Microsoft is one of the world’s leading providers of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, thanks to its Dynamics 365 ERP. The platform has hundreds of thousands of customers, millions of users, and of course, the financial backing of the largest software company in the world. But for the average buyer, there’s an immediate drawback to Microsoft’s solutions: they’re confusing. The Dynamics 365 ERP portfolio offers a seemingly endless variety of packages, customizations, deployment models, and pricing schemas, each offering some degree of end-to-end functionality for several different verticals. Read more on CIO Insight: Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce — Who Is Better?

What Is Microsoft Dynamics ERP?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a combination of customer resource management (CRM) software and ERP software, giving businesses the ability to centralize their customer insights and business data. It offers solutions for a variety of business departments, including sales, marketing, HR, and supply chain management. It provides a central business application, aggregating data from multiple departments to paint a complete picture of an organization’s key data points. Users can create custom dashboards and reports while also gaining actionable insights via artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Dynamics 365 also easily integrates with other Microsoft applications — including Power BI, Microsoft Teams, and Power Automate — to gather more data from across the organization. Some businesses may also choose to become a Microsoft partner in order to resell Dynamics 365 to their own customers.

What are the Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics ERP?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a mature enterprise resource planning platform that helps businesses gain better insights, deliver value faster, and adapt to change more quickly. Read more: 5 Factors to Weigh During Your ERP Software Comparison

Better Insights

With AI and a central repository for business data, Dynamics 365 provides businesses with better insights into their data. The system can highlight trends among customers, identify which products sell best, or even how the weather may impact the supply chain. Using these insights and predictive analytics, businesses can engage in better resource planning and improve their ROI.

Faster Time to Value

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers pre-built applications and easy-to-use APIs, allowing businesses to gather and use data faster. Organizations can choose from applications that automate customer service chats, improve scheduling for project management, provide HR self-service tools, and much more. The software also offers quick deployment, with businesses able to implement it in days or weeks rather than months.

Quicker Adaptation to Change

Because all of an organization’s data is in one place and users get better insights with Dynamics 365, they can adapt to changing market conditions faster, preventing major revenue losses. For example, a shoe retailer may notice in their social media reports that activity surrounding boots is going down, while sneakers are being talked about more. They can then plan production accordingly to stock more sneakers and fewer boots, maximizing their revenue and avoiding overstocks. Read more: Will Cloud ERP Software Increase Your Agility?

Key Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP Features

Pre-Built Applications

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a variety of pre-built applications that can help organizations extend the functionality of the ERP and automate repetitive tasks. This lowers the amount of internal development and IT resources needed, so companies can act on their goals faster. Additionally, Dynamics integrates with the entire suite of Microsoft Power apps to add business intelligence, automation, and data visualization. Users can also integrate Dynamics 365 with other, non-Microsoft applications for additional functionality. Read more: Benefits of Integrating ERP with IoT

Customizable Dashboards and Reports

Users can create their own dashboards and reports in Microsoft Dynamics 365 to highlight the information that’s most important for their role or department. They can see any changes at a glance and manipulate data to hone in on specific trends or run what-if scenarios. These dashboards make it easier to make data-driven decisions for the organization.

Real-Time Analytics

Because Dynamics 365 aggregates data from across the company and updates regularly, users get real-time insights and analytics with the platform. Data can become outdated quickly, especially in fast-changing environments, so real-time analytics are key to reacting to changes fast and improving ROI.

Choosing the Right Microsoft Dynamics ERP Solution for Your Business

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP can be customized for just about every enterprise, but the demarcation between solutions isn’t always clear. If you still aren’t sure whether this ERP is the best fit for your business, that’s okay. Dynamics 365 is built to be flexible, and your solution partner will work with you to build a customized solution. One thing to note is that Microsoft Dynamics 365 is not cheap. Small and medium-sized businesses may not be ready to invest in a full ERP system, and instead, should focus on standalone solutions as they grow. Enterprises, however, likely have the capital needed to invest in Dynamics 365 and should consider it for their ERP needs. If you’d like to learn more about ERP software and compare other vendors, check out our ERP Product Selection Tool. In as little as five minutes, you’ll get a free, unbiased list of ERP software recommendations perfect for your business. Read next: When You Should Upgrade to ERP Software

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