Despite its massive business potential, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is having an identity problem in the marketplace. It is often considered to be little more than an experiment in the repackaging of soon-to-be-unsupported versions of Microsoft’s more outdated ERPs. But Microsoft Dynamics 365 is more than a rebranding; it’s an avenue through which Microsoft is allowing customers to maximize flexibility and extensibility, and to gracefully scale their businesses up or down, without sacrificing internal efficiency or existing customer relationships.
If you’re among the many businesses still just considering an investment in Microsoft Dynamics 365, take note of some key questions to address before you take the leap.
1. Are you looking to grow or scale your business?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has ushered in a new era of cloud-based, ERP- and business application-enabled growth. It brings together the best Microsoft has to offer when it comes to productivity and analytics tools, while still integrating with emerging tools like IoT and third-party plugins your business may need as you grow.
For SMBs, Dynamics 365 Business Central in particular is uniquely positioned to help you scale, with functionality including financial, supply chain, service, project, and resource management, that helps you sell smarter, work more efficiently, and improve customer service.
2. Are internal productivity and efficiency a challenge?
With Dynamics 365 and its integration with productivity tools, you can easily standardize and automate once-manual business processes, get a unified view of your data and business intelligence, and use predictive insight tools to stay informed on how to prepare for future shifts in your market. This means fewer siloes, fully consolidated data, and a centralized platform for all your business applications.
Even if you hit roadblocks on the path to digitization, Dynamics 365’s capabilities allow you to stay on track by optimizing your operations and giving you the planning tools to keep projects on time and on budget. Better planning and forecasting ultimately leads to smarter strategies, smarter sales, and maximal profit margins — all while keeping your business adaptable enough to remain efficient as disruptors impact your market or your strategies.
3. Are you looking for more business intelligence capabilities?
Dynamics 365 gives you the ability to learn more about your business than ever, and to do more with that data than has yet been easily possible.
“With access to artificial intelligence-powered analytical services, and more-comprehensive sets of business data, Dynamics 365 massively outstrips previous versions … in terms of reporting and business intelligence”.
To address data gaps around financial performance, Microsoft’s business intelligence tool, Power BI, is built into Dynamics 365, allowing you to leverage AI capabilities to make the most of your data. Discover actionable insights sooner and use your data to help inform your business’ next strategic move.
4. Is data privacy a primary priority or concern?
Because Microsoft handles the Dynamics 365 back-end framework themselves, Dynamics 365’s cloud-based model doesn’t just take the maintenance workload off your IT team; it also means that you can shift a lot of your security concerns away from your internal resources as well.
Your secure data always remains backed up in Microsoft’s secure and automatically encrypted cloud: accessible around the world while being complaint with laws and regulations that vary by region, like GDPR. In addition, Dynamics 365 allows businesses to dictate what data internal team members can access, which maximizes security further, and gives businesses a defined level of control over data privacy beyond what a SaaS model already offers.
5. Do you feel limited by the degree to which you can customize your existing ERP to your business needs?
As a cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, Dynamics 365 can be accessed through a web browser, from anywhere, and eliminates the need for regular manual updates of the platform. This freedom from updates and maintenance gives brands the time and flexibility to focus on making Dynamics 365 a more customized solution that’s specific to their business goals and gaps.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365, organizations can choose to license only the business applications they need and set them up so that each app aligns with a particular business need or requirement. The end result is a tailored-for-your-business, cloud-based ERP that offers everything you need without bogging you down with capabilities you don’t.
6. Do you want to integrate your ERP with your web store?
As a standalone investment, Dynamics 365 already comes with a long list of advantages. However, the benefits it can offer e-commerce are particularly notable, and include those we’ve already addressed: scalability, flexibility, security, efficiency, and unified business intelligence.
The data in your Dynamics 365 ERP can help power sophisticated web store functionality, like segmented customer-specific experiences, real-time inventory information, and accurate, up-to-date payment information for every purchase. All you need to do is leverage an integrated approach and let Dynamics 365 serve as your e-commerce engine, and you can significantly minimize implementation and maintenance headaches.
The verdict: to invest, or not to invest?
If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, Dynamics 365 may be the right fit for your business. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is positioned to serve businesses of all sizes, across industries, in a way that is unique to their individual needs and goals by making the most of Microsoft’s suite of business applications (from one unified platform) and addressing challenges ranging from productivity to inventory management to fulfillment and customer service. Taking this a step further means leveraging all these benefits to power better e-commerce experiences than you thought possible.
For more on how your Dynamics 365 ERP can take your e-commerce experience to new heights,
By: Sana Commerce,