The usual storm of email communications about Dynamics 365 seems to have slowed down lately. ERP vendors often get busy with implementations with go-live targets of January 1, so it’s an odd time of year in our industry. I’ve spent some time online getting up to date – I’ll share some results with you below.

A quick search on Google found Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 page here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/financials. It seems a little out of date, for instance, the section on Operations says
Operations—coming soon

The section on Financials contained this gem – “Apply for incoming payments directly to the related customer and mark invoices as paid to automatically reconcile accounts

And there was an offer to try Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations for Free!! Our firm has struggled with free demos for years. It’s like learning to fly by getting in the cockpit for free. Good luck! On the other hand, some partners report sales from their website by clicking an order button. It still seems an open question whether buyers will purchase without a detailed demo and proposal.

Something else missing – no referral to a strong partner network. I can’t tell you how discouraging that is. Customers buy QuickBooks and figure it out. They buy ERP only after a careful analysis, demo and checking out a partner’s experience and customers – at least they have in the past.

A different, higher level on the Microsoft website does have a partner finder tool at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/solution-providers/search. While it doesn’t focus on ERP providers, you can select Dynamics 365 Business as a product, but the region is limited to the United States (or other countries).

A list of partners shows that many focus on CRM, but there are a few that have strong ERP practices. Still needs a little work, but it’s a start. Cloud systems can be implemented remote, but ERP is often sold by a local partner. It would be helpful to allow users to select a region of the US to narrow the search.

Here’s what Wikipedia has on the topic of Dynamics 365. The second (and last) paragraph states;

In July 1, 2017, the Dynamics 365 line was repackaged. The CRM applications are now called the Customer Engagement Plan. The ERP application is now called Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, however, it is only available as part of the Unified Operations Plan which also includes the standalone applications Dynamics 365 for Talent and Dynamics 365 for Retail. Together, the two plans form the Dynamics 365 Plan.

Microsoft ERP still emerging

Overall, the picture of the new Microsoft ERP offering is still emerging. On the other hand, if you are looking for Dynamics 365 CRM, you will find lots of information and offerings from Microsoft. CRM is what most people mean when they say, ‘Dynamics 365’.

By the way, you can download a ‘Microsoft Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide’ by searching for this language in Google. It’s 52 pages long but has a good index so you can find what you are looking for. Good reading over the holidays.

Let me know how your Dynamics 365 practice is developing.

I would love to hear from you.

Bill Aiton, President, SSi Consulting, Vienna, VA
baiton@ssiconsulting.com