Body Language

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Body Language

What are you saying with your Body Language?

Even when they don’t express their thoughts verbally, most people constantly throw off clues to what they’re thinking and feeling. Non-verbal messages communicated through the sender's body movements, facial expressions, vocal tone and volume, and other clues are collectively known as body language.

Body language isn’t always as clear as spoken language, but how it's interpreted can play a big role in how someone relates to and interacts with others. It's a silent orchestra: Microexpressions (brief displays of emotion that an individual tries to conceal), hand gestures, and posture register in the human brain almost immediately—even when someone is not consciously aware of them.

These moments of recognition, however brief, can have long-lasting repercussions for how an individual interprets others’ motivation, mood, and openess, as well as how their own inner self is perceived.

How to Read People

Body language is a vital form of communication, but most of the time, one's own displays of body language—as well as their reading of others’—happen without conscious awareness. When someone is waiting for a blind date to arrive, for instance, they may nervously tap their foot without realizing that they're doing it.

Similarly, when a person shows up, the waiting party may not consciously perceive that their date appears closed-off, but their unconscious mind may pick up on crossed arms or averted gaze. Luckily, with knowledge and a little practice, it is possible to exert some measure of control over one's own body language and to become more skilled at reading that of others.

 

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Data Analytics is clear results and direction.

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Data Analytics is clear results and direction.

Data analytics is the science of analyzing raw data in order to make conclusions about that information. Data analytics techniques can reveal trends and metrics that would otherwise be lost in the mass of information. This information can then be used to optimize processes to increase the overall efficiency of a business or system.

Data analytics is a broad term that encompasses many diverse types of data analysis. Any type of information can be subjected to data analytics techniques to get insight that can be used to improve things.

For example, manufacturing companies often record the runtime, downtime, and work queue for various machines and then analyze the data to better plan the workloads, so the machines operate closer to peak capacity.

Why Data Analytics Matters

Data analytics is important because it helps businesses optimize their performances. Implementing it into the business model means companies can help reduce costs by identifying more efficient ways of doing business and by storing large amounts of data.

A company can also use data analytics to make better business decisions and help analyze customer trends and satisfaction, which can lead to new—and better—products and services. 

How is Data used?

Data analytics can do much more than point out bottlenecks in production. Gaming companies use data analytics to set reward schedules for players that keep most or the majority of players active in the game. Content companies use many of the same data analytics to keep you clicking, watching, or re-organizing content to get another view or another click.

The process involved in data analysis involves several different steps:

·        The first step is grouping or categorizing the data. Data may be separated by age, demographic, income, or gender. Data values may be numerical or be divided by category.

·        The next step in data analytics is the process of assembling or collecting the data and the means of storage. This can be done through a variety of sources such as computers, online sources, cameras, environmental sources, or through personnel.

  • Once the data is collected, it must be organized so it can be analyzed. Organization may take place on a spreadsheet or other form of software that can take statistical data.

  • The data is then cleaned up before analysis. This means it is scrubbed and checked to ensure there is no duplication or error, and that it is not incomplete.

The 2 steps above can be described as Database normalization. This is the the process of structuring a relational database in accordance with a series of so-called normal forms in order to reduce data redundancy and improve data integrity. This step helps correct any errors before it goes on to a data analyst to be analyzed.

Types of Data Analytics

Data analytics is broken down into four basic types.

  1. Descriptive analytics describes what has happened over a given period of time. Have the number of views gone up? Are sales stronger this month than last?

  2. Diagnostic analytics focuses more on why something happened. This involves more diverse data inputs and a bit of hypothesizing. Did the weather affect beer sales? Did that latest marketing campaign impact sales?

  3. Predictive analytics moves to what is likely going to happen in the near term. What happened to sales the last time we had a hot summer? How many weather models predict a hot summer this year?

  4. Prescriptive analytics suggests a course of action. If the likelihood of a hot summer is measured as an average of these five weather models is above 58%, we should add an evening shift to the brewery and rent an additional tank to increase output.

Bottom Line is, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

If you aren’t properly measuring something—whether it's your weight or the number of defects per million in a production line—it is nearly impossible to optimize it.

EIS is your 1 stop shop for Data Analytics and Business Intelligence. EIS IT Consulting can gather, organize, and present your data in ways you have never seen before. Contacts us at 440-918-0140 or consultEIS@gotoeis.com. EIS is a Microsoft Gold Partner – Data Analytics.

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Cloud Productivity can be realized!

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Cloud Productivity can be realized!

At the heart of Digital Transformation is the utilization of cloud computing and collaborative productivity tools. Microsoft has re-invented itself from running software on PCs to a cloud computing powerhouse, and it is the most widely used enterprise cloud service today. The Microsoft tools have become more mobile and more collaborative and are enablers in the speed and reliability of Digital Transformation .  

