How Microsoft’s Cloud Solutions Can Increase Productivity & Efficiency

[This is a paid article with Microsoft.]

In 2015, SME Corp Malaysia predicted that almost all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would use digital or cashless transactions by 2022.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of digitization has been accelerated. With consumers avoiding physical stores and many businesses operating remotely, the digital switchover is no longer a distant wish, it has become a need.

Despite the shift in priorities, we still have a long way to go. Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, recently pointed out that the lack of a clear national plan for the tech ecosystem has led to “serious problems in terms of digital and technological adoption. “.

It is not just the government that has the responsibility to get things done. There must be integrated efforts of all entities involved.

K. Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia expressed similar sentiments in an August statement.

“With technology becoming more and more entrenched in our daily lives, it is vital that we work in tandem with government and other industry players, to improve technological accessibility for all Malaysians, towards a resilient country and inclusive, ”he wrote.

While encouraging words are easy to find, Microsoft has taken action to prove its commitment to supporting digitization. Take for example their commercial collaboration platform, Microsoft teams.

Microsoft Teams is constantly improving. In 2020 alone, Microsoft rolled out a long list of new features to improve security, compliance, and overall app performance.

All of these are essential for a smoother communication process when working from home during the pandemic, but the scope of the needs of SMEs is much broader.

“SMEs always face challenges in improving business operations, from IT to digitization. These issues consist of issues such as the high cost of digitization, the adaptation of technology, the provision of infrastructure and the appropriate digital usage skills to be implemented in their business operations, ”said Datuk. Seri Dr Wan Junaidi, Minister of Development of Entrepreneurs and Cooperatives (MEDAC) in August.

It takes a unified, comprehensive and integrated portfolio of cloud solutions in Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, based on security and privacy, to address all the aspects that SMBs need.

1. Empower companies to collaborate safely and efficiently

Microsoft 365 allows teams to collaborate and communicate easily through Microsoft Teams. There are also well-known Microsoft Office offerings such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Find out more: Check-out Practical applications of the Microsoft 365 suite of offerings.

1TB of OneDrive storage is also provided to each team member for safe and protected file transfers. Working remotely means reliance on physical paperwork decreases and digital file transfers increase, so secure storage space is crucial.

Power Automate is another feature that SMBs will find useful. A thriving business can have a high volume of leads coming in through direct messages on social media platforms. It can be overwhelming to keep up with the volume.

If someone posts on a company’s Facebook page, Power Automate can be preprogrammed to perform these processes:

  • Send a personalized response
  • Add them to a spreadsheet that is emailed to the company
  • Add the contact to Salesforce or Dynamics 365

It only scratches the surface of what Power Automate can do. Newbies can start by recording mouse clicks, keystrokes, and cut and paste steps, but the service is robust enough to handle complex enterprise-wide processes.

Image showing a Microsoft Power dashboard Automate the flow of your workflows, activate business logic to simplify tasks, and connect your processes with Microsoft Power Automate. Image Credit: Microsoft

2. Maximize efficiency in all sectors

Microsoft’s cloud computing service, Azure, consists of more than 200 cloud products and services. This puts all the capabilities and possibilities of cloud computing in the hands of businesses large and small.

In Malaysia, one of the major telecommunications networks, Celcom knew that the migration to the cloud was a key step in expanding and accelerating as a telecommunications service provider. With 5G in mind, Azure services give Celcom the agility of being future-ready while saving costs, as they don’t need on-premises infrastructure to host it. . Thanks to the success of their migration, Celcom wishes to share the fruits of this experience with its parent company, Axiata Group, which has many activities in Asia.

Another success story in cloud migration and adoption of Azure is Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp), the company behind the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit System project.

This mega-build has a total of 1,500 engineers and construction managers who use Bentley software hosted on Azure to collaborate in a connected data environment. The team had worked together on approximately 7,500 models with more than 280,000 documents and drawings. This represents approximately 2.3 TB of project data.

Thanks to the huge data pipeline, Azure helped reduce errors and design conflicts, resulting in a 35% improvement in the efficiency of their collaboration. With this, MRT Corp expects to complete the SSP line on time and on budget.

How MRT Corp uses Azure in its daily work. Learn more here.

3. Enable customer insights and leverage data-driven strategies

Most businesses understand the importance of knowing their customers by aggregating data about them. But just having data is useless. It won’t magically turn into sales. Business owners need to combine the right data with the right tools to gain valuable insight and gain a 360 ° view of a customer’s profile.

Imagine if you were a trader on a popular ecommerce platform and acquired a large amount of data about your customers. Where do you start? With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you are able to sift through the wealth of information, understand your customers’ spending habits, and find solutions to meet their demands.

Industry recognition: Microsoft has been named a leader in Forrester Wave ™: Customer Analytics Technologies report published in the third quarter of 2020.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows users to access a Customer Data Platform (CDP). CDP provides a quick overview of what customers often look for and how they’re spending their money.

This information can be used to personalize customers’ shopping experiences or to suggest more strategies that can drive sales-based behavior.

As Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC said earlier this year, “Digitization is essential because it helps businesses be better, faster and cheaper (to run), while continuing to deliver a great customer experience. “

It has been a difficult year for many industries. More than ever, businesses need to be more resilient to weather the storm and come out stronger in the end.

The time to invest in the right key technology for the present and the future has never been more important. Visit the Microsoft Malaysia Small Business Portal to speak with a sales representative to learn more about implementing Microsoft’s cloud business solutions.

  • For more information, Microsoft Malaysia hosted a webinar for SMEs in July, focusing on how Microsoft solutions can improve the productivity, operations, scalability and security of a small business.
  • To learn more about how Microsoft’s cloud services portfolio can improve your business, you can speak to a sales representative here or visit their website. here.

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Jothi Venkat

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