UK companies have been forced into rapid digital transformation in recent months; establishing remote working, launching e-commerce, increasing competitiveness and adapting to consumer changes. Large organisations have sizable budgets and resources to employ, but how do SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises) adapt?

As the leader of an SME, I want to share our digital transformation journey, warts and all, in real-time over the coming months, in an attempt to demonstrate what can be achieved. This could be risky, dangerous even, as we expose the pain points and failures amongst the successes. However, what’s more important to QGate is transparency and integrity. When we engage with our clients, we are able to say we know what you’re feeling, we know what you’re worried about and we know what value you’re seeking, because we’ve been where you are. We can guide you through your Digital Transformation journey from a position of direct experience.

The SME Digital Transformation Challenge: How did we get Here?

As an existing user of the cloud technology Microsoft 365 (Dynamics 365 and Office 365) we were able to swiftly adapt to recent global challenges. However, as with all SME’s, we focus our resources on our customer work… billable work. This has resulted in our own digital space and automation falling behind the curve, despite delivering cutting-edge solutions and business process optimisation to our customers.

An SME Digital Transformation Approach: How are we Doing It?

We came up with a plan to transform our business. We recruited, reviewed, assessed, workshopped and are now executing a broad digital transformation strategy with the objective of building our business into the gold standard in digital transformation.

We then split our transformation into phases which align to our clients’ journey through QGate. These phases needed to be manageable and practical; Acquisition, Execution, Support, Administration.

  • Acquisition (Lead Acquisition) – The top of the sales funnel, how we attract, nurture and engage potential clients.
  • Execution (Lead to Order) – For us this relates to our customers’ CRM projects, the Initial agreement to work with us through to the realisation of their Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution.
  • Support (After Sales) – Everything that happens after our client has gone live with their Dynamics 365 platform.
  • Administration (Order to Cash) – The under-pinning financial, contractual and commercial services required by every business, ours included, to deliver and maintain the services provided.

As with any SME, being able to focus our limited resource and budget in the right place at the right time is essential, these phases enabled this to happen. We have been able to chronologically focus effort into bringing more customers through the door first, followed by simplifying, automating and value-adding the process of delivering customer projects. We will then turn our attention as to how we can do the same for supporting and administering all our clients.

SME Digital Transformation: Where Next?

We are 4 months into this journey, we have uncovered and learned a lot and are revitalising and building momentum in taking it forward.

Next month, I will be sharing what we are doing to digitally transform our lead acquisition process, what tools are we using, what technologies we are investing in and what has and hasn’t worked.

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to discuss your own organisations’ digital transformation, please get in touch via our contact form. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Alastair Jupp

Managing Director, QGate