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20 Success Stories for 20 Years in Business: Cisco Edition

February 27, 2020

Case Study #6 An integrated Canadian oil and natural gas company that relies on the strength of its relationships to succeed made Long View the natural choice for its Cisco procurement partner. 

It takes reliable partners and strong relationships for this Canadian energy company to maximize value while adhering to an unwavering commitment to the sustainable development of its assets in a safe, innovative and cost-efficient manner.

Maintaining the high standards regarding environmental, social and governance accountability, in which its operations include oil sands projects as well as natural gas and oil production, can be demanding and at times highly complex.

Given the level of demand and complexity regarding the energy company’s Cisco acquisition strategy the partner with whom they chose to work to streamline their procurement process had to have the same level of commitment to delivering maximum value. The partner they chose was Long View Systems. 

Through the introduction of a Procurement-as-a-Service agreement (PaaS) Long View was able to implement a procurement methodology that enabled the company to realize a new, and a higher level of efficiency to maximize the utilization and returns on its Cisco assets.   

Challenges                 

  • Streamline the company’s Cisco acquisition process to maximize asset utilization and value

Solutions

  • Structured and introduced a Procurement-as-a-Service agreement (PaaS)

Results

  • Successfully implemented a streamlined procurement methodology for Cisco products
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20 Success Stories for 20 Years in Business: Cisco Edition

February 18, 2020

Case Study #5 For the world’s best pet food company, trust is the cornerstone of their brand and way of doing business, which is why they chose Long View and Cisco as their digital transformation partners.

Being recognized as the best at what you do, be it with the provision of a service or providing the world’s best pet food requires a strong commitment to excellence and building trust with your customers. Commitment and trust are the cornerstones of the world’s best pet food company’s culture and success.

So, it was not surprising that when facing the daunting challenge of digitally transforming their operations in several key areas including brand reputation, cybersecurity, infrastructure capacity and stability, they would want to work with partners whose values aligned with theirs. The partners they chose was Long View Systems and Cisco.

Working with the company’s new CIO, Long View and Cisco have helped to not only identify new opportunities for digital advancement of their business but also showed them how to maximize the value and return of existing IT assets.

Building trust by always striving to deliver the best solutions to our customers is at the heart of the Long View - Cisco partnership.  

  Challenges                 

  • The company was in a state of rapid digital transformation
  • There was an urgent need for the new CIO to address multiple business-critical issues around brand reputation, cybersecurity, infrastructure capacity and stability, among many others
  • Current “partners” were not adding much if any value 
  • IT team had become exhausted both from a capacity as well as capability perspective

Solutions

  • Worked together to demonstrate to the client the value in not only retaining their current Cisco assets and investments but how they could realize additional benefits through the proper configuration
  • Introduced new possibilities around connected remote sites, security, management, and increased scalability
  • Assigned senior-level resources to work through business requirements, redesign and recommendations

Results

  • The client has turned a corner on realizing the value in the Long View - Cisco partnership
  • Long View and Cisco now have the responsibility of operational network approvals, indicating that they trust our judgement
  • Long View and Cisco are now part of the company’s site tours and strategy sessions

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20 Success Stories for 20 Years in Business: Cisco Edition

February 6, 2020

Case Study #4 For a top Canadian international college, diversity is the key to securing its IT infrastructure.

A college in Alberta with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 that offers a diverse, multicultural learning experience, to a student body that speaks 115 different languages turned to Long View and Cisco to enhance the overall security of its IT infrastructure. Long View’s expertise with securing diverse and complex IT infrastructures coupled with Cisco’s industry-leading solutions provided the answers for the college and its students.

Challenges                 

  • Revitalize the college’s core network
  • Enhance the college’s ability to detect and mitigate malicious activity
  • Enrich the use of identity services
  • Heighten security and privacy

Solutions

  • Cisco ISE/TRUSTSEC
  • Cisco Firewall
  • Cisco ACI
  • Cisco ISE/TRUSTSEC
  • Cisco AMP for Endpoints
  • Provide project management capabilities
  • Create documentation

Results

  • The college streamlined its security policy management.
  • Reduced operating costs.
  • Improved their security plan and documentation.

