What organisations require from their Microsoft Dynamics partner has changed.
Recall Bill Gates’ original mission statement: “To have a computer on every desk and in every home”. This was core to everything Microsoft did until it was redefined by Satya Nadella. Satya and his leadership team refocussed: “To empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.”
While once at the forefront of desktop software, Microsoft is now focused on ensuring organisations, people and society succeed in the new digital era. In real terms, this means a cloud ecosystem running business applications – all built on the Azure Cloud platform.
One of the results is that Dynamics 365 is front and center of Microsoft’s plan. Business applications, collaboration, and intelligence should make up the core backbone and foundation of an organisation’s digitisation journey. Building this foundation starts with the core business applications running and generating data for ERP and Customer Engagement processes.
Over recent years we have seen examples of companies that have disrupted and redefined industries through digitisation – Uber stands as the classic example. These companies disrupted the whole market, changing the way the consumer, service providers and manufacturers interact with technology and each other. They also changed the way we all use information and create intelligence. Established companies know that they must adapt and digitise, so they can share in the success of the pioneers. Otherwise, they risk becoming the next Blockbuster. This is also true for providers to society and community, such as health services, care services or local and central government. Scarce resources, including money and relevantly skilled people, need to be managed, used and understood effectively.
But companies like Uber had an advantage, they started with a clean sheet. Established organisations do not have the same luxury. Instead, they have legacy systems stitched together in a spaghetti of integration to unpick; they have unreliable data and structures to cleanse and restructure; they also have a plethora of unstructured data and a cottage industry of spreadsheets and other office applications. They cannot simply start with a clean sheet. They have existing operations to maintain, business continuity to worry about, and products and services to provide. All of this is run on legacy systems and applications. Therefore, they need to embark on a journey to digitise, starting with the core business applications and supporting the foundation.
Digitisation does not mean simply introducing AI and a few bots. Established organisations need to look at their whole systems landscape and initially focus on core business applications, including:
For organisations, the implementation of a Dynamics 365 solution operating in Microsoft Azure is the foundation and start of their digitisation journey. Now an organisation can implement a Dynamics 365 solution complemented by the vast array of Microsoft Azure Cloud services bringing intelligence, collaboration, and control as for when required. It will be periodically updated by Microsoft – Dynamics 365 becomes the core to your digital platform for life. This requires a Dynamics partner with the capability, expertise, and guidance that will not only start the organisation on this transformation journey but will be there side-by-side to continue it into the future.
So, what is now required of a Dynamics partner?
With in-depth and specialised knowledge, industry experts are required to work closely with organisations to determine the particular business problems they face and help find and shape the opportunities presented by digitisation.
Business and technology solution experts collaboratively working together to translate business problems and industry challenges into relevant and scalable long-term solutions to be built on a solid and scalable digital foundation.
Translate the solution vision into a technology solution itself. This means partnering with experts who understand Dynamics 365, the plethora of Microsoft Azure Cloud services, data, information and intelligence, and the trajectory of the Microsoft roadmap. This includes functional experts, technical experts, business process experts, data scientists and analytics experts.
All of this transformation needs to be accepted, the varying impact on the organisation understood and everybody needs to be taken on the journey. Without this, there is a danger that all the technology that has been cleverly brought together will be rendered useless.
Ultimately, once the solution is in place and the people are on the road to adoption, a Dynamics partner will help continue the digitisation journey. The solution will not remain static, organisations will need a capable partner to work closely with so that from this initial foundation the solution evolves over time to adapt to changes in the industry and keep driving the digital journey forward.
The Dynamics partner of the future is about much more than implementing the product. It is now about:
Ensure that your Dynamics partner is not closing the door to digitisation by just implementing software with behaviours of the past.