For most of us that work in the Microsoft Dynamics market the biggest news to have come out of the Worldwide Partner Conference last month was Microsoft’s upcoming release of Dynamics 365, an online platform that will incorporate Office 365, CRM and ERP solution all under the one roof. This is certainly a far cry away for me when I first stepped into the Dynamics CRM market 4 years ago where at the time CRM 2011 was the latest offering and CRM V4.0 was still widely being used in the Australian & New Zealand market.
Looking back now I remember going out to meet with a boutique Microsoft Gold Partner in Melbourne 3 years ago and being advised that Microsoft’s ultimate aim in the near future was to be able to provide one platform that will incorporate all of Microsoft’s business applications, all integrated and talking to one another, it now seems like that will finally become a reality with the launch of Dynamics 365.
Last week I caught up with John Leonard, Dynamics Lead Australia @ Microsoft and Arman Masoudi, Dynamics CRM Product Marketing Manager @ Microsoft to discuss what the future holds and how Dynamics 365 will not only redefine business process but the way we see and utilise technologies.
What we know so far is that Microsoft plans to release two packaging options for Dynamics 365. A “Business” version which will be aimed at the SME market up to about 300 seats offering sales and marketing modules as well as a cut-down ERP (financials) which will take its roots from the existing Dynamics NAV or soon to be named Madeira. The second offering “Enterprise” will be based off the existing Dynamics CRM & AX platform and will include sales, marketing, field service, customer service, project service automation and operations (ERP). Accompanied with a new redefined and enhanced ‘one stop shop’ app store “AppSource” enabling users to find already custom built specific apps instead of going through a lengthy development and customised SDLC.
Arman believes “Today’s organisations do not buy CRM or ERP, they buy business solutions for their business problems and their problems are now beyond automating processes or managing records which have been long resolved by what is now-primitive technology. Their problems are about how to engage with customers in a constantly changing digital environment more effective than their competitor, how to empower their employees to maximise productivity, how to reinvent their products in commoditised markets and how to optimise their business so they can be more efficient than their competitors.
All this require ‘Artificial Intelligence’ to transform petabytes of data generated by their business into actionable insight in their business application. Dynamics365 has analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning embedded at its core, enabling organisations to deliver intelligent insight in every activity and stage of the business to give them the competitive edge in this digitally disrupted market”
The platform will not be made available as an on-premise option and as yet there is no real clarity on what the future holds for Microsoft’s existing Dynamics CRM and ERP products but one thing I think we can all agree is that the future looks very promising indeed for Microsoft and their position as a leader in the Enterprise Applications market.
I would like to thank both John Leonard, Dynamics Lead and Arman Madoudi, CRM Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft for taking time out of their very busy schedules to speak with me.
by Craig Radford – Director, Monk and Specialist Dynamics 365 / Power Platform Recruiter