Tag Archives: organization

Power BI Pro & Power BI Premium: Flexibility to choose the licensing best for you and your organization

Power BI is a business analytics service aimed at empowering people and organizations with access to critical intelligence.

There are two licensing options for Power BI: Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium.

This provides the flexibility to select the model that best meets the needs of individual users and entire organizations – whether that’s equipping users with access to self-service BI, broadening the reach of BI content for users occasionally viewing dashboards and reports, or elevating storage sizes, increasing refresh rates and introducing other performance capabilities based on workload requirements.

So how do you know when to choose Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium? And what are the differences between them?

We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions we’ve heard from customers to provide guidance that can help as a starting point when assessing licensing options.

What is the difference between Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium?

With Power BI Pro, users are licensed individually and participate fully in the use of Power BI – both the creation of content and the consumption. All Pro users can connect to hundreds of data sources on-premises and in the cloud, create interactive reports and 360-degree dashboards, share that content with other Pro users, and consume content shared by others.

With Power BI Premium, you are licensing capacity for your content rather than licensing all users of that content. Content (datasets, dashboards, and reports) is stored in Premium and can then be viewed by as many users as you want, without additional per-user costs. These users can only view content, not create it. Viewing includes looking at dashboards and reports on the web, in our mobile apps, or embedded in your organization’s portals or apps. The creators of content in Premium still need their own Pro licenses.

When would I choose Power BI Pro for my deployment?

For small and large deployments, Power BI Pro works great to deliver full Power BI capabilities to all users. Employees across roles, departments, etc. can engage in ad hoc analysis, dashboard sharing and report publishing, collaboration and other related activities.

What if all users don’t require the full capabilities of Power BI Pro – for example, many are only occasionally viewing reports?

If your deployment includes a combination of users engaging in self-service BI and a large number of users who are only occasionally viewing reports, one of the following examples may represent the right option for you:

1) If an organization consists of 200 total users – 50 are engaging in self-service BI, while the remaining 150 are limited to viewing BI content – Power BI Pro is the most economical deployment option for all users within the organization.

2) However, if the organization consists of 700 total users – 100 are engaging in self-service BI, while the remaining 600 occasionally view BI content – the most economical deployment option would be to license Power BI Pro for the 100 users engaging in self-service BI and to license Power BI Premium for the 600 seeking occasional access to view BI content.

3) If the organization instead consists of 5,000 total users – 4,000 are engaging in self-service BI, while the remaining 1,000 occasionally view BI content – the best deployment option would be for the organization to license Power BI Pro for the 4,000 users engaging in self-service BI and to license Power BI Premium for the 1,000 seeking occasional access to view BI content.

A calculator is available to help you determine the mix of Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium licenses that’s right for your organization.

Beyond providing users with the ability to view BI content, are there other reasons to deploy Power BI Premium?

Power BI Premium increases capacity limits and provides consistent performance, extending deployments with larger storage sizes, higher refresh rates, isolation and other performance capabilities in the future (e.g. pin to memory, read-only replicas, geo distribution).

Even if all users are licensed with Power BI Pro, adding Power BI Premium enables these performance capabilities to be extended across the entire Power BI deployment, or selectively applied to cases where specific teams or even individual users require them – whether it’s a team of 20 users managing large datasets or an entire company of 10,000 users. Power BI Premium is dedicated capacity that can be allocated and employed at your discretion.

Also included with Power BI Premium is Power BI Report Server*, as well as the ability to embed Power BI in your apps. Power BI Report Server is an on-premises server that allows the deployment and distribution of interactive Power BI reports and traditional paginated reports completely within an organization’s firewall. The same number of virtual cores provisioned in the cloud can also be deployed on-premises with Power BI Report Server – without the need to split the capacity – providing the freedom to move to the cloud at your pace.

For embedding, Power BI Premium includes access to one API surface, a consistent set of capabilities and access to the latest Power BI features.

Where should I go to learn more?

Power BI Premium is available in a range of capacity sizes, each with different numbers of virtual cores and memory sizes that can scale as requirements change – read the Power BI Premium whitepaper for more information. Visit documentation for purchasing details, as well as here for nonprofit and education pricing information.

*Power BI Report Server is also available as part of SQL Server Enterprise Edition for customers with Software Assurance

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

3 Things a Well-Architected Salesforce Integration Can Do for Your Organization

rsz bigstock missing jigsaw puzzle piece wi 88882046 3 Things a Well Architected Salesforce Integration Can Do for Your Organization

Did you know that with a great Salesforce integration you can automate business processes, cut down on human error, and get a full view of your customers? All you need is a well integrated Salesforce system that enables data sharing across your entire network.  

