Monthly Archives

November 2017

Financial sector: Winning D-Day with Customer Service

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Financial sector:

Winning D-Day with Customer Service

Earn customers for life

In the Financial sector, it is now more important than ever to keep customers happy. The popularity of platforms like price comparison websites means that financial services products are now largely commoditised – while banks, insurance companies and more, struggle to retain their customers and provide them with world class service.

What Dynamics 365 for Customer Service does is to improve customer service through a single, unified experience that delivers end-to-end service across all channels—earning customer loyalty and empowering agents.

Earn customer loyalty

Minimize customer effort, proactively address issues, and deliver more personalized, seamless service.

Empower every agent

Give agents the knowledge they need to deliver faster, more consistent service.

Adapt to changing needs

Anticipate and react quickly to customer, business, and market demands using a customer service software application with intelligence built in

Omni-channel engagement

Connect with customers anytime, anywhere

Self-service and communities

Help your customers help themselves

Agent enablement

Help your agents succeed through a single user interface

Unified knowledge

Give agents and customers answers on the spot

To find out more about Dynamics 365, and why First Distribution should be your partner of choice, email

Azure StorSimple Across Your Business

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Deploy Azure StorSimple Across Your Business

Azure StorSimple pioneered the concept of Hybrid Cloud Storage. By combining both public and private cloud storage capabilities, Azure StorSimple has empowered our customers to handle today’s key storage problems more effectively and economically. We can deal with massive data growth, provide solid DR capabilities, and yield overall storage cost savings of up to 60% while providing better performance.

Hybrid cloud storage-arrays
  • Seamlessly integrate with Azure Storage with no change in existing applications or servers.
  • Consolidate storage functions (primary, archive, backup, DR all in one)
  • Automatically tier older data to the cloud
  • Backup to the cloud
  • Storage efficiency – deduplication and compression
  • Military-grade encryption
8000 Series
  • Highavailability
  • DR to the cloud with the StorSimple Cloud Appliance
  • Test your DR solution before it goes live
  • Up to 500TB perdevice
StorSimple Virtual Array
  • iSCSI or SMB
  • No up-frontcommitment
  • Runs on HyperV or VMware
  • Up to 64TB per storage array

Azure StorSimple hybrid cloud storage solution breaks the cycle of endless focus on managing storage infrastructure and helps businesses use storage as a key enabler for business. With Azure StorSimple, customers can:

  • Consolidate large amount of storage infrastructure
  • Simplify storage management and data protection
  • Implement robust disaster recovery (DR) mechanisms
  • Accelerate IT projects that deliver business value
  • Reduce total storage costs up to 60%
  • Improve overall IT performance

Azure StorSimple significantly reduces the time needed to manage storage and gives IT the time and flexibility to work on higher-priority projects that support business goals.

What does it cost:

StorSimple 8100

$1359.04 / R20 000

StorSimple 8600

$2148.64 / R31 000

Delivery, Installation, Migration, and Management

 R80 000

*ROE Dependant

For more information about Microsoft Azure, and the benefits it has to offer your business, please contact us on

Protect your customers against external threats

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What if D-Day strikes?
Protect your customers against external threats

What are your customers’ security concerns?
Can you or their internal IT department quickly identify suspicious activities and attacks?
How are their platforms and devices in use being secured?
How do they maintain visibility, control, and protection of their applications?

Microsoft 365 is a holistic, intelligent solution that has end-to-end protection rather than product specific point solutions.  Microsoft 365 includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility and Security that empowers everyone to be creative and work together.

Microsoft 365 Business

An integrated product for SMBs to access productivity tools, manage their productivity platform, and protect data across devices. For organizations with up to 300 users.

R241,70 SA / $17,39 Africa
Per User, Per Month
Microsoft 365 E3

Office 365 Enterprise E3, Enterprise Mobility + Security E3, and Windows 10 Enterprise E3. This per-user licensed suite of products offer users best-in-class productivity across devices while providing IT security and control.

