7 Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation issues

Implementing new tools — even well-known systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365 — can present challenges that mark the difference between project success or failure.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a collection of enterprise-level business applications, such as Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Human Resources, Finance and Operations, that organizations can adapt to their needs. Basically, the platform combines CRM and ERP capabilities. It also allows businesses to automate processes, make data-driven decisions and improve collaboration.

Despite its benefits, the implementation of Dynamics 365 has its issues. To successfully adopt the tool, project teams must understand these challenges and learn how to overcome them.

1. Data migration

Migrating data from legacy systems to Dynamics 365 is complex, especially when a business spreads its critical data everywhere from aging ERP systems to different spreadsheets.

Project teams should view data migration as an integral part of the project, rather than an afterthought. They must also perform a thorough data audit, analyze the results and determine what to transfer to the new service and what to archive. Special data transfer tools can ensure data integrity through validation checks.

2. User adoption

User adoption plays an important role in the success of any project, because there is no point in implementing a new technology if no one uses it. However, employees often resist moving to a new system due to lack of training or fear of change.

To overcome this challenge, an organization must establish a change management team to facilitate smooth adoption and ensure that it includes key users at all levels. If the team involves these users early, they are more likely to support the new tool and share that positivity with their peers. When combined with a comprehensive training program, the project team has a better chance of a smooth adoption.

3. Customization and configuration

While organizations can customize Dynamics 365 to fit their needs, over-customization can happen. This can lead to performance issues and make future upgrades more difficult, especially if the team doesn’t document these changes.

The IT team should plan for any customizations with the following criteria:

  • Keep existing tool features where possible.
  • Configure the platform using the tools provided.
  • If gaps still exist, use the existing customization tools to make changes.
  • For integration, use tools like Power Automate, Azure Logic Apps and the Power Platform to extend the platform.
  • If necessary, use Microsoft’s supported frameworks for custom code development to develop the required elements.

4. Integration with existing systems

As part of a broader business architecture, Dynamics 365 may need to be integrated with existing ERP or CRM systems. Depending on the age and availability of open APIs, this process can be time consuming and complex.

However, Power Automate, Power Apps or Azure Logic Apps can help integrate Dynamics 365 with existing systems. If no existing connector meets the specific need, the project team can create a custom connector, so developers can bring data and workflows into Dynamics 365.

5. Over budget

Implementations often exceed budgets due to unexpected complexities and poor communication between parties. As teams develop, design and develop the service, they must use an agile approach to allow for changes while avoiding scope creep. This allows teams to adapt as the project progresses.

This approach also helps the team identify budget issues in advance, so they can notify stakeholders before budget increases threaten the project.

6. Not trying enough

Insufficient testing can lead to bugs and performance issues after implementation. This can destroy an adoption strategy, as bugs can make users less confident in the tool. Discovering bugs before implementation can also extend project timelines.

To avoid these issues in Dynamics 365, project teams should prioritize testing. This can include unit, regression and integration testing, which teams can automate when possible. Once teams complete these procedures, they should also conduct user acceptance testing, which will help ensure success.

7. Regulatory compliance

Whether it’s GDPR or CCPA, teams often neglect compliance with regulations — especially around privacy — until the last minute, which can threaten project success.

Microsoft offers resources that explain how Dynamics 365 meets with the global compliance requirements. If teams consult with legal and internal compliance teams and use Microsoft resources during the design phase, they can meet all regulatory requirements.

Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 has its issues, but doing it well can benefit an organization’s processes and practices. If an organization understands the challenges involved and adopts the strategies outlined, it can increase the likelihood of a successful implementation.

Joel Abbott is a solution architect with more than 25 years of IT experience, with specific expertise in Microsoft products.

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