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Authors Posts by Lesly Kenney

Lesly Kenney

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Lesly Kenney holds an MBA from the University of Redlands. She is a Qualified Microsoft Experience Center (MEC) Facilitator as well as a Certified Online Instructor in the Colorado Community College system. Lesly is an Enterprise Social evangelist and she thrives on finding the creative hook that fosters a culture of innovation, productivity, and collaboration through the use of technology.

Azure Government

Crayon is excited to announce that we have been authorized to sell through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program for Azure Government, giving U.S. government partners the right foundation for meeting regulatory requirements while delivering innovation to the U.S. public sector.

The CSP Azure Government program includes a rapidly-increasing array of services — from infrastructure services like virtual machines, storage, and networking to platform services like data, analytics, mobile services, and web.

As an indirect provider Crayon partners serving the government space are provided all the benefits of Crayon’s innovative IP, which will allow both partners and their customers embrace Microsoft Cloud Solutions faster and better by releasing them from managing software licensing reporting, as well as enabling them to move and manage any available Microsoft workloads in real time through Crayon self-service tools.

Read the Press Release here, or contact us directly to find out more about Crayon’s CSP for Azure Government program.

Crayon, the global leader in software asset management for businesses, has been granted by Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Tier 2 status in the United States. This expands Crayon’s SPLA offering to cloud for all channel partners including independent software vendors (ISVs), service providers, systems integrators, value added resellers, and all Microsoft solutions hosters in general.

Crayon’s Cloud-iQ is a one-stop cloud solution – a comprehensive self-service portal where partners can create and provision in real time, all of Microsoft’s Cloud Suite Technology Products. At the heart of Crayon’s channel partner organization, Cloud-iQ addresses procurement, provisioning, management and governance of the processes.

In addition, the Crayon US Partner (CUSP) program is heavily invested in the success of Crayon partners and their journey to cloud profitability, supporting partners to scale and grow while driving cloud consumption with their own end customers. CUSP helps to strengthen the partner’s core business to help sell and optimize the deployment of cloud services through CSP indirect with Crayon.

With sales, marketing, and technical enablement along with a partner rewards program, partners go to market together with Crayon and gain the benefits of Crayon’s vast resources. Onboarding and operations setup, sales, marketing, and technical enablement, at-the-ready offers, incentives, and rewards are all part of the worldwide Crayon cadre now available to Crayon US Partners.

Read the press release here, or contact us directly to learn more about how you can increase your Cloud-iQ with the Crayon US Partner Program.

 

 

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At Crayon, we believe in supporting the wider community through thoughtful and purposeful contribution to organizations that are close to the hearts of our employees.  Frank Bitoun, Senior Vice President of Crayon Americas, has recently pledged to serve as a mentor and volunteer to donate time and knowledge to assist StandUp for Kids in the Youth Entrepreneur Academy, which allows youth participants to own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses through a 30-week class.

The Youth Entrepreneur Academy is a life-changing program that positively impacts the entire community by helping members transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world. Crayon US is proud to assist in fostering the entrepreneurial mindset in young people and to help develop the character of tomorrow’s leaders and helping them transition successfully into adulthood.

StandUp for Kids organization serves unaccompanied homeless youth through their 25th birthday in an effort to help end the cycle of youth homelessness. Volunteer teams build trust and become a consistent resource to stabilize and otherwise help those youth who are often ignored by the rest of society.

Read the full press release here.

Managing the Remote Workforce with Office 365

Download the “5 Tips for Managing Remote Workers with Office 365” eBook from Crayon

Managing a remote and distributed workforce is becoming the norm — especially with tech startups who are realizing that remote work isn’t only convenient and less expensive, but often more effective. And hiring managers are tapping into exponentially larger hiring pools by finding talent across time zones and even national borders. This gives unprecedented access to talent in almost any geography.

