2 min read

What’s new in Microsoft Dynamics 365 wave 2?

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The October 2019 Dynamics 365 wave 2 release for Dynamics 365 is, as expected, is a love story to Microsoft’s continued investment in AI and commitment to industry and commerce. The release brings a whole host of AI-infused and industry specific capabilities and brand new world-class innovations that provide meaningful capabilities to digitally transform organisations of all shapes and sizes.

The enhancements and improvements to Dynamics 365 suite of applications include hundreds of brand new capabilities across the usual business process applications.

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Field Service
  • Project Service Automation
  • Finance
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Talent
  • Retail
  • Business Central

Microsoft October 2019 release for Dynamics 365 wave 2

We recently shared an article covering AI driven sales insights, market insights and customer insights capabilities and enhancements. Additional release announcements include Dynamics 365 Product Insights, which connects product telemetry to Microsoft Business Applications, bringing valuable in-branch, store-level insights and gives visibility into product and service performance and customer interactions.

Enhancements to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights extends the reach of the tool further from mainly B2C scenarios. Additional features will now allow organisations to generate powerful insights into complex B2B journeys too and understand and serve leads and accounts better.

At Redspire HQ, we’re very excited about Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service. This is a vital tool to deliver enhanced customer service and experience, and is improved with with brand new authoring capabilities. This allows users to test and deploy AI-powered chat bots with greater speed, freeing front line agents to focus on more complex issues, and providing deep insights into customer satisfaction and experience.

Security and risk is also covered. Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection provides a formidable fraud protection solution,  decreasing fraud costs and helping increase acceptance rates for customer payment transactions.

The Power Platform

The Power Platform is bringing unbelievable new hands on automation and innovation superpowers to organisations and internal teams globally. The new wave 2 capabilities really extend their reach and maximise the power of AI for everyone from pro-devs to front of house teams. Read more in yesterday’s Power Platform article or get in touch with us to find out more.

About Redspire 

Whilst just scratching the surface of the top tier Dynamics 365 wave 2 enhancements here, our technical team are delving deep into the new capabilities to bring them to our clients. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, leading business transformation in Banking, Insurance, Government and FMCG, we know Dynamics 365 inside out and we love getting under the hood of our clients’ businesses to innovate, automate and return on your digital investment.

To read more about the Microsoft technologies driving digital business transformation, download our guide today. To discuss how Dynamics 365 and the latest technologies from the Microsoft stack can transform your business, please get in touch with our team of specialist Microsoft-accredited consultants today for an informal chat. Ask about our suite of on-site business transformation workshops. Call 0845 226 8170 or email info@redspire.co.uk.

 

 

3 min read

Power Platform Oct wave 2: Flow, Power BI and Power Apps

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Microsoft 2019 wave 2 launched 1st October – the largest release to date – with over of 400 new feature updates and capabilities across Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.

As we look at the new release enhancements and deep-dive into the opportunities they create for our clients to drive intelligent action across their business, Consultant Claire and CEO Billy have been out in Stockholm this weekend delivering an exciting session at Power Platform Saturday Sweden.

Focusing on non-standard Business Use Cases for the Microsoft Stack, the session showcased the capabilities of the Power Platform and highlighted how the tools: Flow, Power BI and PowerApps are automating business critical processes, helping users create bespoke personal workflows and providing intelligence that makes both daily life and business operations easier.

An overview of the Power Platform

Microsoft’s Power Platform gives everyone within your organisation the ability to build business solutions. It combines the technologies of three key products – Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow and enables users of varying technical capabilities to analyse, act on, and automate data in never before ways. Because the tools are designed to work together, everyone across your business can quickly and easily build custom apps that solve immediate business pain, automate complex workflows to improve business productivity, and analyse data for insights—no matter their technical expertise.

Microsoft October 2019 wave 2 release: Power Platform

So what’s new for the Power Platform for 2019 wave 2, October 2019 to March 2020?

For PowerApps, the wave 2 release brings major enhancements that empower app creators of varying capabilities to easier develop superior quality apps. Advanced enterprise and administrator requirements are still supported. As well as introducing new capabilities, the enhancements to PowerApps simplify existing concepts on both PowerApps and Dynamics 365 apps built upon the Unified Interface, increasing developer productivity and app stability.