The reality is, not all integration approaches are created equal. Some only enable data to be moved in one direction between systems. Some appear easy at the onset, but require considerable coding. Others only offer point-to-point integration and can only tie one system to another. And still others don’t act as a platform where data can be easily shared across the organization.

Businesses that choose the right integration solution will be rewarded with speedier, cost-effective integrations that can create unique competitive advantages to put them ahead of the curve. In our new whitepaper “Nine Strategies for a Successful Salesforce Integration”, we’ll walk you through how to pick the best integration solution for your company.

The great thing is, you don’t have to be a technical expert to understand and execute Salesforce integration. As long as you can grasp the concept of information moving from one system to another, you’ve got it.

In today’s digital world, customers, employees, and partners expect anytime, anywhere communications, instant responses, and up-to-date/real-time information. The battle for business will be won by being able to support business requests faster and better. To surpass the competition, enable your systems to work together at top speed. Read our paper to get started today.

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Huawei Upgrades Cloud Business To First Tier Within Organization

Huawei is elevating its cloud services business unit as a sign that it is focusing dedicated resources to the growth of cloud computing.

The China-based company published an internal notice to its employees about the organization structural adjustment, which will upgrade its cloud business unit to a first-tier unit, with more business decision-making power.

Huawei’s cloud business unit was established in April 2017 and it is led by Huawei’s IT product line president Zheng Yelai.

Prior to the adjustment, the cloud BU was a second-tier unit and belonged to the company’s product and solutions unit. However, as a first-tier unit, the cloud BU is still on a lower level than Huawei’s enterprise business group, carrier business group, and consumer business group.

The adjustment does not affect its core management. After the adjustment, the cloud BU will have its own human resources department, CTO office, strategy and business development department, and financial management department.

In addition, this BU will have separate accounting, which may appear on Huawei’s financial report for 2017.

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ChinaWirelessNews.com

Organization Insights for Dynamics 365

With the release of Dynamics 365, comes a very useful app that is free to download into CRM for Dynamics 365 only. This feature is called Organization Insights. It provides an abundance of useful information for system administrators. This information is normally found by searching through CRM or requesting it from Microsoft directly.

Organization Insights gives users the ability to see useful technical information related to their CRM instance. When users first open Organization Insights, the first page they will see is the dashboard. This displays all the pertinent information for their CRM instance. Users can customize this page so they can choose what information they want to show up first. An example of this is below. Having this information available on the front page instead of having to drill into or search for it will save users time in monitoring their CRM instance.

pic2 1024x435 Organization Insights for Dynamics 365

There are also various tabs that allow you to dig deeper into each metric. Under the Active Usage tab, you can see which users are the most active. It also displays the most used entities and is broken down into how many users are creating, reading, updating and deleting records. The most commonly used entities are also shown here. This can come in handy for scheduling maintenance and deploying new solutions into CRM.

pic3 1024x514 Organization Insights for Dynamics 365

The next tab is one that is very useful to system administrators. This is the system job tab. Displayed here is the success rate for all jobs, total executions, most active workflows and system jobs running per hour. This makes it very easy to troubleshoot issues with workflows.  The workflows with the most failures will show up here.

pic4 1024x458 Organization Insights for Dynamics 365

The following tab is the Plug in Tab. This tab displays plugin success rates and failures. This helps to see that everything is performing properly and will show if there were any issues with the plugins. This is a great view for development/support resources to pinpoint any issues that are happening behind the scenes in CRM. It shows exactly what plug ins are causing the problems.

pic5 1024x493 Organization Insights for Dynamics 365

The next tab is the one I have found to be very useful since this contains information administrators could not directly access before. This app now gives us the ability to see the top tables and download all this information ourselves without support from Microsoft. We now have instant access to this information and can identify issues ourselves. Administrators can now actively monitor how the storage is being used for their CRM instance.

pic6 1024x503 Organization Insights for Dynamics 365

The last tab we have is for API Calls Statistics. This shows the success rates and which ones are failing the most. This gives administrators the ability to quickly assess and troubleshoot issues in their CRM instance.

pic7 1024x470 Organization Insights for Dynamics 365

As you can see, this tool is very useful. This is going to be great for troubleshooting and diagnosing CRM issues. It will also help with monitoring everyday usage of CRM for an organization.

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Systems.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Five Pillars Of Digital Transformation: Evolve The Organization

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review features a cover story on design thinking’s coming of age. We have been applying design thinking within SAP for the past 10 years, and I’ve witnessed the growth of this human-centered approach to innovation first hand.

Design thinking is, as the HBR piece points out, “the best tool we have for … developing a responsive, flexible organizational culture.”

