Dynamics 365 is a suite of business applications that help companies and other organizations transform their business, manage business processes, have central access to data, and make better decisions.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 covers a wide range of business operational areas including sales, marketing, finance, and operations. There are over thirty separate apps under the Dynamics 365 brand, that was formed from Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products but have since expanded into other business areas. Some of the main Dynamics 365 apps are:
- Sales – manages customer relationships, handles collaboration and communication, and tracks the sales pipeline.
- Marketing – create B2B automated marketing campaigns and generate sales ready leads.
- Customer Service – handles service issues efficiently and empowers agents to deliver value to customers.
- Field Service – manages the scheduling and delivery of service at customer sites.
- Finance – manages all aspects of finance, budgeting, and enables companies to make decisions in real-time.
- Supply Chain Management – controls manufacturing, warehousing, and logistic operations.
There are other applications such as Commerce, Customer Voice, and Human Resources (HR). You can implement one, or many of, these apps. A trend seen recently is for companies to implement Sales with Finance and HR, or Sales with Customer Service and Field Service. It is this ability to start with one app and then extend through the rest of the business operation that can truly transform a business organization. Dynamics 365 apps involve all aspects in an organization, its people, customers, processes, and products.
Dynamics 365 apps
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps can be configured and customized to meet your organization’s business processes. A significant change in the past couple of years has been the creation of the Power Platform that underpins the Dynamics 365 apps. The Power Platform, consisting of Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents is a platform for building apps in a low code/no code environment. You are now able to focus on the business processes, not on the technology, when implementing and managing your business applications.
Microsoft is embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its Dynamics 365 apps and has created supporting AI-based apps such as Sales Insights that helps sellers focus on the right customers and helps managers with coaching their sales team, and Finance Insight that predicts cash flow and customer payments.
Gathering data, generating insights, and discovering actionable insights to guide users to the next best action is at the heart of how Dynamics 365 apps function. This infusion of AI into the Dynamics 365 apps is just the start of enabling businesses to do more.
Dynamics 365 apps can help you meet the challenges you face today but is positioned to help you meet the challenges of a changing world.
Dynamics 365 apps are available in the cloud and on-premises. However, some features e.g., AI are not available if you do not use the cloud. Dynamics 365 apps run on Microsoft’s cloud platform and are tightly integrated with the tools you use today such as Microsoft 365 and Azure Active Directory.
The cloud apps are true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications managed by Microsoft. Being SaaS applications means that Microsoft takes care of running, updating, and patching the apps leaving you to focus on your data and processes. Dynamics 365 apps have demonstrated their flexibility in the recent global COVID-19 situation with users able to work wherever they are and with the devices they have.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 certification exams
Microsoft has exams and certifications for many of the Dynamics 365 apps. Unlike Azure and other technologies, these exams are not aimed at technical people, but at those with a more business of functional role.
There is a fundamentals exam, MB-901, aimed at those new to Dynamics 365 or who are involved in selling or buying Dynamics 365 apps. The fundamentals exam covers all the Dynamics 365 and is a great introduction to the capabilities and possibilities of the Dynamics 365 apps. A common theme seen after studying for this exam is that people didn’t realize the scope of Dynamics 365 and come away with planning to implement more Dynamics 365 apps to delivery more business value.
There are exams for each of the main Dynamics 365 apps, Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Field Service, Finance, and Supply Chain Management. These are associate level exams where you need to study and have hands-on experience of the app. The exams are role-based examinations where the questions are targeted at job roles.
The job role for most of these exams is the functional consultant or business analyst involved in implementing the app. As a consequence, you need to understand the business processes that the app covers as well as how to configure and customize the app, how to create and amend the processes in the app, add data to the app and generate analysis and outputs from the app using Microsoft Office tools and Power BI.
At the end of August, MeasureUp will have 9 Practice tests for Dynamics 365, with 3 Dynamics 365 ERP and 5 Dynamics 365 CRM Practice tests. These Practice tests follow the same role definition as used for the exams.
Microsoft Dynamics Consultant and Solutions Architect