GRM™ 2014, Orion Rising

Engage's GRM (Governmental Relationship Management) suite has been quietly undergoing some upgrades and will be released as GRM 2014 later this year, soon after Microsoft releases the next version of Dynamics CRM (codenamed 'Orion'). Building on the capabilities of the 'Polaris' release, Orion will include improvements to the user interface for a condensed or 'flatenned' user experience (fewer popups, more relational data in each view) as well as a number of extensions to the software development kit.  Further enhancements to emerging standards such as dashboards and social media integrations are also expected.  Stay tuned for more as the year progresses and we're allowed to share.

Engage Leveraging Cloud Leadership with Microsoft BPOS Offerings

Atlanta, GA June 16, 2010 - Engage, Inc. a leading innovator for line of business and communication as a service offerings announces expansion of its nearly decade-long cloud offerings to include companywide certification for Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (or 'BPOS) as well.


Microsoft BPOS Standard is a set of messaging and collaboration solutions hosted by Microsoft, consisting of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Online.  These online services are designed to give businesses streamlined communication with high availability, comprehensive security, and simplified IT management to meet standard needs.


"Cloud offerings deliver benefits to organizations ranging from always up-to-date technology, rapid deployment and streamlined procurement cycles while allowing customers to maximize their IT resources by enabling staff to focus on core business operations and reducing the need for infrastructure investments", said Todd Sharp, President and CIO of Engage, Inc.  "After delivering cloud solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Unified Communications, SharePoint, Analytics, Geospatial mapping, eCommerce and other line of business needs for nearly a decade, Engage has seen firsthand the benefits of delivering robust services on cloud architectures and is pleased to now incorporate additional offerings such as BPOS and Azure to deliver broad-based solutions needed to best meet its customer's needs."


Engage, Inc. architects, develops, migrates and deploys customer applications into Microsoft based cloud architectures meeting very specific needs for its customers including those of US federal agencies and healthcare providers as well as commercial organizations.  Engage delivers its services from SAS 70, Type II certified facilities, accommodating industry specific regulatory requirements such as FISMA, FIPS, HIPAA Sarbanes-Oxley and other prominent needs.  Engage has personnel in Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle and Washington, DC and has completed projects for a wide array of customers including the United States Small Business Administration, The Chickasaw Nation Division of Health, NASA, US Courts/Second Circuit, Metal Forming, and Protocol Vending.




All Roads Lead to Atlanta, Einstein and Convergence 2010

Atlanta is hosting Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2010 – April 24-27 at The Georgia World Congress Center

Be on the lookout for “Einstein” walking the streets of downtown speaking about Engage, Inc and Convergence. Ask him how E-MC4. He’ll tell you, “Engage's equation for success doesn't require a 'rocket scientist' to implement - 'E=MC4' means simply that Engage = Mission Critical, Commerce, Communications and Continuity”.

Engage is excited to be exhibiting for the 4th year in a row, and is especially thrilled that Convergence is happening in our headquarters’ back yard. We are expecting around 15,000 Microsoft Dynamics Partners, Microsoft Team Members and Industry Experts here to share ideas and knowledge – all in one place. If you are planning on attending, please stop by booth 938 to learn about how Engage, Inc. uses the power of Microsoft Dynamics products to optimize your business and improve your bottom line. We Put IT in High Gear – Engage!

Engage is a Microsoft Gold Certified ISV, Integrator and Cloud Hosting Provider delivering Microsoft Dynamics x/CRM, Unified Communications, SharePoint, Business Intelligence, Silverlight/Surface, Geospatial and eCommerce solutions. In the commercial sector, Engage works with customers and partners within the Distribution, Retail & Small/Medium Businesses. In the public sector, Engage works with customer and partners in US Federal, State & Local Government Agencies as well as the Healthcare.
Convergence is the premier Microsoft Dynamics event where you can experience the Microsoft Dynamics community in action. This event offers you a unique opportunity to network with your peers, partners, Microsoft team members, and industry experts together to share ideas and knowledge.


Boardroom Backed Bandwidth Buckaroos

As various reports indicate over the past several days indicate consumers on Verizon and Time Warner Cable’s network are experiencing degraded service when they try to watch Netflix or YouTube videos, it's highlighted a long coming feud between Internet engineers and boardroom backed bandwidth buckaroos (yes, I just made that up) about who has access to the end consumer and under what terms.  Stacey Higginbotham has an interesting piece posted over at Gigaom going through the sordid details -

Data Consumption Surpasses Voice Calling by U.S. Cell Users

May 14, 2010

Cell phone use in the U.S.: For 2009 figures, the amount of digital data sent over cell phone networks surpasses voice traffic for the first time. The future has arrived.

