When we were at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) earlier this month, one of the key announcement was the company’s new enterprise cloud service, Dynamics 365.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, spent a large chunk of his opening ‘vision keynote’ talking about the new service, so it’s clear that it forms a really vital part of their strategy for enterprise customers. But what is Dynamics 365, and what can it do for your business?
Satya Nadella talks Dynamics 365 at WPC 2016 – photo by Brian Douglas, our Business Development Manager
What is Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 combines Microsoft’s cloud tools for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) into one service, available on a simplified subscription model similar to Office 365.
The service aims to help businesses track sales leads, automate field service management, drive sales and make operations more efficient. It does this through modern, smart and intuitive cloud-based business apps that work in a really integrated way.
Getting more out of business data
It’s important to understand that Dynamics 365 is much more than just a rebrand or a new pricing model. It’s a huge step forward in enabling business users to make sense of their data and use it as powerful evidence in taking actions that benefit the business.
By making the whole platform more seamless, and adding powerful cutting-edge tech like Cortana artificial intelligence, Dynamics 365 will empower ordinary users to squeeze a great deal more actionable information out of their data without having to become IT experts.
The service features a selection of apps to improve efficiency in operations, marketing, sales and customer service. As well as bringing together the cloud versions of Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics ERP, the platform will include tools like Power BI and Cortana Intelligence Suite that let business users turn cold, raw data into dashboards, reports and other collateral designed for humans.
Extending and integrating the enterprise platform
Dynamics 365 will share a secure, scalable and structured Common Data Model (CDM) with Office 365, taking forward Microsoft’s vision of end-to-end integration between desktop apps, mobile apps and cloud apps. It will, for example, enable a sales person to retrieve all the financial and business information needed to prepare a quote for a customer, without ever having to leave Outlook.
Alongside the Dynamics 365 announcement, Microsoft also revealed AppSource, a new app marketplace. It will offer business-focused apps that use the CDM to work as part of Dynamics 365 and extend its capabilities further.
Launch date and pricing
Microsoft is expected to release Dynamics 365 this autumn. A subscription model similar to Office 365 will enable businesses to select a feature level that suits their needs.
As a silver Microsoft partner in Data Analytics, we are already implementing powerful analytics and reporting tools that are having a transformative effect for customers like the Scottish Housing Regulator.
If you’d like to talk to us about getting more from your business data, please drop us a line for a no-obligation chat.