Tag Archives: Digital Transformation

Is Digital Transformation for sale? Really?

Guus KrabbenborgGuus Krabbenborg is well-known as a business trainer, consultant, blogger and frequently speaker in the Microsoft world. As an expert, he speaks like no other about changes and possibilities in an increasingly digitizing world. We are pleased to welcome the highly-inspiring speaker to our Business Day. With a blog post about digital transformation, he is already getting us in the mood for his speeches:

Today, Digital Transformation is a strategic topic for every company on the planet. Everybody knows examples of companies that have ignored the need to change. Or that started the change process too late. And where that led to. Of course, Digital Transformation has a lot to do with IT and software solutions. However, the question is if you simply can order Digital Transformation from the pricelist of your IT vendor.

The answer to this question is of course No! Digital Transformation is not an article number on the pricelist of any vendor in today’s world. On the contrary, the change process that comes naturally with this transformation is dominated by the so called ‘human factors’. Like the need for a vision on the future. Like trust and internal support. Clear communication about the goals and underlying strategies. Commitment of all parties involved. And exemplary behavior of the leaders.

I strongly believe that IT solutions form an important part of a successful transformation process. But I also believe that it’s valuable contribution is much less than 50 percent of the total project success.

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Digital transformation – in business applications as well?

Commercial applications have not been left out of the discussion on comprehensive digitization of our environment. While digital solutions are only now starting to take up a central and active role in numerous areas of our everyday life, e.g., autonomous driving, many operations of all serious companies and industries have been inconceivable without IT for a long time. In fact, these companies were the driving force behind IT development long before the private sector.

Digital Transformation with Dynamics 365

Today’s digital transformation is not just about technology. Rather, it entails a comprehensive strategy that puts organizations and business models to the test of implementing new ways of interacting with people, data, and processes. A significant part of the added value will be in the digital sector in the future. This has consequences, not least for business software. The roots of many ERP systems still date back to the 1980s and the systems have continuously been adapted over time to suit the respective requirements. Another update will not be enough to adapt the software to meet today’s requirements for the comprehensive digitization.

Why do we also have to rethink our business software?

Today customer relationships work more differently than a few years ago. The market transparency is many times higher and the opportunity to operate internationally has become much easier – competition is diverse. That makes it even more important to establish a stable and reliable cooperation with our customers, that guarantees the same level of quality across different situations. Studies foresee that the “customer experience” in dealing with a company is becoming increasingly important and will soon be just as relevant as “price” or “brand”.

Skills shortages are not an industry-specific problem. Our corporate resources are limited and the productivity of each employee is critical. Fast training, project-oriented way of working instead of controlled routines and teamwork across different locations are the keywords that now set the bar for the IT infrastructure of a company. Attractive workplaces must be modern and meet the desire for flexibility and mobility, which knows a new generation of private software usage habits.

Technology enables speed and flexibility. In today’s environment, the features a software should keep are changing fast. New business models emerge and increase competition constantly. Many companies are forced to act, to stem the loss of market share at least. Companies that offer their own new and better IT-based services can gain new customers quickly and offer well-targeted and individual products and services. With Dynamics 365, Microsoft has rethought the conventional ERP and CRM concepts and launched a solution that is well suited for a modern business applications architecture.

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Relevance of high availability on the rise

High AvailabilityIn times of growing digitalization, it is almost impossible for companies to operate without Internet availability and the right business software. Therefore it is very serious when a network component or even the entire IT infrastructure goes down. Even short downtimes can result in high costs and annoyed customers – another reason to tackle the topic of high availability in one’s own company.

The importance of high availability has already been deeply rooted in the corporate awareness of large companies. Small and mid-sized companies, however, still often put the topic into cold storage due to time and costs. A big mistake, considering that longer network and database downtimes can, in critical cases, even threaten the continued existence of companies. The aim is to keep systems available even if one or more components relevant to the company go down. Only after it is already too late and components of the infrastructure are already down, most companies usually first realize the importance of high availability. However, not only sudden failures of the systems or individual components, but also planned downtimes, for example in the case of necessary maintenance work, should be considered.

Different levels of high availability

A system can only be classified as highly available if it manages to achieve more than 99.9% availability in 24/7 operation. Downtime is thus reduced to less than 8.5 hours over the course of year. Adding further decimal places subsequently increases availability. According to this, an availability of 99.9999 % means a much shorter downtime of around 32 seconds in a year. This classification form also serves as a benchmark for highly available systems on the IT market.

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Optimise Business Processes with Machine Learning and Dynamics NAV 2017

Machine Learning with Dynamics NAV 2017The unstoppable progress of digital transformation not only changes the way of living and working of private individuals, but also presents big challenges to companies on a regular base. An efficient way of dealing with the increasingly rapid transformation are modern technologies and approaches such as machine learning.

In order to stay at the pulse of the times, executives should prepare themselves in time for the continuing digitalisation of the business world. This digitalisation also offers companies numerous advantages that not only facilitate administrative processes and general everyday operations, but also secure competitiveness in the long term. For example:

  • Creation of flexible work forms
  • Service optimisation through online support
  • Cross-location working
  • Streamlining administration
  • Outsourcing administrative processes

In order to strengthen or even improve ones’ own position in the competition, to increase productivity, quality and sales, and to save money by a more efficient use of resources, the use of machine learning is recommended. Machine learning is not a finished software product, but an individualisable learning and optimisation process. Using machine learning, algorithms are developed with the aim of analysing historical data automatically and identifying patterns therein. The results can finally be used as predictions and thus as a basis for future business decisions or to solve problems.

Efficient machine learning with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning in combination with the data source Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 is worthwhile for the introduction of machine learning into ones’ own company. The advantages for the companies include the following:

  • Assess the sales potential
    Efficient business management with the help of “learning” sales forecasts based on historical data.
  • Prompt overview of stock shortages
    Timely overview of inventory developments based on current stock bookings and dynamic sales forecasts.
  • Decision optimisation
    Realistic predictions as solid decision-making bases by means of various machine-learning algorithms and continuous result comparisons.
  • Transparency of predictive quality
    Evaluation of the calculated prediction results in everyday practice. Successive optimisation of prediction quality through exclusion or weighting of the predictions obtained.

Machine learning is used wherever large quantities of data are analysed and compactede into business or scientifically quantity and value indicators. According to experts, machine learning will be ready for the market and business-relevant across the board in two to five years. It is worth getting started with it now.

Get an overview over Microsoft Azure Machine Learning in the following video:

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning