Microsoft is calling Dynamics 365 their next generation of business apps in the cloud. It brings together the trusted Microsoft capability, productivity, advanced analytics, Power BI, Cortana Analytics, Azure IoT, and a newly formed common data model as a platform. The Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition will conjoin the current Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM, together with PowerApps, Power BI and Microsoft Flow into a single shared platform that you can either modify and adapt, or acquire as a packaged solution with great savings in cost.
What are the key differentiators of Dynamics 365?
- Built-in intelligence
Dynamics 365 harnesses big data, merges it with other business applications & processes, cutting-edge analytics and IoT – all out of the box. This brings you the next level in analytics, allowing for practical guidance of employees and clients in order to make intelligent and informed decisions. The combined power of machine learning and the cloud in Dynamics 365 gives new meaning to what we know as built-in intelligence.
- Optimised productivity
Is your business aware of how much time is lost in productivity daily? Moving between tools and applications can be time-consuming, inevitably costing your organisation, and the global economy, millions each year.
- Integrated Workflow
Dynamics 365 fuses different workflows and applications in a structured and simple way – arming users with a new world of combined functionality and productivity. Screen- and task switching is taken down to a minimum, leaving users with time saved and anticipated actions within their workflow. The common data model allows for working across different platforms, including Office 365, Power BI, Dynamics 365 and more.
- Unbound growth
With Dynamics 365 your applications are optimised in real time. This means that your business models are constantly monitored, modified and extended – allowing for unlimited value growth in your software. No extra cost, no inconvenience and no unnecessary integration into additional solutions.
During the launch event there were many questions raised around Microsoft Dynamics 365, we captured the 10 most asked questions, and the response from Microsoft moderators.
Q: What is the difference between Dynamics 365 Business and Dynamics 365 Enterprise?
A: Two editions of Microsoft Dynamics 365, “Business” for SMBs, and “Enterprise” for larger deployments will be available. Each edition has a set of purpose-built applications. For example, Operations, Sales, and Customer Service.
Dynamics 365 offers customers the flexibility to grow at their own pace and expand into additional capabilities with the ease to run their entire business in the trusted Microsoft cloud.
There are 2 ways to license Dynamics 365 – by application or by personalized role. Role-based licensing is designed to help customers to support their employees in real world, enabling them to access functionality across all applications within Dynamics 365.
Q: Microsoft execs say Dynamics 365 is not just about repackaging, but also re-architecting. What constitutes the re-architecting?
A: Microsoft Dynamics 365 is our next generation of business apps in the cloud. These apps bring together the full power of Microsoft across productivity, advanced analytics, Power BI and IoT, with the strength of Azure and a new application platform and common data model.
The common data model is a cloud-resident business database, built on years of experience with our enterprise customers. It will come with hundreds of standard business entities spanning both business process (Dynamics 365) and productivity (Office 365). The standardization and consistency of schema enables partners to build innovative applications and to automate business processes spanning the entire business process spectrum with confidence their solutions can be easily deployed and used across Microsoft’s entire customer base.
Q: Will the repackaging and re-architecting of this offering also be available to on premise versions of Dynamics CRM and ERP? If so, when will it be available and will it replace the way the products are sold now?
A: For customers currently using Dynamics cloud solutions, both Dynamics CRM online and Dynamics AX online, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has been specifically and carefully designed to be a seamless transition.
For those requiring solutions for either on-premises or in private clouds, we will continue to innovate and support, our great Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, NAV, GP and SL solutions. We will also offer customers connectors to be used as a hybrid of on-premises and cloud solutions, as well as a migration path when they are ready to move to the cloud.
Q: Does Dynamics 365 include Office 365, Azure IOT, PowerBI, and Cortana Intelligence?
A: Office 365 is a separate product/service/offering. Dynamics 365 will have Azure IoT, Power PI and Customer Insights.
Q: What happens to customers with multi-year agreements?
A: Customers in multi-year agreements will stay on existing licences, until renewal. They can add seats of existing licences until then.
Q: When will Adobe Cloud marketing be made available?
A: Exact dates to be communicated closer to 2017.
Q: Should Power BI be purchased or is it included in business applications and plans?
A: Power BI is purchased separately.
Q: Which edition of Dynamics 365 will be sold directly to customers?
A: The Enterprise edition will be available for purchase directly (only for Plan 1 apps and Plan 1 – e.g. not for Operations).
Q: Will AX7 be offered on premise?
A: The exact timeline is still to be decided. From a technical perspective, the current plan for on premise is to be dependent on the release of Azure Stack technology.
Q: Will Microsoft Dynamics Marketing be included in Dynamics 365?
A: Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will not be included in Dynamics 365. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will no longer be sold to new customers starting November 1st, 2016. Existing customers in an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or in MOSP (web-direct) will be able to renew their existing agreements through October 31st, 2017 (EA customers for 3 years, web-direct customers for 1 year).
Microsoft is has partnered with Adobe Marketing Cloud and is positioning this as its Marketing platform of choice. This solution is planned for the spring of 2017. Pricing and licensing details will be made available prior to release.