Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Imagine how much more productive you could be
- by not having to leave one application to continue working in another,
- by not having to carry out tasks twice, in separate systems,
- by not having to document here what you did there.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft has addressed the constant switching between Excel, Outlook, PowerBI, CRM, and AX – by bringing together everything you need, all in one place.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 combines the cloud applications Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM in a single product. The Enterprise Edition of Dynamics 365 contains Microsoft Dynamics AX as its “Operations” component and is available for 20 users or more. The Business Edition, which includes Project Madeira as its “Finance” component instead, is limited to a maximum of 300 users and is not yet available in Europe.
What sets Microsoft Dynamics 365 apart?
In its Enterprise Edition, the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud service unites all workflows in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, covering “Operations” (finance, cost accounting, purchasing, inventory, selling, distribution, production, and project), “Sales“, “Field service“, “Customer service“, “Project services automation“, “Marketing“, and “Customer insights“.
These so-called business apps, like the “Operations” component of Microsoft Dynamics (i.e. the former AX), can be deployed separately or together. This means that Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives you the flexibility to start out by only using the business apps you actually need. As your requirements grow, you have the option of activating additional business apps within Microsoft Dynamics 365. As you add more of these business apps, they seamlessly integrate with each other and can also be integrated with any other system that you may have.
“Prospect to cash” is a typical example of a business process that is traditionally split across multiple different systems and data silos. With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can easily integrate this business process, i.e. when a sales person quotes a price, this will include any applicable taxes and potential discounts. The information is fed into warehouse and production forecasts to ensure more accurate and cost-effective planning.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 enhances the productivity of employees and business processes – by making it easy to integrate automated business processes directly into the productivity tools that employees use on a daily basis – and making it possible to use these combined tools on any device and on any platform. Dynamics 365 integrates with Office 365, enabling immersive user experiences that seamlessly span across the two systems and merging the structured processes of business applications with the more unstructured work typically executed in team and productivity applications.
If you use Outlook as your email client and your customer sends an email to one of your employees, the customer’s full details are displayed directly in Outlook, enabling a much richer customer conversation – in any environment, in the browser, and in the mobile apps.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is able to visualize the data already stored in the Dynamics 365 and the Office 365 system. Additionally, it can use the data to help employees achieve the right business outcomes for their organization – using built-in artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms. Azure IoT enables the integration of machine data. The data technologies Power BI and Cortana Intelligence support predictive and prescriptive business analytics.
Easily adaptable systems are required to support growth and transformation in disruptive markets. Microsoft Dynamics 365 supports the existing add-on capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow are powerful new add-on capabilities that can be used to build composite applications that build on all the data stored in Dynamics 365 applications and from other sources. Several Microsoft PowerApps are already available, while new ones spanning different Microsoft systems and other popular SaaS services can be easily created. Microsoft Flow makes it possible to establish automated workflows and synchronization between apps and services.
When it comes to business-specific customization, the Microsoft AppSource offers SaaS applications covering a wide range of different requirements. In addition, the integration tools make it easy to incorporate third-party business applications.
These integrations are based on a joint data model, the Common Data Model. This is the heart of Microsoft Dynamics 365, forming its core component and containing data entities from Dynamics 365 and Office 365 alike.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrates the monolithic applications and data silos, allowing users to work in a seamless application environment without the constant need to switch between Outlook, Excel, CRM, BI and AX. A sales executive can reply to a customer enquiry in Outlook with an offer containing information from Dynamics 365 Operations and Dynamics 365 Sales without needing to leave Outlook, knowing that the offer will also be stored accordingly in Dynamics 365 Operations and Dynamics 365 Sales.
As shown in the following diagram, Microsoft Dynamics 365 essentially comprises the former CRM & ERP offering, enhanced by BI functionality, workflow and integration tools, and the link to the Microsoft desktop – Office 365 – thereby constituting a unique “Intelligent Business Cloud Offering”.
What about AX?
The new Microsoft Dynamics AX (“AX7”) was released six months ago to follow on from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
The new AX release contains many technical innovations, notably the technical design for operations in the cloud and the web browser as a client (HTML5 Web Client). Since the range of functions offered by Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 was significantly extended with the R3 release two years ago, the functional differences to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 are negligible in most modules, with the main difference being the new cost accounting module. Microsoft has now added further substance to its business solutions offering.
Microsoft Dynamics AX is now available as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations – as a single component or combined with other Dynamics 365 business apps.
We are excited abut the new solution and impressed how fast the transformation to a cloud & mobile business world is unfolding.
As a closing note, here is a recommended read and video:
- The statement “Reinventing Business Processes” by Sadya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. He describes the digital transformation, the vision and the mission of Microsoft, and the result, Microsoft Dynamics 365.
- The “First look” video from the AXUG summit – with live demos of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and great examples from the field.
If you have any questions regarding Microsoft Dynamics 365, please simply contact us!