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In this article by Rahul Mohta, Yogesh Kasat, and Jila Jeet Yadav, the authors of Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, we will discuss organizations’ need for a system of records to manage the data, control it, and use it for their growth. This often leads to embracing business applications for managing their resources well and keep improving. This used to traditionally happen in software installed in the customer location; it later evolved to hosting either internally or at the partner’s premise. Now, in this modern world, it has transformed into leveraging the power and elasticity of cloud.

Dynamics 365 is a cloud service from Microsoft, combining several business needs into a single, scalable, and agile platform, allowing organizations to bring in the much needed digital disruption.

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This chapter will introduce you to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and share the details of various apps, solution elements, buying choices, and complimentary tools. We hope you will get an insight of various tools, offerings, and options provided by Microsoft in Dynamics 365. This may help you in your business transformation initiatives, solutions, and platform evaluation, spanning CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and BI (Business Intelligence).

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

To understand Dynamics 365, let’s first understand the Microsoft cloud competencies and the overall cloud vision. The Microsoft cloud has numerous offerings and services; Microsoft categorizes these offering in four broad categories, namely modern workplace, business applications, application and infrastructure, and data and AI. Each of these categories comprises multiple applications and services.

The following image highlights these four categories and the service and applications offerings.

As shown in the preceding image, the Modern Workplace category combines Office 365, Windows 10, and enterprise mobility and security, and is offered as Microsoft 365. The Business Applications category is a combination of ERP and CRM and is offered as Dynamics 365. The third category is Applications and Infrastructure, which are powered through Azure. The last category is Data and AI, which deals with data, AI, and analytics.

Turning our focus back to the business applications category, in the business application world, business leaders are looking for greater business process automation to achieve digital transformation. What gets in the way today is monolithic application suites, which try to solve business process automation as a single application. You need modular applications that are built for a specific purpose, but at the same time, you need these applications to talk with each other and produce a connected graph of data, which can be further used for AI and analytics. Microsoft, for the past several years, has been focused on building modular, integrated applications, infused with AI and analytics capabilities.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications in the cloud. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a unification of the current CRM and ERP cloud solutions into one cloud service, delivered by purpose-built applications. It enables end-to-end business processes driven by unified navigation, core user experience in how they look and feel, and also seamlessly integration with each other. Microsoft Dynamics 365 further extends Microsoft’s commitment of being a cloud-committed company, bringing in worldclass business apps together in their overall cloud offering. Dynamics 365 applications can be independently deployed. A customer can start with what they need, and as per the business demands, the customer can adopt additional applications.

Many of you may be new to Microsoft Dynamics 365, and it would be a good idea to register the logo/brand image of this solution from Microsoft. The following is a common symbol you could expect to gain a lot of traction among organizations embracing business application in Microsoft cloud:

Let’s now explore the key deciding factors for adopting Microsoft Dynamics 365 in your day-to-day organizational life with the help of its usage benefits and salient features.

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365

Any business application and its platform decision is often based on benefits, return on investment, and commitment of the product principal with the assured road map. We would like to share the top three among several benefits of leveraging Dynamics 365 as your business solution platform:

  • Productivity like never before, with purpose-built applications
  • Powerful and highly adaptable platform to enable the business to transform effectively
  • Integrated applications to eliminate data silos
  • Insightful intelligence to drive informed decision making

Microsoft Dynamics 365 salient features

What makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 stand apart from its competition and an enabler for organizations lies in its features, capabilities, and offerings.

Here are the salient features of Dynamic 365:

  • Cloud-driven, browser-based application
  • Generally made available on Nov 01, 2016 to a number of markets
  • Mobile apps available in Android, iOS, and Windows platforms
  • Availabe in 137+ markets
  • Available in 40+ languages
  • More than 18 country localizations are built in and more are on its way
  • Seamlessly integrated with Office 365, all out-of-the-box to increase productivity and stand apart from others
  • Intelligence built in for predictive analysis and decision making support
  • Releveled and revolutionized traditional approach towards business solutions

Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications in the cloud (public and private) as well as on premise. It is expected to transform how businesses use technological solutions to achieve their goals.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 approach to business applications unifies Microsoft’s current CRM and ERP cloud solutions into one cloud service, with new purpose-built business applications that work together seamlessly to help you manage specific business functions.

Let’s now get an insight at a high level of the various apps available in Dynamics 365. the following image shows the apps and their association to ERP/CRM:

Now let’s get personal with these apps starting with their names, their former solution base, and their brand logos. The following is a matrix of business solution enablers in Microsoft Dynamics 365, with their quick URL:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (popularly known as Dynamics CRM)  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/sales  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service (popularly known as Dynamics CRM) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-servic e  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service (popularly known as Dynamics CRM) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/field-service  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (popularly known as Dynamics CRM) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/project-service -automation  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition (popularly known as Dynamics AX) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/operations  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition (also known as Project Madeira and based on popularly known Dynamics NAV) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/financials  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/talent  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/retail  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/marketing  
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer insights https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-insigh ts  

Summary

In this article, you learned about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and all the different products that are part of it.

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