R410,29 SA / $29,52 Africa
Per User, Per Month
Microsoft 365 E5

Office 365 Enterprise E5, Enterprise Mobility + Security E5, and Windows 10 Enterprise E5. This per-user licensed suite of products offer customers the latest, most advanced enterprise security, management, collaboration, and business analytics.

R737,95 SA / $53,10 Africa
Per User, Per Month

Product Value:

  • Replace passwords and protect corporate identities (Windows Hello for Business)
  • Enable self-service password reset across on-premises and cloud applications (Azure AD Premium)
  • Protect single-sign on tokens using Credential Guard (prevention of a Pass the Hash-style attack)
  • Turn on Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication (Azure AD Premium)
  • Leverage Conditional Access (EMS E3 –static, EMS E5 –dynamic, Azure AD Premium & Identity Protection)

Prevent devices from encountering threats (Office ATP) and to prevent malicious web sites (Smart Screen). Prevent unauthorized applications from running (Device Guard) and prevent malware from running (Windows Defender AV).

  • Detect and respond advanced attacks by protecting devices (Windows Defender ATP). Protect email (Microsoft 365 ATP). Protecting identities (ATA).
  • Detect and prevent data leakage –encryption, labeling, distribution, enforcement (Office Information Protection, Azure Information Protection, Windows Information Protection)
  • Classify and retain data –eDiscovery, selective retention (Advanced Data Governance)
  • Protect data on lost and stolen devices (BitLocker)
  • Monitor and manage device and applications in mobile devices (Intune)
  • Security Center (Azure Security Center, Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Center)
  • Discover apps in an organization: productivity apps (ASM), all SaaS applications (CAS)
  • Endpoint security management (Windows Defender ATP)

Customer Value:

Prevent advanced threats and protect identity, apps, data, and devices

  • Protection against new threats – Protect, detect, and respond to malware; prevent data leaks and safeguard your data
  • Comprehensive and integrated – Instead of piecing together multiple products, Microsoft provides security capabilities that are built in and not bolted on
  • Productive end-user experiences – Holistic, end-to- end approach doesn’t interfere with user experience


Microsoft 365 can:

  • Help you protect your customer’s information and reduce the data loss risk.
  • Help you provide your customer’s with unrivalled organizational security. Detect and protect your customer’s from external threats by monitoring, reporting, and analysing activity to react promptly.
  • Help you protect your customer’s users and their accounts.
  • Help you create an environment where users are able to work securely form anywhere, anytime, on any device maintaining flexible workstyle.

For more information about Microsoft 365, and the benefits it has to offer your business, please contact us on

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: D-Day for Insurance

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D-day for Insurance

Dynamics 365 for Sales lets the Insurance Industry go beyond Sales Force Automation

Accurate forecasting that grows your business
A study conducted last year showed that the Insurance industry has been very slow to embrace digital transformation, even though technology is a fundamental part of the industry. On the property and casualty side, fundamental changes are expected to affect the business model in the future. In addition, there is a definite need to interact with customers more seamlessly.

Current pain points in the Insurance Industry:

  • Enhance interaction and build trusted relationships
  • Leverage existing data and analytics to generate risk insights
  • Utilise new approaches to underwriting risk and predicting loss
  • Enable the business with sophisticated operational capabilities
Your sales transformation starts here

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers great potential for growth in the Insurance industry, in that it provides real insights into your pipeline and workflow, a definitive overview of your sales and sales forecasting, and more. Dynamics 365 offers increased stability, allowing businesses to better build trust as forecast accuracy improves.

Foster relationships with authentic and personal engagement

Find and connect with the right buyers and grow sales relationships by combining LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Boost productivity and increase revenue by integrating best practices

Seamlessly connect business process data with Office 365 and LinkedIn data to guide sellers throughout your sales processes to make selling easier—even while on the go.

Innovate with a modern and adaptable sales platform

Drive innovation with a sales application that is easy to tailor, extend, and connect to other apps and services you already use.

