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Update Your Technology to Support Business Operations

Clients often ask us to help them find appropriate technology to manage their various business operations. They come to us and ask how they can update their IT systems. It’s now more straightforward than ever for businesses to benefit from implementing the appropriate information technology. In doing so, companies can reap the rewards that an efficient IT system can produce:

  • Controlling costs
  • Improving a business’s service delivery process
  • Standardizing and improving service quality
  • Helping create more value for their customers

At the core of a company’s business apps is its enterprise resource planning system, otherwise known as an ERP. An ERP brings together your company’s disparate information, from accounting to sales to inventory. It makes it easier for the various departments of your organization to share data between them. One of the most popular ERP solutions is Microsoft Dynamics.

Technology optimized the business operations for this business.

Microsoft Dynamics: An ERP for Business Intelligence

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the top ERP systems according to the number of installs and customer satisfaction. ERP systems help businesses keep information on customers, employees, finances as well as inventory. As a sophisticated ERP solution, Microsoft offers two different software packages according to business needs:

  1. Business Central, an ERP solution for small businesses. Business Central simplifies a streamlined solution targeted at companies that have a smaller IT staff and more modest ERP needs.
  2. Finance and Operations are for larger enterprises. Finance and Operations (or F&O) is appropriate for larger organizations that might otherwise look at SAP or Oracle as alternative ERP providers.

Microsoft Dynamics is a flexible solution that also offers customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. It turns out that many businesses will start their Microsoft Dynamics journey by focusing on the CRM capabilities of the Dynamics software suite. A CRM ultimately helps businesses manage their various relationships. For example, companies will often use their CRM to help improve the sales process as they nurture prospects through the sales pipeline. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM becomes the entry point as businesses learn other aspects of the business operations software package over time.

Microsoft Dynamics = Familiarity for Microsoft Office Users

Many employees are most used to the Microsoft Office 365 suite of business productivity applications. These include Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. This familiar Microsoft look and feel helps new Dynamics users use a new UI. Employees who know how to navigate and find things in the system are more productive and require less IT support.

Microsoft Dynamics also integrates smoothly with the Office 365 applications. A common problem that businesses face is getting their ERPs to interface with their office productivity suite. Businesses working completely within the Microsoft ecosystem won’t have to resort to exotic third-party connectors to get their data into and out of their various IT systems. For example, exporting data from a spreadsheet is a breeze when it’s Microsoft Excel exporting to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Another significant advantage of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP system is that it integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn. This tight integration is possible as Microsoft also owns LinkedIn as part of its technology portfolio. LinkedIn forms an integral part of many company’s lead prospecting as well as HR recruiting efforts. If your sales team is prospecting for potential leads, they’ll be supported by the tight integration that the Microsoft Dynamics CRM has with LinkedIn. Information that might otherwise stay in the “social media” silo can now freely migrate into your CRM as actionable business operations data.

Business operations can be optimized through technology to connect global employees.

Internet Security for Collaborative Teams

Many businesses are now navigating a new world of geographically dispersed teams. A new generation of remote conferencing software (such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams) has made it easier for businesses to collaborate remotely. This new reality also makes it easier for hackers to gain access to your companies trade secrets and customer data. Secure collaboration takes on even more importance now that your employees’ dialogue moves from the intranet to the Internet.

Any software solution you choose for your business should be built with best-practice security principles in mind. Some critical security principles your software should encompass includes:

  • Any software you use for your business operations should be committed to data privacy (which includes your customers’ data). Your software should always know what data is being passed around and where it will be stored. Indeed, it ensures that the people who need access to the data have it.
  • Security should be the default option by design. It should actually be difficult to make your chosen business operations software insecure. Unfortunately, too much business software is insecure by default and needs too much tweaking to make it hardened to hacking attempts. Software that follows the best security principles should be deployable as a secure solution by default.
  • The company you choose for your software apps should be transparent about security. If there are any security breaches, they should notify their partners immediately as soon as they’re discovered. Patches for the affected systems should also be made available to avoid downtime due to zero days and other exploits.

Ready to Collaborate?

Additionally, you should consider if your company is ready to collaborate over the internet securely.

  • Are the video cameras on your employees’ laptops sufficient for high-resolution video conferencing? Are there any bandwidth bottlenecks that make videoconferencing from home an impaired experience compared to logging in from work?
  • Next, are your employees exhausted from videoconferencing on the screen all day long? A video conferencing solution like Microsoft Teams replicates the feel of the face-to-face meetings. This can relieve some of the associated fatigue common with videoconferencing.
  • Are your company’s team collaboration tools and workflows sufficient for the number of meetings, calls, and messages your business generates? The transition to the cloud will accelerate calling and text-based messaging. Are your business telephony systems able to seamlessly bring together voice, chat, email, and other communications systems?

Update Your Technology to Support Business Operations

Getting your company’s business operations software up-to-date makes a huge impact on your bottom line. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation meeting with us. We’ll sit down with you and your team to help you understand how organizations today use these IT systems. Then, we’ll discuss how having a great IT outsourcing company like ours can help you get started.