Forrester Gives Dynamics 365 Highest Possible Score for CRM Product Vision

As a leader in a Microsoft-focused technology firm, it isn’t a big leap to say I’m a fan of Dynamics 365 for sales, marketing and PSA.  I’m clearly not alone.  In addition to 10’s of thousands of buyers, it looks like the analyst community is giving Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform high marks.

Microsoft recently shared this new report from Forrester, titled “The Forrester Wave: Sales Force Automation Solutions, Q2 2017”.  In the report, Forrester details how buyers are reshaping modern selling and the tools they’re utilizing.  Forrester wrote, “With all the hype around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, Microsoft shows considerable maturity in both its execution and vision for how advanced analytics will transform selling. Customers rate Microsoft’s pace and penchant for innovation very highly. The potential around analytics only improves with its acquisition of LinkedIn.”

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Forrester evaluated solutions for 10 of the leading CRM vendors across a number of criteria and gave Dynamics 365 a near perfect score for their product vision.  The 10 vendors included companies like NetSuite, Salesforce, SAP and Oracle to name a few.  The evaluation included analysis and scoring across 35 criteria and each vendor had to:

  • Offer a solution suitable for enterprise organizations with complex requirements. Each of the products included in this Forrester Wave deliver a broad range of functionality within its core capabilities and provides a platform and business user tools to extend this functionality to meet the unique needs of each of its customers.
  • Provide a solution targeted at multiple industries. Evaluated vendors target buyers across a diverse range of industries and sales models, including B2B, B2C, and B2B2C.
  • Have a product in general release and in use by customers. The solutions have a specific release that was generally available at the time of data collection for this evaluation, with references available for contact.
  • Appear regularly in Forrester customer inquiries. Each of the included applications is of high interest to a large sample of Forrester customers, as evidenced by the frequency of appearance in inquiries.

Data Sources Used in Forrester Wave

Forrester used a combination of three data sources to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each solution.

Vendor surveys. Forrester surveyed vendors on their capabilities as they relate to the evaluation criteria. Once they analyzed the completed vendor surveys, they conducted vendor calls where necessary to gather details of vendor qualifications.

Product demos. They asked vendors to conduct demonstrations of their products’ functionality and used findings from these product demos to validate details of each vendor’s product capabilities.

Customer reference calls. To validate product and vendor qualifications, Forrester also conducted reference calls with three of each vendor’s current customers.

“Microsoft delivers on intelligent seller productivity” – Forrester 2017 Q2 Report

It seems as if the wins just keep coming for Microsoft and the Microsoft customer ecosystem.  Advancements in the product, integration with ERP, marketing and LinkedIn offer deep, demonstrable value for customer seeking to sell and service more effectively.  In an age where “digital transformation” is fast-becoming the most common path to a competitive edge, it seems like they’re on the right track.

Dynamics 365 PSA (Project Service Automation)

In addition to becoming one of the fastest-growing sales, marketing and customer services solutions, Dynamics 365 has made inroads in a long list of industry and specialty areas.  The architecture lends well to free-thinking business leaders and technologists.

Our company is well-know for helping project-driven companies, so Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation is a natural fit for many of our clients.

When is Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA) the right fit?

March 11, 2017 by @Robbie Morrison

“Because it is based on a CRM platform, the solution is fairly flexible and many per-company customizations can be created without back-end programming.  Integration with Office 365 and other Microsoft tools is robust as well.  However, this flexibility comes with a price. While the solution provides strong collaboration benefits between sales and delivery resources, it is most effective for companies with smaller delivery teams and less complex projects.

Features included with Dynamcs 365 for Project Service Automation

Examples of companies that might benefit from Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation are marketing and media firms, light management/consulting firms, smaller IT services firms, and many other white-collar consulting firms.  Although I’m calling out smaller companies, it could be a great fit for large companies as long as their project delivery is still fairly simple.

Think about a company that provides creative design for television ads vs. a consultancy that deploys large, integrated ERP systems.  The latter may take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years and require multiple milestones, different skill-sets and formal call-center or on-site support. Other business that may struggle with CRM-based PSA are Architecture and Engineering, Construction, Software Publishers or even specialty manufacturers.”

Learn more about Dynamics 365

If you’re a Dynamics 365 customer and you aren’t taking advantage of the sales, marketing and customer service offerings, now is the time.  Visit sbsgroupusa.com to watch video demos, testimonials and walk-throughs of the product.  It won’t be long before you’re as big a fan as I am.

