What is the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

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What is the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

The Microsoft Azure Active Directory (in short: “Azure AD”) is a cloud-based service by Microsoft. It is used for the management of identities and respective access rights. These access rights can apply to:

  • a corporate network/intranet and proprietary applications that are cloud-based
  • external services/applications by Microsoft like the Azure portal as such and Microsoft Office 365. Azure AD is also used in connection with third party SaaS (Software as a service) applications.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Who uses the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

 

Azure AD users are therefore typically IT administrators, App/software developers, as well as, subscribers to the already mentioned Microsoft Products or third party Saas offers.

 

Which kind of licenses are available?

 

Currently, there are five different licenses available for the Microsoft Azure Active Directory/Azure AD. They offer several access levels to Azure Active Directory features:

  1. Free
  2. Basic
  3. Premium P1 (includes the features included in “Free” and “Basis” plus additional features like advanced administration and more). Microsoft also offers a free 30-day Azure Active Directory Premium trial to get you started and to “try out” the additional features that go beyond the “Free” and “Basic” options.
  4. Premium P2 (all the features of Free, Basis and Premium 1, plus Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Identity Management )
  5. Feature licenses on a “Pay as you go” basis.

 

How can I learn more about working with the Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

 

TechSherpas offers several training courses relating to Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Azure Active Directory. Among these are, for example:

 

  • 10993: Integrating on-premises Identity Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure – for IT professionals with already existing knowledge/experience with Microsoft Azure
  • 10992: Integrating On-Premises Core Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure – for professionals in the areas of IT and DevOps (development operations) with a good knowledge of on-premises technologies and at least basic knowledge in the area of cloud technologies
  • 10979: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals On-Demand – for IT professionals (e.g. administrators, developers) with limited knowledge regarding cloud technologies. If you are interested in a more advanced course that requires a better knowledge of Azure and cloud technologies, you might want to consider taking this one first.

 

These are just a few selected courses from our course catalog. Do you have any questions about our courses or about which course might be the best for your skill level? Just contact us, we will be happy to help.

 

Sources:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/fundamentals/active-

 

How Can a Microsoft Azure Certification Boost Your Career?

More and more businesses are using cloud-computing technology. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for people that possess the required skills better known as a Microsoft Azure Certification. One reason this technology has become popular is its ability to help saving on company investment of server space. Another reason for its popularity is because employees increasingly need to be able to access their files from somewhere else other than their stationary office work space. If you need to show that you possess cloud-computing skills and know how to apply them, a Microsoft Azure Certification provides you with just the right advantage over the job-seeking competition.

Microsoft Azure Certification

Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Azure Certification

In our recent blog post, we have already elaborated on the six different Microsoft Certification Paths and the Microsoft Certification Map: The MCSA Certification (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) with 17 different focus area certifications that form the stepping stones to achieving that goal.

  • one of the five MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certifications
  • or the MCSD certification, which stands for “Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer.”

Depending on which focus areas and key technologies you focus on while achieving your MCSA Certification, you can set the path towards a Microsoft Azure related MCSE/MCSD certification.

 

Why invest into obtaining an official certification?

It is true: Nowadays, there are many ways to achieve knowledge and to hone one’s skills. One can read books, subscribe to podcasts and newsletters, watch Youtube videos and much more. Theoretically, you might be able to work with Microsoft Azure without any specific certification in that area.

If you have chosen information technology and cloud computing as your actual career fields, then these kinds of self-taught skills are probably not enough to get ahead. Anyone can claim they possess the skills and practical experience, but if you want to make a sustainable career out of those, you are going to need to show corresponding credentials as a recognizable proof of your expertise.

When you are looking for a new job, your CV usually is the first source of information for your potential future employer, and they probably have to decide between a multitude of applicants. A convincing CV is extremely important, because this phase of the application-process is the first hurdle you need to master in order to make it to a personal interview. An official and industry-recognized Microsoft Azure Certification in your CV documents that you have participated in a structured education and made it successfully through the required exams is important. This does not only show your personal dedication, but also provides a certain security for the future employer, that they will be able to rely on you having received your education and certifications by a reputable and recognized provider.

