How Empired is expanding data insights through Dynamics 365

Local release of Microsoft's cloud-based platform stands to offer Aussie partners new market opportunities.
Empired takes home the Excellence in Business Insights and Data Award at the 2016 Microsoft Australia Partner Awards

Empired takes home the Excellence in Business Insights and Data Award at the 2016 Microsoft Australia Partner Awards

Microsoft has only just launched its Dynamics 365 platform in Australia, yet one of the country’s largest resellers of the technology, Empired, already expects it to be a boon for its data insights business.

Redmond released its cloud-based suite of purpose-built applications locally in early November, with the Azure-hosted platform combining the functionality of the vendor's enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software applications.

For Empired executive general manager of transformation services, Mike Morgan, the local release represents much more than just a new product to sell on to customers, it stands as a new source of data from which to deliver insights to customers across the country.

Similar to the Office 365 cloud-based platform, Dynamics 365 has the ability to collect enormous amounts of usage data.

Applying its underlying analytics and machine learning capabilities, the Dynamics 365 platform can use this information to work out ways to improve business practices for end clients.

"The intelligence that sits behind that, with the machine learning that powers Dynamics 365 and Office 365, can suddenly start to push next best actions back to a sales person,” Morgan told ARN.

“It’s really powerful stuff. Traditionally you’d have a data scientist model that as a hypothetical scenario. This is the machine learning working that all out."

The ability for Dynamics 365 to delve deep into data is where the real value of the platform lies for many partners, according to Morgan, with the new offering able collect user information in one place - Azure - and give partners the ability to “light up” scenarios for customers using that data.

“That’s why data insights for us is by far our fastest-growing business – not that people are buying less of Dynamics, they’re buying more of it – but the reason they’re buying it is for the data they can get once it’s all in one place,” Morgan added.

"There is learning around the technology, but there’s a hell of a lot more learning around the business scenario."

The development and release of Dynamics 365 has also provided Empired with the opportunity to break down “artificial walls” between its internal practices.

While the company had been considering ways to make its internal operations simplified and more streamlined, the availability of new platform has given it an “organic” impetus to change, according to Morgan.

“We have simplified our business model from four practices down to two," he explained.

"We now have a single practice for Dynamics in its entirety. That means that our architects are getting together more often and more cohesively to talk about the architecture of a platform versus the architecture of a product."

Additionally, the arrival of Dynamics 365 in Australia is presenting Empired with new opportunities in areas of the market it previously has not had much to do with, according to Morgan, with other local partners also in a position to take advantage of the new possibilities the platform offers.

"For Microsoft and for us, it’s shifting our audience into areas where we’ve never had to venture before – it could be marketing professionals, or it could be sales professionals and other parts of the organisation," he added.

"The platform coming together does allow partners who need to add a broader portfolio of skills a little bit more straightforward, and extensibility is straight out of the box."