Posts

The Digital Transformation Journey of a Vancouver based eCommerce Retailer

key-business-success-1500x630 The Digital Transformation Journey of a Vancouver based eCommerce Retailer

What’s behind most successful businesses nowadays? We’d argue the key is a solid data centre, cloud base, and vision. While communication and office culture are both integral in a thriving business, it helps to have an online space that encompasses it all. Recently we hosted a “Digital Transformation Journey with Azure” webinar with Riz Somji. As the CEO of Cymax Group, one of the fastest online furniture retailers, he was more than qualified to discuss many key points of his experiences: community, data storage and digital transformation being a few. Keep reading to hear the highlights of the event. 

People, Culture, and the Need for a Top-Down Buy In:

Vision and strategy are two of the most integral parts of the digital transformation journey. When Cymax first started, most sales were driven by ad revenue. But soon the team realized that they really needed to take a bold move to be data driven. Instead of finding data and working from that, they needed a top down model. They soon had a stronger, more sound foundation. As Somji shares during the webinar, people need to drive the transformation. Everyone should imagine the vision and comprehend the strategy before sponsorship even begins. 

Data-Driven Organization: 

How is Cymax using data to help improve their business? First off, as Somji tells us, everyone needs to have the software and understand how the analytics work. Implementing a dashboarding tool, such as PowerBI, is also a good choice. For Cymax, every part of the company was focussing on data to drive decisions during the digital transformation journey. True, at the beginning analytics were inconsistent because everyone had different perspectives of which data was crucial or not. But soon after, the company decided to just have one source of data and proof. Enter: data warehousing. Now they could have data cleaned as it came in. The newest development? They’re working on linking data to people’s own objectives and jobs. It’s a cross functional view, as Somji describes it. And it’s more efficient. They used to have 120 people in the call centre. Now they are down to only 30 people. And the sales? Well, they’ve tripled. 

A Digital Transformation Journey with Azure and Microsoft: 

For Cymax, because everyone was motivated to undergo the transformation process, they got their migration done and moved over to Office 365 in the span of a couple weeks. Crazy? We know. Microsoft supported them on this journey to the cloud as well, providing investment funds, strategic directions and more. Somji explained that because Cymax is such a dynamic company, using Azure kept everyone’s energy levels high. Because Azure DevOps is constantly evolving, the team stayed interested and had a really positive experience. For them, they understood that servicing technical debt is too much work, so using the cloud would save not only time but also money.

Where Are They Investing Next and Why?:

So what is a company like Cymax planning on investing their money in next? There are really 2 main categories: artificial intelligence and machine learning. Both provide added value to them but also their vendors. They’re looking for AI and ML engineers to help them integrate the processes into production. In the past, they had a pricing engine that priced products in real time. Sound slow? Well it was. And considering that they were competing against so many other sellers, this was less than ideal. But now, they’re looking to use AI and ML for image optimization. This way they can look at damaged products, and using technology find out where the product inconsistency is. Instead of having back and forth conversations with vendors, they can share their learnings, and improve product quality. 

Digital transformation is the way to the future. It ensures that your business is online in the upcoming times, especially important as everything has been remote lately. If digital transformation is something you’re interested in, contact us at Optimus here.

 

5 Do’s and Don’ts to Succeed at Digital Transformation

dos-and-donts-to-succeed-at-digital-transformation-scaled 5 Do’s and Don’ts to Succeed at Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has been a hot topic for a long time, and for good reason, but what are some do’s and don’ts to succeed at it? If you haven’t had a chance to implement it, you may be worried. In a study by The International Data Corporation (IDC), they estimated that there is a $20 trillion market opportunity over the next five years. A survey done in 2019 gives jarring results to go along with these statistics. 64% of business leaders fear that they have less than 4 years to undergo digital transformation or they may go out of business. According to Harvard Business Review, 52% of Fortune 500 companies that existed in 2000, are no longer in existence today. The reason? It was because they couldn’t keep up with the way the world was transforming. So why is it so crucial to overcome the fears of being behind, and just go for it? We will highlight why it’s so important but also how you can take steps to integrate it to your advantage, through our 5 do’s and don’ts to succeed at digital transformation.

