You already know Microsoft publishes new releases two times per year (wave 1 in April and wave 2 in October). You can find all news in Microsoft’s release plans. There is also an amazing ecosystem map by Vadim Korepin about all solutions in Dynamics 365 family.
But as I’m most connected with SMB solutions inside Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, I wanted to share more details on what is available for SMB users and companies from Microsoft Dynamics 365 family. Three business applications (Dynamics 365 Business Central, Sales Professional, Customer Service Professional) covered ERP and CRM parts but with plenty of features. I’m sure no other vendor currently can offer more for SMB customers worldwide.
You can look at and download the Ecosystem map for Dynamics 365 SMB solutions I created (resolution is 3840×2160):
I hope this SMB ecosystem map will be helpful for you, and we will have more features and maybe even more solutions here in the future.
I know it has passed since I wrote the first part of this topic, ‘Where is a limit in Business Central CRM capability and when integrating it with D365 Sales (part 1),’ and people expect the second part. But as I’ll speak about this topic on Directions EMEA this year, I decided to postpone the following parts after this event. I would like to keep it interesting and show many of these topics in my session. Of course, as I cannot go so deep into details in 45 minutes, I’ll continue here with publishing my point of view related to this topic.
We know that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (previously NAV) is primarily an ERP solution. But even so, this product has some customer relationship management capabilities. And name ‘Business Central’ probably comes because this solution can provide all business activities in one solution. But as this is primarily an ERP solution, the biggest strength comes in ERP, and in other areas, such as CRM or HRM, the level of functionalities is significantly lower. But let us make an overview of what is already in Business Central, but we can say it can be treated as CRM.
First, what we can find are a good customer and contact management. Still, as customers play an essential role in every ERP solution, we can emphasize more about contact management where we have some basic information about contacts and some segmentation.
You can also find some level of creating and tracking opportunities and sales quotes and interactions. You can also have some possibilities to make direct phone calls from BC or send an email. This is more or less what we have, but this is not a small number of functionalities.
Today I’ll not go into details about all these features. I just wanted to show some basic information about them and explain on a high level in which situation you should think about an additional and full CRM solution. As a full and independent CRM solution, I’ll focus on Dynamics 365 Sales Professional:
First, naturally, if you don’t have enough functionalities, you will take a specialized CRM solution, but let’s talk in detail on another occasion.
Second, the price can be an issue. If you have pure CRM users, they still need to pay $70 or even $100 for the license as they must pay a BC license even if they need only CRM capabilities. Sales Professional full license price is $65, and you can get full CRM. But with the new attach license for Dynamics 365 Sales Professional, BC clients can add a full CRM solution for an additional only $20.
Third, as I mentioned in the beginning, Business Central is still primarily an ERP solution, meaning its UI is built for ERP and not for CRM. Even if you have many CRM features, when we compare usage of these features, this is definitely not even close to being useable as in a regular CRM solution.
Today I wanted just to make a high-level overview, but in future texts, I’ll try to be more accurate about when CRM in Business Central is enough for you and when you should think about integration with Dynamics 365 Sales.
I haven’t written s single blog post for some time and I definitely decided it will be my the last one. I’ve been writing on this blog for 8 years, but I started with another domain even a couple years earlier. In this period I’ve got some really valuable feedbacks with the huge impact on me and I want to thank all of you who read these articles or eventually post some comment/question.
I’ve made this decision as I joined Business Central product group as a Program Manager and when I have something to announce or say, it will be done through Microsoft official channels. I don’t want to bring anyone into an awkward situation by misinterpreting in some situations. Of course I’ll continue to use LinkedIn and Twitter for communication, but I’ll not continue with blogging.
But just to know, this blog will stay active minimum from two reasons:
There are still a lot of valuable information not related with specific version
And my son will continue to use this blog (he has already proved in a Dynamics business)
That means when you find new articles in the future, they will be written by my son Marko Totovic. I think it will be even more interesting in the future as he will bring some new topics and applications from Dynamics & Power Platform family. And just to know some of existing articles already has been written by him.
