Microsoft’s famous cloud service, Dynamics 365, combines their best-of-breed ERP, CRM and BI solutions into one online system. Basically, Dynamics 365 is to Microsoft’s line-of-business software what Office 365 was to Microsoft’s Office suite. And the shared 365 is no coincidence – Dynamics 365 is designed to fully integrate with Office 365.
Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365
As a cloud service, Dynamics 365 can provide a business with the abilities and flexibilities that comes with moving their operations online. This means that none of your team needs to be constrained by the physical locations of your infrastructure, as it will be minimal. Migrating to Dynamics 365, means that your processes will be more flexible, improving both the quantity and quality of the work done.
Which companies can benefit from migrating to Dynamics 365? While this cloud solution can fit a wide variety of businesses, it’s clear that Dynamics 365 can bring strong advantages to back-office employees, sales people, consultants and others in the service industry and field service technicians.
Implementing a cloud ERP system was previously a challenging task for most businesses. Installing VPNs and remote networks isn’t great in terms for user experience, and it can burden your IT team with time-consuming work which could be better spent on more dynamic tasks. Not to mention that cloud ERP pricing was not always as budget-friendly as it is these days. However, Microsoft avoids these challenges by updating its ERP, Dynamics AX, into a web-based system integrated with its front office tools. This is one of the greatest advantages of Dynamics 365.
In addition, Dynamics 365 eliminates the need to manage your own servers and data centre, which in return can lead to significant IT savings for your business.
The deployment of Dynamics 365 is remarkably fast. Its online provisioning means that you don’t have to carry out an entire scoping project with your IT team to purchase servers, reserve rack space, and install the necessary software.
The cost of licencing Dynamics 365 is both affordable and flexible. By moving to a cloud subscription model, you can remove a significant capital expense (CapEx) and instead turn it into a monthly operational cost (OpEx). Another great benefit is that it removes the need to buy a licence to cover all roles, as you can simply purchase cloud subscriptions by role with the software. In other words, your team can be subscribed to the work that they do. For example, your marketing team only requires access to a marketing module rather than an entire CRM licence. As the Dynamics 365 subscription is billed monthly, the ability to turn licences on and off when necessary improves licencing scalability dramatically. Essentially, you only pay for what you want.
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Microsoft Common Data Model
Microsoft Common Data Model (CDM) is an out-of-box business database that allows you to consistently define your data across your entire enterprise. The CDM offers a baseline data model that’s compatible with both Dynamics 365 and Office 365.
Microsoft have also designed tools which are built on the Common Data Model, such as Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. Flow allows a user to react to an event in one service, such as SharePoint Online, and use that data in another service, such as for example Twitter. On the other hand, you have PowerApps which are purpose-built mobile applications that doesn’t need to be made by a developer. Essentially, it’s a codeless way of creating forms for viewing and editing your data. PowerApps can read the data source you specify and select the best template to use based on the data’s format – you can also manually select templates. Microsoft PowerApps can produce practical mobile applications from data sources such as Excel, Salesforce, Slack, Microsoft Azure and other Office 365 applications.
Dynamics 365 and Artificial Intelligence
Dynamics 365 has two main artificial intelligence features installed into it specifically for sales and service personnel: Customer Insights and Relationship Insights.
Customer Insights is a stand-alone cloud service which lets users utilise various internal and external data sources. The users can integrate this data with internal metrics and KPIs to drive automated actions based on this data.
Relationship Insights provides the sales team with real-time information about the status of their customer relationship. It’s built on the Cortana Intelligence Suite, which uses tools such as sentiment analysis to examine the likelihood of the deal closing and what the best next step would be.
Arguably, artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, and we can only imagine the business advancements it can potentially lead to.
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Advantage
The removal of physical infrastructure, the flexible licencing, the advantages of CDM and its tools, combined with all its intelligence features give Dynamics 365 huge potential to streamline your business workflow. Additionally, you can benefit from improved business agility and lower costs. Microsoft’s decades of research and investment have culminated in a system that combines ERP, CRM and BI to transform your business. Are you ready to take advantage of this?