Monday, February 8, 2010

Accenture and Avanade Financial Planning Solution for Microsoft Surface

I recently wrote a post about Microsoft Surface in a reatil setting, which can help differentiate you from your competition.

In this post, I have embedded a video about an offering that Accenture and Avanade have created for Financial Planning.

Through this technology, a firm can really differentiate themselves from their competitors with this unique offering.  It is interactive and allows for a company to identify other opportunities for their clients.

If you would like to see how Avanade can enable your companay with unique solutions, like the Financial Planning Solution for Microsoft Surface, please contact us via email or in the Calgary office at 403-476-1473.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Energy Sector Partner Portal Presentation in Calgary

Today’s dynamic business environment requires companies to collaborate more closely than ever with key partners and stakeholders. Organizations need to share information and your partners require greater access key information held within the secure confines of your enterprise. But how can you enforce your enterprise standards and governance structures on your partners?
There are many questions that need to be asked:
• How do you provide access to your partners without adversely impacting your critical business processes?

• How can an organization enforce their corporate information standards on their partners to ensure security and data integrity policies are being met?

• What can a company do to manage and secure the identity of a user and allow them access to only the information that they require?

• How can you utilize technology to help improve the overall decision making process?

Avanade Inc. has created the Energy Sector Partner Portal (ESPP) to allow effective collaboration between all your partners, while protecting your most valuable assets; your information.
The ESPP, built on Microsoft’s Enterprise SharePoint platform, allows for effective governance and enables the consolidation of multiple information sources into a single source of truth. This, in turn, helps reduce non-productive time and significantly reduces project and operating costs.
Join us on February 22nd at 3 PM in the Accenture office at 2710, 140 – 4th Avenue SW in Calgary for a presentation on the Energy Sector Partner Portal.
Please RSVP to Chris Hamilton at on Linked In at:

Avanade Inc., a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, is a global IT consultancy that enables solutions built on the Microsoft product suite.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Realizing results using a Consolidated Business Intelligence (CBI) portal

How many systems do you have to report different pieces of information from your organization? How many reports do you have that are required by your company?

Information sprawl is rampant within organizations today. In fact, many businesses spend more time looking for and organizing information than they do actually using that information. Avanade's Consolidated Business Intelligence (CBI) allows businesses to effectively inventory, locate, secure and share business data assets—such as reports, scorecards, dashboards and data lists—without consolidating reporting systems or data repositories. CBI is a cost-effective solution that provides true business value though a single, easy-to-access portal that helps improve and accelerate decision-making processes.

CBI Features:  
There are numerous benefits to your company in using Avanade's Consolidated Business Intelligence (CBI) solution. They include:
  • Increased Ability to Make Informed Business Decisions
  • Single Source for Business-Critical Information
  • Ability to Easily Locate Information Assets
  • Personalized, Consistent and Flexible User Experience
  • Increased productivity through streamlined report processes
  • Reduced Development, Maintenance, and Support Costs
  • Increased Data Security

Screen Shot of CBI:

Click on the picture to get a bigger view.

Case Study:

Like many IT organizations, Microsoft maintains a complex reporting environment with numerous server-based business information systems. The challenge Microsoft IT faced is that multiple reporting systems can cause business and technical issues, such as silos of information, multiple data repositories, reporting tools, and complicated permission schemas.

To help business units within Microsoft make better and faster decisions CBI was developed as a centralized portal application built on Microsoft’s SharePoint Server and SQL Server products. CBI is part of Microsoft IT’s Enterprise Data Warehouse strategy, the solution helps to surface data sources, data subject areas and identify opportunities for data consolidation and enrichment.

Today at Microsoft, the CBI implementation is used by more than 50 business units, it has over 20,000 subscribing users and is accessible by over 90,000 employee, vendors and partners. These numbers grow on a monthly basis as Microsoft IT, with the help of Accenture and Avanade, onboard new business units and their associated users.