Eight years after launch, Microsoft’s Office 365 is the most popular enterprise cloud service. It's estimated that one of every five corporate employees (20 percent) use an Office 365 cloud service. In fact, Office 365 has 155 million active users, which is doubled from 2017.

Office 365 provides the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, SharePoint, OneDrive and Skype for Business, and Access. The main reasons enterprise and SMBs alike have moved to Office 365 are Anytime - Anywhere Access, Security, and Reliability.  Office 365 also comes in several flavors or versions. The highest versions of Office 365 which now has versions that are named Microsoft 365, are already available and have office productivity tools that can be managed and shared between users.  The newest and highest-level versions of Microsoft 365 contain the newest features of Anti-threat Protection, Mobile Device Management(MDM), and phone capabilities. Side note, we have rolled out MDM and it works well for all types of devices and remote users.     

These new features of subscription-based software Office 365 are also can collaborate with the newest productivity tools that come bundled in the versions that most users are not aware of right now. Microsoft SharePoint, Teams, Video, Yammer and Delve are included in almost all versions of the product. Teams which has absorbed the Skype for Business functionality is quickly becoming a very important tool for all businesses and has proven productivity gains as noted at the Microsoft Inspire event. Teams is also being groomed to interface with Telephone systems.  OneDrive for business is recognized and widely used as almost all subscribers have started to use the cloud storage in some manner and is utilized as the main file storage mechanism for the tools and features alike. SharePoint Online has become a focus of Microsoft and supporting the other services such as 365 Groups, Teams, and Planner – all collaborative tools designed to improve productivity.  

If you are running your business on local machines, want to improve or re-invent your business, or get caught up on digital transformation and how it can benefit you -  call an expert – Call EIS!  

Contact us to learn more about Microsoft 365 and its tools to make better use of your Time, Talent, and Treasure

Call or contact EIS at 440-918-1040 or ConsultEIS@gotoeis.com.   

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IT Resume Writing Tip #1

IT Resume Writing Tip #1 – Professional Summary

A well written IT professional summary can be key to finding your next great opportunity by setting yourself apart from those you are competing against for a particular role. 

A professional summary should be:

·         Be brief – 3 to 4 sentences

·         Include specific details who you are and what technologies (C#, Angular, Java) or skills (Project Management, Business Analysis, Systems Administration) you can demonstrate or have performed

·         Should be written for the specific job you are applying for

·         Use the language the job uses to describe yourself

·         Can include a relevant example(s) of what you have accomplished that articulates you are a match to the position

For more information on how to write an excellent IT professional summary and IT resume feel free to contact EIS at ConsultEIS@gotoeis.com  

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Personally Identifiable Information or PII

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Personally Identifiable Information or PII

 

Protecting PII?

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. Any information that can be used to distinguish one person from another and can be used for de-anonymizing anonymous data can be considered PII.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII), is considered as any information that can be used to distinguish or trace to an individual’s identity.

Examples include:

  • Name

  • Social Security Number (SSN)

  • Passport number

  • Driver’s license number

  • Financial account and personal identification numbers (PINs)

  • Street or e-mail address

  • Phone number

  • Associated data –data that when alone may not be able to identify an individual but when associated with other data leads to identification (e.g. IP addresses, groups or associations)

Today more than ever it is extremely important for organizations to protect their personally identifiable information (PII). Knowing WHAT (above), WHEN, and WHERE you have PII is extremely important for organizations today. PII data must be treated and identified on its own in order to comply with the guidelines and provide the protection required. 

Organizations need to know the thresholds of WHEN PII enters and exits the data and company boundaries. Organizations should get into a habit of periodically reviewing and auditing their environment for PII. PII can also exists in several different forms - employee PII, as customer PII, created, received, or maintained, and business partners PII. An organization needs to determine the flow of the PII as it enters and WHERE it is recorded/stored to ensure its security and confidentiality.

Organizations need to know the laws and contractual obligation requirements for protecting PII data. It’s very important for organizations to be aware of any laws or contractual obligations that are required to protect PII. Commonly known laws and obligations we are familiar with include: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Gramm-Leach Bliley (GLB). There are State and Local Laws are to be equally considered for the management of PII, and additionally other laws and guidelines pertaining to an organizations industry as well.

What should you do to be and remain safe?

Perform a PII Risk Assessment (Assess all data). Risk assessments should be performed at least on an annual basis.

