Kerri Connolly Director Partner Development, Global Partner Solutions
Jul 06,2021

Thank you to Canada’s digital-first responders

Innovative app builders power the nation’s resilience and recovery.

Canadian app builders, solution designers, and independent software vendors (ISVs) continue to drive resilience and recovery nationwide. In the past 12 months, Microsoft ISV partners stepped up in extraordinary ways when Canadians needed them the most. In this post, I recognize some of the ways our partners have transformed how we live and work.

To set the stage, watch Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, salute the digital-first responders worldwide who supported countless customers and consumers.

Link: MyBuild – Build Opening (

As Canadian organizations scrambled to digitize their operations, they suddenly required secure remote work, eCommerce, service delivery and diverse other solutions to adapt. Entire industries experienced disruption and losses on an unprecedented scale. Amid so much upheaval, the onus fell on Canada’s digital-first responders to assist.

The healthcare industry bore the brunt of the pandemic and required new applications to find new ways to operate safely. Microsoft partners like Novari and Dapasoft helped providers respond with ingenuity and innovation.

At the onset of the pandemic, Ontario’s Telehealth Hotline spiked from 2,000 to 15,000 calls per day, putting the system under immense strain. The province called on Microsoft partner Novari Health to launch the Ontario Virtual Care Clinic (OVCC), a virtual clinic solution, to meet this unprecedented demand in record time.

Novari delivered. Leveraging Microsoft technology, they created the virtual clinic on time and on budget. By leveraging the reliability and scalability of Teams, OVCC handles 1,000 simultaneous, secured video care visits. To ensure swift field adoption, Novari also quickly trained 1,000+ healthcare pros to use the OVCC.

Dapasoft, now a Calian company, innovated at scale in healthcare this year. They released Corolar Virtual Care (CVC) 2.0, a Microsoft Teams based app for healthcare pros to quickly setup walk-in and scheduled virtual visits for infectious and chronic diseases.

Used widely for COVID assessment clinics, CVC is also ideal for other patient/provider communication, such as preoperative clinics for elective surgeries.

Behind the scenes, over 30 healthcare institutions in Canada use Dapasoft’s Corolar integration engine to enable their digital transformation, quickly and securely. Dapasoft’s combination of systems integration, cloud lifecycle management, and cybersecurity expertise has brought them healthcare, financial services, and critical infrastructure customers from across North America.

Nuance’s Dragon Medical One delivers accurate speech recognition to convert spoken words to text. Instead of taking notes or transcribing audio files, Dragon Medical One allows clinicians to use their voice to securely capture the patient story more naturally and efficiently—anywhere, anytime. Amazingly, Dragon Medical One is 99 percent accurate, then improves by adapting to your voice as you use it.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a definitive agreement to acquire Nuance. Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance builds upon the successful existing partnership between the companies that was announced in 2019. By augmenting the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare with Nuance’s solutions, as well as the benefit of Nuance’s expertise and relationships with EHR systems providers, Microsoft will be better able to empower healthcare providers through the power of ambient clinical intelligence and other Microsoft cloud services. 

Microsoft partners in the media industry continue to shape the way we find and consume content. Innovators like Firstlight Media and Dejero broke ground with major achievements this year.

Toronto based Firstlight Media partnered with Struum, the newest streaming service in the market backed by Disney’s ex CEO investment firm, to access more media content with just one subscription.

The new Over-the-Top (OTT) service built by Firstlight Media on their Gen5 micro-services based architecture and Microsoft Azure, enables consumers to seamlessly find and access content from 50+ third-party content partners, using a single subscription powered by Struum. This new way of streaming content holds huge promise.

How did the news stay on, throughout the pandemic, even with reporters suddenly needing to work from home? The answer was Dejero, who launched their New LivePlus for Windows app. Dejero’s all-on-one-screen solution transmits high-quality video while simultaneously receiving ultra-low latency return video and teleprompter feeds.

Ingeniously, Dejero’s patented, built-in Smart Blending Technology provides the option to blend Ethernet with WiFi for enhanced reliability. Their excellence in engineering creativity earned them a prestigious Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award. Impressive!

Across Canada, organizations scrambled to provide customer support during the pandemic. Microsoft partners Symend and Nuance brought us new ways to communicate with stakeholders.

In their survey of 1,000 American consumers, Symend reports that 76 percent of respondents said that they are more willing to pay off debt if the experience is friendly and personalized. Insights like that have put this Microsoft partner at the forefront of a movement to use customer empathy to win customers for life.

Symend’s engagement platform arrived when businesses needed it the most, providing organizations with a powerful new tool to build their brands and strengthen their customer relationships. Setting the stage for global expansion, Symend chose Azure to power its innovative digital engagement platform this year.

Nuance’s Dragon delivers accurate speech recognition to convert spoken words to text. Instead of taking notes or transcribing audio files, Dragon allows diverse professionals to capture text “in the moment.” Amazingly, Dragon uses AI to achieve up to 99 percent accuracy from the start then improves by adapting to your voice as you use it.

The result of a long-term development collaboration between Microsoft and Nuance, Dragon has attracted a who’s who list of global clients. What’s more, Microsoft acquired Nuance this year in transaction valued at almost $20 Billion. The Nuance story is an exemplar of how aligning and collaborating your business with Microsoft’s can pay off.

Across many sectors of the economy,  Microsoft partners like Tecsys (retail), Descartes (logistics), and Hyas (security), innovated and drove digital transformation at scale.

Retailers were forced to accelerate their digital transformation this year. Fortunately, Tecsys enabled diverse retail customers to digitally transform, quickly. Their Omni™ Retail Solutions account for every step of modern operations, from managing orders, warehouse inventory, and transportation, to providing reliable analytics.

Descartes, another innovative software company, collaborated with Microsoft to enable their customers to adapt to supply chain interruptions during the pandemic. True to their vision to Move the World, Descartes’ cloud-based solutions enabled companies like Capital Logistics, ANCLA Logistik, BFC Solutions, and Circle Logistics to adapt fast.

Last but certainly not least, there’s Hyas—the security specialists and one of the world’s leading authorities on cyber adversaries. This year, they announced the integration of HYAS Protect and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. The combined solution offers comprehensive endpoint protection for its many customers in Canada and worldwide.

Thank you to our Microsoft Partners!!

On behalf of everyone at Microsoft Canada, we thank and salute you, the digital first responders who played an indispensable part in keeping our hospitals, news outlets, businesses, and non-profits going and our economy working.