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Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs Custom ERP Development

  • 14-15 min read
  • October 06, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (7 votes)

Business owners are interested in automation and modernization of their work processes with the implementation of software solutions. One of the types of such smart solutions is the Enterprise Resource Planning system or ERP. If you already have a company and want to optimize its workflow, then ERP integration is what your business needs. Implementing ERP helps to handle many tasks replacing human resources in some work processes. Also, it provides a database where all data about your company and customers is held. 

In this article, we will talk about readymade ERP solutions by Microsoft Dynamics 365 and comparison to developing a custom ERP system

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud service created by Microsoft. This service has updated recently and changed the features. A new version has improved Dynamics functions combining CRM and AX and getting ERP applications. 

Dynamics 365 combines ERP and CRM systems functionalities and provides access to intelligent applications. It has a flexible architecture, advanced features and costs, and business processes optimization.

Dynamics 365 consists of several Microsoft applications that provide various features like:

  • customer insights – combining data from Dynamics 365. office 365 and third sources to search the required data easier
  • customer service – customer engagement tools and customer self-service
  • field service – scheduling company resources with managing tools

What is included with Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics cloud service consists of several apps, and we would like to highlight them, their titles speak for themselves:

  • Sales
  • Field Service
  • Customer Service
  • Project Service Automation
  • Marketing, Financials
  • Operations
  • PowerApps
  • Flow

The last two applications are rather new and were added to make the service more customized for a particular company. 

Two new apps – PowerApps and Flow – have also been introduced to help users customize Dynamics 365. PowerApps utilizes a no-code method of constructing mobile apps with specific functionality, and flow is a workflow engine that works with third-party services and across all Dynamics 365 apps.

Dynamics 365 tech specs 

Microst Dynamics 365 MD 365 logo

Here is the shortlist of Dynamics 365 technical specifications. As you can see, it can fit different sizes of companies and provides the ability to use it on various devices.

Devices Supported

  • Web-based
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Desktop

Customer types

  • Small business
  • Medium business
  • Enterprise

Support Types

  • Phone
  • Online

Features of Dynamics 365

Let’s get more into details about the key features of Dynamics 365 ERP. As we have already found out Dynamics 365 is a combination of CRM and ERP systems. They are implemented for optimizing and automating work processes, managing huge amounts of data, improving the efficiency of the company, etc. We covered the common features that this service provides. 


Sales Insights
It provides the function of sales forecasts driven by artificial intelligence. It helps to avoid errors and bias and reveal the customers` main needs and requirements as it recognizes the communication types.
Customer Insights
It delivers particular support to give a single view of customer data. Also, it provides the function of customized reports and the ability to connect to Microsoft Power BI.
Virtual Assistant
Automated support is performed with the use of chatbots and integrated with Power Virtual Agents.
Fraud Protection
This service provides a high level of fraud protection. It leads to the improvement of customer experience, e-commerce, and getting a bigger income. It is also performed with AI services that help to detect frauds and control them additionally to human resources.
Finance Insights
Additionally to sales and customers’ behavior predictions, Dynamics 365 ERP provides management of cost flow forecasting the client total payment and intelligent budget proposals.
Remote Access
This system is available for all users that have access no matter the location. It provides a constant collaboration.
Visualization
This platform helps to create 3D models of customers’ orders considering all their needs and requirements for their business. So customers can check it before the release and reveal errors and incontinence.
Guides
Implementing an ERP system demands employee training related to system usage to avoid problems in the work processes in the future. So this platform provides guides for workers to make the ERP effective from the first day of integration.

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ERP implementation

Want to implement an ERP system but need help with defining the main needs and requirements for business?

Key advantages of Dynamics 365 ERP

Improve Win Rates and Conversions

Ability to filter customers` interests with the use of lead scoring. It also increases the number of response rates in the way of emailing with potential customers and supports introductions for meetings. 

Shows How Customers Interact

You can track the statistics of reading your emails to define its quality and need for improvements. You can get the number of lists that were opened and read to know if they bring any efficiency. 

Unified Data

Using Dynamics 365, you can unite all data available in your company. For example, integration with social media or existing management systems.

Track Contacts

In the case of interaction with potential customers, their contacts can be saved and tracked.

Custom Sales Documents

It recommends the needed and relevant content and seller guides to make your documents custom and collaborate with sellers. 

Streamline Workflows

 A particular range of apps available on Dynamics 365 helps to manage and plan the work processes. These can be Outlook, SharePoint, Excel, etc. 

Promote Accountability

It provides the workflow visualizations for better tracking the analysis.

Friendly UI and UX

Dynamics 365 has a common Microsoft interface and looks similar to other products. The interface has a simple layout that makes it easier to learn. So if talking about integration in your company, you don’t need to spend much time on training your workers to use the system.

