What Makes Power BI a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant?

For 14 consecutive years, Gartner has recognized Microsoft as a Magic Quadrant Leader in analytics and business intelligence platforms. It has a massive market reach through Microsoft Office and a comprehensive and visionary product roadmap.

This blog will talk about the Power BI features that we believe helped (again) position Microsoft as a Magic Quadrant Leader in analytics and BI.

Power BI a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant
This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document.

This year, Gartner evaluated Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms based on twelve areas that it defines as crucial capabilities:

  • Security
  • Manageability
  • Cloud Analytics
  • Data Source Connectivity
  • Data Preparation
  • Catalogue
  • Automated Insights
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Storytelling
  • Natural Language Query (NLQ)
  • Natural Language Generation (NLG)
  • Reporting

Microsoft offers data preparation, interactive dashboards, augmented analytic and visual-based data discovery in Power BI – available as a SaaS option running as an on-premises option in Power BI Report Server or the Azure cloud. Microsoft Power BI Desktop can be used as a stand-alone, free analysis tool. Power BI Desktop installation is required when power users authorize complex data mashups involving on-premises data sources.

Microsoft also releases a weekly update to its cloud-based Power BI service, which got hundreds of features in 2020. Some of the notable additions include more augmented analytics in the form of AI-infused experiences, including intelligent narratives (NLG) and anomaly detection capabilities for out-of-the-box visuals.

Power bi training bootcamp

Strengths of Power BI

  • Alignment with Office 365 and Teams: The inclusion of Power BI in the Microsoft/Office 365 E5 SKU has provided an enormous channel for the platform’s spread, making it “self-seeding” in many organizations. The increasing integration of Power BI into Microsoft Teams, with its tens of millions of daily active users, will further increase Power BI’s reach in the world of remote working. Power BI is now often the option that organizations have in mind when using Gartner’s client inquiry service to ask about ABI platform selection — “why not Power BI?” is effectively the question most are asking.
  • Price/power combination: The influence of Power BI has drastically reduced the price of tools in the ABI platform market since its launch. In this case, though, low price does not equate to limited functionality. The Power BI cloud service is extremely rich in its capabilities, including an enlarged set of augmented analytics and automated ML capabilities. AI-powered services, such as text, sentiment and image analytics, are available within Power BI Premium and draw on Azure capabilities.
  • Scope of product ambition: Microsoft continues to invest in a broad set of innovative capabilities and integrate them with Power BI. It now claims to have 80,000 customers using AI services in Power BI deployments. It continues to encourage usage at scale by, for example, applying ML-driven automatic optimization of materialized views on Azure Synapse (and soon other data sources, including Snowflake and Redshift) to autotune query performance.

Learn more about Power BI

Business Intelligence is an excellent opportunity for companies that want to ride the wave of data-driven decision-making and forecasting.

With Microsoft Power BI, you can easily visualize and analyze data across your entire organization and gain a deep understanding of your operations and performance.

As a certified Power BI Gold partner in Canada, VOX ISM can guide you through every step of the way.


Introducing Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing

Introducing Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing

Filled with unbelievable change caused by the pandemic, the manufacturing industry observed a sea change: a significant interruption in terms of business continuity, operational visibility, remote work, employee safety, and the list goes on. However, Canadian manufacturers have responded and are continually adapting as we all go through the recovery process. To help manufacturers accelerate this journey, Microsoft announced Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing early this year. 

Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing delivers capabilities that support the core engineering processes and requirements of the industry. These end-to-end manufacturing solutions include capabilities that seamlessly connect people, assets, workflow, and business processes, empowering businesses to be more resilient. 

By aligning cloud services to industry-specific requirements, Microsoft gives customers a starting point in the cloud that smoothly integrates into their existing operations. What makes the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing different is Microsoft’s commitment to industry-specific standards and communities. 

The disruptions originating from the pandemic are here to stay; hence there is a heightened need for innovation and risk management. We are at an endpoint where the traditional ways of doing business will no longer suffice. Canadian manufacturers are asking for help accelerating the transformation of not only their operations but all aspects of their end-to-end business, perhaps most prominently their people and culture.

Five manufacturing trends driving the need for Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing

Below are five trends that the pandemic accelerated in 2020 and that we expect will continue in 2021 and beyond. These are the areas where we believe Microsoft and VOX ISM can help you connect the dots across your operations, workforce, design and processes, and customer engagements with the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing.