Digital transformation is important but is it too late to implement it? More importantly, how can you succeed?

So why is digital transformation so critical? If you haven’t already checked out our other blogs on digital transformation, they are a great first step to learning about the topic. Check out one of our favourites here. Digital transformation is about more than just taking your business online. It encapsulates all aspects of business, whether that be management or data storage, and makes it accessible, secure, and timeless. It’s been talked about for a while, and so it’s natural to feel late in the game if you’re only starting out now. But this isn’t actually the case! Digital transformation is an ever-evolving process and it’s better late than never. There are steps to take on this journey, so keep reading if you want to learn more. 

5 do’s and don’ts to succeed at digital transformation:

Procurement

DON’T: Don’t buy what you’re not going to use. Don’t procure cloud like you procured software in the 2000s. The old model/way of thinking is to put more money on the table to get a bigger discount. Cloud providers have built-in services that are intended to help you save money by allowing you to turn things on when you are using them and turn them off when you’re not. So there’s no need to put a lot of money upfront with a 12-month expiry to get a discount. You could just end up throwing away money that you won’t use. Instead, you can employ the pay as you go model, and save yourself a lot of overhead costs.
DO: So what should you do? Work with your vendor. The old mentality is that organizations don’t want to work with their vendors, want to isolate themselves, and just try to get bigger discounts. Public cloud vendors are willing to help you with your setup and how to best use their services to achieve your business outcomes. Leverage auto scale and off features that dynamically allocate your resources and optimize your cost to stay within budget. Essentially: if you’re not using it, turn it off.

Multi-Cloud vs. Single Cloud

DON’T: There’s no need to go multi-cloud just because. There’s fear about vendor lock-in. If you are going to go multi-cloud know your reason why. Going multi-cloud when you are a small organization or early in the cloud adoption journey can just slow you down because you are mixing in additional complexities and adding new services for your team to learn.
DO: So what are your alternative options? Adopt one cloud and do it well first before you adopt any others. Leverage Platform as a Service from cloud providers. It saves you time because these services are pre-built and you can start using them immediately. 

Actual Innovation

DON’T: This one is short and sweet. When undergoing digital transformation don’t just have a recreation of your on-premise work, keeping arbitrary ancient rules for no reason.           DO: Instead, challenge your team to reach the bounds of what they can do and embrace automation. 

Learning and Growth

DON’T: The previous point being said, don’t replace your hard working experts with automation.
DO: As a replacement, invest in learning and don’t expect it to happen automatically. Encouraging agility and innovation during this process is crucial. Automation is important, but only in conjunction with new learning. 

Security and Trust

DON’T: Finally don’t treat your network like a security boundary. Using the same network that you used in 2010 doesn’t do you any favours. And don’t expect that you’ll find your perfect match in terms of frameworks and diagnostics tools on your first try.
DO: Try to iterate governance and improve each time. Aim for progress over time.

Do you need a partner with Azure or digital transformation expertise?

Want guidance on finding a strategy and determining a roadmap? We at Optimus understand the needs of each company, and are an extension of your organization. We will use our expertise in Azure and the Cloud Adoption Framework to successfully guide you through your digital transformation, no matter where you are on your journey. To learn more and set up a complimentary discovery session, click here

 

How Digital Transformation is Changing the Face of Business Management

business-management How Digital Transformation is Changing the Face of Business Management

Cloudy with a Chance of Management Theory: How Digital Transformation is Changing the Face of Business Management

What is business management? And how is it evolving as the world moves online? Along with overseeing operations, working face-to-face with customers, reviewing contracts, and pushing employees to their brightest performance, business management is also a key part of keeping a company caught up with the times. What do we mean by that? Well, as the world rapidly becomes more digitized, businesses have to adapt. Nowadays we see the cloud affecting management and customer service, and it pushes us to think: how is the cloud and digital transformation changing businesses? 

Digital Transformation is Inevitable So How Are Organizations Changing?

