- Azure Governance
Azure Cloud with Governance
Today, the vast majority of organizations that are moving to the cloud are utilizing Microsoft’s Azure services. Azure provides many options for designing and running your IT Systems. A multitude of choices regarding virtual networks, server configurations, data storage options, public and private connectivity, security setup, and more allow organizations to build out their idea workload environments.
TechStar specializes in helping organizations move their entire IT infrastructure to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, or to build out hybrid networks that work in conjunction with on-prem services. TechStar provides:
Assessment and Planning: Document and catalog all software, resources, users, and workloads needed.
The right-sizing of Azure resources helps determine the required scale of cloud resources (server, network, storage, and availability) for top performance.
Application of Microsoft Governance principals to help organize hierarchy structures, minimize costs, heighten security, and improve maintenance of systems.
Design High Availability/Resilience requirements for workloads that include disaster recovery, backup, and restoration of data and systems
Governance is the Key
These systems must be set up and configured correctly to minimize costs, save time, and maximize productivity. Azure Governance is the key to your return on investment in moving to the cloud. There are many reasons why it is important to apply good governance to your Azure servers.
Misconfigured equipment can cost you more in the long run in terms of money, time, and effort.
With a properly designed governance plan, there are no higher costs from machines left running when not needed.
Governance eliminates complicated reports generated from mislabeled resources.
No more hidden compliance issues that can damage your corporate reputation and drive costly fines.
Inclusion of Role-Based Access Controls and Policies used to improve security usage and compliance.
Work to identify and appropriately tag resources for better reporting and metadata sorting for management and billing.
Suggest cost reduction steps, including automation, reserved instances, spot pricing, and Azure Hybrid pricing where appropriate.
Customize the Azure portal for better and more consistent reporting.
TechStar can work with your organization to help plan your migration to the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Our Azure Architects will work with your IT Team to coordinate an orchestrated plan to migrate your organization in its entirety, or in hybrid operations, to the Microsoft Cloud in the quickest, and safest way possible with minimal disruption to day to day operations.
TechStar offers an assessment workshop where we will understand your business and your objectives better and align Azure usage toward your corporate goals. This assessment is the first step toward deploying a complete solution, which includes a formal design and implementation project.
TechStar offers Governance training. Our professional trainers will work with your teams to teach proper Azure Governance techniques. (see the governance is the Key section.) This four-hour hands-on workshop ensures that your Cloud environment is optimized for the lowest cost and highest security scalability for your online resources.
TechStar is ready to offer you our years of Microsoft expertise to help you make your organization’s journey to the Azure Cloud the most friction-free migration, at the lowest cost, with the least disruption. We look forward to helping you on your journey.
Microsoft has been building out its security software aggressively over the last five years and now become a serious contender in providing Enterprise level security for Windows, Office, Azure, Databases, and Networks. Here are just a few of the Microsoft Security systems.
- MS 365 Admin Center
- MS Intune
- Windows Autopilot
- MS Endpoint Configuration Manager
- Windows Hello
- MS Advanced Threat Analytics
- Windows Defender
- MS Defender Advanced Threat Protection
- MS 365 Advanced Threat Protection
- Azure Advanced Threat Protection
- MS 365 Data Loss Prevention
- Windows Bitlocker
- MS Cloud App Security
- Secure Score
- MS Security and Compliance Center
Microsoft has integrated these security systems inside the security portals so that it is easy to click on security issues to drive details, no matter which type of security issue it is
TechStar has been providing Microsoft Security Stack webinars to the public for free in 2020. Our security experts have put together a unified assessment of Microsoft security offerings to teach corporations about the best practices and policies that will help secure their corporate environments.
In these webinars, we teach about the Microsoft Attack Kill Chain. We show how various attacks like phishing e-mails, brute force attacks, DDOS attacks, Cryptojacking attacks, and other issues can exploit weaknesses in your systems if not adequately protected.
Microsoft offers tools to stay current on the latest attempts by bad actors to access your systems. Github now contains public JSON queries that can help find and isolate the latest threats. Microsoft even supports attack simulator that can run a simulated attack against your network to help uncover your weakest points.
Microsoft provides the following components that work together to protect your network:
- Microsoft 365 Security Center - Monitor and respond to threat actors and strengthen security posture across your identities, e-mail, data, endpoints, and apps with Microsoft Threat Protection
- Microsoft Defender Security Center - Monitor and respond to threat activity on your endpoints using capabilities provided with Microsoft Defender ATP
- Security & Compliance Center - Manage Exchange Online Protection and Office 365 ATP to protect your e-mail and collaboration services, and ensure compliance with various data-handling regulations
- Azure Security Center portal - Use Azure Security Center to strengthen the security posture of your data centers and your hybrid workloads in the cloud
- Azure ATP portal - Identify, detect, and investigate advanced threats, compromised identities, and malicious insider actions using Active Directory signals with Azure ATP
- Cloud App Security portal - Use Microsoft Cloud App Security to get rich visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics to identify and combat cyber threats on cloud services
- Microsoft Defender Security Intelligence portal - Get security intelligence updates for Microsoft Defender ATP, submit samples, and explore the threat encyclopedia
TechStar can provide a four-hour workshop to review your corporate security systems and make recommendations based on Microsoft security stack. We can map out a security roadmap that will help navigate organizations through deploying necessary security measures, without crippling existing systems.
