Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement is used widely by UK central and local government. NTT DATA has long experience deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement into the Public Sector, including the Department for Education, Met Office and Charities Commission.
Why is Microsoft Dynamics 365 so successful where other leading CRM platform vendors have struggled?
Here are five reasons for its success.
1: Process automation – supporting the move to Lean Government
As government departments strive to do more with less, efficiency savings are high on the agenda. This is driving the automation of manual and inefficient processes and replacement of outdated legacy systems.
CRM systems have traditionally supported marketing, sales and customer service functions, but many have evolved into platforms that can be used to build solutions for managing correspondence management, registration services or membership management. Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers out-of-the-box features that make it an excellent choice for departments looking to automate processes, improve data quality and provide better management reporting.
Departments are taking advantage of the Microsoft online suite of services by integrating with Office 365 and advanced Microsoft Azure services including Microsoft Flow, Power BI, Cognitive Services and Machine Learning. These enable process automation across their existing IT landscape, the breaking down of information silos and the generation of value from data.
In short, Microsoft Dynamics 365, coupled with Azure services, allows departments to achieve higher quality services for less.
2: Subscription costs – cost effective subscription model
It is well known that the affordability of software is high on the agenda of government when looking to implement new solutions. Microsoft offers discounted Public Sector pricing, but perhaps more importantly, a tiered subscription model. Government deployments often involve large numbers of users and therefore gain considerable licence cost savings using tiered subscription fees.
Once a user is assigned a licence, they can access other Dynamics 365 solutions deployed by the organisation. At NTT DATA, we often see Dynamics 365 being used to resolve a range of different business problems within a single organisation. One user with a single license can access all solutions at no extra cost, which provides organisations with higher returns on their licencing investments.
3: Office 365 – the first steps to the cloud
Guided by the government’s cloud first strategy, many departments have deployed Office 365, implemented Azure single sign-on and started to migrate applications to hybrid cloud environments. These first steps into the cloud have shown that Microsoft Azure is a secure, reliable, scalable and cost-effective solution.
This has given departments the confidence to deploy more cloud-based services. With Azure authentication, network and security services often already in place, it is easier to deploy Dynamics 365 and take advantage of other services in the Azure ecosystem.
4: Configuration not code – reduced cost and time to deliver
Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides rich functionality and features. These can be tailored to meet an organisation’s requirements to achieve high user adoption and meet business objectives. With Dynamics 365, our experience has shown that up to 95% of changes to the out-of-the-box solution can be done via configuration, without the need to write code. This dramatically reduces development time and costs, allowing departments to do more with their budgets and respond quickly to business change.
At NTT DATA, we believe that writing a bespoke code should be the last resort since configuration is faster to implement, cheaper to deliver and simpler to maintain. Post implementation, this configuration approach allows departments to modify the solution themselves, without the need for additional professional services, which also reduces ongoing enhancement costs.
5: Self-Service – meeting citizen expectations and reducing cost of service
Being able to interact with government at any time and across a range of devices is becoming more important for consumers. For a department, the more a citizen can self-serve the better, as costs to manage interactions are reduced. Self-service done correctly is a win-win scenario.
Dynamics 365 provides several features to help deliver self-service. This includes an easily configurable portal, allowing external users to securely interact with Dynamics 365 data. Additionally, Azure natural language understanding and machine learning enable chatbots that can automatically answer citizens’ questions.
How you can get the most from Dynamics 365
Today, budgets everywhere are under pressure, the skills landscape is fast changing, and citizens are expecting more. NTT DATA believes that Dynamics 365 can offer a highly configurable and cost-effective off-the-shelf solution that supports cloud-based IT strategies. This helps government departments narrow the skills gap and contributes to the reduction in cost of government services, while maintaining excellent citizen experiences.
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