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Stability In Place Of Uncertainty, Collaboration In Place Of Conflict

December 29, 2017
During a recent interview, I was asked to sum up what we do at Craigwood, Children, Youth & Family Services in a single sentence. Before I share my answer, I have to tell you that, after working with youth and their families for many years, countless stories and experiences went into shaping my response. As you can imagine, it is hard to envision how a single sentence could come close to encapsulating the many lives that I have had the privilege to be a part of, even if only for just a short period. In fact, my personal story begins when I was a youth leader in my late teens, long before I became Executive Director at Craigwood. Over the 30 years that I have worked with youths and their families, to help them to move beyond the isolation and challenges of mental health issues and embrace the possibilities for a brighter tomorrow, mine has been a journey of dedication, more than simply a career path. It is a way of life and a mindset, reflecting similar values we have at Craigwood, that tell you that you are not alone when facing a challenge, you have untapped strengths and that others have been in your shoes before. It is upon this experience, and the solid foundation of our proven programs through which we have achieved positive long-term outcomes for those who have sought our help, which my single sentence is based. Of course, we are not alone in effecting the positive change that creates promising futures for the children, youth and their families who call upon Craigwood. The community and organizations who support our programs contribute a great deal to our success and continuing efforts in developing and validating best practices in the treatment and care of our young clients. So what is the one sentence that I used to try and explain what Craigwood is all about? That, we strive to provide stability in place of uncertainty, and collaboration in place of conflict. When I talk about stability, Craigwood provides a sure footing for youth and families in distress and turmoil while also modeling collaboration from a professional care and treatment standpoint.  These are both essential for moving beyond the issues and conflicts to see a way of hope down the road.  In this regard, we strive to empower individuals, families, and communities to rise above their immediate crisis and make a positive change towards a promising future.  It is through this empowerment that our work can be life-saving and life-changing for youth and their families. At Craigwood, our vision is our passion, and I would like to thank Long View for sharing that passion with us through their generous support. To learn more about Long View visit their website and check out their ACTIVATEDIGITAL 2018 Conference in Guelph this coming February. For more information on Craigwood Youth Services please visit the website.
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Living At The Epicentre Of Canadian Innovation?

December 28, 2017
In the weeks leading up to Long View’s ActivateDigital2018 conference taking place on February 27th in Guelph, you will hear a good deal about the city’s Prosperity 2020 plan and the opportunities for the region to evolve into the Silicon Valley of the North. Obviously, drawing such comparisons will generate debate as there is no doubt that other parts of Canada are equally committed to fuel the fires of innovation that enable our country to maintain its place as a leader on the global economic stage. As someone who has spent the better part of 25 years in the information technology world and who also lives in the Guelph area, I believe I can bring an informed (if admittedly biased) perspective to this discussion.Is Guelph, and more broadly speaking the Toronto/Waterloo/Hamilton tech triangle, positioned to become the epicenter of Canadian innovation? I say that the answer is yes! The region has a strong history of technology innovation and entrepreneurship as well as the greatest density of post-secondary institutions in the country, providing access to those numerous bright sparks that can create the “next big thing.” In fact, the breadth of expertise in this region, from high tech to medicine, manufacturing, and agri-food, means that there are multiple sectors of innovation along with well-established markets that will enable these advancements to take root. For a region to lead in the age of digital transformation, it will require this unique and powerful concentration of resources – people and businesses – to foster the spark of innovation that will stimulate the digital economy. In support of this energized vision of the region’s digital future the Mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie, will be attending what many are calling the premier digital conference of the year; Activate Digital 2018. This conference, which will bring together for the very first time the new Canadian leaders of Microsoft, Cisco, and HPE to discuss Canada’s digital future and how it will impact your business, speaks to the fact that Guelph is an important place to be when it comes to Canadian innovation. I am certain that you will see that when you join us at the Activate Digital 2018 conference on February 27th, 2018. Use the following link to register today, as space is limited.
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Why Corn Should be the First Word That Comes to Mind When You Hear “Digital Transformation” – by Paolo Del Nibletto

December 22, 2017
Why Corn Should Be The First Word That Comes To Mind When You Hear The Words “Digital Transformation” The words “digital” and “transformation” have two very different meanings, but when put together, they have created a whole new reality for organizations large and small. Digital transformation has produced a level of uncertainty and excitement unprecedented in modern history. Even though people have become comfortable with certain elements of digital transformation such as cloud computing and mobile technology, most still struggle or have no concept, of the Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine Learning, Blockchain and other forms of digital transformation. Factor in important business workloads, processes, policies, individual skill-sets and of course the big elephant in the room – security and, more than likely, people stop listening. But conferences like the upcoming ActivateDigital2018 in February to be held in Guelph, Ont., are vital to breaking down the complexity in each important area of the digital transformation journey for both business and government. Events like these work towards uncovering the mystery that surrounds digital transformation. This unique conference builds a community of stakeholders for all sectors of the IT ecosystem. The first time I heard the term cloud from an IT perspective was in late 2006 at a similar community event. Industry stakeholders were talking about cloud as a form of the utility computing concept. Back then, it was the fear of the unknown that set the entire industry spinning in all directions. Fast track to now and about 93 percent of North American business and government have some form of private, public or hybrid cloud environments. While it took a community of stakeholders to figure out innovative ways to employ the cloud to improve worker productivity, a decade later cloud computing is as normal as pen and paper. Digital transformation is the second wave of the cloud computing era, and while some organizations are further ahead than others, there’s still time to catch up. Years ago, I sat through a demonstration at the Cisco Partner Summit in which there was an Internet connection to corn. That’s right, corn! At the time, I thought it was another attempt at conference humour. But what transpired next was truly astonishing: the demonstration showed tiny - almost microscopic - sensors that were placed in the soil to collect data about corn. That data was sent up to the cloud for farmers to track. From there, farmers learned when the best time was to water the corn. By using the data from those sensors, farmers could conserve water and save on operational costs. It was the first time I heard the term Internet of Things, and it was Cisco who forecasted it would become a $19 trillion market opportunity by 2018 (just as an aside, Cisco Canada’s new President Rola Dagher will be one of the keynote speakers at #ActivateDigital2018). That’s trillion with a “T.” As we move towards 2018, it will again take a community to solve all the intricate areas of digital transformation currently puzzling most IT professionals.  That is why conferences like this one are important as it brings together the right people at the right time to not only inform but empower the market to capitalize on the promise that is digital transformation.
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Lenovo: A Cultural Transformation

December 15, 2017
  With Lenovo, Digital Transformation Is As Much About Culture As It Is Technology. In a May 2017, Computer Dealer News article I talked about how the philosophy at Lenovo had changed, and that our focus isn’t only on selling hardware but building out our solutions to create value for our end users leveraging our channel partners. The word “change” may be somewhat of a misnomer, in that it might suggest that it was a one-time event.  However, this was a continuation of the companies evolution which began when Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC Division in 2005. Looking back, it is clear that 2005 was the beginning of a digital transformation for Lenovo. And it was through that transformation we recognized the importance of having a culture that embraces an IT evolution.  In other words, we had to look beyond the technology to ensure that the right people were in place to transform objectives into the initiatives that would lead to tangible outcomes. Of course, when I talk about looking beyond the technology, I am not suggesting that it is not an important part of the digital transformation equation. It most certainly is, which is why we are continuously pushing our technology to the cloud’s edge. In this regard, Lenovo believes that a “sound” digital strategy should reflect the following three key objectives: Enabling workers to be mobile and productive; workers need to be equipped for anywhere, anytime, anyway computing to maximize your digital transformation investments. Streamlining internal operations;  to provide maximum system uptime, allow more IT flexibility, and enable better hardware utilization advanced technology solutions that are Agile and Customer-Centric must be better leveraged. Ensuring seamless collaboration; giving local and remote workers ready access to the tools and technologies they need to do their jobs from start to finish through seamless collaboration is a crucial component of digital transformation. In the end, harnessing the power and the promise of technology is about people as much as it is about hardware. And it is with our people and those with our channel partners I believe you will find both our greatest strength and your greatest return. As a participant at Long View’s ActivateDigital2018 conference, we’re excited to be amongst a group of industry leaders. As one of our most valued channel partners, we look forward to joining Long View Systems in demonstrating how people as much as technology are the key drivers behind a successful digital transformation strategy.
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Extending HPE’s Heritage Of Innovation To Bring Our IoT Vision To The Edge And Beyond

