IT Tip from Deb: What Data Would You Like?

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Amazon with my Data.  They sent me a fascinating report of the music that I listened to over the past year – to include the artists, songs and albums I’d purchased.  I was surprised by some of the data and was actually motivated to expand my music selection into other music genres that appeared to be quite low on my “report card”.  In other words, my personalized Amazon data gave me a very useful feedback perspective to help me shape my future music selections.

It also allowed me to see that other customers who liked my same music were purchasing the artists’ newest releases.  This prompted me to expand my existing music collection by purchasing the new releases while taking advantage of Amazon’s special price offer and with ease to the Shopping cart!

On January 27, I attended a Microsoft Power BI Lunch & Learn at Broadview Networks and I was surprised to see so many of our customers in attendance.  I guess everyone is looking for how to best capture Big Data analytics from a value perspective these days!

What I learned is there is a need for “analytical” skills from the end-user level and Microsoft Power BI allows for this.  There are at least two things required in dealing with big data.  The first is to “find and query” the data.  The second, to interpret your findings.

So, tell me what would a Learning Data Snapshot look like? Imagine a process that would give each learner a snapshot of the data surrounding their learning activities.  I would love to see how I spent my learning time by media mix, for example:  % of learning time using video, text, structured e-Learning and e-learning abandonment, social collaboration, classroom, etc.  I would love to see data on my patterns of completion or non-completion of learning resources.  And, my list begins to grow.

In the past 2 years, we have seen the growth of Big Data and we have seen organizations increasingly gather Bigger Data Sets on learning.  However, we have not seen the growth, yet, of Learning Snapshots, that provide feedback, trending and analysis for a learner of their own learning approaches/behaviors – and even comparison with peers.

Microsoft’s Power BI tools will work best when there is a mutual sense of value.  I love getting an annual summary from American Express of my spending, including trends that provide feedback on expenditures.

So, what would YOUR Learning Snapshot look like? What are a few of the data sets that you would love to see on a future Learner Data Snapshot?

If you could take a couple of minutes and send me a sentence or two with your ideas to Deb@broadviewnetworks.ca.  We will be working on this topic and offering business intelligence learning events over the next few months and will gladly share a summary of responses with the learning community.

For details for how Microsoft Power BI can help you, please call me or your Account Manager at 204.984.9897.

Yours in learning,
Deb Perreault
Training Consultant

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Lean IT – How Skinny Can We Be?

In today’s IT landscape, there are continuous demands for CIOs to cut waste and cost from the IT Service Management delivery process. This is where Lean IT can help extract value. We live in a time where processes themselves do not only need be effective, but cost effective as well. Is what we do really necessary? What can be minimalized? Applying lean principles will not only “cut the fat”, but strike a balance for continuous service improvement.

Lean IT Association Foundation Training & Certification

Course Description:

IT organizations are constantly seeking new ways to improve customer satisfaction, service quality and value for the business. Lean IT is applied to transform your IT organization to a customer-focused, efficient and transparent IT organization that can deliver sustainable results to the business.

The Lean IT Association Foundation training covers all elements to introduce you to Lean IT. After completion of the training, you will be able to participate effectively in a Lean IT transformation program.

Course and Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts behind Lean and how Lean can be applied in IT
  • Analyze customer value and translate the voice of the customer to processes
  • Understand Lean concepts as customer value, value streams, flow, pull, perfection
  • Diagnose and improve processes with value stream mapping
  • Problem solving with the Kaizen approach
  • Work with the DMAIC improvement cycle
  • Designate improvement activities that improve process results
  • Understand what behaviors & attitudes are essential within Lean organizations
  • Prepare the student to take the Lean IT Association Foundation Certification exam

Delivery: Classroom delivery

Quint Training Delivery Partner (ATO): Quint is a founding member of the Lean IT Association.

Course Approach:

The Lean IT Association Foundation Training is two days. During the training, you will learn the fundamentals of Lean and how to apply Lean in an IT domain. In the training you will practice with exercises to build hands-on skills. The training will introduce you to the softer aspects of Lean IT like change approaches and how to change people’s behavior and attitude. All the exercises are related to ICT, but no technical IT knowledge is required.

This course is delivered using an exciting case study designed to further enhance the candidates understanding of Lean IT. Students who have attended this course are prepared to successfully take the associated Lean IT Association Foundation certification exam which is a requirement for attending any of the further Lean courses available in this track.

Course Student Material:

Students will receive a Lean IT Association Foundation classroom workbook containing all of the presentation materials, the case study, the book Lean Thinking and sample exam questions.

Reference Materials:

Lean Thinking, Womack & Jones.

Prerequisites:

There are no pre-requisites for this course, although a basic knowledge of IT concepts will be helpful.

Target Audience:

Any member of an IT organization.

Training Fees: $1,800 CDN plus 5% GST

Course Dates: January 27-28, 2016 and February 23-24, 2016

To Learn More and to Register, please call Deb Perreault at 204-984-9897 or email Deb@broadviewnetworks.ca

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Flash Feature Focus: Lenovo’s System x

Lenovo’s enterprise line-up was extended this year with System x. Do you know how it can add value to your business?

As a Lenovo Business Partner, Broadview Networks can help you understand how Lenovo products can help your organization. Call (204) 984-9897, or email solutions@broadviewnetworks.ca.

