Just as technology is the engine of human progress, digital transformation is the engine of change. More than just a buzzword – it is the reinvention of an organization through the use of digital technology to improve performance. The main question today is whether you want to be digitally surpassed by the competition, or whether you want to surpass your competitors? It’s a matter of seeing digital opportunities, embracing them and using them to bring about change in your organization. Businesses that think and act ahead in this way are tomorrows market leaders.
Yet, what do such market leaders of digitally transformed businesses have in common? They embrace the cloud and accordingly its solutions such as, Microsoft Dynamics 365. As a newbie in this sector, and the digital marketeer of Arcade, I am delving into the true basics of Microsoft Dynamics. Hence, this blog sheds light on: What does Dynamics 365 stand for, what features does the platform hold, do you need the cloud and is it a platform that can help you digitally surpass the competition?
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Once upon a digital decade ago, you heard of Dynamics Axapta (AX) and Dynamics Navision (NAV). A distinction was made between the Business Edition and Enterprise Edition, two separate versions that were apt for small, medium to large-sized businesses. Microsoft Dynamics NAV was solution for small and medium-sized companies and Microsoft Dynamics AX was meant for large companies with complex challenges. The two solutions were frequently misinterpreted by the number of users they could handle. Their suitability however grounds on the future plans and objectives of an organization.
Since 2018, Microsoft decided merge the packages under one umbrella brand: Dynamics 365. Today, you have Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (the old Axapta), you have Dynamics Business Central (the Navision of the past) and you have plenty more elements dependent on your business need.
So, what can this all-in-one software package do?
Dynamics 365 combines CRM and ERP systems with modern, modular business applications that work together on a single platform.
… hold on a minute… CRM & ERP?
- CRM – Customer Relationship Management, stands for the whole shebang to develop, improve, and retain your customer relationships. CRM systems manage and track your customer relationships, leads, marketing, sales pipeline, and deliver actionable data. It's a group of integrated, data-driven software solutions that improve how you interact and do business with your customers. Overall CRM streamlines processes and increases business profitability because knowing your customers well is indispensable for almost all companies.
- ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning, manages and integrates the finance, supply chain, operations, reporting, production, HR and many more activities of a company. Certainly, most businesses work with an operational and financial system, but most software goes no further than day-to-day operations and does not support future business growth. Yet, if objectives change and a business grows, it is crucial that internal system keeps up. ERP follows structured process to optimize the coherence between all these applications. This system supports efficiency and standardization of the internal processes to save business costs.
The two, Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management, differ from each other in terms of the goals of the software. ERP software focuses on optimizing the internal process of your company and CRM supports relationships with your external customers. Yet, essentially they are two sides of the same profitability coin. ERP and CRM are both used to increase the overall viability of a business. Without the care of an integrated CRM & ERP system, you might lose revenue and miss the opportunity to grow because you’re not making the best use of your businesses core and relationships.
Do you need to go Cloud for Dynamics 365?
Well, our Dynamics SWAT will advise you to go cloud. Here are our top 4 reasons why:
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 is hosted in Microsoft's cloud which means its most obvious advantage is that users can access it whenever wherever. With increasing numbers of staff working remotely, the cloud allows for greater flexibility as CRM & ERP can be accessed through different devices from any mobile device (laptop, tablet or phone).
- Switching to the cloud-driven Dynamics 365 means that critical business information is no longer saved on your own server. The entire technical part needs less attention and can be focused on the functional side. On the surface, this may seem less safe, but in actual fact, the contrary is true – and it’s a lot less expensive too. There’s no need to worry about the costs connected with hardware and maintaining infrastructure. In case of data loss, Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows for data backup as well as easier and quicker data recovery.
- Assuming you’d like your company to keep growing, scalability is another huge advantage. The main benefit of scalable architecture is performance and the ability to handle bursts of traffic or heavy loads with little or no notice. If you go from 100 to 200 users tomorrow, there’s no need to worry. Microsoft will keep your applications running during peak times and not end up losing you money or damaging your reputation.
- What’s more is that Dynamics 365 offers deep integration to Office 365 to seamlessly connect your structured data and processes with collaboration and productivity tools like SharePoint, Office, and Skype for Business. Without the cloud, you cannot link the data from these tools to each other, giving you fewer possibilities to optimize your processes and retrieve the right business insights.
After all, the cloud will help your organization disrupt the competition as it increases the speed and efficiency of doing business.
Sounds convincing, right?
But, will Dynamics 365 really help you surpass the competitors?
Picture misplacing customer contact information, only to learn that the postponement lead your customer into the arms of a competitor. Or, imagine your top two salesmen chasing the same lead, resulting in an irritated potential client and some in-house competition. Sounds familiar?
Many companies fail to implement their ERP & CRM systems due to technological silos, which result in delays across sales, service, marketing, operations, HR, finance and all other departments. Problems such as a lack of data perceptions into customer experience, insufficient contextual and predictive data hampering decision making, absence of standardized processes and a poor sales and service experience all hinder company growth. Without a centralized program where your staff can log and track, your business can fall behind and out of touch with the competition.
The good news is that this software is designed to help you avoid these exact issues. Dynamics 365 was delivered to turn these pains into gains with a modern and familiar experience of built-in insights, intelligence, and workflows. Its biggest advantage by unifying ERP and CRM is that all applications are intertwined. Moreover, it is housed on the Business Application Platform. This provides you with access to a remarkable array of apps in the cloud, such as the Power Platform consisting of Microsoft Flow, Power BI and PowerApps.
An all-in-one integration of a robust hosting Azure platform with the presence of Office 365 makes Dynamics 365, a hard-to-resist choice for businesses that are actively looking for the full package deal.
In a nutshell…
Entrenching a digital innovation mindset will certainly not happen overnight, but our Dynamics SWAT can help you with that. Start your digital transformation journey, break down the technology silos between your business processes and applications and transform your business to drive intelligent decisions. As the growing number of enterprises that have been successful in the digital era by embracing Dynamics proves, it’s undoubtedly worth the effort.
If you’re curious to hear how we can help your organization feel free to contact our SWAT!