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20 Success Stories for 20 Years in Business: Cisco Edition

December 13, 2019

Case Study #3 A large Canadian utility operator had grown very rapidly over the past several years, in large part through M&A activities of regulated distribution utility assets and companies. As a result of the history of acquisitions, not all IT environments were using a common set of tools. The client was running 12 virtualized call centers with personnel distributed across ~40 locations. These call centers were operating on 1 of 3 call center technology environments; two operated on different Cisco technologies and the third operated on an Interactive Intelligence environment. The cost and effort to maintain these three environments was not sustainable. Moreover, this critical environment did not support the growth strategy nor the single, superior client experience which was critical to the client as a business outcome.

Working with Cisco, the Long View team deployed Cisco’s innovative Collaboration Architecture supporting Contact Centre applications. The Cisco Collaboration Architecture offered significant competitive advantages; by breaking down barriers to collaborate and integrate systems for organizations which use different content formats, tools, and devices. Key benefits also included gaining architectural flexibility, organizational agility in order to quickly respond to the changing needs of this client’s business.

The business outcome?

Included the consolidation of multiple contact centers and disparate infrastructure onto a single platform which will enable more efficient future M&A activities as part of this client’s growth plans to ultimately increase speed to market. In addition to reduced OPEX and an improved client experience, this innovative solution also reduced business risk. Two contact centers were established for business contingency - one in Canada and the other in the USA. Lastly, it also led to simplification and enabled this utility operator to free up staff to focus on more strategic business initiatives and projects. Now that’s driving business outcomes, adding value and improving agility for this client.  

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20 Success Stories for 20 Years in Business: Cisco Edition

November 13, 2019

Case Study #2

A city in Southern Ontario approached Long View with the following business challenges 1) How to anticipate future line of business technology and software requirements 2) Managing a growing software footprint and the difficulty in managing multiple license and solution deployments and 3) Siloed collaboration issues. Lines of businesses were having difficulty collaborating/meeting due to many disparate geographic office locations within the city.

Partnering with Cisco, the solution became clear. Simplicity. Enterprise Agreements will now provide the city with a single contract, address all solutions with one term which will reduce management expense of tracking software dates. Plus, easy to access and deploy required software licenses to meet city objectives

The business outcome? City staff will now be able to streamline their process, increase employee productivity, encourage innovative ways to resolve challenges, and facilitate relationships with internal lines of business, external partners and citizens more effectively. Extending collaboration everywhere with HD video, voice rich media conferencing into a single unified meeting experience, the city is well-positioned on their transformational journey.

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20 Success Stories for 20 Years in Business: Cisco Edition

October 16, 2019

Case Study #1

A government regulatory agency was looking for a partner to supply and deliver an on premise hyperconverged cloud solution to replace their existing infrastructure. The client was looking for a single partner who could provide all the required services from procurement through installation, configuration, and continued support.

Co-developed with Cisco Canada, the Long View solution included Cisco HyperFlex (HX) consisting of two (2) Node All Flash Cisco HX Clusters connected by a pair of 10Gb Cisco Fabric Interconnects, a three (3) node cluster with networking, HX Data Platform software, and management tools for each of their two (2) Data Centers.

Cisco HX is a next-generation hyperconverged platform that increases Data Center efficiency, reduces cost and complexity of legacy virtualization, and lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) by 40-60%.

What was the business outcome? Flexibility in management approach delivering efficiency and lower costs of operation and independent scaling to match workloads – a unique advantage of HX delivering the lowest TCO and the greatest flexibility in the HCI Industry.

By combining a high performance low latency lossless network fabric and independent scaling, HX delivers increased virtual machine density and delivers more consistent application performance offering unique cost of ownership benefits thru reduced hyperconverged, virtualization, and application licensing costs.

For more Cisco HyperFlex Customer Stories, click here.

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HPE’s Spaceborne Computer Returns to Earth

October 14, 2019

By Oliver Peckham, WPC Wire

Summer 2019 - After 615 days on the International Space Station (ISS), HP Enterprise's Spaceborne Computer has returned to Earth. The computer touched down onboard the same SpaceX Dragon capsule that brought it to the ISS in August 2017 – a far cry from initial predictions that it would fail within a week and be returned with the trash. Now, with Spaceborne “1” on the ground, HPE and NASA are preparing to assess the returned system – and planning for Spaceborne 2.

