Insights from DX3 Canada 2020

Insights from DX3 Canada 2020

By Aleks Hara, Director, Cloud Service Sales
March 16, 2020

On March 10, 2020, WatServ was pleased to attend DX3 2020, Canada’s largest retail, marketing and technology conference. Although day two of the conference was cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions, our team came away from the event with several insights.

In particular, DX3 painted a picture of the retail industry’s new landscape. Gone are the days when retailers simply had to open up shop and customers would come. Nowadays, customers expect retailers to come to them via personalized advertising and shopping experiences, unique and differentiated touchpoints and customer engagement in the places they’re already frequenting. Every retailer needs to be a technology company in order to survive and thrive in this fast, on-demand marketplace. Failing to connect meaningfully with customers usually ends poorly, as we saw with Forever 21.

So, how can a retailer create personalized experiences? How can they understand and connect with their customers authentically? The answer is data. Lots of data. And, lots of meaningful insights derived from the data.

Many of the exhibitors and sponsors at DX3 2020 were technology SaaS providers that offer solutions to ingest, digest and make sense of retailer data using things like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), proprietary algorithms and other software-based innovations. They provide big companies, like Canadian Tire, with tools to make better business decisions, specifically by leveraging data and transforming it into meaningful insights. These insights can be used to drive new ideas for products and services, as well as spark ideas for unique ways of connecting with audiences.

However, for data analysis to work, a retailer must first collect and provide accurate and relevant data. Before it’s ever analyzed and put into algorithms, it’s got to be the right data. The trouble is many retailers aren’t using the latest ERP or CRM tools and either simply don’t capture enough data or don’t capture relevant data points. 

To combat this, many of the technology vendors we spoke with at DX3 discussed the idea that, when leveraging new technology, companies should take a “crawl, walk, run” approach:

  • Crawl– Implement foundational IT systems that capture, store and segment relevant data.
  • Walk– Add AI, ML and other software to make sense of the data and provide strategy going forward.
  • Run– Rely almost exclusively on software results to make quick and agile decisions.

How can WatServ help? At WatServ, we play an integral role in the early (“crawl”) stages of transforming and updating database capabilities. By offering cloud technology services – such as putting SQL and Dynamics in Azure – we empower retailers to embrace the latest technology tools, which they can then leverage to process and refine their data. The lessons we learned at DX3 reminded us that a strong foundation, like the ones we provide to our clients, is critical to data-driven business success.

Thank you to everyone we met at DX3.

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.

Holiday Season Signals Make-or-Break Opportunity for Businesses

Holiday Season Signals Make-or-Break Opportunity for Businesses

By WatServ
December 17, 2016
We have made it through the first part of a very busy shopping season including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now we are in the middle of holiday shopping, which is often the best time of year for many businesses. This can be a make-or-break time for retailers, depending on whether distributors can get their goods delivered; and, even farther up the supply chain, whether manufacturers can supply the demand. Everyone in the supply chain has an opportunity to win or lose during the last few months each year and those that win are the ones with rock-solid business management systems in place. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers need strong inventory management systems working at peak efficiency during the busy holiday shopping season. This isn’t the time to lose sight of raw materials during production or lose track of inventory on the shelves in retail stores or for online shoppers. Stock-outs make for particularly unhappy customers and at the worst possible time. The ripple effect from unsatisfied customers could be felt for months, if not years if a supply chain weakness snaps under the pressure of this busy time of year.

Strengthen Inventory Control, Satisfy Customers With Hosted ERP and CRM

Strong inventory management systems are not made from disparate specialty software or elaborate spreadsheets and internal processes. An integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution provides the comprehensive management system businesses need for a seamless, frictionless supply chain and inventory control. ERP is centralized, meaning core business information is easily entered, accessed and analyzed from a single solution, instead of stuck in data silos scattered across the enterprise. When combined with a robust customer relationship management (CRM) solution, businesses add valuable customer-centric data into the equation. Both ERP and CRM offer powerful business intelligence features, such as dashboards that deliver key performance indicators and other metrics. You may discover trending products, customer behaviours or other factors that influence shoppers. With ERP supporting strong inventory management and CRM highlighting customer demands and trends, businesses can ensure shelves are stocked with the right items, in the right quantities at the right time. WatServ, Dynamics hosting experts, is offering a special Cyber Monday Deal that ends on Dec 31, 2016. Deploy a hosted Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution and the cost for the first user is only $1. Be confident you have a strong ERP solution in place, backed by expert support and 99.99% guaranteed uptime for infrastructure and application reliability and performance. Contact WatServ for more information about this limited offer and ways to make your business stronger during the holiday season and for years to come.

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 One of the 100 Most Promising Microsoft Solution Providers of 2016

WatServ One of the 100 Most Promising Microsoft Solution Providers of 2016

By WatServ
October 26, 2016
Freemont, California, October 26, 2016 — WatServ announced today that it has earned a place in the list of CIOReview’s 100 Most Promising Microsoft Solution Providers 2016. “The companies selected for our 100 Most Promising Microsoft Solution Providers 2016 list are an elite group of companies whose products and solutions are changing their respective industries,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview. “We are proud to feature WatServ in this edition for its range of revolutionary solutions that is setting a new benchmark in the Microsoft arena.” WatServ is one of the leading providers of hosted ERP cloud solutions globally. It has industry leading uptime guarantees for infrastructure and applications. As a registered Microsoft hosting partner, WatServ specializes in providing complete management of Microsoft Dynamics, AX, NAV, GP, and the related components such as CRM, SharePoint, Exchange and other 3rd party ISV Solutions.

