Showing posts with label microsoft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label microsoft. Show all posts

Monday, 10 July 2017

Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure Stack announced at Inspire 2017

Today at their Microsoft Partner Conference, Inspire, Microsoft unveiled Microsoft 365 – a new set of commercial offerings bringing together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

Microsoft 365 is a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower companies and all workers, recognising that people are at the heart of digital transformation,” writes Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft.

Two new offerings were introduced at the Inspire event. Designed for large organisations, Microsoft 365 Enterprise combines Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security into a single subscription.

The second offering, Microsoft 365 Business, is designed for small-to-medium enterprises (SME). It supports 300 users and integrates office 365 Business Premium with the tailored management and security features found in Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft 365 Business is available in public preview from 2 August 2017.



For a closer look at Microsoft 365, take a look at this blog from Microsoft.

Microsoft Azure stack now available to order

Microsoft kicked off Inspire with the launch of Microsoft Azure Stack, which allows businesses to host their own hybrid cloud. Azure Stack is an extension of Microsoft Azure that brings the flexibility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to an on premise environment.

As hardware partners, Dell, HP and Lenovo are now creating integrated systems to run Azure Stack and hosts apps on hardware alongside a business’ current infrastructure. The first Azure Stack systems are now available to order.

For businesses, professionals and contractors set to take advantage of Azure stack, this is the ideal time to sharpen Azure skills.

Build and prove your knowledge of Microsoft Azure Stack through the organisation’s well-supported training and certification programme for Azure technology.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Bring in new skills and save a fortune with apprenticeships – find out how at Microsoft Inspire

Learn how to grow your business with Microsoft apprenticeships at this year’s Microsoft Inspire, based in Washington DC. Apprenticeships are customisable programmes built to bring new skills into your business and offer a compelling alternative to hiring graduates.


Firebrand will be hosting three “How to make the most out of Microsoft Apprenticeships” roundtables during Microsoft Inspire 2017. This is your opportunity to meet Firebrand and get the insight you need to hire apprentices quickly and easily.

Firebrand is inviting everyone attending Microsoft Inspire 2017 to a series of roundtable sessions with Firebrand co-founder, Stefano Capaldo. Regardless of which roundtable you attend, you’ll learn:

  • How Microsoft Partners can make the most out of apprenticeships
  • How Levy and non-Levy apprenticeship funding works
  • Which apprenticeship programmes are available
  • Which apprenticeship programme is suitable for you and your business
  • What it’s like being an apprentice employer
  • What support is available from training providers

Every roundtable is an interactive, 60 minute closed-group discussion. Reserve your place fast, because there’s a limited number of places available. The roundtables are scheduled for:


Once you’ve registered for the roundtable, we’ll invite you to the meeting through MyInspire.
Microsoft Inspire is a brilliant opportunity for Partners to network and Firebrand’s “How to make the most out of Microsoft Apprenticeships” roundtable will be no different. This is your chance to take advantage of Firebrand’s apprenticeship experts and get expert feedback from fellow Microsoft Partners.

You’ll also get the opportunity to meet with existing Microsoft apprentices and learn about their experiences in the UK lounge – keep an eye out for Firebrand’s all-star apprentice, Guen Dang.

Sign-up for the “How to make the most of Microsoft Apprenticeships” roundtable now!






Thursday, 18 May 2017

Discover 7 new Microsoft MCSA and MCSE certifications

Microsoft have announced the launch of 6 new MCSA certifications and 1 new MCSE certification. This demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to a growing Azure, Big Data, Business Intelligence (BI) and Dynamics community.

These new certifications and courses will support Microsoft partners looking to upskill and validate knowledge in these technologies.  

Following the huge changes announced in September, these new launches will simplify your path to certification. They'll minimise the number of steps required to earn a certification, while allowing you to align your skills to industry-recognised areas of competence.

This blog will outline the new certifications Microsoft have announced, focusing on the technologies, skills and job roles they align to. 

So what's new?


MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365

This MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 certification is one of three Dynamics 365 certifications launched. It demonstrates your expertise in upgrading, configuring and customising the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform.

There are currently no MOCs aligned to this certification. We have developed our own Firebrand material that will prepare you for the following two exams needed to achieve this certification:
  • MB2-715: Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement Online Deployment
  • MB2-716: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration 
This certification will validate you have the skills for a position as a Dynamics 365 developer, implementation consultant, technical support engineer or system administrator.

This certification is a prerequisite for the MCSE: Business Applications. 

MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations

The second of these three Dynamics 365 certs is the MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations. Here, you’ll get the skills to manage a Microsoft SQL Server database and customise Microsoft Dynamics 365.

On this course, you’ll cover the following MOC:
  • 20764: Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure 
The second part of this course, of which there is currently no MOC, will cover Firebrand's own material. 

To achieve this certification you’ll need to pass the following exams:
  • 70-764: Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure
  • MB6-890: Microsoft Development AX Development Introduction 
Earning this cert proves you have the technical competence for positions such as Dynamics 365 developer, solutions architect or implementer.  

Just like the MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365, this certification is also a prerequisite to the new MCSE: Business Applications certification. 

MCSE: Business Applications

Earning an MCSE certification validates a more advanced level of knowledge. The MCSE: Business Applications certification proves an expert-level competence in installing, operating and managing Microsoft Dynamics 365 technologies in an enterprise environment.

In order to achieve this certification you’ll be required to pass either the MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 or the MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations. You’ll also be required to choose one of the following electives to demonstrate expertise on a business-specific area:
  • MB2-717: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales
  • MB2-718: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
  • MB6-892: Microsoft Dynamics AX - Distribution and Trade
  • MB6-893: Microsoft Dynamics AX - Financials  
Earning your MCSE: Business Applications certification will qualify you for the roles such as Dynamics 365 developer, implementation consultant, technical support engineer, or system administrator.

MCSA: Big Data Engineering

This MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification demonstrates you have the skills to design and implement big data engineering workflows with the Microsoft cloud ecosystem and Microsoft HD Insight to extract strategic value from your data.

On this course you’ll cover the following MOCs:
  • 20775A: Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft HDInsight – expected 28/6/2017
  • 20776A: Engineering Data with Microsoft Cloud Services – expected 08/2017
And take the following exams:
  • 70-775: Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft HD Insight – available now in beta
  • 70-776: Engineering Data with Microsoft Cloud Services – expected Q1 2018
This course is aimed at data engineers, data architects, data scientists and data developers.

Earning this MCSA acts as a prerequisite, and your first step, to achieving the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics credential.

MCSA: BI Reporting

This MCSA: BI Reporting certification proves your understanding of data analysis using Power BI. You’ll learn the skills to create and manage enterprise business intelligence solutions.

The MOCs you’ll cover on this course include:
  • 20778A: Analyzing Data with Power BI
  • 20768B: Developing SQL Data Models 
In order to achieve the certification, you’ll take the following exams:
  • 70-778: Analyzing Data with Power BI - expected Q1 2018
  • 70-768: Developing SQL Data Models 
This certification is aimed at database professionals needing to create enterprise BI solutions and present data using alternative methods.

This certification is a prerequisite for the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics credential. 

MCSA: Cloud Database Development 

This MCSA: Cloud Database Development certification will prove you have the skills to build and implement NoSQL solutions with DocumentDB and Azure Search for the Azure data platform

This certification covers the following MOCs:
  • 40441: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
  • 20777: Implementing NoSQL Solutions with DocumentDB and Azure Search – expected in August 2017 
In order to achieve the certification, you'll have to pass the following exams: 
  • 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
  • 70-777: Implementing NoSQL Solutions with DocumentDB and Azure Search – expected in Q1 2018
This course is aimed at specialist professionals looking to validate their skills and knowledge of developing NoSQL solutions for the Azure data platform. 

