Avoid the pitfalls of modernizing your CRM, ERP and field service
- Posted on October 3, 2019
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
This article was originally written by Avanade alumn Chuck Ingram.
Avanade alumn Dave Medd also participated in this blog.
We’re hanging our hat on helping companies be “Future Ready. Now” by maximizing their Microsoft investments. To us, it’s more than a slogan, it’s a strategic initiative to recognize where and how companies can best improve their customer experience, operations and performance so they can be truly forward-focused on the future.
Take, for example, the global manufacturer of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that needed to improve asset tracking and maintenance, speed up technician scheduling, and reduce sales time spent requesting work orders. All in all, the resulting solution helped the company create a process that increased asset tracking and work history to 95%, provided real-time job status updates and faster parts/equipment tracking, and reached 96% work order creation in 48 hours or less. The solution was scaled to support 10,000 annual work orders without any FTE increase or overtime. Sound like a solution you could use? This is just one of the many ways we are helping companies improve business processes and ultimately outcomes.
50% of CRM implementations fail
When your CFO asks if you’ve hit your ROI target for CRM implementation and the answer’s not an overwhelming “yes,” then it’s time to quickly maximize the value from your Microsoft investment. You’re not alone. On average, CRM projects have a 50% success rate. With an abundance of features and compressed implementation timelines, usability and adoption can and usually does falter. This happens because the users either cannot consume all the features or the complexity of all the features makes simple tasks complex.
Simplify the complex. Everybody wants that. What if using CRM was as easy as using a phone app? It can be and is. Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology can fuel a host of intelligent solutions, IP and Power Platforms that optimize CRM systems to a be future-ready, now. We thoroughly understand its transformational capabilities. And we’ve seen it turn CRM systems and field service operations into thriving, efficient and cost-effective complements to a company’s business. Trust us, we’ve been a Microsoft Partner of the Year for 14 consecutive years.
Bringing predictive intelligence to field service
When it comes to field service performance, in a way your assets are quietly screaming for attention. What’s happening is errors, prior service calls, equipment vibrations and pressure all leave a trail of soft whispers in the form of distinct data points. Subtle and innocuous on their own, these data points quietly accumulate, forming whisper patterns that can warn about screamingly loud problems like product failure, service downtime and a poor employee or customer experience.
What if you could eliminate some of that noise altogether by addressing customer needs and solving problems before they happen? Managing customer data across channels, providing consolidated views of customers and assets in mobile formats, and other innovations are helping to inform and empower field service technicians to deliver a more positive, consistent service experience from anywhere.
Using Microsoft technologies to modernize and maximize field service capability with advanced technologies like AI, IoT, augmented reality (AR) and machine learning (ML) can help detect whisper-quiet data points and use them to create a proactive field operation that improves the employee experience and provides a differentiated customer experience (CX).
Intelligent migrations to modern ERP platforms
At the rapid pace of today’s business, not keeping up with enterprise technology is like letting your business get stranded on a desert island. Finance and Operations (or ERP) systems need to be agile, capable of delivering non-obvious insights to the business; continuously updated to take advantage of new technology; and integrated with a host of other business processes to develop operational agility. Here are just a few factors to consider:
- Current upgrade cycles inhibit progress. The average company only upgrades its traditional ERP system every seven to 10 years. This means they don’t have access to any of the latest technological innovations to address their key business objectives and growth strategies. Yet they’re paying for the innovation through the maintenance fees to their ERP vendor.
- Gain access to intelligent tools. The latest version of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations on Microsoft Azure comes with machine learning capabilities, native business intelligence tools, superior usability, broader functional coverage and stellar integration with Office 365.
- Customizations no longer hinder progress. Customizations no longer hinder progress. In the past, the act of maintaining customized ERP systems was costly. Project decisions on whether to customize or not were painful, keeping many businesses in a kind of perpetual business limbo. Dynamics 365 comes with built-in functionality that simplifies the creation and maintenance of custom business processes through the use of standard extensions. And with the help of Avanade’s Intelligent Enterprise Solutions (AIES), organizations can focus project leaders to customize only those business processes that provide true competitive advantage to the organization.
- An agile infrastructure enhances success. Our recent research confirmed that more than 75% of business leaders say moving systems and business applications to the cloud can enable more cost-effective development and maintenance of integrations. With Dynamics 365’s move to the cloud, Microsoft continues to push new capabilities in multiple releases per year. Updates can be activated when you’re ready. When developed according to best practices, integrations and enhancements to Dynamics 365 migrate easily, providing our clients an “evergreen” cycle of product advancements while still staying in control of their core solution.
Understanding these considerations will greatly improve your chances of success. We can take the mystery out of complex ERP migrations for you and get your organization set up with a modern, more simplistic and effective system.
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