Ever since Microsoft announced Dynamics 365 back in November, there has been a flurry of initial reactions, analysis, and rumors in the absence of concrete information about the product in the early stages of this rollout. With all this noise, it’s easy to understand why there is confusion among those in our industry. Well, fear no more. This post will give you a basic understanding of Dynamics 365 so that you can navigate through all the information out there.
Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s new approach to end-to-end intelligent business applications in the cloud. Technology is improving our personal lives with apps that are simple and intuitive, but apps for organizations are often difficult to use. This is where Dynamics 365 comes in. Its modern, mobile, enterprise-ready applications will allow organizations to track leads, automate field service, drive sales, and improve operations from the cloud, and do so by making the user experience as simple and easy-to-use as consumer apps that help us get rides, book rooms, or listen to music.
These applications provide the following main benefits:
- Start with what you need - Dynamics 365 apps are designed so they can be deployed easily and independently, which allows you to start small and pay for only what you need. Since they work together seamlessly and fit with your existing systems, you can grow into additional capabilities with ease as your organization's needs change.
- Get productive – With the integration between Dynamics 365 and Office 365, employees get productivity tools in the context of their organizational processes. For example, a sales person can receive an email, respond directly in Office with a quote that is created based on information from both Finance and Sales apps, and store this information back to the correct app with pricing details, discounts, etc. The best part? All of this can be done without leaving Outlook.
- Built-in intelligence – With Dynamics 365, Microsoft provides applications that infuse big data, advanced analytics and IoT into out-of-the-box processes to guide users with predictive insights, prescriptive advice, and actionable next steps. For example, Cortana Intelligence enables cross-sell recommendations to help sales reps predict which products a customer might be interested in.
- Ready for growth – Dynamics 365 helps companies adapt and innovate in real time with nimble, customizable applications. This helps you compose, modify, and extend processes; change and adapt without relying on IT; and reimagine your organizational processes with a common data model and a flexible business application platform.
There are two ways to license Dynamics 365 – by application or by personalized role. To date, software has been licensed by application, which are traditionally designed around departmental needs. In contrast, role-based licensing provides users with more freedom and improves ROI because companies pay once for access to capabilities that their employees need regardless of which application it resides in. Other companies generally require customers to buy licenses for multiple different apps, which increases costs for customers by 2-3x.
Finally, Dynamics 365 comes in two editions – Enterprise and SMB – each with different sets of applications for teams like Operations, Sales, and Customer Service. It also has different levels of users, ranging from full users to limited users that can self-serve and perform basic tasks.
Industry awareness for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is still undeveloped, so it's not surprising that Microsoft's new announcement has created excitement, intrigue, and confusion alike within the marketplace. Like everything else Microsoft does, you can expect that Dynamics 365 will be a great opportunity for many organizations and can enjoy peace of mind knowing that it is delivered by a credible, trusted brand.
Do you have any questions about Dynamics 365? Feel free to leave a question below and we will try to find an answer for you.