Save costs on infrastructure

Using the Dynamics 365 ERP system, there is no need to add any other hardware. Microsoft provides the maintenance of the system from their side, so you don’t have to worry about it. As Microsoft provides all required services for implementing the ERP system, it can be cheaper as you don’t need to implement additional hardware. 

Universal access options 

Dynamics 365 like all ERP systems gather all company data in one place and give easy access for all employees. Also, the company heads can set different levels of access to different departments. The data is available from diverse devices using personal accounts for each worker. It is a good option as every employee can track the workflow and its efficiency. 

Disadvantages of Microsoft Dynamics 365


Optimized to work with other Microsoft products
Dynamics 365 is a good fit for your company if you tend to use Microsoft products in the work processes. In other cases, the implementation of their ERP can not be integrated into departments easily as it demands Microsoft maintenance.
Requires to know your stuff
Before integrating your business with the ERP system, you need to train your employees on how to use it accurately. It can take much time before your company will be able to use this system and make it profitable for your company. 
Operating expense
 Dynamics 365 is not a free service. You have to pay for using and maintenance a month’s fare. Compared to custom ERP, it is really profitable. It is better to invest in the development of customer ERP systems instead of annual or monthly maintenance fees.
Data storage limits
The database is not endless. It has only 5 Gb of empty storage for your company information. Of course, you can buy additional space for $9.99 per month. So in general you will get 10 Gb storage which is definitely not enough for the company.
No direct database access
Dynamics 365 provides the services of management tools for your company but you don’t run the whole system. So you don’t have full access to databases that can complicate the process of implementation. 
Less control over the process
In custom solutions, the updates and improvements of your system depend on you and your actions. Microsoft also releases updates from time to time but it doesn’t mean that they meet all your company’s demands and that they are really worthy. On the contrary, these updates can destroy some of your work processes. 
Possible downtime
As Dynamics 365 is a cloud service, sometimes it experiences downtown and performance errors. The worst thing is that you can not control or predict it. 
User license minimums
Dynamics 365 does not provide user license minimums. 

 

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Dynamics 365 or custom ERP?

Want to know what is the difference between readymade Dynamics 365 and custom ERP development for your company? 

How much does Microsoft Dynamics 365 cost?

As we have already found out Dynamics 365 is a paid service that has different types of subscriptions – for enterprise and business. It depends on the number of workers your company has. Business subscription suite to the company that has from 1 to 250 employees, enterprise subscription is for the company that contains more than 250 workers. Also, these plans provide different promotion offers, upgrade, bundling, etc.

Dynamics 365 CRM counts 40000+ companies and 4.4 million users that installed this ready-made solution.

Source Edge

Here are more details about paid subscription plans and the prices.


Business edition
The common price for monthly usage is $40. It includes only the accounting function. After the full package release, it will provide marketing, sales, and customer services. The total price of an updated business plan will be $50 per month.
Enterprise subscription
This type of subscription has two different plans: includes marketing, sales, customer, project services but not operations (ERP). This price is $115 per month for one user. includes all services from the previous plan adding operations. The price is $210 per month for one user. Also, Microsoft provides a team license that costs $10 per month for one worker.

Also, Microsoft provides a team license that costs $10 per month for one worker. 

Taking everything into account, Dynamics 365 has its pros and cons of the implementation of this Microsoft ready-made solution in your company. If you hesitate and don’t know if Dynamics 365 will meet all the demands of your business, then the right solution for you is building a custom ERP. A custom system is created exactly to your requirements and you can be sure that the integration will be accurate, fast, and easy.

Let’s discuss the necessity of developing a custom software solution and what benefits it can bring your business.

What is Custom ERP Software?

Choosing the suitable software for your business can be quite challenging. However, if you want an ERP service that meets all your requirements and company needs, it is always better to choose custom software development. Especially, it is a perfect fit if services you offer are not delivered on the conveyor and your company produces a custom and new service or order for each customer, custom ERP is a must-have for you. 

From first sight, it can seem a complicated and expensive process to develop and implement a new system in your work processes. Though, it is an excellent investment as you pay once for building a system and use it endlessly. 

Custom ERP software development includes a wide range of features that respond to the demands and objectives of your company. Among the common features of ERP solutions are business intelligence tools like:

  • HR management
  • Inventory management
  • Sales management
  • Accounting management
  • High scalability
  • CRM
👍
Custom ERP
Read more about developing a custom ERP and its benefits in the article on our blog. 

