2 min read

Are you preparing your data for Brexit?

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Regardless of which way you voted in the EU Referendum, the consequence of the planning process and the eventual exit will impact upon all businesses at one level or another.

Right now, we’re finding that more businesses are looking to protect their position with CRM providing a productivity and customer closeness advantage. Will that continue as Brexit progresses? We hope so. It’s easy to want to batten down the hatches in economically turbulent times but this is no ordinary time. Technology will continue to gather pace and change the way businesses work. Microsoft has provided us with the product, our job is to continue to make the cost benefit ratio stack up for our customers.

In the meantime, we have a lot of existing customers asking about the security of their cloud data. Here are the facts.

Digital borders are inevitable.

The United States and the European Union are still working on a new data privacy agreement, governing the flow data between the two. The  ‘adequacy’ decision is not yet defined which means it’s already tricky.  The UK will need to go through the same process with both the EU and the US as part of the Brexit preparation. Our privacy laws in the UK must meet new EU rules for businesses to be able to have cross-border data flows.

What can your business do?

You need to have flexibility in cloud options and be able to adapt to suit customer needs and comply with data sovereignty laws.

The effect is two fold.

  1. Businesses in the UK may need to look at where and how their data is being stored and shared globally. They will need to meet UK data legislation and still need to follow the EU General Data Protection Regulation (which become enforceable in 2018).
  2. Businesses based in Europe will need to look carefully at the data legislation that the UK brings in and make sure that it meets European requirements.

 

Dynamics CRM customers will be better off than most with the size of Microsoft’s cloud network and with more than 100 data centres worldwide the flexibility is there to adapt where required. Your business’ data can reside wherever legal requirements necessitate. However, don’t forget it’s who the data is about, not just where the data lives.

So, what do you need to do right now?  If you think your business will need to look at data centre locality, talk to your Microsoft Partner. Get an idea of what’s involved, who you need to involve at your end and create a plan for what needs to happen when so that you don’t get caught out with a too short timescale and fines that could be as much as 4% of your global turnover. Otherwise, trade with Europe could be off the table.

Any questions? Feel free to get in touch.

6 min read

October Monthly CRM News

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Grand Unveiling

 
This month, Microsoft began to bring their Partner Network up to speed with the highly anticipated Azure Cloud hosted Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP combo. It’s the first time we’ve seen the Common Data Model used to such great effect joining business processes with business productivity in a way that not only creates one big feedback loop for insight, but also licensed the way that many of our customers will be thrilled to be able to buy.

The final launch is set for the 1st of November. Our MD Billy Lyle has a countdown on his calendar and time set aside to get stuck into the workings of the system. Because of the way we like to service our clients, the whole team will be reviewing how the new features and capabilities are going to benefit each of our clients, existing and new.

Writing over the weekend, Billy said “This isn’t just an upgrade. It’s going to make Dynamics 365 the most comprehensive and user-friendly business productivity platform in the category. For our existing clients, there is huge opportunity to have ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence and productivity tools such as Outlook and Excel all working on a single platform. Imagine the insight you will be able to get into your business when your full team can see all interactions with the customer from one single location. This will mean that the full team is empowered to deal with the customer in the best possible way. Management can also get there KPIs real time with the granularity needed to know exactly what to do to continue an up surge and, to stop any negative trends quickly and effectively. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what this level of integration can do.

We’ll have more information soon but if you can’t wait that long you can read our FAQ document from earlier this month or watch our webinar Introduction to Dynamics 365.

 


 

What about Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

 

  • CRM Online

Whilst, CRM Online will cease to be available for new implementations as of the 1st of November, existing CRM Online customers can continue as normal.   Your Dynamics CRM is safe. You can continue to add new users under the CRMOL and AX SKUs until renewal. You will also have transitional prices you can transact for Dynamics 365 SKU’s. If you are at renewal already, you will transition to 365.

 

  • On-Premise Customers

If you’re On Premise, you won’t be forced to move to Cloud, nor will you find yourself unsupported. Microsoft has committed to continue developing and supporting the on premise versions of Dynamics AX and CRM for the foreseeable future.

