Microsoft has expanded its cloud offering in the UK with the launch of Dynamics 365, helping customers digitally transform their business securely and efficiently.
Joining Microsoft Azure and Office 365, Dynamics 365 enables companies and organisations to work seamlessly to become more productive, gain new insights into their operations and create greater personalised experiences for customers.
The move ensures Microsoft is the first global cloud provider to offer a complete cloud from data centres in the UK.
With the service now generally available from multiple UK sites, customers can benefit from Microsoft’s Trusted Cloud principles of security, privacy, compliance and transparency, while meeting the unique data and regulatory needs in this region.
“Since the launch of Dynamics 365, we have enabled thousands of organisations to digitally transform, moving from rigid and disconnected business infrastructures to modern, intelligent services that connect silos of data to help make better, faster decisions and deliver greater customer experiences,” said Chris Rothwell, Dynamics Lead at Microsoft UK. “The introduction of Dynamics 365 to our UK data centres will greatly assist our customers in meeting the unique data and regulatory needs of the UK market, including the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation legislation.”
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust uses Dynamics 365 to easily share information between medical professionals and patients. The ability to see a complete picture of an individual’s needs means more people can be treated in their own homes rather than in a hospital.
Azure services offered from Microsoft’s UK data centres
- Azure Import/Export, which lets customers post their hard drives to Microsoft and get the company to upload data to the cloud
- HDInsight, the only fully-managed Hadoop service in the cloud
- The ability to store financial details in the cloud
- The option to use private connections to the sites, with Microsoft’s partners providing a gateway from PSN/N3 to ExpressRoute and into Azure.
- Azure Backup and Site Recovery, so customers can back up and restore their files from data centres based in this country.
- Azure Automation, which lets customers to save time and increase the reliability of administration tasks they have to complete, such as checking whether they have exceeded the size of their online database or overseeing security measures.
“Dynamics 365 has transformed the way we treat patients. It has put all relevant information into the hands of clinicians and enabled us to ensure that the moment the service receives a referral, the patient is provided with relevant information on how to manage their injury and we are able to measure the progress of their rehabilitation,” said Lucy Cassidy, an Advance Practice Physiotherapist at Brighton Hospital.
“The service also means that we are able to track patient feedback and data is automatically collected for our Patient Reported Outcome Measures, a key reporting requirement for all NHS trusts. Importantly, this data is sent live to clinicians to proactively manage patient outcomes rather than simply sitting in a spreadsheet at the end of the year.”
Microsoft’s service has revolutionised care to such an extent in Brighton that the trust is sharing its approach with others across the country.
“While our Dynamics 365 system has been developed in Brighton, we are freely sharing our blueprint with all trusts across the UK, enabling them to quickly take advantage and deliver greater patient care,” Cassidy added. “The ability to store data captured by Dynamics 365 in Microsoft’s UK data centres will ensure trusts are able to roll out this system quickly, while being able to reassure patients that their data is being stored in the UK.”
Insurance provider NFU Mutual, which has more than 900,000 members, uses Dynamics to maintain its high levels of customer service. Dion Kalimeris, Channels and CRM Business Expert, said: “We have chosen to work with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for our CRM platform because we recognise we need a digital transformation within NFU Mutual so we can offer a personalised service to our customers. It’s important we improve our customers’ access to our products through developing the ways in which they can contact us. The new CRM system will make it easier and faster to access customer data and will help us enhance our customer relationships and streamline our business processes. Microsoft will enable us to offer an enriched customer experience.”
While Microsoft is making Dynamics 365 available from UK data centres from today, it has been accessible via Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure since its release last November. Since then several large companies have signed up to digitally transform how they work.
Metro Bank is using it to give customers what they want – quick and hassle-free service. Employees use Dynamics 365 for customer service, Yammer for communication, and Power BI to identify and address problems before they begin to affect the customer relationship.
The Renault Sport Formula One Team uses Microsoft’s service to store and analyse data from the more than 200 sensors in its cars. This means the team doesn’t have to ship its servers around the world for the 21 races it competes in each year, while they can also remotely send data and insights back to the facility where Renault Sport Formula One Team designs, manufactures and develops its parts according to an innovation schedule that cannot afford any bottlenecks.
Microsoft will soon release more services that tie in with Dynamics to offer customers greater flexibility and innovation in how they work. Dynamics 365 for Sales will be integrated with the professional social network LinkedIn; Dynamics 365 for Talent will give companies more information when sourcing, recruiting, onboarding and retaining staff; while Dynamics 365 for Retail will offer management “clear visibility across stores, employees, customers, inventory and financials”.
Microsoft’s cloud regions in the UK were opened in September last year and form part of the world’s largest cloud infrastructure, supported by more than 100 data centres globally. These hold more than 120 trillion storage objects in Azure and are backed by billions of dollars in investment since 1989.
Since then, thousands of customers, including the Ministry of Defence, the Met Police and parts of the NHS have signed up to take advantage of the sites.