Our ninth annual two-day Business Technology Summit (BTS) was highly informative, showing businesses how to get the most from Microsoft products.
BTS 2021covered the full range of Microsoft products and solutions—from Teams and Power Platform to Azure and Microsoft Dynamics 365. After two days and 19 sessions, we’ve gathered a plethora of tips—all of which support businesses in their efforts to integrate or enhance Microsoft technology.
Below are the top ten tips from the event...
There is a myriad of reasons businesses look to implement robotic process automation (RPA). From automating mundane and repetitive tasks like data entry to reducing errors in manual processes, the technology makes it easy to build and deploy smarter business applications.
Businesses looking to take full advantage of these benefits should follow these steps:
Utilize the Process Advisor at flow.microsoft.com: Process Advisor allows users to record several iterations of a current process. The system then analyzes the recording and provides recommendations for automation using Power Automate and Power Automate Desktop.
Obtain the right licensing: Users should ensure they have up-to-date licensing for Power Automate and that it includes RPA capabilities.
Start automating: Business leaders, admins, and IT reps should carefully examine their current processes and determine which processes can be automated. This helps to identify which are best suited for automation, saving teams valuable time.
Power BI, a data visualization tool, and Business Central, Microsoft’s ERP solution, are two of Microsoft’s most popular products. Together, they allow users to gather business data from across the enterprise, analyze it, and build powerful, detailed reports.
Our new Power BI Business Central template acts as an ‘on-ramp’, allowing users to set up and integrate the two solutions with ease. Additionally, the template features:
Data ingestion: Users have access to all Business Central data without using Dataverse, and access to external data sources such as OMS, WMS, CRM, or other operations.
Robust tools: Our template features powerful connectivity, standardization, and transformation tools, allowing users to facilitate data, validate, audit, test, modify, and replicate with ease.
Embedded visualizations: Visualizations created within the template can be embedded within Business Central Insights, Teams, CRM, or SharePoint.
Our new Power BI Business Central template acts as an ‘on-ramp’, allowing users to set up and integrate the two solutions with ease.
Business teams looking to enhance data interaction capabilities can achieve this by embedding applications within Power BI. Once embedded, users can filter visuals and modify data as needed. This allows for faster insight and action.
For example, an application embedded in Power BI can show a manager all approval requests by line item which the manager can then approve.
Today’s users expect to be able to quickly find information—especially in their organization’s intranet. Users who are unable to quickly find information or tools within a few seconds will not use the site.
Creating a world-class, user-friendly intranet starts with content structure. Following JourneyTEAM’s LATCH acronym ensures content is structured in a way that’s easy to navigate.
Location: Organizations that have teams throughout the world should structure content accordingly. For example, information related to US teams should be in one location while Mexico-based teams have their information in another. Location can also refer to the physical location on the intranet. For example, top priority items should be on the homepage while lower-priority content is stored on lower-priority pages.
Alphabet: Consider listing or sorting things alphabetically to streamline the search process.
Time: While sorting content alphabetically is an effective approach, intranet developers can send a much more powerful message by structuring things around time.
Category: Categorizing data into buckets helps to promote associations within users. For example, users may infer that time-off requests or employee performance records would be stored in the human resources content bucket.
Hierarchy: Similar to location, hierarchy refers to which information and tools are the most important to users organizing content around that hierarchy.
Organizations that have teams throughout the world should effectively structure content by using LATCH
Safety is one of the most important aspects of the warehouse and manufacturing industry. From receiving and order picking, to packing and shipping, each process is designed to ensure the safety of both the employee and the product.
Warehouse managers looking to refine these processes can do so with Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP. The solution’s data management tools provide increased visibility into processes, showing where improvements can be made.
Additionally, Dynamics 365 ERP ensures all data entered into the system is complete, accurate, consistent, and valuable. With high-quality data and real-time transactions, leaders can confidently make decisions on what changes and improvements should be made to warehouse processes.
Whether businesses are large or small, migrating to a cloud platform like Azure is not a simple task. With data, tools, and applications scattered across the enterprise, teams must carefully plan and prepare each one to ensure a seamless transition.
