I feel three important and influential trends driving digital transformation for businesses across all industries are customer engagement, process automation and analytics.
These aren’t new trends by any means, but I feel like the business environment, the technology and the business wherewithal to adopt new technology is coming together at the right time.
These trends will accelerate the pace of change for every industry over the next year and beyond.
- Customer engagement – creating a real-time, unified view of customer data for better insights and engagement.
- Process automation - automating time-consuming manual tasks, process re-engineering and workflow automation through low-code development platforms.
- Analytics – processing data across the organization to uncover insights that can be acted upon through informed data-based decisions.
Making sense of the customer data that lives across the organization, bringing together transactional, behavioral, and demographic data in real-time to create a 360-degree view of customers is a market trend evolving at a fast pace. Before, a CRM app was the major catalyst to achieving a 360-degree view of the customer.
Today, you don’t even need the CRM app. Today, you leverage platforms like Microsoft’s Customer Insights, Power Platform or even Azure Data Platform to connect your entire stack to harness customer data. And it is vendor-neutral. Think of embedding customer profile cards in your business applications that source data from other CRM systems, like SalesForce.com, or marketing automation systems, like Marketo, or ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics, SAP or Oracle.
Working smarter, not harder and doing more with less are goals for any organization. But this has always been easier said than done - requiring expensive developers, hand-coding proprietary apps and assuming technical debt for years to come.
As COVID proved, rapid app development and constant iteration in software have become table stakes. Low-code platforms are now opening a wider range of use cases and the types of people that can develop solutions. Microsoft addresses both data-centric and process-centric development platforms. Microsoft is well-positioned to be the low-code platform of choice. A growing ecosystem of connectors is making systems integration a fast reality for many businesses.
Comprehensive analytics has always been somewhat of a lofty goal that organizations continually strive to achieve. It frequently ends up being a cobbled-together mix of on-demand reports or metrics aligned to standalone systems. Microsoft is now delivering analytics as part of its offerings. This is a game-changer.
They have improved the way you view metrics for your organization without the need to install or update another solution. The Power Platform includes Power BI, so you can easily connect to, model, and visualize data across systems like D365, Azure, Salesforce, Office and SharePoint.
The Crowe Difference
At Crowe, we believe nurturing a culture of continuous learning is paramount to our success. Microsoft’s rapid pace of innovation requires us to be constantly learning. Our learning investments today impacts our ability to capitalize on opportunities tomorrow. While other Microsoft Partners are getting left behind, our depth of knowledge makes us more resilient in our customer engagements and positions us well for serving new customers.
The economics around low-code platforms present a tremendous opportunity to create fast, scalable solutions by people that aren’t traditional software developers. A technically minded business analyst can now be considered part of the developer pool. For every development initiative, we always consider the Power Platform as an option.
Microsoft industry cloud focus is rooted in industry-specific common data models. Therefore any solution we create for a specific industry leverages the Microsoft common data model, or Dataverse, if one exists. It brings our solutions credibility with Microsoft, which opens doors for product certification, and aligns us with the Microsoft roadmap.
What is Crowe committed to doing now to help our customers in the future?
- Maximize our expertise and workforce skilling around the Microsoft Power Platform.
- Identify Power Platform use cases to connect data sources that simplify process automation across multiple applications within an organization.
- Leverage common data models (Dataverse) to provide analytics that can drive actionable insights in applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365, i.e. Microsoft Industry Clouds.
The Crowe CRM team can help your organization do powerful things with Microsoft technology, including
By Ryan Plourde, Crowe, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner
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