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Microsoft IT Showcase


Welcome to an insider's view of the Microsoft enterprise IT environment. Here you'll find our latest content on Microsoft IT's best practices and lessons learned as we plan for, develop, deploy, and manage Microsoft products in our own global enterprise. Content is added regularly, so be sure to check back often to see what's new, or subscribe to our RSS feed to receive alerts when new content is posted.

  • Managing a Microsoft Azure hybrid environment
    Microsoft IT manages a hybrid environment that includes applications and data in Microsoft Azure as well as in traditional datacenters. To connect Azure and on-premises servers, they use Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute for more reliability, speed, and security. The self-service model they developed allows users to quickly create computing resources and comply with standards, resulting in reduced datacenter costs, modernized security, and increased efficiency.
    Published: July 29, 2015

  • Microsoft Edge
    Microsoft Edge, the new browser in Windows 10, is designed to deliver a better web experience. It’s fast, compatible, and built for the modern web—designed to work the way you do and help you get things done through easy sharing, reading, discovery, and more.
    Published: July 21, 2015

  • Using Windows 10 Client Hyper-V
    Client Hyper-V is the virtualization technology built into Windows 10 and Windows 8.x. It is the same virtualization technology previously available only in Windows Server. Client Hyper-V enables you to run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same host computer. But instead of working directly with the computer’s hardware, the operating systems run inside a virtual machine (VM). Hyper-V enables developers and IT professionals to easily maintain multiple test environments. It also provides a simple mechanism to quickly switch between these environments quickly.
    Published: July 21, 2015

  • Creating a Portable Windows 10 Environment with Windows To Go
    You can use Windows To Go, a feature in Windows 10 Enterprise (and previous versions), to provision a USB drive with a complete and managed Windows 10 system image. You can insert the USB drive (known as a Windows To Go workspace) into a managed or unmanaged Windows 10 host computer to boot and run a managed Windows 10 system. You don’t have to install any software on the host computer to use the Windows To Go workspace.
    Published: July 21, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT uses Project Pro for Office 365 & SharePoint Online to improve planning efficiencies
    A business analytics lead shares how SharePoint Online and Project create a one-stop shop for project management, including scheduling, task assignments, and dependency tracking. His team uses SharePoint Online with Project to track all elements of annual planning, including task assignments and even leadership feedback.
    Published: July 20, 2015

  • Microsoft simplifies its sales platform and deploys Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
    Microsoft created a direct sales platform that supports seller-specific customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI), and seller tools. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online forms the backbone of the platform and uses Microsoft Azure-based services for advantages of scale.
    Published: July 20, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT is securing high-value corporate assets
    Security breaches and incidents have escalated in frequency and sophistication; as a result, security is moving to the top of corporate agendas. Breaches such as at Target, Home Depot, and Sony have shown how a single incident can hurt a company, its shareholders, partners, and customers. There is a profound sense of urgency in the IT industry to protect critical corporate assets—beyond just the network. Learn how Microsoft IT is taking action and making an investment to protect its high-value assets.
    Published: July 20, 2015

  • Protecting high-value assets with secure admin workstations
    Certain types of security attacks are gaining prevalence in large organizational environments, and to say that IT teams are concerned is an understatement. Secure admin workstations (SAWs) can be invaluable in the security toolkit for any organization. Microsoft IT has discovered a particularly effective use for SAWs in protecting high-value assets. Learn what SAWs are, how Microsoft uses them, and why other organizations might adopt them.
    Published: July 20, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT built a private cloud self-service offering
    Microsoft IT has deployed a private cloud infrastructure on a global scale, which supports a cost- and time-saving self-service capability for internal customers who need servers for line of-business applications and services. Built on the Microsoft IT private cloud, the service uses Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Windows Azure Pack. Learn how IT pros built the self-service environment, from provisioning hardware through deploying the Microsoft suite of virtual machine-related products
    Published: July 20, 2015

