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Microsoft Dynamics- At the forefront of Business Solutions Innovation
Manpreet Kalsi
VP-AKA Enterprise Solutions
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
In Step with the Latest Trends

Microsoft Dynamics provides business solutions for all aspects of an organization's needs. Customer engagement and customer experience are at the forefront of Microsoft's business model, providing flexible applications that allow businesses to respond to changing market conditions as they grow. These are exciting times for business solutions like Microsoft Dynamics as they embrace the trends that started with productivity applications. The cloud is leading this change. Microsoft Dynamics allows companies to focus on their core business requirements and give them the flexibility to scale their hardware up or down as demands change. It also reduces the upfront capital investment by leveraging a subscription model that spreads out the investment over time.

Business applications that are accessible from any device, are another important trend. Users expect "smart applications" where the user experience automatically adjusts to the devices used to access the application. Microsoft Dynamics applications deliver on that promise by providing seamless experience across any device, anytime and anywhere.

In this day and age, customers don't want to wait months for the next release to get new features and improvements. This trend started with operating systems and smart device apps updates and is now expected of business solution applications. Microsoft Dynamics keeps this commitment to the business user by supporting continuous updates through an upgradable application.

Another important trend is ensuring a uniform user experience across applications. Microsoft Dynamics offers business applications that provide an immersive user experience through the HTML5 client and leverage seamless integration with productivity, and messaging solutions. The boundaries among various tools are being blurred in order to focus on a connected user experience rather than the applications themselves.

Microsoft Dynamics is in step with these trends with their latest ERP and CRM releases which are cloud-based, platform independent and leverage Office 365, Yammer, Skype, and Power BI, all built on Windows and Azure platforms.

Increased User Adoption

Microsoft Dynamics goes beyond traditional business solutions by bringing the applications that run your finances, sales, marketing, and operations together with the familiar Office apps you already know. Google apps primarily focus on productivity and messaging applications. Dynamics takes this concept to a whole new level by providing a suite of business, productivity, messaging and analytics applications that works seamlessly to provide a user experience that is unmatched by any other application provider in the market. Microsoft Dynamics seamlessly integrate Office 365, Microsoft Outlook, Skype, and Power BI to provide this rich user experience. Microsoft is the only company that can provide this type of experience in both the cloud and on premise environments. The convergence of business applications and productivity / messaging applications is here to stay and we can expect this trend to continue.

Adapting to the Changes

MS Dynamics is best leveraged in a cloud-based environment even though it can be installed on premise. For companies that haven't embraced the cloud yet, they would need to evaluate their IT policies, security policies and infrastructure. Additionally, if the users are only exposed to a rich client business solutions application, they would need time and training to get comfortable with a browser based business solutions application.

Customers will adapt to these emerging trends at their own pace. Even though the cloud is a highly secured environment, there are concerns about storing company financial, sales, marketing or operational information outside of a company's IT infrastructure. As more and more organizations embrace the cloud, this concern will diminish.

Employing the Right Technology

Most organizations understand what they need. The challenging piece is to keep an organization updated on the technology advances out there that will help them achieve their goals. Every organization needs leaders who are always looking for ways for the organization to be more profitable, competitive and productive. The cloud has matured as a secured, reliable and scalable means to host an organization's business data. Technology has also evolved to make this information available anywhere, anytime and on any device. Applications are converging to provide a user experience to increase productivity. There is more focus on analytics than ever before. Companies need to embrace these changes to stay competitive.

It is also important to have standardization in the implementation process to ensure predictability and quality. Microsoft Lifecycle Services (LCS) provides an Azure-based collaboration portal that provides a unifying, collaborative environment that help you manage the application lifecycle of your Microsoft Dynamics implementation. Microsoft is updating it regularly to add new tools, to simplify and standardize the implementation process.

Knowing the Big Picture

Microsoft is investing heavily in MS Dynamics, both in the ERP and CRM space, with a goal to enhance the user experience and reduce the cost of ownership. There are more reasons now than ever before to benefit from this. Microsoft has a published multi-year roadmap for Dynamics. I encourage you to review it and evaluate how your organization can benefit from it. MS Dynamics continues to be enhanced as technology evolves and executives should look for a business solution that evolves and grows with them. You should look at the cost of maintaining your in-house business applications and how you can reduce the cost of ownership with Dynamics in the cloud. You should also review how you can leverage the uniform user experience offered by Dynamics, integrated seamlessly with other Microsoft applications to replace antiquated applications that are cumbersome to maintain, upgrade and use.

Shifting Focus

Predictive analytics is the next big thing in business solutions. Organizations have recognized that it is very important to use data, statistical information and machine-learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes. MS Dynamics is betting heavily on Power BI and Azure machine learning to deliver analytics and predictive capabilities. We should see more focus on predictive analytics in the years to come.
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