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Microsoft Dynamics 365

In 2016 Microsoft made the fateful decision to launch Dynamics 365 by combining Dynamics AX (an ERP platform) and Dynamics CRM applications. In doing so, Microsoft effectively became the pioneer in offering an integrated business applications solution.   

What truly makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 so great is its all-encompassing nature. You get access to many intelligent business applications under one roof. This saves you the painstaking process of choosing different applications to suit your business needs.   

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based business applications solution that combines artificial intelligence tools and productivity applications. It also brings together components of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM).   

Different Editions of Dynamics 365  

Dynamics 365 mainly comes in two different editions. It has a Business Edition designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It also has an Enterprise Edition aimed at fulfilling the requirements of medium to large-sized enterprises.  

Let’s look at each of these briefly.   

  • Enterprise Edition – It includes both Microsoft PowerApps and Dynamics CRM applications. The latter has in its scope sales, field services, customer service, and project automation services. Moreover, it comes equipped with Microsoft’s top-notch ERP solution Dynamics 365, for achieving operational excellence.   
  • Business Edition – The Dynamics 365 Business Edition evolved from project Madiera, a cloud-based CRM/ERP. It is recommended for companies that have 100 – 250 employees. It offers three modules: Finance & Operations, Marketing, and Sales.   

There are two ways to categorize Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions further: industry-wise and needs-based solutions. Let’s briefly explore both categories so you can make an informed decision about which solution(s) to deploy.  

Industry-wise Dynamics 365 Solutions  

1. Manufacturing  

Dynamics 365 offers solutions that are tailored to meet the demands of manufacturers. They enable manufacturers to strengthen their manufacturing process by connecting systems and data.   

It empowers the user to minimize disruptions by anticipating change and making the right decisions accordingly. Moreover, it helps build lasting customer relationships by providing real-time insights and reducing time to market.   

Dynamics 365 solutions for manufacturers include the following services and features:  

  • Design and training  
  • Planning and sourcing  
  • Production and distribution  
  • Asset management  
  • Sales  
  • Service  

2. Financial Services  

The financial services solution enhances business outcomes by providing automation and proactive insights. It enables the company to personalize customer experiences and improve employee productivity.   

Moreover, it is specifically aimed at meeting the needs of the banking and insurance industries. It helps achieve the following goals and tasks:  

  • Customer acquisition  
  • Risk management  
  • Operations optimization  
  • Customer service  
  • Finance  
  • Customer onboarding  
  • Policyholder onboarding & support  

3. Healthcare  

The healthcare industry is undergoing a digital revolution. Everything is being automated, and AI is being deployed to improve healthcare outcomes worldwide.   

The Dynamics 365 solution for healthcare empowers teams to synchronize and collaborate their efforts across different organizations. It provides rich clinical and operational insights that help determine risk and enhance patient care. It offers solutions for three healthcare-associated businesses: providers, payors, and life sciences organizations (pharmaceuticals).   

They include the following tools for improving the healthcare services of providers, payors, and life sciences organizations:  

Providers  

  • Pre-visit  
  • Provider visit  
  • Care Plan  
  • Post-visit  

Payors  

  • Member recruitment  
  • Individual and broker sales  
  • Care management enrollment  
  • Care and case management  
  • Member engagement  

Life sciences organizations 

  • Research  
  • Clinical trials  
  • Supply planning and distribution  
  • Clinical Manufacturing  
  • Sales, marketing, and service  

4. Retail  

The Dynamics 365 business application solution for retailers provides rich customer-centric retail experiences. It enables retailers to build new brand advocates, increase customer engagement, and provide guided customer journeys that increase customer satisfaction.   

It offers tools that help achieve the following:  

  • Evaluation  
  • Purchase  
  • Post-purchase  
  • Merchandising   
  • Retail operations  
  • Fulfillment   

Needs-based Dynamics 365 Solutions  

5. Sales  

It is a collaborative and digital sales engagement solution that employs AI-driven insights to accelerate revenue growth. This brings together the entire sales department to improve the customers’ journeys.   