“One day offices will be a thing of the past” -Sir Richard Branson

With nearly 100 million users on Office 365, many managers have the tools they need to effectively manage remote teams. Most digital natives (some now moving into their thirties) think nothing of collaborating in a shared digital space. But many larger and more seasoned organizations are stuck in the mindset of managing chairs in an office.

If you have remote employees, consider using more of the Office 365 tools you may already have. These can help manage work distribution, facilitate collaboration, and assess productivity. Get started here:

Cut the email overload and use the enterprise social tool Yammer. This will help to create a knowledge base and keep email out of your inbox.  Users ask questions in a collaborative space, allowing future employees access to the information. This keeps information from being siloed in individual email accounts. Yammer also helps current employees find content and training that they might otherwise not have been exposed to. And be sure to let employees know that Yammer is not content that must all be consumed. It’s like a flowing stream of information where one can bring a bucket to fill up with information when necessary.

Skype for Business is like having a switchboard on your desktop. You can see which employees are in meetings, out of the office, on do-not-disturb, and even who has just stepped away from their desk for a moment and how long they’ve been gone.  If instant messages are not immediately received, they will be forwarded directly to the intended recipient by email. Outside telephone numbers can also be dialed to pull people into group conversations.

Planner can help with managing projects by creating tasks, putting them into buckets, and assigning them to people. You can also set and update task progress and add comments to tasks to facilitate collaboration with your team.

For some specific Tips on managing remote workers in Office 365, download our free eBook.

5 Tips for Managing Remote Workers with Office 365

Crayon US is proud to announce that it has recently formed a partnership with Lighthouse Computer Services, an IT provider focusing in the Northeast U.S. geographies and specializing in Analytics, DevOps, IT infrastructure, Middleware, Security, and Microsoft solutions.

Greg Berard, GM of Sales and Services said: “With the partnership in place, Lighthouse is able to offer Microsoft licensing expertise that hasn’t been available previously to Lighthouse customers, enabling them to match their technology roadmap to the best licensing investment strategy. We are now able to extend Crayon’s Software Asset Management and licensing optimization expertise, not only from a Microsoft perspective, but around other leading vendors such as IBM, SAP, Oracle, VMware, Citrix, and more to provide more value for our clients.”

This partnership additionally allows Crayon to leverage the Lighthouse core competencies in both traditional and nontraditional IT services with strong combined and differentiated offerings.

“At Crayon, we are excited about bringing our ability to help end customers maximize the ROI of complex technology together with the rich 20-year history of Lighthouse in the Northeast. We’re pleased to add Lighthouse to our list of trusted partners and we look forward to joint success in the combined strength and value of our offerings,” said Jim Eustace, East Region Sales Director, Crayon US.

Please visit Crayon and Lighthouse in Boston around the SAMS conference at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor on June 26th and 27th, or contact gberard@lighthousecs.com or 401.529.7870 to schedule a meeting.

SPLA Authorized Crayon United States

Today Crayon announced it has recently been awarded Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) reseller authorization in the United States. SPLA is an agreement for the rental of Microsoft software licenses specifically designed for service providers and independent software vendors (ISVs).

Frank Bitoun, Senior Vice President Crayon Americas said: “We are very proud of this achievement and believe this recent Microsoft SPLA reseller authorization in the US, when combined with our unique consulting experience, will allow our channel partners to accelerate their business in a win-win approach. By managing and optimizing their Microsoft SPLA licensing usage, we support our channel partners by allowing them to concentrate their efforts on going to market and focusing on their end customers. We also support them by mitigating risks in compliance, and by simplifying the onboarding, deployment, and management of their Microsoft software consumption.”

This achievement allows Crayon to assist in empowering hosters, service providers, and ISVs in differentiating their software services and hosted applications to end customers, while also simplifying their management and reporting of consumption through the use of Crayon’s unique platforms.

