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This is the Google Pixel Slate

Posted on October 20, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

Maybe there will be some surprises at next week’s Google event. At this rate, however, we’re not entirely optimistic at the prospect. Just as the Pixel 3 got the full hands-on treatment in Hong Kong, a new contender has emerged. Like a number of recent leaks, these new renders of the Pixel Slate come courtesy of My Smart Home Hub.

As previous leaks have suggested, the device appears to be a tablet companion piece to the company’s well-designed Pixel Book. That is to say, it’s a premium take on the Chrome OS hardware market.

While the Pixel Book is a convertible via a swiveling keyboard, the Slate does dual-duty by way of a detachable keyboard case. The case features round, typewriter-style keys, which look to be a bit more substantial than those found on other detachables at first glance.

There’s also a built-in trackpad, which puts it ahead of Samsung’s most recent Galaxy Tab offering. The top also appears to have a crease for folding, suggesting that it will prop the slate up when in laptop mode. The system appears to work with the Pixel Book Pen, as well. Not much more in the way of information here, though there does appear to be front- and rear-facing cameras, front-facing speakers and a USB-C port (take that, Microsoft Surface).

More information will no doubt arrive the morning of October 9. Patience, friends.

Read more: feedproxy.google.com

Announcing the [email protected] Pixel Art Perfection Sale

Posted on October 20, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

There is a wistful nostalgia that comes from playing an 8 or 16-bit game that shoots you straight back to childhood. If perhaps that time period was a little before your time, pixel art games can give you a taste of what all those old people keep reverently talking about. Recent game developers, many from the [email protected] community, have taken this genre of games and turned them up to 11. There is no shortage of fantastic pixelated games so the [email protected] team have taken 50 of our favorites and put them on sale. From now through October 8 you can save up to 60% in the Pixel Art Perfection Sale. From Metroidvania platformers to farming simulator role-playing games, pixel art doesn’t discriminate when it comes to genre. Here are just a few of the titles on sale:

Dead Cells (20% off) Dead Cells puts you in control of a failed alchemic experiment trying to figure out what’s happening on a sprawling, ever-changing and seemingly cursed Island. Tough but fair combat, responsive controls, challenging foes, permadeath and of course, the emergency panic roll to get you out of trouble, make for a demanding, visceral and cathartic action game.

Stardew Valley (25%) You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It won’t be easy. Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town’s most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. But the valley seems full of opportunity. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!

Moonlighter (25%) Manage the shop, craft and enchant, get the loot, fight with style, open the gates! Every adventure has to pay off. During an archaeological excavation – a set of Gates were discovered. People quickly realized that these ancient passages lead to different realms and dimensions. Rynoka, a small commercial village, was found near the excavation site – providing brave and reckless adventurers with treasures beyond measure. Moonlighter is an Action RPG with rogue-lite elements that demonstrates two sides of the coin – revealing everyday routines of Will, an adventurous shopkeeper that secretly dreams of becoming a hero.

Owlboy (40%) Being a mute, Otus struggles living up to the expectations of owl-hood. Things spiral from bad to worse with the sudden appearance of sky pirates. Owlboy is a story-driven platform adventure game, where you can fly and explore a brand-new world in the clouds! Pick up your friends, and bring them with you as you explore the open skies. Overcome obstacles and greater enemies, in one of the most detailed adventures of this era.

Hyper Light Drifter (50%) Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with dangers and lost technologies. Echoes of a dark and violent past resonate throughout a savage land, steeped in treasure and blood. Hyper Light Drifter is an action adventure RPG in the vein of the best 16-­bit classics, with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale. Drifters of this world are the collectors of forgotten knowledge, lost technologies and broken histories. Our Drifter is haunted by an insatiable illness, traveling further into the lands of Buried Time, hoping to discover a way to quiet the vicious disease.

Axiom Verge (50%) Life. Afterlife. Real. Virtual. Dream. Nightmare. It’s a thin line. After a lab accident, a scientist awakens in a mysterious, alien world. Is this a distant planet? The far future? Or a complex virtual-reality computer simulation? Explore and uncover the mystery of a surreal world by blasting aliens and glitching your environment in this intense retro side-scrolling action/adventure.