The mission

The one-teraflops (per Linpack testing) Spaceborne Computer was sent to the ISS to investigate the long-term supercomputing capabilities of an “off-the shelf” system in space – namely, its resilience in the face of strong gravitational forces, regular radiation, galactic cosmic rays, and the occasional case of human error. “There were many naysayers who said that modern technology could not handle the hazards of space travel – the radiation would destroy the hardware, et cetera,” said Dr. Mark Fernandez, Americas HPC Technology Officer at HPE, in an interview with HPCwire.

The computer encountered a variety of anomalies, ranging from temperature anomalies to higher rates of processor cache errors to an astronaut’s knee bumping into the emergency power switch and causing a hard crash. This barrage of challenges – which Dr. Fernandez calls “exciting for us” – was exactly what the team wanted.

“If the rate of errors is higher and you’re still able to contain them and still able to continue working, then that’s a good thing,” said Dr. Fernandez. “And we were able to do that.”

The methods

HPE didn’t make the Spaceborne Computer resilient by modifying the hardware – that would defeat the purpose of the test. Instead, HPE was able to push back against the dangers of space travel by using software hardening.

“We took a step back and said, ‘I don’t want to plan for radiation of this type at this intensity and guess about what it might affect,’” Dr. Fernandez explained. “We monitored all of the parameters that are naturally available on a modern computer system, and when they go outside of nominal range we have a stair step of actions we take that begins with ‘slow this down and alert somebody’ all the way down to ‘I’m going to shut down in order to save the hardware.’”

During those times when NASA knew that there would be high-intensity events, people on the ground closely monitored the system to see how the hardening performed. “For example, we had a pretty intensive solar flare event back in January or February,” Dr. Fernandez said. “So we closely monitored the system and how our software responded to it because we knew that was an interesting event.”

The software hardening performed well beyond initial expectations, and the system ran in the ISS for over a year, including a six-month extension by NASA that allowed HPE to begin testing outside software on the Spaceborne Computer.

The homecoming

With the Spaceborne Computer safely en route back to HPE, the company is ready to dissect the results. It will undergo a rigorous product failure analysis: four copies of each part that failed in space will be sent for inspection in a double-blind study – two copies that were in space and two copies from control systems kept on Earth.

The inspectors will be asked to determine whether each component still works and to use visual inspection and spectroscopy to ascertain its age. This process will help HPE and NASA diagnose what caused each component to fail and how long it would be able to survive on, for instance, a mission to Mars.

The future

The Spaceborne “1” Computer installed in the International Space Station

“There were so many people saying that this wouldn’t work that we put in as much redundancy as we could,” said Dr. Fernandez. “So I have two identical systems flying … and that kind of limited what we could take up there. But now we’ve got the confidence that our hardening of software is working. We want to take a variety of computing systems up there next time.”

Fernandez is talking about Spaceborne 2. For Spaceborne 2, the team is hoping to bring along a series of different systems – one HPC-oriented, one aimed at machine learning and AI, and – possibly – additional hardware aimed at communications processing, which might make tasks like flying helicopters on Mars more manageable.

Spaceborne 2 will also seek to make the software hardening abilities of the supercomputer more intelligent using machine learning and AI. “We want it to keep track of and learn from the anomalies that it’s encountered,” said Fernandez. “Whether they bothered us or not, whether or not the action we took was helpful or not helpful, and then have it begin to take over what happens when we anticipate more anomalies.”

These new capabilities – and a better understanding of the durability of supercomputers in space – will put HPE and NASA a couple of steps closer toward supercomputers on the moon – and, eventually, Mars.

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Big news from Microsoft – let us fill you in.

October 3, 2019

In September 2019, Microsoft announced to its Volume Licensing customers that they will be making changes to their Software Assurance program in an effort to modernize the benefits to align with customer’s needs and their new product and technology offerings.

What exactly does this mean to customers, especially those who currently have products covered with SA? Three of your benefits are being changed or retired in favour of other more modern, cloud friendly programs:

DEPLOYMENT PLANNING SERVICES are going to be retired in phases over the next 2 years in favour of FastTrack program which helps customers deploy Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 workloads.