And if you’re considering moving to Cloud? Talk to us and let’s see how 365 compares to how you’re currently doing things. What we can tell you is there will be a 40% Customer Cloud Transition discount for On Premise customers who purchased their licenses before 31.10.16 and that will remain open until 1.11.19. The discount is called a “Cloud Add On’ which means you need to have an active enhancement plan or software assurance.

 

  • UK Data Centres

Back in September, Microsoft Cloud brought its cloud locality commitment to the UK. It’s in response to UK requirements for local data storage to enable UK back ups and UK legal compliance and has already secured the business of The UK Ministry of Defence, Aston Martin and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The Cloud focus appears to be paying off with Microsoft shares at a new high.

Ever wondered what a data centre looks like? We don’t have footage of the new UK one yet but here’s what one looks like from the inside:


 

The Next Generation of Humans:

 

Microsoft and HP schools initiative
 
HP and Microsoft have paired up to transform how technology is used in schools.  The three UK schools that are part of the project will use Learning Studios to “reinvent the classroom as a space for students to design, create and invent through innovative technology.

Using Skype, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft OneNote and Office Sway, pupils will build a variety of skills, including design thinking, 3D design, visual communication, invention literacy, digital storytelling and social entrepreneurship. They will also be encouraged to foster greater collaboration with teachers, afterschool programme leaders, administrators and parents, who have all been encouraged to play active roles in the learning experience. Their schools will be provided with ongoing training, support, resources and evaluation as well as the technology.

 


 

Linkedin Acquisition 

 

Microsoft acquires linkedin

 

Here’s what we might see from Microsoft’s $26bn purchase of LinkedIn:

  • Single sign on for CRM and LinkedIn – Single sign on already exists for Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online so it makes sense to include LinkedIn.
  • Sales Navigator Integration with CRM – the lead and contact discovery tool will most likely feature in the integration.
  • Contact Discovery & Data Cleansing – Imagine a world with intro requests from the CRM Interface, being able to import LinkedIn contacts into CRM, discovering other contacts at the same organization, keeping CRM data content current. E.g. job title as people move around.
  • HR Integration – enabling teams to discover and research candidates then manage the relationships within the CRM. For existing employees, it will be easier to keep employee profiles in line with brand where required.
  • Messaging – Instead of email, CRM users might be able to send messages to LI contacts and track the interactions in Dynamics.
  • Social Engagement – we hope to see the LinkedIn API opened up to up Microsoft’s Social Engagement game yet another notch.

What’s being said about the acquisition:

““I’d do everything differently, but this goes into the category of ‘you can’t win them all,” Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO

“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner stated in Microsoft’s release.

 


 

In other Tech news…

 

  • There was much speculation that Salesforce would buy Twitter but CEO Marc Benioff has now told the FT it’s officially off the cards.
  • AI has had a fair few headlines with Stephen Hawking naming it as either the best thing or the worst thing to happen to humankind. AI and Machine learning are often confused – read more about it in this Wired article.
  • Facebook is now reported to be taking on food ordering, event ticketing and more in an effort to grow the ‘stickiness’ of its platform.
  • We saw Google admiring retool Apps for Work and Apple leveraging its relationship with IBM. Facebook are reportedly soon launching their business focused Facebook at Work. Everyone is suddenly very interested in the Enterprise market (that’s all of you) but all of these advances still don’t get them anywhere near Microsoft’s level which is more accessible than ever with the Dynamics 365 pricing approach.

 

If there’s anything you’d like to hear our views on, or particular tech info you’d like to see on our site or on social, let us know and we’ll try our best to include it.

3 min read

Why Insurers Choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Customer Retention

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The benefits of CRM are well known in the insurance industry. Seamless customer service, faster enquiry handling, smarter processes, effortless task management and automated workflows all mean much higher productivity and customer retention.

But as Microsoft take Dynamics CRM onto the next level with their forthcoming Dynamics 365, let’s remember the reasons why Microsoft Dynamics CRM has always been one of the best selling in the sector.

Here are just a few of the compelling facts that build on the basics of what a good CRM system should do.

