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Intergen customers get first look at Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft will begin rolling out the first parts of its new Azure-hosted 365 suite on November 1. Visitors to Intergen’s Dynamics Day 2016 in Auckland had a sneak preview.

Dynamics 365 is a reboot of Microsoft’s key business applications. It pulls together the company’s CRM and ERP tools under a single umbrella.

The suite covers sales, customer service, field service, operations, marketing and service automation. There is also a new Dynamics NAV-based small business software-as-a-service financials module. Microsoft has added a customer insights app that uses the Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI is part of the mix.

Everything in Dynamics 365 is underpinned by a single common data model and is cloud hosted using Azure. It also integrates with Microsoft Office 365. The software is modular; you only need to buy the components you need. The components will all use a modern, more user-oriented pricing and delivery mechanism.

Ready for digital transformation

Speaking at Intergen Dynamics Day 2016, James Page says the key to understanding Dynamics 365 is that it is less about technology and more about business strategy.

Page is Intergen General Manager Dynamics Solutions and put the suite in perspective. He says it gives businesses the tools they need as they look to digital transformation.

“Dynamics 365 is about finding new ways to engage customers. About attracting, retaining and being relevant to customers. It’s about leveraging the new platforms, especially making something out of social media. It’s about empowering employees to be responsive and motivating them to deliver outstanding service. It’s also about optimising your operations so you can respond in a timely manner”, he says.

Page says Dynamics 365 gives the tools to be agile and the intelligence to recognise emerging market opportunities. He says:  "without the right foundation digital transformation will not happen. Without transformation we lose relevance in today’s instant gratification economy”.

All the software builds on Microsoft’s familiar user interface. If you can use Office — and who doesn’t? — you’ll find it easy to navigate Dynamics 365.

Intergen’s Steven Foster previews Dynamics 365
Intergen’s Steven Foster previews Dynamics 365

Easy is the word Intergen's Dynamics CRM solution specialist Steven Foster calls on to describe how the software works in everyday use. In the past business processes were disjointed and data would sit in separate silos. Foster says in the past people would have come to Dynamics Days and seen two separate streams dealing with CRM and ERP; “There were superficial differences between them. They were not necessarily fully integrated, users needed third-party applications to bring the tools together. We would talk about sharing information between systems but at some point you’d need another tool to make that happen”.

He says Dynamics 365 is a combination of all this, but now under one umbrella. “We now talk about apps. So there’s a sales app, a customer service app and operations. These are all apps that we use at a different point in the business process. Combining all these apps into one Dynamics 365 platform is not the end of it. We want to use all the power of Microsoft’s software in the cloud to release additional capability”, he says

So, if you want to create a sales quote from CRM or an invoice from the operations side of the business, you can now do that direct from Microsoft Word and then email it out seamlessly.

This is what Foster calls the prospect-to-cash workflow, where a single suite of software manages everything from the moment a customer first touches a company through to the point where the invoice is settled.

Posted by: Bill Bennett, Guest Contributor | 26 October 2016

Tags: Microsoft Dynamics, Dynamics 365

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