How Dynamics 365 can help you grow business during pandemic like Covid-19?

I have never thought that how my skills (combination of lead auditor and lead implementor of ISO 27001:2013 and Dynamics 365 Consultant) can be more useful to organizations in not just saving their businesses but help them grow during crisis.

It is no surprise that during the world crisis of Covid-19 businesses struggled to grow. No brainer, organizations aren’t prepared for pandemic like situations. Severe cyber-attacks like phishing, spoofing, impersonations, malware infections etc… has added cherry on the cake in making it worse for companies. As per the report by PwC, 47% of the organizations are unclear of the definition of crisis and 57% companies are having outdated business continuity plan.

I did the risk assessment of a leading scientific equipment manufacturer in the USA where I have been already doing Dynamics 365 CE implementation.  During the assessment, I discovered that there are security controls that are missing within the organization that are leading to problems like

  • Revenue leakage as they are missing strong process and procedures related that do not comply with Information Security Systems. This has been costing them nearly USD 200K to USD 300K per month.
  • Productivity. Nearly 40% of the productivity was affected because of loosely coupled processes within Sales, Service, and Marketing divisions.
  • Prone to cyber-attacks. Nearly 45% of the workforce were affected as they are receiving a lot of spam emails, malware infections in their Exchange, and OneDrive for Business.

Because of the above reasons, which they have never explored there has been questions around technology and platforms. There have been questions

  1. If the right platform has been implemented?
  2. Why invest in technology that leads to business and financial loss?
  3. Why not start saving money during crisis by keeping the projects on hold?

Next million-dollar challenge for me was how to enable organization recover and resilient?

Here is what I did…

90 days revival target plan

Setup 90 days plan for the company to recover and be resilient to stop revenue leakage to USD 0, enhance productivity by 20% and reduce cyber-attacks to zero.

Enhance customer experience

Enabling the entire organization to stay business focussed by prioritizing the relationship with their existing customers. It was more from extended time commitment than infusing large cost in the technology.

  • Implementation of eCommerce platform (NopCommerce) and integration with Dynamics 365 CE lead to order process.
  • Omni channel interaction for improved customer service using Teams
  •  Proactive with Dynamics 365 Marketing using customer journeys to provide sufficient information to customers at right time based on their touch points

Manage and secure access

Implementing policies and procedures as per the security control framework of ISO 27001:2013 and then enforcing it through Microsoft 365 Security. Remote work is the new normal, being productive without compromising security, we implemented Zero Trust Security.

  • Remote access to apps. Eliminating the complexity of VPNbased access to provide the tools employees need with strong security and high performance. Single sign-on with Azure AD. Azure Conditional Access coupled with Multi-factor Authentication (MFA).
  • Manage devices and apps. From traditional corporate PCs to mobile devices connecting through the cloud, modern solutions unify security and management to simplify support for the remote workforce. Microsoft End Point Manager using Intune and System Centre Configuration Manager.
  • Protection of data. Empower users to access business critical data without increasing security risk. Using Microsoft Information Protection with Cloud App Security and Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).

Some of the tips that came handy from Microsoft Security handbook.

Stay on top of customer service

Responding to changes in real time that connects with the customer at every touchpoint, increasing customer satisfaction through rapid, accurate case resolution. Provide around-the-clock personalized service through virtual agents, trained to respond to simple high-volume requests and gently guide customers to the right solution.

Customer engagement, retention through digital selling

During Covid-19, there is an inability for sales organization to meet and engage customer through face to face. As a result, sellers and customers may have difficulty visualizing products and services and understanding how best to engage with one another during the crisis. Building a remote sales organization that can digitally connect with customers ensures you are engaging prospects and customers in a timely and safe manner. Using Microsoft Bookings, Teams for video conference meetings, Microsoft Forms Pro for Surveys helped to meet customers digitally.

Migrating to a real-time, secure e-commerce experience using NopCommerce that delivers a personalized, seamless buying experience across all channels, further building customer confidence and trust. Bringing products to life with 3D models that demonstrate solutions. Layering on always-on virtual agents to answer routine questions, and create lines of personalized communications that target audience and gather relevant feedback.

ABC: Always be careful

These COVID-created challenges are unprecedented, making it vital that company’s approach business with a readiness to innovate. Unlocking the potential of the data and derived AI-driven insights that integrated within the existing processes. Data helped forecast fluctuations and stay ahead of changing customer demands and reveal trends that are used to rapidly adapt new business models, like “buy online with curbside pickup,” that build confidence and trust.

As we moved closer to the end of 90 days plan, we realized that we are better together, and we could actually

  • Stop the revenue leakage and increase the revenue by 30%.
  • Productivity increased by nearly 37%.
  • More secured walls with zero trust security. While there have been security threat attempts but none of them can tailgate with Microsoft security and hence 0% security breach.