Additionally, creators can also create new PowerApps Portals experiences that improve engagement with internal and external audiences. These web portals surface data stored in the Common Data Services to internal teams, partners, third parties and customers.

Microsoft Flow’s new functionality creates smarter, more meaningful experiences in three key areas. Users – again with varying levels of expertise – can leverage world-leading business process capabilities, work off-line and make use of rich administration tools that drive connectivity.

AI Builder is a new to market capability for Power Platform that highlights Microsoft’s commitment to AI for all. It allows teams with the organisational expertise to rapidly automate processes with ease and predict outcomes that improve business performance. This turnkey solution takes the power of Microsoft Artificial Intelligence through a user-friendly point-and-click experience, directly integrated into both PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

Power BI is already simplifying how businesses gain valuable insights from transactional and observational data and drive a data culture where teams decision-make based on hard facts, not opinions. Within this release, Power BI improvements focus on four critical areas that drive a data culture. These are intuitive experiences, a unified BI platform, big data analytics, and pervasive artificial intelligence.

Data integration provides businesses with built-in connectivity to the Power Platform and beyond, with data across hundreds of business system unified and connected, enabling richer, smarter experiences. The Common Data Model provides semantic consistency for canonical business entities across Dynamics 365 and Common Data Service, increasing value and saving time for application developers, ISV partners, and integrators.

Get in touch with our Microsoft accredited consultants

For more information on how Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform can revolutionise your business, get in touch with our team of specialist consultants today on 0845 226 8170 or email us on info@redspire.co.uk. If you’d like to read more on the Power Platform for insurance, read parts two and three of our information series.

If you’re unsure where you are in your CRM or business transformation journey, enquire about our bespoke on-site workshops. No matter what stage you’re at, we can tailor a session to suit your needs.

 

4 min read

The Graduate Apprenticeship Q&A: Greg Tierney

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22 year old Greg Tierney has been working with Redspire for just over a year, as a Junior Business Analyst. He joined the business on the pilot Graduate Apprenticeship programme having completed a HND in Accountancy at Glasgow College. With a real enthusiasm for technology, he was the idea candidate for the newly created post. We’ve grabbed a coffee with Greg to ask him a few questions about his first year in post.

Tell us about a typical Redspire day?

I tend to get in the office around 8:15am, throw together a smoothie from the free office supply and get to my desk to catch up on emails before our 9am delivery team stand up. This meeting, along with a one to one with the project manager right after sets the tone for the whole day. I spend the morning on daily reporting, resourcing and billing before lunch. It’s a young, friendly team in Redspire, so lunch is usually with a colleague somewhere local. The afternoon is usually planned project work with the odd reactive, ad-hoc client piece.

What’s been the highlight of the last year since joining Redspire?

It’s just a really great business to work for and the experience I’ve gained in the last year has been incredible.

Redspire aims to be – and is well on the way to becoming – the number one CRM and Microsoft business applications consultancy in the UK. We’re the go-to partner for digital transformation for Financial Services organisations, not just in Glasgow – where some of our partners and clients like CYBG and Golden Charter are based – but across the rest of the UK too. Our vision helps financial services firms create business flows that don’t just improve internal operations but completely revolutionises how their customers bank, save, borrow, buy, interact and transact.

Being involved in that sort of project work and producing workflows, documentation and reports on high six figure projects that really make a difference to our clients’ operations, as well as sitting on the working group that implemented new processes for how projects are created and delivered through the Redspire Project Lifecycle (RPL) were serious highs for me. These are dream projects and I still get excited that I get to gain a BA (Hons) in Business Studies whilst working on both client work and internal business flows that have long term impact.

It’s great to see the work I’m involved in improve operations in such huge commercial businesses and to create lasting impact on the wider financial services industry at large.

As well as our work in the local business community, we’ve also signed the Microsoft Pledge, which aims to reduce the digital skills gap and create a strong pool of digital talent entering the workplace. My Graduate Apprenticeship position is testament to that!

How do you balance workload and studying?

Applying for Redspire, being able to study at Strathclyde and gain on the job experience whilst on a demanding graduate scheme has been incredible. However, it hasn’t been without hard work, sacrifice and lots of focus. It’s a demanding workload and good time management skills are required to balance work and studying. However, being able to work with clients like Money and Pensions Services, Skills Development Scotland and Civil Aviation Authority and gain on the job skills is the massive payoff to that.

