HSO Advance – Customer Day – Back to the future

A few weeks on from our most successful HSO Customer day yet, it is a good time to reflect back on this year’s event and also to look forward to the future and next year’s event.

Why was the venue relevant you may ask and what has a sports training facility, in the middle of nowhere, a long way from civilisation, got in common with a technology company? Well a considerable amount when you consider it. St Georges Park is designed to develop sports teams to achieve their maximum potential. Similarly, HSO is looking to help its customers achieve their goals and objectives, right from the first engagement. We all understand the pressures of modern-day business, so the venue being a little remote had its advantages, in the same way as from a sports team perspective, being well away from the distractions of the city can only be a benefit.  Surely it is worth one day out of the whole year to get away from the daily pressures and concentrate on your strategic goals?

Fantastic MC by MC

As if made for the role in more ways than one, Mark Cockings’ many years of experience and knowledge within the industry, makes him an ideal candidate to fulfil the Master of Ceremonies role and ensure the smooth running of the day.

HSO UK and Global

With presentations from both HSO UK’s Managing Director and HSO’s Chief Operating Officer, sharing customer success stories and news of the continued growth of HSO, customers were given further confidence that HSO is here to stay for the long term, continuing to deliver quality projects, service and support across the Microsoft platform.

Understanding how HSO is evolving and realigning to fully complement the changing Microsoft landscape demonstrated how HSO will be able to better support customers as we move forward together.

“These are dynamic times as we increase our portfolio.  HSO has been actively preparing and working towards change.  One Version requires a new way of thinking.  HSO is transforming from an Application Solution Provider to a Trusted Advisor”, said Jan Koedijk, COO, HSO.

Microsoft Update

Microsoft Dynamics Business Group Director, Marie Abery, provided a positive and colourful view of how Microsoft will continue to deliver on their exciting Dynamics 365 strategy with a clear and consistent approach.  “HSO are one of our best Dynamics Partners. They have deep experience in industry and deep capabilities…. and HSO is a great place to work! Happy employees make happy customers”.

Partner Village

We were also supported by partners, Formpipe, Codit, Sana and Medius, who showcased in the partner village and presented the benefits of their respective solutions on the main stage. This undoubtedly provided value insight to customers, with regards to where ISV solutions can add value and complement the standard offering from Microsoft and HSO.

Customer Case – Searchlight

We were delighted to hear from David Metcalfe, Finance Director, Searchlight, about their Microsoft Dynamics journey. Why Searchlight is making the move from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and cloud technology, provided the audience with an interesting perspective and was of particular interest to me, having worked closely with David and the Searchlight team for nearly three years.

“We did have business continuity concerns at Searchlight, so we moved to the cloud. Using the app solutions will bring more benefits and smooth out the cost for software, going from a CAPEX model to an OPEX”.

Watch the video interview with David filmed during the event.

In this world of digital transformation, to see David’s view of cloud technology turn full-circle is a transformation in its own right and testament to how Microsoft has developed this next generation of business applications on the trusted Microsoft Cloud.

Innovator Award

HSO again presented the Innovator award. This year it went to the Customer that we believe has embraced and made best use of the technology available to them. Congratulations to Joules and Head of IT, Jeannette Copeland, who collected the award and clearly demonstrated why this was a well-deserved achievement during her on-stage chat with Mark Cockings, explaining the vast array of initiatives and projects that the company is involved in.

Breakout sessions

There were a variety of informative sessions:

  • Why upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365?
  • Data and AI | Everybody is talking about it, but how can I embed this within my organisation?
  • The Evolution of Retail Technology.
  • Employee Engagement – I know it’s important, but can it and D365 for Talent really make a difference to my business?
  • What is the Role of ISV Solutions in the Future?
  • Build & Maintain a Stable Foundation | Explore Power Platform for all Versions.
  • What can Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement do for you?
  • The Power Platform – Empower your Business.

Trying to provide a summary of each of those here, would turn this into a small novel, but if you are interested in any of the topics and missed out on the day then please contact us. I think it’s safe to say that the biggest challenge anyone had with the sessions was narrowing it down to which two they should attend!

Evening Hospitality

The day was rounded-off with dinner in a private dining suite, and an after-dinner speech by ex-footballer, Chris Sutton, who provided an entertaining and light-hearted walkthrough of his career, working with some of football’s finest characters.


With many of the HSO team in attendance, alongside Microsoft, our ISV partners and, of course, our customers, it’s an incredible amount of talent, experience and knowledge. Where else could you gain access to that in a single day, free of charge?

With that in mind, we now look forward to next year’s event and another equally inspiring day.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Watch the video highlights of the HSO Advance – Customer Day 2019

Interested in next year’s event?

If you would like to find out more about the the HSO Customer Day 2020 then please click on the link below.

HSO Customer Day 2020