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The past six months have highlighted how difficult it is to stake out ground when the landscape is constantly changing. The world has changed, and that, in some way, is a part of most conversations. Businesses, corporations, and enterprises are responding by searching for trends, pouring resources into data collection and analysis, and trying to get a handle on—if not a step ahead of—this fundamental reshaping of the global business landscape. The challenges are multinational, and effective solutions will be launched and reshaped over time, but one aspect of the next era is apparent: speed and agility will be essential. Businesses must respond more quickly than ever to circumstances that change rapidly.

Rapid changes with a gradual recovery

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reveals that, rather than the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic decreasing, there has been a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than originally anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast.

Infographic showing the World Economic Outlook Update as of June 2020.

In its June 2020 report, IMF states that global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, nearly two full percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. With 2021 global growth projected at 5.4 percent, this would leave 2021 GDP roughly 6.5 percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID projections made in January 2020.

When the change is this dramatic and rapid, the response must be equally agile and responsive.

Creating rapid responses in an accelerated timeframe

Today, agility drives a company’s success and it involves transforming organizations so they can run faster and leaner even while increasing their activities.

Companies are moving to increase their agility, some by creating new organizations within their structures. Over the past three years, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), has undertaken extensive digital transformation and realized significant benefits with proven ROI. The group created L&T-NxT, a digital startup, and turned to Microsoft Dynamics 365 to monitor its pipeline and increase win rates with marquee customers.

To build momentum rapidly, L&T-NxT needed a digital selling solution in weeks, not months. Other vendors that L&T-NxT evaluated would have required four to six months of implementation. But the startup deployed Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing and Microsoft Relationship Sales in fewer than 30 days.

Increasing agility with remote selling

As L&T-NxT expands its global presence, remote selling plays a critical part in its strategy. Its distribution teams use Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams to collaborate seamlessly in the context of opportunities, without worrying about security or unexpected restrictions affecting where they can work. And now that Dynamics 365 Marketing integrates directly with Microsoft Teams, organizing and managing webinars and online meetings is even more efficient.

Dynamics 365 Marketing integrates directly with Microsoft Teams

One additional factor to consider when transforming an organization to operate at faster speeds is how quickly a solution can be productive.

“Dynamics 365 had most of the sales and marketing capabilities we needed right out of the box, so implementation was extremely quick, and we were able to see the benefits almost immediately.”—Anantha Sayana, Chief Digital Officer, L&T Group

Speed begins with implementation and moves quickly from there.

Digital transformation: moving quick takes root

Discoveries, Inc., a Japan-based company, promotes the digital transformation of an organization with its own cloud products and consulting. It focuses on the human element as a gating factor to timely action, and its mission is to improve the digital experience for employees so an organization can work efficiently with a small number of people. Dynamics 365 Marketing is the core digital tool for this flexible seminar operation, a quick start to an effective solution.

The President and CEO of Discoveries, Inc., Yuichiro Shimada is driving his company growth on the belief that digitization of operations is essential in order to realize a flexible and efficient way of working—even with a small number of people. For Discoveries, that meant organizing and conducting 80 seminars a year, primarily to source leads. Its challenge was to provide advance event preparation, online guides, email instructions, and then all the post-seminar follow up with a staff of only two people.

When the impact of COVID-19 began to appear in Japan earlier this year, the company switched from in-person to online. The entire lead generation process is now centrally managed by Dynamics 365 Marketing in the Discoveries environment, which automates most actions.

By using Dynamics 365 Marketing at the core of marketing digital experiences, Discoveries was able to deploy its user-friendly event management capabilities and powerful email features quickly, all under demanding circumstances. Now, the company reports that the number of leads per year has increased by as much as 50 percent with its effective use of Dynamics 365 Marketing.

Bringing solutions to customers quickly

Some might think that the smart response to unpredictable business conditions is to hang back and see how things settle out. But, when your technology is already proven and you’ve demonstrated a commitment to continuing improvement, then you should be bold. The acceleration of the market landscape creates opportunities to rapidly discover innovative approaches and respond to new customer needs.

Marketing and sales applications from Dynamics 365 can help your teams understand customers better, collaborate remotely, optimize buying processes, and adapt to rapidly changing environment.

There is no time better than the present to think fast, act quickly, and adapt rapidly.

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