The first day of Future Decoded at Excel London kicked off with an inspirational keynote by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, where he shared his perspective on the social, economic and technological changes that will shape business in the 21st century. Same theme was explored during the day in various keynotes, roundtables, presentations and demos - from speakers both inside and outside Microsoft. It was the occasion to hear some of the most influential business people in the UK answering a key question: how has the harnessing of digital technologies transformed their business productivity? The question is more complex than it may seem like. We live in a fast-paced world of profound change and transformation, and it can be difficult for businesses and governments to balance their need to compete with enormous possibilities for growth and learning. This is why Microsoft Dynamics sessions concentrated on insights on how start-ups, small and medium businesses as well as large enterprises across different industries can turn these challenges into opportunities. Here are top highlights from our Dynamics sessions: 1. The recipe for business success in SMB In the constantly changing world it is important to understand how customer experience drives success and how technology can empower small and medium businesses to exceed customer expectations and achieve business goals. It was great to get an insight into a day in a SMB’s life: Simon Morton, MD of Eyeful Presentations, demonstrated how important it is to keep the same level of intimacy with the customer as you had when you were a start-up and Gary Smith, COO of Bounce Foods, shared how Microsoft Dynamics solutions for SMB have empowered them to meet their customer’s needs and achieve their business growth ambitions thanks to real time visibility. Find out how Dynamics has helped Bounce Foods and Eyeful Presentations grow and deliver amazing customer experiences: Bounce Foods Eyeful Presentations 2. The challenge of selling: How to do more, with less Can you ever know enough about your customers? In the challenge of selling session, Microsoft Dynamics Business Lead Gina Timm showed how Dynamics CRM for Sales can deliver more insight on your customers - leading to more targeted sales, more time to be more productive and better collaboration across your business. Sales CRM by Microsoft Dynamics provides a complete and intuitive solution that can help salespeople be more productive so they can focus on what's most important - delivering amazing customer experiences. Want to know how you can increase your sales team’s performance? Answer 5 simple questions for tips on how you can build a higher-performing sales team: Increase sales performance 3. UK retail disruption – using technology to differentiate The Christmas season is the golden quarter for most retailers. It’s the quarter that should be best for balance sheets; a successful peak means a successful year. As we enter the holiday season, the question on every retail bosses' lips is: are we ready? Session with Duncan Taylor, Microsoft Retail Industry Marketing Director, and Katie Barker, Retail Week’s Deputy Commercial Editor, gave us an early sight from Retail Week on the latest Microsoft/Retail Week research into the buying habits of the UK public as they approach the peak shopping times of Black Friday and Christmas. We also heard about the impact of newer technologies, like machine learning, on the UK Retail industry, and discovered how UK Retailers are benefitting from the Microsoft Dynamics solutions for Retail capability to differentiate from the competitors. Download a free interactive guide that offers invaluable insights into consumer plans for their Black Friday and Christmas spending: Download the guide 4. Welcome to the future of enterprise resource planning with Microsoft The way people do business is transforming, and enterprise resource planning has to answer this challenge. Christian Pedersen, GM Product Marketing Dynamics AX Microsoft, and Martin Shave, Technical Sales Professional Microsoft, showed us how the new Microsoft Dynamics AX helps organisations increase the speed of doing business to achieve competitive advantage. We also had a sneak preview of the upcoming AX version in action and how it uses the Microsoft cloud to change the way organisations deliver a compelling customer experience. On top of that we had an honour to hear how the Lotus F1 team strategically uses this technology! Read why Lotus F1 Team looks to Microsoft Dynamics to encourage innovation at accelerated pace of change Learn more 5. Care Everywhere - how to amaze, delight and exceed your customers’ high expectations Delivering exceptional customer experiences means that every interaction matters – from mobile, social and web to call centres. Microsoft Dynamics Business Lead Gina Timm gave valuable insights on how companies can gain customers for life by providing personalised, proactive, and predictive experiences across all channels. Microsoft Dynamics CRM for customer service empowers the agents with a single unified experience, enabling them to connect with customers effortlessly and deepen the customer loyalty. To put this in context, we also listened to an interesting Customer Case Study discussion with Call Credit. Download the 2015 U.K. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report to learn more about consumers’ current views and expectations around customer service: Download for free 6. Reimagining UK manufacturing, one customer at a time Manufacturing has changed. Mass production has its place but there is now a need for manufacturers to be totally focused on adding value, getting closer to their customers and adding intelligence and hi-technology capability to their products. But how are UK manufacturers responding to the changing demands they face? Colin Masson, Global Industry Director Manufacturing at Microsoft, and panel of experts gave their points of view in the session - it was interesting to hear how big impact emerging technologies exemplified by the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud deployment and industry 4.0 have also in manufacturing industry. New business models are emerging enabling organisations to discover new ways of better serving their customers. Learn how UK Manufacturers are benefitting from the Microsoft’s manufacturing capability: Learn more What came across all the sessions at Future Decoded is that the UK is a modern, innovation-led economy driven by entrepreneurialism and creativity. Whatever your company size or industry, with the right tools and mindset you will be able to turn the challenges into opportunities.