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Behind Createch Group's new Microsoft Dynamics 365 service center: A virtuous circle of jobs, education, SMB support, says GM

by Jill Rose
Contributing Writer,

Mario Chabot with the Createch Group's Microsoft Business Solutions teamSmall businesses need robust software, colleges want to graduate students with marketable skills, and service centers want to provide a great experience to small business customers. It's a virtuous circle, and a team in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario aims to put it into practice.

Bell Canada's Createch Group is a longtime Microsoft partner, providing Dynamics NAV, AX, and CRM services. When Dynamics 365 was released in November in Canada, Createch was ready with a support center in its Montreal office. But says Mario Chabot, general manager of Createch's Microsoft Business Unit, the plan was always to relocate the center.

Chabot and his team considered several mid-sized cities, evaluating the number of people in each area and their education levels. With one college and two universities in the immediate vicinity, Sault Ste. Marie's education levels boosted it to the top of the list. The service center will open in May as one of the largest projects at the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.

"With a population of more than 100,000 and three very good education institutions willing to collaborate with us, it's an ideal location," said Chabot, who spent four years in the early 2000's in Sault Ste. Marie, working on the creation of an advanced multi-enterprise geographic information systems solution for the city.

In turn, the city supports the center with funding, though the parties would not confirm the amount. Chabot and Createch are also awaiting approval of both regional and federal funding, from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), an Ontario government organization; also ...

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About Jill Rose
Jill Rose is co-founder of content provider Landscape Creative. She is a long-time business writer specializing in technology and health IT topics. She can be reached at
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