The Best Strengths of Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP Software

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: December 21, 2022

If you're evaluating potential ERP systems in the marketplace, Microsoft D365 might be one that you consider. There's a lot of things to like about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and that's what we want to talk about here today.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the most common ERP systems in the marketplace, we actually ranked it number one on our recent top 10 ranking of independent reviews of software vendors to consider in 2022 to 2023. What we want to do today is talk about the strengths of Microsoft Dynamics 365, the things we like about the software, the things that make our team more likely to recommend the software to our clients and I'm also going to talk about the things that we don't like about Microsoft D365, so be sure to stick around to the end of this article where we will cover some of those things as well.

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Variety of Options

The first thing we like about Microsoft Dynamics 365 is that you have a couple different options to consider as you deploy Microsoft Dynamics D365. There's two major solutions or sub solutions within Dynamics 365. You have Business Central, which is focused more on small and mid-sized companies, it's more of an integrated solution for small and mid-market companies.

Next, you have D365 F&O or finance and operations, which is built for larger organizations, it's built for scale, it's meant to be more integrated across a more broad and diverse set of business processes and workflows. So, depending on where you are in the market, what your budget is and what your needs are, you have two different options. There's not just one size fits all within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of products. 

What this does for Microsoft, is it allows Microsoft to appeal to not only fortune 500 and fortune 1000 companies with their F&O product but it allows them to also appeal to small and mid-market companies that might not be able to afford or don't need the firepower of F&O they can instead go down the path of business central. If you're looking for options and you want to have a vendor that can provide solutions that you can grow into or at least give you options to consider in the short term and long term, Microsoft D365 can be a great option for that.


Another thing we like about Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the fact that it's a relatively flexible solution. When we say flexible, we mean that it's relatively easy to configure and customize when you compare that to other solutions in the marketplace. The reason for that is because Microsoft D365 was developed on a .net architecture and platform. What .net is, it's a programming language that technical types can use to customize the technology if that is needed.

If you don't want to customize, which a lot of organizations don't, Microsoft D365 also gives you a lot of options in terms of configuration. The configurability of the software is a lot more robust than a lot of other competitors in the marketplace and that's something that makes Microsoft appealing to a lot of organizations.

Ease of Integration

The next thing we like about Microsoft Dynamics 365 is its ease of integration because of that .net platform, which is an open platform. It's easier to integrate third-party systems with Microsoft D365 when you compare D365 to other systems like say an SAP S/4HANA. SAP has more of a proprietary architecture and a closed architecture that's harder to integrate with other third-party systems, whereas Microsoft is based on that more open .net platform.

That is what makes that integration possible and so being able to integrate with third-party systems is highly appealing especially for organizations that know they're not going to find a single system to meet all of their needs, they might use D365 as their core financials and inventory management, master data management et cetera but they might need other third-party systems to address some of the edge aspects of their operations. If integration is something that's important to you, you may also find that Microsoft D365 is an appealing solution from that perspective.

Microsoft Look and Feel

Another thing we like about Microsoft Dynamics 365 is that it has that Microsoft look and feel. When you log into the system and you're using it across multiple screens, it just looks and feels like a Microsoft product. It looks a lot like you're using Windows or Sharepoint or any other Microsoft product and so from a look and feel and ease of use perspective and from a user adoption perspective, Microsoft D365 can be appealing in that regard.

The other aspect that's appealing about D365 within this Microsoft look and feel, is the fact that it integrates so easily with Sharepoint and other Microsoft products and that allows organizations to get more value out of their investment in D365 as well as their investment in other Microsoft products. If you're a Microsoft shop that's something to consider as you think about Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Lower Implementation Time and Cost

Additionally,  what we like about Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the fact that it can be implemented faster, less expensively and with a lower risk than other ERP systems in the marketplace. We find that because it's a flexible system, because there's open integration, because it has that Microsoft look and feel, oftentimes organizations find they can deploy that software faster than if they were to deploy an SAP or an Oracle or some other product that isn't as intuitive or as flexible or as integrated as Microsoft.

Now having said that, some organizations underestimate how much time and money it's going to take to deploy Microsoft D365 so if you're a small or mid-sized organization, you have to recognize that Microsoft's ERP systems are generally more complex than some of the smaller ERP systems in the marketplace and they may take you a bit longer than you might expect but for the larger organizations the upper bid market the larger fortune 500, fortune 1000, they often find that deploying Microsoft is easier than trying to deploy another tier one, big ERP system like SAP or Oracle for example, so if implementation timing cost and speed to value for your ERP software investments is important, you may also like Microsoft D365.

What We Don't Like about Microsoft D365

We have talked about all the characteristics we like about Microsoft Dynamics 365 but there's also a few things we don't like that's worth noting. 

First of all, that flexibility that we mentioned earlier in this discussion is generally a positive thing but there's a dark side or a double-edged sword to that as well, some organizations find that it is so flexible that they end up going down rabbit holes of making changes to the software that they shouldn't actually make. Just because you can change the software doesn't mean you should. 

Another thing i don't like about D365 is that like a lot of other ERP vendors in the marketplace, D365 is largely trying to be everything to everyone, they're trying to sell and develop their product for multiple industries, multiple company sizes and diverse needs, which is great because they get a bigger user base but at the end of the day, no one ERP system, including D365 can be everything to everyone.

Another thing we don't like about D365 is the maturity of its cloud solution. D365 is deployed one way and that's through the cloud, it's legacy products with AX and Navision and some of the other Microsoft ERP systems from the past were deployed on premise and they've spent the last few years trying to rewrite those on-premise systems to deploy in the cloud with D365. Unfortunately, they're not there yet, they're not fully through that process and it may be some time before they complete that migration of on-premise functionality to the cloud and it may be a while before they get to some of those more advanced machine learning and AI based capabilities that a lot of ERP vendors are racing towards. So, the maturity of the D365 solution is something that can be a downfall of the product as well.

The last thing that we don't like about Microsoft D365, which is actually a lot less to do about the product itself and more to do with the Microsoft ecosystem, is the fact that there are just too many implementation partners in the marketplace and they're not well monitored or managed by Microsoft. It's a very laissez-faire approach to managing their ecosystem. With that inconsistency and the broad fragmented space of implementation partners, that to me is a downside and a weakness of Microsoft D365.

If you are looking to strategize an upcoming transformation or are looking at selecting an ERP system, we would love to give you some insights. Please contact me for more information

Be sure to download the newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report to garner additional industry insight and project best practices.

Kimberling Eric Blue Backgroundv2
Eric Kimberling

Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.

Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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