1 min read

Door 10 – Dynamics 365 for Field Service

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This is the tool for businesses with staff working out in the field such as engineers, contractors, installers, surveyors and/or maintenance.

The flow of information between users results in smoother processes and as you’d expect, happier customers. For example, an office based user may generate a work order defining the task, the skills needed, required parts and job duration. The best Field Service employee is identified by availability, location, skills and inventory. The service request is scheduled and field employees are notified of their allocation whilst the job is posted to the Scheduling Board where the status of scheduled works and resource availability is summarised for office staff to monitor. Field users are informed of new jobs by text, email or phone. They can see their scheduled work orders, read job notes, get directions, manage the parts they need, take notes, upload images, confirm location, submit sign off confirmation and create follow up work orders if required. All of this is happening on Dynamics 365 meaning that the single customer view is consistently accurate providing the management users with insights to drive improvements.

Sadly, the Dynamics 365 for Marketing App won’t be released in time for those Christmas events but we’ll tell you what we do know tomorrow.

1 min read

Door 9 – Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation

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This is Dynamics 365’s Project Management tool.

If there is any point in your business process flow where you need to manage a project, you can hook everything into the CRM, manage your time against it and your sales/customer services teams can see everything that is happening. The functionality lends itself extremely well to the complex projects that manufacturers need to manage.

The single customer view continues to be invaluable, helping your team run projects more effectively thanks to better internal collaboration, saving time and effort. The app includes Project Estimates, Gantt Chart, Approve Project Expenses, Project Contracts, Manage Project Resources, Customer Billing, Mobile Productivity and Resource Competencies.  Users that only need to submit time and expense entries can do so with the Team Member license. It also includes Non-Production License, Social Engagement, Knowledge Management, Voice of the Customer and Team Member capabilities.

Tomorrow, we’ll give you a snapshot of The Dynamics 365 Field Service App

1 min read

Door 8 – Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

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Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is another example of how Microsoft are bringing collaboration to businesses.

Traditionally, Customer Service may have operated without sight of the rest of a customer’s interactions with the business. With this app, users can raise cases but see what else is happening e.g. outstanding invoices, pending complaints or enquiries, recent feedback etc. and be guided through the best next action. It vastly improves customer service, but also increases opportunities.  The unified platform makes customer information available across all relevant roles and departments with one single customer view. It can be accessed anywhere via Outlook with full read across all Dynamics 365 Applications. At an edit level, processes include Enterprise Case Management, Unified Service Desk, Customer Service Agents Queues and Scripts, Customer Service SLAs and Entitlements, Contracts and Contract Templates, Facilities and Equipment, Services, Resources and Work Hours. It also includes Non-Production License, Social Engagement, Knowledge Management, Mobile Offline, Voice of the Customer and Team Member capabilities.

Tomorrow we’ll give you the lowdown on what the Project Service Automation App is all about.

1 min read

Door 7 – Dynamics 365 For Sales

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The functionality of the Sales App has been designed to allow your sales team to run efficiently.

It has the same core functionality as Dynamics CRM Online but with the massive benefit of being able to see what’s going on elsewhere in the business that will help the Sales users to spot opportunities.

Access is desktop, tablet, mobile and via Outlook to sales lead management, sales opportunity management, competitor tracking, sales product management, sales price lists, sales quote, sales order, sales invoice, marketing lists, marketing and quick campaigns, unified service desk, sales goals, territory management, business units and teams.  It also includes Non-Production License, Social Engagement, Mobile Offline, PowerApps for Sales, Knowledge Management, Voice of the Customer and Team Member capabilities.

Tomorrow we’ll give you the quick hit on The Dynamics 365 Customer Service App.

1 min read

Door 6 – Team Member Licensing | Dynamics 365

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Team Member Licensing lets businesses license read access to apps that the user doesn’t require full access (write/edit) to.

It allows those users to have full visibility of a customer’s interaction with other departments, making it easier to spot opportunities, potential problems and to improve customer service. So, you may have some users on Plan 2, giving them read/write/edit access to all available apps but only require other users to be able to see what’s going on. Instead of paying for these users to have full access, you buy them light access to read only. It is a much more cost effective way of keeping transparency throughout the business and it’s tiered too, offering further cost benefits where you have multiple team members. Of course, you can restrict certain views if required. Where a business buys a user an individual app on plan 1, it will include a team member’s license for other apps that the business licenses for other users. Team Member access varies between plan 1 and 2.

Knowing what to get someone for Christmas is a headache. We gave our Sales team Sales App licenses. We’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

2 min read

Door 5 – Dynamics 365 Licensing Glossary

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The first thing to remember is that all forms of Dynamics 365 licensing can be mixed and matched within an organisation.

You are buying based on the requirements of individual users. E.g. a Sales user may require only the Sales App but with read rights across other users’ apps whereas a Project Management user may require a number of apps. As a business, you are not buying either Plan 1 or Plan 2, Team Member or Application licensing. You are building the licensing picture with a combination of them all.

There are 5 apps currently available – Sales, Field Service, Project Service and Customer Service, Operations. We expect more information on Marketing, a sixth app, in the summer of 2017.  Think of apps as role-based functionality.

