Digital Transformation and Dynamics 365: Catch That Wave!

The Tidal Wave of Disruptive Technology

Dynamics 365 was developed in response to the undeniable forces of digital transformation that are radically changing the business landscape. Regardless of industry, the priority lies in moving content, processes and interactions into online experiences, where they can tracked, managed, analyzed, and improved. This transition is the gateway to the modern economy, and businesses that fail to make the leap risk getting “caught on the inside” as the expression goes in surfing, unable to push through the pounding shore break.

Examples of digital transformation abound. Look no further than the movie rental business. The impact of digital transformation didn’t end with the demise of Blockbuster. Along with other industry leaders like Kodak or Nokia, Blockbuster dug their own grave in failing to embrace new disruptive technology. New, often upstart competitors surged straight down the line, occasionally needing to maneuver radically to stay above water. Netflix had to restructure their services from mail-order rentals to online streaming and has now gone one step further with content production. The comparison between what they are now and what they once were is night and day.

To Keep Moving, Catch the Wave

Thankfully, the key to their success is no secret. Companies succeeding at digital transformation are doing four things:

  • Becoming more engaged with their customers
  • Empowering their employees
  • Optimizing how they run their business operations, and
  • Transforming the products and services they offer using digital content

The dimensions aren’t new, but what has changed is the role that systems of intelligence now play, providing better insight from data and converting that into intelligent action. Dynamics 365 was created specifically to enable companies to succeed in the era of Digital Transformation.

Digital Transformation D365

Engaging Customers

Digital transformation begins with identifying customer needs and interacting with them in a way that is aligned with their preferences. It begins by offering multiple channels for communication. A customer hotline, online chat and customer service portals, searchable knowledge base, readily available staff contact information, or a digital product catalog are just a few examples. Considering relationships no longer end in a sale but rather begin with one, knowing your highest potential customers and partnering with them can provide added strategic direction.

Dynamics 365 was designed to support these exact scenarios and more. Keep track of customer information, opportunities, and contracts through the Sales or Outlook applications. Address any post-sale customer concerns or on-location repairs through the Customer and Field Service applications. By having the entire relationship run through Dynamics 365, you can tap into powerful capabilities to become more engaged and predict what they want before they know they want it, based on data intelligence and offering it in a way that’s natural and contextual.

Empowering Employees

The digital transformation has markedly increased the potential productivity of every individual with countless tools at their finger tips. As a result, what was once a strategic go-to for distributors and manufacturers alike in offshoring has now reversed. Organizations are beginning to bring back various aspects of their operations as opportunities to streamline their processes have become easier to identify.

Microsoft has caught onto this transition with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Whether you’re posting transactions, sending invoices, or managing inventory, you can keep everything under your control with this solution. By consolidating your operations, you can keep all of your data and metrics within one system, where you can truly harness the gains of Dynamics 365—powerful analytics that surfaces information across an organization and provides insight into what is going on. It allows your business and its employees to become more flexible and timely in addressing serious strategic decisions.

Optimizing Business Operations

The digital transformation has impacted more than just how you interact with customers and what tools employees have at their disposal. One such example would be managing cash flow, a critical function in any business.

With sophisticated new cashflow forecasting tools in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials, you can better manage cash flow and avoid getting squeezed. Cash Cycle, Cash Flow, and Income & Expense charts make it simple to visualize inflows and outflows and predict the company’s likely need for cash. Cash flow forecasts can use Cortana Intelligence to include documents with a due date in the future.

Transforming Products and Services

With the internet’s reach now extending to “things” as well as people, a whole new array of service delivery scenarios are opened up. The Internet of Things (IoT)  can connect your business management systems, CRM and ERP, to the products you offer allowing you to monitor, manage and collect critical data. Not only are the products themselves changing as a result of internet-ennoblement but so are business models. Today’s organizations are reinventing the ways business is transacted evolving “products” into “services” and changing our beliefs about how and where value is created.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service and Field Service are good examples of software platforms that enable organizations to strategically support customers. Maintain unified knowledge with searchable answers, deliver personalized service across a range of channels, but most importantly, gain digital intelligence to provide insight on the services you offer. As companies everywhere from farming to finance are becoming data companies, they are connecting everything from cows to cash with data and using Dynamics 365 as the platform to keep it all in perspective.

Starting with Surfing Lessons

Way easier than learning to surf, Dynamics 365’s subscription-based licensing is based on apps for specific business process areas like Sales, Customer Service or Finance, which means that you pay only for what they need. As a cloud-enabled platform, your Dynamics 365 solution can be provisioned in minutes meaning that there is no messy infrastructure to set up and support. User experience and processes are highly configurable to your unique requirements and business context.

Ready to start joining the digital revolution and transforming your business? You can contact us, email me at elliot@catapulterp.com, or leave a comment below to begin exploring how Dynamics 365 and its suite of solutions can help you make the transition.

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