From 1st November 2016, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been rebranded with added capabilities to create Microsoft Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 unites both CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) into a single experience, allowing you to focus on what’s important – your business.
What is Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 provides a collection of applications you can take advantage of, with flexible licencing options to focus on one area (for example Sales) or utilise a package of complimentary applications to receive better value and make a bigger impact.
The concept behind Dynamics 365 is intelligent business applications that work independently of each other to provide you with access to functionality but also have the capability to work together. This was previously seen with standard integration capabilities such as Dynamics CRM, Sharepoint, Word and Excel within CRM itself. What was previously known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM has now been rebranded as it encompasses more than customer relationship management but capabilities that have the power to underpin your entire business.
Instead of providing a customised solution, Microsoft have released Dynamics 365 as a standard solution. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot mould it to fit your business. Using ‘Microsoft AppSource’ a business can review all different types of extensions, some of which can be trialled, and that have undergone a rigorous review from Microsoft to ensure the standard is high – these applications have either been created by Microsoft of by Partners. There is a huge range of apps to choose from in categories like analytics, productivity, HR, collaboration and much more.
There are several modules you can choose from within Dynamics 365, these are Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Operations, Financials, Field Service, Project Service, Power Apps and Flow. So, what is included in these applications?:
This application makes it a lot easier for you and your business to get the information you need to deliver a great customer service with tools you are already familiar with (for example Office 365, Outlook). This application will centralise all your customer data for your sales team, helping to build trust and long-term relationships. There are tools available that will help you decide your next moves (e.g. automated lead scoring), social insights, up-to-date company information and embedded sales processes. The easy-to-use dashboards will provide the information you need, so you know when and how to engage with your customers and prospects. Keep an eye on your team and engage with each other by sharing your meeting notes, events and sales documents.
Unify the way your customers experiences your business and services with the customer service application. Provide your customers with a self-service, online, support portal with access to a knowledge bank and community space where they can get all their questioned answered. The customer service application includes having your customer information on-demand in a single view, with analytics, helps you and your teams identify any trends and opportunities within you customers and prospects, allowing you to act fast.
Microsoft has partnered up with Adobe to deliver Adobe Marketing Cloud in Dynamics 365. Integrated, cross-channel marketing will help you create a personal experience for your customers. Maximise your customer loyalty with content-rich, coordinated campaigns.
The Marketing Module is not yet released and further information is due to be announced early next year.
Operations gives you the ability to create more efficient and smarter decisions and provides you with visibility and control with user-configurable structure, as well as reduce your operational costs. Start by creating more accurate forecasts to reduce inventory costs and improve product availability. An integrated e-commerce allows you to deliver a better shopping and user experience to your customers and engage with your customers on multiple platforms with your social media integrated. This application provides easy-to-use budget planning tools in which you can create templates for Microsoft Excel. Get all the real-time data across multiple devices, whenever you need to.
The financial application has been improved with a central, real-time, data view on your accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory and customer accounts. But it doesn’t just do that; it makes it easier for you to process payments, identify past-due accounts, monitor open orders and track vendors to reduce out-of-stocks, create personalised sales quotes and convert them into invoices (this feature can be done without leaving Outlook). Dynamics 365 for Financials is integrated closely with Office 365, allowing you to gain reliable reports and a complete overview of your business.
This application will allow you to manage all your contracts, products and warranties across customers and locations as well as make the most of your time with automated scheduled appointments. Having real-time and accurate data means you can detect a problem before it’s even happened, meaning you can act fast and build a stronger relationship with your customer. The process can be made even more effective with an available portal; on this, a customer can view their cases, view a live map and the technician/member of staff that is on the way to solve this detected problem.
Make all your communications count by giving your business development team a single, central place to access sales force automation services and social insights with the project service automation application. This will allow you and your team to have powerful access to easy-to-use mobile apps so you can manage schedules, update data and more. Assign the most appropriate consultant to each project based on their skills, availability and interest, giving your prospect and/or customer the best service. Either on email or via the web, this will give your project managers a central place to view and approve jobs.
Flow is one of the latest applications offered in the Dynamics 365 suite and it allows you to link many of your applications (both inside and outside the Dynamics 365 domain) with each other using the Common Data Service. This gives you the opportunity to customise your systems to your business needs whilst still providing a single experience within this technology.
Power Apps is also one of the latest applications available which allows you to create applications without code and that can connect to multiple streams of data from different systems for you to use on the web or on mobile devices. The application even comes with pre-built templates to help you get started and use the visual designer to create functional applications for your business.