  1. Securing factories and field assets is essential
  2. The frontline needs retooling and reskilling
  3. The journey to product-as-a service is accelerating
  4. Partnerships and ecosystems are critical to manufacturing
  5. Resilience and sustainability are top-of-mind for all manufacturing stakeholders

Stay Updated on Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing

Looking ahead, we expect to see manufacturing companies continue to use newly implemented cloud technology throughout the pandemic recovery period and into what becomes the next phase of the new normal.

Join our upcoming events for our next Microsoft Cloud update. 


Power bi training bootcamp

Better Together: Explore how Office 365 works seamlessly with Power BI

With the massive amounts of data generated by your company, making sense of that data and sharing it with decision-makers can be challenging. In this blog, we covered the advantages of combining your existing Office investments with Power BI to work better and achieve more – Together. And how you can empower your team members to make better decisions with immersive reports and dashboards across Excel, Teams, SharePoint, and PowerPoint.

how Office 365 works seamlessly with Power BI

Advantages of using Power BI and Office together

  1. Get insights where you need them: You can get the data insights you need right inside the Office apps you use every day without changing applications.
  2. Help protect your Power BI data—across Office 365: you can safeguard your BI data with protection that persists when exported to other Office 365 apps formats, such as PowerPoint and Excel.
  3. Discover answers quickly through a familiar experience: If you know how to use Excel or PowerPoint, you can quickly get started to find insights fast.

Power BI insights + Office productivity

Microsoft Excel

By combining Excel with Power BI, you get comprehensive data analytics and visualization capabilities. With this integration, you can:

  • Efficiently use Excel skills in Power BI through everyday experiences like data analysis expressions (DAX) and Power Query.
  • See the correct data instantly in Power BI by automating your data refresh with a single click.
  • View and interact with Microsoft Power BI datasets in Excel while maintaining interactivity features from Power BI.
  • Get advanced custom visualization, modelling, and predictive capabilities for advanced analytics workflows.

how Office 365 works seamlessly with Power BI_Excel

Microsoft Teams

You can make everyone in your company more productive by incorporating Teams with Power BI reporting. You can: 

  • Add interactive Power BI reports directly into conversations and Microsoft Teams to spend less time seeking them and more time using them to help team priorities.
  • Give everyone in your team access to the data they need for a project by quickly incorporating Power BI visuals.
  • Get to decisions accelerated by viewing and collaborating on data visualizations as a team.

how Office 365 works seamlessly with Power BI_Teams

SharePoint

  • You can embed interactive Power BI reports in SharePoint Online pages that everyone in your team can access.
  • Stay updated on what’s crucial by surfacing data visualizations regularly accessed location.
  • You can quickly customize the look of your BI reports to best suit everyone’s requirements.
  • You no longer need to rely on local files that can get lost or damaged by storing BI reports in an online document library.

how Office 365 works seamlessly with Power BI_SharePoint

PowerPoint

  • By exporting Microsoft Power BI reports to PowerPoint as high-resolution images, you can drive clarity and improve decision-making.
  • It allows you to move seamlessly between your presentation and Power BI to dive deeper into analytics if required.
  • You can export only the information you care most about—the filters and slicers settings you added are always preserved.
  • You can create and publish Power BI reports using your existing PowerPoint skills.

how Office 365 works seamlessly with Power BI_PowerPoint

Learn More

Discover more ways to make sense of all the data your organization generates. Join our exclusive Power BI Online Training Bootcamp from July 20 – July 22, 2021.

VOX ISM Power BI Training Bootcamp

VOX ISM Security Training Bootcamp

Open Letter to the Management Teams of VOX ISM’s Canadian Customers

We are definitely living in interesting times. We have both a health crisis with COVID-19 and unprecedented persistent & increasingly sophisticated malicious cybercrime campaigns against our businesses. This ever-growing threat from cybercrime attacks is very real and is only becoming more intense and widespread. You need to take action now to prevent your company (or your family) from becoming the next victim.

On June 24th, VOX ISM & Microsoft are hosting a 45-minute webinar to train one of your staff on cyber-security best practices (in a 10-minute online training session) to help prevent security breaches, reduce phishing attempts and improve general awareness of what’s out there and how to avoid it. We will provide them with the teaching materials they will need so that they can train the rest of your staff. Human error accounts for 95% of cyber breaches so your first best defence is to train your staff. The webinar will also include additional security steps that your company should implement such as end-point protection, Cloud-based security, etc.

