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Dynamics 365 as Olympic sports

 Dr. Andrew Sknar, D365 BC National Practice Lead, Associate Director at Velrada

With the rapid growth of Microsoft ERP and CRM products, as well as a great variety of applications and approaches, it has become an important “mission” to identify the similarities and differences between them. There are 3 core Microsoft Dynamics 365 products (fundamental pylons) in contemporary implementation projects: FnO, BC, and CE/FS:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (FnO), which follows from its predecessor Axapta/ AX.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC), which follows from its predecessor Navision/ NAV.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement / Field Services (CE/FS) – rather two products, though traditionally combined as both cover different angles of CRM.

With the upcoming Brisbane 2032 Olympics, the best analogy would be 3 racket sports all being similar to each other in certain ways: Tennis, Table Tennis and Badminton.

Olympics - diversity of Sport disciplines
Longer, heavier, bigger events
Table Tennis
Faster, short and sharp
all in the air

The functionality of each of the 3 Dynamics product lines is – just like in sport – a mix of strategy and tactics and getting better with every biannual Wave update. Therefore, comparing functionality in detail would be no easy task, especially when the products are no longer based on a steady state list of features but dynamically evolving as “evergreen” platforms. But there are some patterns. For example, FnO has a larger focus on robust core functionality, BC relies on a variety of ISV add-ons / AppSource deployable Extensions, and CE/FS has more options in bespoke and agile configurations of Entities.

In order to identify the uniqueness of each of the core “disciplines” in the Dynamics sport, I present a functionality comparison at a high level below:

Whether BC or FnO is right for the particular Implementation Project may depend on multiple factors, outside of pure functionality. Some areas for consideration may include:

  • Multi-site, number of Entities, Country localization requirements (multi-Tax),
  • Volumes of transactions,
  • Management of users/ employees,
  • Size of in-house (Customer) Implementation team,
  • Delivery Timeline.

Where standard functionality of a native product requires an accelerator – respective add-ons can be implemented on top of the standard platform. As BC relies significantly on extensions, an example of add-on options for a more-or-less typical implementation can be seen in the table below:

This looks complex, but in reality, consultants can pick 3 – 5 extension elements as a bundle for a particular BC implementation –in line with the Client’s envisioned solution. Since extensions from AppSource are robust and have years of planning in them, BC implementations can be streamlined. That brings the option of rapid implementations (with clearly defined iterations / phases) – that makes it short and sharp (like in the analogy sport discipline), or an option of Hybrid implementations where BC is combined with CE/FS (that is more Agile) as one holistic Solution.  

After reading this concise article, I guess you can make a conclusion and understand how the three Dynamics products relate to their respective Olympic sports and choose the appropriate combination to ensure a successful Implementation. And while you solve this puzzle, being in the nice part of Australia, I will prepare for the upcoming “Brisbane 2032” Olympic games and enjoying “evergreen” Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in “evergreen” Brisbane.

Interested in taking the next step with Dynamics 365? Reach out and we’ll be in touch.
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