By Beate Thomsen, Co-founder & Product Design - December 14, 2022
No CRM or ERP system should be an island anymore. Integrated software systems can boost your business' productivity to new heights. This is true for ERPs and CRMs, and for all kinds of other solutions, including Microsoft Dynamics 365.
In the past couple of years, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has become an essential business solution. This has increased the need to integrate other solutions and applications with it to improve business processes and retrieve data from a data source as needed. But, how difficult is it to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365, and which solution is the best Dynamics 365 connector for your business?
These are some of the questions we will answer in this article.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the umbrella name for the Microsoft ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications. Microsoft Dynamics 365 was officially released in 2016. It is the continuation of the Microsoft Business Solutions product suite, which used to include:
Companies using these applications will most likely be invited to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the near future. There is nothing wrong with that. The wealth of Dynamics 365 applications is nearly a guarantee that any company will be satisfied with the product, and it is the Microsoft flagship product for business systems.
Microsoft 365 seems to be offering everything a business could wish for. So, why is there a need to integrate it with a third-party application? It is important to understand that Dynamics 365 is not "just" one product. It consists of a set of 12 applications supporting vital business functions: Sales, Human Resources, Supply Chain Management, Finance, Marketing, etc.
It is possible to purchase all applications. You can decide to only get the ERP applications (for example Business Central). You can then keep using the CRM solution you have always used. In this case, you will have to connect your CRM (for example, Salesforce) with Microsoft Dynamics 365.
You can choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 for both your ERP and CRM needs. You will then find that the Microsoft Dynamics Product suite does not work as one solution. To work together hand in hand, these Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications still need to be integrated. If you want your financial services to work as one with your customer services, you will have to integrate.
Many solution providers have developed data integration solutions for Microsoft Dynamics 365, but they are not created equal. Some can handle some parameters and form a connection in ways that others can't. Some can improve flow across a company with relative ease, while others limit growth by requiring huge resources to be maintained. Microsoft themselves provides different ways to connect with Microsoft Dynamics 365.
In order to facilitate integrations, Microsoft created Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Flow was renamed to "Power Automate." It is a cloud-based service that you can use to automate workflow between Microsoft applications, web apps, and services. Starting around Microsoft Office, Microsoft Flows also works with Microsoft Dynamics 365 through two different types of connection between its apps.
Based on Microsoft Flow, there are two options to connect with Microsoft Dynamics 365:
Choosing the best connector will depend on your needs, business goals, and the arrangement of your databases and systems. The Dynamics 365 connector is an asset to integrate with more than the CRM applications in Microsoft Dynamics 365. On the other hand, it has been said that the CDS connector is more stable than the CRM connector. For example, some companies have found that the connection can be unstable when transferring data from one data source to another data source, especially when not properly used.
Regardless of which solution you choose, either connector option will only get you halfway. These connectors can allow you to do great things, but they will put limits on creating benefits for your company through data integration by their design.
For a full-blown deep Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration, you should consider a dedicated Dynamics 365 data integration solution.
Unless you have tried it before, integration with Dynamics 365 can be a difficult task. One of the most common integration needs is to connect Microsoft Dynamics ERP applications with a CRM solution.
Working with an experienced integration services provider can prove to be a strong advantage. Solution providers like Rapidi have been integrating Microsoft Dynamics solutions with other applications such as Salesforce for decades.
Using Rapidi, companies have seamlessly integrated with the full range of Microsoft Dynamics solutions. This includes the more recently launched Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Finance & Operations, and Customer Engagement.
Rapidi was developed to make complex system integrations as simple, fast, and secure as possible for businesses in many industries and sectors.
By using Rapidi, you can easily receive pre-configured, template-based integrations between all your major systems with speed, efficiency, and accuracy. For businesses, this means that the solution to isolated data and missing records is easily solved when software works together efficiently over a user-friendly platform that requires no technical knowledge or integration skills. Custom integrations can take months, and Microsoft connectors can be limited, but Rapidi brings full transparency to your systems with templates made to fit almost any system after a simple installation.
Rather than take months of development and investment to get an integration up and running, Rapidi uses a subscription and support model to keep integrations tight, secure, and speedy, allowing you to reap the rewards of synced data without any of the usual setbacks to its impact on ROI.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you want to know more about how Rapidi can help you with your next data integration project.
Beate Thomsen, Co-founder & Product Design