A central component of many privacy compliance standards and regulations is the performance of a risk assessment. This not only serves as the basis for compliance with the various compliance and reporting efforts but is also essential for good corporate governance. In the context of safeguarding PII, this risk assessment should provide specific coverage over the at least the following:

  • Identification of regulated PII

  • Identification of other sensitive data

  • Identification applicable laws and regulations described earlier

  • Determine threats to compliance with the external and internal processes

  • Risk management strategies

    • Identify avoidance, sharing and common practices

    • Define the control procedures for handling and securing all data

·         Ensure all internal and external stakeholders and partners are involved, understand the requirements, and are kept informed of any practices and policies

Create safeguards for protecting PII according to Confidentiality and Privacy impact

Organizations should create safeguards according the risk assessment (as described earlier) and confidentiality and privacy impact associated with the PII data. These safeguards should clearly reflect the organization’s risk mitigation strategy and be evaluated on a periodic basis for design and operational effectiveness and be revised accordingly. Listed below are a few safeguards that organizations can utilize:

·         Categorize Data and PII. Some data may be less risky to collect and retain than others - email address vs social security numbers

o    Only collect and retain PII that is necessary to perform the business function related to its collection

  • Create policies and procedures – organizations should have policies for the collection, use, retention, disclosure and destruction of PII and all organizational data to include but not limited to (email, meeting notes, documents, bills, etc.). A periodic review of Records Retention and a company standard should be established for the organization. These policies should be adopted and communicated to employees.

  • Training – organizations should train their employees how to protect and handle PII to reduce the likelihood of a incident or breach.

  • Archive Practices – organizations can protect PII and all data by archiving and removing it where it may no longer be needed. These practices can be defined in conjunction with the Records Retention standards for an organization.

  • Encryption – organizations can encrypt databases and repositories where PII is stored.

 

Contact us to learn more about securing data can provide you benefits and make better use of your Time, Talent, and Treasure.  Call or contact EIS at 440-918-1040 or ConsultEIS@gotoeis.com.   

 

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A Cleveland History Moment

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A Cleveland History Moment

An EIS tribute to one of Ohio’s greatest inventors!

Charles "Boss" Kettering was an American inventor, engineer, businessman.

Along with a team of workers, Kettering invented the first automobile self-starter in 1911. Before this, drivers would have to crank the engine by hand before entering the automobile. Kettering held more than 300 patents, most of which were used with automobiles.

He was a founder of Delco, and was head of research at General Motors from 1920 to 1947. Among his most widely used automotive developments were the electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline. In association with the DuPont Chemical Company, he was also responsible for the invention of Freon refrigerant for refrigeration and air conditioning systems. At DuPont he also was responsible for the development of Duco lacquers and enamels, the first practical colored paints for mass-produced automobiles. While working with the Dayton-Wright Company he developed the "Bug" aerial torpedo, considered the world's first aerial missile. He led the advancement of practical, lightweight two-stroke diesel engines, revolutionizing the locomotive and heavy equipment industries. In 1927, he founded the Kettering Foundation, a non-partisan research foundation. He was featured on the cover of Time Magazine on January 9, 1933

 

And you thought you had a busy day!

#CleEIS

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7 REASON TO CONSIDER MOVING TO AZURE

A recent study has shown that the market for global cloud computing is projected to grow by more than 17.93% by 2025. Gartner has predicted that the market for Infrastructure-as-a-Service will reach $71. 5 billion by 2021.

Source: WiseGuyReports, 2018

Source: Gartner, February, 2017

 

Microsoft Azure is cloud-based technology that provides full cloud and hybrid solutions for companies of all sizes. It was launched in 2010 and has quickly developed a solid offering. Azure currently has two cloud platforms on the market:

• An IaaS platform that allows users to provide compute, storage, network, backup and Disaster Recovery services to their customers

• A fully managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables developers

to create, test and deploy solutions and applications for their customers in the cloud and on their mobile devices

So, why should you recommend Azure to your on-premises clients? Here are 7 good reasons.

1. STAYING ON-PREMISES IS A BAD IDEA

What would your client do if his server crashed? Does he have an IT expert on staff who could start a backup process to recover his business data? If not, he’s in big trouble. Did you know that almost 40% of businesses never fully recover from a natural disaster, such as a flood or fire? And what about installing and maintaining that hardware? Most on-premises servers have to be renewed every 5 years and require a big capital investment. If your client moves his workload to the cloud, he won’t have to worry about on-site hardware or capital expenses. All the software renewals and updates will be handled by the provider. And, if he has a technical problem, he can call the provider’s support department for help.