  • Deployment Options: Dynamics CRM is the only CRM system built solidly enough to allow you to choose and change deployment. You can read more about the benefits of On-Premise v Cloud-Hosted on our
  • Integration: Being part of the Microsoft family comes with big benefits. Seamless integration with Outlook, Skype, Office 365 to name a few with LinkedIn soon to follow. It’s a connectivity that other providers simply don’t have.
  • Familiar User Interface: One of the highest user adoption rates in the market. Coupled with partner expertise (such as ours of course!), Dynamics CRM is set up for success from day one.
  • Intuitive customisation: Dynamics CRM comes into its own when the right tools and apps are deployed to make it really fit your business objectives. It’s a solid platform to customize from a access to a wide range of tools and its scalability means it will always fit your business’ processes and people.
  • Easier Administration: There is an extensive administrative function allowing you to alter fields, entities and processes without code if you have the right team internally.
  • Scalable and Innovative: The pace of change in the business environment is incredible. Dynamics CRM has always been at the forefront of the role of CRM and is always looking to the future to maximise the return on investment for its customers. You can read more about how this will look with the forthcoming Microsoft 365 on our blog.
  • Data Security: With the rise of security hacks and identity fraud across the world, cloud-hosted data security has never been more crucial. Each Microsoft data centre has perimeter security, multi-factor authentication, locked racks and extensive video monitoring. More importantly, Microsoft is the only Cloud provider to have UK data centres, making it even easier for businesses with highly sensitive data to benefit from the advantages of Cloud-hosting.
  • Extended CRM: The Microsoft Dynamics platform has evolved from a CRM tool to a fully integrate collaboration, communication and business productivity suite. With the right customisation and input, Dynamics can improve your relationships with suppliers, contractors and partners, as well as your customers.
  • Pricing: Users, press, industry analysts and partners alike, all rate MS Dynamics as one of the best value platforms across licensing, services, training, customisation, implementation, administration and maintenance.

Any CRM system is a commitment that it’s important to get right. To give you further insight into how it helps with customer centricity, we’ve prepared a Step-by-Step Guide that is free to download and will get you on the right path.

 

The Step by Step Guide to Getting CRM Right - Step 1

3 min read

10 Reasons To Choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online As Your Cloud-Hosted CRM

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For businesses looking into cloud hosted CRM, the benefits of Cloud are already clear.

Lower hardware investment, no IT resource requirement, quick set up, accessibility and security are all solid benefits. But those are only the start. With the onset of Microsoft Dynamics 365 later this year, it’s all about to step up a gear.

So, once you know you want to be Cloud-hosted, how do you decide which CRM system is right for you? Here are just ten of the many reasons to choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online over other CRM solutions.

1. Integration
With a 360-degree view of every customer, interactions across all channels couldn’t be simpler, more comprehensive or more effective. Within Dynamics CRM Online, you can manage appointments, record meetings, create emails, create video calls, create documents, share documents, export to excel when required, review social engagement, create and use marketing lists, review visual data dashboards and charts, integrate with Office 365 and access everything across PC, tablet and phone. The possibilities for productivity, communication and collaboration are astounding.

2. UK, European and US Data Centres
Microsoft has very recently become the first cloud provider to launch UK Data Centres meaning data security is less of a barrier for sectors such as legal, banking, insurance, public and utility. Because data can now be locally stored, organisations can replicate data within the UK for backup and recovery as well as maintain legal compliance. Microsoft has physical and environmental security within these data centres including Perimeter security, multi-factor authentication, locked racks and extensive video monitoring.

3. Free Mobile Apps are Included
Each CRM user licence comes with access to MS Dynamics desktop and mobile apps.

4. LinkedIn Integration
With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LinkedIn, Dynamics CRM users will be the first to see the possible benefits of the integration for lead generation, data accessibility, automated LI processes, lead scoring, trending themes to name a few.

5. Immediate access to New Features
Microsoft has a Cloud-First release strategy with access to updates months in advance of on-premise users. There are usually two updates per year. That means no falling behind with versions and prevents a large and time-consuming update in the future.

6. Service Level Agreement
Microsoft commit to a 99.9% uptime Service Level Agreement that they financially back so you can be assured of your CRM’s availability.

7. Sophisticated Recovery Process
Data is hosted on the server but then hot copies are made to another server within the same data centre. When data is saved in the CRM Online environment, it is also synced with the same process into a second data centre in your region. The data is saved four times, and includes nightly back ups.

8. Rapid Implementation
Without any physical servers to consider, Microsoft CRM Online can be deployed with a simple online activation of the account.

9. Highly Skilled Maintenance
Microsoft Operation Centers provide 24/7 monitoring and system alerts. This is to catch issues in which self-healing has not resolved and then escalated to a Service Engineer to resolve the issue. With no on-premise servers to maintain, you require less ICT staff, equipment and capital expenditure. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is a cloud subscription service and therefore an operating expense rather than a tax attracting capital expense.

10. Flexibility
Businesses are not only able to add users and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is so flexible that you can switch between Cloud-hosted and on-premise as often as your organisation requires. The database architecture is consistent so you can move databases easily without losing your customisations, set up etc.

There is so much more to say about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The best way to get to grips with it and assess whether it’s the right system for your business, is to have a chat and take a look at it up close.
You can also take a look at our most downloaded Step-by-Step Guide to Getting CRM Right.

Step-by-step-guide-to-getting-CRM-right---Step-1_2

3 min read

What does a CRM Partner Actually Do?

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If your organisation is currently investigating Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM), you may well be wondering what a CRM partner actually does and do you need one.

Here are some of the many ways you’ll hear CRM partners described; vendors, resellers, one of the partner network,

Redspire is a Gold Microsoft Partner and over the many years that we have been working with Dynamics, we have noticed an ongoing expectation that you simply buy a CRM system, set it up and off you go.

Off the shelf CRM are mass-produced, one size fits all systems. They’re really generic and don’t allow for the way your business’ product, people and processes work. Many businesses try to ‘fit’ the CRM system instead of having the system aligned to them. You usually can’t add to off the shelf systems over the years and custom made CRM is essentially a system that is not off the shelf. You are buying into a platform that is then customised to work for your business, and more importantly for your business objectives. You are also buying into a relationship with a partner who will plan and implement it based on your business objectives, then continue to look after it with you including upgrades and further adaptations.

We take great pride in knowing Microsoft Dynamics CRM inside out and then getting to know our clients’ business inside out.  Dynamics has a lot of tools and a lot of integration potential. The scalability is huge, as is the flexibility; even more so with Microsoft Dynamics 365 coming on board soon. It’s our job to know what tools to use based on our clients’ business objectives and sticking with them as they grow so that the CRM continues to accelerate the business rather than slow it down.

Here’s what else you should be looking for in a good CRM partner:
  • Strategic – A good partner should be asking questions beyond the subject of IT.
  • Collaborative – You’ll experience what level of collaboration you can expect during the system identification stage but it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your potential CRM partner for client references that will reveal their ability to stick with you.
  • Knowledgeable – A good partner will not only know their preferred platform inside out, they’ll know all the compatible tools and have a depth of experience that you won’t find in a user manual.
  • Processes – Your partner should provide you with a clear roadmap for planning, implementation, deployment and ongoing support. Without it, everyone is left feeling vague. Lost control means things will get missed.
  • Project Management – Make sure you find out who the day-to-day contact will be, and ask about ongoing progress visibility.
  • Industry experienceIt’s often preferable to have a partner with experience in your particular industry. However, it’s sometimes good to have a partner with experience from other sectors come to the party. We often find that it ensures a ‘take nothing for granted’ ideology that ensures no stone is left unturned in the planning stage. With that comes fresh thinking and often, business-changing solutions that become a model for others.
  • Service offering – how will your Partner support you after full deployment. It’s important that you discuss those expectations early on. We are often called in to assist companies who have parted company with the original implementation partner and tried to do customisation on their own then watched their user adoption suffer.

You’ll notice a theme emerging here. Ultimately, it’s about having a partner that is passionate enough about their platform, and your business, to get them working towards a common goal. Growth comes from care.

You can read more on the subject of selecting the right CRM system by downloading our GUIDE. If you’re in the UK and you’d like to know more about choosing the right partner, test us out!

