Dynamics 365: What’s to Love? Part 4 – Project Operations

Wrapping up our February blog series with Part 4 – Project Operations only seems right, considering we “love” everything about it. If you missed our earlier posts on Manufacturing, Public Sector or Commerce; don’t forget to check them out! As with those posts, this one features the same “themed/Valentine-inspired” phrases, with respect to Project Operations.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations

We are attached at the hip!

When Dynamics 365 first brought ERP and CRM together in the cloud, we knew it was a big deal. Consider Project Operations a clear-cut example of the seamless ways in which a User can play hopscotch with functionality previously found in “separate” solutions. Dynamics 365 Project Operations brings together project management with sales and finance capabilities in one neatly-wrapped, heart-shaped, user-experience box.  In more technical architecture terms, Project Operations has taken Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation and Dynamics 365 Finance (specifically Project Management and Accounting) and made a love connection via Microsoft’s “Dataverse” (formerly known as Common Data Service).  It might be more accurate to say “we are attached at the Dataverse”!

You’re just not my type!

Project-based businesses can rejoice because Dynamics 365 Project Operations has more than one “type”.  Project Operations affords us the ability to deploy it in three flavors:

  1. Resource-based, any-ERP – provides project sales and services, but relies on third-party service-centric ERP
  2. Resource/non-stocked-based – combines project sales and services with project accounting from the F&O platform
  3. Stocked/Production-based – provides PMA capabilities for resource tracking, inventory controls, invoicing and accounting

So, as long as you’re a “Project-based” organization, Project Operations IS your type!

I won’t let you down, babe!

Look!  This one is simple!  Microsoft has taken three proven products and brought them together for our benefit.  This is not a “from scratch” application that is on the “bleeding edge”.  One might argue that Dataverse is still young, but the amount of resources and focus from Microsoft on this technology should bring a strong level of confidence to this solution.  Project-based business like professional services firms, consultancies, and architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC industry) can trust this product and the Dynamics platform for amazing out-of-the-box functionality as well as extensibility and scalability.

We finish each other’s sentences!

When you can finish your partner’s sentence, it’s because you know what they are going to say.  You know this because you know the way they think.  You know their background.  Well, the same is true with Project Operations allowing the execution and operations side of a project-centric business to finish the sentences of project sales!  Traditionally, sales and operations have been separated.  This doesn’t have to be the case any longer.  All of the conversations, data points, documentation, quote details, etc. that are captured during the sales cycle flow naturally into a Project record when awarded (won).  Not only is the history brought over, but the details of quote, which can be derived from a detailed time and resource-based estimate, can flow right into the details of the project to create the real project tasks as well as placeholders for the to-be-assigned project resources!  This is such a time-saver and powerful connection between sales and delivery organizations.  And that’s not all!  Because Project Operations brings together the project management and project accounting functions, we can enjoy the love connection between budgets and actuals and billings and costs.

You just know me so well!

Always a Microsoft eco-system advantage, there is a predictable familiarity with their business applications that helps with user adoption, training, and overall ease of use.  Project Operations functions can be broken down into three familiar areas:

  1. Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation
  2. Dynamics 365 Finance
  3. Microsoft Project

Those who are used to using a “CRM” solution and maybe even some of the Dynamics CE apps like Sales or Customer Service or even the legacy Project Service Automation, will find comfort in its familiar interface and functions.  Project Sales functionality behaves just like the “Sales” app, but with a few extra project-related features as you might expect.  The “Finance and Accounting” capabilities come directly from D365 Finance (historically Finance within Dynamics AX).  So, those familiar with working with Microsoft’s Enterprise-level ERP will already know it quite well.  Finally, the actual Microsoft Project application is tightly woven in to the fabric of Project Operations, allowing for those MS Project PMO and PMI types to thrive and go deep into complex project management.

Thanks for reading! You may also be interested in…

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