New Dynamics 365 platform combines CRM and ERP functionality

  • Posted on November 14, 2016


On November 1, Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 - the next generation of the award-winning cloud CRM and ERP software. There is one thing in particular that makes the Dynamics 365 release special. For the first time, Microsoft has united the CRM and the ERP offerings into one product. ERP customers can now 'switch on' the CRM functionality for a small incremental fee and CRM customers can switch on ERP functionality. Consolidating the Microsoft investment across CRM and ERP is now an attractive option and a clear differentiator with other market leading competitors including Salesforce and Oracle Twitter [CLICK TO TWEET].

For existing customers, the consolidation would require an upgrade to Dynamics 365. Upgrades are easy, particularly for cloud CRM Online customers. Microsoft has also made sure that there are plenty of good reasons to upgrade including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and predictive capabilities such as 'Relationship Insights,' 'Predictive Cross-Sell / Up-Sell,' 'Pre-emptive Service' and autonomous bots. While Microsoft has been leading this trend, Salesforce, Oracle and SAP have also been focusing on machine learning applications. Aside from AI, Dynamics 365 benefits from many other enhancements including the sales and customer service capabilities, already rated market-leading by Gartner that are now even better. Noted improvements include enhanced social engagement, content collaboration, and field service capabilities. Dynamics 365 also remains the only IRAP-certified product with an Australian data centre.

In 2016, we have witnessed many events from Microsoft on a large scale. The year started with the flagship AX ERP product re-platformed for the web in March. Then came the announcement of the $26B LinkedIn acquisition in June that gave Microsoft a treasure trove of relationship data to mine. Later in September, we saw a 6-year contract to supply the CRM cloud offering to HP's 20K+ workforce. Hot off the heels of the HP deal, there came the announcement of the strategic alliance with Adobe. Under the deal, Adobe's top-shelf marketing suite augments the Microsoft CRM offering. So whether your organization uses Adobe, or uses Sitecore that is built on the Microsoft platform, you can take full advantage of the capabilities provided by Dynamics 365.

Microsoft has been hard at work in 2016 to boost its CRM and ERP marketshare. The growth has been slower than expected in the last three years. In fairness, Oracle and SAP have fared worse in the same period. They both lost some of their marketshare, albeit to Salesforce. Microsoft calls Dynamics 365 "the next generation of intelligent business applications." It is an attractive union of CRM and ERP with Adobe's marketing prowess, AI, and keen pricing. Dynamics 365 can run your business end-to-end and no other product or platform can say the same. The real question is whether it's enough to make headway against a dominant Salesforce. Is the HP deal a one-off or a trend-setter? Either way, looks like 2017 will be an exciting year.

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