December 12, 2017
During a recent interview, I was asked several questions about HPE’s IoT strategy, which included a reference to A May 2017 Forbes article Could Hewlett Packard Enterprise Be An IoT Sleeping Giant? I wouldn’t necessarily embrace the term “sleeping,” especially given the fact that this past August we opened what will be the first of three Global IoT Innovation Labs in Houston, as well as completing our acquisition of Aruba. For those unfamiliar with Aruba, HPE sees this wireless innovator as a driving force in what the Forbes article referred to as a “transformation of digital workspaces and the creation of intelligent spaces.” In short, when it comes to HPE’s evolving vision that enables us to progressively utilize IoT capability to meet current client needs while anticipating future client requirements we are anything but sleeping. As one of the featured keynote speakers at Long View’s ActivateDigital2018 conference in February, I will be talking about the specific forms the HPE IoT vision takes, including how HPE’s TurnKey IoT Proof of Concept (PoC) is helping organizations to move autonomy to the edge and deploy robust solutions across multiple industries. However, and in explaining our IoT strategy to the reporter, the question regarding how HPE arrived at this point of authoritative leadership came up. My immediate response was simple; as the new GM of HPE Canada, I have enough history with the company to appreciate it’s heritage, but not too much history to lose sight of the fact that responding to the changing needs of the company’s clients is what matters the most. Finding this balance between leveraging past successes without being confined or limited to them thereby hindering our ability to pursue future goals is critical to the execution of our vision. Let’s face it, today’s IT solutions are very different than they were three years ago which means we all need to evolve. This evolutionary ability is perhaps one of the main reasons why HPE has been able to leverage its historical expertise in the IT world to create a clear pathway to meeting the expanding demands of the brave new world that is IoT.
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Taking the Long View: Who Are Those Guys?!?

December 1, 2017
Being somewhat of a classic movie buff, I was well into enjoying the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid when the scene in which the posse in pursuit of Butch and Sundance causes our heroes to ask the question; Who are those guys?!? Now I have always enjoyed this movie, but this time this part of the movie struck me in particular because in Ontario Long View is one of the “who are those guys!” While Long View Ontario is rapidly expanding its presence in the Province, our well-earned anonymity in the region is because our focus is always on delivering great value to our clients. In other words, we let our work do our talking for us, which is why the phrase that best describes Long View Ontario is “you may not know who we are, but you definitely know our work.” Of course, the focus on delivering great value to our clients is reflective of the original vision of Long View company founder Don Bialik. Don, who has built Long View into a company with annual revenues of $400 million and the number 5 position in the Top 100 Solution Providers listing in Canada, is a dominant presence in Western Canada. As one of the members of the original team that established Long View’s Ontario branch, I am pleased to tell you that we are following a similar meteoric track having reached $65 million in annual revenue in 2017. All this to say, is that myself, Ivan Brinjak, and Nolan Evans are very excited about the future and are looking forward to helping you to put a face to our Ontario team at our ActivateDigital2018 Conference on February 27th in Guelph. Featuring a lineup of speakers that includes Canadian industry thought leaders and top executives such as Microsoft Canada’s new President Kevin Peesker and Cisco Canada’s new President Rola Dagher, Long View’s ActivateDigital2018 will give you the opportunity to get to know the people in the know, including our team at Long View. My hope, of course, is that by your attending the ActivateDigital2018 Conference, you will no longer have to ask “who are those guys.” Please visit our conference page to register but be sure to do it soon as we are filling up fast and space is becoming limited. See you at Activate Digital 2018! Dave Frederickson, Executive Vice-President, Sales Long View Systems
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Rethink: Bringing Breast Cancer Support to Young Women

October 20, 2017
Rethink: Bringing Breast Cancer Support to Young Women Tasha Westerman is Long View’s Senior Vice President of People Services, and when she was in her early 30’s she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Her son was 1 year old at the time, and with some quick decisions to make, Tasha began looking for resources that could support her and her family. What she found was that there was a huge gap in support for younger women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in Calgary. Many established organizations existed for more mature women, women with different focuses, and different concerns. In her search, Tasha found Rethink Breast Cancer, an organization specifically dedicated to providing exactly what she was looking for. At the time, Rethink was based in Toronto, and Tasha reached out to say that they needed to come to Calgary. Calgary is the youngest city in Canada, and therefore more young women are diagnosed with breast cancer here. One of the challenges for younger women with breast cancer is that it’s often a more aggressive form of cancer that requires decisions to be made in days. Decisions that will impact husbands and wives, family, children, and, of course, the woman herself. Making those kinds of decisions in a vacuum without the input, knowledge, experience and support of other women who have gone through the same things adds even more stress to these situations. So Tasha helped to bring a chapter of this organization aimed at providing all of that missing support to a place that needed it. Rethink has now been active in Calgary for 10 years. Over that 10 years, Rethink’s breast cancer advocacy and support programs have become more established, and focus is now shifting to include advocacy for women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. There are specific drugs and treatment needed, and there’s a lack of funds available. The heartbreaking thing about women with metastatic cancer is that because of the lack of medical support and the time it takes to get funding, these women are dying in the process. So many passionate women that want to further this cause get sick, and continuity in the advocacy process is lost. The foundation of what Tasha does with Rethink is from her experience that there’s nothing like the support of someone who has been through exactly what you’ve been through and has gotten through it. Tasha along with a group of other survivors created a face to face support program in Calgary and this program was mirrored across Canada.   Although there was huge value in face-to-face support, not all women were close enough to Calgary to be able to make it as much as they would have liked. Chemotherapy is in 3-week cycles, and many women were finding that they weren’t feeling well enough to make the next month’s Rethink groups.  So Rethink moved their support digital!  One of the creations was the Rethink Breast Cancer YouTube channel, the only breast cancer YouTube channel dedicated to providing young women support. Videos are 3-5 minutes, and topics range from tips on chemotherapy, advice for caregivers, how to shop for a bathing suit after a mastectomy, to kid-friendly videos that explain breast cancer to your children.   They also have a closed Facebook group hosted by their Young Women’s Network, which Tasha is a part of, to support other young women currently going through breast cancer. Rethink fundraises throughout the year, with their biggest event being their annual Boobyball, to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. This year was the 10th Boobyball in Calgary. Boobyball 2017 was at Hotel Arts, and included hair stylists, makeup artists, a great DJ, silent auction, and the opportunity to support a great organization. You can find more info on Rethink at https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/  and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/rethinkbreastcancer.
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Give a Mile

August 21, 2017

The Gift of One Final Goodbye

 

Long View has a strong history and culture of social consciousness and giving back. Kevin Crowe, Long View’s EVP of Strategy, is one of the people leading the way. Kevin founded the charity Give a Mile after experiencing firsthand the power of visit during palliative illness for a loved one, and how much love and support those visits bring. The story of Give a Mile began with Kevin, and is continually made possible by the dedicated time of volunteers, many of who are from right here at Long View.

How did Give a Mile get started?

The Give a Mile story starts with Ryan Westerman, who was an amazing friend to Kevin and many at Long View.  Ryan was dealing with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Over the course of a year and a half of the progression of the disease, Ryan’s friends and family celebrated his positivity and life. From hockey games to hospice poker nights, that quality time showed Kevin what he calls “the power of visit”. Friends and family came from all over to spend time with Ryan and they were able to say goodbye in person.  The time at the hospice Kevin realized there were a significant number of people that had to say goodbye to their loved ones over the phone.

