CRM or ERP? What’s the best software for my company?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the most recognized software providers worldwide and is currently partnered with large corporations such as Renault, Macy’s, Toyota, Siemens and others. But how was this system born and who created it? And what is the next step your company should take toward digitizing its operations?
Dynamics 365 is a cloud and on-premise product suite with functionality covering CRM (front-office) and ERP (back-office). Microsoft’s leadership in business technology dates back several decades. But, the history of the CRM and ERP systems begins in the 80s.
The solutions we know today as Microsoft Dynamics 365 were once independent programs created by other companies in different countries. Computer technology began helping companies manage their finances and operations as early as the 80s, but the technology quickly had go further and faster to meet new demands of businesses.
In the 90s, Microsoft led a wave of acquisitions, buying companies with the best software and gradually creating the global Microsoft technology empire.
Jump forward to the year 2006 and much of the software was rebranded: Microsoft Business Solution was renamed Microsoft Dynamics; Navision was renamed Dynamics Nav, Dynamics GP was Great Plains, Dynamics SL was Solomon, Microsoft CRM became Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Axapta which previously was known as Dynamics AX was renamed Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation.
Microsoft embarked on a new era with the launch of Office 365 cloud technologies in 2013. This accompanied the announcement of the next stage in the evolution of its vast commercial solutions: with Dynamics 365, which is based on a unified set of CRM and ERP applications, along with new features and a new licensing model.
Mobile functionality for some Dynamics platforms arrived in 2016, making the technology more accessible and driving the idea of “Cloud first, mobile first”.
Microsoft Dynamics 365’s latest changes came on October 1, 2019. Among the adjustments to its licensing and pricing model, the popular ERP Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations was divided into Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. (Read more about: The new licensing model).
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers intelligence, mobility, scalability, security, compatibility and a true digital transformation for all types of organizations, both for small and medium enterprises and large corporations. But what’s the difference between a CRM and ERP? And how to they integrate?
Understanding the differences between CRM and ERP
Both software types, CRM and ERP, have evolved exponentially as a result of digital transformation in global business. Although these software bundles are used differently by their end users, they essentially have the same objective: to increase efficiency and profitability.
But if both systems pursue the same objective, why are they said to be different? Here we will explain the differences and their individual modules.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a system that manages customer-facing front-office tasks. In the case of Dynamics 365, this means the areas of Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Services Automation, and more.
Let’s start with Dynamics 365 Sales, where the software is responsible for automating workflows and fostering a personalized relationship with the client with improved oversight and control of the sales process. The module provides the sales teams with the knowledge and guidance they need to face the new challenges of business management.
The Dynamics 365 system for Marketing offers end users the possibility of managing campaigns, connecting marketing data with the sales area, generating more leads through events, websites and obtaining a 360-degree view of clients.
The Customer Service area provides more personalized service through multiple channels such as telephone, email, social networks, web, and mobile applications. Additionally, it controls the hours worked by the employee and records all customer feedback.
Dynamics 365 Field Service empowers technicians working in the field with virtual connections that streamline jobs and reduce redundancies.
Finally, Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation, which helps companies managing multiple projects within a certain time period and budget. This solution facilitates greater control over the progress of projects, helping employees to grain efficiency in time management and decision making.
CRM is a technology designed to record and store information about customer interactions. Therefore, the software improves internal and external communication and nurtures every aspect of the customer experience.
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a business solution product type that focuses on optimizing back-office, internal processes. ERP technologies like Microsoft’s integrate with business analytics tools like Power BI, allowing reports on the state of your company directly drawn from ERP data. Dynamics 365’s ERP modules are:
- Dynamics 365 Finance: automates a business’s financial processes, providing greater planning and service tools.
- Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management: transforms operations and supply chains with tools including Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Dynamics 365 Retail: creates personalized shopping experiences through physical and digital channels.
- Dynamics 365 Talent: provides the Human Resources team with the tools to select the best candidates.
ERP software opens new frontiers for businesses in their daily financial and operational processes, while standardizing business processes to better focuses resources and obtain new and improved business.
The 3 benefits of CRM and ERP integration
Market leader in providing Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions for more than 10 years, AlfaPeople has expanded its operations to 14 countries worldwide with more than 550 employees. AlfaPeople offers a range of Microsoft business solutions, such as Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service and others.
Contact us today to take the step in your digitization journey!