The 2019 Summit: The Modern Workplace
What an iconic venue! Mercedes Benz World at Brooklands was a fabulous setting for our 2019 Summit. A company synonymous with engineering and technology, always pushing boundaries – a fitting site for our event themed around the modern workplace.
Modern solutions for the Modern Workplace
The day started with Pippa, the MD, setting the scene for the incredible amount of change we have witnessed in recent times as well as the way Microsoft are changing their solutions to suit the needs and requirements of modern organisations. Modern organisations that are all undergoing Digital Transformation not least because of the changes to the Microsoft roadmap and changing technology landscape.
Digital transformation is about reimagining how you bring together people, data and processes to create value for your customers and maintain a competitive advantage in a digital-first world. (According to Microsoft)
She asked the question – what can digital transformation bring to a business? The customer experience has never been more important. It can drive up sales and give you better customer retention, which in turn will increase your customer lifetime value. Staff want the flexibility to be able to work any time, any place, any device. If you want to attract and retain great talent, the kind of talent that will help your business reimagine itself in the Digital age, they want tech that helps them be more productive. And optimising productivity is about controlling costs – and can be as simple as automating KPI reports, or more complex like changing up interfaces and adapting or implementing workflows.
But there are always associated risks with any change, and for DT there are three main ones. Firstly legacy systems (where data sits across multiple platforms and multiple divisions and is not looked at centrally), secondly talent (and hiring and retaining great talent) and thirdly culture (although as Pippa pointed out – it’s not the culture of clients because they all believe in innovation which is why they use Microsoft Dynamics already).
Collaboration is one of the key changes within a workplace, and the number of tools Microsoft offer makes it so easy. Take Teams for example – the replacement for Skype – this is one that TVision have been testing and it is going well.
Pippa then (re)introduced Business Central to the audience, an audience most familiar with Dynamics NAV, and some who had even used it when it was known as Navision. She also announced that TVision were one of the first UK Partners in the channel to create and publish a Business Central app published on the Microsoft AppSource for Personal Data Encryption.
Innovate faster, Enhance productivity with Microsoft PowerApps
Bryony Wolf then talked to us about PowerApps and how can they be embedded in the workplace with relative ease as part of the three-fold Microsoft Power platform trinity consisting of Power BI, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.
This Power platform connects all systems in a seamless, automated, and intelligent cloud ecosystem. She introduced the concept of the digital feedback loop where data is captured across a business. This data is then connected to and intelligence is gathered. Finally taking action on this data can only improve business outcomes. There are different PowerApps plans depends on business needs, and TVision can provide information on these for you.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation
Karen Moore, our Account Manager then spoke in more detail about DT, its relevance to our clients’ businesses and how to embrace it positively and ethically. She discussed the four important areas of DT: the 4th Industrial Revolution, Intelligent Cloud & Intelligent Edge, Big Data & Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Throughout the talk Karen gave examples that related each of these elements of DT and how they could link to a business. She finished with a recommendation of two Microsoft publications:
- Maximizing the AI opportunity – as a pdf download available here: https://info.microsoft.com/rs/157-GQE-382/images/UK-DIGTRNS-CNTNT-content-MGC0003240.pdf
- The Future Computed – press release: https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/01/17/future-computed-artificial-intelligence-role-society/
Data and the Reporting Stack
Ben Marriott then led us across the reporting landscape by using the metaphor of spaghetti as a strand of data you can find in your database. His talk looked at the questions you need to consider around data and reporting, what the various reporting options are, as well as their benefits and costs. He summarised the difference between Business Central reports, the offering from Jet Global and also Power BI.
The final considerations he left the audience with were that the best ways to make use of data is to consider what you want to get out of it and also decide who is going to won it in the business and how it is going to be prepared for analysis.
Lead-to-Cash Business Transformation
The final morning session was from TVision’s Dynamics CRM Partner ServerSys where Alex Baylis spoke about business process transformation where organisations are looking for an all-in-one solution for their business apps. Using Dynamics CRM allows automation, management and optimisation of business environments. The new customer journey is streamlined and lead generation, marketing automation, sales management, price quoting, order management and revenue management can occur as a streamlined process.
The afternoon sessions then took place and the audience had a choice of attending the Bevica User Group (report to follow) or quiz the morning’s speakers in a one-to-one Q&A format.
Are You Ready For Business Central?
This is the question Ian Robinson, our Support Consultant asked the audience at the beginning of his session. He spoke about the differences and commonality of Business Central (BC) vs NAV, the three ways to implement BC (on premise, public cloud or private cloud), and why people should consider BC moving forwards. Several screenshots showed us that there is little difference at the front end, but that it’s in the back end the changes are most important.
With Outlook, Excel and Flow integration, BC makes it way for users to gain business insight form the inherence machine learning and Cortana intelligence in the solution. To answer the question of why consider BC, we were shown a number of examples that made it clear why people should be moving across. Compliance with Making Tax Digital is key, but also the ability to work smarter with a mobile workforce and may organisations allowing a BYOD policy – logging into the web client makes it easy to work from anywhere as part of the modern workplace. Also, the regularity of backups, no upgrades required, and security considerations looked after by Microsoft when using a SaaS model completed the story around the many advantages of moving to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.
TVision Support: more than just bugs!
This was the session delivered by Nicola Bourne who heads up our fantastic support team. Did you spot the bugs on each of her slides that followed the story behind the various methods of support available? She also reminded our clients of the team available to help your calls, and the most effective way to report any issues you may have.
We were delighted to announce the start of a 10 years plus club. An award will be given to all clients who have been longstanding clients supported by TVision. Enotria and Watco were welcomed to the stage to receive their commemorative certificates, and the others will soon be whinging their way in the post. Also to follow will be the beautiful Fortnum & Mason hamper that will go to the team at each client. Finally we announced the winners of the F1 simulators – both from Brookson. Congratulations Graham and Phil!
2019 Schedule of Events
Last but by no means least, Danusia Jolliffe the TVision Marketing Manager spoke about all of the activities taking place across the next calendar year. These included Microsoft events that the TVision team would be attending to learn about the Microsoft ecosystem with the intention of sharing knowledge with clients, but also external events and exhibition that TVision would be attending to share product knowledge and encourage more adoption of the Microsoft Dynamics solution. Also, an exciting series of breakfast briefing and round tables dates for clients will be issued in due course.
At the end of a very busy day, the clients left the venue after filling in their all-important feedback forms and taking home their new TVision notepads, pens and coffee cups. Watch this space for when we announce the next event and location.