Working in tech in a business that makes a real difference to clients and their customers, and the opportunities provided by the Microsoft Gold Partner relationship is pretty much my dream job so the hard work will be worth it.

There’s a great social aspect of life at Redspire too. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a team night out, lunch and learn or a training event. Some amazing Microsoft grassroots events have happened here recently too, like D365 Saturday or App in a Day, where I got to learn directly from some of the biggest names in the Microsoft space.

Any advice for Graduates interested in a role with Redspire?

Read up and learn about Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. Redspire have a great staff induction and training programme to gain your accreditations and really invest in upskilling you. But the more you know about the technology, the further ahead you’ll be. Show your enthusiasm and hunger for success. This business is build by people with real passion for IT and the sectors we work in so if you can show that you have that drive too, it will be a real bonus!

Working with Redspire

Head of Operations, Kristine Steele says, “Redspire recently signed the Microsoft Pledge to highlight our commitment to upskilling future generations and reduce the digital skills gap. We’re thrilled to also be able to open up a development opportunity for a young person in Scotland in the shape of a brand-new Graduate Apprenticeship, and Greg has become a valuable team member in the past year.”

To find out more about working with Redspire or our Graduate Apprenticeships programmes, get in touch with Kristine Steele.

 

4 min read

From Graduate Analyst to Solutions Architect: A Redspire Graduate Journey

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It’s been a busy twelve months at Redspire HQ with lots of exciting client work, innovative partnerships, brand new faces joining the team and promotions and team shifts. Our headcount has grown once again to 33, we’re attracting some of the best UK tech talent, closing the team gender gap and partnering with global and local grassroots organisations to bring the best tech events to Glasgow.

This week we’re reflecting on the Redspire Graduate journey, interviewing Jamie Logue, who joined the business as a Graduate Analyst. Jamie excelled through the programme to become Solutions Architect managing a team of his own consultants and leading communications between clients, architects and analysts.

The Redspire Graduate Q&A

Jamie joined Redspire after graduating from UWS – University of the West of Scotland, with a BSc in Business Technology in 2015. This interview follows on from his first Graduate interview until today, where Jamie shares his journey of the last few years.

Jamie tell us about a typical Redspire day?

I know it’s maybe a clichéd response but there’s no typical day in my role. What I will say is that it’s been an exciting few years with Redspire and I’ve loved the varied mix of projects that I’ve been involved in. From working with clients like CYBG and Money Advice Service to delivering real tangible business change to working collaboratively with Microsoft, this is exactly the sort of work I’d envisaged doing whilst I was at university.

My working week is typically a good mix of client work, from face to face meetings with clients all over the UK and hands-on work on project development and build, to creating user adoption training programmes or go live deployments.

If I’m not on-site with a client, my day usually starts with a short stand up team meeting to set the tone for the day. If we’re not on-site, we use Microsoft teams and Outlook to collaborate remotely, which can often be a great way to showcase the tools to clients!

As well as my project work, I also work closely with business support on technical writing and creating bespoke marketing materials. As lead Solutions Architect for the Banking and Financial Services sector I was recently interviewed for some explainer videos on the which was really interesting and a chance to reflect on the wider implications of the work we do instead of the granular detail of systems, solutions and projects.

What’s been the highlight of the last 4 years since joining Redspire?

There’s three key stand outs for me during my career here.

  1. Being able to constantly learn, which is a gift once you leave university! Redspire is all about continual progression and training, and it’s all shaped around my current skills, career aims and development requirements.
  2. Progression and opportunity. I believe I was able to fast-track to my current position thanks to Redspire’s approach to learning and development. You get out what you put in and that hunger to keep learning and go the extra mile is rewarded.
  3. All client work is rewarding but working on the Small Business Banking project at CYBG was one of the most interesting I’ve ever worked on. Seeing the quantifiable productivity gains and high user adoption levels as we move onto next phases of Power BI implementation is really satisfying! I believe that our attention to ensuring user adoption is what sets Redspire apart from our competitors.

How has the working environment changed at Redspire?

