Back @ IT Take: The Beginning Of The End For Microsoft Dynamics?

Friday, March 5, 2021

An interesting article from Gene Marks, a contributor to Forbes, came out recently regarding “The Beginning Of The End For Microsoft Dynamics”. This really caught my attention in a couple of ways and begs the question: Will the products ultimately fall under the Power Platform or the Office suite?

 

Power Platform or Office 365?

Gene seems to think this will fall under the Office suite as this tends to be the go-to product area for most companies. Many haven’t adopted the Power Platform fully. So, this makes sense in a way. One of the strong cases for this is the huge growth of Microsoft Teams which is part of the Office 365 suite. During the 2020 pandemic, Microsoft Teams’ usage surged to over 115 million daily active users by October 2020. This surge opened the potential for easier accessibility for Dynamics 365 users to access their apps within Teams.


However, the Power Platform has a strong case for this. The Dynamics 365 products are really first-party apps sitting on top of the Power Platform. The Power Platform provides citizen developers a chance to create apps through the low-code platform. And, apps can be created in Microsoft Teams as well extending the Power Platform reach. 


History and Perspective

In the early 2000s, Microsoft rolled out the “Dynamics” brand for several of their products, and through the years evolved this into the “Dynamics 365” suite. As Gene highlighted, “The brand is an amalgamation of other past brands - including Great Plains, Navision and CRM - that were either purchased or built from scratch.”


Another great point highlighted by Gene is the growing frustration of customers having to “integrate” the Dynamics 365 apps. The thought is that these should natively “talk” to each other without the need for expensive integration implementations. Microsoft is attempting to bring these apps together under their Dataverse model (formerly known as CDS or “Common Data Service”), but, honestly, this has been slow going as the apps are still not truly in harmony. Only time will tell if this will bring the apps together and brings a better user experience that doesn’t feel so disjointed.


Closing Thoughts

So, where does that leave everyone that has invested in the Dynamics 365 stack? This actually causes a gray area in the decision-making process due to the unknown. While the Dynamics 365 brand will be around for some time in the future, it will interesting to see where Microsoft takes this.


In closing, I would ask you: Are you looking for a more simplified experience? And does it matter to you? As Gene alluded to, “they won't care (which application) as long as the software is getting the things done that they need to get done”.


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