The Evolution of Microsoft Dynamics 365
The tech world is inundated with information and speculation about Microsoft Dynamics 365. As the latest iteration of Microsoft’s prestigious line of ERP and CRM solutions, it’s no surprise that this new generation of products has provoked so much excitement. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an exciting turning point for the company’s product line due to unifying ERP and CRM on the cloud. In fact, the cloud is where the evolution of Microsoft Dynamics 365 began.
Let’s take a step back.
In 2015 Microsoft released Microsoft Dynamics AX 7, the first AX offering available on Microsoft Azure. In 2016, Microsoft announced it was bringing its ERP and CRM solutions together under a common platform, with the intention of allowing the systems to coexist and cooperate with each other via a common data model. This vision is known as Microsoft Dynamics 365. With this new paradigm in place, Microsoft Dynamics AX became Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations.
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 product line encompasses two larger application suites: the Enterprise edition and the Business edition. Originally, Dynamics 365 for Operations was to exist as the ERP solution under the Enterprise edition, while its counterpart, Dynamics 365 for Financials was to exist as the ERP solution under the Business edition. Upon recognizing that the nomenclature made the two ERP applications seem like two halves of a complete whole, Microsoft rebranded the two as:
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition
Now that we’ve covered the branding of Microsoft Dynamics 365, you’re probably wondering what the differences are between the Enterprise edition and the Business edition. By the end of this blog, you’ll not only understand the differences between the two, but which one can best suit your business needs.
Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition
Under the Enterprise edition, there exists the Dynamics 365 Plan, which includes two separate solution packages: the Unified Operations Plan and the Customer Engagement Plan. The two plans are crafted to meet the needs of firms with complex, multifaceted operations.
Unified Operations Plan
The Unified Operations Plan is an ERP-focused suite that includes these applications:
- Finance and Operations (formerly AX)
As part of the Unified Operations Plan, Finance and Operations is the culmination of the cloud-focused evolution that began with Microsoft Dynamics AX and boasts several restructured and augmented ERP components. Its full suite of functionalities include the following:
- Procurement and Sourcing
- Financial Management
- Human Capital Management
- Country/Region Functionality
Meanwhile, PowerApps enables end users to create customizable business apps they can integrate with their Microsoft applications.
Retail is an application tailored for use in retailing and consumer goods, while Talent is an application designed to facilitate the activities of human capital managers and recruiters.
Customer Engagement Plan
In contrast to the Unified Operations Plan, the Customer Engagement Plan is a CRM-focused suite that includes the following applications:
- PowerApps (the same as in the Unified Operations Plan)
- Customer Service
- Field Service
- Project Service Automation
Using the power of the cloud, mobile technology and potential interface with ERP, these applications facilitate new and enriched means of reaching and interacting with your customers.
Customers wanting Enterprise edition can choose between Unified Operations, Customer Engagement, or combined in the full Dynamics 365 Plan.
Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition Licensing Options
Although the Enterprise edition and its subcomponents are optimized for 250+ employees, the suite is very flexible and scalable, enabling it to suit the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses as well.
The complete Enterprise edition includes the both the Unified Operations Plan and the Customer Engagement Plan, although it is possible to purchase both plans separately if you only need one or the other.
It is important to note that Finance and Operations is only available as part of the Unified Operations Plan. However, all other apps that exist under the Enterprise edition can be purchased individually.
See the chart below for a breakdown of the Enterprise edition’s licensing options.
Dynamics 365 Business edition
The Dynamics 365 Business edition is optimized for business that require simpler ERP and CRM solutions. Though it lacks several of the features included in the Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition, it has sufficient depth and breadth of functionality to serve both small and large companies with relatively straightforward processes.
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition is the Business edition’s ERP solution. Its functionality emphasizes financial components, though it is not limited to those. The product’s modules include the following:
- Financial Management
- Inventory Management
- Project Management
- Additional Capabilities (multiple currencies, dimensions, document reporting)
Dynamics 365 Business edition Licensing Options
While Microsoft has yet to release complete details and licensing options regarding the Business edition, Dynamics 365 for Financials is available for purchase and implementation. As the backbone of the Business edition, Financials is officially optimized for firms ranging from 10-250 people. However, just like Finance and Operations and the greater Enterprise edition, it is scalable and flexible enough to suit the needs of many larger companies as well.
I’m interested in purchasing Dynamics 365 software. Who should I talk to?
Now that you understand the difference between the Enterprise edition and the Business edition, you’re probably wondering how to take the next step in buying the product that is right for your operations. That’s where we can help. As a Gold Microsoft Dynamics Partner, Turnkey Technologies can help you choose and implement ERP and CRM solutions that will satisfy your needs efficiently and cost-effectively.