See also:
https://www.techsherpas.com/azure-skills-initiative-and-special-offers/

 

The Microsoft Certification Paths and the Microsoft Certification Map

In our last blog post we discussed two Microsoft certifications – MCSA and MCSE – as entry-level and mid-level IT certifications to boost your career as an IT professional. Today we would like to take a closer look at the six Microsoft certification paths for the certifications of MCSA, MCSE and MCSD: the Microsoft Certification Map.

What do the Microsoft Certification Paths show?

There are six different Microsoft Certification paths as part of the Microsoft Certification Map: 17 MCSA focus areas, 5 MCSEs and 1 MCSD. The Microsoft Certification Map shows how you can combine these focus areas to stepping-stones towards achieving the desired MCSE or MCSD certification.

While MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is an entry-level certification that can stand on its own, it is also part of the certification path (or track) to an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) or MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) certification.

The 17 MCSA focus areas are (in alphabetical order):

  • BI Reporting
  • Cloud Platform
  • Data Engineering with Azure
  • Linux on Azure
  • Machine Learning
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations
  • Office 365
  • SQL 2016 BI Development
  • SQL 2016 Database Administration
  • SQL 2016 Database Development
  • SQL Server 2012/2014
  • Universal Windows Platform
  • Web Applications
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2016

 

Microsoft Certification Map

Microsoft Certification Map

 

The Microsoft Certification Map explained

The Certification Map with its six Microsoft Certification Paths shows you, which of the different MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) focus area certifications form the path to each of the five MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certifications and the MCSD certification.

The five MCSE certifications/focus areas with their different key technologies are:

In addition, there is one MCSD certification path (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) within the focus area.

  • App Builder with the key technologies: Azure, C#. SharePoint. Office Client, Visual Studio, .Net and HTML5

The have already mentioned stepping-stones for each of these six certification paths which are:

  • combinations of the above mentioned 17 MCSA focus areas
  • PLUS one passed exam from an elective exam pool

These exam pools are periodically updated, and so it is important for you to always consider the current version of the Microsoft Certification Paths.

You can find our most current version of the certification (road-)map here, or by clicking on the image above. This will lead you to not only an enlarged version of the map, but also to a more detailed info graphic for each of the certification paths.

 

Sources:
https://www.techsherpas.com/microsoft-certification-map/
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/browse-all-certifications.aspx?technology=windows%20server

 

 

3 of the Best Entry Level IT Certifications to Boost Your Career

If you want to make yourself a career in the field of information technology, you should consider achieving one of the well-established, entry level IT certifications as a credential for your IT skills.

Why are Entry Level IT Certifications important?

Many people are nowadays interested in computer and IT subjects, which is a continually changing and evolving career path.  An IT Certification serves as a standardized tool to help potential employers or customers to assess your knowledge and skill set and make an informed decision about hiring you.

Which of the Entry Level IT Certifications is right for you?

Entry level IT Certifications

CompTIA A+

A CompTIA A+ certification provides a starting point and foundation for your IT career as an entry level IT technician. A CompTIA A + technician offers technical and operational IT support and maintains, troubleshoots and repairs PCs, mobile devices, operating systems and peripheral equipment.

TechSherpas CompTIA A+ training course provides qualified training and preparation for your CompTIA A+ certification for participants who already possess basic computer skills.

 

Cisco Certified Entry Level Technicial (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

For aspiring network technicians, a Cisco Certification as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and/or Cisco Certified Entry Level Technician (CCENT) as a stepping-stone to becoming an associate is the way to go. Typical job titles for professionals with such a CCNA certification are “Systems Administrator,” “Network Administrator” or “Network Engineer.”

 

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) is an entry level IT certification and a stepping-stone to becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Both certifications are part of the Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP) program.

There are 17 different focus areas for an MCSA, among them:

  • BI Reporting
  • Cloud Platform
  • Office 365
  • Windows 10
  • SQL 2016 Database Administration

Depending on which area or areas you want to focus on, you can select the particular MCSA accordingly. You can also group several of these focus area certifications (as illustrated in our Microsoft Certification Map). This enables you to achieve the mid-level Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification.

TechSherpas is a Microsoft Gold Partner and as such specially certified by Microsoft to provide training and certifications for MCSA and MCSE. Have a look at our course catalog to get a better overview about the various training courses and learning solutions that help you to get your IT career started or better yet, take it to the next level.

