2021 Microsoft Business Applications Summit Keynote Summary

Dynamics 365

The 2021 Microsoft Business Applications Summit was held Tuesday. They shared a number of great examples of how companies are using D365 applications.  No worries if you were unable to attend. We’ve got you covered with some key takeaways.

Using D365 During the Pandemic to Thrive

Alysa Taylor (Corporate Vice President, Business Applications and Global Industry) started off the keynote by reflecting on the past year.  She discussed how companies adapted during a pandemic to not only survive but to thrive in strange times.  Businesses across all industries stretched the boundaries of what’s possible. 

Here are a few client examples shared:

  • L’Oreal: L’Oreal’s story surrounds the complicated machinery for the production and packaging of their goods. This machinery cannot be easily serviced remotely. Someone needs to be in the room to make the repairs.  However, it is expensive to bring experts to the machines as well as not safe during a pandemic.  They leveraged Microsoft Remote Assist and HoloLens2 to service their machines. As a result, they could make repairs even when their experts were thousands of miles apart.
  • LA Unified School District: This district services more than 650k students, 75k+ employees, and 1400+ schools.  They worked closely with their partners to implement a strategy to reopen their schools.  For instance, they created a daily pass system powered by the Microsoft Power Platform. This solution helped them bring children back to school safely. 
  • Patagonia: Patagonia moved to D365 almost 2 years ago. Just as they were about to move their Direct-to-Consumer business to D365, the pandemic hit.  They knew an in-person go-live was not possible after shutting down their offices, so they switched to Microsoft Teams.  Their stores became mini-warehouses with employees helping to take orders for in-store pickups.  As a result, the collaboration and innovation around Teams led them to become more efficient.

The Power of the Microsoft Community

James Phillips (President, Digital Transformation Platform Group) expressed his thanks to the growing community of partners and customers. There are a total of 2.9 million active community members with over 755+ global groups. Additionally, new communities are popping up all over to help you learn about what matters to you.

James also touched upon the Success by Design framework, spearheaded by the Microsoft FastTrack team.  This framework has prescriptive guidance and best practices for implementing D365, including 1000+ customer case studies.  The framework revolves around a series of workshops and templates to help ask the right questions to be successful.

Lastly, he stressed that data drives everything.  Businesses who learn to adapt to this new model are in a great position to be proactive and not reactive.  Your car, thermostat, elevators…everything can be a source of data captured in the cloud.  In summary, businesses should adopt a “data first” approach, versus an “application first” approach.

Microsoft Power Applications

LA Clippers create a customized fan experience using Customer Insights

Lydia Williams (Creative Senior PM at Microsoft) discussed how the LA Clippers are leveraging their stack in unique ways.  More specifically, how they are leveraging both D365 Customer Insights and D365 Marketing to provide real-time fan experiences in the following ways:

  • Customer Insights: The LA Clippers built a customer profile to understand products they love, what they are excited about, their interests, etc.  This data came from engagements, such as social media, mobile app, past games, etc.  By leveraging AI with Customer Insights they could understand the brands their customers would love. Also, they were able to predict what product recommendations would be best for each customer.  Lastly, they consistently trained the models using AI and Machine Learning algorithms to reach groups of fans.
  • Dynamics 365 Marketing: The LA Clippers also leveraged data they gathered to build a tailored event-based journey. For example, when a ticket is scanned, they send a coupon code via SMS for the customer’s favorite beer.  While D365 Marketing comes with some out-of-the-box event triggers, you can also easily create your own.
Dynamics 365

Humana uses Power Platform to easily schedule vaccinations

Humana pivoted its use of the Power Platform to help folks understand and get scheduled for vaccine appointments.  They created an outreach program allowing their call centers to provide information. For instance, they can share who they spoke with and if they need assistance like transportation to get a vaccine.  In addition, their vaccine scheduler app allows users to easily find the site to schedule vaccines as the customers’ zip code is simply passed through. 

Below are a few additional takeaways from this case study:

  • Power BI and Teams: They leverage these tools to see their Call Analytics and Call Performance Report. These reports include metrics like calls over time, call volume, outcomes, scheduled appointments, abandoned calls, time duration.  In turn, this allows them to easily track how many daily outbound calls end up in scheduled appointments.
  • Power BI Goals: Goals was one of the biggest new features announced at MBAS 2021. This is currently in public preview starting during MBAS.  Call centers can set goals for rates per call center and rates per user. Humana can easily add new goals, assign an owner, and create a goal value. Alternatively, they can connect to Power BI Data.

Want to read more takeaways from the summit? Check out these blogs….