Techstar provides detailed Security deep dive training events for your IT Staff. A four-hour hands-on training class will help your organization get up to speed on Microsoft security programs, and will help your team learn to prioritize and resolve outstanding security issues. This session is to help you proactively avoid security issues in the future by correctly configuring and deploying security software today.
TechStar can provide a security expert to help resolve compromised accounts, networks, and systems. When time is of the essence, TechStar Security professionals can come in and get you back online and operational in a short amount of time. These experienced experts will work with your teams to resolve issues, and patch holes, so future problems do not arise.
Microsoft has recently taken the best tools for using analytics data to solve real-world business problems and has aligned them under a single division called the Power Platform. The Power Platform now contains:
Microsoft Power BI – Gather analytic Business Intelligence through visual dashboards that can process assive amounts of data and display key performance indicators in simple to use graphic charts and tables.
Power Apps – Use a graphical interface with minimal coding to build a universal form loaded with AI, IntelliSense, rules, and more. Correctly capture data on any device (PC, iOS, Mac, Android) and automate your processes to streamline your business.
Power Automate – Formerly Microsoft Flow, Power Automate takes the information collected from a Power Apps form or application, and automatically moves it through your organization based on business process rules. Assign tasks, create duplicates, get signature approvals, and follow any set of procedures to transfer your Power Apps data through your organization efficiently.
Power Virtual Agents (Bots) – Use AI / ML to create automated chatbots that will respond to users’ queries using the natural language engine. Reduce your support costs by having virtual agents answer over 70% of requests that would have required personal interaction. For example, Power Virtual Agents can be trained to respond to chat requests like “Where is my order?” by looking up order information and replying with estimated ship dates.
How Does It All Work Together?
Imagine this scenario: Your company manufactures high dollar designer shoes and sells them online. Your analysts use Power BI to look at sales trends in styles over the last 20 years because they know what is old is new again in fashion. They determine that a women’s open-toed dress shoe with a slingback and 4-inch heels are destined to make a comeback this fall. Seasonality analysis can even tell them what the hottest selling colors for the shoe might be.
Designers get to work producing the shoe to arrive in time for the holiday season. In November, People magazine runs a profile on the latest big Hollywood actress, who happens to be wearing your shoe in the cover photo. Sales of that shoe grow exponentially as customers are clamoring to get inventory before the holiday season revs up at the end of November.
Your main warehouse is constantly getting shoes from your manufacturing group’s inventory. Your ordering system, however, is so slow, and the shoes are selling so fast that the system keeps crashing because the inventory counts are always wrong. You are selling the shoes before the new inventory can even be added to the system. You stand to lose significant sales and drive massive customer dissatisfaction if you can’t solve this problem in days.
Your team starts working with Microsoft Power Apps to design a new ordering app that will work right on people’s devices. No longer will they have to go to the website to place orders. The app connects online to your inventory control system to provide up to the minute status of inventory for all your shoes. If the shoe is not available in a particular color, the app suggests alternative colors that are in stock. The app can also connect to shipping information that will give an exact time for when the order is received.
Now when a customer uses the app to place an order, the app triggers a Power Automate process. This process verifies that the shoe is in inventory, marks the shoe as no longer available, sends credit card information to the bank for verification, records the successful purchase, and then sends duplicates of the sale invoice to the customer, accounting, and to the warehouse for shipping. Power Automate can even watch when the product get’s shipped and can trigger an alert back to the customer telling them the package is on the way.
Since this application and the business process that fulfills the order run off of Microsoft’s Power Platform, the solution is built with minimal custom coding. What would take many months with a developer tool, takes days to accomplish with Power Platform. Since the development went so fast, the team also decides to utilize Power Virtual Agents to provide package tracking via an automated chat application. The chatbot can tell anxious customers exactly where their package is, answer any product questions, make suggestions for other similar purchases, and can even help with returns or damaged goods.
The solution built on Microsoft’s Power Platform can run on any device, running any operating system, at any resolution, and still look great. Customers are happy. Sales are skyrocketing. The company’s reputation is saved.Read More Read Less
TechStar has been providing business solutions built on the Microsoft platform of products for many years. We have deep expertise in SharePoint, TEAMS, InfoPath, and now Power Platform. In 2019 & 2020, we have delivered multiple Power Platform solutions to large enterprise customers successfully, and have seen demand for the Power Platform products grow at an incredible rate.
