If you haven’t already made the switch to Microsoft Dynamics 365, your time is coming. Use our Dynamics 365 transition guide to help you navigate the change.

If You Use Dynamics CRM, You’ll Need to Switch

Microsoft officially removed the Dynamics CRM brand name in November 2016, and there’s no longer any way to purchase it online. What Microsoft is doing, under differing timelines and configurations, is moving the CRM components — Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation — into its all-in-one Dynamics 365 offering.

Here’s what you need to know before making the transition.

On-premises Users of Dynamics CRM

  • If you’re current on your Microsoft CRM plan, you’re good for now
  • When it’s time to renew your license, you’ll need to transition to Dynamics 365 on-premises licensing if you want to keep on-premises use
  • If you want to move to the cloud when you’re renewal time hits, you can move your licenses to Dynamics 365

Cloud Users of Dynamics CRM

  • If you’re current on your Microsoft CRM plan, you’re good for now
  • When it’s time to renew your license, you’ll need to transition to Dynamics 365 licensing
  • You’ll be able to add additional Dynamics modules as you need

Users of Dynamics AX

Just as it did with Dynamics CRM, Microsoft rebranded Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Operations. The new version includes the following operations modules:

  • Application Platform
  • Application Foundation
  • Test Essentials
  • Corresponding form adaptor models

Cloud Users of AX

If you’re using older releases of Dynamics AX in the cloud, you can upgrade when you’re ready. Microsoft will make migration paths available, along with tools to help transition to Dynamics 365.

Follow these steps when your business is ready to transition to Dynamics 365.

Follow these steps when your business is ready to transition to Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 Transition Guide: Steps to Take When You Make the Move

Our Microsoft Dynamics 365 Transition Guide is broken down into following steps:

  1. Before you deploy
  2. When you deploy
  3. Migrate the data
  4. Manage the data
  5. Customize Dynamics 365
  6. Integrate with your email system
  7. Set up mobile access

1. Before You Deploy

Change is seldom easy. And there’s a lot to deal with when you decide to move forward. Microsoft suggests that you do some planning first.

Determine the Environment

  • How many users will you need?
  • What data will you have to move?
  • How much storage will you need?
  • What support services, if any, do you require?
  • What kind of SLA do you want?

Decide What and How to Integrate with Office 365

  • Collaboration among departments will be easier if you integrate Office 365 apps with your Dynamics 365 software in the cloud
  • If you’re using Dynamics 365 on premises and want to integrate with Office 365 online, you’ll need to have Office 365 Enterprise E3 or later

Determine Which Administrative Roles You Will Need

  • The global administrator is the highest level and should be assigned to more than one person
  • Other roles include, for example, billing, password and user management administration. You’ll need to decide who in your company will be assigned to such roles.

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2. When You Deploy

This part of the Dynamics 365 transition guide looks at what you’ll need to do when you deploy the software.

User Accounts and Administrative Roles

The Office 365 admin center is where it will be easiest to create user accounts and assign administrative roles. The steps you’ll need to take include:

  1. Establish a user account
  2. Add a license to the account
  3. Designate a security level for the account
  4. Add administrator users
  5. If you’re going to use server-to-server authentication, you’ll need to create a user account
  6. Synchronize user accounts in one of three ways

3. Migrate the Data

Use the Dynamics 365 Data Import Wizard when you’re ready to migrate your data, but before you do, keep a few things in mind.

  1. Know the location, size, and type of file you’re importing
  2. Understand how source columns work with Dynamics 365 fields and any data type requirements and restrictions
  3. Work with Dynamics 365 Data Import Template and then create a data import template from Dynamics CRM
  4. Use the Data Import Wizard, keeping in mind the need to know your data map, map record types, and map fields
  5. Check the import process
  6. Use the Add Contacts Wizard in Outlook Client to import contacts

The wizard is fine for importing small batches. If you want to migrate lots of data, it’s best to do it programmatically because you’re afforded more capabilities. But this requires a few steps. You’ll need to:

  1. Create a file — either text, CSV or XMLSS
  2. Use a data map you have or create a new one
  3. Decide which import file belongs to which data map
  4. Upload the source file to the associated import file
  5. Parse it
  6. Transform the parsed data
  7. Finally, upload that transformed data to Dynamics 365

4. Manage the Data

You already decided what data you were going to migrate and now it’s time to start managing it in Dynamics 365.

  • Consolidate your financial processes and remember to use the available tools such as Logistics,
  • Fixed Assets, and the Sales Ledger
  • Pull in point-of-sale and inventory management data
  • Try to get rid of some manual input and link directly to internal and external sources
  • Manage the configuration data

5. Customize Dynamics 365

  1. Use the navigation pane designer to create and customize dashboards at the individual, team or department level
  2. Create portals and subdomains
  3. Provision portals

6. Integrate Your Email System

If you want to store message records like email in Dynamics 365, you’ll have to synchronize your mail system with it.

Decide whether to use server-side synchronization or Dynamics 365 for Outlook:

  • Server side enables multiple scenarios, Exchange folder tracking, and Dynamics 365 App for Outlook as well as the ability to synchronize appointments, contacts, tasks and POP3 email servers
  • Dynamics for Outlook requires you to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server and includes offline capabilities, but is not the preferred method
It is possible to set up mobile access for Dynamics 365.

Setting up mobile access for Dynamics 365 is possible.

7. Set Up Mobile Access

If you want to access Dynamics 365 via tablets and smartphones, you’ll need to do a few things:

  • Set security privileges
  • Enable dashboards
  • Update manage mobile device’s registry; use a script to update unmanaged devices
  • Determine navigation, lists, display fields
  • Enable charts and forms
  • Determine relationships

Default Apps Included in Dynamics 365

Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation are standard in Dynamics 365; others are available if or when you need them.

There are two versions of Dynamics 365:

  1. Enterprise Edition for companies with 250+ employees and with advanced financial and enterprise resource planning needs
  2. Business Edition for companies with 10 to 249 employees and minimal financial requirements

There’s An Easier Way

If this Dynamics 365 Transition Guide sounds like it’s too much trouble or just too hard to make the switch, Data Resolution can help. When you use our managed hosting service, we’ll deploy, provision, administer, and maintain it all, giving you time to focus on your business. Contact us today or give us a call at (877) 885-2649.

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