What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 – a first glance

In July 2016, Microsoft announced Dynamics 365.  So what is Dynamics 365, what will it offer? Find out in this article…

Well, the first thing to say is that pricing has not been released, although there is some conjecture out there.  Not all the details of each element have yet been released either, so trying to make comparisons against what is currently available and what will be available is difficult.  So what can be said?

I guess the first thing to highlight is that Microsoft has added significant function, capability and value to the Dynamics CRM and Office 365 platforms in recent times. That rate of development and evolution looks to continue with features that may sound like science fiction, like Machine Learning becoming standard in the platforms in due course.  Within CRM, feature-rich capabilities such as Field Service, Professional Services Automation, Customer Surveys, and Knowledge Management, to name a few, are setting up the product to be a very enterprise capable solution.  The increasing portfolio of applications within Office 365 that integrate with and complement CRM, like Power Apps and Flow, means that customers can build sophisticated systems more easily than ever before.  The way Power BI is becoming more pervasive across the 365 suite of applications all means adding significant value back to businesses.

And then there is the subject of accounting or financials.  In just about every conversation we have with prospects and customers, the question of integration with their accounting platform comes up.  Microsoft has a number of accounting/ERP solutions, so would it not make sense to be able to offer customers an integrated solution?

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365

With all this increasing function and capability, then naturally comes the question of pricing.  Not all customers are “enterprises”, so how do you price such a capable solution without making it cost prohibitive to Small/Medium businesses?

Microsoft’s answer is to offer two levels of solution, Business and Enterprise.  Then, within these two levels, offer departmental functionally based modules.  From the information currently available, these will be along the lines of Sales, Marketing, Financials, Operations, Customer Service, Field Service etc.

Not all modules will be available for both Business and Enterprise or comprise the same functional capabilities, with details and pricing yet to be announced.  Reading between the lines, it is easy to understand why Microsoft is taking this approach; to be able to deliver to a wide spectrum of customers a range of capability and value, at a price commensurate with that value.  It is possible to see that some customers will gain huge benefits on a price/value viewpoint.  It is not clear if all customer will be such winners.

As more details become clear, further updates to this article will be made.

If you’d like to read Microsoft’s original post on Dynamics 365, please click here

by Rowland Dexter

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