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Software Designed For Your People

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Microsoft Dynamics RoleTailored Business Productivity

“Software Designed For Your People”

White Paper

Date: March 1, 2007

Breakthrough Business Productivity Designed Specifically For Your People


Businesses don’t garner insights or make decisions. Businesses don’t close deals, invent new products, or find new efficiencies.

People do.
Companies excel when they empower their people to drive the business forward.

Strategies, organization, motivation, and leadership all set the stage for business success. But to see results, you also have to give your people the right tools, information, and opportunities—because success ultimately comes down to your people. We call a business that fosters a winning environment a “people-ready business.”

Software is instrumental to the people-ready business. Software is increasingly how we harness information, the lifeblood of business today. Software enables people to turn data into insight, transform ideas into action, and turn change into opportunity.
Microsoft is building the next generation of breakthrough business applications designed to amplify the impact of your people.

Introduction 4

Building a Clear Customer Understanding 6

The Microsoft Dynamics Customer Model 7

Definition of the customer model 7

Utilizing the Customer Model 7

Reflecting the Model in Software 9

Microsoft Dynamics Client 9

Microsoft Office as a primary interface 13

Integrated User Experience 13

Business Portal 18

Appendix 1 – Microsoft Usability Research 20

Lab Studies 20

Site Studies 20

Usability Labs 20

The Observer Side 21

The Participant Side 21

Convergence User Experience Lounge 21

Appendix 2 – Customer Model 23

Operations 23

Finance 29

Sales and Marketing 32

IT & Partners 35

Human Resources 36

Small Business 39

Appendix 3 – Example of the Persona Detailed View 40

Vince – Operations Manager 40

Demographics 40

Work 40

Psychographics 41

Get to Know Vince 42

A day in the life 43

Primary Roles 43

Secondary Roles 44

April – Accounts Payable Coordinator 46

Demographics 46

Work 46

Psychographics 48

Get to Know April 48

A day in the life 48

Primary Roles 49

Appendix 5 – References 51

The software challenges that lie ahead are less about getting access to the information people need and more about making sense of the information they have—giving them the ability to focus, prioritize and apply their expertise, visualize and understand key data, and reduce the amount of time they spend dealing with the complexity of an information-rich environment.”

Bill Gates

Chairman and Chief Software Architect

Microsoft Corporation


Over the past decade, software has evolved to build bridges between disconnected islands of information and give people powerful ways to communicate, collaborate and access the data that's most important to them.

But the software challenges that lie ahead are less about getting access to the information people need, and more about making sense of the information they have.

To tackle these challenges, business software needs to evolve. It's time to build on the capabilities we have today and create software that helps people adapt and thrive in an ever-changing work environment. Advances in pattern recognition, smart content, visualization and simulation, as well as innovations in hardware, displays and wireless networks, all give us an opportunity to re-imagine how software can help people get their jobs done.

This is an important goal not only because the technology has evolved to make it possible, but also because the way we work is changing.

Now more than ever, competitive advantage comes from the ability to transform ideas into value -- through process innovation, strategic insights and customized services. We are evolving toward a diverse yet unified global market, with customers, partners and suppliers that work together across cultures and continents. Business is becoming more transparent, with a greater need to ensure accountability, security and privacy within and across organizations.

All of these changes are giving people new and better ways to work, but they also bring a new set of challenges: a deluge of information, constant demands on their attention, new skills to master and pressure to be more productive.

A recent study showed that 56 percent of workers are overwhelmed by multiple simultaneous projects and interrupted too often; one-third say that multi-tasking and distractions are keeping them from stepping back to process and reflect on the work they're doing. In the United Kingdom, it's estimated that stress accounts for nearly one-third of absenteeism and sick leave.

Finding the information people need to do their jobs is to difficult. The software innovations of the 1980s and 1990s, which revolutionized how we create and manipulate information, have created a new set of challenges: finding information, visualizing and understanding it, and taking action. Industry analysts estimate that information workers spend up to 30 percent of their working day just looking for data they need. All the time people spend tracking down information, managing and organizing documents, and making sure their teams have the data they need, could be much better spent on analysis, collaboration, insight and other work that adds value.

At Microsoft, we believe that the key to helping businesses become more agile and productive in the global economy is to empower individual workers -- giving them tools that improve efficiency and enable them to focus on the highest-value work and a new generation of software is an important ingredient to make this happen.

Within the Microsoft Dynamics Research & Development group specifically, our implementation of this is “RoleTailored productivity” and it is the key software strategy that enables the people-ready business by combining the worlds of business process automation and personal productivity

Figure 1: The worlds of business process and personal productivity
Until now, organizations have had to deal with two distinct worlds of software applications:

One involves the world of business process automation software, software that automates processes in areas like accounting, sales, and production. This software has proven to be very good at automating specific tasks, but it has proven to be rigid and hard to change. On the other side is the world of personal productivity software, the tools that we all use daily—Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook®, Microsoft Excel®, and the Web.

At Microsoft, we’re believers in software and the power of software to help companies work better. In-depth customer research has shown that increasing employee productivity helps drive overall company efficiency. So, how can business management software improve employee productivity? Our idea is to integrate the user experience of Microsoft Office with the user experience of business process applications in a way that is familiar and easy to use for the end user, and built around the way people in the company work or “RoleTailored.” Software that’s targeted around the specific jobs people do can provide tremendous insight and help drive company-wide productivity. These integrated, flexible business management solutions enable people to make business decisions with greater confidence.
Because it works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Dynamics has less of a learning curve, so people can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important.

By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of the business, and helping drive business success.

Most importantly, we know it’s critical that we continue to partner with our customers to clearly understand how they work every day, to unlock the power of insight within an organization. With the assets we bring to the table, our partners’ industry focus, and an in-depth connection with our customers, we believe we can help change the way that businesses, and their employees, work.
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