4 min read

10 Reasons To Choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM As Your On-Premise CRM

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Top 10 Reasons To Choose Microsoft Dynamics as your On-Premise CRM

There are many, many reasons why On-Premise CRM may be right for your business.

Primarily, you have complete control of the management and maintenance of your database in house. If your business already has existing hardware and IT infrastructure, it can make sense to retain total control of your CRM data by keeping it on site with everything else. You can run SQL queries and reports and if you run into performance issues, you can simply add to your infrastructure. You can decide when and if you want to apply upgrades and updates. You can run old code that does not run in CRM online, run your own security, backs ups, data copies, certifications, monitoring and disaster recovery.

The question is, which On-Premise CRM is the right one for your business? Here are just ten of the reasons that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the top performing CRM products on the market.

 

Value
There are seven main cost factors to consider: licensing, services, training, customisation, implementation, administration and maintenance. Users, press, industry analysts and partners alike, all rate MS Dynamics as one of the best value across all factors.

Customisable
Every business is different. Every MS Dynamics implementation is different. Your solution will closely meet the communication, marketing, sales and project management needs of your business. With Microsoft Dynamics, you can quickly add new capabilities using built-in personalization tools. You can create specialized views and new windows, automate tasks specific to your business, and even build light applications. Using Web services and the Microsoft .NET Framework, you can integrate with numerous data sources and applications, even if they’re built on non-Microsoft platforms. You’ll also find custom development is easier and more cost-effective with familiar Microsoft technologies and industry standards.

Globality
Microsoft is spending more money than you can imagine continually evolving MS Dynamics to meet the needs of businesses of all shapes and sizes across the world. In a UK economy that is bound to become turbulent over coming years as Brexit is negotiated, Microsoft is well placed to make sure that Dynamics CRM is able to grow and evolve alongside the businesses it serves.

Familiarity
The MS Dynamics’ intuitive and familiar user interface and integration with other MS products mean that everyone in the business can get to grips with it. MS Dynamics has one of the highest adoptions rates in the category because it’s a solution that people want to use.

Partner Network
Microsoft has one of the world’s largest networks of professional services and third-party applications to complement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, making it easy to absolutely fine-tune it to your product, people and processes.

Innovation
Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides consistent product update and feature upgrade releases, as well as deep integration with Microsoft innovations such as the recent LinkedIn acquisition.

Microsoft Office
Microsoft Dynamics CRM works seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and is the perfect platform to leverage Office 365. Seamless integration means higher productivity.

Business Insights
The business intelligence and data visualization options available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives you role-based dashboards and KPI’s relevant to people’s responsibilities without compromising on confidentiality.

These include sales forecasts, pipelines, targets, quotas, customer buying patterns, marketing effectiveness, promotion cut through, productivity to name just a few.

Extended CRM
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not just about sales and marketing. The Dynamics platform is designed to be built-on where required to manage other important relationships with suppliers, contractors, partners etc.

Flexibility and Scalability
Starting out with CRM doesn’t mean taking a full system with every add-on going. It’s important to properly spec the right tools and customisations you’re your organisation’s products, people and processes. We always recommend starting with the right size for you with the confidence of knowing that MS Dynamics can grow with you. Equally, whilst On-Premise might be right for right now, you may want to look to Cloud at some point. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows you to make that move whilst still maintaining all customisations and content.

It’s always worth getting a closer look at CRM systems to help you understand what they can do, and whether they are right for your business. Contact us today to begin the conversation and we’ll help you do your homework. You can also read our Step-By-Step Guide to Getting CRM Right.

Step-by-step-guide-to-getting-CRM-right---Step-1_2

4 min read

Is there really a role for CRM in Customer Centric Insurance?

Customer centricity is a top talking point in the insurance industry.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way customers interact with insurance products across every channel. UK Insurance comparison sites are booming, data is getting bigger and technology is getting more sophisticated (wearables, black boxes, drones to name a few). With so much development and choice, competition is fierce.

So how do insurance firms deliver a better product and superior customer experience?

Insurance start-ups are ahead of the game with an agile ability to embrace the pace of technology and customer expectations for personalized products, numerous interaction options and seamless service. With artificial intelligence, automated processes and predictive digital data just three of the cornerstones of this new era, strategic partnerships are beginning to pop up that allow the incumbents of the industry to keep up despite their risk centric background and all of the infrastructure that supports it.

