Unified Service Desk Outside the Contact Centre

The Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365 should really drop the Service from it’s name and become the Unified Desk.

With the last few incarnations of the Unified Service Desk, the underlying configuration and Framework have grown into an application that can no longer be discounted as a contact centre only client.

Unified Your Applications

How many times have you been using that home-grown system that manages your back-office orders while being transferred a call from the contact centre to look at a customer’s billing statement?

Wouldn’t it be great to not have to change that home-grown application, open the customer case that has already been started and have it send data to your application with no changes to the original application?

Wouldn’t your customers think it’s great when they don’t have to repeat their information to another person for the second or third time?

Or what about being able to setup multiple agent configurations across a multi-tenanted contact centre that allowed you to use the same Dynamics 365 tenant, same security roll-ups and same user profiles but with different configuration profiles, enabling your development team to focus on building solutions and not synchronizing data between multiple tenants.

Simplified Deployment

Or how often do you come in the morning and fire up all three or four applications you need to log into separately, logging into each one and instead simply double click one app, have it load and sign you into all the others?

The argument for having to roll-out a client application is weak at best (the one I hear the most).

With the improvements in downloading customization files to an agent’s desktop, files are streamed to their LOCAL DATA folder (away from the main installation) and loaded on demand (or unloaded after they have been used). Create a configuration file, add it – along with your other files – to a zip archive, add it to the USD configuration and wait for it to deploy.

Custom User Interface

Not sure about how the Unified Service Desk looks?

Create your own – that’s right, create your own.

With the Unified Service Desk you can create your own view with a basic understanding of WPF that aligns to what you want your view to look like so if the traditional 4 panel display doesn’t work for you, create something that models your organization view, complete with branding and deploy it as easily as you would any other Unified Service Desk customization.

Deliver your Dynamics365 Platform

The Unified Service Desk interacts with any customization you have in your solution framework. When implemented correctly, it can be the gateway to your users accessing not only your service centre but all of your applications within your Dynamics framework.

If you haven’t used the Unified Service Desk before or want to learn more about it can do for your Contact Centre or Business, give us a call and we’ll show you how.



Lead them in the Middle

Your First Team Meeting is critical to getting things underway with either a new team or project.

How you start will set the tone for how the project will kick-off and where your team will look to focus their energies.

In the beginning, like the song, “Everything Is Awesome” in the beginning, simple because it’s all new, emotions are at a newfound level of excitement, goals have been set.

You’ve set the groundwork, the plan, the direction, the path to go down, but apart from that – but you haven’t started yet.

Nothing has been done, so everyone is happy with the dream.

Fast Forward to the end of the project, the team has come together, they’ve gone through the final pushes of people coming in early, working late, sweating more then they usually do, doing whatever they can to get this project/product out the door and make it a success.

The team has done in so again, emotions are all happy because the release has gone out the door.

If you haven’t realized it – this is where you many of the great team quotes originate from – how the team came together to become a success, how they fought through adversity and change to deliver, how they never gave up.

There is enough literature on how to start and finish any project to keep you reading well into the afterlife.

But what about the middle?

What’s happening in the middle?

What’s going on when all that code churn is happening?

When the team is having to up their growth quotient by learning on the fly and still delivering?

When frustrations over not hitting performance targets are starting to set in?

When the team is feeling worn out and knowing that they have much more work to put in?

This is where Leadership matters, this is where Good Leadership matters – Leading in the Middle.

  • Leading when things aren’t perfect.
  • Leading when everyone is complaining.
  • Motivating those around you to keep going.
  • Keeping your head when things don’t go right.
  • Knowing when your team needs a break or they will be broken.
  • Understanding what minor things manner in the grand scheme of the whole project.
  • Giving your team leeway to try new ideas and let them fail.
  • Insulate that failure and not blaming it on them.

If you can do all those things, then you are already on the right path to Leading your Team in the Middle.