Best Regards

Eric

About Eric Forgo

Eric serves as the Director of Business Intelligence and CRM for SBS Group. He is responsible for developing and driving innovative solutions, overseeing related services and ensuring SBS Group customers derive maximum business value from their technology investments.

Eric has spent more than 20 years in the Microsoft ecosystem, holding executEric Forgo, SBS Group Directors BI and CRMive positions with leading ISVs and consulting firms where he led teams in the deployment of Microsoft ERP and CRM. In addition to his technology background, Eric spent the early part of his career in financial management. He is a CPA with a BS in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Boston University with a concentration in Finance.

 

Microsoft D365’s Got Talent!

We hear about talent a lot. Our TVs are flooded with reality based talent shows—America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, The Voice, and the list goes on and on. But today we will talk about a different kind of talent that’s has nothing to do with a strong set of pipes or balancing a bicycle on your nose. I am pleased to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent is now available worldwide.

SBS Group Blog post talent

D365 for Talent is a new Human Capital Management (HCM) application that is cloud-based and utilizes Microsoft Common Data Services. The Talent application can be licensed as a stand-alone solution or part of the larger Unified Operations Dynamics 365 Plan.

The Common Data Service is the Microsoft Azure–based business application model and storage mechanism for the Microsoft business application platform. Together with gateways and connectors, it forms the basis of business solutions that are created by using Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow.

Who needs Talent? It starts with the hiring process, where LinkedIn integration drives improved candidate pipeline development and analytics data leads to smarter hiring decisions. Once a new employee joins the company, customized onboarding plans ensure that expectations are clearly communicated and that new hires make the right connections inside the company to support their success.

Dynamics 365 for Talent: Performance Management Initiatives

The solution can tie performance management initiatives directly to incentive schemes, compensation packages, and employee engagement programs. Finally, managers can organize, monitor and analyze employee development initiatives to gauge the organization’s ability to transform today’s employees into tomorrow’s leaders.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent streamlines routine record keeping tasks and automates processes related to staffing your organization. These processes include employee retention, benefits administration, training, performance reviews, and change management. Dynamics 365 integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn Recruiter as well as other Applicant Tracking System (ATS) applications.

Talent

Dynamics 365 for Talent is based around three main concepts: Attract, Engage, Thrive

  • Attract: Hire the best talent faster by having visibility throughout the hiring process. A candidates LinkedIn profile is accessible and actionable within the solution. Interview scheduling can consider a candidate’s availability as well as the hiring team. Calendar invitations can be sent directly from the solution and the interview schedule is visible from either a candidate view or job posting. Hiring managers and interviewers enter feedback, hire/no hire recommendations and offer information. The HR team has one place to oversee the entire process.
  • Engage: Build high-performance agile teams. Customized Pre-boarding and Onboarding processes will set your new hires up for success with customized welcome packages, tracking required documents and first-day preparation. A new hire dashboard can keep your new talent in touch with key contacts and give managers and the new hire the ability to monitor the progress of critical onboarding tasks.
  • Thrive: Maximize the potential of your team. Dynamics 365 offers your talent a self-service approach from common HR tasks to visibility into career paths allowing them the power to drive their own career. It offers managers the ability to present a collaborative experience for learning management and skill tracking. Imagine the benefit of an evaluation process that transforms from an annual event to an ongoing growth experience.

Through Dynamics 365, your organization will have a complete view of the employee experience and allow you to provide your employees with an intuitive experience, your managers visibility and collaboration, and allow HR to deliver impactful programs.

Let us know if you’d like to learn more about Dynamics 365 for Talent. To sign up for a free trial of Dynamics 365 for Talent, click here!

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

SBS Group Achieves the 2017/2018 Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics

The company is honored by Microsoft for achieving outstanding sales achievement and innovation.

SBS Group, a leading information technology services and consulting firm, has achieved the prestigious 2017/2018 Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics. Membership in this elite group is based on sales achievements that rank SBS Group in the top echelon of the Microsoft global network of partners. Inner Circle members have performed to a high standard of excellence by delivering valuable solutions that help organizations achieve increased success.

2017/2018 Inner Circle members are invited to the Inner Circle Summit, taking place in fall 2017 where they will have a unique opportunity to share strategy and network with Microsoft senior leaders and fellow partners.

This recognition of Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics came during Microsoft Inspire (formerly Microsoft WPC), the annual premier partner event, running from July 9-13, 2017 in Washington, D.C.. Microsoft Inspire provides the Microsoft partner community with the opportunity to learn about the company’s road map for the upcoming year, establish connections, share best practices, experience the latest product innovations and learn new skills.