                Key dates:

  • February 1, 2020 Microsoft will be removing Cloud services from the DPS catalog. After this date, customers will be directed to use FastTrack programs – more details about FastTrack are here
  • Also on February 1, 2020 customers will no longer be able to convert training vouchers to Planning Services Days. If you’d like to do this (using the 3:1 ratio as in the past) please do so in the VLSC portal prior to this date.
  • February 1, 2021 customers will no longer accrue DPS days and will be the last day for new/renewing contracts to create DPS vouchers
  • June 30, 2021 is the last day to create DPS vouchers for existing contracts. You have 180 days to use vouchers which means that January 1, 2022 will be the very last day to redeem.

TRAINING VOUCHERS will similarly be retired over the same period as Microsoft introduces Modern Skilling Programs. More training will be available online at Microsoft Learn as well as their continued commitment to instructor led training through new certifications and role-based courses.

                Key dates:

  • February 1, 2020 all Azure relating training will be retired from SATV catalog and training days can no longer be converted to DPS, as mentioned above
  • February 1, 2021 customers will no longer accrue training days and will be the last day for new/renewing contracts to create training vouchers
  • June 30, 2021 is the last day to create training vouchers for existing contracts. You have 180 days to use vouchers which means that January 1, 2022 will be the very last day to redeem.

24x7 PROBLEM RESOLUTION SUPPORT eligibility is being adjusted as well as changes being made to support incident allocations. Customers are no longer going to earn a limited number of support incidents based on spend, agreement type, and products.  Instead, customers will receive basic support with an SA spend of $250,000 USD or more annually. Basic support is defined as business hours support with a 24-hour response time goal.

Instead of converting unused support incidents, customers will receive a credit to account for the price paid for SA support. This credit will only be available to customers who move or renew on Microsoft Unified Support.

Key dates:

  • As of February 1, 2020 customers will want to begin the final conversion of incidents toward Premier or Unified Support. You will have one more time to do this, until February 1, 2021.
  • February 1, 2021 24x7 Problem Resolution Support days will no longer be accrued.
  • Also on February 1, 2021 the new support model will be launched to provide as needed incident support to customers who have $250k USD or more annually in SA spend. The credit for Unified Support customers will be put into place at this time as well.

Make sure you make the best use of your DPS and Training days by reaching out to your

Long View Account Manager and/or Licensing Specialist.

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Making all the right moves. Long View wins Microsoft Canada Partner of the Year 2019!

June 10, 2019

Making all the right moves. Long View wins Microsoft Canada Partner of the Year 2019!

