Microsoft Dynamics 365: Hype vs. Fact

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No matter how much a software vendor hypes up a product or solution, nothing the company releases will be absolutely perfect. There will always be limitations, drawbacks, disadvantages, and implementation challenges.

Microsoft recently released Dynamics 365, a cloud-based bundle including its CRM and ERP solutions. The software giant has been releasing information about Dynamics 365 for several months prior to its release. By and large, the news has been positive. However, there are some critiques about Microsoft’s latest product.

Still Working out the Kinks

On the day Dynamics 365 was released, Microsoft published an entry on its developer website noting that there were certain limitations to the software. Users wouldn’t be able to carry out certain functions. Microsoft is trying to rectify the situation through updates.

While one might argue that perhaps these limitations should have been resolved before the product’s release, at least Microsoft is aware of them and is attempting to solve the problem so users have a better experience.

Is It Too Pricey?

In advance of Dynamics 365’s release, an implementation partner published pricing for the cloud-based bundle. Critics were quick to point out that the pricing plan put the software out of reach of many companies. Microsoft executives quickly defended the firm by saying that the pricing hadn’t been finalized yet.

A month after the unauthorized publication of Dynamics 365 pricing, Microsoft released the official pricing guide for the software. Criticism shifted from the expense to the complexity of the pricing plan. There are two editions (one for small businesses, another for the enterprise), two subscription options (by user and by application), two subscription types (Full and Light), and two enterprise plans.

Are Other CRM and ERP Solutions Better?

Microsoft bills Dynamics 365 as revolutionary because it incorporates artificial intelligence technology that helps businesses make better decisions faster. But Microsoft isn’t the only vendor incorporating AI into its software.

Salesforce.com has leveraged its acquisitions to include AI functionality into its popular CRM. Analysts note that other software vendors are also working on solutions which integrate AI.

That being said, Salesforce.com doesn’t have an ERP solution. And Oracle, one of the leading on-premise ERP solution providers, has long struggled with bringing ERP software to the cloud (though perhaps its recent NetSuite acquisition will change things).

A number of industry analysts believe that Dynamics 365 represents Microsoft’s effort to become the dominant player in both the CRM and ERP spaces. This will be quite a challenge, as currently Microsoft occupies the fourth spot in the CRM market and doesn’t even crack the top five in the ERP field.

The success of Dynamics 365 depends upon Microsoft’s ability to offer customers something new, yet also something familiar. In that, the company has likely succeeded. Dynamics 365 integrates Microsoft’s popular productivity suite, Office 365. Users can easily communicate and share information with tools such as Outlook, Word, and Excel. If the company can overcome software glitches, pricing complexity, and low market share, Dynamics 365 promises to be an important CRM and ERP player.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. The thing about the hype of Dynamics AX is that Peoplesoft had this covered about 10 years ago. It was web-based and it was an very easy system to maintain and expand although not cloud-based (obviously it was a product of that era). Now Microsoft is touting this to be revolutionary but look at all the hooks, nuts and bolts it requires to run. It doesn't allow for a on-premise version yet as the coupling with Azure is so tight at the moment. This is a complete redesign of the product – once again as AX 2012 brought about 1200 new technical features over AX 2009 including a a do-over of the data model. Peoplesoft brought new features but never changed th underlying technology except from its big move from client/server to web. Sadly enough Peoplesoft was destroyed by Oracle. yes, I was a Peoplesoft consultant / developer and moved over to Dynamics AX but now once again the technology changed and figuring it all out starts to become more of a nuisance than being something to enjoy. BTW, forget about AIF in Dynamics AX 365. It's something new now, once again… it keeps on changing and the developers can hardly keep up. Thank you MS.

    1. mm

      Steve, thanks for taking the time to provide your point of view on this topic. 

      It's true that there have been major enhancements and complete redesigns to Dynamics AX over the past two version releases. AX 2012 introduced a wide variety of functionality and saw dramatic UI changes. Did it take some time for consultants and developers to re-learn AX? Absolutely. However, the release of AX 2012 brought Dynamics AX into the enterprise space, able to consistently compete with traditional Tier 1 ERP solutions like SAP and Oracle.

      Now, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (the formerly known Dynamics AX), we're seeing just as many changes. However, we again believe this release brings extremely high value to the market. As Seth Godin once said, “If we live in a world where information drives what we do, the information we get becomes the most important thing.” As more organizations understand the impact data intelligence has on business performance, companies will increasingly turn to IoT, Predictive Analytics, BI, CRM, and ERP systems for reliable, real-time, and actionable data. Microsoft is the only vendor who can provide all these solutions in one platform. 

      Thanks again for taking the time to share your opinion, and we hope you elect to continue learning and providing great consulting / development services for the Dynamics 365 platform!

       

  2. Thanks for an interesting article! I also will be glad to help you if you still have questions.
    Our team has a strong background in working with MS Dynamics 365 , so let`s keep in touch! https://i-neti.com/

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