This certification is also a prerequisite certification to the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics credential. 

MCSA: Data Science

This course will teach you the skills in operationalising Microsoft Azure machine learning and Big Data with R Server and SQL R Services. You'll learn to process and analyse large data sets using R and use Azure cloud services to build and deploy intelligent solutions.

This certification covers the following MOCs:
  • 20773A: Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R – in development, expected May 2017
  • 20774A: Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning – in development, expected June 2017
To achieve this certification you’ll be required to pass the following exams:
  • 70-773: Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R – available now in beta
  • 70-774: Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning – available now in beta 
This certification, which is your first step to the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics cert is best suited to data science or data analyst job roles. 


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Firebrand Training launch Microsoft Software Tester Apprenticeship with Testhouse

The demand for software testers is increasing but businesses across the UK are failing to get the testing and DevOps skills they need because of a lack of qualified professionals.

In response to this demand, Testhouse, a Microsoft Gold ALM Partner, and Firebrand Training, leaders in accelerated learning, have launched the Microsoft Software Tester Apprenticeship.



The launch of this programme aligns with Microsoft’s National Empowerment activity, which sees over 4,500 young people start a Microsoft-backed apprenticeship across over 2,500 Microsoft Partners and customers this year. This apprenticeship will also be delivered in time for the imminent arrival of the Apprenticeship Levy.

The Microsoft Software Tester apprenticeship is designed to bring new software testers and DevOps specialists into IT, at a time when these professionals are more essential than ever.

Built around the National Apprenticeship Standard for Software Testers, this apprenticeship programme is designed by Firebrand -- a Microsoft Gold Partner -- to align directly with job role demands of employers.

“We can’t wait to get new software testers and DevOps specialists into the industry to fill the digital skills gap and contribute to Microsoft’s target of 30,000 new apprenticeships by 2020” says Stefano Capaldo, Firebrand’s Managing Director.

“Firebrand are already receiving interest from employers for this new apprenticeship. We’re excited to have our first Azure apprentices starting soon.”

Get Microsoft Software Testing skills in your organisation


As apprentices learn how to design and execute tests on business applications and services, students on this programme will develop into software testing and DevOps professionals.

The rapid increase in popularity for Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 has led to a lack of knowledge in the solution’s software testing tools. To meet this demand, apprentices will receive considerable training on this industry-standard platform.

Jim Cowdery, Head of Business Development at Testhouse, says:

“We are very proud to work with both Firebrand and Microsoft to provide much needed skills in the marketplace and offer businesses affordable testing solutions.”

Built by Testhouse and Firebrand, the programme also includes £10,000s worth of government-funded software testing training, including:


Firebrand’s Microsoft Software Tester programme is also fully customisable, so you can tailor it to suit you as an employer.

Plus, apprenticeships are not only for new staff. Savvy organisations can put existing employees on this Microsoft Software Tester Apprenticeship, boosting their testing skills with government-funded training.

Who is Firebrand Training?


Firebrand Training is the fastest way to learn. Firebrand’s apprentices train at twice the speed, getting industry-recognised certifications at an all-inclusive residential training centre. For more information on Firebrand’s unique accelerated learning take a look at the video below:


Since launching in 2001, Firebrand has trained more than 62,000 students and saved a total of 1 million hours. Firebrand Training is also a Microsoft Gold Training Partner and has provided accelerated apprenticeships since 2012.



Get more information on the new Microsoft Software Tester Apprenticeship, including how to access £10,000s of government-funded accelerated training. Or learn more about the Apprenticeship Levy with this this guide.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Firebrand launch new Microsoft Azure Apprenticeship programmes

The use of cloud technology is rapidly increasing but businesses across the UK are failing to progress their cloud projects because of a lack of skilled Azure professionals.