Whether or not you are already pursuing customer-centric products and services, do you have the right CRM system to hold all the data?

A good CRM system lets you access all relevant information about a customer at the touch of a button, accessed by every department for a 360-degree view. It means an end to the complexity of silos of data and systems that don’t talk to each other and that slow your response rate, personalization ability and productivity down.

Here’s what your CRM system should be doing for you:

  • Faster enquiry handling
  • Intelligent document management
  • Better data management
  • Effortless task management
  • Automated workflows
  • More effective marketing
  • Visibility of your sales pipeline
  • Easy reporting
  • Streamlined claims resolution
  • Proactive customer service
  • Staff productivity
  • Mobile access
  • Multi channel customer interaction
  • Track your most profitable business
  • Track your most profitable channels
10 Insurance Sector Business Outcomes of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

So, why choose MS Dynamics CRM? Here are just a few of the compelling facts that build on the basics of what a good CRM system should do.

  • Deployment Options: Dynamics CRM is the only CRM system built solidly enough to allow you to choose and change deployment. You can read more about the benefits of On-Premise v Cloud-Hosted on our blog.
  • Integration: Being part of the Microsoft family comes with big benefits. Seamless integration with Outlook, Skype, Office 365 to name a few with LinkedIn soon to follow. It’s a connectivity that other providers simply don’t have.
  • Familiar User Interface: One of the highest user adoption rates in the market. Coupled with partner expertise (such as ours of course!), Dynamics CRM is set up for success from day one.
  • Intuitive customisation: Dynamics CRM comes into its own when the right tools and apps are deployed to make it really fit your business objectives. It’s a solid platform to customize from a access to a wide range of tools and its scalability means it will always fit your business’ processes and people.
  • Easier Administration: There is an extensive administrative function allowing you to alter fields, entities and processes without code if you have the right team internally.
  • Scalable and Innovative: The pace of change in the business environment is incredible. Dynamics CRM has always been at the forefront of the role of CRM and is always looking to the future to maximise the return on investment for its customers. You can read more about how this will look with the forthcoming Microsoft 365 on our blog. Link to dynamics 365 blog
  • Data Security: With the rise of security hacks and identity fraud across the world, cloud-hosted data security has never been more crucial. Each Microsoft data centre has perimeter security, multi-factor authentication, locked racks and extensive video monitoring. More importantly, Microsoft is the only Cloud provider to have UK data centres, making it even easier for businesses with highly sensitive data to benefit from the advantages of Cloud-hosting.
  • Extended CRM: The Microsoft Dynamics platform has evolved from a CRM tool to a fully integrate collaboration, communication and business productivity suite. With the right customisation and input, Dynamics can improve your relationships with suppliers, contractors and partners, as well as your customers.
  • Pricing: Users, press, industry analysts and partners alike, all rate MS Dynamics as one of the best value platforms across licensing, services, training, customisation, implementation, administration and maintenance.
  • With the upcoming launch of Microsoft Dynamics 365, the scope of CRM is going to shift up another gear. The pace of change in the insurance industry is fast. This disruptive new approach to CRM is going to make it possible for insurers to keep up. You can read what we know so far about Dynamics 365 on our blog.

Any CRM system is a commitment that it’s important to get right. To give you further insight into how it helps with customer centricity, we’ve prepared a Step-by-Step Guide that is free to download and will get you on the right path.

The Ultimate Guide to: Creating Customer Centricity with CRM

5 min read

Dynamics 365 – First Look

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Today we take a first look at Microsoft Dynamics 365, the Azure Cloud-hosted combo of Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP is due to launch in November.

Since the launch information in July of this year, we’ve been answering a multitude of questions from our clients who are keen to know more.

Here are our most frequently asked questions.

What makes Dynamics 365 more than just an upgrade?

Its aim is to stitch together silos of data and processes. It brings together customer service, sales, marketing, field service, finance and operations. And it brings it together at a task or role specific level with the business apps you need for that purpose rather than a suite of apps.

