The VOX ISM Brain Trust

Twice a year the Vox ISM management team heads north to Stormy Lake to formulate forecasts, review financial performance and discuss Microsoft’s direction and technology.

The process begins with reviewing 2022 financial performance like recurring revenue growth and critical operational KPI’s like billable time percentages.

This year’s agenda included:

1. Economy

2. Covid Policies

3. Marketing

4. Sales

5. Security

6. HR

7. Financials

8. Billable Hours/Utilization

9. Certifications

10. Implementation Processes

11. Project Control

12. Collections

13. R&D

Over the course of the 3 days, we consolidate the ideas and prioritize the tasks into an actionable business plan for 2023. To be re-assessed in 8 months and tuned for the fall.

Microsoft’s Direction On technology

Looking ahead Microsoft will release the first wave of 2023 in April and announce their new technology and direction at Inspire in July 2023 in Las Vegas, and a second wave release in October.

Microsoft is predicting that by 2025, over 70% of all business software will be developed by “fusion teams” which is defined as a combination of power platform users coupled with professional developers. They are predicting that there will be 3 times more developers hired into businesses than there are developers in the world today. This is a major change in Microsoft’s development philosophy (previously including new features and functionality in the business systems), and therefore they have released new certifications and requirements for partners the power platform and have introduced wizards, cognitive services, and AI automation into Power Automate. We can only assume that this investment will continue, and the technology will become easier to use and more integrated into Business Central and Dynamics 365 sales.

As a result of this news, we have decided to re-introduce our first in 3 year in-person training event in Mississauga called the “Power Platform Summit” where we will provide training and education to our customer base on this new technology.

Microsoft’s Direction on Security

For the past 3 years Microsoft has been focusing on “digital adoption”, which means converting paper and on-premises technology into the cloud. They have been wildly successful with the role out of teams but recognize that the greatest risk to digital transformation is electronic theft and Microsoft predicts that cybercriminals will steal over 10 trillion dollars by 2025. As a result, the theme from Microsoft this year is data governance, security, and data loss prevention and they have released 6 new technologies to protect and secure your business.

Based on these facts, Vox ISM has contracted a third-party IT company to do a full assessment of our security exposure and provide recommendations and remediation. Earlier this year we implemented 2-factor authentication, rotating passwords, training for our staff and policies on who has assess to global admin as well activating our Microsoft Score Assessment. But this still is not enough. The threat is very real and as an IT company we need to provide leadership through example.

You may have heard about zero trust as a framework, but it unfortunately is not something you can turn on in an admin center and “poof” – magically you are more secure. It is a journey that organizations embark on and strive to improve and enhance in an ongoing fashion.

Looking ahead in 2023 we will present our findings, presenting the good and the bad as well as new technologies in a series of security webinars that we encourage you to attend.