Microsoft Dynamics 365: The big picture
Office 365 is well-known by now, since this is the name of a number of Microsoft Office solutions (Excel, Word, SharePoint and much more) supplied as a cloud solution, fully integrated and available in various versions that suit the needs of the individual person/business.
In principle, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the same – just based on Microsoft’s business solutions, also called Dynamics (AX, NAV, CRM, etc.). The idea is that individual users have access to one or more “easy” and “intuitive” apps that suit the work that he/she is performing. This is across what we currently know as ERP/CRM solutions (AX, NAV, CRM, etc.), fully-integrated and based on cloud solutions.
Gone are silos and complexity, and what is new is a uniform user experience that creates the necessary overview for the individual user and at the same time ensures a correlation of processes across departments (and systems).
Therefore, with Dynamics 365, companies will be equipped with tools for additional digital transformation and even better opportunities for competing for the attention of customers by creating a better customer experience.
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Dynamics 365 Going a bit deeper into the details
More technically, there are of course many new things “behind the scenes”, which Microsoft has introduced to realise this fully- integrated solution:
- • A new Common Data Model, (which ensures that customer and item numbers are recognised – and are integrated – across all apps, for example).
- • A Flow module including relevant flows which ensures that processes (and data) “just work and flow” across financial management systems, CRM systems, solutions for field service, etc.
- • Access to PowerApps from Microsoft which makes it possible to easily build additional relevant apps for the users of individual companies to the extent that these are not already supplied by Microsoft.
- • Full integration with Office 365 (as it is already known today for the newest versions of Dynamics), as well as PowerBI, Cortana intelligence (machine learning) and Azure IOT (Internt of Things). Possibilities, which when combined, mean that as a business, you can think user interface, automation, decision support and super optimised cooperation with customers and suppliers in a brand new way.
- • A new price structure, which will go into force later this year. This new structure will ensure very simple pricing in relation to what you use as a company. The price will be based on either the size of the company and/or the individual apps which you use (for example sales or service).
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Two versions
There will be Dynamics 365 for small and large companies respectively:
- • The solution for small companies (“Business”) will be based on NAV (from now on called Dynamics 365 for “finance”) and a “simple” version of CRM.
- • The solution for large companies (“Enterprise”) will be based on AX7 (from now on called Dynamics 365 for “operations) and CRM, which is divided into a number of apps and therefore will be called Dynamics 365 for “sales”/”marketing”/”customer service”/”field service” and “project service” respectively.
With regard to prices, AlfaPeople will send out a separate news item about this, since of course there will be a number of considerations one must make that need more careful review – especially for existing customers.
Benefits that applies to Microsoft Dynamics 365
- • Built for the purpose (Start small – expand with what is necessary when it is necessary)
- • Ensures optimisation of productivity (for example, user and role-based apps across the platform or industry apps supplied by partners)
- • Has built-in intelligence (which gives access to automated “machine learning”, which – if as a user you work with customer relations, for example – will be able to give intelligent and relevant “product recommendations”/”recommended actions” based on knowledge on the customer itself and knowledge from other customers. This access to “machine learning” will be included in many areas of Dynamics 365 and will facilitate (and potentially also automate) decisions and processes for the companies.
- • Full adaptability (which ensures, for example, that the previously mentioned “common data model” and “Flow” can be adapted to the needs of the company and/or where partner solutions can easily be implemented). Adaptable also includes the possibility of setting up user-relevant apps via PowerApps based on the the common data model.
The possibility easily, effectively and without coding to adapt Dynamics 365 equips companies with brand new possibilities to give users a very focused and easy-to-use user interface, which is adapted to the individual and the tasks that he/she must carry out.
With regard to the “Common Data Model” and the defined “Flows”, Microsoft has currently set up the most “common” needs for data and associated processes as a part of standard Dynamics 365 (for example customer information on the data page and “customer subject for invoicing” as flow/process.
There will be additional data synchronisation and processes, and we are guessing that both Microsoft in the Dynamics 365 solution itself and partners via the new Microsoft “AppSource” will optimise the standard models with different industry/vertical versions or “only” additional flows and several possibilities for data in the common data model.
Switch and Save
Effective November 1, 2016 until the close of business day June 20, 2017, customers switching from Salesforce, SAP or Oracle to Dynamics 365 meeting the eligibility criteria can take advantage of a special promotion.
Customers switching to Microsoft Dynamics 365 can receive 20% off of their Dynamics 365, Enterprise edition Plan 1 and Plan 2 subscription licenses. Switch and reinvent your business in a cloud based, intelligent business application world with Dynamics 365, Enterprise Edition.
All in all, Microsoft’s new initiative with Dynamics 365 will be good news for both existing and new customers, just as the large and well-functioning partner community will be able to expand their business by building new apps and industry models, for example.
As a customer, one of the few things you will experience as a challenge when taking advantage of possibilities with Dynamics 365 is when upgrading to the newest ver- sion. Also here, Microsoft (as partners as well as AlfaPeo- ple) will come with tools for moving an older Dynamics CRM on-premise solution to Dynamics 365, and there will soon be migration tools from older AX versions to Dynamics 365 “operations”. As a starting point, Dynam- ics 365 is intended as a cloud solution (“cloud first”), but will also be available in an on-premise variant.