Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource – What does it mean for clients?
Microsoft has unveiled a series of information and new tools for the move into “enterprise-ready intelligent business apps” with the announcement of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource. Microsoft’s announcement can be found here.
Here are a couple industry takes on the subject:
- Microsoft Gives Frenemy Salesforce a Shove with New Dynamics 365 Integrated Cloud Platform
- Microsoft Readies Combined CRM, ERP Dynamics 365 cloud
This blog post will focus on the impact to new and existing clients of Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, and Dynamics NAV.
Though many articles focus on two key elements of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource, this is actually a multi-part announcement:
- Dynamics 365 Financials will consist of Project Madeira (previously discussed on our blog found here.)
- Dynamics 365 Business will consist of Project Madeira and Dynamics CRM
- Dynamics 365 Enterprise will consist of Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM
For all Dynamics 365 editions, we’ve seen mentions of Power BI and Internet of Things (IoT) features such as Cortana integration. As additional information comes out along with pricing, these features will clarify themselves.
Though this announcement is a fair amount of brand discussion, it is the outcome of a lot of new architecture that has been ongoing for Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, and Dynamics NAV / Project Madeira. Cloud deployment and new development models to support extensions/apps has been a major focus of recent releases.
Microsoft AppSource can be thought of as an App Store for ERP. There are really two types of Apps available:
- The first group is complete industry-specific solutions (also known as Verticals) that would be of interest to a new prospect who doesn’t currently own a Dynamics ERP.
- The second group is “Apps” which can range from very small, single-purpose functions (i.e. Email Notification plug-in) to larger sets of functionality (i.e. Integration to rate calculations from FedEx, UPS, USPS)
For both new and existing clients, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource represent Microsoft’s continued investment and innovation in the business software space.
New clients will find easier identification and selection of industry solutions and partners. Existing Clients, upgraded to current releases, will be able to benefit from Microsoft AppSource in their existing CRM, AX, or NAV implementations (even if on-premise). For example, if you are an existing client with a smaller side company running QuickBooks, and just haven’t gotten around to pulling that into Dynamics NAV … there’s an App for that.
Finally, it is worth acknowledging that the series of announcements of New Dynamics AX / AX7, Project Madeira, and now Dynamics 365 has caused some confusion in the marketplace, but Dynamics 365 is a distinct product offering moving forward.
Microsoft has provided communications and Q&As to state that on-premise installations of Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV, and Dynamics CRM and future planning are not impacted in any way, but allows much of the ongoing development effort for one solution to be applicable to the other.