We’ve talked extensively about digital transformation in the past (for a recap, read our article on “Digital Transformation in a Nutshell”), so we won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but digital transformation is a looming inevitability on the technology landscape. You see, here at Optimus, we encourage you to look at how you can not only keep up with technological innovation, but also cut down on your workload and overhead costs at the same time. By moving to the cloud, all of these are attainable. And we aren’t the only ones realizing that. Organizations all across the globe are rapidly adapting to this idea. 

Digital transformation and cloud computing are on the horizon whether organizations choose to accept it or not. So how are organizations really changing? Well for one, workloads are scaling down, and businesses are scaling up. Or perhaps a better way to describe it is that it is increasingly easier to take on new customers while also increasing the quality of work. Because of this, the way in which tasks are overseen and assigned should change, allowing for mobility within organizations. We see an amalgamation of different sectors. Product design and customer interaction, as well as working with sales, IT, and marketing, creates a web of connections because everything is related to each other now. This comes with the move to the cloud; there is a move towards connectedness. And last but definitely not least, costs are being cut on menial tasks that were taking up valuable time and resources. 

How the Cloud Affects Customer Service

We’ve talked about how the cloud affects the inside end of operations, but what about the receiving end? What are customers experiencing? The constant release and uptake of new software creates a relationship between companies and clients like never before. Production time on new applications or products is cut down from many months to mere weeks. Business leaders will have to re-envision their models and also embrace new ways to provide value to customers. Not only does this mean taking on the process of moving to the cloud, but also finding new ways to deliver information, for example interactive dashboards or analytics software. 

The Misconception About What Drives Digital Transformation

The future is bold and bright for software services companies as well as non-technology related groups who are looking to apply digital transformation. People tend to focus a lot on the technology that comes with moving to the cloud, rather than honing in on how the people in the organization are taking the change. Tech Intensity is the combination of cultural and social aspects of technology in combination with the tools themselves. With big changes come big reactions. How do you manage people who feel threatened by these developments? It’s important to modify and plan this move to the cloud keeping all relevant parties in mind. New ways of thinking, and adaptation to new processes that come up with digital transformation will have to take place. 

Start your transformation small. Don’t focus on turning the whole organization around quickly, forgetting the effects it will have on the community. Instead, look at a more approachable sized problem that you may be facing. Know your “why”. Why are you making this specific change? Why will it be beneficial for the whole team? By looking at the whole process start to finish, you can identify your pain points and work on managing those throughout the transformation. And then you can focus on measuring your success and tackling the next challenge. 

So What Now?

We think it’s fascinating to analyze where the future of technological innovation is headed, especially in relation to the rest of the world. Cloud computing is undoubtedly changing the face of business management, and we at Optimus are a part of that. 

 

Want to learn more about what we do? Contact us here.

Why Implementing a Cloud Management Service is Crucial: The Benefits of CloudCheckr

Financial-analuze-powerbi-300x225 Why Implementing a Cloud Management Service is Crucial: The Benefits of CloudCheckr

Have you read extensively about digital transformation? And read all about how to take your business to the cloud, upping your game? We have, too. But we want to let you in on a secret weapon of sorts. Yes, you heard us right. It’s something that’s understated but will make a monumental difference in your day to day operations. CloudCheckr, a comprehensive cloud management platform, provides total visibility and deep insight, as well as cloud automation and governance. Intrigued? We were, too. Read on to learn why CloudCheckr is the simplest path to your technological future. 

What Is CloudCheckr?

CloudCheckr is a management platform that aims to give comprehensive cost and security to all of your cloud services. An Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Technology Partner with Security and Governance competencies, the platform simplifies and contextualizes data from your public cloud services into actionable insights. As well as this, it works on Azure and other public clouds such as GCP. What does this mean? A clearly organized, visual platform that shows you where your resources are going, all while integrating over 500 Best Practice Checks.  

How We At Optimus Integrate CloudCheckr:

Not only do we at Optimus use CloudCheckr in our daily workings, we also want our clients to gain the same benefits. Our offer? When Optimus is your Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP), CloudCheckr comes included. 