This means businesses are doing more to learn about their customers by interacting directly with them. We’re seeing this change in our work on d.forum — a community of design thinking champions and “disruptors” from across industries.

Meanwhile, technology is making it possible to know exponentially more about a customer. Businesses can now make increasingly accurate predictions about customers’ needs well into the future. The businesses best able to access and pull insights from this growing volume of data will win. That requires a fundamental change for our own industry; it necessitates a digital transformation.

So, how do we design this digital transformation?

It starts with the customer and an application of design thinking throughout an organization – blending business, technology and human values to generate innovation. Business is already incorporating design thinking, as the HBR cover story shows. We in technology need to do the same.

scn sy 797031 Five Pillars Of Digital Transformation: Evolve The Organization

Design thinking plays an important role because it helps articulate what the end customer’s experience is going to be like. It helps focus all aspects of the business on understanding and articulating that future experience.

Once an organization is able to do that, the insights from that consumer experience need to be drawn down into the business, with the central question becoming: What does this future customer experience mean for us as an organization? What barriers do we need to remove? Do we need to organize ourselves differently? Does our process need to change – if it does, how? What kind of new technology do we need?

Then an organization must look carefully at roles within itself. What does this knowledge of the end customer’s future experience mean for an individual in human resources, for example, or finance? Those roles can then be viewed as end experiences unto themselves, with organizations applying design thinking to learn about the needs inherent to those roles. They can then change roles to better meet the end customer’s future needs. This end customer-centered approach is what drives change.

This also means design thinking is more important than ever for IT organizations.

We, in the IT industry, have been charged with being responsive to business, using technology to solve the problems business presents. Unfortunately, business sometimes views IT as the organization keeping the lights on. If we make the analogy of a store: business is responsible for the front office, focused on growing the business where consumers directly interact with products and marketing; while the perception is that IT focuses on the back office, keeping servers running and the distribution system humming. The key is to have business and IT align to meet the needs of the front office together.

Remember what I said about the growing availability of consumer data? The business best able to access and learn from that data will win. Those of us in IT organizations have the technology to make that win possible, but the way we are seen and our very nature needs to change if we want to remain relevant to business and participate in crafting the winning strategy.

We need to become more front office and less back office, proving to business that we are innovation partners in technology.

This means, in order to communicate with businesses today, we need to take a design thinking approach. We in IT need to show we have an understanding of the end consumer’s needs and experience, and we must align that knowledge and understanding with technological solutions. When this works — when the front office and back office come together in this way — it can lead to solutions that a company could otherwise never have realized.

There’s different qualities, of course, between front office and back office requirements. The back office is the foundation of a company and requires robustness, stability, and reliability. The front office, on the other hand, moves much more quickly. It is always changing with new product offerings and marketing campaigns. Technology must also show agility, flexibility, and speed. The business needs both functions to survive. This is a challenge for IT organizations, but it is not an impossible shift for us to make.

Here’s the breakdown of our challenge.

1. We need to better understand the real needs of the business.

This means learning more about the experience and needs of the end customer and then translating that information into technological solutions.

2. We need to be involved in more of the strategic discussions of the business.

Use the regular invitations to meetings with business as an opportunity to surface the deeper learning about the end consumer and the technology solutions that business may otherwise not know to ask for or how to implement.

The IT industry overall may not have a track record of operating in this way, but if we are not involved in the strategic direction of companies and shedding light on the future path, we risk not being considered innovation partners for the business.

We must collaborate with business, understand the strategic direction and highlight the technical challenges and opportunities. When we do, IT will become a hybrid organization – able to maintain the back office while capitalizing on the front office’s growing technical needs. We will highlight solutions that business could otherwise have missed, ushering in a digital transformation.

Digital transformation goes beyond just technology; it requires a mindset. See What It Really Means To Be A Digital Organization.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Top image via Shutterstock

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Digitalist Magazine

3 Ways Your Sales Organization Should Prepare for AI

A company in the CPQ (configure, price, quote) space last year announced an artificial intelligence feature for its solution. AI is a trend, and it’s always nice to be trendy, but as great as CPQ is, it’s still only one source of data.

Without sufficient data, AI is extremely limited. It’s like allowing your toddler to learn only about colors: The kid might be a whiz with colors, all right, but without context — in other words, more data — that information won’t make any sense.

This is the scary, behind-the-curtain aspect of AI: We’re still in a world where the systems depend on us humans to ensure they’re getting the data they need to deliver good results.

AI can’t tell humans, “You need to give me this information, too!” They can’t say, “I could be more effective if you’d just allow me to compare what I come up with against commissions data for a historical reality check.”

People need to come to these realizations to make them happen — and unfortunately, when it comes to these kinds of things, our species is always the weak link.

