There are many new features that developers don’t know exist with Microsoft Azure SQL. Learn why Azure SQL is a post-relational, cloud-native database with these ten simple points, including complete storage control, complete monitorability, and full insights.
Microsoft Office 365 helps small-business owner Trevor Cressey serve his customers and grow his business. His company, Premier Water Removal, is a service that dries out flooded homes or businesses.
Motivated by the compassion he learned at the Dream Center in Los Angeles, Trevor can “pay it forward” by supporting his 25-person team across devices to deliver the best possible customer service.
Two Microsoft Partners and One Power BI Solution in a “Million-Dollar” Business Transformation
“Thanks to a Microsoft Power BI solution developed in a partnership between IT Responsive and Adeptek Consulting, Blue Sky has significantly grown in 2017. Due to annual savings of $2.4 Million and highly effective data management, they could allocate their resources into brand promotion and focus on their own eCommerce business, almost doubling their revenue in just one year.” – Chance Weaver, President of IT Responsive
It may come as a surprise that, in the digital era, sales of appointment books and paper planners are on the rise! According to research company NDP Group, paper planner sales increased by 10 percent from 2015 to 2016, while calendars increased by eight percent over the same time period. This trend continued recent years, especially on the Japanese and Chinese markets, as well as among Millennials in the Western world. “The Digital Age Kids” apparently nurture the pen-and-paper planner culture, despite the variety of modern devices they use every day.
Blue Sky The Color of Imagination LLC is a successful planner and calendar reseller from United States, offering their products mostly through Amazon, Walmart and Target, as well as other major online and offline retailers. They felt the paper planner popularity increase, however, time-consuming manual processes in data management hindered the company’s growth and productivity.
The Manual Frustration
Managing different sales figures and consumer information used to be a daily frustration for Blue Sky employees: each large retailer had a different portal and data had to be downloaded manually. Also, every retailer names its data differently, so Blue Sky had to consolidate this information using Microsoft Access. Not only was that an additional manual process, but it was also very limiting, as they could upload and report on very small portions of data (maximum two gigabytes). If they wanted to go back to historical data and compare it against current information, that was another time-consuming, manual process, plus they didn’t have any insights into real-time data. “It took them weeks to gather information, which is why the data was stale by the time they were looking at it,” said Weaver, adding, “It was very difficult to do any type of cost and inventory projections, or get an idea of trends in the marketplace.” Without quality data insights and business projections, Blue Sky’s growth was stalled.
“Power(ed) BI” Partnership
IT Responsive was Blue Sky’s managed service provider for over a decade and, therefore, their first partner of choice for the new technological challenge. “We understood the problem and were able to talk to a couple of different partners to find the right solution to solve their problem. We decided to partner up with Adeptek Consulting, which had done a lot of business for large companies such as Port of Los Angeles and had developed some really interesting Power BI solutions that were very similar to what Blue Sky was looking for,” said Weaver. Microsoft Power BI was the most reasonable solution because Blue Sky was already using Microsoft Office 365. However, they were also using Sage ERP system from which they were exporting all of the data into a SQL database for creating reports.
Digitalized Data on a Colorful Dashboard
Through Power BI, the new solution was able to capture all information into a centralized database, change the naming convention for easier reporting and include the historical data. The company is using a Microsoft Azure SQL database as the central repository for all of the data, where the process of gathering information into the system is now completely automated. Now, Blue Sky employees can see their old and new data on a dashboard, also containing newest trends, from which they can create very accurate trend and order projections or estimate inventory requirements.
The Millions: Saving a Few and Earning a Dozen!
- One of the biggest wins of the new solution is the fact that it saved the company about 2.4 million on an annual basis! The savings were made in projecting inventory requirements and orders, which used to swirl with mistakes in the previous, manual practice.
- An even bigger “wow-effect” of the solution was an increased ROI by almost 50 percent – their profits grew from $18 Million to $30 Million over a period of only one year!
- What’s also interesting about Blue Sky is that it invested the saved amounts back into technology and the new solution! Because they were thrilled with how it improved their projections, they wanted to implement the same system into other parts of their business, such as project management, which also had a challenging data management process. To gather all the information, rename everything, put it into the Access database, crunch the numbers, and create a small report on maybe one month of information, the previous process would take them about 116 hours. Now it is all automated and the reports come out with the click of a button.
- The new solution also enabled Blue Sky to reallocate people that used to work inside the “reporting team” into more useful positions, such as design, purchasing, and inventory teams. Now they have only one employee assigned for reports, who understands Power BI well and creates extra dashboards for everyone.
“The Blue Sky team attributes a large portion of their growth to the ability to have access to business critical data that they didn’t have before. It’s really exciting to see some of the things that have changed and some of the things that we can do with SQL and Power BI: it’s amazing!” Weaver said.
IT Responsive and Adeptek also count another type of win. They learned how important it is to keep a close relationship with their partner, where they nurtured fantastic communication and alignment of their project and implementation goals, while helping each other to ensure the best client experience.
“Due to our partnership, we have created referral programs and helped our partners to develop recurring revenue opportunities from a solution that was traditionally a one-off project,” Weaver concluded.