I urge you to have someone from your staff register for the webinar below:

You should know that the most common type of cyber-crime that businesses experience is Ransomware attacks. Ransomware involves malware (malicious code) that encrypts files on a device or network and results in the system becoming inoperable. The most common way for ransomware to get into your system is for one of your staff to click a link or respond to an email designed to infiltrate their PC.  Criminals behind these types of cyberattacks typically demand a ransom in exchange for the release of data (hence “ransomware”).

This is so prevalent that there are actually organizations that are designed to act as “negotiators” for ransomware attacks. We at Vox ISM have had to assist an unfortunate number of our customers try to recover from ransomware attacks – it is a very real and increasing threat. So much so that President Biden is addressing this daily as the next big threat in the US after COVID.

3 practices that VOX ISM has implemented to improve cybersecurity:

  1. Created an Enhanced Corporate Security Policy which outlines and enforces security measures that our staff must follow, focusing on the current cybersecurity trends (internal security training, multi-factor authentication, forced password changes, information-sharing rules, end-point protection, Cloud-based security and backups, etc.) and a Disaster Prevention and Recovery Plan” (a document that outlines what systems we have, where they are, how they are connected, who to contact if there are issues and what to do in the event of a breach).
  2. Encouraging our customers to upgrade to Secure Cloud services, implement and enforce multi-factor authentication and train their staff.
  3. Improve the security of the software sold to our customers and enhancing it with additional Cloud-based security and end-point protection software

We look forward to seeing you online on June 24th – it is worth the 45 minutes!


Dynamics 365 Business Central

How to Personalize Your Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an ERP with so many functionalities that not all of which is relevant to your business. Having all the buttons and actions in a user’s workplace, especially for novice users, might be quite overwhelming. The good news is you can simply adjust your view by customizing your role center to what suits your business and roles need.

Some of the features that you would need in this regard are:

  • Hide
  • Add
  • Move
  • Resize
  • Freeze Pane
  • Filters

Go to personalization mode by clicking on the Gear Sign ( )  on the far right of your software.

Hide

hover over the header until you see the red triangle and choose “hide”.

Personalize Your Dynamics 365 Business Central_3

Add

When in personalization mode, click on the +Field button to present the list of fields on the right.

Personalize Your Dynamics 365 Business Central_4

Click and drag the field from the list to where you want it on the header.

Personalize Your Dynamics 365 Business Central_5

Move

Click and drag a header to where you would like it to be.

Resize

To shrink or widen the columns, click and drag a header to where you would like it to be.

Personalize Your Dynamics 365 Business Central_7

Freeze Pane

Similar to Freeze Pane function in Excel, you can set a freeze pane in the list views.

Personalize Your Dynamics 365 Business Central_8

Filters

You can save your list filters and similar personalizations to create different ways of slicing your data. Create desired views and save them by giving meaningful names.

It is not just this. With personalization, you can hide the information from the user’s view without going through the painful process of limiting permission sets and security filters. This, however, needs more in-depth knowledge of the software, and it is a bit different from the personalization that users can do in their work individually and independently.

Learn more about Dynamics 365 Business Central

Join us next week on June 24 for an exclusive webinar – Better Together | Microsoft D365 Business Central & The Modern Workplace. Register Now!

Better Together | Microsoft D365 Business Central & The Modern Workplace - June 24 - Webinar

Microsoft Teams Training Bootcamp

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Microsoft Teams

As digital teamwork becomes increasingly important to your business, you’re probably wondering how to get the most from the tools you have in place—particularly Microsoft Teams. In this blog, we’ll cover proven strategies for using Microsoft Teams not simply as a tool for digital meetings and file sharing but to transform the way your business works. VOX ISM is also organizing Microsoft Teams Training Bootcamp on June 17, 2021, to get you up and running with Microsoft Teams.

With adequate planning, a phased approach, and the effective use of built-in project management, partner applications, workflow, and process automation tools, you can ramp up Microsoft Teams usage to achieve new levels of collaboration and productivity.

Microsoft Teams Training Bootcamp VOX ISM

1. Plan your Teams adoption inside a Teams workspace

You can start by using Teams to plan the adoption process itself. This gives you valuable experience using the platform and makes you the expert other employees can call for advice. 

