Is your Digital Transformation the Christmas present you thought you wanted and got, but it sucks?

Digital transformation is one of the hottest topics when it comes to IT lately. In a recent CIO article, 7 Digital Transformation Myths, several business and IT people were interviewed, including Dan Doggendorf, VP of business operations and CIO for the Dallas Stars NHL hockey team. He says to avoid a digital transformational fail, you should take the advice author Stephen Covey has about “beginning with the end in mind. Otherwise, you’re just spending money on new cool toys. It’s the Christmas present you thought you wanted and got, but it sucks.” 

Has this ever happened to you? You were dying for a Hatchimal but were disappointed after you opened it on Christmas morning? Ok, maybe not. Or the Xbox One X…ok, that sounds pretty awesome.

The article goes on to say that a successful digital transformation can deliver significant rewards. But these common misconceptions can undermine your company’s ability to achieve desired results. These are the most common myths:

Myth No. 1: Digital transformation is an IT function

I agree that this is a myth. We recommend that our clients involve more functional and operational business units than just IT in a digital transformation. To truly transform your business, you must have buy-in from all departments.

Myth No. 2: True transformation is a blue chip’s journey

We have solutions for businesses of all sizes and find that even the smallest company can successfully transform their business with Microsoft Dynamics.

Myth No. 3: Digital transformation is about reducing the workforce

People are nervous that they will be replaced by machines with all of the machine learning and IoT that’s out there now. But, as it says in the article, I think companies are seeing the opposite: The more automation and data analytics that organizations put in place, the more human beings are needed to drive the algorithms and understand what’s happening in complex buildings or manufacturing plants.

Myth No. 4. Digital transformation is all about the technology

The article says that a digital transformation is not just all about the technology, but invest[ing] in building the right culture, and also in the transformation of the IT function, including new skills and partnering opportunities.

This is where you must think about new and better ways to delight your customers. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and Customer Service empowers sales, marketing and customer service with insights to personalize relationships, predict customer needs, and increase sales.


Myth No. 5: Executive buy-in is a sure thing

You can’t always count on executive buy-in, and if executives are not fully on board with your project, it won’t be successful. Involve executives in digital transformation meetings from the get-go.

Myth No. 6: Digital transformation brings IT-business harmony

It’s not always harmonious when business people and IT people are in the same room. That’s what we are here to help with. SBS Group has a streamlined approach that ensures everyone is operating from the same blueprint, helping you realize business value faster.

Myth No. 7. The digital journey ends at implementation

Often companies believe go-live is when their digital transformation ends, and this simply isn’t true. Without regular check-ups, training, and re-training, there is a danger of low user adoption and a wasted IT budget. SBS Group’s E3 system integrates strategic planning, ERP and CRM, Business Intelligence and Analytics together, enabling the entire organization to create, communicate, measure and manage plans, objectives, and initiatives at the organization, team, and individual level.

I hope that you don’t fall into the trap of these digital transformation myths this holiday season. Let us know if you have a concern about any of the seven above and we can help. Join us for one of our upcoming webcasts where we talk about how Dynamics 365 can help.

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.


What in the heck does “Digital Transformation” have to do with me?

Right? Until this week at Microsoft Inspire 2017, I had completely given up on living in an era when a phrase would outpace “the cloud” in business and technology circles.  That era hasn’t quite arrived but I believe there is a new and clear contender: “Digital Transformation”. 

I’ve spent the last week in Washington, D.C. with 15,000 of my closest friends and colleagues at Microsoft Inspire 2017 learning about the next evolution of Microsoft’s B2B solutions.  I must say, the event is aptly named.  Everyone seems to be drinking the Cloud Kool-Aid (myself included) and scratching out plans to take the software world by storm in 2018.  The event has, in fact, been inspiring.  Microsoft unveiled a number of new solutions like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Relationship Sales and the Microsoft Azure Stack.  They’ve even gone to great lengths to remodel their selling and marketing organization to make way for changes in the way businesses will leverage technology in the near future…which leads us back to “Digital Transformation”.

Defining Digital Transformation

I hear the phrase “digital transformation” thrown around on a daily basis, and even at this conference, by people hoping to improve their technology pitch.  More often than not, they’re describing a company’s ability to enhance automation with newer, faster or more comprehensive software.  Sometimes, they’re referring to social media, relationship management solutions or IoT.  They’re all over the board, but I get it.  It is a fairly general phrase taken out of context and one that can be dropped into most conversations with technology buyers.  The fact is, the transformation in question is more about the organization.  Technology is in part, the catalyst.

A quick visit to Wikipedia (always accurate) gives us this definition: “… the total and overall societal effect of digitalization. Digitization has enabled the process of digitalization, which resulted in stronger opportunities to transform and change existing business models, socio-economic structures, legal and policy measures, organizational patterns, cultural barriers, etc.”. (Khan, Shahyan (2017-06-02). Leadership in the Digital Age – a study on the effects of digitalization on top management leadership (PDF) (Thesis). Stockholm Business School.  Shahyan refers to the transformation of business models and the way people or businesses interact as a result of technology, but says nothing about features or functionality

Here is another one: “Digital transformation is a wave of business innovation fueled by cloud technologies like the Internet of Things, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and data.”.  This one comes directly from Microsoft’s Judson Althoff, EVP , Worldwide Commercial Business.  Althoff’s definition is more closely tied to specific technologies, but still points to “a wave of business innovation” as the actual outcome of digital transformation.


He goes on to say, “Driving our customers’ businesses forward through digital transformation has opened an estimated $4.5 trillion market opportunity”.  According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 86 percent of companies view digital disruption as an opportunity.  Companies across every industry are seeking ways to use digital transformation to empower their employees, better engage with customers, optimize operations and transform their products. Leaders recognize that successful transformation depends on their employees and culture, which is why both are at the heart of the offerings we are announcing today.

