COVID-19 Update from WatServ

COVID-19 Update from WatServ

By WatServ
March 18, 2020

As we all continue to monitor the ongoing events of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada, WatServ has taken additional precautions, based on recommendations by the Government of Canada, to ensure the safety of our employees and clients: 

  • We’ve cancelled all non-essential travel.  
  • Anyone on our team who has recently traveled internationally will be self isolating. 
  • Our team is now working remotely from their home offices and our Toronto office has been temporarily closed.

WatServ has always had a geographically distributed workforce, remote work capabilities and an agile workplace culture, so you can continue to expect the highest levels of service from our team. Furthermore, WatServ has a strong degree of experience and cloud infrastructure is resilient, so your services continue to be stable and available – wherever you are in the world.  

In the days ahead, as we continue to limit in-person interactions, we’ll ensure effective operations by: 

  • Fostering open and honest communication: Now, more than ever, is a time to over-communicate rather than under-communicate and to openly share feedback, ideas, concerns and updates. 
  • Practicing “video on”: We will encourage the use of video conferencing for key meetings with our clients, where possible.  
  • Treating business not as usual: We understand that no business will be spared some degree of impact from this situation and we encourage you to reach out and share your business concerns with us openly and transparently. We will do our part to support your business through this difficult time.

Finally, many companies are currently implementing business continuity measures. If you require resources or information regarding technology preparedness, please reach out to us at support@watserv.com

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

It’s 2020. Do You Know What’s New in Azure Migrate?

It’s 2020. Do You Know What’s New in Azure Migrate?

By WatServ
February 18, 2020

Has your organization been hesitant to migrate to Microsoft Azure because of missing functionalities from Azure Migrate?

Are you considering using Azure Migrate, and wondering what’s new?

Over the course of 2019, Azure Migrate announced a series of updates to their services, adding a wide range of new and expanded tools and functionalities.

These changes strengthen the hub and provide additional capabilities to help organizations assess and migrate their on-premise infrastructure, applications and data to Azure.

If you were hesitant to use Azure Migrate before, it may be worth another look.

Here is a recap of some of the changes Microsoft made to Azure Migrate in Q4 2019:

  1. Addition of a physical server assessment feature. This means Azure Migrate now supports the assessment of o n-premise physical servers.
  2. Addition of an import-based assessment feature. Unlike before, you can now conduct assessments of machines using meta data and performance data in a CSV file.
  3. Better dependency visualization features. Previously, you needed to install agents for dependency visualization, but now it can be accomplished using both an agentless and agent-based approach.
  4. New application discovery features. Are you using VMware VMs and wanting to undertake discovery? Azure Migrate now supports application-level discovery apps, roles and features with the Azure Migrate appliance.
  5. Improvements to Virtual Desktop. You can now assess and migrate on-premise virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure using ISV tools.
  6. Better services for web apps. Assessing and migrating web apps? The Azure App Service Migration Assistant is now part of Azure Migrate.

If you’re still using the previous version of Azure Migrate, you will continue to have access to your projects, but you’ll no longer be able to create new projects or undertake new discoveries. With the current version, however, users can create projects, discover on-premise machines and manage assessments and migrations.

These changes expand on the version update that occurred in July 2019. To learn more about the functionalities of this version, visit Azure Migrate’s website.

Wondering if Azure Migrate can help your organization? Speak with WatServ’s cloud migration specialists today by contacting us.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

WatServ Achieves SOC 2 Certification for CloudOps Managed Services

WatServ Achieves SOC 2 Certification for CloudOps Managed Services

By WatServ
February 4, 2020
In December 2019, WatServ achieved SOC 2 certification for its CloudOps Managed Services based on an audit of its Type I report.

Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures service organizations manage customer data using controls for security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy.

WatServ’s SOC 2 report focuses on the three trust service principles that are of greatest importance to our customers:

  • Security Principle: This principle addresses the protection of system resources against unauthorized access. Access controls help prevent potential system abuse, theft or unauthorized removal of data, misuse of software and improper alteration or disclosure of information. WatServ uses various tools and technologies to ensure our customers’ information and systems are protected. For instance, we use firewalls, two factor authentication and intrusion detection to help prevent security breaches that can lead to unauthorized access of systems and data.
  • Availability Principle: This principle addresses the accessibility of WatServ’s or customers’ systems, products or services, as stipulated by a contract or service level agreement (SLA). Actions WatServ takes to ensure availability include monitoring network performance and availability, as well as providing disaster recovery, site failover and security incident handling.
  • Confidentiality Principle: This principle addresses controls that aim to restrict the access and disclosure of confidential data. At WatServ, the controls we have in place to meet these criteria include encryption, data loss prevention, backups and more.

