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At this year's World Partner Conference, C2 were excited to get more details on the new Dynamics 365 business platform. Just as Office 365 has transformed Office productivity C2 believe that Dynamics 365 will be the game-changer for business solutions in the cloud. The potential for businesses small and large to use these tools to transform and grow their businesses cannot be underestimated.
So what is Dynamics 365?
Firstly, there is no more Dynamics CRM Online or Cloud ERP (AX in the cloud). Instead we have a number of business Apps that together make up what was the full CRM and ERP suites. A key consideration is that CRM and ERP are no longer separate products, with complex connectors to push and pull data between them, instead a common data model is used to ensure that they are presented as one product. For example, common objects such as Accounts, Contacts, Invoices etc. are entered once and are available in all relevant parts of the product.
The initial Apps that make up the "Enterprise" edition include:
Sales, Marketing and Service elements will be familiar to most people who have used CRM Online. The Project Services and Field Services were relatively new additions to CRM Online that some may recognise as CRM Online options. Operations is a renamed version of the recently launched Cloud ERP (AX) product. This integrated approach ensures that Dynamics 365 is now a full end-to-end, cloud based solution to run a business on, and one that can facilitate true business transformation.
There is however more to Dynamics 365 than first meets the eye. Dynamics 365 features two versions with Business and Enterprise editions. The Enterprise Edition closely matches CRM Online / AX and is aimed at mid-large sized businesses, although many small businesses may want to make use of the range of functionality. The Business Edition is however aimed at the small to medium sized business and will offer the following apps:
Financials is the official name for the "Project Madeira" that Microsoft has been working on for some time. This promises to be a major step forward for small businesses in terms of financial application productivity, with unparalleled integration with Office 365 tools such as Outlook.
It should be noted that only the Financials element will be available at launch, with Sales and Marketing apps to follow.
More, much more - Flow, Power Apps, Power BI
As if that wasn't enough we have a number of other key elements to consider that make up the Dynamics 365 suite.
Power Apps - A new facility to easily build and deploy tablet and mobile line of business apps e.g. timesheet logging, field reports etc.
Power BI - Microsoft's premier business intelligence tool is baked in to Dynamics 365, allowing for fully interactive dashboards to be constructed, helping to make sense of the underlying data
Flow - Wire applications together with ease, pushing data from any Dynamics 365 Apps to Office 365 Apps e.g. SharePoint Online and other external applications. This includes Flow's own mobile app for scenarios such as mobile app notifications.
The platform will be complemented by the new AppSource store that makes it easy for business to find, try and purchase pre-built applications. These applications extend and tailor Dynamics 365, and other cloud services, to meet the needs of their business. The store is live now at https://appsource.microsoft.com.
Licensing & Pricing
Pricing for Dynamics 365 is yet to be announced, but the licensing model has been built from the ground up and we will be authoring a separate blog on this shortly. The versions will be based on a similar model to Office 365, with users encouraged to select a plan, but if desired then individual apps e.g. sales can be licensed separately.
- Plan 1 - All Dynamics 365 Apps, including Operations
- Plan 2 - All Dynamics 365 Apps, excluding Operations
- Team Member - Plan to allow read access to all data and light weight update scenarios. The full details of this plan have yet to be released
- Dynamics CRM Apps can also be licensed individually e.g. Sales, Customer Service, Field Services, Project Services. As with Office 365 we anticipate that once you require 2-3 Apps it may be cheaper to select one of the plans
C2 see Dynamics 365 as bringing together a visionary set of business tools into a single integrated platform. Combined with Office 365 and Azure services the Microsoft Cloud platform provides all of the tools needed to run and scale a business in the cloud. We can't wait to get started helping customers to exploit the potential of the platform. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics 365, please Contact Us today.