Microsoft Dynamics CRM was replaced by Microsoft Dynamics 365 in November 2016 for improving customer engagement. Dynamics 365 is the go-to platform for enterprises looking for access to latest features. This blog attempts to identify what differentiates the two systems and why you should consider upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365.
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 is not a new product, but a repackaged bundle of Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s most popular applications. Dynamics 365 is a suite comprising six distinct but related apps namely Dynamics 365 for Sales, Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Dynamics 365 for Field Service, Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation, and Microsoft Dynamics Social Engagement. All these apps can either be purchased individually or under the Dynamics 365 Engagement Plan, which also includes ERP applications.
What Differentiates the Two Products?
Although the basic purpose and design architecture of both the systems is almost identical, Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes with enhanced features. Microsoft Dynamics CRM was launched in 2003 as a customer relationship management tool designed to assist enterprises in carrying out front-of-house operations like sales, customer care, and marketing. Over the next decade-and-a-half Dynamics CRM went on to garner a lot of attention becoming a highly adopted CRM suite.
By merging CRM applications with its ERP products, namely AX and NAV, Microsoft rebranded Microsoft Dynamics CRM as Microsoft Dynamics 365 with the idea to dissipate the conventional silos of external information (CRM) and internal information (ERP).
Under the umbrella of Dynamics 365 CRM sit several apps offering both CRM and ERP functionalities. It enables businesses to run all front-end and back-end operations from a single platform. Since its launch in 2016, Dynamics 365 has been regularly updated by Microsoft and generously infused with new technologies like AI and machine learning.
Below are a few key features which are exclusive to Microsoft Dynamics 365:
Microsoft has ensured that the business tools of Dynamics 365 work in cohesion to deliver great productivity and accurate information. Microsoft had acquired LinkedIn in 2016, so a big plus for Dynamics 365 CRM users is that the data from 500 million LinkedIn users can be easily integrated with Dynamics 365 CRM’s apps. LinkedIn data is natively built into Dynamics 365 via Microsoft Relationship Sales, which helps users find and build relationships with the right people on social media. Office 365 and Power BI are some of the other platforms that can be easily integrated with Dynamics 365 for providing performance insights into their business operations. Furthermore, Dynamics 365 comes bundled with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, two latest tools for helping users create apps, integrate with both Microsoft and third-party apps and customize workflows.
The new interface for Dynamics 365 called the Unified Interface was unveiled by Microsoft in late 2017. The new interface was developed to achieve standardization across apps and move towards a more mobile-friendly look. The new interface ensures that the apps perform optimally across devices of all types and screen resolutions.
AI and Machine Learning
The latest October 2018 release introduced a new app called Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, which uses machine learning to deliver data-driven insights for better decision-making. Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives the freedom to users to spend time on bigger issues by automating certain business processes. For example, the Relationship Assistant featured in Dynamics 365 Sales analyzes information to intelligently generate action cards for maintaining the workflow. The Relationship Assistant takes customer relationship management to the next level by helping the sales team in keeping track of deadlines.
Why Upgrading to Dynamics 365 is “An Offer One Can’t Refuse?”
Apart from the new features that Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers, there are a few other compelling factors that make it imperative for you to consider an upgrade. Upgrading to the latest Dynamics 365 version ensures that you have access to latest updates and features. It is almost certain that the support for older Dynamics CRM versions would cease one day. While Microsoft has already stopped providing mainstream support for CRM 2011 and CRM 2013 since early 2019, support for CRM 2015 will end in early 2020. This means that your existing Dynamics CRM would only be entitled to basic security updates. Also, if you consider the license pricing, the cost of a Full User license for Dynamics 365 Engagement Plan is less than the top-end Enterprise license for Dynamics CRM.
So if you are facing problems with your existing CRM solution, upgrade to Dynamics 365 by talking to an expert, who can assist you in switching over and discover the ease of managing customers.