Because many teams are unsure of where to begin in this process, JourneyTEAM created a four-step migration approach:
Pre-migration: Assess existing applications to determine makeup, dependencies, and configuration. Azure Migrate is a helpful tool for this step.
Migration: Using Azure Database Migration Service or Azure App Service Migration Assistant, teams can start moving databases and applications from an on-premise hosting environment to a cloud environment or landing zone.
Post-migration: Teams should carefully test and assess the performance of each platform using DevOps, CI/CD, and App Insights.
Optimization: Finally, teams should gather operations data, fine-tune performance, and optimize costs using App Insights.
Traditional goal tracking methods like Excel Spreadsheets or sticky notes are no longer suited for today’s business world. Business leaders need constant and complete oversight of goal progress and employees must know what tasks have yet to be completed.
Earlier this year, Microsoft released Goals in Power BI. The tool is a data-driven and collaborative way for business teams to measure business metrics and goals. Users can utilize tools like Scorecards which is a flexible, intelligent platform that works like a management tool. With it, users can set up team and individual goals, resource allocation, compensation, feedback, planning, and KPIs. This allows for business teams to implement strategies and make critical business decisions that are backed by a centralized platform that tracks productivity and progress in an easy-to-read way.
Released at the beginning of this year, the Dynamics 365 Sales mobile app was specifically designed to work on mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads, and tablets. The mobile experience provides quick access to customer information and keeps everything up-to-date. This simplifies customer relationship management and helps salespeople who are on-the-road stay focused on selling.
To enhance the already-intelligent features within the app, Microsoft has planned a series of releases starting this month that will continue through February 2022. Some new features include activity summary, speech-to-text notes, the enhanced home page, the ability to meet from Microsoft Exchange, and assistant cards.
These new enhancements will help to improve the already intuitive platform. Users can easily plan their day, complete post-meeting work, and find information and act on it accordingly.
The Dynamics 365 Sales mobile experience provides quick access to customer information and keeps everything up-to-date. This simplifies customer relationship management and helps salespeople who are on-the-road stay focused on selling.
Deciding to implement an ERP system is an enormous task. And while selecting the right software is a key part of achieving success, it’s equally important to have the right people behind the project. It’s people who will ultimately accept or reject this new software and are the difference between a successful project and a failed one.
To increase teams’ acceptance of new software, it’s critical to determine the ‘Flag Plant’ behind the project. The Flag Plant is the end-goal of product implementation and what business teams expect to achieve. This is something we at JourneyTEAM do prior to starting any implementation process.
For example, one company determined that a successful implementation project would allow them to unify business data (specifically financial and accounting) and provide high-level insight into trends. Additionally, they would have a lens that would provide predictability and allow the company to make true strategic decisions.
Communicating the Flag Plant to implementation teams helps them understand why processes are changes and the benefits of the change. This helps to increase user adoption of the new system.
While selecting the right software is a key part of achieving success in your ERP implementation, it’s equally important to have the right people behind the project. It’s people who will ultimately accept or reject this new software and are the difference between a successful project and a failed one.
Microsoft Teams is one of the fastest growing business tools on the market. With over 330,000 companies worldwide using the application, it’s allowed businesses from across industries to improve communication and collaboration.
However, many business teams and users don’t know how to appropriately use the platform, which means many teams are not enjoying the full advantages of the platform.
One way to enhance the performance of Teams is through the SharePoint platform. Connecting the two platforms allows users to communicate with employees from across the enterprise, and powers content management within Teams. Additionally, users will enjoy more versatility in document management and the overall experience.
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JourneyTEAM experts and developers provided a number of great technology tips during our 2021 BTS event—from enhancing the power of Microsoft Teams to using Power BI to manage large datasets. Ultimately, attendees gained valuable knowledge on how to effectively use Microsoft products in their existing technology stack.
Sign up to receive insights in the New Year with BizTech Chronicles- Your Monthly Digest on Business Technology - or contact a JourneyTEAM representative for more information on how we help you plan, build, and deploy Microsoft products into your business processes.