Actionable insights
  • Spend more time selling and less time on administration
  • Increase revenue, boost productivity, gain key insights, and reduce costs when you automate your sales processes through a highly intuitive interface and Microsoft Office-embedded capabilities.
  • Work anytime, anywhere with familiar, intuitive productivity tools, such as mobile apps that provide contextual news, social data, and task flows
  • Know what steps to take next to close deals faster by using process automation and a guided sales process
  • Recruit, onboard, and strengthen your partner channel through deeper enablement and activation
Relationship management
  • Create a culture that nurtures success
  • Accelerate your sales performance with real-time analytics based on historical data and predictive information. Inspire, onboard, coach, and motivate your team to achieve more.
  • Get answers fast using dashboards, contextual charts, and Power BI Q&A for natural language queries
  • Hit your numbers by setting goals, monitoring results, and providing feedback and coaching in real time
  • Ease onboarding and align sales behavior through sales management software and interactive help and documentation
  • Energize everyone on your sales team with fun and exciting competitions through gamification
Relationship management
  • Foster customer relationships through authentic, personal engagement
  • Unify your sales experience around relationships. With relationship-centered insights
  • Identify, understand, and connect with customers through social networks
  • Engage through sharing of personalized and relevant content
  • Build trust with continuous insights and recommendations based on actual customer needs
  • Easily grow and maintain your one-to-one customer relationships-at scale-with unified data and systems
Actionable insights
  • Increase sales velocity by identifying prospects most likely to buy based on predictive intelligence
  • Know where to focus with insights that reveal relationship health and risk
  • Spot buying signals, identify competitive threats, and keep a pulse on the market with social media
  • Engage your customers in more personalized, effective ways through customer intelligence

To find out more about Dynamics 365 for Sales, or for more information about Microsoft’s product offerings, email

Does paying for on-premise physical hardware still make business sense?

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Does paying for on-premise physical hardware still make business sense?

Be in full control of your IT spend with Azure. The ability to only pay for what you use and manage your resource requirement with a click of a button.

Simply add more computing power when you require or scale it down when you are done.

No operational sprawl, no time or money wasted – Azure gives you secure, efficient and scalable public cloud infrastructure.

The following Azure VM’s are now available for your workloads:

Entry Level Machine
(Domain Controller/Low Traffic Web Front End/Dev & Test)
Production Machine
(HR/Accounting Package)
High Performance
(SQL/Backend Servers)
This workload is perfect for low performance and read-write operations. Web Fronts that are servicing low traffic volumes such as internal applications or static web pages would be a perfect fit. With fast premium storage, this machine is perfect for running those HR and Accounting packages for small businesses.

Reduce the performance when you aren’t using it and increase when you do, it’s a win-win for cost-saving and productivity.

The best performance for SQL Server on Azure VMs.

If your workload is less demanding, you might not require every optimization listed below. Consider your performance requirements and workload patterns as you evaluate these recommendations.

  • Windows Server OS Included
  • 2 x Cores
  • 4GB RAM
  • 126GB HDD OS Disk
  • Windows Server OS Included
  • 2 x Cores
  • 8GB RAM
  • 126GB SSD OS Disk
  • Windows Server OS Included
  • 8 x Cores
  • 32GB RAM
  • 126GB SSD OS Disk
Cost Estimate:
$91.26 / R1, 295.83 p.m.

Cost Estimate:
$142.50 / R2, 023.48 p.m.

Additional Storage:
Get an additional 128GB SSD Premium Disk for ($18.60 / R270)

Cost Estimate:
$570.00 / R8, 094.00 p.m.

* The above pre-configured VM’s is a basic guideline. The correct sizing of customer requirements needs to be facilitated by the partner. Sizing and performance is based on software and workload requirements.

* ROE is based on R14.20 and may fluctuate

To find out more about Microsoft Azure, or to speak to a First Distribution representative, email