Inside Dynamics 365: Microsoft answer Top 5 customer questions

17 February, 2017
Inside Dynamics 365: Microsoft answer Top 5 customer questions

Are you one of many people that is confused by Microsoft’s latest release? Luckily for you, here at Columbus we are in tune with all things Microsoft Dynamics 365 and we are really excited about the transformation it will bring to our customers.

To help explain what exactly Dynamics 365 is, and how it can help to develop and grow your business, here are five FAQs answered by Microsoft:

How does Dynamics 365 benefit customers?

Dynamics 365 brings together the best of the CRM and ERP cloud offerings into one cloud service with specific, purpose built, apps for each of your key business processes – like Finance, Sales, Customer Service, etc.

It provides customers a modern and familiar experience with built in insights, intelligence and workflow. They also use a common data model and consistent application platform to ensure consistency, interoperability and extensibility. D365 also enables businesses to:

  • Start with what they need by offering apps that fit roles, industries, businesses – so customers can start with what they need and grow at their pace to run their entire business in the cloud.
  • Enable greater productivity where they need it by connecting structured workflow of business applications and processes with the unstructured work of collaboration and productivity so employees are empowered with productivity tools surfaced in the context of their business processes.
  • Get built-in Intelligence with business applications that infuse big data, advanced analytics and IoT into processes out-of-the-box to proactively guide employees and customers to optimal outcomes. With Dynamics 365, data and insights are transformed into action for intelligence where it’s needed!

Do all these apps really work together seamlessly?

All of Microsoft’s intelligent business apps will align to the new common data model, and an extensibility model that combines existing customization tools with PowerApps and Flow.

At launch, Microsoft had made solid progress towards apps working seamlessly together, and it’s their plan to continue this as business processes are redefined to eliminate historical boundaries between CRM and ERP.

IOT and PowerBI play key roles in how Microsoft helps businesses be more outcome driven as well as giving customers and their Partner ecosystem the ability to leverage a new common data platform to integrate legacy and 3rd party solutions with Dynamics 365.

What is the Common Data Model and how does it work with D365?

The common data model is a cloud-resident business database, built on years of experience with our enterprise customers. It will come with hundreds of standard business entities spanning both business process (Dynamics 365) and productivity (Office 365). The standardization and consistency of schema enables partners to build innovative applications and to automate business processes spanning the entire business process spectrum with confidence their solutions can be easily deployed and used across Microsoft’s entire customer base.

I already use a Microsoft product (AX, NAV, CRM) – can I move to Dynamics 365?

For organizations already using a Dynamics cloud solution, such as Dynamics AX online or Dynamics CRM, Microsoft has carefully designed the transition process to be a seamless one.

If you are currently using an on premise solution, but are ready to make the move to the cloud with Dynamics 365, please contact us at Columbus so that we can help you with the migration. For businesses that must keep their ERP system on premise or in a private cloud, we will continue to offer our support.

How much will Dynamics 365 cost?

While Microsoft still support the traditional approach and allow customers to license Dynamics 365 by application (Financials, Operations, Sales, Marketing, etc.) they will also be able to license users by “role.”

The new role based approach will give customers the flexibility they need to support modern, more agile, more diverse employee roles – enabling them to access functionality across all applications within Dynamics 365. Further details on pricing will be available soon!

We hope that we have been able to answer some of the common questions you might have regarding Microsoft Dynamics 365, but if there is anything that we have missed, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We have also created this great guide to explain more about how we can help your business transform to Dynamics 365, you can download your copy here.

A technical guide to system maintenance for Microsoft AX and D365
17 December 2018

A technical guide to system maintenance for Microsoft AX and D365

As many of us wind down for the festive season, now is a great time to think about the maintenance of the systems your business relies on, and get organised for next year. Next year, we see new trends emerging including Evergreen updates for Microsoft Dynamics 365, so use the end of the year to

5 SME Predictions for 2019
12 December 2018

5 SME Predictions for 2019

2018 has been quite the year for digital transformation. With 2019 just around the corner, let’s look ahead to 5 technology trends that will: impact and redefine business decisions; help inspire clients to better evaluate and mitigate risks; build strong strategies and grow their small to medium

Version Control - The dangers of running old Microsoft Dynamics systems
10 December 2018

Version Control - The dangers of running old Microsoft Dynamics systems


It works for you. Your employees are comfortable using it. You know what you pay for. But the trouble is, you haven’t updated that software platform in a long time. So long in fact that the vendor has stopped supporting the version your business relies on. No harm in that, right? Wrong.

Change Management: Top 5 components for a successful ERP implementation
29 November 2018

Change Management: Top 5 components for a successful ERP implementation

One of the biggest challenges for a business when implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution is not realising the need for organisational change management. Implementing an ERP solution in your organisation implies change and change inevitably will engender some resistance.