“Today 80% of our customers have already deployed or fully embraced the cloud – by 2020 the idea that a company has ‘no cloud’ would be as rare as a ‘no internet’ policy is today” says Gavriella Schuster, Corporate VP of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group.

But despite the rapid uptake of cloud technology, the industry is experiencing a massive skills shortage. Azure skills were the hardest to source, according to a 2016 study of Microsoft Partners from Curotalent.

Microsoft is committed to closing the skills gap with their pledge to create 30,000 new digital apprenticeship roles by 2020. As part of this, and in time for the imminent arrival of the Apprenticeship Levy, Firebrand have launched four new accelerated Azure apprenticeships.

“We’ve developed these accelerated Azure apprenticeships to reflect the knowledge and skills demanded by UK businesses.

“We’re excited to see these apprenticeships shape and develop Azure skills for the next generation of IT professionals" says Stefano Capaldo, Firebrand’s Managing Director.








Built by Firebrand -- in partnership with Microsoft – these new Azure apprenticeships are the first of their kind to align to existing National Apprenticeship standards. Each apprenticeship also includes £10,000s of accelerated Microsoft Azure training and certification.

How to get new Azure skills in your organisation, fast


Four new Azure programmes, built around in-demand job roles and designed by industry trailblazers, are now available to employers and apprentices.


Azure Infrastructure Technician

Azure Infrastructure Technicians learn to support internal and external customers by resolving virtual and on-premise queries. Apprentices will also study virtual machine (VM) administration.

Accelerated training includes:
Apprentices on this programme will develop into your next helpdesk technician, infrastructure technician or Azure network support professional.


Azure Software Developer

Azure Software Developers learn to design, build and test Azure solutions and applications. These apprentices will also learn how to build and host application infrastructure in Azure.

As well as official Microsoft Azure courses, accelerated training includes:
This programme will teach apprentices how to become an Azure mobile/application/systems/web developer.


Azure Cyber Security Technologist

Azure Cyber Security Technologists will use their specialist cloud knowledge to identify cyber threats and risks to organisations and people. Azure Cyber Security Technologists will also specialise in cloud platform and infrastructure security.

As well as official Microsoft Azure courses, accelerated training includes:
Typical job roles for apprentices on this programme include: cloud security architect, cyber operations manager, penetration tester and security engineer.


Azure Network Engineer

Azure Network Engineers focus on virtual networks whilst learning how to design, install and support communications within an organisation. Azure Network Engineers will become experts in network configuration and administration.

As well as official Microsoft Azure courses, accelerated training includes:
Apprentices on this programme will develop into network technicians, network administrators and systems engineers.


Are you planning for the Apprenticeship Levy yet?


With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, all businesses in the UK are now hugely incentivised to hire apprentices.

The Levy will change the way apprenticeships are funded. Here are three things employers need to know:
  1. Employers with a UK wage bill of over £3 million will pay the monthly levy
  2. Levy payments will be 0.5% of their annual pay bill
  3. Employers will control payments in a digital account where funds can be spent on apprenticeship training
  4. Non-levied employers will only pay 10% of the cost of apprenticeships, government will pay the remainder
Use your Levy on Azure apprenticeships, close your cloud skills gap, and move ahead with your Azure projects. Find out how you can hire and train Azure apprentices at little-to-no-cost right now.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

24 Microsoft exams retiring in 2017

It's been a busy 2016 for Microsoft, a major certification restructure was announced in September, which will see the retirement of all 13 existing MCSD and MCSE certifications on March 31st 2017.

These were replaced with a streamlined set of 5 certifications aligned to the latest job roles and the removal of recertification. Despite this huge shake up, built on by a new technology launch across every core Microsoft platform, the number of exam retirements is surprisingly light.

The reason, exams and curriculum aligned to the retiring MCSE and MCSD certifications are simply being reshuffled under the new certifications as electives. With that in mind, let's take a look at the changes.


