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Is It Time to Upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Author: Duneel Muthubandara | 7 min read | December 7, 2021


Your CRM is critical to your business. If you want to keep in touch with customers and turn leads into customers, you need a powerful and dependable CRM. Without that type of a tool, you may see your sales stalling, which is something you don’t need.

If you’re still depending on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you don’t have many new capabilities that are available in the latest Dynamics 365 technology. As customers expect more from their vendors, you will lose ground over your competitors. You need a tool that will grow with you. Since Dynamics CRM is no longer Microsoft’s premier CRM product, they won’t be adding the new capabilities to it. It is time to consider an upgrade.

The Evolution of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM was very popular when it was released in 2003, and Microsoft updated it regularly. In 2016, Microsoft changed its name to Dynamics 365 CRM. The current version includes many of the early Dynamics features and more.

Today, Microsoft Dynamics CRM isn’t available for purchase. The product has been separated into different Dynamics 365 applications, including Marketing, Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, and Project Service Automation. The original Microsoft Dynamics CRM runs on-prem only, but the new Dynamics 365 apps run on-prem and in the cloud. Most users have found that the cloud version is best for their needs.

What You’re Missing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

If you stay with Dynamics CRM, you’ll miss a critical opportunity to make the cloud work for you. According to Gartner, spending on the cloud will reach over $397 billion in 2022, up from $270 billion in 2020. This bolsters the idea that many applications are best run in the cloud. The need to create and maintain a remote or hybrid workforce is one of the biggest drivers of the move to the cloud.

When the pandemic hit, many businesses were forced to ask their workforces to work from home. Employees scrambled to set up home offices while employers scrambled to put the technology in place that would support those workers. Eighty percent of CEOs who participated in a recent Gartner survey indicated that they would need to support remote workers as part of their business model going forward. We’ve established that cloud applications help a remote workforce operate efficiently.

In addition to working in the cloud, Dynamics 365 offers many other features that aren’t available in Dynamics CRM, including:

  1. Unified Interface

    Microsoft introduced Unified interface in 2018. It’s the latest version of design for web apps for both the Power Apps model-driven apps and Dynamics 365 apps, which include Marketing, Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, and Project Service Automation. The Unified Interface represents the best in accessibility, usability, speed, and functionality to all users.

    Responsive website design principles are incorporated into the Unified Interface, representing an ideal interaction and viewing experience for any size screen, any type of device, and any orientation. The Unified Interface brings the same robust experience to any device, whether you’re using an internet browser, a tablet, or a smart phone.

  2. LinkedIn Integration

    In 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn and data from LinkedIn users is now integrated into Dynamics 365. The integration makes finding and building relationships with potential customers much more efficient.

  3. Power BI Service

    Today, if you want to be competitive, you need the ability to accumulate and use business intelligence (BI). Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the cloud offers the Power Platform, which includes Power BI, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Automate. These Power apps offer self-serve data analysis, allowing you to visualize data on a flexible platform.

  4. Power Apps and Power Automate

    You can use Power Apps to construct apps in hours instead of months. And, those apps quickly connect to data, run on the web, iOS, and Android devices. Further, they use Excel-like expressions to add logic. These capabilities are essential to improve productivity and efficiency.

    Power Automate allows you to include robust workflow automation into apps using a no-code approach. Users can connect to hundreds of well-known services and apps. They can also create custom flows using pre-built templates or an easy visual designer.

  5. Power Virtual Agents

    You can quickly build chatbots without coding to interact with your customers and employees.

  6. AI and Machine Learning

    Dynamics 365 can perform more intelligent analysis, develop predictions, and establish actionable next steps using machine learning capabilities.

  7. Editable Grids

    Editable grids allow users to update records manually much faster because the user can update records in the grids without the need to open them.

  8. Email Engagement

    When you need to build and maintain customer relationships, the Email Engagement available in Dynamics 365 Sales makes your job easy.

  9. Relationship Analytics

    Relationship Analytics is a Dynamics 365 Sales app that helps sales professionals and managers identify customer relationship status, level of activity, planned future activity, the rate of customer response, and more. The app accumulates information from the database to create a graphic display of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

  10. Improved Mobile Support

    You can use the Dynamics 365 mobile apps like sales, customer and field service when you’re out of the office. All data and insights you need will be available on your mobile device, and you’ll be able to use the new Unified Interface.

  11. Relevance Search

    Experts agree that searching for information is a problem. With relevance search, you can perform searches in your records, shared records, emails, notes, and appointments. It makes finding information much more efficient and increases productivity.

  12. Learning Path

    The Learning Path is available only for the online version of Dynamics 365.It helps users to learn how to use the app and provides context-sensitive assistance.

  13. The Ability to Grow

    According to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support Lifecycle, you are already paying for support for your Dynamics CRM installation. The end date for Mainstream Support was in January 2021. The latest Extended Support end date is in January 2026, which if you stay with Dynamics CRM, will leave you with an outdated product and no support.

    In addition, Microsoft is focusing their efforts on developing and updating cloud apps. They’re not devoting resources to providing on-prem support for their new apps.

If you’re ready to upgrade your Dynamics CRM software, you can learn more by downloading our white paper, “Advantages of Moving Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the Cloud.” Or, you can contact Datavail’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 experts today.

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