Dynamics 365 and Azure IoT Integration

With the launch of Dynamics 365, the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and the integration of IoT-data into Business applications reached a new level. Internet of Things (IoT) will drive your business into the next step of evolution.

What is IoT about?

First of all the Internet-of-Things is about smart assets and the way to use them to transform your business into higher profitability and deliver up-to- date and state-of-the-art customer services around these assets.

Today it is quite normal that machines and devices are filled with sensors. Take a modern car, a heating system or a scanner, all these devices already uses sensor technology to save energy, make diagnostics easier for fieldservice technicians or to remind user that a maintenance is necessary. In the past all this was normally build into the asset, so a service engineer hat to plugin a diagnostic device to analyze the machine or the device communicated with an internal interface.
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Imagine a milk cow with an implant that permanently delivers health care data to the farmers IoT database. Now he can separate sick cows easily and avoid polluting his milk. The same system now optimizes the food-mix and adds medicals, if necessary, for that cow.

Imagine that smart devices are hooked up to the cloud and all included sensors inside the device deliver their data to a smart IT backend that gathers these data and uses them to initiate the right processes. This will enable the devices to be an active part in your future business. Let it be for service delivery or cross-selling or sales of consumables. This would have a big impact into your business, because you might predict a problem or a demand, a customer might have before he even recognized it. All this based on data gathered directly during runtime of the devices.

The good news here: This is no longer science fiction but already running. Microsoft Dynamics 365 together with the Microsoft IoT-Suite enables high- end asset management with an easy-to-start and scalable approach.

IoT collects a huge amount of data. Besides getting information in nearby real-time, which enables you to drive remote monitoring and define processes to be executed when threshold values are reached, this allows you to drive intelligent analytics on big data to predict events. Microsoft IoT Suite uses Azure Intelligent Machine learning to find patterns inside your assets data. If a given combination of different sensor values from a device in the past had a 98% chance that a component will fail in short time. You are now in a position to switch that component in time.

Where does Dynamics 365 fit into that picture?

Azure IoT Suite and Dynamics 365 comes with connectors that enables you to configure the integration between your LOB Applications and your device data. This could be very helpful to your business in many ways.

Imagine a beautician for cold drinks that measures the outside temperature and automatically adjust the prices as temperature changes and the overall demand on cooled drinks changes, the same beautician also measures the fuel level of the different brands offered. So now you can quickly recognize if a special brand fits the markets taste or if a change is needed or a campaign should be started. On the other hand, when the demand of a drink exceeds heavily, the system could add additional production orders in the ERP module of Dynamics 365 (Operations).
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Imagine a device you are servicing already informed you about issues before the customer recognized it. Be sure your customer will be satisfied when he no longer has to report problems through hotlines or service portals, but instead your field service engineer proactive fits the problem remotely or your system propose a service appointment inside the customers preferred service window, scheduled to the customers preferred field engineer with automatic route optimization.

The intelligent business cloud including Dynamics 365 means a complete solution that integrates all data relevant to drive your business. Covering sales, marketing, service, finance, logistics, production, purchasing, resource management, strategy and more. But even if this sounds like a big cake the solution architecture is fully scalable on several dimensions. First the Azure cloud is scalable in behalf of CPU, RAM and storage needed, second Dynamics 365 is build by independent modules, so if you use another ERP and don’t need sales and marketing you can easily reduce the system to only use field service if this suites your needs, third there is a smart way to license different user roles in your company at different cost level.

Why is the IoT such a hype

Sensor technology today can be used in so many relations like chemical, light, temperature, seismic and many more to analyse. At the same time we are able to transmit data wireless and last but not least we are able to handle big data with an acceptable performance. All this together opens opportunities across all markets and technologies. No matter if you are manufacturing medical systems, having a truck-fleet, running a facility management, planning public infrastructure or acting as a security company. Every area will be affected by the internet of things and some of them will change dramatically.

In many modern devices manufactors already have sensors and gateways ready and Microsoft IoT- Suite offers a wide range of compatible devices already designed to be used together with the Azure cloud. So the first wave of IoT-usage in combination with Dynamics 365 mainly covers the service area accorded to these devices. But the second wave is already starting and this will combine the device data from different sources to a bigger picture and with that open new doors to predictive behaviour of devices and customers.

So in the future you can imagine scenarios like managing production quantities and -mix, depending on weather prognosis combined with disposition data from social media and live inventory data from the beautician.

Dynamics 365 and Microsoft IoT Suite empowers your business to use new datasources to optimize processes, maximize Revenue and push your customer satisfaction to a new level. This solution scales with your business needs and your data is secured in one of the most secure cloud systems of the world.