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Users Questions are Answered on Microsoft Dynamics 365


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The Dynamics User Group Summit16 was hosted by Dynamics Communities and is currently the largest Dynamics-Focused event worldwide.  Nearly 7,000 customers, partners and Microsoft employees gathered together inside the Amelie Arena to get the scoop on Dynamics 365.

Dynamic Communities Summit is the leading live annual conference for Microsoft Dynamics users. Each Summit conference features high-level insider knowledge from Microsoft and user-produced education on how to maximize the performance of Dynamics products. Over 100,000 members have joined AXUG, NAVUG, GPUG and CRMUG as well as newer additions like DSLUG, PBIUG and Dynamics365UG.

Check out their website at www.dynamiccommunities.com for additional information on joining or participating in other events held throughout the year.

Andy Hafer, CEO of Dynamic Communities, kicked off the conference with an address to the members and an inspiring performance by The Portico Chorus before handing the reigns to Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive VP for cloud and enterprise.

Scott and an impressive team of presenters and customers put on quite a show as they presented a wide array of capabilities that will come with Dynamics 365 hosted on their Azure Cloud service.   Although we won’t be able to purchase the solution until November 1st, it was clear to see that they have put the weight of the entire Microsoft stack behind it.

“This is a major initiative at Microsoft and involves the work of literally thousands of engineers,” said Scott Guthrie, executive VP of cloud and enterprise, as he kicked things off on stage at Amelie Arena.

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We’ve written extensively about the CRM and ERP capabilities in Dynamics 365, but the AI (artificial intelligence) features shared during this demo stole the show.  Read on to learn about Customer Insights and Relationship Insights.  It will give you a clear idea of how they are evolving their solutions (and might give you an idea why their acquisition of LinkedIn was so critical).

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Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

Scott handed the mic to Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group who took the audience through a number of features, including “Customer Insights”, an app that connects and analyzes data from Microsoft — and other widely used CRM, ERP, web, social and IoT sources and applies intelligence to it to give you a 360-degree customer view with automatic suggestions to improve engagement.

Mike McMinn, from Dynamics 365 Customer Marstons, gave an impressive presentation of their experience with Dynamics 365 Customer Insights:

Marston’s, a leading hospitality brand with pubs, breweries and inns across the U.K., is an exciting example of a customer already using this application to better understand their customers by bringing together Wi-Fi registration data, point-of-sale transactions, table bookings, survey results and social media – a data problem way outside of the scope of traditional CRM systems.  Using Customer Insights, Marston’s anticipates they will be able to sell one extra meal, and drink, per pub per day, which they expect will result in about a £7.7 million increase to their bottom line.

Dynamics 365 Relationship Insights

Relationship insights really show off the power of the common data model and being able to leverage activities that happen in the course of your day to be more productive.  Built on the Cortana Intelligence Suite, it leverages data capture in your structured solutions (like ERP or CRM) as well as activity based data (like your Outlook Calendar).  For instance, it provides salespeople with information about the status of their customer relationships at any time.  Useful? Any sales person that has every called a customer to ask for a reference, only to find out they’re not happy campers, will tell you that…Yes.  This is extremely valuable.

Relationship Insights even helps sales and other users to keep track of correspondences with specific customers, assess the “health” of their customer relationships, and receive alerts when too much time passes between communications.

Guthrie emphasized Dynamics 365’s intelligence capabilities during his presentation, saying that the product “comes with built-in features that are backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.”

Microsoft isn’t the only CRM vendor building intelligence like this into their solutions, but I’m betting they will be the first to perfect it.

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Adobe Marketing Cloud

Microsoft also made mention of their recent partnership with Adobe, although this information was shared previously during the Ignite conference last month.  Microsoft will partner with Adobe to offer the Adobe Marketing Cloud as their preferred marketing service solution for Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition.  They have yet to release intentions for Dynamics 365 Business Edition, but we’re expecting to learn about that in Q1 2017.

Dynamics 365 Licensing Model

As of this week, partners are allowed to share pricing information for Dynamics 365 with potential customers, but much information has been leaked already by various news outlets and a few partners that didn’t mind breaking their non-disclosure agreements with Microsoft.

There are many options available depending on the size of your organization, functionality needed and several other factors.  It is clear to all that pricing for Dynamics 365 is extremely competitive, especially for companies that leverage both ERP and CRM.

The primary licensing is by named user subscription. The Dynamics 365 user subscriptions classify users into two types. One user type is a “full user” and the other is a “light user”.

Full users are the users whose work requires use of the feature rich business apps functionality. Examples of full users are sales people, customer service representatives, finance employees, controllers, supply chain managers, etc. These users have also been referred to in the past as Pro users or Power Users. In the Dynamics 365 license model, full users are licensed with either a Dynamics 365 Plan or Dynamics 365 application subscription.

Light users are often large number of users in an organization that may consume data or reports from line of business systems and who complete light tasks like time/expense entry and HR record updates. In the Dynamics 365 model “light users” are licensed with the Dynamics 365 for Team Members subscription.

Microsoft has also said that existing Dynamics CRM and AX7 customers will be able to automatically update their systems to Dynamics 365 without making major changes or losing functionality.  They will provide migration tools to Dynamics NAV and GP customers interested in moving to Dynamics 365.

“For existing Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics AX 7 customers, you’ll be able to automatically update your systems to Dynamics 365 without having to change anything. And all of the existing functionality you use today will continue to just work,” Guthrie said. For users of on-premises Dynamics NAV and Dynamics GP who want to move to Dynamics 365, Microsoft will provide migration tools, he said.

 

by SBS Group

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