There were numerous sessions about AI at last month’s CRM Evolution conference. Some things are still very much up for debate — even the very definition of “artificial intelligence” was the subject of some heated discussion. The promise is clearly there. However, the one variable that’s impossible to predict is the human element, especially in relation to technology.

AI for sales often is positioned as a panacea — something that will deliver results instantly and make life better for all involved. There are no panaceas, though. There’s nothing that works instantly. AI will change the game for sales — eventually — but that depends on three things happening.

The Right Data

First, the company’s staff will need to sit down and understand what they need to do to ensure their AI solutions learn the right things. That means analyzing the data they generate and understanding its value in the sales decision-making process.

Integrating disparate data sets is the first step; making decisions about different data’s weight in the decision-making process is next. Those hoping for a quick solution are deceiving themselves: Businesses have to understand themselves and their own data before they can expect a machine to understand those things.

Sales data may include the demographics of the customers and prospects from CRM, commissions data on sales behaviors, data about the usage of content in sales enablement systems, contract information, input from customer support, data about feedback and customer experience monitoring tools, and much more — and it’s likely to vary from business to business.

The Right Format

Next, businesses have to ensure that the data they have determined to be critical to the success of an AI solution is in a format that can get into the AI system automatically and with as little ongoing human intervention as possible.

Deciding at this stage that some data sets are just too hard to get into AI is an admission that you don’t plan to put in enough work to make it effective. If that is the case, stop work on any project as early as possible, because otherwise you’ll simply be investing in a system that allows you to make incorrect or incomplete decisions faster. You probably can make those incorrect decisions manually at a far lower cost.

The Right Commitment

Third, the team overseeing this early work needs to keep at it even after the system is in place. Just like lead scoring, or self-service customer support, or any of a number of things that are supposed to automate processes, adjustments will be needed over time to avoid the system sliding into obsolescence.

This isn’t just about the team staying alert about its task; leadership has to ensure that this gets priority, and that the team is allowed to continue its work instead of being moved to other tasks.

AI is never done learning, because customers, products and services, markets, and the data that businesses collect continually evolve and change.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

These things sound like a lot of work — and they are. The good news is that since sales AI platforms are still in their early stages, these three concepts can be acted upon now.

When the right AI technology hits the market, your business can be prepared with an understanding of the data needed, the weighting for that data in the decision-making process, an integration strategy for that data and, most importantly, a mindset that acknowledges that the work on refining AI is never going to be complete.

Sales AI, when it’s implemented well, will save salespeople time, and allow them to be far more productive than they are today.

Companies planning an AI-enabled future need to invest the time, thought and money to make sure they have a foundation for an AI solution that works — both when the system is first turned on and over time.
end enn 3 Ways Your Sales Organization Should Prepare for AI


Chris%20Bucholtz 3 Ways Your Sales Organization Should Prepare for AIChris Bucholtz has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2009. His focus is on CRM, sales and marketing software, and the interface between people and technology. He currently serves as director of content marketing for
CallidusCloud and writes the Stevie Award-winning Lead to Money blog. Email Chris.

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CRM Buyer

Art Vs. Science: Harness The Creativity Of Your Organization Through Technology

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review features a cover story on design thinking’s coming of age. We have been applying design thinking within SAP for the past 10 years, and I’ve witnessed the growth of this human-centered approach to innovation first hand.

Design thinking is, as the HBR piece points out, “the best tool we have for … developing a responsive, flexible organizational culture.”

This means businesses are doing more to learn about their customers by interacting directly with them. We’re seeing this change in our work on d.forum — a community of design thinking champions and “disruptors” from across industries.

Meanwhile, technology is making it possible to know exponentially more about a customer. Businesses can now make increasingly accurate predictions about customers’ needs well into the future. The businesses best able to access and pull insights from this growing volume of data will win. That requires a fundamental change for our own industry; it necessitates a digital transformation.

So, how do we design this digital transformation?

It starts with the customer and an application of design thinking throughout an organization – blending business, technology and human values to generate innovation. Business is already incorporating design thinking, as the HBR cover story shows. We in technology need to do the same.

SCN+SY Art Vs. Science: Harness The Creativity Of Your Organization Through Technology

Design thinking plays an important role because it helps articulate what the end customer’s experience is going to be like. It helps focus all aspects of the business on understanding and articulating that future experience.

Once an organization is able to do that, the insights from that consumer experience need to be drawn down into the business, with the central question becoming: What does this future customer experience mean for us as an organization? What barriers do we need to remove? Do we need to organize ourselves differently? Does our process need to change – if it does, how? What kind of new technology do we need?

Then an organization must look carefully at roles within itself. What does this knowledge of the end customer’s future experience mean for an individual in human resources, for example, or finance? Those roles can then be viewed as end experiences unto themselves, with organizations applying design thinking to learn about the needs inherent to those roles. They can then change roles to better meet the end customer’s future needs. This end customer-centered approach is what drives change.

This also means design thinking is more important than ever for IT organizations.

We, in the IT industry, have been charged with being responsive to business, using technology to solve the problems business presents. Unfortunately, business sometimes views IT as the organization keeping the lights on. If we make the analogy of a store: business is responsible for the front office, focused on growing the business where consumers directly interact with products and marketing; while the perception is that IT focuses on the back office, keeping servers running and the distribution system humming. The key is to have business and IT align to meet the needs of the front office together.

Remember what I said about the growing availability of consumer data? The business best able to access and learn from that data will win. Those of us in IT organizations have the technology to make that win possible, but the way we are seen and our very nature needs to change if we want to remain relevant to business and participate in crafting the winning strategy.

We need to become more front office and less back office, proving to business that we are innovation partners in technology.

This means, in order to communicate with businesses today, we need to take a design thinking approach. We in IT need to show we have an understanding of the end consumer’s needs and experience, and we must align that knowledge and understanding with technological solutions. When this works — when the front office and back office come together in this way — it can lead to solutions that a company could otherwise never have realized.

There’s different qualities, of course, between front office and back office requirements. The back office is the foundation of a company and requires robustness, stability, and reliability. The front office, on the other hand, moves much more quickly. It is always changing with new product offerings and marketing campaigns. Technology must also show agility, flexibility, and speed. The business needs both functions to survive. This is a challenge for IT organizations, but it is not an impossible shift for us to make.

Here’s the breakdown of our challenge.

1. We need to better understand the real needs of the business.

This means learning more about the experience and needs of the end customer and then translating that information into technological solutions.

2. We need to be involved in more of the strategic discussions of the business.

Use the regular invitations to meetings with business as an opportunity to surface the deeper learning about the end consumer and the technology solutions that business may otherwise not know to ask for or how to implement.

The IT industry overall may not have a track record of operating in this way, but if we are not involved in the strategic direction of companies and shedding light on the future path, we risk not being considered innovation partners for the business.

We must collaborate with business, understand the strategic direction and highlight the technical challenges and opportunities. When we do, IT will become a hybrid organization – able to maintain the back office while capitalizing on the front office’s growing technical needs. We will highlight solutions that business could otherwise have missed, ushering in a digital transformation.

Digital transformation goes beyond just technology; it requires a mindset. See What It Really Means To Be A Digital Organization.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Top image via Shutterstock

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Digitalist Magazine

Four Telltale Signs Of A Disconnected Organization

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review features a cover story on design thinking’s coming of age. We have been applying design thinking within SAP for the past 10 years, and I’ve witnessed the growth of this human-centered approach to innovation first hand.

Design thinking is, as the HBR piece points out, “the best tool we have for … developing a responsive, flexible organizational culture.”

This means businesses are doing more to learn about their customers by interacting directly with them. We’re seeing this change in our work on d.forum — a community of design thinking champions and “disruptors” from across industries.

Meanwhile, technology is making it possible to know exponentially more about a customer. Businesses can now make increasingly accurate predictions about customers’ needs well into the future. The businesses best able to access and pull insights from this growing volume of data will win. That requires a fundamental change for our own industry; it necessitates a digital transformation.

So, how do we design this digital transformation?

It starts with the customer and an application of design thinking throughout an organization – blending business, technology and human values to generate innovation. Business is already incorporating design thinking, as the HBR cover story shows. We in technology need to do the same.

SCN+SY Four Telltale Signs Of A Disconnected Organization

Design thinking plays an important role because it helps articulate what the end customer’s experience is going to be like. It helps focus all aspects of the business on understanding and articulating that future experience.

Once an organization is able to do that, the insights from that consumer experience need to be drawn down into the business, with the central question becoming: What does this future customer experience mean for us as an organization? What barriers do we need to remove? Do we need to organize ourselves differently? Does our process need to change – if it does, how? What kind of new technology do we need?

Then an organization must look carefully at roles within itself. What does this knowledge of the end customer’s future experience mean for an individual in human resources, for example, or finance? Those roles can then be viewed as end experiences unto themselves, with organizations applying design thinking to learn about the needs inherent to those roles. They can then change roles to better meet the end customer’s future needs. This end customer-centered approach is what drives change.

This also means design thinking is more important than ever for IT organizations.