This is just a small sample all the great games on sale October 2 – 8. This week the [email protected] team encourages you to remember our version of the four Ps. Pixel Perfection Premiums Present. See the full list of games at Xbox.com

See the rest of the story on Xbox WireRelated:Creating the Competitive Line Racer Deadliners, Available Now on Xbox OneLive the Horizon Life with WazeRed Dead Redemption 2: Official Gameplay Video Part 2

Read more: news.xbox.com

5 Social Engineering Scams Your Workforce Should Know!

Posted on October 20, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

5 Social Engineering Scams Your Workforce Should Know!

Employee awareness of social engineering is essential for ensuring corporate cybersecurity. If end users know the main characteristics of these attacks, it’s much more likely they can avoid falling for them. Today’s data threats don’t discriminate; businesses of all sizes are susceptible to attacks. However, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often less prepared to deal with security threats than their larger counterparts. The reasons for this vary from business to business, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that SMBs often have less resources to devote to cyber security efforts.

Here are a Few Social Engineering Scams to Know

Phishing: The leading tactic leveraged by today’s ransomware hackers, typically delivered in the form of an email, chat, web ad or website designed to impersonate a real system and organization. Often crafted to deliver a sense of urgency and importance, the message within these emails often appears to be from the government or a major corporation and can include logos and branding.
Baiting: Similar to phishing, baiting involves offering something enticing to an end user in exchange for private data. The “bait” comes in many forms, both digital, such as a music or movie download, and physical, such as a branded flash drive labeled “Executive Salary Summary Q3 2016” that is left out on a desk for an end user to find. Once the bait is taken, malicious software is delivered directly into the victim’s computer.
Quid Pro Quo: Similar to baiting, quid pro quo involves a request for the exchange of private data but for a service. For example, an employee might receive a phone call from the hacker posed as a technology expert offering free IT assistance in exchange for login credentials.
Pretexting: Is when a hacker creates a false sense of trust between themselves and the end user by impersonating a co-worker, professional colleague or a figure of authority within the company in order to gain access to private data. For example, a hacker may send an email or a chat message posing as the head of IT Support who needs private data in order to comply with a corporate audit – that isn’t real.
Tailgating: An unauthorized person physically follows an employee into a restricted corporate area or system. The most common example of this is when a hacker calls out to an employee to hold a door open for them as they’ve forgotten their RFID card. Another example of tailgating is when a hacker asks an employee to “borrow” a private laptop for a few minutes, during which the criminal is able to quickly steal data or install malicious software.

Play it Safe

Ensure all employees are wary of any email containing an attachment they aren’t expecting, especially if said attachment is a Microsoft Office file. Before clicking on anything, make sure they confirm with the sender (via phone, text, separate email) what it is before opening or clicking anything. Today’s employees are connected to the Internet all day every day, communicating with
colleagues and stakeholders, sharing critical information and jumping from site to site. With hacking, data breaches and ransomware attacks on the rise, it is essential for all companies to plan for the worst, with mandatory cyber security training for all employees and with the recommended solutions for mitigating the risks.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “5 Social Engineering Scams Your Workforce Should Know!” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen has died at age 65

Posted on October 20, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen passed away this afternoon in Seattle at age 65, owing to complications relating to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Vulcan, the privately held company that Allen founded in 1986, three years after leaving Microsoft, released a statement that says it is “with deep sadness that we announce the death of our founder Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts.”

His sister, Jody Allen, a businesswoman and long the CEO of Vulcan, released a separate statement, writing that her brother “was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend. Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.” 

Allen had been battling for the second time non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that originates in the body’s lymphatic system and that causes tumors to develop from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

Just two weeks ago, Allen disclosed that that the cancer, for which he was successfully treated nine years ago, had returned, writing on Twitter that his doctors were “optimistic that I will see a good result.”

This story is breaking. More soon.

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The Methodology That Is Overcoming Some of Market Research’s Biggest Obstacles

Posted on October 19, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

Editor’s Intro: Regular readers of this blog will know that we’ve had several posts lately bemoaning the state of online sample, and suggestions for what to do about it. The authors of the present article discuss an interesting new alternative they call Random Device Engagement, based on engaging with potential respondents while they are using mobile apps. Will this be enough to get more researchers to design mobile friendly (or even optimized) surveys, given some of the inherent challenges with length of survey? Time will tell.

The world was taken by surprise by the results of the 2016 US Presidential election, and none more so than the market research community. If an event as highly financed and heavily scrutinized as political polling could miscalculate this outcome, imagine how flawed the results must be across other market research studies relying on the same methods, but lacking the public accountability?

Radical shifts in consumer behavior coupled with new technology adoption have led to flaws in survey methodologies which plague the quality of data throughout market research; the election simply shed light on the pervasiveness of the issue. Random Digit Dialing, debatably the least problematic technique in the past several decades, has deteriorated due to the decline of landline phones and single-digit response rates tied to changes in technology, such as caller-ID and the ability to block unknown numbers. Other popular methods, such as online panel sampling and assisted crowdsourcing (inviting respondents via ads placed on social networks), are unable to provide comparable data quality as they rely on invitations to non-representative networks, rather than representative populations.

These audiences are biased in non-measurable ways that include panel fatigue, where respondents create asymmetric errors as they answer numerous questions, and panel conditioning, explained in a political example as “even if panels recruit a sample that looks like the perfect cross-section of the desired target population at the time of recruitment, the demand to answer political surveys turns these initially representative panelists into a bunch of very politically aware citizens.” This creates a challenge for today’s researchers to get qualified respondents in any kind of timely manner without sacrificing sample size, randomization, or settling for (unconsciously) biased audiences.

However, there is hope for an evolution of market research methodology to restore accuracy. Dr. David Rothschild, an economist at Microsoft Research, and Dr. Tobias Konitzer, C.S.O. and co-founder of PredictWise, were able to accurately predict the election and other political outcomes with high accuracy using a framework called Random Device Engagement (RDE) and Organic Sampling, a new sampling methodology introduced by research provider, Pollfish. This methodology maintains the organic and randomized benefits of RDD, while embracing current technology to get responses from a representative audience at scale. Rothschild and Konitzer released a whitepaper that outlines the gaps left by current methodologies, suggesting that the combination of RDE and Organic Sampling could be the future of market research.

Random Device Engagement

RDE is a new delivery framework, upon which Organic Sampling methodology is dependent. Mobile surveys began to surface in 2009 and have now been adopted into nearly every survey platform’s delivery strategy. RDE iterates further. By implementing a single line of code called an SDK on the back end of mobile apps, survey platforms have a simple, but instantaneous, line of communication with users who have installed apps on their devices that can deliver surveys and collect responses. Once established, RDE uses programmatic, a process traditionally used by advertisers for intent-based behavioral targeting, to target extremely narrow, yet randomized, audiences with mobile surveys. The SDK allows them to quickly gain the responses from a distributed mobile audience, solving for the randomization issues that most methodologies face.

It also solves for the issue of sample size. As of September 2017, approximately ⅔ of the world’s population were using mobile devices, and in 2018, the only thing harder to find than a landline is someone who doesn’t have an app on their phone. This delivery framework inherently reaches a massive audience, and allows researchers to connect with respondents where they are now spending more of their time—mobile apps. Comparatively, panel sampling struggles with declining participation and recruitment of representative populations. The expense of onboarding new panelists combined with a lack of transparency around sources that they buy from often spirals into issues in data quality. Because RDE is reliant on an audience of real mobile users rather than impanelled respondents, the audience is massive, distributed, and inexpensive due to cutting the onboarding costs.

This is the natural evolution of RDD, allowing researchers to tap into a mobile-first world on a global scale.

Sampling Methodologies for RDE

Organic Sampling
Organic Sampling occurs when a survey is delivered randomly to users already engaged in their apps as a part of their mobile experience. Respondents are given an optional invitation to participate in quick, mobile-optimized, and natively integrated surveys within the apps in which they are being served, which allows for additional benefits such as fraud prevention and user identification.

In contrast, a traditional online survey is sent to a panelist to complete at a later time, removing them from their regular routine and opening up the opportunity for panel fatigue and conditioning responses in an effort to move through the process. This does not produce organic responses and the panelists are often incentivized with a gift card or a cash reward, further encouraging them to submit more surveys rather than quality ones.

