Microsoft just changed the Dynamics in the ERP/CRM space



Microsoft Dynamics 365 4th November 2016

The newly launched Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise is a bit of a beast. We take a look at the major features, pricing and promise of this cloud addition as well as its future development.

If you know Dynamics AX and/or Dynamics CRM, then you are already aware those 2 systems on their own have quite a wealth of functionality. If you then combine those 2 systems, integrate them with Power BI plus Office 365 and finally sprinkle Cortana and Azure IoT on top, you have Dynamics 365 Enterprise [1].

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft calls it a complete next generation intelligent business management application (yes, that category name is also a bit of a beast); ready to take care of your/your clients’ business.

All business functionality in one

It is a beast, but a good-natured beast; approachable and user-friendly. End-users will be presented with an easy-to-use interface where all business functionality is available. No need to switch to another application to fulfill an order you have just registered in your sales system. It’s all happening within Dynamics 365 Enterprise.

Options and pricing

Dynamics 365 Enterprise is running in the Azure cloud where you can choose among a lot of different modules: Operations, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service and Project Service Automation (AX 7 is the foundation for the Operations-module).

The good news is that your clients don’t have to buy all those modules at once. You can start out with, for instance, a Sales module and gradually add more as needed. This flexibility and choice are reflected in the different license options. Please check the pricing carefully [2].

As it is all running on Azure and a common Data Model, the integration between the modules is guaranteed. The Enterprise solution is aimed at companies with over 250 employees.

Also for smaller companies

But wait, I hear you say, wasn’t there something about Microsoft Dynamics 365 also being aimed at smaller businesses? Yes, you are absolutely right.

While Dynamics 365 Enterprise has just been released (1st November) a Dynamics 365 Business will be released during Summer 2017. You can check release plans and upcoming modules at the Dynamics 365 roadmap [3].

For smaller companies with 10 – 250 employees, Dynamics 365 Business combines the ERP-solution Dynamics Nav and Dynamics CRM. So far, the plan is to provide modules for Finance, Sales, and Marketing in Dynamics 365 Business.

Azure Ecosystem

Due to full integration into the Microsoft Azure cloud, Dynamics 365 also supports Power Apps, Azure IoT, and Cortana Intelligence.

The promise of Power Apps is that users can create apps and cross-system workflows without programming (if you are a bit sceptical about this “without programming”, I am totally with you). However, whether it is the actual end-users or developers/IT Professionals doing it, apps and workflows can be created quickly and easily.

AI and Machine Learning

Microsoft has also launched Relationship Insights as part of Dynamics 365 Enterprise. This service can analyse data for sentiments and intentions using a variety of complex data analysis and machine learning techniques.

Yes, that’s right. You have probably heard and read all the hype about AI and Machine Learning; Microsoft is applying these techniques with Dynamics 365 Enterprise to calculate things like your probability of closing a deal, the next best steps to take in a business process and so on.

I will consider the practical application of AI and Machine Learning in a future blog post. To ensure you don’t miss it, please sign up to the Curo Bulletin using the form below.

Fun historic fact: Dynamics Nav refers to the Navision System and Dynamics Ax to Axapta. Both systems became part of the Microsoft product family when Microsoft bought the Danish company Navision in July 2002. Yes, I am Danish, waving Dannebrog [4] 🙂

Links:

[1] Microsoft Dynamics 365 website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/home
[2] License fee: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/pricing#enterprise
[3] Roadmap for Dynamics 365: https://roadmap.dynamics.com/
[4] Dannebrog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dannebrog

Dan Mygind

Author: Dan Mygind

Dan Mygind is a Journalist and Computer Scientist with a strong interest in technology, technology-related businesses, and the transforming effect source code can have on society.
He has worked for startups, SMEs and global IT-organisations such as IBM as a developer, consultant, and IT-architect. With a solid technology background, he has written extensively for a wide variety of publications such as Computerworld as well as writing technical white papers for Microsoft and other companies.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view and opinion of Curo Talent.
Contact Dan Mygind: mygind{at}writeit{dot}dk

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