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When it comes to implementing software solutions, Covid has forced us to explore new ways of working and to embrace digital transformation to ensure our customers are not unduly impacted. Is there a magic formula or secret approach that has enabled to continue to work whilst physically distanced? Read on to learn how at Columbus we have embraced the new normal and how it has not only benefitted ourselves, but also our customers.

How do we know what you want?

Focus on Planning - This may sound obvious but sharing a clearly thought out agenda upfront helped to keep all the sessions on track, allowed everyone to prepare and to get what they wanted from every session.

Embrace Technology - Using Microsoft Teams we replaced the traditional face to face analysis workshops that involve a room full of people. Microsoft Teams proved to be a great tool for collaboratively working through business processes.

  • New features in Teams such as Whiteboards will made workshops and design sessions even more interactive.
  • Using OneDrive file sharing enabled us to collaborate all the way from the first draft to the final version of a document.

Say what you see - The key here was to enable video at all times to build strong personal relationship. Screen sharing was also really important when reviewing legacy systems or documentation together. Some practical tips;

  • Have regular breaks
  • Keep the sessions shorter compared to onsite workshops to maintain attention and focus
  • Use the extra time to produce meeting notes with follow up actions close to the event

I don’t understand! - Training was delivered via Teams and screen sharing. The lack of seeing multiple participant screens was countered by frequently checking progress with the participants as well as participants playing back a process to the group to demonstrate their understanding.

But what if I need..? - Other aspects such as creating new application instances, applying configuration or executing data migration is easily done remotely, especially for modern cloud-based applications like D365 Business Central.

So what have we learnt? Well, it’s not only possible to implement an ERP solution entirely remotely but doing so also adds a number of benefits. Using technology and a collaborative, flexible approach will result in faster delivery times and improved quality.

All that and we haven’t even talked about productivity, costs savings and social responsibility as a result of reduced travel time, expenses and carbon footprint a win/win/win for Columbus, our customers and the environment.

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