2.YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THE INTERFACE

How many of your clients probably use Microsoft applications like Office 365, Exchange and Outlook? This means convincing them to try a cloud platform like Azure should be pretty easy. For one thing, they’ll be working on an interface they already know. And their developers will be happy, too. If they’re used to working Microsoft’s .Net programming language, it will be easier for them to deploy an application on Azure. And here’s another thing. Azure is one of the few providers to offer a real Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). This lets users create, test and deploy solutions and applications in the cloud and on their mobile devices. Not everyone wants to send all their data to the cloud. In fact, some business owners are more comfortable storing some of their company information in their server room down the hall. Microsoft has created a hybrid cloud so your client can use their on-site servers to run their applications on Azure. In fact, your clients can even set their compute resources to tap into cloud resources whenever they want. Your clients can also take advantage of a special promotion. Microsoft is offering a 40% discount to clients who migrate Windows Server virtual machine to Azure using the Azure Hybrid Benefit.

3. THEY CAN GO HYBRID

Not everyone wants to send all their data to the cloud. In fact, some business owners are more comfortable storing some of their company information in their server room down the hall. Microsoft has created a hybrid cloud so your client can use their on-site servers to run their applications on Azure. In fact, your clients can even set their compute resources to tap into cloud resources whenever they want. Check out the current promotions Microsoft may be offering. Some special promotions and large discounts are available for clients who migrate Windows Server virtual machines to Azure using the Azure Hybrid Benefit.

 

4.THEIR DATA WILL BE SAFE

A lot of people worry about datacenter security. And with all the security breaches occurring these days, who can blame them? Microsoft has taken solid measures to secure its clients’ data. Azure uses industry-standard protocols to encrypt data in transit. This means your clients’ data will be secure:

• as it travels between devices and Microsoft datacenters

• as it moves within a datacenter

• when it’s at rest in Azure storage

Azure currently has more than 70 compliance offerings and was the first major cloud provider to commit to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Microsoft was recently awarded certifications from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for its Azure Government cloud platform. This platform is designed to protect sensitive government data with advanced security and compliance standards.

Azure is currently available in 50 regions around the world in 140 countries.

What would your client do if his entire business ground to a halt because of a fire, electrical storm or ransomware attack? A recent study by invenioIT showed that 30% of businesses -- or 1 in 3 -- have no disaster recovery plan in place. This means they haven’t thought about what technologies or procedures they need to keep their business running once a disruptive event occurs. One of the advantages of using Azure for disaster recovery is the sheer size of Microsoft’s global cloud platform.

5. THEY’LL BE READY IF DISASTER STRIKES

Azure Site Recovery will protect most workloads running on a virtual machine or physical server. And it won’t cost your client a fortune. He’ll pay only for the compute and storage resources he needs to run his apps in Azure during outages. Azure’s Backup Service backs up files, folders, virtual machines, applications and workloads to Azure while the Azure Site Recovery provides a backup site for your clients’ servers and workloads. Azure’s Disaster Recovery solution was given an excellent rating by PCMag in 2017.

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6. OFFERING MIGRATION IS GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS

The best way to convince your Dynamics client to move to the cloud is to offer the service yourself. You can use some of the migration tools provided by Azure’s migration partners, such as Cloudamize, Turbonomic or TSO Logic., or you can work with a cloud provider. But you have to move fast. The market for the public cloud is booming and if you don’t offer this service to your customers, they’ll just head down the street to your competitors. Gartner predicted that 42% of businesses surveyed plan to move to the public cloud in the next two years. And, global spending on Platform-as-a-Service solutions is expected to grow to $14.8 billion by 2021.

7 BONUS - YOU WILL GET ALL THE HELP YOU NEED

When your clients are designing and developing applications, they really don’t have time to worry about infrastructure details. Microsoft and Microsoft certified partners can assist in the plan and execution of your migration or implementation.

·       Microsoft Partners are now experienced in AZURE Steps / Migrations

·       Microsoft Partners have several references

·       The options offered for hybrid, static, virtual, dynamic, servers are for fitting many situations

·       Compliance to requirements and guidelines are built into the solution 

·       Multi-features through one source – replication, backup, and storage are easier and maintained

Contact us to learn more about Microsoft AZURE capabilities and benefits make better use of your Time, Talent, and Treasure

Call or contact EIS at 440-918-1040 or ConsultEIS@gotoeis.com.   

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BASEBALL ALL-STAR GAMES

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BASEBALL ALL-STAR GAMES

The BASEBALL ALL-STAR GAMES were held at in Cleveland 5 times

A forerunner to the All-Star Game was held at LEAGUE PARK on July 24, 1911, when the Cleveland Naps took on a team of American League stars in the benefit game for ADDIE JOSS, who had died earlier that year. The game raised $12,914.60 for Joss’ family.

In 1932, Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Arch Ward proposed an All-Star Game the following year in connection with the Century of Progress exposition, and the game quickly became an annual event. CLEVELAND MUNICIPAL STADIUM hosted the third All-Star Game on 8 July 1935. Ironically, it was the only major league game at Cleveland Stadium; the Indians had moved back to League Park the year before.

At the 1935 game, a record crowd of 69,381 watched New York Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez and Cleveland pitcher Mel Harder hold the National League to just 4 hits, with the American League winning 4-1. Jimmie Foxx of the Philadelphia Athletics drove in 3 runs for the AL, including the game's only home run.

 

The crowd and players stand for the National Anthem at the 1954 All Star Game held at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium, 13 July 1954. The Sporting News.

Cleveland next hosted the All-Star Game on 13 July 1954. A total of 68,751 fans – another record – saw Cleveland's Al Rosen hit 2 home runs and drove in 5 runs to tie an All-Star Game record, and the AL won 11-9. Washington's Dean Stone entered the game with 2 on and 2 out in the 8th inning with the NL ahead 9-8, and threw out the NL runner trying to steal home. Cleveland's LARRY DOBY tied the score with a home run in the bottom of the 8th, and Chicago's Nellie Fox blooped a single to drive in the go-ahead runs. Virgil Trucks pitched a scoreless 9th inning, preserving the victory for Stone.

A disappointing crowd of 44,160 attended the game, played on 9 July 1963. San Francisco's Willie Mays led the NL to a 5-3 victory by driving in 2 runs, stealing 2 bases, and scoring twice.

In 1979, Cleveland was awarded the 1981 All-Star Game, but a players’ strike in June of that year put the game in jeopardy. The strike was resolved, and the All-Star Game was played at Cleveland Stadium on 9 August 1981, signaling the start of the season’s second half. A crowd of 72,086 crowd – still the record for an All-Star Game – watched the NL win its 10th consecutive victory 5-4. All 5 NL runs came as the result of home runs.

Sandy Alomar Jr. hit a two-run homer in the left field bleachers in the seventh inning to lead the American League to a 3-1 victory at the first All-Star Game hosted at Jacobs Field, on July 8, 1997. Alomar became the first Indian to homer in a major-league All-Star game since Rocky Colavito did so in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1959. Alomar became the first Indian ever to win the game's Most Valuable Player award and the first ever to win the award while playing in his home park. The crowd of 44,916 set an attendance record for Jacobs Field.

PROGRESSIVE FIELD is set to host the All-Star Game on 9 July 2019. It will be the sixth time Cleveland has hosted the game – a record for a city with only one MLB team.

Updated by Vincent Guerrieri

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Cleveland History moment of the month from EIS!

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Cleveland History moment of the month from EIS!

EIS is Cleveland born and Cleveland proud.  We focus on respecting Time, with proven Talent, and preserving Treasure… #CLEeis

When you look at the statue of Moses Cleaveland on Public Square think about this….

As one of thirty-six founders of the Connecticut Land Company, General Moses Cleaveland was selected as one of its seven directors and was subsequently sent out as the company's agent to map and survey the company's holdings. On July 22, 1796, Cleaveland and his surveyors arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Cleaveland quickly saw the land, which had previously belonged to Native Americans, as an ideal location for the "capital city" of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Cleaveland and his surveyors quickly began making plans for the new city. He paced out a nine-and-a-half-acre Public Square, similar to those in New England. His surveyors decided upon the name, Cleaveland, after their leader.

The village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814; one of its notable early citizens was Lorenzo Carter, who made Cleveland a solid source for trade. The spelling of the city's name was changed in 1831 by The Cleveland Advertiser, an early city newspaper. In order for the name to fit on the newspaper's masthead, the first "a" was dropped, reducing the city's name to Cleveland. The new spelling stuck, and long outlasted the Advertiser itself!

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Consider Microsoft Teams to help boost productivity!

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Consider Microsoft Teams to help boost productivity!

Microsoft Teams is a powerful communication and collaboration tool that may become a major player in the market.  Teams was added to the Office 365 suite of services in November of 2016. Teams can play a significant role in the new workplace where workers are not all on site, travel regularly, or work remotely. A recent survey revealed that almost 80% of remote workers report greater productivity while working offsite.

Teams has a significant advantage over competitors like Slack. It comes with Business Essentials, Premium, or Enterprise Office 365 subscription which means many companies already own it. Teams allows you to set up multiple channels (discussion areas) for your team, share and store files, and conduct live voice and video meetings. 

Teams provides global, remote, and isolated team members the ability to work together and share information via common space.  Teams provides the ability to chat one-on-one, privately or publicly with team members. The Hub feature of teams offers a shared workspace for various applications in Microsoft Office including Power Point, Word, Excel, Planner, One Note, SharePoint, Delve, and Power BI. Teams also integrates with Skype, Exchange, and Yammer and allows for adding emojis to video discussions with Skype.   