We, in the IT industry, have been charged with being responsive to business, using technology to solve the problems business presents. Unfortunately, business sometimes views IT as the organization keeping the lights on. If we make the analogy of a store: business is responsible for the front office, focused on growing the business where consumers directly interact with products and marketing; while the perception is that IT focuses on the back office, keeping servers running and the distribution system humming. The key is to have business and IT align to meet the needs of the front office together.

Remember what I said about the growing availability of consumer data? The business best able to access and learn from that data will win. Those of us in IT organizations have the technology to make that win possible, but the way we are seen and our very nature needs to change if we want to remain relevant to business and participate in crafting the winning strategy.

We need to become more front office and less back office, proving to business that we are innovation partners in technology.

This means, in order to communicate with businesses today, we need to take a design thinking approach. We in IT need to show we have an understanding of the end consumer’s needs and experience, and we must align that knowledge and understanding with technological solutions. When this works — when the front office and back office come together in this way — it can lead to solutions that a company could otherwise never have realized.

There’s different qualities, of course, between front office and back office requirements. The back office is the foundation of a company and requires robustness, stability, and reliability. The front office, on the other hand, moves much more quickly. It is always changing with new product offerings and marketing campaigns. Technology must also show agility, flexibility, and speed. The business needs both functions to survive. This is a challenge for IT organizations, but it is not an impossible shift for us to make.

Here’s the breakdown of our challenge.

1. We need to better understand the real needs of the business.

This means learning more about the experience and needs of the end customer and then translating that information into technological solutions.

2. We need to be involved in more of the strategic discussions of the business.

Use the regular invitations to meetings with business as an opportunity to surface the deeper learning about the end consumer and the technology solutions that business may otherwise not know to ask for or how to implement.

The IT industry overall may not have a track record of operating in this way, but if we are not involved in the strategic direction of companies and shedding light on the future path, we risk not being considered innovation partners for the business.

We must collaborate with business, understand the strategic direction and highlight the technical challenges and opportunities. When we do, IT will become a hybrid organization – able to maintain the back office while capitalizing on the front office’s growing technical needs. We will highlight solutions that business could otherwise have missed, ushering in a digital transformation.

Digital transformation goes beyond just technology; it requires a mindset. See What It Really Means To Be A Digital Organization.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Top image via Shutterstock

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Digitalist Magazine

Organization Insights allows for a deeper understanding of Dynamics 365 usage

In late December 2016 Microsoft released a new solution for Dynamics 365 called Organization Insights that surfaces a set of kpis that provides administrators with a deep understanding of Dynamics 365 adoption and troubleshooting for potential problems. Organization Insights allows for a deeper understanding of Dynamics 365 usage

Among the kpis surfaced include charts that can measure and identify:

  • Active and Inactive users
  • Entities by number of records and storage usage
  • Storage by CRM Instance
  • Workflows that consistently fail, resulting in poor data quality and unexpected results
  • Plugins that may not be working as expected

The available charts are customizable so that you can build custom Dashboard to meet your needs, but an additional feature will allow developers to extend the out of box charts to create their own kpis.

Organization Insights can be installed into Dynamics 365 systems from Microsoft Appsource.  The installation is painless but can only be applied to cloud based organizations that have been upgraded to Dynamics 365. By default the Organization Insight dashboards are only available to System Administrators and Customizers, but security roles can be updated to give ither users access.

Organization Insights will be a boon to system administrators looking for data about who is using CRM most effectively as well as which users might need some additional training to have the best experience.

About enCloud9

enCloud9 has one of the most experienced Microsoft Dynamics CRM teams in the US. From pre-sales to project management, and user support, we respond quickly with our expertise to answer your questions. Our history dates back to 2009, but our experience dates back even longer. Our consultants have been advising companies for almost thirty years to give them the tools to achieve their goals. Our experience leads to your success. We use our unique approach to help small and medium-sized businesses lower their costs and boost productivity through Microsoft’s powerful range of cloud-based software.
We can be contacted at our webform or call us today at 402-235-8540.

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CRM Software Blog

Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale

At Microsoft leaders across the company have committed to fostering a data culture and are often asked how to drive this type of change. An internal program designed to drive adoption of Power BI internally has been at the center of this cultural shift.  

Through a combination of training, a comprehensive communication strategy, and user-centric features and design, BI@Microsoft drives adoption of our data culture with Power BI. This program enables our employees to use data visualization, business intelligence and statistical analysis in their day-today jobs. Employees were previously limited by a mindset that they didn’t have the technical skills or time necessary to model data. Or they thought the data was not available or accessible. The BI@Microsoft program has proven that data driven decisions are possible at every level of the organization, while also creating loyal fans that influence their teams to use data to make informed decisions.  

