INSIGHT ARTICLE

Tasked with Transformation? Microsoft Dynamics 365 Can Deliver

SUMMARY

Increasingly, the survival of middle market companies depends on their success at digital transformation. If you have a mandate to transform your organization, choosing Microsoft Dynamics 365 can set you on a path to success.

Digital transformation has become an imperative for midmarket companies in every industry. As the pace of change accelerates, companies are leveraging transformational technology to mine data for insight, innovation and customer experience to leapfrog the competition. If you’re in a new role as CEO, COO, CIO, CTO, transformation is likely your mandate as well. You face a tall order: to institute sweeping change quickly and effectively while bringing along all stakeholders and positioning the business for future growth. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can meet all these challenges, making it an ideal foundation for effective digital transformation. Microsoft’s signature enterprise platform offers everything that digital transformation requires:

  • Connectivity: Dynamics 365 connects all critical business processes, from supply chain management to customer experience. As you develop innovative, digitally based business models, you can operate them on the Dynamics 365 platform.
  • Shared data: The integrated Dynamics 365 platform provides a “single source of truth” and ensures data integrity and accuracy so you can collaborate, operate and forecast with confidence.
  • Up-to-date security and technology: As a cloud-based solution, Dynamics 365 is always up to date with the latest security, technology and capabilities. As new updates and capabilities come online, they’re instantly available to use.
  • Advanced automation: Dynamics 365 leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for smart automation. Reduce manual processes so your team can focus less on mundane tasks and more on value-add activities.
  • Flexible scalability: Dynamics 365 resides on the Azure cloud, where it can scale compute and storage as needed to accommodate your growing workloads.

Let’s take a look at the powerful capabilities that Dynamics 365 brings to the table.

One scalable platform to consolidate and standardize

If yours is like many midmarket companies, you rely on an assortment of disconnected “best of breed” business applications that perform limited functions well but don’t work well together. You may have inherited enterprise systems from mergers and acquisitions, or your business units may have acquired their own applications resulting in an opaque web of “shadow IT.” In either case, your IT environment is rife with redundancy and other inefficiencies that can slow down operations and waste time and resources better spent on strategic initiatives. Dynamics 365 offers an opportunity to consolidate and standardize your enterprise applications starting with ERP and CRM, but expanding far beyond. You can then stay standardized as the business grows and evolves. Because Dynamics 365 is based in the Azure cloud, it is highly scalable to accommodate workloads of any size, seasonal peaks and future growth without the capital expense of purchasing infrastructure or the operational expense of maintaining it.

Share data among hundreds of applications

Data is at the core of digital transformation, so its integrity, accuracy, security and trustworthiness are of paramount importance. Dynamics 365 securely connects to both Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications via hundreds of out-of-the box connectors that transform it into a data and application hub. For example, it can connect to payment processors, e-commerce solutions, warehouse management systems, manufacturing solutions and analytics applications, just to name a few. It also has native integrations with Microsoft 365 productivity applications, including Microsoft Office. This integration results in a single source of truth bringing collaborators across the organization on the same page. These integrations also make it easier to adopt Dynamics 365, as users continue to work with the Microsoft Office applications they’re familiar with.

Enable automated workflows

Automation is a key component of digital transformation: The more you can automate routine tasks, the more time, resources and attention your team can devote to activities that truly add value. Dynamics 365 works with Power Automate to connect to Office 365, SharePoint, Outlook, Teams and more – as well as other popular applications including Twitter, Asana and many others.

You can extend Dynamics 365 through Microsoft’s Power Platform for business intelligence, application development and connectivity. Power Platform allows users to analyze data, act on what they find and automate processes based on their insights. In a world where resources are already constrained, these tools give your employees more time for value-add tasks while also providing operational excellence for your organization.

Leverage AI-driven analytics for accurate forecasts and informed decision-making

The goal of digital transformation is to become a data-driven organization. That requires ingesting huge volumes of internal and external information across the value chain and applying sophisticated, AI-powered analytics to uncover new insights. Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is a prime example of using customer behavioral cues to anticipate and even drive demand. Customer Insights consolidates data from disparate sources into useful dashboards powered by customizable turnkey analytics and reports that offer practical insights and next steps.

Not only does Dynamics 365 Customer Insights bring together all your customer data, it also helps you predict customer needs with built-in intelligence. Intelligent models can predict things like customer lifetime value, transactional and subscription churn, and recommend relevant products and services to your customers. You can also use AI-driven recommendations to discover new or under-served audience segments who are looking to purchase your products or services.

Provide a streamlined and consistent omnichannel customer experience

Whether they’re B2B or B2C, today’s customers have higher expectations for a modern, connected experience when making purchase decisions. Orchestrating these experiences along the customer journey and operationalizing them at scale requires the connection, collaboration and coordination of people, data and systems across functions. Microsoft has re-imagined the concept of customer relationship management to encompass customer experience as a whole.  A part of Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s Customer Engagement suite of applications streamlines and integrates workloads such as sales, marketing, customer service and field service. Dynamics 365 Project Operations connects sales, resourcing, project management and finance teams within a single application to help win more deals, accelerate project delivery and maximize profitability.

Liberate your IT staff from routine maintenance

In today’s digital economy, IT resources are strategic resources. They are also expensive. When your IT team is consumed with “keeping the lights on,” they can’t bring their full value to the organization. Microsoft maintains, updates and improves Dynamics 365 infrastructure and applications on an ongoing basis, ensuring performance and security.

Prioritize security

The best digital transformation starts with the best security. Making your data more accessible to those who need it requires adherence to strict security protocols and data governance, and failure is costly. According to the National Center for the Middle Market, Cyber-attacks such as ransomware, data breaches, social engineering or sabotage cost U.S. companies an average of $7 million, and increasingly, the victims are middle market companies[1]. But the costs don’t end there. Breaches of customer data can cause reputational damage that can linger for years to come. Microsoft’s security protocols, knowledge and technology are baked into Dynamics 365. This includes not just the applications but also Azure cloud. Whereas on-premises applications rely on IT teams patching and updating for security, these processes occur automatically in the cloud. What’s more, consolidating disparate applications into a single platform dramatically reduces the opportunities for breaches.

Let RSM tailor a Dynamics 365 to your organization’s needs

RSM takes a holistic approach to enterprise software planning and deployment. We begin with a discovery process to understand your organization's goals and what you need to achieve them. Working in collaboration with your team, RSM drills down to uncover the root causes of systematic inefficiencies, reduced productivity and thinning operating margins. We break down your current business processes and those you need for strategic initiatives so we can tailor your solution to support and optimize them. We can also work with you to integrate current, industry-specific systems, such as transportation or warehouse management, with Dynamics 365 to ensure interoperability.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the ideal solution to achieve your organization’s digital transformation in a scalable, future-ready way. With its focus on secure integrations, data sharing and analytics, Dynamics 365 can set the foundation for engaging customer experiences, new business models, greater innovation and profitable growth.

Speak to an RSM Microsoft advisor today!

Christian Hutter

Principal