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Today, we’re hosting the first-ever fully digital Microsoft Business Applications Summit. Just six weeks ago, the community expected we would be together this week in Dallas, Texas. Now, of course, we are looking forward to connecting with you virtually.

In these past weeks, every business has shifted focus to adjusting to new and unexpected challenges, and doing so at lightning speed. Our team has mobilized efforts to help organizations stay connected to customers and maintain business continuity. Big transformative initiatives that would have taken months or even years are being executed in a matter of weeks, or in some cases just a few days—especially in healthcare.

For instance, in the United States, a New York state “Tech SWAT” team, stood up a new self-screening and test scheduling solution built on Microsoft Power Apps in days. On the other side of the globe, the Australian Red Cross rolled out a new platform in less than a week to connect volunteers with people who are self-isolating—built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

This need to remain agile and rapidly adapt to change is a key focus for this year’s Summit. Across dozens of breakout sessions and networking events today, we’ll share and discuss how you can use technology to align your business to this “new normal.”

Helping you move business forward

A lot of organizations are still in crisis response mode, and that’s completely expected. During this time, we are supporting customers impacted by lockdowns, as well as organizations battling COVID-19 on the frontlines. At the same time, we’re looking ahead to how we help organizations move from crisis into rebuilding, when the time is right.

Different industries are impacted in different ways, and the challenges faced by a large multinational corporation look much different than the challenges of a small business. Responding to the current situation requires also laying the foundation for the future—thinking a few steps ahead to be ready to restart and reshape the business to move forward with confidence.

No matter what specific challenges you face, there are several ways we can help your organization respond.

First, it’s all about enabling people and teams to work from anywhere. Working from home isn’t an easy transition for a lot of people. That’s why it’s so important for your teams to have a shared, collaborative workspace to keep business moving. If your teams haven’t installed the Microsoft Dynamics 365 app for Microsoft Teams, now’s the perfect time to do so. Your sales and service teams can update and share customer records from within a Teams channel, and use bots to search for records or account details.

The next thing we’re doing to support organizations right now is helping them rapidly respond to changing business needs. Organizations need the agility to stand up crisis response solutions quickly, adapt their workflows to changing needs, save time and money with automation, and surface the insights and analytics to make critical decisions faster. The Microsoft Power Platform makes this all possible. Here in Washington, we worked with Swedish Health Services to quickly build a Power Apps solution that tracks critical inventory like masks and gloves, and an influx of patients who needed lifesaving care. The app places this lifesaving information right in the hands of the healthcare providers who need it most, supporting critical decision-making across the entire Swedish network of care facilities.

We’re also helping organizations maintain business continuity even in a volatile global environment, with solutions to sell, service, and deliver on customer expectations in a remote world. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, we’re enabling new types of workers to be remote, keeping people safe while keeping critical functions running. And with increased call volumes straining contact centers worldwide, Dynamics 365 Customer Service allows organizations to provide consistent, personalized support while working remotely. On top of that, solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce keep customers engaged with your company, even when they can’t visit you in person.

Moving forward, businesses will need the agility to reshape the buying journey to better serve the needs of customers. IKEA Sweden is one organization doing just that—by equipping sales teams with tools to more smoothly take customers through the process of building and upgrading a kitchen. They are creating a collection of apps built with Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, collectively referred to as the IKEA Sales Tool, which enables the tracking of the sales process from the first meeting with the customer to the installation of the kitchen. Learn how the solution will help sales teams make the kitchen buying experience more personal.

Organizations also need to focus on ways to track customer health and improve long-term relationships. Chipotle Mexican Grill, one of the most popular chains of fast casual dining, is using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to create more meaningful customer experiences. They chose our Customer Data Platform to unlock real-time, up-to-the-moment understanding of their customers to drive relevant and intelligent engagement. They can now leverage data across channels to better understand their customers’ needs, personalize offers and repivot messaging around delivery and take-out offers, and adjust media plans in real-time to serve ads on channels that are more widely used. Watch the demo at the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event to see the solution in action.

These are just a few of the ways we’re supporting organizations around the world and in every industry. You can learn more about this work at Microsoft.com/together. We also encourage you to join us at today’s event, or access additional content on-demand after the event. When your team is ready, engage with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 community—ask questions, learn from qualified experts, and join the conversation.

We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!

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