 

Sources:
https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/5-it-certifications-to-get-your-foot-in-the-door/
https://certification.comptia.org/certifications
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/certifications/entry.html

 

Overview: Microsoft Office 365 Services and Applications (Part 2)

This is the second part of our overview of the different plans for Microsoft Office 365 and the Office 365 applications and services that are included in those plans. Our emphasis this time is on the Office 365 services, which focus on collaboration, organization and communication among different users (e.g. team members), especially for business purposes.

Collaboration and Communication with the Office 365 Services

OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud-based file-hosting service.Teamwork with Office 365 Services

Skype/Skype for Business

Skype is a communication software providing the possibility of video and voice calls/messaging, as well as instant messaging/text chats and the exchange of files between the users. It also allows for making calls to regular telephones

Skype for Business includes the already mentioned features, but with advanced functionalities especially in the area of call handling (routing, forwarding). In contrast to the basic Skype version, Skype for Business could manage the tasks of a corporate/enterprise phone system.

SharePoint

SharePoint is an online platform for the storage and management of documents. It features functionalities to enable collaboration within teams/organizations (intranet, wikis, process management), as well as, options for customization/configuration.

Exchange

Exchange is a service for “business class email and calendaring”. Additional add-ins provide the option for further extension and customization of the service,

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides the function of a hub for teamwork and collaboration in Office 365.

Office 365 Applications: Access and Publisher

There are also two more Microsoft applications included in some of the Office 365 plans (though only available for PC, not for Mac). They have both been part of the Microsoft Office Suite for decades as well (i.e. the early 1990’s).

Access:

Microsoft Access is a well-known software tool to create databases. It allows you to collect, organize, store and access information electronically.

Publisher:

Microsoft Publisher is a desktop-publishing application that allows for word processing tasks with an emphasis on design and layout.

Mastering Microsoft Office 365 with TechSherpas

We at TechSherpas are your competent partner for IT certification and learning solutions. As a Microsoft Gold Partner we are specifically certified to provide instruction for Microsoft products. If you want to enhance your skill set by achieving in-depth knowledge about the various Microsoft Office 365 applications and features, you can find a variety of Microsoft Office 365 certification and training courses in our course catalogue.

If you have any further questions – just let us know!

 

Sources:

https://www.tecfac.net/2015/10/29/skype-for-business/the-difference-between-skype-and-skype-for-business/

https://products.office.com/en-us/compare-all-microsoft-office-products?tab=2&OCID=AID717974_SEM_RsukckXV&lnkd=Google_O365SMB_NI

The Microsoft Office 365 Applications and Services – an Overview (Part 1)

Office 365 applicationsIn last week’s post, we have already given you a first overview of the various Microsoft Office 365 plans and the Office 365 applications and services that are included in those plans.

Below you will find a few more details about the use and the benefits of the different applications and services, so you can make an even better informed choice.

Available Microsoft Office 365 Applications and Services

These are the different applications and services available for Microsoft Office 365 and part of the Office 365 plans. Depending on the particular plan, the variation of the included applications and services differs. In addition, some of the applications are only available for PC, not for Mac.

Applications:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • OneNote
  • Access (only available for PC)
  • Publisher (only available for PC)

Services:

  • OneDrive
  • Skype
  • Skype for Business
  • SharePoint
  • Exchange
  • Microsoft Teams

A Closer Look at the Different Office 365 Applications

Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Word (for word processing tasks), Excel (spreadsheets for calculation, graphing tools and pivot tables, and PowerPoint (for the creation of presentation slides) are probably the best-known Microsoft Applications. They have been around in various versions since the 1990’s (PowerPoint) and even 1980’s (Word and Excel).

Outlook

Outlook is another classic among the Microsoft Office Applications. Microsoft released the first version in the early 90’s. Outlook is widely known as an email application, but it also features a calendar, contact organizing and note taking function.

OneNote

We have already written more extensively about the benefits and use of Microsoft OneNote in one of our previous blog posts. One of its main purposes is the organization of notes, but users can also embed various other files (audio, video, graphics etc.), create free-hand drawings and record audio. In addition, it allows the sharing of the so-called “workbooks” with other users, which makes OneNote a great tool for team collaborations.

How to Master Microsoft Office 365

We will continue this overview of the different Office 365 applications and services in our next post.

