Do you have the right tools for digital transformation?

September 15, 2016 rachel.browne

Digital transformation programmes are all the rage, as businesses look for new ways to serve their customers. Although many of these changes take place internally, the goal is always the same – to improve the customer’s experience.

Data, and the tools to work on it are crucial to reaching these goals – and if you don’t have the right applications, it is almost impossible to make the improvements your customers demand. Microsoft Office 365 has a range of features that can help you break silos and build multi-discipline teams – the perfect launch pad for your wider digital transformation programme.

Making data available everywhere
Traditional applications maintain their own data stores – which isn’t a problem in an organisation built around business units. But this approach means that your business is unable to gain a complete picture of your customers or operations. You cannot easily track the journey of the customer from prospect to lead to repeat customer for instance.

Microsoft Office 365 provides ample Cloud storage that can be used to host, share and collaborate on files. Hosted off site, this data is available securely for use by anyone in your team. Working on the same documents and spreadsheets simultaneously – no matter where they are in the world.

Making that data accessible
Sticking files into the Cloud isn’t particularly innovative – but using machine learning to search and filter it is. Microsoft Office 365 includes Delve, a smart tool that searches content across all of the Office apps, including Drive, Outlook, Yammer and SharePoint.

Delve not only helps you find specific information, but it also learns your habits, preferences and interests. So when your team needs to surface information and insights quickly, Delve is able to help. This might sound trivial, but a study conducted by Interact for IT-Director.com discovered that employees waste nearly one working day every week just trying to locate the information they need.

Multi-channel communications
A multi-discipline team needs to be in constant contact, able to ask questions and share knowledge as quickly and efficiently as possible. Office 365 provides Outlook email and Skype for Business telephone calls, as well as Yammer instant messaging, Microsoft Planner and even traditional web forums in SharePoint.

By running all of your communications through a central portal, your team gains several benefits. First, employees can contact each other through the medium of their choice – whichever suits their preference and the context of the communication. Second, team members can respond through any channel they choose – even if it is different to the one from which they were contacted.

This means that a member of the sales team can call someone in the customer support team. If that person is on the phone, they can respond with an instant message to let the caller know they are busy. They can then send further messages via Skype or Yammer without interrupting their original call. If further information is required, the customer support agent can send an email later.

But these features are about more than simply increasing the number of communications channels your team uses. All of the contents of messages and emails are indexed and archived, preserving their contents for future reference. So no information is ever lost – and your team can avoid having the same conversations over and over again.

Importantly, true digital transformation is built on what you do with your data. Collecting data is incredibly simple – but gathering actionable insight is much more complicated. Without the right tools in place, you cannot hope to build the data and sharing mechanisms required to turn your organisation into a digital leader.

Takeaways

  • Office 365 provides centralised storage, accessible anywhere
  • With a range of communications channels available, staying in touch has never been easier
  • Microsoft Delve will transform the way your team find and uses data
  • Improved collaboration, sharing and analysis will be central to your digital transformation programme.
    • Let us know your priorities and challenges for digital transformation and we’ll get back to you with some ideas and recommendations.

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