What is Microsoft Dynamics 365: A Comprehensive Guide

on CRMs, ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 • December 7th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based business applications platform. This combines components of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) along with other productivity applications and artificial intelligence tools. Dynamics 365 gives automatic, incorporated, and intelligent income and advertising talents that correctly connect, prioritize, and convert leads into paying customers.

In this blog, You will be introduced to Microsoft Dynamics 365 along with its features. The Apps of Dynamics 365 will be discussed in detail. The Editions and pricing of Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be elaborated. The uses and the reasons to choose Dynamics 365 will help you get a clear picture of it. And finally, it also answers the question regarding Microsoft Dynamics 365 as an ERP or CRM.

Table of contents

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics 365- Microsoft Dynamics 365 logo
Image Source: Dynamics365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning application that companies use to achieve operational efficiency. It is a comprehensive all-in-one suite of key applications that cater to the needs of various business requirements. The platform helps users save a lot of time by eliminating the need to select different applications to carry out various business tasks. 

It is a Software as a Service solution used by companies of every scale across the globe. It is a product of Microsoft’s range of business applications that comes with various tools and features to help companies carry out their CRM, ERP tasks, and automate various tasks like accounting to increase efficiency and scalability of business operations. Many industry-leading companies, including Coca-Cola, HP, BMW, Adobe, Delta, and many others, use Dynamics 365 to meet their business requirements. 

Microsoft launched this platform in 2016 that integrated its Dynamics 365 AX and Dynamics 365 CRM applications to provide an enhanced experience to customers. Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers Artificial Intelligence capabilities that help companies to deliver fast and actionable insights. Dynamics 365 comes with out-of-the-box integration support for Microsoft 365 application, which makes it a very flexible and scalable application. The application is highly secure and reliable as it is built on the Microsoft Azure platform.

Features of Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft being one of the industry leaders in technology provides various features that make Dynamics 365 stand out from the competition.

Microsoft regularly updates the platform with better features and tools to make Dynamics 365 a user-friendly application. Below are a few notable  Dynamics 365 features. 

  • Effective Customer Relationship Management: With Microsoft Dynamics 365, companies can effortlessly track every customer interaction, action, and history using the Activity Log Feature. The platform simultaneously analyzes the gathered data to display relevant suggestions and recommendations to users that help them in providing a better experience to their customers. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can also be integrated with security systems like Microsoft OMS to minimize the chances of any breach of critical customer information.
  • Sales and Marketing tools: Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes with many tools and solutions that let companies carry out their Sales and Marketing operations with ease. The application automates several tasks that result in shortened Sales Lifecycle and increases Employee Productivity. Companies can also effectively plan Marketing Campaigns and analyze Campaign results using Microsoft Dynamics 365.  
  • Smart Search: Smart Search is a unique feature offered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 that lets users retrieve any information from past records, contacts, stored opportunities, and templates. Users can save a lot of productive time while using this smart search feature. Dynamics 365 allows users to search for information across multiple work teams that increases the resulting pool of searches. 
  • Unified Client Interface: CRM has become a part of Microsoft Dynamics, which means that even the new Microsoft Office 365 purchaser will have smooth navigation and the crisp layout of Fields and Grids.
  • Web Client Refresh: The new internet patron interface has passed through a sizable update – Borders around Bins and Uniform Spacing, Greater Color Theming, Discipline Controls Styling, Font Standardization, and Textual Content Wrapping.
  • Activity Timeline: This function combines Posts, Activities, and Notes right into a single feed. It additionally enables you to filter out particular pastime kinds and quick pick out un-study gadgets
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: With the LinkedIn Navigator answers for Sales and Campaigns, you can use current LinkedIn functionality to view and synchronize information to your Leads, Accounts, and Contacts.
  • Virtual Entities: Virtual Entities are much like traditional entities. However, external records are read at run-time without being saved inside the Microsoft Dynamics database. This is an exquisite new function for heavy, custom integrations.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Apps

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a wide range of CRM applications.

Microsoft Dynamics 365- Apps
Image Source: 365talentportal.com

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Apps are listed below:

  • Customer Insights
  • Customer Service
  • Field Service
  • Finance and Operations
  • Marketing
  • Project Service Automation
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Talent

Customer Insights

The customer insights module collates the customer data from multiple sources. These data sources include Microsoft Dynamics 365, Office 365, and other third-party data sources. All these data are used to provide actionable insights to improve business performance. This Customer insights module comes with data visualization and analytics tool like Power BI. The customer purchasing patterns and trends can also be studied with Artificial intelligence tools.

Customer Service

Dynamics 365 provides tools with multiple channels to engage customers. These tools are also used as self-service portals. These multi-channel tools are also used for community engagement and support agents.

Field Service

The field service app of Microsoft Dynamics has components mainly used to plan and schedule resources. The other field services of Microsoft Dynamics 365 include managing contracts, inventory, insights into the internet of things-connected products, and customer communications tools.

Finance and Operations

In Finance and Operations module, Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides complete financial management. This module comes with all the reporting and analytics tools. The Finance and Operations module also has certain manufacturing tools used for project management, production planning, scheduling, cost management. These operations also include supply chain management with data warehouses and inventory control tools.

Marketing

Microsoft Dynamics helps in linking Dynamics CRM with Adobe Marketing Cloud. This is to provide campaign management and customized marketing tools catered to your needs.

Project Service Automation

Project Service Automation makes your management process seamless. This module automates project planning, resources scheduling, time and cost management, and service analytics.

Retail

The retail module of Microsoft Dynamics provides a combined business tool. This is used in employee management, merchandise management, and getting operational insights.

