Microsoft Dynamics: Empowering Retailers to Engage with their Customers

This week’s National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York City will feature the latest technology products and solutions for retailers. But amidst the sea of booths and flurry of marketing materials at the show, retailers need to ask whether or not these latest innovations are addressing what they really need. 

Retailers are looking to increase loyalty and customer satisfaction. They want to establish and nurture relationships between customer and brand. Our focus at Microsoft is on helping retailers deliver amazing, consistent and predictable experiences and in solving their unique challenges. Our commitment to delivering on this promise is reflected in the advancements we have made to Microsoft Dynamics for Retail this past year in particular, as well as new ways partners like Toshiba and Sitecore are now aligning to this.

With over 42,000 retailers using Microsoft Retail solutions and more than 2,200 Retailers powered by Microsoft Dynamics globally today, we are committed to the Retail industry. The features and capabilities we offer retailers are distinct, unique and often game changing. But rather than just talk about it, we want you to hear from our loyal customers who are using our technology in transformative ways to amaze their customers.

Delivering a leading user experience at the Point of Sale 

For Eason and Mattress Firm, providing a next generation and modern Point Of Sale experience that was simple to learn and use, was vital in enabling their store associates to positively engage with the customer and provide excellent customer service.

Familiarity means that I know it already. Ease of use means that even if I’m not familiar with something, I can pick it up. Microsoft always has been very good at that. It means that if you’re used to Outlook or Excel or PowerPoint, it is very easy to throw Microsoft Dynamics AX in and be able to use it as well. Additionally the solution has allowed us to build a much stronger connection with our customers allowing the store associates to really engage with them in a way the suits their needs. – Gerry Martyn, Head of IT and Customer Service, Eason 

With our old system it would take anywhere from three weeks to a month to train a new associate, but it really took a year to two years to really master that system if you ever did at all. With this new system we can actually train a new hire in one day. – Tanya Brandewie, Process Improvement Analyst, Mattress Firm

Enabling Retailers to create strong customer engagement and loyalty through meaningful interactions

Bombay Dyeing wanted to provide a seamless, targeted, personalized and relevant experience to their customers. By focusing on improving business process and productivity, they have been able to better serve their customers.

Microsoft Dynamics AX has helped us improve key business processes significantly. It enhances speed and accuracy of accounts, invoicing, stocking and other areas. We no longer maintain separate sheets for each task, which were often hard to access and interlink to one another. This deployment has geared us to provide better services to our customers and we have also witnessed productivity improvements across various departments within the company. – Durgesh Mehta, Joint Managing Director, Bombay Dyeing

Offering the only truly omni-channel solution and increasing customer satisfaction through consistent channel experiences

Of paramount important to Eason, Fanatics and BoConcept was a single view of their business.

Eason now has a company-wide Omni-channel retail solution that enables integrated processes across all business functions. “Before, we had many versions of data. The same question was answered in many different ways with different answers. Now, with an integrated solution we have one answer.” The solution has aligned Eason ecommerce, website, and bricks and mortar shops. – Gerry Martyn, Head of IT and Customer Service, Eason

Leveraging Microsoft’s integrated solutions enables us to connect people, processes, and systems across all aspects of our company. The flexibility within Microsoft Dynamics AX is where we see the most benefit. – Steve Weiskircher, CIO, Fanatics

We actually want to rethink the whole structure of using IT in the stores… We believe that the Microsoft platform for retail will give a good basis for doing that. – Joan Bjørnholdt Nielsen, Retail Operations Manager and BoConcept Supervisory Board Member

Our retail customers underscore the need for a modern and mobile Point of Sale experience that provides an amazing user experience. They stress the importance of creating strong customer engagement and loyalty through meaningful interactions. They demand an omni-channel solution that provides consistent visibility across channels. We are committed to delivering this in our retail solutions and our commitment is further validated by our globally expanding ecosystem of partners innovating with us, Building on a momentous 2014, we are announcing significant new partnerships today.

