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Dynamics 365 - An introduction

Last year, Microsoft finally announced Dynamics 365, their new flagship product in the business software field. What’s unique about it? It’s a SaaS based product that combines ERP and CRM technology together.

It launched in the US on the 1st of November 2016 and since then has gone from strength to strength. Microsoft has been tight lipped on when exactly, but we do know It’ll be coming to UK shores very, very soon.

In the meantime, we’ve been lucky enough to get our mitts on a beta version of Dynamics 365. And we’ve been very impressed! Over the coming weeks, we’ll be revealing our impressions, thoughts and insight into the product itself.

ERP & CRM finally together

Dynamics 365 marks a natural progression for the Dynamics family of products. For decades, Microsoft has produced, supported and sold various iterations of the GP, NAV, CRM and AX packages, innovating their products with each and every single release. This latest release of Dynamics, marks a departure from separating out CRM and ERP technologies. It’s a clear statement of intent from Microsoft, that they see the future of Dynamics as a single solution.

We’ve talked about the benefits of having ERP and CRM together in a previous blog. It’s well worth a read. But if you’re short on time, ERP and CRM saves you time, money and puts everything to do with your business in one place.

The Digital Transformation

A changing society has produced the market for Dynamics 365. Digital Transformation is more than just a buzzword being thrown around in marketing circles. It has become the centrepiece of Microsoft’s strategy for selling Dynamics 365.

Digital Transformation is the process that as a society we’re undertaking right now. Digital Technology is having a profound impact and is altering the way we function in all aspects of our lives. From social media, video streaming services to the Internet of Things – these technologies weren’t available 10 years ago. They’re disrupting business models, changing society and altering peoples lives. And it isn’t going to stop any time soon.

Why Dynamics 365 now?

“It’s invariably linked to Digital Transformation.” says our Managing Director and Dynamics expert, Mark Howe. “Digital Transformation has disrupted business models and practices and as a consequence businesses have had to alter the way they function.”

When we asked him to pinpoint specifically what’s altered, he said: “Cloud technology has facilitated this process. Technologies like Microsoft Azure offer the facility to host business suites like Dynamics 365 at a fraction of the on premise cost.”

He continues: “You could also argue that mobile phones have contributed to Digital Transformation too. BYOD (Bring your own device) has supported mobility enabled by the cloud. You have your emails on your mobile, you use productivity tools like OneNote to take notes on your morning commute and with cloud enabled solutions, you aren’t restricted to working core office hours in our globalised world.”

“Simply put, Dynamics 365 is the simple solution to complex workplace issues.”

So what can Dynamics 365 do for my business?

Actually, it can do a fair bit:

  • Dynamics 365 for Sales –  Features digital intelligence into each sale, so you can predict customer needs—and meet them with personal attention that builds relationships and revenue.
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing – Attract, engage, and retain customers with Dynamics 365. Make every marketing interaction intelligent to deliver more personalised content and experiences.
  • Dynamics 365 for Financials – Get a complete business and financial management solution for your business. The financials module makes ordering, selling, invoicing, and reporting easier, from the get go.
  • Dynamics 365 for Operations – Manage your warehousing and operations functionality with the operations module. You’ll be able to take advantage of digital intelligence to empower growth.
  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Service – Offers a suite of customer service tools included, self service, peer-to-peer service and assisted service. Helps to ensure your customer service is uniform and consistent.
  • Dynamics 365 for Field Service – Helps you successfully manage your projects—and satisfy your clients. With deep office integration and reporting tools.

All of the Dynamics 365 modules have integrated functionality with the Office 365 suite of tools. So reports, invoices and other documentation use all of your favourite Microsoft Office Applications.

Taking aim at Startups and SMEs

With over 5.4 million SMEs in the UK, which account for 99% of all businesses in the UK, Dynamics 365 is clearly targeted at these businesses. It’s an easy to configure, lightweight system that doesn’t need any expensive on-premise hardware. Utilising an atypical SaaS pricing model, it empowers businesses with the ability to pick and choose the functionality they need and require – You don’t need to have the whole lot!

What’s coming next?

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be looking at each module of Dynamics 365 and showing you exactly how it all works. We’ll be giving you all of our inside knowledge on each part of Dynamics 365 and what it can do for your business.

Excited? We are too! Tell us what you think most interesting section of Dynamics 365 is in the comments section below.

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