TechNet Flash - Volume 11, Issue 11: May 27, 2009

Note from the Editor

Greetings, and Welcome to TechNet Flash.

Over the past few weeks we have announced a number of very exciting updates to our Business Intelligence (BI) strategy and product line that ultimately are driving huge value for Microsoft customers. First off, we reconfirmed our commitment to changing the economic model for delivery of rich BI functionality, moving the dashboarding, scorecarding, and analytic functionality from the standalone product PerformancePoint Server 2007 and making it a component of SharePoint Server. Watch this short video explaining the update (5 min. 19 sec.).

Also, we recently announced our next generation of data warehousing with Project “Madison” and our early release, the new SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse, including seven new reference architectures from Dell, HP, and Bull. While you are discovering the SQL Server data warehousing, also download the latest release of SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 is now released and provides even more supportability and stability in SQL Server 2008. Download SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1.

Right now is the perfect time to begin to enhance your skills on business intelligence with Microsoft BI technology by checking out the new training resources, including an offer for a free licensed copy of SQL Server 2008 with training, a free e-book introducing SQL Server 2008, and a 35% discount on books from MS Press on the Microsoft Office system including SharePoint. See the training section below for additional special offers on business intelligence training.

Speaking of SharePoint, you can use Excel and Excel Services to analyze business intelligence data within SharePoint sites. TechNet Magazine published a great article on Business Intelligence with SharePoint and Excel that looks at how Excel offers enhanced reporting and in-depth data analysis, and how SharePoint Server 2007 is the pivotal negotiation point for data between server and client applications.

Business intelligence is continuing to be a huge area of investment inside Microsoft. The payoff for customers is significant, and you don’t have to take our word for it. Two new analyst reports - one from IDC and a second from AMR - discuss Microsoft’s unique BI strategy and the consolidation of BI products, and how that will help companies and enhance the benefit of BI within your organization.

Take the “Thinking Bigger About Business Intelligence” Survey and Enter to Win a Zune

Take a few minutes to tell us about how your company is thinking bigger about business intelligence and enter the drawing so you could win one of twenty Microsoft Zunes. (U.S. residents only)

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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Spotlight on Cost

Twelve Ways to Reduce Costs with Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Visit this site to learn more about how SQL Server 2008 can help reduce costs and do more.

SQL Server ROI Calculator

Use this easy ROI calculator to estimate your savings, or download the Full SQL Server Value Calculator for a more accurate assessment.

Forrester Consulting: Total Economic Impact of SQL Server 2008 Upgrade

To better understand and communicate a business case for upgrading to SQL Server 2008, check out this study, which provides a framework for evaluating the potential financial impact to the organization of upgrading from a previous version of SQL Server to SQL Server 2008.

More on the Benefits of SQL Server 2008

" Video: Customers Share Insights into Cost Savings Using SQL Server 2008 (2 min. 51 sec.)

" Compare SQL Server 2008 to Oracle

" What’s New in SQL Server 2008

SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor analyzes instances of SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 in preparation for upgrading to SQL Server 2008. It identifies feature and configuration changes that might affect your upgrade, and provides links to documentation that describes each identified issue and how to resolve it.

Download the Free IT Solution Accelerator

These sample scorecards and dashboards will help you get started analyzing the performance of your IT organization and learn how you can build a complete performance management application to monitor and analyze the health of your IT infrastructure. Also, tune in to this video, Business Intelligence for the IT Pro (12 min. 55 sec.), for an explanation of the IT Solution Accelerator in detail.


Get Great Training Plus Free Software

Enroll now and attend any one of the linked SQL Server 2008 training classes before June 30, 2009, and you will receive (while supplies last) a fully licensed copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition with one client access license (CAL).

New SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Free Training

Whether you are ready to move from SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and take advantage of the significant enhancement in SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services or you are new to SQL Server Reporting Services and want to learn more, this is a fantastic opportunity for you. Get a head start with this new and free course. You will learn about the all of the new functionality, including the new Microsoft Report Designer, the innovative tablix data region, enhancements in data visualizations, and exploration of new administration and management features.

New How Do I Videos – 35-Part Series on BI

Check out this just-what-you-need screencast series that will show you how to build OLAP cubes, data mining models, and much more by using SQL Server Analysis Services.

Free E-Book: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Written by industry experts Peter DeBetta, Greg Low, and Mark Whitehorn, this book will lead you through major new features in SQL Server 2008, including security, administration, performance, high availability, and business intelligence.

2007 Microsoft Office System Microsoft Press Books Special Offer

Save 35% on select Microsoft Press books about the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

Learn How to Quickly and Easily Build IT Scorecards and Dashboards

Business Intelligence White Papers

Building Business Value from the Bottom Up: a Radical Approach to Integrating Predictive Analytics

Democratizing Data Mining – a Radical Approach to Pervasive Predictive Analytics

Improving Organizational Performance with Business Intelligence

Technical Evolution of BI – Envisioning the Future

Special Reports

IDC: Another Step Toward Pervasive Business Intelligence: Microsoft Realigns BI Product Portfolio and Its Internal Organization

“The closer alignment of these technologies positions Microsoft well to take advantage of the current broad trend for more pervasive availability of BI and related solutions.” – Dan Vesset, IDC

AMR: Microsoft Repackages BI and PM Products to Further Promote Mass Adoption

“This decision, which was not wholly unanticipated, streamlines Microsoft's BI story and uses its trinity of beachhead products – MOSS, Excel, and SQL Server – as the vehicles to cost-effectively bring business intelligence to the masses.” – John Hagerty, AMR Research

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