How Sodexo leveraged the cloud, IoT, and advanced analytics to save millions

At Microsoft Ignite, Sodexo's Paul Bean offered first steps for businesses seeking to digitally transform.

Video: Sodexo's challenges during its digital transformation

At Sodexo, "our customers often lead us to where they need us to be to be a more supportive partner," according to Paul Bean, the company's CEO of Global Mining Energy & Resources.

At Microsoft Ignite, TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco met with Bean to discuss how undergoing a digital transformation enhanced the productivity of the company's mining sector, and also improved relationships with their customers.

SEE: Research: Digital Transformation 2017: Strategy, Returns on Investment, and Challenges (Tech Pro Research)

Sodexo began as a company with many disconnected systems that had trouble communicating and integrating with one another. "We were able to, through the identification of a fully integrated solution--in this case [Microsoft] Dynamics 365--subsume those systems into one, and be able to surface data to customers and to ourselves at the same time," he said. "Which in turn helped to build a trusted relationship, and helped us to achieve more change and drive more transformation within the business in a shorter period of time."

To avoid lagging behind when it comes to adopting new technology, Bean said a great starting point for businesses who want to digitally transform is to embed a small, strong team of technicians within the business that can offer advice around how to configure systems to work very closely with the operational experts.

"It will save a lot of time, and help to communicate more effectively with the third parties who are often doing the configuration work," Bean said.

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Image: iStock/releon8211