“We are proud to feature WatServ in this edition for its range of revolutionary solutions that is setting a new benchmark in the Microsoft arena.”

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 Unveils Brookfield Partnership

WatServ Unveils Brookfield Partnership

By WatServ
December 1, 2015
WatServ is pleased to announce that the company is now backed by the private equity arm of Brookfield Asset Management, a leading global alternative asset manager. With Brookfield’s support, WatServ will continue to expand its business as one of the largest, most experienced providers of Managed Cloud Computing solutions for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM applications on both Microsoft Azure and WatServ Private Cloud. The WatServ name and management team will remain the same, as does our commitment to be best-in-class suppliers of hosted Microsoft Dynamics AX, hosted Dynamics NAV, hosted Dynamics GP, hosted Dynamics CRM. In addition to the existing ongoing expansion of service offerings for Managed Azure, Office 365, and CRM Online, the Brookfield Partnership provides WatServ with the resources to grow its business at a significantly accelerated pace, and, more importantly, with the guidance of an organization with an enviable record of investment success.

WatServ is based in Waterloo, Ontario, with U.S. offices in Southfield, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and a U.K. office in Reading.

Brookfield is based in Toronto and is a global alternative asset manager with approximately $225 billion in assets under management. The company has more than a 100-year history of owning and operating assets with a focus on property, renewable energy, infrastructure and private equity. Brookfield offers a range of public and private investment products and services, and is co-listed on the New York, Toronto and Euronext stock exchanges.

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.

The Downside of Month to Month Contracts

The Downside of Month to Month Contracts

By WatServ
August 22, 2013
The big news this month is that Microsoft is going introduce substantially higher prices for the most advanced level of Microsoft CRM Online. The increase is more than 50% for the high end offering but there is also going to be a lower priced offering at just $15/user/month. Only time will tell whether the new pricing options are a good move for Microsoft or not. The one thing we can be sure of is that this pricing change highlights the need for long-term contracts. In a long-term contract both parties agree what the price is when the contract is signed and also what the price will be upon renewal. This significantly lowers the risk for the purchaser. Imagine you are a CRM Online customer with 100 seats. Your monthly bill might go from $4400/month to $6500/month. That represents an increase over budget of $25,000 per year. This could be a significant expense for many companies. At WatServ a primary concern for us is reducing our customer’s risk. We do this on the technical side as well as on the business side. From time to time we get requests for short-term contracts, even some month to month. While we try and be flexible in order to meet our customers’ needs we discourage short-term contracts because month to month agreements (no contract) and short term contracts benefit the hosting company, not the customer. Long term contacts benefit the customer by guaranteeing pricing over the contract period. To further compliment this business objective, our all-inclusive prices means that our customers never receive a bill for services that surprises them. Unlike most of our competitors, WatServ has no monthly incremental charges for power, extra internet bandwidth, service fees, overtime charges or a dozen other click charges that could add 20-50% or more to the customer’s monthly bill. While it might sound attractive to be able to get out of a relationship at a moment’s notice that flexibility also means your supplier can increase their prices at a moment’s notice. If you are going to use your ERP system for at least seven years why would you want to risk paying more when your contract renews?

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.

Ideaca Partners with WatServ

Ideaca Partners with WatServ

By WatServ
February 7, 2012
Ideaca, a Canadian based consulting firm that helps customers through a portfolio of management consulting, advisory, implementation and support services, announced today their partnership with WatServ, expert providers of Cloud Computing Services for hosted Microsoft Dynamics AXSharePointCRM and Business Intelligence solutions. This partnership allows Ideaca and WatServ to deliver innovative, leading-edge solutions to the Waterloo market and Canada overall. Ideaca has extensive experience around Dynamics and overall application management. Together, Ideaca and WatServ can provide clients with enhanced solutions in the Cloud that include all required infrastructure, software, IT skills and customer support. The end benefit to clients will be rapid professional deployments, guaranteed service levels and ability to manage integration in a complex environment with no IT or capital investments required. Ideaca is a leader in the Dynamics ERP and Cloud Computing space as evidenced by being named Dynamics ERP and Windows Azure Platform SI Partner of the Year at the Microsoft IMPACT Awards, said Mike Alkier, Managing Partner, Ideaca.

“We are very excited to work with WatServ and jointly cement our reputations as leaders in innovative technologies for the Waterloo market.”

This partnership allows us to support midmarket and enterprise organizations with secure private Cloud solutions enabling them to transform their data center operations into a scalable and flexible on-demand infrastructure. This is an excellent strategic fit for both companies, said Tom Doerner, President, WatServ. We share similar values in providing high value-added services for our customers as well as serving the same vertical markets in the USA and Canada as Ideaca. WatServ expertise and experience with private Cloud Computing for hosted Dynamics AX extends Ideaca’s consulting services and application management offerings. Our customers will realize immediate benefits and costs savings, with a true wholly managed application and infrastructure environment.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through demonstrated technology success 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.