Author: Stephan Breant
Practice Director, Dynamics 365 | Data & Dynamics
Dynamics 365 has been a game-changer for companies in many ways. The platform provides a set of integrated applications covering ERP, CRM, HRM and ecommerce needs. No silos, no wall between operations and support – a flow of information, data, and insights across the organization, creating new opportunities for meaningful innovation and improvement that were previously unimaginable.
From reactive information to proactive insights
To unlock the value contained in the wealth of free-flowing data, Dynamics offers numerous out-of-the-box applications equipped with powerful artificial intelligence capabilities. By connecting all of this data, applications such as Customer Insights can build a complete 360-degree view of the customer, predicting when to contact them and recommending specific products.
Another example is the IoT intelligence that is integrated with Dynamics 365, which allows for real-time monitoring and direct employee actions to prevent machine downtime. These kinds of proactive insights are a clear break from the reactive information organizations had to work with in the past.
Minimal effort and maximum result with Power Platform
To enable as many people within the organization to benefit from the full potential of Dynamics 365, Microsoft introduced Power Platform. This platform includes tools such as Power Apps and Power Automate, which allow business users to build personalized solutions without requiring technical expertise or coding skills. With minimal effort and time, people on the business side can create their own applications to solve everyday problems and optimize processes.
For example, suppose an employee needs to process customer return forms received by email and translate them into return orders in Dynamics 365 on a daily basis. By utilizing the integration between Dynamics, Power Automate, and Office 365, this process can be fully automated. Power Automate has a built-in AI form processing model that can extract data from the PDF and process it into return orders, without requiring any coding skills. As an employee, you can decide which parts of your daily tasks can be automated and which require human interaction. This way, you are empowered to avoid tedious tasks and focus on areas where you can have a real impact.
Power Apps and Power Automate are mobile-friendly and out-of-the-box. This means that even those employees who don’t have access to a laptop or computer can use them as well. Someone in the warehouse spotting a defective product could, for example, take a picture with their smartphone by using a Power App which will automatically add the picture to the quality order in Dynamics.
Establishing a culture of innovation
This ‘citizen development’ effect leads to a much better understanding between IT and business.
It used to be very challenging for the business to translate their needs and point of view into terms recognizable to the IT department, and vice versa. Now, the business can start building solutions themselves, while the IT department provides the governance and security required to keep things running smoothly.
The net result is an overall acceleration of an organization's digital transformation on two fronts:
One – Bottom-up innovations: you open the door to powerful innovations, as people start looking for ways to optimize the processes they deal with every day.
Two – Immediate efficiency: the business will be much more easily convinced to use tools that impact their efficiency directly and provide immediate results. In this case, the acceptance rate for these new tools is a lot higher than when tools are implemented and pushed through from the top.
Beyond the buzz with Dynamics 365
Dynamics 365 is about more than creating apps and automating processes. “Many technologies that generate a lot of buzz, like AR, VR, IoT, and machine learning are already incorporated into Dynamics 365 today. The challenge for businesses is when and how to use them to their full potential. Here are just a few examples:
- Dynamics 365 Remote Assist is a powerful AR solution that allows experts from anywhere in the world to provide remote assistance for maintenance, or when on-site visits are inadvisable, e.g., during a pandemic.
- Dynamics 365 Guide provides an accelerated learning path for employees who need to build new skills. A virtual assistant guides employee via HoloLens on how exactly to execute their tasks.
- IoT capabilities are offered in Dynamics 365 as well, giving organizations accurate predictions of machine performance and downtime based on sensor data. This enables employees to schedule maintenance or service in advance. The platform can even predict what the impact of an intervention on the supply chain will be, and, ultimately, what that means for the customer.
- Dynamics Finance Insights enables finance departments to look well into the future with accurate predictions based on payment behavior, giving a clear view of what the cashflow will look like on a short and long term.
- Customer Voice supports service agents in their interactions with customers by listening to the conversation and proactively providing feedback to the agent to help him or her in providing quality customer service.
Taken together, all of the above serves to accomplish one overarching goal: to foster a culture of innovation. The main purpose of the Dynamics 365 team at Long View Systems is to help companies unlock that potential to the fullest.
Reach out to us at [email protected] if your organization is interested in leveraging the innovation power of Dynamics 365 in your organization.