This means that the minority devices on the grid (the smartphones) are consuming the majority of over the air traffic: More than anything else, this is a demonstration that the future is arriving early.


When next generation 4G networks start to take off properly, cell phone use will be almost exclusively about data consumption, and voice calls will remain as a needed but deprecated service. And when that happens, something odd will happen to the cellphone providers themselves--they'll be relegated to merely being “vehicle” over which your smartphone data flows. There will surely be some scrambling to establish some mindshare.


To read the entire article go to:

Microsoft uses Office 2010 to launch Office 2010

By using SharePoint 2010, MS said it was able to make its virtual launch less expensive, more social.


MS considered using an existing virtual launch tool, or off-the-shelf software from a third party, but decided last year it could get more for its money using the latest version of SharePoint, then still in beta. The new SharePoint meant the site could be made more social and be able to be translated into more languages. Senior marketing manager Carol Matthews said that going with SharePoint 2007, they would have most likely been able to cut corners a bit, but instead convinced her boss Chris Capossela to bet the launch on the product. MS does have an HTML-based back for Wednesday’s launch, but Matthews said that has more to do with the unreliability of the web than of SharePoint. She is confident that going with SharePoint 2010 is the right choice.


To read the entire article go to:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Positioned as a Leader in Customer Service Contact Centers 2009 Magic Quadran

Redmond, WA – April 29, 2010

Evaluation based on completeness of vision and ability to execute

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been positioned in the Leaders quadrant of the Gartner Inc. CRM Customer Service Contact Centers 2009 Magic Quadrant. This is a research report that looks at contact center desktop software for customer service and support that is best suited for different economic situations.

“As a result of the economic slowdown, business leaders are focusing on the central role of customer service to simultaneously lower costs and build customer loyalty,” said Michael Maoz, vice, Gartner Inc. “The loss of a profitable customer, or a potentially profitable customer, is expensive and preventable. The contact center, which integrates and synchronizes post-sales customer interactions, is the most critical flash point for the customer relationship.”

“Business leaders are being challenged to drive higher customer satisfaction and retention while their budgets are under pressure,” said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM at Microsoft. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM delivers powerful customer service solutions through either on-premises or on-demand deployments, enabling more choice and flexibility for our customers and partners with a rapid time to value.”


To read the entire article go to:


NSA Helping to Harden Operating Systems

In testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, National Security Agency (NSA) information assurance director Richard Schaeffer said that his agency helped Microsoft harden Windows 7 and that it is also helping Apple, Sun Microsystems, and Red Hat with similar endeavors. The NSA's involvement in the development process has led to speculation that backdoors will be built into the software to allow communications monitoring and interception. The NSA refutes those claims and says it is helping develop security guidelines and checklists. Schaeffer also said that agencies can protect their systems against 80 percent of known cyber attacks by following three steps: implementing best security practices, configuring networks properly, and monitoring networks effectively.

This is not the first time the National Security Agency has partnered with Microsoft when it pertains to Windows development. In 2007, the NSA it had an initiative to ensure that Windows Vista was secure from attack, and that it would be compatible with other government software. The NSA is also reported to have had a guiding hand in the development of Windows XP and Windows 2000 in the early years of the new millenia.

While such efforts are generally considered to be “white hat”, any assistance by the NSA tends to spawn rumors of government controlled back doors being introduced into commercial operating systems. Currently the NSA is not deeply involved in the development process, and say they are helping to create security guidelines and policy in order to harden the most common operating systems against certain types of attacks. These guidelines outline common steps people can take to harden their computer security and make it more difficult for hackers to access their machines. According to the NSA, 80 percent of known cyberattacks could be prevented if proper security and network controls were installed.

Schaeffer noted, “We believe that if one institutes best practices, proper configurations [and] good network monitoring that a system ought to be able to withstand about 80 percent of the commonly known attack mechanisms against systems today,” Schaeffer said in his testimony. “You can actually harden your network environment to raise the bar such that the adversary has to resort to much, much more sophisticated means, thereby raising the risk of detection."