Migration of Dynamics On-premise to Dynamics 365 cloud Online

A company can decide to do a D365 migration from on-premise to cloud/online for a variety of reasons, including improving employee access to CRM applications, lowering maintenance and infrastructure costs, facilitating integration with cloud-based social apps, and achieving a faster return on investment. Whatever the cause, the most important factor in realising this vision is the successful migration of CRM data to the cloud without compromising usability, accessibility, or efficiency. 

Via Scribe, MSCRM data migration platform, and other third-party solutions, Sysfore has developed the expertise and accelerators to streamline the end-to-end migration process, ensuring a quicker and more efficient migration to CRM online. Sysfore adheres to Microsoft’s best practises as well as lessons learned from internal case studies to ensure that online implementation and conversion to CRM online are completed without data loss or unexpected limitations. This is true for every company using Dynamics CRM to incorporate an online solution. 

Are you prepared to make the switch from Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365 Online? Let’s face it: in today’s cloud-first environment, on-premise implementations of Dynamics CRM/365 are on their way out. The cloud version of the app is where the bulk of innovation takes place. You’ve come to the right location if you’re considering a cloud migration. 

The product was renamed Dynamics 365 by Microsoft after it was rebranded as Dynamics CRM. With the rebranding came a slew of new features that were previously available in the Dynamics 365 Online edition. 

Since version 1.0 of Dynamics CRM, our team has been working with it. To execute a good migration, you’ll need a lot of knowledge about the product. We have extensive experience with both on-premise and cloud implementation models and can assist you with your transition. 

A good migration from on-premise versions of Dynamics CRM/365 to the online platform needs several considerations. 

A comprehensive review of your on-premise infrastructure and a detailed project plan are needed to successfully move from on-premise to online. To make a good migration, several factors must be considered. 

On-Premises-D365-Migration

Top Things to Think About While Migrating to the Cloud with Dynamics CRM/365

Functionality Differences 

The amount of variations in overall features will be determined by the on-premise version of the software you are using. All use cases should be checked to assess discrepancies in functionality until the device has been updated to the most recent version (preferably in a staging environment). This can play a big role in the smoothness of the rollout and user acceptance. 

Evaluate the new functionalities  

One of the most common errors we see in on-premise to online migrations is failing to evaluate all of the new features that have been introduced to the platform. If you’re using an older version (4, 2011, or 2013, for example), your online subscription would include a slew of new, powerful features. Now is an excellent time to study and assess your current system use and make plans to take advantage of the new features Microsoft has introduced to the online platform. 

Storage Prerequisites 

In an on-premise model, database capacity is constrained only by the amount of hard drive space available; but, with Dynamics 365 online, space is allocated depending on the number of users licenced. File attachments will easily consume the available online storage. Be sure to assess your storage needs and budget accordingly, or try a different approach to document storage, such as SharePoint Online. 

Reports Customized 

Custom reports created in SQL reporting services or other resources will need to be updated if they exist in your system. The online edition of Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365 does not allow direct access to the SQL database, unlike the on-premise version. To work with the cloud edition, custom reports may need to be modified to use Fetch XML or T-SQL. Furthermore, online reports do not help the scheduling of reports. 

Examine the on-premises 

The amount of work required to prepare your on-premise based system for migration will be determined by the version of the system you are using. Check for Java Script, Custom Code, the number of documents attached, data integrations, and third-party applications. 

Licensing – Assign each user to a Dynamics 365 certificate. 

The licensing model changed when Microsoft rebranded the software as Dynamics 365. There were three licence forms in previous versions: Essential, Basic, and Advanced. Application licences, Plan licences, and Team Member licences are all available in Dynamics 365, each with varying degrees of functionality. 

A User’s application licence allows them to use unique features (for example, Sales versus Service). Users that have purchased a plan level licence have access to all of the application’s features. A User with the Team Member licence can see existing records. When evaluating an online migration, each User must be evaluated to decide the particular features they need and the appropriate Dynamics 365 licence. 

