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Sonia Cuff

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Productivity knocks: I've got 99 Slacks, but my work's not done

If I had a dollar for every time someone said Slack was the answer to a business's problems, I'd have retired to a beach in Australia long ago. I'm currently in seven different Slack teams, and I've still got problems. At the other end of the argument, a small business remarked that they are happy to stick with email because …
Sonia Cuff, 17 Apr 2018
Miniature SWAT team guarding laptop keyboard

There's security – then there's barbed wire-laced pains in the arse

If IT has a reputation as the gatekeeper, the security department is the one providing the locks and barbed wire. End users think IT security is a hassle: complex passwords, password expiry and multi-factor authentication are tolerated when they are made mandatory, but nobody is thrilled about it. But look at it from the …
Sonia Cuff, 9 Apr 2018
Robots, image via Shutterstock

Slack bots have the keys to your processes. What could go wrong? Well...

It’s almost impossible to talk about Agile software development without mentioning bots. If you think that's a bit of a stretch, maybe try and talk about DevOps without some sort of collaboration tool. Then realise that the two are beautifully linked. The collaborative nature of Agile means solutions like Slack are a natural …
Sonia Cuff, 28 Feb 2018
Possibly zombie woman holds laptop as blood runs down face in post apocalyptic future...

You're the IT worker in charge of securing the cloud for your company. Welcome to Hell

Once upon a time, you’d go into the office, do your work during the day at your desk, then leave everything behind and go home. Well, end users would - IT workers have been lugging home the on-call laptop since the dial-up modem was invented. Back then, securing the information and the IT assets of a desk-based workforce …
Sonia Cuff, 5 Feb 2018

Some simple New Year's resolutions for vendors – lots of love, suffering IT grunts of world xox

With the start of a new year, we're encouraged to set big goals for our personal and professional lives. While the internet is full of the "Top Tech Predictions" for the coming year, one thing is certain: IT professionals will still be at the mercy of product vendors. That's how the relationship works. The big (and small) …
Sonia Cuff, 5 Jan 2018

Chatbots: A load of hype or fancy lifehack for the lazy IT person?

It's the age of the chatbot. The chatbot revolution is coming. Unless it isn't. Conversational User Interfaces are still very much on the Innovation Trigger rising curve of Gartner's hype cycle. And the people who are the most hyped up about chatbots seem to be the people that sell platforms to build them on. As chatbots seep …
Sonia Cuff, 21 Sep 2017

Cognitive Services, Clippy? AI's silent infiltration of Microsoft's Office stack

In just over a year, Microsoft has launched and expanded a set of APIs called Cognitive Services, which handle everything from face and emotion recognition, to a Language Understanding Intelligence Service (yes, LUIS for short) and a Custom Decision Service. At the Cognitive Services homepage you can get your hands on …
Sonia Cuff, 22 Aug 2017
Shark, photo via Shutterstock

Got that syncing feeling? Cloud's client-side email problem

Despite predictions of its demise, we've been happily using email in business since it first became widespread more than two decades ago. In many ways it's defined the way we compose, reply or send digital messages. A number of technologies have consolidated and extended it to something that became called "collaboration". …
Sonia Cuff, 4 Aug 2017
Upset man at desk shouts into phone. Pic: Shutterstock

Skype for Business is not Skype – realising that is half the battle

Skype revolutionised IP-based video calling to such an extent it became a verb, much like Google. This largely consumer technology went pro in 2011 when Microsoft bought the firm for $8.5bn. Microsoft, of course, already had IP-based video as part of its unified communications platform, first with Office Communicator and then …
Sonia Cuff, 1 Aug 2017
Robot workers photo via shutterstock

Let's go to work: How bots took over business

Once cloud was accepted as something with various meanings, none of which our customers understood, the IT industry searched for the next big buzzword. It came up with not one but three terms often used interchangeably by people who don't know any better – bots, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is great news …
Sonia Cuff, 14 Jul 2017
Toy tanks photo via Shutterstock

Tanks for the memories: Building a post-Microsoft Office cloud suite

Analysis Microsoft for decades not only defined personal productivity and team collaboration using Office, Outlook and Exchange – it kept the competition at arm’s length. Today, however, there’s a large community of businesses that don’t look to Microsoft for collaboration or productivity solutions at all. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t …
Sonia Cuff, 28 Jun 2017
Keeping a secret photo via Shutterstock

Migrating to Microsoft's cloud: What they won't tell you, what you need to know

“Move it all to Microsoft’s cloud,” they said. “It’ll be fine,” they said. You’ve done your research and the monthly operational cost has been approved. There’s a glimmer of hope that you’ll be able to hit the power button to turn some ageing servers off, permanently. All that stands in the way is a migration project. And that …
Sonia Cuff, 19 Jun 2017
Construction workers photo via Shutterstock

Does Microsoft have what it takes to topple Google Docs?

If you were to start a business today, would you bother buying desktop software for productivity and collaboration? Probably not, you'd employ some software option delivered as a service. For enterprises with a history of legacy, the move to online versions of on-prem is trickier but is being done. The question, however, is …
Sonia Cuff, 31 May 2017

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