Dynamics 365 is coming and why you need to be ready

The Dynamics 365 winter is coming, so get your big coat on #HoskWisdom

The imminent release of Dynamics 365 brings forth a big change in the Dynamics landscape (we are losing CRM – what should I call my blog now!) the Dynamics CRM community is heading for a big change.  Change brings opportunities to those ready to take advantage.

This blog posts highlights interesting blog posts on Dynamics 365 and my views on why Dynamics 365 is a step in the right direction.


Time and tide wait for no man and bugs and builds wait for no developer #HoskWisdom

Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM has involved working with constant change and an evolving product, discussed in The rise of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

The Dynamics CRM product has evolved at a rapid rate and Microsoft has tried to speed up change by purchasing products which can augment existing functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft’s success with integrating external products and services has been hit and miss.  Some purchases looked doomed to failure at the start

  • Parature
  • MDM
  • Social Engagement (with persistence it might work but with a lack of demo’s available it hasn’t got much traction, experienced users or positive sentiment)

Microsoft slow integration with these products made it difficult to use the products with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Great article on MDM and Microsoft Adobe cloud – Dynamics 365 and the Adobe Marketing Cloud

The successful companies Microsoft integrated

  • FieldOne (now FieldServices)
  • ADX Portal

A couple of companies I think Microsoft should purchase are ClickDimensions and Resco.   Fantasy Sales Team is OK and after working with FieldOne (FieldOneMobile app thoughts, problems and solutions) purchasing products with existing integration with Dynamics CRM is a more successful strategy.  Fantasy Sales Team isn’t a failure but gamification is not a mainstream product and many question gamification – Is Gamification in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM a gimic?

This blog post summarizes the Dynamics 365 acquisitions

Dynamics 365 – Acquisitions that Made the Cut, or Didn’t

Will the expensive purchase of LinkedIn be successful

Microsoft buys LinkedIn – What you need to know

Microsoft’s development of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and purchasing products has made life more difficult and interesting whilst you struggle to keep up with the rate of change.  I admire Microsoft’s ambition and drive to improve Dynamics CRM at a rapid pace and close the gap with SalesForce.

Dynamics 365

Now we arrive at Dynamics 365 with Microsoft looking to create a new platform integrating CRM, ERP and field services.  A big move dropping CRM from the title and moving towards business applications and a more app/micro services architecture.

Some articles to get you up to speed with Dynamics 365

Dropping the CRM name is a good move because most of the projects I have worked on have used Dynamics CRM as a development framework to deliver XRM solution.

Why is Dynamics 365 important

Integration between Microsoft Dynamics products is painful, hopefully Dynamics 365 can help this pain go away #HoskWisdom

The integration between Microsoft products is painful, complicated and difficult.  Complexity is inherent in syncing records using different data models and functionality.

Customer expectations are a problem with customers expecting synchronising two Microsoft products is easy, the reality is you are syncing two different products created by separate teams with little thought to integration.

One of the fundamental problems trying to sync CRM and AX/NAV is the different data model used by CRM and AX.  AX tends to have more complex data model around quotes, products, orders and invoices and there is no easy way to sync them.  The only real solution is to to recreate the AX\NAV functionality in CRM which is difficult and costly.

Integrating CRM/AX is like trying to cast a double into an int (AX the double, CRM the int) and you will lose information

Integration using a tool or Azure service bus takes considerable development with little customer pleasing front end functionality.


Projects which need both ERP and CRM functionality need to answer this question

Do we need two different products or can we deliver the project using one?


Is the cost of integrating ERP/CRM more than the cost of developing the functionality in either CRM  or ERP (NAV/AX).  The common problem Microsoft is tackling is having separate products under the Dynamics umbrella which share some functionality but different data models and functionality.

Microsoft found themselves in a difficult situation of having two products with with overlapping functionality but strengths in different areas. Should they develop the functionality in the separate products or  push users into buying separate products?   Microsoft provided no easy or cost effective way to integrate the products and they chose not to develop functionality held in the separate products.

Scrum has a concept of inspect and adapt, looking at the past and changing your process/products to use the feedback.  Microsoft has decided to create Dynamics 365 and use a shared data model and put integration at the heart of the solution.

Dynamics 365 is an integrated framework where CRM, ERP, FieldServices, sales, marketing can work in one integrated platform, Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 will allow Microsoft to invest in developing services to be used in Dynamics 365, develop once and use by Dynamics 365, instead of developer in either Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Dynamics NAV/AX

Advantage over Salesforce

Salesforce lead the CRM market and Microsoft Dynamics CRM creating a leading cloud solution, Microsoft created Dynamics CRM using it’s existing products (AD, SQL Server, IIS, Outlook, SSIS) and has slowly moved them to a cloud service.

Salesforce got in first and built up a big customer base whichI view in similar way to next generation console releases first (PS4 versus XBox One).  Dynamics 365 see’s Microsoft creating a service which can compete with Salesforce with these advantages

  • Dynamics 365 can help Microsoft to create real ISP for Microsoft, the ability to integrate CRM and ERP functionality together in one environment is a real selling point.
  • Microsoft Dynamics has LinkedIn integration coming
  • AI integration is improving

Microsoft is starting a price war with Salesforce on the 1st November

Microsoft will launch its price war with Salesforce on November 1

Interesting things to end

In the past I have followed twitter

  • #Dynamics2016
  • #msdyncrm
  • @msdyncrm

you can now follow

  • #Dynamics365
  • @MSFTDynamics365


The Dynamics community is a mixture of excitement and trepidation when Microsoft releases new Dynamics products or updates   Microsoft has a history of half releasing functionality (CRM 2013) and buying products and not integrating them.

The move towards Dynamics 365 is a logical restructuring of products to create a flexible framework to deliver business applications with the ability to add modules of functionality where needed.  Dynamics 365 is a cloud framework which moves towards an app architecture.

  • Dynamics 365 is a rename and re-branding to focus on business applications
  • Dynamics 365 should makes it easier to integrate AX and CRM functionality
  • Dynamics 365 looks like it will be cheaper than purchasing multiple products
  • Dynamics 365 will be the hub between many services and applications
  • Dynamics 365 is coming whether you are ready or not, so do yourself a favour and be re

Shark image from here

7 thoughts on “Dynamics 365 is coming and why you need to be ready

  1. Rob October 19, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    Nice article Hosk, just want to add that the Microsoft NAV team introduced in NAV 2016 a standard CRM integration method that is driven from within NAV and integrates some basic standard entities between CRM and NAV.
    It also allows for customizations to be added and it can be extended.
    As I have experience with CRM as well I have tested this on a on-premise dev installation of NAV with integration to a temporary CRM Online instance but because it is new it probably hasn’t got enough traction yet. However the new integration is way better than the old CRM Connector.


    • Hosk October 20, 2016 / 6:42 am

      Anything would be better than the old connector.

      I heard Microsoft built in some integration functionality into NAV and AX.

      The question is how do we cope with lack of functionality in CRM


  2. Mike Kolling October 20, 2016 / 10:55 am

    Not sure i agree with your take that ADX has been a success and that MDM hasn’t – i would have said the reverse!


    • Hosk October 20, 2016 / 4:13 pm

      in my experience MDM has hasn’t been purchased or used by many customers. The lack of customisation in MDM makes it difficult to integrate with Microsoft Dynamcs CRM project.

      I have not heard many people say much good about MDM.

      ADX portal has been used on many projects and successfully, I have met many developers who have worked with ADX but not many who have successfully worked with MDM or worked with it at all.

      Microsoft are going to phase out MDM, which isn’t something you do if it was used in great numbers


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