Crawl, Walk, Run – Where to Start in Dynamics 365 CE (CRM) (Video)


Debra: Good morning, everyone. I hope you’re all having a wonderful November 20th. This is Debra Ward. And today, we’re gonna start the third webinar in a session that we started back in September, talking about considerations and what people are really communicating or chatting with Encore regarding Dynamics 365 as a whole and implementations. So, again, my name is Debra Ward. Whoops. I’m just having it, there we go. Having trouble getting my PowerPoint to slide over. I am an account executive with Encore Business Solutions. And I have a little bit of a unique role with Encore, where I’m a little bit of a hybrid. I assist net new customers looking at exploring Dynamics 365 and exploring their options from many of the applications or modules that reside within Dynamics 365. I’m also a technical resource for our other account executives, for, again, net new organizations looking to explore Dynamics, as well as to our own clientele, any of our existing customers, being any of our ERP customers, or existing Dynamic CRM, or Dynamic 365 customers. I’m a resource to them as well as when we look at advancement of functionality or features within the platform and recommendations we can be able to do there. So, I’m a part of a lot of really cool conversations across many different industries, across different territories, around the world, really. I’ve spoken to quite a few people. And so, I’ve used this research and this background of conversations to be able to create this or be a catalyst for this webinar series, and really try and provide information that we find is a consistent conversation in each engagement. Excuse me.

So, our first webinar, this is a quick little review, was looking at the top five reasons why people are moving to Dynamics. And if you haven’t had a chance, please feel free to go back to that webinar. And I’d love to hear your comments. I wanna make sure that the information that I break down for you is impactful and it’s valuable to you, rather than talking a lot of technical jargon and speaking really, really high-level, from a technical point of view. But looking at how can we help you, and that’s primarily my goal in each of these interactions I have. So, again, the top five reasons, again, being visibility, being able to see how their organization is currently functioning. It’s not really to drill down and be a big brother per se, but to be able to understand how an organization is working and be able to see where those holes are, where those gaps are, to be able to create some wins and be able to solidify the next steps for an organization. Of course, better metrics, and understanding what our cadences are, whether it’s interactions with our accounts and contacts. Internally, from a process point of view, how are we currently working in? Do I need to be able to provide training or where are am I best setting my efforts? Ability of accessing information anywhere. So, I guess the cloud and mobility is a huge factor for a lot of organizations, whether they work remote, how are they having just accessibility on different…not having relying on all of your information in one device or in one workstation. Integrity of information. So, how am I ensuring that the information that we’re capturing is automated and that there’s integrity behind it, that it is accurate, and that that information and respective of how that information is captured is brought through in all of your processes, right? So, there’s no duplication of information. And then, again, once you start capturing all of these things, you have the ability to sit back and be proactive and, like, how can I make my business stronger?

And then the next webinar, of course, was looking at, “Now, that I’m starting to capture some information, you know, what are the critical interactions or pieces of information that I’m capturing? And then what am I doing with it?” That’s usually the two things that we start, or the two topics that we start with is, what am I capturing or the processes in which I would like the platform to assist my users and my company? And then how am I choosing to communicate it, both externally with my clients, my customers, my vendors, my subcontractors? And also internally, how am I sharing information internally and removing those silos that a lot of our organizations currently have, removing frustrations, building confidence of our users and, of course, bringing in higher level of efficiencies?

So, again, when we look at Dynamics 365, from a customer engagement point of view, there’s a lot of functionality and modules for us to consider what to be able to do. And we all wanna be able to leverage as much of it as possible. But that might not be a strong consideration or an intelligent step forward when we’re starting to look at that. So, initially, we look at, is this the right platform for you? Is this the right type of technology or what I wanna build to leverage for my organization? What tools do I wanna give them? And then hopefully, we’re able to satisfy that, Dynamics 365 would be an intelligent decision for you.

And then, we would start looking at what else within the platform, why am I leveraging this. Of course, being able to look at the power of Office 365, our Office applications, of course, but now, all of the other applications that reside within it. So, I’m going to start using teams and I’m using Yammer, SharePoint, how I’m gonna start to be able to utilize that to my advantage. PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, of course, but how am I going to be able to give extensibility to that platform to be able to do other tasks? There’s lots of considerations. It’s usually where there’s some organizations start to feel overwhelmed as to what is the correct approach?

