How Socket Mobile Migrated to Dynamics 365 Unified Interface & Geared Up Growth
Founded in 1992, Socket Mobile is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Bluetooth barcode scanners. Headquartered in California, the company has several European sites that primarily serve the retail, field service, transportation and manufacturing sectors.
Socket Mobile had been using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for three years, but its external support resource wasn’t providing the accessibility or coverage that it needed as Anna Buckman, Global Sales Systems Manager at Socket Mobile explains.
“We were reliant on one person to support our global Dynamics 365 deployment, but they had less capacity to help us. Increasingly, we were waiting longer for support and resolutions for routine requests would often take several weeks, so these delays were beginning to hold us back.
My role had changed to manage all of the systems used in our sales processes, including responsibility for leading our Dynamics project. As I am based in the UK, we sought a larger provider closer to my time zone that would be responsive.”
Socket Mobile appointed Preact as its Dynamics 365 partner and subscribed to its managed service, which provided the company with access to technical support, training and consultancy to help the company move forward as Anna confirms.
“I’ve been delighted at the speed that Preact has been able to answer our questions and the outcomes that we’ve achieved in Dynamics 365. Our managed service has increased the pace that we’re able to do things such as configuring more features, adding more processes and making the system work better for us.
One of the ways that we’ve been able to step up has been through regular engagement calls with our Technical Account Manager at Preact to discuss proposed changes. They understand our business and are familiar with our configuration of Dynamics, so it avoids us having to explain all the details and results in productive calls to discuss options and get their advice. When actions are agreed upon, we have good visibility of what Preact is working on for us with the current status of each item.”
Anna highlights some of the improvements that Socket Mobile made to its Dynamics 365 configuration through managed service during the last 12 months.
“Preact made us aware of the new unified interface and we’ve now completed our migration which has proved timely. We weren’t looking to be early adopters, but we did want to avoid remaining on an older interface that Microsoft had stopped developing.
From our research and testing we saw that the unified interface offered some new features that could improve the experience for our users. We’d also identified some gaps, so we arranged a day with Preact to work through these and adapt the new UI before deploying it to our team. This involved a significant change in the handling of some processes, so I created new user documentation including ‘how to’ guides which covered the main changes and explained how the new interface works.
During our transition to the unified interface, Preact made further changes in response to user requests so that after a couple of weeks we were able to switch off the old interface and we’ve seen positive feedback since everyone moved across.”
For another project, Socket Mobile used its managed service to improve the segmentation and analysis of its sales data.
“We work with diverse organisations including distributors, resellers and directly with end-users. Through an account categorisation process that Preact has implemented, we’ve been able to build a better understanding of each account that includes primary and sub-categories. This is giving us a clearer understanding of the opportunities in the channel and provides a good steer on important focus areas.
Each opportunity that our team is working on is also categorised and Preact helped us adapt this process to better understand all aspects of each potential deal. This includes being able to rank opportunities, which is supported by a confidence score that represents the likelihood of a deal being won.
Through our reseller network, prospective customers often contact several companies to request a quote, but our forecasts would be distorted if the same potential deal is forecast by multiple resellers. To avoid this double counting Preact has configured a process whereby we can highlight one of these as the primary opportunity once this is identified.
Preact has introduced Power BI which is improving the quality of our forecasting. Previously, we used an SQL report, but Power BI is more modern and it’s proving to be an intuitive and dynamic interface for working with our data. This makes it easier to conduct regional analysis and forward planning to understand what quantity of components need to be stocked based on projected orders.
Overall, we have greater confidence in our data to follow sales trends which has meant that our internal discussions about these movements are more informed.”
Socket Mobile also works with developer partners who use its software developer tools to create new connections with its devices.
“We have more than 1000 development partners and these are crucial relationships as they bake in our product to present with their software. Through Dynamics 365 case management, we’ve implemented a better structure to handle their requests which includes being able to assign and group these items.”
Reflecting on the progress that Socket Mobile has achieved, Anna is happy to recommend their Dynamics 365 partner.
“It’s reassuring to know that our system is fully managed, and that responsive support is always there when we need it; if needed, issues can be escalated to Microsoft. The changes that Preact has already implemented and the other developments that are planned are helping put our company in an excellent position for growth.”
If your organisation is considering implementing a new solution to manage its sales processes, or you are already using Dynamics 365 and want to achieve more with the system, contact Preact to discuss how to quickly achieve similar successes.
We thank Anna and Socket Mobile for sharing their story. To learn more about their barcode scanning products and solutions visit www.socketmobile.com.
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