Sales

The sales module in Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides valuable insights for personalizing customer services. This consists of customer engagement data, sales productivity, and performance metrics on many platforms like dynamics Shopify and dynamics Magento.

Talent

The Human resource cloud services of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is connected with LinkedIn for managing all aspects of HR activities. The HR activities include attracting, hiring, and onboarding new employees in managing HR programs.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Editions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes in two main versions. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Editions include:

  • Business Edition: Suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Enterprise Edition: Suitable for medium to large-sized organizations
Microsoft Dynamics 365- editions
Image Source: erpsoftwareblog.com

Microsoft Dynamics 365: Business Edition

The Business Edition of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based ERP/CRM. The Business Edition is mostly suitable for companies with over 100 to 250 employees. The Business Edition consists of three modules:

  • Finance & Operations: The finance module in Business Edition is based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, albeit with certain functionalities like the manufacturing module removed.
  • Sales: The sales module of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition is based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This module is optimized for Small to Medium-sized Businesses.
  • Marketing: The Marketing module Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition will be a collaboration with Adobe. This is similar to the Marketing module in the Enterprise edition.

Microsoft Dynamics 365: Enterprise Edition

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition includes Dynamics CRM applications and Microsoft PowerApps. Microsoft’s high-end ERP solutions are also included in Dynamics 365 for operations.

  • Finance and Operations: This was known as Microsoft Dynamics AX initially. This Finance and Operations module has all the finance and operations functionalities of Dynamics AX.
  • Sales: The Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides services for lead management and sales process functionality.
  • Marketing: Dynamics 365 provides an integrated Marketing tool along with Adobe. This is a comprehensive integrated marketing tool.
  • Customer Service: The customer service of Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrates the CRM functionality and other new functionality with the existing Parature functionality and Microsoft partnerships.
  • Project Service: The project service helps in estimating and scheduling projects in Dynamics 365. This is more suited for professional service organizations.
  • Field Service: The field staff requires this module on a daily basis. This is used to enhance the mobility of the Microsoft cloud.
  • Talent: The HCM module of Microsoft Dynamics 365 usually will not come along with the software and must be purchased separately.
  • Retail: The Retail module of Microsoft Dynamics does not come bundled with the software and can be purchased separately.

Uses for Microsoft Dynamics 365

There are multiple uses of Dynamics 365. A few important uses are listed below:

  • Data-driven decisions can be made smarter using built-in AI and analytics modules.
  • This brings your business together as a coherent unit by bringing people, processes, and data across many applications together.
  • With Dynamics 365, you can modernize your approach by incorporating AI, mixed reality, social, and mobile capabilities for progressive business innovation.
  • You can adapt the application to your needs instead of changing your business process flow. You can either integrate applications with existing systems or customize with Microsoft Power Platform.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing

Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes with bundle and role-based licensing. These are the most commonly preferred pricing features. The pricing plans of Microsoft Dynamics 365 are given below:

  • Customer Engagement Plan
    • This plan is preferred while building and supporting customer relationships for your organization.
    • $115 per user/month
  • Unified Operations Plan
    • With this, you can connect and manage your business operations.
    • $190 per user/month
  • Dynamics 365 Plan
    • This is the best value for money option.
    • $210 per user/month
Microsoft Dynamics 365- pricing
Image Source: dynamics.microsoft.com

Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 an ERP or a CRM?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a lot of apps and modules that are used both as  Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software applications. It is designed in a way to provides maximum flexibility and extensibility. This makes it adopt any business model and fit well.

Why Should You Choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Modules?

Among all the CRM Systems, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is just a step ahead of other CRMs. Microsoft Dynamics consists of a set of intelligent business applications to run your business and provide meaningful insights. The Dynamics 365 platform offers flexible modules that help you in leveraging your business. Here are a few reasons to choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Modules:

Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Security Levels

Data security is one of the most important aspects to look into while selecting a CRM. Microsoft Dynamics 365 protects your data very seriously. The 360 views of your data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 are secured by dividing them into business units, teams, and users. This creates a central hierarchy for the security settings to rely on. After creating all this, each user or team, or business will get their privilege and access levels. These access levels and privileges have paved the way to secure data within Microsoft Dynamics 365. The privileges are Create, Read, Write, Delete, Append, Append To, Assign and Share. Each of these privileges is sub-divided based on the access level like Global, Local, Basic, or None.

Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Granular Protection

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides your organization with many levels of security. The first level of security is ensured at the entity level. This is Role-Based Security in your organization gets the privilege to either allow or deny access to certain entities based on their roles. The second level of security is based on records. At this security level, you can provide access or restrict specific records from users, teams, or units. The third level of security is based on fields. You can ensure that your data is always protected with control over specific fields. It provides additional security outside of your business application with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Pricing

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides different pricing options based on your organization’s size. With Business and Enterprise editions, each organization can pick up their preferable modules.

Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Integrations

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides seamless integrations with other Microsoft solutions, external business applications, and databases. It provides both ERP and CRM applications to streamline and simplify business processes. Few of its applications like SharePoint, Outlook, OneNote, and Power BI are used on a daily basis. Regardless of the size of your organization, with all these integrations you can make it your customized business tool.

Conclusion

From this blog, You have learnt about Microsoft Dynamics 365 along with its features. The Apps of Dynamics 365 will be clear to you now. The Editions and pricing of Microsoft Dynamics along with the uses and the reasons to choose Dynamics 365 will help you get a clear picture of it. In case you want to transfer your data from Dynamics 365, you can use Hevo to pull data into your data warehouse.

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Share your experience of setting up Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the comments section below!

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