From Thriving Through Partnership, produced by Storytelling4Tech (document below)
In this video Adeptek takes a look at how Microsoft Office 365 helps solo entrepreneur Bryce McDonald tap into the power of the cloud to manage the vendor and customer relationships that help him scale his home-based wakesurf board making business, DAY 1 Wake, out to the world – without sacrificing the thing that matters to him most, his family. Contact us today to find out how we can help you do the same.
Hello there, let’s quickly look at five reasons why companies are implementing SharePoint.
Reason number one: they are attempting to utilize the licensing which is included with office 365. What that usually means is that they already have Office 365 implemented and when they go online or on the cloud, they see the icon for SharePoint. So they ask themselves, how can we utilize it? Most of them already have the SharePoint license along with the even or E3, so it becomes a natural choice to look into using SharePoint.
Reason number two: they are looking for better ways to collaborate within their team, within different departments, and across their organization. Whether it’s internal, between different locations, or with external companies, partners, or clients, SharePoint does provide a superior collaboration tool.
Reason number three: they are looking for a secured environment where all their documents and business processes can live. Office 365 with SharePoint Online provides that. It protects companies from malware attacks or loss of their files, thanks to Office 365 performing backups on your documents on a daily basis, up to 30 days.
Reason number four: Office 365 allows you to work remotely. It brings the concept of work anywhere and work on any device to life, so SharePoint naturally brings the same. This allows them to work on the go, work from home, work remotely and work on any device including mobile, iPads, surface, tablets, anything. It fulfills the concept of working anywhere, on any device.
And finally, reason number five: document versioning, or maintaining a single version of a file. First of all, by default SharePoint allows you to keep different versions of a document. So as long as you or other members of your team are accessing and editing a document, it will maintain all separate versions of the same document. However people can always refer to the final version and be reassured that it is the latest version of the document, rather than surfing through various email chains to find the latest version of the document. Based on permissions, they can go to a file location and find the final version of the document. This saves companies time, which is a significant help.
Our lives are being impacted daily with new technologies springing forth, which has changed the way we live, work, do businesses, shop online and offline, travel, engage in relationships and so on. The video you are about to watch emphasizes the new technologies that will be trending in 2018.
Let’s talk about couple of the technology trends which actually started in 2017 but should pick up steam in 2018.
First of all, everybody is hearing about Bitcoin but there is a technology under Bitcoin called Blockchain, which is the general ledger distributed one, not a single source of information. That system could also serve for many other industries, not only for the Cryptocurrencies. Blockchain should become mainstream in 2018.
The second technology is AI. Artificial intelligence apps and devices started picking up a lot of adoption in 2017, like Alexa, Siri, and Chat Bots on customer support and shopping sites. Now, this should become mainstream and your applications on your desktop and mobile devices, including the connected devices in your home – all these technologies will have intelligence. Artificial intelligence is going to pick up steam in 2018 as well.
Finally, I would say digital transformation. Now, most things are going to go digital which impacts all segments of your business including your customer, employers, processes and your products. You want to embrace a new method of digital engagement with your customers, use new tools for collaboration within your team and across your teams. And finally, it is about improving process efficiencies with digital technology and then transforming your products.
So embrace Blockchain or a new technology, embrace artificial intelligence, embrace business intelligence, and all these things that we are looking forward to in 2018. Thanks for watching.
Adeptek supported IAMCP SoCal chapter initiative of Grocery giveaway on Saturday December 16th at Brecee Center in Los Angeles.
#IAMCP members and their families took some time to give back to the community. This was our second year of working with Bresee Foundation for their Holiday Grocery Giveaway. This year we bagged and handed out food for about 500 needy families. IAMCP SoCal members volunteered their time to arrive early, unload trucks, and then pack the items for families to pick up.
About Bresee Foundation:
The P.F. Bresee Foundation’s (Bresee’s) history dates back 33 years, when in 1982, members of the Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene established P.F. Bresee Foundation as a separate, non-sectarian 501(c)(3) to address the social needs of the community. Its services were meant to honor the legacy of Dr. Phineas F. Bresee, who founded the Nazarene church in 1895 and dedicated his life to serving the poor in Los Angeles.
Based in Orange County, CA, Adeptek is a growing IT consulting firm specializing in business technology solutions. In addition to the Microsoft stack, we also work on iOS, Android mobile apps. Our goal is to enable our clients to become more agile, while reducing overhead costs and improving business operations.
Field Service capabilities extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) to provide a complete Field Service management solution, including service locations, customer assets, preventative maintenance, work order management, resource management, product inventory, scheduling and dispatch, mobility, collaboration, customer billing, and analytics. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service helps you:
- Optimize your service schedule with efficient routing, resource skill matching, and reduced travel time.
- Increase first time fix rates and on-time delivery performance.
- Enhance real-time communication and collaboration between customer service, dispatch, field agents, and customers.
Project Service Automation automation capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) provide an end-to-end solution that helps sales and delivery teams engage customers and deliver billable projects on time and within budget. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation automation helps you:
- Estimate, quote, and contract work
- Plan and assign resources
- Enable team collaboration
- Capture time, expense, and progress data for real-time insights and accurate invoicing
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