The FIICU/ScholarBuys Microsoft Workshop was held on February 24th and focused on Big Data, Office 365, and System Center Updates.
Who Attended?
Representatives from 19 of the schools that participate in the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges consortia attended the event along with 5 Microsoft Product Specialists and Bob Smith and Brendon Palluck from ScholarBuys.

How did schools collaborate at this event?
The schools were able to network with each other. Many of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges are similar in size so they share a common roadmap for many of the featured offerings.
What technology was featured?
Big Data like Azure Machine Learning, SQl, and Power BI and Office 365, focusing on Exchange Online Advance Threat Protection were discussed. The workshop also gave an update on the upcoming releases of Windows Server 2016 and System Center.

What features and benefits does the featured technology have that will improve the quality of the IT network or teaching experience?
During the Office 365 session, we discussed Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)- which is an email filtering service that can provide institutions with additional protection against specific types of advanced threats, along with rich reporting and tracking capabilities. This allows IT to provide their end users (faculty, staff and students) with additional layers of protection to their email.

What type of value added service does ScholarBuys add to this event?
ScholarBuys has a great, long-standing partnership with the Federation consortia. 45 schools participate in the Microsoft EES Agreement, and as a Managed-Account with Microsoft ScholarBuys has the opportunity to host events like this workshop, which gives the schools access to dedicated resources/specialists at Microsoft that are typically reserved for very large institutions.
How knowledgeable is ScholarBuys with this event?
ScholarBuys has held this event before and works with the Account Manager at Microsoft for the Federation EES, Emil Nisanov, to find Microsoft Solutions Specialists to present. He has always done a fantastic job to provide solid presentations on new or updated technology.

How does ScholarBuys use teamwork to support the customer’s adaptation of this solution?
Through the partnership with Microsoft, ScholarBuys is able to help organize one-on-one follow-up sessions for schools that are interested in a deeper dive on any of the solutions that were presented. Teaming up with a Microsoft Specialist, ScholarBuys can help review the licensing details, answer technical questions, and assist with product trials/demos.
Despite weather reports saying there was going to be a Snow-pocalypse 2016, there was no snow which allowed for safe travel to this event. ScholarBuys is happy so many were able to attend and learn from this workshop!

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