Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 the solution to telcos’ ERP needs?

Telcos typically operate ERP systems such as SAP or Oracle. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations offers a number of advantages including quicker time to market. As a hosted SaaS deployed in the Microsoft Azure cloud, Dynamics offers the following advantages:

  • Integration with billing systems: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations can integrate with a telco’s billing systems, providing real-time financial data and helping to ensure accurate billing and revenue recognition. The system can also help to automate the billing process, reducing errors and improving efficiency
  • Robust Revenue Management: The system offers advanced revenue management capabilities, including revenue recognition and forecasting, which can be particularly valuable for telcos with complex billing structures or subscription-based services.
    Comprehensive Supply Chain Management: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations can help telcos manage their supply chain more effectively, from procurement and inventory management to vendor and contract management. This can help to reduce costs, improve inventory accuracy, and streamline processes.
  • Enhanced Customer Engagement: The system includes a range of customer engagement tools, such as customer service management and marketing automation, which can help telcos provide a more personalized and responsive service to their customers.
  • Advanced Analytics and Reporting: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations offers advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, which can help telcos gain deeper insights into their business performance and make more informed decisions. This can be particularly useful for telcos looking to optimize their operations or expand their service offerings.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: The system is highly scalable and flexible, which can be valuable for telcos looking to grow or adapt to changing business needs. The system can be customized to meet the unique requirements of a telco’s business, and can easily accommodate changes in usage, storage, or users.

Is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion a key component of innovation?

The UK is home to people from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. To drive innovation, it is important to tap into this diversity of thought and bring together people with different perspectives and approaches to problem-solving.

The government has identified skills shortages in areas such as science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). To address this, it is important to encourage a diverse range of people to pursue careers in these fields and to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

Inclusive workplaces, where people feel valued, respected, and able to bring their whole selves to work, are more likely to foster creativity, collaboration, and innovation. By creating a culture of inclusion, organizations can unlock the full potential of their employees and drive innovation.

EDI is important for reaching new markets: the UK is increasingly looking to export its products and services to new markets around the world. To succeed in these markets, it is important to understand and connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures. By embracing diversity and inclusion, organizations can better understand and serve these markets, driving innovation and growth.

Are common service patterns the future for the Housing Sector?

Are common service patterns the future for the Housing Sector?

Digital transformation is about continuous change – ensuring your business moves forward as your customers and suppliers adapts to the technology innovations going on around them. At Amilah we are working with organisations across the Housing Sector to understand how they are adapting to this change and how that applies to their operating model. Where do they think they need to be in five years time? Where do their residents and suppliers want them to be in five years time? Reconciling these two positions is the starting point for any digital transformation. Next is understanding the fundamental processes of your business that provide the backbone for delivering quality to your customers – these processes don’t change – its only the digital inputs and outputs that will adapt over time. At Amilah we have been working with organisations across the Housing Sector to identify and capture these common service patterns for the Housing Sector to ensure the highest quality is delivered whilst minimising associated cost to serve.

Amilah already has proven experience in delivering outcomes across Local & Central Government adopting such an approach, utilising the latest thinking from the design teams at the Government Digital Service (GDS). They describe service patterns as the “practice for providing services that meet user needs [meaning] the design of the pages, user journeys and government components needed to build the service are all specified”.

Here’s our latest thinking.

Patterns should be about how services work

The biggest challenge we see in the housing sector is with how it operates services.

We think that for a service pattern to be useful it has to be a way of documenting or sharing a common user experience or user journey, and, as importantly, a supporting business process.

Although many organisations now have adequate digital channels (mostly forms on websites), these services haven’t transformed back office processes or the way that policy is handled. Despite some well implemented user journeys and interface design, most services still take considerable time and effort to operate. They’re dependent on manual interventions, handovers and many time consuming interactions across different channels including face-to-face and over the phone.

We think that a pattern at a service level such as ‘paying your rent’, or ‘reporting a repair’, must also help shape the design of the organisation operating the service. This means capturing the best practices or potential uses of technology and automation applied to how a service works across all interactions (not just on screen).

When this doesn’t happen patterns fail to go beyond good practice for content and interaction design — it means that they typically only document screen-based or ‘online’ activities.

The real opportunity here is apply pattern thinking to the internal mechanics of how organisations work to enable organisations to become more digital. At Amilah, our proven design frameworks consider both the customer journey linking through to the underlying business processes, operating model and technology. Only by understanding your business in this way can you be sure that the digital investments you make for the future will also actually shape your business for the future.

Moving beyond better forms

The answer is never a better form unless you’re asking the wrong questions.

When we’re designing forms and digital transactions usability and accessibility matter to users. But this can often hide the fact that many interactions with organisations are unnecessary and only exist because we don’t have ways to share data or help people connect together the different services that they need (often with a unique set of circumstances only applicable to their individual situation).

We believe that helping the housing sector solve operational problems is the best way to work towards significantly improving these services for their residents. This doesn’t just mean simpler, clearer, faster transactions, but should eventually mean that some services become completely invisible to users.

Working together

The simplicity of a documented service pattern is attractive but doesn’t address the complexity introduced by what really happens in the lives of the individuals having to interact with their housing companies.

At Amilah we completely agree that co-design and closer working between different housing associations and local authorities is the way forward. As the latest blog post by the GOV.UK Verify local design team sets out co-designing and researching the same types of services, potentially even building them at the same time makes it possible to achieve far more together than we can have individually.

Facilitation across similar types of services is a great opportunity for the housing sector and co-design is a proven approach that many agencies including Amilah have used to make this work. Co-design should also mean work happening across organisations and different levels of local government (when appropriate) and is the focus of projects we’re supporting into the future.

We believe that not losing sight of context across all services is just as important. Testing and iterating solutions based on real service delivery in different places. For example, although they’ll have much in common, the challenges for housing in the London borough of Hackney and for rural district councils is very different when exposed to the realities of user needs in local communities.

It’s all just good service design

Instead of focusing on service patterns we think it might be better to start by focusing on patterns for good service design in the housing sector.

As a summary, this is the approach we’re taking to make this happen:

  1. Focusing on fixing services, not websites.
    This means prioritising service outcomes, and first and foremost focusing on people. It’s designing how organisations operate to make sure services work for everyone — providing flexibility and choice when and where it’s needed (not just screen based transactions). We believe that it should be possible to share solutions built on digital working practices that become alternative patterns to better web forms.
  2. Working together, and beyond boundaries
    This means working across organisations at all levels of the housing sector and in the 3rd sector — encouraging people to work beyond their own organisational boundaries. We believe that more housing services in the future will be the result of co-design (and research) and also shared operational platforms built around emerging digital business models.
  3. Documenting and sharing.
    This means helping local government find effective ways to share work on services, with the potential for reuse. We think that the GDS service pattern examples are useful and we intend to reuse or find ways to contribute patterns for services that we’ve already created.

Come and speak to Amilah to understand how we can help you. 01279 888215