Interesting take: I’d say the most interesting way to illustrate how different technologies were being brought together to create something new happened early in the week.  Steve Hackman conducted The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestras (TCSYO) at Microsoft International Inspire Conference at the Verizon Center.  They performed Viva La Vida with work from Beethoven and Coldplay together to make something completely unique.

Earlier this year, our marketing director authored a post that touched on this subject and quoted Satya Nadella’s definition of Digital Transformation as “the process of taking your company where it stands now and adapting/transforming the way it does business by integrating the technology to increase efficiency and effectiveness.”   I believe that’s spot on.

I see digital transformation as companies evolving the way they operate, or as Satya says “transforming the way they do business”, to be successful in an increasingly digital business ecosystem.  For SBS Group, it often means helping our customers architect their technology environment to support positive digital engagement with their customers, employees and other stakeholders.  It almost always includes helping them take advantage of cloud services available today that outperform the traditional server room.

How Digital Transformation is changing ERP, CRM and other business management systems

When you change how a company does business, you effectively “disrupt” the current state of that business.  Upgrading to a faster system or adding features isn’t really all that disruptive to the business (even though implementations can be annoying for a time).  Replacing an ERP system with a newer, faster system often just results in more efficient automation of the same inefficient processes, or as I have heard and said many times applying technology to bad business processes only results in faster bad processes.

Dynamics 365: It is for this reason, that Microsoft has reimagined their ERP and CRM offerings.  Instead of enormous all-in-one systems that build on top of old ideas, they’ve broken their offerings into smaller systems that can be delivered more efficiently and cost-effectively through the cloud. And, have fundamentally re-architected them to support businesses on a customers’ terms – including mobile devices and broader access to data.

ERP and CRM have been broken into more usable cloud components that can be implemented quicker and at times that make sense to buyers.  Through the common data model, built-in BI, analytics, Flow, IoT and other components all the systems work together as one system.  ERP and CRM are now:

  • Dynamics 365 for Sales
  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing
  • Dynamics 365 for Field Service
  • Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation
  • Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
  • Dynamics 365 for Retail
  • Dynamics 365 for Talent

Microsoft 365: Just announced this week, Microsoft 365 represents a fundamental shift in how Microsoft will design, build and go to market to address customer needs for a modern workplace.  It’s a more cohesive approach and reflects the shift partners and customers are making — from viewing productivity, security and device management as individual workloads to seeking a comprehensive approach to secure productivity.

Again, what does this have to do with me?

Don’t get caught up in the hype.  Just remember that business are moving quickly to evolve and compete in an increasingly digital ecosystem.  Technology makers, providers and services companies are changing as well.

As you make plans for technology in your company, remember that “digital transformation” is often used as a buzzword, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t represent something important to you.  Think about how your business will need to adapt then look beyond the next versions of your current systems to invest.

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.

SBS Group to Host Dynamics 365 Webcast for Microsoft Partners with Scott Bekker of Redmond Channel Partner

The webcast will discuss the latest Stratos Cloud Alliance initiative – the Stratos Dynamics Digital Transformation program – and how it helps solution providers sell and deliver Dynamics 365.

SBS Group, a leading information technology services and consulting firm, has announced they will be presenting a webcast with Scott Bekker of Redmond Channel Partner focused on a special program enabling partners to sell and deliver Microsoft Dynamics 365 in just 30 days. The webcast will occur Tuesday, May 23rd at 2 p.m. ET.

The webcast, entitled “The Dynamics 365 Opportunity for MSP’s and IT Solution Providers – A Turnkey Dynamics Practice,” will introduce SBS Group’s Stratos Cloud Alliance, a new program for partners looking to expand their breadth of solutions while minimizing investment. Additionally, attendees will be introduced to Stratos Cloud Alliance’s new initiative, Stratos Dynamics Digital Transformation (S2DT), a program to help partners build a Microsoft Dynamics 365 practice in 30 days.

“Office 365 disrupted the market for productivity and collaboration solutions and transformed the channel business model. Today, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is blowing up the traditional channel model for ERP and CRM which has created a new opportunity for IT solution providers and managed service providers,” says Bekker. “Microsoft is working with a new indirect provider, the Stratos Cloud Alliance, to assist partners interested in adding Dynamics 365 to differentiate, increase customer stickiness, and open new revenue streams.”

Scott will be joined by SBS presenters Jim Bowman, Scott May and Dave Wallen. Bowman is the Chief Executive Officer at SBS Group; May is the Director of Channel Programs, Stratos Cloud Alliance at SBS Group; and Wallen is the Vice President of Marketing at SBS Group. All three presenters bring over 60 years of Dynamics partner experience combined.

Registration for the webcast is free. To register, visit

The Stratos Cloud Alliance partners receive best-in-class e-commerce capabilities from a dedicated partner team and access support services designed to simplify onboarding and streamline the partner experience. To learn more about the Stratos Cloud Alliance, visit

About Redmond Channel Partner
Redmond Channel Partner (RCP) is an independent advocate for Microsoft partners, including solution providers, managed services providers (MSPs), hosters, cloud partners and independent software vendors (ISVs).

About SBS Group
SBS Group is a national Microsoft master VAR (Value Added Reseller) with Gold level competency in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past 30 years, they have been recognized as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Inner Circle Member and Microsoft President’s Club member multiple times. The company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and operates offices across North America. For more information, please visit SBS Group’s website at Follow us on LinkedIn at, on Twitter at and find us on Facebook at

To read the full release, click here.

%d bloggers like this: