Making all the right moves. Long View wins Microsoft Canada Partner of the Year 2019!
June 10, 2019
Taking The Long View: Microsoft Consultant Karen Tomenchuk Tells Us What Makes a Microsoft Partner of the Year
May 1, 2019
Long View’s mission is to create a space where our team can have healthy lives and prosperous careers. For us, it all comes back to our people. We couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishment of winning Microsoft Partner of the Year for 2019. In that spirit, we wanted to talk to some of our great Microsoft consultants to get their unique perspectives on what winning Partner of the Year means to them, and why they’ve chosen to focus on Microsoft solutions with Long View.How long have you been at Long View? I have been at Long View for 12 years, beginning in a Service Desk role in 2007. How long have you been an MS specialist? I moved over to the Licensing Practice in 2010. At first, I was in an Inside Sales and Operational role, supporting our client facing Licensing Specialists, who I joined in 2016. What has made you continue working with Microsoft products for that time? Microsoft is one of the biggest and most strategic partners not only for Long View, but also our customers. Because the Microsoft product line up covers such a range of technologies, and the programs to acquire these products are constantly changing, I find being a resource with a deep knowledge of Microsoft licensing is always in demand and allows me to continuously grow and expand my skillset. What do you think will be the biggest focus for Microsoft technologies in the next few years? Since cloud and subscription products have become more prevalent in recent years, the licensing models have had to evolve as well. I believe we will see a continued focus on modernizing the licensing vehicles and platforms available to customers to better fit the cloud first focus. Of course with these changes come added complexities, especially as I see more customers requiring hybrid licensing solutions to best leverage the range of offerings to suit their business requirements while optimizing their software investments. Winning Partner of the Year was a huge accomplishment that is thanks to the hard work of our team, like you. What would you say was your contribution to PotY? I was one of the first P-CEs (or Partner Commercial Executives) worldwide, back when the program was launched by Microsoft 3 years ago. This was part of the original Canadian pilot group, when there were only 10 Licensing P-sellers across the country. We now have three licensing P-Sellers within Long View, and our expertise in licensing programs and on-line solution offerings allows the Microsoft salesforce to scale. We are also able to empower our licensing experts with the latest knowledge and updates, made available to us through these additional P-Seller resource channels. Where do we go from PotY? Obviously we’d like a repeat! To get there, I see Long View continuing to grow the team that made us successful. We have a wealth of technical resources of course, but even within our Licensing Practice we have so many talented people, from the P-CEs and Licensing Specialists, to our Software Asset Management & Optimization Experts. Growing our Microsoft revenue from $45,000,000 in 2014 to well over $200,000,000 in our FY2019 has allowed us to bring on some extremely talented and specialized resources to provide additional value to our customers. I only see it continuing to grow over the next few years as we add on more resources. Do you have a favourite project or an accomplishment that you’re most proud of? The relaunch of our Cloud Solution Provider with CSP Essentials year was a huge success for Long View. CSP is a big focus for Microsoft right now, and this solution really showcases our strengths as an organization, from our Licensing team as well as our Site Managers, Global Service Desk, OneCloud team, and Digital Architects. It’s truly a team effort and it’s been exciting to see it all come together.
IPsoft Partner Spotlight: James Bell, Long View Systems
April 26, 2019
What specific AI technologies that you think will be particularly impactful in the next five years?Conversational AI is something I believe will continue to accelerate as people embrace automation in their everyday lives. I also see the lines between “personal devices” and “corporate assets” becoming increasingly blurred — when home automation assistants can interact with corporate assets, conversational AI will take on a different slant. Autonomics has to continue to grow and develop. As companies spread workloads across multiple platforms (external providers, private cloud, public cloud, etc.), demand for AI-based, real-time decisions provided by autonomics will only increase. There are several complexities created by having information spread across multiple platforms versus a OneCloud-type strategy. The amount of data available to us continues to grow at a staggering pace and humans must rely on AI to help make data-driven decisions.