So, of course, what we’re here to talk about today is where do we start and how do we leverage Encore Business Solutions, right? We totally understand the process of transition. We’ve been doing this for almost 30 years now. And with every implementation, there’s a lot of care and consideration. So, when we look at doing an implementation, we also need to understand that there’s a readiness available on both sides within both teams, right? So, that the organization is at a level of readiness as well as to ensure that Encore can help them to the best of our abilities. So, we understand the process of considering leveraging technology and the steps involved in that, right? So, from a pre-sales point of view, please leverage me, as well as other account executives and our customer engagement team internally about how we can be able to help you look at your options. We can be able to provide different pieces of information for you to explore and for you to be able to do some research and consideration.

Change Management is a very important part of any implementation. We do have a certified change management associate on staff that can be able to help you from services. But again, we are very, very sensitive to this. And we wanna make sure as we grow, especially within the next three to five years as majority, a lot of organizations are gonna be leveraging technology at a rate in which they’ve never have before. So, now is a great time for us to start talking about how to start leveraging technology differently, how to start engaging your users, how to start empowering them to be a part of the process and seeing where do we start? How do we start looking at this?

So, when we start looking at a project lifecycle, there’s a lot of things. So, within the pre-sales aspect, so speaking with myself or any of the other associates, so, at a high-level, we look at identification as to what are the goals you have and really the concerns or the triggers that have brought you to this point in leveraging this type of technology. Some would consider them pains. I choose not to. I choose to think about new directions and goals. So, identifying what business processes that need to change or what you wanna gain visibility into. So, we would look at, from a high-level point of view, what those interactions would look like. And then, once we start looking at planning and implementation and doing a project kickoff, that’s when we would start to look at the much deeper analysis of your business processes, your workflows, your achievements that you need to be able to leverage the system for. And then our consultants will be able to give a much stronger statement of work or a functional requirements document detailing out all of those transactions. And again, as we are a professional services organization, we would look at the effort and the time associated to be able to satisfy those goals for you, how you wanna be able to leverage the technology, again, which that is always a conversation. So, bringing your team and your subject matter experts, and developing them, excuse me, through this process is really key to your level of success. We’re here to be able to help and guide you through this. But making sure that once go-live is complete and once you’ve started to feel more comfortable within your environment, that there is that internal sense of ownership and to be able to take on these projects. As your partner, we are always here to be able to help you move forward and be able to look at continuing to advance the features, advance the technology as it unfolds for us.

So, what happens with our primary method in which we would conduct an implementation? So, of course, we do have our consultants and our project management team that would be spearheading this on on-course side for you. We would work with your subject matter experts and be able to conduct an analysis as I was just mentioning, look at a full review of your business processes, look at all of your requirements that you need. And then they would be able to take a step back and be able to look at how we’re going to be able to satisfy that for you.

Solution building. We would be able to implement, be able to start designing what is required for those requirements. And then, of course, to be able to look through the deployment. User acceptance testing internally is critical to the success of your environment and making sure that you are, again, your subject matter experts, excuse me, or the key members of your teams really do excessive testing on the system to make sure that it’s gonna be functional for them. And then, of course, there’s go live.

But where do we start? It seems like a lot, right? Usually, we sometimes, either in the pre-sales aspect of looking at considerations and where we wanna be able to go or in the analysis phase, creep typically happens, whether it’s the excitement of the goals and the new technology that you’re about to leverage, that sometimes it gets a little bit bigger than is necessary. So, we always recommend to start in a targeted area, right? We understand that we wanna be able to leverage sales and customer service, and potentially start automating work orders for our technicians on-site, which is the primary goal why we’re leveraging Dynamics 365. But now to look at, where do I wanna start? So, we’re gonna start at a very small, what we recommend is to start in a targeted area. A lot of people do start with their sales and that’s usually why I speak to the sales module first. And they may be able to look at, maybe it’s just pipeline tracking, maybe it’s lead and opportunity management, right? Be able to track correspondence. So, what are the primary factors that we want to be able to get the users to start using the platform at a more detailed level for them to become more comfortable with the type of technology we’re providing to them? And to then slowly phase in other targeted features that will enhance their day as well as advance the visibility into your goals, right? So, it doesn’t have to be really, really as in-depth as it needs to.

