Office 365 vs. G Suite: The dilemma of choosing between the behemoths and the benefits of Office 365

Office 365 vs. G Suite: The dilemma of choosing between the behemoths and the benefits of Office 365

Those who remember Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) understand why there was such an interest in the release of Google Apps vs Office 365. Since their initial release, Google Apps has bloomed into G Suite and BPOS has evolved into Office 365. Both of which are capable of hosting a cloud based collaboration solution for companies of any size.…

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AI will be the Next Great User Interface – Once it has Emotional Intelligence

AI will be the Next Great User Interface – Once it has Emotional Intelligence

In December Amazon made my holiday shopping as effortless as it’s ever been. In a not-so-subtle attempt to get its Alexa Voice Service technology on a smooth surface in every home around the globe, the world’s leading online retailer slashed the price of its second-generation Echo Dot to $39.99, and moved nine times more units than it had in the previous holiday season.…

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More Data, More Problems… Leveraging the Azure Import/Export Tool

More Data, More Problems… Leveraging the Azure Import/Export Tool

In today’s market businesses are likely familiar with the enterprise services provided in Azure and have already started planning a cloud transition.  As Azure expands its core offering and more business transition to a cloud platform, the question becomes, “how does an organization move large amounts of data to the cloud, specifically to Azure?”  Introducing the Microsoft Azure Import/Export...

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Uncommon Blend: Making Business Needs Tangible

Uncommon Blend: Making Business Needs Tangible

As the Director of Marketing at a consulting firm, there are a few projects that will inevitably come up – web site redesigns and customer relationship management system implementations. With these projects comes the notorious debate… do we use our internal resources OR do we outsource it? In April of 2016, West Monroe decided to transition from our CRM system and e-marketing tool to...

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Why You Should Blend Instead of Join in Tableau

Why You Should Blend Instead of Join in Tableau

Data blending in Tableau is the operation of combining multiple data sources into the same view by finding common fields between them to join on. Unlike an ordinary join, which combines data sources at the lowest granularity before any aggregation is done, a data blend can join data sources after aggregation is performed on the individual sources; ultimately limiting the number of records that...

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How to Prepare for the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate Exam for Free

How to Prepare for the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate Exam for Free

I recently took the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate Exam and passed it without spending anything on preparation materials. Having taken other certification exams before, I knew that study guides issued by exam providers don’t always provide the most thorough methods of preparation. In preparing for this exam, I was unsure about the best approach for studying, and ended up exhausting the...

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Is Data Warehousing really dead?

Is Data Warehousing really dead?

Traditional data warehousing was pioneered by Ralph Kimball and Bill Inmon in 1970s to address growing problem of accessing data for reporting and analytics from multiple disparate data sources. Key drivers and goals of data warehousing are: Collect data from multiple sources into a single repository Expose data for reporting and analytics in a performant way Keep full history of data...

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Implementing Certificate Authorities in Azure

Implementing Certificate Authorities in Azure

This entry in our series on Azure secure cloud migration discusses the process of implementing a public key infrastructure (PKI) in the cloud. See “Preparing to Migrate to a Secure Cloud” for more information on the blog series and topics covered. Implementing these solutions on-premises always poses interesting systems management questions and in that regard deploying in the cloud...

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Transparent Data Encryption with the Azure Key Vault

Transparent Data Encryption with the Azure Key Vault

In last week’s post, we covered a BitLocker implementation for Azure virtual machines. But as mentioned in that post, because BitLocker doesn’t fully satisfy the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirement (specifically, 3.4 and 3.5.2) for data encryption at rest, we also implemented SQL Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) for all databases.…

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Public LTE: What is the True Cost of Going Wireless?

Public LTE: What is the True Cost of Going Wireless?

Across the country, telephone service providers are announcing their plans to suspend future support, and eventually retire legacy analog circuits. Over the past few decades, these circuits were used by utilities to connect critical assets with their core IT network. Many utilities are using this as an opportunity to upgrade their existing communications systems to IP or cloud based...

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Encrypting Data at Rest in Azure

Encrypting Data at Rest in Azure

Last week, we covered the segmentation of the client environment using Azure’s Network Security Groups. For an overview of the Azure Secure Cloud Migration blog series and a list of the topics being covered, see the introductory post, Preparing to Migrate to a Secure Cloud. This week, in part 4 of the Azure Secure Cloud Migration blog series, we’ll cover the implementation of hard disk...

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