by Harry Crouch, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Consultant

Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Microsoft Dynamics 365

What are the limitations of Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Old CRM models are no longer sufficiently supported

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has gone through some significant changes over the past two years. The old models of Dynamics CRM 2013 and even CRM 2016 are now miles behind in technology due to the pace at which the platform is developing and will eventually become obsolete. Microsoft has stopped mainstream support for CRM 2011, 2013 and the 2015 version. This means that if you are still running your organisations using these versions and hope to continue using them you’ll soon be faced with many limitations.

What are the benefits of upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Running your business on the latest version of Dynamics 365 allows you to operate at peak performance, ensure your data is secure and provide useful insights and visibility on useful business operations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the world’s leading integrated CRM and ERP product. Dynamics 365 is a hugely important part of Microsoft’s product stack as a result of this, Microsoft Dynamics 365 continues to strive as the market leading product across a number of categories as decided by third party industry standard research companies such as Gartner and Forrester.

Moving to the Dynamics 365 in the Cloud has many advantages. The main benefits include a new integrated web portal with connected case and knowledge management and inbuilt guided process flows which maintains consistency and high data quality ensuring users reach the best possible outcomes.

The underlying Power Platform is one of the main reasons to upgrade. This platform allows for better connection to other Power Apps. As well as this, there is improved integration with both Office 365 and 3rd party apps using Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow). This means that the Software as a Service (SaaS) version is smoother than ever.

All of these processes are linked in a new Unified Interface which guarantees a next-generation, efficient and consistent experience when accessing the platform, no matter what device is being used to do so.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 licenses are very flexible and therefore easy to adopt and adjust when required.  You will also benefit from bi-annual platform updates (April and October every year) which include a multitude of new and improved features and functionality across all applications in the suite.

Because Microsoft Dynamics 365 is in the Cloud you will never need to worry about the cost of upgrading infrastructure such as updating the server you previously used to host Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the on premise version of the software.

Is it easy to migrate from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365?

For most businesses, upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Microsoft Dynamics 365 will entail Cloud migration. However, upgrading to the Cloud is unlikely to be as simple as copying your old CRM solution to the Dynamics 365 as Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a lot more.

We have upgraded many of our customers from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365 using a clearly defined process outlined below.

  • Analysis
  • Design & Build
  • Initial Migration
  • Test
  • Full Migration
  • Support

1: Analyse current performance

Prior to any upgrade being undertaken, an analysis of your current business solution is vital. Our Microsoft Dynamics Consultants will investigate into how much data is held, what the data consists of and how much of it is required to be migrated to the new solution . We will look to improve your current storage design by making the most of SharePoint integration and Azure Blob Storage to minimise future costs.  They can also help to deliver Office 365 solutions such as moving from Exchange on premise to Outlook online if required.

2: Design and build the new Dynamics 365 solution

Our specialist Dynamics 365 Consultants will then transform your current business processes into ones that help you make the most of your new Dynamics 365 solution. They will likely propose that you change your current CRM data model into one that fully utilises the functionality of Dynamics 365 to ensure a smoother transition. They will also perform customisations to accommodate your specific business requirements.

3. Initial migration phase

Once the design, build and testing of the new Dynamics 365 solution has taken place and the foundations for a small migration have been laid the initial migration will be carried out.

4. Testing

We will then ensure the small migration is fully tested and everything is correct.

5. Full migration phase

After successful testing, Infinity Group will look to schedule in a full migration to the Cloud which will also have a period of extensive testing.

6. Ongoing support

Once the new solution has been tested and is live, there will be a period of support available where our Service Desk will be on hand to support any bugs that occur immediately.