A New Converge Solution Takes Telework Even Further

By Eric Ledi, Microsoft Specialist


Despite its downsides, the pandemic has forced us to evolve and adapt to new ways of doing things.
The most innovative and progress-driven companies aren’t speculating whether telework will continue, but rather, how the technological transition will occur in the longer term? Which technologies and applications will become the new standard of tomorrow, and which innovations will take user experience and work productivity even further?

 

It only takes me about 45 seconds to get to my’ workplace’ in the morning – a much shorter commute than when working at the office. Not surprisingly, maybe my employer has remarked several times on my team’s increased productivity during the pandemic. For me as a young father, this new lifestyle suits me perfectly. It offers me greater flexibility, adaptability, and, as a result, I have a much better work-life balance and improved physical and mental health. Companies opting to continue teleworking after COVID like mine will experience several advantages.

Here are a few facts from published studies:

  • Reduced employee turnover up to 12%(1) 
  • Increased productivity and efficiency due to team collaboration and mobility
  • Decreased operating costs estimated at $11,000/employee (buildings, office expenses, electricity, maintenance, etc.)(2)
  • Higher level of employee commitment to the company’s mission in return for respecting their lifestyle and a more flexible schedule
  • More attractive to new employees, especially young talent

 

The evolution of telework – Current priorities

  • Comfort and ergonomics – Adapting the physical work environment to each person’s needs.
  • Speed – Accelerating deployment of new devices and services in the field.
  • Performance  Providing more modern, robust, and reliable computers equipped with the latest technologies optimized for videoconferencing.
  • Connectivity – The need to be constantly connected to online services.
  • Security  Reinforcing enterprise service and data security; securing sensitive information and document sharing to better control access to information.
  • Simplicity  Simplifying authentication, managing multiple passwords, connecting to desktop services, establishing standardized system configurations.
  • Versatility  Understanding that each employee uses a wide range of Windows, Legacy, Web, and Cloud applications and wants to use one device for personal and professional purposes.
  • Management  Centralizing control and support and automating workstation updates.

 

A new generation of workstation solutions

Converge developed a commercial offer for businesses, a line of solutions that simplify workstation management more than ever. Joining forces with Microsoft and VMware, we leveraged our team’s expertise and our Configuration Center to develop this new line of business solutions.

  • Modern workspace: This is a solution for companies who want to equip their employees with powerful and reliable devices for teleworking chosen from the Microsoft Surface portfolio. According to the client’s norms and standards, workstations are well equipped, configured, and standardized at our Configuration Center. Workstations arrive at employee’s doorstep ready for rapid deployment.
  • Connected workspace: This second solution focuses on connectivity, security reinforcement, and interconnected applications and services from the Microsoft 365 platform. MS Surface devices are prepared at our Configuration Center, delivered directly to users, and deployed in the field thanks to the Microsoft Autopilot(3) tool for a Zero-Touch® deployment experience (out-of-box experience). Surface devices are managed centrally through Microsoft Intune(4), and users managed through Microsoft Azure(5).
  • Virtual workspace: Our third solution transforms a personal computer into a virtual workspace. This solution combines MS Surface computers as the access station, Microsoft software solutions, and MS365 connected services, with VMware Horizon allowing for desktop virtualization (VDI infrastructure). In this mode, users connect remotely to their virtual, secured work environments that reside in their preferred data center or directly on MS Azure Cloud. This solution allows workers to centralize the management of applications, data, and security in all environments while moving to the Cloud, making it possible to access a completely virtual environment, anywhere, anytime. 

 

 

Why the Microsoft Surface line of products?

What struck us while assessing the various available technologies was that the Surface line had been designed in all respects to allow greater productivity and versatility for users. In turn, it integrates several critical security and management functionalities to facilitate your IT team’s work.

  • Product versatility: Surface devices have up to three use modes (PC, tablet, and studio). They can also be configured in kiosk mode. The devices manage your personal and professional profiles separately.
  • Connectivity: These devices allow simplified, high-performance connectivity to stay continually connected to available networks.
  • Collaboration and videoconferencing: The Surface product line is equipped with high-quality HD Web cameras, studio-quality microphones, and Dolby® Atmos™ speakers for a better online meeting experience. Naturally, it integrates with the Teams platform and other Microsoft 365 collaboration tools and services.
  • Simplified authentication: This allows you to quickly connect, based on your profile, to all your applications, services, and data using Windows Hello.
  • All-day battery life: Surface devices are equipped with a battery boasting 15 hours of life and fast-charging ability.
  • Microsoft Autopilot: Surface devices offer Zero-touch deployment with no software configuration required.
  • Replacement warranty: A complete offering of additional warranties (3, 4 or 5 years) provides companies with ultra-rapid device replacement service in case of failure anywhere in the world.

We have attached a study by Forrester/TEI that confirms our assessment of the Surface line with Microsoft 365 to improve employee productivity and collaboration.

 

How can Converge help?

