Microsoft deepens its Investment on the 'next big' market segment, IT Consulting & Management Industry
‘If you plan to be successful, then start with a PLAN today’!
In what context is this line? Well..as business firms are on a constant, everyday crusade to understand what new direction businesses can take and what would be my ‘next’ step? Here are a few inputs from what the big players are upto/banking on.
The IT and management consulting sector, an industry that stands to spend $1.2 billion on ERP software this year, represents over 30% of GDP in the US alone and is expected to provide over 22 million jobs by 2018 (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics), this industry has gained considerable attention in the recent past. Interestingly, Microsoft has deepened its investments and concentrating on addressing ERP needs of the Consulting Industry.
Excerpts from an interview with Ted Kempf, service industries director for Microsoft Dynamics,speaks about Microsoft Dynamics AX, a one stop solution that uniquely combines industry-specific capabilities in one solution and makes them available to all users, benefiting organizations that require capabilities for more than one industry, with simpler deployment, and a host of other benefits; Microsoft’s strategy and innovative approach to meet the practice needs of management and IT consulting firms .
In the interview,Ted mentions various challenges that consulting firms of today come across - How these firms manage each consultant’s talents and performance when its resources are spread across geographies? How do think you are using the content and procedures all to its effective best? Are the Business development activities accurate enough to have an edge over competitors? And finally, is the service delivery process in place? He mentions that most answers to these can be addressed with well-designed ERP tools and methodology along with proven implementation of sound Project Management.
When quizzed about the challenges firms face during implementation of new solutions, Ted identifies three big issues. First, the adversities people associate with ‘change’ and the idea of ‘change’ itself is a big inhibitor. He says with Microsoft Dynamics, consulting companies don’t have to fear change, it’s simple and easy -to- work ERP solutions work with the existing technology. ‘Pervasive interoperability’, A concept that lets firms have the advantage to integrate their existing strong products to the changing business process, can accelerate growth and add long-term value.
Secondly, Applications/solutions that are not adept to change will stagnate the firm and may hinder progress eventually. Alternatively, Microsoft Dynamics gives ample scope for flexibility to the product and also adapting it as per the change in market; which is a big plus. It also allows development tools to build onto the apps with upgrades and customizations alike.
The final challenge he says, any solution should ‘people ready’ and should be able to utilize their complete potential in the firm. This is addressed by designing a ‘business process library’ which tracks all work-related activities each employee engages in. The access controls once set up; will take care of security for each role as well.
All said, Microsoft promises to provide all this on cloud to IT consulting firms with a commitment to better everyday experience.