Saturday, November 17, 2018

Microsoft 365 vs Dynamics 365 vs Office 365 terminology and branding (hopefully) explained

Microsoft brings all of their cloud offerings under the '365' branding. There are many different offerings under 365 but not all of them are truly meant to be used together. What do I mean by that? How do you know what expert is an expert in what product? Do you know what you're licensing? Hopefully this will help explain a little bit more.

When I say Microsoft 365, that technically doesn't encompass Dynamics 365. Microsoft 365 is Office 365, Windows 10, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security. When we say Office 365 then, we're actually saying its part of Microsoft 365. Its a sub-offering under a licensing/branding package.  

When I say Dynamics 365, its all of the Dynamics 365 'for' products, such as D365 for Retail, D635 for Finance and Operations, D365 for Sales, D365 for Marketing, etc. But its also good to know that these Dynamics products are still technically 3 or more 'products' brought together under the Common Data Model which allows all of them to communicate. Its AX, CRM, and new applications such as 'for Talent' if we're looking behind the scenes. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and Dynamics 365 for Retail are really the same code base (AX) but licensed differently.  Dynamics 365 for Sales/Marketing/Customer Service/etc are all traditionally CRM. 

So it can get tricky when people refer to Microsoft Dynamics 365 as Microsoft 365 or Dynamics 365 when the terminology really spans so many different titles. And that can be a problem. When going to a trade show and I ask which Dynamics 365 products their XYZ integrates directly into, they say Microsoft 365: all of it. Thats an interesting response that doesn't tell me anything. Especially when we are talking about business workloads. When we talk about things like a tax engine or rate shopping and they say that it will take care of all my worries, I want to know if its going into the Common Data Model and exposed to other mobile apps, is it natively integrated with Finance and Operations, is it a CRM-side ISV, etc. 

These are massive things to consider when evaluating a solution and sometimes the branding can make things a little more difficult. This post is not meant to solve the issues but hopefully raise a little awareness. Let me know down below if you have any questions about the above!


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