Customers win with continued Microsoft Dynamics collaboration

In addition to new customers and new stories, some familiar faces that have graced the stage of Microsoft events in the past will be returning at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 next week. The group will be highlighting how Microsoft Dynamics continues to help them strengthen customer service capabilities throughout the world, analyze complex data across departments and discover innovative business management solutions. As technology helps people connect in more ways than ever before, consumer brands have to rethink the way they engage with their customers.

One such brand is Lotus F1 Team, a racing organization that requires agility on and off the track.
Lotus F1 Team signed a three-year business transformation partnership with Microsoft in 2012 to drive its business efforts across all departments. From sports merchandising to real-time race data, Lotus F1 Team has been able to change the way it operates in an industry that always moves at high speed.

“Technology is an enabler. It keeps our team competitive,” says Thomas Mayer, chief operating officer of Lotus F1 Team. “Microsoft Dynamics AX gives me the right info at the right time to make the right decision — be it finance decisions about investments or being able to see the progress of plans moving from aerodynamics into production.”

The team transitioned to Microsoft Dynamics AX from a basic enterprise resource planning (ERP) system because it needed rich functionalities that could adapt quickly to change. The improved ERP platform has since helped Lotus F1 Team analyze significant amounts of data from sensors, supercomputers and wind tunnels, enabling team engineers to make structural and design tweaks that would shave time off their cars’ performance.

“We’re passionate about winning,” Mayer says. “In our industry, you can’t say something’s impossible. We always make it possible. And now we can do that by proactively running our business with actual figures rather than just reacting to the outcomes.”

Because of the amazing successes Lotus F1 Team has celebrated across its organization, it has extended its partnership with Microsoft through at least 2016. This commitment will allow the team to further realize efficiencies by evaluating every aspect of the business. The team deployed Microsoft Dynamics AX within its financials and human resources departments and stores in 2012, and within its aerodynamics department in 2013. Next up is rolling out the additions to manufacturing, and then fully deploying track-side integration and CRM to help manage partnerships.

In addition, Lotus F1 Team is exploring other solutions that seamlessly interoperate with Microsoft Dynamics AX, including a recently signed enterprise subscription for Microsoft Office 365, which will give its engineers easier access to the data they need. The team will benefit from collaboration at races in real time with Microsoft Lync, and access to current critical information through SharePoint.

Microsoft Dynamics has also helped Weight Watchers, the leading provider of weight management services, uncover valuable business insights across its organization while maintaining a consistent user experience for its members. The company lacked in-depth member intelligence, which made it difficult to maintain its high standard of superior customer service.

“It’s not only about reaching new audiences. It’s about new opportunities to engage with existing audiences in a more meaningful way that translates into their success,” says Mike Olsson, director, CRM Applications, Weight Watchers. “Microsoft Dynamics showed us we can innovate faster than we ever could have imagined.”

Weight Watchers implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to create a “customer master database” in the cloud, which provided global agents with a complete 360-degree view of their members. By hosting data in the cloud, employees can engage with members in a meaningful way, from virtually anywhere, tailoring conversations based on data-rich account information and empowering them to give customized advice that could transform a member’s personal wellness.

“Both our employees and members get extra personalization now,” Olsson says. “Customer satisfaction goes up, and agents feel fulfilled in knowing they’re helping members realize their goals, become more confident and stay on track.”

Since implementing Microsoft Dynamics two years ago, Weight Watchers has continued to tailor its solution for member relationships across customer service, marketing and IT departments, leading to a deeper investment in the development of call center activities through Microsoft Dynamics. Weight Watchers deployed Microsoft CRM for Contact Centers, which has further increased positive customer interactions and improved employee productivity. With the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the time to proficiency for a new agent has been cut in half.

As Weight Watchers expands into new markets, Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions now help the company rapidly deploy its master database, adding value almost immediately to thousands of users — and ultimately impacting millions of end customers.

Lotus F1 Team and Weight Watchers are just a few of the customer success stories we’ll see come out of Convergence 2014. To learn more, visit http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/atlanta14.