Written by: Fred Studer
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Microsoft Dynamics’ vision for business is superfanfreakingtastically great. But sometimes people ask me, “What does that even mean? How can Microsoft Dynamics help me transform my business? Can you really give me the ninja reflexes I need to stay on top of my market?”
My answer is always yes. We can. Microsoft Dynamics has helped hundreds of companies transform their businesses, to become more efficient, enter new markets, bring new products online, and just grow and thrive in a some really challenging economic times.
And that’s because our vision for Microsoft Dynamics isn’t just about business applications. It’s about having your cake and in the case, using it to drive massive impact too! It’s about giving your employees intuitive tools that they can use to make a difference every day. It’s about helping systems and people work together. Sure, it includes enterprise-class back-office stuff like finance, inventory, manufacturing, and HR management; but all that stuff is connected to customer relationship management systems, to desktop tools like Office and Outlook; it’s delivered to devices like phones and tablets, and accessible from anywhere; it gives your people the information they need and lets them work the way they want to work, so that they can drive your business forward.
But don’t just take my word for it—look at a couple of examples of how real businesses have transformed:
Hallmark Business Connections is a division of one of the most recognized consumer brands in the world. Translating their success in the consumer space to the business-to-business arena is no small undertaking. To execute on his ambitious vision of helping business people connect emotionally to make a difference in the lives of employees and customers, CEO Keith Fenhaus assembled a team of change agents—“highly diverse, highly creative, highly energetic” people from across the company—and gave them the tools to transform the way Hallmark—and companies across the globe—do business. He united numerous business entities within Hallmark in support of a new brand, Hallmark Business Connections, and gave them the tools and the vision to truly make a difference.
Another dominant player in their market, Vitamix, has been providing professional-grade mixing equipment to restaurants and stores since the 1950s. If you’ve ever ordered a smoothie or a Frappuccino, you’ve probably experienced the magic of a Vitamix mixer. (I’ve experienced the power of the Vitamix as well!) The company has doubled their sales in the past two years, thanks in part to their ability to adapt their systems and processes, whether it’s in response to changing markets or innovative ideas from the people who drive the business. Dynamic business solutions have enabled Vitamix to quickly onboard hundreds of new employees, manage new channels for sales and marketing, and empower employees from the executive office to the factory floor to turn new ideas into better results for customers.
Closer to home, at Microsoft, we’re constantly looking for ways to maintain our innovative momentum. In our journey to provide consumers with the most engaging devices and services we are looking for ways to develop closer connections with our customers. Bringing Yammer into the Microsoft family will bring social networking into the enterprise application experience. People are leveraging the productivity that Windows 8 phones bring to their lives, reimaging how—and where—they do business. The Microsoft Stores, a place where people can try out our products, sharing their feedback and interests, and getting inspiration and guidance— all in a comfortable, enjoyable retail store setting are the retail embodiment of this vision.
And in true Microsoft fashion, we went big: 75 stores in three years—and 30 pop-up stores to celebrate the recent launch of Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface! The results have been amazing (if you haven’t been to a Microsoft store yet, stop reading now and get to the nearest mall!) but behind the scenes, taking the leap into retail was no easy task: connecting the stores to our existing business systems, establishing our supply chain, putting in place the retail systems, connecting with customers, and empowering our people to deliver an in-store experience not available in any other retail setting… all this required quick-tempo timing, top-notch technology and new ways of thinking.
We transformed our business, and you can too!
Post originally written for Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/microsoftdynamics/2012/11/19/cios-having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too/