The cloud ERP market has progressed past its early stages of development and is now entering a period of maturity and innovation that will last for years. Finance and Operations products clearly have enough flexibility to run complex global operations, and coverage for a large range of industry verticals is expanding thanks to partnerships. At the same time, Azure and its integration with other Microsoft products ensure that Finance and Operations customers profit from a platform that is always improving. 

The benefit of the cloud is that it incorporates continuous development into the model. Indeed, for enterprise tech innovation today, the cloud is largely the only implementation model. Building business applications for the cloud has the added benefit of deploying enhancements and new functionality on the customer’s behalf inside a cloud platform that largely isolates customers from the impact of change. Because of this continuous improvement feature, the return on a cloud ERP investment has a lot of room to develop without changing the overall cost of ownership. 

The Dynamics 365 family, especially Finance and Operations, should be on the short list for companies looking for the best possible alignment between application, technology, and the cloud. The time to prepare is now, regardless of when it makes sense to pull the trigger and make the transition to the cloud.

Customer Experience in the Energy and Utilities Industry

Customer Experience in the Energy and Utilities Industry

Current state of customer-centricity in the energy & utilities industry

Customer expectations are always evolving and changing. Even in an industry as traditional as the energy and utilities industry, customers now expect seamless digital experiences akin to the standards set by the retailing, travel and hospitality industries. Due to poor customer service, unexplained price increases, and hidden costs, the energy and utilities industry is witnessing a surge in customers who are switching companies.  Customers not only have increasing expectations they are also more aware of the choices they have. Under these circumstances, the energy and utilities industry need to adopt a customer-centric approach and identify ways through which they can build positive customer experiences.

Why companies in the energy and utilities industry should focus on customer experience

Customers expectations have also evolved and they now hold centre-stage under new market conditions. The key factors that have driven these changes are:

  • Customers are digital natives: The popularity of social media and the rise of mobile connectivity has made the customers increasingly vocal on digital. Any sentiment, positive or negative, can draw attention and reach millions within a short period.
  • Customers are now empowered than ever before: Customers have access to quick information and have a plethora of options available to choose from making it easy for them to switch to another company even if the experience is slightly different from what they expect.

To be successful, companies need to be obsessed about providing an exceptional customer experience. At an age where attracting and retaining new customers is turning out to be expensive for energy and utilities companies, customer centricity is proving to be the key differentiator.

A study done by Echo Managed Services found that 34% of consumers in the UK regularly switch utilities providers. This means that regions with more than one utilities company see a lot of churn and end up spending more money to attract new customers.

How energy and utilities companies can improve customer-centricity

To attain seamless customer experience and reduce churn rates, energy & utilities companies need to adopt strategies that can improve customer-centricity. Here are a few strategies that can be adopted:

1. Omnichannel Experience

Customers want more control over how they are contacted and want multiple channels to interact with the company. Identifying all possible customer touchpoints is the first step towards providing omnichannel support. Once the communication channels are identified, companies should establish consistent integration with support systems across all channels. To ensure seamless end-user experience for the customers, companies should also provide a consistent experience across all channels.

2. Integration of Social Media

Energy & Utilities Companies can leverage the power of social media to engage its customers and provide a better customer experience. A smooth digital customer experience can be attained through a comprehensive, customized and flexible social media integration strategy.

Many Energy & Utilities Companies have ventured into this space to discuss energy conservation and efficiency, customer education, branding and promotion, and to provide updates. Social media is gaining acceptance as a viable means of delivering vital communications, customer service issues and promotional offers.

Social media for improving customer experience in the energy and utilities industry

Source: Cognizant

3. Digital Operations

By digitizing operations, energy and utilities companies can enhance operations by improving operational efficiency and customer-centricity. As customers are moving towards smart homes powered by IoT and home automation, energy companies can further enhance the digital experience by integrating and sharing data with the customers. With the help of smart meters and built-in analytics systems, energy providers can empower customers by allowing them to monitor and control their energy usage. Companies can also leverage the data collected by providing personalized insights and recommendations to their customers.

