Dynamics 365 – What’s in a Name?

Last Friday I was writing up a response to an RFP that involved both Dynamics 365 and Dynamics 365.


What I mean is that the proposal was for Dynamics 365 and Dynamics 365 for Financials.

Still confused?

The proposal was for Dynamics 365, formally known as Dynamics CRM, but in some circles referred to Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement.  There also components for Dynamics 365 Financials.

I was outlining how the solution would address various requirements, I felt I needed to constantly clarify that I was talking about Dynamics 365, meaning CRM, and not specifially about the Dynamics 365 Financials parts.  I also was getting tired of writing out D-y-n-a-m-i-c-s 3-6-5 so I shorted it down to D365, sounds better in conversation and it rolls off the tongue as easily as CRM.  However, even shortened, I had to indicate is was for the traditional “CRM” part.  What is the official name?

I like the new Dynamics 365 name for Dynamics CRM.  However by also effectively naming the Financials and Operations applications “Dynamics 365” has created and will continue to generate much confusion (and delay).

To me, part of the missing piece is no definitive name for the “CRM” part.  What’s worse is that “officially” Dynamics 365 (formerly CRM) naming is broken into “apps” (Sales, Service, Field Service, Project Service)

Not sure about you, but at least 90% of all Dynamics “CRM” projects that I have been involved with have been pure “XRM” which doesn’t fall into ANY of these categories!

Now “unofficially” I have heard the name of “Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement”. Slighty better, but the true power of the “relationship” Dynamics platform goes beyond customers.

Remember this promotion from a few years ago?  “Cow Relationship Management?”

What could be wrong with “Dynamics 365 for XRM”?  This concept is even more true today.

Going back to Dynamics 365 for Financials, Dynamics 365 for Operations and Dynamics 365.  Despite the name, these are 3 VERY DIFFERENT products/platforms.  Much like Word, Excel and Access are completely different things.  Yes, they are all part of “Microsoft Office”, but we don’t say “Can you create that project plan in Office?” or “I created a grocery list in Office”

I have found that in the last few months there has been quite a bit of confusion within the community (where we have some clue of how Microsoft operates) but I figured in the greater customer community there will be a ton of confusion, I have already seen and expect to see these conversations:

Is this feature in Dynamics 365?   That depends, what Dynamics 365 do you mean?

I found a great new ISV for Dynamics 365… oh wait, that is for the *other* Dynamics 365.

Are you going to that Dynamics 365 Conference?   Hey, I just paid $1600 and all you are talking about the new AX version! 

So as I finished my work for the day, thinking that there is a simple fix for this issue, add an extra letter to the acronym, drop the silly app differentiation, acknowledge that Dynamics CRM is really just Dynamics XRM.

  • D365x (CRM, Sales, Service, Field Service, Project Service, Donation Management, Car Management, Grant Management, Member Management, COW management…+ 100s more)
  • D365f (financials)
  • D365o (operations)

These names are short, sweet and to the point, and roll off the tongue much easier in a presention or dicussion about the product.

To rally the community, before I closed down my laptop on Friday evening I fired off the following tweet.


I then headed out for the evening with the Mrs.

A few hours later, I checked my phone (Mrs. is NOT a fan of mobile checking on date night), and saw that my tweet got a bit of traction overseas between John Grace and Jukka Niiranen (FYI – in the Dynamics CRM world, these guys are rock stars):


Side note: seriously guys, do you not have better things to do late on a Friday night?

John (CEO of North52, who’s Business Process Activities product should be renamed to “Steriods for Dynamics 365”) even posted the Idea on the Microsoft ideas site:


Thanks John!  Please Vote this Up!

Of course, it appears that not everyone is on board (initially)

But I agree with you?

Please read David’s Blog because I actually agree with what he is saying and its a great article on the definitions of  CRM.

Overall, I like the “Dynamics 365” name and it does reflect that business software in general.

What I do have a problem with is that this is currently 3 very distinct platforms, and like “Office” there needs to be a more clear differentiation between this particular business solutions. With some Idea site voting, and with some marketing tweaks, some grassroots naming, we can continue to promote the “Dynamics 365” brand along with various “Dynamics 365” platforms/products.

This D365x blog was written in Microsoft Office.





3 thoughts on “Dynamics 365 – What’s in a Name?

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