The lights go down on 2017. But to set the stage for 2018, let’s time travel through some highlights of Microsoft Dynamics history. To truly get perspective while we’re back there, let’s look at Office 365 history too.

Looking back on the evolution of this Microsoft duo, we can see why together they have the impact of a meteor. Set to be an ever more explosive meteor in 2018. Imagine having, at your fingertips, a scalable solution that can flex its muscle and enable integration like never before. A grand marriage of CRM with ERP solutions.

Office and Dynamics, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Imagine Scrooge looking back at Microsoft Dynamics and Office 365 history. He’d see those “traditional days” (2003-2011) when the software didn’t create a smooth workflow. Next, he’d look at present-day MS Office 365 and Dynamics 365 (2013-2016). Better, but still room for improvement.

But then Scrooge would see the future (2016+) of this software; it would take his breath away! Dynamics 365 (version 9.x) integrates with Office 365 to sail brilliantly into 2018. But first looking back…

Zoom into the “Traditional Period” of Microsoft Dynamics History

Between 2003 and 2011, Dynamics steadily evolved from CRM 1.0, CRM 3.0, CRM 4.0, to a crescendo at CRM 2011. Even Scrooge would have been pleased to see the continual evolution.

On December 5, 2005, the second version of CRM 3.0 launched, rebranded as Microsoft Dynamics 3.0. That was our introduction to the Dynamics product family.

Microsoft Dynamics history took a sharp turn with the entry of CRM 4.0 in December 2007. It marked new functionalities like multi-tenancy and improved security reporting. It also supported new technologies like Windows and SQL 2008. CRM 4.0 was the first version to truly be embraced worldwide, as evidenced by the 1 million users recorded in July 2009.

In February 2011 Dynamics CRM 2011 hit the scene. That year marked the peak of its evolutionary path. With the next version came a “paradigm shift”.

Step through time to understand the history of Dynamics and Office 365.

A Glimpse at Office 365 History

Office 365 history, meanwhile, began in Summer 2011. It was originally aimed at corporate users. The next version in 2013 came down to the masses, though, and took aim at different types of businesses and even general users interested in a subscription-based program.

Zoom into the “Modern Period” of Microsoft Dynamics

If Scrooge looked at “Modern Period” Dynamics, he’d dance a jig at the new direction Microsoft Dynamics history was taking. The needs of the market were changing. Microsoft stepped up by offering Dynamics CRM 2013 for four client types: Web, Outlook, Tablet, and Mobile. On October 31, 2013, Dynamics 2013 reached general availability.

Among other functions, CRM 2013 synchronized emails, appointments, tasks and contacts. It also had a new, streamlined user interface (for data input).

But customers soon discovered limitations. You might not have, for example, the option to fill out a long form on your mobile as you did on your laptop. New tools were then developed to improve process automation.

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Screams Innovative Functionality!

This version came with awesome functionality in sales, modeling such functions as workflows and sales processes. It had client care functionality, like case recording, knowledge base, and appointment setting. And it offered marketing functionality, allowing users to generate entire campaigns, complete with marketing lists, email blasts, and much more.

Office is no longer the traditional format of a straight-from-the-box to a one-time install on your PC or Mac. The new version of Office 365 launched in early 2013. Cloud-friendly and subscription-based, different versions were released to different user groups, for example students, enterprises, general users.

The main benefit of subscription-based software is, of course, that you pay a monthly or annual fee. In return you get access to the latest version of Office 365. You also get extra cloud storage and access to the Office Apps for your other devices.

Scrooge truly would love the brave new direction Office 365 was heading in, alongside Microsoft Dynamics.

Zoom into the “Refined Period” in Recent Microsoft Dynamics History

The current version of Dynamics CRM was first launched in November 2016 in two editions: Enterprise and Business. Enterprise was ready at that time, but the Business edition was expected to launch in late 2017. But seasons change and some plans do as well.

Before we get to that, I want to clarify, Office 365 applications such as SharePoint and Exchange Online are not included in any Dynamics 365 online subscription. But your company will be in a superior position to collaborate with both Office 365 and Dynamics 365, which integrate seamlessly together. Now back to the changed plan.

Looking at Office 365 under the magnifying glass.

While plans may have changed, rest assured Office 365 and Dynamics 365 integrate seamlessly together.

Ready to Brave the New Year?

Microsoft surprised users worldwide with the recent announcement they’ve cancelled plans for the Business edition of Dynamics 365. As of Spring 2018, there will only be ‘Dynamics 365’, with no edition breakdowns.

Although we can’t find out price and functionality until closer to Spring 2018, we do know this new strategy gives users these benefits:

  • One platform (without separate Business and Enterprise editions) will enable users to increase and decrease access and functionality as they choose, without the hassles of migration.
  • Apps are built on one platform, which will facilitate smooth integration and quick scalability.
  • Pay only for what you need and use. The CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) licensing allows you to change your licensing monthly as needed. No need for costly annual contracts.

So there you have it — highlights of Microsoft Dynamics and Office 365 history that give you a bird’s eye view of the evolution of this software. And the impact it can have on your business as you sail into 2018.

If you are still on the fence about the cloud, consider this. Moving Dynamics 365 into the cloud, you’ll get enhanced CRM in maintenance, availability, and coordination across multiple devices. Then if you integrate Office 365 (online) you’ll benefit from the superb administration features, which make life easier as they simplify user management.

Start the new year right. Download our free resources to find out if your business is ready to take your Dynamics to the cloud. Or, contact Data Resolution today and discover how our experts can help you.

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