  • Appoint Teams champions: Create a team to track adoption: Use Teams tools to track the progress of the adoption plan: Choose one or two people to be accountable for driving adoption across the business, preferably with a mix of IT and business knowledge.
  • Create a team to track adoption: Bring together leaders who can promote Microsoft Teams usage and ensure progress is being made.
  • Use Teams tools to track the progress of the adoption plan: Track activities using Tasks (previously Planner): If you’re using Microsoft Teams, organize your work by adding one or more Tasks tabs to your team channel. You can then work on your plan from within Teams or in Tasks for web, remove or delete your plan, and get notified in Teams when a task is assigned to you in Tasks.
  • Review adoption analytics in Power BI: With Power BI, you can use Microsoft 365 usage analytics inside a Teams tab to gain insights on how your organization is adopting Teams to communicate and collaborate. You can visualize and analyze usage data, create custom reports, and share the insights within your organization.
  • Communicate within Teams: Schedule a recurring stand-up in Teams: Use Teams to share data, chat, and meet with the adoption group.
  • Schedule a recurring stand-up in Teams: Make it a habit to have short daily meetings reviewing progress. 

2. Deliver chat and meeting capabilities

As the Teams adoption project moves forward, do not wait to enable basic Teams functionality for everyone in your organization.

  • Turn on Teams for everyone: As an administrator for your organization, you can assign user licenses to control individual access to Teams.
  • Separate chat and meeting deployment from longer-term activities: As an administrator for your organization, you can assign user licenses to control individual access to Teams. You may be undertaking more complex tasks such as migrating PBX functionality or adding Teams calling to meeting rooms, but you can provide employees with Teams on their personal devices immediately.
  • Use adoption assets: Get everyone on board using ready-to-use Teams adoption assets from Microsoft.

Encourage everyone to download the mobile and desktop apps: Teams can be installed on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. Get the apps. Teams also provide a high-quality experience on popular web browsers.

3. Run a project in Teams

While people are getting used to using Teams for everyday chat and meetings, the adoption-working group should choose a pilot department to work with. 

During the pilot project, you can:

  • Demo Microsoft 365 apps in Teams, including Word, Excel, Tasks, and more. 
  • Help the group identify common projects, workloads, and audiences for Teams. 
  • Guide them in setting up a workspace. 
  • Evaluate the workspace after a few weeks and adjust. 
  • Replicate these successes with other teams and use a template embodying best practices for your organization.

Mike Fontaine will cover this topic at our Microsoft Teams Training Bootcamp on June 17 event. Make sure you register for this event to learn more about projects in Teams. 

Run a project in Teams: Template for Sales

Teams can help sales quickly build proposals with input from different stakeholders, while making it easier to manage longer-term projects and programs, such as planning, training, and sales-readiness. Collaboration, reporting, and knowledge sharing can happen in one place, helping sales professionals everywhere work together to meet sales objectives.

  1. Create the team: Create a new team for your entire sales organization or a team for each sales segment.
  2. Add Channels: Add channels, such as Sales Planning, Sales Readiness, RFPs/Proposals, Wins, and Best Practices, as well as a channel for common topics.
  3. Add apps via tabs: Add apps that help with sales projects. For example, check sales metrics in Power BI, manage RPF templates in Word, track future fiscal plans with Trello, connect to CRM applications such as Dynamics 365, and celebrate success with Kudos.
  4. Meet regularly: Schedule recurring team meetings, such as a monthly business review.
  5. Share documents: Upload team documents to relevant channels, for example, sales playbooks and guides in the Sales Readiness channel and RFP documents in the RFP/Proposals channel.
  6. Connect to information: Set up connectors, such as an RSS feed for customer updates.

4. Streamline a process

The next level of Team usage is to streamline and simplify business processes. As with running projects, the best way to get started is to choose a specific group or department with a process that could use help. The basic sequence looks something like this:

  1. Choose your group or department to work with. 
  2. Demonstrate a process template to streamline the workflow. 
  3. Demonstrate Office 365 apps in Teams.
  4. Help the group set up a workspace. 
  5. Create a routine for process improvements. 
  6. Evaluate after a few weeks and adjust workspace and process based on learnings.

5. Automate repeated workflows

Teams include built-in automation functionality provided by Power Automate, part of the Power Platform. As with other phases of Teams adoption, the Teams working group should choose a specific business functional area to focus on for its first automation.