I think you we hear from me soon but using different types of communication. Meanwhile, give the opportunity to my son to show what he has to give you. totovic.com will continue in a new suit.
Microsoft publishes its Dynamics and other business applications’ updates and new solutions/features two times per year. Near a month ago Microsoft announced as they call it – 2021 Wave 2 update.
Thanks to Vadim Korepim who prepared and posted this great poster with Dynamics 365 ecosystem, we can have insight in an overview of Microsoft business applications portfolio. This picture represent just part of whole product portfolio, and you can download whole poster on a link at the bottom of this article.
OK it is obviously that topics are not related only with Dynamics solutions as this is Wiki about all business solutions, but there are for sure a few dozens of articles (maybe even more) related only with Microsoft solutions.
And on the end, there is one really good idea about building the digital business applications museum. Even if its history is not so big, it is very interesting how these applications looked like 20-30 years ago. And this is not finished project… as you can see on the first page, this is an ongoing project (always work-in-progress) where it is expected that community will take a part in building or editing this library of articles.
I’ll not write about the project in more details as you can easily go there and check. Definitely good for developers, consultants, project managers, but also for future experts such as students…
I wanted to write this article as I recently passed this exam and I wrote about how to prepare yourself. I already mentioned in this article that if you have an experience in BC or NAV, you generally don’t need to prepare for this exam (but it implies you know and understand BC on the cloud). Now I’m not planning to continue in this direction how to prepare for the exam, but I want to discuss about what we can expect as result of passing this exam.
Generally the most of questions as well as case of study will show your real knowledge, but to be honest you can learn it even if you are not experienced and it cannot prove some specific level of knowledge. Of course, there are some questions non related with real implementation process and as a person with 15+ years in implementation I don’t know why someone thins it is important to know some report by heart, but there is not so many such a questions.
What is more important by my opinion is related with this that I personally am not a fan of this new exam models where we have one exam from whole solution. OK, for F&O we have 4 functional exams and there are similar situation with CRM exams, but there much more topics there and personally I think we have a small number of exams even in F&O and CRM areas. But when we talk about BC, I really cannot believe that one who will pass just one common exam can prove some serious knowledge. Generally BC is implemented very often as a big project and you cannot expect universal consultant who can implement all areas.
Based on my experience, we need to have minimum three exams: one core (we can use MB-800 for this) and another for essential features and third one for premium features (+WMS). And OK, we need development exam. In this case if these exams are prepared on the level as this one, they can prove serial knowledge.
Just to clarify, I like this exam, especially as it comes after a couple of years with no certification for NAV and BC. This is really well done job, but I think partners will need more. Currently, when you see that someone passed MB-800, it can guarantee that this person have basic understanding and knowledge of Business Central. It can be a case that this person is an expert, but this is definitely not necessary to pass this exam.
But as my conclusion, I would like to encourage all BC consultants (and developers as well) to try to pass this exam. Generally I think it is a good idea and especially I would like to recommend passing this exam for junior consultants. Preparing for this exam, they can learn something new and consolidate knowledge. Start with Learning Paths as now we have a lot of really good materials there.
Disclaimer: Everything I wrote in this article is my personal point of view and based on my personal experience and opinion. It doesn’t represent any official opinion companies I’m connected with.
First I need to admit that I’m not big fan of this kind of certification. Based on my previous experience 10+ year ago, it was more about getting certificate and less about proving a real knowledge. I had an opportunity to meet a lot highly certified persons, but they couldn’t implement even the easiest projects. But still, partners wanted to invest in certification as some kind of knowledge proof.
But with new exams in the last few years things are slightly changed and I had opportunity to check them. But with these two new exams I’m talking about, things improved drastically. And I can say I’m really positive surprised.
First what I want to say is that I didn’t prepare myself for these two exams. And when I say ‘I didn’t prepare’, I mean it for real. I wanted to see if it is possible to pass these exams with real experience and practical knowledge. And I succeed! From my perspective this is the most important fact – if you are waring with these technologies and have a real practical knowledge, you can pass them without any problem. It still means you should be focused on questions as they can sometimes be complicated, especially when it comes to the case studies. I didn’t want to say these exams are easy as they are not, but you don’t need to prepare yourself if you know topics. But to be honest, you can still find a couple of useless questions, you really don’t need in practice, but even if you fail on some of them you will still have big chance to pass exams.
