Microsoft Dynamics 365: A cheat sheet

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of enterprise-level intelligent cloud-based applications. The software stack combines ERP and CRM apps and integrates them with Azure and Microsoft 365.

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Illustration: Lisa Hornung/iStockPhoto

Even when everything is running smoothly, managing a business, with all its moving parts, data flows, analytics, and people, is difficult, time consuming, and vitally important to overall success. Once a business enterprise reaches a certain size, it must deploy systems to help automate and simplify operation management. Increasingly, business enterprises are opting to use cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365.

In a nutshell, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of ERP and CRM applications. Each module helps business enterprises control, process, and analyze operational data generated during the course of ordinary business so that decision makers have pertinent and actionable information available when they need it. Each business enterprise chooses the modules that will satisfy their business needs, which means Microsoft Dynamics 365, and any tool must be flexible enough to accommodate many different business entities.

SEE: Microsoft Dynamics 365: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Dynamics 365 is Microsoft's blanket name for a suite of enterprise-level intelligent business-related applications. The ERP solution part of Dynamics 365 includes financial, accounting, and operational software. The CRM portion of Dynamics 365 includes sales, marketing, and customer service software. All of the software in Dynamics 365 is designed to integrate with Microsoft 365's suite of productivity apps, and all of the apps leverage cloud technology.

SEE: Microsoft Dynamics 365: How you can use big data to learn more about your customers (TechRepublic)

Why is Microsoft Dynamics 365 important?

After reaching a certain size, measured in number of employees or amount of business transactions, businesses often find it much more efficient to integrate all their management software across departments, divisions, and locations. Microsoft Dynamics provides such a suite of integrated management software in the cloud, where application modules can be added and subtracted as needed, and access can be authorized to anyone from anywhere.

For modern businesses, operating in the age of digital transformation, the ability to process transactions, collect data, and manage business decisions using an integrated system like Dynamics 365 can provide a competitive advantage. As a cloud-based system, businesses can leverage artificial intelligence (AI), pattern recognition, data visualization, and other digitization tools to gain insights into business operations that might otherwise remain hidden.

SEE: Dynamics 365: This new feature could help bring an end to another big business headache (TechRepublic)

What application modules are available in Microsoft Dynamics 365?

The application modules associated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 include just about every potential management function required to run a modern enterprise business. This Microsoft business application has various packages and pricing plans available, and each individual business must choose which software modules meet its needs.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 software modules include:

Intelligent sales and marketing

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer insights

Proactive customer service

  • Customer service
  • Field service
  • Customer service insights

Connected field service

  • Field service
  • Customer insights
  • Remote assist

Modern finance and operations

  • Finance
  • Supply management
  • Human resources

Connected commerce

  • Commerce
  • Fraud protection
  • Customer insights

To help application developers within a business enterprise integrate functions across the organization, Microsoft has also included a suite of applications known as Power Platform. These applications allow businesses to visualize data, identify trends, and communicate that information across the organization. There is also a module that automates data processes and another module that developers can use to create virtual agents.

SEE: All of TechRepublic's cheat sheets and smart person's guides

The Microsoft Power Platform includes:

  • Power BI
  • Power Apps
  • Power Automate
  • Power Virtual Agents

Much of the cloud infrastructure necessary to support Dynamics 365 is provided by Microsoft Azure. To complete the operational nature of Dynamics 365, all of the software modules integrate with applications found in the Microsoft 365 productivity suite.

SEE: Top CRM software services for SMBs (TechRepublic)

Who are Microsoft Dynamics 365's competitors?

Few competitors to Dynamics 365 offer both ERP and CRM software modules, so competitive lines are typically drawn along those lines. Prominent vendors competing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the ERP solutions marketplace include:

Prominent vendors competing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the CRM solutions marketplace include:

Dozens of smaller niche cloud vendors of ERP and CRM services also compete with Microsoft in the operational management marketplace.

SEE: Top 10 ERP vendors in 2020 (TechRepublic)

How do I get Microsoft Dynamics 365, and how much does it cost?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is available now. The suite of business applications is continuously updated, refined, and improved. Pricing plans are subject to change, but the pricing structure as of late 2020 is shown in Table A.

Table A—Microsoft

Sales

Sales

Price for user's first Dynamics 365 app

Price for user's subsequent qualifying Dynamics 365 app

Sales Professional

$65 per user/month

$20 per user/month

Sales Enterprise

$95 per user/month

$20 per user/month

Sales Premium

$135 per user/month

$135 per user/month

Microsoft Relationship Sales

$162 per user/month

$162 per user/month

Customer Insights

From $1,500 per tenant/month

From $1,000 per tenant/month

Customer Voice

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

Customer Service

Customer Service

Price for user's first Dynamics 365 app

Price for user's subsequent qualifying Dynamics 365 app

Customer Service Professional

$50 per user/month

$20 per user/month

Customer Service Enterprise

$95 per user/month

$20 per user/month

Virtual Agent for Customer Service

From $1,000 per tenant/month

From $1,000 per tenant/month

Customer Insights

From $1,500 per tenant/month

From $1,000 per tenant/month

Customer Voice

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

Field Service

Field Service

Price for user's first Dynamics 365 app

Price for user's subsequent qualifying Dynamics 365 app

Field Service

$95 per user/month

$20 per user/month

Remote Assist

$65 per user/month

$20 per user/month

Guides

$65 per user/month

$65 per user/month

Customer Insights

From $1,500 per tenant/month

From $1,000 per tenant/month

Customer Voice

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

Finance

Finance

Price for user's first Dynamics 365 app

Price for user's subsequent qualifying Dynamics 365 app

Finance

$180 per user/month

$30 per user/month

Business Central Essentials

$70 per user/month

$70 per user/month

Business Central Premium

$100 per user/month

$100 per user/month

Operations

Operations

Price for user's first Dynamics 365 app

Price for user's subsequent qualifying Dynamics 365 app

Supply Chain Management

$180 per user/month

$30 per user/month

Project Operations

$120 per user/month

$30 per user/month

Business Central Essentials

$70 per user/month

$70 per user/month

Business Central Premium

$100 per user/month

$100 per user/month

Commerce

Commerce

Price for user's first Dynamics 365 app

Price for user's subsequent qualifying Dynamics 365 app

Commerce

$180 per user/month

$30 per user/month

Fraud Protection

$1,000 per tenant/month

$1,000 per tenant/month

Customer Insights

From $1,500 per tenant/month

From $1,500 per tenant/month

Human Resources

Human Resources

Price for user's first Dynamics 365 app

Price for user's subsequent qualifying Dynamics 365 app

Human Resources

$120 per user/month

$30 per user/month

Guides

$65 per user/month

$65 per user/month

Customer Voice

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

$100 for 2,000 survey responses per tenant/month

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