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What is Dynamics 365?

Dynamics 365 is a business platform and the overall brand name for Microsoft's business apps that combines ERP and CRM applications and is supported by productivity apps and AI tools.

From on-premise to cloud

Most people know Microsoft's suite of office applications known by the name of the Office suite, which includes a number of well-known office applications, such as the word processing program Word, Excel in which you work with spreadsheets, Outlook for email and scheduling, and so on.

Not least in the business world, applications such as Excel and Outlook have become almost standard software used on a daily basis. When Microsoft migrated the Office suite to the cloud and offered the subscription-based solution, based on the SaaS model, the package was also rebranded under the name Office 365.

The move of the Office suite into the cloud proved to be extremely popular among the many users of the Office suite and not least because of the easier administration, many companies have also moved from the desktop version of Office to Office 365.

Dynamics 365, combined ERP and CRM

As a continuing part of Microsoft's strategy of moving their business, and thus their customers, into the cloud, in 2016 Microsoft subsequently launched a combination of a lightweight version of their ERP system Dynamics NAV and their CRM system Dynamics CRM, in one unified cloud solution called Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 was launched in two versions, Business Edition and Enterprise Edition.

Business Edition provided functionality based on and similar to Dynamics NAV and the target group was SMEs. The functionality of Enterprise Edition was similar to Dynamics AX and had the very large companies as the primary target group.

However, Business Edition and Enterprise Edition were phased out and never managed to break through in the ERP market, but the brandname Dynamics 365 lives on and is today a unified term for Microsoft's business applications and contains a multitude of apps and add-ons that meet corporate needs for enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, but include also much else, including AI tools. The applications that make up Dynamics 365 have been developed with a special focus on scalability and flexibility, which means that they can be used by virtually any business and are particularly well suited for growing businesses.

Dynamics 365 ERP solutions

There are two ERP solutions in Dynamics 365, Business Central and Finance & Operations. Both solutions provide all the basic functionality you need to run your business, but address two different target groups of businesses.

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central
    Business Central is based on Dynamics NAV and is in many ways just a relaunch or rebranding of Dynamics NAV. You can compare it to when Microsoft took over Navision and shortly after changed its name to Dynamics NAV. As was the case with Dynamics NAV, the official target group for Business Central is also small and medium-sized businesses, but Business Central / Dynamics NAV is also used by larger companies operating across borders. Unlike Dynamics NAV, Business Central Cloud is also intended for the very small businesses, as the subscription solution lets a business start small but  easily scale up and add functionality as the need grows. In short, Business Central can be used by all types of businesses, regardless of size.
  • Dynamics 365 Finance og Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
    When Dynamics AX became part of the Dynamics 365 platform, the solution was renamed Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations. Since then, Finance & Operations were split into two solutions, Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. Where Business Central has small and medium companies as its primary target group, the two solutions Finance and Supply Chain Management is exclusively aimed to large and complex companies or companies running their business based on a diversification strategy. As with Dynamics AX, the two solutions are is typically used by companies with up to several business areas, international organizations operating across borders, multi-currency needs or complex production functionality needs.

Dynamics 365 CRM solutions

Microsoft's CRM solutions date back to 2003 when Dynamics CRM was launched as the customer relationship management part of Microsoft's suite of business solutions with the collective name Dynamics.

In 2016, Microsoft launched Dynamics 365, which was to become the new overall brand name for Microsoft's business applications.

Under the Dynamics 365 platform you will find a number of business applications that provide CRM and ERP functionality and the already well known and widely used Dynamics solutions, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV were rebranded and formed the basis for the new Dynamcs 365 apps. Dynamics CRM was split into two applications, Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Customer Service and in 2018 supplemented by Dynamics 365 Marketing. Also included as part of the Sales and Customer Service licenses is Microsoft Social Engagement, an integrated app that includes social media features.

  • Dynamics 365 Sales
    As the replacement for Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365 Sales is also by far the most widely used of the applications. Dynamics 365 is designed to support companies' management of their customer relationships. By getting a comprehensive overview of current customers as well as potential leads, your sales team will be better able to raise your company's service level and improve sales.
  • Dynamics 365 Marketing
    Optimize your marketing efforts by running targeted campaigns across multiple channels, making the experience for your customers seamless, calculating the results of your leads, improving performance through automated marketing with AI-based insights, ranking your leads and managing it all from custom dashboards.
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service
    Build and increase the trust and loyalty of your company brand. With Dynamics 365 Customer Service, you are able to proactively solve customer-related problems and deliver the tailor-made and personalized service your customers hope for and expect across various channels with insight and AI (artificial intelligence) supported experiences. With Customer Service, your customer service team get tools that effectively let them handle routine customer requests and solve complicated customer-related challenges.
  • Dynamics 365 Field Service
    This solution is for companies that provide service offsite, for example at a given customer. With Field Service, you can provide first-class service to your customers by predicting, identifying and solving their problems, even before they even detect them. In other words, you will be able to send the right resource at the right time and place, and your posted service staff will have the time, tools and information they need to solve customer problems, the first time. All this ensures that you provide a consistent and reliable field service operation.
  • Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation
    Plan your projects and execute them within the established financial framework. Project Service Automation also give your service staff intuitive tools that increase productivity and let them work across teams.

All of these apps can be combined and integrated with your ERP solution as well as Office 365. Contact your Dynamics 365 partner and find out which solutions best match your business processes and strategy.

Is Power BI part of Dynamics 365?

Power BI is very suitable as a supplement to your Dynamics 365 apps and is designed so that the solution can be integrated directly into, for example, Business Central, but Power BI is not part of the Dynamics 365 suite. Power BI, on the other hand, is part of Microsoft Power Platform.

Is Office 365 part of Dynamics 365?

Office 365 is not part of Dynamics 365 either, but your Office 365 apps are highly integrable with Dynamics 365.

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