Efficient data management keeps goods flowing smoothly in Denmark. Danske Fragtmaend, the country’s largest national transport and distribution firm, has been moving freight for more than a century. Today, Danske Fragtmaend delivers more than 40,000 consignments each day throughout Denmark, and businesses from small mom-and-pop operations to factories rely on its services.
The firm handles logistics in a central location, where 200 dispatchers keep an eye on the movement of thousands of trucks and their cargo. Both drivers and dispatchers need the latest information to operate efficiently, so they rely on a data platform based on SQL Server 2016. The storage system includes 160 terabytes of flash memory for fast I/O and high uptimes. Throughout the day, drivers continually scan transactions with PDAs and send shipping information including GPS coordinates to the data platform. Fast access to information is essential. Ulf…
New Channels, New Docs, New Ways to Make Great Bots
On May 10th, Microsoft announced numerous updates to the Bot Framework designed to help developers make great conversationalists.
1 New Channels
Three new channels are available today, increasing your bot’s reach to even more of the Microsoft audience, as well as people engaged in many of the world’s most popular messaging experiences.
The Cortana channel enables you to extend Cortana by authoring Skills. Visit the Cortana developer portal to learn how to add your skills to Cortana.
The Bing channel allows users to discover and chat with your bot directly in the Bing search result page. Bing bots are authored using the Bot Framework and connected via the Bing channel. The Bing Bot development experience allows bot developers to publish their bots to Bing, where they appear in the Bing Bots Rich Answer. Users will…
Power BI was first made generally available in July 2015. Since then, Microsoft’s driving vision for Power BI has been to enable users across roles, disciplines and industries to sign up for the service in seconds and get business value by drawing insights from their data within minutes. Microsoft’s relentless focus to drive access to insights at scale has helped Power BI reach more than 200,000 organizations, and the breadth of this global community continues to directly contribute to Power BI’s evolution – to date more than 400 features have been added to the service as the result of input from more than 50,000 users.
Introducing Power BI Premium
Today Microsoft is taking the next step in its commitment to empower people and organizations with access to critical intelligence: introducing Power BI Premium. Power BI Premium builds on the existing Power BI…
When the term “big data” first burst onto the scene about seven years ago, experts predicted that organizations could dramatically improve how they operate by capturing and analyzing vast arrays of rapidly growing information.
Fast forward to 2017. It turns out that “big data” wasn’t just another buzzword. Now an established term in the IT and business lexicon, big data is bigger than ever. By some estimates data volumes are doubling every three years.
But organizations have yet to fully capitalize on the value of data for more informed decision-making, operational efficiencies, and personalized systems of engagement with customers and partners.
“Most companies are capturing only a fraction of the potential value from data and analytics,” according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, “The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data-Driven World.”
Connecting Data for Competitive Advantage
For organizations that want to survive and thrive…
1: Build data-driven apps that learn and adapt
Applications show intelligence when they can spot trends, react to events, predict outcomes or recommend choices—often leading to richer customer experiences, improved business process, or addressing issues before they arise. The three key ingredients to creating an intelligent app are:
Ingest data in real time
Query across historical and real-time data
Analyze patterns and make predictions with machine learning
With Azure, you can make your applications intelligent by establishing feedback loops, and applying big data and machine learning techniques to classify, predict, or otherwise analyze explicit and implicit signals. Today, apps for consumers and enterprises can deliver greater customer or business benefit by learning from user behavior and other signals.
Pier 1 Imports launched a mobile-friendly pier1.com, making shopping online easier. It enabled the selection of delivery options like direct shipment, picking up products in the local store,…
Several Office 365 updates this month can help companies of all sizes accelerate the digital transformation within their organization. Microsoft released Outlook Customer Manager, introduced Microsoft To-Do in Preview, extended Designer to PowerPoint on iPad, added support for Office 365 Groups in additional Office apps and more. Read on for the details.
Outlook Customer Manager is rolling out worldwide
Outlook Customer Manager makes it easy for small businesses to track and grow customer relationships without leaving Outlook. Today’s rollout includes several new capabilities based on feedback Microsoft received during the First Release of Outlook Customer Manager. It’s easier to manage customers and upcoming deals with automatic reminders about customer inquiries, suggested company information from Bing and integration with Microsoft Flow. You can also access Outlook Customer Manager on the go in Outlook for iOS and Outlook on the web. Read more about…
Back in 2011, Gartner analyst Benoit Lheureux wrote a blog post titled: “EDI is Hot, No, Really!”
That was probably stretching it then and six years later…well, let’s just say “hot” is perhaps overstating it. But there’s no overstating the continued importance of EDI to many businesses.
“Bottom line: EDI remains — and will remain for years to come — a high impact, valuable asset to business,” Lheureux wrote in his report. “… EDI is a well-established approach that is still a vital component of most companies’ overall B2B strategy and easily contributes to B2B, cloud computing, business intelligence, et al.”
Like the Internet, EDI has its roots in the military. The scale and complexity of the 1948 Berlin airlift required the exchange of information about transported goods—over a 300-baud teletype modem, no less. The effort led to standards that eventually became EDI as…
Quick measures, a new feature Microsoft released in their April Power BI Desktop update, lets you quickly create new measures based on measures and numerical columns in your table. These new measures become part of your model and can be used in any of your charts, just like manually created DAX calculations. You can also see the underlying DAX, and edit it if you need to tweak the results.
You can create measures based on 19 different calculations across five different categories. Let’s take a look at those five different categories.
Aggregate within category
These calculations let you apply different aggregates at different levels in your data. For example, you can sum revenue up to the month level, and then take an average of that total to display at the year level.
The result would look something like this:
The calculations included in the Aggregate…
The Microsoft Educator Community recently launched a new bot built with the Bot Framework to provide educators with a personal human-like assistant that can direct them quickly to relevant content. One of the key roles of the bot is to help educators better engage with Office 365 and develop their teaching skills with Microsoft’s Office products.
Since the bot was added to the site in January, engagement with the bot has been high, with over 40,000 messages from educators being exchanged. Educators have found the bot to be human-like, valuable, and easy to use. They shared positive praise for its assistance and helpfulness. In fact, Microsoft is beginning to see a trend towards educators preferring to start their engagement on the site with the bot. Educators who use the bot during their visit to the site have 3-times longer session duration…
While cloud security continues to be a top concern, Microsoft recently shared insights from a survey that show overall concern has dropped significantly since 2015. They’re now at a stage where half of organizations contend the cloud is more secure than their on-premises infrastructure. In conversations Microsoft has with their customers and partners, they hear increasingly about how using the cloud improves an organizations’ security posture. As many organizations push forward on their digital transformation through increased use of cloud services, understanding the current state of cloud security is essential.
Maintaining a strong security posture for your cloud-based innovation is a shared responsibility between you and your cloud provider. With Microsoft Azure, securing cloud resources is a partnership between Microsoft and their customers, so it’s essential that you understand the comprehensive set of security controls and capabilities available to you on…