WatServ was awarded with a SOC 2 Type I report with an unqualified opinion and no exceptions – the highest possible achievement. The award comes after a lengthy process of reviewing our practices, collaborating with customers to understand their requirements, and documenting our processes, procedures and controls.

What Does this Mean for Our Customers?

This achievement demonstrates WatServ’s commitment to ensuring continued operational effectiveness and assurance.

WatServ has always partnered with services providers who are SOC 2 certified for services such as data center hosting. Our SOC 2 Type I report now confirms service excellence and control for all facets of our CloudOps Managed Services.

Want to learn more about our CloudOps Managed Services? Go now.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Migrating to the Cloud? Here’s Why You Should Choose a Cloud Solutions Provider that Takes Security Seriously

Migrating to the Cloud? Here’s Why You Should Choose a Cloud Solutions Provider that Takes Security Seriously

By WatServ
November 7, 2019

Is your business considering working with a cloud solutions company to provide cloud consulting, engineering or managed services? If so, you’ll be joining a rapidly expanding market. In fact, Gartner predicts the worldwide public cloud services market to increase by 17% this year, reaching $214.3 billion globally.

Migrating from conventional servers to the cloud can have many benefits for your business, including increased efficiency, scalability, resiliency and affordability. Cloud adoption can mean better flexibility, enhanced disaster recovery and accelerated digital transformation for businesses of all sizes.

However, before you take the plunge and choose a cloud solutions provider to engineer and/or maintain your cloud, it’s critical to ensure they take an important topic seriously: security.

In this article, we’re going to dig into this topic and look at 4 reasons why you should choose a cloud solutions provider that prioritizes your company’s security.

1. The public cloud introduces new security considerations.

As more companies move to the cloud – especially the public cloud – a host of new information security challenges are emerging. In fact, CSO recently put together a list of the top 12 cloud security threats, which include:

  1. Data breaches
  2. Insufficient identity, credential, and access management
  3. Insecure interfaces and APIs
  4. System vulnerabilities
  5. Account hijacking
  6. Malicious insiders
  7. Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
  8. Data loss
  9. Insufficient due diligence
  10. Abuse and nefarious use of cloud services
  11. Denial of service (DoS)
  12. Shared technology vulnerabilities

We’ve heard about many of these threats in the media – and we recently wrote about ransomware attacks on our blog – because these threats affect businesses of all sizes.

For instance, in the first half of 2019 alone, we heard about data breaches increasing by 54% from the previous year. And, with an estimated 3.4 billion phishing emails being sent out daily worldwide, almost all of us can say we’ve been on the receiving end of a phishing email.

Sure, not all of these cyberthreats target the cloud specifically, but with the cloud being accessible online, many of them do.

The takeaway: While security threats are a part of life regardless of where your data is stored, and the cloud introduces several new cybersecurity concerns, a good cloud solutions partner will understand these security threats and take them seriously. Most importantly, they will offer 360 insight on how to mitigate your risk – so your business can stay focused on leveraging the immense power of the cloud to benefit growth.

2. It’s up to the cloud customer (not the cloud service provider) to protect business data.

Did you know that cloud security is a shared responsibility? The best way to illustrate this is to take the example of a condo building. It’s up to the building owner to ensure adequate security is in place to protect the building – like having control over the front door and installing working smoke detectors in hallways and public spaces. However, what you do inside your condo is your own responsibility. If you leave a pot boiling on the stove and forget to replace your smoke detector battery, it’s at your own risk. Likewise, if you let someone into your unit and they steal your jewelry, that’s your mistake.

The same goes for the public cloud. Cloud service providers (like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform) are responsible for the security of the cloud, but it’s the customers (you)  who are responsible for the security of what gets put into the cloud and how that information gets accessed.

This is an important distinction to remember, since the majority of security failures are a result of a customer not taking appropriate action to protect themselves or monitor for threats.

In fact, Gartner found that “through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”

The takeaway: You have a shared security responsibility when using the public cloud, with you holding a good chunk of that responsibility. Rather than face this responsibility alone, a good cloud solutions partner that prioritizes security will help you engineer and maintain your cloud in a way that minimizes your risks and provides continuous threat monitoring, detection and mitigation.