  • Managing resource efficiency in Azure and on-premises datacenters
    When IT professionals transition to a hybrid cloud environment, they face the challenge of efficiently allocating server infrastructure resources. How is Microsoft IT approaching these challenges and controlling costs? This technical case study describes the strategic approach to analyzing and identifying underutilized resources and implementing the solutions used by Microsoft IT.
    Published: July 20, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT uses Lync and OneNote to make a shift in productivity
    Microsoft employees explain how Lync and OneNote work together to make team meetings more productive. For example, participants can share a OneNote notebook on SharePoint Online and input meeting notes and action items simultaneously. Lync allows for polls and instant messaging conversations that can happen while the meeting continues uninterrupted.
    Published: July 13, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT uses Yammer to enhance productivity
    Microsoft employees demonstrate how Yammer helps create a collaborative culture for their team by fostering conversations and identifying subject matter experts. It also helps people coming into a new project or team to ramp up quickly by providing an easy-to-follow history of the work and process.
    Published: July 13, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT uses OneNote to collaborate more effectively
    A technical evangelist explains how he uses OneNote for collaboration with his teammates. OneNote provides a central location where the entire team can reference important information, track meetings and action items, and conduct reporting.
    Published: July 13, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT uses Lync Server to collaborate as a global team
    A marketing and communications director in Microsoft IT explains how Lync helps her lead a global team. Video-conferencing provides a personal connection for teammates around the world, while white boarding, shared desktop, and instant messaging allow ideas and content to be shared quickly.
    Published: July 13, 2015

  • Microsoft IT creates a highly scalable web service in Microsoft Azure
    To automate a manual process, Microsoft IT built a scalable web service that relies on multiple Microsoft Azure components. The new service interfaces with legacy systems and current business processes and is designed to support additional business units and processes in the future. Soon after deployment, it became clear that the new system had already improved the customer experience, reduced support time, and minimized errors.
    Published: July 9, 2015

  • Optimizing development and test with Microsoft Azure virtual machines
    Microsoft Corporate Functions IT (CFIT) is using Microsoft Azure to host certain development and test environments. The group is focusing on the capabilities of the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model, especially the virtual machines that IaaS supports. This article discusses the governance, technology, and processes that it used to gain the maximum efficiency from this solution.
    Published: July 9, 2015

  • Microsoft IT automates a supply chain business process with Microsoft Azure
    To automate a manual process, Microsoft IT built a scalable web service that relies on multiple Microsoft Azure components. The new service interfaces with legacy systems and current business processes and is designed to support additional business units and processes in the future. Soon after deployment, it became clear that the new system had already improved the customer experience, reduced support time, and minimized errors.
    Published: July 7, 2015

  • Microsoft IT uses data-driven engineering to improve the customer web experience
    Find out how Microsoft IT used data-driven engineering to improve content discoverability and increase customer satisfaction on support.microsoft.com. Data-driven engineering let the team make truly informed decisions and implement proactive changes more often.
    Published: July 7, 2015

  • How Microsoft IT manages mobile device management
    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is no longer just a trend. It is arguably the dominant culture in the workplace; a majority of employees now use personal devices for work. This has implications for both users and IT departments, particularly in the search for balance between convenience and security. This case study provides an update about how Microsoft IT is evolving to deliver mobile device management in a large organization.
    Published: July 2, 2015

  • Reenergizing early adoption by using SharePoint Online and Yammer
    Microsoft IT created the Microsoft Elite program to transform the culture of early adoption. The aim was to re-engage the employee base using a purpose-driven social community in Yammer and leaderboard gamification in SharePoint Online. The Elite program allows for easy onboarding and provides early adoption programs a level of communication and feedback that was previously available only to large-scale deployments.
    Published: July 2, 2015

  • Cortana for Windows 10
    Cortana is your personal digital assistant in Windows 10. She gets to know you and helps you get things done, letting you interact with her in a way that’s easy and natural. She can search the web, find things on your PC, show you the local news and weather, and provide reminders based on time or location. Just tell Cortana what you want, and she’ll be there to help you out.
    Published: June 29, 2015