Power Platform provides templates for a wide range of business needs, including new-hire onboarding, incident management, contract lifecycle management, and sales. Using Power Automate, you can simplify repeated tasks in processes like these and many more. Once the solution has been proven in one business area, it becomes easier to expand further.

Resolve incidents within a Teams workspace

Employees who provide support are often burdened with repetitive, manual steps—a perfect opportunity to create efficiency through automation. First, create a channel or team for managing the incident lifecycle, then add automation to save time and stay focused.

Manage a contract lifecycle

Typically, contracts must be shared, reviewed, and approved multiple times across various people inside an organization. Use a team workspace to manage the lifecycle of critical documents in your organization, then add automation to save time and stay focused.

Start creating your Teams center of excellence with Microsoft Teams Training Bootcamp

Join us for Microsoft Teams Training Bootcamp with Mike Fontaine on June 17 from 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (ET).

This Bootcamp a free, virtual training class designed to get you up and running with Microsoft Teams.

From chatting and meetings to using teams and channels, this Bootcamp will provide the foundation to use Microsoft Teams with confidence. 

Microsoft Teams Training Bootcamp

Creating your first configuration package with Business Central

Creating your first configuration package with Business Central

Data migration is a very vital and challenging step to implement in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. In every ERP system, there is a shared database used across the organization. So, an organization has to move data (set of information) from older systems to the latest databases in a secure way. Thankfully, Microsoft offers a feature known as a configuration package with Business Central. It enables you to create an import package and once it is created, you will be in a position to import data from Excel into any sort of table in Business Central. The procedure is quite simple once you try it out.

Data migration can be complex, time-consuming process. The accuracy of the transferred data is critical because so many parts of the business – decision-making, supply chain, customer satisfaction and partner relationships will rely on the database. When working with any ERP systems, you are likely to come across situations where you have a lot of data that you would like to import into the system rather than keying it manually one record at a time. Thus, this step requires proper planning to do the correct estimate of time and resources. Underestimating the effort and time required can delay the entire ERP implementation.

Today, I want to discuss how you can save time in migrating documents with a configuration package with Business Central.

Business Objective: Import Item data table from excel into Business Central.

Approach: Create a specific configuration package to bring that data into Business central ERP. We will make a package with an example document to use as a reference point, send it to excel, keep our documents in it, send it back to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, apply and validate the package. Once this process is done, then our documents are ready to go.

So, let’s say that we are importing some Item data into a new “company” on Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.

We need to make a specific package to bring that data into the system, preferably without errors or missing information.

So we follow the standard procedure:

  • Go to Configuration Package from the Home page
  • Click NEW and give your package a sensible name and relevant description

configuration package with Business Central_1

The next step is to add the relevant tables to our configuration package, and then relevant fields into those tables. Go to the item data table, as we are planning to import Item data. When we are there, we will be able to do two things:

  1. Inspect the page to reveal which tables are accessed.
  2. To inspect a page go to the “?” in the corner and click “Help & Support” -à then click “Inspect Pages and Data” or press Ctrl+Alt+F1
  3. Copy the Table number and we will be feeding this information in the configuration table ID field.

configuration package with Business Central_2

Now add your desired tables (Item data table number – 27 ) as lines on your configuration package, and by clicking the Table button, access options on:

  1. Fields – where we can select the fields we wish to include
  2. Fields can be ticked as included. Click “Edit List” twice to make the list editable.

configuration package with Business Central_3

  • Next, click Process and Export-Package. This saves your package in totality, independent of the data you will import with it. Just in case a mistake is made, so you don’t have to remake it.
  • Once in excel you can enable editing, copy in your data, and re-save it with a new name for importing

configuration package with Business Central_4

  • When you have entered your data (item table data) onto your package in excel and now you can import this file into Business central by clicking on Excel and import from Excel functionality.
  • Then click Functions and Apply data. This will force BC to apply that table first.
  • Then try again at applying the whole package. At the top of the Configuration Package card in the ribbon. Actions and Functions and Apply Package

configuration package with Business Central_5

Conclusion

So, once you follow the steps and instructions given in this post, you would find it easy to import data into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Join Rakshith K L from VOX ISM to learn more about using the configuration package with Business Central.