The most successful teams are those that were able lead well in the middle when things became murky or the team started to struggle because that’s what every team goes through.

The middle is never perfect, it’s never clear, it’s never straight forward, how you lead in the middle does not define how you will finish, but rather who wants to start with you again on the next project.

Will they come back for more?

In the calm moment of reflection that happens after the delivery of any project, will they go back there with you?

When lead correctly, in the middle, the team is ready to jump onto the next challenge, they are sold before the project is even announced, it’s not a question of If the project will start but When.

If you start off with the right objectives, lead well in the middle, the end will take care of itself.  If you start off strong, mess up in the middle, the end will eventually take care of itself, but not as well as it could have and you probably won’t get another opportunity to start again.



We Call Them Workshops

When we were devising our library of training programs on Leadership and Team Development all the way to Advanced Dynamics 365 Architecture and Design we stayed away from comparing them to the traditional catalog of Courses and Certifications or classifying them as Sessions that people would attend.

As our Workshops imply, our focus is for every person to leave with the knowledge that a problem they are experiencing today can be resolved when they go back to the office the day after.  We keep our workshops small to foster discussion among attendees so they can learn and grow from each other while honing their expertise with the content.

For this reason, we place great emphasis in preparing ourselves for you attending your any of our workshops.

Before attending any of our workshops we want to hear from you to ensure you’ve signed up for the right workshop and that you’ll be getting the right material from it.

These conversations are comprised of three key questions to get the ball rolling;

  1. What are the biggest challenges you are facing in your environment today?
  2. What does success look like for you when you leave the workshop?
  3. What is it you want to do with what you learn when you’ve finished the workshop?

With this information in mind, we look to bring in your real-world problems and examples into the workshop and forgo the standard labs that might help you get through the next module but don’t necessarily to translate to what you are working on today.

If you’re interested in finding out learning more about our workshops and how we can tailor them to your group or team – contact us for more information (we offer group discount rates).

Dynamics 365 – Spring Training Sessions

We will be holding Spring sessions for the following Dynamics 365 Training programs.

In April, we will be focused on the deliver of multiple sessions of the following programs to help kick your projects into gear.

April 8th – 10th – Application Development with Dynamics 365

April 15th – 16th – Advanced Solution Architecture with Dynamics 365

In May, we deep dive into our Advanced Data and Customer Service programs.

May 6th – 8th – Implementing a Data Migration and Synchronization Strategy for Dynamics 365

May 13th – 15th – Implementing a Contact Centre with the Unified Service Desk and Dynamics 365

Register before March 31st, using the code SPRING365, to receive a 15% discount on your purchase (codes cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions).

Announcing our New Leadership Programs

We are pleased to announce the release of two new Leadership programs aimed at helping Software Developers become great leaders, mentors, and coaches for their teams and organizations.

Leadership Leapfrog Program

The Software Leadership LeapFrog program is designed for individuals on that are looking for a leadership program with principles geared specifically towards the software industry.

Features of this program include;
  • A sprint-based approach to leadership development focused on setting objectives and delivering them.
  • Establishing your Value Proposition and Leadership style
  • Identify strategies for Leading Up
  • Growing your Circle of Influence
  • Establishing yourself as a Leader
  • Establishing your brand of Software Leadership

Team Leadership KickStart Program

The Team Leadership KickStart program is designed to align your software team(s) value proposition with the organization’s goals as they scale through growth.

The solution to giving your team the KickStart they need to go from Good to Great doesn’t start with adding more people to the problem or implementing more process.
It starts by
  • Ensuring your teams are engaged and delivering
  • Developing a Motivating Team Culture.
  • Reduce Turnover by building leaders from within
  • Identify and implement a strategic direction for growth
  • Team Leadership training
  • Identify and overcome weaknesses within the team

As with all of our program offerings, you can schedule Introductory and initial consultative sessions (at no charge) to find out more about our program offerings and how we can help you and your team.

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