It helps in:  

  • Personalizing selling at scale  
  • Increasing pipeline velocity  
  • Coaching sellers using behavioral insights  
  • Prioritizing the best leads  
  • Workflow collaboration  
  • Increasing revenue using AI  
  • Improving customer journey by making each customer conversation meaningful  
  • Winning new customers through teamwork  
  • Predicting and managing pipelines  

The following types of users utilize the Dynamics 365 Sales solution.  

Sellers  

  • Prioritized activities and customers  
  • Useful conversation techniques  
  • Built-in-collaboration  

Sales managers  

  • Forecasting and planning  
  • Real-time visibility  
  • Coaching at scale  

Sales operations  

  • Tailor-made for specific roles  
  • Customizable AI  
  • Configurable sales process  

Microsoft Sales Relationship  

There is also the Microsoft Sales Relationship product that comes within the category of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales solutions. It offers the following capabilities:  

  • Find people most likely to buy  
  • Drive engagement via personalized content  
  • Keep track of customers  
  • Streamline customer research  
  • Mitigate opportunity risks  
  • A unified view of all interactions  

6. Marketing 

This solution seeks to provide elevated customer experiences by orchestrating personalized journeys across every touchpoint. It significantly contributes toward building strong relationships and increasing customer loyalty.   

  • Engaging customers in real-time  
  • Delivering the right content on the right channel  
  • Earning customer loyalty faster  
  • Personalizing customer experiences using AI  
  • Protecting customer data and meeting compliance requirements  
  • Experimentation and Optimization  

7. Customer Data Platform  

The Customer Data Platform offered by Dynamics 365 is all about improving customer experiences. This enables your company to build deeper, long-lasting relationships with customers by driving relevant customer engagements. It puts your company in complete control of the customer data.   

This includes the following two products and their respective capabilities.   

Customer Insights  

The Customer Insights solution provides a 360-degree view of the customers. It can work across various channels and is compatible with your existing tech stack. Moreover, it combines behavioral, transactional, and demographic data to make multi-dimensional profiles for B2B and B2C organizations.   

It helps you:  

  • Orchestrate and optimize real-time customer journeys  
  • Protect customer privacy while offering a personalized experience  
  • Improve loyalty and retention  
  • Turn unknown and known prospects into raving fans  
  • Uphold compliance   

Customer Voice  

It is an easy-to-use scalable feedback management solution that gathers, analyzes, and tracks real-time customer feedback. It allows you to:  

  • Capture customer feedback instantly across marketing channels  
  • Conduct personalized surveys  
  • Track customer perception of your products  
  • Unearth deeper insights regarding customer trends and sentiments  
  • Customize workflows, receive automatic alerts, and generate predictive insights  

9. Service  

The Dynamics 365 Service solution offers three products to improve customer service delivery. They are:  

Customer Service  

The Dynamics 365 Customer Service solution aims to provide a personalized and seamless service to retain customers for life. Its features and capabilities include:  

  • Personalized customer experience  
  • Self-service support  
  • Increased agent productivity  
  • Proactive service delivery using IoT alerts  
  • Consistent support across channels  
  • Integrated case management  
  • Visibility of issue history  
  • Real-time customer sentiment analysis  
  • Context-driven agent suggestions  
  • Live chat engagement and support  
  • Omnichannel customer engagement  
  • Native voice channel  

Field Service  

The Dynamics 365 Field Service solution offers improved customer service by utilizing data insights and connecting customer experiences. Using it gives the following advantages:  

  • Empathetic and connected service experiences  
  • Increased worker productivity using smart route planning  
  • Optimized service operations using AI-driven tools  
  • Use mixed reality to enable real-time remote expert collaboration  
  • Optimize scheduling by maximizing technician utilization  
  • Geofencing capabilities  
  • Manage and track assets using IoT  

Remote Assist  

It offers remote expert support to technicians anytime, anywhere. Remote assist can be accessed via mobile or used hands-free with Microsoft HoloLens 2. It reduces costs and helps resolve issues faster.   

Its advantages include:   

  • Real-time problem-solving capabilities  
  • Easy integration with other Microsoft applications  
  • Carry out remote inspection of sites  
  • Asset tracking and data  
  • Increased visibility using call analytics   

10. Commerce  

Dynamics 365 Commerce is a complete omnichannel solution that combines in-store, back-office, e-commerce, and call center experiences for businesses and customers.   