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Flash Feature Focus: Dell XPS 13 Beats Apple, Acer, Asus in the Race for Best 2015 Notebook

It’s official! The Dell XPS 13 has beaten the MacBook, Acer Predator, and Asus UX305CA  in Digital Trends’ Best Products of 2015: Computing category.

Read all about why the XPS 13 was chosen here.

Interested in other Dell products? Broadview Networks is a Dell Premier Partner. We can help you find the device that will add the most value to your organization. Call us at (204) 984-9897, or email solutions@broadviewnetworks.ca.

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IT Pro Tip: Microsoft Licensing

As an IT professional, you should be versed in Microsoft licensing and all the ways it can benefit your company. Need a little refresher? See below for an overview of what you should know as an IT Pro.

At Broadview Networks, we’re Microsoft licensing specialists. Give us a call at (204) 984-9897, or email solutions@broadviewnetworks.ca, to find out more about which licensing solutions is best for you.

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Flash Feature Focus: Two Hardware Services You Should Know About

On Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Been thinking about a Microsoft Surface Pro 4? Check out this review and find out all the information you need to know to make an informed decision.

On Complete View Hardware

Running an SMB? With Broadview Networks’ Complete View, you can get your hardware for a low monthly cost instead of a large, upfront fee.

Want to know more? We have information on all your hardware needs. Call (204) 984-9897, or email solutions@broadviewnetworks.ca.

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IT Announcement: Get the Training You Need, No Missed Work Required

You can now train with Broadview Networks outside of your traditional office hours as you prepare for Microsoft Certification.  Our After-hours classes are held on Saturdays and a combination of week nights and includes hands-on, Instructor-led courses, with additional lab time, exam vouchers and more.

Windows Server & Active Directory

20410 AFTER HOURS: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 $2,795 Mar 05-19 (Mar 5, 8, 9, 10, 12 & 19)
20411 AFTER HOURS: Administering Windows Server 2012 (5 days) $ 2,795 Apr 09 – 23 (Apr 9, 12, 13, 14, 16 & 23)
20412 AFTER HOURS: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services (5 days) $ 2,795 May 07-21 (May 7, 10, 11, 12, 14 & 21)
MCSA MCSA Windows Server Certification After-House Program (Courses 20410; 411 & 412 Combination of weeknight & Saturday classes over a 3 month period) $8,000 Mar 05-19; Apr 09-23; May 07-21
20346D AFTER HOURS: Managing Office 365 Identities & Services (5 days) $ 2,795 Jan 09-23 (Jan 9, 13, 15, 16, 20 & 23)
SQL Server
20461 AFTER HOURS: Querying SQL Server $ 2,795 Mar 05-19 (Mar 5, 8, 9, 10, 12 & 19)
20462 AFTER HOURS: Administering SQL Server Databases $ 2,795 Apr 09-23 (Apr 9, 12, 13, 14, 16 & 23)
20463 AFTER HOURS: Implementing a Data Warehouse with SQL Server (5 days) $ 2,795 May 07-21 (May 7, 10, 11, 12 14 & 21)

We also have other Course titles to include Microsoft Excel.

S151en AFTER HOURS: Excel 2013/2010 Level 1 $340 Jan 09 • 23 • Feb 06 • 20 • Mar 05 • 19 • Apr 02 • 16 • 30
S152en AFTER HOURS: Excel 2013/2010 Level 2 $ 340 Dec 19 • Jan 09 • 23 • Feb 06 • 20 • Mar 05 • 19 • Apr 02
S153en AFTER HOURS: Excel 2013/2010 Level 3 Spreadsheet Analysis $ 340 Jan 09 • 23 • Feb 06 • 20 • Mar 05 • 19 • Apr 02 • 16 • 30

To View all of the After-Hours classes, please visit our current Training Catalog.

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IT Pro Tip: Setting up the IBM Storwize V7000

Ever wonder what goes into setting up the IBM Storwize V7000? You should. Having a basic understanding of IT principles can help you communicate with your IT team (internally and/or externally) and ensure installation and testing processes run as smoothly as possible.

For more information, call (204) 984-9897, or email solutions@broadviewnetworks.ca.

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IT Tip: Three Things to Consider About Virtualization

Virtualization has changed the way computer systems operate in business environments. Gone are the days of one-server-for-one-workload. Cloud economics, from server cost to scalability, from lifespan to security, are making migration of workloads across servers, both internally and across data centers, a reality to be seriously considered as a value-adding system.

When thinking about virtualization and how it can aid your business, consider these three things.

1. Be proactive, not reactive

It’s always easier to provision a new VM than to rebuild a physical piece of hardware. Between data centers and the cloud, virtualizing can be a part of your backup and data recovery plan. Instead of reacting to disaster, you can proactively create backups and copy virtual workloads.

2. Plan for growth

You’re always looking ahead and setting goals for your business; when planning to integrate virtualization, be sure to keep long-term plans in mind. Plan to have the resources in place to accommodate extra users and capacity down the line.

3. Test and maintain

Remember, the value virtualization adds can be immense, but there’s still work to be done in managing the data center. Testing and maintenance should still be prioritized to be sure all systems are healthy, functioning, and optimized.

To learn more about virtualization services from Broadview Networks, call (204) 984-9897 or email solutions@broadviewnetworks.ca.

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Feature Focus: Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000 Series

software-defined infrastructure is vital to businesses that need the integration, automation and simplicity required to run and grow, quickly and efficiently. The Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) G series of Hitachi storage systems lets you deliver maximum agility in your infrastructure, while eliminating complexity.

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