After Ryan’s passing, Kevin decided he wanted to do something positive to continue Ryan’s amazing legacy and push it forward. Around the same time, Kevin heard a statistic about how 14 trillion travel miles had gone unused in 2011globally and wanted to do something about it., After attending a Calgary Startup Workshop, a facilitator inspired him to share his idea for Give a Mile and three days later, the project began.

“You realize you only have so much time, and you need to use it for things that are meaningful and powerful.” With 360 flights provided so far, Kevin has watched some amazing stories unfold, and seen the different reasons people want to say goodbye in person. Give a Mile hasn’t just helped loved ones reach each other, it’s also created opportunities for reconnecting, reconciliation, amends, and a chance for people to live the positive example set by Ryan.

How do people needing a flight connect with Give a Mile?

Mainly through social workers, cancer centers and hospices. Demand is high and there are so many compelling stories out there, so Give a Mile doesn’t generally advertise in order to manage the volume of requests.

What happens when someone reaches out for travel support?

Give a Mile has a straightforward application, medical verification process, followed by processing by the Give a Mile flight review team – because of the nature of these situations, all of this often happens within 72 hours but within 24 hours in emergency situations.

What do the coming years look like for Give a Mile?

So far 12.3 million miles have been given away, and the goal is to reach a billion miles. Give a Mile also has a program called Flight Hero, where people raise travel miles for a specific flight through the model “25 days, 25 friends, 25,000 miles”. Through 100% volunteer effort and public support, Give a Mile is on track of giving away a billion miles!

For more information on this amazing cause and how you can donate, please visit www.giveamile.org

ABOUT LONG VIEW:

Long View is one of the most powerful IT solutions and services companies in North America, with offices across the continent. With a clear focus on combining business and technology through our Hybrid IT solutions, including cloud, IT infrastructure, managed services, and end user support, Long View is able to define and customize what the future of IT looks like for our clients. Innovative, flexible, cost-effective, and business focused . . . that’s Long View.

For more information:

Geoff Hogue Marketing Manager, Long View E-mail: geoff.hogue@lvs1.com www.longviewsystems.com
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Onshore Outsourcing – At Long View … We Were Doing It Before It Was Trendy

August 3, 2017

There’s a growing movement in the North American technology industry. Work for professionals like systems engineers, programmers, and architects, has been making a quiet migration back home. Beginning a couple decades ago, there was an enormous spike which offshored a huge amount of work to low-wage and developing countries. Once we had the technology, people a world away could be paid 5 or 6 times less that domestic employees, for similar work. Similar but not necessarily equal. Long View has always held the belief that no matter how large we grow, we will always maintain very close and intimate relationships with our employees and our clients. With that idea ever present, Long View does not outsource any of our work to offshore companies. There’s a few big reasons why, and they’re reflected in the reason behind this industry shift back towards domestic employment.

First and foremost, we believe that our very talented people are the biggest driver behind our excellent customer experience and innovative technical solutions. This factors in to our long standing full-time (vs. contractor) employment model in three key ways. Although those with business models charging lower rates on the surface appear to offer “value at a cost effective price” there is a tradeoff in the ability to provide a hands-on or high touch experience offering the collaboration and communication necessary to produce excellent and consistent results for our customers – this is particularly challenging when time zones and linguistic barriers are thrown in the mix. The results are often projects with scope creep, longer turnaround times and ultimately they are more expensive. Second, Long View supports the continued education and professional development of our employees through education, certifications, conferences, and mentorship. When competitors contract out to far-flung offshore organizations the opportunity for the same development is simply not there. This lack of closeness and career progression would impact our clients by not giving them access to the best local talent we can provide. By having our workforce within North America we can make sure that Long View offers its clients the best educated technical team, with the most recent certifications in technologies that are relevant. Third, the ongoing value Long View provides its clients is also reflected through the strategic partnerships with all of the leading manufactures, cloud providers, ISV’s and software publishers – and this ability is best exhibited at the local level in the business communities where clients and partners alike are side by side for maximum support and value.

