Tag Archives: digitalization

Eight proven success factors in implementing modern business software

Business Software SuiteIn order to keep up with digitization in the corporate world, even classic business applications are on trial. In many companies there is need for action in order to map all segments across the value chain in future by an integrated solution.

At Microsoft the traditionally separated fields of ERP and CRM are growing together under the umbrella brand “Dynamics 365”; the integrated business application suite “Business Central” is a major part of this. Modern software solutions like this offer lots of opportunities, but the scope of implementing such a system should never be underestimated.

Even though new business applications have different pricing models than before and even offer leasing models, the implementation and conception of such a software solution is still a major investment. And even if manufacturers keep talking about “self-service” and there is no longer a need to provide your own hardware, for complex business processes it will always be necessary to include consultants with experience from other similar projects. Many companies will have to check and adapt their existing processes to the parameters specified by the new software. To this end, lots of plans and discussions are required to ensure the success of the project. So it’s worthwhile to keep the following principles in mind before launching a new project.

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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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Get rid of the data garbage!

Data garbageData, which is maintained conscientiously and always up-to-date, is indispensable for a frictionless running of many business processes in a company. Especially clean master data forms the backbone for a functioning everyday business. Although high data quality is becoming more and more relevant, especially in times of digitalization and big data, many companies, are still neglecting the issue of data cleansing.

Most of the time, this is due to the lack of time and personnel for a continuous monitoring of the internal and external data. Thereby, company data can definitely be called an economic asset nowadays. In most cases, by using a system for many years, more and more information, which is not even needed in the end, is collected. The result is an inconsistent database, which makes the structures more and more complex. This unnecessary waste of data interferes with daily business by significantly decreasing productivity and performance in a company and making important processes more complicated.

Data consolidation with Business Intelligence tools

With the help of an extensive data analysis, inconsistent or even wrong data can quickly be identified and corrected. Experience has shown that the early use of a flexible business intelligence solution – in addition to the subsequent use as a classic BI tool – to eliminate databases, which are faulty or no longer needed in your own system, will pay off. An external solution, such as QlikView und Qlik Sense, which was implemented on time, can, for example, serve as an optimal analysis tool.

Especially during the introduction of a new business software or the update to a newer version of the used system, checking and cleaning the existing databases is recommended before the migration of the data. Thus, unimportant old burdens are not transferred to the new, still clean system and will not interfere the handling of daily business processes in the future. On top of that, the available information can be used as a solid basis for efficient business decisions. So, free yourself from this useless data waste – we would be glad to help you!

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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