In July, Microsoft announced plans for a new solution that would combine its customer relationship management app, Dynamics CRM with Enterprise Resource Planning app, Dynamics AX.
This morning, at its Microsoft Dynamics Partner community summit in Tampa, Fla., it announced the release date for the solution: Nov. 1.
The solution is aims to solve two problems: 1) bringing legacy data silos together and 2) providing enterprises a way to move forward with digital transformation plans.
Artificial Intelligence, The Tie That Binds
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will tie the two sides of the solution together.
While this wasn't emphasized when the Redmond, Wash.-based company unveiled the plans, in light of recent news from Salesforce about its new Einstein AI capability and to a lesser extent Oracle’s AI announcements, the AI angle was a focal point in today's announcement.
In a pre-keynote blog about the release Takeshi Numoto, corporate VP of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise wrote:
"Dynamics 365 [is] our new cloud service with purpose-built apps that enable you to address specific business needs (like sales automation, operations or customer service) and start small with the assurance that the solution can grow as your needs do. Powered by advanced analytics and machine learning — what we call Intelligence — Dynamics 365 will usher in a new era of business agility for you, our customers."
This means intelligence across all the Dynamics 365 apps notably sentiment and intent analysis, preemptive service, relationship insights, lead and opportunity scoring and product recommendation.
The first release of Dynamics 365 will include seven different apps including a preview of the new Dynamics 365 Customer Insights app, which has been the subject of rumors since July.
According to Numoto, the Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights analytics app connects and analyzes data from Microsoft and other widely used CRM, ERM, web, social and IoT sources which provide users with a 360 degree view of the customer, as well as automatic suggestions as to how to improve engagement.
Microsoft's New Licensing Model
Microsoft will make the new release available in enterprise and business editions, and will license it under what it touts as "industry-first plans" that allows organizations to sign up on a per app/ per user basis.
Numoto gave the example of customer service representatives, who would be more productive with access to data and capabilities from the field service, customer service and sales apps. Under this licensing model, a member of the customer service team can get all of these apps under a single license. Under current licensing systems it would require three different licenses.
It is also likely that Adobe Marketing Cloud will be used as the marketing element of the new enterprise edition.
During its Ignite conference in late September, Microsoft announced a new partnership with Adobe that would make the Adobe Marketing Cloud the preferred marketing service for the Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition.
Microsoft hasn't yet made it clear what will happen to the Dynamics CRM and AX apps currently in use.