In the second of our two-part Microsoft Power Virtual Agents series, we examine the difference between Chatbots and Intelligent Chatbots, and how AI can elevate chatbot capabilities and improve user experience.
We sat down with Cecilie Norgaard, Microsoft Cloud by PowerObjects Program Director, to ask her a few questions about Microsoft's recently announced Dynamics 365 platform. Here's what she had to say!
What is Dynamics 365?
CN: Dynamics 365 combines what we currently know as Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX into a cloud-based system that allows users to choose between licenses that focus on workload – including Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service, Marketing (in the future), and Operations (formerly known as Dynamics AX), rather than product.
What was your initial reaction to the announcement?
CN: I was curious to see what Microsoft had in store and intrigued by the possibilities that Dynamics 365 makes available for our customers.
When will it be available?
CN: It will be available starting November 1st. Customers can choose to switch right away or stay on their existing subscriptions for up to a year. If customers would like to extend their subscriptions to lock in their current pricing for the full year, they should contact us before November 1 and we can talk through all options.
How much does it cost?
CN: Microsoft will be providing transition pricing for current CRM users. Licenses will cost anywhere from $10 - $210/user/month, depending on the functionality the user needs access to. If anyone would like a quote, they can contact us.
How does Dynamics 365 integrate with Office 365?
CN: The same way as Dynamics CRM does today. Accessing Dynamics 365 will be no different than how you access CRM today – within your Office365 portal. It will still be connected to SharePoint, Office 365 groups, etc.
Will it change how people buy CRM?
CN: Yes, it's a licensing structure change. Instead of focusing on licensing the product, Dynamics 365 now focuses on licensing users based on their workloads – sales, customer service, and so on.
What is Microsoft's vision behind Dynamics 365?
CN: Basically, Microsoft has created a common data model that brings their CRM and AX products closer together. You can read more about Microsoft's vision here.
Will Dynamics 365 change the way PowerObjects does business?
CN: No, PowerObjects will still focus on providing service, support, education, and add-ons for the "CRM" workloads of Sales, Customers Service, Field Service, Marketing, and PowerApps. These workloads are bundled into what is now called "Plan 1" in Dynamics 365.
What are you most excited about for Dynamics 365?
CN: The ability for our customers to utilize the awesome functionality that Microsoft has come up with. For example, if you buy the Plan 1 license, users have access to a Sandbox CRM, which they can use for development. Customers also get access to a portal they can use to build out a customer portal, partner portal or otherwise. Field Service and Project Service are also a part of the Plan 1 license. These are all products users used to have to purchase and license separately. For companies that use those functionalities, there will be huge savings. For customers who don't use those functions, they now have the opportunity to, which can provide huge value to their businesses. Additionally, an editable grids feature was announced at the CRMUG summit which end users were clearly excited about. All of this just goes to show that Microsoft is listening to their customers and really is an innovator when it comes to businesses and technology.
Do you anticipate any particular challenges with the roll-out of Dynamics 365?
CN: Education is the big one. We want to make sure our customers are informed about what licenses will work best for their needs. Customers should contact us with any questions they might have.
Well, that's it for now folks! As we hear more exciting details about Dynamics 365, we will keep you posted. As Cecilie said, please feel free to contact us today with any questions.
Happy Dynamics 365'ing!