And then where we go from there. So, then create a phased approach. So, again, we might start with one aspect within the sales module. And then a next phase might look at using Microsoft Flow or PowerApps, looking at how am I going to automate some of my processes? Maybe it is creating a lead-generating web form on my website, so that people, when they go to my website, I will automatically create a lead or a case within Dynamics 365. So, I can be able to start automating some processes and streamlining the efforts for my employees. So, again, where do I wanna be able to go from there? Do I wanna be able to look at different cadences? Do I wanna be able to start then an integration into Business Central or GP or a different ERP application that you have, start layering in levels of visibility for the users, actions. So they wanna see product history. Do we wanna be able to create more of a project, sorry, account plan as to managing the cadences? So, again, we start developing and building that, right? So, looking at what is that…? The minimal viable product initially is to get the users engaged and to get them motivated with the platform. And then how am I going to be consistently evolving with the technology and working towards that phased approach? As mentioned earlier, change management is an important aspect of what we do. But we also want to understand that maybe adoption management is even more so, right? Because that’s gonna be something that you’ll need to leverage moving forward consistently, continuously. How am I going to be helping my users get comfortable in adopting the technology and this level of change as we move forward? As well as, now, we start looking at other applications that we might start losing, maybe we’ll start leveraging Power BI from a reporting point of view or we’re gonna be able to start looking at different VoIP systems or telephone systems to be integrating in and streamlining these processes.

And then run, right? Really developing your subject matter experts, having an internal team of power users that can be able to help make recommendations and be able to help expand the platform that you have been developing. So, again, Microsoft has developed Dynamics 365 in a manner in which…pedestrian developers is the terminology they’re using because they wanna put the power of this development in your hands, not into an IT specialist. So, again, we are here to help you as you grow and you morph through these processes. I mean, we wanna be able to be that strong partner for you, where when we start looking at architecting or looking at advancing into other modules or pulling things together, we’re here to be that reference point for you to be able to complete some of the tasks, as well as to be able to be that thought leader for you to be able to architect where you should be able to go. That’s the one advantage that you can really lean on us for is that level of experience and… I forgot whatever else I was gonna say there for a moment. Sorry. That we can be able to help making sure that you don’t paint yourself into a corner and making sure that they’re viable next steps forward.

So, again, looking at Dynamics 365 as a whole, again, typically we start looking at, from a sales perspective, we wanna be able to start there. It’s usually a great starting point because we start tracking correspondences. We start looking at cadence. We start looking at our health of our relationship with them. And then we get to start looking at how do we improve this? How do I improve my account management? How do I develop cadences, right? And then, of course, how am I going to incorporate Office 365 into this?

So, outside that current methodology that I showed you a little while ago, we’ve also developed something that we call a quick start methodology, where say, you wanna be able to start with an out-of-the-box implementation of Dynamics 365 for Sales. So, there aren’t a lot of fields that are missing from your natural process. There aren’t a lot of changes, excuse me, to the form that need to be done initially. So, we would be able to help you with a quick start methodology, which would be an implementation of Dynamics 365 for Sales in the cloud, if that’s the direction you wanna be able to go in. We would be able to do those integrations, say, to Outlook to be able to do the email tracking to teams, if you’re leveraging teams and you’ve developed that as your phone system, to be able to trigger calls from teams, SharePoint, to be able to do file management to give that visibility, right? But if that satisfies your needs, we can be able to execute that quite quickly for you. And then you can see the difference here in this methodology is that we flipped it, kind of, the analysis, oops, I apologize. I went in the wrong direction. I clicked on the screen. Behave appropriately. There we go, where the analysis is post-go-live, right? So, we can do the implementation. We can do those primary integrations for you. And now, give that power to you and the users, working through the system, developing your business processes is where you’d like it to go.

So, typically, if you’re an organization that has a pre-existing application that you’re moving away from, for certain reasons, our typical implementation process would be highly beneficial, right? Because you already have a lot of those things in place. But if you’re an organization that maybe is Excel-based right now or paper-driven, and you don’t have a pre-existing CRM environment or a pre-existing application that is helping you capture this information, a Quick Start is a really, really great place to start and help develop those processes internally. So, that’s why we’ve done this. We’ve received quite a few requests, looking at how can I be able to leverage this out of the box? And it’s a software implementation for the users, right? And again, it’s a great way to get those subject matter experts or those champions you have internally to be able to help with this process.

Now, one thing I forgot to mention at the beginning of this, because I was doing the recap at the very beginning is, if you have any questions along the way, please, please feel free. I have Miss Melissa on the line with us today. She’s gonna help with any questions you have. I would like this to be a little bit more of an open conversation, if you will, regarding methodologies and how we can be able to assist you in leveraging this and where we would start.

So, when we start looking at, I apologize. So, Microsoft as a whole, right? So, when we start looking at that, that cadence, or we start looking into a phased approach, so, we are here to be able to assist you in what that would look like. So, post-go-live. We’re here, of course, as a support system for break-fix or if anything happens, right? As well as we’re here to be able to help you with continuous development and growth. So, as an addition to the quick start methodology is we’ve also developed packages of ours that we can be able to help from either an architectural point of view or a consultative point of view. To be able to help the users and those subject matter experts that you have, to be able to start developing what those next phases are gonna be and to be able to implement them for you. So, you have a consistent cadence again, of adoption to the system and growth. So, the users are feeling that they’re always being heard and that there’s a consistent development there.

