Microsoft Dynamics 365 was officially unveiled to the public on Tuesday, October 11th. After months (years), of planning, Microsoft pulled out all the stops for its Dynamics 365 announcement at the Dynamics User Group Summit in Tampa, FL. The atmosphere at the keynote can only be described as electric with musical performances pumping up the crowd before Scott Guthrie took the stage. (Re-watch the announcement.)
One of the most surprising, yet unsurprising, takeaways from the announcement was the end of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. That’s right, you heard me. Dynamics CRM Online is no more!
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications. These applications unify CRM and ERP capabilities by delivering new purpose-built applications that work seamlessly together to help manage specific business functions such as sales, operations, financials, field service and project service automation.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 differentiates itself from other business solutions through four pillars:
- Purpose-built – build your solution with only what you need. Then, evolve and adapt from that starting point.
- Productive – integration with tools you are familiar using throughout your workday.
- Intelligent – the ability to make better decisions with built-in business intelligence.
- Adaptable – as your business grows, so can this solution.
What does this mean for current Dynamics CRM On-premise and Online users?
Don’t worry, you’re not going to be ostracized from the group. Microsoft still loves you, as do we! Microsoft has said that existing Dynamics CRM Online (as well as Dynamics) AX7 customers will be able to automatically update their systems to Dynamics 365 without making major changes or losing functionality. For those that do not upgrade right away or use an on-premise version, at some point they will find the need to upgrade their CRM, and at that time they may find the need to switch to Dynamics 365. It is important to note that Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premise is not being abandoned as a platform or as a brand.
SBS Group will continue to consult and assist CRM clients and prospects looking for a standalone CRM solution. That includes all of our clients using Dynamics CRM Online and On-premise now.
However, like I mentioned previously, Dynamics CRM Online will be ending. So, those searching for Dynamics CRM Online will now be purchasing Dynamics 365. Instead of the term “CRM,” Dynamics 365 will use terms like “Sales,” “Customer Service” and “Field Service” to describe its functionality.
Is this transition away from “CRM Online” a bad thing? No.
Some may think that Microsoft is distancing themselves from the CRM market since they are eliminating the name. It is actually quite the opposite. As an example, Salesforce has recently re-positioned their brand and now refers to the capabilities of CRM such as the “Marketing Cloud” or the “Sales Cloud,” rather than CRM as a whole. Additionally, Salesforce has changed their pricing model to reflect some of the same sentiments that Microsoft is addressing in its Dynamics 365 pricing model. Dynamics 365 signals an embrace of business solutions as a whole. This solution employs a more realistic business model where employees touch multiple aspects of the business, not just Sales or Marketing. It offers a more holistic approach to managing and interacting with your business application, especially when you factor in the native capability of Cortana Intelligence.
Why is Dynamics 365 so great?
Take your pick…
- Completely in the Cloud – Simply available wherever you go. (News about on-premise versions will be forthcoming in the next few months.)
- Smarter Interactions – Cortana Intelligence populates your feed and activities based on nuances it has picked up on in your emails, phone calls and tasks.
- Clean Interface – The user interface of Dynamics 365 makes it easy for users to navigate and complete various tasks quicker.
- Native Integration with Business Intelligence Apps – Your dashboards will fill with graphs and key insights to visually show you how your business is doing and what opportunities you can take advantage of.
- Seamless Productivity – Office 365 and Dynamics 365 are the two best friends that anyone could have. Dynamics 365 will pull information stored on your Office 365 account and vice versa.
- Better Sourced Data and Insights – Dynamics 365 was one of the main reasons for Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. New Dynamics 365 applications will provide sales reps and marketing professionals more targeted leads and campaign information.
If you want to learn more details about the Dynamics 365 announcement and features, read Robbie Morrison’s latest blog post from the Dynamics User Group Summit16.
It was nice knowing you…
We will miss you Dynamics CRM Online. The sudden finality of your departure will sting for a few weeks, but knowing we will see your new, powerful younger brother on November 1st gives us excitement and hope for a great future.
Onto Dynamics 365!
Want to learn more about Dynamics 365?
Contact us to request pricing information and additional product insights.