If you would like understand how CBI can help your company, please contact Avanade via Email or in the Calgary Office at (403) 476-1473. Please call to arrange a meeting and presentation

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ACA Accelerate - Driving Unnecessary Costs Out of the IT Department

I have blogged about this in the past, but it makes sense to do another post on driving costs related to redundant or underused software out of a company.

With company's making the move to Windows 7, there is a perfect opportunity to look at the software that is being used, or more accurately not used, and then creating a definitive software library (DSL).

A properly executed process for determining at DSL can help drive hard cost savings in a company. The process that Avanade uses is called ACA Accelerate, which will help drive upwards of $500 in software license savings. Another offshoot is that fact that you do not need to support nearly as much software, so you should also see up to $500 is labor savings per desktop.

Below is a slide presentation that talks to ACA Accelerate.

A typical engagement with Avanade is less that 2 months and based on the costs, the return on investment can be significant with a 20 X plus multiplier on the cost. With cost savings like this, you might even be able to cover the costs of a Windows 7 migration and have enough left over to take your team out for pizza (numerous times).

If you would like to find out more on how Avanade can help you creating a DSL, please contact us at 403-476-1473 or via email.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

tCatalog for Retail - Differentiate your company from your competition

Want to see something totally cool for a retail store? tCatalog for Retail from Avanade and Accenture built on Windows 7 touch screen technology.

The uses for this in a retail environment can be pretty amazing, such as:
  • Product information
  • Product comparisons
  • Reviews
  • Associated literature
This is also a great way to use a loyalty program to allow someone to go into a store and see what items might be a good recommendation for your clients.

tCatalog can be used in numerous other sales settings such as:
  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • New homes
  • Many others
If you would like to see how Avanade can enable tCatalog for your organization, please contact us in the Calgary office at (403) 476-1473 or via email.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Microsoft Surface in the Retail Environment

Ever heard of Microsoft Surface?

According to the website, Surface is a revolutionary multi-touch computer that responds to natural hand gestures and real-world objects, helping people interact with digital content in a simple and intuitive way. With a large, horizontal user interface, Surface offers a unique gathering place where multiple users can collaboratively and simultaneously interact with data and each other.

One of the areas that Microsoft Surface can be used is in a retail setting. Microsoft Surface can connect customers with more and richer product information and create collaborative sales engagements right inside retail outlets, connecting the physical store, sales staff and digital content. For example, Surface recognizes mobile devices, allowing customers to download product information, compare products, cross-sell related items, and select add-on features.

Microsoft Surface represents a fundamental change in the way we interact with digital content. Leave the mouse and keyboard behind. Surface lets you grab digital content with your hands and move information with simple gestures and touches. Surface also sees and interacts with objects placed on the screen, allowing you to move information between devices like mobile phones or cameras. The result is a fun, social and exciting computing experience like you’ve never had before.

Microsoft Surface provides tremendous potential for businesses to improve communication, and be more efficient in how they deliver information and services to their customers. The intuitive and approachable interface is easy to learn and the familiar software platform makes it easy to manage, too. The multi-touch and multi-user capabilities create an incredibly collaborative experience, where sharing and exploring information is easier than ever.

The video below show the Retail Solution for Surface from Avanade and Accenture.

There are so many possibilities for Microsoft surface in different retail settings. To find out more on how Avanade can enable your environment with Microsoft Surface, please feel free to call us in the Calgary office at (403) 476-1473 or email us.

Digital Marketing - How to reach your audience

Avanade, in conjunction with Accenture, have created the Digital marketplace offering that utilizes the Microsoft product suite.

The concept behind Avanade's Digital Marketing is getting personalized, targeted information to your audience.

In addition to the delivered content, tracking clickthrough rates and utilization rates, allows an organization to monitor their marketing spend to see if it is being used efficiently. The solution also helps an organization understand who is visiting, where your audience is coming from and how they are converting. This will help clients get a better grasp on their overall online presence.

The video below is an overview of the Avanade Digital Marketing solution.

If you would like to understand how Avanade can help you with your online presence, please feel free to contact us via email or on the phone at (403) 476-1473.