When we start looking at different technologies, so the two that I just wanted to readdress again, so Microsoft Teams, being able to really allow from a communication platform, to let your users to be able to chat, do screen sharing, be able to track our conversations regarding the high-level topics, whether their teams of projects that you’re currently on, or internal teams of members that are working towards a common goal, right? As well, of course, how you’re starting to layer in Power BI, looking at bringing in some of those applications that you already have within your organization that is not in a position to be removed anytime soon, or that you still seek the functionality of, to be able to bring all of your information and bring all of your data into one place. So, again, if we start with Dynamics 365 for Sales, and we start leveraging the other applications that you already have, and building that out, we can be able to help with the development of that accessibility of information for your users, right?

And then, of course, looking at Encore Care, right, being able to look at post-go live, Breaks-Fix support, sorry, Break-Fix support, any coaching that’s required. And again, being able to know that we are always here to be able to support and be able to move forward with you through the Encore Care Team, through myself, and the customer engagement team to be able to help look at what those next functionality that you might be seeking.

Miss Melissa, if we have any questions thus far?

Melissa: Nothing has popped up yet, but the question pane is open if anyone wants to type something in.

Debra: Great. Now, again, the overall goal of today was to look at where’s the best place to start. So, again, we wanted to, kind of, walk through our traditional implementation approach, but there are other options for you. So, this quick start might be a great opportunity for you to explore and to become more comfortable with the different levels of technology that would be available to you.

Now, after today’s webinar, I’m pleased to be able to… Please reach out to me. We will be sending out the link to this webinar as a reference point for you. But you’ll have my contact information, please feel free to reach out and we can be able to schedule a discovery call and be able to chat about how we can be able to help your organization move forward. So, if you have any questions regarding the application, or even through the implementation process of things, for considerations that you need to be aware of or things that you need to be able to think of, if you need that additional support, we’re here for that as well.

So, at the end of the day, we are here as our goal is furthering your success through the alignment of strategy, people, processes, and technology. That is our ultimate goal. At Encore, we want to make sure that we are providing webinars and providing information in a consumable platform for you that you can be able to walk away and think about. Sometimes we all understand, as I mentioned before, it’s a lot to consider and a lot to be able to think about.

I know we’re a little bit early for time today. But again, I didn’t wanna make this overly heavy in content. If anybody has any questions, please feel free to type in the chat window. As well as I wanted to make sure that this is something that you’ll be able to reflect on and be able to see what you’d like to do next.

Melissa: Not seeing any questions yet, Debra.

Debra: Okay. As well as the other thing that Melissa and I will be working on going forward into the new year, into 2020 is looking at new webinar opportunities for you. So, if you have any content that you would like us to focus on, or look at how you would like to…anything that you would like us to explore for you that would be beneficial, please feel free to reach out, again. Please, any feedback you have regarding the content or the cadence of these webinars, and any information that you would like to be able to work on. One thing I would like to be able to do next year is be able to look at the different applications. So, say, if we focus on sales and be able to look at the different functionality within it, we can be able to start with that phased approach, and as well as how we can be able to extend from that and be able to develop those for you. Just a little bit of inspiration.

Melissa: I’ve got a question here. Is there a demo site that I could see D 365 hands-on?

Debra: Definitely, definitely. You can go and if you do a internet search for Dynamics 365 trials, it will take you to a page, and you can be able to launch one yourself. If you have any difficulty, please email me, I’m happy to initiate one for you. I’m just gonna take my screen, and I’m gonna flip over to my Dynamics 365 environment. I do have one open here. So, it does come with demonstration data in it. So, it doesn’t have an integration. So, there’s a little bit of limitation in it because it’s not fully configured. But it does give you full visibility as you see on the left-hand side of the screen, the core entities that reside, so accounts and contact, leads, opportunities, be able to look at even collateral that you’re capable of being able to execute here within Dynamics.

At this point, this is usually a business process if it should be done here for your organization. Or should it be done in an ERP, in which we can be able to do that integration for you? So, once the sales order or an opportunity is closed or created, it would then trigger into an ERP for you. Marketing campaigns, quick goals, be able to look at your goals, your metrics. So, it’s a really great initial starting point to be able to look at and, of course, I’m here to be able to help if you have any questions.

Melissa: Right, and I don’t see any other questions coming in right now.

Debra: I hope this was beneficial for you today. Again, if you have any questions, please, the feedback would be great or any questions, please feel free to reach out.

Melissa: Thanks, have a good afternoon, everyone.

Debra: Have a great day.

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