Top 5 Announcements Revealed at Microsoft Ignite 2019

Top 5 Announcements Revealed at Microsoft Ignite 2019

By Abe Kifle, Cloud Solutions Architect
November 15, 2019

This article was written by Abe Kifle, a WatServ Cloud Solutions Architect.

For over 10 years, I’ve been attending Microsoft Ignite, and its predecessor TechEd, and every year I come back inspired by the plethora of announcements and advancements made by Microsoft. 

This year was no different, with more than 150 announcements made at Ignite 2019 over the course of 5 days. 

Looking back at the announcements, here are my top 5 picks:

1. Azure Arc

Out of the many announcements Satya Nadella made during his Vision keynote speech, the one that drew the loudest applause by far was Azure Arc – and for good reason. 

Imagine deploying Azure services and management anywhere – on-prem, Edge, or other Cloud – just as you would do inside Azure to Azure resources. Thats what Azure Arc does. Not only can you deploy services anywhere, but you can also manage, apply policiesand leverage services like Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel, etc. With Azure Arc, enterprises will have a single glass pane to simplify the management of their complex and distributed environments. 

Microsoft’s Hybrid strategy (Azure Stack, ExpressRoute, AADConnect) was already well ahead of its competitors. With the addition of Azure Arc, as well as the new Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack HCI and Azure Stack Edge, Microsoft is solidifying its leadership in the hybrid space. In fact, in several sessions I attended, I kept hearing from Microsoft: Unlike others, we believe hybrid is a permanent, not temporary, state.” 

WatServ will be testing Azure Arc in our environment and then helping our customers implement and take advantage of it. 

 

2. Azure Synapse

Another crowd-pleaser was the announcement of Azure Synapse. 

Azure Synapse is the next evolution of Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Azure Synapse brings together enterprise data warehousing and Big Data analytics. It gives customers the freedom to query data on their terms, using serverless on-demand or provisioned resources by combining data warehouses, data lakes and pipelines. 

Adding to the buzz, Microsoft showed a demo of Azure Synapse and it was able to query Petabyte scale dataset in less than 10 seconds.  

3. Project Silica

Microsoft also showcased a new media-storage medium that can survive for hundreds of years with its data intact.  

In an announcement that caught everyone by surprise, Microsoft revealed that it had collaborated with Warner Brothers to store and retrieve the entire 1978 Superman movie on a piece of glass. 

This is a proof of concept for “Project Silica,” a project at Microsoft that aims to use laser optics and AI to store data in quartz glass. 

Microsoft sees this solution as a way to drive down storage costs in the future. “One big thing we wanted to eliminate is this expensive cycle of moving and rewriting data to the next generation,” said a Microsoft lab director. “We really want something you can put on the shelf for 50 or 100 or 1,000 years and forget about until you need it.” 

4. Project Cortex

My next pick is Project Cortex. Project Cortex utilizes the Microsoft graph and various MS machine learning/AI models to help users understand organizational content. The content can be structured or unstructured, and Cortex tries to understand it and put it into context. This enables users to click deeper into the content type and ecosystem – whether it’s conversations, tables or documents – and benefit from deeper context applied to the content. 

The intent is to allow employees to quickly find information that’s spread across documents in Microsoft’s various services and make it available both through searches and algorithms in the form of hover-links inside Microsoft products like Office apps, Outlook and Teams. 

Project Cortex not only aims to make connections within MS systems, but also offers connectors using “Microsoft search” to use third-party repositories. 

Three high-level areas of focus include: 

  • Availability of knowledge and expertise for users 
  • Collection and organization of knowledge in a meaningful and contextual way 
  • Classification, protection and management of content 

5. Azure Stack, Rebranded

Azure Stack, which was announced three years ago, is a product that extends Azure services and capabilities on-premise. Microsoft has since evolved it, and Azure Stack has become a portfolio of services and capabilities of choice—from the datacenter to edge locations and remote offices.

a) Azure Stack Edge:
This is a cloud-managed appliance for edge compute, ML at the edge, IoT and network bursting to the cloud. At Ignite 2019, Microsoft announced and showcased a small, backpack-sized, batteryoperated edge device that could be used to process data and drone video.

b) Azure Stack HCI:
Here we see Microsoft getting into Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI), scalable virtualization and storage, which is useful in modernizing branch office computing. 

c) Azure Stack Hub:
This is the classic Azure Stack – fully-integrated, cloud-native applications using consistent Azure Services on-premise to meet regulatory or technical requirements. 

Conclusion:
While Microsoft Ignite may be over for another year, the excitement that began on November 3-8, 2019 will continue for months to come. At WatServ, we’re looking forward to implementing many of these great Microsoft technologies in our environment first, and then in many of our enterprise customers’ environments. 

Have a question or want to chat about my top picks? Get in touch!

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.

Come See WatServ at Summit 2018

Come See WatServ at Summit 2018

By WatServ
October 12, 2018

Step out from behind your monitor and take your big ideas and love of knowledge-sharing to Summit in the fall of 2018. For one week each year, we leave behind the world of net-centered chat to power real-life growth between peers and experts in a lively, engaged environment. Join us at the Phoenix Convention Center in 2018! As a proud sponsor of this year’s GPUG Hub, come see us for an exciting offer!  We can’t wait to see you next week.