by Suzanne Gagliese on 7 June 2019 Vice President OCP, Microsoft Canada This time of the year is always exciting at Microsoft, as we get ready to gather in Vegas at Microsoft Inspire, to celebrate all of our amazing partner community achievements at Canada’s own IMPACT Awards celebration.   The best part of the award season for us is catching up on all the amazing stories of what partners do. And this year has been no different. We received over 2,900 nominations from across 115 countries for the global partner of the year awards. Finalists and winners were selected based on their commitment to customers, market impact, and exemplary use of Microsoft technologies.   Mind you, it’s no easy feat selecting winners! Every day, across Canada and the world, Microsoft partners make a dramatic impact on their customers’ businesses in transformative and vital ways.   Partners help shape their customer’s business strategy, providing the technical vision to enable them to transform and achieve their business goals and objectives. Our partners help customers to leverage Microsoft’s technology, including powerful platforms, like Dynamics 365, and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.   Some of our partners use Azure and Microsoft development technologies to become independent software vendors (ISVs). They build and market their own intellectual property, with great success, to empower our customers to transform!   In short, the partner opportunity has never been bigger, richer, or more exciting. And Microsoft is as committed as ever to empowering every partner to “reach for the stars” and realize the full potential of their business, just as Long View Systems has.   In the past 20 years, Long View has built an international reputation for innovation and its progressive business culture, emerging as one of North America’s biggest and best IT powerhouses. In the last year, Long View’s sales in Microsoft technology and services represented a staggering CAD $268 million. They earned Canada Partner of the Year 2018 and, now, officially Canada Partner of the Year 2019! Read more here   The Partner of the Year award is the top partner prize celebrated every year at Microsoft Inspire! Highly prestigious, the Country Partner of the Year award, recognizes the best technology powerhouses worldwide, as examples of excellence for every partner. So, what’s Long View doing that’s making such a difference? And what can other technology companies learn from them?   Read last year’s blog post about Long View: “Taking the Long View -The forward-thinking IT company and Canada Partner of the Year reflect on their 20-year journey to the top”   Why Long View? Last year, we explained how Long View’s success has everything to do with their approach to their employees. The company goes out of its way to invest in its 1,200 employees. In return, Long View’s employees dedicate themselves to wowing customers with clever solutions and flexible services. Long View’s leadership team implemented a strategy for their sales and pre-sales resources to adopt a new way of thinking “Challenger Sales Training” initiative which included a combined with M365 and Azure product training  to increase the value delivered to clients. They also embarked on a very aggressive “Project 148”, which trained over 193 technical consultants on Azure Technical content. At the same time, Long View made the bold decision to go all in with “TEAMS” to walk the walk and talk the talk. What follows are just some couple of examples of the many transformational solutions Long View has implemented this past year, empowering their customers to do more!!   Zero-to-cloud for private equity firm One of Canada’s largest midmarket private equity firms with billions in assets needed to make some technology magic happen. Recently divested from its parent company, the new company needed a technology solution for its 100+ employees. Faced with investing in costly on-premises infrastructure (and the employees to manage it all), the firm called on Long View for assistance. One of Canada’s largest middle-market private equity firm with over $3 billion of assets under management, was under extreme time pressure to fully deploy a modern productivity solution for their employees.  “In just three months, Long View implemented a flawless Modern Workplace solution including Microsoft 365 & Voice. They are fully deployed on Azure and are using Power BI for their executive dashboards.  This has allowed them to scale quickly, make verifiable decisions using critical field data to meet their aggressive growth expectations. In short, Long View provided a robust, secure, and compliant IT solution, in record time, with the Microsoft Cloud. “As a result of our work with Long View, we’ve managed to setup our entire collaboration and productivity suite in just three months – and it’s running flawlessly.” – IT Director, national private equity firm. Transforming an organic food leader One of North America’s largest certified organic breakfast and snack food companies operates three manufacturing facilities on the west coast of Canada and the US and have plans to open a fourth facility in Vancouver. However, like many fast-growing companies, this food company outgrew its legacy IT and the on-premises infrastructure running it. They called Long View, who, in just eight months, migrated the company to Office 365 and Power BI and moved their ERP, IFS, and manufacturing workloads to Azure. These modernization efforts helped their client dramatically reduce their energy use and avoid a million dollars in infrastructure costs—all while greatly improving the manufacturer’s business resiliency. “As we’ve grown, Long View kept us future-focused by moving our IT infrastructure to the cloud, reducing our energy consumption by 27% and increasing our productivity by 20%.” – CFO, organic food company. Where-to-vote in the Province A Canadian province needed a new application to ensure its constituents could find the closest and most convenient polling location for the upcoming elections. They wanted to ensure maximum voter turnout by providing constituents with instant access at all voting station locations. They also needed greater resiliency and a pay-as-you-go solution, as they only required a solution for four months every few years. Long View developed a “Where to vote” application service, delivering high-availability access to the cloud and lightning fast response times. 99% of requests where served in less than 100ms and over half a million people hit the app in the last few hours before the polls closed. Thanks to Long View and Microsoft, the polling locator application remained 100% available leading up to and including the provincial election. Taking the “Long View” Long View’s unrivaled business performance, track record of innovation, and consistent commitment to delivering client value—all without compromising their corporate vision or values—makes them an example for partners in Canada and worldwide. I encourage every partner to get to know—and to get inspired by—Long View’s story. “We love where Microsoft is headed—all cloud, all mobile and globally secure with scale. We’ve built our five managed services offers on the foundation of Microsoft technologies and roadmaps” – Brent Allison, CEO, Long View On behalf of everyone at Microsoft, our sincere congratulations to Long View for its many successes. We can’t wait to see what this two-year Country Partner of the Year accomplishes next! Team Long View accepting the 2018 Country Partner of the Year Award. Sean Culbert, Sarah Morreau, Brent Allison and Rod Morreau.
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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.
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