Light User – This is the term used to describe an employee who only has access to one core app but who has read rights to other apps used by other departments, allowing them to have full visibility of a customer’s experience and interactions with their organisation. It’s also known as Team Member Licensing.

Full User – This is the term used to describe an employee who has full access to an app, or a suite of apps.

Apps – This is how you buy each user’s licensing. So, a Sales User who only needs access to the Sales App would be best with a Sales App license fee. It gives them full access to the Sales App functionality but allows them to keep visibility of their targets’ other interactions throughout the business with read access to any other apps used by other departments/roles.

Plan 1 –  This is for any user that needs 2 or more apps from what was previously the CRM suite of applications (basically any app that is not operations). This is because there is only a small step up in price to Plan 1 license from an individual App license but it means you get full access to all the CRM based Apps.

Plan 2 – This includes the CRM and the ERP apps including Operations. Note: The Operations App can be bought on its own so if you have a User who only needs to access that, it’s possible to do so without licensing them for the whole of Plan 2.

 

1 min read

Door 4 – Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition

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The two core Dynamics products CRM and AX (the enterprise ERP tool) are the core components of the Dynamics365 Enterprise edition.

It’s available Online or On-Premise so if you want Dynamics 365 but need to stay On-Premise, this is your route.  It’s optimized for 250+ users with a minimum of 20 seats though we expect that minimum may rise over time. This edition is the one to go for if you want to access beyond what the Business edition offers. So, your Project Service, Field Service, Customer Service, Sales and Operations.

Cost and capability wise, it beats Salesforce hands down. What we’re seeing is a much wider range of functionality and better tools based on a truly awesome platform. Recognising Dynamics 365 position as a challenger brand to Salesforce, Microsoft have leveraged the hyper scale capabilities of its wider business, to achieve a better price point. So, whilst it is certainly more expensive than its predecessors, you are getting a whole lot of functionality for the fees. It’s worth noting that current Dynamics users are entitled to transitional pricing.  If the license fee for any of the Dynamics predecessors were off putting, the Business edition offers you a new way in. Yes, you will always find cheaper with the likes of Zoho or SugarCRM but invest wisely. Look at the functionality, consider your corporate objectives and growth plans before you gravitate towards the budget options.

1 min read

Door 3 – Dynamics 365 Business Edition

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The Business Edition of Dynamics 365 hasn’t been released and the details aren’t quite confirmed however here’s what we understand so far.

Like Dynamics AX in the enterprise edition, financials (online nav) will sit at the heart of it and has been stated to be Online only. Approaching summer 2017, we expect to get more information regarding the Sales and Marketing functions that will wrap around that but what we believe we will see is a pared back version of Dynamics CRM in there. Once its Online home is confirmed, we’ll get information about what happens to Dynamics NAV On-Premise moving forward.  If you are looking for a solution sooner rather than later and don’t want to wait until summer for the fuller picture, you can license the Enterprise edition on business licenses. As it stands, we understand the qualification to be a requirement for less than 25 seats.

Realistically, the customisations that you’ve made in the Enterprise edition may not transfer across to the Business edition, so take advice from a Microsoft Partner and review the likely level of customisation and possible repeat spend before you decide what to do. Regardless, Dynamics 365 Business Edition will allow organisations with less than 250 users to benefit from the scale and abilities of Dynamics 365 with the pricing likely to be cheaper than Salesforce.

1 min read

Door 2 – Common Data Model

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Integration is king.

With integration, businesses simply collaborate better, manage their time better, and empower staff to be more productive, as well as identify business opportunities and weaknesses more easily. Sitting at the heart of this intelligent business cloud, it’s the Common Data Model that makes it possible.

Because of the CDM, your core data is now centralised and updated by your core Dynamics applications. This means you now have a truly central repository to be consumed by other applications, customised or added to very simply. New applications can be built quickly and data can be shared more easily, tying business processes and productivity together. The CDM sits behind the standard Dynamics 365 business apps as well as apps created with PowerApps or integrated solutions that are developed externally. It allows apps all access the same information meaning you always a have a consistent and updated view.

Over the next few days, we’ll break down how the licensing for Dynamics 365 works.

 

1 min read

Dynamics 365 Advent Calendar

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CRM just got a lot more interesting with the launch of Dynamics 365.

Although massively worthwhile, the research can feel chunky but it’s Christmas and the December brains need a break. So here’s our gift to you, an advent calendar of everything worth knowing.
You’ll notice CRM is nowhere in the title anymore. With good reason. The term CRM doesn’t cover half of what Dynamics 365 can do. It’s a game changer. Not only that, it’s a game changer that is usable, affordable and scalable for all sizes of business, wherever they are in their development.

So, if it’s not CRM, what is it? Microsoft are defining it as end-to-end intelligent business applications in the cloud. That just about sums it up. It’s CRM and ERP working as a team to bring customer service, sales, marketing, field service, finance and operations together. It creates one big management, implementation and feedback loop around the database, keeping your customers firmly at the centre of your business strategy. The productivity tools and built in intelligence of every app genuinely give a straightforward and well thought through experience. For businesses that need the extra customisation capability that Dynamics is known for, there is extensibility that gives us, as a Gold Microsoft Partner, real confidence in the platform’s suitability for the future, not just today.

We’ll drill down into the most notable details through until Christmas Eve. Feel free to join in with questions or comments!