Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a platform that includes functionality across communication/collaboration, sales, marketing, customer service (CRM) and financials. Intelligence is built into the platform and enables you to learn from your data and drive behavior across your teams. Dynamics 365 runs in the cloud, is fully mobile-enabled and integrates with Microsoft Outlook.
Dynamics 365 was born to solve challenges that have plagued business software for many years, namely:
The average business uses 13 or more software applications
Multiple applications = multiple data silos
When a user switches applications up to 40% productivity is lost
With multiple applications end-to-end workflow is virtually impossible
Only about 20% of data in any database is actually used
User adoption is a major challenge
Data intelligence capabilities have grown substantially
Dynamics 365 solves these challenges by combining workloads into a centralized platform with a common data model and user interface. The components of Dynamics 365 are:
Office 365 – Communication & Collaboration
Sales – Dynamics CRM Sales functionality
Marketing – Inbuilt legacy marketing features from Dynamics CRM. Adobe Marketing Cloud will be integrated with the platform in 2017
Financials – New application launched for the Business Edition that offers quoting, invoicing, AR/AP and inventory management
Operations – The financials/ERP offering for the Enterprise plan. Dynamics AX was renamed “Operations”
Customer Service – Dynamics CRM Service functionality
Field Service – Dynamics CRM Field Service functionality
Project Service – Dynamics CRM Project Service Automation
PowerApps – Rapid application development tool
Flow – Automation & Workflow tool
Common Data Model – Binds together all the elements of Dynamics 365 into a standard structure
Intelligence is built into Dynamics 365 that enables you to learn from your data and drive behavior. Below are examples of the intelligence that is built into the platform:
- Product cross/up-sell recommendations – By looking at sales history across your customer base the system is able to recommend products that may be a good fit. This can be done from within a quote, sales opportunity or even at the customer account level.
- Email engagement – Emails sent from either Outlook or from within Dynamics 365 are tracked and provide the sender with interaction information. See when recipients opened your message, clicked a link, opened an attachment, or sent a reply. The system will also help you schedule the most effective delivery time, and receive advice for the best time based on the recipient’ts time zone and suggests the most effective email templates based on past performance.
- Relationship Assistant – Dynamics 365 will help you better manage relationships by recommending actions to take. At a glance, you will see if there are overdue activities, customer service issues — even overlooked sales opportunities.
- Relationship Health – By learning from data from Office 365 (email) and information in Dynamics 365 the system will provide you with an overview of the health of your relationship with leads, contacts, and accounts. Using rich signals from Exchange and Microsoft Dynamics CRM you are able to automatically determine relationship health, risk and next best action, allowing your sales team to focus on selling to the right account at the right time.
Outlook and Office Integration
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is fully integrated with Outlook on the desktop, mobile and web (Office 365 or Hosted Exchange).
The Outlook integration offers many powerful functions including:
Link Outlook emails, meetings & appointments to any Dynamics 365 record – Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities etc. This allows you to centralize information around records in CRM rather than saving in Outlook folders.
View information from Dynamics 365 while you are working in Outlook. For example while in an email you can view company/contact information and last/next activities. Additionally, if you are using Dynamics 365 for Financials you would see account balances, overdue invoices etc.
Open Dynamics 365 records from within an email. One click launches the linked record from Dynamics 365 to give you a 360-degree view.
Add activities in Dynamics 365 directly from an email.
Use the email to create a new record in Dynamics 365.
Add email templates, knowledge base articles and sales literature when you create email messages in Outlook.
Integrate your Outlook contacts with Dynamics 365. This allows you to link Outlook contacts with Accounts in Dynamics 365.