at least 15 months, or until the next generational transition.

6th and/or 7th Gen Intel Core vPro processors deliver exceptional performance for today’s
mobile, collaborative, data-intensive workflow.

Intel vPro technology allows remote management, even when systems are powered off—increasing security and IT visibility, while saving on remediation costs. A range of energy-efficient models gives employees more choice, while increasing IT control. Choose from a desktop tower, a touch screen All-in-One for customer-facing locations, or a compact-but-powerful mini PC for small workspaces.

The latest mobile form factors provide long battery life and are available in razor-thin 2 in 1s, sleek Ultrabook™ devices, and quad-core-based laptops for top-of-the-line performance.

Maximize Business Outside

70% of mobile Professionals will conduct their work on Personal smart devices by 2018.
[Gartner Inc., 2016].

“Mobility has become synonymous with productivity both inside and outside the workplace, and the mass adoption of mobile technology in the United States has cultivated an environment where workers expect to leverage mobile technology at work.”
[Bryan Bassett Research Analyst, Mobile Enterprise]

Device Solutions, IDC

6th and/or 7th Gen Intel Core vPro Processors get fast performance with less waiting and more doing, improved multitasking, app compatibility, and a familiar interface. Rely on fast boot and effortless multitasking when moving between apps, files, and websites.

With devices based on the 6th and/or 7th Gen Intel Core vPro processor family, you also gain breakthrough identity protection with a new kind of multifactor authentication. Intel® Authenticate is designed to protect workforce credentials on the PC by verifying identities using a combination of up to three hardened factors at the same time.

Windows 10 Pro always-enabled updates ensure employees stay current on features and security for the supported lifetime of the device and streamline provisioning. Windows 10 is Microsoft’s most secure operating system. From the first boot-up through the supported lifetime of devices, Enterprise Data Protection with Windows 10 makes it easier to perform data separation and containment of corporate data, wherever it might be. Windows acts as an access control broker that gates user and app access to protected data based on the policies that IT defines.

Enabling Productive Conference and Meeting Rooms Intel® Unite™ software is designed to power modern, secure, and connected meeting spaces that transform collaboration and meetings by design. It allows businesses to connect participants, share content, deploy room devices, manage conference rooms, integrate with current infrastructure, and extend collaboration capabilities. Security features protect access, content, data, and on-site, off-site, and guest participation, as well as meeting room devices.

Windows 10 Pro is designed to help organizations lower TCO by helping IT departments reduce the amount being invested in maintaining the status quo with old infrastructure and processes, so there is more to invest in digital transformation. It requires less IT administration time to install, manage, and support, with easy-to-use features and more self-service functions. Automatic updates and upgrades simplify provisioning and help ensure workers have the latest security protection. IT administrators estimate a 15 percent time savings—valuable time available to help in other key IT areas.

Windows 10 Pro was also designed to meet and exceed workers’ productivity requirements, as well as deliver on their expectations for more personal computing on the devices they use. Together, Windows 10 Pro and 6th and/or 7th Gen Intel Core vPro processors deliver a new level of security to protect devices, data, and networks.

With Windows Hello* for Business, biometric authentication and recognition is easy with a face or fingerprint. Intel® Authenticate—in 6th and/or 7th Gen Intel Core vPro processors—brings multifactor security at the hardware level, adding another essential layer of protection.

Journey to the Cloud OS

To better understand Microsoft’s vision for a Cloud OS, start by thinking about how IT has traditionally managed server workloads. In the early days of Windows Server, you deployed and managed lots of physical servers on-premises. Each server had to be individually managed, and this meant performing tasks like configuring storage for them, configuring networking, tuning performance, and so on. Lots of servers meant lots of tasks to perform, and while scripting could automate many of these tasks, such solutions were typically inflexible and difficult to maintain.

Then along came virtualization, and suddenly you saw you could save money by retiring physical servers after migrating their workloads onto virtualization hosts. But the management paradigm stayed the same, for instead of managing lots of physical servers, you were now managing lots of virtual machines. But proliferation is proliferation whether it’s in the physical or virtual realm, and managing thousands of individual virtual machines can be just as challenging as managing physical machines.

Then the concept of cloud computing arrived—with its promises of rapid elasticity, resource pooling, and on-demand self-service. Now, if a business wants to maintain control over its IT resources, it can implement a private cloud solution on-premises using Windows Server and System Center. If scalability is the issue, the business can opt for running its applications, services, or virtual machines in Windows Azure. And if reach and customization are important, the business can use the services of a cloud hosting service provider. Each of these approaches are equally valid, and it’s up to the business to decide which to choose based on their needs and constraints.