Dynamics

With the launch of Dynamics 365, combining the existing CRM and ERP platforms, it is unsurprising that we see a range of retirements affecting CRM 2013 and AX 2012.

Retired on December 31, 2016
MB2-700: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications
MB2-701: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
MB2-702: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment
MB2-703: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration
MB5-705: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations
MB6-700: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Project
MB6-702: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials
MB6-703: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade and Logistics
MB6-704: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Development Introduction
MB6-884: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Lean Manufacturing
MB6-885: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector
MB6-886: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Process Manufacturing Production and Logistics
MB6-889: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Service Management

Retiring on March 31, 2017         
MB6-701: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Retail
MB6-705: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Installation and Configuration


SharePoint

Despite the launch of SharePoint Server 2016, there are currently no plans to retire exams aligned to SharePoint 2013. The only retirements associated with platform are in the form of recertification exams for the MCSE and MCSD certifications, which are no longer a requirement.

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-383: Recertification for MCSE: SharePoint
70-384: Recertification for MCSE: Communication
70-385: Recertification for MCSE: Messaging
70-517: Recertification for MCSD: SharePoint Applications


SQL Server

As with SharePoint, we see only the planned retirement of recertification exams. Despite the existence of SQL Server 2014 and the arrival of SQL Server 2016, there are still no plans to retire exams aligned to SQL Server 2012 and the associated MCSA.

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-469: Recertification for MCSE: Data Platform
70-470: Recertification for MCSE: Business Intelligence


Visual Studio and .NET

The most interesting exam retirements planned for Visual Studio are 70-354 and 70-355, which align to the Universal Windows Platform. These will coincide with the retirement of the MCSD: Universal Windows Platform.

In place of these exams comes 70-357: Developing Mobile Apps, which forms the second requirement for the new MCSA: Universal Windows Platform.

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-354: Universal Windows Platform – App Architecture and UX/UI
70-355: Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns
70-490: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
70-491: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-494: Recertification for MCSD: Web Applications
70-499: Recertification for MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management

Retiring on July 31, 2017
70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
70-489: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions


Windows

With a rather quiet exit, the MCSA: Windows 8.1 retired on December 31, with the removal of exams 70-687 and 70-688.

Retired on December 31, 2016
70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8


Windows Server

Despite being almost 8 years old, numerous planned and failed retirements, MCSA: Windows Server 2008 is finally set for legacy status. The retirement of aligned exams 70-640, 70-642 and 70-646 is scheduled for July 31, 2017.

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-980: Recertification for MCSE: Server Infrastructure
70-981: Recertification for MCSE: Private Cloud

Retiring on July 31, 2017
70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator


Other

Retiring on January 31, 2017
74-697: OEM Preinstallation

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-673: TS: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management (SAM)

Retiring on July 31, 2017
70-243: Administering and Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Get the New Microsoft Certifications for 2017

Click to enlarge
Microsoft recently announced significant changes to their technical certifications. In short, Microsoft streamlined certification pathways, launched a range of new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certifications, retired 13 existing certifications and restructured the way you certify and re-earn certifications.

In a recent blog post we outlined these changes, covering what’s new, what’s retiring, how you can achieve these new certifications and the process of re-earning your certs.

Today, we’re excited to announce your fastest route to earning these new MCSE and MCSD certifications, whilst helping you master the latest Microsoft technologies ready for 2017. Read on to discover the accelerated route that’s right for you.

Your fastest route to new Microsoft Certifications


MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure This certification validates the skills necessary to run a highly efficient and modern data centre.

You have two distinctly different accelerated pathways to earn your MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification. 


Azure Cloud Platform - On this route you will master Azure across infrastructure and development. You’ll also learn to architect Azure solutions for the modern Enterprise organisation.

This course is 50% faster than traditional training and you will leave both MCSA: Cloud Platform and MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certified in just 7 days. 

