Where do you start driving Digital Transformation?

June 19, 2017 by Rija Raharinosy
Where do you start driving Digital Transformation?

This week I attended the first ITWC’s Digital Transformation Conference and Awards, held in Toronto at the York Mills Gallery. I was amazed by the amount of enthusiasm, energy and interest that is animating the industry around Digital Transformation. What I learned at that conference is that all industries are experiencing the forces of change and transformation in one way or another. If companies are not thinking about how they need to embrace digital transformation, the pressure WILL come from their customer base. Customers are expecting digital features to lead them to a more tailored, personalized and unique online experience.

So where do you start?

There were three major points that stood out at the conference this week:

1.  The “digitization” of things and the incredible progress made in big data and analytics is increasing the amount of available and actionable data;
2. The “democratisation” of Cloud, which gives organisations unlimited access to computing and storage power, is accelerating the pace of innovation and… COMPETITION;
3. Mobile computing is now a standard and no longer a nice to have;

The customer expectation has changed dramatically, which is fueling an increasing pressure on companies as they work to deliver on this expectation.

You need to realise that if you want to keep on surviving, you NEED to transform your company into an information company. You need to infuse your products and your services with intelligence that connect you back to your customer. Regardless of your line of business or your industry, whether you are in real estate, construction, finance or agriculture, you WILL succeed depending on how well you use INFORMATION to:

- Become more engaged with your customers;
- Empower your employees;
- Optimize your operations;
- Transform your products and services using digital content;

To be fair, there is nothing new with the above. What is new is that intelligent software systems are now available and can provide better insight from data that can enable you to convert that insight into intelligent action.
Microsoft and Solulan are uniquely qualified to help you transform your business for the digital age. How do we do this?

1.  We empower your employees by delivering innovation in Office 365 against key technology investment areas:

- Collaboration: Create a productive workplace to embrace diverse workstyles
- Mobility: Enable your people to get things done anywhere
- Intelligence: Provide insights to drive faster, better business
- Trust: Protect your organization, data and people

2. We help engage your customers by deploying a Skype for Business-based ecosystem;

Skype for Business lets you collaborate with anyone, anywhere, on any device, with the security and control of Microsoft.  Solulan can simplify your infrastructure with one platform in Office 365 for calling, conferencing, video, and, sharing. Skype for Business enriches the Office experience with group IM, persistent chat rooms, and spontaneous group voice and video calling. Skype for Business leverages data and knowledge essential to Office, Active Directory, Exchange and SharePoint to simplify your operations. Enabling PSTN Connectivity in Office 365 makes it even easier for people to connect and collaborate.

Get all your communication and collaboration in one place. A single client for IM, voice, video, presence, content sharing, searchable contacts, contacts info, Office integration, and Skype connectivity. No need for multiple apps and solutions — one client, one set of sign-in credentials. Conversations live across all of your devices and stay synchronized with Exchange. People can more easily communicate and work with the clients and customers they’ve added to their extended contacts lists.

Skype for Business gives you the freedom to work with anyone, in any location, at any time — virtually eliminating the need for travel.  Audio, HD video and web conferencing is integrated, simplified.  Skype for Business is available on PCs, Macs, Windows and Android tablets, iPads®, conference room systems, and leading mobile platforms. 

Spontaneous conversations, working sessions, and meetings can happen at any time. People in different locations meet and make decisions in an instant. Online meetings are easy to host, join, and manage with Skype for Business. 

As a Skype Operations Framework aligned partner, Solulan can help you define your UC strategy and eliminate the need for separate PBX systems with Skype for Business. You can simplify your system for a big reduction in telephony-related expenses. Skype for Business modernizes the stand-alone telephony experience, integrating a ﴾VoIP) offering with other modes of communications. This creates a richer experience for people. Enterprise Voice users can call coworkers on your organization’s VoIP network with Cloud PBX, and they can also call any phone number — even if it’s outside of your organization. Cloud PBX in Office 365 provides the features you need to eliminate traditional PBX systems and the associated costs.

Skype for Business is designed to deliver a complete, high quality experience — for every conversation and every meeting.  We go further in making our group experiences feel just as familiar and easy to use. Skype Meeting Broadcast extends the reach of Skype Meetings to up to 10,000 attendees for webinars, all-hands meetings, and other one-to-many presentations. Scheduling options allow you to limit attendance to people in your organization or open it to everyone on the Internet. Skype Meeting Broadcast is leveraging Azure Media Services and scale to thousand(s) of endpoints. Attendees view the video, content and listen to the audio of the broadcast using any browser, no client or plug-in is required. Social streams like Yammer can be integrated into the attendee experience. Broadcast Meetings can be recorded and stored in the cloud.

Solulan can help you build your own communication experiences to engage with your customers by using Skype in your web pages and apps through our partnership with Anywhere 365, using Skype for Business, you can now predict what customers want even before they know they want it. It also includes giving customers new, more natural ways—such as human language—to relate to your company.
What if your customers could speak to your product to voice their needs? What if you could say to your car while driving, “Schedule an appointment with the garage; there’s a vibration when I go over 60 mph.”

Microsoft offers a range of cognitive services APIs for recognizing speech and images, doing intelligent web searches, and performing other machine learning tasks, in its Azure cloud.

Start-ups like our partner WORKSTREAMPEOPLE can quickly and easily integrate these APIs into existing software applications such as Anywhere 365 to give them incredible new dimensions of human interactivity.

3. We optimize your operations by moving your data and applications into the Cloud. Solulan can help you move data and applications into Azure and start reaping the benefits of the Microsoft Cloud. This translates to lower costs and unlimited computer scalability, management simplicity and availability ALL in Canada.

Pushing your servers from your own datacenter to Azure will give your business exciting new capabilities that will enable it to be more agile and competitive in a hyper-competitive marketplace.
As an example of a company using the cloud to transform its business one step at a time is Whole Foods, a grocery store chain. Whole Foods put application sign-on credentials for its 91,000 employees in the cloud (Azure Active Directory) to support mobile productivity and seamless access to a growing portfolio of SaaS business applications. Improved security, lower support costs (related to password resets and onboarding new SaaS vendors), and savings in on-premises infrastructure have all been critical wins for the retailer.

Once your data and applications are in the cloud, you can take operational efficiency to the next level, beyond knowing what’s happening now in your business to anticipating what will happen, by using Azure Machine Learning predictive analytics, Azure IoT Suite, and Cortana Intelligence Suite.
Digital Transformation is in your future, and it’s easier than you may think to get started. Within minutes, you can have virtual machines running in Azure, loaded with whatever software you want, to develop and test a new idea or give an existing application more performance and scalability.
Once you begin to cloud-enable your thinking you’ll be surprised at the ideas that begin to percolate. With the ability to enhance every phase of your business with limitless computer power and storage and intelligent software capabilities, it suddenly becomes possible to engage customers in new ways, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform your products.

DO NOT WAIT and get left behind in the rush to transform to meet the new requirements of the hyper-digital age.

Start a conversation with Solulan and learn more about the breadth and depth of Microsoft Office 365, Skype for Business and Azure services.

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