Creating your first configuration package with Business Central - May 13 - Webinar

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today_Cover

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today

While there’s a lot of information “out there” about COVID-19 Vaccinations, many people are still unsure about how to book them, where to go to get them or even if they are eligible for a vaccine.

Here’s some information that we hope will encourage you to book your Vaccination TODAY!!

Also, remember that the Ontario “Lockdown” is likely to extend past May 20th so please be safe this Victoria Day Holiday! https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ontario-shutdown-may-20-expert-covid-1.6015825

Where to book your COVID-19 Vaccination:

Go to the Ontario Vaccination Booking site:

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/

Check the local news channels daily for Pop-up clinics:

https://www.cp24.com/news/these-are-the-locations-where-adults-in-some-hot-spot-postal-codes-can-get-a-covid-19-vaccine-today-1.5418195

* Pop-up Clinics are available to all age groups (i.e. 18 and over) but are on “first come-first serve”. They do not require a booking, but you must act quickly.

There is also a Twitter group that helps to find Pop-up clinics:

https://twitter.com/VaxHuntersCan?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Who can book and When:

Refer to the Eligibility Criteria Site:

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/ontarios-covid-19-vaccination-plan

In order to book You Must:

Starting week of May 10th – be in “Group 2” (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/ontarios-covid-19-vaccination-plan#group-2) – including those unable to work from home

AND you must have a valid Ontario health (OHIP) card or other form of government-issued ID

** People ages 18 or over in targeted hot spots  will be able to book their vaccinations after May 24th

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today

What can you expect?

Check out the Government of Canada Website for details:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/vaccines/what-expect-vaccination.html

  • Before you get the vaccination, you are advised by the medical technician of the various possible side effects you may experience as well as what to do if you exhibit certain symptoms. It is a good idea to ensure you have someone around you for a day or so after you are vaccinated, just for “peace of mind”.
  • Ask others who have had the vaccine.
  • Be aware of what Vaccine you are getting – bear in mind that there are essentially 2 “kinds” of Vaccines (certified in Canada):
  • mRNAPfizer & Moderna – Essentially, this is “genetic material” that helps to “train” your immune system to generate antibodies that will protect against COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and Jansen (Johnson & Johnson) – This is what we traditionally think of as a Vaccine – it is essentially a controlled dose of the virus itself which allows your body time to properly build up anti-bodies to protect against COVID-19.

So, the side effects of these can and do vary. Note, the above is a very simplified description of the vaccines – for more specific information on Vaccine types, you can look at the following web site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html

Booking your COVID-19 Vaccination:

From the Ontario Vaccination Booking site (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/), you will have 2 choices to book: via the Provincial online system or find a participating Pharmacy:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today2

A. Provincial Online Booking:

https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/

The system will determine your eligibility, based on your Health Card, DOB and Postal Code:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today3

It will then walk you through a “wizard” in order to book your vaccination:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today4

B. A Participating Pharmacy:

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

You will have options to select a Pharmacy as well as filters on whether or not they are open and the type of Vaccination they provide. Once you find a Pharmacy location in your area, you will click on their website – different pharmacies have different websites.

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today5

Note the “Before you go” requirements –  As at May 10th these are:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today 11

For example: I selected Shoppers Drug Mart – for Shoppers Drug Mart, you fill out a series of questions and after that you are put into a Queue –  I suspect the same is true for other Pharmacies:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today7
Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today9
Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today10

You are asked how you wish to be notified for when a spot is available: Text or Email – I recommend selecting both to make sure you get it:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today11

You are also prompted if you have a preferred location- I recommend selecting “No”, otherwise you may end up waiting longer for availability of vaccines at your specific location:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today12

After this, you will receive an email that looks something like this:

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today14

When an appointment is available, you will be notified and provided a link from which you can schedule your actual appointment – I had a fairly good selection of times from which I could choose my appointment.

Note that you have 24 hours to respond, so you must respond quickly.

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Today16

We hope this has helped answer some of your questions and we encourage you to book as soon as possible.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay happy.


