The way we do business is changing, quickly. Change is inevitable, and the way you connect your company, customers, and data directly impacts customer experiences, business operations, and financial growth. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is changing the way we use to interact with customers.

Follow along as we answer the questions: What is Microsoft Dynamics? How does it work? Why should I use it?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a customer relationship solution that helps businesses organize and manage their customer and lead data through a set of five cloud-based applications within a singular portfolio. The applications are: Dynamics 365 for Sales, Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Dynamics 365 for Field Service, and Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation.

The diverse portfolio allows businesses to build a complete picture of its relationship with its customers so they can create a personalized customer experience.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portfolio by parts

Each part of Dynamics 365 plays a specific role in the functionality of the whole portfolio. While an individual app may stand out as the most relevant to you and your company, the adoption of more than one app unlocks synergies in the form of “Business Intelligence Processes.” Let’s briefly break down each piece to better understand how they fit together.

Dynamics 365 for Sales

Dynamics 365 for Sales allows users to manage sales processes including lead generation, pipeline management, account management and reporting. It centralizes all sales leads, collects data and automates repetitive areas of the cycle. Know more.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Dynamics 365 for Marketing provides users with the tools to run targeted, multi-channel campaigns through marketing automation, shared data and processes connected to Dynamics 365 Sales. It improves marketing performance with AI-driven insights, lead scoring, and custom dashboards. Explore more.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service helps businesses manage customer issues and help customers find solutions to their queries fast. It enables agents to create cases, record all interactions, and solve issues through the customer’s preferred channel. Know more.

Dynamics 365 for Field Service

Dynamics 365 for Field Service enables users to manage work orders, scheduling, and assignment of resources for agents who work outside the user’s office. This mobile-friendly tool provides a central location for resources such as manuals, documentation, and training materials. It allows field agents to access all the information they need to get the job done. Learn more.

Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation

Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation assists project-based organizations to deliver on-time and on-budget results with tools to plan, resource, and execute billable work. It ties together all aspects of project delivery including finance, personnel management, and commerce. Read more information about it.

But, Why should I use a Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution?

In a Gartner Magic Quadrant report on 14 vendors of customer service and support applications, Microsoft Dynamics 365 stood out as a leader in CRM technology citing its strengths and cautions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Strengths

  • Dynamics 365 employs Native AI that reduces the need for data scientists and developers. It is used to intelligently offer knowledge articles, drive decision making and identify automation opportunities.
  • Dynamics offers a complete ecosystem of software applications and an established community of partners.
  • It provides extensive support for the integration of multiple line-of-business applications. Customer engagements are supported by a unified agent view and rich process automation (RPA).
  • Its price is comparable to other products, but with a lot more functionality.
  • Its user-friendly interface increases user adoption.

Dynamics 365 Cautions

  • Customers indicated that, if product quality issues surface, Microsoft can be slow to help address them.
  • Microsoft relies on third-party integration with CafeX’s Live Assist to offer chat, video and co-browsing support. The integration has proved to be less than seamless.
  • It is necessary to source references for specific application features needed to address a user’s key requirements.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center 2019

Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center by Gartner

According to the Microsoft Dynamics website, Gartner has positioned Dynamics 365 in the leaders’ quadrant “based on its completeness of vision and ability to execute in the customer engagement center market.”

As Gartner notes, “Digital business models, improved AI maturity and connected customer service ecosystems are changing how organizations engage with customers and manage customer service teams.”

Licensing, Deployment, and Partnership— Oh My!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 not only offers users options for the pieces they use, but they have extensive options for licensing and deployment. New Dynamics 365 customers wishing to purchase CRM software have three options: purchase apps individually, purchase the Customer Engagement Plan which includes four core CRM apps and a social media app called Microsoft Social Engagement or purchase Dynamics 365 plan. Additionally, users can purchase either a Full User License or a Team Member License.

Depending on the needs of the company and the licensing they choose, pricing will vary. There is different pricing for each plan and within each plan, there are different prices for the two types of licenses.

Once a user chooses what they need, they can choose how they need it. Dynamics 365 can be deployed in three different ways: cloud, on-premise, and hybrid. Luckily, there are trusted Microsoft Partners that can help you choose the apps you need, the package you want, and how you want it to work within your company.