Should You Upgrade if You’re Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

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You know how important your CRM is to your business. It helps you keep in touch with your existing customers, and nurture leads until they become customers. Without a robust and reliable CRM, your sales would slow down and that’s just not something you want to see happen.

If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there are a lot of capabilities you’re missing out on. You may end up in a position where you’ll fall behind your competitors. In addition, Dynamics CRM is no longer Microsoft’s premier product that will grow with you into the future. Now is the time to take a hard look at whether you need to upgrade.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Has Been Transformed

The original Microsoft Dynamics CRM was released in 2003. It became very popular and was updated regularly. In 2016, Microsoft rebranded CRM as Dynamics 365 and the most recent version includes many of the original Dynamics features and functionalities, and more.

Today, there is no Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM available for purchase. The original version of the CRM application has been split into different application modules, including Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service and Project Service Automation. While the original Microsoft Dynamics CRM application only runs on-prem, the new Dynamics 365 apps run both on-prem and in the cloud. Most businesses find that there are many more advantages in the cloud version.

What You Are Missing in the Original CRM Application

The most important thing you’re missing is the opportunity to work effectively in the cloud if you stay with Dynamics CRM. Gartner reinforced the idea that the cloud is the best place for many applications when they forecast that cloud spending would go from around $270 billion in 2020 to over $397 billion in 2022. One of the big drivers is the need many businesses have for creating and maintaining a hybrid workforce.

The pandemic sent many workers scrambling to create home offices to keep their employers in business. And their employers scrambled to find the technology they needed to support those workers. In a recent Gartner survey, 80% of the CEOs who participated said they expect that a hybrid workforce would become a permanent part of their business model. And we’ve seen that cloud applications will help that workforce operate efficiently.

Besides working in the cloud, there are a number of other capabilities that you can have in Dynamics 365 that aren’t available in Dynamics CRM.

  1. Unified Interface

In 2018, Microsoft introduced Unified Interface, the latest generation of web app design for the Power Apps model-driven apps and Dynamics 365 apps (including Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service and Project Service Automation). It brings the best in usability, accessibility, functionality, and speed to every user.

Unified Interface uses responsive web design principles to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience for any screen size, device, or orientation. Unified Interface brings all the rich experiences to any client that you are using; whether you are on a browser, tablet, or phone, you will be able to consume similar experiences.

  1. LinkedIn Integration

Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016, and they are integrating data from LinkedIn users into Dynamics 365. This will make finding potential customers and building relationships with them much more efficient.

  1. Power BI Service

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for the cloud uses the Power Platform that offers Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents. The ability to gather and use business intelligence is a necessity in today’s competitive environment. The cloud-based service gives you the ability to visualize data using a scalable platform for self-service. It gives you the power to improve decision-making to become more competitive.

  1. PowerApps & Power Automate

These new tools are game changers when it comes to improving productivity and efficiency. Use Power Apps to build apps in hours—not months—that easily connect to data, use Excel-like expressions to add logic, and run on the web, iOS, and Android devices.

Using Power Automate, include powerful workflow automation directly in your apps with a no-code approach that connects to hundreds of popular apps and services. Users can use pre-built templates or an easy visual designer to create custom flows.

  1. Power Virtual Agents

Easily build chatbots to engage conversationally with your customers and employees—no coding required.

  1. AI and Machine Learning

Dynamics 365 takes advantage of its machine learning capabilities to perform more intelligent analysis, make predictions, and identify actionable next steps.

  1. Editable Grids

Updating records manually is much faster when users have editable grids. Users can edit records directly in the grids without having to open them.

  1. Email Engagement

This is a feature available in Dynamics 365 Sales that helps users build and maintain customer relationships.

  1. Relationship Analytics

This Dynamics 365 Sales app gathers information from its database to create a graphical display of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It helps sales professionals and managers identify things related to customer relationship status, amount of activity, planned activity, customer response rate, and more.

  1. Improved Mobile Support

Use the Dynamics 365 mobile apps for your sales, customer service, field service, and other tasks when you’re on the go. With one download from your app store, you’ll automatically have access to all data and insights you need for your role. You will see apps with the new Unified Interface on your mobile device.

  1. Relevance Search

Dynamics 365 has access to Relevance Search, which improves your ability to find records by performing searches in your records, shared records, notes, emails, and appointments. Many experts understand that searching for information is a problem, and Relevance Search is a lifesaver for many businesses.

  1. Learning Path

This feature is only available for the online version of Dynamics 365. It helps new users learn how to use the application and provides context-sensitive assistance as well.

  1. You Won’t be Able to Grow with Dynamics CRM

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support Lifecycle tells part of the story. If you are using Dynamics CRM, you already need to pay for support because the end date for Mainstream Support for even the most recent version was in January 2021. Furthermore, the latest Extended Support end date is in January 2026, which will leave you with a completely outdated and unsupported product.

The other part of the story is that Microsoft is concentrating their efforts on developing cloud apps, not on-prem support for their new apps.

For more information, download our white paper, “Advantages of Moving Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the Cloud.”  You can also contact Datavail’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 experts today to explore the benefits of working together to make your customer relationship management process as effective as possible.

The post Should You Upgrade if You’re Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM? appeared first on CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365.