The upcoming release of Dynamics 365 has me looking back and thinking. In a July 1, 2015 blog post, I wrote about a recent announcement from Microsoft, regarding strategic plans to move towards "One Microsoft." Here's a brief excerpt: “As a Dynamics partner, the promise of 'One Microsoft' has been our holy grail for a good while. What this would look like is this: the entire Microsoft solution stack, fully leveraged to deliver optimum benefits for the ERP user community. With the Satya Nadella taking over as CEO, impediments to internal cooperation and coordination are being removed. All of the organization and product changes are moving in the right direction for this to actually happen now.”
Fast forward to today - the pieces come together.
Microsoft has taken a series of steps to leverage that full potential. On November 1, Microsoft will be making Dynamics 365 commercially available. This offering will include financial management, integration to Outlook, integration to Office 365, and integration to PowerBI. All of this will be running on Azure in the cloud, supported by Microsoft.
Yes, Microsoft has had all of the pieces for a full solution stack for a good while - from the Dynamics ERP and CRM products to their productivity suites (Office and SharePoint), to the first mass market business intelligence solution (PowerBI), to all of the underlying infrastructure and data management (Azure to SQL Server and beyond). The challenge was putting it all together – something that required technical know-how, patience, and - usually - outside partners. That technical know-how and those individual building blocks of solid technology were great on their own, for larger enterprises with teams and budgets to put them together, that is. However, those critical pieces on their own didn’t really meet the new expectations of a cloud services world.
Mid-market enterprises and small enterprises - the types of businesses that are the lifeblood of Silicon Valley and most of the world – expect something that offers immediate value. If there is a business benefit, companies will extend the functionality. But today, only Fortune 1000 companies buy systems that are tools first and ready-to-use functionality second.
Is Dynamics 365 the solution?
- By Bob Scarborough, CEO of Tensoft, a Silicon Valley-based Microsoft Dynamics ERP Re-seller and Application Developer