In this blogpost, we provide two methods for renaming columns fetched from related entities when adding them into views within Microsoft Dynamics 365.
PowerObjects has been engaged with the client since 2016 to deliver a complete technology transformation around their customer service ecosystem, including the deployment of Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement with the Customer Service, Sales, and Field Service workloads, implementing USD and Microsoft portals to pull 15 systems into one, and integrating Power BI, Azure, and several PowerPack add-ons. The overall partnership has encompassed several dozen different projects across various business units within the client’s global organization, and it’s difficult to cull 5+ years of project work into a single case study. However, in reviewing the catalog of work, it seems like a different project each year surfaces as the key accomplishment of that period. With that in mind, let’s take a chronological tour of HCL-PowerObjects’ work with this client.
The first year was, of course, all about collecting business requirements and planning the implementation schedule. The highlight of this year is probably just the sheer volume of technology assets that were needed to complete this transformation. Consider:
And everything that was implemented needed to seamlessly integrate with:
From the beginning in 2016, the size of the project and the importance of the partnership were both staggering. As the next four years will show, HCL-PowerObjects and the client were indeed up to the challenge.
In 2017, the client embarked on a knowledge management program with HCL-PowerObjects. Their 28,000 tech help desk agents were supporting customers via multiple communication channels. Customer experience depended on the level of knowledge the agent had or could access via limited resources. HCL-PowerObjects built a knowledge management tool that combined all sources into one. Knowledge authors access the interactive service hub to create and maintain articles while the agents consume data via a portal.
The knowledge management tool was initially launched to 8,000 contact center agents for testing. Shortly thereafter, it was expanded to 20,000. All of the knowledge articles are also available for self-help on the tech help desk’s customer-facing website. In an average year, the site has 5-6M page views; once HCL-PowerObjects launched the tool, the site had more than 9M in just the first eight months. The site averages 20,000 unique users monthly.
Ultimately, the client migrated more than 5,000 knowledge articles and authored another 1,000. On a monthly basis, the agents in the contact center average 50,000 article views. And because of the real-time access to these knowledge articles, the help desk reduced hold times, a critical KPI in the call center, by 23.8% from the previous year.
This was a particularly rewarding year for the project as we were able to complete the global rollout of a custom-integrated chat-based service/repair delivery model for use in the client’s tech support contact center, which supports millions of customers annually. This support routinely involves screen sharing through a cloud-based remote connectivity service. The client’s objective was to introduce and sell various tech support packages, and their most significant pain point in this pursuit was lack of a customer service infrastructure that could accommodate:
This complex custom integration and implementation was launched in July 2018 after significant collaboration with product teams at Microsoft to solve unique challenges related to:
The solution was tested in April and additional performance/security issues emerged. After more collaboration between HCL-PowerObjects and Microsoft to solve challenges not previously seen in other organizations, it was released to all 2,200 agents in July. The client now handles 15,000+ chat interactions daily with seamless transitions from triage dispatch agents to fulfillment agents around the globe. They have already generated more than 1.5M work orders, and leadership has insight into the data because it’s all in Dynamics 365 and reported through Power BI. Personalized dashboards offer clarity to each agent around workflows, queues, and active/pending casework.
Extensive Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Business Applications work is still ongoing with the client, as the Dynamics 365 deployments are rolled out to new departments. But the highlight of 2019 was work done to support a new initiative – known internally is Clienteling – that involves Dynamics 365 Sales and Power Apps. At a high level, HCL-PowerObjects built a new Power Apps solution designed to streamline an extensive manual documentation process performed by the client’s Clienteling team – comprised of field sales consultants – and feed the information in real-time to Dynamics.
The clienteling program has a B2C unit, wherein the 5,000 field sales consultants visit customer homes, as well as a B2B unit, where the 600 consultants conduct onsite visits at commercial businesses. In both cases, the consultant performs an assessment of the technology and appliance solutions currently in place. They are unbiased and can help provide recommendations across all product categories and brands. The consultant spends more than an hour in each home or business and becomes the single point of contact for all of the customer’s technology questions and needs. During the assessment, the consultant carefully documents the existing technology and recommendations for connections/changes/upgrades.
In the past, they were focused on manually documenting everything, which took away from their ability to truly connect with the consumer in a meaningful way. The new Power Apps solution – designed to enable single-click selections of existing and recommended technology, and then in real-time feed all information back to the customer’s account in Dynamics 365 Sales – streamlines the experience so the consultant can focus on delivering the best value and customer experience.
Once a consultant makes a sale, the ordering and installation planning processes kick in. To facilitate these processes, we're begun implementing a project management solution with Dynamics 365 Project Operations. A simple washer/dryer install doesn’t necessarily require robust project management, but for the more complex projects, like a custom home theater or custom kitchen, the client needs a powerful tool to manage ordering, delivery, installation, inspection, and customer walk-through.
We also implemented D365 Marketing for the Clienteling team to enable them to market to their own customer base. The client has a large existing inhouse marketing capability, but the individual salespersons in Clienteling needed the ability to send Marketing-quality messages to their clients that come directly from. Given the enterprise commitment to the Microsoft technology stack, Dynamics 365 Marketing was the obvious choice for immediate implementation. They also plan to use the Event feature within the Marketing workload to manage local in-store events, though the pandemic has caused all such events to be put on hold. When the return to business as usual, the capability is already in place and ready for execution.
It’s no secret that 2020 was universally challenging. HCL-PowerObjects’ team of 32 consultants working onsite at the client was, like nearly everyone else, forced to work remotely. Normally, this would not present a challenge, as remote work is par for the course at HCL-PowerObjects. It did, however, present minor challenges in 2020 simply because this was a critical transition period, as HCL-PowerObjects migrated the training, education, and change management programs to the client after nearly five years and more than 300,000 billable hours of managing these processes on their behalf. Fortunately, the knowledge transfer between HCL-PowerObjects and the client has been ongoing since Day 1 of the partnership, so officially transitioning these key elements of success was straightforward – even during a global pandemic.
This five-year partnership has been so rewarding because of the sheer volume and diversity of unique projects. And there’s still so much more we can accomplish – we’re excited to see what the next five years will bring!