What Are the Benefits of Using It?

So what’s so good about the platform? We’ll tell you. Being a multifaceted platform, they have everything you need to manage and allocate costs, optimize spending, and regulate your finances. They relay usage reports in easily readable dashboards for all members of your team, curated whenever you want them, whether that’s weekly or monthly. 

With emerging public cloud security challenges arising in the near future, a cloud management platform such as CloudCheckr can help you attain the financial benefits you were promised. They are the next step to complete digital transformation and success. They can ensure that your cloud infrastructure is audit ready for 35 regulatory standards. This allows no room for error. It’s a completely scalable service that can keep up with your rapidly expanding environment and provides detailed usage statistics for resources across Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud. 

Challenges You May Be Facing In Its Absence:

Of course, using a platform such as CloudCheckr isn’t necessary. But perhaps it should be? When optimizing costs on your own, a lot of issues easily arise. Keeping an enterprise wide inventory gets complicated fast, and assets can slip through the cracks, creating almost undetectable leaks in your system. This is money that could have been re-allocated to optimize workloads. 

 

For more information, contact us.

 

 

Digital Transformation in a Nutshell: Understanding Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Digital-Transformation-Clooud-Adoption-300x188 Digital Transformation in a Nutshell: Understanding Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

What is digital transformation? We’re hearing a lot about it these days, and especially more in the seemingly strange “apocalyptic” era that’s taking place right now. There has never been a time in history that there has been such a need for the Cloud. As we navigate through this uncharted territory and wonder how on earth people managed to live with so much uncertainty in the past, most of us have found solace in virtual connection. Now don’t get us wrong, we encourage and embrace the outdoors and passions that don’t require a screen in front of our eyes; however, right now, the only way to connect with those outside our household is virtually. We are all gravitating towards supporting people and programs that allow us to do that. 

So how is it that some businesses are now elevated among the rest? It’s simple. Digital transformation. Those who have taken their passions and programs to the Cloud, and done so successfully, are experiencing lower levels of strain at this time. But how can you or your business embrace digital transformation? We’re here to tell you about Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, and how it urges you to look at business objectives before jumping right into your transformation. This framework is crucial in adopting the Cloud successfully. 

What is the Cloud Adoption Framework?

It was developed by Microsoft as the One Microsoft approach to Cloud adoption in Azure. Sharing guidelines from Microsoft professionals and customers across the board, this framework aims to educate on the best practices to drive desired business outcomes. It uses a cloud adoption lifecycle, providing the full lifecycle framework with detailed steps and tips along the way. Put simply? Your ticket to digital transformation, outlined by the best in the game, packaged up and wrapped in a bow. 

Why is it Crucial for the Successful Adoption of Cloud?

A lot of people want quick results on projects without really delving into the process and examining why they’re doing what they are doing. We strongly believe that this framework should be a crucial part of your process going forward. Sure, it might be “easier” to skip the “why” questions and favour how you will move to the Cloud… but this framework makes you look at what business goals you are intent on achieving and aids in creating a plan. This is an integral part of long term success when adopting the Cloud. Microsoft defines cloud adoption as “[…] a means to an end. Successful cloud adoption starts well before a cloud platform vendor is selected. It begins when business and IT decision makers realize that the cloud can accelerate a specific business transformation objective. The Cloud Adoption Framework can help them align strategies for business, culture, and technical change to achieve their desired business outcomes.” 

We at Optimus use the Cloud Adoption Framework in our own work extensively. While planning with clients, we adopt this framework to move them to Azure because it encourages best practices and makes our clients’ cloud adoption successful. 

How to Get Started

Is your team new to this framework? An easy way to get going is to read “Get started with the Cloud Adoption Framework”, an article by Microsoft explaining how to begin your Cloud migration journey with Azure. It will walk you through the entire process while outlining best practices. From outlining how to look at your “motivations” or goals, to defining methodology, this guide has you covered on all bases. 

Find out how to implement Microsoft Azure in your business by contacting us at Optimus. Don’t miss out on the chance to take your business to the Cloud.

 

 

 

Portfolio Items

Events

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria