We sometimes take it for granted that our smartphones will have all the intuitive apps we need to simplify our lives, whether we’re finding a new restaurant, updating a travel itinerary or booking a ride. Yet as business users, we face a different reality: many business apps are difficult to use, work with only parts of a siloed set of processes and offer mobile users a fraction of the capabilities available on laptop or desktop versions. But with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource, it’s about to get much easier to transform your business — especially with the Internet of Things (IoT).
In a post on the Official Microsoft Blog, Takeshi Numoto explains how Microsoft Dynamics 365, available this fall, brings together the best of Microsoft’s current CRM and ERP offerings into a single, powerful cloud service with new purpose-built apps to help manage specific business functions, from financials to field service to marketing. Dynamics 365 apps are designed to be easily and independently deployed, giving you the flexibility required for an IoT environment where devices and sensors of all types need to work together. This means you can start small and then scale easily and quickly as your business demands. Seamless connectivity across your devices can give you powerful built-in insights, predictive intelligence, and workflow optimization through simple, easy-to-use, mobile experiences with offline capabilities.
Available today, Microsoft AppSource is especially exciting for businesses building IoT solutions. Each of the more than 200 line-of-business apps offered through AppSource is rigorously designed to integrate with existing Microsoft solutions and cloud technology. These apps come equipped with the ability to connect to sensors and other smart devices that are part of a business’s systems. Since no additional coding is required, it’s easy to connect location services, user data and business processes to get the Internet of Your Things up and running quickly.
AppSource apps deliver significant benefits in a number of scenarios. For instance, supervisors of city municipal utility systems can connect citizens’ reports of burned-out streetlights with digital mapping, repair schedules and equipment inventory to promptly dispatch a repair crew. In retail, a store manager can combine traffic data with inventory figures and sales patterns to improve store layouts, schedule restocking to meet peak customer demand, and help sales associates find the products customers want when they want them. Adopting services just a few apps at a time lets businesses expand their IoT infrastructure at a pace and cost that’s right for them.