Microsoft Dynamics 365, The Intelligent Business Cloud
Think about all the separate software you use in your job every day. An ERP system for operations, a CRM solution for sales and marketing, Outlook for email, Excel for your spreadsheets, Skype for communication – that’s a lot of detached applications where your data is isolated and being stored.
If you are currently running Office 365, Power BI, and any Dynamics product on your computer right now, they are all separate entities. You have to leave one application to go to the other. For years, we have all lost hours of productivity and patience switching between Excel and an ERP system but not anymore. Microsoft is closing that gap with Dynamics 365.
This is only one reason why Microsoft’s latest release is going to be a game changer for business management technology as we know it.
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud ERP solution that combines Microsoft’s best technology all into one system. It is designed to break down the traditional silos of ERP and CRM and bring all of your information together into one platform, incorporating the familiarity of productivity tools like Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. You have the option to start with what you need and add applications as your business grows but at the end of the day, you only have to open one system – with a unified experience across all apps. Here is what the home screen looks like:
Dynamics 365 Purpose-Built Apps
Dynamics 365 merges CRM and ERP capabilities into applications that work seamlessly together across sales, customer service, marketing, field service, project service automation, financials, and operations. These new apps are “purpose-built,” helping you manage specific business functions based on what you need. You can start with Sales and continue to add apps as those needs change.
Click the links below to learn more about each application:
- Customer Service
- Field Service
- Project Service Automation
- Customer Insights
These apps are designed to be easily and independently deployed, while fitting seamlessly together with your existing Microsoft system. This means that you can start small with apps that are the right fit for your role, industry, and business – and pay only for what you need. As you grow, you can continue to add apps and adjust to your requirements, with the end goal that you run your entire business, from Office 365 to Dynamics CRM, in the trusted Microsoft cloud.
Two Worlds Collided: Business Processes
and Personal Productivity
Have you ever really thought about how much time you waste on a daily basis switching between Outlook and CRM? Excel and Dynamics NAV? It turns out 40% of a worker’s productive time is lost when switching tasks – costing the global economy $450B a year.
This is why Dynamics 365 is, as Satya Nadella explains, “Going to break down barriers between productivity, collaboration, and business processes.”
Dynamics 365 harnesses the power of Microsoft’s most successful technologies: the familiar Office 365 productivity tools like Excel and Outlook, Dynamics 365 business apps, Azure cloud, advanced analytics with PowerBI, built-in artificial intelligence with Cortana, and the new PowerApps and Flow that enable easy application development for the non-developer. Tied together by one Common Data Model, Dynamics 365 allows you to freely integrate business processes within multiple technologies – empowering your employees with the opportunity to work better, faster, and smarter. With everything you use on a regular basis under the same roof, you are fully equipped to:
- Empower your employees by giving them the tools they need for their job without the frustration of waiting for an application to load or duplicating tasks in separate systems
- Engage customers with better service delivery, consistent quality and outstanding customer support. When your employees are happy, so are your customers.
- Optimize operations with adaptable applications that can compose, modify and extend processes in real-time
- Transform your business with built-in intelligence that infuses big data, advanced analytics and IoT into processes out-of-the-box to proactively guide employees and customers
Now that you know how Dynamics 365 will help improve productivity and collaboration in your business, it’s time to learn about the two versions and new licensing options.
Microsoft Dynamics 365: Business Edition
and Enterprise Edition
Dynamics 365 is available in two versions in order to fully service both small to midsized businesses (SMBs) and enterprise customers. By offering two versions, Dynamics 365 can handle a full range of customer sizes and industries.
Dynamics 365 Business Edition is an SMB solution designed for companies with minimal financial requirements. At launch, Dynamics 365 will include Dynamics 365 Financials for Business, a comprehensive accounting and business management solution for SMBs. That offering is currently in preview in the US and Canada today as Microsoft’s “Project Madeira.”
Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition is targeted at customers with advanced financial and ERP needs. It includes the Operations application, which is based on Microsoft’s leading ERP solution, Dynamics AX. Unlike the Business Edition, the Enterprise Edition is available both on premise and in the cloud.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition
Small business solution optimized for 10–250 employees, maximum 300 seats.
- Financials (NAV 2017 / Project Madeira)
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition
ERP and CRM solution optimized for 250+ employees, minimum 20 seats.
- Operations (Dynamics AX)
- Customer Service
- Field Service
- Project Service Automation
- Customer Insight
For any customer currently running Microsoft’s other Dynamics products, they have made it clear that they will continue to innovate and support Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP, and Dynamics SL. Connectors will be available on the AppSource if customers want to use a hybrid of on-premises and cloud solutions and a migration path when they are ready to fully transition to the cloud. Get in touch with Rand Group today for more information on transitioning to Dynamics 365.
Microsoft Dynamics 365: Licensing
The traditional approach where you license by application is designed around departments, leaving little room for inter-department information sharing. This option is still readily available in Dynamics 365, however, you now have the choice to license by Plan, also referred to as role-based licensing.
Role-based licensing is designed to be more inclusive, where roles are built around business outcomes. Instead of buying specific applications where only your professional users have access, all employees are able to see and consume data across your solution with a Team Member license. Through the building blocks of Team Members, Apps, and Plans, companies now have the flexibility to mix and match any combination of licenses based on their changing business needs. To put this into perspective, competitors require customers to buy licenses for multiple different applications, which results in 2-3x increased cost compared to Dynamics 365. For more information, read our latest insight on Dynamics 365 Licensing.
Microsoft AppSource: Business Apps in the Cloud
Microsoft AppSource is the new destination for users to discover, trial, and buy specific SaaS apps, add-ins, and content packs. It is essentially Microsoft’s version of Salesforce AppExchange, where you evaluate the right apps and extensions for your businesses needs.
AppSource is powered by Dynamics, Office, Power BI, and Azure. It is designed to help a range of industries, departments, and roles customize a solution completely unique to their business – and continue to add on as they grow. On AppSource, you can filter based on category, industry, and product – and it also includes advanced filtering and targeted recommendations.
Here’s How Microsoft AppSource Works:
AppSource offers a vast amount of business SaaS apps and content packages, including new industry specific business apps. Test the AppSource store out for yourself.
Is Dynamics 365 the Right ERP System For You?
If you are currently running accounting software that no longer meets your needs, Dynamics 365 is the perfect transition software to move into ERP with. On the other hand, if you are a current Dynamics on-premise customer, Dynamics 365 is the perfect transition software to extend your business solution and launch your operations into the cloud. Dynamics 365 is a business management solution that you can get up and running easily, pick and choose the functionality what you need, and fast-forward user adoption with its familiar user interface. In a way, it’s the perfect software. But like any software, there is always a learning curve and you can’t do it on your own.
The core of Dynamics 365 is made up of a combination of Dynamics NAV, Dynamics AX, and Dynamics CRM Online, which is our bread and butter here at Rand Group. Our extensive team of experts in the business management industry have the knowledge and tools to help you build a solid foundation for all of your technology needs. We ask the right questions, we get to know your business, and we offer professional services to help guide your technology decisions. In order to successfully choose, implement, and adopt the right Dynamics 365 solution for your business, work with a partner that can help you navigate the SaaS apps on AppSource and leverage the platforms full capabilities. Maximize your investment in Dynamics 365 with Rand Group.
Contact an expert at Rand Group today to determine which Microsoft Dynamics solution is the best fit for your needs.
Don’t Let Your System Leave You Stranded
Did you know that an unmanaged ERP system leads to unexpected downtime? Downtime that costs up to $74,000 per hour. It also leads to slow response time and performance issues that negatively impacts the entire organization.Learn More