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Dynamics 365 - One system to rule them all

Dynamics 365 was finally showcased at WPC 2016 in Toronto a few weeks ago. It got tongues wagging and certainly piqued our interest, as it combines the technologies of ERP and CRM into a single system. It signals a departure from Microsoft’s previous strategy of offering customers the opportunity to choose an onsite, cloud or hybrid implementation. Dynamics 365 is a fully-fledged cloud only offering.

It even has its own app store – Giving Dynamics 365 the flexibility to expand, contract and acquire additional functionality as and when a business demands it.

Dynamics 365 – One system to rule them all

Dynamics 365 aims to unify the experience between CRM, ERP, BI and office productivity tools. It achieves this by leveraging the cloud and packaging all of these tools into one service.

It boasts some exciting purpose-built apps to help you manage specific parts of your business. Things like sales, inventory, customer service and financials will all feed into one centralised system. It’ll also integrate productivity suite Office 365 to allow seamless transition between processes.

CRM Business Unit Director Justin Bown says: “The vision of Dynamics 365 is to improve user experience and streamline the way a business runs. Dynamics 365 aims to improve the way that reducing the number of systems, applications and screens a user has to navigate. In a demo from Takeshi Numoto of Microsoft, we saw him seamlessly generate a sales quote, based on information from the finance and sales apps of Dynamics 365 – without ever leaving Outlook.”

Busting those data silos

Dynamics 365 has been designed to break down the silos of data that exist within organisations that struggle to centralise their working efforts. By utilising one system and a centralised area to collaborate, organisations will benefit from boosted teamwork and productivity.

Justin Bown loathes data silos and had this to say: “Dynamics 365 will help to break down silos of data that have been institutionalised in organisations since their inception. Not only will this help businesses work more productively, but it’ll also improve an organisations ability to look inward and glean insight on their data as a whole. This will be supported by native integration of Power BI and Cortana.”

Dynamics has its own app store

Microsoft AppSource has been made available immediately; with over 200 business themed (Software as a Service) apps, add-ons and content packs available on launch. It’s been pitched as Microsoft’s destination for businesses to find SaaS apps from Microsoft direct and accredited partners.

Breaking up the features of an ERP, CRM and office productivity tools has been hailed by some analysts as a shrewd move. Businesses will be empowered to ‘pick and mix’ their own software applications to gain the functionality they need at any given time. By delivering Dynamics 365 in this model, businesses will have an array of options to personalise the product/service they’re using.

Taking aim at Salesforce

Is Dynamics 365 taking aim at competitors like Salesforce? We certainly seem to think so. Dynamics 365 addresses the main issue Salesforce hasn’t addressed, which is packaging ERP, CRM and Office productivity into a single system. Salesforce also doesn’t offer ERP products such as Dynamics GP, NAV, AX or Office 365.

The move to the cloud and continued investment in Microsoft Azure, is a clear message from Satya Nadella and Microsoft that the future of the Microsoft Dynamics is in the cloud. And it’s simple to see why – with sales in the cloud surpassing the $100 billion mark. The simplicity of setting up a cloud based system and the elasticity of the cloud, gives businesses more flexibility and control over their IT infrastructure.

The future of on premise solutions?

There’s an interesting future ahead for on premise based solutions. With the announcement of Dynamics 365 and analysing what competitors have been doing, it seems logical to assume that the arrival of Dynamics 365 is yet another nail in the coffin of on premise solutions. But Justin Bown doesn’t think so:

“The question on everyone’s mind at the moment is does this mean the end of premise? Sure, Microsoft have jumped on board the SaaS platform bandwagon – But I can’t see Microsoft abandoning Hybrid, Private and On-premise solutions at this stage.”

“Especially as they’ve formed an integral part of Microsoft’s strategy for the cloud for years now. What I can see is a renewed focus on encouraging people to utilise the obvious benefits of cloud technology. But there will certainly be a place for on premise solutions in the future.”

We’re very excited here at Advantage to see Dynamics 365 released. Microsoft stated the next reveal for the cloud based system will be at Summit in Tampa, from the 11th of October. We’ll be sending our very own Matt Fleming and Eli Clarke over to check out everything Dynamics GP related – and of course to try to get their hands on Dynamics 365!

Dynamics 365 is slated for release at the end of 2016. We’ll covering everything Dynamics 365 or other related news, right here on our blog. Subscribe here to stay up to date with the latest news.