More features of Teams include; E-Discovery for meeting various compliance regulations and making applications secure. Teams also provides views for scheduled meetings, subjects and attendees, and a Bots gallery for polling and reporting to mention a few. Available on both Android and iOS, Teams also has the capabilities to perform mobile and video calling.

Microsoft Teams boasts cutting-edge security and compliance capabilities that are present with any of Office 365’s platform services. Teams can be tailored to use API’s and connecting to applications for added functionality of notifications from third-party products as well.

Microsoft has announced that Teams will replace Skype for Business as the primary communications client in Office 365. Here are more features in Teams you can do to help you to make your workplace more collaborative:

·       Name your Chats – chats are all saved in Teams so they can be referenced any time  

·       Assign an email address to a channel and forward emails

·       Has a mobile App that can be used for messaging within channels

·       Track tasks by using Microsoft Planner

Using Teams can have significant advantages for your workforce; however you must consider how to treat the data within Teams. Consider what work as in documents, conversations, email, texts, and recordings, are being held or saved in Teams. Do you need to retain all the data, documents, emails, and recordings? Should this information be backed up as all the other data within your system? How should it be categorized or retained – separately or integrated with all like components or by timeline?

 

Contact us to learn more about Microsoft Teams and you can get started using this product you might already own. If you don’t own Teams and you are looking for collaboration software, we can walk you through selection, integration, and deployment for a more effective workplace and make better use of your Time, Talent, and Treasure.

Call or contact EIS at 440-918-1040 or ConsultEIS@gotoeis.com

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Digital Disruption Delivered Through Agile, Lean and DevOps

In today’s fast-paced, information-centric world, it’s essential to have the right tools in place to improve your employees’ workplace experience. To do so, you’ll need the right technology-enabled programs. This blog post will take a hard look at the use of Agile, Lean, DevOps, and other learning initiatives to keep your digital disruption transformation manageable.

 

Agile

Agile software development is an umbrella term for a set of frameworks and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the 12 Principles behind it.

To understand Agile more clearly, please take a moment to view this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/KLARQSoNAlc

How can you prepare for an Agile environment?

1.      Centralize and redefine your IT department.

2.      Develop four key areas:

a.       Technology – a movement toward self-service tools with automated delivery (i.e., AI, chatbots)

b.      Talent – Movement away from software developers toward infrastructural engineers who can build well-defined service offerings

c.       Processes – Teams are now responsible for end-to-end, repetitive, and streamlined service offerings

d.      Collaboration – Blending development and operations

3.       Start with a small project and cross-functional team for software development.

Lean

Lean Digital Transformation is the process by which companies apply Lean principles to the design, development, and delivery of new digital experiences. While methodologies are in order, the use of computer languages such as Java, COBOL, and ETL code is often needed to provide the right outcome.  

 

DevOps

DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development and information technology operations to shorten the systems development life cycle while delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives. A good source for understanding and implementing this methodology is The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations.

Here an excellent introductory video to DevOps: https://youtu.be/3EyT1i0wYUY

 

How can you move forward on DevOps?

1.      Read the handbook listed above and refer to it often.

2.      Consider contracting DevOps engineers from EIS.

3.      Internally, start using tools like Git, Docker, Jenkins, Ansible, and Nagios.

4.      Certify some of your IT staff in DevOps which may include Microsoft Azure Certifications and becoming a Certified ScrumMaster.

 

Continuous Learning

Digitally disruptive organizations are implementing lunch and learn series or teaching days to allow employees to spread the teachings of Agile, Lean, and DevOps to their peers. The intent is to promote the latest IT practices and coding updates and methods.

 

Digital Disruption Benefits

 

The ability to release high-quality software sooner at a lower cost is part and parcel why there’s such a massive push toward disruption. Also, the automation of software testing allows for a much more efficient process.

According to McKinsey, Agile approaches can boost the productivity of software developers by 25-30% within 6-18 months. In fact, in one company they were able to cut IT costs by greater than 35% while doubling overall productivity.

Lastly, the team is continually finding ways to improve which cuts down on IT burnout and boredom.

 

Conclusion

Traditional IT infrastructures and management practices cannot compete with the fast-paced digital disruption delivery solutions. Old school thinking of stability first is gone due to multiple handoffs, delays and frequent misunderstandings as identified in the Agile video.

With the integration of DevOps, the product owner and ScrumMaster collectively flush out the scope, objectives, and metrics of the project. They are fully integrated into the process from beginning to end.

 

EIS is Committed to Digital Disruption

Our Consulting Solutions division will deliver high quality, custom software solutions to your organization quickly and within budget. We have the right talent and can provide the right resources for your organization today! Email ConsultEIS@gotoeis.com or give us a call at 440-918-0140 to learn more about our services.

