26 Jan

 “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F Kennedy (35th US President).

The fear of change or the need to follow the “normal” traditional route is one of the major active ingredients for disaster in business. It is about time we come to the realisation that at times traditional approaches tend to hinder the innovation that is associated with automation of services and hence business growth. That being said, with realisation comes redirection, transformation and then growth.


To transform a business we need to identify techniques and processes that are not being applied at all or are not being used to their maximum capacity. After identification we then work on implementing the processes that have not been used and maximising on those that have been underutilised. Business process automation and business technology solutions are often components of the transformation. All of the above ultimately leads to increase in market share, increase in revenue, customer satisfaction and all that sums up business transformation.


Running a business using traditional processes in a digital world is a rollercoaster ride, before getting the six figure revenues, faithful customers and a large percentage of market share, coming across challenges like the ones listed below is inevitable.

  • Failure to meet deadlines while running on slow processes that lack automation
  • Risk of losing important records due to lack of secure documentation software
  • Difficulties in auditing manual accounting records

When facing the above challenges it is important to take steps towards technological solutions that allow automation of services in order to keep up with increasing demands.

Having established this ,the questions to ask now become:

Is digitalisation mandatory for success? Is digitalising my business because A-Z companies are doing so a sign of conformity? Does sticking to traditional processes hint on resistance to change?


It’s not mandatory to run a business digitally in order to succeed, business approaches are as dynamic as time. Some businesses have been running on traditional processes for years and have a satisfactory market share and revenue and that is okay. In order to keep this up, the companies can continuously make small adjustments to their traditional process to keep up with increasing demand.

However for most companies, their competitive advantage has become weaker and revenue has been tanking. It’s because the same processes have not been able to keep up with the customers’ dynamic needs and many traditional processes cannot provide instant and convenient results as needed in a digitalised world. In this case, sticking to the same old process or minor adjustments might not work so it is essential to change the processes and maybe move towards the automation that comes with digitalisation.

In essence as business owners we should look at our company’s performance in relation to the processes we are using and determine whether we have challenges with maintaining or increasing market share, customer satisfaction and revenue. If there are no challenges, then we are good and that can’t be termed “resistance to change” since there might be no change needed. However if we are having challenges, digitalisation is essential.

What’s not necessary is conformity which in this case becomes using the processes that every company is using when they are not applicable to the challenges our company is facing. Hence after identifying our company’s challenges there is need to seek tools or solutions that specifically address those challenges- use what works best for you and your company.


After identifying the challenges a business might be facing, the decision to undergo transformation is made. However the road to a fulfilling that transformation result is not smooth.

Many a times in whatever business we run, we have wondered if there was a way to make each process easier, smoother and stress free. In order to achieve that smooth ride we have tried a dozen approaches and various ERP business solutions. However, we find ourselves falling back into our traditional comfort zones because to us these new ways seem to be either overrated or too expensive to sustain in the long run.

 Years of research on business transformation have shown low success rates with either very low success percentages or high success percentages that could not be sustained. Studies suggested that the reason could be either lack of employee engagement and alignment with new ways or failing to acquire the proper tools to address company shortfalls. However, maybe we really haven’t been looking in the right places or haven’t been exposed to the right business solutions software.

Here are a few suggestions;


  1. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft 365 is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system from Microsoft. This ERP can simply be described as the productivity cloud that brings together best –in-class office apps, intelligent cloud services and advanced security to help businesses achieve more.


  • Effective communication- Microsoft  teams allows all members of the business to be on the same page with group chats, online meetings, calling and web conferencing.
  • Staying up to date on any device with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more is easy with Microsoft 365
  • Connecting, planning, and getting work done becomes an efficient process with email, calendar, contacts, tasks and more, all in one place.
  • Streamlining, automating and transforming processes is easier with rich forms workflows and custom mobile apps
  • Customization of the workplace, adding Microsoft apps and third party services to keep the business moving forward
  • Using user authentication and automated policy based rules to access sensitive information helps secure access to the business
  • Defence against cyber threats

In essence Microsoft 365 is “everything you need in one solution”

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

This is an ERP for medium to large organisations. One of the most important business team for maintaining an ERP system is the finance and accounting team, their financial statements require precision and accuracy.

