Digital transformation with Microsoft Catalyst and the IDEA framework

Transformation at the push of a button

(Estimated reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
Andrea Fiedler

Andrea Fiedler

As a consultant in the field of IT strategy, advises and supports medium-sized companies in digital transformation and is certified as a Microsoft Catalyst Partner.

With the Catalyst program, Microsoft has developed an innovative approach that supports companies in implementing their transformation strategy: From brainstorming to planning, a digital strategy is worked out together with experts. In this blog article you will learn how you, too, can use the Microsoft Catalyst program to prepare your company for the future.

With the beginning of the Corona crisis in March 2020, digitization gained further momentum. In times of lockdown and remote work, it became apparent that it is a game changer that not only changes previously established processes, thought patterns and behavior, but also opens up new possibilities. The question of price, however, is how companies can use digital transformation to their advantage. In view of various challenges such as the ever faster advancing technological development, new competitors with a start-up mentality and changing customer needs of digital natives, creative approaches are more in demand than ever in order to optimally position yourself for the future.

Catalyst for ideas

The Microsoft Catalyst program forms the strategic and methodological framework for the development, planning and implementation of strategies for corporate transformation. The aim is to develop visions and combine them with the possibilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365, the Microsoft Power Platform and the Microsoft Cloud put into action. So that customers benefit from the full potential of this method, Microsoft trains experts as part of the Catalyst Partner Training. After successful certification, they develop existing business applications together with their customers and take innovative paths in digital transformation.

The basic structure is the IDEA model, which uses the phases Inspire, Design, Empower and Achieve to describe a four-stage procedure from brainstorming to the implementation of a transformation strategy. It is based on the findings of the innovative design thinking approach, in which user-oriented solutions are developed in a creative setting. The special feature: benefit, feasibility and marketability are weighted equally. This holistic view prevents one-sided solutions and ensures that the best strategy is implemented, taking all aspects into account.

Power for the digital transformation

The strategy is always worked out with a view to the technological possibilities. This link is crucial for a successful digitization strategy. Because only if methods, skills and technologies interlock, the strategy can be anchored in the company and grow. Another advantage of this multi-dimensional approach is that valuable potential that results from the interaction of technological possibilities with the overarching vision can be used for digital transformation.

The 4 phases of the IDEA model

At the beginning of the Microsoft Catalyst program there is the development of various visions, which are then evaluated based on the current situation and the measures required for implementation. Based on the strategic plan, the first solution prototypes are then defined and presented before the vision is put into practice. This approach helps companies to determine the status quo and a sustainable vision so that they can then plan the next steps.

The inspire phase

During the Inspire phase, a vision statement is developed in a moderated envisioning workshop. This serves as a compass and roadmap for the transformation and helps to define and prioritize the necessary steps - always with a view to the overriding goal.

The design phase

The aim of the design phase is for everyone involved to understand where the company is today, where it wants to go in the future and how this goal will be achieved. This creates a solid strategy including a timetable and the technologies required for it. In order to assess the possible effects of the project, the input of all people affected by the change is important.

The empower phase

The empower phase is about finding and gaining broad support for the project. This is achieved with the help of solution demonstrations and presentations - if possible directly in the existing business process - which on the one hand make the vision more tangible for bystanders and on the other hand visualize the advantages of the solution.

The Achieve Phase

The practical part begins with the Achieve phase: Now a tailor-made action plan with concrete steps for implementation as well as milestones and a realistic schedule is developed. It is the basis and the guarantee for the success of the transformation.

Shaping digital transformation with KUMAVISION

There is a rule of thumb for transformation projects: “If you want to be successful, you need reliable and experienced partners.” Know-how is worth gold in projects such as the development of new business applications that initiate a comprehensive change process in the company. For 25 years KUMAVISION has been implementing software projects based on Microsoft technologies. The KUMAVISION experts who are certified as Microsoft Catalyst Partners are very familiar with the Microsoft solution portfolio and know how to use innovative technologies to achieve your corporate goals and become more successful. With this extensive wealth of experience, they support companies in developing their digitization strategy and taking the next steps.

Find out more about how the digitization experts from KUMAVISION support you in transforming your company: