An Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365

An Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365

We’re all familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. The Microsoft brand comes with worldwide recognition because of the adoption of such technology programs across many industries. Beyond those everyday programs, Microsoft has much larger technology platforms that are enabling businesses to stay connected and meet the communication demands of today.

Have you heard of Microsoft Dynamics 365? This is the cloud-based software program, created by Microsoft, that helps businesses automate sales, customer service, marketing, and finance lines of business, and interconnect data for use throughout the organization.

Yes, Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows you integrate the components of CRM and ERP into one.

In a nutshell, businesses use Microsoft Dynamics to strengthen relationships and improve engagement with customers. In addition, the software helps internal departments work together and use real-time data and information to improve corporate programs, such as marketing and sales.

Wondering if your business should adopt Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Keep on reading for a summary.

 

1. CRM and ERP in One

Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) manage all relationships and interactions with existing customers and potential clients with one simple goal: Improving business relationships. CRM systems help you stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. They typically touch multiple business processes where both customers and internal users are involved and function as an archive for data which can be beneficial during regulatory exams.

For example, CRM can be used to track contacts, communication, activities, and events for database records making it extremely easy to provide reports and analytics and create targeted marketing campaigns for prospects. Through the use artificial intelligence and cloud computing, CRM systems are an integral part of every company’s technology stack.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. But can also include software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results.

ERP systems tie together a multitude of business processes and enable the flow of data between them. Today, ERP systems are critical for managing thousands of businesses of all sizes and in all industries.

Together, CRM and ERP systems consolidate and optimize transactional data from multiple sources, eliminate duplicate data and provide a single source of truth for the enterprise.

Dynamics 365 puts the power of CRM and ERP together in one cloud-based service where products, operations, employees, and customers connect. Together, CRM and ERP systems consolidate and optimize transactional data from multiple sources, eliminate duplicate data and provide a single source of truth for the enterprise. It helps the organization respond to the queries and demands of their customers. While at the same time collecting real-time data to provide actionable insights.

2. Microsoft Dynamics 365

The model-driven applications available in Dynamics 365 focus on CRM. These applications include Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing. Some additional applications offered outside of the base product include Sales Insights, AI Builder, and Power Apps, all of which combine to deliver an industry-leading CRM platform.

The Dynamics 365 Sales application helps businesses increase productivity, build stronger relationships, engage digitally, and adapt more easily to change. It also allows you to build great relationships with clients by taking the burden of mundane tasks away from the sales team, so they can focus on engaging with customers.

The Customer Service application empowers your team with features that improve productivity and enable proactive touch points. Think of knowledge base articles, templated responses, automated customer surveys, and integration with mobile and social media platforms.

In addition to both of these powerful CRM applications, the Dynamics 365 marketing platform allows business to create powerful marketing campaigns around the entire customer journey from interest to acquisition.

Microsoft’s ERP platforms include Financial Management, Supply Chain and Operations, Project Management, Human Resource Management, and Business Intelligence (BI). Combined, these platforms help companies maintain visibility and standardize business procedures, business can collaborate, grow, and expand in ways that support your business goals.

3. The Power Platform

Power Apps are another key feature that are typically used to extend processes within Dynamics 365 applications and/or in Office 365 by bridging the gap between different applications that coexist within a continuous business process.

Linking applications, workforces, customers, vendors, employees, administrators, email and databases are all examples of how using a low-code development platforms like Dynamics 365 Power Apps can be helpful to a business. The Power Platform makes it easier for businesses to build their own customer-facing portals or internal processes without resource constraints like time and money. Here are a few examples of apps that can be created using Microsoft’s Power Platform. 

  • Appointment scheduling apps
  • Employee onboarding apps
  • Apps that improve QC
  • Financial document collection and analytics
  • Employee health and safety apps
  • Customer-facing web portals and knowledge bases

4. Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality on Dynamics 365

Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence from machines and Microsoft has deeply invested in enabling AI features throughout the entire Dynamics 365 platform. In addition to predictive lead and opportunity scoring for sales users, Sales Insights alone boasts several AI-drive capabilities including:

  • An Assistant feature that constantly scans communications to create “action cards” that are displayed in different dashboards and records throughout the system.
  • Auto capture analyzes emails to find all messages that might be relevant to sales.
  • Email engagement helps users to understand how their contacts are interacting with their emails.
  • Relationship analytics gathers information from Dynamics 365 Sales for key performance indicators (KPIs) and activity history and displays it in a graphical representation.
  • Premium forecasting helps sales reps to focus on revenue generation efforts by providing forecast projections based on sales pipeline and historical data.
  • Notes analysis monitors notes regarding recent events or discussions with customers, and it provides intelligent suggestions and next steps to undertake.

Can you see how easy it is for businesses to improve work using Dynamics 365?

Mixed reality is another feature of the Dynamics platform that combines the physical and digital world in order to help with the training of today’s workforce and accelerate job performance, reduce errors, improve safety, and maximize operational effectiveness.

To see how other businesses are using Mixed Reality to solve real world challenges, download this story.

5. Easy to Use

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a web-based user interface (UI) which allows for effortless navigation, comprehensive data views, and automated workflow features. Microsoft Dynamics 365 excels out-of-the-box with numerous usability features compared to other leading systems.

The Dynamics 365 system has an extensive toolbox of features to configure the system without the need for hiring a developer. It takes far less time and effort to tailor Microsoft Dynamics 365 built-in capabilities as it doesn’t require proprietary technical knowledge to do so. In addition, Microsoft provides comprehensive online documentation and learning portals to enhance the end user’s experience.

6. Seamless Integration

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has the unparalleled ability to integrate with the full suite of Office 365 applications right out of the box, including Outlook, SharePoint, Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerBI and OneDrive, just to name a few. Take this as a sign to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 to upgrade your CRM and ERP in one platform.

Notably, Microsoft Flow integration enables businesses to automate workflows and unite business processes between Dynamics 365 and over 200 other popular applications and services. Additionally, AppSource, Microsoft’s app store, gives you the freedom to seamlessly add-on and test-drive professionally developed apps that further enhance out-of-the-box capabilities.

The result? You can work faster and save valuable time and money.

7. Software Updates

Due to budget and resource constraints, many businesses are working with outdated versions of technology. Businesses don’t have to worry about this with Microsoft Dynamics. Microsoft delivers seamless no-cost, automatic updates for Windows, Dynamics 365, and Office 365 to continually improve functionality while maintaining the integrity of integrations, functionality, configurations and customizations. In other words, backward compatibility.

8. Cost

Microsoft Dynamics 365 not only reduces excess system maintenance, but also reduces IT overhead when a business migrates from on-premise systems to the cloud-hosted application. Dynamics 365 is one of the most affordable, and high-rated systems, in the industry. Here’s a blog that compares Dynamics 365 CRM to Salesforce. Not only is the per user licensing fee lower than Saleforce, Microsoft also provides 10x the storage per user license and double the file storage for Dynamics 365.

 

A Quick Guide for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Thanks for reading our quick introduction about the amazing features and high value outcomes D365 can provide to your organization. If you’d like to learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can benefit your business, subscribe to our email list or contact us here. We’d be happy to schedule a free technology analysis and outline the main benefits of Dynamics 365.

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