 Windows Server 2016- this pathway will focus you on learning the skills aligned to the Installation, Storage, Compute, Networking and Identity in Windows Server 2016. You will then focus on developing the skills to Secure Windows Server 2016, critical in a world full of cyber threats. 

This 15 day route is 25% faster than traditional training, during which you will work to achieve both the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 and MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. 


MCSE: ProductivityThis credential validates your skills to move your company to the cloud, increase user productivity and flexibility, reduce data loss, and improve data security for your organisation.

You’ll quickly learn the skills to transition your businesses’ communications to the cloud. First you'll master Office 365 and earn the corresponding MCSA , before tailoring your route to the MCSE: Productivity certification, choosing to develop skills aligned to one of the following three technology platforms:

Exchange Server 2016 - on this 11 day route, you’ll learn the skills to design and implement an Exchange Server 2016 messaging environment – 45% faster than traditional training. In working with the technology, you’ll touch on key proficiencies, including how to design and configure advanced components in an Exchange Server 2016 deployment. You'll cover advanced topics covering compliance, archiving, advanced security and discovery solutions. 

SharePoint Server 2016 - this 11 day accelerated route focuses on developing your skills in designing SharePoint infrastructure as well as planning authentication and security, managing search capabilities and monitoring and optimising a SharePoint Server 2016 environment. 

Skype for Business 2015 - here, you have the choice to focus on Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015 or Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015. Both offer a 9 day route to MCSE Productivity which is 50% faster than traditional training.




MCSE: MobilityEarning this credential demonstrates you have the skills needed to manage devices in today’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) enterprise. 

First, you'll unlock the skills aligned to the MCSA Windows 10 platform and accelerate your 9 day path to achieving the MCSE: Mobility certification. Choose to develop your skills for Enterprise scale businesses across device management, deployment or administration.

Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications - on this route you’ll develop the skills to assess operating system and applicant deployment options, determine the most appropriate deployment strategy and implement a deployment solution for Windows devices and apps that meet your environment's needs.

System Center Configuration Manager and Intune - here you will learn the skills to configure and manage clients and devices by using Microsoft System Center v1511 Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune and their associated site systems.

 Planning for and Managing Devices in the Enterprise - learn the skills to use Enteprise Mobility Suite to manage Windows 10 devices, users and data. You will expand your knowledge and skills helping you to plan, deploy, and manage devices and applications in medium to large organisations.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll achieve your MCSA Office 365 and MCSE Mobility certification 50% faster with Firebrand, qualifying you for roles including cloud administrator, cloud architect, computer support specialist and information security analyst.


MCSE: Data Management and AnalyticsThe MCSA DMA certification will validate your broad skill sets in SQL administration, building enterprise-scale data solutions, and leveraging business intelligence data—both on-premises and in cloud environments.

Choose your fastest way to master the new SQL Server 2016 platform and tailor your route to MCSE with a choice of developing skills across Business Intelligence, Database Development or Database Administration.

Depending on the MCSE elective you’ve chosen you can further advance your skills in your chosen area in just 8 days. 



MCSD: App BuilderEarning the MCSD App Builder validates that you have the skills needed to build modern mobile and/or web applications and services.

With Firebrand, you'll learn to create and implement web applications that scale using the Azure cloud platform to achieve the MCSA: Web Applications certification and MCSD: App Builder.

Your chosen elective will be Developing Windows Azure and Web Services. You’ll learn how to design and develop services that access local and remote data from various sources. You’ll also get an insight into developing and deploying services to hybrid environments, including on-premises services and Windows Azure. 

This 9 day track is the fastest and most popular route to achieving the MCSD App Builder credential.

Why get Certified with Firebrand Training?


As Microsoft Gold Learning Partners and leaders in accelerated training, we not only offer you the fastest route to your MCSE and MCSD certifications, but we can ensure you’ll have the latest Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) and receive excellent training from our experienced Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT).