4. Adoption of Latest Technologies

Energy and utilities industry have historically been viewed as a conservative industry. However, today, we see utilities companies adopting new technologies such as smart grid solutions and Internet-of-Things (IoT). Technologies such as Big data analytics and predictive analytics will help companies to segment users to provide personalized services to their customers. With mobile apps and geolocation analytics, utilities companies can provide real-time usage, payments, value-added services and other notifications.

Adopting customer-centric technologies and understanding individual user needs is the key towards attracting and retaining customers in the energy industry. Energy and utilities companies have to ensure that they make a positive impact at every touchpoint of a customer interaction – from onboarding, to delivery and customer service.

Utilities companies are now investing more in CX teams and technologies built specially for the industry. Understanding individual customer behaviour, providing real-time updates and creating a consistent experience across multiple channels is helping companies to delight their customers. The more transparent they are with their customers, the better their chances are of retaining them.

Smartify 365 for the Energy & Utilities Industry

Smartify 365 solution focused on the energy and utilities industry, provides a platform for integrating your operations and technology thereby enhancing your organization’s productivity and reduce downtime. We support your workforce by equipping them with the right tools, extract hidden value and uncover new revenue streams.

With advanced AI-driven customer engagement features such as customer insights, customer trend analysis, 360-degree customer view and proactive multi-channel support, Smartify 365 ensures delivery of operational excellence alongside intelligent sales.

Get Your Business Smartified Now

Schedule a demo to find out how you can improve customer experience with Smartify 365.

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights

The digital era has empowered customers more than ever before. With an entire universe of options ready to open at the tap of a fingertip, customers need much more than promo codes or coupons to be lured into buying your product or service and being loyal to you in the years to come. Meeting or retaining high levels of customer satisfaction today requires complex systems that understand customer behavior, purchase patterns, service levels, resolution times, and the like. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights fits the bills with its varied features and functionalities that power seamless, end-to-end customer experiences. The tool offers insights into critical performance metrics, operational data, and emerging trends from customer service systems to help you take actions on time when they matter. Here’s unraveling three important features of Customer Service Insights that make it a must-have for businesses.

# 1 – AI-Powered Clustering Of Customer Case Topics

Grouping customer cases of the same kind can be a humongous task when performed manually. Not to mention the countless hours required to compile the data, the additional burden it places on the customer service workforce, increased costs, and a higher probability of inaccuracies or errors. Topic clustering features built into Customer Service Insights simplifies the process by using artificial intelligence and natural language processing to automatically parse case titles and determine semantically similar cases. All this without user intervention. The model also equips users with finer controls to remove common tags and prefixes from case titles, so that only the most relevant part is used for clustering.

# 2 – Out-Of-Box Dashboards

Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights is built with a number of out-of-the-box dashboards that bring together traditional BI metrics, AI-derived topics, and KPIs. The feature helps customer service managers focus on areas that matter the most. The current version of Customer Service Insights includes dashboards for KPI Summary, New Cases, Customer Satisfaction and Resolutions. These dashboards are designed to help you identify areas of improvement through evaluation of the positive and negative impact of support cases on system performance, resolution time and agent performance, customer feedback, and system support on different channels. Each of the dashboards can be further expanded into topics and drilled down further to review how the specific case topic impacts CSAT and other key metrics. What’s more, these BI-powered dashboards are interactive and on right-clicking, provide dedicated analytics for these topics within dashboards created for them.

# 3 – Better-Together Solutions Across Customer Service

Customer Service Insights is designed to access and import case data from the Common Data Service (CDS). By default, it fetches records created by Dynamics 365. This, however, is no deterrent to businesses who are not users of the software that combines ERP and CRM under the same roof. In the absence of default data structures, the system prompts you to select the appropriate storage location for case data, thus enabling you to bring data from other case management systems use them in conjunction with Customer Service Insights, made possible by data integration capabilities within CDS.

Artificial Intelligence lies at the heart of this offering by Microsoft. Coupled with a rich set of dashboards and integration capabilities, Customer Service Insights brings to the table a holistic solution that can make a marked improvement in customer experience – one that gives a detailed picture of your customer service system while also helping you identify key areas that can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction and system performance.

Customer Service Insights has only been made generally available recently and is expected to see many more added features and integrations in the days to come.