The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) are an independent Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) aiming to bridge the gap between academia and industry.
Established in 2010, MTC focus on developing, maintaining and building upon the vital skills required by manufacturing Graduates, Technicians, Engineers and Managers to deliver the technologies that keep the Great British manufacturing industry globally competitive. They were seeking an experienced Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales to manage their asset adoption process, along with a highly functional Power Apps Portal.
Download the MTC case study
MTC had a robust process for managing projects once they were won, but no consistent tool in place for managing their prospecting and sales activity, leading to a lack of ability to report on a sales pipeline across the business.
With multiple strands of business being driven from different departments, one of the main challenges was designing and building a platform which would provide the correct targeted functionality to all stakeholders groups whilst maintaining a common underlying data model to offer consistent reporting.
Integrating with existing systems was also a challenge, the aim of the system was to increase efficiency as well as visibility, and so ensuring the introduction of a new system didn’t also introduce the need to manually duplicate data was key for driving user adoption.
Working with a variety of departments with differing priorities, skill sets and prioritised requirements meant that managing the project, presented many challenges and relied on a solid working relationship between internal and external teams.
Infinity Group’s solution was focussed around creating separate ‘Model Driven Apps’ for each of the target user groups, allowing us to expose only the required records and functionality for each set of stakeholders, but maintaining a single data store and data model underneath to facilitate consistent reporting and simple maintenance and upgrades.
Each stakeholder group was involved in process mapping and requirements gathering workshops, which were often challenging as no existing systems were in place, and often no formal processes either, with many users coming up with their own unique solutions to problems in the absence of a system. This meant the project had to be managed in an agile way, responding to changing requirements over time.
Integration between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 was achieved using the KingswaySoft SSIS Integration toolkit, to ensure data flowed seamlessly from sales to operations. This integration was complex, due to the nature of the established onboarding process post sale which needed to be adhered to.
A mixture of Sales Enterprise and Team Member licences have been implemented to ensure MTC are only paying for the functionality that they require for each user. Additionally, SharePoint Replicator from CB Dynamics was implemented to ensure Microsoft Dynamics 365’s security model was respected in SharePoint, a key requirement for an organisation dealing with highly sensitive projects and associated documentation.
Due to the nature of their work, and the security requirements it carries, an on-premises installation was required. Infinity Group configured the necessary infrastructure and software to facilitate this, creating dedicated development, testing and production environments for Microsoft Dynamics 365, SharePoint and the integration services.
The end result is that MTC now have a unified tool working across multiple business units, providing end users with the functionality they desperately needed, such as a mobile app and integration with Microsoft Outlook for tracking emails and appointments, as well as consistent, reliable, reporting across their sales for the whole business.
Future phases are already planned to deliver further benefits to users, such as the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, integration with their membership portals and visitor booking system and more.