When choosing the solution of choice for Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), two options emerge as optimal solutions: on-premise and cloud. Recently, companies have found benefit in both options:
- Organizations have been utilizing cloud solutions, even for mission-critical applications, due to tighter security, flexibility, and cost-effective pricing.
- On-premise models have been preferred for companies still desiring complete data control surrounding privacy laws.
Given cost is king, it is important to compare overall costs for the platforms.
- Fixed pricing dependent on number of users
- An additional enhanced fee per year may be required to get the software running properly, as well as server maintenance costs.
A User CAL or Device CAL will also be involved in the cost surrounding access on-premise. A User CAL defines which devices an individual can access Dynamics through. A Device CAL presents access through designated devices without the necessity of a User CAL. The access levels are:
- Professional: Full capabilities
- Basic: Basic reporting tools access
- Essential: Some custom application access
- Employee Self-Service: All employees access
Dynamics 365 Pricing
On the other end, Dynamics 365 gives multiple options. Businesses that choose Dynamics 365 cloud deployment enjoy the easy integration and customization opportunities. There is even the possibility of hosting data on-premise, for security on critical applications, while also having the benefit of Dynamics 365. The access levels are:
- Customer Engagement Plan: Access for sales, customer service, project service automation, field service, and social engagement applications.
- Unified Operations Plan: Access for finance, operations, retail, talent, and PowerApps applications.
- Dynamics 365 Plan: Access to finance and operations, retail, talent, sales, customer service, project service automation, field service, marketing, social engagement, and PowerApps platforms – most comprehensive platform.
There is also the option to only purchase certain need-based modules. This helpful when you don’t need access to all platforms or if employees only need to be able to view certain portions of Dynamics 365. The modules include:
- Dynamics 365 for Sales
- Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
- Dynamics 365 for Marketing
- Dynamics 365 for Talent
- Dynamics 365 for Field Service
- Dynamics 365 for Retail
- Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
- Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation
This option will truly allow you to customize the Dynamics 365 platform for your employees. You can also customize the package with a mix of applications to meet your team’s needs.
Dynamics 365 Business Central
Dynamics 365 Business Central is another opportunity to further customize the Dynamics 365 experience. In this case, a focus on accounting. It connects financials from inventory to sales and purchasing, also streamlining payables and receivables, giving a full end-to-end view of the business. This would also be a fantastic application to pair with Power BI!
Other benefits of the inclusion of Dynamics 365 Business Central are:
- Operational Hub: This platform allows for ease in managing transportation, warehousing, and inventory tracking more effectively.
- Managing Sales: This platform assists in easily getting insights into leads and tracking employee performance, making customer relationship building and productivity easier.
- Customer Service Benefits: Includes an integrated solution for customer service team members to look at customer requests across multiple channels easily, pairing with a knowledge base to answer customer questions more effectively.
- Field Service Organization: Allocate resources more effectively, understand your workforce’s capabilities, and organize schedules accordingly to have the right people with the right tools at the right time. When all is said and done, you can even monitor job process, on-site or remotely.
- Workload Automation: In order to allow your employees to focus on their core job responsibilities, the application can automate most process, weeding out human error. This includes planning, marketing, scheduling, and collaboration opportunities.
- On-The-Go Office: Today’s workplace is no longer limited to an office, neither is Dynamics 365 Business Central. You can work from your smartphone anywhere your business takes you.
CRM and ERP Integration
Integrating CRM and ERP will give employees a well-rounded, comprehensive view of the entire customer lifecycle from lead to purchase, shipment, and invoice. It will provide incredibly fruitful, accurate insights.
The deployment timetable will differ between on-premise and Dynamics 365 though. When utilizing on-premise deployment, it is not necessarily an immediate deployment. It may take additional time depending on the level of customization needed in order to work seamlessly. On the other hand, a cloud deployment with Dynamics 365 is almost immediate. This allows for ease in transition, giving the opportunity for smooth adoption when the implementation is still a hot topic.
Making the choice between on-premise and cloud is not a cut and dry decision. It is based on what your business currently needs and what plans your company has for the future. In the end, both choices will allow your team to work more efficiently and streamline business operations.