Its benefits include:  

  • Consistent and frictionless customer engagement across offline and online channels  
  • Tools to run a scalable digital commerce solution  
  • Personalized commerce experiences through user-friendly applications supported by powerful back-office operations  
  • Business optimization  
  • Increased ROI through AI capabilities  
  • Native support for omnichannel purchasing  
  • Scalability via headless commerce engine  
  • Centralized management of commerce operations  
  • AI-moderated products reviews and ratings  

Connected Spaces  

Previously, the Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces solution was known as Dynamics 365 Connected Store. It empowers your company to harness observational data and employ AI-powered models to unlock business environment insights. This allows you to be aware of trends and patterns and respond to the same in real time.   

Its advantages include:  

  • Generate insights using AI-powered tools and skills  
  • Identify trouble areas and business opportunities  
  • Improved customer engagement  
  • Optimized staffing  

Fraud Protection  

The Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection solution arms your company with tools to defend against abuse and fraud. It is an adaptive AI technology that continuously learns the ever-changing fraud patterns.  

Its advantages are:  

  • Defense against fake account creation, bot attacks, fraudulent account access, and account takeovers.  
  • Reduced payment fraud  
  • Increased transaction acceptance rate  
  • Identify discrepancies and potential fraud on discounts and returns  
  • Customized protection strategy  
  • Built-in device fingerprinting keeps customer privacy intact  

11. Supply Chain  

The Dynamics 365 Supply Chain solution boasts four products, all geared towards overcoming supply chain-related problems and challenges.   

Let’s look at each of these.  

Supply Chain Management  

The Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management product seeks to build adaptable supply chains for businesses. It offers agile planning, real-time visibility, and business continuity.   

Its advantages include:  

  • Design products accurately and speedily  
  • Confident and agile planning  
  • Cost efficiency during procurement  
  • Innovation and sustainability  
  • Deliver with expediency and consistency  
  • Foresight and precision in business operations  
  • Integrated warehouse management  
  • Real-time and priority-based planning  
  • Edge warehousing and manufacturing  

Supply Chain Insights  

The Supply Chain Insights application removes siloes by taking and connecting inputs from the existing supply chain systems across the company. It enables you to construct a digital representation of your physical supply chain. It also helps enhance the end-to-end visibility of an entire value chain.   

 The benefits of employing it are:  

  • Proactive risk mitigation  
  • Resilient and robust supply chains  
  • Advanced analytics and insights based on AI  
  • Multi-tier supplier visibility  
  • Identify risks and avoid disruptions  
  • Secure data-sharing with partners and suppliers  

Guides  

Dynamics 365 Guides offers your employees a set of step-by-step holographic instructions that reduce errors and increase productivity. It also helps accelerate employee learning. But it requires the Microsoft HoloLens 2 hardware to work.   

Its advantages include:   

  • Increased worker productivity via guidance  
  • Seamless collaboration between team members for real-time problem-solving  
  • Easy-to-use and adaptable  
  • Improved operational efficiency using data-driven insights  

Intelligent Oder Management  

The Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management applications empower you to fulfill your order promises on a timely basis. It uses AI, real-time omnichannel inventory data, machine learning, and automation to make order fulfillment efficient.   

Its advantages are:  

  • Optimize and automate order fulfillment  
  • Manage the complete order lifecycle on a single platform  
  • Ability to quickly adapt to changing business needs  
  • Enhanced customer experience  
  • Immense capability to scale in the cloud  
  • Event-driven orchestration  
  • Effective returns management  
  • Easy integration with other systems     

Conclusion  

The list of applications that come under the Dynamics 365 business applications solution is quite long. We have also enumerated the benefits you can reap from these applications.  

Hope this article gives you the relevant information to make an informed decision for your business. And we are optimistic that you will agree with us when we say that Dynamics 365 is your one-stop business applications solution.   

After all, which other business applications solution offers so much under one roof?  

If you wish to know more about Microsoft Dynamics 365, please reach out to us at info@xavor.com 

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Muhammad Abbas

Muhammad Abbas is an anthropologist at heart and a Marketing Specialist by profession. He has worked with leading marketing agencies over the years. While he considers himself a history buff, his interests also extend to topics like politics, economics, social justice, climate change, and tech.