At the end 2016, Microsoft launched a new product line for its Business Solutions line – Dynamics 365. After the success of Office 365 (Outlook has over 400 million active users and the Office suite has over 340 million times downloads on different devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android), it seemed rather logical step for this verified model to be applied to other Microsoft products as well.
No one likes the changes, and this is also true from a business perspective. Most companies are traditionally quite conservative about the changes, and the reasons for each of them being different. For some, it means more work, for other – this is considered a whole new project, where additional resources have to be allocated.
We can’t deny it – we have also been skeptical at first, despite the fact that we as Dynamics specialists have been facing a lot of changes years. But with skepticism or not – Dynamics 365 is the new reality and we have to adapt quickly and efficiently for the upcoming “digital transformation”.
Now, as I am going deep into the new platform and applications, I realize Dynamics 365 really brings the “wind of change” into the business software market. A year after launching and several satisfied customers later, we can outline five major reasons that make us express our professional sympathy towards the platform:
Integrity vs. Integration. Paradoxically, but so far, “integrated systems” always required some “real” integration with all the analysis and development needed. This means extra time and resources, a new project plan, and a new, usually not tight budget. Dynamics 365 is aimed at facilitation this rather big issue for all the companies that are implementing various software platforms. Dynamics is now part of a single, cloud-based platform. Office 365, SharePoint, PowerApps, Flow, Power BI (Business Intelligence) and number of others – all of these are now connected in the Office Portal.
Dynamics – Just Use it (scalability). The Dynamics 365 platform combines both CRM and ERP solutions. You use what you need. You can start with specific functionalities and upgrade the platform, paying for what you use. The system can be developed as your business grows.
AppSource. What better than having an app store like Appstore or Google Play, not for the phone, but for your business! Together with Dynamics 365, Microsoft has launched a dedicated Microsoft AppSource portal where partners from all over the world upload their Dynamics-based applications. Thus, customers download and use various applications. Many of them are also free. All apps have to go through a detailed Microsoft verification process so that customers get truly working software solutions. We have made ourselves aware of this during the certification process of our Dynamics Facility (a CRM application for property and facility management companies).
Cloud. Cloud. Cloud. Dynamics 365 is entirely cloud-based which enables companies to use the latest technology tools. Azure has gone through a tremendous development during the past year to guarantee first-class service, security levels, integration, and so on. According to Microsoft, now 80% of Fortune 500 is on Microsoft Azure.
Business Intelligence. Dynamics 365 comes with an integrated Power BI,. Power BI seems to gather a lot of popularity among businesses because of this ready-to-go integration as well as the fact that it can be managed and tuned by non-technical specialists. We have to mention also Cortana Intelligence which offers opportunities for planning and forecasting different processes in the organization (for example, sales for a future period). With all these, let say now “traditional” tools, the platform also runs different designs based on IoT (Internet of things), Big Data. Microsoft are actually the first big vendor to implement these latest technologies in the business environment.
Dynamics 365 has made the great strides and has already achieved its success both in terms of customer acceptance and implementation of IoT technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and so on. So it will be no surprise if instead of our colleague Peter or Martin, we have R2-D2* soon.
* The Hero Droid of George Lucas Star Wars.