 

WatServ Sessions

GP Session ‘Get Into the Azure Cloud Without Your Users Noticing’
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 10:30 – 11:30 AM (GMT)
Location: Room 105C – West Building
Track: IT Professional
Presenter: Tyler Doerner, VP, Sales

 

Are you worried about the impact the cloud will have on your business? Don’t want to go to the GP web client, but interested in cloud? In this session, we’ll show you how you can migrate your existing GP client to the Azure cloud all while keeping your existing integrations and user experience the same as today. Leave this session knowing how you can take a step toward the cloud without changing how your business runs.

 

Learning Objectives:

  • Differentiate between GP web client functionality, and the route we’re presenting
  • Explain how moving to Azure with their existing GP is less disruptive than a move to GP Web Client or Business Central.
  • Feel Confident that they don’t need to upgrade or change their platform and can use what they have today, in Azure.

 

NAV Session ‘Take Your Dynamics NAV into the Cloud Without an Upgrade to D365 Business Central!’
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 4:15 – 5:15 PM (GMT)
Location: Room 153
Track: Intermediate
Presenter: Tyler Doerner, VP, Sales

 

You’re running Dynamics NAV on premise and you’re not ready for an upgrade to Dynamics 365. You’re also not alone. You’ve made significant investments into your NAV environment, but maybe your Exchange or infrastructure needs a refresh. Let us take you through the considerations to be made before migrating to Azure and how it can save you both time and effort. You’ll hear directly from a BCUG/NAVUG member on how they leveraged Azure for NAV without moving to Dynamics 365.

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 Sponsors Dynamics GP Tech Conference 2017

WatServ Sponsors Dynamics GP Tech Conference 2017

By WatServ
July 7, 2017

August 8-10 Dynamics GP Tech Conference, Fargo, ND

WatServ is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the Dynamics GP Tech Conference 2017, the premier conference for Microsoft Dynamics GP Partners. Attend the Dynamics GP Tech Conference, the only conference dedicated to technical learning and educational opportunities for Microsoft Dynamics GP Partners. Discover what’s new from Microsoft, and engage with your peers during dedicated networking opportunities only available to partners. This August, enjoy what has become an annual excursion to Fargo – the origin of the Dynamics GP product – for many GP Partners, who find value in career development, staying abreast of the Dynamics GP Roadmap, and connecting with peers at the Dynamics GP Tech Conference. Among the many other great presentations, VP Sales WatServ, Tyler Doerner and Cloud Services Manager, JB Overstreet, will be presenting in the Exibit Hall as part of the expert panel for: Make Dynamics GP on Azure Faster, Easier, More Profitable. Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 11:00 – 11:30am Wednesday, August 9, 2017, 4:30 – 5:00pm  Are you frustrated with previous experiences with other hosting companies who over promise and under deliver? Do you want to get into the Azure business, but don’t know how? Join WatServ and learn how to build your own Azure based hosting business while increasing revenue, and minimize risk. We’ll cover effective marketing strategies to encourage your customers and prospects to utilize the Azure cloud, best practices to shorten implementation times, and how you can reduce hardware costs for your customers while increasing your monthly recurring revenue. Transform your business by moving to the Microsoft Azure cloud today! Click here to learn more about Rapid Azure Deployments for Dynamics GP The team at WatServ look forward to seeing you in Fargo!

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 to Sponsor Summit 2016

WatServ to Sponsor Summit 2016

By WatServ
October 4, 2016

WatServ to Sponsor AXUG/NAVUG/GPUG Summit 2016

WatServ is excited to participate at Summit 2016 as a Platinum sponsor for AXUG, as-well-as NAVUG and GPUG this October 11-14 in Tampa, FL. AXUG Summit delivers the can’t-miss annual conference for users of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Summit is the leading live conference featuring high-level insider knowledge from Microsoft and user-produced education on how to maximize the performance of Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV, and GP. Expertise is shared openly and honestly in an authentic community-driven environment that allows attendees to hone in on their product version, industry, and role—providing the ultimate customized experience that offers a tremendous return on investment year-round. Knowledge gained at Summit has real-life application and the potential for remarkable results.

Visit www.AXUGSummit.com to register today.

See the Full Conference Schedule

WatServ will be presenting the following topics:

The New AX: Know Before You Go!

Thursday, October 13, 9:30 – 10:30 AM in the Grand Ballroom Salon E

Presented by: Tyler Doerner, Vice President, WatServ Sales

The new Dynamics is here! How is it connected to Dynamics 365? What kinds of SLAs are there? How much support is available and at what cost? There is plenty of excitement and just as many questions about the new AX, and WatServ has your answers. Spend an hour with the global leaders in hosted Dynamics AX to fully understand what you’ve been told… and what you haven’t. Come see us at booth 724!

Which NAV Cloud is Right For You?

Wednesday, October 12, 9:00 – 10:00 AM in Meeting Room 12

Presented by Tyler Doerner, Vice President, WatServ Sales

Spend and hour with the world’s largest Dynamics Hosting company to learn about the different clouds – public, hybrid, and private. What do these mean for you as a customer? What SLAs and guarantees do you have? What kind of support? How is your environment set up? We’ll use our experience to help you align your company strategy and goals with a move to the cloud. Come see us at booth 724!

We look forward to seeing you in Tampa. Come talk to us at booth 724!

Registration for AXUG Summit 16

Registration for NAVUG Summit 16

Registration for GPUG Summit 16

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.