 

3. Security challenges are changing all the time.

When speaking about the latest round of research on cloud security, Gartner’s VP of Research, Jay Heiser, notably said, “CIOs must change their line of questioning from ‘Is the cloud secure?’ to ‘Am I using the cloud securely?’”.

This is a great way to look at it. There have been countless articles written and debates had over the question “is the cloud secure?” and “will I be more at risk if I move to the cloud?”, with customers looking for definitive answers. The truth is, the cloud, like anything else, will always be vulnerable to a mix of changing threats.

For instance, we’ve recently been hearing more about the threat of container software vulnerabilitiescryptographic exploits and meltdown or spectre as cybercrime becomes increasingly complex and sophisticated. Plus, internal threats will always remain a concern. The truth is, threats will never go away, so how you approach and handle them is what matters.

The takeaway: A cloud solutions partner that takes cloud security seriously can help you navigate these threats as they change from month to month and year to year. Threats will never go away, so adopting a mindset of “am I using the cloud securely?” will help you engage effectively with a partner that’s focused on adaptive risk assessment and mitigation.

4. There are steps that can be taken to mitigate risk.

Just as threats change monthly, so do technologies, tools and procedures designed to mitigate risk. A knowledgeable and up-to-date cloud partner can help you identify and navigate your vulnerabilities, so you can make an educated decision about your cloud strategy.

Some of the solutions that can be put in place may include:

  • Engineering your cloud environment using security best practices
  • Implementing or maturing security operations centers (SOCs)
  • Strengthen your existing security and governance procedures
  • Providing advanced threat detection and automated threat mitigation
  • Setting up continuous security monitoring
  • Ensuring good API hygiene
  • Providing managed endpoint protection and DDoS protection
  • Offering training to employees on threats like phishing and account hijacking
  • Looking at ‘passwordless’ methods of access management
  • Setting up procedures to review security analytics
  • Responding to incidents quickly and effectively

The cloud offers a huge range of benefits for businesses large and small. With almost 50% of data worldwide expected to be stored in public cloud environments by 2025, the cloud has shaped the world of computing in a whole new way.

By working with a security-focused cloud solutions provider, you can put your energy into leveraging the incredible power of the cloud – while also making informed decisions about risk and enabling adaptive approaches to risk mitigation.

 

Need help protecting your cloud? WatServ is a security-focused cloud solutions provider that helps companies safeguard their cloud through CloudOps advanced managed services. Speak with one of WatServ team members today to learn more.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Three Interesting Dynamics GP Takeaways from the 2019 User Group Summit

Three Interesting Dynamics GP Takeaways from the 2019 User Group Summit

By WatServ
October 30, 2019

Recap of the 2019 User Group Summit in Kissimmee, FL

The WatServ Team returned from the 2019 User Group Summit a little over a week ago, yet we’re still buzzing with energy from the conversations we had, and from what we heard and saw in the ever-evolving world of Microsoft Dynamics.

If you stopped by our booth, thank you! We were delighted to welcome so many faces, both familiar and new, as we launched our all-new Dynamics GP as a Service.

Another thank you goes out to our very own VP of Sales, Tyler Doerner, for his engaging talk on “How to take GP to the cloud without your users noticing”. We received so much positive feedback after his talk that we’ve decided to share his insights in a forthcoming e-book – stay tuned!

Having had a little over a week now to reflect on the conference, we’ve compiled our top three takeaways from 2019 User Group Summit that relate to Dynamics GP.

Three Interesting Dynamics GP Takeaways from the 2019 User Group Summit

 

 

1. Dynamics GP customers aren’t rushing to migrate to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Although Microsoft offers Dynamics 365 Business Central as a cloud ERP offering for SMBs, we saw that most Dynamics GP customers aren’t rushing to migrate to it. They reported that this is due to the fact that there’s no direct upgrade path from GP to D365 and that they love their GP! They’re hesitant to re-invent their ISV solution (since the ISV community isn’t the same in D365) and they’re not keen on replacing their structured general ledger with a new dimensional ledger.

The outcome? This trend means that Dynamics GP customers are continuing to invest and maintain the ERP solution they know and love.