Microsoft Cloud for manufacturing

5 reasons to choose Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing

The COVID-19 outbreak pushed Canadian manufacturing companies to grapple with a new reality. Business continuity became paramount, and customers turned to technology to adapt as quickly as possible. Microsoft Cloud for manufacturing offers new ways to grow, innovate, and boost their operational excellence. These technologies are helping Canadian manufacturers more effectively engage their customers, empower their employees, optimize their operations, and transform their products and services. This cloud-driven digital transformation drives the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It captures the benefits of this transformation is imperative for manufacturers to sustain and sharpen their competitive strengths in an “Industry 4.0” economy. Among other benefits, Microsoft cloud-based services can equip manufacturers to better meet their customer needs by integrating data from multiple sources—including customer interactions, product performance monitoring, and social networks—and using that data to provide essential insights into market behaviour and customer activity across the product lifecycle.

Canadian manufacturers must adopt innovative technology that offers agility in the supply chain to respond to changes in the environment, customer preferences, competitive forces, or unforeseen crises promptly.

Microsoft Cloud for manufacturing

Reasons to choose Microsoft Cloud Apps!

  1. Microsoft has 40+ years of supporting manufacturing and decades powering manufacturing shop floor systems with Windows embedded technology and has the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings of any cloud service provider.
  2. Microsoft is a leader in hybrid cloud solutions, a significant consideration for manufacturers who need a predictable, safe and secure performance in their edge operations and are not yet comfortable with full cloud transitions.
  3. Microsoft is on the leading edge of development in the cloud, IoT, advanced analytics, mixed reality, security technologies and artificial intelligence.
  4. Microsoft has committed to invest $5B in IoT to enable transformation through intelligent edge and cloud and open industrial interoperability $5B in IoT standards such as OPC UA.
  5. Microsoft is the only technology and platform organization delivering security from chips to the cloud and protecting its customers and partners IP with its portfolio of over 10,000 patents.

Learn more about Microsoft Cloud!

Microsoft & VOX ISM are organizning the biggest Canadian Microsoft Partner event – The Best Microsoft Apps Conference.

In this conference, we’ll showcase the Top 10 Microsoft Cloud Apps that will help Canadian manufacturing businesses to embark on their digital transformation journey in the current economic environment. Register Now!

Microsoft Best Apps Conference - VOX ISM

2021 release wave 1 plan for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

Microsoft's 2021 Release Wave 1 Plan for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

Microsoft 2021 Release Wave 1 Plan Overview

The 2021 release wave 1 plan for Dynamics 365 brings innovations that provide you with significant capabilities to transform your business. The 2021 Release Wave 1 contains hundreds of new features across Dynamics 365 applications, including Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Field Service, Finance, Supply Chain Management, and Business Central.

The 2021 release wave 1 describes all new features releasing from April 2021 through September 2021.

2021 release wave 1 plan for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform

Dynamics 365 Sales

Dynamics 365 Sales focuses on adding productivity enhancements for sellers and providing more access to data-driven insights to help with decision-making. Look for updates to automation and sequencing, conversation intelligence, and many exciting updates to the mobile app, enhancing the mobile experience for sellers on the go.

Dynamics 365 Service

  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service transforms the contact center by providing intelligent omnichannel routing across channels. The all-in-one contact center will ship with a logistic and integrated first-party voice and chat solution to enable customers to be up and running quickly.
  • Dynamics 365 Field Service introduces a comprehensive experience for customers that will allow them to self-schedule service and rate technicians to ensure maximum satisfaction. Other investments in 2021 release wave 1 include a streamlined onboarding experience, comprehensive customer engagement capabilities, and broader resourcing options.

Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central delivers a set of new features designed to simplify and improve the way our partners administer tenants and how administrators manage licensing and permissions. Application enhancements expand the integration with Microsoft Teams, add country and regional expansions, and include moves to Visual Studio Code to provide modern development tools, further enhancing developers’ productivity.

Microsoft Power Platform

Microsoft Power Platform enables users and organizations to analyze, act, and automate the data to transform their businesses digitally. Microsoft Power Platform today comprises four products: Power BI, TEAMS, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and security updates.

Discover what this release means for you and your business and how it will help you.

Dynamics 365 Spring Conference (2021 Release Wave 1 plan)

Join us for Dynamics 365 Spring Conference on April 29 from 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (ET) to learn how the latest innovations across Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform can transform data from every source to improve decision making.

In this webinar, we’ll cover:

  • Overview of Microsoft;’s 2021 Release Wave 1 plan – What’s new for Canadian Businesses
  • Top 5 VOX ISM’s favourites by module (ERP, CRM, Power BI)
  • How do you get a copy to work within your sandbox environment?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Spring Conference - New Product Releases for Canadian Businesses - April 29