“At Microsoft, we are supportive to work with Crayon in their quest to consistently empower service providers and ISVs to comprehensively manage the latest eligible Microsoft software products and subscriptions. We’re pleased to add Crayon to our list of SPLA resellers in the United States, and we look forward to their continued success in simplifying processes and management for SPLA licensing customers,” said Carlos de Torres, General Manager of US Hosting and Managed Service Providers at Microsoft US.

About Crayon

As the global leader in software asset management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing, and associated consulting services, Crayon is a trusted advisor to many of the globe’s leading organizations. Through its unique people, tools and systems Crayon helps to optimize its clients’ technology estates within the new mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Experts when it comes to optimizing client ROI from complex technologies, Crayon believes passionately that organizations should only pay for the IT resources they actually need and use, but understands that in today’s complex technology landscape that can be difficult to achieve. This is why Crayon has developed a unique methodology to deliver on its belief for its customers.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company has over 1000 teammates in offices worldwide.

Crayon SPLA:  www.crayon.com/SPLA

Download the full SPLA Press Release

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Are You Prepared for a Software Audit?

You’ve received the dreaded software audit letter. The process is daunting, and you’ll be glad when it’s all over and thinking about it is like the memory of a bad dream.

Unfortunately, your reprieve is only temporary.

Our research indicates that all major software vendors are attempting to “touch” all of their customers every three years. So rather than hold your breath until the next audit, learn how to stay ahead of the game. When (there’s no “if” anymore) the next audit hits you’ll be empowered by knowing that you’re prepared in advance, and that you know your rights and obligations. We’ll even give you some great tips for communicating with software vendors during the audit.

Send your questions now to geir.gulliksen@crayon.com, register for the event, and then join our free webcast on Tuesday, November 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern time (Noon CST / 11 a.m. MST / 10 a.m. PST).

Register Here.

 

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Vigtig viden: Det skal du ikke gøre, når du sletter en database

Don't be like Jim

Jeg havde verdens bedste job, da jeg gik på universitetet. Jeg arbejdede med data og database-backups for en mellemstor lægeorganisation. Jeg mødte på arbejde hver dag kl. 5:45, tog backup af systemet og sikrede, at alt kørte, som det skulle, og indtastede derefter nogle data, før jeg tog til mine timer.

Det lyder måske forfærdeligt for en universitetsstuderende, men det var perfekt for mig. Jeg kunne nå mine timer og have et job samtidig, og jeg havde fri om eftermiddagen. Jeg opdagede endda, at jeg godt kunne lide roen, der fulgte med at spise toaster-pandekager (jep, de findes!) i en helt tom kontorbygning hver morgen.

Efter adskillige år havde jeg arbejdet mig op til at lave basale hardwareinstallationer, løse printerproblemer, lave fejlrapporter og foretage generel IT-fejlfinding.

Som universitetsstuderende, der selv havde betalt for sine fem års studier, tog jeg så mange timer som muligt. Og da jeg fik mulighed for at lave en meget vigtig systemgendannelse, greb jeg chancen. På grund af en fejl, systemet ikke kunne rulles tilbage fra, skulle jeg gendanne en fem dage gammel backup, hvilket indebar genindtastning af alle data.

“Det er ikke noget problem,” tænkte jeg.

Efter timerne en onsdag kørte jeg 80 kilometer i myldretidstrafik (omkring to timer) for at hente backup-båndene fra den leverandør, der havde udført en reparation, og derefter tilbage til kontoret for at lave gendannelsen. Jeg var nervøs, men spændt.

Men jeg var træt.

Jeg havde været på arbejde kl. 5:45, jeg havde været til timer og var derefter kommet tilbage til kontoret efter køreturen til Los Angeles. På det her tidspunkt var klokken blevet 21. Jeg var nervøs. Jeg var sulten. Jeg bestilte pizza.

Sletning af databasen

Jeg havde en sidste samtale med min chef om de eksakte trin, jeg skulle gennemgå for at slette databasen. Min pizza var ved at blive kold. Jeg holdt igen, fordi tanken om at slette hele databasen var overvældende og angstprovokerende.