Ultimately, it creates one big feedback loop for businesses of every size, starting with what they need and entirely scalable. So business processes essentially start to become insight advantages.

What problem does this new system solve?

  • Currently, Dynamics ERP sits on a different platform and connects with an integration to Dynamics CRM Online. Dynamics 365 changes this from being two systems with replicated data that needs to be synchronized, to a single common data model that means all your applications reference the same customer record.
  • By combining Office, Cortana, Dynamics and advanced analytics, it will join business processes with productivity. It’s bringing your day together in seamless ways with a level of granularity that can only deliver successful adoption, massively improved productivity, better communication and ultimately, turnover.
  • Insights surface from the entire system that let you identify small glitches in a project before they damage profits or a relationship

Does this have anything to do with Microsoft’s introduction of UK data centers?Yes, we believe so. Cloud based technologies are transforming the way businesses operate at every level now. Yet, many companies have held back due to their need to keep data geographically closer, within the UK jurisdiction. With Microsoft leading the way with Cloud based business technology such as Dynamics 365, it makes sense to have UK Data Centres that will allow thousands of companies to take advantage of more cloud-based opportunities that will most likely elevate their business.

I’ve been considering Dynamics CRM and was about to give it the green light. What should I do now?

Dynamics CRM Online will automatically transform to Dynamics 365 as part of the next release of Dynamics CRM so there is no need to wait or worry about this, it will just happen in the background as per any of the Microsoft CRM updates. Dynamics CRM On-Premise will continue to be developed and supported by Microsoft. For companies who are not yet ready to move to the Cloud and continue to require an On-Premise or Hybrid solution, Dynamics CRM remains one of the most integrated, flexible and intelligent CRM systems available.

What versions of Dynamics CRM are there going to be?

  1. Enterprise: Based on Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365 and Dynamics AX, the Enterprise edition suits businesses with 250+ employees and has six available modules: Operations, Field Service, Project Service, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.
  2. Business: Based on Dynamics NAV and Office 365, the Business Edition suits businesses with fewer than 250 Employees and with three available modules: financials, sales and marketing.

How would a business buy Dynamics 365?

Ultimately, it will be workload based pricing. Rather than an
‘all you can eat’ user license, a business will mix and match apps, plans and team members. Instead of thinking of it as CRM or Office or ERP, you can buy the services that fit your job titles.

Run me through the big benefits of Dynamics 365 again.

  • Its extendibility out to the whole business operation with the addition of ERP makes the whole business process visible to all users breaking silos down even more. Currently, Dynamics ERP sits on a different platform and doesn’t use the same data model meaning you have to setup, configure and support the connector with Dynamics CRM Online.
  • Start with what you need. Instead of buying a full system that you will phase in, Dynamics 365 business apps fit specific roles and tasks.
  • Reduced task/screen switching. It’s built on a common data model that means it’s easier to surface information across Office 365, Dynamics 365, Power BI etc.
  • Built –In Intelligence – the tools can proactively guide employees to optimal decision-making and outcomes.
  • With Appsuite and a scalable premise, your Dynamics 365 can be as small or as extensive as your business needs, at any time.

What are you still waiting to find out?

It’s always the case that Microsoft want to make sure everything is ready for launch. Whilst these final assessments are being made, we won’t get confirmation of licensing and pricing. With the launch date approaching, we expect to get that information any day.

We’ll also be in a better position to talk about when existing CRM online customers will be migrated as part of the upgrade process.

Why Should I Want to Know More?

Cloud is undoubtedly transformative and is gathering pace every day but the transformation around data and how we use it is what Dynamics 365 will raise the bar on. Purpose built, role specific, task specific micro services and business applications with modern interfaces that you can use everywhere. You can get Microsoft’s own explanation of Dynamics 365 on their community blog.

When Will Microsoft Partners and the Press Know More?

We’ll be back with more information as soon as it becomes available.

In the meantime, you might like to read out Ultimate Guide to Security in the Cloud or register with us to receive our step-by-step guide to Dynamics 365, which we’ll release as soon as we have confirmation of those last details.

 

Read more about Microsoft Dynamics 365  and get a first look at the official unveiling at the Microsoft website