The direct partnerships with app developers are at the cornerstone of Organic Sampling. By natively integrating with manually vetted publishers to ensure the quality of the partners, companies that use organic sampling are able to capture respondents’ unique device IDs and offer a double opt-in invitation, first asking respondents if they are interested in participating, then using that device ID to create a robust profile of their user behavior and demographic data. If, at a later date, they are determined to fit the targeting criteria set, they will receive a survey as an advertising alternative— delivered randomly and programmatically through the app publishers. The respondent profile ensures that multiple accounts, or “bots” (machines emulating human behavior) are not being used for fraudulent responses.

Inorganic Sampling
There are methods of sampling that look a lot like RDE, but are inorganic. Companies leveraging this approach use the existing ad frameworks to deliver surveys as no-pressure banner ads within the apps themselves, prompting users to answer a screening question, then complete a survey that pops up. They key difference between this and organic RDE is leaving the app for the pop-up survey. While this approach allows collection of respondents’ ad IDs, it does not guarantee detection or prevention against fraud. The users are not profiled prior to delivery, and therefore open to the same methodology flaws that plagued River Sampling. There is very little known about the respondents, or their answer quality. In short, it is similar in framework to organic RDE, but the responses are not naturally occuring and there is less control of the quality of the sample.

The market research community is in need of a change, and political polling inaccuracies were the wake-up call. As data quality continues to suffer from slower responses, lacking statistical significance, and increased cost due to low incidence, market research loses its value and becomes barely more than educated guesswork.

Trends in technology and changes in consumer behavior should be embraced by market research. Random Device Engagement and Organic Sampling are paving the way there. The combination positions itself to grow the reach and participation of more consumers every day while ensuring data accuracy at scale and a low cost, making a compelling case to be the new industry standard for quantitative market research.

Read more: greenbookblog.org

Episode #83 – Learn Azure in a Month of Lunches with Iain Foulds

Posted on October 19, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments


In Episode 83, Ben and Scott talk with Iain Foulds about his new book, Learn Azure in a Month of Lunches and how it can help those that are just getting started with Azure or the cloud get up to speed in just a month!

Show Notes

Learn Azure in a Month of Lunches

Use code podmiccloud18 for 40% off all formats

Create a free Azure account
Learn Azure in a Month of Lunches Github repo
Azure Quickstart Templates Github repo
Install Azure CLI 2.0
Azure DevOps Utilities
Azure Cosmos DB

About Iain

Iain Foulds is a senior content developer at Microsoft, currently writing technical documentation for Azure container services, virtual machines, and virtual machine scale sets. Previously, Iain was a premier field engineer with Microsoft for virtualization technologies such as Azure, Hyper-V, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. With over 15 years of experience in IT, most of it in operations and services, Iain embraced virtualization early with VMware and has helped build and teach others about cloud computing for years. You can follow Iain on Twitter @fouldsy.

The post Episode 83 – Learn Azure in a Month of Lunches with Iain Foulds appeared first on Microsoft Cloud IT Pro Podcast.


The post Episode #83 – Learn Azure in a Month of Lunches with Iain Foulds appeared first on Collab365 Community.

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5 Tips for Higher Ed IT Teams to Boost Windows 10 Perfomance

Posted on October 19, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

5 Tips for Higher Ed IT Teams to Boost Windows 10 Perfomance
Tue, 10/02/2018 – 11:35

For higher education institutions, implementing new-generation educational practices like active learning classrooms cannot happen without a proper operating system able to handle the demands of a university classroom or campus.

Universities using Windows 10 have found the OS offers a number of useful items, from classroom and research tools on Office 365 to implementing a successful virtual desktop infrustructure.

While it needs less maintenance than previous versions of Windows, there are still times university IT teams might need to tweak their settings to make sure Windows runs optimally.

To that end, here are five Windows 10 performance tweaks that can help you achieve optimal productivity on your PC.

MORE FROM EDTECH: Check out how active universities are using Windows 10 to power 1:1 device programs!

1. Use Disk Cleanup in Windows 10 to Delete Temporary Files

Ensuring that Windows has enough free disk space is essential for normal operations as well as for making sure that feature and quality updates can install. If a system drive is critically low on free space, Windows will send out an alert to the user. File Explorer also indicates that space is running low by changing the color of the disk icon free space bar to red when you select This PC.

