Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (CIE)


As part of our continued effort towards training and teaching our existing clients, we have partnered with Microsoft to build the only Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) facility in downtown Toronto. The goal of this service is to provide hands-on training on the new suite of Microsoft products in a real-life setting.

The need for CIE

During our transition to Office 365, we noticed a lack of awareness of the platform. As a result, we experienced sluggish adoption and underutilization of it. In order to address this, we ensured that all our team members were put through an immersion experience in our CIE facility. This created a more connected, effective and productive work environment through improved utilization and adoption.

We soon realized that this problem around adoption and understanding of the Office 365 platform persists across the organizations we serve today. We determined that educating our clients and helping them adopt this new platform would be of significant value to them. The CIE facility allows Jolera to offer structured Office 365 training programs and help our clients achieve improved productivity through a thorough understanding of the platform. These training programs offer participants a hands-on learning experience of the new suite of Microsoft products in a real-life setting. In return, Jolera gets to fortify its value as a service provider, along growing side-by-side with our clients as they succeed through productivity.

Who benefits

Nearly every organization in the world is using Microsoft Office suite to run most of their day to day operations. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, there are nearly 50 million Office 365 active users. Office 365 also surpasses Salesforce as the most deployed (and fastest growing) app among Okta’s 2,000 enterprise customers. Whether it be preparing documents, creating quotes, announcements or communications, Microsoft Office is an integral part of an organization’s productivity. With the launch of Office 365, Microsoft has focused on streamlining all of these applications by increasing collaboration across all of them. 

The CIE benefits you if…

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  • You currently have Office 365 suite and would like to utilize it better
  • You are currently considering to migrate from on-premise to Office 365
  • Migrating to Office 365 is part of your future road map
  • You are curious and want to learn more about Office 365 and how it works


How the CIE works

Our CIE is tailored around being engaging, collaborative and fun. We do not want to bore our audience with presentations, statistics, and sales pitches. We provide the CIE through a “hands-on” model where our audience’s actions shape the experience. We guide our audience to be in the driver’s seat and encourage them to explore the platform presented to them. By allowing natural collaboration, we enable the audience to realize for themselves how powerful the platform is. We then take it one step further by showing them what else it can do. A trained facilitator leads the entire experience so that the audience can focus on discovering the right solution for their business while allowing them to experience the “future of productivity.” By following this approach, the CIE aims to highlight the immediate tangible benefits it brings to an organization.

Where do I sign up?

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The CIE presentation is currently open to any organization that registers through our CIE registration page. The CIE program is hosted in our Customer Immersion Experience facility in the Jolera office.





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Common Fears of cloud-based solutions within SMBs

“It is a concern some our clients express,” said Joseph Khunaysir, President and CIO of Jolera.  He was referring to the recent debate in The Economist as to the pros and cons of cloud computing.   “On the one hand, the bottom line argument is irrefutable.  Cloud computing is often much cheaper than legacy systems.  Capacity can double or treble in hours rather than months.  Applications can be continuously updated, and users can access their information from any device anytime from anywhere.  And as to information security,”  Khunaysir continued, “ cloud services tend to be more secure because providers hire the best in the business to protect their computing systems.  In fact, firms have resorted to encryption to protect the data and have intimated that they will off-shore data for clients if laws require this.  On the other hand,” he continued, “and I am sort of shooting myself in the foot, the issue of ‘lock-in’ is real and is being mentioned, more frequently than not,  by the CIO’s I have been speaking with.”

 Their concern is simply that whereas uploading and downloading of information is as smooth as silk,  what happens to the competitive situation if they lock themselves into one provider?  What about the threat of switching between providers to keep everyone honest?  It’s the only power they think they have.   You know,”, said Khunaysir, “ this isn’t the first time we’ve been down this path.  There was at one time only one telephone provider,  one transcontinental railway, and one electricity provider.  And while I am not suggesting that government regulations are necessary to manage what seems like a quasi-monopoly, technology that ‘created the issue’ is being used to counter the issue.  Firms are investigating so-called  ‘hybrid cloud’ computing that as the name suggests involves using a mix of commercial outsourced cloud applications and traditional in-house servers. IBM, in fact, is promoting a hybrid offering to compete with the pure cloud solution providers.”