Benefits of custom ERP

ERP benefits ERP benefits

Increase workflow productivity

Due to the vast amounts of data and tasks the company gets on a daily basis,  human resources can not cope with all of it manually. ERP system automates some work processes thus it gives more free time for other important tasks and increases the efficiency of the entire company

Department collaboration

ERP solution is integrated into all parts and spheres of company life. It unites different department in the way of providing a single database for all company data:

  • clients` contacts and information
  • report and analytics
  • expenses, invoice, and other payment

Each worker has easy access to the required information so he or she won’t need to wait for a response from other departments for a long time.

High scalability

The main benefit of a custom solution is its scalability and flexibility. As ERP is built considering your business industry peculiarities, size of the company, amount of data, and other obvious requirements. It means that it can be changed, widened, or updated any time you need.

Reduce costs

As ERP automates some of the work processes, it saves time and consequently money for the company. Employees can perform more tasks for the same time comparing before the implementation of custom ERP. You also don’t need to hire additional or temporary workers, as management of all company spheres becomes easier and accessible anytime and anywhere. ERP generally increases the productivity of the business company and thus the amount of income.

Custom report generation

The report is important for tracking the development of your company and its business strategy. It helps to see and compare the analytics from previous months with today and decide whether your company needs changes or not. Custom report generation makes this process more accurate and suitable exactly to your industry and workflow.

Reliable data

Cloud-based ERP is the best choice for the company and its departments. It makes the database accessible for any worker in case of need to find the required information for customers. The cloud-based system also provides notifications about the latest change or updates to keep the employees keep up to date constantly.

Our expertise in ERP development

We have vast experience in developing custom ERP solutions for different business industries and companies of all sizes. The initial step in each project is making deep research in a particular industry to reveal the requirements for your future solution. We would like to show some examples of developing and implementing custom ERP and how it influenced the entire company.

Highrise

Highrise case

Highrise company provides services for real estate companies. They have specific assistance for property owners and tenants as the company help to resolve different problems and cases of violations. They also process the complaints from tenants and try to deal with them. Real estate companies usually have to process huge amounts of information on a daily basis – contacts of property owners and tenants, documents and lease contacts, tenants appeals, and complaints, etc. Highrise needed to build and implement a custom ERP to record all important data in one database and make it organized due to the character of information. They also asked us to update the old version of the design and add availability for online payments.

Inflight

Inflight case

Our team was asked to build a custom CRM system for the company that provides inflight catering services for private aviation. They dealt with a huge number of aviation companies, so usually got an enormous number of orders. We developed and integrated a CRM that now helps to organize and manage all orders and their details accurately. There is also a possibility to pay online, manage invoices, and other options thanks to the admin panel.

Implementing an ERP solution makes the entire company more productive and profitable. There is no need to handle small tasks as more others can be automated. Thus, employees have more free time for performing more important tasks and projects. A custom solution will suit your particular business needs and resolve the problems you face every day.

Our technical lead, Evgen, provides an MVP estimation for the development of a custom ERP solution. These numbers are approximate and can become bigger due to your company’s requirements and needs.

DevOps Dev hours Total cost
Business Analyst 130 $4160
Admin 32 $704
Designer 120 $4680
CSS\HTML 150 $3750
PHP backend 600 $16200
JS frontend 400 $10800
QA 360 $6120
Scrum master 270 $6210

Conclusion

So the last question is what ERP is a perfect match for your company? It may seem that the choice between Dynamics 365 and custom ERP is complex but you know that it is evident. The custom software solution is made to fit your requirements and consider every tiny detail and peculiarity of your company and business area. Of course, Dynamics 365 can meet the minimal demands of your company workflow but it is worth it as it requires constant payments.

Custom ERP is a great investment in your business that will make it optimized, automated, more modern, and profitable in the nearest future. We have deep expertise in creating ERP for all business industries that are in the modern market. We know how to define the problems of a particular company and transform them into goals to reach. 

The development, integration, and maintenance of an ERP system depend on the range of functions and requirements of your company. The approximate price of the development is $52000.
Both solutions have their own advantages. However, a custom ERP system means that it will be developed considering all your needs and demands. It can contain different functions, management tools, databases, accordance with the number of workers. etc. That’s why a custom system is a better decision than ready-made solutions.
Before the integration, you have to go through several key stages for successful integration with your business. Among them are training your employees, setting access levels to databases, defining main difficulties in the workflow, and solve them using this system, etc.

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Ready for development custom ERP?

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Creator

Due to my Master`s Degree in journalism, I focus on the details while doing the research on the topic. My particular curiosity is about the latest mobile app developments that start in 2015 that make life easier and save much time to spend it more productive. I am an expert in reviewing and consulting web projects related to web applications, especially if they are connected with wearables.
Evgeniy

Expert

Evgen is a key person that makes your project scalable and easy to maintain. Thanks to his advanced and deep knowledge of innovative technologies our team can produce project with high level of complexity and loading. And apart from being a great expert he's also a reliable team player ready to back you up.
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