To free up space, back up your files to a separate physical disk. Windows 10 File History can also automatically back up files to a network location or removable drive. To turn on File History, go to Backup in the Settings app under Update & Security.

Windows 10 also includes two features that help manage free disk space. Storage Sense automatically removes temporary files that are no longer needed and can be found in the Settings app under System > Storage. By default, Storage Sense runs when Windows decides disk space is low, or it can be set to run daily, weekly or monthly. You can configure Storage Sense to delete temporary files that apps are no longer using and permanently delete files from the Recycle Bin that are over 30 days old. Optionally, Storage Space can delete files from the Downloads folder if they are older than a certain number of days.

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup is now located in the Settings app under System > Storage. Click Free up space now and Windows will scan the drive and allow you to remove different types of temporary files, like setup logs and temporary internet files. If you want to clean up system files and are logged in as a standard user, you can access Windows 10 Disk Cleanup in File Explorer by right clicking a disk under This PC and selecting Properties from the menu. You’ll find Disk Cleanup on the General tab. You’ll need to enter an administrator username and password to clean up system files.

2. Tune Windows 10 Virtual Memory and Windows 10 Power Settings

While not generally required, users can also modify some default system settings as an easy Windows 10 tweak to improve performance.

Turning off visual effects can help make Windows 10 more responsive. To do this, open the Control Panel and select System under System and Security. Click Advanced system settings on the left and switch to the Advanced tab in the System Properties dialog. Under Performance, click Settings. On the Visual Effects tab, check Adjust for best performance and click OK.

On the Advanced tab, users can modify virtual memory settings. If there is enough disk space, I recommend that you allow Windows to manage the page file. If you need to, you can move the page file to a faster disk or configure the size of the file by clicking Change.

A system tray pop-out allows you to modify Windows 10 power settings without opening the Control Panel. Just click on the battery icon in the system tray and move the slider to the right for better performance or to the left for longer battery life. To change the power plan, right click the battery icon in the system tray and select Power Options from the menu. Here you can change the power plan and create a custom plan.

MORE FROM EDTECH: See how data analytics can help boost universities’ network performance!

3. Update Windows 10 Device Drivers

One of the biggest culprits in Windows 10 for poor performance and reliability problems is device drivers.

If you think that a driver might be causing an issue, check the manufacturer’s website for an updated driver. Some PCs block the installation of generic drivers downloaded directly from the component’s manufacturer. For example, Dell notebooks usually have customized Intel display drivers that block the installation of drivers downloaded from Intel’s website. Users can work around this by simply uninstalling the original driver supplied by Dell. Windows Update also offers new device drivers if supplied to Microsoft by the manufacturer.

4. Install Apps from the Microsoft Store

As a rule, only install necessary apps. And if you can get an app through the Microsoft Store, this is the best way to make sure that it stays up-to-date and can be cleanly uninstalled. Apps installed from the Store run in a sandbox that isolates them from Windows and other running processes. Because Store apps don’t directly make any changes to the system, they can be removed cleanly without causing performance issues.

Many popular desktop apps are now available in the Store, like Twitter and Slack. While Office 365 is not available in the Store, the Click-to-Run installer uses application virtualization to run Office in an isolated sandbox much in the same way as Store apps.

5. Manage Startup Apps Effectively

Applications installed on your PC can also run at startup, often causing performance issues. In Windows 10, you can manage which applications run when you log in to Windows. Right click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the menu. In the Task Manager window, switch to the Startup tab. Here you’ll see a list of startup apps and the impact they have on login times. To disable a startup app, select it and click Disable in the bottom right corner. Apps that are installed for all users can only be disabled by an administrator.

The Windows Defender Security Center provides warnings if apps or storage cause health or performance issues. The Security Center provides recommendations about startup apps you might disable or if you need to free up disk space to ensure Windows works normally. Additionally, the Security Center will warn you if there are any problems with your anti-malware software, including if real-time scanning is disabled or if definition files are out of date.


Russell Smith is a technology consultant and trainer specializing in management and security of Microsoft server and client technologies. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with more than 15 years of experience.