From Microsoft’s perspective, these three approaches (private cloud, service providers, and Windows Azure) are really one and comprise one consistent platform: The Cloud OS. Windows Server forms the foundation; System Center provides the management capability; and Windows Azure delivers the solutions. In other words, cloud is not just something that happens out there; it happens wherever and whenever you need it to optimize your business. That’s what Microsoft means by cloud. For example, do you need Active Directory? You can deploy it on-premises using Windows Server. But Active Directory is already waiting for you in Windows Azure. And with Windows Server 2012 R2 you can even virtualize domain controllers and host them in a service provider’s cloud. The choice is yours.

Microsoft wants you to have the choice to implement the cloud computing model that best meets the needs of your business. And the Cloud OS—Windows Server, System Center, and Windows Azure—delivers that kind of choice to customers.

Think outside the desk

Did you know that telecommuting has risen 74% between 2005 & 2012 and now makes up 2.6% of the American workforce or 3.2M? There’s an old-school misconception that workers are most productive at their desks, in their offices, at their place of business. The notion that a worker needs to sit at the same piece of wood every day has been called into question by the hundreds of millions of businesses and workers around the world who have discovered the benefits of telecommuting.

Studies have actually found that telecommuters are typically more productive than good-old-fashioned employees and tend to work longer hours overall, since they aren’t contending with long commutes. So, if you’re managing virtual workers, don’t stress about them under-performing (unless the signs are obvious). Instead, keep an eye out for overworking and under-appreciation.

Microsoft Stores Expand Support for Small Business

Microsoft Stores now have dedicated SMB Zones that feature hands-on access to business-grade technology and technical guidance tailored with business owners and entrepreneurs in mind. Partners can take advantage of SMB Zones as a great space to connect with their customers and showcase the latest Microsoft products we have to offer as well as their own value-added services.

In conjunction with the SMB Zones launch, the Microsoft Stores team took a hard look at the changing needs of its customers and have implemented the Accelerate Your Business program. This new leasing program is designed to simplify the decision-making process and ensure business owners have access to the latest in business-grade devices, warranty options, and best-in-class in-Store and online training and support.

Read more to learn about the services and resources available to SMBs.

Myths About Moving to the Cloud…

What does it mean to “move to the cloud”? In this eBook, we break down myths about the cloud and detail what you really need to know when considering Microsoft Office 365.

Download the eBook and get answers to questions like:
• Can Office 365 only be used online?
• Is on-premises data safer than data in the cloud?
• Does all of your data need to be migrated to the cloud?
• Will you still have control over your technology?

Then once you’ve had a chance to review, give Office 365 a test-drive to determine the value of this platform in your situation.

Four things small and mid-size businesses need to profit from the digital transformation

The digital age continues to deepen its impact on businesses of every size. Large companies are routinely challenged by smaller, more innovative competitors. Organizations that have dominated their industries for decades’ risk being displaced virtually overnight by data-powered business models. And the right technology makes all the difference.

For many smaller companies, traditional ways of managing data make it hard to capitalize on the digital transformation. Simply storing large amounts of data locally can be prohibitively expensive, and implementing the tools to make sense of it adds a new layer of challenges. Learn more.

4 ways to be more proficient in Word 2016

When you and your team members want to collaborate on a document, forget the pain of emailing it back and forth. Forget worrying about what version you’re working on. You can now use real-time co-authoring to see everyone’s changes as they happen.

Real-time co-authoring in Word 2016 allows for this. It’s been available since 2013 in Office Online. But with Office 2016, we take real-time collaboration to the next level by offering it within the client. This gives you a ton of flexibility. Click here to learn what to do.

Disruption ahead? Five digital trends that could change how you do business…

You’ve probably seen articles about the power of technology to “disrupt” entire industries, whether it’s Uber upending the taxi business or Facebook changing how people communicate. News stories about business disruption focus on dramatic tales of companies that grew to hundreds of millions in revenue almost overnight.

But disruption can happen on a smaller scale, too. And you don’t necessarily have to invent the technology to take advantage of it in a way that lets you positively disrupt how business is done in your industry. For any size of company, using digital technologies to disrupt your business requires strategic thinking, smart investment, and a commitment to long-term success. Let’s take a look at a few disruptive small business trends and technologies that could transform how you do business. Click here to learn more.

Crafting Your Small Business Elevator Pitch

You’re starting a new business and it’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done. How do you convey your enthusiasm and make the best possible impression?

You need an elevator pitch, a concise, persuasive story that sums up your business in no more than a minute. The term elevator pitch comes from Hollywood, where producers would try to sell their blockbuster ideas to studio executives in the span of a short elevator ride.

How to craft an effective sales pitch? Take these 6 easy steps to master your pitch.