3 Software Development avenues in the age of Integrated Productivity

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Microsoft talks a lot about Intelligence, Big Data, AI and Machine Learning and it is moving ahead at a pace on all fronts by enhancing its new Office 365 + Dynamics 365 Integrated Productivity Suite with some of these tools; it is worth asking how you should align your Software Development to make the best of this new offer?

Microsoft promises to add to its Integrated Productivity Suite such tools as Power BI, Cortana Intelligence Suite, MyAnalytics, Tap for Word, QuickStarter for PowerPoint, etc.; one has to admit that it’s a pretty powerful combination of business tools for any enterprise, no matter the size. But is your IT Department ready to benefit from it?

This new offer will most certainly change the landscape of business tools for Communications, Collaboration, Management, Sales and Finance, etc.; in short, most business front-end processes.

So how will you orient your Software Development if you subscribe to Microsoft’s new offer?

Align Software Development with the Office 365 + Dynamics 365 Integrated Suite

You can align your Software Development with those new tools, analyze each one’s cogs and benefits and see if they could provide an edge on the field or against competitors.

For example, is there an integration with either a device or an application which Microsoft hasn’t taken on yet?  If so, by developing such an integration you could create a fantastic competitive advantage and maybe even create a fabulous commercial opportunity of sort in the Microsoft Store.

Or the other way around, you could find a Collaboration, Communications, Finance, etc., process that Microsoft has not yet integrated to its Office 365 and Dynamics 365 Integrated Suite.  Who knows? Such an opportunity could take up much of your Software Development time and deliver important benefits as rewards.

In short, one should not stay passive before Microsoft’s new business proposal but instead approach it with a constructive, creative and audacious attitude!

Feeding Microsoft tools with your Software Development

One can analyze to see if Microsoft tools’ integration to your environment could be improved or could provide unforeseen benefits; for example, is it possible to better supply Microsoft Tools with some of your own data?

Let’s consider the MyAnalytics tool which will enable comparing employees’ productivity against different tasks; can we feed it with on-the-field performance data, or in-meeting data, or with your own Intelligence tool’s data, etc.?

Or Tap for Word, which will search and suggest documents and images for the Word document you’re presently working on; can you widen its access to other internal databases, to other divisions or branches or can you develop a new communications protocol so that it can read other types of databases?

Considering the scale of Microsoft and the powerful locomotive that the combined functionalities and tools of Office 365 and Dynamics 365 will constitute; I think any CTO would be wise to assess the potential benefits and opportunities of getting on board this one train!

Make the most of your critical process and data with your Software Development

The last avenue, the classic one, consists into making the most of your critical data and process at all times; be it on the spot, with the Client, at the office or in a totally transparent and automated fashion.

Since the new Integrated Productivity Tools Suite of Microsoft will automate most basic business processes such as Collaboration, Communications, Sales & Finances, Management and Clientele Service, etc.; maybe you should concentrate your Software Development towards the essential, that which makes you distinctive in your market:

  • enhancing and automating the Production Chain
  • enhancing, automating and accelerating Products & Service Development
  • automating data gathering on the field and capitalizing on its value
  • improving Clientele Relationship Personnalisation



One must ask the question: how will you orient your Software Development if you buy into Microsoft’s new offer?  And is your IT Department ready to make the most of it or will it know how?

Not forgetting nor neglecting the essence of your business, and capitalizing on your critical data and process, is certainly a wise approach but taking advantage of the Microsoft locomotive by hooking some of your Software Development efforts and investments on such promising tools as the Office 365 & Dynamics 365 Integrated Productivity Suite can also provide its fair share of opportunities and benefits.


Denis Paul & Michel

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