MSDW Podcast: Neil Benson on big Dynamics 365 projects, Scrum, and training

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Microsoft MVP, solution architect, and Scrum expert Neil Benson recently concluded two years of work on a membership and sales platform upgrade for RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) that involved Dynamics 365 Customer Service, integration with multiple other SaaS vendor solutions, and, of course, lots of legacy data to contend with from the decades old systems being replaced. This was a big project by any standard. Microsoft celebrated its early successes last year, but work has continued, and Neil gives us an inside view of what it has been like managing five delivery streams amid a host of other changes, from user adoption to the IT department’s Azure transition to going live during the pandemic.

Show Notes

  • 0:45 – About Neil and his business, Customery
  • 2:50 – About RACQ and their modernization project
  • 5:20 – The scale of this project and the challenges of working at that scale
  • 7:35 – Why RACQ had everything to lose in terms of customer satisfaction and retention from undertaking their modernization program
  • 8:20 – Attitude toward cloud adoption from their legacy stance
  • 10:50 – How five workstreams moved ahead together, how they divided up responsibilities and stages
  • 12:05 – The core software products that go into RACQ’s cloud transformation
  • 13:35 – Observations on using Adobe Campaign with Dynamics 365 and other solutions
  • 15:20 – Deploying Apttus and the future of their relationship with (or without) Microsoft
  • 17:50 – The fight for ISV cloud hosting between the hypercloud vendors
  • 19:50 – Using Scrum on a project of this scale
  • 23:50 – Neil’s experience training others on Scrum
  • 27:50 – Innovative solutions of the RACQ solution
  • 31:20 – How does an organization focused on driving adapt to Covid and other changing trends around car usage?
  • 34:20 – How such a big project transitioned to work from home during the pandemic
  • 34:35 – RACQ’s efforts in trialing other tech like RPA
  • 38:20 – Is RPA a viable long-term product for CIOs?
  • 41:50 – On the history of Customery’s LEGO usage
  • 43:15 – More on podcasting

Where to find Neil:

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