For months now, you’ve likely been reading about Microsoft Dynamics 365™ (formerly Microsoft Dynamics® CRM) software. Has Dynamics CRM been replaced or renamed?
Never fear: Dynamics CRM isn’t gone. It just got better. The functionality of Dynamics CRM is still available, but along with the software’s new name, Microsoft Dynamics 365, there is much more that is new – and better.
The final release in May 2016 of Dynamics CRM was version 2016 Service Pack 1. In November 2016, Microsoft introduced Dynamics 365 software. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition software includes the functionality of Dynamics CRM and could be considered Service Pack 2. People using Dynamics CRM 2016 should consider Dynamics 365 software as their next upgrade.
But the changes go beyond a new name. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Enterprise edition software – the ERP functionality formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics® AX – includes added functionality. This integration retains the functionality of Dynamics CRM, but it’s now an entirely new solution, incorporating features not available in other CRM solutions.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise Customer Engagement Plan (formerly known as Enterprise Plan 1) includes sales, customer service, field service, project service automation, marketing, and customer insights capabilities, Microsoft PowerApps® software, and Microsoft Flow® software. The Dynamics 365 Plan (formerly known as Enterprise Plan 2) retains all the functionality of the Customer Engagement Plan, but it also offers the ERP functionality, including retail, talent, and finance and operations capabilities.
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Here are some of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 features I’m most excited about:
Business process flow enhancements. In Dynamics 365 software, the business process has been enhanced and includes a drag-and-drop design and workflows that run based on server and business process flow events.
Added configurations. Dynamics 365 software features built-in configurations that don’t require coding and customization.
Site map design. The site map defines the menus in Dynamics 365 software, and now users have the ability to edit the site map by dragging and dropping certain menu items.
Dynamics 365 app for Microsoft® Outlook® software. This feature is a nice alternative to the Outlook email client, which many people did not like.
Enhanced search functions. With Dynamics 365 software, users can locate records in search fields and subgrids using the “Quick Find” function. Also, with the new search enhancements, users can drill into the records they searched for to see other facets of those records without having to start a new search. This saves time and makes a lot of sense.
Learning path tool. This tool lets users define how they want to be guided through the use of a specific area with walkthroughs, videos, and articles – right in the app.
Microsoft Flow software. This feature allows users to integrate different applications such as Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint®, and it helps them to connect the dots and to move through multiple applications.
Microsoft PowerApps software. Users can quickly and easily create some simple business apps with no coding required. For example, a salesperson can create a simple account overview app to gain quick access to account information, visibility into current sales revenue, and the ability to easily enter new sales opportunities.
Portals. New points of entry offer much more flexibility in Dynamics 365 software than was available in the earlier versions.
Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Flow, Outlook, PowerApps, and SharePoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.