Microsoft Customer Experience is an open and flexible platform for customer relationship management.Ivan Dikov, Senior Consultant & TL / D365 Customer Engagement (CRM)
What is your role in the company?
– Since March 2018, I have been managing the team responsible for the implementation and development of the Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Insights (Microsoft Dynamics CRM) platform. My position involves technical and management support for the people in my team.
What is the main reason to choose Intelligent Systems as an employer?
– I had the chance to know the founders for 23 years now, ever since I started my career as BC (Navision at that time) developer. We have a lot of memories from that time. For example, one of my colleagues back then taught me the first cooking lessons during a long business trip to Berlin.
Almost six years ago I noticed that CRM systems were already becoming a must for mid and large corporations. Dynamics 365 was already among the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant leaders. I discussed this opportunity with the Intelligent Systems’ founders, and they decided to work towards developing CRM expertise within the company. I am grateful for the support I received to build a stable and successful CRM team. We are now working successfully on challenging and interesting projects in a wide variety of organizations.
What was your initial impression?
– When I started at Intelligent Systems, the team consisted of a few strong CRM professionals, with great technical expertise, but with less focus on the customer’s business processes. Over the years, I have learned that specialists need a very good understanding of the client’s challenges and needs. Even though every company is unique, Microsoft products, and particularly the CRM system, come with quite a few ready-made functionalities and our job is to help the client take advantage of these best business practices. Our aim was to add some business knowledge to the technical skills.
Over the past 5-6 years, our team has significantly expanded its Dynamics and Power Platform expertise. All this happened thanks to our experience with projects in different cultural environments and businesses of all sizes.
What are the key steps to creating a strong team in a company like Intelligent Systems?
– The main task was to distinguish those people who are really interested in working on CRM projects, to create a team environment and to encourage them to constantly learn. Another key point was to involve colleagues from the other offices – Tirana, Istanbul, Varna.
What has been the biggest challenge in the team building process so far?
– Balancing tasks between new and experienced team members. Everyone came from a different background and we know that the more responsibilities the new colleagues are given, the faster they grow. Sometimes we have delays and headaches, but we invest a lot in people, doing our best to give them the necessary time and resources to develop them as professionals.
What is the plan for the team in the future?
– We plan to delve deeper into the introduction of AI tools and related training. I believe that we will have even more interesting projects and we will grow both in number and expertise.
What are the CRM trends relating to AI algorithms?
– Viva sales is already part of the CRM, it can help you scan business cards and documents, compose e-mails for you and even remind you of forgotten e-mails and contacts. As they say, exciting days are coming for business software and AI.
What are the interesting projects your team have been working on recently?
– Isabel, a Belgium Fintech company, with very mature business processes and numerous financial services. We have learned a lot from our collaboration and have very good personal connections with the team.
European Banking Authority (EBA) was our first large international project that used CRM to its full extent – sales, customer service, marketing. And in this project, we put a lot of experience and effort to provide a working CRM system.
The Bulgarian company for agriculture equipment – Megatron. The project there was great success, because we managed to convert the sales force from using pens and notebooks to using phones and tablets.
What aspects of your job bring you the most satisfaction?
– I am really glad when a happy customer spontaneously sends a thank you letter to a colleague or to the entire team.
How about your work-life balance?
– I find our current hybrid environment optimal as it gives you freedom to choose each day whether you want to focus on tasks in some relaxed environment or socialize and collaborate with colleagues in the office.
What are Ivan’s hobbies and favorite things to do in leisure time?
– I am keen on sports, currently powerlifting, motorcycles and outdoor activities. I feel great when traveling and cooking spicy food. My favorites are Thai and Mexican cuisines.