As Microsoft’s “First and Best” customer, Microsoft employees have the responsibility and privilege to be the first people in the world to use Microsoft products in production. With Power BI, we are not only the first customer, but because of the reach and scale of our company, we are a great example of an active and engaged global Power BI user bases.   

BI@Microsoft is a program inside Microsoft IT which is responsible for the BI tools Microsoft employees use. We are responsible for two key things, driving rapid internal adoption of Power BI and influencing the Power BI product group so that it builds a product that meets the needs of large enterprise customers like Microsoft. This virtuous feedback cycle ensures we build better products for our external customers.

clip image0029 thumb Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale    

The purpose of this blog post is to explain how we drive adoption of Power BI at scale so that you can learn from our best practices and implement a similar method. That way you too can get the most value out of your Power BI licenses. Like you, we are always striving do more with less.  For that reason, our program is focused on reaching and influencing the behavior of employees at scale.

The BI@Microsoft program uses basic principles of change management to enable change inside the company. We focus on different activities based on the product lifecycle and recent updates. We might start the cycle over again when promoting a big new feature. The principles drive the following behaviors:

  1. Awareness—Employees are aware of the product and its features
  2. Understanding—Employees understand the benefits of the product and its features
  3. Enablement—Employees learn or know how to use the product and its features
  4. Adoption—Employees usethe product regularly

clip image0049 thumb Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale

We manage our program in what we call workstreams.  We’ve found this way of structuring the work very effective, and I think it will be easy for you to see what applies to your situation.  We will briefly explain each of the workstreams, and you can determine which of them are most appropriate for your company to help you get the most value out of Power BI.

Here is a list of all our workstreams, a description of each, and examples of tasks and goals that may apply to an external company.   We will limit this discussion only to the activities that a company outside of Microsoft would benefit from.

  • Strategy and Program Management
  • Power BI Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • Website
  • Training
  • Service & Support
  • Social & Community
  • Reporting & Telemetry
  • Advisors
  • Suppliers

This illustration summarizes all the worktracks and prioritizes which to focus on first.

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Strategy and Program Management:  Our leadership team determines the strategy of the program and provides overall program management. This workstream aligns the program strategy to drive adoption of Power BI to your corporate BI and data strategy.  If you don’t have a corporate BI or data strategy, this is a great opportunity to determine one. At Microsoft, we were fortunate that the launch of Power BI aligned with our CIO’s drive to foster a Microsoft data-driven culture within Microsoft. Activities include but are not limited to:

  •          Obtaining executive sponsorship and communicating it
  •          Aligning program goals to corporate goals
  •          Planning strategy and execution, and measuring the program
  •          Obtaining program resources and budget
  •          Managing all the other workstreams

Power BI Subject Matter Expert (SME):   For the program to succeed, at least one person in the program must be a Power BI subject matter expert (SME).  This person (or persons) is a BI professional with deep experience and knowledge of how the company uses BI, and helps the program make all decisions related to Power BI usage inside the company. Activities include but are not limited to:

  • Understanding Power BI and how your company will use it
  • Continually learning and keeping current with the Power BI roadmap and features
  • Sharing knowledge about Power BI roadmap and features with the program and the company
  • Power BI content and timing for all other workstreams
  • Liaising with Power BI product group and Microsoft on behalf of your company
  • Advising the program and employees on features, timing, training
  • Vetting or creating content to publish through all workstreams
  • Planning and executing any early adoption and testing programs for employees

Website:  We created and manage an internal website for Microsoft employees to help them easily find all the information they need to adopt Power BI.  Our internal website is a critical component of our program and we use it as a platform for communicating the information employees need to adopt Power BI at scale. The internal website is a combination of curated public information about Power BI and company-specific content.   We use it as an anchor to publish and centralize the content we think employees need to use Power BI, which includes but is not limited to:

  •          Home page for announcements, easy-to-find links, the latest news
  •          Internal blog for Microsoft company specific content or confidential news
  •          Curated content from public Power BI sources
  •          Best practices for using Power BI
  •          Company-specific guidance (e.g., Microsoft IT security guidance for using Power BI with confidential data)
  •          How to get support on Power BI
  •          How to participate in our internal community
  •          How to meet with our advisory services
  •          List of preferred suppliers to hire for Power BI projects
  •          All training options—public and internal

A view of the internal Microsoft BI website.  We update this weekly with the news from not only Power BI, but all Microsoft BI related products like the recently announced Azure Analytics Services.

