Pythagoras and Hart Square announce event series for not for profit organisations

Announcing the Cloud Productivity Summit 2015 with Microsoft

We are delighted to announce that in partnership with Microsoft we will be hosting a Cloud Productivity Summit at Microsoft’s UK Headquarters on Thursday April 23rd.

Aimed at senior Business and IT stakeholders this one day Summit will share ideas and insight from senior figures at Microsoft UK and leading organisations empowered by their solutions across the cloud.

As well as dynamic solutions showcases of Office 365 and Dynamics CRM the Summit also gives the opportunity for attendees to network and connect with likeminded senior business stakeholders as well as senior figures from Microsoft, Pythagoras and our supporting partners.

For agenda information and to secure your complimentary place please visit our Cloud Productivity Summit landing page.

A review from Seattle and Microsoft’s Global Education Partner Summit

Microsoft welcomed invited Education Partners from around the Globe to Redmond (WA) on February 2nd – 5th 2015 for the annual Global Education Partner Summit.

The conference facility at the Microsoft Campus was full of the leading partners and leading staff from Microsoft global and education team, all accessible and ready to engage in superb discussions around product releases, success stories and the changing landscape within he Education sector.

The following piece is a tiny reflection of my thoughts from a stunning, if not wet Seattle. – (I won’t mention the Super Bowl, I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it!).

#1 Expect More. Achieve More. Do More.

This was the message outlined in Anthony Salcito’s superb opening presentation. Anthony started at Microsoft helping build presentations for Bill Gates and his knowledge and passion for the education space is second to none.

His reflection of the current education landscape served as evidence to me that the connected experiences through (Azure), Office 365, Power BI, Social Listening, Dynamics CRM, devices and apps will soon become the industry recognised suite of solutions that can lead Universities to be empowered to do more, and their students to achieve more.

On that note (and this is relevant to us as a Dynamics CRM Presidents Club Member) did you know according to information released between 2008 and 2013 from the USICA CIS Survey Dynamics CRM has seen a market share growth of over 500% across Universities? And we feel that figure is still an underestimation as the survey does not cover all schools / faculties within a University or all the Universities in the UK.

#2 BI – “Basic Intelligence, not Business Intelligence”

I need to tip my hat to Amir Netz (Technical Fellow at Microsoft) who delivered possibly the best demonstration and discussion I’ve ever seen, showcasing the true “power” of Power BI.

A few things really stood out:
•This was all done using a free version of the product, reinforcing the unrivalled total cost of ownership offered across the Microsoft Productivity and Business Solutions Suite.
•We are in the midst of the data revolution, and the great opportunity lies in the fact we are only at the start.
•This latest evolution of BI should really mean we come to see BI as “Basic Intelligence” not “Business Intelligence”.

Power BI is built to deliver BI for everyone, evolving from solutions that not so long ago required IT managers or data scientists to run individual queries for users which, by the time they arrived were out of date.

As a consequence BI is now powerful enough to enable users to act on the NOW! Not purely as a reflective, reporting tool.From a Universities’ point of view they can spot trends and alerts in real time, minimising student dissatisfaction, course failings and even improve retention levels.

#3 The continual investment and evolution of Dynamics CRM

If you are a University using Office 365 (beyond just Exchange Online), Microsoft Dynamics CRM should be at the top of your list as the solution for improving student recruitment, retention, and the overall experience. The integration between Dynamics CRM and the productivity suite within Office 365 is becoming tighter with every release and the addition of Social Listening, Dynamics Marketing and Parature means Universities’ have a globally supported, industry ready solution (with a multi-million dollar R&D program) that breaks silos and empowers them to achieve more right at their fingertips.

As one client of ours once said “Students see our University as ‘one’, in reality we were 7 or 8 silo departments unable to collaborate and therefore always reacting to student’s needs. With Dynamics CRM we can now finally act as one, empowering our students and the University to achieve great things.”

#4 Windows 10

Windows 10 combined with the plethora of devices showcased left a wow factor amongst those around me. The update provides one true experience across platform and store. The expansion of Cortana adds a whole new dimension for the end user.

#5 What great company!

I wanted to end on a huge thanks to all the people across the UK (especially Matt and Mark), the Global partners and the Microsoft Staff in Redmond I spoke with over the week. The conversations and knowledge share will be invaluable as I look to further cement our marketing led strategy and leading position within the Higher Education space across Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office 365.

Recap: Power BI with Excel for Higher Education Executive Briefing

Tuesday 14th October saw 11 key individuals from Universities’ across the UK join Pythagoras at Microsoft’s UK Headquarters to discuss the benefits of Power BI with Excel for Higher Education.

We’d like to thank all the attendees and our colleagues at Microsoft. Listed below are a 3 common questions asked during the briefing:

Q: Can I pull and report on data from my student record system?

A: Absolutely, as long as information can be exported into Excel anything can be pulled and reported on.

Q: Can I pull outside data sources to compliment and further interrogate trends we may be seeing?

A: Yes, for example you may see open day attendance is down across certain faculties. Adding weather reports will allow you to see if there are any further associated trends.

Q: We use QlikView, why is this better for us?

A: Apart from Power BI being a natural extension to Excel and your existing investment with Office 365 and the Microsoft Cloud, Power BI provides the self-service element for users, removing the continuous need for IT. Further benefits include the ability to create Power BI sites to share reports and find answers using the natural language Q&A tool.

For more information:

View our Higher Education and Power BI pages, email or call 01628 519 000.