KTL Solutions Case Study – Dynamics 365 & Office 365

How we help our customers WIN!

KTL is a full-service technology consulting firm.  So, we end up working with our clients on a broad range of issues like ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence, Custom App Development and Cloud Solutions like Office 365 & Azure.  I had the pleasure of working with dozens of customers in 2017 and I am pleased to say that the professional team at KTL delivered an incredible level of services and products to our customers again this year.   This certainly resulted in creating satisfied customers but more importantly we were able to partner with our customers, deliver various technology solutions and products and either improve the user experience for their employees and assist them in becoming more efficient, or we enhanced the services or products they provide their customers.

So, I thought I would take a moment here at the end of the year to share two (2) very different examples or mini case studies of two clients we worked with this year.  One involves a new CRM implementation with Dynamics 365 and the other is a new Office 365 migration.   Two very different companies in very different industries with a unique set of pain points and business requirements. Although, in both cases, we improved employee efficiency and enhanced client services.

We created a WIN – WIN for our customer.


Dynamics 365 is a combination of CRM and ERP solutions in a cloud service, which allows a more modular approach to purchasing and using business applications.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 brings together business applications, data, documents, and devices—with one unified user experience that provides greater control over your finances and operations, while delivering the insight you need to build and maintain customer relationships.  Dynamics 365 boosts productivity, improves customer insights, frees you to work anywhere at anytime, across your devices, and positions your business for growth.

The purpose-built modules in Dynamics 365 include:

  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Field Service
  • Project Service
  • Marketing
  • Finance & Operations


CRM Systems today have grown into platforms that are not just for sales and marketing teams.  CRM systems have become highly configurable and can be extended through your organization to cover the entire customer life cycle.  The effectiveness and benefits of CRM systems don’t stop when we win the customer.  CRM systems today can be integrated into a platform that will provide SMB executives and business owners the ability to manage their core business functions – Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Operations, Finance, Field Service and Project Service Automation on one platform.

Customer Experience matters now more than ever!

  • 86% of Customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
  • 65% of customers have left due to bad customer service.
  • 27% Increase in Customer Retention as a result of CRM systems.
  • 70% percent of Customers who have a positive experience refer that company to someone else.

To thrive and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, companies of all sizes must make customer experience a priority and those that do it best will win and keep more of their customers.

Are you making the most of your customer opportunities?

Click here for a Dynamics 365 E-book if you want to learn more

For this client they knew that they were not making the most of their customer opportunities which is why they contacted KTL for a solution.  Let me share the results of their recent Dynamics 365 implementation:

  • National Building Supply Company- More than 150 employees, over 12 retail locations in DC, MD and VA and approximately 15 Outside Sales staff.
  • Main Challenges and Pain Points:
    • No existing CRM System.
    • Sales Staff using disparate tools to keep track of contacts and sales activity. Some reps using handwritten notebooks.
    • Sales Managers have limited tools to track sales rep’s activity.
    • No consistent sales reporting format or schedule. Additionally, sales reps spend a significant amount of time preparing manual reports.
    • Client needed a tool to visualize and track Builders, Contractors and Sub-Contractors and their relationship to each other.
    • Client also needed to protect and retain key customer and prospect information and history. When sales reps would leave key customer, info would leave with them.
    • Remote work force and they needed ability to access key data from anywhere and must support multiple device types.
  • Actions – As mentioned earlier Client did not have a CRM System and was looking for a technology solution to address their challenges that I outlined above.  Client also has a goal to integrate this system with their current legacy ERP system and make this system and customer history information available to their customer service and retail employees.  Based on the scope of their requirements we developed a phased implementation plan with Phase 1 focusing on the outside sales team and the sales force automation requirements.  So, we implemented Dynamics 365-Sales with a combination of Full and Team user licenses.  The use of Team licenses allowed us to provide access to the real-time sales reporting and pipeline dashboards to Sales Managers and C-Suite executives.    This is giving them the real-time visibility that they never had into key KPI’s on the organization sales and customer service activities.
  • Results
    • Limited capital expenditure since the platform resides in the cloud and requires limited IT support.
    • Was implemented in less than 2 months.
    • Manageable phased implementation but solution is easily scalable as we add Customer Service and Retail staff to the solution in Phase 2.
    • Successful User Adoption –
      • Supports multiple devices (iOS, Android, Phone, Tablets, etc..). Sales reps could continue using devices that they were familiar with.
      • Can connect from anywhere and the application has off-line capabilities and will auto-sync when an internet connection is established
      • Improved tools to track sales pipelines and view client history and view activities.
      • Due to real time tracking of activities time required for sales reporting has been eliminated.
      • Sales reps now have clear insights into the relationships that exist between Builders, Contractors and Sub-Contractors enhancing their ability to up-sell and cross sell.
      • Seamless integration with existing Office 365 email platform making contacting clients and tracking activities simple.
      • Staff adoption has been overwhelming, they feel more productive and have a lot less frustration
    • Management benefits:
      • Sales dashboards provide management with real time insight into sale activities:
        • By sales rep
        • By product line
        • By client
        • By location
      • Better tools to target marketing and sales activities to specific business segments.
      • Client contacts and client history is protected in a corporate environment.
      • More efficient sales team.
      • Improve ability to retain top producers and recruit new talent.