Our unique Lecture | Lab | Review technique combines both theoretical and practical exercises to accelerate your learning and develop the hands-on skills required for when you return to work.

You’ll also take all of your exams on-site during the course, which will be covered by your Certification Guarantee.

If you have any other questions about the new streamlined certification paths, you may want to check out this Microsoft blog with the top 12 questions about the new cert changes. Or, if you’re more of a visual learner, the video below discusses the new changes and why they were made with the Director of Microsoft Learning, Shelby Grieve. 







Tuesday, 15 November 2016

10 tips to pass Microsoft’s MCSA 70-740 Exam

Microsoft’s 70 740 exam: Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016 is the first exam of three exams you are required to pass to achieve the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certified. 

Passing this exam proves you have the skills and knowledge to:

·         Install Windows Server 2016 in host and compute environments
·         Implement storage solutions
·         Implement Hyper-V
·         Implement Windows containers
·         Implement high availability
·         Maintain and monitor server environments

Once you’ve passed this exam, you’ll be able to move on to exams 70 741: Networking with Windows Server 2016 and 70 742: Identity with Windows Server 2016.  

This exam is currently in the beta phase of development meaning it is not yet available to the public. In preparation for its release, however, we've gathered the 10 most useful tips and resources currently available.

1. Microsoft’s Virtual Academy


Microsoft offer a free learning resource, called the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Here you can find videos, presentations and learning materials for the full range of Microsoft technologies, including Windows Server 2016. These resources not only introduce you to the key exam information but also provide helpful and educational insights into many key topics.

For Windows Server 2016 and your 70 740 exam there are a host of useful resources that can bolster your knowledge. The What’s New in Windows Server 2016 provides an in-depth introduction of the changes you’ll see from the previous Windows Server 2012 and features that have recently been added to the Windows Server 2016.

The content in this free resource is an excellent starting point for your exam prep and alongside our other tips will ensure you’re ready to ace the exam!

The recent release of the MCSA 70 740 exam means the content currently available is limited. While we wait for Microsoft to populate the Virtual Academy with relevant information we've found this excellent 70 740 exam prep resource to keep you busy. 




2. Use a revision guide


Study guides can act as incredibly useful resources that allow you to structure your revision in a way that best appeals to you. Revision guides point out key areas you should focus on and will guide you through the knowledge you need to know for the exam. Below are two of the most useful revision guides, which we believe you will largely benefit from.

Exam Ref 70 740 Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016 is the newest 70 410 book from Jason Kelington and the Official study guide for this Microsoft certification. “Featuring concise, objective-by-objective reviews and strategic case scenarios and Thought experiments, exam candidates get professional-level preparation for the exam”.    

You can purchase this 70 740 study guide on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-0735698826




A second resource and one that’s equally helpful is the bestselling MCSA Windows Server 2016 Study Guide. This guide covers 100% of all exam objectives and “goes far beyond concept review with real-world scenarios containing expert insights, chapter review questions, hands-on practice exercises and a searchable glossary”. Written by William Panek, a Microsoft MVP, you can be sure that the content will be closely aligned with what you’ll face in the exam.

You can purchase this 70 740 study guide on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-1119359340 



3. Join a forum 


What better way to prepare for the 70 740 exam then to join other like-minded individuals preparing for the same exam. Joining a forum is an excellent way of accessing this community. You’ll be able to work through challenging aspects together, ask questions and bounce ideas of each other. You’ll also hear from what others who have both passed and failed the exam have to say.

The TechNet forums are an excellent resource in this regard and offer guidance and information that can be insightful for those that are both looking to get certified or simply resolve technical issues. There’s a wide range of topics and with so many active members there’s a high chance somebody has already answered your questions.

There are articles on all aspects of Windows Server as well as your specific exam or areas you may be struggling with. Currently there is no Windows Server 2016 forum but there remains plenty of information about the Windows Server 2016 in the Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server General Forum, which can be found here.