“Each year we recognize and honor Microsoft Dynamics partners from around the world for exemplary business performance,” said Frank Holland, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions Sales & Partners. “ These award-winning partners represent the top 1% of Microsoft Dynamics partners in terms of sales performance, but their critical impact on the success of our shared customers is what truly stands out. Microsoft is honored to recognize SBS Group for their achievements this past year and for their dedication and support of Microsoft Dynamics solutions.”

SBS Group is dedicated to supplying valuable solutions that help customers realize business value faster by working with them to identify the best solutions and services that accommodate their business needs while excelling in customer satisfaction. By collaborating with the teams at Microsoft, the SBS team maintains a strong expertise of Microsoft cloud services and technologies to provide innovative solutions, strong services, and positive business impact to their customers. This is the fifth time this decade that SBS has achieved Inner Circle.

“We are pleased to once again be recognized as part of this exclusive group,” said James R. Bowman, SBS Group’s President and CEO, “This achievement is a result of the tremendous efforts and deep commitment of everyone at SBS Group to delivering great solutions and excellence in serving our employee, partner, and customer communities.”


To read the full release, click here.

Minimize Seasonal Resource Management Challenges with Cloud PSA

Summertime equals family poolside vacations and fun for most, but summer vacations can represent instability in resource management for delivering customer projects. Employees are on vacation, and a decrease in available resources can be challenging.

Progressus-Logo-Transparent

Progressus is next-generation PSA and ERP software, mobile-enabled and architected for the intelligent cloud. It adds advanced project accounting, project management and resource management to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Business Edition to provide the most advanced business management solution for small and mid-sized professional services and project-based businesses.

What professional services businesses need during summer months is to maximize resources and streamline projects. With Progressus, you can:

  • Define resources and setup different skills to plan out the labor budget against a project
  • Setup individual forecasts on resources and measure their performance against the budget
  • Enter project resource budget in the Gantt tool to work with the resource allocations and submit changes to Progressus
  • Securely impersonate another user in order to report hours/expenses for other resources if they have jetted out to Tahiti again

Progressus provides a familiar, easy-to-use interface for forecasting and managing resources or associated project costs.

Common professional services scenarios illustrating benefits of a cloud-based PSA for a business owner:

 

> Responding to a Sudden Influx of Work

When the summer lull is over, small and midsized businesses need to respond quickly when an opportunity presents itself such as onboarding a new client or tackling a new project. Cloud computing can meet these increasing demands in real-time without the burden of purchasing and deploying new software. In addition, it provides new levels of productivity to remote workers or contractors, allowing them to access the system from any location, at any time.

> Difficulty Managing Complex IT Demands

Let’s face it, managing an IT infrastructure can be both complicated and time consuming, especially if it’s not your ‘day job.’ Cloud computing can liberate business owners by removing IT burdens such as upgrading software, addressing integration issues and optimizing performance of the network. It frees up more time to allow business professionals to focus on what they do best – servicing their clients – not managing IT.

In professional services, the only thing constant is change; what happened in the previous quarter does not dictate the needs of the next one. This perpetual state of flux is the primary reason that so many small and midsized businesses are moving to cloud-based PSA systems.

Learn more about Progressus cloud solutions here. Let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investRobbie-2017ments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

New Video Release: CRM (Dynamics 365 for Sales) Integration with Dynamics 365 for Financials (3 min)

One of the great things about Dynamics 365 is the native integration between different business functions. This short video is for current and prospective Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials customers looking for integration with a CRM application, in this case, Dynamics 365 for Sales.

In the past, financial applications that the accounting team used have been separate from the sales applications that the marketing and sales team used. This was important because these two divisions needed different information and needed easy access to only that information. However, maintaining, cross-referencing and updating two separate applications is incredibly difficult. What happens if a customer’s address changed? The accounting team may have taken note of the new address, but marketing and sales are using the old address. Someone forgot to update the address change in the sales application. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to repeat the same task in two applications?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials is directly integrated with Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM). This means that if a customer’s address changes, you only need to make the change in one application and it is automatically reflected in the other. What a time saver! Now, the whole company is on the same solution – giving everyone the most up-to-date information possible. There are many more features of Dynamics 365 for Financials integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales!

Watch as a Dynamics 365 expert demonstrates the capabilities of CRM (Dynamics 365 for Sales) integration with Dynamics 365 for Financials!


Watch what is possible on Dynamics 365 for Financials!

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