In July 2016, Microsoft announced it would be combining its CRM and ERP solutions into a single cloud-based bundle called Microsoft Dynamics 365. The announcement raised many questions among users about whether it will replace current Microsoft products and how users can implement these solutions.
One thing is clear, though – Dynamics 365 enables employees to work from anywhere at any time through their mobile devices, and Microsoft believes this will be a game changer for its customers. Read on to learn more about Dynamics 365 and mobility.
Microsoft has billed Dynamics 365 as “the next generation of intelligent business applications” that “enable organizations to grow, evolve, and transform.” But, what does that mean in practice?
According to Microsoft spokespeople, Dynamics 365 is a re-architecting and repackaging of the capabilities of Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, and a small business SaaS offering called “Project Madeira.” Furthermore, Dynamics 365 complements Microsoft’s current lineup of CRM and ERP solutions (the existing ERP systems will not go away). And, it will connect to Office 365, making it simple for users to communicate, share, and request information from within one platform.
Microsoft offers two licensing models for Dynamics 365: an application-based model and a role-based model.
Under the application-based model, businesses can purchase as many apps as they need, even if it’s only a single app. Conversely, the role-based model enables employees to access mission-critical apps. For example, a salesperson doesn’t just need to use a CRM app. He or she also needs data from field service representatives and the customer service team. The information from those app categories allows the salesperson to not merely do his or her job, but excel at it.
The Dynamics 365 announcement attracted a great deal of attention from industry analysts. They note that it represents a new approach to CRM and ERP applications from the software giant.
While it might seem that Dynamics 365 shares quite a bit in common with Salesforce.com, the similarities only run skin deep. Dynamics 365 differentiates itself by providing ERP data, too. Salesforce.com’s executives have made it clear that the company has no plans to offer an ERP app to complement other apps on the platform.
Though other CRM solutions have greater market share, the Dynamics line of products has a devoted following among midsize to large businesses. And Microsoft’s commitment to offering the existing on-premise versions of its solutions while also selling the cloud-based version should help expand its customer base further.
In fact, some industry analysts believe offering the cloud-based bundle was one of the best decisions the company has made in recent months. Dynamics 365 leverages Microsoft’s two strengths: cloud computing (the Azure platform) and its popular productivity-boosting Office suite. One analyst observed that Dynamics 365 enables Microsoft to be a “strong contender” in the CRM and ERP market.