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Digital Transformation is the Buzz at Microsoft Ignite 2017

“There isn’t a single industry that isn’t being transformed,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told those gathered at Microsoft Ignite, an annual gathering of Microsoft customers, partners, and technology industry professionals. “We collectively have the opportunity to lead in this transformation.” This was the central message from Satya Nadella at Ignite, and it’s difficult to disagree with him.

Technology is having a broad and profound impact in most industries, and Microsoft is using its timeless values to guide people and organizations throughout this period of radical transformation. Moving into the future, how will you:

  • Engage with your clients?
  • Empower your people?
  • Optimize your operations?
  • Redefine your product and service offerings?

Microsoft’s mission to ‘empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more’ is consistent with the principles of this notion of Digital Transformation. And in developing impactful new technologies, many of which come and go, Microsoft’s central mission remains consistent, even as we shift toward a new technological paradigm based around the intelligent cloud.

Microsoft Ignite 2017

At Microsoft Ignite, two of SAGlobal’s customers, Eric Reading of Chemonics and Bill Smith from JMT, presented how their organizations are utilizing these new technologies to drive Digital Transformation within their organizations and what kind of impact it has had on their business.

Chemonics is a global professional services firm that focusses on a broad range of social issues, from food security monitoring in famine-prone areas like Somalia, to setting up a digital payment system in the Philippines. They operate in over 80 countries to promote, health, education, and lasting growth.

While most workplaces are coming under new pressures such as changing employee expectations and the need for diverse, globally distributed team structures, companies like Chemonics that work on complex projects across the globe experience these issues in a more significant way. These changes are part of the reason why Chemonics chose to implement Dynamics 365 for Talent as part of their Digital Transformation journey. Dynamics 365 for Talent now enables them to quickly pull together diverse teams with very specific skills in disparate locations. However, finding the right talent is only the first step of the process. Chemonics has to constantly compete for talent with other organizations within the private sector, which makes it important to provide a differentiated employee experience. Dynamics 365 for Talent has allowed Chemonics to create a personalized onboarding experience, allowing new recruits to have access to everything they need to get up and running, while also feeling welcomed.

In addition to finding and onboarding the best possible talent, as a company that employs 5000 people all over the world, the deployment of this talent is also imperative to Chemonics. For example, they might have the right specialist to tackle a specific issue in the Ukraine, however the individual is based in Manila. Dynamics 365 has allowed Chemonics to better manage and allocate its talent internally, enabling them to use their resources in the most efficient way possible and tackle these complex projects.

The next step in Chemonics’ Digital Transformation was born out of a need for improved global visibility, communication and collaboration. Chemonics’ previous business management systems had become outdated, and their data had become siloed across multiple systems, and therefore wasn’t accessible in real-time to support their decision-making processes. As a result, Chemonics saw the opportunity to improve their visibility across their global operations, as well as redefine how they communicate and collaborate around the world by transforming their core operational business systems.

To address this challenge, Chemonics decided to implement Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, which is Microsoft’s next-generation cloud-based ERP application. Fortunately for Chemonics, the emergence of new cloud-based technologies has made it much easier to deploy and access their applications and services around the world. This means that Chemonics can effectively implement the solution across its global organization, and empower its employees around the world with real time-data and new collaborative capabilities. To learn more about how SAGlobal is helping Chemonics with this Dynamics 365 transformation, download the case study.

In addition to Chemonics, Bill Smith from Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT), another SAGlobal client, also spoke at Ignite about how Digital Transformation has changed his organization. JMT is a multi-disciplinary architecture, engineering, and construction management firm with a number of offices across the US.

What drove the strategy for Digital Transformation at JMT was a need for improved scalability to support their continued growth. JMT has over 1,500 employees, and has been consistently growing by 10-20% a year. Prior to their Digital Transformation journey, JMT used several disparate systems that caused their data to be siloed, which was impacting their employees’ ability to collaborate amongst different departments and teams. To support their growth in an efficient manner, JMT required a new platform of integrated applications and services, driven from the cloud.

After researching their alternatives, JMT opted to implement Dynamics 365 to address these issues. As a professional services firm, JMT has a deceptively simple business model: win work, plan work, and manage work. So, when creating a charter for the implementation of their new Dynamics 365 solution, they stressed that it would need to transcend those three phases of their business cycle, and the Dynamics 365 suite of solutions provided them with the capability to do that.

Initially, Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM) was introduced, which manages leads, opportunities, and the development of proposals. Once the business development phase is completed and they’ve won a project, JMT needed to be sure that their data won’t remain trapped and underutilized and can seamlessly transition to other systems like Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations and Office 365. They wanted a system whereby all their information is captured and accessible from any point throughout the entire lifecycle of a project.

JMT was also fortunate to be the beneficiary of Microsoft’s Fast Track program whereby customers are assigned a Microsoft Solution Architect to help effectively get them through their implementation and realizing the value of their investment. They found this service incredibly useful when moving their systems to the cloud as, for them, it was previously uncharted territory.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dynamics 365 can help drive Digital Transformation for your organization, you can watch our webinar.

If you are looking to implement Dynamics 365 for your organization, please feel free to contact us.

About the Author

Huw James

Huw James

Huw James was born in Brussels, Belgium, and grew up there. He takes a strong interest in philosophy, music, cinematography and politics. After finishing high school, he studied philosophy in Holland and following that he studied music in London. He has been working as a part-time Digital Marketing Assistant for sa.global for just over 6 months now, and is studying a postgraduate degree at the Digital Marketing Institute in the same subject concurrently.

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