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How Productivity Analytics Tools Are Making a Difference

Posted on October 19, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

Imagine my surprise when I started receiving emails from Microsoft last summer that included descriptions of my Office 365 activity, like how much time I spent multitasking in meetings, who is my “top collaborator,” how much “focus time” I had, and the amount of time I spent working “after hours.” After my initial shock at how little focus time I had each week, I realized how powerful this information could be for both me and my team. The fact that Microsoft is now categorizing it, organizing it and providing me with insights into my work patterns not only showed me how much more productive I can be; it also made me aware just how helpful and important this data really is.

Read more: tlnt.com

What Corporate Innovators Can Learn From Entrepreneurs

Posted on October 18, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments


Popular culture celebrates the start-up. You can binge watch Shark Tank at will, and podcasts such as “How I built This” celebrate, well, how “I” built “this.” And, while media outlets love the story of a start-up and the possibility of a “unicorn,” most innovation is not entertainment. The most significant innovation challenges today are arguably being tackled in the corporate office parks of well established companies.

Inventing in a suburban garage may be hard (although WeWork has all but killed the garage mystique), but innovating inside an established organization is indisputably more complex. As the CMO of one of the world’s largest corporations noted: “Entrepreneurs can take their ideas to 50 venture capitalists, and they only need one to say ‘yes’. Within a corporation, there are 50 different people who can kill the idea with a single ‘no’.”

Our innovation work reveals three essential behaviors that come relatively naturally to start-up entrepreneurs, but feel relatively unnatural to those attempting innovation in the corporate trenches. Corporate innovators who adopt these behaviors can move confidently and quickly to create future-focused growth engines.

#1 — Get comfortable ending up with a business idea that is wildly different than planned.

Stewart Butterfield is celebrated as a brilliant entrepreneur for launching both Flickr and Slack. His genius lies not in his ability to see the future but rather, in his ability to create the future through relentless in-market experimentation and willingness to change plans. Neither of his billion-dollar disruptors were the expected fruits of an initial business plan or a formalized innovation process. In fact, Butterfield set out with ambitions to create an online game, and he “failed” twice. The first failure led to Flickr and his second attempt produced Slack!

Well-governed processes are the defining structural feature of large enterprises — channeling resources and organizing work. But the expertise and process discipline that fuels successful operation actually impairs effective innovation. Market-creating innovations challenge corporate innovators to adopt a new mindset — as well as new skill sets.

As the journeys to Flickr and Slack suggest, creating a future that is different than the past is inherently inefficient, and a detailed process plan will rarely deliver the desired outcomes. Entrepreneurs should get comfortable wading into the messiness of customers’ circumstances to explore, co-create, and iterate.

#2 — Creatively size problems not solutions. 

Consumption is easy to measure. That’s why most innovation projects start with trying to capitalize on shifting share and results in me-too products, not growth-fueling innovation.  Look at financial services: is there really a need for another credit card? Yet the product of most credit innovation is simply a recast of existing features bundled in a new way that can be marketed slightly differently.

The iconic growth companies of the 21st century – Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Netflix, Badu, Uber, Airbnb – do something completely different. They focus on non-consumption. They see struggles in people’s lives and solve them, thereby creating new markets all together.

Markets that appear small, nonexistent or ill-defined are inherently unappealing to CEO’s looking for low-risk, large-scale, near-term opportunities to leverage currently controlled capabilities. Is it any wonder that many, if not most, established organizations only invest in close-to-the-core, incremental innovations — despite senior executive exhortations for disruption and breakthrough?

How is it that Goldman Sachs, and not the major US retail banking players, rapidly built Marcus into a multi-billion dollar consumer loan franchise? Instead of focusing on the existing, hugely profitable, credit card business, Goldman Sachs’ viewed the market through the lens of consumer experiences. What they saw were millions of people trying to reduce debt, not get more of it. Buried beneath the measurable consumption of credit card debt was massive non-consumption (and innovation opportunity) for lower cost consumer loans.

An important takeaway for executives who find themselves evaluating a potential innovation opportunity is to ask, what’s the size of the problem?  instead of, how big is that market?

#3 — Seek to scale learning not producing.