What I want to mention about BC exam is to be prepared with SaaS topics as this is very important. It is not enough to know only features in system, as you need to understand cloud concept as well. On the other side, when we talk about Power Platform, you should know both Canvas and Model-driven Power Apps, Power Automate as well as other Power Platform features (AI, Chat Bots…) and CDS. But this is what we imply with the Power Platform knowledge.
If you are newbie, in this case you need to learn for these exams. But good thing is that if you want to start, you can find everything you will need on the Learning Path site. But one small note, when you start to learn from Learning Paths, I often hear that there are not enough information and some of people often fail on exams. This is because, you need to open every link you have in your learning path as often you can find basic information in this part of text, but when you click on some links, you will be redirected to Microsoft docs site with all necessary information with related topic.
On the end I want to say THANKS to all people involved in preparation these two new exams as they made a good result. And for all of you who didn’t register for these exams, do it… you will not make mistake.
It is the first day in 2021 and I just want to put some numbers on the paper. If you don’t agree with my conclusions, please send me some feedback and I will appreciate it.
Looking back I analyzed some numbers in my blog and found interesting that the most read articles were not related with technical topics and I was surprised with this. Because of that I want to share what topics was the most interesting for you in the past year.
If you didn’t find these topics, you can do it here:
Looking in feedbacks, I can also recognize that these three topics were between the most popular. Ok, there is still 72% other reads, but there are consisting from hundreds of other topics. That means you still want to read technical topics, but you are interested in some other as well.
To be honest I was surprised in one moment that many of readers didn’t know that i.e. BC has some of features before my map of functional areas. An for sure, I’ll do more in this direction to make all of this areas more closely to all of you.
I’ve got some other statistics as well, but this is something I’ll use for my internal research. I just want to say thanks to all of you who read my posts and especially to ones who sent some feedback as this is extremely important for me. All the best in 2021!
If you use Business Central online, I’m sure that you need to connect your external accountant or your reseller partner to your tenant without buying new license. This is something you have included in your license. Never mind how many user you bought or if you have Essential or Premium users, you can invite up to 3 external users (External Accountants). These 3 licenses have the same use rights as your standard license except access to the user setup and admin tasks. What these users can do in your system, depends on you. But just to remind you… I’m talking about external accountant, not about internal accountant. This is important to remember as this license is not for internal stuff.
But let’s focus how you can add them. First open Users page and run Invite External Accountant.
When you run this action, new welcome page will appear. You should read it and if you agree, click I Accept (otherwise you need to stop and you cannot add user 🙂 ).
Click Next and fill in minimum mandatory fields. These fields are your external accountant contact details: Email, First and Last name. You will see there is a welcome message your accountant will get as email. You can change it or type in your language.
When you finish with details, just click Next and wait a little while. How long? It depends on many things, but it is usually a few seconds up to minute until system invite your accountant. When system finish, you will get a message that person you added was successfully invited. Close the page and enjoy.
You accountant will get an email message with text you entered in invitation as well as URL where he/she needs to log in. And yes, when you finish with adding accountant as user, do not forget to add user permission sets you want. And if you check license for this user, you will see: Dynamics 365 Business Central External Accountant.
OK, everything I described is related if everything is OK, but what if you have some trouble. I have two common issues you can often meet in a practice. Both of them will be met on the first step when you run invitation action.
First you can have an issue with licensing. Event if these 3 users are free of charge, they are not automatically added to tenant. CSP partner have to do it and if partner forget it, you will get an error message No External Accountant license available. Contact your administrator.
In this case only what you can o is to contact your CSP and to require adding these 3 licenses to your tenant. When these licenses are added, they will appear in your Admin Portal.
Now we have another case when you are not a global administrator or a user administrator in you AAD. In this case you can give yourself proper rights or you can ask administrator to do this task.