“Let me summarize,” said Khunaysir.  “Clearly regulatory standards will evolve over the next few years, technology will respond, and our clients will unquestionably benefit from the give and take.  Just think of where we were just a few years ago with the Motorola flip phone.   I am confident that once again the early cloud adopters will gain an enormous market advantage.​”​

In 10 years SMB owners will be entirely cloud based

In 10 years most SMB owners will be entirely cloud-based

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The latest Cloud IT Report states that within the next 10 years, over 73% of SMB owners will have shifted their IT systems entirely to the cloud. This will force the IT Managed Service Provider industry, which previously focused on managing onsite hardware equipment, to include cloud-based technologies to their repertoire of managed IT services.  There are some challenges this shift poses to the MSPs regarding resource expertise and infrastructure compatibility.


Using the cloud is cheaper for SMBs

The reason for this switch is simple really, cost. Here are some running costs associated with onsite hardware equipment:

  • Electricity – the most overlooked cost, running servers 24/7/365 can really add up. On Average a single server consumes nearly 7500 kWh per year or up to $ 1300 CDN per month based on peak OEB electricity prices.
  • Cooling – it’s one thing to make sure that the servers are on, it’s another to make sure they stay on with the proper cooling and ventilation
  • Security – The onsite server needs to be physically secured, since it literally houses all of the confidential information being communicated across the company
  • Hardware refresh – the overlooked “5-year rule”, where every 5 years onsite hardware needs to be replaced, depending on the IT setup. This can be quite costly.
  • Downtime – Cloud-based servers have significantly reduced downtime in comparison to onsite servers. Of 200 surveyed businesses across the USA and Europe, they found that a total of $26.5 Billion USD in revenue is lost each year due to IT downtime.


MSPs Cloud benefits

The MSP industry needs to react to this massive cloud migration to stay relevant.  It cannot be ignored any longer. If an MSP chooses to ignore this shift and not notify their existing clients about the benefits of the cloud, then their competitors will. MSPs will benefit from  Virtualization and Cloud management services in many ways:

  • Central Management – MSPs are able to use a centralized management portal to manage multiple devices spread out among many locations.
  • Cloud Provider – The option of providing private cloud services provides SMBs a heightened sense of security.
  • Reduced Onsite Deployments – Reduce your costs of sending onsite technicians to client-side locations for minor issues. (Loose Ethernet cable, hard booting a server, etc.)
  • From SKUs to Solutions – Leveraging the cloud allows a MSP to provide complete cloud-based solution bundles rather than single products.
  • Helpdesk specialization – Incoming calls are application specific, allowing for better SLA (Service Level Agreement) performance and FCR (First Call Resolution) times.

Jolera helps resellers become MSPs

Here at Jolera, we understand that not all resellers have the IT infrastructure to support an MSP business model. This requires years of experience, an up and running private cloud, a team of experts with years of experience under their belt and an IT products and service portfolio. So how do current resellers compete with the MSP giants? It’s simple, Jolera has recently launched its Channel Partnership Program.  Through the partnership program, Jolera enables resellers, big or small to leverage a privately hosted cloud, backed by 24/7/365 support, monitoring and maintenance,  to provide their customers with managed cloud services. Alongside IT industry’s big names such as Dell, Microsoft and Lenovo, Jolera is able to provide high-quality solutions for the reseller to add to its  IT portfolio.

Help your clients make the shift

If your clients are not already in the cloud, they will be in the very near future.  They may already be making inquiries about cloud services and possibly transitioning. Instead of reacting, approach the situation with an experienced Cloud and Service aggregation partner like Jolera. Jolera has all the necessary tools and experience to assist in developing or enhancing your managed services and cloud strategy, enabling you to better service your clients.