This implementation has been very successful and the client has seen significant benefits as I outlined above although we continue to make some fine-tune adjustments in this first phase of the project. Phase 2 will probably begin in 2Q 2018 and I will keep track of this client’s journey and once again share the successes for their Dynamics 365 implementation.


Microsoft Office 365 is the best-in-class, integrated, cloud based productivity tool which helps companies (Enterprise & SMB) better serve their customers, protect their business and keep ahead of their competition.  This has been a significant area of interest with my customers and I have found that most of the customers I work with fall into two (2) categories but both sets of customers have the same needs and concerns.

The two (2) customer categories are as follows:

  1. New Office 365 Customers – Customers that want to move to Office 365 from a legacy On-Prem system or complete migrations from other cloud solutions.
  2. Office 365 Under Utilization – These are customers that are on Office 365 and are familiar using the traditional Office Suite (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) but are underutilizing or not using at all the other tools in the Platform (e.g. Skype for Business, SharePoint, OneNote, Etc..). Many of the customers are paying for other services/apps (i.e. DropBox, GoToMeeting, etc.) when better functionality is already part of their Office 365 platform & license.

My customers fall evenly into these two categories but I have found that regardless of which category they are in they have similar struggles and goals.  We all know the way we work today is different!  The days of working from 9 to 5, in one office, on one computer and on our own is over.  We must be able to work from anywhere, on any device, anytime of the day and with people inside and outside our organization.  And we must do this with a tool that keeps our information safe and secure and is accessible 24/7.

It is a big ASK but Office 365 provides Enterprise-level productivity, technology and security solutions but it is affordable and accessible by the SMB.  So regardless of the size of your company you can have the same tools as the big guy!

Working in the cloud and cloud adoption by Large Businesses and SMB’s is growing rapidly. Office 365 is a cloud solution and clearly today we can’t talk about any cloud solution without talking about Security.  Rather than address all of that here I would like you to reference the following information:

KTL Solutions migrated 1000’s of users to Office 365 in the last year but let me give you a real-life example from one of our clients and the results of their recent Office 365 migration:

  • Government Contractor – Approximately 60 employees, 2 companies with offices in VA & MD
  • No dedicated IT staff. They were using a third party hosted email solution and various cloud based file storage applications.
  • Main Challenges
    • No IT Staff.
    • Third party hosted email solution:
      • Limited or insufficient mailbox size limitations.
      • No email encryption options.
      • Remote connectivity issues
      • Functionality issues depending on user device type.
      • Excessive cost as company grows.
    • Based on government contracts needed Email encryption capabilities for certain users in the company.
    • Companies users had many different versions of Office some no longer supported which was creating some compatibility issues not only within the company but with also with documents received or shared from outside the company.
    • Required enhanced security and compliance tools for government contracts.
    • Required unified platform for 2 different companies and the ability to manage from a single Admin site.
  • Actions – To address the needs of this client we proposed setting up a new Office 365 tenant where they could manage the needs of 2 companies with 2 unique domains.  So, we migrated all the email boxes and email history from the legacy hosted email solution to Office 365 with Zero downtime for the users. Client utilized a mix of three (3) different Office 365 license types within the tenant that were tailored specifically to their role and position in the company.  This allowed us to utilize and provide upgraded Office 365 E3 licenses for those Executives and key staff members that had enhanced security and email encryption requirements.  Client is still utilizing some other cloud based file storage applications but KTL did setup user OneDrive Accounts and the Clients SharePoint site.  They have begun utilizing OneDrive and SharePoint but these tools will be fully implemented and existing data migrated from other applications later in 2018.
  • Results:
    • No capital expenditure to upgrade IT infrastructure.
    • Implementation and migration completed in less than a month
    • Reduced cost over third party hosted email solution, especially as organization grows
    • Email and file accessibility issues eliminated.
    • New platform supports all device types.
    • Single Admin portal for multi-company environment with NO requirement for dedicated IT staff.
    • Compliance with government contracting security and email encryption requirements.
    • Eliminated Office Suite compatibility versions as all staff are on the same Office versions and remain current through monthly updates.

OK, I have covered a lot of ground but it is very likely that some of the challenges and pain points that outlined for these two clients sound familiar and may hit close to home.   If your organization is struggling with some of these issues or maybe some other challenges please feel free to contact me at sreid@ktlsolutions.com and we can start developing a plan to help your organization.

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