Microsoft Dynamics is getting a great deal of attention lately with Microsoft’s recent purchase of LinkedIn, but what exactly is Microsoft Dynamics? Microsoft Dynamics is a number of different Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software applications, as well as small and medium business solutions.
Microsoft Dynamics can be used with other Microsoft applications, such as SharePoint, Yammer, Office 365, Azure, and Outlook. In the near future, Microsoft HoloLens will also be added to the experience. Microsoft Dynamics focuses on industries such as retail, service, manufacturing, financial services, and the public sector.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM for short, allows companies to have better manage and interact with their customers. CRM also provides better options to market themselves, be more productive in sales, and provide top-notch customer service solutions. CRM provides a way for a company to keep their marketing, sales, and customer service organized and automated so that the company can focus on more meaningful business and client relationships to help their company grow.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers companies the ability to keep their Microsoft Dynamics software applications either on-premises, in the cloud, or a combination of the two. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is competing with other companies like Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP, which basically provide the same service, but Microsoft Dynamics would like to have companies believe that they are able to deliver a better product.
Here is a video example of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in action.
Now that Microsoft owns LinkedIn, Microsoft is better poised to deliver a better CRM and ERP solutions for businesses out there. LinkedIn has the connections, the infrastructure, and as Bill Gates explains, the LinkedIn deal will help Microsoft expand its software capabilities in a different business-focused social media network:
“Microsoft does, working with people and productivity, help professionals communicate. I mean, the company is expert in software and managing those audiences and it’s great that they now have the opportunity to surprise the world and say ‘Oh my God look this feed, this professional feed in LinkedIn that is how I want to learn about, my career, my company, my industry and I’m going back there.’ If we can make that as, say, valuable as the Facebook feed in the social world, that’s huge value creation and that’ll happen over a period of years.”
Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will undoubtedly help expand the Microsoft Dynamics CRM experience for many businesses using the massive business networking capabilities of LinkedIn. Imagine the networking capabilities that would be available via LinkedIn when used in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics CRM in this video example.
Microsoft Dynamics ERP
Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, are software applications that provide end-to-end business management applications that organize and automate things like financial management, supply chain management, manufacturing, and day-to-day back-end business operations, like human resources.
Microsoft Dynamics ERP is mainly for small and medium-sized businesses but also offers Enterprise solutions as well. Microsoft Dynamics ERP helps turn business data into insights using familiar Microsoft products, like Office 365 and Outlook, to connect company employees, company processes and systems all from one place accessible from any device.
Essentially, CRM records and stores all the information related to customer interactions. CRM takes information that people post on Facebook, tweet about on Twitter and other information from the Internet for collecting, sharing customer data and storing customer interactions for use across the whole company. The main goal of CRM is to provide a standardized catalog of customer data that can be used company-wide to improve sales, customer relations, and customer retention.
While CRM is focused on the customer, ERP is focused on the business itself. Like CRM, ERP allows for company-wide sharing of business information as opposed to customer data with CRM. ERP allows for any and all employees to enter and access information in the ERP system in real-time. Each company division can set up specialized alerts for problems that arise and deal with those problems effectively. In this regard, ERP allows companies to plan for issues before they become persistent problems for running business operations. Allowing companies to focus on the data instead of operations, ERP offers the best way to organize business processes.
Because Microsoft Dynamics handles both CRM and ERP, it can provide increased productivity and efficiency for an organization when looking both outward and inward. Certainly, Dynamics is a huge part of Microsoft’s “cloud-first, mobile-first” productivity platform strategy, and the LinkedIn acquisition only makes it a stronger competitor.