Features (aid in improving finance team productivity)

  • Global entry forms allow seamless creation of purchase invoices for purchase orders or entering a journal entry in other entities. This avoids the hassle of needing to switch between multiple legal companies.
  • Dynamics 365 allows seamless integration with exchange rate providers like OANDA and reduce the burden on the finance teams for maintaining these rates manually.
  • Localisation- Localisation features for different countries are available and allow finance teams to take control and generate reports that are specific to each country’s statutory requirements
  • Cost accounting features available help analyse data for various cost objects and allocate the costs and other overheads using different measures.
  • Advanced bank reconciliation
  • Budget planning and control
  • In-built audit workbench
  • General electronic reporting
  • a) Microsoft Office 365 (e1, e2 and e3)

E1 is the lightest version of the enterprise-level plans. The features include:

  • Email and Calendars via Microsoft Exchange
  • MS  stream
  • Communication and team sites with SharePoint

The E1 license comes with web versions of Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher. However the E1 plan does not allow installation of applications on devices e.g. laptops and smartphones. Therefore a constant, secure internet connection is required to use the plan for business.

The E3 plan allows each user to get full license and is allowed to install the applications on up to 5 desktops, 5 tablets, and 5 smartphones. Remote workers and team members working from home won’t be dependent on having a good, secure internet connection 24/7 and productivity is guaranteed.

The E3 plan includes an MS Office Suite with the latest versions of apps, a cross-platform installation, more than enough cloud storage and Data loss prevention (DLP). The DLP allows members to comply with business standards and industry regulations in terms of protecting sensitive information and preventing data leaks outside of the organisation.

        b) Microsoft Office (Home, Business and Professional)

Microsoft Office Home and student includes core apps like word, excel and PowerPoint. It also comes with OneNote and is ideal for students, teachers and creative writers.

Microsoft Home and Business includes the flagship core products, Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and Excel. It also includes Outlook instead of OneNote with the assumption that powerful email management and features is more important than taking extensive   notes.

Microsoft Office Professional is different from other versions because of the inclusion of Microsoft Access, a database app.

  • Microsoft Windows Server

This is an operating system that bridges on-premises environments with Azure, adding additional layers of security while helping you modernize your applications and infrastructure.

Other features include faster innovation for applications and unbeatable offers on Azure which allows cost savings to add up with great offers.

  • Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. As a database server, it is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as requested by other software applications.

SQL may run either on the same computer or on another computer across a network (including the Internet). Microsoft markets at least a dozen different editions of Microsoft SQL Server, aimed at different audiences and for workloads ranging from small single-machine applications to large Internet-facing applications with many concurrent users.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server is a mail server and calendaring server developed by Microsoft. It runs exclusively on Windows Server operating systems. Exchange Server primarily uses a proprietary protocol called MAPI to talk to email clients, but subsequently added support for POP3, IMAP, and EAS. The standard SMTP protocol is used to communicate to other Internet mail servers.


Here is how Microsoft enterprise solutions has been transforming various businesses through one of its partners, Insight:

Insight’s deep expertise with Microsoft Azure enables them to help customers unlock new, powerful capabilities and insights in their own businesses. Insight has helped businesses in diverse industries accelerate their digital transformations with Microsoft Azure, providing cutting-edge technology solutions to organizations of all sizes.

Through strategic acquisitions, Insight has expanded its resources and capabilities to support clients’ digital transformation initiatives. The company has itself transformed in the last five years, moving from a legacy channel partner to aligning with clients’ larger outcomes by leading with innovative solutions.


Success stories like the one above are highly possible for us in Zimbabwe too. In accordance to that here are some of the companies to approach for technological and Microsoft enterprise solutions in Zimbabwe:

  • FMG Business Solutions
  • Fintech Group
  • Terrific Tech (Pvt) Ltd
  • Infinite Business Technology Solutions (IBTS) (can’t leave ourselves on that list)


The clock is ticking, are you shaping your business into the kind of business you want it to be? If not, what are you waiting for?

Master the art of adopting any of the above solutions for corresponding business challenges. Thus transform your business from a depressing zero to a whooping 100 while attaining that big fat smile that comes with a huge market share and customer satisfaction.

With that, here is a toast to great business transformations!

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