Dynamics 365, AppSource: Microsoft's latest cloud initiatives

To bring its clients and end consumers closer to enterprise-ready intelligent business applications, Microsoft has introduced Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource. Though, Dynamics 365 is half a decade old, the new version claims to combine the aspects of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions in a single suite. The company has also introduced a new destination for business users to find and try out line-of-business SaaS apps from Microsoft and its partners; Microsoft AppSource. Set to launch this fall, Microsoft states that the new Dynamics 365 is a cloud service with new purpose-built apps to help manage specific business functions, including Financials, Field Service, Sales, Operations, Marketing, Project Service Automation and Customer Service. Whereas, AppSource at launch will contain more than 200 business SaaS apps, add-ins and content packs, including a few exclusive new industry-specific business apps.

The rationale

According to Microsoft, the main aim behind launching these solutions is to make the business processes more channelized so that the customers can discover Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps offered by Microsoft. The company claims to have designed the dynamics 365 apps in such a way that it can be independently deployed without any hassle. It boasts to work without any glitch, according to the enterprise needs, and helps to grow additional capabilities. It includes built-in insights, predictive intelligence and workflow optimization, all of which will be delivered through mobile experiences with offline capabilities.

How will the suite work

Along with this, Microsoft states that Power BI and Cortana Intelligence will be natively embedded to help customers achieve their business goals with predictive insights, prescriptive advice and actionable insights. For example, Cortana Intelligence can help a sales personnel predict which products and services can be required by a customer. Access to IoT data inside Dynamics 365 for Field Service will enable preemptive action from field service agents by connecting asset monitoring and anomaly detection, so they can take action before failures occur, avoiding costly customer service issues. Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Cloud + Enterprise said in a blogpost:
We imagine a better world for business users everywhere. One where you can track leads, automate field service, drive sales and improve operations using modern, mobile, enterprise-ready intelligent business apps from the cloud that are as easy to use as the consumer apps that help us all get rides, book rooms, listen to music and take actions to improve our health.
As this solution provides SaaS, the combination of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 will link the structured workflow of business apps with the unstructured work of collaboration and productivity.

AppSource is on the go

Positioning it as the new app marketplace for business users, Microsoft is allowing users to try business and SaaS apps from Microsoft and its partners. The company claims that AppSource will offer users with a range of first- and third-party apps to choose from, which includes:
  • AFS “Retail Execution” – An end-to-end solution for CPG organizations to use as they engage with their customers in the field, covering visit and merchandising, sales, asset management and audit as well as a full suite of BI and analytics.
  • AvePoint “Citizen Services” – Government organizations can automate incident reporting, response and resolution, so employees can solve issues faster and serve citizens better.
  • Veripark “Next Best Action” – Financial institutions can maximize the lifetime value of each customer and deliver a first-class customer-centric experience by making the right offer, at the right time, via the right channel.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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