4. Take a practice test



Practice 70 740 test questions are useful resources to familiarise yourself with the exam format, and prepare you for the types of questions you’ll get when you take the exam. Even more importantly, however, it’s a great way to identify gaps in your knowledge that you can then work on.

GoCertify offers 70 740 test questions. Once you’ve done some revision and feel you have a good understanding of the exam material, this is an excellent way to test your knowledge and identify areas that need improvement.

MeasureUp is a similarly useful resource and as the provider of official Microsoft practice tests it offers a far wider range of questions and different packaging and pricing options to get you started. With the exam still in the beta phase, however, MeasureUp do not have practice questions live on their website. We suggest you check this page regularly as they’ll no doubt be looking to update this as soon as the exam becomes available.


MeasureUp’s practice exams are well-respected and are a great way to dig your teeth into some meaty and useful revision. 

5. Take a course


At the end of the day there is no real alternative to immersing yourself in a training course led by certified instructors with a wealth of knowledge and experience on your specific certification.

You’ll sit in a classroom, away from any distractions, with peers that are focused on passing the same exam. You’ll also benefit from hands-on experience and invaluable instructor knowledge.

Firebrand offer an accelerated 11 day MCSA: Windows Server 2016 course. Firebrand also offer courses aligned to the 70 740, 70 741 and 70 742 exams individually.  




6. Avoid Brain Dumps


You should look to avoid brain dumps at all costs. Not only are these illegal in the context of examinations, they are also entirely useless in giving you the skills you’ll need to apply your MCSA Windows Server 2016 in real-world scenarios. If its discovered that you have been using a 70 740 brain dump, you will be disqualified from your exam.

7. Download a trial session of the software


An excellent way to prepare for the exam is to get familiar with the software you’ll be tested on. You can download a trial version of the Windows Server 2016 software here

The trial version limits you to 180 days, which is more than enough to get experienced with some of the features. Focus on experiencing parts of the software relevant to 70 740 exam and this software will offer useful practical revision that will certainly help when it comes to the exam.

Follow the exam objectives as a guide for what to revise. 


8. Join a study group


The value of joining like-minded individuals as you prepare for your exam should not be underestimated. Study groups allow you and others to share tips, experiences, challenges and questions with one another.

Born to Learn is a training and certification community that discuss relevant certification news and articles.



Under the “Study Groups” tab you’ll be able to select the technology and the subsequent exam you’re focusing on. Here, you’ll be able to start discussions or add to on-going discussions with others that are interested in the same software and exam as you.

Unfortunately, there is currently no study group available for the Windows Server 2016. There’s no doubt Microsoft will be looking to introduce this soon, so keep checking this page! 


9. Do some practice labs


Practice labs are an excellent way to get familiar with software in an environment that allows you to make mistakes.

While training courses such as Firebrand’s offer practical tasks with the supervision of an instructor, MeasureUp have a series of practice labs you can complete by yourself. These practice labs are aligned specifically to the different exams. Although currently unavailable for the 70 740, 70 741 and 70 742 exams, check back at a later date.
   
It’s also definitely worth heading to TechNet Virtual Labs where you can access labs aligned to Windows Server 2016. Best of all, this resource is entirely free so make the most of it!



With the Windows Server 2016 exams currently in the beta phase, it’s just a matter of time before we see these practical labs become available on MeasureUp.

10. Follow an Expert

A good way to keep up-to-date with the latest Microsoft developments is to follow an expert's blog. Robert Smit is a Senior Technical Evangelist and Microsoft MVP as of 2009 and updates his personal blog on all things Windows Server/System Center and Azure. 

Smit uses this platform as his own personal notebook as well, so although some of the content may appear to be Smit thinking out loud - it is an excellent resource for your Windows Server exam prep. 

Keep up to date with this blog and you'll get the inside scope on a wide range of information helping with exam preparation and developing your skills once you're MCSA certified!