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Aotearoa, commonly known as the land of the long white cloud, can now also be known as the land that embraces the cloud. New Zealanders and their organisations are adopting cloud services en masse. With high-speed internet access becoming ubiquitous plus the Australian Azure region launch in October and Office 365 region announcement for March, there has never been a better time to consider moving to the cloud.

In case you didn’t know, Office 365 is our cloud service offering combining Office applications with business-class email, instant messaging, video conferencing and document management services to provide you with the ability to work anywhere, anytime on any device.

Azure is our public cloud platform which includes a growing collection of integrated services like compute, storage, data, networking, and apps. Azure is IaaS + PaaS. It’s open & flexible allowing you to run workloads from Windows to Linux, SQL Server to Oracle, C# to Java.

Office 365 in Australia
What does an Office 365 region in Australia mean for New Zealanders?

A couple of reasons stand out.

First and foremost, we will see a boost in performance. The Australian datacentres are significantly closer than Singapore/Hong Kong or the United States and this means both lower latency and higher throughput. This will benefit everyone, but for the lowest latency and guaranteed throughput you can also deploy an ExpressRoute connection directly into Azure.

Secondly, and also very important, is data residency. With Azure and Office 365 your data will be geo-redundant but the data will reside only within the Australian datacentres. This is especially important for sectors such as Healthcare, Education, Government, and Financial Services.

When will Office 365 be available in Australia? For new subscriptions the Office region is planned to be available from March 2015.

Will my existing subscription be moved? For existing subscriptions the moves are planned to start in September 2015. For the detailed info on what will happen before, during, and after the move, check the following link:

We’ve had quite a few queries from some of you wanting to move earlier than this – good news, there is a program available that you may be able to enrol in. To find out more about having your subscription moved during the beta period, check the info at the above link, click through to “before your datacentre move” and look for the “apply for the beta program” link.

Office 365 Training. If you’re considering a move to Office 365, or you're ready to take the next step and light up some of the advanced features in your existing subscription, then try the free online learning courses available on Microsoft Virtual Academy. You can jump directly to the relevant content with this link:

Regan Murphy
Infrastructure Technical Evangelist
Microsoft NZ


More than 200,000 IT Pros can't be wrong! Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers online Microsoft training delivered by experts. Watch videos, download PowerPoint slides and test yourself as you upskill this year at absolutely no cost. Head over to MVA and make sure you dig into the awesome Azure for IT Pros series and the MVA course that takes you behind Windows 10.

Azure IaaS for IT Pros

Want to explore and build on your foundational cloud skills? Take a deep dive with the Microsoft Azure experts!

Windows 10 Technical Preview Fundamentals for IT Pros

Watch as the lead Windows 10 Enterprise Product Managers roll back the covers on the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Get a technical overview and find out how these improvements can help you meet your enterprise IT and security challenges.


Win a Nespresso™ machine for your start-up with BizSpark NZ.

Is your start-up in need of some free software, Azure benefits, networking and support? Sign up now for the @BizSpark program. All successful applicants will receive a free coffee mug and if you use $1,000 USD worth of Microsoft Azure while building your empire before 30 April 2015 you'll be in to WIN a Nespresso™ Maestria Breville machine for your office, worth $849 NZD! See more details here.

$500k of Azure credits for Y Combinator start-ups.

On February 9 at Y Combinator’s offices in Mountain View, CA, Microsoft presented to the winter startup cohort (~85 startups) the benefits of Azure, Office 365 and other services packaged in its BizSpark Plus for Y Combinator offer. You can read what @StevenGuggs had to say about the partnership with Y Combinator, one of the world’s leading startup accelerators here.

Know it. Prove it.

The Know it. Prove it. challenge is almost at the half-way point! It's a month-long learning binge to accelerate your skills on the tech topic of your choice, but you can join at any point to start upskilling now! Commit to the challenge, share your progress and make February the month you perfect your tech chops.

Mmmm Pi...

Love to tinker? The original Rapsberry Pi is a very popular single-board computer for makers, builders and tinkerers. Now the new Raspberry Pi 2 will work with Windows 10, check out the IoT Development program today if you’re interested to find out more.


Windows Infrastructure and Azure User Group Meetup

18 February
Come along and hear Microsoft's Regan Murphy talk about the new Azure and Office 365 regions in Australia and what implications that might have for NZ-based individuals and organisations.

Microsoft MVP ComCamp

27 February
It's back, with a new time. The annual Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Community Camp is presenting Microsoft's reinvention based on it's new vision, 'Mobile-first, Cloud-first'. Held in more than 20 cities in the APAC region, the event provides training on Azure and Azure based app development as well as a range of useful tips and technical advice for a range of MS products.

The MVP ComCamp is more lecture-styled for decision makers with a training level of ~100, whereas the Microsoft Azure Cloud Camps are for technical individuals with hands-on training at a ~300 level.

IT Camp: Extend your Datacenter with Microsoft Azure

17, 19 & 24 February and 19 March
Attend this IT Camp “Extend your Datacenter with Microsoft Azure” to learn how the Microsoft hybrid cloud combines Microsoft Azure with your own datacenter, or a hosting service providers datacenter. When you extend your datacenter to meet the public cloud, you are working in a hybrid cloud model; your business requires a flexible IT infrastructure that can scale on demand.

IT Camp: Implementing a Mobile-First World with Microsoft Enterprise Device Infrastructure

26 February and 24 & 26 March
Explore the new enterprise mobility capabilities that make recovery, security, and identity management of Windows and non-Windows platforms easier. At this one day interactive, hands-on training event, you will deep dive into key enterprise scenarios like identity, mobile device management, information and app protection.

We’ll be covering updates to Microsoft Intune, explore the new features in Azure Active Directory Premium, and we’ll also be taking a closer look at what’s coming with Windows 10.

The Inaugural Microsoft Student Accelerator Showcase

9 March
Microsoft is empowering students through the MSA programme, to help young Kiwis carve a pathway towards an IT career – either by joining an organisation, or by creating their own.

Students will find out the value of taking part in this programme in 2015 and organisations will discover the benefits of taking on innovative students over the summer period.

The showcase will also feature the top four teams who'll be battling it out in the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition.

ShareThePoint – Productivity Roadshow

March 2015
ShareThePoint is delivering free, practical, 2 hour seminars on SharePoint in your business to a town near you! To check out their journey and register for a workshop here.

eResearch NZ 2015

23, 24 & 25 March 2015
eResearch NZ aims to promote shared approaches to supporting eResearch needs across institutions and disciplines. If you’re interested, join the discussion on how eResearch can highlight current and emerging research priorities.


Inspired by the release of the Windows 10 compatible Raspberry Pi 2, we've included these apps for all you creators, builders, makers and fiddlers! Break out in an ArtRage, check out how creative people can be with their GoPro, re-charge your brain with some Ted Talks and flick through Flipboard to keep the inspiration flowing.

Have a Windows app project on the side? Show it off! Share it with the rest of the community in the Kiwi Windows Apps Facebook group or send us an email to

Download ArtRage Download Flipboard
Download Ted Talks Download GoPro Channel

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