 

 

2. Dynamics GP customers are slowly willing to host their GP in the cloud instead of on premise.

That being said, Dynamics GP customers are showing an increased interest in hosting their GP applications in the cloud. They recognize the benefits of moving away from on-premise hosting to gain advantages of the cloud such as auto-scaling, recovery and back-up, advanced security, spend optimization and better access to analytics, cloud-native tools, logging processes, software freedom and much more.

Although SMBs face unique challenges that make migration to the cloud seem difficult, more and more companies are realizing that the benefits outweigh the effort needed to make the switch, and that – with the support of the right partner – moving to the cloud isn’t as hard as they thought it would be.

 

 

3. Dynamics GP Partners are faced with the challenge of building a hosting practice or finding a partner who knows both the application and infrastructure.

As more GP customers want to migrate to the cloud, Dynamics GP Partners are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to offer managed hosting, in addition to their core services. Often times, the decision boils down to whether a company has internal resources and capacity to build a full-fledged hosting practice or whether they want to outsource the responsibilities so they can focus on their core service offerings.

At the conference, we were interested to learn that many Dynamics GP Partners are going the route of partnering with other providers who specialize in managed hosting – much like we do at WatServ. In fact, we had dozens of conversations with GP Partners on this topic and we were proud to showcase our experience as the largest global provider of hosting and advanced managed services for Microsoft Dynamics GP.

What is your take on these issues? And what changes do you foresee coming in 2020 as these trends either intensify or diminish?

To continue the conversation, or learn more about our Dynamics GP as a Service, get in touch today.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Visit WatServ at the 2019 User Group Summit

Visit WatServ at the 2019 User Group Summit

By WatServ
September 25, 2019
WatServ is pleased to be attending the 2019 User Group Summit on October 15-18, 2019 in Kissimmee, Florida. The User Group Summit is an annual conference for users of the Microsoft Business Applications platform, including Dynamics 365, AX, CRM, GP, BC/NAV, Power BI and more. Will you be there? If so, we’d love to meet you. Here’s where you can find us:
  • On the showroom floor at Booth #835 – Drop by to meet our team, schedule a consultation to learn how you can upgrade your GP to Azure and enter to win an exciting giveaway.
  • On the stage on Oct. 17 at 1:30pm – Our very own Tyler Doerner, VP of Sales, will be speaking about “How to take GP to the cloud without your users noticing” on Thursday, October 17 from 1:30-2:30 pm as part of the Dynamics GP track. Learn more.
  • On social media – Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn as we live post about the event.
At the event, we will also be officially launching our Dynamics GP as a Service (GPaaS) offering. Dynamics GPaaS uniquely combines Dynamics GP with hosting on Azure and application support services to enable you to grow your business faster, scale more effectively and provide the best end-user experience. Learn more about Dynamics GPaaS. Want to meet our team? The following members will be at the conference:
  • Tyler Doerner, VP of Sales
  • Peggie Benn, Director of Client Success
  • Jeffrey Ng, Director of Partnerships
  • Lauren Kerhoulas, Director of Marketing
We can’t wait to see you at the User Group Summit.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

WatServ Adds Google Cloud to Its Suite of Solutions

WatServ Adds Google Cloud to Its Suite of Solutions

By WatServ
March 4, 2019

Toronto, ON, March 4, 2019 WatServ is proud to announce the company is now certified on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and G Suite. As a reseller and service provider, this new partnership demonstrates WatServ’s commitment to providing customers with multi-cloud options and alternatives in an agile market where cloud strategies change with evolving business requirements.

As a leading next-gen Managed Services Provider specializing in multi-cloud solutions, our certified Google Cloud architects are ready to work with enterprises seeking to leverage Google Cloud’s secure, open, intelligent and transformative tools as they modernize for today’s digital world.

 

“GCP has all the components required to deliver significant value to WatServ’s customers,” said Kazim Somji, Chief Technology Officer at WatServ.

 
 

Fred Lee, Senior Manager, Digital Product Development at Royal LePage, Canada’s leading real estate company with a network of 18,000 real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide states, “Royal LePage needed to consolidate all the data we gather from internal and external sources, in order to prepare for an upcoming project to implement data analytics, machine learning and AI capabilities in our public website. By working with WatServ to integrate with Google Analytics and Google Cloud Platform, we were able to design and implement a solution that paves a way for intelligent services for users.”

WatServ’s mandate is to begin each client engagement with purpose. Our team invests the time to ask the right questions engaging the right stakeholders, resulting in the implementation of the right cloud solutions. GCP is one of WatServ’s cloud solutions.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.