Using BI to innovate, compete and succeed in the global economy

When time and speed are of the essence there’s a lot to lose, especially if you’re a Canadian manufacturer trying to compete in today’s global economy.

During this year’s Smarten Your Supply Chain Executive Forum, held by Microsoft Canada at its Mississauga, Ont. headquarters, Canadian executives were briefed on the significance of smart business practices and were taught ways to strengthen their supply chains.

Microsoft Canada president Phil Sorgen touched on areas like global competitiveness and the importance of innovation.

“We’re in an industry where we’re always competing and competition is frequently emerging,” Sorgen said. “If we don’t continue to innovate, we’ll stop existing as a company.”

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, an industry lobby group, reinforced this statement from a broader perspective.

“In the global economy, you either leap or you lose,” Beatty said. “Time is critical and the rest of the world will not wait up for Canada. We need to set our sights high and invest in things like equipment and education.”

Enter Microsoft Dynamics, the vendor’s line of business intelligence software. Dynamics helps users manage finances and customer relationships and even helps manage the supply chain. Designed to work with the rest of the Microsoft application portfolio, these solutions also offer customers a familiar user interface. Furthermore, the Microsoft Dynamics platform can be customized according to individual business needs.

“We have to make sure our applications are common to their users,” Sorgen said. “So when users experience them it’s not an entirely new environment.”

Sorgen said in today’s world there’s a desire to always stay connected 24/7. For some businesses this can be quite costly. Microsoft, he said, is trying to address this challenge with its software.

“Business process automation software doesn’t have a history of being lost-cost to implement and low-cost to change,” he said. “Microsoft is trying to change this paradigm.”

Bringing effective solutions to the Canadian marketplace begins with Microsoft’s 25,000 channel partners across the country.

Garth Dean, director of Microsoft business solutions for Microsoft Canada, emphasized the company’s support and investments when it comes to its partners.

“We provide the training, readiness and business investment funds to help jointly bring solutions to market,” Dean said.

Training is also fairly extensive since there’s a specific certification process required before becoming a Microsoft channel partner.

“We’ve made and continue to make a significant investment in our partner community,” Dean said. “Because when a customer is buying, they’re buying both the knowledge of the partner and the functionality of the software.”


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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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