One of Microsoft’s biggest releases of last year was Dynamics 365, a new platform residing in the cloud that bundled together the Dynamics CRM application and various aspects of ERP functionality. There have been changes to the licensing model as Microsoft seeks to provide the most complete and diverse options available to fit each organization’s need.
Below is information on each of the applications which are various functions grouped by the business processes of which they are a part. Although the applications are independent, they can each be activated as needed within Dynamics 365 allowing the various functions to work as one. Additionally, several of the applications can be purchased together at a discounted rate in one of the Dynamics 365 plans which are grouped by related features.
Dynamics 365 for Sales
Sales is the core of what used to be Dynamics CRM. Here you start with tracking Leads and developing them into business opportunities. It allows you to stay up to speed on your various accounts and contacts through activity management. Managers are able to view the sales pipeline and other metrics of their employees through Dashboards and motivate them with sales goals and gamification. All these together help your team push opportunities on to quotes and orders while monitoring how you stack up against competitors.
Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional
This is a small spin off of Dynamics 365 for Sales. It provides the core sales functions of managing Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Activities, Products, Opportunities, Quotes, and Orders for those with a more basic sales force need. It also ties in very basic support functionalities in which you can create and manage cases. Sales Professional could be considered a light version of Dynamics 365 for Sales.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing
This application is an enhanced version of the marketing section previously within CRM. This adds on to the basic features of marketing lists and campaigns with great enhancements such as lead scoring and the ability to create surveys. It provides event organization where you can manage sessions, speakers, sponsors, and tickets all in one place. You can even make everything accessible to your clients through a portal that allows them to view information such as the schedule and even register for your event. It improves on emailing with drag-and-drop content creation. This is all rounded out by your Customer Journey where the marketing department can create multi-step, multichannel marketing campaigns with event driven automation.
Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
Previously the service portion of Dynamics CRM, Customer Service provides you with the tools to assist customers and drive engagement. Here you can create and track cases to track customer issues and questions. The cases can be routed to the appropriate parties through queues to make sure that any issues are settled within defined service level agreements that you are managing.
One good tip is to drive speedier case resolution by sharing information as you build your knowledge base. You can also empower your customers to find their own resolutions by exposing the knowledge base in a self-service portal or through discussion with other customers in your online community.
Dynamics 365 Field Service
Field Service is a new addition to the CRM side of Dynamics 365 and is an extension of Customer Service. This application allows you greater control of your customer interactions out in the field to manage service contracts and warranties and resolve service-related issues for installed products. It helps you to track the location of installed assets, the maintenance needs of those items, as well as its individual repair history.
You can schedule field technicians to complete routine maintenance or repairs with resource skill matching, automated routing, and step by step travel directions to make sure their day is scheduled optimally. Field technicians will have the latest information at their fingertips with the Field Service mobile app which also helps to provide dispatch and management access to real time statuses of assignments.
Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation
Project Service Automation is another new addition to the Dynamics 365 platform. This project-oriented application helps business with a 360-degree view of all their projects. It has been referred to as Microsoft Project Lite for the fact that it allows project managers to view their work breakdown structure and assign resources to the various tasks. However, it also does a whole lot more.
Project Service ties in with the Sales activities so that your project managers can engage with sales reps to see what potential projects are coming down the pipe or where they can work to build a project plan. The sales team provides a more accurate quote and scope of work. Beyond that, project managers can use the scheduling engine to optimize their resources’ utilization and monitor project profitability as resources enter time and expenses against the project.
Dynamics 365 for Talent
Talent provides the Human Resources capabilities needed to attract the right people, engage with them to set them up for success, and provide them with the help needed to thrive in your organization. A direct integration with LinkedIn is the starting point in recruiting new resources. From there Talent aids in improving the employee onboarding experience so that your new hire receives all the proper training they need. Once the employee is established you can continue to cultivate their abilities with performance assessments and setting career-path guides and goals.
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
Finance and Operations is the part of Dynamics 365 which used to be Dynamics AX. This application is for medium to large-sized companies who need a robust ERP. Advanced capabilities in Finance Management, Supply Chain Management, and Warehouse Management form this application and help you with your financial reporting, sales order processing, and inventory control.
Dynamics 365 for Retail
This application was built specifically for retail businesses. It is an end-to-end retail solution that allows you to engage with your customers across all channels. From online stores, brick-and-mortar locations, or call centers, Retail helps you provide the best experience to your customers. It encompasses point-of-sale systems in your stores to process sales transactions with capabilities to tie to printers and cash drawers, merchandising, and inventory tracking and control.
Dynamics 365 Business Central
Business Central is the cloud version of Microsoft NAV and is designed for small to mid-sized companies who need more than the basic accounting and financial tools but a big investment in a full ERP system is further down the road. It includes the core ERP tools of finance, sales and purchasing management, operations, and warehouse management. Additionally, it has project accounting capabilities and minimal CRM functionality.
With so many different feature sets available you may want to get a feel of how each of the applications operates. In order to facilitate that Microsoft offers a free 30-day trial of the Dynamics 365 platform. You can pick an individual application to test and add more applications later. Each of the applications described above are available for this free trail.
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