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Last month, I had the immense privilege of inviting Josh Bersin to meet with the Dynamics 365 for Talent team to discuss the HR tech market landscape. In his recent blog, Guess Who’s Looking At The HR Tech Market? Microsoft, Josh shared his perspective on his time spent here in Redmond. While he points out that “The DNA of Microsoft is now focused on the empowerment, development, and inspiration of people,” I wanted to take the opportunity to share how these principles shape our product vision.

In our meeting,  we delved into HR digital transformation challenges, specifically the future of work and how our expectations of the workplace are changing.  The following three points underpinned my perspective:

Culture is the key to business success

HR faces more than just a scale, automation, and process optimization challenge. A new paradigm is necessary to create a modern workplace, as Josh outlines in his overview of HR in the flow of work article. And, of course, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to corporate culture and core values. Organizations that master creating recruitment, onboarding, engagement, and retention programs that foster inclusion and diversity will be better equipped to meet the needs of their customers.

Talent success is the objective

Leaders must focus on creating a culture where people can thrive. This requires more than inspirational leadership, fun break rooms, and driving organizational change. Just as customer experience (CX) professionals discovered when mapping the customer journey, the transformation of the employee experience (EX) must center on driving outcomes for your talent. CX and EX journeys are not linear and can’t always be sliced into moments in time. A great example of this is moving from an onboarding experience that focuses on new hire paperwork and orientation to an onboarding that provides new team members with a step-by-step guide to success. An employee onboarding experience that is guided by leveraging unique data signals of behavior that leads to faster time to productivity and impact.

HR technology is the catalyst

Vendors need to move away from HR software that focuses on managing people and holds the workforce to archaic hierarchies that reinforce fixed mindsets and stunt innovation. The next wave of HR technology will focus on removing the barriers that impact productivity, creativity, and collaborative teamwork. As HR is now being tasked with improving employee productivity and engagement, they need to look beyond traditional HR technology solutions. The partnership between IT and HR has never been more important. As HR maps out end-to-end EX, they will need a view of all the technology that impacts employee communications and productivity. However, changing HR technology can be incredibly disruptive, as it touches every employee and future employees. Most organizations can’t afford the disruption that is caused to rip and replace their entire HCM system. Vendors will need to ensure that their technology integrates well with legacy systems to eliminate challenges caused by data silos and a disjointed EX.

While our discussions were quite in-depth, these three points have really impacted how I envision we move forward with our investment in the HR technology space and the opportunities available to Microsoft. As Josh indicated in his article, Microsoft is in a unique market position as the only vendor in the market that has talent marketplace, productivity, teamwork, workplace analytics, customer engagement, and financial and resource planning solutions in our portfolio.

With the Microsoft Power Platform underpinning Dynamics 365 for Talent, we have the ability to meet our customers where they are in their digital transformation journey—another unique advantage for IT as they partner with HR. The common data service (CDS) centralizes employee data from a variety of applications to ensure HR can get the people insights needed to drive culture and EX transformation. The current focus of my team is to ensure Dynamics 365 for Talent helps our customers transform the talent acquisition experience. By leveraging the Microsoft Power Platform, LinkedIn, Microsoft Office, Teams, Workplace Analytics, and Dynamics 365—IT can partner with HR to ensure employees are not only empowered with the right tools to do their jobs and deliver outcomes for customers, but also the right tools to grow their career within your company.

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