Jeg fik talt mig selv ud af min frygt: “Det er bare et faktureringssystem; du sletter ikke engang nogen medicinske oplysninger,” og “Du kan genindtaste data fra TI DAGE med et snuptag, og det ville ikke være spor svært.”

Jeg mønstrede alt det mod, jeg kunne opdrive, og foretog sletningen.

Og inden for et millisekund efter, at jeg havde trykket på tasten, opdagede jeg fejlen. Mens jeg havde haft travlt med at puste mit ego op for at finde modet til at slette dataene, glemte jeg helt at gøre det allersidste, min chef fortalte mig: “PRINT AFTALEPLANERNE”.

Jeg havde på en eller anden måde fuldstændigt glemt det faktum, at mit kontor ikke var det eneste data-adgangspunkt. Aftaleplanlæggerne på tre forskellige fysiske placeringer havde lavet aftaler for de seneste fem dage, og jeg havde lige slettet dem alle sammen uden at lave papir-backup – omkring 300 aftaler.

Jeg vidste, at jeg morgenen efter ville blive udsat for den kollektive vrede fra 11 læger, tre kontoradministratorer, en IT-chef og hundredvis af fremtidige patienter, der ville komme til at vente i to eller flere timer på deres aftaler, fordi de ikke ville stå i systemet.

Jeg vidste, at jeg ville blive fyret. Jeg ringede øjeblikkeligt til IT-chefen kl. 22. “Jeg glemte at printe planerne.” Total tavshed. “Du printede ikke NOGEN af dem?” “Nej.” Svaret var “Nej. Jeg printede ikke nogen af dem.” Pizzaen blev aldrig spist.

Hvad gør man?

Jeg måtte finde en løsning. Jeg vidste, at den gruppe, der ville blive påvirket mest negativt, var lægerne og folk i kontorerne. Så næsten morgen leverede jeg mit eget hoved på et sølvfad i håbet om at redde mit job.

Jeg tilbød at køre til den største af klinikkerne og hjælpe til i skranken. Har du en vred patient, der har ventet i to timer? Lesley skal nok tale med hende i venteværelset. En rasende læge med en triple-bookinger i sin plan? Send ham til Lesley. Prøver kontoradministratoren at sende patienter videre til andre kontorer eller booke nye aftaler for dem? Lad Lesley gøre det.

Jeg blev ikke fyret. Mit liv var et helvede i adskillige uger, men jeg beholdt mit job.

Hvad er så moralen i denne historie? Jeg valgte ikke den intelligente måde at håndtere data på. På det tidspunkt var denne løsning papir. Og mens jeg havde så travlt med at puste mit ego op, glemte jeg den vigtige løsning.

Når du skal fremad i teknologiverdenen, bør du overveje intelligente løsninger fra Crayon. Men du skal først og fremmest ikke bukke under for dit eget ego. Lad være med at gøre som Lesley – og lad være med at gøre som Jim, for han var ikke lige så heldig.

#facepalm

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Leçons de vie : ce qu'il ne faut pas faire lors de la suppression d'une base de données

Don't be like Jim

Au collège, j’avais le meilleur travail possible. Je saisissais des données et effectuais des sauvegardes de base de données pour un groupe médical de taille moyenne. Je venais travailler chaque jour à 5h45 pour effectuer la sauvegarde du système, vérifier que tout était en marche, puis faire de la saisie de données avant de rejoindre mes classes de collège.

Aussi horrible que cela puisse paraitre en tant qu’étudiant, c’était parfait pour moi. Je pouvais aller en cours, travailler et être libre l’après-midi. J’ai même découvert que j’aimais la sérénité de pouvoir manger des crêpes au grille-pain (oui, ça existe !) dans un immeuble vide chaque matin.

Après plusieurs années, j’avais fait mon petit bout de chemin dans les installations simples de matériel, la résolution des problèmes d’impression, les rapports d’erreurs et le dépannage informatique global.