Converge would like to propose an exploratory meeting to discuss your current situation and challenges. If this is of interest, you can take advantage of a 30- to 45‑day demo program to test the solution and confirm your choice of device. One of our Microsoft Surface Technical Specialists will guide you through this process and be available if you need assistance and support.

Please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to support you.

 

Eric Ledi
Microsoft Technical Specialist
Converge Technology Solutions Corp.
Cell: 514.816.9752
eric.ledi@convergetp.com

 

 

References:

1 – Remote Working Statistics 2021: 15 Exciting Trends (https://remotebliss.com/remote-working-statistics-and-trends/)

2 – Remote Work and its Increasing Popularity (https://www.helppier.com/en/benefits-of-remote-work/)

Definitions:

3 – Microsoft Autopilot simplifies the way devices get deployed, reset, and repurposed, with an experience that is zero touch for IT: Simplified deployment and configuration with Windows Autopilot (microsoft.com)

4 – Microsoft Intune is a Cloud-based service that focuses on mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM): Microsoft Endpoint Manager | Microsoft 365

Northern Micro and Microsoft Surface: Your Ally in Building Bridges

November 19, 2020  |  Ottawa, ON

Organizations bring individuals together and empower them with a common purpose. Their systems are how they work towards it. 

We believe that when walls are built around systems, sometimes people get stuck there too. Luckily, technology is making bricks and mortar less relevant. Productivity is no longer directly tied to being under one roof.  

As design thinkerswe also believe that reaping the benefits of this new way of working starts with understanding endusers, their needs, their environment, and their abilities.  

That is also we invest so much in working with partners like Microsoft Surface. This innovative brand speaks to our vision for the future. Our long-standing partnership with Microsoft, which began in 1985, has already transformed countless workplacein Ottawa and across the country.  

Over the past few months, a lot has changed in this regardAs one of only a handful of Microsoft Gold Certified partners in Canadawe have been able to support the rapid transformation of entire government departments and hundreds of organizations, each with unique security, operational and logistical challenges.  

Since the start of the pandemic for example, we have imaged, updated, installed software, asset tagged, warranty tagged, and shipped tens of thousands of devices to almost as many locations. Through it all, we stayed true to our commitment to the highest security standards and exceptional customer service, which includes advanced warranty replacement, an exclusive media retention program, and our signature white-glove service.  

As a Converge Company, we are much more than the technology that we sell. The Northern Micro team includes some visionaries with vast expertise in digital infrastructure, AI and advanced analyticscloud computingcyber securityedge computing, professional services, and beyond. 

They use technology to break down barriers, eliminate silos, and build bridges… both figuratively and literally. Ready to get started?

Quick links:  

Ready to serve better, or looking to purchase Microsoft Surface products?

Talk to a Specialist

 

Thursday, December 10th, 2020 

11 am – 2 pm (EST) • Pheedloop Virtual Platform

Please join us for 90 minutes of engaging and informative content with additional time for
networking and exploring our virtual exhibit hall!

The NM Technology Showcase connects customers and industry leaders to explore and learn about the collective progress we are making on digital transformation, emerging technologies, and digital security.

Just like our in-person events this virtual environment will be engaging, informative, and fun.

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– LEARN –
Our Keynote Speaker and Panelist: Aza Raskin  

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at the Center for Humane Technology

Aza is the co-founder of Earth Species Project, an open-source nonprofit dedicated to translating animal communication.

He is also the co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, was featured in the new Netflix documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ and is the co-host for the popular podcast Your Undivided Attention.

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– CONNECT –
Explore our fully interactive Virtual Expo Hall and connect in real-time with Booth hosts.

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– PARTICIPATE –
Get your questions answered LIVE during our Fireside Chat with Aza and industry experts!

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– LAUGH –
Announcing our Hilarious Emcee: Steve Patterson.

Host of CBC’s The Debaters | Award-Winning Canadian Comedian

Steve Patterson is familiar to hundreds of thousands of Canadians as the host of CBC Radio One’s hit show The Debaters.

Patterson has appeared on numerous nationally televised comedy specials over the past two decades,
and twice earned the title “Best Male Stand-up Comedian” at the Canadian Comedy Awards.

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ANNOUNCING OUR TITLE SPONSORS!

Dell Technologies is at the forefront of driving the digital future. With the combined power of industry leaders: Dell, Dell EMC, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware, Dell Technologies transform lives with world-class technologies.

Microsoft is a leading global computer software vendor, hardware for computer, mobile, and gaming systems, and cloud services. Whether it be work or play, Microsoft technologies software helps businesses and consumers to reach their full potential; however they define it.

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REGISTER NOW

https://pheedloop.com/register/northernmicrotechshowcase/attendee/

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This is a public virtual event and everyone is welcome. All attendees are responsible for respecting their employers’ policies regarding the acceptance of promotional items.

Northern Micro and Microsoft Surface: Your Ally in Delivering Critical Services, No Matter What

November 10, 2020  |  Ottawa, ON

In March 2020, nearly half a million federal public servants were sent home, including many front-line workers. This was at a time when Canadians needed their services more than ever.

