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Dynamics 365 Project Operations - a potential ERP system for service companies?!

Dynamics 365 Project Operations - a potential ERP system for service companies?!

6 min read Nov 04, 2020

One project management software solution for all business areas

On the European market since October 2020, Dynamics 365 Project Operations is a cloud-based application that integrates all business processes from sales, resource, project and financial management into one solution. As a result, the promising new project software from Microsoft provides data on all areas of responsibility, urgencies, current compositions and the use of existing resources. Changes in business areas and their effects are displayed in real-time. Thus, on the Dynamics 365 platform, Microsoft now brings together all features relevant to project management in one solution, on time and on budget.

How is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations positioned in the Dynamics 365 universe?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations is the latest development within the steadily growing Dynamics 365 universe. The basic idea behind the Dynamics 365 applications right from the start has been the standardisation of processes at all levels - from the initial idea to the implementation of the project management system, merging two accounting or ERP systems.

What has characterised Microsoft Dynamics from the very beginning is its high degree of agility, flexibility and adaptability. To date, Microsoft has provided the following applications for project management: 
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales
  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
  • Dynamics 365 for Field Service
  • Dynamics 365 for HR
  • Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain
  • Dynamics 365 for Commerce
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mixed Reality and
  • Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation.
Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation seems to be the forerunner of Dynamics 365 Project Operations. The software was particularly beneficial for project managers.

How does Dynamics 365 Project Operations differ from Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation?

What distinguishes Dynamics 365 Project Operations from Project Service Automation is the combination of previous solutions from 365 Finance and Supply Chain with Microsoft's Project Service Automation, making the software a single end-to-end solution for project service automation.
Dynamics 365 Project Operations is considered as a "best of" solution from previous Dynamics functions, but also offers new tools and features.
While the main focus of Project Service Automation was on front-office project management, the new project management software offers functionality for project participants from all business units. As a result, the project manager, resource manager, team members, the accounting and finance team and all other project stakeholders have data visibility and transparency throughout the project cycle - from front-end sales functions to back-end project accounting and finance.

What makes Dynamics 365 Project Operations stand out?

Integration and connection of ERP and CRM

While separate systems were previously used for sales, project management, accounting, HR planning or finance, the key to the success of Dynamics 365 Project Operations lies in bringing together solutions from all business areas. Thus, the long-awaited combination of ERP and CRM solutions Microsoft realised now with one single product.

Potentially a complete ERP solution with a focus on services

Based on the Dynamics 365 platform as well as the expansion possibilities of additional Dynamics 365 apps such as Dynamics 365 for Customer Service or Dynamics 365 for Field Service, Project Operations offers area-specific tools for a fully-fledged ERP solution with a focus on services.

Current status as a basis for decision-making

Project Operations has powerful tools at its disposal, so the current status and workflow are always visible. This means that decisions can be made based on current AI data and machine learning.

What benefits does project management gain from the use of Project Operations?

More offers

With improved contract management, more accurate project quotes, forecasts and estimates, Dynamics 365 Project Operations delivers a differentiated customer experience that generates more leads.

Resource and competency orientated staff deployment

Project Operations automatically ensures that employees are assigned to the right projects based on resources and skills.

Flexible deployment of project functions

Versatile and familiar functions of Microsoft Project such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts and dashboards provide a high degree of usability.

Precise instruments

With precise functions for resource management, pricing, cost calculation, time recording, cost management and reporting, Dynamics 365 Project Operations offers qualified tools to record and map projects in their interdisciplinary complexity.

Current data entry and access

Dynamics 365 Project Operations enables up-to-date data insight into project sales and/or financial data. At the same time, all project participants can make time and cost entries at any time, which, among other things, enables faster customer billing.

Innovation with a focus on service

Via the Microsoft D365 platform, business processes are integrated with project management methods in the same way as an ERP solution. In this way, detailed planning of business processes is possible. Thus, the performance or service component of service companies is particularly emphasised. The adaptability and expandability of using other Apps and services contribute to the increase in innovation.

What are the advantages?

  • Complete solution on time and on budget without disruptions between the different business areas
  • Every step and every interaction is recorded in real-time
  • Innovative software helps to make business decisions
  • Reactions and interventions based on current knowledge
  • Increased team coordination, communication and transparency
  • Data can be accessed by all project participants across all business areas
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams
  • No duplicated functions
  • In combination with other Dynamics-365 apps or third-party solutions, a full-fledged ERP system
  • Early intervention possible through real-time recording
  • Favourable licensing
  • High project profitability
  • Also suitable for globally operating companies and all industries

What are the disadvantages?

  • Currently, an individual interface has to be developed to integrate Business Central. The Microsoft Road Map already addresses this issue.
  • A license change is expected.

Microsoft Project Operations at a glance

Dynamics 365 Projects Operations is a cloud-based application that for the first time ever combines tools for all business processes and areas in one business software package for project management. The Microsoft Dynamics platform and its extension options with existing Dynamics 365 Apps offer the potential for a complete ERP solution, with a particular focus on services. In addition, decisions can be made on the basis of reliable data. In this respect, it is suitable software for projects of all kinds to generate leads, provide resources in a targeted and timely manner, accelerate processes and thus make the business operations more effective and profitable.

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