En tant qu’étudiant autofinancé sur cinq ans, j’ai effectué autant d’heures que possible ; et lorsque la possibilité d’effectuer une importante restauration de système s’est présentée, j’ai sauté sur l’occasion. En raison d’une erreur irrécupérable, il m’a fallu restaurer une sauvegarde datant de plus de cinq jours, autrement dit, réintroduire toutes les données.

« Aucun problème », me suis-je dit.

Un mercredi, après les cours, j’ai roulé sur 80 km en pleine heure de pointe (pendant environ 2 heures) pour récupérer les bandes de sauvegarde du fournisseur qui avait effectué le dépannage, puis je suis retourné au bureau pour effectuer la restauration. J’étais nerveux et excité.

Mais j’étais fatigué.

Je suis arrivée au travail à 5h45 du matin, je suis allé en classe, puis je suis revenu au bureau après le trajet à Los Angeles. À cet instant, il était environ 21 heures et j’étais nerveux. J’avais faim. J’ai commandé une pizza.

Suppression de la base de données

J’ai eu une dernière conversation avec mon patron concernant les étapes exactes à suivre pour supprimer la base de données. Ma pizza refroidissait. Je calais car l’idée de supprimer la totalité de la base de données était écrasante et angoissante.

Je me rassurais en me disant : « Ce n’est qu’un système de facturation ; tu ne supprimeras aucun renseignement médical » et « tu pourrais même réintroduire DIX JOURS de données en un clin d’œil sans trop de difficultés. »

Je décidais de rassembler tout mon courage et d’effectuer la suppression.

Et en une milliseconde, alors que j’appuyais sur la touche entrée, je compris mon erreur.  Alors que j’étais occupé à gonfler mon ego pour m’encourager à supprimer les données, j’ai oublié d’effectuer la dernière chose mentionnée par mon patron : « IMPRIMER LES CALENDRIERS DES RÉUNIONS. »

J’avais en quelques sortes occulté le fait que mon bureau n’était pas le seul point d’entrée des données. Les programmateurs de rendez-vous de trois lieux différents avaient planifié des rendez-vous pour les cinq derniers jours et je venais tout juste de supprimer tous ces rendez-vous sans imprimer de sauvegardes papier – environ 300 rendez-vous.

Le matin même, je savais que j’allais être confronté à la colère de onze médecins, trois directeurs de bureau, un responsable informatique et des centaines de futurs patients en attente de leur rendez-vous depuis plus de 2 heures car il n’y avait plus aucune trace de leur rendez-vous.

Je savais que j’allais être viré. J’ai immédiatement appelé le responsable informatique à 22:00 en lui disant : « j’ai oublié d’imprimer les calendriers. »  Un silence de mort… « Vous n’en n’avez imprimé AUCUN ? » « Non. » Ma réponse fut « Non. Je n’en n’ai imprimé aucun. » Je n’ai jamais mangé la pizza.

Que faire ?

Je devais trouver une solution. Je savais que le groupe le plus impacté serait celui des médecins et du personnel de la réception. Le lendemain matin, j’ai donc offert ma tête sur un plateau pour espérer sauver mon travail.

J’ai proposé de mettre en place le plus important service d’assistance et d’aider à la réception. Vous avez un patient en colère qui a dû attendre 2 heures ? Lesly va aller lui parler dans la salle d’attente. Un médecin furieux avec un planning contenant trois fois trop de rendez-vous ? Envoyez-le à Lesly. Un responsable administratif qui essaie de détourner les patients vers d’autres bureaux ou d’autres heures de rendez-vous ? Laissez Lesly s’en charger pour vous.

Je n’étais pas viré. Ma vie a été misérable pendant plusieurs semaines mais j’ai conservé mon travail.

Quelle est la morale de cette histoire ? Je n’ai pas instauré une solution intelligente pour traiter les données. À cet instant, la solution fut le papier. Et pendant que j’étais occupé à gonfler mon ego, j’avais oublié de me souvenir de cette solution importante.