Another reason Long View has always believed in domestic hiring is that there are very talented people right here, only they might not live in San Francisco, Calgary, Toronto, Silicon Valley or Vancouver. They are in smaller centers, but no less skilled. Many companies talk about outsourcing offshore because it allows a faster ramp-up time; there are more people available more quickly. While that’s understandable on the surface, our long experience is that the right people are here – if you’re willing to make the investment to find them. Although our team resides primarily in larger centers there are many examples of smaller communities which are home to some of Long View’s best talent. Given the importance we place on our people, this model allows us to provide our clients with the best people in the industry, while giving those, that choose to, the freedom to live where they want to be.

The shift we’re seeing is the technology industry’s pendulum swinging back from mainly offshored workforces, back to a middle ground where the industry is acknowledging the talent at home and beginning to take advantage particularly as the cost for offshore options have increased substantially to a point where the non-competitive argument no longer holds the weight it once did. Onshore outsourcing companies are popping up, with the very idea that Long View has taken from its start 17 years ago – we have great talent right here at home.

Read more about this in The New York Times: Hot Spot for Tech Outsourcing: The United States

ABOUT LONG VIEW:

Long View is one of the most powerful IT solutions and services companies in North America, with offices across the continent. With a clear focus on combining business and technology through our Hybrid IT solutions, including cloud, IT infrastructure, managed services, and end user support, Long View is able to define and customize what the future of IT looks like for our clients. Innovative, flexible, cost-effective, and business focused . . . that’s Long View.

For more information:

Geoff Hogue Marketing Manager, Long View E-mail: geoff.hogue@lvs1.com  
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Long View’s Justin Cohen is Interviewed by Computer Dealer News About the New Cisco Network Intuitive Platform

July 26, 2017

Long View’s Justin Cohen is Interviewed by Computer Dealer News About the New Cisco Network Intuitive Platform

Justin Cohen, solution architect at Long View and team lead for service delivery in central and eastern Canada

During the recent Cisco Live event, Computer Dealer News (CDN) interviewed Long View’s Justin Cohen, who is a solution architect at Long View and team lead for service delivery in central and eastern Canada.  In this interview, Justin spoke of how Long View delivers value and elevates the conversation, and how the new Cisco product launch plays well with Long View’s Security Operations Center (SOC).

The Cisco product Justin refers to is the new network intuitive platform. This new product brings programmable intent and context that reinvents “business with intent that’s powered by context to get closer to customers”. In the CDN interview, Justin says because of the intuitive platform we now think “about business applications from the get-go, and being able to program what your business wants into a network is fantastic”. Justin goes on to explain that Cisco rewrote the previous operating system when creating the network intuitive platform, with the result being that it is now a modular OS

“so they can start bolting on features that customers want… enabling analytics, security, and…things that they haven’t even thought of yet” ~Justin Cohen

The new Cisco network intuitive platform also has numerous benefits for Long View and our partners, as further explained by Justin. One such benefit is that value is delivered faster and with less complex products. Another benefit is that Long View can now offer more in depth analytics on encrypted traffic. This second benefit strengthens a company’s security while reducing costs, and

“to give you a statistic, processing encrypted traffic on a network takes 10 times the effort because we need to decrypt it first, then analyze what’s inside, re-encrypt it, then send it on its way to whatever destination. And of course, 10 times the effort means it’s very expensive” ~Justin Cohen

To read the full interview, please visit the CDN website and then come back here to ask us a question or leave a comment!

ABOUT LONG VIEW:

Long View is one of the most powerful IT solutions and services companies in North America, with offices across the continent. With a clear focus on combining business and technology through our Hybrid IT solutions, including cloud, IT infrastructure, managed services, and end user support, Long View is able to define and customize what the future of IT looks like for our clients. Innovative, flexible, cost-effective, and business focused . . . that’s Long View.

For more information:

Geoff Hogue Marketing Manager, Long View Phone: 778-840-1903 E-mail: geoff.hogue@lvs1.com www.longviewsystems.com
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