3 Key Takeaways from Convergence 2015 EMEA

Sponsor_Platinum_Conv2015EMEA_728x90Our time at Convergence was well spent (recaps of day 1, 2, and 3 can be found here). Often, it takes a few days for the culmination of conversations and ideas to really sink in.  Now a week post-conference, we’re pulling together the outcomes of what was a very thoughtful and productive conversation around digital transformation and the imperatives that businesses are presented with, irrespective of industry.

Although calling an event like Convergence ‘action-packed’ is perhaps an understatement, we managed to walk away with a few key sentiments:


1. Time waits for no business. Digital transformation is a critical imperative for survival. 

As Eve Enslow (Microsoft) and Michael Herman (KPMG) mentioned in their talk on leading business transformation in the digital age, an evolving customer landscape and changing expectations mean that new, disruptive operating models will become the norm and maintaining the status quo is not an option. Businesses will be challenged to operationalise their customer journeys using technology that unites the entire business.

Rather than taking a cohesive approach, many businesses’ digital strategies are still siloed and this often looks like bolting on assets or tools to existing business models. This approach will quickly be challenged when not being able to respond to or anticipate your customer’s needs leaves you in the dust.

As we saw in their session with KPMG, ARN – a mobility services recycler – achieved business transformation by moving to a centralised ERP system (Dynamics NAV). 


2. Digital transformation is about understanding your customer better than ever before.

Systems of Intelligence will power digital transformation, enabling businesses to better understand their customers and respond to their changing expectations.

Before, we relied on systems of record. Then it became systems of engagement. Now – organisations that have truly committed to putting their customers at the centre of their business will require systems of intelligence to provide data that is meaningful and actionable.

This was exemplified in Kees Brussen’s presentation during which he explained how a KPMG client – a large equestrian federation – used a portal-based membership solution built on Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM and Dynamics for Membership to vastly shift their view on their members and how effectively they can interact with them.  


3. Uproot your thinking: Digital transformation requires a shift in mindset as much as a shift in toolset and turning this mindset shift into business outcomes needs to be centrally-driven.

Organisations should be motivated by customer outcomes and success and cultural change is critical in this respect.

As Microsoft International President Jean-Philippe Courtois noted in his keynote though, cultural change is hard. It is natural for businesses to operate in silos, especially when they are focused on whatever narrowly defined objectives they have as a department or individual. Becoming customer-obsessed requires a shift in thinking that needs to be communicated from the top down and especially requires alignment between the business and IT which have historically acted independently.

Jean-Philippe Courtois on reshaping the business around customer outcomes: “if you don’t start with that there’s…no way you can redefine your business processes and then digitise the underpinnings to make it happen.”


Don’t forget to take a look at our Convergence Media & Image Gallery, as well as our daily recaps. If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Convergence 2015 EMEA and what we can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact us.