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Snipping Tool - The all NEW Update

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Snipping Tool - The all NEW Update

Ability to finally annotate on a touch screen.

With the all NEW Snip & Sketch a person will have Capture, mark up, and share, all with touch screen users in mind. Some of the differences that is first noticed is that the new Snip & Sketch is a new modern APP that is available from the Microsoft App Store. This tool comes with an update to Windows 10 with version 1809.

View the article to read more.

#EISITConsulting
#EISmakesadifference
#CLEeis

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Sound Business Practices + Cybersecurity = Company Bliss

These two measures are at the heartbeat of any organization. You’ve worked hard to grow your business and keep it profitable. Something is missing. That something is cybersecurity in which every employee is aware and involved. Having the right cybersecurity talent, processes and procedures in place before your business goes off the rails is vital to ensure everything you spent the last several years building up, doesn’t crumble before your eyes.

If you know how to recover from cybersecurity attacks and you’re sure you can recover all of your data and pick where you left off before the attack, and your employees are trained, then no need to read any further! Reality is there are so many ways of an attack that no one is an expert in recovering. Even the best preparation for an attack may be challenged, but experts will tell you the best-known preparation is prevention and avoidance. An attack could result in a very daunting and tireless effort with unknown results. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small and midsized businesses that are hacked go out of business within 6 months.

Let’s take an in-depth look at both and how they intersect.

 

First: Start with Your Business Processes

At the heart of every business, there are things you must do to bring in revenue. You put in place procedures for two reasons: Accountability and Scalability. Focusing exclusively on growth (i.e., sales targets, opening in new markets) can be difficult without a clearly defined plan.

It’s important to take a holistic approach to avoid cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Map out every process and look for weaknesses, especially where sensitive data can be exposed if it falls into the wrong hands.

This audit requires the following:

  • Document when each activity starts and ends

  • What the outcomes are

  • When and who makes the decisions

Ideally, this process will identify areas where things are either paper or process intensive. However, before you automate or streamline anything, you must define the cybersecurity risks.

Second: Inventory BYODs and Beware of Shadow IT

Employees are putting increasing pressure on their employers to allow them to use their own devices when accessing company applications and data. In areas where the CIO or department haven’t approved BYODs, it may be happening despite mandates that state otherwise. Shadow IT is the use of devices, software, and applications without explicit IT department approval. It has grown exponentially in recent years with the adoption of the cloud. From these devices, some data breaches have occurred.

Third: Implement a Good Cybersecurity Strategy

According to Hiscox, a cybersecurity insurance company, roughly 47% of U.S. small businesses had at least one cyber attack last year, and 44% had two to four attacks.

To prevent one from happening to your organization, we recommend the following:

  1. Make sure all software, antivirus software, and firewalls are up to date. Outdated software, including and especially Windows 7 (no longer supported January 2020), will leave the door wide open for data vulnerabilities.

  2. Establish a password policy. Strong passwords that are at least ten characters long with upper and lower case, special characters and numbers, are the best.

  3. Train employees about phishing scams. Don’t do this once – it must be an ongoing process as hackers find new ways to clickbait your staff.

  4. Hire an outside firm to: Hacking needs to be performed from the outside by security experts to be sure no vulnerabilities are present in hardware, software, and policies. Don’t leave your business in the hands of “I would have never thought of that”. A hacker lives and breathes hacking – you don’t.

    1. Complete a vulnerability assessment. This assessment should include all threats in the cloud, with mobile devices, and your data.

    2. Conduct ongoing employee training. It must include BYOD policies, password guidelines, phishing and consequences of violating policies.

  5. Remember, cybersecurity isn’t one and done.
    Consider hiring one or more contract consultants to keep up on assessments, audits, testing, and regulations. This person can be onsite as a contract employee or manage your account as part of our managed services offering.

EIS can provide you with the proper technology solutions, recommend colleagues that can write your policies, and map out plans for continuous improvement.

 

Conclusion

Business process and cybersecurity go hand-in-hand. Understand your processes first, make sure you have a clear path to automation, and use policies, procedures and outside help to ensure your data is secure.  

 

Exodus Integrity Services Has An Unique Advantage

Our IT Consulting Team  is well versed in IT infrastructure, software development, and cybersecurity at the forefront of industry trends and state/federal regulations.

Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced IT consultants. ConsultEIS@gotoeis.com

 

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How to predict the lifespan of a company in one simple measure

By Dave West February 14, 2017 Business 

In his book “Creative Destruction”, Richard N. Foster revealed that the rate that companies fall off of the S&P 500 – the 500 most valuable companies traded on the U.S. stock market – is accelerating. In 1958, the lifespan for a company on the list was roughly 61 years. Today, the average is just 18 years. At this rate, 75 per cent of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027. The reasons behind this shift are many, but in recent years, the advent of the Internet and cloud has reshaped how, when and where we do business. In the current economy, businesses and investors alike are all asking themselves what determines the healthy lifespan of a company? In an age of unicorns, where are the cockroaches that will outlast them all? 

There’s one key measure that may help predict whether or not a company will have staying power and it has nothing to do with revenue, acquisitions or celebrity endorsements. In fact, you need only look back to the story of Thomas Edison, who – in addition to inventing one of the most remarkable innovations in human history – famously failed “10,000 times”. In the face of failure, Edison never stopped innovating, again and again. This is the special sauce to success: speed and frequency of innovation delivery to market. 

Research from Forrester has found that more than one third of banks and insurance companies surveyed delivered new software releases quarterly or less. For an 18 -year old company – assuming that software is part of their innovation – that would equal about 72 releases over the organisations lifetime, as most companies release on a quarterly basis. That sounds like a lot, but for a startup today, that means they have between 10 and 72 times to get it right.

Driven to innovate

Lean startups have removed perfection from their criteria for release. These small organisations are driven to innovate in order to stay alive, but often fall into technological debt as a result. Older, more established businesses less reliant on innovation aren’t in a position to take the chance of imperfection, so they stagger releases, leaving time for trial-and-error before going to market, which typically means three-to-four months between deliveries. This old-guard delivery may have worked in the past, but in today’s world of continuously cloud delivery, that just won’t cut it.

This is where an agile approach to technology innovation can help to speed organisations from idea to delivery. Scrum is an agile approach to software development and delivery that is particularly effective at creating a culture of constant delivery by completing work in regular sprints that focus on clear business outcomes. Each sprint provides a way for the business to inspect and adapt to outcomes, throwing out the bad and concentrating on the good. Some of the most successful companies push innovation delivery regularly – just look at the frequency of app updates to Uber, Facebook and Instagram. 

Not all businesses that employ this approach deal exclusively with software. Capital One is a great example of a business that applied an agile framework to its business operations. In 2011, the company began rolling out agile development, accounting for about one per cent of software.  

Today, agile delivers approximately 85 per cent of software at a rate of roughly 400 product releases per month, with 95 per cent of products meeting expectations on the first release. By opening lines of communication between business partners and development teams, the company makes delivery a business goal, rather than keeping it in an IT silo. Another financial organisation who has made agile their main approach to innovation is BBVA Compass, which is committed to the agile approach and has gone so far as to move many of its developers into a startup incubator and plans to open its programs up to startups to further foster innovation. 

Secret ingredient to disruption

It’s not just the financial industry that benefits from an agile approach – Spotify is a poster child for agile, having originally employed Scrum and then, as the company grew, actually developed their own methodology for agile, which they continue to use today. Agile in the big leagues include the likes of Uber and Airbnb, multi-billion dollar companies that retained the speed, responsiveness and flexibility associated with lean startups. Beyond the on-demand economy, less assuming companies that utilise an agile approach include John Deere, which simultaneously moved 800 software developers into an agile development process in 2011 and saw measurable results including a 42 per cent reduction in time to field issue resolution and faster time to market.  

Agile is also a main ingredient in the secret sauce of disruptors. SpaceX is completely reshaping the space travel industry, with its high rate of software deployment via Continuous Integration and agile approach, where historically innovation has moved at a snail’s pace. From a strictly software perspective, Atlassian has embraced agile to the point of creating an agile resource for customers on the basis of the framework, so that they too can embrace an agile approach that fosters innovation and speeds delivery. 

If you’re curious what happens to companies who fail to adopt this framework, consider the cautionary tale of Circuit City. Once beloved for all things personally electronic, the company was blown out of the water by agile-loving Best Buy. With dedicated “geeks” around the store to help with product-specific inquires and a robust, easy-to-navigate ecommerce site, customers were able to choose whether or not to interact with a salesperson, unlike the Circuit City counter-purchase approach. What Best Buy did was apply agile to the retail store ecosystem which not only improved the speed and quality of customer service, but has allowed the company to remain flexible in the rapidly changing demands of customers. Today, a similar saga is playing out at the Sports Authority, which is struggling to remain relevant in a retail market now dominated by online sales.  

If any of these examples should stand for anything, it should be that speed does not mean the abandonment of quality but that speed via an agile approach has proven to drive innovation for companies new and established alike, who will enjoy a long and fruitful lifespan as long as they continue to innovate at the pace of market demand. For those who resist the agile approach, take comfort in the words of Edison: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” 

Dave West, product owner, CEO, Scrum.org
Image Credit: rawpixel.com

 

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Exciting News!

We have some great new things going on at EIS. Stay tuned for our new blog posts coming soon! Great content on its’ way.

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