During the COVID pandemic, TechStar has been offering customers free technical training on Azure, Office 365, Outlook, TEAMS, Power BI, Power Platform, Process Mining, and Microsoft Security. Demand for Power Platform and Power BI has grown over 3x in just the last year alone.
Microsoft does not yet have a Process Mining solution, which would be a perfect addition to the Power Platform set of tools. Process Mining collects data from across all aspects of organizations and uses advanced algorithms to analyze the data to find inefficiencies, waste, and operational problems that are often hidden from view.
Power BI works well when you know what you are looking for. You can ask relevant questions of your data like “Which women’s shoe in casual flats in the color taupe sold the most in April 2018.” Power BI does use AI and ML to look for data outliers, but often the problem is that the data used for Power BI comes from a silo within the company. The sales team wants to look at sales data. The design team wants to know what colors are most popular based on the seasons.
Process Mining can give us another viewpoint with which to consider our Power BI data. Because data is collected across the entire organization, Process Mining can broaden the perspective of data across all divisions of my company.
A metaphor that explains this uses a security camera. Better security cameras have higher resolution, and can often see things recorded during the day. But to see things at night, when all the lights are off, that same camera needs an infra-red lens to see in the dark. Just because it has a second lens does not mean that the first lens if less important. The image it is recording is the same, but the infra-red lens gives us a different perspective of the same view.
Process Mining is not better than Power BI. It is an additional view of the operational processes within your organization that can help you see your data in different ways. It is not better or worse. Having another perspective from data automatically captured inside your organization can help you uncover operational issues that you may not have realized were impacting your business.
TechStar has been using the VIVE Process Mining program to help solve customer problems. VIVE is built on top of the Microsoft technology stack and uses Azure, SQL Server, SharePoint, and other Microsoft systems to analyze logistics and operational data. VIVE works great with PowerBI and fills the process mining void in the Power Platform.Read More Read Less
TechStar can help organizations design, build, and deploy Power Platform solutions to solve business problems. We have developed multiple solutions for corporations that integrate with databases, enact with SharePoint portals, and trigger from website engagements. TechStar can help customers to design their systems or can deliver working systems built on the customer’s business domain.
TechStar has been working with Bot technology for years with many of the big telcos. Microsoft’s natural language skills can easily be applied to working chatbot systems to integrate back end processes. These bots often save customers significant time, money, and frustration vs. custom development solutions.
PowerBI has been a big part of TechStar’s offering for the last two years. TechStar offers advanced training on PowerBI. Customers can schedule an all-day class that dives into data connectors, advanced visualizations, M Code, R Code, DAX expressions, and custom dashboard building.
Migrating users to the Microsoft cloud is not always a simple process. Moving from on-prem systems to Microsoft Office 365 systems requires a plan to make sure that daily business disruption is minimal. User mailboxes in Outlook and Exchange need to be migrated correctly so that the user experience after the migration remains the same as before.
SharePoint sites that need to be migrated to SharePoint online must be planned to shift in phases. Utilization of the new Modern Design in SharePoint will ensure that all content can be seen correctly on any device (phone, tablet, pc) with any screen aspect and resolution, and on any operating system (Android, iOS, macOS, or Windows.)
Databases migrated to the cloud can provide ubiquitous access while still maintaining security protocols. Microsoft TEAMS can be set up to minimize e-mail traffic and maximize collaboration and communications.
TechStar has been working with large companies to migrate SharePoint and Exchange servers from on-prem to the cloud for many years. We follow a methodology that minimizes disruptions to your business but provides the fastest and safest path to migrating to the internet.
TechStar also can build custom solutions with Power Platform that can help solve business problems. Often, operational solutions were not possible with older software because of design considerations or the lack of mobile devices. Today, remote work and mobile devices are the norms (not the exception,) and companies can build new solutions that provide powerful operational abilities to all workers no matter where they are.
TechStar can provide the following Microsoft 365 services.
Migrate your Outlook/Exchange users to a new cloud-based Office 365 portal. This includes the migration of pst folders and archived messages.
Migrate your on-premises SharePoint solution to the Microsoft Azure cloud. TechStar will build a master plan for migration that will move in phases to not disrupt daily business activity.
TechStar can build custom application business solutions (Devops) on your cloud-based environments that can streamline your order processes, improve customer service, and provide ticketing systems for issue tracking and support.
TechStar can also provide multiple four hour deep dive classes on utilizing Office 365, implementing Microsoft TEAMS, conducting a modern meeting, and building Power Platforms applications in the Microsoft Cloud. These sessions can help increase utilization of resources like SharePoint and TEAMS and can help organize and increase productivity for key workers.
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"Great consulting company to engage."
They have the appropriate team with the skill sets we needed, which we engaged to build the intranet site.
Chief Technology Officer, Trion Solutions
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