The value-creating paradigms of the 20th century, first manufacturing and later services, rewarded economies of scale. Increased volume spread across large fixed capital and operating investments reduced unit costs and drove efficiency and advantage. It is understandable that the benefit of scale retains a near-sacred status in management circles.

The encouraging news is that larger organizations can still turn size to their advantage, just in a new way. In the face of exponential technological advancements and human adaptation, a new scale-related calculus is gaining traction: scaled learning. When leaders of large companies create incentives for learning, discovery, and experimentation, scale can endure as an advantage. Amazon’s relentless experimentation produced the world’s largest cloud computing business, AWS. Alibaba’s institutional curiosity led to AliPay and now Ant Financial, the world’s largest money market fund as well as an online transaction platform bigger than Mastercard.

Executives envy the agility, speed, and nimbleness of start-ups. But small companies have extremely limited resources for experimentation, and learning. Constraints of time, talent, and cash constantly impose challenges and force trade-offs. When large company leaders create incentives for learning, discovery, and experimentation, just like Expedia, Intuit, Google, and Microsoft have done, scale can endure as an advantage. Executives who successfully scale learning will dramatically improve their innovation and growth outcomes.

Innovation inside established organizations may not generate the next tech celebrity, but it will very likely produce many of the billion-dollar businesses that will shape our shared future. These efforts will be led by leaders who successfully shift their mindsets and adopt the skill sets demonstrated by successful entrepreneurs.

The more discontinuous a prospective innovation — relative to both internal capabilities and external customer behaviors — the more flexibility leaders should allow in project plans and timelines, the more they should seek to size problems and non-consumption, and the more they should seek to scale learning and discovery.

Related: Making Innovation A Habit In Your Company

The post What Corporate Innovators Can Learn From Entrepreneurs appeared first on ChiefExecutive.net.

Read more: chiefexecutive.net

MyAnalytics: O365’s productivity coach

Posted on October 18, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

MyAnalytics: O365’s productivity coach

Installing software that immediately boosts employee efficiency is any small- or medium-sized business owner’s dream. With Office 365’s dashboard, that’s exactly what you’re getting. And best of all, it’s directly integrated with your existing productivity suite. Read on to learn more.

What is MyAnalytics?

MyAnalytics apply machine learning technology to your employees’ Office 365 data. By utilizing extremely powerful computing processes to analyze huge blocks of information, MyAnalytics can uncover trends and correlations that may be too complex for human discovery.

Every day, Office 365 users create several thousand new data points across Microsoft’s productivity suite, and there’s a lot of potential to rearrange meetings, project goals, and employee tasks to increase efficiency.

The most obvious improvement is with Outlook calendar. MyAnalytics tracks how much time you’re spending with each person in your office as well as the time you’re investing in specific projects. After sufficient information has been gathered, your Office 365 dashboard will begin coaching you on how to organize meetings and project goals based on your habits and past successes.

How can it improve your office?

Have you ever worked on a huge project that required multiple contributors? Did you all meet regularly to update each other? Users who add contacts — from both inside the company and out — and projects to MyAnalytics get reminders to stay in touch with co-workers most vital to project completion.

Every metric tracked by MyAnalytics can be shared with your team to make sure everyone is on the same page. So MyAnalytics is more than just a motivational tool, because sharing these metrics allows your team to identify bottlenecks and trends to smoothen the workflow process.

Response time is another key metric your employees are probably only vaguely aware of. MyAnalytics calculates average email response times — both from you and from contacts — to identify what time of day you’re best at communicating, and how you can adapt your schedule to get more work done in the same amount of time.

Privacy concerns

One of the greatest things about MyAnalytics is that it doesn’t introduce any new privacy concerns for business owners. All the data it uses to create customized coaching and advice is publicly available to everyone at your business — via calendar appointments, email content, and message timestamps. The only difference is that Microsoft is lending you the previously prohibitive computing power to sift through all of it.


This wonderful new tool comes with any Enterprise E5 plan, but can also be added on to E1 and E3 Enterprise plans for just a few dollars per month.

Increasing employee productivity is never as clear cut as it is with MyAnalytics. Install a solution, follow its advice, and start brainstorming about what to do with all your extra time. We’ve got plenty of other great solutions for streamlining your business processes — call us today to find out!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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