Are there AI technologies that your clients are particularly excited about (rightly or wrongly)?Through our current ITSM PaaS, our clients are now beginning to see the value of resolving issues via virtual agents. It’s a very exciting time for us to watch clients and employees embrace this path with us. The combination of AI and virtual agents is something all clients are interested in — but also somewhat skeptical of. I think there are several bot experiences that have skewed clients’ perceptions of how effective AI can be. There’s a lot of education to be done in this space. But again, we come back to the question of how will companies be able to make reliable data driven decisions in real time or in a predictive operational mode with only human eyes?
Describe your Vision 2020 initiative.Vision 2020 is a four-phase tools-and-automation roadmap. Core to Vision 2020 is creating a culture of automation empowering our people to innovate and provide our clients with an amazing experience. Our goal is to be the most-loved IT company by 2025. The first phase of Vision 2020 is the introduction of automation. Long View has entered into a partnership with IPsoft to utilize IPcenter in this effort. The key objective of the first phase of Vision 2020 is to reduce the number of manual low-value tier-1 and -2 tasks that are highly repeatable and repetitive. This will free up our people to focus on higher-level, more interesting work while increasing the quality of service delivered to our clients. Phase two will focus on cognitive agents, phase three will center on application performance, and phase four will be all about predictive analytics and advanced machine learning.
What human skills do you think will be emphasized in the era of AI? Conversely, which skills will become less important?Basic technical “specialists” will become less and less relevant in our business. More advanced skills will also start to be replaced by “T-shaped” roles as our reliance on SMEs in certain areas gives way to AI. People who can architect, design, create and implement new automations will become much more relevant as human roles evolve and more data-driven decisions are needed. These people will have stronger business acumen as the results we seek are not simply a “technical outcome.”
Are there any aspects of AI that you feel are overlooked and you would advise businesses to pay more attention to?Businesses who simply focus on the technology are likely not paying enough attention to people impacts. How do you bring your people along on this journey with you and empower them? How will you govern AI decision making? It’s critical to success in this space and critical to retaining your top talent in a competitive landscape.
What would your advice be for a young adult entering a rapidly transforming workforce?I’d advise them to be aware of all the business skills that won’t change: the need for people to be self-aware, critical thinkers and strong communicators. There are so many platforms that widen the gaps in direct human contact (social media is the best example) that young adults have lost the experience of working together to solve problems. Furthermore, if you are not someone who embraces change, sees problems as opportunities, and understands how the technology in your life should enhance your capabilities and the results you seek, you are likely to get left behind in the new age.
Taking The Long View: Microsoft Consultant Ravi Yadav Tells Us What Makes a Microsoft Partner of the Year
April 3, 2019
Long View's mission is to create a space where our team can have healthy lives and prosperous careers. For us, it all comes back to our people. We couldn't be more proud of the accomplishment of winning Microsoft Partner of the Year for 2019. In that spirit, we wanted to talk to some of our great Microsoft consultants to get their unique perspectives on what winning Partner of the Year means to them, and why they've chosen to focus on Microsoft solutions with Long View.How long have you been at Long View? 2 years this summer! How long have you been an MS specialist? Since the inception of my career in roughly 2006 working with Active Directory, and it’s progressed to working with Azure over that 12-13 years. What has made you want to stay focused on Microsoft for that time? I started with something that seemed normal and natural to me, and now there’s a level of comfort, but passion as well. I’ve always enjoyed what Microsoft has been doing, it’s exciting space. They’re industry leading, not playing catch up so it’s always exciting. Winning Partner of the Year was a huge accomplishment that is thanks to the hard work of our team, like you. What would you say was your contribution to Partner of the Year? There’s been a lot of engagements over the last year that the team has really taken the lead on. For myself, some of the Azure services we’re offering today, I worked with the account teams to get those innovative offerings to market. Where do we go from Partner of the Year? For example, right now we’re doing some very cutting edge work with a large financial institution. It’s new work for our Toronto branch, and it’s really extended our engagement there, and brought on new engagements there and potentially new opportunities with other financial institutions. Showing our dedication and effectiveness working with Microsoft is a big differentiator for us. Do you have a favourite project or an accomplishment that you’re most proud of? Microsoft reached out to us last year with regards to doing some Azure assessments. I took that initiative with our sales team, and as a result of our work there we’ve been able to build a template and extend that service to other clients and across other branches. This was something new to myself and Long View, and not only were we successful at the original concept, we can now repeat it across our other branches as well.