New Omni-Channel Initiative with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions

We’re happy to announce a combined effort from Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (TGCS) and Microsoft Dynamics aimed to help retailers deliver leading customer experiences through true omni-channel customer engagements. This effort includes Toshiba delivering software and implementation services on the Dynamics platform as well as plans for the global availability of a combined solution – TCxGravity powered by Microsoft Dynamics  – specifically tailored to deliver omni-channel transformation on the customer's terms, helping them provide seamless brand experiences to build lasting loyalty. This will be the first partnership of its kind in Retail as two global leaders in R&D innovation, technology, retail expertise, and services come together to offer unprecedented capability in omni-channel transformation and power of choice.

The further collaboration between Toshiba and Microsoft offers a game-changing omni-channel approach and an easier migration path for customers who value the robust Dynamics platform and the rich in-store experiences of Toshiba’s solutions. Retailers need to provide consumers with a consistent Brand experience that harmonizes the best of what the digital and physical selling environments have to offer. The further collaboration between Toshiba and Microsoft should enable an easier migration to just such an omni-channel selling environment. – Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner, Retail Systems Research.

Partnering with Sitecore to Bridge In-Store Digital Customer Experience

At NRF 2014 we announced a partnership with Sitecore a leading, customer experience management platform. Today at NRF 2015, the integration between Sitecore and Microsoft Dynamics is complete and we are announcing a combined solution that gives businesses the ability to design completely connected online experiences optimized for the behaviors, devices, and preferences of visitors with complete, real time, omni-channel order management for retailers.

The complete integration of Sitecore’s best-in-class experience platform with Microsoft’s powerful, proven commerce solution provides enterprises with a powerful tool to bridge in-store and digital experiences. With this solution, businesses have the ability to marry content and commerce to create relevant, connected retailing experiences that win loyalty and drive revenue. – Darren Guarnaccia, chief strategy officer for Sitecore.

Global Expansion and entering new markets at low and predicable cost

As a testament to the Microsoft retail solution, leading retailers such as Ashley Furniture are today running the Dynamics for Retail solution to drive current store operations globally, this plan will include MPOS, Sitecore and the end to end functionality only Microsoft Business Solutions can deliver.  Whether it’s fulfilling a furniture order in Quebec or delighting a customer at the Point of Service in Shanghai, Microsoft Dynamics for Retail is the solution delivering it all.

As we grow from a $4 billion a year company to a $10 billion a year company, Microsoft Dynamics for Retail will be there, helping us open stores at the rate we need while supporting our shift to omni-channel retail—something that no other furniture company is doing today and that will help us differentiate from the competition. – Bob White EVP and CIO Ashley Furniture

Pandora Jewelry is another example of a customer driving a global business Microsoft Dynamics. The jewelry chain have taken the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution and made it a central point of their retail operations including seamless order and returns management through Pandora Cloud (built on Microsoft Azure), as well as a "one stop shop platform" for single customer records as well as employee information sharing and tasks. Rich capabilities in CRM provide end to end operations and execution support from Marketing, Merchandising, Account Management, IT, and most importantly – providing a consistent, seamless and amazing experience for customers! Pandora also use the best of Microsoft employee collaboration tools, Yammer and Lync to create more engaged and productive store associates.

The ultimate goal for Pandora is to be the most recognized and loved jewelry brand in the world, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps us get it right. – Laurie McDonald, Vice President of Sales, Pandora.

Our Commitment to Retail

It’s about customer experience. It’s about a relationship between customer and brand. It’s about a retailer’s most important asset – their employees. It’s about building loyalty with existing customers and attracting new ones. It’s about consistently delivering on a promise to help our retail customers do what they do best today and prepare for the future.

Our commitment to helping retailers deliver a great experience manifests itself in the solutions we deliver. To address retailers need for modern and mobile Point of Sale solutions, we have made advancements to Microsoft Dynamics for Retail to help retailers gather the right data and insights, while having a wealth of information at their fingertips to meet the expectations of a more informed customer.

By offering a true, end-to-end solution, Microsoft is unique in its ability to provide retailers with a single, scalable technology. Supporting this is the ‘Commerce Run-Time' (CRT), an integral component of the Dynamics for Retail technology stack. This class-leading capability enables a completely consistent customer experience across all the retail and commerce channels. Online, mobile, fixed point of service, or call center, the CRT ensures a simple, consistent, and scalable execution of all customer interactions across channels.

We are proud of the impact we are having on our customers today and amazed by the transformations they are making in their business. NRF 2015 is a great time to celebrate their accomplishments and to work together on the future of retail.

Microsoft Retail