With the launch of Dynamics 365 with lots of intelligent business applications are available in one roof (Both CRM and ERP). It’s like a shopping area where you can choose your desired apps to run your business and when you have more requirements, simply look for the tools available and add them.
Why did I quote SharePoint or Dynamics 365? I started my career as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant (Handled 2011, 2013 and 2016 versions) and currently I’m working as a Microsoft SharePoint Consultant. It’s not that I moved away from Dynamics Platform but it’s because I foresee the future for collaboration solutions that every organization is considering.
I have come across a question from my colleague Bradley Boman who is a SharePoint developer, “Sajin, what’s so great about Dynamics CRM? We can have those features configured in SharePoint, right?”. I couldn’t reply that as it was my first week at the company and today if you ask me the same question; my response will be: depending on your core requirement, how fast you want it implemented and most important - Cost.
At least 80 percent of the customers don’t know the difference between SharePoint and Dynamics 365 and I’m sure you do not either! All you know is that SharePoint Online comes as an add-on with Office 365 Business Subscriptions and it’s simply sitting there dusted but in the case of Dynamics 365, you must purchase each add-on based on your requirement. It’s like you are at Baskin Robbins and ordering toppings for your scoop.
For Microsoft Dynamics Users, SharePoint might be an extension but for us SharePoint evangelists, it is a platform all together!
Microsoft is rethinking on platform implementations with easy deployment, various training materials, easy buying options etc.
With the recent release of its Products, Microsoft and its Partners are providing solutions which doesn’t require expensive implementation costs and employing platform experts in client side. However, there is huge demand of end-user specialists and domain experts today.
In the current scenario, various SMBs find these platforms (Microsoft SharePoint and Dynamics 365) require some amount of technical and consulting needs for product installation and maintenance. Microsoft Certified Professionals/Consultants are required to perform such implementations to ensure that the desired solution is deployed effectively.
This is where Microsoft Partners play a great role in supporting the customers. IT departments are willing to ask help for software deployment and training programs regardless of higher expenses.
Let’s come back to the topic now. We started off with SharePoint or Dynamics 365 right? With all due respect to Dynamics 365 Experts, let me discuss that below:
SharePoint cannot become a full-fledged CRM
There is a reason behind every solution’s existence. SharePoint is known for its capability for Enterprise level Document Management and Collaboration Platform whereas Dynamics365 is not. There are SharePoint based solutions that have basic Sales, Marketing and Customer Portals designed but if you ask me if it is better than Dynamics 365, let’s be honest, the answer is no. If you are extensively looking to automate your Sales and Customer Service, Dynamics 365 could be a better option. Why do you need to kill lot of time on just replicating a CRM feature to SharePoint or other platforms? So, let SharePoint be an Enterprise Level Document Management Suite and Dynamics 365 be the Enterprise Level CRM and ERP platform.
Dynamics 365 can never be SharePoint
Vice versa! If you need any document management capability for Dynamics 365, the only option for you is to look for a 3rd party addon (For e.g. Document Core Pack) or integrating Microsoft Flow with your Dynamics 365 and SharePoint Online/Server Instance. Instead of cost, you should be focusing on the ROI. If you consider both solutions integrated for your organization, the benefits you get are immense (You will be generating maximum net results).
That’s why we have PowerApps and Microsoft Flow released and with the capabilities of these tools, organizations can simply create custom workflows without any programming or coding knowledge. Just define the flow and plugin the sites and start working! Thanks to Microsoft offering its customers to integrate solutions themselves without the help of a Microsoft Consultant (Referring to Common Integration capabilities only).
What should you do next?
I’ll never ask you to go for both solutions. Think about the outcomes and ROI for now. Which solution would solve your business-critical issues? Instead of getting fancy with the looks, see if either of the solutions can get your work done easily.
It could be SharePoint or Dynamics 365 or neither both or even both! You need to find out your desired outcomes proportional to the spending – ROI defined!