A cloud transformation using Microsoft Dynamics 365, shared by the project management expert who oversaw its success
At HSO, it is our belief that technology, and the expert technical consultants that implement it, can help businesses overcome any challenge. Our talented team possesses the technical aptitude and attention to detail needed to guide clients through even the most unique situations. In this Challenge Accepted Q&A, HSO project manager Alexis Bertrand will explain how expert data transfer services enabled a client to overcome the significant challenges of consolidating business-critical data following a major acquisition
An HSO project manager discusses how Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform helped a global asset management firm manage major data transfer following a major acquisition
As a project manager, I have learned that being transparent with our clients develops the trust which is crucial to building successful relationships. I focus on the sharing of information and being proactive about handling issues before they become a problem. I believe that my technical background and experience with various responsibilities within HSO enable me to look at a project from all viewpoints – most importantly our clients’ – and take them into account as we work through the project.
Each of our clients brings us individual and urgent challenges to overcome. It is extremely rewarding to help them solve those challenges, particularly when we build working relationships with the people there.
These projects really become personal to me – each one is kind of like my baby. We put a lot into making sure we get them right.
The Business Challenge: Modernize an existing CRM solution to enable data transfer and syncing across multiple organizations
Recently, one of our global financial services clients acquired another firm. Acquisitions introduce various new difficulties, including integrating employees, assets and software platforms. A frequently overlooked challenge in the acquisition process is devising a strategy for making the data work conjointly. This is a much larger project than most people realize, regardless of the companies’ sizes or how much data they each have.
Our client primarily used CRM as a sales tool, while the firm they acquired relied on CRM for a wide range of functions, including operations, marketing, legal and more. So, in addition to integrating the data, we also needed to sync up roles and functionality. There were a lot of questions related to other systems, teams, and workflows we needed to answer to make sure we kept those intact and unchanged.
In order to ensure that the employees had complete data accessibility, the firm was under a tight deadline. We needed to work quickly, while also making certain that all aspects of the challenge were solved, both in the short term and into the future. A quick fix would not work in this situation.
Challenge Accepted: Transform a CRM platform, including data transfer and integration from all acquired firms
Extensive change was needed in order to sync data and functionality from the new acquisition with the firm’s legacy system. The firm’s premise-based CRM system was cumbersome and outdated, so first we moved the existing environment to the cloud. This provided us with the additional flexibility and functionality needed to handle the data migration and to deploy precisely the capabilities required by the firm. The cloud migration also provided the firm’s global staff with more reliable access to crucial data regardless of the sales rep or financial advisor’s location.
With the CRM system updated and optimized, we leveraged Power Apps, part of the Microsoft Power Platform, to build some of the key capabilities and integrations needed to give employees the access to the necessary data. This resulted in a fully customized Dynamics 365 deployment that gives the firm total control over their data while supporting various roles and responsibilities throughout the organization.
The Business Outcome: Innovative thinking and communication result in success
Clear communication was essential in solving this unique challenge with our client. We needed to know exactly what they required in order to successfully realize their goals.
Once those conditions were established, thinking creatively was needed to achieve them within the allotted time frame. We relied heavily on the Power Platform to create the specialized applications and processes needed to sync data, enable functionality and optimize their CRM environment. It is noteworthy that creating applications is not all we did for our client. We also helped their staff learn how to leverage Power Platform internally to develop their own applications. This will be valuable as they evolve and identify new requirements.Fulfilling the firm’s immediate needs and transferring them to the new system by their deadline, without losing data integrity, was a huge victory for everyone involved. This is going to be an ongoing project, however, due mostly to the extent of the data involved. With the foundation and relationship that has been built, there should be nothing but success for us in the future.
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