Working from home and collaborating remotely are not new ways of working, at least for the IT and few other industries that have adopted Modern Workplace practices. But the scale at which it’s happening because of the COVID-19 pandemic with hundreds of thousands of people collaborating across boundaries is unimaginable and unprecedented. Thank the heavens then for industry veterans and next-gen organizations who have invested in building technology and tools targeted at improving and enhancing infrastructure, connectivity, performance of machines and connected applications that ensure almost similar experiences across devices/machines.
Among the many inspiring stories I’ve comes across about how tools are being used to continue working and ensure not just productivity, but also quality and customer satisfaction, one story in particular stands out.
In a recent project where we were implementing Microsoft Dynamics, news about the COVID-19 outbreak started flooding the media just when the project was at a crucial stage. Though not declared a pandemic then, there was a growing number of cases close to where the project was happening. We anticipated that the threat was going to grow in size and an impact on the project’s timelines and cost was imminent. All of us stakeholders had to brainstorm at length and find a way to continue the project unhindered. Trust me, it was not easy and we felt humbled by the task that lay ahead of us – mitigate project risks and bring down the impact level to zero.
The good thing was that we had already been using a potent variety of collaborating tools available on the cloud before the project even started. So it became easier now to initiate collaboration between Microsoft O365, Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Teams for the user community. The benefits to the project were manifold and helped enhance collaboration while working remotely without affecting productivity and work quality. The project team was able to:
- Align with architecture repository and enterprise continuum
- Connect a record or a view to the team’s channels from the model-driven apps in Dynamics 365
- Use the Dynamics 365 apps bot feature to search for model-driven app records within the respective Microsoft team conversations
The Microsoft Dynamics and integrated capabilities leveraged within this digital transformation initiative were the Sales app, Dynamics 365 Marketing, Sales AI, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Customer Service app and FormsPro. The immediate benefits realized included:
- Enhancing Sales to the next level
- Relationship sales
- Minimized data entry with minimal and guided business processes
- Opportunity cycle comprising of account, contact, competitor tracking
- Scoring models to help identify prospects and increase conversions
- Work from anywhere with a mobile assistant
- Contextual insights that recommended next best actions
- Reveal relationship health and risks
- Better Marketing and Sales alignment
- Identify, prioritize and target accounts
- Orchestrate customer journeys
- Create campaigns quickly, tracking budgets against actual spends, comparing campaigns
- Simplify event management
- Request and capture consent – GDPR perspective
- Service personnel empowerment
- Record and solve customer queries/complaints with guided business processes
- Customized surveys embedded in apps, web and mobile to enable real time alerts
The project, one of its kind within the Microsoft Dynamics community in terms of the overall integrated scope and stringent timelines, was completed within the defined schedule and cost, while ensuring business as usual and outcomes as planned. And we did all of this in an extremely challenging global scenario while working remotely and being self-quarantined.
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