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Showing posts from October, 2016

Understanding Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business and Dynamics 365 Enterprise Editions

Microsoft recently released additional information on the new Dynamics 365 Business and Enterprise editions.  Dynamics 365 was announced on October 11 and will be available on November 1, 2016.  The Dynamics 365 brand will be the umbrella for customer relationship management (CRM) products, CRM add-ins, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) products.

I wrote recent posts on Microsoft's vision for Dynamics 365Dynamics 365 pricing and implications of Dynamics 365 for xRM scenarios. Today I'm expanding the discussion on editions of Dynamics 365.

Enterprise Edition

The Enterprise edition of Dynamics 365 is optimized for organizations with over 250 employees. It includes Dynamics AX called Dynamics 365 for Operations as its ERP component. There is a minimum user count of 20 users for Enterprise edition plan 2 and Dynamics CRM for Operations (included in plan 2).

The Enterprise edition subscriptions include dual use rights allowing use of the on-premises software where applicable…

Dynamics 365 and xRM: What Comes Next?

Not long after Microsoft released Dynamics CRM, customers and Microsoft partners found ways to use the product beyond the traditional sales, marketing, and customer service functions which define customer relationship management.  Microsoft adopted the moniker "xRM" to describe these on-traditional uses of CRM in which "x" stands for other relationships such as citizens, employees, patients and much more. Some Microsoft partners even user xRM in their company names. Dynamics 365 moves in the direction of providing licensing options more appropriate for xRM.

The premise of xRM is that it takes advantage of a comprehensive and mature platform which is useful for many business applications.  It comes with a rich data model, a granular security model, mobile apps, cloud hosting and wide support by Microsoft and thousands of Microsoft services partners.  Compared to custom development, xRM allows more rapid solution development. Third parties also crank out apps and ut…

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing: 6 Reasons Not to Panic

Last week Microsoft announced its Dynamics 365 family of products and pricing which will take effect on November 1, 2016.  The announcement received significant press coverage and I wrote a blog post on the vision behind this move.  The Wall Street Journal has written on how Microsoft is upping its game to compete with Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP for the enterprise software market.

Microsoft has de-bundled Dynamics CRM Online into modules for sales, customer service, and marketing, added several new apps, and made some Dynamics ERP products available under the Dynamics 365.

There is quite a bit to digest here, but Microsoft offered several reasons why current Dynamics CRM customers should not panic:

Current Dynamics CRM customers can continue their subscriptions or change to the Dynamics 365 apps and bundles.If you are using all the modules in Dynamics CRM, the Dynamics 365 Enterprise Plan 1 will include all these and more: Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Auto…

Dynamics 365 Shows Microsoft's Bold Vision

With the release of Dynamics 365, the New Microsoft, under the leadership of chief executive officer Satya Nadella, has revealed its bold vision to not only embrace but to lead new trends in business computing.

Dynamics 365 is a collection of cloud apps and services for business, allowing customers to mix and match the features they need from a lengthy catalog including sales, marketing, customer service, field service, project management, accounting, and more.

Dynamics 365 hits all of today's top computing trends.  It is cloud-based (although customers may deploy on premises, unlike some of Microsoft's competitors). Dynamics 365 takes advantage of machine learning and artificial intelligence, weaving in elements of Cortana and other Microsoft AI work.  Dynamics Connected Field Service weaves in the Internet of Things (IoT) to feed sensor data from devices which triggers service calls and dispatches trucks with technicians if necessary. Microsoft has embedded analytics and B…

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Contract Management

Many organizations, including government agencies, track contracts with vendors, grantees, health care providers and other parties, and need systems to keep track of the workflow associated with executing and maintaining the contracts.

InfoStrat has helped commercial and government clients implement online contract management.

For Microsoft shops, the first product to come to mind may be SharePoint.  SharePoint offers document management, check-in and check-out, version control as well as intranet and extranet capabilities.  All these are important for contract management, but they may not be sufficient on their own.

Dynamics CRM can augment SharePoint by providing its workflow engine, dashboards and reporting that make it easier to manage a larger number of contracts along with organizational contacts, automated emails and merged documents.  The Business Process Flow capability in Dynamics CRM graphically shows were a contract is in the drafting and signature process.  Record owne…