Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a powerful cloud-based business applications platform. It combines CRM and ERP capabilities in a single solution to streamline business processes. However, to unlock Dynamics 365’s full potential, integration with other systems and software is key. That’s where Dynamics 365 integration services come in.
Professional integration allows Dynamics 365 to exchange data with other apps and programs seamlessly. This breaks down silos, automates workflows, and provides a unified view of business operations. For Dynamics users, seamless integration is essential to maximize productivity and data accuracy across sales, marketing, customer service, field service, finance, supply chain and other functions.
The Benefits of Integrating Dynamics 365
Well-executed Dynamics 365 integrations provide important benefits:
Automated data flows between systems eliminate duplicate manual data entry and reduce human errors. This speeds up workflows and allows employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
Enhanced Data Accuracy
With a unified dataset across integrated platforms, there are no more discrepancies or conflicts between disconnected systems. This provides a “single source of truth”.
Combined data from different systems enables more sophisticated reporting, analytics and business insights for data-driven decision making.
End-to-end digital processes spanning multiple applications optimizes workflows. Manual hand-offs between systems are removed.
Better Customer Experiences
A unified view of customer interactions across touchpoints allows delivering consistent and personalized customer experiences.
Built-in integrations make it fast and easy to add new apps or scale up as your business grows.
Typical Dynamics 365 Integration Scenarios
Some common ways that businesses integrate Dynamics 365 with other platforms and apps include:
CRM + Marketing Automation
Linking Dynamics 365 Sales/Customer Service with marketing platforms like HubSpot or Marketo improves lead handling and aligns sales and marketing.
CRM + Ecommerce
Dynamics 365 integration with ecommerce platforms like Shopify or Magento centralizes customer data from online and offline channels.
CRM + ERP
Connecting Dynamics 365 to ERPs like SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance synchronizes financial data with sales, service and operations.
CRM + Office 365
Integrating productivity tools like Outlook, Excel and Power BI unlocks features like calendar syncing, global address books and reporting.
CRM + SharePoint
Enabling document management capabilities through SharePoint integration improves processes like managing contracts in Dynamics.
CRM + Payment Systems
Links to payment processors like PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net allow automated billing and payment processing within Dynamics workflows.
CRM + Help Desk
Connecting service desk software from vendors like Zendesk or Freshdesk with Dynamics 365 Customer Service tracks issues and improves support.
Key Considerations for Successful Dynamics Integration
Here are some important factors to weigh when planning Dynamics 365 integrations to ensure optimal results:
Have a Clear Strategy
Start by outlining your key business objectives, systems involved, data points to link, and desired workflows. This provides direction and aids in prioritizing integration goals.
Leverage Native Connectors When Possible
Dynamics provides OOTB native connectors to many popular apps like Office 365, LinkedIn, and Adobe. These accelerate and simplify basic integrations.
Evaluate Third-Party Connectors
Pre-built connectors from industry ISVs can provide faster and more full-featured integrations with both standard and custom apps.
Factor in Implementation Complexity
The best integration approach will depend on the complexity of the platforms involved and use case. In-depth custom coding is likely required for advanced scenarios.
Consider Target Data Structure
How data needs to be organized and aggregated from various systems is key. Plan the optimal consolidated data structure.
Manage Security & Access
Governance factors like user security profiles, access rights, and permissions across systems must be handled properly for secure and compliant data sharing.
Allow Time for Testing
Allocate sufficient time for comprehensive testing of integrations before go-live to catch any errors and ensure seamless data synchronization.
Plan for Maintenance
Build in ongoing support and change management processes to keep integrations running smoothly long-term as systems evolve.
Working With a Dynamics 365 Integration Partner
While it’s possible to tackle Dynamics 365 integrations internally, most businesses opt to work with a qualified integration specialist. This provides access to technical expertise along with best practices that improve speed, cost-effectiveness and integration sustainability.
Look for an integration partner with:
Proven Dynamics 365 Experience
Choose a partner thoroughly familiar with Dynamics architecture, connectors, APIs, and customization tools for optimum integration results.
Seek out full lifecycle support from planning through design, development, testing, implementation, and maintenance for maximum value.
Partners focused on your specific industry better understand necessary integration nuances and use cases.
Reputable firms will share Dynamics integration success stories and client referrals to showcase their experience.
Look for Microsoft Gold Partner status and certified Dynamics developers and engineers to ensure technical proficiency.
Key Benefits of Integrating Dynamics 365 for Your Business
Smoothly integrating Dynamics 365 unlocks game-changing connectivity across business systems and data. By leveraging professional integration services, you can achieve:
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- Enhanced data accuracy and reporting
- Streamlined cross-platform workflows
- 360-degree customer views
- Scalability to support changing needs
The right integration partner will help plan and execute a robust integration strategy tailored to your environment and objectives. This allows you to maximize your Dynamics 365 investment and fully leverage its expansive capabilities across sales, marketing, service, operations and finance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Dynamics 365 Integration
What applications and data sources can Dynamics 365 integrate with?
Dynamics supports extensive integrations including CRM/ERP systems, Office 365, marketing, ecommerce, payment processing, help desks, inventory, HR, and more. It also connects to SQL, SharePoint, Azure services and custom/legacy systems.
Does Dynamics 365 offer pre-built connectors?
Yes, Dynamics provides out-of-the-box native connectors to many popular apps like SharePoint, LinkedIn, OneDrive and Office Groups. There are also curated connectors available to apps like Adobe, MailChimp and SurveyMonkey.
When should you use the native Dynamics connectors vs. third-party connectors?
Native Dynamics connectors offer the fastest path for basic integrations with Microsoft apps and platforms. Third-party connectors enable more complex bi-directional data flows with other apps and custom systems using modern APIs.
Is developer expertise required to integrate Dynamics 365?
Basic native connector integrations can be configured by admins. However, integrating custom systems and apps generally requires technical expertise for API development, coding, mapping data structures, and configuring connectors.
What are some best practices for Dynamics 365 integration testing?
Allow ample time for thorough end-to-end integration testing before go-live. Test across multiple systems, workflows, and data sets. Conduct user acceptance testing under realistic conditions, and fix any issues before launch.
How much does Dynamics 365 integration cost?
Costs vary considerably based on integration complexity, number of systems/touchpoints, and level of customization. DIY connector building has licensing costs. Engaging an integration specialist generally starts around $10,000+ for initial integration.
What are signs you need help with Dynamics 365 integration?
Indicators you would benefit from a qualified integration partner include lacking internal expertise, complex use cases, tight deadlines, compliance needs, integration with custom systems, and issues configuring connectors.
How can you keep Dynamics 365 integrations running smoothly long-term?
Monitor performance, keep connectors updated, maintain strict data governance, have a support plan for troubleshooting issues, and retest integrations whenever systems involved are upgraded or replaced.