We’ve grown and taken over additional office space since I first joined, however the team spirit hasn’t changed. The team is really friendly. We’ve a great social area, regular nights out, team-building activities and an open door policy where everyone from junior team members to managers can drop in on each other as and when they need. We’re all really invested in each other’s progression too, so are constantly sharing information and insights with each other or taking part in lunch and learn sessions to share knowledge picked up on the job or via our Microsoft interactions.

Any advice for Graduates interested in a role with Redspire?

Immerse yourself in all things Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform and learn as much about the solutions as you can. YouTube has great resources from our in-house consultant Neil Parkhurst. That foundational knowledge will help when it comes to accreditation! And as before, do your research on the different roles available, ask lots of questions and throw yourself in.

To find out more about working with Redspire, keep an eye out for our careers page coming soon and in the meantime,  send us an email if you’d like to find out more.

2 min read

Redspire announced as BIMA Awards Finalists in Transformation and Consultancy

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We’re BIMA Awards Finalists!

Redspire’s consultancy work with CYBG has been been shortlisted for a prestigious BIMA Award, alongside some of the biggest and best names in global business.  Following a successful implementation of Dynamics 365 for Sales in CYBG’s Small Business Banking division, relationship management teams in the UK’s sixth largest bank:

  • Achieved an 11x increase on customer outreach calls
  • Seen a 15% improvement on customer outreach levels
  • Gained 3,175 days in productivity

BIMA Awards Finalists – Celebrating the best in Digital

 The BIMA Awards are the longest standing and most prestigious digital awards in the UK, dedicated to supporting and encouraging work by agencies like ours who are making a difference in business, culture and society and pushing the boundaries of what is possible through digital leadership.

Redspire collaborated with CYBG to create and deliver a simple but effective vision: To enhance the customer and employee proposition in Business Direct Small Business Banking and deliver improved cross sales, lead management, capacity creation and management information through a cloud based Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

The BIMA awards represent the pinnacle of the digital revolution and transformation. Rachel Johnson, BIMA said: “To be shortlisted for a BIMA award is a prestigious honour and earmarks your organisation as one of an elite few moving the game on and the digital economy forward.

 She continues: “On 11 July, dozens of the industry’s finest gathered together to debate how they were going to turn hundreds of impressive entries into a handful of exceptional ones.”

 The Redspire management team are incredibly proud to be selected as an exceptional entry and thank BIMA for recognising the project delivery and our hard-working tech and business support teams for making the CYBG project a success.

The winner will be announced at the BIMA Lessons from the Future Conference and Awards Ceremony on 18th September 2019 in London, Westminster.

The Lessons from the Future conference will bring together tech and some of the industry’s biggest thought leaders for a series of inspirational studies, think tanks and masterclasses on how to successfully transform the customer experience, how to harness AI and tech for good and the future of the modern workplace.

We look forward to both the conference and the awards ceremony and hope to see you there!

2 min read

Redspire partner with Microsoft MVP Neil Parkhurst to boost digital skills talent in Scotland

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Redspire are excited to announce a year long partnership with Microsoft MVP and award-winning Dynamics 365 consultant Neil Parkhurst. Our Gold Partner agency will collaborate with the D365UG Global All-Star on an internal best practice programme that provides bespoke training and development for new recruits, front line project delivery and an open market events and webinar series designed to upskill developers, analysts and architects across the sector.

With over thirty years plus experience in IT, Parkhurst is a highly regarded leader in Dynamics, Unified Service Desk, Field Service and Project Service Automation. Boasting an extensive client roster, a popular YouTube channel and a series of sector awards, his contribution to the Dynamics space extends globally. NeilParkhurst.com – a free resource dedicated to supporting and upskilling students and professionals working towards Dynamics accreditation – has accrued over 1.7 million hits since launch in 2016, achieving double digit growth year on year, and gaining notoriety within the IT sector as one of the most valued digital resources available.

The collaboration will also extend the reach of Redspire’s on-going commitment to The Microsoft Pledge, which they signed in August 2019, a promise to help create a strong digital talent pool entering the sector and prevent skills shortages.

Second phase plans intend to take the Redspire and Parkhurst partnership from the workplace to the classroom, in a bid to help Scotland’s students and businesses prepare for the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and reduce skills gaps in IT graduates entering the workplace.

Redspire’s Services Director Steven Brown says: “Like Neil, Redspire is driven by delivering organisational business change to our clients, alongside building the best IT talent in the sector. Collaborating with Neil in the coming twelve months support our key business goals for the year ahead and will allow us to achieve ambitious growth plans in terms of talent acquisition and project delivery.”

Parkhurst says: “There’s real synergy between Redspire’s commercial goals and mine and I’m pleased to be partnering with them in this year ahead.”

Redspire is a CRM Consultancy, specialising exclusively in Dynamics 365. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we help UK businesses solve organisational challenges and help our clients achieve long term strategic goals, via bespoke CRM solutions that revolutionise how they do business.

As part of the Microsoft account managed teams, Redspire work collaboratively to drive digital transformation, improve processes and help businesses understand and engage with teams, customers, clients, citizens and members like never before. With particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, Government and the Media, our client base includes the Money Advice Service (now trading as the Money and Pensions Service), Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG), Golden Charter, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and GroupM.

4 min read

April Release Notes

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As we edge closer to the beginning of the new financial year, it signals the latest bi-annual update from Microsoft on the April 2019 release features for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

The 396-page document details new and improved features across Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Portal, Field Service, Project Service Automation, Finance and Operations, Microsoft’s continual investment in developing the AI capabilities within the platform and perfecting the user experience that it ultimately delivers.

The first thing to note is the introduction of the new Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service platform. The new release joins an already established suite of artificial intelligence applications designed to streamline process efficiency and provide a solid foundation to build the perfect experience strategy. Additionally, AI for Sales is being expanded to feature new predictive forecasting and a wider variety of call intelligence capabilities.

AI for Market Insights updates and correlates search data with analytics and data mined from social media integration. The new AI for Customer Insights key offering provides a very on-brand “single-view” dashboard for statistical data and shared analytics across both human and virtual interaction agents.

The technical advancements being introduced to further enhance the powerhouse that is the Dynamics 365 for Sales module comes with a real focus on collaboration, particularly in integrating with the Microsoft Teams platform. An enhanced focus on integrating LinkedIn data and technology, allows sales reps or relationship managers to view profile information with no additional configuration and subscription required. One of the most important features being a new alert/update functionality which will allow sales and relationship managers to keep up to date on any role/company change to their key contacts within the opportunities section.

New live chat and SMS options will be available as additional support channels for direct engagement and management throughout each stage of the customer journey on Dynamics 365. This is further bolstered by a crisp new Unified Interface, that allows multi session capabilities and slick switching between sessions, screen notifications, knowledge articles, preconfigured quick replies and transfer conversation that improve the flow of the experience on the customers end.

Microsoft have continued their development of the Dynamics 365 for Marketing platform with a host of further enhancements to better combine the tools available with the power of Microsoft technology. One of the key investments from the April release is the development of actionable intelligence which allows for better delivery, building of optimised target segments and supports the effective communication strategy. The solution will continue to be integrated and extended to deliver projects more efficiently and support vertical scenarios. New APIs will better enable journeys to be linked with internal business processes and create target segments programmatically. The configurable Relationship Assistant will be a huge boost to both sales and marketing functions in determining and evaluating how best to progress with a communication strategy.

With the update comes new Power Platform capabilities which combine Microsoft Flow, Power BI and Common Data Service for apps into a true world-leading suite of tools which allow an easy and powerful collaborative integration into Dynamics 365 and Office 365. There is also a huge emphasis on improvements to the usability for data and business analysts, empowering them to build higher-quality reports, apps and workflows more easily whilst still supporting the advanced demands of enterprise and administrator requirements.

Choosing the right Dynamics Partner

Choosing the right Microsoft Dynamics partner for your customer experience project is an essential part of success. It’s vital that you select a partner experienced within your sector, who understand the nuances and challenges of your business and who has references and success models within your industry. From pre-sales scoping and needs analysis to, project and process mapping and build… all the way through to implementation and beyond, a strong partner is the primary key to success.

Redspire have particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, FMCG, Government and Third Sector and have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money Advice Service and operations and field service at Golden Charter, our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem help our clients achieve operational excellence and project delivery that improves bottom lines.

Read more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 now, or watch our ‘Why Dynamics 365’ webinar to find out more.

