Microsoft Dynamics CRM has long helped many client-focused businesses more efficiently and effectively interact with customers, build relationships and encourage sales. The advantages of using a CRM solution developed by a giant in the industry and supported by a respected CRM partner are many, and plenty of companies have realized the value of this platform. With the announcement of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials – a new, cloud-deployed solution that offers an attractive mix of CRM and ERP features – companies interested in acquiring a new CRM solution or upgrading from a current system may be unsure of how to proceed. Let’s take a look at Microsoft’s current CRM landscape.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition offers exciting new options Dynamics 365 has a lot to offer companies that need a powerful solution to manage customers, track sales activities and encourage future purchases. As the CRM Software Blog said, the basis of Dynamics 365 for Financials – the small- and midsize-business version of the new platform – is Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

The same presentation and many of the features that exist in the most current version of Dynamics NAV are present in Dynamics 365 for Financials. While the system will run leaner in some respects – not every single feature will carry over from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 for Financials – a strong base still exists and there is also some additional functionality unique to Dynamics 365 for Financials. Changes to the new platform will benefit users, with the development of an app store featuring add-on solutions on a buy-as-needed basis, a change that’s likely to benefit small and midsize businesses. It’s important to view Microsoft’s new offering not as a major disruption of Dynamics CRM, but an evolution of that platform. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition’s main components includes:

  • Dynamics 365 For Financials
  • Dynamics for Sales
  • Dynamics for Customer Service
  • Dynamics for Marketing
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Microsoft PowerApps

Making the right decisions Many in the technology media and beyond, including Fortune, are pointing to Microsoft’s integration of CRM and ERP applications – and the introduction of artificial intelligence – as major steps for the development of business software. There are many other changes and improvements to consider, such as deployment through Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The mix of customizability in terms of the Dynamics 365 app store and options for purchasing licenses based on employee roles are also attractive. For businesses that are new to the CRM marketplace, or haven’t been involved since they last purchased a solution some years ago, all these developments may be confusing. What can these companies do to ensure they realize the best CRM solution possible and extract the most value from it?

Organizations need to find a qualified CRM partner to help them through the many stages that make up an implementation project. From the initial gathering of data to ongoing support after the CRM solution goes live, an experienced and active partner is an indispensable asset throughout the process. The guidance they provide steers businesses toward the right choices and away from costly or time-consuming options. With an industry shift in CRM and a major new development on the part of Microsoft, finding the right partner is even more important than ever.