IT priorities quickly shifted, and the race was on to equip hundreds of thousands of public servants to deliver services safely, remotely, and from home. The workplace changed overnight.

Having access to a vast wealth of professional, technical, and logistical resources, Northern Micro, a Converge Company, continues to guide the Government of Canada through this historic stage in its digital transformation.

Our robust partnerships with brands like Microsoft Surface have been instrumental. We have been partnered with Microsoft since the very beginning, in 1985.  We are proud to be a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and among the most highly accredited partners in North America and in the top 1% worldwide. Learn more about our partnership with Microsoft Surface.

Together we were able to quickly procure, configure, deliver, install, and support hundreds of thousands of devices to numerous locations across Canada. This is just one example of how partners make us better and why we invest so much into maintaining them.

It should also be noted that As a Converge Company, our team includes some of the greatest minds in the industry. They have expertise in digital infrastructure, AI and advanced analytics, cloud computing, cyber security, edge computing, and much more. Connecting from coast-to-coast-to-coast with critical government services is just one of the many things they can do.

 

Quick links:

Ready to serve better, or looking to purchase Microsoft Surface products?

Talk to a Specialist

Northern Micro ranked in CDN’s Top 100 Solution Providers, 2020.

April 30th 2020 – OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA

Northern Micro has been ranked 16th on the Channel Daily News (CDN) Top 100 Solution Providers list released today, the 13th consecutive year achieving a standing on the list. Each year, CDN creates a detailed snapshot of Canada’s leading IT solution providers. Again, this year, Northern Micro has been ranked among Canada’s top 20 solution providers, who make up 76% of the total annual revenue.

New this year, the Top 100 Recognition Event went digital and made additions to its awards program that reflect the evolution of the channel ecosystem. The 2020 edition of the Top 100 Solution Providers program included awards that go beyond revenue to recognize vendor value and showcase the top solution providers that have helped customers succeed.

The annual ranking is produced by Channel Daily News (CDN) with verification provided by IT business intelligence and analysis leader IDC Canada. The rankings are based on 2019 revenue submitted by Canada’s leading channel players.

"Again, this year, Northern Micro has been ranked among Canada’s top 20 solution providers, who make up 76% of the total annual revenue."

CDW Canada, a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government, education, and healthcare, topped the list. IT services giant Softchoice, took the second spot. Both companies reported revenue in excess of $1 billion. Insight Canada, on the strength of its 2019 acquisition of PCM inc., jumped into the 3rd spot from 7th position last year.

Fourth and fifth spots were claimed by Compugen and Compucom, respectively, both of whom have been prominent on the Top 100 list for years. The full ranking can be found here.

The 2020 gala was the first-ever virtual event. Using the CDN-TV platform, attendees were able to not only watch live and prerecorded gala segments but also meet with peers and event sponsors in virtual meeting rooms.

Several other companies were recognized during the gala:

Newcomer of the Year award: Benchmark Corp.

Fastest Riser award: (tie) SoftwareONE Canada, ProServeIT

Customer Sucess Award: Annex Consulting Group

Ingram Micro’s Vendor Value Award: Cisco

This year’s Top 100 gala was sponsored by Ingram Micro, Dell Technologies, HP, Jabra, Samsung, and VMware.

Steve Proctor

IT World Canada (ITWC)

(416) 578 5014

Northern Micro Renews Titanium Tier Status with Dell Technologies

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA

Northern Micro has achieved Titanium-level partnership with Dell Technologies. We have now held the highest partnership level with Dell for the three consecutive years.

After it conducted its Partner Program Solution Provider Audit, at the close of the Program Year on January 31, 2020, Dell Technologies announced Northern Micro as one of only a handful of Titanium Partners in Canada.

Achieving this partnership level requires the ability to demonstrate a deep understanding of Dell Technologies products and their potential. As such, the program entails stringent certification and sales requirements.

Some of the benefits of achieving this partnership level include access to expanded resources that span the Dell Technologies portfolio of solutions. It enhances the Northern Micro infrastructure solutions offering around storage, data protection, cloud, core client technologies and more. 

Northern Micro has long considered Dell Technologies a strategic partner and has cultivated similar partnerships with several other global brands. All are recognized for their visionary technology that feature robust engineering and innovative features.

Learn more about the Northern Micro partner ecosystem

"January 31, 2020, Dell Technologies announced Northern Micro as one of only a handful of Titanium Partners in Canada."

About Northern Micro, a Converge Company

Northern Micro designs, deploys and manages IT solutions for Canada’s leading public and private sector organizations. We offer a full portfolio of IT solutions and services backed by an award-winning team certified at the highest levels as well as secure state-of-the-art configuration and assembly facilities and strong partnerships with the most respected technology vendors in the industry.

Northern Micro is strategic, forward thinking, responsive and deeply committed to client service.

Learn more about our company.

Alex Yeh

Northern Micro

(613) 818-0903