3 min read

Social Selling at the Institute of Sales Management, Scotland.

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We recently attended the first ever Edinburgh-based event hosted by the Institute of Sales Management

The inaugural Scotland Event showcased the dramatic change in the sales environment, as businesses spanning all industries accelerate digital transformation through cloud technologies.

Businesses today are meeting the challenge of servicing a new breed of B2C customers and B2B clients who have ever-increasing expectations and demands on sellers. This is the age of the professional consumer.

Throughout the evening, one main question was raised…

Is cold calling dying out as an introductory technique for selling?

Selling and outreach are constantly shape-shifting. With the rise in intelligent, data-driven technology and machine learning, social media platforms are intuitively becoming the go-to place for content placement and customer contact. Cold calling has become a much less popular and effective method of interaction.

In its place, social selling has become a key part of an organisation’s customer engagement strategy. Why cold call when you can outreach to a warmed prospect, and make use of insights that make the nurture and sales process easier for salespeople, marketers and business owners?

What is social selling? And do traditional salespeople need to adapt?

Short answer, yes.

Social selling is a modern approach to identifying and engaging with a custom-built audience based on your business’s target market and a great way to establish rapport, connect and verify the legitimacy of the relationship between seller and prospect. Post-purchase by Microsoft, LinkedIn is proving itself one of the most valuable sales and marketing tools for social selling, with 96% of B2B buyers seeking to read content and engage with industry leaders (Demand Gen report, 2017). Other channels also have validity, and it’s worth pointing out that the fundamentals of social selling translate well to offline relationship building.

So is cold calling dead?

Technology is driving behavioural change in buyers and sellers and it’s essential that sellers keep pace in terms of expertise and personal learning, to avoid becoming redundant. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still a place for a cold call, however where engaged, meaningful contact can be achieved easily, why reduce your chances with your prospects?

Not only does social selling give you a 360-degree view of prospects, it allows you to tailor your approach to current customers and meet their needs at the right time. The social selling model supports account-based selling and allows you to deliver hyper-relevant messaging and content that speaks their language.

Social selling for operational efficiencies

According to a recent survey by CSO Insights and Seismic, one in three B2B sales professionals said that not only was social selling increasing the number of leads they had to work with, but also the depth of the relationships they had with existing and prospective clients. Building relationships rather than leading with the hard sell allows salespeople to maximise their own efficiency by reducing the prospect research time, having a positive impact on the sales cycle.

Transactional vs Strategic Sales

Cold calling is usually a game of chance with decision makers within a company out of reach for the average cold sales call. Social selling converts the sales process from transactional and functional, to a strategic plan that provides hard ROI, produces serious wins and enhances customer experience and satisfaction.

Companies are being left behind because they’re yet to acknowledge that the buying process has changed. It’s no longer a one-way system made up of cold calls, qualifying leads and sales demos. 84% of vice president and C-level executives use online and digital media channels to influence their purchasing decisions.

3 min read

Microsoft Inspire Keynote 2018: Emerging themes from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s speech

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In his keynote speech at the global Microsoft Inspire conference in Las Vegas, CEO Satya Nadella talked about how technology and connectivity continue to improve human relationships, whilst reinforcing that ethics and user privacy continue to be the most important consideration, as we accelerate though the 4th industrial revolution.

This year’s Microsoft Inspire has been one of the most exciting and rousing yet, with a focus on increased innovation, growth and differentiation. If last year’s key takeaway was Microsoft’s commitment to transforming their partner relationships, this year is about accelerating partner support for the greater collective good. Microsoft’s overarching business vision of “empowering every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more” will ultimately be driven by the Microsoft Partner eco-system.

Our Senior team attended the conference, and have summarised their top takeaways:

The Microsoft partner eco-system is bigger and more impactful than ever before…

…and jam-packed with opportunity. Over 17 million people are employed in the Microsoft and Microsoft partner ecosystem with total business projected at a phenomenal $4.5 trillion. Together we are in a unique position to unleash the power of real partnership for digital and technological success. Not just for business, but for customers, innovators and end users too.

Ethics and personal privacy is a fundamental human right.

Advances in technology and integrated Artificial intelligence (AI) are creating some of the most exciting changes in the world today, but Nadella has warned that they must not come at the expense of personal privacy and human relationships.

He said: “We have to have a set of principles that guide the development of AI and always do our very best work when it comes to privacy. As technology becomes pervasive in our lives, we must approach everything with the fundamental assumption that privacy is a human right.”

The importance of adding value not just creating brand values

Nadella’s message to students looking for a career at Microsoft?

“If you want to be cool, go somewhere else. At Microsoft, our job is making other people look cool.”

Sharing incredible stories of business transformation via the partner eco-system, the message and focus for the future is on driving positive, global impact through cutting edge technology and industry-specific solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365.

People and connectivity is being re-imagined, now.

The future of digital is people and human centric, made possible with by ever-increasing advances in Microsoft’s Azure Sphere secure technology. Internet connectivity is becoming a two-way street, creating a holistic user experience that decouples us from the chains of the tech, whilst improving seamless machine integration in our day to day lives.

Nadella said: “We are going to infuse everything with AI. It’s going to have perception capability, language capability and autonomy that’s going to be built into the applications going forward.”

Over the next few years, more and more consumer gadgets and appliances will connect to the Internet and each other, with the capabilities to talk to us, listen, predict behaviour and act on our behalf. The tech we use will become seamless, multi-device and multi-sensory.

As organisations globally hurtle through accelerated digital transformation, driven by cloud and artificial intelligence, mixed reality and the Internet of Things, these tools and technologies are re-imagining consumerism, business and society for the greater good.

And yet consciously, we may never even be aware that we’ve interacted with a computer…

Ready to find out more about how Microsoft’s up-to-the-minute technology can improve your business operations, sales and service? Contact us today for an informal chat…

3 min read

A Redspire Graduate journey 2017 – by Nine Twenty Recruitment

Redspire have worked with Nine Twenty recruitment over the last few years as our headcount has grown and the business expanded. With solid growth plans, we are once again looking for excellent, talented IT Graduates who are looking to start their career within a dynamic and innovative Technology company and Microsoft Gold Partner.

To highlight the unique benefits of working with Redspire, Nine Twenty interviewed our star Graduate Jamie Logue to talk about his career path, how he ended up with Redspire and the projects that he’s been immersed in since joining our Microsoft Gold Partner consultancy.

Introducing Jamie to the Redspire Graduate opportunity

Nine Twenty approached Jamie last year after he had graduated from University of West of Scotland, achieving a BSc in Business Technology. Following screening with Nine Twenty, it was obvious that Jamie was the type of candidate that would flourish in the learning environment that Redspire were providing.

The Redspire Graduate Q&A

Jamie, what did you want to do when you graduated?

“I wanted to be a Business Analyst! Database development really interested me at university and it seemed highly relevant to the opening at Redspire. Even though I didn’t know too much about CRM systems, the role seemed like a great opportunity to learn more.”

Tell us about your role as a Graduate Analyst at Redspire.

“As Graduate Analyst, you get a great grounding in multiple business areas, which is just what you want as you get your teeth into the sector. It’s learning from the ground up. My initial role combined responsibilities from areas like business analysis, solutions architect, design and pre- sales, as well as elements of coding.”

“The management team are really supportive at Redspire and work closely with all staff to help to focus on people’s strengths and how they develop their long term careers. There are so many options for specialising once you have an understanding of the various departments.”

 What does the career path look like on the Redspire Graduate programme?

“I started out as an Analyst, and straight away its training heavy to gain your Microsoft certifications. Once you’re certified, the day to day is so much more hands on and involved client facing Consultancy and project design. After that you can be promoted based on performance into Senior/ Lead Consultants and from there you have options to move around within the company, for example focusing on the Business side or the Tech side of the company or maybe looking more at Project Management.”

What is the working environment like at Redspire?

“They’re a friendly chatty bunch at Redspire HQ. There’s a good team vibe between departments and we have pretty regular social events to make sure it stays that way.”

Who wouldn’t suit a Redspire Graduate role?

“Someone without a clear vision of where they want to go”

Any Advice for Graduates interested in a role with Redspire?

“Do the research on the role, the business and the benefits of the Microsoft tools and relationship. In this role, you will be thrown in at the deep end…but you definitely have a safety net in terms of the support around you!”