What are the different versions of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in 2021?

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At GP Support North, our focus is on support for Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) including upgrades, training, integrations, and general Support Desk functions.

The question often comes up, what are the different versions of Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Great Plains 365With the new Wave 1 2021 release coming out on April 1, 2021, now may be a good time to review the various naming conventions and versions of Dynamics 365 giving special focus to components relevant to the Dynamics GP (Great Plains) users within the SMB and Mid-Market space in Canada and the United States (those under $1 billion in annual sales).

Modules and Applications within the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform - Explained

The following is a brief commentary on the popular Dynamics 365 applications that you may see online.  Learn more at our sister company for CRM consulting https://www.endeavour365.ca/CRM/

Dynamics 365 Sales – A customer relationship management (CRM) for sales management, customer profiles, and pipeline.  It comes in two major versions, Sales Enterprise and the smaller Sales Professional.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service – A CRM for customer profiles, service cases, and other relationship management functions.

Dynamics 365 Field Service – This is a comprehensive add-on to Sales or Customer Service with a variety of additional capabilities for remote workers along with scheduling and dispatch capabilities.

Dynamics 365 Business Central – A robust cloud-based ERP system for SMB and Mid-Market organizations to run their accounting systems, finance, supply chain, manufacturing, and operations activities.  This cloud-ERP is based on Dynamics NAV and has migration paths from other systems such as Dynamics GP and non-Microsoft platforms.  https://www.gpsupportnorth.com/gp-to-business-central/

Dynamics 365 Marketing – This module has been substantially modified and updated for the Wave 1 2021 release.  Expanding beyond email marketing, Dynamics 365 marketing includes the ability to send SMS text messages, track web traffic, and includes a number of AI-driven analytics for marketing and customer segmentation.

Dynamics 365 Customer Voice – is an integrated toolset for sending customer surveys via email or embedding surveys within portals.  Customer Voice includes 1000 no charge surveys per month with Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise or Customer Service.  Demo video https://www.endeavour365.ca/videos/service-demo/#voice

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – is an advanced set of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence functions for the advanced analysis of customer data including social media and Big Data.  The Customer Insights pricing is geared towards advanced users, typically in larger mid-market or enterprise clients.  There is also an application named Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, that focuses on specific Sales-centric AI analysis and recommendations that fit well for both SMB and Mid-market, and enterprise customers.

Enterprise ERP Applications
(outside of the SMB & Mid Market)

Dynamics 365 Finance – This enterprise ERP is also referred to as Finance and Operations, (F&O) and comes from a heritage of Dynamics AX.  It has a 25-user minimum and far exceeds Business Central ERP in cost and complexity.

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management – This enterprise system is an extension of Dynamics 365 Finance with a focus on Supply Chain and Distribution.

Dynamics 365 Commerce – This enterprise system is an extension of Dynamics 365 Finance with a focus on Retail, consumer products, and eCommerce.  A previous version was called Dynamics 365 Retail.  Closely related are specific enterprise applications for Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection.

Dynamics 365 Human Resources - This enterprise system is an extension of Dynamics 365 Finance with a focus on Human Resources.  Functions include components of the former Dynamics 365 Talent, but also expand to other major HR functions.  Unlike Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 Human Resources can complement and integrate with Business Central for larger mid-market clients.

Additional Cloud Applications
(supported by GP Support North)

Microsoft 365 – There are so many mission-critical security components that extend beyond Office 365 and Exchange Online, that it makes sense that Office 365 has been rebranded and bundled with advanced Windows security and authentication controls to form Microsoft 365.  The Microsoft 365 admin panel is now the central hub for accessing Dynamics 365, Office 365, Azure, and many other Microsoft cloud applications.

Dynamics 365 Team Member – This is a light version of Dynamics 365 that runs as a separate app.  These low-cost Team Member licenses have reduced functions and are mostly used for read-only style access to Dynamics 365 granting users the ability to update key data within customer records and participating in various workflow tasks and approvals.

Microsoft 365 Teams – Not to be confused with the Dynamics 365 Team Member app, Microsoft Teams is part of the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 cloud applications.  Not only does it support video meetings, chat, and peer-to-peer collaboration, it also serves as a central hub for multiple Microsoft business applications including Dynamic 365, SharePoint, Workflow approvals, and Power Platform Apps.

Power Apps – Microsoft PowerApps include tools used to modify and configure Dynamics 365 CRM applications, as well as create custom web portals and mobile applications that can be tightly integrated within Dynamics 365.  Power Apps serve to extend business applications to meet the specialized line of business needs for increased productivity.

Power Automate – Microsoft Power Automate is used as both an integration tool as well as a workflow engine to help break down silos of information across 200+ different applications, providing increased process automation for business users by unifying data and reducing manual entry.

Power BI – Microsoft Power BI is the preferred analytics tool for KPI dashboards and distributing metrics and reporting data.  There is a free view-only version included throughout the various Dynamics 365 modules.  Power BI Pro or Premium is needed to share or receive shared reports within your organization.  Power BI Desktop is available at no-charge and is used by your data analysts and power users to create PowerBI reports and dashboards across an organization.

Power Virtual Agents – the Microsoft Power Virtual Agents are typically used in conjunction with Dynamics 365 Sales or Dynamics 365 Customer Service to support customer self-service functions and AI powered ‘chat bots’ able to handle an ever-increasing set of simple and complex tasks.

The Dataverse – The Microsoft “data-verse” is a cool new name for the Common Data Model that Microsoft pioneered to serve as the basis and data model that brings Dynamics 365 apps and external data together as an integrated platform.

 

We hope that the above overview has helped to better shape your understanding of the vast Dynamics 365 ecosystem.  Our team at GP Support North is here to help you make your Microsoft business applications work for you and to help you make your business better.

If you are on Dynamics GP, most of our clients are choosing to stay on GP as their platform of choice, however, there are an increasing number of clients that are building a business case to explore their cloud options and a migration to Dynamics 365.  Whether you plan to stay, or migrate in the next 5 to 10 years, our team is here to help.

Regards

GP Support North

Scott Jorgens, GP Support North
ERP Software Blog profile

 

About GP Support North - www.gpsupportnorth.com/about-us/

GP Support North is a large team of GP consultants at Endeavour Solutions, dedicated to supporting clients using Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) ERP.  We are your safe-haven for long-term GP support and consulting services.  We will not force you to change platforms, but if and when you are ready, we can help migrate you to the cloud.

We love Dynamics GP (Great Plains) and have more than 550 active clients across North America predominately in the USA and Canada. Over the years, our team has been named multiple times to the Microsoft President’s Club – The top 5% of Microsoft Partners Worldwide.

 

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