Lorsque vous évoluez dans votre travail technique, envisagez les solutions intelligentes de Crayon. Et plus que tout, ne laissez pas votre ego vous dominer.  Ne faites pas comme Lesly et ne faites pas comme Jim car Jim n’a pas été aussi chanceux.

#facepalm

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Life lessons: what not to do when deleting a database

Don't be like Jim

In college I had the best job ever. I did data entry and database backups for a medium-sized medical group. I would come to work each day at 5:45 a.m., perform the system backup, make sure everything was up and running, and then do some data entry before heading to my college classes.

As horrible as this sounds as a college student, it was perfect for me. I could still go to classes, hold down a job, and have my afternoons free.  I even discovered that I liked the serenity of eating toaster pancakes (yes, those exist) in an empty office building each morning.

After several years I’d worked my way up to doing basic hardware installs, resolving printer issues, error reporting, and overall IT troubleshooting.

As a college student on the five-year self-pay plan, I picked up as many hours as I could; and when presented with the opportunity to do a very important system restore, I jumped at the chance. Due to some unrecoverable error, I needed to restore to a backup from five days earlier, which meant re-entry of all of the data.

“No problem,” I thought.

After classes on a Wednesday I drove 50 miles in rush-hour traffic (about 2 hours) to retrieve the backup tapes from the vendor who had done a repair, then back to the office and do the restore. I was nervous but excited.

But I was tired.

I’d arrived at work at 5:45 a.m., gone to classes, then come back to the office after the drive to Los Angeles. By this time, it was around 9 p.m. I was nervous. I was hungry. I ordered pizza.

Deleting the database

I had a final conversation with my boss about exactly the steps to delete the database. My pizza was getting cold. I was stalling because the thought of deleting the entire database was overwhelming and daunting.

I talked myself out of my fear: “It’s just a billing system; there’s not even any medical information you’re deleting,” and “You could re-enter TEN DAYS of data in a pinch and it wouldn’t be that difficult.”

I mustered every ounce of courage and performed the delete.

And within a millisecond of hitting the enter key I realized my mistake.  While I was busy inflating my own ego to bolster the nerve to delete the data, I forgot to perform the very last thing my boss told me:  “PRINT THE APPOINTMENT SCHEDULES.”

I had somehow blanked out the fact that my office wasn’t the only data entry point.  The appointment schedulers at three different physical locations had been making appointments for the last five days and I had just deleted all of those appointments without printing paper backups – about 300 appointments.

I knew that in the morning I’d receive the wrath of eleven physicians, three office managers, one IT manager, and hundreds of future patients who’d be waiting 2+ hours for their appointment because there was no record of their appointment.

I knew I would be fired. I immediately called the IT manager at 10 p.m., “I forgot to print the schedules.”  Dead silence. “You didn’t print ANY of them?”  “No.” The answer was “No. I didn’t print any of them.” The pizza went uneaten.

What to do?

I had to come up with a solution. I knew the most negatively-affected group would be the physicians and the front office staff.  So the next morning I offered up my head on a silver platter to hopefully save my job.

I offered to physically drive to the largest clinic and assist at the front desk.  You have an angry patient who’s had to wait 2 hours? Lesly will go talk to her in the waiting room. Furious physician with a schedule that’s triple-booked? Send him to Lesly. Office manager trying to re-route patients to other offices or appointment times? Let Lesly do that for you.

I wasn’t fired. My life was miserable for several weeks but I kept my job.

What’s the moral to this story? I didn’t institute the intelligent solution to dealing with data. At that time, the solution was paper. And while I was busy inflating my ego, I’d neglected to remember that important solution.

And as you go forward with your job in tech, consider intelligent solutions from Crayon.  But most of all, don’t let your ego get the best of you.  Don’t be like Lesly, and don’t be like Jim because Jim wasn’t so fortunate.

#facepalm