Doing Business at 40,000 Feet Without Missing a Beat


It wasn’t long ago that getting on a plane was the “dead zone”. Cut off from the Internet and untethered from those rapid-fire urgent emails.  I felt like sitting in row 6 (or row 1 if I was lucky enough to get an upgrade) was like being severed from the mother ship for the duration of the flight.

There was still some opportunity to get work done even on my stand-alone computer, but without that connection to the team on the ground, it just wasn’t ideal. When airlines finally made inflight internet available, productivity returned with a vengeance.  Now my travel days have minimal impact on my ability to stay connected and productive while traveling to my destination. 

And what is true of all technology leaps is that workarounds that used to steal productivity from us fall away as we embrace new technology. On November 1 Microsoft released the next wave of connected technology with Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud ERP, bringing welcome news to those yearning to do business from anywhere they happen to be.  It also doesn’t matter what type of device I am using laptop, ipad or phone, Dynamics 365 works on all of them.

One of the more valuable gains from Microsoft’s Cloud offer is contextually connecting emails, Word, Excel, CRM and Business Intelligence into one integrated system.

Imagine this: You get an email from a customer requesting a quote for 12 widgets. Your email recognizes that this is a customer in your Dynamics 365 system, and brings up their information. Your system alerts you that this customer may be interested in another related product so you can easily cross-sell an additional item that is exactly what they need.

You view their credit limit, pricing details, and you are a few clicks away from replying with a quote. That quote, generated beautifully with all the pizazz that Word is so good at, is sent to your customer and ready and waiting inside your Dynamics 365 accounting to turn into an invoice and receive payment on.

Your quick response is what customer service is all about. There is no need for anyone to “shop around” when you provide speedy answers and added value with rock solid accuracy. You don’t have to double entry (or triple entry!) anything, and your ability to handle more queries quadruples. This uber-productivity shows up where it matters - in the bottom line. 

I can remember several years ago Microsoft had an Office of the Future tour at their headquarters which caused new prospects to marvel at the possibilities in the future. For years Microsoft has been working on all the individual pieces to turn what looked like something impossible into a reality. From my perspective, the advantage of low overhead, quick start and scalable apps allows customers to start with just what they need, and add apps as they need them.

What are your thoughts about productivity in the Cloud? Is this something that would work for your company? Please comment below with your questions.

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