Dynamics 365 - Better together

Part 2 - By: Tobias Lång

In the previous article (part 1), we talked about the business value of adopting a “best-of-suite”- approach using Dynamics 365 to scale the commerce operations more efficiently.  Given the rapid pace of new innovations continuously being released across the Dynamics 365 eco-system, specifically targeting generative AI- scenarios, we will continue to elaborate on the value of treating Dynamics 365 as a stack of purpose-built SaaS applications providing a number of examples of how they fit together to drive business value.

Prospect - to - Cash

The single most utilized scenario based on our customer experience is “Prospect-to-Cash”. Here, we will elaborate on the “Better Together”-theme using Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (D365 F&O) to support the end-to-end business process. See the Microsoft illustration below incorporating relevant personas and a best-practice process flow:

Source: Microsoft

  1. A Sales Manager working in Dynamics 365 Sales creates leads, qualifies and creates opportunities, and converts prospects to customers. Depending on the dual-write setup, one could trigger the synchronization of Account<->Customer information once the account is of type “customer,” avoiding the need to synchronize unnecessary data. Quotations could be created in both apps, although one typically leverages the more advanced pricing- and fulfillment mechanisms provided by D365 F&O to fetch relevant product- and pricing data.

  2. A Sales Clerk working in Dynamics 365 F&O to establish trade agreements that could be surfaced to Dynamics 365 Sales during the quotation- and order process to provide a single source of truth for all pricing queries.

  3. Warehouse manager working in Dynamics 365 F&O to manage order fulfillment. This is a process step entirely owned by D365 F&O but where we can expose status updates to Dynamics 365 Sales to encompass a transparent process across organizational roles.

  4. An Accounts Receivable clerk working in D365 F&O performing credit checks once the customer has been synchronized from D365 Sales and also enriching the customer record with additional base data such as payment defaults and financial dimensions. Once the order has been delivered, the AR clerk will continue invoicing and then managing the customer payment process. Sales order and invoice information is automatically synchronized towards Dynamics 365 Sales to provide a “360-view” of the customer account for the Sales Manager.

  5. A Product Manager working in D365 F&O, which is considered the “product master,” where new products are introduced and enriched and then synchronized with Dynamics 365 Sales.

Ideally, one would like to avoid context-switching, such as having to navigate between multiple applications to complete a certain task. In the example of the Prospect-to-Cash process, this means identifying relevant personas and ensuring they have access to relevant functionality through a single app experience. Not only will it enhance the end-user experience, but it will also have a positive impact on license consumption due to fewer licenses needed.

B2B - Lead to Cash

The next example is based on a Commerce- scenario provided by the Microsoft FastTrack team. In this scenario, we are further building on the “Better Together” concept by leveraging Dynamics 365 Commerce, Dynamics 365 Finance, and Dynamics 365 Sales together with a number of Microsoft 365 productivity tools to provide a comprehensive user experience.

  1. The onboarding process is initiated by a B2B lead using the portal experience in Dynamics 365 Commerce.

  2. The prospect lands in Dynamics 365 Sales as a lead for the sales Manager to take further actions.

  3. The sales manager utilizes Microsoft 365 productivity and collaboration tools, such as Outlook and Teams, to create appointments, collaborate, and qualify the lead.

  4. Sentiment analysis in Viva Sales, such as AI-powered transcript generations, are available to various stakeholders to review meeting notes and build a comprehensive view of the lead.

  5. Once qualified, the lead gets converted to an opportunity and enriched by further information such as sales cycle information, predicted close rate, products/services included, and expected opportunity value.

  6. Once the opportunity is won in Dynamics 365 Sales, the prospect is converted to a customer and synchronized across Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Commerce using dual-write standard capability.

  7. Each customer touchpoint is stored in Dataverse and made available to advanced analytics scenarios using a single experience called Synapse Link for Dataverse, where Dynamics 365 data are continuously exported to Azure Data Lake and then applied to a data lakehouse architecture to be further consumed using Azure Data Platform services such as Synapse Workspace and Microsoft Fabric.

In summary

The “Better Together” scenarios are built on a best-of-suite- approach using purpose-built SaaS applications from the Dynamics 365 eco-system. The approach allows users to leverage the strength of each app without having to invest in costly and time-consuming custom-built integration development. Instead, one could adopt standardized integration patterns such as dual-write to synchronize data across Dynamics 365 applications seamlessly. In addition, all data are stored in a standardized format built on the common data model, ensuring sufficient data quality is available for advanced analytics and generative AI scenarios.

If you want to know more about Dynamics 365 and how one could adopt the “better together” theme in real-life scenarios, please get in touch with us at:

Written by:

Tobias Lång

Head of Advisory services

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