In the meantime, have a look at our trainings and certification courses for Microsoft Office 365 to find out how to make the most of its features. TechSherpas are certified Microsoft Gold Partners and provide you with competent and professional instructors, for in-house learning as well as learning solutions on-demand and live/online.

 

Sources:

https://products.office.com/en-us/compare-all-microsoft-office-products?tab=2&OCID=AID717974_SEM_RsukckXV&lnkd=Google_O365SMB_NI

Which of the Microsoft Office 365 Plans Is Right For Me?

Microsoft Office 365 PlansTo decide, which of the available Microsoft Office 365 Plans is the right one for your requirements, let us go through the various selection criteria to point you into the right direction.

Microsoft Office 365 Plans for Home and Business

First of all, there is the option for home use:

  • Office 365 Home
  • Office 365 Personal

with a special version

  • Office Home and Students 2016 for PC

For business purposes, you have the choice between three different options:

  • Office 365 Business
  • Office 365 Premium Business
  • Office 365 Business Essentials

Microsoft Office 365 is available for PC and Mac. The Homes and Students version (only for PC) can be purchased for a one-time payment. All other versions are paid for on a monthly basis, with a minimum commitment of one year.

Which of the Microsoft Office 365 Applications and Services do you need?

Depending on which of the Microsoft Office 365 plans you select, an array of different Microsoft applications and services is included in the plan.

Applications:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • Publisher (only for PC)
  • Access (only for PC)

All of these applications are included in Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal, as well as (except Publisher) in Office 365 Business and Office 365 Premium Business.

The Office Home and Students 2016 for PC plan includes a limited selection:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote

The Office 365 Business Essentials plan does not include any application.

Services:

  • OneDrive
  • Skype/Skype for Business
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams

Office Home and Students 2016 for PC does not include any service.

For the other plans, a differing selection applies:

OneDrive is included in each of the plans (except Office Home and Students 2016 for PC). Apart from Office 365 Business (and the student version), Skype or Skype for Business are part of all plans. Office 365 Premium Business and Office 365 Business Essentials both also include SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

Getting the best use out of Microsoft Office 365

Finding the right Microsoft Office 365 plan is only the first step though. We, at TechSherpas , are certified Microsoft Gold Partners. In order to get the best use out of the selected plans and its individual features for home and business, have a look at our various Microsoft Office 365 trainings, certification courses and boot camps.

 

Sources:

https://products.office.com/en-us/compare-all-microsoft-office-products?tab=2&OCID=AID717974_SEM_RsukckXV&lnkd=Google_O365SMB_NI

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b/help-me-choose-office

Microsoft Azure Certification Training Courses with TechSherpas

Microsoft Azure is a suite of cloud computing services. IT experts have the option to obtain a Microsoft Azure Certification – or several – for example to boost their professional credentials as well as their careers.

Microsoft Azure Certification – An Overview of the Options

Microsoft Azure Certification

The following is an overview of the currently issued Microsoft Azure Certifications. To make the navigation as easy as possible for you, we have linked the certification titles to information about TechSherpas ’ respective training course (where applicable).

TechSherpa’s Microsoft Azure Training Courses

As certified Microsoft Gold Partners for learning solutions, TechSherpas provides a range of Azure-related trainings for IT professionals. These training courses prepare you for the respective Microsoft Azure Certifications. They include options for boot camp courses, remote on-demand learning, as well as the possibility to choose In-Classroom Learning (ICL) or Virtual Live Training (VLT). The availability of these options depends on the specific courses. Please make sure to read the respective course description and ICL/VLT markers for details.

Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers

Azure is a certification issued by Microsoft. Therefore, there are Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs) available for eligible customers and courses taught by Microsoft-certified Learning Partners. These vouchers are part of Microsoft’s Software Assurance Benefits for their Volume Licensing. Most of our Microsoft-related software classes are eligible for the use of such a training voucher.

Are you already one of Microsoft’s Volume Licensing customers? Then you can find out more about your benefits at Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Services Center (VLSC) and/or the Business Center.

Any Questions?

Contact us, if you

Give us a call, or use our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Sources:

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/what-is-azure/
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/get-started/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Azure

Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs)

Microsoft Training VouchersMicrosoft Training Vouchers (or “Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers”/SATVs) are a great help to limit the costs of professional IT training for Microsoft products. The purchase of software – especially in large volumes – means a financial investment for a company or organization.

The Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers are one way to enhance the value and the return on such investments: They allow businesses and organizations to ensure that their employees receive the proper training in order to use the Microsoft software. They are also an important tool that provides necessary training without having to dip too deeply into the organization’s software training budget.

How do I get Microsoft Training Vouchers?

The Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers (in short: “SATVs”) are among the Software Assurance Benefits for Microsoft Volume Licensing. Current Volume Licensing customers can get detailed information about their particular benefits online via Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Services Center (VLSC) and/or the Business Center. This is also the way to access your benefits.

How do I use the training vouchers?

The training vouchers are available for a range of eligible courses taught by especially certified Microsoft Learning Partners like TechSherpas . Most of the Microsoft-related technology classes are eligible for the use of a Microsoft training voucher. We are a Gold Microsoft Learning Partner. At TechSherpas , we offer a broad range of Microsoft training classes and certifications aimed at IT professionals. Some examples for our Microsoft classes are: Azure, Skype, Office and Project Management, but also SharePoint, Windows OS and Windows Server Training.

Any further questions?

Microsoft provides download options for several resources/guides to give you an overview about their Software Assurance Program and their Volume Licensing terms, for example:

Software Assurance at a Glance” and the “Software Assurance Program Guide”, as well as a “Software Assurance Benefits Chart” and more.

You can of course also contact us here at TechSherpas if you need further information or assistance with redeeming the Microsoft Training Vouchers. Simply call us or use our contact form.

Have you already used Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers before? Let us know about your experience in the comments section.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/licensing-programs/FAQ-Software-Assurance.aspx
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/licensing-programs/software-assurance-default.aspx
https://www.techsherpas.com/software-assurance-training-vouchers/
https://www.techsherpas.com/technology/microsoft-training/
https://www.techsherpas.com/technology/microsoft-training/certification-programs/

MCSA Certification – How to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

Microsoft’s MCSA Certification is a stepping-stone for IT professionals to obtain their MCSE Certification. This is a part of the certification program for Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP). A certification as MCSA also provides you with the necessary core skills that qualifies you for entry-level positions as an IT professional/developer. While MCSE stands for “Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert”, the “A” in MCSA marks the status of an “Associate”. A MCSA is therefore a “Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate”. Such a certification as MCSA is a prerequisite to become an MCSE, which we have already covered the subject of MCSE in last week’s post.

Overview of the different MCSA Certification Focus Areas

  • MCSA – BI Reporting
  • MCSA – Cloud Platform
  • MCSA – Data Engineering with Azure
  • MCSA – Linux on Azure
  • MCSA – Machine Learning
  • MCSA – Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • MCSA – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations
  • MCSA – Office 365
  • MCSA – SQL 2016 BI Development
  • MCSA – SQL 2016 Database Administration
  • MCSA – SQL 2016 Database Development
  • MCSA – SQL Server 2012/2014
  • MCSA – Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSA – Web Applications
  • MCSA – Windows 10
  • MCSA – Windows Server 2012
  • MCSA – Windows Server 2016

MCSA Certification at TechSherpas

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we at TechSherpas are certified by Microsoft to operate as a training and certification provider for various Microsoft products, including MCSA and MCSE. MCSA Certification

Are you still undecided whether you want to aim for the expert level (MCSE) right away, or whether you will be fine with the MCSA Certification alone? No problem, you do not have to decide right away! However, if you already do have a more concrete plan geared towards a MCSE certification, please take a look at our certification map. It gives you an overview about which courses and certifications to select/aim for in order to obtain these Microsoft certifications. Simply click on the preview to get to an enlarged view of the map.

MCSA Certification Boot Camps

Our boot camp learning solutions offer you the possibility to obtain your MCSA certification over the course of just a few days. You have two options to do so:

  • Locally, in the classroom environment of our training facilities (see the “ICL”/“In-Classroom Learning” marker in our course catalogue). We offer our courses at various locations and various dates throughout the year.
  • Virtually, from the comfort of your own computer at home or the office. See our Virtual Live Training (“VLT) option.

Do you have further questions or need assistance with enrolling? Simply contact us, either by phone or via our contact form.

 

Sources:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/mcsa-certification.aspx
https://www.techsherpas.com/microsoft-certification-map/
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/microsoft-certified-professional.aspx