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Marketing:  A essential element of our program is our marketing.  Marketing the resources we make available to employees is critical to driving adoption at scale.   We use our marketing channels to communicate everything from how to make the best use of new features, to examples of how other teams are using Power BI, to corporate guidance on data security. We use standard marketing techniques like segmentation to target the right message to the right people at the right time.  We also promote the adoption and use of other BI backend tools like Cortana Intelligence Suite and Azure Analysis Services. Activities include but are not limited to:

  •          Segmenting users via telemetry and existing email distribution lists in the company
  •          Sending monthly newsletters to our three user segments: business users, analysts and developers
  •          Sending weekly training summary
  •          Planning and managing targeted marketing campaigns. For example, we are planning a marketing campaign in support of new security features that shipped recently that now make it possible to use Power BI to analyze our most confidential corporate data.

Training:  Another important component is ensuring that employees have the training they need to learn how to use Power BI. Because we started using Power BI before there was a formal public training program; we built a lot of our own training. You are lucky, there now is a wealth of publicly available Power BI training that you can use for your company!  Now that there is great public training is available, we have scaled back our custom training resources significantly and now leverage the public Power BI training as much as possible. Here are the activities we still do with regard to training:

  •          Identify and curate the best training and provide links to that from our website
  •          Host “Applied BI” 30-minute presentations in which internal users explain how they used Power BI to solve their business problems
  •          Host internal Dashboard in a Day training classes. This class content is available to partners for external delivery.
  •          Host monthly Office Hours where users can ask questions of the Power BI SME(s) and experts in the company
  •          Publish a weekly training summary with the best training published that week and upcoming live sessions
  •          Enable users to subscribe to internal training communications through a distribution list to receive all notices about upcoming training opportunities

Here’s a glance at the training page on our website where employees can find the best curated public training information, internal-only training opportunities and a link to sign up to our training newsletter:

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Support:  Microsoft has an internal HelpDesk for employees to find solutions to technical problems.   We use the Microsoft IT HelpDesk for all major applications used in the company including Office, Skype, and Windows. BI@Microsoft worked with the Power BI team and the IT HelpDesk team to streamline support for Power BI through the formal IT HelpDesk processes. To adopt Power BI, you will also want to determine what is the best support mechanism for your users and how you will integrate that with the standard help facilities or help desk you have for your users. Activities in this worktrack for you may include:

  •          Understanding your corporate technical support processes
  •          Determining how you want to provide technical support for Power BI for your users:
    •    Use the free support
    •    Use your company’s or corporate technical support processes to streamline support
  •          (Optionally) Purchasing a support contract for Power BI through Microsoft
  •          (Optionally) Establish a process for your internal technical support to escalate to Power BI through your support contract
  •          Communications to your employees about how to get support for Power BI through your company

Social & Community:  A workstream that we believe is very important to the success of adoption of a viral product like Power BI is the social & community workstream. We heavily leverage this workstream to increase employee awareness of Power BI, amplify our internal marketing campaigns , and give users a safe place to ask each other questions and get answers. You can use the Power BI public community or build your own community using your own internal social tools. We have an extensive Yammer community with many active members helping each other with Power BI questions. Tips for success for an internal Power BI community include the following:

  •          Provide a safe place to ask questions and get answers
  •          Identify experts in the company to help others
  •          Run contests to increase adoption through competition and fun—see the Annik custom visual contest as an example of a great community activity
  •          Host regular meeting to increase the number and expertise of your champions
  •          Plan and execute community activities that match your corporate culture to encourage users to engage and help each other

Strategic Advisors:  We have a small team of BI advisors who engage with key internal BI teams creating Power BI solutions for large internal teams.  These advisors work with the BI teams to ensure they are aware of and using all the resources available to help them adopt Power BI and facilitate their progress.    In your company, you could take a similar approach to ensure large internal Power BI projects are successful.

Reporting:   Finally, in alignment with our data-driven culture, we continually measure our program’s impact.  We analyze Power BI user activity and combine it with user surveys, interviews and focus groups to help make decisions on how to run and improve our program.   For example, we track employees Power BI usage and correlate it to delivery of internal training to see if the training was effective in helping employees use Power BI.   User activity is available to the Power BI admin settings which takes you to the Power BI audit logs.

We measure and report on nearly every aspect of our program to inform our decisions, including but not limited to:

  •          Power BI usage by division, team, and manager (MAU, WAU, DAU)
  •          Training attendance and activity
  •          Usage of our website
  •          Social activity

You can pick and choose which of these workstreams are most appropriate for your company and would likely yield the best results based on your corporate culture. Use them as examples and tailor them or similar activities to your company.

To help you understand more about how we did this:

Finally, I’ve made some Power BI feature requests that will make the effort to drive adoption at scale easier for others.  I hope you will take a look at these requests and vote for the features you believe your company would benefit from using and even make your own requests.   https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/category/180799-adoption

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