  • Exploring Windows 10
    Windows 10 is designed to please both touch and mouse users. It’s also designed to be intuitive for users of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, incorporating the “best of both worlds” to enhance your experience and help you be more productive. The Start menu is back, putting all your apps, settings, and files just a few keystrokes, clicks, or taps away. Cortana helps make things easier for you and keeps you up to date. Microsoft Edge, the new browser in Windows 10, is designed to deliver a better web experience. It’s also easier to find and switch between open apps, keep them organized, resize and reposition them, keep track of notifications, and access frequently used system settings.
    Published: June 29, 2015

  • Microsoft is redesigning the meeting experience with productivity in mind
    In the mobile-first, cloud-first world, Microsoft is challenging itself to transform the meeting experience, enhance productivity, and delight employees. By taking a new, holistic approach to meeting spaces across the company, Microsoft is transforming standard conference rooms into meeting spaces that deliver an efficient, high-fidelity, and highly collaborative meeting experience for both in-room and remote attendees.
    Published: June 29,2015

  • Modernizing HR at Microsoft
    To support major strategic and cultural shifts at Microsoft, the HR Reimagined initiative helped the company deliver a seamless, engaging HR experience for over 100,000 employees worldwide. Microsoft Azure was an easy choice for the platform of such a global effort, enabling HR to take advantage of their existing investments in software, for an industry-best solution.
    Published: June 29, 2015

  • The journey to a new sales experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
    The processes and tools that the Microsoft sales organization previously used had become overly complex and kept sellers from focusing on their customers. Starting with the principle that Microsoft should use the products that it sells to customers, Microsoft corporate and field groups worked together to simplify sales processes and deliver a new sales platform that has increased seller productivity and satisfaction.
    Published: June 26, 2015

  • Managing security and privacy within DevOps
    DevOps is the practice of software engineers and operations professionals working together through the software development, production, and support lifecycle. When embracing the DevOps culture, the software development lifecycle of many application development teams evolves from the waterfall model to a more agile approach, which has caused security compliance to become an industry challenge. The Microsoft IT Information Security & Risk Management (ISRM) team is working to move security and risk management upstream by developing a process where they get involved earlier in the software development lifecycle. The solution includes the use of industry-leading tools for static and dynamic analysis as well as infrastructure scanning.
    Published: June 26, 2015

  • Standardized certification for internal apps improves security, privacy, and productivity
    New trends, including “bring your own device” and the demand for small, task-focused apps, have made it harder for companies to apply security, privacy, branding, and distribution standards to internal apps. To meet these needs, Microsoft IT developed an internal app certification process that all developers must follow. By providing tools to help developers and enforcing standards through certification, IT can manage its growing app portfolio. The solution also enables developers to be more agile and creative in the apps they create in response to ever-changing business needs.
    Published: June 24, 2015

  • Microsoft IT Service Management transitions from Exchange On-Premises to Office 365
    Microsoft IT migrated hundreds of thousands of mailboxes from Exchange On-Premises to Office 365 Exchange Online. But for the service management team, the major change was not technology—but changing their focus from servers to service. They are now accountable for ensuring end-to-end service quality and user satisfaction for the email service.
    Published: June 22, 2015

  • Microsoft IT migrates mailboxes to Office 365 Exchange Online
    Before Office 365 was released to the public, Microsoft weighed the pros and cons of migrating its many mailboxes to Office 365 Exchange Online. The company determined that the move was worth the risk and effort because of the many potential advantages of having its mailboxes in the cloud. The IT Exchange Email and Calendaring team at Microsoft IT undertook an extensive planning effort, announced the upcoming migration, prepared the affected teams, and then migrated mailboxes—thousands at a time—learning all the while. In each phase, Microsoft IT used the lessons learned from previous phases.
    Published: June 22, 2015

  • Microsoft IT enhances security and reliability with Exchange Online Protection
    Microsoft IT uses Exchange Online Protection as a service to block and filter spam and other malicious email. In addition, they have developed tools and processes to help manage the service and minimize such threats. This article describes how Microsoft IT uses Exchange Online Protection and other measures to reduce email security vulnerabilities.
    Published: June 22, 2015

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